Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category
Posted by Administrator on May 4, 2012
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Posted by Administrator on April 29, 2012
We have now upgraded our site and moved all the posts to http://jambonewspot.com/category/habari-za-nyumbani/ . Hope you enjoy our new site.
Posted by Administrator on March 16, 2012
Slowly but surely, paradise is changing. On any given afternoon in the tourist season, a hotel owner at the coast only used to worry about power cuts, malfunctioning air-conditioners, “the German Problem” (towels used to book pool chairs) or any of the other small headaches of the hospitality business.
Now, in the wake of terror advisories and stiff competition, making the stay pleasant ranks well below getting visitors in the door.
Dress codes are no longer enforced as more Eastern Europeans check in. More and more cash is forked out for live bands and animators in attempts to outdo the next establishment.
And when it comes to a guest’s new friends, ushered into the room late in the night, it is often best not to ask too many questions.
Walk through Diani or Ukunda townships in the late afternoon, however, and you will see reasons to ask a few questions. A recent visit by The Standard on Saturday brought us face to face with the dark secret ofKenya’s tropical paradise.
From around4pmon any given day, you can see dozens of scantily dressed girls, some in their teens, loitering around shopping centres or in local bars as they prey, or wait to be preyed upon, by tourists.
On the street, their hungry eyes lock on any posh fuel-guzzlers driving by, hoping to be picked up and whisked off to lavish beach homes, villas or hotels.
Almost a third of all tourists coming intoKenyahave sex with a local during their stay, a recent study found. People who would normally not enter a brothel in their home country hunt for sex openly when abroad.
This has bred a culture of sexual servitude that affects not just the hundreds of thousands of sex workers in the country, but also tens of thousands of school-age children.
Areas such as Ukunda and Diani on the south coast, and Mtwapa, Kikambala and Malindi on the north coast, have become notorious for sex tourism.
On a recent Friday night in one of Diani’s beachfront resorts, we found half-naked and drunk girls, some of them teens, engaged in lively dancing contests deep into the night.
Aware of how young they look, they advertise their availability through their exposed clothing, heavy smoking and drinking. This, we are told, is the norm here since many sex tourists prefer “loose” or “wild” girls who are likely to do what they want.
Members of the audience could be seen selecting some of the girls from the stage and ushering them to pubs and rooms in the dimly-lit backyard.
The sex tourists, who include Kenyans from upcountry, business people, transport workers and military personnel, often get away with their crimes. If caught, many can expect to bribe their way out of trouble.
As we later learned, there were adult guardians and parents accompanying some of the underage girls to the dance contests. Their job is to act as informal pimps, striking deals with clients who pick their daughters. Our guide spotted one girl who is a Class Six pupil in a local primary school.
Attempts to confront her mother were met with a vociferous admonishment.
“Mwataka nimtoe hapa, mtanipea mimi nini nile? (What will you offer me if I take her out of here?),” the woman exclaimed before walking off into the dark.
The dancing contests, we are told, are one of the events devised to camouflage and advertise underage sex tourism. The local District Officer recently stormed this very resort to pull a half-naked schoolgirl from the stage.
The destructive trade has distorted the social mores of the coastal region beyond recognition.
Mwaroni village in Diani, from which some of these girls come, is one of the many struggling to end the sex trade. Village elder Juma Bavu says he is horrified at how quickly the previously unthinkable vice has engulfed the community.
“When we were young, this was totally unheard of,” he says. “I worked in almost every resort in this region, but I never let any tourist corrupt me.
This is no longer the case with our children.”
Chairman Swaleh Mwero says banning traditional dances for tourists at night has only moved the trade out of the villages into area discotheques.
“We are shocked by what is happening. This is an issue that cannot be ignored anymore,” he says.
Mwero adds the huge amounts of money generated by this trade have made it impossible to suppress.
The evidence is clear in many villages, he says, pointing to vehicles and property he claims “sponsors”acquired for the families of abused minors.
He says underage girls have been vanishing from the villages and travelling abroad with tourists, disguised as family friends.
He says elders are threatened when they attempt to keep minors away from tourists. “Many children drop out of school to court tourists,” he laments. “Others do it while still in school. Unfortunately, most parents support this vice.”
The sexual exploitation of children is not limited to coastal areas or to tourists, however. It can be found in communities acrossKenya. Most of the two to three thousand full-time prostitutes in the region have migrated to the coast from other parts of the country, where they were “inaugurated into sex work”.
Part of the problem is that older youths who have courted white tourists are seen as role models. There is even a popular local saying that behind every successful family there is a “mzungu”(white person). This creates social pressure on parents
with young children to push them into this line of work.
George Njaramba, a member of a Diani advisory committee on child rights, says it all comes down to economic incentives.
“Here, many people who focus on education end up struggling to make ends meet. Some of those who hook up with tourists, however, often end up relatively rich. They may even offer to pay school fees for age-mates still in school.”
Njaramba claims local authorities are aware of the problem but choose not to act.
“Government officials here know what is happening, but I believe they turn a blind eye either because they have been bribed or do not want bad publicity on Kenyan tourism,” he says.
The Government first publicly addressed the problem in 2003, at a child protection workshop.
Several measures to deal with it were implemented. However, the growth of the tourism sector, even as other economic activities in the coast region remain depressed, has drawn even more children into the trade.
Hard to come by
Ibrahim Makanzu, the chief for Diani location, says concrete evidence is hard to come by. He does, however, concede the social effects of sex tourism are evident: While the use of antiretroviral drugs has reduced Aids-related deaths, the HIV prevalence rate has shot up in recent years. High school dropout rates in the region are also unusually high.
Divisional Officer Halima Duri adds that the large number of young girls with property but no visible means of income suggests sex in being traded, but adds there is little social pressure to deal with the problem.
“Not even a single case has ever been reported to me,” she says. “It is true some young girls are enjoying life with luxury cars and houses, but it is hard to intervene in a case where there is no complaint.”
Provincial Administration officials limit themselves to reducing opportunities for the sex trade to happen. The DO claims that Government pressure has reduced child prostitution.
“In the past, tourists would openly enter hotels with children,” she says. “Now, some use private cottages and massage parlours, while others visit the minors in their rural homes. This makes it difficult to catch them.” Unlike hotels and resorts, which are public places, the private cottages are far harder to monitor.
When the scale of the problem first emerged in 2006, industry players were outraged.
Then Tourism Minister Morris Dzoro and hotel association chief Lucy Karume raided one hotel where three schoolgirls aged between eight and 14 were abused.
It emerged their mothers had helped to hide the crime from the hotel by accompanying the children to meet with two elderly tourists. The two foreigners, it also turned out, were notorious child molesters who had been thrown out of another hotel in the area. Afraid of the negative publicity, hotel owners often turn paedophiles away rather than turn them in.
This merely moves the problem from one location to another. With more dangerous sex predators coming toKenya, it is an approach doomed to failure.
Hotel manager Mohammed Hersi, also an official of the hoteliers’ association, has proposed having the Immigration Department review aliens permits and make it difficult “for retirees and social misfits to come into the country”.
The challenge is that even convicted sex offenders are allowed to travel from their home countries toKenya. Sex offenders convicted of abusing children abroad often face relatively short travel bans. TheUnited Kingdom, which boasts the toughest travel restrictions, prevents travel for only between six months and five years.
Easily corrupted Immigration officials atKenyaborder points are also known to allow in prohibited and undesirable immigrants. Sex tourists are also making use of the Internet to make their crimes easier.
Calling themselves “sex mongers”, these groups of men congregate in forums where they share information about where to find prostitutes, how much to pay, where to do the deed and what to do if caught.
Step-by-step instructions are also offered on how to persuade victims to allow the monger to perform various acts and take photographs. Due to criminal law restrictions, The Standard on Saturday did not search these forums for any images that may prove underage prostitutes are being abused inKenya.
However, recent arrests in theUnited StatesandEuropeof member of child sex and child pornography rings with connections toKenyaprove the abuse is happening. This would not be possible if the sex trade had not become a glorified way of life and a key source of livelihood for some locals.
In some localities, those who crusade against child prostitution have to endure constant threats to their lives. The officer in charge at the Diani Tourist Police Unit base is quick to deny complacency or complicity by law enforcement on child sex tourism.
“We always hear of those cases, but they are never reported here,” he says, referring us to the officer commanding the local police division. “It is very guarded and there is never any evidence.”
This is a familiar line of argument from the unit, which serves mostly to protect tourists from local crime.
The brochures it issues to foreign visitors, for example, do not warn against the illegal use of prostitutes, whether underage or not. Instead, they offer “personal safety tips” for those who intend to “invite a friend” to their hotel room. Turning a blind eye to the sex work, however, means they fail to see the abuse of children going on under their noses.
Ethnical Violence: Understanding the Cycle of Violence inKenya
How does one come to the understanding of the cycle of violence that occurs inKenyaon a five year basis? I hope to bring an inquiry of the madness that has been so deeply imbedded into the Kenyan psyche in order to configure the correct methodology by which we can rid ourselves of this unreleased able sin of ethnic violence, which has been an idea so venomously potent. Therefore, the arguments that I will examine in the understanding of violence inKenyaare primordialisms, servitude mentality, political manipulation, indoctrination and lack of critical thinking and analysis. With the coming election it is important to revisit this issue to avoid a rendition of 2007.
The New Kenyan System: Federalism
August 27, 2010, a new Kenyan constitution was signed into law by President Mwai Kibaki. This new constitution brings about major change in the government structures within the Kenyan state. Kenyaemerges as a federalist system that hopes to tackle problems like impunity and extralegal actions by executives or elites in government without legal recompense. Among the principles that the federalist system hopes to offer Kenyans is a system that has a devolution of power and that has flexibility and adaptability and has an evolving equilibrium of balance and sanctions. The new system hopes to offerKenyathe necessary checks and balances that will enable our nation to thrive.
Posted by Administrator on February 13, 2012
A Kikuyu and an American man are sitting next to each other on a long flight from London to Bermuda .
The American man leans over to the Kikuyu and asks if he would like to play a fun game. The Kikuyu just wants to take a nap, so He politely declines and rolls over to the window to catch a few winks.
The American man persists and explains that the game is real easy and is a lot of fun.
He explains “I ask you a question, and if you don’t know the answer, you pay me $5. Then you ask me a question, and if I don’t know the answer, I’ll pay you $5.” Again, the Kikuyu politely declines, and tries to get some sleep.
The American man, now somewhat agitated, says, “OK, if you don’t know the answer you pay me $5, and if I don’t know the answer, I’ll pay you $100!”
This catches the Kikuyu’s attention, and he sees no end to this torment unless he plays, so he agrees to the game.
The American asks the first question.
“What’s the distance from the earth to the moon?”
The Kikuyu doesn’t say a word, but reaches into his wallet, pulls out a five dollar bill and hands it to the American.
Now, it’s the Kikuyu’s turn.
He asks the American “What goes up a hill with three legs, and comes down on four?”
The American looks up at him with a puzzled look. He takes out his laptop computer and searches all of his references. He taps into the Air phone with his modem and searches the net and the Library of Congress.
Frustrated, he sends e-mails to his co-workers to no avail. After about another hour, he wakes the Kikuyu and hands him $100.
The Kikuyu politely takes the $100 and turns away to try to get back to sleep.
The American, more than a little miffed, shakes the Kikuyu and asks “Well, so what’s the answer?” Without a word, the Kikuyu reaches into his wallet, hands the American $5, and turns away to get back to sleep.
Posted by Administrator on January 31, 2012
NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 31 – The Court of Appeal has now suspended the vetting of judges and magistrates until an appeal lodged by a law student is heard and determined.
Justices Emmanuel O’kubasu, Alnashir Visram and David Maranga have directed that the appeal be heard and determined within 21 days.
The student, Dennis Mogambi had appealed against a High Court order that threw out a case he filed challenging to the legality of the vetting process.
Mogambi argues that if allowed to proceed, the process will be unfair to the judicial officers since the officers will not have a right of appeal to decisions reached by the vetting board.
He also objects to the board starting vetting, claiming that the judicial officers will not have enough time to prepare their case or defend themselves against any accusations or positions.
The board is chaired by Sharad Rao. The last member to be sworn into office two weeks ago was South African judge Albert Sach.
and also here
Other members are; Meuledi Iseme, Justus Maithya, Ngotho Kairuki, Abdirashid Abdullahi, Roselyne Odede, Zambian Fredrick Chomba and Ghanaian CJ Georginah Woods.
The board will vet judges and magistrates who were in office as at August 27, 2010 to determine their suitability to continue in office.
You can also read a blog on vetting of judges here
The board was established by the Vetting of Judges and Magistrates Act 2011 that received Presidential assent on March 21 last year.
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Posted by Administrator on December 20, 2011
KISUMU, 19 December 2011 (PlusNews) – For the past five years, Achieng*, a 35-year-old widow and mother of six, has sold fish on the Kenyan shores of Lake Victoria; like many women in the fish trade, Achieng often has to have sex with fishermen in order to get the best catch of the day, a system known in the local Luo language as ‘jaboya’.
“When you are a woman and you want to get into the business of selling fish, you must be ready to lose your pride and use your body for bargaining,” she told IRIN/PlusNews. “Being ready to give sex as and when it is needed by the fishermen… it guarantees your survival here on the beach.”
‘Jaboya’ has long been associated with the high levels of HIV infection in Kenya’s western Nyanza Province, where HIV prevalence is over 14.9 percent, double the national average of 7.4 percent. It is even higher among fishing communities. The Kenya HIV Prevention Response and Modes of Transmission Analysis 2009 reported that HIV prevalence among fishing communities stands at 30 percent, while an estimated 25 percent of all new infections in Nyanza are attributed to this group.
An estimated 27,000 women are involved in the fish trade in Nyanza either directly or indirectly, according to the Ministry of Fisheries.
Achieng says she is aware of the risks, but the immediate needs of her family override any concern she may have about contracting HIV.
“You know you can get HIV… but then you remember you have a family that needs to be provided for, and you say, let me die providing for them,” she said.
According to Charles Okal, the provincial AIDS and sexually transmitted infections coordinator for Nyanza, while efforts to reach out to fishing communities with HIV prevention messages have begun to show results, the continued poverty of women means they remain vulnerable to ‘jaboya’.
“Fish trade that goes along with sex-for-fish continues to be one of the greatest challenges in the prevention of HIV in Nyanza… There are still challenges which involve the economic and social vulnerabilities of the women involved in the trade,” he said.
A recent donation of six boats to women’s groups in Nyanza by the US Peace Corps shows some of the ways ‘jaboya’ can be addressed; the women are able to fish for themselves, eliminating dependence on fishermen.
“When you have nothing, those who have something must tell you to bend over backwards for them. Now we have boats and we will no longer be at anybody’s mercy,” Millicent Onyango, one of the beneficiaries of the US Peace Corps’ “No Sex for Fish” project.
According to Okeyo Owuor, director of the Victoria Institute for Research on Environment and Development, which is part of the initiative, empowering women economically is key to ending the dangerous fish-for-sex trade. “These women need fish but they don’t own any boat. This means they have to play along with whoever has the boat and these are men who will demand for sex before giving any fish. But when you empower them to own the boat, then they have the ultimate power to say no to sexual demands,” he said.
“Six boats might look small but many such initiatives can make an impact in ending the sex-for-fish trade if replicated over time. It is important to start from somewhere,” he added.
Many of the women trading in fish across Lake Victoria’s landing sites have formed groups to help them save money to buy their own fishing equipment.
“We want to help ourselves by putting some of our savings aside so that when we have enough, we can buy our own boats and nets and help each other. So we will have nearly all women who are at the beaches own a boat either individually, or as a group,” said Lillian Rajula, the leader of one such group.
According to Nyanza AIDS coordinator Okal, economic programmes must go hand in hand with other HIV prevention methods like the promotion of voluntary medical male circumcision, condom use and behaviour change communication.
“Apart from the need to empower the women, behaviour change communication targeting men is important so that they look at the women as business partners and not sex partners; these kind of efforts are ongoing and are being embraced, albeit slowly,” he said.
*Not her real name
Posted by Administrator on December 20, 2011
The African life and death of an American priest: A recounting of how a Minnesota man died mysteriously in Kenya after challenging the government.
It’s daring, in some ways, that Christopher Goffard starts his book in Kenya. “You Will See Fire: A Search for Justice in Kenya” tells the story of John Kaiser, a Minnesotan and former Marine who spent most of his life in rural Kenya as a priest. Most writers wouldn’t resist so many bridges of familiarity, but Goffard dares us to think differently.
“Shoulder-to-shoulder on the porches lounged gaunt, long-limbed Masai men, sinewy, sandaled, with shaven scalps, the ropy skin of their stretched and punctured earlobes bright with beads,” Goffard writes.
“An American, rich by definition, who insisted on a life of hard physical labor in the sun. … Only witch doctors live alone, people said.”
It’s funny, and savvy, to invert our expectations: The Masai may contort their ears to hold big beads, but this book takes place on their turf, where the single and celibate mzungu, or white man, is the strange one.
It’s precisely from his foreignness that Kaiser derives a — wholly secular — power. He fails in his attempts, over decades, to persuade the church to speak out against abuses in the regime of Kenyan President Daniel arap Moi — foiled in large part by divisions among African and foreign church leaders over the power and purpose of criticism raised by a mzungu.
Kaiser sees a chance to pursue justice himself when Moi sets up a (sham) commission to investigate mass evictions in rural Kenya.
Kaiser had watched the evictions happen; he collected testimonies and documents from the swindled peasants, which he presents to the commission. He builds a chain of culpability leading to Moi himself — a move so daring it’s stricken from the formal record of the commission and prohibited from inclusion in the local press.
Still, the testimony turns him into a hero, which further emboldens him, even as he fears for his life. “They’ll say it was suicide,” he tells a friend visiting shortly before his death. “Don’t believe it.”
Kaiser’s eventual shooting death in 2000, is investigated by a joint Kenya-FBI team, which rules it a suicide. But Charles Mbuthi Gathenji, a Kenyan human rights lawyer whose father was also killed by the regime, refuses to let the case drop. He persists, and seven years after Kaiser’s death, a Kenyan judge overturns the FBI findings, calling it murder.
Yet questions remain, including about Kaiser’s lifelong mental health.
In places, the book drags a bit — the lengthy historical background could be pared without risking the integrity of the story — but when Goffard’s working in pure story, he soars. The book is best when it hews to the mystery of John Kaiser and his death, itself a prism for the story of what really happened under the brutal dictatorship of Daniel arap Moi.
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Posted by Administrator on December 18, 2011
Posted by Administrator on December 7, 2011
Posted by Administrator on December 6, 2011
The race to 2012 heats up as the Wageuzi fight for Power and Glory to the very end.
Groundbreaking 3D animation. Truly and Fully Kenyan.
CREDITS: Modeling, Animation, Rigging, Lighting, Compositing – Andrew Kaggia
Soundtrack/Score – Ulopa Ngoma
Outro Song Written and Performed by – DNA
Software: 3ds Max 2009, Vray 1.5, Adobe After Effects Total Render time: 120 days