Sunday, September 30, 2012



By AJAZEERA 30 September 2012 Kenyan and Somali troops are preparing to move into Kismayo following the withdrawal of rebel fighters from the southern port city, Hussein Arab Isse, Somalia's deputy prime minister, has told Al Jazeera. Isse, who is also in charge of the country's defence ministry, said on Sunday that troops would enter the key commercial city later in the day. Joint forces launched a series of assaults to take the city on Friday, forcing al-Shabab rebels to withdraw from the port town - their last stronghold in Somalia. The Kenyan and African Union troops, who surround the city, have been waiting for peace negotiations to conclude with tribal elders there. "We truly pacified the city without any problems," Isse said. Residents in Kismayo said they woke to find police and government headquarters abandoned by al-Shabab, sparking a looting spree of the government and police headquarters. "We are entering Kismayo with caution and working very closely with people inside the city, however there are special forces inside Kismayo to ensure al-Shabab fighters are not causing harm," the Somali deputy prime minister said. Al-Shabab's withdrawal came about 24 hours after Kenyan forces made a beach landing and as inland troops from Somalia and Kenya moved toward the commercial city from the west. Al-Shabab found little popular support in Kismayo because of the conservative brand of Islam it tried to impose on residents, carrying out public executions, whippings and amputations as punishments, and enforced a conservative dress code. 'Military tactic' Rebel fighters on the ground confirmed the withdrawal on Saturday. "We got orders from our superiors to withdraw from the city... this is part of broader military tactic we have set for the enemy," said Sheikh Mohamed Abu-Fatma, a commander for the group, told the AFP news agency by telephone. "According to eyewitnesses, there are no armed forces in the city, just civilians. There are adminstrative buildings being looted, and the city is in a state of chaos," reported Al Jazeera's Abdirahman Sahal from Kismayo on Saturday. "The town is not under anyone's control now," Mohamed Hassan, a resident, said. "People feel some relief now. We hope no more fighting will take place." "Looting and chaos is going on here. Thugs are taking advantage of the vacuum,'' Maryan Hussein, another resident, said. "The abandoned houses are being ransacked and the streets are occupied by people carrying belongings." The Kenya Defence Force said that it was treating the announcement of the al-Shabab withdrawal with caution, and that they would be moving into the areas that were under rebel control at the time of the initial assault in the early hours of Friday. "As soon as we consolidate, we will move to take the rest of the city," Colonel Cyrus Oguna, a Kenyan military spokesperson, said. Strategic location In the past four weeks, fearing an assault by the Kenyans, an estimated 12,000 people have fled the city, whose total population is estimated at between 160,000 and 190,000. "This is a major blow to them and we think it's positive for the region and for Somalia," said Musalia Mudavadi, a deputy Somali prime minister. Speaking on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York, Mudavadi called the entry of Kenyan forces into the Somali port "a significant victory". The loss of Kismayo a day after it was attacked by Kenyan and Somali soldiers backed by air strikes will deal a major blow to the al-Qaeda-linked rebels, weakening morale and depriving them of revenue from taxing local businesses and shipping. Al Jazeera's Mohammed Adow described Kismayo as a very important and strategic town for the group. Kismayo, "is the backbone of the funding of al-Shabab"; it is also the location from which the group bring in their arms and supplies, he said. Losing city, said Adow, would be "a huge setback for" the group and would leave them with the Somali capital as the only place that can provide al-Shabab with a hideout where they will also have access to "soft targets". Ideological war Abu Omar, the al-Shabab military commander, said that the group's fight in Kismayo and elsewhere was not about territory, but ideology: Al Jazeera's Peter Greste explains the strategic significance of Kismayo "[Territorial control] is not what we are basing our battles on. It's not based on territory lost or gained. This is an ideological warfare, we are fighting for an ideology that transcends geographical boundaries ... we will continue to fight this war until we establish the laws of Allah on Earth," he told Al Jazeera. Along with forces from Uganda, Burundi and Djibouti, Kenyan troops have been battling the group, which is said to have links to al-Qaeda, as part of an African Union peacekeeping force mandated with wiping out the figthers from their strongholds. Kenya sent its troops into Somalia last October after the fighters were blamed for a series of raids on Kenyan soil targeting its security forces as well as Western tourists. Somalia has made progress in the past year in battling the group, who have wanted to impose their interpretation of Sharia law across the country since taking control of large swathes of south-central Somalia from 2007. In places where al-Shabab have abandoned fixed positions in the past, most notably in the capital Mogadishu, they have switched to guerrilla tactics and remained a threat.



BY JASON KIPKIRWOK, 29 SEPTEMBER 2012 The Star Nairobi "The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice," Dr Martin Luther King Junior once said, paraphrasing Theodore Parker, a 19th century church minister. Today, with respect to Africa, we can paraphrase Dr King and say the arc of negative perception has been long, but it is rapidly bending towards positive territory. For decades, the dominant image of Africa has been one of the sick man of the world, badly weighed down by a seemingly intractable burden of ignorance, disease, poverty, war and parasitic leadership. Africa itself was caught up in a psychological lock-in: abysmal human conditions undermined its self-confidence, producing a mass psychology of hopelessness which in turn worsened human conditions. This self-reinforcing negative-feed-back loop was further maintained by repressive leadership at home and a sneering nothing-good-can-come-out-of-Africa attitude abroad. The paradox of one of the most resource-rich continents being also home to the most impoverished people in the world. And yet this image of Africa as incurably hopeless is increasingly being replaced by a more sanguine outlook. And it is happening relatively rapidly. In the May 13 2000 edition of the respected Economist magazine, the cover title was: Africa, the Hopeless Continent. Failure and despair was the running theme in a litany of woe ranging from recurrent floods and famine to brutality, despotism and corruption. Concerning these last three, The Economist explained that "...African societies, for reasons buried in their cultures, seem especially susceptible to them", and concluded authoritatively that, true "Africa's biggest problems stem from its present leaders. But they were created by African society and history." A decade later in the December 3 2011 edition, the same magazine had this cover title: The Hopeful Continent - Africa Rising. What has changed? Before we get into what prompts the likes of The Economist to change its perception, it is important to be clear about one thing: adaptive order does and can emerge out of chaos. It is the norm in nature. Chaos has a dynamism all its own -with adaptive order and creativity often the result. We know this from the study of biological systems as well as the physics of the universe: chaos, order and adaptive creativity co-exist in a constantly shifting equilibrium. The political economy of human societies is no different. If therefore, out of the boiling chaos of ignorance, disease, greed and ethnic competition that is the norm in Africa, a more complex, adaptive dynamic equilibrium emerges; it should neither be surprising nor unusual. What should be of interest is a fuller understanding of the forces that drive adaptive creativity within this chaotic system. In understanding the specifics of the forces at play, two concepts from physics and chemistry are helpful. These are criticality and catalysis. In physics, criticality is the point at which a nuclear reaction is self-sustaining. In chemistry, catalysis is a change - usually an increase - in the rate of a reaction induced by a catalyst. Adaptive, more complex, dynamic equilibrium emerges only when certain elements in the system - induced by catalysts - increase to the criticality point. Is there evidence of catalysis and criticality in Africa today? Whilst it is difficult to be categorical, certain facts are compelling and are beginning to change the narrative. That the continent is home to six of the world's10 fastest-growing economies in the last decade is now a cliché. Perhaps most significant is the fact that growth is widely spread across the continent and encompasses virtually all sectors of the economy. The Eastern Africa Community (EAC) countries have particularly been impressive and are increasingly seen as the tip of the spear in Africa's forward push. All except for Burundi and Kenya (the latter had a three-year run of above 5 % GDP growth rate from 2005 to 2007), grew by rates of above 5 % in the last 10 years. As is the case elsewhere in Africa where growth has been steady, the underlying driver in East Africa's growth surge is relative political stability, improving governance and better economic management. Even though progress has been uneven, the business and governance environment has generally been improving. According to the 2012 Doing Business report by the World Bank, all five EAC economies instituted regulatory reforms in 2011, making it easier to invest and to do business in the region. A lot remains to be done but this modest progress has already contributed to boosting confidence as seen, for example, in increased private equity (PE) investment deals. According to a 2011 PE survey by Deloitte and Africa Assets, a total of 20 PE deals were signed in East Africa representing 30 per cent of the total sub-Saharan deals. Nearly 80 per cent of those surveyed expected PE activity to increase over the coming years. The determination shown by EAC countries to integrate their markets and facilitate factor mobility is also a key dynamic driving business and investment confidence. Whilst major challenges remain, steady progress is being made in creating a single customs territory and a common market with the result that market access has improved and trade and investments grown. Intra-EAC trade grew from $2.2 billion in 2005 to $4.1 billion in 2010. Similarly, the value of trade with the rest of the world doubled from $17.5 billion to $37 billion during the same period - according to the 2012 State of East Africa report published by Society for International Development. Recent oil and gas discoveries in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and neighbouring Mozambique - and prospects for more natural resource discoveries - have added fresh impetus to the perception of Eastern Africa as the next hottest growth destination. If changes in the economic and political landscape have been the trigger for a positive shift in perceptions about Africa, it is the nature of demographics that underpin the longer-term outlook. Africa has the fastest-growing and most youthful population in the world. With increasingly literacy rates and an expanding skills-base, Africa's youth bulge represents a potential demographic dividend. Finally, the Diaspora, as a source of skills and resources, constitutes an important driver of catalysis and criticality. According to the World Bank, annual remittance flows to the continent are in excess of $40 billion and are growing at 10-15 per cent year on year. In Kenya alone, Diaspora remittances in 2011 totaled $891 million compared with $642 million in 2010, a 39 per cent increase. Africa is clearly on the move. True, huge challenges still exist and democratic gains remain fragile. But it appears that, finally, the long arch of history is turning in Africa's favour. Soon it may be possible for the world to agree with Pliny the Elder (23 - 79 AD) who said "There is always something new out of Africa."

Saturday, September 29, 2012



By P. Anyang' Nyong'o Yesterday on Saturday, 29th of September, at his Boya home in Kano, Kisumu County, we buried David Nalo who passed on at the tender age of 55. By the time he passed on David had achieved a lot for himself, his family and the people of Kenya and East Africa. Many who have eulogized him have spoken of his humility, charm, intelligence, commitment to his work and thoroughness in whatever he did. He was a great family man, adored and deeply loved by his family. I want to speak about the David Nalo I knew, the man I worked with as my Permanent Secretary from June 2003 to August 2005 in the NARC government. The man with whom we produced the Economy Recover Strategy for Wealth and Employment Creation (ERS) it's accompanying Investment Program. The man with whom I organized two very successful Investment Conferences for this country at a time when the business community, locally and internationally, needed to be convinced that Kenya had changed and they could invest here and make money. Few people living today know this story intimately, but the following know significant aspects of it because they were part of the team in which Nalo played a central role. These were former Permanent Secretary Harry Mule, Dr. David Ndii and Caleb Opon who first drafted with me the concept paper that provided the foundation of the ERS. It is this paper that was extensively discussed at the Leisure Lodge in Mombasa in February 2003 by the whole NARC leadership and started us on the road to the ERS and eventually to Vision 2030. At that point in time Nalo was still head of the Bureau of Statistics within the Ministry. Joseph Kinyua was my PS, and Joe relied a lot on Nalo and very often it was Nalo who led the team of technocrats in the Ministry who critiqued the drafts that my team of advisers presented and engaged in heated arguments that were at times very stormy. Nalo was the one who always calmly brought everyone on course to look at issues cooly and dispassionately. There was then my team of advisers who came on board just about the time Nalo became my PS in June 2003 as Joe Kinyua moved to the Ministry of Agriculture. These were Professor Michael Chege, Sam Mwale and George Outa. The ERS had just been launched and I was wondering how we were to move from there, how the whole government would get down to business and get the economy on the road to recovery and speedy economic growth. This team, working closely with other civil servants like Mukui, Maina, Ogae and many others whose names I cannot now remember became my close family in Treasury Building on Harambee Avenue, and together we often worked even unto midnight serving our Republic. All these people will always remember David, and on their behalf I mourn David. Let it also go on record that the idea of creating a National Economic and Social Council for Kenya came out of a discussion I had with David, Professor Shem Migot-Adhola and Monica Aoko at the Lilian Towers soon after the NARC victory. When I mentioned this to Francis Muthaura as Secretary to the Cabinet we got a strong ally. The NESC has played a key role since then in the reform process. When I went to see David in November last year and found him in agony about a disease he said was an allergy, fear gripped me. David had physically changed and was scratching himself in a way that could not let him sit in peace. But he assured me that doctors were looking after him and soon he would be well. The second time I went he was at the Nairobi Hospital now admitted to be treated for Hodgkin Lymphoma. I was devastated. Cancer again! The memories of what I had gone through made me feel as if the world was caging in on us with so many people I know closely being brought down by this disease. But why David of all people? When he returned to the house and was convalescing, he told me that he was soon to leave for Nebraska for specialized treatment. He left as planned by Dr. Abinya and I breathed a sigh of relief, believing that David would concur this monster. Three weeks later he was back, assuring me that he would need to return to Nebraska, or go to India or South Africa, for a bone marrow transplant. I saw him a few times after that and he assured me the bone marrow program was on. I travelled out of the country and on coming back tried to call David. When I got no answer I assumed that he was already out of the country. I was shocked beyond measure when his dear wife Dorcas called me one evening to inform me David had been admitted to Nairobi Hospital in critical condition. I went to see him. He had gone down. I was convinced he needed to get out of the country and get the bone marrow thing done; his doctors agreed too, but he needed to get a little stronger first to endure the journey. We prayed for this. But David went from bad to worse. I must thank Allan Wamanga of Med Access who worked so hard to arrange for David's possible evacuation to Ruby Hall Clinic in India for bone marrow transplantation. But it was never to be. David finally left us early in the morning of September 13 a few weeks ago to be with the Lord. I have been wondering whether it is the stress of work that we both endured for three solid years that made us vulnerable to cancer. I really don't know. But there it is. Is there anything we could have done to avoid this eventuality? Perhaps yes and perhaps no. Change in life style as they say could have helped. But like William Shakespeare once lamented: "oh vain boast, who can control his fate?" It is really painful to lose such a lovely man, such a productive and dedicated man. David is the best County Governor Kisumu County will never have! David and I had sat down and planned together how we were again bound to work together to do great things for Kisumu: him as Governor and I as Senator. But it was not to be. Many people will now begin saying let us do this or that in the memory of David. The only people I am sure will do anything meaningful in his memory are his family, particularly his wife Dorcas who has remained steadfast as she endures this painful moment. But one man must surely do something in David's memory without fail. And that man is George Outa with whom David was working on the book on the ERS. Please George let the true story come out. I produced a little bit on it in my book, "A Leap Into the Future" published in 2005. A more robust story must be told by you to remain in the annals of Kenya's history. Then David's soul will indeed rest in eternal peace. David was never one who simply travelled well trodden paths; he always took the challenge to blaze new trails and leave others to follow. That is why the two of us found it so pleasurable to work together, always spurring intellectually and getting delight in what we found was so new and so fresh in terms of ideas. The good that David did will always live after him as we leave him to rest with our ancestors.

Friday, September 28, 2012



By Jerry Okungu Nairobi, Kenya September 26, 2012 Hon. Ferdinand Waititu is the MP for Embakasi and Assistant Minister for Water. In effect, he is a member of the cabinet appointed by the President of Kenya to that prestigious post. However, before the police arrest him, before the Director of Public Prosecutions charges him and before President Kibaki sacks him, there is one thing that Kenyans can and must do- strip him of his Mheshimiwa status because he has soiled that title beyond recognition. Instead, Kenyans should give him fresh titles such Ferdinand the street fighter or even better still, Ferdinand the goon! Because that is how he has behaved since he was elected MP for Embakasi. Some people have likened his behavior to primitive energy but I think it goes beyond that. The man simply has no clue what quality leadership is all about. He has never heard of words like role model, accountability and the need for personal integrity or self respect. In fact of all the politicians that have to date been charged with hate speech, Waititu beats them all in terms of raw character. While he was holed up in Parliament trying to fake an apology to avoid police arrest, there was a curious footage where he had in the past been interviewed by one of the local TV journalists. When asked why he was always breaking the law by joining slum dwellers in violent activities, he said something to the effect that instant justice saves one from going through the long road to the courts with money and time wasted. This footage told us something about Waititu- that he cares less about the laws that he and fellow MPs pass in Parliament. On this account alone, he is unfit to be a law maker. Ferdinand Waititu is a violent politician. And he is not the first one Kenyans have ever elected. We have many of such undesirable characters on both sides of the political divide. In Nairobi, we had his predecessor, the late Mwenje whose violent theatrics bordered on the absurd. He was elected repeatedly despite his hooliganism by the same Embakasi constituents. At that time, Waititu was a councilor horning his violent skills as he embraced Mwenje as his role model. But because the authorities allowed Mwenje’s violent antics to flourish, Waititu realized that indeed violence and impunity pay in politics. And he has gotten away with murder on more than three ocassions in the past in the full glare of television cameras. But because the police had always arrested and released him without any charge, he had come to believe that indeed he was above the law. When it comes to violent politicians one clearly remembers Sonko’s antics in Nairobi when an elected MP can go ballistic, roll himself several times on the dusty streets of Nairobi or hit a brick wall several times in the full glare of the public and TV cameras. If these stunts were meant to attract media attention, they sure attracted media coverage but for the wrong reasons. However, despite his thuggish behavior, Sonko is better known for his philanthropic deeds. He often pays rent and power bills for his constituents. Just this week, he transferred several of his deserving patients from public hospitals to Nairobi Hospital and paid for their treatment in cash. A rare good deed indeed! In 1992, Kisumu City elected the most violent civic leader in history. Councillor Oile turned Kisumu into a war zone for the better part of his life as a mayor. For this, the residents of Kisumu nicknamed him Oile Ninja! All of Oile’s mayhem happened at times under police supervision. He enjoyed police and state protection because his goons were fighting the so called antigovernment forces in Kisumu City. This violence only stopped with the passing away of Oile Ninja. These hate mongers of our time have devised one clever way of escaping prosecution especially if they are politicians holding cabinet appointments. First they will go into hiding or seek refuge in sanctuaries such as parliament where they know they are protected. And as they buy time plotting their next move, they hurriedly prepare hollow apologies such the one Waititu treated us to this week. After that they will be smuggled out of parliament possibly in the boot of one of their colleagues before rushing to court at the earliest opportunity to block the police from executing their arrests. This scenario begs for serious debate. Should a fellow MP abet the escape of a wanted criminal like Waititu without that MP committing a felony? Isn’t the MP who smuggles a colleague from parliament and into a safe place defeating the cause of justice? Why can’t the law charge the accomplice? When an MP like Waititu has been declared wanted by the police, and the same MP rushes to court to obstruct justice, why can’t the courts order his arrest and hand him over to the police in order to record a statement and a charge sheet prepared? It is about time Parliament stopped practicing decadent parliamentary privileges that can’t apply in our country. Parliamentary privileges only work where self respecting personalities are elected to parliament. Such privileges cannot promote the rule of law where thugs, touts and goons are elected into parliament. In Charles Njonjo’s time, Waititu would have been plucked from the precincts of parliament and hauled into court a few hours later.



By Jerry Okungu Nairobi, Kenya September 26, 2012 It is election season again both in the United States and here at home in Kenya. This was the scenario in 2007 when Kenyans were gearing up to elect a new president as President Obama and Hillary Clinton battled for the Democratic nominations for the following year’s winter presidential elections. Whereas the American 2008 elections galvanized Kenya and indeed the whole world like never before, it is a different story this time round. The euphoria of the first ever black man to occupy the White House was phenomenal. And what added to Obama’s awesomeness was the fact of his roots in Kenya. Being the son of Obama Sr., most Kenyans and indeed the rest of Africa considered Obama one of their own. Now if Obama retains his residence at the White House, it will be taken as a given; not as earth breaking as being a first time black president in American history. However, like in 2007- 2008, this year offers Kenyans and Americans a peculiar situation where an American with roots in Luo land is fighting to retain his seat just when a Kenyan Luo is the leading presidential contender in Kenya. This year, American politics among the Kenyan Diaspora is not as acrimonious as it was in 2007. At that time, even the Diaspora was divided between Kibaki’s PNU and Raila Odinga’s ODM. This age old Kikuyu- Luo political rivalry came alive at that time and even spilled over into Obama’s campaign among the Kenyan American citizens. Tribal politics on the PNU side could not fathom the idea of Raila Odinga winning elections in Kenya while Obama became the most powerful man in the world. Obama’s roots in Kenya are real. He may be an America but the blood of his Luo father still runs in his veins. More importantly, he has a special interest in Kenyan politics because he rightly believes that bad politics that Kenya has practiced for 50 years has stifled Kenya’s advancement. Therefore when he recently sent Johnny Carson, his representative in Africa and Hilary Clinton to deliver terse messages about Kenya’s impending elections, there were loud grumbles in Kenya’s corridors of power. In fact many presidential hopefuls took the messages to mean that Obama wanted to control who was getting elected president in Kenya. Because Raila and Obama share Luo blood, other presidential hopefuls pointed accusing fingers at Raila Odinga as the possible beneficiary of the Obama interference. At 48, Barrack Obama became the first Black American to run for president and won the race in a predominantly white racist society. Despite threats to his life by racist extremists, he reached the White House and four years later, the man still sits pretty in the oval office. Raila Odinga on the other hand first ran for president at the age of 52 way back 1997 and came third after Daniel arap Moi and Mwai Kibaki. Ten years later at the age of 62, he again ran for president against Mwai Kibaki, a race that was too close to call with many observers believing that he won the race. The dispute culminated in one of the worst post election violence in Kenya’s history. This year, as Obama turns 52, Raila has turned 67 and both are in the race again. As Obama looks forward to retaining his residence at the White House for another four years, Raila must fight to win the presidency on March 2 2013. For him, it will be a do or die because age is definitely not on his side. If he loses this time, he will be 72 in five years and will bear the unpleasant tag of a perennial loser, notwithstanding the fact that the 2007 elections were disputed. Obama’s victory in November this year will probably be celebrated in Kenya but not to the level it was euphoric four years ago when there was even a mock election in Kisumu town in 2008 being covered by CNN and beamed worldwide. The reason why Raila Odinga must win this time is because his loss of the election will be a community loss and a blot on his character as the enigma of Kenyan politics. This is because his quest for political leadership did not start with his first elective post in 1992 as the urban MP for Langata Constituency in Nairobi. Prior to that, he had spent nine years in various jails in Kenya as a political detainee under Daniel Moi’s authoritarianism including his involvement with the 1982 coup attempt against Moi’s regime. Many observers believe that if Raila loses out to any other opponent this year, he will quit politics and concentrate on running his business empire. However, one thing is for sure. If Obama and Raila win elections, Kenya and especially Nyanza will explode. Many bulls, rams and goats will lose their lives in celebrations.

Friday, September 21, 2012



By Jerry Okungu Nairobi, Kenya September 17, 2012 Cancer the silent killer has once more claimed a great Kenya in his prime. And with that fall, David has gone to his maker with his dreams of a better Kenya and a greater East Africa. But it is not just David’s dreams that have been dashed by the cruel hand of death. With him are dreams of his wife Dorcas Nyar Kisumo and her children, some too young to under the magnitude of his demise. David has also gone with the dreams of many friends and relatives who had urged him to become the first governor of Kisumu County while some of us thought he would make a great Cabinet Secretary or even the Head of the Public Service in the next dispensation. Others whose dreams have been dashed by David’s demise are the citizens of East Africa who saw him as a great champion of regional integration and an astute negotiator at the regional and world trade conferences. The man was a strong believer in the East African Customs Union, Common Market, Monetary Union and ultimately Regional Integration. David was a family man, a loving father, husband and son. He was a community leader of no mean repute. He saw the need to uplift the community that nurtured him into a full grown successful man that he was. It was the reason he would easily accept to be a board chairman of this and that secondary school without using his tight East African schedule as an excuse. Colleagues who have worked with him all his life knew him as a fair manager, an organizer, a thoroughly schooled strategic thinker and a diligent planner who left nothing to chance. Above all, after over two decades in the Public Service, David left the scene without a single blemish on his name and character. He believed in the proper utilization of public resources for the common good and disdained personal enrichment through his office. He led and cherished a simple life according to his means. I met David Obonyo Nalo one morning at the PanAfric Hotel in early 2005. It was purely by accident. At that time he had been the Permanent Secretary for two years after moving from the Kenya Bureau of Statistics as its first CEO following the conversion of the Bureau from a department in the Ministry of Planning into a state corporation. The reason why I met David was because the then Chairman of the African Peer Review Mechanism, Mrs. Grace Akumu wanted me to meet him. I had never seen or heard of him even though I later learnt that he came from my home in Ahero. I guess the reason our paths never crossed was simply because he went to college long after I had gone and as I was busy burying myself in the corporate world, he was busy immersing himself in the public service trying to make a difference. The occasion was to launch the APRM to stakeholders in Kenya so that Kenya could embark on the process of the AU review. With him at his table was Prof. Anyang’ Nyongo’ my former teacher at the university and a good friend of decades. On my arrival, Prof. Nyongo’ invited me to join them which I did. However, when David greeted me using my first name I acted as if I too knew him. Only later did Grace Akumu formally introduce me to him as the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Planning for National Development where Anyang’ was the Minister then. Although in those days I was mostly in Somaliland working on the International Republican Institute programme, I didn’t imagine that David would want me to work with him on the APRM project until one day in early May I got a call from Nairobi to come home urgently to join NEPAD Kenya as the Communications Advisor. By the time I landed in Nairobi, Nalo had already signed my contract without negotiating the terms with me. That same month, he was suddenly moved to the Ministry of Trade and Industry leaving the Ministry he had grown to love in his entire working career. Difficult as the transition was, with Graca Machel and Nelson Mandela arriving in Kenya for two weeks for the APRM, we pulled through with advice from him from time to time especially in handling the bureaucratic red tape that was everywhere. As the Permanent Secretary in the ministries of Trade and EAC, I had to meet David on numerous occasions on East African matters both in Arusha and Nairobi. It was during these meetings that I came across the other side of David. One day when we met at a meeting in Arusha, David casually asked me where I was putting up. I informed him that the EAC had booked me in some expensive hotel outside the Arusha CBD. At lunch time he offered to take me to where he was staying. It was a simple cheap but elegant hotel. Moreover, it gave him the privacy he badly needed after every grueling day. That evening, I checked out of my five star hotel and joined him. Thereafter, David’s hotel became my hotel whenever I was in Arusha. As we moved towards the Common Market protocol, David and I shared many ideas about the hurdles the EAC was facing in realizing a genuine regional integration. He shared with me his frustrations because he knew I had a passion for regional integration which was evident in my columns in Kenya and Uganda. He was a tough negotiator who believed that the EAC protocols had to be followed to the letter. It was the reason he believed that after Juma Mwapacho, the next Secretary General would come from Kenya. When I took him on reminding him that the EAC first Secretary General was Francis Muthaura, he politely reminded me that Muthaura was merely a coordinator and that the first SG was from Uganda! Soon after the promulgation of Kenya’s new constitution, David started rethinking his career in public service. He would tell me quite often that he would rather be governor in Kisumu to help uplift the lives of his people. Despite my persuading him to remain in government and await appointment as a cabinet secretary, he was adamant that his time was up in the civil service. It is strange that I am writing this eulogy for David when he should have done it for me. This cancer which has taken David attacked me earlier than David although of another kind. And when I returned from the USA in late last year, David was one of the people that presided at my fundraiser when the bills were hitting the roof. I had to later learn that when he came to my function, he was already ailing and like I before, earlier diagnosis was way of the mark. As David continued to battle his lymphoma, I was a constant visitor in his home and hospital bed, at times visiting him late into the night in hospital masquerading as his driver in order to be allowed to go in. Once in we would spend hours, sometimes help him walk so that we could go and sit outside. He needed company and I knew that. When it was time to go to Nebraska, I made sure I informed my friends and relatives in the USA and Nebraska to receive him and cheer him up. Those contacts did not let David down. On his return, he was more energetic and optimistic. I was happy to see him smile again and go for walks with me in the neighborhoods. I did not know that his condition would go downhill so fast. When he was readmitted at Nairobi Hospital for the last time, I visited him twice and twice I was not allowed to see him. However, on both occasions I wrote him letters; letters I’m sure he never had the strength to read! On his last Sunday in that hospital, his wife Dorcas called me at 6pm that David’s condition had worsened and that we should meet in the hospital immediately. I rushed there and met the entire family. Despite this condition, he lasted another four days. On Thursday morning of September 13, I received another call from his wife Dorcas this time at 2am in the morning. I didn’t have to be told what had happened. I rushed to the hospital and met his family there. David had died eight minutes before I arrived. No more words Wuod Ahero! Remain in peace till we meet again. Jerry Okungu.

Sunday, September 16, 2012



SEPTEMBER 16, 2012.

Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir is expected to arrive in Cairo today, 16 September 2012, in his first visit to Egypt since the election of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi. The Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies denounces the decision by the Egyptian authorities to host al-Bashir, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed against the Sudanese people. Welcoming al-Bashir in Cairo sends the message that Egyptian foreign policy has not undergone a radical change in the wake of the January 25 Revolution and that Egypt still welcomes people who are accused of committing gross human rights violations against civilians.

Unfortunately, this decision further reinforces the impunity and protection that al-Bashir has enjoyed from governments across the Arab region. At a time when the perpetrators of similar crimes in Egypt are being acquitted, the decision to host al-Bashir indicates that President Morsi, as Egypt’s first democratically elected president, is not dedicated to upholding justice for victims of grave human rights crimes.

In March of 2009, the ICC issued an arrest warrant against President al-Bashir, citing charges of crimes against humanity and war crimes committed during the conflict in Darfur which started in 2003. Over the course of the conflict, an estimated 300,000 people were killed and millions were displaced. Crimes continue to be committed with impunity by the Sudanese regime, most recently in the context of demonstrations against rising fuel prices and other costs of living. In addition to arbitrary arrest of protestors, journalists, and opposition leaders, Sudanese security forces opened live fire on a demonstration in Nyala in Southern Darfur on July 31, killing at least 10, many of whom were high school students.

Since the ICC’s issuance of the warrant against him, however, al-Bashir has endured few consequences. He has been hosted by many Arab countries, despite the charges which have been brought against him internationally. However, other world leaders have decided to follow a more principled approach, demonstrating respect for both their own people and the victims of Sudan by refusing to welcome al-Bashir on their territory, due to his status as a fugitive from justice. Most recently, Malawi refused to allow al-Bashir to attend the July, 2012 summit of the African Union, which was scheduled to be held in the country. As a result, the African Union hosted the summit at its own headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

“After having risen up during the January Revolution against such abuses in our own country here in Egypt, it is a shame that our foreign policy remains unchanged towards those accused of committing war crimes and crimes against humanity against our neighbors in Sudan,” said Ziad Abdel Tawab, Deputy Director of the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies. “On March 25, 2009, CIHRS and three other Egyptian organizations filed a complaint with the office of the Egyptian public prosecutor, demanding that the Egyptian authorities immediately arrest president al-Bashir and surrender him to the ICC when he visited Cairo only weeks following the ICC issuance of a warrant for his arrest. Unfortunately, as with hundreds of torture complaints submitted by Egyptian NGOs under Mubarak, the complaint against President al-Bashir was closed without action.”

Although Egypt is not a state party to the Rome Statute, which established the ICC, it has a moral responsibility to detain Omar al-Bashir upon his arrival in Cairo as a fugitive from justice and to surrender him to the ICC. If such steps are not taken, the Egyptian authorities will be supporting impunity and undermining basic principles of international law, including that no one – not even heads of state – shall be immune from punishment for serious crimes such as crimes against humanity and war crimes.

Friday, September 14, 2012



President Mohamoud being declared the winner in a presidential election inside parliament in Mogadishu

By Jerry Okungu
Nairobi Kenya
September 12, 2012

Optimistic new Somalia President sets agenda for rebuilding his new state. Really?
Din of hammers now dominate Mogadishu! Really?
These two statements formed the headlines of Somalia Rebirth in a Kenyan newspaper. Ironically, just two days after Sheikh Mohamoud was elected President of the new Somalia, two bombs rocked the hotel in which he was receiving a good will message from Kenya’s President Kibaki.

By the grace of God, Kenya’s Foreign Minister, Sam Ongeri and President Mohamoud survived the attack in which scores died including the suicide bomber. Had the plot succeeded, Mohamoud would have gone down in history as the first Head of State to have served Somalia for two days!

As expected, the Al Shabaab militias readily claimed responsibility and took credit for that daring attack.

When this news came in, I remembered the prophecy of lawyer Nelson Havi just a day earlier. As we went through the morning papers a day after the elections, he casually hinted that Somalis were not ready for a peaceful nation. He was sure that Mohamoud’s election would be contested by one clan or another because the young Somali generation cannot handle peace for it is a foreign concept to them.

When Abdulahi Yusuf became the first transitional federal president following an election by clan representatives in Nairobi way back in 2005, I predicted in the local press that Somalis would reject him. My premise at that time was that the Somali Diaspora who elected him in a foreign land had no control of militias back home. When I visited Somaliland that year, I came to understand better the Somali riddle. I was told by the then Somaliland Foreign Minister that warlords who go to live abroad are soon replaced by new warlords back home such that in the last 20 years, the number of warlords had multiplied ten-fold over time.

When I saw 260 parliamentarians who were not elected by universal suffrage this week pretending to be sitting in parliament to elect their country’s president, I felt sad for Somalia. I could see they were falling in the same trap their predecessors fell in 2005 in Nairobi. The only difference was that they were in Mogadishu.

Looking at the profile of most MPs in that Parliament, one could see that quite a number of them including Mohamoud were those that moved a broad and lived in comfort and possibly still had their families living in Western capitals or safe havens like Nairobi , Dubai and Djibouti.

During the presidential elections, I saw something akin to a presidential campaign where a group of children and women were running around with posters and branded T shirts for various candidates. The question I asked was this: if candidates can campaign among the public, why didn’t they seek the mandate of the Somali electorate directly? Why did the constitution opt for selection of MPs by clans then gave the same selected MPs to choose their new President?

Let us face it; the gap between returnees and home grown Somalis is too wide. In fact the two sets of Somalis are foreigners to one another. One group is fabulously rich, educated and affluent. The other is pitifully poor, uneducated and has survived all these years by the grace of God and the gun. They have nothing in common. One preaches order and democracy. The other yearns for a meal on the table for his family and the only means he knows is to use the gun. This wretched of the earth appreciates a permanent fight for equality for as long as he lives. This is the type that understands the language of Al Shabbab and pirates and sees them as his role models.

In my opinion true democracy and peace can only return to Somalia upon one condition. Returnees must be prepared to sacrifice their ambitions for power and share substantive power with locals. Under the circumstances, the best option is to create autonomous states with local governors and have a ceremonial president to deal with mundane issues such as diplomatic missions and receive visiting dignitaries. Let this ceremonial president also control a small national army, the police force and the Supreme Court if another round of violence is to be averted.

With the experience of Kenya’s Foreign Minister just two days after the election, it will be awhile before another dignitary pays a courtesy call to President Mohamoud, least of all any Head of State.

Another thing; maintaining the security of this President is going to be an expensive affair because attempts on his life will intensify as days pass by. Those who wanted to kill him last Wednesday will not relent in their schemes. Therefore his sponsors such as Kenya, the AU, AMISOM, the UN, the EU and the US must be prepared for the long haul.

Yes war and manufactured peace can equally be expensive.



Rebecca Nabutola and co-accused in court

By Jerry Okungu
Nairobi, Kenya
September 12, 2012

I felt Rebecca Nabutola’s pain and anguish in the courtroom that morning she was sentenced to prison. Yes, I felt bad for Achieng’ Ong’onga’ too. The reason I felt that way was because I had come to know them personally. This was irrespective of whether they were guilty or not. At that time what were on my mind more than anything else were their families. How would they take it? Yet, the law is indeed an ass and justice tends to be blind sometimes.

Having said that; Kenyans must come to the unpleasant reality that the judiciary has changed for the better forever. A few years ago, it was unthinkable to find guilty top officers in the government let alone throwing them in prison. It was that culture of impunity that allowed Golden Berg thieves to stroll our streets to this day.

The jailing of Nabutola and Ongong’a should send a chilling message to those public figures that from time to time are tempted to flout procurement rules in favour of their friends, family members or influential people with connections in high places. If you do their bid, they will take the loot and leave you with a baby in your hands.

The circumstances under which Nabutola acted the way she did is very typical of public officers behaving and making decisions where the Head of State is involved. In those circumstances top civil servants are eager to put their best foot forward and shine in front of the appointing authority. It is this instinct to prove oneself that leads to rush decisions that end up being costly to the officers concerned if by bad luck one hawkeyed officer who expected to benefit from the windfall goes away empty-handed. Such disgruntled officers end up becoming whistle blowers to punish the beneficiaries.

I have this eerie feeling that the Nabutola jailing is a tip of the iceberg- a pointer to what is likely to happen to more high profile cases pending before the judiciary. It also illustrates that the judiciary is slowly clawing back its power and independence it lost under the KANU regime.
It all started with Justice Ombija early in the year giving a ruling against President Omar Bashir. Despite Bashir’s ranting soon after the judge ordered his arrest upon his coming to Kenya, that ruling has never been overturned despite government’s feeble attempt to appeal the ruling.

Then just a week before Nabutola’s verdict came up, another verdict was passed against the former permanent secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs. He was accused of fraudulently signing off a tender to a ghost company known as Anglo Leasing to print the new generation Identity Cards for the department of Immigration and Registration of Persons. Unlike Nabutola and Ongonga’, he got away with a lighter sentence of a three million Kenya Shillings despite the fact that the tender was worth Ksh 7 billion.

The reason why big guns must have sleepless nights is because there are many cases pending before Kiraiko Tobiko that are ready for prosecution. These cases are mostly a backlog from KACC that Amos Wako had failed to prosecute for several years.

By the look of things, it would appear as if Chief Justice Willy Mutunga is not keen on following in the footsteps of Justice Evans Gicheru. He is keener to leave his own footprints in the corridors of justice considering that he has just four years before he retires. What Mutunga seems to be telling Kenyans is that within four years, he is ready to revolutionize the judiciary beyond recognition such that whoever will follow him will find it impossible to turn back the clock.

For this reason Minister Ali Makwere and Dhaho Godhana must be really weary of incitement cases facing them in the present judiciary. Yes, as we deal with economic crimes, let the courts also deal ruthlessly with war mongers and lords of impunity who have made lives of Kenyans hell on earth.

Had we had a functional judiciary like we do today, 2008 violence would not have occurred. Losers in the 2007 elections would have gone to court rather than to the streets. The Chief Justice would not have conducted a swearing in ceremony before the dispute was dissolved. The authors, planners and executors of election fraud would have been too afraid to commit crimes. Today Chairman Kivuitu and his commissioners would be languishing behind bars as Kenyans went for repeat elections rather than for each other’s heads.

Now that the courts are working, let us conclude Golden Berg, Anglo Leasing, Grand Regency, Triton, land grabbing and perpetrators of 2008 violence. In so doing this, Kenyans who died of hunger and treatable diseases, children who missed out on education due to money that these mega scandals robbed them will at least have been accorded some semblance of justice. The trial of the 5000 butchers of the 2008 violence will surely be a form of restitution to thousands of Kenyans who died and thousands more who lost their limbs, homes and livelihood.



Police Commissioner Mathew Iteere addressing a press conference

By Jerry Okungu
Nairobi, Kenya
September 12, 2012

Tana Delta is burning. Massacre of innocent ordinary Kenyans is slowly becoming the order of the day. It is the kind of reality that Kenyans must get used to. Looking at the ghastly scenes on our local TV screens in Nairobi, one can be forgiven for thinking that Tana Delta is a jungle out there; another country and definitely not part of the Kenyan territory.

Yes, it is only in Kenya where loss of human lives through murders can reach 100 in less than three weeks before the Executive authority wakes up. Yes, I say Executive to mean the Office of the President that proudly holds the portfolios of departments of Defence, Internal Security and National Security Intelligence Services.

The reason the Tana Delta tragedy must be placed at the doorsteps of the President of the Republic of Kenya is simply this: The same President is the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of Kenya. These armed forces include the Administration Police, the General Service Unit, the Regular Police Force, the Army, the Navy and the Air Force.

In matters of Internal Security, the Police, the NSIS and the Director of Public Prosecutions have to work in tandem to primarily preempt and prevent crime of any kind. If they cannot do this, then there is a failure of unprecedented magnitude exposing huge populations to grave danger as happened in the Rift Valley in 2008 and now happening in Tana Delta in 2012.

The reason Tana Delta has burned for four weeks without any action being taken is simply this: sacred cows in leadership positions have grown to enjoy an arrogant approach to the way they deal with their real and imagined enemies. These warlords have seen mayhem in Rift Valley, Kilifi, Mombasa and parts of Nyanza since 1992 without anybody being punished for it. They therefore know they can get away with anything.

We watch hate speeches being made by top politicians in front of cameras and senior police officers and instead of arresting the inciters, the police can only proceed to give them maximum protection. Indeed we have become accustomed to treating our inciters with kids' gloves, the more reason they have become bolder with each passing day.

It times of a national tragedy such as the one we have going on in Tana Delta, Kenya needs a ruthless President that can be as hard on his bosom friends as he can be on his adversaries. It is pointless to have friends in the cabinet whose only pastime is to embarrass the President from time to time with their incompetence, negligence or lack of work ethic.

At the end of the day any Minister of State the Office of the President managing Internal Security, Defence or National Intelligence only exercises those powers on behalf of the President. Indeed the President is the Principal Internal Security and Defence Minister by virtue of his authority as the CEO of Kenya and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces.

It is for these reasons that when Kenyans feel exposed to criminal elements from within and without, whether from the Al Shabbab, Oromos of Ethiopia, South Sudanese soldiers or Museveni’s soldiers squatting on Migingo Island, it is the President who must take responsibility and bear the blame.

If for some reason that cannot be explained, we could allow criminals to come into the country like the Artur Brothers did in 2006 and terrorized us for a good six months simply because they had connections to operatives at the State House, it is the President that must take responsibility.

When a security breach has occurred not once but three times as has happened in Tana Delta, a substantive President must lead from the front. The President should take to task Security Intelligence operatives, the Provincial Security Committee whose chair is the PC of the Province rather than arresting a helpless small chief in the village.

When gangs can overpower security officers sent to the area to deal with them and even kill ten of them without officers returning a single fire, then ordinary Kenyans should be really afraid brace themselves for worse times ahead.
As it is now; it is evident that the Police Force whose reason to exist is to maintain law and order has failed on the job. The Force no longer has reason to exist. If indeed we deploy the military to Tana Delta because of police failure, no amount of excuses can exonerate them from blame.

And let me be a little bit more drastic in my proposal.

In 1982, following the coup attempt against Moi, the President disbanded the Kenya Air Force and actually put the remnants of that Force under the Army Commander. Only years later was the Air Force reconstituted once the rotten eggs had been thrown out.

Right now we have a large police force comprising the regular and administration police. These two units are both armed yet they cannot keep law and order. It is possible that general indiscipline and corruption are the reason for non-performance rather than poor conditions of service.

It is therefore imperative that during this transition when we are looking for an Inspector General and his two deputies, the police force should be disbanded and its personnel put under the command of the Military Commander until such time that discipline will have returned in their ranks. This way, the military will have the free hand to deal with civilian unrests wherever they may occur without the fear of treading on police territory.

Thursday, September 13, 2012




Wednesday, September 12, 2012




There was significantly more negligence than has been disclosed

Posted on 12 September 2012
By: Kurt Eichenwald

The Deafness Before the Storm: It was perhaps the most famous presidential briefing in history.
On Aug. 6, 2001, President George W. Bush received a classified review of the threats posed by Osama bin Laden and his terrorist network, Al Qaeda. That morning’s “presidential daily brief” — the top-secret document prepared by America’s intelligence agencies — featured the now-infamous heading: “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.” A few weeks later, on 9/11, Al Qaeda accomplished that goal.

On April 10, 2004, the Bush White House declassified that daily brief — and only that daily brief — in response to pressure from the 9/11 Commission, which was investigating the events leading to the attack. Administration officials dismissed the document’s significance, saying that, despite the jaw-dropping headline, it was only an assessment of Al Qaeda’s history, not a warning of the impending attack. While some critics considered that claim absurd, a close reading of the brief showed that the argument had some validity.

That is, unless it was read in conjunction with the daily briefs preceding Aug. 6, the ones the Bush administration would not release. While those documents are still not public, I have read excerpts from many of them, along with other recently declassified records, and come to an inescapable conclusion: the administration’s reaction to what Mr. Bush was told in the weeks before that infamous briefing reflected significantly more negligence than has been disclosed. In other words, the Aug. 6 document, for all of the controversy it provoked, is not nearly as shocking as the briefs that came before it.

The direct warnings to Mr. Bush about the possibility of a Qaeda attack began in the spring of 2001. By May 1, the Central Intelligence Agency told the White House of a report that “a group presently in the United States” was planning a terrorist operation. Weeks later, on June 22, the daily brief reported that Qaeda strikes could be “imminent,” although intelligence suggested the time frame was flexible.

But some in the administration considered the warning to be just bluster. An intelligence official and a member of the Bush administration both told me in interviews that the neoconservative leaders who had recently assumed power at the Pentagon were warning the White House that the C.I.A. had been fooled; according to this theory, Bin Laden was merely pretending to be planning an attack to distract the administration from Saddam Hussein, whom the neoconservatives saw as a greater threat. Intelligence officials, these sources said, protested that the idea of Bin Laden, an Islamic fundamentalist, conspiring with Mr. Hussein, an Iraqi secularist, was ridiculous, but the neoconservatives’ suspicions were nevertheless carrying the day.

In response, the C.I.A. prepared an analysis that all but pleaded with the White House to accept that the danger from Bin Laden was real.

“The U.S. is not the target of a disinformation campaign by Usama Bin Laden,” the daily brief of June 29 read, using the government’s transliteration of Bin Laden’s first name. Going on for more than a page, the document recited much of the evidence, including an interview that month with a Middle Eastern journalist in which Bin Laden aides warned of a coming attack, as well as competitive pressures that the terrorist leader was feeling, given the number of Islamists being recruited for the separatist Russian region of Chechnya.

And the C.I.A. repeated the warnings in the briefs that followed. Operatives connected to Bin Laden, one reported on June 29, expected the planned near-term attacks to have “dramatic consequences,” including major casualties. On July 1, the brief stated that the operation had been delayed, but “will occur soon.” Some of the briefs again reminded Mr. Bush that the attack timing was flexible, and that, despite any perceived delay, the planned assault was on track.

Yet, the White House failed to take significant action. Officials at the Counterterrorism Center of the C.I.A. grew apoplectic. On July 9, at a meeting of the counterterrorism group, one official suggested that the staff put in for a transfer so that somebody else would be responsible when the attack took place, two people who were there told me in interviews. The suggestion was batted down, they said, because there would be no time to train anyone else.

That same day in Chechnya, according to intelligence I reviewed, Ibn Al-Khattab, an extremist who was known for his brutality and his links to Al Qaeda, told his followers that there would soon be very big news. Within 48 hours, an intelligence official told me, that information was conveyed to the White House, providing more data supporting the C.I.A.’s warnings. Still, the alarm bells didn’t sound.

On July 24, Mr. Bush was notified that the attack was still being readied, but that it had been postponed, perhaps by a few months. But the president did not feel the briefings on potential attacks were sufficient, one intelligence official told me, and instead asked for a broader analysis on Al Qaeda, its aspirations and its history. In response, the C.I.A. set to work on the Aug. 6 brief.

In the aftermath of 9/11, Bush officials attempted to deflect criticism that they had ignored C.I.A. warnings by saying they had not been told when and where the attack would occur. That is true, as far as it goes, but it misses the point. Throughout that summer, there were events that might have exposed the plans, had the government been on high alert.

Indeed, even as the Aug. 6 brief was being prepared, Mohamed al-Kahtani, a Saudi believed to have been assigned a role in the 9/11 attacks, was stopped at an airport in Orlando, Fla., by a suspicious customs agent and sent back overseas on Aug. 4. Two weeks later, another co-conspirator, Zacarias Moussaoui, was arrested on immigration charges in Minnesota after arousing suspicions at a flight school.

But the dots were not connected, and Washington did not react.
Could the 9/11 attack have been stopped, had the Bush team reacted with urgency to the warnings contained in all of those daily briefs? We can’t ever know. And that may be the most agonizing reality of all.

This post was written by James Opiko - who has written 2999 posts on PoliticalArticles.NET.



The Minister for Home Affairs Dr. Emmanuel Nchimbi,(in white Kaunda suit) received a hostile reception and had to be whisked away by the police


Eastern Africa Journalists Association has lauded the solidarity demonstrated by the Tanzanian media fraternity over the killing of TV journalist, Daudi Mwangosi last week which has been blamed on the police who were dispersing a rally convened by an opposition party in Iringa Region of the country.

EAJA Secretary General Omar Faruk Osman said the demonstration held today Tuesday September 11, 2012 by hundred of journalists including editors in the streets of Dar es Salaam was “a powerful statement to the Tanzanian government to launch full and transparent investigations into the killing of the journalist.”

Editors and journalists poured into the streets of Dar es Salaam from morning in a peaceful demonstration to protest the killing of their colleague, Mwangosi. They carried placards condemning the killing and calling for a through probe into the incident.

Tanzania Editors Forum (TEF) and Media Council of Tanzania (MCT) have formed a probe team of their own to inquire into the killing of the Channel Ten journalist. The task force consisting of three people was given 8 days to come up with the report.

EAJA, while supporting the probe by TEF and MCT said “all indications from photographs appearing in various media indicate point to the police being culpable”,

“The police cannot be trusted to conduct any independent investigation as they are already incriminated. They should not attempt to conceal the facts of this case.” added Osman.

During the demonstration, the journalists became hostile to the Tanzanian Minister of Home Affairs Dr. Emmanuel Nchimbi who arrived at the scene where the journalists were addressing a rally and attempted to address them. He had wanted to address the angry editors and journalists at the end of demonstration.

The killing of Mwangosi, who was working for Channel Ten, in Tanzania’s Iringa Region on 2 September 2012 has sparked outrage both in Tanzania and internationally.

A probe team led by the Director of Criminal Investigation (DCI), Mr. Robert Manumba, was formed on Monday, 3 September, to investigate the circumstances that led to the killing of the journalist. The investigating team consists of experts from various state organs including the chief government chemist.

There have been varying accounts of how the journalist met his death. There have been distressing images of the remains of the late Mwangosi circulating on several social networks and blogs. The images show his stomach ripped open by what is believed to have been an explosive.

EAJA has demanded that Tanzanian authorities carry out “credible investigations” to establish the cause of Mwangosi's death.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012



Comment (1)

Johannesburg — Calls for cultural and academic boycotts of Israel are echoing similar calls against South Africa until the end of Apartheid. J BROOKS SPECTOR takes a look at this issue, with some history in mind.

Way back in the 1950s, the resolute, implacable Rev. Trevor Huddleston first introduced the idea of a cultural boycott of South Africa, half a decade into the National Party's imposition of its full-throttled Apartheid regime on the country.

He wrote in his call to arms (and legs and fingers), "I am asking those who believe racialism to be sinful or wrong to refuse to encourage it by accepting any engagement to act, to perform as a musical artist or ballet dancer " That manifesto from a British priest at Sophiatown's Christ the King Church eventually blossomed into a global movement to isolate South Africa culturally, in its academic life and in international sports competitions. This, in turn, contributed both organisational and intellectual support to campaigns to ramp up and tighten the country's growing political, financial and economic ostracism until the early 1990s.

In recent years, the presumed success of inter-connected boycotts and shunning of Apartheid as a tool that helped push South Africa into fundamental change has become an inspiration to other international movements in their campaigns against other unpalatable regimes.

International cultural figures led just such a campaign against Austria when neo-fascist leader Jörg Haider joined the country's governing coalition.

Austria may have been uniquely vulnerable to threats of a cultural boycott: some 15% of its GDP derives from tourism, much of it from cultural events like the internationally renowned Salzburg Festival.

When Haider entered the Austrian government, highly visible sponsors and musicians publicly withdrew their involvement in the country's cultural events. French actress Catherine Deneuve, for example, publicly rejected her highly visible guest-of-honour status at the Vienna Opera Ball.

Echoing the earlier debate about the utility of a cultural boycott of South Africa, however, some urged that rather than boycotting Austria, artists should attend events there but show their opposition to the country's politics by publicly remonstrating Austria's government. At the time, Le Monde editorialised, "Is it better to refuse all co-operation with any cultural event or exchange program that has Austrian government backing? Should intellectuals put principles behind them, so as not to isolate their counterparts in Austria? Or should they, on the contrary, accept invitations in order to bring the international protest against Haider to Austria itself?"

While it is hard to quantify how much impact international cultural pressure actually had in hastening Haider's departure from the governing coalition, it is true that publicity resulting from the cultural world's disapproval kept the issue of Haider's presence in government on the front burner until he was history.

And so we circle back to look at a movement using similar tactics against Israel because of its political and military domination of the West Bank and its blockade of Gaza. Proponents of academic and cultural boycotts of Israel have argued their inspiration comes directly from the success of the academic and cultural boycotts against South Africa.

In the case of Israel, the key point is that boycotts can be real leverage points and can force difficult questioning of the legitimacy of Israel's considerable international intellectual connections, given the importance that these connections play in Israel's sense of self-worth as a nation.

A few years ago, British boycott activist Peter Keele had argued on CNN, "I'll draw an analogy here with the successful boycotting of Apartheid .

Some people argued we should constructively engage with South African institutions but I think history proved that, in the end, the intellectual boycott was helpful in bringing an end to Apartheid." And here in South Africa too, influential individuals such as struggle veteran and former cabinet minister Ronnie Kasrils have become prime advocates of boycott - also citing their success against Apartheid South Africa.

In recent months, the BDS - Boycott, Disinvestment, Sanctions - movement has begun to gain some ground in a number of South African institutions.

(In an early harbinger of this trend, in late 2010 Archbishop emeritus Desmond Tutu said a planned visit by the Cape Town Opera to Israel should be delayed until such time as Palestinians were independent, echoing his stance on cultural contact with South Africa back in the 1980s.) Recent successes in the campaign now include the University of Johannesburg's decision last year to break off academic cooperation with Ben-Gurion University on the grounds that university has close links with the Israeli military establishment and a statement by Ebrahim Ebrahim, deputy minister of International Relations and Cooperation, aimed at discouraging travel by South Africans to Israel.

Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies' recent decision to insist products made in the West Bank (rather than within Israel's pre-1967 borders) need to be re-labelled as produced in the West Bank if they are to be distributed and sold inside South Africa may also fit into a larger pattern.

Most recently, Wits University's Students Representative Council's (SRC) decision to support a full academic and cultural boycott of Israel in solidarity with the Palestinian struggle.

Its decision says, in part, "Throughout the world students joined people of conscience in opposing the (Apartheid) regime which systematically perpetrated racial injustice in South Africa. Because of our history...we must unite and stand in solidarity with those who face similar oppression... The Wits Student Representative Council stands firm in its support of Palestinians and the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (against Israel) movement... (The SRC) will not participate in any form of cultural or academic collaboration or joint projects with Israeli institutions and will not provide any support to Israeli cultural or academic institutions."

In response to such developments, Jewish community institutions - the Board of Deputies, the Zionist Federation and the Office of the Chief Rabbi - have argued in response that, "Mr Ebrahim's statements are indicative of a highly discriminatory and disproportionate obsession with the Jewish state. In further polarizing rather than bringing together the various parties, it undermines the government's oft-stated policy of supporting a negotiated two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In addition, it harms South Africa's standing as a credible player in resolving international disputes.

One-sided boycotts only play into the hands of those who oppose a negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian question. It is not in South Africa's interests, both domestically and internationally, to support such extremists."

Not surprisingly then, when Ebrahim spoke at the SA Institute of International Affairs on Monday evening on the theme, "South Africa and the United Nations Security Council: Promoting Peace in the Middle East and North Africa," he had a full, attentive audience.

In his remarks, among other topics, Ebrahim preached the need for the parties in the Syrian conflict to come to a Syrian solution that recognizes the legitimate human rights of the Syrian people. To that end, South Africa's experience of reaching a negotiated settlement in its own social conflict might be helpful he said, quoting Nelson Mandela to the effect that to make peace, one has to work with one's enemies and then they eventually become one's partners.

Earlier in his speech, Ebrahim had argued there has been no real forward motion on the Palestinian issue for the past two decades, adding that expanded Israeli settlements on the West Bank have just made it harder to get to a viable, negotiated two-state reality. He insisted he and his government were not opposed to the Israeli state; they were, however, fully opposed to a continued thwarting of the just aspirations of the Palestinian people.

And then there was the throwaway line where Ebrahim said it suited the narrow domestic interests of one (unnamed) permanent member of the UN Security Council to forestall progress for the Palestinians. No prizes for guessing which country he meant by that - or what "narrow domestic interests" he was alluding to.

Of course there are some cynical folks who could argue South African government moves to put pressure on Israel might just possibly stem from another, different version of narrow domestic interest - that is, an effort to garner support for the ANC government from the Western Cape's Islamic population as part of a broader effort to reclaim the province from the DA.

One might even say this looks a bit like a reverse version of Mitt Romney's visit to Israel a few months back in which he promised to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem and to thunder that President Obama had thrown Israel under a metaphorical bus - all in an effort to gin up some firmer support for the Republicans from Israel's strongest supporters.

In South Africa, just like America, interest group politics can have a significant impact on the conduct and timbre of international relations - and even on what constitutes national interest. That's what happens if diplomacy and democracy bump into each other. Politics sure doesn't stop at the water's edge anymore.

The Daily Maverick is a unique blend of news, information, analysis and opinion delivered from our newsroom in Johannesburg, South Africa. Read us on



From Ethiopian Press Agency
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

The Kenyan newspaper daily nation has recently carried a piece about the late prime minister Meles Zenawi.

The theme of the piece is that Meles' role in the political and security arenas put him at the heart of Africa's greatest leaders. Meles dedicated his life fighting for the stability of his country and the region.

In fact, according to the newspaper, the unsaid wisdom is that be it an absolute monarch, a sit-tight despot or a reformer on the seat of power in Addis Ababa, Ethio-Kenya relations will always sail on like a ship in calm waters.

Daily Nation stated that the young medical student who joined the guerrilla war against the Derg, the Marxist junta of Mengistu Haile-Mariam, in the 1970s as "Legesse" Zenawi returned triumphantly to Addis Ababa in 1991 as "Meles", a nom de guerre he adopted in the trenches in honour of a fallen compatriot.

Years in the bush as a revolutionary infused personal discipline, committed and principled leadership and a pan-African disposition into modern Ethiopia's third ruler who took power at 36 after the fall of Mengistu's regime, becoming Africa's youngest leader.

Twenty-one years later, the indelible marks of Meles' fine mind, firm persona and pragmatic traits are all over the canvas of the Ethiopian economy and society. Rightly eulogized as an economic reformer, Meles solicited and put foreign development aid to good use. Citing the World Bank, the paper mentioned that Ethiopia's GDP has grown by 10.6 per cent a year over the past decade, double Africa's average.

Child mortality has dropped by 40 per cent, and just under 30 per cent of Ethiopians are living in extreme poverty, those on less than a dollar a day, a quantum jump from 45 per cent when Meles took power.

Meles has left a diversified economy and laid the foundation for an industrial Ethiopia with new industries like floriculture, beverages, leather making, car assembly and infrastructure projects, including Africa's largest hydro-electric dams--Gibe III and the Grand Renaissance Dam. These economic gains at home have their corollary in a brand of "development diplomacy" Meles has pursued in Africa.

Consequently, Kenya and Ethiopia have grown stronger together as what political scientists tout as "regional hegemonies" or powerhouses in the Eastern Africa region along the lines of Nigeria and South Africa in West and Southern Africa regions, respectively, Daily Nation writes.

"Our joining in the East African community is long overdue," Meles told a Kenyan delegation early last year. He agreed to broaden the Ethio-Kenya Joint Commission from a military pact to socio-economic cooperation.

And on March 2 this year, Meles joined President Mwai Kibaki of Kenya and President Salva Kiir of South Sudan to officially launch Africa's most ambitious project: a Sh1.5 trillion Lamu Port-Southern Sudan-Ethiopia Transport project at the Lamu Port, with its main components as networks of roads, railways, an oil pipeline and airports.

In 2000, he, Meles, became the first Ethiopian ruler to allow multi-party elections and private press. The Paper noticed that in the 2010 parliamentary elections, his party won 99.6 per cent of the vote, virtually wiping out the opposition. Arguably, his record on Africa's political scene brings Meles into the pantheon of towering figures such as Ghana's Kwame Nkrumah, Tanzania's Julius Nyerere and Senegal's Leopold Senghor.

Under Meles, Addis Ababa has become the home of a reformed African Union and firmly Africa's diplomatic capital. With Ethiopia as a member of the powerful AU Peace and Security Council and him as the chair of NEPAD and IGAD, Meles has been one of the architects of Africa's emerging peace, security and governance infrastructure.

Meanwhile, The Daily Monitor of Uganda writes that Meles had been instrumental in the war against insurgents in Somalia. He initiated fundamental policies and strategies for his country and the struggle to liberate Somalia from political turmoil.

Moreover, different world leaders have hailed the leadership of late Premier. Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sir Leaf said Meles Zenawi was an "intellectual leader for the continent." UK Prime Minister David Cameron called him "an inspirational spokesman for Africa", who had lifted millions out of poverty. There have been evident economic and infrastructure reforms in the country. Yes, he had contributed so much economically in his 21-year reign.

According to the Daily Monitor, Meles' death has come as a shock and disappointment to many people across the continent.

Prime Minister Meles made great with regard to South Sudan, the Nile waters, Somalia, fight terrorism and effectively checkmating the regime of Eritrea. The Monitor indicated that Prime Minister Meles was a tough one, right from when he chose guns over books by abandoning medical school. "Nothing was going to stop the pursuit of his ideal of making Ethiopia great. Once on top in Addis, he did not stop."

The African Union also hailed Meles for his promotion of economic growth, as well as his role as peace-maker between Sudan and South Sudan and his support for the fight against Somalia's Al-Qaeda-linked al-Shebab insurgents. "He has played an important role in pioneering a new era of hope and growth in Africa, driven as he was by the vision of Ethiopia and Africa's renaissance."

European Commission Chief Jose Manuel Barroso said Meles "demonstrated his strong personal commitment over many years to improving the lives of not just his own but all African peoples, through his work on African unity, climate change, development and in promoting peace and stability."

President Kikwete of Tanzania said that Ethiopia had lost a dedicated, revolutionary and visionary leader, while Africa has lost a reliable spokesperson, adding that the late Meles would be remembered for the steadfastness in defending the interests of Africa and its peoples.

Indeed, the people of Ethiopia in particular and the people of Africa in general are mourning the death of Prime Minister Meles because he was a brilliant Africa's son who dedicated his life time to the improvement and unity of its people.



By Paul Robert Odonde
Via Email

Now, same old Kenya, Wagalla massacre with no end.
Kiplagat used to hide the Wagalla massacre now a top government emissary.
The richest man in Kenya has bribed his way out of the ICC.
So let us forget about that and focus on the next President.
Raila is too sick like fomer Ford people party leader.
Narc party leader Charity Ngilu is the most considerate candidate.

Where ministers are involved prosecution does not take place.
That is why the Inspector General has not been appointed seven months over due.
Even the 5000 criminals of 2008 clashes cannot be prosecuted.
Deputy Prosecutor Dorcas is having a hard time.
Githu Muigai is simply taking donors for a ride.

The elite are involved and they are at the ICC. The matter is beyond us.
But Jerry you celebrated the new constitution. It says a new government shall be in power in September 2012. So we are in September and we have no President, vice president, ministers and their deputies. Or was it a hilarious thing to have a new constitution?

Mr. Kimemia has forced county commissions on the land. The results can be cannon ball.

Peace forums are a show thing for Kenyan regimes to hit the press and please donors. They really do not mean what they say.

I see foreign ambassaduers trying to give advice in these forums. They fall for it.

You cannot use more police force to rule. You have to open up the economy to rule.
Using police force is what happened in Egypt. There reaches a time when the people cannot take it any more.

600 policeman were sacked in Egypt and the President taken to court. Those who have broken the law are the ministers. Jerry this is not a simple problem. You have gangsters for ministers and other leaders.
Paul Robert Odonde

Sunday, September 2, 2012



The late Meles Zenawi


The burial of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia on September 2 will bring to a close a chapter of a visionary leader who assumed the reins of power at the young age of 37 in 1991, after a brutal war of liberation from the dictatorship of Mengistu Haile Mariam. His death at a comparatively young age of 57 is mired in mystery as was his ability to manage a complex political machine he developed when he assumed power.

Meles Zenawi belonged to a crop of progressive leaders who emerged in the 80s and 90s and took centre stage in what appeared to be a phase out of tired leadership on the continent. Together with Kaguta Museveni of Uganda, Paul Kagame of Rwanda, Jerry Rawlings of Ghana, Nelson Mandela of South Africa, although not young, among others, the new crop of leaders seemed to inject a breath of fresh air and hope into a continent that was fast fading from positive international attention.

Throughout the 21 years of his rule in Ethiopia, Meles built a reputation of a strong and decisive leader who brooked no nonsense with those opposed to him both internally and externally. He also came across as a visionary leader with an obsession for perfection, order and great determination. His steadfastness and zeal for hard work made him stand out as an imaginative and self conscious leader in economics, diplomacy and as a political operative.

History will judge him for being heavy handed with a singular mind for military adventure into foreign territory to prove his point. He will be remembered most for the war with Eritrea between 1998 and 2000. Dubbed to be a conflict between feuding relatives, Ethiopia-Eritrea war has characterised the fallout between Meles Zenawi and Isaias Afewerki of Eritrea with whom, it is claimed, he has a blood relationship. Personal egos of the two men almost guaranteed failure of any attempt to negotiate a solution. Meles' death could open a small window of hope for a resolution of the conflict.

Ethiopia's engagement in Somalia may be understood from three perspectives. First, Meles argued that Ethiopia was, for strategic reasons, acting in her national interest instability in Somalia had a direct bearing on Ethiopia's security and economic interests. Meles could not contemplate a hostile government in Mogadishu. Meles was right to act to safeguard his country's interests like any other country would have done.

Second, the territorial integrity of Ethiopia was threatened through secessionist tendencies by regions such as Ogaden, Oromo which threatened to secede from Ethiopia describing them as irredentist movements. Third, having let Eritrea go after Mengistu's fall, Meles did not want to be seen to be presiding over the disintegration of Ethiopia. He became obsessed with self preservation of himself, his legacy and of Ethiopia, in fear of being seen as a weak leader.

Ethiopia prides herself as the only country in Africa never to have been colonised, except for a five-year stint under Italian rule during World War II. This is a country of diverse nationalities but which was kept together under a heavily centralised system of government, first under imperial rule, then a Marxist dictatorship and under Meles, a centralised federal system. The federal system in principle provides for federated regions, but is practically impossible to exercise. It is this principle which will test the tenacity Meles' political and administrative acumen.

In Africa, and indeed, internationally, Meles will be remembered as a visionary; a make believe politician who sought solutions to Africa's political and economic problems. His legacy as a founding member of New Partnerships for Africa's Development will be exemplified in the efforts Ethiopia made under his leadership to transform a battered economy into a competitive one with an annual GDP growth of more than seven per cent. This aspect of his contribution will continue to attract admiration.

Much as there is anxiety in the region about his demise, there are mixed reactions to his death in Ethiopia. His democratic credentials were suspect. There are those who hail him for maintaining the unity of Ethiopia in spite of deep rooted nationalistic groups which form its various components. Although there was significant internal opposition to him, it was not allowed to flourish due to draconian laws designed to contain dissent.

His brutal response to the opposition in 2005 must have informed the voting pattern in the elections of 2010 in which only one opposition Member of Parliament was elected. This is a luxury which even the most liberal democracies do not enjoy. Despite these misgivings, Meles continued to attract accolades from western governments.

His intervention in Somalia in 2005 received tacit approval from the United States of America despite lack of United Nation's Security Council authorisation thanks to the al Shaabab menace. As the world mourns Meles, his imposing presence of mind will be greatly missed in the corridors of international diplomacy. Kenya has lost a friend in the war against international terrorism.

Ambassador Boaz K. Mbaya Executive Director, Centre for Policy Analysis



Ethiopian Mourner at Zenawi Funeral

2 September 2012
Last updated at 05:39 GMT

Mourners from all over Ethiopia have come to Addis Ababa to pay homage

African leaders are attending the state funeral in Addis Ababa of Ethiopia's long-serving Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, who died last month.

Foreign dignitaries joined ordinary Ethiopians in paying their respects as his body lay in state in the National Palace.

Mr Meles died at the age of 57 in Brussels, following a long illness.

He came to power in 1991 and was credited for bringing development and growth to Ethiopia.

But critics say this was achieved at the cost of respect for human rights.

The state funeral - Ethiopia's first in more than 80 years - is beginning in Meskel Square in Addis Ababa, from where Mr Meles' flag-draped coffin will be taken for burial at the city's Holy Trinity Cathedral.

Leaders - such as Benin's Yayi Boni - have been paying homage to Meles
The prime minister was a former Marxist rebel and not publicly religious, but was brought up as an Ethiopian Orthodox Christian, the BBC's Humphrey Hawksley reports.

In contrast to the secrecy traditionally surrounding the deaths of Ethiopian leaders, the ceremony is being broadcast live, and huge screens have been erected in cities and villages around the country.

The last Ethiopian leader to be honoured with a state funeral was the Empress Zauditu in 1930.

At least 20 African presidents are attending the funeral, as well as several prominent international figures including Microsoft chairman Bill Gates.

One of them, Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete laid a wreath next to Mr Meles' coffin on Saturday.

He paid tribute to Mr Meles' "charm, his intellect, his passion for Africa's development", adding that he was "a kind of leader that you can trust".

Rwandan President Paul Kagame honoured Mr Meles as "a gallant fighter for freedom not only for Ethiopia and Ethiopian people, but also Africa".

Meles Zenawi

Emerged from Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF), which carried out armed struggle against communist military regime in 1970s and 1980s
Became president in a transitional government in 1991 and then prime minister in 1995
Married another TPLF veteran, Azeb Mesfin, and had three children
Under his leadership, a closed and secretive country gradually opened to the outside world
But reputation tarnished in 2000s amid increasing repression in Ethiopia

Also attending is Sudan's President, Omar al-Bashir, who has been indicted by the International Criminal Court on several counts of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in the Darfur conflict.

Regional role
Mr Meles became a dominant figure in the region after toppling toppling dictator Mengistu Hailemariam 21 years ago.

He ordered Ethiopian troops to intervene against al-Qaeda-linked militants in Somalia, mediated in the conflict in Sudan and South Sudan, and took a leading position in the African Union, which is headquartered in Addis Ababa.

Mr Meles will be succeeded by his deputy, Hailemariam Desalegn, 47, a relatively little-known politician from the south of Ethiopia.

Mr Hailemariam will formally take over as prime minister after Mr Meles' funeral, and will serve until elections in 2015.

Some observers have voiced fears about the political transition.

The Brussels-based think tank, the Crisis Group, has warned that Mr Hailemariam will lead a weaker government that will face mounting grievances along ethnic and religious lines.

Mr Meles died suddenly from an infection on 20 August while being treated in hospital in Brussels.

He had not been seen in public for weeks before his death was announced, and there had been increasingly intense speculation about his health.