IF ONLY I WAS AN AMICUS CURIAE

supreme court

My lords thank you for accepting my request to give my contribution that may assist you in making a ruling on this enormous task ahead of you. I will not address you “as some six people”, am fully aware you were submitted to rigorous public vetting and therefore trust that your verdict will be fair, objective and most importantly, have Kenya at heart.

In any given election, turn out alone speaks volumes, we have to appreciate Kenyans did vote in large numbers a clear indication of the trust they bestow I.E.B.C. In fact prior to elections opinion polls rated it as one of the few institutions they have confidence with. Having said that, I have to point out, there was no mischief from I.E.B.C to rig this elections, if anything, they have been very transparent all along. Raila Odinga’s chief agent was present in a meeting bringing around all agents when I.E.B.C decided to use the manual system. Electronic systems fail, Ghana and the U.S just to mention a few are good examples. In fact CORD affiliated parties were on record agitating I.E.B.C to revert to manual system. Even in the offices we have back ups since electronic systems fail, we can not therefore demonise I.E.B.C for having a manual register.

Lets recall that procurement of electronic equipments was handled and co-ordinated by Office of the prime Minister, so if there was a problem with quality or reliability of the machines, they would have realised that before hand. I.E.B.C set out a whole month for public scrutiny of the register and most importantly for voters to confirm if their names appeared in the register. People with disability or whose body parts could not be captured by the B.V.R, had their names appearing in the ‘Green Book’. Logically the total number of registered voters in the electronic system could not tally with that of the ‘special’ book since it did not factor them. There is no instance where petitioners showed any scenario of unregistered voters voting nor number of voters exceeding that of registered voters.

The petitional must have substantial evidence to show that it affected final election results, however lack of evidence does not handicap this court in anyway.The court is in a position to determine validity of this process. In writing your ruling, my lords please appreciate you are making an unprecedented verdict, do not create a notion that elections can only be won in courts. We must be hard on persons with conspiracy theories meant to kill emerging institutions.

Advertisements

ARE YOU SAFE?

Connecticut

Woo unto you if you live in Nairobi, the good days when you could cross from one street to another without being bothered by who is following you are gone. Despite occasional grenade blasts ceasing, this has been replaced by organised crimes  which have some political connections. What perturbs me more is how our security agencies have been infiltrated and compromised, to the extent of even colluding with the criminals.The days when police patrols were a regular thing are long gone. Hawkers are back in the city and so do the street families,rogue burglars and carjackers. City council which is still engulfed with the county governance confusion has slept on its work, consequently the untrimmed trees and non functioning street lights are now used as hideouts for robbers.

I grew up made to believe that in Nairobi a ‘chokora’ would blackmail you with human waste in exchange for some money well its now a reality. Am told Odeon Cinema zone is the most notorious. Former city council clerk John Gakuo did extremely well in taming this culture and nurturing an orderly city free from littered garbage but unfortunately this has been dwindling over the years.

Last week a C.I.D officer was nabbed terrorising residents in one of the city suburbs, two police detectives were killed in Kitale, a young prominent businessman barely 40years was shot in the head and his car lost control in South B and pronounced dead as he was been taken to Mater Hospital. Numerous cases of motorists assaulted and robbed valuables have been on the increase this year.It is not any better for you who do not drive, I was reading in the papers yesterday about a city lawyer who had just withdrawn sh.4000 from an ATM when he decided to buy some airtime, just as he was getting his wallet from the pocket, it was snatched away and thief melted in the thick human traffic.

Recently there was a story circulating in the social media about a lady who accompanied with her son had  gone to buy a phone cover at the stalls opposite Afya Center building in Nairobi, as she was making her specifications she was interrupted by a guy rubbing her hand selling second hand phones. She did not realise that the said guy poured some powder on her hand. Moments later she felt drowsy and tired, her son started complaining of feeling to vomit, luckily they were assisted by a friend. This is how dangerous criminals have become, a small portion of powder is enough to make you unconscious.When you breathe it, you respond without thinking to the demands of the person controlling you. The powder is meant to make your mind dull and slow, its a form of drug given to schizophrenia persons to make them less active.

In a America petty crimes is on a large scale particularly because the government toys around with gun ownership laws.In every 10 residents in an area, at least 8 own guns.Jonylah Last week we were all dumfounded by the story of a gunman who shot dead a 6 month kid by the name Jonylah Watkins, pictured above. Her dad had parked on the roadside to change the little angel’s diapers when a gunman crept from nowhere shot the kid and run away. It was so traumatising that a a number of musicians recorded songs as a tribute to the little Jonylah.

Still in America and to be specific Georgia, 2 teenagers broke into a house, met a mother playing with her 13 month kid  Antonio Santiago joyfully. The 14 and 16 year old teens after robbing the house shot dead the kid not withstanding pleas from the helpless mother! This goes without mentioning the mass shootings of 20 kids and 6 adults by a gunman at an elementary school in Connecticut.

Am very concerned and worried of the future. Just like our mums and dads pray for us and do everything to protect us, lets take a cue from them, yearn to pray for a peaceful global village.

Allow me to send my deepest condolences to the family, countrymen and readers of Chinua Achebe’s literature. He was undoubtedly the father of Africa story telling who amazingly mocked its leadership with a smile written on his face. We celebrate you Achebe, rest in eternal peace.Amen

THE UNSPOKEN; DEMEANED WOMEN

wAfrican_girls_200x133Having lost my dad very many years ago, my siblings and I were left under the care of my mother, a peasant farmer which was not a bed of roses so to speak. So am in a perfect position to appreciate how important women are in our lives. The notion that women are lesser beings is the worst retrogressive belief in a modern world. Surprisingly, even the so called middle and affluent social classes in Kenya still struggle to address gender discrimination. Recently we were all taken aback by the court case between Limuru Country Club and three of its members who all happen to be women. The simple disagreement was that leadership is solely a man’s affair, its non negotiable. The women were not ready to hear none of that, in fact through their lawyer Philip Murgor articulately quote article 26 of Kenya Constitution which expounds on equal rights for both gender in social, economic, political and cultural opportunities. We read of sexual harassment in offices everyday, we know of friends and colleagues who have lost lucrative jobs after being blackmailed by their bosses. Not a single week passes without news of male teachers either raping or impregnating their pupils.

Speaking of rape, according to Kenya police statistics, every dawn five children wake up defiled and two women raped. Its estimated that only one out of twenty women report the ordeal to police and only one in every six, seek medical assistance. What is most worrying is that these figures could be higher as many victims shy away from disclosing. The sad part is that, parents are still willing to negotiate after being lured with money by the culprits. In India a new rape case is reported after every twenty minutes, abductions and violence on women is a daily occurrence. December last year the gang rape of a 23 year old student in a bus in Delhi city sparked protests worldwide. What was even more shocking is the beating up of the victim and her friend and leaving them for the dead. The young lady later succumbed to injuries. Few days ago still in India, a Swiss tourist couple was attacked. The woman and her husband who were on a cycling tour were allegedly assaulted by a group of men, beating the husband and raping the wife. Opposition lawmakers in India have organised protests calling on State Home minister to resign due to escalating rape cases and collapsing rule of law.

In Saudi Arabia, although women make up 70% of students who enroll to university, for social reasons they make only 5% of the workforce. Its even illegal for women to drive in the cities as apparently ‘erodes’ their cultural values.Did you know that Saudi Arabian women do not vote, neither can they be elected in high political positions? According to United Nation’s figures, up to 7 in every 10 women are beaten, raped, abused or mutilated in their lifetimes. While 125 countries penalise violence on women, we still have 603 million women globally who are vulnerable to laws that do not consider it a crime. Its through this facts that we as Kenyans deserve to be proud of ourselves. Why I say so is because we have made tremendous progress in upholding women rights.

Millennium Development Goals which is a blueprint agreed by world countries to reduce poverty rates, spread of HIV/AIDs, expansion of universal primary education among others by 2015, has Goal 3 specifically focusing on gender equality and women empowerment. With less than three years left, any likely hood of achieving the goals remains elusive. In the 2012 Detailed Chart,a report showing how women are faring in global progress in relation to M.D.G revealed that, they continue to be poorer than men on global scale, more girls are in primary school but the gap widens in secondary school, not to mention the poor are likely not to attend school.

World icon Archbishop Desmond Tutu has been vocal on the world to embrace women leadership terming it key in ensuring political stability and peace sustainability. I dare you to ignore women at your own peril, next time it could be your sister, mother, daughter, girlfriend or even wife abducted or raped.Lets champion women rights for the common good.

WHEN A MAN CRIES!

Inside_ruto_crys11032013

Only recently Deputy President-elect one William Ruto was overcame with emotions at a thanks giving church service.He termed the favour of God in ensuring a Jubilee coalition win not withstanding the many odds against them, made him overwhelmed. In fact he insisted his mother could attest that the last time he cried, he was a little boy. So why did he have to explain? Well, generally society has no kind words for men who cry let alone publicly. Its a sign of resentment if not a weakness or worst flaw, its basically giving up.That underlines the reason why the public had mixed reactions, some were resonating with him while others showed contempt for the act. To show how ‘bad’ it is for a man to cry in public, a section of Kalenjin elders have decided to organise a cleansing ceremony for Honourable Ruto.

This reminded me of an incident that befell me sometimes in January 2011 when I was in college. I remember it was a Friday after an evening class, that my friends and I decided to imbibe two for the road. I recall a lady trying to get my attention by whispering to me some ‘sweet nothings’, that is the last bit my mind could trace back. How I walked to the stage to board a vehicle home is a million dollar question to me. I was awoken in a matatu by a conductor yelling at me “gari mwisho”. What hurt me most is the fact that , the driver and his conductor literally robbed me my phone that I had struggled financially to save for and my wallet which had my budget for the next three weeks. In it there was my identity card which I begged them to just leave it behind to know avail. I was overtaken by emotions when the matatu sped off. I knew it would not be a walk in the park for me to get another identity card in the near future. What followed were days of queuing in a D.O’s office somewhere in Kariokor for days which resulted to months, I waited for close to a year. For me that was very painful to bear.

 One of my mentors in the writing field Oyuga Pala simply puts it, “its not that men do not want to cry, its just that they do not know how to”. A number of public figures have dared to cry in public, usual suspects range from Speaker of the House in the U.S John Boehner who surprisingly does it regularly, he pulls no apologies. For Tiger woods, it was not just a normal win in the British Open 2006, why it was an emotional moment for him is because his father did not live to see that event. Roger Federer dropped the Australian Open in 2009 to the young Rafael Nadal leaving him sobbing in the post match comments. Michael Jordan upon winning his first championship in 1991 cried uncontrollably. A former popular baseball player Cal Ripken shed tears after breaking Lou Gehrig’s record in September 1995.

In conclusion, men should cry privately if at all they have to and for them to cry it must be because of something dear to them. Otherwise crying occasionally is a huge turn off to women.Men are brought up to be  resilient, tenacious and to always look at the silver lining. They are creatures born to be looked upon by the society, they are the last  hope a community can have.

 

HATING IN SOCIAL MEDIA

tujuane4Welcome to social media equivalent to a typical market where people trade their wares on a willing buyer willing seller basis.Ironically you can hardly spot any council askari (Kibunja and company). What this means is that naturally freedom will be abused, the paradox to me is how ‘tweeps’ ‘love’ hating as compared to appreciating. Social media pundits and ‘veterans’ enjoy settling scores, trading insults, spreading gossip if not bringing down peoples’ careers.Apparently this is the nerve center for high level hate speech at least in Kenya, its the boiling point. If you need to tap creative brains, just log in facebook and the photo shopped pictures will do the talking .

Hundreds of public figure personalities have been ‘killed’ in social media, among many is one music genius Justin Bieber, he is arguably the most popular in teenage social circles but equally struggles to deal with haters worldwide.Nelson Mandera the anti- apartheid hero and a world icon who commands awe and respect globally has unfortunately been a victim of social media hating, not once nor twice have socialites ‘killed’ him.North Korea’s supreme leader Kim Jong-un and Syria’s president Bashar Al Assad have also been a victims.The list is long.

Closer home the likes of popular political scientist Mutahi Ngunyi have had ‘RIP’ pages created in facebook. Mutahi rubbed a section of socialites the wrong way when he revealed the infamous ‘Tyranny of Numbers’ depicting a clear win for the Jubilee coalition.And speaking of coalitions, the rivalry between CORD and Jubilee has literally gone ‘digital’. Social media has been awash with numerous hate mongering pages attacking each others camp
What even made me to write this article is the level of hating to one arrogant Mirfat Musa of Tujuane who scorned an innocent poor lad known as George with the now famous cliche, “do I look like eating fries”. The lady’s confidence was oozing uncontrollably without avoiding eye contact unlike George.Now that is what I call intimidation, its so humiliating especially when it is from a lady.These are some of the responses from social media,”That Chick can go and date her teddy bears…!! Puhhhh…This chiq better pray we don’t meet anywhere around south c coz m going to give her the middle finger…Just coz you work 4 julie gichuru doesnt make you her…nktt…kujidai juu umetoka south c..I should be hooked up with that girl #Tujuane,I feel like it is necessary, Mau Mau did not die for this…Susan went a little bit overboard her Ego was inflamed by the guy’s weakness but she needs to know Creditcard is 21st Century!…Enyewe this guy is an arsenal fun… Hiyo uvumilivu ni mostest.”
Am now told the lady has of late been contemplating committing suicide. Well, I do not want to judge her, she had her reasons for acting that way, probably to get ‘famous’.
Am worried of the future, If you are not ‘hard enough’, please keep off social media otherwise your self esteem will be brought to its knees.