Kenya @ 50

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An Open Letter to Raila Amollo Odinga

Dear Jakom,

raila-amolo-odinga-kenya

It might seem crazy what I am about to say but I hope you will take it like the soldier you have always been albeit for your own sake. Allow me to begin by expressing my gratitude to for the many years of leadership you have provided for the people of Luo Nyanza. Your personal sacrifices and commitment to our liberation and the fight for democracy are as admirable as they are appreciated by many. Over the many years you have been on the political scene you have inspired and motivated generations and the people of Nyanza and most of Western Kenya to believe in your course and to support you through thick and thin with the hope that one day you will clinch the tools of power and deliver the promise of development to a region that has been alienated by successive regimes left to wallow and die in poverty, diseases, prostitution and underdevelopment.

However, thrice we have gone into the ballot and thrice we have left the ballot bruised and disappointed and slowly the disappointment has grown into a state of despair and frustration which is now growing into discontent. I do hope that for your own sake you have your eyes open and your ears on the ground listening to the disgruntled voices of the people of Nyanza or that you can at least read the writing on the wall.

Sir, it should strike you and your advisers with a lot of concern that for the first time you were recently heckled in Kisumu. While my opinion is that your opponents and political propagandists have read too much from that ‘’Small’’ incidence it must be a course for concern for everyone around you that this time you couldn’t even charm your way into the hearts of the people of Kisumu as you always have even on subjects that are bigger and juicier than a mere sculpture. Jakom Kisumu is the bedrock of Luo Nyanza politics and when things go awry over there you should know that the rest of Nyanza is watching and warming up. Having said that I do not want you or any other person from Nyanza to be as ignorant about what happened in Kisumu as the non-Luo Communities on social media have been.

But what’s up in Kisumu? Why all of a sudden a city that has sung your praise would, almost worshipped you and said yes to everything you have said turn and heckle you and embarrass you in front of the whole nation? Where has the famous ‘’NDIYO BABA!!!!’’ phrase gone to? And has it bothered you that Kisumu treat you with such hostility over this small matter? I sit possible that there is more that the attitude of the people of this city than meets the eyes and if there is what could be the cause?

Baba, Kisumu like many parts of the country was a victim of the post elections violence that plagued the nation after the botched presidential election of 2007. Many lives were lost, property destroyed and people lost their jobs and homes just like it happened in other towns.

But the story is a little bit different for Kisumu, while victims of the PEV from other communities were helped by their politicians to get back to their feet and to their business. A lot of them received and continue to receive compensation because their politicians stood by them and argued their cases to the powers that be. Many of them returned their land and were helped to rebuild and the coalition between two of the main antagonists in the violence has brought some sort of unity between them.

But what happened to the PEV victims in Kisumu? They were abandoned by their politicians including you. They were left to eke out an impossible livelihood from the slums of Kisumu and in fact Luos who were chased or displaced from other town like Nakuru and Naivasha joined their kinsmen in the city to expand that cycle of misery. Of course this was from that ridiculous logic that all Luos are from Kisumu and so the government sent them all their and abandoned them in IDP camps that had littered the city. They were plodded there, left jobless with no means to survive and abandoned by the very politicians they were fighting for in the PEV. They have visited all public offices and local politicians to argue their cases to no avail and it seems their plight will never be addressed. The 2013 elections were to be a defining moment for the people of Kisumu. They had hoped that finally their son would ascend to power and quench their years of thirst for leadership but that did not happen. It should perhaps explain why some even committed suicide after the verdict from the Supreme Court.

What is happening in Kisumu now sir, is that the people want to chart their own course and determine their own destinies. They are not keen on leaving that in the hands of politicians any more as that has had very dire consequences for them and they would use a matter as ‘’small’’ as a statue to drive their point home.

Tread carefully with Kisumu sir. I would advise you take several trips to the city personally and engage in a one on one dialogue with your supporters. Listen to them for the first time and don’t impose things on them. Agree to let them vote in leaders of their choice those they believe will represent their interest and fight the stinging poverty facing the whole of Nyanza. Find means to empower them so they can break from the shackles that make them dependent on the events on the political scene. That way sir you will cement your legacy and remain a hero in the eyes of this people otherwise you will face scathing and this is just the beginning.

All the best in the process.

Kenyan Voter

OPEN LETTER TO SIAYA COUNTY ‘ODM’ POLITICIANS

The Kenyan Artivist

OrangeThis is an open letter to pre-2010 politicians from Siaya County (to those who actually will read or give a damn, that is). If you are a pre-August 2010 politician from Siaya County, this letter is addressed to you. If you are reading this and thinking it doesn’t/can’t apply to you, think again: it does.

I do not pretend these words represent more than my own, negligible angry voice. But they might. That is why I will risk using the “I” instead of the “we”. So here it goes.

I’m fed up with you. All of you! Whether you’re a second liberation hero or a pre-independence hog or something else in between… Whether you are secretly corrupt or openly robbing us… Whether you are doing nothing or pretending to actually work… Whether you are the son of someone or the son-in-law of another… Whether you are a woman or a…

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UHURU KENYATTA—PLEASE LEAVE COMEDY TO CHURCHILL

The Kenyan Artivist

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One thing I love about this guy, Uhuru Kenyatta is that he forgets that he is supposed to be a president whenever he sees a crowd and /or the press inform of him.

Don’t blame him, it’s a condition that is synonymous with all spoilt kids… coupled with the belief that he is young and “hippy”, UK is one master attention seeker.

I listened to him address that crowd in Eldoret yesterday, that declaration of “Jubilee will RULE, for 20 years” left me wondering…

  1. RULE or Govern? The two might share a similar context but have very different meanings— To RULE is to EXERCISE ULTIMATE POWER OR AUTHORITY OVER AN AREA & ITS PEOPLE while to GOVERN is to CONDUCT THE POLICY ACTION & AFFAIRS OD A STATE OR PEOPLE.

It shocked me that Uhuru Kenyatta and his GOVERNMENT have settled down to RULE this country. So, here we go…

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Enough is Enough

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Mugabe’s re-election strategy which seemingly is becoming the norm in Africa is to brand your opponents ”PUPPETS OF THE WEST” and make them unelectable while people like him continue to strengthen their hold to power and enrich themselves as their countries degenerate into unfathomable levels of poverty, corruption, unemployment, diseases and crime. While there might be a danger in electing the so called ‘’PUPPETS OF THE WEST’’ it is more dangerous for us to be stuck with aging despots who offer no new solutions to perpetual African challenges. My generation must stand up and say enough is enough to the likes of Robert Mugabe, Paul Biya, Yoweri Museveni, Teodoro Nguema, and Omar Hassan al-Bashir, Blaise Campaore, Eduardo Dos Santos, Denis Sassou Nguesso and King Mswati.

African Union Celebrates 50th Anniversary

Ephraim Percy Kenyanito

The African Union (AU), the single largest organization of states in Africa, marked its 50th anniversary from May 25 to 27, 2013 at its headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, sparking debate among Africans throughout the continent over the organization’s relevance and effectiveness.

The AU began as the Organisation of African Unity, founded on May 25, 1963 with 32 members. Though often criticised for the inability to enforce its decisions, the organisation played a key role in ending colonial rule on the continent through its aid to rebel groups.

After the African Union replaced the Organisation in 2001, many of the same criticisms – that the union had little real power to tackle the poverty and conflict afflicting the continent – have followed. The AU now has 54 member states.

African Union 50th anniversary logo. Image from African Union Website: http://www.au.int/

African Union 50th anniversary logo. Image from African Union Website: http://www.au.int/

The anniversary celebrations encouraged discussions among Africans who…

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Kenyans: The Ever Complaining Lot That Never Acts Right

“There are times in life when, instead of complaining, you do something about your complaints.” – Rita Dove

Whenever you look at the social media and read then tweets and Facebook updates from Kenyans, you see a bunch of whiners who portray ingenious ignorance and sheer sense of helplessness. At times, you are tempted not to blame them due to the ignorance displayed but then again you look at their grasp of other issues and wonder why they can’t understand their own country and its structures.

You can pick a number of examples from not just the ordinary folks but also the country’s leadership by just reading their tweets and updates.

As one of my friends says, today, Kenya does not have a leadership problem. What we are witnessing is a ‘followship’ problem where the citizenry despite being empowered by the Constitution that puts in place strong institution still expects to…

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