Wednesday, 28 November 2012


It is election season once again. A season that Kenyans always embrace with mixed feelings: a time to scramble for cash and gifts from a handful of the greatest thieves of Kenya and the would-be ‘great thieves indeed’. A time much despised and feared by ‘explorers’ who have been accidentally milking a cow they have never herd since independence; a period of imminent disaster and an ever vague tomorrow! Politicians have always known the issues that deeply concern us (including those that divides us), and will be harping on them to touch our hearts, coat our innocence with tribal goggles and woe our votes by hook or crook. Theirs will ever remain “A life time conspiracy to steal, maim, murder, live large and steal again and again!”As such, armed with our stolen money, they are more than ready to play a cruel game we’ve never mastered its unscrupulous rules! One of the long running and perennial concerns of Kenyans is the runaway corruption in our public processes. In 2002 as well as in 2007, corruption had been a key campaign issue. Already it is an issue on the lips of many politicians indicating that the coming general elections will be no different. But considering the lessons of the last 10 years, should we take mere promises and the mere mumbo jumbo to do away with corruption and other massive theft of public coffers for good? What must we do to avoid being taken for a ride by corn artists who are either deeply rooted in grand corruption or are the greatest and loudest defenders of those suspected of looting public coffers? Considering the undisputed fact that our legal system has been unwilling or incapable of delivering justice in matters of corruption for years on end, we cannot just look at convictions or lack of it, as the basis for determining people’s fitness to hold office. In other words an acquittal is not, especially in our circumstances, conclusive proof of innocence. Failure to be prosecuted should also not be the standard for determining who, from an ethical perspective, qualifies to be our leader. As Kenyans who are tired to the bone with hypocritical leadership, we need to turn a leaf in the way we elect our leaders. It is time we take an about-turn and say enough is enough. Indeed, it is time we stand united and shun every tribal hook, every single nepotism shred and set the record straight once and for all. We must examine records of every would-be political master keenly to understand what they will likely become if we give them the mandate to guard our hard-earned wealth. We must base our decisions on people’s record in shunning and fighting corruption. Mere rhetoric is not enough. An eloquent character won’t deliver us from this bondage of slavery unless his or her past is scrutinized, questioned, judged rationally and determined by a fair and just mind. Candidates should articulate what they have done and plan to do to fight corruption. We need to subject this rhetoric to their past record and assess whether it is worth believing or not. © 2012 Cheruo Levi Cheptora

Monday, 26 November 2012


Exactly a year and a half today, Daniel Psirmoi, then unknown fully to me, offered to interview me as far as my first ever publication was concerned: Many of you read the interview and this served as a milestone regarding my part-time career as an author. Daniel became a friend, almost an elder brother to me. In highs and lows, he has remained a truest friend I’ll ever have! Like to most of you, his sincerity, charisma and understanding has always remained fresh in my mind. He has proven, time and again, that he cares for our motherland...his numerous writings have helped opened a third eye and ear of our community. True, many a Sabaot can now hear and see clearly as far as matters politics are concerned. Today, I honestly must congratulate him for the achievements that he has so far registered, notably, his latest appointment as a Standard Newspaper Correspondent for Bungoma County. Daniel may God’s graces and mercies be upon you ever. Kindly surge forward meaningfully, walk the talk, and be a good ‘boy’ I have always known. As my gift, I’ll dedicate one of my forthcoming novels to you: for being a mentor, an inspiration, a motivator and above all, THE TRUEST SABAOT AT HEART WHO IS MADLY IN LOVE WITH HIS COMMUNITY! © 2012 Cheruo Levi Cheptora
I just realized that when we stick to our ignorance as a society, clinch our 'love for self' fist, resist every sound gesture by good-willed people; then we are doomed to fail...forever, we will be dragging our heavy feet headed to nowhere in particular and inevitably, a time will come when we will wish we had rather hearken to the voice of reason....

Saturday, 24 November 2012


WHO IS TO BLAME FOR MOUNT ELGON WOES? Gone now are the nightmares of the horror movie stirred by One Wycliffe Komon Kirui Matakwei and his ruthless army of die-heard ‘butchers’. It is business as usual and people are going on with their normal activities. The spell-binding beauty of the Mountain is eternally irresistible once you grace the footsteps of MT. Elgon. The ever green sight is usually refreshing, welcoming and you instantly feel at home...Across the strip of forested land bordering Mount Elgon Forest Reserve, women and their children are ever busy striving to make ends meet. From Kaberwa, Kongit, Kaboywo to Kiborowa, they usually trade in charcoal (apparently the main economic activity of many a Sabaot House-wife). A Forty Five Minute journey via motorcycles from Kaptama, takes you to Kapsokwony: the Head-Quarters of Mount Elgon District. The Class-D tarmac road is of age now and the carelessly floored road is vulnerable to erosion. Commissioned back in July 2007 by President Mwai Emilio Kibaki, the then ambitious KAMUKUYWA-KAPTAMA-KAPSOKWONY-KOPSIRO-NAMWELA project is yet to be completed and has ever since been diverted to KIMILILI from Kapsokwony (courtesy of the wielders of power and run-away corrupt gestures encouraged by KUNDANI SIGNH, the contractors mandated to complete the project). Kapsokwony is now a home of Transit-Goods locomotives, occasionally criss-crossing the district in search of timber and other forest products. The once thick forest which was a home for wild-life is slowly being reduced to an expansive open land. Relatives and friends of mine have complained day in day out and even reported illegal activities as far as harvesting of trees is concerned, yet no one from the District Headquarters Offices has ever responded. Moreover, in spite of the heavy deployment and presence of security personnel in the District Headquarters, we still hear of gunmen attacks and killings of Mount Elgon Residents. Night clubs and drinking joints are now homes for these law-enforcers and their main activity has since effectively been transformed into ‘heart’ issues with locals. It is feared that on the contrary, they are siring kids and spreading STIs amongst the residents and their fellow law-enforcers instead. The grand question I have been asking myself is: who is to blame for all this mess? Who is to shoulder the woes bedevilling our beloved motherland? Indeed, like they usually say, time will tell! For the time being, man must live!!! ©2012 Cheruo Levi Cheptora

Wednesday, 21 November 2012


First, came the PEV after the contested elections of 2007, killing close to one and a half thousand innocent Kenyans. Exactly seventy two hours later, following the unceremonious announcement of the presidential elections: mother Kenya descended into untold chaos. Trauma embraced every soul. Mother Kenya (considered one of the most stable and economically developed states in Africa), was on the verge of tearing apart. In almost every corner of the republic, neighbour turned against neighbour. Old scores were settled with machetes and pangas. Across the awesome land, beyond the spell binding and beautiful highlands; rapes, mutilations and communal violence gripped the country with such awesome might. Children were orphaned, neighbours were pulled apart, and friends were separated. Couples were disunited and thousands lost what they had called home all their miserable years here on earth. Communities lost trust it had on each other. Marriages were forcibly broken. A robust economy was hence dealt a severe body blow; it will take years, blood and sweat to recover. Then there was the Mungiki menace, the subsequent extra-judicial killings and the dreadful S.L.D.F Militia which embarked on a killing spree, butchering fellow tribesmen, drinking their blood and eating parts of their bodies... The world watched, we waited, time tickled, passing by carelessly and uncaring and still; we were proud to be Kenyans: we hoisted the national flag happily and sang the national anthem with exaggerated enthusiasm. We continued priding in our leadership and hoped for the better. Nearly five years down the line, Al-Shabab descended upon our ‘haven of peace’, spreading terror, shelling buildings, and denying our economy a chance to flex its muscles through tourism and other vital activities. What started as rag tag army in Somalia was slowly revolutionizing into a sophisticated guerrilla outfit. True, it was believed to be sending the government security personnel into desperation as they chase what could only be declared as “shadows of invincible enemies of the people.”It was well equipped and fully backed by the residents of Somalia. The inevitable ‘Operation Linda Nchi’ came with mixed fortunes: the world now thinks we are a little safer (that they can trade freely without worrying about their precious necks), yet still their sympathizers are sending shivers across the peace-loving nation as they bomb churches, Matatus, business premises and hell knows where else! Just a few days ago, the Samburu Bandits claimed close to fifty security personnel in what has been described as the worst fatal ‘mission-impossible’ ever undertaken by our Police men and women! We are getting used to it, or so it may seem. Deaths of innocent Kenyans under the now ever-cruel and merciless arms of Al-Shabab, bandits, and armed robbers and law-breakers; doesn’t stifle any one anymore. It’s so natural and the government machinery seems helpless, or even unwilling to lift their ‘burden –loaded’ fingers. Talk of the symptoms of the end of the world or simply a society gone t0 the dogs...whichever the case, we must think hard as a nation and embrace sanity and sobriety! © 2012 Cheruo Levi Cheptora

Friday, 16 November 2012


Unlike back in my village, the people of Rangwe, Homabay; appeared disciplined, organized and culture-sensitive lot during the day we arrived to mourn the father of our fellow comrade sometime last year. It had been a long, tiresome and sombre journey...True, Luos do respect the dead and normally accord them a descend send off, a nd so are many other African Communities. Having subsequently attended a handful of other burial ceremonies of friends and relatives(including that of my late grandfather two months ago) back in my motherland (Mount Elgon), I came to realize the exaggerated extend to which my community has gone in trampling down its culture and esteemed norms. Respect for the dead is no longer a concern and mourning has been since effectively replaced with a celebration that never ends until the deceased has been laid down to rest. People are usually all over the compound. Dozens of bulls are slaughtered; wines and spirits (in our case, Chang’aa & Busaa) are normally in abundance. And so are delicious meals. The relish is eternally awesome, yet grown ups usually fight over left-over’s and wrestle still over Busaa & Chang’aa, day in day out! During the night, young and old, parents and their children usually demand for secular music (after which they dance, wiggle their buttocks and shake their bodies); some drink themselves stupid and engage in sexual activities in the fool glare of the moon and kids will be sired moths later… It is always a battle to flex ones sinful muscles and outwit each other when all they ought to do, is to mourn their beloved and offer them their last respect! It seems in the end that friends and relatives usually come in the hope of confirming whether the deceased is really dead or had just fabricated the whole thing. Others wail bitterly, and then in the darkness, scream that such was a gentle riddance! Others are normally busy distributing the few belongings of the departed amongst themselves, fighting over the same and hell knows what else! After the inevitable send off, life is bound to go on normally. Nobody cares anymore. And they will forget about it and still, yearn for yet another burial ceremony, for yet another night-adventure, for yet another chance to flex their sinful muscles! ©2012 Cheruo Levi Cheptora

Wednesday, 7 November 2012


America has ever since pride itself in exceptional democratic credentials, maximum ‘tribal’, sorry, racial tolerance, nobility, and civilization...the just concluded elections have accidentally unearthed fissures and in effect, showed that the mighty nation (just like most of African & Asian nations), is also capable of flexing its ‘tribal’ muscles! Republican Mitt Romney is on record for “winning the votes of white male and female voters in what has been a ‘bitter’ desire to dislodge President Barack Obama, but among all other ethnic groups, Romney did trailed by large margins”, according to a Reuters/Ipsos exit poll on Tuesday. The Report further asserts that: “White male voters chose Romney by about a 20-point margin, while white female voters favoured the former Massachusetts governor by more than a 10-point margin, according to the poll.” More so, Black-Americans and other ‘non-natives’, notably Americans of Mexican Origin, did casted their votes in favour of Barack Obama Husein! The helpless disenchantment amongst ‘American Natives’ has since been prevalent since it emerged that Obama will carry the day once again! The Multi-Dollar-Billionaire, Trump, has tweeted his resentment and regretted the American’s Big Decision. “The electoral college is a disaster for a democracy”, read one of the tweets. “Our nation is now in serious & unprecedented never before.” Read another tweet. While ‘pure whites’ are mourning, the other lot are celebrating and are happy to give Obama yet another chance to write ‘every perceived wrong’ and fulfil the many promises Democrats have been pinning down by hook or crook! Here in Kenya, mixed feelings have greeted the grand news. However, it is evident that a majority are happy to see one of their ‘own’ again in the most respected seats in the world. For the time being, we can only hope...we kindly wish him all the best! Bravo thumps up, kudos Mr. President! ©2012 Cheruo Levi Cheptora

Tuesday, 6 November 2012


I honestly see another Obama in Peter Kenneth: the charisma, the youthfulness, the bravery, the genuine concern he has for many of our woes as a nation, and what he has already done for the people of Gatanga. Dear Kenyans, fellow country men, let's rise beyond our love for self and destructive desire for tribe; retrogressive, archaic & unhealthy politicking, just to name but a few and embrace political sobriety and give Peter Kenneth to take us where we ought to be as a country. Its five score years now since our freedom fighters liberated our beloved country from the oppressive, demeaning, inhuman and enslaving hands of the Britons. It was with jubilation, ululations and Hosannas that the new sphere of freedom was ushered in...five score years down the line, we are yet to do away with abject poverty subjected to over thirty nine million Kenyans; we are yet to perfect our health system, our education system and dozens of other public sectors (all courtesy of poor leadership, hypocritical tendencies and enormous love for self). Many years ago, a great orator, a respected human rights activists, a famed civil rights activist (his name is Martin Luther Junior), intoned : "An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity." Today, I must echo his heartfelt cry. I must alike remind each one of us that it has to be 2013 or never again... Kenya is a nation of ten multimillionaire families and slightly over Thirty Nine Million helpless beggars (Indeed, courtesy of the masses ear-splitting silence and aloofness). It is a country whose systems are enshrined in shrewdness and massive corrupt gestures; a Nation whose respectable leaders lies, kill and torture without a slight blink of an eye. In his speech the other day while launching his presidential bid, Peter Kenneth moved many a Kenyans. He reminded us of respected economies of the world; its architects, its schemers and their manoeuvrings to realize their cherished dreams. For the very first time, I personally felt proud to be a Kenyan. I saw sense in his rhetoric, I believed very word he said and I as well embraced the fact that they were not only achievable, but very realistic! Given a chance, Kenya will see and go places. It will reclaim its tarnished image and behind it, will trail a series of credentials! ©2012 Cheruo Levi Cheptora