Tuesday, 16 April 2013
It's time for the retiring right Hon PM to move on: Whatever happened at the Supreme Court or during elections happened and we cannot change it at least for the next five years.
Will satelite evidence corner Uhuru & his deputy?: It’s too early for our president His Excellency Hon. Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta and his Deputy Hon. Ruto William Samoei Ruto to celebrate.
Thursday, 10 January 2013
Unlike in the Advanced Economies like the U.S.A, China, Russia, Israel, France, Germany & Japan where a death of even an infant normally spurs national outrage and widespread condemnation; here in Kenya it is always superseded with a ‘don’t care ‘ attitude and a subsequent ‘business as usual’ general euphoria! The masses have been overtime inculcated into nurturing this thought that it matters the least provided it isn’t you or your own; so it seems. Murderous scenes usually attract huge crowds that are ever likely to giggle shyly and marvel like toddlers who just uttered their very first word ever! Corrupt security forces, traffic officers and the ever inadequate Intelligence Unit Guys have caused our beloved country innumerable loss of lives, wanton destruction of property and grave security bridges. Deadly weapons of mass destruction have been reportedly ended up in wrong hands (notably the notorious AL-Shabab Extremists, Mungiki Sect Members etc.) after being ‘okayed’ by money-thirsty security personnel. Church bombings, grenade attacks, fatal road accidents and a horde of other evils have been the daily consequences of such selfish acts. Kenyans are perishing daily in their hundreds whistle the big men and women are wining and dining; whiling their expensive time in luxurious hotels discussing a series of an unimportant issues. Human live no longer matters a thing here in Kenya...it is rumoured that our ‘kind, loving & gracious M.Ps’ usually groan and mournfully regret the ‘loss of vital votes’ whenever yet again Kenyan is pronounced dead! To them, we only matter when we can send them back to parliament: a place where many have pitched camp enriching their own and fattening their wallets. Kenya 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. Given the un-attended to loop holes and fissures, illiterate sons and daughters of the mighty have ascended to top ranks in our institutions; are the new employers who fancy hiring and firing and rarely tolerate brilliant and hard working staff members! Indeed, in some instances, only one out of five present-day Kenyan employees has clean and genuine papers! The rest are cheats who have been robbing us silently, crippling our weak economy, offering us low quality services and denying our bright sons and daughters a chance in life! Kenya is a nation whose citizens has employed crooked means of survival, lives in the expense of others, cares the least about humanity and is ever more than willing to do anything to plunge every vulnerable life into a pitch-dark abyss! It is a lovely den of hungry wolves whose ugly claws often extend a cold handshake to every beggar in the next turn. The grand questions each one of us must start asking ourselves seriously are: until when are we going to allow all these evils to engulf our peace-loving nation? For how long are we going to remain tight-lipped? Until when will be cowed and cajoled by a few super-rich Kenyans whose aspirations and ambitions are to down-trod the masses? In the meantime, we can only pray and hope for the best! ©2013 Cheruo Levi Cheptora
Kenya is ranked second as the worst place to be born in and as if that's not enough, Nairobi is the second worst city to live in the world according to the latest statistics (Washington Post, 8th January 2013). While a certain level of corruption goes on in every country, corruption in Kenya is a particularly large problem. The average urban Kenyan has to pay 16 bribes a month to get his regular affairs arranged. In the 2008 Corruption Perceptions Index, issued by the anti-corruption organization Transparency International, Kenya ranks 147th out of 180 countries, meaning 146 countries are supposed to be less corrupt than Kenya, and 33 countries are more corrupt. For comparison, the 180th country was Somalia whereas the 1st was Denmark. And interestingly, Kenya is among the chart-topping nations in terms of remunerating its leaders, with President Kibaki toppling many of the world’s richest states. President Kibaki’s annual salary and benefits top the earnings of President Barack Obama of the United States, the world’s most powerful nation, by more than Sh3 million a year. It also overshadows that of leaders of other world leading economies such as Germany, Russia, Japan, Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia. At Sh2 million a month ($26,000) basic salary, President Kibaki earns Sh24 million ($312,000) a year, slightly higher than German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s $303,000. Germany is Europe’s largest economy, and the world’s fifth. Kenyan mps are among the best paid law makers in the world as far as I know. To them (I call them greedy fellows) the amount they earn isn’t enough and unfortunately they are always agitating for a salary increase. Here is what a Kenyan member of parliament makes in a month (30 days to be exact) • Basic salary sh.395,000 • Entertainment allowance sh.60000 • House allowance sh.70, 000 • Car maintenance allowance sh.247, 000 • Gym membership sh.2000 • Vehicle fixed cost allowance. Sh.336, 000 • Committee meeting allowance sh.40, 000 • Constituency allowance sh.50, 000 A grand total amount of shillings 1.2 million which is equivalent to $14,118 The World Bank estimates that Kenya’s poverty level stands at 44 to 46 per cent, which is almost the same level it has remained for six years. However, it represents an improvement from 12 years ago when poverty level stood at 56 per cent before falling to 46 per cent in 2005/6. While some progress has been made in meeting Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the World Bank estimates that the battle is far from won. Unemployment Rate in Kenya increased to 40 percent in 2011 from 12.70 percent in 2006. Unemployment Rate in Kenya is reported by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics. Historically, from 1999 until 2011, Kenya Unemployment Rate averaged 22.4 Percent reaching an all time high of 40.0 Percent in December of 2011 and a record low of 12.7 Percent in December of 2006. In Kenya, the unemployment rate measures the number of people actively looking for a job as a percentage of the labour force. Food insecurity in Kenya has been a major challenge that has faced the country for many years plunging majority of Kenyans especially low incomer earners into abject poverty. The latest index indicates that the national poverty levels stands at 47 per cent and it might increase if inflation rates, shilling volatility and poor farming methods are not curbed early. High inflation rates that stand at 18 percent as of October are the highest levels ever to be recorded in the country since independence. These levels have mainly being fuelled by high food and fuel prices. Surge in international food prices from 2008 has raised the price of food, hurting low income earners. Being that majority of Kenyans spend over 50 percent of their household incomes on food alone these rates have increased food insecurity and living cost in the country pushing Kenyans to a concrete economic corner. *** All that said, and given the fact that our M.Ps just sneaked in yet another proposal to award themselves an outrageous send off package totalling Ksh 9.1 Millions; as a people, we are expectantly waiting for His Excellency the President of the republic of Kenya (Emilio Mwai Kibaki) to hearken to our heartfelt please...our deep felt concerns about the economic impact such an evil gesture will have to our beloved nation. As the minutes tickled by; bringing even closer the much anticipated ‘date’ with the shrewd bunch of Legislators, I feverishly hope that we will be able to cast our votes peacefully come March 4th 2013. And just many other distraught Kenyans, I honestly hope that we’ve learnt our lessons the hard way (as the electorate) and that never again are we going to entrust our hard-earned sweat in sly & corrupt politicians. I know we are much wiser now. We’ve had our share of the bitter lemons that have been time and again handed down by the big men and women who abandoned our social amenities, never bothered about the impassable roads back at our villages and worst, enacted laws that have made our ‘has been miserable’ lives not any better than five years ago! As we prepare to embrace the electioneering period, let us remember that while we’ve peacefully co-existed, inter-married, interacted in our workplaces and laughed and cried together as purely Kenyans; we’ve also learn that turning against a brother is meaningless, barbaric, demeaning and inhuman. We must also put in mind that Kenya will forever remain far much bigger than any one single tribe, an individual or even a political party affiliation. © 2013 Cheruo Levi Cheptora
Monday, 7 January 2013
It is time every sane man and woman calling himself/ herself a true Sabaot rise up against a bunch of well known 'mafias' who are out there again; arming our vulnerable youths so they can slain, maim, murder and terrorize every breathing soul in the mountain. We must vehemently condemn such insane, inhumane, retrogressive and barbaric gestures orchestrated and perpetrated by our very own whose exaggerated love for self is both demeaning and astonishing! Just the other day, our awe-inspiring and elegant Mountain witnessed horrendous 'escapades' stirred and directed by a bunch of a merciless, ruthless and 'blood-thirsty' brainwashed idlers. Surely we do not want to see a repeat of the same, do we? We are tired to the borne with these senseless killings and the 'war lordship' tag every prospective Mount Elgon Parliamentary Seat Aspirant is eagerly embracing. Such methodologies ought to be buried in the icy past and replaced with a splendid wave of democracy enshrined in the rule and respect of the law; in retrospect, abiding by the rules governing human rights and most vital, coupled with an eternal urge to wholeheartedly, selflessly and genuinely condone 'political tolerance'. It is time we shun such divisive tactics employed by shrewd, sly and corrupt politicians. It is time to 'police' our Motherland effectively by naming and shaming any shady deals between the remnants of the 'boys' and their financial benefactors. It is indeed time we smoke the public 'enemy' and cast him/ her into the political dustbin for years and years to come! A people divided will inevitably fall united. That said, the back stop at us: you and me! Let's walk the talk in every tiny village, in every mad house; preaching peace and psyching our people to say a fat, round NO to politically motivated skirmishes. I have forwarded my deeply felt concerns to the authorities in Mount Elgon and they have assured me they are following up on the matter. In the meantime, I urge all the aspirants to unite our people, refrain from making inflammatory remarks and denounce barbaric formulas of playing their 'dirty politics'. ©2013 Cheruo Levi Cheptora
Saturday, 5 January 2013
Under three Months time only and Sabaots (one of the marginalized communities in Kenya), will cast their most crucial vote alongside other Kenyans. Just like previous elections, it will be with mixed feelings: with only a single representative in the Kenyan Parliament since independence, poorest infrastructure, perennial land conflicts and a horde of other challenges; ‘negotiated democracy’ is widely seen as the only way out! The community cuts across the larger Bungoma & Trans-Nzoia counties where it is seeking a political ‘walk-away’ amidst a robust, prominent and almost ‘omnipresent’ Bukusu Community: their main ‘political’ adversaries since independence! Indeed, the two shares an icy past which has spring forth ugly and deadly confrontations that either of them are not anticipating and are more than willing to prevent from ever happening again. Land-based conflicts have been a common phenomenon in Kenya since the pre-colonial days. Community conflicts and violence have erupted over land and associated resources in different parts of the country, particularly between agriculturalists and pastoralists, resulting into the loss of many lives, massive destruction of property and livelihoods, population displacements and human rights violations. Indeed, analysts generally agree that the unresolved land question was at the root of the unprecedented violence that rocked the country in the aftermath of the disputed December 2007 elections, not least because the violence was most widespread and intense in the Rift Valley region, where the land question has been most intractable. Yet, the rhythmic nature of land-related violence, often coinciding with general elections and other critical moments in Kenya’s national politics, indicate that there may be more to it than just land disputes or pure inter-community hatred. Indeed, it points to a possible political motive for the chaos. This is borne out by the fact that in some instances, state agencies have been implicated in the conflicts, while in others the state has remained ambivalent It will be worthwhile to note that after Kenya’s Independence, the government did not have a national policy on the rights of the marginalized and the minority. In the Kenyatta Administration, the government displaced Sabaots and resettled the Bukusus because Sabaots were thought to back the defunct Kenya African Democratic Union and Bukusus supported Kanu. The subsequent move by the government to displace the Sabaots who were then in KADDU while the Bukusus supported Kanu led to the first clashes and to a broader extend; all the troubles and successive wrangles (the worst being 1992 clashes) that tore down the once firm fabric of trust the two communities had enjoyed for years on end! Today Endebess, Saboti & Mount Elgon Constituencies are perceived to be Sabaots strongholds (that is as far as history is concerned). Truth is, apart from Mount Elgon where outright win is guaranteed, Saboti & Endebess has registered an overwhelming number of voters from the Bukusu Community! For Bukose (Endebes) & Jonas Kugo (Saboti); both of which hails from the larger Sabaot community, it is going to be tough walking-good the ‘tight-rope’ held firmly by the ever-domineering Bukusus. Despite the fact that countless meetings (both in the night and day) have been held, schemes lay down and strategies established: the looming distrust that has withstood the test of time is undeniably holding every Sabaot hostage. The whole community is apparently faltering in its shaky political steps; in the horns of dilemma and uncertain of what will become of their candidates come March 4th 2013. For the time being, every Sabaot can only watch: their ‘third eyes and ears’ ever alert; eager, uncertain, impatient and hopeful perhaps! More so, they have another hope: the back up enshrined in the constitution which safe-guards the interests of the Kenyan Communities Categorized as ‘marginalized’ and/ or ‘minority’. Will the government ensure justice is done to such ‘marginalized’ communities? Time will tell. For now, it is the government’s duty to protect every single Kenyan: marginalized or not, whether in ‘would-be-political-marriages’ or not; simply put, come 4th March 2013, every Sabaot and Bukusu will peaceful cast their votes in favor of their favorite candidates (since it is their democratic right anyway) and be able to co-exist peacefully thereafter! -Kaptama, Mount Elgon © 2013 Cheruo Levi Cheptora