Tuesday, 31 December 2013

ODM youth back Kidero’s harambees

Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga (centre) talks to Nairobi governor Evans Kidero (right) and Kisumu Central MP Ken Obura during the home coming party of member of county assembly for Shauri Moyo-Kaloleni ward, Ms Priscah Auma Misachi, in Kisumu on December 15, 2013. Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) youths in Nakuru County have told off Nyanza MPs and senators who are opposed to Nairobi Governor Dr Evans Kidero’s development activities in the region. PHOTO | FILE 
Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga (centre) talks to Nairobi governor Evans Kidero (right) and Kisumu Central MP Ken Obura during the home coming party of member of county assembly for Shauri Moyo-Kaloleni ward, Ms Priscah Auma Misachi, in Kisumu on December 15, 2013. Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) youths in Nakuru County have told off Nyanza MPs and senators who are opposed to Nairobi Governor Dr Evans Kidero’s development activities in the region. PHOTO | FILE  

Sunday, December 29, 2013 

In Summary

  • However, the youths said their loyalty and support for former Prime Minister Raila Odinga was intact
  • The youths urged Cord governors to work with Jubilee if they hoped to fulfil their promises to the electorate
By Nation Correspondent
More by this Author
Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) youths in Nakuru County have told off Nyanza MPs and senators who are opposed to Nairobi Governor Dr Evans Kidero’s development activities in the region.
Also, the youths urged President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy, William Ruto, to conduct harambees in Nyanza, saying the leaders don't need permission from anyone.
“Days when some Nyanza leaders would play cheap politics in a bid to keep power at the expense of development are long gone and they should let Mr Kidero do his work because they have slept on the job,” said Mr Abiola Hilton Abiola, Nakuru County ODM leader.
However, the youths said their loyalty and support for former Prime Minister Raila Odinga was intact.
The group said political leaders who claimed that Mr Kidero was being used by the Jubilee government to undermine Mr Odinga were anti-development.
“The former PM has even given Mr Kidero his blessings to work with the Jubilee government because he cannot work in isolation. It therefore beats logic to see some of the leaders making noise,” said Mr Abiola.
The youths urged Cord governors to work with Jubilee if they hoped to fulfil their promises to the electorate.

Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) Examination Results Released

Teachers of Nyeri Hillstead school in Nyeri dance after their student Joy Wambui Ndegwa with 439 marks was announced as Nyeri County's top student and ninth female nationally in the 2013 KCPE exams results that were released on December 31, 2013. PHOTO | JOSEPH KANYI 

Teachers of Nyeri Hillstead school in Nyeri dance after their student Joy Wambui Ndegwa with 439 marks was announced as Nyeri County's top student and ninth female nationally in the 2013 KCPE exams results that were released on December 31, 2013. PHOTO | JOSEPH KANYI  NATION MEDIA GROUP

In Summary

  • The top candidates were Kimutai Brian from Nandi County and Otieno Akoth from Kisumu County who both scored 444 marks
More by this Author
The results for the 2013 Kenya Certificate of Primary Education examinations were released at the headquarters of the Kenya National Examination Council in Nairobi on Tuesday morning by Education Cabinet Secretary Jacob Kaimenyi.
The top candidates were Kimutai Brian from Nandi County and Otieno Akoth from Kisumu County who both scored 444 marks while Kirinyaga emerged as the top county nationally and Mumias was declared the top district.
Wajir was the most improved county, with the mean score going up from 200 to 2012.
Keiyo South MP Jackson Kiptanui hailed Elgeyo-Marakwet County for being number two countrywide. The county had a mean score of 271.
Mr Kiptanui congratulated parents, teachers and pupils in the county for the hard work and determination that saw them perform well.
“The parents, teachers and pupils in the county should continue with same spirit for better performance and good life,” Mr Kiptanui said by phone.
More to follow.

Lupita Nyong’o Bows Out of 12 Years a Slave Italian Premiere

Steve McQueen is flanked by Lupita Nyong'o and Chiwetel Ejiofor at a premiere of 12 Years a Slave on December 11, 2013 in Paris. FRANCOIS GUILLOT/AFP/Getty Images
Other commitments prevented the breakthrough star from attending the 18th annual Capri Hollywood International Film Festival.


In the aftermath of controversy surrounding Italian posters of 12 Years a Slave that highlighted white supporting actors Brad Pitt and Michael Fassbender instead of black star Chiwetel Ejiofor, it was announced Friday that Lupita Nyong’o would not attend the premiere in Capri, reports show.
As a result, the 18th annual Capri Hollywood International Film Festival kicked off Friday without the film’s breakthrough star, according to the Hollywood Reporter. It was unclear why.
"Due to other commitments that prevented her from going, [Nyong'o's] reps let [the Capri festival] know over two weeks ago that she could no longer go," a spokeswoman for Lionsgate, whose subsidiary Summit is the film's sales agent, told the Hollywood Reporter. (Fox Searchlight distributed the title in the U.S.)
Additionally, Lionsgate told the festival that none of the cast members were available to attend.
Earlier this month, Italian posters of the film, featuring large images of Pitt and Fassbender, incited a vociferous outcry and charges of racism. But they were immediately recalled, and the Italian distributor, BIM Distribuzione, issued an apology for the "inappropriate materials."


Monday, 30 December 2013

Arrogant Ochieng’ cannot hold candle to great writers like Ngugi and Mazrui

Prof Ali Mazrui, foremost scholar reknown in fields of History and Economics globally.  Mazrui is one of the three mega professors from Africa, the others being Wole Soyinka and Ngugi. They are icons and have contributed immensely to African scholarship.  PHOTO/ANTHONY KAMAU/FILE
Prof Ali Mazrui, foremost scholar reknown in fields of History and Economics globally. Mazrui is one of the three mega professors from Africa, the others being Wole Soyinka and Ngugi. They are icons and have contributed immensely to African scholarship. PHOTO/ANTHONY KAMAU/FILE  

Friday, November 29, 2013
I read last week’s Saturday Nation story entitled “Ochieng’ has no regrets working for Moi” and was disappointed that the professor avoided answering most of the questions, choosing instead to embellish his side of the story.
That is vintage William Ochieng’ for you! He will go to great lengths to dismiss everyone apart from himself. While growing up, I enjoyed reading Prof Ochieng’s column in the Sunday Nation and admired his articulation, analyses and interpretation of issues. Although he sometimes came across as arrogant, his arguments were grounded in facts.
Prof Ochieng’ still remains academically arrogant, but facts have long ceased to be part of his forte and academic mantra. He has become more abrasive and assumes that scholarship in Kenya ended with him and those of his generation. There is evidence that he has read some of my commentaries in newspapers, but I doubt if he has read any of my books.
I was astonished to read Prof Ochieng’ tear into Kenya’s two most prominent scholars, Ngugi wa Thiong’o and Ali Mazrui, the way he did. I do not regard Ngugi as a tribalist simply because there were more Kikuyu students graduating with Masters degrees in Literature when he was head of the Department of Literature at the University of Nairobi.
They say those who live in glass houses should not throw stones, because Prof Ochieng’ has similarly been accused of presiding over a Luo hegemony when he headed Maseno University in the 1990s. It was said some meetings were conducted in Dholuo when the only non-Luo member of management was absent.
The role of the Mau Mau in the liberation of Kenya cannot be gainsaid and Prof Ochieng’ should not dismiss it as a mere peasant uprising, which he alleges had nothing to do with our independence. He should settle his personal scores with Ngugi without distorting history.
Prof Ali Mazrui is one of the three mega professors from Africa, the others being Wole Soyinka and Ngugi. They are icons and have contributed immensely to African scholarship. I was, therefore, taken aback when I read the unkind words Prof Ochieng’ was hurling at these great scholars.
Do not misunderstand me. Prof Ochieng’ is a good scholar, but his academic prowess cannot compare to Ngugi or Mazrui’s, for while Ochieng’ has remained Kenyan, writing about Yimbo and Kadimo ruothdoms (kingdoms) and Abagusii, Ngugi and Mazrui have engaged in greater questions and discourses such as decolonisation and statecraft in Africa and the wider world.
He may want to know that since he wrote the history of the Abagusii in the 1970s, other scholars have since emerged in Kenya, writing on other interesting subjects and not just migration. They include Maurice Amutabi, Eunice Kamaara, Godwin Murunga. John Mwaruvie, Kenneth Simala, Mary Nyangweso, Kennedy Onkware, Shadrack Nasong’o, Peter Odhiambo Ndege, Anne Nangulu, Adams Oloo, Frank Matanga and Oscar Mwangi.
The fascinating part of the interview is when Prof Ochieng’ was asked: “Prof Maurice Amutabi has projected you as old school, a defender of professors who use yellow notes to lecture since you yourself never mastered the Socratic method of teaching.” His rather shallow and mundane response was terse and dismissive and made no reference to me.
I got numerous calls on Saturday with a lot of my former students telling me how my Socratic style of teaching inspired them, while some friends and former students of Prof Ochieng’ confided in me how I was right about  his lack of mastery of the Socratic method.
While studying at the University of Nairobi, I admired teachers like Prof Mwangi wa Githumo, Prof Korwa Adar, Prof Njuguna Ng’ethe and Dr Katete Orwa, who came to class with only chalk, and sometimes with cards. They had confidence in what they taught and we admired and applauded them.
Reading Prof Ochieng’s comments last Saturday, I was reminded of the time last year when he tore into me, with bare knuckles, for daring to speak about lecturers who read yellow or brown notes to students. In a piece mischievously entitled “Amutabi talks tough, but show us his books” in the Daily Nation, Prof Ochieng’ suggested he has published more books than me, which is inaccurate.
On that occasion, he came out as an unapologetic defender of bad lecturers who shamelessly embarrass those of us who prepare adequately before a lecture.
Many scholars know that Prof Ochieng’ loves nasty and ugly fights, especially in public. Like the vintage Ochieng’, he skipped the important topic of bad teaching, the subject of my article, and moved to a different subject on books, where he mistakenly thought he might have an advantage over me.
For the record, I have published more and better books. If he wants to contest this, our academic peers can be asked to compare our works. I wonder if he considers his little pamphlets titled First Word, Second Word and Third Word that were churned out of his polemical and unsubstantiated articles in the Sunday Nation, as books!
What is more, Prof Ochieng borrowed the titles of these little books from Taban Liyong’s book, The Last Word, which he tried to rubbish, unsuccessfully. This may explain why Liyong was at the receiving end from Prof Ochieng’ last week.
Prof Ochieng’ used some unsavoury words to describe Liyong, including calling him a liar and blaming him for being a refugee in Kenya.
The professor did not come out clean whether he is a user of yellow notes (brown notes) or not. He asked to be shown my books, and said that he would come to Nairobi to see them. Well, Prof Ochieng’ should be advised that in this day and age, my books are just a mouse click away.
He only needs to search for ‘Maurice Amutabi’ on any academic search engine and the books are there, ready for him to order.
To be kind, it may help the old professor to know that I am now in Kisii Town, less than 150km from Maseno, and he is free to come and see my books.
By Maurice N. Amutabi. Prof Amutabi is deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic and Student Affairs) at Kisii University. Amutabi@yahoo.com

Nyanza leaders meet as pressure mounts to tame the ODM rebels

Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga with Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero at a past event. [PHOTO: FILE/STANDARD]

Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga with Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero at a past event. [PHOTO: FILE/STANDARD]
Read more at: http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/thecounties/article/2000100997/nyanza-leaders-meet-as-pressure-mounts-to-tame-the-odm-rebels?pageNo=1

Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga with Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero at a past event. [PHOTO: FILE/STANDARD] 

Saturday, 28th December 2013

Luo leaders gathered at former Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s rural homestead in Bondo where they quietly endorsed him to give another shot at the presidency in 2017, after lengthy daylong deliberations. Sources at the meeting divulged to The Standard On Sunday that what remains now is when and how to deliver the message, first to the residents of the region and then to members of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) fraternity. But first, MPs explored on various avenues of countering possible political impediments to Raila’s set goal. Organisers of the event opted to keep the Press in the dark due to its sensitivity and political significance. However, multiple sources at the so-called Luo community stakeholders meeting have since divulged to The Standard On Sunday the gist of the political get-together.

Monday meeting

During the 10-hour session that kicked off at 8am last Monday, speakers stressed the need for political unity and singled out Nairobi Governor, Evans Kidero, for allegedly being sponsored by the Jubilee government to politically divide the Luo community. The Nairobi Governor was specifically targeted for allegedly trying to create a rift between the South and Central Nyanza, for his personal political gain. The Governor was further accused of “buying” the youthful first-term MPs with a view of undermining Raila and eventually staking claim to the Orange party’s leadership. Ker, Willis Opiyo Otondi, reportedly warned the MPs against being misused by “monied” operatives from “outside”, including agents of the National Intelligence Service (NIS) to run down the Raila-ODM leadership. Nyando MP Fred Outa admits he raised the issue in the meeting after realising the governor is employing tricks to eclipse Raila who has been the community’s de facto leader for more than two decades. Outa claims Kidero is among those convinced the former PM would not be a factor in national politics by 2017 and is working together with the Jubilee operatives to tame him through acts disguised in the name of development. “He (Kidero) is using Harambees (fundraisers) to rock the community and divide our votes. He has been sent by powerful forces to undermine Raila and ODM,” he stated. Siaya Senator James Orengo is said to be one of the leaders who resolved that Kidero’s “divisive” activities be checked closely to avoid polarising the region. But Machakos County Senator Johnstone Muthama dismissed the Luo leaders who are driving a wedge between Raila and Kidero.

“Kidero is free to help his people but I think he is not competing with Raila because he is politically junior to Raila. Kidero is a leader of a county whereas Raila is a leader of a coalition and whom over 3.5 million people voted for,” said Muthama. When Kidero and Raila met at a function in Kisumu two weeks ago, they hugged and displayed a show of unity and maintained there is no bad blood between them. Nod to work Raila even claimed he gave the city governor the green light to work with Jubilee government for the sake of development. When contacted, Kidero dismissed allegations that he was fighting Luo leaders: “I am a leader in Kenya and I am willing to work with all leaders including those from Nyanza to spur economic growth in the country. I was elected by all tribes in Nairobi.” He said that he would devote more time to develop Nairobi County but also initiate projects to improve education and infrastructure in Nyanza. “I am working with Eng Michael Kamau, the Cabinet Secretary for Roads and his Treasury counterpart Henry Rotich to have the Oyugis- Rodi Kopany Road tarmacked in Nyanza early next year,” Kidero said. In attendance at the Bondo meeting were all elected National Assembly MPs, senators, governors and their deputies, Women County MPs, County speakers and Members of various County Assemblies. They were joined by top members of the clergy serving in the region and members of the Luo Council of Elders. Only a handful of MPs were absent, including Raila’s brother, Oburu Oginga and Rarieda MP, Nicholas Gumbo, who were reportedly unwell and hospitalised, as well as Kisumu County Senator, Anyang Nyong’o, who is currently overseas on official duty. Notably absent were Rongo MP and former Cabinet minister Dalmas Otieno and Migori County Governor, Zachariah Okoth Obado, who curiously played host to United Republican Party leader and Deputy President William Ruto, just two days before the meeting. Kidero also skipped the meeting although his aides later explained that he is not an elected local leader but The Standard On Sunday has since established that MPs from Nairobi County, including Ruaraka’s Tom Kajwang’, Kenneth Okoth (Kibra) and Omondi Ogutu (Embakasi East) were in attendance. Suna East MP, Junnet Muhammad and his Kisumu Town East counterpart, Shakeel Shabbir, are the only legislators from Luo Nyanza region, who deliberately skipped the event by virtue of the fact that they are not members of the Luo community. Kisumu West MP Olago Aluoch (Ford Kenya) and Muhoroni’s Otieno Koyoo( PDP) are the only legislators outside ODM who attended the meeting. Others including Awendo MP Jared Opiyo (Ford Kenya) and Alego Usonga’s Omondi Mulwan (Wiper Democratic Movement) skipped the event and neither sent their apologies.

The meeting came up with a raft of recommendations, key among them that members will rally behind Raila in his 2017 presidential bid and that able politicians be identified ahead of 2017 to challenge sitting MPs and governors, whose party support is already wavering. The meeting tasked the Ker, Otondi, to call for another meeting of Luo elders in January to discuss unity in the region. The meeting to be conducted in Homa Bay will ‘whip’ defiant leaders and establish other avenues to foster cohesion. “I don’t like the way some of them (Young Turks) reasoned at the meeting. It indicates they have shifted allegiance and are out to cause havoc in the party,” Otondi told The Standard On Sunday. According to Bishop Mwai Abiero of ACK, Maseno Diocese, the clergy were asked to create forums to meet local community leaders to enhance harmony. He says the meeting discussed devolution and its perceived threats in the region. Work together “MPs having problems with their governors were urged to work together in harmony. Governors were also urged to be modest in the manner they drive the development agenda of the counties,” the clergy said. Despite these revelations, Raila, who addressed the Press shortly after the meeting, maintained they did not discuss political or serious national issues, insisting it was “just a social gathering to reflect on the whole year”. “We have not talked about party issues; those will be addressed in the right forums,” he said. Indications are however clear the leaders were warned not to divulge the details of the gathering as they employed different tricks to avoid the media.


Education In Kenya: An Introduction


History scholar William Ochieng dies at 70

Prof William R. Ochieng (William Ochieng) during an interview with Saturday Nation in Kisumu. PHOTO | JACOB OWITI | FILE 
Prof William R. Ochieng (William Ochieng) during an interview with Saturday Nation in Kisumu. PHOTO | JACOB OWITI | FILE   

Saturday, December 28, 2013
More by this Author
Respected Kenyan history scholar Prof William Ochieng died Saturday evening at the Aga Khan Hospital in Kisumu.
Prof Ochieng had been admitted at the hospital on Thursday after he developed breathing problems.
“We took him to hospital on December 26th after he complained of breathing problems. We are sad to report that Mzee (Prof Ochieng) left us at 6pm on Saturday,” said his son Edward Ochieng.
He added that Prof Ochieng who is a former Principal of Maseno University College has been suffering from severe arthritis for the past couple of months.
He has been in the news lately after he offered a controversial interview with Saturday Nation conversation with book lover in which he gave a scratching attack on Prof Ali Mazrui , South Sudanese literally scholar Prof Taban Lo Liyong and Prof Ngugi wa Thiongo.
During the interview, Prof Ochieng looked weak but intellectually sober and was dressed in his trade mark khaki short, a pair of slippers and walked with the aid of a stick.
He described Prof Mazrui as overrated, Taban as a con and Prof Ngugi as a tribalist.
Prof Ochieng served in the former President Daniel arap Moi government as a Permanent Secretary and has severally defended his association with Mr Moi.
The scholar said that he had no regrets of working for Moi.
Last month he released a book of 50 years of Kenya’s independence and has done extensive research on migration of the Abagusi of Western Kenya.
The professor has acknowledged in The Moi Presidency in Kenya: The Politics of Transition from Authoritarianism to Democracy, 1978-2002 that he advised and even helped write some of Moi’s speeches.
He was born in Jinja, Uganda, in 1943.

Thursday, 26 December 2013

Joyce Banda’s frequent trips to Nigeria raises questions

President Joyce Banda of Malawi. She takes her seventh trip to Nigeria in 20 months she has been in office, raising eyebrows on why the president visits Nigeria often. FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Malawi President Joyce Banda's frequent trips to Nigeria have raised questions on social media.
President Banda is scheduled to take her seventh trip to Nigeria in the 20 months she has been in office, raising eyebrows on why she visits the country so often.
On Thursday, the State House in Malawi announced that she would leave for Nigeria on Friday on a private visit.
“Her Excellency, the State President, Dr Joyce Banda leaves the country tomorrow, 27th December, 2013, for Nigeria, on a three-day private visit,” reads the press release that was signed by the Presidential Press Secretary Steven Nhlane.
President Banda’s ascendancy to power is connected to the prophecy of the Nigerian preacher TB Joshua who is said to have predicted the death of former Malawi President Bingu wa Mutharika.
President Banda had visited Nigeria more than once before she ascended to presidency.
At some point she was captured on Emmanuel Television at TB Joshua’s synagogue. Emmanuel TV is owned by the flamboyant preacher.
After she rose to power, President Banda has made several official visits to that country.
Since the announcement of the impending visit, the social media is awash with comments asking why Malawi president visits Nigeria that often.
One blogger wrote “This will be Joyce Banda’s seventh trip to Nigeria since ascending to presidency. What is in Nigeria? How special is Nigeria to Banda?”
Other bloggers say Banda was visiting TB Joshua again as the country was preparing for the forthcoming elections.
However these will remain speculations as the president’s visit is private.
Meanwhile, her party’s vice President Cassim Chilumpha has resigned from the party over a remark made by a party member that President Banda does not like Chilumpha.

Friday, 20 December 2013

Bensouda wants case against President Uhuru adjourned

ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda. Photo/FILE
Posted  Thursday, December 19, 2013 |  by- AFP 

International Criminal Court prosecutor Fatou Bensouda admitted Thursday she no longer had enough evidence to try Kenya President Uhuru Kenyatta for crimes against humanity, calling for a delay after witnesses pulled out.
Kenyatta's repeatedly delayed trial on charges of masterminding violence after a 2007 election that left over 1,000 people dead and several hundred thousand displaced, is set to start on February 5.
Bensouda said she took the "exceptional" decision after a key prosecution witness against Kenyatta said he was no longer willing to testify and another key witness confessed to giving false evidence concerning a "critical event" in the case.
"Having carefully considered my evidence and the impact of the two withdrawals, I have come to the conclusion that currently the case against Mr. Kenyatta does not satisfy the high evidentiary standards required at trial," Bensouda said in a statement.
"I therefore need time to complete efforts to obtain additional evidence, and to consider whether such evidence will enable my office to fully meet the evidentiary threshold required at trial," she said.
"It is precisely because of our dedication and sense of responsibility to the victims in this case that I have asked the judges presiding over the case for more time to undertake all remaining steps possible to strengthen the case to ensure justice for the victims," Bensouda said.
The trials of Kenyatta and his deputy, William Ruto, on similar charges have been dogged by problems and delays, including witness withdrawal and Kenya's campaign to have the cases put on hold.
Arguments include allegations that the court is targeting Africans and that Kenya's leaders need to be available to tackle Al-Qaeda-linked militants who have turned neighbouring Somalia into a major global jihadist hub.
Both men have pledged their cooperation with the ICC, but both have also complained that the cases, parts of which they are obliged to attend in the Netherlands, were hampering their running of the country.

Wednesday, 11 December 2013


Fellow constituents- the people of Karachuonyo.
This is indeed a joyous moment for me. Although we couldn't do this immediately, we are happy that at last the moment of celebration and thanksgiving is here with us.
My friends, I can tell you that we are delighted by the overwhelming support for the Orange Democratic Movement ( ODM) party during the March 4th general elections. I am more humbled by your confidence in me for a second time. Thank you very much for believing in my leadership capabilities.
For Jokarachuonyo , I am most grateful for the honor you have bestowed upon me by electing me for a second time to help steer the development agenda of this great constituency. I also appreciate the efforts of my brothers with whom we sought your support in the last general elections. I sincerely thank them for giving me a healthy competition and I am looking forward to a working relationship with them for our beloved constituency.
Within the last few months , we have embarked on a serious journey- a journey of complete reconciliation and comprehensive development ventures. I have had an opportunity to interact with my fellow competitors - Mr. Charles Agure Yugi, Mr. Donny Opar, Mr. David Ngala Odhoch, Mr. Boaz Waruku and Mr. John Abila - and undertaken to work together for the good of the people of Karachuonyo. I am yet to meet the others due to time constraints but will not stop at reaching out to them for a more united Karachuonyo.
I would also wish to thank our party leader , The Rt. Hon. Raila Amolo Odinga, the ODM party, the CORD coalition and it's affiliated parties for the role we played in the last general elections.
I want to recognize the priceless effort Hon. Raila has put all these years in his quest to see that Kenya is a prosperous and equitable society.He has equally mentored me in terms of political leadership.
He was thrice detained with some of our leaders who suffered together in the battlefield. It hurts me a great deal that we have not been lucky to reach our desired victory. But I have no doubt in my mind that we will get to the promised land. Let's keep soldering ahead. I guarantee the party my full participation and support in this endeavor.
To all those in ODM and our partners in the mighty CORD coalition who worked so hard in the last general elections and through the many decades, I thank you and honor you. To the great people of Karachuonyo and the world who are watching : this is indeed a joyous moment for the human spirit. I welcome you to join in this victory , which is essentially your victory , so that we move together towards prosperity.
My congratulations also goes to the Senator and governor of our county , the Hon. Otieno Kajwang' and Hon. Cyprian Awiti 'Jakodondo' as well as my colleague members of parliament from Homa Bay County, with whom we work very closely for the betterment of our promising county.
As in the past , I will continuously engage our Members of the County Assembly ( MCAs) , my campaign teams , my party leaders and all stakeholders of the giant liberation movement - ODM.
I stand here before you filled with deep pride and joy. Pride in the ordinary , humble people of this great land if Rachuonyo; and joy in our resolve to make our lives worthwhile. You have shown such an encouraging determination to reclaim and steer your destiny and that of this great constituency. I am your servant . I don't come to you as a leader, as one above others. We are together a great team. Leaders come and go but this constituency will forever exist. And it is upon us to bequeath future generations a place they will be proud of.
And the ideas I express are not the ideas invented in my own mind. They stem from our fundamental policy document - our party manifesto - and from your own aspirations as expressed in our engagement forums.
As I stand here I'm humbled by your courage and my heart filled with love for all of you. I feel extremely blessed to be a second term ODM Member of Parliament at this moment in our history, when we are called upon to define the leadership of this country for the next fifty years and beyond.
I pledge to use all my strength and ability to live up to your expectations as well as those of my party - ODM.
I am personally indebted and would like to pay tribute to some of Karachuonyo's greatest leaders , including the late freedom fighter , Ojijo Oteko, Omolo Agar and Paulo Mbuya. They should have been here to celebrate with us, not only these achievement but also the fifty years of our independence.
After a short break, occasioned by my ill-health , we are back and well on track confronting the challenges we face in our constituency. I thank you all who prayed with my family during those trying moments and we appreciate all those well wishes we received.
I will use this opportunity to also thank all of you who participated morally, physically and financially for the successful tenth parliamentary term. I thank you all, allow me to specifically mention the former CDFC led by Professor Henry Ouma, they did a tremendous job and we will always refer to their achievements. For our partners , CISCO Systems through Hital Muraj we received lots of technical and ICT equipment in our schools and set up Community Knowledge Centers, Microsoft under Mr. Louis Otieno provided ICT Training and software for our equipment at one point we were able to graduate ninety participants in basic computer training. World vision has continued to be a close partner in health , water and good security. Safaricom under Michael Joseph and Bob Colymore have continued to provide sanitary towels to all school going girls , built dormitories and science laboratories , we appreciate their support.
Jim Caulfield of Jerssey Foundation for putting up Apuko FOH Primary School we would not have got there without you. Our teachers , you make us proud , the provincial administration and security personnel at our constituency you have always done a good job.
My fello constituents, I ask you all to join me in the transformation of this land. Let us reduce back-biting and name-calling politics and get Karachuonyo on the development path. We must , together and without delay , begin to build a better life for all the people of Karachuonyo. That means working with the national and county governments and development partners to create job opportunities for our youth, to provide education and above all to promote peace and security for all.
We are ready to work with partners who are prepared to invest in better life for our people . That is going to be the cornerstone, the foundation, upon which our leadership is going to be based. I appeal to all the leaders who at going to work with us to honor this vision and to be prepared to contribute towards its implementation . If we fail to implement our campaign pledges, that will be a betrayal of the trust which the people of Karchuonyo have vested in us.
We want every politician , competitor or critic to feel that they are part and parcel of a leadership philosophy which is capable of accommodating their views within the context of working together for public benefit.
The calm and tolerant atmosphere that prevailed DUTING the elections depicts the type of Karachunyo we can build. It sets the tone for the future. We are one people with a common destiny in our own rich historical background.
People have voted for the party and person of their choice and w should respect that because we are in a democracy. I hold out a hand of friendship to all my former competitors and their supporters and ask all of them to join us in working together to tackle the development challenges we face as a people.
Let our celebrations be nicked ping with the mood set in the elections - peaceful , respectful and disciplined - to show that we are a people ready to assume our responsibilities in building the institute cry, county and country. I promise that I will do my best to be worthy of the faith and confidence you have in me and my party. Let us together build the future together and toast a better life for all of us .
I must say that we may encounter challenges in our march to socio- economic prosperity and liberation. But let us give up because the future is surely ours for the smoking and taking.
I thank you all. And God bless you all.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

List of countries by Human Development Index

This is a list of all countries by Human Development Index as included in a United Nations Development Programme's Human Development Report. The latest report was released on 14 March 2013 and compiled on the basis of estimates for 2012.[2]
In the 2010 Human Development Report a further Inequality-adjusted Human Development Index (IHDI) was introduced. While the simple HDI remains useful, it stated that "the IHDI is the actual level of human development (accounting for inequality)" and "the HDI can be viewed as an index of “potential” human development (or the maximum IHDI that could be achieved if there were no inequality)".[3]

  1. ^ Jump up to: a b "2013 Human Development Report". UNDP. Retrieved 17 February 2013.
  2. Jump up ^ Human Development Report, The Real Wealth of Nations: Pathways to Human Development

In this 23-year-old girl, Kamwaro found love, company, and thrills

69-year old Hassan ole Kamwaro (right) stands next to his third wife, 23-year-old Eunice Sisian at his office compound in Nairobi on the 4th of November 2013. The couple got married on Saturday 1st of December in a traditional wedding in Olchorro Narok. This is the first time Eunice has been to the city of Nairobi.
69-year old Hassan ole Kamwaro (right) stands next to his third wife, 23-year-old Eunice Sisian at his office compound in Nairobi on the 4th of November 2013. The couple got married on Saturday 1st of December in a traditional wedding in Olchorro Narok. This is the first time Eunice has been to the city of Nairobi.  Photo/EMMA NZIOKA

Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Resplendent in multi-coloured shukas and heavily adorned, the couple stood side by side in the sweltering heat, the bride looking somewhat distraught while the man exhuded pride and self-satisfication.
The two, former Transport Licensing Board (TLB) chairman Hassan ole Kamwaro, 69, and village girl Eunice Sesian, 23, had become man and wife at a ceremony that had brought to the fore the clash between modernity and culture among the Maasai, a community that has kept its customs largely intact in the face of Westernisation.
And last week, at his private offices on the ninth floor of Town House in Nairobi, we found Mr Kamwaro showing Sesian around the office.
As the head of the homestead, Sesian is now in charge of her husband’s three bomas — in Nairobi, Eor Enkitok outside Narok town, and the Olkeju Ronkai Lodge in the Maasai Mara Game Reserve — while his older children, including one aged 45, will call her Yeiyoo, Maa for ‘Mum’.
And to enable Sesian, wife number three, to manage his vast estate, Mr Kamwaro plans to enroll her for computer classes.
But she doesn’t have an identity card yet, she only went up to Standard 7, and this is her first time in the city.
Isn’t that going to be a problem?
No problem, Mr Kamwaro informs us. Those were the reasons he chose her in the first place!
“I did not want (a woman) with a lot of education like some in this town,” he says, referring to the modern Nairobi woman.
There were many other contenders, but Sesian was ‘the one’ for Kamwaro, who says he wanted somebody “who could take care of her children and those of my other wives” because “a family without guidance is no family”.
But Kamwaro, now approaching 70, is no spring chicken. So why did he decide to marry again?
“I was lonely,” he explains. “I needed company. My (second) wife left me when I was very ill.
I was undergoing treatment in Dallas, US, last year when she left.”
The treatment was for a neck injury he sustained in 2011 and involved an elaborate operation that cost Sh9 million and saw him bedridden for six months.
“I have been going through hell. Living without somebody to help you when you are ill is very difficult.
My children have been nursing me, but you know there are limits to what your daughter can do for you.”
To those who suggest that he should have looked for an older woman, Kamwaro, whose first wife died in a road accident in 1996, retorts: “I can marry any age.
I am a Maasai. Even in the Bible, David was given a very young virgin to keep him warm.
Though I am called Hassan, I am a born-again Christian and I know these things.”
He says Maasai elders went to him and told him that he was doing badly and needed a companion, “so I went to her family and negotiated with her and we reached an agreement”.
But, how does his family view this marriage to such a young girl, given that his daughters are old enough to be Sesian’s mother?
“They respect her,” says Kamwaro, who is also an elder in his local AIC church.
“They were the ones who supported me during the courtship.
I did not pay even a penny; I only paid the customary bride price of five animals — three cows, a calf, and a sheep.”
He also paid an extra cow — as blood compensation — since both he and Sesian are from the same clan.
Mr Kamwaro says he has no hard feelings towards the wife who left him, and that he will educate her children to the highest level, but adds that she is welcome to return.
Although his unlikely union with the young girl raised eyebrows, the marriage has been endorsed by leading Maasai novelist and cultural expert Henry ole Kulet, who says it is “culturally perfect”.
“It meets the basic standards,” says Kulet. “First, she is not a daughter of a blood relative, and, second, 23 years is a ripe age.
In fact, what usually happens is that when your older wife gets old, they get you a young girl.”
Mr Kulet says the most important thing is not age, but the circumstances under which somebody marries.
“For instance, does he have a lot of cattle, and so on.”
Which begs the question: is age really just a number?
Little research has been conducted in Africa on age hypergamy, a marriage that involves a big age difference such as that between Kamwaro and Sesian.
Perhaps this is because of the way in which marriage is viewed in Africa, as evidenced by Kulet’s statement that the union is “culturally perfect” since the marriage “meets the basic standards”.
Dr Charles Muga, a sociologist and behavioural scientist, says people now marry the person “they think will make them happy”, a statement laden with meaning because it posits that, when it comes to love and marriage, it is all about the couple’s happiness first, not what the society thinks of their union.
Still, such relationships are likely to suffer a number of psychological challenges, particularly on the part of the woman.
A study conducted by the Max Planck Institute for Demographic research in Germany shows that the bigger the age gap between the woman and her husband, the shorter her life expectancy, regardless of whether she is married to a younger or older man.
Lead researcher Sven Drefahl argues that age hypergamy favours the man since he lives longer if he is married to a younger woman.
But while Drefahl’s study does not give the reasons why the age difference works against the woman, a Nairobi-based counselling psychologist, Ken Munyua, has clinical observations that might explain the difficulties that such unions might exert on the two.
For one, he notes, the man and woman are at different stages of their lives, which makes them “emotionally incompatible”.
“Both have expectations, which they will seek to fulfill to each other alright, but in very different ways that, unfortunately, may leave each of them disappointed,” he says.
An older man is likely to be driven by ego, more focused, eager to reap the fruits of his many years of labour and take pride in his accomplishments.
“He is looking for a person to care for his wealth and his idea of how to love a woman is ‘build her a good home, give her children and provide her with everything she needs’,” explains Munyua.
In contrast, the young woman would be seeking intimacy and a thirst to establish her identity.
She wants a man who can take her out, play with her, give her jewellery, remember her birthdays… things her much older spouse might dismiss as childish, or might not have the strength to take part in, Munyua continues.
Because of the generational gap and deficits, an older man will just extend parental love to his young spouse.
“He will call her ‘Baby’ to mean ‘daughter’, but the woman wants ‘Baby’ to mean ‘wife’”, Mr Munyua says.
Nobody considers what is in it for her, save for the high society and privileged address.
Citing Sesian’s case, for instance, Munyua says she is being taken to school “to be able to run the businesses, not for her scholarly aptitude”.
“All she is ever going to do is work hard to prove she is up to the task and meeting people’s demands.
That is not the life for a woman in her 20s, no matter how early she might have matured.”
Mr Munyua’s observations echo those of American psychologist Gail Sheehy, author of Understanding Men’s Passages: Discovering the New Map of Men’s Lives.
According to Sheehy, men aged 40 and above are having a harder time today making a satisfying passage into the second half of their lives than are most women.
While women feel pangs over losing their youth, men feel dread, and it is harder to be their companion at this age because they are so used to being in control of their life that they might never talk about these fears.
Consequently, such men are confronted by a variety of forbidden subjects in this climate of uncertainty: their concerns about ageing, the ebbing of physical strength and athletic prowess, their fears of losing their economic empires, their envy and fear of empowered working women whom they could have wooed, their wish to be closer to their children before the children leave the nest, their retirement anxieties, and the whole question of potency in all areas of their lives.
But in Sesian Kamwaro sees not just a wife, but a companion who will fill a void so deep and hurtful.
And, for him, that is all that matters.

Boost as Sh400m new Nairobi rail station set to ease traffic

Monday, December 9, 2013
Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga aboard a commuter train after launching the Makadara Railway Station on December 09 2013. The facility is anticipated to serve at least 5,000 commuters mostly from Hamza, Donholm, BuruBuru and Umoja and other nearby areas. PHOTO/PHOEBE OKALL


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A new commuter railway station was Monday launched in Nairobi’s Eastlands area even as Kenya Railways expressed concern that the construction of 24 others might delay due to lack of funds.
Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga launched the Sh400 million Makadara Railway Station that is expected to ease traffic congestion for commuters plying Jogoo Road and its surrounding areas.
The facility is anticipated to serve at least 5,000 commuters mostly from Hamza, Donholm, BuruBuru and Umoja and other nearby areas.
It has a parking capacity for about 150 vehicles.
Concerns over other stations
But even as the station was being inaugurated, concerns were being raised as to when the construction of the remaining stations in other parts of the Nairobi metropolis would begin.
Besides the Syokimau Railway Station, the government is to construct 26 others within the city, two of which have already been completed.
They include the one in Makadara and another in Imara Daima, which is to be launched Wednesday by retired President Daniel arap Moi.
Gen (Rtd) Jeremiah Kianga, the chair of the Kenya Railways board of directors, however said they were already in talks with the government to see whether more funds could be allocated for the projects.
“Once we get the funds, the work will be completed within the next two to three years,” said Kianga.
Mr Odinga praised the construction of the Makadara station, saying it will attract business to the country.
“Today, the lack of efficient public transport has left the Nairobi Central Business District perpetually clogged in traffic.
Subsequently, too few people want to venture into the CBD for shopping. Traffic chaos is killing business in Nairobi,” said Mr Odinga.
Mr Odinga said Nairobi’s potential is being crippled by lack of adequate infrastructure.
“It has overcrowded roads, rising population, much pollution and a congested airport,” he said.
And while this has been happening, other cities in the region have been investing in urban infrastructure renewal.
“We must change urgently. If we don’t invest in making Nairobi a livable city, where the cost of living, working and doing business are low, we will soon be talking of a Nairobi that once was the hub of the region but no longer is,” Odinga said.
“We live in extremely competitive and dynamic times. Nations and cities slide up and down rankings with a single wrong step.
We must never underestimate the determination of our neighbours to take over the functions currently associated with Kenya.”
Mr Odinga said even as the government invests heavily in the construction of infrastructure, it must do the same in their maintenance.
“Our biggest curse in Africa is the inability to maintain what we have started,” he said.
Transport Cabinet Secretary Michael Kamau concurred with the former PM saying development in the country will only be realised when the country’s infrastructure is sound.
Passenger numbers to grow
Nairobi Commuter Rail Project was launched on November 13, 2012 and is being implemented in phases.
On completion, passenger numbers are expected to grow by seven per cent annually which translates to 20 million travellers a year from the current seven million.
The Makadara station will be plying Eastlands areas and will be served by the Syokimau Railway Station.