Friday, 31 May 2013

End of an era as curvy bodies make comeback

There was a time, not long ago, when thin was synonymous with beauty as handed down by Hollywood movies.
Then, Tyra Banks, Kate Moss and Cindy Crawford graced the runways and men worshiped them, as women aped them.
And in Kampala, who can forget The Obsessions and the model Priscilla Ray, whose petite figures dropped many a man’s jaws?
Well, fashion, they say, knows no loyalty. While we dreamt about model-size girls, a new trend appears to have sneaked into vogue, displacing the once yearned-for-by-men and envied-by-women skinny model.
Today Beyonce, Nicki Minaj, Shakira, Jennifer Lopez and Kim Kardashian’s voluptuous bodies are globally hip.
And in Kampala, curves like Desire Luzinda, Zuena and Shamim Namawa’s (aka Uganda’s Nicki Minaj) are causing high waves. And according to the men we have spoken to, things only seem to be returning to where they must have been in the first place.
Engineer Henry Kayima says that a curvy woman is not only respectable; she is the ideal choice for marriage. He notes that skinny women/models are only good for young guys who show them off in public.
Kayima’s view is echoed by Sam Mukisa, a surveyor. When Mukisa meets a slim woman, he does not see a beauty to die for; all he sees is fashion-sensitive usually characterised by moral deficiency and low self-confidence.
Harsh, maybe, but these men are real.
Kayima and Mukisa concur that every woman needs to keep her body in perfect shape.  But many frown at the obsessive pursuit of the ‘perfect’ body.
“Not that they aren’t pretty, but slimming girls look like fragile pretty little things that are good to look at but too delicate to touch,” says Peter Mugagga, a Makerere University student who reiterates Mukisa’s point.
In Mugagga’s world, curvy women exude womanhood and are so soft and, therefore, pleasant to touch “without any protruding bones or ribs to jab you when you embrace them.”

End of portables?

Curvaceous Patricia, who works at Uganda Revenue Authority, says women with bodies like hers are respected and cherished.
“Besides the respect he earns from friends, he loves touching every part of me [legs, bums and boobs]. He tells me that I’m his perfect match since he is medium-sized.”
She says though some friends had advised her to take magic slimming pills, she is comfortable with her body.
“I endeavour to keep fit, since I’m always on the move – but most importantly, my man loves my body,” she says.
“Most girls believe they are sexier and can easily attract men when they are portable,” says Phoebe Nantale, a Makerere University student of Information Technology.
Even if curvy women are the new hot cake, some are not ready to write off the model-thin women.
“We are in a world of reduced sizes; phones, computers, cars, houses, clothes, and television are all in smaller sizes and I see no reason why women should remain full-figured,” says Nelson Bwire, a fresh graduate.
Professional model Daphne Ndahagire notes: “Men look at models as portable and presentable ladies because of their body size, shape, looks and the way they carry themselves in public.”
Even Alexander Musoke, a councillor at Masaka referral hospital, feels that some women are too big and need to slim. Yet others, like real estate developer Steven Akiiki, maintain that they do not mind about a woman’s size but her self-esteem.
“Slimming women show that they are overly concerned with what others think of them. They change from being a person into a consumer product seeking purchase,” he says.

Mindless copying

Dr Tabley Bakyaita, a health educator at the Health ministry, scoffs at slimming, calling it a crazy practice.
“Men have never prescribed the kind of size a woman should be. Why, then, do young girls copy those exaggerated model sizes that can be risky to their lives?”
Dr Bakyaita blames some foreign magazines and internet for having models’ photos with exaggerated thin bodies, “which our girls copy”.
However, Vincent Kaliisa, a professional model, makes no apology for slimming. “Fashion and trends work together with our bodies. A woman is, therefore, expected to do anything possible [like slimming] to look nice.”
Makerere University’s Professor of Nutrition and Bio-engineering John Muyonga maintains that there just needs to be a balance.
“It is healthy for someone to reduce or add weight as long as they remain within the ranges of the body mass index,” he says.
The body mass index is measured by dividing one’s weight in kilogrammes by the square of their height in metres.
“The normal indices are always between 18.5 and 25, anything below or above that is considered abnormal,” Muyonga explains.

Why the change

A 2011 research by showed that a curvy body was like a drug to men’s brains. Scientists concluded that “watching a curvaceous woman could feel like a reward in the brain of men, much as drinking alcohol or taking drugs might.”
Similarly, a 2012 poll of 4,000 adults conducted by British weekly magazine Grazia, found out that men are most attracted to women who have curves, rather than skinny women. And Nancy Hayssen, author of 101 Sexy Secrets: How to be Sexy & Beautiful at ANY Size, says 80 per cent of men aged 18 to 50 say they want a voluptuous woman.
“We’re being lied to everyday. The fashion industry and Hollywood have spread the myth that men want skinny, anorexic-looking women,” asserts Hayssen. “The truth is it’s plus-size or curvy women who are considered beautiful.”
Some blame the fashion industry, driven by gay men who make women so thin that they look like boyish, with nearly flat chests. But with more female designers joining and criticism of the industry, clothes for normal sized-women are also seen on the runways with full-figured models.
According to Dr Eria Olowo Onyango, a Makerere University social anthropologist, the changing trend is natural.
“Culture grows through people picking and dropping certain practices,” he says, adding that despite the importation of Western cultures, the original beliefs would always remain.
“This idea of slimming is like a full circle. Some women took up the Western slimming phenomenon but after some time, we now see them go back to the original African full woman,” he explains.
He notes that in the African tradition, the size of a woman was not a problem because women, those days, used to work hard in gardens and keep their bodies fit – unlike the modern women that spend all their time in office. Onyango agrees with Muyonga that, instead of trying to put on more weight or lose weight, women just need to feed well and keep their bodies healthy because, small or fat, there will always be an interested man.

What could be cooking? ICC says the cases can be referred if Kenya demonstrates that it can conduct impartial trials

The question of referring the ICC cases back to Kenya have been off the table since the charges were confirmed against the Ocampo six who have now reduced to Bensouda 3. Now Bensouda appears to have thrown the gate wide open by stating that the cases CAN BE REFERRED if Kenya demonstrates that it can conduct fair trials. But what could have prompted this change? 
The first interpretation could be that Bensouda does not want to appear inherently biased against the Kenyan judiciary and would not be opposed to any genuine gestures. This means that her statement could be pure rhetoric and not worthy of any attention. In my view, the petition exposed the weakness of the judiciary in a manner never thought possible. The country watched in dismay after evidence after evidence was disallowed before the case was finally dismissed over LACK OF EVIDENCE. The basis for the dismissal of evidence was countered by the Petitioner when Judge Oraro complained that he had just followed precendence. Uhuru had filed additional affidavits in exactly the same manner as Oraro's affidavits a little earlier only for Oraro's to be disallowed. He was asked to put his objection in writing and no finding on that objection was made public. The precedence quoted for the court was also questionable based on the countries involved. Who runs to Uganda for lessons on democracy....and why would a Supreme Court quote a dissenting judge in another country instead of sticking to the main ruling? So, there you have it. The unusually observant ICC must be aware of these questions too and Bensouda's statement may occasion no change. 
The second interpretation could be that a deal has been reached. It would be logical to link this to the resounding endorsement of Kenyatta by the EU when against all the credible feedback they had to the contrary; they resort to claiming that the discrepancies would not have changed the outcome of an election. I fail to understand how the involvement of about 2million ghosts leaning on one side of the competition can fail to change an election result. But that’s a topic for another day. The point is that the ICC double speak and the EU decision are most likely interlinked. The UN rejected the idea of directly intervening to stop the cases but that doesn’t mean they have turned their backs on Kenyatta. They could still act strictly within the legal frameworks and influence the ICC to make an “independent” decision in referring the cases back to Kenya. 
I have said it before, the West will most probably prefer an Uhuru presidency to any other president. For a very long time, Kibaki took away goodies that would ordinarily go to the West to the likes of China. Thanks to Kibaki, I can speak a few words in Korean. The East is definitely here. They had nothing against Kibaki for a very long time and could not have been able to stop him through their specialty: blackmail. The Hague blackmail however worked. The dropping of charges against Muthaura was a decision made because the prosecutor claimed to be frustrated by the death of witnesses and others being too afraid to testify. Kenyans bought that argument without giving attention to the fact that there might have been a compromise of sought. Having a president with an ICC noose only makes it possible for the West to have more than they ever bargained for. A man fearing for his freedom can give up a lot. Want any proof? Give it 24 months and look at the execution of the biggest contracts in the country. If they are still being predominantly carried out by China, call me to withdraw and apologise. And I can bet that I will not be apologising. The reality of the matter is Uhuru shall not go to The Hague. Your only worry should be: at what cost to the Kenyan citizen?
Referring the cases to Kenya by the ICC would help the UN kill two birds with one stone: help their new found weakened ally and secondly, retain the dignity of the court. But they err greatly in believing that the dignity of the court will be conserved by that decision. It will not be upon Kenya to demonstrate that it can conduct a fair trial: it will be upon the ICC to convince the world that there is a good basis to trust the Kenyan judiciary. That will be a tall order. In the history of Africa, there has never been a court that have been involved in a high stakes contest such as this and ruled against the sovereign. It is highly unlikely that this could happen. In my opinion, the Kenyan Supreme Court was not fair in its conduction of the presidential petition. If fairness could not be exacted when the contestants were mere candidates, how in hell can fairness be achieved when one of the parties is now president? In my view, the ICC will be digging its own grave if it allowed itself to be beguiled into referring the cases back to Kenya. It will lose not only the 34 African states, but also the 85 remaining countries. The ICC was founded for the law. They must uphold the law. If they must die, they must die for upholding the law. No other way. 
For the sake of the ICC, I doubt they would want to dig their graves by referring the cases. That is a most unusual scenario. The West too would not want the cases dropped. After all, what assurance would they have that Kenyatta would not turn against them once free? They would want the cases to be alive as the noose which they can pull periodically if Kenyatta appears keen to defy them. This leaves us with one option: the delay of the cases. If this third option is to be taken, this is how things will unfold: The ICC will provide grounds under which it can refer the cases back to Kenya. Kenya will make the changes, albeit not thoroughly meeting the conditions. In the meantime, the cases will be delayed to allow Kenya to make the changes. Once a mechanism has been put in place, weaknesses will be identified. The ICC will not be satisfied. More recommendations. Further delay of the cases. More adjustments by Kenya............and the cycle will continue for years. In other words, Kenya will perpetually be kept on the weaker side of the bargaining table for as long as Uhuru is president. That is the truth of the matter. 

Thursday, 30 May 2013

High Court Restraints National Assembly From Increasing Salaries

High Court Restraints National Assembly From Increasing Salaries 

High Court Judge David Majanja on 30th May 2013 issued an order restraining Members of National from increasing their salaries and remunerations.
The National Assembly had declared null and void the gazette notices issued by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) setting out salaries for various state officers thereby increasing the MPs salaries. The house also had decreed to review the conduct, composition and functions of the SRC, other constitutional commissions and independent offices.
Law Society of Kenya, acting on public interest moved to court challenging the move by the National Assembly. By its Petition and Notice of Motion dated 30th May 2013, LSK urged the court to issue conservatory orders restraining the implementation and enforcement of the National Assembly’s resolution.
The court agreed that the conduct by the National Assembly raises grave constitutional issues of separation of power, mandate of National Assembly, rule of law, constitutionalism and independence of constitutional commissions such as SRC.
Conservatory orders are often issued when there is a real impending danger that the public will suffer a great degree of prejudice if the constitution is violated by a state organ, in this case the National Assembly and the Public Service Commission.
The judge also agreed that the conduct of the National Assembly is likely to be effected with serious consequences nullifying salaries of other state officers including those that are not covered by the National Assembly Remuneration Act, impair SRC’s effectiveness in delivering its work. He therefore certified the petition urgent and granted the conservatory order sought.
The judge in granting the conservatory observed that:
The conservatory orders are, in my view, necessary to prevent loss to the public coffers of sums that would be paid out in the event the ultimate decision of the court is that the cause taken by the National Assembly would be difficult to recover.
On one hand State and public authorities should not be permitted to proceed and implement decisions that violate the Constitution and on the other hand the mandate of the Constitutional Commissions should be protected from erosion of the legislature…It is the judiciary that has the ultimate authority to assert the supremacy of the Constitution..The High Court and the other Superior Courts will have the final word on what the Constitution means.
The petition no doubt raises serious issues of law and is keenly watched on how the court shall decide on them. It is also not lost that it will also be a stage of supremacy battle between the legislature and the judiciary.
It will not be surprise to see Members of National Assembly issuing thinly veiled threats to abolish the judiciary.

Bangla Pesa - Complementary Currency Program in Kenya

click here for details

Monday, 27 May 2013

A tribal paranoid/begot takes on Prof Makau Mutua

By Mwangi Wa Wanjiku

I had just woken up on another bright Sunday. But instead of rejoicing at the beautiful day I am disgusted by hate provoked by another of Makau Mutua’s article in his regular column in the Sunday Nation.
I would have chosen to ignore it like I have done to his previous other others, but I won’t. So this is a piece of my crappy mind, an angry one for that matter:
It defeats me how NMG continues to offer Makau Mutua a weekly platform to spread hate amongst Kenyans. Or perhaps the question I should ask is when the hatred toward Kikuyus became legal or so widely acceptable.
Makau Mutua, who’s been known to be a media operative of Raila’s camp, feeds Kenyans his opinionated pieces every Sunday which are not only full of anti-Kikuyuism but also waters seeds of hatred and divisiveness among Kenyans.
He has lately been met with a condemnation of his ideas especially in the social media. He counters this condemnation by inferring that bloggers and social media commentaries defending the Kenyatta regime are tribal goons of Kikuyu and Kalenjin who seek the anonymity in social media to spread their “genocidal” vitriol.
Mutua needs to know that Kenyans are beginning to loathe his opinionated writings that seem to favor one side of Kenya’s political divide.
Mutua’s hypocrisy is manifestly evident when on one side, Makau Mutua prophesies democracy while on the other he chocks with anger when he is challenged on the very tenets of that democracy: tolerance of different opinions.
Perchance, what Makau Mutua is angry at is not those different opinions and the condemnation that he continues to meet, but rather that this opposition is made on a platform he has no control of.
Makau forms part of a clique of media political operatives and media spin doctors that have bought mainstream media to propagate extrovert ideas for political gains.
What they perpetrate in the mainstream media are relentless attempts to re-write history by concocting dogmas from contorted readings of history in favour of their political godfathers.
While Makau Mutua calls his opposition in the social media apologists of a regime, he is indeed hiding under the same veils, himself being an apologist of an unsuccessful regime of Raila Odinga. But instead of accepting defeat that was so stark and distant, he continues to feed the country with divisive rhetoric.
He continues to push for an argument that is neither true nor holds water. It is true that the Uhuru Kenyatta regime received a wide backing from Kikuyu and Kalenjin. But so did Raila bid for presidency in Luo Nyanza and Kamba land!
Is it fair then for Makau to continue insinuating that the Kenyatta regime is a tribal government? And even if Kenyatta got his votes from solely Kikuyu, or Kalenjin for that matter, what makes a Kikuyu less Kenyan, what makes his vote less of a Kenyan democratic right?
Numbers don’t lie so let me use them.
Uhuru Kenyatta was declared the winner with 6,173,433 votes; 50.07% of the votes cast distancing his closest rival Raila Odinga who had 43.31% amounting to 5,340,546 votes. That victory did not only give Uhuru a first round but also gave his astute political nemesis a wide margin of 832,887. Out of those 6,173,433 votes that Jubilee earned, 2,779,929 were from non-Kikuyu/Kalenjin constituencies.
But it’s rather preposterous that in his Op-Ed Makau deceptively avers that his critics in the social media are “those who believe they won”. Numbers are clear Uhuru won fair and square.
Uhuru Kenyatta received more than 25% of the votes cast in 32 of the 47 counties, while his closest rival had more than 25% in only 29 of the 47 counties in Kenya.
Jubilee coalition has a total of 135 Elected MPs – which increased to 150 after post election deals with Amani and APK – compared to 117 CORD Members. Out of the 135 MPs 73 are from non-Kikuyu/Kalenjin constituencies. All measurable indicators point to a Jubilee win.
The situation is replicated in the Senate where Jubilee (TNA/URP) has 20 elected Senators as opposed to 16 who got there by a cord ticket (Wiper/ODM). If there has ever been a government more Kenyan – at least by elections results – it is Uhuru Kenyatta’s.
So it is not that Kenyans are not confident that Uhuru Kenyatta won fair and square, but it is Mutua’s ill intentioned hate mongering and anger venting that Kenyans cannot fathom. So continue yapping, Kenyans had their say. Mutua is mad coz he never got his way.
Thanks to the new constitutions and reforms that have been instituted since its inauguration in the August of 2010, Kenya did not wield machetes in March 2013. And a military coup that Mutua had prophesied hasn’t happened, neither is it imminent.
His acceptance of the defeat in the last election is half hearted. He, among others, insists to use the word “narrow” in reference to the margin that Kenyatta won the last poll. It was not narrow but indeed a wide margin of over 800,000 Kenyans.
We saw attempts to fuel violence among Kenyans as we awaited the decision of the Supreme Court. And after these attempts failed, Mutua and his ilk embarked on mission to discredit the Kenyatta Presidency and telling the world unsubstantiated lies of a divided Kenya.
The articles that Makau Mutua has been writing should be shunned and stopped. And until then, because Kibunja has failed to tame this illegality, because NMG continues to encourage him by awarding the platform, I’ll encourage social media to stop him. And like me we won’t hide or be anonymous.
So Prof, my name is Mwangi Wa Wanjiku a Kikuyu by birth and name. I am a son of a peasant single mother, so I squarely fit in what you arrogantly call hoi polloi. That notwithstanding, I am a proud Kenyan who speaks three other Kenyan native languages which I learnt by association fellow Kenyans of other walks of life.
I have never seen myself more Kikuyu than Kenyan. But I am tired of the burden of being branded, seen as less Kenyan just because I hail from Central Kenya. What I will not allow is to bear the suffering of the fruits of your reverse tribalism-laced propaganda.
I get caught in the traffic jams every morning among Luos, Kambas, Luhyas and Kalenjins in Nairobi as you enjoy a posh life in New York. I have been jobless for close to a year, struggled to pay fees and bills – and being a Kikuyu did not protect me from that – like many other Kenyans as you enjoy a lucrative professorial job at SUNY.
I therefore have every right to stop you from making it worse for me when you incite Kenyans as you hide behind Western protection. I wish at least you were writing while in Kenya I’d give you a benefit of doubt that you have firsthand experience.
But like a coward, you are hiding in a Western capitol while advancing “foreigner’s interests”- mentoring the next generation of those who will draft laws to fleece the developing world. 
In famous writing “How Europe Underdeveloped Africa”, Walter Rodney asserts: “Any diagnosis of Africa reveals not only low per capita and high protein deficiencies, but also gentlemen who dance in Abidjan, Accra and Kinshasa when the music is played in Paris, London and New York”. He calls them Sell-outs.
I will not be afraid to say that you, Makau, represent the intellectual sell-outs that Walter Rodney infers. You are a puppet (kikaragosi in Swahili) and a traitor doing the bid of your Western masters and your writings a belch of an over-fed stooge.
But as the rest of Kenyans and “Free Media” tell you to move on I will not say the same. I’ll tell you to re-channel that anger for better: offer constructive critic, desist from tribal hatred, be more tolerant to opposing thought and be happier we at home are enjoying a peace, even thought not under the leadership that you’d have preferred – that in the interest of democracy, even if for nothing else.

The Unforgettable Remarks Haunting William Ruto Todate!

Yes, looks like the ICC indictees took themselves to the Hague! both Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto are said to have used their influence to defeat the formation of a local tribunal proposed by then Prime Minister Raila Odinga…. and we the masses somehow bought the shit that it was Raila who took them to the Hague!
Elsewhere a list of Africans indicted by the ICC and how they ended up there has been compiledd, here we go!
2.1 Bahr Abu Garda – Prosecutors application
2.2 Mohammed Ali – Referred by own country
2.3 Abdallah Banda- Prosecutors application
2.4 Omar al-Bashir- Prosecutors application
2.5 Jean-Pierre Bemba – Referred by own country
2.6 Muammar Gaddafi- Referred by own country
2.7 Saif al-Islam Gaddafi- Referred by own country
2.8 Laurent Gbagbo- Referred by own country
2.9 Simone Gbagbo- Referred by own country
2.10 Ahmed Haroun- Prosecutors application
2.11 Abdel Rahim Hussein- Prosecutors application
2.12 Saleh Jerbo- Prosecutors application
2.13 Germain Katanga- Referred by own country
2.14 Uhuru Kenyatta- Referred by own country
2.15 Joseph Kony- Referred by own country
2.16 Henry Kosgey- Referred by own country
2.17 Ali Kushayb- Referred by own country
2.18 Thomas Lubanga Dyilo- Referred by own country
2.19 Raska Lukwiya- Referred by own country
2.20 Callixte Mbarushimana- Referred by own country
2.21 Sylvestre Mudacumura- Referred by own country
2.22 Francis Muthaura- Referred by own country
2.23 Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui- Referred by own country
2.24 Bosco Ntaganda- Referred by own country
2.25 Okot Odhiambo- Referred by own country
2.26 Dominic Ongwen- Referred by own country
2.27 Vincent Otti- Referred by own country
2.28 William Ruto- Referred by own country
2.29 Joshua Sang- Referred by own country
2.30 Abdullah Senussi- Referred by own country

Looks like Africa went to the Hague, the hague dint come to africa

ICC Dismisses AU Threats Over Kenyan Cases

The International Criminal Court has dismissed threats issued by African Union leaders over the ongoing cases against Kenyan leaders Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto in The Hague.

A statement released today by ICC Outreach Co-ordinator Maria Kamara said the two Kenyan cases at the Hague will go ahead despite the stance taken by the AU leaders calling for dropping of the cases.
Kamara said a resolution by the AU leaders in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia was political and cannot affect a judicial process against Kenyatta, Ruto and radio presenter Joshua arap Sang.
She said political intrigues and pressure have no effect on the ongoing cases.
Kamara was speaking a day after the resolution that urged the ICC to drop the charges against Kenyatta and Ruto.
The African leaders hit out at the ICC claiming it was a tool being used by western nations to punish ‘errant’ African leaders.
The leaders in a motion moved by Uganda and seconded by South Sudan called for fresh investigations to be conducted on the 2008 post election violence in Kenya saying the former Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo did a shoddy job.
The AU resolution warned that if the leaders' demands are not heeded, the 34 members who signed the Rome Statute that set up the Hague-based court will have to pull out of the ICC
But the ICC statement said the court case is a legal process and can not be influenced through political pressure.
Kamara said the decision by the AU was misplaced as it did not have any legal basis.
Former United States Secretary for African Affairs Jendayi Frazer who has been sympathetic to the Kenyan cases said the African leaders had a valid point.
Jendayi Frazer who served during the George Bush administration claimed the ICC was being used by the West to fight rogue African states.
She was also once quoted as saying the Kenyan cases were politically motivated.
By Daniel Korir

Hon Koigi wa Wamere: Reasons Why Kenya Must Conduct A National Debate On ICC

Hon Koigi wa Wamere: Reasons Why Kenya Must Conduct A National Debate On ICC
By Hon Koigi wa Wamere via Facebook

When sometime ago, Johnny Carson of America told Kenyans that when they elect leaders accused at The Hague, their choices will have consequences, Kenyans sneered arguing it was their democratic right to elect whoever they want. But while Kenyans have a democratic right to elect whoever they want, other people have a democratic right to feel uncomfortable with them.
While it is Kenyans’ democratic right to elect a dictator into power, it is not right to do so and people should be allowed to object to such majority choices. Morally wrong majority choices should not be imposed on people by force. While the Hutu majority in Rwanda may have considered it their democratic right to embark on a course of genocide, that decision was disastrous and suicidal. Democratic choices are not always right.
Nearly two weeks ago, President Uhuru Kenyatta went to the UK and Prime Minister David Cameron refused to have a picture taken with him. This shunning of our president embarrassed some Kenyans, but others defended it.
After Cameron, tomorrow President Barack Obama of USA will embark on a trip to Africa but will not visit Kenya. Many Kenyans are sneering at this but it might have consequences on Kenya.
That Kenyans are numb to danger is very worrying. While the world is shunning our leaders accused of crimes against humanity, we are busy electing same persons as our President and Deputy President.
The collective soul of Kenyans is dead. Many people voted for Uhuru and Ruto to save them from The Hague because it is embarrassing for a country’s top leadership to be paraded at the ICC. But when election of Uhuru and Ruto did not lead to the termination of their cases, and Ruto appeared at ICC as the Deputy President of Kenya, neither Ruto nor Kenyans seem embarrassed by the spectacle. Some Kenyans even smiled at Ruto in The Hague as if that is the most normal thing that could happen to a self-respecting country’s leadership.
While it is Uhuru and Ruto that are on trial individually, the fact is as long as they are President and deputy president of Kenya, they will go into the ICC dock with the image of Kenya and Kenyans who shall share in the shame associated with crimes against humanity.
But rather than have a sober debate on ICC, when President Obama shuns us, we say we don’t care, same thing Moi and his supporters said when the world accused him of perpetrating one-party dictatorship and violation of human rights.
But who is championing our dismissal of ICC and defending our shunning by others? As the uninformed village tribalists shouted loudest in support of Presidents Moi and Kenyatta, it is the same ignorant supporters who are shouting loudest “our tribesman right or wrong,” “our tribal leader right or wrong.”
But if uninformed village tribalists will take the ICC debate no where, where are our informed patriots and nationalists to champion it? They are silent, cowed by concerns of futility, expedience, timidity and even comfort.
Notwithstanding, there are many reasons why Kenyans must now publicly, fearlessly and objectively debate the ICC trials of Uhuru, Ruto and Sang.
First, Kenyans must psychologically prepare for ICC trials rather than encourage ourselves that the trials will collapse or be terminated. While hoping for best, we must prepare for the worst.
Second, while championing justice for the accused, we must remember justice for victims of PEV, though many no longer think of their own interests.
Three, we must expect the world will not embrace Kenya while her President and Deputy President are in the dock at the ICC for crimes against humanity.
Fourth, should the western world decide to subject Kenya to economic sanctions, the nation must not think China will save her from hard times ahead.
Fifth, instead of encouraging, the state and media might inhibit debate on ICC unless people demand it.
Sixth, if ICC cases take off, Uhuru and Ruto will not attend to trials and simultaneously give Kenya effective leadership. If you target two preys, one will escape.
Seventh, when Uhuru and Ruto are forced to choose between their defense in The Hague and solving Kenya’s endless problems, they will prioritize their defense at the expense of Kenya.
Eighth, if The Hague cases go on, Uhuru and Ruto will naturally spend the next five years defending themselves, not developing Kenya.
Ninth, if Uhuru and Ruto decide to defy ICC and not attend trials, Kenyans must prepare for that defiance and not caught unawares.
Tenth, even if Kenya, government of Kenya, any community, President or his deputy are not on trial at ICC, but Uhuru and Ruto in their private capacities, the state might take over these cases and pay for them without authority of tax-payers.
Eleventh, the trials of Kenya’s President and his Deputy at The Hague will completely destroy Kenya’s reputation and image internationally and Kenyans must prepare for how bad they will look out there.
Twelfth, should Kenyans choose to stand with their President and deputy when they stand trial at The Hague, they will kill their soul not to smell the stench of crimes against humanity.
Thirteenth, by arguing against the trial of President Uhuru and Deputy President Ruto on the ground that they won elections, we are killing the rule of law in Kenya, too high a price for their defense.
Fourteenth, when Uhuru and Ruto defend themselves at The Hague as President and Deputy President, they will be killing the principle of public officers stepping aside from office while they undergo trial to clear their names.
Fifteenth, fear of rejection by Western powers might weaken and force President and Deputy President to concede too much to them or even China, whose support now is crucial, in economic negotiations. Kenya will lose more when Uhuru and Ruto defend themselves as President and deputy President of Kenya.
Sixteenth, given that Uhuru and Ruto voluntarily opted to be tried by ICC rather than a local court, Kenya voluntarily signed the Rome Statute setting up ICC against dictatorship and impunity, without forgetting that Kenyans voluntarily incorporated the Rome Statute in the constitution, it does not make sense for the government to deny the court cooperation or seek its sabotage when we might need the same court tomorrow.
President Uhuru might call ICC a personal challenge but it is not because, parading of any Kenyan at The Hague is a national humiliation with ramifications for all of us. ICC is a national challenge to which we must get a national solution guided by the ultimate truth that no interests of two, three or five individuals can override interests of the whole nation.

Images That Dent Uhuru Kenyatta’s Presidency

By: Steve Wambugu for News24Kenya (

 Images That Dent Uhuru Kenyatta’s Presidency

PEV Victim Appeals For Help

After the 2007/08 skirmishes that left a trail of distraction across the country, many Kenyans wish that the events will never happen again.
But for one Joyce Chepkemoi from Londiani, the 2007 skirmishes are something that will not easily be forgotten following the horrible ordeal that she underwent in the hands of attackers.
The 30 years old mother of 3 says that her life took a dramatic turn for the worst after her face was disfigured after she was burnt in boiling water and her husband killed during the peak of the post elections violence of 2008.
“My life has never been the same again,” says Chepkemoi as she tries to cover her eyes from the rays of the evening sun during our interview.
Surrounded by her two little daughters and her last born son, Chepkemoi says that she can vividly remember when her two girls went to see her in hospital where she was admitted after the attack. She explains how they left screaming saying she was not their mother due to the scars she had on her face.
“After I was admitted in Kericho, my two daughters came to see me but it was so sad they couldn’t recognize me as their mother since I had serious burns on my face,” narrates Chepkemoi as she tries to withhold tears from her eyes.
Chepkemoi observes that ever since she was discharged from the hospital 4 years ago, her neighbors and friends have been avoiding her as plague with some referring to her as a mad woman.
Joyce adds that it took a while for her three children to come to terms with the new look of their mother, with the young boy Alex  frequently asking whether she will ever regain her once nice looks.
She further notes that many people never wanted to be associated with her due to her looks, something she learnt to live with it.
“It is so painful when you meet with children on the road and they run off screaming out their lungs in fear of my looks,” She says while wiping tears off her chin.
The soft spoken lady adds that despite the horrific ordeal she experienced in 2008, she holds no grudge against the 10 men who burnt her face and robbed her off her beloved husband.
She adds that it took the intervention of well wishers in her home area who assisted her with clothing, shelter and food stuffs to sustain her 3 children.
Chepkemoi who comes from a humble background says that her in laws are not in any position to help since they are old.
“My parents in law are not well off financially and they are old so living with them would have been an extra burden to them, ” explains chepkemoi.
But amazingly, despite the numerous challenges she was facing, Chepkemoi was actively involved in preaching of peace in some of the areas perceived as black spots in Londiani during the just concluded general elections.
She says that she took it upon herself with the support of her church members to go around during the campaigning period with the message of peace since she did not want the events of 2007/08 to happen again.
“I felt it was right to do something to promote peace and cohesion during the just concluded elections as I wait for help, so I went round this area preaching peace,”  says Chepkemoi as she holds her youngest son in her arms.
For Joyce Chepkemoi, her only wish is that she will be able to raise KES 500 000 in order to have facial plastic surgery in the USA.
She adds that she wants to be good looking for the sake of her three children.
And as we wind up our interview with Chepkemoi, her prayer is that President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto will heed to her call and help her raise the money.

Exam rule pushed to November

PHOTO | GIDEON MAUNDU | FILE A student sits for his KCSE Biology practical at Tiwi Secondary School in Kwale County.
PHOTO | GIDEON MAUNDU | FILE A student sits for his KCSE Biology practical at Tiwi Secondary School in Kwale County. Registration of candidates sitting national examinations next year has been pushed to November.  NATION MEDIA GROUP
Posted  Sunday, May 26  2013 at  23:30

Registration of candidates sitting national examinations next year has been pushed to November.
In a circular sent to all secondary and primary schools, the national examiner says the pre-registration, which was initially slated for June and July, was intended to collect data on those in Form Three and Standard Seven, and avoid a situation where candidates and schools have to do so in rush at the beginning of the year.
“The deadline for pre-registration of Standard Seven and Form Three candidates who intend to sit the 2014 Kenya Certificate of Primary Education and the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education examinations has been extended to begin from 1st and end by 30th November this year,” says the circular.
The candidates are not required to pay exam fees during the pre-registration, says the circular signed by Kenya National Examinations Council Secretary Paul Wasanga.
“The pre-registration is not meant for collection of fees but for monitoring and planning purposes. Collection of fees will be done between January and March 2014,” says Mr Wasanga.
Dated May 23, the circular asks headteachers to collect and upload data of the candidates, including date of birth, onto Knec’s website from where they will be processed in readiness for full registration early next year.
Since the introduction of online registration a few years ago, many schools have had difficulties in uploading all the required data, hence the plan to start the exercise early to avoid last minute rush and give teachers and candidates ample time to make corrections where necessary.
Experts also see the pre-registration as a way of curbing unethical practices among schools, which force non-performing candidates to repeat Form Three or Standard Seven.
Meanwhile, Bomet county director of Education said the directive should also be extended to cover Standard Six and those in forms one and two so that parents can pay the fees in piece meal.
Speaking to the media at the education offices in Bomet town, Mr Anyika called on officials of teachers’ unions to give Knec a chance to implement the plan and wait for its negative impact in education sector, if any, before complaining.

African leaders put ICC to task over Uhuru trial

Posted  Sunday, May 26  2013 at  23:30

African presidents on Sunday supported a petition calling on the International Criminal Court to drop crimes against humanity charges facing President Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto.
The leaders want the trials sent back to the national courts.
However, an international human rights NGO was on Sunday pushing back, asking the African leaders to reject what they saw as an attempt to shield Kenyan leaders from justice. The motion for the petition was brought by Uganda and was said to have the support of 53 presidents.
Formal communiqué
Only the President of Botswana opposed it, arguing that the ICC should be allowed to handle the case in accordance with its mandate.
President Kenyatta and Mr Ruto are charged at the ICC in connection with the 2007 post-election violence in which more than 1,000 died and 600,000 others displaced.
African leaders are attending the 21st ordinary session of the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, which also marks 50 years of the Organisation of African Unity, later renamed the African Union.
At the time of going to press, the presidents had not issued a formal communiqué which, together with the details of the vote and resolution, is expected on Monday.
Speaking in Addis Ababa, the President of the African Court on Human and People’s Rights, Ms Sophia Akuffo, said there are ongoing processes to expand the jurisdiction of the court to include certain types of international crimes.
She said the court does not have the instruments to handle such cases.
“Kenya has not applied for the transfer and even if it does, there are absolutely no procedures in place on how to make that possible currently,” she said.
The African Union membership roster contains 54 states.
Amnesty International opposed the Ugandan petition and asked the AU to throw out the resolution calling for the ICC cases to be referred for trial in Kenya.
“The African Union must reject Kenya’s attempts to shield its leaders from being held to account for the human rights violations that took place in Kenya in 2007-2008,” said Netsanet Belay, Amnesty International’s Africa Programme Director, in a press statement.
Earlier, Uganda’s Foreign Minister Sam Kuteesa, who pushed the motion to have the resolution adopted by the Heads of State, pushed for an end to the cases.
Have raised concern
“We are asking the ICC to stop the prosecution... if not, then they should re-investigate the cases because there are a lot of falsehoods that led to the prosecution of these individuals.”
The AU might also want an assurance that President Kenyatta will not be humiliated when he goes to The Hague for the opening of his trial scheduled for July 9, a matter which is said to have raised concern among Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (Igad) member states.
Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni is said to have told Heads of State from East and Horn of Africa meeting under the umbrella of Igad on Friday night that the ICC was not sincere on the Kenyan case.
“ICC should tell us if they plan to detain [Mr] Kenyatta. They should give us an explanation if he is going to come back to Kenya because the information we are receiving is different,” Mr Museveni was quoted as saying.
During the talks, Zambian President Michael Sata told Kenyans to deal with their problems locally.
“Where was the Hague when Africa was fighting for independence? If you find a Kenyan or Zambian President at fault, let the Kenyan or Zambian people deal with him, not the Hague,” he said.

Two Kenyans in Big Brother Africa reality show

The late Nigerian musician Goldie Harvey (right) and Kenya's Prezzo were contestants in Big Brother Africa reality show. Photo/FILE
The late Nigerian musician Goldie Harvey (right) and Kenya's Prezzo were contestants in Big Brother Africa reality show. Photo/FILE 

Posted  Monday, May 27  2013 at  12:01

Two Kenyan contestants have a chance to win Sh25 million in the Big Brother Africa reality show, season 8, which is being held in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Ms Hudah Monroe and fashion designer Annabel Mbaru will battle it out against 26 other contestants from different African states.
The show, which began on Sunday night with host IK from Nigeria, had electric performances from different African musicians.
South Africa's multi-award winning musicians Mafikizolo, kicked off the show with a great performance.
There was a moment of silence for former Big Brother Africa contestant, Nigerian musician Goldie Harvey, who died on February 14, this year. A video of her times in the house was played in her remembrance.
Kenya was also represented during the live show by popular comedian and Churchill Show host, Daniel Ndambuki.
Kenyan musician Stella Mwangi also had a chance to perform during the live show, alongside Nigeria's Wande Coal, Don Jazzy and D'Prince.
Other contestants in the show include Pokello (Zambia), LK4 (Uganda), Selly (Ghana), Bassey (Sierra Leone), Beverly (Nigeria) and Sulu (Zambia).
Others include Cleo (Zambia) Oneal (Botswana), Maria (Namibia), Melvin (Nigeria), Natasha (Malawi) Bigeusas (Angola), Koketso (South Africa), Hakeem (Zimbabwe), Dellish (Namibia), Angelo (South Africa), Fatima (Malawi),Nando (Tanzania), Bimp (Ethiopia), Motamma (Botswana), Neyll (Angola), Feza (Tanzania), Elikem (Ghana), Betty (Ethiopia), Bolt (Sierra Leone) and Denzel (Uganda).
Big Brother Africa contestants:

  • Hudah Monroe (Kenya)
  • Annabel Mbaru (Kenya)
  • Pokello (Zambia),
  • LK4 (Uganda),
  • Selly (Ghana),
  • Bassey (Sierra Leone),
  • Beverly (Nigeria)
  • Sulu (Zambia)
  • Cleo (Zambia)
  • Oneal (Botswana)
  • Maria (Namibia)
  • Melvin (Nigeria)
  • Natasha (Malawi)
  • Bigeusas (Angola)
  • Koketso (South Africa)
  • Hakeem (Zimbabwe)
  • Dellish (Namibia)
  • Angelo (South Africa)
  • Fatima (Malawi)
  • Nando (Tanzania)
  • Bimp (Ethiopia)
  • Motamma (Botswana)
  • Neyll (Angola)
  • Feza (Tanzania)
  • Elikem (Ghana)
  • Betty (Ethiopia)
  • Bolt (Sierra Leone)
  • Denzel (Uganda)

Kenya's medical practitioners attend forum in Malaysia

By NJERI RUGENE in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Posted  Monday, May 27  2013 at  10:00

Kenya's medical practitioners are among 3,000 guests attending an international conference on girls and women's health and human rights issues in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The Women Deliver 2013, which brings together leaders and women rights advocates from more than 150 countries will be officially opened by Malaysia's Prime Minister Dato Sri Mohd Najib bin Tun Abdul Razak on Tuesday.
Institutions such as the World Bank and World Health Organisation (WHO) are expected to release their new findings on how to improve voluntary family planning services within the next seven years.
The conference also hopes to make a resolution on how to place the needs of women and girls at the centre of the 2015 millennium development agenda.
"Women Deliver 2013 will be an opportunity to keep up the pressure and to affirm our plans for the period ahead," said UN Secretary-General Ban-Ki Moon.
The conference which is scheduled for three days will have at least 100 sessions and it comes a few days before the UN boss receives recommendations for the post 2015 development framework.
Key notes speakers including the United Nation's Population Fund executive director Babatunde Osotimehin, Melinda Gates of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Ms Chelsea Clinton of the Clinton Foundation and Cecile Richards President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America are expected to push for action to have issues affecting both girls and women addressed.
Also, Kenya will also be among African states that will be recognised for efforts to ensure citizens access family planning services.
Kenya has been praised for developing a new and comprehensive Population Policy for National Development that was approved by Parliament last December.

Kimemia responds to graft claims before House team

Photo/FILE  Head of Public Service Mr Francis Kimemia.
Photo/FILE Head of Public Service Mr Francis Kimemia. 
Posted  Monday, May 27  2013 at  10:19

Mr Francis Kimemia, the nominee to the post of Secretary to the Cabinet is currently responding to graft claims before the House team on Administration and National Security and the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC). Read (House team set to receive EACC report on Kimemia)
Earlier, EACC met with the House team from 7am to present a report on Mr Kimemia's integrity.
A member of the committee told Nation that the claims made against Mr Kimemia are of 'mega corruption' and could deny him the position if proved by the commission.

African leaders to urge ICC to move Kenya trials home

Posted  Monday, May 27  2013 at  12:45

African leaders will pass a resolution Monday urging the International Criminal Court to refer back to Kenya the crimes against humanity cases against the country's top leaders, a senior African Union official said. Read (African leaders put ICC to task over Uhuru trial)
"We will be approving this morning what the ministers have proposed, definitely," AU security commissioner Ramtane Lamamra told AFP, referring to a draft agreed Friday by foreign ministers.
The resolution calls for the ICC to refer back to Kenya the cases against recently-elected President Uhuru Kenyatta and Vice President William Ruto.
Leaders will call for the "termination of the ICC process... jurisdictions in Kenya will have to take care of the situation," Lamamra said.
"Heads of state will support what the ministers have proposed," Lamamra added, speaking on the sidelines of the AU summit in the Ethiopian capital, where leaders are expected to endorse the proposal before they close their meeting later Monday.
Kenyatta and Ruto, elected in March, both face trial in The Hague for their alleged roles in orchestrating deadly violence after previous elections in 2007 that left 1,100 people dead.
The proposal would have no legal impact on ICC proceedings if passed, but would significantly boost Kenyatta's standing on the continent.
It would be the first time the pan-African body has moved formally against the ICC, even though Kenyatta is the second African leader to face trial, after genocide charges were brought against Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir.
Amnesty International has criticised the move saying it is a "worrying attempt by the Kenyan authorities to avoid justice".
The rights group called on the 34 AU members who have signed the ICC's founding Rome Statute -- including Kenya -- to "protect the international justice mechanism they have committed to".
Both Kenyatta and Ruto deny the charges and have agreed to cooperate fully with the ICC.
Kenyatta's trial is due to open on July 9, while a date for Ruto's trial is expected to be set later this month.
However, Lamamra said Africa remains committed to justice on the continent.
"Africa is committed to fighting impunity, but fighting impunity is not exclusive through the ICC," he said.
Many African leaders, as well as the AU as a body, have claimed the ICC unfairly targets Africans, while ignoring war crimes suspects in other parts of the world.
Violence erupted following the disputed 2007 election in Kenya, shattering the country's image as a beacon of regional stability.
What began as political riots quickly turned into ethnic killings and reprisal attacks, plunging Kenya into its worst wave of violence since independence in 1963.

Museveni claims ICC insincere, alleges plot to lock up Kenyatta

PHOTO | JENNIFER MUIRURI Deputy President William Ruto is welcomed to the 50th anniversary festivities of the African Union in Nairobi on May 25, 2013.
PHOTO | JENNIFER MUIRURI Deputy President William Ruto is welcomed to the 50th anniversary festivities of the African Union in Nairobi on May 25, 2013.  NATION MEDIA GROUP
Posted  Saturday, May 25  2013 at  23:30

Uganda President Yoweri Museveni has sensationally claimed that there is a plot to detain President Uhuru Kenyatta at The Hague when his trial begins on July 9.
President Museveni is said to have told heads of state from East and Horn of Africa meeting under the umbrella of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (Igad) on Friday night that the International Criminal Court (ICC) was not sincere in its dealings on the Kenyan case.
“ICC should tell us if they plan to detain [Mr] Kenyatta. They should give us an explanation if he is going to come back to Kenya because the information we are receiving is different,” Mr Museveni was quoted as saying in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The source, who could not be named for protocol reasons, said Mr Museveni added: “We will not agree to have him attend if the intention is to detain him. If we don’t have a clear picture of the plans by the International Court, then it means our relations with them will be soured. They should treat us with dignity.”
The Igad heads of state also challenged the ICC to give a comprehensive report on the schedule of President Kenyatta’s trial.
It was not immediately clear why Mr Museveni made the claims, especially because President Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto, who are accused of crimes against humanity over the 2007/8 post-election violence, have been co-operating with the ICC since they were indicted in 2011. President Kenyatta took office on April 9 and, among other things, promised to respect international laws and clear his name in court.
Mr Ruto travelled to The Hague two weeks ago for a meeting with the judges, of his own volition, and pledged to co-operate with the court. He successfully petitioned the court to move his trial from May 28 to a new date yet to be set.
Under the ICC rules, Mr Kenyatta, Mr Ruto and radio presenter Joshua Sang can only be detained if the prosecutor applies for an arrest warrant on the grounds that they had breached the conditions that allowed them to attend trial as free men. These include interfering with witnesses, refusing to co-operate with the court, inciting people to violence  and committing further crimes against humanity.
Mr Museveni is behind the push by African Union heads of state to ask the ICC to drop the Kenya cases. A council of foreign ministers voted on Thursday for the case to be brought back to Kenya or the charges be investigated afresh. Only Botswana opposed the resolution.
“We are asking the ICC to stop the prosecution of the two Kenyan principals, if not then they should re-investigate the cases because there are a lot of falsehoods that led to the prosecution of these individuals,” said Mr Sam Kutesa, Uganda’s Foreign Affairs minister.
Zambia President Michael Sata told journalists at the African Union headquarters on Friday evening that Africa should learn to deal with her problems.
Challenged Kenyans
“Where was The Hague when Africa was fighting for Independence? If you find a Kenyan or Zambian president at fault, let the Kenyan or Zambian people deal with him, not The Hague,” said Mr Sata.
He challenged Kenyans to solve their own problems.
“You Kenyan people, if you kill each other at home, then get justice at home. Don’t rush to find it at The Hague in Netherlands, deal with your issues the Kenyan way,” he added.
AU Commission chairperson Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma also supported Africa’s bid to solve its own problems.
“When we talk about African solutions for African problems, it’s because we know how the guns can be silenced,” Dr Zuma told journalists on Saturday.
African Union heads of state were yet to vote on the resolution by the time we went to press.
“We are doing it for one of the African countries, for the people of Kenya. How do they expect a sitting president to run the country from a cell in a foreign country? We shall not allow this. The report from ICC has to be very clear on what they plan to do with the Kenyan president.”

African leaders put ICC to task over Uhuru trial

Posted  Sunday, May 26  2013 at  23:30

Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni is said to have told Heads of State from East and Horn of Africa meeting under the umbrella of Igad on Friday night that the ICC was not sincere on the Kenyan case.
“ICC should tell us if they plan to detain [Mr] Kenyatta. They should give us an explanation if he is going to come back to Kenya because the information we are receiving is different,” Mr Museveni was quoted as saying.
During the talks, Zambian President Michael Sata told Kenyans to deal with their problems locally.
“Where was the Hague when Africa was fighting for independence? If you find a Kenyan or Zambian President at fault, let the Kenyan or Zambian people deal with him, not the Hague,” he said.

4 Traits Of Extraordinary Bosses

woman speaks to group at conference table
By Brad Lomenick

Let's be honest: you don't want to fail. But if you're a leader, you've more than likely failed at one point or another. One of the most prevalent reasons for failure is the lack of the essential elements needed to lead now and well. Here are four traits you must possess if you want to succeed as a boss:

1. Authenticity: Every leader faces the temptation to project a persona rather than be themselves. They think that to maintain the confidence of their team, they must appear faultless, flawless and wise. Yet most organizations need an authentic leader, not a perfect one. Today's leader must develop the art of self-awareness. Quit trying to emulate someone else and start being yourself. Share and be honest about your own struggles. By doing this, you'll immediately gain influence.

2. Courage: As a leader, you can't wimp out. You must be willing to be bold and take risks. Will it be hard? Absolutely. Will it be scary at times? Probably. But courage is not waiting for your fear to go away; courage is always confronting tough decisions and conversations head-on. You may find that this trait doesn't come natural to you. The good news is that courage can be learned. Start practicing now.

3. Principles: Every organization fails at one time or another. If a leader is principled at the time of the failure, he or she is much more likely to learn from it and move on to success. Leaders are defined by their inner strengths and convictions, not the outer portrayal of who they are. Your character will determine your level of leadership and your legacy. Living on principle is one essential that will help you lead well and finish well. There are three elements of being a principled leader: humility, discipline and integrity.

Want to know if you possess these three valuable principles? Start searching your speech for phrases like, "I'm sorry," "thank you" and "I trust you." Listen for patterns of "we" and "us" versus "I" and "my."

Practice the art of these principles and establish an accountability system to help keep you grounded. No one likes a leader with a big head. Every strong leader shares at least one desire: to grow. Very few successful leaders say, "I think we're about as successful as we need to be. I've decided we should just coast from now on."

If you want to grow, you need to start collaborating. Leaders tend to shy away from other leaders because they don't want to give away their secrets, but this mentality is backward. Collaboration creates innovation, reduces unnecessary risk and amplifies success. If you desire to advance your level of leadership, one of the best things you can do is to build bridges.

4. Collaborative spirit: Start by looking for two kinds of organizations: one you have profound philosophical differences with and another that is in the same line of work, but not a direct competitor. Once you've found them, set up a meeting and begin sharing best practices and brainstorming. You'll be thankful you did.

It's been said that following is easy, but leading is difficult. That is no doubt true. Leading in this century is a daunting task. But moving toward these healthy habits and characteristics will help you become a successful change-maker capable of leveraging your influence for the betterment of the world and the collective good of others.

Brad Lomenick is President and Key Visionary of Catalyst, one of America's most influential leadership movements, and author of The Catalyst Leader: 8 Essentials to Becoming a Change Maker. Follow him at @BradLomenick or

I lost my arms and feet after bum boost injections Shock image reveals dodgy jabs truth

A MUM of two told last night how her quest for a bigger bottom left her a quadruple amputee – and 24 hours from death.

Apryl Michelle Brown had black-market silicone injections which turned out to be BATHROOM SEALANT.
It left her in agony and led to her losing her hands and feet, as well as her buttocks.

The 46-year-old former hairdresser blames “vanity” and wants to warn others of the terrible dangers of such illegal treatments.
Apryl said: “I’ve paid a terrible price for vanity and I’ll pay for the rest of my life. But I blame no one but myself.
“I want to share my story to warn others about these so-called ‘quick fix’ surgeries.
“I didn’t realise the dangers. I thought it was a harmless injection that would give me the perfect bottom. But the reality was the silicone used wasn’t suitable for humans. It was, in fact, bathroom sealant only suitable for DIY.

“My body had a massive allergic reaction to it which left me at the brink of death.
“I was in so much agony that, by that point, dying would have been a release. The only way doctors could save my life was to amputate my buttocks, my hands and feet.”
Teased as a child about her “pancake” bum, Apryl vowed to buy a shapelier one when she was older.
She said: “I didn’t know if I wanted mine to look like Janet Jackson’s or J-Lo’s.
“I didn’t even know how you could do it. I just wanted a new, bigger bottom.”
The moment that changed her life came in 2004, when two women walked into her successful beauty salon to get their hair done.
One of them ran “pumping parties” — where unqualified practitioners inject illegal silicone into “patients” at their home.
Apryl, from Los Angeles, said: “One of the women told me how she had given bottom injections to the friend who was with her.
“I remember thinking it was a miracle she’d walked into my life. Her friend showed me the work she’d had done and it looked great.

“In a split second I made the decision that I was going to go to this woman and let her inject silicone into my behind.”
That decision nearly killed her. Apryl paid the woman, who had no medical background, around £650 for two lots of injections. Doctors later discovered the substance used was industrial-grade silicone.
Apryl admitted: “I didn’t do any research. A combination of naivety, misplaced trust and insecurity led me to take this disastrous decision.
“I trusted her because she seemed so professional, and I had no reason to think anything awful was going to happen.
“She carried out the procedure in her daughter’s bedroom. She assessed my bottom and said, ‘You’ll need three or four sessions to get the result you want’.
“The first procedure took an hour. I remember asking, ‘Is it meant to be so painful?’ and she said, ‘Yes’. It felt like it was squeezing through my nerves.”
Within weeks Apryl returned for her second treatment.

She said: “After going through it again I had an epiphany. As I left her house I thought, ‘What am I doing? I have no idea what she’s putting in my body’.
“I never returned. But though I didn’t know it then, my life had already changed forever.”
Over the next two years the area where she’d been injected became hard and the skin blackened.
Apryl, mum to daughters Danye, 22 and Courtney, 21, said: “Within a few months of the second injection my buttocks began to harden. I knew something wasn’t right. But shame stopped me seeking medical help. As time went on it got worse as the skin blackened. I developed hard lumps. Then the searing pain started. I had to tell my doctor what I did. I was so ashamed.”
Apryl spent the next four years in constant pain. Two surgeons told her it was too dangerous to remove the silicone.
She said: “I was in so much agony I became a regular at hospital asking for medication to ease what was like a combination of a migraine, childbirth and toothache localised in one area.

Why fewer men are beating their wives

Updated Monday, May 27th 2013 at 09:50 GMT +3
By Wachira Kigotho

Today fewer men in Kenya think it is right to beat their wives than it was a decade ago.  Correspondingly, even less women are willing to gracefully accept their blows.

At the beginning of this Millennium, two thirds of Kenya men believed that wife battery was justified, even for flimsy reasons. A wife would be beaten  if  the food she was cooking slightly burned, or if the she answered her husband back.
Thirteen years on, this has changed significantly with only 45 per cent of men saying wife-beating is justified.  With this development,   it is now safer to be a wife, a girlfriend,   or even a mistress in Kenya, especially when compared to Tanzania.
This year’s Kenya Demographic Health Survey (KDHS) notes  that  in the three traditional East African countries, the most violet place for a wife to live is Tanzania where seven in 10 husbands believe it is okay to beat their partners. According to a survey published in the current issue of the American Sociological Review, 45 per cent of Ugandan men  see nothing wrong with a wife being punished now and then.
The study reviewed data from 26 countries. Fourteen of these countries were in sub-Saharan Africa and included Benin, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali and Nigeria. Other surveys were conducted in Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
According to study leader Dr Rachael Pierotti of the  University of Michigan,   the situation is much worse in Nigeria where 81 per cent of married women report being verbally or physically abused by their husbands. Forty-six per cent reported being abused in the presence of their children.
But the situation has started to change with more men rejecting domestic violence, especially in Nigeria where 65 per cent of men recently said they were opposed to wife beating compared to 48 per cent in an earlier study   conducted in 2008.
Dr Pierotti says there are significant changes in global attitudes towards domestic violence, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa.
It is only in Madagascar that most men thought it was necessary to unleash domestic violence on women on a regular basis.
Women are in most instances assaulted by their husbands or girls beaten by their boyfriends for very flimsy reasons such as if the woman went out without informing her male partner or if children were left unattended.
Dr Pierotti says women in sub-Saharan Africa are frequently beaten by their partners if they refuse to have sex with them, argue with them or even if they burn food.
For instance recently, a man in the town of Gweru in Zimbabwe bashed his wife and threatened to stab her with a knife  for refusing to teach him how to open a  Facebook account. He also demanded to know what she was posting on her Facebook page.
Dr Tom Ondicho, a research fellow at the Institute of Anthropology, University of Nairobi, says that in the past domestic violence was embedded in the culture of silence, but in recent decades, the issue has emerged as one of the most widespread and frightening problems in the region.
In this regard, Dr Ondicho seems to differ with Pierotti that wife beating in Kenya or elsewhere in sub-Saharan Africa has subsided.
“There is an underlying consensus that the incidence of wife beating has increased substantially in the last few decades,” says Dr Ondicho in his study on battered women in Nairobi.
But there is general consensus that attitudes on wife beating in recent times has changed as a result of disintegration of traditional socio-cultural norms that “regulated” wife-beating.
But whereas Dr Pierotti views wife-beating in a  sociological perspective, Dr Ondicho thinks this battery is motivated by a man’s urge to retain the traditional position of power and authority over women, even as modernity opens up opportunities for women folk.
But whatever the factors, the situation is fast changing from a scenario in traditional society where a man who did not beat his wife was considered a wimp.
Dr Ondicho observes that  in modern society men might be still struggling to maintain their traditional image but a wage economy, education, and migration have altered the equation under which women were oppressed and ranked just a notch higher than children in the clan ranking order.
“Nevertheless, the improved status of women and the diminishing role of the extended family in resolving marital disharmony both empower women and render them vulnerable to gender violence,” says Dr Ondicho.
But even under such circumstances, the general attitude about the use of domestic violence has changed significantly among various age-groups in Kenya.
Whereas in rural areas, most men and women would agree that a husband should beat his wife if she burned food, in urban areas, the burning of food was not sufficient to merit a beating. However, the study notes that men and women in urban and rural areas were in agreement that married women should be beaten if they neglected children.
Basically, the change in attitudes towards rejecting wife-beating in sub-Saharan Africa is fronted by  young people and, more so, the emerging middle-class. Dr Pierotti found that those who lived in cities and  were better educated were more likely to reject wife-beating than those who lived in rural areas and had relatively less education.
There was also evidence that people  with access to newspapers, radio and television were more likely to reject wife-beating. “The global spread of ideas about women’s rights and the increasing international attention to the problem of violence against women may be contributing to the striking change in attitudes about this issue,” says Dr Pierotti,   a recipient of  the Marshall Weinberg Research Fellowship award    for her incisive studies on gender inequality.
Even though violence may be decreasing in certain pockets of society in Kenya, there is emerging evidence of  increased domestic violence against women in difficult circumstances.
Carrie Hough, a researcher with Refuge Point,  an  advocacy group on refugee issues, says  there is increased battery of women among  refugees in Turkana County, North Eastern Province and Nairobi. During her investigation, Hough encountered serious cases of women battery but victims seemed almost helpless.
One told her: “We have to abide by the law, culture and tradition of our community, and according to our community, women are supposed to be beaten  by men from time to time.”
She identified risk factors as harmful cultural practices that tend to oppress women even when both men and women are living in difficult circumstances.
All too often, the police are very unsympathetic to battered women.   According to investigations carried out by Dr Ondicho, police officers in most cases  did not take wife-beating seriously and in many situations,  encouraged informal sanctions by persuading the two parties to reconcile, even though wife battery is a criminal offence.
Although some women are making inroads to protect themselves from  domestic violence, the road is bumpy for those in urban slums.
A study conducted  by Dr Ondicho in Kibera pinpoints legal fees as  a major impediment to married women who may want to press charges against their abusive husbands. “Besides courts are often not on the side of victims as suspended sentences and warnings are the most common forms of punishment, resulting in repeat violations,”  says Dr Ondicho.
But in spite of these circumstances, women in Kenya and elsewhere in sub-Saharan Africa have almost cracked the glass-ceiling of men domination wide open  through ingenious legal campaigns, education and economic empowerment.
Notably, the 1995 Universal Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women by the United Nations General Assembly opened the floodgates in which women aggressively fought against acts of gender-based violence that results in physical, sexual and psychological harm,  threats, coercion and  arbitrary deprivation of liberty.
Locally, the new Constitution is a bulwark against violence against women and children. New legislations on inheritance, basic education and governance are providing  women with more freedom and basic rights than any other time in Kenya’s history.
But no matter  which way one looks at it, women have not acquired their current position on a silver platter but through hard work. Like their counterparts in Nigeria and Ghana where they have almost thrown out men from businesses in Lagos, Port Harcourt, Ibadan and Accra, women traders in  Nairobi  are becoming increasingly influential.
In Central Province, women are also edging men out in farming activities. These are signals that  battle for gender supremacy  is not about to come to an end but is bound to continue for a long time to come. With safeguards of international human rights and the constitutionally-guaranteed Bill of Rights for all, it seems new battle fronts will be opened.

Pope to Mafia: Put down your guns

VATICAN CITY —  Pope Francis paid tribute to a courageous priest murdered by the Sicilian Mafia as a martyr and urged mobsters on Sunday to abandon their evil ways, particularly the exploitation of people in trafficking rackets such as prostitution.

Francis issued his call to organized crime members to convert their hearts, a day after the beatification of the Rev. Giuseppe "Pino" Puglisi in Palermo. The Vatican honored Puglisi as a martyr in the ceremony, 20 years after he was slain in the city by mobsters for defiantly preaching against the Mafia in a neighborhood where Cosa Nostra held sway.

Francis told a crowd in St. Peter's Square that the Mafia killed the Rev. Giuseppe Puglisi because he tried to keep youths from being recruited by mobsters.

Beatification is the last formal step before possible sainthood. As part of the process leading to beatification, church officials considered statements that convicted Mafiosi had given to investigators. The mobsters told authorities that Cosa Nostra bosses had ordered Puglisi's murder because he had dared defy the Mafia by his preaching and work with young people. Mafia bosses convicted of ordering the slaying and are serving life sentences in prison.

The pope didn't attend the beatification ceremony, which drew tens of thousands of people to an esplanade near Palermo's seaside. Instead, he used the traditional Sunday papal appearance to pilgrims, tourists and Romans in St. Peter's Square to hail Puglisi as a martyr and "an exemplary priest, especially dedicated" to serving young people.

"Educating young people according to the Gospel, he took them away from organized crime, and thus it (the Mafia) tried to defeat him by killing him," Francis said.

Puglisi was gunned down a few months after Pope John Paul II made a pilgrimage to Sicily and angrily called on mobsters to "convert" their hearts. At the time the island was still shocked by the 1992 bomb blast assassinations by Cosa Nostra, two months apart, of Italy's top anti-Mafia magistrates.

"I think of the great pain suffered by men, women and even children, exploited by so many mafias," Francis said. He decried the crime syndicates for "making them do work that makes them slaves, prostitution."

"Behind this exploitation and slavery are the mafias," the pope said. Francis, two months into his papacy, has branded human trafficking as one of the most terrible evils plaguing the world.

"They cannot make our brothers slaves," Francis said. "Let us pray that these Mafiosi and Mafiose convert to God," the pope said, using the Italian words to indicate both male and female mobsters. Women have increasingly been playing command roles in Italy's organized crime world as crackdowns see many of the male mobsters jailed for long terms, and have long helped syndicates by hiding fugitives in their homes and with other assistance.

Puglisi worked in one of Palermo's poorest and roughest neighborhoods, trying to give hope and options to young people, often recruited by Cosa Nostra for drug pushing, numbers running and other jobs in the mob's illicit activities. Francis has repeatedly said his vision of the Catholic church is a "poor church for the poor," and encouraged clergy to work with people on society's margins and avoid having the church turn inwards onto itself.

Investigators say that along with drug trafficking, human trafficking, including in illegal immigrants to work clandestinely in agriculture or factories, and of young people from abroad for prostitution, has become one of the most profitable industries for organized crime.

Francis put his strategy of paying attention to faithful on the periphery into practice Sunday, choosing as his first parish to visit in Rome one so far on the city's outskirts that he took a helicopter from the Vatican, about 20 kilometers (13 miles) away, to arrive. The pope is also bishop of Rome, and Francis spent much of the pastoral visit conversing casually with children in the front row who were making their first Communion at Mass celebrated by him