Friday, 31 January 2014

Luo leaders are first casualties of “Old ODM favouritism”, and an enduring pre-2007 “Pentagon Mentality”

By Dikembe Disembe
Recently, the mainstream media discourse in opposition party politics has seen the re-introduction of the tribe-party social complex as a political unit in our national conversations.
More precisely, the Luo tribe and ‘their place’ in the Orange Democratic Movement, has seen mainstream media reframe, at different instances, the forthcoming ODM party polls as first, a fight pitting the ‘rest of Kenya’ against the Luo, and, when a battalion of Luo leaders successively quit the poll’s race; the media has now changed the story, and “now warning” on this massive “walkout” of leaders of the Luo community from the Orange polls.
I belong to the school of civic journalism that believes if ‘democracy, in its practised form, is poorly understood by citizens of a republic, it (democracy) can still fail’. The tribe-party social complex sums up a discussion potentially engaging everyone and allows a society to come to a common mind about important matters. To me, the party-tribe social complex, and its attendant identity politics, is summed up in what I call the Pentagon Mentality – When ODM decided to reify its ethnic publics by elevating political demigods as representation of the ‘face of the nationa-tribe’ country.
William Ruto, Najib Balala, Joe Nyaga (with no following) Musalia Mudavadi and Raila Odinga were the then ‘national face’ of ODM politics. Charity Ngilu would later jump in. It can be argued that this worked until it was met by impunity at the ballot of 2007. Its Machiavellian dictum was “41 against 1″.In my view, the normative status of the Pentagon Mentality can no longer be re-enacted. Time, we all know, tames human ingenuity. But I digress.
The gnashing by Luo MPs who quit the race with pathologically infuriating excuses, from ‘giving way to younger leaders’ to ‘obeying party leadership wishes’ to Mbadi’s blatant take that the environment had been ‘poisoned for Luo candidates’ has a host of dependent issues that will ultimately play out in the post-NDC Orange party.
Choices will have consequences, and this polls may again create an redeemable legitimacy issues around party office bearers.
The reason why Luo MPs will remain in ODM is precisely the same reason why they cannot shout loudest, despite the vexatious manner in which they have been short-changed and ‘traded’ for other communities in the next polls.
Most Luo MPs are beneficiaries of the mess that engulfed ODM Party nominations. Put more succinctly, most of them owe their candidatures to the direct intervention of Raila Odinga (politically the Planck Constant of the ODM politics) and as such, high octane rebellion, such as we saw with Ruto towards the last ODM NDC where he forced himself to Deputy Party leadership, and later the eventual mass walkout of the Kalenjin community, cannot be staged by these MPs.
Those who were confident with the people in the last elections defected to other parties, and, like Olago Aluoch or the Awendo MP, still won thier seats. It is therefore safe to say that for now, Luo MPs will remain in ODM and peddle their loyalties as if nothing had happened.
However, the very idea that they ‘gave way to the wishes of the party leadership’ and still claim to be loyal to the party with the vigour and gusto to in future expend their energies in invigorating ODM, is, to me, only achievable among mindless robots. With such trade-offs, ODM of the future will have to marshal the whole of heaven on its side to remove this wasteful and clueless Uhuru government. If not, a decade it is in the cold.
Party polls, such as ODM has committed itself into conducting, are not merely exercises in public relations. For a party that conducted shoddy nominations towards the last general election – which it lost- the hopes of many supporters had rested on massive re-engineering of the party. It must be seen that the party learnt something.
To re-engineer an organization is to rethink it wholesomely. To radically transform it in a manner that uproots, if any, all earlier cartels and status quos that made re-engineering inevitable in the first place. To say it primitively, it is not to bandage pus in the wound. When done, it should ‘dramatically’ shore up the fortunes of that Organization. This is a tested science of business management strategy.
If by ejecting Luo MPs was to achieve this, then our focus, as ODM party supporters, should be to look into the facts. Did Luos dominate ODM? How many party positions existed in the past and how many were occupied by Luos? What were the relative strategic importance of such positions? Finally, how did holding such positions benefit supporters of the party in those regions? If, in the last question, there is no benefit that electing so-and-so to that position benefits any particular region – and by region I mean the ethnic coocon – then the rancour caused by removing Luo MPs worries.
This is the simple question: How did Luos gain from ODM by the mere fact that Prof. Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o was the Party Secretary General? If the Sec Gen post goes to Zani or Namwamba, what benefits accompany it that the two leaders will deliver to ‘their people’? What benefits have the people of Kipkelion recieved by the mere fact that Magerer Langat is the ODM Executive Director? If none, why this natural selection of Luo MPs, or Luos?
When Luo leaders like Ken Obura, John Mbadi, James Orengo, Dalmas Otieno, Evans Kidero, Millie Odhiambo actively indicated their intentions to vie; the party positions were framed as ‘favours to regions’. The whole hullabaloo about the ‘national face’ was pegged on this premise.
Now, what is the “meaning” of this national face that ODM seeks to built? What is its strategic worth minus the media buzzed ‘perception of inclusivity’ that has been thrown in our faces? When you say “ODM is not a Luo party” what do you? If you replace the word “Luo” with “Luhya” or “Somali” or “Digo” will the meaning remain the same? More than the meaning, will the reactions remain ‘muted’ as Luos have done, opting to ‘quit’ and let go?
This Pentagon mentality – that top party shots must be seen to come from wherever – is so old school. Heck, this is 2014 after the election of Uhuru and Ruto on a ‘merely’ two-tribe tyranny. Having tens of  party demi-gods can’t bring that magic. Sadly, after the NDC, ODM will again expend a lot of energy and resources ‘healing’ the wounds caused by the ‘pentagon mentality’. Already, I can see the jitters of mashemeji and their lot.
In an earlier post I argued that no community should see their lot in ODM as doing another community a favour. No community should be ‘firewood’ for others in ODM. The Luo have always have the same stake, sometimes even lower stakes, than the other communities which form this party. You only need to look at the party when it was part of the government and the direction the ministerial flags took.
Party affirmative action ended up seeing Prof Nyong’o – an indefatigable economist – spend half a decade as medical minister, fighting out strikes with nurses and doctors! Oh, and Orengo’s Lands ministry was more of an IDP Lands ministry.
What I am saying is that ODM polls do not benfit communities but individuals. One only hopes that these individuals have the political capital to bring to the party, like Joho did in Mombasa, otherwise, just cobbling up a ‘starving face of Kenya’ in ODM will condemn it to where that animal humanity called “Dodo” ended up – historical oblivion!
Of course, ODM is not a Luo party. [laughing out loudly]
Dikembe Disembe comments on topical political and ethnicity issues in Kenya.

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Ananas, getrocknet: Wie ein Schweizer Ghanas Früchte exportiert

Maik Blaser schneidet Ananas, neben ihm zwei Angestellte 
  • Montag, 27. Januar 2014, 17:18 Uhr

Aus dem Emmental nach Afrika – Maik Blaser trocknet in Ghana Ananas und exportiert sie nach Europa. Das Wirtschaftsmagazin «ECO» hat ihn in seiner Firma besucht. Und es wird deutlich: Die Hürden für Schweizer Unternehmer in Afrika sind zahlreich.

Mango, Kokosnüsse und vor allem: Ananas. 700 Tonnen Trockenfrüchte exportiert Maik Blaser jährlich nach Europa. Vor neun Jahren kam der Bauer aus dem Emmental als Leiter einer Ananas-Plantage nach Ghana. Heute sind europäische Grossverteiler Abnehmer seiner Produkte.
Um den Früchten das Wasser zu entziehen, hat Maik Blaser vor drei Jahren eine eigene Trocknungs-Anlage konzipiert. Investitionen: 3,5 Millionen Franken. Und dies ohne Banken im Rücken, da die Zinsen, die ghanaische Banken verlangten, zu hoch gewesen und Schweizer Banken für Auslandsgeschäfte nicht zu haben gewesen seien.
Maik Blaser bezahlt ungelernten Arbeitern vier Franken pro Tag. «Damit sind wir 30 Prozent über dem Minimallohn», sagt er. Es gebe aber auch besser bezahlte Angestellte, räumt er ein.

Eigene Stromproduktion

Blasers Beispiel zeigt: In Afrika ein Unternehmen zu führen, ist für Europäer alles andere als leicht. Schlechte Strassenzustände verlängern die Transporte und schaden der Qualität der Früchte. Wasserknappheit und Stromunterbrüche verzögern die Trocknung.
Zusatzinhalt überspringen

«ECO»-Serie Afrika

«ECO»-Serie Afrika Aufschwung, Abenteuer, Ängste: In drei Teilen berichtet das Wirtschaftsmagazin «ECO» über Schweizer Unternehmer in Afrika. Vom 20.1. bis 3.2. – immer montags.
Zu Blasers Betrieb gehört eine eigene Biogas-Anlage – die erste kommerzielle des Landes. Sie bringt ihm gleich zwei Vorteile: Das Biogas aus dem organischem Abfall deckt einen Teil des Energiebedarfs der Trocknungsöfen. Gleichzeitig wird er unabhängiger vom öffentlichen Stromnetz.
In den Jahren, seit Maik Blaser im Land ist, hat sich die Trockenfrucht-Produktion in Ghana verändert. Es gibt immer mehr grosse Produzenten, die ausschliesslich exportieren. Tausende von Kleinbauern waren nicht mehr konkurrenzfähig und mussten aufgeben. Einige von ihnen liefern Maik Blaser nun ihre Früchte.
Trotz der Hürden denkt Maik Blaser nicht an eine Rückkehr. Ghana biete ihm Chancen, etwas zu bewegen. Ein Gefühl, das er sich in der Schweiz nicht vorstellen könnte.

Neu-Ulm,Germany: Neu-Ulmer Allgemeinarzt engagiert sich in afrikanischem Dorf

Für zwei Wochen im Jahr verlegt der Neu-Ulmer Allgemeinarzt Dr. Johannes Höß seine Praxis in ein Dorf in Kenia und behandelt dort. Das Schicksal der Menschen lässt ihn auch den Rest des Jahres nicht los.

"Mir geht es total gut." Dieses Gefühl hatte Dr. Johannes Höß bereits als Teenager gehabt - einhergehend mit der Erkenntnis, etwas von dem Glück zurückgeben zu wollen. Denn dass es ihm an nichts fehlt, sei im Grunde Zufall, sagt er. Genauso gut hätte er beispielsweise in einem kleinen afrikanischen Dorf ohne Strom, Wasser, geschweige denn medizinischer Versorgung aufwachsen können.
Dass sich der 47-jährige Allgemeinarzt heute in genau einem solchen Dorf engagiert, ist ebenfalls dem Zufall zu verdanken, genauer gesagt seinem Schwager Tobias Lutz, der selbst Zahnarzt ist. "Er hat mich praktisch gezwungen mitzumachen", sagt Höß und grinst. "Man schiebt solche Dinge ja gerne für die Rentenzeit auf - und macht sie nie."
Gleich der erste Einsatz, der von der Organisation "Prisoner Fellowship International" geleitet wurde, führte Höß in die Todeszellen eines ugandischen Gefängnisses. Als "unvorstellbar" beschreibt er die Zustände dort. Gefolterte Menschen, Menschen mit Knochenbrüchen lagen in völlig verdreckten Zellen.
Höß hat seine Ausbildung zum Arzt bei der Bundeswehr gemacht und auch Einsätze im Kosovo gehabt. Man könnte also auf den Gedanken kommen, dass er auf solche Situationen einigermaßen vorbereitet war. Der Arzt winkt ab. "Das ist etwas total anderes", meint er. "Ich war total nervös, ich wäre am liebsten gleich wieder ins Flugzeug zurück gestiegen." Die Aufregung legte sich aber, sobald er mit der Arbeit begonnen hatte. "Die Menschen waren so dankbar für jede Untersuchung, das habe ich sonst nie erlebt."
Eine Erfahrung, die mit dazu beigetragen hat, dabei zu bleiben. Höß engagiert sich mittlerweile seit sechs Jahren, zunächst über die Hilfsorganisation humedica, inzwischen vor allem über den Verein Ubuntu, der in dem kenianischen Dorf Kasuna aktiv ist, aus dem die Frau seines Schwagers kommt. Höß betont: "Man kann nur so viel helfen, wie man kann." Und lieber man hilft in einem Dorf nachhaltig, als zu versuchen, überall etwas zu machen. In Kasuna ist jedenfalls genug zu tun. Zum einen soll den Kindern der Besuch von Schule und Kindergarten ermöglicht werden- eine sättigende Mahlzeit inklusive. Das gibt Anreiz, die Kinder zur Schule zu schicken, was wiederum die Mädchen davor bewahrt, zu früh verheiratet zu werden - ab zwölf Jahren ist das sonst möglich, berichtet Höß. Da 75 Prozent der Bevölkerung mit HIV infiziert sind, kommt das zudem oft einem Todesurteil nahe.
Die Kranken zu behandeln ist die zweite große Aufgabe. Für zwei Wochen im Jahr schließt Höß seine Praxis in Neu-Ulm und reist mit Kollegen nach Kasuna. Länger geht momentan nicht, denn mit seiner Praxis finanziert er den Einsatz in Kenia. "Und Urlaub mit meiner Frau und Kindern muss noch drin sein, allein aus Selbstschutz", sagt Höß.
In zwei Wochen könne er aber schon eine Menge bewirken. Für besonders dramatische Fälle sammelt er ohnehin in Deutschland Spenden. Etwa für die vierjährige Christine, die mit einem künstlichen Darmausgang lebt, weil das Geld für die Rück-OP bislang fehlte. Da sich die Familie auch keine Auffangbeutel leisten kann, kann Christine nicht in die Schule, ihre Heiratschancen liegen bei Null - was sie für die Familie wertlos macht, so Höß.
In seiner Praxis hatte er einen Aushang mit Christines Schicksal. "Meine Patienten sind toll", sagt Höß. Die für die OP nötigen 1000 Euro sind beisammen, jetzt muss nur noch der Chirurg gefunden werden. Aktuell sammelt Höß unter anderem Geld für die 16-jährige Milicent, die an Tuberkulose erkrankt ist und in Lebensgefahr schwebt. Da sie selbst nach Kenia fliegen, ist garantiert, dass das Geld ohne Abzüge ankommt, versichert Höß.
Wichtig ist ihm, dass die Menschen lernen, selbst klar zu kommen. Er erzählt von der Mutter, die ihren Sohn mit einer vereiterten und verdreckten Wunde, in der sich Maden breit gemacht hatten, zu ihm brachte. Er hat ihr gezeigt, wie man eine Wunde sauber hält und außerdem das nötige Verbandszeug mitgegeben.
Höß hofft auf den Vorbildcharakter solcher Maßnahmen. Denn oft seien die Menschen geradezu apathisch, was ihre eigenen Lebensumstände angeht, beschreibt Höß. Das sei nicht nur auf einen Mangel an Bildung zurückzuführen, sondern auch darauf, dass die Kolonialherren die Bevölkerung unmündig gemacht haben, vermutet er. Umso wichtiger ist es, die Einheimischen in die Hilfsprojekte einzubeziehen. "Ubuntu" kann drei Menschen voll bezahlen, weitere helfen ehrenamtlich und bekommen dafür Schulbildung für ihre Kinder ermöglicht.
Zurück in Neu-Ulm kommt es Höß zuweilen seltsam vor, mit welchen Zipperlein seine Patienten kommen. Etwas gelassener sein, das könnten die Deutschen von den Kenianern lernen. Höß: "Bei mir wirkt das immer einige Wochen nach, da rege ich mich dann nicht über alles mögliche auf."
Info Dr. Johannes Höß berichtet am Mittwoch, 29. Januar, ab 19.30 Uhr im Caritas-Pflegeheim, Am Escheugraben 20, in Neu-Ulm über seine Erfahrungen in Kenia. Außerdem am 19. Februar im AWO-Pflegeheim in Neu-Ulm, Eckstr. 1, ab 19 Uhr. Mehr auch unter

Sunday, 26 January 2014

It saps Energy trying to get a Kalenjin lady for a wife, reason why likes of Pope Phillip Koech are in the bachelor club

By K Kipkura

And while burning the midnight oil to ensure I fall within the over 60 or so percent of Kenyans who marry from within their communities, settling for a right Kalenjin Lady is almost driving me insane!
We, boys from the countryside do not just bump into that Tomato faced girl we meet at the university, or in M Pesa queues, or in lifts and take them home for a wife, that would be tantamount to committing cultural suicide.
We are very careful, we know the insights of the irreversible venture that is Marriage today. With this in mind, every young man from the mountain will visit their grand parents for a direction on where to head for a better or hopefully best half.
Now, doing that just kept my head spinning. Everything just hit a barren end. To my elders, unlike yester years, majority of today’s maidens across the Kalenjin nation are just what traitors are to their casualties.
Half of the ladies among my Marakwet, on top of getting lost in the confines of Eldoret after enrolling for courses in town, have failed to hold on to matrimonial unions with others beating up their husbands, stepping on our rights as traditional heads of families.
More than half, if not all Nandi ladies have been brought up to a crazy belief that a man without some cash under his name is just another lunatic out there to fleece their old men’s hard earned wheat cash. Good news is that, there are a few chosen good ones, the worst news is, nobody has ever taken one home.
Most of our sisters from South Rift are very viable, or so some old woman once told me, viable here means the rate at which she will fall into anything like a marriage proposal, they will come with all their feet (toes to hip) , hands, mouths/lips and leave having opened a posho-mill and a kiosk at their home from your money and sleeping around with few village casual labourers.
Many modern girls from Keiyo, my county sisters are just what many kalenjin girls will be, given serious beating and a couple of send offs to their mothers, good wives. A warning I was however given is their low affinity to domestic chores. Many of them, will sit, stretch their legs, call the house girl a thousand devilish names and yawn to everything, even bathing.
My friend once had been so serious about Marrying a Tugen but one thing hampered his efforts, efforts in futility; he was forced to go meet several old men to be helped sort out the clan, lineage, family and dialect that has been producing ‘award winning’ women and those with only the ‘best selling ‘ ladies. A task he refuted and postponed his plan as he waits for the Godly ‘Mke Mwema’.
The Pokots! No let me not even go there, an unbooked pokots girl will siphon all the cows your old man has kept since his youthful days for dowry.
Now, for until God ‘Tumas Msaidizi’ to help me with this hopeless venture, I am sitting and lying here in the cold until I get that energy to go probing Elders across this nation to help me get a wife out of the ‘Tyranny of numbers’.

EXCLUSIVE: Rebecca Nyandeng Garang Reveals All — How Salva Kiir’s ‘private army’ prompted the current conflict

January 25, 2014 by the editorial team, Nyamilepedia.
Mrs Rebecca Garang reveals how the current South Sudan war started

In an exclusive interview, Madam Rebecca Nyandeng Garang de Mabior has told The London Evening Post how the current crisis in South Sudan that has claimed an estimated 10,000 people and left many injured and homeless started and who took the first shots that led to the total destruction of Dr Riek Machar’s house and the killing of his brother and 34 Nuer soldiers who were guarding his house. Because of the importance of this story, we have decided to post it verbatim as Mrs Garang has told it to our editor Dr Henry Gombya.
Henry Gombya (The London Evening Post):Thank you very much for agreeing to have an interview with us. My first question is, we would like you to tell our readers what you know is going on between President Salva Kiir and former Vice President Dr Riek Machar.
Rebecca Garang: Thank you for having me. You know what happened in South Sudan is something that is really bad and taking back the peoples of southern Sudan to war. This was something that happened on the 15th of last month but it had started earlier with some issues which were not being talked about in the party; democracy was not in the party. So some of our members were saying that we needed to reform the party documents and in the party too because there was no freedom of speech, and no freedom of press; a lot of things.
On the 6th of December we said OK then if the President is not calling for a dialogue, let’s call a press conference so that our people know what has been happening. So we gave a press conference on the 6th, all of us together – Riek, the deputy chairman, Salva Kiir and at the same time we were the ones who wanted the reforms together with the groups who are arrested now.
RG: Yes it is us the members, including Dr Riek, who wanted reforms and those who were arrested, . [In] the SPLM we were saying that there were things that were not going well. When you use the tools of democracy like a press conference or a rally to prevent it, there are a lot of intimidations. So we said this needed to be corrected because when we started the war, we were a democratic movement even though there were some external problems here and there. But we can say that we were better because we were fighting for the freedom of our people.
Now when it came to the government of South Sudan, it didn’t like that and that’s why we spoke out. We conducted a press conference raising some issues which were very important. Then then Chairman [of the SPLM] and President, Salva Kiir did not like two of those issues. One was when we asked about the debt of US$4.5billion that needed to be repaid. We as leaders of the party and some of us government officials, we wanted to know what happened, where we got this US$4.5 billion debt. What did we do with it? And there were no national projects which had been carried out so that we could know about the national projects ongoing and the salaries. This is the questions we raised. The second question he did not like also was [about] the army. He [President Kiir] was training a parallel army of 15,000 soldiers which he called “the Republican Guard”. We raised that question. Why train a parallel army when the national army was there? If he wanted to train people he could have taken a quarter from the national army. We raised the question of 15,000 being trained. Why is that?
These were the two questions he kept out of the press conference and wasn’t happy about. He instructed his Vice President, Comrade James Wani to be at the press conference. And when Vice President James Wani came to the press conference, he did not address or answer the issues we had raised in the press release. He started with insults, insulting the groups. Here was the vice president insulting his army colleagues. They were his colleagues in the struggle, the armed struggle and were also his colleagues in the government.
Nobody answered back. And then we said our rally will follow on the 14th of December. Now they went and put the meeting of the National Liberation Council which is a political organ [to take place on the same day]. Now we went and sat again as a group and said OK. If the meeting of the National Liberation Council will be on the 14th [the same day as their proposed rally] then we don’t need to conduct the rally. It will be a controversial issue because we are SPLM and this is a meeting of the SPLM. So we put off the rally and then we sought the advice of the deputy Chairman [of the SPLM] Dr Riek Machar who told us we do as they wanted. We [agreed] to postpone the rally because of the meeting of the National Liberation Council and let the Chairman reciprocate by saying that because [we had agreed to put] off the meeting of the National Council, [we could then] dialogue before going to the meeting.
In the evening somebody came to me and said the president wanted to see me, Madam Rebecca, at 9 O’clock on the 11th and then the group on the 14th [of December]. Then we said OK, maybe the president has accepted what we have proposed; very good gesture. But on the 14th in the morning he didn’t call up. Then I was called from the meeting place and people had already gathered. [They asked me] are you not coming? Then I told them Oh! I was expecting that the president was going to see us. They said ‘no’. People have gathered and the president is coming in 30 minutes. So all of us went in the meeting.
And when we went to the meeting, two Archbishops; the [Catholic] archbishop and the Archbishop of the ECS (Episcopal Church of Sudan) [Daniel Deng] and all other bishops were in the meeting. So the [Catholic] Archbishop, Archbishop [Paulino] Lukudu [Loro] was given a chance to say the prayers and he gave a very good speech, urging us to dialogue and urging us not to interrupt Christmas, saying that Christians should be allowed to pray well and dialogue. Then came Madam Hilde Johnson, a representative of the UN Secretary General who also took the same line as Archbishop Lukudu.
But when it came to the turn of our chairman, Comrade Salva [Kiir], he just dropped a bombshell of [insults]saying he would not allow 1991 to pass and that if Dr Riek wanted to do anything, he was ready for that and that he was not a betrayer, something like that. It was a very provocative speech which was divisive. Some of us, especially myself, were shocked because I thought that the president, as a leader of our people, would be speaking in the same voice as the people of God were speaking. That was a very bad speech and I think it was the start of all the problems.
In the afternoon session they (the Salva Kiir group) decided that some of us would not be given a chance to talk. The president remarked that he had come here to pass a document. He did not even say we would discuss it which is the SPLM constitution. So the document was passed with all the things that we were supposed to amend and add some other issues because now that we were in a bigger house. The president refused some of us [to speak] saying we should not participate [in any further discussions].
On the [following] Sunday, I didn’t go to the meeting. I went to church and from there I returned to my house. Dr Riek called me in the afternoon and said ‘did you go to the meeting?’ and I told him no, I didn’t go. Then he told me that some of our members were feeling this and feeling that and were saying that they did not want to go to the meeting because yesterday we had been refused to talk, not to participate. I think this is when they made a decision that they would do what they did. They may have thought that these people did not come to the meeting and so they were maybe planning a coup. So they made a decision that these people would be arrested. Some of them said they would try to make something so they could accuse these people of planning a coup and arrest them. This is what happened.
This thing happened in his [Kiir’s] headquarters. When they went there, they wanted to disarm a group of Nuer. They went and found that in the president’s headquarters they were many [soldiers belonging to the] Nuer. Their commander then went to the chief of the general staff and asked what he could do. He was then told to leave the [Nuer] soldiers until the next morning. But the officer did not listen to his orders and proceeded to try and disarm the Nuer soldiers. This was the time when this thing erupted and war begun in the headquarters of the president. Then at one o’clock at night, that is when the army headquarters started shooting because there were Nuer members there. Because they were watching the speech of the president, they knew there was a problem.
So some of them [the Nuer soldiers] went home to Dr Riek’s house to get him out because if he had been in his house, he would have been killed. If you went to Juba now you could see the way his house was destroyed and it is not his private house, it is a government house. It was destroyed by Tiger, Kiir’s army. And then the soldiers who were in Dr Riek’s house, about 34 of them, were all killed, were murdered. The Chief of the General Service had told some people to disarm them [the Nuer soldiers] after telling them he was saving their lives by disarming them. These people (Kiir’s Tiger troops) came and killed all of them. His [Machar’s] office manager who was his brother, was also tracked down at a hotel and killed. So when they came in, they targeted massacring Nuer members. A lot of officials, administrators in Juba were killed. This is what literally happened.
This interview will continue in tomorrow’s issue when Madam Rebecca Garang tells the world what happened when the Ugandan forces entered Bor. Do not miss it.
Originally posted by The London Evening Post.


Uncovered: The macabre sex chamber of Libya's Colonel Gaddafi where he raped girls - and boys - as young as 14

Uncovered: The macabre sex chamber of Libya's Colonel Gaddafi where he raped girls - and boys - as young as 14

  • Colonel Muhammar Gaddafi kept several 'sex dungeons' at his palaces
  • Libyan tyrant forced hundreds of young girls to become his sex slaves
  • Gaddafi also had a 'harem' of young men called 'the services group'
  • Dictator visited schools and 'chose' his victims with a pat on the head
  • Gaddafi was killed in October 2011 after 42 years of dictatorship

IT has been more than two years since the capture and death of Muammar Gaddafi, the Libyan dictator whose reign subjected an impoverished people to four decades of murder and terror.
When the bedraggled former leader was hauled out of a drainpipe and shot in October 2011, his death ended the bloody Nato-led civil war that had ravaged the country since the start of that year.
The full horror of his brutality has been slow to emerge, with many Libyans still fearing retaliation by those who continue to be loyal to their late leader. But it can now be revealed that the most heartbreaking of Gaddafi’s victims include hundreds, possibly thousands of teenage girls who, throughout his 42-year reign, were beaten, raped and forced to become his sex slaves.
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Many were virgins kidnapped from schools and universities and kept prisoner for years in a specially designed secret sex lair hidden within Tripoli University or his many palaces. In the 26 months since he was deposed, Gaddafi’s den – where he regularly raped girls as young as 14 – has remained locked. But today its gaudy interior, where the colonel brutalised his victims, can be seen for the first time in photographs from a hard-hitting BBC4 documentary.
Inside the small, nondescript single-storey complex, the girls were forced to watch pornography to ‘educate’ them for their degrading treatment at the hands of Gaddafi. And even those who did manage to escape were often shunned by their deeply religious Muslim families who believed their family honour had been tainted.

When the dictator’s body was dragged through the streets by a baying mob, just hours after he was beaten and shot in the head, the hastily convened transitional government moved swiftly to seal off the sex dungeon. They feared the full extent of Gaddafi’s debased and lewd lifestyle would horrify the Western world and cause deep embarrassment to Libya.
One of the rooms holds little more than a double bed, lit by an orange lamp. Its 1970s decor and grimy Jacuzzi – all left exactly as they were when Gaddafi last used it – give it a seedy and gloomy air. But even more chilling is the clinical gynaecological suite in an adjoining room. It was here, on two beds fitted with stirrups behind a table laden with surgical instruments, that Gaddafi’s young victims were examined to ensure they had no sexually transmittable diseases. And here they were forced to undergo abortions if they became pregnant.

They, however, were the lucky ones. Other young victims were so badly abused that they were dumped in car parks and on waste ground, and left to die.
Gaddafi’s modus operandi was to tour schools and universities where female students were invited to his lectures.
As he spoke before his hushed audience, he would silently scan the room seeking out attractive girls. Before leaving he would pat those he had ‘selected’ on the head.
Within hours his private bodyguards would round up those chosen and kidnap them. If their families tried to keep them from Gaddafi’s clutches, they were gunned down.
One teacher at a Tripoli school recalled how the girls were all very young. ‘Some were only 14,’ she said. ‘They would simply take the girl they wanted. They had no conscience, no morals, not an iota of mercy even though she was a mere child.’
One mother, whose daughter was a student, said the community around Tripoli University lived in fear when a visit from the colonel was announced. ‘The girls he wanted would be rounded up and sent to him,’ she said.
‘One just disappeared and they never found her again, despite her father and brothers searching for her. Another was found three months later, cut, raped and lying in the middle of a park. She had been left for dead.’
Even today, the Libyan people are afraid to speak openly about Gaddafi’s depravity, fearing reprisals from his former henchmen.
But one woman – who was repeatedly raped by the despot over seven years from the age of 15 – has anonymously spoken of how he terrorised and abused her. She had been chosen to present the colonel with a bouquet when he toured her school in his home town of Sirte on the Mediterranean coast, 350 miles east of Tripoli.
When he patted her head afterwards, in an apparently paternal gesture, she thought she had pleased the man she and her fellow Libyans were forced to call ‘the Guide’.
The next day three woman dressed in military uniform arrived telling her parents she was needed to present more flowers. Instead, she was driven at high speed to Gaddafi’s lair. Once there, he barked at his women soldiers: ‘Get her ready.’
The girl was stripped, given a blood test and shaved of all but her pubic hair. She was dressed in a G-string, forced into a low-cut gown and had thick make-up plastered on her face. When she was shoved into Gaddafi’s room, to her horror he was lying naked on the bed. When she tried to run out, the women soldiers grabbed her and flung her back on the bed.
She was raped repeatedly during the seven years she was held captive, eventually escaping when a door was accidentally left unlocked.
Fuelled by cocaine and alcohol – and often Viagra – Gaddafi abused her horribly. ‘I will never forget that first time, that moment,’ she says. ‘He violated my body and pierced my soul with a dagger. That blade will never come out.’
It took the documentary-makers months of negotiations to be allowed access to information on Gaddafi as Libya remains secretive and hide-bound by bureaucracy.

But they also established that Gaddafi set up a ‘murder for hire’ team run from Havana to rid him of enemies around the world. In a secret interview from Cuba, former CIA agent Frank Terpil said: ‘I would say [it was] Murder Incorporated .  .  . murder for hire. Gaddafi thought that anybody who was a dissident, they [should be] eliminated, he had contracts out on a bunch of people in London.’
He often stored the bodies of those killed in Libya in freezers so that he could regularly view them.
If Gaddafi was power-crazed, he was also paranoid. A Brazilian plastic surgeon found himself escorted deep inside a bunker in Tripoli in the middle of the night in order to remove fat from Gaddafi’s belly and inject it into his increasingly wrinkled face.
Despite the pain, Gaddafi refused a general anaesthetic, fearing he might be poisoned – and because he wished to remain alert.
Halfway through the operation, he stopped to have a hamburger.
He also created an elite squad of bodyguards – all female – whom he used for sex and forced to watch multiple barbaric executions.
For decades Gaddafi surrounded himself with these beautiful young women. Dressed in close-fitting military uniforms, with manicured nails and perfectly coiffed hair, they exuded glamour while toting guns.
But they were little more than disposable prostitutes used and abused by Gaddafi and his family.
Known as ‘the Haris al-Has’ – the private female guards – almost all were coerced into joining his cadre. One of them, who admits she had ‘once adored him’, recalled the horrific treatment they had to endure. ‘Early one morning, at 2am, we were taken to a closed hall,’ she said. ‘We were to witness the murder of 17 students. We were not allowed to scream. We were made to cheer and shout. To act as though delighted by this display. Inside I was crying. They shot them all, one by one.’
According to Benghazi-based psychologist Seham Sergewa, who interviewed scores of the girls for the International Criminal Court, there were about 400 members of the elite squad over the years.
‘A pattern emerged in their stories,’ she explains. ‘The women would first be raped by the dictator then passed on, like used objects, to one of his sons and eventually to high- ranking officials for more abuse.
‘In one case a girl of 18 said she was raped in front of her father. She kept begging her distraught father to look away. Many of the victims say they contemplated suicide many times. Doubtless there were some who took their own lives.’

It has also emerged that teams of boys were sent to Gaddafi’s sex den, where they too were abused. Former chief of protocol Nuri Al Mismari, who was at Gaddafi’s side for 40 years, adds: ‘He was terribly sexually deviant. Young boys and so on. He had his own boys. They used to be called the “services group”. All of them were boys and bodyguards .  .  . a harem for his pleasure.’ One of the few Libyans who was prepared to be named and talk about the horrors Gaddafi inflicted on his people was Baha Kikhia, the widow of Libya’s former foreign minister with whom Gaddafi had a frosty relationship.
When her husband vanished one evening, she confronted Gaddafi about his whereabouts. The colonel insisted he was being kept alive but, to Baha’s horror, his body was one of many found in freezers after the regime fell.
‘He liked to keep his victims in the refrigerators to look at them now and again,’ she says haltingly. ‘He would visit his victims.
‘It was as though they were some sort of macabre souvenirs. Something that he could look at and touch to remind himself of his omnipotence. Some had been there as long as 25 years.’
The Libyan people had always known Gaddafi to be violent and unstable, but it was only after he was accused of perpetrating the Lockerbie bombing on December 21, 1988 – in which 270 American and British lives were lost when Libya blew up the Pan Am airliner on which they were travelling – that the West was prepared to take any action.
Strict sanctions were applied by America, although according to Gwenyth Todd, the former National Security Council Director for Libya at the White House, Western leaders – including Britain’s then Prime Minister, Tony Blair – eventually sought to have them lifted and Gaddafi’s reputation restored.
In 2001, Libyan Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi was convicted of the Lockerbie bombing and jailed for life.
But eight years later, seriously ill with cancer, he was controversially released by the Scottish legal system on compassionate grounds –although many including Jim Swire, the father of one of the victims, maintain he was not guilty of the bombing.
The BBC4 documentary also suggests the Lockerbie jet was not the only one Gaddafi’s regime blew up. Ali Aujali, Libya’s former ambassador to Washington, insists Gaddafi was responsible for bringing down a civilian aircraft in 1992 within a day of the fourth Lockerbie anniversary, killing all 157 on board.
‘Gaddafi shot down a Libyan jet just to send a message to the world that sanctions had hurt Libyan lives,’ Aujali says. ‘It was his way of showing the world how sanctions were affecting life in Libya – making it look as though the plane crashed because it needed spare parts which weren’t available. It was 100 per cent down to Gaddafi.’
Storyville: Mad Dog – Gaddafi’s Secret World will be shown on BBC4 at 10pm on February 3.


Thursday, 23 January 2014

Teenager arrested for claiming Mugabe is dead

Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe (centre) at a past food summit of Latin American and African heads of state in Rome in 2009. Zimbabwe is importing 150,000 tonnes of maize from neighbouring South Africa to guarantee food supplies before the April harvest. PHOTO/FILE
Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe. The 89 year-old leader was last seen in public last month when he left the country for the Far East with his family. PHOTO/FILE

By Kitsepile Nyathi
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Harare Saturday, January 18, 2014
Zimbabwean teenager has been arrested over a Facebook post claiming President Robert Mugabe is dead and is being kept in a freezer, lawyers said on Saturday.
Eighteen year-old Gumisai Manduwa was arrested last Thursday and charged with insulting President Mugabe.
The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) said Manduwa spent two days in police custody before he was granted bail by a Mutare court on Saturday.
“The teenager was freed on bail on Saturday morning after lawyers from ZLHR intervened to secure his release.
“He was granted $30 bail by Mutare magistrate Sekesai Chiwundura,” ZLHR said in a statement Saturday.
The government last week had to move in to quell speculation that President Mugabe who is on annual leave is ill.
The 89 year-old leader was last seen in public last month when he left the country for the Far East with his family.
He reportedly returned home on January 10 but state media used old pictures to accompany the story announcing his return.
ZLHR last week said at least 80 people have been dragged to court for insulting President Mugabe since 2010.
Manduwa becomes the second person to be arrested over a Facebook post in Zimbabwe.
Emulate the people of Egypt
In 2011, Vikas Mavhudzi had charges against him dropped after he allegedly wrote on former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s Facebook page urging Zimbabweans to emulate the people of Egypt who had just overthrown long time ruler Hosni Mubarak.
Prosecutors failed to produce evidence linking Mavhudzi to the alleged crime.
Last year the Constitutional Court ruled that the insult laws that have been routinely used to arrest people for allegedly insulting and undermining the authority of President Mugabe were unconstitutional.
The judges in their ruling noted that people were being arrested for saying this in bars that unnecessarily end up in the public domain.
Judges said the cases actually undermined the president’s office.

Obama inviting Uhuru to African leaders’ summit in Washington

The White House announced on Tuesday that President Obama will hold the US-Africa Leaders Summit in August – with President Kenyatta said to be on the invitation list. FILE
By KEVIN J. KELLEYMore by this Author

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

President Uhuru Kenyatta is among leaders said to be invited to the first US-Africa Leaders’ Summit in Washington.
The White House announced on Tuesday that President Obama will hold the summit in August – with President Kenyatta said to be on the invitation list.
The reported inclusion of the Kenyan head of state among 47 African leaders marks a decisive turn for the better in relations between the Obama and Kenyatta administrations.
Mr Obama's former chief diplomat for Africa had warned in thinly veiled terms a year ago that Mr Kenyatta's election would have negative “consequences” for ties between the two longstanding allies.
The US president then snubbed Kenya during his three-nation Africa tour in June and July.
President Kenyatta's indictment by the International Criminal Court on charges of crimes against humanity was acknowledged by the White House as the chief reason why Mr Obama skipped a visit to his father's homeland.
The American president subsequently telephoned the Kenyan president, however, following both the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport terminal fire in August and the Westgate massacre the following month.
Kenya's acting US Ambassador Jean Kamau said last month that relations with the US were “strong,” adding that she saw no indication of the “consequences” that had been threatened.
The August 5-6 summit “will build on the progress made since the president’s trip to Africa last summer, advance the administration’s focus on trade and investment in Africa, and highlight America’s commitment to Africa’s security, its democratic development, and its people,” the White House said on Tuesday.
The list of those invited is said to exclude the leaders of Sudan, Zimbabwe, Madagascar and Guinea-Bissau.
Washington has levied sanctions against Sudan and regards its president, Omar al-Bashir, as persona non grata due to his refusal to cooperate with the ICC, which has charged him with genocide and crimes against humanity.
The US has also long had poor relations with Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe.
The Obama administration has made critical statements regarding setbacks to democratic governance in both Madagascar and Guinea-Bissau.

Mugabe: I was left to fend for my mother

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe wipes his face during the burial ceremony for his sister, Bridget, at the family homestead in Zvimba, west of the capital Harare on January 21, 2014.  AFP PHOTO / JEKESAI NJIKIZANA
By Kitsepile Nyathi
More by this Author
Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe has spoken of how he got angry with his father for abandoning him at a young age, leaving him to fend for his mother and siblings.
The 89 year-old leader delved into his family’s history on Tuesday as he buried his last surviving sibling Bridgette who died on Sunday after three years in a comma.
He said most of his siblings died young forcing his father to abandon the family thinking it was cursed.
“Michael was born in 1919 and Raphael in 1922. I played with Michael until 1934 when he died of food poisoning,” President Mugabe said.
“Raphael died when he was only six months so I could not see him, Donato also died then Sabina, now Bridgette. Michael and Raphael passed on so I became the first born.
“After the poisoning, my father was not happy and said there was something wrong at our home before going to Bulawayo in 1934.”
His father remarried and spent a decade in the city over 500 kilometres away from President Mugabe’s rural home.
The former teacher said he was angry that his father had abandoned the family, leaving him to look after his mother and siblings at a very young age.
“I was not happy after he had taken his time to come back home and wrote a letter to him expressing my displeasure,” President Mugabe said.
“There was a good life in Bulawayo with beautiful Ndebele girls and our father had taken one.”
He added that his father had two sons with the second wife and only returned home shortly before his death.
President Mugabe, who will turn 90 on February 21, had not been seen in public since last year. His public appearance after Bridgette’s death on Sunday ended speculation that he is gravely ill.

Mega-city, mega-commute: Lagos and life on the road

People and traffic in downtown Lagos, Nigeria. FILE | AFRICA REVIEW

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Ochuko Oghuvwu is surprisingly chirpy for a man who spends upwards of 30 hours a week in his car, commuting to and from his office in Nigeria's financial hub, Lagos.

Then again, he has just started the working week after two whole days without having to battle giant pot-holes, monster traffic jams, roadworks, irate drivers and police checkpoints.

Oghuvwu's stockbroking firm in the Ikoyi area of Lagos is only about 32 kilometres (20 miles) from his home in Ojo, due west towards the border with neighbouring Benin.

The drive to the office should only take 45 minutes to one hour.

But those days are as rare in Lagos as 24 hours of uninterrupted electricity from the national grid.

Instead, the trip normally takes him three hours -- even longer in the June to September rainy season -- despite him being behind the wheel from 5:30 am.

"I wake up early to beat the major traffic," he told AFP.

"Those that wake up later end up spending more time. On a day like a Monday, if you leave the house at 6:30 am, you spend more than four hours in the car."

Sleeping on the job

Oghuvwu, a marketing executive in his early 40s, is far from a rare breed in Nigeria's biggest city.

Hundreds of thousands of people like him also spend nearly as much time commuting as the statutory working week in countries such as France.

He could even be considered a late riser. Others who live nearby set off a full hour earlier to beat the infamous "go-slows", as local call traffic jams.

"We get exhausted. We're always tired. For somebody in my position, I just lock the door of the office and have a little nap for 20 to 30 minutes," he said.

The time spent crawling bumper to bumper with other cars, motorbikes and battered yellow taxis, packed buses and overloaded trucks has taken its toll on his Volvo S90.

The constant stop-start means brake pads need checking every other month and the services of panel beaters to smooth out the inevitable dents and scrapes from the quest to keep moving.

But the gruelling commute has also affected his social life and the amount of time he spends with his family.

Ughuvwu's children, aged between six and 14, are usually asleep when he leaves the house and when he returns.

"At the weekend I don't go out," he added. "I mainly stay at home. I don't want to face the traffic. It's ruined my social life."

Integrated transport plan

Officially, Lagos is said to be home to some 12 million people.

But many estimates put the figure at about 21 million, in a city spread over 350 square miles (910 square kilometres).

New arrivals hunting a slice of Nigeria's economic growth heap pressure on the already creaking infrastructure. Land shortages and a lack of housing has pushed up real estate and rental prices.

Fuel subsidies and cheap, second-hand cars often imported from Europe have put more vehicles on the road.

As a result, a long commute is a necessary evil for all but the wealthiest.

The managing director of the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA), Dayo Mobereola, admits they need to act now to prevent total gridlock.

"This problem has been going on for almost 40 years," he said.

"We've started addressing it over the last five years and we have a roadmap now to address the issues as they are today and also to plan for the future as well.

"If we don't do anything then in the next five years there's almost going to be a stand-still."

LAMATA's $20 billion, 30-year master plan is based around integrated public transport.

Its proposals for nine designated bus lanes and seven suburban train lines, built with Chinese money, are designed to get people out of their cars.

Slum clearance is essential, although campaign groups claim that residents are given little or no warning that their homes are earmarked for demolition and no compensation afterwards.

Work has slowed because of legal disputes, while some slum dwellers move on and set up home elsewhere, to be cleared another day.

Delays and jams

More affordable accommodation within Lagos would help cut commuting times, suggested Oghuvwu, as prices where he lives are nearly two-thirds cheaper than in the city.

Water taxis along Nigeria's southern, Atlantic coast and the lagoons that stretch around the city could also help tackle the gridlock.

Failing that, businesses could relocate from the traditional trading hubs of Lagos Island, Ikoyi and Victoria Island to the suburbs, he added.

For now, though, his life -- and everyone else's -- is dictated by traffic.

In the afternoons, many workers are out of the office door and on their way home as soon as the clock chimes four, car radios tuned to Lagos Traffic Radio 96.1 FM to hear about tailbacks and accidents.

Oghuvwu himself usually leaves about 4:30 pm -- and he's all too aware of the consequences.

"That extra 30 minutes costs me an additional one hour on the road," he said


Saturday, 18 January 2014

12 Years A Slave

Solomon Chiwetel Ejiofor, rechts versucht, Patsey Lupita Nyong'o vor den Ausbrüchen Edwin Epps Michael Fassbender zu schützen. - 1 (© © Tobis Film)

Solomon (Chiwetel Ejiofor, rechts) versucht, Patsey (Lupita Nyong'o) vor den Ausbrüchen Edwin Epps (Michael Fassbender) zu schützen.

Was ein Mensch wert ist - Wie werde ich die Ketten los? Virtuos und authentisch wirkend wird die Leidenszeit eines frei geborenen Afroamerikaners in der Sklaverei rekapituliert.Wie war das um 1840, 1850 auf den Plantagen in Louisiana? Wenn ein Sklave wie Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor), von den Weißen nur Platt genannt, sich handgreiflich gegen seinen Aufseher Tibeats (Paul Dano) erhebt, muss er dann nicht mit dem Tode rechnen? Im Prinzip wohl ja, aber das Drama "12 Years A Slave" weiß, dass die Dinge wesentlich verzwickter sein konnten. Als Tibeats drauf und dran ist, Solomon zu hängen, richtet sein Vorgesetzter eine Pistole auf ihn: Auf den Sklaven ist ein Wechsel ausgestellt. Stirbt er, verliert der Master viel Geld. Während die Weißen streiten, hält sich Solomon unter Aufbietung aller Kräfte auf den Zehenspitzen aufrecht, damit die Schlinge ihn nicht erdrosselt. Über viele Stunden, in glühender Hitze.
Amerikanisches Fernsehen und Kino - siehe die Mini-Serie "Roots" (1977) und Tarantinos "Django Unchained" - setzen sich oft sehr schonungslos mit der Sklaverei in den Südstaaten auseinander. Aber vielleicht ist vor "12 Years A Slave" noch nie so ergreifend dargestellt worden, wie Sklaven durch das pervertierte und seltsam wertorientierte Begehren ihrer Herren entwürdigt werden. Solomon am Strick ist für Tibeats ein Hassobjekt, für den Master, den Plantagenbesitzer William Ford (Benedict Cumberbatch), hingegen ein Anlageobjekt. Wenn dieser Umstand auch sein Leben retten könnte, beraubt er ihn doch des Menschseins. Nicht besser ergeht es Solomons Leidensgenossin Patsey (Lupita Nyong'o) als Lustobjekt des sadistischen Plantagenbesitzers Edwin Epps (Michael Fassbender).
Dem Sujet seiner ersten beiden Spielfilme ist der afrobritische Regisseur Steve Rodney McQueen damit treu geblieben, und er erweitert es. "Hunger" (2008) über einen inhaftierten IRA-Kämpfer und "Shame" (2011) über einen Sexsüchtigen drehen sich darum, inwieweit Menschen Gefangene ihres Körpers sind und inwieweit sie sich den Regeln anderer unterwerfen müssen oder ihnen widerstehen können. Die Verfilmung des authentischen autobiografischen Berichts "12 Years A Slave" von Solomon Northup gibt dem Thema geschichtliche Tiefe. Als frei geborener Afroamerikaner und geachteter Bürger innerhalb einer weißen Mehrheitsgesellschaft lebt der Musiker und Handwerker Northup mit Frau und Kindern in Saratoga, New York, ehe ihn zwei Betrüger an Sklavenhändler verschachern. In Ketten erwacht er in einem Albtraum aus Peitschenhieben, Schuften bis zum Umfallen und unendlicher Demütigung. Aber die Begegnung mit dem kanadischen Zimmermann Samuel Bass (Brad Pitt) weckt auch Aussicht auf Rückkehr zu seiner Familie.
Fans der früheren Filme mögen beklagen, dass McQueen zugunsten eines weitgehend konventionell erzählten, reich ausgestatteten historischen Sittenbildes auf persönliche Handschrift verzichtet. Zwangsläufig tauscht McQueen den scharfen eigenen Blick gegen den der Geschichtsforscher und den von Northup ein, die einzig Authentizität verbürgen können. Er macht das wett mit seiner Virtuosität, andere, tradierte Inszenierungsstile zu adaptieren. In 'Shame' servierte er ein Rendezvous à la Woody Allen. Nun verwandelt er, getragen vom ausdrucksstarken Hauptdarsteller, die Erlebnisse eines Menschen aus einem fernen Jahrhundert in eine moderne, psychologisch grundierte Bildsprache. Der zeitlosen Angst vor dem Verlust des Menschseins wird sie vollauf gerecht.


Tuesday, 14 January 2014

CNN: 10 Things You Did Not Know About Lupita Nyong’o

CNN: 10 Things You Did Not Know About Lupita Nyong’o

January 14, 2014

Kenyan actress Lupita Nyong’o became the new Hollywood “It Girl” after she played the object of cruel affection in the movie, “12 Years a Slave.” Since her role as Patsey in the movie released last year, she’s made rounds in fashion magazines, hobnobbed with celebrities and is considered a breakout star.
As the awards season begins, here are 10 things to know about the statuesque actress with a flashy smile and almost flawless fashion sense.
She straddles many worlds: Nyong’o was born in Mexico when her Kenyan parents were in political exile. Her family later returned to Kenya, where she spent most of her childhood. Her first name, she says, is the short version of the word “Guadalupe.” She later went to the United States, where she got her undergraduate degree from Hampshire College in Massachusetts, and later graduated from Yale School of Drama in 2012.
She has a connection to Obama: Nyong’o is a Luo, the same tribe as President Barack Obama’s father.
She’s multilingual: In addition to English and her native Luo, the actress speaks Spanish, Swahili and conversational Italian.

She’s been a star-crossed lover: Her first big acting break came when she was 14 and played Juliet in “Romeo and Juliet” at a Kenyan theater. “That was amazing … since before that I had been a village girl at a school show,” she tells Arise Entertainment 360. ”I just came to life on stage, I just loved it so much.” She’s also a TV star: Before her big movie debut, Nyong’o was a regular on the Kenyan television series “Shuga.” The series, produced by MTV, was a hip portrayal of contemporary Kenyan youth aimed at spreading HIV awareness. It was so popular, it later aired in various African nations.
This is not her first brush with an international movie: As an undergraduate, Nyong’o worked on the production crew of “The Constant Gardener,” starring Ralph Fiennes. The movie, filmed in Kenya, became a turning point for her. Fiennes made her realize her passion when he told her to only get into acting if she feels that she can’t live without it. ”It’s not what I wanted to hear, but it’s what I needed to hear,” she says.
She’s had her signature crop for years: Before settling for her trademark short hair, Nyong’o went through the usual hustles of finding a hairstyle that works for her. “I got fed up of going to the hair salon. I just wanted less time grooming so that I could get more stuff done.” At age 19, she shaved off her hair. “It was so liberating,” she says.
She had to go deep for her role: Nyong’o gives an emotional, raw performance in “12 Years a Slave,” a movie set in the pre-Civil War United States. It’s a story about Solomon Northup, a free black man who is kidnapped and sold into slavery. Their tyrannical master has an unhealthy obsession with Patsey, her character. Suicidal, she copes by working harder than everyone else in the cotton fields and forming a close relationship with Solomon.
She’s an awards darling: Her intense role as Patsey has earned her rave reviews and a slew of nominations. They include best supporting actress for the Golden Globes and Critics’ Choice movie awards, and a Screen Actors Guild Award for outstanding performance by a female actor in a supporting role.
You’ve not seen the last of her: Her next movie, “Non-Stop,” features Liam Neeson and comes out on February 28.

EMBARRASING: Uhuru says the late Israel PM Arial Sharon was a peace maker! gets ROASTED by Kenyans by KoT

January 14, 2014

It seems President Kenyatta’s advisors, after ‘misleading’ him on appointments, have now gone on Twitter. Yesterday, the president posted his condolence message to the people of Israel on the the death of former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.
Uhuru referred to Sharon as a peace maker and freedom fighter who played an active role in Israel’s affairs pre and post independence. These were his tweets:

I am saddened by the death of Ariel Sharon. My condolences to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the People of Israel.

Israel has lost a true servant of its people, a freedom fighter & a peace maker who played an active role before & after their independence.

A lot of Kenyans were not amused with Uhuru’s words for the simple reason that Sharon was anything but a peace maker. In 1982, Sharon sent his army to refugee camps where they massacred almost 2000 Palestinians. Israel’s own official enquiry announced that Sharon bore “personal” responsibility for the bloodbath.
He had previously invaded Lebanon, lying to his own Prime Minister that his forces would advance only a few miles across the frontier, then laying siege to Beirut – at a cost of around 17,000 lives.
Sharon had opposed the 1979 peace treaty with Egypt, voted against a withdrawal from southern Lebanon in 1985, opposed Israel’s participation in the 1991 Madrid peace conference – and the Knesset plenum vote on the Oslo agreement in 1993, abstained on a vote for a peace with Jordan the next year and voted against the Hebron agreement in 1997. Sharon condemned the manner of Israel’s 2000 retreat from Lebanon and by 2002 had built 34 new illegal Jewish colonies on Arab land.
Outside Israel a lot of people broke into joy and celebration following the passing of the ‘butcher’.
Perhaps Uhuru’s tweets were logical in that we do more business with Israel than with Palestine, but following the backlash he received, I thought he would delete or edit out some words.
This is what Kenyans thought.
Ariel inafanya digital gov’t wafikirie ki analogue, wamezoea dish. – @njiiru
“Ariel sharon ti thogwo” ~ UK. – @njiiru
Uhuru represents a nation he’s not acting as an individual it’s like sending condolences to Hitler or Osama – @bwrca
Uhuru Kenyatta is like that chiq who looks perfect on the first date but after making her yours, you just look up and ask God, “WHY?” – @Ben_Makenzie
A country that rewards evil & punishes good. Uhuru should call a press conference & apologise for that tweet. – @kevoice_
Measured on the Huddah Scale, how dumb are Uhuru’s handlers and advisors? – @iNjoroge_
Think Uhuru is being advised by wetangula, that’s the only logical explanation to the madness – ‏@amheartles
Uhuru Kenyatta, I voted and supported you, but now I urge your resignation ; save yourself and our countries image, we have had enough. – @padiemwangi
Uhuru hails Ariel Sharon as a “peacemaker”. Which history books did he read?” – @tezira
Uhuru is mad because twitter was unavailable when Hitler died & he couldn’t tweet how much of a peace maker & freedom fighter he was. – @kevoice_
Uhuru Kenyatta physically, Joshua Kutuny mentally.” – @Ben_Makenzie:
But who advices Uhuru – @wandatitoni
We’ve established Octopizzo runs Uhuru Kenyattas twitter a/c. – @kevoice_
On a scale of Huddah to Adan Duale how dumb is the person who tweets for Uhuru? – @sickolia_
Y’all expected Uhuru to tweet ‘Hahaha die motherfucker! #ArielSharon’?” – @gitweeta
So DP will say Uhuru was misguided about Sharon too? – @Nicxso
Uhuru sure didn’t take any history lessons at Amherst college – @GeeBrunswick
Woke up today to RT of an extraordinary tweet from our President @ukenyatta about Sharon. Who writes his tweets I wonder, I assume not him. – @AnnMcCreath
Israel has hacked the President’s account. Cyber Terrorism is real, #KOT are now flexing their IQs for each other. – ‏@RamzZy_


Countries Kenyans don’t need a VISA to visit

January 14, 2014
Those intrepid travellers can check out these countries. You don’t need a VISA….just pack and leave. Happy tourism year guys.
1. Antigua & Barbuda
2. Bahamas
3. Botswana
4. British Virgin Islands
5. Burundi
6. Barbados
7. Cayman Islands
8. Comoros (Required but can be obtained on arrival)
9. Costa Rica (If you have a valid Permanent Resident Card or Visa to US, Canada, UK or any European country)
10. Dominica (Not to be Confused with Dominican Republic)
11. Dominican Republic (Buy a $10 Tourist Card and Same condition as Costa Rica above applies)
12. Ethiopia (365 Days allowed Visa Free)
13. Fiji (120 Days)
14. Grenada
15. Ghana
16. Haiti
17. Hong Kong (Yes, It’s a country)
18. Jamaica
19. Lesotho
20. Macau (Apply on entry for 30 days and renew every 30 days after that)
21. Malaysia
22. Malawi
23. Micronesia (30 Days)
24. Montserrat (180 Days)
25. Namibia (Tourist Visa Not required, Business Visa required)
26. Nauru
27. Panama (Same conditions as Costa Rica above)
28. Philippines (21 Days)
29. Rwanda
30. Saint Helena
31. Saint Kitts & Nevis
32. Saint Vincent Grenadines
33. Samoa
34. Seychelles
35. Singapore
36. Swaziland
37. Tanzania
38. Trinidad & Tobago
39. Tuvalu
40. Uganda
41. Vanuatu
42. Zambia
43. Zimbabwe

Monday, 13 January 2014

Leaders turn burial into a political arena

Professors carry the casket bearing the remains of the late Professor William Ochieng during his burial Urima village in Siaya county on January 10, 2014. Politicians clashed at the funeral of historian William R Ochieng’ over claims that President Uhuru Kenyatta was returning the country to the Kanu-era days. PHOTO | FILE
Professors carry the casket bearing the remains of the late Professor William Ochieng during his burial Urima village in Siaya county on January 10, 2014. Politicians clashed at the funeral of historian William R Ochieng’ over claims that President Uhuru Kenyatta was returning the country to the Kanu-era days. PHOTO | FILE  NATION MEDIA GROUP
Saturday, January 11, 2014

By Nelcon Odhiambo
More by this Author

More by this Author

In Summary

  • The war of words started when Kisumu Senator Anyang’ Nyongo said that while the Constitution was meant to check the President’s powers, the Jubilee government was exploiting a few loopholes to take the country back to the Nyayo era
  • However, TNA Secretary General Onyango Oloo, who read the President’s condolence message, dismissed Prof Nyongo’s comments, saying that the 2010 Constitution did not abet dictatorship

Politicians clashed at the funeral of historian William R Ochieng’ over claims that President Uhuru Kenyatta was returning the country to the Kanu-era days.
Prof Ochieng, 70, who died of pneumonia in Kisumu two weeks ago, was laid to rest at this Yimbo home in Bondo district.
The war of words started when Kisumu Senator Anyang’ Nyongo said that while the Constitution was meant to check the President’s powers, the Jubilee government was exploiting a few loopholes to take the country back to the Nyayo era.
The ODM secretary-general also said that the country requires a third liberation.
“A third liberation movement will begin to deal with the authoritarian rule that is associated with the current administration,” Prof Nyongo told the mourners.
However, TNA Secretary General Onyango Oloo, who read the President’s condolence message, dismissed Prof Nyongo’s comments, saying that the 2010 Constitution did not abet dictatorship.
Mr Oloo said that the Constitution was the brainchild of the ODM whose party leader Raila Odinga rallied the country for its adoption.
“It is a pity that today the same opposition (Cord) is the one that is against the current Constitution yet the party leader was on the forefront supporting it and calling for its implementation,” said Mr Oloo.
Mr Oloo further said that the opposition had the opportunity to rectify any errors that they are currently opposed to instead of complaining at every turn.  
“The opposition had the opportunity to check these errors,” he said, “Why do they always complain that they need to change the Constitution only when they lose in an election?” he posed.
Mr Onyango also defended the President against accusations of bias in recent government appointments.
“Kenyans should remain calm since the Jubilee government has only appointed 30 per cent, 70 percent will be allocated to the youths and women,” he said.

Kidero, Shebesh to face charges after talks fail

  Governor Evans Kidero during his confrontation with Nairobi women representative Rachel Shebesh at City Hall in September 06, 2013. PHOTO | FILE

Governor Evans Kidero during his confrontation with Nairobi women representative Rachel Shebesh at City Hall in September 06, 2013. PHOTO | FILE

 By VINCENT AGOYA, Jan 13, 2014

Justice Isaac Lenaola on Monday allowed Director of Public Prosecution Keriako Tobiko to proceed with charges against Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero and Women Representative Rachel Shebesh.
This was after the two politicians failed to agree on a out of court settlement.
Lawyer Cecil Miller, representing Ms Shebesh, told the Judge that they had waited in vain for Mr Kidero to meet the terms for reconciliation.
He said Ms Shebesh is ready to face the charges.
Governor Kidero will be charged with assault charges after allegedly slapping Ms Shebesh during a scuffle at City hall in September last year.
Ms Shebesh will be charged with creating public disturbance.
Governor Kidero and Ms Shebesh were involved in a scuffle at City Hall in the full glare of the media.
The incident happened when Ms Shebesh, accompanied by aggrieved Nairobi City County workers who are demanding better pay, went to Dr Kidero’s office.
The governor had just returned from a meeting with visiting Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan when he came face to face with Ms Shebesh, some members of the County Assembly and the workers.
The situation turned chaotic and it was then that Dr Kidero allegedly slapped Ms Shebesh before telling her off.
After the incident, both the governor and the Women Representative separately recorded statements with the police.

Friday, 10 January 2014


This girl was put in a human zoo in Brussels, Belgium during world trade fair in 1958. The white people here are feeding her just like you would a monkey or a kangaroo in a zoo.And you wonder how Lucifer looks like.

Meet 8 Year Old Snake Girl Who Attracts Crowd & Tourists To Thailand

8 year-old Mai Li Fay, from Bangkok, is far from living the usual life of a girl her age. Everyday, thousands of people gather to the front of her family’s house to get a chance of seeing and possibly touching the young girl, a gesture which both buddhists and hindu pilgrims seem to perceive as a garantee of good fortune.

According to the country’s top medical expert, Dr Ping Lao, the young girl suffers a very rare syndrome known as the Serpentosis Malianorcis or Jing Jing’s disease, which gives her lower body a distinct reptilian form and aspect. Only a handful of such cases have been recorded throughout history, so the scientific knowledge accumulated about the pathology is rather limited and there is no cure in sight at the moment.
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The Fay family have welcomed the situation brought by Mai Li’s situation with a mix of anguish and excitement, as the never ending lines of tourists and pilgrims have brought the badly impoverished family some substantial revenues and given them an important raise in their social status but cost them there privacy and intimacy.