Sunday, 13 December 2015

Violence in Burundi

Burundi Death Toll Rises, East Africans Speak Up
The death toll following the worst outbreak of violence in Burundi since failed May coup has risen over 90.
Blasts and gunfire echoed around Bujumbura for most of Friday and residents said officials spent the day collecting bullet-riddled bodies from city streets.
There was no fighting overnight and the capital's streets were calm on Saturday. The situation today is reported to be mostly calm but tense.
Army spokesman Gaspard Baratuza said gunmen had attacked three military sites in Bujumbura, kindling a day of clashes across the city. He said 79 attackers were killed and 45 others captured. Four police officers and four soldiers also died.
On Twitter, users, especially from East Africa are using the hashtags ‪#‎Act4Burundi‬ and ‪#‎Pray4Burundi‬ to drum up media attention and compel regional leaders to do more towards a resolution to end the violence. A vigil is scheduled for today in Nairobi, Kenya for the victims of Friday's attacks.
Unrest in Burundi, which started in April when President Pierre Nkurunziza announced plans for a third term in office, has unnerved a region still volatile two decades after the genocide in neighboring Rwanda.
(Additional information via AFP)

Friday, 11 December 2015

Ben Carson: Health Care


ObamaCare is a looming disaster.

Diagnosis: Patients and Their Doctors Have Lost Control

A lifetime in medicine taught me that the best health care decisions are made between patient and doctor. As decision-making moves further away from patients and providers, the medical outcomes become less effective.
Obamacare has upended the patient-doctor relationship, restricting our health care options and access to doctors and specialists. As a result, patients face exorbitant increases in premiums, deductibles and co-pays, less access to the doctors they trust and fewer health care plans to choose from.

Prognosis: Spiraling Costs, Fewer Doctors and Choices

Without immediate change Americans will face:
Fewer choices — Already, 5 million Americans have been kicked off the private health care plans they depended on, with 21 percent fewer health plan options than before Obamacare.
Fewer doctorsEven now, specialists essential to diagnosing and treating stroke (America’s 5th leading killer) are in severe shortage under the Obamacare insurance plans.
Broken promises under Medicare & Medicaid — Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries face a two-tieredhealth care system, as many doctors can no longer afford to participate; meanwhile, both programs are unsustainable.

Treatment Plan: Repeal Obamacare and Put “We the People” in Charge

Health Empowerment Accounts to put patients in charge, with more choices at lower cost:
  • First-dollar coverage for out-of-pocket expenses and premiums to buy the insurance of your choice.
  • Your Money. Your Account belongs to you, whether you change jobs or cross state lines.
  • Transferable between family members, because each of us has different medical needs.
Save Medicare and Medicaid by putting beneficiaries in control:
  • Give Medicare beneficiaries a fixed contribution to buy the health insurance they actually want and need.
  • Give Medicare and Medicaid enrollees HEAs to cover first-dollar expenses and insurance premiums for coverage they get to choose
  • Modernize Medicare to keep pace with medical advances by gradually increasing the eligibility age (by 2 months each year) until it reaches age 70.
  • Treat Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries like the rest of us. Give Medicaid beneficiaries the same insurance coverage, doctors and choices that other Americans enjoy, with HEAs to provide first-dollar coverage, supplemented by a major medical insurance plan of the patient’s choice.
  • Save Medicaid by providing fixed-dollar support to the states, which must use the funds for premium payments and HEAs for beneficiaries — not wasteful state bureaucracies.


Following the events of yesterday and summons to appear at the Ethics and anti-Corruption Commission, we have called you here to restate the issues we have with regard to the Euro Bond loan.
We wish to state that we do not have answers to give the EACC. We only have questions that we want answered by the government.

We have no information other than government documents and supporting data and reports available on the Treasury and Central Bank websites.
We have relied entirely on government information published in two financial reports for the FY2014/15, namely the Quarterly Economic and Budget Review (QEBR) for the fourth quarter of 2014/15, dated August 2015, and the Budget Review and Outlook Paper (BROP) dated September 2015. Our questions are as follows:
• The two reports cited above have three different accounts of how the Eurobond flowed into the budget. They are contradictory, inadequate and misleading. All the reports show that the Eurobond financed the budget deficit to the tune of Ksh.35 billion in FY2013/14 but the figures presented by CS Rotich to parliament, and reproduced in the Government’s press release dated 3rd December show that that the Government disbursed Ksh. 25 billion. There is a difference of Ksh. 10 billion. This money does not appear as carried forward to the following year. The figure carried forward is Ksh. 140.5 billion which is the difference between the proceeds of the first issue (Ksh. 174b) and the Ksh. 35 billion reflected as commercial borrowing in FY2013/14. Where is the Ksh. 10 billion recorded?
• The first issue of the Eurobond amounting to US$2 billion (Ksh. 174 billion) was received in June of 2014 and is so recorded in the Government’s schedule of foreign debt (QEBR Table 14, Pg. 22, which shows commercial debt increasing from US$ 684.9 billion in March 2014 to Ksh. 2,679.8 in June.
• But as noted above, the Budget Outturn for the year, in all the three different accounts cited above only reflect Ksh. 35 billion. This raises the question as to why the entire amount, Ksh. 174b, is not reflected in the budget accounts for the year, yet it is recorded as a foreign borrowing?
• We also note that the Government has issued false information. In the press release dated 3rd December, the Government dated the transfer of Ksh.35 billion as 30 June 2014, yet a letter written by the Auditor General to PS Treasury gives the date of this transaction as 3rd July. Why is the Treasury issuing false information? What is the justification for backdating transactions from FY2014/15 to FY 2013/14?
• As noted earlier, we have three accounts of the Eurobond proceeds. Two of these accounts QEBR Table and BROP Table 4 show that the Government borrowed domestically Ksh. 201 billion in FY2013/14 and Ksh. 251 billion in FY 2014/15. These accounts do not reflect all the Eurobonds. The third account (BROP Annex Table 2) gives the domestic borrowing for FY2013/14 as Ksh. 190 billion and Ksh. 110 billion for FY 2014/15. The FY2014/15 account includes Ksh.140.5b Eurobond proceeds which are the difference between Ksh. 251 billion and Ksh. 110. There is no figure in the account to explain why the domestic borrowing for FY2013/14 is adjusted downwards by Ksh. 10 billion, although we do note the coincidence of this figure with the anomaly we have noted above, namely the difference between the commercial financing of Ksh. 35 and the Ksh. 25 expenditure reported as spent in FY2013/14. The figures in first two accounts correspond to the narrative in the text of the QEBR quote:
• “By the end of June 2015, net domestic borrowing amounted to Ksh.251.1 billion against a target borrowing of Ksh.172 billion. The borrowing comprised Ksh. 108 billion from commercial banks, Ksh. 27.5 billion from non-bank financial institutions, Ks. 119 billion from the Central Bank and repayments of Ksh. 3.5 billion to non-residents. Comparatively for the same period in 2013, the net domestic borrowing was Ksh. 201.7 billion, comprising of net borrowings of Ksh. 102.5 billion from the non-banking financial institutions, Ksh. 6.4 billion from non-residents, Ksh. 73.4 billion from commercial banks and Ksh. 19.4 billion from the Central Bank.” We note from media reports that our understanding of these figures has been challenged by the PS Treasury (Sunday Nation 5 December). The PS is reported as having said the Eurobond proceeds are reflected in the domestic financing account (QEBR Table 11 Pg. 19) as draw down of Government deposits. We do not believe the PS is being truthful since movements in Government deposits are clearly shown in the account as rising in the first half of the year and declining in the latter half, with the Government ending the year with net borrowing as narrated in the text quoted above. We find no other reasonable understanding of these figures and the accompanying narrative other than that the Government’s domestic borrowings are as stated. We are therefore seeking clarification about these anomalies. Was domestic borrowing in FY 2013/14 Ksh. 190b or Ksh. 201 billion? Was domestic borrowing in FY 2014/15 Ksh.251 billion?
• The Government has published information to the effect that Ksh. 197 billion, which is the entire proceeds of the Eurobond less the amount applied to payment of settle a US$ 600 million syndicated loan, was disbursed to ministries and used to fund development projects. We are questioning this claim. The FY 2014/15 for the National Government’s priority development projects excluding the SGR was Ksh. 114 billion. The outturn shows that donors disbursed Ksh. 126 billion comprising of Ksh. 98 billion in programme and project loans, and Ksh. 28 billion in grants. This amount exceeds the Government’s budget for priority projects. In effect, donor disbursement was more than sufficient to fund the priority projects. We are not convinced that the Government could have absorbed another Ksh. 197 billion, and even if it were do so, we would question the wisdom of spending such a huge amount of money on “non-priority” projects. To satisfy ourselves and the public that the proceeds of the bond have been properly spent, we have asked the Treasury to provide a breakdown of the projects that this money was put into so that we can verify that they exist and that they are good value for money.
It should be clear from the foregoing that the questions we are raising are POLICY, BUDGET, and PUBLIC FINANCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY questions.
We have demanded that the Government to “publish and publicize” the relevant information as required by the Constitution. I have personally asked the President to take charge of this matter because the failure to account for such a colossal amount of money is as grave a national matter as can be.
We see no other reason to drag these questions into investigations of a criminal nature other than to divert attention from the demand for public disclosure in the first instance, and to bury the matter in court proceedings for as long as possible thereafter as happened with Goldenberg and Anglo-leasing frauds.
The answers to the questions we are asking are in the National Treasury and the Central Bank of Kenya and that is where the EACC should be looking.
We have sent this document and the questions to the EACC through our lawyers.
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Thursday, 10 December 2015


Barely a week after his historic trip in Kenya, Pope Francis has revealed certain aspects that shocked him while touring Nairobi, terming them a "true disgrace to humanity".
Speaking on Wednesday during his weekly St Peter's Square address in Rome, the Pontiff stated that he was appalled to see the poor in slums share a fence with the rich in Nairobi.
“Wealth and poverty live side by side,” he said.
The Holy Father bluntly described the extent of inequality in Kenya as extreme, stating that economic revolution was necessary in Africa.
In an earlier interaction with Capital FM's Editorial Director, Michael Mumo, Pope Francis stated that his most overwhelming moment was watching the people.
“I remember the crowds. That joy. That capacity to celebrate on an empty stomach…” he said.
The Pope however, said that the state in Kenya was similar to most developing countries.
“On this problem, I have spoken strongly at least three times. The first time was at the meeting of the popular movements in the Vatican, the second at the meeting of the popular movements in Santa Cruz della Sierra (Bolivia). Eight percent of the world’s riches are in the hands of 17 percent of the population,” he said.
This comes a week after the Pope left Kenya for Uganda then to Central Africa Republic in his first tour of Africa.
Read Also: PHOTOS: Best Moments of Pope Francis in Kenya

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Bensouda defends use of recanted evidence, cites witness interference

International Criminal Court prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, who has proposed opening a probe into alleged war crimes committed during the 2008 Russia-Georgia war, speaks during a press conference in Tbilisi on October 16, 2015. (AFP PHOTO / VANO SHLAMOV).

International Criminal Court Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda has defended her decision to use recanted evidence in the case against Deputy President William Ruto and journalist Joshua Sang. In her submissions opposing Ruto and Sang’s “no case to answer” motion, Bensouda says issues of reliability of the recanted evidence do not arise at the “no case to answer” stage.
Read more at:
Bensouda told Trial Chamber V Presiding judge Chile Eboe-Osuji, judges Olga Herrera Carbuccia and Robert Fremr that even without the use of prior recorded statements, the prosecution has sufficient evidence, upon which, a reasonable trial chamber could convict the accused on at least one of the relevant modes of liability. Ruto and Sang’s defence teams have filed motions requesting the Trial Chamber to find they have no case to answer, to dismiss the charges against them and enter a judgment of acquittal. The ICC Prosecutor said the Chamber has already decided in the Rule 68 decision that it will determine the evidentiary weight of the prior recorded statements once the entire case record is before it. “For present purposes, however, it suffices to submit that the circumstances surrounding the witnesses’ recantation of their prior statements are such that they cannot, at this stage, provide a sufficient basis to conclude that the Rule 68 Statements are incapable of belief,” she states in documents filed at the court’s registry. See also: Will Charles Keter's rise to Cabinet now consolidate the South Rift vote? Bensouda claims that when the appropriate stage for making submissions on the credibility and reliability of evidence is reached, the prosecution will argue that witness interference has been clearly established as the catalyst for the recantation of the compelled witnesses in this case. She says the defence provides no legal authority to support such a narrow interpretation of the Chamber’s Decision, other than relying on the dissenting view (on this issue) of Judge Eboe-Osuji when the court decided to use recanted evidence. “The entirety of Rule 68 Statements were submitted by the Prosecution, discussed at length with the witnesses and in legal arguments and ultimately admitted by the majority of the Trial Chamber as proof of the truth of their contents -- without reservation, except that the admission is without prejudice to the ultimate weight to be ascribed thereto by the Chamber,” Bensouda says in her papers. Bensouda wants the court to dismiss Ruto’s arguments that the prosecution’s case is built almost entirely on hearsay. “At the outset, the Prosecution notes that for the most part, the Rule 68 witnesses directly witnessed the events described in their Rule 68 Statements thus, their statements contain predominantly direct evidence, not hearsay. Once admitted, it is for a Trial Chamber to determine the weight to be attached to hearsay evidence,” she states in her response. Do you have something to add to this story? Comment here. Share this story: Share on Facebook Tweet Google Plus Linkedin
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Monday, 7 December 2015

Veteran politician and man of all seasons GG bags doctorate at 76

Laikipia Senator GG Kariuki (right) and Major (Rtd) Billow Khalid who were awarded PhDs during the University of Nairobi’s 54th graduation on December 4, 2015. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NATION MEDIA GROUP
Laikipia Senator GG Kariuki (right) and Major (Rtd) Billow Khalid who were awarded PhDs during the University of Nairobi’s 54th graduation on December 4, 2015. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NATION MEDIA GROUP.

For many years, and from his Four-Way Towers office in Nairobi, GG Kariuki, the dapper and diminutive rise-and-fall fall-and-rise politician, always plotted his political relevance and survival.
His political fall was always dramatic. But with every fall, and like the phoenix in Greek mythology, GG always returned and booked his space anew at the top.
A man who entered Parliament aged 29, GG — as he is popularly known — is today one of the longest serving Members of Parliament.
And this week, he added a new feather to his CV: A doctorate degree from the University of Nairobi.
Born 76 years ago, Dr Kariuki — as he will possibly like to be known — is, perhaps Kenya’s oldest PhD graduand.
When I met him this week at the University of Nairobi doing his ‘clearance’ for his PhD graduation, I couldn’t help but see a man who has defied his age and a clear repository of Kenya’s history.
When I finally convinced him to engage in a chat, he sat with his trademark calm, composed look: “My father used to say that it’s never too late to do anything you want to do.”
GG is a man for all seasons. At the height of his might, he was a central figure in the early days of the Moi presidency straddling the political space with power. His only equal was Charles Njonjo, the Attorney General and later minister for Constitutional Affairs.
The Laikipia County Senator, once a white-settler’s kitchen-toto, has been in the thick of Kenya’s politics having played his role as a Kanu youth winger and entering Parliament in a highly multi-ethnic constituency.
He speaks Kikuyu, Turkana, Maasai and Samburu languages, has a rich history , a compulsion to rebel, a sharp interpretation of reality, treachery and disillusionment.
In his autobiography published in 2001, Illusion of Power, GG comments on Kenya’s political history — from one man’s perspective.
Although the book glosses over internal power play within the Kanu government and how he exercised his power, he observes that most politicians do not learn from the mistakes of their predecessors. Instead, blinded by personal ambition, they commit grave deeds against their colleagues and the public in general for the sake of glory, riches and power.
A man who has served in four different governments in his lifetime, the complete story of Kariuki and his politics is the story of Kenya.

Veteran politician and man of all seasons GG bags doctorate at 76 

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It is this background that made his doctorate work simple. His principal PhD supervisor at the Institute of Diplomacy and International Studies, Prof Maria Nzomo, attributes his success in his academic work to discipline, diligence and perseverance.
“The man is a great student, keen listener and hard worker. In the initial stages, he almost gave up. But I urged him on,” says Prof Nzomo, who is also the director of the institute.
A physical fitness enthusiast, Kariuki in his early years helped introduce the Korean martial arts, Taekwondo, into Kenya as he built his motor company — Nyandarua Motors with a big showroom on Likoni Road. 
Nyandarua Motors, opposite BAT Kenya, followed the political fortunes of GG. When he fell, it tumbled.
But what made this self-taught man decide to go back to class?
“One of the key issues in life is to develop the right attitude. I try to take every challenge and problem as an incredible learning experience. The greatest lesson is that with vision and focus on what one wants to do, they can achieve it.”
He says to make a decision, one has to believe in it, make it a goal in life and charge on like a buffalo.
“I pursued education as one of my goals. There cannot be achievement without losses; one has to sacrifice something for a greater gain. In my pursuit of education I sacrificed close friends and business ventures. I was left with education and my constituents. In my studies, I also learnt that the world is bigger than we think.”
GG surprised many when he undertook his masters’ degree in international relations at Salve Regina University in the US when he was briefly out of Parliament.
He now says that his main aim of starting his PhD studies at 71 was to understand the world better.
GG’s thesis was on constitutional making at Kenya’s independence and its impact in the nation’s formative years.
The dissertation titled “Lancaster constitutional negotiation process and its impact on foreign relations of post-colonial Kenya: 1960-1970” could become a treatise in Kenya’s politics, if the reviews of his supervisors are anything to go by.
Prof Peter Kagwanja, who read GG’s PhD, describes it as deep. “We must accept. The man is so deep; he is one of our foremost historians on Kenya’s journey so far.”
GG still reads several hours a day, usually at night between 3 a.m and 5a.m. “This is the period when I am not tied down with other commitments.”
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Sunday, 6 December 2015


Hey people,

Remember the AFRIKA KOMMT program? (read here) They have opened application for the 2013-2015 group. If you are interested read on.

The programme aims at highly qualified young professionals and junior executives from countries in Sub- Saharan Africa with several years of hands-on work experience, strong leadership qualities and a very high level of commitment and dedication.

At the heart of the programme is a nine-month practical training in a leading German enterprise, allowing the participants
  • to gain first-hand practical experience in a leading German enterprise
  • to be exposed to leadership concepts and management techniques in practice
  • to become acquainted with working processes and business culture in German enterprises
  • to extend their international management competencies
  • to initiate networks of cooperation partners between Sub-Saharan Africa and German companies

Programme Components
The programme, conducted in German, includes the following main components:
  1. One-month intensive German language course in Kenya
  2. One-year stay in Germany comprising of:
    Three-months intensive German language course
    Nine-months practical training in a German partner company
    Four-weeks training course on international management competencies
    One-week study tour in Germany on relevant subjects, e.g. „Regional Economic Development“ Weekend exposure tours covering cultural and social topics organised by the Robert Bosch Stiftung in Stuttgart and the ZEIT-Stiftung in Hamburg
    Cultural weekend activities organised by GIZ
  3. Six-months transfer phase after the stay in Germany via GIZ’s online platform Global Campus 21
  4. Two-weeks refresher course in Germany approx. 6-12 months after the stay in Germany 
University degree e.g. in
  • Business Administration, Sales, Marketing Engineering in various sectors
  • Pharmacy, Chemistry
  • Agricultural Engineering, Agronomy
  • Postgraduate degree (e.g. MBA) an advantage
Two to five years of relevant work experience Excellent English language skills
Basic knowledge of the German language an advantage Not older than 35 years and physically fit

Female candidates are welcome

Candidate Requirements
The programme is aimed at highly-qualified and self-driven young professionals and junior executives from Sub-Saharan Africa. Besides the specific technical expertise relevant to the partner company, the programme requires candidates to have the following set of general skills and attributes:
Language and communication skills:
Excellent English skills
Strong oral and written communication skills High willingness to learn German

Professional skills:
High leadership potential
Strong self-motivation and self-starter mentality
High level of dedication, commitment and target-orientation Strong capacity for teamwork

Personal attributes:
High level of enthusiasm, flexibility and resilience Outstanding intercultural competencies
Ability to adapt to new environments quickly

The programme is financed by the participating German companies and covers:
  • Intensive German language courses (face-to-face) in Africa and in Germany including fees, travelling, accomodation and living allowance
  • Roundtrip airfare to and from Germany
  • Living allowance of € 720,- per month
  • Accommodation during all stages of the programme in Germany Health insurance, accident insurance and liability insurance Programme-related travelling expenses in Germany International management training courses
  • Study tour and weekend seminars in Germany as well as cultural activities
  • One-off relocation fee of € 1.000,- for settling back into the home countries
  • Roundtrip airfare to and from Germany as well as travel and accommodation during the refresher course 
Important note:
The monthly allowance of € 720,- ensures an adequate standard of living in Germany. However, the amount is not sufficient to provide financial support for families or relatives and for this reason they cannot accompany the participant to Germany. Additionally, the participants have to make arrangements to ensure the subsistence of their families in their home countries during their participation in the programme.
We recommend applicants to ask their employer for a leave of absence.

AFRIKA KOMMT! is a practice-oriented training programme. Participants will receive an official certificate by the initiators upon successful completion of the programme and a detailed description of the specific contents and components of the training. However, a formal degree is not awarded.

Application Procedure
Applications will be accepted from 1 October until 15 December 2012 only and must be submitted through the online application form on:
Successful candidates will be invited to an assessment centre in Africa (Nairobi) in February 2013 where the final selection of candidates will take place.

Closing date
Closing date for applications is 15 December 2012. 

To Apply, follow the link


Friday, 4 December 2015

Departed Kenyan novelist and poet Marjorie Oludhe Macgoye speaks during an interview in her home in Ngara on the 16th of October 2012.  PHOTO | EMMA NZIOKA | NATION MEDIA GROUP
Departed Kenyan novelist and poet Marjorie Oludhe Macgoye speaks during an interview in her home in Ngara on the 16th of October 2012. PHOTO | EMMA NZIOKA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Tributes to author Marjorie Oludhe Macgoye who died on Tuesday continued pouring in on Tuesday.
Considered the grand matriarch of Kenyan literature, Ms Macgoye, who died aged 87, was one of the few surviving women writers of the pioneering generation that included Grace Ogot and Asenath Odaga.
Simply referred by the acronym MOM by many Kenyans who studied her book Coming to Birth, and read her poem ‘A Freedom Song’, Ms Macgoye was found dead at her Ngara home in Nairobi on Tuesday morning, according to family sources.
Kenyatta University don Prof Elizabeth Orchadson Mazrui described the author as a humble human being and one of Kenya’s greatest writers.
“She was like a second mother. I feel devastated. She was one of the greatest writers yet she lived the simplest of lives,” said Prof Mazrui who was for many years by the poet’s side.
Prof Mazrui said whenever she visited the novelist, her house was always full of young people.
“One of these young people was a street lady who used to bring her gifts and it was very touching,” she added. Ms Wakuraya Wanjohi remembers the author as a mentor and a sounding board.
“The last time I visited her, about two months ago, she had difficulty trying not to doze off  at times. Still, she tried hard to listen to another chapter of Tuesdays With Morrie, (a memoir by American writer Mitch Albom). This was the book I had started reading to her when she was no longer able to read much of anything,” said Ms Wanjohi, an author. Both women are of European extraction but married to Kenyans.
Prof Chris Wanjala of the University of Nairobi celebrated Ms Macgoye for “integrating her intellectual and creative self with that of the indigenous Kenyan and bearing with gallantry, the pain and aspirations of the average Kenyan.”
“When she was approached by Egerton University to be awarded a doctorate in literature, in the manner of Chinua Achebe, Ngugi wa Thiong’o and Wole Soyinka, she turned down the offer,” recalled Prof Wanjala.
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Despite acquiring a master’s degree in literature from the University of London, Ms Macgoye left her birthplace of Southampton in 1954, to work at the Church Missionary Society bookshop in Nairobi.
In 1960, she married a clinical officer, Mr Daniel Oludhe Mcgoye from Gem in Siaya County and took up Kenyan citizenship.
She was to be so integrated into her husband’s Luo extended family and learnt the language and custom, which earned her the nickname ‘Nyarloka’ (daughter from yonder).
While she will be most probably be remembered best for “Atieno yo”, the refrain in the poem ‘A Freedom Song’, she told this writer in one of her last interviews that the poem was a “complete failure because many people praise the poem, yet they still keep domestic labour!”
But domestic oppression aside, Ms Macgoye wrote historical novels which documented the effects of Kenya’s momentous milestones like the assassination of Tom Mboya, on ordinary Kenyans.
Her other book is Chira, in which she blended Luo traditional lore and modern writing techniques to powerfully convey the message of Aids and its tragic effects.
So enamoured was she of Tanzania’s founding president, Julius Nyerere, that she eulogised him on his death in 1999 as “accessible, spry and smiling”.
And in her last interview with the Nation she spoke of her long journey, the mistakes and the faith.
“If you are really trusting in the Lord you will keep going.
“Although I made many mistakes and wrong judgments in the course this journey, I trusted in the Lord,”
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Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Mark Zuckerberg letter to his newborn daughter Max

A letter to our daughter
Dear Max,
Your mother and I don't yet have the words to describe the hope you give us for the future. Your new life is full of promise, and we hope you will be happy and healthy so you can explore it fully. You've already given us a reason to reflect on the world we hope you live in.
Like all parents, we want you to grow up in a world better than ours today.
While headlines often focus on what's wrong, in many ways the world is getting better. Health is improving. Poverty is shrinking. Knowledge is growing. People are connecting. Technological progress in every field means your life should be dramatically better than ours today.
We will do our part to make this happen, not only because we love you, but also because we have a moral responsibility to all children in the next generation.
We believe all lives have equal value, and that includes the many more people who will live in future generations than live today. Our society has an obligation to invest now to improve the lives of all those coming into this world, not just those already here.
But right now, we don't always collectively direct our resources at the biggest opportunities and problems your generation will face.
Consider disease. Today we spend about 50 times more as a society treating people who are sick than we invest in research so you won't get sick in the first place.
Medicine has only been a real science for less than 100 years, and we've already seen complete cures for some diseases and good progress for others. As technology accelerates, we have a real shot at preventing, curing or managing all or most of the rest in the next 100 years.
Today, most people die from five things -- heart disease, cancer, stroke, neurodegenerative and infectious diseases -- and we can make faster progress on these and other problems.
Once we recognize that your generation and your children's generation may not have to suffer from disease, we collectively have a responsibility to tilt our investments a bit more towards the future to make this reality. Your mother and I want to do our part.
Curing disease will take time. Over short periods of five or ten years, it may not seem like we're making much of a difference. But over the long term, seeds planted now will grow, and one day, you or your children will see what we can only imagine: a world without suffering from disease.
There are so many opportunities just like this. If society focuses more of its energy on these great challenges, we will leave your generation a much better world.
• • •
Our hopes for your generation focus on two ideas: advancing human potential and promoting equality.
Advancing human potential is about pushing the boundaries on how great a human life can be.
Can you learn and experience 100 times more than we do today?
Can our generation cure disease so you live much longer and healthier lives?
Can we connect the world so you have access to every idea, person and opportunity?
Can we harness more clean energy so you can invent things we can't conceive of today while protecting the environment?
Can we cultivate entrepreneurship so you can build any business and solve any challenge to grow peace and prosperity?
Promoting equality is about making sure everyone has access to these opportunities -- regardless of the nation, families or circumstances they are born into.
Our society must do this not only for justice or charity, but for the greatness of human progress.
Today we are robbed of the potential so many have to offer. The only way to achieve our full potential is to channel the talents, ideas and contributions of every person in the world.
Can our generation eliminate poverty and hunger?
Can we provide everyone with basic healthcare?
Can we build inclusive and welcoming communities?
Can we nurture peaceful and understanding relationships between people of all nations?
Can we truly empower everyone -- women, children, underrepresented minorities, immigrants and the unconnected?
If our generation makes the right investments, the answer to each of these questions can be yes -- and hopefully within your lifetime.
• • •
This mission -- advancing human potential and promoting equality -- will require a new approach for all working towards these goals.
We must make long term investments over 25, 50 or even 100 years. The greatest challenges require very long time horizons and cannot be solved by short term thinking.
We must engage directly with the people we serve. We can't empower people if we don't understand the needs and desires of their communities.
We must build technology to make change. Many institutions invest money in these challenges, but most progress comes from productivity gains through innovation.
We must participate in policy and advocacy to shape debates. Many institutions are unwilling to do this, but progress must be supported by movements to be sustainable.
We must back the strongest and most independent leaders in each field. Partnering with experts is more effective for the mission than trying to lead efforts ourselves.
We must take risks today to learn lessons for tomorrow. We're early in our learning and many things we try won't work, but we'll listen and learn and keep improving.
• • •
Our experience with personalized learning, internet access, and community education and health has shaped our philosophy.
Our generation grew up in classrooms where we all learned the same things at the same pace regardless of our interests or needs.
Your generation will set goals for what you want to become -- like an engineer, health worker, writer or community leader. You'll have technology that understands how you learn best and where you need to focus. You'll advance quickly in subjects that interest you most, and get as much help as you need in your most challenging areas. You'll explore topics that aren't even offered in schools today. Your teachers will also have better tools and data to help you achieve your goals.
Even better, students around the world will be able to use personalized learning tools over the internet, even if they don't live near good schools. Of course it will take more than technology to give everyone a fair start in life, but personalized learning can be one scalable way to give all children a better education and more equal opportunity.
We're starting to build this technology now, and the results are already promising. Not only do students perform better on tests, but they gain the skills and confidence to learn anything they want. And this journey is just beginning. The technology and teaching will rapidly improve every year you're in school.
Your mother and I have both taught students and we've seen what it takes to make this work. It will take working with the strongest leaders in education to help schools around the world adopt personalized learning. It will take engaging with communities, which is why we're starting in our San Francisco Bay Area community. It will take building new technology and trying new ideas. And it will take making mistakes and learning many lessons before achieving these goals.
But once we understand the world we can create for your generation, we have a responsibility as a society to focus our investments on the future to make this reality.
Together, we can do this. And when we do, personalized learning will not only help students in good schools, it will help provide more equal opportunity to anyone with an internet connection.
• • •
Many of the greatest opportunities for your generation will come from giving everyone access to the internet.
People often think of the internet as just for entertainment or communication. But for the majority of people in the world, the internet can be a lifeline.
It provides education if you don't live near a good school. It provides health information on how to avoid diseases or raise healthy children if you don't live near a doctor. It provides financial services if you don't live near a bank. It provides access to jobs and opportunities if you don't live in a good economy.
The internet is so important that for every 10 people who gain internet access, about one person is lifted out of poverty and about one new job is created.
Yet still more than half of the world's population -- more than 4 billion people -- don't have access to the internet.
If our generation connects them, we can lift hundreds of millions of people out of poverty. We can also help hundreds of millions of children get an education and save millions of lives by helping people avoid disease.
This is another long term effort that can be advanced by technology and partnership. It will take inventing new technology to make the internet more affordable and bring access to unconnected areas. It will take partnering with governments, non-profits and companies. It will take engaging with communities to understand what they need. Good people will have different views on the best path forward, and we will try many efforts before we succeed.
But together we can succeed and create a more equal world.
• • •
Technology can't solve problems by itself. Building a better world starts with building strong and healthy communities.
Children have the best opportunities when they can learn. And they learn best when they're healthy.
Health starts early -- with loving family, good nutrition and a safe, stable environment.
Children who face traumatic experiences early in life often develop less healthy minds and bodies. Studies show physical changes in brain development leading to lower cognitive ability.
Your mother is a doctor and educator, and she has seen this firsthand.
If you have an unhealthy childhood, it's difficult to reach your full potential.
If you have to wonder whether you'll have food or rent, or worry about abuse or crime, then it's difficult to reach your full potential.
If you fear you'll go to prison rather than college because of the color of your skin, or that your family will be deported because of your legal status, or that you may be a victim of violence because of your religion, sexual orientation or gender identity, then it's difficult to reach your full potential.
We need institutions that understand these issues are all connected. That's the philosophy of the new type of school your mother is building.
By partnering with schools, health centers, parent groups and local governments, and by ensuring all children are well fed and cared for starting young, we can start to treat these inequities as connected. Only then can we collectively start to give everyone an equal opportunity.
It will take many years to fully develop this model. But it's another example of how advancing human potential and promoting equality are tightly linked. If we want either, we must first build inclusive and healthy communities.
• • •
For your generation to live in a better world, there is so much more our generation can do.
Today your mother and I are committing to spend our lives doing our small part to help solve these challenges. I will continue to serve as Facebook's CEO for many, many years to come, but these issues are too important to wait until you or we are older to begin this work. By starting at a young age, we hope to see compounding benefits throughout our lives.
As you begin the next generation of the Chan Zuckerberg family, we also begin the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to join people across the world to advance human potential and promote equality for all children in the next generation. Our initial areas of focus will be personalized learning, curing disease, connecting people and building strong communities.
We will give 99% of our Facebook shares -- currently about $45 billion -- during our lives to advance this mission. We know this is a small contribution compared to all the resources and talents of those already working on these issues. But we want to do what we can, working alongside many others.
We'll share more details in the coming months once we settle into our new family rhythm and return from our maternity and paternity leaves. We understand you'll have many questions about why and how we're doing this.
As we become parents and enter this next chapter of our lives, we want to share our deep appreciation for everyone who makes this possible.
We can do this work only because we have a strong global community behind us. Building Facebook has created resources to improve the world for the next generation. Every member of the Facebook community is playing a part in this work.
We can make progress towards these opportunities only by standing on the shoulders of experts -- our mentors, partners and many incredible people whose contributions built these fields.
And we can only focus on serving this community and this mission because we are surrounded by loving family, supportive friends and amazing colleagues. We hope you will have such deep and inspiring relationships in your life too.
Max, we love you and feel a great responsibility to leave the world a better place for you and all children. We wish you a life filled with the same love, hope and joy you give us. We can't wait to see what you bring to this world.
Mom and Dad

Monday, November 30, 2015 Justice under threat as wealthy and key personalities use courts to block arrest

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Political analyst Mutahi Ngunyi (left) in a Nairobi court on October 12, 2015 where he was charged with four counts of ethnic contempt and hate speech. Mr Ngunyi had moved to the High Court seeking temporary court orders to stop the DPP from charging him with hate speech. PHOTO | PAUL WAWERU | NATION MEDIA GROUPPolitical analyst Mutahi Ngunyi (left) in a Nairobi court on October 12, 2015 where he was charged with four counts of ethnic contempt and hate speech. Mr Ngunyi moved to the High Court seeking temporary court orders to stop the DPP from charging him with hate speech. PHOTO | PAUL WAWERU | NATION MEDIA GROUP  


  • The MP pulled a fast one when he moved to the High Court, seeking anticipatory bail to bar the police from arresting him.
  • Last month, the quest to have criminal charges suspended paid off for sacked Lands Cabinet Secretary Charity Ngilu and former NSSF boss Jos Konzolo after Environment and Land Court Judge Lucy Gacheru put on hold proceedings in the magistrate court.
  • The credibility of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission to conduct investigations and recommend prosecution in corruption related issues has also come into focus as two sacked CSs sought to have their prosecution terminated.
Prominent people, mainly politicians, are rushing to court to delay or block charges against them in a new trend that raises questions about the dispensation of justice where the wealthy are concerned.
Armed with some of the finest lawyers money can get, a number of them have gone to court to avoid the agony of being held in custody and haggling over bail.
While others have received temporary relief as their criminal cases have stopped, pending determination of their petitions, most of them have suffered setbacks after their applications were dismissed.
Lawyers say it is within the law for one to move to court to stop their arrest.
Senior lawyer and Law Society of Kenya Council member James Mwamu argued that there are a number of reasons that inform such a decision.
“There is the principle that one is innocent until proven guilty. At times people go to court, especially when they feel that their arrests might be politically motivated,” said Mr Mwamu.
One of the most sensational cases that went viral on social media was that of Imenti Central MP Gideon Mwiti’s rape charges.
The MP pulled a fast one when he moved to the High Court, seeking anticipatory bail to bar the police from arresting him.
He even told Justice Grace Ngenye Macharia that he was willing to deposit money and pledged to abide by the directions. The Judge rejected his application.
He was charged and released on a Sh100,000 cash bail after denying raping, intimidating and assaulting a married woman on March 21.
In August, the High Court suspended his prosecution in the magistrate’s court.
Justice Weldon Korir granted him a reprieve after lawyers representing the complainant in a magistrate’s court protested against the publication of confidential information of a medical report in a newspaper.
While the MP’s lawyer John Khaminwa defended the report, Justice Korir, before halting the trial, said the case in which the MP is seeking to permanently stop the trial, had raised some weighty issues, “which might require to be determined by a full bench”.
Last month, the quest to have criminal charges suspended paid off for sacked Lands Cabinet Secretary Charity Ngilu and former NSSF boss Jos Konzolo after Environment and Land Court Judge Lucy Gacheru put on hold proceedings in the magistrate court.
Her ruling was a relief to Mr Konzolo, Ms Ngilu, Ms Sara Njuhi Mwenda, Ms Pauline Wanjiku Gatimu, Mr Mark Muigai Wanderi, Mr Macmilan Mutinda Mutiso and Mr James Mbaluka, who are all facing charges related to the Karen land saga.
But even with the suspension, the eight are not off the hook yet, as Justice Gacheru added that the suspension of the trial has nothing to do with the merits of the criminal case.
The credibility of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission to conduct investigations and recommend prosecution in corruption related issues has also come into focus as two sacked CSs sought to have their prosecution terminated.
Former Transport CS Michael Kamau and Ms Ngilu moved to the High Court to challenge their prosecution before the anti-corruption court on grounds that the commission did not act independently.
Mr Kamau was charged with abuse of office and flouting tender regulations while Ms Ngilu has been charged with obstructing justice.
Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko has denied violating the Constitution in recommending charges against the two former ministers.
Mr Tobiko, has also defended President Uhuru Kenyatta against accusations that he illegally exerted pressure on the ethics commission.
Judges Mumbi Ngugi, George Odunga and Joseph Onguto adjourned the hearing to November 12 to allow the parties to file more documents.
For political analyst Mutahi Ngunyi, what started as a normal tweet targeting some communities, resulted in a dramatic exchange of a goat and drinks in a bid to end an alleged ethnic slur amicably, but the matter took a turn for the worst when the DPP said there was evidence to charge him.
Mr Ngunyi moved to the High Court seeking temporary court orders to stop the DPP from charging him with hate speech. He was released on bond as the case continues.
Perhaps the most dramatic case was that of former Nairobi Mayor George Aladwa, who was involved in a cat-and-mouse game with the police, but finally moved to the High Court seeking to stop incitement charges against him.
He allegedly made offensive remarks during a public rally on October 20, in Kibera. He was arrested by Flying Squad officers.
Although the High Court allowed him to file a petition to challenge his prosecution, the DPP succeeded in charging him with incitement.
Last Friday the prosecution asked the court to deny Mr Aladwa bond on grounds that there is an increase in hate speech and incitement cases.
Assistant DPP Leonard Maingi told the court that stringent bond terms had not deterred politicians such as Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria from making inflammatory remarks.
He also cited Kiambu Governor William Kabogo’s remarks that he had the money to defend himself in court.