Monday, 29 February 2016

From Steve Jobs to Barack Obama: The morning routines of 8 of the world’s most successful people

Is there a secret to how successful people start the morning?
  • Are you an early bird or a night owl? Research has shown that some of us are hardwired to work better in the mornings, while others do their best thinking late at night.
    If today was the last day of my life, would I be happy with what I’m about to do today?
    Steve Jobs' morning mantra
    Whether you get up early or late, you probably have your own little rituals. Some people need coffee before you they get out of bed, while others prefer to go to an exercise class before they eat any breakfast.
    But what if you’re not doing mornings right? The website has collected information from the world’s most successful people to find out if there is a secret to jumpstarting your morning.

     Obama reportedly keeps a strict morning workout routine of weights and cardio Getty


    1. Steve Jobs
    Co-founder of Apple
    Net worth: $11 billion upon death in 2011
    Notable moments: launching the iPod and iTunes and revolutionising the music industry
    Morning routine: Every morning, Jobs would look in the mirror and ask himself, “If today was the last day of my life, would I be happy with what I’m about to do today?” If he responded ‘no’ too many days in a row, he knew something needed to change.


    1. Mark Zuckerberg
    Co-founder of Facebook
    Net worth: $35.7 billion in 2015
    Notable moments: Turning Facebook into the world’s most popular social network
    Morning routine: Zuckerberg is well known for dressing the same way each day as he once claimed it gives him “one less decision to make”. He also starts the day on very little sleep, often staying up chatting with programmers until 6am.


    1. Winston Churchill
    Former British Prime Minister
    Net worth: unknown
    Notable moments: Leading Britain to victory over Nazi Germany in WWII.
    Morning routine: Churchill famously got up at 7.30am but remain in bed until 11am eating breakfast, reading the newspaper and dictating to his secretaries.
    1. Barack Obama
    President of the USA
    Net worth: $6.9 million in 2015
    Notable moments: Winning 69.5 million votes in the 2008 presidential election, the highest amount ever won by a candidate.
    Morning routine: Obama keeps a strict morning workout routine of weights and cardio at 6.45am, before eating breakfast with his family and helping to pack his daughters off to school.

    1. Bill Gates
    Co-founder of Microsoft
    $79.2 billion in 2015
    Notable moments: Playing a key role in the rollout of PC’s across the globe with Microsoft’s Windows operating system and building the business to be one of the world’s leading software companies.
    Morning routine: Gates is known as an advocate of good health and spends an hour on the treadmill, watching courses from the Teaching Company while doing so.


    1. David Cameron
    UK Prime Minister
    Net worth: £3.2 million
    Notable achievements: winning the 2015 General Election to beat Labour and come out of the coalition government.
    Morning routine: Cameron has revealed that he and his family have a no TV rule in the mornings as he believes his children should be doing something. When out on the road, Cameron spends time reading newspapers and catching up on daily news, but when he is at home he spends the morning with his family.


    1. Jeff Bezos
    CEO of Amazon
    Net worth: $46.7 billion in 2015
    Notable moments: Seeing an opportunity in the dot com boom and turning Amazon into a household name.
    Morning routine: Bezos has said he hates early morning meetings. He prefers to stay home and have a healthy breakfast with his family.

    1. Howard Schultz
    CEO of Starbucks
    Net worth: $2.9 billion in 2015
    Notable moments: Growing a small Seattle coffee shop into one of the world’s biggest and most successful brands.
    Morning routine: Schultz revealed his early morning routine to Bloomberg Businessweek. “I get up at 4.30am every  morning to walk my three dogs and work out,” Schultz said. “Around 5.45am I make coffee for myself and my wife using an 8-cup Bodum French press.”


Sunday, 28 February 2016

Sunday, February 21, 2016 Besigye’s campaign and the lessons for Africa’s opposition parties

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Uganda's Presidential Candidate and Forum for Democratic Change leader  Dr Kizza Besigye, addresses the media in Kampala on February 13, 2016. PHOTO | AFP
Uganda's Presidential Candidate and Forum for Democratic Change leader Dr Kizza Besigye, addresses the media in Kampala on February 13, 2016. PHOTO | AFP

The Ugandan General Election has been hotly contested. In some ways the campaign has been fairly predictable. The main two candidates were President Yoweri Museveni, who has been in power for thirty years, and Kizza Besigye, his former doctor, who has lost the last three elections.
But in other ways it has offered something different. On the one hand, there was a new opposition leader, Amama Mbabazi, a former Museveni ally that split from the National Resistance Movement (NRM) last year to great fanfare.
On the other, public support for Besigye seems to have deepened in some areas, justifying his decision to contest for a fourth time. Opposition leaders in other African countries have much to learn from the way in which this was achieved.
Most commentators predicted that Besigye, the charismatic leader of the opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) would lose the 2016 poll.
This was not because Ugandan’s don’t have sympathy with his call for change, but because he faces almost insurmountable odds. In Uganda, Museveni holds all the cards.
The president enjoys the control of the military and security forces, as well as informal volunteer groups such as the “Crime Preventers”. He can also afford to outspend his rivals ten to one, while deploying state resources and officials, and the plethora of NRM MPs, to campaign on his behalf.
Significantly, the disadvantages faced by the opposition do not stop once the campaign ends. I am writing from Fort Portal, western Uganda, on election day and a number of developments demonstrate that the elections were not free and fair.
A number of polling stations in pro-Besigye areas have not received their ballot papers yet and it is already 3:30. The polls are supposed to begin closing at 4 p.m. Worse still, a colleague near Kampala has confirmed reports that the police abducted and beat a number of FDC agents (who monitor polling stations for the party), and subsequently arrested them on trumped up charges.
Clearly, Uganda is a tough place in which to lead the opposition. Despite this, Besigye has shown remarkable bravery and resolve. He is regularly arrested by the government, but does not let this deter him.
Instead, he wears it like a badge of honour, and his commitment to resisting NRM control is not lost on Ugandan voters. Even some of the NRM supporters that I have spoken to have spoken of having a deep respect for his tenacity. It is also clear that he is the leader that Ugandans prefer to listen to.
While Museveni may be a great strategist and have an incredible capacity to remember the names of people that attend his events, it is Besigye’s populist energy and firebrand speeches that pack in the crowds — so much so that he was arrested not once but twice as he attempted to hold what would no doubt have been a vast rally at Makarere University earlier in the week.
The difficulties facing Besigye are also felt by FDC leaders and activists operating at the local level across Uganda. Yet despite this, and the entrance of Mbabazi into the race, the FDC has sustained its position and strengthened its organisation. How was this possible?
The situation facing opposition parties in Fort Portal is extremely difficult, but it has actually improved over the years. An experienced local party leader tells me that back in 2001, when Besigye led the Reform Agenda movement, they could not hold rallies for fear of being attacked by thugs wielding sticks.
In 2006, some rallies were possible in municipal Fort Portal, but there was widespread intimidation of FDC supporters, especially in rural areas. By 2011, the NRM had decided to change direction, in part because of criticism from international donors, and in part because of the diminishing returns of the previous strategy — many Ugandan’s believe that the FDC actually won the 2006 polls.
The new tactics employed by the ruling party were far more subtle. Out went explicit everyday violence and public aggression. In its place, the NRM introduced the threat of greater violence “in the background”.
In other words, whereas in 2006 large numbers of FDC activists were beaten before the polls, in 2011 the NRM relied more heavily on threatening that an even greater wave of violence would be unleashed should Besigye win. At the same time, FDC supporters remember that the government flooded the area with “money, vast amounts of money. Money, money, money”.
The combination of vast election funds and the threat of violence proved to be very effective. Whereas in 2006 the attacks on FDC supporters were so widespread that they were easily detected by civil society groups and international election monitors, leading to international condemnation, in 2011 the latent nature of the threat meant that there was less for election monitors to see, and hence report.
In Fort Portal, the 2016 election has largely followed the pattern of the 2011 polls. FDC supporters are aware that there seem to be more security forces on the ground than ever before, including the controversial Crime Preventers, but these forces have yet to be deployed against them in a systematic way. As a result, it is unlikely that these issues will receive any great attention in the evaluations of election monitors.
For FDC leaders, the lack of physical violence is both a relief and an opportunity. At the FDC office, a consistent string of supporters file in to pay 1,000 shillings and receive their membership cards, unconcerned about being associated with the party.
However, in other ways the hidden nature of the NRM threat makes the challenges facing the FDC even more difficult, because government repression is harder to expose. A significant proportion of voters are still too scared to declare their support for the opposition, but it is nigh on impossible for the FDC to demonstrate this through photographs or written documents.
The trends seen in Fort Portal reflect wider developments, but it is important to note that in some respects Fort Portal is an outlier. In the town centre, FDC supporters wearing their trade mark blue t-shirts are able to mingle with NRM supporters wearing their yellow uniform, and to attend the rallies of parties of various stripes, with no fear of reprisals.
Indeed, the local FDC councillor even appeared on a platform with the NRM’s parliamentary flag bearer and Mayoral candidate, who himself was an FDC leader back in the day. When I stop at a barber shop to talk to a group of young men — a key constituency for Besigye, because of their desire for rapid change — they proudly display their FDC posters and t-shirts for their neighbours to see.
In other parts of Uganda where the relationship between the two parties is more conflictual, and in which the vote is expected to be closer, blue t-shirts are worn under yellow jumpers, and Besigye posters are hidden away from public view. Especially in rural areas, where unelected local NRM leaders hold sway and the FDC enjoys weaker party structures, speaking out against the president can be a dangerous game.
Human rights organisations have documented a number of abuses during the campaign, including beatings and the destruction of property. Although these attacks are not on the scale of 2006, they remain a potent deterrent.
Despite this, public sympathy for Besigye remains considerable, especially in areas that feel that they have not benefitted from NRM rule. One of the most striking features of this election has been the sight of ordinary Ugandans travelling to his rallies in order to make a personal contribution to his campaign — a development that turns the typical pattern of political leaders buying the votes of their supporters on its head.
At one rally I attended, a poor village that lacked access to even the most basic services such as running water gave the local FDC leaders a massive haul of bananas. It was a heart-warming moment, and one that confirmed that Ugandans are a long way from giving up on the FDC. So what lessons can other opposition leaders in Africa learn from Besigye?
The FDC leader has often been criticised for not making more of some of his opportunities. In the past, the FDC has suffered from a weak party structure, and a recent piece by Nicole Beardsworth argued that opposition parties have wasted an opportunity to secure more parliamentary seats by running candidates against each other, thus dividing the “anti-NRM” vote. At the same time, NRM supporters point out that Besigye tends to make a large number of promises around election time, and that it is not clear that the country can afford them.
But there are also reasons to praise Besigye, and not just for his courage. After the 2011 elections, he admitted to being unsure as to what direction to go in and stood down as party leader. Although he later returned as the party’s flagbearer for the 2016 polls, by allowing control of the party to shift to another leader he demonstrated his own commitment to the democratic principles that no one has the right to rule for life.
He also created the opportunity for others within the party to try a new approach, and many FDC activists say this facilitated a steady process of institution building that has left the party organisationally stronger than it was in the past.
The implications for the leaders of opposition parties elsewhere in Africa are clear. Submit to democratic processes and do not expect to get better results with the same old tactics. Sometimes, to show your strength you have to admit your weaknesses.
Dr Cheeseman teaches African politics at Oxford University @fromagehomme

Kizza Besigye on admiring to become a Terrorist

Tonight, I feel like becoming a real "terrorist"! This is the effect of endless acts of impunity on the part of the Uganda Police. When the people assigned the responsibility of maintaining law and order become deliberate and arrogant law breakers, where does one turn to?
The day (Thursday 25th Feb 2016) started on a bright side, with a visit by my colleague Maj Gen (rtd) Benon Biraro, who shared a number of ideas on how our country could be put back on rails.
I was also expecting a visit from some Human Rights defenders, including Ms Maria Burnett of the Human Rights Watch. These visitors had come to see me the previous day but were blocked by the police at the barricade they erected on the driveway to our home. In spite of sending my aide to plead with the police (since I couldn't be allowed to get there myself), they were turned away after waiting for more than 2hrs. They were, instead, asked to come back today at 9am.
The Human Rights defenders, who arrived at the police blockade at 8.45am, eventually left about 10am without seeing me. After the usual lengthy "consultations", that involve talking to the top police commanders, my visitors were told that they won't be allowed to see me!
Shortly after 10am, some visitors, who hadn't informed me of their visit (a normal occurrence), arrived at the police blockade in a minibus from Kakiri, in our District of Wakiso.
As they inquired from the police whether they could be allowed in to see me, the goons that man the notorious police van UP 4860 sprung into action. They opened the minibus, pulled out two of the occupants and threw them into their van. The driver of the minibus quickly reversed and sped off with the other visitors.
At 11am, I made my attempt at leaving home for Najjanankumbi, our party headquarters. As before, I was told that I wasn't allowed to move out. When I insisted, I was arrested and pushed into the notorious van.
Here, I found two terrified men that were in immense pain. The van had a strong smell of pepper spray that immediately made my sore throat worse and affected my eyes. The two men informed me that they had been badly beaten and pepper-sprayed while in the van.
One of the men held in the van, named Jamilu Budde (whom I know) was crying with pain and holding his left arm in a manner that suggested he could have had a broken collar bone.
I pleaded with the "Commander" of the van, one Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Kidandi to let me help Budde with First Aid and get him taken to the clinic, but this was denied. Instead, the two men were roughly thrown off the van and I was carried away alone.
After driving through Matugga, Kawempe, Mpererwe, Kisaasi, Northern Bypass, and Naalya, I was deposited in Kira Division police Hqs. This is where I stayed until I was given a bond and "released" at about 9pm.
I made it clear, like before, that if the reason they arrested still existed, then they should keep me in detention. Otherwise, once freed, I should be truly free and not expect the police to detain me at my home. As before, I was told that I'd no choice but to be taken back home.
I am now back home and, as before, detained there! I tried as much as I could, unsuccessfully, to demand that they take me to a proper (gazatted) detention place or let me free. My sore throat was worsened by the pepper spray I found in the van. I informed my captors about this and that I would do well to consult my physician. All this fell on deaf ears.
I have since found out that Mr Budde and his colleague, who were tortured and left on our home's driveway earlier, were later briefly held at Kasangati Police Station and later transferred to Kireka Police. Mr Budde hasn't had any medical attention that I am sure he badly needs.
This is the dilemma of leaving in a country governed by a rogue regime. This is the very reason I wake up early everyday to do something about it. I am confident that, by the Grace of God, we shall overcome.
One Uganda, One People!!

Saturday, 27 February 2016

Sunday, February 28, 2016 American woman with more sway on Homa Bay and pirates than US

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Homa Bay County Governor Cyprian Awiti (second left) talks to Oasis Group International chairperson Amira Ballarin (right) on plans to build low-cost houses for workers and residents of the county on August 1, 2013. PHOTO | JACOB OWITI | NATION MEDIA GROUP
Homa Bay County Governor Cyprian Awiti (second left) talks to Oasis Group International chairperson Amira Ballarin (right) on plans to build low-cost houses for workers and residents of the county on August 1, 2013. PHOTO | JACOB OWITI | NATION MEDIA GROUP   


  • The last time she appeared in public in Kenya, Ms Ballarin was meeting Homa Bay Governor Cyprian Awiti and his cabinet, pitching for an ambitious Sh500 billion Agricity project and a Sh3.3 billion road construction plan.
  • Mr Awiti claimed they had done “due diligence” on the company, how it won a Sh3.3 billion tender while its annual turnover was only Sh120 million was intriguing, according to a Homa Bay County transport committee report.
Two weeks ago, the government quietly dissolved a Kenyan-registered company associated with a flamboyant US socialite who once claimed to have more influence among Somali pirates and warlords than the US government.
This is a story of wit, high stakes and the underworld.
The name Michele Lynn “Amira” Ballarin is hardly known locally — yet this “horse-country socialite”, as one US official called her, managed to walk into Homa Bay County and get Sh110 million to ostensibly build a road. The county is struggling to get back the money.
It is not clear why Oasis Group International, associated with Ballarin, was dissolved — though it adds a new twist to the story of this mysterious American whom Somali militia and pirates had nicknamed Amira, meaning Princess.
Highly placed sources in the Interior ministry say the company was struck off the register because of “security concerns”, given Ms Ballarin’s background. Interestingly, nobody wants to go on record.
The western media is awash with details about Ms Ballarin, who once claimed to have links with US intelligence. The last time she appeared in public in Kenya, Ms Ballarin was meeting Homa Bay Governor Cyprian Awiti and his cabinet, pitching for an ambitious Sh500 billion Agricity project and a Sh3.3 billion road construction plan. Also in that meeting was Nairobi businessman Eliud Owalo, who did not pick our calls. Mr Owalo is a former campaign manager of Mr Raila Odinga.
Getting to the bottom of this story ruffled some feathers. “I don’t understand why you are going back to this story,” Mr Awiti said on phone. “The road project and the contract were insured and we have taken them to court to recover our money. We also cancelled the tender.”
Although the media had been invited to cover the US “investor” briefing, nobody seemed to connect Ms Ballarin to the woman whose links to Somali pirates baffled many, including the US intelligence. Was Mr Awiti aware of this background? “I came to learn about that later,” he told this writer.
While Mr Awiti claimed they had done “due diligence” on the company, how it won a Sh3.3 billion tender while its annual turnover was only Sh120 million was intriguing, according to a Homa Bay County transport committee report.
Later, Homa Bay MCAs questioned the payment of Sh110 million to Ms Ballarin’s company when the tender documents indicated a different company, Berenyi Inc. When we reached Berenyi Inc CEO and founder Tony Berenyi at his South Carolina office, he said he was “never paid a cent”.
“I was in Homa Bay for only two weeks. Amira called me and asked for my assistance in design of some roads in western Kenya. She said she had a contract of $40 million with the (County Government of) Homa Bay. They may have used my name to get a tender... I don’t know. But I did no work there and never got paid,” said Mr Berenyi, whose company is listed as “international partner” in Oasis’ website.
Mr Berenyi says Ms Ballarin was in Homa Bay with Mr Perry Davis, whom he described as “her spokesman”. Mr Davis has some military background.
Once described by the Washington Post as a former Green Beret and Amira’s business partner, Mr Davis is said to live in Ms Amira’s sprawling 110-acre estate in Warrenton, Northern Virginia.
In his LinkedIn page, Mr Davis says he works for Oasis Group International and that he previously worked with the US military for over 30 years, “working in hostile and complex environments”. He is currently the president of another company, Blackstar Inc, which western media say is used to gather intelligence.
“The problem with Michele is separating fact from fiction. What is real, and what is made up?” Mr Geoff Whiting, a retired naval intelligence officer who partnered with Amira, is quoted by The Washington Post saying.
Ms Ballarin did not respond to our emails, though her Nairobi contacts called to ask what the story on Oasis was all about. They did not provide answers to the question: What exactly was Ms Ballarin doing in Kenya?
On her Linkedin page, Ms Ballarin, a graduate of West Virginia University in Morgantown, describes Oasis group as an “international infrastructure firm with a focus on enabling national and regional governments in achieving a US standard in key infrastructure projects such as roads, bridges and sustainable energy-utilising local management talent and labour resources.”
It doesn’t state the projects it has carried out.
But according to the UK Observer, Ms Ballarin also runs a private military company, Select Armor, which was used for “undercover missions” in support of President Abdullahi Yusuf’s transitional federal government — founded with UN backing in 2004. In April 2007, the Associated Press reported that Select Armor was also part of a team led by Lockheed Martin Corp, which had been selected by the US Navy “ compete for anti-terrorism contracts worth up to $500 million over five years.
Ms Ballarin came to Kenya’s attention in 2008 when she was involved in tense hostage negotiations with pirates holding MV Faina, a ship full of Russian tanks destined for South Sudan via Mombasa, and a Saudi oil tanker, MV Sirius Star, seized off the coast of Somalia.
When talks with pirates aboard Sirius Star collapsed, they surprised everyone when they insisted they would want to speak only with Ms Ballarin and dropped a banner on the ship’s freeboard with her nickname — Amira. She later termed as “sensational” reports in western media that she was in “constant communication” with the pirates.
Regarding the banners bearing her name, Ms Ballarin said: “I suppose... it was a compliment in the way we helped family members... (communicate),” she told the Voice of America while denying participation in the actual talks. “We never had any interaction with the owners of the ships or the insurance companies.”
Why then was she interested in only two ships while so many had been seized? “I was deeply disturbed that a horrible environmental disaster (would take place) in the case of Sirius Star if insurgents poked a hole into the tanker” (or) if they unloaded the military cargo aboard the MV Faina,” she said.
At that time, very few people knew who Amira was, although a senior US government official told ABC News about his frustration over the US government’s indifference in the Horn of Africa: “It’s pretty sad when a horse-country socialite has more sway in Somalia than the whole US government.”
Later on in Nairobi, Ms Ballarin would organise meetings with Sufi groups at a time when piracy in the Indian Ocean had reached a crescendo. That alone baffled security experts since it appeared she was a trusted confidante of both the warlords and the pirates, and once told reporters that she had a plan to bring peace to Somalia via what she called on her website “Organic Solution”. Western media said she printed some navy blue shirts for the “Somali boys” to illustrate the work she was doing. “On the front they read: “Somali Marine Security.” On the back: “Amira’s Organic Solution for Somalia,” wrote Mr Keith Koor, a reporter who got one of the shirts.
Ms Ballarin also befriended President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed and various Somali leaders and was at one point appointed Somalia’s “Presidential Advisor for Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance”.
Asked by the Voice of America about that appointment, she ducked thus: “The best way to answer that question is to say that we have always been available for the Somali people...”
The Washington Post reported how Ahmed had spent an entire weekend in Ms Ballarin’s large estate “huddled there with Ballarin and Davis over Memorial Day. They mapped out logistics and pored over mock-up designs of resettlement villages, the first of which is slated to break ground by year’s end.”
President Ahmed later cancelled the contract with the woman who once claimed to be setting up a bank in Somalia, Oasis Bank, an outgrowth of Organic Solutions, and little was heard of her dalliance with government operatives in Somalia afterwards.
She once told the VOA that she had meetings with the Sufi group in Nairobi, Dubai, and Somaliland, giving them support against the Al-Shabaab. The Washington Post reported how Ms Ballarin and Mr Davis also earned a contract with the Pentagon to gather intelligence inside Somalia. That flirtation with intelligence started in August 2007 when she is said to have sent an unsolicited letter to the CIA, via another company — Gulf Security Group.
Ms Ballarin had proposed, according to western media, “to “track and eliminate Al-Qaida terrorist networks” in the Horn of Africa. But the CIA told her off and said they were “not interested” in her services.
Ms Ballarin then sought out the Pentagon. The Washington Post claimed she was “rewarded with a classified contract for an undisclosed amount of money. But within a year, the contract was reportedly terminated for “non-performance”.
In her house, The Washington Post reported, Ms Ballarin, who in 1986 ran for Congress, keeps a “photo gallery of herself posing with Somali politicians, warlords, clan leaders and Sufis. In almost all the pictures, she is wearing an Armani suit, her hair pulled back in a tight bun.”
When she appeared at a boardroom in Homa Bay County pitching to build cheap two-bedroomed houses for $7,500 with an inbuilt solar panel system, she was flanked by several of her Nairobi contacts. Governor Awiti appeared to buy the plan.
“The uniqueness of this approach is, it will create business opportunities and employ people...” Mr Awiti said in a clip still available on YouTube.
Ms Ballarin’s past in investment banking is said to have earned her a place among the wealthy bureaucrats and investors of Washington DC after her second marriage to Gino Ballarin, a hotel manager in the exclusive Georgetown Club in DC. It was in these social circuits that she met a wealthy Somali “elder” who “fascinated” her with Sufi religion and Somalia.
Had the governor of Homa Bay checked on Google, he would have found some amazing facts about Ms Ballarin. Several of her Somalia development programmes failed, including the plan to set up an airline and a bank. The Washington Post reported that all these projects “were dissolved after nine months, with many investors failing to recoup tens of thousands of dollars”.
Ms Esther Herbert, a medical consultant who once worked with Ms Ballarin in a Somali initiative from 2008 to 2010, told The Washington Post: “She has an amazing ability to attract very powerful people... Then it all falls apart.”
With the deregistration of Oasis International, Ms Ballarin’s door to Somalia — and to Kenya where she runs a children’s home — seems shut. Or perhaps we have not heard the last about her.
John Kamau is a senior writer with Nation Media Group. Email: @johnkamau1

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Pilot who assaulted police officer arrested

By Wangui Ngechu, Citizen Digital Published on  23 February 2016

Captain Alistair Llewelyn arrested
The helicopter pilot who was captured in a video assaulting a policewoman at an event attended by Deputy President William Ruto in Nyandarua on Sunday has surrendered to police at Kilimani Police Station.

Captain Alistair Llewelyn being taken to Kinangop Police Station
 Captain Alistair Llewelyn being taken to Kinangop Police Station

According to Kilimani OCPD Peter Kattam, the suspect, Captain Alistair Llewelyn, has been taken to Kinangop Police Station to record a statement and will be held overnight awaiting arraignment in court for assault.
This comes just hours after Inspector General Joseph Boinnet ordered the pilot’s arrest, terming his acts totally unacceptable.
Deputy President William Ruto had also asked police to take action against the captain.
Captain Alister Brown had been hired by the deputy president to fly him to Ndunyu Njeru in Nyandarua on Sunday when the incident occurred.
In a 30-second video that infuriated Kenyans, Captain Brown is seen assaulting a police officer, Mercy Wandera, a corporal at Magumu Police station in Kinangop South District for allegedly “not doing her job”
Kenyans then took to social media platform, Twitter to criticise the pilot’s action using the hashtag #deportrutospilot.
In a statement, DP Ruto termed the incident “unacceptable and regrettable”
“The deputy president wishes to give an assurance that the government takes a strong stand against bigotry, misogyny, chauvinism and violence against women…,” read the statement in part.
“Women, are entitled to respect and any actions which violate their dignity are cowardly, barbaric and outrageous”
The office of the Inspector General of Police also issued a statement after the incident and ordered investigations and criminal proceedings against the suspect to begin immediately.
KIDL which operates helicopter 5Y-DSN has also terminated the services of the pilot after the incident.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016 Drama as Tuskys CEO is ejected from office

Tuskys Chief Executive Officer Dan Githua was on Tuesday forcibly removed from office in a dramatic scene that saw siblings of the directors storm the office to escort him out.
A video captured at the scene shows people entering Mr Githua's office and asking him to leave. He listens to their tirades in silence, though anger is evident on his face, before he later walks out followed by several people, some of whom are heard still shouting at him.
The group's move followed his reluctance to adhere to a letter terminating his employment on January 23 due to alleged conflict of interest, lack of respect, arrogance and poor performance of the company.
“We the directors of Tusker Mattresses Ltd have terminated your services as the CEO of our company with immediate effect due to reasons cited,” said the letter seen by Daily Nation and signed by the four directors of the company.
Mr Githua was the first non-family CEO appointed by the firm in 25 years. He succeeded George Kamau, moving from his job as the CEO of Speed Capital.
His appointment was seen as a remedy that could quell the drama that had in the recent past stalked the family-owned business. An estimated Sh1.64 billion is alleged to have been siphoned from Tuskys' accounts four years ago.
At the time of Mr Githua's appointment, Mr Yusuf Mugweru Kamau, the fourth-born in the Kamau family, opposed the decision, saying the shareholders had not met to discuss the hiring.
Tuskys is run by seven siblings: Mr Stephen Mukuha, Mr Mugweru, Mr John Kago, Mr George Gashwe (former managing director), Mr Sam Gatei, Ms Mary Njoki and Mr Kenneth Mwangi Njeri.
One year into Mr Githua’s tenure as CEO, the directors noticed a drop in the company’s performance compared with previous years.
“You are an 80 per cent owner of Artemis Africa Ltd and Martin Mureithi owns the remaining 20 per cent. Artemis Africa happens to be Tusker Mattresses Ltd’s employee outsourcing company,” said the letter of termination issued to Mr Githua.
The directors also claimed that Mr Githua disrespected them and showed similar contempt for employees and suppliers of the company.

Sunday, 21 February 2016

Obama: Ugandans Deserved Better, Losers Should Use Lawful Means To Oppose Results Posted by: david, Feb 21, 2016

Kizza Besiye has been told to use lawful means to oppose results
Kizza Besiye has been told to use lawful means to oppose results

The United States of America has spoken out on the Ugandan February 18 election that ushered Yoweri Museveni into State House saying the exercise lacked in several aspects of democracy and fairness.

Without mincing words, the Obama administration says that the Ugandan people deserved a better election than that the Kampala administration and the electoral commission delivered.

In a statement issued Saturday evening, the US observes that the irregularities witnessed during the elections were deeply inconsistent with international standards and expectations for any democratic process.

The deputy spokesperson of the US Department Mark C. Toner issued the statement on behalf of the Obama administration.

The Obama administration cites the delayed delivery of voting kits, reports of pre-ticked ballots, vote buying, and excessive use of force by the police among the mischief that conspired to undermine the integrity of the electoral process.


The ban on social media including Twitter, Facebook and Internet as well as on mobile money platforms are other actions that the US says lowered the democratic integrity of the February 18 presidential and parliamentary elections.

The Ugandan government has since clarified that the shutdown was prompted by fears that terrorists would take advantage of the busy election period to take to the above platforms to bomb the country.

On an encouraging note, the US administration thanks its Kampala counterpart for organizing the election without major unrest.

Kizza Besigye: Democracy is on trial in Uganda.

Press Statement
Message: The results of the presidential elections must be rejected Kampala, Uganda
20 February 2016
Citizens of Uganda
My Fellow Africans
International Citizens and Friends of Uganda
Members of the Press Corps and the Diplomatic Community,
We have just witnessed what must be the most fraudulent electoral process in Uganda. We participated in this process to highlight and show the world quite how fraudulent this military regime is. The Electoral Commission is not independent and its technical incompetence and partisanship has been made clear for all to see. The voting material was not delivered in time. People were unlawfully removed from the Voters’ Register whilst ghosts were wantonly added. Freedoms of assembly and expression were wantonly curbed. We were not free to carry out our campaigns without intimidation and interference from the partisan Uganda Police Force and the NRM’s militia dubbed the Crime Preventers.
On election day, all access to social media platforms was switched off. This can only have been designed to impede transparency of the election. The popular mobile money platforms were also disabled, cutting millions of ordinary people off from their meager resources. This can only be described as illegal collective punishment, which is an offense under international law.
Then after the elections as the Electoral Commission started announcing falsified results when we called a press conference to show the world how the results that we had, results that were announced at polling stations in the presence of citizens and our own polling agents, the Uganda Police Force brutally stormed our offices and arrested the Party President, Maj. General Mugisha Muntu, our Chief Mobiliser, Ms. Ingrid Turinawe, and myself. We were detained without charge at Naggalama Police Station and whilst General Muntu and I were released late in the night, Ms. Turinawe was detained overnight.
Today I am under house arrest. My home is sealed off and I am not allowed to leave. Nobody is allowed to access my home. I am also under some kind of electronic blockade. I am unable to access any form of internet service in my house.
Generally, the regime is baring its bloodied fangs and claws for all to see. This has not been an electoral process. This is a creeping military coup.
(I) What must be done
I have come to ask for two things:
(1) The results of the presidential elections must be rejected by the international community.
(2) An international commission should be established to audit the results of the elections.
(II) A Profound Faith in Democracy
While I address you as a presidential candidate, I greet you today as human rights and a pro-democracy activist. As you know, I have dedicated my adult life to the struggle for democracy in Uganda.
I come from the generation which beliefs that democracy is the gateway to human rights and human dignity and to the rule of law, and to tolerance and pluralism. Any government which claims to derive its mandate from the people must believe and practice democracy.
Anyone who believes in human dignity, and who believes that we are all created in the image of God and that we all stand equal before the law, must be believe and practice democracy.
Anyone who believes in Pan-Africanism and the dignity of the African person, and that an African has the equal claim tolife as any person on this earth, must believe and practice democracy.
And to those friends around the world who wish Africa well and who believe in the dignity of the African continent, they too must believe in democracy and the inalienable right of the African to enjoy it and to live by the universal democratic creed.
I believe deeply in my heart that the African Renaissance will never happen without democracy. I believe profoundly that the East African Federation would be stillborn without democracy.
Sir Winston Churchill once said that the empires of the future will be the empires of the mind. That was true and profound. I hasten to reframe that statement. The empires of the future will be the empires of democracy.
No one can be a full citizen of the 21 st century without enjoying the full blessings of democracy. Any Image claim to the contrary is false.
There can be no citizenship without democracy.
(II) Democracy on Trial in Uganda
Today democracy is on trial in Uganda. The evidence is all around us.
The most sacred right of a citizen is the right to vote peacefully and freely. There is no greater right in a free and open society. It’s upon the right to vote that all other democratic rights are anchored. Today the right to vote—and the right to do so peacefully—has been wantonly violated in Uganda.
That violation should be a profound moral offense to all of us.
A profound offense to all the citizens of Uganda. And it is an offense to all Africans and to all global citizens.
When you violate the rights of an African to vote, you insult his and her humanity and you rob him of his human dignity. That was the fundamental offense of colonialism: the odious practice, and the insulting belief, that an African could be a subject but never a citizen.
Today in Uganda, the right to vote—the very essence of citizenship—has been violated with impunity.
(III) International Community asked to sanction impunity and human rights violations
And the international community has been asked to sanction those gross human rights violations.
You have been asked to sanction elections that are neither free nor fair nor credible.
And there is only one logic to that request: that African lives do not matter. And that an African can live without democracy or human dignity.
Instead of democracy, the logic goes, an African would rather receive international charity.
Instead of democracy, an African would rather be trained in post-conflict resolution.
By ratifying these sham elections, the international community is being invited to become a partner in the violations of the African people.
I am therefore here to ask the international community to have the courage to defend the millions of Ugandans—the youth and the elderly—who had the courage to vote. Let them know that it’s not a crime to be an African.
Please reject the temptation to ratify these sham elections.
But should you ratify the results of these sham elections, at least, have the courage to admit that you do not care about democracy or human rights in Africa.
No one who can sanction these elections can credibly profess to be for democracy or for human rights in Africa. I am greatly heartened by the fact that the International Observer missions from the AU, the EU, and the Commonwealth have all, in their preliminary reports indicated that this exercise has not been free, fair, transparent or credible.
I urge you, on behalf of the brave citizens of Uganda, to reject the results of these sham elections.
To my brothers and sisters across Africa, I urge you to stand with the people of Uganda and to assert the rights of every African to live in a free and democratic society.
To my fellow Ugandans, I salute your courage and thank you for your support and for believing in democracy and peace. Democracy is the only path to peace and prosperity and to the rule of law. Remain vigilant and steadfast. The struggle is long and hard but, in the end, we shall win if we continue in our patient and steadfast resolve. The regime cannot survive without our co-operation. Let us denounce this electoral theft by withdrawing our recognition of the regime and ceasing to co-operate with it.
Let us have the strength and the courage to finish this struggle. I mow deep in my heart that Uganda shall be free!
One Uganda! One People!
For God and My Country.
Dr. Kizza Besigye
Kampala, Uganda
20th February 2016.

Saturday, 20 February 2016

#UgandaDecides: How Museveni survived, grabbed donors by the balls, and became the very thing he warned against

In the 18 February election, President Yoweri Museveni will almost certainly extend his rule and will probably keep extending it until he dies in office.

President Yoweri Museveni plays a charity football match with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon. Credit: UN Photo/Evan Schneider.
President Yoweri Museveni plays a charity football match with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon. Credit: UN Photo/Evan Schneider.
If Shakespeare were alive today, he would probably be writing plays about African presidents rather than medieval kings. Nowhere else in the world has such dramatic and personal politics. Uganda is a case in point.
In this East African nation, the re-election of President Yoweri Museveni on 18 February has always been a foregone conclusion. Having ruled for 30 years now, he will almost certainly extend his rule after the election tomorrow and probably keep extending it until he dies in office.
Victory was ensured when his two main rivals and former associates – Amama Mbabazi and Kizza Besigye – would not unite. But even if a single opposition candidate had emerged and won a majority, the election would be annulled or a quick “recount” would reverse the results.
[See: Uganda: The opposition’s missed opportunity in parliamentary and local elections]
In the early days, Museveni did not mind criticism and discussion; he was sharp enough to debate and defend his rule. But today, anyone who gets close to challenging him gets beaten up, jailed or both. Museveni has become the stereotypical African dictator that he once denounced.
I will declare an interest here. I lived in Uganda as a teacher in the first two years of Idi Amin’s rule. And I went back as a journalist after General Tito Okello took power in 1985, when I managed to visit Museveni’s fighters in the bush. I was in Kampala the following year just his fighters took power, and I was in the front row a few days later when Museveni was sworn in as president. I interviewed the new president several times and found him an impressive debater.
After the Amin years and the subsequent political chaos, Museveni was a model of sense and stability. He opened up debate and tried to create a layered national structure for discussion and decision-making from the village to parliament. But it was only later that I realised this was only in the south. In the north, especially Acholiland where the previous regime’s leaders had come from, it was a different story. Chiefs and leaders were arrested and disappeared, and the Acholi’s precious cattle were stolen by soldiers. The region has never fully recovered.
In these early years, I saw Museveni frequently. He liked to call journalists together and debate with us. It was like bowling against a first rate batsman. He dealt with our questions thoughtfully and wittily. And in Uganda more broadly, there was open debate about policy and the presidential succession.
But the longer Museveni has ruled, the more dictatorial and remote he has become. He has reverted to crude practices such as distributing bags of money to buy votes, while his former comrades have abandoned him. The best went first, and he is now just left with servants rather than comrades.

Making politics personal

One of Museveni’s most loyal former followers was his childhood sweetheart, Winnie Byanyima. Her father, Boniface Byanyima, was headmaster of Mbarara High School, one of the best in the country, when the young Museveni came to beg for a place. Her father gave the young boy from a poor family a spot and even let him stay in his house during term time.
Winnie, 14 years younger, became close to the house guest. And several years later, she was one of the first to join Museveni’s movement and join him the bush. The two formed a close relationship, and at his inauguration, Winnie was standing just metres behind him sporting her battledress and huge afro.
After Museveni became president, she soon moved into State House too, until Museveni’s wife Janet came back from Sweden where she had lived for many years. Winnie was evicted.
Shortly after, Winnie married Museveni’s close friend, personal physician and one of the “originals” who had formed the National Resistance Army in 1981: Kizza Besigye.
The political struggle between Besigye and Musevevi today is thus personal as well as political. That’s why his supporters get extra beatings from the police and Musveni’s gangs of thugs.
Former Prime Minister Mbabazi is different. Museveni previously allowed discussion of successors, but more recently, anyone who has hinted Museveni has overstayed , that it’s time for change, or made a bid for power, has have been side-lined, sacked from government or threatened. They usually return to Museveni’s camp and keep a low profile.
Nevertheless, Mbabazi seemed to be quietly marked out as a likely successor. He was Musveni’s loyal servant, smart and hard-working, but always looked like a gofer rather than a potential boss. When Mbabazi realised he was being strung along, he left and ran on his own platform.
[See: Uganda’s 2016 elections: same same but different?]
[See: Podcast: Who will win Uganda’s 2016 elections?]
[See: Why it’s too early to rule out Kizza Besigye]

A tight grip on donors

Although the election will likely be about personalities, cash payments and lost ballot boxes, Uganda’s economy will also be an important factor. The economy grew at an average 7% in the 1990s and 2000s, but has now slowed to closer to 5%. Museveni had hoped the discovery of oil would be transformative but with oil prices low, the whole project is on hold.
However, Museveni does still have Western donors by the balls – donors who donate hundreds of millions to the country. Museveni’s single most powerful tool for gouging these donors is his army. By sending troops into the likes of Somalia, South Sudan and Central African Republic, he presents himself as the region’s peacekeeper. He knows that almost no European countries are willing to send troops to these places and that no other Africa country has the capacity to quickly step in. Furthermore, it is well understood that Museveni’s “peacekeepers” can also be war makers. In South Sudan – contrary to UN agreements – he has sent troops to support only one side. And with a single phone call, Museveni could withdraw from any of these countries and leave chaos behind – or even ensure it.
In 1986, Museveni wrote: “The problem of Africa in general and Uganda in particular is not the people but leaders who want to overstay in power”. 30 years later, Museveni has become the very intractable, narrow-minded, authoritarian leader against which he warned.

Richard Dowden is the Director of RAS.


Cord leadership will bring change in 2017, Raila says

CORD leader Raila Odinga (in white) pose for a photo outside the Homa Bay County Assembly with other County Officials when he commissioned it.Photo/ Habil Onyango.
 CORD leader Raila Odinga (in white) pose for a photo outside the Homa Bay County Assembly with other County Officials when he commissioned it.Photo/ Habil Onyango.

Cord leader Raila Odinga yesterday said he is out for nothing but victory in his next year’s presidential bid.
He said the presidential election will be a contest between reformists and those who stick to the status quo.
“We’ve realised power is being grabbed, not given, hence Cord is ready for it in 2017,” Raila said.
He said time has come for leadership that brings change that will benefit Kenyans.
“I have traversed many parts of this country and what people tell me is that they want change,” Raila said.
“They tell me life has become unbearable due to the harsh economy.”
He said Cord is ready for the change Kenyans demand.
Raila was speaking in Homa Bay during the closure of a two-day county International Investment Conference.
He urged supporters to register as voters in the ongoing mass registration.
“I don’t want to hear IEBC clerks rest as they wait for people to show up,” Raila said.
“You need to keep them busy by coming out in large numbers.”
The Cord leader said the outcome of the mass voter listing will be a measurement of the 2017 presidential election results.
Raila said he will closely monitor the registration process in the Cord strongholds.
He directed the coalition’s legislators to be equal to the task in spearheading the registration.
“My presence in this conference coincides with my inspection on the ongoing voter registration. We keep our eyes on the ball,” Raila said.
He told the county leaders to be wary of those out to scuttle devolution.
“There two forces pulling in different directions,” Raila said.

Friday, 19 February 2016

Richard Branson Has Been Everywhere—and Kenya Is His Favorite Place

<< Back to the 2016 Bucket List
Photo by Glenn AddisonThrough the support of the local Maasai community and Kenya’s President Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta, the entrepreneur, adventurer, and Virgin Group founder RICHARD BRANSON opened a tented safari camp in 2013 in the heart of the Kenyan bush. A recent visit to the camp, Mahali Mzuri, further bore out his reason for establishing it.  
“A few years ago I had been told by a friend that the great migration was in danger of being choked by development; I wanted to do something about it, as I truly believe that there is nothing more magical than witnessing the grasslands of the Maasai Mara begin to rustle as millions of migrating wildebeests head for the plains of the southern Serengeti.
“Opening Mahali Mzuri, which means ‘beautiful place’ in Swahili, has given me access to the best wildlife viewing in the world. I recently went with my Uncle Charlie—he’s the ultimate safari partner: full of wisdom and jokes, and has plenty of stories to tell during late-night dinners in the bush or sundowners on our balcony.
“A typical day on safari starts bright and early, at 5:30 am, with a strong cup of coffee before you set off on a morning game drive. Our wonderful guides took us exploring in the bush in open safari vehicles. It’s incredible to be so close to the wildlife in their natural environment; we spotted so many beautiful animals—from leopards to lions, elephants to giraffes—it’s impossible to pick my favorite.
“The camp offers game drives twice a day, but I love to spend afternoons visiting the Maasai villages. On this trip, we visited the village that is only 10 minutes’ drive from Mahali. Our guide showed us around, introduced us to the families, and taught us about how the women of the village build the houses. The children love having visitors, as they have very little exposure to the world outside of their village. Although be warned if you try and take photos: They love to photo bomb!
“After visiting the village, we returned to camp for a relaxing spa treatment and dip in the pool before having a sundowner on the deck. This particular trip was right before I became a grandfather, and Uncle Charlie spent the evening giving me his top tips. We joined all the guests for dinner followed by entertainment from the Maasai dancers, who put on an incredible show. As an honorary ‘Maasai elder,’ it’s my duty to get involved and show them a few moves, too.
“There’s something about Kenya that makes you feel like there’s magic in the air, wonder at every turn, and an ever-present sensation of oneness with nature. I always come back with a clear mind ready to take on my next challenge.”
Do It Yourself
You can witness the great migration of wildebeests, zebras, gazelles, eland, and topi as they pass through Kenya on their way to Tanzania typically from July through November. Mahali Mzuri ( hosts guests in 12 luxury tents. Prices range from $800 to $1,540 per person per night.

Friday, February 19, 2016 Light train project to be launched in June, President Uhuru Kenyatta says

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Passengers queue to ride Ethiopia's new tramway on September 20, 2015 in Addis Abada. Kenya will launch a project to have a similar light train network in June 2016. AFP PHOTO | MULUGETA AYENE  

A project to construct a light commuter train network in Nairobi will be launched in June, President Uhuru Kenyatta announced Friday.
The project, co-financed by Kenya and Hungary, will ease traffic congestion in the city.
Hungary implemented a similar project in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
President Uhuru Kenyatta said no “development-conscious Kenyan” would oppose the Sh15 billion project.
The President made the announcement when he held talks with Hungary Ambassador to Kenya, Eduard Laszlo Mathe, who paid him a courtesy call at State House, Nairobi.
The President said the first phase one of the project will connect the Standard Gauge Railway end point in Syokiamu to the railway station in the city centre.
The project proposes to connect major roads in Nairobi to the tram network to transport passengers to the city centre.
The roads include Thika Superhighway, Ngong Road, Limuru Road and Ongata Rongai.
The President directed the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure to ensure the project plan is on schedule.
The Hungarian ambassador said the proposed tram service will transform the way people in the capital city get to work.
“It is expected to transport about 300,000 passengers a day and even more when all the branches are fully operational,” he said.
“In line with Hungary’s new foreign policy for Africa to reinforce economic relations, we will train and equip Kenyans with skills to develop the project and own it,” he said.

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Wednesday, February 17, 2016 CUE raises alarm over low PhD enrolments as deadline looms

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The Commission for University Education (CUE) has raised the alarm over low doctoral degree enrolment in public universities.
All public universities are required to only have lecturers who have at least a PhD degree by 2018, though students pursuing doctorates constitute only one per cent of the total student population in the country.
CUE Chief Executive Officer David Some said the November 2018 deadline still stands and asked universities to ensure that they meet the regulations.
“We want to ensure that lecturers in our universities are of high quality,” said Prof Some.
He also asked institutions to increase their focus on master's and PhD students to ensure they complete studies within the set time period.
A CUE report indicates there is no national policy on postgraduate training and for that reason there are few guidelines on budgeting, student loans, admissions and priorities on programmes and research.
“The commission also observes that enrolments in [master's] and PhD programmes remaining relatively low, the processing of students from the time of initial registration to graduation is too long, with the quality of preparation and supervision of graduate programmes on the whole quite weak,” adds the report.
It adds that as a result, the rate and numbers of postgraduate students being produced are inadequate to meet national needs that include staffing the increased number of universities, replacing an ageing faculty, and the professional cadres required in government, the private sector, international agencies and the NGO community.
The report indicates that postgraduate student enrolment remains small at 44,567, or only 10.1 per cent of the total university student population.
There were 40,173 students enrolled in master's programmes and 4,394 in PhD courses in 2014, compared with 395,920 undergraduates. Among PhD students, only 1,562 were women.
“At the moment [a] majority of faculty members, 5,900 representing 57 per cent of the faculty members, only have [master's] degrees and therefore, technically do not qualify to train postgraduate students,” adds the report by CUE.
CUE, established under the Universities Act, No 42 of 2012, is the government agency mandated to regulate university education in Kenya.
Kenya has a total of 48 universities spread throughout the country, 34 public and 24 private.

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

#FRONTROW: Stop judging people without the facts; it can ruin their lives

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Former Deputy Chief Justice Nancy Baraza speaks
Former Deputy Chief Justice Nancy Baraza speaks out on what led to her resignation, during an interview on February 6, 2016 at Serena Hotel. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Nancy Baraza was still asleep at her sister’s house in Karen on Friday, October 19, 2012, when she received a call just after 6am. “Ha, so now what will happen to you that you don’t have the big job and the big cars?” the relative on the line wanted to know.
“Congratulations!” She had resigned only the previous day as the country’s deputy chief justice and withdrawn her appeal challenging a tribunal decision that found her unfit to hold office.
“I couldn’t sleep in my house alone, I was devastated,” she remembers. It was startlingly cruel to hear someone gloating to her face just hours after she walked away from the prize of her life’s work.
She kept away from the public eye for more than three years after that, using the time to complete her PhD, teach jurisprudence at the University of Nairobi’s law school and took up large-scale commercial farming.
She returned to public scrutiny two Saturdays ago when she sat down with me for a lengthy tell-all interview. As soon as we announced the sit-down, the schadenfreude kicked in.
“Baraza speaks three years after she was fired for threatening a guard with a gun and later tried to bribe her is now playing victim,” tweeted activist Boniface Mwangi. That statement is problematic in multiple ways, without even considering the several
inaccuracies he is passing off as fact. She was not fired, she resigned and she denied ever threatening Rebeccah Kerubo with a gun, or even attempting to bribe her.
The background to her downfall was well covered, of course. She was accused of pinching the Village Market mall guard Kerubo’s nose and declaring: “You should know people!” While Kerubo gave countless interviews after  the case went public, Baraza
never once spoke to a journalist.
Yet, when I finally sat down with her, the common accusation of the Kenyan media “sanitising wrongdoers” came up again and again. In the court of public opinion, she had been tried and found guilty without even being heard. Ironically, that was her
impression of the tribunal that heard her case. She calls the verdict “extremely harsh” and deadpans that they found her “almost unfit to breathe God’s oxygen.”
“Very arrogant woman, glad she was terminated,” wrote Davis Mate on YouTube. “Tribunal found her wanting and guilty. She wants to sanctify herself. I find her reasoning very weak, flimsy as well as wanting - more given disturbing as legal counsel.”
Even after she apologised about how she had handled the Kerubo situation and admitted she wouldn’t act the same way if she got a do-over, the hate didn’t stop.
“Baraza got power drunk, threatened a hapless guard doing her job then attempted to bribe her.” tweeted Sura Mbaya. “She would be in jail elsewhere.”
It was fascinating to watch the reaction to her speaking out because it followed the same pattern as that of former Devolution Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru’s. Granted, I wrote on this very same page that she would have saved herself a lot of the grief
had she  stepped aside when the corruption allegations first surfaced. But that doesn’t mean she didn’t deserve a fair hearing, or the right to tell her side of the story.
With hindsight, both Baraza and Waiguru faced an onslaught from the media, a trial by soundbite that few would survive. Never let facts get in the way of a good story appears to be the guiding principle. I am not acquitting them of the accusations against
them or pronouncing them guilty; it is not my place to do either. I am only saying that we should learn to suspend judgment and presume everyone to be innocent until proven otherwise.
“Let’s not be that judgmental. We ruin people. Sometimes for no good reason at all,” Dr Baraza said, addressing Kenyans. “Some of them you don’t even know and you just ruin them.”
A few days later, the Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission cleared Waiguru of any wrongdoing at her old ministry. The righteously indignant wouldn’t have any of that – she had to be guilty or nothing at all. “But EACC cleansing you is more or less like
getting baptized by [controversial pastor Victor] Kanyari and walking away with the belief that you’re clean,” one commentator said.
Why are we so eager to believe that someone is automatically complicit just because an accusation has been made against them? The judgmental public would rather buy into a conspiracy theory than entertain the thought that maybe someone is innocent.
Admittedly, strange things happen in Kenya and they have helped  erode our trust in institutions. But condemning people without a fair hearing goes against the principles of justice. Perceptions are powerful but they shouldn’t define our reality. Don’t be so
Kanye West wants Mark Zuckerberg to invest $1 billion in his (West) ideas. The Facebook founder and billionaire must put his money into West because West is “the greatest living artiste and greatest artiste of all time” according to himself.
You see, Kanye West is $53 million into debt, yet he is “the Jordan and Steph Curry of music, meaning I’m the best of 2 generations.” You see, he is different because “All y’all so worried about being likable but only a few are concerned about being great!!!”
Let’s not forget that he is this generation’s Disney and can make the world a better place, for after all, “I have done the impossible…I retook the throne of rap…I beat the fashion game…” Also, Africa is a country, according to Kanye West. “You’d rather
open up one school in Africa like you really helped the country.”
But if Zuckerberg won’t help his favourite artiste, West will accept help from Google co-founder and Alphabet CEO Larry Page. They must because he is going to win 100 Grammys before he dies. All those rants were classic Kanye West, except they were
tweeted out in the space of 24 hours. He says he needs help, but I don’t think it is money he needs.
Ugandans vote tomorrow whether to give President Yoweri Museveni another five-year term or, according to most analysts, finally give Kizza Besigye the throne. Both M7’s ruling party and Besigye’s Forum for Democratic Change are optimistic of a win, as
are the six other candidates. So serious is the race that President Museveni agreed to participate in the second presidential debate even after he dismissed the first one as childish and didn’t show up. Luckily for him, he did more than just show up.
He brought a candid clarity of thought and confidence that made his opponents look like greenhorns. He is still popular in the region but Ugandans will have to decide whether they like the man with the hat or it is time for change.
The spin from his team to justify his 30-year-rule has been spectacular. In the meantime, Besigye has to survive another day and hope there won’t be teargas or another trip to the police station.