From apartheid to xenophobia,Black South Africa is a home to peculiar demons

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By Bernard Wainaina
CEO,Profarms Consultants®
LinkedIn; ke.linkedin.com/in/profarms/

I bow my head in shame at what is happening in the tail end of Africa continent that is known as South Africa.

For,if indeed Africa is haunted by demons,then it is only accurate to say that they reside in South Africa and only visit other African countries for short missions.

There is a new wave of self-destructive
behaviour sweeping across Black South Africa.

It is a reckless, misdirected and perilous energy;
drifting on a plot-less path; a dangerous force unprecedented in the continent’s recent history.

Its mindless manifestation is worse than the tragedy of slavery, the punishment of colonialism, the enigma of corruption, the curse of tribalism or the brutalities of military rule and the horrors of genocide.

It is called xenophobia,and it is localised in Black South Africa.

The frightening truth about the rise of this
self-destructive force is that, there appears
to be a tragic connection between South Africa’s
lack of self- knowledge and the visionless
drive for what the rest of Africa wants to become.

In essence this condition is reflective of a state
of psychological dissonance and psychic
disconnectedness now finding expression in
self-destructive acts of meaningless
violence, rape, brutality and chaos spiking crime rate in Black South Africa.

It is a force driven by monarchial zealotry, tribal fanaticism and of course pure xenophobia.

Based on these facts,Black South Africa appears to have chosen a path towards perdition.

This is evident in the rise of xenophobic attitudes, religious extremism, tribal self-
entrenchment and the use of parochial
ideas to justify the inept actions of tribal
minded and poor BLACK SOUTH AFRICANS.

Xenophobia as an ideological construct is
an expression of a mental condition of
systemic poverty and backward thinking.

It displays itself through myopic cultural
attitudes like the archaic Zulu monarchy whose King recently incited his subjects to chase away foreign africans; low self-esteem and deep feelings of group self-emptiness after deriding itself that it does not belong to Black Africa .

Hence, xenophobic BLACK people target imaginary foreigners as a means to exert their collective frustrations, through group initiated violence.

Xenophobia thrives in cultures where endemic conditions of poverty exist.

It is used politically by the incompetent ruling
elite to instigate the exploited masses in order to divert their attention from their real socio-economic challenges.

Xenophobia is being used in South Africa, in this case; to vent the anger of a powerless and
dispossessed people, against their dire
economic conditions in face of Black South Africa superiority complex against other africans.

This hate of “foreigners,” reflects the
prevailing social hopelessness in post-
Apartheid South Africa.

Psychologically, Black South Africans are a wounded people, psychically injured by the anathema of racism, still bleeding from the psychic scars of Apartheid.

Xenophobia has become the inward expression of the long cycle of racism that continues to haunt the historic imagination of the southern part of the continent.

Consequently, xenophobia directly gives credence to the racist ideologies that were used to justify Apartheid.

It is as though the BLACK people of
South Africa have forgotten the price Africa
paid to support their struggle.

These acts of barbarity, bigotry, ethnocentric bias, tribal calls for isolationism, prejudice and
intolerance; speaks of a deeper sense of
psychic sickness which Black South Africans have not yet been able to exorcise themselves
from their post-Apartheid history.

In essence, the characteristics of violent
mob behaviour led by tribal vigilante gangs,
criminals and hoodlums; provides us with
insightful signals into the socio-psychotic
conditions inherited in the aftermath of
Apartheid.

No doubt this condition was created and engendered by a long history of physical and psychic abuse caused by the brutal racist and fascist South African police, witnessed by the world during the struggle against Apartheid.

It is therefore not surprising – though
shocking as it is – to know that because
South Africa was conceived out of violence,
it continues to propagate itself by means of
violence; through the uneducated BLACK
conscience of a post-Apartheid generation.

Violence therefore begets and replicates
itself and this would require a deeper sense
of social self-examination to change and
heal the wounded psyche of a people who
have known nothing but violent oppression.

Xenophobia, therefore like racism is a
mental illness festering on BLACK Minds in South Africa .

It is a sickening in any form, especially when it exists amongst the same racial group who suffered from racial domination.

In essence the victim has now become the victimizer.

This shows that the efforts by Mandela to
reconcile South Africans to their past, by
setting up the Truth and Reconciliation
Commission; in the hope for a moral and
psychological healing, has failed.

Black South Africans have now turned their hate onto African immigrants and this would stand for years to come, as one of the most tragic incidents to scar the conscience of Africa in recent history.

The fact that African countries went to great lengths to sacrifice their resources in support of the struggle against Apartheid.

Obviously, this fact
seems to have escaped those illiterate Black South Africans who have taken to the streets of Johannesburg and Durban to terrorise their fellow Africans for being “foreigners.”

Xenophobia can therefore be classified as a
deranged condition of socio-historical
psychosis, caused by the pathology of
oppression, the persistent violence of
poverty and the pedagogy of self-hate indoctrined in Black South Africans.

It causes those who suffer from the mental
malady of xenophobia to perceive otherness as a threat.

Therefore, they adopt a reactionary response to social diversity, by seeking ways to resist or destroy cross- cultural and multicultural interaction.

In this case, the rise of xenophobia in Black South Africa is the manifestation of a collective
sense of tribal-based backwardness,illiteracy and the evidence of historic oppression that its people have known for decades.

After all, Apartheid is institutionally over, but it is still functional within the collective conscience of Black South Africans, expressed through barbaric deviant behavior and hatred of otherness.

Burning Ghanaians in public – and other
hundreds of African victims – is proof that
African history has taken on a twisted turn.

We all saw how Black South Africans were
burning each other alive in the violent lead
up to the dismantling of Apartheid.

However, to turn this horrible and satanic
weapon of terror against fellow Africans
gives all the evidence that Black South Africa has not exorcised itself of the hellish and
demonic nightmare of Apartheid.

This proves that a disillusioned black people, deprived of their own sense of self-definition and identity, living in a nameless place South of Africa; will turn to violence – against each other –in times of crisis.

In effect, there is a feeling of pain, a burning sensation of horrific disappointment and sadness that seizes the imagination of any African who is conscious of the tragic condition of Black South African history.

Black South African’s xenophobic behavior is a
great threat to the foundation of our
collective humanity as Africans.

It provides every racist in the world the right to
question our existential essence as a people.

Too often Africans at home and in the Diaspora are the first to point figures and demonstrate at the violent acts of racism and police brutality against people of African descent.

But in truth the acts of self-betrayal, self-engendered violence and self-instigated chaos starts at the doorstep of our culture of failed Black leadership.

Through the perpetuation of such xenophobic driven acts of violence and public barbaric brutality,Black South Africans are giving the world all the justification it needs to use violence against people of African descent, especially in the Diaspora.

This brings us to the fact that Africa is at a new
crossroads and the evidence of failed leadership makes it even worse.

If our Black post apartheid leaders have failed us; whom do we turn to, to lead Africa into the future now that Madiba is gone?

The poverty of Black SouthAfrican thinking, its unemployed manpower and underutilized potential, the exploitation and wasted natural/mineral wealth, corruption and the practicing of
redundant cultures irrelevant to modernization and development; and Africa’s obsession with the opiate of oppressive religions, is driving the souther tip of this continent towards insanity, chaos and confusion.

Black South Africa indeed has become the tragic example to show what the illusion of
freedom can become, when a people are
not prepared historically and intellectually
for their own liberty and liberation.

Freedom requires an acknowledgement of
human rights, duties and responsibilities.

A free people are expected to show a sense of
humanism, egalitarian consciousness, self-
reliance, historic awareness, tolerance and
respect for the rights of others.

In the struggle against Apartheid,Black South African exiles were hosted, trained, educated,
financed, encouraged and feed with
welcoming arms around the world,
especially in many African countries
including Ghana in particular.

Kwame Nkrumah expended Ghana’s
resources to support freedom fighters and
hosted Anti-Apartheid and Pan-African
Unity Conferences, which in the end cost
him his Presidency.

This is why this incident of burning Ghanaians in the streets of South Africa will not be forgiven or forgotten; simply because of the collective sense of pain and empathy we all feel as Africans.

It is also because of the shame that this incident brings on Africa and the Diaspora.

We Africans – especially “other” Africans – share a collective sense of shame for slavery, racism, the fragmentation of our continent, poverty, the evidence of poor leadership and now these shameless barbarism against fellow Africans by a nameless African country – called South Africa – is the worst of all the shames Africa has known in recent years.

If there is any sense Pan African
consciousness left in the minds of African
leaders, let it be displayed at the next
African Union Summit, by calling on Jacob
Zuma to answer questions about the
criminality of xenophobia in Black South Africa.

Bernard Wainaina is an Independent Agribusiness Advisor and CEO at Profarms Consultants®,Nairobi,Kenya.

He mainly works with Agribusiness Youth Groups in Eastern African Region.

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

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If all my friends and enemies could “step aside” for just this long Easter weekend,my world would turn into a haven of peace!

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By Bernard Wainaina

Don’t be mistaken comrades.

I love you all.

But I want all of you to step aside over this long Easter Weekend,for my peace.

Well,my enemies too have to step aside and stop nosing into my nocturnal affairs.

In this particular instance,I have in mind my nosy neighbour who is a happily married lady and has a habit of turning on her bedroom lights whenever my gate squeaks at night to welcome me back home in the wee hours of the morning hoping to catch a glimpse of my one night stand,or “chips funga”.

I will never know why,a happily married woman like her,has formed a habit that I associate with desperate single ladies who don’t take very kindly the estate’s single men habit of procuring one night stands from across the other ridge of our residential estate.

They feel left out in this exciting game of a “single night dating” gameplan.

But it’s my friends who normally irritate me most over these long kind of weekends.

Moses,our watchman, is a jolly good old man and a friend where no womenfolk are involved.

He will happily dash for a packet of milk on Saturday mornings when I’m weighed down by hangover of a Friday night out carousel.

He normally has a presence of mind to drop the packet of milk through my slightly open kitchen window and disappear to carry on his sentinel duties, and patiently wait for me to hand him a cup of steaming white coffee thereafter at my own pace.

This normally changes when he notices that I’m entertaining female company in my apartment.

In short,he hooves around my door pretending to be at my beck n’ call so that he can espy the sight of my female company.

If the sitting room door is not firmly locked,he invites himself inside and politely “demands” that my female company serves him with a cup of coffee to “drive away” the overnight chills in his old bones after delivering the obligatory Saturday morning packet of milk.

I’m not normally very comfortable of the way he sits still on the sofa with his wicked eyes following my female company around in every inch of her innocent movements as she serves him coffee.

I’m not very sure that Moses is not a latent psychopath in our midst!

Then there is this single lady neighbour who owns a sleek Toyota Vitz that she parks, or rather,”packs” next to her door every night even if the whole parking bay is empty.

But if she sniffs some female company in my room,she parks her car in such a way that it will be blocking out my car in the parking bay.

That way,she is assured of casting naughty glimpses on my female company as we drive out of the apartment block since I will have to knock on her door and plead with her to let my car out.

She seems to enjoy these moments with awkward fetishness.

Or she would park her Vitz in such a way that my car will have to be moved so that she can drive off.

Then she would knock persistently on my door at around 6.00 am on Saturday morning,pleading that she wants to drop her car at the mechanics for service,that early in the morning.

Why am I forgetting to mention the pastor’s wife who has formed the habit of delivering unsolicited pancakes on Saturday mornings,not every other Saturday morning,mind you,but whenever she sniffs out female perfume from my bathroom window!

She has this constant refrain of saying,” I think I heard you singing in the bathroom and I thought you could do with a few pieces of pancakes in this cold weather”.

To me,this sounds more like; ” I heard you “sinning”……..blah,blah,blah!”

These are the kinds of friends and enemies that I’d wish to see “stepping aside” this long Easter weekend so that I can enjoy my peace ‘peacefully’!

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

Easter Recipes; Cow hoof recipe that is a weird delicacy for middle aged Kenyan men

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By Bernard Wainaina

If there’s any secret in eating cow hooves
popularly known as “Gumboots” here in Kenya, then many men of approximately 35years and above yearn for it the most.

In very rare cases will you find a woman ordering for “Gumboots” unless she is in company of a middle aged male “chaperon”.. While at Choma Zone joint in Ongata Rongai, in Ngong, one of the places where one can find this delicacy, you will hardly find any youth in their 20s ordering for it, unless it is on doctor’s orders.

“Gumboots” looks like a piece of fat on a hollow bone.

It is also not a meal you will enjoy using a
fork or chop sticks, but rather your hands.

You might only need a spoon to scoop soup from the bowl.

On one Sunday evening, at Choma Zone, a joint I frequent with friends, middle aged men dressed in T-shirts and sandals form most of the crowd.
And mind you,these middle aged Kenyan men are very wealthy judging from their very patronising demeanour and the type of high end cars that they drive into this joint.

I’ve deliberately pointed this trivial detail to disabuse my readers that “Gumboots” is delicacy for the ‘poor patrons’ who want to save on a cheap dish so that they can afford one more bottle of beer.

A few women go to this place.

I’m in good company of my wealthy clients who runs a string of agribusinesses in Karen,Nairobi County.

To take my order, a female light skinned plump chef,known around here by her men patrons fondly as ‘Chiru’ approaches me asking which part of the cow leg I want. Confused, I tell her to bring a piece with fine meat.

She labours to explain that there are different
parts viz “Mahungu” (the hoof), the joint and the pipe.

I get to learn that most people prefer “Mahungu”,the lowest part of the hoof, to any
other.

After enjoying my meal that came with pieces of
steamed banana plaintains, she came to clear the table.

I asked her what it takes to prepare “Gumboots” at home for my partner,Daisy,as a surprise for her Easter treat.

“She may not appreciate it. Women do like these crazy hooves that you middle aged men seem to relish so much”. She retorts,catching me off guard by her sincere observation.

“But she liked it,last time we were here. You served us,remember?”

“That was only meant to caress your delicate ego as a man. Listen,if you want to surprise her “pleasantly”,fry her some potato chips and chicken,and add a lot of Ketch-up,dear man. That’s what we girls like”. She sums up her golden advice with a nice and victorious trot away from my table,or is it seductive?

I’m not sure,but ‘chiru’ has left me more intrigued by her honest and unsolicited advice.

I’m in a funny muse pondering this turn of events as I watch her gigantic derriere swinging on her slender hips as if it had a life of its own.

Sometimes,I find women more beautiful when they are “walking away” from me.

Its a sight to behold,especially in those who are endowed with a massive butt on slender hips,like ‘Chiru’.

Anyway,Chiru is back at my table with a pencil and legal yellow memo pad.

She lowers herself seductively at an opposite chair and hands me down the pencil and the yellow memo pad.

“Write this recipe down for yourself,and please don’t go try to poison your girlfriend with this trash that you men like”;

Recipe for “Gumboots” a.k.a cow hooves.

To prepare “Gumboots”, you need the following:
•Four tomatoes
•Two onions, leeks
•One big green paper
•One big carrot
•A pinch of salt
•Small onion leaves and a teaspoon of black pepper or other spice and salt.

METHOD

•Roast the hided cow hoof over a direct low flame to remove the fur.

•Ensure you do not burn the hooves to charcoal texture!.

•Gently scrape the remaining fur and parts that may have burnt. Cut the hoof into pieces of a
reasonable size.

•Soak in water for about 30 minutes.

•Drain and place in a saucepan.

•Add water and salt and boil for about an hour.

•Add the garlic, leeks, carrot, onion and leave to
simmer on slightly low fire until the soup reduces.
•Add a few pieces of peeled whole Irish potatoes and simmer until Irish is cooked but
not mashed.

Add black pepper and serve.

If the “Gumboots” is from for a younger cow, cook it for four hours, unlike for an old cow that takes six to eight hours .

First roast it so that the fur gets burnt and it is easy to scrap off the skin. After, chop it into the
desirable number of pieces.

“The common mistake that people who prepare it at home do is to fry “Gumboots”. This dilutes or spoils natural nutrients,” she points out.

The waitress asks me if I want to buy some materials for my partner to start cooking it from home but I’m honest that I’m single,most of the times,except over the coming long Easter weekend.

She laughs at me and advises that if I ever
get married, “Gumboots” should be prepared well so that the consumer enjoys all nutrients.

Why others enjoy this delicacy

I shift to the next table where a patron who
identifies himself as Charles Onyi, a resident
of neighbouring Langata sub-urb sits isolated at a distance from where football screens are.

As he sips on beer while waiting for the waitress to take away the dirty plates, I engage him in a chat.

He admits that he enjoys “Gumboots” every evening and in rare cases at lunch time.

“To me, “gumboots” is more than food it is a source of bone marrow that helps in lubricating joints such as knees and elbows,” Onyi explains.

Asked if the sticky fat is of any harm to the body, he explains that when one takes alcohol and develop hangover, the fats help to neutralise the hangover and one feels refreshed after taking “Gumboots” accompanied by its resulting hot soup.

While a first time consumer may only eat the top
soft part of the hoof and throw away the bones, Onyi advises inside the hollow bones is where the most important bone marrow that lubricates body joints is.

“It may not be scooped using hands or a fork but when the consumer holds the bone and sucks it out, they get it all out,” he stresses.

After about a 10-minutes- chat, he excuses himself to go and attend to other duties.

Another patron Robert Mukabi joins me.

He is a fairly tall and old man who is relishing the “Gumboots” side by side with a bottle of beer while watching football.

When his team misses a goal scoring opportunity, he almost forgets about his plate holding a bite on his fingers for what seems like long silent eternity, but seconds later, he resumes eating.

I divert his attention from the pain of watching his favourite team being humiliated on the TV screen to ask what secret he finds in eating “Gumboots” as I sip on a glass of water.

Robert does not hesitate to explain that when a person is low on food appetite, “Gumboots” soup does not only stimulate appetite
but works as a stomach cleanser.

“This soup detoxifies the stomach and leaves one feeling healthier than before,” he beams while explaining.

He adds, “It is also good for aging people. As we grow old, we tend to develop constant back pain.
So when someone begins to experience such a
problem and he or she takes “Gumboots” constantly, they may heal for good,” explaining further that it is food that someone can never get tired of and that it also helps in preventing constipation.

Then he surprises me by adding with a mischievous chuckle; “Mind you,it does wonders for areas around the crotch when one is as old as I am,and the missus is demanding home advantage “replay matches” in the bedroom!”

“Really?”

“Watch yourself this evening. You will bubbling hot in bed with your partner!”

Downtown

I then go to a spot at Visa place Park next to Uchumi Super market,Ongata Rongai Branch at an enclosed construction site.

This is
down town “Ronga” where people mostly those
retiring home from work pass by to feast on
“Gumboots”, it is no secret that the people there also enjoy it.

One by one, on benches positioned next to the
building people are served depending on how
much they want until the saucepan runs dry at
10pm.

Here, some customers are known to ‘Chiru’ who prepares “Gumboots” at Choma Zone. They call out her out on the phone for “outside catering service” since they have depleted the local stock in this joint,

She is able to understand who is calling her on the phone as this is a regular practice among her patrons when they move to other beer joints and what and how they want their evening meal served.

This happens as I look on, seated with Rogers
, a businessman and my treasured client in agribusiness.

As he holds a piece o “Gumboots” in the right hand and the other holding a bowl with few pieces of steamed banana plaintains, I’m
sipping on a cup of black tea and eating a chapatti, not because I do not have the Shs3,00 for “Gumboots”, but because my eating plan excludes having another heavy meal after 7pm.

“That food looks tasty,” I tell Rogers who is
enjoying his meal.

He is quick to respond that he learnt how to enjoy “Gumboots” from a friend about two years ago.

Though he eats it once a week, he is not shy to explain that alongside other benefits it
also increases his sexual performance.

Health experts say…

Madison Maara, a physiotherapist at Orthotech
and Physical Rehabilitation Centre, at Equatorial Hospital in Nairobi, says when you get proteins in the synovial fluids found in the joints and compare it with what you get from eating “Gumboots”, the latter is more important because it mainly targets the joints where it contributes to joint lubrication and softening.

“If a human joint was getting dry and a person takes “Gumboots”, the joint regains its
performance,” Maara notes.

In the process of boiling “Gumboots”, the calcium and phosphates composed in the bones transfers to the soup, and when one takes the soup, Maara says, the minerals help in strengthening and hardening of bones.

On how often one should eat “Gumboots”, he
explains that in case of osteorthritis, a
degenerative disease that one contracts as a result of the wear and tear of joint tissues which is common among people with reduced amounts of calcium in their joints, “gumboots” is a healthy remedy.

He advises that a person with such a condition
should take “Gumboots” twice a week.

However, its fatty quality may pose risks such as
fat accumulation in blood vessels and around the heart that causes hypertension.

Maara advises that after eating it, one should subject themselves to regular exercises like jogging to burn the fats.

And in a situation of a positive rheumatoid factor, a condition where the joint proteins become reactive or incompatible to the proteins in “Gumboots” which may sometimes lead to the swelling of the knee, it is recommended that the affected person should either limit protein intake or identify what causes the swelling commonly referred to as “Gout”.

Then, he or she can stop eating that particular food, be it “Gumboots” especially if the condition happened when the person has eaten it for the first time.

Cost of the delicacy

Depending on where one buys it, which could
either be at a restaurant, hotel or a bar in places
adjacent or within Nairobi City, a piece of
“Gumboots”served with steamed or
roast matooke(Banana plaintains) it costs between Shs2,500 and Shs6,000.

From the market and butcheries in Ongata Rongai Town, a cow leg costs between Shs 4,00 and Shs 8,00.

It is then chopped into hooves, the join
and the pipe.
At Visa Place Park in Rongai, I had to part with
Shs4,00 for a piece served with steamed banana plaintain.

In some cases where it may stay overnight without being eaten, ‘Chiru’ advises that it’s better to separate the soup from the “Gumboot” pieces; because it is likely to cause food poisoning.

Well,go on and have some “Gumboots” for your Easter Dinner this weekend!

Bernard Wainaina is an Independent Agribusiness Advisor and CEO at Profarms Consultants®,Nairobi,Kenya.

He mainly works with Agribusiness Youth Groups in Eastern African Region.

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

Stereotypes; “A lot of Kenyans think cheese is disgusting!”

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By Bernard Wainaina

Whenever I travel outside my country,Kenya,I’m always surprised by how the rest of the world sees us.

In other words,the Kenyan stereotype.

Recently,when I visited DR Congo on a tour of duty,a lady serving at a local food stall sidled up to my table after serving my lunch and asked me without any preamble; “How many miles do you run each morning?”

I was shocked by her brave intrusiveness.

When I recovered,I meekly told her that the last time I ran was during my high school cross country races which I hated very much,but they were compulsory,all the same.

She didn’t look very satisfied with my answer.

“But you look thin and athletic”.She egged me on.

I honestly didn’t know what to tell her after that.

You see,Kenya is known for successive generations of marathon champions in world races.

The rest of the world seems to think that every other Kenyan is an athlete!

And that was not enough; a white lady colleague during the duration of my stay offered me a package in a recycled carton of biscuits,and told me to take it to “my wife”.

“What is in the box? I was curious.

“Oh-some undies that I don’t want to fly out of here with”. She replied.

Now,at my age,she assumed I had wife,and a big family that was probably in need of clothes.

Kenya,according to WHO statistics has been topping the list of “high fertility and unsustainable population growth”.

I presume this is what informed her decision to donate clothes for “my exploding family”.

All over the world,people have formed stereotypes about other people,and most international interactions are usually based on this stereotypes.

Listen to my taxi driver in Kinshasha literally driving home this stereotype point;

“I can get you a girl to warm your bed tonight;I know Kenyan men like ‘Nyama Choma” (roasted meat) and young girls. Do you want a good girl?”

Me; “No. I already have a young girl who is only 22 years old,very loving,very beautiful; she is my daughter!”

Driver; “I mean one that you can take back to your hotel room”.

Me; “Would you mind if I first consulted someone about this?”

Driver; “Not at all. Let me know about this arrangement after you have consulted”.

He was just not going to give up so easily.

He was probably a pimp,and his cut meant more to him than my screaming morals.

Anyway,I did consult,after all.

I whatsapped my daughter back in Nairobi,breaking the ice first about this uncomfortable topic with a “Hi”.

One hour later,only one tick still displayed in my sent message.

Four hours later,two blue ticks and a reply;

“Hi dad,how was your day?”

Me; “very fine,very interesting!”

Daughter; “Interesting like how,Dad?”

Me; ” I don’t know how I should tell you this,but do you remember the many conversations we’ve had about how you should relate with men,taking care of yourself,I mean?”

Daughter; “Yes Dad,but pliz,let’s not go over that again tonight,pliz.”

Me; “I’m afraid we will have to,Liza,but this time,it is about me”.

Daughter;” What has happened Dad? Shoot!”

Me; “It is like this, Liza, this afternoon,when I was being driven back to my hotel room,my Taxi driver offered to get me a young girl for the night”.

Long pause.

One hour later; “did you take up that offer,Dad?”

Me; “No”.

Daughter; “Thank you Dad,and please take care of yourself!”

Conversation muted from her end.

This conversation must have been nerve-racking for my daughter.

We have talked many times with my daughter about morals,her morals,but never my morals.

She also doesn’t seem to buy the idea of stereotype of “Kenyan men” always wanting “young nubile escort girls,at least,not about her dad.

But who I’m I to argue about the Kenyan stereotype.

I googled “Kenyan stereotype” after this disconcerting episode,and here is what I got from ‘QUORA’;

»Question”How is the stereotype of people from Kenya?
Doesn’t have to be right, it’s just a stereotype. Also;
-include stereotypical physical appearance if exist.
-Factual information is easy to get, but cultural info
e.g. stereotypes are hard to analyse.
Cultural stereotype gives insight not only about the stereotyped society, but also the society who
stereotypes.-
and remember, it’s just a stereotype, doesn’t have to be right, and please don’t get emotional over stereotype”.

Best Answer;”Best Answer: They are very friendly, welcoming, and family oriented.
The women work very hard all day long, washing, cooking, pretty much doing everything. The guys have a lot more free time.
They are proud of Obama – he’s Kenyan!
The kids are very good students and get excited
about learning even though the resources aren’t
always there.
A lot of Kenyans will have multiple boyfriends or girlfriends.
This doesn’t necessarily mean they’re sleeping together, often they don’t even live in the same city but someone will say “yeah, I have three
girlfriends!”
The food is pretty basic but the Kenyans love their ‘ugali'(Maize meal Cake). It’s the national food. Most foreigners aren’t huge fans of ‘ugali’, chapatti’s more palatable.
They love sugary things like children – chocolate, soda, especially Fanta. A
lot of Kenyans think cheese is disgusting.
Kenyans are crazy drivers. They also prefer to drive over walking. I’ve never seen a Kenyan out for a jog.
Kenya is very multicultural so everyone has
stereotypes about other groups. For example, the Kikuyu are business people and the Kikuyu women are the hardest to handle! Luhya women are loyal and if their husbands are difficult they will stand by them anyway. The Maasai are the most trustworthy, you can feel very safe in Maasailand. Maasai women
have crazy earrings and jewellery and the men are quite noticeable. People from the coast are really relaxed and friendly. Anyone not from Nairobi will tell you that the city is full of thieves, someone could steal from you and no one will care. Kenyans don’t always trust Somalis.
Kenyans also stereotype white people, believing that we are all rich and well-educated. As for rich, well, most foreigners in Kenya are, so they’re right on target there.
Source(s):
A mix of my own generalizations and stereotypes I
heard while in Kenya by Ryemtl ·

Answer two;”A Kenyan is a party animal who loves beer and nyama choma for a general kenyan, when you go to tribes the luos are
known to be proud and gives ladies a treat of their life, Obama is a luo. The luhyas are known for their love of Ugali and Kuku (maize meal taken with chicken) Kikuyus for their love of money. If you are in kenya just drop a shilling and those who will turn to look at it are kikuyus. kambas for their love for witchcraft.”
Source(s):
for more about kenya http://
http://www.ugandalastminute.com/safaris/…
ugandalastminute ·

Answer three; “They run fast in Track and Field events because back at home, they have to run from cheetahs and avoid getting trampled by zebras”.
Source(s):
Stereotypes. Not Facts.
Bleh ·

Answer four “They get elected President of the USA”
Wrenchman57 ·

I bet stereotype is the way the rest of the world sees us,no matter the factual truth.

I’m glad that my daughter does not share this view about me as a “Kenyan man” with the rest of the world!

Bernard Wainaina is an Independent Agribusiness Advisor and CEO at Profarms Consultants®,Nairobi,Kenya.

He mainly works with Agribusiness Youth Groups in Eastern African Region.

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

Where Love is, There God is Also ~Leo Tolstoy

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By Bernard Wainaina
CEO,Profarms Consultants®
LinkedIn; ke.linkedin.com/in/profarms/

In the city lived Martin Avdeich, a shoemaker.

He lived in a basement, in a little room with one window.

The window looked out on the street.

Through the window he used to watch the people passing by: although only their feet could be seen, yet by the boots Martin Avdeich recognised their owners.

He had lived long in one place, and had many
acquaintances.

Few pairs of boots in his district had not been in his hands once and again.

Some he would half-sole, some he would patch, some he would stitch around, and occasionally he would also put on new uppers.

And through the window he quite often recognised his work.

Avdeich had plenty to do,because he was a faithful workman, used good material, did not make exorbitant charges, and kept his word.

If he could finish an order by a certain
time, he accepted it: if not, he would not deceive you—he told you so beforehand. And all knew Avdeich,and he was never out of work.

Avdeich had always been a good man; but as he grew old, he began to think more about his soul, and get nearer to God.

Martin’s wife had died when he was still living with his master. His wife left him a boy three years old.

None of their other children had lived.

All the eldest had died in childhood.

Martin at first intended to send his little son to his sister in the village, but afterwards he felt sorry for him: he thought to himself, “It will be hard for my Kapiton to live in a strange family. I shall keep him with me.”

And Avdeich left his master, and went into lodgings with his little son.

But, through God’s will, Avdeich had no luck with children.

As Kapiton grew older, he began to help his father, and would have been a delight to him, but fell sick, went to bed, suffered a week, and died.

Martin buried his son, and fell into despair. So deep was this despair, that he began to complain of God.

Martin fell into such a melancholy state that more than once he prayed to God for death, and reproached God because He did not take
away him who was an old man, instead of his
beloved only son. Avdeich also ceased to go to
church.

And once a little old man, a fellow countryman, came from the Troitsa (Trinity) Monastery to see Avdeich: for seven years he had been absent.

Avdeich talked with him, and began to complain about his sorrows.

“I have no more desire to live,” he said; “I only wish I were dead. That is all I pray God for. I am a man without anything to hope for now.”

And the little old man said to him, “You don’t talk right, Martin: we must not judge God’s doings. The world moves, not by your skill, but by God’s will. God decreed for your son to die, for you—to live.
Consequently, it is for the best. And you are in
despair, because you wish to live for your own
happiness.”

“But what shall one live for?” asked Martin.

And the little old man said, “We must live for God, Martin. He gives you life, and for His sake you must live. When you begin to live for Him, you will not grieve over anything, and all will seem easy to you.”

Martin kept silent for a moment, and then said, “But how can one live for the sake of God?”

And the little old man said, “Christ has taught us how to live for God. You know how to read? Buy a Testament, and read it: there you will learn how to live for God. Everything is explained there.”

And these words kindled a fire in Avdeich’s heart.

And he went that very same day, bought a New
Testament in large print, and began to read.

At first Avdeich intended to read only on holidays; but as he began to read, it so cheered his soul that he used to read every day.

At times he would become so absorbed in reading that all the kerosene in the lamp
would burn out, and still he could not tear himself away.

And so Avdeich used to read every evening.
And the more he read, the clearer he understood what God wanted of him, and how one should live for God; and his heart constantly grew easier and easier.

Formerly, when he lay down to sleep, he used to sigh and groan, and always think of his Kapiton; and now he only exclaimed; “Glory to Thee! Glory to Thee, Lord! Thy will be done.”

And from that time Avdeich’s whole life was changed.

In other days he too used to drop into a saloon, as a holiday amusement, to drink a cup of tea; and he was not averse to a little brandy either.

He would take a drink with some acquaintance, and leave the saloon, not intoxicated exactly, yet in a happy frame of mind, and inclined to talk nonsense, and shout, and use abusive language at a person.

Now he left off this sort of thing.

His life became quiet and joyful.

In the morning he sat down to work, finished his allotted task, then took the little lamp from the hook, put it on the table, got his book from the shelf, opened it, and sat down to read.

And the more he read, the more he understood, and the brighter and happier it was in his heart.

Once it happened that Martin read till late into the night.

He was reading the Gospel of Luke.

He was reading over the sixth chapter; and he was reading the verses, “And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloak forbid not to take thy coat also. Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh
away thy goods ask them not again. And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.”

He read further also those verses, where God speaks: “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will show you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock; and when the flood arose, the stream beat
vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock. But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.”

Avdeich read these words, and joy filled his soul.

He took off his spectacles, put them down on the book, leaned his elbows upon the table, and became lost in thought.

And he began to measure his life by these
words.

And he thought to himself, “Is my house built
upon the rock, or upon the sand? ‘Tis well if on the rock. It is so easy when you are alone by yourself; it seems as if you had done everything as God commands: but when you forget yourself, you sin again. Yet I shall still struggle on. It is very good. Help me, Lord!”

Thus ran his thoughts: he wanted to go to bed, but he felt loath to tear himself away from the book.

And he began to read further in the seventh chapter.

He read about the centurion, he read about the widow’s son,he read about the answer given to John’s disciples,and finally he came to that place where the rich Pharisee desired the Lord to sit at meet with him; and he read how the woman that was a sinner anointed His feet, and washed them with her tears, and how He forgave her.

He reached the forty-fourth verse, and began to read: “And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet. My head with oil thou didst not anoint:
but this woman hath anointed my feet with
ointment.”

He finished reading these verses, and thought to himself, “Thou gavest me no water for my
feet, thou gavest me no kiss. My head with oil thou didst not anoint.”

And again Avdeich took off his spectacles, put them down upon the book, and again he became lost in thought.

“It seems that Pharisee must have been such a man as I am. I too apparently have thought only of myself—how I might have my tea, be warm and comfortable, but never to think about my guest. He thought about himself, but there was not the least care taken of the guest. And who was his guest? The Lord Himself. If He had come to me, should I have done the same way?”

Avdeich rested his head upon both his arms, and did not notice how he fell asleep.

“Martin!” suddenly seemed to sound in his ears. Martin started from his sleep: “Who is here?”

He turned around, glanced toward the door—no one.

Again he fell into a doze.

Suddenly he plainly heard,
“Martin! Ah, Martin! Look tomorrow on the street. I’m coming.”

Martin awoke, rose from the chair, began to rub his eyes.

He himself did not know whether he heard
those words in his dreams, or in reality.

He turned down his lamp, and went to bed.

At daybreak next morning, Avdeich rose, made his prayer to God, lighted the stove, put on the cabbage soup and the gruel, put the water in the samovar, put on his apron, and sat down by the window to work.

Avdeich was working, and at the same time thinking about all that had happened yesterday.
He thought both ways: now he thought it was a dream, and now he thought he really heard a voice. “Well,” he thought, “such things have been.”

Martin was sitting by the window, and did not work as much as he looked through the window: when anyone passed by in boots that he did not know, he bent down, looked out of the window, in order to see not only the feet but also the face.

The house-porter passed by in new felt boots; the water-carrier passed by; then came alongside of the window an old soldier
of Czar Nicholas’ time, in an old pair of laced felt boots, with a shovel in his hands.

Avdeich recognised him by his felt boots.

The old man’s name was Stepanich; and a neighbouring merchant, out of charity, gave him a home with him.

He was required to assist the house-porter. Stepanich began to shovel away the snow from in front of Avdeich’s window.

Avdeich glanced at him, and took up his work again.

“Pshaw! I must be getting crazy in my old age,” said Avdeich, and laughed at himself.

“Stepanich is clearing away the snow, and I imagine that Christ is coming to see me.

I was entirely out of my mind, old dotard that I am!” Avdeich sewed about a dozen stitches, and then felt impelled to look through the window again.

He looked out again through the window, and saw Stepanich had leaned his shovel against the wall, and was either warming himself, or resting.

He was an old, broken-down man: evidently he had not strength enough even to shovel the snow.

Avdeich said to himself, “I will give him some tea: by the way, the samovar must be boiling by this time.”

Avdeich laid down his awl, rose from his seat, put the samovar on the table, made the tea, and tapped with his finger at the glass.

Stepanich turned around, and came to the window. Avdeich beckoned to him, and
went to open the door.

“Come in, warm yourself a little,” he said. “You must be cold.”

“May Christ reward you for this! My bones ache,” said Stepanich.

Stepanich came in, and shook off the snow; he tried to wipe his feet, so as not to soil the floor, but staggered.

“Don’t trouble to wipe your feet. I will clean it up myself: we are used to such things. Come in and sit down,” said Avdeich. “Drink a cup of tea.”

And Avdeich filled two glasses, and handed one to his guest; while he himself poured his tea into a saucer and began to blow it.

Stepanich finished drinking his glass of tea, turned the glass upside down (a custom among the Russians), put upon it the half-eaten lump of sugar, and began to express his thanks. But it was evident he wanted some more.

“Have some more,” said Avdeich, filling both his own glass and his guest’s. Avdeich drank his tea, but from time to time kept glancing out into the street.

“Are you expecting anyone?” asked his guest.

“Am I expecting anyone? I am ashamed even to tell whom I expect. I am, and I am not, expecting someone; but one word has impressed itself upon my heart. Whether it is a dream, or something else, I do not know. Don’t you see, brother, I was reading yesterday the Gospel about Christ, the Little Father; how He suffered, how He walked on the earth. I
suppose you have heard about it?”

“Indeed I have,” replied Stepanich: “but we are
people in darkness; we can’t read.”
“Well, now, I was reading about that very thing—how He walked upon the earth: I read, you know, how He comes to the Pharisee, and the Pharisee did not not treat Him hospitably. Well, and so, my brother, I was reading yesterday about this very thing, and was thinking to myself how he did not receive Christ, the Little Father, with honor. If, for example, He should
come to me, or anyone else, I think to myself I should not even know how to receive Him. And he gave Him no reception at all. Well! While I was thus thinking, I fell asleep, brother, and I heard someone call me by name. I got up: the voice, just as though someone whispered, said, ‘Be on the watch: I shall come tomorrow.’ And this happened twice. Well! Would you believe it, it got into my head? I scolded myself—and
yet I was expecting Him, the Little Father.”

Stepanich shook his head, and said nothing: he
finished drinking his glass of tea, and put it on the side; but Avdeich picked up the glass again, and filled it once more.

“Drink some more for your good health. You see, I have an idea that, when the Little Father went about the earth, He disdained no one, and had more to do with the simple people. He always went to see the simple people. He picked out His disciples more from among our brethren, sinners like ourselves from the
working-class. He, says He, who exalts himself shall be humbled, and he who is humbled shall become exalted. You, says He, call me Lord, and I, says He, wash your feet. Whoever wishes, says He, to be the first, the same shall be a servant to all. Because, says He, blessed are the poor, the humble, the kind, the generous.” And Stepanich forgot about his tea: he was an old man, and easily moved to tears. He was sitting listening, and the tears were rolling down his
face.

“Come, now, have some more tea,” said Avdeich; but Stepanich made the sign of the cross, thanked him, turned up his glass, and arose.

“Thanks to you,” he said, “Martin Avdeich, for treating me kindly, and satisfying me, soul and body.”

“You are welcome; come in again: always glad to see a friend,” said Avdeich.

Stepanich departed; and Martin poured out the rest of the tea, drank it up, put away the dishes, and sat down again by the window to work, to stitch on a patch.

He was stitching, and at the same time looking
through the window.

He was expecting Christ, and was all the while thinking of Him and His deeds, and his head was filled with the different speeches of Christ.

Two soldiers passed by: one wore boots furnished by the Crown, and the other one, boots that he had made; then the master of the next house passed by in shining galoshes; then a baker with a basket passed by.

All passed by; and now there came also by
the window a woman in woollen stockings and
wooden shoes.

She passed by the window, and stood
still near the window-case.

Avdeich looked up at her from the window, saw it was a strange woman poorly clad, and with a child: she was standing by the wall with her back to the wind, trying to wrap up the child, and she had nothing to wrap it up in.

The woman was dressed in shabby summer clothes: and from behind the frame, Avdeich heard the child crying, and the woman trying
to pacify it; but she was not able to pacify it.

Avdeich got up, went to the door, ascended the steps, and cried, “Hey! my good woman!” The woman heard him and turned around.
“Why are you standing in the cold with the child?

Come into my room, where it is warm: you can
manage it better. Right in this way!”

The woman was astonished.

She saw an old, old man in an apron, with spectacles on his nose, calling her to him.

She followed him.

They descended the steps, entered the room: the old man led the woman to his bed.

“There,” says he, “sit down, my good woman, nearer to the stove: you can get warm, and nurse the child.”

“I have no milk for him. I myself have not eaten
anything since morning,” said the woman; but,
nevertheless, she took the child to her breast.
Avdeich shook his head, went to the table, brought out the bread and a dish, opened the oven door, poured into the dish some cabbage soup, and took out the pot with the gruel, but it was not done yet; so he filled the dish with soup only, and put it on the table.

He got the bread, took the towel down from the hook, and put it upon the table.

“Sit down,” he said, “and eat, my good woman; and I will mind the little one. You see, I once had children of my own: I know how to handle them.”

The woman crossed herself, sat down at the table, and began to eat, while Avdeich took a seat on the bed near the infant. Avdeich kept smacking and smacking to it with his lips; but it was a poor kind of smacking, for he had no teeth.

The little one still cried.

And it occurred to Avdeich to threaten the little
one with his finger: he waved, waved his finger right before the child’s mouth, and hastily withdrew it.

He did not put it to its mouth, because his finger was black, and soiled with wax. And the little one looked at his finger, and became quiet: then it began to smile, and Avdeich also was glad.

While the woman was eating, she told who she was, and whither she was going.

“I,” said she, “am a soldier’s wife. It is now seven months since they sent my husband away off, and no tidings. I lived out as cook; the baby was born; no one cared to keep me with a child. This is the third month that I have been struggling along without a place. I ate up all I had. I wanted to engage as a wet-nurse—
no one would take me—I am too thin, they say. I have just been to the merchant’s wife, where lives our little grandmother, and so they promised to take us in. I thought this was the end of it. But she told me to come next week. And she lives a long way off. I got tired out; and it tired him, too, my heart’s darling.

Fortunately, our land-lady takes pity on us for the sake of Christ, and gives us a room, else I don’t know how I should manage to get along.”

Avdeich sighed, and said, “Haven’t you any warm clothes?”

“Now is the time, friend, to wear warm clothes; but yesterday I pawned my last shawl for a twenty-kopek piece.”

The woman came to the bed, and took the child; and Avdeich rose, went to the little wall, and succeeded in finding an old coat.

“Now!” said he, “it is a poor thing, yet you may turn it to some use.”

The woman looked at the coat, looked at the old man!

She took the coat, and burst into tears: and Avdeich turned away his head; crawling under the bed, he pushed out a little trunk, rummaged in it, and sat down again opposite the woman.

And the woman said, “May Christ bless you, little grandfather! He must have sent me Himself to your window. My little child would have frozen to death.
When I started out, it was warm, but now it is terribly cold. And He, Little Father, led you to look through the window, and take pity on me, an unfortunate.”

Avdeich smiled, and said, “Indeed, He did that! I have been looking through the window, my good woman, not without cause.” And Martin told the soldier’s wife his dream, and how he heard the voice—how the Lord promised to come and see him that day.

“All things are possible,” said the woman.

She rose, put on the coat, wrapped up her little child in it; and, as she started to take leave, she thanked Avdeich again.

“Take this, for Christ’s sake,” said Avdeich, giving her a twenty-kopek piece, “redeem your shawl.”

She made the sign of the cross. Avdeich made the sign of the cross, and went with her to the door.

The woman left. Avdeich ate some soup, washed
some dishes, and sat down again to work.

While he worked he still remembered the window: when the window grew darker, he immediately looked out to see who was passing by.

Both acquaintances and strangers passed by, and there was nothing out of the ordinary.

But here Avdeich saw that an old apple-woman had stopped right in front of his window.

She carried a basket with apples.

Only a few were left, as she had nearly sold them all out; and over her shoulder she had a bag full of chips.

She must have gathered them up in some new building, and was on her way home.

One could see that the bag was heavy on her
shoulder: she wanted to shift it to the other shoulder.

So she lowered the bag upon the sidewalk, stood the basket with the apples on a little post, and began to shake down the splinters in the bag.

And while she was shaking her bag, a little boy in a torn cap came along, picked up an apple from the basket, and was about to make his escape; but the old woman noticed it, turned around, and caught the youngster by his
sleeve.

The little boy began to struggle, tried to tear
himself away; but the old woman grasped him with both hands, knocked off his cap, and caught him by the hair.

The little boy was screaming, the old woman was scolding.

Avdeich lost no time in putting away his
awl; he threw it upon the floor, sprang to the door—he even stumbled on the stairs, and dropped his eye glasses—and rushed out into the street.

The old woman was pulling the youngster by his hair, and was scolding, and threatening to take him to the policeman: the youngster defended himself, and denied the charge. “I did not take it,” he said: “what are you licking me for? Let go!”

Avdeich tried to separate them.

He took the boy by his arm, and said,
“Let him go, Granny; forgive him, for Christ’s

sake.”
“I’ll pay him out so that he won’t forget it for a year! I am going to take the little villain to the police.”

Avdeich began to entreat the old woman: “Let him go, Granny,” he said, “he will never do it again.

Let him go, for Christ’s sake.”

The old woman let him loose: the boy tried to run, but Avdeich kept him back.

“Ask the Granny’s forgiveness,” he said, “and don’t ever do it again: I saw you taking the apple.”

With tears in his eyes, the boy began to ask
forgiveness.

“Good! That’s right; and now, here’s an apple for you.” Avdeich got an apple from the basket, and gave it to the boy. “I will pay you for it, Granny,” he said to the old woman.

“You ruin them that way, the good-for-nothings,” said the woman. “He ought to be treated so that he would remember it for a whole week.”

“Eh, Granny, Granny,” said Avdeich, “that is right according to our judgment, but not according to God’s. If he is to be whipped for an apple, then what do we deserve for our sins?”

The old woman was silent.

Avdeich told her the parable of the ruler who forgave a debtor all that he owed him, and how the debtor went and began to choke one who owed him.

The old woman listened, and the boy stood listening.

“God has commanded us to forgive,” said Avdeich, “else we, too, may not be forgiven. All should be forgiven, and the thoughtless especially.”

The old woman shook her head, and sighed.

“That’s so,” said she; “but the trouble is that they are very much spoiled.”

“Then we who are older must teach them,” said
Avdeich.

“That’s just what I say,” remarked the old woman. “I myself had seven of them—only one daughter is left.”

And the old woman began to relate where and how she lived with her daughter, and how many
grandchildren she had. “Here,” she says, “my
strength is only so-so, and yet I have to work. I pity the youngsters—my grandchildren—how nice they are! No one gives me such a welcome as they do.
Aksintka won’t go to anyone but me. ‘It’s
Grandmother, dear Grandmother, darling
Grandmother.’” And the old woman grew quite
sentimental.

“Of course, it is a childish trick. God be with him,” said she, pointing to the boy.

The woman was just about to lift the bag upon her shoulder, when the boy ran up and said, “Let me carry it, Granny: it is on my way.”

The old woman nodded her head, and put the bag on the boy’s back.

Side by side they both passed along the street.

And the old woman even forgot to ask Avdeich to pay for the apple.

Avdeich stood motionless, and kept gazing after
them; and he heard them talking all the time as they walked away.

After Avdeich saw them disappear, he returned to his room; he found his eyeglasses on the
stairs—they were not broken; he picked up his awl, and sat down to work again.

After working a little while, it grew darker so that he could not see to sew: he saw the lamplighter passing by to light the street lamps.

“It must be time to make a light,” he thought to
himself; so he fixed his little lamp, hung it up, and betook himself to work.

He had one boot already finished; he turned it around, looked at it: “Well done.”

He put away his tools, swept off the cuttings,
cleared off the bristles and ends, took the lamp, put it on the table, and took down the Gospels from the shelf.

He intended to open the book at the very place
where he had yesterday put a piece of leather as a mark, but it happened to open at another place; and the moment Avdeich opened the Testament, he recollected his last night’s dream.

And as soon as he remembered it, it seemed as though he heard someone stepping about behind him.

Avdeich looked around, and saw—there, in the dark corner, it seemed as though people were standing: he was at a loss to know who they were.

And a voice whispered in his ear, “Martin—ah, Martin! Did you not recognize
me?”

“Who?” uttered Avdeich.

“Me,” replied the voice. “It is I,” and Stepanich
stepped forth from the dark corner; he smiled, and like a little cloud faded away, and soon vanished.

“And this is I,” said the voice. From the dark corner stepped forth the woman with her child: the woman smiled, the child laughed, and they also vanished.

“And this is I,” continued the voice; both the old woman and the boy with the apple stepped forward; both smiled and vanished.

Avdeich’s soul rejoiced: he crossed himself, put on his eye glasses, and began to read the Gospel where it happened to open.

On the upper part of the page he
read: “For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in.”

And on the lower part of the page he read this:
“Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto
me” (Matthew 25).

And Avdeich understood that his dream did not
deceive him; that the Saviour really called upon him that day, and that he really received Him.

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

A Simple Soul~by Gustave Flaubert,Part Two-Felicite

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By Bernard Wainaina
CEO,Profarms Consultants®
LinkedIn; ke.linkedin.com/in/profarms/

{I dedicate this book to all House Helps in Kenya-you are doing a great job!}

Like every other woman, Felicite had had an affair of the heart.

Her father, who was a mason, was killed by falling from a scaffolding.

Then her mother died and her sisters went their different ways; a farmer took her in, and while she was quite small, let her keep cows in the fields.

She was clad in miserable rags, beaten for the
slightest offence and finally dismissed for a theft of thirty sous which she did not commit.

She took service on another farm where she tended the poultry; and as she was well thought of by her master, her fellow-workers soon
grew jealous.

One evening in August (she was then eighteen years old), they persuaded her to accompany them to the fair at Colleville.

She was immediately dazzled by the noise,the lights in the trees, the brightness of the dresses, the laces and gold crosses, and the crowd of
people all hopping at the same time.

She was standing modestly at a distance, when presently a young man of well-to-do appearance, who had been leaning on the pole
of a wagon and smoking his pipe, approached her, and asked her for a dance.

He treated her to cider and cake, bought her a silk shawl, and then, thinking she had guessed
his purpose, offered to see her home.

When they came to the end of a field he threw her down brutally.

But she grew frightened and screamed, and he walked off.

One evening, on the road leading to Beaumont, she came upon a wagon loaded with hay, and when she overtook it, she recognised Theodore.
He greeted her calmly,and asked her to forget what had happened between them, as it “was all the fault of the drink.”

She did not know what to reply and wished to run away.

Presently he began to speak of the harvest and of the notables of the village; his father had left Colleville and bought the farm of Les Ecots,
so that now they would be neighbours. “Ah!” she exclaimed.

He then added that his parents were looking around for a wife for him, but that he, himself, was not so anxious and preferred to wait for a girl who suited him.

She hung her head.

He then asked her whether she had ever thought of marrying. She replied, smilingly,
that it was wrong of him to make fun of her.

“Oh! no, I am in earnest,” he said, and put his left arm around her waist while they sauntered along.

The air was soft,the stars were bright, and the huge load of hay oscillated in front of them, drawn by four horses whose ponderous hoofs raised clouds of dust.

Without a word from their driver they turned to the right.

He kissed her again and she went home.

The following week,Theodore obtained meetings.

They met in yards, behind walls or under isolated trees.

She was not ignorant, as girls of well-to-do
families are–for the animals had instructed her;–but her reason and her instinct of honour kept her from falling.

Her resistance exasperated Theodore’s love and so in order to satisfy it (or perchance ingenuously), he offered to marry her.

She would not believe him at first, so he made
solemn promises.

But, in a short time he mentioned a difficulty; the previous year, his parents had purchased a substitute for him; but any day he might be drafted and the prospect of serving in the army
alarmed him greatly.

To Felicite his cowardice appeared a proof of his love for her, and her devotion to him grew stronger.

When she met him, he would torture her with his fears and his entreaties.

At last, he announced that he was going to
the prefect himself for information, and would let her know everything on the following
Sunday, between eleven o’clock and midnight.

When the time grew near, she ran to meet her lover.

But instead of Theodore, one of his friends was at the meeting-place.

He informed her that she would never see her sweetheart again; for, in order to escape the
conscription, he had married a rich old woman, Madame Lehoussais, of Toucques.

The poor girl’s sorrow was frightful.

She threw herself on the ground, she cried and called on the Lord, and wandered around
desolately until sunrise.

Then she went back to the farm, declared
her intention of leaving, and at the end of the month, after she had received her wages, she packed all her belongings in a handkerchief
and started for Pont-l’Eveque.

In front of the inn, she met a woman wearing widow’s weeds, and upon questioning her, learned that she was looking for a cook.

The girl did not know very much, but appeared so willing and so modest in her requirements, that Madame Aubain finally said:”Very well, I will give you a trial.”

And half an hour later Felicite was installed in her house.

At first she lived in a constant anxiety that was caused by “the style of the household” and the
memory of “Monsieur,” that hovered over everything.

Paul and Virginia, the one aged seven, and
the other barely four, seemed made of some precious material; she carried them pig-a-back, and was greatly mortified when Madame Aubain forbade her to kiss them every other minute.

But in spite of all this, she was happy.

The comfort of her new surroundings had obliterated her sadness.

Every Thursday, friends of Madame Aubain dropped in for a game of cards, and it was Felicite’s duty to prepare the table and heat
the foot-warmers.

They arrived at exactly eight o’clock and
departed before eleven.

Every Monday morning, the dealer in second-hand goods, who lived under the alley-way, spread out his wares on the sidewalk.

Then the city would be filled with a buzzing
of voices in which the neighing of horses, the bleating of lambs, the grunting of pigs, could be distinguished, mingled with the sharp sound of wheels on the cobble- stones.

About twelve o’clock, when the market was in
full swing, there appeared at the front door a tall, middle-aged peasant, with a hooked nose and a cap on the back of his head; it was
Robelin, the farmer of Geffosses.

Shortly afterwards came Liebard,the farmer of Toucques, short,rotund and ruddy, wearing a grey jacket and spurred boots.

Both men brought their landlady either chickens or cheese.

Felicite would invariably thwart their ruses
and they held her in great respect.

At various times, Madame Aubain received a visit from the Marquis de Gremanville, one of her uncles, who was ruined and lived at
Falaise on the remainder of his estates.

He always came at dinner-time and brought an ugly poodle with him, whose paws soiled their
furniture.

In spite of his efforts to appear a man of breeding (he even went so far as to raise his hat
every time he said “My deceased father”), his habits got the better of him, and he would fill his glass a little too often and relate broad
stories.

Felicite would show him out very politely and say: “You have had enough for this time,
Monsieur de Gremanville! Hoping
to see you again!” and would close the door.

She opened it gladly for Monsieur Bourais, a retired lawyer.

His bald head and white cravat, the ruffling
of his shirt, his flowing brown coat,the manner in which he took snuff,his whole person, in fact, produced in her the kind of awe which we
feel when we see extraordinary persons.

As he managed Madame’s estates, he spent hours with her in Monsieur’s study; he was in constant fear of being compromised, had a great regard for the magistracy and some
pretensions to learning.

In order to facilitate the children’s studies, he presented them with an engraved geography which represented various scenes of the world; cannibals with feather head-dresses, a gorilla kidnapping a young girl, Arabs in the desert, a
whale being harpooned, etc.

Paul explained the pictures to Felicite.

And, in fact, this was her only literary education.

The children’s studies were under the direction of a poor devil employed at the town-hall, who
sharpened his pocket-knife on his boots and was famous for his penmanship.

When the weather was fine, they went to Geffosses.

The house was built in the centre of the sloping
yard; and the sea looked like a grey spot in the distance.

Felicite would take slices of cold meat from the
lunch basket and they would sit down and eat in a room next to the dairy.

This room was all that remained of a cottage that had been torn down.

The dilapidated wall-paper trembled in the drafts.

Madame Aubain, overwhelmed by recollections, would hang her head, while the children were
afraid to open their mouths.

Then,”Why don’t you go and play?” their
mother would say; and they would scamper off.

Paul would go to the old barn,catch birds, throw stones into the pond, or pound the trunks of the trees with a stick till they resounded like drums.

Virginia would feed the rabbits and run to
pick the wild flowers in the fields, and her flying legs would disclose her little embroidered pantalettes.

One autumn evening, they struck out for home through the meadows.

The new moon illumined part of the sky and a mist hovered like a veil over the sinuosities of the river.

Oxen, lying in the pastures, gazed mildly at the
passing persons.

In the third field, however, several of them got up and surrounded them. “Don’t be afraid,” cried Felicite; and murmuring a sort of lament she passed her hand over the back of the nearest ox; he turned away and the others followed.

But when they came to the next pasture, they
heard frightful bellowing.

It was a bull which was hidden from them by the fog.

He advanced towards the two women, and
Madame Aubain prepared to flee for her life. “No, no! not so fast,” warned Felicite. Still they hurried on, for they could hear the noisy
breathing of the bull behind them.

His hoofs pounded the grass like hammers, and presently he began to gallop!

Felicite turned around and threw patches of grass in his eyes.

He hung his head, shook his horns and bellowed with fury.

Madame Aubain and the children, huddled at the end of the field, were trying to jump over the ditch.

Felicite continued to back before the bull, blinding him with dirt, while she shouted to them to make haste.

Madame Aubain finally slid into the ditch, after shoving first Virginia and then Paul into it, and
though she stumbled several times she managed, by dint of courage, to climb the other side of it.

The bull had driven Felicite up against a fence; the foam from his muzzle flew in her face and in another minute he would have disembowelled her.

She had just time to slip between two bars and
the huge animal, thwarted, paused.

For years, this occurrence was a topic of conversation in Pont-l’Eveque.

But Felicite took no credit to herself, and probably never knew that she had been heroic.

Virginia occupied her thoughts solely, for the shock she had sustained gave her a nervous
affection, and the physician, M. Poupart, prescribed the salt-water bathing at Trouville.

In those days,Trouville was not greatly
patronised. Madame Aubain gathered information, consulted Bourais, and made preparations as if they were going on an extended trip.

The baggage was sent the day before on Liebard’s cart.

On the following morning, he brought around two horses, one of which had a woman’s saddle with a velveteen back to it, while on the crupper of the other was a rolled shawl that was to be used for a seat.

Madame Aubain mounted the second horse, behind Liebard.

Felicite took charge of the little girl, and Paul rode M. Lechaptois’ donkey, which had been lent for the occasion on the condition that they should be careful of it.

The road was so bad that it took two hours to cover the eight miles.

The two horses sank knee-deep into the mud and stumbled into ditches; sometimes they had to jump over them.

In certain places, Liebard’s mare stopped abruptly.

He waited patiently till she started again, and talked of the people whose estates bordered the road, adding his own moral reflections to the outline of their histories.

Thus, when they were passing through Toucques, and came to some windows draped with nasturtiums, he shrugged his shoulders and said: “There’s a woman, Madame Lehoussais, who, instead of taking a young man–” Felicite could not catch what followed; the horses began to trot,the donkey to gallop, and they turned into a lane; then a gate
swung open, two farm- hands appeared and they all dismounted at the very threshold of the farm- house.

Mother Liebard, when she caught sight of her mistress, was lavish with joyful demonstrations.
She got up a lunch which comprised a
leg of mutton, tripe, sausages, a chicken fricassee, sweet cider, a fruit tart and some preserved prunes; then to all this the good
woman added polite remarks about Madame, who appeared to be in better health, Mademoiselle, who had grown to be “superb,”
and Paul, who had become singularly sturdy; she spoke also of their deceased grandparents,
whom the Liebards had known, for they had been in the service of the family for several generations.

Like its owners, the farm had an ancient appearance.

The beams of the ceiling were mouldy, the walls
black with smoke and the windows grey with dust.

The oak sideboard was filled with all sorts of utensils, plates, pitchers, tin bowls, wolf-
traps.

The children laughed when they saw a huge syringe.

There was not a tree in the yard that did not
have mushrooms growing around its foot, or a bunch of mistletoe hanging in its branches.

Several of the trees had been blown down,
but they had started to grow in the middle and all were laden with quantities of apples.

The thatched roofs, which were of unequal
thickness, looked like brown velvet and could resist the fiercest gales.

But the wagon-shed was fast crumbling to ruins.

Madame Aubain said that she would attend
to it, and then gave orders to have the horses saddled.

It took another thirty minutes to reach Trouville.

The little caravan dismounted in order to pass Les Ecores, a cliff that overhangs the bay, and a few minutes later, at the end of the dock, they entered the yard of the Golden Lamb, an inn
kept by Mother David.

During the first few days, Virginia felt stronger, owing to the change of air and the action of the sea-baths.

She took them in her little chemise, as she had no bathing suit, and afterwards her nurse
dressed her in the cabin of a customs officer, which was used for that purpose by other bathers.

In the afternoon, they would take the donkey and go to the Roches-Noires, near Hennequeville.

The path led at first through undulating
grounds, and thence to a plateau,where pastures and tilled fields alternated.

At the edge of the road,mingling with the brambles, grew holly bushes, and here and there stood large dead trees whose branches traced zigzags upon the blue sky.

Ordinarily, they rested in a field facing the ocean, with Deauville on their left, and Havre on their right.

The sea glittered brightly in the sun and was as smooth as a mirror,and so calm that they could
scarcely distinguish its murmur; sparrows chirped joyfully and the immense canopy of heaven spread over it all.

Madame Aubain brought out her sewing, and
Virginia amused herself by braiding reeds;

Felicite wove lavender blossoms, while Paul was bored and wished to go home.

Sometimes they crossed the Toucques in a boat, and started to hunt for sea-shells.

The outgoing tide exposed star-fish and sea-
urchins, and the children tried to catch the flakes of foam which the wind blew away.

The sleepy waves lapping the sand unfurled
themselves along the shore that extended as far as the eye could see, but where land began, it was limited by the downs which separated it from the “Swamp,” a large meadow shaped like a hippodrome.

When they went home that way, Trouville, on the slope of a hill below, grew larger and larger as they advanced, and, with all its houses of unequal height, seemed to spread out before them in a sort of giddy confusion.

When the heat was too oppressive, they remained in their rooms.

The dazzling sunlight cast bars of light
between the shutters.

Not a sound in the village, not a soul on the
sidewalk.

This silence intensified the tranquillity of everything.

In the distance, the hammers of some calkers pounded the hull of a ship, and the sultry breeze brought them an odour of tar.

The principal diversion consisted in watching the return of the fishing-smacks.

As soon as they passed the beacons, they began to ply to windward.

The sails were lowered to one third of the masts, and with their fore-sails swelled up
like balloons they glided over the waves and anchored in the middle of the harbour.

Then they crept up alongside of the dock and the sailors threw the quivering fish over the side of the boat; a line of carts was waiting for them, and women with white caps sprang forward to receive the baskets and embrace their men-folk.

One day, one of them spoke to Felicite, who, after a little while, returned to the house gleefully.

She had found one of her sisters, and presently Nastasie Barette, wife of Leroux, made her
appearance, holding an infant in her arms, another child by the hand, while on her left was a little cabin-boy with his hands in his pockets and his cap on his ear.

At the end of fifteen minutes, Madame Aubain bade her go.

They always hung around the kitchen, or approached Felicite when she and the children were out walking.

The husband, however, did not show himself.

Felicite developed a great fondness for them; she bought them a stove, some shirts and a blanket; it was evident that they exploited her.

Her foolishness annoyed Madame Aubain, who, moreover did not like the nephew’s familiarity, for he called her son “thou”;–and, as Virginia began to cough and the season was over, she decided to return to Pont- l’Eveque.

Monsieur Bourais assisted her in the choice of a college.

The one at Caen was considered the best.

So Paul was sent away and bravely said good-bye to them all, for he was glad to go to live in a house where he would have boy companions.

Madame Aubain resigned herself to the separation from her son because it was unavoidable.

Virginia brooded less and less over it.

Felicite regretted the noise he made, but soon a new occupation diverted her mind; beginning from Christmas, she accompanied the little girl to her catechism lesson every day.

To be continued.

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

A Simple Soul~by Gustave Flaubert,Part One

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By Bernard Wainaina
CEO,Profarms Consultants®
LinkedIn; ke.linkedin.com/in/profarms/

{I dedicate this book to all House Helps in Kenya-you are doing a great job!}

For half a century the housewives of Pont-l’Eveque had envied Madame Aubain her servant Felicite.

For a hundred francs a year, she cooked and did the housework,washed, ironed, mended,
harnessed the horse, fattened the poultry, made the butter and remained faithful to her mistress–although the latter was by no
means an agreeable person.

Madame Aubain had married a comely youth without any money, who died in the beginning of 1809, leaving her with two young children and a number of debts.

She sold all her property excepting the farm of Toucques and the farm of Geffosses, the income of which barely amounted to 5,000 francs; then she left her house in Saint-
Melaine, and moved into a less pretentious one which had belonged to her ancestors and
stood back of the market-place.

This house, with its slate-covered roof, was built between a passage-way and a narrow street that led to the river.

The interior was so unevenly graded that it caused people to stumble.

A narrow hall separated the kitchen from the
parlour, where Madame Aubain sat all day in a straw armchair near the window.

Eight mahogany chairs stood in a row against the white wainscoting.

An old piano,standing beneath a barometer,
was covered with a pyramid of old books and boxes.

On either side of the yellow marble mantelpiece, in Louis XV. style, stood a tapestry
armchair.

The clock represented a temple of Vesta; and the whole room smelled musty, as it was on
a lower level than the garden.

On the first floor was Madame’s bed-chamber, a large room papered in a flowered design and
containing the portrait of Monsieur dressed in the costume of a dandy.

It communicated with a smaller room, in which there were two little cribs, without any mattresses.

Next, came the parlour (always closed), filled with furniture covered with sheets.

Then a hall, which led to the study, where
books and papers were piled on the shelves of a book-case that enclosed three quarters of the big black desk.

Two panels were entirely hidden under pen-and-ink sketches, Gouache landscapes and
Audran engravings, relics of better times and vanished luxury.

On the second floor, a garret-window
lighted Felicite’s room, which looked out upon the meadows.

She arose at daybreak, in order to attend mass, and she worked without interruption until night; then, when dinner was over, the dishes cleared away and the door securely locked, she would bury the log under the ashes and fall
asleep in front of the hearth with a rosary in her hand.

Nobody could bargain with greater obstinacy,
and as for cleanliness, the lustre on her brass sauce-pans was the envy and despair of other servants.

She was most economical, and when she ate she would gather up crumbs with the tip of her finger, so that nothing should be wasted
of the loaf of bread weighing twelve pounds which was baked especially for her and lasted three weeks.

Summer and winter she wore a dimity kerchief fastened in the back with a pin, a cap which
concealed her hair, a red skirt, grey stockings, and an apron with a bib like those worn by hospital nurses.

Her face was thin and her voice shrill.

When she was twenty-five, she looked forty.

After she had passed fifty, nobody could tell her
age; erect and silent always, she resembled a wooden figure working automatically.

To be continued.

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

Byreleasing Uhuru’s pre-trial brief,ICC-The Hague has confirmed that the whole trial was meant to be a pulic circus

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From The Editor’s Desk

The recent release of the 73-page ICC prosecution’s “evidence”’ against President Kenyatta in the botched ICC case was received with glee by some Kenyans in Opposition and consternation by others.

While the dossier is good fodder for Mr Kenyatta’s detractors, many legal observers found it troubling; it was a departure from tradition in criminal trials.

As any legal practitioner will tell you, I consider the release unfairly prejudicial to the President.
From a legal standpoint, these were simply unproven allegations that had not been tested for veracity.

The so-called evidence had not gone through a rigorous court process in the form of a trial.

Such a process involves calling witnesses that gave the information and subjecting them to qualification for credibility, cross examination and application of rules of evidence.

Just because a person accuses another of having committed an offence does not make it true.

At the end of trial, all, most, or part of the evidence may either pass muster or be considered unreliable and untrue and
therefore stricken off the record.

Alternatively, a prosecutor may conclude that he does not have enough evidence to proceed or has some evidence but is unable to prove it.

In such a case, the prosecutor declares a nolle prosequi which means that the case is a still birth.

The latter scenario is what happened in Mr Kenyatta’s case.

In such a case, the case ends there.

The declaration of nolle prosequi by a prosecutor is not an indictment on an accused person.

If anything, it is an admission by the prosecutor that the case does not meet the
threshold of securing a conviction, and the accused is therefore considered innocent.

IRRESPONSIBLE

A prosecutor possessing insufficient, unverifiable or unreliable evidence preventing proceeding cannot then turn around and present the same evidence to the public to
illustrate that the accused committed the offence(s) alleged in the charge sheet.

Ms Fatou Bensouda could not proceed with the trial because she could not prove the case against Mr Kenyatta.

If she could, she would not have dropped the case.

So, for the court to order the release of the same “evidence” to a divided and mostly unsophisticated public is to stoke despondence; it’s irresponsible use of the ICC’s discretion
and subjects Mr Kenyatta to a trial in the court of public opinion.

To be sure, many are already taking the unproven “evidence” in the dossier as gospel truth and peddling it all over under absolute titles like “Uhuru gave cash to arm Mungiki”.
Moreover, those who do not understand the exact nature of the trial may assume that the dossier is a compilation of facts.

As a bare minimum, the court should have stipulated that Ms Bensouda include a caveat with the release of the dossier stating that the “evidence” she was releasing contains unproven allegations.

And even then, it is still not acceptable to release such unproven yet inflammatory information to the public.

FLAWS IN THE ROME STATUTE

The release of the pre-trial brief in the case, though not illegal under the Rome statute is disallowed in many jurisdictions that value the right of an accused to be presumed innocent
until proven guilty.

This abuse of discretion represents the main problem bedevilling the ICC, namely the Rome Statute’s conferment of unchecked powers and discretion to the court and the prosecutor.

Many countries that have refused to join or that have quit the ICC have cited the main reason as the flaws in the Rome Statute.

It does not help that the Statute has created an absurdly powerful office of the prosecutor that acts as the face of the court and the chief protagonist.

In many jurisdictions, including Kenya, the judge is the face of the court as the neutral arbiter.

The name of the prosecutor is hardly known, nor prominently featured.

The US, China, Israel, India, Indonesia and many other countries have refused to join the ICC because of the improper structure giving the prosecutor too much power.

In refusing to join the ICC, the US concluded that the Rome Statute “is fatally flawed” and neither signed nor ratified it in its present form.

The decision to permit the release of unproven evidence against an accused person to the public hastens the court’s doomed political future as just a venue for public circus,not justice.

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

On a point of order Mr Speaker Sir, don’t assume every liquid in a bottle is water….

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By Bernard Wainaina
CEO,Profarms Consultants®
LinkedIn; ke.linkedin.com/in/profarms/

Did I hear some people suggest that CORD and
Jubilee should cooperate, and work together?

Folks, perish the thought already.

‘Dialogue’ noise is nothing but rhetoric.

It won’t happen.

And if it does, you will be bored to death.

An eerie state of political minds has beset the land, and strange things are happening.

Kenyans are used to politicians being obnoxious, and behaving like spoilt brats who throw tantrums for no reason, hurl insults at the slightest provocation and whip out baseless accusations, just to earn political marks or
even just get one over their opponent.

This template is so well-established that one can just look at the name of a politician and, given any function — funeral, fundraising, wedding, political rally — one can then predict with uncanny accuracy what the politician in question will say.

This rather tired predictability has its advantages.

You could pick a random Kenyan from any of our slums and ask her what was discussed in Parliament on any given day.

Whether she watched the parliamentary session in question or not, she will give you an accurate summary of what transpired —and it all involves some of the usual shenanigans that
our politicians get up to.

A female representative will have her panties
embroiled in the melee at some ruling by the
Speaker; another elected worthy will have thrown a book — or even bottled urine (oh yeah, don’t assume every liquid in a bottle is water), take your pick — at the Clerk of the Assembly; a third representative will have bitten the fingers right off the hand of an opponent and a couple of opposition bigwigs will have had their trousers ripped off, leaving a big
chunk of his backside exposed and clearly letting all and sundry know whether he had anything underneath the trousers!

Interesting bunch

The antagonism between the governing party and the opposition is fantastic for neutral observers.

It makes the Kenyan political scene quite possibly the most entertaining in Africa, certainly in the region.

Far removed from the boring Museveni-worship that Uganda’s rubber stamp of a parliament prefers to engage in.

And definitely more entertaining than the snore that is Tanzania’s parliament in session, unless there is a corruption scandal for mandugu to discuss.

As parliaments go, ours is matched only by Somalia’s: the Somalis are an interesting bunch.

Back when they used to hold their Bunge sessions in Nairobi hotels,they would descend into fisticuffs at the slightest hint of an insult from one clan to the other.

In the process, bills would be left unpaid,chairs
would be broken, and everyone around would
scamper for safety into the nearest hotel rooms.
Further afield, the parliaments of Taiwan and South Korea are well-known for their entertaining fights.

The two countries are big on martial arts, and kicks will fly at alarming speeds when the respective speakers make any unpopular ruling.

Interesting times

In South Korea, the speaker has to be physically present in parliament before any motion can be passed — and Seoul wags claim that this has led to an interesting phenomenon: opposition lawmakers routinely barricade the speaker in his house, preventing him from attending parliament and thus, effectively killing any government business in the House.

Anyone trying to rescue the speaker from this house arrest gets a good Tae-Kwon-Do beating!

Unfortunately, this is about to change, in Kenya.

A strange wind is abroad the land, and it has brought with it that most rare of political occurrences: a concurrence in opinions between the government and the opposition.

Politicians used to spitting and flinging panties at each other from across the parliamentary aisle are suddenly finding nice things to say about each other.

Very interesting times.

Formerly intractable opponents — whose closest personal encounters with members of the opposite side have hitherto been when biting off those opponents’ fingers and similar body parts — are rather strangely finding
common cause.

And talking as if they have all been lobotomized and then injected with a cooperation serum.

If our politicians close ranks and indeed sit at a ‘dialogue’ table(I suspect they’d prefer sitting at a ‘Dinner’ table instead!) , the Kenyan political scene
will certainly be a very boring.

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

A New Year Resolution for my neighbour~please buy a new bed!

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By Bernard Wainaina
CEO,Profarms Consultants®

There is something I have been meaning to get off my chest for the last three years, but for some reason, whenever I sit down to write about it, I end up writing about something else.

This time round, however, nothing will derail me, so allow me to tell you what happened to me many years ago.

A squeaky bed is quite irritating and awkward.

You don’t have to alert your neighbours every time you are engaging in bedroom gym activities.
I was only two months into my first job after college when I moved into a new flat.

I was not enthusiastic about the move — if you have ever moved house, you know how hectic it is, it can be a headache-inducing affair.

However, the move was absolutely necessary; therefore I grinned and took it like a man — at least the flats were new, so we would not have to go through the unpleasant job of scrubbing and sterilising the toilet and bathroom.

Like any other reasonable co-tenant in an apartment, I would mute the TV, radio, and anything else that needed muting after 10.00pm in the night.

I also closed the windows, and abstained from opening the kitchen or bathroom tap, tiptoe, and open doors in slow motion. Yes,but I now see it; I was a difficult person to live with then …

Anyway, I managed to move without breaking a glass, and by evening, all the necessary items had been unpacked and put in their respective place.

Poor me!I was so exhausted; I must have fallen into a deep dreamless slumber a second after dropping into my bed — only for loud screeching and thumping to rudely wake me up about three hours later.

In my confusion, I thought someone had broken into the house, but once the cobwebs of sleep cleared, I realised that the commotion was coming from somewhere above me.

A few more seconds of the rude sounds and it finally dawned on me that my bedroom ceiling was someone else’s bedroom floor.

What is the standard furniture in bedrooms — beds and wardrobes, right?

Since we do not sleep in wardrobes, then you know what was making those ungodly noises at 3a.m…

I almost wept with frustration, because I knew there was no way I could go back to sleep with all that commotion, but even worse, because I knew that it was just a matter of time before that rocking bed planted sinful thoughts into my “innocent” mind.

Sure enough, it did, and my dear sleep was gone,for eternity till dawn.

Dear readers, the creaking bed upstairs had mercy on me about 20 minutes later (not that I was counting) and by then, I was ready to storm upstairs and haul the randy couple out of
bed.

It took me no less than two hours to go back to sleep, but by then, my neighbours were getting up, so there was a lot of slamming of doors and
footsteps moving back and forth.

The following night, the affectionate couple was at it again at 3 a.m., and the routine of me and my irritable son was repeated once again.

Though I was tempted several times, I restrained myself from marching upstairs to tell my active neighbours to buy a new
bed. Instead, I embarked on looking for another house to rent in earnest.

By the end of that month; I was out of there, hopeful that my next upstairs neighbours had a firmer bed.

Lucky for me, they did.

My fellow Kenyans, when someone mentions the word investment, most of us picture farms,plots and rental houses.

I beseech you, whatever big project you plan to invest your hard-earned money on this year, if your bed groans whenever you turn, and you live in a flat, please, first invest in a new bed, a firm bed — you could just have preserved the sanity of a lonely and unattached single man downstairs!

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

Media and Kenyan opposition are playing in the terrorists league

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By Bernard Wainaina
CEO,Profarms Consultants®

The media were vital for Al-Qaeda.
Before his death, Osama bin Laden was obsessed with the media and was at one point described as “a publicity hound” who had “caught the disease of screens, flashes, fans and applause”.

His successor, the Egyptian Al-Zawahiri, was once quoted as saying that “more than half of this battle is taking place in the battlefield of the media”.

A FORM OF THEATRE

How is Al-Shabaab using the media?

First, it is important to understand that terrorism is a form of theatre and cannot exist without an audience.

It is not the magnitude of an attack that counts; it is the resulting publicity.

We must understand that when a few citizens are slaughtered, the attack is a form of communication to the wider Kenyan public and possibly beyond.

In this sense, therefore, the media become a critical platform through which the massage of terrorism is communicated to the audience.

These attacks are political texts purposely aimed at influencing public opinion and re-organisation of government and policy.

The sacking of the Internal Security Cabinet Secretary and the exit of the police chief are evidence that the Kenyan state has heard the terrorists’ message.

CHOREOGRAPHED ATTACKS

Second, the clearest sign that terrorists are beginning to “mediatise” attacks is the aspect of contagion.

The attack on the quarry workers, in which the victims were made to lie down in a line, then shot in the head was choreographed to fit within the media frame that had been set
up by the attack on the Makkah Bus, which had gained wide coverage.

Al shabaab made sure that the bodies were well arranged for maximum “CNN,BBC and Al Jazera” photo effect!

Audiences were treated to photographs and videos of the dead, which was previously rare in the Kenyan media.

These gave the terrorists publicity and helped to spread the fear that gripped the nation.

Terrorists also hope to gain other goals such as recognition of the group and their demands and the possibility of gaining a quasi-legitimate status.

When the opposition and civil society groups call press conferences to demand the withdrawal of Kenyan troops from Somalia, they are not only playing into the hands of terrorists, whose intention is to divide our national psyche, they inadvertently give recognition to Al-Shabaab by implying
that the group has legitimate grievances against the Kenyan state.

The media contribute to public discourse by appropriating and fixing labels on persons and events.

Labels often imply a moral evaluation and also embed a treatment option.

While there is no doubt that Al-Shabaab has orchestrated the recent attacks in Mandera and other parts of the country,there is inconsistency in how they are characterised.

Often, the attacks are labelled as the handiwork of “militants”, “terrorists”, or “criminals”.

Some labels bestore recognition and quasi-legitimate status while others simply deny that privilege.

While the Kenyan media remain pivotal, there is certainly a need for developing editorial policies on how to cover terrorism.

Not much can be said of opposition which sounds like a mouth-piece for terrorist propaganda;the less said about the opposition antics of gaining political mileage from terrorist attacks instead of calling for unity and patriotism during these incidents,the better.

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

Summary of Kenya’s weekly political news in a cartoon

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Raila's solution to challenges facing the Kenya Nation

Raila’s solution to challenges facing the Kenya Nation

“We are the government-in-waiting,and this is how Jubilee government should be conducting the Nation’s affairs in order to move this country forward!”~Yours Truly,Raila Amollo Odinga

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

An impotent world is a good recipe for disaster in climate change mitigation

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By Bernard Wainaina
CEO,Profarms Consultants®

Every year, almost ten thousand professional vacationeers gather in some exotic holiday location, like Cancún, Buenos Aires, Bali, Durban or, most recently, Lima, Peru.

They do so at the expense of the taxpayers and the people who donate their hard-earned income to supposedly worthy environmental lobby groups like Greenpeace, the Worldwatch Institute, 350.org, the Union of Concerned Scientists, the National Resources Defense
Council, and the Sierra Club.

The stated intention, besides partying, sightseeing and random acts of archaeological vandalism, is to get the 195 participating
countries to agree to sharply reduce carbon dioxide emissions, in the hope that this will limit climate warming by 2100 to less
than 2°C.

The conference had to be extended in order to reach a deal, and the agreement that was ultimately reached glossed over the long-standing disputes that had pitched the rich world against their developing counterparts.

The Lima Call for Climate Action essentially says, “We’ll try. Maybe.”

Under the agreement, every country gets to set its own voluntary carbon emission targets, between nothing and a lot.

If they don’t meet those targets, they’ll be “named and shamed”.

Judging by the casual way in which Canada withdrew from the binding Kyoto Protocol in 2011, missing some voluntary targets should not present insurmountable political obstacles.

The skeptical Global Warming Policy Foundation welcomed the deal.

Its director, Dr Benny Peiser, said: “The Lima agreement is another acknowledgement of international reality. … In contrast to the Kyoto Protocol, the Lima deal opens the way for a new
climate agreement in 2015 [in gay Paris] which will remove legal obligations for governments to cap or reduce CO2 emissions.

A voluntary agreement would also remove the mad rush into unrealistic decarbonisation policies that are both economically and politically unsustainable.”

The lack of meaningful targets reflects a new era in which global warming simply does not make it high on the world’s priority list.

Countries, especially in the developing world,
attach far more importance to matters such as poverty alleviation, developing industrial infrastructure, combating the toll taken by preventable diseases and malnutrition, creating
employment, and improving the quality of life of their poor population.

This agreement leaves countries free to individually address problems such as pollution caused by rapid growth in fossil-fuelled electricity generation, without committing them to compulsory, expensive and risky green energy projects.

There is important context for the new lack of urgency in global climate talks.

One factor is the realisation that not even cheap
oil is running out.

Ten years ago, nobody would have believed
that the US would be the world’s biggest oil producer by today, yet it is.

Ten years ago, nobody would have believed that we’d ever see sub-$60 oil again, and yet, here we are.

The OPEC nations intend to keep the oil price low, hurting other competing producers like Nigeria and Venezuela, but also putting the squeeze on American shale oil and gas, and
Canadian oil sands.

Cheap oil also dramatically weakens the
investment case for renewables, which make economic sense only if oil remains expensive.

However this power struggle plays out, and however bad the news is for shale or green developers, an oil price war is great news for energy consumers.

It is especially good for poor countries that cannot afford expensive energy on which to build an industrial base.

Even rich countries are being urged to exploit cheap energy to invest in their infrastructure.

For a hint at the desperation in renewable energy circles, witness the false claims about “[leaning] on renewables” that Greenpeace UK made when some nuclear power stations were
taken offline last August.

In fact, coal picked up the slack.

The crowing last October about wind producing more than nuclear power in the UK was also revealing.

At the time, the nuclear contribution to the grid was unusually low, and the wind was provided by Hurricane Gonzalo, which caused three deaths, much damage, flooding, and several aborted aeroplane landings.

Besides the sweeping impact of cheap and plentiful oil, another factor is the growing realisation that previous climate change
predictions – like peak oil predictions – were likely much too alarmist.

Advocates of human-caused global warming claim 97% of scientists agree that global warming is happening, is caused by humans, and is dangerous.

However, that number is highly misleading. The so-called “consensus” paper by Cook et al.
claims to have assessed whether 12,000 papers on climate change disputed that carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, and that human activity contributed to the increase in atmospheric
carbon dioxide since 1950.

These are uncontroversial statements, and I’d wager at least 97% of climate skeptics would
agree with both. I certainly do.

However, the Cook paper has been roundly thrashed – in a peer-reviewed journal – for bad maths and worse presumptions.

It turns out that less than 1% of the papers explicitly stated agreement with the consensus, namely that global warming is mostly man-made.

Perhaps it isn’t surprising that many scientists avoid politically controversial questions, given that scientific skeptics of the orthodox political view about climate are treated to what Prof
Lennart Bengtsson of the University of Reading experienced as McCarthyism.

That so few explicitly agree with the consensus doesn’t mean everyone else is a sceptic.

It just means that the vast majority of scientists are not alarmists who think science is democracy and public policy is their job.

Critics often label skeptics of climate policy as “deniers”.

To do so, however, they rely on insulting straw men, such as that they reject ideas a priori without objective consideration.

The term “denier” is mostly an offensive rhetorical device to falsely paint those who don’t support urgent climate action with an anti-
science brush.

It is not necessary to deny any scientific claims about global warming to reject the worst predictions of the climate lobby, or the policy implications proposed by the United Nations.

A sceptic of climate policy can easily accept that the planet has been warming (at least until the end of the last century), that it is currently warm by historical standards, that carbon dioxide is a
greenhouse gas, that humans contribute to atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations, and even that reducing these emissions
might, in principle, help mitigate climate changes.

However, many of the underlying claims are not as strong as they appear.

The predictions of climate models have proven to be terrible.

Almost all models used by the UN Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change have over-stated 21st century warming so far. Modelling a vastly complex, dynamic and often chaotic system to make reliable forecasts is
inadvisable.

Even at the highest resolutions achievable today,models rely on many assumptions about factors such as cloudformation and convection that happen on a smaller scale.

Scientists like Bengtsson who point out the inadequacy of models for climate forecasts are told, in reputable journals, that the idea that scientific observations ought to be consistent with scientific predictions, if we are to consider the predictions grounds for public policy, is “an error”.

Last I checked, testing hypotheses against empirical reality was a fairly important part
of the scientific method.

Recent peer-reviewed research has also revealed continued discrepancies between instrumental temperature measurements and the tree rings that are supposed to act as historical proxies
for temperatures.

This discrepancy for the period 1960 to 1980,
when instrument readings rose but tree rings showed a decline, led to the infamous “hide the decline” incident involving Michael Mann and his “hockey stick” temperature chart.

The tree ring data has finally been updated to 2005, and it now shows an even more extreme discrepancy.

If temperature proxies contradict actual measurements for the periods in which
they overlap one has to doubt the validity of the proxy, and the conclusions drawn from it.

Actual instrument measurements aren’t so hot either, if you’ll excuse the pun.

Peer-reviewed research found that the US
climate station network overestimates warming by a factor of two, because of urban expansion surrounding temperature stations and incorrect siting.

On arctic sea ice extent, the data is equally dodgy.

The curious disappearance of the satellite record between 1974 and 1979 has never been explained by the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre, which supplies data to the IPCC.

The problem with this is that sea ice extent was even lower in 1974 than it is today.

Both actual climate measurements and the validity of historical proxies are plausibly questionable.

On the policy front, even before the watered-down Lima deal, proposed actions to mitigate climate change were never going to be enough to prevent 2°C warming by the year 2100.

Politicians in many countries have asked themselves whether there will be enough return on a massive investment in mitigating warming.

It seems to me unlikely that developing countries ever took global warming rhetoric seriously.

However, they certainly went along with negotiations in the hope of receiving generous
funding from the rich world for mitigation and adaptation measures.

Our own Ministers of Environmental Affairs,in Africa , devotes columns in these pages entirely to the issue of climate funding, and concentrates strongly on resilience and
adaptation.

The global warming bandwagon will trundle on for years, fuelled by vested interests in green technology and global climate change funding, not to mention the desire to protect scientific and bureaucratic reputations.

However, the Lima conference demonstrates that the world is no longer trundling
quietly along.

As a threat to prosperity and poverty alleviation, climate change catastrophism looks even more toothless now than the pitiful Lima “deal”.

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

Instead of treating Uhuru as a villain or an ex-convict, the high priests in opposition who have no clue what it means to be accused wrongly need to put themselves in his boots

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By Bernard Wainaina
CEO,Profarms Consultants®

In Kenya today,your surname is used to project where you belong in the silly game that is Kenyan politics,thanks to one,Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka.

But facts can’t be changed to favour only one side of Kenya’s political divide.

It is a fact that 43% of Kenyan voters who voted for opposition would have liked to see President Kenyatta jailed;it was going to be to their political advantage.

Last week’s withdrawal of charges against
President Uhuru Kenyatta has elicited mixed
feelings.

For the most part supporters and
opponents alike have welcomed the
withdrawal.

Others, particularly self styled
“advocates” for “victims” have argued that the
withdrawal of the case is “unfair” to the
victims.

It is important to get facts right without
allowing our biases to blur our thinking.

Unless one argues that the evidence against
Uhuru was beyond reasonable doubt the
argument that withdrawing the case is unfair
to victims does not hold any water.

Unless one had already convicted Uhuru in
their mind, the argument that his “acquittal”
is unfair to the victims is a baseless school of
thought.

Uhuru was merely an indictee, not a convict.
The withdrawal is not clemency. ICC
Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda or the ICC judges
did not exercise “an act of mercy” on a
“convict.”

That is a fact.

Technically Bensouda only “withdrew” charges but for all practical purposes this is tantamount to an acquittal.

For at least two or three years, ICC judges,
prosecutors, lawyers, politicians, political
scientists, activists and even ‘Wanjiku’ herself
knew that the ICC Prosecutor did not have a
water tight case against Uhuru.

It was also an open secret that it was a matter of when, not if, Bensouda drops the case against the President.

Unfortunately it took six years for the
prosecution to admit what was obvious to the
layman.

It seems the prosecution believed
that buying time would produce the
“evidence” they needed.

Back to the victims of the 2007-08 post-
election violence.

It is ironic that while the “victims” lawyer Fergal Gaynor was lamenting the withdrawal, Internally Displaced Persons in Kenya
were celebrating the news in song and dance.

The IDPs’ reaction to Uhuru’s “acquittal” begs the question, who does Gaynor represent?

Do the IDPs fall under his “victims” list?

Obviously the victims deserve justice.

They have a right to representation, to be heard, compensated, resettled and most importantly, a right to demand that the perpetrators of the violence be brought to
justice.

They have a right to a thorough investigation
and a right to closure.

The withdrawal of charges against Uhuru does not in any way hinder realisation of any of these rights.

The rights of the victims can only be assured through proper investigations, genuine prosecution devoid of manipulation, adherence to the rule of law and political goodwill on the part of all internal and external stakeholders.

The 2007-08 post-poll chaos produced three types of victims.

The first set of victims comprises those who
were killed in the skirmishes.

The second set includes the IDPs.

The third team of victims are the sacrificial lambs who were accused wrongly, had their names dragged through the mud even when it was clear the ICC did not have a case against them and have since been acquitted or had
their cases withdrawn.

It is therefore fair to state that both the dead, IDPs and Uhuru are victims of a flawed international justice system at the ICC,The Hague.

All three sets of victims are victims of
justice delayed.

Instead of treating Uhuru as a villain or an ex-convict, the high priests in opposition and politically biased civil right groups who have no clue what it means to be accused wrongly need to put themselves in his boots.

Goalposts were moved several times in his
case.

New accusations were invented every time the
previous ones were defeated.

The judges closed their eyes to former ICC
Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo’s and Bensouda’s incompetence, tardiness and outright politicisation of the judicial system.

The bench and the prosecution seemed to have conspired in delaying the cases unnecessarily.

When there was no direct evidence to
meet the threshold for trying Uhuru, the prosecution chose to turn the Kenyan government into a boogeyman.

Uhuru, who was charged in his personal capacity was expected to use his official position to compel the government to “cooperate” in procuring evidence
against him.

What else is needed to declare him a
victim of a flawed international justice system?

The word “impunity” has been used so liberally in this case.

The concept of impunity is ambiguous and
subject to misuse.

Those against the withdrawal of the case on the basis of fighting impunity are simply
saying Uhuru was actually guilty of all the crimes he was accused of committing.

I held the same belief until I watched this clip of Uhuru calling for peace in 2008 https://
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2X5nEFOC_TY

It convinced me that they had picked on the wrong man.

This was a case of a man who abhorred
violence and called on other members of the Kikuyu community to keep their cool.

Forget Bensouda’s threat that she can still prefer new charges against Uhuru.

Kenyans do not have any contract with the ICC to harass Uhuru by any means necessary.

Kenyans want justice for the victims but
that does not mean that it can only be achieved by convicting Uhuru.

The President should now use his position to help the victims by compelling either the Kenyan judicial system or a doubtlessly credible international body to commence proper investigations and charge the real perpetrators of the 2007-08 post-election violence.

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

‘Text book’ military strategy and tactics will not win against Al Shaabab in Kenya

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By Bernard Wainaina
CEO,Profarms Consultants®

Al-Shabaab appears to be prepared to fight a long war, perhaps for decades to come.

Kenya went into Somalia under code name Operation Linda Nchi, a quick-fix solution for what has turned out to be a complex, asymmetrical, long-running conflict.

It is now the fourth year since the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) went to Somalia, which begs the question: Is Kenya prepared to fight
in Somalia for years, the way Al-Shabaab seems intent on doing?

I am not suggesting that Kenya pulls out of Somalia blindly.

Conventional mechanisms used to stop and defuse conflict in one area can be the recipe that destabilises other regions.

Somalia is such an example.

Kenya’s involvement in that country brought some degree of sanity to a good number of
areas.

However, this has led to instability in Kenya.

It is time for Kenya to rethink its strategy.

The diffusion of global power allows states, non-state groups,terrorists, and individuals to shape global security.

The emergence of asymmetric wars characterises the quest for power as these actors fight for recognition, further complicating national and global security.

In Kenya, we have witnessed this in the attacks on Westgate, Baragoi, Mpeketoni, Mandera, and Kapedo.

INSTIL FEAR

In Nigeria, Boko Haram has used asymmetric tactics to instil fear — from the abduction of teenage girls to the massacre targeting innocent villagers.

Insurgency is normally successful when those waging a war are driven by strong beliefs attached to nationalism or religion.

Therefore, it is more difficult to fight such groups using conventional methods.

Yet organised states often know no other approach than working within the morality of
international law and rules of engagement.

Such groups that thrive in weak states, or those suffering instability, exploit the situation since they have nothing to lose.

Most organised states would feel reluctant to employ the strategies terrorism groups use because of the accompanying costs in terms of infrastructural damage, civilian casualties,
and economic losses.

The reason modern states often fall victim to insurgency is because they focus on fighting the tactics employed by terrorists instead of formulating strategies to defeat them.

Relying on conventional military power in a world of proliferating asymmetric opportunities can be self-defeating.

Fighting a war against a tactic rather than developing a clear plan to defeat a strategy is equivalent to playing into the hands of the enemy.

This means that conventional military strategy may no longer be the most useful way of winning wars and could even be a liability if not used with precision.

Responding to asymmetric threats creates new security demands involving military intervention and pre-emptive war, homeland defence, and peacekeeping and peace support operations.

In a world where asymmetries in conflicts are increasing, the efforts to increase security can, paradoxically, create more insecurity.

INDISCRIMINATE KILLING

Terrorists may not have a problem with the indiscriminate killing of hundreds of civilians but modern states may not have the resolve to respond in the same fashion.

Refusing to follow the rules of engagement could level the playing ground for the different actors in a conflict.

The reasons state actors are unlikely to win against their non-state adversaries in asymmetric conflicts is that the former often
look for quick solutions and victories while the latter may be prepared to fight for long, which appears to be the case with Al-Shabaab and many other modern-day terrorist groups.

These groups have exploited the local and international media, including the internet, to sensationalise the visual consequences of their attacks and this has achieved their aim— creating a sense of defeat among the global audience.

News media, the internet, and other forms of mass communication have been used to draw attention to insurgency groups.

Asymmetric attacks may be limited in their physical effects but various media dramatically multiply the intended political impact on a global level.

Asymmetric conflict is a tactic in the exercise of power and the proliferating network of globalisation makes its use both more likely and dangerous.

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

The trial and tribulations of Fatou Bensouda at the ICC,The Hague

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By Bernard Wainaina
CEO,Profarms Consultants®

The road to where she is today was long and rocky.

But now, she is the chief prosecutor of the
International Criminal Court (ICC), empowered by 121 countries to hunt down the worst of the world’s mass murderers and put them behind bars, a criminal prosecutor in cases involving genocide and the world’s public prosecutor.

She is, in a sense, everyone’s supreme conscience.

Fatou Bensouda, 52,and her team have
taken the bold step of indicting 51-year-old Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta.

But in this case, there is a stark contrast
between their aspirations and reality.

At the moment, Kenyatta’s attorneys seem to have the upper hand.

They have demanded that the case be dropped,
arguing that there is no evidence to prove that their client is guilty.

In its status conference ruling,the ICC judges declined to acquit Kenyatta as requested by his defence lawyers,but handed the OTP a long sturdy rope to hang itself by the end of 7 days after the ruling.

In other words,Bensouda should make up her mind about proceeding with the case or withdraw charges.

Either way,it is a big win for Uhuru Kenyatta and loss of face for OTP.

In mid-June, Kenyatta’s defence lawyers managed to postpone the planned court date a second time, this time for four months, on the grounds that the prosecutor’s office had not produced evidence on time.

Throughout Africa, as well as in the West, doubts are growing as to whether the case has a future at all. Daily Nation, Kenya’s leading newspaper, called the case “a farce,” while a TV commentator in Nairobi referred to it as “suicide on the part of the world court.”

In recent weeks, Bensouda has been doing all she can to save the situation, spending inordinate amounts of time behind the bulletproof glass windows of her office in The Hague.

She works late into the night, only to take yet another look at the files early the next morning.

She is possessed of an iron will.

There is a great deal at stake.

If the case against Kenyatta were to collapse, the ICC would lose what little authority it still has and would become a tool as useless as it is costly.

And it isn’t just a matter of the court’s survival: The long-cherished dream of global justice seems on the verge of failure.

In addition to the permanent ICC, other, temporary United Nations courts have likewise failed to produce successes.

Holding Commanders Responsible?

The Cambodia Tribunal, for example, a court
established to try the individuals responsible for the Khmer Rouge genocide, is merely treading water.

The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), by contrast, has managed to produce some convictions, but a judge at the United Nations war crimes tribunal in The Hague recently deplored the political pressure that allegedly led to the spectacular recent acquittals of senior Serbian
and Croat officers.

The judge said that the decisions called into question the principle that military commanders could be held responsible for war
crimes committed by their subordinates.

It is a concern that will soon be tested on Bosnian Serb general Ratko Mladic, with relatives of the Srebrenica massacre victims fearful that he will be set free.

At the ICC, prosecutor Bensouda is respectfully
referred to as “Big Mama,” because of her big heart and her authority.

She knows what is at stake in the Kenyatta case — for her, for the court and for the concept of a global court.

As a little girl, Fatou Bensouda already had a clear idea of what her destiny was: She wanted to fight crime.

She also knew how difficult that could be.

In the early 1970s, she accompanied her aunt several times to a police station in Banjul, the capital of her native Gambia, in West Africa.

The aunt’s husband had beaten her repeatedly.

But the police officers refused to investigate her complaints, because it was felt that the master of the house had every right to beat his wife.

Such crimes were left unpunished.

It was something that Bensouda felt had to change.

As a teenager, she always went to the courthouse after school, no matter what case the court happened to be hearing.

She obsessively took notes and later discussed the cases with her mothers.

Bensouda grew up in a polygamous Muslim household, in which her father had several wives.

Later, when she was studying in Nigeria and Malta, she turned her attention to international law.

A brilliant jurist, Bensouda was the first woman to become the attorney general, and later the justice minister, of Gambia. But conflict with the country’s president, in a system that is democratic in name only, was inevitable.

She resigned after two years and later began working for the UN, including a stint as a
trial attorney at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, established to prosecute individuals responsible for the 1994 massacre there.

A Symbol of Progress

Bensouda was named chief prosecutor in The Hague in June 2012.

The same year, Time included her on its list of the world’s 100 most influential people.

She is seen as a symbol of African progress.

Nevertheless, it is becoming clear that her influence is greatly limited.

When she indicts powerful people, like Kenya’s president and deputy-president, she is
dealing with more than just the high-powered
lawyers they hire.

She also faces intimidation by those capable of manipulating public opinion in countries racked by civil war and turning it against a
court that operates far away from the scenes of the crimes it addresses.

The ICC also lacks the support of some of the world’s most powerful politicians.

Although most countries have submitted to its jurisdiction, the United States and China never joined the ICC. Both Iran and Israel are also unwilling to relinquish a part of their judicial
sovereignty.

The court began prosecuting crimes against
humanity 11 years ago, but its track record has been deplorable.

This is partly due to sloppy investigations
and the arrogance of Bensouda’s predecessor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, who once said: “We are changing the world, guys.”

So far, the ICC can boast of only one
conviction, and that in a case relating to a second-tier defendant.

In 2012, the ICC sentenced Congolese militia leader Thomas Lubanga to 14 years in prison
for using child soldiers as cannon fodder.

Arrest warrants have been issued against other butchers, like Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony — but the men are still at large, because they are too important to be extradited.

The ICC is currently investigating eight cases, all of them in Africa — a situation which has engendered criticism.

The prosecution of crimes by the ICC has
degenerated into “race-baiting,” Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said at the African Union (AU) summit in Addis Ababa at the end of May.

In a resolution, the leaders of AU member states demanded that the case against Kenyatta be dismissed and remitted to the courts in Nairobi.

Bensouda calls the attacks “outrageous.”

She pointed out that she herself is black and investigates cases without regard for skin
color or nationality.

“It is indisputable that Africans are being raped, displaced, tortured and held as child
slaves by other Africans. Are we supposed to ignore that?”

Misplaced Optimism?

Besides, she added, the list of countries the ICC is currently focusing on also includes Afghanistan, Honduras and Georgia.

“What offends me most of all is how quickly many concentrate on the words of the powerful, forgetting the millions who have no voice.
We investigate without distinction of person or
political rank.”

“Big Mama’s” staff members have rarely seen their boss looking as nervous as in recent days.
Almost defiantly, as if to embolden herself, she says: “We will bring Kenyatta to trial here in The Hague, and I am very optimistic that we will achieve a guilty verdict against him and his deputy-president, William Ruto.”

But despite Bensouda’s optimism, Kenyatta continues to reside in an opulent mansion next to the State House, the president’s official residence in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi. Kenyatta is the country’s largest landowner and he also controls its largest bank, not to mention a major hotel chain.

With an estimated net worth of $500 million (€378 million), Kenyatta is one of the 25 richest and most powerful men on the continent. Kenyan politics reflects the extent to which a handful of clans dominate the country.

Fifty years ago, shortly after independence from Great Britain, a Kenyatta and an Odinga competed for power.

In March 2013, nothing had changed except the first names of the contenders.

The sons, Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga, had followed in the footsteps of their fathers,
Jomo and Oginga.

The scourge of nepotism is compounded by ethnic division, in a country whose leaders are more likely to champion the interests of their tribes than ideologies or political platforms.

They procure jobs and perks for their “blood brothers” and, if need be, they incite ethnic groups against one another, sometimes to the point of tribal wars.

The Kenyattas are part of the Kikuyu tribe, which makes up more than 30 percent of the population in Kenya and is the most economically successful ethnic group.

Kenyatta did not run for the presidency in the
December 2007 election, choosing to support Mwai Kibaki, a fellow Kikuyu, instead.

After a highly disputed vote count, Kibaki was declared the winner and promptly sworn in.

In the ensuing mayhem, members of the Kalenjin, Luhya and Luo tribes (US President Barack Obama’s father was a member of
the Luo tribe) exacted bloody revenge on the
“imposters.”

The Kikuyu then struck back.

Divided by Hate

Before long, villages were fighting villages.

In some
“mixed” regions like kibera slums,a stringhold of opposition leader Raila Odinga,, it was street against street.

It was only through the intervention of then retired UN Secretary General Kofi Annan that the situation settled down after a few weeks.

But by the time the slaughter had ended, there were 1,100 dead with more than half a
million people having been driven out of their home provinces.

The country was divided by hate.

At the urging of a Kenyan judge, the ICC turned its attention to the instigators of the violence.

In early 2012, the court in The Hague confirmed charges against Kenyatta and Ruto, his rival from the Kalenjin tribe.

But can someone be locked up for this indirect
form of culpability?

And can prosecutors in the Netherlands prevail against men who are sufficiently cunning and unscrupulous to exploit racial hatred?

In other words, can these crimes even be defined in legal terms?

That is the existential question the ICC
faces.

When it became clear that the two men were to be dragged before the world court, Kenyatta and Ruto devised a clever strategy: They joined forces to form a political alliance of convenience, the Jubilee Alliance.

Before long, without any aspects of the 2012
massacres having been cleared up, they began
campaigning for election together.

For much of the campaign, it looked as they had little chance, with Odinga — the opposing candidate and a member of the Luo tribe — maintaining a solid lead.

But then came the game-changer; Johnnie Carson, head of the Africa division in the US State Department at the time, publicly threatened “consequences” if the Kenyans voted the two men, who had been indicted by the ICC, into the country’s highest offices.

The threat provided Kenyatta with fodder for his campaign.

From then on, whenever he made a
campaign appearance he would ask his “sovereign people” whether they should allow foreign powers to dictate to them their choice of national leaders.

Kenyatta turned the election into a fight against
foreign intervention and the “Western diktat.”

The overwhelming majority of Kenyans were unaware of the ironic fact that a London PR firm had developed the campaign strategy for Kenyatta — and that British lawyers make up the bulk of his defense team for the ICC trial.

A Deaf Ear

Kenyatta won an absolute majority, with 50.07
percent of the vote.

Observers noted that the national voter turnout was implausibly high, at 86 percent.

Rival candidate Odinga suspected fraud and took his case to the country’s supreme court, but it turned a deaf ear to his petition challenging the election results.

Of course, the West failed to make good on its
threats to impose sanctions.

Kenya’s cooperation as a strategically important country in the fight against
terrorism in Somalia and Sudan is too important to Washington, Paris and London, and they are also eager to prevent China from trumping the West in Nairobi.

The new president has been self-confident
all the time, saying that he would cooperate with the ICC,submit to questioning by video link and, if necessary, even appear in person before the court in The Hague.

His supporters refer to him as “Njamba,” or “The Hero.”

In The Hague, his adversary Bensouda always says: “We want the trial to begin as soon as possible. And we deeply appreciate the witnesses’ courage and willingness to make sacrifices. Nowhere else have they come under such great pressure as in Kenya.”

But somehow,the trial never kicks off and and now it is on its death bed-a still born trial.

Many witnesses live in the Great Rift Valley.

The steep cliffs, which divide East Africa into two parts, open to form a kind of Garden of Eden, a landscape of volcanic cones, misty lakes and tropical vegetation that offers a habitat to rhinos, flamingos and myriad
other forms of wildlife.

Anthropologists see the region as a cradle of mankind.

But in the first days of 2008, it was more of an Armageddon to residents in the Rift Valley towns of Nakuru and Naivasha.

A Raging Mob

“We lived here in peace and good neighborly
relations with the other tribes for a long time. We rented our house from a Kikuyu,” says Monicah Akinyi, a Luo woman. Her eyes are dull, rendered lifeless by sadness and desperation. “Then came the
day when a raging mob of Kikuyu descended upon us with knives and machetes.”
“I was pregnant at the time, awaiting our ninth child,” says Akinyi, her voice faltering. “My husband and I worked at one of the big farms that grow roses for export to Europe. Our children played with the Kikuyu children.”

As the menacing mob approached, Akinyi took the children and fled to the police station.

Her husband tried to help some friends and rushed back to the house.

But he didn’t get far before assailants swooped down on him with knives, dozens of them stabbing him again and again.

The mob raged for days.

Akinyi wasn’t even able to recover her husband’s body.

She was left with nothing but a photo a journalist had taken of her husband’s corpse.

She later learned that similar acts of brutal violence had occurred in other Rift Valley
towns, as well as along the coast.

Who were the culprits?

Can the chain of command in what were
clearly actions controlled by others be traced to
Kikuyu leader Kenyatta? Bensouda has failed to find a link in the trial with the money hungry Mungiki witnesses raking in millions of witness protection fees whild concocting false evidence against Kenyatta. ICC in essence was conned of good evidence by the same Mungiki gangs who wreaked mayhem in Naivasha and Nakuru Towns.

“Today I only live for my children,” says Akinyi, who looks much older than her 37 years.

She was pleased when she heard that a woman in a faraway country wanted to bring the culprits to trial. But now she no longer dares to hope. “It all happened more than five years ago,” says Akinyi. “I think the world has
forgotten ordinary victims like us.”

And Fatou Bensouda has not helped the Kenyan victims by bungling the cases through a shoddy investigation job aided by politically malicious Kenyan NGOs.

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

After the failed El nino floods,farmers can now look forward to better weather forecasts after impeding radical changes in the weather forecast department

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By Bernard Wainaina
CEO,Profarms Consultants®

Kenyans are annoyed that weather men predicted El nino floods,and we instead suffered the driest year,the whole of this year.

And now,following numerous complaints from Kenyans over lies and inaccurate forecasts, the weathermen have come out to apologise and announce a raft of measures to enable them give more accurate predictions.

“We are really sorry. We know we have been giving wrong predictions and at times lying by telling Kenyans that it will rain cats and dogs.

Many have waited to see the animals fall from the sky in vain!

We are humans, and man is to error, you know,” said a remorseful PR official, Mr. Mafuriko Fake,National Meteorological Department communications officer.

He added that in this day and age when Kenyans have developed a penchant for litigation, they fear that they will soon be sued.

In the same press conference, at a Nairobi hotel, an expert consulting for the Government department announced radical changes that will see the weathermen improve their predictions.

He said that following steep budget cuts by the
parent ministry, the National Meteorological
Department has instituted measures to trim
operational costs, but still provide accurate weather predictions.

Among the changes envisaged include removing the roofs from the National Meteorological Department headquarters so that the office staff can work in open air.

This, it’s argued, will put the staff in a better position to accurately report and fore-tell the weather.

In situations where it will be impossible to dismantle the roofs, office employees will be encouraged to work outdoors more often to ensure they predict the weather faster and more accurately.

Envisaged changes

“For example they will be able to tell when the rainy season is starting, when the rain actually starts falling and their documents get wet,” said Muende Leo, the change expert who has been hired by the State body to advise on the areas needing reform.

Senior employees will work from offices with large windows through which they can look outside and immediately tell what the weather is like.

Staff at the National Meteorological Department will also be required to wear light clothing at all times so that they can feel any slight changes in temperature.

“When the employees start shivering we will know it’s the cold season and this will save a lot of money that would otherwise have been spent on expensive equipment,” added Muende Leo.

The State body is also said to be planning to change the hiring policy to allow for recruiting of practising nudists or some in extra-miniskirts, since they will have an advantage over clothed employees when it comes to telling when the weather has changed from hot to cold and vice versa.

The weathermen also plan to expand their scope to keenly observe the political scene.

“This will improve the organisation’s capabilities in forecasting the political temperatures across the country,” explained the change expert.

If the envisaged changes are successfully
implemented, farmers can look forward to more
accurate weather forecasts.

This will make the planning of their planting and harvesting much easier.

The reforms at the met department will also help
Street hawkers, in that they will be better able to predict when to stock up on umbrellas and sell them at extortionate prices.

Matatus will also be able to predict when to double or triple their fares due to the rain especially in crowded cities like Nairobi.

Also set to reap from the developments are maize smugglers, hoarders and politically connected importers who will now also be able to predict when they can take advantage of drought to make insane profits selling maize at exorbitant prices to starving people.

“Politicians will also be able to predict the muddy season well in advance and this will help them forecast the best time to sling mud at each other,” chimed in Muende Leo in conclusion.

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

Have you seen this talented guy?

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By Bernard Wainaina
CEO,Profarms Consultants®

The guy I’m looking for didn’t oil his elbows this morning.

What kind of a man oils his elbows
anyway?

He sprayed some deo on, slapped some lotion on his face, slipped into jeans, canvas shoes and a t-shirt and was out of the door.

He lives in Ongata Rongai.

Or Thika Road.

In one of those mushrooming apartment blocks with no parking.

I don’t know him.

I don’t know his name.

I have never met him.

But I know he is a tech nerd.

He is very gifted.

He doesn’t read any of my blogs or websites.

He has never heard of me!

At the bus stage he waited for a public taxi, standing next to that chick from house block, B23, the one he hasn’t plucked up the courage to say hello to.

He has headphones stuck in his ears and is listening to Ariana Grande or Luke James because it gets him in a “certain mood.”

In town, with his laptop bag on his back, he will
zip through the streets completely insulated from the morning urban angst of honking cars,
blinking streetlights and hordes of feet shuffling
to earn their daily bread.

He will catch a bus to the suburb where he works.

First job.

S**t job.
S**t because he has all these ideas that he can’t
execute, because he’s doing his time, handling
rubbish briefs.

He is 23.

His laptop is full of stickers.

He has about 15 tabs open on his laptop right now.

He is yet to reply to two Facebook messages.

On Twitter about 870 people follow him.

Of his last three tweets, two
are in sheng,and I can’t make head or tail of what he is going on about in his tweets.

Once in a while he will DM some follower on his twitter account,a chic and meet her, only to find out that she is as exciting as a broken electrical socket.

He hasn’t quite learnt the deception of Twitter.

He’s single.

There is a missed call on his phone from his bro that he is yet to return.

He drinks in town. Tusker beer. Very Cold.

When he has some mullah (I doubt he would call money mullah), he and his mate will buy a bottle of Jameson and go on a bender.

He smokes occasionally because he thinks it’s cool.

He doesn’t exercise.

He buys his clothes from a mtumba guy with a name like Ngash.

He has beautiful handwriting.

He loves football.

Liverpool to be precise, maybe because he never
wants to walk alone again.

This guy is probably 5’7’’.

Chocolate complexion.

Doesn’t bite his nails.

Keeps his hair long or in dreadlocks.

Doesn’t make his bed.

Always forgets to call his papa back.

My guy is special because he’s out there beating
the bushes, brimming with talent.

One day he will break through, but for now he’s doing his time.

He doesn’t read my blog.

Probably heard of it in passing, but has never bothered.

Actually he’s not much of a reader aside from the newspaper,Ghafla, and billboards.

However, one of his chic friends, the type who are always reading a book in the bus, will forward this post to him on Whatsapp and say, “I think this is you they are
looking for to design a website and its logo.”

He will reply: “Who?”

“Profarms, haven’t you read him?”
“Aii, bila,” [Do they say bila?]
“Ebu read that post,” she will say.

He will read it only because he likes her.

The hell
with this Profarms guy.

Once he reads it his interest will be piqued.

Why? Because I’m looking for a deadly graphic designer who will design me a website and a logo. A logo that will go up there in my blogs and websites.

It’s
time we got a Profarms logo.

I’m tired of engaging the established graphic
designers who come with moody grins and
fashionably distressed clothes.

I’m tired of admiring their creative business cards, hope welling up inside me, until they violently dash it.

This young hungry guy will get it.

I can feel it.

He will get that I don’t want a logo with a quail, or a spear or some corny stuff.

I don’t want an African print.

Or a bottle of ink on that logo.

Or a wild animal.

Or the shape of Africa.

If I see another silhouette of an Acacia tree, I will pee in my bathtub!

I don’t want some lousy calligraphy.

And for the love of me, no image of a sunset.

But mostly I don’t want big talk.

I don’t want to see a portfolio of previous work.

I just need a logo that expresses what we stand for here.

Here we tell stories,some professional,and humorous ones too.

We are creative and relaxed.

We love cool things.

We are urban without forgetting our African roots.

Most importantly we are MINIMALIST.

We don’t shout.

We are simple and not brash.

We are ‘sexy’ and suave and urbane.

And we need a logo that says all of that.

If you know this guy I just described. If you know a guy who can bring this logo to life, please share this with them.

And if you think you can nail it, go on and share your initial design.

If I like what I see, I will inbox you and we’ll discuss how you can develop that logo.

And then I will pay you decent money for it.

Even though I don’t know you,you can take a chance with me on this one off offer!

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

Why I’m ‘head over heels’ in love with all Ugandan and Rwandese Women

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By Bernard Wainaina
CEO,Profarms Consultants®

Feminists in Kenya are going crazy about recent barbaric stripping of ‘indecently’ dressed women in the cities of Nairobi and Mombasa.

I’m not a moralist and I have very little to say about personal dressing choices of our Kenyan ladies,so long as their manner of dressing is not likely to disturb public peace by wearing suicide bomber vests,but just as the next man is wont to do,I thoroughly enjoy the company of ‘decent and cool’ ladies,whatever that means.

A couple of months back, I had travelled to a
neighbouring country — Uganda – and I was
impressed by the kindness and respect women in
that country have for their men.

One evening, I was in a discotheque perched atop a bar stool, from where I was able to scan the dance floor and there was nothing but love displayed among the couples.

I immediately thought about Nairobi, and I imagined the scenes at top entertainment spots in the capital, Kisumu, Nakuru, Eldoret and Mombasa.

I was certain that while beer was the common denominator, that was as far as the similarities go.

The girls I was watching were well dressed with
short, trimmed hair and were drinking from
feminine narrow neck bottles.

I was willing to bet that back home, the women were twerking while drinking Guinness Kubwa.

And while at it, they were jerking their heads full of fake hair from dead damsels and perhaps even goats and horses.

This scenario made me think; just what are we doing to our women that they seem to be losing their feminine touch?

One of the reasons, according to the Council of
Young Elders led by my Male chauvinist Uncle is that the Kenyan woman especially in the working class, is fighting foot and nail to be on the same pedestal with her male counterpart.

Big mistake, if you ask me.

When you down three beers, the Kenyan woman in a bar is never too far behind.

When you buy a round,in the popular ‘lete vile tulivyo’, as soon as you have taken two gulps, your female companion beckons the waiter.

As you assume that she is asking for directions to the rest room, she shouts between gulps, telling the waiter to stop staring at her boobs and bring the beers.

Polite, civil dance

Even before you get a chance to get astounded, she stands up, starts dancing and as you are hoping it is going to be a polite, civil dance she grabs your waist and thrusts herself against your loins like a devil possessed.

You hope it is going to be short, but it is
not.

She is holding you tighter by the minute and to make matters worse, she now starts shrieking in a manner that can be construed to mean that her body temperature is rising like milk on a stove.

You are now stuck between a rock and a hard place, you want to flee from this embarrassment, but as a tough African male, you cannot run away from a woman.

This would embarrass your clan and cause
your father catastrophic embarrassment back in the village.

Soon other people in the bar stop watching football and instead fix their eyes at the disproportionate battle of the bodies that you and your supposed woman are having on the floor.

Suppressed fear

Waiters are passing you with suppressed fear, lest you send them sprawling onto the floor with a tray full of expensive drinks.

But right in front of me, there was none of these
things that we see in Kenya.

The Ugandan girls were sweetly looking in my
direction and when it appeared that our eyes had met, they would tactfully look sideways.

But still leave something for you to read between the lines.

In such a scenario in Kenya, the woman would be winking at you and wondering if you were man enough.

Girls, where did you get all this courage from?

Tone down and just be women. Miniskirts or no miniskirts,there is definitely a way in which women can be women without becoming tomboys.

The we will fall in love with our women,not our tomboys!

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

AU must lead way on African illegal migrants issue,not EU

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By Bernard Wainaina
CEO,Profarms Consultants®

Thousands of migrants, many of them Africans, have died trying to get into Europe this year alone.

News stories of drownings and shipwrecks during hazardous sea journeys on the Mediterranean have become depressingly familiar.

What can be done to prevent such tragedies?

So far, one could get the impression that the problem is considered solely Europe’s to deal with; after all, it is the EU’s borders that are
being besieged.

But that would mean absolving the African
Union of any responsibility for its own borders and citizens,letting it off the hook far too easily.

African societies pride themselves on their regard for culture,family life and community in general.

The actions of individuals are considered reflective of their families and the communities they come from.

In Africa,if a son turns out to be a thief,this is deemed shameful not just to his parents but also to the community he comes from. His family is expected to accept full responsibility for his actions and to undertake to do something about the situation.

Similarly, we are also fond of emphasising our sense of brotherhood and solidarity with our
fellow African citizens.

However, it is difficult to reconcile all this with the seemingly indifferent AU response to the migrant crisis.

What exactly is it doing to secure its borders and prevent smugglers from transporting thousands out of the continent, often to their deaths?

What is it doing to encourage those Africans who feel forced to leave their countries, or who are displaced, to choose African destinations rather than European ones?

Not much, is the answer.

It is true that many African countries have problems of their own to deal with, but which nation does not?

Illegal migration to Europe strains the recipient nations’ patience and resources, greatly decreasing the probability that even the African migrants who do manage to survive the journey will be treated well on arrival.

This should be a concern for African leaders.

A more proactive approach to stemming these people-smuggling operations is required on the part of the AU.

It needs to do more to make refuge in Africa appealing to Africans and to work closely with the EU in addressing the issue of illegal migration.

The “spirit of African solidarity and international cooperation” in its 1969 refugee convention should be seen, and not just declared.

The AU declared a day of mourning after the Lampedusa tragedy in October 2013.

It said the incident should serve as a wake-up call for all Africans “to reflect on appropriate
actions to be taken with a view to finding a lasting solution to this persistent problem that leads to the loss of young Africans without whom the continent cannot build a prosperous and peaceful future”.

The AU should pay more attention to its own statements.

But, beyond words, it should strive to create the conditions necessary for Africans to see
their own continent as a safe haven.

It cannot be denied that as long as Europe remains an inviting lure to Africans seeking a better life, a dangerous, illegal voyage will still be considered well worth the price.

But the ideal cannot be the enemy of the good.

It might be unrealistic to imagine illegal migration being eradicated, but the AU has
a responsibility to do more to drastically limit the phenomenon and the tragic deaths that come with it.

The fact that African migrants tend to seek refuge in countries that have well-developed human rights systems only accentuates the AU’s failure.

Increasing Europe’s border security should not be solely the EU’s headache. Africa’s leaders have a responsibility to work towards solving a
problem they helped create in the first place.

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

GITHERI RECIPE;A yummy African Dish!

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By Bernard Wainaina
CEO,Profarms Consultants®

Githeri is one of my favourite whole grain meal.

{See benefits of eating whole grain meals at; wholegrainscouncil.org/whole-grains-101/what-are-the-health-benefits}

I’d like to share the recipe of this yummy African dish with you.

INGREDIENTS

2 cups dry mixed beans (soaked overnight, then boiled until
tender)
2 cups fresh maize/corn kernels (boiled until tender)
250gm steak, cubed (optional)
1 stock cube (to be used if you are not using any meat)
2 tbsp oil
1 onion, chopped finely
2 tomatoes, chopped
2 potatoes, boiled, peeled and cubed
1-2 green chillis, chopped (optional)
1 tbsp. tomato paste/puree
1/4 tsp. garlic paste
1/4 tsp. red chilli powder
1/4 tsp. turmeric powder
1/2 tsp. cumin powder
salt to taste
1 lemon fruit for lemon juice

Githeri is one of the main staple foods in Kenya.
It originates from the Kikuyu tribe of Central Kenya but has quickly become popular all across the country.

The dish is basically a bean stew (sometimes with cubes of steak and potatoes mixed in for added flavour and nutrients), very rich in proteins and incredibly healthy and filling.

It is best served as is,but can also be enjoyed over rice or with a side of crusty bread/chapatis.
So if you love your beans, this is a MUST-TRY recipe!

Instructions;

Give the pre-soaked beans a rinse and put them into a pan or pressure cooker.

Add the maize (if you are using from a can you will not need to boil the corn).

Add enough water to cover everything and sprinkle some salt.

Boil or pressure cook them until tender (takes about 12 minutes in a pressure cooker,or one and half hours normal boiling over wood/charcoal fuel).

Drain but reserve the water they were cooked in as it contains a lot of flavour/nutrients and you can use this in place of plain water when cooking the githeri later.

Boil the cubed steak (if you are using it) in water with a quarter tsp each of salt, pepper, ginger and garlic until the meat is tender.

Drain but reserve the stock/ soup.

Now we can start preparing the githeri.

Heat the oil in a pan, add the chopped onions and fry until translucent (but not brown).

Add 1tsp of the garlic paste and tomato paste followed by the chopped tomatoes.

Cook on low heat until the tomatoes are mushy,
stirring regularly and breaking up the tomato pieces with your spoon as you stir.

If the mixture begins to stick to the bottom of the pan, add some of the water leftover from cooking the beans, a little bit at a time.

Then add the chopped chillies.

Once the tomatoes are cooked, add the cubes of
steak and mix them in, followed by all the powdered spices.

Next, add the boiled cubed potatoes and the cooked beans.

Give everything a mix, then add the stock/
soup leftover from boiling the meat or if you are not using any meat, dissolve a stock cube in some water and add it in.

The liquid should just about cover the
beans.

Sprinkle 2 tsp. salt.

Allow the githeri to gently simmer on low heat, giving an occasional stir until the mixture thickens and the flavours are well combined.

Taste and adjust salt and spice.

Lastly, add the lemon juice which will help intensify all the flavours.

Mix and serve hot, with a garnish of
coriander or chopped chillies if you like it spicy, and some extra slices of lemon to squeeze over the beans.

Leftovers will keep very well refrigerated or frozen. Enjoy!!

Recipe tips:

I used a combination of kidney beans (rajma/
maharagwe), cowpeas (chora/kunde) and black-eyed peas (lobia).

You can use any combination of beans
that you like, or even just a single kind, whatever you have available.

Combine the beans, wash then soak
them overnight or for at least 6 hours so they cook faster when you boil them.

You can also use beans from a can, in which case you will not need to soak or boil.

Use DOUBLE the amount of beans if they are
canned/pre-cooked.

This is because the dried beans mentioned in the recipe will double in volume after soaking and boiling.

Tip:

This dish works best with the white fresh maize
(mahindi).

Remove the kernels off the cob and
measure out 2 full cups. Alternatively if white maize
is not available where you are, you can use the
yellow sweet corn off the cob or canned.

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

Is ODM becoming a “cultic” party?

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By Bernard Wainaina
CEO,Profarms Consultants®

“ODM/ CORD is Raila. Without him, Uhuru/ Ruto’s 2017 victory is guaranteed.”~ Gem MP, Jakoyo Midiwo,

The level of ODM party intolerance and the
insults have reached dangerous levels.

The degree of blind loyalty to party leaders is no longer healthy for Kenya’s political, social and economic future.

It cannot be possible that leaders always have
a common ground on issues just because they belong to the same party; not a common
ideology.

Party leaders are always right, however obvious their lies.

It is only in Kenya where leaders talk of unity
when their actions are clearly divisive, they
are full of anti-tribalism statements yet their
actions say otherwise, and their followers
cheer along.

At this point it is important to define a cult.

A cult is a religious, social or political group
with socially deviant and unique beliefs and
practices who unite around a strong authoritative figure.

Cults, like many other organisations, attempt to expand their influence for the purposes of power and money or sometimes just for prestige of being in total control.

To achieve these, dangerous cults employ a
potent mixture of influence techniques and
deception to attain psychological control over
members and new recruits.

This is sometimes referred to as brainwashing,
thought reform, or mind control.

For successful cult-building, there has to be a
perennial enemy to be blamed for all the evil things that happens to the cult or its members and there has to be a common but a generally vague goal.

Joe Navarro a former FBI agent who investigated several cults in the US published a list of telltale signs that a group leader is cultic.

»Overrates self: Has a grandiose idea of who he is and what he can achieve, is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, or brilliance and is frequently boastful of real or imaginary accomplishments.

A cult leader sees himself as “unstoppable”, perhaps he even says so.

He is rigid, unbending and insensitive. It is his way or no way.

»Dictatorial: Demands blind unquestioned obedience,requires excessive admiration from followers and outsiders, has an exaggerated sense of power (entitlement) that allows him to bend rules and break laws and must be treated specially at all times.

Does not seem to listen well to the needs of others, communication is usually one-way, in the form of dictates.

Is hypersensitive to how he is seen or perceived by others, behaves as though people are
objects to be used, manipulated or exploited for
personal gain.

When criticised he tends to lash out not just with anger but with rage.

Refers to anyone who criticises him, questions him or non-cult members as ‘enemies’, possessed by ‘enemies’ or sent by the ‘enemies’

He has ‘magical’ answers or solutions to problems and believes he possesses the
answers and solutions to all problems.

»Self-Centred: Is exploitative of others by asking for favours, financial or otherwise, putting others at economic risk.

He ignores the needs of others,including: biological, physical, emotional or financial.

Always wants to be the centre of attention and does things to distract others and to ensure that he or she is the only one being noticed by arriving late at functions, using exotic clothing, giving overdramatic speeches, or by making theatrical entrances.

Insists in always having the best of anything; house, car, jewelry, clothes, even when others are relegated to lesser facilities, amenities or clothing.

He believes that his leadership to the group is a privilege to the group members.

The word “I” dominates his conversations.

He is oblivious to how often he refers
to himself.

Doesn’t seem to feel guilty of anything he has done wrong nor does he apologise for his actions.

Rarely says thank you.

He is constantly looking out for those who are a threat or those who revere him.

Seems to be highly dependent of tribute and adoration and will often fish for compliments.

»Uses deception and lies: Conceals background – social, academic or family – which would disclose how plain or ordinary he is.

Doesn’t think there is anything wrong with self – in fact sees himself as perfect or ‘blessed’.

He uses enforcers or sycophants to ensure compliance from members or believers.

Sycophants are generally capable of saying things about him that he would not be able to say himself,or lies that he would easily disown if they become too obvious.

Sycophants are capable of telling blatant lies
without feeling guilty.

A cult leader disappears from the limelight whenever things are not in his favour,or if conditions allow, he takes away all cult members from the public and their families.

Leading American exit-counselor Steve Hassan wrote:
”Nobody sets out to join a cult. No one knowingly wants to give up their life, their needs or goals.
They come believing they’re improving themselves and improving the world and it is then they are led into a psychological trap. It could happen to anybody”

Steve put out 10 points to look out for to know if your group is a cult.

~Obsessed about the group or the leader, putting it above most other considerations.

~Member’s individual identity becomes increasingly fused with the group leader followed by the group.

~When the group leader is a good example in
everything, he is the best in everything.

~Emotional overreaction whenever the group or the group leader is criticised.

~Belief that the group is the only way and they have a mission.

~Increasing dependency upon the group or leader for problem solving, explanations, definitions and analysis, and corresponding decline in real and independent thought.

~Excessive hyperactivity and work for the group or leader at the expense of private or family interests.

~Drifting away from family and old friends

~Preparedness to blindly follow the group or leader and defend actions or statements without seeking independent verification.

~Demonisation of former members or members of alternative similar groups.

~Desire to be praised for doing the right thing and fear of public rebuke.

~Unhealthy wish to be seen with or aligned publicly with the leader(s) of the group.

If you notice that most of the above is true about you, your group and its leadership then you need to take back the control of your mind.
Steve Hassan says:
“Being in control of your own mind includes being in touch with your feelings, having the ability to think analytically, question, look at issues from multiple perspectives, having control of your behaviour to take periodic ‘timeouts’ in order to reflect and be able to have access to information that may be ‘negative’ to the group leadership.”

Do these characteristics ring a bell when the behaviour of ODM rank and file is considered in objective light?

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

Corporate blogging; Social Media Branding & Marketing

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By Bernard Wainaina
CEO,Profarms Consultants®

Whether or not you actively are using social media,it’s everywhere and it’s very in-your face.

A study by Marketing gurus found that although direct mail and real-life events are slightly more effective than Twitter, for example, a hybrid mix of marketing strategies is what gets companies the most return on
their investment.

Business-to-business social media marketing is just as important as business-to-consumer social media marketing.

It allows you to market your product or service to other companies, build a network of professionals in the industry and promote your company on a grander scale.

Luckily, how you go about a business-to-business social media marketing plan is almost the same as how you go about marketing to individual consumers.

Content Marketing Institute found that “B2B marketers are spending more, using more tactics, and distributing their content on more
social networks than they have in years past.”

The study also found that LinkedIn is the most popular social media network for B2B marketing.

How companies can use social media for
branding Know your audience.

First, figure you what types of companies you want to market to.

Choosing a health insurance plan, for example, is difficult for most individuals and companies.

Health insurance companies, therefore, may decide to market to small businesses.

When building your network of professional contacts via social media, you also need to research what types of social media the companies you want to market to use.

If they’re all on LinkedIn, creating a Twitter account won’t do you much good.

Get to know the other business.

Once you zone in on who you want to market to, don’t just jump in with your product and start overwhelming the other business.

Instead, start slow and build a good reputation with the company.

Get involved with Twitter conversations and share their content on your social media pages.
When the time is right, you can promote your product and let them know how your business can help them.

Have a plan in place and build your own online presence.

It’s important that your social media marketing plan is written and concrete.

Guidelines should be in place on how often your company will post, what type of
information will be shared and how you’ll handle customer reviews and complaints.

In order to get the most out of the social media strategy, everyone in the company needs to be on the same page.

FUN NEVER HURTS

Keep it fun.

While businesses are usually viewed rather seriously,you can still have a little fun with it on social media.

Host giveaways, stay current in the agribusiness trends, for example,and share that content with your readers, notify potential
customers of any discounts they may qualify for, post interesting facts and statistics, and
more.

Keep your followers and customers coming
back for more, and a great way to do that is by
keeping them entertained.

FOCUS ON BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS

Social media’s main focus is on connecting people all across the world.

If you simply post things but never engage in other posts or respond to questions about your own, people will stop paying attention.

When a customer or potential customer has a problem, complaint or question about your product, respond with efficiency, accuracy and in a timely manner.

Really listen to what others are saying and work on improving your company and products to fit their needs.

Don’t be afraid to ask satisfied customers for
recommendations.

Did you help a company with your new and
innovating product?

Do customers call in and rave about your outstanding customer service?

If so, ask these people to follow you on social media and share it with their friends.

The best way to grow your business is offer of referrals from satisfied customers.

As you can see, B2B marketing starts with developing and implementing your own social media strategy, gaining your own followers, building relationships with these followers and other businesses, and then reaching out to businesses that you want to market
to.

What are you waiting for?

It’s time to jump on the social media branding and marketing today!

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

Ebola will be taken more seriously when it takes a walk in the streets of New York,London,Paris

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By Bernard Wainaina
CEO,Profarms Consultants®

Where have all the people gone, long time passing?
Where have all the people gone, long time ago?
Where have all the people gone?
Gone to graveyards, everyone.
Oh, when will they ever learn?
Oh, when will they ever learn?
Pete Seeger

In its youth, Ebola had to play a slow game of chess.

It kept on being blocked by rapid responses by heroic health teams in remote jungle areas of central Africa.

Now that it has found its way at last into teeming slums and broken health systems, it can run like sprinter Usain Bolt.

It was always bound to get there.

The grossly high paid bureaucrats at the World Health Organisation (WHO) who have great legal power and resources entrusted in them, and who now wring their hands in despair
below the mists of Geneva, have known about Ebola for many years.

Ebola may seem new, but the slums of Monrovia and Freetown are not.

Neither is the acute shortage of health
workers in the Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

In fact, Ebola is not such a new virus.

Its discovery predates HIV.

It has been known about since being ‘discovered’ by Peter Piot in 1976.

But since then it has been portrayed as an exotic virus.

Sensationalist reporting misrepresented it as incurable and 99% fatal, thereby permitting a premature surrender into further medical investigation.

Yet a report in the British Sunday Times (12/10/14), cited a Cambridge University zoologist as saying that “it is quite possible to design a vaccine against this disease” but reported that applications to conduct further
research on Ebola were rebuffed because “nobody has been willing to spend the twenty million pounds or so needed to get vaccines through trial and production”.

Why?

For the world powers that be, the fact that it was largely confined to the jungles of central Africa kept it out of harm’s way.

The heroic and taken for granted efforts of the few medics who did venture to treat and contain it allowed a further level of complacency.

Now that complacency is shattered.

The US government is moving, the EU is moving, the WHO is moving.

But the growing alarm over Ebola seems less to do with sympathy with affected and dying people, the destruction of already ravaged
economies, but much more to do with Western countries fears of it making inroads into their own populations and economies.

This is why AIDS and Ebola have something else in common.

Ultimately their control and treatment boils down to issues of democracy, equality and good governance.

HIV, when it was first discovered in the early 1980s, also elicited the level of fear, panic and stigma now being witnessed in relation to Ebola.

The ingredient that changed that was the rise of activists from affected communities and their demand that human rights principles drive the response to HIV.

In two decades a globally connected activist movement forced the acceleration of scientific research and the development of new medicines; it demanded equality of access to these medicines, insisted that health systems were funded.

As a result it brought about the most rapid and far-reaching response in history to any disease.
In the light of this and other demonstrations of people’s power the importance of civil society is now globally acknowledged – or at least it gets a lot of lip service.

Interestingly, on 23 September 2014, US President Obama issued an unprecedented
‘ Presidential Memorandum on civil society’ recognising that:
Through civil society, citizens come together to hold their leaders accountable and address challenges that governments cannot tackle alone. Civil society organisations…often drive innovations and develop new ideas and approaches to solve social, economic, and
political problems that governments can apply on a larger scale.

And yet civil society is precisely what is missing from Liberia,Sierra Leone and Guinea.

Perhaps it is because these countries have just emerged from war or because they are dictatorships.

But it is the absence of a strong independent civil society that demands better health systems and campaigns for human rights that creates fertile ground for epidemics such as Ebola.

For example, Sierra Leone may be one of the poorest countries in the world, but it is not entirely devoid of resources that could
be used for health care, sanitation or housing.

According to the IMF, it experienced economic growth of 20% in 2013.

Yet half its population still lives on $1.25 per day.

Why again?

Because there is no accountability of government and no civil society to demand it.

In the last few weeks one of the most prominent voices on the Ebola virus has been that of Laurie Garrett (@Laurie_Garrett), a journalist who won a Pulitzer Prize in 1996 for her reporting on Ebola. In her 1994 book, The Coming Plague: Newly Emerging
Diseases in a World Out of Balance, Garrett warned that there were 21 million people on earth “living under conditions ideal for microbial emergence.”

Garrett described these conditions as being “denied governmental representation that might improve their lot; starving; without safe, permanent housing; lacking nearly all forms of basic health care or sanitation”.

Sound familiar?

She concluded her 600-page tome as follows:
While the human race battles itself, fighting over ever more crowded turf and scarcer resources, the advantage moves to the microbes’ court. They are our predators and they will be victorious if we, Homo sapiens, do not learn how to live in a rational global village that affords the microbes few opportunities.

It’s either that or we brace ourselves for the coming plague.

Was she heard?

Which brings me back to the lessons of HIV.

One of the foremost organisations that brought it under control is the Treatment Action Campaign.

People’s power organised through TAC helped saved two million lives.

People’s power is still needed to get millions more onto treatment and tackle the social
conditions that drive HIV, Ebola and microbes we haven’t even got names for.

In 2004 TAC was a nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize.

To do its work, it needs a budget of $40 million a year.

In global terms this is small, small change.

$40 million is less than the amount spent on the annual opening of Parliament; less than Christiano Ronaldo earns in a year; it is a percentage of a percentage of the value of daily transactions on the NSE.

It’s small change for big change.

Yet TAC has raised just one quarter of that for 2015.

There’s a demand for social justice, but no market for it.

We must make the market.

So think about it this way: if 5,000 good citizens in the world could be persuaded to donate $500 per month to TAC, that would raise $30 million per year.

It would be a demonstration of your empathy, solidarity and just plain humanity.

It would be an investment in human rights and
health.

Now ask yourself: Is that beyond all of us in a World under a threat of a single outbreak of Ebola in Africa?

What’s stopping the world from seeing Ebola as a threat to the world other than a disease of poor Africans?

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

Mobile telephony has destroyed interpersonal social fabric

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By Bernard Wainaina
CEO,Profarms Consultants®

When my friend Gilbert learnt that a long-time friend had returned to the country after many years abroad, he could not wait to touch base with him and catch up on events spanning almost a decade.

However, when he went to visit the man last weekend, he was disappointed.

“I can’t remember the number of times our conversation was interrupted by WhatsApps, Tweets, and Facebook messages.
It got to a point where I felt he was ignoring me, yet I had specifically made time to go and see him,” recalls the middle- aged banker based in Nairobi.

Did I hear you exclaim, “How rude!”

Just a minute.

How about you?

How many times have you looked at your phone today?

Perhaps more times than you can remember.

Statistics paint the picture of a device you cannot do without, and whose use has gone against the very mission it was intended for — social cohesion.

In fact, cell phones have become some of the major catalysts of social disintegration.

While we use these gadgets to communicate with those we cannot see, they have gradually
isolated us from those who are physically close to us.

They have made access to social media easy, drawn us to unseen companions, and rendered those near us irrelevant.

So important have these gadgets become that insurance firms are reaping heavily from Kenyans seeking to insure their phones.

Figures released by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in May indicate that by the end of this year, there
will be nearly three billion internet users.

Mobile-cellular subscriptions will reach almost seven billion, and in Africa, almost 20 per cent of the population will be online.

Nearer home, the Communications Authority of Kenya estimates that about 31.8 million subscribers are actively using mobile phones.

Meanwhile, a report titled Annual Internet Trends 2013, compiled by Mary Meeker, an American venture capitalist with extensive knowledge of the internet and new technologies, says that Americans check their phones at least 150 times a day.

And that, according to figures released in December 2012 by Flurry Analytics, comes to about 127 minutes.

The slightly more than two hours compares closely with the average time an American watches television.

KILL SOCIAL NETWORKING

While these statistics make for interesting reading, perhaps what should be of greatest concern is how cell phones have killed the very social networking they are meant to build in
the first place.

Mobile phones have become our constant companions.

Many people will tell you just how helpless they felt the day they forgot their phone at home.

So important have these gadgets become that they have, to a large extent, replaced the way we interact with those around us.

For instance, watch people queuing, say, for public transport.

As soon as they join the line, the first thing they are likely to do is whip out these gadgets from their pockets or handbags and start using them.

They then become so engrossed in the
devices that they might not even notice what the person ahead of them is wearing.

Before the advent of these addictive gadgets, people lived up to their billing as social beings.

In those days, you would politely greet a stranger and ask them the time, since not
everyone had a wrist watch.

And they would gladly respond with a smile to boot.

If you dare to do that today, you will look completely out of place.

You might even be mistaken for a con man or woman.

The expectation is that you should know the time because your phone has a clock, even if you do not have a wrist watch.

Similarly, travelling offered total strangers an opportunity to get acquainted.

If, say, two people on the same bus were
travelling on an unfamiliar route, they could easily strike up a conversation and discuss some of the sites on the way or how far the destination was.

Morris Ruto, who grew up in Kipsitet and whose home was close to the Kericho-Kisumu highway, recalls with nostalgia the days when he and his colleague played ‘Google Map’ to
travellers on the road and even earned some cash in the process,“I remember when I was young, we would stand by the road,especially in December just before the Christmas festivities,
and give directions to those from the city who were not familiar with the area. It gave us an opportunity to get close to their fascinating cars and practise our linguistic skills. Some of them would even tip us. But today, most car windows are wound up and they just zoom past. I wonder why,” he says.

Perhaps what Ruto—who, going by his age would be classed as “analogue”—does not know, is that today’s phones have applications that help travellers locate their positions and the road ahead and can even tell them how far they are from their destination.

IRRITATING DISTRACTION

Travelling has certainly changed.

Unlike the olden days, it is difficult to start a conversation with a stranger in a bus or matatu, since they will probably be concentrating on their cell phones and you will be an irritating distraction.

And if you are driving, so much the better.

Roll up the tinted windows and drive on.

Your electronic companion knows the way and you do not need anyone.

Mobile phones are making us increasingly self-centred, such that we see little need for conversation.

Even simple greetings have become rare.

In the good old days, visitors were welcome any time.

They did not have to inform you in advance that they would be coming.

Even antisocial relatives found it hard to turn away visitors.

“Today, if I want to go home, I have to call my mother in advance. It would be strange to just turn up without notice,”says Jeff Koyi, who lives in Nairobi, where the same principle
applies even when visiting someone in your immediate neighbourhood.

If they do not want to see you, no problem;
they will simply tell you they are not at home.

Mobile phones have also made access to news easy, compared to the days when two people would start a conversation simply because they were sharing a newspaper.

In those days, the person who bought the paper would gladly lend it to those who did not have one.

In contrast, today’s techno-savvy person will check out the headline, then go straight to the online version to read more.

In the village where I grew up, only a few people could afford newspapers, so the whole village relied on them on everything to do with current affairs.

Occasionally, however,one of these cheeky “current affairs experts” would come up
with fantastic, non-existent stories, that would see impressed villagers buy them drinks in local pubs.

The humble folks had no way of telling that the stories were grossly exaggerated at best, or completely made up.

Today, pub arguments are resolved via Google.

There is no room for the kind of folks I have just talked about to get free drinks.

Even bets that would involve trivia made after taking one too many and the wrong answers that got rewarded no longer take place, thanks to Google.

Those days, if you travelled to the village, you could enjoy chatting with old men, who would invariably ask you about the other village mates who were living in the city.

There was a lot to discuss with people whom you had not seen for a long time.

Such conversations have been reduced and
before you tell them anything about the city, you might be surprised that they already know and could even end up updating you on the latest events since you left the city.

In many cases, they will simply ignore you since you are no longer likely to have any exciting news for them.

Trips to the rural areas during the days when phone booths were rare and found only in big urban centres have been minimised by the advent of mobile phones.

Consequently, the social bond that was strengthened during these visits has
suffered.

These gadgets have applications that allow you to see the person you are talking to, so there is no longer any need to actually travel to see them.

RELATIONSHIP BREAKERS

Mobile phones have also become relationship breakers. Indeed, many marital disputes today originate from a text message, a WhatsApp message, a Facebook comment, or a
suspicious photograph.

The mobile phone has become a secret diary and a partner’s access to it or lack thereof could well be the factor that determines whether the marriage survives or ends in divorce.

This is because, thanks to these gadgets, cheating on a spouse or partner has never been easier.

Love triangles are cleverly managed using these gadgets.

Think of any troubled marriage story you have heard in the recent past and you are sure to
find that a cell phone was involved.

Carolyne Sossion, a marriage counsellor, says she frequently advises couples to keep off each other’s phones to minimise fights.

These gadgets have enabled people to post comments and updates that sometimes promote socially divisive factors,such as racism, tribalism, and even religious divisions.

You have probably been infuriated by the ethnic undertones of comments on social media depending on the prevailing political temperatures.

Fredrick Okoth is one such individual.

Fed up with the annoying comments, he has decided to simply avoid social media.

“How I miss those days when you would avoid these negative sentiments unless you physically met the bearers of such inflammatory language. I once logged in on a Sunday
morning before the Saba Saba rally and chose to remain in bed for the rest of the day after reading annoying posts with very tribal sentiments,” laments the accountant.

Propaganda and hatred expressed on Facebook and Twitter are easily accessible, thanks to the availability of mobile phones, and their presence attracts wild reactions that only
aggravate delicate social relations.

So, as you complete reading this article and before you get out your phone to check your social media sites, remember to smile to the person next you.

Learn to greet strangers and create a rapport.

Your phone will not take you to the hospital if you collapse right there, neither can it inform you of looming danger the way your fellow human being can.

Let social media unite those who are far and the social nature of man continue connecting those who are physically close.

Too much social media is simply antisocial.

However, we cannot blame the tool more than the user, can we? So, guess who is guilty here.

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

Mobile telephony has destroyed interpersonal social fabric.

Featured

Tags

, , , ,

By Bernard Wainaina
CEO,Profarms Consultants®

When my friend Gilbert learnt that a long-time friend had returned to the country after many years abroad, he could not wait to touch base with him and catch up on events spanning almost a decade.

However, when he went to visit the man last weekend, he was disappointed.

“I can’t remember the number of times our conversation was interrupted by WhatsApps, Tweets, and Facebook messages.
It got to a point where I felt he was ignoring me, yet I had specifically made time to go and see him,” recalls the middle- aged banker based in Nairobi.

Did I hear you exclaim, “How rude!”

Just a minute.

How about you?

How many times have you looked at your phone today?

Perhaps more times than you can remember.

Statistics paint the picture of a device you cannot do without, and whose use has gone against the very mission it was intended for — social cohesion.

In fact, cell phones have become some of the major catalysts of social disintegration.

While we use these gadgets to communicate with those we cannot see, they have gradually
isolated us from those who are physically close to us.

They have made access to social media easy, drawn us to unseen companions, and rendered those near us irrelevant.

So important have these gadgets become that insurance firms are reaping heavily from Kenyans seeking to insure their phones.

Figures released by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in May indicate that by the end of this year, there
will be nearly three billion internet users.

Mobile-cellular subscriptions will reach almost seven billion, and in Africa, almost 20 per cent of the population will be online.

Nearer home, the Communications Authority of Kenya estimates that about 31.8 million subscribers are actively using mobile phones.

Meanwhile, a report titled Annual Internet Trends 2013, compiled by Mary Meeker, an American venture capitalist with extensive knowledge of the internet and new technologies, says that Americans check their phones at least 150 times a day.

And that, according to figures released in December 2012 by Flurry Analytics, comes to about 127 minutes.

The slightly more than two hours compares closely with the average time an American watches television.

KILL SOCIAL NETWORKING

While these statistics make for interesting reading, perhaps what should be of greatest concern is how cell phones have killed the very social networking they are meant to build in
the first place.

Mobile phones have become our constant companions.

Many people will tell you just how helpless they felt the day they forgot their phone at home.

So important have these gadgets become that they have, to a large extent, replaced the way we interact with those around us.

For instance, watch people queuing, say, for public transport.

As soon as they join the line, the first thing they are likely to do is whip out these gadgets from their pockets or handbags and start using them.

They then become so engrossed in the
devices that they might not even notice what the person ahead of them is wearing.

Before the advent of these addictive gadgets, people lived up to their billing as social beings.

In those days, you would politely greet a stranger and ask them the time, since not
everyone had a wrist watch.

And they would gladly respond with a smile to boot.

If you dare to do that today, you will look completely out of place.

You might even be mistaken for a con man or woman.

The expectation is that you should know the time because your phone has a clock, even if you do not have a wrist watch.

Similarly, travelling offered total strangers an opportunity to get acquainted.

If, say, two people on the same bus were
travelling on an unfamiliar route, they could easily strike up a conversation and discuss some of the sites on the way or how far the destination was.

Morris Ruto, who grew up in Kipsitet and whose home was close to the Kericho-Kisumu highway, recalls with nostalgia the days when he and his colleague played ‘Google Map’ to
travellers on the road and even earned some cash in the process,“I remember when I was young, we would stand by the road,especially in December just before the Christmas festivities,
and give directions to those from the city who were not familiar with the area. It gave us an opportunity to get close to their fascinating cars and practise our linguistic skills. Some of them would even tip us. But today, most car windows are wound up and they just zoom past. I wonder why,” he says.

Perhaps what Ruto—who, going by his age would be classed as “analogue”—does not know, is that today’s phones have applications that help travellers locate their positions and the road ahead and can even tell them how far they are from their destination.

IRRITATING DISTRACTION

Travelling has certainly changed.

Unlike the olden days, it is difficult to start a conversation with a stranger in a bus or matatu, since they will probably be concentrating on their cell phones and you will be an irritating distraction.

And if you are driving, so much the better.

Roll up the tinted windows and drive on.

Your electronic companion knows the way and you do not need anyone.

Mobile phones are making us increasingly self-centred, such that we see little need for conversation.

Even simple greetings have become rare.

In the good old days, visitors were welcome any time.

They did not have to inform you in advance that they would be coming.

Even antisocial relatives found it hard to turn away visitors.

“Today, if I want to go home, I have to call my mother in advance. It would be strange to just turn up without notice,”says Jeff Koyi, who lives in Nairobi, where the same principle
applies even when visiting someone in your immediate neighbourhood.

If they do not want to see you, no problem;
they will simply tell you they are not at home.

Mobile phones have also made access to news easy, compared to the days when two people would start a conversation simply because they were sharing a newspaper.

In those days, the person who bought the paper would gladly lend it to those who did not have one.

In contrast, today’s techno-savvy person will check out the headline, then go straight to the online version to read more.

In the village where I grew up, only a few people could afford newspapers, so the whole village relied on them on everything to do with current affairs.

Occasionally, however,one of these cheeky “current affairs experts” would come up
with fantastic, non-existent stories, that would see impressed villagers buy them drinks in local pubs.

The humble folks had no way of telling that the stories were grossly exaggerated at best, or completely made up.

Today, pub arguments are resolved via Google.

There is no room for the kind of folks I have just talked about to get free drinks.

Even bets that would involve trivia made after taking one too many and the wrong answers that got rewarded no longer take place, thanks to Google.

Those days, if you travelled to the village, you could enjoy chatting with old men, who would invariably ask you about the other village mates who were living in the city.

There was a lot to discuss with people whom you had not seen for a long time.

Such conversations have been reduced and
before you tell them anything about the city, you might be surprised that they already know and could even end up updating you on the latest events since you left the city.

In many cases, they will simply ignore you since you are no longer likely to have any exciting news for them.

Trips to the rural areas during the days when phone booths were rare and found only in big urban centres have been minimised by the advent of mobile phones.

Consequently, the social bond that was strengthened during these visits has
suffered.

These gadgets have applications that allow you to see the person you are talking to, so there is no longer any need to actually travel to see them.

RELATIONSHIP BREAKERS

Mobile phones have also become relationship breakers. Indeed, many marital disputes today originate from a text message, a WhatsApp message, a Facebook comment, or a
suspicious photograph.

The mobile phone has become a secret diary and a partner’s access to it or lack thereof could well be the factor that determines whether the marriage survives or ends in divorce.

This is because, thanks to these gadgets, cheating on a spouse or partner has never been easier.

Love triangles are cleverly managed using these gadgets.

Think of any troubled marriage story you have heard in the recent past and you are sure to
find that a cell phone was involved.

Carolyne Sossion, a marriage counsellor, says she frequently advises couples to keep off each other’s phones to minimise fights.

These gadgets have enabled people to post comments and updates that sometimes promote socially divisive factors,such as racism, tribalism, and even religious divisions.

You have probably been infuriated by the ethnic undertones of comments on social media depending on the prevailing political temperatures.

Fredrick Okoth is one such individual.

Fed up with the annoying comments, he has decided to simply avoid social media.

“How I miss those days when you would avoid these negative sentiments unless you physically met the bearers of such inflammatory language. I once logged in on a Sunday
morning before the Saba Saba rally and chose to remain in bed for the rest of the day after reading annoying posts with very tribal sentiments,” laments the accountant.

Propaganda and hatred expressed on Facebook and Twitter are easily accessible, thanks to the availability of mobile phones, and their presence attracts wild reactions that only
aggravate delicate social relations.

So, as you complete reading this article and before you get out your phone to check your social media sites, remember to smile to the person next you.

Learn to greet strangers and create a rapport.

Your phone will not take you to the hospital if you collapse right there, neither can it inform you of looming danger the way your fellow human being can.

Let social media unite those who are far and the social nature of man continue connecting those who are physically close.

Too much social media is simply antisocial.

However, we cannot blame the tool more than the user, can we? So, guess who is guilty here.

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

ICC “Burden”;a fortunate misfortune for Uhuru Kenyatta

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By Bernard Wainaina
CEO,Profarms Consultants®

That Uhuru Kenyatta popularity ratings shot to 75% after he appeared at the ICC as the first sitting president,in spite of much ado about handing over power to the deputy president and appearing as a private citizen of Kenya is a matter that continues to perplex many political analysts outside Kenya.

During Kenyatta and Ruto’s joint election campaign in the run up to the 2013 elections, Kenyatta stated adamantly that it was their “intention to follow through [with the ICC cases] and ensure that we clear our names.”

But throughout the campaign, the Kenyatta
machinery gradually and systematically attempted to manipulate the narrative surrounding the case.

Whenever the ICC question was raised during the February presidential debates, for example, it was always discussed in terms of the practicalities of having a president and a deputy president running the country whilst simultaneously standing trial.

The public’s attention was thus consistently re-oriented into addressing peripheral issues rather than the main issue at hand – namely whether Kenyatta and Ruto are guilty.

Indeed, thanks to some canny framing of the issue, the ICC indictment proved to be what Bryan Kahumbura, a Horn of Africa Analyst at the International Crisis Group (ICG), has termed a “fortunate misfortune.”

Although the two now face the misfortune of actually having the deal with the ICC case, the indictments were fortunate in that they bound Kenyatta and Ruto together, bolstered their
electoral campaign, and enabled them to successfully play the victim card.

What would have spelled the end of most politicians’ careers, the UhuRuto campaign managed to turn into an electoral asset by
painting it as neo-colonialist breach of Kenyan
sovereignty.

However, since winning the election, what began as a passive-aggressive promise to comply with the ICC process has quickly morphed into outright dissent along with a more outwardly offensive strategy.

There have been allegations of witness intimidation by the defendants, for example, while Kenya’s parliament has tabled a bill calling for the country’s withdrawal from the Rome Statute , the document which recognises the authority of the ICC.

Furthermore last year October, an extraordinary African Union (AU) summit was convened specifically to discuss Africa’s relationship with the ICC.

Following the gathering, the AU issued a communiqué insisting that presidents should not be tried whilst in office and calling for Kenyatta’s trial to be deferred.

As commentator Charles Onyango-Obbo has argued, the ICC charges did not only bring Kenyatta and Ruto together, but also led Kenya to integrate more deeply into continental politics and “finally made Kenya an African country.”

Hearts and minds

Kenyatta’s change of strategy has primarily been made possible by one thing: success in the
propaganda war against the ICC.

Whereas Ruto, who was the first figure to stand trial, had to be much more compliant in dealing with his charges, Kenyatta has benefited from the slow but sure swing of public opinion in his favour and away from the ICC’s.

While at the start of his election campaign, Kenyatta trod carefully and consistently signalled his willingness to cooperate with the Court, by the time of the AU extraordinary session, he was able to switch tack as he said , “African sovereignty means nothing to the ICC and its patrons,” and that the ICC “stopped being the home of justice the day it became
the toy of declining imperial powers.”

The public perception battle the ICC is currently
facing is arguably the most important in its history, and it is losing.

An Ipsos Synovate poll released this
October showed that the percentage of Kenyans who support the ICC process has fallen from 55% in April 2012 to 39%, and that was before the AU summit and accompanying series of outspoken criticisms of the ICC from several African leaders.

It was also before the Westgate mall attack, which has further galvanised domestic and international support for the Kenyatta government – so much so that some have suggested the attack marked the effective end of the ICC case as the West would now need to ensure it maintained the support of Kenyatta’s government to help prevent further al-
Shabaab assaults.

The turnaround in popular perceptions around the Kenya case and the fact it is now seen by many as part of an anti-African conspiracy is perhaps even more impressive given its history.

Rather than being externally imposed on the continent, the case was referred to the ICC by a Panel of Eminent African Personalities mandated by the AU itself to seek a negotiated solution to the 2007/8 post-election violence.

Furthermore, as Adams Oloo, a Senior
Lecturer in the Department of Political Science at the University of Nairobi, told African News Digest, “The country was given the option of having a local tribunal. Our own parliamentarians refused three times and in fact, our own parliamentarians invited
the ICC.” These were the same parliamentarians that rallied around the slogan “let’s not be vague, let’s go to The Hague.”

A negative peace

In theory, the ICC case was meant to bring about an end to the culture of impunity that has persisted in Kenya and made violence commonplace in several of Kenya’s elections since the reintroduction of multi-party politics in 1992.

In fact, after every incidence of electoral violence, a commission of inquiry has been
set up.

Yet not one high-ranking official has stood
trial for crimes committed around election time until now.

As one analyst, who asked not to be named for
professional reasons, put it, Kenya is experiencing a form of ‘negative peace’.

There is little conflict on the surface, but the potential for violence is still there as underlying grievances have not been solved by either
constitutional reform or the reconciliation process, of which the ICC case is supposedly part and parcel.

Reigning in the culture of impunity that rears its head at every election is no mean feat.

But if a ‘positive peace’ is to be attained, the ICC case needs to run its course and in order to do so, the manner in which public opinion has been manipulated and the case has been impeded needs to be recognised and addressed – the ICC desperately needs to start winning some of the exchanges in the public perception battle that it is currently losing.

As of now,ICC seems to be the one on trial,rather than the trio of Uhuru Kenyatta,William Ruto and Joshua Sang.

In its much anticipated ruling after the Uhuru’s Status Conference early this month,ICC will be ruling more on its future perception as a forte for international justice,or as a puppet of western nations who may use it as tool to effect regime change in Africa,similar to the infamous CIA instigated regime changes of the cold-war era.

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

To win presidency,Raila must change his politics of patronage and euphoria,as well as fire his closest advisors

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By Bernard Wainaina
CEO,Profarms Consultants®

Perhaps the most enigmatic thing about him though, is that the Presidency has eluded him.

That is Raila Amolo Odinga.

Mr Odinga has lost the Presidential race three times, yet he has not given up.

Right now, there are many who say that the
Okoa Kenya campaign that he is spearheading is a dress rehearsal for his fourth stab at the Presidency in 2017.

Just what keeps him ticking?

And will he be fourth time lucky?

Yes,if he can shake the faulty foundation of his kind of politics and rebuild a new strategy.

We have heard about Albert Einstein who said that when what you are doing does not seem to work, you must change tact.

Einstein said that doing things the same way and expecting different results is an exercise in futility.

Mr Odinga’s style seems to be to build up euphoria around an issue, with himself as the centrepiece.

He then expects that he can convert the euphoric movement into a voting machine that will deliver victory.

Such euphoria almost worked well for him with the 2005 referendum and its spin-off of the 2007 elections.

What Mr Odinga needs is a total shakeup.

The people he has worked with and the advice that he has listened to have failed him.

He may just want to try something
very new and different.

For a start, he needs to commission some harshly honest but sympathetic critics to give him a thoroughly frank opinion of what is wrong.

Then he must swallow the bitter political and organisational pill that they prescribe.

Sources close to the leader of the opposition Cord coalition indicate that he has been the
recipient of poor counsel from two close family members and two former British journalists.

The same duo also worked with Jaramogi Oginga Odinga when he had a go at the Presidency in 1992.

Put together with Mr Odinga’s own three failed attempts, these advisers have failed four times.

Clearly something is wrong with their counsel.

LUO VOTERS UNHAPPY

Besides, he will need to drop political baggage in Luoland.

This includes both family baggage and crony baggage.

In the last three general elections, there were complaints about favouritism in party primaries.

Voters in Luo Nyanza were unhappy that Mr Odinga “imposed” candidates upon them.

They asked why he found it necessary when his own presidential votes were assured.

This disquiet led to voter apathy in Mr Odinga’s stronghold.

Many potential voters did not vote in protest.

Mr Odinga has himself admitted this mistake and vowed that it will not happen again.

And yet this fits very well in a recurrent pattern.
He made the same admission and pledge after the elections of 1997 and those of 2007.

He has to win back the trust of an electorate
that feels taken for granted.

VOTER APATHY

In a country in which political competition is ethnically profiled, Luo Nyanza suffers collective psychological damage and sometimes physical trauma as well each time Mr Odinga loses an election.

Yet at the same time there is serious voter apathy in this constituency.

Is the apathy a result of previous defeats or is the eventual defeat a factor of the apathy?

Mr Odinga needs to investigate this.

DEVELOPMENT AGENDA INSTEAD OF AGITATION

Some level of civic education in this constituency is also necessary, as is a serious development agenda.

In the absence of these two, the politics here hinge on patronage and handouts.

A society that bases its political choices on such criteria is condemned to perpetual under development.

There is hardly any development agenda to talk of in agriculture — the backbone of Kenya’s rural economy — or even in the fishing industry, which ought to be significant at
the lakeside.

Indeed, the Luo people today tap next to nothing from the fish in Lake Victoria, the fishing business having been invaded by
other people from outside the region who have even gone ahead to rear fish in their backyards.

The political leadership in Luo Nyanza must urgently address these concerns before it can meaningfully generate fresh interest in itself.

Mr Odinga must lead, in this respect.

RAILAPHOBIA

But his biggest asset is also his biggest liability.

His boldness easily makes him a threatening figure.

He must address this.

UhuruRuto used a liability-ICC cases-to bolster their victimhood politics while Raila came from a “clean man” front to lose the election;that’s food for thought for him.

He may also want to map out the political landscape better than he did last year, knowing where to inject more energy and resources and where to take it easy.

He tried to bleed rocks away from his strongholds in the last effort.

Too much time, energy and other resources were wasted in areas that were clearly infertile for him.

These and many other issues need to be reflected about ahead of the next poll, if Mr Odinga is going to be a Presidential
candidate.

A reformist, it seems,also needs to reform himself sometimes before setting out for wider national reforms.

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

IS Governor Rutto counting on being the defacto leader of Kalenjin nation after DP’s conviction at the ICC?

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“My friends from the South Rift allude to
the fact that some Kalenjin opinion shapers have prodded Ruto to obnoxiously raise his national profile just in case the Deputy President is felled by the ICC case”.

By Bernard Wainaina
CEO,Profarms Consultants®

When everybody else is saying that the UhuruRuto cases at ICC are headed for acquittal,Governor Rutto seems to be gearing up to take advantage of the fall-out of Deputy Presidents eventual conviction at The Hague.

Does he and the CORD Coalition know something that the rest of us don’t know about judicial and political machinations in these cases?

Last week President Uhuru executed a
masterful ‘coup’ on many fronts.

He boxed the International Criminal Court into a very uncomfortable corner.

He also pushed referenda calls to the backburner.

Cord leader Raila Odinga went into a self-
imposed three-week ‘exile’ as the country
awaits the ICC judges’ decision.

But while Raila was away, the foxy Bomet Governor Isaac Rutto cunningly attempted to steal the thunder from Uhuru’s triumphant return by announcing the eventual marriage of Pesa Mashinani and Cord’s Okoa Kenya.

Ironically, Rutto, the face of rebellion within the URP wing of the Jubilee coalition, has shown more enthusiasm for the imminent merger than the Cord brigade.

He has been ‘dancing with the CORD coalition Stars’ Bonny Khalwale, James Orengo and Otieno Kajwang at every stop.

Ford Kenya leader Moses Wetang’ula has
openly embraced the governor’s move.

Interestingly, Cord leader Raila Odinga and his co-principal Kalonzo Musyoka have been guarded in embracing the announcement.

Observers argue that the Jubilee leadership
strategically decided to isolate Rutto by whipping its pro-Pesa Mashinani governors to toe the coalition’s line while enticing their Cord counterparts within the council.

The strategy is said to have worked so effectively that Rutto had to seek refuge in Cord while he still had some straws to clutch on to.

This comes approximately one month after Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago goaded Rutto with a zinger that the “A” Council of Governors was against his Pesa Mashinani drive.

“B” Council of governors in this case seems to imply Rutto,painted as a lone ranger in the Jubilee Coalition.

It is therefore no coincidence that the number of pro- Pesa Mashinani governors accompanying Rutto to the open-air dance floors with Khalwale and Kajwang has been shrinking by the day.

Whether or not the Pesa Mashinani or Okoa Kenya initiatives are legitimate is beside the point.

Former Makadara MP Reuben Ndolo has been more forthcoming by stating publicly that Cord intends to “take over the government immediately after the referendum”.

Assuming the de facto leader of Men in Black is speaking for the coalition, then Rutto, with whom he has been sharing the platform, can no longer convincingly argue that he is pushing for more money at the grassroots,but to be a “part of the government after winning OKOA KENYA referendum.

Rutto blew his own cover with his recent pronouncement that he believes a “Raila presidency would have been better for
devolution”.

To understand why Rutto seems isolated within his coalition one must consider the positions of other pro-Pesa Mashinani Jubilee governors.

Governor Munya insists that he is only interested in getting more money to the counties and not the issues raised by Cord.

It was therefore not a surprise when Munya failed to show up at Rutto’s signature launch.

Did Munya and other governors realise that their Bomet counterpart had started gravitating towards Cord and decided not to follow him blindly?

Did Rutto betray other governors who believed that they had a solitary goal to fight for more resources for their counties by unilaterally dragging the Council of Governors into an unplanned marriage with CORD for his own personal political ends?

But exactly what does Rutto want?

First, he is a seasoned politician and most likely knows what he really wants.

My friends from the South Rift allude to
the fact that some Kalenjin opinion shapers have prodded Ruto to obnoxiously raise his national profile just in case the Deputy President is felled by the ICC case.

Others argue that Cord is pushing Rutto
as a gateway to the Kalenjin vote basket.

Can Raila trust Rutto after he lost the presidency in part due to a fallout with Deputy President William Ruto, who is still considered the most influential Kalenjin leader after Moi?

Why would Rutto peg his hope of ascending to power on wishful thinking that Ruto will
fall by the wayside?

National projection aside, Rutto’s latest move must also be understood from a purely local perspective.

The President and Deputy President have purposely stopped any direct reference to the governor.

They have left it to senators Kipchumba Murkomen and Charles Keter and Mandago to respond to him.

In retrospect this implies diminished clout or a
deliberate effort to consign the governor to a lower ‘league’.

The executive should not have responded to Rutto in the first place because there will always be inner party members and ambitious outer party members who are made harmless by allowing them to rise.

There is no better way to clip internal rebellion.

Whether Rutto is playing to the gallery of Kalenjin opinion makers or simply doing Raila’s bidding, the question is where does the Pesa Mashinani-Okoa Kenya marriage leave the governor?

Is this a properly reasoned strategy or a poisoned chalice for Governor Ruttto?

Only time will tell.

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

IS ICC,The Hague,finally caving in to political pressure?

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By Bernard Wainaina
CEO,Profarms Consultants®

“Politics is theatre. It doesn’t matter if you
win. You make a statement. You say, ‘I’m here,
pay attention to me’,” said the American
politician, Harvey Milk.

The unnecessary theatrics of handing over power and resuming office – “a temporary abdication,”showed just how well the Kenyatta administration understands this.

In fact, he and Deputy President William Ruto
have skillfully managed to turn their
indictments for crimes against humanity to
their political advantage, easily slipping into
the role of victim.

Every time one of them has been threatened
with prosecution for economic crimes or
political violence, they have mastered the art
of using their ethnic communities as a shield.

So effectively, they paint themselves, and
their communities, as victims and generate
political heat to prevent the cases ever being
judged on their merits.

Failing that, there is always the time-honoured practice of bribing, intimidating and even murdering witnesses(this is not new in these cases,that’s why ICC has a witness protection programme and many other judiciaries all over the world).

The tough realities of trying to prosecute some of the most powerful people on the planet have
demonstrated that the court does not operate in a political vacuum.

In the cases before the ICC, we have seen elements of all these strategies.

First was the sustained campaign to paint the court as anti-African and to transform the duo into the victims of “the toy of declining
imperial powers” as Uhuru described the court at the African Union.

This is the “our community is being targeted” argument.

That African nations form the largest single group of signatories to the Rome Statute, that the Prosecutor is African and that the many of cases, including, arguably, the Kenyan ones,
were referred to the ICC by African nations are facts that are not allowed to stand in the way of this performance of collective victimhood.

Then there was the attempt to get the cases either postponed or dropped altogether.

From the UN to the AU to the Assembly of State Parties, the government declared that the cases were no longer the “personal challenges” of presidential candidates, but national security issues.

The prosecutions threatened the fragile peace between the Kikuyu and Kalenjin communities who, though reconciled, were apparently raring to have another go at each other’s throat.

It was only the promise of impunity that kept
them apart, or so the story went.

Then last week, Uhuru Kenyatta finally made history.

On Monday, he became the first sitting President to hand over power to his deputy and two days later, paradoxically was the first sitting President to ever appear before the
International Criminal Court.

On his return, he was treated to a hero’s welcome with thousands thronging the streets, egged on by his administration.

When an extraordinary AU summit embraced the position that no African head of state
should be prosecuted while still in office, the Kenyans wasted no time declaring victory against imperialists.

The show must go on!

Alongside all these, strange things were happening with the witnesses.

Some died, others had their identities revealed, still more begun to withdraw, some turned out to be liars, yet others had sudden attacks of conscience and claimed to have been enticed to lie on the stand through promises of relocation to Europe.

Reports begun to emerge of cartels hunting down and threatening or bribing witnesses.

The prosecutor was complaining of non-
cooperation from the government, which was
accused of withholding evidence that became
increasingly crucial as witnesses dropped out.

Soon, Fatou Bensouda was admitting that she no longer had enough evidence to sustain a conviction.

But the show must go on, she argued, saying it would be a mistake to reward the government’s
intransigence.

Many Uhuru supporters took to claiming that in fact there was no evidence at all and that he had been framed.

The OTP, at the last status conference, summarised its evidence, including witnesses and phone records linking Uhuru to the
financing of Mungiki to carry out attacks.

So where do we stand today?

As a court of last resort, it was indeed the failure to set up a credible local tribunal to try the elite that forced the ICC to act.

But, for such a landmark case,the first attempt to hold a sitting head of state to account, the trials have revealed the weakness at the heart of the international justice system and just how
vulnerable it is to both political pressure and
governmental manipulation.

Ironically, it is to escape these very factors that many put their faith in the ICC in the first place, viewing it as a panacea for weak
local courts unable to hold powerful elites to
account.

The arguments made inside the court are just as likely to be aimed at political
constituencies as at the judges, and political theatrics are just as likely to affect the court’s ability to effectively try cases.

This raises difficult questions.

How to ensure cooperation from the very governments whose leaders it is trying to prosecute?

How to protect the court’s credibility and to avoid miring it in the muck of local and international politics?

These and other issues will continue to engage those working to make real the promise of accountability long after the circus has left town.

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

Corporate blogging;Navigating through Social Media Etiquette

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By Bernard Wainaina
CEO,Profarms Consultants®

Every new form of communication creates new rules of engagement.

Unfortunately, these rules are often unspoken.

In the early days, the rules might be hotly
disputed, too.

Social networking through sites like Facebook and Twitter is changing the way customers and
businesses interact.

And the way you conduct yourself through your social media accounts is a direct reflection on your business.

In this post, I have compiles a checklist of best practices and etiquette for corporate social media engagement;

RESTRAINT

Engage with people on social networks, talk
to them, listen twice as much as you speak, and
market half as much as you think you should.

It’s tempting to respond to everything with a pitch, but a modicum of restraint will yield more
opportunity and less disengagement.

Save the pitch for the right time, rather than every other message, which may mean you’ll have to get away from those canned responses and really, really chat it up.

GIVE CREDIT WHERE IT IS DUE

Whether sharing ideas, suggestions, or statistics, be sure to mention the originator if it wasn’t you.

RESPOND TO PEOPLE

I find it incredibly rude when I go out of my way to respond to people on G+ or Twitter . . . and “hear only the sound of crickets”.

If you were at a. party and someone struck up a conversation with you, would you walk away?

DON’T BE ALL BUSINESS ALL THE TIME

Mix in a bit of the personal (and some personality)… people like doing business with human beings.

“Humanizing the brand” shouldn’t be code for “it’s ok to be frivolous.

” Humanizing the brand” means cheering successes, acknowledging others, responding individually, and admitting when you’re
wrong.

It doesn’t mean embracing a general goofiness in the name of brand-building.

FIND NEW CUSTOMERS,BUT DON’T PESTER THEM WITH SALES PITCH

Always have a clear audience in mind.

What are they interested in?

What do they care about?

ALWAYS EDUCATE,NEVER PROMOTE

Think about them, not about you.

Don’t be boring.

KEEP IT SHORT

When commenting on other’s articles, keep it short and to the point.

Don’t engage in endless rounds of point proving –no-one else is interested.

By all means be provocative to stimulate new and healthy ideas, but not at the expense of others.

What do you want to reader to do or feel after
reading your article?

Don’t say anything you wouldn’t say face to face.

For LinkedIn – Send a short note of congratulations and good luck when “Status Update” tells you someone has a new job.

When creating content keep your headlines short.

I use the 65-character rule.

Any more than that and it can become difficult for people to comment on your shared links, especially on Twitter, where there is a 140-character limit.

This is beneficial for SEO(Search Engine Optimization) too, as Google only shows around 65–70 characters of your
page title.

KEEP PRODUCING GREAT QUALITY FREE CONTENT

Do write about what your target audience might find interesting.

Don’t just write about what you think is interesting.
Focus on strategy before getting down to tactics.

Don’t sweat the small stuff, get the big picture over.

Look like you are giving, not selling.

Ask questions and provide answers.

Think of posts as storytelling, make them want to ‘turn the page’.

Some companies bring their customer services to open social media channels.

This can be great to show that you transparently and effectively deal with customers.

But it can backfire if your customer services stumble.

FREQUENCY NEEDS TO BE RIGHT

If you tweet/post too often, people will unfollow or unlike.

Try to offer exclusive things of value.

If you can generate new and interesting information,people are likely to share this content, and you can gain a larger readership.

Try to cross post across your channels.

Tone needs to be consistent.

Tools like CoTweet can be useful to maintain a
frequent social presence maintained by a small team of people.

Some people simply retweet a lot of OTHER people’s content and links.

Retweets should make up no more than 25% of your Twitter stream.

USE FACEBOOK DIFFRENTLY FROM TWITTER, AND NOT JUST AS A TRAFFIC SOURCE

Many people will gladly and successfully experience your brand entirely within the walls of Facebook.

The key then is to give them a consistent, branded experience within Facebook,
including content and rich media optimised for the format.

When marketing using social media the best tip I have been given is to be consistent… guess what, it works!

Be wary of crossing that line from business over to personal especially on Facebook.

We come across a lot of established business blogs and one of the main improvements that can be made instantly is to stop the personal blog posts.

Feel free to blog and tweet as much as you like about your personal life, but do it on a personal account not on a Corporate blog.

The occasional personal story on a business blog will generally be of benefit, as it shows the readers that they are able to communicate with a person, but stray too far and too often into the personal domain and it’s likely to have only negative repercussions.

DON’T TALK ABOUT YOURSELF CONSTANTLY

Share information which has value to your business.

Be accessible and responsive to give your account a human face.

Help others for the sake of helping others
R-E-S-P-E-C-T others (competition or not).

Contribute to the conversation for the sake of the conversation

GET RESPONSE

Understand what benefit you are providing to your followers and give them what they want!

Social Media is an excellent vehicle for sharing content.

Understanding what content your audience is looking for will guide a successful social campaign.

Are your followers looking for company updates to provide new information in your line of business? Industry news? Promotions?

The goal is to connect with your audience in a way that benefits both parties.

This will grow your influence and help you better understand who your business is serving.

If utilizing Twitter… ask your target audience to
include #letstalk – this also assumes you include
your #letstalk when beginning a conversation – as example – this helps with inclusion, customers like to feel that they are apart of your circle and the conversation.
“They belong” – this also helps with tracking consumer sentiment.

DON’T JUST DO SOCIAL MEDIA, BE SOCIAL

Think globally but act locally and be truly interested in your community.

High quality content will show if your purpose is to serve others.

It’s important to acknowledge and say thank you when someone mentions you, RTs, comments or contributes to the conversation.

To get a feel for community on Twitter, I recommend taking part in a Twitter Chat.

It makes you realize that although the tools are digital, they enable old-fashioned conversation and relationship building.

Add your website to blog comments by all means –but don’t comment unless you have something to add to the conversation.

Route social media discussions you’ve monitored to the company experts; not to the marketing department.

Make engagement part of their job description.

HR teams: sweep forums for those looking for work, and also as a tool to find out more
about applicants.

DON’T. MUSCLE YOURSELF INTO A CONVERSATION IF YOU WOULDN’T DO THAT IN REAL LIFE

Self promo is a no-no.

Let your talk do the walk.

Remember that the very benefits of social networking are also its greatest potential threats…depending on your organisation and markets.

For example:

Transparency: It’s fantastic in terms of relationship/brand building but also dangerous because certain information is best kept confidential.

Listening: Wonderful to be able to tune into what people are saying about you, but then the thorny dilemma of deciding which conversations to join and act upon…or should you not pick and choose?

Thought leadership: Great to build a reputation with influential opinion and all that good stuff but in these austere times is ‘return on engagement’ sufficient to justify all the effort?

No, up yours! I wouldn’t say that to your face, but sometimes online the temptation is to be abrupt or rude.

Or to be the online equivalent of an annoying
child repeatedly shouting “What about what I want!
No-one listens to me”

I believe that for Business2Business marketing to have any relevance whatsoever our goal must be to be helpful to our target audience at all times.

If not we’re just wasting their time.

Same applies to posting blogs, re-tweeting, replying to tweets, whatever:

THINK OF YOUR AUDIENCE FIRST
.
What problems can you help them solve?

Go on and help them.

A great example of this happened to me the other day, I tweeted a message and a follower – someone I admire – took exception and tore a strip off me, but added nothing of any value except spite.

I replied, “Thanks, that was a great help.”

The next response was a series of suggestions about how my campaign could be improved.

I updated my blog, re-tweeted and this now very helpful person tweeted it on to their 10,000+ followers.

So last tip from me.

If someone does come at you, don’t take it lying down.

Think of it as an opportunity to turn them around.

Keep your accounts well defined, and keep the content adequate to your target.

And another good business tip for Social
Media is to leave no comment without response,
whether you’re talking about Facebook, LinkedIn, even Twitter (many celebrities make it a habit to answer most or all posts on their pages).

This helps engage users and build trust in your person.

And it’s also good manners.

It’s important to remember social media is really
about the conversation.

I’ve generally been struck by the level of politeness – sometimes too polite in various discussion groups.

Often more polite than in real world discussions.

As has been mentioned –listening is key, being open to other points of view,challenging them politely, learning from them – it increases the value of the discussion for everyone.

People who are dogmatic, or solely out for self-
promotion are generally not impactful or effective.

People who take themselves too seriously struggle.

The quality of the contribution is generally more recognized than the quantity or volume (meaning noise level).

The most effective promotion is actually
no promotion, but thoughtful participation in the discussion.

UNDERSTAND THE IMPORTANCE OF HUMAN CONNECTIO

Leverage the opportunities for damage control –turning an otherwise negative or mistaken moment into a fast, positive response.

Every moment is an opportunity for good customer service.

Large organisations can easily connect on a very personal,one-on-one level and show they really care about their customers.

Use customer service strategies to better engage
your followers.

Create content that is not solely on self-promotion but rather invites followers to interact with you.

For Twitter especially whilst it can be a challenge to work within the confines of 140 characters a business should never adopt teenage / text style abbreviations.

I’ve seen this happen and that company just comes across as unprofessional and poor at
communicating.

There are other ways to work with that limit of characters.

Social media represents a huge opportunity for
businesses to give a human voice to their brand.
And thus in turn very much the same manners apply for businesses as for individuals.

These are just a few guidelines on Corporate Blogging Social Media Etiquette.

Your Code of Conduct for your Corporate Social Media Policy must be more comprehensive to reign in the staff into a strategy that furthers the company goals other that personal gratification especially if they can post on behalf of your organisation.

Now go on and make a gainful presence in your corporate social media accounts!

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

What do you do with your customer’s feedback?

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By Bernard Wainaina
CEO,Profarms Consultants®

Juma,my childhood friend is fond of doing odd jobs in my compound,if only to help us catch up with our childhood memories and escapades.

He pops in now and then,when I’m home on weekends,and we slash grass in my lawn,burn trash and occasionally,we grill one of my indigenous chicken in my charcoal jiko(stove).

Roasted chicken is one of his favourites,and seeking the trouble we get into to get the fire going,he brought in a full gunny bag of waste paper to help us kindle the fire fast enough for his favourite dish!

I was curious of the contents of his ganny bag and I leafed through a few forms in the waste paper lot.

To my surprise,they were customer feedback forms from a reputable local bank,some dated as recently as a week before he brought them in.

I was ashamed of how this bank treats its customer feedback forms as well as market survey questionnaires.

Anyway,there is still a big heap of this forms in my garage that we use to start our charcoal stove,and every time juma pinches a heap to start the fire,I flinch at the disrespect that this bank has shown to its customer feedback!

IN MANY organisations, there are piles and piles of customer feedback.

I do not literally mean loads of feedback forms
piled at a corner; I mean feedback that staff receive during daily customer interactions.

The feedback could be in form of questions (why this or why that); it could be in form of suggestions (why not consider this; or have you thought about this); it could be shared as a
compliment (I like this or I love it); or it could even be a complaint (I do not like this, or I hate that).

Customer feedback is one of the measures of an
organisation’s success.

Feedback received in a single customer survey could result to major improvements that can
push the organisation forward for a number of years.

Unfortunately, though, most feedback received during surveys and feedback directly from staff is not taken seriously.

Many frontline staff, and even managers, keep such feedback to themselves, denying the organisation the opportunity to keep getting better.

A few days ago, I asked why the printer at the boarding gate was not functional.

It concerned me because, having checked-
in online and with an electronic boarding pass, I was asked to go back to the check-in counters downstairs to print a manual boarding pass because they did not have scanners.

I wondered if any other passenger with an electronic boarding pass had expressed the same concern and if anything had been done about such feedback.

Cockroach roaming

While on board a few minutes later, we pointed out that a cockroach was roaming in the cabin.

We were left with the feeling that it was not the first time the crew was being alerted about cockroaches in the cabin.

In yet another organisation, I asked a member of staff what they did with the feedback in
the complaints box.

She said the manager reads them every month and puts them away as most customers do not give their contacts.

In yet another organisation, a major customer satisfaction survey had been conducted; a report had been prepared but there was no evidence of the actions resulting from the
findings.

These are examples of opportunities lost.

Mixed vegetables

Organisations that take customer feedback seriously keep getting better.

I have no doubt that every forward looking
organisation would give examples of improvements they have made after receiving customer feedback.

I know of an organisation that extended its closing hours because of suggestions received from customers.

An Organic restaurant added mixed indigenous vegetables to its menu as an accompaniment to fries because of customer feedback.

A hotel changed the colour of its towels and the detergents it was using because of customer feedback.

What have you done differently because of customer feedback?

Customer feedback received directly by staff need to be acknowledged on the spot, and customers who participate in surveys need to be alerted that their feedback will be used to
improve their experience.

Customers should be made to feel that their feedback is important to the organisation’s success.

Feedback received from across all channels should be analysed and an action plan, with the opportunities identified, put together.

Do something about the customer feedback that
you have been receiving!

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

Corporate blogging;the ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ for social media engagement

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By Bernard Wainaina
CEO,Profarms Consultants®

I was attending an agribusiness stakeholders brainstorming workshop in Kigali,Rwanda,last week and seated next to a charismatic Lady,a regional executive of a large agribusiness multinational.

After exchanging some info on our respective
areas of building the ‘rising Africa’,she prompted; Do you use Social media for your business?

I said yes.

She looked uncomfortable.

“Don’t you think it’s risky,I mean,it can blur the line between you business entity and your private life and muddle up some issues?” She added.

“Not at all. I’ve dedicated all my social media accounts to furthering my business interests and I have no private presence in all of these accounts”. I offered.

Great. Tell me how to go about it,because I fear that as a woman, my private life may just spill over in my social media accounts,even when I intend to use them for my business”. She implored.

Hers was a tricky question.

If you have been on social media for social reasons for long as a private person,it becomes hard to re-fashion your accounts to deal with business issues when the pictures of your wedding and the first kid are all well documented in your accounts,including your family cat.

But should corporate executives then shy away from social media to maintain a facade of indisspassionate dignity?

I guess not.

Let’s hear another story at a different place,with another different executive who had decided to keep away from all social media:

“Do you use Twitter?” It was a simple question i
asked my seatmate,this time, the chairman of a large multinational retail firm, at a dinner for board directors about two years ago.

With barely concealed incredulity he replied that he wouldn’t dream of it.

Twitter was something for his grandchildren and there was nothing of interest to him there.

I couldn’t resist: a couple quick taps on my phone brought up a Twitter search of his company with a huge number of tweets.

He was startled.

He’d had no idea there was so much going on there.

A couple more taps and up came the results of a search on his name.

That made him turn a pale shade of green.

Somehow he’d figured that since he wasn’t using social media, that people using social media weren’t interested in him.

There are myriad reasons why board directors and senior executives in all sectors need to understand and embrace social media, even if they use it sparingly.

The different applications, be it Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Instagram are now centres of news, opinion, activism, customer engagement and much more.

Speaking as a director in my consultancy firm and an avid user of social media, social media has become an essential extension of my work.

I like Twitter for news and Facebook for touching base with friends.

LinkedIn helps me keep up with companies and
professional associates, and Instagram is a valuable visual way to share experiences.

I’m intrigued by Pintrest, as it has made real waves for brands.

I use Whatsapp to chat my regular friends,but strictly use email for all my business engagements.

The list goes on.

With time,the list of choices will become endless,but as food for thought,would you use Linkedin inmail to chat your boyfriend or girlfriend or even touch base with old friends?

The fact is,each of the social media platforms are designed to target specified group of people within your circle,though the lines may be blurred at times.

But you have a choice of pinning down dedicated social media platform to your business.

GET ON BOARD

Board directors and executives need to have a clear understanding of how social media affects our organisations.

In some sectors it has revolutionised the way companies interact with customers, employees, partners and the community at large.

Judging from the calls I’ve been getting from
headhunters, boards are coming to recognise the need for social media savvy board members.
They want to appoint people who have demonstrated dexterity with social media, and have genuine credibility and a following as part of their skill set.

I have colleagues who get the chills when they
consider the possible pitfalls of social media, but rather than using that as a reason to turn our backs on the medium, it should be an incentive to learn how to use it properly.

When board members and senior executives are
active and engaged, it sends a message about their commitment to communication.

A chief executive officer becomes more approachable, relatable and accessible, and board members become more than faceless people sitting around a table behind closed
doors.

Here are four do’s and four don’ts that I personally follow for engagement in my social media accounts:

»Dos:

¤Be on “send” and “receive”. For me social media is about engagement and learning. It is a means of learning what other people are thinking and talking about,feedback mostly, and for sharing things that I find interesting
and think would be interesting to others.

If you are always on “send” or “share” — only transmitting things you want to tell people — you will miss out on some of the real value of social media.

By being on “receive”— listening, and engaging with others — you will get a lot more out of it.

¤Be authentic. I’m always surprised when people ask if my tweets are really from me. If time is limited, it is better to share one thought you’ve written yourself once a day or once a week than to have someone else construct tweets for you more frequently.

People can tell if the tweets are outsourced, and they respond better authenticity.

¤Read it over before you hit send. I can’t count
the number of times I’ve sent tweets with things
spelled wrong ( even recently), or thought I was
sending a private message, but instead shared it
with the world. Also, as with emails, I try to avoid sending a tweet or making a comment when I’m annoyed.

¤Remember, once it is out there, it is there
forever, especially now that the Library of the world archives all tweets.

¤Learn the rules of the road. It is important to
understand the language and customs of each
platform. For example, on Twitter, don’t use other people’s tweets without properly crediting them.

On LinkedIn, it’s fine to comment and offer critiques, but what you write reflects on your professional reputation as well as that of the company you represent.
If you disagree, try to do it respectfully.

»Don’ts:

¤Think it is a private venue? NO! Social media is public.

Don’t write anything you would not be happy
to have published in a newspaper. (A tweet of mine was quoted recently.) Even if you have a private account, there is a risk that anything you post will be passed on or shared, be it opinions, photos, or conversations.

¤Dont Disclose confidential information. You’d be
surprised what enterprising journalists, investors or competitors can deduce from your photos or status updates. I don’t tweet or share on Facebook if I’m travelling on sensitive company business.

If I share pictures that give a view into what I’m doing, I make sure that they do not show confidential documents.

Also, proceed with caution with company
communications.

¤Dont Share things you haven’t actually read or know for sure. Take care not to retweet rumours or something that has not been properly reported, and read articles fully before you repost.

Don’t forget investors, partners, and employees are watching.

¤Dont Pre-schedule tweets and shares. It is tempting to schedule tweets and comments for a time when you think the most people will read them, but there is a real danger to that. I’d rather tweet in real time, than risk being in a meeting or on a plane when a disaster strikes and my tone-deaf tweet goes out about something that is completely irrelevant or
unimportant.

I almost always share things in real time, tweeting when I’m up and reading the news,
which in my case is often 05:00am

To be truly responsible board members and
executives, it is important that we understand how people communicate today.

Not every person on the board must be actively engaged in social media, but all board members should understand it.

And, what happened to the chairman I mentioned earlier?

His attitude towards social media shifted
over time.

He now has a Twitter account that he uses to
keep an eye on company mentions, and to follow news accounts for industry and sector updates.

He is registered on LinkedIn, and he has a Facebook account now, which, as it turns out, is a nice way to keep in touch with his grandchildren.

And my Charismatic Lady? She opted for Twitter and LinkedIn. She still thinks Facebook maybe used to stalk her by her former Exs!

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

Right-to- Food Movement®

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By Bernard Wainaina
CEO,Profarms Consultants®

The idea to start this movement is inspired by regular famines witnessed in Kenya and most of othe African Countries.

Together,we must look for ways to ensure that our citizens will not die of hunger through advocacy,lobbying and direct interventist actions that guarantee food on the table for all Africans with a pilot project starting in Kenya on JANUARY,2015.

We will be looking for donors to our programmes and volunteers from both Agriculture/Agribusiness sectors as well as legal aid on pro bono basis for advocacy.

University students within East African region undertaking agriculture degree courses and law are especially invited to join our movement on volunteer basis.

Kenya,like many other African Countries, is not prepared for another spike in global and regional food prices.

In 2008, Kenya suffered from the combination of post-election violence, rising prices for food and fuel internationally, and poor harvests nationally.

This sent food inflation as high as 27 per cent that year, hampering the ability of Kenyans across the country to afford a nutritious diet.

This, and a subsequent spike in 2011, sparked protests both large and small, the most visible and memorable being the Unga revolution.

Having researched the policy responses to the price spikes of 2008 and 2011, we have concluded that Kenya’s current food and agricultural policies will not effectively mitigate the impact of the inevitable reoccurrence of global food price spikes.

The measures that the government took then (such as the short-lived provision of subsidised unga(Maize Flour) to designated depots in low-income areas of Nairobi) were driven by momentary political anxiety and the rivalry that defined the Grand Coalition government, rather than commitment to institute a sustained response to hunger that can effectively mitigate the differential impact of food price shocks on millions of people on low incomes.

Kenya’s drought response and famine relief programmes have all but eliminated hunger-related deaths over the last two decades.

While this is laudable it leaves unaddressed the problem of chronic hunger or persistent undernourishment caused by high food prices.

Since the price rises of 2008, Kenyans eat
less, and eat cheaper but less nutritious foods.

This is one of the reasons that Kenya remains the African country with the fourth-highest rate of undernourishment: not starving, but suffering from an inadequate intake of nutrients,which can be deeply harmful for long-term cognitive development of children.

FREEDOM FROM HUNGER

The 2010 Constitution guarantees to every Kenyan the right “to be free from hunger, and to have adequate food of acceptable quality” (Article 43 (1)(c).

There is as yet no system of institutionalised accountability that protects this right for citizens.

The system we have in place at the moment can only guarantee us the right not to die from hunger.

Some efforts have been made to create social safety net programmes.

The examples include cash transfer programmes for the elderly, orphaned and vulnerable children, those living with
HIV/Aids, and through a Hunger Safety Nets Programme.

These have limited coverage, and heavy donor dependence raises questions on their sustainability.

The expansion of social safety net programmes should not be our main preoccupation though.

The fundamental obstacle to securing affordable food is two- fold.

First, skewed policies such as maize marketing
interventions and production subsidies that benefit only the producers of surplus: 50 per cent of Kenya’s maize production comes from only two per cent of farmers; and 70 per cent of Kenya’s small-scale maize farmers are net buyers, meaning that they end up buying more than they sell, so the producer prices offered as an incentive by the National Cereals and Produce Board are ultimately of no benefit to
them.

The second factor is government failure to hold to account its own officials as well as millers and grain traders engaging in corrupt and predatory practices that drive food prices up.

A system of accountability for hunger that delivers on the constitutional right to food is unlikely to be secured without a national Right-to-Food Movement® that cuts across urban and
rural parts of the country in a sustained effort to eradicate predatory and corrupt practices in food markets and food aid.

Website: https://m.facebook.com/right2foodmovement?v=feed&_rdr

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

Social Justice is enshrined in our constitution

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By Bernard Wainaina
CEO,Profarms Consultants®

Right-to-Food Movement® is envisioned to fight for social justice.

Hunger is one of the social injustices that bedevil our people in Africa.

Let me use Kenyan Constitution as an example;

Have you ever heard of the National Social
Assistance Authority of Kenya?

It is now just over four years since the promulgation of the Constitution.

It is a modern Constitution.

A blend of ideals, principles and prescriptions.

Will this Constitution turn out to be like the thrills of courtship, with short lived romance and a trail of broken promises?

Under the Constitution everyone in Kenya is entitled to enjoy the following services from the Government for free.

Quality health care services.

Accessible and adequate housing.

Toilets and bathroom facilities that offer reasonable sanitation.

No person in Kenya should suffer the pangs of hunger.

Adequate, clean and safe water.

Every child in Kenya is entitled to free and
compulsory basic education.

Since the child is any person under 18 years, primary and secondary education should be free and compulsory.

Children are also entitled, at the cost of
Government, to basic nutrition, shelter and health care.

Persons with disabilities are entitled to education facilities and institutions compatible with their disabilities.

Those who cannot support themselves
and their dependants have a right to receive social assistance.

Are the social justice rights provided for under the Constitution unachievable and therefore a mirage?

In January 2013 Parliament enacted the Social
Assistance Act.

Under this law financial and social assistance should be provided to poor orphans, vulnerable children, poor elderly persons, youth who are unemployed, disabled persons, widows and
widowers, and people who have been disabled by acute chronic illness.

It is this law that creates the National Social
Assistance Authority of Kenya.

This is the authority that has the power to pay for food, shelter, clothing,fuel, utilities, household supplies, personal requirements, health care services, transportation expenses, funeral and burial expenses for those who qualify.

It has the legal power to offer rehabilitation, counselling, adoption, and day care services and income assistance.

A majority of Kenyans live in abject poverty.

They have no access to basic education, adequate housing, sanitation, quality health care, clean and adequate water and basic nutrition.

Over the years the government has created many funds within and outside the law to meet some of these needs.

The latest creation are Ward Funds.

The others include CDF, Uwezo, Kazi Kwa Vijana, Women Fund, and funds for orphans and the elderly.

All these funds fall under social assistance programmes.

There is no single database of the individual
beneficiaries of funds disbursed under CDF, Wards, Uwezo, Kazi Kwa Vijana, women, or the elderly.

There are no statistics of the total disbursements
paid so far and their social and economic impact.

The National Social Assistance Authority now has the legal mandate to create such a database and an information management system of all social assistance programmes in Kenya.

It has the authority to co-ordinate and harmonise all social assistance programmes.

Every person and institution managing and disbursing government funds for such programmes is under a legal duty to
give statistics of disbursements, and names and
status of beneficiaries to the Authority.

One of the biggest cause of the conflict between
governors, senators, Members of Parliament and Members of County Assemblies is the government funds they have access to for social assistance programmes.

Over the years, such funds, though created for the benefit of Kenyans, have been turned
into political weapons and shields.

The establishment of a functional National Social Assistance Authority would put this to a stop, or check its most obvious abuses.

All funds set aside for social assistance programmes after February 2013 including CDF, Uwezo, Women, Orphans and for the Elderly, should have been managed under the oversight of the National Social Assistance Authority.

Have you heard of the authority?

Or any person appointed or working under it?

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“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

Corporate blogging and online security is one deadly mix

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“Many senior executives are known to be so busy that they delegate their passwords to staff in order to avoid stalling operations requiring their digital interventions or approvals.”

By Bernard Wainaina
CEO,Profarms Consultants®

Is your company or organisation doing corporate blogging?

If yes,your site is a sitting duck for online hackers.

Several reasons contribute to this online security weak links and I will try to highlight some of them,but the main culprit is a share password among the staff entrusted to post on the blog,website,or a social media handle on behalf of your outfit.

The human being, it is often said, is the weakest link in any security framework.

Put differently, if governments enacted the necessary cyber-security laws while the judiciary, prosecution and the police upgraded their ICT skills appropriately, Netizens(Online citizens of the world) would still be vulnerable online unless they
too did their bit.

Most netizens are street-savvy and stay out of danger by not walking along certain streets or not driving through certain roads after dark.

However, the same netizens do not take similar safety measures online and therefore present easy targets to an increasing number of cyber-criminals.

Take, for example, the matter of passwords.

There is a good number of users whose password is either their name or the name of their girlfriend, boyfriend or some close relative.

If your name is say, David Kamau, please be more creative and avoid a password like “davidkamau” because that is what the hackers begin with in their effort to guess your password.

Of course the reasons users prefer simple passwords is because they do not want to forget them, but unfortunately this makes life easy for the hackers.

PASSWORD SHARING

To meet the conflicting demands of a strong but memorable password, users should mix letters and numbers while sounding out some words.

“Eye_Se@_Se@” for the word “ICC” or “8-f0re-f0re” for the phrase “8-4-4” would form good password examples, in that they are not uniquely attributable to you, are fairly long and complex, and remain easy to remember.

Don’t adopt these specific examples, of course, but think along these lines when coming up with your complex but memorable passwords.

Many senior executives are known to be so busy that they delegate their passwords to staff in order to avoid stalling operations requiring their digital interventions or approvals.

This brings us to password sharing, another human weak link in the security framework.

Of what use is a complex password if you give it to your secretary or personal assistant, who may then share it with their friend or colleague?

ONE PASSWORD MANY ACCOUNTS

Another emerging problem is the blurring lines between the social and corporate lives of employees.

Many executives, politicians and public figures today have active social media accounts on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn amongst other networks.

Rather than trying to remember different passwords for the many accounts, these folks tend to share one password across these accounts which exponentially increases their exposure to attacks.

Hackers may compromise one social media password,and use that to gain entry into the rest of the accounts that may include corporate emails and databases.

The moral of the story is that one should keep their social media passwords very different from corporate and other passwords.

HARVESTING PASSWORDS

Similarly, but on a more personal level, if you have an online banking account, please ensure that your banking password is different from your Twitter or Facebook password, otherwise you are a big victim waiting to happen.

Another area that is popular for harvesting passwords is that favorite pub or coffee shop offering free Wi-fi or Internet hotspots.

Many of the facilities offering free Internet do not have professionally installed hotspots.

This means that hackers can easily gain control of the hotspot and plant a “listener” that proceeds to monitor communications and harvest important passwords from innocent customers.

Does it mean we should not enjoy free internet services at restaurants, pubs, coffee shops or airports?

Not exactly.

HOT SPOTS

Just like you know when it is safe to walk across that lonely street, or when to visit that ATM machine, you should also be able to judge which free hotspots are likely to be poorly managed and avoid them.

However, the general rule irrespective of the facility is that sensitive tasks such as online banking should never be executed over random, free wireless hotspots.

User devices such as laptops, tablets and mobile phones present the highest source of risk within a security framework.

This is particularly true because mobile
devices today are internet-enabled, meaning that users tend to be continuously logged on, even when not using them.

If you lost your mobile phone or tablet today, chances are that the thief would have automatic access to your email and possibly your social network accounts.

They can essentially pretend to be you, the classic case of identity theft.

FAKE DISTRESS MESSAGES

Having acquired your identity, they can proceed to change your password and lock you out of your services, and then with your account, start sending fake SOS messages, claiming that you are stranded in a some
remote banana republic, and urgently need dollars from your friends and relatives to get you out of a mess.

What, then, should online users do?

There is never going to be a situation that is 100 per cent secure– unless you decide to switch off your online services and retreat to life in a cave like our forefathers.

The preferred option,then, is to stay online, but ensure you enhance your online security awareness, and remain street-savvy on the information superhighway.

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

If Uhuru Kenyatta trial falls apart, the ICC may be doomed

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By Luke Moffett

Uhuru Kenyatta, incumbent president of Kenya, has finally appeared before the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague.

He is charged with murder,forcible transfer, rape, persecution, and other inhumane acts constituting crimes against humanity
– all of which he denies.

The charges relate to ethnic violence surrounding the presidential elections in 2007-2008, during which some 1,200 people were killed, thousands injured, more than 900 women raped and hundreds of thousands of people were displaced.

But to date, no effective investigation or criminal prosecution has been conducted in Kenya, making the ICC the last resort for victims seeking justice –and the ICC has a major procedural hurdle to clear before the case against Kenyatta can truly get underway.

Hand it over

The first hearing on October 9 focused on Kenya’s compliance with requests from the prosecution, which has been unable to proceed with its case due to insufficient evidence.

The prosecution contends that the Kenyan government has wilfully withheld financial and phone records that would prove President Kenyatta’s direct involvement in the post-
election violence.

Irish lawyer Fergal Gaynor, who represents the
victims in the Kenyatta case, robustly questioned the Kenyan government’s commitment to the ICC and its attitude to disclosing evidence.

He also suggested that Kenyatta, as head of the Kenyan government, has been actively involved in the destruction of evidence and witness interference.

Citing possible delays or discontinuation of the case, Gaynor asked: “Is it really fair to force [victims] to pay the price for obstruction of justice by Mr. Kenyatta’s government?”

The defence and Kenya’s attorney-general have strongly refuted such suggestions, claiming they have assisted with all the prosecution’s requests.

Pushing diplomacy

The court, which draws much of its legitimacy from its claim to do justice for victims, is now stuck in a very difficult position.

The judges will now have to consider whether to discontinue the case against Kenyatta because of the insufficient evidence, or
instead hold the Kenyan government responsible for not complying with the prosecution’s requests and submit the matter to the Assembly of States Parties.

The assembly is the political forum of the ICC, where state parties to the court discuss issues of co-operation.

If the issue of Kenya’s compliance goes to
the assembly, the process will be transformed from a judicial one, in which victims can directly participate,into a diplomatic one, in which they cannot.

It is doubtful how much diplomatic pressure states are willing to put on Kenya, given the depth of vitriol over the ICC’s perceived targeting of African states– and, in particular, it remains to be seen whether Irish and British diplomats, who so strongly advocated for the creation of the ICC in 1998, will put the same effort into making sure all parties to the
court meet its fundamental requirements of
accountability and compliance.

Whether Kenyatta is found innocent or guilty is not the point; the point is that the case against him must be heard to conclusion.

At stake is the whole premise that the ICC represents an end to impunity for the crimes of states, as well as the court’s promise to deliver justice to victims.

If the Kenyatta case fails, we could soon see a wave of powerful heads of state willing to openly manipulate the international justice system to deny justice to their victims.

Put bluntly, if that situation comes to pass, it could mean the end of the international criminal justice project.

Luke Moffett is a British Law Lecturer in international criminal justice at Queen’s University Belfast

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

How Uhuru,presidential advisers,PR Team and his legal Defence team milked political capital out of his ICC case summons

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By Bernard Wainaina
CEO,Profarms Consultants®

President Uhuru Kenyatta’s decision to appoint his deputy William Ruto as acting President when he travelled to The Hague confounded even his closest confidantes as he pulled
off a historic measure before attending the International Criminal Court summons.

The decision was more startling because many of the people normally close to the Head of State were not sure whether he would make the trip to the Hague in the first place.

Sources familiar with the goings on at State House ahead of the President’s departure on Tuesday last week told the Sunday Nation that the President had kept the decision to himself and a very small number of trusted advisers, mainly family members.

The sources said that when the ICC judges declined his request to attend through video link, President Kenyatta asked Attorney-General Githu Muigai to look at legal
provisions on how best he would honour the summons without lowering the stature of the Presidency.

The first decision was that the statement from the President preceding his travel would be fashioned as an address to Parliament “to preserve the dignity of the Kenyan people and
sovereignty of the country”.

The President is also understood to have been briefed that the general public mood indicated that he should travel to The Hague rather than defy the summons and live as a fugitive.

“President Kenyatta has never placed private interest, personal welfare or selfish benefit ahead of his duty to serve the people of Kenya,” said a statement from his media team
late on Friday evening, giving away little about the eventual decision.

CAUGHT BY SURPRISE

The President’s letter to Senate and the National Assembly on Friday afternoon asking them to summon MPs for a special sitting on Monday caught Senate Speaker Ekwee Ethuro and his National Assembly counterpart Justin Muturi by surprise.

That letter would set in motion what emerged as a cleverly crafted plan to create a frenzy over whether he would heed the summons by the International Criminal Court or not.

The Speakers immediately embarked on having text messages sent to MPs as they drafted the notice in the Kenya Gazette to give legal effect to the request by the Head of State.

They did not know what the President was going to tell MPs.

“My only imagination is that it may be something about ICC,” Mr Muturi said when contacted.

Some of the MPs received the text messages from the Speakers while at the Dutch embassy, which had been forced to open on Friday to accommodate the large number of applicants who wanted to accompany the President to the
Netherlands in case he decided to go.

Majority Leader Aden Duale, who speaks for the Executive in Parliament, was entirely in the dark as he had travelled to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, for the 1435 Islamic Hajj pilgrimage.

He also had no idea whether President Kenyatta would travel to The Hague and kept asking those with whom he was in touch whether a decision had been announced.

HEIGHTENED ANTICIPATION

The President’s speech was written at the weekend, with the Head of State offering the basic structure that was built on by his media team.

At the centre of the plan was the President’s Chief of Staff, Joseph Kinyua.

On Saturday evening, the media team published: “President Kenyatta believes in and practices patriotism, selfless service and the public good. Selfless service is consistent with the feature of President Kenyatta’s character as a person and of his entire career. President Kenyatta can be relied upon to take decisions in the nation’s best interest at all times.”

The message did not categorically state whether the President would attend the court sitting yet, only heightening anticipation about what he would tell Parliament and the nation in his address on Monday.

Sources say that it was on Monday that President Kenyatta finally briefed the National Defence Council of his intentions to cede power to Mr Ruto while abroad.

MET WITH DISBELIEF

Office of the President officials familiar with the briefing say the announcement was met with some with disbelief among some of those present.

Part of the plan by the President’s spin doctors and the legal team from the State Law Office to attach the President’s aide-de-camp to Mr Ruto was dropped after further consultations with defence chiefs.

The official says that some members of the council tried to offer alternative views but the President was firm that he had made his decision and their job was to work out ways of
executing that decision.

It was at this meeting that the decision on what trappings of power would be accorded to Mr Ruto was made.

At the end of the day, acting President Ruto, it was decided, would work from Harambee House, and presidential escort assigned to him as Mr Kenyatta slid into life as a “private
citizen”.

It was also telling that on Monday, his 2,258-word speech was sent to the press two hours after the special sitting.

It is normally released to the newsrooms just before he finishes reading or immediately after.

The first statement on the direction things would go did not come until at the 45th paragraph of his 49 paragraph speech:
“It is for this reason that I choose not to put the sovereignty of more than forty million Kenyans on trial, since their democratic will should never be subject to another jurisdiction.”

But that was still not a definite statement and could have been taken any other way.

He laid his mission bare in the 46th
paragraph:
“Therefore, let it not be said that I am attending the Status Conference as the President of the Republic of Kenya. Nothing in my position or my deeds as President
warrants my being in court.”

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

I give it to Uhuru’s top notch PR Team for making ICC the top news and smothering “CORD’s Noise”

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By OTIENO OTIENO

The events surrounding President Uhuru Kenyatta’s travel to The Hague last week were not only outstanding for the accompanying bravado, but they also revealed a lot about the
President, Kenyans and Kenya.

UHURU’S PR TEAM IS TOP-NOTCH

The last time I alluded to the genius of some foreign public relations consultants handling Uhuru Kenyatta’s affairs in this column, I was harangued by Jubilee attack dogs on social
media.

Blogger Bogonko Bosire, he of the Jackal News fame,dismissed the article as a work of fiction, confirming my fears that many of my friends who live off dirty jobs for politicians
are often too naïve to know who is pulling the strings.

If still in doubt you only need to see how the President’s PR people ran rings around the local media on the eve of his latest travel to The Hague, making what human rights activist
Njonjo Mue calls a ‘non-event’ headline news and the hot topic for public debate.

By purporting to hand over power to Deputy President William Ruto (who automatically assumes some presidential duties in an acting capacity under the Constitution anyway),
Mr Kenyatta had with the stroke of a pen led the media away from the more substantive story of his humiliating record as the first sitting head of state to appear before the International
Criminal Court (ICC) judges.

KENYANS ARE DESPERATE FOR A HERO

Of course the President’s PR team will want to take credit for the excellent choreography of The Hague drama.

But they were helped in no small measure by Kenyans’ depraved craving for a hero — any hero.

In 2003, jubilant crowds poured onto the streets of Nairobi to welcome General Mathenge, the Mau Mau freedom fighter
said to have been exiled by the British colonial government.

It turned out that the man they had given a heroic reception was Lemma Ayanu, an Ethiopian peasant.

In 2014, similarly jubilant crowds turned out to receive Uhuru Kenya, returning from the ICC where he is facing crimes against humanity charges.

KENYA IS A COUNTRY AT WAR WITH ITSELF

For all its evoking grave emotions, the post-election violence of 2007 and 2008 for which the President and his deputy are in the dock also produced winners and losers on the political scene.

The two gentlemen are beneficiaries of political scavenging, having used their personal troubles at the ICC as a stepping stone to power at the expense of their opponents whom they
continue to depict as stooges of the West.

But the ethnic character of the violence means that no group can celebrate victory over ICC without being seen to be jumping on the coffins of victims belonging to the other group.

Predictably, Mr Kenyatta’s triumphant return caused excitement in his support base in central Kenya and Rift Valley while in western Kenya, the ancestral home of many of the victims in the case, folks were either sad or indifferent.

Otieno Otieno is Chief Sub-Editor, Business Daily

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

Governor Ruttto abandons “Pesa Mashinani” and joins OKOA KENYA initiative

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By JUSTUS WANGA

Cord’s Okoa Kenya and Pesa Mashinani by the Council of Governors are close to sealing a deal on a merger that will see them root for one referendum to change the constitution, the
Sunday Nation can reveal.

The two camps’ advisers have informally agreed that because they have cross-cutting issues that they want to present to the public, it would make better sense if they joined forces.

The reasoning, we learnt, is that the two feel there is no need to subject Kenyans to two referendums when the same objective can be met in one exercise.

Additionally, they share adversaries in President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy
William Ruto.

A Cord insider revealed that once the agreement is reached,the two initiatives will collapse into one, meaning that governors will not need to traverse the country to collect
signatures.

“The arrangement will see to the sharing of resources towards the referendum,” the source said.

Last Saturday, Council chair Isaac Ruto gave the clearest hint in Kisumu during the launch of Pesa Mashinani that because the issues both of them were pushing for are the same, it
would not be inconceivable for the two to work together.

“The issues we are looking forward to solving are the same;the situation of poverty is equally the same across the country,” said Mr Ruto.

The two camps have both said they want at least 45 per cent of national revenue sent to counties.

Okoa Kenya Committee of Experts chairman Paul Mwangi declined to comment on whether they were working on a common approach but admitted they are open to talks with “any like-minded individuals”.

“There are points of convergence with the Council of Governors that would make us meet to discuss.
“But, again, you will realise that we have been meeting all stake holders like we recently met the County Assemblies forum as well as the Judiciary,” he said.

DIMINISHING FORTUNES

Some will see this as a move aimed at reinventing the wheel because of the diminishing fortunes of the referendum push.

The pulling out of TNA governors and later those of URP has exposed Governor Ruto to frequent attacks from the Jubilee lieutenants who have consistently accused him of negating
“collective responsibility” by going against the grain.

Cord has also been hit by a general reduction in enthusiasm for the referendum as some MPs, like Gideon Mung’aro, have openly said they do not support the call.

The development will certainly generate sharp reactions from across the political divide.

One of the immediate implications is that it will completely isolate Jubilee governors who may still be supporting Pesa Mashinani secretly.

The move will also mark the end of the policy of neutrality the Council of Governors has been professing.

Prof Fredrick Wanyama, the Director of the School of Development and Strategic Studies at Maseno University, reckons it would be a big risk for Mr Ruto because the move
could boomerang on his political career.

“You must first acknowledge that success in politics is sometimes a product of gambling. In venturing into this arrangement, Mr Ruto knows this too well. The Rift Valley region, where Deputy President William Ruto and himself come from, is in a coalition with Central Kenya; he has no chance if this holds to the subsequent elections.

“But in case of a fallout between TNA and URP in future, like I’m seeing, and because those opposed to William, like Zakayo Cheruiyot, seem to agree with him (Isaac), he could consolidate himself and come out of this stronger. It is such support he can then use for future political bargains,” he said.

To others, Mr Ruto will be committing political suicide by “getting in bed” with the political enemies of the DP, seen as the Rift Valley supremo that no one wants to rub the wrong
way.

The mass withdrawal of support for Pesa Mashinani by URP governors attests to this.

And, as this happens, the government is also racing against time to audit the most recent financial accounts to plug the gap on the money governors are asking for as it is upon such reports that the allocation of revenue to the counties is pegged.

Once this happens, the government shall have pulled the rug from under the governors’ feet because their main issue is 45 per cent allocation to counties.

The Public Accounts Committee, under the leadership of Budalang’i MP Ababu Namwamba, is spearheading this audit.

National Assembly Minority Leader Francis Nyenze says the protracted nature of the referendum calendar makes its supporters prone to fatigue.

“August next year is a bit far and you definitely have the challenge of maintaining the momentum; but that said, we remain committed; we have not lost steam and stamina for the referendum,” he said, adding that they will be rolling out a retinue of rallies next week to drum up support for the plebiscite.

In the constitution, the promoters of a popular initiative are to deliver a draft Bill and supporting signatures to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission to verify
that the initiative is supported by at least one million registered voters.

If the IEBC is satisfied with it, it will then submit the draft Bill to each county assembly for consideration within three months.

If a county assembly approves the draft Bill within three months, the speaker then delivers a copy of the draft Bill jointly to the Speakers of the two Houses of Parliament, with a certificate that the county assembly has approved it.

“It is a meticulous and time-consuming process,” Mr Mwangi said, adding that the Bill will be ready next month.

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

Once more, the ICC has thrown a lifeline to Jubilee and weakened potential support to the opposition’s referendum push.

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By PETER KAGWANJA

The International Criminal Court’s status conference is now behind us.

But, in the next three weeks, President Uhuru Kenyatta faces one of the most crucial moments of his life.

Certainly, the judicious decision to sign away his presidential powers for 48 hours to his Deputy, William Ruto, in a tactical move to allow him to attend the court and safeguard’s
Kenya’s sovereignty, has fortified his tenure and legacy, revitalised his coalition and weakened the opposition.

The move denied the prosecution any excuse to issue a warrant of arrest.

This would have practically turned Kenyatta
into a fugitive and Kenya a pariah state.

The future of Jubilee power looks certain.

This is irrespective of which way the judges decide to go — to either terminate the case, enter a “not guilty” verdict, adjourn trial indefinitely, temporarily withdraw charges, refer Kenya to the Assembly of States or a special mix.

A “guilty” verdict is not an option Judges Kuniko Ozaki (Japan), Geoffrey Henderson (Trinidad and Tobago) and Robert Femr (the Czech Republic) are considering in their
decision on the fate of the Kenyatta case.

But the future of the international court is not as certain. Scanning the horizons, all indications are that the court has run out of aces, with its best move as returning a not guilty verdict or terminating the trial.

The court is doomed if the judges gamble on an alternative pathway!

The Kenyatta case is the most politically explosive ever to have reached trial at the ICC.

As such, it is testing the court’s claims to universality,impartiality, and professionalism in a public and palpable way.

In the 21st century, the ICC has become the pivot of Africa-West political and diplomatic relations, eclipsing European colonialism and post-colonial dictatorships which fed the
embers of nationalism in the 20th century.

CASE HAD COLLAPSED

Long before Kenyatta was elected Kenya’s President in 2013,the case against him had manifestly collapsed.

And in early 2013, the chief prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda,publicly admitted that she had no evidence to prosecute Kenyatta — and even dropped charges against his co-accused, Francis Muthaura.

However, upon Kenyatta’s election, the prosecution shrewdly embarked on a frenetic search for “fresh evidence” as a subterfuge to mount a new case against Kenyatta, cooked up
and grafted on the already disintegrating one.

In its substance, the “new” case has two interlinked planks:
That the Kenya Government is guilty of not cooperating with the ICC in further investigations against Mr Kenyatta.

As Head of State, Kenyatta carries the burden of the government’s non-cooperation and, as the accused, he is guilty of alleged “obstruction of justice”.

The “new case” is a legal facade hoisted on the court’s wilful confusion between the Kenyan State and the accused.

Philosophically, this confusion taps into the famous declaration by the French monarch, Louis XIV, that: l’état c’est moi (I am the State/the State is me).

This was long before the French revolution gave birth to democracy and the principle of separation of powers.

The recent order on Kenyatta to appear in person was designed as a smoking-gun proof that, as the Head of State, he was solely responsible for Kenya’s non-cooperation,
obstruction and subversion of justice.

The consequences of non-appearance would have been dire.

It would have armed the prosecution with the excuse it needed to issue an arrest warrant against Kenyatta, and to willy-nilly refer Kenya to the Assembly of States for non-compliance.

At home, this would have set off a campaign to impeach him,perhaps resulting in a classic court-engineered coup d’état in the high noon.

ON THIN ICE

After Kenyatta’s appearance, the ICC is skiing on thin ice, and down the cliff.

Legally, its impartiality and universality have come under sharp scrutiny, with growing fears that the court is kowtowing to the interests of certain powerful states keen on putting
Kenyatta’s case permanently on cold storage.

Related to this, there is a creeping feeling in Africa that parochial ethnic and racial sensibility is quickly becoming the greatest threat to the future of ICC.

Ideologically, the case appears to be driven by two Britons who have raised the stakes by mounting a strong media and cyber campaign against the termination of Kenyatta’s case.

Foremost is the British attorney and lead prosecutor in Kenyatta’s case, Benjamin Gumpert, who is pushing for adjournment of the case indefinitely “until Kenya fully
cooperates with investigations”.

The other is Fergal Gaynor, an Irish barrister who lays claim to “representing 20,000 victims in the Kenyatta case,” whose “hang-them-high” approach to justice disregards the
principle that the accused also deserve justice.

‘ICC MAY BE DOOMED’

Outside the court, British legal activists and scholars have hit the highroad, drumming support for the prosecution’s case that the judges should not set Kenyatta free.

One Luke Moffett, a law lecturer in International Criminal Justice at Queen’s University, Belfast, is sensationally arguing that “If Uhuru Kenyatta’s trial falls apart, the ICC
may be doomed.”

This partisanship is widening the Africa-West fault-line over the ICC.

Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni has described the ICC as “a biased instrument of post-colonial hegemony” and called on Africa to “urgently reconsider its engagement with
ICC on account of its humiliating treatment of the continent”.

Positions in Kenya are also hardening. “We are tired of the West’s judicial colonialism spearheaded by the ICC.

The real target is our sovereignty.

The recent attempt to parade and humiliate our President is part of this game”, said the former
Security Minister and the Government’s Chief Whip, Katoo Ole Metito, upon return from The Hague.

Diplomatically, Kenyatta’s assertive African-centred diplomacy is beginning to sway the opinions of the prime movers of global power, particularly in Washington.

Kenyatta has astutely exploited his 48 finest hours with ICC to tap into the veins of Kenyan nationalism to outwit the opposition.

Once more, the ICC has thrown a lifeline to Jubilee and weakened potential support to the opposition’s referendum push.

Prof Peter Kagwanja is the Chief Executive of the Africa Policy Institute and former Government Adviser.

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

In alluding to Omar Bashir’s ICC Case,OTP and Victims lawyer intention of making Kenyatta a fugitive clearly came out

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By Bernard Wainaina
CEO,Profarms Consultants®

In my opinion,Uhuru Kenyatta’s case will be escalated just before the next Presidential Elections in Kenya,with endless summons to Hague in orde to distract him from clinching a second term.

This will effectively pull him out of his now famous personal campaigns that endeared him to the electorate.

Another observation relates to the OTP suggestion that the adjournment could be adjusted to coincide with the next
General Election.

This proposal is reminiscent of the clamour by certain players, including foreign states and a section of Kenyan civil society, to use the ICC case to influence the direction of the last elections.

A request for adjournment pegged to the elections or even an indefinite adjournment are consistent with a political objective to the case.

Indeed, a warrant of arrest for non-attendance would have been a hurdle-free and painless route to obtaining the result.

The requirement of personal attendance by the President at the recent ICC status conference has left most observers more puzzled than was the case at the time of the unusual decision
to summon him.

The session ended in an anti-climax, with the presiding judge simply thanking the participants and announcing the end of
the proceedings.

No decision and no indication as to the way forward.

Nothing arose in the course of the proceedings suggesting that the President’s appearance — indeed, even by video-link — was necessary.

Perhaps embarrassed by the fact that he had actually responded to the “summons”, the court allocated him 10 minutes at the end of the proceedings in the event he wanted
to speak and with a reminder that he was under no obligation to say anything.

Mr Kenyatta, and rightly so in my view, politely declined the offer.

There was no indication of what the court expected him to address in a session dealing with a simple issue of adjournment, which his lawyers have been addressing in greater detail and in his absence for close to a year now.

Again, logically, if personal attendance was related to arguments on non co-operation by the State, the President would have been required on the first day when those issues
were canvassed.

By excluding him from that first session, the court was implicitly clarifying the distinction between the State and the accused — one that the OTP and victims’ counsel have consistently tried to blur.

The agenda for the second day was simply one of deciding whether the matter should be adjourned any further, making it difficult to comprehend why Mr Kenyatta’s attendance was
so important.

A TRAP

That is why there is significant merit in the belief that the attendance order was potentially a trap in anticipation of non- compliance.

The proceedings at the court for the last one year have turned out to be a circus.

The current prosecutor inherited a poorly
investigated, half-baked case from her predecessor — a skunk she has been struggling to get rid of .

Despite repeated reminders from the court that the rules require her to withdraw a case that does not attain the threshold of a viable prosecution, she clearly does not want to
take blame and forever bear the stain of having taken the decision to withdraw such an important case.

She is looking for a fall guy.

The Government of Kenya appears to be an ideal target for the skunk, but Attorney-General Githu Muigai will hear none of that and has put up a valiant fight.

She now turns back to the court, targeting the skunk at it —by placing the judges in the uncomfortable scenario of either terminating the case or having to make the decision to
possibly postpone it sine die ( indefinitely) — a scenario that would contradict the court’s own decision early in the year granting an adjournment for a strictly limited period of six
months as it managed co-operation between the OTP and the government.

SHIFT BLAME

In these circumstances, it was clearly convenient for the court to shift the blame to Mr Kenyatta in the event he failed to attend and warrants or other adverse orders were issued.

Such a result would have pleased the ICC immensely.

Two little-noticed observations by the OTP and the victim’s lawyer speak volumes as to the anticipated non-attendance of Mr Kenyatta.

The victim’s lawyer, apparently privy to some facts unknown to the public, alluded to the Bashir warrants situation, well out
of context.

The brief allusion provided a hint as to what was anticipated.

Indeed, this aspect of his submissions coupled with a rant in relation to interference with witnesses, bribery, etc just minutes after he and the OTP had answered in the negative the Chamber’s question as to whether there is any evidence that the accused had personally obstructed or interfered with investigations, demonstrate that there was a pre-prepared
political script in anticipation of non attendance.

The ICC may never disclose the real political objective of the summons.

We can only speculate.

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

History has some lessons to learn from Uhuru’s behaviour during #ICCStatusConference

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By Bernard Wainaina
CEO,Profarms Consultants®

That Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta travelled to the
Hague, Netherlands to attend the ICC Status
Conference is now water under the bridge.

Prior to his departure he called a special joint
session of Parliament and the Senate, which
was vigorously opposed and even boycotted
by opposition stalwarts notwithstanding the
fact that they were ignorant of its agenda.

Unknown to most of them, Uhuru was about
to pull a rabbit out of a hat and confound
even his most ardent opponents.

Firstly, he declared he was going to attend the
ICC Status Conference notwithstanding the
fact that he strongly believed in his own
innocence.

Then, by a stroke of the pen he invoked Section 147 (3) of our Constitution and handed power to the Deputy President William Ruto for the period of his absence from Kenya.

The last time such an action was taken by an African President was when President Nelson
Mandela handed over the instruments of State Power to opposition and Inkatha leader Mangostethu Buthelezi.

The truth is that the Kenyatta family has held and lost power through the death of Jomo Kenyatta.

They, therefore, have a working precedent as their point of reference.

They have experienced both sides of the power continuum and it does not excite them.

They manage it well.

Kenyans still recall Jaramogi Oginga Odinga pleading aloud to be allowed to hold the instruments for power for just one day!

Could Raila be hankering for the same in guise of OKOA KENYA?

If so, then the methods he has employed in the
recent past only serve to take him further away from the Presidency.

Uhuru took another action that will forever remain indelibly printed in our minds.

He handed over the Presidential vehicle and Presidential escort to Ruto minus the Presidential Standard then departed in his
personal vehicle.

Ruto followed him out with both Presidential vehicle and outriders as escort.

What was the import of his action many may ask?

Firstly, it takes a very courageous person to hand over power.

Secondly, only a person of sincere integrity offers not to burden his country and citizens with a personal problem then takes leave of absence to attend to the same.

It was an act of genius as it assuaged both the African Union and the opposition who were screaming from the rooftops that he was involving the nation in his own ‘problems’.

The AU will be pleased to know that he did not
breach their resolution not to allow sitting Presidents to appear before the ICC as he surrendered power two days prior to attending the Status Conference.

Uhuru also in a single action ‘took the wind from Prosecutor Fatou Bensoudas sails’ by appearing before the ICC as a private citizen as the game plan was to snare a President.

The ICC’s claim to fame was its ability to summon a sitting President for the first time in history.

Uhuru in his wisdom and humility denied them that for eternity.

History has been denied the chance of casting Kenya and its Presidency in a negative light.

The prosecution appeared confused and fumbled during the Status Conference.

Amazingly, a lawyer for the prosecution stood before the court and submitted he had insufficient evidence to prosecute, no evidence to blame the accused for obstruction of justice, no judicial or legal precedent to support the request for an indefinite adjournment
and he had no clue as to when the case would
resume.

One would be forgiven to think that the
world was watching a ‘rookie’ lawyer making his first court appearance.

The ‘sword of Damocles’ that has hung over Uhuru’s neck for some years now may soon be removed, then he can concentrate single-mindedly on governing this beautiful country.

After the Status Conference, the judges were left to deliberate on five issues.

(a) Outright termination of the case against the
President,

(b) Enter a not guilty verdict/ acquittal

(c) Adjourn the trial indefinitely

(d) Temporarily withdraw charges and

(e) Refer Kenya to the Assembly of State Parties.

Legal analysts, however, believe the most likely
outcome to be either options (a) or (b).

It is no secret that the Cord coalition’s most earnest hope and dream was that both President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto run afoul of the ICC.

Indeed, their arrest and subsequent incarceration would have been a political godsend to CORD Coalition.

To this end, they upped their game by employing propaganda, ethnic mobilisation, innuendo and clever political games to put maximum pressure on the Jubilee administration.

There are some clear lessons for the Cord leadership to learn from Uhuru’s recent action.

One that power for its own sake is useless.

Cord’s ravings and ranting have been about power.

As early as this week, Cord leaders were loudly
wailing that they required security, vehicles, fuel ad infinata.

Then Uhuru surrendered the trappings of power in the blink of an eye.

He proceeded to fuel his personal car and paid for his air ticket to fly commercial on Kenya Airways – the Pride of Kenya.

Does that make him a lesser person?

Hardly.

It turns out that it endears him to both friend and foe.

Meanwhile, Wiliam Ruto remained loyal and faithful and is now sitting at the apex of power.
As things stand he will inherit that jewel in the fullness of time.

In the meantime,Uhuru’s approach to ICC’s ‘Personal Challenge’ only seems to be working towards solidfying his presidency,just as he turned it to winning tool during his presidential election campaigns.

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

Kigali by Bus. An accident. A snoring buffalo

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By Bernard Wainaina
CEO,Profarms Consultants®

I have a phobia of sitting next to the driver in any vehicle, be it public or private.

I came to realise that these drivers have a way of securing their side in case of an accident.

They will ‘give out’ the passenger side to whatever they are crashing into,be it another vehicle or a building.

I don’t know about you but those are the results that my ‘research’ yielded!

Because of that, I always try my best to sit on the driver’s side just in case of an accident.

Okay, I know you will tell me that if it’s my last day on earth, nothing can prevent it.

Fine, I agree, but let my last day be on the driver’s side in my car.

If that side is hit, then I know it was actually my last day, ‘sio ati dere alinipeana’(the driver sacrificed me on co-driver’s seat).

So there was this one time I boarded a bus from
Nairobi to Kigali,Rwanda, the land of
milk, honey and beautiful tall women.

The land where all men are handsome from their faces all the way to their back pockets where their wallets are securely hidden.

The land where the ancestors of the women’s hero of the Tusker Project Fame TV show, came from, he just doesn’t know it yet,but Kenyan ladies are still going weak-kneed on his memory.

Where was I again before I was interrupted by the thought of being carried back home to Kenya in a Limo?

Yes, I was travelling home using one of the buses from Machakos airport to the Busia border point,then onwards to Kampala-Kigali in a different bus.

The late Hon Michuki introduced the new transport laws and all the buses had been fitted with seat belts.

Those were the days when all the public transport vehicles would travel both day and night with no limitations.

Because of my phobia, I secured a seat somewhere in the middle on the driver’s side
and belted up.

It was going to be a long night on the
road.

We left Nairobi at around midnight and I dozed off somewhere after Limuru and slipped into
dreamland.

One hour into my peaceful sleep, there was some vigorous movement followed by loud
screams.

Then everything went quiet.

I woke up from my sleep confused.

I could not even figure out what had happened.

All I know is that I was hanging upside down from my seat.

The seat belt had held me to my seat.

Still confused, I looked around only to see people jumping out of the bus through the shattered windows.

It was all dark and quiet.

I heard a man shouting “Wenye wanaweza kujitoa tokeni.”(Those who can get out of bus by themselves,please do so,quick!)

That’s when it hit me that we’d had an accident and the bus was actually upside down.

No wonder I was hanging from my seat like a chunk of meat at the butcher’s shop.

I sat there and waited for a Good Samaritan to come and help me out but none was forthcoming.

Those men who were helping people out were
concentrating on those who had been thrown off their seats.

Those of us who were hanging were left
to ‘unhang’ ourselves.

I struggled to undo my seat belt and when I finally succeeded, I fell down with a loud thud onto someone else who shoved me away like a hot cassava shouting, “Angalia pahali unaenda.”(Watch where you are stepping).

Surely, this person shoving me away must have been as confused as I was, how was I supposed to know he was down there in that darkness?

In that confusion, I crawled out of the bus and went and sat next to the rest of the passengers who were already out.

Because I did not want to be shoved again, I went and sat next to a passenger who looked composed, he wasn’t moving an inch.

He was just lying there relaxed; at least that is what I thought.

Five minutes later, this ‘passenger’ started breathing very heavily as if snoring, I got scared and shook ‘him’ to wake up.

My girlfriend once told me that it was
dangerous to fall asleep after an accident because one could easily slip into a coma.

As I shook ‘him’, I felt a rough surface that was warm, then it lifted its head up,coming to its senses after being knocked out.

Wololo! It was a buffalo that the bus had hit. I ran back to the bus.

Better safe than sorry.

Luckily, no life was lost during the accident.

I don’t know, maybe the buffalo
died later of internal bleeding or whatnot.

I am made to understand that schools break off for the December holidays starting the end of this month and we will be travelling home earlier than expected.

Drivers, keep your eyes on the road,giving birth to women like the beautiful Rwandan Girls I saw in Kigali is not easy!

Keep them safe. Drive safely. And if you must hit anything on the road,make sure it is not a buffalo!

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

#PresidentialSecurity~“How could the late George Saitoti (former Internal Security minister) and his assistant Orwa Ojode travel in the same chopper?”

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By Bernard Wainaina
CEO,Profarms Consultants®

On his journey from the airport to Harambee House,the President saw two of his childhood friends among the milling crowds that thronged the route to welcome him from #ICCStatusConference.

He gestured at them to get closer so that he could shake their hands.

The security detail did not see his gesture.

As they approached the Presidential motorcade,#PresidentialSecurity manhandled the two men who in their training were trying to breach the security cordon around the President.

The president banged the roof of his motorcar in frustration as the security detail barred the two from his handshake.

But that is the way it should be,my dear President!

Your security means a lot to the Kenyan Nation,as opposed to fraternising with your childhood friends!

Following the re-emergence of political intolerance in the country,the two leaders must take precaution to avert forms of risks
that accompany the tendency.

The wave of ‘dirty’ politics peaked recently when a man attacked and caned former Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Kwale Governor Salim Mvurya at a CORD rally at Kinango market in Kwale.

President Kenyatta himself was not spared in the wave of ‘dirty’ politics when rowdy youth chanting pro-ODM slogans interrupted his event in Migori County last month.

“Owing to what transpired in Migori, the President must now change tact and realise that he carries the security of around 40 million Kenyans,” Okello,a security expert
added.

Kisumu East MP Shakeel Shabbir said although the show of unity between the two leaders was crucial,“it can be exhibited in other ways that are not likely to jeopardise the security of the country”.
“God forbid, something unexpected happens and we lose both of them, the country will be left in a very awkward situation,” he said.

Kiminini MP Chris Wamalwa (Ford-K) said the
security team should be given special VIP training to safeguard the country’s top leadership.

“Our enemies, the Al-Shabbab, are not asleep and they want to hit their highest targets. They are likely to take advantage of the security lapses to harm the country,” he warned.

Mbijiwe,a security expert and analyst on security matters points at simple mistakes that are made by top Government officials relating to security.

“How could the late George Saitoti (former Internal Security minister) and his assistant Orwa Ojode travel in the same chopper,” posed Mbijiwe.

President Uhuru Kenyatta has made a name
for being one of the most social Head of State in the world.

From generous handshakes, dancing with kids,
having lunch at a simple hotel and mingling freely with ordinary Kenyans, Mr Kenyatta’s style of doing things is not typical with most world leaders, something that has made him a darling of many youth.

But the Thursday’s event in which President
Kenyatta, accompanied by his deputy William Ruto drove in the same car to address thousands of enthusiastic supporters who had turned up to welcome him upon his return from the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague, has ignited debate on whether the duo are courting security risks.

Security and defence consultant Captain (Rtd) Simiyu Werunga told The African News Digest on Saturday he was shocked by the casual manner in which the President and his deputy’s security handlers played their role when Uhuru arrived from The Hague.

“I still can’t believe that the President and his deputy rode in the same vehicle,” said Mr Werunga.

Werunga expressed fear that the President and his deputy were not getting sufficient and credible advise on their personal security.

He appreciates the fact that there was anxiety and excitement over Uhuru’s return from The Hague based court, but warns of extra care when it comes to the security of the Head of State.

Similar sentiments were shared by Mwenda
Mbijiwe, a security analyst. Mr Mbijiwe said the
President’s security should have been guided by the fact that currently, there have been continuous terror attempts, the serious latest one being reported on Nakumatt Junction Mall.

“There have been attempts that should send signal to security intelligence that we can’t leave things to chance,” said Mbijiwe adding:
“The Nakumatt Junction Mall incident where some paraphernalia was recently found should be a wake-up call that someone is doing surveillance on us with no good intention.”

Mbijiwe is now taking issue with VIPs especially in the political class, saying they have been ignoring even the basics regarding their security.

“They have completely ignored the basic personal security ethics,” he said.

He points an accusing finger at the President’s security handlers, saying it was not enough to have bodyguards running beside the President’s vehicle, as they did on Thursday.

Alluding to the assassination of former US President JF Kennedy in 1963, political analyst and Nyando politician Jared Okello said it was unsafe for the two leaders to travel in the same vehicle.

Kennedy was fatally shot while travelling with his wife and Texas Governor John Connally in a Presidential motorcade.

“Although it sends a good political message to their supporters that they blend well, the duo’s presence in one vehicle poses a greater security risk to the country,” he argued.

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

President Kenyatta’s case at ICC,The Hague,now has only five ways to go

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By Bernard Wainaina
CEO,Profarms Consultants®

Summary of the five options;

»Terminate case against President

»Give a ‘not guilty’ verdict

»Adjourn trial indefinitely

»Temporarily withdraw charges

»Refer Kenya to Assembly of States

Judges have retreated to make a critical decision that will determine the fate of
President Uhuru Kenyatta’s case at the International Criminal Court (ICC).

After arguments by defence and prosecution teams Wednesday in The Hague-based court, it was clear the judges would weigh five options, including the vital request by Uhuru’s lawyers to terminate the case against him and the prosecution’s plea for an indefinite adjournment that would have him remain
an accused person.

Wednesday, President Kenyatta maintained a
studious silence inside the ICC courtroom as the status conference called to discuss his case
narrowed down to five options on the way forward following a stalemate over submission of Uhuru’s financial and telephone records that the prosecution are banking on, having conceded available evidence was not enough to sustain a trial.

Uhuru, who prior to his departure for The Hague had transferred power to his deputy William Ruto so he could attend Wednesday’s session as a private citizen and avoid being the first sitting president to be hauled into the dock, waived his right to address the court in Wednesday’s proceedings.

He did not utter a word even when provoked by
Presiding Judge Kuniko Ozaki to say whether he understood he had a right to address the court or have his lawyers do so on his behalf.

Uhuru gestured towards his lawyer Steven Kay who speedily rose to his feet and told the court that Uhuru would not address the court.

Not even direct jibes at him by victims’ lawyer Fergal Gaynor and prosecutor Benjamin Gumpert could nudge him in the four-hour session beamed live across the world.

As the status conference wound up to rapturous applause by hundreds of Kenyan leaders who had accompanied Uhuru, options available to the judges, as submitted to by the parties, were five:

Termination of the case rendering an acquittal
judgment in favour of Uhuru; suspension of the trial indefinitely or conditionally; order on prosecution to withdraw the charges temporarily; finding of non- compliance on the part of Kenya and deferral to ICC Assembly of State parties.

Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, Gaynor and
Uhuru’s lead lawyer Kay made passionate pleas to judges Kuniko Ozaki, Geoffrey Henderson and Robert Fremr to buy their respective arguments.

Ms Bensouda and Gumpert, concluded their
submissions by asking judges to either grant the indefinite suspension sought or demand a definite withdrawal of the case.

“There can be no middle-way. The scales of justice now have to come down one way or the other,” Bensouda submitted as she called on Gumpert to summarise the evidence available thus far.

Gumpert told the judges the missing evidence
allegedly withheld by the Kenya Government would go a long way in either affirming the prosecution case or destroying it.

He broke down the summary of evidence obtained from nine prosecution witnesses which “invoke” the necessity of the missing evidence.

He picked on the telephone records to demonstrate his point.

He claimed the available telephone records of Uhuru at the relevant time show he
communicated with the now discredited “Witness 12”, a Mungiki member, at least six times over the violence period.

SAME NUMBER

Using the same number, he also reportedly spoke 39 times with an MP whom prosecution alleges was the linkman between Mungiki and Uhuru over the violence period.

He wondered what a Government minister could have been discussing with a Mungiki
member.

“It is possible this is the only number Mr Kenyatta had at the time, but as a wealthy man and a Cabinet minister, it is possible he had more. It is these other records that we want,” Gumpert said.

Kay told the judges prosecution arguments
Wednesday had confirmed the necessity of his
request to acquit Uhuru.

He said Uhuru was entitled to the judgement considering the “contours” the case had taken.

He said the defence was repeatedly ignored on
issues of credibility of certain witnesses, veracity of evidence and its sufficiency, and alleged professional misconduct.

He wondered why the case was allowed to go to trial despite clear indications it was headed nowhere.

“What the prosecution is submitting as non-
cooperation on the part of Kenya is actually a failure to accept plain answers which would have otherwise have assisted them to make some case of sorts. My client is entitled to his verdict of not guilty,” he said.

Gaynor told the judges that failure of the Kenya Government to co-operate must be attributed to “President Uhuru” who also happens to be the accused.

He said Uhuru’s right to an expeditious trial would not be trampled on if the case were to be suspended indefinitely.

He drew parallels to the ICC case against Sudan President Omar Bashir, saying it would be foolhardy for the court to terminate it because of Bashir’s right to expeditious trial.

He claimed the defining point of the stalled requests was that “you cannot bribe or
intimidate telephone records”.

Gaynor asked the judges to defer the case until ASP exhausted all processes once the matter was referred there.

He said a termination of the case would amount to a reward to the Kenya Government, which has worked flat out to frustrate
the case.

“This is a unique case which requires a unique
response from the court. A price must be paid but who should it be who pays this price?
Should it be the victims who have borne the brunt of the violence or should it be the accused, the principal author of the deadlock?”

Earlier on, Gumpert was at pains to explain the legal basis upon which the indefinite adjournment of the trial would be based, prospects of the adjournment and consistency of the adjournment to integrity of proceedings and rights of accused.

Gumpert conceded the alleged non-cooperation of the Government could not be attributed to Uhuru in his capacity as the President.

CASE LAW

“I will not provide any case law or specific
provisions of the statute which guides the making of an indefinite adjournment. I am basing it on the chamber’s responsibility to regulate the proceedings. It needs no support or law because these are exceptional steps taken when justice requires them,” he said.

Judge Henderson asked why the prosecution was not considering withdrawing the case and coming back with evidence once it obtains it as happens in Common Law jurisdictions. He said the provision appeared to be supported by Regulation 60 of the court.

But Gumpert explained the court had granted
adjournments before.

He said the current status of the case amounted to an indefinite adjournment since no date has been fixed and trial has not started as scheduled.

Henderson did not relent.

He asked what good it would serve to adjourn the case indefinitely, “keep the court resources engaged” without any guarantees of that adjournment eventually paying back.

He persisted on the withdrawal argument.

Gumpert conceded: “Frankly, this is within the range of options available to this court. Without having much thought about it, I would say it is an option.
The court must, however, balance and consider
circumstances.”

He complained the court may arrive at a “disastrous interpretation” if it appeared to give way to state parties to torpedo justice by dropping cases where non-cooperation was cited.

Judge Fremr wondered why prosecution was
insisting on indefinite adjournment if it continued to believe little would change.

“The truth is we have run out of hooks on which to hang the date the case would resume. The only realistic end point for us would be when Kenya provides what we want,” Gumpert said.

Gaynor opposed Henderson’s idea of a
temporary withdrawal, saying that would be the end of the case.

He said prosecution would expend energies on
other cases.

Kay said Uhuru’s rights as an accused must be
respected.

He said the fact that prosecution conceded they could not blame him over Government’s failure should impress the judges when making a final decision.

Kay tickled those in the public galleries when he responded to Henderson’s inquiry on the difference between ICC and domestic jurisdictions where the prosecution has control over investigative arms.

He said OTP officers had been jamming Nairobi airports fetching one form of evidence or the other.

Kay said: “I’ve drawn a line in the sand and I do not have to produce any more evidence. I’ve not received any credit for the evidence I’ve submitted to OTP.”

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

President Kenyatta respected his electoral pledge during the 2013 presidential debate

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FROM THE EDITOR’s DESK

“Many Kenyans are faced with personal challenges and I consider this as a
personal challenge”~Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta during presidential candidates debate prior to March 4, 2013 General Elections in Kenya

President Uhuru Kenyatta decision to attend the ICC status conference on October 8, 2014 in his personal capacity is consistent with the
Constitution of Kenya 2010 and the Rome Statute obligations.

ICC does not prosecute state officials.
Rather individuals in their individual criminal
responsibility.

He has respected his electoral pledge during the 2013 presidential debate “many Kenyans are faced with personal challenges and I consider this as a personal challenge”.

And that ‘it is his intention to follow through [the cases] and ensure that we clear our names”.

He has kept his words, “I will be able to deal with the issue of clearing my name while at the same time ensuring the business of government is implemented”.

The President emerges as someone who respects rule of law, judicial systems and institutions.

He has respected the Constitution provisions
governing situation when ‘President is absent or is temporarily incapacitated, and during any other period that the President decides’.

The country, which has been integrated with the world, need certainty, stability, trust and
confidence.

The President has avoided stance,which would shake political stability and an environment of economic confidence, which will erode the democratic state governed by the rule
of law.

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

CORD;”We are sick of Jubilee Coalition pulling hat tricks on us and sustained mainstream media propaganda”~Dikembe Disembe

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By Dikembe Disembe

We are truly sick and tired of a sustained
propaganda by Jubilee Coalition.

Nothing is going on yet they keep on lying to us.

We are sick of them.

It is a chilly morning in Nairobi and we in CORD, the political opposition in Kenya, are still reeling from yesterday’s mind boggling events by President Uhuru and the Jubilee government.

My boss just called me and the feeling is, ‘we’ are not doing enough to counter jubilee propaganda.

Here in the office; a place swarming with young volunteers and party enthusiasts, the three national newspapers have been read word by word, sentence by sentence, paragraph by
paragraph, page by page, and everyone is asking the same question: how do you counter five pages of propaganda in each of these?

How do you counter the Star’s headline, that
Uhuru spoke to Obama?

How do you convince Kalenjin voting block that Ruto is not the president, when he is waving, as president, on Daily Nation’s front page, seated far back in the Republic of Kenya’s official limo?

Or the Standard’s page two, with a spill over on page three, ”Uhuru hands over power to Ruto ahead of ICC date”?

Who are the political constituencies most affected by yesterday’s unprecedented events?

Put the other way, whose support, if any, has President Uhuru ‘won’?

Lastly, who, or which entity, lost yesterday?

To answer these questions is to respond to a
constant accusation on the Kenyan media – that it is overly gatekeeping for the government of the day, and, has been a hindrance to people’s understanding of the undercurrents of politics.

This view is shared, because, as the praises rent
the air from all media angles, of the ‘rare act’ of a selfless president relinquishing power, albeit temporarily, to his deputy, so much is left out for the common person to guess.

The media is giving raw information, most of which are half-truths,and those with contrary opinion seen to be against, rather than opposed, to the current status quo.

Take for instance Siaya Senator James Orengo,whose analysis of the event is that it was an ”unnecessary political drama”.

“The President didn’t have to appoint Ruto as
acting President. This provision is self executing. Every time the President goes out of the country, the deputy president automatically assumes reigns of leadership as acting president. There was no need for all this drama”.

Nobody seems to be listening to these words of wisdom for CORD’s legistlator!

Everything is now focused on CORD’s decision to boycott the #PresidentialAddress!

What a farce by mainstream media!

What to do now?

And now, a lawyer has gone to court to make a
case of the hullabaloo of Uhuru appointment.

The manner in which it was done is like the President resigned, three years to another election.

See how a Jubilee supporter captured it:

“He may be serving his first term in office, but he’s slowly winning the race to his second and final term as the 4th President of Kenya.
Uhuru Kenyatta is slowly becoming an African name; a global term; and a Contemporary issue in matters international relations.
He has already made local and international news, and formed a discourse that’ll at least last a week.
And any student of politics will tell you how important a week is, in politics.
Most critics (Who are actually right) claim
that Uhuru did nothing out of the ordinary by
appointing William Ruto as the Acting President.
True. He simply invoked a constitutional
obligation, as stipulated by the constitution. That’s true as well. But he did more. He MADE NEWS by invoking the constitution. And that’s what Robert Greene advices in his 6th Law of Power: “Court attention at all Costs” In his book, “The 48 Laws of Power”, Greene advices leaders to “Always win by Actions; never by Arguments”. Now, Uhuru may not be a follower of Greene. He may never have heard about him. But everyday I see and follow
what he does, he makes me look forward to 2017 polls.
At this rate, anyone thinking of being president in 2017, is slowly shooting at his toes. One by one.”

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

Breaking News; Uhuru to attend status conference at ICC,The Hague,Deputy President to be the Acting President for the duration

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By Bernard Wainaina

President Uhuru Kenyatta has appointed his Deputy as the Acting President for the duration of his absence from the country to enable him to attend a status conference on his case at ICC,The Hague.

In his #PresidentialAddress to Kenyan Parliament on Monday,he said that he has taken this step to protect Kenya’s Sovereignty and he won’t be standing on the dock of ICC as President of Kenya,but as a private citizen.

This move is calculated to pacify the African Union which had earlier passed a resolution barring any sitting head of state from appearing at the ICC.

At the same time,this move by the President ensures that for the duration of his absence,there will be no power vacuum in the country with his deputy taking charge as the acting president as prescribed in the Kenyan constitution.

The move is also widely seen as a rebuttal to accusation by the Kenyan opposition which has been harping on the President about not dragging the whole country into a matter which he had promised to take as a personal challenge during his campaigns for President in the last general election.

CORD alliance had urged its troops in parliament to boycott today’s #PresidentialAddress as the president was going to address a personal matter on his attendance to ICC,The Hague status conference.

His advisors seem to have pulled the plug by advising him to handover to his Deputy in a surprise move that was not anticipated by the Kenyan opposition.

This is a developing story and more will follow as soon as we get more details.

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

From apartheid to xenophobia,Black South Africa is a home to peculiar demons

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By Bernard Wainaina
CEO,Profarms Consultants®
LinkedIn; ke.linkedin.com/in/profarms/

I bow my head in shame at what is happening in the tail end of Africa continent that is known as South Africa.

For,if indeed Africa is haunted by demons,then it is only accurate to say that they reside in South Africa and only visit other African countries for short missions.

There is a new wave of self-destructive
behaviour sweeping across Black South Africa.

It is a reckless, misdirected and perilous energy;
drifting on a plot-less path; a dangerous force unprecedented in the continent’s recent history.

Its mindless manifestation is worse than the tragedy of slavery, the punishment of colonialism, the enigma of corruption, the curse of tribalism or the brutalities of military rule and the horrors of genocide.

It is called xenophobia,and it is localised in Black South Africa.

The frightening truth about the rise of this
self-destructive force is that, there appears
to be a tragic connection between South Africa’s
lack of self- knowledge and the visionless
drive for what the rest of Africa wants to become.

In essence this condition is reflective of a state
of psychological dissonance and psychic
disconnectedness now finding expression in
self-destructive acts of meaningless
violence, rape, brutality and chaos spiking crime rate in Black South Africa.

It is a force driven by monarchial zealotry, tribal fanaticism and of course pure xenophobia.

Based on these facts,Black South Africa appears to have chosen a path towards perdition.

This is evident in the rise of xenophobic attitudes, religious extremism, tribal self-
entrenchment and the use of parochial
ideas to justify the inept actions of tribal
minded and poor BLACK SOUTH AFRICANS.

Xenophobia as an ideological construct is
an expression of a mental condition of
systemic poverty and backward thinking.

It displays itself through myopic cultural
attitudes like the archaic Zulu monarchy whose King recently incited his subjects to chase away foreign africans; low self-esteem and deep feelings of group self-emptiness after deriding itself that it does not belong to Black Africa .

Hence, xenophobic BLACK people target imaginary foreigners as a means to exert their collective frustrations, through group initiated violence.

Xenophobia thrives in cultures where endemic conditions of poverty exist.

It is used politically by the incompetent ruling
elite to instigate the exploited masses in order to divert their attention from their real socio-economic challenges.

Xenophobia is being used in South Africa, in this case; to vent the anger of a powerless and
dispossessed people, against their dire
economic conditions in face of Black South Africa superiority complex against other africans.

This hate of “foreigners,” reflects the
prevailing social hopelessness in post-
Apartheid South Africa.

Psychologically, Black South Africans are a wounded people, psychically injured by the anathema of racism, still bleeding from the psychic scars of Apartheid.

Xenophobia has become the inward expression of the long cycle of racism that continues to haunt the historic imagination of the southern part of the continent.

Consequently, xenophobia directly gives credence to the racist ideologies that were used to justify Apartheid.

It is as though the BLACK people of
South Africa have forgotten the price Africa
paid to support their struggle.

These acts of barbarity, bigotry, ethnocentric bias, tribal calls for isolationism, prejudice and
intolerance; speaks of a deeper sense of
psychic sickness which Black South Africans have not yet been able to exorcise themselves
from their post-Apartheid history.

In essence, the characteristics of violent
mob behaviour led by tribal vigilante gangs,
criminals and hoodlums; provides us with
insightful signals into the socio-psychotic
conditions inherited in the aftermath of
Apartheid.

No doubt this condition was created and engendered by a long history of physical and psychic abuse caused by the brutal racist and fascist South African police, witnessed by the world during the struggle against Apartheid.

It is therefore not surprising – though
shocking as it is – to know that because
South Africa was conceived out of violence,
it continues to propagate itself by means of
violence; through the uneducated BLACK
conscience of a post-Apartheid generation.

Violence therefore begets and replicates
itself and this would require a deeper sense
of social self-examination to change and
heal the wounded psyche of a people who
have known nothing but violent oppression.

Xenophobia, therefore like racism is a
mental illness festering on BLACK Minds in South Africa .

It is a sickening in any form, especially when it exists amongst the same racial group who suffered from racial domination.

In essence the victim has now become the victimizer.

This shows that the efforts by Mandela to
reconcile South Africans to their past, by
setting up the Truth and Reconciliation
Commission; in the hope for a moral and
psychological healing, has failed.

Black South Africans have now turned their hate onto African immigrants and this would stand for years to come, as one of the most tragic incidents to scar the conscience of Africa in recent history.

The fact that African countries went to great lengths to sacrifice their resources in support of the struggle against Apartheid.

Obviously, this fact
seems to have escaped those illiterate Black South Africans who have taken to the streets of Johannesburg and Durban to terrorise their fellow Africans for being “foreigners.”

Xenophobia can therefore be classified as a
deranged condition of socio-historical
psychosis, caused by the pathology of
oppression, the persistent violence of
poverty and the pedagogy of self-hate indoctrined in Black South Africans.

It causes those who suffer from the mental
malady of xenophobia to perceive otherness as a threat.

Therefore, they adopt a reactionary response to social diversity, by seeking ways to resist or destroy cross- cultural and multicultural interaction.

In this case, the rise of xenophobia in Black South Africa is the manifestation of a collective
sense of tribal-based backwardness,illiteracy and the evidence of historic oppression that its people have known for decades.

After all, Apartheid is institutionally over, but it is still functional within the collective conscience of Black South Africans, expressed through barbaric deviant behavior and hatred of otherness.

Burning Ghanaians in public – and other
hundreds of African victims – is proof that
African history has taken on a twisted turn.

We all saw how Black South Africans were
burning each other alive in the violent lead
up to the dismantling of Apartheid.

However, to turn this horrible and satanic
weapon of terror against fellow Africans
gives all the evidence that Black South Africa has not exorcised itself of the hellish and
demonic nightmare of Apartheid.

This proves that a disillusioned black people, deprived of their own sense of self-definition and identity, living in a nameless place South of Africa; will turn to violence – against each other –in times of crisis.

In effect, there is a feeling of pain, a burning sensation of horrific disappointment and sadness that seizes the imagination of any African who is conscious of the tragic condition of Black South African history.

Black South African’s xenophobic behavior is a
great threat to the foundation of our
collective humanity as Africans.

It provides every racist in the world the right to
question our existential essence as a people.

Too often Africans at home and in the Diaspora are the first to point figures and demonstrate at the violent acts of racism and police brutality against people of African descent.

But in truth the acts of self-betrayal, self-engendered violence and self-instigated chaos starts at the doorstep of our culture of failed Black leadership.

Through the perpetuation of such xenophobic driven acts of violence and public barbaric brutality,Black South Africans are giving the world all the justification it needs to use violence against people of African descent, especially in the Diaspora.

This brings us to the fact that Africa is at a new
crossroads and the evidence of failed leadership makes it even worse.

If our Black post apartheid leaders have failed us; whom do we turn to, to lead Africa into the future now that Madiba is gone?

The poverty of Black SouthAfrican thinking, its unemployed manpower and underutilized potential, the exploitation and wasted natural/mineral wealth, corruption and the practicing of
redundant cultures irrelevant to modernization and development; and Africa’s obsession with the opiate of oppressive religions, is driving the souther tip of this continent towards insanity, chaos and confusion.

Black South Africa indeed has become the tragic example to show what the illusion of
freedom can become, when a people are
not prepared historically and intellectually
for their own liberty and liberation.

Freedom requires an acknowledgement of
human rights, duties and responsibilities.

A free people are expected to show a sense of
humanism, egalitarian consciousness, self-
reliance, historic awareness, tolerance and
respect for the rights of others.

In the struggle against Apartheid,Black South African exiles were hosted, trained, educated,
financed, encouraged and feed with
welcoming arms around the world,
especially in many African countries
including Ghana in particular.

Kwame Nkrumah expended Ghana’s
resources to support freedom fighters and
hosted Anti-Apartheid and Pan-African
Unity Conferences, which in the end cost
him his Presidency.

This is why this incident of burning Ghanaians in the streets of South Africa will not be forgiven or forgotten; simply because of the collective sense of pain and empathy we all feel as Africans.

It is also because of the shame that this incident brings on Africa and the Diaspora.

We Africans – especially “other” Africans – share a collective sense of shame for slavery, racism, the fragmentation of our continent, poverty, the evidence of poor leadership and now these shameless barbarism against fellow Africans by a nameless African country – called South Africa – is the worst of all the shames Africa has known in recent years.

If there is any sense Pan African
consciousness left in the minds of African
leaders, let it be displayed at the next
African Union Summit, by calling on Jacob
Zuma to answer questions about the
criminality of xenophobia in Black South Africa.

Bernard Wainaina is an Independent Agribusiness Advisor and CEO at Profarms Consultants®,Nairobi,Kenya.

He mainly works with Agribusiness Youth Groups in Eastern African Region.

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

If all my friends and enemies could “step aside” for just this long Easter weekend,my world would turn into a haven of peace!

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By Bernard Wainaina

Don’t be mistaken comrades.

I love you all.

But I want all of you to step aside over this long Easter Weekend,for my peace.

Well,my enemies too have to step aside and stop nosing into my nocturnal affairs.

In this particular instance,I have in mind my nosy neighbour who is a happily married lady and has a habit of turning on her bedroom lights whenever my gate squeaks at night to welcome me back home in the wee hours of the morning hoping to catch a glimpse of my one night stand,or “chips funga”.

I will never know why,a happily married woman like her,has formed a habit that I associate with desperate single ladies who don’t take very kindly the estate’s single men habit of procuring one night stands from across the other ridge of our residential estate.

They feel left out in this exciting game of a “single night dating” gameplan.

But it’s my friends who normally irritate me most over these long kind of weekends.

Moses,our watchman, is a jolly good old man and a friend where no womenfolk are involved.

He will happily dash for a packet of milk on Saturday mornings when I’m weighed down by hangover of a Friday night out carousel.

He normally has a presence of mind to drop the packet of milk through my slightly open kitchen window and disappear to carry on his sentinel duties, and patiently wait for me to hand him a cup of steaming white coffee thereafter at my own pace.

This normally changes when he notices that I’m entertaining female company in my apartment.

In short,he hooves around my door pretending to be at my beck n’ call so that he can espy the sight of my female company.

If the sitting room door is not firmly locked,he invites himself inside and politely “demands” that my female company serves him with a cup of coffee to “drive away” the overnight chills in his old bones after delivering the obligatory Saturday morning packet of milk.

I’m not normally very comfortable of the way he sits still on the sofa with his wicked eyes following my female company around in every inch of her innocent movements as she serves him coffee.

I’m not very sure that Moses is not a latent psychopath in our midst!

Then there is this single lady neighbour who owns a sleek Toyota Vitz that she parks, or rather,”packs” next to her door every night even if the whole parking bay is empty.

But if she sniffs some female company in my room,she parks her car in such a way that it will be blocking out my car in the parking bay.

That way,she is assured of casting naughty glimpses on my female company as we drive out of the apartment block since I will have to knock on her door and plead with her to let my car out.

She seems to enjoy these moments with awkward fetishness.

Or she would park her Vitz in such a way that my car will have to be moved so that she can drive off.

Then she would knock persistently on my door at around 6.00 am on Saturday morning,pleading that she wants to drop her car at the mechanics for service,that early in the morning.

Why am I forgetting to mention the pastor’s wife who has formed the habit of delivering unsolicited pancakes on Saturday mornings,not every other Saturday morning,mind you,but whenever she sniffs out female perfume from my bathroom window!

She has this constant refrain of saying,” I think I heard you singing in the bathroom and I thought you could do with a few pieces of pancakes in this cold weather”.

To me,this sounds more like; ” I heard you “sinning”……..blah,blah,blah!”

These are the kinds of friends and enemies that I’d wish to see “stepping aside” this long Easter weekend so that I can enjoy my peace ‘peacefully’!

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

Easter Recipes; Cow hoof recipe that is a weird delicacy for middle aged Kenyan men

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By Bernard Wainaina

If there’s any secret in eating cow hooves
popularly known as “Gumboots” here in Kenya, then many men of approximately 35years and above yearn for it the most.

In very rare cases will you find a woman ordering for “Gumboots” unless she is in company of a middle aged male “chaperon”.. While at Choma Zone joint in Ongata Rongai, in Ngong, one of the places where one can find this delicacy, you will hardly find any youth in their 20s ordering for it, unless it is on doctor’s orders.

“Gumboots” looks like a piece of fat on a hollow bone.

It is also not a meal you will enjoy using a
fork or chop sticks, but rather your hands.

You might only need a spoon to scoop soup from the bowl.

On one Sunday evening, at Choma Zone, a joint I frequent with friends, middle aged men dressed in T-shirts and sandals form most of the crowd.
And mind you,these middle aged Kenyan men are very wealthy judging from their very patronising demeanour and the type of high end cars that they drive into this joint.

I’ve deliberately pointed this trivial detail to disabuse my readers that “Gumboots” is delicacy for the ‘poor patrons’ who want to save on a cheap dish so that they can afford one more bottle of beer.

A few women go to this place.

I’m in good company of my wealthy clients who runs a string of agribusinesses in Karen,Nairobi County.

To take my order, a female light skinned plump chef,known around here by her men patrons fondly as ‘Chiru’ approaches me asking which part of the cow leg I want. Confused, I tell her to bring a piece with fine meat.

She labours to explain that there are different
parts viz “Mahungu” (the hoof), the joint and the pipe.

I get to learn that most people prefer “Mahungu”,the lowest part of the hoof, to any
other.

After enjoying my meal that came with pieces of
steamed banana plaintains, she came to clear the table.

I asked her what it takes to prepare “Gumboots” at home for my partner,Daisy,as a surprise for her Easter treat.

“She may not appreciate it. Women do like these crazy hooves that you middle aged men seem to relish so much”. She retorts,catching me off guard by her sincere observation.

“But she liked it,last time we were here. You served us,remember?”

“That was only meant to caress your delicate ego as a man. Listen,if you want to surprise her “pleasantly”,fry her some potato chips and chicken,and add a lot of Ketch-up,dear man. That’s what we girls like”. She sums up her golden advice with a nice and victorious trot away from my table,or is it seductive?

I’m not sure,but ‘chiru’ has left me more intrigued by her honest and unsolicited advice.

I’m in a funny muse pondering this turn of events as I watch her gigantic derriere swinging on her slender hips as if it had a life of its own.

Sometimes,I find women more beautiful when they are “walking away” from me.

Its a sight to behold,especially in those who are endowed with a massive butt on slender hips,like ‘Chiru’.

Anyway,Chiru is back at my table with a pencil and legal yellow memo pad.

She lowers herself seductively at an opposite chair and hands me down the pencil and the yellow memo pad.

“Write this recipe down for yourself,and please don’t go try to poison your girlfriend with this trash that you men like”;

Recipe for “Gumboots” a.k.a cow hooves.

To prepare “Gumboots”, you need the following:
•Four tomatoes
•Two onions, leeks
•One big green paper
•One big carrot
•A pinch of salt
•Small onion leaves and a teaspoon of black pepper or other spice and salt.

METHOD

•Roast the hided cow hoof over a direct low flame to remove the fur.

•Ensure you do not burn the hooves to charcoal texture!.

•Gently scrape the remaining fur and parts that may have burnt. Cut the hoof into pieces of a
reasonable size.

•Soak in water for about 30 minutes.

•Drain and place in a saucepan.

•Add water and salt and boil for about an hour.

•Add the garlic, leeks, carrot, onion and leave to
simmer on slightly low fire until the soup reduces.
•Add a few pieces of peeled whole Irish potatoes and simmer until Irish is cooked but
not mashed.

Add black pepper and serve.

If the “Gumboots” is from for a younger cow, cook it for four hours, unlike for an old cow that takes six to eight hours .

First roast it so that the fur gets burnt and it is easy to scrap off the skin. After, chop it into the
desirable number of pieces.

“The common mistake that people who prepare it at home do is to fry “Gumboots”. This dilutes or spoils natural nutrients,” she points out.

The waitress asks me if I want to buy some materials for my partner to start cooking it from home but I’m honest that I’m single,most of the times,except over the coming long Easter weekend.

She laughs at me and advises that if I ever
get married, “Gumboots” should be prepared well so that the consumer enjoys all nutrients.

Why others enjoy this delicacy

I shift to the next table where a patron who
identifies himself as Charles Onyi, a resident
of neighbouring Langata sub-urb sits isolated at a distance from where football screens are.

As he sips on beer while waiting for the waitress to take away the dirty plates, I engage him in a chat.

He admits that he enjoys “Gumboots” every evening and in rare cases at lunch time.

“To me, “gumboots” is more than food it is a source of bone marrow that helps in lubricating joints such as knees and elbows,” Onyi explains.

Asked if the sticky fat is of any harm to the body, he explains that when one takes alcohol and develop hangover, the fats help to neutralise the hangover and one feels refreshed after taking “Gumboots” accompanied by its resulting hot soup.

While a first time consumer may only eat the top
soft part of the hoof and throw away the bones, Onyi advises inside the hollow bones is where the most important bone marrow that lubricates body joints is.

“It may not be scooped using hands or a fork but when the consumer holds the bone and sucks it out, they get it all out,” he stresses.

After about a 10-minutes- chat, he excuses himself to go and attend to other duties.

Another patron Robert Mukabi joins me.

He is a fairly tall and old man who is relishing the “Gumboots” side by side with a bottle of beer while watching football.

When his team misses a goal scoring opportunity, he almost forgets about his plate holding a bite on his fingers for what seems like long silent eternity, but seconds later, he resumes eating.

I divert his attention from the pain of watching his favourite team being humiliated on the TV screen to ask what secret he finds in eating “Gumboots” as I sip on a glass of water.

Robert does not hesitate to explain that when a person is low on food appetite, “Gumboots” soup does not only stimulate appetite
but works as a stomach cleanser.

“This soup detoxifies the stomach and leaves one feeling healthier than before,” he beams while explaining.

He adds, “It is also good for aging people. As we grow old, we tend to develop constant back pain.
So when someone begins to experience such a
problem and he or she takes “Gumboots” constantly, they may heal for good,” explaining further that it is food that someone can never get tired of and that it also helps in preventing constipation.

Then he surprises me by adding with a mischievous chuckle; “Mind you,it does wonders for areas around the crotch when one is as old as I am,and the missus is demanding home advantage “replay matches” in the bedroom!”

“Really?”

“Watch yourself this evening. You will bubbling hot in bed with your partner!”

Downtown

I then go to a spot at Visa place Park next to Uchumi Super market,Ongata Rongai Branch at an enclosed construction site.

This is
down town “Ronga” where people mostly those
retiring home from work pass by to feast on
“Gumboots”, it is no secret that the people there also enjoy it.

One by one, on benches positioned next to the
building people are served depending on how
much they want until the saucepan runs dry at
10pm.

Here, some customers are known to ‘Chiru’ who prepares “Gumboots” at Choma Zone. They call out her out on the phone for “outside catering service” since they have depleted the local stock in this joint,

She is able to understand who is calling her on the phone as this is a regular practice among her patrons when they move to other beer joints and what and how they want their evening meal served.

This happens as I look on, seated with Rogers
, a businessman and my treasured client in agribusiness.

As he holds a piece o “Gumboots” in the right hand and the other holding a bowl with few pieces of steamed banana plaintains, I’m
sipping on a cup of black tea and eating a chapatti, not because I do not have the Shs3,00 for “Gumboots”, but because my eating plan excludes having another heavy meal after 7pm.

“That food looks tasty,” I tell Rogers who is
enjoying his meal.

He is quick to respond that he learnt how to enjoy “Gumboots” from a friend about two years ago.

Though he eats it once a week, he is not shy to explain that alongside other benefits it
also increases his sexual performance.

Health experts say…

Madison Maara, a physiotherapist at Orthotech
and Physical Rehabilitation Centre, at Equatorial Hospital in Nairobi, says when you get proteins in the synovial fluids found in the joints and compare it with what you get from eating “Gumboots”, the latter is more important because it mainly targets the joints where it contributes to joint lubrication and softening.

“If a human joint was getting dry and a person takes “Gumboots”, the joint regains its
performance,” Maara notes.

In the process of boiling “Gumboots”, the calcium and phosphates composed in the bones transfers to the soup, and when one takes the soup, Maara says, the minerals help in strengthening and hardening of bones.

On how often one should eat “Gumboots”, he
explains that in case of osteorthritis, a
degenerative disease that one contracts as a result of the wear and tear of joint tissues which is common among people with reduced amounts of calcium in their joints, “gumboots” is a healthy remedy.

He advises that a person with such a condition
should take “Gumboots” twice a week.

However, its fatty quality may pose risks such as
fat accumulation in blood vessels and around the heart that causes hypertension.

Maara advises that after eating it, one should subject themselves to regular exercises like jogging to burn the fats.

And in a situation of a positive rheumatoid factor, a condition where the joint proteins become reactive or incompatible to the proteins in “Gumboots” which may sometimes lead to the swelling of the knee, it is recommended that the affected person should either limit protein intake or identify what causes the swelling commonly referred to as “Gout”.

Then, he or she can stop eating that particular food, be it “Gumboots” especially if the condition happened when the person has eaten it for the first time.

Cost of the delicacy

Depending on where one buys it, which could
either be at a restaurant, hotel or a bar in places
adjacent or within Nairobi City, a piece of
“Gumboots”served with steamed or
roast matooke(Banana plaintains) it costs between Shs2,500 and Shs6,000.

From the market and butcheries in Ongata Rongai Town, a cow leg costs between Shs 4,00 and Shs 8,00.

It is then chopped into hooves, the join
and the pipe.
At Visa Place Park in Rongai, I had to part with
Shs4,00 for a piece served with steamed banana plaintain.

In some cases where it may stay overnight without being eaten, ‘Chiru’ advises that it’s better to separate the soup from the “Gumboot” pieces; because it is likely to cause food poisoning.

Well,go on and have some “Gumboots” for your Easter Dinner this weekend!

Bernard Wainaina is an Independent Agribusiness Advisor and CEO at Profarms Consultants®,Nairobi,Kenya.

He mainly works with Agribusiness Youth Groups in Eastern African Region.

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

Stereotypes; “A lot of Kenyans think cheese is disgusting!”

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By Bernard Wainaina

Whenever I travel outside my country,Kenya,I’m always surprised by how the rest of the world sees us.

In other words,the Kenyan stereotype.

Recently,when I visited DR Congo on a tour of duty,a lady serving at a local food stall sidled up to my table after serving my lunch and asked me without any preamble; “How many miles do you run each morning?”

I was shocked by her brave intrusiveness.

When I recovered,I meekly told her that the last time I ran was during my high school cross country races which I hated very much,but they were compulsory,all the same.

She didn’t look very satisfied with my answer.

“But you look thin and athletic”.She egged me on.

I honestly didn’t know what to tell her after that.

You see,Kenya is known for successive generations of marathon champions in world races.

The rest of the world seems to think that every other Kenyan is an athlete!

And that was not enough; a white lady colleague during the duration of my stay offered me a package in a recycled carton of biscuits,and told me to take it to “my wife”.

“What is in the box? I was curious.

“Oh-some undies that I don’t want to fly out of here with”. She replied.

Now,at my age,she assumed I had wife,and a big family that was probably in need of clothes.

Kenya,according to WHO statistics has been topping the list of “high fertility and unsustainable population growth”.

I presume this is what informed her decision to donate clothes for “my exploding family”.

All over the world,people have formed stereotypes about other people,and most international interactions are usually based on this stereotypes.

Listen to my taxi driver in Kinshasha literally driving home this stereotype point;

“I can get you a girl to warm your bed tonight;I know Kenyan men like ‘Nyama Choma” (roasted meat) and young girls. Do you want a good girl?”

Me; “No. I already have a young girl who is only 22 years old,very loving,very beautiful; she is my daughter!”

Driver; “I mean one that you can take back to your hotel room”.

Me; “Would you mind if I first consulted someone about this?”

Driver; “Not at all. Let me know about this arrangement after you have consulted”.

He was just not going to give up so easily.

He was probably a pimp,and his cut meant more to him than my screaming morals.

Anyway,I did consult,after all.

I whatsapped my daughter back in Nairobi,breaking the ice first about this uncomfortable topic with a “Hi”.

One hour later,only one tick still displayed in my sent message.

Four hours later,two blue ticks and a reply;

“Hi dad,how was your day?”

Me; “very fine,very interesting!”

Daughter; “Interesting like how,Dad?”

Me; ” I don’t know how I should tell you this,but do you remember the many conversations we’ve had about how you should relate with men,taking care of yourself,I mean?”

Daughter; “Yes Dad,but pliz,let’s not go over that again tonight,pliz.”

Me; “I’m afraid we will have to,Liza,but this time,it is about me”.

Daughter;” What has happened Dad? Shoot!”

Me; “It is like this, Liza, this afternoon,when I was being driven back to my hotel room,my Taxi driver offered to get me a young girl for the night”.

Long pause.

One hour later; “did you take up that offer,Dad?”

Me; “No”.

Daughter; “Thank you Dad,and please take care of yourself!”

Conversation muted from her end.

This conversation must have been nerve-racking for my daughter.

We have talked many times with my daughter about morals,her morals,but never my morals.

She also doesn’t seem to buy the idea of stereotype of “Kenyan men” always wanting “young nubile escort girls,at least,not about her dad.

But who I’m I to argue about the Kenyan stereotype.

I googled “Kenyan stereotype” after this disconcerting episode,and here is what I got from ‘QUORA’;

»Question”How is the stereotype of people from Kenya?
Doesn’t have to be right, it’s just a stereotype. Also;
-include stereotypical physical appearance if exist.
-Factual information is easy to get, but cultural info
e.g. stereotypes are hard to analyse.
Cultural stereotype gives insight not only about the stereotyped society, but also the society who
stereotypes.-
and remember, it’s just a stereotype, doesn’t have to be right, and please don’t get emotional over stereotype”.

Best Answer;”Best Answer: They are very friendly, welcoming, and family oriented.
The women work very hard all day long, washing, cooking, pretty much doing everything. The guys have a lot more free time.
They are proud of Obama – he’s Kenyan!
The kids are very good students and get excited
about learning even though the resources aren’t
always there.
A lot of Kenyans will have multiple boyfriends or girlfriends.
This doesn’t necessarily mean they’re sleeping together, often they don’t even live in the same city but someone will say “yeah, I have three
girlfriends!”
The food is pretty basic but the Kenyans love their ‘ugali'(Maize meal Cake). It’s the national food. Most foreigners aren’t huge fans of ‘ugali’, chapatti’s more palatable.
They love sugary things like children – chocolate, soda, especially Fanta. A
lot of Kenyans think cheese is disgusting.
Kenyans are crazy drivers. They also prefer to drive over walking. I’ve never seen a Kenyan out for a jog.
Kenya is very multicultural so everyone has
stereotypes about other groups. For example, the Kikuyu are business people and the Kikuyu women are the hardest to handle! Luhya women are loyal and if their husbands are difficult they will stand by them anyway. The Maasai are the most trustworthy, you can feel very safe in Maasailand. Maasai women
have crazy earrings and jewellery and the men are quite noticeable. People from the coast are really relaxed and friendly. Anyone not from Nairobi will tell you that the city is full of thieves, someone could steal from you and no one will care. Kenyans don’t always trust Somalis.
Kenyans also stereotype white people, believing that we are all rich and well-educated. As for rich, well, most foreigners in Kenya are, so they’re right on target there.
Source(s):
A mix of my own generalizations and stereotypes I
heard while in Kenya by Ryemtl ·

Answer two;”A Kenyan is a party animal who loves beer and nyama choma for a general kenyan, when you go to tribes the luos are
known to be proud and gives ladies a treat of their life, Obama is a luo. The luhyas are known for their love of Ugali and Kuku (maize meal taken with chicken) Kikuyus for their love of money. If you are in kenya just drop a shilling and those who will turn to look at it are kikuyus. kambas for their love for witchcraft.”
Source(s):
for more about kenya http://
http://www.ugandalastminute.com/safaris/…
ugandalastminute ·

Answer three; “They run fast in Track and Field events because back at home, they have to run from cheetahs and avoid getting trampled by zebras”.
Source(s):
Stereotypes. Not Facts.
Bleh ·

Answer four “They get elected President of the USA”
Wrenchman57 ·

I bet stereotype is the way the rest of the world sees us,no matter the factual truth.

I’m glad that my daughter does not share this view about me as a “Kenyan man” with the rest of the world!

Bernard Wainaina is an Independent Agribusiness Advisor and CEO at Profarms Consultants®,Nairobi,Kenya.

He mainly works with Agribusiness Youth Groups in Eastern African Region.

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

Where Love is, There God is Also ~Leo Tolstoy

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By Bernard Wainaina
CEO,Profarms Consultants®
LinkedIn; ke.linkedin.com/in/profarms/

In the city lived Martin Avdeich, a shoemaker.

He lived in a basement, in a little room with one window.

The window looked out on the street.

Through the window he used to watch the people passing by: although only their feet could be seen, yet by the boots Martin Avdeich recognised their owners.

He had lived long in one place, and had many
acquaintances.

Few pairs of boots in his district had not been in his hands once and again.

Some he would half-sole, some he would patch, some he would stitch around, and occasionally he would also put on new uppers.

And through the window he quite often recognised his work.

Avdeich had plenty to do,because he was a faithful workman, used good material, did not make exorbitant charges, and kept his word.

If he could finish an order by a certain
time, he accepted it: if not, he would not deceive you—he told you so beforehand. And all knew Avdeich,and he was never out of work.

Avdeich had always been a good man; but as he grew old, he began to think more about his soul, and get nearer to God.

Martin’s wife had died when he was still living with his master. His wife left him a boy three years old.

None of their other children had lived.

All the eldest had died in childhood.

Martin at first intended to send his little son to his sister in the village, but afterwards he felt sorry for him: he thought to himself, “It will be hard for my Kapiton to live in a strange family. I shall keep him with me.”

And Avdeich left his master, and went into lodgings with his little son.

But, through God’s will, Avdeich had no luck with children.

As Kapiton grew older, he began to help his father, and would have been a delight to him, but fell sick, went to bed, suffered a week, and died.

Martin buried his son, and fell into despair. So deep was this despair, that he began to complain of God.

Martin fell into such a melancholy state that more than once he prayed to God for death, and reproached God because He did not take
away him who was an old man, instead of his
beloved only son. Avdeich also ceased to go to
church.

And once a little old man, a fellow countryman, came from the Troitsa (Trinity) Monastery to see Avdeich: for seven years he had been absent.

Avdeich talked with him, and began to complain about his sorrows.

“I have no more desire to live,” he said; “I only wish I were dead. That is all I pray God for. I am a man without anything to hope for now.”

And the little old man said to him, “You don’t talk right, Martin: we must not judge God’s doings. The world moves, not by your skill, but by God’s will. God decreed for your son to die, for you—to live.
Consequently, it is for the best. And you are in
despair, because you wish to live for your own
happiness.”

“But what shall one live for?” asked Martin.

And the little old man said, “We must live for God, Martin. He gives you life, and for His sake you must live. When you begin to live for Him, you will not grieve over anything, and all will seem easy to you.”

Martin kept silent for a moment, and then said, “But how can one live for the sake of God?”

And the little old man said, “Christ has taught us how to live for God. You know how to read? Buy a Testament, and read it: there you will learn how to live for God. Everything is explained there.”

And these words kindled a fire in Avdeich’s heart.

And he went that very same day, bought a New
Testament in large print, and began to read.

At first Avdeich intended to read only on holidays; but as he began to read, it so cheered his soul that he used to read every day.

At times he would become so absorbed in reading that all the kerosene in the lamp
would burn out, and still he could not tear himself away.

And so Avdeich used to read every evening.
And the more he read, the clearer he understood what God wanted of him, and how one should live for God; and his heart constantly grew easier and easier.

Formerly, when he lay down to sleep, he used to sigh and groan, and always think of his Kapiton; and now he only exclaimed; “Glory to Thee! Glory to Thee, Lord! Thy will be done.”

And from that time Avdeich’s whole life was changed.

In other days he too used to drop into a saloon, as a holiday amusement, to drink a cup of tea; and he was not averse to a little brandy either.

He would take a drink with some acquaintance, and leave the saloon, not intoxicated exactly, yet in a happy frame of mind, and inclined to talk nonsense, and shout, and use abusive language at a person.

Now he left off this sort of thing.

His life became quiet and joyful.

In the morning he sat down to work, finished his allotted task, then took the little lamp from the hook, put it on the table, got his book from the shelf, opened it, and sat down to read.

And the more he read, the more he understood, and the brighter and happier it was in his heart.

Once it happened that Martin read till late into the night.

He was reading the Gospel of Luke.

He was reading over the sixth chapter; and he was reading the verses, “And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloak forbid not to take thy coat also. Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh
away thy goods ask them not again. And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.”

He read further also those verses, where God speaks: “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will show you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock; and when the flood arose, the stream beat
vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock. But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.”

Avdeich read these words, and joy filled his soul.

He took off his spectacles, put them down on the book, leaned his elbows upon the table, and became lost in thought.

And he began to measure his life by these
words.

And he thought to himself, “Is my house built
upon the rock, or upon the sand? ‘Tis well if on the rock. It is so easy when you are alone by yourself; it seems as if you had done everything as God commands: but when you forget yourself, you sin again. Yet I shall still struggle on. It is very good. Help me, Lord!”

Thus ran his thoughts: he wanted to go to bed, but he felt loath to tear himself away from the book.

And he began to read further in the seventh chapter.

He read about the centurion, he read about the widow’s son,he read about the answer given to John’s disciples,and finally he came to that place where the rich Pharisee desired the Lord to sit at meet with him; and he read how the woman that was a sinner anointed His feet, and washed them with her tears, and how He forgave her.

He reached the forty-fourth verse, and began to read: “And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet. My head with oil thou didst not anoint:
but this woman hath anointed my feet with
ointment.”

He finished reading these verses, and thought to himself, “Thou gavest me no water for my
feet, thou gavest me no kiss. My head with oil thou didst not anoint.”

And again Avdeich took off his spectacles, put them down upon the book, and again he became lost in thought.

“It seems that Pharisee must have been such a man as I am. I too apparently have thought only of myself—how I might have my tea, be warm and comfortable, but never to think about my guest. He thought about himself, but there was not the least care taken of the guest. And who was his guest? The Lord Himself. If He had come to me, should I have done the same way?”

Avdeich rested his head upon both his arms, and did not notice how he fell asleep.

“Martin!” suddenly seemed to sound in his ears. Martin started from his sleep: “Who is here?”

He turned around, glanced toward the door—no one.

Again he fell into a doze.

Suddenly he plainly heard,
“Martin! Ah, Martin! Look tomorrow on the street. I’m coming.”

Martin awoke, rose from the chair, began to rub his eyes.

He himself did not know whether he heard
those words in his dreams, or in reality.

He turned down his lamp, and went to bed.

At daybreak next morning, Avdeich rose, made his prayer to God, lighted the stove, put on the cabbage soup and the gruel, put the water in the samovar, put on his apron, and sat down by the window to work.

Avdeich was working, and at the same time thinking about all that had happened yesterday.
He thought both ways: now he thought it was a dream, and now he thought he really heard a voice. “Well,” he thought, “such things have been.”

Martin was sitting by the window, and did not work as much as he looked through the window: when anyone passed by in boots that he did not know, he bent down, looked out of the window, in order to see not only the feet but also the face.

The house-porter passed by in new felt boots; the water-carrier passed by; then came alongside of the window an old soldier
of Czar Nicholas’ time, in an old pair of laced felt boots, with a shovel in his hands.

Avdeich recognised him by his felt boots.

The old man’s name was Stepanich; and a neighbouring merchant, out of charity, gave him a home with him.

He was required to assist the house-porter. Stepanich began to shovel away the snow from in front of Avdeich’s window.

Avdeich glanced at him, and took up his work again.

“Pshaw! I must be getting crazy in my old age,” said Avdeich, and laughed at himself.

“Stepanich is clearing away the snow, and I imagine that Christ is coming to see me.

I was entirely out of my mind, old dotard that I am!” Avdeich sewed about a dozen stitches, and then felt impelled to look through the window again.

He looked out again through the window, and saw Stepanich had leaned his shovel against the wall, and was either warming himself, or resting.

He was an old, broken-down man: evidently he had not strength enough even to shovel the snow.

Avdeich said to himself, “I will give him some tea: by the way, the samovar must be boiling by this time.”

Avdeich laid down his awl, rose from his seat, put the samovar on the table, made the tea, and tapped with his finger at the glass.

Stepanich turned around, and came to the window. Avdeich beckoned to him, and
went to open the door.

“Come in, warm yourself a little,” he said. “You must be cold.”

“May Christ reward you for this! My bones ache,” said Stepanich.

Stepanich came in, and shook off the snow; he tried to wipe his feet, so as not to soil the floor, but staggered.

“Don’t trouble to wipe your feet. I will clean it up myself: we are used to such things. Come in and sit down,” said Avdeich. “Drink a cup of tea.”

And Avdeich filled two glasses, and handed one to his guest; while he himself poured his tea into a saucer and began to blow it.

Stepanich finished drinking his glass of tea, turned the glass upside down (a custom among the Russians), put upon it the half-eaten lump of sugar, and began to express his thanks. But it was evident he wanted some more.

“Have some more,” said Avdeich, filling both his own glass and his guest’s. Avdeich drank his tea, but from time to time kept glancing out into the street.

“Are you expecting anyone?” asked his guest.

“Am I expecting anyone? I am ashamed even to tell whom I expect. I am, and I am not, expecting someone; but one word has impressed itself upon my heart. Whether it is a dream, or something else, I do not know. Don’t you see, brother, I was reading yesterday the Gospel about Christ, the Little Father; how He suffered, how He walked on the earth. I
suppose you have heard about it?”

“Indeed I have,” replied Stepanich: “but we are
people in darkness; we can’t read.”
“Well, now, I was reading about that very thing—how He walked upon the earth: I read, you know, how He comes to the Pharisee, and the Pharisee did not not treat Him hospitably. Well, and so, my brother, I was reading yesterday about this very thing, and was thinking to myself how he did not receive Christ, the Little Father, with honor. If, for example, He should
come to me, or anyone else, I think to myself I should not even know how to receive Him. And he gave Him no reception at all. Well! While I was thus thinking, I fell asleep, brother, and I heard someone call me by name. I got up: the voice, just as though someone whispered, said, ‘Be on the watch: I shall come tomorrow.’ And this happened twice. Well! Would you believe it, it got into my head? I scolded myself—and
yet I was expecting Him, the Little Father.”

Stepanich shook his head, and said nothing: he
finished drinking his glass of tea, and put it on the side; but Avdeich picked up the glass again, and filled it once more.

“Drink some more for your good health. You see, I have an idea that, when the Little Father went about the earth, He disdained no one, and had more to do with the simple people. He always went to see the simple people. He picked out His disciples more from among our brethren, sinners like ourselves from the
working-class. He, says He, who exalts himself shall be humbled, and he who is humbled shall become exalted. You, says He, call me Lord, and I, says He, wash your feet. Whoever wishes, says He, to be the first, the same shall be a servant to all. Because, says He, blessed are the poor, the humble, the kind, the generous.” And Stepanich forgot about his tea: he was an old man, and easily moved to tears. He was sitting listening, and the tears were rolling down his
face.

“Come, now, have some more tea,” said Avdeich; but Stepanich made the sign of the cross, thanked him, turned up his glass, and arose.

“Thanks to you,” he said, “Martin Avdeich, for treating me kindly, and satisfying me, soul and body.”

“You are welcome; come in again: always glad to see a friend,” said Avdeich.

Stepanich departed; and Martin poured out the rest of the tea, drank it up, put away the dishes, and sat down again by the window to work, to stitch on a patch.

He was stitching, and at the same time looking
through the window.

He was expecting Christ, and was all the while thinking of Him and His deeds, and his head was filled with the different speeches of Christ.

Two soldiers passed by: one wore boots furnished by the Crown, and the other one, boots that he had made; then the master of the next house passed by in shining galoshes; then a baker with a basket passed by.

All passed by; and now there came also by
the window a woman in woollen stockings and
wooden shoes.

She passed by the window, and stood
still near the window-case.

Avdeich looked up at her from the window, saw it was a strange woman poorly clad, and with a child: she was standing by the wall with her back to the wind, trying to wrap up the child, and she had nothing to wrap it up in.

The woman was dressed in shabby summer clothes: and from behind the frame, Avdeich heard the child crying, and the woman trying
to pacify it; but she was not able to pacify it.

Avdeich got up, went to the door, ascended the steps, and cried, “Hey! my good woman!” The woman heard him and turned around.
“Why are you standing in the cold with the child?

Come into my room, where it is warm: you can
manage it better. Right in this way!”

The woman was astonished.

She saw an old, old man in an apron, with spectacles on his nose, calling her to him.

She followed him.

They descended the steps, entered the room: the old man led the woman to his bed.

“There,” says he, “sit down, my good woman, nearer to the stove: you can get warm, and nurse the child.”

“I have no milk for him. I myself have not eaten
anything since morning,” said the woman; but,
nevertheless, she took the child to her breast.
Avdeich shook his head, went to the table, brought out the bread and a dish, opened the oven door, poured into the dish some cabbage soup, and took out the pot with the gruel, but it was not done yet; so he filled the dish with soup only, and put it on the table.

He got the bread, took the towel down from the hook, and put it upon the table.

“Sit down,” he said, “and eat, my good woman; and I will mind the little one. You see, I once had children of my own: I know how to handle them.”

The woman crossed herself, sat down at the table, and began to eat, while Avdeich took a seat on the bed near the infant. Avdeich kept smacking and smacking to it with his lips; but it was a poor kind of smacking, for he had no teeth.

The little one still cried.

And it occurred to Avdeich to threaten the little
one with his finger: he waved, waved his finger right before the child’s mouth, and hastily withdrew it.

He did not put it to its mouth, because his finger was black, and soiled with wax. And the little one looked at his finger, and became quiet: then it began to smile, and Avdeich also was glad.

While the woman was eating, she told who she was, and whither she was going.

“I,” said she, “am a soldier’s wife. It is now seven months since they sent my husband away off, and no tidings. I lived out as cook; the baby was born; no one cared to keep me with a child. This is the third month that I have been struggling along without a place. I ate up all I had. I wanted to engage as a wet-nurse—
no one would take me—I am too thin, they say. I have just been to the merchant’s wife, where lives our little grandmother, and so they promised to take us in. I thought this was the end of it. But she told me to come next week. And she lives a long way off. I got tired out; and it tired him, too, my heart’s darling.

Fortunately, our land-lady takes pity on us for the sake of Christ, and gives us a room, else I don’t know how I should manage to get along.”

Avdeich sighed, and said, “Haven’t you any warm clothes?”

“Now is the time, friend, to wear warm clothes; but yesterday I pawned my last shawl for a twenty-kopek piece.”

The woman came to the bed, and took the child; and Avdeich rose, went to the little wall, and succeeded in finding an old coat.

“Now!” said he, “it is a poor thing, yet you may turn it to some use.”

The woman looked at the coat, looked at the old man!

She took the coat, and burst into tears: and Avdeich turned away his head; crawling under the bed, he pushed out a little trunk, rummaged in it, and sat down again opposite the woman.

And the woman said, “May Christ bless you, little grandfather! He must have sent me Himself to your window. My little child would have frozen to death.
When I started out, it was warm, but now it is terribly cold. And He, Little Father, led you to look through the window, and take pity on me, an unfortunate.”

Avdeich smiled, and said, “Indeed, He did that! I have been looking through the window, my good woman, not without cause.” And Martin told the soldier’s wife his dream, and how he heard the voice—how the Lord promised to come and see him that day.

“All things are possible,” said the woman.

She rose, put on the coat, wrapped up her little child in it; and, as she started to take leave, she thanked Avdeich again.

“Take this, for Christ’s sake,” said Avdeich, giving her a twenty-kopek piece, “redeem your shawl.”

She made the sign of the cross. Avdeich made the sign of the cross, and went with her to the door.

The woman left. Avdeich ate some soup, washed
some dishes, and sat down again to work.

While he worked he still remembered the window: when the window grew darker, he immediately looked out to see who was passing by.

Both acquaintances and strangers passed by, and there was nothing out of the ordinary.

But here Avdeich saw that an old apple-woman had stopped right in front of his window.

She carried a basket with apples.

Only a few were left, as she had nearly sold them all out; and over her shoulder she had a bag full of chips.

She must have gathered them up in some new building, and was on her way home.

One could see that the bag was heavy on her
shoulder: she wanted to shift it to the other shoulder.

So she lowered the bag upon the sidewalk, stood the basket with the apples on a little post, and began to shake down the splinters in the bag.

And while she was shaking her bag, a little boy in a torn cap came along, picked up an apple from the basket, and was about to make his escape; but the old woman noticed it, turned around, and caught the youngster by his
sleeve.

The little boy began to struggle, tried to tear
himself away; but the old woman grasped him with both hands, knocked off his cap, and caught him by the hair.

The little boy was screaming, the old woman was scolding.

Avdeich lost no time in putting away his
awl; he threw it upon the floor, sprang to the door—he even stumbled on the stairs, and dropped his eye glasses—and rushed out into the street.

The old woman was pulling the youngster by his hair, and was scolding, and threatening to take him to the policeman: the youngster defended himself, and denied the charge. “I did not take it,” he said: “what are you licking me for? Let go!”

Avdeich tried to separate them.

He took the boy by his arm, and said,
“Let him go, Granny; forgive him, for Christ’s

sake.”
“I’ll pay him out so that he won’t forget it for a year! I am going to take the little villain to the police.”

Avdeich began to entreat the old woman: “Let him go, Granny,” he said, “he will never do it again.

Let him go, for Christ’s sake.”

The old woman let him loose: the boy tried to run, but Avdeich kept him back.

“Ask the Granny’s forgiveness,” he said, “and don’t ever do it again: I saw you taking the apple.”

With tears in his eyes, the boy began to ask
forgiveness.

“Good! That’s right; and now, here’s an apple for you.” Avdeich got an apple from the basket, and gave it to the boy. “I will pay you for it, Granny,” he said to the old woman.

“You ruin them that way, the good-for-nothings,” said the woman. “He ought to be treated so that he would remember it for a whole week.”

“Eh, Granny, Granny,” said Avdeich, “that is right according to our judgment, but not according to God’s. If he is to be whipped for an apple, then what do we deserve for our sins?”

The old woman was silent.

Avdeich told her the parable of the ruler who forgave a debtor all that he owed him, and how the debtor went and began to choke one who owed him.

The old woman listened, and the boy stood listening.

“God has commanded us to forgive,” said Avdeich, “else we, too, may not be forgiven. All should be forgiven, and the thoughtless especially.”

The old woman shook her head, and sighed.

“That’s so,” said she; “but the trouble is that they are very much spoiled.”

“Then we who are older must teach them,” said
Avdeich.

“That’s just what I say,” remarked the old woman. “I myself had seven of them—only one daughter is left.”

And the old woman began to relate where and how she lived with her daughter, and how many
grandchildren she had. “Here,” she says, “my
strength is only so-so, and yet I have to work. I pity the youngsters—my grandchildren—how nice they are! No one gives me such a welcome as they do.
Aksintka won’t go to anyone but me. ‘It’s
Grandmother, dear Grandmother, darling
Grandmother.’” And the old woman grew quite
sentimental.

“Of course, it is a childish trick. God be with him,” said she, pointing to the boy.

The woman was just about to lift the bag upon her shoulder, when the boy ran up and said, “Let me carry it, Granny: it is on my way.”

The old woman nodded her head, and put the bag on the boy’s back.

Side by side they both passed along the street.

And the old woman even forgot to ask Avdeich to pay for the apple.

Avdeich stood motionless, and kept gazing after
them; and he heard them talking all the time as they walked away.

After Avdeich saw them disappear, he returned to his room; he found his eyeglasses on the
stairs—they were not broken; he picked up his awl, and sat down to work again.

After working a little while, it grew darker so that he could not see to sew: he saw the lamplighter passing by to light the street lamps.

“It must be time to make a light,” he thought to
himself; so he fixed his little lamp, hung it up, and betook himself to work.

He had one boot already finished; he turned it around, looked at it: “Well done.”

He put away his tools, swept off the cuttings,
cleared off the bristles and ends, took the lamp, put it on the table, and took down the Gospels from the shelf.

He intended to open the book at the very place
where he had yesterday put a piece of leather as a mark, but it happened to open at another place; and the moment Avdeich opened the Testament, he recollected his last night’s dream.

And as soon as he remembered it, it seemed as though he heard someone stepping about behind him.

Avdeich looked around, and saw—there, in the dark corner, it seemed as though people were standing: he was at a loss to know who they were.

And a voice whispered in his ear, “Martin—ah, Martin! Did you not recognize
me?”

“Who?” uttered Avdeich.

“Me,” replied the voice. “It is I,” and Stepanich
stepped forth from the dark corner; he smiled, and like a little cloud faded away, and soon vanished.

“And this is I,” said the voice. From the dark corner stepped forth the woman with her child: the woman smiled, the child laughed, and they also vanished.

“And this is I,” continued the voice; both the old woman and the boy with the apple stepped forward; both smiled and vanished.

Avdeich’s soul rejoiced: he crossed himself, put on his eye glasses, and began to read the Gospel where it happened to open.

On the upper part of the page he
read: “For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in.”

And on the lower part of the page he read this:
“Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto
me” (Matthew 25).

And Avdeich understood that his dream did not
deceive him; that the Saviour really called upon him that day, and that he really received Him.

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

A Simple Soul~by Gustave Flaubert,Part Two-Felicite

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By Bernard Wainaina
CEO,Profarms Consultants®
LinkedIn; ke.linkedin.com/in/profarms/

{I dedicate this book to all House Helps in Kenya-you are doing a great job!}

Like every other woman, Felicite had had an affair of the heart.

Her father, who was a mason, was killed by falling from a scaffolding.

Then her mother died and her sisters went their different ways; a farmer took her in, and while she was quite small, let her keep cows in the fields.

She was clad in miserable rags, beaten for the
slightest offence and finally dismissed for a theft of thirty sous which she did not commit.

She took service on another farm where she tended the poultry; and as she was well thought of by her master, her fellow-workers soon
grew jealous.

One evening in August (she was then eighteen years old), they persuaded her to accompany them to the fair at Colleville.

She was immediately dazzled by the noise,the lights in the trees, the brightness of the dresses, the laces and gold crosses, and the crowd of
people all hopping at the same time.

She was standing modestly at a distance, when presently a young man of well-to-do appearance, who had been leaning on the pole
of a wagon and smoking his pipe, approached her, and asked her for a dance.

He treated her to cider and cake, bought her a silk shawl, and then, thinking she had guessed
his purpose, offered to see her home.

When they came to the end of a field he threw her down brutally.

But she grew frightened and screamed, and he walked off.

One evening, on the road leading to Beaumont, she came upon a wagon loaded with hay, and when she overtook it, she recognised Theodore.
He greeted her calmly,and asked her to forget what had happened between them, as it “was all the fault of the drink.”

She did not know what to reply and wished to run away.

Presently he began to speak of the harvest and of the notables of the village; his father had left Colleville and bought the farm of Les Ecots,
so that now they would be neighbours. “Ah!” she exclaimed.

He then added that his parents were looking around for a wife for him, but that he, himself, was not so anxious and preferred to wait for a girl who suited him.

She hung her head.

He then asked her whether she had ever thought of marrying. She replied, smilingly,
that it was wrong of him to make fun of her.

“Oh! no, I am in earnest,” he said, and put his left arm around her waist while they sauntered along.

The air was soft,the stars were bright, and the huge load of hay oscillated in front of them, drawn by four horses whose ponderous hoofs raised clouds of dust.

Without a word from their driver they turned to the right.

He kissed her again and she went home.

The following week,Theodore obtained meetings.

They met in yards, behind walls or under isolated trees.

She was not ignorant, as girls of well-to-do
families are–for the animals had instructed her;–but her reason and her instinct of honour kept her from falling.

Her resistance exasperated Theodore’s love and so in order to satisfy it (or perchance ingenuously), he offered to marry her.

She would not believe him at first, so he made
solemn promises.

But, in a short time he mentioned a difficulty; the previous year, his parents had purchased a substitute for him; but any day he might be drafted and the prospect of serving in the army
alarmed him greatly.

To Felicite his cowardice appeared a proof of his love for her, and her devotion to him grew stronger.

When she met him, he would torture her with his fears and his entreaties.

At last, he announced that he was going to
the prefect himself for information, and would let her know everything on the following
Sunday, between eleven o’clock and midnight.

When the time grew near, she ran to meet her lover.

But instead of Theodore, one of his friends was at the meeting-place.

He informed her that she would never see her sweetheart again; for, in order to escape the
conscription, he had married a rich old woman, Madame Lehoussais, of Toucques.

The poor girl’s sorrow was frightful.

She threw herself on the ground, she cried and called on the Lord, and wandered around
desolately until sunrise.

Then she went back to the farm, declared
her intention of leaving, and at the end of the month, after she had received her wages, she packed all her belongings in a handkerchief
and started for Pont-l’Eveque.

In front of the inn, she met a woman wearing widow’s weeds, and upon questioning her, learned that she was looking for a cook.

The girl did not know very much, but appeared so willing and so modest in her requirements, that Madame Aubain finally said:”Very well, I will give you a trial.”

And half an hour later Felicite was installed in her house.

At first she lived in a constant anxiety that was caused by “the style of the household” and the
memory of “Monsieur,” that hovered over everything.

Paul and Virginia, the one aged seven, and
the other barely four, seemed made of some precious material; she carried them pig-a-back, and was greatly mortified when Madame Aubain forbade her to kiss them every other minute.

But in spite of all this, she was happy.

The comfort of her new surroundings had obliterated her sadness.

Every Thursday, friends of Madame Aubain dropped in for a game of cards, and it was Felicite’s duty to prepare the table and heat
the foot-warmers.

They arrived at exactly eight o’clock and
departed before eleven.

Every Monday morning, the dealer in second-hand goods, who lived under the alley-way, spread out his wares on the sidewalk.

Then the city would be filled with a buzzing
of voices in which the neighing of horses, the bleating of lambs, the grunting of pigs, could be distinguished, mingled with the sharp sound of wheels on the cobble- stones.

About twelve o’clock, when the market was in
full swing, there appeared at the front door a tall, middle-aged peasant, with a hooked nose and a cap on the back of his head; it was
Robelin, the farmer of Geffosses.

Shortly afterwards came Liebard,the farmer of Toucques, short,rotund and ruddy, wearing a grey jacket and spurred boots.

Both men brought their landlady either chickens or cheese.

Felicite would invariably thwart their ruses
and they held her in great respect.

At various times, Madame Aubain received a visit from the Marquis de Gremanville, one of her uncles, who was ruined and lived at
Falaise on the remainder of his estates.

He always came at dinner-time and brought an ugly poodle with him, whose paws soiled their
furniture.

In spite of his efforts to appear a man of breeding (he even went so far as to raise his hat
every time he said “My deceased father”), his habits got the better of him, and he would fill his glass a little too often and relate broad
stories.

Felicite would show him out very politely and say: “You have had enough for this time,
Monsieur de Gremanville! Hoping
to see you again!” and would close the door.

She opened it gladly for Monsieur Bourais, a retired lawyer.

His bald head and white cravat, the ruffling
of his shirt, his flowing brown coat,the manner in which he took snuff,his whole person, in fact, produced in her the kind of awe which we
feel when we see extraordinary persons.

As he managed Madame’s estates, he spent hours with her in Monsieur’s study; he was in constant fear of being compromised, had a great regard for the magistracy and some
pretensions to learning.

In order to facilitate the children’s studies, he presented them with an engraved geography which represented various scenes of the world; cannibals with feather head-dresses, a gorilla kidnapping a young girl, Arabs in the desert, a
whale being harpooned, etc.

Paul explained the pictures to Felicite.

And, in fact, this was her only literary education.

The children’s studies were under the direction of a poor devil employed at the town-hall, who
sharpened his pocket-knife on his boots and was famous for his penmanship.

When the weather was fine, they went to Geffosses.

The house was built in the centre of the sloping
yard; and the sea looked like a grey spot in the distance.

Felicite would take slices of cold meat from the
lunch basket and they would sit down and eat in a room next to the dairy.

This room was all that remained of a cottage that had been torn down.

The dilapidated wall-paper trembled in the drafts.

Madame Aubain, overwhelmed by recollections, would hang her head, while the children were
afraid to open their mouths.

Then,”Why don’t you go and play?” their
mother would say; and they would scamper off.

Paul would go to the old barn,catch birds, throw stones into the pond, or pound the trunks of the trees with a stick till they resounded like drums.

Virginia would feed the rabbits and run to
pick the wild flowers in the fields, and her flying legs would disclose her little embroidered pantalettes.

One autumn evening, they struck out for home through the meadows.

The new moon illumined part of the sky and a mist hovered like a veil over the sinuosities of the river.

Oxen, lying in the pastures, gazed mildly at the
passing persons.

In the third field, however, several of them got up and surrounded them. “Don’t be afraid,” cried Felicite; and murmuring a sort of lament she passed her hand over the back of the nearest ox; he turned away and the others followed.

But when they came to the next pasture, they
heard frightful bellowing.

It was a bull which was hidden from them by the fog.

He advanced towards the two women, and
Madame Aubain prepared to flee for her life. “No, no! not so fast,” warned Felicite. Still they hurried on, for they could hear the noisy
breathing of the bull behind them.

His hoofs pounded the grass like hammers, and presently he began to gallop!

Felicite turned around and threw patches of grass in his eyes.

He hung his head, shook his horns and bellowed with fury.

Madame Aubain and the children, huddled at the end of the field, were trying to jump over the ditch.

Felicite continued to back before the bull, blinding him with dirt, while she shouted to them to make haste.

Madame Aubain finally slid into the ditch, after shoving first Virginia and then Paul into it, and
though she stumbled several times she managed, by dint of courage, to climb the other side of it.

The bull had driven Felicite up against a fence; the foam from his muzzle flew in her face and in another minute he would have disembowelled her.

She had just time to slip between two bars and
the huge animal, thwarted, paused.

For years, this occurrence was a topic of conversation in Pont-l’Eveque.

But Felicite took no credit to herself, and probably never knew that she had been heroic.

Virginia occupied her thoughts solely, for the shock she had sustained gave her a nervous
affection, and the physician, M. Poupart, prescribed the salt-water bathing at Trouville.

In those days,Trouville was not greatly
patronised. Madame Aubain gathered information, consulted Bourais, and made preparations as if they were going on an extended trip.

The baggage was sent the day before on Liebard’s cart.

On the following morning, he brought around two horses, one of which had a woman’s saddle with a velveteen back to it, while on the crupper of the other was a rolled shawl that was to be used for a seat.

Madame Aubain mounted the second horse, behind Liebard.

Felicite took charge of the little girl, and Paul rode M. Lechaptois’ donkey, which had been lent for the occasion on the condition that they should be careful of it.

The road was so bad that it took two hours to cover the eight miles.

The two horses sank knee-deep into the mud and stumbled into ditches; sometimes they had to jump over them.

In certain places, Liebard’s mare stopped abruptly.

He waited patiently till she started again, and talked of the people whose estates bordered the road, adding his own moral reflections to the outline of their histories.

Thus, when they were passing through Toucques, and came to some windows draped with nasturtiums, he shrugged his shoulders and said: “There’s a woman, Madame Lehoussais, who, instead of taking a young man–” Felicite could not catch what followed; the horses began to trot,the donkey to gallop, and they turned into a lane; then a gate
swung open, two farm- hands appeared and they all dismounted at the very threshold of the farm- house.

Mother Liebard, when she caught sight of her mistress, was lavish with joyful demonstrations.
She got up a lunch which comprised a
leg of mutton, tripe, sausages, a chicken fricassee, sweet cider, a fruit tart and some preserved prunes; then to all this the good
woman added polite remarks about Madame, who appeared to be in better health, Mademoiselle, who had grown to be “superb,”
and Paul, who had become singularly sturdy; she spoke also of their deceased grandparents,
whom the Liebards had known, for they had been in the service of the family for several generations.

Like its owners, the farm had an ancient appearance.

The beams of the ceiling were mouldy, the walls
black with smoke and the windows grey with dust.

The oak sideboard was filled with all sorts of utensils, plates, pitchers, tin bowls, wolf-
traps.

The children laughed when they saw a huge syringe.

There was not a tree in the yard that did not
have mushrooms growing around its foot, or a bunch of mistletoe hanging in its branches.

Several of the trees had been blown down,
but they had started to grow in the middle and all were laden with quantities of apples.

The thatched roofs, which were of unequal
thickness, looked like brown velvet and could resist the fiercest gales.

But the wagon-shed was fast crumbling to ruins.

Madame Aubain said that she would attend
to it, and then gave orders to have the horses saddled.

It took another thirty minutes to reach Trouville.

The little caravan dismounted in order to pass Les Ecores, a cliff that overhangs the bay, and a few minutes later, at the end of the dock, they entered the yard of the Golden Lamb, an inn
kept by Mother David.

During the first few days, Virginia felt stronger, owing to the change of air and the action of the sea-baths.

She took them in her little chemise, as she had no bathing suit, and afterwards her nurse
dressed her in the cabin of a customs officer, which was used for that purpose by other bathers.

In the afternoon, they would take the donkey and go to the Roches-Noires, near Hennequeville.

The path led at first through undulating
grounds, and thence to a plateau,where pastures and tilled fields alternated.

At the edge of the road,mingling with the brambles, grew holly bushes, and here and there stood large dead trees whose branches traced zigzags upon the blue sky.

Ordinarily, they rested in a field facing the ocean, with Deauville on their left, and Havre on their right.

The sea glittered brightly in the sun and was as smooth as a mirror,and so calm that they could
scarcely distinguish its murmur; sparrows chirped joyfully and the immense canopy of heaven spread over it all.

Madame Aubain brought out her sewing, and
Virginia amused herself by braiding reeds;

Felicite wove lavender blossoms, while Paul was bored and wished to go home.

Sometimes they crossed the Toucques in a boat, and started to hunt for sea-shells.

The outgoing tide exposed star-fish and sea-
urchins, and the children tried to catch the flakes of foam which the wind blew away.

The sleepy waves lapping the sand unfurled
themselves along the shore that extended as far as the eye could see, but where land began, it was limited by the downs which separated it from the “Swamp,” a large meadow shaped like a hippodrome.

When they went home that way, Trouville, on the slope of a hill below, grew larger and larger as they advanced, and, with all its houses of unequal height, seemed to spread out before them in a sort of giddy confusion.

When the heat was too oppressive, they remained in their rooms.

The dazzling sunlight cast bars of light
between the shutters.

Not a sound in the village, not a soul on the
sidewalk.

This silence intensified the tranquillity of everything.

In the distance, the hammers of some calkers pounded the hull of a ship, and the sultry breeze brought them an odour of tar.

The principal diversion consisted in watching the return of the fishing-smacks.

As soon as they passed the beacons, they began to ply to windward.

The sails were lowered to one third of the masts, and with their fore-sails swelled up
like balloons they glided over the waves and anchored in the middle of the harbour.

Then they crept up alongside of the dock and the sailors threw the quivering fish over the side of the boat; a line of carts was waiting for them, and women with white caps sprang forward to receive the baskets and embrace their men-folk.

One day, one of them spoke to Felicite, who, after a little while, returned to the house gleefully.

She had found one of her sisters, and presently Nastasie Barette, wife of Leroux, made her
appearance, holding an infant in her arms, another child by the hand, while on her left was a little cabin-boy with his hands in his pockets and his cap on his ear.

At the end of fifteen minutes, Madame Aubain bade her go.

They always hung around the kitchen, or approached Felicite when she and the children were out walking.

The husband, however, did not show himself.

Felicite developed a great fondness for them; she bought them a stove, some shirts and a blanket; it was evident that they exploited her.

Her foolishness annoyed Madame Aubain, who, moreover did not like the nephew’s familiarity, for he called her son “thou”;–and, as Virginia began to cough and the season was over, she decided to return to Pont- l’Eveque.

Monsieur Bourais assisted her in the choice of a college.

The one at Caen was considered the best.

So Paul was sent away and bravely said good-bye to them all, for he was glad to go to live in a house where he would have boy companions.

Madame Aubain resigned herself to the separation from her son because it was unavoidable.

Virginia brooded less and less over it.

Felicite regretted the noise he made, but soon a new occupation diverted her mind; beginning from Christmas, she accompanied the little girl to her catechism lesson every day.

To be continued.

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

A Simple Soul~by Gustave Flaubert,Part One

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By Bernard Wainaina
CEO,Profarms Consultants®
LinkedIn; ke.linkedin.com/in/profarms/

{I dedicate this book to all House Helps in Kenya-you are doing a great job!}

For half a century the housewives of Pont-l’Eveque had envied Madame Aubain her servant Felicite.

For a hundred francs a year, she cooked and did the housework,washed, ironed, mended,
harnessed the horse, fattened the poultry, made the butter and remained faithful to her mistress–although the latter was by no
means an agreeable person.

Madame Aubain had married a comely youth without any money, who died in the beginning of 1809, leaving her with two young children and a number of debts.

She sold all her property excepting the farm of Toucques and the farm of Geffosses, the income of which barely amounted to 5,000 francs; then she left her house in Saint-
Melaine, and moved into a less pretentious one which had belonged to her ancestors and
stood back of the market-place.

This house, with its slate-covered roof, was built between a passage-way and a narrow street that led to the river.

The interior was so unevenly graded that it caused people to stumble.

A narrow hall separated the kitchen from the
parlour, where Madame Aubain sat all day in a straw armchair near the window.

Eight mahogany chairs stood in a row against the white wainscoting.

An old piano,standing beneath a barometer,
was covered with a pyramid of old books and boxes.

On either side of the yellow marble mantelpiece, in Louis XV. style, stood a tapestry
armchair.

The clock represented a temple of Vesta; and the whole room smelled musty, as it was on
a lower level than the garden.

On the first floor was Madame’s bed-chamber, a large room papered in a flowered design and
containing the portrait of Monsieur dressed in the costume of a dandy.

It communicated with a smaller room, in which there were two little cribs, without any mattresses.

Next, came the parlour (always closed), filled with furniture covered with sheets.

Then a hall, which led to the study, where
books and papers were piled on the shelves of a book-case that enclosed three quarters of the big black desk.

Two panels were entirely hidden under pen-and-ink sketches, Gouache landscapes and
Audran engravings, relics of better times and vanished luxury.

On the second floor, a garret-window
lighted Felicite’s room, which looked out upon the meadows.

She arose at daybreak, in order to attend mass, and she worked without interruption until night; then, when dinner was over, the dishes cleared away and the door securely locked, she would bury the log under the ashes and fall
asleep in front of the hearth with a rosary in her hand.

Nobody could bargain with greater obstinacy,
and as for cleanliness, the lustre on her brass sauce-pans was the envy and despair of other servants.

She was most economical, and when she ate she would gather up crumbs with the tip of her finger, so that nothing should be wasted
of the loaf of bread weighing twelve pounds which was baked especially for her and lasted three weeks.

Summer and winter she wore a dimity kerchief fastened in the back with a pin, a cap which
concealed her hair, a red skirt, grey stockings, and an apron with a bib like those worn by hospital nurses.

Her face was thin and her voice shrill.

When she was twenty-five, she looked forty.

After she had passed fifty, nobody could tell her
age; erect and silent always, she resembled a wooden figure working automatically.

To be continued.

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

Byreleasing Uhuru’s pre-trial brief,ICC-The Hague has confirmed that the whole trial was meant to be a pulic circus

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From The Editor’s Desk

The recent release of the 73-page ICC prosecution’s “evidence”’ against President Kenyatta in the botched ICC case was received with glee by some Kenyans in Opposition and consternation by others.

While the dossier is good fodder for Mr Kenyatta’s detractors, many legal observers found it troubling; it was a departure from tradition in criminal trials.

As any legal practitioner will tell you, I consider the release unfairly prejudicial to the President.
From a legal standpoint, these were simply unproven allegations that had not been tested for veracity.

The so-called evidence had not gone through a rigorous court process in the form of a trial.

Such a process involves calling witnesses that gave the information and subjecting them to qualification for credibility, cross examination and application of rules of evidence.

Just because a person accuses another of having committed an offence does not make it true.

At the end of trial, all, most, or part of the evidence may either pass muster or be considered unreliable and untrue and
therefore stricken off the record.

Alternatively, a prosecutor may conclude that he does not have enough evidence to proceed or has some evidence but is unable to prove it.

In such a case, the prosecutor declares a nolle prosequi which means that the case is a still birth.

The latter scenario is what happened in Mr Kenyatta’s case.

In such a case, the case ends there.

The declaration of nolle prosequi by a prosecutor is not an indictment on an accused person.

If anything, it is an admission by the prosecutor that the case does not meet the
threshold of securing a conviction, and the accused is therefore considered innocent.

IRRESPONSIBLE

A prosecutor possessing insufficient, unverifiable or unreliable evidence preventing proceeding cannot then turn around and present the same evidence to the public to
illustrate that the accused committed the offence(s) alleged in the charge sheet.

Ms Fatou Bensouda could not proceed with the trial because she could not prove the case against Mr Kenyatta.

If she could, she would not have dropped the case.

So, for the court to order the release of the same “evidence” to a divided and mostly unsophisticated public is to stoke despondence; it’s irresponsible use of the ICC’s discretion
and subjects Mr Kenyatta to a trial in the court of public opinion.

To be sure, many are already taking the unproven “evidence” in the dossier as gospel truth and peddling it all over under absolute titles like “Uhuru gave cash to arm Mungiki”.
Moreover, those who do not understand the exact nature of the trial may assume that the dossier is a compilation of facts.

As a bare minimum, the court should have stipulated that Ms Bensouda include a caveat with the release of the dossier stating that the “evidence” she was releasing contains unproven allegations.

And even then, it is still not acceptable to release such unproven yet inflammatory information to the public.

FLAWS IN THE ROME STATUTE

The release of the pre-trial brief in the case, though not illegal under the Rome statute is disallowed in many jurisdictions that value the right of an accused to be presumed innocent
until proven guilty.

This abuse of discretion represents the main problem bedevilling the ICC, namely the Rome Statute’s conferment of unchecked powers and discretion to the court and the prosecutor.

Many countries that have refused to join or that have quit the ICC have cited the main reason as the flaws in the Rome Statute.

It does not help that the Statute has created an absurdly powerful office of the prosecutor that acts as the face of the court and the chief protagonist.

In many jurisdictions, including Kenya, the judge is the face of the court as the neutral arbiter.

The name of the prosecutor is hardly known, nor prominently featured.

The US, China, Israel, India, Indonesia and many other countries have refused to join the ICC because of the improper structure giving the prosecutor too much power.

In refusing to join the ICC, the US concluded that the Rome Statute “is fatally flawed” and neither signed nor ratified it in its present form.

The decision to permit the release of unproven evidence against an accused person to the public hastens the court’s doomed political future as just a venue for public circus,not justice.

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

On a point of order Mr Speaker Sir, don’t assume every liquid in a bottle is water….

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By Bernard Wainaina
CEO,Profarms Consultants®
LinkedIn; ke.linkedin.com/in/profarms/

Did I hear some people suggest that CORD and
Jubilee should cooperate, and work together?

Folks, perish the thought already.

‘Dialogue’ noise is nothing but rhetoric.

It won’t happen.

And if it does, you will be bored to death.

An eerie state of political minds has beset the land, and strange things are happening.

Kenyans are used to politicians being obnoxious, and behaving like spoilt brats who throw tantrums for no reason, hurl insults at the slightest provocation and whip out baseless accusations, just to earn political marks or
even just get one over their opponent.

This template is so well-established that one can just look at the name of a politician and, given any function — funeral, fundraising, wedding, political rally — one can then predict with uncanny accuracy what the politician in question will say.

This rather tired predictability has its advantages.

You could pick a random Kenyan from any of our slums and ask her what was discussed in Parliament on any given day.

Whether she watched the parliamentary session in question or not, she will give you an accurate summary of what transpired —and it all involves some of the usual shenanigans that
our politicians get up to.

A female representative will have her panties
embroiled in the melee at some ruling by the
Speaker; another elected worthy will have thrown a book — or even bottled urine (oh yeah, don’t assume every liquid in a bottle is water), take your pick — at the Clerk of the Assembly; a third representative will have bitten the fingers right off the hand of an opponent and a couple of opposition bigwigs will have had their trousers ripped off, leaving a big
chunk of his backside exposed and clearly letting all and sundry know whether he had anything underneath the trousers!

Interesting bunch

The antagonism between the governing party and the opposition is fantastic for neutral observers.

It makes the Kenyan political scene quite possibly the most entertaining in Africa, certainly in the region.

Far removed from the boring Museveni-worship that Uganda’s rubber stamp of a parliament prefers to engage in.

And definitely more entertaining than the snore that is Tanzania’s parliament in session, unless there is a corruption scandal for mandugu to discuss.

As parliaments go, ours is matched only by Somalia’s: the Somalis are an interesting bunch.

Back when they used to hold their Bunge sessions in Nairobi hotels,they would descend into fisticuffs at the slightest hint of an insult from one clan to the other.

In the process, bills would be left unpaid,chairs
would be broken, and everyone around would
scamper for safety into the nearest hotel rooms.
Further afield, the parliaments of Taiwan and South Korea are well-known for their entertaining fights.

The two countries are big on martial arts, and kicks will fly at alarming speeds when the respective speakers make any unpopular ruling.

Interesting times

In South Korea, the speaker has to be physically present in parliament before any motion can be passed — and Seoul wags claim that this has led to an interesting phenomenon: opposition lawmakers routinely barricade the speaker in his house, preventing him from attending parliament and thus, effectively killing any government business in the House.

Anyone trying to rescue the speaker from this house arrest gets a good Tae-Kwon-Do beating!

Unfortunately, this is about to change, in Kenya.

A strange wind is abroad the land, and it has brought with it that most rare of political occurrences: a concurrence in opinions between the government and the opposition.

Politicians used to spitting and flinging panties at each other from across the parliamentary aisle are suddenly finding nice things to say about each other.

Very interesting times.

Formerly intractable opponents — whose closest personal encounters with members of the opposite side have hitherto been when biting off those opponents’ fingers and similar body parts — are rather strangely finding
common cause.

And talking as if they have all been lobotomized and then injected with a cooperation serum.

If our politicians close ranks and indeed sit at a ‘dialogue’ table(I suspect they’d prefer sitting at a ‘Dinner’ table instead!) , the Kenyan political scene
will certainly be a very boring.

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

A New Year Resolution for my neighbour~please buy a new bed!

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By Bernard Wainaina
CEO,Profarms Consultants®

There is something I have been meaning to get off my chest for the last three years, but for some reason, whenever I sit down to write about it, I end up writing about something else.

This time round, however, nothing will derail me, so allow me to tell you what happened to me many years ago.

A squeaky bed is quite irritating and awkward.

You don’t have to alert your neighbours every time you are engaging in bedroom gym activities.
I was only two months into my first job after college when I moved into a new flat.

I was not enthusiastic about the move — if you have ever moved house, you know how hectic it is, it can be a headache-inducing affair.

However, the move was absolutely necessary; therefore I grinned and took it like a man — at least the flats were new, so we would not have to go through the unpleasant job of scrubbing and sterilising the toilet and bathroom.

Like any other reasonable co-tenant in an apartment, I would mute the TV, radio, and anything else that needed muting after 10.00pm in the night.

I also closed the windows, and abstained from opening the kitchen or bathroom tap, tiptoe, and open doors in slow motion. Yes,but I now see it; I was a difficult person to live with then …

Anyway, I managed to move without breaking a glass, and by evening, all the necessary items had been unpacked and put in their respective place.

Poor me!I was so exhausted; I must have fallen into a deep dreamless slumber a second after dropping into my bed — only for loud screeching and thumping to rudely wake me up about three hours later.

In my confusion, I thought someone had broken into the house, but once the cobwebs of sleep cleared, I realised that the commotion was coming from somewhere above me.

A few more seconds of the rude sounds and it finally dawned on me that my bedroom ceiling was someone else’s bedroom floor.

What is the standard furniture in bedrooms — beds and wardrobes, right?

Since we do not sleep in wardrobes, then you know what was making those ungodly noises at 3a.m…

I almost wept with frustration, because I knew there was no way I could go back to sleep with all that commotion, but even worse, because I knew that it was just a matter of time before that rocking bed planted sinful thoughts into my “innocent” mind.

Sure enough, it did, and my dear sleep was gone,for eternity till dawn.

Dear readers, the creaking bed upstairs had mercy on me about 20 minutes later (not that I was counting) and by then, I was ready to storm upstairs and haul the randy couple out of
bed.

It took me no less than two hours to go back to sleep, but by then, my neighbours were getting up, so there was a lot of slamming of doors and
footsteps moving back and forth.

The following night, the affectionate couple was at it again at 3 a.m., and the routine of me and my irritable son was repeated once again.

Though I was tempted several times, I restrained myself from marching upstairs to tell my active neighbours to buy a new
bed. Instead, I embarked on looking for another house to rent in earnest.

By the end of that month; I was out of there, hopeful that my next upstairs neighbours had a firmer bed.

Lucky for me, they did.

My fellow Kenyans, when someone mentions the word investment, most of us picture farms,plots and rental houses.

I beseech you, whatever big project you plan to invest your hard-earned money on this year, if your bed groans whenever you turn, and you live in a flat, please, first invest in a new bed, a firm bed — you could just have preserved the sanity of a lonely and unattached single man downstairs!

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

Media and Kenyan opposition are playing in the terrorists league

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By Bernard Wainaina
CEO,Profarms Consultants®

The media were vital for Al-Qaeda.
Before his death, Osama bin Laden was obsessed with the media and was at one point described as “a publicity hound” who had “caught the disease of screens, flashes, fans and applause”.

His successor, the Egyptian Al-Zawahiri, was once quoted as saying that “more than half of this battle is taking place in the battlefield of the media”.

A FORM OF THEATRE

How is Al-Shabaab using the media?

First, it is important to understand that terrorism is a form of theatre and cannot exist without an audience.

It is not the magnitude of an attack that counts; it is the resulting publicity.

We must understand that when a few citizens are slaughtered, the attack is a form of communication to the wider Kenyan public and possibly beyond.

In this sense, therefore, the media become a critical platform through which the massage of terrorism is communicated to the audience.

These attacks are political texts purposely aimed at influencing public opinion and re-organisation of government and policy.

The sacking of the Internal Security Cabinet Secretary and the exit of the police chief are evidence that the Kenyan state has heard the terrorists’ message.

CHOREOGRAPHED ATTACKS

Second, the clearest sign that terrorists are beginning to “mediatise” attacks is the aspect of contagion.

The attack on the quarry workers, in which the victims were made to lie down in a line, then shot in the head was choreographed to fit within the media frame that had been set
up by the attack on the Makkah Bus, which had gained wide coverage.

Al shabaab made sure that the bodies were well arranged for maximum “CNN,BBC and Al Jazera” photo effect!

Audiences were treated to photographs and videos of the dead, which was previously rare in the Kenyan media.

These gave the terrorists publicity and helped to spread the fear that gripped the nation.

Terrorists also hope to gain other goals such as recognition of the group and their demands and the possibility of gaining a quasi-legitimate status.

When the opposition and civil society groups call press conferences to demand the withdrawal of Kenyan troops from Somalia, they are not only playing into the hands of terrorists, whose intention is to divide our national psyche, they inadvertently give recognition to Al-Shabaab by implying
that the group has legitimate grievances against the Kenyan state.

The media contribute to public discourse by appropriating and fixing labels on persons and events.

Labels often imply a moral evaluation and also embed a treatment option.

While there is no doubt that Al-Shabaab has orchestrated the recent attacks in Mandera and other parts of the country,there is inconsistency in how they are characterised.

Often, the attacks are labelled as the handiwork of “militants”, “terrorists”, or “criminals”.

Some labels bestore recognition and quasi-legitimate status while others simply deny that privilege.

While the Kenyan media remain pivotal, there is certainly a need for developing editorial policies on how to cover terrorism.

Not much can be said of opposition which sounds like a mouth-piece for terrorist propaganda;the less said about the opposition antics of gaining political mileage from terrorist attacks instead of calling for unity and patriotism during these incidents,the better.

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

Summary of Kenya’s weekly political news in a cartoon

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Raila's solution to challenges facing the Kenya Nation

Raila’s solution to challenges facing the Kenya Nation

“We are the government-in-waiting,and this is how Jubilee government should be conducting the Nation’s affairs in order to move this country forward!”~Yours Truly,Raila Amollo Odinga

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

An impotent world is a good recipe for disaster in climate change mitigation

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By Bernard Wainaina
CEO,Profarms Consultants®

Every year, almost ten thousand professional vacationeers gather in some exotic holiday location, like Cancún, Buenos Aires, Bali, Durban or, most recently, Lima, Peru.

They do so at the expense of the taxpayers and the people who donate their hard-earned income to supposedly worthy environmental lobby groups like Greenpeace, the Worldwatch Institute, 350.org, the Union of Concerned Scientists, the National Resources Defense
Council, and the Sierra Club.

The stated intention, besides partying, sightseeing and random acts of archaeological vandalism, is to get the 195 participating
countries to agree to sharply reduce carbon dioxide emissions, in the hope that this will limit climate warming by 2100 to less
than 2°C.

The conference had to be extended in order to reach a deal, and the agreement that was ultimately reached glossed over the long-standing disputes that had pitched the rich world against their developing counterparts.

The Lima Call for Climate Action essentially says, “We’ll try. Maybe.”

Under the agreement, every country gets to set its own voluntary carbon emission targets, between nothing and a lot.

If they don’t meet those targets, they’ll be “named and shamed”.

Judging by the casual way in which Canada withdrew from the binding Kyoto Protocol in 2011, missing some voluntary targets should not present insurmountable political obstacles.

The skeptical Global Warming Policy Foundation welcomed the deal.

Its director, Dr Benny Peiser, said: “The Lima agreement is another acknowledgement of international reality. … In contrast to the Kyoto Protocol, the Lima deal opens the way for a new
climate agreement in 2015 [in gay Paris] which will remove legal obligations for governments to cap or reduce CO2 emissions.

A voluntary agreement would also remove the mad rush into unrealistic decarbonisation policies that are both economically and politically unsustainable.”

The lack of meaningful targets reflects a new era in which global warming simply does not make it high on the world’s priority list.

Countries, especially in the developing world,
attach far more importance to matters such as poverty alleviation, developing industrial infrastructure, combating the toll taken by preventable diseases and malnutrition, creating
employment, and improving the quality of life of their poor population.

This agreement leaves countries free to individually address problems such as pollution caused by rapid growth in fossil-fuelled electricity generation, without committing them to compulsory, expensive and risky green energy projects.

There is important context for the new lack of urgency in global climate talks.

One factor is the realisation that not even cheap
oil is running out.

Ten years ago, nobody would have believed
that the US would be the world’s biggest oil producer by today, yet it is.

Ten years ago, nobody would have believed that we’d ever see sub-$60 oil again, and yet, here we are.

The OPEC nations intend to keep the oil price low, hurting other competing producers like Nigeria and Venezuela, but also putting the squeeze on American shale oil and gas, and
Canadian oil sands.

Cheap oil also dramatically weakens the
investment case for renewables, which make economic sense only if oil remains expensive.

However this power struggle plays out, and however bad the news is for shale or green developers, an oil price war is great news for energy consumers.

It is especially good for poor countries that cannot afford expensive energy on which to build an industrial base.

Even rich countries are being urged to exploit cheap energy to invest in their infrastructure.

For a hint at the desperation in renewable energy circles, witness the false claims about “[leaning] on renewables” that Greenpeace UK made when some nuclear power stations were
taken offline last August.

In fact, coal picked up the slack.

The crowing last October about wind producing more than nuclear power in the UK was also revealing.

At the time, the nuclear contribution to the grid was unusually low, and the wind was provided by Hurricane Gonzalo, which caused three deaths, much damage, flooding, and several aborted aeroplane landings.

Besides the sweeping impact of cheap and plentiful oil, another factor is the growing realisation that previous climate change
predictions – like peak oil predictions – were likely much too alarmist.

Advocates of human-caused global warming claim 97% of scientists agree that global warming is happening, is caused by humans, and is dangerous.

However, that number is highly misleading. The so-called “consensus” paper by Cook et al.
claims to have assessed whether 12,000 papers on climate change disputed that carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, and that human activity contributed to the increase in atmospheric
carbon dioxide since 1950.

These are uncontroversial statements, and I’d wager at least 97% of climate skeptics would
agree with both. I certainly do.

However, the Cook paper has been roundly thrashed – in a peer-reviewed journal – for bad maths and worse presumptions.

It turns out that less than 1% of the papers explicitly stated agreement with the consensus, namely that global warming is mostly man-made.

Perhaps it isn’t surprising that many scientists avoid politically controversial questions, given that scientific skeptics of the orthodox political view about climate are treated to what Prof
Lennart Bengtsson of the University of Reading experienced as McCarthyism.

That so few explicitly agree with the consensus doesn’t mean everyone else is a sceptic.

It just means that the vast majority of scientists are not alarmists who think science is democracy and public policy is their job.

Critics often label skeptics of climate policy as “deniers”.

To do so, however, they rely on insulting straw men, such as that they reject ideas a priori without objective consideration.

The term “denier” is mostly an offensive rhetorical device to falsely paint those who don’t support urgent climate action with an anti-
science brush.

It is not necessary to deny any scientific claims about global warming to reject the worst predictions of the climate lobby, or the policy implications proposed by the United Nations.

A sceptic of climate policy can easily accept that the planet has been warming (at least until the end of the last century), that it is currently warm by historical standards, that carbon dioxide is a
greenhouse gas, that humans contribute to atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations, and even that reducing these emissions
might, in principle, help mitigate climate changes.

However, many of the underlying claims are not as strong as they appear.

The predictions of climate models have proven to be terrible.

Almost all models used by the UN Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change have over-stated 21st century warming so far. Modelling a vastly complex, dynamic and often chaotic system to make reliable forecasts is
inadvisable.

Even at the highest resolutions achievable today,models rely on many assumptions about factors such as cloudformation and convection that happen on a smaller scale.

Scientists like Bengtsson who point out the inadequacy of models for climate forecasts are told, in reputable journals, that the idea that scientific observations ought to be consistent with scientific predictions, if we are to consider the predictions grounds for public policy, is “an error”.

Last I checked, testing hypotheses against empirical reality was a fairly important part
of the scientific method.

Recent peer-reviewed research has also revealed continued discrepancies between instrumental temperature measurements and the tree rings that are supposed to act as historical proxies
for temperatures.

This discrepancy for the period 1960 to 1980,
when instrument readings rose but tree rings showed a decline, led to the infamous “hide the decline” incident involving Michael Mann and his “hockey stick” temperature chart.

The tree ring data has finally been updated to 2005, and it now shows an even more extreme discrepancy.

If temperature proxies contradict actual measurements for the periods in which
they overlap one has to doubt the validity of the proxy, and the conclusions drawn from it.

Actual instrument measurements aren’t so hot either, if you’ll excuse the pun.

Peer-reviewed research found that the US
climate station network overestimates warming by a factor of two, because of urban expansion surrounding temperature stations and incorrect siting.

On arctic sea ice extent, the data is equally dodgy.

The curious disappearance of the satellite record between 1974 and 1979 has never been explained by the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre, which supplies data to the IPCC.

The problem with this is that sea ice extent was even lower in 1974 than it is today.

Both actual climate measurements and the validity of historical proxies are plausibly questionable.

On the policy front, even before the watered-down Lima deal, proposed actions to mitigate climate change were never going to be enough to prevent 2°C warming by the year 2100.

Politicians in many countries have asked themselves whether there will be enough return on a massive investment in mitigating warming.

It seems to me unlikely that developing countries ever took global warming rhetoric seriously.

However, they certainly went along with negotiations in the hope of receiving generous
funding from the rich world for mitigation and adaptation measures.

Our own Ministers of Environmental Affairs,in Africa , devotes columns in these pages entirely to the issue of climate funding, and concentrates strongly on resilience and
adaptation.

The global warming bandwagon will trundle on for years, fuelled by vested interests in green technology and global climate change funding, not to mention the desire to protect scientific and bureaucratic reputations.

However, the Lima conference demonstrates that the world is no longer trundling
quietly along.

As a threat to prosperity and poverty alleviation, climate change catastrophism looks even more toothless now than the pitiful Lima “deal”.

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

Instead of treating Uhuru as a villain or an ex-convict, the high priests in opposition who have no clue what it means to be accused wrongly need to put themselves in his boots

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By Bernard Wainaina
CEO,Profarms Consultants®

In Kenya today,your surname is used to project where you belong in the silly game that is Kenyan politics,thanks to one,Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka.

But facts can’t be changed to favour only one side of Kenya’s political divide.

It is a fact that 43% of Kenyan voters who voted for opposition would have liked to see President Kenyatta jailed;it was going to be to their political advantage.

Last week’s withdrawal of charges against
President Uhuru Kenyatta has elicited mixed
feelings.

For the most part supporters and
opponents alike have welcomed the
withdrawal.

Others, particularly self styled
“advocates” for “victims” have argued that the
withdrawal of the case is “unfair” to the
victims.

It is important to get facts right without
allowing our biases to blur our thinking.

Unless one argues that the evidence against
Uhuru was beyond reasonable doubt the
argument that withdrawing the case is unfair
to victims does not hold any water.

Unless one had already convicted Uhuru in
their mind, the argument that his “acquittal”
is unfair to the victims is a baseless school of
thought.

Uhuru was merely an indictee, not a convict.
The withdrawal is not clemency. ICC
Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda or the ICC judges
did not exercise “an act of mercy” on a
“convict.”

That is a fact.

Technically Bensouda only “withdrew” charges but for all practical purposes this is tantamount to an acquittal.

For at least two or three years, ICC judges,
prosecutors, lawyers, politicians, political
scientists, activists and even ‘Wanjiku’ herself
knew that the ICC Prosecutor did not have a
water tight case against Uhuru.

It was also an open secret that it was a matter of when, not if, Bensouda drops the case against the President.

Unfortunately it took six years for the
prosecution to admit what was obvious to the
layman.

It seems the prosecution believed
that buying time would produce the
“evidence” they needed.

Back to the victims of the 2007-08 post-
election violence.

It is ironic that while the “victims” lawyer Fergal Gaynor was lamenting the withdrawal, Internally Displaced Persons in Kenya
were celebrating the news in song and dance.

The IDPs’ reaction to Uhuru’s “acquittal” begs the question, who does Gaynor represent?

Do the IDPs fall under his “victims” list?

Obviously the victims deserve justice.

They have a right to representation, to be heard, compensated, resettled and most importantly, a right to demand that the perpetrators of the violence be brought to
justice.

They have a right to a thorough investigation
and a right to closure.

The withdrawal of charges against Uhuru does not in any way hinder realisation of any of these rights.

The rights of the victims can only be assured through proper investigations, genuine prosecution devoid of manipulation, adherence to the rule of law and political goodwill on the part of all internal and external stakeholders.

The 2007-08 post-poll chaos produced three types of victims.

The first set of victims comprises those who
were killed in the skirmishes.

The second set includes the IDPs.

The third team of victims are the sacrificial lambs who were accused wrongly, had their names dragged through the mud even when it was clear the ICC did not have a case against them and have since been acquitted or had
their cases withdrawn.

It is therefore fair to state that both the dead, IDPs and Uhuru are victims of a flawed international justice system at the ICC,The Hague.

All three sets of victims are victims of
justice delayed.

Instead of treating Uhuru as a villain or an ex-convict, the high priests in opposition and politically biased civil right groups who have no clue what it means to be accused wrongly need to put themselves in his boots.

Goalposts were moved several times in his
case.

New accusations were invented every time the
previous ones were defeated.

The judges closed their eyes to former ICC
Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo’s and Bensouda’s incompetence, tardiness and outright politicisation of the judicial system.

The bench and the prosecution seemed to have conspired in delaying the cases unnecessarily.

When there was no direct evidence to
meet the threshold for trying Uhuru, the prosecution chose to turn the Kenyan government into a boogeyman.

Uhuru, who was charged in his personal capacity was expected to use his official position to compel the government to “cooperate” in procuring evidence
against him.

What else is needed to declare him a
victim of a flawed international justice system?

The word “impunity” has been used so liberally in this case.

The concept of impunity is ambiguous and
subject to misuse.

Those against the withdrawal of the case on the basis of fighting impunity are simply
saying Uhuru was actually guilty of all the crimes he was accused of committing.

I held the same belief until I watched this clip of Uhuru calling for peace in 2008 https://
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2X5nEFOC_TY

It convinced me that they had picked on the wrong man.

This was a case of a man who abhorred
violence and called on other members of the Kikuyu community to keep their cool.

Forget Bensouda’s threat that she can still prefer new charges against Uhuru.

Kenyans do not have any contract with the ICC to harass Uhuru by any means necessary.

Kenyans want justice for the victims but
that does not mean that it can only be achieved by convicting Uhuru.

The President should now use his position to help the victims by compelling either the Kenyan judicial system or a doubtlessly credible international body to commence proper investigations and charge the real perpetrators of the 2007-08 post-election violence.

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

‘Text book’ military strategy and tactics will not win against Al Shaabab in Kenya

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By Bernard Wainaina
CEO,Profarms Consultants®

Al-Shabaab appears to be prepared to fight a long war, perhaps for decades to come.

Kenya went into Somalia under code name Operation Linda Nchi, a quick-fix solution for what has turned out to be a complex, asymmetrical, long-running conflict.

It is now the fourth year since the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) went to Somalia, which begs the question: Is Kenya prepared to fight
in Somalia for years, the way Al-Shabaab seems intent on doing?

I am not suggesting that Kenya pulls out of Somalia blindly.

Conventional mechanisms used to stop and defuse conflict in one area can be the recipe that destabilises other regions.

Somalia is such an example.

Kenya’s involvement in that country brought some degree of sanity to a good number of
areas.

However, this has led to instability in Kenya.

It is time for Kenya to rethink its strategy.

The diffusion of global power allows states, non-state groups,terrorists, and individuals to shape global security.

The emergence of asymmetric wars characterises the quest for power as these actors fight for recognition, further complicating national and global security.

In Kenya, we have witnessed this in the attacks on Westgate, Baragoi, Mpeketoni, Mandera, and Kapedo.

INSTIL FEAR

In Nigeria, Boko Haram has used asymmetric tactics to instil fear — from the abduction of teenage girls to the massacre targeting innocent villagers.

Insurgency is normally successful when those waging a war are driven by strong beliefs attached to nationalism or religion.

Therefore, it is more difficult to fight such groups using conventional methods.

Yet organised states often know no other approach than working within the morality of
international law and rules of engagement.

Such groups that thrive in weak states, or those suffering instability, exploit the situation since they have nothing to lose.

Most organised states would feel reluctant to employ the strategies terrorism groups use because of the accompanying costs in terms of infrastructural damage, civilian casualties,
and economic losses.

The reason modern states often fall victim to insurgency is because they focus on fighting the tactics employed by terrorists instead of formulating strategies to defeat them.

Relying on conventional military power in a world of proliferating asymmetric opportunities can be self-defeating.

Fighting a war against a tactic rather than developing a clear plan to defeat a strategy is equivalent to playing into the hands of the enemy.

This means that conventional military strategy may no longer be the most useful way of winning wars and could even be a liability if not used with precision.

Responding to asymmetric threats creates new security demands involving military intervention and pre-emptive war, homeland defence, and peacekeeping and peace support operations.

In a world where asymmetries in conflicts are increasing, the efforts to increase security can, paradoxically, create more insecurity.

INDISCRIMINATE KILLING

Terrorists may not have a problem with the indiscriminate killing of hundreds of civilians but modern states may not have the resolve to respond in the same fashion.

Refusing to follow the rules of engagement could level the playing ground for the different actors in a conflict.

The reasons state actors are unlikely to win against their non-state adversaries in asymmetric conflicts is that the former often
look for quick solutions and victories while the latter may be prepared to fight for long, which appears to be the case with Al-Shabaab and many other modern-day terrorist groups.

These groups have exploited the local and international media, including the internet, to sensationalise the visual consequences of their attacks and this has achieved their aim— creating a sense of defeat among the global audience.

News media, the internet, and other forms of mass communication have been used to draw attention to insurgency groups.

Asymmetric attacks may be limited in their physical effects but various media dramatically multiply the intended political impact on a global level.

Asymmetric conflict is a tactic in the exercise of power and the proliferating network of globalisation makes its use both more likely and dangerous.

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

The trial and tribulations of Fatou Bensouda at the ICC,The Hague

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By Bernard Wainaina
CEO,Profarms Consultants®

The road to where she is today was long and rocky.

But now, she is the chief prosecutor of the
International Criminal Court (ICC), empowered by 121 countries to hunt down the worst of the world’s mass murderers and put them behind bars, a criminal prosecutor in cases involving genocide and the world’s public prosecutor.

She is, in a sense, everyone’s supreme conscience.

Fatou Bensouda, 52,and her team have
taken the bold step of indicting 51-year-old Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta.

But in this case, there is a stark contrast
between their aspirations and reality.

At the moment, Kenyatta’s attorneys seem to have the upper hand.

They have demanded that the case be dropped,
arguing that there is no evidence to prove that their client is guilty.

In its status conference ruling,the ICC judges declined to acquit Kenyatta as requested by his defence lawyers,but handed the OTP a long sturdy rope to hang itself by the end of 7 days after the ruling.

In other words,Bensouda should make up her mind about proceeding with the case or withdraw charges.

Either way,it is a big win for Uhuru Kenyatta and loss of face for OTP.

In mid-June, Kenyatta’s defence lawyers managed to postpone the planned court date a second time, this time for four months, on the grounds that the prosecutor’s office had not produced evidence on time.

Throughout Africa, as well as in the West, doubts are growing as to whether the case has a future at all. Daily Nation, Kenya’s leading newspaper, called the case “a farce,” while a TV commentator in Nairobi referred to it as “suicide on the part of the world court.”

In recent weeks, Bensouda has been doing all she can to save the situation, spending inordinate amounts of time behind the bulletproof glass windows of her office in The Hague.

She works late into the night, only to take yet another look at the files early the next morning.

She is possessed of an iron will.

There is a great deal at stake.

If the case against Kenyatta were to collapse, the ICC would lose what little authority it still has and would become a tool as useless as it is costly.

And it isn’t just a matter of the court’s survival: The long-cherished dream of global justice seems on the verge of failure.

In addition to the permanent ICC, other, temporary United Nations courts have likewise failed to produce successes.

Holding Commanders Responsible?

The Cambodia Tribunal, for example, a court
established to try the individuals responsible for the Khmer Rouge genocide, is merely treading water.

The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), by contrast, has managed to produce some convictions, but a judge at the United Nations war crimes tribunal in The Hague recently deplored the political pressure that allegedly led to the spectacular recent acquittals of senior Serbian
and Croat officers.

The judge said that the decisions called into question the principle that military commanders could be held responsible for war
crimes committed by their subordinates.

It is a concern that will soon be tested on Bosnian Serb general Ratko Mladic, with relatives of the Srebrenica massacre victims fearful that he will be set free.

At the ICC, prosecutor Bensouda is respectfully
referred to as “Big Mama,” because of her big heart and her authority.

She knows what is at stake in the Kenyatta case — for her, for the court and for the concept of a global court.

As a little girl, Fatou Bensouda already had a clear idea of what her destiny was: She wanted to fight crime.

She also knew how difficult that could be.

In the early 1970s, she accompanied her aunt several times to a police station in Banjul, the capital of her native Gambia, in West Africa.

The aunt’s husband had beaten her repeatedly.

But the police officers refused to investigate her complaints, because it was felt that the master of the house had every right to beat his wife.

Such crimes were left unpunished.

It was something that Bensouda felt had to change.

As a teenager, she always went to the courthouse after school, no matter what case the court happened to be hearing.

She obsessively took notes and later discussed the cases with her mothers.

Bensouda grew up in a polygamous Muslim household, in which her father had several wives.

Later, when she was studying in Nigeria and Malta, she turned her attention to international law.

A brilliant jurist, Bensouda was the first woman to become the attorney general, and later the justice minister, of Gambia. But conflict with the country’s president, in a system that is democratic in name only, was inevitable.

She resigned after two years and later began working for the UN, including a stint as a
trial attorney at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, established to prosecute individuals responsible for the 1994 massacre there.

A Symbol of Progress

Bensouda was named chief prosecutor in The Hague in June 2012.

The same year, Time included her on its list of the world’s 100 most influential people.

She is seen as a symbol of African progress.

Nevertheless, it is becoming clear that her influence is greatly limited.

When she indicts powerful people, like Kenya’s president and deputy-president, she is
dealing with more than just the high-powered
lawyers they hire.

She also faces intimidation by those capable of manipulating public opinion in countries racked by civil war and turning it against a
court that operates far away from the scenes of the crimes it addresses.

The ICC also lacks the support of some of the world’s most powerful politicians.

Although most countries have submitted to its jurisdiction, the United States and China never joined the ICC. Both Iran and Israel are also unwilling to relinquish a part of their judicial
sovereignty.

The court began prosecuting crimes against
humanity 11 years ago, but its track record has been deplorable.

This is partly due to sloppy investigations
and the arrogance of Bensouda’s predecessor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, who once said: “We are changing the world, guys.”

So far, the ICC can boast of only one
conviction, and that in a case relating to a second-tier defendant.

In 2012, the ICC sentenced Congolese militia leader Thomas Lubanga to 14 years in prison
for using child soldiers as cannon fodder.

Arrest warrants have been issued against other butchers, like Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony — but the men are still at large, because they are too important to be extradited.

The ICC is currently investigating eight cases, all of them in Africa — a situation which has engendered criticism.

The prosecution of crimes by the ICC has
degenerated into “race-baiting,” Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said at the African Union (AU) summit in Addis Ababa at the end of May.

In a resolution, the leaders of AU member states demanded that the case against Kenyatta be dismissed and remitted to the courts in Nairobi.

Bensouda calls the attacks “outrageous.”

She pointed out that she herself is black and investigates cases without regard for skin
color or nationality.

“It is indisputable that Africans are being raped, displaced, tortured and held as child
slaves by other Africans. Are we supposed to ignore that?”

Misplaced Optimism?

Besides, she added, the list of countries the ICC is currently focusing on also includes Afghanistan, Honduras and Georgia.

“What offends me most of all is how quickly many concentrate on the words of the powerful, forgetting the millions who have no voice.
We investigate without distinction of person or
political rank.”

“Big Mama’s” staff members have rarely seen their boss looking as nervous as in recent days.
Almost defiantly, as if to embolden herself, she says: “We will bring Kenyatta to trial here in The Hague, and I am very optimistic that we will achieve a guilty verdict against him and his deputy-president, William Ruto.”

But despite Bensouda’s optimism, Kenyatta continues to reside in an opulent mansion next to the State House, the president’s official residence in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi. Kenyatta is the country’s largest landowner and he also controls its largest bank, not to mention a major hotel chain.

With an estimated net worth of $500 million (€378 million), Kenyatta is one of the 25 richest and most powerful men on the continent. Kenyan politics reflects the extent to which a handful of clans dominate the country.

Fifty years ago, shortly after independence from Great Britain, a Kenyatta and an Odinga competed for power.

In March 2013, nothing had changed except the first names of the contenders.

The sons, Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga, had followed in the footsteps of their fathers,
Jomo and Oginga.

The scourge of nepotism is compounded by ethnic division, in a country whose leaders are more likely to champion the interests of their tribes than ideologies or political platforms.

They procure jobs and perks for their “blood brothers” and, if need be, they incite ethnic groups against one another, sometimes to the point of tribal wars.

The Kenyattas are part of the Kikuyu tribe, which makes up more than 30 percent of the population in Kenya and is the most economically successful ethnic group.

Kenyatta did not run for the presidency in the
December 2007 election, choosing to support Mwai Kibaki, a fellow Kikuyu, instead.

After a highly disputed vote count, Kibaki was declared the winner and promptly sworn in.

In the ensuing mayhem, members of the Kalenjin, Luhya and Luo tribes (US President Barack Obama’s father was a member of
the Luo tribe) exacted bloody revenge on the
“imposters.”

The Kikuyu then struck back.

Divided by Hate

Before long, villages were fighting villages.

In some
“mixed” regions like kibera slums,a stringhold of opposition leader Raila Odinga,, it was street against street.

It was only through the intervention of then retired UN Secretary General Kofi Annan that the situation settled down after a few weeks.

But by the time the slaughter had ended, there were 1,100 dead with more than half a
million people having been driven out of their home provinces.

The country was divided by hate.

At the urging of a Kenyan judge, the ICC turned its attention to the instigators of the violence.

In early 2012, the court in The Hague confirmed charges against Kenyatta and Ruto, his rival from the Kalenjin tribe.

But can someone be locked up for this indirect
form of culpability?

And can prosecutors in the Netherlands prevail against men who are sufficiently cunning and unscrupulous to exploit racial hatred?

In other words, can these crimes even be defined in legal terms?

That is the existential question the ICC
faces.

When it became clear that the two men were to be dragged before the world court, Kenyatta and Ruto devised a clever strategy: They joined forces to form a political alliance of convenience, the Jubilee Alliance.

Before long, without any aspects of the 2012
massacres having been cleared up, they began
campaigning for election together.

For much of the campaign, it looked as they had little chance, with Odinga — the opposing candidate and a member of the Luo tribe — maintaining a solid lead.

But then came the game-changer; Johnnie Carson, head of the Africa division in the US State Department at the time, publicly threatened “consequences” if the Kenyans voted the two men, who had been indicted by the ICC, into the country’s highest offices.

The threat provided Kenyatta with fodder for his campaign.

From then on, whenever he made a
campaign appearance he would ask his “sovereign people” whether they should allow foreign powers to dictate to them their choice of national leaders.

Kenyatta turned the election into a fight against
foreign intervention and the “Western diktat.”

The overwhelming majority of Kenyans were unaware of the ironic fact that a London PR firm had developed the campaign strategy for Kenyatta — and that British lawyers make up the bulk of his defense team for the ICC trial.

A Deaf Ear

Kenyatta won an absolute majority, with 50.07
percent of the vote.

Observers noted that the national voter turnout was implausibly high, at 86 percent.

Rival candidate Odinga suspected fraud and took his case to the country’s supreme court, but it turned a deaf ear to his petition challenging the election results.

Of course, the West failed to make good on its
threats to impose sanctions.

Kenya’s cooperation as a strategically important country in the fight against
terrorism in Somalia and Sudan is too important to Washington, Paris and London, and they are also eager to prevent China from trumping the West in Nairobi.

The new president has been self-confident
all the time, saying that he would cooperate with the ICC,submit to questioning by video link and, if necessary, even appear in person before the court in The Hague.

His supporters refer to him as “Njamba,” or “The Hero.”

In The Hague, his adversary Bensouda always says: “We want the trial to begin as soon as possible. And we deeply appreciate the witnesses’ courage and willingness to make sacrifices. Nowhere else have they come under such great pressure as in Kenya.”

But somehow,the trial never kicks off and and now it is on its death bed-a still born trial.

Many witnesses live in the Great Rift Valley.

The steep cliffs, which divide East Africa into two parts, open to form a kind of Garden of Eden, a landscape of volcanic cones, misty lakes and tropical vegetation that offers a habitat to rhinos, flamingos and myriad
other forms of wildlife.

Anthropologists see the region as a cradle of mankind.

But in the first days of 2008, it was more of an Armageddon to residents in the Rift Valley towns of Nakuru and Naivasha.

A Raging Mob

“We lived here in peace and good neighborly
relations with the other tribes for a long time. We rented our house from a Kikuyu,” says Monicah Akinyi, a Luo woman. Her eyes are dull, rendered lifeless by sadness and desperation. “Then came the
day when a raging mob of Kikuyu descended upon us with knives and machetes.”
“I was pregnant at the time, awaiting our ninth child,” says Akinyi, her voice faltering. “My husband and I worked at one of the big farms that grow roses for export to Europe. Our children played with the Kikuyu children.”

As the menacing mob approached, Akinyi took the children and fled to the police station.

Her husband tried to help some friends and rushed back to the house.

But he didn’t get far before assailants swooped down on him with knives, dozens of them stabbing him again and again.

The mob raged for days.

Akinyi wasn’t even able to recover her husband’s body.

She was left with nothing but a photo a journalist had taken of her husband’s corpse.

She later learned that similar acts of brutal violence had occurred in other Rift Valley
towns, as well as along the coast.

Who were the culprits?

Can the chain of command in what were
clearly actions controlled by others be traced to
Kikuyu leader Kenyatta? Bensouda has failed to find a link in the trial with the money hungry Mungiki witnesses raking in millions of witness protection fees whild concocting false evidence against Kenyatta. ICC in essence was conned of good evidence by the same Mungiki gangs who wreaked mayhem in Naivasha and Nakuru Towns.

“Today I only live for my children,” says Akinyi, who looks much older than her 37 years.

She was pleased when she heard that a woman in a faraway country wanted to bring the culprits to trial. But now she no longer dares to hope. “It all happened more than five years ago,” says Akinyi. “I think the world has
forgotten ordinary victims like us.”

And Fatou Bensouda has not helped the Kenyan victims by bungling the cases through a shoddy investigation job aided by politically malicious Kenyan NGOs.

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

After the failed El nino floods,farmers can now look forward to better weather forecasts after impeding radical changes in the weather forecast department

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By Bernard Wainaina
CEO,Profarms Consultants®

Kenyans are annoyed that weather men predicted El nino floods,and we instead suffered the driest year,the whole of this year.

And now,following numerous complaints from Kenyans over lies and inaccurate forecasts, the weathermen have come out to apologise and announce a raft of measures to enable them give more accurate predictions.

“We are really sorry. We know we have been giving wrong predictions and at times lying by telling Kenyans that it will rain cats and dogs.

Many have waited to see the animals fall from the sky in vain!

We are humans, and man is to error, you know,” said a remorseful PR official, Mr. Mafuriko Fake,National Meteorological Department communications officer.

He added that in this day and age when Kenyans have developed a penchant for litigation, they fear that they will soon be sued.

In the same press conference, at a Nairobi hotel, an expert consulting for the Government department announced radical changes that will see the weathermen improve their predictions.

He said that following steep budget cuts by the
parent ministry, the National Meteorological
Department has instituted measures to trim
operational costs, but still provide accurate weather predictions.

Among the changes envisaged include removing the roofs from the National Meteorological Department headquarters so that the office staff can work in open air.

This, it’s argued, will put the staff in a better position to accurately report and fore-tell the weather.

In situations where it will be impossible to dismantle the roofs, office employees will be encouraged to work outdoors more often to ensure they predict the weather faster and more accurately.

Envisaged changes

“For example they will be able to tell when the rainy season is starting, when the rain actually starts falling and their documents get wet,” said Muende Leo, the change expert who has been hired by the State body to advise on the areas needing reform.

Senior employees will work from offices with large windows through which they can look outside and immediately tell what the weather is like.

Staff at the National Meteorological Department will also be required to wear light clothing at all times so that they can feel any slight changes in temperature.

“When the employees start shivering we will know it’s the cold season and this will save a lot of money that would otherwise have been spent on expensive equipment,” added Muende Leo.

The State body is also said to be planning to change the hiring policy to allow for recruiting of practising nudists or some in extra-miniskirts, since they will have an advantage over clothed employees when it comes to telling when the weather has changed from hot to cold and vice versa.

The weathermen also plan to expand their scope to keenly observe the political scene.

“This will improve the organisation’s capabilities in forecasting the political temperatures across the country,” explained the change expert.

If the envisaged changes are successfully
implemented, farmers can look forward to more
accurate weather forecasts.

This will make the planning of their planting and harvesting much easier.

The reforms at the met department will also help
Street hawkers, in that they will be better able to predict when to stock up on umbrellas and sell them at extortionate prices.

Matatus will also be able to predict when to double or triple their fares due to the rain especially in crowded cities like Nairobi.

Also set to reap from the developments are maize smugglers, hoarders and politically connected importers who will now also be able to predict when they can take advantage of drought to make insane profits selling maize at exorbitant prices to starving people.

“Politicians will also be able to predict the muddy season well in advance and this will help them forecast the best time to sling mud at each other,” chimed in Muende Leo in conclusion.

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

Have you seen this talented guy?

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By Bernard Wainaina
CEO,Profarms Consultants®

The guy I’m looking for didn’t oil his elbows this morning.

What kind of a man oils his elbows
anyway?

He sprayed some deo on, slapped some lotion on his face, slipped into jeans, canvas shoes and a t-shirt and was out of the door.

He lives in Ongata Rongai.

Or Thika Road.

In one of those mushrooming apartment blocks with no parking.

I don’t know him.

I don’t know his name.

I have never met him.

But I know he is a tech nerd.

He is very gifted.

He doesn’t read any of my blogs or websites.

He has never heard of me!

At the bus stage he waited for a public taxi, standing next to that chick from house block, B23, the one he hasn’t plucked up the courage to say hello to.

He has headphones stuck in his ears and is listening to Ariana Grande or Luke James because it gets him in a “certain mood.”

In town, with his laptop bag on his back, he will
zip through the streets completely insulated from the morning urban angst of honking cars,
blinking streetlights and hordes of feet shuffling
to earn their daily bread.

He will catch a bus to the suburb where he works.

First job.

S**t job.
S**t because he has all these ideas that he can’t
execute, because he’s doing his time, handling
rubbish briefs.

He is 23.

His laptop is full of stickers.

He has about 15 tabs open on his laptop right now.

He is yet to reply to two Facebook messages.

On Twitter about 870 people follow him.

Of his last three tweets, two
are in sheng,and I can’t make head or tail of what he is going on about in his tweets.

Once in a while he will DM some follower on his twitter account,a chic and meet her, only to find out that she is as exciting as a broken electrical socket.

He hasn’t quite learnt the deception of Twitter.

He’s single.

There is a missed call on his phone from his bro that he is yet to return.

He drinks in town. Tusker beer. Very Cold.

When he has some mullah (I doubt he would call money mullah), he and his mate will buy a bottle of Jameson and go on a bender.

He smokes occasionally because he thinks it’s cool.

He doesn’t exercise.

He buys his clothes from a mtumba guy with a name like Ngash.

He has beautiful handwriting.

He loves football.

Liverpool to be precise, maybe because he never
wants to walk alone again.

This guy is probably 5’7’’.

Chocolate complexion.

Doesn’t bite his nails.

Keeps his hair long or in dreadlocks.

Doesn’t make his bed.

Always forgets to call his papa back.

My guy is special because he’s out there beating
the bushes, brimming with talent.

One day he will break through, but for now he’s doing his time.

He doesn’t read my blog.

Probably heard of it in passing, but has never bothered.

Actually he’s not much of a reader aside from the newspaper,Ghafla, and billboards.

However, one of his chic friends, the type who are always reading a book in the bus, will forward this post to him on Whatsapp and say, “I think this is you they are
looking for to design a website and its logo.”

He will reply: “Who?”

“Profarms, haven’t you read him?”
“Aii, bila,” [Do they say bila?]
“Ebu read that post,” she will say.

He will read it only because he likes her.

The hell
with this Profarms guy.

Once he reads it his interest will be piqued.

Why? Because I’m looking for a deadly graphic designer who will design me a website and a logo. A logo that will go up there in my blogs and websites.

It’s
time we got a Profarms logo.

I’m tired of engaging the established graphic
designers who come with moody grins and
fashionably distressed clothes.

I’m tired of admiring their creative business cards, hope welling up inside me, until they violently dash it.

This young hungry guy will get it.

I can feel it.

He will get that I don’t want a logo with a quail, or a spear or some corny stuff.

I don’t want an African print.

Or a bottle of ink on that logo.

Or a wild animal.

Or the shape of Africa.

If I see another silhouette of an Acacia tree, I will pee in my bathtub!

I don’t want some lousy calligraphy.

And for the love of me, no image of a sunset.

But mostly I don’t want big talk.

I don’t want to see a portfolio of previous work.

I just need a logo that expresses what we stand for here.

Here we tell stories,some professional,and humorous ones too.

We are creative and relaxed.

We love cool things.

We are urban without forgetting our African roots.

Most importantly we are MINIMALIST.

We don’t shout.

We are simple and not brash.

We are ‘sexy’ and suave and urbane.

And we need a logo that says all of that.

If you know this guy I just described. If you know a guy who can bring this logo to life, please share this with them.

And if you think you can nail it, go on and share your initial design.

If I like what I see, I will inbox you and we’ll discuss how you can develop that logo.

And then I will pay you decent money for it.

Even though I don’t know you,you can take a chance with me on this one off offer!

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

Why I’m ‘head over heels’ in love with all Ugandan and Rwandese Women

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By Bernard Wainaina
CEO,Profarms Consultants®

Feminists in Kenya are going crazy about recent barbaric stripping of ‘indecently’ dressed women in the cities of Nairobi and Mombasa.

I’m not a moralist and I have very little to say about personal dressing choices of our Kenyan ladies,so long as their manner of dressing is not likely to disturb public peace by wearing suicide bomber vests,but just as the next man is wont to do,I thoroughly enjoy the company of ‘decent and cool’ ladies,whatever that means.

A couple of months back, I had travelled to a
neighbouring country — Uganda – and I was
impressed by the kindness and respect women in
that country have for their men.

One evening, I was in a discotheque perched atop a bar stool, from where I was able to scan the dance floor and there was nothing but love displayed among the couples.

I immediately thought about Nairobi, and I imagined the scenes at top entertainment spots in the capital, Kisumu, Nakuru, Eldoret and Mombasa.

I was certain that while beer was the common denominator, that was as far as the similarities go.

The girls I was watching were well dressed with
short, trimmed hair and were drinking from
feminine narrow neck bottles.

I was willing to bet that back home, the women were twerking while drinking Guinness Kubwa.

And while at it, they were jerking their heads full of fake hair from dead damsels and perhaps even goats and horses.

This scenario made me think; just what are we doing to our women that they seem to be losing their feminine touch?

One of the reasons, according to the Council of
Young Elders led by my Male chauvinist Uncle is that the Kenyan woman especially in the working class, is fighting foot and nail to be on the same pedestal with her male counterpart.

Big mistake, if you ask me.

When you down three beers, the Kenyan woman in a bar is never too far behind.

When you buy a round,in the popular ‘lete vile tulivyo’, as soon as you have taken two gulps, your female companion beckons the waiter.

As you assume that she is asking for directions to the rest room, she shouts between gulps, telling the waiter to stop staring at her boobs and bring the beers.

Polite, civil dance

Even before you get a chance to get astounded, she stands up, starts dancing and as you are hoping it is going to be a polite, civil dance she grabs your waist and thrusts herself against your loins like a devil possessed.

You hope it is going to be short, but it is
not.

She is holding you tighter by the minute and to make matters worse, she now starts shrieking in a manner that can be construed to mean that her body temperature is rising like milk on a stove.

You are now stuck between a rock and a hard place, you want to flee from this embarrassment, but as a tough African male, you cannot run away from a woman.

This would embarrass your clan and cause
your father catastrophic embarrassment back in the village.

Soon other people in the bar stop watching football and instead fix their eyes at the disproportionate battle of the bodies that you and your supposed woman are having on the floor.

Suppressed fear

Waiters are passing you with suppressed fear, lest you send them sprawling onto the floor with a tray full of expensive drinks.

But right in front of me, there was none of these
things that we see in Kenya.

The Ugandan girls were sweetly looking in my
direction and when it appeared that our eyes had met, they would tactfully look sideways.

But still leave something for you to read between the lines.

In such a scenario in Kenya, the woman would be winking at you and wondering if you were man enough.

Girls, where did you get all this courage from?

Tone down and just be women. Miniskirts or no miniskirts,there is definitely a way in which women can be women without becoming tomboys.

The we will fall in love with our women,not our tomboys!

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

AU must lead way on African illegal migrants issue,not EU

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By Bernard Wainaina
CEO,Profarms Consultants®

Thousands of migrants, many of them Africans, have died trying to get into Europe this year alone.

News stories of drownings and shipwrecks during hazardous sea journeys on the Mediterranean have become depressingly familiar.

What can be done to prevent such tragedies?

So far, one could get the impression that the problem is considered solely Europe’s to deal with; after all, it is the EU’s borders that are
being besieged.

But that would mean absolving the African
Union of any responsibility for its own borders and citizens,letting it off the hook far too easily.

African societies pride themselves on their regard for culture,family life and community in general.

The actions of individuals are considered reflective of their families and the communities they come from.

In Africa,if a son turns out to be a thief,this is deemed shameful not just to his parents but also to the community he comes from. His family is expected to accept full responsibility for his actions and to undertake to do something about the situation.

Similarly, we are also fond of emphasising our sense of brotherhood and solidarity with our
fellow African citizens.

However, it is difficult to reconcile all this with the seemingly indifferent AU response to the migrant crisis.

What exactly is it doing to secure its borders and prevent smugglers from transporting thousands out of the continent, often to their deaths?

What is it doing to encourage those Africans who feel forced to leave their countries, or who are displaced, to choose African destinations rather than European ones?

Not much, is the answer.

It is true that many African countries have problems of their own to deal with, but which nation does not?

Illegal migration to Europe strains the recipient nations’ patience and resources, greatly decreasing the probability that even the African migrants who do manage to survive the journey will be treated well on arrival.

This should be a concern for African leaders.

A more proactive approach to stemming these people-smuggling operations is required on the part of the AU.

It needs to do more to make refuge in Africa appealing to Africans and to work closely with the EU in addressing the issue of illegal migration.

The “spirit of African solidarity and international cooperation” in its 1969 refugee convention should be seen, and not just declared.

The AU declared a day of mourning after the Lampedusa tragedy in October 2013.

It said the incident should serve as a wake-up call for all Africans “to reflect on appropriate
actions to be taken with a view to finding a lasting solution to this persistent problem that leads to the loss of young Africans without whom the continent cannot build a prosperous and peaceful future”.

The AU should pay more attention to its own statements.

But, beyond words, it should strive to create the conditions necessary for Africans to see
their own continent as a safe haven.

It cannot be denied that as long as Europe remains an inviting lure to Africans seeking a better life, a dangerous, illegal voyage will still be considered well worth the price.

But the ideal cannot be the enemy of the good.

It might be unrealistic to imagine illegal migration being eradicated, but the AU has
a responsibility to do more to drastically limit the phenomenon and the tragic deaths that come with it.

The fact that African migrants tend to seek refuge in countries that have well-developed human rights systems only accentuates the AU’s failure.

Increasing Europe’s border security should not be solely the EU’s headache. Africa’s leaders have a responsibility to work towards solving a
problem they helped create in the first place.

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

GITHERI RECIPE;A yummy African Dish!

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By Bernard Wainaina
CEO,Profarms Consultants®

Githeri is one of my favourite whole grain meal.

{See benefits of eating whole grain meals at; wholegrainscouncil.org/whole-grains-101/what-are-the-health-benefits}

I’d like to share the recipe of this yummy African dish with you.

INGREDIENTS

2 cups dry mixed beans (soaked overnight, then boiled until
tender)
2 cups fresh maize/corn kernels (boiled until tender)
250gm steak, cubed (optional)
1 stock cube (to be used if you are not using any meat)
2 tbsp oil
1 onion, chopped finely
2 tomatoes, chopped
2 potatoes, boiled, peeled and cubed
1-2 green chillis, chopped (optional)
1 tbsp. tomato paste/puree
1/4 tsp. garlic paste
1/4 tsp. red chilli powder
1/4 tsp. turmeric powder
1/2 tsp. cumin powder
salt to taste
1 lemon fruit for lemon juice

Githeri is one of the main staple foods in Kenya.
It originates from the Kikuyu tribe of Central Kenya but has quickly become popular all across the country.

The dish is basically a bean stew (sometimes with cubes of steak and potatoes mixed in for added flavour and nutrients), very rich in proteins and incredibly healthy and filling.

It is best served as is,but can also be enjoyed over rice or with a side of crusty bread/chapatis.
So if you love your beans, this is a MUST-TRY recipe!

Instructions;

Give the pre-soaked beans a rinse and put them into a pan or pressure cooker.

Add the maize (if you are using from a can you will not need to boil the corn).

Add enough water to cover everything and sprinkle some salt.

Boil or pressure cook them until tender (takes about 12 minutes in a pressure cooker,or one and half hours normal boiling over wood/charcoal fuel).

Drain but reserve the water they were cooked in as it contains a lot of flavour/nutrients and you can use this in place of plain water when cooking the githeri later.

Boil the cubed steak (if you are using it) in water with a quarter tsp each of salt, pepper, ginger and garlic until the meat is tender.

Drain but reserve the stock/ soup.

Now we can start preparing the githeri.

Heat the oil in a pan, add the chopped onions and fry until translucent (but not brown).

Add 1tsp of the garlic paste and tomato paste followed by the chopped tomatoes.

Cook on low heat until the tomatoes are mushy,
stirring regularly and breaking up the tomato pieces with your spoon as you stir.

If the mixture begins to stick to the bottom of the pan, add some of the water leftover from cooking the beans, a little bit at a time.

Then add the chopped chillies.

Once the tomatoes are cooked, add the cubes of
steak and mix them in, followed by all the powdered spices.

Next, add the boiled cubed potatoes and the cooked beans.

Give everything a mix, then add the stock/
soup leftover from boiling the meat or if you are not using any meat, dissolve a stock cube in some water and add it in.

The liquid should just about cover the
beans.

Sprinkle 2 tsp. salt.

Allow the githeri to gently simmer on low heat, giving an occasional stir until the mixture thickens and the flavours are well combined.

Taste and adjust salt and spice.

Lastly, add the lemon juice which will help intensify all the flavours.

Mix and serve hot, with a garnish of
coriander or chopped chillies if you like it spicy, and some extra slices of lemon to squeeze over the beans.

Leftovers will keep very well refrigerated or frozen. Enjoy!!

Recipe tips:

I used a combination of kidney beans (rajma/
maharagwe), cowpeas (chora/kunde) and black-eyed peas (lobia).

You can use any combination of beans
that you like, or even just a single kind, whatever you have available.

Combine the beans, wash then soak
them overnight or for at least 6 hours so they cook faster when you boil them.

You can also use beans from a can, in which case you will not need to soak or boil.

Use DOUBLE the amount of beans if they are
canned/pre-cooked.

This is because the dried beans mentioned in the recipe will double in volume after soaking and boiling.

Tip:

This dish works best with the white fresh maize
(mahindi).

Remove the kernels off the cob and
measure out 2 full cups. Alternatively if white maize
is not available where you are, you can use the
yellow sweet corn off the cob or canned.

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

Is ODM becoming a “cultic” party?

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By Bernard Wainaina
CEO,Profarms Consultants®

“ODM/ CORD is Raila. Without him, Uhuru/ Ruto’s 2017 victory is guaranteed.”~ Gem MP, Jakoyo Midiwo,

The level of ODM party intolerance and the
insults have reached dangerous levels.

The degree of blind loyalty to party leaders is no longer healthy for Kenya’s political, social and economic future.

It cannot be possible that leaders always have
a common ground on issues just because they belong to the same party; not a common
ideology.

Party leaders are always right, however obvious their lies.

It is only in Kenya where leaders talk of unity
when their actions are clearly divisive, they
are full of anti-tribalism statements yet their
actions say otherwise, and their followers
cheer along.

At this point it is important to define a cult.

A cult is a religious, social or political group
with socially deviant and unique beliefs and
practices who unite around a strong authoritative figure.

Cults, like many other organisations, attempt to expand their influence for the purposes of power and money or sometimes just for prestige of being in total control.

To achieve these, dangerous cults employ a
potent mixture of influence techniques and
deception to attain psychological control over
members and new recruits.

This is sometimes referred to as brainwashing,
thought reform, or mind control.

For successful cult-building, there has to be a
perennial enemy to be blamed for all the evil things that happens to the cult or its members and there has to be a common but a generally vague goal.

Joe Navarro a former FBI agent who investigated several cults in the US published a list of telltale signs that a group leader is cultic.

»Overrates self: Has a grandiose idea of who he is and what he can achieve, is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, or brilliance and is frequently boastful of real or imaginary accomplishments.

A cult leader sees himself as “unstoppable”, perhaps he even says so.

He is rigid, unbending and insensitive. It is his way or no way.

»Dictatorial: Demands blind unquestioned obedience,requires excessive admiration from followers and outsiders, has an exaggerated sense of power (entitlement) that allows him to bend rules and break laws and must be treated specially at all times.

Does not seem to listen well to the needs of others, communication is usually one-way, in the form of dictates.

Is hypersensitive to how he is seen or perceived by others, behaves as though people are
objects to be used, manipulated or exploited for
personal gain.

When criticised he tends to lash out not just with anger but with rage.

Refers to anyone who criticises him, questions him or non-cult members as ‘enemies’, possessed by ‘enemies’ or sent by the ‘enemies’

He has ‘magical’ answers or solutions to problems and believes he possesses the
answers and solutions to all problems.

»Self-Centred: Is exploitative of others by asking for favours, financial or otherwise, putting others at economic risk.

He ignores the needs of others,including: biological, physical, emotional or financial.

Always wants to be the centre of attention and does things to distract others and to ensure that he or she is the only one being noticed by arriving late at functions, using exotic clothing, giving overdramatic speeches, or by making theatrical entrances.

Insists in always having the best of anything; house, car, jewelry, clothes, even when others are relegated to lesser facilities, amenities or clothing.

He believes that his leadership to the group is a privilege to the group members.

The word “I” dominates his conversations.

He is oblivious to how often he refers
to himself.

Doesn’t seem to feel guilty of anything he has done wrong nor does he apologise for his actions.

Rarely says thank you.

He is constantly looking out for those who are a threat or those who revere him.

Seems to be highly dependent of tribute and adoration and will often fish for compliments.

»Uses deception and lies: Conceals background – social, academic or family – which would disclose how plain or ordinary he is.

Doesn’t think there is anything wrong with self – in fact sees himself as perfect or ‘blessed’.

He uses enforcers or sycophants to ensure compliance from members or believers.

Sycophants are generally capable of saying things about him that he would not be able to say himself,or lies that he would easily disown if they become too obvious.

Sycophants are capable of telling blatant lies
without feeling guilty.

A cult leader disappears from the limelight whenever things are not in his favour,or if conditions allow, he takes away all cult members from the public and their families.

Leading American exit-counselor Steve Hassan wrote:
”Nobody sets out to join a cult. No one knowingly wants to give up their life, their needs or goals.
They come believing they’re improving themselves and improving the world and it is then they are led into a psychological trap. It could happen to anybody”

Steve put out 10 points to look out for to know if your group is a cult.

~Obsessed about the group or the leader, putting it above most other considerations.

~Member’s individual identity becomes increasingly fused with the group leader followed by the group.

~When the group leader is a good example in
everything, he is the best in everything.

~Emotional overreaction whenever the group or the group leader is criticised.

~Belief that the group is the only way and they have a mission.

~Increasing dependency upon the group or leader for problem solving, explanations, definitions and analysis, and corresponding decline in real and independent thought.

~Excessive hyperactivity and work for the group or leader at the expense of private or family interests.

~Drifting away from family and old friends

~Preparedness to blindly follow the group or leader and defend actions or statements without seeking independent verification.

~Demonisation of former members or members of alternative similar groups.

~Desire to be praised for doing the right thing and fear of public rebuke.

~Unhealthy wish to be seen with or aligned publicly with the leader(s) of the group.

If you notice that most of the above is true about you, your group and its leadership then you need to take back the control of your mind.
Steve Hassan says:
“Being in control of your own mind includes being in touch with your feelings, having the ability to think analytically, question, look at issues from multiple perspectives, having control of your behaviour to take periodic ‘timeouts’ in order to reflect and be able to have access to information that may be ‘negative’ to the group leadership.”

Do these characteristics ring a bell when the behaviour of ODM rank and file is considered in objective light?

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

Corporate blogging; Social Media Branding & Marketing

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By Bernard Wainaina
CEO,Profarms Consultants®

Whether or not you actively are using social media,it’s everywhere and it’s very in-your face.

A study by Marketing gurus found that although direct mail and real-life events are slightly more effective than Twitter, for example, a hybrid mix of marketing strategies is what gets companies the most return on
their investment.

Business-to-business social media marketing is just as important as business-to-consumer social media marketing.

It allows you to market your product or service to other companies, build a network of professionals in the industry and promote your company on a grander scale.

Luckily, how you go about a business-to-business social media marketing plan is almost the same as how you go about marketing to individual consumers.

Content Marketing Institute found that “B2B marketers are spending more, using more tactics, and distributing their content on more
social networks than they have in years past.”

The study also found that LinkedIn is the most popular social media network for B2B marketing.

How companies can use social media for
branding Know your audience.

First, figure you what types of companies you want to market to.

Choosing a health insurance plan, for example, is difficult for most individuals and companies.

Health insurance companies, therefore, may decide to market to small businesses.

When building your network of professional contacts via social media, you also need to research what types of social media the companies you want to market to use.

If they’re all on LinkedIn, creating a Twitter account won’t do you much good.

Get to know the other business.

Once you zone in on who you want to market to, don’t just jump in with your product and start overwhelming the other business.

Instead, start slow and build a good reputation with the company.

Get involved with Twitter conversations and share their content on your social media pages.
When the time is right, you can promote your product and let them know how your business can help them.

Have a plan in place and build your own online presence.

It’s important that your social media marketing plan is written and concrete.

Guidelines should be in place on how often your company will post, what type of
information will be shared and how you’ll handle customer reviews and complaints.

In order to get the most out of the social media strategy, everyone in the company needs to be on the same page.

FUN NEVER HURTS

Keep it fun.

While businesses are usually viewed rather seriously,you can still have a little fun with it on social media.

Host giveaways, stay current in the agribusiness trends, for example,and share that content with your readers, notify potential
customers of any discounts they may qualify for, post interesting facts and statistics, and
more.

Keep your followers and customers coming
back for more, and a great way to do that is by
keeping them entertained.

FOCUS ON BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS

Social media’s main focus is on connecting people all across the world.

If you simply post things but never engage in other posts or respond to questions about your own, people will stop paying attention.

When a customer or potential customer has a problem, complaint or question about your product, respond with efficiency, accuracy and in a timely manner.

Really listen to what others are saying and work on improving your company and products to fit their needs.

Don’t be afraid to ask satisfied customers for
recommendations.

Did you help a company with your new and
innovating product?

Do customers call in and rave about your outstanding customer service?

If so, ask these people to follow you on social media and share it with their friends.

The best way to grow your business is offer of referrals from satisfied customers.

As you can see, B2B marketing starts with developing and implementing your own social media strategy, gaining your own followers, building relationships with these followers and other businesses, and then reaching out to businesses that you want to market
to.

What are you waiting for?

It’s time to jump on the social media branding and marketing today!

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

Ebola will be taken more seriously when it takes a walk in the streets of New York,London,Paris

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By Bernard Wainaina
CEO,Profarms Consultants®

Where have all the people gone, long time passing?
Where have all the people gone, long time ago?
Where have all the people gone?
Gone to graveyards, everyone.
Oh, when will they ever learn?
Oh, when will they ever learn?
Pete Seeger

In its youth, Ebola had to play a slow game of chess.

It kept on being blocked by rapid responses by heroic health teams in remote jungle areas of central Africa.

Now that it has found its way at last into teeming slums and broken health systems, it can run like sprinter Usain Bolt.

It was always bound to get there.

The grossly high paid bureaucrats at the World Health Organisation (WHO) who have great legal power and resources entrusted in them, and who now wring their hands in despair
below the mists of Geneva, have known about Ebola for many years.

Ebola may seem new, but the slums of Monrovia and Freetown are not.

Neither is the acute shortage of health
workers in the Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

In fact, Ebola is not such a new virus.

Its discovery predates HIV.

It has been known about since being ‘discovered’ by Peter Piot in 1976.

But since then it has been portrayed as an exotic virus.

Sensationalist reporting misrepresented it as incurable and 99% fatal, thereby permitting a premature surrender into further medical investigation.

Yet a report in the British Sunday Times (12/10/14), cited a Cambridge University zoologist as saying that “it is quite possible to design a vaccine against this disease” but reported that applications to conduct further
research on Ebola were rebuffed because “nobody has been willing to spend the twenty million pounds or so needed to get vaccines through trial and production”.

Why?

For the world powers that be, the fact that it was largely confined to the jungles of central Africa kept it out of harm’s way.

The heroic and taken for granted efforts of the few medics who did venture to treat and contain it allowed a further level of complacency.

Now that complacency is shattered.

The US government is moving, the EU is moving, the WHO is moving.

But the growing alarm over Ebola seems less to do with sympathy with affected and dying people, the destruction of already ravaged
economies, but much more to do with Western countries fears of it making inroads into their own populations and economies.

This is why AIDS and Ebola have something else in common.

Ultimately their control and treatment boils down to issues of democracy, equality and good governance.

HIV, when it was first discovered in the early 1980s, also elicited the level of fear, panic and stigma now being witnessed in relation to Ebola.

The ingredient that changed that was the rise of activists from affected communities and their demand that human rights principles drive the response to HIV.

In two decades a globally connected activist movement forced the acceleration of scientific research and the development of new medicines; it demanded equality of access to these medicines, insisted that health systems were funded.

As a result it brought about the most rapid and far-reaching response in history to any disease.
In the light of this and other demonstrations of people’s power the importance of civil society is now globally acknowledged – or at least it gets a lot of lip service.

Interestingly, on 23 September 2014, US President Obama issued an unprecedented
‘ Presidential Memorandum on civil society’ recognising that:
Through civil society, citizens come together to hold their leaders accountable and address challenges that governments cannot tackle alone. Civil society organisations…often drive innovations and develop new ideas and approaches to solve social, economic, and
political problems that governments can apply on a larger scale.

And yet civil society is precisely what is missing from Liberia,Sierra Leone and Guinea.

Perhaps it is because these countries have just emerged from war or because they are dictatorships.

But it is the absence of a strong independent civil society that demands better health systems and campaigns for human rights that creates fertile ground for epidemics such as Ebola.

For example, Sierra Leone may be one of the poorest countries in the world, but it is not entirely devoid of resources that could
be used for health care, sanitation or housing.

According to the IMF, it experienced economic growth of 20% in 2013.

Yet half its population still lives on $1.25 per day.

Why again?

Because there is no accountability of government and no civil society to demand it.

In the last few weeks one of the most prominent voices on the Ebola virus has been that of Laurie Garrett (@Laurie_Garrett), a journalist who won a Pulitzer Prize in 1996 for her reporting on Ebola. In her 1994 book, The Coming Plague: Newly Emerging
Diseases in a World Out of Balance, Garrett warned that there were 21 million people on earth “living under conditions ideal for microbial emergence.”

Garrett described these conditions as being “denied governmental representation that might improve their lot; starving; without safe, permanent housing; lacking nearly all forms of basic health care or sanitation”.

Sound familiar?

She concluded her 600-page tome as follows:
While the human race battles itself, fighting over ever more crowded turf and scarcer resources, the advantage moves to the microbes’ court. They are our predators and they will be victorious if we, Homo sapiens, do not learn how to live in a rational global village that affords the microbes few opportunities.

It’s either that or we brace ourselves for the coming plague.

Was she heard?

Which brings me back to the lessons of HIV.

One of the foremost organisations that brought it under control is the Treatment Action Campaign.

People’s power organised through TAC helped saved two million lives.

People’s power is still needed to get millions more onto treatment and tackle the social
conditions that drive HIV, Ebola and microbes we haven’t even got names for.

In 2004 TAC was a nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize.

To do its work, it needs a budget of $40 million a year.

In global terms this is small, small change.

$40 million is less than the amount spent on the annual opening of Parliament; less than Christiano Ronaldo earns in a year; it is a percentage of a percentage of the value of daily transactions on the NSE.

It’s small change for big change.

Yet TAC has raised just one quarter of that for 2015.

There’s a demand for social justice, but no market for it.

We must make the market.

So think about it this way: if 5,000 good citizens in the world could be persuaded to donate $500 per month to TAC, that would raise $30 million per year.

It would be a demonstration of your empathy, solidarity and just plain humanity.

It would be an investment in human rights and
health.

Now ask yourself: Is that beyond all of us in a World under a threat of a single outbreak of Ebola in Africa?

What’s stopping the world from seeing Ebola as a threat to the world other than a disease of poor Africans?

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

Mobile telephony has destroyed interpersonal social fabric

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By Bernard Wainaina
CEO,Profarms Consultants®

When my friend Gilbert learnt that a long-time friend had returned to the country after many years abroad, he could not wait to touch base with him and catch up on events spanning almost a decade.

However, when he went to visit the man last weekend, he was disappointed.

“I can’t remember the number of times our conversation was interrupted by WhatsApps, Tweets, and Facebook messages.
It got to a point where I felt he was ignoring me, yet I had specifically made time to go and see him,” recalls the middle- aged banker based in Nairobi.

Did I hear you exclaim, “How rude!”

Just a minute.

How about you?

How many times have you looked at your phone today?

Perhaps more times than you can remember.

Statistics paint the picture of a device you cannot do without, and whose use has gone against the very mission it was intended for — social cohesion.

In fact, cell phones have become some of the major catalysts of social disintegration.

While we use these gadgets to communicate with those we cannot see, they have gradually
isolated us from those who are physically close to us.

They have made access to social media easy, drawn us to unseen companions, and rendered those near us irrelevant.

So important have these gadgets become that insurance firms are reaping heavily from Kenyans seeking to insure their phones.

Figures released by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in May indicate that by the end of this year, there
will be nearly three billion internet users.

Mobile-cellular subscriptions will reach almost seven billion, and in Africa, almost 20 per cent of the population will be online.

Nearer home, the Communications Authority of Kenya estimates that about 31.8 million subscribers are actively using mobile phones.

Meanwhile, a report titled Annual Internet Trends 2013, compiled by Mary Meeker, an American venture capitalist with extensive knowledge of the internet and new technologies, says that Americans check their phones at least 150 times a day.

And that, according to figures released in December 2012 by Flurry Analytics, comes to about 127 minutes.

The slightly more than two hours compares closely with the average time an American watches television.

KILL SOCIAL NETWORKING

While these statistics make for interesting reading, perhaps what should be of greatest concern is how cell phones have killed the very social networking they are meant to build in
the first place.

Mobile phones have become our constant companions.

Many people will tell you just how helpless they felt the day they forgot their phone at home.

So important have these gadgets become that they have, to a large extent, replaced the way we interact with those around us.

For instance, watch people queuing, say, for public transport.

As soon as they join the line, the first thing they are likely to do is whip out these gadgets from their pockets or handbags and start using them.

They then become so engrossed in the
devices that they might not even notice what the person ahead of them is wearing.

Before the advent of these addictive gadgets, people lived up to their billing as social beings.

In those days, you would politely greet a stranger and ask them the time, since not
everyone had a wrist watch.

And they would gladly respond with a smile to boot.

If you dare to do that today, you will look completely out of place.

You might even be mistaken for a con man or woman.

The expectation is that you should know the time because your phone has a clock, even if you do not have a wrist watch.

Similarly, travelling offered total strangers an opportunity to get acquainted.

If, say, two people on the same bus were
travelling on an unfamiliar route, they could easily strike up a conversation and discuss some of the sites on the way or how far the destination was.

Morris Ruto, who grew up in Kipsitet and whose home was close to the Kericho-Kisumu highway, recalls with nostalgia the days when he and his colleague played ‘Google Map’ to
travellers on the road and even earned some cash in the process,“I remember when I was young, we would stand by the road,especially in December just before the Christmas festivities,
and give directions to those from the city who were not familiar with the area. It gave us an opportunity to get close to their fascinating cars and practise our linguistic skills. Some of them would even tip us. But today, most car windows are wound up and they just zoom past. I wonder why,” he says.

Perhaps what Ruto—who, going by his age would be classed as “analogue”—does not know, is that today’s phones have applications that help travellers locate their positions and the road ahead and can even tell them how far they are from their destination.

IRRITATING DISTRACTION

Travelling has certainly changed.

Unlike the olden days, it is difficult to start a conversation with a stranger in a bus or matatu, since they will probably be concentrating on their cell phones and you will be an irritating distraction.

And if you are driving, so much the better.

Roll up the tinted windows and drive on.

Your electronic companion knows the way and you do not need anyone.

Mobile phones are making us increasingly self-centred, such that we see little need for conversation.

Even simple greetings have become rare.

In the good old days, visitors were welcome any time.

They did not have to inform you in advance that they would be coming.

Even antisocial relatives found it hard to turn away visitors.

“Today, if I want to go home, I have to call my mother in advance. It would be strange to just turn up without notice,”says Jeff Koyi, who lives in Nairobi, where the same principle
applies even when visiting someone in your immediate neighbourhood.

If they do not want to see you, no problem;
they will simply tell you they are not at home.

Mobile phones have also made access to news easy, compared to the days when two people would start a conversation simply because they were sharing a newspaper.

In those days, the person who bought the paper would gladly lend it to those who did not have one.

In contrast, today’s techno-savvy person will check out the headline, then go straight to the online version to read more.

In the village where I grew up, only a few people could afford newspapers, so the whole village relied on them on everything to do with current affairs.

Occasionally, however,one of these cheeky “current affairs experts” would come up
with fantastic, non-existent stories, that would see impressed villagers buy them drinks in local pubs.

The humble folks had no way of telling that the stories were grossly exaggerated at best, or completely made up.

Today, pub arguments are resolved via Google.

There is no room for the kind of folks I have just talked about to get free drinks.

Even bets that would involve trivia made after taking one too many and the wrong answers that got rewarded no longer take place, thanks to Google.

Those days, if you travelled to the village, you could enjoy chatting with old men, who would invariably ask you about the other village mates who were living in the city.

There was a lot to discuss with people whom you had not seen for a long time.

Such conversations have been reduced and
before you tell them anything about the city, you might be surprised that they already know and could even end up updating you on the latest events since you left the city.

In many cases, they will simply ignore you since you are no longer likely to have any exciting news for them.

Trips to the rural areas during the days when phone booths were rare and found only in big urban centres have been minimised by the advent of mobile phones.

Consequently, the social bond that was strengthened during these visits has
suffered.

These gadgets have applications that allow you to see the person you are talking to, so there is no longer any need to actually travel to see them.

RELATIONSHIP BREAKERS

Mobile phones have also become relationship breakers. Indeed, many marital disputes today originate from a text message, a WhatsApp message, a Facebook comment, or a
suspicious photograph.

The mobile phone has become a secret diary and a partner’s access to it or lack thereof could well be the factor that determines whether the marriage survives or ends in divorce.

This is because, thanks to these gadgets, cheating on a spouse or partner has never been easier.

Love triangles are cleverly managed using these gadgets.

Think of any troubled marriage story you have heard in the recent past and you are sure to
find that a cell phone was involved.

Carolyne Sossion, a marriage counsellor, says she frequently advises couples to keep off each other’s phones to minimise fights.

These gadgets have enabled people to post comments and updates that sometimes promote socially divisive factors,such as racism, tribalism, and even religious divisions.

You have probably been infuriated by the ethnic undertones of comments on social media depending on the prevailing political temperatures.

Fredrick Okoth is one such individual.

Fed up with the annoying comments, he has decided to simply avoid social media.

“How I miss those days when you would avoid these negative sentiments unless you physically met the bearers of such inflammatory language. I once logged in on a Sunday
morning before the Saba Saba rally and chose to remain in bed for the rest of the day after reading annoying posts with very tribal sentiments,” laments the accountant.

Propaganda and hatred expressed on Facebook and Twitter are easily accessible, thanks to the availability of mobile phones, and their presence attracts wild reactions that only
aggravate delicate social relations.

So, as you complete reading this article and before you get out your phone to check your social media sites, remember to smile to the person next you.

Learn to greet strangers and create a rapport.

Your phone will not take you to the hospital if you collapse right there, neither can it inform you of looming danger the way your fellow human being can.

Let social media unite those who are far and the social nature of man continue connecting those who are physically close.

Too much social media is simply antisocial.

However, we cannot blame the tool more than the user, can we? So, guess who is guilty here.

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

Mobile telephony has destroyed interpersonal social fabric.

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By Bernard Wainaina
CEO,Profarms Consultants®

When my friend Gilbert learnt that a long-time friend had returned to the country after many years abroad, he could not wait to touch base with him and catch up on events spanning almost a decade.

However, when he went to visit the man last weekend, he was disappointed.

“I can’t remember the number of times our conversation was interrupted by WhatsApps, Tweets, and Facebook messages.
It got to a point where I felt he was ignoring me, yet I had specifically made time to go and see him,” recalls the middle- aged banker based in Nairobi.

Did I hear you exclaim, “How rude!”

Just a minute.

How about you?

How many times have you looked at your phone today?

Perhaps more times than you can remember.

Statistics paint the picture of a device you cannot do without, and whose use has gone against the very mission it was intended for — social cohesion.

In fact, cell phones have become some of the major catalysts of social disintegration.

While we use these gadgets to communicate with those we cannot see, they have gradually
isolated us from those who are physically close to us.

They have made access to social media easy, drawn us to unseen companions, and rendered those near us irrelevant.

So important have these gadgets become that insurance firms are reaping heavily from Kenyans seeking to insure their phones.

Figures released by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in May indicate that by the end of this year, there
will be nearly three billion internet users.

Mobile-cellular subscriptions will reach almost seven billion, and in Africa, almost 20 per cent of the population will be online.

Nearer home, the Communications Authority of Kenya estimates that about 31.8 million subscribers are actively using mobile phones.

Meanwhile, a report titled Annual Internet Trends 2013, compiled by Mary Meeker, an American venture capitalist with extensive knowledge of the internet and new technologies, says that Americans check their phones at least 150 times a day.

And that, according to figures released in December 2012 by Flurry Analytics, comes to about 127 minutes.

The slightly more than two hours compares closely with the average time an American watches television.

KILL SOCIAL NETWORKING

While these statistics make for interesting reading, perhaps what should be of greatest concern is how cell phones have killed the very social networking they are meant to build in
the first place.

Mobile phones have become our constant companions.

Many people will tell you just how helpless they felt the day they forgot their phone at home.

So important have these gadgets become that they have, to a large extent, replaced the way we interact with those around us.

For instance, watch people queuing, say, for public transport.

As soon as they join the line, the first thing they are likely to do is whip out these gadgets from their pockets or handbags and start using them.

They then become so engrossed in the
devices that they might not even notice what the person ahead of them is wearing.

Before the advent of these addictive gadgets, people lived up to their billing as social beings.

In those days, you would politely greet a stranger and ask them the time, since not
everyone had a wrist watch.

And they would gladly respond with a smile to boot.

If you dare to do that today, you will look completely out of place.

You might even be mistaken for a con man or woman.

The expectation is that you should know the time because your phone has a clock, even if you do not have a wrist watch.

Similarly, travelling offered total strangers an opportunity to get acquainted.

If, say, two people on the same bus were
travelling on an unfamiliar route, they could easily strike up a conversation and discuss some of the sites on the way or how far the destination was.

Morris Ruto, who grew up in Kipsitet and whose home was close to the Kericho-Kisumu highway, recalls with nostalgia the days when he and his colleague played ‘Google Map’ to
travellers on the road and even earned some cash in the process,“I remember when I was young, we would stand by the road,especially in December just before the Christmas festivities,
and give directions to those from the city who were not familiar with the area. It gave us an opportunity to get close to their fascinating cars and practise our linguistic skills. Some of them would even tip us. But today, most car windows are wound up and they just zoom past. I wonder why,” he says.

Perhaps what Ruto—who, going by his age would be classed as “analogue”—does not know, is that today’s phones have applications that help travellers locate their positions and the road ahead and can even tell them how far they are from their destination.

IRRITATING DISTRACTION

Travelling has certainly changed.

Unlike the olden days, it is difficult to start a conversation with a stranger in a bus or matatu, since they will probably be concentrating on their cell phones and you will be an irritating distraction.

And if you are driving, so much the better.

Roll up the tinted windows and drive on.

Your electronic companion knows the way and you do not need anyone.

Mobile phones are making us increasingly self-centred, such that we see little need for conversation.

Even simple greetings have become rare.

In the good old days, visitors were welcome any time.

They did not have to inform you in advance that they would be coming.

Even antisocial relatives found it hard to turn away visitors.

“Today, if I want to go home, I have to call my mother in advance. It would be strange to just turn up without notice,”says Jeff Koyi, who lives in Nairobi, where the same principle
applies even when visiting someone in your immediate neighbourhood.

If they do not want to see you, no problem;
they will simply tell you they are not at home.

Mobile phones have also made access to news easy, compared to the days when two people would start a conversation simply because they were sharing a newspaper.

In those days, the person who bought the paper would gladly lend it to those who did not have one.

In contrast, today’s techno-savvy person will check out the headline, then go straight to the online version to read more.

In the village where I grew up, only a few people could afford newspapers, so the whole village relied on them on everything to do with current affairs.

Occasionally, however,one of these cheeky “current affairs experts” would come up
with fantastic, non-existent stories, that would see impressed villagers buy them drinks in local pubs.

The humble folks had no way of telling that the stories were grossly exaggerated at best, or completely made up.

Today, pub arguments are resolved via Google.

There is no room for the kind of folks I have just talked about to get free drinks.

Even bets that would involve trivia made after taking one too many and the wrong answers that got rewarded no longer take place, thanks to Google.

Those days, if you travelled to the village, you could enjoy chatting with old men, who would invariably ask you about the other village mates who were living in the city.

There was a lot to discuss with people whom you had not seen for a long time.

Such conversations have been reduced and
before you tell them anything about the city, you might be surprised that they already know and could even end up updating you on the latest events since you left the city.

In many cases, they will simply ignore you since you are no longer likely to have any exciting news for them.

Trips to the rural areas during the days when phone booths were rare and found only in big urban centres have been minimised by the advent of mobile phones.

Consequently, the social bond that was strengthened during these visits has
suffered.

These gadgets have applications that allow you to see the person you are talking to, so there is no longer any need to actually travel to see them.

RELATIONSHIP BREAKERS

Mobile phones have also become relationship breakers. Indeed, many marital disputes today originate from a text message, a WhatsApp message, a Facebook comment, or a
suspicious photograph.

The mobile phone has become a secret diary and a partner’s access to it or lack thereof could well be the factor that determines whether the marriage survives or ends in divorce.

This is because, thanks to these gadgets, cheating on a spouse or partner has never been easier.

Love triangles are cleverly managed using these gadgets.

Think of any troubled marriage story you have heard in the recent past and you are sure to
find that a cell phone was involved.

Carolyne Sossion, a marriage counsellor, says she frequently advises couples to keep off each other’s phones to minimise fights.

These gadgets have enabled people to post comments and updates that sometimes promote socially divisive factors,such as racism, tribalism, and even religious divisions.

You have probably been infuriated by the ethnic undertones of comments on social media depending on the prevailing political temperatures.

Fredrick Okoth is one such individual.

Fed up with the annoying comments, he has decided to simply avoid social media.

“How I miss those days when you would avoid these negative sentiments unless you physically met the bearers of such inflammatory language. I once logged in on a Sunday
morning before the Saba Saba rally and chose to remain in bed for the rest of the day after reading annoying posts with very tribal sentiments,” laments the accountant.

Propaganda and hatred expressed on Facebook and Twitter are easily accessible, thanks to the availability of mobile phones, and their presence attracts wild reactions that only
aggravate delicate social relations.

So, as you complete reading this article and before you get out your phone to check your social media sites, remember to smile to the person next you.

Learn to greet strangers and create a rapport.

Your phone will not take you to the hospital if you collapse right there, neither can it inform you of looming danger the way your fellow human being can.

Let social media unite those who are far and the social nature of man continue connecting those who are physically close.

Too much social media is simply antisocial.

However, we cannot blame the tool more than the user, can we? So, guess who is guilty here.

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

ICC “Burden”;a fortunate misfortune for Uhuru Kenyatta

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By Bernard Wainaina
CEO,Profarms Consultants®

That Uhuru Kenyatta popularity ratings shot to 75% after he appeared at the ICC as the first sitting president,in spite of much ado about handing over power to the deputy president and appearing as a private citizen of Kenya is a matter that continues to perplex many political analysts outside Kenya.

During Kenyatta and Ruto’s joint election campaign in the run up to the 2013 elections, Kenyatta stated adamantly that it was their “intention to follow through [with the ICC cases] and ensure that we clear our names.”

But throughout the campaign, the Kenyatta
machinery gradually and systematically attempted to manipulate the narrative surrounding the case.

Whenever the ICC question was raised during the February presidential debates, for example, it was always discussed in terms of the practicalities of having a president and a deputy president running the country whilst simultaneously standing trial.

The public’s attention was thus consistently re-oriented into addressing peripheral issues rather than the main issue at hand – namely whether Kenyatta and Ruto are guilty.

Indeed, thanks to some canny framing of the issue, the ICC indictment proved to be what Bryan Kahumbura, a Horn of Africa Analyst at the International Crisis Group (ICG), has termed a “fortunate misfortune.”

Although the two now face the misfortune of actually having the deal with the ICC case, the indictments were fortunate in that they bound Kenyatta and Ruto together, bolstered their
electoral campaign, and enabled them to successfully play the victim card.

What would have spelled the end of most politicians’ careers, the UhuRuto campaign managed to turn into an electoral asset by
painting it as neo-colonialist breach of Kenyan
sovereignty.

However, since winning the election, what began as a passive-aggressive promise to comply with the ICC process has quickly morphed into outright dissent along with a more outwardly offensive strategy.

There have been allegations of witness intimidation by the defendants, for example, while Kenya’s parliament has tabled a bill calling for the country’s withdrawal from the Rome Statute , the document which recognises the authority of the ICC.

Furthermore last year October, an extraordinary African Union (AU) summit was convened specifically to discuss Africa’s relationship with the ICC.

Following the gathering, the AU issued a communiqué insisting that presidents should not be tried whilst in office and calling for Kenyatta’s trial to be deferred.

As commentator Charles Onyango-Obbo has argued, the ICC charges did not only bring Kenyatta and Ruto together, but also led Kenya to integrate more deeply into continental politics and “finally made Kenya an African country.”

Hearts and minds

Kenyatta’s change of strategy has primarily been made possible by one thing: success in the
propaganda war against the ICC.

Whereas Ruto, who was the first figure to stand trial, had to be much more compliant in dealing with his charges, Kenyatta has benefited from the slow but sure swing of public opinion in his favour and away from the ICC’s.

While at the start of his election campaign, Kenyatta trod carefully and consistently signalled his willingness to cooperate with the Court, by the time of the AU extraordinary session, he was able to switch tack as he said , “African sovereignty means nothing to the ICC and its patrons,” and that the ICC “stopped being the home of justice the day it became
the toy of declining imperial powers.”

The public perception battle the ICC is currently
facing is arguably the most important in its history, and it is losing.

An Ipsos Synovate poll released this
October showed that the percentage of Kenyans who support the ICC process has fallen from 55% in April 2012 to 39%, and that was before the AU summit and accompanying series of outspoken criticisms of the ICC from several African leaders.

It was also before the Westgate mall attack, which has further galvanised domestic and international support for the Kenyatta government – so much so that some have suggested the attack marked the effective end of the ICC case as the West would now need to ensure it maintained the support of Kenyatta’s government to help prevent further al-
Shabaab assaults.

The turnaround in popular perceptions around the Kenya case and the fact it is now seen by many as part of an anti-African conspiracy is perhaps even more impressive given its history.

Rather than being externally imposed on the continent, the case was referred to the ICC by a Panel of Eminent African Personalities mandated by the AU itself to seek a negotiated solution to the 2007/8 post-election violence.

Furthermore, as Adams Oloo, a Senior
Lecturer in the Department of Political Science at the University of Nairobi, told African News Digest, “The country was given the option of having a local tribunal. Our own parliamentarians refused three times and in fact, our own parliamentarians invited
the ICC.” These were the same parliamentarians that rallied around the slogan “let’s not be vague, let’s go to The Hague.”

A negative peace

In theory, the ICC case was meant to bring about an end to the culture of impunity that has persisted in Kenya and made violence commonplace in several of Kenya’s elections since the reintroduction of multi-party politics in 1992.

In fact, after every incidence of electoral violence, a commission of inquiry has been
set up.

Yet not one high-ranking official has stood
trial for crimes committed around election time until now.

As one analyst, who asked not to be named for
professional reasons, put it, Kenya is experiencing a form of ‘negative peace’.

There is little conflict on the surface, but the potential for violence is still there as underlying grievances have not been solved by either
constitutional reform or the reconciliation process, of which the ICC case is supposedly part and parcel.

Reigning in the culture of impunity that rears its head at every election is no mean feat.

But if a ‘positive peace’ is to be attained, the ICC case needs to run its course and in order to do so, the manner in which public opinion has been manipulated and the case has been impeded needs to be recognised and addressed – the ICC desperately needs to start winning some of the exchanges in the public perception battle that it is currently losing.

As of now,ICC seems to be the one on trial,rather than the trio of Uhuru Kenyatta,William Ruto and Joshua Sang.

In its much anticipated ruling after the Uhuru’s Status Conference early this month,ICC will be ruling more on its future perception as a forte for international justice,or as a puppet of western nations who may use it as tool to effect regime change in Africa,similar to the infamous CIA instigated regime changes of the cold-war era.

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

To win presidency,Raila must change his politics of patronage and euphoria,as well as fire his closest advisors

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By Bernard Wainaina
CEO,Profarms Consultants®

Perhaps the most enigmatic thing about him though, is that the Presidency has eluded him.

That is Raila Amolo Odinga.

Mr Odinga has lost the Presidential race three times, yet he has not given up.

Right now, there are many who say that the
Okoa Kenya campaign that he is spearheading is a dress rehearsal for his fourth stab at the Presidency in 2017.

Just what keeps him ticking?

And will he be fourth time lucky?

Yes,if he can shake the faulty foundation of his kind of politics and rebuild a new strategy.

We have heard about Albert Einstein who said that when what you are doing does not seem to work, you must change tact.

Einstein said that doing things the same way and expecting different results is an exercise in futility.

Mr Odinga’s style seems to be to build up euphoria around an issue, with himself as the centrepiece.

He then expects that he can convert the euphoric movement into a voting machine that will deliver victory.

Such euphoria almost worked well for him with the 2005 referendum and its spin-off of the 2007 elections.

What Mr Odinga needs is a total shakeup.

The people he has worked with and the advice that he has listened to have failed him.

He may just want to try something
very new and different.

For a start, he needs to commission some harshly honest but sympathetic critics to give him a thoroughly frank opinion of what is wrong.

Then he must swallow the bitter political and organisational pill that they prescribe.

Sources close to the leader of the opposition Cord coalition indicate that he has been the
recipient of poor counsel from two close family members and two former British journalists.

The same duo also worked with Jaramogi Oginga Odinga when he had a go at the Presidency in 1992.

Put together with Mr Odinga’s own three failed attempts, these advisers have failed four times.

Clearly something is wrong with their counsel.

LUO VOTERS UNHAPPY

Besides, he will need to drop political baggage in Luoland.

This includes both family baggage and crony baggage.

In the last three general elections, there were complaints about favouritism in party primaries.

Voters in Luo Nyanza were unhappy that Mr Odinga “imposed” candidates upon them.

They asked why he found it necessary when his own presidential votes were assured.

This disquiet led to voter apathy in Mr Odinga’s stronghold.

Many potential voters did not vote in protest.

Mr Odinga has himself admitted this mistake and vowed that it will not happen again.

And yet this fits very well in a recurrent pattern.
He made the same admission and pledge after the elections of 1997 and those of 2007.

He has to win back the trust of an electorate
that feels taken for granted.

VOTER APATHY

In a country in which political competition is ethnically profiled, Luo Nyanza suffers collective psychological damage and sometimes physical trauma as well each time Mr Odinga loses an election.

Yet at the same time there is serious voter apathy in this constituency.

Is the apathy a result of previous defeats or is the eventual defeat a factor of the apathy?

Mr Odinga needs to investigate this.

DEVELOPMENT AGENDA INSTEAD OF AGITATION

Some level of civic education in this constituency is also necessary, as is a serious development agenda.

In the absence of these two, the politics here hinge on patronage and handouts.

A society that bases its political choices on such criteria is condemned to perpetual under development.

There is hardly any development agenda to talk of in agriculture — the backbone of Kenya’s rural economy — or even in the fishing industry, which ought to be significant at
the lakeside.

Indeed, the Luo people today tap next to nothing from the fish in Lake Victoria, the fishing business having been invaded by
other people from outside the region who have even gone ahead to rear fish in their backyards.

The political leadership in Luo Nyanza must urgently address these concerns before it can meaningfully generate fresh interest in itself.

Mr Odinga must lead, in this respect.

RAILAPHOBIA

But his biggest asset is also his biggest liability.

His boldness easily makes him a threatening figure.

He must address this.

UhuruRuto used a liability-ICC cases-to bolster their victimhood politics while Raila came from a “clean man” front to lose the election;that’s food for thought for him.

He may also want to map out the political landscape better than he did last year, knowing where to inject more energy and resources and where to take it easy.

He tried to bleed rocks away from his strongholds in the last effort.

Too much time, energy and other resources were wasted in areas that were clearly infertile for him.

These and many other issues need to be reflected about ahead of the next poll, if Mr Odinga is going to be a Presidential
candidate.

A reformist, it seems,also needs to reform himself sometimes before setting out for wider national reforms.

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

IS Governor Rutto counting on being the defacto leader of Kalenjin nation after DP’s conviction at the ICC?

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“My friends from the South Rift allude to
the fact that some Kalenjin opinion shapers have prodded Ruto to obnoxiously raise his national profile just in case the Deputy President is felled by the ICC case”.

By Bernard Wainaina
CEO,Profarms Consultants®

When everybody else is saying that the UhuruRuto cases at ICC are headed for acquittal,Governor Rutto seems to be gearing up to take advantage of the fall-out of Deputy Presidents eventual conviction at The Hague.

Does he and the CORD Coalition know something that the rest of us don’t know about judicial and political machinations in these cases?

Last week President Uhuru executed a
masterful ‘coup’ on many fronts.

He boxed the International Criminal Court into a very uncomfortable corner.

He also pushed referenda calls to the backburner.

Cord leader Raila Odinga went into a self-
imposed three-week ‘exile’ as the country
awaits the ICC judges’ decision.

But while Raila was away, the foxy Bomet Governor Isaac Rutto cunningly attempted to steal the thunder from Uhuru’s triumphant return by announcing the eventual marriage of Pesa Mashinani and Cord’s Okoa Kenya.

Ironically, Rutto, the face of rebellion within the URP wing of the Jubilee coalition, has shown more enthusiasm for the imminent merger than the Cord brigade.

He has been ‘dancing with the CORD coalition Stars’ Bonny Khalwale, James Orengo and Otieno Kajwang at every stop.

Ford Kenya leader Moses Wetang’ula has
openly embraced the governor’s move.

Interestingly, Cord leader Raila Odinga and his co-principal Kalonzo Musyoka have been guarded in embracing the announcement.

Observers argue that the Jubilee leadership
strategically decided to isolate Rutto by whipping its pro-Pesa Mashinani governors to toe the coalition’s line while enticing their Cord counterparts within the council.

The strategy is said to have worked so effectively that Rutto had to seek refuge in Cord while he still had some straws to clutch on to.

This comes approximately one month after Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago goaded Rutto with a zinger that the “A” Council of Governors was against his Pesa Mashinani drive.

“B” Council of governors in this case seems to imply Rutto,painted as a lone ranger in the Jubilee Coalition.

It is therefore no coincidence that the number of pro- Pesa Mashinani governors accompanying Rutto to the open-air dance floors with Khalwale and Kajwang has been shrinking by the day.

Whether or not the Pesa Mashinani or Okoa Kenya initiatives are legitimate is beside the point.

Former Makadara MP Reuben Ndolo has been more forthcoming by stating publicly that Cord intends to “take over the government immediately after the referendum”.

Assuming the de facto leader of Men in Black is speaking for the coalition, then Rutto, with whom he has been sharing the platform, can no longer convincingly argue that he is pushing for more money at the grassroots,but to be a “part of the government after winning OKOA KENYA referendum.

Rutto blew his own cover with his recent pronouncement that he believes a “Raila presidency would have been better for
devolution”.

To understand why Rutto seems isolated within his coalition one must consider the positions of other pro-Pesa Mashinani Jubilee governors.

Governor Munya insists that he is only interested in getting more money to the counties and not the issues raised by Cord.

It was therefore not a surprise when Munya failed to show up at Rutto’s signature launch.

Did Munya and other governors realise that their Bomet counterpart had started gravitating towards Cord and decided not to follow him blindly?

Did Rutto betray other governors who believed that they had a solitary goal to fight for more resources for their counties by unilaterally dragging the Council of Governors into an unplanned marriage with CORD for his own personal political ends?

But exactly what does Rutto want?

First, he is a seasoned politician and most likely knows what he really wants.

My friends from the South Rift allude to
the fact that some Kalenjin opinion shapers have prodded Ruto to obnoxiously raise his national profile just in case the Deputy President is felled by the ICC case.

Others argue that Cord is pushing Rutto
as a gateway to the Kalenjin vote basket.

Can Raila trust Rutto after he lost the presidency in part due to a fallout with Deputy President William Ruto, who is still considered the most influential Kalenjin leader after Moi?

Why would Rutto peg his hope of ascending to power on wishful thinking that Ruto will
fall by the wayside?

National projection aside, Rutto’s latest move must also be understood from a purely local perspective.

The President and Deputy President have purposely stopped any direct reference to the governor.

They have left it to senators Kipchumba Murkomen and Charles Keter and Mandago to respond to him.

In retrospect this implies diminished clout or a
deliberate effort to consign the governor to a lower ‘league’.

The executive should not have responded to Rutto in the first place because there will always be inner party members and ambitious outer party members who are made harmless by allowing them to rise.

There is no better way to clip internal rebellion.

Whether Rutto is playing to the gallery of Kalenjin opinion makers or simply doing Raila’s bidding, the question is where does the Pesa Mashinani-Okoa Kenya marriage leave the governor?

Is this a properly reasoned strategy or a poisoned chalice for Governor Ruttto?

Only time will tell.

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

IS ICC,The Hague,finally caving in to political pressure?

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By Bernard Wainaina
CEO,Profarms Consultants®

“Politics is theatre. It doesn’t matter if you
win. You make a statement. You say, ‘I’m here,
pay attention to me’,” said the American
politician, Harvey Milk.

The unnecessary theatrics of handing over power and resuming office – “a temporary abdication,”showed just how well the Kenyatta administration understands this.

In fact, he and Deputy President William Ruto
have skillfully managed to turn their
indictments for crimes against humanity to
their political advantage, easily slipping into
the role of victim.

Every time one of them has been threatened
with prosecution for economic crimes or
political violence, they have mastered the art
of using their ethnic communities as a shield.

So effectively, they paint themselves, and
their communities, as victims and generate
political heat to prevent the cases ever being
judged on their merits.

Failing that, there is always the time-honoured practice of bribing, intimidating and even murdering witnesses(this is not new in these cases,that’s why ICC has a witness protection programme and many other judiciaries all over the world).

The tough realities of trying to prosecute some of the most powerful people on the planet have
demonstrated that the court does not operate in a political vacuum.

In the cases before the ICC, we have seen elements of all these strategies.

First was the sustained campaign to paint the court as anti-African and to transform the duo into the victims of “the toy of declining
imperial powers” as Uhuru described the court at the African Union.

This is the “our community is being targeted” argument.

That African nations form the largest single group of signatories to the Rome Statute, that the Prosecutor is African and that the many of cases, including, arguably, the Kenyan ones,
were referred to the ICC by African nations are facts that are not allowed to stand in the way of this performance of collective victimhood.

Then there was the attempt to get the cases either postponed or dropped altogether.

From the UN to the AU to the Assembly of State Parties, the government declared that the cases were no longer the “personal challenges” of presidential candidates, but national security issues.

The prosecutions threatened the fragile peace between the Kikuyu and Kalenjin communities who, though reconciled, were apparently raring to have another go at each other’s throat.

It was only the promise of impunity that kept
them apart, or so the story went.

Then last week, Uhuru Kenyatta finally made history.

On Monday, he became the first sitting President to hand over power to his deputy and two days later, paradoxically was the first sitting President to ever appear before the
International Criminal Court.

On his return, he was treated to a hero’s welcome with thousands thronging the streets, egged on by his administration.

When an extraordinary AU summit embraced the position that no African head of state
should be prosecuted while still in office, the Kenyans wasted no time declaring victory against imperialists.

The show must go on!

Alongside all these, strange things were happening with the witnesses.

Some died, others had their identities revealed, still more begun to withdraw, some turned out to be liars, yet others had sudden attacks of conscience and claimed to have been enticed to lie on the stand through promises of relocation to Europe.

Reports begun to emerge of cartels hunting down and threatening or bribing witnesses.

The prosecutor was complaining of non-
cooperation from the government, which was
accused of withholding evidence that became
increasingly crucial as witnesses dropped out.

Soon, Fatou Bensouda was admitting that she no longer had enough evidence to sustain a conviction.

But the show must go on, she argued, saying it would be a mistake to reward the government’s
intransigence.

Many Uhuru supporters took to claiming that in fact there was no evidence at all and that he had been framed.

The OTP, at the last status conference, summarised its evidence, including witnesses and phone records linking Uhuru to the
financing of Mungiki to carry out attacks.

So where do we stand today?

As a court of last resort, it was indeed the failure to set up a credible local tribunal to try the elite that forced the ICC to act.

But, for such a landmark case,the first attempt to hold a sitting head of state to account, the trials have revealed the weakness at the heart of the international justice system and just how
vulnerable it is to both political pressure and
governmental manipulation.

Ironically, it is to escape these very factors that many put their faith in the ICC in the first place, viewing it as a panacea for weak
local courts unable to hold powerful elites to
account.

The arguments made inside the court are just as likely to be aimed at political
constituencies as at the judges, and political theatrics are just as likely to affect the court’s ability to effectively try cases.

This raises difficult questions.

How to ensure cooperation from the very governments whose leaders it is trying to prosecute?

How to protect the court’s credibility and to avoid miring it in the muck of local and international politics?

These and other issues will continue to engage those working to make real the promise of accountability long after the circus has left town.

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

Corporate blogging;Navigating through Social Media Etiquette

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By Bernard Wainaina
CEO,Profarms Consultants®

Every new form of communication creates new rules of engagement.

Unfortunately, these rules are often unspoken.

In the early days, the rules might be hotly
disputed, too.

Social networking through sites like Facebook and Twitter is changing the way customers and
businesses interact.

And the way you conduct yourself through your social media accounts is a direct reflection on your business.

In this post, I have compiles a checklist of best practices and etiquette for corporate social media engagement;

RESTRAINT

Engage with people on social networks, talk
to them, listen twice as much as you speak, and
market half as much as you think you should.

It’s tempting to respond to everything with a pitch, but a modicum of restraint will yield more
opportunity and less disengagement.

Save the pitch for the right time, rather than every other message, which may mean you’ll have to get away from those canned responses and really, really chat it up.

GIVE CREDIT WHERE IT IS DUE

Whether sharing ideas, suggestions, or statistics, be sure to mention the originator if it wasn’t you.

RESPOND TO PEOPLE

I find it incredibly rude when I go out of my way to respond to people on G+ or Twitter . . . and “hear only the sound of crickets”.

If you were at a. party and someone struck up a conversation with you, would you walk away?

DON’T BE ALL BUSINESS ALL THE TIME

Mix in a bit of the personal (and some personality)… people like doing business with human beings.

“Humanizing the brand” shouldn’t be code for “it’s ok to be frivolous.

” Humanizing the brand” means cheering successes, acknowledging others, responding individually, and admitting when you’re
wrong.

It doesn’t mean embracing a general goofiness in the name of brand-building.

FIND NEW CUSTOMERS,BUT DON’T PESTER THEM WITH SALES PITCH

Always have a clear audience in mind.

What are they interested in?

What do they care about?

ALWAYS EDUCATE,NEVER PROMOTE

Think about them, not about you.

Don’t be boring.

KEEP IT SHORT

When commenting on other’s articles, keep it short and to the point.

Don’t engage in endless rounds of point proving –no-one else is interested.

By all means be provocative to stimulate new and healthy ideas, but not at the expense of others.

What do you want to reader to do or feel after
reading your article?

Don’t say anything you wouldn’t say face to face.

For LinkedIn – Send a short note of congratulations and good luck when “Status Update” tells you someone has a new job.

When creating content keep your headlines short.

I use the 65-character rule.

Any more than that and it can become difficult for people to comment on your shared links, especially on Twitter, where there is a 140-character limit.

This is beneficial for SEO(Search Engine Optimization) too, as Google only shows around 65–70 characters of your
page title.

KEEP PRODUCING GREAT QUALITY FREE CONTENT

Do write about what your target audience might find interesting.

Don’t just write about what you think is interesting.
Focus on strategy before getting down to tactics.

Don’t sweat the small stuff, get the big picture over.

Look like you are giving, not selling.

Ask questions and provide answers.

Think of posts as storytelling, make them want to ‘turn the page’.

Some companies bring their customer services to open social media channels.

This can be great to show that you transparently and effectively deal with customers.

But it can backfire if your customer services stumble.

FREQUENCY NEEDS TO BE RIGHT

If you tweet/post too often, people will unfollow or unlike.

Try to offer exclusive things of value.

If you can generate new and interesting information,people are likely to share this content, and you can gain a larger readership.

Try to cross post across your channels.

Tone needs to be consistent.

Tools like CoTweet can be useful to maintain a
frequent social presence maintained by a small team of people.

Some people simply retweet a lot of OTHER people’s content and links.

Retweets should make up no more than 25% of your Twitter stream.

USE FACEBOOK DIFFRENTLY FROM TWITTER, AND NOT JUST AS A TRAFFIC SOURCE

Many people will gladly and successfully experience your brand entirely within the walls of Facebook.

The key then is to give them a consistent, branded experience within Facebook,
including content and rich media optimised for the format.

When marketing using social media the best tip I have been given is to be consistent… guess what, it works!

Be wary of crossing that line from business over to personal especially on Facebook.

We come across a lot of established business blogs and one of the main improvements that can be made instantly is to stop the personal blog posts.

Feel free to blog and tweet as much as you like about your personal life, but do it on a personal account not on a Corporate blog.

The occasional personal story on a business blog will generally be of benefit, as it shows the readers that they are able to communicate with a person, but stray too far and too often into the personal domain and it’s likely to have only negative repercussions.

DON’T TALK ABOUT YOURSELF CONSTANTLY

Share information which has value to your business.

Be accessible and responsive to give your account a human face.

Help others for the sake of helping others
R-E-S-P-E-C-T others (competition or not).

Contribute to the conversation for the sake of the conversation

GET RESPONSE

Understand what benefit you are providing to your followers and give them what they want!

Social Media is an excellent vehicle for sharing content.

Understanding what content your audience is looking for will guide a successful social campaign.

Are your followers looking for company updates to provide new information in your line of business? Industry news? Promotions?

The goal is to connect with your audience in a way that benefits both parties.

This will grow your influence and help you better understand who your business is serving.

If utilizing Twitter… ask your target audience to
include #letstalk – this also assumes you include
your #letstalk when beginning a conversation – as example – this helps with inclusion, customers like to feel that they are apart of your circle and the conversation.
“They belong” – this also helps with tracking consumer sentiment.

DON’T JUST DO SOCIAL MEDIA, BE SOCIAL

Think globally but act locally and be truly interested in your community.

High quality content will show if your purpose is to serve others.

It’s important to acknowledge and say thank you when someone mentions you, RTs, comments or contributes to the conversation.

To get a feel for community on Twitter, I recommend taking part in a Twitter Chat.

It makes you realize that although the tools are digital, they enable old-fashioned conversation and relationship building.

Add your website to blog comments by all means –but don’t comment unless you have something to add to the conversation.

Route social media discussions you’ve monitored to the company experts; not to the marketing department.

Make engagement part of their job description.

HR teams: sweep forums for those looking for work, and also as a tool to find out more
about applicants.

DON’T. MUSCLE YOURSELF INTO A CONVERSATION IF YOU WOULDN’T DO THAT IN REAL LIFE

Self promo is a no-no.

Let your talk do the walk.

Remember that the very benefits of social networking are also its greatest potential threats…depending on your organisation and markets.

For example:

Transparency: It’s fantastic in terms of relationship/brand building but also dangerous because certain information is best kept confidential.

Listening: Wonderful to be able to tune into what people are saying about you, but then the thorny dilemma of deciding which conversations to join and act upon…or should you not pick and choose?

Thought leadership: Great to build a reputation with influential opinion and all that good stuff but in these austere times is ‘return on engagement’ sufficient to justify all the effort?

No, up yours! I wouldn’t say that to your face, but sometimes online the temptation is to be abrupt or rude.

Or to be the online equivalent of an annoying
child repeatedly shouting “What about what I want!
No-one listens to me”

I believe that for Business2Business marketing to have any relevance whatsoever our goal must be to be helpful to our target audience at all times.

If not we’re just wasting their time.

Same applies to posting blogs, re-tweeting, replying to tweets, whatever:

THINK OF YOUR AUDIENCE FIRST
.
What problems can you help them solve?

Go on and help them.

A great example of this happened to me the other day, I tweeted a message and a follower – someone I admire – took exception and tore a strip off me, but added nothing of any value except spite.

I replied, “Thanks, that was a great help.”

The next response was a series of suggestions about how my campaign could be improved.

I updated my blog, re-tweeted and this now very helpful person tweeted it on to their 10,000+ followers.

So last tip from me.

If someone does come at you, don’t take it lying down.

Think of it as an opportunity to turn them around.

Keep your accounts well defined, and keep the content adequate to your target.

And another good business tip for Social
Media is to leave no comment without response,
whether you’re talking about Facebook, LinkedIn, even Twitter (many celebrities make it a habit to answer most or all posts on their pages).

This helps engage users and build trust in your person.

And it’s also good manners.

It’s important to remember social media is really
about the conversation.

I’ve generally been struck by the level of politeness – sometimes too polite in various discussion groups.

Often more polite than in real world discussions.

As has been mentioned –listening is key, being open to other points of view,challenging them politely, learning from them – it increases the value of the discussion for everyone.

People who are dogmatic, or solely out for self-
promotion are generally not impactful or effective.

People who take themselves too seriously struggle.

The quality of the contribution is generally more recognized than the quantity or volume (meaning noise level).

The most effective promotion is actually
no promotion, but thoughtful participation in the discussion.

UNDERSTAND THE IMPORTANCE OF HUMAN CONNECTIO

Leverage the opportunities for damage control –turning an otherwise negative or mistaken moment into a fast, positive response.

Every moment is an opportunity for good customer service.

Large organisations can easily connect on a very personal,one-on-one level and show they really care about their customers.

Use customer service strategies to better engage
your followers.

Create content that is not solely on self-promotion but rather invites followers to interact with you.

For Twitter especially whilst it can be a challenge to work within the confines of 140 characters a business should never adopt teenage / text style abbreviations.

I’ve seen this happen and that company just comes across as unprofessional and poor at
communicating.

There are other ways to work with that limit of characters.

Social media represents a huge opportunity for
businesses to give a human voice to their brand.
And thus in turn very much the same manners apply for businesses as for individuals.

These are just a few guidelines on Corporate Blogging Social Media Etiquette.

Your Code of Conduct for your Corporate Social Media Policy must be more comprehensive to reign in the staff into a strategy that furthers the company goals other that personal gratification especially if they can post on behalf of your organisation.

Now go on and make a gainful presence in your corporate social media accounts!

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

What do you do with your customer’s feedback?

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By Bernard Wainaina
CEO,Profarms Consultants®

Juma,my childhood friend is fond of doing odd jobs in my compound,if only to help us catch up with our childhood memories and escapades.

He pops in now and then,when I’m home on weekends,and we slash grass in my lawn,burn trash and occasionally,we grill one of my indigenous chicken in my charcoal jiko(stove).

Roasted chicken is one of his favourites,and seeking the trouble we get into to get the fire going,he brought in a full gunny bag of waste paper to help us kindle the fire fast enough for his favourite dish!

I was curious of the contents of his ganny bag and I leafed through a few forms in the waste paper lot.

To my surprise,they were customer feedback forms from a reputable local bank,some dated as recently as a week before he brought them in.

I was ashamed of how this bank treats its customer feedback forms as well as market survey questionnaires.

Anyway,there is still a big heap of this forms in my garage that we use to start our charcoal stove,and every time juma pinches a heap to start the fire,I flinch at the disrespect that this bank has shown to its customer feedback!

IN MANY organisations, there are piles and piles of customer feedback.

I do not literally mean loads of feedback forms
piled at a corner; I mean feedback that staff receive during daily customer interactions.

The feedback could be in form of questions (why this or why that); it could be in form of suggestions (why not consider this; or have you thought about this); it could be shared as a
compliment (I like this or I love it); or it could even be a complaint (I do not like this, or I hate that).

Customer feedback is one of the measures of an
organisation’s success.

Feedback received in a single customer survey could result to major improvements that can
push the organisation forward for a number of years.

Unfortunately, though, most feedback received during surveys and feedback directly from staff is not taken seriously.

Many frontline staff, and even managers, keep such feedback to themselves, denying the organisation the opportunity to keep getting better.

A few days ago, I asked why the printer at the boarding gate was not functional.

It concerned me because, having checked-
in online and with an electronic boarding pass, I was asked to go back to the check-in counters downstairs to print a manual boarding pass because they did not have scanners.

I wondered if any other passenger with an electronic boarding pass had expressed the same concern and if anything had been done about such feedback.

Cockroach roaming

While on board a few minutes later, we pointed out that a cockroach was roaming in the cabin.

We were left with the feeling that it was not the first time the crew was being alerted about cockroaches in the cabin.

In yet another organisation, I asked a member of staff what they did with the feedback in
the complaints box.

She said the manager reads them every month and puts them away as most customers do not give their contacts.

In yet another organisation, a major customer satisfaction survey had been conducted; a report had been prepared but there was no evidence of the actions resulting from the
findings.

These are examples of opportunities lost.

Mixed vegetables

Organisations that take customer feedback seriously keep getting better.

I have no doubt that every forward looking
organisation would give examples of improvements they have made after receiving customer feedback.

I know of an organisation that extended its closing hours because of suggestions received from customers.

An Organic restaurant added mixed indigenous vegetables to its menu as an accompaniment to fries because of customer feedback.

A hotel changed the colour of its towels and the detergents it was using because of customer feedback.

What have you done differently because of customer feedback?

Customer feedback received directly by staff need to be acknowledged on the spot, and customers who participate in surveys need to be alerted that their feedback will be used to
improve their experience.

Customers should be made to feel that their feedback is important to the organisation’s success.

Feedback received from across all channels should be analysed and an action plan, with the opportunities identified, put together.

Do something about the customer feedback that
you have been receiving!

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

Corporate blogging;the ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ for social media engagement

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By Bernard Wainaina
CEO,Profarms Consultants®

I was attending an agribusiness stakeholders brainstorming workshop in Kigali,Rwanda,last week and seated next to a charismatic Lady,a regional executive of a large agribusiness multinational.

After exchanging some info on our respective
areas of building the ‘rising Africa’,she prompted; Do you use Social media for your business?

I said yes.

She looked uncomfortable.

“Don’t you think it’s risky,I mean,it can blur the line between you business entity and your private life and muddle up some issues?” She added.

“Not at all. I’ve dedicated all my social media accounts to furthering my business interests and I have no private presence in all of these accounts”. I offered.

Great. Tell me how to go about it,because I fear that as a woman, my private life may just spill over in my social media accounts,even when I intend to use them for my business”. She implored.

Hers was a tricky question.

If you have been on social media for social reasons for long as a private person,it becomes hard to re-fashion your accounts to deal with business issues when the pictures of your wedding and the first kid are all well documented in your accounts,including your family cat.

But should corporate executives then shy away from social media to maintain a facade of indisspassionate dignity?

I guess not.

Let’s hear another story at a different place,with another different executive who had decided to keep away from all social media:

“Do you use Twitter?” It was a simple question i
asked my seatmate,this time, the chairman of a large multinational retail firm, at a dinner for board directors about two years ago.

With barely concealed incredulity he replied that he wouldn’t dream of it.

Twitter was something for his grandchildren and there was nothing of interest to him there.

I couldn’t resist: a couple quick taps on my phone brought up a Twitter search of his company with a huge number of tweets.

He was startled.

He’d had no idea there was so much going on there.

A couple more taps and up came the results of a search on his name.

That made him turn a pale shade of green.

Somehow he’d figured that since he wasn’t using social media, that people using social media weren’t interested in him.

There are myriad reasons why board directors and senior executives in all sectors need to understand and embrace social media, even if they use it sparingly.

The different applications, be it Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Instagram are now centres of news, opinion, activism, customer engagement and much more.

Speaking as a director in my consultancy firm and an avid user of social media, social media has become an essential extension of my work.

I like Twitter for news and Facebook for touching base with friends.

LinkedIn helps me keep up with companies and
professional associates, and Instagram is a valuable visual way to share experiences.

I’m intrigued by Pintrest, as it has made real waves for brands.

I use Whatsapp to chat my regular friends,but strictly use email for all my business engagements.

The list goes on.

With time,the list of choices will become endless,but as food for thought,would you use Linkedin inmail to chat your boyfriend or girlfriend or even touch base with old friends?

The fact is,each of the social media platforms are designed to target specified group of people within your circle,though the lines may be blurred at times.

But you have a choice of pinning down dedicated social media platform to your business.

GET ON BOARD

Board directors and executives need to have a clear understanding of how social media affects our organisations.

In some sectors it has revolutionised the way companies interact with customers, employees, partners and the community at large.

Judging from the calls I’ve been getting from
headhunters, boards are coming to recognise the need for social media savvy board members.
They want to appoint people who have demonstrated dexterity with social media, and have genuine credibility and a following as part of their skill set.

I have colleagues who get the chills when they
consider the possible pitfalls of social media, but rather than using that as a reason to turn our backs on the medium, it should be an incentive to learn how to use it properly.

When board members and senior executives are
active and engaged, it sends a message about their commitment to communication.

A chief executive officer becomes more approachable, relatable and accessible, and board members become more than faceless people sitting around a table behind closed
doors.

Here are four do’s and four don’ts that I personally follow for engagement in my social media accounts:

»Dos:

¤Be on “send” and “receive”. For me social media is about engagement and learning. It is a means of learning what other people are thinking and talking about,feedback mostly, and for sharing things that I find interesting
and think would be interesting to others.

If you are always on “send” or “share” — only transmitting things you want to tell people — you will miss out on some of the real value of social media.

By being on “receive”— listening, and engaging with others — you will get a lot more out of it.

¤Be authentic. I’m always surprised when people ask if my tweets are really from me. If time is limited, it is better to share one thought you’ve written yourself once a day or once a week than to have someone else construct tweets for you more frequently.

People can tell if the tweets are outsourced, and they respond better authenticity.

¤Read it over before you hit send. I can’t count
the number of times I’ve sent tweets with things
spelled wrong ( even recently), or thought I was
sending a private message, but instead shared it
with the world. Also, as with emails, I try to avoid sending a tweet or making a comment when I’m annoyed.

¤Remember, once it is out there, it is there
forever, especially now that the Library of the world archives all tweets.

¤Learn the rules of the road. It is important to
understand the language and customs of each
platform. For example, on Twitter, don’t use other people’s tweets without properly crediting them.

On LinkedIn, it’s fine to comment and offer critiques, but what you write reflects on your professional reputation as well as that of the company you represent.
If you disagree, try to do it respectfully.

»Don’ts:

¤Think it is a private venue? NO! Social media is public.

Don’t write anything you would not be happy
to have published in a newspaper. (A tweet of mine was quoted recently.) Even if you have a private account, there is a risk that anything you post will be passed on or shared, be it opinions, photos, or conversations.

¤Dont Disclose confidential information. You’d be
surprised what enterprising journalists, investors or competitors can deduce from your photos or status updates. I don’t tweet or share on Facebook if I’m travelling on sensitive company business.

If I share pictures that give a view into what I’m doing, I make sure that they do not show confidential documents.

Also, proceed with caution with company
communications.

¤Dont Share things you haven’t actually read or know for sure. Take care not to retweet rumours or something that has not been properly reported, and read articles fully before you repost.

Don’t forget investors, partners, and employees are watching.

¤Dont Pre-schedule tweets and shares. It is tempting to schedule tweets and comments for a time when you think the most people will read them, but there is a real danger to that. I’d rather tweet in real time, than risk being in a meeting or on a plane when a disaster strikes and my tone-deaf tweet goes out about something that is completely irrelevant or
unimportant.

I almost always share things in real time, tweeting when I’m up and reading the news,
which in my case is often 05:00am

To be truly responsible board members and
executives, it is important that we understand how people communicate today.

Not every person on the board must be actively engaged in social media, but all board members should understand it.

And, what happened to the chairman I mentioned earlier?

His attitude towards social media shifted
over time.

He now has a Twitter account that he uses to
keep an eye on company mentions, and to follow news accounts for industry and sector updates.

He is registered on LinkedIn, and he has a Facebook account now, which, as it turns out, is a nice way to keep in touch with his grandchildren.

And my Charismatic Lady? She opted for Twitter and LinkedIn. She still thinks Facebook maybe used to stalk her by her former Exs!

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

Right-to- Food Movement®

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By Bernard Wainaina
CEO,Profarms Consultants®

The idea to start this movement is inspired by regular famines witnessed in Kenya and most of othe African Countries.

Together,we must look for ways to ensure that our citizens will not die of hunger through advocacy,lobbying and direct interventist actions that guarantee food on the table for all Africans with a pilot project starting in Kenya on JANUARY,2015.

We will be looking for donors to our programmes and volunteers from both Agriculture/Agribusiness sectors as well as legal aid on pro bono basis for advocacy.

University students within East African region undertaking agriculture degree courses and law are especially invited to join our movement on volunteer basis.

Kenya,like many other African Countries, is not prepared for another spike in global and regional food prices.

In 2008, Kenya suffered from the combination of post-election violence, rising prices for food and fuel internationally, and poor harvests nationally.

This sent food inflation as high as 27 per cent that year, hampering the ability of Kenyans across the country to afford a nutritious diet.

This, and a subsequent spike in 2011, sparked protests both large and small, the most visible and memorable being the Unga revolution.

Having researched the policy responses to the price spikes of 2008 and 2011, we have concluded that Kenya’s current food and agricultural policies will not effectively mitigate the impact of the inevitable reoccurrence of global food price spikes.

The measures that the government took then (such as the short-lived provision of subsidised unga(Maize Flour) to designated depots in low-income areas of Nairobi) were driven by momentary political anxiety and the rivalry that defined the Grand Coalition government, rather than commitment to institute a sustained response to hunger that can effectively mitigate the differential impact of food price shocks on millions of people on low incomes.

Kenya’s drought response and famine relief programmes have all but eliminated hunger-related deaths over the last two decades.

While this is laudable it leaves unaddressed the problem of chronic hunger or persistent undernourishment caused by high food prices.

Since the price rises of 2008, Kenyans eat
less, and eat cheaper but less nutritious foods.

This is one of the reasons that Kenya remains the African country with the fourth-highest rate of undernourishment: not starving, but suffering from an inadequate intake of nutrients,which can be deeply harmful for long-term cognitive development of children.

FREEDOM FROM HUNGER

The 2010 Constitution guarantees to every Kenyan the right “to be free from hunger, and to have adequate food of acceptable quality” (Article 43 (1)(c).

There is as yet no system of institutionalised accountability that protects this right for citizens.

The system we have in place at the moment can only guarantee us the right not to die from hunger.

Some efforts have been made to create social safety net programmes.

The examples include cash transfer programmes for the elderly, orphaned and vulnerable children, those living with
HIV/Aids, and through a Hunger Safety Nets Programme.

These have limited coverage, and heavy donor dependence raises questions on their sustainability.

The expansion of social safety net programmes should not be our main preoccupation though.

The fundamental obstacle to securing affordable food is two- fold.

First, skewed policies such as maize marketing
interventions and production subsidies that benefit only the producers of surplus: 50 per cent of Kenya’s maize production comes from only two per cent of farmers; and 70 per cent of Kenya’s small-scale maize farmers are net buyers, meaning that they end up buying more than they sell, so the producer prices offered as an incentive by the National Cereals and Produce Board are ultimately of no benefit to
them.

The second factor is government failure to hold to account its own officials as well as millers and grain traders engaging in corrupt and predatory practices that drive food prices up.

A system of accountability for hunger that delivers on the constitutional right to food is unlikely to be secured without a national Right-to-Food Movement® that cuts across urban and
rural parts of the country in a sustained effort to eradicate predatory and corrupt practices in food markets and food aid.

Website: https://m.facebook.com/right2foodmovement?v=feed&_rdr

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

Social Justice is enshrined in our constitution

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By Bernard Wainaina
CEO,Profarms Consultants®

Right-to-Food Movement® is envisioned to fight for social justice.

Hunger is one of the social injustices that bedevil our people in Africa.

Let me use Kenyan Constitution as an example;

Have you ever heard of the National Social
Assistance Authority of Kenya?

It is now just over four years since the promulgation of the Constitution.

It is a modern Constitution.

A blend of ideals, principles and prescriptions.

Will this Constitution turn out to be like the thrills of courtship, with short lived romance and a trail of broken promises?

Under the Constitution everyone in Kenya is entitled to enjoy the following services from the Government for free.

Quality health care services.

Accessible and adequate housing.

Toilets and bathroom facilities that offer reasonable sanitation.

No person in Kenya should suffer the pangs of hunger.

Adequate, clean and safe water.

Every child in Kenya is entitled to free and
compulsory basic education.

Since the child is any person under 18 years, primary and secondary education should be free and compulsory.

Children are also entitled, at the cost of
Government, to basic nutrition, shelter and health care.

Persons with disabilities are entitled to education facilities and institutions compatible with their disabilities.

Those who cannot support themselves
and their dependants have a right to receive social assistance.

Are the social justice rights provided for under the Constitution unachievable and therefore a mirage?

In January 2013 Parliament enacted the Social
Assistance Act.

Under this law financial and social assistance should be provided to poor orphans, vulnerable children, poor elderly persons, youth who are unemployed, disabled persons, widows and
widowers, and people who have been disabled by acute chronic illness.

It is this law that creates the National Social
Assistance Authority of Kenya.

This is the authority that has the power to pay for food, shelter, clothing,fuel, utilities, household supplies, personal requirements, health care services, transportation expenses, funeral and burial expenses for those who qualify.

It has the legal power to offer rehabilitation, counselling, adoption, and day care services and income assistance.

A majority of Kenyans live in abject poverty.

They have no access to basic education, adequate housing, sanitation, quality health care, clean and adequate water and basic nutrition.

Over the years the government has created many funds within and outside the law to meet some of these needs.

The latest creation are Ward Funds.

The others include CDF, Uwezo, Kazi Kwa Vijana, Women Fund, and funds for orphans and the elderly.

All these funds fall under social assistance programmes.

There is no single database of the individual
beneficiaries of funds disbursed under CDF, Wards, Uwezo, Kazi Kwa Vijana, women, or the elderly.

There are no statistics of the total disbursements
paid so far and their social and economic impact.

The National Social Assistance Authority now has the legal mandate to create such a database and an information management system of all social assistance programmes in Kenya.

It has the authority to co-ordinate and harmonise all social assistance programmes.

Every person and institution managing and disbursing government funds for such programmes is under a legal duty to
give statistics of disbursements, and names and
status of beneficiaries to the Authority.

One of the biggest cause of the conflict between
governors, senators, Members of Parliament and Members of County Assemblies is the government funds they have access to for social assistance programmes.

Over the years, such funds, though created for the benefit of Kenyans, have been turned
into political weapons and shields.

The establishment of a functional National Social Assistance Authority would put this to a stop, or check its most obvious abuses.

All funds set aside for social assistance programmes after February 2013 including CDF, Uwezo, Women, Orphans and for the Elderly, should have been managed under the oversight of the National Social Assistance Authority.

Have you heard of the authority?

Or any person appointed or working under it?

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=628014680644527&id=627957127316949

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

Corporate blogging and online security is one deadly mix

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“Many senior executives are known to be so busy that they delegate their passwords to staff in order to avoid stalling operations requiring their digital interventions or approvals.”

By Bernard Wainaina
CEO,Profarms Consultants®

Is your company or organisation doing corporate blogging?

If yes,your site is a sitting duck for online hackers.

Several reasons contribute to this online security weak links and I will try to highlight some of them,but the main culprit is a share password among the staff entrusted to post on the blog,website,or a social media handle on behalf of your outfit.

The human being, it is often said, is the weakest link in any security framework.

Put differently, if governments enacted the necessary cyber-security laws while the judiciary, prosecution and the police upgraded their ICT skills appropriately, Netizens(Online citizens of the world) would still be vulnerable online unless they
too did their bit.

Most netizens are street-savvy and stay out of danger by not walking along certain streets or not driving through certain roads after dark.

However, the same netizens do not take similar safety measures online and therefore present easy targets to an increasing number of cyber-criminals.

Take, for example, the matter of passwords.

There is a good number of users whose password is either their name or the name of their girlfriend, boyfriend or some close relative.

If your name is say, David Kamau, please be more creative and avoid a password like “davidkamau” because that is what the hackers begin with in their effort to guess your password.

Of course the reasons users prefer simple passwords is because they do not want to forget them, but unfortunately this makes life easy for the hackers.

PASSWORD SHARING

To meet the conflicting demands of a strong but memorable password, users should mix letters and numbers while sounding out some words.

“Eye_Se@_Se@” for the word “ICC” or “8-f0re-f0re” for the phrase “8-4-4” would form good password examples, in that they are not uniquely attributable to you, are fairly long and complex, and remain easy to remember.

Don’t adopt these specific examples, of course, but think along these lines when coming up with your complex but memorable passwords.

Many senior executives are known to be so busy that they delegate their passwords to staff in order to avoid stalling operations requiring their digital interventions or approvals.

This brings us to password sharing, another human weak link in the security framework.

Of what use is a complex password if you give it to your secretary or personal assistant, who may then share it with their friend or colleague?

ONE PASSWORD MANY ACCOUNTS

Another emerging problem is the blurring lines between the social and corporate lives of employees.

Many executives, politicians and public figures today have active social media accounts on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn amongst other networks.

Rather than trying to remember different passwords for the many accounts, these folks tend to share one password across these accounts which exponentially increases their exposure to attacks.

Hackers may compromise one social media password,and use that to gain entry into the rest of the accounts that may include corporate emails and databases.

The moral of the story is that one should keep their social media passwords very different from corporate and other passwords.

HARVESTING PASSWORDS

Similarly, but on a more personal level, if you have an online banking account, please ensure that your banking password is different from your Twitter or Facebook password, otherwise you are a big victim waiting to happen.

Another area that is popular for harvesting passwords is that favorite pub or coffee shop offering free Wi-fi or Internet hotspots.

Many of the facilities offering free Internet do not have professionally installed hotspots.

This means that hackers can easily gain control of the hotspot and plant a “listener” that proceeds to monitor communications and harvest important passwords from innocent customers.

Does it mean we should not enjoy free internet services at restaurants, pubs, coffee shops or airports?

Not exactly.

HOT SPOTS

Just like you know when it is safe to walk across that lonely street, or when to visit that ATM machine, you should also be able to judge which free hotspots are likely to be poorly managed and avoid them.

However, the general rule irrespective of the facility is that sensitive tasks such as online banking should never be executed over random, free wireless hotspots.

User devices such as laptops, tablets and mobile phones present the highest source of risk within a security framework.

This is particularly true because mobile
devices today are internet-enabled, meaning that users tend to be continuously logged on, even when not using them.

If you lost your mobile phone or tablet today, chances are that the thief would have automatic access to your email and possibly your social network accounts.

They can essentially pretend to be you, the classic case of identity theft.

FAKE DISTRESS MESSAGES

Having acquired your identity, they can proceed to change your password and lock you out of your services, and then with your account, start sending fake SOS messages, claiming that you are stranded in a some
remote banana republic, and urgently need dollars from your friends and relatives to get you out of a mess.

What, then, should online users do?

There is never going to be a situation that is 100 per cent secure– unless you decide to switch off your online services and retreat to life in a cave like our forefathers.

The preferred option,then, is to stay online, but ensure you enhance your online security awareness, and remain street-savvy on the information superhighway.

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

If Uhuru Kenyatta trial falls apart, the ICC may be doomed

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By Luke Moffett

Uhuru Kenyatta, incumbent president of Kenya, has finally appeared before the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague.

He is charged with murder,forcible transfer, rape, persecution, and other inhumane acts constituting crimes against humanity
– all of which he denies.

The charges relate to ethnic violence surrounding the presidential elections in 2007-2008, during which some 1,200 people were killed, thousands injured, more than 900 women raped and hundreds of thousands of people were displaced.

But to date, no effective investigation or criminal prosecution has been conducted in Kenya, making the ICC the last resort for victims seeking justice –and the ICC has a major procedural hurdle to clear before the case against Kenyatta can truly get underway.

Hand it over

The first hearing on October 9 focused on Kenya’s compliance with requests from the prosecution, which has been unable to proceed with its case due to insufficient evidence.

The prosecution contends that the Kenyan government has wilfully withheld financial and phone records that would prove President Kenyatta’s direct involvement in the post-
election violence.

Irish lawyer Fergal Gaynor, who represents the
victims in the Kenyatta case, robustly questioned the Kenyan government’s commitment to the ICC and its attitude to disclosing evidence.

He also suggested that Kenyatta, as head of the Kenyan government, has been actively involved in the destruction of evidence and witness interference.

Citing possible delays or discontinuation of the case, Gaynor asked: “Is it really fair to force [victims] to pay the price for obstruction of justice by Mr. Kenyatta’s government?”

The defence and Kenya’s attorney-general have strongly refuted such suggestions, claiming they have assisted with all the prosecution’s requests.

Pushing diplomacy

The court, which draws much of its legitimacy from its claim to do justice for victims, is now stuck in a very difficult position.

The judges will now have to consider whether to discontinue the case against Kenyatta because of the insufficient evidence, or
instead hold the Kenyan government responsible for not complying with the prosecution’s requests and submit the matter to the Assembly of States Parties.

The assembly is the political forum of the ICC, where state parties to the court discuss issues of co-operation.

If the issue of Kenya’s compliance goes to
the assembly, the process will be transformed from a judicial one, in which victims can directly participate,into a diplomatic one, in which they cannot.

It is doubtful how much diplomatic pressure states are willing to put on Kenya, given the depth of vitriol over the ICC’s perceived targeting of African states– and, in particular, it remains to be seen whether Irish and British diplomats, who so strongly advocated for the creation of the ICC in 1998, will put the same effort into making sure all parties to the
court meet its fundamental requirements of
accountability and compliance.

Whether Kenyatta is found innocent or guilty is not the point; the point is that the case against him must be heard to conclusion.

At stake is the whole premise that the ICC represents an end to impunity for the crimes of states, as well as the court’s promise to deliver justice to victims.

If the Kenyatta case fails, we could soon see a wave of powerful heads of state willing to openly manipulate the international justice system to deny justice to their victims.

Put bluntly, if that situation comes to pass, it could mean the end of the international criminal justice project.

Luke Moffett is a British Law Lecturer in international criminal justice at Queen’s University Belfast

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

How Uhuru,presidential advisers,PR Team and his legal Defence team milked political capital out of his ICC case summons

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By Bernard Wainaina
CEO,Profarms Consultants®

President Uhuru Kenyatta’s decision to appoint his deputy William Ruto as acting President when he travelled to The Hague confounded even his closest confidantes as he pulled
off a historic measure before attending the International Criminal Court summons.

The decision was more startling because many of the people normally close to the Head of State were not sure whether he would make the trip to the Hague in the first place.

Sources familiar with the goings on at State House ahead of the President’s departure on Tuesday last week told the Sunday Nation that the President had kept the decision to himself and a very small number of trusted advisers, mainly family members.

The sources said that when the ICC judges declined his request to attend through video link, President Kenyatta asked Attorney-General Githu Muigai to look at legal
provisions on how best he would honour the summons without lowering the stature of the Presidency.

The first decision was that the statement from the President preceding his travel would be fashioned as an address to Parliament “to preserve the dignity of the Kenyan people and
sovereignty of the country”.

The President is also understood to have been briefed that the general public mood indicated that he should travel to The Hague rather than defy the summons and live as a fugitive.

“President Kenyatta has never placed private interest, personal welfare or selfish benefit ahead of his duty to serve the people of Kenya,” said a statement from his media team
late on Friday evening, giving away little about the eventual decision.

CAUGHT BY SURPRISE

The President’s letter to Senate and the National Assembly on Friday afternoon asking them to summon MPs for a special sitting on Monday caught Senate Speaker Ekwee Ethuro and his National Assembly counterpart Justin Muturi by surprise.

That letter would set in motion what emerged as a cleverly crafted plan to create a frenzy over whether he would heed the summons by the International Criminal Court or not.

The Speakers immediately embarked on having text messages sent to MPs as they drafted the notice in the Kenya Gazette to give legal effect to the request by the Head of State.

They did not know what the President was going to tell MPs.

“My only imagination is that it may be something about ICC,” Mr Muturi said when contacted.

Some of the MPs received the text messages from the Speakers while at the Dutch embassy, which had been forced to open on Friday to accommodate the large number of applicants who wanted to accompany the President to the
Netherlands in case he decided to go.

Majority Leader Aden Duale, who speaks for the Executive in Parliament, was entirely in the dark as he had travelled to Mecca, Saudi A