WEEKLY REVIEWS

The revelations that only siblings of the ruling elite families in this ‘our’ Kenya are the sole beneficiaries of the latest presidential appointments had me swallowing involuntarily and I abandoned all hope of ever salvaging it. As it is alleged that corruption is made more painful and costly through the corridors of the justice, am awed with the fact that the crooks and cronies of one Grace Wakhungu have seemingly managed to raise 1B to save her skin. Led by the likes of a former vice president giving 135million(by the way, anyone with info how much this guy gives in church?). The figure had looked attainable from the first few days after that history-making verdict. Why should we be dismayed now, if not disappointed, that before the dust has settled, Grace and company have achieved the near impossible! She will soon breathe the sweet, fresh air of freedom, leaving jail with her head held high proudly. You can see that twee picture setting a bad precedent right there. Now, if liable fines in courts of law are promptly paid by looters, then I feel all this a sham! I ask, after the fines are availed, can we honestly say they are sanitized and holier than thou? Has the 314million NCPB maize scandal been attoned by the millions injected through the judiciary wing of government?  Hands up to anyone discerning the metamorphosis of impunity in our country! I daresay there is a chama for the likes of GW basically out there to ensure collection of handouts anytime their own lands in hot soup. For curiosity’s sake, when this Government is paid, isn’t it possible to get re-looted again? Who doesn’t know the Nigerian story of the re-looting of already recovered millions from it’s own coffers. The way this picture threatens to unfold, stinks so much of same script, different cast. I say we got the front seats to the new and improved Prison Break Season Covid Finale. Missing in action is the shovelling and dirty stuff.

Anyway, just across the gate, her co-accussed, the Sirisia MP John Waluke has managed to raise only a paltry 250 million. Focus on the 100 million coming from someone very high in government, it is alleged. You definitely know who it is! You remember the invisible face in the fiasco who albeit pocketed the most. Yes, that one! Kenyans too ‘managed’ to respond to the pleas of the MP’s wife Roselyn and contribute a humble sh.361,000. By all means an amount very fair, considering no one got invited to the bash when they made merry of the stash they had conned with her crooked husband of an MP. However, it was not before Kenyans renowned for their prowess in speaking their minds, had trolled her online with abuses and mockery. Who wouldn’t anyway? After gobbling up 40M with none but blood relatives, you then shamelessly turn to all and sundry for the helping hand, when the money is drained.

Well, if we are talking about money and draining in the same sentence, we can’t avoid the nieces of the President who have shown that the Covid-19 nightmare was godsent. How rhetoric that, while that mother in Kisauni, Mombasa was boiling pebbles for her three malnourushed offspring, starving, someone only 33years of age, just across the county borders, had scored a tender worth 84M. As if wherever they were born, they already didn’t have more than enough! Just like that, because of the right connections from blood lineage, these lasses confirmed to be carrying two of the priciest cats in town. The interesting bit though, don’t forget, is their modus operandi. From the registration of the company days before Covid-19 happened, to the signatures appended in procurement documents, everything reeked of either naivety or stupidity. Although my fingers are crossed its the former rather than the latter. There is absolutely no cunning in signing your name in goverment documents especially if there is a connection with that very goverment. An experienced hand in this our Kenya, the way we know it, especially with ties up there with the you-know-who, would hide behind proxies when doing business with government. That is obviously to prevent the drama and public relations circus that ensues when caught with hands in the cookie jar. I bet they have learnt the hard way and next time an alias would be forthcoming. Better yet, there doesn’t have to be one.  My take, surprise everyone, change, do an about-turn! Don’t continue the pillage ladies, what’s already in the barns can last generations! Again, you may ask Ankoo or Grandma for a lil piece of the pie, they wouldn’t risk leave you again to your reckless ways.

On this same beat about change, if there is one about-turn worth noting, it’s the one that the plane carrying Kenyan officials for the late Tanzanian president Benjamin Mkapa burial took. We still aren’t sure if it really was bad weather that forced them to do a hasty retreat as they claimed. Their would-have-been hosts seemed to  harbour different views which catapults this situation downhill further. It can no longer be swept under the carpet of the bad neighbor relationship between Kenya and Tanzania. There is more than meets the eye. This enterprenual mind of Kenyans always seeking new ventures then excelling in, am afraid, has rubbed very badly on neighbours. It has caused a ripple effect of suspicion and open hate. Maybe, mostly fueled by an inferiority complex that is supercharged by an inferior education system, shilling and outdated policies that were enshrined in their minds and way of life since them days. Even Covid-19, a plague that has plundered the whole world still wasn’t mighty enough to unite these neighbours. Their policies as pertains to the pandemic have been like night and day. Kenya choosing to acknowledge the presence of the virus with the whole world. Tanzania has however, under it’s very able president chosen to remain as if they live under a rock unbeknown to the rest of the world, and refute the existence of the disease within it’s borders. Their President has vehemently discarded any notions of Covid-19 and thrown caution to the air by ignoring all WHO set precaution guidelines. All this claiming that Providence had ensured his people were cured and remained immune to the disease. I can’t help thinking, this is a modern day Kinjekitile Ngwana. Didn’t she tell her people that the water she sprinkled on to them was holy water, and would prevent the white man’s bullets from penetrating their bodies. Shock on them then, shock on them now. Perhaps in the ultimate turn-around of events, the Tanzanian Health PS has reviewed their Covid-19 travel advisory. This move he claims is in a bid to maintain the countrys’ coronavirus free situation. Need I say more!

On matters near home, that we can’t afford to throw under the bus, i applaude the coastal lawmakers for standing steadfast, when push came to shove concerning the county’s revenue sharing formula. I have said it before, it is times like this that leaders worth their salt should stand up and get counted. It is high time the coastal people wake up and refuse to dance the accapella of anyone but themselves. He who feels it knows it. That is why they should expect no one but themselves to fight for their rights. With the first hurdle out of the way, the next step of gathering people under one umbrella should follow suit urgently. Just showing you can lobby in unison about the revenue sharing debacle is next to nothing, if you can’t execute the finishing meticulously. It is a belittling fact that most of the dwellers at the coast are squatters thus they may argue, how that new revenue sharing math will affect their everyday life. More needs to be done to follow and realise the dreams of fallen coastal leaders like the late Ronald Ngala, the late Sharriff Nassir, the late Karisa Maitha who wanted to consolidate the coast as one block. That way they will have the gained leverage in votes and thus a say in bargaining for the interests of her own people. If you check the chapters of history, they will attest that the coast has always nursed and toyed with the thought of seceding because it has been marginalised even before independence when it was a Protectorate of the Sultan. Presently, it still can’t grapple with the fact that the public beaches still haven’t been officially opened. Maasai Mara is up and running even causing a raucous in Eliud Kipchoge just to stimulate domestic tourism. That revenue sharing debate was a light-bulb moment to coastal leaders. Alas, it was crystal that it was every man for oneself. Adjustments and concessions for whatever reasons have to be made. Lest the coast and other marginalised areas get infuriated, frustrated and rebellious enough to hit the highway and leave Kenya to its own-Kenyans.

WHYGURU IS MY GURU

I can’t say I was astonished by the turnout of events yesterday when the Senate cleared Governor Whyguru of all wrong doing. She wasn’t obviously going anywhere with the solid backing of State Howz and Baba Rao himself. The very able Senate team declared her white as the wool of ‘sheep’ and instead pointed the finger elsewhere for the DCI to go sniff and fetch.

It is not fair to say that the MCA’S, who huddled and slept together in the county buildings, in order to rise early and impeach Whyguru represented the will of the people of Qirinyaga. It is definitely not rocket science that when these politicians start forsaking their humble abodes to sleep on couches in the office(this is a first one by all means), something is brewing. They are probably thinking with their stomachs. When the MCA’S managed to pull off this stunt Whyguru had them right where she wanted. The numerous prior attempts to overthrow her had made her, up her game apart from growing a thicker skin. All that remained was to separate the wheat from the chaff. Which the MCA’S did themselves, without any probing, ever so vividly on D-Day in front of cameras. Those allied to ‘Myguru’ were bundled in a heap and forcibly thrown out the gate. It was downhill ever since. Unbeknown to them the die had already been cast.

Fast forward to the Senate happenings. The confidence that Governor Whyguru exuded during the trial was second to none. The cartons of bulky documents delivered to the Senate committee as part of her defense served to bully and scorn her detractors. Maybe to prove her prowess and experience in these realms, Whyguru could be seen calmly passing time with a solitaire game. I mean who does that? It was like saying, get it over with! Who says it doesn’t pay to know who is who in this country? The Governor had it all covered. The addition of her husband in his professional capacity to speak on her behalf tells you the extent of seriousness this issue had been given. You can imagine the amount of time invested in making this narrative have a fairy tale ending.

In the dismissal of their more-like malicious application, the bad is on the MCA’S who delivered a half baked motion that could not stand the required threshold. According to the Senate, there was nothing linking the allegations to the Governor. No signatures or account deposits just flawed processes by county executive personnel working under her. So what was pushing these MCA’S to quickly oust her? Definitely there is more than meets the eye! Why not first accumulate enough evidence before moving forward? Were they merely crying wolf? It is sad that they couldn’t discern that what they delivered was a still birth. I bet they cared less. What topped their agenda was to do the bidding of their master of the time. To prove they are for hire to the highest bidder, i wouldn’t be surprised if I saw them tomorrow on the news expressing their unwaivered, unfaltered support for the Madam Governor.

You can blame it on the dynamics of this new political dispensation. This new order is all about the numbers and whose side you fall on. You can be darker than sin yet viola,we can change you as white as snow. The people of Qirinyaga did the same thing. Didn’t they? One minute she is clean, the next she stinks. They will certainly get a chance to illuminate their thoughts next time they vote, that is if the Governor decides to run again. Although it’s more likely she forfeits this and gets a cabinet appointment, done with these shenanigans. Need I say why else WHYGURU is my guru! Next time I hear anyone saying she is corrupt, I will retort with a,”go tell it to the birds!”

Continue reading “WHYGURU IS MY GURU”

YOUNG MOTHERS FOR REAL!

The honourable CS MAGOHA was out  to give a briefing on the findings from the Senate committee tasked with advising the ministry on the modalities of opening schools under this Covid scare. Only families with candidates know how fidgety they had become not knowing their fate. Anyway, it seemed like the minister couldn’t ignore and just couldn’t wait to fire away at the elephant in the room. The recent reveal of the exponential number of pregnant schoolgirls in the country just had to be tackled. Any responsible adult and father would be obliged to do so.

I was baffled earlier in the day, when I came across the post somewhere in the net and it struck me as odd. I am aware what most people had was just the figures from one county – Machakos, but (courtesy of my essential services badge) I had numbers for all counties pretty early in the day. It’s description in one word – poetic. I mean the numbers were so high, with Nairobi predictably leading from the front with slightly above the better half of eleven thousand, that they actually literally looked like Covid-19 status update numbers from Brazil.

The self-confessed professor of twenty or more years still razor sharp had the wit and audacity to question the authenticity of this information. How did they arrive at these figures? Who or which organization conducted this survey? Who are these children,from which schools? How did they get a hold of them to find out their state? Schools closed on late March, how could anyone get a hold of all those school kids and test them? No matter how you look at it, it’s next to impossible to get such data unless all those kids went to hospital to seek help and we got the news there. Better still, an underage pregnant would never take themselves to hospital at one or two months in it. Not logical at all. Again it’s not even two months without school that is if you don’t count April. It’s the holidays for crying out loud. It a normal thing, only this time a little longer.

What also clearly caught my eye was conservative Garissa, Wajir, Marsabit beating Mombasa hands down.  I mean if you know the Coast the way most of us do, there is no way that is holding any water. There is no way, for example, the Garissa or Wajir bodabodas are more lethal than their counterparts in Mombasa. That is a the-world-is-flat lie. It made me remember the tale of the judge who told a defendant to try and make the dog smaller if he didn’t mean for it to be a hyena whilst he was trying to explain his case.

According to them you can never guess who is to blame for the spike in pregnancies. I can give you all day but you won’t get it. No, not the parents. Again, no, not the man or boy presumably. Let’s cut the chase. They blame it on the man of the moment, the alpha male – Covid-19. That is when it clicked! Has it? This opened a totally new dimension in my thinking and I must give it to some Kenyans for their genius. Whilst all eyes are riveted on the fight against this monster, some people have already turned it into a money – mincing plot. Some nerve! It is practical that pushing a narrative so hard makes people start believing that line and just like that pap an NGO is born to champion and defend just that. Then, as if by order, we would need funds to do this, some to do that and the outcome is the siphoning of millions from government coffers into someone’s belly.

I bet the sources of the information had not put into consideration all the dynamics as pertains to this case scenario. Didnt they even think we would be tempted to discern and conclude that maybe we are fighting the wrong battle? Yet again they had underestimated the intellect of other like – minded geniuses out there who can read between the lines. Come to think of the way I had already blacklisted some of my pals from Eastern for the sins of their kinsmen. Even in our traditional African custom, it is classified as an unfathomable act. You don’t steal from the house of the mourning. Only a naive and slow head will still not have had that light bulb moment after perusing through this. As for me on this one, I beg to pass. I beg to say, nope am not boarding.

EARLY KNOT.

Asiepet moved sluggishly on the bed and sat up, she turned her head and fixed her shuttered eyes on Samba. The man snored away peacefully unaware that the alarm had been snoozed for an umpteenth time before Ash( he had pet-named her that!) could salvage the much required strength to severe ties with the heavy scarlet duvet.        ‘Samba wake up, we’ll be late for work, ‘she drudgily muttered under her breath as she tried to shake his upper torso. Realisation dawned on him like a douche of cold water and he sprung to life. In three swift movements he had slipped into his bathrobe, pecked her cheek and slithered into the adjacent bathroom. She could hear the sound of  teeth meeting brush, a tap opened then guggling. Ash allowed a happy face to slip then for no apparent reason a thousand thoughts and memories shuffled through her mind like a black jack deck. She felt so happy at the moment. Life was presently good. It had been fair to her so far.This is exactly what took her mind back to the childhood memories of barefoot strolls down dusty lanes. Those dark days are what made her feel uneasy and a visitor in this present bubble of a moment.

Her mind strayed to miles yonder, years back as she stared infront at nothing. She was only ten years then and had just started getting visitations from the Red Robin when her mother summoned her to the kitchen. It was one strategically placed outside the main house. A smaller version of the main. Still circular, made with stick, mud, mudbrick, rammed earth and pebbles. The roof was adorned in thatch and a conical piece of tin stuck round the top of the centre main pole. On that day, the smoke seemed irregularly clingy as she sat next to her mum. The smoke stung her eyes as she tried to puff into the fire that threatened to falter away. Then her mother vomited the news to her. She looked powerless, there was nothing she could do! Asiepet’s father had ‘after much thought’ decided to marry her off to a rich old man whose boma was just across the river. It was either these news or the smoke that now stung like teargas, that caused tears to stream effortlessly down her puffy cheeks. All her dreams were shattered and scattered on the floor with these news. Ash had always dreamt of making it big. Leaving home and going to work in the big city. She had always clung onto dreams of driving a posh car and living in a house with a bedroom upstairs. All that gone with the wind. Ash didn’t even notice when her mum left perhaps also overcome with emotions. She wouldn’t dare object to her husband. Those were different times. Ash went to bed directly, she suddenly had lost her appetite. Even the rag of a mattress that she cuddled in everyday felt itchy as if infested with bugs. She tossed and turned like her life depended on it.

All this while Samba had come back clean and shaven. He noticed Ash totally immersed in her thoughts and moved closer to her face until he could feel her breath. That is when she jumped up startled. ‘ Sorry baby, I never meant to stun you. You seemed very far, is anything the matter?’ inquired Samba looking very concerned. Before he could finish the question, Asiepet had marched into the washroom and closed the door behind her. Time waited for no man, they needed to beat the morning traffic! In a  jiffy, they were both ready to leave their humble abode. The couple walked briskly to their family car looking, feeling, smelling like a million grand. To their utter naive dismay, the morning traffic jam had beat them to it. As sure as the sun,it presented itself as soon as they joined the highway. Bumper to bumper the vehicles assembled in a long unending line both sides of the road. They both resigned to the fate of arriving late at their respective jobs. The cars moved in hiccups and it became business as usual to switch off the engine. ‘That’s the city for us!’ Samba exclaimed as he reached forward and switched on the stereo. Some cool classic music rented the air and soothed the duo. He had noticed how preoccupied Ash seemed this morning. He let her be. She would talk when she was ready.

Asiepet escaped the traffic pandemonium with great ease that morning. Sleep was never forthcoming so the morning came ironically as a blessing. Even so, with the fact that the old mzee with whom she was allegedly betrothed to, would make a technical appearance in their compound. It wasn’t the official ‘handing over’ ceremony but more like a ‘view the prize’ visit. The old mzee was shamelessly early i bet lest anyone changes their mind. He walked with a limp that was magnified by an oversized coat burst out on its seams. His head was small and had scattered unkempt hair on the sides protruding from the ancient baseball hat he sported. What a sight to behold. Ash felt disgusted and wanted to throw up. She raced behind the kitchen.  There it was! The shortcut that she had created for herself for going to school every morning. The path lay right in front of her, now for the taking. Yes, it was either that or go back to the house and exchange pleasantries with her soon-to-be husband. The choice was hers.

The sound of car horn sliced the air like a hot knife and brought her back to Samba. The jam had eased and he had weaved through the lanes that her offices were well in sight. ‘Have a good day dear,’ Ash whispered to Samba’s ear as she planted a well-deserved kiss on his lips. She opened the car door and made for the building’s entrance. Asiepet couldn’t help thinking that day she had made the right choice taking that path. That path had taken her to the school headmistress. The headmistress had taken her to the Commissioner. From there, her education had become unstoppable. She had become a force to reckon with from right then.

I DON’T WANT TO BE A CHILD MOTHER.

UNVEIL THE MASK

As much as i have tried so much to evade writing anything about Covid-19, the recent order of events have left me no choice. For some time now, i have harboured some very stereotypical views as pertains to the above mentioned subject. However, I have always practised restraint and had the audacity of keeping them shut to myself but until now. I need to make it crystal at this onset that the following words are nothing but my penned thoughts. No pun was intended whatsoever. This pandora box of thoughts was burst open, contents therein spilled and this is what spew forth. All this hell, courtesy of a masked brute who broke the law in broad daylight and lives to tell the tale just because he hid his face behind the piece of clothing. The witnesses at the scene of the crime allege that they only saw a masked image take to his heels in the aftermath. This experience left me with a bile-like taste in my mouth and I couldn’t help but swallow involuntarily. I had to question everything, the need for the masks, even the mere existence of this pandemic.

Masks have been employed by humans for generations to serve different purposes though their current extent of misuse in the soiled hands of criminals, begs for their fall into disuse. A masked ‘customer’ will nowadays stroll casually into a business premise in the middle of a busy street and transition into a robber within a blink. Even that wise investment in CCTV cameras would in this case be an exercise in futility. And why is this? It is the law of the land that all persons wear a mask whilst in public. As a precautionary measure against contracting or spreading the corona virus. Well, sounded so easy and responsible at first, didnt it? That was until some shameless, opportunistic thugs customized this to suit their current endeavors. Totally deviating from the main agenda of saving lives in the prevention of new cases. The question begging to be asked here by all and sundry is that do the masks even protect from catching the virus?

I dare say the evidence for the efficacy of surgical masks or homemade masks is limited, and masks aren’t the most important protection against the corona virus. Study has found that masks don’t necessarily stop healthy people from catching the virus but does stop people spreading it further. It has also showed that covering one’s mouth and nose can reduce forward distance by an exhaled breath by more than 90%. As this breath could contain small droplets of water some of which contain the virus. Isn’t it in order to deduce that masks aren’t effective in stopping contracting the virus rather spreading it. Unless for the healthcare personnel, we can pass that masks are for the protection of others, not for the protection of oneself. Moreso in the cases of asymptomatic carriers of the virus. Still the mask must be worn correctly, changed frequently, removed properly,disposed of safely and used in combination with good universal hygiene inorder to be an effective module.

These veiled thieves ridicule the very efforts put in all over the world to rid this world of this disease. They end up smearing with dirt the very good intentions of the World Health Organisation of prescribing to all states to encourage the use of masks. But then again, what about the children and those with disabilities and respiratory problems? I reckon they were never taken into consideration when the masks were being pushed down our throats. Methinks, Covid-19 is a mild illness especially in Africa. Most people will come into contact with the virus and your individual response will depend on your immunity. After all hundreds of viruses inhibit our respiratory tract causing problems here and there but the body defends itself. The homemade masks that masses are spotting are least effective and the recommendation that they too are applicable was ill-advised, only because “any kind of impediment is better than nothing.” These fabric masks wouldn’t be able to stop the spread of the infection, but would have a small effect on transmission. All this factored in, we shouldn’t be relying on masks to help us go back to normal. Of course if you are not that thug.