Showing posts from April, 2010

After the Cabinet reshuffle and performance contracting...

I was just thinking about the reshuffle that happened last week; the one that we in the Fourth Estate have baptized ‘mini-reshuffle’. Raila (the Prime Minister) picks Ruto and sends him to the higher education docket, previously just a department of the Ministry of Education. The PM has already blamed the 8-4-4 system as a crude one, as unproductive and as the genesis of Kenya’s problem. Some survey report vindicated Mr Odinga. I think the survey was conducted by Uwezo, a non-governmental organisation that has been collaborating with the Ministry of Education in its work. The Minister for Education is Prof Sam Ongeri, he who was a staunch Kanu minister and member when Mr Ruto was a strong pin in the Moi administration. Now, these two, who share that history and were once suspended by the Prime Minister over corruption allegations, are in the same basket. Ha! It should tell you something; perhaps the PM is saying “birds of a feather flock together.” And then Mr Ruto gets the n

"You'd need a coup to amend the Constitution, I think so!

That very day when the new Constitution was passed in Parliament, nominated MP Musa Sirma, another MP Aden Keynan and still another one, a minister now, Moses Wetang’ula said, the document will divide this country. The PM and the President sat there, journalists watched and were all like ‘if anyone opposes this, then (s)he is not a friend of Kenya.’ The issues were on the initial reasons of why we went searching for the new Constitution. The MPs argued that it was because of two things: imperial presidency and unequal distribution of resources. Fine. Other issues must have come up. But then, the President (Kibaki) and the Prime Minister (Raila Odinga) insisted that the House had done a good thing and if there were issues, they’d be addressed in the amendments to come soon after the referendum. The language was, ratify it now, and let us change later. It makes me ask, what’s the procedure of amending the document? Well, the 65 per cent (145 MPs) comes into play. Parliament faile

The Proposed New Constitution of take!

I am a journalist. And it’s not that I realised that just today or even this week. I’ve known it all along. And cynicism is part of this business. I find it sad that inane patriotism and the induced ‘fatigue’ –in the quest to get a new Constitution—is blurring debate on the minefields in the proposed Constitution. Well, first, let me declare my interest. But as I do, let’s all look at the merits of my arguments and let’s debate soberly. It is unwise to take a high moral pedestal as if the proposed law is Kenya’s ‘heaven’ and those calling for it to be amended before we vote on it are ‘agents from hell’. Anyway, I’ll not support a blanket ‘Yes’ vote on the proposed law, when the Attorney General publishes it next-week-but-one. Why? I can’t say all my reasons in one-go. I’ll give you a little every day. But a little background is in order. I have covered the journey for a new law since Parliament amended the current Constitution and inserted section 47A into our laws. At around t

PART FOUR: Mr Sluggard!

This is the last part! What a weekend it has been! Speaking Sheng' through and through'. And I just learnt something from yesterday's match between Real Madrid and Barcelona. That despite the slaloming runs from Christiano Ronaldo, it was still mesmerising Messi messing up Real's Raul Albiol and finally Iker Casillas. And now, Barca won....yipeee...they are such a great side. Xavi Hernandes, oh my, Andre Iniesta, these guys were fun to watch. Anyway, let's come back to Kenya and talk about...ouch, the poverty, the laziness and stuff like that. So after jana, here is the story. Niliwashow tupatane le-le-le-leo. Na imefika! That evening nikirudi home, hapo stage ya Roysa, ukishapita hiyo shell petrol station on your way to Zimmer, nilicheki ka-joint ka MPesa. Na nilikuwa nataka kutumia bro chapa kidogo ya food, so mimi nikaenda kudeposit ndio nimtumie. Jamaa flani alikuwa na nywele imeform dreads juu ya kuwa dirty. Alikuwa na jacket ya red na alikuwa amebeba karung

PART THREE: Babylon your days, are numbered!

Today is another day, to continue with my sheng' story I have been telling for the last three days. And Jeff 'Crucial' Mwangemi gets a hi-five for being such a nice guy. Unajua ku-inspire ma-boy wa ghetto hadi ile style wanaona wako na Vision ndio kitu Jeff ame-do for a long time. Metro FM sikuhizi ndio inasikika kwa mat mob za Mathare, Kibera (Kibich), Ungwaro (kawangware) na hizo places zingine mob mob za wasee wanahandwa na makarao juu ya maisha msoto. Yaani imagine, poverty ni crime, unakabwa, unasundwa ndani, ukitoka unaanza ku-hustle, unakutana na makarao one night, unarudi ndani “loitering” na “drunk and disorderly” ndio makosa. Ma-boy wa ghetto hukipitia. Place nastay hapa Nairobi, wale wanajua Safari Park ni wapi na Zimmerman ni wapi, basi niko katikati. Kuna boy flani yeye hunishave nywele. Anaitwa Timo. M-nutty mbaya. Ana dready, yeye hu-smoke fegi, sijui kama yeye hu-smoke ndom pia, lakini haitakuwa surprise, coz conviction yake kwa doba ni fyam. Anaget messag

PART TWO: KBC English Service...these were the days!

This is the second feed from the one I narrated yesterday. I was just about to tell you a little of how I spent my days --radio-wise--- as I waited to join University. For two years. Two whole years. So, Station ilikuwa KBC English Service, ndio nionekane msee nimeishia chuo. Hizo days, ma-fm stations, kina Kiss, Classic, Umoja na Metro hazikuwa zinashika huko ocha. Wazae na wasee wa kawa walikuwa juu ya KBC ‘idhaa ya Taifa’, ile ya Kiswahili, kusikia kina Leonard Mambo, Anunda Sakwa, Gladys Herude na Elizabeth Obege. Mimi msee nilikuwa nadai vile ati nimefika chuo kubwa; man uliza msee yoyote Kakamega High School, ama Kach High, na utaambiwa sio chuo ya ma-softie. Kila mtu ni hardcore. So redio ni English service, ndio nisikie John Karani na Charity Karimi wakihost Beat-Time Show, saa zingine Jeff Mwangemi , lakini sanasana Jeff alikuwa msee wa ku-bring ile show ya Reggae noma sana kila Thursday eight asubuhi hadi nine, na repeat kila Monday afte, saa nane. Hapo katikati, kuli

Si kupenda kwangu, ni hali ya Maisha! PART ONE

There is an award-winning Kenyan musician called JuaCali who just swept me off with this new song..'si kupenda kwangu'. He made me realise, that perhaps I ought to "refresh my roots" and relive my experience. I am doing a very unorthodox thing and I am going to write in sheng--that mishmash of languages that publishers hate, teachers loathe and everyone else (except those who speak it) think of it as just dumb. I am fluent in sheng', kiswahili and English. I also speak and write kiluhya. So, I am just expressing my "back in the day" in the simplest way some of the folks who visit my blog are wont to enjoy. Here is the story. It is a long one, actually a series, sijui how many parts bado. If you were born past 1975 and went to good schools and learnt not only from books but from the street, then this ought not to be a tough language. LIFE ni strange. Life ni weird. Life sio daro. Hakuna exam zenye utasema wewe ni number one au ni number last. Life sio com

Tell me about fake money! Is it Romania where I heard they use plastic money?

I was seated at my desk one evening when some guy asked me for a Sh1000 note. The guy asking is among those, who in my book, ought not be asking for such amounts of money. Now that I had just withdrawn the money, I gave it to him. But I craned my neck just to see why he had asked for the note (specifically). Otherwise, I’d have told him, ‘nina punch mbili’(sheng’ for ‘I’ve got two five-hundred notes). I saw him comparing the note to blank pieces of paper in a black briefcase. Now that’s when I knew an investigation was on. It is after this episode that Mustafa Mwalimu and Dennis Onsarigo brought that series on the fake money on NTV. Almost simultaneously, award winning journalist John Allan Namu and Mohammed Ali had something similar on KTN. Now that got me worried! So exactly, what does this mean? Let me first disclose that I am no economic expert, but then I use my commonsense relatively well and use my memory much much better. When shrewd parking attendants of the Nairobi City Counc

Pro-life vs Pro-Choice, a 'confused' blather?

Alright! Parliament did not heed to the cries of the people to delete what has been called "the abortion clause." They endorsed the draft Constitution without amendments. In my not-so-humble opinion, it is ignorant of some clergy and the pro-life activists to keep yapping about the clause, when the laws that we have prohibit abortion. But has it stopped abortion? Is it an attitude problem? Or shall we just say that word: "impunity". If I had my way, there was no need to include that clause in the Constitution. As in "Life begins at conception", are you sure about that? Isn't this a contested bit? Have you deeply thought about it, or you are just unquestioningly following that man who prays for you? If you read my last post, on the argument by Mr Bifwoli Wakoli, he rightly says something about that Biblical verse of "before you were God knew you". Would you call his thinking warped? If so, what about yours? And if you don't believe in God,