Showing posts from July, 2011

Tahadhari kabla ya hatari :)

Bado nacheka! Sana tena! Wajua, kuna huyu kaka alifikishwa mahakamani Jumatatu kwa sababu ya arafa hii: “Ndizi alimuuliza chungwa, kwa nini ukiliwa lazima unyonywe? Chungwa akasema, mwenzio nisiponyonywa, sisikii raha kabisa, na wewe je? Ndizi akasema, mie nisipovuliwa nguo, sipati raha, passion (mkarakara) naye akadakia, mwenzenu mie nisipotiwa kidole halafu kizungushwezungushwe kwa ndani, sipati utamu kabisa, wewe je dada?” Basi usimcheke. Ana utundu si haba, lakini, pana umalenga wa aina fulani katika arafa hii. Aliketi, akafikiria, akabuni, akaandika na kisha akamtumia msichana wa wenyewe. Ole wake, hakujua kuwa sio kila mtu anafurahia uroda wa simu. Alifikishwa kizimbani pap! Sijui kama tumempoteza malenga, ama iwapo, badala yake ataandika tamthilia ya arafa. Ni wazo tu!

Women in politics...not more than two thirds 'men'...what then?

Ever since I wrote about the ludicrous proposal to reserve 72 constituencies for women in elections , I got the sense that the proposal was impractical. After listening to so many people give their views, I get the sense that only a judicial declaration that the principle of "not more than two thirds of either gender" in elective and appointive posts will sort out the matter. I pray that the declaration labels the principle as one that is aspired bearing in mind the robustly patriarchal nature of the Kenyan society. That, to me will be the best way out as women will become emboldened to go out there and compete. There are those who insist that the Constitution should be amended in the sense of deleting clause 27(8) or just amending it to read 'appointive' and not 'elective' . To people who know about the affirmative action debate, this is a joke. A rude one! And should not be entertained. But then if the judges rule otherwise, what are the alternatives? I do

The Digital Parliament

After the ICT Day, I went to review my notes and well, well, well, my optimistic self had a fresh look at what the whole day meant for Kenya’s National Assembly. It hit me that Kenya’s Parliament is going digital with a new innovation to beat quorum hitches, vote-rigging, and the shouts of ‘aye’ and ‘no’ in House proceedings. Though the change-over to the new chambers that have been refurbished to a tune of Sh1 billion is two months late, and going by the pace of things in the House it is likely to take longer, the vision of a digital Parliament is slowly taking shape. This week, the contractors working on providing the electronic voting infrastructure were finalizing up the cabling of the House floor in readiness for the roll-out of a state-of-the-art multimedia system. The system will help cut down on the mechanics of the oral process that has been practiced in Kenya’s Parliament since independence. As a result, the House will be quieter and more organized; that’s if the MP

Respect a man's time and he'll respect you!

Today, as a journalist, I got tired of lies and time-wasting that MPs are so accustomed to. It got ugly, but at least I gave the annoying lawmaker a piece of my mind. I wouldn’t say it had anything to do with the symbolic ‘ Saba Saba’ –the July 7, 1990 when Kenyans rose against a totalitarian regime and initiated the push for multiparty democracy-- celebrations, because it was just a matter of pointing out the basics of human respect to a man who seems to think so highly of himself. They say, respect a man's time and he'll respect you. Here’s what happened: Parliament called the newsroom saying that “ODM rebel MPs had an urgent press conference at 10 am” to speak on the revocation of the positions of nominated councillors. As is the norm, a parliamentary reporter was assigned to cover the event. Well, I got to Parliament five minutes early. I asked which MPs were coming for the press conference. I was told that it is assistant minister Aden Duale who had booked the media cen

My stint with Media Lab IV

Still, last week, I met two young colleagues from Uganda, Flavia and Lydia, as they went out for lunch. They said I don’t talk much often about their work and the work of others at Media Lab IV. They asked me if I could walk to their workstations and talk to them. Well, I took the trip upstairs and had fun with the guys. I was able to see Flavia smile again. The last time I saw her smile was when she saw me at my mom’s funeral at our rural home back in April. I then met Lydia, and she looked all fine. I was also able to put name to face when I met Herbling and Nduta (did you get the house?). Then I met Thiong’o and Stermius (sorry, I mispronounced your name) and well, Ismail Ladu (forget I couldn’t pronounce your ethnic community that well). Then there was the cute Tanzanian girl, yes Fariji, then Njeri kept on taunting me. And yes, I met the party girl from the photos, yes, I won’t mention your name but you know who you are because that’s what I called you. Then there’s this oth

Thoughts on Parliament's ICT Day

Last week, on Thursday, the last day of the financial year, Kenya's National Assembly had the ICT Day for MPs. Of course, only less than 10 MPs attended the event. The Speaker of the National Assembly Kenneth Marende did not attend. He was instead represented by the chairman of Parliament's Communications and Energy Committee. The Clerk of the National Assembly, Mr Patrick Gichohi did attend, but he came later after the speeches. Senior Deputy Clerk PC Omolo held the brief for the Clerk before he came. Now, there's something about IT and organisations --it is a tool, it is never taken seriously, but everyone wants to speak favourably about it. Really, it is just lip-service. Unless the Speaker as the head of all MPs begins to show up for such functions and order MPs to attend such functions, and have them learn how to use the tools, the 700 reams of paper used every week in Parliament will remain just that in the coming weeks. But when Parliament hits 412 MPs, then,