Monday, April 4, 2016

This is how Migori politicians should pick social media henchmen…

Today I will take time to post on my blog, a personal column like writing out of the structured pieces I do for the Star newspaper from Migori county.

Morning rain clouds have been flirting with Migori town, and knowing my home town for being wet it’s now raining with the horizon clouded in white rain sheet as I write this.

The long rains have arrived along with the quickly rising political temperature as Migori is quickly shaping up ahead of national elections slotted for next year.

Aspirants have tentatively tried to test the ground by having spontaneous harambee, meet the people tour or strategizing as they pick their teams ahead of official campaign kick-off.

Since the campaigns are yet to fully take shape, politicians have hired henchmen and little political spanner boys to test the ground on social media. Facebook, through popular groups have turned up as a favorite spot with WhatsApp coming second.

A few savvy politicians and aspirants have launched websites and hired bloggers to propagate their agenda to shape their national image.

The 2017 political jumbo has fallen and like hounds political spanner boys are already picking the carcass first, if constant Facebook and WhatsApp posts celebrating their paymasters are anything to go by.

Some have taken up multiple aspirants through all five posts of Governor, Senator, Women Representative, Legislators and MCAs.

The only unifying post is presidency where Raila Odinga from the most populous Orange Democratic Movement party brings together disparate views.

This overzealous social media posturing will be the down fall of many aspirants as their spanner boys’ multiple ‘endorsement’ and jumping across aspirants will be their main undoing.

Let me explain: spanner boy X, for example, has vowed support for Governor Okoth Obado, Women Representative Dennitah Ghati and Suna West MP Joseph Ndiege. This is just an example.

Mr. X will constantly attack everybody against Obado including spanner boy Y who supports, let us says, governor aspirant Anne Omodho Anyanga. Already there is bad blood between the two at governor position.

Later Mr. X and Mr. Y find themselves supporting Ghati at Women Representative position. The two guys end up differing again sharply at constituency level as Mr. Y supports, let us presume former Migori mayor Peter Masara.

As the two continue asserting their power through exchange of abuses and counter-attacks through multiple Facebook and WhatsApp groups posts it is politicians who suffer the most.

To avert this Migori politicians should pick up their social media ‘gurus’ selectively, reservedly and ensure they stick to a single level and post in elections campaign. This will create uniformity and avoid scuttling other voters.

A governor aspirant will seek votes from supporters of politicians (aspirants and elected) in other posts, this should never be compromised by an overzealous social media spanner boys.

Above all they should never bank on these antics as there is no polling station called social media. If social media was that powerful then Martha Karua and Peter Kenneth could’ve been presidents by now.

(Follow me on Twitter @ManuelOdeny)

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Of #Mollis' tape, a high school girl’s nude photos and Kenyan deviant sex attitude

VIOLATED: A school girl after police officers arrested her and colleagues on a drug fuelled sexual binge in a public service vehicle. She was arrested with drugs concealed in her panties 
Kenyans have a history of reacting with shock, self-loath or utter humour to pubic sexual debates, a trend that shows how deep and diverse individual opinion on the subject.

In Kenya sex is a private matter often taken in strict privacy and never talked about openly in public due to taboo which creates controversial when we are faced with immediate public debate.

Takes for example in the past two days when Kenyan social media scene was awash about a sexual tape of a man called #Mollis (Morris) having sex with a girl who is unwilling.

In the tape, the girl is heard asking the #Mollis why he did not show up the previous day, before the man callously retorting if she needed sex then. The girl briefly requests #Mollis to come back tomorrow.

In the heat of sex the woman is heard groaning and pleading with #Mollis to stop citing being tired, pleas which are ignored.

Already #KOT has been awash with the tape with Kenyans creating funny memes while other condemning the tape as a show of the country’s intolerant rape culture and disrespect to women.

In the same day, a photo of a nude school girl arrested by police while on a binge in a bus has been circulated online.

The girl, in a major disregard to her rights was photographed with her bra visible and her white and maroon panties stuffed with bhang and matchboxes pulled down exposing her pubic hair.

We were shocked how high school students heading home from school could end up in a drug fuelled sexual frenzy in a public service vehicle.

As a country, we need to embrace our sexuality and make the debate to be more open from personal relationship with our lovers, children, parents and neighbours.

In this denial we often react with shock or humour when things we think of as taboos or private fantasies come out in public to challenge acceptability and show a wider behavior as a country.

The same reaction was treated to US biologist Alfred Kinsey in 1940-50s when he published the revolutionary Kinsey Report which is a collection of two books that extensively interviewed sexual orientation of approximately 6,000 Americans.

The results shocked the nation to realise sexual behaviours considered as ‘deviant” like homosexuality, extra-marital affair in women, sadomasochism among others were active in the society.

The report shaped research and policies on sex in the country. We need a similar professional report as what #Mollis’ tape and the school girl’s nude photo is but an informal report.

Try and consider how the public reacted when nude photos of Kenyans having sex in a public park at Muliro Gardens in Kakamega or leaked lurid SMSes sent to the popular Classic FM’s morning drive show.

Or how we are quick to consider gay as a non-issue in Kenya when our country top the globe in searching for gay porn on Google.

All these should throw a gauntlet to our social scientists to pull a Kinsey move and help scientifically map the country sex report.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

My thoughts as a Kenyan journalist on The People #Priceless move

The media scene in Kenya and Africa has been ticked by The People newspaper, owned largely by Kenya billionaire president Uhuru, going free sheet or what their branding image dub #Priceless.

The move gained root in America and has taken the Kenyan media market with a storm.

But key questions remain: How can a priceless paper like The People sell? Will a vendor hustle to ‘sell’ a free paper when he has others with a cover price? Will he be paid for distributing a free paper? And lastly how will collection be gauged, will there be returns of ‘unsold’ copies?

But to start digesting the #Priceless move I will first think like a senior The People editor.

In Newspaper business the cover price never runs a paper, it’s the adverts which pay the bills. So this sacrifice on sales revenue will be the first price to pay in order for the paper, which is fourth in circulation after Daily Nation, Standard and the Star (I believe in that order), to pick in circulation.

The move is similar to Australia born media baron Rupert Murdoch who in a declining Britain newspaper market shore up Times sales by selling at a £1 discount against £1.20 for Daily Telegraph, £1.40 for Guardian and £1.20 for Independent.

The bold move seeks to open, reach and control untapped readers (millions of Kenyans who can’t afford newspapers) after the paper attempt to break even in the market failed.

The Kenyan newspaper market is saturated; Daily Nation which leads in sales has been selling 250,000 copies a day in like the last decade even though the level of education and number of middle class has increased in that period. In other words Kenyans don’t buy newspapers.

The static sale is further affected with internet, social media and blogs. Smaller papers have been hard hit here: The People took longer to go online while the Star uploads day’s news later on their website. This is to encourage readers to buy hard copy.

So, to end my thinking as The People senior editor, the #Priceless move may open a new untapped market to push the paper in the next level.

On the other hand reality on the ground is different since in Kenya it has been proven again and again that to increase circulation you work on content and not cheap publicity stunts. Here is the list of flops: Standard flip-around back page, the Star using pretty models to sell copies and NMG numerous folded newspapers.

As a senior Guardian editor says: “In others words, price is not the only determining factor for buyers. Editorial quality, the quantity of content and, for want of a better phrase, brand recognition, play key roles too,” Read him here:

Secondly as a newspaper designer whoever designed The People new look did a shoddy job, especially on the front page. The front page is so crappy for a national newspaper. In fact on the newsstand it looks too tabloid-ish, in the same league of DN2 or Pulse pullout. #NoPunIntended.

Thirdly with very low circulation and adverts The People will heavily rely on other company media outlets to survive. It will also rely heavily on media owners notably president Uhuru to pull it out without cover price the same way ‘Arab money’ gave Manchester City the EPL trophy.

And here ladies and gentlemen comes a huge media headache: editorial policy control by the media owner.

A free newspaper can be turned into a propaganda machine just the same way Vladimir Putin turns Russia Today or free communist party owned newspaper Pravada into a propaganda mouthpiece.

In Kenya, and any democracy, media history during election period shows that #Priceless papers (Those Sh10 gutter sold in matatus) often mushroom. One with national outreach can be Uhuru Kenyatta’s propaganda ammo (read an example in Britain here Eric Pickles: I'll shut council freesheets that publish 'propaganda on the rates': )

And Uhuru Kenyatta, as an entrepreneur and Jubilee leader, has not been very kind to media. From ‘meat wrapping’ comment and punitive bill he has been out to stifle media (at least from what opposition said).

When Royal Media Services owner SK Macharia supported Cord in last elections he had ‘his’ frequencies stopped and Citizen TV staff poached en-mass to K24 TV. So #MeThinks this #Priceless move is to control other papers as a business competition (And ultimately control open editorial policy).

Lastly, I asked Angolo a newspaper vendor in Migori county where I ply my trade. Angolo started selling newspaper when I was still in high school.

He told me they don’t stock The People until after 1pm when nobody can buy newspaper (why let a potential buyer pick a free newspaper and kill my sales?).

He also said since all papers brought from Nairobi are expected to sell, vendors only collect them and at the end of the day re-sell them to ‘meat wrappers.’

So to move with #Priceless The People should have designated vendors or place them at strategic centers like banks, bus stops, hospitals, institutions, government offices, markets and ferries for maximum sale.

NB: Thoughts herein are my personal views.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

12 large-scale hydropower projects set to change the face of Africa

The African landscape is quickly changing as integration where former geographical features shared by countries are turned into avenues for mutual benefit.

One such venture is hydro power generation where Africa has a paradox between plentiful untapped hydropower and other renewable energy resources versus very little electricity access.

Only forty-five per cent of the electricity generation in Sub-Saharan Africa comes from hydropower but only five per cent of the continent hydro-potential has been tapped which makes generation of these resources a major boost to spur development.

Recent studies estimate that 57 per cent of Africans are without electricity which is attributed to poor infrastructure.

In 2012, at the 18th Summit of the African Union, African Heads of State endorsed a set of priority energy projects to be implemented by 2020 as part of the Programme for Infrastructure Development for Africa (PIDA)

  1. The Mphanda-Nkuwa project in Mozambique, which is at the financial closure stage. It will contribute to supply energy both to Mozambique and to South Africa.
  2. The Inga hydropower projects in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Grand Inga will have to be built in several phases. When fully built, it will transform Africa by providing electricity to a large part of the continent with transmission lines interconnecting several countries.
  3. Hydropower components of the Lesotho Highlands water project Phase II, which will supply power to Lesotho and South Africa.
  4. The Ruzizi III project in Rwanda will provide additional electricity capacity in Rwanda, Burundi and the DRC. It is the first regional Public Private Partnership (PPP) power project in Africa and is a model for successful implementation.
  5. The Rusumo Falls development. The electricity produced will supply Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi.
  6. Batoka Gorge: 1.600 megawatts of hydropower  for Zambia and Zimbabwe
  7. Fomi Dam: A 102 megawatts hydropower station will be constructed in guinea to benefit nine Niger River Basin countries.
  8. Great Millennium Renaissance Dam: The aim is to develop a 5,250 megawatt hydropower plant in the Nile Basin to supply electricity to both the local export markets.
  9. Kaleta Dam: A 279 megawatt capacity gravity dam which will produce electricity for Gambia River Basin Development Organization member countries.
  10. Noumbiel Dam: A hydropower and agricultural purpose dam for Bukina Faso and Ghana 
  11. Palambo Dam: Small 30 megawatt hydropower dam that will regulate water flow on Obangui River to benefit Democratic Republic of Congo, Central Africa Republic.
  12. Sambagalou: 120 megawatt hydropower on Gambia River to offer affordable renewable energy to countries involved.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Bursting The Myth: Africa Is Not A Country by Alex Nderitu.

‘So geographers in Africa maps,
With savage pictures fill the gaps
And over uninhabitable downs
Place elephants for want of towns.’
- Jonathan Swift, author of ‘Gulliver’s Travels’
I was surprised and a little amused as I listened to a BBC Radio programme on Africa earlier this year by a field reporter on assignment in China seeking locals’ knowledge of the African continent.
Reactions barely scratched the surface as answers came intermixed with laughter suggesting the world’s second-largest continent is composed of lions, elephants and bushes. There were mentions of Mandela, South Africa and the film ‘Out of Africa’ but some said the continent doesn’t have any towns to speak of.
But what shocked me the most was the suggestion that Africa is a single country, so profound was the belief that the field reporter missed 54 countries and gave 14, at most.
50 years after the scramble for Africa by European colonialists that gave the current borders, the answers amused me.
In fact all attempts to marry up all the countries – to create a United States of Africa – have been futile with diversion being created like Eritrea moving from Ethiopia, Somalia being divided to Somaliland and Puntland. While Zanzibar is itching to cut off her umbilical cord from mainland Tanzania.
And here are more facts about the continent: former Sudan, before South seceded was the largest country. Lying just above Uganda on the map it’s nearly 1-million-square-mile makes it spread towards north to rub shoulders with Libya and Sudan.
While Nigerian in West Africa is the giant in population size with over 100 million people apart from a huge number of people in diaspora strutting US, Europe, Asia and other African countries.
South Africa, apart from giving the continent icons like Nelson Mandela and Miriam Makeba is the king in development. From the southern tip of the continent the country is the home of minerals, Castle Lager, De Beers, DSTV and ‘Cry the Beloved Country’.
In social life aspect, the continent is based described in tribal line. Even in the 21st century tribes are ties that bind to define marriage, voting and conflicts like the infamous 1994 Rwandan genocide between the Hutus and the Tutsis.
You can often tell an African’s tribe from his indigenous name. My surname, Nderitu (pronounced “Day-ri-to”) is a dead giveaway that I come from the Kikuyu tribe of central Kenya.
At first sight, all Africans may look the same but in reality most tribes have distinct features that set them apart – height, skin tone, build, dialects, hair, teeth and even talents. Most have their own language which are over 2,000.
Even though all Negroid (Blacks) originated from Africa not all Africans are Negroes. In northern part of the continent (Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco) Semites (Arab-Jew heritage) are dominant. Here is the home of our sons Muammar Gaddafi and Bhoutros-Bhoutros Ghali. Others are found further south in Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somali, Sudan and along Indian ocean coasts.
Further south of Sahara Negroid, like me, dominate like former UN SecGen Kofi Annan from Ghana. Further south we find the race with lighter complexions and hooded eyes (Nelson Mandela and musician Usher Raymond have Capoid features).
The continent also has Caucasians (Whites) and other non-Black people like Asians not to be confused with tourists and other visitors as they are descendants of settlers, missionaries and traders who are as African as the marula tree. In fact some are more African than the original Africans.
South Africa has the biggest ‘jambalaya’ of races – Blacks, Whites (including Boers), Browns, Yellows and, for all we know, green people from Mars (that’s why it’s sometimes referred to as “the Rainbow Nation”).
Eastern Africa is widely believed to be the cradle of human life with the earliest human remains, 4.2 million years old found here. According to history a great trek north from Tanzania and Kenya through Egypt to cross over to other continents.
But this history poses some hard-hitting questions. If Africans were the original owners of the world, how come only missionaries woke the continent to advance academically and otherwise? Why is the second-largest continent still the poorest?
The question of non-development, of Africans’ seeming lethargy, is easily answered by Prof. Ali Mazrui’s famous documentary, ‘The Africans’, in which he narrates: ‘If necessity is the mother of invention, then bounty must be the mother of inertia.’
In a land where you spit out a seed and return to find a fruit tree sprouting, the early Africans were under no pressure to advance technologically as the continent still supports the widest varieties of plant and animal life.
And even though Africa is wealthy the reeking poverty is what i can’t get a ready answer for especially the ever widening gap between the rich and poor. While the super rich command customized cars and even private planes the poor majority die from curable diseases like cholera and malaria, and their children walk for kilometres on bare foot for schools and water.
Kenyan 2004 Nobel Peace Prize Winner Wangari Maathai (RIP) captured this when she said as a kid the were so poor growing up that she and her friends used to play with frog eggs! (Did Wangari has to say everything? Wonder is I’ll be able to show my face in public when I tour Europe to promote my books)
Across the globe, diamonds, gold and silver gleaming in jewellery shops and boutiques around the world come from Africa. Even the aroma of coffee, tea and flowers come from Africa.
Sadly were these raw materials and wealth are produced the most are under intense conflict fuelled by colonisation and scramble for Africa mentality. These are places like Liberia (diamonds), the DRC (assorted minerals), Nigeria (oil) and Somalia (heaven knows).
What Does It Mean To Be African?
But what does it MEAN to be African? If a Negro was born and lives in the US, can he still claim to be an African? What if a Caucasian (like best-selling author Wilbur Smith) is born, lives in, and loves Africa does that make him a certifiable African? Here’s my circuitous and open-ended answer:
A long, long, time ago (way before the first man loved the first woman and a child was born) all the continents were stuck together. Various disturbances on the earth’s crust coupled with the spinning of the earth (which makes it bulge out at the sides) caused cracks and, ultimately, separation.
You may take it that all continents and islands are jigsaw pieces and all humankind is one large, chequered, family. As I said earlier, the first people lived in the tectonic fragment now known as Africa.
Like an American tourist once said during a recent interview in a Kenyan TV, people should make a Mecca-like pilgrimage to Kenya at least once in their lives because it is our mutual ‘home’ after the Leakeys discovered the cradle of human kind in lake Turkana.
This is the reason the lack of interest in Africa expressed in the BBC Radio programme amused me so much. Chinese, American, French, German, Russian, British or whatever our nationality, we might all be Africans in diaspora!
Alexander Nderitu ( is a Kenyan-born novelist and entertainer. He has also expressed interest in fashion design, music production and sports entertainment. This article was first written in 2006.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Nakuru County Politician Gideon Kubai: I’m not the ICC Witness Against William Ruto, Joshua Sang

Gideon Kubai at LaGuardia airport in USA
Gideon Kubai, a Nakuru county politician and the grandchild of former freedom fighter Fred Kubai  has denied that he is the fifth ICC witness testifying against DP William Ruto and journalist Joshua Sang at the ICC.

He's currently in Boston, USA. Kubai is my FB friend and the guest blogger in the previous post Why Jubilee supporters Should Leave the President Alone- By Gideon Kubai.

Here is a transcript of a WhatsApp interview I had with him today at dawn: 

Burning Splint: How long have you been in USA?
Gideon Kubai: Since May this year, first at SIT Graduate Institute in Vermont for a peace and conflict management program then in Boston, Massachusetts.

BS: When are you due to be back in the country and who your visit to USA?
GK: For my personal safety I am not travelling back until the matter is conclusively addressed by security agencies. I intend to attend to this seriously. I will also notify ICC for action from their side. Also note that I fear for the safety of my wife and our two years old daughter in Naivasha.

BS: Back to elections as an MCA: which ward did you contest in, what party did you use and what was the elections results if you can remember.
GK: Maai Mahiu ward in Nakuru county assembly on a Kenya National Congress (KNC) ticket. I polled second but left before i received the IEBC tally.

BS: Ok who won? And going back to the earlier question when were you expecting to be back in the country, that's before the current situation?
GK: A TNA candidate won, although on the second part I prefer not to disclose that at this point.

BS: Ok. Who facilitated the exchange programme which took you to USA?
GK: World Learning sponsors the programme on their campuses in Vermont and Washington DC.

BS: Of course World Learning partnered with an organisation in Kenya.
GK: Vijana na Mageuzi Initiative where i’m a program coordinator, the initiative has been involved in civic education, peace and conflict management projects in the volatile Nakuru county and we started the period after the PEV.

I am also the founder of The Fred Kubai Foundation, which engages in social welfare programme in Naivasha constituency in line with my late grandpa aspirations. I have extensively supported IDPs in Maai Mahiu on education.

BS: Going through the FB profile of the person who posted your photo, he states that he worked for The National Alliance Party. Do you believe TNA is behind this ‘leakage’? And where did he get the photo from?
GK: That was lifted from one of my profile pictures on my FB profile.

BS: Back to my earlier question: Do you believe TNA is behind the leakage? Or do you you’ve an hint of who is involved?
GK: The culprit seem to have a link with TNA/Jubilee online hawks. (You see) people have been critical of me not supporting UK despite our families' history, it was an issue that largely contributed to my election defeat.

BS: What’s your message to the IG of Police David Kimaiyo?
GK: The security machinery should move with speed to protect innocent Kenyans against political extremists both on the ground and on social media platforms. The police's cyber crime unit should double its effort in cracking down on these cyber criminals. Above all Kimaiyo should guarantee safety for my wife and daughter who have already recorded a statement with security agents in Naivasha.

BS: What about a message to President Uhuru Kenyatta and the Government of Kenya?
GK: The president should caution his followers across the country against extreme political stance that could put the safety of any Kenyan in jeopardy. He and all government leaders should adopt and set a rational and non-confrontational tone while addressing the ICC issue.

BS: Any statement to ICC president and prosecutor Fatou Bensouda?
GK: I urge constant vigilance from ICC against all forces that can compromise fair trial and justice for both the suspects and the victims through malicious interference of witnesses and unwarranted propaganda. The ICC should treat these claims brought to its attention with utmost seriousness with a view of punishing the culprits.

BS: Good we are about to finish... But first you worked with victims of PEV in Nakuru county, have you in anyway helped to get witnesses for ICC?
GK: My projects were strictly aimed at fostering reconciliation, urge for peaceful dispute resolution and champion the course of peace. A point of correction I didn't work personally with victims, but my work was at Maai Mahiu which was among places most affected by PEV. These projects were implemented in close conjunction with other stakeholders who included local police and provincial administration.

BS: So you were not involved in any way with the current Kenyan cases at ICC?
GK: Absolutely not!

BS: Thanks sir, I'm done. Do you have any parting shot?
GK: Welcome. I urge Kenyans on social media platforms to exercise restrain during discussions on ICC with sobriety and maturity. They should desist from the temptation to be overzealous and misinform.

BS: Better bro, Good morning (it’s 5:02am). I pray that may God keep your family in Nakuru safe. Have a nice time.
GK: Thanks. We will live through it. Later.

BS: Welcome and amen.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Why Jubilee Supporters should leave the president Alone - By Gideon Kubai

President Uhuru Kenyatta
With the hard fought victory during the last general election which was only decided through a Supreme Court ruling Jubilee and UhuRuto supporters have been in euphoria.

Under the guise of this win, it is becoming hard to reason with millions of Jubilee supporters across the country and in the diaspora.

Suffice to say the campaign and election battle was fought and the win was splendid against seemingly insurmountable odds.
But amid this wall of unbridled happiness, this is an opportune time to direct a few cold hard truths and facts for President Uhuru Kenyatta to be left alone by his supporters and given space to deliver his election pledges.

The space should be left now to help salvage president’s national image and help him carry his national task easily.

President’s personal battle
Once Uhuru became the president he has acquired crucial national responsibilities which surpass narrow ethnic interests which are carried by supporters who come across as his defender in fighting his personal and tribal battle.

These soldiers’ zeal is best manifested online where bundles are dedicated on
facebook, twitter and blogs to sing praise to Uhuru’s and his name against ‘agents of devil and imperialists western powers.’
This otiose zeal has roped in the Kenyatta family, even those who can’t differentiate between Jaba and Jomo, to make it sound like hagiography of Wango’mbe Waihura - the legendary Kikuyu warrior.

The two Uhuru’s sons are young fine men who must be secretly wondering who these very dedicated jubilee supporters are talking about and what is going on.
Equally, both national and senate houses have ground troops have not been left behind in battle mood and arrested campaign mentality. Let us take Aden Duale for example; why did he create a big fuss about withdrawing from the Rome Statute?

Was Duale and Co on a mission to please and ingratiate themselves to the president? Was sycophancy, boot licking and self-preservation so fuzzy to make them realize the pullout was null and was detrimental ongoing ICC cases?
But Duale, like most jubilee elected leaders owe their current positions not from democracy or people’s but due to engrave their images next to the president’s during the campaign period. So perverse was the trend, a foreigner would’ve been mistaken to think Uhuru was running in hundreds of constituencies.

Across the social strata jubilee supporters irrespective of their level of education have became experts on dissecting the country’s sovereignty against imperialism and neo-colonialism pushed down Kenyans throat by US and Britain ‘funded’ ICC.

Even in the most rudimentary United Nation definition we are sovereign and this unwarranted braggadocio on proclaiming the obvious will be our downfall as a country.
Kenya isn’t a military superpower, have a runaway inflation and debt ridden economy and donor fund help fight hunger and disease in don’t have the biggest military in the world, we don’t have the biggest economy in the word and our people are still dying of hunger and st Century and over a half a century from independence.

An overzealous jubilee supporter or legislator wearing a crisp western style suit, a parliament funded by millions of US grant, using standing orders borrowed from British house and laboring in Queen’s English can’t lecture us on liberation and neocolonialism.
Even Uhuru Kenyatta a fully born and bred elite has a degree from Amherst College in Massachusetts; the state famously touted as the spirit of America.

I won’t go about the soft power colonization through English football, Hollywood movies, American music, dressing culture and western food like pizza and burger as we seek to look “in the East for development.’
The world is one big village; we are interconnected because even China we seek for aid can’t afford to cut ties with US even though they compete for world supremacy.

Cord/Jubilee matrix and attack on civil society
And here is how this overzealous sycophancy is affecting Kenya: the country still stays polarized more than six months after election.

Comments, criticism or work of civil society is measured in a very narrow lane of either being a Cord or a Jubilee supporter or a gun for hire.
A simple news post online boils down to Cord/Jubilee insults often laced by stereotype tribal insults. Fellow taken as under-class citizens and activists are often labeled traitors, betrayers and reminded that elections are over and they should move on.

It’s very crucial to hold the current government to account especially in delivering campaign promises and manifestoes and not every critic is a Cord critic or is betraying Kenya, which is sadly mistaken for Jubilee and Uhuru.
From a personal point of view since I have worked as an activist civil society doesn’t want to fix the president. I worked with a Naivasha based youth movement funded by US which was implementing peace and civic education.

Getting grant was purely based on project viability, objectivity and political neutrality and I even went to US for training and not once was I asked to participate in any scheme to overthrow my government or fix anybody in the political circles.

Civil society has taken a key role in changing the country in the second liberation and the West we so much abhor was key in bringing change with most dissidents seeking refugee there and like US Ambassador Smith Hempstone who a key figure against president Moi tyranny.
Uhuru acceptance
The president assumed leadership in full cognizance that he carried personal liabilities, weaknesses that will occasionally if not always impinge on execution of his state duties. He has even accepted that severally on national television.

But his supporters’ overzealous support bordering on ignorance, propaganda and fallacies are pressing the president to dump his personal liabilities on the shoulders of Kenyans who are already sagging with heavy burdens.
This has so far done Kenya as a country a great injustice by demonizing every criticism directed to the government.

(The writer Gideon Kubai is the founder and program coordinator for ‘Vijana na Mageuzi Initiative’ and is a grandson of the late freedom fighter Fred Kubai)