September 19, 2015

Teachers Strike And Trying To Blame The Constitution

BY JOHN GITHONGO Source: www.the-star.co.ke/news/teachers-strike-and-trying-blame-constitution  In 1997 the government made a deal to increase the pay of Kenya’s chronically underpaid teachers. It was only partially implemented. As a result, especially at times of political vulnerability for the incumbent administration, like elections and now at the start of every new school year, strikes by our teachers have become a normalized. The current government complains it doesn’t have Sh17 billion to implement the pay rise that the Supreme Court has legitimated much in the same way that the election that brought the current regime into power was legitimised. The teachers – in the 18th year of the fight to have promises made to them kept – are portrayed as fiscally unfeeling and unsympathetic to a Jubilee regime struggling to balance the books during increasingly difficult times. It’s true that times are difficult and
September 19, 2015

Teenage Nation Kenya

We are growing up. And growing up comes with challenges. One of those challenges is growing responsibility. Everybody has had his or her teenage years. Everything you know seems to change: the world around you, your friends, your ideas, your body. What you don’t realize as a teenager, is that you are changing and not the world around you. Looking at Kenyan at the moment it feels like looking at a teenager that is growing up: it’s going against anything her parents (people, constitution, democratic allies) are telling her. ‘I am against, an I will who you who decides.’ Kenya is full of ambitions. The world is at our feet, we even dare to compare out nation with  long established societies worldwide, preferably and convenient often indicated as The West, out former Colonial masters. To a certain extend, the modern
June 19, 2014

Kenya | Vacancies at State House: Mood Readers wanted (m/f)

An imaginary morning at the President of Kenya’s Office: President gets up, first thing he gets is his security briefing, especially movements that are ICC-related and CORD related, then the press clippings. He goes true with it, gets some emotions with the news, then his personal assistant comes up with today’s agenda. While walking to his vehicle with a tea-to-go in his hands, he gets briefed in more detail about the first meeting today. In the car next to him, his speech-writer talks to him about the print-out mister President has  just been handed over: the speech he going to deliver  at the next function. Eh, wait… stop… Are we missing something here? As in: missing something that we might need, not as in missing something that was there but we didn’t see? Yes! I would say. We are missing
June 18, 2014

Kenya terror | Conspiracy theories and the fun of it. Choose the one of your liking!

Conspiracy number one (1) Kenya’s president blames the opposition for the recent attacks at the coast saying that the opposition wants to destabilize the country. I am sure he has read Aristotle’s Rhetoric, because he successfully diverts the subject from what has actually happened to Who is responsible, thus diverting the attention from your own role to someone else’s, at least thats what he thinks. A proven technic, just look at world history to find your examples. By the way: these technics were very successful on masses that did not, or could not check the facts and connect the dots. Does it make sense? Mmm… I wonder. Al Shabaab claimed responsibility before the Kenyan Government came with a statement, according to local newspapers, people were warned even before the attack took place. Does the opposition party really gain by an
May 21, 2014

The invisible consequences of terror

Since the Westgate attacks, Kenya has been hit by 14 terror attacks, leaving tens of Kenyan people dead and even more Kenyans wounded. Most of them are common men, women and children whose main day to day concern is how to feed their families and their loved ones. For the rest of the world, live continues after the 8 o’ clock news. For the victims, life will not easily be the same as before an attack. Admit: for most people, terror attacks is something you hear about on the television news. For a few seconds, maybe minutes or days, you are in a shock. We live I a society where most people are familiar with televised violence. I wonder if most people would actually notice the difference between the real world, created in the News and the entertainment world, let’s
March 6, 2014

Matatu strike

Interesting to see what happens when matatus go on strike, like what happened yesterday in Our Nairobi. Of course nobody is happy with it, some people get robbed in the chaos and some people even where on board of a vehicle that was stoned by colleagues. But in the end, there is always something good in bad things. Could you imagine that this would ever have happened in the Moi-years, when talking politics was already something that most people would not even think of? We are livin’ interesting times in this country. Kenya is learning democracy.  
April 2, 2012
Kenyan girls come up for their rights

Kenyan sex workers: signs of progress

Yes, being in Kenya is great. But for me, it is not for the obvious reasons: not the safari’s, it’s not only the beautiful nature less than 30 minutes outside Nairobi. Europeans tend to think that when you live in Kenya, it’s a 24 hour safari-holiday. Nothing is less true. It’s because in Kenya where I have a live view on social and political change in Africa. You can witness it on the spot: quite often, there is change for the better. Recently, it was worldwide sex workers day. The 7000 or more known sex workers known in Kenya’s capital Nairobi took to the streets to say that they are ready to pay tax.  Prostitution is still seen as a crime in Kenya. The funny thing: in a country where women are often seen as minor creatures, not the consumers
September 10, 2010

Goosebumps, tears and Machiavelli(2)

This is a follow up on my post a fews days ago (Please find it here) about Kenya’s invitation to invite Sudan president al-Bashir on the promulgation of Kenya’s New Constitution. Many things have been said about it, I enjoy the Freedom to add. The things we don’t see are what politicians are reading. I am 100 percent sure that Machiavelli’s The Prince is on the desk of at least some of the Kenyan leaders. One of the things that Machiavelli talks about is moral. There the monopolised moral by the churche/religion in this world and there is the moral with the meaning of doing what is good for the masses. Apparently, Kenyan politicians’ moral seems to be the Machiavellian moral, in this case (or at least that is what they say). They invited al-Bashir for the greater good: peace
September 4, 2010
KIbera Article Daily Nation

Slumhugging in hugslum Kibera

Whatever happens in Kenya, we are not there yet…. But a lot of people are working on it. Today’s Newspaper (The Daily Nation), thought me that Nairobi’s informal settlements, Kibera has between the 6000 and 15.000 active NGO’s. According to the newspaper, there might an NGO for every 15 residents. I think that Kibera’s non-official hugslum-status, needs to be upgraded to an official one. They could start using it in the tourist-brochures, where Kibera would nicely fit next to the national hugtribe… 😉 Ah, sorry… Which tribe was that again? Click here for Daily Nation article Kibera
September 3, 2010

Goosebumps and tears

Funny feelings about the historic promulgation of Kenya’s new constitution. I did hardly see any prominent ‘good’ leader at the signing ceremony. All of them at least had a disputable reputation. But my impression might be wrong. The number one among those of course is mister Omar al-Bashir, the democratically elected and International sought for leader of Sudan, not really known for his sympathy with the democratic policies and known for of several genocides he’s thought to have been guilty of. Interesting is that Kenya recently confirmed its support for the I.C.C. and said that they would fully cooperate with the I.C.C., in a meeting notably in Kampala. Kenya said that as an I.C.C.-memberstate they oblige themselves to arrest fugitives on their territories. Several sources said that al-Bashir was not on the invitee-list. But that is not an excuse. In