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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Kenyan Couple Trying To Shut Down Kumekucha

It seems that the enemies of Kumekucha will not rest and now, if a Kenyan couple living in the United States have their way, Kumekucha your beloved blog could soon be no more.

Sam Okello and his wife, Hellen have already successfully shut down 3 blogs belonging to Marianne Briner. Now they have filed a serious legal complaint against Kumekucha whom they accuse of carrying copyrighted material in the Kenya Betrayed serialization that we have been posting here. The couple is claiming that the Kenya Betrayed script was penned by them and has filed a complaint under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, leaving Google with no alternative but to disable the affected pages. If the complaints from the Okellos persist, there is a high chance that Kumekucha could be shut down for good.


I agonized long and hard whether or not to carry this photo. In the end I decided that it is best that there is no mistake over the identity of those being used to try and fix Kumekucha-the people's blog. Sam Okello is seated and his wife Hellen is standing. Just the way it is in the Sahel Publishing board.

The motive of the couple and especially Hellen Okello who makes all the major decisions in the couple’s publishing venture Sahel publishing, is not clear. To start with Kenya Betrayed is clearly written in the English with strong German connotation that quite obviously belongs to Marianne Briner (as anybody can tell from her numerous writings online). Briner is the same copyright owner of another similar work called A Shining Star In Darkness. She simply hired Sam Okello as her ghost writer for the earlier book detailing her experiences with the high and mighty in Kenya. Obviously the Okellos have no chance of winning this case in any court on earth because of a number of very obvious reasons including the fact that even if there was a dispute over A Shining Star In Darkness Kenya Betrayed is a totally new work penned by Brinner herself, using real names and including totally new sizzling material which Sam Okello was too frightened to use in his earlier ghost-written version of the events that used fictional names, A Shining Star In Darkness.

Still one does not need to be a rocket scientist to figure out where the Okello’s real power and motivation could be coming from. Most of those mentioned in Kenya Betrayed are very powerful politicians in Kenya and are extremely upset that a lot of the information in the book is now in the public domain. More so when the person telling the story is extremely credible based on her past involvement with the characters. And to make matters worse, all this is happening during an election year when these people have such a huge stake pegged on the outcome. The characters in question featured prominently in the infamous Kroll report and have huge sums of stolen public money stashed away in Swiss accounts and elsewhere and obviously have no qualms spending some of it in legal circuses that could drag on for years to come while Kenyans are kept in the dark about the true character of those who have led them in the past as well as injustices that have taken place in Kenya.

Sam Okello has repeatedly indicated interest in returning to Kenya to stand for the presidency in the near future. He has been hoping that the popularity of his books will push him into public prominence to enable him launch his political career. Now it seems that he may also have figured out a way to raise funds for his future political campaigns at the expense of the same Kenyan people he hopes will elect him to State House one day.

Further investigations by this blogger has revealed other bizarre activities the Okellos have been involved in while in the United States which make fascinating reading and give a glimpse into the kind of characters we are dealing with here. I am in the process of verifying and getting further concrete and water tight proof of this and when I do I will publish all the juicy details here in the days to come.

Let me say at this juncture that I did not start Kumekucha with my personal needs in mind, rather this blog is a labour of love for the millions of voiceless downtrodden Kenyans who continue to be short-changed by the political class. I continue to make great sacrifices (financial and even on my personal security) to keep this blog going. If it was for personal gain then I would have already been a very wealthy man. Hundreds of thousands of Kenyans scattered all over the world have sensed this motivation in the posts they read here and it is the reason why they have given this infant blog so much support, so suddenly.

And that’s why I will fight this latest threat with everything that I have.

I beg for your support.


5 Most Popular Stories in Kumekucha today- Nov 21st

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2. Big fat Kenyan politicians: They just don't get it, do they?

3. Herdsman kills lion but dies in the hands of hyenas

4. Missed opportunity by PNU to bury ODM

5. ODM ad that no Kenyan media house will touch

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

mr chris!!!!
let this not worry you. this liile piece of information will be relayed to the CAPTAIN because we are proposing for change in this country. change from such charcters who only find peace when others are suffering. we will be watching keenly what transpires and will offer our support to fight off this hurdle!!!

THE ODM PROFFESIONALS NETWORK!

Anonymous said...

Hi Chris,

I believe I speak on behalf of all Kumekucha fans when I say we fully support this blog, the voice of the voiceless, against any intimidation.

Having said that, I would be grateful if you could leave Okello's kids out of this grudge. You very well know that they have absolutely nothing to do with it.

Kindly block their faces on the family photo that you posted. I believe you will rectify this oversight quickly since you are one of the fairest men around.

Thanks for your co-operation in this matter.

Kumekucha fan.

CBD, Nairobi.

Taabu said...

Fighting virtual wars is a total waste of time. We know so much and there is plenty of sources of information that one does not need to blackmail or shadow box if he has nothing to hide. One thing is for sure, the TRUTH is nasty and very bitter.

The Okellos of this world are only succeeding in making a bad situation worse. Chris ignore them because even on MB they have been difeated. Blogs can be started at the stroke of a keyboard. Let flies perch wherever they want. We won't allow them to bring their filty wings here. Washindwe.

Proud Kikuyu Woman said...

Oh, well! I'm not sure I want to get involved in anything that has MB written all over it. My only question is, credible as you want us to believe she is,why does she get tight with but inadvertently falls out with any man she has a deal,any deal with? I don't know what kind of an MoU you two got but I'm worried her next blog is going to be dedicated to a war between you and her? Bahati njema lakini.

Vikii said...

Ordinarily, I would be on Chris' side because he is the only one who means something to me. The Okello's should get a life or just go to hell.

However, as PKW says, you cannot have an informed stand on this issue as long as MB is in it. The mere involvement of MB validates any point the Okellos may be having because she is just one trouble seeker who should be hit even harder.

Anonymous said...

I think you have shot yourself in the foot this time. I also thought it strange you publishing a book via a blog. Anyway let the Law carry its work and justice will be served.

njoro mzee wa kijij said...

Hi Chris - you really have got my support. This blog has kept me alive in distant lands and has given me some good depth in understanding the Kenyan person. I really have alot of doubt on the lady (MB)though she seems vengeful. Kumekucha shall not die. We are with you through and through. Wewe ni wetu. Kila lal heri

Anonymous said...

Simon Says........

BATTLE OF THE BLOGS - KUMEKUCHA AND SAHEL PUBLISHERS BEGIN THE WAR
Dear Abunuwasi,

Sahel Books Inc has come under scathing attack from Kumekucha. It is true that as a company we took action to stop this blog from plagiarising our work. What Kumekucha has never understood is that the book he's been serializing was co-authored and as such all decisions related to it are to be made by the joint authors. when he decided to serialize this book without my authorization, even after I personally asked him to cease, he left Sahel Books no alternative but to seek legal redress for the blatant infringement.

Let me state the facts for all to see.

1. When Marianne Briner approached me to help her write her book about her life in Kenya, I did so as a ghostwriter. In this deal, I sighned a contract with Marianne that gave each of us a 50-50 stake in the book for the duration of it's life. The book was subsequently published by Xlibris. The paperwork for this venture is available for whoever may want to see it.

2. In the course of writing this book, my co-author approached President Moi's attorney for a buyout. She wanted to be paid to kill the book. When Mr. Mutula Kilonzo called her bluff, she went forward. As such, A Shining Star In Darkness saw the light of day.

3. Matters started to get out of hand when Marianne started to make decisons related to the book on her own. I happen to take documents I sign very seriously. Honesty is the conerstone of what we do at sahel and it would have hepled if Marianne had that honesty.

4. When the CNN matter with Jeff Koinange broke, Marianne approached me to write a story on the issue. I sought all the emails and relevant communication between her and Jeff. She gave me a lot, but editorially, it fell short. The things she claimed Jeff said just didn't appear in her emails. They were lies. When I insisted that I had to see them, she said they were verbally made. That's when I declined to publish the book that would have been titled Distant Lovers.

5. My refusal to publish the book infuriated Chris, the man behind Kumekucha, because he'd looked forward to help Marianne break news of the story to the world. From then on, Chris became a champion of the Marianne point of view. I watched with trepidation as the two mischaracterized matters pertaining to Sahel Books Inc, but never reacted. I felt it was mostly trivial.

6. But when the two started serializing my book, Her Excellency, I knew that they'd taken the joke too far. I took action to protect the copyrighted works of our company. Now Kumekucha claims that Marianne's book, Kenya Betrayed, is Marianne's own work. I invite whoever cares to read to compare her purported work with my original narration. What you'll see is blatant plagiarism. How Kumekucha can defend such behaviour beats me.

Now, I've seen that Kumekucha felt he had to put a picture of my family on his blog. I thank him for the notoriety that brings my way. But I also warn that should any harn come to my family that can be tied to this reckless decision, he'll regret he did this.

I don't wish to shut down Kumekucha and Chris knows that. But I repeat that Sahel Books Inc will never allow anybody to plagiarise or misrepresent this company's work. As for the other issues Chris brings up, that is marianne briner's crap and i won't waste my time responding to it.

I'm forwarding a letter Chris addressed to my wife, Hellen.


Sam Okello
President & CEO
Sahel Books Inc.
P.o. Box 6451
South Bend IN, 46660-6451
USA
Phone: Toll Free: 1.877.297.2435
samokello@sahelpublishing.net
www.sahelpublishing.net


BACKGROUND

1. IDENTIFICATION:





The copyrighted book is:





Title: A SHINING STAR IN DARKNESS

Copyright Owner: Marianne Briner and Sam Okello

Publisher: Sahel Books Inc

Date Published: 2007

ISBN: 978-0-9795851-8-0 (previously ISBN: 978-0-14257190-8-1 by Xlibris)

Country: United States of America





The copyrighted work at issue appears on: www.mariannebriner-kenya-betrayed.blogspot.com





The book, A Shining Star in Darkness, has been plagiarized by my co-author, Marianne Briner. She has, without my permission, re-titled the book, KENYA BETRAYED, but has kept my narrative as I wrote it. This re-titled book, KENYA BETRAYED, is being published at: www.mariannebriner-kenya-betrayed.blogspot.com and is being promoted/advertised at: www.mariannebriner-distantlover.blogspot.com





2. MATERIAL INFRINGING COPYRIGHT:





The blog where my copyrighted material is published on is: www.mariannebriner-kenya-betrayed.blogspot.com and the copyrighted material is being promoted/advertised at: www.mariannebriner-distantlover.blogspot.com





I might add, this blogger, Marianne Briner was just deleted by blog.com because of plagiarizing my copyrighted works.





3. EMAIL ADDRESS:

samokello@sahelpublishing.net





4. STATEMENT:





I have a good faith belief that the use of the copyrighted material described above on the allegedly infringing web pages is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law.



5. I swear, under penalty of perjury, that the information in the notification is accurate and that I am the copyright owner or am authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.





Just what did Kumekucha tell Sam's Wife? we will publish the letter in full once it has undergone our verification process..

Anonymous said...

Chris,

I think your readers will be better served if you quit serializing this book here. I presume this book is available in the public domain and anybody can buy and read it if he or she wants it,in my opinion there is no value that this book adds in this blog. I am not doubting MB but most readers here will agree with me that there is a credibility fog of doubt surrounding this individual. As for the Okellos there is a right channel to follow rather than seek to shut the whole blog, there is more to kumekucha than one measly book. However if the Okellos succeed in shutting Kumekucha, it will be an act of war against the readers of this blog and we in the diaspora who constute most of the buyers of his books will launch a campaign to discredit his books and fully boycot them.

KM
USA

deroo said...

It is a pity anyway. Whether designed, imagined or real, I feel that it should not happen, unless Sam Okello is having a laugh.

I dont wish to get into other details about the same, already we have a family with fretted nerves, but what are the consequences of the same?

As for Sam being the president of Kenya, not a bad move? But this is the begining of the end of a dream to be Kenyan president if you get dragged into this murk. Too early!

Anyway Chris, I offer my support and hope sobreity will prevail in the whole thing. IT should prevail.

Anonymous said...

Hi Chris,

From the comments of your readers, it's clear that it serves no useful purpose for Kumekucha and Sahel Books Inc to be in this war of nerves. You'll always defend your blogs approach to news dissemination and I applaud you for it. I hope you applaud me for defending my company's right to preserve the integrity of our books. The issue here has been simple from the get go. All I've asked is that you cease serializing our books without authorization. Is that too much to ask? Marianne Briner, being as sleazy as she is, may have told you half truths about the status of the title A SHINING STAR IN DARKNESS. Through correspondence and other sister blogs where I've issued clarifications, I hope it's become clearer to you where things stand. So, in the interest of carrying on with our work, let's call a truce. Do what you do best and allow us to do what we do best. That's what our readers are asking for. What say you?

Sam Okello
Sahel Books Inc
www.sahelpublishing.net

chris said...

From The Sahel statement in Abunuwasi reproduced above by Simon for us, here is Marianne's reply via an email she sent to me;

Dear Chris,

I just read the letter the Okellos have published in Abunuwasi regarding Kumekucha - this is the most outrageous piece I have read until now.

I never approached Kilonzo to sell it to Moi - it was Kilonzo who threatened to sue me on behalf of this client Moi - and Sam knows the letter since it was also sent to him.

He has never refused to publish the Distantlover - on the contrary - he sent to me the proposed script and even gave also the design of the cover to the Printer - and registered the ISBN No. because he wanted to have the book published as soon as possible 'as soon as the story was still hot' ......

The rest I have explained yesterday.

Of course with no word does he comment that he never paid me anything although he confirms that according to the contract we had signed we should shared 50:50 ......

He denies my right to publish Kenya Betrayed - but he publishes the Shining Star under his label without having signed a new agreement with me .... i.e. illegally .... and even throws it on the market for laughable $ 5.99 ........

He reserves the right to shut down your blog ...... this is outrageous because it means that it is the Okellos who decide what you publish and say ......

Conclusion (and I quote my daughter)...... please give up ...... you are dealing with crooks and since these things go around the world and they continue spreading these lies about you, please forget Kenya ...... forget all the problems you had in the past ...... just give up ...... and try to live a little more peacefully......

I do not know what to say anymore .......

Marianne

Anonymous said...

Chris,

The Okellos are liars and crooks. I know them very well. You don't seem to know whom you are dealing with here. You think this is a joke?

Shauri yako.

Marianne Briner said...

Kenya Betrayed will come out early next year under another title as an autobiograhy, in English and in German. I will refer to the Shining Star co-authored with Sam Okello, but I will make clear that this new book is the 'uncensured and real story of my life in Kenya' and the only one fully backed-up by me since the American Publisher denied me to make changes and amendments because he feared legal and personal consequencies ...... and the Okellos accepted more than willingly being Kenyans .....
So the legal base is safe and clear: it is a new approach to the Shining Star - and in mentioning the book co-authored with Sam Okello I leave the choice to the people which one they want to read and which one they believe is the real story .... especially since I will use the real names, the decision will be easy .....

But I have also decided to fight back in the only way it hurts the Okellos of this word: their greed for money ......

I am therefore offering from now on the full scripts of the following books free of charge to anybody who writes to me, i.e. just send me an email and you will get the full scripts free of charge immediately.

This applies to the following books:

Shining Star
Distant-Lovers
Her Excellency
The White Girl
for which by the way Sam Okello has used a photo of my daughter for the cover .......

Marianne Briner

njoro - mzee wa kijiji said...

Chris - This is my very humble submission - i have thoroughly read all the emails, i bet chris you are fighting someone elses battle here by virtue of the serialisation. this is case of "ndume wawili wakipigama nyazi mdio huumia". Both of you (okello and yourself) are resourceful people and patriots by virtue of waht you continue to do for our motherland. As an elder, i would advise if it fits you. Just do the honourable thing stop the serialisation and let them fight their battles elsewhere. This is just muy humble opinion. Hope am wrong, i fear am right.

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