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Monday, July 14, 2008

Why The Constantly Blundering NSIS Is A Big Danger To Kenya Part 2

There is an old Chinese proverb that says: “ask the youth, they know everything.”

This proverb is rather appropriate in describing many political commentors in Kenya at the moment. They have no interest in history and yet they love to be authoritative in passing judgment over various issues based on what they see as their intellectual capacity. Between yesterday and today I have gotten a pretty good idea of what some of them think whenever I indulge in this topic of the NSIS. Some of them even believe that I usually hurriedly sit down to base my writing on “ghosts and shadows” that do not exist. If indeed that was my style here, I highly doubt if we would have now been approaching 2 million hits in this popular political site. Indeed we are even witnessing an interesting trend where daily newspapers and entire media houses are frequently making great efforts to copy as much as they possibly can from Kumekucha.

But to be fair, yesterday was also the day I got an email from Central province from this lady who said in part; “I have read Kumekucha without fail for long time now and I can confidently say that what you write is the truth.”

What touched me most about this email was that as wars of a tribal nature rage in the country (and I am told even in Western capitals where Kenyans live) this Kenyan who happens to belong to the house of Mumbi was able to make her own fair judgement on Kumekucha.

I dare add that one of the reasons why the old dinosaurs are still in power in Kenya today is because the younger people of Kenya have chosen to accept things at face value. Nobody is really interested in thinking outside the box. I urge you folks never to take things at face value. Even here in Kumekucha. Hint: if you have time, take a look at yesterday’s comments (for Part 1 of this article) and see if you see a pattern. I can assure you that things are NOT what they seem to be. Secondly some nasty commentators suddenly went quiet. Why? Anyway am sure re-grouping may be happening even now, but please let us be ready this time round folks.

There are some pertinent questions regular readers of this blog must ask themselves and not be in a hurry to answer. Why is it that this blog always seems to be under attack? Why not other blogs and sites? Who would benefit most if this blog shuts down? Who would want to keep away regular sober commentators from Kumekucha as much as possible and why? Who would be terrified at the thought of most readers irrespective of their tribe or political inclination uniting here in Kumekucha for a common cause? Would this be important enough for them to spend as much resources as possible to stop this unity from ever happening?

Sorry folks I cannot answer those questions for you. There are some questions in this life that nobody can answer for you, you just need to find the answers for yourself no matter how long it takes.

During the election chaos early this year, the CEO of Safaricom Michael Joseph was put under considerable pressure to shut down the cell phone company’s popular sms service. Read the whole Economist article HERE. To his credit Mr Joseph (a tough native of South Africa) did not crumble under that pressure. Still that did not stop a number of Kenyans being charged with incitement based on the sms messages they sent from their phones (the cases are still going on). The extent to which the NSIS monitor most cell phone communications is unknown to many Kenyans.

To be fair to our intelligence service, the impact that the cell phone and the World Wide Web have had on Kenyan politics is much more considerable than most people seem to realize and it has been virtually unstoppable. Indeed experts have now identified improved communications between citizens of the planet as one of the reasons why the whole world seems to be suddenly spinning out of control virtually everywhere. But still there is no way to justify any effort to spend valuable money and resources trying to stop the unstoppable. And yet this is exactly what the NSIS has been doing and fortunes in taxpayer’s funds have been directed towards the effort of controlling mobile phone communications and the web.

Contrast this scenario with what is happening in neighboring Tanzania. The intelligence network in that country is second to none in the whole of Africa and yet their budget is nowhere near being as large as that of the NSIS. Admittedly Tanzania has benefited greatly from the “majumba kumi” (10 houses) system set up by founding father president Julius Nyerere. Under the system every 10 households has an officially recognized leader who reports everything to the authorities. Especially foreigners or strangers who have moved into the neighborhood recently, even if they are mere guests in one of the 10 houses under their jurisdiction. The result is that nobody in Tanzania “coughs” without the authorities knowing. Bear in mind that Tanzania is an administrator’s nightmare. It is a huge country, almost the size of Kenya and Uganda put together.

Recently the Tanzanian government has been increasingly concerned about Kenyans exporting crime into their country and has developed a very elaborate system for keeping an eye on Kenyans that involves the use of beautiful Tanzanian women agents whom they know most Kenyans have a weakness for. What you may not want to tell the immigration officer at the border, you will surely tell a beautiful girl who is falling all over you after a few drinks. They also have a sophisticated high-tech system being installed at the border that monitors the entry into the country of all traffic from Kenya using technology that involves photographing you at the border. But I digress. My point here is that the Tanzanians are known in the international intelligence community as people who insist on doing things in their own way. But oh my do they get results!!

It all has a lot to do with the fact that the intelligence system in that country, unlike in Kenya, was set up “giraffe style” where wise founding fathers clearly had a long term view in mind. As a result skills have even been passed down in a deliberate and orderly manner.

No comparison to poor Kenya where the Special Branch was reduced to a personal intelligence service for State House in last year’s general elections while all other projects remained under-funded and almost abandoned. The results of this can clearly be seen as the nation stands now on the brink of disaster.

Another huge difference between Kenya and Tanzanian intelligence is the tribal issue.

Oh yes, I can hear you sigh. Take heart, I too have sighed, but deeper than you have. Impeccable sources have confirmed to me that the NSIS has been torn right down the middle by tribalism in recent times. Trouble seems to have started when current Director General, Michael Gichagi took over. In fact other sources albeit less reliable, tell me that this could be the reason why the Kenyan intelligence ship is leaking more terribly that the famous Titanic ever did. Shockingly, there was a point in the run up to last year’s ill-fated general elections when reports were circulating on the web purporting to be NSIS research on the popularity levels of the two main presidential candidates. The scary thing here is not whether or not the allegations were true but the very thought that it was possible for such a confidential piece of information to be leaked from our national intelligence service and be widely distributed amongst Kenyans on the web. That fact alone tells you that it is in the best interests of the country to dismantle the NSIS as we know it today and start over.

P.S. Somebody has suggested that the idea of switching from the “British way” of doing intelligence, which was what the old Special branch was, to the American system which was the structure used in setting up the NSIS was a big mistake and has totally failed. Indeed American things do not export too well to Africa. They never have. But clearly all experts I have spoken to are unanimous in agreeing on one thing—namely the fact that the NSIS is a mess.


Knoppix!® said...

Chris nice post though i was expecting fireworks in the second part of the post.

I will agree if the Americans gace us Aid in form of changing our format of gathering intelligence then its a fact it has failed.Indeed i can confirm that sometimes when there was a tallying stalemate at KICC, we got some info via sms that confirmed what eventually happened to the effect that a contender was to be declared winner and sworn in immediately and that indeed did play out.

The source of that info was said to be from NSIS operatives,So i think if we had stuff our way,we disband that outfit all together.I still dont understand why they post their guys into banks that are privately owned,and some other multinational companies.Disband it once and for all.

Anonymous said...

The NSIS constantly blunder because they have emphasized the intelligence gathering on sophisticated technology (which is an American style of gathering information) and that why it failing us thou as Chris has said ‘the impact that the cell phone and the World Wide Web have had on Kenyan politics is much more considerable than most people seem to realize’
The Govt. through NSIS wastes the Tax payer monies by trying to gather info through WWW not knowing that a huge chunk of our population is not connected.
The Tanzania intelligence is working because of it links with the British way of doing things. The British rely their intelligence on Espionage which is a process that involves agents or technical (majumba Kumi) means to obtain information which is not normally publicly available. lt may also involve seeking to influence decision makers and opinion-formers. Espionage focuses normally on non-public information gathered through covert means and if the NSIS decide to follow the TZs way of thinking, intelligence gathering will be of benefit to the people of Kenya and the generations to come.
NSIS is so tribal that they only think of the “ their presidency” Our administrative system of governance ( village leader, muguru, sub chief and so no) is asleep and lack the finances which are supposed to trickle down to them through the intelligence agency, meanwhile the Top brass at the agency are busy wasting the same resource on threats to the Junior employees at the lands ministry.


Yesterday bloggers unleashed venoms on me claiming I am NSIS mole .well am not but Me think Chris is behind the KUMEKUCHAS.BLOGSPOT.COMfor reasons known to himself.


NSIS said...

NSIS guys are heroes. Think first why the NSIS exists. National Security is key. The president is the main cog in the wheel of national security. So long as he is secure both in his capacity as an individual, and so long as his position as president is secure, the other small cogs will remain in place.

NSIS will always play a crucial role when for example a sitting president risks unseating through elections. Change can be destabilizeing. NSIS therefore sometimes has to take the necessary steps to ensure that unnecessary change can be delayed. The constitution for example allows the president two 5 year terms - and that is how it will be, with or without voters consent.

Kazi iendelee

NSIS said...

What do ignorant, illiterate and semi-illiterate voters know anyway? Why should a cross marked in the cloud of ignorance bring unnecessary changes. In Kenya, the status quo is better than what ODM had to offer. Maybe some day the existing NSIS archives will be declassified. Then all of you will realize that voters so far have been a bunch of idiots no self-respecting operative should allow to chart a supposed future for Kenya. We have been there for the good of the country, and we will continue to serve our president diligently!

NSIS said...

There is more of verbal diarrhoeia in your posts on the esteemed NSIS than a hard actual chronology of your perceived failings of NSIS. In both part 1 and 2, there is more digressing into unrelated yin yarn, than what the object of your article set out to accomplish.

But to pay the devil his dues, I must admit you mentioned the cancer that has engulfed our offices: tribalism. We have been forced to dedicate manpower resources that could be used elsewhere on our own agents from a 'questionable' tribe. We have had to deal with cases where sensitive classified info has found its way into a political party's offices. We are dealing with that. Essentially, things are as they should be. Every intelligence gathering agency has its own internal problems. The CIA has been bedeviled by moles since its inception. NSIS' challenge are tougher given the important tribal factor, and the fact that a regime change usually results in a complete overhaul of the entire NSIS organization structure so that 'guys from the tribe' who can be trusted control the major structures of the intelligence gathering process.

With these hiccups, we still perfom, and we are excellent in what we do. Lastly, Kenya is enjoying the peace it currently boasts of, because of the highly professional service it offered the country during the negotiations process. Kenya could have gone the dictatorial way, and nobody would have done anything about it. Sometimes you should give the devil his due - failing which - we have to blow our own horn: we are damn good!

Anonymous said...


three questions for you

are you serious?

are you representative of NSIS or are you just masqeurading as NSIS?

do you really believe the crap you've written above or are you just trying to antagonize the bloggers?

make it four questions

what is the likelihood of you answering truthfully and not lying?

Anonymous said...

The NSIS is only suffering from information overload. They got so many tips that they cannot decipher which is valid and not valid. By the time they determine it's valid, they're either too late or about to be. When they're on time, and process the intel, they pass it over to decision makers who either sit on it or just manipulate it and thus it ends up backfiring. On another hand though, they've done a lot of stuff that has kept the country safe (except the recent elections) otherwise, mecenaries from some other places would have easily run down our country. There is still hope though. Hire more criminals - (to catch one) and include more guys from the army who've done military intelligence. ohh... yes... jam those sms msgs too.

Anonymous said...

NSIS, what was the role of th Atur thugs? Were you aware of their existence?

Did they have to be 'appointed 'deputy police commisioners to accomplish their mission?

NSIS said...

Anon 11:42 asked:
What was the role of th Atur thugs? Were you aware of their existence?

We were aware of them. I cannot go into explaining their role without risking sensitive classified information. For your information, every intelligence and counter-intelligence agency employs similar tactics to achieve results. The most common include:
1. training paramilitaries and unleashing these on the populace,
2. pervasive surveillance,
3. censorship and press control,
4. restrictions on labor unions & political parties,
5. suspending habeas corpus, warrantless searches and detainment without charge,
7. employing terrorists,
8. false flag operations,
9. concealing human rights abuses from journalists, and extensive use of "psychological operations" (propaganda) to make these and other "population & resource control" measures palatable.

The Artur brothers fall under no. 7 above. The purpose for their hiring was achieved, and you won't be hearing from them again.

Kazi iendelee

Anonymous said...


i was wondering whether you are trully nsis or not. you just confirmed above. you have no idea the purpose of NSIS. but even worse you are not mandated to speak on its behalf.

even kiraithe adn his predecessor(s) standign in front of a victim of unnecessary firearm use will resort to the "when sharrenged to sullender, opened fire and my mboys returned fire killing these here persons ndead"

the persons might be one blind guy and a 10 year old child but he will stick to his story

now here you are ... with some figment of imagination trying to sound all tough and all knowing but sorry jama thats a gigantic joke

Anonymous said...

why do you believe this woman from central , it could be a luo man posed as a kikuyu woman ,my pont is their is a lot of phony people on the web so read all emails with a pinch of salt,

Anonymous said...

'NSIS', was the romance with somebody wa MWAI part of the strategy?

By the way weren't they supposed to be tying the knot in July?

Anonymous said...

anon 2:49

that nsis guy is a joker, probably been watching too many espionage movies and trying to "kenyanify" them,

Anonymous said...

Yes, he/she is definitely having a fantasy ride.


NSIS said...

Truth or lies are as subjective as it comes. What appears as truth to someone will be considered a fabricated lie to another. A lie, on the other hand, when repeated so many times, can confuse even its own fabricator into taking it for a fact.

I am an undercover NSIS agent or not? That my friends is the question I cannot answer. Trust your own subjective inclinations. I am glad either way.

Kazi iendelee

Anonymous said...

'nsis' you did not say whether the explosive afair with somebody wa MWAI was part of the strategy.

NSIS said...

Everything went according to the rules in the book in 'Operation Airport Mist' or what many came to know as the Artur saga.

It was one of the most succesful operations the NSIS has undertaken recently. As I said before, the objective of the operation was achieved 101%. Without an inkling to the prime objective of the operation, everything would appear to have been a succession of blunders - yet that was the exact public image that the mission was designed to induce.

Anonymous said...

in your dreams

Anonymous said...

'nsis', what are you still doing on this pos? we are miles ahead. Anyway, I also came back to see your response and am disapointed that you dodged my question regarding the explosive afair with somebody wa MWAI.

Frankly, I cannot see anything positive (in the eyes of the public) that resulted from the Artur saga. If anything Raila emerged the hero in the eyes of the public for pointing this out while the security apparatus was napping.

Unless the aim was to show that the president, somebody wa MWAI, the 'activist' and kina michuki are untouchable, and we as the citizens can do nothing.

Did someone stop to imagine the implication of having thugs run roughshod through our airports, call us stupid Africans and do all the unimaginable things that an ordinary citizen would not get away with?

Does the NSIS get such a huge chunk of the budgetary allocation just to take care of the narrow interests of people in power?

I think this was one of the biggest blunders in what is becoming a long list of NSIS blunders.

Finally what do you think of a government that condones such bogus missions to 'benefit' a clique, and then goes ahead to waste tax payers money setting up a useless Karoki commission.

Before you pat each other on the back for a 'job' well done, am sorry to disappoint you by saying that the damage done far outweighed the 'benefits'.

Anonymous said...

here is the official NSIS position which rubbishes the fake NSIS comments above

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