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Monday, November 24, 2008

A Letter to Kenyans In The Diaspora

Dear "Diasporians",



I hope you are doing well in the States, Europe, Australia, India or wherever you are on the face of this planet. Judging by the volume of e-mails I've received from some of you on topical issues in Kenya, it seems like you think Kenya is about to explode in violence, and that our nation is just moments away from going the Somalia way. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Before you adjust your weight in that cozy Minneapolis or Arlington or New York chair, let me tell you why you need to rethink how you view Kenya.



I'll start with the Waki Report. You've seen our politicians debate this matter with incredible intensity. You've heard some call for full implementation, while others plead that it be shredded and fed to the nearest trash can. You've interpreted that lively debate as a sign that Kenyans are about to squeeze their grip around each other's throat. That's not the case. If this kind of debate happened in London or Washington D.C. you'd call it democracy. Now that it's happening in Nairobi you call it...the guilty run when nobody is chasing them. Truth is, what sober Kenyans have been asking for is that there be a local tribunal, and that it be guided by a Kenyan judge of impeccable integrity. And you know what, we seem to have a consensus now. A local tribunal it is. Does that sound to you like a nation in peril?



Let me move on to the state of the roads. To say that the roads in Nairobi and Kisumu and Nakuru and Eldoret and Mombasa and other towns are horrible is an understatement. There are gaping potholes all over the place. In fact, there are roads that have ceased to exist in the way you last saw them. But here is the news you need to hear. Thika Road is about to be made a superhighway with four lanes. And the government is set to give each constituency seventeen million shillings for roads upgrade. Now, should you come home and find the roads in your constituency in a deplorable state, ask your Member of Parliament what he did with the money. Matter of fact, if you wanted a place to channel your energies, let it be in tracking the progress of the roads upgrade all over the country. Can you do that?

Now to rural electrification. Last time I was in shags, I saw with my own eyes the incredible progress the Rural Electrification Board...or whatever it's called...has made. Deep in the valley that I come from, I saw an electric poll. When I asked how soon power will be available for my retired Mama and Papa, who've been using solar panel, the man in charge told me that it would not be another six months before we're good to go. I was assured that this is the case in most of the country. It seems a little slow, but umeme is on the way, folks. Isn't that something to be proud of? Kenya is on the march!

As for the economy, I'm simply astounded. This country has vastly expanded its economy, and you can sense that the expansion will continue. The nation is getting rich. We've become the hub of regional communication, transport, peace initiatives and all kinds of issues that go on around here. So other than our political disagreements, this nation's people are optimistic, and there's a sense in the air that if our politicians and government officials use the public funds they control for the purposes they are intended to be used, sky is the limit for Kenya. The only downside, which I hope our leaders will address, is the sizable number of Kenyans who are being left behind by our march to a developed nation status. The government must ensure that we're all in this together. The first place to start of course is with our brothers and sisters in the IDP camps.

Moving on. Did you know that we now have several TV channels? Ok, I can see you laughing...saying to yourself: How long has this guy been gone from Kenya? Truth be told, it's been a while. When I was last in Kenya, President Moi had us hooked to KBC, where news was all about him. Not anymore. This is one regard in which President Kibaki must be commended. He's truly expanded freedom in Kenya. You can now watch local singers, actors, and even effective talk programmes like that of Julie Gichuru on Citizen, my friend Jeff Koinange on K-24 and that other dude called Loise Otieno...hope I spelled his first name right. The newspapers are not left behind. There are a number, and they are free to write whatever they want...as long as their facts are sound. And by the way, our women anchors are incredible. Not too thin, not too fat. And they dress like tomorrow will never come.

Need I go on? I think I've given you the picture. What I'm trying to tell you is this...be proud of Kenya. The nation appreciates the millions of shillings you remit every year, but what she doesn't appreciate is the constant whining about this or that. How do some of you expect Kenya to be like the States or Europe when we've been around for just forty five years? America has been going for more than two hundred years, most of Europe for longer than that. So cut Kenya some slack, guys. Check us out in fifty years and tell us what you see then.

Look, I just thought I might share with you my impressions of the nation some of you left behind many years ago, just like I did. Things are okay, and once we deal with Waki, it will get even better. The teething problems we have, all nations went through them. The last thing we need is those nations who experienced them earlier telling us how to experience ours now. We are now a sovereign state...and we will defend our right to self-determination from foreigners, be they Americans, Europeans or Kenyans who look down on the motherland.

Yours sincerely,

Sam Okello

Street theatre can sell products in East Africa (scroll down to see Churchill live himself)

Brand new DVD releases, Nairobi, Kenya

71 comments:

Taabu said...

Okello,
Thanks for your latest pitch. Sorry the previous kites (RELIGION/PATRIOTISM) refused to catch wind. All the same that was a marvelous fiction albeit REJECTED even before reaching the publisher's desk.

If you think it is the diaspora raining on your party then you need self-reflection. Ama we justify the swahili proverb NYANI HAONI KUNDULE?

Sam in all honesty you are enslaved by your youth=Moi era. No wonder your bar is too low you don't need to jump to pass. Making Moi's RUINOUS ERROR as you template is to live in the years when you left high school(?).

This is the 21st century and please don't insult the intelligence of bloggers by insinuating that INFRASTRUCTURE (roads) has been devolved. Come on Sam even when you are right now the highways is a Fereral responsibility. Toa hiyo na ulete ingine please.

Sayra said...

Alaa...

Were you last here like 20yrs ago? ... if that is the case you have good reasons to boast about the progress.

Vikii said...

"This country has vastly expanded its economy, and you can sense that the expansion will continue. The nation is getting rich. We've become the hub of regional communication, transport, peace initiatives and all kinds of issues that go on around here."

That is what we have telling you all these many years. When you say our disagreements are political I ask, I thought even our politics was supposed to be that of substance-one guided by what is good for the country and not when the illusory messiah is finally at the helm?

Now, why address only the diasporans on an issue affecting ALL Kenyans? If you are addressing whinners, the biggest of these live in Kenya, not in the dispora, as you call it.

Anonymous said...

THANKS SAM.

NOW THE KUMEKUCHAS CAN ALSO DEBATE SERIOUSLY ON THEIR NEXT LEADERSHIP AT HTTP://LETS-GET-OUR-OBAMA-KENYA.BLOGSPOT.COM/

IT IS A NEW WAY TO TRY AND APPROACH OUR POLITICS.

Sam Okello said...

Taabu,

There are two ways to look at this. There is honesty and there is dishonesty. What I saw in Kenya, even if it was slow progress, is progress. We are coming along just fine. I'm never going to allow myself the luxury of seeing Kenya through the prism of Westerners like some of you. I celebrate the fact that my nation has emerged a regional superpower regardless of the myriad problems we face. Sure, we'll put pressure on our leaders to do the right thing where neccessary, but we must all do it in the spirit of brotherhood. I know you call that preaching, but that's a choice you have. Need some Kool Aid?

Sam Okello said...

sayra,

I was in Kenya way back then. Of course I experienced culture shock of some kind when I came back. But look, I know progress when I see it. It's taken a long time, and it will take even longer to get to where we are going, but judging by what one sees in Kenya today, we're on our way there.

Taabu said...

Sam,
Absence makes the heart grow fonder. You must be mistaking NOSTALGIA for progress. Anyway you have the right kupaka paka rangi, indulge.

Sam Okello Matako said...

Wapenzi wasomaji, leo nimeamua kuzungumzia suala ya matako makubwa. Tafadhali msione kama ni matusi lakini hapa USA ni issue kubwa, maana watu wanayachukia! Nimeona nizungumzie suala ya matako makubwa kwa vile jana kazini, mzungu aliyekondeana mno kasema ni mnene na akila keki eti yote itaenda matakoni. Nilishangaa na kusikitika sana.

Uzuri kwa wazungu ni kuwa na matako fleti kama vile yamepigwa pasi. Sijui kwa nini. Mtu anashepu ya mbao, mwanamke hana hips kakaa kama dume vile eti ndo uzuri. Kumbe ni kwa sababu hao models na wacheza sinema wako hivyo! Basi wasichana ana akina mama wanajinyima chakula kusudi wakonde na eti wapendeze. Ndo maana magonjwa kama Bulimia na Anorexia zimeshamiri hapa. Lakini ukitazama sinema za miaka ya nyuma kama za 1930's na 1940's, wanawake walikuwa na shepu na walikuwa wamejaa na hata wanaume wa kizungu walikuwa wanasifia. Mpaka 1950's kulikuwa na mcheza sinema Marilyn Monroe, alikuwa na zinga la figure 8, na wanaume wote walikuwa wanampapatikia. Ama kweli mambo yanabadilika. Hivi sasa wanasema eti walikuwa ni obese yaani wanene!

Mbona mimi naona matako fleti kama chapati ni mabaya na hayapendezi? Au ni kwa sababu nimekulia Africa? Brothas (waMarekani Weusi) wanapenda mwanamke awe na matako ya maana! Akipita mwanamke mwenye mbarikio utasikia brothas wakisifia, "umm, umm umm!" Kuna siku nilisikia wanaume wa kizungu wakijadili sababu ya wanaume weusi kupenda matako makubwa, walisema ni "cultural thing". Kwa kweli ni culture yaani utamaduni! Kama umekulia katika mazingara ya kupenda kitu utakipenda. Na ndo maana kuna weusi USA wanataka kuwa na shepu iliyokondeana kama mzungu kumbe haiko katika 'genes' zake. Wajitahidi kupunguza mzigo lakini wapi, iko pale pale.

Sisi wanawake wenye asili ya Afrika tumebarikiwa huko nyuma. Yaani boxi, siha, wowowo, booty, na nasikia waGhana wanaita yokohama, matako makubwa yana majina mengi. Waafrika tunaona kama ni urembo, lakini wazungu na waliokulia uzunguni wanaona kinyaa. Wanasema eti ni dalili ya ulafi na uvivu! Lakini kama ni dalili ya ulafi mbona hata mwanamke mwembamba mwafrika anaweza kuwa na kamzigo huko nyuma? Ubaya mwenye matako makubwa anaweza kubaguliwa kwa vile bosi anaweza kuona kuwa ni 'ugly' na mwenye nacho anachafua mazingira ya ofisi. Kweli kabisa!

Hayo matako makubwa ni 'genes' za sisi waafrika. Lakini ajabu kuna siku nilisikia wazungu wakisema eti waafrika tuna matako makubwa kwa sababu ya utumwa. Eti mabibi zetu walinyimwa chakula hivyo matako ndo ilikuwa godown ya mafuta ya akiba. Nadhani ni uzushi kama ile ya ngamia kuweka maji kwenye nundu zake!

Mimi mara nyingi nimeambiwa nina matako makubwa, niyapunguze kwa kwenda gym kufanya mazoezi. Hayo mazoezi haisadii kitu ni makubwa vile vile! Lakini msione kama naona haya, wala! Mtu akiniambia nina matako makubwa namwambia mbona kama ni madogo, na ningependa yawe makubwa zaidi! Wanabakia kushangaa hasa nikiwaambia kuwa Afrika, matako makubwa ni uzuri.

Na amini usiamini kuna opresheni ya kuyapunguza inaitwa Liposuction. Wanawake wengi weusi na wazungu wamefanya hiyo liposuction ya matako, akiwemo mwimbaji Janet Jackson. Ubaya, ni kuwa ukishafanya hiyo liposuction, mafuta yataenda kwingine mwilini, hivyo utakuwa na shepu ya ajabu!

Sisi waafrika tunapenda kuringia huo mbarikio wa matako makubwa. Nilipokuwa nacheza ngoma shuleni na jeshini, tulikuwa tunatia nguo ndani ya bukta kusudi tuonekana na matako makubwa kweli kweli! Lakini, mara nyingi mitaani hapa USA, nimesikia akina dada wakifokewa, "You got a big a-s!" Kuna siku nilikuwa kwenye kituo cha Subway hapa Boston, kapita mama fualni Mganda, aisei alikuwa amejaliwa kweli huko nyuma, mpaka nikaona wivu. Basi ungeona wazungu walivyokuwa wanamtazama kwa mshangao ungecheka. Ila nilishuhudia baba fulani Mmarekani Mweusi akimtazama kwa furaha na kawa kama vile anamezea mate.

Nampenda sana mecheza sinema, Whoopi Goldberg. Nilikuwa nasoma jinsi akienda kwenye audition au akiwa kwenye movie shoot, wazungu wanamwambia kuwa ana matako makubwa au avae nguo ya kuzificha. Yeye alichoka, na mwishowe kusema, " Mimi ni mwanamke mweusi, nina matako makubwa niache kama nilivyo!" Wanawake wote tungedai heshima kama Whoopi nashani wazungu wangeheshimu matako yetu makubwa.

Tatizo linigine la kuwa na matako makubwa USA ni kupata nguo. Ukienda kununua sketi au gauni uanweza kukuta mbele refu nyuma umepanda. Au unavaa hiyo nguo lakini kwenye hips na matako haipiti! Hii ni kwa sababu nguo imeshonwa kwa ajili ya wazungu wenye matako fleti. Na kupata Jeans inayofiti ni vigumu. Mtu ambaye atatengeneza nguo 'molded for the black woman' atapata wateja kweli kweli, maana tunalilia nguo kama hizo.

Pamoja na yote haya sasa wazungu wameibuka na staili ya kuwa ka ka-butt. Yaani jeans inakuwa na pedi ndani kusudi mtu aonekana ana matako. Loh! Watu hawaridhiki! Sijui tuseme asante J-Lo (mwimbaji Jennfier Lopez) au nini. Kwanza walikuwa wanamcheka J-Lo na matako yake makubwa lakini naona watu wanaanza kuyapenda. Mpaka kuna opresheni sasa ya kuongeza matako. Wacha wafanye haitapendeza kama matako natural tulytozaliwa nayo waafrika.

Sam Okello said...

Very impressive Kiswahili. I wish you were smart enough to use it for something more constructive.

Anonymous said...

Sam Okello said,
"Now to rural electrification. Last time I was in shags, I saw with my own eyes the incredible progress the Rural Electrification Board...or whatever it's called...has made. Deep in the valley that I come from, I saw an electric poll. When I asked how soon power will be available for my retired Mama and Papa, who've been using solar panel, the man in charge told me that it would not be another six months before we're good to go. I was assured that this is the case in most of the country. It seems a little slow, but umeme is on the way, folks. Isn't that something to be proud of? Kenya is on the march!"
Good,really that is good news!But I bet you hail from Kogello and its environs.
I am from the Ukambani area,and yes,what is that that has just popped up in your cranium?HUNGER!!Talk about communities being marginalised!Like the specific area from where I hail,for real,not a single electric post exists.Chaps down there practically use moonlight at dusk!

Kwale said...

Sam Okello,

You've lived in the west that long time and still don't know that word "shag" is offensive?

What progress are you talking about? Talk of culture shock; it took me more than two weeks to get used to Nairobi when I first returned in Dec 2005. Apart from the financial district everywhere else yuks! Even the "trendy" westlands you come across homeless kids begging for a change and people trying to sell you anything and everything including a live puppy or chicken! Is that what you call progress?

Progress to me is when we replace Matatus with underground network (subway) that connects every neighbourhood (estate) in Nairobi. Also lets have a welfare service that feed the jobless and homeless! That's the Kenya I want.

Taabu said...

Kwale,
Are you a socialist aka SPREAD THE WEALTH?

Ivy said...

Sam Okello

Kwale said "You've lived in the west that long time and still don't know that word "shag" is offensive?"

Shag and shags are two different words, even if the the only difference is a single S. Sam Okello i am sure so many of us understood what you meant.....But as they say if you are used to garbage you will always coin everyword to garbage....GIGO

Taabu @6:23....

What changed? I thought you are an Ujamaa fellow (you believe in Nyerere ideologies?) But no problem...Once you get them chakaza to my end who knows i might just bail out Arsene Wenger from all his woes...(matchfixing)

Sam Okello

Development yes.....But at the pace we have moved in it is too slow.....But compared to other african countries, we are way ahead........But again remebering that we were once in the same position with Singapore/Malaysia...It is a sad and sorry state that development in a region is dependent upon the relationship of that region with the president.If the president is your drinking buddy then you really have to celebrate coz maendeleo will definately come.
Where else do you think that kenyans got the notion that we will only eat if our man is sitted on the throne....Sad but unfortunately true.

Joe said...

And the government is set to give each constituency seventeen million shillings for roads upgrade

Have you any idea what it costs to upgrade a kilometer of road to bitumen standard?

Sam Okello said...

kwale,

Where did you come back from? I can guarantee you that had you looked around, you'd have seen some of the decay we have in Kenya at that place. The point is, we are getting better. Let's keeping going in the direction of progress, not of wars and subservience to the West.

Sam Okello said...

Joe,

Hosenstly, I don't. Educate me, man.

kalamari said...

I will say it today; the signs of a failing nation include public jubilation over the raising of an electric pole. Success, on the other hand, includes public scrutiny over the cost of raising that same electric pole. And if you really think about it, giving 17 million shillings to an MP to fix roads is not only a recipe for failure but evidence of a failed Road/Public works ministry. Yaani, the country is dysfunctional enough to cut a check to the thieves in parliament.
When you talk of excitement in the number of TV channels, you remind me of the Mobutu hoodwinking tactics. The Congolese were mainly dancing ndombolo until sunrise while Mobutu was banking state assets in France and Belgium. So now you want us to watch K-24 while our assets are being sold to Libyans?

Joe said...

Sam,

17million will get you about a Kilometer.

Sam Okello said...

Kalamari,

To call all our parliamentarians thieves is to use a huge broom indeed. Let me remind you that there are some decent guys in there who are trying their best to do the right thing. One is Martha Karua. The other is the Nyeri Town MP, a woman of character. Forgive me for forgetting her name. Then there's Muthama and Mwau. And how about Ababu? Iko watu wazuri, bwana!

Anonymous said...

Mzungu Kwale, shag is an offensive word in great britain or whichever european country you live in. In the US, it means something totally different - so chill.
By the way, even New York, London etc have some 'yuk' places where people sell all kinds of goods - so cut that crap of finding it strange that we have hawkers in nbi.

Sam Okello said...

Joe,

A kilometre for 17m? I find that unbelievable. I know little about roads, so I'll ask an ignorant question. Are you telling me that a constituency with hundreds of miles of road needs something in the tune of billions to pave? If that's the case, I've got to wonder about the wisdom of the 17m.

Is the 17m sufficient to bury the potholes though?

Joe said...

Sam,

Mwau? Ababu?

Clearly, you've been away too long.

Anonymous said...

kenya needs a positive outlook and i know that good things are hapening, nothing really to cheer but at least some signs of progress. What we must avoid is saying that its been brought about by so n so that is the language that creats matata...Kibs has been in the driving seat when kenya was sinking to a deep black hole as minister of finance and VP.....the progress we see is a response on the leaders to what we deed to project M01. kenyans can only congratulate themselves and get more involved.....and chase that 17mil.....that cannot build a road anyway, but at least see to it that it does not get wasted.
That said kenya is still pretty much a shit hole, we are still operating under1% of our potential because others will not allow anyone who is not their crony to benefit.......
if we play our cards right kenya can attract alot of investment from africa alone there is such dearth stability in this dark continent that progressive africans locally and in the dispora are frustrated looking for a place to call home, right now many of them are holed up in SA having to deal with bieng called foreigners and treated badly lots of african talent wasted in SA that could be devloping this country if we looked even abit serious.....people are not stupid forget the rabbit in the hat 6% of emelio the real indicator that we have become of age is the wave of migration from all of africa to kenya, india for example is now attracting second generation american indians back and the are loving it......
This strange development of kenya that you have to be expalined, too is rather suspicious. If we prove that we are serious money will flow in this country vibaya.....so far the few have tried like Masiwa the zimbawean of econet has been screwed by local partners and is launching more that 5yrs late, RV railways and transcentury that trap any would be investor then screws them up......with patni as chairman of export import of kenya chamber of cormerce were is hope?........the likes of RAO must be very frustrated trying to keep a finger on every hole in the dyke, created for looting...we are still very much just killing this country slowly and pretending to develop it.

Sir Alex

Anonymous said...

Sam yawa,

who will forget Martha Karua masterminding the electoral theft and hijacking kivuitu for the swearing in of the illegitimate sloth at SH. Next you will b metioning Jirongo - jaribu ingine.

Anonymous said...

Sam
Obviousy you know very little about roads, 17mill dpending on the conditions on the ground my not even get you half a kilometer....roads a damn expensive.....thats why its usually the gove that does it.....that explains where it is easy to see that some perts of keny were neglected for bieng politically incorrect and their residents called lazy......hope yo apprecaite that electric poles and not chaep either.......Gove determines so much of how a region develops, its sheer ignorance to blame people for luck of development....more that 60% is determined by gov..
and lets not get to water..
Sir Alex

Bobie, Bristol said...

I don't think you guys get it.

Clearly, and rather obvious now, the point Sam Okello (Mr I-have-just-been-to-Kenya-recently) wanted to drive home is a little statement, nicely camouflaged like so...

"Truth is, what sober Kenyans have been asking for is that there be a local tribunal, and that it be guided by a Kenyan judge of impeccable integrity nd you know what, we seem to have a consensus now. A local tribunal it is. Does that sound to you like a nation in peril?"

and so;
Sam, I still don't understand why the mere mention of the Hague scares you backside shitless but this is a sacrifice that many of us recognise and understand its necessitude in relation to impunity and are willing to make for sake of that same country that you so Love; Kenya.

I see here that you have now given up on your blatant advocacy for the local tribunal and opted for the long way round but I tell this wont wash with any Kenyans; Home or abroad

Sam Okello said...

Sir Alex,

Thanks for that info. You'll be surprised how little most people know about the roads they travel on daily. It's true that the government controls the pace of development. That's why we have to make the government responsive to the needs of all Kenyans. I get the impression that as poorly as we've done, we've moved the nation to another level. That's what i'm celebrating...and it's what Taabu don't want me to celebrate.

Sam Okello said...

bobbie, bristol,

I have always advocated a local tribunal. That's where things are going. Those who love the Hague must wait to see how Kenya deals with its errant sons and daughters. We can handle this...and are about to prove the naysayers wrong. Watch!

Phil said...

If this is what you call visiting home Same, then I am afraid you have completely failed in conveying the correct picture at home.

You say "Truth is, what sober Kenyans have been asking for is that there be a local tribunal" Wrong Sam, Kenyans are pleading for justice, fairness and equality.

About the Roads you say "There are gaping potholes all over the place." This is a LIE and you know it. The road from Mombasa to Nairobi and on to Nakuru does NOT have any potholes having been recently re-carpeted. You also fail to point out that the Nakuru dual carriage way from Lanet past the Nakuru CBD to Ngata is ALL but complete! The job is on going to Kericho - Kisumu and to the Busia border town. Actually from Nakuru to Kisumu is a fairly good tarred road with no major potholes save for diversions at the Rongai area. One can avoid this by taking the Elburgon Molo road which is also fairly OK.

About the media, the fact is for more than a decade now, Kenya has had about a dozen 24hr TV channels (plus satellite pay TV), tens of FM stations and no less than 5 daily newspapers. Additionally, we have close to 15 million mobile phone users not so bad in terms of per capita and GNI! So if you recently landed from MARS, you can be excused for thinking we are so backward. Some of us are more informed about international current affairs than the so called voteless diasporans who can only but campaign for dual citizenship.

This post and the responses therein perhaps more than any other before it, clearly brings to fore what I have been saying all along. People holding foreign passports reading 5th rate blogs and media sites, then returning to Kumekucha to publish 'authoritative' comments about this country and its destiny, where as infact, they are as clueless as they can get!

Surely, one cannot eat McDonalds double mac's, 1 litre cokes and powdered milk each day for 15 years, and then turn up here to claim to know local politics or the pulse of the nation more than those of us common men who feed on athola, matumbo, mandondo, mlima, osuga or managu and compare notes with oppressed Kenyans each day (and of course these are registered voters, not cyber stalkers!)

Get the drift Sam?

Bobie, Bristol said...

Sam,
Those who love the Hague, and this is point you don't get, understand that clear and absolute justice will never, ever be meted out in Kenya as long as the current list of elite Honchos are in charge.

Yes, one can be convicted and even sent to jail but we all know about a certain Mr Nicholas 'total man' Biwott and others who lived like veritable kings while at Kamiti at one point or another. Worse still, suspect could just disappear 'nicely' like Kabuga and live happily ever after or disappear for 'good' like many who have before in order not to implicate others higher above. In the Hague however, Justice will not only be 'seen' to be done but will be done in deed.

yes we all would like to deal with our own issues locally but this is one necessary pain. Believe mate

Kwale said...

Sam Okello,

The truth of the matter is African countries like Botswana, Namibia, Angola, Guinea Bissau even Zimbabwe have better infrastructure than Kenya.
And the only way to improve our transportation is if we comprise an extensive road network, rail system, subway system and maritime services – that connect Nairobi and the entire Kenyan transportation network.
The subway system called "Metro" or "Underground" is a fast and efficient way of getting people around Nairobi and the suburbs.
Cairo, Egypt have done it!

Quite frankly, there are too many hazards in Kenya to become anywhere near 'perfect'. How about the power cut! Mugging and car hijacking!

e-change said...

Yet another VEILED attempt by "Samo" to attack perceived Western neo-colonialism interference in our local kenyan politics under the guise of tutoring the diaspora in patriotism 101

"Samo" let me ask you- who said kenyans in the diaspora HAWAJIVUNIA KUWA WAKENYA?some of them i'm sure even bought the tee-shirts and the stickers made by Mutua himself!

"Samo" no one is more Kenyan than another- even those in "Minneapolis, Arlington or New York" in the diaspora have their own ideas of what it means to be a Kenyan and don't you worry they definitely count the many blessings we have as a nation.

Just because we do not like the pitch, tone and rhetoric of the "lively debate" our leaders, political parties and Coalition government is engaged in DOES NOT mean we hate our Country and wish to see Western imperialism take over our "sovereign" state

"Samo" just because tunashtakia zaidi juu ya mateso za watu wetu nyumbani DOES NOT mean we are not proud to be Kenyan.ever heard of POSITIVE criticism?

"Samo" human beings are not DUMB we have the power to hold more than 2 opposing views at the same time

sincerely,
E-CHANGE

Matako Ya Sam Okello said...
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Anonymous said...

Belatedly kibs went to rwanda and now rwandans can work in kenya without work permits, something the rwandese deed for us like two yrs ago......you would think rwandese would 'protect' jobs for their citizens but they thought beyond that......if you wan to move quiclky in this mordern times you have no luxury of fake protectionism, The fact that Tzs are turning their noses from us yet killing themselves to get to countris like SA and bostwana, where they are hated,is a sign that we have eons to go before we can even start talking about a country....another lost opportunity is Sudan....only certain cronies of so ans so were given the inside track on how to benefit fron the south sudan autonomy........greed a myopia is what is killing us.


Part of the solution is to make kenya the first african country where all afrcans in the disapora can come work live and buy property without the nosense of visa, and work permits...make these new kenyans accessible to all, thats why we need majimbo so each jimbo can engage without interfearance, because currently there are some crooks pretending to be that gate keepers of investment in kenya and all they are doing is stifling growth.....
making it difficult for 'foreigners' to come and invest....we are way to backwards to wait for the money that gov collects to finance grwoth we need a lot of outside injection of cash like yesterday, and it need not be western, there is enough money in the african diaspora, so many people looking for a place to put their money,,,....kenya has an educated populace and friendly people, if our leaders can get the snouts out of the cookie jar and focus on this kind of issues we could be doing splendid in a very short time........all manner of professionals are knocking on doors of western nations to work as cooks, some rotting in SA as asylum seekers. we could even grant this guys kenya citizenship one time and send them to teach at some of our many new versities that clearly lucking in competent stuff......
We could buld the harverd of african.....there is so much potential ist not funnny that its going to waste.....one more place we can tap into is all that somali wealth in eastliegh, if this guys felt that this country was goping palces they could invest but they are forced to hold that money close to thier chest.....my aergument is very simple when kenya starts doing well nobody will have to say so......

Sir Alex

Taabu said...

Sam,
You must be smilling fro ear to ear for putting bloggers where you intended. You are one smart alec who will cobble any kite to fly your fancy. Now that RELIGION and plastic PATRIOTISM didn't fly you come bashing international commnunity who saved Kenya for you to vomit on.

Your template must be leaking like a sieve. You make Moi your benchmark oblivious of the fact that the guys from Sacho ruined Kenya so mush so that Kenya could not go down any further. Any movement thereof had to be up and you are here parroting progress.

Then like an aspiring politician you bandy 17m as such big money for roads. When corned you convinently feign ignorance. Why not google for info before you post so that you do from a point of knowledge and not street specualtion?

You picture of Kenya surely is that of your days in seco (?). No wonder the then Kipipiri/Mwangi Githiomi Kanu gimmicks are your models in expecting umeme at your village.

You have caged us in soothing your ego as we discuss nonentities that poorly mask and fertilize IMPUNITY. You dread Hague and that is the only cure for cance IMPUNITY. All else is pretence clothed in pseudo patriotism and hollow sovereignity.

Cut the chase and stop believing that we have to go the way of American civil war to measure up to history. Raise the bar Sam and stop scape-goating by insulting DIASPORA which you are yourself. No wonder some Kenyans give us bad press with their illegal status abroad and cruelty while working in care homes.

Anonymous said...

Pls forgive my terrible spelling, I'm using this cyber cafes and running out of time no stime to spell check but I hope yall get the drift of my message.

Sir Alex

Anonymous said...

There have been claims made here that the who's who of this country pay attention to KK my plea is that you and anyone who has connection to this so called Who's who to realise that kenya stands at a very unique place at this point in history.....most of africa is still very 'foolish' letting this sea of talent and money to swim aimlessly all over the world in search of a place to use and apply their energies...

The time to act is now, before countries like zimbabwe wake up and the competition for skils becomes ruthless and expensive, Now is the time to mop up this talent and employ them, and they have money believe you me, stolen or otherwise that can find a home in kenya.....many nigerians for example find lagos too crowded, this could be their new home.....many Ugandans ae gritting theit teeth staying there hoping against hope with kaguta at the helm, look at grand regency it looked like a redundant idea at first, we had hilton and serana what seemed lucking was a slighthly lower class hotel but look know nairobi could still use another two GRs and 'libians' will be linning up to buy.....

I always marvel at dubai there is nothing there, they just created hype and people bought into it, just like that, kenyans can do better....but we must create the right environment and Open up......the main reason there is no progress in this country is three words FALSE GATE KEEPERS!!!! there are people pretending that they own kenya and are giving others their myopic view of the potential of kenya...and not letting ordinary kenyas access to them....and
useless ambassadors.....this guys should be the fist to be given performance contracts limited to 6months...specifically to look for opportunities for all kenyans in other countries and not only for their family and friends.....what are kenyan embassies for? Hosting pointless parties? You will be suprised that there goods and services n tecnology in zambia or india or japan,for example that can be adapted in kenya to solve problems and creat business opportunities and job creation, but we will never know because our ambassadors are busy wining and dining.....ad nauseum.
lets stop appointing cronies in these jobs and appoint people with a track record of feeling the pulse of the common man...i really get irritaed by these so called carreer diplomats bulshit.....what we need are results not fixing the right peice in a jigsaw puzzle......and saying he is the 'right' man woma for the job..because he has been a diplomat for so and so yrs...ya but what has she/he done lately?...We need people like Sarak who inspite coming from Harvad mingled with commoners.....

Sir Alex

e-change said...

"Samo" it seems like you were so bedazzled by the superficial trappings of the CREDIT LIFESTYLE in your previous adopted Western home that upon return from self-imposed economic exile you now wish to export the same template of credit nouveau riche and apply it in the Kenyan Contex at the same time LOATHING the rule of law the West was FORCED to uphold in order to create the economic safehavens they are this day

your love/hate relationship with the west not withstanding, please do not insult our intelligence with your double standards-this will get you NOWHERE.do you know that the average Kenyan in the village is lightyears smarter than our polticians and is not fooled by ERECTING electricity pole(singular) once a yearX10 we know the difference between UGATUZI and UCHAGUZI, between UMEME and MOTO

"Samo" its only in your imagination that we don't need the west to "interfere" in our internal politics. the last time i checked Kenya is here today because a non-Kenyan (Annan) stepped in and "meddled" in our affairs

And who said development takes 50 years? last i checked the village of Kogello got electricity and 17 million kilometers of road OVERNIGHT

rhyymemaster said...

Sam,
I still don't get what the crap you try to write about. You will do so many of us a favor if you just shut up.

Your comment on the Swahili ladies ordeal is very rude. It goes along way to show how arrogant you are. Serves you well by staying away from Kenya.

Some people will never learn.

UrXlnc said...

sam

regarding the roads check out
this tender approx 100km approx $120m comprises varying degree of complexity, new and rehab from 2 up to 10 lanes in some sections

as sir alex and joe point out above, depending on the requirements (and the immediate needs of the MP), 17m is an interesting amount. it means something different for an MP in an urban setting with some existing (even if dilapidated) structure and almost meaningless to an MP where there is no road network to talk of

incidentally there are only very few, a handful i would say who "look down" on the motherland whether in diaspora or at home. many are trying their best to ensure the leaders, effectively utilize the resources available without shortchanging the contributors (tax payers) through looting/ embezzling, gluttony, biased or skewed resource allocations etc and that they are promoting national cohesion and embracing cultural diversity rather than the ethnic hegemony or bigotry which is leading to the current inter-ethnic acrimony guised as political/ideological differences.

UrXlnc said...

needless to add that smaller feeder-roads with nominal traffic would cost far much less than inter-city roads carrying large axle-load vehicular traffic

Kimi Raikkonen said...

The MPs could do something with the 17 million if they applied Cabro paving from Bamburi cement company and which is much cheaper than Tarmac.

Kimi Raikkonen said...

On another note, Kimunya has been cleared off wrongdoing over the Grand Regency sale saga after being found not guilty by the Cockar commission and after Orengo admitted to accusing him wrongly of corruption. We said it here that he would be back and that Orengo, Namwamba and the parliamentary committee of Okemo were motivated more by an ODM orchestrated campaign of malice instigated by Raila. Well, the attempt failed as evil can never win over right.

UrXlnc said...

kimi

good call. concrete vs asphalt is an argument i recall in the mid 80's, am not surprised to google and find it still elicits interesting reactions

http://www.wunderkraut.com/index.php/archives/2008/05/13/concrete-vs-asphalt/

with our current trend of inability to regularly maintain our infrastructure, can imagine the horrors of matatus flying over exposed wire meshes after a few years. but maybe things are changing for the better.

meanwhile on a side note

http://www.eastandard.net/InsidePage.php?id=1144000110&cid=4&

does anyone have/can share the blueprint of this plan to "improve" nairobi? i hope we are at least past the era of a magician pulling rabbits out of a hat and ministers are tabling documents in advance for discussion/scrutiny by the public before embarking on some of these interesting grand plans.

we could probably cut down that budget considerably by shutting down multi-tentacled city hall ogre and replacing it with a body that creates, regulates, abides with and enforces appropriate urban building/construction standards instead of this bail out when things get monstrously out of hand

M-Pesa said...

Watu waache porojo...on my way to work I switched from radio station to the next and what I heard left me astounded...truth be told. While most vernacular stations like Mulembe FM, Musyi Fm, Ramogi FM, citizen FM and Kass FM had lots of porojo politics like....blah blah...ODM...blah...Waki...Blah Kimunya... blah... kalonzo, Kameme FM was aggresively on...blah...Equity bank....blah...shares...blah....fertilizers....blah loans....blah...You get my drift?

b-carotene said...

m-pesa: how intriguing! thanks for sharing.

Meanwhile, following on Kimi's point, Icame across this little note linked below in one of the blogs. I include the last couple of paragraphs, which i think are most instructive of our political culture:

THE IMPENDING RETURN OF AMOS KIMUNYA
Finally, and now that we are all seized up in the spirit of putting an end to impunity, and saving taxpayer money, the mendacious Minister for Lands, who put the nation through this trying period, and cost the taxpayer vast amounts of money, must be held to account. James Orengo is demonstrably no fool, and neither was he ignorant of the facts of this case. His accusation before parliament, the media and the public at large has been very expensive for Kenya.

It has made a mockery of, and diminished the effect of future whistle-blowing efforts. Worst of all it has demonstrated, regrettably for Parliament and a legal practitioner of Orengo's stature, a preference for witch-hunts and mob justice over investigation and due process. The knife that cut Kimunya out in the name of defending the taxpayer, can, or at least ought, to cut both ways.


http://www.kenyaimagine.com/23-Fresh-Content/Politics-and-Governance/The-Impending-Return-of-Amos-Kimunya.html

Kwale said...

Taabu,

Am not talking about socialism here. Taking care of people who're underprivileged in our society have nothing to do with socialism. It is a duty of any civilised society to look into the needs of others who are not well off. All Western govt both socialist and capitalist have a welfare system where the unemployed and the homeless get help from the state. That's what Kenya need!


@Anon 7.18,

You tell me where in the New York, London or anywhere else in developed world people hawk live chickens in the street? It is against health and safety regulations for anyone to sell food in the streets unless you're fully licensed, and it's also against animal welfare rights to sell chicken or a puppy in the street. If you need a puppy you got to the pet shop, if you want a chicken you go to supermarket. That's the point I was trying to make.


How do explain this pastime of Kenyans of picking noses, and staring at people like they are from MARS? And the body odour!(sorry)

Taabu said...

Kwale,
Thanks for the clarification. you know JOE THE PLUMBER needs to know whether you intend to SPREAD THE WEALTH or create it.

@Kimi/B-Carotene,
We have been all here fighting IMPUNITY. Kimunya may have been cleared but why DID HE LIE ON CAMERA to Kenyans? Or does the end justify the means? Impunity takes various shapes including OFFICIAL DECEPTION. And politics aside, what do you both good people make of COURT OF PUBLIC OPINION. Over to you folks.

Kuri Kuri said...

It's an insult to spell someone's name incorrectly. Like you did Louise Otieno's and then had the arrogance to ask whether that is the spelling. check it out!! Kwani huko diaspora they don't have this name

Joe said...

Kwale says...

How do explain this pastime of Kenyans of picking noses, and staring at people like they are from MARS? And the body odour!(sorry)

We are now down to this? Please...

Anonymous said...

kimi
Please leave road contruction to the exparts and stick top driving.........so many factors determine a road construction....the tarmac or concrete or carbro works is just the skin the real manenos is what lies underneath all that...tarmac is just for draining water and providing a surface for trys and road markings easthetics etc..teh streanght of the road is in the foundation......yada yada yada.....thats just the tip of the iceberg....
'Leaders’ cartel blamed for maize shortage ' ....todays nation...just what I said yesterday our so called leader's myopic scope is the number one reason we are heading nowhere very fast....we are like dogs eating their own vomit.....

Sir Alex

Kimi Raikkonen said...

Taabu, even the court of public opinion must be informed by facts and not malice or spite. If you listen to talk shows like Citizen's Jambo Kenya, a good number of ordinary Kenyans are actually supporting Kimunya's return and this opinion cuts across ethnic/political affiliation, primarily because Kenyans are now beginning to see with clear lenses the MPs and politicians who purport to speak for them for who they really are. They had respect for Orengo only for him to publicly admit Kimunya did nothing wrong. The same MPs(louts and layabouts) who persecuted Kimunya(Khalwale, Namwamba) have refused to pay taxes on money they DO NOT WORK FOR. To put the icing on the cake, MPs and crooked businessmen are engaged in a conspiracy to starve Kenyans by occassioning the rise in the price of Unga, our daily staple, to 120/= per kg! These useless conmen have been making between 12.5 and 25m/week on every sale of 25000 bags of maize for the last four weeks, yet Ruto wants to pretend he has no knowledge of it.
It was gratifying to hear those Kenyans on Jambo Kenya calling for Kimunya's return so that he can tax the mindless leeches. Kenya still has hope yet.

Taabu said...

Kimi,
I get you loud and clear. However, the swali remains: DID KIMUNYA LIE (GR not sold) and if so WHY? To me IMPUNITY is exactly that. Let Orengo carry his cross - no security in numbers, ama?

Kimi Raikkonen said...

Taabu, Fact No 1: Kimunya said that GR had been sold for 2.9b, Orengo claimed that the Hotel should have been sold for 7b.
Fact No 2: Kimunya said that Orengo's 7b figure was unrealistic and that 2.9b was a very good price. Orengo then went ahead to claim that the Hotel had in fact been sold for 1.8b, NOT 2.9b. Parliament, without evidence or proof, concurs!
Fact No 3: CBK confirms that the price was 1.8b for the land and 1.1b for the assets inside the hotel, total price 2.9b.
Fact No 4: A valuation by 4 independent local valuers concludes that the hotel is worth a maximum of 1.7b and a minimum of 1.4b all inclusive.
Fact No 5: The Libyan buyers confirm that they bought the hotel for 2.9b.
Fact No 6: Parliament instigated a witch hunt through the Okemo committee and Khalwale and his sidekick Namwamba based on hearsay and false evidence.
Fact No 7: Kimunya exonerated by Cockar committee.

Which lies are you alluding to with reference to Kimunya? Please advise.

b-carotene said...

Taabu:
True, the court of public opinion should theoretically reign supreme, but certainly unlikely to in a fractious society where information is not only lacking but largely false (look at orengo!) and where the watchdog has abdicated its role, it instead adorning the cloak of demagoguery.

True, Taabu, by confessing to the Regency's sale, Kimunya did demonstrate that his earlier denial of the sale was a lie, and we all moved on to the questions of the legality and valuation of the sale.

Sure, we can go back and have him disciplined (or mob justiced?) for telling this lie. In fact, we can also nail him on another lie: that he'd rather die than resign. That makes two, for even greater power!

But you're right on the mark, telling lies to the public and getting away with it is impunity and Kimunya's can serve another round as a test case.

Anonymous said...

Sam Okello, a US-based Kenyan author was arrested last week by federal authorities in Chicago. According to a reliable source, Okello, who also worked in nursing homes around Indiana, is facing Immigration and criminal charges.

We have not been able to independently confirm what he has been charged with so we will withold the information we have until we are able to confirm it. We will update this story as the details emerge.

Okello is married with two sons and has authored several non-fiction books based on his experiences here in the US.

Taabu said...

Kimi,
Either you are selective or in denial. See B-Carotene's response just after you. You engage in the theatrics at Cockar commission while conviniently ignoring Kimunya's CAMERA DECLARTION that NO SALE TOOK PLACE. He may be innocent as per Cockar's terms but camera's don't lie, do they?

I don't dispute your enumerated points but just cast aside the blinkers and see through the genesis, will you please.

Impunity mutates. Even Orengo may find the hitherto reputation he built over years flowing down the sewer, shauri yake, we hold brief for no scoundrels. Over to you Kimi please don't let your conscience down, will you?

Asali ya nyuki said...

Sam,

When did you get out of jail? Tell us why you were arrested. Do you have this latest update on Kenya because you jumped bail and ran away?

Anonymous said...

What is this misconception that kenya is 45 years , according to history kenya was a republic as soon as the colonial government set shop , didnt kenyatta take over from a government structure under the same constition that we still use to this day , so do not fool yourselves that you are young kenya is 100years old and you should have more to show for it.If we could all reduce our age by half couldnt we all be proud of our small achievements and eager for our "years' to come?

Kimi Raikkonen said...

Taabu, if you put it that way, then i agree with you. Impunity should not be tolerated whatsoever regardless of the perp, and Kimunya is no exception. If he did wrong and did in fact lie, then he should pay the consequences. So should the likes of Khalwale, Okemo and Namwamba who used public institutions to pursue personal vendettas because Kimunya dared to propose MPs should pay taxes, and that is just one reason for their despicable behaviour.
I think the public should start with and find a mechanism for asserting themselves over the MPs who have now refused to pay taxes. Might we perhaps consider public mobilisation to boycott paying taxes altogether and even going further and putting a cap on MP salaries? These layabouts work the least but get paid the most.
If the public refuses to pay tax, maybe it will jolt Kibaki and Raila out of their slumber because to speak the truth, these two ARE NOT asserting their authority over the MPs they purport to control.

b-carotene said...

What Kenya needs is a social movement. That does not mean ODM, which is neither a movement nor a political party but some tribal killing machine manned by tribal chiefs.

But a social movement that transcends tribe, that is NONVIOLENT (so no throwing stones folks, sorry) and is very focused. If one ignores the evil, uncivil society, which is itself thoroughly compromised and increasingly impotent, I think its possible to pull this through.

Pity Atwoli is the way he is--great opportunity as a nucleus. But that gold chain, thaaat gold chain--how can anyone think with a yoke around their neck?

Taabu said...

Kimi/B-Carotene,
Apt takes from you folks. But we are a caged generation. Look at Thailand. They have blocked the international airport since jana and not shooting. Try that in Kenya and you will have invited GSU to split your skull. Our institutions are all premised on RAW POWER and intimidation and controlled by ONE PERSON at whose whims we live. Try anything out of the box and you are dead meat. So what next?

Anonymous said...

This Okelo guy is ready to be president. He has my vote.

Kimi Raikkonen said...

Spot on B-carotene, you have the finger right on it. Atwoli could have stepped in right now but it is a pity the fellow does not recognize that this is his moment to make history. "There come a time..." and all that. If only another trade unionist like Mboya were possible.
Taabu, the problem in Kenya is that you never know whom to trust, so even if you have good ideas on mobilizing people towards an objective like non-violent refusal to pay taxes, some of your colleagues may be reporting your most secret activities to the NSIS, perhaps even on real time basis.
The best strategy is probably to just come out and tell people to stop paying taxes and let the chips fall where they may. I doubt that you would be arrested if you went on TV and called for a boycott and explained how to go about it. Just make sure your strategy is massive and has the support of the working middle class in addition to the poor. Obviously, such an undertaking will require a good amount of money, and that is where a potentially hamstringing bottleneck crops up.

Taabu said...

Kimi,
True, but do you think a modern Mboya is possible? Maybe even Mboya would throw in the towel of primitivity werehe to RESSURECT. I am not sure Kenyans wouldnot readily label him. And while at it the present Kenya may not be very amenable life during Mboya's time.

BOTTOM LINE: Kenya is crying for a TRUE LEADER/any leader to rally behind. Anybody (KWALE?).

Anonymous said...

true leader? in a primitive culture like ours, i don't know, Tabuu. Kenya needs a patriot. the man is Okelo.

UrXlnc said...

kimi, taabu and others

on the issue of MPs taxes

so far we've heard that kbc went off air, and that there was unanimous agreement not to tax the MPs.

does anyone have a copy of the hansard for that day so that we can know who voted? if its not yet published can we mark the date so that we can revisit this discussion later and find out how they voted?

Anonymous said...

Kenya is doing o.k. under Kibaki, but we need to get better politicians. We need to do away with tribalism and our "stupid" politics of violence on innocent citizens. The Waki report should be implemented fast to end impunity and teach our fellow Kenyans (in the Valley) to be careful next time.

sereast said...

ha ha ha

Anonymous said...

This is the type of write up that asks and begs Kenyans to embrace the impunity that has lead us down to this path. Did it not occur to the author that Kenya was at par with Singapore and Malaysia at Independence economically? And 45 years later, Singapore and Malaysia have left Kenya miles behind thanks to the culture of impunity that this writer now unashamedly asks us to embrace on the pretext that a few token developments here and there which are mean't to hoodwink wananchi are the mark of real development. Kenya is not doing bad, but we are lagging behind and true Kenyans will never be silenced from pointing out what ails us!

Anonymous said...

Sickening...Kenyans in the diaspora, Masters degrees holders, mostly washing ass and wiping shit and they now have an opinion on Kenya? c'mon, get some pride and go back home and develop the country. Otherwise shut up you ass wiping smelly second hand citizens!!

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