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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Kumekucha’s Unorthodox Methods

How I get my hot information

In my previous post about Diasporans being Kenya’s top foreign exchange earner, one of our oldest and most loved contributors, Phil challenged the information contained in my post. This is quite in order and indeed the very nature of such a forum as this one is to discuss, debate and even challenge information contained here. That is in fact what Kumekucha thrives on.

I have however decided to take this opportunity to clarify a few things for newer readers of the most popular political blog on Kenya. But before I do so let me just clear the air for Phil and all those who doubt the accuracy of my information on the post on Diasporans.

Officially Diasporans were the highest forex earner for Kenya last year and accounted for a whooping Kshs 70 billion. The World Bank estimates that unofficial remittances by Diasporans are about 50 per cent of the official figure which would bring the figure to 105 billion. Read this article for full details.

The truth is that the government has never taken this amazing source of forex earnings seriously until very recently. Indeed I got my information long before the whole thing became official and the truth is that this is the real reason behind the amazing strength of the Kenyan shilling against foreign currencies for a number of years now.

You see unlike many other blogs, I DO NOT read the daily newspapers and then recycle the information here. I usually do my own research. The sources I use and insiders give me the information in strict confidence and therefore I can never name my sources. Indeed many times I write in sentences to mask my possible sources of information because my number one rule is to protect my sources at all costs.

This policy has served me well over the years and that is something any reader can verify by going through old posts. You will notice that generally Kumekucha talks about things that become breaking news many months later.

Of course there is a weakness with this policy and the resultant writing style as far as journalism rules are concerned because a casual reader will think that I am picking up the information from the air or creating it in my mind because I hardly ever attribute information to sources.

Well now you know better.

Once again I thank all you patriotic Kenyans who have trusted me with extremely sensitive information some of which I have even been unable to publish here (hence the creation of my raw notes). A Big Thank you, guys. Kenya owes you.

31 comments:

Sam Okello said...

Chris,

After years of Kumekucha proving itself to be a key player in shaping political thought in Kenya and beyond, nobody can doubt the authenticity and power of this blog. Whether it's breaking news, or news analysis, which Phil excels in, or plain old political punditry, many Kenyans are beginning to realize that KK is the place to go.

Beyond that, Chris, Kumekucha must now lead the way in fully democratising Kenya. At a time when many freedoms in Kenya, and people's livelihoods are threatened by reckless politicians, we must now be ready to educate Kenyans on what an alternative approach to politics would make Kenya look like.

I've been critical of the Kenyan electorate until I came and saw the grinding poverty that makes some people be gullible to inducements from the scoundrels that pretend to reperesent them. This blatant conning from the MPs will end.

I believe that Kumekucha's moment to lead in the full and final liberation of Kenya has come. To rely on the ODM, PNU, ODM-K and the other string of relics will not take us anywhere. These guys can't change their thinking. What they've perfected is the politics of handouts and thuggery. They can't even conduct party polls without ngumis and stones.

This shall end.

Yes we can!

Phil said...

Come off it Chris. This did not need an entirely new post. I thought we could go on with what you started.

I just wonder why you provide a link to the already discredited Kenyan press to prove your argument and expect us to take that as gospel truth? Why not quote the latest data from The Treasury or Central Bureau of Statistics who release periodic economic surveys?

You will note that my 'challenge' was not the value of the remittances from abroad (ie. US$1b - that you place emphasis on) but how much of it is actually reaching the exchequer of Kenya, if any at all. Your headline of a coming revolution ostensibly driven by the diaspora is wrong. Infact, what would the local UN agency (UNON) say if we start attributing a revolution to the funds one contributes to the Kenyan economy? The mere presence of the UN agency in Nairobi contributes millions of dollars to the Kenya economy that would easily rival that you claim diasporans indirectly contribute tot he exchequer. And this does not include technical support, but just money their staff spend locally and services they outsource to local companies.

I also wonder if you have personally done research with Western Union and Moneygram and established who are the actual majority recipients of funds coming in through their networks. Even a casual visit at Postbank Kenyatta Avenue will indeed prove that most of those receiving these funds are Southern Sudanese, Ethiopians, Somalis and other foreigners resident in Kenya. I have a friend who works for Western Union and in my job as a social worker in Kibera I do receive money on behalf of a good number of these refugees who do not have sufficient identification documents. He estimates more than 90% of his customers are somalis and southern sudanese.

According to the article you led us to, government is sending a delegation to explore the role of the Diaspora in the country’s development. ...All I can say is, the Kenya government is going for a joy ride because most of that money is what Ethiopians and Somalis have invested in Eastleigh (Garissa Lodge) and the multistorey buildings you see in the same area....A visit to Juba in Southern Sudan will also reveal the rapid developments taking place there....these are the tangible investments disaporan Kenyans cannot show us.

I will tell you Chris that even Kenyan government own figures confirm that Agriculture, Manufacturing, Transport and Communication, and Trade remain the biggest contributors to WEALTH in Kenya. Not remittances by diasporans. Prove me wrong.

Sam Okello said...

Phil,

Why are you so determined to discredit the Diaspora? We gave Raila thousands of dollars when we thought he had a vision for Kenya. You liked the Diaspora then. But to see my fellow Kenyans clobbered on Jamhuri day when he was seated there looking? That was too much. And so if one of your problems is that our revolution may sweep away relics like Raila aside, that is one we can't help.

Kenya shall be free!

Anonymous said...

Kwani what does Raila owe any of you? The guy has fought his battle. He is now like 62 years old and you still want him to fight for you? Why cant you say the others (Ababu, Ruto et al) were seated there also? Raila, Raila, Raila, Why didnt you vote for him in 2007? Give the guy a break, at least he deserves it!!!

Anonymous said...

Guys,

I think Phil needs help.

I have been a regular here since August 2005 when the first comments started. This is not the fearless Phil I knew then. Something is wrong.

Chris said...

Ok let me ask the question directly.

I address you all my beloved friends who are supporters of Raila for 2012. Including Phil, the guy who supported me and this blog when none of you others even knew it existed.

Do you guys honestly believe that at 67 (about the same age Kibaki took over) Raila in 2012 can lead Kenya to the new Jerusalem? And bring real change?

With Fred Gumo and William Ole Ntimama, Henry Kosgei etc. in close tow?

I am all ears.

-Kumekucha-

Anonymous said...

I agree with Anon 12/17/08 3:13 AM,

"Kwani what does Raila owe any of you? The guy has fought his battle. He is now like 62 years old and you still want him to fight for you?"

He has done more that his fair share in a very hostile environment. Matiba tried, where is he now? Finished! Rubia tried, where is he now? Finished!

Most Kenyans have done absolutely nothing tangible to fight for change ... they still want Raila to fight for them "everywhere" as they sit on their sofa's at home drinking Alvaro/Novida.

Raila, Raila, Raila ... you people need a lot of help.

What have you Railaphobics done in contributing to the struggle for change? Absolutely Nothing. You sleep, wake up, eat and drink Raila hatred.... as you support the expired dinosaurs of the status quo such as Michuki, Kibaki e.t.c

E-CHANGE said...

Bw.Phil
remitting $1billion is in itself an noteworthy investment whether or not it translates into tangible ventures e.g. property, stock etc

everybody has a role to play don't they? the diasporans job is to remitt- and that they do BIG TIME. now, the exchequer's job is to ensure any money that enters the kenyan economy can be taxed or charged interest or whatever else is necessary so that capital is injected into the economy

ok Bw.Phil,what if the diasporans were to start a bank in kenya(DBK-Diaspora Bank Of Kenya?)they already have a close association to many bank's and money transfer service bodies who consider their influence one of the key reasons our currency is strong against international ones and whose bottom lines and profit margins are better off for the channelled funds that don't reach the exchequer

i think you would agree that a diasporan bank(i am sure this reckless penny-pinching GCgovernment would block its formation) would easily channel funds for diverse programmes through their organization and hands down their management and skills would beat even our local money lenders/keepers-that is the influence the diaspora could have if they all weren't so busy fighting one another

Bw. Phil I say if the exchequer is not benefitting off of U$1billion hiyo ni shauri yake it does not diminish the influence diasporans have in the countries economy

Anonymous said...

you are so predictable and i hate to remind you that there is nothing original in what you have always posted on this site.

btw, recall the kenyan dude who always posts articles from various french, german, portuguese, israeli and russian networks, newspapers, magazines and books, without giving credit where it is due.

his excuse! ati protecting his "confidential sources" as well as "well connected people in high places" - my foot.

let me just say the cyberspace has turned the world into a very small village.

ride on with your 'originality' and be kind enough to let readers know in advance what is going to happen in kenya in the next three months and beyond.

don't just wait to ride other people cocktails and bandwagons after the fact.

pr.... me wrong next time (2009)around.

E-CHANGE said...

"Chriso"
you asked "Do you guys honestly believe that at 67 (about the same age Kibaki took over) Raila in 2012 can lead Kenya to the new Jerusalem? And bring real change?"

YES HE CAN!
you were the one who said old DOGS can learn NEW TRICKS and you told us you have a dog that holidays in MWAPWANI, ZANZIBAR (as opposed to brazil with beach netball girls)
doesn't your dog also speak english?

Phil said...

This is interesting.

So this was about Raila all along? And 2012? well well. I am also all ears.

To Sam, Chris plus other Obama inspired revolutionist wannabe's..... lets hope this will not end like the secret candidate you guys had for 2007 and that whose image never reached the ballot paper. For ODM, 2007 is water under the bridge and 2012 is a not even featuring on radar..

However, the party's current agenda as at now is to strengthen the party. The other agenda is premised on people driven CONSTITUTIONAL REFORM along the lines of Koffi Anan AGENDA 4. We are up against people who want the status quo (Kalonzo, Uhuru, et al), and those who fear change (Moi, Kibaki, etc).

Those like Okello who think their time has come are welcome to join the race.

Anonymous said...

Chris,

Age should not be an issue. What matters most is one's attitudes, values, vision and state of mind.

I am sorry to say this as a relatively young Kenyan of 30 years old that I have come across so many Kenyan young people in their twenties and thirties who are highly educated with professional degrees and other "hot" qualifications from here and first class universities abroad but when you listen to them, you get very dissapointed. The mentality is no different from their wazee's.

Something big and very difficult to achieve needs to happen: A TOTAL CHANGE OF OUR COLLECTIVE PRIMITIVE MINDSET.

When we stop harrasing our politicians/leaders for handouts and instead make it our priority to identify and elect people with positive attitudes, values, vision and integrity and then go further, like happened with Obama's supporters, instead of demanding bribes from politicians so that we can vote for them,we instead raise money from amongst ourselves towards their campaign funds. That will be the dawning of a new era.

We sadly still have a long way to

Kimi Raikkonen said...

Why is Equity Bank proposing to open a Branch in Atlanta, Georgia? Is it not because it has done its due diligence and research and seen a business opportunity from the thousands of Kenyans living there?

Anonymous said...

Oops, Chris,

I forgot. Si you know that small city/state called Singapore? Who played a big part in transforming it into what it is now? A certain Mzee called Li Kuan Yu. This was a progressive Mzee, nothing like our wazee's here and the young people who still think like them.

Taabu said...

Chris,
So DIASPORA is here hogging all the limelight. Well, hold your breathe. The know-it-alls are no different from those they left behind. The body may be physically abroad but the MINNSET remain set in the village stereotype.

Just like the urbane Kenyan often thinks lowly of the villager, the DIASPORIAN believes he is the best thing that ever happened to Kenya after Uhuru. What a pile of collective hogwash!

All the glee and bravado from the diaspora is typical Kenyan mindset of translating wealth into political power. As for those foaming at the mouth about CHANGE, well the path is beaten and you are welcome to take the road only that be ready to provide your back for the filthy flies to patch on.

@Sam said:
...Phil if one of your problems is that our revolution may sweep away relics like Raila aside, that is one we can't help.

Sam not too fast and don't be JUDGEMENTAL. Enthusiasm is is one thing and often bravado in disguise. Trust me the candle will soon stay with no light after the ragging winds extinguish it.

Obama the man did it from within and we must stop cheating ourseleves that we can successfully EDIT his strategy and play it in Kenya. You see Bush ducked a shoe missile and the thrower was not SHOT, na sisi with just heckling? The comparison and inspiration is founded but based on the wrong premise.

Dreams just like miracles are free. The diaspora are just being clever by half but remaining true DECEPTIVE Kenyans. Indulge folks.

Imenti North said...

SAM OKELLO 2012 BELONGS TO YOU


ODM and PNU have nothing to offer. I have left ODM-K and other foolish parties because they are inconsequential.Even Narc-Kenya, upuzi mutupu!

Now, we have to look at 2012 seriously. This will be the first election without violence, thanks to justice Waki, it will also be the first election that coincides with USA. USA Will be re-electing Obama for a second term, how about Kenya?

yesterday, a man called Paul proposed Sam Okello, a grassroot activist, to spearhead this change that we need. I thought it was a joke but I took time to think about it and I think he is right.
2012 BELONGS TO SAM OKELLO!
One thing he left is that just like Obama, Sam Okello is a community activist, ready to bring about real change, change we can believe in.

Raila is washed up, and so are his cronies; Ntimama, Kosgei etc. Those who do not end up in the Hague (mmh, Ruto?) will be too old to bring about real change!.

In 2007, Obama (Sam Okello?) took a powerful democratic family, the Clintons (The Odingas?, the Kenyattas?, the Mudavadis?) and powered by the people, he was able to defeat the clintons.

This can happen. Sam Okello, start putting your network, fundraise, we will support Change.

SAM OKELLO, 2012 BELONGS TO YOU!

Kwale said...

I love the New SAM OKELLO!! (The real one!) That's the way to go my brother, Go go !!!

PS: When Raila Odinga visited London, summer of this year (July), he paid tribute to Kenyans in Diaspora and touched many issues, and as a reward to Diasporian contribution to Kenya's economy, he promised FREE STAMP DUTY for anyone in Diaspora buying a new property in Kenya among many other things.
So why would your PM want to waste his time meeting "voteless Kenyans" in London?

Sayra said...

Chris,

Real Change

Nothing lasts forever, and things must change for the better or for the worse. It requires a lot of effort for things to change in the direction that you want. And changing things for the better requires much more than just the desire and excitement for change.

In order to make success ours having the knowledge of things and what is happening is not enough, one must above all know oneself. And we also have to be practical and stop judging by appearances and drawing conclusions from passing impressions.

The behavior of the MPs in the past few days may have woken up some people, but let this not be just an artificial light upon the picture that we must courageously look, see and understand ... a picture that more often than not will make you feel like crying, but one that will make you want to act immediately.

Things done out of excitement die quick deaths when the storm signals ... and when it hits you will even forget what you were doing in the 1st place. We have to be REAL to make permanent lasting change.

Kenya ni yetu sio ya ma-dogi.

Sam Okello said...

Imenti North,

The journey to liberate Kenya is now underway. What started on Friday, the 12th will not end until we have in the State House a Kenya who does not come from the money background that has kept our nation in perpetual poverty and divisions. The time to make Kenya move as one has come.

We will lead the nation in rejecting the powerful families and money cartels that have kept many Kenyans from having a share of the national treasure our nation has in abundance.

The politics of handouts must now end. We want forcefully introduce to Kenya a people-powered campaign and an issue-driven democarcy. Kenyans are ready for this kind of change.

It will be tough, but it must be done.

Yes we can!

Imenti North said...

SAM OKELLO for 2012

I think you have the mandate of most people, Sam Okello. Your grassroots activism helps you to understand, in a very unique way, what Kenyans are going through and how they can be helped.

Let me start by advising you that the best way to go about it is to have a strong war chest. You gotta have money, otherwise you will be in trouble, these moneyed-storied political families will destroy you completely.

The power of web 2.0 is what enabled Barack Obama, TIME's Man of the Year, 2008, to do what he did. Many thought he was a joke ,but he inspired millions. You can inspire millions in Kenya.

Let us know your plans, YOU CANNOT BE COY about this. Let us start raising funds, NOW.
DOWN with Raila, DOWN with Kibaki, Uhuru, Ruto (do not worry about him, he will be in Hague). Karua may pose a challenge, but she is MORE OF THE SAME.

SAM OKELLO, TIME IS YOURS! You cannot be Coy, we need a leader!, we need a leader, and we need him NOW!

Anonymous said...

Sam Okello,

Be careful Imentu North is your clown. The same fake "Sam Okello" amd "Paul". So be v. careful the clown is having you for a laugh.

Taabu said...

Kwale,
You are RIGHT. There is nothing wrong with the progressive DIASPORA. What ikes and stinks is the mentality to follow remittance with the mindeset of entitlement. You can smell it here where one declares becoz we remit so we demand. Identifying with potential voters is VERY CRUCIAL. Furthermore 6m Indians remit more than $30m every year but they don't gloat all over it neither do they demand offices in New Delhi, or do they?

Don't get me wrong bro. Diaspora has its rightful place and can help shape Kenya positively. All they need is to find homegrown solutions and stop dancing themsleves lame to a broken record packaged as CHANGE.

Anonymous said...

Again, people, stop arguing with PHIL. He is just telling us how Luo diasporans behave when they return to Kenya. Go ahead PHIL tell us how your people just build a temporary house in their village, or buy a wheelbarrow while they show off eating in exclusive downtown eateries untll they are broke. Go ahead but don't generalize to include other communities. Once you are done we will tell you how diasporans from other communities invest in real estate, matatus, clinics, horticulture, and in education of their relatives.

In the meantime, PHIL, have fun exposing your dirty Luo economic laundry to us all while Railamania clogs you mind like a broken sewer!!

sereast said...

EFF off Mr Phil and other Raila worshippers.

First let me say this. The argument that the money send to Kenya by diasporans does not reach the exchequer is BS, do you guys know anything about economics? The fact that the money has crossed the border....yaani it has left the US, UK, SA, Russia etc is good enough. It has already added to the $ reserves in Kenya. And where do you think this money end up? under the mattresses of the recipients? No it buys unga, mboga, sends kids to school ect. Is Unga, Majani etc not taxed? So does the gova not get its share? It doesn't have to be taxed like VAT for the Gova to gain. That argument by these goons is misplaced.

Secondly, yes we remit money to Kenya. Now if Somali's, Ethipians etc are doing so, where does the money end up. Does it not end up in Kenya and add to wealth creation?

And who said diaporans don't invest? Bwana Phil just check around and look at real estates mashrooming everywhere, tell me if a good % is not owned by diasporans? Tell me if that matatu you boarded is not owned by a diaporan. There > 50% it is.

We do this and transfer these assets to our brothers and sisters to manage, thereby creating jobs directly. Tell me which job you have created by yourself. I BET none.

We need to remove some of this naivete that guys at home have about diasporans. Just because we criticize leadership does not make us less Kenyans. Just because we don't directly vote does not make us less Kenyans. And BTW, the notion that the diaspora community survives on menial jobs is so out of place. The Kenyans in diaspora who survive on such are college going trying to make ends meet or those who ran out of status and have no other options. The majority of us here are doing good and are enlightened and are forward looking. That is why we monitor things back there keenly for us to say Raila is not the change we are looking for and that a revolutions will be catalyzed from here.

Anonymous said...

Please Taabu & Phil,

Listen to Sam Okello: Raila, like Kibaki, is a relic! In simple english that means their sell-by-date is past! It is a miske that Kibaki is our president; and no amount of worshipping Raila will make him Kenya's president - kumekucha.

We are looking for "The One" to take us to the promised land. Please, join us, your energy is needed.

Anonymous said...

Chris,

You upset so many people with your articles about KENYANS IN DIASPORA.

Have you seen the way the likes of Phil and Taabu reacts when they hear DIASPORA. Maybe you should explain what it means to be in Diaspora. many people have this conception DIASPORA are "them" trying to prove to "us". Kenya is not the only country with her citizens living abroad, ALL other countries including America have people in Diaspora, but here some think those outside Kenya are trying to prove something to us.

Anonymous said...

Sam,

The diaspora may soon close rank behind you. Lay the ground works and announce on KK when the campain start.

Anonymous said...

DIASPORIANS please read this from TAABU b4 you FOAM at the mouth for being exposed:

.......Diaspora has its rightful place and can help shape Kenya positively. All they need is to help find homegrown solutions and stop dancing themsleves lame to a broken record packaged as CHANGE.

Anonymous said...

Phil,

Thanks for that free insight of how Luos Diasporans behave when they return back to Kenya. btw, you forgot the gals - Florida nightclub bwana...!
MEZA WEMBA.

Anonymous said...

yes...and for all that foreign cash going to Kenya..the least the kenya govt do is allow dual citizenship retroactive to 1963....

Anonymous said...

...and to allow kenyans of dual citizenship living outside kenya to vote in Kenya elections..perhaps the ballot could be sent to the nearest British....no!! Indian embassy ?!?!...otherwise there could be ballot box tampering given that ECK would be training embassy staff....Oh!! for one party rule such as that during the cold war - anyone read this article on choral music and moi http://artmatters.info/?p=950

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