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Friday, April 03, 2009

Tackle Corruption Now or Drown in Your Rot

2006 (Taifa Hall, UoN)
"In the end, if the people cannot trust their government to do the job for which it exists - to protect them and to promote their common welfare - all else is lost,"



April 03, 2009 (Germany)
"My father was from Kenya. The US is under obligation to help Kenya on many issues but Kenya must sort its corruption problems first," Obama said in response to a question on relationship between the US and Kenya.

The more things change the more they remain the same or even retrogress. Poor Kenya.

A Little Good news for a change: You can now follow Chris as he receives highly sensitive info throughout the day and even get to know posts he is working on well in advance. You can even have a private chat with him. Follow him at Twitter. Find him in Twitter @KumekuchaChris. You will even get to see a photo of him (never before published on the web but will now be visible ONLY to his followers on Twitter). Remember that a lot of the stuff you will read on Twitter will NEVER be published because, as has been said here before, most of the information Kumekucha receives is too hot to publish or takes too long to verify (or is impossible to verify) and can therefore NOT be published. But you will be able to read it all on Twitter. Get to Twitter pronto, get there now and find Kenya's most popular and influential political blogger @KumekuchaChris


sereast said...

Obama has no obligation whatsoever to HELP Kenya if Kenya cannot put its house in order, but he has all the power to influence whatever policies are favourable to Kenya and Africa in general.

Taabu said...

You couldn't be more RIGHT. Living lies takes different forms and shapes. We conviniently shout institution which are ABUSED with impunity. Just look at 70+ year old civil servants all against the LAW. These dinosaurs oil every cog of the corruption wheel. Ole wetu.

Anonymous said...

Kenyans have been socialised into corruption such that we will always be corrupt. Actually it has nothing to do with who the president it, infact many kenyans are more than willing to compromise their way to get favours. However, as usual Taabu you have to place your blame somewhere. today you choose 70+ leaving raila at 64 outside that cluster. this is what i call DECEPTION. Raila has been nursing corruption under moi, in narc and now in this bulging government he has aided corruption. you cannot be a cludader of corruption on one hand and use deceitful ways cluster your target group. that's FRAUD Taabu.

Taabu's Mistress

Anonymous said...

Here is a useful quote for you mzee Taabu,

We are imperfect. We cannot expect perfect government. ~William Howard Taft

Anonymous said...

another useful quote on democracy,

Majority rule only works if you're also considering individual rights. Because you can't have five wolves and one sheep voting on what to have for supper. ~Larry Flynt

Taabu's Mistress

Vikii said...

What the American President said is true; that Kenya has to solve its corruption problem.

To me, however, Kenya does not need to rid itself of corruption merely so it could be helped by the United States. Mr. Obama is afterall the same President who has pledged close to 8 billion-dollar annual millitary asistance and a further $1.5 billion annual NON-MILLITARY aid to Pakistan. Over the last five years or so, they have been funding the corruption in that country sustaining its pole position on Transparency International's corruption roll. We need to rid ourselves of corruption because it is the right thing to do and because that is the only way we can ensure justice to the Kenyan taxpayer whose hard earned money is the subject of discussion anyway.

President Mwai Kibaki was elected into office in 2002 because of the strong anti-corruption rhetoric he voiced. Had he moved quickly to take Moi, his sons, his corrupt officials and his (Kibaki's) own corrupt ministers to court, they would have regrouped to politically fight him, but the success of such an onslaught would have been only temporal. The government would have won the support of the majority of Kenyans and this would have been a serious communication to all and sundry that there was no room for corruption. They chose not to do that, however. Instead, they deviced their own corruption which basically lifted the moral authority to lecture anybody on corruption from them.

That is why it is going to take something akin to a miracle for any adminisration to eliminate the vice. People used to talk of corruption being a way of life, but it has now evolved into a plague. You aint seen nothing yet!

Anonymous said...

Is there a good reason why Kumekucha is IGNORING the recent report on MAU FOREST that has many ODM POLITICIANS guilty of acquiring tons of acres of SQUATTERS LAND????

Chris, please give us your inside information on this. These are issues that Taabu gives a wide bearth now that they may discredit his deity Raila who has also been quite since the report was released.
Like someone commented here correctly the other day,


Anonymous said...

What Obama is emphatically saying is that:

As long as Raila continues to steal squatters' land in Malindi and Raila's son, Fidel, continues to sell peoples' maize to Southern Sudan, Cousin Obama will not help the land of his father's birth.

That should be clear even to Taabu.

Anonymous said...


You are once again so right! We should fight corruption because it is the right thing to do but not to massage the US ego. Obama and US wouldn't care a hoot whether we swim or sink in corruption as long as American interests in Kenya are safe.

Obama is condemning corruption in Kenya just to sound politically correct not because he believes in what he is saying. If he believed corruption is wrong, he would have stopped all the billions of aid that go to Pakistani, half of which ends up in corrupt officials' pockets.

Further, if Obama loved Kenya as much would like to appear, he would have frozen the accounts Kenyan kleptocrats main in Us Banks. Let him clean up the rot in Wall Street stables before he wags his crooked finger at the land of Kogelo!!

One Wife Man said...

Kibaki in 2006: -you are a junior congressman in US senate don't lecture my Government on how to manage our country...mavi ya kuku

Kibaki in 2009:-are are you coming to visit us on Obama national day?

Anonymous said...

Vikii is right, yet again.

Obama forgets that the current collapse of the financial system in the US is due to corruption at very high places in government and civil society, colluding. I fear that what we have seen and heard is just what they want i.e. tip of the iceberg.

Let Obama focus on fixing the US economy and mending relations with the people who matter most to the US. Kenya can be dismissed as corrupt, it matters little to the US, especially now that we were roundly used to delink someone's heritage from radicle islam and missions have been accomplished.

Anonymous said...


Fight for key posts part of the problem at KU

Another source within the university’s senate accused a group of lecturers from Western Province of constantly fighting to have one of their own as VC, or some of the deputies.

This group was active during the removal of former VC George Eshiwani in 2003. They accused Prof Eshiwani of building an empire of his own and demanded he be replaced by their own. At the time, Prof Mugenda was Prof Eshiwani’s deputy.

“That is how the less known Prof Standa came in. The government yielded to pressure to have someone from Western Province appointed,” said one of the vocal lecturers who was then an official of Uasu.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 3:02, please do not reproduce parts that favour you. Reproduce the whole post. Also, read the more comprehensive/real nation in pdf format as it is now available online. I reproduce a more objective article:

What exactly was the cause of
the fiery protest at Kenyatta
University this week?
Depending on whom we spoke to, the reasons were different every time. It might have been the exam registration deadline, the vice-chancellor’s “high-handedness”, lecturers’ compensation,suspension of student union officials or external forces.
It could also be the reluctance of students to pay for earlier damage.
But all point to Vice Chancellor Professor Olive Mugenda.
In a clear pointer that the violence was not just about the registration deadline,lecturers, students and support staff
played a role — latent or active — in the organisation and execution of the strike.Underlying problems
The three groups seem to have exploited an opportunity to address deeper underlying problems.
Higher Education Permanent Secretary Crispus Kiamba describes the destruction at KU as “very unusual.” “The damage I saw cannot just be about a deadline,” he told Saturday Nation.Lecturers have legitimate payment claims for services rendered to the selfsponsored students programme, which rakes in millions of shillings. In 2003, the Industrial Court ordered the university to pay them 35 per cent of proceeds from the programme but the
university is yet to honour the decision. The lecturers’ support of the protest is driven by a desire to push out VC Mugenda,
who is seen as blocking payment.
The support staff, on the other hand, are also pushing for better remuneration.Those interviewed are convinced Prof Mugenda has been the stumbling block in their quest for better pay.Organisers of the riots revealed to Saturday
Nation that the workers actively
coordinated information on the protests while some took part in its planning.The discontent by the three groups solidified into an alliance with a common
foe — the vice chancellor.

Students had four major concerns.
First was the examination registration deadline.
The eviction of students who had not met the registration deadline on March 17 was the straw that broke the camel’s back.The decision is painful because those affected,mainly self-sponsored students are forced to call off their semester and lose any money they may have paid. Secondly, the suspension of top Kusa officials
effectively stifled the students’ voice and to rub salt into the wound, the VC engaged former union officials — whose mandate ended on March 9 — to endorse senate decisions. More curious
Even more curious, the university supplied buses to ferry a few students to a press conference where the former officials
distanced themselves from concerns
raised by current officials. The conference aborted following a clash by the two teams in town.
Lecturer Tom Namwamba, who has denied claims of inciting students, blames the crisis on a ‘break-up of dialogue’. “By suspending leaders, the university
had silenced the students’ voice. Any institution that does this voice plants the seeds
of self-destruction,” said Mr Namwamba, but condemned the destruction of property. He appeals to the VC to recall students,tell Kenyans who instigated the violence
and “extend a motherly hand by giving amnesty to the suspended learners.”

Anonymous said...

I had read it, actually, how couldnt you figure that? And this is the part I liked the most:

"Depending on whom we spoke to, the reasons were different every time."

Now, there have been recent reports about tribal wars re leadership being fought in institutions of higher learning. It would surprise me little if that's the MAJOR thing going on.The underlying cause. Indeed I strongly suspect so--the rest are just proximate. Note also Prof. Kiamba's comments. I had intially suspected a gender thing because Mugendi has done a rather good job with KU or at least it looked successful--but then you would expect a more diverse grouping of men making the relevant comments.

What do yu think?

Good you called me out, though.

Anonymous said...

The corruption in Kenya is making Obama not proud to have Kenyan blood. He has been in power for 4 months and could only speak about his motherland after being probed by a journalist. His own brother is dieing of Cholera. His sister is in US courts trying to clear herself of having been in US illegally. His "cousin" Raila is surrounded by ravenous wolves within and without his family. If it were you, what good thing would you want to say about your motherland. But Obama needs to be like Moses of the Bible who voluntarily left the luxuries of his adopted home and dwell in the miseries of his kinsfolk. Only then will God speak to him from the burning bush and use him to liberate Kenyans in corruption bondage. for as long as he remains in "Pharaoh's" palace, Kenyans will regard him with spite. Very soon you will hear the Kalonzos of this world telling him to keep off Kenya's issues.

Anonymous said...

The suggestion made by NCCK that the law should be amended to exclude MPs from the cabinet is laudable. If this is done, ministries will be headed by Technocrats who will continue with their work even when the politicians are procrastinating. This will also make politics lose its lustre and therefore reduce politicization of issues. This in effect will promote meritocracy, professionalism, fairness and justice. The consequence of this will be that ethnicity will no longer be a factor, the it-is-our-turn-to-eat mentality will no longer apply and elections will always be peaceful. America has more "tribes" (and races) than Kenya by far, yet they have the best democracy around. The Africans in America are not saying it is their turn to eat. Nobody is faulting Obama for choosing very few blacks as his secretaries (ministers). Where are the civil societies and professional bodies to support NCCK?

Anonymous said...

Kenya coalition retreat flops

Update 5 minutes ago

VOI, Kenya, Apr 4 – A meeting of Kenya’s grand coalition management committee collapsed on Saturday after the two main parties failed to agree on the agenda of the meeting essentially called to build up unity in the shaky government.

Sources at the meeting indicated that the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) members had gone for the meeting aiming to discuss the National Accord that created a coalition government following the botched 2007 general elections.

Their list for the agenda included government appointments, the professor Philip Alston report on extra judicial killings and security organs.

The Party of National Unity (PNU), on the other hand, wanted to discuss harmonisation of the grand coalition government. The only thing the two parties seemed to have agreed on the agenda items was the fast tracking of agenda 1 to 4 of the peace accord.

Ministers Mutula Kilonzo and Noah Wekesa were kicked out of the retreat before lunch after ODM questioned their presence. Mr Kilonzo was in the meeting by virtue of being part of the Serena Mediation team while Dr Wekesa was there owing to his post as the PNU Vice Chairman.

Immediately after eviction Mr Kilonzo told journalists at the Kilaguni Serena Lodge that, in his view, the biggest mistake was that they went to Kilaguni before agreeing on the agenda. After a closed-door session in the morning, President Kibaki and the PNU side went for lunch while Prime Minister Raila Odinga led his ODM team to a 30-minutes meeting before they headed for lunch....................


Anonymous said...

Obama is not the emissary to Kenya or obligated to do anything for us. When do we learn?

I agree Kenyans are corrupt just like their politicians, we encourage it and let it persist by participating in it because it is the easiest way out.

Most people are not willing to sit for 2 hours waiting for the policeman to let them go coz its wasting their time. So they will give him 200 bob to let them go early, bila hassle.

We have the media who cannot even offer constructive views on dealing with corruption, and people dont have the drive to change things. You cannot expect someone else to pick up the mess, so Kenyans have to wake up!

Those guys running in 2012 must be shown a lesson, that they cannot enter into office on shoddy promises.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 5:09 a.m. its anon 3:51 a.m. again

I agree with some of your points on KU but also note that Prof. Mugenda, in as much as she seems to be doing much, there is also alot that she is undoing. On the face of it, it may seem merely tribal, but there are far many complaints about her management style. Her high handedness, for sure, can only work in a primary school and not high school, college or university. Some of her ideas, like dress code, are wierd. Also, given the economic hardship, even private colleges and universities allow people to pay last minute and register for exams. In fact, many colleges in town allow people to pay in instalments.

I do not deny there may be bad politics, but more of the problems in KU are caused by one individual, Prof. Mugenda. However, if Prof. Mugenda was VC of a private university, or was managing her own, she would be more sober, more mothery, more caring and with better public relations. Why? She would want good business and a good name. The students may have vented their anger the wrong way, and defeat reason by burning property, but it is evident Prof. Mugenda is also an undoing in the institution. The lecturers and surbodinate staff may have erred in supporting and helping co-ordinate the strike, but if even the industrial court stated they be paid 35% of self sponsored students earnings, Prof. Mugenda should either pay or appeal to a higher court. Why treat KU lecturers as lesser than the rest? UoN pays them, and so do others. They nare the ones who do the donkey work of lecturing overcrowded lecture halls and marking scripts, not Prof. Mugenda.

Also, when KU reported back after the first demo., she slapped a Kshs. 1,000 on everybody, for very slight damages, without even trying to investigate the real culprits to punish and charge the actual ones. Why heavily penalize everybody? Lack of good faith.

The the exams on Monday after reporting on Sunday, and not allowing the two weeks that had not been taught to be taught by merely adding another two weeks, and expect students to be tested on whole syllabus, and lecturers to test as such. A good university should focus on thorough teaching, and ensuring syllabus is properly completed, and she knows it, for her PhD is from a top University, Iowa State University. Why cut a semester by two weeks and force students to exams immediately upon return?

One thing I have observed about her is the way she seeks publicity for every small thing she does in KU,including KU as the best performing parastatal. You do not hear Prof. Maghoha of UoN in such things and UoN, yet Prof. Maghoha has brought real progress, real change, to UoN, silently, because his focus is balanced and broad, and not aimed at headlines, or mere preparation of a more senior/further government appointment.

I am not a student of KU. However, I am a post graduate research student outside Kenya, but pay for someone fees at KU, and I say this, I am an interested party coz I pay fees, but I am let down by the Prof. Mugenda. By the way, even the University I am doing post graduate research in pays us on monthly basis to enable us pay back subsidised fees, but they always, in the fee note, state that the deadline for payment can be adjusted if one writes to the dean of students with justifiable cause, and I have seen people do that. Deadlines, especially when dealing with a poor country like Kenya, are not carved on stone, where parents wait for emergency loans to pay for their kids fees. Further, anybody dreaming of uniforms and dress codes here would be referred to a mental institution immediately. The University here does not seek to be ranked with other nonteaching Government agencies, but strives hard in the rankings of the best 100 universities in the world, and has always be top 30. They give one week in mid semester as revision and reading week, while KU is cutting two weeks. Further, students are consulted on all issues affecting them, so they have no reason to demonstrate. For lecturers, there is constant evaluation for perfomance, and students must evaluate a lecturer at the end of the semester, on an anonymous basis, but the lecturers are paid what they deserve. They deliver and are paid.

I say that I support and pay fees for someone in KU, and although the person never participated in the burning down, which I personally do not support, and it was a wrong way to vent anger and frustrations, I have listened to some stories and I know that know there is a serious management crisis at KU. The buck stops in the VC's office, one Prof. Mugenda. In one of the articles, Prof. Mugenda said she is a target because she demanding perfomance from lecurers. Is she performing as a VC?

sereast said...

Fellow Kenyans, Kumekucha. This blog has become crappy! This is my last comment here. I will not even waste my time checking posts since that will just be increasing hits for no reason. Adios! I am developing an alternative agenda.

I don't like dealing with people who preach water and drink copious amounts of wine. That is what happened when the owner of this blog reneged on our agreement, even after having pocketed my money.

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:51 and 8:11am

Thanks for taking the time to outline the grievances at KU. It is most helpful.

From what you have just said, it is clear that there are major problems at KU; problems of a longstanding nature. I have two thoughts. One, it is still unclear what avenues the complainants had used to have these longstanding problems addressed. If for instance, an individual or organization defies a court order, what are the legal channels of redress? It seems to me that inciting students to riot to have this issue resolved is somewhat counterproductive. I do not see Prof. Mugenda responding to that. One would imagine that if someone has invested time and resources in resolving a problem through legal channels, and indeed emerged a winner, they would persist on that route.

Second, Prof. Mugenda has been the VC at KU for several years now. It is unlikely that this is the first time that she has been confronted with students who are unable to pay school/exam fees in a timely manner. What is so different now? I would love to hear her side of the story!

Granted, Prof. Mugenda may be highhanded and arrogant (an attribute that afflicts many people in positions of leadership), and may have failed in managing the organization, but that does not diminish the severe problem of university lecturers endorsing and indeed moving students to destructive behavior. I think that those agitating for her removal should also be agitating for the removal of the lecturers and by extension the students. They have all failed; rights and responsibilities run both ways.

I highly doubt that removing Prof. Mugenda will be the magic bullet that resolves KUs problems.

As a former student of KU and as one who is flirting with the idea of returning to teach at KU, I have a vested interest in seeing that this (and other) problem is solved in a sober and just way.

ps: slapping a fine on an entire population is unfair to those that were not involved, but what other way to deal with the transactions costs of determining the culprits in a resource constrained setting?

Anonymous said...

The one who killed his father is at the helm. The killing happened because he laughed at his BA degree from LBS was nothing to compare with PhD from Havard yet he was below the academically junior man from Othaya.

Barack Jr will never forget this.

Anonymous said...

The Thug is the corruptiest Kenyan No 1. Ata Karua amesanga. It is this thug who is holding Kenya at ransom. Annan stated clearly that he is the thief in chief, who flawed the presidential elections.
This thug has to go.

Anonymous said...

Obama should stop this bogus president from going to the US and UK for life. Even his children should be barred. He is the cause of corruption in Kenya today.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 8:11 a.m., it is anon. 3:51 a.m. again

Thank you for your insight. However, there are some issues you highlighted I would like to respong to. For example:

"ps: slapping a fine on an entire population is unfair to those that were not involved, but what other way to deal with the transactions costs of determining the culprits in a resource constrained setting?"

My response is that the same way they do investigations and garner evidence to suspend and expell a section of the students, is the same way they should determine those to pay the damages. They do not expell/suspend every student.

The other thing regards who to blame. My argument is also that the rod should spare no one. Every body in KU has failed, starting with VC to some lecturers to some students. So as disciplinary action is taken on students, the VC and concerned lecturers should not be spared. She talks of demanding perfomance from lecturers. KU is a public university. We own it. We are also demanding perfomance from her.

As the issue of pursuing the legal redress to exhaustion, when an industrial court issues a ruling and it is not implemented, what does it indicate? We have rulings and judgments in Kenya against ministers and permanent secretaries, including court injunctions, that have been ignored. In an ideal society, and our law provides it, those who obtained the ruling/judgment would obtain a penal order and have the concerned party penalised by either imprisonment to compell them obey the order. How many times has that happened in Kenya to those in powerful positions, and VC is a powerful one, equal to PS in ranking?

I say this, to root out the dirt in KU, as students appear before the disciplinary committee, as some lecturers face penalisation (I know they face it, either by compromisation of career development, demotions, threats etc) it is the high time Prof. Mugenda was also taken to task. It is good that Prof. Kiamba has formed an investigation team to investigate the whole mess. My wish is that they will be bold enough to do what Waki did with his report, spare no one. However, in Kenya, it rarely happens. The Ndung'u report on land and the Waki report on PEV stand out as the only time two Kenyans did investigations with love of country, and a true calling to public service, and with an agenda to root out impunity, and compiled a report in that colour and spirit. However, it our rotten society, where the powerful still preserve themselves, it appears those two reports will rot in the dustbins of history. I say this, it will be a bigger mess if action will only be taken against the powerless, students and lecturers.

coldtusker said...

cant find you on tweeter.

Anonymous said...

you are eroding your credibility. Has money become more important than it? Why are you directing people to twitter when you are not even a registered member? How much did they pay you for that little stunt?
It would actually be more honourable to resume peddling your raw notes here.

Anonymous said...


So you PAID MONEY to have some skewed reporting here by Chris?

Anonymous said...

How come you say youre on Twitter but cannot respond to our tweets? Unatuenjoy au? Ama your still trying to figure you way around twitter? We follow you, tweet you and no response. How rude! Get off twitter then baba. Acha kujisheua!

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