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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The “juicy” Esther Arunga controversy

I always hesitate a lot before talking about servants of God. It is very dangerous business indeed because GOD himself warns in his good book, “Touch not my anointed…” and it is mighty difficult to know who HIS anointed ones are these days. One of the reasons being that we have moved away from the days of John the Baptist crying out in the wilderness with the most important message any human has had the privilege of relaying. Prophet John lived on the kind of budget that would make many super-rich modern-day Televangelists faint in disbelief.

Esther, Mrs Hellon and Mr Hellon at the press conference in Runda last week

On the business of cults, virtually every new church to arrive in Kenya has been labeled a cult. David Oyedepo’s Winner’s Chapel was for many years called a cult in Kenya and before that Harry Das’ Chrisco Co-workers fellowship was also called a cult. Both these two ministries are now very well established in the country and very few Kenyans still call them cults.

In view of this, analyzing Esther Arunga and religion feels like skating on very thin ice.

So let’s just jump straight into the politics behind the issue. Let’s start with the petty and office kind.

The first very interesting observation about this saga is the way the story broke. The powerful Radio Africa outfit just wrote and talked about it and never quit until it became a national issue. Radio Africa is that outfit owned by a Ghanian that runs the notorious FM stations called Kiss and Classic. They also publish a daily newspaper called The Star which is where a nice lady reporter called Grace Kerongo first broke the story.

The approach taken by the chaps at Radio Africa was that they were concerned for “a friend and colleague” who had ended up in some cult. Now this is preposterous because if somebody who is your true friend goes AWOL, you don’t make her the subject of discussion on a popular breakfast show. You look for your cell phone call them and set up a lunch date or whatever. As it is none of Esther’s so-called friends and colleagues did that. Poor Esther, with friends like that she would be much better off in a pit and surrounded by the most dangerous snakes in Kenya. Methinks the chaps at Radio Africa were just doing their job in the current vicious war by the Kenyan media to grab the attention of the increasingly bored, distracted and better informed Kenyan audience who are a tad harder to con into some profitable media promotion.

But why did Ms Kerongo think that the Esther Arunga story was important and why did her editors agree? Let me start with the editors. From circulation figures most media managers already know that stories about Kenyan celebrities sell newspapers like crazy. Especially if it is a scandal of sorts and that is why Kerongo dug out all the gory details she could find (more on that in a second). Kerongo thought that this was a big story because Esther was a celeb who had resigned from her high-profile job at KTN as a news anchor to “go live with some pastor.” And this happened shortly after she had broken off her engagement to her finacee, Wilson Malaba in favour of (now the juicy gossip really begins) Quincy Timberlake Wambita Zuma who is reportedly now her lover and happens to be in the country illegally according to the CID. There are unconfirmed reports that Timberlake's dad is a Kenyan of Luo origin. And it gets even juicer. The reason why Arunga broke off with her fiancée is because he reportedly made passes at 2 female members of the Finger of God church. And to make matters worse Mr Malaba had earlier used a log book of “one of Esthers’ cars” to get a loan from some loan shark. Meanwhile there were strong rumours that Esther is already pregnant from her new finacee. She has strongly denied these rumours. Timberlake who is said to have changed his name several times over the years is already married (has been for 11 years) and is a father of two.

Believe it or not, this “amazing” story moves from petty romance and office politics to national politics because Esther’s pastor Joseph Hellon has declared that he will run for the presidency of the republic of Kenya in 2012 and Esther Arunga will be his running mate. Wow!!!

Everything was going just fine for Joseph Hellon’s presidential campaign (can you imagine instant national attention and recognition for a man who had only previously been known to a very small clique of Kenyans as an amazing saxophone player inclined to Jazz) until the CID came calling and arrested Hellon, Esther and Timberlake. But fascinatingly Esther never made it to court and only Hellon and Timberlake were charged and then released on bail because the charge sheet was defective. It turns out that the fellows at CID did not do their due diligence and the Finger of God is in fact registered and yet the main charge against Hellon and Timberlake was belonging to an unregistered and dangerous organization. An interesting aside here is that I will never understand the law. Doesn’t freedom of worship allow you to worship who you want? Ama it is limited to the State’s interpretation of what a proper church should be?

Now why was Esther not charged alongside her fiancée and pastor? Your guess is as good as mine. But never forget that this is Kenya and some powerful people can watch the news and make a maximum of one call and everything changes completely in your favor.

This, the juiciest story in Kenya for a long time continues to play out. We are now awaiting a press conference from Esther’s first fiancée to explain about the log book and when he will return her car. The man has admitted using the log book to get a loan but insists it is a loan from a close friend. I also believe that the CID will discover that they have nothing further to charge Hellon with (announcing your interest in the presidency is “legal” these days and thank God for that).

By the way Esther has threatened to sue the media over some of the stories carried about her and she has to be taken seriously because she is a qualified lawyer.

A previous post about cute News anchors at KTN


Arunga Update:
And the Arunga soap gets even more interesting. Family says that they are getting her to see a "shrink" to recover from the whole episode. Meanwhile Timberlake was denied bail because he allegedly absconded from another criminal case still pending in court. Read details HERE.


P.S. William Ruto pulled off quit a move yesterday. The agriculture minister used his money and influences to block a new list of ODM members of the powerful House business committee (that excluded him) from being passed. The “icing on the cake” was that the press caught him being wildly cheered in Kisumu as the drama was unfolding in parliament. Obviously this was for political show and muscle flexing, trying to show Kenyans that he has support in the PM’s own backyard. But even more interesting was the vote on the motion to put aside the issue until further consultation within ODM which Ruto’s allies won unanimously with plenty of support from the PNU side. Some political analysts believe that it will now be very difficult to get any ODM list without Ruto’s name passed in parliament. In my humble view the PM’s woes continue. Phil, an ODM insider whom we have the honour of hosting here in Kumekucha as one of our main writers, predicted last week that by the end of this week Ruto would have been hounded out of office. That does not look like happening.

I have received many emotional outbursts from my dearest readers for my stereotyping of the PM, but why doesn’t he go against the grain and prove my pigeonholing wrong by resigning from office and forfeiting his motorcade? How much punishment can a man take from a raw deal and still cling to office… and for what? Raila’s chance of resigning and looking the hero against the evil Mwai Kibaki regime that has shortchanged him so much right from his election victory, is rapidly disappearing in the horizon with grave political consequences. The 2012 presidential race is going to be the most difficult Raila has ever been involved in… mark my words.

37 comments:

Anonymous said...

Good one Chris, you never dissapoint.
Phil is busy seeking consolation from his bossom buddies in Jukwaa and Jaluo.com. As usual his puppet king is nothing but a fellow at the mercy of Kibaki's executive control, a nyafara to quote Mp Mbugua.
Ruto attracted a mammoth crowd in Kisumu and the ripple effect of that had Raila sycophants jetting to Kisumu late evening to do damage contro too late and had one asking just what went wrong and how Ruto outfoxed them so easily while they were busy in parliament shadowboxing. Even Salim Lome and the Miguna fellow had no answer for that well executed uppercut.
Raila cannot resign since he knows he is a spent force and his once mammoth ODM has been reduced to a LUO'S party.

Nimesema

M. Pesa said...

Why has this Nimrod Onyango character changed his name to more Mzungu like Joseph HELLon, yet he's more black then tarmac? And why has this illegal alien who absconded from criminal charges changed his name from more exotic Zuma Wambiti to British like Quincy Timberlake? Sounds more like "Timberfake" to me!

Another question, where does this Joseph HELLon guy get 200k per month to pay for a posh villa in the leafy Runda Estate yet he's just some dodgy Kenyan one man guitar like musician? I think KRA should also move in and thoroughly scrutinize his income. There are high chances they may just sniff something out of the stinking muck.

On Esther Arunga, my words are just two, poor thing! I really fear for her sanity. How can a qualified lawyer (hope not from some dodgy college in River Road or India) be so naive to have some "pastor" dictate whom she should sleep with and marry? Atsii, something just ain't right here, sounds like a bad dream to me. Esther also admitted on K24 that she was dating this Timberlake dude just ONE month after breaking up with the equally dodgy Wilson Maloba! What a cast of dodgy characters!

Esther yaps that she will sue "all the media" yet one wonders where she will get all the ma-millions from to do just that as she squares it out with some of the best legal brains in Kenya hired by the giant Nation, Standard etc. Chances are that she will lose very badly and left with huge financial dents in terms of legal costs in her small bank account. And if indeed she plans to plunge into the dirty politics in Kenya as she hinted, she must prepare for more flak and scrutiny from the ever powerful and daring Kenyan media.

I'm happy for Esther in that she saw sense and returned back to her parents home in Kileleshwa instead of foolishly living with some married man. Unfortunately, her reputation is in shreds and I doubt any sensible media house or legal firm could possibly hire her. She also risks losing lots of money she had invested in Hellon's company. For your info this Hellon chap also has a criminal case for sending threatening text messages to Esther's former lover!

It's indeed very sad that one of the best news presenters in Kenya could drag her image and reputation this low. She will forever become a laughing stock wallowing in self pity and an object ridicule. I hope she proves me wrong!

M. Pesa said...

Here's a little previously unknown Bio about Hellon which I have researched purely out of curiosity.

He was previously named Nimrod Hellon Onyango. Born in May 1974 in some poor village in Luo Nyanza. He attended Starehe Boys Centre 1991-94 and that is where he honed his musical skills. From a very humble background, he fell into instant success through his musical talent.
He has studied Music (theory and practical) to the highest possible academic qualification.
He dropped the name Nimrod (because Biblically, Nimrod was a warrior who rebelled against God and scholars believe he masterminded the construction of the doomed Tower of Babel). He dropped the name and picked the more Biblically acceptable name of Joseph.
He got married to Wagikuyu Kogi(Kuyu) in Dec 2001. He has produced 3 jazz recordings and also runs a music school with his wife. Their only child died so to date they have no children.
He is also the pastor of Finger of God church, which started way back in 2003 meeting in the Parklands area and now in his residence in Runda. The church is meant to be a haven for people who are abused and need a refuge and rehabilitation.
He has been hosting Jazz nights every last Thursday of the month at his residence in Runda until Michuki came up with the law against noise and the event for end of Jan did not take place!

M. Pesa said...

Continued:

Hellon was a staunch follower of the Seventh Day Adventist and at age five he started reciting Bible verses while in Standard five.
The Saturday Nation wrote: "Hellon grew up in a world of poverty, a far cry from the glitter and pomp he lives in now. One can still see traces of his past life in his Kokuro village home, located a few kilometers from Awendo Town. His mother still lives in the semi-permanent house he grew up in. To supplement the support he gives her, she sells omena to her neighbours. His simba (traditional hut) stands desolate in the compound. He has not slept there for years and it is now used as worship place for his faithful."
the 35-year-old Jazz player learnt to play the sax at Starehe Boys Centre and has recruited all his family members into his church. His simba at the home is now being used as the church since no- body stays in it.

Phil said...

Chris Kumekucha:

So the “juicy” Esther Arunga story suddenly morphed into a “brilliant” William Ruto move in parliament?

What move EXACTLY did William Ruto pull in parliament jana? A few handful rebel MPs in ODM teamed up with PNU MPs to force an adjournment – which wont make a different because the ODM list is likely to remain unchanged! Will you force another disastrous adjournment?

Now Kumekucha has gone as low, as cheap and as childish as ridiculing the PM’s motorcade and his ethnicity? You have completely lost it Mr. Kumekucha.

Back to the business of the day, it seems most people have not read the standing orders and do not know that the composition of HBC members is entirely a political parties affair and not a matter to call a division/vote on the floor of the house. This is the tragedy that Kenya has become where everything, including matters of national importance, are viewed through the narrow and myopic prism of political superiority between the PM and whoever else.

It should not also be lost to us that the same group sabotaged the harmonised draft in Naivasha and forced its own wishes to be adopted all in the name of rebelling against the ODM (or more precisely the PM) position.

Because you did not bother to check and purely for party strategic reasons, the ODM membership of the HBC has been changing with each session of bunge, but because your eyes cannot see beyond your new hero William Ruto, you seem to think that ODM’s Chief Whip was intent on some political mischief on behalf of Raila Odinga.

Far from it, and this is why I accuse you and much of Kenya’s mainstream media of losing focus, and deviating public attention from the main issues afflicting the development of the country. In other words Chris, you are the biggest promoter and defender of impunity.

Here's why:

Phil said...

When the PWC report was released (or rather leaked for political expediency), I thought for once the mighty and well informed Kumekucha had finally got something juicy and worthwhile to analyse on this blog after months of idling at the local news stand. I thought Kumekucha would at last pay attention to the contents of the report and guide the readership of this blog to the recommendations of the PWC Consultants. Incidentally, no one is saying anything about the fact that KACC had already closed its files on the maize saga and cleared everybody (business as usual) until the Prime Minister, for the first time in independent Kenya, invited professional and private auditors to investigate the matter! No is saying anything about the billions worth of maize that remains unaccounted for TO-DATE, as poor Kenyans eat wild berries and rats just to survive! All idiots are busy chanting why cant the PM resign first....yet without him, the warlords would by now be free organising another mega scam on hapless Kenyans.

Need I say anything about the FPE MEGA-SCAM that is so far approaching a loss of Kshs. 6billion??????? And Kumekucha says ???

Honestly, Chris I asked you last week and I am still waiting for an answer. Seven years into a fraudulent presidency.
Who is the REAL LOSER when government fails to act decisively on grand corruption? Who is the REAL LOSER in all these political posturing in parliament? Is it yours truly, as some brainwashed imbeciles are suggesting on this forum? Is it the PM as an individual as the misguided Chris Kumekucha wants us to believe? Is it the US Ambassador who is fighting battles on behalf of disenfranchised Kenyans?

And who stands to gain? Of course Kumekucha continues to enjoy increased traffic because the name Raila is mentioned, and the EU and American tax payers keep their money rather than have their money end up in the pockets of Ongeri and Kibaki under the guise of financing FPE programs.

The you go on to rant: The 2012 presidential race is going to be the most difficult Raila has ever been involved in… mark my words. How difficult was it way back in 2006 when ODM-K had no less than 5 presidential hopefuls? Just months later in December 2007, how easy was it for Samuel Kivuitu to top up the incumbent’s votes in a recklessly executed civilian coup to avoid a landslide win for the PM? Are we that stupid to forget these, even as Kumekucha desperately tries to distort historical facts?

Get real Kumekucha, get focused and get factual.

Anonymous said...

Phil is breathing fire, calling names all too clearly signs of a desperate raila sycophant who has realised his paper king is under siege.

Leta ingine, we will not buy your all too 'Raila saved us yada yada' familiar lines....afana!!!

M. Pesa said...

Phil's prophecy last week on a post titled "Imminent resignation of William Ruto!"

"....speaking as a one with their ear on the ground, and unless a miracle happens, I do not think William Ruto will still be Agriculture minister by this time next week. Neither will Ongeri be Education minister by then. If they do not step aside for three months (which is what ODM wanted), then they most certainly will be reshuffled to other ministries (PNU’s preference). Whichever way it ends up, something MUST move.."

The only thing that seemed to have moved is Esther Arunga moving back to her parent's house. So what happened bwana insider? Ruto is still more painful than a midnight toothache inside the ODM. I'm also still waiting for the prophecy "Kibaki won't last two weeks"... "Boycott Equity Bank.. Citi Hoppa.. Brookside... Toa madoadoa and sangari from Rift Valley" Blah Blah Blah. Last time I checked, Equity posted massive profits, Kibaki was still snoozing inside state house and Kabila Adui was still scattered all over the nation. Actually KASS fm is now inciting against brothers from the lake because their king Ruto is being tormented by the "well oiled political machine" Looks like the boot is clearly on the other foot.

Anonymous said...

I hope Mwarangethe will not see Arunga's sensuous bust and start blubbering that story of milk spilt. Get a grip on your self bwana.

I agree Ruto is giving Raila sleepless nights. This is well illustrated by Phil's long wided emotional narrative clearly showing that his boss is in trouble. The had assumed Ruto would be fixed easily. Now Raila will have to buy MP's loyalty and he has started with Henry Kosgey and Bonny Khalwale. Just according to the leaked document.
No wonder Anyang Nyong'o had to call a press conference, their secrets are out.

Anonymous said...

Chris (Kumekucha) - despite the fact that he tells us he voted for Raila - was never really a Raila supporter - just like William Ruto. Ruto was on the Kalonzo bandwagon up until "the last minutes" when the Kalenjin grassroots forced him to support Raila or forget his parliamentary seal.

Chris only jumped onto the Raila bandwagon "very late in the day" when all indicators showed that Raila was going to win the election of 2007...

Chris has just reverted back to his previous "position" before he belatedly joined the Raila bandwagon.

Mwarang'ethe said...

Anonymous said...

I hope Mwarangethe will not see Arunga's sensuous bust and start blubbering that story of milk spilt. Get a grip on your self bwana.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Bob Marley sung that fools die for lack of wisdom.

U can debate as much as you want all these nonsense, but, they will not change anything for the poor Kenyans/Africans.

In other words, as long as Africans keep on discussing dead issues, they will remain forever, the hewers of wood and drawers of water for others.

Sample this:

-Niger ranks 182 out of 182 countries on the United Nations Human Development Index—one of the least developed and poorest countries in the world.

- France gets 40 percent of its uranium from Niger and 76 percent of France’s energy comes from nuclear power.

NB: France power its economy to almost 50% using Niger's/Africa's uranium, while Niger/Africa is in darkness.

- Tandja “secured the discreet backing of French President Nicolas Sarkozy to extend his presidency for another term,” according to Africa Confidential.

This followed the signing of a production deal with Areva earlier in the year. Sarkozy visited Niger’s capital Niamey in March last year.

We say it again. African politics should be about issues as we have highligted above.

luke said...

And this blog continues its dangerous deep dark descent into mexican soap opera territory

Parliament should hurry up and give us some goofs and gaffs to trash and ridicule before its too late

to parents of families who religiously read Kumekucha together with their children and househelps in the dark at night please have faith normal programming will resume shortly

Anonymous said...

HE'S BACK RAIRA, RAIRA, RAIRA --- SO WHAT'S NEW???
SAME OLD STORY

Anonymous said...

If PNU wants to win this they should just let Raila commit suicide politically. They shouldnt fight or push him out because Raila is good at twisting situations to make himself look like a martyr/hero. So PNU let him destroy himself, but when he's at the edge of the cliff theres no harm in a little nudge.lol

Raila's downfall was inevitable, what you reap so shall you sow. 41 vs 1 huh? ok Raila your turn

Anonymous said...

Its pretty shocking how Nyanza has no opposition to Odinga's. thats worrying for any society

Anonymous said...

Eugene Wamalwa will be President in 2012. he will sweep many provinces

Anonymous said...

Serena Williams for Minister of Education!

Anonymous said...

"Political intrigues played out in the August house on Wednesday with legislators failing to twice agree on names of members proposed to serve on the House Business Committee charged with setting parliaments agenda.

In its first sitting day following a two and a half month recess MP's unanimously voted against having debate on the list proceed following an adjournment motion moved in the afternoon session by Chepalungu Member Of Parliament Isaac Ruto after a deadlock in the morning session that saw parliament adjourn only 30 minutes into the session.

Ruto argued proper consultations within parties had not been done, an argument supported by 71 MP's who voted to have debate on the list postponed to the next sitting .

55 MP's wanted debate to proceed reading politics in the agenda. 3 MP's however abstained from taking a vote.

ODM has dropped Prime Minister Raila Odinga, Agriculture minister William Ruto, North Horr MP Chachu Ganya and Nyaribari Chache Robert Monda. They have been replaced by Prof. Anyang Nyong'o, Henry Kosgey, Charles Onyancha and Maalim Mohamud Mohammed sparking the controversy.

Party politics in the ODM faction of the coalition government spilled into the floor of the house with Tourism Minister Najib Balala accusing the party of trying to impose names on its members pointing out the party should recognize divergent opinions and allow democracy to prevail rather than dictatorship.

However, Immigration Minister Otieno Kajwang in support of debate warned that rejection of the nominees would derail the constitution making process.

He cautioned parliament against letting political parties supervise parliament's agenda and rather take charge to allow important matters of national matters to be debated."

Vikii said...

Esther Arunga: I have a lot of apathy fo matters religion. That said, I can do the bitch--anyday.

On the two crooks, Raila Odinga and William Ruto, they should continue entertaining us. It is up to ODM and their MPs to present us with whatever list they want. As non-members, we should not care. The only worry though is this; Since the standing orders demand for intra-party consultations, who else is there to consult if not the Deputy Leader of the party. If William Ruto, the Deputy Leader of the ODM, was not consulted when they were compiling their list, who did they consult? Looks to me like they consulted Anyang Nyong'o, James Orengo. Olago Aluoch, Jakoyo Midiwo, Otieno Kajwang and Raila Odinga and a few of their cousins. But why do I even care? Let them run their party the way they want to.

Mr. Phil, since you have talked of the PWC and its "leaking", and since that report implicated the Office of the Prime Minister in the Maize scandal, when is the minister in charge of that office, Mr. Raila Odinga resigning from office so that KACC officials can investigate that office fearlessly,objectively and unhindered?

Philip said...

M Pesa

About Joseph Hellon affording such luxury life. I have a former classmate of mine who is ranked among the top 5 best pianist in Kenya. Four years ago I was told he used to make over Kshs 200,000 just playing piano to people, while a further over Kshs 100,000 from teaching music. I can guess that he makes more than that currently. Kenya is changing and that's why musicians and Deejays like Jua Kali and DJ Pinye are making more than what professionals like Lawyers, Doctors and Engineers are making.

On politics - I pity Hellon, he needs to consult Pius Muiru concerning this. He should not think that playing a saxophone in political rallies will convert the excited crowd to votes - this is Kenya.

In Kenya many people don't see the qualities of people but vote on the basis of ethnicity coupled with "stereotype".

It is in Kenya that the former President Moi had the courage to advice us on how we should move our economy and fight corruption, yet we applaud him and still see him as an statesman.

I hope our Kenya will change, Is it Chris who is saying that Kenyans have become more intelligent. Or is it wise. I hope soand in 2012 they will be able to separate the wheat from the chaff.

Philip said...

and by the way, I think Esther Arunga is only one example for there are many examples of family breaking up because of churches.

It is in Kenya where you can pretend to be a Black American and get as many ladies as you want.

Phil said...

Mr. Chris Kumekucha

What do you have to say?

The ODM nominees to the HBC remained unchanged and it has been adopted by parliament. So officially Ruto and Raila for that matter are no longer members of the House Business Committee.

So what was the fuss all about in the first place? What did we oppose less than 24 hours ago that we cannot oppose now?

Or rather, what was the ranting all about Ruto's 'brilliant' move?

Your guess is as good as mine. Media, Kumekucha blog and sadly most of the PNU public has completely lost focus on ISSUES in this country.

Anonymous said...

Ati Ruto cheered..in your dreams...I was there and never so anything of that sort, instead I heard a lot of smacking of lips in disgust..

Why do you keep on harping about RAO should resign....shouldn't Kibaki also resign? If you want political responsibility so that kenyans may go back to the polls?

Anonymous said...

what do you have to say now...RUTO IS OUT OF HBC...see capital fm news

Anonymous said...

BREAKING NEWS!!

The fake Bishop Margaret Wanjiru has lost Starehe parlimentary seat after a recount!!

More to follow soon......

Anonymous said...

Is anyone surprised Bishop Wanjiru rigged. surely you can spot a fake from a mile away. She should apologize to Starehe constituents and repent towards God.

Anonymous said...

Kenya's poor suffer from scandals, bribery
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/02/25/AR2010022501554.html

By TOM ODULA
The Associated Press
Thursday, February 25, 2010; 7:15 AM

NAIROBI, Kenya -- When Kenya promised free primary education in 2003, Peter Nyagilo thought he could afford to send all his kids to class. Years later, he's struggling to pay fees for tuition and textbooks, and he blames a familiar foe here - corruption.

Kenyans have been inundated with news over the past month about shady government dealings: A well-publicized audit showed that Agriculture Ministry officials wasted $26 million through corrupt deals in a program meant to provide maize for the poor.

Auditors also recently found $1 million in fraud at the Education Ministry, and that was on top of a 2003-09 textbook scandal in which teachers colluded with publishers to inflate book orders, causing donors to withhold education funds and parents to pay for textbooks.

The scandals sparked a power struggle in the top levels of government this month. But for ordinary Kenyans like Nyagilo they cause deprivation and hardship, and one leading human rights official said the situation may lead to an explosion of violence.

Corruption has cost Kenyan taxpayers tens of billions of dollars over the last several decades. Some of the money could have been used to prop up schools so families like Nyagilo's don't have to pay for education. Lacking the promised state funds, some schools have had to introduce fees.

"I walk to work more than 15 kilometers (10 miles) away so that we save money to pay school fees," said Nyagilo, adding that the family already eats only porridge and vegetables cooked with firewood from a nearby forest and cannot afford meat. The strain that school fees place on poor Kenyan families can be enormous. Earlier this month, a Kenyan mother of six children committed suicide when she could not pay for her daughter to attend secondary school, according to Kenya's leading newspaper, the Daily Nation.

Transparency International says Kenya is one of the most corrupt countries in the world. Graft has created a class of super-rich while more than 60 percent of Kenyans live on less than $2 a day.

That disparity is easy to see in the Kibera slum where Nyagilo's family lives. A paved road separates the maze of rusty tin roofs that make up Africa's largest slum from newly erected luxury apartments. Slum residents pay $15 a month in rent. Across the street, housing costs thousands.

Experts say such income disparity combined with anger over corruption could lead in the 2012 election period to a repeat of election violence Kenya suffered two years ago.

"What will happen is that the masses will rise up against those who have benefited themselves irregularly. This class will then try to protect their positions of power and privilege," said Hassan Omar Hassan, the vice chairman of the Kenyan National Commission on Human Rights.

When a spat broke out last week between Kibaki and Odinga, many worried that their coalition government could break apart, leading to renewed bloodshed. Tensions appear to have cooled for now. Kibaki and Odinga have met at least twice this week.

Mwalimu Mati, the head of an independent anti-corruption watchdog called The Mars Group, said only international pressure, particularly pressure from the United States, will force Kenya's government to reform. After allegations about the textbook scandal emerged, the U.S. and Britain suspended yet-to-be-disbursed aid.

For his part, Nyagilo blames the government for many of his troubles.

"It is these politicians who are hurting us," the unemployed mechanic grumbled.

Anonymous said...

Is Bethuel Kiplagat blind, deaf and dumb? Shame on him! is that salary looking to sweet to give up Mr.Kiplagat?

Anonymous said...

Starehe has been known to be a very strong liberating force for many young Kenyan minds during their formative years.

John Hellon aka Nimrod H. Onyango is one of the many liberated individuals from the good old institution.

Starehe helped free him from the old time village confines and the stifling religious mentality of his former ... society/church.

I have no knowledge of what the Finger of God is all about and the history therein. On the other hand, this I do know about one Nimrod Onyango, he is an accomplished musician who plays a variety of intruments, namely saxophone (his favourite), soprano saxophone, clarinet, bass clarinet, piccolo, mellophone trumpet, marimba (xylophone) and grand harpsicle harp.

He is very charismatic leader and a self-taught religious who is very well-versed with the Bible and its Middle Eastern underpinnings to the point where he can put any of the so called "educated theologians," preachers and dogmatic clergy to shame in all biblical matters.

It's his affiliation with some individuals like Ester Arunga, Wambiti Zuma et al. and his premature declaration for aspiring for the presidency that were matters of very poor judgement on his part. He should have known better given his leadership role within his religious commuinty.

Anonymous said...

Good old Kip has gone into hiding and still refuses to go even after being mentioned in endless scandals which he has failed to defend adequately. A true African politician this Kiplagat chap is. He has to be kicked out, screaming, cursing, kicking, yelling and screaming. Most Kenyans want the old man out. The world led by Tutu wants him out and fast. If Uncle Kip by ill luck became prezzo, I think he would rule for 45 years, clinging on the job! Go and Go now old man!

M. Pesa.

Mwarang'ethe said...

By TOM ODULA
The Associated Press
Thursday, February 25, 2010; 7:15 AM

That disparity is easy to see in the Kibera slum where Nyagilo's family lives. A paved road separates the maze of rusty tin roofs that make up Africa's largest slum from newly erected luxury apartments. Slum residents pay $15 a month in rent. Across the street, housing costs thousands.

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We ask, is it the cost of houses i.e. mortal, bricks and labor that is the problem/expensive or the cost of monopolised land?

And, what would happen if we levied Kibera land value charge?

The owners will be forced to develop the land. By so doing, they will create jobs for Nyagilo.

Once they create work for Nyagilo, he will be able to afford better food and education for his kids without assistance of other taxpayers.

In such arrangements, we will be able to reduce the size of the govt. and the avenues for corruption. To institute a "welfare state," is to incite corruption.

Thus, the main question ought to be, why is Nyagilo so poor? To be poor simply means lack of commodities to exchange with other commodities. Why is this?

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The scandals sparked a power struggle in the top levels of government this month. But for ordinary Kenyans like Nyagilo they cause deprivation and hardship, and one leading human rights official said the situation may lead to an explosion of violence.

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We ask, what do these so called human rights have to say about the most sacred right of all, i.e. the human right/birthright to land?

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Mwalimu Mati, the head of an independent anti-corruption watchdog called The Mars Group, said only international pressure, particularly pressure from the United States, will force Kenya's government to reform. After allegations about the textbook scandal emerged, the U.S. and Britain suspended yet-to-be-disbursed aid.

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What do these so called international community have to say about changing our industrial policy?

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"I walk to work more than 15 kilometers (10 miles) away so that we save money to pay school fees," said Nyagilo, adding that the family already eats only porridge and vegetables cooked with firewood from a nearby forest and cannot afford meat.

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Does Kenyan govt. levy tax on that porridge?

We hope anyone can see that, ecological destruction must continue as long as we have the kind of economic system we have.

Furthermore, those who say that corruption is the reason we are poor have not done their homework well.

Sample this:

- In the construction of Pacific Railroad, $ 30 million was stolen from the USA taxpayers.

- by 1870, taxpayers in states had forked out $ 228, 500, 000 in cash for railroads in the USA. Half of this was stolen.

- by 1870, the counties and municipalities had forked out $ 300, 000, 000. Half of this was stolen.

If you put the above figures in todays' values, they run into billions of dollars.

As if that was not enough, they (railroad promoters) also claimed 9.3% of the American land thru land grants.

If u think Kenyatta, Moi was bad with land, visit and research American land question. They just learnt from the masters.

For instance, John Jacob Astor had exlusive title to Manhattan Island which the heirs have used to get damn rich.

NB: However, the way land was handled has now come back to haunt USA. The same is happening now in Kenya.

Anyway, the main issue is this. If USA had such massive corruption when it was a developing nation, how did it develop?

What is it that, USA had, and that which we lack to develop despite our corruption? That is the question we should ask Americans.

Anonymous said...

Here are some of stereotypes toward women in Kenya:
=================
Jaluo

maiyooo¦ aiyoooooohhh lolooo ... maiyooooo ¦ thoo ¦
kanyo...beeebiii ¦ kanyo¦ eei yaawa¦ omera nyandundo
manade!!
================
Luhya

timbili ¦ uuuwiiii...mundu khumunduuuuuuuuu ¦ wasee ¦
taaawe kaikaikai....i amu gaaamiiing!!!!.
aah..a.....inghokho!!
========================
Kalenjin

koongoiiiiiimisiiiiiiiiiiiiing ¦ mamingala ¦ ghaleeeeeey
ye! ye! ye!.. Mursik!! agenge kityo!
====================

Kamba

uuuuuu!! ...... sululu! .... kisulululu!! aaaaaaa asii¦
kino ¦ niungwatanga ata ¦ aiiiii!! nivau ¦ nivau wee¦
NIVAUU! kino!!
=======================

Rafiki said...

The story actually first broke on Twitter.

Anonymous said...

Good one Chris, you never dissapoint.
Phil is busy seeking consolation from his bossom buddies in Jukwaa and Jaluo.com. As usual his puppet king is nothing but a fellow at the mercy of Kibaki's executive control, a nyafara to quote Mp Mbugua.
Ruto attracted a mammoth crowd in Kisumu and the ripple effect of that had Raila sycophants jetting to Kisumu late evening to do damage contro too late and had one asking just what went wrong and how Ruto outfoxed them so easily while they were busy in parliament shadowboxing. Even Salim Lome and the Miguna fellow had no answer for that well executed uppercut.
Raila cannot resign since he knows he is a spent force and his once mammoth ODM has been reduced to a LUO'S party.
WHAT MAMMOTH CROUD ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?....BWANA DON'T BE CHEATED BY SLANTED FOOTAGE YOU SEE ON YOU TUBE

Anonymous said...

AM shocked nobody has seen it!!!! The Ruto visit to Luo Nyanza signified the political MATURITY the folks at the lake have. They don't fight, stone, butcher or chase away people who don't agree with their political leaders. Kudos Jaluo!

Anonymous said...

DiD KIBAKI ORGANISE HIS DAD'S MURDER IN THE 80s?
=================================

Chris,
Just to side-step the current topic and drag you back a little back - your "Sins of the Presidency" series did not bring up this sensational Kibaki story.

Can you put on your "investigative" gear and get to work. This is really big - very huge indeed! The implications are simply mind boggling.

Is this the angle Moi has on Kibaki?

If one can do this, what else can they not do?
Rig elections in 2007?

Go for an illegal 3rd Term in 2010?

The full story is here people:
=================

http://ugandansatheart.wordpress.com/2009/11/11/political-murders-and-commissions-of-inquiry/

Also here:
===============
http://www.mzalendo.com/Members.Details.php?ID=46

Anonymous said...

BOTH RAO and KIBs are FAKE

No interest for Kenya as long as they can safeguard their loot

Kenya is ready for a revolution!

POOR Kenyans

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