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Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Dirt On Tobiko And Why Parliament Must Reject His Nomination

Political compromise and horse trading main culprit in this new move to derail reforms

A Kumekucha informant attending the proceedings grilling Keriako Tobiko for the post of DPP last week noticed a curious thing. There was a sheet of paper that Hon Ababu Namwamba was holding even as he fielded his questions and it had the Kumekucha logo clearly across the top meaning that it was a print out from an article in this blog. This is the article the legislator was reading and referring from.
Yes, this blog revealed Tobiko's evil ways almost 4 years ago.
Seeing this at County hall, my informant was upbeat and confident that all would be well and that the committee would reject Tobiko. It was not to be because as you read this the man already has a foot through the door to his new office. The devil is in the details, they say and Kenyans are about to get a very nasty surprise if parliament gives the green light to the nomination of this man to the brand new and extremely powerful position of Director of Public Prosecution DPP. Many Kenyans don’t realize it but this is one of the most powerful legal offices created by the new Constitution and enjoys security of tenure apart from being totally independent unlike in the previous constitution.

If you read the information that was on the piece of paper that Ababu was holding you and understand the contents, then you will get very scared. Mainly because a man who was involved in such a dirty deal should be the subject of a long overdue KACC investigation and not a candidate for an extremely sensitive post under the new constitution. Indeed the post in question is much more sensitive than that of the chief justice and their deputy.

The truth is that Tobiko was appointed to the old post of Deputy Public Prosecutor (also DPP) mainly to frustrate all and any new Anglo Leasing cases, a job that he has done extremely well. Clearly the biggest strength of this man is using technicalities to stall justice. We can therefore expect technicalities to be used to frustrate the spirit and letter of the new constitution at every turn.
It is therefore not too difficult to figure out why some very powerful people in Kenya (masters and promoters of impunity) are so determined to have Tobiko in office. And theyLink may just have their way. We have a fighting chance of stopping it if enough Kenyans can contact their MPs with a simple message “we are watching you.”

What Prof Yash Pal Ghai Said About Tobiko;
“…Now that Keriako Tobiko has emerged as the front runner, I believe I have a responsibility to share my knowledge of him publicly – my private communication to the nominating committee having made no impact.

My knowledge of Tobiko is based largely on his performance as a commissioner of the CKRC. Under their oath, commissioners were to exercise their responsibilities “without fear, favour, bias, affection, ill will, or prejudice”, and without “influence by any political party, religious society or any organisation or person which may have nominated me for the appointment”. This oath, and the Code of Conduct, Tobiko repeatedly violated.

Tobiko was the leader of commissioners who on the basis of lies waged a campaign to get rid of me. He led the group which went to see President Moi, widely believed to urge him to remove me. This did much to discredit the commission, but the very publicity meant that his plot fizzled out.

He constantly reported to the President and some ministers, in clear breach of confidentiality and impartiality. He engaged in a campaign to disrupt the work of the commission to prevent the drafting and adoption of the new constitution.

A drafter prepared a mock up of a draft constitution, with a view to presenting the possible architecture of the constitution for discussion by the commission. Tobiko somehow wormed his way into my office and removed it. Tearing away the front page (with its explanation of the purpose of the document), he made several copies, one delivered to President Moi and others distributed to the media. He told them that I had secretly prepared the constitution on my own. This story appeared prominently in the media, but fortunately was rapidly discredited as the front page was shown to them.

During procedures to remove the first Secretary of the commission, for dishonesty and failure to perform his functions, Tobiko took the secretary into hiding and removed his phone to prevent the commission from contacting him. It was only when pressure was brought on him by his political masters that the Secretary emerged – and resigned.

When the commission was about to start preparing the draft constitution after consulting the people, Tobiko objected, saying that people had not been consulted! However, apart from a handful of commissioners who joined him in the boycott or sabotage of the process, the commission completed the draft. Tobiko’s sole contribution was to take copies of our confidential papers and pass them on to persons who were not authorized to receive copies of them.
Although a lawyer with a good degree, his intellectual contribution was negligible. I personally have no recollection of a single idea or proposal about the constitution that he made.

He later became DPP, as a member of the system that has perpetuated impunity (most recently Ruto’s acquittal in the land case). Is he a suitable person to be appointed to the new more powerful office designed to eradicate this evil?”

CIVIL SOCIETY STATEMENT ON THE PROCESS OF VETTING FOR THE CHIEF JUSTICE, DEPUTY CHIEF JUSTICE AND DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS JUNE 8 2011: We have come together as a group of Kenyan civil society organisations to express our views and concerns on the process of vetting the nominees for Chief Justice (CJ), Deputy Chief Justice (DCJ) and Director of Public prosecutions (DPP). While we have no problem with the outcome of the vetting for the CJ and Deputy CJ, the situation of the nominee for DPP, Mr. Keriako Tobiko is radically different. A series of disconcerting objections have been raised, which cannot be brushed aside in the apparent rush to arrive at a political compromise. They require thorough inquiry.

Approving this nomination without a thorough inquiry risks subjecting him to
unrelenting contestation and opposition and hobbling him as DPP. More importantly, it also risks compromising the transition to greater accountability in Kenya. Concerns have been raised on many issues: on the process of Tobiko's nomination, which was opaque and did not meet the constitutional requirements of transparency and public participation in governance; on his track record as a prosecutor, which is appalling; on his integrity, which has been seriously impugned by, among others, Prof. Yash Ghai. A former Permanent Secretary has accused him of abusing his office and attempting extortion and bribery. He has been accused of facilitating an illegal land transfer and of sabotaging the prosecution of a case involving a former client in the same matter, while neglecting to declare his interests. Furthermore, he has in the past published extreme and anti-reformist opinions which, if he still clings to them, would show him to be unfit to occupy an office which is central to the implementation of the new constitution. These and other disturbing allegations are in the public domain.

As such,
the COIC must make every effort to get to the bottom of them before making any recommendation on Mr. Tobiko's candidacy. Any attempt to engage in unprincipled political horse-trading at the expense of a rigorous search for the truth in these charges and others will be rejected and opposed by all legal and constitutional means. Kenyans have not come so far in order to compromise on the possibility of real change at this critical point in our history. The COIC must be aware; Kenyans are watching each one of you and will judge you according to your actions on this issue. In our opinion, the multiplicity of deeply troubling allegations from a variety of sources, -that seem to be increasing - would tend to indicate that Mr. Tobiko is very likely highly unsuitable for the office of DPP. However, the impression is gaining ground that those who have an interest in the confirmation of the candidature of Tobiko have no interest in the faithful implementation of the new constitution.

The aim seems to be to
ensure that an individual with no apparent interest in, or appetite for, prosecuting serious crimes effectively, occupies the position of DPP, which is a centrepiece in the fight against impunity for crimes against humanity and massive corruption. An examination of his record indicates that perpetrators of serious crimes would have as little to fear from Tobiko Keriako as DPP under the new constitution, as they have had to fear from him to date. Specifically, the following objections- which urgently need clarification and investigation- have been raised to Mr. Tobiko's candidacy, among others:-

1) The Process:

The process leading to the identification of Tobiko as a candidate was not
transparent in keeping with the values and requirements of the new constitution; as a result Kenyans have no idea how it was conducted, on what basis he was chosen as the best candidate, nor what criteria were used to select him. The Minister for Justice Mutula Kilonzo publicly criticized the decision to hold interviews in private. Has the COIC asked the panel for all information on the process, including selection criteria and all scores of all candidates? Have open questions on the integrity of process been answered? Have the reports which we are informed were prepared by the National Security and Intelligence Services on candidates been acquired where available? If there were any adverse findings did the selection panel make any attempt to address them during the interview process? What were the results?

2) How was Prof. Ghai's complaint handled by the selection panel?

Apart from the process, the public needs to understand if or how the
selection panel chose to handle a complaint submitted to it by Prof. Yash Ghai, former Chair of the CKRC, in which he made serious allegations against Mr. Tobiko's character, integrity and independence e.g. repeatedly breaching confidentiality to report CKRC proceedings to the Moi government and receiving illegal allowances as a Commissioner. Has COIC been able to satisfy themselves that these allegations were properly dealt with by the selection panel? If not, what does the COIC intend to do about it?

3) Mr. Tobiko's Integrity and impartiality

Mr. Tobiko is accused of facilitating the illegal transfer of 4,000 acres of
land in Maasai Mara. This land was confirmed by a ministerial report to have been illegally acquired. When named Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions he took over the prosecution of the same case in which he had acted for his former client, now the accused. He allegedly failed to declare a conflict of interest and recuse himself. Worse, he was accused of abuse of office and of compromising the cases to the extent that then Chief Magistrate ole Keuwa reportedly appealed to the Attorney General about Tobiko's interference and the danger of accusations of malicious prosecution. Complainants also appealed on Tobiko's alleged perversion of the prosecution. In its special Report of March 2006, (on page 42) the Public Accounts Committee notes that the appointment of Keriako Tobiko as Director of Public Prosecutions frustrated the progress of one of the Anglo Leasing cases; on the Forensic Science laboratory. The PAC notes that Mr Keriako, again, laboured under an undeclared conflict of interest, having acted as Chief Defence counsel in the matter, for Mr. Zakayo Cheruiyot among others.

Surprisingly, Mr. Tobiko yesterday to the COIC professed ignorance of an
important report on a process that received wide international attention in major media outlets around the world. At the very least, it indicates a level of disregard of parliament and its proceedings, which should give the COIC pause for thought in terms of Tobiko's likely respect for constitutionalism, or his honesty. On the same issue, in an opinion piece in the Sunday Nation on March 1st 1998, Tobiko and another basically approve of and threaten to incite violent consequences to clerics who strayed away from the narrow religious bounds prescribed by Tobiko and engaged in politics by publicly commenting on the lack of meaningful participation in the then constitutional reform process. Is he committed to defending and upholding the constitution with these past attitudes? Do his actions indicate that he still holds them?

4) Mr Tobiko's Competence

Through incompetence, laxity or worse, Mr. Tobiko has been responsible for
the failure of several key cases, among them the fraud case against William Ruto; the failure to appeal in time against the decision to quash sections of the report of the Goldenberg commission's report referring to George Saitoti, and prohibiting the Attorney General from pressing criminal charges against Saitoti in the Goldenberg affair. Most tellingly, the intervention of the ICC in Kenya is the ultimate indictment of Kenya's judicial and prosecutorial services. What more does the COIC need to consider arriving at the conclusion that very few, if any, individuals, who have been involved in the leadership of these institutions to date is qualified to lead them into the new dispensation? Promises of reform failed to convince the Pre-Trial chamber of the ICC, why should they convince us?

5) Mr. Tobiko's readiness to own his failures

Mr. Tobiko responds to the above criticism by laying blame either at the
police's door or the Attorney General's or others. Thus he claims that it was the Attorney General and not he, who presided over the shambolic state of affairs in the prosecutorial services; it is the police, and not he, who failed to produce key witnesses in the Ruto fraud case and others. Mr. Tobiko is shirking his moral and professional responsibility. Passing the buck between institutions has for too long been used to hoodwink Kenyans. It should be a tactic of the past, those who use it belong to the past. In general, Mr. Tobiko did not respond to all the committee's questions and was often evasive. In conclusion, the committee must find that the selection of the shortlist of persons for appointment as DPP was carried out with so much opacity that it cannot be relied on to produce the country's next DPP. The selected candidate, Keriako Tobiko, suffers too many moral and professional afflictions to be relied on as the next DPP, and cannot therefore be confirmed to this office.

Nairobi, June 8, 2011.

Very latest developments in this story: Gladwell Otieno, Ghai and NGOs headed to court to block Tobiko

Earlier development in this story: ODM in new move to block debate on Tobiko


Anonymous said...

Dont you get it? It's 2012 politics, stupid! Ask safi-kama pamba-Waldorf Astoria Odinga, your choice candidate. He'll say anything and do anything or not do anything for the votes. Totally lacking in principle and ideology--the so-called leader and statesman. Pooh.

Anonymous said...

See my comment from my Facebook account:

Stopping Tobiko now will not be easy. Hope we can learn from the mistakes here in future vetting of public servants.

Kumekucha Chris

Anonymous said...

Yeah, even the "reformers" couldnt fix this one. Ha, ha, haaa. Dont get me wrong, I'd be the first to flush Tobiko down the toilet. It's the crude political opportunism, especially of the so-called "reformers" and their party of "reform" that I find hilarious. Anything for 2012!

Anonymous said...

Ahh Chris, its too late now to stop Amos Wako's protegee Keriako!

As if it wasn't worrying enough that Tobiko came highly recommended by his "godfather" the AG who himself is a master of delaying tactics and denying justice, Keriako also has sponsors in high government places who are very influential but remain nameless.

They are eager to have "their man" on the inside as implementation of the new constitution begins to take off. It should come as no surprise that any public prosecutions that will be brought against crimes committed by the previous regimes under the old constitution will be safely squashed and thrown out of courts in order to safeguard the current kingpins of impunity who will still be actively seeking seats in the senate and governorship of counties come August next year

The fight against impunity does not die easily without putting up a struggle

Anonymous said...

@1:57--that's obvious. i think the bigger issue is why those self-proclaimed reformers were busy showing off mutunga and barasa yet couldnt touch tobiko. the answer is simple, reform is only good if it works for you. the reformers shut their thick, flapping lips because of the immediate political gains of 2012. longer term gains were trumped by politics--- dont want to upset the Maasai, do you?

Mwarang'ethe said...

Just a reminder. The King MONOPOLISED prosecution so as to:

(a) make money, and

(b) prosecute acts that disturbed HIS peace, not, OUR peace.

As such, the State, or, appropriately, the OLIGARCHY behind the State uses this monopoly to:

(a) prosecute/ or, appropriately, persecute its enemies, and

(b) protect the OLIGARCHY from any prosecution.

This being the philosophy/origin of the monopolised state prosecution law, the question is:

(a) should we have such a monopoly and then, turn around and cry for a "good" man to occupy the post?

NB: The King never created any monopoly to serve you.

From this standpoint, it would seem fit to say that, the problem is the monopoly so created and not the man who occupies the seat.

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:33am
In this case you are right, reform is only good if it works for you. But then again thats Kenya for you, and in particular under this current regime which is no different from past successive administrations in terms of key figures who are symbols of past KANU era. So who will make Tobiako toe the line when he decides to act unilaterally against the spirit of the new constitution as he is bound to do in future? you'd better hope there is a stronger personality seated in the static house

Anonymous said...

@3:45 am.
It may be that even more depends on the "strength" of the public and perhaps less on who is in state house. As I see it now, prospective state house residents have enough baggage and will be seeking not to sink--and the DPP as it looks will be for the take. A strong, well-informed public might just have the influence to, from time to time, disrupt collusion between the DPP and head of state. I have very little faith in the "civil" society as they too are for the take to the highest bidder (prostitutes!). I'm thinking more in terms of grassroots organizations and movements that are not necessarily mobilized by Ranneberger type of money.

Anonymous said...

It's pathetic Kenya want ban speaking of mother tongues. This is the most stupid thing I have heard since medieval times. Then again Kenya is not deemed as centuries behind the rest of the world for nothing!
Banning of 'minor' or tribal languages was only done during the middle-ages in Europe. But in the recent times, those languages have a made a big come back!
How ironic, while the rest of the world are filling classrooms to learn their native tribal languages, Kenyans are banning them!
Every Jewish person these day MUST go back to school and learn to speak and write the ancient Hebrew.
Anyone with the roots from Southern Europe are going back to school to learn Latin, same as with the Irish, Welsh... and the list is endless.

I wish kenyans would love to value their cultures!
Your Culture is priceless!

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:17am
Well as things stand at the moment we are definitely not in for another Ranneberger type of Ambassador, at least not from the US of A, and from the looks of it neither will our former colonial master UK provide another Sir Clay.

But i think your "faith" if i may call it that, in the awareness and participation of the kenyan public at large is slightly terms of grassroots, the ordinary "wanjiku" is mobilized by the tribal gatekeepers of the 2 big parties PNU and ODM.

And ODM is a leaking sinking vessel at the moment with the whole of RiftValley about to abandon ship at the behest of the new Kalenjin leaders in the shape of Ruto/Kutuny/ and the amorphous named GNU party.

No, to rally the public to the levels of engagement with governance and legislation such as you are suggesting will require a central unifying lead figure to provide the sort of unity Kenyans are capable of outside the confines of tribal bondage and ethnic affiliation.

This is one of the biggest hindrances to Martha Karua's bid for presidency despite her recorded achievements on activism and reform

Anonymous said...

You fail to get my point. External money, whether US, UK, Mars etc will not cut it. That strips integrity, controls the terms and generally just coopts.

I agree with you, though--the grass roots type of movement emerging does need a lot of imagination. But we do have some raw material we can work with that is more class than identity-based. But Atwoli is either fast asleep or just burdened by all that metal around his neck and wrists.

Sometimes i cant help but wonder about the church--a deplorable thought--but its getting pretty desperate, really.

Anonymous said...

I feel you on the money issue but you also know good and well that bankrolling of they type Rannenberger was funding was solely coming from the coffers of US tax payers, no individual private kenyan citizen can compete with that type of money, especially as the richer Kenyans who made their money illegaly are the majority of law makers in parliament. Talk about the stakes being against the majority

You mentioned Atwoli-sad to say that is one man who failed to live up to his much touted billing as the Organizing secretary of countrywide manpower. He does wield the type of influence that even the church you talk about would envy lol.

If Francis were to say strike then ideally every kenyan should say How high?No, me thinks the next battlefront is the counties. fellow Kumekuchans make sure whoever your governor is he/she will be a believer in competitive development for your region/county. That is the final frontier, we can either go the Nigerian way or the S.African way.

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:41 AM
I am a native tongue speaking junkie, however, why don't you learn to speak your father tongue and national language for starters, instead yapping 24/7 about the proposed ban of all mother tongues?

There are some "mother tongues" that are the theatres of the absurd because they lack a viable vocabualry.

Case in point, could you, anon 4:41 AM translate the following into your cherished mother tongue?

Across Africa, we serve our customers by combinning an unrivaled presence with our local expertise in corporate and investment banking, foreign exchange, cash management, trade finance and retail banking. ... We in more countries in Africa than any other bank in the world.

FYI, there is an official translation for the same in Kinyarwanda, Luganda, Kirundi, Amharic, Tigrinya, Zulu, Ndebele, Swazi, Sotho, Tswana, Tsonga, Venda, Xhosa, Afrikaans, Northern Sotho, Herero, Silozi, Oshiwambo, Damara, and Somali.

WADR, where does that leave you with the clamouring for your mother tongue?

Back to why parliament should and must reject Tobiko's nomination.

Anonymous said...

"How ironic, while the rest of the world are filling classrooms to learn their native tribal languages, Kenyans are banning them!"

A virulent case of taking something out of context. Banning the use of ethnic languages in government offices is a different matter from an *overall* ban of ethnic language anywhere. Use your head.

Anonymous said...

anon 4:41am
Kenyans love their culture. What we don't want to do is to honestly deal with tribalism/negative ethnicity or whatever else its called nowadays

The problem is discrimination based on tribe/age/gender/sexuality/political affiliation etc
Using your native cultural language in a Government office or NGO for that matter is not the issue.

But as usual our less than helpful politicians try to confuse solution with the problem

Anonymous said...

Contrary to popular opinion, Kenya is now a nation with a large pool of highly educated, qualified and competent lawyers with unblemished and uncompromised professional, social, and personal track records of service to their clients and country.

Observing the soon to be dark consequences of Keriako Tobiko's nomination, one is left to wonder why certain names of questionable characters that were part and parcel of the past political sewers and institutional cesspools keep popping up at a critical moment when Kenyans are trying to steer the country in a totally new direction for the greater good?

Why are some well connected individuals among us and the political cartels busy trying to store leftover old wine from the Nyayo winery into new bottles?

And, why are we as a people who value Kenya's future agreeing to the horrendous practice of relabeling compromised old wine and repackaging it as Keriako Tobiko & Co., with the expiry dates of August 14th, 2019 and May 19th, 2023?

Anybody for the DPP nomination but NOT one Keriako Tobiko, a trojan horse, a radioctive individual and a well known schmoozer from the dark era of impunity, dictatorship, judicial double standards and absolute national stagnation?

We all aware of the fact that, a hyena, be it striped or spotted, can never afford to change its appetite nor its behavioul instincts even if its very survival is based it, or just because it finds itself in a different political habitat.

We, concerned Kenyans, will be damned if Keriako Tobiko's nomination is confirmed, and we will also be damned if we don't fight and seek for a fresh start of the nomination process of the Director of Public Prosecutor of Kenya.

Anonymous said...

I wish Kenyans would love to value their cultures! Your culture is priceless!

The question is, are Kenyans students in general dying to fill classrooms all over the country for the sake of learning their vernacular languages, let alone Swahili, one of the official languages?

Kenyans are not every Jewish people, Latin Americans and the Castelian Spanish who are proud of their heritage.

Kenyans are the kind of people who would rather prefer to overfill classrooms in order to learn musical Lingala and American slang phrasses and lyrics.

Majority of Kenyans have never valued nor developed an appreciation for their country, cultures, foods, music, unique dancing styles, villages, towns, traditional names, 'made in Kenya brands', religions, geography, history, and the wonderful mosaic of ethnicities that makes them who are as a people and nation.

Warped political leadership, self-loathing, psychodrama that is induced by our exceptional educational system, and an endemic sense of self-imposed inferiority complex is to blame.

BTW, how many Kenyans do you know of that have bothered to earn or pursue their certification, undergraduate degrees, graduate degrees and PhDs in their native languages, let alone in Swahili, like the every Jewish student, scholar, physician, politician, religious leaders, judges, civil servant, business people, and many other experts have done since standard Hebrew was revived by Eliezer Ben-Yehuda?

We are to blame because the buck stops with us.

Anonymous said...

Reject Keriako Tobiko as Director of Public Prosecution of Kenya.

Keriako Tobiko should be a nominee for the investigation by the Kenya Anti Corruption-Commission - not for Director of Public Prosecution.

Anonymous said...

Who appointed semi-literate Atwoli to chair the vetting committee?? The guy is good at mobilising crowds but on this appointment he failed miserably.

Anonymous said...

Funny people like to speak "Queen's English" but Queen is also fluent in her mother tongue which is surprisngly German and beside German she can also speak fluent French.
When her grand-son Prince William (the one who got married in Apr) told the media he was learning Swahili back in 2001, the demand for Swahili courses and private tutors in Swahili shoot-up to an all time high in UK.
The only thing, we never got to know how William got on with Swahili lessons but it is understood he found Swahili too difficult for him and so he only learnt the basic words.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:37AM
well done my friend you have with a few strokes of your keyboard disillusioned an entire generation of Kenyans born in the Moi regime who will never believe that Kenyans are worth anything other than comedic entertainment value

they will never believe that Prince William "that cool guy who got married" was learning our local Kiswahili language, and maybe even considered attempting to learn its ugly mutation "sheng". Oh no!

The "mzungu" is the epitome of ultra sophistication and there is no way he can lower himself to speak the ordinary language of common Wanjiku. That is why Wanjiku wishes she married Prince William for he is more romantic than he is pedantic, and has more money than he'll ever need to spend, he just needs a kenyan girl or guy to spend it on

Anonymous said...

Prince William's great-great Aunt, Princess Alice also learnt Swahili and could speak fluently.

And if you thought it was a joke Prince William can speak Swahili here is the link:

Anonymous said...

Who appointed Atwoli to chair the vetting committee?

One would have thought that the COTU Seceretary General would always be on the side of the workers, therefore on the side of the ordinary Kenyan, Wanjiku, and in trenches with them whenever shove came to push.

But as it turns out, the COTU Secretary General, Francis Atwoli has been in bed with the anti-reformist all long for the express purpose of watching our for the interests of those who eat together and consequently safeguarding their time to eat together.

The untouchables who turned Kenya into their own little playground during the day and a pool table (snooker table, billiards table) during the night.

So, why should the public be even surprised or shocked that a man like Francis Atwoli, COTU Secretary General would be singing and dancing to the same tune as one infamous Amos Wako and Caroli Omondi?

What a way to go Mr. Francis Atwoli! Scratch my back and I will scratch yours.

Anonymous said...

Repeat after me.

'The more things change the more the remain the same!

Two legs good four legs bad!

Always do as I say and not as I do!

Only the strong know how to survive in a country like Kenya!

Respect the strong and honour the powerful in your villages, towns, counties, parliament and at the State House!

Your very survival depends on their well being at all costs!

Men like Tobiko have the blessings from high places and come highly recomended by the powerful dons of Kenya!

Never ever forget where you belong!

Never forget your place in Kenyan society!

Never ever attempt to bite the hand that feeds you ugali, rice, beans and potatoes!

Best respectiful of the powerful at all times!

And mind your own business without poking your nose into other people's businesses!'

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:53Am
Wonders will never cease. now you have infuriated the entire generation of Kenyans born circa 1990 because you've shown a whole mzungu speaking the much loathed and despised national language, not to mention cultural father and mother tongues of certain groupings and clans of the mother continet

Next you will say that Prince William is learning kikuyu/luo/kisii/kikamba etc. you know you are making these youngsters of Kenyans ashamed of their imported american/british accents which they use to intimidate their fellow Kenyans with their class and international status

Anonymous said...

I think we should have a national debate on how to uphold our cultures including the importance of maintaining our ethnic languages.

I was watching the history of Wales (which is part of UK) and I was astounded by the number of people wanting to learn their native Welsh language. What I found staggering is the number of city dwellers who are willing to learn Welsh which is a very awkard langauge. Amazingly the number of Welsh speaker in Cardiff the capital city (beautiful modern city) rose from 17% 50 years ago to about 48% in 2009. And these are city slickers born and bred in the city, some of whom are 4th or 5th generations of city dwellers.

Folks, you don't even need to go far, look at Kenyan Indians; they can converse in English, Swahili and 1 or 2 of their native languages (eg Hindi, Gujarat, and Urdu), yet they have lived in Kenya for more than a century.

Come on Kenyans!!

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:03am
You have the right idea but its the wrong timing with the "ipod" generation. Note the failure of Alfred Mutua's government backed Najivunia Kuwa Mkenya campaign is not due to lack of patriotism or poor marketing but due to the avenues and methods used

If popularizing the uptake of Kiswahili is not done through the platforms of the mobile phone or on the television screen/computer then the initiative will falter and ultimately fail to take off

Anonymous said...

Kenya is truly a country of criminal minded people. How did Education officials steal Sh4.2 billion through unregistered schools and unofficial accounts right under the nose of KNUT and the ministry of education without suspecting a thing until Uhuru did an audit

Everyone including you and me would do the same{i.e. steal from public} if granted opportunity. We are nothing but a bunch of thieves and crooks!mmmmmh!

Anonymous said...

So many communities [ethnicities] in sub Saharan African countries threw away the cultural baby out with the bathwater and tried substituting it with quasi Arabic and European colonial cultures.

All things taken into account, we remain our own worst enemies when it comes to being proud of who we are as a people of various ethnicities and upholding our cultures, traditions and customs that are not detrimental to our societies in general.

For starters, how many times have we heard the terms ethnicity, blackness, African race, traditions, customs, cultures, rural, villages, countryside, ancestry, etc being overly associated with primitivity, backwardness, underdevelopment, uncouthness, low class, basitions of poverty, witchcraft, darkness, evil and what have you?

IMHO, we don't need a national debate as it were on whether or not to "uphold our cultures including the importance [that's already been lost on so many of us] of maintaining our ethnic languages" and whatever that is left of our Kenyan or African cultural heritages.

The main responsibility of a such noble initiative or debate falls upon the respective ethnicities that want or have the ardent desire to preserve their cultural identity and heritage for all the right reasons.

And the herculean efforts must be engineered from within the concerned communities by all generations within those specific ethnicities and any propagation as well as sustenance of the initiative must start at the cultural grassroots.

It took centuries in north Africa and part of west Africa and more than hundred and forty years in other parts of Africa, to empty the African mind, brainwash it so to speak, and it will take another century or more to deconstruct and then reconstruct the continental African mind, body, spirit and soul back to humanity but in modern times.

Anonymous said...

Kenyan Indians are in a league of their own and you can not compare them them to other Kenyans, nor can one comapre the various Kenyan ethnicities to the Kenyan Indians in general with regard to love for culture, language, religion, food cusine types, spices and herbs, clothing, music, rituatl, etc and above all the Indian diasporan [ethnic] unity coalition.

Anyone who has associated with the Kenyan Indian through schooling from primary, secondary, institutions of higher learning, business circles, neighbourhoods, and beyond, will have noticed various vital elements that puts them in a league of their own when it comes to the preservation as well as the strong appreciation of their heritages.

It all begins in their respective households, its the parents who pass on the pride and identity of they are as an ethnicity to the children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

While their Kenyan counterparts are still very busy haphazardly emulating [parroting and mimicking] their colonial masters in the efforts of trying to be little Europeans aka later day settlers in Kenya.

And that's one of the many reasons why the 5th and 6th generations of Kenyan Indians still embrace their heritage and are also able to fluently speak their repsective languages while living thousands and thousands of miles away from the Indian sub-continent.

Let's keep in mind that the Kenyan Indians are not homogeneous as it were, for they speak different languages on Kenyan soil such as standard Hindi, Gujarati, Bengal, Urdu, Punjabi, Marathi, Odia, Malayalam and Sindhi.

The Wabalushi (Baluchi) are the ones who still speak Sindhi, while the Goans (Malaylis) in Nairobi and Mombasa speak Malayalam among their respective communities and in their homes.

Yet how many times have we been treated to the theatre of the absurd or spectacle by upper middle class, middle class, lower-middle class and lower class Kenyans who will say it without blinking that they don't speak their various ethnic languages as a sign, measure or distinction of differentiating themselves from their "backard" counterparts or "washamba cousins" living in the countryside or rural pockets of Kenya.

Who is to blame for the brainwashed attitude and leftover colonial mentality?

The grandparents, parents, chidren, grandchildren, great grandchildren or the hundred years what passes for half-baked colonial heritage?

Anonymous said...

Thank you anon! I believe you are one and the same @ 1:02 PM and 1:40 PM.

Very well written balanced commentary.

Indeed Kenyan Indians and by extension the whole Indian Diaspora are on a league of their own when it comes to preserving their cultures. No wonder we do not hear much of intermarriages among Indians and other south Asians.

But what went wrong with Africans? I know we like to blame anything on colonialism but surely the Europeans did not steal our brains as well!

The thing I hate the most is when I hear from white people how disappointed their were after visiting Kenyan homes because they expected African cultures in the house i.e African furnitures, African foods, African music, African families…etc etc but all they get is mimicking of Europeans. PATHETIC

Kenyans should take note of how Masaai culture is admired worldwide.

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