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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Camel Milk Set for Boom Times (AFP)

Camel milk traders from the Borana community are seen here 'packaging' produce for refrigiration before it's distribution to Nairobi, in Isiolo, 300 km north of Kenyan capital, Nairobi. Recurrent droughts in Kenya in recent years have renewed interest in the camel and its resistance to extreme climates.
Camel milk traders from the Borana community are seen here 'packaging' produce for refrigiration before it's distribution to Nairobi, in Isiolo, 300 km north of Kenyan capital, Nairobi. Recurrent droughts in Kenya in recent years have renewed interest in the camel and its resistance to extreme climates.
a young herder of the Borana community tends to young camels as their mothers are milked at dawn, in Isiolo, 300 km north of Kenyan capital, Nairobi. Recurrent droughts in Kenya in recent years have renewed interest in the camel and its resistance to extreme climates.
a young herder of the Borana community tends to young camels as their mothers are milked at dawn, in Isiolo, 300 km north of Kenyan capital, Nairobi. Recurrent droughts in Kenya in recent years have renewed interest in the camel and its resistance to extreme climates.
AFP - For the tattered-clothed young men in this remote community, milking a camel's stubby udders at sunrise is not a novelty, but a daily chore to get milk valued by their tribe for generations.
But camel's milk, long-cherished by the Cushite people of central Kenya, is now enjoying a renaissance in the capital Nairobi and could, some say, become an internationally coveted health food product worth 10 billion dollars a year. "Camels are better than cows because they can survive when there is drought, but the cows cannot, so I can make a profit even during dry season," said Halima Hussein, 45, whose 84-strong flock makes her a local camel-mogul.
"I'm going to sell to sell some of my cows to buy more camels," added Hussein, whose family also owns 120 cows.
This arid region in central Kenya, like much of northeast Africa, has in recent years been hit with less predictable and more intense droughts, hindering cow's milk production and boosting the value of camels.
In Isiolo, some 280 kilometres (175 miles) north of Nairobi, Hussein and the 63 other women in her local cooperative currently send between 3,000 to 5,000 litres (quarts) of camel's milk a day to markets in Nairobi's Eastleigh neighbourhood.
Following this unprecedented demand, the Dutch development organisation SNV, which helps the women sell their milk in Nairobi, has suggested opening a milk bar in Isiolo, perhaps to introduce visitors to the unique flavours of camel-based diary.
The Somali, Oromo and Borana tribes -- all part of the Cushite group -- provide a reliable base of customers at Nairobi's hectic markets.
But some insist there is a chance to turn this once ignored type of milk into a high-end health food product sought after on every continent.
"There is already a high demand for camel milk in the developed countries," said Holger Marbach, a German national who founded Vital Camel Milk, which makes yoghurt, ice cream and other camel's milk products.
Marbach said Vital Camel Milk currently sells its products to supermarkets in Kenya, Latin America, South Africa and United Arab Emirates, but could sell to more lucrative markets if "administrative and political barriers" were removed.
Leading food experts also agree that camel's milk has potentially valuable properties.
"Camel milk is slightly saltier than cow's milk, three times as rich in Vitamin C and is known to be rich in iron, unsaturated fatty acids and B vitamins," according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation's website.
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) says that with savvier packaging and more investment, camel's milk could become a 10 billion dollar annual global industry.
Even though Starbucks has not yet introduced a 'camel chai latte,' the milk remains a hugely important food source for a community regularly hit by devastating drought.
"I feed my 12 children on camel's milk," said Safia Kulow, 40, who is president of the Isiolo women's cooperative.
Daniel Muggi, the official in charge of Isiolo livestock at Kenya's Ministry of Agriculture, argues that the milk's nutritional value, and the ability of camels to produce it regardless of the whether, may enhance its popularity.
"Circumstances force people to change and non Cushite communities are considering camels because of lessons learnt from the drought and famine here," he said.
"I'm not saying people should abandon all the other types of milk, but I am saying camel milk is the saviour of the pastoralists during the dry season."
While they welcome the surge in camel interest within Kenya, locals in Isiolo sound anxious to look beyond the domestic market.
"In the future, we are thinking of getting a camel milk factory," said 56-year-old Adan Ali, the only male member of the Isiolo cooperative.
"We think camel milk will be gold, because we will start exporting to the European Union," he said.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

What Am I Reading?

Two readers have sent me e-mail inquiries regarding my taste in books. I'm going to answer that by sharing with you my current read-list. The books are mainly related to International Economics, Monetary and Currency Policy and Political & Development Economics.

The books mainly deal with subjects primarily out of my area of expertise (I mainly deal with Bio-Medical Engineering & Financial Engineering) but development economics has always been a topic of personal interest.
I should point out that most of these books are academic and rather wonkish in nature.

The Books are:

The Elegant Universe: Super Strings, Hidden Dimensions & The Ultimate Truth by Brian Greene
The World is Flat by Thomas Friedman
Griftopia: Bubble Machines, Vampire Squids & The Long Con That Is Breaking America by Matt Taibbi
The Rise of The Korean Economy by Byung-Nak Song
International Economics: Theory & Application by Paul Krugman
Currency & Crisis by Paul Krugman
Market Structure & Foreign Trade by Helpman
What Do We need to Know by Krugman

Friday, June 24, 2011

In Kigali, Lessons For Garissa

It's a well documented fact that Garissa has a massive hygiene problem. While our city has experienced turbocharged growth in the past decade, we still lack a proper garbage disposal mechanism and our sewerage system is medieval.

In spite of this, we pompously proclaim ourselves to be Muslims while ignoring an important tenet of Islam that lays great emphasis on cleanliness and hygiene.

I have always laid the blame for this on general illiteracy, our notorious lack of civic mindedness and the ever useful "my qabil" political gambit that has served our MPs and Councilors so well for so long while leaving the rest of us dying  of dysentery.

Let me come back to the point of this post though. Kigali, Rwanda is one of Africa's cleanest and healthiest cities. Every Kigali resident has health insurance and clean air to breathe.Laws there are  well defined and enforced . But the most impressive thing about Kigali is how its residents maintain its cleanliness as the video embedded below illustrates.

The only difference between Kigali and Garissa or even Nairobi is the leadership. In Kigali and in Rwanda generally, leaders care about their people and are mainly motivated by a sense of public duty. In Garissa, our leaders are bunch of thugs who use their tenure to strip us of our wealth through taxation (without representation) and then divert it to their offshore bank accounts.

Most surprising though, we Garissans know where we stand and have no illusions about it.
We get to live in dry, sewer invested, unpaved neighbourhoods, eat expired food, die of pneumonia or dysentery at 39, get buried in a nondescript grave at a nondescript yard and then face Allah's questions for all our deficiencies.

In between, we get an election cycle every half a decade, vote with our blood lineage, get rewarded with a few police parades on Madaraka Day and forever remain hapless historical footnotes.

As Moi put it in his ultimate pabulum, "Siasa Mbaya, Maisha Mbaya."

Monday, June 20, 2011

Kenya, The Failed State

Lack of economic growth, Uneven development, high unemployment and archaic tribal politics sees Kenya ranked in the top 16 of the failed states index for a third year running.

To contextualize this, Kenya ranks lower than war-torn Sri Lanka, Burma, North Korea and Ethiopia. Many of these countries are characterized by military suppression, gross human rights violations and massive human flight.

Still, this represents a rise of 3 positions from 13 last year, attributed to the passage of a new constitution and a somewhat re-invigorated civic society.

To check out the full rankings and play around with the interactive map go here:


Saturday, June 18, 2011

Should Women become Kadhis?

This question is causing friction between two prominent Muslim organizations in the country. The Council of Imams and Preachers of Kenya, a conservative leaning group, is opposed to the move while Muslims for Human Rights, a liberal minded body, is advocating for the appointment of female kadhis.

So is the exclusion of women from judgeship positions a culturally constructed phenomenon or a religiously fixed edict?
Shouldn't Muslims, the beneficiaries of a special treatment by a secular constitution, recognize the importance of gender diversity in all aspects of society? What makes it impossible for learned women to adjudicate in matters relating to family disputes and marriage- their area of natural expertise?

Or is this radical feminism disguised as affirmative action?

What are your thoughts on this?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Hijab, latest pawn in Culture War

  Apparently Kenya High has barred its Muslim students from wearing hijabs to foster a sense of equality and uniformity in its dress code. Forgive the logical inconsistency in the previous sentence but does this mean in the spirit of separation of State and Church, the school will stop teaching CRE, ban the wearing of crosses, bibles, christian literature and all forms of  outward expression of faith? My guess is no. This is purely intolerance masquerading as secularism. Hopefully the courts will strike down this blatant interference with students' freedom.

Here is an excerpt of The Daily Nation's report:

Muslim students should not be allowed to wear hijab (head scarf) to school for the sake of equality, a court has been told.
A school, which has been sued by Muslim parents for stopping students from wearing head scarves, defended its decision saying it did not, in any way, discriminate against the rights of the students.Kenya High School said school uniforms were critical in promoting discipline in the student community.“If the court allows the Muslim students to wear head scarves, this will open a can of worms for all manner of demands for wearing of ‘religious’ regalia such as turbans, buibui, ornaments and dreadlocks,” the school said in an affidavit sworn by the board of governors secretary Rosemary Saina.The school’s response arose out of a case filed against it by Mrs Anisa Bashir. She sued the school on behalf of her daughter and 11 others over the decision by the institution to stop the students from wearing hijabs.
The students and their parents want the court to quash the school’s decision.Also sought is an order to bar the school from interfering with the rights of Muslim students to wear hijab as a form of expression and manifestation of their rights.They argued the school’s admission policy was also unlawful as it directly discriminated against them on religious and cultural grounds.The school responded that it had done everything within its powers to ensure Muslim students were catered for.The school said it had done this by ensuring its washrooms were equipped with water bottles for the convenience of Muslims.It also said it had provided prayer rooms for Muslims and arranged for an Islamic preacher to attend to their spiritual needs once a week.On Tuesday, High Court judge Daniel Musinga directed the parties in the matter to go for mention on July 4. 

Are NEP's Youthful Leaders Engaging in Premature Triumphalism?

 I pose this question because The Standard's Boniface Ongeri & Isaiah Lucheli wrote a piece titled "Youthful Leaders Have Grand Plans for NEP."

Given that elections are a little over a year away, Somalis in NEP must now decide what sort of counties they want to live in. We could go on with the status-quo and remain retrogressive  in every economic and social indicator. Or, we could free ourselves from the shackles of clanism and actively set about creating the sort of society that other Kenyans envy and want emulate.

Great Societies are created by, among other things, the coming together of civic groups, educated youths, philanthropists and governments dedicated to working for their people. And for NEP, given all the decentralization the new constitution affords us, this is surely the moment. The chemistry is right.

What then is needed to get the chemistry going? We need educated leadership whose sole interest is driving up economic growth, reducing red tape and appropriating development funds where they will yield the best results while offering citizens the most convenience. Above all, we need leadership that will foster a sense of self confidence in Somalis and attract financial investment in our livestock industry and farmland along  The Tana. We need leaders who will promote education over illiteracy, self-sufficiency over perpetual dependence, cohesion over disenfranchisement and most importantly leadership that takes advantage of our religious, cultural and lingual homogeneity instead of dividing us into clans and sub-clans.

What we don't need is another politician who talks big but thinks small and our leaders have been the worst offenders when it comes to this.The season of aggrandizing politicians and derelict citizenry should be over.   Our current political leaders, with notable exceptions, are perhaps the least impressive in Kenya. They are pathologically incapable of seeing the big picture. Evermore relying on connections and bribery to maintain their seats while delivering nothing. They never preach self sufficiency or urge the Somali investor class to build their home province instead of putting billions into Eastleigh  and never bring to the floor legislation of any significance.

In the past ten years, Garissa has come far but we are still unable to take pride in our achievements because many of us consider them an ascent from jaw-dropping badness to mere mediocrity. This is why, I am pro-youthful leadership and an end to our decadent political system.However, for all the talk of "youthful" leadership, I have to say, besides Abdikadir Mohammed of Mandera, I'm yet to be impressed by any the so called youths. Garissa's mayor has been a big turn off for a lot people and has seriously undermined the youth agenda. His self-confidence has tipped into insouciance and neglect of duty. While he is not evil intentioned, most of his administration has been plagued by incompetence. Even failing in things as mundane as garbage collection.

The Standard quotes Khalif Abdi who gave an accurate diagnosis of why enthusiasm for youthful leadership is waning.

Some residents say certain youth elected into leadership roles have failed to meet expectations."They had the opportunity to prove to the skeptics that they were up to the challenge but some have been a big disappointment and embarrassment to the youth fraternity," Khalif Abdi Farah, the coordinator of Northern Forum for Democracy said.Khalif explains the difference between the old guard and the youth was that the elderly leaders were easily accessible and selfless, but the youth were selfish and poor managers."Some of the youthful leaders are already under probe for misuse of funds while others have accumulated questionable wealth and are living beyond their paltry pay," Khalif added

In conclusion, even though this is a boon time for youthful leaders, I would urge those seeking positions of power to not succumb to premature triumphalism. Pay attention to detail, convince us you are the right people for elected office, articulate your views without pandering to clan overlords, come up with manifestos that will get us drooling and go above and beyond in courting the votes of elders and youths alike. Finally, make sure you are educated and have an impeccable record as far as personal integrity is concerned. Trust me, nobody wants to unleash a bunch of half baked, khat addled youngsters on the public. If it means seeking non-glamorous positions such as becoming a councilor to gain legislative experience, do so. You'll be all the better for it! 

That's my two cents worth! 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Imams & Madrassa Teachers To Be Vetted

This is the perfect tabloid story. It has a depressing sexual scandal, irrational citizenry and a fair bit of ludicrousness. Yes, they are actually calling for the vetting of Imams and Madrassa teachers.

Does anyone remember Bamatraf?

The Geography of Peace: Global Peace Index

Kenya improved its ranking in the Global Peace Index by 9 positions over last year coming in at position 111/153. Tanzania, which has consistently ranked as the most peaceful nation in the region is at position 56/153, Uganda came in at 96 while Somalia was ranked at the bottom as the least peaceful nation in the world (153/153).

The Atlantic's Richard Florida has a great piece on this, going on to compare the GPI rankings to a range of other social, economic and demographic factors. You can read it here

The map below charts the Global Peace Index (GPI) scores for 153 countries worldwide. The GPI is based on 25 separate indicators of internal and external conflict, including wars and external conflicts, deaths from external conflicts, militarization, weapons exports, homicides, access to weapons, violent political demonstrations, prison populations, and police presence. 

The Ten most peaceful nations in the world are:

1Iceland Iceland1.148
2New Zealand New Zealand1.279
3Japan Japan1.287
4Denmark Denmark1.289
5Czech Republic Czech Republic1.320
6Austria Austria1.337
7Finland Finland1.352
8Canada Canada1.355
9Norway Norway1.356
10Slovenia Slovenia1.358

Also, here are the rankings of a few nations in the region that I'm sure some of you would like to know.

Kenya     111/153
Ethiopia  131/153
Uganda   096/153
Tanzania 056/153
Eritrea    104/153
Somalia  153/153
Rwanda  099/153

In summary, Western Europe is the most peaceful region in the world while Sub-Saharan Africa is the least peaceful. Generally speaking, affluence and peace are closely correlated which explains why rich Nordic countries consistently rank as the most peaceful, most equal and happiest in the world.

To play around with interactive map,  go here.

The Shilling Debasement

The Kenyan Shilling has been on downward decline of late, trading at almost 90 Shs to the Dollar.

Should we consider this as a problem?

Let me try to construct a logical argument that will put a sock in the mouths of economic doomsayers. The shilling's depreciation helps exports. An export boom is how economies grow and wages rise.

Additionally, high exchange rates discourage importation which will in these deficit times  balance the country's current account deficits.

This also is a boom time for the hundreds of thousands of Somalis who receive support  from relatives in the diaspora since their disposable incomes will experience a significant rise.
Moreover, the Somali investor class from the diaspora get more bang for the buck if the shilling continues its downward nose-dive.

The downside to the shilling's downward trend?

One serious repercussion is oil prices will go up since they are begged to the dollar. Pricier gas might impede economic growth and push up commodity prices (moderately)-even though there has been an upward tick for a while. On a positive note though, more people will be taking public transportation thus reducing traffic and pollution on Nairobi's streets. A corny point to make but none the less a cogent one.

The central bank is better off not intervening in the monetary market. However, focus should be on bringing down inflation, before commodity price rises broaden through out the economy, by raising base interest rates, asking banks to reduce lending and generally reigning in on consumer price hikes.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Garissa, Meet Ahmed Nadhir Omar!

 I don't care much for the numerous pin-heads throwing their hats into the Senatorial and Gubernatorial races coming up in Garissa. Many of them strike me as vintage politicos, by which I mean they resemble the kind of candidates fronted by 'macawis' clad old men whose loyalties are readily available to the highest bidder.

Its no secret our current political discourse is pervaded by insufficiently intelligent old men committed to the traditional clanism paradigm. These men offer nothing but run-of-the-mill destructive politics and policy.

So as is clear to everyone but the alligator residents of the Tana River , our county needs change and a clear break with its personality (and clan) based politics. Conventional candidates in unconventional times is not what we need.

This is where young and previously untested candidates come in. Ahmed Nadhir Omar is a Gubernatorial candidate with impressive credentials. Listen to a speech he gave to a gathering of Garissians and make up your own mind about him. The videography is lame and the delivery was less than stellar but such are the pressures on those unfamiliar with public speaking.

The speech comes across as a brass-eared political consultant's idea of what the disengaged voters of  Garissa want to hear. Despite its generic and diagnostic nature, I was (mildly) impressed.

Note: I understand any mention of a particular candidate on this blog might be misconstrued as an endorsement or even a plug, so let me go out on a limp and categorically state that in this case it's not. Until we know more about this candidate and his plans for action, I will hold my cards close to my chest.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Wagalla Massacre Secrets Unraveling

I'm late in getting to John Oywa's Wagalla expose but I guess it still warrants a post unto itself. The writer sheds light on the gruesome events of 1984 and how it played out across the complex chain of command in place then.

Anyone who is been following this story should definately read his article here:

Documents seen by The Standard on Saturday and which have been tabled before the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission which is trying to unravel the truth about the bloody operation that shocked the world, show a tale of intrigues and a series of undercover events that could shed light into how a planned security operation to recover firearms and discipline members of a clan in Wajir District went awry.Twenty-seven years after the killings that the United Nations once described as the worst form of human rights abuse in Kenya, many questions remain unanswered.Last week, the Wagalla ghosts hovered in the horizon after witnesses to the TJRC, former senior government officials and members of the powerful and secretive Kenya Intelligence Committee (KIC) who visited the district a day before the killings, distanced themselves from the deadly security operation.Frequent attacksSome members of the KIC had denied ever holding a meeting in Wajir, leave alone meeting the local District Security Committee.It has now emerged that the decision to round up the Degodia clansmen who had been accused of frequent attacks against their Adjuran neighbours was issued by the Wajir District Security Committee on February 9, 1984, a day after the KIC delegation that included four Permanent Secretaries had left Wajir.
While the report does not conclusively prove the culpability of the accused, who've been pathologically incapable of taking responsibility for their actions, it does corroborate some of the testimonies given by witnesses and experts. 
On a related matter, here are few more links on the massacre that have made it to the dailies in the past few days. You'll find them insightful albeit depressing.

Alleged Mastermind of 1998 Bombings of US Embassies in Nairobi & Dar Killed

The man alleged to have masterminded the 1998 bombing of American embassies in Nairobi & Dar es salaam has been killed by Somali Transitional Federal Government forces on a chance encounter in Mogadishu.

The New York Times reports:

Fazul Abdullah Mohammed, Al Qaeda’s leader in East Africa and the mastermind of the American Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania, was killed in a late-night shootout at a security checkpoint in Mogadishu, Somalia’s capital, Somali and American officials said Saturday.
The killing, after Mr. Mohammed accidentally encountered a Somali checkpoint, was a major loss for the terrorist network, still reeling from the assassination of its founder, Osama bin Laden, in Pakistan last month.
 Mr. Mohammed, who was one of the most wanted men in Africa and had a $5 million bounty on his head from the United States government, and another militant mistakenly drove up to a checkpoint run by Somali government soldiers late on Tuesday night.
The Somali soldiers fired on their truck, a black Toyota four-by-four, and the men fired back, Somali officials said. Seconds later, Mr. Mohammed and the other militant were dead.
Somali officials said that DNA tests carried out in Kenya “by our friends” — suggesting the Central Intelligence Agency, which has been working covertly in Somalia for years — confirmed Mr. Mohammed’s identity on Saturday.        

Our Raving Looney Dualle

 For those of you that are inclined to closely follow the escapades of the guy representing us in parliament, our looney Rep has gotten a new assignment. The spectacularly named G-7 has appointed him chairman of a technical committee solely designed to come up with strategies aimed at knee-capping Raila's presidential ambitions.

The Standard had this to say on the issue;

A technical committee under chairmanship of rebel ODM Vice-Chairman, Aden Dualle, has been formed while plans are on for the establishment of an elders’ caucus to help hold the alliance.The so-called G-7 political alliance is weighing its options in its quest for power next year.
"I am not interested in the presidency and my mission is to work behind the scenes and ensure the alliance holds," said Dualle, MP for Dujis.The G-7 political alliance brings together Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka, Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, Tourism Minister Najib Balala, Eldoret North MP William Ruto and Saboti MP Eugene Wamalwa.Dualle told The Standard On Sunday that reports indicating Uhuru and Ruto might go separate ways race could be part of the alliance’s strategy.Two optionsRuto had been quoted saying he was considering going for the presidency on his own, instead of through an alliance with Uhuru, an idea not popular with many."We have two options. First is to agree on three positions of president, deputy president and majority leader in Parliament and form a pre-election coalition. Second is each of the key leaders to run for president independently, then the alliance will back whoever qualifies for the run-off because we are sure there will be no clear winner in round one," said Dualle, who is the alliance’s point man in North-Eastern.The G-7 alliance aims at negating Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s chances of succeeding President Kibaki in the General Election due next year.
 It seems like we've all been underestimating the value of hyper-egomania since it appears to have served this particular rookie very well. Clearly there is no law of diminishing returns when it comes to self promotion and megalomania in Kenyan politics. 

One wishes, Aden Dualle would take a minimal detour from the Kikuyu-Kalenjin Vs Luo politics and spend half as much time laying strategies aimed at turning Garissa into an economic powerhouse.  

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Did You Miss The Memo?

I hope ur blog does not turn into a forum for self adulation, unnecessary vilification and should i say amnesia. Whether ur blog serves ulterior motives or whether it is for the great and good of our people will be informed to a large extent by the kind of bent and reporting stance u employ. If u choose to be slanted and biased, u loose the moral high ground. On the other hand if u choose to  be  honest and impartial, u would have vindicated yourself through ur medium. So bro, follow the above and u might strike a chord with ur audience or deviate and u might be just another grandee blurb on and on.
 your blog offers not much useful advice. u seem to be reporting news, events and at times attacking politicians

        Musa, Northampton.

True I guess. Also I offer nothing by way of useful advice to people trying to learn how to play "Diisow" or emigrate to Europe through Ukraine. That's not what the blog is about.

Finally does the fact that 100% of what I report here being factual and accurate count for anything? I'm sure the hundreds of Garissans who read this blog daily see some value in it.

Sh. 1 Billion Allocated for Irrigation Projects in NEP.

 In his budget speech, Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, unveiled a Sh. 1 billion plan aimed at alleviating extreme poverty and hunger in NEP by placing 5575 acres of land under irrigation. The minister projects the scheme will help an estimated 34 000 Nepians directly (and possibly hundreds of thousands indirectly.)

The Minister has also set a side Sh. 425 million for the purpose of setting up additional slaughter houses in Arid areas and a further Sh. 490 million for the establishment of a livestock fund.

74.. Our fellow Kenyans who live in northern Kenya have continued to suffer from conflict,hunger and famine, especially due to drought. To start a journey of building resilience and instituting a permanent source of livelihood, I have allocated Ksh.1 billion to be shared equally to initiate: (i) a 1,500 acres of irrigation at Rahole in Garissa; (ii) 2,000 acres at Abasweni in Wajir; and (iii) 2,075 acres of irrigation at Daua clusters in Mandera. When completed, these projects will benefit a total of 34,000 people of North Eastern who live in those areas.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Mwiraria Continues to be a Douche even in Retirement {Video}

Well folks, David Mwiraria continues to demonstrate an exemplary amount of douchbaggery. The senile Meru elder is still  doubling down on the half truths and lies that have served him so well during his checkered political career.

In an appearance before the TJRC, the disgraced former minister lied and lied and then lied some more. Classic Davie Boy! He wants to be taken as a serious politician but when he is backed into the corner and proven to liar and a genocidaire, he just reverts to the famous, " I am too old to remember anything" line.

Here is the video evidence

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Amazing shots of Beautiful Sunrise & Sunset in Garissa {Courtesy of George Kanyingi}

  Here is a second round of amazing shots depicting the sunrise & sunset in our beautiful county taken by a professional photographer. Imagine yourself hanging out with a bunch friends, sipping tea and chatting- in this backdrop. Can't help but get inspired.

We really do have beautiful scenery. It just doesn't get utilized very well.
Imagine if there were boat rides for tourists on Tana River or Cabins for rent. 



Saturday, June 4, 2011

Former DC claims He would have stopped Wagalla Massacre

Classy Kenyan War Criminal and former Wajir DC is expressing contrition in his post "I-committed-a-massacre" repose the way any man awash in the blood of innocents does: by feigning ignorance and (selective) amnesia.

In a testimony before the TJRC, Moi's acolyte exonerated himself from participating in the massacre of 5000 innocent Somalis in Wajir.

"If I was on the ground at that time, I would have insisted that the people who were being held be fed and given water to drink. It is a matter of being human,"
He also claimed the government sanctioned mass rape of women was the act of rogue individuals.
"No law allows a Government officer to rape a citizen. Those who carried out the heinous acts were acting as individuals and not following Government policy,"
In a live cast on national TV, the former DC was evasive and vapid. I find it very hard to believe that a senior administration official is unable to recall whether he attended a meeting where the subject of killing thousands of people was discussed at length. And we are speaking of the Moi Administration here. Senior Administration officials did not skip meetings that had national security implications!

Read full story here

Friday, June 3, 2011

Interview With Ali Bunow Qorane, Candidate for Governor of Garissa County

  Ali Bunow Qorane is kicking off his Gubernatorial campaign by going on a media blitz giving interviews to FM stations and news gathering sites.

This is an excerpt of an interview he gave to the online news site; wardheer news forwarded to me by some of my faithful data mining readers. {Thanks a million guys}
This should not in any way be taken as an endorsement of ABK or his policies (not that I'm aware of any that he is advocating)

Ladies & Gentlemen, I give you the interview:

Wardheernews (WDN): Mr. Korane, can you briefly tell us about your background?

Ali Bunow Korane (ABK):  I am a son of Garissa County with 25 years government experience at administrative, policy, and security management levels. I have various certificates, Diplomas, three academic degrees; one Bachelor and two Masters and currently pursuing a Masters in Business Administration (MBA).

WDN: Could you please give us specific information on the circumstances that led you to run for the position of governor for Garissa County?

ABK: The concept of a devolved government is a new one mooted under the recently promulgated constitution. The setting up of a government at the county level will face a number of challenges. While the challenges to be faced by the counties are common for all the 47 counties nationwide, the pastoralist counties of which Garissa is one will face tremendous challenges. Among these are:
  1. The counties are already victims of low intensity wars over resources and these will be exacerbated by the new contest for positions and resources allocation.
  2. Clan structures and family allegiance have overtime emerged as the strongest basis for political mobilization. The resultant stiff competition for positions and resources will likely further marginalize minority clans and others often classified as peripheral and corner tribes groupings.
  3. Weak and ineffective institutional capacity,  the low levels of education and the migration of the professional class to Nairobi has left the local  leadership in the hands of semi-literate mediocre individuals.
  4. Poor infrastructure, large land mass, environmental degradation and clan settlement patterns will generally pose serious challenges thus compromising the process of political mobilization.
To address these challenges I believe requires a leadership with the requisite experience in government, management and above all a clear understanding of the people and their aspiration. After careful reflection I have concluded I am the right person for the challenging governor’s job.

WDN: In the past, district leadership was based on nomination by the decree of the president, recently that system has changed. What can you tell us about the current system of electing the governor?

ABK: The Governor under the new constitution will be elected by the whole of Garissa County as a single constituency. Once elected he/she will be the executive, administrative, and political head of the county government. He/she will be assisted by a County Executive Committee (cabinet) appointed by him/her and approved by an elected county assembly. The county government will be independent in its operations and will not be subordinate to the National government.

WDN: How many candidates are currently listed to run for the post, and do they represent various parties or they are independent?

ABK: Although there are three individuals who have so far indicated interest in the seat, this is not entirely indicative of the final number of candidates when election comes next year. Candidates can run as party members or as independents.

WDN: What is your political party?

ABK: I am in the party of National unity which is a coalition of many parties. It is likely that this party will transform into another alliance of parties closer to election.

WDN: Kenya is considered one of Africa's largest economy and East Africa's economic powerhouse, yet the Somali inhabited region is lagging behind the rest of the country.What do you think are causes of the lack of progress and development in Kenya's North Eastern province?

ABK: North Eastern Kenya has had a sad history of marginalization in both pre and post independence periods of Kenya’s history. This is due to a combination of factors including oppressive government policies; poor leadership, environmental factors and perennial low intensity inter clan resource conflicts, among others.

WDN: Why is it that the concerns and interests of the Ethnic Somalis were not voiced, particularly when there are many Kenya-Somalis in the high ranks of government?

ABK: Somalis have occupied two levels of senior positions in the Kenya Government. These were at political and civil service levels. At the civil service levels they were policy implementers mainly serving other Kenyans in parts outside North Eastern Kenya. It was the responsibility of elected political leaders to influence government policy towards the Somalis. Unfortunately they failed to deliver on this score.

WDN: If you were to be elected governor, how are you going to enhance the growth of the county notably by eradicating extreme poverty and hunger and educating the mass, combating diseases and violation of human rights, developmental and self-sufficiency programs?

ABK: The social situation in the county is very grave on any measure of human development. The extreme poverty level, currently estimated at 71% of the population negatively affects every aspect of life. There have also been large scale human rights abuses by the security forces over the years. I am determined to make my contribution in reversing the suffering of our people.

WDN: How will you create peace and harmony and advance inter-county partnership among people who have been separated by self-interest politics ever since independence and the sweeping martial law?

ABK: Without peace and inter clan harmony there can be no meaningful development in the county. The source of conflict is two fold: Politics and environmental. Also, we see conflicts created by political incitement and those created by competition for scarce resources. I will deal ruthlessly with any opportunistic political inciters and introduce measures to mitigate against environmental factors.

WDN: What commitments will you make to save women and children and the environment of the county you are vying for?

ABK: In any hardship social situation, the greatest suffering goes to the women and children. In our county the effects of extreme poverty, poor access to education and health and conflicts have been felt most by our women and children. My heart bleeds for them and I am determined to improve their situation if elected.

WDN: How will you empower young professionals who completed high schools and colleges to either get jobs or advance their education?

ABK: Since independence our region was left behind in education. Fortunately, our people have now appreciated the value of education and are making efforts to educate their children under difficult circumstances. Unfortunately these positive efforts have coincided with times of serious  unemployment. I will endeavor to support the efforts of the parents by introducing generous bursaries, sponsorships, and employment creation initiatives.

WDN: Recent Kenya census indicated growth of ethnic Somalis, yet Garissa which is among the biggest cities in Kenya and the largest in the Somali inhabited region does not have a university. To expand the opportunity of higher education, does your plan include establishing the first university in North Eastern Kenya? Or in other words, why has a university with remarkable faculties not been established in North Eastern Kenya?

ABK: The failure to establish a fully fledged university in North Eastern is part of the many policy failures, neglect, and marginalization by successive Kenya governments. As governor I am determined to reverse this policy. I have in the past immensely contributed to the development of education in the county. I spearheaded the establishment of public secondary schools, established the first private elementary school in the county, recently opened the first private girl’s high school and intend to build a boys high school and a college this year. With this firm foundation in education, I am determined to establish the first public university in Garissa county.

WDN: Good luck Mr. Ali Buno Korane in your political endeavors and thanks for giving WDN your precious time.

ABK: Thanks WDN for giving me the time to share with you my views and ideas.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Beautiful Pictures of Garissa's Wilderness

 The Blog posted some beautiful shots of a side of Garissa that many don't get to appreciate: Our beautiful wilderness, golden sands and river beaches.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Garissa's Greatest Football Coach; Abdirahman Bilal alias JB

 Even when outside the confines of Garissa Primary School field, Abdirahman or as he is fondly referred to by his friends Gerard/JB, creates a stir. Most Garissans are familiar with this broad shouldered master of football and mind games. He single handedly transformed Sunnah Boys from a minor league outfit to the city's most coherent and tactile group.

 In his wake, junior kids crowd around him to listen to the dry, politically incorrect humor that drips from his mouth. He has a flair for the dramatic much like his hero, Mourinho of Real Madrid, even though he models himself after Arsene Wenger. This modern day renaissance man is a comedian, a tactician, a master manager and a hafidh. He mastered the Qur'an at the tender age of 11, graduated in the top quartile of his class and gave the city some of its best footballing talents. 

Gerrard Occupies a rarefied place in the pantheon of Garissian celebrity. He is a manifestation of the wonders of  madrassa and the 8-4-4 system perfectly meshed to produce a man of many abilities and talents.  He has ascended to the top through grit, sword and an understanding of human psychology that many don't have.

When he is not on the field, he can be found among his friends in Bulla Sunnah.