Category Archives: Culture


From: joachim omolo ouko
News Dispatch with Father Omolo Beste

Today is August 6, 2014 the Feast of the transfiguration of Christ. It is an annual celebration observed by Catholic, Anglican, and some Protestant ministries in Western Christianity. It commemorates what many consider to be the highest point of Jesus’ earthly life, when he was “transfigured” by a brilliant white light at the top of a mountain and proclaimed to be the well-loved Son of God from a heavenly voice.

Immediately after the Lord was recognized by his apostles as the Christ (Messiah), the Son of the Living God, he told them that he must go up to Jerusalem and suffer many things and be killed and on the third day be raised.

When Jesus went on to speak of his suffering, rejection, and death, his disciples did not understand him at first. Jesus went on to tell them that there would be a “cross” for them to bear as well, if they would follow him.

This is despite the fact that man’s perspective is that one must save his life in order to live, but Jesus taught that his followers must give up their lives for him, in order to live. Life, he said, comes out of death. On the other hand, those who would seek to save their own lives will ultimately lose them.

Transfiguration was therefore, part of his heavenly glory over sin and death. Christ underwent a dramatic change in appearance in order that the disciples could also behold him in his glory. Symbolically, the appearance of Moses and Elijah represented the Law and the Prophets:

“And his face shone like the sun, and his garments became white as snow and behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. And Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is well that we are here; if you wish I will make three booths here, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.”

He was still speaking when lo, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” When the disciples heard this, they fell on their faces with awe.

But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Rise, and have no fear.” And when they lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only. And as they were coming down the mountain, Jesus commanded them, “Tell no one the vision, until the Son of Man is raised from the dead” (Mt 17:1-92, see also Mk 9:1-9; Lk 9:28-36; 2 Peter 1:16-18).

God’s voice from heaven – “Listen to Him!” – showed that the Law and the Prophets must give way to Jesus. The one who is the new and living way is replacing the old – he is the fulfillment of the Law and the countless prophecies in the Old Testament.

John wrote in his gospel, “We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only” (John 1:14). Peter also wrote of it, “We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.

In Greece and Romania the harvest season traditionally began on the Transfiguration. Grapes, in particular, were not eaten before August 6. In some parishes, the first grapes would be brought to church for a blessing and distributed to parishioners.

The blessing of grapes, as well as other fruits and vegetables on this day is the most beautiful and adequate sign of the final transfiguration of all things in Christ. It signifies the ultimate flowering and fruitfulness of all creation in the paradise of God’s unending Kingdom of Life where all will he transformed by the glory of the Lord.

This makes Transfiguration one of the greatest feats in Western Worlds. It reminds me of my days in the USA about 18 years ago while a student at Fordham University, celebrating mass on Transfiguration day at St Matthews Church in Brooklyn Diocese, Eastern Parkway. The feast was great, blessing fruits of different types.

In Kenya and many regions in the developing Worlds the fast is not given great importance, even though in recent centuries the event has come to be seen as an allegory by some Christians, with Elijah and Moses representing the Law and the Prophets, respectively, symbolizing the fulfillment of Jesus’ words in Mathew 5:17:

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” Yet still, for Christians around the world, the Transfiguration remains an important observance. It is a chance to reflect upon the glorious divinity of Christ made manifest in the material world.

Fr Joachim Omolo Ouko, AJ
Tel +254 7350 14559/+254 722 623 578
Facebook-omolo beste


From: joachim omolo ouko
News Dispatch with Father Omolo Beste
MONDAY, JULY 28, 2014

News Dispatch with Father Omolo Beste wish Muslim fraternity in Kenya a successful end of the 30 days long fast. Ramadhan is e very important of the Islamic calendar. It is the month during which Muslims do not only observe fasting from morning twilight (Fajr Prayer) to the evening twilight (Maghreb Prayer), but also helping needy people.

The term Ramadhan is literally driven from al-Ramd which means ‘burning heat of the sun. By fasting therefore, Muslims burn the sin. That is why fasting is obligatory both on the poor and the rich.

In Mombasa, Chief Kadhi Sheikh Ahmed Shariff Muhdhar’s has urged Muslims faithfull to maintain peace and co-exist in harmony with fellow Kenyans. The government has already gazetted 29th July as a holiday to enable Muslim faithful celebrate and share with the needy people.

Fr Joachim Omolo Ouko, AJ
Tel +254 7350 14559/+254 722 623 578
Facebook-omolo beste

Why was there no ‘African Spring’? by Dr Hamisi Kigwangalla

From: Juma Mzuri

The self-immolation of Mohamed Bouazizi, a Tunisian street vendor in December 2010 triggered a wave of protests across Tunisia that brought down President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and spread across North Africa and the Middle East. What western media dubbed the “Arab Spring”, toppled dictatorial regimes in Egypt, Libya and Yemen and sparked conflict in Syria and Bahrain. The aftershock was felt as far as Morocco, Mauritania, Saudi Arabia and Oman.

Although reasons for the mass uprisings differ from one country to another, the Arab Spring occurred mostly because of rampant corruption in governments, rising unemployment and the many challenges of everyday survival: putting bread on the table, being able to afford fuel, clothing and even shelter. Politically, decades-long one-man rule had become unbearable and the prospect of familial succession provoked increasing public anger.

Many people had hoped that sub-Saharan Africa would follow suit, and that there would be an “African Spring”. To the surprise of many, there has been no revolution of any sort so far, or even a protest wave close to what we saw in Northern Africa.

Although we have similar circumstances – corruption, embezzlement of public property, unemployment, worsening economic hardship among citizens, and in some countries, overstayed regimes – why have we not had our “spring” as of yet?

Elections, succession and conflict resolution

The most important reason why there was no African spring is that Africa south of the Sahara has experienced a fast-moving series of democratic transitions in the 1990s which saw the advent of multi-party democracy in some previously single-party regime countries such as the Ivory Coast, Mali, Tanzania, Kenya, Zambia, Mozambique, Angola etc. In South Africa, apartheid had just ended.

This toned down the fervour of African revolutionaries in academia, politics and civil society. It provided hope that revolutionary transformation can happen through peaceful democratic processes which will guarantee the change and succession of governments. This eased revolutionary pressure and the need to remove regimes through protests and force.

Now, in many African countries south of the Sahara there is a clear system and schedule of democratic elections and more open and inclusive parliamentary democracies where people have a chance to air their views compared to the regimes in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya, for example.

Furthermore, a number of African countries have successfully conducted internal conflict resolution through negotiations, which has set a precedent and a trend. Two opposing sides would sit on a round-table and adopt some power-sharing mechanisms which would provide opportunities for peaceful reconciliation with a commitment to establishing a lasting democratic process.

We saw the signing of a deal between Mwai Kibaki and Raila Odinga in Kenya, or what was termed a “power accord”, which ended post-election violence in Kenya after the December 2007 elections and created a coalition government. In Zimbabwe after the 2009 election, a government of national unity was also negotiated with the opposition. This style of negotiations and agreements between those in power and those in opposition has become the order of democracies in sub-Saharan Africa and is yet to be adopted by countries in North Africa.

Issues of mobilisation

Another major reason for an African spring not happening is the absence of some factors for mass mobilisation. First, many countries in sub-Sahara Africa have a much smaller urban middle class than most of the countries in the Arab world where the Arab Spring was experienced.

As the middle class expands, its political and socio-economic ambitions grow as well. That is why the core of anti-regime protests is often the dissatisfaction of a middle class unable to realise its desires for upward mobility or expansion. Young men and women of middle class backgrounds tend to be more easily drawn into political activism and are more effective at it, given the material resources available to them.

One of the key mobilisation tools of the middle class – technology – is also not so readily available in sub-Saharan Africa. The limited access to technology in most countries on the continent has made it difficult for modern communication channels like email, Listservs, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and WhatsApp to be used to share information and mobilise people for mass protests.

A major player in a number of the Arab revolutions was the army. In most countries in Africa south of the Sahara, the military and security establishments are loyal to the central government, which means that they are unlikely to back anti-government protests. Although the 1960s and 1970s saw many military coups and army officers taking over political power, in the past two decades, the military forces in sub-Saharan Africa have been, for the most part, depoliticised.

Another factor to consider is the rather weak civil society and fragmented political scene which has precluded the formation of a wide, united front against a ruling government in sub-Saharan Africa. In North Africa, civil society and opposition forces had been mobilising themselves well before the regimes were prepared to face mass protests; there were sporadic protests across Arab Spring countries well before 2011.

By contrast, most African countries have not seen organised protests with such frequency in the past decade. What is more, when Arab revolutions erupted, this immediately rang alarm bells across sub-Saharan Africa, where governments had the time to learn from Arab leaders’ mistakes and take measures to prepare for such an event.

Although looking back, no one predicted the Arab Spring, many scholars of the African political landscape find it inevitable. We did not witness an African Spring, but that does not mean we are safe.

We have our own generation of corrupt and autocratic leaders and bureaucrats, or what George Ayittey named the “Hippo Generation”. There are growing inequities, rising rates of unemployment, and an unbearable cost of living. We also have an active youth that constitutes a huge chunk of our population, as well as a rapidly expanding literate and urbanised middle class.

So will we have an African Spring in the very near future? Let us keep our fingers crossed that it never happens, and if it does, let us pray that it will take a peaceful course, lest we repeat the dark history of endless African wars.

Hamisi Kigwangalla is a Member of Parliament in the Parliament of Tanzania representing Nzega Constituency and he chairs the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Regional Administration and Local Government. He is currently writing his dissertation towards a PhD in Public Health at the University of Cape Town. He holds a Doctor of Medicine (University of Dar es Salaam), a Master of Public Health (Karolinska Institutet) and a Master of Business Administration (Blekinge Institute of Technology).

Follow him on Twitter: @hkigwangalla

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera’s editorial policy.

If A Girl Isn’t Interested In Science, It’s Not Because She’s A Girl

From: Fakhi Karume

I think a lot about the reasons I became a scientist. There are so many aspects of science that I adore. I love the feeling of having new data to pour over. I love analysis and statistics and creating mathematical models to explain my findings. I love tinkering with equipment in the laboratory. I love soldering and wiring and getting my hands dirty. I love generating new hypotheses and testing them, and I love to harass my fellow scientists about whether their experiments contain the proper controls. There is no doubt that I find joy and fulfillment in the technical aspects of my job.

But, as I work to establish a new lab at a new university, where I will lead a group of scientists in making their own discoveries, I am aware that my job will involve more than just data collection and technical work. My new job will rely heavily on my ability to be an effective teacher, communicator, and fundraiser. I am excited to be starting this new adventure, but traveling this path hasn’t been easy, especially as a woman scientist. I am painfully aware of the limited number of women in my field. That’s why it seriously chaps my hide when someone suggests that the reason there are so few senior women in science is because there is something inherent to our biology that makes us unsuited for these careers.

In her recent article “If a girl isn’t interested in science, don’t force her to be,” Telegraph columnist Mary Kenny claims that women are inherently less interested in science. Science, she argues, is based in fact and the “laboratory testing of elements,” career features that interest men alone. Women, meanwhile, are interested in careers where the story or narrative is important and the job is centered around people; “biography, psychology and language” are a few of the career examples she gives. This fundamental difference between men and women deters women from science careers, she concludes.

What Kenny misunderstands is that science is narrative. If she believes that women’s sole interest in narrative is what keeps them out of science, then her article only highlights how out of touch she is with modern science. In fact, I would expect that if a love for narrative were the critical factor determining women’s success in science, women should be excelling. Yet they are leaving science disproportionately. Women don’t leave science en masse as girls. They leave after they’ve received all of their technical training and have put in years of commitment to their fields. They leave when they reach the narrative part of their career.

As a new professor and group leader, my primary job is the narrative. Although I’ve had more than a decade of technical training from biologists, engineers, and surgeons, the majority of my time is now spent mentoring students and helping them find the story in their data so that we can communicate their findings to others. I believe it is critical to teach these younger scientists to find their narrative and to tell their story flawlessly. Importantly, because research dollars are becoming increasingly more difficult to obtain, the success of my research program depends on my ability to craft a convincing narrative. If I want to keep my research afloat, my narrative skills are critical in convincing funding agencies to support our work.

However, my use of the narrative is not born purely of necessity. I love telling people about our work, especially non-scientists. In one of my favorite experiments, which we recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine, we studied a group of adults that were born as preemies in the late 1990’s. These folks looked and acted completely normal when we met them—but when we stressed them by giving them low oxygen to breathe, they responded completely abnormally. Unlike our subjects that had been born full-term, they didn’t increase their breathing to compensate for the low oxygen. This novel finding certainly has consequences for future problems they may develop as they age. Not only did we make sure to communicate this to our physician and scientist colleagues by publishing our work, but I also spent a lot of time talking to members of the media about our findings and explaining why our future work is so important.

Women face bigger challenges than our biology and our nature. We still receive unequal pay as faculty, have to make headway in a system that favors an “old boy’s network”, we tend to doubt our abilities more and ask for less, our careers are their most vulnerable during our childbearing years, and our training requires frequent, long distance moves. There are so many factors that keep women from advancing in science, none of which is our love for a good yarn. While Kenny’s hypothesis about the lack of narrative keeping women out of science is provocative, it’s based in a fictional world. If we want to create a narrative about women leaving science, let’s ground it in reality.

Melissa L. Bates, PhD
University of Wisconsin, Pediatric Critical Care Medicine and
The John Rankin Laboratory of Pulmonary Medicine

23 Amazing things about Africa

From: Juma Mzuri

Africa is such a unique continent and over the decades there have been a lot of untruths, stereotypes and misconceptions about this beautiful continent.

It is surprising to learn that these stereotypes and misconceptions did not only come from outside the continent but also from its inhabitants.

Below is a list of some amazing things most people do not know about Africa. It includes the Good, the Bad and the Ugly things:

1.Africa has 54 Countries and one “non-self governing territory”, which is
Western Sahara.

2.Only two countries were not colonised by foreign powers in Africa, they are Ethiopia (Abbysynia) and Liberia.

3.Africa, before colonial rule, comprised of up to 10,000 different states and autonomous groups with distinct languages and customs.

4. Over 25% of all the languages in the world are spoken in Africa alone.

5. With a population of over 1.1 billion people or 16% of the world’s population, it is the second most populous continent.

6.The Second Congo War (1998-2003) is the deadliest conflict in the world since World War 2. It killed more than 5.4 Million people.

It involved more than eight other African countries on opposing sides. It is also known as “Africa’s First World War”.

7. Almost 90% of all worldwide malaria infection cases occur in Africa which also accounts for about 24% of all child deaths in Sub-Saharan Africa.

8. Africa is the second largest continent in the world with over 30 million square kilometres.

9.The largest country in Africa is Algeria. It is approximately the size of Western Europe.

10. The great Sahara Desert is bigger than Continental U.S.A. It is the largest desert in the world.

11. Africa is the world’s hottest continent and has deserts and drylands covering about 60% of the land surface area e.g Kalahari, Sahara, Libya, Namib Deserts e.t.c.

12. Africa is the world’s second driest continent. Australia is the first.

13.Africa has the world’s largest natural reserves of precious minerals e.g It has 90% of the world’s Platinum, over 40% of the Gold and more than 60% of the Cobalt.

14. There are more than 1 million Chinese citizens living in Africa and more are coming in every day. Angola alone has a population of more than 350,000 Chinese.

15. Lake Victoria is the second largest fresh water lake in the world and the largest lake in Africa. It is a major source of the River Nile.

16. Lake Malawi has more fish species than any other fresh water system on Earth.

17. The Nile River has has a total lenght of 6,650 kilometres. The longest river in the world.

18. More than 85% of the world’s Elephants and more than 99% of the remaining Lions on Earth are on the African continent.

19. The largest wildlife migration on Earth happens on the Serengeti (in Tanzania) with more than 1.2 million Wildebeests marching behind 750,000 Zebras as they cross this amazing landscape. It is an awesome sight to behold

20. Over 25% of the world’s bird species live in Africa.

21. Close to the airport in Dakar (Senegal) is a massive sculpted statue, “The African Rennaisance Monument”. It stands 49m tall on top of a 100m high hill. It is the tallest statue in Africa, and most of the world.

22. There are more Pyramids in Sudan than in Egypt. Sudan has 223 Pyramids which is double the number in Egypt but the Pyramids of Egypt are generally bigger in size than those in Sudan.

23. The name “Africa” was originally used by ancient Greeks and Romans for only the Northern region of the Continent. Africa in Latin means “sunny” and the word “Aphrike” in Greek means “without cold”.


From: joachim omolo ouko
News Dispatch with Father Omolo Beste

A widow who does not want her name revealed writes: “Fr Omolo Beste I am a young catholic widow aged 37. I read your article on dealing with the loneliness as one the most challenging problems faced by widowed mothers with great interest.

While I agree with you that the inheritors are there only to exploit the widows, mainly for cheap sex and not interested in taking care of the children they produce with these poor women, at the same time I don’t agree with catholic doctrine that widows should remain single.

I really long to read that book by Fr Joseph Okech- I am not sure how much he has treated this issue of widows in his book. Surely Fr Beste, how can I remain single at my age? Give me a break bwana!”

Thank you for your openness. In fact Catholic Doctrine does not bar widows from getting remarried provided that this is done according to the Catholic teaching. You can get a single man to marry in church. This can happen in your husband’s home according to African tradition.

Many African traditions and culture don’t allow widows to leave her husband’s home because of the dowries. Once an African husband dies his wife cannot leave his home to be remarried in another man’s home because of this dowry condition.

As I said earlier I have not read Fr Okech’s book so I cannot say exactly how much he has dealt with this issue of widow and inheritors. Among the Luo of Kenya for example, widows have traditionally been inherited to a local clansman who has his wife and children. This type of remarriage is what the Catholic Church does not allow, in that, this man is married with children and again inherit a widow.

Their interest actually is not in a widow’s welfare but simply cheap sex. That is why they don’t support widows socially and financially. They are not able to take care of medical, education, food, and clothings of the children they produce. Instead a widow is to work extra time to get enough money to feed the man. This is what I referred to my article as the exploitation of the high class.

At 37 I can understand how you feel. Paul speaks directly of your situation, too. “A woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives. If the husband dies, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord. But in my judgment she is happier if she remains as she is” (1 Cor. 7:39-40).

Although remarriage is clearly permissible, yet some widows find it very difficult to remain single as Paul suggests. In fact some widows don’t feel “happier”, that is why they opt for inheritance.

Pope Pius XII observes concerning the widowed “…others after the death of their spouse, have consecrated to God their remaining years in the unmarried state . . . have chosen to lead a life of perfect chastity . . . for love of God to abstain for the rest of their lives from sexual pleasure, in order to devote themselves more freely to the meditation of divine things and better experience the elevations of the spiritual life.”

Fr Joachim Omolo Ouko, AJ
Tel +254 7350 14559/+254 722 623 578
Facebook-omolo beste

Africa: Husbands & Wives

from: joachim omolo ouko
News Dispatch with Father Omolo Beste

Woman as Mother and Wife in the African Context of the Family in the Light of John Paul II’s Anthropological and Theological Foundation: The Case reflected within the Bantu and Nilotic Tribes of Kenya is a book written by Rev Fr Joseph Okech Adhunga, a member of the Apostles of Jesus Missionaries.

This study examines the theological and anthropological foundations of the understanding of the dignity and vocation of woman as a mother and wife, gifts given by God that expresses the riches of the African concept of family.

There are two approaches to inculturation theology in Africa, namely, that which attempts to construct African theology by starting from the biblical ecclesial teachings and find from them what features of African culture are relevant to the Christian theological and anthropological values, and the other one which takes the African cultural background as the point of departure.

The first section examines the cultural concept of woman as a mother and wife in the African context of the family, focusing mainly on the Bantu and Nilotic tribes of Kenya. This presentation examines African creation myths, oral stories, some key concepts, namely life, family, clan and community, the views of African theologians and bishops, focusing mainly on the “the Church as Family.”

The second section examines the theological anthropology of John Paul II focusing mainly on his Theology of the Body and Mulieris Dignitatem. The third section presents the theology of inculturation, examines the African theological anthropological values and compares the Pope’s teachings in understanding the woman as mother and wife within the African family and draws a conclusion and a synthesis.

According to John Paul II, the dignity and vocation of woman is “something more universal, based on the very fact of her being a woman within all the interpersonal relationships, which, in the most varied ways, shape society and structure the interaction between all persons,” (Mulieris Dignitatem no. 29).

This “concerns each and every woman, independent of the cultural context in which she lives and independently of her spiritual, psychological and physical characteristics, as for example, age, education, health, work, and whether she is married or single,” (Mulieris Dignitatem, no. 29).

The theology of inculturation as presented in this dissertation opens the way for the integration of the theological anthropological teachings of John Paul II in understanding African woman as mother and wife.

The book can be bought online at $51.80


From: joachim omolo ouko
News Dispatch with Father Omolo Beste

Clare from Nairobi writes: “Fr Beste it looks this book by Fr Joseph Okech Adhunga is a nice piece to read. Is there anyway it will reach bookshops in Kenya very soon because many of us in the villages do not understand buying a book online.

Secondly, can you compare this book with the new document signed November 19, 2011 by Pope Benedict XVI during a visit to Benin on the equal dignity of women with men? I also read the piece written by Dr Margaret Ogolla and found it nice too.”

Thank you for the question Clare. I am not sure whether Fr Okech’s book will reach Kenya bookshops any soon. Here is his email you can write to him directly to answer the question- I have also not read the book other than abstract so I can’t say whether it captures Pope Benedict’s document.

Pope Benedict’s equal dignity of women with men new document was signed November 19, 2011 during his visit to West African nation of Benin and I managed to run the story on my news blog shortly he signed it.

The Pope emphasized the fact that recognition of the God-given dignity of both women and men in Africa ought to influence the lives of married couples and their families in important ways, urging husbands in today’s Africa to express love and respect for their wives.

The Pope wants men to realize that their witness to the “dignity of every human person will serve as an effective antidote to traditional practices that are contrary to the Gospel and oppressive to women in particular.”

Husbands he says in the document should not be afraid “to demonstrate tangibly that there is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for those one loves, that is to say, first and foremost, for one’s wife and children.

The new document acknowledges the progress made in some African nations “toward the advancement of women and their education.” But “it remains the case,” Pope Benedict writes, “that overall, women’s dignity and rights, as well as their essential contribution to the family and to society, have not been fully acknowledged or appreciated.”

This papal document, known as an apostolic exhortation, is titled “The Commitment of Africa.” It presents the pope’s reflections on the recommendations made to him by the Second Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops held in Rome during October 2009.

Due to the wide range of concerns addressed in the synod recommendations, the apostolic exhortation’s scope is necessarily broad. It devotes attention to matters as diverse as governmental neglect and violence, education, poverty and social justice, the necessity of interreligious dialogue, the plight of migrants, abuses of the environment and the church’s sacramental life.

The 2009 synod condemned “all acts of violence against women,” such as “the battering of wives, the disinheritance of daughters, the oppression of widows in the name of tradition, forced marriages, female genital mutilation, trafficking in women” and “other abuses such as sex slavery and sex tourism.”

Women’s contributions, “not only in the home as wife and mother, but also in the social sphere, should be more generally acknowledged and promoted and also giving women opportunities to make their voice heard and to express their talents through initiatives that reinforce their worth, their self-esteem and their uniqueness would enable them to occupy a place in society equal to that of men — without confusing or conflating the specific character of each — since both men and women are the ‘image’ of the Creator.”

I also managed to read Dr Margaret Ogola’s piece on dignity of the African woman as well. This actually is not a book but her keynote address to women empowerment symposium in Beijing for the Fourth World Women’s Conference.

Her emphasis was based on the fact that the woman is the heart of the family, and the family is the corner stone of society. Conflict between men and women is therefore unnecessary because a woman brings an equal and powerful complementarity to the common human condition.

Equality she said must not be seen to deny anyone of their rightful due. Indeed equality would be self defeating if it were based on injustice. Injustice cannot be corrected by another injustice. This is particularly on widows.

In Africa, parenting challenges are still facing widows. Widows bringing up a baby have to play the role of both mother and father. In such a situation, the personalities of the individuals and also the circumstances in which the child is being brought up affect the upbringing and also the smooth functioning of the house.

Most of the time, a widowed mother not only has to deal with the challenge of raising a child all on her own, but also has to cope with the loss of a spouse. There is always someone to turn to in a two-parent family but for widowed mothers, this option does not exist.

Dealing with the loneliness is one the most challenging problems faced by widowed mothers. There is always the prospect of the mother finding someone new to share her life with but this happens only rarely. The inheritances are there only to exploit the women, mainly for cheap sex. They don’t even take care of the children they produce with these poor women.

Fr Joachim Omolo Ouko, AJ
Tel +254 7350 14559/+254 722 623 578
Facebook-omolo beste

Reminder & Programm of 5th International African Festival & African Business Forum Tübingen, Germany 17 – 20 July 2014

From: African Community in Germany

Dear Excellency, Hon, CEO´S, African Diaspora, Ladies & Gentlemen,

accept compliments of the season from Tübingen –Germany, Susan Tatah – AFRIKAKTIV organization, Boris Palmer Lord Major of city of Tübingen, Christain O Erbe- President of chamber of Industry and commerce, as well as the African Diaspora in Germany, welcome you to the 5th International African Festival and African Business Forum in Tübingen 2014.
The Gap between Africa´s economic growth and poverty index arouses an unbalanced equation, Africa´s untapped opportunities – culture, raw materials, human capital, tourism as well as the role of the African Diaspora in the development of Africa. All these and many other entertainment comprises the Tübingen International African Festivals 2014 Menu!

Programm starts from Thursday, 17th to Sunday 20th of July 2014.

This year we commemorate three special events in the month of July that makes history in our lives as Africans
– 20th years of democrary in South Africa

– Kwibuka „Rwanda we remember“

– We remember Mr. Nelson Mandela

– Stop Malaria – Africa´s unbeatable challenge

The 4days events shall focus on tradefair, tourism, business opportunities, music, gastronomy, Kids & children programs and more…

Thursday: 17th July – Welcome days
Friday: 18th July – Special Business Forum & African Ambassadors conference
Saturday: 19th July – Diaspora & Dialog – Culture and Projects
Sunday: 20th July – Church and more celebration

Join us in Tübingen this year for a family weekend, this year´s specially dedicated to the children and youths with lots of creative workshops, dance, theater and more! Take a family vacation to Tübingen, you´ll not regret being here.
A special Ramadan Tent is provided for breaking fast –of our Moslems brothers and sisters – see programm for more info!

For more information on the programm 2014

Welcome to the city of Tübingen – For travel and accomodation, please click on this link

Contact the Organizers

Susan Tatah
Founder & CEO
Konzeption, Organisation und Durchführung
Tel.: (+49) 152 106 103 74

Afrikaktiv e.V.
Not black, not White but Multicolored

5. International Africafestival Tübingen: 17.-20. Juli 2014
For more information visit our Homepage & Facebook!


From: joachim omolo ouko
News Dispatch with Father Omolo Beste
TUESDAY, 24, 2014

Yuvinalis from Kisii writes: “Hallo Fr. Beste, if John came to Kenya today, what would he tell the government on corruption?” Thank you for this good question Yuvinalis. First he would tell them not to use their authority to exploit and oppress citizens. Instead he would advise them to use their power faithfully to the service of the people.

He would sternly warn them on their inability of a public institution to manage public affairs and public resources; their failure to meet the needs of society while making the best use of all resources at their disposal.

He would check them on accountability – measures various aspects of political processes, civil liberties, and political rights and the extent to which citizens are able to participate in selection of governments and monitoring of authority.

A government where there is political stability and lack of violence. The capacity of the government to effectively formulate and implement sound policies, quality of public service provision, quality of bureaucracy, competence and depoliticization of civil service, credibility of the government commitment to policies and rules of laws.

John would also tell them to form regulatory framework where incidence of market is friendly. The respect of citizens and the state for the institutions that govern economic and social interactions among them.

The extent to which the agents abide by and have confidence in the rules of society – efficiency and predictability of judiciary, enforceability of the contracts, perceptions of the incidence of crime and measures level of corruption and related institutional distortions.

John would also tell them that they should not pretend that they are religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. Instead he would tell them that religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

He would call them hypocrites for claiming to believe something but acting in a different manner. The Bible calls hypocrisy a sin. John the Baptist refused to give hypocrites a pass, telling them to produce “fruits worthy of repentance”.

A hypocrite may look righteous on the outside, but it is a façade. True righteousness comes from the inner transformation of the Holy Spirit not an external conformity to a set of rules. If they didn’t repent, they will perish in hell.

Leaders who didn’t change will not be saved from their sins. This is because people who keep on sinning just as they did before their so-called conversion won’t get into heaven. He told people specifically what they should do. If they were sincere about repenting, they would quit acting selfishly and start considering others, treating them just like they wanted to be treated.

John would urge them to share their belongings and food with the poor, to do their work honestly and to be content with their wages. If only every evangelist today was like John!

Fr Joachim Omolo Ouko, AJ
Tel +254 7350 14559/+254 722 623 578
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From: joachim omolo ouko
News Dispatch with Father Omolo Beste

Claris from Naivasha writes: “Fr Omolo Beste I read your article (attached here) on BISHOP OBALLA’S MESSAGE TO THE YOUTH ON MORAL and found it enriching. I agree with the bishop that youth should keep to moral values and self-discipline as the only way to keep off from sexual immorality.

I have brought this argument Fr Omolo because of the Reproductive Health Care Bill sponsored by nominated Senator Judith Sijeny, of which if passed it be possible for school children as young as 10 years old to have access to contraceptives, including condoms.

As a parent I am so upset. Can you imagine Father that parental consent is not mandatory for the children to access the contraceptives if the bill which is before the Senate is passed? Could it be that this bill is pushed by PSI? This organization has been spearheading the condoms adverts in Kenya even to children”.

Thank you Claris for this good question. You are not very far from the truth. PSI was registered in Kenya as an international non-governmental organization in 1989. Since then, PSI/Kenya has been implementing social marketing programs to address HIV and Aids, reproductive health, malaria and child health promotion.

Their programme seeks to promote safer sexual behaviour among younger and middle aged individuals through social marketing and behaviour change through increase of and access to availability of condoms.

This is the very organization that led to a public outcry last year with their television advertisement on condom usage even to married couples who cheat on each other. This year they have continued with similar adverts. This time they have included young people in the adverts.

Among people who have opposed the bill include Education Cabinet Secretary Jacob Kaimenyi who said the ministry would not allow “introduction of immorality” to young school children by any institution or law.

Like Bishop John Oballa, Kaimenyi says his ministry has an obligation to educate all children and promote good values and we will not be dragged in attempts to propagate bad teachings in schools.

The Kenya National Parents and Teachers Association (KNPTA) has also opposed to it. The Kenya Primary School Heads Association (Kepsha) also rejected the proposed law arguing children should be kept away from contraceptives.

The Kenya Secondary School Heads Association (Kessha) National Chairman, who is also the Principal of St. Mary’s Yala Secondary School, John Awiti has also rejected it. Awiti who is devout Catholic and my parishioner from St. Mark’s Obambo Catholic Church, Archdiocese of Kisumu, says is a mistake because innocent children will become curious and they will start experimenting and that will compromise their morality.

Awiti argues that all parents, teachers and other persons who play a role in bringing up the children must allow the children to grow naturally through proper guidance if we still intend to have a sane society in future.

“Why do we even allow this to be part of national debate?” Awiti asked, telling MPs to focus on pressing issues. On his part, Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) National Chairman Omboko Milemba warned the Senate against passing the Bill, arguing it would encourage moral decadence.

According to Senator Sijeny, the Bill is very important because it seeks the development of a system that is aware that many children are exposed to situations that could lead to risky sexual behaviour.

Her argument is that 10 years old girl is already sexually active and it is her right to fulfill her sexual desires through intercourse just like other sexually active adults. Although it sounds as if foreign NGO’s, including PSI are behind the bill, the Senator said the Bill was her own creation and not sponsored or pushed by any third party.

Fr Joachim Omolo Ouko, AJ
Tel +254 7350 14559/+254 722 623 578
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From: joachim omolo ouko
News Dispatch with Father Omolo Beste

Teddy from Kwale writes: “Fr Beste following what Joni quoted from Standard digital that Jomo Kenyatta took Kikuyus from Kiambu to illegally allocate them land in Mpeketoni can be concluded that is one of the reasons why Kikuyus were the targets?

Secondly, Internal Secretary Joseph ole Lenku announced the interdiction of the Lamu county police commander Leonard Omollo, Mpeketoni sub county commander Ben Maisori and Hindi area divisional officer a Mr Mutua. President Uhuru Kenyatta confirmed the suspension of the officers the following day. Could this explain why Raila is connected to the attacks?

Thirdly, when Bishop Emanuel Barbara of Malindi, who is also apostolic administrator of the Archdiocese of Mombasa, visited Mpeketoni after the attack he concluded that the attack was carried out by Kenyans and some foreigners.

Bishop Barbara told Fides News Agency that from what he saw he could say that there was an Islamic matrix to these assaults, but it also clear that ethic groups were the main targets. This he said because the assailants killed people based on their ethnicity and religion, what lesson could be learnt from this statement? Thank you.”

Thank you Teddy. Your first question whether land grabbing could be one of the reasons why particular ethnic community was the target we can say yes. This is going with what the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission report of last year condemned that the Mpeketoni land settlement scheme of the 1960s was “unprocedural”, “dubious”, “irregular” and the cause of perpetual tensions in the area.

The TJRC report, which was handed over to President Uhuru Kenyatta last year, also analysed conflicts in Lamu in the context of the Shifta (Kenya-Somali) conflict of the 1960s. The commissioners also factored in historically-rooted threats to peace posed by the proposed construction of the new Lamu Port. It said the Jomo Kenyatta presidency (1964-1978) engaged in setting up.

Your second question whether the interdiction of the Lamu county police commander Leonard Omollo, Mpeketoni sub county commander Ben Maisori and Hindi area divisional officer a Mr Mutua can explain why Raila is connected to the attack is not the issue.

The issue is that targeting Kikuyu communities because of land came in the open in 1992 when Youth for Kanu’92 (YK92), a group co-founded by William Ruto to help Moi retain power in 1992. Kikuyus in the Rift Valley were the targets. The idea was to have them out of the province. Those who resisted were slaughtered alive, properties destroyed, leaving many landless and traumatized.

These attacks continued in 1997 with the worse one on the night of 13 January 1998 when some Pokot and Samburu men attacked Kikuyu communities in the Magande, Survey, Motala, Milimani and Mirgwit areas of Ol Moran in Laikipia. Attackers were armed not only with spears, bows and arrows, but also with guns. Some of the attackers were dressed in military-type clothing.

It was estimated that over 50 Kikuyus were killed during these attacks and over 1000 others fled the area and sought refuge at the Roman Catholic Church at Kinamba, from where they were later relocated to temporary shelters at Sipili and Ol Moran.

On 21 January the same year, about 70 unidentified people invaded three farms in Njoro including one belonging to the newly elected DP Member of Parliament for Molo Constituency, Kihika Kimani. Three days later, groups of what local residents described as Kalenjins attacked Kikuyus in parts of Njoro in the same constituency.

There were varying explanations given for these attacks. One version of events blamed them on the refusal of local Kikuyu traders to supply goods and services to Kalenjins in response to the events in Laikipia.

Another suggested that this was simply an unprovoked attack on Kikuyus by local Kalenjin youths. The attack on Kikuyus on 24 January provoked a counter-attack by a group of apparently well organised Kikuyus, who on 25 January attacked Kalenjin residents of Naishi/Lare in Njoro.

According to police reports, 34 Kikuyus and 48 Kalenjins were killed during these initial attacks and over 200 houses were burnt down. Hundreds of people from both communities were displaced by the fighting, and many of them fled to temporary ‘camps’ at Kigonor, Sururu, Larmudiac mission and Mauche.

Your third question on what Bishop Barbara concluded that the attack was carried out by Kenyans and some foreigners has also been witnessed by some journalists on the ground. The BBC’s Anne Soy reported that the gunmen shot dead anyone who was unable to recite verses from the Koran.

According to the report, the attackers were well organised, and as soon as they finished their mission, they disappeared, supporting the theory that they may be locals. There are long-standing political and ethnic divisions in this area for decades now.

Another report said it could be that local Somalis and Oromos who claim the area as their ancestral home are trying to drive out Kikuyus, who they see as interlopers. Such disputes over land ownership were behind much of the ethnic violence which broke out across Kenya after the disputed 2007 elections.

Although Al-Shabab has said it carried out the attack in order to take revenge on Kenya for the presence of its troops in Somalia, where they are battling the militants, as well as for the killing of radical clerics linked to al-Shabab in the port city of Mombasa, a group of Kenyan Somalis or Oromos could easily wave al-Shabab flags and shout slogans such as Allahu Akbar (God is great) in order to divert blame.

It could also be argued that President Kenyatta would want to downplay the al-Shabab angle in order to try and protect Kenya’s embattled tourist industry. This would also enable him to send Kenya’s security services after some of his political enemies.

It is very unfortunate Teddy that ethnic conflict is now threatening the decades of stability that has set Kenya apart from so many of its neighbors, like Congo, Rwanda, Somalia and Sudan. No one knows exactly when this land disputes and grabbing will end in Kenya.

Fr Joachim Omolo Ouko, AJ
Tel +254 7350 14559/+254 722 623 578
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USA: On Father’s Day:

From: President Barack Obama
The White House, Washington

Hi, everyone —

Today, I’m thinking about all the dads across the country, spending time with family and loved ones — and especially those fathers serving our country overseas, who can’t be home with their kids today.

But I’m also thinking about all the young people out there who don’t have a dad in their lives at all — or who don’t always enjoy the opportunities and support that come with having strong role models.

It reminds me why we started the “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative in the first place: because we need to do more to help young people go as far as their dreams and hard work will take them, no matter what they look like or where they grow up.

I know I’m only here because people took a chance on me, and believed in me when I didn’t always believe in myself. And I want to give more kids that chance. It’s an all-hands-on-deck effort, from the folks on my staff — to you.

You can invest in our young people, and help them be successful. You can commit to doing it right now.

Make a pledge to mentor a young person in your community here.

For me, this is personal.

And for millions of young Americans around the country, it just might be life-changing.

Thank you — and Happy Father’s Day.

President Barack Obama

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The White House • 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW • Washington, DC 20500 • 202-456-1111

20 Things You Didn’t Know About…

From: Fakhi Karume

1. Modern Halloween celebrations focus on fun frights, but superstitions associated with the holiday’s ancestor, the Celtic festival of the dead, were no laughing matter. Families left “treats” for departed loved ones to discourage nasty “tricks” from beyond the grave.

2. On Halloween, 18th-century Scottish villagers drove sheep through hoops of rowan branches to protect them from ghostly mischief, including sickness.

3. The ritual may have arisen from observing that sheep nibbling rowanberries were healthier; the berries contain sorbic acid, which has anti-fungal properties.

4. Dowsers believe the forked rod or pendulum they hold vibrates as they pass over underground water, but there’s no science to support the notion. In fact, as early as the 19th century, dowsing doubters such as French chemist Michel Eugène Chevreul suggested the vibrations came from intentional muscle movements.

5. The German government tested 500 dowsers in the 1980s. Six “showed an extraordinarily high rate of success, which can scarcely if at all be explained as due to chance,” the study says.

6. In further tests, they could not replicate their “extraordinary” results. Oops.

7. Evolutionary biologist Kevin Foster defines superstitions as incorrect identifications of causal links.

8. Foster doesn’t consider “superstition” pejorative: You don’t need to understand cause to benefit from a behavior.

9. Believing that rustling grass always means a predator is approaching, for example, means you’ll hoof it whenever you hear the sound, whether it’s caused by wind or a hungry lion.

10. You’ll live to share your superstition with your children, they’ll tell their children and so on, protecting your progeny from grass-rustling lions. Foster believes that, among early humans, natural selection favored the superstitious.

11. Superstition can still be a plus — sort of. German researchers reported in 2010 that the more strongly participants believed in their good luck charms, the more confident they were.

12. The study also showed that the more confident superstitious participants were, the better they performed, perhaps due to self-efficacy — the belief in one’s ability to succeed at a specific challenge — which has been linked to how willing people are to persist at a given task.

13. Or maybe brains trump beliefs: In 1974, researchers in the state of Georgia found smart high school students were less superstitious than those of average intelligence.

14. Is superstition for the birdbrained? In the 1940s, B. F. Skinner gave eight pigeons food at fixed intervals. Between feedings, six repeated the behavior they were doing when the food first appeared, which Skinner likened to card players’ lucky rituals.

15. Charms or rituals may boost confidence, but an “unlucky” number can nix it. In 1993, researchers near London reported that, over a three-year period, highway traffic was lighter on Friday the 13th than on Friday the 6th. Yet, inexplicably, on the 13th, road accidents sent 52 percent more people to hospitals.

16. Superstition can be even uglier. In 2009, Interpol calculated the lifetime incidence of rape for South African women at 1 in 2, with nearly half of victims younger than 18, likely due to a myth that sex with a virgin can cure a man of AIDS.

17. Does stress create superstition? After the 1991 Gulf War, a Tel Aviv psychologist found that Israelis in cities attacked by SCUD missiles were more superstitious than residents of SCUD-free cities.

18. In 2008, an American study found participants more likely to perceive connections between unrelated events when first asked to recall a time when they lacked control.

19. In parts of Asia, many couples plan to have children during “lucky” years.

20. World Bank researchers found Vietnamese children born in “lucky” years are healthier and better educated, but possibly because they were born into families emotionally and financially prepared for them.“Luck” may have had nothing to do with it.


From: Fakhi Karume

In international diplomacy the terms “Ambassador” and “High Commissioner” are both used to refer to diplomats of the highest rank representing either a sovereign state or international organisation who is accredited to another sovereign state and or international organisation.

Since the 1815 Congress of Vienna, the status of Ambassadors has been defined and protected under international law as the recognized representatives of their respective heads of state who generally are also invested with “plenipotentiary powers”, meaning the full authority to represent their governments.

Their status as sovereign representatives explains why they are formally addressed as “His” or “Her Excellency” when at their external postings, as well as the need for them to present their credentials to the heads of state in the countries they are accredited to.

The term High Commissioner is reserved for those diplomats of Ambassador rank who are the head of a diplomatic mission of one Commonwealth government, such as Pakistan and Uganda, to another, such as Botswana. The use of the term “High Commission” as opposed to “Embassy” is in this context the proper designation for any Commonwealth nation’s diplomatic mission to another member state of the Commonwealth.


From: joachim omolo ouko
News Dispatch with Father Omolo Beste
MT. 5:20-26
JUNE 12, 2014

Jesus said to his disciples: “If your virtue goes no deeper than that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never get into the Kingdom of heaven.” Another version says:

“For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven”.

Scribes and Pharisees were pretenders and hypocrites. They taught what they did not live themselves. They were full of extortion, prey, spoil, plunder and grasping self-indulgence.

They were proud and arrogant. What they said was final, whether bad or good. As true Christians we are required to be humble and open to dialogue.

The second part of the Gospel tells us to cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, and make holiness perfect in the fear of God.

We should wronged no one. We should take advantage of no one. Jesus is saying this not to condemn you, but let you be free of sin and evil deeds.

Fr Joachim Omolo Ouko, AJ
Tel +254 7350 14559/+254 722 623 578
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Why Is Divorce Such A Greater Stigma For Women Than Men?

From: Juma Mzuri

An unhappy marriage can take a toll on your mind, body and soul.

From casual observation, regarding marriages of family members, friends and co-workers, I’ve noticed the majority are unhappy. The happy couples were in the minority.

The wives’ and husbands’ unhappiness shows in their faces. Both tend to look older than they are, beaten down, stressed out, bitter, angry and depressed. A few have even turned to alcohol, pills and extramarital affairs. They also have various health problems like ulcers, obesity, hypertension and migraines. Some are unusually harsh with their children. Others are emotionally and physically abusive toward each other. Overall, both husbands and wives have somehow lost their zest for life. They are mere shadows of their former selves – unlike the happy couples they were on their wedding day.

In some cases, the marriages became so unbearable – the wives packed up themselves and their kids, left, filed for divorce and went on to forge new lives.

Yet, some women criticized the wives for leaving, accused them of being selfish, for breaking up their marriages and reminded them that “God hates divorce.”

In other cases, the marriages became so unbearable – the husbands packed up themselves, and sometimes, the kids, filed for divorce and went on to forge new lives.

However, some men praised the husbands for leaving, didn’t accuse them of being selfish, for breaking up their marriages and didn’t remind the husbands that “God hates divorce.” Some family members and friends even congratulated the husbands for leaving such greedy, selfish, ungrateful b*****s, even when the wives didn’t deserve such a label.

Why the double standard?


From: joachim omolo ouko
News Dispatch with Father Omolo Beste
FRIDAY, JUNE 6, 2014

Rose (not her real name) writes: Fr Omolo I read your article on superiority complex and defense mechanism. I also like reading your articles on your website link jaluo.kom on issues of infidelity in marriage like this on here-EXTRAMARITAL SEX AND INFIDELITY IN MARRIAGE Father you talked of superiority complex and defense mechanism among politicians but you forgot that even in marriage defense mechanism is even stronger.

I want share with you my personal experience. I and my husband are Catholics. My husband is even one of the respected Parish Council members in our church. One day he went to shower room and forgot his mobile phone. When I scrolled for messages I was shocked to find a message from his mpango wa kando woman (mistress) telling him to send money for his daughter urgently for school fees.

When I called the number of this woman she never hid me. She told me that my husband is her man and they have a daughter 11 years old whom he must take care for. We exchanged bitter words with her but realized this could not help. When I asked my husband about it he was very furious with me and began using defense mechanism tactics.

It is now about 4 months since I discovered this but still moves with this woman. As a Christian Father I had to separate with him for peace of mind also. He does not even feel it and actually does not care. I am really depressed and confused. We have big children and in a shock as well. Just pray for me and my family Father.”

The experience Rose is undergoing is the experience of many women in Kenya today. Social media, especially Facebook talk about it. I read one 2 days ago where a young lady put it categorically that Kenyans are secretly or openly tribalistic, serial cheaters, vanity chasers yet they will be the first to fill up the church pews on Sundays and weep like they are actually being convicted.

This is Kenya where not only married people are cheating on their spouses but even single people are cheating. It is a society where a single woman can have several men, one who pays rent, the other monthly shopping, and the other one pay school fees for children.

Mind you none of them knows that there are other men with this woman. The same with men, married or single, they have several other women elsewhere. The sad part is that people are deliberately not worried about the HIV infections.

In the Kenyan Society and many societies around the world, marriages in today do not seem to mean nearly as much as they used to in the past, with divorce commonly being the first preferential choice in modifying a married couple’s problems or troubles.

Unlike men, women are more likely to cheat in relationships where they feel that their emotional needs aren’t being met and may also cheat because their sexual needs aren’t being satisfied, or as revenge.

One of the most extreme effects of the disclosure or discovery of female infidelity within a relationship is divorce or ending the relationship. Just like what Rose is expressing on her sentiments.

It is not Rose alone. Women have become so paranoid they spend their lives electronically checking up on their husband text messages. They hack into their emails, or forward through their mobile phones.

Rose had never suspected her husband of anything. It was just for curiosity that she decided to scroll her husband’s phone and got that message. That is what made her mad at her husband, and when she tried to ask him he became defensive.

In Freudian psychoanalysis theory, defense mechanisms are psychological strategies, or habitual behavior that distorts reality to suppress thoughts and emotions that might bring up ego threat. These are tactics used to scare, manipulate, deny, or distort reality.

Like Rose, many women have turned into detectives. Out of the blue, a woman can also decide to open her husband’s emails. They have never done this before like Rose. Just for curiosity she probably suspected he was having an affair with other women.

Recently a young lady posted on her Facebook timeline, how her boy friend was mysteriously ‘late home from work’, she opened his account and there were endless messages from his other girlfriends. “It was devastating,’ she expressed”.

Some women even have issues with their men over password change on a phone, Facebook or email. Some are even suspicious whey their men don’t leave their phones behind. They go with them even to shower rooms.

Women are curious because they are far more suspicious about their men than men are about their women. There is nothing painful to the woman like husband or boyfriend having an affair with other women. That is why almost half of discussions by young ladies on Facebook is their men being unfaithful.

Fr Joachim Omolo Ouko, AJ
Tel +254 7350 14559/+254 722 623 578
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From: joachim omolo ouko
News Dispatch with Father Omolo Beste
THURSDAY, MAY 22, 2014

Vivian from Kipchimchim, Kericho, Kenya writes: “Fr Beste you really know Kenyan politics. You had said that President Uhuru Kenyatta had the power to dictate what he wishes and no one can bar him from doing so. He has finally paid the Anglo Leasing money just as you said he would do.

Now Beste what do you say about recent action by Devolution Secretary Anne Waiguru to fire National Youth Service Kiplimo Rugut (Kalenjin), replacing him with former State House Comptroller Nelson Githinji (Kikuyu). Don’t you think Kalenjin communities will look at this as tribalism of the high class?

I am a Kalenjin but afraid we will not vote Uhuru again come 2017. This is to me he used Kalenjins to ascend to power. I wonder when tribalism will end in Kenya. Imagine firing Rugut, who had served as the NYS director general for just a year.

Thank you for this important question Vivian. For your information, tribalism is not going to end in Kenya very soon as Charles Hornsby points out in his book, chapter on ‘The Kikuyunization of Kenya. He says this has been inherited from Jomo Kenyatta who in 1970s gave crucial posts of provincial commissioners to his tribesmen.

These posts were held by a small group of conservative insiders, more than half of whom were Kikuyu from 1967 until Kenyatta’s death in 1978, and three of whom were sons of chiefs. Appointments to statutory boards and parastatals showed the same trend.

Hornsby adds: in “popular imagination”, Jomo Kenyatta was not only “the benevolent dictator but simultaneously ‘the chief architect and patron of the Greater Kikuyu Community’.” (Read a History since Independence pp.254-258 by Charles Hornsby, 2012).

Senior Kikuyu Parastatal leading the 1970s under Jomo Kenyatta were as follows: Ephantus Gakuo, Director-general of East African Railways (later Kenya Railways), 1987-1970s (Uhuru Kenyatta’s father in-law), Bethwell Gecaga, Chairman, Industrial Development Bank (1976-9), Julius Gecau, Managing director, East Africa (later Kenya) Power and Lighting Company (1970-84), James Karani Gitau, and General manager, Kenya National Trading Corporation (1969-79).

Others were Stanley Githunguri, Executive chairman, National Bank of Kenya (1976-9), Charles Karanja, General manager, Kenya Tea Development Authority (1970-81), John Matere Keriri, General manager then managing director, Development Finance Company of Kenya (1972-82), Peter Kinyanjui, Chairman, East African Harbours Corporation (later Kenya Ports Authority) 1970-80, John Michuki, Executive chairman, Kenya Commercial Bank (1970-9), Philip Ndegwa, Chairman, Agricultural Finance Corporation (to 1974), and Matu Wamae, Executive director, Industrial and Commercial Development Corporation (1969-79).

The Kikuyunization under Uhuru Kenyatta came real in September when he appointed Nancy Gitau – Chief Political Advisor, Joseph Kinyua – Chief of Staff and Head of the Civil Service, Arthur Igeria – Head of the Nairobi Centre for International Arbitration Board, Mutahi Ngunyi – Senior Political Advisor, John Mututho – Chairman NACADA, Lee Kinyanjui – Chairman National Transport Authority, and Kiragu wa Magonchi – Chairman Teachers’ Service Commission.

When Kalenjin communities complained, instead Uhuru went on by appointing more Kikuyus. A committee appointed by Uhuru to investigate whether to repatriate Somali refugees in Daadab and Kakuma camps following the Westgate attack, consisted of Kikuyus with only one Kalenjin.

They were, Daniel Njuguna Waireri-Chairman, Joyce Wanja Mburu-Vice Chairperson, Wamuyu Wang’undu, Gladys Njoki Muhia, Nyokabi Githiura, Charles Karanja, Elizabeth Nyaguthi, Stephen Kiraithe, Athanas Gichuki Mwathe, Christine Agatha Waitherero, Dr. Githinji Wamwoka, James Lee Mukora, Joe Nyaga, Presidential adviser on regional cooperation (Embu) and Hosea Kimkung Maiyo (the only Kalenjin).

The complaint from Kalenjins did not prevent Uhuru from appointing more Kikuyus and people from his TNA party. Kalenjins were surprised when he appointed former Head of Civil Service Francis Muthaura as the chairman of the Lamu Port-Southern Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (LAPSET). Muthaura is Merian who comes from Mt Kenya region as Uhuru Kenyatta.

Other appointments included Dr. Githinji Wamwoka, James Lee Mukora, and Joe Nyaga Presidential adviser on regional cooperation (Embu). Former Kenya Airports Authority Managing Director George Muhoho, Uhuru’s uncle, was poised to take over at Kenya Power, former Kengen CEO Eddy Njoroge was appointed the informal energy adviser to Uhuru at State House.

Former Kikuyu MP Lewis Nguyai, a close Uhuru ally, chairman of the Kenya Leather Authority, former Kamukunji MP Simon Mbugua, chairman of Kenya Betting and Control Board and Joe Kibe, chairman of the Kenya Pipeline Authority. Uhuru inherited this tribal appointment to key positions from Mwai Kibaki.

When Kalenjins complained bitterly and threatened to move away from Uhuru’s government, it emerged that DP William Ruto went to State House on 12th Nov 2013 citing mistreatment and shortchanging on parastatal appointments. Uhuru just kept quiet and went on with similar appointments.

You should be aware Vivian that Kalenjins are not only furious with Uhuru on tribal appointments. As Kericho Senator Charles Keter sensationally pointed out Kalenjins are also furious with Uhuru for retaining some individuals who ‘fixed’ Deputy President William Ruto to ICC.

Mind you, Anne Waiguru is not alone to blame. Transport and Infrastructure Cabinet Secretary Eng. Michael Kamau did exactly the same by confirming Lucy Mbugua as the Managing Director of Kenya Airports Authority. Furthermore, Ms Waiguru is only effecting orders from her boss.

Fr Joachim Omolo Ouko, AJ
Tel +254 7350 14559/+254 722 623 578
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From: joachim omolo ouko
News Dispatch with Father Omolo Beste
TUESDAY, MAY 20, 2014

John from Narok writes: “Fr Beste thank you for this good work you are doing to educate Kenyans through your news blog. In one of your articles you said corruption cannot end in Kenya as yet. Why do you say so Father?”

Thank for asking this important question John. I am saying so because one factor that fuels the problems of corruption in Kenya is tribal loyalty. Member of the same clan or tribe often form cartels of corruption, and as such it becomes their turn to eat.

It explains why corruption played a role with all 3 Kenyan presidents up to now. Jomo Kenyatta handed over land to members of his own clan and tribe. Kenyatta himself became one of the largest private land owners in the country.

Daniel arap Moi did exactly the same. Mwai Kibaki continued with the system. Like Jomo Kenyatta and Daniel arap Moi, Mwai Kibaki administration consisted largely of his tribe. From 2003 to 2006, Kibaki’s cabinet spent 14 million dollars on new Mercedes cars for themselves.

President Uhuru Kenyatta is doing exactly the same. Key- job positions in his government has been taken by people from his tribe. Raila Amolo Odinga probably would have done exactly the same when he could be the president.

This is despite the fact that legislation against corruption is mandated to deal with such corrupt deals. Under the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes act, the KACC is mandated to fight and prevent corruption.

Unless corruption is weeded out, Kenyans will continue to become poorer and poorer. It explains why majority of Kenyans continue to live below the poverty level. This is mainly because of mass unemployment, which has resulted to rising crimes, especially armed robbery and carjackings – in Nairobi and other major towns.

That is why between 1992 and 1998, infant mortality for under five-year-olds rose from 74 to 105 per 1,000 and still continues to do the same. That is because the pledges presidents who succeed another make that they will fight corruption is not honored.

Partly because they were in the same government they are succeeding. It means they were part of that corruption. It was with this in mind that President Mwai Kibaki could not charge people who were implicated in Goldenberg scandals, despite recommendation by the Attorney general Amos Wako that they should be charged.

This was according to the commission Kipaki appointed to fully investigate the Goldenberg export compensation scandal, which cost Kenya billions of shillings in the early 1990s. According to witnesses at the commission’s hearings, as much as 60 billion Kenyan shilllings (US$850 million)—a fifth of Kenya’s gross domestic product—was looted from the country’s Central Bank through billionaire Kamlesh Pattni’s Exchange Bank in 1991.

Kibaki could not charge them because the inquiry implicated Daniel arap Moi, his two sons, Philip and Gideon (now a Governor in Kentatta’s government), and his daughter June, as well as a host of high-ranking Kenyans.

In his testimony, Treasury Permanent Secretary Joseph Magari recounted that in 1991, President Moi ordered him to pay Ksh34.5 million ($460,000) to Goldenberg, contrary to the law existing then.

Fr Joachim Omolo Ouko, AJ
Tel +254 7350 14559/+254 722 623 578
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Of Conspiracy Theories and Denials

From: Sam Muigai

By Gimba Kakanda

Abubakar Shekau was formerly a lieutenant at Lord’s Resistance Army. He left LRA after a marked difference in the direction of the terrorist cult’s ideology with his boss, and converted to Islam to champion an Al-Qaeda-style insurgency. He migrated to Nigeria in 2005, and settled down in Shekau, Yobe State. In his early interviews, he insisted, refuting his boss’s charges of insubordination, that he left because of his disapproval of LRA’s quest for a society governed by the Biblical Ten Commandments. His preference of Sharia was after a brief stay in the Yemeni city of Sana’a where, for studying Islamic orthodoxy in toto, according to him, he was nicknamed Darul Tauheed. Shekau was an LRA-trained, ultra-conservative Christian and Ugandan. We must join hands in rejecting his claims.

Of course, the source of the above is my imagination, my own conspiracy theory, to pander to the ongoing misuse of our intellect in analysing the genesis and complexities of our troubles as a nation and as a people, and on the junctures where humanity takes flight and abandons us to conspire against one another, against reason, and against common sense. The past few weeks have been about competing to outdo one another in inventions of unverifiable stories, sometimes amusing and, other times, and these are of higher frequency, shameful, so much so that you wish to recommend the conspiracy theorists for admission into mental institutions.

If you have joined our deception-gathering agents, whose operations are everything but secret, the Nigerian secret police, in living in denial of Shekau’s actual existence as shared by their spokesperson Ms Marilyn Ogah, there are archives to go explore – and the Internet is one of them. There are videos of Shekau’s existence as an unknown radical preacher and now the most wanted bogeyman in the world on Youtube and other video-sharing websites where doubters can watch and study him, his mannerisms, and transformations, employing your latent Sherlock Holmes-esque skills. In the early days of this insurgency, a friend of mine who had followed Shekau’s commentaries on the affairs of the world, long before he metamorphosed into an invisible man that taunts our undermined military might, gave me a DVD of the man’s selected sermons. The DVDs were on sale in Minna, I don’t know about now. Shekau is real, and dangerous in pseudo-intellectual warfare. And to say that he doesn’t know an “alif” about Islam is cheap, for the Shekau I listened to was a considerably learned man who wallowed, which he now does in full blast, in hollow ideologies, possessed by the demons of an unrealisable society he yearned for!

Screaming that Islam is a religion of peace and dismissing Shekau as non-Muslim or non-Nigerian, as some have done in shock over possibility of a Nigerian destroying his own people, is no longer an effective reaction to terrors and stereotypes. Evil has neither a religion nor a nationality, neither a race nor an ethnicity, and so long as this remains undisputed the activity of a particular terrorist group is not a fault of the larger people whose belief and ideology it selfishly abuses.

The merchants of death at Boko Haram have never identified with any concept aside from one built around the Islamic, even if ignorantly, which their Commander had explained until he no longer made sense. Shekau is not a Christian. He’s not Joseph Kony, the elusive leader of LRA whose delusion was vaguely attributed to his quest for “a society governed by the Biblical Ten Commandments.” But everybody knows that Kony is not a practising Christian. The same way our most intelligent dismissal of Shakau may be to highlight that he’s not a practising Muslim, for the Muslim identity is now both spiritual and political.

What the Boko Haram insurgents perpetrate is understandably un-islamic but they are Muslims. Disqualifying them as non-Muslims is not only a cheap escape from this maddening reality that begs for our honest confrontations but questions the authenticity of our own faith too. For instance, Islam is unambiguous in its condemnation of polytheism. In fact, polytheism is the shortest and smoothest highway to apostasy but so many of us patronise marabouts and seers to seek solutions for our problems, and to ‘protect’ our future, in spite of our knowledge of the consequences. Unfaithful Muslims, of whom the terrorists are frontline members, are candidates of Jahannam. Being a Muslim doesn’t mean being spiritually and behaviorally upright, being a Mumineen, a believer, is what makes one so. Islam is not a secret cult, and apostasy in a world where the “Islamists” have turned the Muslim identity into political is now contradictory, and should be declared with caution. Shekau may have lost his spiritual identification with Islam, but he’s politically a Muslim.

Every ideology can be exploited to promote an evil cause. Like the abuse of democratic ideals by Nigerian politicians. So, instead of propounding conspiracy theories, let’s dedicate our energy to all efforts being made to rescue the girls abducted in Chibok – and all, boys and girls, abducted before them! Where are they, over a month later? Our campaign right now must be to remind the international community that has stripped us naked, fairly so, that #BringBackOurGirls is neither a posing nor fashion contest. We don’t want to see their Yves Saint Laurent suits, don’t want to see their gucci shoes, don’t want to see their Rolex watches… anymore. If they really want to help us, then they must understand that urgency is requisite in counter-terrorism. But if their actual intention is merely to embarrass us in style, laugh over our postcolonial failures in the closet, and publicise the other side of our ‘barbarous’ people, then let them open up and leave us alone. They must stop documenting our miseries if they’re not willing to assist us. Our girls have marked 32 days, over a month, in captivity. Is this a fashionable tragedy?

And all the way from America, where President Jonathan has adopted as the arbitrator of our public opinion in his “America Will know” blunder, a certain Senator has called our President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, “some guy” and his government “practically non-existent!” Well, John McCain owes us no apology at all. Practically, he said. And I agree. See, a people’s daughters were abducted, they’re in immeasurable misery, yet the impractical “Establishment” is expecting them to “waka come” – and see them in their grand Palace (of shame). Aren’t they and their ilk, (s)elected to serve, supposed to visit the ‘mourning’ citizens and apologise for failing to defend them as pledged in their Oath of Office or assure them of a possibility of rescuing those unfortunate daughters of a “non-existent” country? Yet they sit on a trillion naira, expecting hashtags to gather and venture into Sambisa Forest and touch the heart of the morally unconscious terrorists or even, by a twist of miracle, save the citizens they have vowed to protect!

I really wish I could sit down with my kids in the future, telling them, with painful nostalgia and perhaps pride, of a terrorist cult called “Boko Haram” that terrorized my youth, as our parents had told us of Maitatsine’s violent dissent – and the immediate subduing of Mohammed Marwa-indoctrinated Yan Tatsine by a militarily no-nonsense government of President Shehu Shagai, and also Major-General Muhammadu Buhari !

But our present counter-terrorism isn’t a guarantee for that hope. I fear that our kids may be similarly rattled by this evil creation of our time, a product of a dangerously built society. I fear. For us. How this literally frail Shekau who may not even stand me in a boxing bout managed to defy our security arrangements, outwitting the salary-earning, civilian-brutalising “sojas” there to defend the people, is a proof that ours is a structurally collapsing nation. May God save us from us!

By Gimba Kakanda
@gimbakakanda (On Twitter)