Category Archives: KUYO




O, the rain has come for our icon,

Yawa, let’s

Celebrate Grace Ogot

Our rare multi-multi

Talented icon

Let’s celebrate this ever

Smiling lady of thrift

With the gift for philanthropy

The rare beacon of hope,

During dark days of illiteracy

The rare lily in the Luo universe


Exuding intellectual fragrance

Let’s celebrate nyar Asembo

Mama Grace Ogot

Who cherished Christian values

This delineated her life

As the only nominated and elected women M.P

For Gem

Gem the home of the legends

Odera Akang’o and CMG Argwings Kodhek

You championed

Education for the girl child.

Let’s celebrate Grace Ogot

The rare beacon of hope

Let’s celebrate this kind hearted

Mulago trained nurse and BBC Radio Journalist

Who inspired by Luo culture,

mythology and folklore

Aspired matured into

A renowned writer

Articulating the role

Of women in

Patriarchal society

We celebrate the life

Of an extraordinary

Mother and wife to an

International historian:

Prof Bethwel Alan Ogot.

Let’s celebrate a great


Elegant in her distinctive headgear

And mono-tone flowing dresses

The rare beacon of hope

The rain has come for our icon

The care beacon of hope

Let’s celebrate Grace Ogot

Born in rural Asembo

This great African writer

Educated at Ng’iya and Butere Girls High Schools.

Government Assistant Minister for Culture in 1987.

We celebrate Grace Ogot

The politician, the nurse, the broadcast Journalist, the diplomat and P.R .practioneer

Besides being a mother and a wife.

We celebrate a nurse, while studying at St James Hospital, England in 1962

She presented B.B.C Radio program

‘’London Calling East Africa’’

We are Celebrating an inspired author

0f nine books

The Promised Land, The Rain Came, The Year Of Sacrifice, Island Of Tears, Ward Nine,

The Graduate, The Other Women, Miaha and Days Of My Life

We celebrate the founder of Writers’ Association of Kenya

One among 570 authors of the 20th century, featured in the 4 volume

Of Modern Women Writers published in 1996

W e celebrate a gold hearted matron

Who selflessly donated her School Jubilee High School to facilitate the Odera Akang’o Campus

In honour of

The legendary Gem Chief.








By our investigative reporter In Homa-BAY Town

The CORD leader Raila Odinga’s weekend trip to the Southern Nyanza region met with a mixed reception that the ODM supremo would very much like to forget quickly.

Raila’s team of his close confidants and political crones visited Homa-BAY county last weekend. They were among the thousands of mourners who attended the burial of ex-senior Chief Omolo Anditi at Wanyama village in Rusinga Island last Friday.

The team also attended the burial of the former Planning Minister Dr Paul Adhu Awiti at his pala Kanjira village in Karachuonyo within the Homa-Bay County in west Karachuonyo.

While en-route to Karachuonyo, Raila and his companions made a brief stop in Homa-BAY Town There, he made a futile attempt to endorse the ousted former County branch chairman of the ODM, Sen. Otieno Kajwang’, and met with the wrath of the rowdy youths who shouted anti-Kajwang’ slogans, forcing “Agwambo” to climb down from the makeshift dais and dash to the waiting car.

The youth shouted “Ogin, ogin”. Ogin is the name of the former Hoima-BAY mp Martin Otieno Ogindo, the man who was recently elected and crowned by delegates from all eight parliamentary constituencies that forms Homa-BAY county.

The group then drove on to Karachuonyo and made another brief stop at Kadel and Kandiege to drum up support for the ODM candidate Kennedy Ondiek who was an ODM official candidate in the KibirI Ward by-election. The shouting match had intensified in all the two stop-overs, with some of the youth being heard saying “Ok Wadwar Bado Kuna Mapambano” [we don’t want the inventor of Bado kuna Mapambano lyrics].

AS if the three incidents of heckling were not enough for Rala to learn that the Homa-BAY senator was not popular with the party supporters, Raila repeated the same calls to the residents to endorse Sen. Otieno Kajwang’ to continue as the County branch chairman as CORD was preparing to battle with its rival Jubilee in the forthcoming referendum.

While the CORD leader was witnessing the change of attitudes displayed by the party hitherto very loyal youth in HOMA-Bay town, Raila former Chief of Staff at his former Prime Minister’s office Karoli Omondi was firing his first salvos at his former boss at a well attended Harambee meeting at Magunga in Suba South constituency within the same Homa-Bay County.

Omondi once served as the top aide of Raila Odinga, when the latter was the Prime Minister in the LDP/PNU coalition government, headed by the retired President Mwai KIBAKI. Omondi proclaimed that the Cord coalition alliance will not lead Kenya unless it cleanses itself internally first. He added that Raila will not be the President of Kenya unless he drops his dictatorial tendencies to pick unpopular candidates without allowing the electorate to vote for the men and women of their own choice.

He rubbished Raila’s close political confidants, especially those who have been polluting the air with the now stale and endless lyrics of Bado Kuna Mapambano, adding that the party lost the last year’s elections to JUBILEE because those close political associates of Raila had became irrelevant to the electorate and lost touch with the Wananchi.

At the Kanjira home of the fallen former Karachuonyo MP, it was a total display of political might of the Odingas cronies that Raila brought with him, the entire Odinga family, members of the cronies and close political partners and associates from Siaya County. Among them were his elder brother, the nominated MP Dr Oburu Odinga, his wife Ida, his sister Ruth Adhiambo Oginga, who is the deputy governor of Kisumu County, his cousin the GEM MP Jakoyo Midiwo, his close friends Oduor Ong’wen, SIAYA Senator James Orengo, Homa-Bay Senator Otieno Kajwang’.

Speakers at the MP’s funeral were discriminatingly selected. They were not chosen by the bereaved family, but by Raila’s political surrogates, who seemed to have had instruction to sideline all the MPs from the Southern Nyanza region who were present. The exemptions were the area MP Eng. James Rege and one ward representative and Kabondo Kasipul MP Silivance Oselle. Those excluded from the list of speeakers included Madame Millie Odhiambo {Mbita}, Opondo Kaluma {Homa-Bay town} , George Oner {Rangwe], Rege the area MP , former MP Mrs Phoebe Asiyo.

Also ignored were Martin Otieno Ogindo, the man who had ousted Otieno Kajwang’ from the County ODM branch chairmanship. His branch team attended the funeral, but they were also ignored.

At the rowdy HOMA-bay meeting, dissenting voices of those objecting to Raila’s dictatorial leadership in ODM were heard loud and clear. Most of them also shouted that they were ready to ditch the party for another.

It will be remembered that about three months ago, after refusing to call the County ODM branch executive committee meeting, a group of politicians from all the eight parliamentary constituencies met at the HOMA-Bay Farmer’s Training School and voted Kajwang’ out. But in defense of Kajwang’, Raila put up a spirited defense of Kajwang’, arguing that the meeting that ousted him from the branch leadership was unconstitutional because it was called only by the branch secretary, ENG. Rege, whereas the party constitution is clear that it is the responsibility of the chairman to call such a meeting and not the secretary.


KUYO: OTO’s funeral committee

From: ‘Evans MACHERA’

Dear all,

Thanks to Joram Odus and George Omburo for Ksh.5,000/= and Ksh.4,300/= respectively (duly received and transmitted to Oto family).

With thanks,


– – – – – – – – – – –

On Friday, July 4, 2014 1:37 PM, Evans MACHERA wrote:

Hi Joram,

My contact number is 0724646961.

Remember to share where you are for the information of family members – the wife and cousin for the obvious purposes and intent.


On Friday, July 4, 2014 1:15 PM, Joram Odus wrote:

Ndugu Machera, let me have your Mpesa contact if you are in Kenya for my contribution towards OTO funeral.


From: progressive-kenyans
Date: Thu, 3 Jul 2014 13:41:51 -0700
Subject: OTO’s funeral committee

Jambo Bw.Omburo,

Karibu to my names Evans Onchiri Machera.

Thank u.

On Thursday, July 3, 2014 9:01 PM, ‘george omburo’ via Wanabidii wrote:


What is your Kipande name to send you my contribution by WU or MG? Oto was a friend and deserve my support. Omburo

On Thursday, July 3, 2014 1:26 PM, ‘Evans MACHERA’ via Progressive Kenyans wrote:

Dear all,

Today,i received contributions towards Oto’s funeral arrangements as follows;-

1). Dr.Shem Ochuodho Ksh.2,000/=
2). Dr.Matunda Nyanchama Ksh.1,000/=
3). Sam Moturi Ksh.1,000/=
4). Evans Machera Ksh.1,000/=

Thank you very much. The committee acknowledged your support so far.


On Wednesday, July 2, 2014 5:35 PM, Joram Odus wrote:

Dear all, I am reliably informed that our departed friend OTO will be lied to rest on 12 July 2014 at his home in Yimbo, Bondo County. OTO has left behind a window and 4 children (2 boys & 2 girls). His elder son is a 3rd year student at Moi University, the 2nd born is in Secondary school, another in primary and the last born is 3 years old.

I spoke to Mr Caleb Onyango, OTOs cousin a few minutes ago and he gave the following details for those who wish to send there contributions towards the funeral arrangements to Ms Sellin Oketch on 0723 300 443 Mpesa. Sellin is OTO elder sister, for accountability purposes the committee prefers any contributions through her, alternative she may be reached on the same line for any clarifications.

I urge everyone to support OTOs family at this time of need, your contribution will go along way in supporting OTOs family that has been robbed of a husband, a father, a son and a brother too early.

Thank you.

Joram Odus

Date: Tue, 1 Jul 2014 22:30:36 -0700
From: progressive-kenyans
Subject: OTO’s funeral committee

Dear all,

The contact family and committee member for Oto’s programme is Caleb Ben Onyango 0771079947 who is a cousin.

The committee has meetings at Komarocks and a final one shall be at Antonio’s opposite Cardinal Maurice Otunga Plaza / G.P.O. on Thursday evening.

R.I.P Oto.


On Tuesday, July 1, 2014 9:01 PM, samoturiy via Progressive Kenyans wrote:

The contact of his sister or his cousin will be availed pretty soon if not given yet.
Sent from my BlackBerry®

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Reports Leo Odera Omolo In Kisumu CITY

Joseph Olita, the Kenyan whose body structure and features resembles the former despotic rule of UGANDA field Marshall Idi Amin Dada, and the man who played the leading role in the famous film ,”The Rise and Fall of Idi Amin has died aged 70.

Olita died suddenly at his rural home, which is located at Alego Kogelo, Nyang’oma village in South Alego Location, Siaya County and the family members reported that he had succumbed to high blood pressure and diabetes last Sunday. His death comes only 24 hours after the burial of his mother on Saturday.

The actor’s rural home is just situated next to the Obamas Kenya’s rural home, where the Kenyan relatives and ancestral family of the US President Barrack Obama lives.Olita had just returned home from Uganda where he has been living while engaged operating a business enterprise retailing the electronic apliances in Kampala city. He only returned to witness the burial of his mother last Saturday. His body has since been removed from the village and taken to Siaya district hospital mortuary for preservation pending the burial arrangements.

The villagers immediately established the burial committee under the chairmanship of the South Alego Ward Representative Joshua Osuri. His death came a shock and dealt them a heavy blow to the residents of Kogelo Nyang’oma who said he was a very resourceful man of cheerful personality who was very much loved. The villagers consider Oita untimely demise as a “bad omen” coming so soon after the burial of his mother a day earlier.

The towering man who during his prime life stood at six feet 5.5 inches and weighing about 150kg, bore striking resemblance to the late Idi Amin. The only different between the two was that Idi Amin was a semi-illiterate person and spoke broken crocked English whereas the late Olita was highly educated person who received his education at the prestigious St MARY’S Yala High School. .

Olita , however, will be remembered as one of Kenya’s outstanding film star for not only his sterling performance and role in the Rise And Fall of Idi Amin, but he had also acted in other movies where he featured prominently The rise and Fall of IdI Amin was prime red in Kenya in 1981. The film detailed the controversial actions and atrocities of the murderous regime in Uganda under Idi Amin blamed on the former dictator after his violent seizure of power in 1971 after ousting the civilian government headed by President Apollo Milton Obote in a bloody military coup d’état in 1971. His rule stretched to 1979, during which tie close to half a million Ugandan intellectuals, professionals and businessmen as well as politicians perished.

Idi Amin was kicked out of power by a combined forces of Ugandan exiles and the Tanzanian troops in 1979. He fled the country and lived in exile in Riad, Saudi Arabia until his death. Some of the alleged atrocities committed by IDI Amin were grossly exaggerated. For example that he had killed his own son an ate his flesh and that he had killed one of his wives and chopped her body and kept it in a fridge were all false. Idi Amin, though had unpredictable character and temper was a very friendly person. This writer visited him and on many occasion had lunch with him at the Makindie military Lodge outside Kampala

On one occasion during the annual assembly of African head of sates and government summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Idi Amin invited this writer for a coffee morning talks at the famous Gion hotel, where his arch-rival Julius Kambarage Nyerere the President of Tanzania was also booked.

And two days later while personally piloting alone one of the two helicopters from Addis Ababa to Kampala, Idi amin made a mistaken landing at the Kisumu polytechnic where a huge crowed had gathered for the visiting American evangelist Dr BILLY graham mistaking the gathering as the crowed which had come to welcome him. He made an emergency landing in an area which was six kilometers outside Kisumu Airport He saw this writer and beckoned him, after which th Nyanza Police boss and the PC. Were informed .They came and escorted him to the Kisumu Airport and then to Kisumu Hotel whereIdi Amin gave lunch to close to 10 local scribers before flying back to Kampala and after extending ,a personal invitation to this writer to visit him for an exclusive interviews. Most atrocities in Uganda were act committed by Amin henchmen, most of them semi-illiterate Nubian youth recruited from Nairobi Kibira slums and other parts of the neighboring Kenya and drafted into the most dreadful State Research Bureau {intelligence}.

Olita had served with the Brooke Bond Tea Company based in Kericho immiedtaey after completing hs high school at Yala where he was an active member of the school’s drama Club. This writer was then the Assistant public Relations manager with the same company based in Kericho.During the time of shooting the IDI Amin’s film in Kenya, Olita had privately expressed his wish for a face –to-face encounter meeting with the real Idi Amin who was then living in exile in Saudi Arabia and even wrote toa letter to the forer Uganda dictator, but got no reply until his death. He was a very cheerful and friendly personality.



Reports Leo Odera Omolo

Phares Oluoch Kanindo a one time two terms KANU MP for the larger Homa-Bay constituency has died at the Agakha Hospital Kisumu after along but undisclosed illness. He was 72. He had served briefly In the KANU government as an Assistant Minister for education. However, he did not last longer at the Ministry because he was sacked within three months after his appointment by the retired President Daniel Arap MoI following allegation that he had used his ministerial position and lured girls students at the Ogande Girls High school and took them out of the institution for an evening outing.

The most eloquent politician, especial in Dholuo vernacular, Kanindo, however, never made his maiden speech in the house owing to allegation that he was handicapped in English owing to his elementary education standard which never went beyond KAPE.

He took his early primary education at Manyatta,Pe-Hill and Luwala Primary schools between 1949 and 1961.He was one of the hundreds of Kenyan students who benefited from scholarship received by the late Jaramogi Oginga Odinga from Eastern European countries then under the USSR communist and went to Yugoslavia where they were taught guerrilla tactics and warfare and how to sabotage communication infrastructure including dismantling bridges to harass colonialists. Jaramogi was a close friend and political associate of Kanindo’s late father Mzee Andrea Anindo Nyakachunga a prominent businessman at Awendo town. with the KNA developed interest in productions of disc records and became a prominent producer with his own branch of “POK” records. He prospered very fast and became a prominent businessman in both Nairobi, Kisumu and Awendo. He was later managed to win the larger Homa-Bay parliamentary electoral constituency, which has since been sub-divided into four electoral areas, namely Rongo, Awendo, Rangwe and Homa-Bay town

After losing his parliamentary seat to the late John LINUS Aluoch Polo in 1992 Kanindo served two terms as the chairman of the board of directors of the SONYSUGARcompany.

Kanindo was a polygamist with married to ten wives and left behind dozens of children, most of them grown up and grand children. On Monday morning the family and friends flew the body of the politician to Nairobi’s lee Funeral Home where it will stay pending the burial arrangement. This is an act which did not go down well with his hundreds of supporters, relatives and friends. A member of the family said the politician body would attract a lot of money in terms of donations for funeral arrangement than in Kisumu. Those who did not welcome the idea said it is wrong for the body of such a respected person to be taken to Nairobi for the use the body of a man who died peaceful near his home commercial purpose of attracting hefty donations from politicians.


KUYO: Mourning a noted Tanzanian botanist, conservationist – Sebastian Chuwa

From: Abdalah Hamis

Sebastian Michael Chuwa (photo:

By James Harris and Bette Stockbauer-Harris

A noted Tanzanian botanist and conservationist is mourned

Sebastian Michael Chuwa, Tanzanian botanist and winner of several international awards for his accomplishments in conservation in his country, passed away on April 8, 2014 in Kilimanjaro Region from complications following a stroke.
Mr. Chuwa was particularly noted for his efforts to replant the African blackwood tree, the national tree of Tanzania.
Known locally as mpingo, it is used by east African carvers and in the manufacture of woodwind instruments such as clarinets, flutes, bagpipes, piccolos and oboes. The species is listed as near-threatened on the IUCN Red List and is commercially extinct in many areas of eastern Africa, where harvesting is most intense. Through
Mr. Chuwa’s efforts one million mpingo have been planted in well protected areas where they are expected to become a valuable resource for the future.

Beginning in 2004 he also established nurseries in the Mt. Kilimanjaro area for the cultivation of new-variety, disease-resistant coffee seedlings. This was in cooperation with a national initiative to revive Tanzania’s coffee industry by replacing aged and disease-prone trees which were suffering from coffee berry disease. Under his supervision 2 million coffee trees were supplied to individual farmers and plantation owners in northern Tanzania.

Originally taught by his father, who was an herbalist, he became a well-known authority on native medicinal plants. After finishing secondary school he attended Mweka College of Wildlife Management, in 1974 receiving a certificate in Wildlife Management. From 1974-1991 Mr. Chuwa held the position of Conservator at Ngorongoro Crater Conservation District. In this capacity he established a widely-emulated program for protection of the endangered black rhinoceros. He also set up a herbarium of 30,000 plant species for the use of park personnel and visitors and cooperated with Kew Gardens in London, England by supplying that institution with native African plants. In the process he discovered four new species, two of which were named in his honor. Additionally he worked with Mary Leakey at Olduvai Gorge, mapping the plant life of that area.

In 1992 he returned to his ancestral home in the Moshi/Kilimanjaro area and found employment as a professional safari guide. Through his job, he met people from around the world and impressed many with his extensive knowledge of the wildlife and plant life of northern Tanzania. Volunteering countless hours of his personal time, he began a number of grassroots conservation and education based activities. Working through Malihai Clubs of Tanzania and Roots and Shoots, he established over 100 youth conservation groups and influenced teachers and administrators to include a conservation curriculum in primary and secondary schools of the area. The children were also taught horticulture through the establishment of school nurseries which supplied tree species for the domestic needs of farmers and householders. Chuwa assisted in the formation of a number of women’s groups, who founded tree nurseries and economic enterprises for community advancement. On the international level he was able to influence the creation of the US-based Rafiki Friends Foundation and the African Blackwood Conservation Project, both of which were specifically chartered to channel international funding towards his conservation and educational efforts.

In 2002, Chuwa was presented with the Spirit of the Land award during that year’s Winter Olympics by the (US) Salt Lake City Olympic Committee for international accomplishment in environmental education. Also in 2002 he received an Associate Laureate Award from the Rolex Awards for Enterprise Committee for his outstanding work in conservation. In 2006 he received the Conde Nast Traveler magazine World Savers award and in 2007 was honored by the US National Arbor Day Foundation, which presented him with their highest honor, the J. Sterling Morton Award. In 2011 he received a Malihai Club award for 30 years of service with that organization.

Sebastian Chuwa was a man who was at home on the world stage, yet totally committed to his beloved country, Tanzania. Fluent in multiple languages, he studied medicinal and botanical knowledge from numerous African traditions. He was likewise a font of information about the exotic animal life of the continent. Safari travelers fortunate enough to have him as a guide would be entertained for hours not only by this wide knowledge of his homeland but equally by his animated and humorous story telling. He was equally adept in describing the life ways of elephants in Ngorongoro as when directing visiting international naturalists to butterfly havens in south central Tanzania. He has been described as having a “mega-smile” and always had a friendly greeting for everyone he met.

His infectious enthusiasm instilled in others a commitment to nature that will doubtless have effects far into the future. His particular genius was in establishing a paradigm that equally provided for human economic empowerment and environmental preservation. He established mechanisms that helped the coffee farmers of Kilimanjaro establish organic shade-grown agricultural systems, thereby reducing costs and preserving the natural ecology. He showed how mpingo could be integrated into agriculture as a nitrogen provider and utilized in urban settings for shade and windbreak. All of his work had one eye toward human need and the other toward environmental protection. Through this deeply intuitive commitment – balancing the human world and the natural world – he has left a wisdom and legacy for us all, not only for the people of his Tanzania, but for all people of the world who similarly cherish this precious and fragile planet on which we dwell.

Sebastian is survived by his mother, his wife, Elizabeth, a primary school teacher in Kibosho East, Kilimanjaro, and 4 children, Margareth, Michael, Flora and Cyril.

* James Harris and Bette Stockbauer-Harris are Directors of African Blackwood Conservation Project

Article source:, 2014-05-01, Issue 676


Writes Leo Odera Omolo In Kisumu City

The burial of the US President Barrack Obama’s aunt Zeituni Abong’o Onyango Obama is set for Thursday, April 24,2014. It will now take place in a public Muslim cemetery I n Kisumu city.

Zeituni’s mother Mama Sarah Obama made an announcement in her Alego Kogelo home in Siaya County. She disclosed that the body of her daughter who died in the US two weeks ago will be flown from the US to the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi on Thursday morning and thereafter will be flown further to Kisumu about 400 kilometers south west of Nairobi.

From the Kisumu airport the body will be taken to the main Muslim Mosque in the city center for prayers and will then be buried the same day at the town’s Muslim public cemetery.

It was previously hinted that Zeituni was to be buried at her matrimonial home at Kendu-Bay. The place where she was married. She has four children three sons and one daugfter all grownups. And according to Luo traditional norm and virtue, a married woman either divorced, separated or otherwise is required to be buried in her matrimonial homestead. It could be that the negotiations between the two families which could have seen her being buried her Kendu Bay did not materialize.

Since the death of Zeituni in the US was broken at her rural home I Alego Nyang’ma Kogelo there has been a big influx of friends, relative and well wishers as well as mourners to the home to condolence the family.



From: joachim omolo ouko
News Dispatch with Father Omolo Beste
FRIDAY, APRIL 11, 2014

Rev Fr Gradus Ochieng’ Oneko was finally laid to rest at the Kibuye Cathedral grave yard today Friday, April 11, 2014. The burial ceremony began with Holy Mass presided over by His Grace, Zachaeus Okoth, the Archbishop of Kisumu assisted by Bishop Linus Okok.

According to one of the Kibuye church directors, this was one of the biggest funerals of a priest attended by about 4,000 people. The Cathedral was filled to capacity with thousands of mourners remaining outside who could not get a place inside the church.

Fr Gradus was dismissed from St Peter’s Minor Seminary along with the late Fr Norbert Owino. Because Fr Gradus and Norbert still wanted to become a priest, they were to finish their secondary outside. Fr Gradus went to Kisumu Day Secondary School.

After they completed they went to Archbishop Okoth who allowed them to go back to the seminary. He joined St Augustine Mabanga Major Seminary where he finished his philosophical studies before proceeding to St Thomas Aquinas National Seminary in Nairobi to study theology.

He was ordained to the order of priesthood in December 1984 together with Norbert Owino and Richard Odhiambo, current parish priest at St Teresa’s Cathedral Kibuye. One of their classmates, Rev Fr Gradus Oyaro who was also present at the funeral was being ordained for Kisii Diocese.

On the evening of December 25, 2007, we had a long chart with Fr Gradus on challenges to his vocation at Ukwala Parish where he served the longest. He compared his vocation to that of Jonah, a real person who lived in a real city just like us. Jonah was called by God to a wider ministry to Nineveh but was trying to doge the call.

Jonah was called to Nineveh. According to Genesis 10:11 Nineveh was founded by the notorious Nimrod. It was the wickedest city in the world, being located on the Tigris River in what is our modern day Iraq.

Jonah couldn’t believe God wanted him to save those wicked sinners. Jonah was running away from God’s call. Fr Gradus told me he never wanted to run away from God’s call but given challenges he was undergoing he almost quit for good.

What helped Fr Gradus to persevere from his vocation was his late mother Kornelia Rabach. He recalled how his mother could pray every evening during evening prayers and rosary for his perseverance to his vocation to priesthood.

Fr Gradus mediated a lot on the vocation and the tireless work of St. John Vianney, the patron of parish priests. He shared with me how the life of St. John Vianney nurtured his vocation and work a s a priest.

Born near Lyons, France, in 1786, John Vianney longed to be a priest despite the many odds against him, including his humble origins (as a young boy, he worked as a shepherd) and his limited schooling. As he began his seminary studies, he found the lectures in Latin especially challenging.

Whatever limitations he may have possessed, he did not lack for zeal. He won the battle with the books and was ordained a priest in 1815. His bishop assigned him to Ars, a remote village in France.

The new Curé (one who cares for souls)of Ars, as he came to be known, plunged into his work—restoring the parish church, visiting his new parishioners, teaching catechism. He urged his people to take their Sunday obligation more seriously.

His sermons were not only simple but fiery. John Vianney developed a reputation as a compassionate confessor with a special ability to “read souls,” the greatest gift from God. He had ability to understand the struggles of penitents and help them come to know and love God in a deeper way.

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

Death can be a scary topic, especially to your close friend. This is exactly what scares me as I pay special tribute to my friend and mentor on pastoral work, Rev Fr Gradus Ochieng, who until his death was the Parish Priest of Bondo Catholic Church and Dean.

When I arrived from New York on March 10, 2000 where I have been studying at Fordham University, Fr Gradus Ochieng had been posted to Ukwala Parish in Ugenya Constituency, Siaya County. Fr Gradus wanted a priest who could be helping him during Easter Christmas seasons. I was then approached by a Camillus seminarian (now Fr Raphael Otieno) who asked whether I could be of a help to Fr Gradus.

This time I had already joined People for Peace in Africa and giving a hand on pastoral work would not be a problem. My first help began in April 2000 and continued until he left Ukwala to Bondo Parish where I followed him for the same help until 2012 when I left People for Peace in Africa and posted to Magadi Soda in Ngong Diocese, Kajiado County.

I first knew Fr Gradus Ochieng in early 1980s as a seminarian at St Thomas Aquinas National Seminary. This time I had just finished my Novitiate at the Apostles of Jesus and assigned at Uruthiru in Meru Diocese for my pastoral experience.

When I came back to begin my theological studies every afternoon after lunch I used to join him for a soccer fun play at Apostles of Jesus sports ground in Langata. He loved soccer so much. He played no 7. Even when he was ordained Deacon and posted at Madiany to work with Fr Linus Okok (now bishop) he still had his ball with him.

Although I am scared to write about his death, my courage is that because of the resurrection, our faith is not empty, we will be made alive, we have the hope of eternal life, and we will receive glorified bodies. We do not mourn like those who have no hope, because we know we will see deceased believers again (1 Thessalonians 4:13).

I learnt from Fr Gradus Ochieng that the even though the work of a priest is both a joy and a burden, a calling and plain hard work, you get cherished when you work for the people of God he has entrusted to you.

Fr Gradus Ochieng was a committed priest, very kind and friendly. It was a challenge to me to see him waking up past mid night to go to attend to the sick. He was always ready and willing to give service any time people wanted his service.

He loved peace and always wanted his Christians know their rights. He once invited People for Peace in Africa in collaboration with Fr a Maryknoll priest, Fr Ken Thesing at Bondo Parish to give a seminar and empower his Christians on water and food security.

He taught and encouraged me to face pastoral challenges with courage. Many priests have succumbed to burnout or stress. Fr Gradus taught me to overcome all these. He was my close friend and a colleague. He shared a lot of things with me.

He taught me that, though pastoral ministry is one of the most fulfilling calls a priest can have, it is inherently challenging and stressful, yet cherishing. He taught me how to face criticism some Church members have appointed themselves to be your weekly critics. Even Jesus was criticized.

Finally Fr Gradus Ochieng taught me that in order to fulfill you pastoral duties successfully, you must be committed to your work, be available, approachable, kind and friendly even to Christians who criticize you.


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


By Our Reporter

A weird incident was witnessed within Nyando District in Ahero Kochogo village when the corps that was being transported home “refused” to reach home.

The incident occurred at when the bereaved family was ferrying their loved one home before a number of complications were reported.

The deceased was being transported from Nairobi to a village in Butere before the family started developing a number of difficulties that resulted into accidents.

The corps who to the family was the cause of all these “never wanted to go home” and that’s why there were a number of hiccups in the journey.

The journey that entailed the entire family and even some relatives had difficulties in commuting when most of them could not even believe the unfolding events.

The family explained that the deceased has been sending mixed signals even before the real day of the journey that the journey would be full of difficulties which they ignored.

When commenting on the incident, the driver of the van that was involved in accident said he just surprisingly saw a huge black creature before wind screen, an issue that forced him to wheel out of the road.

The family was forced to convince the corps whom they talked to using some traditional words just to allow them reach home.

BBC World TV’s Komla Dumor dies

From: Shedrack Kitimu

On Jan 19, 2014 6:51 PM, “Abdalah Hamis” wrote:

18 January 2014 Last updated at 16:13 ET

BBC World TV’s Komla Dumor dies

BBC TV presenter Komla Dumor has died suddenly at his home in London at the age of 41, it has been announced.

Ghana-born Dumor was a presenter for BBC World News and its Focus on Africa programme.

One of Ghana’s best-known journalists, he joined the BBC as a radio broadcaster in 2007 after a decade of journalism in Ghana.

Ghanaian President John Dramani Mahama said on Twitter that his country had lost one of its finest ambassadors.

[ . . . ]

Read more at …


News Analysis By Leo Odera Omolo In Kisumu City

It is worth appreciation the way and manner in which the former Israel Prime Minister, the late Aerial Sharon, was given the highest honour of military sending off before his burial

Given Sharon deserved the heroic burial taking into account his both political and military history in the Jewish state since its formation in 1948.

But the most recent was his military role in the Yom Koppur war of October 1973.

The Egyptians 3rd army had launched a surprise attack against the the Israeli security network in the Sinai dessert and crossed through the them seemingly impregnable Barlev Line, the Israeli defensive line in the Mt Sinai desert. The Egyptians took advantage of the Yom Koppur holidays when most Israeli soldiers guarding their country’s defensive line were less attentive.

Gen. Sharon, while commanding the Israeli tank brigade, launched an elaborate counter attack offensive and encircled the Arabs armies, besieged them and managed to cross the Suez Canal

Thousands in the Egyptians army which had broken the Barlev line were surprised and besieged when they were cornered in the dessert and forced to retreat in disarray leaving behind tanks and other important military armaments. The Egyptian soldiers had even taken off their military boots and abandoned them in the desert together with guns .This was after two days of tank-to-tank battle in the desert. The Egyptian abandoned ultra modern Russian made tanks, some of them intact, while others were disabled.

At the time when the ceasefire which was brokered by the UN Security Council the US and the international community come into effect. Gen. Sharon and his tank brigade had already crossed the Suez Canal water way and were only 45 kilometer from Cairo. the Egyptian soldiers abandoned their army uniform and boots as well as guns in the dessert while fleeing from Gen. Sharon and his men.

Records show that Gen. Sharon took active part in the 1948 war which resulted in the creation of the State of Israel. This was a hit and run guerrillas like war. In the six day middle East war of 1967 against the huge Arab armies comprising combined forces of Egypt, Jordan and Syria had received a thorough beating by him. Gen. Sharon was in the tank brigade that smashed Syria defensive line in the Golan Heights. He therefore deserved all sorts of public and military honour for his heroic background.

In the battle of Sinai desert, Gen Sharon was wounded in the forehead, and newspaper reports flushed his heavily bandaged fore head to the world.

In the 1948 war of independence. He was among the disciples of the one eyed Gen. Moshe Dayan.

thousands of Israeli citizens had staged a noisy demonstrations in Jel Aviv streets ,while shouting their support for Gen. Moshe Dayan. Kaczet (parliament) had forced the then prime minister Ben gurion to appoint Dayan to a term as the Defence Minister.

Gen. Sharon was later to serve both as foreign minister and PM respectively

As young Kenyan journalists under going social studies sponsored by the Kenya Federation of Labor under the late Tom Mboya IN 1962, We studied at the Kibutzi managed by the Stardust & The Israel Federation of Workers. I had the good luck of shaking haunts with Gen. Sharon at the five star King David Hotel in Tel Aviv in 1963 and also on two occasions shared a handshake which another former PM and foreign Minister Mr. Golda Meir and Abba Eban, the linguists Foreign Minister of Israel and other old politicians of those days..

However, I was so disappointed to read the comment by one of the Palestine politician who depicted Gen. Sharon a criminal man who died without having faced punishment for his crimes against human beings for his role in the massacre of Palestinian refugee in Lebanon

By all standard, Gen Sharon died as a hero who had served his country diligently, selflessly with zeal and dedication

I must take this opportunity to sincerely thank the government of Israel for having accorded Gen.Sharon the most colorful and fitting heroic burial




May take this opportunity to extend my heartfelt profound condolence to the family and friends of the late Nyeri fierce politician Waruru KANJA.

I Knew the late Waruru Kanja way back in 1957 when he led a group of hard-core Mau Mau detainees on Mageta Island, Bondo district, now Siaya County, who were involved in jailbreak after killing the European prison commander who was in charge of the camp.

After killing the prison boss, the group escaped MAGETA Island using a makeshift raft and swam across the Nyanza Gulf {formerly Kavirondo Gulf and landed at Ulugi, near Lihanda beach on Rusinga Island in what was then known as South Nyanza distric after swimming for more that 14 hours.

The fugitives were given shelter by the LUO Elders who gave the them accomodation and food inside hideout houses, but only after separating them in four groups. The colonial police launched an elaborate search for the jail breakers both aerially using the police air-wing and motor-boats. The search also went on into the villagers on the mainland locations of Yimbo, Sakwa and Uyoma.

The colonial authorities used motor-boats and even sent their agents to the twin fishing islands of Rusinga, but all in vain, Warurur Kanja and his friends had been issued with new clothes and were living safely in the villages.

I met the late ex-Mau Mau detainee in the 1980s while he was serving in the cabinet as a Minister and Nyeri Town MP in Parliament Building over a cup of tea, and I found his memory to be very fresh. He could easily recognize me, though many years had lapsed because in 1957 I was a young man of 18 of age. Mzee Kanja was a true nationalist and freedom fighter apart from being detribalized person and humanist

May Almighty God give his soul eternal peace.

veteran journalist-cum-Author

S. Africa: Nelson Mandela’s resiliency was grounded on God’s calling

From: Joseph Nyaringo

Nelson Mandela’s resiliency was grounded on God’s calling How did the late Nelson Mandela, a mortal man; born and bred just like all of us, strode the earth with unprecedented tenacity and peculiar character which has earned him iconic status?

Before and after Mandela, passed on early this month, great words have been spoken about the fallen hero. The powerful, famous and ordinary people have given inspiring observations about Mandela’s character and legacy; often imploring people especially leaders to emulate him.

Even places of worship have talked openly about the life and times of Mandela, his positive ideation, integrity and passion for a just and free South Africa.

As we continue to shower accolades to the departed South African patriot, we need to interrogate how he managed to endure suffering without faltering or wavering on the hands of the British Empire.

Many of us can collapse in the court room if we were sentenced to serve even two years in Kamiti maximum Prison. Mandela did it with zeal and perseverance. The mystery is how he derived the profound energy and passion to stick to a cause firmly and faithfully.

Mountaineer Edmund Hillary once said these, “people do not decide to become extraordinary.” They decide to accomplish extraordinary things.” Mandela did it with tenacity and zeal; without knowing that the World will one day reverence his name with pomp and splendour as seen after his demise early this Month.

Those who thought that Mandela, will come out of jail tormented with rage to pursue revenge on his enemies were shocked when he employed a conciliatory tone. He was ready to mend fences for purposes of reconciliation, racial harmony, forgiveness and building a united post-apartheid South Africa.

We therefore need to question ourselves as to whether it’s easy to emulate the ideals of Nelson Mandela, and apply it in our everyday life because, saying is one thing and doing is another!

It’s ironical that even dictators; leading autocratic regimes have expressed admiration of Mandela, but I wonder if Mandela’s character has inspired them to build avenues of justice, freedom and equality for their citizens.

Mandela cherished freedom and justice. Through is fearlessness, he went ahead to challenge USA President George Bush, for invading Iraq during the second gulf war in 2003. He termed the invasion immoral and an aggression to a sovereign nation.

In fact, he never feared stating his position on controversial geo-political conflicts where many leaders usually remain ambivalent especially on the Israel and Palestinian conflict.

Urging people to emulate certain heroes in society is just mere talk. Mandela talked the talk and walked the walk. His faith kept him going. His jailers had every opportunity to hang him the way they did to our Dedan Kimathi and many other Kenyan freedom fighters but they would not.

From here, we need to look beyond his physical strength but also internalize on how he was able to withstand his tribulations by looking at his divine or spiritual path throughout the struggle.

God bestowed Mandela; with grace, which manifested itself through his passion for liberation and the bravery to endure 27 years behind bars. This is how God works in humans. He uses people to do extra ordinary things in all spheres of human existence. He used Mandela, to showcase his wisdom, based on love, compassion, meekness, humility forgiveness and tolerance.

These universal tenets envisioned by Mandela define the true character of God. While he never talked quite openly about his faith, if Mandela were to be a Christian Minister, a Rabbi, an Imam, a Buddhist or a Hindu Guru, he would have made the best. This is because; all these religions have a similar approach towards humanity.

They all have a consciousness grounded on love of self and love of neighbour; which Mandela, did with excellence; often mingling freely with all and sundry without prejudice or discrimination. He never respected the rich more than the ordinary poor.

In Christianity, God wants us to lead a life of denial, free of vengeance and bitterness. He wants our lives to be tampered in forgiveness, modesty, humility and meekness. As the scripture says in John 15:13: Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

As the fallen South African sage rests in peace, we will always revere him for pursuing the path of rekindling hopes for the afflicted through his own afflictions. Even though he is gone, he will always remain a true replica of heroes and heroines who came before him like: Mother Theresa, Matma Gandhi and Martin Luther King.

Like Gandhi, Mandela was never aggressive in pursuing material things like most World leaders. Even if he did, it was for purposes of benevolence. Like Mother Theresa, he was charitable and always remembered the poor. Like King, he was prepared to die for a cause in order to liberate the South Africans from racial discrimination.

Unlike men who preach water and drink wine, Mandela’s actions spoke volumes about what he spoke. We knew him by his fruits and he was a good tree, because he bore good fruits if I borrow from the Gospel of Mathew 7:16-18.

Mandela has exited the stage but those who want to bequeath his legacy should evoke God for divine Wisdom to serve humanity well. Those who are fighting to conquer oppression, injustice, dictatorship, corruption prejudice and other vices in order to rekindle hope for the downtrodden, they need to ask God for guidance.

You may never know; the prayer Nelson Mandela said to his God. This is because, extra ordinary qualities by extra ordinary men in the World mostly takes a spiritual or divine dimension. Their efforts are mostly grounded on God for strength and bravery.

From Archbishop Desmond Tutu, to Martin Luther King, Mother Theresa and Matma Gandhi all personified divine strength in their quest to help humanity. In a more direct bearing, our own heroes like Dr. Reverend Njoya, the late Archbishop Manases Kuria, Bishop Okullu and Bishop Alexander Muge; had bravery grounded on faith in God.

Mandela’s character is further illustrated in Paul’s letter to the Galatians 5:22: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, and faith. This is a reflection that it’s the power of God that worked in Mandela that made him overcome the torture, suffering, anger, hate, revenge and impatience. Fare thee well Madiba. You were born, suffered, endured and conquered. We will always cherish and relish your ideals.

Joseph Lister Nyaringo
Atlanta, Georgia

Obama’s Remarks at Memorial for Mandela

From: Abdalah Hamis

For Immediate ReleaseDecember 10, 2013 Remarks by President Obama at Memorial Service for Former South African President Nelson Mandela
First National Bank Stadium
Johannesburg, South Africa

1:31 P.M. SAST

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Thank you. (Applause.) Thank you so much. Thank you. To Graça Machel and the Mandela family; to President Zuma and members of the government; to heads of states and government, past and present; distinguished guests — it is a singular honor to be with you today, to celebrate a life like no other. To the people of South Africa — (applause) — people of every race and walk of life — the world thanks you for sharing Nelson Mandela with us. His struggle was your struggle. His triumph was your triumph. Your dignity and your hope found expression in his life. And your freedom, your democracy is his cherished legacy.

It is hard to eulogize any man — to capture in words not just the facts and the dates that make a life, but the essential truth of a person — their private joys and sorrows; the quiet moments and unique qualities that illuminate someone’s soul. How much harder to do so for a giant of history, who moved a nation toward justice, and in the process moved billions around the world.

Born during World War I, far from the corridors of power, a boy raised herding cattle and tutored by the elders of his Thembu tribe, Madiba would emerge as the last great liberator of the 20th century. Like Gandhi, he would lead a resistance movement — a movement that at its start had little prospect for success. Like Dr. King, he would give potent voice to the claims of the oppressed and the moral necessity of racial justice. He would endure a brutal imprisonment that began in the time of Kennedy and Khrushchev, and reached the final days of the Cold War. Emerging from prison, without the force of arms, he would — like Abraham Lincoln — hold his country together when it threatened to break apart. And like America’s Founding Fathers, he would erect a constitutional order to preserve freedom for future generations — a commitment to democracy and rule of law ratified not only by his election, but by his willingness to step down from power after only one term.

Given the sweep of his life, the scope of his accomplishments, the adoration that he so rightly earned, it’s tempting I think to remember Nelson Mandela as an icon, smiling and serene, detached from the tawdry affairs of lesser men. But Madiba himself strongly resisted such a lifeless portrait. (Applause.) Instead, Madiba insisted on sharing with us his doubts and his fears; his miscalculations along with his victories. “I am not a saint,” he said, “unless you think of a saint as a sinner who keeps on trying.”

It was precisely because he could admit to imperfection — because he could be so full of good humor, even mischief, despite the heavy burdens he carried — that we loved him so. He was not a bust made of marble; he was a man of flesh and blood — a son and a husband, a father and a friend. And that’s why we learned so much from him, and that’s why we can learn from him still. For nothing he achieved was inevitable. In the arc of his life, we see a man who earned his place in history through struggle and shrewdness, and persistence and faith. He tells us what is possible not just in the pages of history books, but in our own lives as well.

Mandela showed us the power of action; of taking risks on behalf of our ideals. Perhaps Madiba was right that he inherited, “a proud rebelliousness, a stubborn sense of fairness” from his father. And we know he shared with millions of black and colored South Africans the anger born of, “a thousand slights, a thousand indignities, a thousand unremembered moments…a desire to fight the system that imprisoned my people,” he said.

But like other early giants of the ANC — the Sisulus and Tambos — Madiba disciplined his anger and channeled his desire to fight into organization, and platforms, and strategies for action, so men and women could stand up for their God-given dignity. Moreover, he accepted the consequences of his actions, knowing that standing up to powerful interests and injustice carries a price. “I have fought against white domination and I have fought against black domination. I’ve cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and [with] equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.” (Applause.)

Mandela taught us the power of action, but he also taught us the power of ideas; the importance of reason and arguments; the need to study not only those who you agree with, but also those who you don’t agree with. He understood that ideas cannot be contained by prison walls, or extinguished by a sniper’s bullet. He turned his trial into an indictment of apartheid because of his eloquence and his passion, but also because of his training as an advocate. He used decades in prison to sharpen his arguments, but also to spread his thirst for knowledge to others in the movement. And he learned the language and the customs of his oppressor so that one day he might better convey to them how their own freedom depend upon his. (Applause.)

Mandela demonstrated that action and ideas are not enough. No matter how right, they must be chiseled into law and institutions. He was practical, testing his beliefs against the hard surface of circumstance and history. On core principles he was unyielding, which is why he could rebuff offers of unconditional release, reminding the Apartheid regime that “prisoners cannot enter into contracts.”

But as he showed in painstaking negotiations to transfer power and draft new laws, he was not afraid to compromise for the sake of a larger goal. And because he was not only a leader of a movement but a skillful politician, the Constitution that emerged was worthy of this multiracial democracy, true to his vision of laws that protect minority as well as majority rights, and the precious freedoms of every South African.

And finally, Mandela understood the ties that bind the human spirit. There is a word in South Africa — Ubuntu — (applause) — a word that captures Mandela’s greatest gift: his recognition that we are all bound together in ways that are invisible to the eye; that there is a oneness to humanity; that we achieve ourselves by sharing ourselves with others, and caring for those around us.

We can never know how much of this sense was innate in him, or how much was shaped in a dark and solitary cell. But we remember the gestures, large and small — introducing his jailers as honored guests at his inauguration; taking a pitch in a Springbok uniform; turning his family’s heartbreak into a call to confront HIV/AIDS — that revealed the depth of his empathy and his understanding. He not only embodied Ubuntu, he taught millions to find that truth within themselves.

It took a man like Madiba to free not just the prisoner, but the jailer as well — (applause) — to show that you must trust others so that they may trust you; to teach that reconciliation is not a matter of ignoring a cruel past, but a means of confronting it with inclusion and generosity and truth. He changed laws, but he also changed hearts.

For the people of South Africa, for those he inspired around the globe, Madiba’s passing is rightly a time of mourning, and a time to celebrate a heroic life. But I believe it should also prompt in each of us a time for self-reflection. With honesty, regardless of our station or our circumstance, we must ask: How well have I applied his lessons in my own life? It’s a question I ask myself, as a man and as a President.

We know that, like South Africa, the United States had to overcome centuries of racial subjugation. As was true here, it took sacrifice — the sacrifice of countless people, known and unknown, to see the dawn of a new day. Michelle and I are beneficiaries of that struggle. (Applause.) But in America, and in South Africa, and in countries all around the globe, we cannot allow our progress to cloud the fact that our work is not yet done.

The struggles that follow the victory of formal equality or universal franchise may not be as filled with drama and moral clarity as those that came before, but they are no less important. For around the world today, we still see children suffering from hunger and disease. We still see run-down schools. We still see young people without prospects for the future. Around the world today, men and women are still imprisoned for their political beliefs, and are still persecuted for what they look like, and how they worship, and who they love. That is happening today. (Applause.)

And so we, too, must act on behalf of justice. We, too, must act on behalf of peace. There are too many people who happily embrace Madiba’s legacy of racial reconciliation, but passionately resist even modest reforms that would challenge chronic poverty and growing inequality. There are too many leaders who claim solidarity with Madiba’s struggle for freedom, but do not tolerate dissent from their own people. (Applause.) And there are too many of us on the sidelines, comfortable in complacency or cynicism when our voices must be heard.

The questions we face today — how to promote equality and justice; how to uphold freedom and human rights; how to end conflict and sectarian war — these things do not have easy answers. But there were no easy answers in front of that child born in World War I. Nelson Mandela reminds us that it always seems impossible until it is done. South Africa shows that is true. South Africa shows we can change, that we can choose a world defined not by our differences, but by our common hopes. We can choose a world defined not by conflict, but by peace and justice and opportunity.

We will never see the likes of Nelson Mandela again. But let me say to the young people of Africa and the young people around the world — you, too, can make his life’s work your own. Over 30 years ago, while still a student, I learned of Nelson Mandela and the struggles taking place in this beautiful land, and it stirred something in me. It woke me up to my responsibilities to others and to myself, and it set me on an improbable journey that finds me here today. And while I will always fall short of Madiba’s example, he makes me want to be a better man. (Applause.) He speaks to what’s best inside us.

After this great liberator is laid to rest, and when we have returned to our cities and villages and rejoined our daily routines, let us search for his strength. Let us search for his largeness of spirit somewhere inside of ourselves. And when the night grows dark, when injustice weighs heavy on our hearts, when our best-laid plans seem beyond our reach, let us think of Madiba and the words that brought him comfort within the four walls of his cell: “It matters not how strait the gate, how charged with punishments the scroll, I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.”

What a magnificent soul it was. We will miss him deeply. May God bless the memory of Nelson Mandela. May God bless the people of South Africa. (Applause.)

1:50 P.M. SAST

A moving tribute to a legendary figure

From: The White House

Nelson Mandela’s struggle against South African apartheid inspired millions. And his great call for justice and equality continues to resonate around the world, as new generations of young people pursue the ideals he embraced.

Earlier today in Johannesburg, President Obama paid tribute to a hero and a leader — and spoke about the path that’s still ahead.

It’s a powerful, moving speech. Watch this tribute to Nelson Mandela:


From: Ouko joachim omolo
The News Dispatch with Omolo Beste

Pope Francis is among the top world leaders who have paid tribute to Nelson Mandela on Friday. Indeed Mandela was one of the world’s most ardent fighters for equality. Pope Francis in his telegram sent to South African President Jacob Zuma that said:

“It was with sadness that I learned of the death of former President Nelson Mandela, and I send prayerful condolences to all the Mandela family, to the members of the Government and to all the people of South Africa”.

Pope Francis and Mandela have not only shared a strong belief in the injustice of poverty, they have the will to protection of a fundamental human right. Protection of a fundamental human right is Jesus’ call, even if you are a public sinner you are still a human being and your rights just like any other human beings must be protected.

Like Pope Francis, Mandela strongly believed that overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity. It is an act of justice. It is the protection of a fundamental human right, the right to dignity and a decent life. While poverty persists, there is no true freedom.

When Mandela welcomed Pope John Paul II to South Africa in 1995, he still expressed similar view of their mutual concern for the poor, commitment to equality, and undying fight for liberation from oppression.

Mandela’s faith in God was very great, a faith probably he acquired from his mother. When Mandela was 7 years old his mother enrolled him at the Clarkebury Missionary School in South Africa’s Eastern Cape Province. His mother was a devout Christian and taught him respect for God and good morals.

Although Mandela was a protestant, his love for humanity led him to think beyond religion. In 1993, he attended Mass celebrated by Archbishop Lawrence Henry and parish Capuchin priest Fr. Wildrid Aherne at St. Mary of the Angels in Cape Town.

He learnt that people cannot co-exist without mutual understanding, reconciliation and healing. Reconciliation he believed requires that we join hands to eradicate the poverty spawned by a system that thrived on the deprivation of the majority.

Reconciliation requires that we end malnutrition, homelessness and ignorance, that we put shoulders to the wheel to end crime and corruption. Reconciliation and forgiveness were to be the cornerstone of Mandela’s five-year term as president, with the focus always on nation-building.

Mandela never did anything before prayer. He was a stickler for praying before meals, after, going to bed, in the morning when he woke up and before doing his duties. He believed that things will never succeed without God’s intervention.

He was so humble to the extent that when people referred to him as a living saint he always insisted that he wasn’t a saint. He just did his duty justly because he believed that is what God wants.

When South Africa’s apartheid government had been brutally repressive for nearly five decades, and the country’s black majority was justifiably full of anger, Mandela never was.

Instead, he negotiated a transition that acknowledged the right of white South Africans to be citizens but no longer lords and masters. Even after 27 years in prison he was never angry.

That explains why when Mandela took office as president in 1994 he governed with the same generosity. Few could have imagined that South Africa could move peacefully to black majority rule.

Without Mandela’s leadership, without his example, stature and wisdom, the story might have been radically different. That is why he became an icon of integral leader. No wonder why the world remembers the great leader who acted without bitterness.

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

Real change must come from ordinary people who refuse to be taken hostage by the weapons of politicians in the face of inequality, racism and oppression, but march together towards a clear and unambiguous goal.

-Anne Montgomery, RSCJ
UN Disarmament
Conference, 2002


From: Communications | AWEPA
Press Release:

Cape Town, 6 December 2013 – It is with great sadness that the Association of European Parliamentarians with Africa (AWEPA) heard of the death of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, the anti-apartheid icon and first President of the new South Africa. Yet, we are heartened by the strength of his legacy: the championing of freedom, peace and equality. Mr. Mandela’s struggle for South Africa, and the world, will not be forgotten.

The life and work of Mr. Mandela has continually inspired AWEPA since its establishment in 1984. The organisation’s roots lie in the campaign for the eradication of apartheid, for the equality and freedom of all people. During the height of the struggle against apartheid in South Africa, a few West European politicians formed separate wings in their parliaments to campaign for the abolition of apartheid via effective legislation, policies and laws, and to create international pressure to release Mr. Mandela from prison.

This new parliamentary coalition led to the birth of the ‘Association of West-European Parliamentarians for Action against Apartheid’ (AWEPAA), now AWEPA. The organisation was created to unconditionally support the liberation movement of the South Africans. This was noted by Mr. Mandela and the African National Congress (ANC), who appreciated AWEPA’s efforts for parliamentary coalition, the first of its kind in terms of objectives, scale and success.

In 1990, when Mandela visited the European Parliament after his release from prison, he met with AWEPA members and encouraged them to continue their work to help strengthen democracy in Africa. His encouragement came at a time when AWEPA was considering its purpose fulfilled. The meeting with the man who would in two years become the first non-white President of his country, proved to be a catalyst for AWEPA’s future work in other parts of the continent.

A strong relationship developed with him, thanks, among others, to AWEPA’s Eminent Advisory Board members Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Ms. Graça Machel, who is also Mr. Mandela’s wife. The President of AWEPA, Ms. Miet Smet, had an important tête-à-tête on Monday 2 December with Ms. Machel, together with Ms. Jessica Longwe, AWEPA’s Director of Partner Relations. They spoke about the upcoming 30th anniversary of AWEPA, in which Mrs. Machel will play a role.

In 2007, Mr. Mandela welcomed AWEPA representatives when he accepted the first AWEPA Human Dignity Award. We are not sure we will find many, if any, who epitomises this sentiment more than Nelson Mandela. He will remain a symbol for human dignity, for the strength found in democracy and the goodness in equality.

AWEPA’s thoughts and deepest sympathies are with Mr. Mandela’s wife, Chairperson of our Eminent Advisory Board, Graça Machel. We wish to extend our heartfelt condolences to the rest of Mr. Mandela’s family and all those who hold him dear.

AWEPA shall continue to honour him by going forward with determination in its mandate.

The Association of European Parliamentarians with Africa (AWEPA) is an international non-governmental organisation founded by European Parliamentarians to reduce poverty and to protect human rights by supporting the well-functioning of parliaments in Africa and by keeping Africa on the political agenda in Europe. With its roots in the campaign to end apartheid in South Africa, AWEPA now works in Africa from a development perspective to strengthen the core functions of parliaments: oversight, representation and legislation.

AWEPA has some 1800 current and former European parliamentarians as members from the European Parliament, almost all member states of the European Union, Norway and Switzerland. AWEPA has two offices in Europe: Brussels and Amsterdam; and 8 African offices in Arusha, Bujumbura, Cape Town, Juba, Kampala, Kigali, Kinshasa and Maputo.

Marion Girard Cisneros
Communications Officer
Communications department
Association of European Parliamentarians with Africa (AWEPA)

AWEPA International (European Parliamentarians with Africa)
Prins Hendrikkade 48-G, 1012 AC Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Tel: +31.20.524.5678, Fax: +31.20.622.01.30
Email:, Web:
Facebook: Twitter: @AWEPA

On the passing of Nelson Mandela

From: The White House

This evening, President Obama delivered a statement on the passing of former South African President and anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela.

Visit here to watch President Obama’s statement.
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The White House • 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW • Washington, DC 20500 • 202-456-1111


From: Ouko joachim omolo
The News Dispatch with Omolo Beste

Today’s first reading is taken from Sir 35:12-14, 16-18. It talks of God of Justice, a term used for what is right or “as it should be.” It is the a concept of moral rightness based on ethics, rationality, law, natural law, religion, equity and fairness, as well as the administration of the law, taking into account the inalienable and inborn rights of all human beings and citizens.

Justice based the right of all people and individuals to equal protection before the law of their civil rights, without discrimination on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, color, ethnicity, religion, disability, age among others.

In his dialogue Republic, Plato uses Socrates to argue for justice that covers both the just person and the just City State. Plato describes how such a state would be organized, who would govern it, what sort of education the children would have, and so on.

In this formulation the Platonic definition of justice seems plausible. A thief, for example, is unjust because he wants to have what is not his own. A doctor who does not care about curing his patients of illnesses can be called unjust because he is disregarding his proper role. A murderer acts unjustly since he deprives his victim of that which rightly belongs to him, namely his life.

According to Plato, these functions of the state include making possible the conditions under which everyone can feed, clothe and shelter themselves, as well as seek the Good. Since God embodies these laws, if we go against them we go against God’s 10 commandments.

God knows no favorites. He hears the cry of the oppressed. He is not deaf to the wail of the orphan or to the widow when she pours out her complaint. The one who serves God willingly is heard; his petition reaches the heavens.

The second reading is taken from 2 Tm 4:6-8, 16-18. It talks of how to endure sufferings. Paul himself in his three pastoral letters to Timothy and Titus often quotes his own life and sufferings to encourage his disciples and successors to persevere in their apostolic labors. Paul had full confidence in God, his just judge, who would give him his eternal reward.

If Paul were to be in Kenya today I don’t know how he would encourage Kenyans who commit suicides almost every day due to the high cost of living to endure their suffering instead of killing themselves.

Just as some Kenyans commit suicides because of high cost of living, I don’t know again the message would have to the government over the recent new Value Added Tax (VAT) Act which has resulted in increasing the cost of living by a bigger margin.

Inflation rate went up for the sixth consecutive month in September to 8.3 per cent from 6.67 per cent in August. This coupled with an increase in fuel prices mid September resulted in steep rise in the cost of living.

Data by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) shows that the cost of food and other general items went up 2.87 per cent in September. The price of books and magazines went up by 6.62 per cent. Other items that went up include electricity and cooking items.

The implementation of the VAT Act and seasonal factors affecting supply of common food crops were the main causes of rise in the food index Notable is the price of milk that went up 22 per cent to retail at Sh57 per 500 millilitre, up from an average of Sh47 in August.

Other factors that caused a rise in the general price of goods and services include an increase in the retail price of fuel mid-September. Prices of diesel, super petrol and kerosene went up by an average of Sh2 per litre of each.

Likewise, the transport Index increased by 0.77 per cent mainly due to increases in the public transport fares that were attributed to higher prices of petrol and diesel.

The Gospel is taken from Lk 18:9-14. It talks of the parable of Pharisee and Tax collector. The parable demonstrates the need to pray humbly. “Two men went up into the temple to pray; one was a Pharisee, and the other was a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed to himself like this: ‘God, I thank you, that I am not like the rest of men, extortioners, unrighteous, adulterers, or even like this tax collector.

I fast twice a week. I give tithes of all that I get.’ But the tax collector, standing far away, wouldn’t even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Tax collectors, because of their association with the hated Romans, were seen as traitors to Israel and were loathed and treated as outcasts. But realizing his sin tax collector spoke of his unworthiness before God. He beats his breast in sorrow and repentance and appeals to God for mercy.

This is the type of prayer God wants from us, prayer that demonstrates that we are sinners and we need God’s mercy. It means admitting we have nothing to offer to God to atone for our sin except through his mercy.

We come to God as empty, impoverished, despised, bankrupt, pitiable, desperate beggars. The tax collector recognizes his sinful condition and seeks the only thing that can bridge the gap between himself and God.

“Have mercy on me,” he cries, and we know from the end of the parable that God heard his prayer for mercy and answered it. The tax collector went away justified (made righteous) because he had humbled himself before God, confessing that no amount of works could save him from his sin and that only God’s mercy could.

There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.

Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.

Fr Joachim Omolo Ouko, AJ
Tel +254 7350 14559/+254 722 623 578
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Real change must come from ordinary people who refuse to be taken hostage by the weapons of politicians in the face of inequality, racism and oppression, but march together towards a clear and unambiguous goal.

-Anne Montgomery, RSCJ
UN Disarmament
Conference, 2002