Category Archives: Law



Commentary by Leo Odera Omolo.

For the devolution government to succeed, the Jubilee government should use its majority numbers in parliament and introduce a comprehensive constitutional amendment that would make the County governors become the appointee of the President

The present system in which governors of the Counties are placed under the whims of the MCAs is unworkable.

The County governors are the m0ost frustrated lots. The MCAs cannot allow them to discharge their constitutionally mandated duties and responsibilities unless the governors succumb to their whims and vested interests.

The move to impeach the Kericho governor is vehemently opposed by the electorate, while local politicians are pointing their finger at a senior politician in the region who its being all said to be holding night meetings with MCAs inciting them to start the impeachment process against the governor. Once the Kericho MCAs are through with Prof. Chepkwony similar motion will be sponsored against the outspoken Bomet governor Isack Rutoin the same fashion.

THe case in point is the last week’s motion moved by the majority leader in the Kericho county Assembly that call for the impeachment of the hard-working Kericho governor Prof. Paul Chepkwony. The reasons advanced for this action are the most trivial. The MCAs threat to the governor has provoked harsh comments from senior politicians in the region.

A Kericho veteran politician William Kipkemoi Kettienya has come out and blasted the MCA telling them not to make things difficult for the governor. He said the move has no blessing of the electorate in the region.

According to his definition of the present devolution system, Senators are In lane one, followed by MPs in lane two while the MCAs are in third lane. As such let every one stick to his constitutional mandate. If a senior politician in Kericho want the governor out, such a move could not destabilize the county governance alone, but cold as well destabilize the \central government, therefore the Kericho MCAs must leave the governor alone.

Kettienya was reacting on rumors and speculation that an agent of a senior Kericho politician has been receiving money via a local bank in town which he is dishing out to the MCAs abd locally based journalists for the purpose of inducing the scribes to write stories that is tarnishing the good name of Governor Chepkwony. According to an eye witness the last transaction of such money was done last weekend in one of the posh hotels in town.

There is urgent need to have the constitution changed so that the County governors should fall under one appointing authority who should by President Uhuru himself.

In the old constitution, the Provincial Commissi9ners, the Mayors of the local municipalities and chairmen of the County Councils were working in harmony.

In the present system, however, the County governors are at the mercy of the greedy MCAs, some of them allegedly demanding to be paid the devolved money meant for development projects, some want their kith and kin to be appointed in plum jobs in the Counties while other have variety of vested interests such as the demanding that their relatives and friends be given tenders in the County projects. All these are the major sources of conflict of interests and hence increased demand for impeachment f governors. The song is the same from Embu, Nandi, Kiambu ,Bomet, Meru and other places.

The devolution system can only work if the County governors are all safe in their tenure of office and given maximum protection by the Central government. It is even sad that all these are happening when the office of the Attorney General and the Ministry in charge of the Devolution are silent as the impeachment song rent the air. And th whole system goes silent as the governors are being subjected to blackmail and intimidation.


20 Years of Freedom: Seven Things To Tell Young Black South Africans

From: Abdalah Hamis

Last week, the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation held an election debate in Cape Town, in the Western Cape, on intergenerational justice. It would have been great if some terms, like intergenerational justice, had been framed more definitively beforehand. I imagine many people take the term to be a call for a moderation of economic demands on, for example, natural and other resources in this generation so that future generations might also enjoy their benefits.

However, the economic reality is that future generations do not spring forth from the aether, with no connection to the current generation. Parents bequeath their socioeconomic positions to their children, despite the many ubiquitous, grand and oversold tales of a universally available social mobility predicated on “hard work” and “equal opportunity”. And if there is to be intergenerational justice in South Africa, one based on the truism that justice delayed is justice denied, then the present-day racial inequalities—a direct result of centuries of imperialist, colonialist and apartheid policies and actions—will have to be dealt with swiftly, definitively and with a singularity of purpose in this generation’s lifetime.

Alas, this wasn’t the debate that unfolded on the night. Most of the represented political parties—the ANC, the national incumbent; the DA, the party in government in the Western Cape; and two new unrepresented parties, EFF and Agang—ignored the topic and delivered campaign speeches.

The institute had also invited students from Phillipi High School and Cape Academy, two differently resourced schools for poorer Black students, mostly. At question and answer time, the students seemed to have a firmer grasp than some of the politicians of the present state of injustice into which they were born. They asked about gangsterism on the Cape Flats; being made attend school in buildings not made of brick and mortar; and what it means to be Black in South Africa today.

They seemed perplexed that these were still issues present in their lives, two decades after the supposed start of freedom’s reign.

I wasn’t the only one in the audience to realise that they lacked the words and historical context with which to speak to the interrelatedness of their socioeconomic positions and their blackness. And it wasn’t the first time I’d come across this.

Without these words and context, being Black in South Africa today must be a baffling, sometimes humiliating experience.

With that in mind, I drew up a non-exhaustive list of seven Black consciousness themed conversations I will have with my three-year-old nephew and two-year-old niece (and any young person who will listen), so they might cope with being Black in modern-day South Africa. These are the bare-minimum educational conversations we should all be having with young Black South Africans:

1. Apartheid, in substance, was an economic system that took legal form through segregationist policies and disenfranchising Black people. The legal form was abolished in 1994, but the economic system remains. Any reference to apartheid’s “legacy” is speaking about the system proper.

2. Apartheid was the final, all-encompassing consolidation of the white-supremacist economic project that began with the initial Dutch settlement in the Cape.

3. The separation of the colonialist era from the apartheid era is artificial, as is the separation of the “post-apartheid” era from both. History cannot be sealed off from the present through watershed moments, no matter how appealing their emotive value. History is not something that can simply be “moved on” from, not without a radical and massive correction of historical injustices; something that did not happen in this country. Even with such a correction, history is always the lens through which to understand the present.

4. You aren’t poor because you are Black. There is nothing about the tone of your skin, the texture of your hair or the languages and cultural practices of your mothers that makes you innately suitable for lives of servitude. You are poor because it was economically expedient for a group of white men whose interests in empire building and wealth accumulation trumped any notion of justice or commitment to democratic values they might have had.

5. You aren’t poor because you are Black. You are poor because the economic reality is that you inherited the socioeconomic position of your parents, which was crafted by this imperialist colonialist economic project steeped in white supremacy.

6. You aren’t poor because you are Black. You are poor because the intransigence of whiteness meant the people’s movement acting to liberate you from this white-supremacist tyranny was, under threat of war, made to delay the justice to which you are entitled and to offer it to your generation piecemeal. This was always going to be a long, if not impossible, task owing to the nature of the global economy into which this country has locked itself. This is why many of your generation were born into an unjust society and will die in an unjust society.

7. The older generation (and the movements and structures they founded) no longer has the appetite to fight for the justice you deserve. You have to fight for it, and you have to convince others around you of these incontrovertible truths.

ICC orders Kenya to report on Uhuru wealth

From: maina ndiritu

I have a feeling this matter is going to drag the presidents case , Bensouda seems to believe that her case maybe strengthened by such financial details … but her strengthening does not in any way point to information in the financial records but the elongation of the trial , I can assure you the main contest of the day will be whether the financial details are true or not and as long as she can prolong the case perhaps over a period of two years …. in her books and those of her co-conspirators she will be confident that she did her best irrespective of the inevitable outcome


Writes Leo Odera Omolo In Kisumu

KANU headquarters in Nairobi has moved to court and obtained a temporary injunction against three Kisumu men who are said to have illegally appointed themselves land lords on its Kisumu town based land plot.

The plot comprising of 105 small business premises is fetching close to Kshs 500,00 from the tenants every month. And the political parties dispute tribunal judge Odera Xhacha issued the order on April 3rd, 2014.

The three Jacob Omondi Nyambega, Maurice Dedan Okello and Kennedy Omolo Onyango have been barred from trespassing into the property pending the hearing and determination of the case filed by Senator Gideon Moi the party’s national chairman and Nick Salat,the party’s Secretary General,

The court injunction order says interalia that the pending hearing and determination of the case by the tribunal issue an order restraining the three, their servants, agents,employees or anybody claimin through them howsoever from collecting rent, managing the property/shops, trespassing on to or dealing with it in any manner all that property known as Kisumu Municipality 9/118 after referred to as the suit property.

The tribunal appointed one Omore Tito Odera as an official agent to help in rent collection oon the monthly and that all the money collected be deposited I a joint account of the plaintiff and respondents advocates bank account.

In this case the respondent lawyers are Olel and Odhiambo advocates while the plaintiff KANU Ingutiah and Company advocates. All the proceeds will be deposited into the lawyers joint bank account No1151502588 at the KCB Kisumu branch.

In a joint affidavit signed by Gideon Moi and nick Salat, KANU National Delegates Conference meting held at Safaricom Kasarani Sports ground in Nairobi on April 14th, 2012 all the branches countrywide were abolished and the responsibility for all the party matters were bestowed on Moi and Salat. By a resolution passed unanimously at the meeting.

In the foregoing Kisumu city or anywhere else has no registered KANU branch, so the three by arrogating themselves with the power of collecting rents on KANU land plot, which they converted to their personal use had acted unlawfully.

The popular Nairobi weekly newspaper became the whistle blower. The WEEKLY CITIZEN had carried an article which revealed that a KANU land plot had been grabbed by a group of influential Kisumu businessmen.

Moi and Salat have vowed to recover all the grabbed property of the party of independence wherever they are so that the money accrued from such property could be utilized in the party services and for the interest and welfare of the party members.

In the Kisumu case, the plot which is located opposite the main Kisumu Bus terminal was handed to a group of people masquerading as branch officials in early 1970s. The former branch official was reported to have reached the loose agreement with some traders to develop the plots and recover their money from the rent for the specific period of time. This was at the time when nearly all the KANU officials had crossed the flour and joined the opposition whose youth had destroyed the old KANU office which was built with timber.

Materials on the same plot.

The CITIZEN’S story alerted and alarmed the KANU headquarters the rumours went around that some unnamed persons were in the process of selling the party’s plots to an Indian business tycoon in the town.



From: Cheekless 2011

A Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), Media Initiative against Injustice, Violence and Corruption (MIIVOC) has described as mischievous, reports in the media alleging plots to weaken the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) via the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Center (NFIC) Bill currently before the National Assembly.

Executive Director of the Group, Mr. Walter Duru, who stated this while addressing newsmen in Abuja yesterday further described the report as sponsored and targeted at misinforming members of the public.

“The claim that creating the NFIC takes away the EFCC’s job simply shows that they do not even understand the core function of the Commission. It is a clear indication that they do not understand the mandate of the Commission and the difference between a financial intelligence center and a law enforcement agency. NFIC is a necessary body that must be in place in order for the country to effectively check financial crimes, money laundering, terrorism financing and other dangerous practices. The argument that the Bill will open the Center to litigations is unfounded and baseless. The proposed NFIC Bill is designed to provide a sustainable and credible legal framework for the NFIC in Nigeria. It seeks to provide the NFIC with operational independence, autonomy and greater ability to provide financial intelligence to all the relevant competent authorities (in Nigeria and abroad) in order to strengthen anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) measures. It is an international requirement for Nigeria to be seen as a safe country. The NFIU (as it is in Nigeria now) has severally been observed to be deficient by Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA) and Financial Action Task Force (FATF) on many occasions. All the relevant stakeholders in Nigeria know the latter fact. Nigeria stands the chance of being blacklisted by GIABA during its forthcoming Plenary coming up in Niamey, Niger Republic between 5th and 9th of May 2014 because of this anomaly, which has been going on for years. All the Bill seeks to do is to provide for those things that give the NFIU’s its operational autonomy and strengthen its legal framework in compliance with international standard and best practice.”

“To assure you that they are simply out for mischief and to misinform, the EFCC had long recognized the fact that the NFIU should be operationally autonomous because its board passed a resolution in 2004 to that effect. However, the GIABA and FATF keep on reminding Nigeria that a mere resolution cannot cure the defect but a legal framework.”

Continuing, Mr. Duru explains that “This Bill is aimed at establishing a national agency that will be responsible for the receipt of information from financial institutions, designated non-financial institutions, law enforcement agencies and other relevant persons, analyse the information for the purpose of turning them into financial intelligence and disseminate the latter to all law enforcement agencies and regulatory authorities without discrimination. The Bill will ensure that the NFIU is not tied to any agency (to avoid abuse and information hoarding). Rather, it has adequate measures to build an independent financial intelligence system.”

“Financial intelligence can also be used to assist the monitoring of balance of payments, use of foreign currency and prevent the abuse of the financial system by criminals. It should be noted that over 139 countries across all continents have established such independent FIUs. Nigeria as a member of the international community needs to establish one in order to be able to exchange information with other FIUs.”

On the report of an alleged US Intelligence Agency faulting the NFIC Bill, the Media and Civil Society expert described such as phantom and misleading, adding that the body’s (FinCEN) submission suggested further strengthening of some provisions of the Bill.

Duru further stated that “The report alleging that a US Intelligence Agency faulted the NFIC Bill is yet another phantom one. It is not only misleading, but also lacking in substance. The reporter made a deliberate attempt to distort facts. FinCEN’s comments on the letter by the Chairman, Presidential Committee on FATF, which we have seen is geared towards ensuring that the proposed NFIC is truly independent and autonomous in conformity with international guidelines and regulations. It never expressed any reservations about the Bill, but only advised that it be watertight in order to meet international standards. Twisting it to suggest otherwise is simply mischievous.”

On the position canvassed by the EFCC during the Public Hearing on the Bill by the both chambers of the National Assembly, Mr. Duru described it as insignificant, arguing that the interest and future of Nigeria is far above one individual or organization’s interests.

He stated that Out of about twenty stakeholder institutions, only the EFCC opposed the Bill. “The FIU is meant to serve all law enforcement and other relevant agencies in the country, the EFCC inclusive. No single agency must hijack it at the expense of the majority.”

Continuing, the MIIVOC CEO stated, “As we talk, Nigeria remains disconnected from the Secured Web of the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units due to the concerns expressed over the autonomy of the NFIU. What this means is that Nigeria can neither receive nor share financial intelligence with other 138 member countries of the Egmont Group on money laundering, terrorism financing and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, as well as other related matters. More worrisome is the fact that it is happening at a time when Nigeria needs the information most, considering the challenge of terrorism confronting the country presently.”

“The only way out is to have a truly independent and autonomous FIU, as it is in other countries of the world,” he concluded.



News Analysis By leo Odera Omolo

NEWS EMERGING OUT OF Migori County indicating an area where political temperature has risen sharply following the recent Court of Appeal decision that saw the former governor Zachary Okoth Obado‘s election victory nullified and fresh polls ordered.

Governor Obado has, however, moved to and lodged an appeal with the supreme Court of Kenya challenging the appeal court’s Decision.

Indications are that the outcome of the Supreme Court judgment is likely to create dilemma for the ODM, which is arguably the dominant political party in the region. Going by the weekend utterances attributed to Migori Senator Wilfred Machage, sharp division and fallout between the two main communities sharing Migori County namely the Luos the majority and the Kurias the minority there in the impending tug-of-war as to who should be the running mate of an ODM candidate should the court throw out the case filed before it by Obado and order for fresh polls.

According to Senator Machage’s statement the 70,000 Kuria voters will settle on nothing less than one of their own being the running mate of an ODM candidate.

During the March 4, 2013 election ,Governor Obado had picked up a Mr Nyamhanga as his running mate on the PDP ticket. At the same time PROF. Edward Akongo’ Oyugi had picked Mrs Anne Omondho Anyanga from Nyatike as his running mate. The two had jointly petitioned the court against Obado’s election.

He has received unanimous support, and even all the The popular opinion in Migori is that Prof. Oyugi should be given direct ODM party nomination and should not be subjected to the primaries.

This suggestion that Prof Oyugi be exempted from primary has received unanimous support of the electorate. This suggestion has also backed by all the ODM MPs representing various constituencies within Migor county with the exception of one namely the rebellious Rongo MP Dalmas Otieno ,who has since declared that he had ditched the party and is currently in the process of forming another political party in the region to rival the ODM

Sources at the ORANGE House the Nairobi based headquarters of the ODM have confided to us that the decision to issue Prof. Oyugi with the direct party nomination is high on the card.

All the indications are clear that the PDP, the party on whose ticket Obado and Nyamuhanga had contested the governor’s election as running-mates and won has since then abandoned the CORD coalition and now an affiliate of the jubilee. PDP which is headed by the former South Mugirango MP Omingo Magara was previously allied to the CORD coalition. And in the event of the fresh elections being called by the IEBC, the duo will have to look for another party’s ticket to contest the election.

The weekend remarks made by Senator Machage has earned him scathing criticism from the electorate and ODm leaders in Migori who have told the Senator to immediately desist from making parochial statements, which only made ODM leaders in the region and supporters to question his loyalty to the party.

Sen.Machage was given direct nomination in 2013 at the insistence of the ODm leader Raia Odinga, by all the standards had sacrificed the former Migiori ODM county branch chairman J.Magaiwa who was prevailed upon to stand down for Machageion the undersadig that this would persuade all the kuria voters to cast their votes for Raila Odinga in his presidential bid. The plan did not work and Magaiwawh had withdrawn his candidature for the Senate seat in anger moved to the URP, though he did not contest the election he used his political clout and influence to drum the Kuria support for the jubilee coalition of TNA/URP collation. Magaiwa’s efforts yielded the fruits that saw all the two parliamentary seats in Kuria East and Kuria West won by the URP/TA coalition. Raila Odinga the votes sharing arrangement and plan which had been brokered by Dalmas Otieno flopped and Raila Odinga garnered the least number of the presidential votes in the region where President Uhuru Kenyatta harvested the highest number of the 70,000 or so votes within the Kuria community.

Odm leaders this week warned Sen. Machage that stern disciplinary action might be considered by the party against him for tying to coerce ODM to nominate a non-member as its running mate ON ITS ticket.

“If Sen. Machage had any other party has something mind that would guarantee him a Kuria tribal running-mate for the governorship then he is free and within his democratic rights to quit ODM altogether with the Kuria voters and join that party, but he should not try to rock the boat from within.. There are well over 280,000 registered voters in Migori county and the 70,000 votes in Kuria region are like just a peanut and a small fraction in this cosmopolitan Senatorial electoral constituency and as such the ODM can still easily emerged the victorious with or with9ut Kuria votes ,said an ODM MP who requested for his anonymity.

MPs who are reportedly backing the direct nomination of Prof. Oyugi included the outspoken Mohamed Juneet [Suna East}, Eng Kobado {Uriri}. Joseph Ndiege [Suna West], Edick Omondi Anyanga {Nyatike and Jared Koopiyo [Awendo}

In the March 4, 2013 election aspirants who vied for the senate on ODM ticket, but were prevailed upon to withdrew their candidature in favor Machage included J.Magaiwa, Ochieng’ Mbeo and Oluoch Kanindo. The trio reluctantly withdrew their bid after having deposited the colossal amount of money with the ODM head office.



From: The Agenda

The formation of a 6 man panel by the Imo State House of Assembly to investigate the allegations of corruption leveled against the Speaker of the House is all over the news. Ordinarily the announcement of this 6 man panel months after we called for it should have been received with joy considering the negative impacts which corruption has on the masses’ living standard.

Read more:


News Analysis By a special Correspondent.

The last week’s Appeal court disqualification of the firmer Migori governor Zachary Okoth Obado was an act of blessing in disguise for the Oranga party {ODM}, which is the party of choice in the mineral rich County whose relationship with the governor is known to have gone sour ever since his first day in the office.

Immediately after the court’s judgment delivered in crowded court room of Kisumu, Obado rent his anger at the ODM by way of arrogantly launching scathing criticism of the party and its leader Raila Odinga while reiterating his decision to work with the Jubilee government.

Governor Obando who personally attended the court and brought a large number of supporters all the way from Migori to Kisumu in four hired vehicles, which included school buses and sleek cars immediately made it known that he would be lodging an appeal in the Supreme court of Kenya to challenge the decision.

Also present in Kisumu was the petitioner Prof Edward Akong’o Oyugi and his running-mate in the March 4, 2014 election Mrs Anne Omodho Anyanga, the firebrand who is the wife of the Nyatike MP Edick Omondi Anyanga who expressed her satisfaction with the judgment by saying that justice has been Observers of Migori politics and political pundits were quick in saying that the huge crowd of people transported to Kisumu from Migori to cheer him up was an act of the governor’s arrogance and a display of his financial mightiness which might boomerang and work against him should his much touted appeal fail in the Supreme court and a fresh by-election ordered to be held.

There was a brief commotion outside the court when a group of Prof. Oyugi’s supporters made a spirited attempt to block governor Obando from entering his official vehicle, arguing that since he was no longer the governor he was not supposed to used the County vehicle. However, Obado supporters retaliated and protected him from being molested. Police had to intervene and restored orders before the two groups dispersed.

Obado had won the Migori governor’s seat on the ticket of the little known People’s democratic Party {PDP}, which is led by the former South Mugirango MP Omingo Magara after loosing to Prof Oyugi in the {ODM} flawed primary nomination. Th PDP was one of the many amalgamated political parties allied to the CORD’s coalition But the Mgara’s party since bolted out of the CORD coalition and joined the jubilee. This latest move has no exposed Obado to be at the mercy o the ODM and now own

Anothger credible and important politician has also gone sour following reports that he is in the process of launching his own political party to rival the ODM in Luo-Nyanza and the wide spread allegations tha he was dividing the Luos of South Nyanza from their cousins in Central Nyanza for selfish interests.

The dismissal of Obado by the appeals Court has created a new political dimension in Migori County politics. It could see many political big guns joining the race for the vacant governor’s seat in the event of the fresh elections are called by the ICEB. On March 4, 2013 election, Obado had banked on his strategy to win over the M candidate the support and backing o the minority voters in two Neighboring Kuria districts and had enlisted the support and the backing of a Kuria man from Kihancha as his running mate and eventually made him the Deputy governor. This came at a tie when members’ o the marginalized Kuria minority community had problems with the ODM over its direct nomination of the former Kuria MP Dr. Machage to contest trhe Migori Senate seat at the chagrin of both Kurias and Luo voters.

Among the big guns whose names are being floated by the electorate In Migori as the possible succors of governor Obado in included that of the former cabinet Minister George Ochilo Ayacko, who was one time two times the Rongo MP and the former Mathare MP Gilbert Ochieng’ Mbeo who had also served as the Kenya’s representatives to the East African legislative Assembly [EALA} and Eng. Mark Nyamita.

Ayacko and Mbeo, which might work against Obado is his reported worsened relationship with the elected Migori MPs. He is said to be at loggerheads with the MPs over allegation of poor governance and favoritism and nepotism other contentious issues in the terms of recruitment of the County workers. The former governor, as the allegations goes, Obadon has employed his own brother, sister-in-law and brother-in-law in the County services at the expense off other job seekers. There are also unconfirmed claims and allegations that for one to be short listed for an interview for employment one must cough out a cool Kshs 300,000

Other shocking allegations included the rumors that the businessmen and traders who submitted their tenders to be contracted by the County on its development project agreeing required to dish out cash money as part of “kick-backs”.

The on-going construction work for at the Awendo sub-district hospital and the MTC In Migori were described as the ”milk cow”.

THE OTHER Migori MPs included Mohmed Juneet [Suna East], Joseph Ndiege n[SunaWest}, Eng Kobado {Uriri}, Jared Kopiyo {Awendo} Edick Omondi Anyanga {Nyatike} and Dalmas Otieno who is being counted as having gone out of ODM. Kopiyo who is also an PDP MP is reported to be allied to the governor. In Kanyamkago where Obado comes,thereis sharp division between the Jokawere sub-clan with his own JokaAtieno and the Maragolis and the Luhyias.The area current MP Eng. Kobado is a member of the Jokawere sub-clan.

For Obado to make it back to his plum governorship job would be an up-hill task and a pipe dream, because he has any questions to answer from the electorate.



By Our Reporter

Kisumu Court of Appeal has ordered Kenya’s head of Prosecution Keriako Tobiko to prosecute Nyando MP Fred Outa after nullifying his election as he area mp.

The election as per the judge did not meet the required threshold of the election regulations as some of the candidates were humiliated in a way and Outa and his CDF Treasurer James Yogo were found to have bribed the area voters .

The presiding Judge Justice Festus Azangalala who gave the judgment on behalf of the other three Court of Appeal judges,Justices Sankale ole Kantai, Maraga David and Phillip Waki said the election of that constituency was marred with a lot of irregularities as well as bribery.

Azangalala said during the entire campaign period, a number of public resources were misused to an extent that could not be ignored by the court.

He said at some places there were cases of bribery that were reported, a factor the presiding judge said could not be entertained by the court as election procedures were severely abused.

The Nyando constituents are now heading for afresh election as per the courts directive, which is to start soon once the IEBC has been notified.

Alternatively, the candidate who appealed Jared Okello said he was sure that the victory was theirs and he will always be ready to battle Outa at all cost.


From: joachim omolo ouko
News Dispatch with Father Omolo Beste
FRIDAY, MARCH 28, 2014Top of Form

Suzy writes on my Facebook timeline: “Beste I fully agree with you Chief Justice Willy Mutunga did not mean what he said about going to witch doctors to solve court cases. To me he was only trying to use this joke to emphasize the need of solving some problems amicably instead of going to court.

What he said that people should seek the advice in churches or elders is even Biblical. I cannot remember the text but I remember reading it where Paul says that when one of you has a grievance against another should settle disputes among themselves or seek the advice from elders”

I am glad you understood this Suzy. The Biblical text where St Paul advices Corinthians to settle their disputes outside court is 1 Corinthians 6:1-20. Christians should not contend with one another, for they are brethren. This, if duly attended to, would prevent many law-suits, and end many quarrels and disputes.

In matters of great damage to ourselves or families, we may use lawful means to right ourselves, but Christians should be of a forgiving temper. Refer the matters in dispute, rather than go to law about them.

They are trifles, and may easily be settled, if you first conquer your own spirits. Bear and forbear, and the men of least skill among you may end your quarrels. It is a shame that little quarrels should grow to such a head among Christians, that they cannot be determined by the brethren.

As believers, our testimony to the unbelieving world should be a demonstration of love and forgiveness and, therefore, members of the body of Christ ought to be able to settle arguments and disputes without going to court. We are called to live in unity with humility toward one another.

In Romans 13 Paul taught that God had established legal authorities for the purpose of upholding justice, punishing wrongdoers, and protecting the innocent.

Matthew 5:25 states: “Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison”.

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


From: Gordon Teti
Date: Wed, Mar 26, 2014 at 10:35 PM
To: “”

KENYAN MPs are becoming a disgrace. Who elected these people?

I cannot imagine nor believe that flying of a miniature flag of a country in the 21st century has become a symbol of privileged position in the society. All over the world citizens show the love and patriotism to their country by associating with the country’s flag. Uhuru Kenyatta should not sign this useless Bill that restricts the association to the country’s flag with political power and authority. Wow!

Whoever said that the more things change the more they look the same. We thought such decisions were only possible during the Moi error. We were wrong!

Click the link for details: Standard Digital News – Kenya : MPs deny Cabinet Secretaries privilege to fly National flag


Standard Digital News – Kenya : MPs deny Cabinet …
A miniature national flag fluttering in the wind from a pendant on the bonnet of a posh vehicle announced to the world that inside the dazzling machine was a mem…


From: joachim omolo ouko
News Dispatch with Father Omolo Beste

Maurice from Kisumu County would like to know my opinion on Chief Justice Dr Willy Mutunga’s remarks that even witch doctors could help them resolve their disputes without taking each other to the overburdened courts.

My opinion Maurice is that Mutunga did not mean what he said. He was just trying expressing the fact that some cases can be resolved from outside and need not to be taken to court. He said people should stop saying “I’ll see you in court”, and entering a long and costly process, when they could first seek help from churches, mosques, elders or neighbours.

He was just trying to send a message across when he said that even in Kutui, where he comes from, he has told people they can go to the witch doctors to solve issues. The reaction of some people to my opinion is in contemporary world people view witchcraft as something evil and potentially harmful to people.

It is, therefore, no surprise that such a word came from a recognized and respected personality like Dr Willy Mutunga. This is particularly given that most witches are done at night making use of ordinary animals like hyenas, big dogs, mongooses, owls, snakes or lightning birds. They have the skill to tame these animals and hide them at the back of their huts.

This type of witches is common in Kitui where Mutunga comes from, which is why to my opinion he was prompted to use this example. Those days many people believed and in fact their problems were solved.

Those were days that witches were active and their practices included sending snakes to bite their victims or lightning to strike them down. They could also collect the victim’s hair, nail clippings or any article of clothing worn by the victim to cast a spell on it that will harm or kill their victims.

The idea of life-force goes hand in hand with that of limited cosmic good. For example, when people are not prosperous or when their goods are limited, they will argue that someone has taken their life-force.

People would also go to witchdoctors for consultation and to protect themselves against witchcraft. The main aim of the witchdoctor is more to protect than to attack. The diviners use a set of stones, shells and engraved stones which they carry in a small skin bag.

These they throw on the ground, and the pattern in which they fall reveals the answer of their ancestors to their client’s enquiries. Enquiries may relate to the nature and causes of sickness, the reason for a death, the whereabouts of missing stock or any baffling situation or a desire to know something about the future.

In Uganda for example, some women are reported to have been directed by witch doctors to collect body fluids like urine and menstrual blood among others to keep their errant husbands on check.

Under the guise of needing an urgent solution to a cheating husband, women from Katwe, Makindye and Wakaliga where women go to the shrines to seek advice from traditional medicine women.

After consultation women believe if their husbands tried to sleep with another woman, he would smell like faeces, which would turn that woman off. This they believe is a cheaper way of avoiding going to court to seek a divorce case.

That visit cost them sh25,000, cheaper than court case. After preparing food and you are ready to serve him, the woman goes outside and squat to urinate. The directive by the witch is that you make sure you get the first drop of your urine and put it in a cup or tin.

The directive is that when the woman is serving the husband she is to pour it in his soup and juice. As she is doing that she says: “the way this urine has pained me, is the same way you should feel pain when you intend to cheat on me.’ When you do that, you will come back and tell me”.

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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

Lands Cabinet Secretary Charity Ngilu has began war with land cartels that she will definitely not win. Ngilu is well aware of this fact that ending corruption and entrenched land cartels at the ministry would not be as easy as she thinks.

Big money is already threatening to stall and derail the land reforms agenda, a fact that the National Land Commission has admitted. This includes the multi-billion shilling favourite hunt for land barons keen to offload large tracks of land to government at handsome prices.

Ngilu should be aware that historically the lands office has always been a company and not a State office. In other words, even the president cannot win this war.

The delay of issuing title deeds was her first encounter with the reality of how the process had been tampered to favour the land barons who include the lands officials at her ministry, right from the headquarters to the district land officers.

These cartels are working with influential businessmen, politicians and government officials in falsifying land registration documents that resulted in the issuance of more than one title deed in most parts of the country, especially at the Coast.

Ngilu has admitted publicly that many of these cartels have planted themselves in every corner and they are always faceless to the public. They operate through brokers. They could be your friends by day and enemies at night.

Cartels of land officers are well organized. They include lawyers, real estate agents and brokers who are duping innocent Kenyans into buying non-existent land. They use existing deed plans documents showing location and divisions on land to tamper with records at the Lands ministry.

These are the very people are behind the runaway cases of people buying land belonging to other people. The Syokimau demolitions that saw Kenyans lose millions of shillings in investment serves as the best example.

Once the racketeers identify a piece of land they wish to “sell”, they alert their contacts at the Lands ministry who prepare a parallel set of fake documents which they use to dupe their victims.

They usually start their scavenging at the Nairobi City Council where they scour records for details of land transactions that have been approved, including sub-divisions, by town planning committees.

Armed with this information, they forge letters purporting to be from the council indicating an approval, complete with dates and the plots that need to be sub-divided. The forged letters will have different land reference numbers. For instance, if the block title was 54/784, the racketeers could indicate their land reference as 54/256.

The racketeers also ensure that they include the exact date the Commissioner of Lands approved the sub-division. This is allegedly done in collusion with officers in the Ministry of Lands.

You wonder how they do this. Recent investigation by Standard media groups revealed how they do it. Because the original title deed ought to be surrendered, the racketeers generate plot numbers different from the original ones.

According to investigation what helps them is that the part of the title block numbers for the genuine plots will have changed. The number 54 and the new numbers is what remains, e.g. 54/89-320.

The land fraudsters will then come up with fake numbers all of which will begin with 54/, for example 54/850-1081. This can easily convince buyers who do not make thorough investigations when acquiring land. The conmen do not stop at that.

Since busy lawyers will send their clerks, and in some cases, the clerks will share the details of the plot with the fraudsters who will prepare similar titles, it is only prudent for a buyer to spare the time to go to the ministry personally.

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

Statement by Public Protector After Probe into Cost of South African President’s Nkandla Home Upgrade

From: Yona Maro

52-page statement by Public Protector Adv. Thuli Madonsela during a media briefing to release the report on an investigation into allegations of impropriety and unethical conduct relating to the installation and implementation of security measures by the Department of Public Works at and in respect of the private residence of President Jacob Zuma at Nkandla in KwaZulu-Natal.

.pdf – 823.64 KB

Yona Fares Maro
Institut d’études de sécurité – SA



By Agwanda Saye

The East Africa Law Society (EALS) has raised a red flag over calls to amend the constitution.

The EALS President James Aggrey Mwamu has urged the public to reject demands to amend sections of the supreme law on flimsy grounds.

“Proposals to reduce counties from 47 to 14 are cheeky and dangerous towards returning the concentration of power and resources to the Presidency,” Mwamu said.

The EALS explained that devolution has nothing to do with the wage bill arguing that counties receive from the national Government a paltry 15 per cent of the national revenue.

“The 15 per cent is equivalent to the Local Authority Transfer Fund (LATIF) which used to be given to municipal councils,” Mr. Mwamu said.

The EALS President said that the wage Bill problem has been caused by rampant corruption and unemployment with a bias to ethnic origins of the people who are in power.

“Kenya has experienced economic wastage that cannot be compared to other nations. Many countries have managed to have two Houses of Parliament without problems,” Mwamu said. Mwamu regretted that the problem in Kenya is the Legislators who feel they can earn anything and have everything.

“They (legislators) flout every rule to achieve their desires without thinking what their actions are going to impact on the country,” Mwamu said

The EALS President said recent calls to scrap Senate and constitutional commissions should be ignored.

“This country has a lot of money lost in mismanagement, stealing and graft. Powerful individuals have colossal amount of money stashed in foreign banks,” Mwamu said.

The EALS regretted that the billions of shilling deposited in foreign accounts were obtained from public coffers.

“The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) must double efforts and ensure the money is brought back to the country,” Mwamu said.

The EALS President challenged Attorney General (AG) Prof. Githu Muigai to explain what he has done with mutual recognition agreements to bring back public money illegally stashed abroad.

“We are now paying Anglo Leasing projects following negligence and the careless manner the matter was handled. We need action and immediately,” Mwamu said.

“Kenyans must be careful about calls to amend the Constitution. The Constitution is not the problem. The scapegoat that is being used at this time is devolution,” Mwamu said.



Writes Leo Odera Omolo In Kericho town

DISCONTENT is high in Kericho County after the word went around that the area Senator Charles Keter has acquired a brand new Helicopter at a staggering price of Kshs 90 million to the chagrins of the electorate who feels that the colossal amount of money spent on this machine could have been put to proper utilization towards socio-economic projects in the region.

Those interviewed were of the opinion that the County is too small and has all – weather roads, therefore a helecopter not an urgent need for the Senator .They further termed the acquisition of the Choper by the Senator as an act of excessive arrogance.

Among those who raised vehement opposition to the frequent use of the Choper by the Senator as a waste of resources is a Kipkellion politician Pastor Hezron Cheruiyot who said that owning a Choper by an elected representative of the people is not be the priority and yet thousands of Kericho electorates are currently wallowing in abject poverty due to skyrocketing prices of the basic commodities.

The acquisition of the new Choper by the Kericho Senator is viewed local as an act of mischief.

Senator Keter who is known as a spanner-boy for the Deputy President William to is also being accused of using his closeness to the DP to intimidate other elected leaders in the two Counties of Kericho and Bomet. He is roaming the full length and width of the two regions on mischief missions mean to undercut and undermine the two county governors Prof.Paul Chepkwony { Kericho} and Isaack Ruto {Bomet}.

Another Kericho politician who requested for his anonymity said a drunkard MCA representing a wqar in Belgut recently publicly disclosed that he had been paid cash money to the tune of Kshs 40,000 and advised by unnamed politician to use the cash to undermine the Kericho governor by way of moving a motion in the assembly for a vote of no confidence in the governor. He alleged that the excessively drunk MCA displayed the bundled of currency note in a public joint.

Senator Keter attended a Harambee fundraising meeting at Chamagosu in Ainamoi constituency, Kericho County two weeks ago and disclosed the gathering of how he had attended the DP function in Nyeri in the morning of the very day, and in the midday he was in Eldoret with the DP William Ruto where they jointly deliberated in ASK meeting before he flew on to Kericho for the Harambee date.

Those who attendedthe fund raising meeting, which was forthepurpose of raisingmoney for medical treatment of a ailing young man estimated the cost of the Choper flight covering Nyteri, Eldoret and Kericho to be approximately in the region of Kshs 200,000in one day and saw the exercise as a waste of resources. As long as we love our Senator, we feel he should change tact and be coercive and work in unity and harmony with other elected leaders in the the region in the real task of nation building in general and development of Kericho County in particular. He should stop the bad habit of working in isolation as a lone ranger,” commented another Kericho MCA.

One local Kericho politician recalled the old days of power brokers” during the Moi era, which saw when the late Isaack Salat used his close connection to the power that be and polarized the region undercutting and undermining almost every elected leader. The same kind of power brokerage politics was witnessed during the reign of the late Ayub Chepkwony.

The question as to who should be the spokesman of the Kipsigis people; all agreed unanimously that the Kuresoi MP Zakayo K.Cheruiyot deserve that position considering his experience in the public service as one time Permanent Secretary in-charge of internal Security and Provincial Administration and as an MP. Cheruiyot is also considered san achiever, who created Bureti district and singled handedly built the district headquarter a magnificent building standing outside Litein town and accommodating all district heads of department. He has also established the most ultra modern Valley College in Litein.

However, the community only recognized the two County governors Isaack Ruto {Bomet} and Prof.Chepkwony of Kericho as the joint official spokesmen o the Kipsigis people.

The Kipsigis is the most populous sub-tribe of the larger Kalenjin ethnic groups. This community occupied the fertile highland region of Kericho and Bomet where green tea bushes is grown in abundance making its members to be relatively wealthier than their cousins in the North rift.

The two regions also boosted the best brains among the other Kalenjin sub-tribes with a large number of technocrat’s ad professionals. The previous regime of the retired President Daniel Arap Moi stands blamed for having marginalized the community by using its members at convenience time and dumped them in preference to numerous power brokers.

In the 2007 general election members of the community gave Raila Odinga and the ODM close to 1.3 million votes. It was almost a man-to-man. However, when the ODM supreme formed a coalition government of PNU/ODM Raila appointed three cabinet Ministers from the minority Nandis wh0s3d=combined voting strength was about 400,000 voters as opposed to 1.3 votes, which the party harvested in the Kipsigisland . Many Kipsigis people also lived in diaspora and they voted for the ODM wherever they were at the time.

Raila dished only one cabinet position to the kisigis when he appointed the late Kuipkalia Kone the Bomet MP as the Minister for Roads with the late Ms. Lorna Laboso asan Assistat Minster for Home Affairs in the Office of the Vice President. The community felt it had been shortchanged and ditched ODM en mess. The mass sacking of Kiopsigis people who had served in the senior position during the Moi era by the PNU/ODM coalition was anther contentious issue which contributed to the community parting company with Raila. The other issue which contributed greatly to Raila burning his finger ws the mass eviction of the Kalenjin illegal squatas from the Mau Forest.



Commentary by Leo Odera Omolo In Kisumu City

The move made by President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto by voluntarily offering 20 per cent of their monthly salary reduction in order to relieve the country out of overburdening huge wage bill is a good gesture should be appreciate by all Kenyans of goodwill.

However, it must be taken into account that the President at a personal level is not feeling the heat of the current skyrocketing inflationary situation, which has pushed the prices of the basic commodities beyond the reach of many Kenyan families.

As the sojourner of the of prestigious State House, the President and his family are enjoying free supply of rations free medical facilities and free education of his siblings, all the bills footed by the state unlike thousands of the ordinary Kenyans who can now hardly afford to put their food on the table.

Nevertheless, it is my passionate appeal to him, to consider the options of abolishing so many money guzzling commissions, though all this would require political will. This would require the backing of both the Senate and Parliament.

The government should draft and introduce radical surgery involving a major constitutional amendment abolishing nomination seats in parliament and the national assembly as well as the luxury of nominated MCAs. With the present 290 parliamentary electoral constituencies, 47 Senate representatives and 47 women and as such the electorate in this country are well represented in all important legislative organs. In this context the only essential groups that need special representation and perhaps a few nominations are those people with physical disabilities. The huge wage bill which Kenya is currently under the obligation to meet the payment is the civil servants

It is also time the for the new constitution had explicitly abolished under the devolution processes.

It is worth for Kenyans to remember that during his election campaign for his re-election to his second term, the former President Mwai Kibaki made a big political blunder by dishing out the “political districts”, the erratic move which had seen New administrative districts recklessly being created in some areas which were previously administered by the locations administrative chiefs being promoted made district. Some of the Kibaki districts should be scrapped and revert to their former areas of jurisdiction. The creation of the new districts had inflated the pay bill for civil servants by nearly 35 per cent.

As a resident of Nyanza Province I can offer the example of old Migori district in the greater Southern Nyanza. Migori, which is now a County has new eight districts. There used to be only four, which include Kuria, Rongo and Migori. But today there are eight administrative district, which included, Rongo, Awendo, Uriri, Suna East, Suna West and Nyaike plus the two Kuria East and Kuria West. In all these new districts there are D.Cs, Dos and Chiefs and their assistants. What a crazy kind administrative arrangement is this?

Members of the Provincial Administration are redundant and idle and should either be redeployed into other government Ministries or be sent home with immediate effect.

His EXCELLENCY President Kenyatta should make a bold step and brig the Administration Police and the regular police under one command of the Inspector General of Police instead of maintaining the APs as different entity and yet they are supposed to be offering the same service.

At the same time the government should cut down unnecessary seminars, workshops and conferences at all levels of the national government and the counties. Uncalled for foreign trips, which of late have become a burden to Kenya taxpayers should be discouraged. And also non-performing Cabinet Secretaries, particularly those whose ministries are reportedly bedeviled with corruptions should be axed immediately.

Cabinet Secretaries should attend the meetings of both Senate and Parliament and be always available to answer the members questions. A certain category of public servants working for the Counties should be on secondment from the national government allowing the Counties to recruit only the lower cadres of workers for their purpose of maintaining efficiency in service delivery by the county governments. I am sure President Kenyatta meant well for the down trodden Kenya and he should also instruct his aides to be mindful of other Kenyans who are wallowing in abject poverty.


Signed by Leo Odera Omolo.

About the author: He.Is a retired veteran journalist who comments occasionally on topical issues.

US: Press Releases – State Department Concludes Settlement of Alleged AECA and ITAR Violations by Esterline Technologies Corporation

From: U.S. Department of State
Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC

March 6, 2014


The U.S. Department of State concluded an administrative settlement with Esterline Technologies Corporation of Bellevue, Washington, to resolve alleged violations of the Arms Export Control Act (AECA) (22 U.S.C. § 2778) and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) (22 C.F.R. Parts 120-130). Esterline agreed to enter into a consent agreement with the Department pursuant to ITAR Section 128.11. The agreement was reached following an extensive compliance review by the Department’s Office of Defense Trade Controls Compliance (DTCC) in the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs. This settlement addresses hundreds of alleged civil violations of the AECA and ITAR, and highlights the Department’s responsibility to protect U.S. defense articles, including technical data, and defense services from unauthorized use.

DTCC determined that Esterline demonstrated inadequate corporate oversight and failed to establish an adequate AECA and ITAR compliance program in its defense trade activity. Over the course of many years, Esterline and its operating divisions, subsidiaries, and business units disclosed to the Department hundreds of alleged AECA and ITAR violations consisting of unauthorized exports of defense articles, including technical data, and defense services; unauthorized temporary imports of defense articles; violations of terms and conditions of licenses or approvals granted; exports of defense articles in excess of quantity and value authorized; improper use of exemptions; and failure to file or filing of incorrect documentation with the Automated Export System.

DTCC’s compliance review concluded that many of these alleged violations occurred because Esterline did not properly establish jurisdiction over its defense articles and technical data, did not properly administer licenses and agreements, and had incomplete or poor recordkeeping. The alleged violations involved defense articles, technical data, and defense services that are or were controlled at the time of the alleged violations by the U.S. Munitions List under the following current or former categories: IV(h), VI(i), VI(f), VI(g), VII(g), VII(h), VIII(h), VIII(i), XI(a), XI(c), XI(d), XII(e), XII(f), XV(e), XV(f), XX(c), and XX(d).

Under the terms of a three year Consent Agreement with the Department, Esterline will pay a civil penalty of $20 million. The Department agreed to suspend $10 million of this amount on the condition the Department approves expenditures for self-initiated, pre-Consent Agreement remedial compliance measures and Consent Agreement-authorized remedial compliance costs. Additionally, Esterline will engage a Special Compliance Official to oversee the Consent Agreement, and Esterline will conduct two audits of its compliance program as well as implement additional compliance measures, such as improved policies and procedures, and additional training for employees and principals.

Esterline disclosed the alleged AECA and ITAR violations resolved under this settlement to the Department, acknowledged the serious nature of the alleged violations, cooperated with the Department, and implemented or has planned extensive remedial measures. For these reasons, the Department determined that an administrative debarment of Esterline was not appropriate at this time.

The Consent Agreement and related documents will be available for public inspection in the Public Reading Room of the U.S. Department of State and on the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls website at

For additional information, please contact the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs’ Office of Congressional and Public Affairs at

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Honing Uganda and Ethiopia’s silly laws

From: Charles Banda

By Hama Tuma
Sometimes solutions proposed by governments are worse than the very so-called problems being tackled.
Considering the pungent cocktail of weird laws decreed out of the blue by thumb-twiddling wannabe sophist parliamentarians who only see problems from the golden palaces, villas and powerful offices they occupy and want to keep by hook or by crook, one can’t help but wonder.
When Malawi legislated its preposterous anti-public farting law a couple of years ago, many thought it was going to be the last time anyone heard of laws that questioned the intellectual capacity of African lawmakers. We were wrong.
Uganda has taken the lead, passing one irrelevant law after another, while blaming the west for its pagan, decadent and unchristian imports.

The same middle-eastern religions that travelled west and were exported to Africa, alongside slavery and later colonialism, have now become the African culture to protect, relegating our history and highly developed cultural understanding of gender to Satanism.

As Uganda’s amusing story unfolds, those with an idea of Africa’s precolonial history, wonder what went wrong.

Those irrelevant legislations began with the oppressive and archaic Victorian laws that the United Kingdom, from whence cometh those laws, has been trying to announce to Africa in many subtle ways to drop because they belong to the boom years of social Darwinism when anything aboriginal was considered unfit.

“It is now apparent that the ecological pragmatism of the so-called pagan religions […] was a great deal more realistic in terms of conservation ethics than the more intellectual monotheistic philosophies of the revealed religions,” Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth’s husband said a couple of decades ago.

But could the harm that has been done be reversed? As multiple-time Nobel Prize for Literature nominee, Milan Kundera notes: “The first steps in liquidating a people is to erase its memories”.

It is here that we realise that the brains of Africa’s current politicians have been washed to such an extent that the same Victorian laws that once sought to rid Africans of their pagan traditional ways have now been accepted as intrinsically African, warts and all.

Africans now believe half naked women and homosexual relations are western imports.

The reason behind Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni’s “scientific” anti-homosexuality tirade and stringent decree against what concerns an invisible, vulnerable minority is aphoristic.

Endowed with an incredible political cunning acquired by virtue of his longstanding addiction to presidency, Museveni isn’t a stranger to the opium effect of religious populism on the masses.

And after its move to effect a ban on miniskirts, Uganda – a country where the larger population basks in the luxury of poverty, bad governance and corruption from the very top – is well on its way to becoming the biggest police church.

But truth be told, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and others like him in Africa are no exceptions.

While all the world’s unusual laws (see box below) do not excuse Museveni’s vitriol against gays, Zimbabwe’s nonagenarian president Robert Mugabe will soon go six feet under or down in history as one whose attempt at owning the founding president title of his country is seen in his continued gay-bashing speeches; an attempt to discredit that country’s first president Canaan Banana, a former priest who was convicted for being gay. Repeat: a black African gay priest president.

As innocuous as they may seem, silly laws strike the most unpleasant chord when one realises that they are mostly used to foster virulent anti-democratic values.

Is it not the same religious integrity-influenced anti-gay argument that has been used to effect laws that infringe on women’s rights in Uganda?

The burning issues in Uganda and many African countries do not concern dress codes or sexual orientations and yet the rulers harp on these issues while persecuting those who dare to question corruption, bad governance, ethnic discrimination… among a plethora of real concerns.

The issue of dress codes and sexuality is what brings in the votes. It works for them. They do not go to bed on empty stomachs, why should they care about the daft ones who can’t see behind the political rhetoric?

After all, is it not widely known that to hide something from the African, all one needs to do is to hide it in a book?

It is in this light that Uganda’s anti-gay antics and banning of miniskirts become a smart farce; a reminder of the cruel regime in Addis Ababa that once argued that Ethiopians, who cannot afford three decent meals per day need, should go on a dieting regime and stop complaining about the rampant famine.

Such is the politics of irrelevance, a clever governance tactic used by Africa’s power-hungry rulers, adept at turning non-issues of no significance whatsoever into burning issues with the help of the State controlled media.

The regime in Ethiopia is an expert at this art. After blatantly stealing an election and killing hundreds, it expertly manipulates the whole situation – turning attention away from the issue at hand – by arresting so-called political dissidents and triggering a massive hue and cry from a gullible and amateurish opposition.

The main issue forgotten, the secondary concern made crucial—add a weird law to this and the whole focus of the people is hijacked to a non-issue. Voilà !


Back to the invisible minority. How many women wear miniskirts in Uganda, an African region whose women folk once proudly wore clothes that bore their chests, hips and midriffs naked, in respect of traditional values.

And who said homosexuality is an European import in that country when it is on record that one of their most remembered ancient, pre-colonial kings kept a harem of well-bred men to feed his sexual cravings?

Are these funny but extremist laws not a shortcut towards fundamentalism? Or are they different from those laws that ban women from driving or taking the same bus as men? Are they different from those that say men with moustaches are forbidden to kiss women including their wives? Are they different from those that get women whipped for allowing themselves to get raped by men so strong even ten legislators can’t fight off just one?

Nonetheless, some of Uganda’s anti-gay law bashers are a perfect example of the stinging double standards and hypocrisy on the continent.

Zenebu Tadesse, Ethiopia’s minister for women, children and youth affairs has criticised the Ugandan law despite a 15-year prison term for homosexuality in her own country, where criticising the regime’s human rights record can get the noblest of citizens thrown into the hole for up to 20 years without a warrant.

This is where Washington comes in. Despite his worsening human rights record, Museveni remains a close ally of Washington, which tolerates good allies with grotesque decrees and practices. In Ethiopia, the more the regime has turned repressive the more it has enjoyed vast international support. And Obama’s words: “we live in a world of imperfect choices” highlight a recognition of those double standards.

Can the American media honestly condemn Museveni while homosexuality remains an offence in many states?

Writing on this hypocrisy, Tracy Clarke-Flory had the following to say in her article: Sodomy laws still exist?!

“When the Indian Supreme Court this week reinstated a law banning gay sex, everyone in my liberal social circle began circulating outrage. I shared in this — and yet, I couldn’t help but wonder at the remnants here in the U.S. of attempts of doing just that. In fact, we still have laws against sodomy in several states – Alabama, Florida, Idaho, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Utah. Currently. In the year 2013. [I pause to let you pick your jaw up off the floor.] Two states — Kansas and Texas — explicitly outlaw homosexual contact. That’s right: the United States of America still has laws on the books criminalizing gay sex”.

As I wrote years ago, homophobia on the part of the repressive regimes is but a cover for “demophobia”, a rabid fear of democracy and the peoples’ demand for good, or at least tolerable, governance.

Museveni and others actually enjoy the hue and cry on the gay issue, a perfect distraction from the many tough questions and serious problems.

India, China, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, the Arab countries, Russia are all part of those repressive and/or corrupt governments engaged in the most politically profitable gay bashing.

My advice to budding despots is: forget the serious problems, the poverty, the lack of social services, the corruption, police and military brutality, the absence of democracy, the oppression of women, the political prisoners, the rampant torture… Just make sure your people do not have access to historical research about what the African culture was in precolonial times. Go for the most shocking legislations that hurt the most vulnerable… and just bash the gays. You’ll be loved. Amen!

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The Right to a Personal Identity

From: Yona Maro

What role can biometrics play in aiding development? Alan Gelb, explains why new biometric identification technologies may be the key to radically expanding the social, political, and commercial opportunities for people in the developing world. Biometrics, he says, make it possible to fulfil for people everywhere the right to a unique, personal identity.

Alan explains that there are three principal ways in which people can identify themselves. The first can be something that you have, like a driver’s license or credit card. The second is something you know, like a PIN or a password; and the third is something that you are, like a finger print or iris scan. Biometric technology relies on this third method in order to uniquely authenticate individuals—and the costs are plummeting.

Although biometrics are often associated with law enforcement and security, especially in the post-9/11 world, two upcoming conferences, the Third Biometric Summit in Miami on March 3-6 and the Connect ID conference in Washington, D.C. later that month also will include discussions of a booming new market: providing individual identities to hundreds of millions of people in developing countries.

Biometrics “most rapid growth is in developing countries,” Alan tells me. “Increasingly the applications are moving from security and law enforcement to a variety of development programs.”

Yona Fares Maro
Institut d’études de sécurité – SA