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Monday, 26 September 2011

Wangari Maathai..a Heroine that was never feted in her own home..

YET another dark Monday in September! 26th September 2011.

I woke up to the news of the death of the most celebrated environmentalist in Kenya and the world in general: Prof.Wangari Maathai

My heart sunk when I thought of the struggles she underwent during the 80s and 90s in the Moi era championing course. Many are the times she found herself hospitalized after brutal beatings by the police:sometimes,senseless.I recall TV footage of her in braided hair bloodied from being ‘plucked’ from her head by the police. Countless are the times she picketed against the powers that be over land grabbing.

Wangari Maathai:A real Conservationist

Countless are the times she was arrested and humiliated in public.Still, she soldiered on!What a spirit she had!
Thanks to Wangari Maathai Kenyans can still enjoy the peace and serenity of nature at Freedom Corner amidst all the hustle and bustle of the city. We would be having an eyesore of a tall structure instead.

Her life story reads like a fairy tale. She came from grass to grace literally speaking. Her awards cabinet is full of accolades that will make even the most celebrated of Hollywood stars throw a fit in jealousy.

Monday, 19 September 2011

Kenyan Illicit Brews: Why the ‘Black-out”….

9 Dead, 10 Others Turned Blind After Consuming Illicit Brew in Kenya

 Banned 'kill-me-quick' home-brew kills and blinds hundreds in Kenya

20 Blind As The Brew Death Toll Rises To 125


 These are just some of the headlines that feature in our local dailies when illicit brews are reported.
Mind boggling, right?

I had always wondered why most of the victims of illicit brew went blind after drinking. Why for instance didn’t they go, deaf, dumb, or even complete lunatic?

After much pondering, consultation with peers and research, I came to know the root cause of this.
I must admit reading the seemingly nerdy material in my research made me reminisce  my High School Chemistry teacher ,Mr Okumu.Teaching chemical bonding during the afternoon double Chemistry lesson:90 minutes-most part of which half the class was dozing after a heavy lunch constituting beans and Ugali !{Madondo power} is not an easy task for the most hardened of teachers. Little wonder some of my colleagues opted to ‘dropping’ the subject for the much favored Biology, I on the other hand soldiered on.

But I digress…yet again...

Any Kenyan reading this is well aware that most of the deaths caused by illicit brews hail from the Central Province of Kenya. Rarely will you hear of such incidences in Western, Nyanza, Rift Valley provinces for example. This is because the fermentation of the brew follows the due process without any catalysts. 

Friday, 16 September 2011

Sinai Fire Tragedy:-The Slum Dweller's Perspective..

As the embers of fire die out in Sinai, one can’t help but question why Kenyans seemingly court disaster.

One of my colleagues recently quipped that September has become the new August. The dooms month, with deaths occasioned by road carnage and other fatalities has ‘traditionally’ been August. If you reside in Kenya, you will attest to the fact that the untold loss of life in September 2011 is an all time high:Road accidents, deaths attributed to illicit brews, natural calamities-drought, not to mention sicknesses and other social disorder deaths like thuggery and domestic disturbances.

But I digress...

It is very easy for the general public to label the Sinai fire victims {et-al} greedy, stiff-necked Kenyans who brought death upon themselves in the pursuit of a quick buck.Infact, the high and middle class society will continue judging these people harshly since they cannot put themselves in the proverbial shoes of such people who live in squalor and by the grace of God.

Friday, 9 September 2011

..Of striking Kenyan teachers and street demos...

Abraham Lincoln, the great American president once said,”Teach the children so that it will not be necessary to teach the adults.”

The recent happenings in the Public schools teachers strike in Kenya are sure to turn Abe Lincoln in his grave as he eats the words he once wisely pronounced.

Post humously, Abe would find it sad to say the least to see teachers who are supposed to be the role models of young minds running around the streets, wailing  and yelling with placards,blowing horns and jumping on top of moving cars in the name of demonstrating their rights.

From the classrooms to the streets...
 Don’t get me wrong, I do empathise with the plight of the public school teacher.Looking at the basic salary of the contracted teachers one would get the bigger picture.A  P1 teacher on contract earns Ksh 10,000 and a graduate earns Ksh 15,000 per month.Those on permanent terms earn more than double this amount.

Jaffer Isaac & the ambitions of youth politics in Kenya

I woke up today and switched on my TV set, tuned it to The Breakfast Show on Citizen TV. You see, of late I have become an ardent viewer of their incisive and very mind boggling Power Interview segment. 

I have to hand it to Jimmi Gathu and the ever straight shooting Mutegi Njau, thanks to the two of them Kenyans are starting to see the folly that is our Kenyan politicians. This on-screen “grilling” of our politicians is exposing them in their true element and what they stand for; very crucial for each prospective voter in the run up to the 2012 elections.

On the tube was Jaffer Isaac,a presidential aspirant.Yeah,I know, the name does not ring a bell? 

Let me bring you up to speed.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

..Mututho Laws need more 'teeth'...

Recently, an irate and clearly fed up chang’aa brewer in Kinungi, Naivasha disposed of several gallons of illicit chang’aa and destroyed his tools of trade citing police harassment through extortion.

Moses Njihia,the brewer,was irked by the fact that on a daily basis, despite the meager earnings from selling the brew he has to put aside some cash for bribing on patrol police officers lest they shut down his business premises. This is despite the fact that his was a licensed business and he was within the health and sanitation standards of production of the brew.

Provincial Administration destroying illicit brew

Njihia who had been trading in the brew for over 20 years claimed he had used between Sh600,000 and Sh1 million to bribe officers drawn from the regular and AP department.

This got me thinking about the efficacy of the Mututho laws. Let me begin by mentioning that the impetus towards regulating alcohol affected by the Alcoholic Drinks Control Act 2010 is a move towards the right direction.