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The Finest Hour

(Tribute to my mother in her quest to see me get educated against many odds)

The Finest Hours

For so many scores of years long before my birth I became acquainted with the first person who became my friend in blood and deeds till to date, yes great friends but we fought for space and attention of our mother with my elder but twin brother Frank. Seven and a half months later the finest hour of our birth came, and two tiny beings emerged from depths of God’s creation and the luxury of the womb was no more. We were born to face the harsh realities and the sweet music in the long journey of our life.

The marvels of modern medicine were the things that saved us, from a difficult child birth my mother almost lost her life, so I’m told. While she was resting and recuperating after our birth, we were busy crying and wailing for her breasts from the confinements of the incubator. I was the villain that gave my mother the hardest time at birth. Then my relevant others were born later too, my three sisters who came after me and destroyed my right of being the last born. Yes, I love my sisters too.

But again unto this world we were not the only children of our parents. My elder sisters Carol and Dayo were there to brag about their little new kid brothers fresh in the block, and my elder brother Weni was a jovial lad happy to be having brothers for he had been the only son. I am told, it was a fine hour for my elder siblings when mom took us home at the Kaimosi Bible College. Yet, I realize, it was not yet the finest hour.

With care and love she brought us up and taught us all she could. I was the naughty stubborn little adventurous boy who was forever on the wrong side of mom’s unwritten rules at home. From pinching sugar and bullying my younger sisters born after my entrance to the world, my mother would teach me tolerance and humility. She was my first teacher and my sister Hiza became my second teacher. That is how mom introduced me to formal education at my finest childish hour.

Yet again that was not the finest hour. I grew up with my a million naughty escapades and boyish misdemeanor. I once broke cups and plates just to make mom angry when she whipped me. When called to shower we would scamper up an avocado tree where my elder sisters could not capture me, neither could they drag my brother down. From those branches we pelted them with the avocadoes if any were in sight. But slowly I learnt the art of personal hygiene and cleanliness. Tending to dogs at home and undertaking chores under the hawk eyes of my mother. And that was another step in towards the finest hour.

Being a bully and occasionally inviting the wrath of my fellow primary school boys, I would wait for my mother to emerge from the staffroom and pretend to be the good boy who wants to carry her bag. This would ensure I walked close to her on my way home and obstruct the angry intentions of my peers from avenging or revenging my misdeeds on them after school. Gladly, those were some of the fine hours of enjoying mom’s protection, but not yet the finest hour.

My mom would tell on me to my dad, and my dad would give me a few strokes of a cane a bit, shaping the good manners towards the making a fine gentleman. On this I must admit I kept on failing. Because I remember today I would tell a lie, tomorrow steal a coin from mom’s purse and later busy beating and bullying other village boys, keeping a wary eye mom asinishike. This game of cat and mouse made me learn a lot of things from my mother. In those incessant boyish wars with my mom and father I learnt the language of empathy, and the value of education.

And education is the beacon of the finest hour that my mother wanted me to time myself with. To move with ease around the world and treat all with some respect, on that I must admit I sometimes horribly fail. But I always try my best. She taught me the need to accept my limitations. And those are the hardest lessons in timing my movement to the finest hour. When I joined form one, slowly my dad and mother’s words and wisdom starting registering. But the rebellious me occasionally just said they were grown up who ought to mind their business, but yes, they were leading me to the finest hour of perseverance.

I must say many people do not know how broke my dad and mom were when I joined form one. I had wanted to join Lenana School, but I missed the cut off not by points but because my dad was sick at home, in his good days of health he would have gladly foraged a chance for me in the national schools. However, against my wish my mom explained to me, “son, Chavakali is a good school; you have got an admission letter so remember that is where you will go.”

I never objected. But I was sad. Angry that my dad was sick and the help I wanted was not forthcoming. My dad was broke and withering slowly towards his death. I remember he would tell me he wanted to be a pastor just like my grandfather whom I was named after. I understood my predicament, I was angry at my situation, but never was I angry at my mother. Never was I angry at my father. I made a vow; I must get to the university and make them proud. It was a vow that almost slipped through my fingers.

I cannot write everything about my four years in high school. But this is where my creative talent as a writer blossomed, My mother, a mere primary school teacher soon lost her husband, my father, when I was in form one. I remember I reported to form with no box, just a canvas bag that my elder sister used in campus. By day three that bag had been torn by a pen knife and everything stolen. I never went to tell my aunt, for fear that in the end mom would get stressed. Instead, my elder brother ‘pinched’ a few uniforms here and there and sorted me out.

I did my form four and passed well, but not so well if I could have seamlessly settled in school right from form one. I was so close to my father that when he died it took me so long to adjust to life without him. He was my best enemy when I was at my best levels of mischief. And he was my good mentor and friend when we were not ‘cat and mousing’ each other. With that loss, my mother continued a solo struggle of guiding me and my siblings to a better future, towards the finest hour.

When I joined Kenyatta University, I remember we had attended my sisters wedding in Kilifi and we left straight thereafter the wedding to Nairobi with my mother for my admission at Kenyatta University. I remember she took her leso, sat under a tree near the 844 complex and told me, “Si umekuja university, go register you will find me here.” Off I went. I came with a key to the room I had been allocated and asked her to come see it. She said “You have a room, now, I will not come back again to visit you here, I will come for your graduation. Don’t disappoint like your elder brother”

Those words keep ringing in my ear up to date. I must again mention my late friend Shibi, I told him about my mom’s statement and he said to me “Let’s work hard in class, enjoy life in Campus and make our parents proud.” I pray too, God rest Shibi’s soul in peace. It is Shibi who introduced me to Plato’s Republic, and and some great writings of philosophers. These books we read and tried to see, who would retain the most of what we read.

And that was the path to my finest hour as per the unpronounced wishes of my mother. It is here that I started to question, critique and argue. Then from the students I had the privilege of being a thespian. And that is how I met Maurice Amateshe. Later, the circle of friends widened, from Atika Manani to John Ochomo. From Jeff Rogers Wekesa to Fred Obat Ochieng’, Andedo, Amimo, Mbugua, Doreen, Evelyn Mugesani, Daniel Were, KC Joseph, Diana Orry, JP, Dr Hamisi Babusa, Henry Namai, and so many more…

Knowledge was acquired. As a student Kenyatta University allowed to join my lecturers for a drink at Jostem Pub and poke holes into their arguments. Many a time I was thoroughly clobbered and boxed with facts and reasons, and my intellectualism improved. That was the road to the finest hour my mother desired for me. When I went home I no longer blubbered aimless words but trudged on well considered arguments. My mom once told me “I can see, the university is shaping you up.” That was her finest comment to me

I graduated from the university and went into employment. But my mom desired that I pursue a master’s degree, and true to her word, it was my wish too, and that is when she paid my first year post-graduate school fees. I regret I joined Pwani University, I have wasted my time, and she has died without seeing me enroll in a PhD class. But in Pwani I met more friends, Lishenga, Dr Shiundu, Wachira Boneface, Prof Shauri… name them, they contributed in the making of finest hour

Then in my quest for a finer hour my mother dropped her bomb shell, when the misfortune of illness did not give a clue of her possible demise in March this year she once told me, she desires to see my child, and see me enroll for a PhD. That was her finest wishes for my finest hour. Her wishes will come, but on the peril of having been gone before she witnessed the two desires she yearned of me.

For my mother, education was the finest essence in life, for the finest moments in human existence, and more still, the finest embodiment of human quality.
Rest in Peace my mother. I promise to deliver the finest hours in line with her quest for my education, even though she is gone., the dream is valid

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The Abuse of the Sovereignty of a Nation and the Concept of the Rule by the People

Every other day I have been wondering about the concepts of ‘the sovereignty of a nation’ and ‘the sovereign will of a people’. I do not think the sovereign will of a people is ever actualized in the concept of the sovereignty of a nation in Kenya, except, may be, in 2002 general elections.

In my understanding of the concept sovereign, I lean towards the legal-online dictionary that has defined it as; “The supreme, absolute, and uncontrollable power by which an independent state is governed and from which all specific political powers are derived; the intentional independence of a state, combined with the right and power of regulating its internal affairs without foreign interference.”

Furthermore, I quote verbatim from the dictionary;
“When analyzed, sovereignty is naturally divided into three great powers; namely, the legislative, the executive, and the judiciary; the first is the power to make new laws, and to correct and repeal the old; the second is the power to execute the laws both at home and abroad; and the last is the power to apply the laws to particular facts; to judge the disputes which arise among the citizens, and to punish crimes.”

This brings to my layman’s understanding that as a Republic, the state has all the powers supreme and unlimited unto itself to determine how it will govern itself, its subjects and the way political powers are to be derived and applied, in the exercise of its own affairs internal or as may be. As a State, the Republic of Kenya, therefore has this sovereignty whose consequence is to use the Constitution to actualize her peoples’ own aspirations, in the derivation and exercise of political powers in self- governance of all matters Kenya or Kenyan. Not everybody can be an elected leader, universal suffrage helps us eliminate the ones we deem not appropriate our goals and aspirations.

It therefore follows that when one talks of the sovereign will of a people, it is about a social contract between how a people want to be governed by their elected representatives, for they constitute the elected leaders source of the political power, and the elected representatives, therefore, derive their authority to exercise political powers in governing of a country through the consent of the people, because the people have ‘willed that the elected officials’ act by the powers they confer unto them. However, this is sometimes a tragic fallacy that may fall short of political reality. To that end, I’m starting to see Kenya as an example.

What happens when an elected leader fools the election process, either on his own acts or not, or by the acts or not of the relevant Constitutionally mandated others, ascends to the throne of any leadership position, where by all facts and due observance of justice, does not deserve to have that mantle. Will his assumption of that political office, much as he may be correctly sworn in to that leadership position, be a true reflection of the will of the people?

There again lies my second dilemma, if it is not accordance with the simple rules of natural justice, will he be morally justified to seek redemption in the Sovereignty of a Nation when his leadership is not the Sovereign will of a people mandating him to rule?

So my questioning continues, will that leader be justified to tell the world, that in observance of Constitutional culture of adhering to it, that where the rules were flawed, and the Sovereign will of the people as enshrined in the Constitution is exercised by the Supreme Court and in its findings, based on its mandate as stipulated in the Supremeness of Katiba, annuls his election, is such a person justified to claim that “A bench of six judges, with only two dissenting elements, subverted the will of around 15 million Kenyans?” If you are of good moral fabric, and understand the law, the verdict is yours.

Each day, we believe that we are a sovereign nation, but the sovereignty of this nation is a piece of dogs smelly defecation in the true exercise of democratic rights, which are subverted by the very ungracious ways upon which we lack the power to enforce the true will of the majority. We have reached a point where executive power has entwined with Parliament’s buffoonery, rendering it an impotent source of election laws, that describe Jubilee’s open tendency to circumvent the judicial ruling, of why the presidential election was declared null and void due to the systemic errors in the transmission process.

One has to rule by the people through their consent. Jubilee is at pains to demonstrate this in a clear manner. Yet, they have an option even though improper. To demonstrate their political ‘acceptability’, the Jubilee Party has orchestrated a campaign in which doubts still exist as to the true expression of the will of the people.

Let us make reference to the mutilation of stringent election laws that were created to increase transparency. The checks and balances that were meant to safeguard electoral processes, so that the true will of the people is aptly documented and errors therein detected and interrogated, in the determination of the political will of the majority, has been tampered with by the new laws that are biased and create the impression that it favors Jubilee because of the time the Jubilee party has orchestrated for implementation. This is an unfortunate event in the country which may have disastrous long-term consequences.

Parliament has abated this ‘thugerism’ by rubber stamping the Executives will to normalize those anomalies through the due processes of Parliament, therefore abusing the Powers of Parliament checking the Executive excesses and overseeing its executive functions. Parliament has failed, because the Judiciary did its part, and pointed out the anomalies, but Parliament, through the tyranny of numbers of Jubilee, and the unfortunate toothless of NASA in its infamy of numbers, has executed Parliamentary coup to the Spirit and Letter of the 2010 Constitution, suppressing the voice of reason and auctioning transparency in our ever vile presidential elections

The ruling elite have constantly asserted that Kenya has a right to self –determination because she is a sovereign state. To that end I agree, but we must allow the correct process that leads to appointment of leaders, through the correct processes, be impartial and accountable with high sense of integrity. Through such a process, the outcome of the election process is likely to be deemed fair by a majority of Kenyans even if they are on the losing side of that election. In short the sovereign will of a people should not be subverted under the pretext of streamlining election laws.

I therefore caution the Kenya, not just in relation to Africa, but to the rest of the world, when people demonstrate and riot because of the political governance they are subjected to, it is because the will of the people more often than not has been trampled on. It is the reason why many Americans protested against Trump’s election. It is the very same reason that led us to the brink of rotting in 2007, and it is the same thing that can sow seeds of discord however successful the regime might be in suppressing the riots and dissenting voices, it reaches a point when trampling the sovereign will of a people, imposing leaders against that will even through domestic channels like Parliament, can lead to indeterminable depths of chaos in future.

Kenyans, open your minds, let us question ourselves. History will be a harsher judge to us in future than the Supreme Court. This court can never prevent us from the harsh judgments of our descendants, but the untold suffering we may potently brew for ourselves or them will never give a false ruling. The outcome of our silly adventurers of political mechanization will never stand the test of time when pursued to gratify the noisy few and disenfranchise the silent majority from enjoying the fruits of true democracy, either now or a century from tomorrow.

Remember Rwanda, the hunger for power and ethnic cleansing was ‘ethno-ego-centric’ in nature of unfair acquisition of power by tribes. That was, and is still is, a bitter lesson to the African continent and a harsh indictment of our fathers for their failure in preventing that genocide of 1994 from its root in the colonization policies of Africa in 1884. It’s signature copy is through the propagation of policies akin to Kenya’s infamous ‘uthamakism’

Take note, like in Rwanda, the explosion of 1994 was the consequence of two or three generation’s failure to act responsibly in handling socio-economic and political power struggles over a long period.

Mania or Phobia, Jubilee are messing their own campaigns

I do not understand why Raila phobia is still a strong factor for Central Kenya decisions in voting. If I may speculate, there may be a clique of Central Kenyan politicians who may have amassed wealth through some very dubious means and are afraid that the ascension of Raila to State House will spell doom to their ‘economic’ boom tenderpreneurship through looting and thuggery of public property and resources will come to an end. I do not understand why some wanjiku level voters are worried that if Raila loses will he concede defeat?

Let me go the other way round. Why should a Luo or Luhya voter be worried that if Uhuru loses will he concede defeat? The answer lies in the way we have built our democratic institutions in the country. A flawed election process that sees either camp lose will not augur well with the opposing camp. So that brings me to my question, which of the two camps has prepared their followers to accept defeat if fairly beaten? How are the camps prepared to handle unfair defeat and stick by court rulings even if it is unpalatable to them?

Therein is my speculation. Uhuru’s camp that has its origin in 2007 debacles or fiascos of election has never tasted defeat. The Mt Kenya region leaders have built a wrong mentality in a number of their followers that any win that does not see ‘one of their own’ at state house simply means the devil has perched there. This may be denying Kenya as a nation the desired leaders who can bring sweeping and meaningful reforms in all the social, economic, cultural and political institutions of the land.

Secondly, it limits the Mt Kenya voters a chance to positively identify, critique or even criticize leadership ideologies in their own backyard leading to redundancy in democratic development in that region. In Western Kenya such ability to look outside the box made Mudavadi a loser in his own backyard of Vihiga Sub County in 2013 elections. Has this ever happened in Central Kenya? Historians will fill me on that, hopefully people like Dr “Baghdad of Kenyatta University will be more than willing to research and fill in the gap

The Raila phobia in Central Kenya in my own view is a demonstration of leadership change apathy, inadvertently created by the political shenanigans in that region, that seeks to demonize Raila and Christianize Uhuru. Unfortunately this tactic, in my view seems to be backfiring in other parts of the country. The communities at the coast view Raila as the messiah they are waiting to deliver them from the manacles of exclusivist nature of the current government. The people of Western Kenya seek to redeem themselves from the perceived neglect of key economic concerns in the region such as Pan Paper Mills and Mumias Sugar Company.

Nyanza definitely has a feeling of alienation from any meaningful development plans orchestrated by previous government regimes. So let us face it, each region in Kenya has complains that warrant Jubilee to carefully revisit their message. From Ukambani to Meru, Maasai to Kisii, Teso to Somalis, they all have issues with Jubilee grand scheme of sugar coating corruption, nepotism, tribalism amongst many other issues. When Raila was busy exposing grand corruption after another, Uhuruto slept on the job and gave him the impetus to become a colossal opposition figure in the country, because each claim he made of grand corruption came to pass. The question I ask why cant he be prosecuted for peddling rumors of grand corruption?

Furtherance to the above, Raila has not been in the government since the retirement of Mwai Kibaki. Uhuru has made some serious claims such as Raila being behind Westgate Attack, that he is the one running underground cartels that drain this country’s economic resources to the dogs. The question that begs an answer is, being the incumbent president, with all the powers vested to his office, what has he done to punish this rogue opposition leader? The answer is “mnataka nifanye nini?.” In my view, that was not a serious president. He has the control of NIS that can unearth evidence and send this “Raila thug” fellow behind the bars for eternity depending on the evidence.

When I listen to people like Moses Kuria talking, he only appeals to hardcore central Kenya voters but ends up making many voters in other parts of the country shy away from Uhuru. Claims that the opposition is only out to undermine the central government is a big joke. I was not surprised that when he was in a road campaign caravan in Cheptulu market, he was booed and told to shut down. It was pity to witness Bahati trying to appeal to the crown to listen to his song and the crowd demanded that they play “Raila tibim!” simply because Kuria was spotted and they didn’t want to hear lies about Raila.

It is intriguing to witness politicians (some even from NASA) fail to take an objective stand and instead engage Jubilee affiliated politicians in this mediocrity. I was appalled by the obvious blatant lies that emanated from Isaac Mwaura in one of KTN’s talk shows “Morning Express” recently, one could not miss the viciousness of Milly Adhiambo’s response to Mwaura. That is how politicians have built an impenetrable wall around their supporters thinking that blurs them from objectively analyzing issues. So Jubilee should blame itself for the mess it has found itself all over the country.

And this is my warning, Jubilee should stop pretending that it enjoys big support in many of the key swing counties. That may be a delusion to rigging. NASA should follow suit, and assure Kenyans of the same. But so far, many of their politicians try to stick to the topic at hand during talk shows, but for Jubilee, when cornered they start the Raila Squared mathematical song that has no answer. Pull up your socks from that mediocrity in advancing your agenda Jubilee. For NASA politicians who are following this trend please stop it, and abhor that with great vengeance.

Dubious Independent Candidates: Kenya in August 8th 2017

Politics can be a game of silent killers. In Kenya, there is a new breed of politicians coming to the fore due to the nature of the new Katiba. They are called the independent candidates. I guess you are familiar with the rule that if one finds that the philosophies of a given party are not palatable to their ideologies, then they can opt out joining the parties and run for elective posts as independent candidates.

It is now incumbent upon my mind that independent candidates are a mysterious bunch of political hang-coats (but not all of them). The term independent candidate in my mind conjures an image of a person who is not affiliated to any political party in terms of membership, association, or ideology. That is just a rough shod definition, but suffice is to say, independent candidates should not be backed by any political party machinery neither should they align themselves to any in whatever manner.

The description above is for the pure independent candidates who considered running for elective posts long before the 90 day window period of registering as one lapsed. These are the men and women who looked at the elections, let me say six months before the elections, and decided that the vile ideologies of NASA and Jubilee parties were not in tandem with their principles and beliefs in exercising their political freedom.

This are the gentlemen and ladies who subdued the very desire to be affiliated to any political fraternity masquerading as political parties out to sale their agendas to the populace in return for a promise of a vote.

And that is where the story ends with the original independent candidates.

The rest emerged after the political party primaries were concluded. They were the victims of the electorate irked to do away with their manifestos and bludgeoning promises of a harvest of goody goodies in case they get elected or for incumbents, what they have so far failed miserably to deliver. Among this group are those by all means so fair ethically and morally could not carry the day for them.

After the party primaries, having been so gracefully rejected, they conspired with the loopholes of the law and saw another option that seemed lucrative for them. The lure of independent candidacy… Within this group, they proclaim to the mountains and the voters that they were unfairly rigged out but will support the either Uhuru Mugai Kenyatta or Raila Amollo Odinga.

Seriously, do you call this bunch of political nomads independent candidates? Stock within this warehouse includes the names of William Kabogo and Achillo Ayacko. These were Jubilee and NASA failures in their party primaries en mass, the rejected lot whose manifestos were invalidated at the party primaries. There is no way this two can certify the general rule and loose defining terms of independent candidates.

They are the hang-coats who are assured that by supporting the political supremos who command the fortunes of votes in their political storms, they stand a chance opf redemption at the ballot casting scheduled for August 8th of this year. How then will someone convince me that they are non-partisan politicians who are out to redeem themselves as independent candidates with their obvious non-partisan politics?

The third bunches of independent candidates are the spoilers. They are operating on someone else budget and hence stand to lose nothing. If anything they have everything to gain. Their masters may have sensed a rough time in the coming turbulent political storms brewing towards the coastline of August. Knowing too well that sheltered enclaves are so few, they secure the services of independent candidates to they can claim some crumbs or chunks of bread from their opponent’s strongholds.

I may not have the facts but they are the ones who may have been bought to stand as presidential candidates from Western Kenya to scuttle the Luhya votes in favor of Jubilee, another one is from Embu who is running as a presidential candidate, may be at the behest of NASA to the detriment of Jubilee.

The last bunches of independent candidates are the idiots. This single group of the independent candidates is aware they have no fortunes at all in their candidacy. I consider Phillip Murgor as one of them had he not shelved his plans to run as a presidential candidate. They know too well lady fortune will not smile at them, they have no political mechanization and they are greenhorns in the dirty political games in which they are foraying.

Promise Me Hell and Deliver Me to Heaven NASA.

My supposition is that there are a lot of other Kenyans who have a mind like mine to matters politics in Kenya. When in 2012 team Uhuruto promised a bountiful of heavenly goodies to the Kenya electorate to the chagrin of the truth. The lies were taken at face value but had no meaning at all in the face of reality.

Fast track to the current moment. This team Jubilee has been in office for four good years, they have delivered something, one cannot say nothing, for the mere fact the country in intact is something. But what else?

I want NASA to promise me hell, that it will not be business of development anymore, that is a language I don’t fancy because it is meaningless when corruption is systemic and endemic in our collective thinking and national culture. I want a promise where I will be denied employment on account of meritocracy and not nepotism. I want a promise that will see me toil to earn a position because I deserve and not because I have a tall brother in the system. That is the promise I want from NASA.

I desire to be comforted that my child’s future is secured by the goodwill of today and not the greed of the jungle masters. This country must advance on the basis of prudent borrowing and not to please the masses with mega white elephant projects but construction of a village dam that actually conserves water. In the daily struggles of my life, I desire “not to own the future but to borrow the present” from my future grandchildren. I voice the concern that we must conserve our resources for posterity and not simply because we yearn for today’s vote.

Dear fellow Kenyans, we must have a dream to end corruption and not to entrench it further by saying graft is a norm that can never be eradicated. With that, we must stop “embezzlement of public resources for our own private embellishment” which is the promise I yearn from NASA. I don’t want a promise of devolving resources under the banner of devolution but devolve power to the devolved units and help them resolve corruption issues with speed and ease. Do not promise me to arrest the corrupt but keep quite and let me see the big lions of corruption land in jail together with the small cats that work for them. That is the promise I want NASA

I want to see a leadership of respect to authority of government systems and not those who trample on it. I want to see a government where decisions made by you will be not be challenged for their constitutionality every now and then as you seek to bend the supremacy and the spirit of the constitution to suit your needs. I want to believe that once in power the rule of law shall be upheld and aspect of constitutionalism propagated. That is the promise I want.

Do not promise salary rises every labor day, no, in fact promise no salary increment but deliver to me a lowered cost of living, that will be a better promise. Promise me that I will get lower wages as you seek to attract more investors so that more can get job opportunities and not a million jobs every year when less than 3 million Kenyans remain employed in all the last four years. Please do not promise me heaven, if you do that, I will rather vote Jubilee because they have the heaven they promised but no astronauts to collect the goody goodies. Promise me hell and a better future, that is the promise I want.

NASA if you promise me heaven, then let me vote Jubilee. Promise the reality of tough times but a secured future in the long term. Copy Winston Churchill, former British PM during the 2nd World War, he promised the British people “Blood, Sweat and Toil” as the price of their liberation from German blitzkrieg, and the promise was delivered with the end of 2nd WW.That is the promise I want, a promise tough measures and no immediate gains but securing a better future. That is a promise I want, and an honest word from you, NASA, that you will change the fortunes of Kenya for the better

The open secret: Jomo Kenyatta and birth of ethnic activism in support of systemic corruption in Kenya

A nation that was brought forth as a Republic in 1964 stands in the pits of high debts both internally and internationally. That country is now in the perils, where the masses have been duped that grand development is in the making only for scandals to encumber the so called grand projects. Yet , the silent hand of tribalism spews hatred unrelentingly

My disputation is aimed at the common man. Overtime I witness the supporters of Uhuru and Ruto squabble in giving the loudest praises for the ‘impeccable’ development records the two rookies have bestowed to Kenya. I fail to comprehend how a misfiring promise of one million jobs per year yielding to exportation of jobs can attract grand admiration. I’m perturbed by the liethat foreign direct investment in Kenya is increasing when in reality multinational corporations are relocating from Nairobi
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When will Kenyans overcome their tribal egos and look beyond ethnic boundaries in securing good governance and leadership reflecting the spirit of the Constitution? When challenged to face the reality about our choices, we are the experts of equivocating, both the supporters of the two prodigal leaders in power and that swam that seeks redemption in the Opposition.

At this juncture I want to commend two people.

First I give credit to David Ndii for his persuasion that his fellow tribesman Uhuru is leading Kenya’s economy in the wrong direction and opines the current outfit of NASA can turn things around. Same to S.K Macharia for standing his ground that Uhuru did not win the last elections even though they are both great grandsons of Mumbi.

On equal measure I credit Raphael Tuju for breaking ranks with his tribal kingpin and charting his political destiny. But for him, while he supports Jubilee, I do not know if it’s out of conviction in the principles of ‘honest’ ideology guiding Jubilee, or if it is to partake in kula nyama asimeze mate. I have exponential distrust of that kula nyama ideology to the level that I cast aspersions on it.

Now let me move to the hoards of political flower-bee-followers at the rural level. These are people who have decided to throw away the magnificent power of reasoning and seeing things different from their established tribal perspectives. I get appalled when in Luo Nyanza villagers treat Agwambo as a demigod and say he can’t be wrong. Well, I know it’s because of his continued exposes of mega corruption scandals after another, and on the threat of being sued, he stands firm and is vindicated when the scandals are substantially proved.

Kalenjin land I see some blind following of scions of Kanu on two fronts. One is the last son of Toroitich and the other his political progeny who has gone awry, Samoei. This conglomerating together because of their tribal identity other than merit to national cause is being challenged by a rebel in the name of Isaac Rutto. He is my other hero, challenging and questioning in seeking the truth over and above tribal allegiances.

And so have the Luhyas taken the cue. For a long time the Luhyas have been the swing block. Voting based on whom they deem right. But on considerations ethno-centred nepotism has made them elect Mudavadi as their spokesman, and forced the marriage of Wetangula and Mudavadi to happen. Whoever quits NASA the wrath of the community is theirs to own. This concept of tribalism and our turn to eat, or “When I have a cow the first people to milk it are my people” and now epitomized by “Tunakula nyama hao wanameza mate” is so repulsive, counterproductive and detrimental to country’s socio-economic development. Where is the genesis of all this crap that is fragmenting our country and propagating corruption while the common man cheers on and defends even the vile corrupt of the “corruptiest” in the country because of “my tribe” factor?

I look at the backyard of Uhuru’s den of supporters. Some, not all, wallow in the ideology that the leadership of the country is theirs by right because of the infamous Uthamaki Oath administered to their grandfathers and fathers to support the late Jomo Kenyatta, pioneer and father of ethnicity in Kenya. As new revelations come to the fore, I dare Kenyans to challenge me, to give me evidence of Jomo Kenyatta’s conviction to building a country of prosperity and cohesiveness?

Over time my admiration of Jomo Kenyatta has crystallized to loathing because of the political decisions he made as the first president of Kenya. I disqualify him from the prestige of Founding Father. The new generation of young Kikuyus no longer live by the fear of the late Odinga, nor do they care about the current Odinga. Just like all the new generations of Kenyans, they care about whattsapp and facebook, instagram and twitter than to be bothered by the current political mechanizations.

This is the new tribe again of the common Mwananchi that must be gently nudged to open their eyes and take stock of the political matters with serious considerations because political affairs rarely are a happenstance. The prevailing political environment’s outcome can have long lasting effects on their future like the effects of Uthamaki Oath.

I wish this political nonsense of pillaring our political decisions on the misfortune of tribalism ceases forever. Julius Nyerere set Tanzanians on the path of cohesiveness in Ujamaa. The economic aspect failed, but the socio-political and cultural unity succeeded. Tanzanians do not consider tribe in their political matters. Nelson Mandela, anti-apartheid icon, came out of prison and gave an olive branch to his persecutors, otherwise, may be Zimbabwe would have remained a shadow in how racial intolerance veiled in economic retribution can damage a country. My conclusion, Jomo Kenyatta was the dividing-founding Father of Kenya; his son is a mere inadvertent beneficiary of Uthamaki Oaths.

Nexus of Mediocrity in Leadership and the Governance in Kenya- The Inept Mr. President

Approximately 45 months ago, as a nation, we brought in a new class of tumbocrats to the echelons of power in Kenya. They held the promise of kusema na kutender and flagged their development agenda on a high flying start.

Meritocracy was a language the two boys had promised tooth over nail to deliver, and to shun ethnic-inclined policies and tribal jingoism, in addition to executing nepotisms from the mantra of Kenyan policies and national ideologies. 45 months down the lane, they remain the very pinnacles of the Jubilee establishment that lends no goodwill to the sober political inclusivistic nationalism that was enshrined in the New Constitution.

The notion of patriotic Kenyans has been mapped into two distinct groups that show that tribal hegemony still holds sway in Kenyan politics. For clarity and disambiguation my insinuation of the two boys and their parliamentary choir master means Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta, William Samoei Ruto and one funny Aden Duale. This three have become the masters of chronic inaction by the executive arm of the government and its tyranny of numbers in Parliament to propagate and sustain a meaningful war on corruption, tribalism, ujingaism, upumbavucrasy and a host of other vices that undermine the true spirit of the Kenyan Constitution.

It is with regret that they have managed to entrench voter apathy to people who see the exercise of democratic elections as a futile attempt towards bringing meaningful change. The divergence of voter apathy in areas pro-opposition zones from voting was a good attempt at locking their fervent supporters to the ballot and disenfranchising their fanatical opponents from the very same destiny. The Two Boys and One Parrot had a strange belief that the entrapment of the ICC was their silver bullet to State House again.

They had the chance to go ballistic with nationalistic agenda that could have endeared them to the masses regardless of their political divide after 2013 election debacle, also made a farce by the Supreme Court arbitration of the election dispute. The ICC holds no sway anymore, and the agenda of the next election should be steered away from such topical maladies in our political thoughts as citizens of this country. Instead the boys and the parrot should recline themselves to policy evaluations and align themselves to political changes that may or may not favour them.

These boys and their parrot must rally to convince Kenyans that they are no longer swimming with the ghost of ICC after-tastes but completely focused to a new ideological dispensation that is all inclusive to all Kenyans. They must demonstrate that it is never too late to design a new approach in a storm, must prove that their versatility is not about preservation of the old status quo, because agreeing the status quo is an express approval of a constant slide into the abyss of socio-economic doom and economic turmoil as a country.

What Kenyans need now is not a shouting match of who knows how to head bash his political opponents, or the constant shouting of how their political nemesis Tinga is responsible for all corrupt acts in Kenya when they are in the very seat of power unto which they can direct relevant organs to get the truth. Blaming Raila for your failures Mr. President, is an implied approval that Raila is in control of what you have failed to do with all the powers conferred to you by the Constitution.

At this juncture the question that begs an answer is why again vie for another term when being the incumbent you already threw in the towel against the war on corruption? “Mnataka nifanye nini?” was the most nonsensical question ever posed by Kenyan’s incumbent president. On the other side Kenyans should stop fooling themselves that the president is not bad, that it is the power barons who surround him. Hell forbid and heaven forgive them if they do not know what they are doing. Birds of the same feathers flock together, the president’s pools of advisors, and his kitchen cabinet, are his focal points of judgement and important decision-making ventures he has to undertake. If he listens to them without reference to any other checks and balances, then he must shoulder the blame.

In a multi-party democracy the opposition will always plan how to oust the incumbent regime using the power of the voter, and that is by itself the promise of accountability. For any democracy to be effective, issues of loyalty and honesty to a political cause are paramount, but not based on tribal tags and whimsical buccaneering. Kenyans as voting-empowered citizens should be able to look beyond their tribal orientation and project free and authoritative independent minds in the political decisions they make.

The slogan “We must have one of our own to eat the national cake” is an utterly horrendous act intent to ‘stupidify’ unification of 42 tribes into a single national fabric called Kenya. So Mr. President, clean up your acts and start treating your opponents with decorum and dignity. More Kenyans are disdained by the unrelenting verbal tirades being traded by both sides of the political divide.

8 months in the political arena is too long a period. The opposition should not celebrate even an iota with the coveted NASA; Africans have a history that favours incumbents from inches to light-years in resources, sleazy treachery, time and distance. Yaya Jahmme of Gambia has a story tell, Kibaki played part in solidifying that element in African history, and Museveni propagates it with political brutality, not forgetting Mugabe and Kigame. So Mr President, have you lost the war on corruption, tribalism and divisive political mechanization to use this underhand tactics to avoid being a first-term president?

Excerpt from my novel “Blood After Sunrise”

Battered and torn, abused and shaken the women finally made it to the train, the only refuge in the wilderness of molestation that had engulfed the slum in the aftermath of the election results and the violence. They boarded the train to safety.

The train started moving.

Shami realized she was overstaying in the wagon and made for the door. She saw Venn running towards the bushes, and Collo, the man who had sexually assaulted her several times, was running after Venn. He caught up with her as she got to the bushes along the railway.

Venn was pleading for mercy. She was shaking her head in denial to his line of interrogation. Venn was courageous. She was refusing to give details of their whereabouts in the face of her impending death. As the train started to descend the other side of the hill she could make out the distinct shape of the dreaded Enemy Sweeper as he raised a machete high. She covered her eyes, but the image of her friend raising her hands into the air in anticipation of the lethal blow will forever be etched in her memory. She heard the last scream of her friend pierce the quiet night.

She withdrew back into the wagon.

“It seems we will have a long ride to nowhere. In one night I have lost two of my best friends.” She was trying in vain to hold back her tears, but the tremors and the shaking hands betrayed her efforts of concealing her agony. “Do you have a place along the towns the train will pass where we can find someone to accommodate us?”

“I don’t know anyone.”

“Don’t let what happened to you make you refuse to walk on in life.” Shami tried consoling her amid her sobs. “I have been through it too.”

Jenny was sobbing and she asked innocently, “Were you a virgin today in the morning?”

Shami looked aside. She tried speaking, and at first she didn’t know how to answer the question. “No, I lost it years ago to my teenage sweetheart. He got me pregnant, denied responsibility, and disappeared from the face of the earth.”

Jenny was deathly quiet for some time, and then she opened her mouth, almost in a whisper that was creeping in from the confines of the dungeons where she was reliving her torment, her loss, where her esteem had been shattered to pieces. Her worth as a woman had been cruelly robbed, and now what remained was a blemish in her life. For her it was a contamination that was not of her own making. She spoke in a voice that was not hers, a voice that had been scorched by cruelty to near-collapse in a desperate bid to pass its message. “The men who killed my father did this to me. I have tasted the cruelty of men, and I have tasted the bitterness of losing my chastity in this way. You had the choice to lose it the way you did, I will never ever have that choice…”

Two heartbroken souls, lost in the darkness of the moving wagon were embraced in pain and crushed from so much of life’s fortune that had been robbed from them in a span of hours in a single day. From the loss of friends to a permanent blotching of chastity, the emotional wounds would take a long time to heal.

The two women had no words to express their poignant agony aptly. The darkness was the symbol of the black blanket of grieving that life had bestowed to them on that night. Simply holding on to each other and hearing their own depressing sobs was a potent way of sharing their mournful tales, yet in silence and only by themselves, in the safety of the moving wagon.

The physical pain that the women felt was nothing compared to the inner suffering. The hurt in their souls, the train of thoughts in their minds, and the damage done to their bodies was a manifestation of the cruel side of life. They had been punished because of their tribe. For Shami it also reminded her of the agony of the wasted life of Shakia.

The train rumbled on, and its soft rocking and gentle rumbling soon lulled Jenny to sleep. Shami walked to the door and slid it closed. She then opened one of the wagon windows. Outside the full moon was shining bright occasionally when the cloud cover gave way. Far down to the left the Great Valley could be seen.

KENYA, ETHIOPIA, AMISOM AND AL-SHABAAB: WHY RAILA IS WRONG.

Introduction

Mohamed Said Barre ascended to the Presidency of Somalia in 1969 through a coup nine years after Somalia gained Independence from her colonial powers [1]. The current state of insecurity was occasioned by his inability to develop a national philosophy that was to anchor the unity of a nation over and above clanism, nepotism, corruption, and despotic dictatorship. These issues led to the formation of the Islamic Union in 1983 [2], which is considered the progeny of Islamic fundamentalism in Somalia. In the 1990s Farah Aideed and other clan warlords managed to oust him and force him into exile. Unfortunately for Aideed, clanism was too entrenched that neither he nor other warlords could unite the Somali people under one national banner after the demise of Barre’s presidency.

Brief History of Al-Shabaab

Al-Shabaab is an off-shoot of two groups whose ideologies have either undergone a metamorphosis or have been adapted from international Jihadist organizations. From the onset at around 1983 the formation of the Islamic Union was composed of young men who had been studying or working in the Middle East. The Islamic Union at this point of time was supported by funding from Saudi-based NGOs that influenced the group’s perception that political Islam was the tool that could be used to dislodge the country from corrupt governance. The group had two main objectives, to remove Said Barre from power and unify Somalis by enjoining Ethiopia’s Ogaden region and Kenya’s North Eastern Province with Somalia[3]. This is the basis of the Shifta sentiments in North Eastern Kenya during the 1980s-90s.

The subject of political Islam was not highly regarded as good by a majority of Somalis who remained suspicious of it and resorted to clans as a source of protection. This explains why clanism in Somali is deeply entrenched. However, the Islamic Union consolidated the town of Luuq and administered strict Sharia their making the region have higher security standards than other areas in Somali. The proximity of Luuq to Ethiopia and Kenya, considering the IU vision of annexing NEP in Kenya and Ogaden region in Ethiopia only fuelled Ethiopia’s anxiety of the IU. This led to Ethiopia’s invasion and terminated IU from the town but did not culminate to a total defeat of the IU, which underwent a transformation and re-emerged as the Islamic Court Union that sought to apply strict Sharia in the restoration of Somalia.

By 2006, the ideology of the group had changed as they sought to align ICU with global Jihadism and affiliate itself with Al-Qaeda [4]. It is at this point that Somalia was opened to a wave of foreign jihadists from all over the world, some of them battle hardened from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Chechnya, Iraq and other Middle East countries joined ICU to bolster its fighting capacity. They improved their guerrilla warfare and fighting techniques [5]. ICU attempted to overrun Baidoa the then stronghold of the Federal Transition Government in late 2006. Ethiopia responded with immense military force supported by the US army.  The Ethiopian response restored Baidoa to the Federal Transition Government, but in the aftermath an insurgency against the FTG and the Ethiopian invasion led to the rise of Mujahedeen Youth Movement from the ashes of the ICU.

The Long-Term Vision of the Al-Shabaab

The Al-Shabaab has equated the AMISON mission as a Christian attack on the Muslims of Somalia. This provides two reasons for justifying their Jihadist wars and terrorist acts against Kenya. First, the Al-Shabaab are using the propaganda that Kenya is headed by a Christian president and the KDF incursion into Somalia and later inclusion into AMISOM as an attempt by Christians to subdue Somalis and water down the quality of Islamic way of life which they regard as pure and prescribed by God. Secondly, as a progeny of the Islamic Union which sought to build a Greater Somali through the unification of the Ogaden region in Ethiopia and Kenya’s North Eastern Province, they validate their nationalism by arguing that the Ethiopian and Kenyan invasion of Somali needs to be repulsed, and later these two regions forcibly annexed to Somalia.

By mixing the two elements, the Al-Shabaab seeks to justify the terrorist acts they perpetuate against Kenya as Jihad. It should be noted that top leadership in Al-Shabaab has sought allegiance and support from Al-Qaeda and have got an endorsement from the late Osama bin Laden himself.  Al-Shabaab seeks to expand the theme of Greater Somalia by subjecting itself to the global Jihadist goal of establishing an Islamic Khilaafah (Caliphate) in all parts of the world. It is here that the Ethiopian and Kenyan efforts to bolster the AMISOM must not come to a cessation.

Sheikh Ali Muhammad Hussein one of the Al-Shabaab leaders has been quoted as having stated the continuation of jihad beyond Somalia is a religious obligation in defence of Islam. In 2009 he advocated the idea that despite the withdrawal of Ethiopian troops from Mogadishu, the mujahideen had a sacred duty to pursue the enemy to where he still remains. He justifies this by stating that that will be an act in compliance with the command of God and more traps will be laid for the enemy. Suffice is to say, he did not foresee the end of Jihad with the withdrawal of Ethiopian troops because insofar as Islam was concerned, Jihad will continue until doomsday [6].

The top Al-Shabaab leadership has openly subscribed to pursue global Jihadist agenda through direct overtures to Al-Qaeda. Before his demise Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan formally reached to the top echelons of AL-Qaeda to which Al-Qaeda pledged to support Al-Shabaab. One of Al-Qaeda’s top leaders in 2009 Ayman al-Zawahiri appealed to all Muslims in the Muslim world to rise up to aid their Muslim brothers in Somalia

Reasons Why KDF cannot be withdrawn from Somalia

I get appalled by Raila Amolo Odinga when he claims that security in Kenya will improve with the withdrawal of KDF from Somalia. If this is part of his political mechanization of surviving with the nine lives of a cat, then so be it. However, his persuasion that by withdrawing from Somali we shall not lose our face as a nation is logical stupidity. One, as nation, insecurity is the shame that we have on our collective face as a nation. With the brief I have given earlier, it remains to be seen that withdrawal from Somali will open a new frontier for the Al-Shabaab militia who have made manifest their intention to ‘liberate’ Somali from ‘foreign invasion’ led by Kenya and initially orchestrated by the Ethiopians.

So, while Raila is busy asking for a pullout of KDF from Somali, he must be reminded that Al-Shabaab recognized Osama bin Laden as their spiritual leader. Bin Laden never approved the Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed becoming the president of the TFG of Somalia, because he (Sharif) “agreed to partner infidel positive law with Islamic Shari’a to set up a government of national Unity” and in that process apostatized from Islam. This is the doctrine of the Al-Shabaab, if AMISOM withdraws from Somali, this perception will definitely make it impossible to have regional stability in Eastern Africa.

This is because the Al-Shabaab leadership does not in any way seem to be able to reconcile their doctrines of non-cooperation with non Muslim leaders and furthermore, those whom they deem violating that principle. It doesn’t matter that their target is the USA, whom they perceive as the oppressors of Islam. Since they have no way of hitting the USA terribly with terrorist attacks to their desired ultimate satisfaction that will pacify their anger, they have turned the chapter by misplaced aggression, attacking Christians as a replacement.

I therefore seek again to fault Raila, at no point in history has the American nation engaged a faceless enemy within their own borders and who have infested a neighbouring country, say, Canada. Ethiopia and Kenya share common international boundaries with the lawless Somali. USA does not. In the political power struggles within Somali political supremacy has left the country fragmented and exposed to easy infiltrations by international Jihadists who have used Somali as a safe haven for their operation. Thus, to say that withdrawal will save us the shame of defeat is to cover the defecation with icing sugar. Withdrawal is not only futile, but a motivation for the radicalized Al-Shabaab to perpetuate more terror on Kenya until doomsday, based on Osama’s instructions to the Al-Qaeda affiliated Jihadists.

Raila justifies the American withdrawal from Somali two decades ago and tries to use the same logic for Kenya to withdraw, he intentionally overlooks the nature of the engagements for the two countries. The American attempted to restore order in Somalia, when they failed; they had nothing to lose by withdrawing. Kenya has everything to lose. Security. Raila cited Vietnam, but again that was a fallacy in my view. In Afghanistan and Iraq the withdrawal of the US army did not provide much impetus at re-unifying these failed States. Instead, more radical groups emerged, and the worst being the ISIS, even not as a direct involvement of USA due to the Arab Revolts that begun in Tunisia. Their vision to build an Islamic caliphate from the ruins of Iraq and Syria has left many more people prone to greater insecurity than ever before. The Americans should have paid their price by ensuring they have developed effective governance systems before they evacuated their soldiers. That would have taken quite a number of years. If I may make an approximation, let me say 25 years on the minimum.

The reason why the withdrawal of KDF and AMISOM will be disastrous is based on the pronunciations earlier made by Osama bin Laden about apostatizing Islam in the way he alluded of Sheikh Ahmed Sharif, former president of the TFG of Somali. Look at this threat where every Somali leader who tries to seek cordial relationship with neighbouring countries will be branded a traitor to the Muslim faith by the Al-Shabaab, there will be no room for peaceful negotiations. The ingredient for peace, cooperation will be an extinct commodity. In already stating that any cooperation with non-Islamic nations and cooperation with non-Muslims is a matter of apostatizing Islam, then Kenya with her religious diversity must not seek to withdraw from Somali until Somali is stabilized.

But history has other lessons, when engaging in pacifying ideologies through military warfare; you must do it to completion. Take a look at North Korea and South Korea, failure for either State to reconcile their ideologies with the other has meant that they are doomed to be in conflict for a very long time in the foreseeable future. The ideologies of Al-Shabaab are not reconcilable in any way to the ideologies of Kenya as a nation that seeks to have people enjoy their liberties without any hindrance, insofar as they do not do so in contradiction to the Constitution. Al-Shabaab seeks to propagate the global Jihadist terrorism ideology, which is in contradiction to the Constitution of Kenya and the collective will of the people of Kenya as a nation. It should be noted that even the same terrorist groups that seek to preserve Islam have been questioned by Muslim faithful over the atrocities they commit in the name of religion. ISIS for example, has committed terrible acts of human rights violations to fellow Muslims even killing some of its own members who seek to question their methods of operations.

This are the kind of people Raila wants to dialogue with, pacifying their egos by withdrawing from Somali. These are religious fanatics who lost sense of humanity. They are real bandits whom Raila advocates that we provide them an inch to move closer and terrorize more Kenyans. Raila, on this one you are wrong, the kind of reasoning which shows you are simply being populist in the pursuit of State House in 2017. Let me beg to differ with you on this. If elected as C-in-C, will you be afraid to send soldiers to the battlefield because the a few of them will die and save the nation or will you keep them safe within the barracks while the country is overrun by foreign terrorists?

Stop wasting time thinking you will engage with Al-Shabaab and reach an agreement they stop harassing, maiming and killing innocent Kenyans. Do not even purport that by withdrawing from Somali they will reciprocate by leaving Kenyans alone. By the way, Garrissa University massacre will be a pale shadow if we withdraw KDF from Somali in future.

[1] Michael Walls, “State Formation in Somaliland: Building Peace from Civil War” (2008 International Peace Research Conference, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium: Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, 2008), 10.

[2] Ken Menkhaus, Somalia: State Collapse and the Threat of Terrorism (London & New York: Routledge, 2004).

[3] A.M Abdullahi, “Perspectives on the State Collapse in Somalia,” in Abdullahi A. Osman & Issaka K. Souaré (eds) Somalia at the Crossroads: Challenges and Perspectives on Reconstituting a Failed State (London: Adonis and Abbey Publishers, Ltd, 2007).

[4] Peter Dörrie, “Al-Shabab: A Close Look at East Africa’s Deadliest Radicals,” August 19, 2014, http://www.worldpoliticsreview.com/articles/14005/al-shabab-a-close-look-at-east-africas-deadliest-radicals.

[5] B Schiemsky, Report of the Monitoring Group on Somalia Pursuant to Security Council Resolution 1676 (New York: U.N. Security Council Committee, 2008).

[6] “Somalia: Al-Shabaab Official Equates AU Peacekeepers with Ethiopian Troops” (Kataaib.net, January 17, 2009).

Upombe wa Chuka

Awareness Alcoholic Drinks Control Act

According to the research findings on average 94% of the respondents are aware of the existence of the Alcoholic Drinks Control Act. 98% of the respondents who are aware of the act refer to it as the Mututho Laws. Teachers in rural areas of Chuka exhibited the highest rates of awareness at 96%, Peasant farmers 92%, Traders 95%, and casual laborers at 93%, others 94%. These findings indicate that many of the rural people in Chuka have an idea about the existence of the act and are aware that it is in force. The awareness rate of the Act is very high to the extent that the residents of Chuka actually refer to the act as Mututho laws. Implication of this finding is that the residents may not be accurate in their knowledge of the legislation but the fact that it is in existence and they are privy to that goes a long way in making the foundation of the law be operational to achieve its intentions in control and management of alcoholic consumption.

Respondents Grasp of the Content of the Act

All the 94% respondents who demonstrated that they have knowledge of the existence of the act did not show any concrete indication of having fully grasped the content of the Act. They were aware that the law was aimed at controlling alcohol use in the society but they are not privy to the contents of the Act. For peasant farmers, 55% indicated they had an idea about the content, but only 14% of peasant farmers interviewed showed adequate knowledge about the content of the act.  Traders and merchants were 64% who had a general overview of the content but only 48% were sufficiently privy to the content of the Act. Casual laborers had the highest ignorance rates, with only 30% showing they had a rough idea about the actual content of the law, but those with accurate information about the Act’s content was only at 9%. 75% of the teachers showed that they had an idea of the content of the law. Only 25% demonstrated they had adequate knowledge of the Act and its content.

This shows that more needs to be done in making people in Chuka have a clear understanding of the law by being informed of its content. For the law to be effective, its operationalization requires that awareness of the Act be furthered by ensuring people actually know the basis of the law, its requirements and intentions. To be aware of the law alone is not enough in meeting its objectives. Despite the mantra ignorance is not a defense in law, without a clear understanding of the basic principles embodied in the act will render its full implementation problematic and adherence to it may not be fully realized with the current state of high ignorance of the actual content of the legislation.

Strategies to Curb Drinking as Proposed by the Law

The research study evaluated the responses and determined that all the respondents who were aware of the existence of the act knew that the law intended to curtail excessive drinking. In terms of knowing the objectives of the Act, many respondents could not spell out the strategies that the Act proposes to curb the use of alcohol in the country.

In listing the strategies aimed at control of alcohol consumption, the respondents who knew the contents of the law gave priority to the element of barring minors from accessing alcoholic drinks. They cited the time when alcohol should be sold during the day, the ban on children from being present in Alcohol selling points and from being employed or used in the dispensing of alcohol to consumers. Schools location and alcohol dispensing points was noted as important. It is important to note responses on the other strategies such as display of information on alcoholic drink packages, packaging of alcoholic drinks, license issues were barely touched on by the respondents. One aspect where the respondents showed ignorance of the law was that only 15.5% of all the respondents mentioned the issue of debts being prohibited in the purchase of alcohol. In the research, the element of debts contributes to the nature of gender relations within the family. In this aspect, the Act has failed to achieve its objective