Thursday, January 31, 2008

Second Kenyan opposition legislator shot dead

News from Reuters AlertNet
31 Jan 2008 10:14:06 GMT

Source: Reuters

NAIROBI, Jan 31 (Reuters) - Kenyan opposition legislator David Kimutai Too was shot dead on Thursday in the Rift Valley town of Eldoret, the second member of parliament for the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) killed this week, the party said.

"He has been shot dead, by a traffic policeman in Eldoret, we think. The circumstances are very unclear. This crisis is just getting deeper every day," said ODM spokesman Tony Gachoka. (Reporting by Andrew Cawthorne, Writing by Bryson Hull)

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Trouble in Kikuyu

Of course 24 hours without anything going down was too good to ask for.

I have heard that tear gas has been fired to disperse rowdy groups in the Kikuyu area just outside Nairobi. They are trying to flush out all non-Kikuyus I understand.

Interesting bit of news on the local radio just now from President Paul Kagemi of Rwanda, (who originally started off as a rebel leader don't forget..... ), who suggests that Kenya should most definitely bring in the army right now, temporarily, until we can get the situation under control. He suggests that if Kenya doesn't do this, the situation is likely to spiral until there is no country left to get under control.

Funnily enough, he saw something similar happen in his own country a few years back as to what we're seeing here, except of course we are not having any 'ethnic cleansing' going on in Kenya - its just tribe against tribe and flushing each other out of certain areas - but apparently 'ethnic cleansing' are not words anyone wants to use round here - not sure what words we are supposed to use but if anyone has any ideas I am very open to suggestions.

Right now it seems the people of Kenya have stopped listening to the big fellows spouting words and are on their own mission. At least if we had the army in for a while everyone may be able to take a step backwards and perhaps reflect for a while and then they may start listening again to the majority of Kenyans who are trying their best to preach peace.

Surely anything is worth a shot at this stage. I don't honestly think having the army in charge right now could be worse than this current anarchy.

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Calm is a strange thing ....

So far today, there has been no news alerts, security alerts or anything else and it's almost 11.00 in the morning - it's really very exciting actually.

There is a strange unease in the air - as we just don't seem to be used to this calm, and by now have usually heard of some trouble somewhere in the country kicking off by this time of the morning.

I do hope we can do a whole 24 hours like this - that would be a first for a while and would be extremely welcome. So many people are homeless as tribe has gone against tribe, neighbour against neighbour, just because of the difference in their names. The red cross has been struggling to get up to the likes of the more North Western regions because of the continuous trouble on the roads, so lets hope that today is the day they get lucky and get some aid up those ways.

Yesterday, after the little get together of the warring parties and the mediator Kofi Annan, they all stood about for a spot of tea and a small relaxed chat. Jolly good show, you'd say, but actually the fact that Raila and Kibaki could not look each other in the eye was really quite telling, and when Kofi Annan insisted they shook hands for all the jolly nice press people who'd turned up, the look on their faces said it all.

Joseph King'ang'i had it so right on the Classic FM breakfast show he's on in the morning with Maina Kageni. He said you could imagine Raila saying; "Lete mkono haraka!", (Bring your hand quickly!) and Kibaki saying "W aaa c h aaaa, W aaa c h aaaa!" (Leave it, Leave it!)

He said if they had had to shake hands for more than the one minute that they did, bones would have been broken. It was not a handshake as more of a gripping contest!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Talks with Kofi Annan

Well after turning up over one hour late the parliament and mediators all sat down to officially open the mediation talks.

Nothing unpredictable was said really. Kofi said peace had to be top of the agenda and it was urgent. Raila said basically he did not recognise any government and talks were between ODM and PNU and not the 'government'. He also said recognising the election was faulty and the government and President illegal was top of his agenda. Kibaki said - er not a lot really except peace would be nice, and that was kind of that.

Both Raila and Kibaki did stress peace was necessary to get anywhere which is a good thing, but I really am not sure the Kenyan wanainchi are listening any more.

So hey ho, off we go onto yet another day of wait and see.

Meanwhile in the slums tribes are still battling and chasing each other out of their homes.

Today at the majority of the government schools that I passed, I saw panicked parents rushing in and collecting their children at lunchtime and by evening there was only a handful left in the schools all over Nairobi.

Kenyans are worried that, according to where their children are at school and what tribe they are from depends on whether they are safe or not any more.

It is ridiculus and unbelievable that Kenyans have taken to turning against each other but these incredibly deep rooted Kenyan governance problems have risen to the surface and with such force that a few words between a few large fellows on TV is just not going to cut it anymore.

I have been told that queues at Nyayo House for passports are long as everyone is looking for a back up plan . . . . Just in case, it seems.

I worry for my staff all over Nairobi. They have no chance of a back up plan. Some have already been chased from their homes and have had to move to different areas of town depending on their tribes. Those in the wrong areas who haven't yet moved, have had warning threats to leave within 24 hours or be killed in their homes.

It is a horrific situation and we must have faith that Kenya can pull through this, but when the rest of the world is giving up on us, it is very hard to fight the tide.

Overseas banks have stopped lending money as Kenya is put on the high risk list. Travel warnings are in force from all over the world. Insurance has become an impossible risk for most. We are flushing our country down the drain and we need to block the flow and fast but I'm now at a loss for how.

A lorry driver from our sister company had his 7 children burnt alive in his own home. Now try telling him he must keep peace and he should not revenge the killings, when he no longer has anything left to live for.

God save us all!

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It's all going horribly, horribly wrong.

This photo I took yesterday at the camp on Juja Road in Nairobi.

Since early this morning and news of the ODM MP for Embakasi being murdered last night, things are kicking off all over Nairobi.

In Kibera slums I have a report of at least 2 killed so far, in Mathare youths are fighting, and in Umoja the market has been burnt to the ground. In Karen, an up market suburb of Nairobi, Mungiki gangs are reported to have stormed the shopping centre. The police and army personnel have been reported to be heading that way trying to quell the trouble.

Ngong road, which is the road from Karen and Ngong area into Nairobi is blocked with gangs fighting at the moment.

The story is that gangs from Kibera which are the ODM supporters have headed up Ngong Road to fight the Mungiki (which are the Kikuyu's), who are coming in from the Dagoretti and Kikuyu areas just a few kilometres north of Nairobi.

This is what I've heard mainly through word of mouth so nothing verified at this stage but incredibly worrying. Nairobi is a city of at least 14 Million people. If it gets out of hand here who on earth has the power to stop it? No-one is listening to the calls of the MP's.

Any more of this and surely they will have no choice but to declare a State of Emergency?

God, I hope not.

Someone sent me through the most horrific photos this morning I have ever seen, of people burnt alive in their houses and a mother killed with her own two year old watching. What kind of people could do this to each other. I know I keep saying this, but what on earth has happened to our country and our people?

Headlines this morning

Embakasi MP Mugabe Were is dead. He was allegedly shot outside his gate in woodley estate.

To fill you in. This happened around midnight last night, and nothing was taken from him, suggesting that robbery was not the motive. Mugabe Were was voted in on an ODM ticket, and Woodley Estate is a middle class housing estate not far from the Kibera slums.

I understand there has already been trouble in the Embakasi area which is here on the outskirts of Nairobi, with youths fighting and burning of some houses. Some of the residents are already packing up their belongings and moving out of the area.

Police are warning everyone to avoid the Embakasi area if possible.

Just a quick update on the West of Kenya. So far this morning, although of course it is still early, things are fairly quiet and the Nairobi to Eldoret highway is currently open, meaning goods are moving through to the Uganda border. Let's hope that situation at least lasts for the rest of the day.

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Monday, January 28, 2008

Nation Media Update

28JAN 2008 12:45pm

POST-ELECTION: 14 MORE BODIES found in Naivasha. Riots in Kisumu, Gilgil, Kakamega, Kapsabet. 13 trucks burnt. Police to charge 28 with murder.

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Breaking news

Former President Daniel Arap Moi has been admitted to Nairobi Hospital in the last hour. No news yet on what for or why.

Flower farms in Naivasha stopped operating.

Naivasha still having trouble this morninig. Gun fire heard all over and roads through the town are still impassable.

Trouble in Kisumu with people trying to get to work being harassed and told to go home. Road blocks and bonfires all over. They are protesting on what is going on in naivasha and nakuru.

They are going door to door in search of Kikuyus to "seek revenge" is what they are saying.

Police have fired bullets and tear gas in Kisumu to try and disperse the crowds there.

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Just a quick update on this update!
Have since heard that Dan (or Former President Daniel Arap Moi to most of you), has a spot of backache and is expected to reside in the comfort of the Presidential suite in the Nairobi Hospital for a couple of days and then should be absolutely on top form to head home - according to his doctor anyway.
Personally I think it's probably that the security's better in the Nairobi Hospital than in his home town of Baringo at the moment!

January 28, 2008 2:14 PM

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Conjecture from the Mzungu Chick

There is of course much speculation all over with regards to the violence we are experiencing here in Kenya, and seeing as we’re all going in for a bit of conjecture, I thought I’d add my own in too as I’ve been thinking about exactly this for ages.

I had a comment on a recent post that said that if the elections had been completely transparent then this violence would not have happened at all, and another train of thought is that this violence is tribal and has been simmering for years and has now erupted into what we are experiencing now.

Personally I think both views hold some truth in them.

I do believe that this current outbreak of tribal violence that we are seeing right now would not have started if the elections had been seen to be free, fair and totally transparent. This certainly did not happen and although it was all geared to go that way, with all of the big media houses having agents all around the country who were ringing in the results as they were provisionally released at a constitutional level, they seemed to be keeping a running tally that showed Raila with a large lead on the first day of counting with a slimmer lead on the second day when the Central province results were coming in (which is as expected), but they still had Raila in the lead until people started getting excited about the process taking so long and not all of the official results being released at the ECK tallying with the ones being provisionally released at provincial level.

That was then the media seemed to stop releasing results. In some provinces came allegations of rigging and some trouble which caused them to stop counting altogether. Then there was the closed door overnight retallying that took place with representatives of both Raila and Kibaki’s party, and although there were still questions there, it seems Samuel Kivuitu, the Chairman of the ECK, (or so he said and then later retracted), was pressurised into releasing a result, and was told what he would release, and it didn’t correspond to anything that the media had been collating along the way.

Just before Kivuitu announced the ‘final’ tally of the Presidential results, all of the media was thrown out of the KICC, which was at the time, the Electoral Commissions headquarters. John Muchuki, who was the former Internal Security Minister, had issued a written order to shut down all TV and radio stations in the country which was not acted against, although the live broadcast ban came into affect and is still in situ today, although it has been blatantly flouted a few times in the past couple of days by some of the TV stations and to no consequence to them.

Now the violence that is currently gripping this country is, whether we like it or not, tribal conflict. It is tribe against tribe, and I think the reason we are in shock here is that we have never before seen this tribal violence spread from the villages where in some areas it has been a constant threat long before these elections. What I think we are amazed by is that it has spread into major towns where various different ethnic tribes have lived in peace for many years, but ultimately, it has become a question of perceived inequality between the tribes, that has simmered under the surface for many years.

Nick Wadhams, a journalist based here in Nairobi, has written this post today

outlining most of this and, like he says, tribal conflict and electoral violence has been going on for years and is not new to us. What is new to us though is this targeting of the large towns in all this, starting with Kisumu, spreading to Eldoret – which then the government thought be removing all the Kikuyu’s from that town it would ease the tension. But surely it has done the opposite, who should decide that one tribe should move and why the Kikuyu’s? Now the Kikuyu’s want revenge and they are taking it out on the other tribes in Nakuru which is where they were taken and where now they must hold a majority. Today this has spread down as far as Naivasha, and here in Nairobi it has been going on within the slums sporadically throughout the past four weeks.

As references in Nick Wadhams post says, Kikuyu’s are perceived as to have taken the lions share over the past few years with a Kikuyu in charge in the form of Kibaki, and the Luo’s now feel it is their turn to garner some of this wealth and have their people in power and reap some of these rewards. Because of the way the final results in the Presidential election were released in such a clandestine manner, and the fact that up until that point, the media had Raila leading the race. Of course the people who voted for Raila feel cheated, and that means it has turned into a war of Luo vs. Kikuyu with all the other tribes taking their sides as per how the majority of their tribesmen were perceived to have voted.

One thing is, that a lot of people are tending to ignore at this stage, is that some of this violence had already broken out before the results were announced in Western Kenya which tells me that the Luo’s thought they had won and the looting and chaos that erupted in Kisumu started with those people trying to get a head start on the wealth that they felt was coming to them with a Raila win. People were then killed when the police opened fire as they could not control the situation any more. Perhaps if Raila had then been declared the winner and would have been then in charge of the police, it may be that people would have let those police killings go, as it has happened many times before. As Kibaki won, it was then seen that those police were acting directly on Kibaki’s orders and then it became a case of Kikuyu’s (as the police, no matter what tribe they actually were from, were in Kibaki’s hands in their opinion, so therefore acting on behalf of a Kikuyu,) vs. the other tribes.

What this shows is that having a President of whatever tribe giving out various government posts and therefore (how it generally ends up), unequal distribution of funds to his cronies, certain tribes feel missed out in this distribution of wealth and this has to change before we will ever get anywhere surely.

It most definitely ends up being all about money and who benefits. Whatever they decide to do and however it is done, the most important thing in all this is that a long term plan of sorting out this incredible inequality between Kenyans needs to be most definitely be on top of the agenda. And whatever is done, it must be done so in a totally transparent way, so that Kenyans can feel that those big wigs are actually thinking of them and not just themselves, as per usual.

The trouble is heading our way it seems.

I understand from the latest news brief I have just heard that there is now some trouble in Naivasha town.

Property has been torched. Gangs have blocked the main highway from Nairobi to Western Kenya and the police are engaged in running battles with them and are firing live rounds in the air in order to try and disperse them and get the road cleared.

Naivasha is less than an hours drive north of us here in Nairobi and is where most of the large export flower farms are situated and, like Nakuru, has not really seen too much post election violence until now.

I'l update as and when I hear more.

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Saturday, January 26, 2008

Which way forward for Kenya?

Every day we wake up, we have to have some kind of optimism deep in our hearts that makes us want to drag ourselves out of bed and continue with this endless uncertainty that we have to live with, as it seems we no longer have a clue what each day may bring.

Just Thursday I met up with one of ex-staff who lives in Nakuru and when I asked her if everything was ok up her way, she said “Yes, she was very well, and where she lives they had had no trouble at all and it was only further north from her where things were bad.” Imagine what it was like for her waking up Friday morning, luckily still in Nairobi, but to hear that total mayhem had broken out in her home town and that she no longer had a home to return to.

One of my regular readers has his parents and younger sisters living in Nakuru town and had been trying all day Friday to get in touch with them but to no avail and was in turmoil. He finally got hold of his father and he left me this comment this afternoon that I hope he doesn’t mind that I share with you all as it really tells you what exactly is happening on the ground in Nakuru right now;

“nakuru is in a bad way. what people saw is scary. what they didn't is scarier i am told. mungiki have been sent up there to revenge. the luo and luhya are joining up with kalenjin militia(yes that word) who now have AKs and have also descended on the city. that i am told is the reason the army is out there. So both groups proceeded to wreck havoc in their tried and tested modus operandi…mungiki decapitating people in the town centre and kalenjins burning perceived kikuyu estates to flush out kyuks who were then either stoned, shot at with arrows and AKs. The one difference is the estates that were wiped out-bangladesh and githima (near total junction) are lower middle class estates. So it’s not just a slum problem as in nbi. and far as I know there are lots of asians in the former and lots of non kyuks in the latter-just collateral damage I suppose. where my parents live most of our neighbours are kyuks. Sitting ducks? needless to say my dad and us out here are kinda scared but we’ll keep praying.”

(To fill you in a little here to explain some of what he has been told – ‘mungiki’ are a Kikuyu gang that is well known for murder, extortion and racketeering, and ‘kyuks’ is the sheng name for the Kikuyu tribe of people.)

Kofi Annan went out early this morning and flew over the Nakuru, Eldoret and Molo areas in the western regions of Kenya where there has been the most trouble. He held a press conference when he got back into Nairobi and said he was heartbroken by what he saw. He said there were “gross and systematic human rights abuses” and he urged the government “to do all it can to increase security and ensure those responsible for perpetuating these acts are held to account.” He also asked the government to seek redress for the victims of this violence, compensate them and assist them to return to their homes. (All great ideas but surely we need to know which direction is forward first?)

On Thursday when Kofi Annan finally got Kibaki and Raila to meet face to face, I understand that one of the only things they really all agreed on was that the force used by the police in order to try and quell this violence was excessive. I now hear that in Nakuru the residents were complaining that the police did nothing to help save their homes and their people but just stood by and watched.

The thing is that, although I am certainly not endorsing the way the police have been reacting to try and control the violence that has been going on, I’m not really sure what they are now expected to do in these situations. I totally agree that in the beginning when there were protests, they really where mainly peaceful and I do believe the police did most definitely fire live rounds unnecessarily and innocent people lost their lives when they certainly shouldn’t have. But now this is completely different surely. I understand from a friend’s driver the other day who was in a bus being escorted by police, that when they were attacked by a mob of about 200 wielding machetes and bows and arrows, even when the police opened fire on them, they couldn’t care less and just kept running at them and actually hacked to death two passengers before the bus could get away.

So now the police are afraid to open fire, tear gas does nothing to disperse these people as they have all learnt that (apparently – please do NOT try this at home), if you put Vicks Vapour Rub under your eyes, it combats the effects of the tear gas, if they use their batons to beat anyone, chances are if they are that close to these perpetrators, they will be hacked to death or shot with a poisoned arrow, so how on earth do they stop this continuous murder?

What slightly worries me also, although I should probably not let thoughts like this come out of my head, lest they come true, but surely not all of the police force or army voted Kibaki for President, and if that is the case, there must be some disgruntlement within the ranks of who is right and who is wrong in all of this. Now if those who do disagree get together and fight back, what happens then?

Goodness I should stop all this speculating and not let these thoughts escape from the recesses of my brain, but hey if I can’t tell you lot, who can I say it to?

Please always remember that whatever I write here is just what I hear and what I think and I cannot verify anything apart from what I have seen with my own eyes (as I’m not sure the press always get its 100% either). It is entirely my own opinion and you may agree or disagree as you wish as I would like to say that as Kenyans, we shall live in a democracy no matter what these b…….s do to us!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Friday 25th January in Kenya

The international media has largely ignored us today so anyone with any hunger for Kenyan news is probably getting a little desperate.

This is probably because sadly all there is to report is yet more violence, deaths and chaos in our country, and no further news on what is going on with the mediation talks between Kofi Annan and the ODM and PNU parties.

All I know is today Kofi Annan has met with the Chairman of the Electoral Commission (ECK), Samuel Kivuitu to find out his side of the story with regards to the election results as what we’ve had from him is:

“Kibaki is the President”

“Perhaps Kibaki didn’t win the elections, I really don’t know”

And now “Kibaki did win because I said so!”

So that could be a very interesting conversation between the two. I think it’ll probably go something like this;

Kofi Annan: “So Mr. Kivuitu, what really happened with regards to the results of the Presidential elections in December?”

Samuel Kivuitu: “Yes but, No but, Yes but, No but ……..”

Our 9 o’clock news did not enlighten us at all on the subject. But I understand that Annan has promised to stay in the country until the current situation is involved. I do hope he’s brought a rather large wardrobe with him as chances are, he could be here for rather a long time.

As for any word from Kibaki and Raila, we’ve just had the usual;

Kibaki; “I am the President.”, and Raila, “I refuse to recognise Kibaki as the President.”

So, as you can imagine we are going really far fast …er, NOT!

As for the rest of Kenya, it seems Nakuru is the latest town in the Rift Valley to be hit hard with the continuous ethnic violence. Gangs of Kikuyu’s (which is Kibaki’s tribe) have decided they have had quite enough of what they say is the Luo’s (Raila’s tribe) and the Kalenjins (our former President Moi’s tribe), killing their people and now it is their turn to take their revenge and have gone on the rampage.

The police have completely lost control and now the army has been brought in to try and quell the violence in the town and the surrounding areas and the government has imposed a curfew from 7pm this evening to 6am tomorrow morning. It is understood that at least 9 people have died today, as well as at least 30 last night, and hundreds of people have had their homes burnt down and have been chased out of town.

Another town that has had horrific violence overnight is Molo (also up in the Rift Valley region) where they say marauding gangs have killed at least 18 people.

The Human Rights Commission are hitting back on those who they say are responsible for this violence and are investigating all incidents they can. They say they will take anyone they can find to be involved in the ongoing violence to the International Courts. The Chairman of the Kenya National Human rights Commission and various other civil society leaders now have had various death threats against them, and the Chairman of the Commission, Maina Kiai has had to leave the country for his own safety.

One last update – my prediction on those taking each other to court to try and nullify MP elections in various constituencies has come true. There are so far 25 different cases in court as of today, (and that’s not including mine for the “MyGodThat’sALotOfCash” constituency!)

It makes me incredibly sad to say this, but as I see it, we are far from peace.

Tribal warfare ....

This report has just come to me through Reuters, and it tells of what has happened just this morning;
I can't comment really except to say that I think we are begin to live our worst nightmares, and we need to plead with all our hearts to those leaders to help stop this NOW !

Violence in Kenya's Rift Valley kills 7
Source: Reuters
NAIROBI, Jan 25 (Reuters) -

At least seven people have been killed in ethnic clashes around Nakuru town in Kenya's volatile Rift Valley, witnesses said on Friday.

In the latest unrest since a disputed Dec. 27 election, members of President Mwai Kibaki's Kikuyu ethnic group were fighting with Luos and Kalenjins perceived as supporters of opposition leader Raila Odinga, residents said.
"We can no longer stand back and watch as our brothers are killed in Eldoret while the Luos and Kalenjins have fun in Nakuru," said bus conductor Dennis Kariuki, referring to past killings of Kikuyus around Eldoret town, also in the Rift Valley.
"We have vowed that for every Kikuyu killed in Eldoret, we shall kill two Kalenjins who are living in Nakuru town."
Another witness, Joel Okumu, said his house was targeted in the town on Thursday night.
"The attack was sudden and well planned as they knew which house to burn despite the darkness," he said. "
As I was escaping, I saw two bodies with deep cuts by the roadside and I am sure there are many more as the violence went on for the better part of the night."

(Reporting by Antony Gitonga; Writing by Andrew Cawthorne; Editing by Wangui Kanina)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

ODM recaps day

ODM did hold a press conference this evening and said they held hope until Kibaki had a few words after the Harambee House meeting and slotted in that he is "the duly elected President".

ODM said that by saying that, Kibaki negates the entire international mediation and he ruined the afternoon, and until he admits the results of the election were fraudulent peace will be elusive to Kenyans.

Meanwhile the Human Rights Commission has issued a report that states that ODM party officials had organised, incited and implemented ethnic based violence in the Rift Valley region.

Also just heard the media ban on live broadcasting has not been lifted so think that live broadcaster earlier slightly jumped the gun there. - Sorry, probably bad choice of words but you know what I mean!

I can't help feeling we just took one step forward and two steps back.

Well tomorrow is another day and . . . . . Er, well, um, er, . . .
Try as I might, I can't somehow find any uplifting words to put in here so I'll just have to leave that to you and your thoughts.

Good night all.

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You can breathe out now . . . Sort of!

After this morning and reports from both camps that they were off to The Hague to report each other for something or other, the day got Oh so much better.

Raila and Kibaki have finally met and have both said they will keep on talking however long it takes until this thing is sorted. (That seems to be all they are letting on - no real grit to report.)

I understand they have now returned to their respective camps of croneys' to discuss what was discussed so we could get a bit of a press conference later perhaps.

But that's got to be progress. At least they didn't just drink tea and pass the time - er, well I hope not anyway!

And Raila and Kibaki even shook hands at the end - now how exciting is that people!

Woo Hoo!

And just when you thought it couldn't possibly get more exciting - some fellow from KTN News has just done a 'live report' from the middle of town, in the dark admittedly, (and he actually didin't really have anything of interest to say), but just to prove a point I'm sure, that he really, really, is REPORTING LIVE !

I think we can honestly say Kenya has just turned a corner. Let's all hope now the road they turned onto doesn't lead to the place where the bridge is burnt down!

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Just got this

KIBAKI, RAILA to hold face to face dialogue today hosted by former UN Chief Kofi Annan.

I hear this will happen at 4.30.

I'm not sure if I should be holding my breath or not?!?

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Wednesday, January 23, 2008


Just watched a programme in the last hour on Nation TV called “ShowDown” where they had Martha Karua, for PNU, and James Orengo, for the ODM side debate against each other, and what came out of it really?

Well I hung on every word, or so I thought, although it was kind of tricky not to drift off as they repeated the same thing again and again no matter what the question was! And all I can honestly say I heard repeatedly is this;

James Orengo say it was a ‘stolen election’ and Kibaki must admit that he did not win, and Martha Karua said; “It was clear Kibaki won, and if ODM accepted the tallying for Raila, why couldn’t it accept the numbers for Kibaki.”

They argued over the tallying and what happened and what didn’t happen

The firing went backwards and forwards and all I really got out of it is that although they “say” that PNU is ready to talk and ODM is ready to talk, they certainly do not agree on what they have to talk about!

Martha says they are not getting into any ‘mediation’ process, but dialogue only.
Orengo then said that there was no political goodwill in ‘dialogue’ and that these high profile mediators did not come to Kenya to ‘have a cup of tea’!

Orengo says the ONLY way forward is to have a rerun of the elections within 90 days as the current constitution says if there is no clear winner, then this is the way forward.

Martha retaliated with “Unless ODM takes this to court, and give the evidence to prove this, then the rerun of the elections cannot happen”.

Orengo said this was obviously impossible as if they took it to court, chances were they would still be waiting for a resolution in 5 years from now as history shows that the courts are compromised as the judges are appointed by the ruling government’s side and back in 1997 Kibaki took a case to court against the then President Daniel Arap Moi, and that case wasn’t solved until late 2005. ODM says therefore that by taking this case to court is just a trap by the government to do nothing for years and there would be nothing that ODM could do about it.

There was a lot of bickering about what, and what not, Kibaki’s government has achieved in the last 5 years and who scuppered the talks on the new constitution that was promised back in 2002 – Funnily enough, they both blamed each other!

Martha blamed Orengo for propaganda, and Orengo blamed Martha and the PNU for surrounding Kibaki with ‘power hungry old men’ who were not willing to discuss anything reasonable and were the ones who helped steal the election from Raila, and they went on disagreeing until, finally they agreed to ……….

Er, absolutely BOG ALL actually !!

At the end of the programme, Ms Karua and Mr Orengo were asked to shake hands. I honestly thought Martha was going to spit in his eye! As for Orengo, shaking Martha’s hand looked for him like an incredibly painful procedure – but perhaps she had one of those trick things in her hand that gives you an electric shock – in fact, she must have because that’s what his face showed – sheer pain!

And after that little debate, I’ll leave you with some up to date news.

1. Raila has called off tomorrow’s demonstrations at the request of the mediators – hope the supporters get the MEMO because that’s only just happened within the last half an hour and most Kenyans are probably all tucked up in bed by now. (Funnily enough, watching TV news is not generally on the evening agenda of slum dwellers who are lucky if they even have a roof on their head and power is certainly a rarity in most of those areas.)

2. Kofi Annan has spoken to Raila – although we are not told what about, but he didn’t speak to Kibaki and has rescheduled meeting him until tomorrow, so we will just have to wait and see what tomorrow brings.

- Mmmmmmm, Seems we’re getting quite used to that!

Raila for peace?

There was a prayer meeting organised this morning by ODM that was very official and was even granted a licence by the police in order to go ahead.

When I went by there this morning it was still fairly quiet. This picture is of the boys at the entrance in their 'Prayer for Peace' t-shirts and they all seemed very polite and offered to show us somewhere to park our car and were very welcoming.

We actually decided against going in as none of the big boys were there and it could be a good 2 hours before they got going and we had stuff to do. So we thanked them and moved on, but I had a good feeling about this one that at last perhaps something could finally go ahead in peace as I saw no recognisable thugs about.

Sadly, as usual for the moment, 2 hours later I had this message;

Earlier ODM prayer rally turned violent and was dispersed by police.

And then another hour later this;

Rally regrouped at Ngong Rd. Two cars and TelCom building burned.
Dispersed again by police.

So that was that then for peaceful prayers !

Sent from my BlackBerry®

Daily Nation Headlines today.

Front page headlines in the 'Daily Nation' are;
"Six killed as Annan arrives for crisis talks" - which to me means;
a) Kofi Annan has finally appeared, and
b) No-one really gives a damn, as the different tribes in the different regions have already decided who shall live where and if you disagree, they will burn your house down, and if they catch you, you will be hacked to death ........

Good Luck Mr. Annan, you're certainly going to need it.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Whatever you can do, I can do better.

Well after a whole 24 hours of not a single tear gas canister being fired – in the centre of Nairobi anyhow – there was a turn of events. Not a good one sadly, although the angel Annan is expected to land any time now so perhaps he will be a small light in a dark place (not sure I’m convinced but I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt for now and at least give him a chance to open his mouth). But today the PNU supporters decided it was far too quiet for their liking and seeing as it seems the ODM supporters seem to have gone back to work today, well then now it must be their turn surely for a spot of demonstrating – I mean, at the end of the day we are all fighting for democracy aren’t we, and we don’t want those Ninja Turtles getting too comfy sitting about in their posh padded outfits, best put them to good use - so they took to the streets.

PNU supporters today demonstrated about the ODM demonstrators demonstrating.
Er – Work that one out! ‘

All answers on a postcard to;

“What on earth were they thinking”,
Democracy Headquarters,
Parliament Building,
Nairobi City Centre.

Well, once the PNU supporters had had their say and a few cans of tear gas and a volley of bullets fired at them, they dispersed in order for all the newly sworn in Members of Parliament to be able to get down to the cash office to pick up their small salaries and allowances that they were ‘due’ for January.

Seeing as they actually had to attend parliament for the one whole day this month, and admittedly a long day, especially if your name began with something like ‘Y’ as they swore the MP’s in, in alphabetical order and the last ones were still going through the motions at 1.30 in the morning. And naturally we completely understand that during that 12 hours of so that they had to sit in ‘the house’, they did actually have to get off their backsides at least 4 times for a bit of a vote, oh and then of course the one time they had to go and swear in to a government that none of them seem to believe in, and yes, all the shouting that had to be done as well.

But it’s OK people, you take the full January salary for that one day as we completely understand what a incredibly stressful day it was for you all, so best you have Kshs 300,000/- as your basic salary just for being so, well, er, basic really, and then realising that can’t possibly keep you in the manner in which you wish to become accustomed, well then you can get yourself another 60,000/- for entertainment, 70,000/- for your rent, 250,000/- for vehicle maintenance (as of course we realise how much those damn helicopter spare parts can be), 40,000/- committee attendance allowance (whatever that is), and another 50,000/- constituency allowance.

Then of course in case the 750,000/- or so is not enough don’t you worry about a thing because there’s another 3.3Million shillings loan standing by for you so that you can buy that flash Mercedes you’ve always fancied, and then of course another 10Million, available for a house, all interest free obviously.

(By the way the shilling hangs out around 65 to the US dollar these days so we’re talking a salary of around US$11,500 or so with US$50,000 for the car loan and just over US$150,000 for the house loan.)

No wonder there is (so far anyway – likely to be many more before the end of the week) cases already in court where MP’s are challenging constituency election results, I mean with that sort of money at stake, monthly ………..

Sorry, just realised I’ve got to rush ………….
- Did I not tell you I was disputing the MP’s seat for the “MyGodThat’sALotOfCash” constituency………
I must get to court!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Do we have any chance of beating Blue Monday?

I read on the Sky News website today that positive thinking is the way to beat Blue Monday today, but from what I’ve been hearing and reading all day, I cannot seem to find anything remotely positive in anything at all. I thought I’d write it all down for you to perhaps tell me if I’m missing something positive here and you could then point it out to me and get me through Blue Monday – (without a costly psychiatrists bill and a lot of anti-depressant drugs!)

This is a list of what I have heard or read just today;

1. Lucy Kibaki slapped Imanyara (the PNU guy who was up for election as the deputy speaker of Parliament and conceded to his ODM counterpart), as apparently he was one of Kibaki’s henchmen who is not agreeing to a deal that Kibaki wants to put forward to Raila suggesting they take two and a half years of the Presidential term each. (Not that I think Raila would go for it but anyway). Apparently Imanyara made the fatal mistake of slapping Lucy back and then got set upon by Kibaki’s bodyguards for his troubles and is currently residing in a Nairobi Hospital.

2. Kofi Annan hasn’t got ‘man-flu’ after all and has been rumoured to have a slightly dodgy ticker. Hence the may / may not arrive stories going around.

3. Raila is to file a case in the International Court in The Hague in which he will sue Kibaki’s government for ‘crimes against humanity’.

4. Raila, whilst addressing a crowd outside a church in Kibera yesterday, told the gathering that they should not be killing their neighbours and destroying each others property when they all had so little to their names anyhow. Instead they should take their anger out on the wealthy Kenyans living in Karen and Runda and burn their houses down, as according to him, they are the cause of all this mess. (I'm assuming by this he's meaning the Kikuyu big wigs who are known to live in the area? - Who really knows?)

5. Noah Wekesa, the Minister for Science and Technology and the MP elect in the Salama Province in Western Kenya has threatened to resign from his position in the cabinet if the government cannot stop the violence in his home area. Latest reports on the radio confirm at least 5 people have been killed so far today, and rumour has it that that number is more than likely to be far more.

6. Raila has called for a mass demonstration countrywide on Thursday this week. Now the PNU supporters are saying that if this demonstration goes ahead they will conduct their own rally protesting against the ODM supporters. (I do fear if this is really true and these rallies go ahead there will be total carnage and the police will not be able to stop it.)

SO there you go, end of the list of rumours for the day. Please note that I have not verified any of them although some I have read in the press, some were heard on the radio and some were through word of mouth.

Thing is, they’re all incredibly depressing and if there is even the slightest inkling of truth in even one of these rumours I can’t see any positive coming out of this entire week never mind trying to get over Blue Monday.

Excuse me whilst I go outside and scream really, really loud!!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

This calls for some serious action!

Right that's it, I've had quite enough of this "I will speak to him", "No, I won't speak to him", "Yes I might", but then again "No, I just might not!"

If Mr Odinga and Mr Kibaki will not get on with talking to each other then I'm afraid we have absolutely no choice but to call .......

................ SUPERNANNY !

If you boys won't behave like grown ups then it is completely impossible to treat you like grown ups, so ;

"If you won't play nicely then both of you will go right now and sit on the 'naughty' step! - and you'll stay there for at least five minutes per year of your age, so Raila, you'll be there at least a week, and as for you Mr Kibaki, well you could be there an awfully long time so i suggest you take a good book with you!"

"When you're both good and ready, you'll both come and apologise to each other properly, and if you are not prepared to do that, then I'm afraid there will be no dinner for either of you, and then perhaps you may get just a slight inkling of what the half a million displaced Kenyans are going through just because of your inane bickering!"

- Move over Mr. Annan, we can do this without you after all, (as I do realise from reading the new headline on your imminent arrival; "Kofi Annan MAY jet in sometime next week", that we perhaps shouldn't rely on you too much Sir. And if there's a chance of a spot of bother between now and whenever it is your flight is booked for, (and seeing as tonight's headline is '3 more hacked to death in a Nairobi slum'), I'm sure chances are you'll be diving straight back under that duvet.)

PS. If you happen to be reading this Ms Frost, I'll be quite happy to be your advisor, for a large fee of course.
(Only thing is honey, I do actually have a child so imagine that could be a bit of a disadvantage as I do realise that you're not overly keen on the little blighters.)

See post I did last year of the marvellous, child loving woman

Absolutely shocking.

I know that this video has been posted all over the web and I wasn't sure I was going to put it on my site but I really do think that those people with their head buried in the sand about what is really going on in this country should actually watch this.

Please NOTE it is horrific and people are killed - although police spokesman Eric Kiraithe tried to tell us that this video was actually just made up by the press and was just them attempting a remake of "Rambo" - perhaps to get themselves more viewers?

Funnily enough, the dead man's brother retorted that if Mr Kiraithe would just like to explain why his brother is now in the morgue and not at home where he should be, that would be great.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

S * * T !!

I have just got this message through Nation Media ;

POLICE RESPOND to SOS call from Kipkelion monastery besieged by armed youth. The monastery is housing more than 600 displaced people.

(Kipkelion is a place about 200+ kms north of Nairobi, just to the East of Kericho)

Have switched on Swahili news and they say about 400 people came and surrounded the place and set fire to it. According to this news cast 5 are reported dead so far.

Haven't finished writing this blog update and now have this text sent to me;

ODM SAYS mass action to continue countrywide from next week, announces prayer days and launch of economic boycotts. 7 HOUSES burnt in Eldoret.

According to the news these protests will be on Thursday and also Raila has just said that he thinks Kibaki is not serious about mediation as he has appointed a group of 10 from the PNU camp headed up by VP Kalonzo Musyoka who Raila describes as 'Judas' and will not deal with him!

Sounds like we're in for yet another amazingly unproductive week! Excuse me whilst I go and weep.

I can't believe these people are seriously willing to flush this country down the toilet, but please tell me where the light is at the end of this incredibly dark tunnel because I am losing sight of it.

Sent from my BlackBerry®

The latest 411

The 411 right now (by the way, I know no explanation needed for any Kenyans out there – but to the rest of you – it’s the latest word on the street), is that Kofi Annan and Graca Machel, (the wife of one of the world’s best known statesman Nelson Mandela), will arrive in Kenya on Tuesday for spot of mediating, and Raila has announced that Kenyans will stop demonstrating for now.

Well, before you all jump up and down shouting “Whoopee”, can I just tell you that on Tuesday when Kofi contracted ‘man-flu’ and couldn’t make it, the 411 was that old Graca was still on her way. Tuesday came and went with little sign of Mrs Mandela but “Not to worry”, we were told, “She will come on Wednesday”, but no sign of the lady yet again, so then they went for Thursday. So when they say she will be coming next Tuesday together with Kofi Annan, I’m not sure that we should go holding our breath or rushing out to the shops to buy a bumper pack of ‘man-size’ tissues in case Mr Annan tries to pull a sickie on us for a second time, I really think that we shall just have to wait and see, with perhaps a little glimmer of hope in our hearts at best.

In the papers yesterday, it said that Raila has called for a boycott of all Kenyan companies that are supporters of Kibaki’s regime. (This apparently is his new tactic rather than rushing about in a cloud of tear gas).

He started off naming Brookside Milk (who rumour has it has fired all non-Kikuyu staff, but I cannot verify that at all), then Citi Hoppa buses, (as again, ‘rumour has it’ – (by the way we Kenyans are very good at rumour mongering so please do not believe everything you read or hear, just lap it up and make your own conclusions with the facts – that is of course if you find any out along the way, and by the way if you do – please fill me in too.)

Anyway, as I was saying, Citi Hoppa buses are also to be boycotted, as they are rumoured to have carried PNU supporters and police about Kenya and were somehow involved in the rigging process as the company is owned by a pro PNU fellow.

The third company listed in the boycotting was Equity Bank, but then Raila says in the newspapers today that he never mentioned Equity Bank, as it turns out that shareholders include international bodies. - (More than likely he found out half his henchmen had cash tied up in the bank and panicked that they may never see it again!)

What I don’t quite understand is how boycotting any company will help his cause in the slightest. All he seems to be doing surely is hurting the common wanainchi (those on that poverty line), of which we have 20+ Million in this country, and those were the ones he promised to make life so much better for in his manifesto, and that was why they all voted for him in the first place.

Saw an interview this morning on the news with the ‘Chairman of the ODM Party in London’, who when questioned on this boycotting business said that it was necessary to cripple the Kenyan economy as it would be only way to hurt the PNU stronghold. When asked about what it would do to the Kenyans who are living in abject poverty as it is, his reply was, “In any fight for democracy, there has to be fall out.”!

Well, “Excuse me Honey, but will that be you suffering whilst you sit pretty in London with all your stashed cash you’ve made along the way?” ……… Mmm, Guess not then!

Friday, January 18, 2008


Well, thank god it's Friday.

The three days of protesting by the ODM party are officially over, which is a relief. As you may (or may not, if you've just had quite enough of my opinion on all this), have gathered, I did no midday posting today with my Blackberry as things were really kind of quiet here in Nairobi and actually, I’m finding this continuous daily violence so incredibly depressing and I just couldn’t really face sharing out that misery.

There was a bit of a cat and mouse chase game going on around lunchtime in the Central Business District when one of the 'Pentagon' members (which is Raila's team of big wigs), Charity Ngilu, was dropped off outside a cosmetics shop a couple of doors down from where I was having lunch.

The police got a little twitchy and a group of about 20 Ninja Turtles were summoned in their full regalia to stand on the street opposite the entrance to the shop she was in, and meanwhile it seemed, Charity shopped, (as any woman would of course, if free in her Friday lunch hour.)

Anyway this went on for about half an hour - with us joking about how Charity Ngilu's been wearing a head scarf for the last few days, and so she was obviously just shopping for extensions or a bit of a weave - as the shop she was in is well know for great prices on those kinds of things. Then, when her large four wheel drive with dark tinted windows turned up, she casually strolled out of the shop with her three or so bodyguards in tow, crossed the road right in front of the riot police, and hopped back into her car, with one of the riot police waving her goodbye – which I thought was priceless!

It was all quite theatrical really, and after Raila going on the news last night and telling the press that they had 'hidden tactics' for their protests each day, and that each day this would change, I have to assume that Charity was probably a decoy. Anyway she proved a point as she put the whole of Nairobi on high alert for who might turn up where next and everyone (not only the police I might add) started to get incredibly twitchy and there was a lot of rushing away from the area, and the moving of cars out of town.

We left not long after this and then ran into yet more of the ODM team, James Orengo and Martin Shikuku, who had come from Friday prayers at the mosque in the centre of town and led a small group of around 50 or 60 people through the street chanting the usual “Kibaki must go” and “No Raila, No Peace”.

We followed along behind for a while in the car as they happened to be going the same way as us and what I found very interesting was as they walked, they came across PNU supporters who started shouting at them to stop the protests and let them live in peace.

We left them after a short while but I understand they were soon dispersed with the usual few cans of tear gas and I heard that they arrested the veteran MP Martin Shikuku, and that was kind of that for the city centre as far as I could see.

Apparently there were some bonfires lit on the Mombasa road to try and block the traffic and some few people ran around with signs supporting Raila.

Later in the afternoon we swung by the Kibera slums where we were yesterday but apart from a few police, things looked relatively quiet on the outskirts. Then we drove further down the road and could hear a lot of shooting going on very close by within the slum, but I certainly did not venture in to find out what that was all about. I later found out that at least 6 were shot dead and god only knows how many injured, as the police said these people were the perpetrators of the hijacking and the subsequent looting of a train in Kibera yesterday evening.

Meanwhile in other places in Kenya things were not as quiet. My manager called from Mombasa to say they were trapped in the shop with rioting on the street right outside the building for over 2 hours, but they shut down and managed to escape out of the back and get themselves all home safely. He sent me a text to say he was home but things were not good in town and at least one person was shot dead.

In Kisumu, which is Raila’s home town, we hear there was trouble throughout the day and again at least one killed, but in Eldoret (which has had a lot of trouble in the past few days), things were very quiet with people telling the press there that they were tired and hungry from the continuous skirmishes and just couldn't bring themselves to protest yet again today.

In Narok town, which is to the west of here, on the way to the Maasai Mara, I’ve heard that at least 5 people were killed when the different tribes in the area turned against each other and in turn against the police with machetes and bows and arrows.

Someone I overheard this evening who was looking up at the black cloudy sky overhead summed up the day:
“Well it looks like we’ll have some good heavy rain tonight.
It will be good to put out the bonfires and wash all the blood away.”

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Thursday in Nairobi's Kibera slums

Well I spent a few hours today, in almost the same spot as I did yesterday, watching the protests unfold in the Kibera slums.

It started off with just a few people at about midday. In fact at the start of the whole thing, there were probably many more Press than there were Protesters, and there were certainly three times the amount of police as there were civilians - protesting or not.

It was a small group initially, a couple of them had slingshots and were lobbing a few stones up the hill at all of the assembled GSU officers who were carrying batons in one hand, riot shields in the other, and more than a few had AK47's slung over their shoulders. Basically it was a bit of taunting of the police and some chanting of "Kibaki must GO" and "No Raila, No Peace" and a spot of dancing (some great spinning manoeuvres and headstands, can i say!), and not a lot else.

The police started off with making a front line blocking the road into the area with their trucks and then tried to keep those in the slum already - in, and those who were trying to get in - out.

Then as the protesting crowd grew, they starting collecting a bunch of rocks and piling them into the middle of the road - I assume as ammunition against the police if they felt it was required - and then they built themselves a large bonfire on which they threw plastic sheets and old tyres and made lots of black smoke.

It went on like that for quite some time but then the police seem to have had enough at one stage, and perhaps decided there were now too many of them in the group, so they began to fire tear gas, one canister after another, to try and disperse them.

As the tear gas canisters hit the floor, some didn't explode immediately, and the protesters tried to throw them back at the police. One of the canisters landed only half way down the hill between the group protesting and the mass of police and one of the protesters thought he'd try his luck and sprinting up the hill, he tried to grab the can and throw it back.

This little manoeuvre brought a big cheer and a laugh from the crowd behind us looking down on all the theatrics but sadly the police were not nearly so amused and about twenty of them ran at the guy and began firing into the air. Anyway he broke a sprinting record and shot back down the hill and back into the crowd at the bottom without any damage.

Then a small group of police got into a LandRover and drove down towards the bonfire site firing tear gas as they went and then a few live rounds in the air for good measure just to scatter the protesters. This went on for some ten minutes or so and then the LandRover retreated back up the hill and the protesters reassembled.

About fifty riot police arrived at one stage all dressed up in their best 'Ninja turtle' outfits , but after standing in a huddle and looking threatening at the protesters for about half an hour, they obviously decided this group just weren't worth their fine padded outfits and they piled back into their Mutant Turtle Truck and headed off for more action elsewhere.

I left shortly behind them (as I was desperate for a coffee and needed to get to school to pick up my son), so I'm not quite sure what happened after that but on summing up I really do believe that these people were really very peaceful and just want to be heard.

In my opinion it is most definitely the police who seem to be causing the majority of this unnecessary violence.

I watched one of the police with his AK47 slung over his shoulder and a long whippy stick in his hand whacking anyone and chasing them down the hill into the slum if they dare defy the orders to stay either side of the 'front line',

I do realise the police feel threatened by the taunting and the stone throwing, but is it really necessary to disperse people with the live rounds - especially when 10 minutes later they're back, I assume again and again, until someone gets killed and they have to give in.

Personally I saw nothing more than a lot of shouting, a few rocks thrown, a few people whacked, and a lot of eyes streaming from the countless canisters of tear gas that were fired down the hill. Apart from that, whilst I was there anyhow, that really was it.

All I can hope for is that it stayed in that 'stand off' for the rest of the afternoon, although I haven't yet seen the evening news to confirm whether it did or didn't.

Well, Hey Ho, yet another day of it tomorrow.
Mmmmmmmmmmm, might just stay in bed and pretend it's not happening.
Don't suppose it'll all go away if i do though!


This is the demonstration that is going on at the edge of Kibera slums right now as we speak - or should that be - as I write. They are chanting Kibaki must go and No Raila No Peace.

There is a stand off with the police who keep throwing tear gas and the ones that don't explode are being thrown back.

There are some press down there with them who've just been hit with tear gas but the protesters are looking after them and helping them with water!

You see they're quite decent people underneath the bravado and just want to be heard.

Sent from my BlackBerry®

Correction ...... etc,

I'd like to apologise for an error.

I had reported yesterday that I'd heard 6 were killed in Nairobi, 6 in Kisumu and another 3 in Eldoret.

I have since found out that this is the 'official' report from the police of who was shot and injured in these areas and not who was killed. ( - although chances are the numbers were at least this, probably higher.)

I was around Uhuru Park early this morning but apart from the 100 police standing by chatting, things were very quiet.

More than likely this won't last the day sadly.

What I don't understand (along with half the world probably), is why the police are using live ammunition. All these protests yesterday started peaceful as such. Yes they made noise, put some rocks in the road and lit some bonfires, but it was all relatively harmless stuff. They didn't fight each other or the police and they didn't loot and smash the place up.

What they did do though which our Kenyan police cannot handle is taunt them, making faces and jibes.

Surely though police should be trained to be able to handle that kind of thing - it's just words and gestures, and it certainly won't get you killed. But you see it on the faces of the police. They absolutely can't stand the taunting because as far as they are concerned, they have a job and a uniform and a loaded gun and therefore they can't let people who have no jobs, no uniforms and no weapons get the better of them.

I'm sure that's how they see it, and they completely lose their tempers, and that bravado s**t takes over and they cannot help themselves but use those guns.

Its horrific, and the worst thing is ...........

We've got it all to look forward to again this afternoon.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

As predicted . . .

Yet more killed as predicted. 3 so far in Kibera where I was earlier before it got tricky. Then another 3 elsewhere in Nairobi. Another 6 in Kisumu and another 3 in Eldoret.

Is this really Kenya we are living in surely?

Sent from my BlackBerry®

Protests continue . . .

This whole thing is going on like a game of kiss chase except there's not much kissing going on!

The protestors run one way and the police spend their time trying to block them off.

Now it seems the police are losing control and therefore have totally shut down the central business district here in Nairobi and are chasing everyone out as quickly as they can. Innocent or not!

All public transport has been locked out of town so everyone is walking.

If you work on one side of town and live on the other, chances are it will take you hours to get home as you have to walk to the edge of town, find transport that is going about 10kms out of your way in the opposite direction and then find other transport heading back in down the parallel road back towards town. Its ridiculus.

Being an ordinary Kenyan citizen and trying to go about your business as usual has become impossible once more.

Please can someone get Mr Annan some 'Day Nurse' or 'Night Nurse' or whatever its called, and get him on a plane!

I've just heard they want to continue with these cat and mouse games with police and protesters every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday until further notice.

I do hope someone is going to tell me just now they are only kidding and Kibaki's going to talk to Raila this evening and sort this out without this continuous chaos and loss of life as just heard of at least 2 killed in Kisumu so far and they are still protesting all over Kenya so am sure this number will increase before the day is out!

Sent from my BlackBerry®

Its all about to kick off

This picture is on the edge of Kibera slums where as you can see in the background to the right of the picture there is a crowd of ODM supporters massing. In the foreground if the police and to my far left out of shot 3 lorry loads of riot police.

There is burning going on to the far right but it is just tyres I think.

As you can see I am behind the police van! He he !

Anyway got to go now and stop messing about as have to pick my son up from school and make out I am responsible parent !

Shame really as am going to miss what happens next. Will keep you posted as I hear it from now.


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Standing by . . .

Just came past Uhuru park and the police have tripled in number since this morning and are looking rather alert!

Sadly it has stopped raining and conditions are now absolutely perfect for a spot of protesting.

I understand it has kicked off in other towns round Kenya although i do think it is fairly peaceful so far.

Let's hope the peace prevails but I did notice the water cannon on stand by.

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Kofi pulls a sickie ....

Very disappointed to hear Kofi Annan has pulled a sickie on us. He has a severe case of the 'man-flu' obviously. You see if it was 'woman-flu' he'd get a box of tissues in his manly hand bag, take a couple of Panadol and get on with it, but it seems when you get 'Man-flu' rather than 'Woman-flu' - you must stay in bed wrapped up warm and get gorgeous girls to wait on you hand and foot, or you will absolutely never survive the dreaded disease.

I'm sorry Mr Annan but really a little more stamina is probably in order here! I know the big bad rioting boys are scary and everything, but you know the whole point of coming was to get us some peace going on.

Anyway you'll all be very pleased to know that currently it is absolutely bucketing down with rain, (we Kenyans don't really do rain as it does nothing for the weave you know, and even the men can't cope with the wet hair thing as you can tell from the guy with the hanky on his head above!) so things are extremely quiet as everyone stays indoors!

Also please note that we were all up until about 2am glued to Parliament, so god alone knows what time those MPs got home, but you can be sure those boys will be having a serious lie in!

(By the way, just a quick update I learnt re: the swearing in last night. The reason Raila didn't swear allegiance to any President in his oath is because he read the same oath as the President!)

Currently town is dead quiet for a weekday. Half the shops are not open and there is very little traffic.

Anyway I do believe that if the rain keeps up, the protesters won't but if the sun shines anytime round midday the riot police could be in for a busy afternoon!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Swearing in

Just sworn in Kibaki. Raila is next. . . . .

Well first of all he is telling Kibaki to get off the chair in the front and sit in the benches with the other MP's.

Now he's just taken the oath and missed the bit out about allegiance to the President!

But they are carrying on but lots of grumbling and foot stamping.

Now we've got the Budalangi MP saying the oath and putting in President Raila Odinga!

He's just been told off by the speaker and so has to do it again and has now left out the President bit altogether !

Ding! Ding! Round 3!

It's becoming a bit of a bun fight!

Ok he's said it how its written but on the word Rais (President to the rest of you), he nodded to Raila!

They continue with the rest. Going with oath as it is but leaving out President's name. Just going with Rais.

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Final word

Amos Wako the Attorney General has been given last word and said unless they all swear oath as it is they cannot be sworn into Parliament and therefore cannot change the oath!

Sounds slightly like blackmail to me.

The speaker now says they allowed member for Othaya which is Kibaki to vote first and Raila to note second and then alphabetical order so the members should be sworn in the same order.

He goes on to say that Kenya is a sovereign republic and sovereignty is to the people of Kenya. Therefore he asks that they go with swearing in with the oath as it is but it does not include the name of the President so although they swear allegiance to the President they do not specify who the President is!

Lots of mumbling now so let's see what happens next!

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Things heat up.

Goodness peeps. Has it not been a long enough day already?

The ODM camp will just not agree with the oath business.

Kalonzo now. Our Vice President.

"We're at a crossroads and if we keep going with this debate we will never get anywhere." He says the speaker said the oath and swore allegiance to the President so everyone else should also just get on with it and then once sworn in they can change the system if they want to.

Now we're getting into a debate on who said that Kibaki could elect the Electoral Commission. And also if the Chairman of the ECK cannot now confirm who won the recent presidential elections then who were they to decide who is and who isn't the valid President of Kenya.

Think we're going nowhere fast here!
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Martha puts in her 5 cents

Martha Karua from the Kibaki camp, now says they were called there by the President and they are all there, so therefore he must be the President!

If they have a problem with it they should go to court!

We now have Kalonzo (also Kibaki camp) putting in his bit too! Same lines saying parliament has no role in questioning who is the President as Kibaki is already sworn in!

Both of them basically blatting Orengo and Raila's camp!

Sorry for all the ! - but it's very ! at the moment!
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ODM takes a clean sweep

We've now just had Haalim voted in as deputy speaker of the house so that means both positions that have been decided today in the parliament are from the ODM party which is Raila's side.

Now we're going with the administration of oath's starting with the President.

Orengo just stood up to stay that the path says they must swear allegiance to the president which they have no wish to do. They say it undermines the constitution and they will only swear allegiance to the Republic of Kenya.

Let's see what happens next.

Hold your breath.

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The party kicks off early .....

We have just currently done the third round of voting for position of the speaker for the house in the Kenyan parliament. They did not get a two thirds majority that is required for voting in of the speaker in the first two rounds so now in this, the third and final round, there is only 2 candidates left, from an original five that started (although the other three only garnered a couple of votes each anyway), and now it is just about a simple majority between Francis Ole Kaparo (the government's man) and Kenneth Marende (ODM's man).

In the first round the results were Marende 104, Kaparo 99.
Second round was Marende 104, Kaparo 102.
Now they are currently in the process of the third round which has only Marende and Kaparo contesting and now we are aruguing.

First of all we had 3 'spoiled' votes but after much arguing between the two sides they decided two of those spoilt were for Marende and 1 was Kaparo's.

Then we got total votes of only 205 (when there are 207 voting)!

Results finally in Kaparo 101, Marende 105.

The house has gone wild!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'll keep you updated.

No news as yet ....

Well parliament is in session. I have heard no shooting or tear gas throwing yet coming from town but I do understand there are more police than pedestrians on the streets so not sure that anyone will get away with too much at this stage.

A couple of rumours have come out of the slums saying there is a few troublemakers taunting police but generally we're all on a wait and see.

Will post again later with the latest once they're out!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Kenyans continue to live in a dream world.

Well there's been some marvellous lines coming out of government nominated ministers with regards to the hopeful negotiations that all of us Kenyans have been waiting for in earnest on the eve of the opening of parliament and the arrival of Mr Kofi Annan.

The government has now announced that they are only letting Kofi Annan into the country through courtesy and they had not invited him (he was only invited by the ODM party only), as they have no complaints themselves with the election results and don't see why they need mediation at all! The government doesn't sound like they have any thoughts of real negotiations and will just try and pretend everything is quite normal and get on with business as usual.

I am personally distraught by this new revelation as it sounds like we will most definitely be in for some tense few days and things in this country could go horribly wrong once again.

My driver went home to Western Kenya this weekend to bury some family members, (one of which was caught up in the violence), and he tells me tension is incredibly high still in the ODM stronghold. On the main roads - even now - there are roadblocks being set up by Kalenjins with ODM t-shirts and caps stopping people and asking them what tribe they are and where their political affiliations lie.

I have also heard from someone living in Siaya (which is again in the Western part of the country), that the town is overrun with armed men dressed in Kenya police uniform who seem to know very little Swahili and only speak to each other in Luganda.

This does not bode well at all, as Ugandan soldiers are well known for having absolutely no qualms about shooting anyone who they feel is in their way.

This has been vehemently denied by the marvellous Alfred Mutua - the government spokesman who right now the whole of Kenya seems to want to blat - whichever side of the fence they are on, as he has this fixed smirk on his face that really needs wiping off! The rumours of the Ugandan troops has also been denied by the police spokesman and whoever else on the government side has been asked about it.

Aid trucks from the Red Cross have been attacked in lots of Western areas trying to do their best and feed the people. It seems that they are being targeted by gangs who try and get everything off the truck for themselves and their own groups and they have no wish to share it fairly with those displaced it seems. Perhaps this is because these gangs are the ones who displaced those the Red Cross are trying to feed - who knows, but whatever the reason, people are starving that is for sure.

What is going on out there in Western Kenya is really quite a frightening prospect and I think here in Nairobi we are being shielded incredibly well from the real truth of what is going on right under our noses.

Some fab Kenyans have taken the initiative and set up a website in order to try and change the fact that we are living in a little bubble here pretending things are just 'business as usual', which from reports of people up-country, are so not. The website is and is a tool for people who witness acts of violence in Kenya in these post-election times. You can report the incident that you have seen, and it appears on a map-based view for others to see. They are working with local Kenyan NGO’s to get information and to verify each incident.

Meanwhile here in Nairobi the centre of town will be on 'lock down' from 11am as Parliament is scheduled to sit at noon.

I'll be sure to let you know what I hear, as I hear it tomorrow.

They're going to kill Kenya

This is from the Nairobi Star today and Kenya is the patient!

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Do you think we started a trend?

We've had this over the weekend ......

Rally against Georgia poll result

Protesters say the vote was rigged in Mr Saakashvili's favour
Thousands of opposition supporters have taken to the streets in Georgia in protest at what they say were rigged presidential elections last weekend.

This one is just warming up .....

Pakistan sets new election date

Elections originally scheduled for 8 January in Pakistan will now take place on 18 February, polling officials say.

The main opposition parties say they will take part, despite having demanded the election not be delayed. They have accused officials of seeking to rig it.

and now we even have the 'Persil' USofA in on the act ......
- mind you - considering that Senator Obama had a Luo father (same tribe as Raila), I do suppose this one would make sense!

Hillary Clinton faces recount over rival's 'vote rig' claims

Hillary Clinton is facing an embarrassing recount after her win in the New Hampshire primary - because a rival claims there were "serious and credible" concerns about the poll.
Mrs Clinton revived her bid for the Democratic presidential nomination last Tuesday with her win over Barack Obama - despite trailing him in a dozen polls.
"Serious and credible reports, allegations and rumour have surfaced. It is imperative these questions are addressed."

An election official said the results merely revealed that Mr Obama was strongest in rural areas - where most votes were hand-counted - and Mrs Clinton strongest in the cities, where machines were principally used.
Looks like Kofi Annan might be in for a busy year ahead!
- "But please Mr. Annan, if you don't mind, come save us first!"
- ".. and by the way, if I can pick you up at the airport, it's not a problem, I'm pretty much free tomorrow, and I do realise all our big wigs will be busy in Parliament all day."
- playing musical chairs and having a punch-up I should imagine, but busy all the same!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Raila speaks to Frost, but it's OK, I have a plan!

Hey who needs Kofi Annan - when we've got David Frost doing his thing?

Frost interviewed Raila Odinga last night on the Al Jazeera English channel to "find the answers to the questions" about whether some form of power sharing "is enough for an opposition who feels cheated out of a rightful victory", and whether Raila thinks "he will be the President of Kenya by the summer"? (You can watch the whole thing above, I did - and with my shite internet connection it was no mean feat I can tell you - and there was nothing new said as far as I can tell.)

Raila seems to say that Kibaki won't talk to him and yet he is willing to talk to Kibaki. Yet Kibaki's spokesman - Alfred Mutua - says that Kibaki is willing to talk to Raila and it is Raila that won't do the talking.

We could now get yer man Frost to speak to Kibaki (and find out there's no moving there either), and then .....

My goodness boys - I think a pissing contest is most definitely in order here. I'll be the judge (or David Frost if you like as he seems to have taken his own stance to sort this all out), and whoever can piss the furthest wins, gets to be President for the next 5 years and we can all get on with our lives as usual. The travel ban can be lifted, the tourists can come back in peace, and the police will be jolly happy they can finally get out of their sweaty Ninja turtle outfits and get back on with making some cash out of people jumping red lights and doing illegal 'U' turns on the highway.

There we go .. all sorted ....

You're Welcome!