Friday, 28 May 2010

Somalia’s Divided Islamists

The growing internal schisms and factionalism within Somalia’s Islamist movement risk plunging the country even deeper into violence and bloodshed, with dangerous implications for the wider region and beyond. These divisions are also aggravating the political crisis by polarising groups further along ideological, theological and clan lines. However, a limited opportunity may now exist for Somalia’s political actors and the international community to capitalise on these divisions and re-alignments to reach out to the increasing numbers of domestic militants disenchanted with the growing influence of foreign jihadis and extremist elements bent on pursuing a global agenda.

The divisions have always existed, but remained hidden, largely because of the unifying factor of Ethiopia’s in-country military presence since December 2006. The Ethiopian pullout in early 2009; the formation of a coalition government led by a prominent Islamist, Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed; and the adoption of Sharia (Islamic law) caught hard-line insurgents and groups, especially Harakat Al-Shabaab al-Mujahedeen (Al-Shabaab, Mujahidin Youth Movement), off guard. Thereafter, they had to justify their existence and continued armed opposition to the Sharif government. Personality and policy frictions escalated within the movement, and the gulf widened between those amenable to some form of a political settlement and those wedded to al-Qaeda inspired notions of a permanent global jihad.

The failure of the major offensive by a combined Al-Shabaab and Hizb al-Islam (Islamic Party) force against the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) in May 2009, attributable, in large measure, to the decision by the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) to mount a robust defence of the government, catalysed internal dissent and fragmentation. The insurgents’ mistakes were their failure to anticipate AMISOM’s reaction and, more crucially, their misjudgement of the international community’s resolve to come to the TFG’s defence. The rise and military gains of a TFG ally, Ahlu Sunnah Wal Jama’a (ASWJ, the Followers of the Prophetic Way and Consensus), composed of groups opposed to Al-Shabaab’s fundamentalism, have put significant pressure on the hard-line insurgency.

Although Al-Shabaab has regained Kismaayo and key towns and villages in the south by routing its rival (and erstwhile ally) Hizb al-Islam, it is now on the defensive and feels beleaguered. The movement is forced to fight on many fronts and to disperse its assets and combatants through broad swathes of hostile territory, far from its Jubba and Shabeelle strongholds in the south. But unless TFG forces perform significantly better, the balance of power will not be much altered.

Al-Shabaab’s military troubles have been compounded by the steady erosion of its popularity and credibility. The attempt to forcefully homogenise Islam and zealously enforce a harsh interpretation of Sharia, as well as the general climate of fear and claustrophobia fostered by an authoritarian administrative style, has deeply alienated large segments of society, even in areas once regarded as solid insurgent territory. Adding to the public disquiet has been the movement’s increasing radicalisation and the internal coup that has consolidated the influence of extremists allied to foreign jihadis. The suicide bomb attack in Mogadishu in December 2009, in which over two dozen civilians and officials were killed, caused an unprecedented public backlash. The widely-held perception that it was ordered by foreign jihadis prompted high-level defections and seriously undermined Al-Shabaab’s standing. Many feel it has irreparably harmed the movement’s political prospects.

However, Al-Shabaab and Hizb al-Islam are far from spent forces. They continue to radicalise Somalis at home, in the region and in the diaspora and remain a threat to the TFG and neighbouring states. Concern especially for their links to al-Qaeda extends to the U.S. and other leading Western states. Consequently, the TFG and its international partners should:

pay more attention to, and try to counter-act, the increasingly extremist ideological evolution of the Islamist movement;
step up the battle for the hearts and minds of the Somali people, including by articulating an argument that the radicalisation is largely driven by a unique set of beliefs that are alien to Somalis and an extremist and literal interpretation of holy texts; and by presenting a strategy to de-radicalise Somalia’s youth; and
place much greater emphasis on reconciliation. The TFG should exploit divisions within Al-Shabaab and Hizb al-Islam by reaching out to less extreme elements in both organizations. Bans of those organisations or
their designation as terrorist should not preclude efforts to talk with and reach understandings with individuals and factions amenable to political settlement; the international community should insist the TFG do more in this endeavour.

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Wagalla Massacre silence

The truth of the 5000 dead innocent unarmed civilians must be told before the beginning of reconciliation. In Memory of those mothers who were shot from the back while carrying their babies. The truth will come out one day....................We will begin by being silent for the whole week .no articles will be published here in our blog as respect for those who were massacred by the cowardly soldiers under government orders. Take time to think about the massacre.



Saturday, 15 May 2010

Kenya Corrupt institution

In the outskirts of Nairobi a woman passenger with her husband car are hijacked by thugs who drive them around and rob them valuables including ATM card . The husband is dropped on the way while they speed away with his wife. They rape the woman and drop her on the road a good Samaritans find her rush her to a city hospital where she is admitted and treated. The woman is traumatised and her life is destroyed for good. This is not and isolated stories but the norm of Kenya today.

Yes Nairobi has turned to Nairobbery. The world capital of thugs,rape,kidnapping and gangsterism. Robbers are so daring that they target each and every one.A Brazilian businessman in posh area of Nairobi is raided by gangs terrorised and also left traumatised. This is just the tip of iceberg. The insecurity that is felt by foreigners and Kenyans has become a reality of modern day Kenya. One U.N worker commented that you will be more safer in Mogadishu where there is no government than in Nairobi Kenya where there is government.

Kenya in the last few years has sunk so low that investors are shying away. The communities in Nairobi are now gated and taking their security in their own hand. Members of the public now dare not venture after 6pm outside their homes for fear of being carjacked or killed by this thugs who no no boundary. This is the beginning of total breakdown of law and order. Kenya is clamouring for new Constitution while the large public mass is feeling more insecure than ever.

The rate of kidnapping has hit sky roof. The situation seem not to be abetting. Kenya has the most corrupt police force if not the world but Africa. Let Kitu kidogo has taken the ugly face of lete kila kitu. The number of road blocks have rather gone up than opposite encouraging the police to be more industrious by asking bribery openly. It doesn't matter weather you are wrong or right you have to pay to pass any roadblock in this beautiful country that has been entrusted to unscrupulous politicians who leave in tower of dreams. They are busy lining up there coffers. They are In bed with the evils.

This situation has been exacerbated by ethicist police and security intelligence. Moi ruined the public confidence in every institution that this country aspired to build. He oversaw the collapse of public corporation,security institution and education system . He changed the system from up to bottom and steered institution in producing highly corrupt officials who had no regard for the welfare of their country and citizen. Moi destroyed the fabric of Kenyan society for the last 24 years. After giving up power reluctantly Moi continues with his ambition of destroying Kenya by using proxy's and flimsy public meeting. He is allowed to do this with the present regime as they are in a class of their own right.Moi right place will have been jail where he would have tasted what he inflicted on innocent Kenyans.

When Kibaki took of the mantle ship of Kenya there was a sigh of relief when he declared that corruption will be the thing of past. He embarked on the first few months with policies that tried to reverse the retrogressive policies of Moi. The wananchi started believing that Kenya was on the right path that will not derail again. Kibaki made a quick U turn and perfected the art of Moi. He sought counselling from the man of Kabarak and in few years he surpassed Moi. He managed to change and replace the public service and every institution with Kamau,Njoroge and Wairimu. He did achieve his ambition of ethnicising the face of Kenya with a lightening speed.

This poor and badly thought policies made the common Kenyan more poorer and resentful of the government system that was to benefit a single group.The system favoured Kibaki's ethnic group over the remaining 41 Kenyan ethnic group. It was Kenya against Kikuyu and when the 2007 election was called the ballots produced that picture. When Kenya voters realised that they electoral body had conspired against them they went wild and politicians used them to their advantage leading to death and destruction.Kibaki was hurriedly sworn in middle night in darkness while Kenya butchered one another.

There series of events that are happening in Kenya are very worrying. The coalition government has failed to provide security to its own citizen and have failed in delivering basic services. The death on our roads are comparable to no nation on this earth. We have the highest death on road in the world. The so called leaders are playing Russian roulette on our lives they keep on changing the goals and eyeing 2012 to keep us mesmerised by their never ending fake promises. 2012 Kenya as we know might not be there with the way things are.

The national intelligence agency has been accused of sneaking and changing clause in the draft constitution of Kenya. This is a serious matter which deserves to be treated as treasonable offence. Imagine the constitution that Kenyans have been yearning for the last 20 years only to be tampered while in transit between the attorney general and government printer.This agency which is corrupt and undemocratic should be disbanded and reconstituted with face of Kenya in Mind. This organization which is ethnic based has become so tainted that their capability of gathering information is next to zero. They are so obsessed with ethnic issue that they broken all the norm of professionalism.

The anti-terrorist police which is heavily subscribed by Kikuyu should be also disbanded and Named Anti-kidnapping and thuggery's police force. this police force which is above law has been formed to harass a group of our citizen. They are funded by Western countries to deal with terrorist threat and are not accountable to any authority. They were recently involved in foolish Saga where they detained Royal Abu Dhabi family which forced Kenya to go on its knees and beg for forgiveness. Thanks God that Abu Dhabi forgave us. Imagine 36,000 Kenyans who work in Dubai and support 500,000 Kenyans back home were made jobless and deported back. Who will have catered for the needs of this poor fellows who are bread winners. The Anti-terrorist police are bunch of stupid uneducated ethnic conglomerate who owe their position to tribal chiefs. They have placed Kenya into a disrepute.

Amos WAko is no stranger to controversies for the last 18 years as the AG he oversaw the detention of thousand of Kenyans. He is now accused by the intelligence community that the sneaking of the clause in the draft constitution was done under his supervision. Wako has always been against new constitution as that will pave his ticket to retirement where he will be landed with several suits. He has dismissed every genuine case that has been brought against his competency. No wonder he was described by professor Alston as the face of impunity in Kenya. The American has already placed pressure on him by revoking his visa which has curtailed his international merry go round trips at the expense of tax payers. He should face justice for intentionally planning to derail the draft constitution of Kenya.


Saturday, 8 May 2010

By Miguna Miguna

Many Kenyan media practitioners have, over the years, earned a reputation for courage and integrity. During the struggle for independence, scribes like the late Harry Thuku, Ramogi Achieng’ Oneko and Pio Gama Pinto pioneered “liberation journalism.” They transformed the nibs of their pens into lethal arsenals for liberation. They refrained from pedantic discussions about people and focused on issues. Instead of peddling rumours; they championed and pursued truth, human dignity and equality. They exposed, challenged and fought against injustices. And for doing so, they suffered repression.

That heroic tradition continued during the one-party dictatorship of the 1960s to early 1990s. During that period, many courageous media practitioners either suffered individually for their insightful and incisive reportage and analysis; or they suffered collectively for standing in solidarity with other Kenyans in the struggle for multi-party democracy. They sacrificed their professional careers, security and lives by their gallant actions.

This is a beaten path in liberation history; whether one talks about Vaclav Havel of the Czech Republic or Gitobu Imanyara of Kenya. Yet, as a liberation historian, I have never encountered the contributions of one self-declared “Oracle”, Otuma Ongalo. Although his byline declares that he is a “Senior Editor, Production and Quality,” his scatological articles bear no resemblance to quality. Ongalo’s patchy resume does not contain any record of courage or exceptional insight.

In an article: “Raila is a bridge that links us more to the dreaded past than the bright future” (Saturday Standard, May 1st, pg 15), the “Oracle” undermines his journalistic integrity and exposes his limited knowledge of Kenya and/or his biases.

Although he pretends to be a fortuneteller; Ongalo lacks the basic ingredients for such an undertaking. In order to prophesy, one requires an exceptional mind that can filter and retain all past and present events and use the repository of information to predict the future. If the memory is fragile or shallow, the information might be contaminated or lost. When that happens, foretelling the future accurately becomes impossible. And since the accuracy of the historical record determines the legitimacy of the prediction; Ongalo’s purported predictions are nothing but grand illusions conjured up to gloss over his analytical deficiencies.

When Ongalo asserts, as fact, that Raila Odinga is “a bridge to the dreaded past”, one would expect the oracle to explain what that past is in relation to Raila. As a “senior editor,” Ongalo ought to know that Raila has an unrivaled history of fighting against dictatorship, repression, human rights abuses, tribalism and corruption in Kenya. If Ongalo had taken his time and visited the archives of the East African Standard – the precursor to the publication he edits – he would have discovered that Raila was detained without trial for 9 years for challenging the repressive Moi regime when others played it safe.

Ongalo alleges, without foundation, that Raila’s two-year record as a co-principal in the Grand Coalition Government “is a fine blend between Jomo Kenyatta and Nyayo schools of thought.” He then asserts that Raila brooks no dissent and gives the example of what he calls the “demotion” of the “rebellious William Ruto” as an example of “Raila’s intolerance.” Interestingly, Ongalo omits to explain what the “fine blend between Jomo Kenyatta and Nyayo schools of thought” means in governance terms. He completely ignores to indicate what Raila stands for and why that is not good for Kenya.

Ongalo pretends to be smarter than he is. He uses words he does not understand. Why does Ongalo think that “rebellion without a cause” is desirable? Clearly, Ruto is still a minister appointed by Raila. Why does Ongalo imply Ruto was “demoted” for “dissent” when the latter has called his reshuffle a “promotion?” Is Ongalo implying that the agriculture portfolio was made for Ruto? Doesn’t Raila have the prerogative of reshuffling his side of the cabinet without explaining why to Ongalo?

Ongalo accuses Raila of making decisions without the approval of the “Pentagon.” But the “Oracle” has never bothered to read the ODM constitution, which does not provide for the “Pentagon” as a party organ. The “Pentagon” was an ODM campaign organ in 2007. The highest decision making organ in ODM is the National Delegates Convention, followed by the National Governing Council, then the National Executive Committee. Raila is not an organ of decision-making in ODM!

Since entering active politics, Raila has consistently pursued the realization of good governance, the rule of law and constitutionalism in Kenya. He has been involved in the struggle for a people-focused constitution throughout his adult life. Both as the Prime Minister and ODM leader, Raila has been more than tolerant to dissent. For two years running, Ruto remains an ODM deputy leader and cabinet minister despite his unreasonable and unfounded attacks on Raila and his persistent disregard for ODM’s policies, programs and decisions. Ruto has been insubordinate and disrespectful of the party leadership, rank and file. Are these traits to be encouraged in any institutional setting?

For constructively engaging in the political process in order to bring positive changes, Ongalo has called James Orengo and I, “court poets.” He seems to think that “rebellion without a cause” is chic. Is Ongalo equating “rebellion without a cause” to independence of the mind? I have been accused before of failing to sing for the King; now Ongalo says I am a master “praise singer for the King”. Does that make me a quintessential iconoclast?

*The writer is PM’s Adviser, Coalition Affairs and Joint Secretary to the Permanent Committee on the Management of Grand Coalition Affairs. The opinions expressed here are his own.

Thursday, 6 May 2010

The Church's Dilemma

The clergy in Kenya form a group of citizen who are looked upon for pastoral guidance. Their words are weighed and acted upon by their flocks.They are trusted and relied upon in the whole continent.The 90s brought this group of citizen to the fore front for clamour of Human rights which were being trampled by dictator Moi. They spoke to their congregation and gave them hope and led them to believe in citizenship.

The most striking group of clergy that will come in any Kenyan mind will be the giants clergy like Bishop Alexander Muge,Bishop Henry Okullu,Bishop Timothy Njoya and the rest of the good men. They were bound by the convent with their flock whom they looked after no matter what condition they presented to them.Their doors were open to all who sought guidance and comfort.They did not discriminate and engaged with equally with other faith groups.

During the clamour for multi-party system the clergy were in fore front. They issued pastoral letters which were considered affront to Moi's despotic regime who did not tolerate what they termed as dissident views that was poisoning the mind of Kenyans. Moi using his state apparatus illegally came down heavily on the clergy. Bishop Alexander Muge died in mysterious car crash few days after being threatened by Peter Okondo a cabinet minister in Moi's regime.The minister had warned Bishop Muge that if he ever sets his foot in Busia he will never leave alive. The Bishop defied the order and went to Busia.On his way back from Busia he never made it back home.The death was never investigated despite huge international outcry.

Today the clergy are skeleton of its past. It has been over taken by masqueraders who pretend to represent the flock by day and tribal constituency at night. They will raise their voice to the congregation under estimating their capacity to think and make informed decision. This group of tribal clergy have overtaken the churches pulpit and mesmerise their flock with poisonous tribal rhymes.

The church in Kenya is today facing credibility issues. In 2005 the churches took side during the referendum. The Central province clergy become focal in supporting the Banana group which was led by politician whom they unidentified with. They heavily lost with the orange taking the trophy of home. This polarised the nation which led to the 2007 election violence.

The churches are now repeating the same mistake which led this country to almost total collapse. They have not learnt the lesson from the loss of 1500 lives and displacement of 600,000 Kenyans who are languishing in internal camps. The most vocal of this clergy is Peter Karanja who has again turned on the knob of polarising Kenya once more. Karanja is just satisfying his ethnic ego and the plight of suffering Kenyan is of least concern.

The draft constitution of Kenya is not a perfect document but aspires to bring good governance and end impunity in Kenya. It brings the citizen close to running the affairs of their country as opposed to few men who have been recycled since independence. The issue of abortion and Kadhi court is red hearing. The main issue that scares the No camp group is the large tract of Land that was grabbed by Kenyatta and Moi's operatives which will revert to public use. This few land barons grabbed large fertile tract of land which they fenced and left it idle denying Kenyans to cultivate and grow food to feed this nation of 40 million people.

The Kadhi's court is in the present constitution by virtue of international agreement that was brokered between The Sultan of Zanzibar and Kenya's Prime Minister Jomo Kenyatta. The agreement was that the Sultan will cede 10km coastal strip to Kenya in return for Muslims conducting their affairs through the Kadhi court. With or without new constitution the Kadhi court will remain entrenched with Kenya constitution.

The church is challenging the right of Kenyan women to survive in child birth. The issue of abortion has been blown out of proportion by the clergy who did not take time to read the section or have decided that women have no place in this country's leadership. There is no section in the draft Constitution that encourages abortion and it rather entrenches the right of the unborn child. The Churches have joined bandwagon of politicians who who have sensed that they will be exposed by the enactment of the new constitution and about to loose their pprivilage.

The American far right groups are now directly funding the churches in Kenya to scatter the new Constitution. This far right groups have started pouring million of dollars to plant seed of hatred in our beloved nations. The Far right groups are notorious for fighting against civil right campaigners in the U.S and associated with lynching blacks in the South. They have already been disowned by the U.S Embassy in Nairobi. This group have found working relationship with the church to destroy the fabrics of Kenya.

The Churches are now divided into two opposing groups with ethnic factors playing in fore front. The Church in Central province have once again joined together campaigning for the No vote while the group from Nyanza are supporting the Yes Vote. Kenya is once more polarised and divided in the middle. This church leaders have once again failed to read the mood of public and are doomed. They will be held for the death and destruction that will follow if they do not mend their ways and shun away the American far right group agenda.


Wednesday, 5 May 2010

The Same League

At last we are in the same league. The ball is in our court. We did Laico together and shared everything. The KAA managing director share is on the way. Kenya is place for us.