Epistle to Afrophobic South Africa

Epistle to Afrophobic South Africa

Wednesday, 30 March 2022

The Pleasure of Love


Kenya 2022 Elections: Ruto Should Substantiate Rigging Claim


By Nkwazi Mhango, Manitoba, Canada

Dear Mr. William Ruto,

For the first time, I touch base with you. Allow me a wee bit of your time to the following important issues that resonate with you individually and Kenya in general. Since you fell out with your boss, President Uhuru Kenyatta, many things have occurred. All started when he shook hands with his former nemesis, former Prime Minister Raila Odinga on 9th March, 2018. We all understand you didn’t support this milestone for the duo and Kenya. However, your boss said that you’re informed about everything but later, you started complaining that his move had destroyed your dalliance, which gave birth to a very fake marriage known as UhuRuto. To cap it all, you recently alleged that Kenya’s coming general election will be rigged to favour Odinga. These are damningly serious allegations that can’t be swept under the rug.

            Mr. Ruto, due to the above unsubstantiated rancorous allegations, you and some of your lieutenants have alleged that the coming election will be rigged in favour of Mr. Odinga since he’s backed and supported by your boss. Can you please tell us what we don’t know that you know? How spot-on are such allegations? Speaking at the Karson Institute for Race, Peace and Social Justice in Loyola University in Maryland USA, on 2nd February, 2022, you’re quoted as saying that “as a leader, I have taken the position to speak against any attempts to try and straightjacket people into predetermined outcomes. We would have expected to do this without the baggage of blackmail and intimidation that is going on but unfortunately that is where we are” (Sic). Seriously?

            Because of those true/imagined dreads, you recently announced that you’ll launch your parallel tallying centre in the August election despite knowing that it is illegal and unconstitutional. To jog your mind, Odinga was quoted as saying that in “last election [2017], when we demanded to be allowed to set up a parallel tallying centre, he [Ruto] is on record saying that would be unconstitutional. Now he is saying he is going to set up a parallel tallying centre so he is basically living in contradictions.” Who’s telling the truth/lies between you and Mr. Odinga?

Mr. Ruto, by creating doubts about the credibility of votes, do you mean that you won’t accept the results shall you not be declared a winner even without actually winning?  Are such allegations pre-emptive move to complicate things? Don’t you know its ramifications?! Have you easily forgot the 2007/08 bloodbath and bad politics? Have you forgotten the ICC saga Sir? Are you serious or just seeking sympathy from voters after sensing defeat? More importantly, the sage’s it that nothing should be done in a hurry except catching fleas. Similarly, what’s good for the goose’s good for the gander.

            Mr. Ruto, thanks to the above catch-22, there are some issues we’d like to get straight in order to be the part of the solution to this narrative. Again, are you crying foul because the shoe is on the other foot, or do you’ve any believable evidence to substantiate your allegations? As the President to be––––conditionally and strictly if you make it––––you need to show believability and probity in whatever you do or say or stand for. Again, are you ready to make public your evidence on the matter?

            Honourably and scientifically, please address the issue of rigging. Similarly, allow me to humbly ask you the following questions: Why’d Odinga rig if he won three elections without rigging since he didn’t have the instruments of power or being the part of government? What’s changed? Did he win or not? Refer to Moses Kuria (MP for Gatundu, South), who’s recently quoted as saying “we are the ones who maintained Uhuru, and we are the ones who used to steal votes for him.” The bolded words back Odinga’s allegations that his three wins were stolen.

            Mr. Ruto, don’t you see that the truth that Odinga won three aeras and his victory’s stolen needs to be well-thought-out before making such allegations? How, if the government that conducted and presided over the election was UhuRuto’s? Based on that, don’t you see that Kuria’s exposé speaks to the facts that Odinga had the numbers, which he still has plus the backing of the outgoing president, thus will easily defeat you without necessarily rigging? If he won solo three times against two presidents, what’ll stop him from winning fair and square provided that the backing by Kenyatta speaks to the addition of ballot to Odinga’s ballot hamper?

            More importantly, why’d Mr. Odinga rig the coming poll against one person while he’s able to beat three people in the allegedly rigged elections prior? Though we don’t support rigging since it can cause troubles for the country, we think that any allegations made without substantiation are likely to show that those making them have already sensed defeat. We might be right or wrong on this. Chinese proverb’s it that he who strikes the first blow admits he’s lost the argument.

Mr. Ruto, are you implying that you’ve underscore the fact that you’ve already lost the argument not to mention elections? If he were able to rig the election[s]–––if indeed this holds water––––why then did he lose three elections after being rigged out as you know? I don’t believe so; and I’d not like this to be the case. Thus, let’s be a wee bit fair to ourselves and Mr. Odinga and his backers. Kenya’s bigger and more important than us individuals.  

            In sum, let’s be fair to ourselves and others as we seek to maintain the cohesion, peace and stability Kenya’s enjoyed as the result of the handshake. If you lose just shake hands and try another time instead of thinking it’s the end of the world. Politicians come and go, and Kenya will always be there. Let’s also be truthful to our people and the country at large. Mr. Ruto, since you’re in the know, please divulge your evidence in order to unearth his dangerous and ghoulish scheme against the constitution and justice. Submit them to the authorities. Italians have proverb that never point out the mistakes of another with a dirty finger. Enough is enough. Let presidential contestants put their houses in order before making damning allegations. Mr. Ruto, can you please present your evidence to substantiate your claims? How’ll the coming elections pan out? Please clear the air before that. Blessed be and embark on clean and patriotic politics.

Source: African Executive Magazine today.

Monday, 28 March 2022

Is This the Kenya Heroes Fought and Died for?

This cartoon has captivated me. It speaks volumes when it comes to how our politicians look at and treat as. It unearth greed and selfishness of the first order .
Source: Daily Nation today.

Saturday, 26 March 2022

Why William Ruto is totally unfit to be President of Kenya

Deputy President William Ruto addressing delegates at Kasarani Stadium in Nairobi on March 15, 2022 during the UDA National Delegates’ Conference.

By Makau Mutua   Professor at SUNY Buffalo Law School and Chair of the KHRC.

What you need to know:

There are a gazillion reasons why Mr Ruto must never be entrusted with power.
A gazillion more reasons why Mr Odinga is the antidote to our stubborn problems.

The 2022 presidential poll is the most critical – consequential – election since the republic was founded in 1964. It’s a once-in-a-generation contest that could make, or break, Kenya. In political parlance, it’s an inflection point in the construction of the state. While the public is caught up in the petty hoopla of the campaign, a deeper and darker danger – an existential threat to Kenya as we know it – lurks ominously underneath.

        All the country’s demons are primed to collide on August 9, and the consequences could be damning for us all. The fate of the country hangs in the balance. Four men – Uhuru Kenyatta, Raila Odinga, William Ruto and Kalonzo Musyoka – could decide if we go to heaven, or hell.

While partisans on both sides of the political aisle are focused on the shiny objects – rallies, fiery speeches, gaffes and personality quirks – the leviathan awaits. Shall we feed the beast, or slay it, for the sake of the country? The leviathan isn’t any one thing. It’s an atomic collection of all our psychoses as a country – our haphazard concoction as a state by the British imperialists, the inability of our elite to cohere us as one nation, the myopia of our looting and abject leadership, our failure to germinate the seed of democracy and economic opportunity for all, and the scandalous international order. All these debilitating maladies, and our infestation to the bone marrow by corruption, have retarded us. 

        Based on the monumental task ahead of us as country, I ask that we quit focusing on the minutiae of politics and treat the August 9 elections as a live bullet aimed at our collective head. It’s akin to Russian roulette. One wrong move and we are done for. That’s why I have concluded – after my deepest introspection – that Mr William Ruto is totally unfit to be President of the Republic of Kenya. Kenyans from all walks of life must overwhelmingly reject him at the ballot to send the clear message to the world that the country has chosen renaissance over decay, pessimism and damnation. Kenyans must say loudly and clearly – we choose light over darkness. 

        We stand on the cusp of history. We will make history, one way or the other. The two key horses in the race – Mr Odinga and Mr Ruto – are as starkly different as night and day. The former represents our better angels, the latter our worst proclivities. Never before have two people, who were on the polar opposites of the ethical and moral worlds, run for the highest office in Kenya. There are a gazillion reasons why Mr Ruto must never be entrusted with power, and a gazillion more reasons why Mr Odinga is the antidote to our stubborn problems. Let me tell you why Mr Ruto will be a nightmare for Kenya. Don’t be hoodwinked by slimy slogans.

        First, what’s Mr Ruto’s vision for Kenya? Truth be told, Mr Ruto doesn’t have a clue as to why he wants to be President. His politics is completely transactional and devoid of any philosophy or ideology. The man is visionless and to the extent he has a vision, you’d be better advised not to buy it. Let me tell you why.

        Two important symbols have emerged from what Mr Ruto and the United Democratic Alliance, his party, want us to believe is a vision. The first is something he’s called a bottom-up approach to development. The second is the wheelbarrow. The first is so general as to be useless while the second is a symbol of the pre-industrial age. 

        In organisational – or economic – lingo, the term bottom-up is so mundane as to warrant no serious discussion. Every company, or government, pays it lip service and homage but it’s usually a feel-good slogan – a type of Kool-Aid – fed to hapless masses, or a tired company line meant to boost worker morale.

        Mr Ruto’s acolytes have cited US President Joe Biden’s use of the term in feckless attempts to legitimise their starry-eyed use of it. But that falls like a dud. As used by President Biden, the term means no more than his administration’s policies to marginally lift up the middle class. However, that’s been the song of all Democratic and Republican administrations since the Great Society of the 1960s.

Bottom-up approach

The Great Society programmes was a set of policies meant to reduce poverty, stem racial inequities, bring down crime and care for the environment. They were a project of a “thicker” welfare state. There’s nothing radical, or eye-popping, about them today. It’s the minimalist grist of the mill for every responsible democratic state today. It doesn’t actually address the needs of the poorest of the poor, the “hustlers” that Mr Ruto’s campaign is banked on.

To transform the penury of the “mama mboga” , Kenya would need a more radical economic model premised on zero corruption, massive deliberate investment in health, education, agriculture, infrastructure and small businesses. These must be targeted at the poorest. The philosophy of government would’ve to change.

        Mr Ruto talks about the bottom-up approach as though it was a eureka moment. Someone should tell him that’s old hat. In fact, it’s part of Vision 2030 and many of the policies of previous Kenyan governments. He should tell us something new if he wants to put forth a compelling reason for his bid for State House, not regurgitating policies that are passé, and which have been tried before. Beyond the empty slogan, Mr Ruto has nothing else to offer. He hasn’t articulated coherent, or believable, policies to deal with corruption, Kenya’s premier development problem. He has many reasons to leave corruption alone. 

        Mr Ruto isn’t the person to slay the dragon of corruption. He should never – ever – open his mouth to address the issue, unless it’s to clarify the many scandals that have dogged his political career. I know he’s never been convicted of these scandals, although for once the court found him liable for grabbing a 100-acre plot belonging to one Adrian Muteshi in Uasin Gishu County at the height of the 2008 of post-election pogroms. Mr Ruto was fined and ordered to restore the land to Muteshi. But Mr Ruto’s scandal sheet stretches from Kisumu to Mombasa. One must wonder how these scandals relate to public reports of the sources of his reputed massive – and unexplained – wealth. 

        One of the best-known blots on Mr Ruto is the saga of the attempt to grab the playground of Langata Primary School. In that dastardly affair, Mr Ruto’s name was implicated in the attempt by “faceless” businesspeople to take over the land. After a public hue and cry, the matter receded.

        The images of limp and bloodied schoolchildren under a military-style assault by heavily armed policemen will forever be etched in our minds. More prominent, however, is Mr Ruto’s alleged land grab of land owned by the Kenya Civil Aviation on which he built Weston Hotel. The matter is in court. It’s instructive Mr Ruto first denied, then admitted, owning Weston Hotel. 

        Mr Ruto’s other prominent blots include the maize scandal when he served in the Grand Coalition Government. He was sacked as minister at the recommendation of former Prime Minister Raila Odinga over corruption allegations. The 2013 “Hustler Jet” scandal embroiled Mr Ruto in a Sh100 million jet hire to gallivant in West Africa as the country struggled financially.

        Other reported scandals include the Kimwarer and Arror dams mess and the heist of the Kenya Pipeline land. The list is long. It’s fair to say that no major political figure in Kenya today has been accused of as many scandals involving the theft of public resources. It’s notable Mr Ruto has never cleared the air on most of these scandals. 

        How do Mr Ruto’s allegations of corruption relate to the sources of his unexplained wealth? Mr Ruto has spent all his adult life in government. Early in his life, he joined the violent state-sponsored group Youth for Kanu ’92. The group sought to zone the country for the Moi-Kanu regime from the opposition to fight the push for democracy. It was an ignominious way for Mr Ruto to cut his political teeth.

Lack of public morals

From there, Mr Ruto was elected MP and thus began his long tenure in government. Where did Mr Ruto acquire his riches, millions of which he’s dished out to churches and other groups over the past five years in his not-so-stealthy campaign for State House?

        Unlike other wealthy politicians, Mr Ruto can’t point to family wealth to explain his largesse. Even if he’s made money in business, which businesses are those, and can he explain how they were started and funded? He’s never been audited and has never publicly declared his wealth and its sources.

        These huge and unanswered questions make him ineligible for election as president in a country where corruption is a disease. Unless the next administration tames corruption – and publicly stigmatises corrupt officials – Kenyans will slide deeper into abject poverty. A person whose public record is closely linked to corruption – and can’t explain his wealth – shouldn’t be put in office at a critical moment in the life of the nation.

            Mr Ruto’s unfitness for election to State House goes beyond his scandals. The man doesn’t have a democratic bone in his body. He was a key cog in the Kanu dictatorship under Moi. He was among the Kanu and state officials who suppressed the fight for democracy and the Second Liberation. He fought tooth and nail against the realisation of the 2010 Constitution.

        He even led the campaign against the referendum to ratify it. Kenyans should fear that if elected president, Mr Ruto’s true undemocratic colours would come out. Would he abolish term limits? Very likely. Would he persecute, exile and do even worse to critics, opponents and the press? His political history and philosophy strongly suggest so.

        Then there’s the dark cloud of the International Criminal Court that continues to hang over Mr Ruto’s head. Mr Ruto was indicted by the ICC for crimes against humanity for his role in the near genocidal brutalities that followed the 2007 elections. His case – and those of other co-accused – was terminated. But his case was withdrawn with a caveat.

        The ICC poignantly ruled that his discharge did not amount to an acquittal, or an absolution. It was due to state interference and tampering with witnesses. The Prosecutor left open the probability of re-prosecution. The Prosecutor stated that the scheme to defeat justice was carried out at the behest of, and in collaboration with, Mr Ruto. Definitely not presidential material.

        Finally let me address Mr Ruto’s lack of public morals. Mr Ruto has a penchant for lies. He’s a man who appears to be incapable of saying what he means and meaning what he says. A good example is his doublespeak on Jubilee’s record and his relationship with Mr Uhuru Kenyatta, his estranged boss.

For the longest time, Mr Ruto lied to the nation that his relationship with Mr Kenyatta was solid when it was clear to everyone their political marriage was irretrievably broken. Mr Ruto has consistently lied about Mr Odinga for the failures in Jubilee. Jubilee was broken by Mr Ruto’s insatiable political greed to inherit Mr Kenyatta even before Mr Kenyatta started his second term. 

Absent without leave 

 Does Kenya want to elect a leader who can’t tell basic truths, even when they are obvious to the whole country? Does Kenya want to elect a leader who will take public resources for his aggrandisement and not spend a single day in the office? For the past five years, Mr Ruto has been AWOL (Absent Without Leave) from his office.

        Yet he’s continued to plunder public resources for his campaign. He eats at the expense of the state. Sleeps in a government house. Is driven in fleets of state vehicles. Uses all of this and the massive state security apparatus to campaign. Yet he does absolutely nothing as Deputy President. This is a window into Mr Ruto’s morals.

        An honourable person would’ve resigned and stopped living large on taxpayers’ money. This is nothing short of theft of public resources. Theft is taking money, a resource, or some other benefit you don’t deserve, and have not earned, without fulfilling your requisite obligations. Nothing is more important than the treasury of a country.

        Yet Mr Ruto’s time in government and his own casual relationship with the truth about the state’s resources suggest a man who shouldn’t be entrusted with the public purse. During his time in government – especially the first term – the county borrowed heavily and was plunged into deep debt. Yet much of that debt was looted for personal gain. Does Mr Ruto know who stole our future?        

        Finally, I want to close with a fact that epitomises Mr Ruto’s character. He calls himself Dr Ruto. But as a person who has supervised doctoral candidates, I can attest to the fact that no one with Mr Ruto’s schedule has the time to do the demanding academic work that’s required for such a serious undertaking.

        Did Mr Ruto really earn his doctoral degree? He – and those who supervised him – owe the country an explanation. Mr Ruto’s claim of such a dubious academic pedigree is a metaphor for his entire life – mysterious wealth, unexplained scandals, greed for power and fame, and nefarious attempts to defeat justice and the rule of law, including at the ICC. He’s unfit to be president.

        Yet Mr Ruto and three other political heavyweights – Mr Kenyatta, Mr Odinga and Mr Musyoka hold the key to who will govern Kenya after August 9. The latter three owe Kenya a duty to make sure – within the strictures of the Constitution – that Mr Ruto does not ascend to power.

        He must be defeated at the ballot box fairly and squarely if he’s declared eligible to run. Mr Odinga and Mr Musyoka will have an outsize role to play in that matrix. They must come together one more time, as they have in the past, to save Kenya from Mr Ruto.

Makau Mutua is SUNY Distinguished Professor and Margaret W. Wong Professor at Buffalo Law School. He’s also Chair of KHRC and Spokesperson of the Raila Odinga Presidential Campaign Secretariat and head of its think tank. @makaumutua.

Source: Sunday Nation tomorrow.

Friday, 25 March 2022


"Ndugu wananchi, kwa  masikitiko  makubwa  nawajulisha  kuwa, leo  tarehe  17 Machi  mwaka  huu  wa  2021, majira  ya  saa  12  jioni, tumempoteza  kiongozi wetu shupavu, Rais  wa  Jamhuri  ya  Muungano,  Mheshimiwa  Dkt. John  Pombe  Magululi;  ambaye  amefariki  kwa maradhi  ya  moyo  katika hospitali  ya  Mzena,  jijini  Da es Salaam,  alikokuwa  akipatiwa  matibabu”. That was the  terse,  short  statement, which  was  made  by  the  then  Vice  President  of  the  United  Republic, Samia  Suluhu Hassan;  when   she  formally  announced  to Tanzanians,  and  to  the   rest  of  the  world,  the  untimely  death  of  our  then President,  the late  John Pombe  Maguduli,  the  first  Tanzanian  President  to  die  in  office.             
         As  would  be  expected,  this  sudden   announcement  produced a great deal  of  shock  in  all  those  who  heard  it  live.Thus, last  week,  March  17th,  2022;  was  the  first  anniversary  of  President  John  Pombe  Magufuli’s  untimely  death,  which  occurred  hardly  three  months  into  what  would  have  been  his  second term in office.  And  this  day  was  aptly  observed  at  national level  through  a  prayer  congregation  attended  by all the  nation’s  top  leaders,  who  assembled  at  Chato  (the   home  village of  both the  birth and  burial,  of  the  late  President);  in commemoration  of  the  first  anniversary of  that   sorrowful event.                  
        The  famous  English  Playwright  and  dramatist,  William  Shakespeare, wrote  the  following  lines  in  his  work  titled  Julies  Caesar : “The  evil  that  men  do  lives after  them, but  the  good  is  often  interred  with  their bones”.  Tanzanians should  not,  nay,  must  not,  allow ‘the  good’ that  the  late  President Magufuli  did  for our nation, to “be interred  with  his  bones”.              
        And  that,  I humbly   submit,  should  be  the  main purpose, and principal objective, of all such  death   commemoration  events for all  our  departed   leaders. Consequently,  that  will  be  the  theme of  today’s  article,  which  attempts  to  present “the good” that  the late  President  Magufuli   did  for  our  country  and  nation,  “lest  we forget”.  
        Everyone  is, of course,  free  to make his own  assessment of the  late  President Magufuli’s  performance.  There  are  three specific areas  which  lend  themselves  to  leadership performance  assessment  and  evaluation. They are  (a)  the state  of  the economy,  and  the social  services; (b)  participation  in the  international relations  area;  and  (c)  the management of the political  landscape.  In  respect  of  the  late  President Magufuli,       
        I would  venture to say  that   the  vast   majority,  if  not  all,  of the people, would  easily   agree  that  his  performance in the area of strengthening the   country’s economy, and his delivery  in  the  social  services sector, were  admirably extraordinary.    There  is this  Kiswahili proverb, which  says  “Mwenye macho,  haambiwi  tazama”.  The  positive  results  of his  endeavours  in this  area were there  for  all  to see, and  witness for  themselves.        
        For example, in  the  face oh  high  risks  of  failure, he boldly undertook  to  implement  mega  infrastructure  projects ; particularly those   of  shifting  the  government  capital  to Dodoma,  and  the  construction of  the huge Stigler’s  Gorge  electricity  generating  plant;  both  of  which  had  been  conceived by the  late  President  Nyerere  in  the  early  formative  years  of the  country’s  independence;  but  had  been totally frustrated  by  factors  beyond  his  control.                                     
        Other  apparently risky  mega  investment  projects included  the reviving of  the seriously   ailing  national  Airline,  Air Tanzania Corporation;  by  purchasing  for  it  the most modern flying  aircraft the  Dreamliner,  among other latest   models;  and the construction  of the standard  Gauge  Railway line of more  than one  thousand  kilometers;  plus  the construction of new,  large,  passenger  and  cargo  ships  to  operate  on  Tanzanian  inland  Lakes;   and   all  of  these  mega  projects   being   carried  out  using  only  internally generated  funds ! 
         And  in  the  Social  service  area, the  late  President  Magufuli  quickly  introduced  and   implemented   the  policy of  “free  Primary and  junior secondary  education up to FORM IV level;  and  also  greatly increased  the  amount of  interest-free  loans  to higher (tertiary) education  students. Considering the fact that there are as  many as  fifty-two University institutions that, between them,  were  admitting a  total of  more than one hundred  students every  year; plus an even much larger  number of continuing students; granting loans to such large  numbers of   beneficiaries as a very heavy burden,  as  well  as  risky  business,  for  the  government  to undertake. But Magufuli’s  government had no  hesitation in accepting to carry  this  extra heavy  load,  obviously based  on  the  basic  principle  which  is  expressed  in the  dictum “elimu  ni  msingi  wa  maendeleo” .    
        On  the  other  hand, however,   his  rather  callous  disregard of  the  serious   dangers  posed  by  the  corona virus  pandemic,   relying  instead   on  urging  people to pray  and pray  again, asking for  God’s divine protection. But,   indeed, as  if the  almighty  God had  whispered to  him, our country  was  largely  saved from  the ravaging  effects  of  this  pandemic, which continued  to devastate  many  other countries  in the entire word; thus necessitating  the  imposition of some extremely severe  restrictions  on  peoples’ movements, such  as  lockdowns;  which  obviously created  new serious  problems by   disrupting  peoples’ normal  lives. 
         President  Magufuli luckily saved us  from  all  that, with people  continuing to live their normal,  ordinary  lives of  working  hard, in compliance  with his famous  slogan “Hapa  kazi  tu”. 
         Furthermore, opinions are also divided with  regard  to  the  international  relations  area. There  are those  who think  that   the  late  President  seems  to have largely distanced  himself from  personal  meetings  with his  peers,  both  in respect  of  attendance  at  international meetings like the  United  Nations General  Assembly;  and  in travelling to  other countries on official visits. For he rarely crossed Tanzania’s  borders for these  purposes. Although  they  are  also those who did not see this to  be  a  problem  at  all.          
        Similarly, in the area of managing the political  landscape; there is a substantial number of those  who feel that he was not giving equal opportunities to all  the  political  players, to exercise their  political  rights, particularly when he imposed a ban on  public  political meetings  during the times when  there  was  no  elections for which to conduct  the  necessary electoral campaigns meetings.   
        But  I  am  one  of  the  late   President  Magufuli’s many admirers, who also include his  Zimbabwe  enthusiasts, who coined the “Magufulification”  concept, to which I briefly referred  to in last  week’s  article.  Nevertheless, as shown above,  I readily  concede  that, being a human  being  like  the  rest  of  us,  he did commit  mistakes  in  some  areas  of  state  governance.  But  such  mistakes are  what, I submit,  should  have  been  “interred  with  his  bones”.   
        My  admiration  of the  late President  Magufuli’s  performance, is clearly  evidenced  in  the series  of articles, which were  regularly  published in this  column  in  respect of his  performance : (a)  after his first  hundred  days  in  office; and (b) at the  end of  each  of  his  years in  office, during  the  whole  of  his  first  term.           
         In  my  article  on President  Magufuli’s  first  hundred  days in office, I made  the  observation that “President Magufuli had  already  become  an  African  continental  icon, within  those  first  hundred days  in  office”; and  to confirm  this  assertion, I quoted  captions  from  some  of  the  leading newspapers  of  South  Africa,  Ghana,  Nigeria  and  Zimbabwe,  all  of  which  sang  praises  on  President  Magufuli’s  exemplary  performance.         
        In  the  same  captivating  enthusiasm,  I  also undertook,  in  2019,  jointly  with  my   friend  and  colleague  Nkwazi  Mhango;  to  co-author  a  book  titled  “Magufulification”:  A  new  concept  that  will  define  Africa’s  future”;   which  we   submitted  for  publication,  upon  formal  signed  Agreement,  to   GDY  Publications  Company  Limited  of  Da es Salaam.  But  it   is  unfortunately  still  awaiting  publication.
Inside our co-authored “Magufulification” tome.
Our own considered  appraisal of  President  Magufuli’s unique, extraordinary performance (which  is  implied  in  the “Mgufulification” concept),  is to  be  found  in the final Chapter 10 of that book; in  which we take  a close look at his  rapid implementation  of his  election promise “to bring  substantive change”. Therein we cite both the minor  and major changes, which he successfully  introduced, in  respect  of the government’s  management  of the country’s  affairs.               
            His  ‘minor’ changes  included   the  cancellation of  some of the grandiose national  celebrations that  involved huge  expenditures (such  as  the annual independence  celebrations), and  re-allocating  the money budgeted to other  development projects; while the ‘major’  changes  include  the enhancement of the collection of government revenues, from the  former  billions  to  the  current trillions of shillings;  particularly  his  effective  elimination  of  the  exploitation that was being  carried  out by some  of the foreign  mining   companies when he introduced new,  revolutionary,  pieces  of  legislation;  specifically: the “Natural  Wealth  and  Resources  Contracts (Review   and  Renegotiation of  Unconscionable  Terms)  Act”  of  2017;  and  “the “Natural Wealth and  Resources (Permanent  Sovereignty) Act”, also of 2017.         
        The  first mentioned Act granted  new  powers  to  the National Assembly to review any  mining  contract, or Agreement, “which appeared  to  jeopardize, or was  likely to jeopardize,  the  interests  of  the  people  of  the United  Republic”. The  second  Act  made provision for  the  recognition of the  country’s permanent sovereignty over its  natural  wealth  and  resources, by  declaring  that  “the ownership  of,  and control  over,  the  country’s  natural  wealth  and  resources  shall  be  exercised  by,  or  through,  the  Government,  on  behalf  of  the  people  of  the  United  Republic”;  and  further  provides  as  follows:- “it  shall  be  wrongful  and  unlawful  to make  any  arrangement  or  Agreement for the  extraction,  exploration,  or  acquisition  and  use of  the  country’s  natural  resources, except  where  the  interests  of  the  people  are  fully  secured,  and  is  approved  by  the  National  Assembly”.  
            These revolutionary laws  include a number  of  other provisions, which have brought immense  benefits to the  people of Tanzania in a variety of  other  ways, by  effectively controlling the mining  sector;   which has  resulted in very significant  increases  in government  revenues  accruing  from  that  sector,  thus  greatly reducing the excessive  dependence on foreign donors; and creating genuine hope  in  the possible success of  achieving the  ‘magic’  of  “self-reliance”, that  was  envisaged in the   ruling  party’s Arusha  Declaration of  1967.
        We  also  drew  attention to the late President  Magufuli’s  commendable  fight  against  the  evil  of corruption,  and  the  strides  he  had  made  in  that  difficult endeavour;  as  evidenced  by  a  variety  of  positive  comments  made  by  from  different  independent   sources.  A  forum   meeting  of  the  Human  Rights  NGOs   held  in  Banjul  on  the  occasion  of  the  2018  “African  Human  Rights  Day”;  where  18  Tanzanian  Human  Rights  Civil  Organizations  were  represented,  issued  the  following  statement at  the    close  of  their  meeting:- “This  forum “calls  on  other  African  Heads  of  State  to  take a leaf  from  President  Magufui’s  fight  against  corruption”.  A  manifest  proof  of  the international  recognition  accorded  to President  Magufuli’s achievements in that  area.   
        “Ethics is the  heart of leadership”, so the  books  of  authority on this  subject tell  us. The   late  President Magufuli will  also be  remembered  for  his  firm stand in  defense of the constitution. In  2017,  some CCM  cadres  had  initiated a private campaign, seeking  to have the constitution  amended  in  order  to  allow him  to serve for more  than  two  terms. “I  am  not interested in  staying  on  after  my  two  terms”;   was  President  Magufli’s  ethical  response.  He  continued  thus: “I vowed  solemnly,   when  I  took  the  oath  of  office, to  abide  by  the  Constitution.  There  is  no  way  I can  stay  beyond  the  stipulated  two   terms”.
piomsekwa@gmai.com /0754767576.
Source: Daily News and Cde Msekwa.

Tuesday, 22 March 2022

Is Ukraine war the end of America’s clout and unipolarity?

The world’s currently jittery and disquiet. Russia’s recent invasion of Ukraine’s but the beginning of the end of US’s global hegemony if not the tip of the iceberg. The writing is on the wall now for the EU, US, the West and for every eye to see. Soon after the WWII, the US and the then USSR evolved as the sole powers of the world as the British and Germans lost it. This marked the beginning of the Cold War that ended in 1991 when the US outfoxed the then USSR that gave in, and temporarily evaporated from the world political map. Thus, the period from 1991 to February 2022’ll go down memory lane as a unipolar stint that saw the US unimpeded enjoy and dominate the world in everything.
 Unexpectedly, on 24th February, 2022, the catnapped colossus, Russia, aroused up and upset the world’s geopolitics and the superstructure. Before then, there’s seething conflict whereby Russia decisively decided to invade Ukraine. Before this rodomontade, the world witnessed the hustle and bustle in Kiev where many Western leaders helplessly converged to assure Ukraine that it’s safe since the West led by NATO, would back it in repelling Russian threats, which up until now hasn’t done! On its part, Ukraine became confident that the big boys would chip in shall bully Russia make a move or statement. As if in dream, the bully struck decisively. All of the sudden, the cracks in these geopolitics and fake relationship surfaced. The West’s nowhere to be seen accountably and practically helping a desperate Ukraine. This forced Ukraine, like a mouse before the moggy, to think about surrendering before Russia ignored it and forced it to fight tooth and nail solo. Such an appeal aimed at forcing the west to act. But nyet. Nobody showed up when Vladimir Putin made a move against Volodymyr Zelenskyy. This can strategically be seen how the West hypocritically clambered their armies and equipment to guard NATO members but not the besieged feeble Ukraine.
        As the first attacks took place, the West awkwardly issued threats that it’d impose sanctions against Russia, which it later did though to no avail. They announced all sorts of measures topped up with millions of dollars grants and aids at the time Ukraine needed boots on the ground to no avail. Many analysts wondered and are still worried how sanctions could deter or stop an advancing interloper seeking to revenge for its fleeting death. What do sanctions effectively do for the people trading punches?
         Again, such desperate measures didn’t stop Russia from invading helpless Ukraine. Yes, the West’s abandoned Ukraine at the very hour of need. Why? The answer comes to from NATO’s General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg who says that the conflict’s but a new normal for the toothless Europe. Ukraine president Zelenskyy realised how betrayed and duped he’s after being left to face cavalier and callous Putin, who openly pled the Ukrainian military to overthrow him. A frustrated Zelenskyy’s quoted as saying “we have been left alone to defend our state.” This was obvious after Zelenskyy asked to meet US president Joe Biden to no avail. Instead of showing US’s mighty, Biden, kept on issuing threats and doing nothing as Ukraine’s on fire. This proves that the US’s given up on its hegemony.
            The story of this over-all butchery started a long time ago when the US voted in Donald Trump to lay the foundation and thereby pave the way for the destruction of US’s unchecked hegemony. He openly leaned to Putin so as to expose US’s virility. He’s recently quoted as saying that Putin’s a genius.
            Again, why did the West cower in? Methinks, the lessons from Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya are now making sense. The US isn’t ready to repeat the same gaffe; and Putin knows this too well. He’s been scheming and studying it and has now made good out of it. Although it’s too early to conclude, the US has visibly lost its hegemony. This tells us that nothing human is permanent. Who knew that the US would easily and quickly swallow it pride?
            As we ponder on this, we must admit that when the odds seem to favour Putin and defy the US, China, another superpower, is carefully calculating the next move in this war of domination. There’s nothing new shall China take over the helm. Egypt, Greece, Roman Empire, and Mesopotamia gave in not to mention the eminent giving by the US now after facing wars in many fronts. Of the trio, namely China, Russia and the US, China stood to gain big. Firstly, it isn’t involved directly in this obviously pricy and self-destructive war. Secondly, it’s now waiting to claim its prize, the leading place in global geopolitics. You can take this to the bank. The winner among the trio is China. Russia’s another champ. It better makes do with a silent China rather than with the raucous US, which seems to have chickened out in this game of flexing muscle. You can see this on how China’s maintained non-involvement and silence at the time the entire world’s chaotically and dangerously hollering. The silent lion’s the one that eats meat. So, too, Russia is revenging against the US that destroyed its hegemony. India’s and other BRICS’ members silence towards this war speaks loudly.
            In sum, for the US and the West, it’s game over for their hegemony and machinations. As for Africa, when two hawks start a brawl, the fowls must seek a shelter. I heard Kenya’s envoi to the UN, Martin Kimani, making hullabaloos against Russia. Nobody listens to you guys. Instead of being used, strategize about how to use this crisis. If the tables were turned on Africa, you’d not hear any ruckus from either the EU, Russia even Ukraine.  It’s the right time for Africa to think about disbanding their colonial border and unite as the strategy of asserting and claiming its place and power amidst the world community. Bad news however, this time offers opportunity for dictators to thrive since there’s no bully to bug them with the noises about/of democracy, good governance, and human rights. He who lives by sword will die by sword. Ta-ta hegemony and Pax Americana.
By Nkwazi Mhango
The author is a lifetime member of the Writers' Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador (WANL), an expert in Terrorism and author of over 20 books among which are Africa Reunite or Perish, 'Is It Global War on Terrorism' or Global War over Terra Africana? How Africa Developed Europe and contributed many chapters in scholarly works.
Source: African Executive Magazine

Saturday, 19 March 2022

Boda-boda menace a sign of deep-rooted cultural misogyny


Impounded motorbikes at the Central Police Station in Nairobi on March 8, 2022 following a crackdown following on errant riders.

Jeff Angote | Nation Media Group

                   By Makau Mutua Professor at SUNY Buffalo Law School and Chair of the KHRC.

What you need to know:

  • The boda attack – and molestation – of a female motorist a couple of weeks back was Kenya’s nadir.
  • The marauding “hyenas” encircled her, beat and stripped her naked, put their dirty fingers and hands on her.
  • The Kenyan peoples, and I use the plural term deliberately since we aren’t one people, sometimes exhibit odious conduct. What’s shocking is that some of that despicable conduct has no purpose, and doesn’t achieve any goal worth the name. Take, for example, the conduct of people at huge political events such as political rallies, or large political party meetings.      
  •            Often, the events start, or end, with stampedes of hordes of humanity. You’d think you are at the “running of the bulls” in Spain. Or random people simply coming up to you and demanding your cell phone number. Absolutely terrible. But the boda attack – and molestation – of a female motorist a couple of weeks back was Kenya’s nadir.  We are all familiar with public gang rapes and attacks of women in India. Every time one of those savage gender-based attacks are reported on TV, I walk away from the set. I simply can’t take the violence. It’s akin to the racist cop’s knee on George Floyd in Minneapolis. I can’t watch it. Too traumatising. What’s utterly unbelievable is the lust with which the attackers ply their savagery. With their eyes bulging, emitting terrible breath, and sweating copiously, the “animals” scream as they plunder their prey.      
  •           Even animals in the wild are more civilised. One of the root causes of gender-based violence – because rape of any kind is violence, not sex – is deep-rooted cultural misogyny. Hatred for women. No boy, or man, would breathe the good oxygen we inhale were it not for a woman – his mother. Our mothers, who are women (hello!) carried us for at least eight months in their bellies at great discomfort to themselves. 
  •         They took care not to do anything that would compromise our health. Then, at great pain, they delivered us. I’ve always thought that if I had to give birth, the thought itself would simply kill me. I would literally die right there and then. And if I didn’t die, I would hate whatever I produced at such great pain. But yet our mothers love and nurture us – until we are old enough to curse, or talk back, at them.
  • Attack on female motorist
  • What were our fathers doing while mama was carrying us in her womb, or suckling us to strength? Your dad was probably in a beer hall cavorting with another woman, and then staggering home smelly and inebriated. That’s the textbook definition of a deadbeat. But it’s not to the males that we turn our gender-based ire and hate. It’s towards the female gender. 
  •         We must be sick – very sick – in the noggin. I’ve read of boys and men groping women in matatus and other forms of public transport. Many women take it in silent pain and suffering for fear of the shame of public reporting. Others, to their credit, batter the crap out of the creeps with their handbags. The attack on the female motorist by the boda boda men – and the attackers were all men – revealed a sinister and sick underbelly of the Kenyan man. 
  •         The marauding “hyenas” encircled her, beat and stripped her naked, put their dirty fingers and hands on her, and did every despicable thing you could imagine. The docile public stood there, complicit, paralyzed. Shame on them. Those who stood by and did nothing attacked her by their inaction. The episode proved how depraved our society is. 
  • Cultural problem
  • I don’t think this is the problem of a few bad apples. It’s a cultural problem. And it’s not just among the boda boda. It’s a societal madness. It’s like corruption. Deep in the bone marrow. The attack on the female motorist is behaviour that’s taught and learned. Right from the home. It’s then affirmed in our schools, work spaces, and private as well as public joints like bars, restaurants, and public transportation. At the root of it is the social belief that a woman is a “thing”, not a full human. A thing for the use and pleasure of the man like chattel. 
  •         Women are supposed to cook, clean and care for us. In a word, slave for us. They exist to serve us. That’s the belief structure at the core of the attack on the female motorist by the boda boda. We teach boys to be masters and girls to be servants. We must re-educate boys and men. Start at the home.  Don’t allow the division of labour by gender. If the boy eats, he must cook, just like the girl. If he defecates, he must clean the toilet, just like the girl.  Apply that rule all the way through school. Have zero tolerance for sexist talk or unwanted touching in public or private spaces. 
  •         Duncan Kung’u, my colleague at the Kenya Human Rights Commission, suggested Azimio leaders urge the state to form a Boda Boda Motorbike Police Unit solely dedicated to bringing sanity to the Boda Boda industry, an integral part of the economy. It’s a good idea minus police corruption. 
  • Makau Mutua is SUNY Distinguished Professor and Margaret W. Wong Professor at Buffalo Law School. He’s Chair of KHRC. @makaumutua.
  • Source: Sunday Nation tomorrow.

Thursday, 17 March 2022

Barua kwa Hayati Dk John Pombe Magufuli

Mpendwa Hayati Dk John Magufuli,
Sikuwahi kukuandikia barua ulipo kuwa nasi. Hata hivyo, japo kimwili uliondoka mwaka mmoja uliopita, kiroho bado tuko nawe. Matendo yako bado yanakuwakilisha, yanaongea na kutufariji kwa ukiwa uliotuachia ukiachia mbali pengo kubwa. Kwa muda ambao hukuwepo, naomba nitumie barua hii kukuhabarisha na kukujuza hali ya mambo japo kwa ufupi. Hivyo, unaposoma barua hii naomba nikujuze yafuatayo:
            Mosi, Makamu wako Mheshimiwa Samia Suluhu Hassan alichukua nafasi yako kwa mujibu wa katiba. Kimsingi, Samia hakuchukua nafasi tu bali anaanza kutosha kwenye viatu vikubwa ulivyoacha. Mwanzoni, kulitokea ukakasi kwa baadhi ya watu ambao hawakuamini kuwa mwanamke angeweza kuwa Rais achilia mbali kutosha kwenye viatu vyako vikubwa. Hata hivyo, naomba nikutoe wasi wasi. Mama anaendelea kuenea kwenye viatu vyako barabara.
            Pili, pamoja na kuchukua nafasi yako, mrithi wako ameendeleza mema yote uliyoacha ukiachia kufanya mabadiriko na marekebisho kidogo ambayo ni mambo ya kawaida kiutawala. Mfano, miradi yote mikubwa ya maendeleo bado inaendelea kwa kasi ya kuridhisha. Mbali na hilo, kwa mara ya kwanza, Tanzania tumeweza kuwauzia bidhaa nyingi kuliko wanazotuuzia. Hii mana yake ni kwamba uchumi wa viwanda unawezekana inaanza kutimia tena haraka sana. Tunakukumbuka na kukushukuru sana kwa kazi pevu uliyofanya. Kila tunapokwenda tunaheshimika kweli kweli kutokana na rekodi na uchapakazi wako.
            Tatu, mbali na kuendeleza miradi kwa kasi ya kutosha, Mheshimiwa Rais alibadili kauli mbiu yako kidogo. Hata bajeti mwaka huu imepanda kutoka Sh36.66 trilioni hadi kufikia Sh37.98 trilioni ili kuwezesha miradi kuendelea kwa kasi inayotakiwa. Badala ya “Hapa Kazi tu”, aliinogesha kwa kuja na “Kazi Iendelee” akimaanisha kazi pevu uliyoasisi na kuacha isikwame wala kukwamishwa. Cha mno, alipunguza ukali kidogo kwenye baadhi ya masuala kama kuongea na wapinzani. Hata hivyo, hii haikuja kirahisi. Una habari kuwa Mwenyekiti wa CHADEMA, Freeman Mbowe, alisoteshwa ndani kwa takriban miezi minane baada a kufunguliwa kesi uchwara ya ugaidi. Kama siyo viongozi wa dini kuingilia kati mbona angeumia zaidi.  Kwa vile mrithi wako ni msikivu kama wewe na ameendelea kuwaheshimu viongozi wa dini wa kweli (si matapeli wanaojifanya kutenda miujiza wakati ni utapeli na wizi) aliwasikiliza walipomuomba amfutie kesi Mbowe. Na baada ya kufanya hivyo, siku moja aliaachiwa na wawili walikutana ikulu na kupiga picha za pamoja na kutuaminisha kuwa sasa wako pamoja. Tunangoja kuona matokeo zaidi.
        Nne, suala la uwajibikaji limeendelezwa japo ukali wa kutumbua siyo kama wako. Anayetumbua sana ni Dk Hussein Mwinyi ambaye unajua kuwa ni Mwenyekiti wa Baraza la Mapinduzi kwa sasa. Naamini baada ya kusoma barua hii ya kumbukizi, Mheshimiwa Rais ataongeza kasi ya kutumbua. Pia, nichukue fursa hii kukupa habari mbaya kidogo. Unakumbuka baadhi ya mafisadi uliokuwa umesweka ndani kama wale walanguaji wa umeme wa AIPTIELO? Wote washaachiwa. Wako wanatumbua chumo la wizi,. Hata hatujui vigezo vilivyotumika kuwaachia. Mbali ya kushangaa na kuudhika, sijui undani wa kuachiwa kwao.
        Tano, nadhani unakumbuka kadhia ya Ukovi-19. Kumbe ulikuwa unajua mengi ambayo hatukujua. Kwa taarifa yako ni kwamba nchi nyingi sasa zimelegeza masharti baada ya kuja na kile wanachoitwa kwa kimombo tough it out. Ulipotoka watu waliachana na kujifukiza wakaelekea kwenye chanjo na kuvaa barakoa ambazo, hata hivyo, huku Ulaya tutaachana nazo siku mbili kuanzia leo. Huu ni ushahidi kuwa utabiri wako kuwa miili yetu itazoea ulikuwa wa kisayansi na kweli japo wajinga wengi hawakukuelewa. Wazungu wana mizungu. Ndo maana hukuwaamini. Unaweza kuamini kuwa kuna vita inaendelea kati ya Urusi na Ukraine ambayo imefunika Ukovi-19? Basi kaka, vita ilipoanza waswahili walibaguliwa katika harakati za kuokoa maisha yao sina mfano. Ungekuwapo ungesema kitu bila shaka. Ajabu waukraine waliokwama huko Kenya wanalala na kula bure bila hata kulazimishwa waende UNHCR. Tumeonyeshwa kuwa watu weupe ni bora kuliko watu wote duniani na ubaguzi na dharau vya wazi.
        Mpendwa Dk Magufuli, najua ulipenda sana vijana kiasi cha kuwapa madaraka makubwa huku wengine wakikuangusha wazi wazi kama yule aliyekuwa akituhumiwa kughushi vyetu vya kidato cha nne uliyemminyia lakini ujuaji na ujinga wake ukamfanya apuuzie ushauri wako hadi ukamtupa nje. Yupo anahangaika kwa sasa. Juzi nilisikia akilalamika kuwa amedhulumiwa kiwanja huko Regent. Mpaka leo, sijajua alivyopata pesa kununua uwanja eneo aghali kama hilo wakati hata wewe hukuwa na kiwanja pale. Cha mnno, Mheshimiwa Rais, ameendelea kuwaamini vijana huku akiweka kando wazee. Marafiki zako kama vile profesa Palamagamba Kabudi na William Lukuvi si mawaziri tena.
        Kabla ya kusahau, ilitokea kasheshe hadi yule Spika wa Bunge uliyemauacha Job Ndugai akatemeshwa ulaji na naibu wake akaangukia. Si alimlaumu Rais kuwa anakopa na nchi ingepigwa mnada siku moja. Wacha azongwe hadi pale alipobwaga manyanga na kujikalia kimya. Siku hizi ni backbencher. Haonekani wala hasikiki tena. Kweli cheo ni dhamana na kila chenye mwanzo kina mwisho.
        Habari njema kwako ni kwamba rafiki yako Raila Amolo Odinga asipokuwa Rais wa Kenya basi Mungu hakumwandikia. Najua unajua kuwa aliingia maelewano na hasidi wake Uhuru Kenyatta ambaye juzi alitangaza wazi wazi kumuunga mkono kupeperusha bendera ya chama chake na vyama vingine kikikwemo cha Kenyatta dhidi ya makamu wake William Ruto ambaye tuhuma za ufisadi zitamuangusha bila shaka ukiachia mbali kuwa hana uzoefu sawa na Odinga. Kuhusu bi Mkubwa wako Janet na familia. Bado wapo ila ameandimika tokana na kuendelea kukuomboleza. Hata mama yako bado yupo japo sina taarifa zake za karibuni. Lakini naamini hali sim baya hata kama uzee hauna tiba.
Mpendwa John, nimalizie, kwa vile sijui kinachoendelea huko uliko, naona nisikuchoshe wala kukata usingizi wako. Kwa ufupi, kama Hayati Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, Benjamin Mkapa na mashujaa wengine mliotangulia, tunakukumbuka na kuku-miss sana kipenzi na shujaa wetu uliyeonyesha namna ya kuendesha nchi kisayansi na kiuhakika.
Chanzo: Raia Mwema jana.

Tuesday, 15 March 2022


I must admit. I live in a west, specifically in Canada, which’s a big chunk of citizens with Ukrainian bloodline. Thus, what’s happening in Ukraine directly affect Canada. Though I’m African, my kids have daily been asking me many questions about the conflict. Apart from them, I’ve received many messages from my university about the same.
I usually have some casual conversations with my white neighbours. We mainly talk about weather and other things like being asked where I came from and if the country of Africa will soon enjoy peace and prosperity. However, this time around after Russia invaded Ukraine, the types of questions I’m asked changed from my personal experience and home to Ukraine as if I’m a Ukrainian.
There’s this neighbour of mine who doesn’t hate or love me. He doesn’t even greet me sometimes, which is normal forget about talking to me quite often. Because of the centrality of Europe and Ukraine being one of its countries, he recently asked me as to why’s Russia doing this to Ukraine? Guess what. I simply replied that this is how colonialism works. For us victims, no colonisation is decent or justifiable. It is but criminality. He’d not get it. He wanted to know what I meant. I told him that this wasn’t the first time a sovereign country had been invaded by another. I cited an example of Libya that’s invaded by the west in 2011 and its president, Muamar Gaddafi killed and nobody in Canada was concerned. I reminded him that we’ve been neighbours since 2009 and he didn’t come to ask me why the west invaded Libya and killed its president. He didn’t say anything. Mind you. This neighbour used to be afraid of me because of Covid-19 isolation. Just like the west did, soon after Russia invaded Ukraine, Covid-19 was pushed under the lag. If this didn’t happen, some western rulers like Boris Johnson–––who faced the scandal of flouting Covid-19 rules–––would have been already in the cold.
More on my neighbour, I told him that Libya’s GDP was twice as bigger than that of Ukraine and life’s better than Ukraine’s but internationally Libya’s plight wasn’t anything to consider since it wasn’t a European country. Who’d believe that today Libyans who used to be looked after the government are begging for charcoals and eggs in the paradise they used to enjoy and take for granted? Those who used to be given stipends for marriage and apartments, most of them are now scavengers. Again, they’re neither European nor white. Despite being pushed to go to the dogs, Libya’s GDP per capital is still as twice as bigger as that of Ukraine today.
Another friend asked me if Russia’s going to win this war. He wanted to know my views of the conflict and what can be done to save Ukraine and its people. I openly told him that there won’t be any winner since the war’s destructive not only between the two but globally. We all have already borne the blunt of it. Gas price is increasing like crazy, and this directly affects everything be it goods or our livelihoods globally. I told him that the only winner is colonialism since after the war, new laws and rules will be enacted to compensate the loss and poor countries will bear the blunt.
The topic seemed to be exhaustive and thorny. Thus, my other friend to whom I repeated the nuggets of wisdom I offered other friends asked for the solidarity with Ukraine. I promised him that that it’s a good thing to do. However, I asked him why didn’t we apply the same to Libya and other African victims? He’d not get it. He replied that Libya’s plight happened a long time ago and that Ukraine’s a civilised, white and European country. I responded that, to me, what transpired in Libya did just yesterday and not necessarily that only European and white countries deserve to enjoy peace as opposed to non-European ones that’d endure the scabs of colonialism and egoism.
Knowing I am a Peace and Conflict Scholar, another friend of mine who entertained the dialogue about Russia-Ukraine conflict said that Putin’s evil because he invaded Ukraine. Again, I asked him why this rationale didn’t apply anywhere when the west minus Russia invaded Libya, it did not become bad or evil. He couldn’t answer. I asked him why and decided to answer my own question by giving two reasons. First, Libya is an African country. Secondly, Libya isn’t a civilised country apart from being a Muslim country. So, too, it wasn’t invaded by Putin. This means that if Putin invaded an African country––––just like the west has done on many occasions, he’d have not shaken the world. Nor would he have been bad and evil. Neither would he become dangerous and evil to the world as he’s after invading a European country. Thirdly, the west toppled Patrice Lumumba, the founder of the Congo, later Zaire and now the DRC, Kwame Nkrumah (Ghana) and installed stinking dictators. Again, this wasn’t an international issue since the duo didn’t go to the communists, then led by the defunct USSR. So, too, the DRC, like Libya, is neither a European country nor its habitants are white. Thus, the wars that have been ongoing since the first day of freedom isn’t and won’t be a big deal internationally. 
        In sum, looking at the concern shown, and questions asked about Ukraine, it’s easy to know why, for example, Europe’s shunned Russia apart from opening its borders to Ukrainian refugees to enter while the same has refused non-European refugees the entry. They’re neither European nor white. The ongoing war in Ukraine’s shown how the west has lost it so as to openly show and support racism. What difference does this make from colonialism, which made do with criminality against others and created the capital for Europe we see today? Again, poor Africans still believe their saviour is the west while in actual fact it is but a coloniser and racist to the bone. Essentially, the biggest lesson is that all catfish have barbels. 
Source: African Executive Magazine tomorrow.



Saturday, 12 March 2022

Ruto tour a bona fide diplomatic stinker

What you need to know:

  • It’s utterly bamboozling for Mr Ruto to go on an “official” international trip since he doesn’t – and can’t – speak for the government of Kenya.
  • Significantly, Mr Ruto is dogged by a large basket of corruption and criminal scandals. Most of them are well publicised internationally.

I’ve always thought Deputy President William Ruto would do himself in before the fat lady sang on August 9 this year. I didn’t know it would come so soon. The past two weeks have been a lesson – offered to Kenya free of charge by Mr Ruto – about how to shoot oneself in both feet at once. I know Mr Ruto doesn’t have much international experience, except his time at the International Criminal Court nearly a decade ago. But the man from Sugoi has money, and should be able to afford first class political advice on what – and what not – to do when he leaves Kenya’s airspace. His junket to the US and UK has been a bona fide diplomatic stinker.

        Mr Ruto’s international inexperience was on display from day one. In fact, the planning for the trip was shambolic. He took with him a fat entourage of some 40-odd inchoate mix of political flaks. That’s a scandal in itself. Kenya is a poor country where 20 per cent of the people live on less than $2 a day, and one-third of Kenyans, or 18 million out of 55 million, live below the poverty line. The sticker price for the trip was $1 million or Sh107 million. All at taxpayer expense. This is the caricature of an African potentate in the West. The image – of thieving African government elites on shopping sprees in New York while compatriots starve at home.

    Corruption and criminal scandals

        It’s utterly bamboozling and a misnomer for Mr Ruto to go on an “official” international trip since he doesn’t – and can’t – speak for the government of Kenya. Kenyan missions and embassies abroad would’ve treated him like a leper. Even if he met some Kenyan diplomats, the encounters would’ve been in futility. That’s because he’s a stranger in his own government. He would thus have been ill-prepared about conditions and politics in the US and the UK. And none of the coterie he took with him from Kenya would’ve been of much help because they don’t live there. It was simply foolhardy for Mr Ruto to wing it on his first major international trip. It was doubtlessly a fool’s errand.

        Several factors conspired against Mr Ruto. The first is the weather. The harsh winter period isn’t the ideal time for people from the tropics to visit America – and traverse that vast land. The second was the Russian invasion of Ukraine. It’s true life doesn’t stop, or government work cease, because of war. But it distracts everyone. Paying attention to Africa in America is always a tall order, even without a hot shooting war. Third, both Americans and the British are well aware that Mr Ruto is a pariah in his own government. They would’ve been wary to trust, or get close to, him for fear of offending Nairobi. Thus Mr Ruto and his multitude forced themselves on their “hosts”. 

        Significantly, Mr Ruto is dogged by a large basket of corruption and criminal scandals. Most of them are well publicised internationally. His ICC woes rank at the top, as does his reputed unexplained vast wealth. I am sure that those were things officials and folks in the private sector thought about in America every time they shook his hand, or saw his visage. He was an eager guest but they were reluctant hosts. 

        However, Mr Ruto and his crew tried to spin the trip as a resounding success. For example, they loudly advertised a non-existent high-level meeting at the White House. Whether they were rebuffed, or they made it up, isn’t clear. Elsewhere, they largely met subordinate staff.

Took his wailing act abroad

Mr Ruto was welcome in several right-wing universities by religious conservatives. In places he should’ve made a good impression, Mr Ruto turned into a crybaby. He spent an inordinate amount of time attacking ODM’s Raila Odinga and his boss, Jubilee’s Uhuru Kenyatta. I am sure his audiences were left mouths agape. How does a sitting deputy president ridicule and lambast his government and his boss to foreign audiences while on a diplomatic trip? That’s a political death wish. 

        He accused his boss of “budgeting corruption” for the pilferage of taxpayer money. Then he accused Mr Kenyatta of a sinister plan to rig and steal the August 9 elections for Mr Odinga. He invited Americans to intervene and stop Mr Kenyatta. 

        Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i famously called Mr Ruto a sympathy addict. Having failed to elicit much sympathy at home, Mr Ruto took his wailing act abroad. It was a strange sight to behold. At one point, I thought Mr Ruto was preparing grounds to seek political asylum in the US against his own government.

        Like Donald Trump, he’s laying the groundwork to reject the results of the elections if he loses. It looks to me as if he’s sensed defeat. But what I found rich is Mr Ruto’s accusations of others of corruption since several opinion polls in Kenya have ranked him the most corrupt person in the country. Go figure. 

Prof Makau Mutua is the spokesperson of the Raila Odinga 2022 presidential campaign team. He is a SUNY Distinguished Professor and Margaret W. Wong Professor at Buffalo Law School and chair of KHRC. @makaumutua.

Source: Sunday Nation tomorrow.