Picture this….the person calling people to prayer at a local mosque is a former drunkard who escaped death by a whisker after taking illicit brew. That is the reality that faithful at the Ngong town mosque are contending with. A man who survived the 2010 Shauri Moyo chang’aa tragedy which killed 22 people is now leading other faithful in trooping for prayers at the mosque.Our reporter has the story of Muhidin Hamza, popularly known as Abedi Pele.
Contributor: Manase Otsialo
YOUTHS in Mandera have been asked to form groups so as to get money from the Uwezo Fund. In a speech read on behalf of Governor Captain Ali Roba by ICT executive Abdiaziz Maad, the youth were told to register groups and societies.
“We do not deal with individuals,” read part of the speech. Roba said 75 per cent of area’s residents are youths. “Mandera county is young and its future is in the youths.I wish as the youths you do what you like so long as it’s of benefit to you,” said the statement.
Roba urged the youths to find opportunities and platforms created by the county government. “Come up with formidable business ideas and we will support you to realise your dreams as you are the cornerstone of our development agenda. Let’s change Mandera by shunning tribalism and use social media wisely by supporting one another for development and not exchanging inciting statements,” he said.
Most youths in county have been using facebook and twitter to fuel the Garre-Degodia inter-clan clash in the county. “Lets work and promote peaceful co-existence amongst the local communities,” said Roba.
The governor asked them to initiate ‘jua kali’ businesses besides using modern technology in the agricultural sector. He said River Daua is the lifeline of area residents as it’s the only natural water source that is supporting crop farming in the county.
The youths were also urged to desist from criminal activities as the region continues to face interclan conflicts and al Shabaab related attacks. The conference brought together more than 400 youths from the six sub counties of Banisa, Lafey, Elwak, Takaba, Mandera East and Rhamu
Contributor: Jaafar Shukri
Cord alliance leaders have declared July 7 a national holiday soon when they kicked off countrywide tour to push the government to have a national dialogue in the country. Even some ODM officials said they will swear in Raila Odinga as President if dialogue between the opposition and the government does not take place by July 7.
Many Kenyans are now asking themselves what could happen as we go nearer and nearer to July 7, for some it’s like fighting against democracy 24years later after we fought for it.
The first Saba Saba day was marked on 7. 7. 1990 under a hail of tear gas and a violent confrontation between Kenyans tired of the oppressive KANU regime and riot police who were agents of those seeking to protect the regime. By then Kenya had a dictatorial president who was for all intents and purposes a god, a mutilated constitution, an oppressed media with only one TV and one radio station that were mouthpieces of the regime, it was a one-party state, the intelligence services eavesdropped on all conversations and a wrong word could land you in the torture chambers, one could not freely trade in Forex, the judiciary sang to the tune of the president and so on and so on.
24 years later, Kenya has a new constitution, a presidency with term-limits, a free and vibrant media, freedom of expression with guys able to even question the president with no fatal repercussions, their many registered political parties and there are many ways Kenyans can air their grievances than mass action.
The Majority leader ,
Honorable speaker Mandera County assembly,
County Economic Advisor,
I am writing to explain why I am disappointed, with recent trip to Far east Asia by County assembly representatives to the tune of more than 15 million Kenya shilling inclusive hefty allowances.
I am drafting this open letter to begin with in the spirit of principle and believe that public funds must be expended for an authorized public purpose. An expenditure is made for a public purpose when its purpose is to benefit the public interest rather than private individuals or private purposes which wittingly or unwittingly as you may protest against will put the Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia trip under either of the above three categories.
Isn’t it strange but widely known that Mandera County can no longer afford to feed itself, provide world class education to its young generations, control mortality rate, or plan for its future generations. but its elected representatives thought it acceptable to claim refunds on expenses when they attend foreign trips, thought it is morally acceptable to dispatch as much members of the assembly to bank on allowances ? Even the explanations and the justification sounded rather thin and hardly believable. It is appalling to think public money were spent in this manner. Who is monitoring such claims? Mandera county representative definition and justification of the trip and the amount -related to expenses is bad enough – the image of the tearing up on a bus tour over world class facility built by morally compassed society in far East, and photo taking sessions like school trip deeply disturbs.
The attitude satirised in George Orwell’s Animal Farm appears to have been firmly entrenched in the County assembly well before they even celebrate the first anniversary i can reference back to Israel trip which never materialize any concerete outcome. However, this is about awful lot more than just fair use of public funds, it is ultimately about the quality of service of the wards the members represent, business like leadership to fight for their equal share of county resources to county wards, but indeed in the world of impunity and mirror of tribal shade, all is perfect and well, regardless of any darkness behind the mirror. It is even more concerning that you honourable speaker’s office is silent about this. What happened to your moral compass?
We the people, with the power of pen and paper will and shall not rest and we shall not take this lightly, in recognizing that’s why i am using power of literature to demonstrate my dissatisfaction, on how the MCA overlooked and failed to read the mood of mandera county residence.
Abdi Maalim Eda
Constituencies in north eastern region got a lion share of the Sh5 billion Uwezo Fund in a move aimed at spurring economic growth in a region considered as marginalised.
A statement from the Devolution ministry headed by Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru, stated that the Sh5 billion Uwezo fund has been released to 290 constituencies.
Mandera South constituency got Sh31 million while Mandera North was awarded Sh25 million.
Daadab constituency got Sh21 million, Mandera West (Sh24 million), Barissa (Sh24 million), Lafey (Sh24 million), Wajir North (Sh23 million), Tarbaj (Sh21 million), Moyale (Sh20 million), Wajir East (Sh20 million), Wajir West (Sh20 million), while Eldas got 19 million.
Other constituencies in the region got between Sh17 million and Sh19 million.
Constituencies in Nairobi County were allocated the least amount with most of them getting between Sh14 million and Sh16 million.
Mathare, Kibra and Ruaraka were allocated Sh16 million.
Embakasi Central, Embakasi West, Embakasi East, Makadara and Starehe constituencies got Sh14 million.
Those that were allocated Sh15 million are Kamukunji, Embakasi North, Embakasi South, Kasarani, Roysambu, Langata, Dagoretti North, Dagoretti South and Westlands.
According to the Devolution ministry, 75 per cent out of the Sh6 billion allocated to the fund was distributed equally to all the constituencies.
“25 per cent has been disbursed on the basis of the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics poverty index for equilisation purposes,” the statement read.
The Ministry explained that another 180 million was set aside as administration fee for national and constituency offices while Sh465 million will be used for capacity building for fund beneficiaries and target groups
National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale Friday threatened to withdraw support for the Jubilee government over what he termed arbitrary arrests of “his people.”
This is the first time Mr Duale, ranked high up in the government pecking order, has made unsavoury remarks about President Kenyatta’s government.
“We stand by the interests of our people. There should be no doubt about that,” Mr Duale said friday at a rally in Eastleigh attended by over 20 MPs and Senators from North Eastern, Coast and Upper Eastern regions.
He said police were targeting Muslims. “We were elected by the Muslim community and we shall defend their interests,” he said amidst chants from the charged crowd.
“It shall no longer be business as usual. We shall not and will never allow our people to be discriminated against, never,” Mr Duale declared.
Mandera Senator Billow Kerrow accused the government of encouraging youth radicalisation by the way it was fighting terrorism.
“The issue is not the Muslim clerics. They become radicalised through the actions of the government. Makaburi was labelled a terrorist and was under 24-hour surveillance but when he is killed, the government says it doesn’t know who did it,” he said.
The legislators accused officers from Pangani police station, of raping women and demanding bribes from suspects for their release.
Nairobi County Commissioner Njoroge Ndirangu, however, said the operation will continue.
“We are not targeting Eastleigh alone. This operation started in Karen in February and will spread to the whole of Nairobi,” he said.
ABDULLAHI M. DIRIYE,
MP, Wajir South
Collective responsibility of a whole community for the actions of a few is a fallacy. Normally, some are criminals, a few are outstanding heroes or patriots, while the rest are just like the bewildered herd with no idea about anything. Somalis are no different.
The bulk are poor, illiterate and basically concerned about the daily rut they find themselves in. They have suffered from the same ineptitude of their leaders.
The Somali problem is an African problem in which the identity of a person is typified by the existence of another country where one’s ethnic origins lie, separate from the de facto citizenship where one had been forced by Europe to claim domicile. Many African tribes are trapped in borders that absolutely make no sense.
Somalis in Kenya tried separatism for a while but it didn’t work; it made more sense to have access to infrastructure and fertile land than to be confined to a desert.
Once the separatism was over, Somalis became a scapegoat for all kinds of ills resulting in the Garissa, Wagalla and Malka Mari massacres.
At one point in 1989/1990, Kenya deported 25 per cent of its Somali population to Ethiopia, Somalia, Tanzania and Uganda. Even some Kanu officials were deported. Every new security problem is blamed on Somalis: banditry, poaching, piracy and now terrorism.
The brief separatist war of 1967 has become an excuse to divide up and militarise the Northern Frontier. Today there is risk of the same warped thinking perpetuating the same flawed and disastrous policies of yesteryear empowered by foreign money and equipment.
Today, spousal conflict may land one in the hands of the ATPU. A soft-haired man taking photographs is a potential suspect and travelling for Muslim men under 40 is becoming a nightmare.
When Kenya invaded Somalia with the excuse of routing Al-Shabaab, many were dismayed. The two-decade conflict has defied any form of intervention because the players have been shifting goalposts.
It started as a revolution against a vicious dictator, mutated into a clan conflict, turned into organised crime by warlords, then spawned piracy and religious militarism and today has two dangerous offshoots, clan fiefdoms and religious fanaticism.
Kenya cannot transform into a frontline state for “war on terror”; it will destroy the little progress made over decades. An alternative means to guarantee security is to police the borders.
Somalis in Kenya are these days holding their breath, lest they be caught in a xenophobic frenzy next time another terrorist comes calling. Eastleigh seems to be under curfew. Most people stay indoors after dark. Nobody is making any long-term investments.
Wajir South MP Diriye Abdullahi was accused of trying to release an illegal immigrant from JKIA on Thursday 27th March, 2014. He told Larry Madowo the man was one of his constituents but was denied entry because he couldn’t speak Swahili. The legislator says Kenyan Somalis are increasingly getting harassed and ethnically profiled especially after the Westgate attack.