On The Importance of The Presidential Debate

The stage is set, or so it seems.

Kenya_Debate

Tonight, the candidates get on stage, strut their stuff, talk their sh** and try to get us to buy it. And while I may sound cynical, I think it’s a large stride in the right direction. A necessary change, in many ways.

That said, there is another change, equally necessary, possibly more so, that needs to happen if Presidential debates are to have their full impact. And that change is to the political culture in Kenya. Continue reading

#2013Elections: Debatable Debates, Small Steps and Big Dreams

Did anyone manage to watch the Kisumu Gubernatorial debates a few nights back?

I eavesdropped from the kitchen for a while before deciding they weren’t worth me relocating to the living room. But I listened.

It was basically a bunch of candidates who don’t know how to answer questions making outlandish statements. At some point, one guy, whose agenda was that Kisumu county can produce its own food and be self-sustaining, was asked a question about education and why so few children complete school, perform well and something about the quality of education they get anyway.

He replied that the problem was that children were hungry and as a result they couldn’t do well. Seriously, he said that. Not overcrowded classes, underfunded schools, underpaid teachers, obsolete teaching methods but food. This is akin to answering the question “Why is smoking dangerous?” with “Cocaine kills.”

This made me wonder about what we were to expect from the upcoming Presidential debates.

My mother watched those debates and while she had criticisms, she let out a huge sigh of relief and said “This is a step forward.” before stepping away.

And the Presidential Debate is an even greater step forward.

It has much more potential than the he said she said campaigns of yesteryears. Now we get to see if these guys will really poke each other in the eyes when the distance is reduced to a few meters. I’d like to say that we’ll finally get to hear their policies and plans, more about their parties and manifestos, but something tells me we will mainly hear lies.

And that’s IF we pay attention.

A few weeks back, the Presidential debates were announced and the Kenyan interwebs began their own debat on who should moderate the debates. Frustrated, I joked that we should have debates to see who should moderate the debates but would probably end up debating who should moderate that debate. The point I was making was that it didn’t matter who would moderate or what was being debated if we were still bickering among ourselves instead of discussing issues. The problem, oddly enough, seemed to be us.

How does one choose a Saint from the pulpits of Hell based solely on what comes out of mouths so accustomed to lies and hypocrisy, while we’re still debating the moderator, the only person that we shall not be casting a vote for? Continue reading

“Freedom Ain’t Free” – On The Integrity Bill and Online Freedom

Before I start, R.I.P. to the many souls departed in the past few days. It’s been a difficult time for the country without having to lose so many in such a short time.
And now to the matter at hand…

Let’s talk about the impunity of our government in regards to the above issues and how we can tackle it.

Sigh.

We’ve been here before.

The best of us are sitting in our comfort zones pointing at blatant rights violations with full mouths screaming.

The rest of us don’t even know why people are screaming. Trying to figure out what’s going on, or just ignoring it all together.

For those that don’t know what the hoopla is about the Integrity Bill being “watered down” is Continue reading

On Rudisha, Kitum and the 2024 Olympic Bid

David Rudisha World Record

The man pictured above is a beast. A godly beast.

There are 2 things to note about that picture. The first is the man pointing at that world record; a humble and proud man who has done a formidable thing. The second is that flag. That country he bears on his back, that covers his identity, that Kenyan flag.

Last night, Rudisha quite literally had the entire country on his back. We needed that victory. We needed that gold medal. And boy did he deliver; in such spectacular fashion. Gold. World Record. Olympic record. Three in one.

Not to be overshadowed was the 17 year old running beside him.

Kitum Rudisha

Timothy Kitum ran his ass off and took that bronze. Not a small feat for that age. When I was 17, I think my greatest achievement could be measured in how many shots I took the night before without blacking out. This kid just ran 800m in 1:42. That’s formidable. And Kenya recognized that. With Kemboi’s hugs still fresh in our minds, that national anthem played last night in its original capacity as a lullaby.

Kenya slept well.

Just to wake up to this Continue reading

F.U.K.P.L.C.

I hate banks. I really hate banks. So today when I tried to get a mobi-account so that I wouldn’t have to go to the bank, I got naturally pissed off. Why? I’d left my ATM (card) at home.

The form needed me to fill in my account number, and I didn’t have it off-head. I asked the nice lady at the counter to look it up for me an she said no. Why? I didn’t have my original ID. It’s my account dammit! So no, I still don’t have a mobi-account, and yes, I still have to go to the bank. Aw crud.

[I suppose I should mention why I don’t carry IDs and ATMs. I hate bureaucracy even more than I hate banks. Especially the bureaucracy of replacing lost things. So I rarely carry any ID (I have scanned, laminated copies), ATMs, or notes above 200/=. Pickpockets don’t like me very much.]

But I digress. Today, I’m pissed off with Kenya Power. Again. Last month, I had drama with power and banks and M-PESA. So I was surprised when my prepaid electricity units ran out prematurely. I shrugged it off and assumed that I’d over-used the blowdrier or something. I loaded the meter with 2,000/=, which this month, bought me 127.5 units. It took 24 hours before I received the tokens, which was a bit worrying, seeing as I had just ten units left.

Continue reading

Dear Kenyans, You Will Die Soon

I’ve been skimming through today’s dailies hoping to see at least one Op-Ed with that title up there. Sadly, none of the country’s opinion writers had the guts to beat you black and blue with the truth. But that’s what blogs are for. So I’ll spell it out for you loud and clear. YOU WILL DIE.

And no, I won’t kill you. Not even Bonny’s prophecies will. See while all of you went HAM when Bonny was making death wishes on vultures, your relatives, brothers and sisters, had formed a sizeable crowd right outside Assanand’s trying to catch a glimpse of .., I don’t know what. Continue reading