December 21, 2014

[OP-ED] Kenya is entering an undeniable democratic recession

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Many Kenyans hold an inaccurate view about the country’s economic standing relative to its neighbours and other developing countries. One sees this in the preposterous but widely cited claim that Kenya at independence bore a socioeconomic status comparable to that of Singapore, Malaysia, or both, at that time. The one area in which Kenya has had a deservedly solid reputation, with tremendous progress, is in the character of its formal political and civil rights protection. Many visitors genuinely get surprised that for all its challenges, Kenya’s political leadership and its people deserve credit for the passage of a wordy, but…

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[OP-ED] Kenya Government Unwittingly Falls into the Al Shabab Trap

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By Dave Nyambati The government of Kenya has unwittingly fallen into Al Shabab’s carefully laid trap. For Al Shabab to even have a foothold in Kenya, they had to achieve two things; remind Muslim Kenyans (particularly or Somali origin) of the historic injustices/marginalization by the government of their communities and to stroke ethno-religious tensions to create separation lines between these communities and the ‘rest of Kenya’. They aimed to create a kinship of hardship to try and make the case for Kenya being party to an organized attack on Islam globally, thus soften Kenyan Muslims who at best would be…

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[OP-ED] SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE; What is really behind the Strip Shaming Incidents in Kenya

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By Penzi Amani in Seattle, Washington It is 2 am and no sleep…instead I am writing. The image of the raping incident is still very vivid; I am unable to ignore the horrific incident, Strip Shaming/Public rape. If you watched that video there is no way you are not vexed. You’d have to be inhuman. It was a horror movie enacted in our capital, Nairobi.   While I am angry and disheartened because I question where humanity is headed, while the woman in me wants every person involved to pay the capital penalty for their actions, I find myself stepping…

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OP-ED: How I became pregnant from a hug

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I have a confession to make. I Have a problem. I ask too many questions,  sometimes. Others too silly, especially to the answerer. I was told things like; babies were gotten from the supermarket. Grandma warned me from whistling my favorite song  at night, that it called the night runners to come by.  She also said if I sat on the cooking stone in her kitchen, mama would die, so I should not try it. I avoided her kitchen whenever we went visiting. I believed all these without questioning, until my brother came to birth. Why did mama buy him…

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[OPED] Hatred for Miss Uganda shows our miserable lives, covered in false hair

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Let’s take a break from the politics, dear reader, and dabble a bit in the social scene, in particular in the kerfuffle that has been going on over the new Miss Uganda. This is an area your columnist hardly follows, to be honest, and it would all have gone over my head if social media did not overheat with crude and derogatory comments about the looks, or perceived lack of them, from the winner. The vitriol spewed towards the new Miss Uganda says less about her beauty and more about the hatred in our collective psyche. Leah Kalanguka, the pageant…

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[OP-ED] Reasons why President Uhuru is a unique president

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That the President of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta, is a man of showbiz cannot be doubted. Unlike his predecessors, Jomo Kenyatta, Daniel Moi and Mwai Kibaki, he is unique. He has sought to demystify The Presidency. 1. He has opened State House to the public by hosting ordinary citizens and personally showing them around. 2. He has held up close and candid interviews with the media. 3. His bromance with the Deputy President, William Ruto, and cracking jokes was never seen with those before him and their deputies 4. He has taken selfies. 5. He has oftentimes put the suits aside…

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A Canadian’s view on Americans’ disrespect of President Obama’s presidency

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America – He’s Your President for Goodness Sake! There was a time not so long ago when Americans, regardless of their political stripes, rallied round their president. Once elected, the man who won the White House was no longer viewed as a republican or democrat, but the President of the United States. The oath of office was taken, the wagons were circled around the country’s borders and it was America versus the rest of the world with the president of all the people at the helm. Suddenly President Barack Obama, with the potential to become an exceptional president has become…

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Why Kenya’s real estate scene is a bubble waiting to burst

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A section of the upmarket Runda Estate in Nairobi. High prices of property in the city have locked out middle-class home buyers, leaving the real estate sector in the hands of few wealthy Kenyans. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP Of all the tasks that make up daily life, I particularly hate shining my shoes. This generally leads to two outcomes: I’m often guilty of wearing smart suits with scuffed shoes. Importantly for Nairobi’s economy is the second outcome — the shoeshiners around Nation Centre tend to have a very loyal customer. I get two benefits out of this:…

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New rules on tuition for Kenya primary and secondary schools will transform learning

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By Kennedy Buhere The Education ministry has prescribed the official school hours for all public and private day primary and secondary schools to be 8am to 3.30pm class hours, and 3.30pm to 4.45pm for games and clubs. The new guideline is contained in draft Basic Education Regulations 2014 which the ministry presented to stakeholders for discussion before adoption and subsequent gazettement. Consequently, any tuition schools or teachers will conduct outside those hours will be unlawful. The rules provide that students should be allowed between 5pm and 7.30pm for self-directed activities and between 7.30pm and 9.30pm for self-directed learning/assisted learning (popularly…

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[OP-ED] What other African presidents’ wives could learn from Kenya’s First Lady

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Before long, it will be two years since Uhuru Kenyatta was sworn in as president of Kenya. As happened with the first anniversary of his presidency, acres of newsprint and hours of airtime will be spent dissecting his rule. There will be only a few lines, if any, devoted to one of the most interesting sub-plots of his administration – the labours of First Lady Margaret Kenyatta. Mrs Kenyatta has made a bloody good job of being First Lady (FL), in ways few other African presidential wives have — and achieved while succeeding in avoiding the negative media spotlight. Future…

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