Wednesday, April 25, 2012

MS fatigue survey results

Saturday, April 21, 2012

KENYA @ 48: Any reason to CELEBRATE?

What a well analysed and written piece. I really relate to it, but, it is now 49 years. 

Unfortunately, things are still the same...., or worse!


Kenya turned Forty eight on 12th December 2011. Forty eight months following the 2007/2008 post-election violence, I still live in the camps, internally displaced in my own country with my child of four years and nine months. Forty eight years after independence life expectancy is at a 'high' of 48, yet the economist holed up in the treasury tells me that the growth rate is at a mere 4.8 percent per annum. They attribute this to ignorance, poverty and disease.

Forty eight years on, it is politics without principle; pleasure without conscience; wealth without work; knowledge without character; business without morality; science without humanity; and worship without sacrifice. They continue destroying my country, my destiny.

Forty eight years on, we have created wealth and can proudly boast of 48 billionaires. What an achievement, yet 48 percent of the country lives under a dollar a day. We are rained on as they reign in on us.

At 48, many Kenyan citizens are jobless, homeless and hopeless yet the government spends not less than 480 million shillings for nationwide celebrations on this 'auspicious occasion.' They filled their bellies with tea at eight in readiness to address a hungry nation. A quick count showed not less than 48 fuel guzzlers parked around the dais for the forty million or so Kenyans to see and drool.

At 48, 4.8 million of us still live under the permanent threat of hunger as the government does 'all it can' to avert this crisis which has now become an 'annual event.' 

Corporates  join the fray to milk us under the guise of 'Kenyans For Kenya.' You pay to feed your own countrymen and women and they take the credit the same way soldiers fight the battle and the general wins the war!

Forty eight years ago, we vowed to fight ignorance, poverty and disease. 48 years later, it is a hungry nation, a poor people, a dying generation, a country on permanent 'strike' mode. If it is not the teachers, it is the lecturers and if not them, it is the nurses and doctors.

48 years on, you ask them to pay taxes and they say they spend their monies to feed, clothe and bury you. They say they have loans to service, will not afford to put a meal on the table and worse still will not serve you better. They forget that the majority live from hand to mouth. The populist will queue at the tax collector's office, pay his tax and go back to collect his refund from parliament - what a pity. How easily we get fooled. How fast we forget.

Forty eight years on, Dedan Kimathi's remains still lie somewhere; we still do not know who killed Tom Mboya, Robert Ouko, Ronald Ngala, Pinto, JM Kariuki and others. Only in death do we realise we had heroes and heroines who lived and dwelt among us. Only in death do we honour them either by affording them state funerals, erecting monuments, buying expensive caskets, turning out in large numbers to display our largesse, and lately a new trend has emerged where we build houses for their widows and 'invite' the press during the grandiose opening, to appease the spirits.

Theodore Roosevelt said: It is emphatic that it is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes short again and again, who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause, who at best knows achievement and who at the worst if he fails at least fails while daring greatly so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.

Martin Luther tells me that human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable. Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals. 

That change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. We must straighten our backs and work for our freedom.

A man cannot ride you unless your back is bent.

Lincoln said that the probability that we may fail in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just. And lately, Obama told me that we are engaged in a deadly global struggle for those who would intimidate, torture, and murder people for exercising the most basic freedoms. 

If we are to win this struggle and spread those freedoms, we must keep our own moral compass pointed in a true direction.

Forty eight years on, I have no reason to find my way to the stadia, listen to radio or watch television to be treated to the usual song and dance, fanfare, parades, jets, display of armoury and military 'might' - the promise of a growing and working nation...'my government this, my government that'. 
Not this time round. Maybe never.

I lit up 48 candles in remembrance of bad leadership, ethnicity, corruption, insecurity, greed, poverty, inequality, historical injustices, vengeance, disease, hatred, discrimination, extrajudicial killings, unemployment, marginalisation and a host of other evils meted against the innocent people of Kenya.

For 48 minutes and 48 seconds, I was silent as I reflected on the intentions of the devious architects behind the unwarranted cost of living who have stolen, killed and destroyed my country. 

In the 49th minute I lit a candle to burn them down and blow them away, once and for all.

For 48 hours, 48 minutes and 48 seconds, I engaged in an act of self-sacrifice. I held vigil with progressive brothers and sisters. We denied ourselves food and drink. We straightened our backs so that they do not ride on us again.

The bad men combined 48 years ago; we, the good, must associate now; else we will fall one by one, a defeated generation in a contemptible struggle,

Forty eight years later. History will judge us.

We must be guided by the voice of our conscience.

We need a new Kenya, a new beginning, a new hope, a new future. God Bless Kenya.

By Jeremiah Kiwoi
The author<> is a Rights Advocate based in Nairobi.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Oh, my dear Muslims.....

Why is it that you (Muslims), do not follow the teachings of the Holy Qur'an and the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) in your everyday lives?

I know that this above statement will immediately cause consternation among most of you, but, bear with me for a while and I will point out to you some examples, Insha'Allah.

1. Where in Islam does it say that you practice your religion loudly? Meaning, after giving the Adhan for prayers, why do you insist on leading prayers so loudly on the public address system that your neighbours - Muslim and non-Muslim get disturbed?

2. Why do you give the Fajr adhan one hour before the actual time? This was not the practice of the Holy Prophet.

3. And when the neighbourhood (both Muslim & non-Muslim), whom you disturb every single day, 5 times a day tries to request you to reduce the volume of your speakers, you in turn threaten them?

This is also against the environmental laws of our land and when you are told about that, you threaten these people with dire consequences and not to interfere in the practice of your religion!

For your information, and reminder - this behaviour is not the teaching of our beautiful and peaceful religion of Islam.

Don't you read in the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (pbuh), that we are told not even to say our prayers so loud that it will disturb the person standing next to us in prayers? That we are not to disturb our neighbour (Muslim & non-Muslim), near and far with our actions?

That there is no compulsion in religion - Surah Baqarah verse 256. So, why do you behave like illiterate and violent people? Thereby giving our beautiful religion a bad name? 

Does it not bother you?

Again, coming back to the loud leading of prayers in mosques;  there are countless mosques all over Coast Province and the country at large where every neighbourhood has not just one but more than one mosque. So, why the need for this noise?

I am a Muslim and get very disturbed when praying at home by our various neighbouhood mosques. Our estate is surrounded by about 4 to 5 of them!

Then, when reciting the Holy Qur'an aloud in this manner (with different mosques reciting different passages of it), there is a cacophony of noise and even if we wanted to listen to one, we could not, as the Holy Qur'an tells us. That when it is being recited we should pay attention and listen to its recitation. 

For how can we when every mosque erupts into noise around the same time?

Anyway, it is totally invalid for one to try and follow an Imam from one's home. Therefore, what is the point of this loud leading of prayers? Are you trying to show the rest of the world that you are praying? This would have no meaning in the sight of Allah, if so. 

Therefore, we would really appreciate it if you would please, go back to the true teachings of Islam and live and practice this religion peacefully among your various neighbours. You will be blessed by Allah.

Kenya Power's shoddy 'services'

Why is it that 'officialdom' in this country NEVER speaks the truth? Why is it that when they do open their mouths to supposedly 'explain' something, they hardly EVER abide by what they say?

Therefore, it is no wonder that we, the citizens of this country, have learned to NEVER take them seriously nor do we even pay much attention when these people ('service providers'), are promising us things by a certain time. Hence, our country is still at a point in time, despite being independent for nearly half a century, where one would get the impression that we've just acquired Uhuru!

The few of us who listen when these 'service providers' are spewing hot air into the atmosphere and then take them to task for not walking their talk are very few and far between and therefore persistently ignored by ALL OFFICIALDOM since we are a very small minority and these thugs can afford to sweep us aside and even get told off for interfering. One wonders what we're interfering with.....

Or like the past nearly 2 weeks Nyali has been having continuous outages the latest ones being since 6.15 am this morning. It took ages for me to get hold of an 'official' to inform him about our latest blackout and then it took Kenya Power (Weakness?), over 2 hours to fix it. About an hour later, it went off again. I called various officials. Nobody was answering and when the chief engineer finally did, I was told that they are trying to still fix the problem.

What this persistent problem is, only God and Kenya Power (Weakness), know. IF, they even know and are capable of fixing it on a permanent basis!

Now, to go back to Saturday when we had a countrywide blackout most of the night. On that day, we had already had 5 outages during the day. The one at night was the 6th one.

How is one supposed to live with this kind of uncertainty? Who will pay for the damage done to life, limb and property as a result? This will result when this useless company suddenly throws us into darkness in the night. While the majority of the citizens of the country are young people, there are many old and infirm ones, too. These suffer unbelievably when they get disoriented due to the sudden outage, fall and get badly hurt even breaking limbs at times. Will Kenya Power be responsible for these citizens' medical bills and subsequent rehabilitation? In more accountable and responsible countries (I thought Kenya was trying to be that way...), they take responsibility.

When food goes off despite being in the freezer due to outages that last for hours on end and because of this, people get sick and/or the food is not fit enough to be eaten and/or the fridge gets spoilt despite using sollatek devices to protect them. Will Kenya Power take responsibility for that, too?

And why is it that Kenya Power which was supposed to disconnect us from the main Kisauni line (have substations all over), sometime last year, has still not kept it's word and we are still having outages that affect everybody from Kisauni, Mishomoroni, Nyali, etc., all together.

This is the part I am talking about regarding them walking their talk. Three representatives from Kenya Power had attended our North Coast Residents & Rate Payers Association (NCRRA) meeting, early last year and we were told to have 'patience' as our problems were soon going to be a thing of the past  latest by the end of last year.

But, it seems that NOTHING of the sort was being done and if it was, it is not being done on time. Hence, these engineers always telling me to have patience! Unfortunately for them, I no longer have this patience since we have been independent for nearly 50 years and we should have been on the way to being a very accountable and responsible country. Instead, we are still grovelling in the same old holes of unethical, irresponsible, unprofessional, corrupt atmosphere.

The Kenya Power company does not seem to believe in telling the truth and sticking to it and their word. One gets the feeling that they are hiding something from the general public which is one of the reasons that we are losing confidence in their capabilities for supplying us with a consistent and predictable power supply. Otherwise, we will NEVER progress for we require electricity in every aspect of modern life. Instead Kenya Power is taking us back to prehistoric times!

Tax relief likely for solar energy use, green roof | The Muslim Times: A Blog to Foster Universal Brotherhood

Will our government and the power company also lead the way in developing alternative, renewable energy sources like they are beginning to do in India and most developed countries?

We are quite fed up with their excuses of 'no money', everytime such things are suggested to them. In fact, they (the power company), is being, 'penny wise and pound foolish', in their present so-called 'service' delivery.

By using the same OLD methods of delivering power which is highly questionable and EXPENSIVE where we consistently have 'broken wires', a problem on the line, etc., they should immediately join the 21st Century and take heed about the use of expensive use of 'dirty' energy....

Are you people up to the challenge?