Saturday, July 21, 2012

ODM must discipline MPS

By, Joseph Lister Nyaringo
New Jersey USA
We want to build strong political parties which operate as tools of governance, a replica of Tories and Labour in Great Britain, Democrats and Republicans in the USA, CCM and ANC in the African continent. This will only be achieved through discipline from members and officials.
That is why the latest move by the ODM party to discipline their MPs who went against the party to campaign against the recently ratified constitution is laudable.
Violating a decree or agreement comes with consequences. That is why we have rules in every social, economic or political group. Therefore, you cannot be a member of a social club and fail to abide by the rules.
When Adam and Even reneged the decree of God in the Garden of Eden, they got a harsh discipline that dogs the human race even today. If they respected God’s rule, things would be different today for the human race.
I challenge William Ruto to tell Kenyans whether former South African President Did Tabo Mbeki, did parade his Xhosa tribesmen in the cabinet and in parliament to protect him when the ANC unanimously passed a vote of no confidence in him? Mbeki, is a respected freedom hero who fought against the apartheid in South Africa and despite this, he had to respect the constitution of his party. His presidency was cut short and he had to respect the decision of the ANC party. This is what we want to see in Kenya.
It’s very clear that the heart, mind, soul and love of William Ruto and his group is not in the ODM party. They are waiting for the rain to stop, form or move to another political party. Before doing so, they want to ensure that they have completely wrecked the party before the official exit.
The ODM party should move with speed for the discipline. We cannot continue to be wretched by people who want to play the tribal card in perpetuity when Kenyans want to confront the monster head on. They used it during the referendum campaigns and isolated their own community and still want to keep doing so.

Mutula should let schools to choose students’ dressing code

By Joseph Lister Nyaringo,
New Jersey, USA
I vehemently disagree with the Minister for education over his recent support to students of Rwathia Girls Secondary for demanding to be allowed to wear short skirts against the school’s dressing code.

Kenyans expected Mutula Kilonzo, to focus on his core Ministerial duties and not to lecture Kenyan teachers and students about modernity.

The modernity Mutula talks about should not drive us to ruin our societal decency. I’m sure any parent will undergo a nervous breakdown to discover that their beloved girl-child has been raped on her way from School because of dressing in a manner that provoked or enticed a rapist.

It’s a good practise to shield that which entices the eye to make a person sin. Even the Bible reminds us not to partake that which will make your friend to stumble.

Girls and boys at puberty want to attract attention through their looks and outfits. This is a critical stage for every human being and whoever is tasked with mentoring these youngsters must be good role models.

This is exactly what the administration of Rwathia Girls School is trying to do by ensuring that the students dress decently, respectively and comfortably. That is why Mutula's liberal view on the dressing code for Kenyan girls is irresponsible, immoral and uncalled for.

As a father figure, we expected him to be the guide towards moral ethic; respect and encouraging young people both girls boy, to guard their decency. Otherwise, dressing decently is a moral responsibility which should be upheld by all gender irrespective of age.

Therefore, encouraging the girls to dress provocatively or seductively under the aegis of modernity is actually giving rapists ammunitions for attack.

The trend is likely to elicit negative repercussions especially in mixed boarding schools where girls and boys mingle freely. It seems Mutula has never heard of mass rape within institutions.

We have experienced many acts of sexual violence mostly against women and the girl child where the victims rarely get justice. Quite often, the contributing factor is poor mode of dressing which attracts the male predators.

Unlike in the West where a distress call is answered within 3 minutes by police, and where most school going children carry cell phones, the Kenyan situation is a different ball game.

The Ministry of education should give a free hand for institutions to build their own standards for discipline including the dressing code.

I applause Rwathia Girls Secondary for trying to enforce a decent dressing code for their students and this should be emulated by other public and private schools in Country.

Even in the Western World where students’ mode of dressing is never a major issue, some schools still embrace a dressing code depending on the standards set upon by the School Districts.

Therefore, it’s our responsibility to reject any modern or Western styles which can taint the moral fabric of our young people. We need to promote those which will work for our private and public wellbeing.
It’s sad to see our young men and women getting more Americanized than the American themselves. On dressing, what we see on the streets on Nairobi is not different from what you will see in Chicago and New York.

I am not trying to imply that what is American is bad but we need to respect, maintain and uphold our identity. The rate at which our people are imitating the western styles like talking accents, gestures, and dressing, while thinking that ours is primitive and inferior is totally misplaced.

Why copy ways which do not conform to our customs or add value to our lives under the aegis of modernity and freedom of choice that Mutula his talking about? We know very well that Westerners, do not copy any of our customs.

We need to remember that we are a society which respects values which are often pegged on our culture, morals and traditions.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Abagusii needs new leadership

By Joseph Lister Nyaringo
New Jersey, USA
Former cabinet Minister Simeon Nyachae, who has since retired, is perhaps the only leader from Gusiiland who tried to unite the Abagusii community and occasionally brought their issues to the national radar.
As he enjoys retirement, is leadership is sorely missed in the region. I’m not implying that Nyachae’s leadership styles were flawless but I want to state confidently that he was a strong leader compared to the current MPs.

None of the seating MPs has tried to advocate for cohesiveness as a formula to chat the way forward for the community’s social and political interests both locally and nationally.

Two senior Cabinet ministers, Prof. Ongeri and Chris Obure are only interested in pursuing personal interests from the two hails of the coalition government.
They have completely failed to articulate the Abagusii interests, the way Nyachae occasionally tried to do. They do not care about the myriad challenges facing the community like, youth unemployment, debilitating education standards, rampant poverty, insecurity and poor infrastructure.
Even some who were voted in the last elections on a progressive platform like honourables Momoima Onyonka and Dr. Robert Monda have dismally failed the leadership test and therefore betrayed the confidence of the electorates.
This is a wakeup call for a new generation of aspiring leaders both from Kisii and Nyamira Counties to prepare and take over democratically in order to inject better leadership practises which will mitigate the crisises we are in as a community. We want to see men and women with a consciousness to salvage our two Counties from ruin.
We must vote for governors, senators and MPs with values and a transformative agenda for the community and Kenya, in order to spur socio-economic development in the region. Even those who will come seeking votes as Presidential candidates must convince our people that their record or agenda reflects well for Gusii and the whole nation.
Women aspirants must also step forward and take advantage of the current constitution so that we can have visionary and balanced- leaders with skill, knowledge, experience, and people-based to develop Gusii.
Good leadership entails directing and guiding people to make good choices geared towards improving their standard of life.
I believe that farmers, business community, professionals, youth, and social groups should, through an inclusive approach, work directly with elected leaders to address the day-to-day challenges facing the Abagusii community.
Otherwise, leaders who shun the electorates by keeping them in the dark are do on new government policies and programs which are intended to help them, do not deserve to be re-elected.
We want leaders who will bring all cadres in our community together, and introduce them to new and existing government programs to make them productive and self sustaining so that we can arrest economic stagnation to overcome poverty.
After all, the task of all political leaders is to interpret government policies and programs to the people. In fact, an elected leader is the first avenue for civic education in any society.
For instance, it’s shocking that a big percent of Youths in Gusiiland do not access the Youth Enterprise fund. Those who are aware of it do not know what to do in order to qualify. We can’t blame the government on this as it lies squarely on the elected leader.
It’s also saddening that the Tea sector, which is the backbone of Gusii’s economy, is not given adequate attention by our leaders. There are rampant outcries from farmers which range from, underpayment, poor transportation of fresh leaves to the processing plants and mismanagement of the regional factories which is often caused by political interference.
It’s high time voters focused on candidates whose ideas and issues are in tandem with the aspirations of the Abagusii community, and be wary of those who want to acquire power for their selfish ends.
Voters in the Counties of Kisii and Nyamira have the best opportunity through the coming election to define the future of Mwamogusii by voting leaders who will lift our community from the present degradation.

Saturday, July 7, 2012


Miguna Miguna’s yet to be launched book is a betrayal of intellectuals in our society. Instead of publishing a scholarly material to nurture a discourse which promotes harmony and best leadership practises, he has come up with a book focussing solely on individual weaknesses of the Prime Minister of Kenya.
Who is perfect in this evil World apart from Jesus Christ? Raila Odinga, the man Miguna’s book boasts to have taunting revelations according to the book’s excerpts from a local daily, is not perfect. Not even the most respected personalities in the globe whether dead or alive can claim perfection.
We don’t want to hear or read about bedroom stories of individuals unless it’s necessary.
I haven’t seen or read the book but I want to challenge the author that as an acclaimed scholar, he is sending a wrong message to many intellectuals in the Country especially the new generation of thinkers. You don’t differ with a person and resort to devising ways to fix or the tarnish the person’s image.
I’m not against local authors but it’s myopic to waste valuable time writing a book whose content is primarily centred on an individual whom you have a grudge. Kenyans need to see better from those who have climbed a higher academic ladder.
How will Miguna convince people that his is not about hypocrisy, hate and bitterness to Raila Odinga after losing his job? This is a wrong use of the power of pen and paper.
I recently read Dr. Shem Ochuodho’s book, The Dawn of a Rainbow, and to be honest, I admired it’s content which provides perspectives on the evolution of our nationhood since independence and leadership failures in the country.
We have people who have done weird things to our lives but we don’t agonize on how to fix them or subject them to public shame. We have to move on. Miguna is playing intellectual gymnastics which, with time, will backfire and tarnish his reputation for good.
I don’t want to sound defensive on Raila Odinga but my major problem with the author, is why he decided to raise eyebrows after being dislodged from his comfort zone as advisor to the Prime Minister.
Isn’t this the height of hypocrisy to use obscenities and epithets to your employer when you are fired?
If Miguna cared for Kenya, he would have folded his luggage in protest and quit when he discovered that things were not being done right by his boss. Perhaps he would have become another John Githongo.
Waiting until he is fired to spew fire through the media and writing a book, is an indication that the former advisor to Raila, is an opportunist and not a nationalist? If he cared about fixing things at the Prime Minister's office, he would have opined to go back when he was reinstated.
Miguna is clever, full of verbose and very manipulative. No wonder, former attorney general Amos Wako, was right when Miguna created a negative scene during a meeting in Uganda. Its true Raila’s enemies will break in jubilation when the book is out but to level headed Kenyans, this will not dignify or make the former advisor win any argument.
Miguna’s purported tribulations in the Prime Minister’s office is a wakeup call for Kenyans to be careful with public figures who remain silent when things are rosy, but decide to cry foul when their comfort zones are threatened or unsafe. If he cared about fixing things at the Prime Minister's office, he would have opined to go back when he was reinstated.
We want to see more replicas of John Githongo, who went ballistic on realising that things were not going well in the system. To be honest, which right thinking Kenyans will not trust the former anti-Corruption Tsar?
When Matere Keriri was shown the door from State House, did he go round or use the mass media to talk negatively about the President? Or does Martha Karua quit the grand coalition government, always talking negative about President Kibaki?
Our country is in the process of healing and reconciliation. This is the time we want to see the top cream of our society stay afloat on issues; arguing objectively without bias while providing tangible solutions on the way forward in order to move us to the next level.
We desperately want to see leadership and direction from learned Kenyans and not the pursuit of narrow and selfish interests through the negative use of academic prowess.
Let Miguna Miguna, join the league of intellectuals, if he thinks he is one, like Mutai Ngunyi, professor Mutua Makau, Egara Kabaji, Barrack Muluka to mention a few, and debate issues objectively and without bias through the mass media.
Talking tough to settle political scores cannot help Kenya.