Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Grand Regency Lunacy

The Anglo Leasing scandal, Part II

Denied at first, then speculated upon, then confirmed as gone, just like that. Notice Kimunya 'explaining' how the govt got back the money it wanted. Never mind that it's the same amount given 15 years ago, as if inflation remained a constant, and time stood still.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

How Mugabe's Speech Cost Him a Plate of Chips

By Jerry Okungu

International politics can be dirty and cheap at times. It even gets bizarre at times.When it comes to Robert Mugabe and the West, humor sets in comfortably.

The other day the United Nations took the liberty to invite Robert Mugabe as the President of Zimbabwe to join other leaders in Rome at a meeting to resolve the world food crisis. As much as UN protocol was followed in extending this invitation to Uncle Bob, a few countries; notably Britain and Australia were not amused. They could not understand how a cantankerous corrupt dictator like Mugabe who has been starving his countrymen for decades could be allowed to join civilized nations at the table in Rome.

Read the rest of the article here.

Its sequel is here.

Monday, June 23, 2008

America hath a pwobwem

Monday, June 16, 2008

Olbermann blasts McCain on Iraq policy

US journalists strike a blow for civil liberty

It's not the kind of story you are used to hearing from the US. Not the land of the brave and the free. Not the land of democracy. You've heard of Guantanamo Bay. The island used to be part of Cuba, but the US annexed it and has put it to noxious use.

This week, a group of journalists began exposing what has been going on there, mainly the torture of prisoners. Click here for some of the stories, including those in which wrong men were detained and tortured. These are mostly Muslim suspects accused of being members of al Qaida. They are blamed for attacking the US on September 11, 2001. It turns out that the worst torture camp is not even Guantanamo. Bagram, a former Russian military base taken over by the US after it attacked Afghanistan has a worse record, according to former detainees.

The US is in the middle of a presidential campaign. Last week, the US supreme court ruled that gave prisoners at the detention centre the right to access US federal courts. As you can imagine, the Republican nominee, John McCain, saw red literally. He called the court ruling "one of the worst decisions in the history of this country". According to Bloomberg, two years ago, the Arizona senator was the chief backer of a US law which stripped the prisoners of the right to file habeas corpus petitions in US courts.

That's the kind of candidate the Republicans want to send to White House. I'm not surprised he wants Marines to stay in Iraq for another 100 years.

I say kudos to the McClatchy crew for lighting a fire under George Bush's bottom (that's an innocent English expression). The natural result of such an exposé should be calls to take Bush to the Hague. Although I expect somebody to bell the cat, I'm not holding my breath.

An aphalling distraction

The Guardian UK reports on an Italian man (apparently he is gay) bent on distracting live TV broadcasts with a message on condoms. Although Gabriele Paolini's antics have succeeded in drawing attention to himself and his phallic message, they are a nightmare to newscasters and TV reporters. The Guardian reports that his latest stunt involved throwing himself in front of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's car to announce he had joined his party and had wedded his gay boyfriend. Paolini's stunts may work on NTV or KTN, but I advice him strongly against throwing himself in front of PM Raila's car. He should not even imagine trying to think of Kibaki's motorcade.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

The Tiger Licking Kibaki's face

I've read an interesting article in The Sunday Nation in which the writer is saying the Electoral Commission of Kenya should be nowhere near the ballots being cast in this Wednesday's by-elections. For the first time since the barrage of condemnation began, I got to read someone explaining the process through which Kivuitu and his catankerous team could be removed from office.

You see, the Electoral Commissioners are constitutional offices, so they can only be removed by the President after a tribunal finds them incompetent, or if they resign (which Kivuitu says he won't), or by death (which they continue to defy). I would prefer resignations, but since they will not go quietly, let's give (alleged?) President Kibaki the option of showing them the door.

Unfortunately, that is not likely to happen for a very simple reason. It would open a can of worms, like Kibaki admitting he was elected fraudulently, that the pressure he or his men put on Kivuitu triggered the violence in which hundreds died, and that he has no option but to go home and shower.

It would take a lot of courage for Kibaki to send Kivuitu home. Kibaki is known for many things, but courage is not one of them. So we are stuck with Kivuitu. Love him or hate him, he will preside over the by-elections on Wednesday.

Kivuitu and his team remain like a tiger licking Kibaki's face. If he attempts to throw them out, he risks a very nasty maul. If he doesn't, he must contend with very foul breath and sharp claws.