SGR Has Arrived Partly.

The SGR services were launched this week. After seeing the dazzling pictures and learning that it takes five hours to travel from Nairobi to Mombasa as opposed to the crazy 12+ hours the old junk railway took, I was very excited about the development.

I took pictures and rushed to tell my son the big news. The dude loves his country. We are travelling home in the next two weeks and he has been bagging me about visiting Mombasa and Lamu.

The young man has great interest in architectural sciences and he thinks Coastal housing designs all the way from Morocco to Zanzibar to Kenya offer exceptional opportunities for people to study architecture at another level.

He has been amazed by designs going back to the 15th and 16th century in coastal cities. In Zanzibar for example Ibn Batuta ( a brutal colonizer) actually introduced some truly stunning housing designs. For the royalty of course.

To cut a very long story very short, I was delighted to tell the man that yes, we will be going to Mombasa and now we have a brand new railway system to explore as we go there. He asked me how long I think this thing will keep working leave alone keep clean. I told him we are Kenyans and we know how to wreck things quick but we will hang on to this one.

Now the more I dig in to find the story behind the story for the SGR project the more scary it looks, never mind Uhuru’s childish pettiness in fighting Joho, the more scary the whole thing looks. It seems Kenyans are going to have to auction their blood to pay for this thing.

What the heck is up with this SGR thing? Anybody knows.

Here we go.

SGR ‘bitter pill to swallow’ for Coast residents – Joho

May. 31, 2017, 6:00 pm


The Standard Gauge Railway Mombasa Terminus at night. /MONICAH MWANGIThe Standard Gauge Railway Mombasa Terminus at night. /MONICAH MWANGI

When the Standard Gauge Railway was conceived under the Kibaki/Raila administration, it was a moment full of joy and promise for Kenya. It was born with every stakeholder in mind. The benefits and losses were balanced fairly throughout the country of Kenya. The future was full of limitless possibilities.

But it has now become a bitter pill to swallow. Especially for the coastal people and Mombasa. When the Jubilee regime came to power, their ascension became our misery. The best of their time is now the worst of ours. Their “spring of hope” has become our “winter of despair”.

That a modern railway was due in Kenya is not the question. The problem is that the obscene inflation of the price under Jubilee has made it too expensive for kenya. To cater for this cost, the jubilee administration has had to provide a number of guarantees to ensure the realization of this project. Key amongst the guarantees is that they have mortgaged the economic future of Mombasa. The port of Mombasa. Our birthright!

We would like the people of Kenya to know, we are a city at risk. Not only have they concessioned away the port of Mombasa in secret, the SGR will kill the city. Like the children of the biblical Isaac, one of us has sold his brothers birthright.

Key amongst the guarantees that have been conceded by the GOK for this project to come to like are:

a. Financial Guarantees

1. A “Take or Pay” contract with the Kenya Ports Authority. This means if the KPA cannot provide certain amount of goods, they have to pay the Chinese Exim Bank the difference.

2. The Railway Development Levy 1.5% RDL, this is a charge levied on ALL goods passing the port of Mombasa to satisfy the 10% local financing of the project.

3. A sovereign guarantee was issued by the National Treasury, Government of Kenya guaranteeing this loan.

b. Non Financial Guarantees

1. A Dry Port in Naivasha to move port operations.

2. A special economic zone in Naivasha to create new source of goods for the railway.

3. The disregard of the current concession with the old railway.

4. The privatisation and concession of the Port of Mombasa to private players to seek efficiency.

5. The guarantee by compulsion of goods from road traffic to rail at a higher cost

Consequences of this project are:

1. The immediate loss of Jobs for over 7000 current port employees, their dependants and affiliated businesses

2. The death of all port related business in Mombasa. From Trucking, Loading, Clearing and forwarding, Warehousing, logistics and others.

3. The arrest of all logistics-related future development.

4. The death of related logistics cities and towns along trucking routes on Nairobi-Mombasa highway.

In the light of this, we hereby demand that:

1. The government release the terms of the contract with the Chinese Exim Bank, the details of disbursement and attendant relevant information.

2. The Government of Kenya release all details of the Take or Pay contract between KPA and the financiers? What is the goods threshold and the responsibility of collection of the these fees.

3. Due to conflicting reports, the government clarify in details all charges related to goods and their destinations.

4. The government clarify the method of nomination of goods for rail and the point and implementation of charges.

5. The government clarify the extinction date of the Railway Development Levy on goods and come clean on the amounts collected since.

6. The government release the terms of the port concession, all monies paid and the details of the contract

7. The the Government clarify the details of site selection of Naivasha as a dry port. The feasibility study and the project appraisal report.

8. That the government release the “Willingness to Pay” survey of the goods for meant for railway and the feasibility report of the proposed Naivasha Special Economic Zone.

9. And that the Jubilee government show us their plan for Mombasa.

I wish to reiterate to the people of Mombasa and the coast at large, I will not have performed my duty before God and the people if I do not stand firm against this issue. I pray that you stand by your leaders as we seek to determine what future our country holds for us.

I wish to declare that you are the determinant of that future. You have a choice. On 8/8/17, make the right choice. Vote for Raila Amollo Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka.

Thank you.



(Exclusive) Vitanda Viwili (Kutengana )

As always – once every so often, we get an exclusive and should I say explosive story land on our desk that completely changes our world view. This is one of them



Ruto marriage in TURMOIL as extramarital affairs ROCK second family The marriage of Deputy President William Ruto is reportedly in serious turmoil with sources revealing that the couple are now living separately as concerned friends frantically attempt to broker a truce. DP Ruto is believed to have ordered his now estranged wife of 25 years Rachel tailed after suspecting that she was having an affair – disguised as public engagements – leading to the bust-up that resulted in the couples separation. The DP is living at his official government residence while the wife lives in their matrimonial home, both based in the exclusive suburb of Karen.

Ruto’s family-man demenour was recently shattered to smithereens after a woman known as Priscah Chemutai Bett sued him for child neglect. The two sired a secret child who is now 11 years old. The DP is reportedly angered by revelations that his wife sponsored Ms Bett lawsuit as a way of getting back at him after he cancelled all her public affairs including her involvement as an advocate for women’s rights and women’s empowerment. The DP also curtailed the second lady’s love foe travelling as part of the Kubamba TV Crew whom he hosted at his official residence last year.

Friends of the Ruto’s told this writer that the marriage had been rocked by extramarital affairs on both sides and that Rachel Ruto is ‘no angel’ herself either and had a fling with an unnamed Kubamba TV presenter prior to her husband’s revelations of dalliances outside the marriage. Another of these flings by the second lady allegedly involve an embarrassing affair with Congolese investor and patron of local football Club Sofapaka FC.

Last year, Sofapaka owner Elly Kalekwa was deported three hours after he was caught in a compromising situation at a Lang’ata Road hotel room with Mrs Ruto. He was assaulted and injured by DP Ruto government bodyguards before his deportation papers were quickly processed.

The Ruto’s have four children of their own but the Deputy President has reportedly sired several illegitimate children outside the marriage much to the chagrin of his wife and grown up children. Two more adult children, Nick and June, sired by DP Ruto outside wedlock were taken in by Rachel and have grown to be adults under Rachel’s care.

There are also hushed reports of domestic violence against the petite and vivacious second lady.

In the last one week, Reverend Teresa Wairimu Kinyanjui, founder and director of Karen based ultra-modern Faith Evangelistic Ministries (FEM) has been acting broker and emissary between the estranged couple. The multi-billion FEM is the same church where an emotional Ruto, accompanied by his ‘loving’ wife Rachel once shed tears following their surprise electoral win with President Uhuru Kenyatta. So serious are the differences between the Ruto’s that visiting Ghanaian Ex-President John Mahama, who is on private visit to Kenya, has taken a break from his official schedule to counsel his friends the Rutos.



Unity consensus emerging in opposition on super alliance for 2017 polls

According to highly reliable source within the alternative governing coalition, Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD), a significant consensus has been achieved in agreeing the Presidential candidature for the 2017 Kenya General Elections.

The reinvigorated coalition, whose bedrock is social democratic policy and bringing together a group of strategic leaders across all contours of Kenya, will be formed to ensure economic and social stability, security and national cohesion.

The Constitution of Kenya 2010 and Devolution will be its core driving force The positive co-operation of the different parties and individuals and a foundation has been laid to enable the country to shift from retreat and retrogression to advance in most areas of endeavour to Kenyans, despite the exceptionally difficult circumstances, which prevail in four years of corrupt, intolerant and exclusionist Jubilee regime.

The Coalition priorities values of equality, social justice, solidarity, sustainable development, gender equality, and democratic security where collective interests of Kenyans and country take precedence over particular personal interests.

Foremost among its tasks is to deepening devolved system of governance as core pillar of creating wealth and quality jobs for the millions of young people who were conned by Jubilee Government.

To further support building inclusive economy from every sector and corner of the country, the Coalition will strengthen local small businesses and manufacturing in counties.

The coalition will promote open government, increased transparency and deepen democratic reform. It will make every effort to foster an open and creative environment for every Kenyan, and friends of Kenya who we share mutual interest, to prosper and ensure sharing of our wealth while taking cognizance of protecting tomorrow generation future.

The coalition will make every effort to protect low-income earners and those who are most vulnerable, and to distribute the tax burden fairly, equitably and justly.

Young people will have chance to learn, train, work and earn so that they have opportunity to develop the prerequisite quality skills The coalition will be fully devoted to a concerted effort, at all levels of society, toward laying the foundation for inclusive sustainable economic policy and a better society, one which will rank among the best in creating value, prosperity, welfare and real quality of life”.

Negotiators have resolved to abandon the constitutional amendment path and seek to work with the existing constitution governance structure. Further to ensure equity and inclusion in government, the consensus agreement will guarantee that every face and diversity of the Kenya is represented including paying special attention to the generational equity and gender consideration.

The emerging consensus which is yet to be finalized shows the flowing

1. Presidency- Hon. Raila Odinga. He is fronted as major glue and key player in managing the Kenya democratic transition and reconciling the country. There is proposal on the table he will be transitional president.

2. Deputy Presidency- Hon. Kalonzo Musyoka. He is considered to be front runner post-Raila transitional presidency

3. Speaker, National Assembly- Either Coastal or Maa currently front runner Elijah Memusi

4. Majority Leader, National Assembly- Hon. Farah Maalim. This is very strategic political position. Hon. Farah represents wide range of interests especially for Muslim, marginalized and safeguarding the independence and authority of the National assembly. His past experience was considered. He will come through Wiper Party.

5. Speaker, Senate- Mt. Kenya region/Kalenjin. This is crucial position considering that central role Senate is playing in strengthening devolution.

6. Senate Majority- Hon Gideon Moi. His recent Bill local Content and historical position of the Kalenjin to defend interests of minority, devolution and land interests

7. Nairobi Governor,- Hon Musalia Mudavadi. Nairobi is basically the economic and [political hub of Kenya and the region. Hon. Musalia midwife devolution as the last Minister for Local Government. This position gives him a remarkable political influence and almost third most powerful political figure in the country.

8. Senator Moses Wetangula. He is proposed to run for the Bungoma Governorship which is considered to be one of the key Counties in the Country. This will give him chance to rebuild and reorganize his presidential bid for 2022.

9 . Mombasa Governor- Hon. Hassan Joho. He represents strategic County and has national influence and constituency especially young people.

10. Bomet Governor Isaaac Rutto and host of Governors are part of the broad based government that CORD intends to form. Also CORD is set to tap key people in crucial cabinet positions. According to the consensus, cabinet slots will reflect diversity of Kenya and people of impeccable intellectual, integrity and political acumen

Note: Gender representation still remains on table


This below is from our correspondent in Kisumu

Until the construction of a new police station at Migosi and the visit by Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinet to officiate it’s opening and reshuffle the administration and regular police structure in the county, Kisumu’s insecurity had reached unbearable proportions.

As the chief benefactor of the dreaded Kisumu “Chinese Gang” that reigned terror, committed murders, carjackings and engaged in violent robberies, Onyango Oloo certainly owes ODM supporters and Kisumu residents in particular a little more than a defection and a pledge to reveal how presidential votes were manipulated in favour of Uhuru Kenyatta.

Lives were lost, business closed and families deeply hurt by the illegal activities of the infamous Chinese Gang whose known commanders and members proudly accompanied Onyango Oloo to his press conference yesterday.

The shadowy and feared Chinese Gang still levies illegal tax on businesses and public transport vehicles within Kisumu Town to date. Is Oloo the main beneficiary of this illegal taxation on hapless Kisumu residents?

Are we now expected to see life return to peace and tranquility in Kisumu now that Onyango Oloo is an ODM member?

– The Diabolical TNA Conspiracy via @deep_cogitation


I think we need to interrogate a lot of facts, even as we “welcome back home” our “brother”

We expect nothing short of full disclosure

Food for thought!

Has Exam Cheating in Kenya Been Eradicated?

This post is in response to some interesting events that have happened in Kenya with regards to examination results

First lets be clear, I think what the CS has achieved is commendable and laud his efforts

But …..

First a preamble

Kenya’s education system (academics) is defined largely by its two transition methods

a) Transition from primary to secondary school education schools

b) Transition from secondary education schools to University colleges and institutions

Previously there was a Primary education followed by two tiers of Secondary education labeled ‘O level’ and ‘A level’ before a 3 year University program making a 7-4-2-3 academic program for those who managed to successfully get through all stages at their first attempt. Of course there were some specialist courses at the University that required more years such as fields of medicine where the courses required 5 years to complete.

Prior to this system at the break of independence, Primary Education also had two tiers, while secondary education also had two tiers before University college but the number of years before college were much fewer.

The current system was a result of elaborate research initiated by the National government in response to growing concerns  that the academic model of the time had become obsolete or more precisely did not serve well the growing needs of the country.

The current system is an 8-4-4 system in which the first 8-4 years are geared towards ostensibly nurturing the younger minds to be more self reliant with practical life skills before going into higher education for those who qualify.

Of course like any system, there are now new concerns that the system overloads the students, quality is low and other concerns or complaints about the inadequacy of the system.

In this post I am not going to go into the merits, failures or successes or in fact any discussion about any of the academic models in Kenya or elsewhere

This article only takes a brief look into a practice and in fact a culture that crept in, first in very little bits, but eventually consumed the academic circle, and that is the culture of Exam Cheating

Why is Exam Cheating prevalent

The learning model in Kenya, (as in most “developing or merging” countries) is fashioned along the same model for access to opportunities. It is NOT based on a collaborative or cumulative model, but is based on a gated/fenced access, with a throttled pass model. Let me explain

When ordinarily a human wakes up there is one thing generally guaranteed, they can breathe freely and never have to think about quotas or allocations. As such there are no fences or access concerns. If however we crammed people into a space ship and sent them into outer space, we will suddenly need to develop hierarchies that determine who has priority access to which resources and that will include even the most basic or fundamental resources required for survival. This is the gating/fencing access am referring to.

So lets get back to planet earth and specifically, Kenya. Our history and present circumstances are largely influenced by the impact of colonial  occupation, and the subsequent turn of events after we gained independence. Do not get me wrong, am not blaming the colonials, but we have to acknowledge that most of present day Kenya revolves around western or colonial influence.

Back to the discussion, yes we had local kings, chiefs, warlords, and associated structure before the arrival of colonials. And am sure pre-colonial history will show the gated resource management. When the colonials invaded Africa, they fashioned there own type of gated access to resources. Among these gated mechanisms was the hierarchy within Administrative structure they implemented in which they installed persons they deemed loyal or at least somewhat compliant with their model. And then implement systems that furthered their perception of social norms. So the academic institutions were fashioned to catapult natives from ignorance into socially acceptable humans.

At this point I fast forward the discussion

Our human nature quickly outgrows any system we design, and therefore natural selection using such systems reaches saturation very quickly. What is the point? Well before saturation, its easy to use or deploy a system to naturally select qualifiers for access to resources, but however, once saturation is achieved, the only way to provide gated access to resources is by appointed or select “delegates” in turn, using some conjured mechanism of selection. Note that the selection of delegates is in itself another conjured mechanism.

In short, we can quickly move from a free for all access to resources, to a heavily gated, resource access system in just a few short moves. Take for instance the circumstances of people in war torn regions Allepo Syria, South Sudan, etc. But I digress

Colonial Kenya, and post independence Kenya, resources and opportunities that initially belonged to all Kenyans and were readily accessible instantly became limited resources and opportunities, that could only be accessed either as favours from the Administration or through some system or qualification process. Initially the system appeared to work, but gradually the majority of the population continually got equal access and opportunity to qualify but unfortunately the resource pool remained and todate remains stagnant or in fact is shrinking. The resource pool is includes formal employment in government, corporations or businesses, access to land or farming, opportunities for innovation, business etc

When a qualification system is saturated the it has to undergo restructuring. It can either become more restrictive e.g setting of tougher qualification criteria but which are usually inconsistent or out of sync with ultimate goals or benefits or the systems gets replaced entirely. Unfortunately governments are slow evolving creatures, therefore cannot change quickly enough to adapt, whereas people will naturally move into survival mode when faced with challenges turning misfortune into opportunity.

I would like at this juncture to state that the academic and opportunity models in Kenya is ridiculously absurd. Instead of focus on creating more resources such as wealth, expanded opportunity etc, we focus all our attention on establishing bigger or more elaborate fences and gates and the associated personnel to man these fences/gates. Phrases such as “utanguka mtihani” or “hutaweza hiyo kazi”, “huyo jamaa alishindwa” are the hallmark of the gated/fenced mindset resulting from this model. Yes its okay to admit that you have used such or similar phrases often

But again lets get back to the story on hand

If its not clear, we have a severe shortage of  (or perhaps debilitating restriction of access to ) resources in the country. The system of access to these resources, is through a limiting and limited gating/fencing off process and associated gate keeping mentality ( the wheeler-dealers, brokers, armed guards, cronies, relatives etc in higher office). Under these circumstances, any objective, fair and open qualification system is not able to fairly and objectively select qualified access to the resources, because either the system will get overloaded with qualified people, or setting up tougher qualification criteria succeed in locking out majority including well qualified and better suited persons, and the tough criteria does not necessarily reflect the required commitment or needs for the opportunities etc.

Based on these challenges people adapt, and unscrupulous characters take advantage of these gaps to create alternative or corrupt channels, that are far much easier to engage and work in, with instant and in many cases gratifying results. Over time these channels become networks and evolve into cultures and social norms. In this case, the networks involve the examiners, educators, institutions, security, storage and transport, parents and the students. Each and everyone of these players has benefited one way or another from exam cheating.

So we now reflect on two “successes” – It has been reported that the ‘surprise’ and early announcement of results is considered a success in that the corruption cartels were not able to influence these results

It is also reported that there were fewer “higher scoring” marks per student even in schools that have a record of performing well in the past.

So the questions are

  1. How is poor performance of students considered a mark of success?
  2. Secondly, if ambush works this year and maybe the next, how is ambush considered to be a long term measure of, or indeed a strategy for success?
  3. Has the problem really been solved or did we create a wormhole that we perhaps successfully sneaked into?

We will await a comprehensive audit, but I can say this, its possible the networks could have been subdued, or were not as pronounced this year, but exam cheating is not an issue that will be resolved in one year or regime, simply because everything else ( opportunities, resources, networks) remains in the same state.

You will note that I will not even go into the discussion on quality of teachers, curriculum, study hours, extra learning tuition, costs, workload, (and hyuk hyuk hyuk Staddy 1 laptops and electricity). All these are topics on their own.

There is simply no cause for celebration

But in closing I have the following reflections to ponder on

  • In advanced countries, students are usually allowed to carry a “cheat sheet” into an examination center
  • We do not encourage “cramming” but yet expect students to “cram” for the exams
  • An experienced professional will always refer to a guide-book or instructions manual

Over to you folks

Archbishop Eliud Wabukala nominated to head EACC- Dont Laugh

Uhuru has given up on fighting corruption and nominated the least qualified person to pray for corruption to go away. Surely, thieves are laughing all the way. I now fully support Hon. Millie Odhiambos utterances. Thing are getting stupid by the day


President Uhuru Kenyatta has nominated retired head of the Anglican Church Eliud Wabukala to chair the anti-corruption commission and has sent his name to Parliament for vetting.

President Kenyatta sent his name to the National Assembly in a communication that was read to the House by Speaker Justin Muturi during Tuesday’s special sitting.

Archbishop Wabukala was among six individuals who had been shortlisted for interviews to head of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC).

They were interviewed for the job by the Public Service Commission on November 17.


Others who eyed the job were Mr William Kirwa, Mr Philemon Mwaisaka, Mr Peter Ondieki, Ms Rose Osoro and Erastus Iguna.

Parliament has 14 days from the date the Speaker tables the names to vet and approve or reject Archbishop Wabukala.

The House, before consideration, has seven days to seek public’s views on the candidate’s suitability

But on Tuesday, the House voted to extend the period of vetting by not more than 14 days to factor in the fact that MPs will be going on their recess.


“We have to do this by January 4. We are asking Parliament for 14 more days to make it 28,” Mr Samuel Chepkonga, the chair of the House Justice and Legal Affairs Committee said.

Should Archbishop Wabukala be approved by the House, he will replace Mr Philip Kinisu who was forced to resign after a company associated with him was named as a beneficiary in the Sh1.6 billion National Youth Service scandal.

Aged 65, Mr Wabukala had set himself apart as a soft spoken stickler for rules who had led the Anglican Church to condemn corruption in the country.


“Owing to the pivotal role that the chair of the EACC in driving the fight against corruption within our society, it is advisable that the concerned committee expeditiously proceeds to notify the nominee and the public,” Mr Muturi.

Archbishop Wabukala currently chairs the National Anti-corruption Steering Committee, a government entity formed in November 2004 that “carries public education, sensitisation and awareness against corruption.”

The committee’s mandate has been renewed several times after its terms expired.

By Mzee Posted in kenya