Israeli Apartheid At Full Blast

This is not shocking to those of us who follow the eternal conflict between the Israeli government and the Palestinian Peoples’ struggles for nationhood in their own land.

What is shocking and frightening about this is that for the first time the Israeli government is imposing conditions on elected US Congress members if they want to travel to Israel.

The victims of this atrocity are elected Congresswomen Ilhan Omar from Minnesota and Tlaib Rashida elected Congresswoman from Michigan.

They have been deemed not fit to step into Israel allegedly because they support Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS).

This is is a movement that seeks to treat Israel as a state in violation of basic human rights with regards the way they treat Palestinians and even the Arab population of Israel which is 20% of the population of Israel.

Everybody understands why they were banned from entering Israel. They oppose the occupation and have said so publicly. And god forbid they are the first Muslim women ever elected to the US Congress.

To make things worse, Tlaib Rashida is of Palestinian origin although born in the US and is now an elected member of the US Congress.

In short Tlaib is a United States citizen and an elected US Congresswoman.

Democratic US congressional candidate Rashida Tlaib before Election Day in Michigan, 2018.

Congresswoman Tlaib’s grandmother, Muftia Tlaib, whom she fondly calls “sity” is now 90 years old and still kicking alive in the West Bank and was hoping to see her granddaughter probably for the last time.

That is what any of us would hope for and be very delighted about.

To see your grandmother possibly for the last time. Anybody would love that.

I have one left in my family. Her name is Grace. She is blind now but as soon as you open your mouth and talk she knows exactly who you are. And she welcomes you by name. She has a name for everybody in the family.

With Grace, it depends on whether you are in her good books or the bad one. When she calls me “Rapenda”  it means I am reliable. That is good.

When she calls me “Olal”, the lost one, I am in trouble and I have to get things right.

It means I am not doing things that I should be doing at home. I usually get the message or so I hope.

It took Grace time to figure out my son’s voice because she didn’t meet him until he was five. Then they figured it out.

For the young man this was his great grandmother and they were trying to figure out how to get along. They did a very good job at it.

Today the boy comes back to see her even after so many years away in Canada she calls him by the name she has for him. They are wonderful friends.

If you ever stop me or this young man from going home just to have a chat with Grace before she leaves us, I think I would go crazy.

Nobody knows what Grace’s age is. Her son Solomon when we were visiting says oh she is like 96 years old.

Solomon’s wife brasses it off and says Grace is older than that.

Grace was just laughing as we had some food at her son’s house in Wang’arot in Asembo which is where my mom was born.

Grace seemed to have no interest at all about what her age is even though we were joking about it. She seemed to love the guess work. She probably doesn’t know when she was born and would care less.

Just great time for everybody.

That is the folklore of family re-union with the old ones. There is food and laughter at the family table. It is priceless in any culture.

My son is there and he was born in Canada and all of a sudden he is more Kenyan than me.

He identifies with the sentiments of love and affection his family members have for each other regardless of anything else. He senses he is part of something really beautiful.

You can’t teach that. It is just human. Why not for Palestinian families like that of Tlaib Rashida.

So after Tlaib was barred from entering Israel as a member of the US Congress the Israeli government “bent backwards” to allow her to enter Israel and visit her grandmother on “humanitarian” grounds. Oh for the love of god what is that?

 

View image on Twitter

 

It means the Israeli government gave her very strict conditions that she thought were oppressive and humiliating to her and her family.

It was more like they would put her in a cage at the airport, take her to her grandmother’s place, let her greet them and take her in that cage back to the airport and out. Gone and done.

Hopefully they will allow Tlaib Rashida to attend her grandmother’s funeral when that time comes and even that I doubt. Can you believe it?

For Americans who have never known how the Israeli government treats Palestinians now they know. It seems for the Israeli government, Tlaib Rashida is a Palestinian who have to be treated accordingly, the way all Palestinians are treated. It is not a big issue for them.

Never mind that Tlaib is an elected member of the US Congress and an American citizen.

Remember that Apartheid South used to bar African American political figures from setting foot in South Africa. Jesse Jackson was barred from visiting South Africa in 1985.

View image on Twitter

This is a recurrence of the same.

Here is the story from Times of Israel. The comments are toxic. That is part of the problem. So you have to live with it. The comments are really horrible but it is what it is.  Thank you.

https://www.timesofisrael.com/banned-congresswomen-call-decision-insult-to-democracy-and-a-sign-of-weakness/

By adongoogony Posted in kenya

Death Of The Human Rights Movement In Kenya

Here are four of some of our great warriors in building the formidable human rights movement(s) that have pretty much shaped our country in the last three decades.

Former Chief Justice Willy MutungaFormer Chief Justice Willy Mutunga

Former Chief Justice Willy Mutunga

Former Chief Justice Willy Mutunga

Here is the story.

https://www.nation.co.ke/counties/nairobi/Go-for-political-seats-Mutunga-tells-activists/1954174-5235368-mjisks/index.html

On the backs of those four veterans standing there lies the hopes and dreams of our country in the last two generations. It is fantastic to see them still on their feet standing with us on this earth and right inside the jamhuri.

I have had the privilege to work with those guys on different fronts except for Khaminwa whom I just read about.

But we all know that Dr. John Khaminwa is one the best legal minds out there and he has devoted his life and skills to defending victims of state abuse at every stage with no fear at all.

Davinda Lamba on the right has been involved at every stage in our struggle for human rights and democracy in our country.

Davinda had leaned a lot on the availability of basic needs for Kenyans. He is an expert in housing issues and worked a lot with Habitat in Kenya while also travelling out here and pushing us to get Canada involved in helping in the fight for human rights and basic needs in Kenya.

Of course everybody knows about Dr. Willy Mutunga. He has duked it with all of them and took his hits but there is a lot of work Dr. Mutunga has done behind the scenes which are pretty significant.

Today we take the Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC) for granted and those who know what that organization has done know we would still be living in the dumps without the actions these organizations have made to move our country forward.

It was KHRC which first lifted the veil on systemic torture of political activists and the extra-judicial murders of Kenyans of all backgrounds. They coordinated their work with Amnesty International which had great influence on human rights issues as things were getting hot in Kenya in the 1990’s.

KHRC didn’t just raise these issues, they fought against them in a total combat kind of fashion. That means you come to battle from all angles and give the enemy no window for escape.

KHRC engaged the dictatorship in direct action with demos to defend human rights.

They engaged the enemy of our rights as citizens of Kenya in the legal front.

In fact at some time they almost had a human rights commando type group to rush into any situation where citizens’ rights were being violated to intervene on the spot and document everything.

It was very effective in preventing and legally fighting against human rights abuses.

KHRC were the first organization to publish complete dossiers on all Kenyan political prisoners in jail and provided direct information on the insanely inhumane conditions under which they were held.

To their credit KHRC worked with political prisoners and in fact many of the employees at KHRC were ex-political prisoners and detainees.

This was a very empowering institution for us and for once we had an organization that talked with us instead of talking for us. And then we talked together to the nation and the powers that be.

The results of KHRC work was enormous. They formed People Against Torture (PAT) which helped so many ex-prisoners document their experiences, publish them and later file cases against the Kenya government for torture and abuse of their basic rights as Kenyan citizens..

PAT was headed by the indomitable Njuguna Mutahi, a guy whom you have to know to figure out how he functioned. Great soldier.

All these time KHRC was also involved to its eyeballs with the broader struggles to condemn the one party dictatorship to its deserved grave.

In fact one of the more prominent faces of KHRC for a long time was the relentless human rights fighter Lynne Muthoni Wanyeki who was the Executive Director of KHRC.

Muthoni and KHRC were also very instrumental in the fights for human rights after the terrible mass murders in the PEV of 2007/8. Without these people, the ICC cases would not even have started.

Even the Kenya National Commission On Human Right(s) KNCHR which should not be confused with KHRC was the product of the work that people like Dr. Mutunga and our folks here in Canada and Maina Kiai in the US.

We fought like hell to set up KNCHR which had to be established by an act of parliament and be funded by the government as opposed to KHRC which is a non-profit organization.

Kibaki was a headache at first and Willy was working with some NGO but we pushed it through and the first head of the newly formed institution Maina Kiai hit the road running and never looked back. We know what KNCHR looked and functioned like with Maina Kiai at the top.

Then of course there is also the old soldier Reverend Timothy Njoya there.

The image of the Reverend edged in our collective memory forever was the horrifying image of the old man, white hair and all wriggling in a dusty Freedom Corner in Nairobi covered in blood as some brutal police officers bludgeoned him to near death as they were holding a demonstration against Moi’s abuse of human rights.

He was left for dead on the ground.

This is the brutal attack on Reverend Njoya by Moi death squads:

 

The News headline says: “Njoya man of God and People makes an exit”

What the headline news is saying is that Reverend Njoya has been murdered in front of everybody by the Moi death squads.

But No papers can’t say that. So they say “Njoya makes an exit”

He is just taking a walk.

Really? But I digress.

These were the days when the current DP William Ruto were running a militia within the police force to protect Moi’s political survival. So this was one of his patented achievements.

Reverend Njoya came to Toronto after that near death experience to for health reasons and later joined the University of Toronto, Munk Institute as a lecturer for a period of time.

One thing Njoya told us which I will never forget when he talked about that beating was that every time they as activists ran out of ideas on what to do next Moi always came to their aid by doing something really stupid and energizing a whole new round of fight.

And that is exactly where we are. We need a new round of energized battle with Uhuru and his circle of headless chicken destroying the country as we speak.

The human right movement as a whole that has been the engine of our national struggle for liberty and dignity as a nation and we have achieved a whole bunch but the struggle is just beginning as always.

Our human rights institutions are dead like a dodo as we speak.

George Kegoro is now the head of the non-profit KHRC. Occasionally they make press statements here and there but it is more like they are just trying to earn their money because they do absolutely nothing else. I don’t even think they are publishing anything now.

This is KHRC website today.

https://www.khrc.or.ke/publications.html

I was kind of at a loss trying to navigate the message.

It felt like I stumbled into PhD paper works.

Like this one.

https://www.khrc.or.ke/publications/199-re-opening-and-consolidating-democratic-space-in-kenya-contextual-conceptual-and-political-perspectives/file.html

The real shame though is KNCHR which eats our tax money and is supposed to work for human rights and now they are lying in their gravesite only lifting their hands from time to time to collect money as their salaries for doing nothing.

I met Maina Kiai in a conference just when he was working at KNCHR and I asked him how things work there.

He told me it is one thing to talk and fight about human rights when you are fighting in the streets but when you get into that office as a commissioner the first thing you get is a big car and a driver and all of a sudden it is a struggle to see beyond the benefits and prestige of the office to even figure out you are there to fight for human rights.

It is important to remember that. It needs another breed of fighters to stay true to their cause under those circumstances. We can see that now but we are coming at our comrades and they better be awake when we arrive at their doorsteps.

Usually it is unannounced. But we as human rights activists in Kenya have to figure out whether our renounced human rights organizations are moving us forward or backward. May be we match in tendon either way. Who knows.

But we must find out for the good of the country. Soon enough.

adongo ogony

By adongoogony Posted in kenya

Building Bridges Initiative vs Punguza Mizigo Bill

Coming back from a self imposed hiatus of motherland Ke woes, I thought it would be best to take a moment to reflect on the current initiatives by leadership to bring back harmony, hope and vision for the country.

In this regard there are two major processes in the works – The Handshake phenomenon ushered in Building Bridges Initiative, while a radical reform process initiated by Thirdway Alliance Party known as the Punguza Mizigo movement has culminated in a bill presented to parliament

I do not think we are going to do a side by side comparison, but would like to interrogate the merits or demerits or shortfalls that each present

So first lets look at the supporting documentation



BBI

The goals are captured in this document

 

For a status update click on the link below

Building bridges initiative to finalise its work within two months, secretariat

We are waiting on the final report which I believe will be anytime within the next two months



Punguza Mizigo

The goals are outlined here in the link below

https://thirdwayalliance.com/punguzamizigo

not sure what happened, there were some signatures collected, but somehow, boom, we now have a constitutional amendment bill

 

There is matter currently in court on whether this bill can be debated in the house(s) and for that reason its currently on hold.



My initial thoughts on this are simple.

Whereas Thirdway Alliance derives its purpose and momentum from the popular belief that there is a lot of wastage and bloat in government, representation etc, it then takes a sharp curve blindsiding everyone and unanimously draws up a constitutional amendment bill. This is quite strange considering that their leader was part of that prestigious Committee of Experts that helped draft the 2010 Constitution. He was part of the entire process and should therefore know the importance of comprehensive public participation in rewriting a constitution. He is fully aware of the shortcuts leading to the failed Bomas draft. And its almost like he wants to push his version of the constitution that probably got snuffed out amongst his fellow giants in that committee. This bill is an ambush of sorts and cannot purport to speak for every Kenyan even if founded on high moral ground, because we have not seen due process.

The BBI on the other hand, will not generate any different views than were presented during the marathon view gathering leading to the 2010 Constitution. Further, most of the peoples recommendations have been captured many times over the past 60 years, in surveys, workshops, interviews, reports etc, which currently decorate shelves in the various ministries and departments. I recall the famous The Nairobi We Want as one of the milestones, but there have been literally hundreds maybe thousands of these done in cycles that are now dizzying to reflect on. Lets get real people, we are not going to get any more new/dazzling ideas.

The main problem as always has been in taking those recommendations, putting them into law and then putting them into practice. Getting more laws or changing some document is not going to change the basic core and culture of Kenyans – taking bribes, giving bribes, cutting corners/taking shortcuts, gobbling national resources, embezzling public funds, ethnic profiling, discrimination, corruption, stupidity, etc. So in short the BBI will rehash the same stuff we have heard over the years into a lovely report, more handshakes and then back to business as usual.

Will wait on the final BBI report and come revisit this post

 

Meanwhile ji-enjoyini

Waititu Barred From Office: This could be complicated and far reaching.

Today the court ruled in Waititu’s appeal to have the ruling to have him kept out of office until his case is resolved as unconstitutional.

He was shocked by the result.

Here is the ruling.

Court sustains orders barring Governor Waititu from office over Sh588mn fraud case

After he left Nairobi Area Remand Prison (INDA), my former home, Waititu was granted bail of 15 million cash and 30 million bond. The court also ordered him to keep out of the  governor’s office until after the matter is resolved.

This is Waititu’s experience at INDA: (Kenya’s most frightening Remand Prison)

https://www.standardmedia.co.ke/article/2001336621/governor-waititu-what-i-saw-at-industrial-area-prison

Predictably, Waititu took the original court ruling barring from office in its most basic interpretation. I mean he understood it literally.

Here is Waititu’d lame understanding of the original court ruling against him:

https://www.standardmedia.co.ke/article/2001336095/court-orders-waititu-to-stay-away-from-office

Waititu went to the villages to inspect “projects”.

His talk all along was that he was barred from walking to his office but he was still the governor and he can do that by just roaming around in the villages and drinking dens I suppose.

The sad fellow never understood that being told that as the governor of Kiambu after the charges of corruption and theft of public money you are not go back to your office in court means you are no longer governor until the matter is resolved. Basically you are temporarily fired.

He thought the ruling only meant he cannot physically go to his office and sleep there like he probably did before, but that he was no longer governor.

So Waititu foolishly goes to court to demand that he has to go back to his office and work from there and the previous court ruling was bad. Never mind he has some pretty good lawyers like Tom Ojienda and Havi.

Then the court breaks it down to him. Must have been painful for him.

The appeal court ruling is that not only is Waititu not allowed to physically step into his office unless he is going to pick his property and get lost, he is actually by that ruling been declared unfit to hold the office of the governor of Kiambu county and has nothing to do with that office until the corruption case against him is resolved.

Oooh.

That is harsh but it is the ruling arising from a previous ruling by Justice Mumbi on a similar matter.

Now why do I say this is complicated?

Justice Mumbi used the feared Chapter Six of our constitution which asserts that any leader or aspiring leader who has impending cases of corruption and other criminal activities cannot be allowed to take or stay in office.

I know many Kenyans would say if that is the case then we could as well empty all public institutions off the criminal elements working there and there would be no State House, No Parliament, No senate and god forbid no judiciary including the Supreme Court. But that is a discussion for another day.

For now this Waititu ruling is a nightmare for every governor or anybody holding a  public office in the country. This could go very far. All the way to the top and bottom.

So expect this to go all the way to the Supreme Court. It is a big deal for our country.

Rulers in our country hate Chapter Six of our constitution. They managed to strangle it just after the constitution was passed and we had elections in 2013. Now it is rearing its fearsome head again. Be ready for the ride and for real battles. Yes we are ready for it. Indeed.

By adongoogony Posted in kenya

Yes: President Uhuru You are welcome To Kisumu For Projects Any Time.

President Uhuru told Muhoroni M.P while they were at the Laboso funeral that he wants to come to Kisumu for development projects and not funerals.

https://www.the-star.co.ke/news/2019-08-03-i-want-to-come-to-kisumu-to-initiate-projects-not-just-to-attend-funerals-uhuru/

That is right. But Mr. President please don’t come to announce dead projects or white elephants. They are worse than funerals. They represent a dead body lying in front of you for years which turns  into decades. And you can’t even bury it. Frightening stuff.

That is what is happening now with Itare Dam. It is awful looking at that thing. They have hundreds of tractors and other huge building machines lying there in a deserted vast land.

The contractor is gone. The company declared bankruptcy and left. This company was pretty much bankrupt when our politically bankrupt leaders gave them a ton of taxpayer money.

This is the result of the Itare Dam debacle.

https://www.standardmedia.co.ke/article/2001335747/stalled-itare-dam-materials-wasting-away

The government has forgotten that even while those huge equipments are lying fallow there they are still under lease and are being paid for while nothing is being done.

People who own those equipments are being paid on a per day basis as if the equips were being utilized. That is the economic world order. You don’t  have to be too smart to avoid this nonsense.

If you rent a bus and park it at home you still pay the owner. That is what we are now engaged in with the entire dams fiasco. We are paying lease charges for equipments we are not benefiting from.

They are in sheds. The owners of these equipment companies are rolling in money and laughter at us. No wear and tear and no servicing and money in their pockets. Lovely.

But Uhuru and his government are afraid to remove the equipments from these embarrassing failures because that will announce the official death and burial of the Itare Dam project. We are still paying just to continue being foolish and pretending. Brilliant. Isn’t it? For them.

They took the money, shared it with our local thieves and gone. Kenyans now have a hole in their land with nothing happening and even a bigger hole in their pockets. And this is just one of the more than ten failed dam projects starting with Galoleni Irrigation project in Tana River.

I say this because I already had a big fight with our leaders about the proposed Kisumu Port which at one time was estimated to cost Kshs 14 billion which the government claimed was budgeted for.

Now we are being told the government is committing Kshs 2.8 billion for the Kisumu Port which is supposed to be commissioned this month when President Uhuru visits Kisumu.

In fact I have been hopping mad because my beloved Lwang’ni market is being demolished to provide space for the proposed port. In my opinion that proposed port is an emerging white elephant.

Why?

First  the money involved is enormous and we are dealing with a broke government at the moment. Secondly the logistics are very complicated.

The SGR has to reach Kisumu and that may never happen at all. Then a port has to move goods from somewhere to another place to be functional. That we don’t know yet and so many other things. This port if it ever sees the day is coming around the year 2050 at best. None of us will live to see it.

In any event that is another story already covered in this website in an open letter I wrote to Hon. Raila Odinga and Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o.

My good friend has assured me he delivered the letters and has had some discussion with the governor and we are looking into a whole bunch of remedial actions to save Lwang’ni market.

Now to the issue at hand. Kisumu politicians want development and they want President Uhuru to come help them.

My first problem here is that every time you hear about development in Nyanza it starts with sugar factories like Muhoroni and Chemelil and it ends there.

It is so frustrating how many times we have to revive these Sugar factories every year now for decades. It is always the same thing in Western too with Mumias and Nzoia Sugar companies also on permanent death bed.

The politicians in these areas take the various presidents over the decades to these sugar factories, they take pictures and make speeches and kaboom the sugar factory is announced as revived and the politicians break into that crazy dancing jig of theirs and all is well for their constituents they say.

It is really annoying because as they dance they all know that the chronic problems bedeviling these enterprises like corruption, poor management, messed up market with imported sugar and relic machinery remain intact.

If we can’t change that rotten culture of mismanagement, these companies will remain on death bed forever. Or may be on life support. Choose your poison.  You don’t have to.

There are alternatives if we are brave enough to pursue them which is to get rid of state cronyism, vicious corruption, lack of equipments and vision to move these big investments into the 21st century in the sugar industry in Kenya.

We are a big time sugar producing country. Let’s get out act together and get our market range.

But I am tired of these endless resurrection of Sugar Companies in our country.

Even Jesus only resurrected Lazarus once and he was up and running and of course dancing.

Jesus didn’t have to come again and again to resurrect poor Lazarus ten times which is exactly what we are trying to do with our sugar companies with huge taxpayer investments. Let’s fix what is really wrong with these investments that include huge sums of public money.

I will leave Kisumu town for now because I have said enough about it in my letter to the two amigos. But let me say something about our urban centres and urban development as a key piece of transforming our country for the good.

I will take Bondo where I live and invest just like others. It is beautiful growing urban centre. The establishment of Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Unversity there added a whole new dimension to the growth of the town.

Construction is the fastest growing industry there. Folks are building everything and the housing sector is money in the bank if you pull it off. My son who fell in love with Bondo when he was five years old told me after our last trip there that we have to be careful.

He told me you can’t change Nairobi. It is too late. Kibera will remain Kibera. You can’t uproot it. But he said in a town like Bondo which is just growing if it is planned right you can build it the way it serves people best. These towns have zero infrastructure. Garbage is everywhere. Most people just set them on fire.

I always tell my sister who has huge operation at the Bondo market that it is a miracle the market hadn’t  burnt down and it will. Of course none of these towns anywhere have even heard of something called the fire fighting department.

In other words any small fire can blow up these towns in minutes. Even the Nairobi City fire department exists only in name I remember seeing scenes when JKIA went up in smoke fire fighters were carrying water in pales to go stop it. That must have done wonders but I digress.

My point here is that in terms of development one area we need to look into is how to modernize our municipalities and help them create more work and opportunities as they grow.

That is what all countries do. Here in Canada we are having a federal election in two months. One of the biggest areas of focus is which of the two big parties are presenting a credible plan to build and sustain Canadian municipalities.

So I would want President Uhuru to come up with a plan of OK this is what I will do to help Homa Bay town, Maseno, Nyamira, Kakamega, Bondo etc and the same thing with Murang’a, Nyeri, Limuru, Kericho, Voi, Garissa and others then we are talking development. Not just sugar and more sugar, please.

Then we have to look into emerging silent economic giants. In Nyanza that would be cage fish farming which simply means people build cages that they float in the lake with their own fish fingerlings and grow fish until it is ready for harvest. It take just a few months and you can harvest thousands of tilapia ready for the market which is abundant.

The beauty of cage fishing in Nyanza would be that you don’t need to build a fish pond on dry land which is very expensive to do and to manage. When you do fish farming with cages in the lake you already have abundant water and all you need to do is build the fish cages and figure out how to float it. The technology is already there in Kenya and a few people are doing it commercially and it is very profitable.

This is what Cage fish farming looks like:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

https://www.google.ca/search?q=cage+fish+farming+in+kenya&tbm=isch&source=iu&ictx=1&fir=DTb_9BOIgGBgKM%253A%252CzxRRHaQGbLVXuM%252C_&vet=1&usg=AI4_-kQzzyzVKr8OH4k6O8UWgBnZk3EHgA&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjkpZOY–bjAhVXWs0KHTrSDaMQ9QEwAHoECAIQAw#imgrc=DTb_9BOIgGBgKM:

In Bondo our M.P Ochanda who is a very industrious M.P is piloting cage fish farming in Usenge beach with the help of technicians from Jaramogi University. It is looking very promising.

The amazing thing here is that if this technology is harnessed and residents who live near the lake and others willing to invest come along we can get more fish from cage fishing in Lake Victoria than the dwindling returns we get from our age old traditional fishing of harvesting fish from lake. The  fish there are in limited supply now.

This is one of the many successful cage fishing operations in Lake Victoria:

https://www.theeastafrican.co.ke/business/Cage-farming-Lake-Victoria-boosting-fish-stocks/2560-4396034-fklb5w/index.html

And I really like this guy:

https://www.nation.co.ke/business/seedsofgold/Cage-Fish-Farming-Lake-Victoria/2301238-2630566-ymm2tu/index.html

But building and promoting cage fish farming in Lake Victoria  is very doable but we need to harness the technology, build the infrastructure mobilize the resources and the people and get everybody busy making money.

Look at these folks in Busia.

https://www.nation.co.ke/business/seedsofgold/Busia-fish-farmers-to-get-70-fish-farming-cages/2301238-3437470-v981u5z/index.html

And in fact cage fish farming might finally give us the economic incentive to get rid of this hyacinth nightmare.

Look at this guy getting to work in the face of our lake terrorist called hyacinth.

https://www.businessdailyafrica.com/magazines/Floating-cage-technology-nets-more-earnings-for-fish-farmers/1248928-1645982-5ehywo/index.html

This is what the Lake Basin Development Authority should be doing instead of building dead malls in Kisumu City and giving away half the fertile land in Nyanza to Dominion company to make a mess.

This is Bondo. Just great.

https://www.nation.co.ke/business/seedsofgold/New-farming-method-keeps-fish-flowing-out-of-the-lake/2301238-2876466-yaylllz/index.html

I will talk about Dominion later in this piece. But forget about Lake Basin whatever. Now we need to talk to President Uhuru and tell him this cage fishing in Lake Victoria could be a goldmine for everybody.  If Nyanza people don’t do it, people with money are going to come over and take over the lake.

It will be the colonization of Lake Victoria the second time from when the wabeberu renamed it from Nam Lolwe and put the queen’s name on it. But this economic colonization of the lake could have devastating impact.

Once I put my cage you can’t ask me to remove it. Nobody owns the lake. It is the only unclaimed territory in the nation. Even Museveni wants part of it.

So we need to jump on this new trends in development. We cannot just be stuck on the same things forever like the way people just grow maize and beans. It drives me nuts.

If the government get involved in this cage fishing and build facilities including storage and cooling facilities and help the fishing folk get access to market you create a whole new economic stream for the country and it could be huge.

From my vintage point we have the Usenge lake line, we have Nyamonye where some with connections in Germany has set up a cage fishing operation.

I personally would settle for Lwanda Kotieno beach. It would be marvelous for cage fishing plus my sister lives there. Also from Kotieno I can sell my fish in South Nyanza. It takes less than half hour of ferry ride and you are in Mbita.

You can go anywhere in South Nyanza from there. Homa Bay, the capital of South Nyanza is just a shot away from Mbita.

And the road system from Kotieno Beach all the way to Kisumu is perfect ass well.

I am going to talk about other things later. But one thing for sure, when I went through most of Bondo area in Siaya county in my last trip there I was stunned with just how good the road network is and they are tarmacked roads.

I was telling people the roads only mean development if you can produce something and use the road to go sell  it.

The road itself is not development if you don’t use it. You can’t eat  the damn road for the love of god. I will continue with that and talk about Dominion fiasco after I finish my morning errands.

I am back.

Now let’s look at Dominion grand fiasco in Siaya County.

The Lake Basin Development Authority gave away this most productive piece of land anywhere in the world. This was at the foot of Yala Swamp and its entrance into lake Victoria.

This is what I am talking about:

Pictorial essay on Yala swamp / Dominion Farms project

 

 

This was a blunder and just plain robbery of land handed to a foreign company with the support of local politicians.

I am talking about 2,300 acres of absolute fertile and fragile land partly owned by the Kenyan state. We have the  Yala Catchment area miles and miles before the river enters the lake. This is like a nature filtration system between the rivers and big waters.

We are blessed to have them. In fact the extinction of great fish species like Ningu and osoga, the white little fish and even the big one, kamongo (oh my) are partly attributed to the demise of the water catchment areas entering lake Victoria. That is where they breed. And it has been messed up for decades even before Dominion.

Now that catchment area is a no man’s land and everybody is fighting for a piece of it. That is bad news for everybody.

https://www.standardmedia.co.ke/article/2001290122/invaders-scramble-for-a-piece-of-yala-swamp-as-us-investor-quits

Dominion is dead. Their projects are dead.

This 2,300 acres of land with unimaginable possibilities for development and ground breaking successful investments in cereal produce, fruit produce and processing, massive fish production and processing including inland fish farming, massive vegetable produce for local consumption and export and so many more is rotting in negligence.

How can we look at that and talk about development in Nyanza.

Let us correct the mistake of giving our most fertile land and fragile eco-system cog to a failed foreign investment.

Now is the time for President Uhuru with the leadership in the region to come up with a well thought out plan and investment to get these 2,300 acres of our prime land into use and productivity.

It will produce billions every year and if we get it right that money could be going into the hands of a lot people down. What is wrong with that.

By adongoogony Posted in kenya

Open Letter to Hon. Raila Odinga and Governor Prof. Anyang’ Nyong’o

Waheshimiwa and good friends, Hon. Raila Amolo Odinga and Governor Prof. Anyang’ Nyong’o, this is your friend Adongo Ogony and I am a very angry man today.

Like millions of Kenyans and specifically the residents of Kisumu City, I was stunned and watched in shock and horror the wanton, callous and irresponsible destruction of the iconic Lwang’ni Beach Market in Kisumu City on Tuesday 23, 2019.

Just destroying the lives and aspirations of so many people like that. With no regard and no empathy at all for these great Kenyans who by investing in Lwang’ni Beach food magic centre at the shore of  Lake Victoria entering Kisumu City very gracefully, created one of the greatest pieces of Kenyan culinary species and great food.

We have so many.

But Lwang’ni is something else. It has to be preserved. That is how cities develop all over the world. Ordinary folk create stuff, build enterprises and build cities.

How about Lwang’ni in Kisumu.

https://www.nation.co.ke/counties/kisumu/Kisumu-popular-Lwangni-beach-fish-eateries-demolished/1954182-5207970-11ij43l/index.html

I hold the two of you responsible for this crime against the people of Kisumu. Why?

For one Prof. Ayang’ Nyong’o is the governor of Kisumu. Something of this magnitude cannot happen without his knowledge and express approval.

This is the joint as it was working:

I can tell you if this was in Sonko territory as crazy as Sonko is he would have been there physically to protect the lives of so many of his constituents. So obviously the governor approved this.

As for Jakom, we all know this is his baby. The entire Kisumu harbor revitalization is Jakom’s initiative working with President Uhuru Kenyatta after the now famous handshake to encourage development across the country.

To be clear all of us appreciate the effort to revive Kisumu Port. I personally have a long history of relationship with Kisumu Port. My now retired uncle, Engineer John Opiyo Abwao was one of the key operators of vessels and ships travelling between Kisumu and Mwanza which dates back to the East African Community.

There is nothing John loved more than taking us to his work place in the ships at the port where he worked as an Engineer.

If I were to tell him today that the port is being rebuilt, he would jump with joy even though now he is held down with born cancer and is resting at his home. He knows the value of that port and we all do too and we want our port back.

So we all want the port but here is my problem with Jakom’s plan on this. He should have stepped in and provided an avenue for the Kisumu county government, Kisumu M.Ps and MCAs, the owners and operators of Lwang’ni market to open negotiations with Kenya Railway Corporation.

Raila Odinga is probably the only person who has the political capital and prestige to make something like that happen. He needed to do it and still can do it.

The negotiations would have been over the use of the land in question  and the gradual phasing out and relocation of  Lwang’ni food eateries within the same area of this Beach market while providing Kenya Railway with the opportunity to start laying out their plan to rebuild the port.

Lwang’ni Beach food market is an economic hub and tourist attraction masterpiece in Kisumu City. There is nothing like it anywhere that I know anywhere around there. Thousands of peoples’ lives depend on the economic success of that place.

What is even more amazing about Lwang’ni is that this is the product of the sheer ingenuity and creativity of the ordinary poor Kenyan figuring out how to survive.

They just started it slowly step by step. Nobody helped them. This wasn’t a government project. Folks started it and built their food stands, they figured how to bring in clean water, they brought in electricity and built the entire infrastructure all by themselves.

Before you knew it we had this magnificent eatery centre and people have been flocking there for food ever since and it keeps expanding and getting better.

Even the name Lwang’ni tells the fresh genius and originality of those who built this iconic place for us. How fitting is that name. It is named after a small, ignored and irritating little thing.

The fly.

That tells the whole story in ways we have no time to discuss now.

But here is the point.

Small efforts and things can manufacture into things that define peoples

In whatever conditions

It would have been great if President Uhuru would be welcomed for lunch at Lwang’ni with Raila and co. They had president units there. One tie I was there and Ruth Odinga as Deputy Governor at the time was there with her crew.

So it would have been very cool to take the president to Lwang’ni and then we start to talk about how to fix everything.

I believe this can still be done. Welcome the president to “The Fly” in Kisumu City right at the shores of Lake Victoria.

As of now and in last so many years, I would never imagine myself going to Kisumu without going to Lwang’ni market.

I cannot afford the Imperial Hotel and they have nothing close to the food you get at Lwang’ni.

What else is in Kisumu for those of us who do not have the deep pockets to wonder about in big hotels.

Am I going to go to Kisumu to admire the great Kisumu bus stand? May be to roam around in Chiro Mbero for the smell of vegetables and fruits.

Or visit Kondele. There is some little park with gazelles, somewhere there, should I go for that. I don’t think so.

So my demolishing Lwang’ni market you not just only destroy the lives of thousands of people whose lives depend on the food business and the rest of suppliers and transporters in the food chain, you are actually destroying the very heart and soul of Kisumu City.

That is a pretty shameful thing to do.

And here is the nightmare. Uhuru will come to commission the new port next month. Raila Odinga will be there with other dignitaries. There will be song and dance and great speeches about the so-called development.

After that they will fence the once famous Lwang’ni which is now a wasteland. After they fence it and the dignitaries are gone, you will never hear about that port again.

It will be another Kimwarer dam project for all practical purposes. If there is any money some people will grab it but under the circumstances there is no money for it.

This Kisumu Port project is not in the current budget. It will not be in the next budget. Uhuru already said the country is broke.

After that we enter 2022 and a new monster will enter State House. We don’t who that will be but whoever it is will tell Nyon’go and Raila (if they are still around politically)  to go to hell with their port.

So new Kisumu Port will be our little white elephant lying empty on the graveyard of the hardworking people who now have lost all their source of income.

That is development, isn’t it?

Who needs anything like this?

And how can you call this development.

People are getting fed up with this bogus run arounds and they should be.

If this was done smartly we would do our homework first and like I said strike a negotiated deal that preserves this iconic eatery and centre of tourist attraction, mainly local tourists where it is not second to anything else in Kisumu.

Then get some funding most likely from partnerships with other international institutions and build not just the port and the container depo that is planned but also a whole new network of water transport system and network  between Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania and that could serve a whole ton of purposes.

Let’s start with a negotiated plan. The politicians should have worked with Lwang’ni operators and owners and help them to form Lwang’ni Cooperative Society. That would be Lwang’ni SACCO to raise money.

Then restructure Lwang’ni eateries along the beach with full lake view. In fact with some help this could be built in the form of permanent, clean and usable structures with all the attractions that could make the new Lwang’ni Beach Food Market more appealing and attractive.

And of course they would still have those amazing boat rides into the lake and back. There is nothing more amazing than that. Ask my son. He has been there since he was 12 years old. It is the first place he wants to go to when he comes home. Of course he really loves Lamu too and he used to ride donkeys there.

If we can set up a negotiated deal, the Railway Corporation would have to sacrifice a little piece of their land but for a very good course.

In any event even after we build the new port (if it ever happens), wouldn’t people working there and travelling through want to eat some great food. I think so.

And right there in their face would be the new renovated Lwang’ni Food market. What could possibly be wrong with this?

If went that route it would have been spectacular if on this expected new Kisumu Port launch in August would see Governor Nyong’o, Raila Odinga and other Kisumu leaders invite President Uhuru and other dignitaries to Lwang’ni market for a real buffet meal in the full glare of our great lake.

That would have meant keep the things the way they are while working on the next step to change that port land forever. It would also have been the biggest promotion of small businesses like Lwang’ni market. How just grand would that be. We will never know. But we can still recover from this whole debacle. I would say we must.

This is how great cities are built.  People create stuff and build.

This is Kensington Market in my hometown Toronto. It has a history, believe me but here it is. Beautiful Kensington.

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I think one option is to allow Lwang’ni operators to run their business from their current location which is perfect. You can walk there from downtown Oginga Odinga street. But design to take much less land and be in permanent structures.

In fact the county government working with individual owners can build the structures right at the lake front where they are. Have a leasing deal with Kenya Railway Corporation with specific conditions. That is how cities are built.

I can give examples right here in Toronto where we have Harbourfront, the largest entertainment, food and music network built along Lake Ontario which is pretty much close to where so many of us live.

The land is owned by the provincial government. The establishments built there are private investments.

Then they have numerous buildings for public utility and endless public parks and utilities including boat rides across Lake Ontario to the Islands. There are three islands off the shore from Toronto.

The lakeshore which runs for hundreds of miles is public land.

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Back to the main issue, let’s not forget something. At its height Kisumu port was truly the hub of East Africa and it was a magnificent place to behold. It had all sorts of vessels and ships just at the tip of the lake. If we could even approach that it would be a wonderful miracle. But we are a long way and we are screwing everything up already.

Let me tell you why I am a 100% sure that nothing is going to happen here like building a new port.

Lake Victoria is choking to death with hyacinth particularly around the Kisumu beaches. People can’t even take their boats into the lake to make a living like they have done for hundreds of years.

Time after time after time the big political figures in Nyanza have announced big plans to wipe out the hyacinth. The announcements are often accompanied with pomp and loud speeches. Many times we have seen big machines being surrounded by politicians as the hyacinth removal project is launched.

Shortly after that the big machines are gone and hyacinth is flapping around happily in the lake and attempting the cover the whole damn lake. From the record to date the Hyacinth is winning this war hands down. They are laughing in our face and lake as we make speeches about them. I would be happy if I was them.

If I was starting a football team in Kenya today to challenge Gor Mahia. AFC, Tusker and those pesky Bandari boys I would call my team, The Hyacinth Football Club (HFC) from Lakeland. Oh boy. Nobody would dare face our team and we would be based in Kisumu, no less. Where else.

Now if we can’t even figure out how to remove hyacinth from our lake and waterfront how the hell do we think we are going to build a new port.

It is just one foolish announcement after the other. It is more of the photo op than a real intent to invest in the communities and in our country.

At least when Uhuru when to launch the Industrial Park in Ruiru, Kiambu a few days ago it was real and you could see stuff is moving and the investment is there.

The Kisumu new port launch will just be a photo op with politicians literally dancing on the raw graves of those poor owners and operators of Lwang’ni Eateries, most of whom will be packing their little property heading back to their villages to start farming in their little piece of rock patch they call their land. They must be very thankful to their politicians.

If we want to really revitalize Kisumu City and Lake Victoria economic productivity whose potential is immense let’s start by clearing the hyacinth nightmare.

Money has been allocated ten or more times and nothing at all has been done. Clean the lake and the port first.

In fact a clear plan to clean the lake could create  a lot of jobs for the young people in the area. Let’s get this one thing done at least then talk about the new port and people will take you seriously.

And the way the hyacinth grows is crazy. Two years ago I was home for the elections. I took the kids down to Luanda Kotieno beach where we boarded a ferry to cross the lake to Mbita and go to Rusinga Island which my son wanted to see. It was a magnificent journey. You can go by ferry or by speed boat.

While travelling I noticed all these plants emerging above the water. I ask my nephew what that was all about. He tells me it is the dreaded hyacinth.

Then he tells me now you see a few plants. In a few months they will be ten times that much and in a year of two it will be a huge hyacinth bush right on the pathway of the ferry and the boats.

Incidentally this is the only official ferry and boat link between Central and South Nyanza. I dare you my friends, visit it within a few years and it will be grounded by hyacinth.

And now we want to build a port for Vessels and ships. Those things don’t fly in the air. They actually have to float on a hyacinth free lake.

My point right now for Hon. Raila and Governor Nyong’o is that you need to go back to the table and work this out diligently. And work with all parties involved for a solution that makes sense.

By the way when the president is in Kisumu for this new port launch ask him to help you sort out how to get rid of the hyacinth as soon as possible, once and for all.

Hyacinth, Lake Victoria transport network and the port cannot co-exist in Lake Victoria.

That is rather obvious.

But this is here is part of the constant lies. For how long must Kenyans put up with this.

https://www.standardmedia.co.ke/article/2001321481/chinese-firm-all-set-to-rid-lake-of-hyacinth

hyacinth project

Next I will follow this up with a look at the tragic events happening after another foolish move called the Dominion Farm Project has failed in Nyanza after a foreign company was handed 2,300 hectares of the most fertile land was handed to them including very delicate and valuable water catchment areas in Yala Swamp.

https://www.standardmedia.co.ke/article/2001321481/chinese-firm-all-set-to-rid-lake-of-hyacinth

By adongoogony Posted in kenya