Friday, July 29, 2011

Guest Blogger: UNAIDS: Homosexuality rising HIV prevalence in developed countries by Philip Alambo

New York State, USA just legalised same sex marriage though conservatives are contesting for it's withdrawal in court.
With the increased global socio-economic, political and scientific efforts put in mopping up the dreaded HIV/AIDS, there has been a remarkable breakthrough in curbing the disaster. Studies conducted by the UNAIDS reveal that the rate of infection has fallen by more than 25% between 2001 and 2009.

This is a major milestone ,for the journey of a thousand miles, as the Chinese put it , begins with one step. Yet in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, the war against AIDS is far from victory.

While there has been a notable global reduction of the rate of HIV infection and their subsequent deaths across the globe, in consonance with the UNAIDS report, Eastern Europe and Central Asia do not mirror the pattern. To the shocking dismay of many the findings instead makes it known that the rate of HIV infection in seven countries located in Eastern Europe, Central Asia and North America has been steadily increasing over the last two decades , and by more than 25%.

According to the report a number of factors which are to be faulted for these peculiar occurrences abound. They range from socio-cultural and economic issues, to unnatural sexual intercourses. Also to be blamed is the sharing of needles among drug addicts for injection. But particularly more pronounced and monumental cause is attributed to the massive expansion of the gay population in these countries reflecting the reversal of their erstwhile low prevalence.

Nurture has superceded nature, as men, women and teenagers in Eastern Europe and Central Asia engage in unnatural carnal intercourse. Ironically encouragement by many governments to set up legal frameworks protecting of homosexuals and shying away from arresting bestiality is detrimental to the fight against the deadly virus.

I shall zero in on homosexuality and lesbianism as key in heightening the burdensome economic attempts these regions have allotted in curbing this pandemic. Developed north has been on the record in the past for criticizing Africa’s socio-cultural practices as outdated and retrogressive, and a major deterrent in eradicating AIDS.

These, just to name a few, include wife inheritance and traditional midwifery. Homosexuality is however not indigenous to Africa. Sadly homosexuality which is backed in the West is causing exactly what the world thought to be the main cause of spread of the deadly virus, albeit from the West!

The most enormous retrogressive cultural orientation known by man is the practice of homosexuality, lesbianism and bestiality, often synonymous with the developed world like the legalisation of same sex marriage in New York, US.

Such practices defy conventional wisdom as well as scientific premises and suppositions. This is particularly true to homosexuality, whose practitioners have turned their physiological “entrance into exit” and vice versa. The UNAIDS report testifies.

The Guest Blogger is a student of Communication and Media Technology with IT at Maseno University; Kenya.

Guest Blogger: Children in Abusive Families by Jackie Tulloh

Child discipline and abuse is often poorly defined. Many parents at one time or another have felt the urge to strike their children. With physically abusive parents however the urge is frequent and a little more stretched.

Sadly seeing parents treating each other in abusive families makes the child think it is ok to do so and it happens in other families.
Child abuse is the physical, sexual, emotional or neglect of children. Neglect involves not providing adequately for the child’s food, shelter, medication and even affection.
While physical abuse involves assault, sexual exploitation include pressuring a minor to engage in sex, showing a child pornography or showing adult private parts.
Additionally there is the emotionally abuse which involves name calling and bullying the child.
Major cause of child cruelty is unemployment where parents without income to sustain their children become increasingly depressed. At such emotional turmoil any mistake by the child leads to over-reaction in disciplining which harms the kid.
Equally parents under substance abuse like alcohol, cocaine and other hard drugs often get out of control in handling their children especially when disciplining them. Under the influence they are pushed overboard which might include sexually abusing the children.
So what are the effects of abuse to the children? Physically a child is left with bruises, cuts and fractures with some leading to their early death.
Psychologically, the effects are worse and affect the child permanently.  This affects their attentiveness in school, learning abilities and stress related experience. Neglected they bear emotional scars which affect their self esteem by being insecure and having a sense of guilt thinking they are the main cause of their problems and those affecting the families.
Growing up with these low esteem makes them easy victims of verbal and physical abusive from the society with a more likelihood of being criminals as adults. Sadly as boys end up being abusive the girls are socially constructed to accept abuse in families as a norm!
Sadly with limited number of resource centers for child protection for increase number of children in abusive families makes child protection to be strained.  Governments need to help in stopping child abuse in the society and everyone needs to be committed against the vice and report any violators to child rights authorities.
Jackie Tulloh is an Internee journalist at Kenya’s Vice Presidential Press Services (VPPS).

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

PATRICE LUMUMBA, DRC: The life, fate of a neo-colonialism martyr

“I know that history will have its say someday, but it will not be history as written in Brussels, Paris or Washington, it will be our own” Patrice Emery Lumumba on his last letter to Pauline, his wife.
Before exploring the life and the brutal murder of Patrice Lumumba barely a year into Congolese independence in 30th June 1960, it is imperative we delve into history of Belgian Congo before independence.

In 1878 the greed, ambition and lust for wealth by Belgian monarch Leopold II made him hire the Welsh-born journalist-explorer Henry Morton to curve him a territory on Congo River.
Within seven years, Congo Free State was born with Leopold becoming ‘King Sovereign’ by reaping ‘a slice of magnifique gateau Africain’ of ivory Palm oil, timber, copper and other minerals turning the region into chaos.
Over 10 million Congolese were killed by Belgians in their greed in ‘the vilest scramble for loot that ever disfigured the history of human conscience” according to Joseph Conrad’s famous book Heart of Darkness.
At this time Belgian colonialist offered administration, Catholic church controlled education while colonial mining cartels provided fund to run system where Congolese were not involved.
In 1955-56 black elites emerged and it was this time that Patrice Emery Lumumba came into political landscape as a pacifying conformist and later as a Pan-Africanist before his death.
Patrice Lumumba making of a martyr
Lumumba was born in Kasai on 2nd July 1925. From a Tetela ethnic group he worked as a postal clerk and beer salesman in Leopoldville (Kinshasa) and later Stanleyville (Kisangani).
In 1955 he joined the Liberal Party of Belgium where his high intelligence and restless energy saw him write and edit journals for the party and other papers. He travelled for 3 weeks for a study tour in Belgium.
“The essential wish of the Congolese elite is to be “Belgians” and have the right to same freedom and the same rights” Lumumba wrote as a pacifying conformist to the colonial bigotry.
After releases from a 1 year jail term for embezzlement of Postal Office funds, he aided in forming the Mouvement National Congolais (MNC) in 1958.
In December the same year Lumumba as president with three colleagues joined The Ghana’s All-African People’s Conference in Accra lead by Kwame Nkrumah.
Lumumba like other delegates came out transformed as a strong pan-Africanist. In 1959 violent riots broke out in Congo buoyed by Ghana’s independence, unemployment and discrimination.
When King Baudouin on official visit met rioters, Belgium was forced the establishment of political parties. A total of 120 were registered mostly on tribal lines. Lumumba from a minority clan choose a national outlook.
On October 1959 while addressing a political rally with his power of oration violence broke out where about 25 Africans were killed with him ending up in jail.
On January 1960, Lumumba was released from prison to attend an independence conference in Brussels which set Zaire independence for 30th June 1960. Other leaders included Moise Tshombe and Joseph Kasa-Vubu who aided in chaos that engulfed the country to date.
Belgium election intrigues to rig brought the first bad blood with them gambling for their backed parties to win the elections. This badly backfired with Lumumba winning and the 12 parties forming a loose coalition that was shaky like an extension ladder and lasted only a few days.
At independence King Baudouin gave a patronizing speech to Congolese about the role of the colonial power which irked Lumumba to give a scathing reply.
“Who can forget the volleys of gunfire in which so many of our brothers perished, the cells where the authorities threw those who would not submit to a rule where justice meant oppression and exploitation” Lumumba said “We are no longer your monkeys”
In the tension that followed later, the army controlled by 1,100 Belgian corps was the first to mutiny over poor pay compared to increased civil servants salary bringing chaos that forced white expatriates to flee the country.
 Using the chaos, Belgium hell bend to outset Lumumba liaised with the mining companies on 11th July to reinstate Moise Tshombe to declare Katanga, rich in mineral an independent state.
Against Zaire wishes Belgium in a guise of aiding fleeing expatriates flew in troops in the capital key installations causing the already distrustful Lumumba to seek UN help under Dag Hammarskjold. Within days on 15th July Lumumba also felled out with UN.
“Lumumba was crazy and reacted like a child” Ralph Bunche is quoted as saying after a meeting by Catherine Hoskyns in The Congo Since Independence, January 1960-December 1961.   At the fever pitch of cold war Lumumba made a fateful move leading to a cataclysm of event to his death, on 19th July to seek the assistance of Czech and Soviet Union.

The Cold War
The assistance was to aid in military expedition to rein Katanga and control an uprising in Kasai.
Alarmed the USA under president Eisenhower wanted to ‘eliminate’ Lumumba. The 1975 senate report on CIA alleged assassination attempts on foreign leaders was livid.
“The president would have vastly preferred to have him taken care of some way other than by assassination.” To them Lumumba was ‘a Castro or worse’ and “It’s safe to go on the assumption that Lumumba has been bought by the communists”
On 5th September the West sided Kasa-Vubu and parliament in sucking Lumumba as PM against Soviet bloc causing a void that lead to a dearth of authority.
Nine days later, on 14th September CIA aided their spy Mobutu Seseko to overthrow the government retaining Kasa-Vubu, sidelining Lumumba and expelling the East personnel stoking the tensions higher.
Lumumba was holed up in PM residence under UN guard against Mobutu forces forming an outer ring baying for his life. The West, Belgium liaising with their Congolese men wanted Lumumba neutralized in any means possible.
On 21st September CIA scientist Dr. Sidney Gottlieb designed a poison to be placed on Lumumba’s toothbrush but expired before being used. King Baudouin was also busy hatching out their plans.
Lumumba under arrest
On 1st December Lumumba with two colleagues, Maurice Mpolo and Joseph Okito made a fateful decision on their attempt to sneak to Stanleyville before being arrested four days later in Thysville.
The chaos that engulfed Congo brought in a motley crew of foreign in their otiose interests. Mobutu and Kasa-Vubu   in Leopoldville were propped by USA, Lumumba loyalist in Stanleyville by Cairo and Soviet bloc, Tshombe in Katanga was aided by Belgium and mining companies like Union Miniere.
The details are captured vividly by Ludo De Witte in Assassination of Lumumba which forced Belgium  to take responsibility on his death on 2011, 40 years later.
On 17th January 1961 the prisoners were tortured as they were transported by air to Elisabethville (Lubumbashi) before joining a pack of rabid Belgians, Katanganese and Tshombe for more torment.
Later that night at about 10 pm Tshombe, Katanga and Belgian forces under the command of Belgian Julien Gat and Police Commissioner Frans Verscheure lined the prisoners on a tree facing a firing squad.
“You are going to kill, aren’t you” Lumumba asked Verscheure.
“Yes” he replied. Lumumba was the last to be killed before they were buried. The death was formally announced on Katanga radio concocting a story that they were killed by patriotic villagers when they were trying to escape.
1961 USSR Lumumba stamp
Afraid that their dead would backfired, the corpse were exhumed and buried near Rhodesia border. Later the bodies were exhumed again, chopped to pieces with a hacksaw and dissolved in concentrated sulfuric acid. The bones and teeth were grounded and ashes scattered on the 120 miles journey back to Elisabethville for the murder not to be found.
In 199 Belgian police Gerard Soete who exhumed the bodies in televised interview displayed two teeth and a bullet he saved from Lumumba’s corpse as a souvenir.
Commissioner Versechuer kept the other bullets from Lumumba’s skull as a trophy.

Commentary: Does Patrice Emery Lumumba deserve to be a political martyr?

Over a half a decade after his death Patrice Lumumba, born on 2nd July 1925 and murdered by Belgian forces on 17th January 1961, still plays an important role not only in his country DRC but also the world.

He still inspires formation of political parties from his pan-africanist ideology against neo-colonialism hegemony in his country.

Current president Joseph Kabila’s People’s Party for Reconstruction and Democracy (PPRD) claimed to be motivated by his ideology. Two of his five children by the wife Pauline, Francois Lumumba and Guy-Patrice Lumumba are politicians with the latter leading his father’s party Mouvement National Congolais-Lumumba (MNC-L) with the other being an independent candidate.

To his supporters lead by UUSR 1961 commemorative stamp, several geographical landmines and choice of his name to children, see him as a martyr against neo-colonial control of the world.

To them Lumumba is “the greatest black man who ever walked the African continent” according to Malcolm X echoing Algerian born Cuban revolutionary Che sentiments in 1964. He was a pantheon of revolutionary akin to Frantz Fanon bellicose writings.

On the other hand, critics see his own restless energy; mercurial temperament and outburst against his aides, the western governments and UN send to help him as his undo into fomenting the cauldron of chaos that killed him just seven months into DRC’s independence.

“His dealing with the UN quickly deteriorated into a bewildering series of plea for assistance, threats and ultimatums” A senior UN official Brian Urquhart is quoted by Catherine Hoskyns The Congo Since Independence, January 1960- December 1961 (OUP, 1965). “He issued impossible demands and expected instant results”

Following a political stalemate on 27th November against UN wishes buffering him against Mobutu’s forces at the PM’s residence, he sneaked out to his stronghold Stanleyville (Kisangani) only to be captured four days later as he insisted on stopovers with the villagers.

His outburst squandered all the goodwill with UN in fear of its disintegration in local politics refusing to help while the Soviet bloc and Czech were already expelled by Mobutu in his first coup on 14th September1960.

Later his threat to the western interests was later realized to be blown out of proportion especially the exodus of white expatriates during the DRC turbulent years. Additional his opportunistic call for Soviet bloc to shore his power when cold war was at its fever pitch had dire ramifications.

“The Soviet danger in Congo was overrated “according to Allen Dulles the CIA in a TV interview in 1962.

His death had a far reaching scale in disintegrating DRC to date to be a battle field of warring factions, mercenaries, foreign soldiers and advisers in plundering the country’s vast resources.

A case to note is the 1964 Stanleyville massacre, his stronghold, where supports massacred over 20,000 people mostly ‘intellectuals  anti-reformers’ at his monument publicly.

Patrice Lumumba
“We must move forward, striking out tirelessly against imperialism. From all over the world we have to learn lessons which events afford. Lumumba’s murder should be a lesson for all of us” Che Guevara, 1964.

A poem called A sheng poem by Manuel Odeny

Yeah man (mic is on)

mimi ni da best
riding the wave kwa crest
ku-land mtaani ni East wala sio West (lands)
shika biaf na da-best to join the rest
ni-siense da best to waive the rest
themes kwa heart ku-nest
kuangusha ki-biro ki-viagra na ease bila test
mistari mikali bila rest
nikichill ki-ndom bila vest
chupa na glass ndani ni Krest,

(Written at 02:46 am yesterday in insomniac night to lull back to sleep)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Online Newspaper: The Burning Splint Daily, A Week Old and Going Strong

“The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be ignited.” Plutarch

Am happy and humbled to announce through this post the week old online newspaper The Burning Splint Daily created using my twitter account on

Exactly a week today after it maiden edition the online newspaper is pulling readers which is also directed to this blog.

Using my twitter account @ManuelOdeny, the paper on Monday 11th July 2011 to glean articles, blog posts, videos and photos shared on Twitter into an online daily edition for ease of access.

Averaging about 60 contributors daily are The Economist, CNN, BBC, Times of Undia, Daily Nation, Business Daily, Guardian amongst other newspapers. Journalists and bloggers listed include Sunny Bindra, Aly Khan Satchu, Wamathai, FanyaBizna, Techmtaa and WhiteAfrican along with others.

The list is endless.

The need of sharing information which saw the creation of The Burning Splint Daily was also core in starting this blog about two years ago. With articles and cartoons (see the label on the right) in both soft and hard copy, I started the blog as a means of sharing information.

Now with over 270 posts and 22,000+ readers, the online paper has been aided in traffic flow.

May I take this time to appreciate support of friends and readers globally, both physically and online for this step.

You can join other global readers through:

·         Facebook Group (Burning Splint, The Blog)

·         Twitter Account (The Burning Splint) Or join the conversation by clicking on the right tab.

·         Online Newspaper (The Burning Splint Daily) Or click the tab on right hand side, and share using your Twitter and Facebook Accounts

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Nairobi Dating: Shreds of tenderness.....

“Mannu are you gay?”

The questioned only warranted a hearty laugh from me. I just threw back my head, hand in the pocket and laughed. No qualm was felt because the accuser was a friend.

This was the first gay slur of the night, another was on the way. And I took it easy.

Often from lunch together with her or I typing and reciting a poem for her in the quiet office had culminated into the diatribe, and more friendly others. That is why I just shrugged it off lightly like water off a duck’s back.

Mannu, the first time I saw you I thought you were from Turkana (That’s kind, the last one said Kordofan). Dear you are so backwards (I know because am always infront of you). I can never marry you (So you were even contemplating it).

That was how we shared the jabs, and the two gay slurs came about yesterday in a Nairobi dating which we had on a road.

The major ball of contention between us was her always keeping on me to leave the office earlier.  She badly wanted my escort, which was ok. She wanted to evade the high fares, fine with me. And most serious was that her mother wanted he home early, which I didn’t mind.

But after an incessant nagging for me to hurrying up I would be forced to cut short my inveterate internet proclivities to go home with her.  

I would be rushed from the office to the lift, but immediately on ground floor she would change.

“Mannu, there is no need for the hurry let’s just stroll” she curtsied taking my arms tenderly.

And I would feel thoroughly irked; the erstwhile busy girl suddenly had the all time in the world while I had been cut from internet.

“Your mother called and we are going to catch the mercurial fare so let’s roll” I replied waltzing her around the parked cars, human and traffic jam to the bus stop.

The first matatu shouting our route number would be a welcome. Her idea of a little street chit chat (Mannu you are so silent) wasn’t taken lightly. With my arms under her armpits we boarded, not taking any chance with the mercurial Nairobi bus fares.

“Are you ignoring me? You are so silent.” My standard reply was to point at the speakers right above us (They are bursting dear, we won’t communicate).

That was how it was for the past three months of internship, but yester-night to finish her stint she caught me flat footed.

Yesterday I wasn’t hurried out of the office, no. She gave me a free rein on the computer as I enjoyed Def Jam poetry and Maya Angelou reciting her verses on the Youtube.

As we strolled to the bus stop without the customary waltzing my silence infuriated her to the first gay slur?

My laughter was suddenly arrested by her eyes boring into me like red point of a laser before the trigger of a M16 is pulled. Other bystanders looked at my ears curiously for a stud.

“You have ignored me for three months” she accused me coldly. More commuters, now attracted by her fuming looked at my ears Dr. Willy Mutunga style.  She reached into her hand bag for her ‘street shoes’ and bandana to protect her hair against the dust, ignoring everyone.

“We are going for a long walk and we need to talk, no matatu today” she hissed.

Say what! I have the fare girl, I will pay today. C’mon Nairobi girls shouldn’t be walking. It’s 7 o’clock, just look at the watch dear it’s late. Anyway you complain that I always walk too fast for you.

“Follow me” the girl we will call, not her real name, Dorothy commanded.  Hell hath no fury. I obliged knowing I didn’t need nuclear science to know I was in a hot soup.

For philosophical digression; never taunt, because you can’t miss, a missile from a woman. And when the hunter turns the hunted from a wounded prey with a bruised ego, then he won’t go far.

The dearth in my part with Dorothy was her need to bolster her ego since except me, all the men including two fellow internees, had had their heart in her hands. I was not keen to join the queue from a kilometer away.

I survived her with my silence and mature deep furrowed face which made her open up about her office mishaps. You see when you are silent with an ear for conversation you tend to hear more that what you bargained for, but back to last night….

A tall lean figure (me) and a petit diminutive girl hand-in-hand strolled from Ronald Ngala, past Nairobi River to Kariokor Market past Ngara (With passengers and motorists staring at us). Amid the evening traffic she deftly hanged on my arms all the way to Pangani (where I flatly refused to go any further).

We haggled a truce; I badly wanted to be home (without her) even though she hinted about being this  being her last night before heading back to college.

To glean what we talked about, I let her rumble on about the details of men in a confined office messing up their egos. I wasn’t keen into jumping the bandwagon of her dating history.

The second gay slur came when I told Dorothy she was like a little sister to me. I shrugged it off as I boarded a matatu home. Without an option with my determination she followed me in at the last row seats.

“I had to survive, all those old men beating down on me I just need to be crafty to avoid the dustbin” she said as the matatu pulled out (The office talk was just that, office talk).

 I felt her pain, nothing sucks like amoral incessant of men suffering from mid-life crisis and still watching porn on their phones on a ego trip.

“I had a beautiful siz in you, I treasure the memories” I assured her, which was badly needed.

“I hope you won’t judge me”

“I didn’t, even though I knew what was happening, I won’t start judging you now”

“I will miss you Mannu, am leaving for college tomorrow”

“Good luck dear”

“Good luck”

She gently stroked the hair on my hand as other passengers looked uneasily. We didn’t care.

That was 9.58pm yesterday night, as I and Dorothy went to the estate together for the last time.

But now as I type this on office computer, the wailing sailing emptiness of her absence haunts. This nest has suddenly grown small, fellow internees have grown wings, and Dorothy was the last.

She went with a piece of my heart, in shred of tenderness of Nairobi night dating…. 

VP: Part of German aid to ease patrolist-farmers clashes

The VP and German Chancelor Angela Merkel during her one day official visit to Kenya yesterday.
Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka has said that part of aid promised by German Chancellor Angela Merkel will go along way to ease skirmishes between pastoralists and farmers in Ukambani region.

Ms Merkel on African tour was in a one day visit in Kenya and promised over Ksh 100 million to mitigate against drought and help Somalia Daadab famine refugees.

“The aid will not only help famine victims in the country but also ease clashes between Somalia herders escaping famine and farmers in the Ukambani area” the Vice President said.

Somalia pastoralists escaping drought with their cattle have clashed with farmers over grazing land and water holes raising tension in Ukambani.

 Mr. Kalonzo was speaking in Yattaa constituency where he joined hundred other mourners in the burial of Joseph Kariuki who passed away earlier this month.

“Mr. Kariuki lived in harmony with the community as a teacher in several high schools in the region, a deacon of United Church and a farmer making his death to be untimely demise” Kalonzo said consoling the bereaved family and other constituents.

Mr. Kariuki the principal of NYS Huduma Academy passed away from a heart attack and left behind a widow, four children and two grand children.

Former Gatundu North MP Kariuki Mwiruri and area MP Charles Kilonzo also attended the funeral services.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Poem: Sometimes I Write by Manuel Odeny

Sometimes I write
because mine is a face
that dreamt a thousand dreams
captured in a thousand-and-one words

In silence and solitude
i write the wailing quietness
delicately picking the sound of a pin drop
capturing floating, settling dust
In ghastly realism.

Sometimes I write
in cacophony of city bustle
my words roaming the human jungle
capturing city’s hustle
out of impatient honks,
hurrying thumping feet
to filter meaning from the gibber.

On the Mara boulders I cat call
words free reining plains, hills
before me pen, me notebook picks:
on rustling grass
whistling foliage
on lull of lapping cool rivers
to the roar of dark, foamy Victoria
the echoes of the cat call.

Sometimes I write
in heady African prayers
throbbing with the bul*
shrilling with the asili’
with clap of hands, gyrate of bodies
dropping with sweat libations
raising slowly amid chants
before letting my words hung loose
accompanying invoked spirits of ancestors.

Sometimes I write
(like now)
in a warm insomniac night
amid soggy sheets, sleep disserted
when the world listens
to some things I don’t say.

·                     bul From Dholuo, a Luo drum.
·                     Asili, from Dholuo, a Luo flute

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Is muhadhara the best way for Christian-Muslim harmony in the world?

Kenyan US Embassy in rubbles during the 1998 terrorist attack.
Can the truculent debate on the Kenyan constitution concerning kadhi courts and the violence of Boko Haram in Nigeria be quelled by having muhadharas, a crusade involving both Christians and Christians?
Often arranged by Seventh Day Adventists and Muslims, the muhadhara have been gaining ground up country and especially in the capital. For the past two week one has been going on at Mother Teresa Road in Eastlands.
For readers new to this crusade here is a scene: in an open strategic space a Muslim cleric and a pastor seat in two opposing tables filled with religious books and a reader. Their debates aired by PAS are controlled by an agreed regulator by both sides.
Teachings from both religions are shared, questioned, argued and discussed with emotions checked by a blessing from the police, organizers and the regulator. Most common involves trinity, if Christ is the son of God or a prophet, is Mohammed god sent and the place of jihad amongst others.
An example is 1st Samwel 13:1-2 in bibles major English versions, Kiswahili and Mother tongue which gives different years with omissions on the year at which King Saul reigned in ancient Israel.
Winning converts from across the fold is paramount without bloodshed but controlled arguments like the violence in Egypt recently between orthodox Christians and Muslims when a Christian girl was ‘held’  in a mosque against her wishes.
Though debates are heated, after a muhadhara the organizers mingle easily and even share a meal.
While still an undergrad in Maseno University Muslim and Adventists students organized a successful one week muhadhara to streamline and share on both religions.
Though it can aid to check extremism a look at it causes like poor government services, unemployment , unfair distribution of resources, tribalism and wide spread corruption can still be potent.
Considering that the high hand control of autocratic government on public life of its citizens by detention couldn’t touch religion.  Citizens looking for psychological satisfaction turned to mosques and ready hands of radical clerics.
Additionally the 1967 six day Arab-Israeli war killed the pan-Arab spirit and nationhood to terrorism, the same can be said of the 2007/08 PEV that killed nationhood and replaced it with tribalism.
This link may seem remote but a look at the 400 meters Mother Teresa Road with 3 muhadharas in past 2 months and joining four Eastlands ghetto is a replica of the country. There are 18 churches, 4 mosques and 123 witchdoctors as residents turn to religion amid raw sewages, muddy streets without title deed to their lands, clinic, council services and even a police post.

Scene on bombing scare at Kampala bus on December 2010

Tribal imaginary lines drawn by 2007/08 PEV are still evident coming to fore on tribal names on shops and music from stores. The police are yet to prosecute a single suspect to the death that claimed about 1,500 people with others still displaced.

Still not connecting the dots? Then roger this: Kenya, most failed state in East Africa with widest divide between poor and rich has produced and sheltered jihads to Somalia and its citizens arrested for the world cup Uganda bombings!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Poem: Love is Something with Feathers by Manuel Odeny

Copyright: Nancy Lee Moran.
Love nestles tenderly, delicately
in your arms, warmly
tickling emotions with light feathers
love is something with feathers.

You hold love tightly, possessively
suffocating love jealously
it wilts, dies
a lump of meat, ruffled feathers
lifeless in your arms-
arching your heart, soul

You hold love carelessly, loosely
tossing love hurtfully
it breaks loose, fly away
like a bird wild
never to perch, often wry
to get hurt on snares
leaving the heart longing
the loss.

You hold love tenderly, delicately
in your arms, warmly
love grows, blossoms
like petals of rose scented
kissed lightly by mornin’ sun
cooled by dawn dew
nourishing your heart, soul

love is something with feathers
nestling in your arms

Monday, July 4, 2011

Poem: My Father’s Son by Manuel Odeny

(Dedicated to childhood memories of growing up in Mombasa and Alfred Ayungu Odeny, My father and model of what I should be to my future wife and children)
when I was still a baby boy
obsessed, thrilled with dark night sky
father said, shut your eyes tightly
then sailed I into dark night sky
dreaming of my arms
dipping in deep, dark-blue velvety
palpating golden sheen of the golden full moon
snatching twinkling stars.


i fell like lead
just before hard ground
to my father’s arms- veinated, calloused
his chirped nails safely grabbed
i opened my eyes
stretching my empty arms, pink nails
for an earnest glimpse of
a dip of deep, dark-blue velvety
golden sheen of the golden full moon
snatched twinkling stars.

and I felt sad.


father buried his head on my nape
his grizzly beard tickling my face
making little ‘blurp’ ‘blurp’ sounds
my shrill laughter
accosting his deep throaty laughter
echoing my disappointment into dark night sky
before sailing me into dark night sky
back to his rough-gentle arms
and again
to dip in deep, dark-blue velvety
palpate golden sheen of the golden full moon
snatching twinkling stars.

“Drink all Ma’s omena* soup
to be taller, reach the dark night sky”
father said, following my gaze
into the dark night sky
static radio bleating reggae
golden full moon bathing us in golden sheen
just me and my father
sleeping in his rough-gentle arms
dreaming of my arms
dipping in deep, dark-blue velvety
palpating golden sheen of the golden full moon
snatching twinkling stars…..

*Omena, from Dholuo. A delicious small fresh water fish found in Lake Victoria.
2nd July 2011