Friday, April 20, 2012

Poem: Angel Mother by Edna Ipalei

Dear mama you are precious,
You are the best of the gifts that I have ever had,
Nothing material can take the place
Of the comradeship between you and I

Dear mama you have shown me the light
The instruction received at your knees,
The maternal lesson together with the pious,
The souvenirs of the fireside,
Are never, entirely effaced from my soul.

Dear mama, there is none like you,
Dear mama, how can I thank you?
There is no gift worth your great deeds,
Forever I shall follow your foot steps

Dear mama may you live to enjoy
The fruits of your hands,
For all I am and hope to do,
I owe to you, my angel my mom

From the poet’s blog!/2010/02/angel-mother.html

Edna Ipalei © 2010

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

New CJR Feature Goes In-Depth with Huffington Post following Pulitzer Prize Win

New York, NY (April 16, 2012)—Yesterday, The  Huffington Post received its first Pulitzer Prize. The site's David Wood won in the National Reporting  category, for what the board called a “riveting exploration” of the challenges facing wounded soldiers post combat.

The prize marks a moment of high recognition for The Huffington Post, whose creation, nature, and influence are the subject of Columbia Journalism Review's  May/June cover story, “Six Degrees of Aggregation: How the Huffington Post ate the Internet.” Following the prize announcement, CJR published its feature, which you can read online here in its entirety.

“The Huffington Post has defied expectations en route to what seems to be a runaway success, and  rewritten  many of the rules of our business,” says Cyndi Stivers, CJR's editor-in-chief. “We felt it was important to give The Huffington Post the long treatment.”

In “Six Degrees of Aggregation,” CJR contributing editor Michael Shapiro writes that The Huffington Post is in the business of viral content—a business in which original journalism plays a relatively small part, though the honor of a Pulitzer shines a great light on it. Through interviews with principals and employees past and present, Shapiro highlights the skills, from search engine optimization to social networking, as well as the timing and luck that combined to deliver a vast audience to Huffington Post.

“Before its purchase by AOL in February 2011, HuffPost was not a property that had produced much in the way of revenue,” writes Shapiro, who also notes that the site “did little in the way of breaking stories, the industry's typical pathway to recognition.” Less than one year later, however, Shapiro writes that “Huffington Post could lay claim to a widely shared perception of its growing influence.”

The announcement of the Pulitzer Prize adds another layer of critical discourse to conversations about The Huffington Post's model and its repercussions for news media and journalism. CJR is pleased to contribute its reporting and analysis to the discussion.

Shapiro and Stivers are available for comment. CJR will publish “Six Degrees of Aggregation” in its May/June issue, which you may subscribe to here.

Founded in 1961, the Columbia Journalism Review's mission is to encourage and stimulate excellence in journalism. In its bimonthly magazine and daily website, CJR offers peerless press analysis, journalism tools, and discussions of the evolving media world.

This post was press release to CJR subscribers, All right reserved Columbia Journalism Review

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Raila Odinga for President Secretariat statement on GEMA and KAMATUSA Tribal Politics

Raila Odinga,presidential aspirant in the next general elections PHOTO/ Courtesy of Capital FM


 1. We note with profound concern the return of the politics of hostile ethnic polarisation -through Gema and Kamatusa.

2. We have watched in keen silence as the leaders of these organizations have rapidly and dangerously postured in public for a return to their conceptual and injurious roots of the early 1970s and 1990s.

3. From the start, Gema has always been a hegemony outfit. It has been an exclusivist organization, keen on protecting narrow sectarian interests, disguised as community interests, while marginalizing everybody else.

4. In the 1970s, Gema attempted to enforce loyalty through a narrow, stringently imposed, ethnic agenda. It engaged in coercive and widespread oathing of its members. It planted terror and fear in everybody, both within and outside the'so-called Gema communities. This history is well documented.

5. Kamatusa, for its part, came into existence in 1991 in opposition to the democratization of Kenya. In particular, it was stridently opposed to the removal of Section 2A from the Constitution and the opening up of Kenya to multiparty democracy. It demonized the search for good and accountable governance.

6. Kamatusa is notoriously remembered for the Kapkatet Declaration of 1991. This declaration was an edict to the non-Kamatusa communities to leave parts of Rift Valley Province or be forcefully evicted. This was followed by systematic ethnic cleansing in Rift Valley Province. Kamatusa committed heinous crimes against innocent Kenyans. There has been no restitution to date.

7. Over the years, Kenyans who rightfully own property in Rift Valley Province have been steadily traumatized. They have been disinherited of their property by the architects of Kamatusa. Some of these leaders have not hesitated to "inherit", personally, land belonging to evictees. It is appalling that such unjust leaders nurse ambitions of higher national office, including Office of the President.

8. If leaders can rally tribes under dangerous organizations whose history is well known, how more dangerous could they get, should the country suffer the misfortune of having them as President? How many more people would they dispossess of their property and displace, now they brazenly flaunt potentially violent ethnicity with impunity?

9. Gema and Kamatusa were never about representing the poor. Instead, both have oppressed the poor people from the communities they purport to speak for. Both are regrouping themselves around precisely the wicked old objectives and ways.

They are still protecting narrow sectarian interests. In the case of Kamatusa, the injustice of forced evictions and dispossession is once again on the cards. The big irony is that some of those targeted for the next wave of eviction are from the same communities that Kamatusa leaders fraternize with in daytime. They laugh together and hug each other during the day and plot evictions in the night.

Both Gema and Kamatusa are still attempting to enforce loyalty through a narrow ethnic agenda.They are beginning to look like cults that everybody in the tribe must kneel before.

Those who refuse are demonized and terrorized.

10. It is instructive that both Gema and Kamatusa leaders have threatened to take away the right of the people of Kenya to go to free and fair democratic elections. One speaker after the other at the Gema meeting in Limuru last month stated that there would be no peaceful elections in Kenya if Uhuru Kenyatta's name was not on the presidential ballot paper.

This is overt incitement to violence and a threat to the rest of the country. We call upon the Minister for Internal Security to assure Kenyans that they can continue to feel comfortable, at peace, and safe in the belief that they can approach the forthcoming elections without being afraid.

11. Equally instructive is the threat by Kamatusa leaders to disrupt the election calendar (read the elections). They have promised to engage in dangerous ethnic based mobilization to ensure that there will be no elections. Alternatively, they intend to unleash violence during the elections.
The Minister for Internal Security needs to reassure Kenyans against threats of this kind. We have the history of threats of this kind. It informs us that these are not idle threats. Are we safe?

12. We hail leaders from Central Kenya and the greater Mt. Kenya region, as well as those from the North and South Rift who have distanced themselves from the ruinous intentions of the two sinister organizations. This is Kenya's time. It is not a tribal moment. We cherish the pursuit of the Kenyan dream of one people, one nation, one voice.

13. Finally, the time has come when we must say a firm NO to the shameless and cheap propaganda and hate speech that has been spewed against the Prime Minister. The politics of lies, hostility and threat to violence have no room in the democracy that we crave. Democracy must be digniSed.

We are keeping a keen eye on the captains of violent lies and propaganda. We know their history very well. We know the history of Kenya. From now on, we shall no longer quietly stand by as they spin lies and use them to prepare communities for tribal violence. We shall robustly expose them for what they are.

14. Kenyans have the chance to save this wonderful country that God has given us from slipping into the culture of hate and violence of the kind we saw in 2008. It is a culture that has sunk other countries. We have no need for it. We want our children to grown up in a peaceful society where people respect and love each other.

We must begin by rejecting the captains of hate and injustice. We must reject cheap propaganda and dangerous ethnic mobilization. We must reject thos,e with no respect for citizens' rights to life and property; those who believe you have no right to live in some part of the country. This is not a tribal moment. This is Kenya's moment. Let us not lose the moment to tribal chieftains.

The Raila Odinga for President Secretariat

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Should ODM have National Delegates Council or County level nominations?

ODM party leader Raila Odinga and his deputy Musalia Mudavadi  PHOTO/Courtesy  
At last the Orange Democratic Party has submitted their registration and the contentious old constitution at the registrar of political parties.
The party’s delegation led by Prof Anyang Nyong’o the Secretary General was received by the registrar Lucy Ndung’u albeit with the amendments championed by Musalia Mudavadi being left out.
According to Nyong’o and the party’s National Executive council (NEC) the party had agreed to change the clause which gives the party leader a direct presidential nomination and check how the choice of the presidential aspirant be done at Kasarani or county level.
As the party still grapple with their ‘internal democracy’ over this issue sober considerations should be taken after checking out the views from both sides, PM and Party Leader Raila’s and DPM and Deputy Party Leader Mudavadi’s.
According to proponents of the county method, ODM was the first party in the country to bring about the call of devolution which was the main issue that delayed the current constitution to be passed and was a major issue in the referendum vote that ushered it in.
This leaders led by Shinyalu MP Justus Kizito, Funyula MP and Minister of Youths and Sports Paul Otuoma, and Khamisi Mp and  Information Assistant Minister   He added that devolution was brought by ODM in the constitution as they should not leave George Khaniri see devolution as “ODM’s ‘baby’ which should not be dropped now”.
They also want more delegates, 60, to be involved in the voting process while at Kasarani there is a likelihood of about 20 from the 47 counties in the country to be locked because, according to Khaniri, “time used for voting and travelling will take about four days with some delegates from far counties unable to make it. The county elections the over seen by the IEBC will increase party participation”.
Their biggest boast, and what is not seen by people supporting Raila, is that flawed nominations will risk the party losing candidates. Candidates like Makadara MP Mike ‘Sonko’ Mbuvi, POA’ s Raphael Tuju amongst others left the party over flawed elections.
Khaniri gave the example of how KANU broke down when former president Daniel Arap Moi endorsed Uhuru Kenyatta as the 2002 presidential candidate. At KANU’s Kasarani delegates meeting it was common of MP’s to come with their delegates only to be told their ‘registered’ members were already in.
 “Nominations were the biggest change in the past elections as ODM members who felt slighted by the nomination process left and ended up winning in other parties” Kizito said adding that as Raila supporters are afraid of their man slighted so is the feeling in Mudavadi camp which has to be addressed adequately.
Lastly, they say by giving the presidential candidate ticket to the party leader directly there is fear of locking out other aspirants from carrying their constitutional right. By changing the rules it will check the clause in future.
Meanwhile, Raila’s camp sees the call of  change in this dying parts of the campaign as a suspect for other defectors and his opponents to use Mudavadi as a Trojan horse to wreck the ‘most popular party in the country’ from within.
As most opponents are fighting Raila there is fear of using ‘professional delegates’ from former ODM stronghold turned risky like Rift Valley and Central/ Eastern to push Mudavadi’s supporters in the ballot.
The two have taken a middle ground on the use of IEBC to officiate the voting, but this fear in Raila’s camp is so real with the fear of ‘anti-reformers’ and ‘KANU’s orphans’ ganging up
“We are lucky for ODM to have given birth to ‘twins’, but there is risk of the two bringing the party to its knees especially as their feud is seen as a war and not democracy. This poor image goes on to make defectors to gloat over the party and find a way to wreck it from within” A delegate in Migori said when Mudavadi made a stop in the county, his 41st.
Manuel Odeny ©2012