Ongala Maurice

To Inspire is to Empower



Kenya. Outright, the East African country whose leaders are known to have perfected the science of looting public coffers and robbing the citizenry of hundreds of billions, while still remaining the region’s economic super power. In the wake of numerous graft scandals that have rocked our nation from the years past to this very day, I chuckle at the thought of writing this piece for I know not where to begin. I must confess that my poor mind has been the field of a stiffly contested battle as to whether or not I should pen this. But having remembered the moral obligation vested upon me as a young leader and the overwhelming weight of responsibility, this task is underwhelming.

Well,images-3 I do not want to dwell on the Ksh. 791 million and other humongous amounts looted by powerful people at the NYS, Ministry of Devolution and elsewhere in the Jubilee government.

I just thought we should remember a few things and do some critical thinking as we near the election year, 2017. For starters, it is useful for us to remember that it took the President and his Deputy unusually long to name their cabinet after their disputed election. But when they finally did after ostensibly carrying out ‘extensive consultation and interviews’, there was no ministry directly in charge of youth affairs. Instead, youth affairs was one of he too many departments under the then Ministry of Devolution and Planning headed by the all-powerful Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru. The constitutional limit of the number of ministries notwithstanding, this was the genesis of my problems with the Jubilee Government. The youth were arm-twisted right from the beginning of this government. From its very onset, we were only a small department and not a full ministry as had been with the previous regimes.

Secondly, when the Opposition Leader Rt Hon Raila Odinga raised alarm over the on-going fleecing of public funds at the NYS and named CS Anne Waiguru as a prime suspect, several things happened.

  1. Leader of Majority in Parliament, Hon Aden Duale, a die hard Jubilee member and self-confessed sycophant of the President came out with poisonous vehemence against Raila, asking him to stop meddling in the Jubilee affairs and wait for next elections.
  2. Deputy Leader of Majority in the Senate, Hon Kipchumba Murkomen, a close ally of the Deputy President came gun-blazing against the opposition CORD Coalition in rallies and press conferences terming Raila as an enemy of development.
  3. Then CS Anne Waiguru herself actually sued Raila for defamation. (Jeez! How hard corruption can fight back!). The case files have since been rotting in some city shelves with no follow up – it was only a threat.
  4. Mutahi Ngunyi, a city political analyst and consultant with his usual shameless bias bashed Raila on Twitter, insulted him and called him all manner of names including the famous ‘Lord of Poverty’ phrase.
  5. Deputy President William Ruto repeatedly called Raila a poor, stingy man, an economic saboteur. He further propagated Mutahi Ngunyi’s Lord of Poverty insult, to which Raila responded with the even more famous, ‘High Priest of Corruption’ term.
  6. President Uhuru Kenyatta himself defended Waiguru saying the opposition should let Jubilee deliver on their mandate to Kenyans and avoid side shows. He was also quoted during rallies in Obunga and Kibra slums asking Raila and his team to stop sabotaging the otherwise helpful NYS slum upgrade program.

Well, today the whole story is different. Over the last few weeks, individuals like Josephine Kabura (I don’t get why this name is pronounced as Kafura) who was supposed to be the sacrificial lamb decided she wasn’t gonna die alone. She swore an affidavit that seriously implicated Waiguru and Mutahi Ngunyi in the NYS multi million scandal. On her day of grilling at the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission, Waiguru went ahead and adversely named Hon Duale, Hon Murkomen (I’m not sure if they are still honourable), Deputy President’s Personal Assistant, Farouk Kibet, DP’s brother and other individuals as having been involved in the scandal. The affidavit is in the public domain, doing rounds on social media. The other thing that has happened is that both the President and his Deputy have since kept a deafening silence on these latest developments.

So today, every Kenyan youth knows that the reason the six individuals listed above cursed, insulted and damned Raila Odinga for blowing the whistle of NYS scandal was because they knew they were all involved in one way or the other, no? They knew they were partners in crime. They knew they had hatched a plan and it was well sealed. They had treacherously stolen from the Kenyan youth and they weren’t going to let anyone make noise about it. They used the mainstream media, social media, propagandists like Dennis Itumbi and all manner of tools at their disposal to discredit the RAO. But as we have come to know experientially, facts are ever so stubborn. Today we know that it was has always been a National Youth Disservice (NYD) and not NYS.

If you are a Kenyan youth (including recruits at NYS) and you happen to stumble upon this line, it is meant for you. Perhaps, like me, you’ve been watching the goings on in the State of The Nation with utter disgust and bitterness. You walk long distances daily, sweat out your last drop and keep hoping for a better tomorrow. You persist in the hope that the Jubilee government will make good their promise of job creation. Well, you can do yourself one favour, go register as a voter. We have a date with mediocre leadership next year. 2017 is beckoning, so do this favour to yourself. Register and vote out Jubilee. Period. That is your most powerful way of changing and shaping your next 5 years.





Vultures for Leaders!


African Heads of State in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Africa has over the decades had to put up with leaders and governments whose core objectives are to amass wealth and commit hienous atrocities against their own subjects – slaughter, kill, maim and torture, punish dissenting voices and cripple the very liberty that they ostensibly fought for during the struggle for independence.

A few cases in point. Not long ago, Kenya was at war with itself because of election theft. We saw citizens chopping off fellow countrymen’s heads, burning their property and driving them out of their homes because they belonged to a different tribe. The effects of these, we still live with to this very day. Currently, Burundi is on fire. We have all seen gory images and heard unimaginable stories from the land of Nkurunzinza. People killing each other like they are animals. Draining their blood and dragging their dead bodies long distances in the open, then chopping off their body parts. Why? Because they are of a different political opinion. In Somalia, the blood of terrorism is the the water the quenches people’s thirst. It is no longer news for any number of innocent civilians to be killed by the warring Al Shabaab and their sub-factions. Recently in South Africa, which is supposed to be Africa’s most civilised nation – or so they say, we saw xenophobic nationals butchering innocent foreigners whose only crime was to visit and live in SA, legally. Southern Sudan, The Sudan, DRC… Damn! the list is too long, time beats me.

One thing worthy of noting is that the African culture is inherently a loving and peaceable culture. A comparative ethnography across Africa reveals striking similarities between cultural practices across the continent. I can state here with the audacity and authority of the African that I am, that not one African culture celebrates murder and advocates for killing, even through Juju, of innocent fellow humans.

What, then, is the genesis of the venom? Straight answer, vultures for leaders.

When you have people in positions of power and authority whose only interest is to be selfish, you will fail. And this has been Africa’s greatest undoing, the reason why scores of African countries are proudly failed states. But even more appalling, none of these leaders who perpetrate such horrific crimes against humanity has been brought to book either during or after their reign. Pierre Nkurunzinza is still a free man. Uhuru Kenyatta, William Ruto and other co-accused persons are free, which brings me to the gist of this article.

Yesterday, The African Union adopted President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Proposal to quit The International Criminal Court (ICC). This, they purport, is because the ICC is an imperialist court instituted to oppress Africans and strip them of their sovereignty. Really? Shamelessly, the heads of state attempting to compare Africa to the West and in sheer tomfoolery, stated that ICC has never opened any case against leaders of the West. They cited Ne-colonalism and all those kinds of nonsense to justify their dumb move. By the way, neo-colonialism is an argument of weak minds who can not stand up for themselves and reform systems from within. More critically, Neo-cololialism can as well be – and has been – perpetuated by our own presidents and leaders right here in Africa, so that argument flops.

int-auI don’t hold brief for the West, but my candid question is, how many leaders in Europe and the Americas in the recent history have butchered, tortured and maimed their fellow countrymen for political dissent? How many have persecuted and killed us Africans when we go to study in their prestigious universities because of xenophobia? Instead, have they not generously given our sons and daughters scholarships and fellowships? We have countless cases of such in Africa and very scanty in the West. This makes me wonder just how skewed leaders of Africa, conglomerating in Addis Ababa could get in their rationale.

Ordinarily, I wouldn’t have much problems with this decision if we had credible judicial systems and processes in Africa. First at country level, the courts are flawed and marred with wanton corruption that is at best, hopeless. As I write this, the a Supreme Court Judge in Kenya is being investigated over a 2 million USD bribe to rule a case in favour of a powerful politician. Just in case you didn’t know, The Supreme Court is the highest judicial institution in Kenya. Secondly, at the continental level, all the atrocities that have been committed in African countries have happened in the full glare of the much hyped AU.

Was the decision made by African Heads of State in Addis Ababa representative of their citizens’ views back home? If Africa so quits the ICC, what is the alternative court? The AU is a toothless dog that can only bark the loudest but bite no meat, however soft. If Africa so quite ICC, ours will be a desperate case. Our greedy leaders will adopt impunity as a shared best practice in governance across the continent, for, who will be watching? Our courts are already flawed and notoriously corruptible, who else will be watching? Our religious leaders are conmen and women who do worse than the politicians, who else will be watching? Our human rights watchdogs operate within a very limited space which is continuously getting squeezed as they become complacent… Who will be watching as African leaders savage and ravage the continent?

Africa needs a Revolution. Whatever it takes, a revolution is all we need.

Thanks for reading!

#VultresForLeaders #SeasonsOfGrace