Archive for March 2010

Musalia Mudavadi must step aside over the Shs59M cemetery saga

Even if the way the scandal was exposed is irregular, the fact are that Musalia Mudavadi has been adversely mentioned as a recipient of part of Kshs59m that was stolen from the government due to overpricing of the cemetery land which cannot even be used for the purpose for which it was bought.

As it stands until his name is cleared, Musalia Mudavadi should step aside to pave way for investigation. To quote Raila Odinga, the prime minister it does not mean that by stepping aside Musalia is guilty, that will be known after the investigations are done.

Goldenberg was exposed in an irregular and unprocedural manner, so was angloleasing some of the biggest scams in the story of corruption by government officials in Kenya. Musalia cannot hide behind KACC "irregular" manner of revealing the scandal and that cannot change the fact that the cemetry land saga purchase by the Nairobi City Council which is under local government ministry headed by Musalia was a corrupt deal and huge sums of money ended up corruptly in the hands of government officials, Musalia accused to be one of them.

The prime minister has further said that the war on corruption must be personalised since it involves individuals. Musalia must lead the way and must carry his cross, but for now he must step aside until investigations clear him or incriminate him.

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Vote for Mwalimu Mati to be the next President of Kenya 2012

I am a young Kenyan.

I have been thinking.

I have wondered, come 2012 or earlier when we go for elections in Kenya, who is worthy of my vote?

I have considered our current crop of politicians and have found them wanting.

No, I do not want to vote for Raila Odinga or Kalonzo Musyoka or Uhuru Kenyatta or William Ruto or Musalia Mudavadi or George Saitoti or Charity Ngilu or Kiraitu Murungi or Gideon Moi or Mwai Kibaki now that we have hints he may be planning for a lifetime presidency like other African despots. They are all stained with seeds of ethnic animosity, poor governance, corruption, fanning tribal hatred and are a constant reminder of the suffering of Kenyans under the Kenyatta, Moi and Kibaki regimes.

For a moment, I thought I can vote for Martha Karua or Mutava Musyimi but as time goes by I have developed a bitter taste in my mouth whenever I think about these two. Mutava Musyimi stint at the current parliament has been disappointing. I wished he would stand for me and say no to all those shenanigans that happen in parliament and cabinet that propagate corruption, tribal hatred and the poverty of my fellow Kenyans and I. He has however chosen to keep quiet, a conspiracy of silence that drains our blood as Kenyans which is no different from those who steal and eat the poor Kenyan's staple food of maize and are involved in a host of other corruption scandals. It is very hard to separate Martha Karua and all the wrong things in Kibaki's twin tenure.

I did not take Eugene Wamalwa's declaration to be president lightly for I have been searching and looking for a reason to wake up early on that material day to change the course of my country. But the fact that he is linked with Jimmy Kibaki's Simama Kenya outfit makes me have an uneasy feeling that he may not be the man for he will not be his own man.

I have considered, like many other Kenyans, not to give a damn what happens in 2012, just sleep the day away - with enough stash of food and water, armed of course for any eventualities that are looking real by the day - just like any other Sunday or public holiday and not vote. My conscience, however, cannot allow me to watch as Kenya whirls away in a too familiar way.

My vote is unmarked and powerful. My vote is my dearest and most lethal weapon to eradicate all the wrongs I see in Kenya. I will give it to the man or woman who will earn it. A person who will use the tax I pay to the government wisely to develop and spur economic growth in Kenya, fighting corruption, upholding governance and ethics and actively fighting the rampant poverty that I wallow in and that surrounds me. A man who will deal with the political, economic and social hopelessness that engulfs me each passing day.

Whenever I visit the Mars Group Kenya website and listen to Mwalimu Mati in various talk shows, I see a Kenyan willing and trying to confront head-on the problems that we face as Kenyans in his own small way. I see a man that audits Kenya's spending and contractual commitments with a fine tooth comb, asks questions and reports to Kenyans how our funds are being wasted and are being used to enrich a certain political class at my expense and at the expense of the rest of Kenyans.

In Mars Group Kenya I see Kenyans who do not worship the Kenyattas, the Mois, the Kibakis, the Odingas, the British, the Americans and any other Kenyan 'god' out there that are responsible for what is wrong with my Kenya.

I perceive a Kenyan ready to make the corrupt regimes accountable for the misery of Kenyans. A Kenyan with a zeal to deal with the cancer of corruption, parasitic governance, destructive politics and wasteful spending of public funds once and for all.

I sense an angry Kenyan like me - angry and disappointed with the dangerous games our current "leaders" and politicians play - only that unlike me, he has the guts to stand up, be counted and say NO to all the political madness we experience day in day out in Kenya.

I see a Kenyan with bubbling potential to take Kenya to the next level of infrastructural development, economic growth, political accountability and responsibility without the endless mumbo jumbo of MOUs, accords and Vision 2030.

That makes me say to myself, I want that Mars Group Kenya guy to be my president.

If only he has the right mandate and authority.

My vote and your vote can give that Mars Group Kenya guy the mandate to give us the right leadership that we yearn, hope and long for.

I want that Mars Group Kenya guy to be the next president of Kenya.

Feel me? Please join me here on Facebook to give notice and spread the good news.

We can change Kenya!

Mwalimu Mati for president!!

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The Kenyan Maize Scandal Timeline

Early 2008

Maize yields and stocks significantly low due to the destruction of close to 3.5 million bags of maize during the post-election violence, which also reduced the area under maize production by 30 per cent.

Diammonium Phosphate (DAP) fertiliser skyrocket by 240%.

June 2008

High cost of petrol internationally results in high costs of transport and inputs, in turn causing the price of maize and related products to shoot up from Ksh48 (US cents 64) for a 2kg packet of flour to a high of Ksh130 ($1.73).

July 2008 - June 2009

The estimated shortfall in maize production over the period hits 11.5 million bags.

September 2008

Grain millers and traders ask the government to ease grain importation rules and taxes so as to bring down food prices.

November 2008

Cabinet approves the importation of 5 million bags of maize to mitigate the looming crisis. The first consignment arrives in Mombasa in October 2008. The maize originates from South Africa and US.

Allegations about possible shoddy dealings in the handling of maize start to emerge as a cabinet committee headed by the Prime Minister launches investigation.

December 2008

Media reports reveal that farmers are hoarding maize in protest against the government's decision to fix the price of the crop at a much lower rate than what is paid for imports. The government was paying about Kshs 3,000 ($40) for every sack of imported maize but paid KShs 1,950 ($26) to local farmers for the same quantity of grain.

The government designs a plan to supply cheap maize flour but the plan runs into trouble amid allegations of corruption.

Newspaper reports allege the loss of 100,000 bags of maize. The Cereal Millers Association spokesperson claims that only 40,000 bags pf the 144,000 bags of maize set aside by the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) had reached its members and queries the destination of the other 100,000 bags.

The government waives duty on imported maize as five out of six managers of the NCPB are sacked by Agriculture Minister William Ruto over allegations of corruption.

The grain shortage reaches emergency levels as over 10 million people are reported to be facing starvation.

February 2009

Special programmes Permanent Secretary Ali Mohamed announces that the government is set to release 200,000 bags of maize to the famine relief programme from the Strategic Grain Reserve (SGR).

Trustees of the SGR authorise allocations to millers reducing its stocks to levels far below the required 4 million bags, thus exposing the country to severe famine in case of any shortfalls in production.

Following press reports, MPs admit to buying maize from the NCPB as well as writing letters requesting for allocations to individuals known to them. Some of the MPs claimed that they requested for the allocations after hearing that their colleagues were doing the same.

Prime Minister Raila Odinga orders a forensic audit of the National Cereals and Produce Board to establish the magnitude of the maize scandal

March 2009

Maize imported by the government continues to arrive at the port of Mombasa.

April 2009

Parliament's Departmental on Agriculture, Lands and Natural Reosurces calls for investigations to be carried out on the alleged role played by the Prime Minister's family in the maize scandal.

May 2009

Controversy emerges about the suitability of part of the imported maize for human consumption amidst revelations that 6,000 tonnes of imported maize is contaminated

The Ministry of Public Health issues a public alert over the circulation of contamintaed maize reported missing from Grain Bulk Handlers Ltd

MPs absolve the Prime Minister, his family and his office from blame in the maize scandal by deleting clauses in the Departmental Committee on Agriculture, Lands and Natural Resources Report that had linked them to the scandal. The entire report is also rejected on grounds that it was "politically engineered" and was "absolutely clumsy"

June 2009

Government makes arrangements for the condemned maize to be shipped back to the country of origin.

February 2010

A government commissioned audit report by PriceWaterhouse Coopers reveals massive irregularities in the Subsidised Maize Scheme, This results in the sacking or resignation of eight top officials, including three Permanent Secretaries— Dr Romano Kiome (Agriculture), Ali Mohamed (Speciai Programmes), and Dr Mohammed Isahakia (Prime Minister's office) — as well as the PM's chief of staff Caroli Omondi, the managing director of the National Cereals and Produce Board Prof Gideon Misoi, NCPB sales and marketing manager James Boit and Mr Robert Langat

An attempt by the Prime Minister to suspend the Minister for Agriculture (and his Education for a separate, unrelated scandal) flops after President Kibaki declares that the PM has exceeded his authority Tensions within the governing coalition rise to breaking point.

Source: The East African

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