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The week in Kenyan Blogs

KenyaRugby Image courtesy of White African
This week has Kenyan bloggers writing about very diverse topics, let us start with sports

White African reminisces about rugby in Kenyan High schools , generating about 20 comments, that is how passionate Kenyan's can be about rugby.

Kenya Cricket has an excellent play by play rundown of the game between Kenya and Zimbabwe.Kenya wins!

Another sport that Kenyans are passionate about – drumroll please? Soccer. habari Kenya writes about “Man U vs Arsenal vs the rest” reffering to the English premier league, that Kenyans follow quite closely.

Sadly, Memoire exits the blogging stage with a finale that discusses her thoughts on blogging, i do hope she comes back in future as does Adrian. He invites his readers to make him happy by bidding for a good cause – proceeds go towards habitat for humanity. With a starting bid of 425,000, he wishes someone would convince memoire to come back to blogging. The reason why her exit is sad is that memoire would post about shared experiences that are uniquely kenyan, and thus she will be missed greatly.

Unganisha is back after a 6 month break, with a vivid post “Kampala Endless Nights” about his trip to Kampala. This post is particularly apt as Uganda borders Kenya, and had elections this week, where Yoweri Museveni won the election.

Kikuyu Moja shares his thoughts about the challenge of harambees (fund raising) for a social project like a children's home. He considers the perceptions of Kenyans towards charity.

…Hence, the provoking allegation that I would like to make and on which I would like YOU to comment on is that there are a lot people out there – no matter what nationality – that don’t give a damn about others. And it’s not only that they don’t care, it’s also that they seem to think that OTHERS might be responsible for the fate of street/abandoned children, the environment, politics / etc..
Charity begins at home? For them it ends at home.

Gukira posts “On being clever”. He discusses how the Kenyan school system encourage a certain brand of ‘clever’ if you will, and how those who've gone through the system would understand how the word ‘clever misrecognizes the technical facility for intelligence’.

Kenyan Pundit live blogged the TED conference in California, where she gives us good news about the 2007 TED conference in Africa.

The conference will be in Arusha, Tanzania from June 3-7. The theme will be Africa: The Good News. TED will be providing 100 scholarships to make it possible for (young) African thought-leaders, entrepreneurs, activists, creative souls, bloggers etc., from the continent and the diaspora.

This january post by the journalist John Kamau, is worth a read, as he interviewed Isaiah Mathenge ‘The last governor of Rift Valley’.

There is always commentary about politics, and this past week, more to life looks at kenyan politics, and other recent news using the metaphor “The pontius pilate syndrome”, with “Government of Kenya as pontius Pilate, Raila and LDP as the pharisees, the real culprits of the Anglo leasing and Goldenberg scandals as Barrabas and the usual screaming crowds as themselves.”

You missed this gives his reasons why he thinks “…That The Current War On Corruption Is A Train Heading To A Place Called “Nowhere””

Wangu of the group blog virtually insane writes a very sane piece about the current kenyan affliction if i may call it that, of how kenyans respond to corruption and famine, and ends with an examination of the kenyan dream. She asks, “what are we waiting for?”

Nyakehu shares her thoughts about the famine in Kenya, as does What an African Woman thinks who notes “When it is has become commonplace to vie for right of way with (emaciated) cattle in Nairobi, you know that there really is a drought and it is very serious.”

We conclude with some poetry, the piece “You” by lifemoments, and the piece “In Praise of Love” by Munaks,where he provides an english translation and historical context of the swahili poem.

6 comments

  • anonymous

    john, dint u have anything important to say? And by the way if u dont have anything to do or say, pliz dont do or say it here, ur just disgusting!

  • john

    batari charge in progress.

  • kamua kibogoyo

    TUNYOOOOSHANYENI

  • NGAMIA

    WHATZ; IN WHOZ BACKYARDS IS THESE COOKING.a gigiatic joke.

    Kisumu council loses Sh100m to ghost projects

    Published on
    By Mangoa Mosota

    The Kisumu Municipal Council has lost Sh100 million set aside for almost two-dozen projects in the last three years.

    Although money has been allocated for 22 projects, their status remains unclear. Most of the projects have stalled, while others are yet to take off.

    Many more are ghost projects that only exist on paper, although full payments have been made.

    The civic authority earmarked Sh10 million for the Integrated Solid Waste project. A dumpsite was to be built in Mamboleo, but construction is yet to commence, two years later.

    A source at the council said the money was pocketed by some officials.

    Two years ago, Sh22 million was paid for construction of bicycle lanes, but the project stalled soon after commencement. The UN-Habitat provided the finances for the project.

    Funds were set for the maintenance of roads, especially in upmarket Milimani, but nothing was done on most of them, save for painting of yellow lines.

    embezzled funds

    For instance, Nyalenda Ring was allocated Sh2 million, but investigation shows that no maintenance was done.

    In the 2008/09 Budget report, the council states it successfully completed the Milimani roads project at Sh1.3 million.

    Many roads built by the council have been poorly done. Riat-Nyahera road was shoddily rehabilitated at a cost of Sh2.5 million, but is now in a state of disrepair, just a year later.

    In the last financial year, the council set aside Sh33 million for the Kenya Slum Upgrading Programme, but investigation shows that little has been done.

    A study by Network of Citizens Organisation disclosed how local leaders have embezzled Local Authorities Transfer Fund (Latf), in the last three years. The report faulted use of Latf, where more than Sh3.6 million was disbursed to non-existent projects.

    “Even for projects constructed, the work done is shoddy with questionable tendering procedure involving councillors,” said Mr Chris Owala, a member of the study team.

    Town Clerk Joshua Kutekha said the civic authority refuses to take responsibility.

  • father ngamia

    AFRICA UNDER ZOMBIES ATTACK:

    Even though Mbeki is barred by the constitution from running again for the nation’s presidency, he competed against Zuma for the party leadership, apparently trying to exercise control over who should succeed him.

  • NGAMIA

    MIDDLE EAST SMACKDOWN:

    Fold a fish when its still fresh for it to stay folded,use common sense,tell me when are hamas more dangerous when they are engaged in negotiation or when they are being kaboomed,note these; the time when israel could have tamed hamas with negotiations,they were busy negotiating with fatah as if the fatahs are the problem,when the world told them these was wrong and they should reach out to hamas; the usa spoilers were busy declearing hamas as a terrolist gang PERPETRATING MIDDLE EAST HATRED AND RASCISM,israel failed to listen to the world and followed the spoilers way,do americans want to drag everybody with them in their graves or whatz.

    attacking hamas at the world peril

    one thing am sure if hamas desapear out of the limelight israel would be in a great danger cause these time around they will be fighting unseen enemies,they could nt even learn from u.s and its alghaida or taliban fairly tales,what is these,lack of common sense,do they preffer the hamas they see or the hamas they don´t see,they know better.
    b4 acting further let them consider their geography where they are located for that matter.

    if you say hamas stop rocketing you are lebaled a zionist if you say israel stop occupation you are lebaled a terrolist you are left wondering whether or not or not or whether common sense really prevail in world leadership,currentry israel are busy bomberding defenseless citizen in the name of fighting terrolist.
    TELL ME WHICH IS EXPENSIVE ISRAEL VACATING PALESTINE OR ISRAEL UNLEASHING TERROR ON INNOCENT PPLE;

    THEY HAVE GOT NO OTHER CHOICE NO OTHER WAY OUT IN THESE TIMES WHATSOEVER THEY HAVE TO VACATE NEIGHBOURS LAND IF THEY WANT PEACE IN MIDDLE EAST:

    and these should go to the man with two gingiatic ears like two doors of a car knocking on the oval office doors,young man,you will be forced to hit israel underbelt by telling them to vacate palestine land other wise you will be carrying on with the shoe darkers policies,usa and the west at large are the engeneer of terrolism in these world,remember the story or russia and georgia they never hasitated to condemn russia occupation non of them tells israel point blank that they are occupying palestine,
    as if israel are their small gods.

    to the pple of palestine,seek safe haven into the rest of untroubled palestine unless they are living in two palestine in one,the world should intensify their security and interrigence within individual borders as the political fools in israel carry on carrying on messing,i suspect soon or latter level of global terror might sky rocket:

    ASK ANY WELL INFORMED CHRISTIAN JESUS WAS BORN IN PALESTINE AND NOT IN ISRAEL;

    ONLY FAIR GAME AND IGNORLING SPOILERS SHALL SALVAGE MIDDLE EAST:

    ITS HIGH TIME ISRAEL SHOULD VACATE AND RECONSTRUCT PALESTINE AND I ASSURE YOU ROCKETS UNLEASHMENT SHALL BE PAST TIME:

    LOOKING FORWARD TO A YEAR OF WONDERS,happy new year.

    The Palestinian territories are composed of two discontiguous regions, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, whose final status has yet to be determined. The territories, which were originally contained within the British Mandate of Palestine, were captured and occupied by Jordan and by Egypt in the late 1940s, and captured by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War. “Palestinian territories” is one of a number of designations for these areas.

    Following the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993, portions of the territories have been governed in varying degrees by the Palestinian Authority. They do not include the Golan Heights captured from Syria during the Six Day War, or the Sinai Peninsula, captured from Egypt at that time but later returned by Israel to Egypt after a peace accord was signed between the two countries in 1979. Israel does not consider East Jerusalem nor the former Israeli – Jordanian no man’s land (the former annexed in 1980 and the latter in 1967) to be parts of the West Bank. Israel claims that both fall under full Israeli law and jurisdiction as opposed to the 58% of the Israeli-defined West Bank which is ruled by the Israeli ‘Judea and Samaria Civil Administration’, although this has not been recognized by any other country.
    There are differences of opinion as to what the Palestinian territories should be called.

    The United Nations and the International Court of Justice refer to the territories as the “Occupied Palestinian Territories”. Journalists also use the description to indicate lands outside the Green Line (inside the Green Line referring to Israel within the 1967 lines). The term is often used interchangeably with the term occupied territories, although this term is also applied to the Golan Heights, which is not claimed by the Palestinians. The confusion stems from the fact that all these territories were captured by Israel during the 1967 Six-Day War and are treated by the United Nations as territory occupied by Israel.

    Other terms used to describe these areas collectively include “the disputed territories”, “Israeli-occupied territories”, and “the occupied territories”. Further terms include “Yesha” (Judea-Samaria-Gaza), Yosh (Judea and Samaria), the Katif Strip (Gaza Strip), “liberated territories”, “administered territories”, “territories of undetermined permanent status”, “1967 territories”, and simply “the territories”.

    Many Arab and Islamic leaders, including some Palestinians, use the designation “Palestine” and “occupied Palestine”, to imply a Palestinian political or religious claim to sovereignty over the whole of the former territory of the British Mandate west of the Jordan, including all of Israel.[1] Many of them view the land of Palestine as an Islamic Waqf (trust) for future Muslim generations. A parallel exists in the aspirations of some Zionists and Jewish religious leaders to establish Jewish sovereignty over all of Greater Israel in trust for the Jewish people.[2] [3]

    Disregarding Palestinian claims to the whole of the former British Palestinian territories, many Israelis also object to the term “occupied Palestinian territories”, and similar descriptions, because such designations disregard Israeli claims to parts of the territories or prejudice negotiations involving possible border changes to a boundary which was agreed and intended to be an armistice line following the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. Israeli right-wing politician Shmuel Katz, in a preliminary brief, whose arguments were analysed and dismissed later by the International Court of Justice to which it was directed, rejects the rulings of that Court and, with it, resolutions of the United Nations Security Council, asserting that the standard term in international law, “occupied Palestinian lands” is “the common language of Arab anti-Israel propaganda, a part of the Arabs’ fictional history, which it has succeeded in disseminating throughout the whole wide world”. Katz further claimed that “Impartial groups should not be blind to the fact that there are two sides to the dispute in Palestine, and that Israel rejects absolutely the notion that it is illegally holding ‘Palestinian lands’.”[4] Similarly, the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs has written: “It would be far more accurate to describe the West Bank and Gaza Strip as “disputed territories” to which both Israelis and Palestinians have claims.”
    The political status of these territories has been the subject of negotiations between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and of numerous statements and resolutions by the United Nations. (See List of United Nations resolutions concerning Israel.) Since 1994, the autonomous Palestinian National Authority has exercised various degrees of control in large parts of the territories, as a result of the Declaration of Principles contained in the Oslo Accords.

    After Hamas won a majority of seats in elections for the Palestinian Parliament, the United States and Israel instituted an economic blockade of the Gaza Strip.[5][6] When that failed to topple the new government, a covert operation was launched to eliminate Hamas by force.[7][8]

    Since the Battle of Gaza (2007), the administration of the territories has been contested by two rival entities, with Hamas controlling the Gaza Strip and the Palestinian National Authority (with Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah in leadership) continuing to administer the West Bank. Both groups claim legitimacy over leadership of the Palestinian territories and neither recognizes the legitimacy of the other. Most countries with an interest in the issues, including most of the Arab countries, recognise the administration of Mahmoud Abbas as the legitimate government over both Palestinian territories.

    The current and future political status of the territories is highly controversial. Specific issues include the legality of Israeli policies allegedly encouraging settlement, whether it is legitimate for Israel to annex portions of the territories, whether Israel is legally an occupying power according to the Fourth Geneva Convention, and whether an independent Arab state will be created in the territories.
    The Palestinian territories consist of two (or perhaps three) distinct areas — the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem. Israel regards East Jerusalem not to be a part of the West Bank, but regards it is as part of a unified Jerusalem, which is Israel’s capital. The eastern limit of the West Bank is the border with Jordan. The Israel-Jordan peace treaty defined that border as the international border, and Jordan renounced all claims to territory west of it. The border segment between Jordan and the West Bank was left undefined pending a definitive agreement on the status of the territory [1].

    The southern limit of the Gaza Strip is the border with Egypt. Egypt renounced all claims to land north of the international border, including the Gaza Strip, in the Israel-Egypt peace treaty. The Palestinians were not parties to either agreement.

    In any event, the natural geographic boundaries for the West Bank and the Gaza Strip are the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, respectively.

    It is now generally accepted, at least as a basis for negotiation between the sides, that the boundaries between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip and the State of Israel are what has historically been referred to as the Green Line. The Green Line represents the armistice lines under the 1949 Armistice Agreements, which brought an end to the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, and which were expressly declared in the Agreements to be armistice lines and not international borders.

    Between the Armistice of 1949 and the Six-Day War of 1967, the West Bank and East Jerusalem were occupied and annexed by Jordan and the Gaza Strip was occupied (but not annexed) by Egypt. The term “Palestinian” began to be applied exclusively to the Arab population of these areas only after Israel’s victory in the 1967 War, and consequently the terms “Palestinian territories” and “occupied Palestinian territories” also gained wide usage. The Palestinians had until the start of serious negotiations for a settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian issues (the Peace Process) refrained from defining the boundaries of what they called “the occupied territories”, and which some even called “occupied Palestine”, which implied a potential Palestinian claim to the whole of Israel. It was in the context of the negotiations that the term “1967 borders” came to be used, as a basis for negotiation. “The 1967 borders” are in fact the 1949 armistice lines (which is the Green Line), which all Arab countries and Palestinians at the time insisted were to be temporary and with no other legal status. The Palestinian negotiators claim a return to those lines as the boundary for a future Palestinian state. The Palestinians also claim that East Jerusalem is a part of the occupied West Bank within the boundaries of the “1967 borders”.
    In 1922 after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire that ruled Palestine for four centuries (1517–1917), the British Mandate for Palestine was established. Large-scale Jewish immigration from abroad, mainly from Eastern Europe took place during the British Mandate, though Jewish immigration started during the Ottoman period.[9] The future of Palestine was hotly disputed between Arabs and Jews. In 1947, the total Jewish ownership of land in Palestine was 1,850,000 dunams or 1,850 square kilometers, which is 7.04% of the total land of Palestine.[2] Public property or “crown lands”, the bulk of which was in the Negev, belonging to the government of Palestine may have made up as much as 70% of the total land; with the Arabs, Christians and others owning the rest.[10]

    The 1947 United Nations Partition Plan proposed a division of the mandated territory between an Arab and a Jewish state, with Jerusalem and the surrounding area to be a corpus separatum under a special international regime. The regions allotted to the proposed Arab state included what would become the Gaza Strip and almost all of what would become the West Bank, as well as other areas.

    The Partition Plan was passed by the UN General Assembly on November 1947. Israel declared its independence on May 14, 1948, one day before the expiration of the British Mandate for Palestine. US President Harry Truman recognized the State of Israel de facto the following day, and the United States recognized it de jure on January 31, 1949.[11] The Arab countries responded by declaring war on the newly formed State of Israel, which ended in Israel’s victory.

    After the war, Israel controlled many of the areas designated for the Arab state, and the negotiated agreements established Armistice Demarcation Lines (ADLs), which did not have the status of recognised international borders.

    Thus the areas held by Jordanian and Iraqi forces (with minor adjustments) came under Jordanian control, and became known as the West Bank (of the Jordan River, by contrast with the East Bank, or Jordan proper); the area held by Egyptian forces, along the Mediterranean coast in the vicinity of the city of Gaza and south to the international border, remained under Egyptian control and became known as the Gaza Strip.

    For nineteen years following the 1949 Armistice Agreements until the 1967 Six Day War, Egypt occupied the Gaza Strip and Jordan occupied the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and no Arab state was created. In 1950, Jordan annexed the territories it occupied;[citation needed] this annexation was officially recognized only by the United Kingdom.

    Article 24 of the Palestinian National Charter of 1964[12] stated: “This Organization does not exercise any territorial sovereignty over the West Bank in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, on the Gaza Strip or in the Himmah Area.”

    Israel captured both territories in the 1967 Six-Day War; since then they have been under Israeli control. Immediately after the war, on June 19, 1967, the Israeli government offered to return the Golan Heights to Syria, the Sinai to Egypt and most of the West Bank to Jordan in exchange for peace. At the Khartoum Summit in September, the Arab parties responded to this overture by declaring “no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel and no negotiations with Israel.”[13]

    UN Security Council Resolution 242 introduced the “Land for Peace” formula for normalizing relations between Israel and its neighbors. This formula was used when Israel returned the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt in 1979 in exchange for a peace treaty. While that treaty mentioned a “linkage” between Israeli-Egyptian peace and Palestinian autonomy, the formerly Egyptian-occupied territory in Gaza was excluded from the agreement, and remained under Israeli control.

    The Oslo Accords of the early 1990s between the Palestine Liberation Organization and Israel led to the creation of the Palestinian Authority. This was an interim organization created to administer a limited form of Palestinian self-governance in the territories for a period of five years during which final-status negotiations would take place. The Palestinian Authority carried civil responsibility in some rural areas, as well as security responsibility in the major cities of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Although the five-year interim period expired in 1999, the final status agreement has yet to be concluded despite attempts such as the 2000 Camp David Summit, the Taba summit, and the unofficial Geneva Accords.

    In 2005, Israeli forces withdrew from the Gaza Strip, ceding full effective internal control of the territory to the Palestinian Authority.

    Since the Battle of Gaza (2007) the two separate territories, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, are divided into a Hamas leadership in the Gaza Strip and a Fatah civil leadership in the autonomous areas of the West Bank. Each sees itself as the administrator of all Palestinian territories and does not acknowledge the other one as the official government of the territories. The Palestinian territories have therefore de facto split into two entities.
    The final status of the “Palestinian territories” as becoming (wholly or largely) an independent state for “Arabs” is supported by the countries that back the Quartet’s “Road map for peace”. The government of Israel also accepted the road map but with 14 reservations.[14]

    Although Israeli settlements were not part of the Oslo Accords negotiations, the Arab position is that the creation and the presence of Israeli settlements in those areas is a violation of international law. This has also been affirmed by a majority of members of the Geneva convention: “12. The participating High Contracting Parties call upon the Occupying Power to fully and effectively respect the Fourth Geneva Convention in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and to refrain from perpetrating any violation of the Convention. They reaffirm the illegality of the settlements in the said territories and of the extension thereof. They recall the need to safeguard and guarantee the rights and access of all inhabitants to the Holy Places.”[15]

    Israel contends that the settlements are not illegal and the occupation is not illegal, and views the territory as being the subject of legitimate diplomatic dispute and negotiation under international law.[16][17]

    East Jerusalem, captured in 1967, was unilaterally annexed by Israel. The UN Security Council Resolution 478 condemned the Jerusalem Law as “a violation of international law”. This annexation has not been recognized by other nations, although the United States Congress has declared its intention to recognize the annexation (a proposal that has been condemned by other states and organizations). Because of the question of Jerusalem’s status, some states refuse to accept Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and treat Tel Aviv as the capital, basing their diplomatic missions there. Israel asserts that these territories are not currently claimed by any other state, and that Israel has the right to control them.

    Israel’s position has not been officially accepted by most countries and international bodies. The West Bank, and the Gaza Strip have been referred to as occupied territories (with Israel as the occupying power) by Palestinian Arabs,[18] the rest of the Arab bloc, the UK [3], the EU, (usually) the USA ([4], [5]), both the General Assembly and the Security Council of the United Nations [6], the International Court of Justice, and the Israeli Supreme Court (see Israeli West Bank barrier).

    Some countries and international figures have accorded some credibility to Israel’s position. U.S. President George W. Bush has stated that he does not expect Israel to return entirely to pre-1967 borders, due to “new realities on the ground.”[19]

    Both U.S. President Bill Clinton and U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair, who played notable roles in attempts at mediation, noted the need for some territorial and diplomatic compromise on this issue, based on the validity of some of the claims of both sides.[20][21] One compromise offered by Clinton would have allowed Israel to keep some settlements in the West Bank, especially those which were in large blocs near the pre-1967 borders of Israel. In return, Palestinians would have received some concessions of land in other parts of the country.[22]

    The United Nations did not declare any change in the status of the territories as of the creation of the Palestinian National Authority between 1993 and 2000. Although a 1999 U.N. document[18] implied that the chance for a change in that status was slim at that period, most observers agreed that the Palestinian territories’ classification as occupied was losing substantiality, and would be withdrawn after the signing of a permanent peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians (see also Proposals for a Palestinian state).

    During the period between the 1993 Oslo Accords and the Second Intifada beginning in 2000, Israeli officials claimed that the term “occupation” did not accurately reflect the state of affairs in the territories. During this time, the Palestinian population in large parts of the territories had a large degree of autonomy and only limited exposure to the IDF except when seeking to move between different areas. Following the events of the Second Intifada, and in particular, Operation Defensive Shield, most territories, including Palestinian cities (Area A), are back under effective Israeli military control, so the discussion along those lines is largely moot.

    In the summer of 2005, Israel implemented its unilateral disengagement plan; about 8500 Israeli citizens living in the Gaza Strip were forcibly removed from the territory; some received alternative homes and a sum of money. The Israel Defense Forces vacated Gaza in 2005, but invaded it again in 2006 in response to rocket attacks and the abduction of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit by Hamas.

    The Palestinian territories have been assigned a country code of PS in ISO 3166-1 alpha-2, and accordingly, the Palestinian Authority was granted control of the corresponding Internet country code top-level domain .ps.
    United Nations Security Council Resolution 242 (S/RES/242), one of the most commonly referenced UN resolutions in Middle Eastern politics, was adopted unanimously by the UN Security Council on November 22, 1967 in the aftermath of the Six Day War. It was adopted under Chapter VI of the United Nations Charter,[23] and was reaffirmed by UN Security Council Resolution 338, adopted after the 1973 Yom Kippur War.

    The resolution calls for the “withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict” (there has been some disagreement about whether this means all the territories: see UN Security Council Resolution 242: semantic dispute) and the “[t]ermination of all claims or states of belligerency”. It also calls for the mutual recognition by the belligerent parties (Israel, Egypt, Syria, Jordan) of each other’s established states and calls for the establishment of secure and recognized boundaries for all parties.

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