Say “NO” to flowers

Allow me to start by sharing this poem “I got flowers today” that has been one of my favourites and is dedicated to spouses (especially women) in abusive relationships.

Reader discretion advised, you might need a hanky as you read through…

I got flowers today! It wasn’t my birthday or any other special day. We had our first argument last night; And he said a lot of cruel things that really hurt; I know that he is sorry and didn’t mean to say the things he said; Because he sent me flowers today.

I got flowers today. It wasn’t our anniversary or any other special day. Last night, he threw me into a wall and started to choke me. It seemed like a nightmare. I couldn’t believe that it was real. I woke up this morning sore and bruised all over. I know he must be sorry. Because he sent me flowers today.

I got flowers today! It wasn’t our anniversary or any other special day; Last night he threw me into a wall and then started choking me; It seemed unreal, a nightmare, but you wake up from nightmares; And I woke up this morning sore and bruised all over—but I know he is sorry; Because he sent me flowers today.

I got flowers today! And it wasn’t Valentine’s Day or any other special day; Last night he beat me and threatened to kill me; Make-up and long sleeves didn’t hide the cuts and bruises this time; I couldn’t go to work today because I didn’t want anyone to know—but I know he’s sorry; Because he sent me flowers today.

I got flowers today! And it wasn’t Mother’s Day or any other special day; Last night he beat me again, and it was worse than all of the other times; If I leave him, what will I do? How will I take care of the kids? What about money? I’m afraid of him, but I’m too scared and dependent to leave him! But he must be sorry; Because he sent me flowers today.

I got flowers today…. Today was a special day—it was the day of my funeral; Last night he killed me; If only I would have gathered the courage and strength to leave him; I could have received help from the Women’s Shelter, but I didn’t ask for their help; So I got flowers today—for the last time.

– Paulette Kelly, 1992 –

Sad as the poem might be, it depicts the true scenario of what is happening in many relationships. I might not have any specific figures to quote but information in the public domain tells us of high profile women whose marriages haven’t been a bed of roses… and the problem is that they naively continue accepting flowers.

Equally sad is a common view among Kenyan ladies who “would rather cry in Runda than laugh in Kibera…” or “I’d rather cry inside a Range Rover Sports than laugh on a ‘boda boda’ (2-wheeler taxis)” and the interpretation is simple and straight forward – ladies are ready to hang-on even if the relationship is evidently dysfunctional, so long as their material needs are catered for. They seem to be saying that being battered is just a small price to pay.

Ladies are putting their lives on the line just to sustain a fancy lifestyle. After all, with all the money at their disposal they will buy and use make-up and expensive sunglasses to conceal a black eye and other dents on their bodies. They continue accepting flowers – in the form of coffee treats, chocolates, black forest cake, jewellery, a holiday overseas, a new car… knowing very well that by accepting the flowers they are only emboldening the perpetrators.

Cases allegedly involving high-profile personalities have provided fodder for both mainstream and alternative media but identities have always been hidden, leaving audiences to speculate and guess who, what, when , where, why and how?

For example, two prominent media personalities are rumoured to be in abusive relationships with their respective spouses, who are both filthy rich. But with their decent, well-paying jobs in the media, one would expect them to think rationally and do the right thing for themselves and for fellow women. Hanging-on makes the public doubt their sincerity. In fact people now suspect they are in it for the money and for the wealth.

Honestly, how do we expect to break the cycle of violence when women decide to “persevere” instead of opting out of dysfunctional relationships? Resorting to divine intervention can work, but only if willingly and purposefully sought by serial perpetrator, not by the survivor. Sharing with a confidante is good for information, but that has proved to be ineffective in stopping abuse.

Don’t be fooled with flowers, any form of flowers, no matter how exotic or expensive. Make your move – out of the situation and live to tell your story.

The wedding vow you took “… until death do us part… ” is not necessarily a prophecy to be fulfilled through the actions of your spouse! Walk out while you can, c’mon ladies!

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Inactive Activists

I get extremely excited whenever I see women rising up to demand for their rights. And the timing is indeed perfect. It’s happening in Africa, in Asia, in Europe, in America.  It’s happening in the Arab world too, like in Saudi Arabia where for many years some ignorant religious fanatics once issued a decree prohibiting women from driving. However, there is NO such a rule in the country’s traffic regulations and it is now obvious that the decree was illegal ab initio – women in Saudi Arabia can drive.

Women are emerging and claiming their rightful positions in the corporate boardroom, in public service, in humanitarian sector and all other places. As I write this piece, there are 2 female candidates vying for presidency in Chile.  One of them will definitely join this elite club of women in power

Note that Africa also boasts of 2 female Heads of State in Malawi and Liberia (I’m yet to confirm if they too belong to the off-key AU (African Union) Heads of States choir that has been singing to the global audience in a desperate bid to ‘rescue’ their newest member from going to The Hague to answer charges relating to crimes against humanity.

Women ought to appreciate the fact that their collective voices are being heard and that their rights are being granted by many regimes across the globe that were erstwhile not keen to do so. Many countries have put in place beautiful pieces of legislation that spell out and protect the rights of women.

The problem is that while most women in urban areas are aware of their rights, they rarely spare a moment to visit their rural counterparts to share with them the provisions in law that protect women! Remember information is power, without which the women in rural areas cannot make crucial decisions about their lives.

The women-rights activists are mainly based in the urban areas, yet most of the women who bear the brunt of social injustice are found in the rural areas. But the said activists will conveniently emerge to capitalize on situations that have already captured the media’s attention. Issuing press statements, mobilizing people across the world to sign petitions and participating in street demonstrations seems to be the modus operandi of the many organizations that purport to speak for our women.

For example, when a woman is sexually violated in any part of Kenya, the media  somehow always gets the information way ahead of the women’s rights groups. This then becomes a news item and that’s when our activists spring into action. Sadly, together with the media they end up subjecting the survivor and or the survivor’s family to unsolicited publicity. Blurring the face of the survivor or of their relatives doesn’t help much because neighbours are often able to recognize the survivors, especially when the media unwittingly provides details about the neighbourhood.

One tenet of Psychosocial support is to “Do No Harm” and this means that whereas you may have the survivor’s best interest at heart, you might end up causing harm as well and you must therefore be aware of all the intricacies of the delicate situation and design your intervention in a manner that will not cause any harm to the survivors.

Instead of the confrontational approach that the women rights activists seem to prefer, why can’t they divert their resources to more effective and less strenuous activities like holding countrywide public forums targeting men and women, either or collectively or separately to create awareness about gender issues?

The general public must be taught what the law says about the rights of women and the penalties for those who violate women’s rights. The awareness campaigns should aim at changing the attitude of men and women in the society, so that people can coexist in harmony the way it is envisaged by nature. I think this strategy will yield better results.

Similarly, women rights activists must push for the establishment of functional linkages and networks that will support and take care of survivors with the dignity and privacy that they deserve.

What do women rights activists think about the use of scantily dressed women in TV commercials, magazines and billboards? And must women be subjected to such demeaning acts as performing lewd dances in music videos with fully dressed men? It’s obvious that women have many challenges, some of which they alone can put an end to.

Parting shot? Women, rise up and protect your image as women. Take advantage of your newly acquired positions round the negotiating table to better the lives and security of fellow women.  Activism should not only serve as a stepping stone to political office.

Remember it has taken blood, sweat and tears for women to reach where they are now and you must not allow these gains to be negated.

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Style and fashion

Like most people in Myanmar, this boy left nothing to chance in a bid to protect his face from harmful rays of the sun (c) Fred Otieno, October 2013

Like most people in Myanmar, this boy left nothing to chance in a bid to protect his face from harmful rays of the sun (c) Fred Otieno, October 2013

A young girl looks on during an NFI distribution by the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) at the Ohn Taw Gyi 4 IDP Camp in Sittwe, Rakhine state Myanmar (c) Fred Otieno, October 2013

A young girl looks on during an NFI distribution by the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) at the Ohn Taw Gyi 4 IDP Camp in Sittwe, Rakhine state Myanmar (c) Fred Otieno, October 2013

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Is it really personal?

If you have two pieces of equipment that are both meant to do the same work then you are absolutely free to choose which one to use. Freedom of choice makes perfect sense. But if you have 2 pieces of equipment, each with a different function then it will be foolhardy using the wrong one for the right job; you cannot then talk about freedom of choice simply because you don’t have a choice!

There should be no problem understanding why some people are left-handed while others are right-handed, same with why some footballers play better with their right while others are better with their left legs. It is not a strange phenomenon; they have both limbs but have developed preference for either left or right. They were born that way and it has become part of what defines them as human beings.

Confusion galore when it comes to sexuality! Naturally, human beings are either male or female and upon reaching sexual maturity, nature directs the male to the female and vice versa. Response to sexual stimuli naturally prepares both males and females for a sexual encounter. It is as natural as the law of gravity. Some unknown forces have now taken over and are trying to pass same-sex relations as acceptable, in total disregard of nature. The proponents of same-sex relationships argue that it’s a matter of orientation or personal preference and that such relationships be recognized as human rights and protected under the law. In fact many first world countries have already done so, but not without stiff opposition from naturalists as well as those believe in creation. One would ask if those who subscribe to these type of unions often make informed choices or if other circumstances motivate them to pursue pleasure in the most unlikely places.

Same-sex unions are now more glorified than anything else in the world but how a grown up man would look at a fellow man’s Gluteus Maximus and start having fantasies with them still baffles me, same as how a woman in her sober state of mind would start kissing and canoodling a fellow woman. Why would a man seek pleasure in the anal canal of a fellow man or even woman instead of going for the right organ designed for sex? What sort of adventure or preference would drive a man or woman to have their anus serve as sexual organs? Remember the anus has the sole function of expelling faecal waste from the body, not serving as an organ for sexual pleasure.

Researchers have been quick to explain that some people are born with unique attributes that make them only get attracted to people of their gender. They have combed through large volumes of religious and historical literature trying to trace the origins and justifications for same-sex unions but have offered no possible solutions to correct this unnatural practice. Compare that with research on other issues affecting humanity like visual impairment for instance; look at the resources and intervention techniques that medical researchers have deployed to correct incidents of blindness; they have also worked hard to restore hearing, to perform heart transplants among other complicated procedures. Why would they shy away from identifying the root cause of same-sex unions and proposing a solution?

What will the liberalists say when people start using their nostrils and ear canals as additional sexual organs? And how will researchers explain the rise in what #KOT refer to as “animal husbandry” that continues being witnessed in some parts of the country? Do we just look the other way and refer to that as personal preference, perhaps an inborn character? I don’t think so; we know that natural sex is only meant to occur between a male and female of the same species.

It is indeed disappointing that the developed world has opted to legitimize same-sex unions instead of using their vast resources to correct what is evidently unnatural. It doesn’t stop there, poor African countries are now being manipulated and bullied to allow same-sex unions or forget about western aid. This is a blatant abuse of power and position and is possibly one other reason why many African governments are now facing east.

Whereas Kenya has demonstrated indecisiveness over the matter, our neighbours Uganda have expressly outlawed same-sex unions. But it is President Robert Mugabe who wins a bouquet of flowers for his recent comments when asked about gay and lesbian rights in Zimbabwe. “Let me marry you first if you want me to accept homosexuality in Zimbabwe…” was the tough-talking Mugabe’s message to US President Barrack Obama.

When it comes to same-sex unions, there is no middle path. You either CONDEMN or CONDONE.

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Just ask for it

One of the most famous verses in the Holy Bible comes from Mathew 7:7 which says “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened for you”

Sorry folks, I’m not preaching, just addressing the male audience and the topic is RAPE which is one of the most prevalent forms of Gender-Based Violence (GBV), the others being forced /arranged marriages, Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), domestic violence, etc. I have picked rape because we as men are usually the perpetrators and are therefore the only ones who can also bring it to an end. Granted, men also do suffer forced sexual encounters at the hands of women, but evidently the scale is heavily tilted against us.

Just to be sure we are reading from the same page; let’s look at rape in its crudest form as the intentional, unlawful and actual penetration of the male sexual organ into the female sexual organ without consent and usually by use of force, coercion or threats against the victim. It becomes “Defilement” when the victim is a minor.
All men have female family members and relatives – mother, sisters, spouse, aunties, nieces, and even grandmothers. We also have many female friends and acquaintances, meaning that women are integral in our lives. Religion, history, and most importantly common sense tells us that we are the protectors of the society. Men are expected to protect women and children from all acts of aggression, real or imagined. These protection services ought to be provided to all women and children, irrespective of our relationship with them… whether they are our close family members, relatives, friends, colleagues at work – or absolute strangers.

Statistics show that most rape and defilement incidents are committed by perpetrators who are known to the victim and the list of shame includes fathers, uncles and neighbours. It therefore becomes an embarrassing tragedy of untold proportions when the protector becomes the aggressor, turning against the very people he is supposed to protect. What is happening? Why are we as men abdicating our duties as protectors and feasting on our flock instead? And what happened to the “willing giver, willing taker” way of doing things? Why use force? You see, even sex has a couple of stages that are meant to prepare both parties, to make it as comfortable, thrilling, exciting and fulfilling to both parties as possible. However, all the thrill and excitement is unceremoniously taken away when force, threats and coercion are used. Violent friction is painful and leads to bruising, thus exposing both parties, especially the woman to diseases.

Most of the physical pain goes away with proper medical care and time, but the psychological trauma remains etched in the survivor’s memory throughout their lifetime. It becomes worse for a woman who conceives as a result of a sexual assault because they now have to deal with an unplanned pregnancy and then raise a child they never intended to have in the first place.

I’m a survivor of an attempted sexual assault by a male neighbour when I lived in Mombasa’s Kongowea area almost 20 years ago. The culprit, whom I later learnt was gay, asked me one evening to help him apply a therapeutic jelly to his back. I innocently went to his house and found him with a shawl round his waist. He then lay on the floor, pointing where he wanted the jelly to be applied. I did as requested but after several minutes of scooping and rubbing the strange smelling jelly on his back, he turned and grabbed my hand, using his weight to try and pull me to the floor. I suddenly realized that I was in danger and put up a fight. I kicked him hard on the face before escaping into the darkness and into the safety of my uncle’s house where I was staying as a guest. I couldn’t sleep that night, so I took a kitchen knife and placed it under the pillow – just in case. I was so scared and traumatized that I moved out of Kongowea the following morning. Many years after the attack, I still find myself thinking about what would have happened to me had I not fought back… or what would have happened if he had an accomplice and they overpowered me…. and that gives me a slight clue of what female survivors go through in their minds. It’s an ordeal that you wouldn’t want your beloved female family members, relatives, friends or acquaintances to go through. It’s a feeling that can make you want to commit murder.

There is no justifiable reason for rape; as long as force or threats are used to obtain sex then it becomes a sexual offense under the Sexual Offenses Act, 2006 Laws of Kenya which prescribes custodial sentences ranging from 10 years to life imprisonment for convicted offenders.

Gentlemen, women are not objects for sexual satisfaction; they too have feelings and would enjoy sex if it is consensual. In this modern world, no sane man should force a woman into sex… simply ask and chances are that it will be given to you – if you behave and prove yourself to be a man, not a wild animal.

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We elected Sonko by mistake

During a recent twight pitting #KOT and a neighbouring country, Kenyans were silenced when they an opponent made a remark about our elected leaders. But I will not quote them here now.

I’m not sure if this is among our peculiar habits, but I also don’t understand why Kenyans never seem to miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity – yeah, that’s right. We are known for often making wrong rushed decisions, driven by emotions and financial hand-outs, not by any rational thinking, with no regard to future implications of our poor decisions, no wonder we are now reminding ourselves that choices have consequences.

Some of our elected leaders have no demonstrated serious lack of leadership skills and the electorate is thus forced to bear with sideshows, misrepresentation, greed and all manner of inconceivable acts from the people who are meant to speak on our behalf.

Politics in Kenya is under the control of the “haves” whose primary aim of seeking political office is usually to protect their dubiously acquired wealth, grab more and keep the “have nots” a safe distance away. A rich man who has never slept hungry can never identify with the plight of a poor man. And when the rich man ascends to political office, he creates and maintains a system where the poor voter remains poor, at least until the next election.

Mike Gideon Mbuvi “Sonko” first came to the limelight in the 2nd half of 2010 when he declared interest in the Makadara by-election following a successful petition by pugilist “Weka tyre” against the then Member of Parliament Dick Wathika. “Sonko” got Martha Karua’s flower party ticket to contest in the by-election. He campaigned on the platform of youth and dished out money left-right-centre to Eastlands’ unemployed youth and businesswomen. His pimped Matatus, notorious for flouting all traffic rules were soon giving free rides to commuters along Jogoo Road, as he sought to endear himself to voters. In September 2010, the unthinkable happened – Sonko was declared the MP for Makadara.

Within a short time, Sonko started attracting attention to himself for all the wrong reasons. He did anything and everything to remain in the news, from leading several street demonstrations, ganging up with hawkers and Matatu touts to fight against police and City Council Askaris, punching walls with bare-knuckles, scaling walls, breaking tyre clamps to free his illegally parked vehicle and other despicable acts. Sonko would appear in public functions colourfully clad, complete with yellow hair, studs in each earlobe, chains around his neck and huge golden rings on each finer. His wallet also remained open to those around him. Whenever there was trouble in Nairobi, Sonko was the common denominator and Makadara voters (and Eastlanders as a whole) became subjects of ridicule due to the poor show of their youthful member of parliament. People got worried that Sonko had not reached maturity fully, or that he might have skipped a crucial stage of his life as a kid.

Meanwhile, upon realizing their mistake, many Makadara people wished for Sonko’s term to end quickly, in any case the country was gearing for a general election in March 2013 but the bad joke was then carried too far when Sonko declared interest in the Nairobi Senate seat under the new constitution. Many hoped that the Senate would be composed of intellectual minds, men and women of integrity and high moral standing. Voters in each of the nation’s 47 counties had an opportunity to directly elect their representatives to the Senate, also called the Upper House. But in a bizarre twist of fate, Nairobians wanted leaders with peculiar attribute!

To start with, the political parties treated us to shambolic primaries where the most unsuitable candidates “won” and got their names on the ballot paper. Through their not-so-democratic ways, CORD presented Bishop Margaret Wanjiru, hoping to woo women voters to capture the seat and become the first Senator of the County of Nairobi, while Jubilee had Sonko as their candidate for the seat, banking on the youth factor. Between the two candidates, I’m not afraid to say that Bishop Wanjiru would have been the safer option for the city, but a number of factors conspired against her The Kikuyus reasoned that voting for Wanjiru would give CORD a majority in the senate, so all their votes went to Sonko as the Jubilee flag bearer. The rest is history as we all know.

The dust has hardly settled since the election and Sonko is already grabbing headlines in his characteristic fashion. In September, he was involved in an ugly altercation with Kiss 100’s Carol Mutoko live on air, hurling several unprintable words against the presenter. I may not be privy to what Kenyans have against Carol Mutoko but I found it totally strange though, that some online Kenyans chose to stand with Sonko, leaving the radio girl with egg all over her face. Such is our poor sense of judgment as Kenyans! The misunderstanding with Nairobi Woman Representative Rachel Shebesh provided Sonko with another chance to exhibit his arrogance. Rumours about the two being an item had been circulating for a while despite their spirited denials and protestations. They wanted the world to believe that they were simply hardworking servants of the people of Nairobi County. They occasionally carried away some unfinished work to the comforts and privacy of 5-star hotels in Mombasa and Nairobi. However, Sonko took stupidity to another level by recording himself as he committed adultery with a married woman. But Rachel must have been equally daft or simply desperate to lower the flag for Sonko. Who was the targeted audience for the pictures and videos? And now we know on whose side Sonko was when he offered to mediate between Kidero and Shebesh after the “Gubernatorial” slap!

Sonko has shown no respect to women, starting from his wife who he has cheated on, his daughters who must be too traumatized by what their father does in public, Carol Mutoko whom he insulted badly on air, Shebesh whom he is alleged to have physically assaulted before releasing damaging photos of the two of them in compromising positions.

The mainstream media created Sonko, the mainstream media has emboldened Sonko and now he has become the master of impunity. He is said to be very generous when dealing with journalists, and that is a dangerous trend. I’m not so sure about what the constitution says about removal of such people from office but Jubilee must crack the whip on delinquent members like Sonko. Remember this time that any embarrassment caused by him is not confined to Eastlanders only but to all Nairobians and sadly, to the President with whom they belong to the same ruling coalition.

As voters, we carry the biggest part of the blame for being so gullible and electing the likes of Sonko to public office. In our future elections, can we redeem ourselves? Can we look beyond ethnicity, beyond party lines and vote only for men and women with unquestionable character?

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Misleading Africa

Whether individually or collectively, African leaders never cease to amaze. It seems they all read from the same book of buffoonery and then proceed to try and outdo one another. Perhaps it’s time someone started an international campaign to recognize and award acts of extraordinary, clumsy and bizarre antics by the gang of 54 African Heads of State, most of whom are ageing and should be writing their memoirs rather than presiding over their countries’ economic plunder.

Very few Africans are proud of their Heads of States, remember most of them wade through waist-deep blood, grand corruption, negative ethnicity, drug trafficking and abuse, false promises, cronyism, rigging, bloody coups and all manner of conniving tactics just to gain tenancy of their respective country’s pinnacles of power. While up there, they suddenly realize that they are trapped by their king-makers, usually a group of hangers-on, old and young, male and female who all expect to be granted certain favours by virtue of their contribution to the race to the big house. These cliques operate from behind the scenes but have the president’s ear round the clock. They are more powerful than the cabinet. The president then becomes a besieged man and can only do and say what the king-makers want. And if for example during campaigns the president made a promise to pull the plug on corruption then the king-makers usually find cunning ways of presiding over him to keep his hands off the cartels, occasionally reminding the newly elected president about the huge campaign contributions made by the corruption or drug cartels that he naively thought would be easy to crush “… within my first 100 days in office!”

African Heads of States have no business delivering on their election campaign promises, they cannot afford to waste precious time that would otherwise be spent making trips to their new-found soul mate China. The entire continent’s leaders have suddenly realized that facing east is more lucrative and they can secure trade and aid deals with very loose strings attached. China is least interested in making African countries more democratic, they are not interested in the cries of civil society and human rights activists, they are not keen in lending a hand in the fight against graft, no. China is on its way to dethrone the US as the world’s superpower and they simply have no interest in your internal affairs. The Chinese want a global presence and they have discovered that they can quickly achieve it by pocketing African leaders, often offering attractive kick backs to secure huge contracts in infrastructural development, technology, consumer goods, military aid and so on.

African presidents continue to embarrass the continent from north to south, east to west. We can sample a few – Just the other day, Gambia’s President His Excellency Sheikh, Professor, Alhaji, Doctor Yahya AJJ Jammeh announced his country’s withdrawal from the Commonwealth, claiming that it was a neo-colonialist group. He is the same guy who says he can cure barrenness in women, HIV/Aids and also madness. He is the one guy who tolerates no criticism and has dealt ruthlessly with opposition politicians in his country. And speaking of intolerance to criticism and opposition, how can we not mention our good neighbour Yoweri Kaguta Museveni of Uganda? The manner in which he handles his main political opponent Dr. Kiiza Besigye leaves one wondering if there could be something more than politics behind his hatred and obvious fear for Besigye. The two were once comrades and rumour has it that they differed over a woman who later became the doctor’s wife. Like his peers across the continent, Museveni scores very poorly when it comes to basic human rights.

In neighbouring Rwanda, President Paul Kagame also rules with an iron fist deceivingly covered in kid’s glove. Kagame is popular in Rwanda and with some foreign observers; however, human rights groups accuse him of political repression. Besides, his meddling with the internal affairs of neighbouring DR Congo has put him at crossroads with the international community.

Down south, 71 year old President Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma is also a serious contender for bizzare acts and behaviours, nothing to do with his infamous instant cold shower but for supporting his beleaguered colleagues in the name of sovereignty. “J Zee”, as he is commonly known has been on a marrying spree and his genes could be running in the blood of approximately 40 kids he is thought to have sired by different women over a period of time. Zuma’s reading habits (or rather lack of) have recently been a subject of criticism from one Richard Calland who teaches law at the University of Cape Town. His more intellectually gifted neighbour Robert Gabriel Mugabe long lost credibility as a leader and has emerged as a pathetically poor chief executive, subjecting his countrymen to severe inflation of unprecedented proportions. At 90 years, and possibly senile, Mugabe is definitely one of the oldest surviving heads of state. It is alleged that his wife Grace has a tendency of freely slapping anyone who fails to accord her the privileges associated with being a First Lady, locally or internationally.

And what about President El Bashir of Sudan, a man wanted by the ICC to answer charges of crimes against humanity? The court issued a warrant of arrest against him and he has been confined to his country, only setting foot in a few countries that secretly support him. He recently found solace in the name of Kenya’s new president who is also an ICC suspect. The two have jointly colluded with fellow AU bad boys to keep ICC away for a while as they hide behind immunity from prosecution by virtue of being sitting heads of states. Actually the correct word here should be impunity, not immunity. It is impunity because fellow African heads of states have suddenly ganged up like a dangerous cartel to defeat the course of justice.

The AU is now claiming that the court is targeting only Africans. I’m yet to witness a sitting president appearing in a local court on any charges for that matter. I bet no local prosecutor or judge would dare handle a case against a sitting president… The ICC is not hearing cases of misdemeanour such as being drunk and disorderly, not really. The AU should be thinking about permanent solutions that will deter thousands of illegal African immigrants from rushing to their deaths as they attempt to cross the Mediterranean Sea into Europe for better life! Think about ending the wars in Africa, think about proper use of the continent’s vast resources, think about improving the lives of Africans living on the continent, think about reversing the brain-drain that has led to many professionals fleeing the continent, think about improving democracy and good governance, think about the rule of law, security in the continent, think about eradication of diseases. Think about your country and make efforts to turn Africa into a middle-income developed continent over the next 15 years. It is possible.

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