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First, the title of the post is completely random. I couldn’t come up with a good enough title fast enough before I completely abandoned the idea to post something.

I have been away from here a while, chiefly because of this and partly because I may just be plain lazy. While I was away, a new year came upon us. Problem is, in my mind and to my eyes, it looks exactly like that last one. So far anyway. We’ve been played people!

Having said that, this should be a pretty interesting year for Kenya. We have a referendum coming up, if the politicians can agree on when and how to hold it. I am not holding my breath. Politicians are like procrastinators, only with deadlier consequences for their actions for the governed. Reminds me of something Mark Twain said: ‘Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.’

I am sufficiently impressed by the Nexus One but I think it may not necessarily shake the iPhone’s dominance and the mass hysteria it stirs in people around the world. Not that it doesn’t have other issues to deal with in the mean time. An unlocked Nexus One is selling for about Sh40,000 in the States on T-Mobile. Wonder how much it will cost when it gets to Kenya, considering the Orange began selling the iPhone 3G at a whopping Sh60,000.

I see this as the year Safaricon Safaricom’s mobile money transfer service M-PESA grows into an even bigger phenomenon. At over 7.3 million subscribers, you can already see why banks are worried. And one gets the feeling that Safaricom is only getting started. Some interesting perspective on the M-Pesa ownership from blogger Tovuti Sanifu. Chief competitor Zain’s ZAP should have only scratched the half a million users mark.

How much longer before Facebook is completely outshone by Twitter, if ever? I took slightly over a month away from Facebook and I returned this week to find it even more pointless than when I had left. Not to mention the ever-lingering privacy issues.

What exactly happened to the once promising Kenya Blogs Webring? It lost its mojo some time back, right about the same time the aggregator got a ‘new look’ that resembles a document done by a novice on Word. Then it got taken over by jobs advertisements and unending sports commentary. You may still find the odd good blogger in there somewhere [like Yours Truly :)] but what is that they say about needles and haystacks again? There are some efforts by KDN’s Butterfly to provide an alternative but even that needs some work.

Also towards the end of last year, while I was busy roasting the insides of a particularly tasty goat, one Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was busy ruining the picture perfect American Christmas. And now, the frenzied American media won’t have enough of what to do, or not to do with him. Why a priviledged 23-year-old Nigerian with the best education and exposure money can buy gets radicalized and is convinced suicide bombing a plane somehow helps his cause beats me.

I have become a bemused spectator to the never-ending ideological feud of the American TV people Glenn Beck, Keith Olbermann, Bill O’Reilly and the rest.

Gotta run, have a great ‘new’ year, if yours looks better than mine

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So, after taking its majority stake, the good people at France Telkom finally launched its global Ornage brand in Kenya. So now Kenyans have three mobile service providers.

Quite some good rates as well; Ksh 7 to call any landline, Telkom wireless (now called Orange Fixed Plus) and any other Orange number. And the assault base: Ksh 14 to call any other network. Now in Nairobi and Mombasa, and coming soon countrywide.

The good Frenchmen feel they will break Safaricom’s jinx on we good Kenyans. Will they? Well, the good people at KTN, the home of business will let us know.

Watching KTN Leo on their new political segment on Friday that kicked off with Transport minister Chirau Ali Mwakwere, I couldnt help thinking of ‘The Special One.’ For indeed that was what former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho thought of himself and as I must think the despicable Mwakwere thinks he is. Host Anne Ngugi had a hard time interviewing him and it was most commendable how she remained professional all through where most mortals would have lost their tempers. Immediately after asking her first question, Mwakwere rudely corrected her then kept mum without answering her. In fact, he kept his blunt and arrogant demeanour throughout the show even after two viewers pointed it out in the live call-in.

The most shocking was when a viewer asked about him having been spotted in the infamous Koinange Street red light district and he retorted ‘Huko Koinange nilienda na mamako?’ Mr Mwakwere, for a public figure, and a cabinet minister no less, that was just plain stupid, thoughtless and shameful. And it was on live TV! Its quite obvious your lousy Shirikisho party is a tribal outfit and no amount of arrogance can change that. And for God’s sake learn some manners! What if your child was watching that? Am ashamed to have a minister like you supposedly serving this country. The old adage says “pride comes before a fall.’ Be afraid Mwakwere, be very afraid.

I think there are two things that can be done to teach Mwakwere a lesson.

1. The media should give him a total blackout for a few days to show him just how important its role is and

2. Kenyans should call for an apology for his indecent behaviour on KTN this Friday September 21st, 2007.
Go, bloggers go! Go, KBWers go! Write at least one post censuring this fossil.

I wonder why anybody would throw away such a chance to tell the public what he is all about and what his party stands for. Knowing what television advertising costs and aware that any publicity is publicity, Mwakwere must be straight out of the second century AD. All he knows is insisting that he is in fact, the Party Leader of Shirikisho and not the chair, like we care. And you wonder why mayhem and pandemonium has creeped back to the matatu industry.

And all this time I thought Martha Karua was Kibaki’s most arrogant
minister!

 

 

 

You have probably heard this before: Mt Kenya and the other snowcapped mountains are losing their snow, and fast. Fall guy? Global warming. Experts predict that there could be no more snow left as soon as in the next 20-30 years. Incidentally, the theme for this year’s World Environment Day is ‘Melting Ice: A hot Topic?.’ It is normally formulated in Kenya, am told, over many ‘hot’ cigarettes if my source is to be believed.

In the meantime, innocent Kenyans continue to be beheaded every day and night thanks to the monster we call Mungiki. Particularly painful for me was the story of the twenty year-old tout who was beheaded and his private parts severed by suspected adherents of this sect. For some ‘leaders’ like George Nyanja, it is a funny weeping affair.  Only in Kenya.

Anyone noticed the rapid speed in which presidnetial visions are being launched? Does anybody really care about them? Me, I (the Kenyan I am) just need to know how my income is going to improve and how fast. End of story. Oh and if you promise to deal with Mungiki, +2.

But its not all bad news everywhere, the Nairobi Stock Exchange is growing. Apart from the already existing four segments, a new one- Technology – has been added to the roll following the listing of corporate ISP Access Kenya.

This isa little too early but this year is gone and we are ushering in an election year. The year that all our dreams and expectations will be broken (doesnt it happen every year anyway?) The year also that we will vote in the same bad years for five years (what happened to the recall clause) Oh, and Parliament launched (sorry, that would be relaunched) their website. Lemme check it out and deliver a judgement in five minutes…

Pretty informative and a great graphic on the home page. Kenyan parliament has never been more open. Plus, for some reason, they changed it form parliament to bunge.go.ke perhaps to give it a more mwananchi outlook? Even something on careers? Great, I just dont have time now. The Mps’ profiles section is one you must check out. It even has their contacts and education, more like a mini CV. Looking at it, I just remembered that majority of the House members are actually NARC members and we never hear anything about it anymore.

In matters unrelated, after 7 weeks, Tusker project Fame came to a close with Daystar University student Valerie Kimani winning the crown. Did she deserve it? Dont ask me, ask EABL and PwC.

So that was the year 2005. Kibera remains volatile because of some political mischief. On a sad note, the music scene lost Feroze in a road accident at the city’s Museum Hill area. He was with a friend, the media will forget. Speaking of the media, anybody noticed the game shows mushrooming on TV?

Have a blessed Christmas and a great 2007.