Thursday, January 31, 2008


Annan team pledges to end violence in 7 days!

Publication Date: 2/1/2008

The Government and ODM negotiators Thursday gave hope to millions of Kenyans deeply hit by a political crisis by agreeing that the ongoing violence must end in seven days.

The talks are expected to be boosted Friday by the arrival of United Nations secretary-general Ban Ki-moon to offer support to his predecessor, Mr Kofi Annan, who is leading the mediation process.

The two teams will today decide on a proposal to bring on board former African National Congress (ANC) secretary-general Cyril Ramaphosa as the chief mediator of the talks.

The six-member team, which will henceforth be called the Kenya National Dialogue Team, emerged from their inaugural meeting chaired by Mr Annan beaming with optimism at progress of the talks.

In a joint statement, MPs Mutula Kilonzo on the Government side and William Ruto of the ODM team were optimistic that a peaceful solution to the political crisis would be arrived at sooner than later.

Said Mr Kilonzo, the Mbooni MP: “The country would be amazed by the speed with which this committee has deliberated on the issues today (Thursday). The committee was discussing the agenda and most of the things discussed have been agreeable.”

Mr Ruto, the ODM Pentagon member, said the committee was determined to go through the issues placed before them by the Annan team with a view to striking a peace deal.

“We are determined to get a solution to the problems facing this country.

We have covered a lot of ground, which is a positive development. A peaceful solution is likely to emerge and you can be sure that nothing will derail us,” he said.

The MP urged Kenyans and the international community to support the committee in its efforts to find a solution to the crisis whose subsequent violence has led to the death of more than 850 people.

Speaking after adjourning the session following the gunning down of Ainamoi MP David Kimutai Too in Eldoret, Mr Annan said he was happy with the pace at which the two teams had started the talks, which he described as “constructive”.

“The committee has demonstrated that it is committed to resolve the issues as quickly as possible. We know Kenyans are waiting for results but I would urge that we give these leaders time as they have shown that they can work in reasonable time to resolve the matter before them,” he said.

The Government and ODM appointed their negotiators following a request on Sunday by Mr Annan and his team, which is made up of former Tanzania President Benjamin Mkapa and Mrs Graca Machel to take the mediation process into the second stage of talks to end the crisis.

The Government named Mr Kilonzo and Cabinet ministers Martha Karua and Sam Ongeri while ODM settled on Mr Ruto, presidential running mate Musalia Mudavadi and Aldai MP Sally Kosgei.

However, the shooting to death of Mr Too appeared to have highlighted the urgency of ending the violence, which Mr Annan stressed has to stop.

However, police described Mr Too’s killing as a crime of passion, saying he was involved in a love triangle. “The violence must stop. There is no reason whatsoever for anyone to take the law into their hands. The Government must move quickly to investigate the matter and bring those involved to justice,” he said.

Mr Ruto and Mr Kilonzo agreed with the position of the former UN boss and called on Kenyans to stop killing each other because their leaders were working on a solution to the crisis.

“The solution to the problem is in this room (the meeting room at Serena Hotel) and we should be given an opportunity to work on peace,” Mr Kilonzo said.

Mr Ruto said the violence would not stop the committee from achieving its target.

“Nothing will derail us; we shall stay the course to find a lasting solution,” he said.

It later emerged that the committee had set for themselves a period of seven days to end the violence and intensify the humanitarian assistance to the internally displaced people who were in camps, churches and at police stations.

End the crisis

It is understood that Mr Annan said the biggest danger to the mediation was the spiralling violence, which had to be stopped.

An end to violence was one of the four items on the agenda that was set for negotiations by the Annan team.

We also learnt that the committee agreed with the agenda that was set and would Friday start going through the proposals by the mediation team on how to solve each item.

The items were immediate action to stop the violence, restoration of fundamental rights and liberties of Kenyans; and immediate measures to tackle the humanitarian crisis, settlement of internally displaced people and promotion of national healing and reconciliation.

The third item on the agenda was how to overcome the current political crisis, which, he observed, was precipitated by issues of power and functionality of institutions.

The Annan team has proposed “some form of power sharing” as a solution to the Presidential elections dispute. He has also suggested review of the Constitution and electoral laws to avoid similar occurrences in future.

The fourth item on the agenda involves long-term issues focusing on land reforms, tackling poverty, widespread inequality and regional imbalances, unemployment and national cohesion.

Both sides have handed in their responses to the proposals with ODM calling for a forensic audit into the prevailing circumstance before and after the elections with a view to finding out whether a free and fair poll was possible.

They also want President Kibaki to accept that he lost the elections to Mr Odinga and promptly resign from office to pave way for a rerun of the Presidential elections.

They also floated as an option formation of an interim government — to include both PNU and ODM — as the country prepares for fresh elections.

The Government has countered that President Kibaki validly won the elections, was constitutionally sworn in and has formed a legitimate Government.

They also question the failure by the ODM camp to move to court to challenge his re-election saying only courts of law — as stipulated in the Constitution — can declare that the President was illegally in office.

The Kibaki team, it is said, has dismissed the proposal of power-sharing saying they cannot sit in the same government with ODM leaders it claims are behind the killings.

Taking charge

On Thursday, sources closer to the talks said the committee debated the possibility of Mr Ramaphosa taking charge as the chief mediator because Mr Annan would be in and out of the country.

The proposal by Mr Annan, was backed by the ODM team, but opposed by the Government side on grounds that there would be a conflict of interest because the former ANC secretary-general had business links with some ODM leaders.

Nevertheless, it was said that Mr Ramaphosa would jet in Friday in readiness for the task ahead of him.


Hon. David Kimutai Too (ODM) AINAMOI MURDERED!

Senior police officer and wananchi mingle around the car belonging to the late MP David Kimutai Too in Eldoret at the scene-of-crime where he shot and his partner serious wounded.

The MP for Ainamoi Mr David Kimutai Too, was dragged out of his car and shot point blank by policemen before witnesses.

Reports reaching us say:
"Nairobi, Thursday 31st January, 2008. Ainamoi MP David Kimutai has been shot dead by a traffic policeman in Eldoret in what is suspected to be a love triangle. The policeman was chasing the MPs car around the town in his motorcycle when he shot at it indiscriminately. A lady accompanying Kimutai, alleged to be the policeman’s girlfriend was shot in the incident and has been rushed to the ICU in critical condition. Meanwhile the policeman has given himself up and has been arrested. The late MP’S body is now lying at the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital mortuary as anxious members of the public flock the mortuary to seek more details on the killing. Kimutai’s death comes just three days after the murder of Embakasi MP Mugabe Were on Monday. ODM leaders who were holding a meeting on the on going peace initiative mediated by former secretary general Kofi Annan have left the peace talks to seek information on the killings of one of their own."

Before going to parliament, Hon.David Kimutai Too was Principal of Boywek Secondary School in Ainamoi Division-Kericho


An Kenyan Opposition MP was shot dead by a police officer in the Rift Valley today, amid ethnic violence that has wracked the country since last month’s disputed presidential election.

The shooting of David Kimutai Too - the second Opposition MP to die this week - threatened to complicate negotiations due to start today, aimed at ending the bloodshed that has pitted tribe against tribe, leaving up to 1,000 people dead and 300,000 homeless.

Representatives of President Mwai Kibaki and Raila Odinga, the Opposition leader who claims the poll was rigged, were meeting for the first time in Nairobi with Kofi Annan, the former UN Secretary General.

Mr Odinga has refused to recognise the legitimacy of Mr Kibaki’s presidency and has demanded a fresh election, but the government has instead insisted on dialogue.

The two leaders were not themselves present at today's talks. Mr Kibaki has flow to Ethiopia to attend an African Union conference in Addis Ababa which is expected to be dominated by talk of the Kenyan crisis.

Protests at the election result rapidly descended into violence amid longstanding tribal and economic tensions. Members of the president’s Kikuyu tribe, which dominates the upper echelons of Kenyan business and politics, suffered heavily in the first wave of violence at the hands of Mr Odinga’s Luo tribe and other ethnic groups, but have since carried out numerous revenge attacks.

Today, an uneasy calm appeared to have settled on many flashpoints of the recent violence, in western Kenya and the capital's slums, as residents waited for the outcome of the latest mediation effort.

However elsewhere tensions continued to spill over. Mr Kimutai Too of the opposition Orange Democratic Movement was shot by a police officer at a roadblock as he was travelling from Nairobi to the Rift Valley city of Eldoret, police and party officials reported.

“He has been shot dead, by a traffic policeman in Eldoret, we think. The circumstances are very unclear. This crisis is just getting deeper every day,” Tony Gachoka, an ODM spokesman, said.

The killing came just two days after the murder of Mugabe Were, who won a parliamentary seat for the ODM in last month's elections. He was shot by two gunmen as he returned home in the capital just after midnight. Police said they were keeping an open mind over his death, but his family insisted they were in no doubt about the motive.

Last night several houses were torched along the Nakuru-Eldoret highway in western Kenya, while a mob of Kikuyus today attacked a Kalenjin official as he attempted to collect the body of a relative who had been killed, an AFP correspondent said.

They accused him of having sponsored ethnic attacks near Molo late yesterday.

Police from his entourage shot in the air to disperse the crowd and the official sheltered in a nearby hospital for several hours before fleeing without the body, he added.

Meanwhile people continued to flee their homes. Thousands remain in makeshift displacement camps, where reports of rape and ethnic clashes abound.

Yesterday the United States said that in places the violence had evolved into ethnic cleansing, and said that it was reexamining hundreds of millions of dollars of aid to the West African country.

“There was ethnic cleansing in Kenya. I listened to the victims,” Jendayi Frazer, a US Assistant Secretary of State who is the top American envoy to Africa, said in Ethiopia.

Ms Frazer’s remarks came as Kenyan police said they had been given shoot-to-kill orders in a bid to stem the unrest, for the second time since the start of the crisis.

Mr Odinga called for those orders to be cancelled immediately, calling them “a sign of a government that has run amok".


The Police officer who murdered the MP is from the Kisii tribe.just spoke to guys in kericho.. yeah that place is literally on fire.. youth from motobo and kipchimchim , brooke , kapsuser have poured to town to avenge the murder most foul of their MP

My sister told me 3 kenyans were killed in nyagacho estate/slum earlier in the day..

Via email



-On accusation of inciting his people to violence- He said that the violence and riots were spontaneous and across the country, if any body planned it , then it MUST BE PEOPLE WHO STOLE THE ELECTIONS AND WANTED TO COVER THEIR TRACKS

-ON the mediation and its success- He said that Kenyans MUST BE TOLD WHO WON THE ELECTIONS. Hard choices will be made but Kenyans cannot accept anything less than justice

-Killing of Too- he said that somebody is really trying to reduce the number of ODM MPs at all costs. ODM had 3 members majority which has now been reduced to 1.

-Violence- Kenyans wants justice and are angry at being cheated, violence is NOT restricted to Eldoret of RV, it is all over the country

On if the mediation fails -He said that a solution must be found otherwise Kenya can very easily descend into a long and protracted civil war.

His clarity left the tough Briton asking questions baffled

I believe that a Kenyan solution will be found.


Whereas all the peace efforts that have been tried in Kenya have failed so far and;

Whereas the UN, the US, the UK & other big powers seem either to underestimate or not to understand the urgency of the Kenyan situation and;

Whereas innocent and precious lives continue to be lost in Kenya and;

Whereas the focus of the problem seems to be shifting from the stolen elections to other more serious challenges that have never been addressed adequately since independence and;

Whereas the Kenyan armed forces (Army, Air force & Navy) have remained professional so far;

KDPM wishes to state as follows:

1.THAT we fully support the views of President Paul Kagame of Rwanda.

2. THAT it is a high time that the Kenyan armed forces took over the leadership of Kenya.

3.THAT the armed forces form a transition goverment that will organize free and fair elections in Kenya within 3 months.

Gerald Baraza, President


"It is important for the President to come out and meet Raila. Kenya is bleeding and people are suffering. Why is Kibaki not ready to meet Raila? After all Raila campaigned for him in 2002 and I believe they can still sit down and talk. What is too difficult for the two to talk about? In 2003, I warned the leaders, that their misunderstandings would lead to something bigger, but they did not listen. I was a lone ranger and now this is the result. I am now urging the international community to put pressure on President Kibaki and his Government, without which innocent Kenyans will continue to suffer."
-Wangari Maathai


Kibaki congratulatory statement was a mistake

GABORONE: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation wishes to state, in response to a news story entitled "Mogae Congratulates Kibaki", which appeared on page 3 of the 25th January 2008 edition of the Botswana Guardian, newspaper, that the Botswana High Commission in Nairobi, Kenya inadvertently transmitted a message that had been withheld pending further instruction from Botswana in the context of ongoing developments.

"H.E. President Mogae had not, and indeed has not, authorized the release of any such congratulatory message", reads a statement from the Ministry.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation regrets any inconvenience caused in this regard.



My daughter has just now, Jan 30th 2008, left Kenya. She was a Peace Corps volunteer. I want to share my tears with diaspora members and Kenyans still living there. I also want to share my sadness with my daughter. Nearing 60 years old, I'm an ordinary wage earner in the U.S.A.. Just like my political leaders here in America, whether Democratic or Republican, they are no different than the leaders in Kenya, whether ODM or PNU. Odinga, Kibaki, Bush , or Clinton.....they are all self-serving elitist pigs, serving no one but the wealthy who meter out commodities from electricity, water, toothpaste, and human resource labor. Too bad none of us common people can wake up. We all, regardless of country, tend to point fingers at the problems the stilted media news sources want us to look at. Humankind the world over are being controlled. Freedom exists though when we refuse to kill each other. I respect the soldier's shedding of blood, but it is mostly for contrived causes made to serve the interests of the powerful. I'm proud of all soldiers past and present who believe they are defending the simple life of freedom everybody wants. I'm also proud that all my sons and daughters will not serve in the U.S. military service. I'm proud of my best friend who died as a Marine in Vietnam, even though the American administration carried out an abominable lie over there in the 1960's. So many innocents have died. As an American, I only want to live a good and simple life with my family and friends. Anyone with a good heart does, regardless of religion, politics, or anything else. Stand up for your right to see your spouse, brother, mother, and friends as your enemies (made so by politics, newspapers and finger-pointing) see their spouse, sister, father, and friends. Do not kill, only our fat leaders with their propaganda force us to do this.

Its late, living paycheck to paycheck, I have to get up and go to work tomorrow.
Michael Warner
Via email

Rwanda refutes reports of army take over in Kenya


NAIROBI, January 31 - The Rwandan Government on Thursday refuted reports that President Paul Kagame had advocated for a temporary military take over to end Kenya’s political crisis.

Rwanda’s Ambassador to Kenya George Kayonga said reports attributed to President Kagame in a local daily were untrue and that the Rwandan leader was quoted out of context.

“This is a total misrepresentation of the interview President Kagame gave to journalists on Tuesday when he came out for the first time to speak on the political crisis in Kenya. He has been misquoted,” Kayonga said.

In an exclusive interview with Capital Newsbeat Thursday afternoon, Kayonga said President Kagame had only called for the deployment of the military to help resolve the humanitarian crisis and not take over government.

“Due to the current loss of civilian lives that has persistently continued, he of his opinion stated that, among other measures that have been taken the army should step in to play their role, because people are losing their lives on a daily basis,” Kayonga said.

A local newspaper had quoted President Kagame proposing a military take over in Kenya as opposed to the on-going mediation talks.

“This is a case of emergency where certain things have to be done very quickly to stop the killings that are going on. There is no time to go into niceties and debates when the killings are taking place,” President Kagame was quoted as saying.

But in a terse statement, the Rwandan envoy told Capital Newsbeat that the remarks attributed to Kagame were a ‘misrepresentation’ of the facts.

Kayonga said he had contacted the newspaper to demand an apology for the ‘wrong impression created about the Rwandan President’.

“I have already spoken to them (the newspaper) and asked them to carry an apology. What they did is wrong,” he said during the interview at the Embassy.

Kayonga said he also intended to complain officially to the Kenyan government about the reports in the local newspaper.

Asked to comment on whether Rwanda was affected as a result of the crisis in Kenya, Kayonga said: “My country is really suffering. The price of fuel has gone higher and the commodity is now being rationed to the people.”

He reiterated that his government fully supports the mediation talks spearheaded by the former UN chief Koffi Annan.

“President Kagame is also supporting the talks. We would like to see an end to the current crisis,” he said.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


PNU Hunting ODM Presidential Agents In Western Province


(Mr. Reuben Sechele Nyangweso was flushed out Of his Rural Home at Mwiyenga, Bukura Kakamega with Mr. Libondo in hot pursuit on January 28th 2008 at 1pm Eastern Standard Time).

The family of Mr. Reuben Sechele Nyangweso would like to ask all people of good will in Kenya and worldwide, to pray for them and particularly Mr. Reuben Nyangweso who is currently as of 2pm US Eastern Standard Time being hunted like an animal by PNU operatives lead by Mr. Libondo and others from Lurambi constituency. Reuben was a contestant in the ODM nomination for Lurambi. He was not nominated but then was appointed as Mr. Raila’s Election coordinator. There lies his mistake, whereas the original riots were spontaneous anger driven – Now the PNU operatives with help from the security officers in Western are singling out ODM members cutting them with machetes so that the world may not know that it was the government. Mr. Libondo is the contestant who lost to Mr. Raila Oginga in Kibera, he comes from WesternProvince

We the family of Mr. Nyangweso in Kenya, Delaware USA, Kansas USA and Ottawa Canada would like to let the world know that we hold the PNU operatives in Kakamega, in Nairobi and the Kibaki government responsible for the safety and good health of Mr. Reuben Nyangweso and all other ODM members.

Mr. Nyangweso should be guaranteed safe passage without let or hindrance. When we last talked to him we could hear stones pounding his car as he courageous drove through road blocks set up around his home by the PNU Lurambi operatives. We have to desist from talking to him on his cell phone, because someone was using it to track his movement. Only the Police have access to cell phone tracking technology in Kenya. The PNU, the Police, Safaricom and the Kibaki government therefore stands responsible for the safety of the person or Mr. Reuben Nyangweso and all those ODM members in the Western province countryside.

We do not understand how it can be that the PNU, would want to hunt, mime and Kill Kenyan who hold a different view just to stay in power. We would like to pray that this situation be resolved without setting the stage for long term challenges for the country and the generations to come. We would like to ask all investors in the country to take a long term view of their investments in Kenya. It is very discouraging when press releases from tour operators and governments state that only Kenyans are being targeted and tourists are safe OR that company operations are going on as usual except 800 or more Kenyans have been killed by ethnic mobs. These are real people, and the PNU should be held accountable.

The PNU should be asked to desist or restrain Mr. Libondo and his gangs in WesternProvince from causing bodily and property damage in the PRETENCE of Mungiki. The Police, the Intelligence services should provide services to Kenyan equally without favor. Right now ODM has no capacity to cause damage, they expected fair play they were mistaken now they are hunted while Kibaki goes through the motions of talks.

We the family of Mr. Nyangweso just wants a guarantee of his safety and the safety of all those ODM members who cannot even pick up their cell phones.


Contact: D.F. Amakobe
Telephone: 302-884-6737
Cell: 302-252-7279
Email: Amakobe@afrwood.comThis e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Contact: Moody Amakobe
Email: Amakobe@gmail.comThis e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it



Human life is sacred! Man is created in God's image! Only God has the righ to take human life. KDPM condemns, abhors and denounces the irresponsible, evil and heinous actions of the PNU operatives. We call upon them to stop their miscalculated and ill-conceived acts with immmediate effect!

Gerald Baraza,President


The much talked about Mungiki training and arming has been confirmed. Uhuru has donated Ksh.4 million and Karume and other leaders have paid for the training of Mungiki to attack Luos, Luhyas, muslims and Kalenjin communities. The plan is complete and its execution is soon. From reliable sources, the plan is to retaliate the mayhem that was witnessed in the post-election violence where Kikuyu community was targeted by these tribes. It is said that the attacks will start slowly in Nairobi as mere criminal gang but will intensify with time. A number of Mungiki members have been provided by police uniforms and will knock doors at night. Areas mostly targeted are Mathare, Dandora, Umoja,Kayole, Embakazi, Dagoreti and Kibera and Police will be slow in response and ways have been crafted to show that police have been overwhelmed. In the streets mungiki members will be planted among police officers with sole responsibility to kill anybody who is protesting. Kenyans of goodwill are required to condemn this plan for genocide and please alert all Kenyans to be careful. This not just a propaganda it is real and police, leaders, and the public should not remain silent. All night travels should be reduced.
Concerned Citizen.




Kenyans from across the divide, who LOVE PEACE, their COUNTRY, and VOLATILE REGIONS - cry for JUSTICE and DEMOCRACY.

To effectively do this, we (KJD) are calling upon all people of goodwill to JOIN us as we demonstrate in support of PEACE, JUSTICE AND DEMOCRACY for Kenya against the forces of tyranny and darkness. The WORTHY PRESS MEDIA are invited to help uplift our voices, and echo it across the WORLD to help galvanize local and international players for lasting PEACE and STABILITY in Kenya, and to forestall a repeat of Rwanda or Somalia

Kenyans from across the US, UK and CANADA have organized a peaceful, orderly and duly authorized demonstration that will take place this Saturday, February 2, 2008 , in Washington, DC from 10:30.am to 4:00 pm . The cover areas include the White House, the U.S. Capitol Hill, and the National Mall.

We call upon the FREE MEDIA to sensitize all peace loving people and proponents of democracy to come out and give us necessary leverage to the voice of reason, and return normalcy to the hurting and bleeding people of Kenya .

Thank you ALL OUR SUPPORTERS again for your personal involvement and reach in pressuring the US government in the knowledge that lasting bilateral relations can only be assured by tapping onto the heart of the Kenyan people through appealing to reason based on TRUTH, FAIR PLAY, JUSTICE and DEMOCRACY



Ruto dismantled the Chesire/Moi empire in Eldoret to become a powerful Eldoret MP. He dismantled the powerful Choge/Moi empire to become the unquestionable grandman in Nandi.He dismantled the Too/Setieney (CID) empire in Kipsigis to speak for the North and South riftHe has dismantled the powerful Biwott empire in Elgeyo/Keiyo and the marakwet and Sabaot listens to him.He has dismantled the Moi and sons empire to get to where he is. He is not even 40+. So, the GEMA hate machine ain't gonna work on him. He'll take the battle to their door-steps right in Nairobi where he is busy negotiating kenya's future.He is his own man

That´s why Kiuks fear him and are obsessed with him!

Every time you have one man hated by GEMA, know that he is doing something positive for our country. Both Raila and Ruto are hated by the GEMA elites and their supporters…They hate Raila unfairly since Raila is the one who gave them power in 2002. However with Ruto, the hate is based on fear: he is young, wealthy and charismatic. He has the full backing of the entire Rift Valley. He has loyal followers in Nyanza, Western, Coast, & Nairobi.. should Ruto decide to run for the Presidency in the future, I am sure he will win with a landslide….and this causes sleepless nights to GEMA elites.

Ruto commands respect in such a wide geographic and demographic region of Kenya that anybody who think they can take him on lightly is deluding themselves. Ruto was just a kalenjin leader in early 2007, now people look up to Ruto for strong leadership and direction in the Western half of Kenya and the coastal province. Soon even the kiuks will realize that Ruto provides the kind of strong, honest an decisive leadership that is good for this country including kikuyus. The weak, dishonest and indecisive leadership of kibaki has hurt this country tremondously and kikuyus must get off their pride and accept that reality. The MKM choke hold on to the power will be dismantled, piece by piece until the country is free. I am glad ODM has already removed the legistlative branch from their choke hold. ODM is in the process of taking a piece of the excutive branch and hopefully before 2012, this country will be freed from GEMA and all kenyans including GEMA will be treated equally with no group lording over all of us. Kenya cannot be ruled by a tribal kingdom but we must remain a Republic where each individual has the same right and not where individual rights are distributed disproportionately depending on the economic and political power of your tribe.
Kichwa mbaya

Source: http://kenya.rcbowen.com/talk/viewtopic.php?id=61173

Kenya: Senate Passes Feingold-Sununu Measure Supporting Peaceful Resolution to Kenyan Electoral Crisis.

United States Senate (Washington, DC)

30 January 2008
Posted to the web 30 January 2008

Washington, DC

Today, the U.S. Senate passed a resolution authored by U.S. Senators Russ Feingold (D-WI) and John Sununu (R-NH), condemning the recent violence in Kenya following the country's December 2007 elections and calling on both of Kenya's leading presidential candidates to support a peaceful resolution to the electoral crisis.

The bipartisan resolution introduced by Feingold and Sununu, the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on African Affairs respectively, also calls for an international audit of the election results.

In the month since the elections took place, violence has claimed hundreds of Kenyan lives and displaced hundreds of thousands from their homes.

The resolution is cosponsored by 21 other senators.

"I am very pleased the Senate has acknowledged that the crisis in Kenya must be resolved peacefully, with the first step being internationally brokered negotiations," Feingold said. "The U.S. Senate is also now on record in support of an independent and transparent review of the entire electoral process and its outcome. I hope President Bush joins us in calling on Kenya 's political leaders to refrain from igniting violence and remain engaged in the U.N.-led international effort to bring peace to a troubled nation."

"The United States Senate has unanimously reaffirmed its commitment to the people of Kenya and their pursuit for democracy," said Senator Sununu. "The continuing violence and unrest is of great concern to the United States and the international community. Both parties must continue to work together to find a credible and appropriate solution to the current crisis so that the country can return stability and peace to its people."Feingold and Sununu's Kenya Resolution, S.Res.431:

-Condemns the ongoing violence
-Supports an international audit of election results
-Urges President Bush to consider sanctions and support diplomatic efforts
-Calls on the leading Kenyan presidential candidates to respect the will of the Kenyan people
-Calls on Kenya security forces to refrain from excessive use of force
-Calls on the international community to provide assistance to Kenyan refugees
-Calls for an end on media restrictions
-Condemns threats to civil society leaders
-Holds all political actors in Kenya responsible for the safety of civil society leaders and human rights advocates
-Commends the Kenyan people for their commitment to democracy

Source: http://allafrica.com/stories/200801300822.html


Below is a communication from an expert on African Security: Dr. Wafula Okumu who is based in Pretoria, RSA

From my end in the far south I can assure you that I am doing my level best. I returned from Addis and Nairobi over the weekend after attending meetings on Kenya. I then gave a well-attended seminar to the diplomatic community and the media in Pretoria on Monday. My analysis, also shared widely with key players seeking a resolution to the political crisis in our beloved land, was based on my visit home during the elections and last week. In summary, this is what I presented in the seminar on Monday:

I critically reviewed the following proposals:
• Conduct an inquiry by a competent and independent team of respectable persons
• Re-tally election results & announce through a special Constitutional Court
• A rerun of the presidential election
• Hold a fresh presidential election within the next three months
• Formation of a GNU (divide executive powers) brokered by international mediators
• A political solution--divide the presidential terms into two & form an interim government with a specific agenda

My conclusions are that our problems have become too complicated to be resolved through a legal framework. For instance, conditions do not exist for a re-run or a fresh presidential election. Formation of a GNU is also a long shot as ODM would have none of it. Even re-tallying of the votes could not be possible as results from 130 constituencies are contaminated. It is most likely that a recount and/or re-tally would be inconclusive. In view of this, the most logical proposal is to have an interim government with a divided term and shared powers. This will mean Kibaki will rule up to June 2010 and hand over power to Raila who will rule for the remaining term. This interim government should have shared executive powers with each side switching ministries at mid-term. During this interim period, the government will have a very specific agenda and mandate focusing on:

1. Constitutional reforms addressing:

improved electoral framework—the ECK must be reconstituted to make it transparent, accountable and respectable
transfer of power (the short period to handover power after an election partly contributed to the violence)

devolution and distribution of resources
structure of government and powers of the executive (the era of the imperial presidency must come to an end in Kenya)

2. Restoration of security (this will require building a professional police service)
3. Restorative justice
4. Truth & reconciliation

Peeping into the crystal ball, I came up with the following most likely Scenarios:

Failure of Annan mediation (this will lead to continued stalemate and increased violence)
Militianization of the country and full-blown civil war
Military take-over (this could go either Ivory Coast or Mali/Mauritania way)
Success of Annan mediation and formation of interim (coalition government similar to the Burundi and Mauritius)
Although the last one is the best case scenario, we should watch out for the others as the dynamics are changing so fast and we could be breeding numerous peace-spoilers at an alarming rate.

Let's hear from your end!
Source: http://kenya.rcbowen.com/talk/viewtopic.php?id=61208

Courtesy of Achieng Warambo.


Follow the law, Uhuru urges

NAIROBI, January 30 – ‘Respect institutions and follow due process'. This was the message Cabinet minister Uhuru Kenyatta delivered on Wednesday as the country sighed with relief as formal mediations to end the political crisis began.

A day after former United Nations Chief Kofi Annan launched talks between President Mwai Kibaki and Opposition leader Raila Odinga, Uhuru echoed widespread calls for peace saying that only ‘through dialogue and mechanisms in the law’ would the chaos subside in Kenya.

Speaking on Capital FM, Uhuru lamented the heavy toll that a month of violence had taken on the country and said regardless of the nature of the dispute, ‘death and destruction is not an answer.’

His prognosis was that there was much more ‘eating away at this country’ than the dispute surrounding poll results.

Uhuru said for the country to get out of the crisis, two broad issues of constitutional reforms and historic land disputes must be addressed.

Constitutional Reforms

The issue of a new Constitution has been a sore spot for Kenyans, compounded by failure of the 2005 draft document to sail through the national referendum.

“It is now abundantly clear that the time has come for us to stop playing games with the idea of a new constitutional disposition in this country, and not to use it to play politics one against another,” he exacted.

For the Gatundu South legislator the responsibility to give Kenyans the much needed new document fell squarely with the month-old 10th Parliament.

Uhuru said: “Parliament this time needs to sit down and engage in constructive dialogue, to be able to provide Kenyans with the constitutional framework that politicians have used to create the kind of atmosphere that we have today.”

Rift Valley’s Land Disputes

The Local Government Minister also heaped blame on long standing land disputes for the violence in Rift Valley, and asserted that only a comprehensive land reform policy will deal with the matter for once and for all.

“The issue of land should not be dealt with from the point of view of ethnicity, but from the need for a comprehensive land reform that allows us all equally, ready access to land for its productive capacity, not because this area or this zone belongs to this community or that community.”

Uhuru made the remarks in reference to the steadily growing cases of forceful eviction of certain communities from some parts of the country.

He said that Kenyans must be involved in the formulation of the policy to ensure it will be acceptable.

“What may have been suitable 20 or 30 years ago maybe needs to be looked at again; now taking into account the increase in population and the greater need for land around the country,”

But land remains a touchy topic and the Minister said murky as the waters may be, the issue must be discussed.

“Let’s not try to brush it under the carpet, let’s not destroy as a way of trying to think that we have resolved anything. All we’ve done is created refugees within our own country,” Uhuru said.

Truths from the Mediator

In view of the deep hostility that had boiled over since December 27th, Uhuru agreed with the Africa Union’s top mediator that Kenya’s problems wouldn’t just go away overnight. Annan said on Tuesday that it would take a year before the core issues of the violence were resolved.

Uhuru said: “What we need to do is recognise that they (problems) exist, to begin dealing with some of these issues and allow Kenyans to begin airing their thoughts and views and for us as leaders, to take these seriously and enact them into law.”

He underscored that the most important thing was that Kenyans created an environment for dialogue to take place.

“No matter how angry you are,” he said, ‘”you’re not going to get a solution by killing.”



Whereas all the peace efforts that have been tried in Kenya have failed so far and;

Whereas the UN, the US, the UK & other big powers seem either to underestimate or not to understand the urgency of the Kenyan situation and;

Whereas innocent and precious lives continue to be lost in Kenya and;

Whereas the focus of the problem seems to be shifting from the stolen elections to other more serious challenges that have never been addressed adequately since independence and;

Whereas the Kenyan armed forces (Army, Air force & Navy) have remained professional so far;

KDPM wishes to state as follows:

1.THAT we fully support the views of President Paul Kagame of Rwanda.

2. THAT it is a high time that the Kenyan armed forces took over the leadership of Kenya.

3.THAT the armed forces form a transition goverment that will organize free and fair elections in Kenya within 3 months.

Gerald Baraza, President


Hi Gerald,

While I understand that desperate times call for desperate measures, I totally disagree with you recent position on the military solution for the following reasons:

1. The military and the police forces seem to be serving their own interests, so Kenya will only have more of the same but this time, instant 'justice' will be dispensed arbitrarily in the street behind the barrel of a gun. I would only agree to this if we could be certain that the military put the interests of Kenya ahead of their own, and if they were wise, non-partisan, experienced, and widely respected military generals. Kenya does not appear to have this caliber of leader right now! Which one of these professionals gave the approval to shoot dead, in the back approx. 70 or more fleeing protesters in Kisumu ? Arrest the protesters and try them in court, but don't shoot them dead. Otherwise why have courts and laws? Which one of these professionals told the press that they used live ammunition only because they ran out of rubber bullets? What about the "Rambo" comment? What about the videos broadcast all over the world where a man is walking along and minding his own business, when he passes a military man and the military man suddenly attacks him with no provocation? How about the man who was returning from work and he walked up to the military guy to ask him what was going in and the military shot him in the chest and he died on the spot! It is the same all over the world, the military are trained to kill not to govern!
2. What makes anyone think that the military will agree to cede power within 3 months or whatever the interim period is before elections are held? "Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely!" Make no mistake guns imbue people with power over others.
3. Please bear in mind that the recommendations came from a military man from Rwanda. What else would he be expected to say! He may also be a military man of character, which fKenya appears to lack, just based on events on the ground in Kenya.

My suggestion is that someone on the caliber of Nelson Mandela (perhaps he is ill-I don't know), or Barack Obama be approached to quell the violence. Kenyans need a moral, non-partisan globally-positioned leader that the whole society can identify with, and who can provide vision and hope to all Kenyans. Obama has been spreading a message of hope. Kenyans could use some hope right now!

Achieng W

Via email

Rwanda suggests military option for Kenya crisis!

General Jeremiah Mutinda Kianga

Wed 30 Jan 2008, 11:47 GMT
By Arthur Asiimwe

KIGALI (Reuters) - The leader of Rwanda, which suffered a genocide in 1994, said intervention by the military may be the only way to halt Kenya's escalating ethnic bloodshed.

"This is a case of emergency where certain things have to be done very quickly to stop the killings that are going on. There's no time to go into niceties and debates when the killings are taking place," President Paul Kagame told Reuters.

Unrest in Kenya since President Mwai Kibaki's disputed re-election last month has killed about 850 people.

Though Kenyans are horrified by the brutal events in their usually peaceful nation, the situation is far from the ethnic slaughter that killed 800,000 in Rwanda in a three-month killing spree that shocked the world in 1994.

Kagame said the Kenyan army might have to take over before things get worse. "I know that it is not fashionable and right for the armies to get involved in such a political situation. But in situations where institutions have lost control, I wouldn't mind such a solution," he said.

"I tend to believe that the Kenyan army is professional and has been stable," he added in the interview late on Tuesday.

Kagame, a former rebel leader who marched on Kigali as the genocide was taking place, said he backed mediation efforts headed by former U.N. head Kofi Annan, and that any military takeover should only be temporary.

"I tend to suggest that maybe whatever in terms of leadership that is there should be swept aside and space be created for people to go back on the drawing board and settle their grievances," Kagame said.

As with other countries in the region, Rwanda's economy has been affected by the chaos in Kenya, as goods and fuel which travel by road from the Indian Ocean coast have been blocked.

Kagame said Kenya ought to learn a lesson from the central African country's bloody history.

"It starts with five deaths, then 10, then 50, shortly it grows to 100, then it goes to thousands ... By the time you realise, it has a dimension that is wiping out life in villages and communities and is getting out of control and the whole political situation is in a mess," he said.

"There's a serious tragic situation taking place in Kenya, especially when you look at the numbers of people that are being killed, how they are being killed. Despite all mediation efforts you see a situation not getting better but worse."

Kagame said he knew his suggestion of military intervention was a radical one. "I might sound controversial but in the wake of such senseless killings with no immediate solution, if anybody suggested that (military) option to me, I would say I agree with it," he said.

"It is not too late for Kenyans to look back and see how our country went down the drain in the past and I don't think we would wish a similar thing for any country."

© Reuters 2008. All Rights Reserved. | Learn more about Reuters

Related: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/7216872.stm

Tuesday, January 29, 2008





It is clear that the illegitimate government of Kenya led by Mwai Kibaki and people of Kenya all over the country have failed to prevent and halt the senseless killing of innocent civilians and they all share in the shame of the crimes that are being committed in Kenya right now. However, we do not want to fault the U.N. Security Council in future for failing to intervene in the Kenyan situation before it degenerated into another "Rwandan" genocide. This is the time for UN peace keepers to move into Kenya and stop the killings. It is very evident that the Kenyan police has been overpowered and they are "begging" for reinforcement from outside.

Let the Americans also not be accused of only being interested in saving money again and the British of only being interested in saving face. This happened in the Rwandan situation and it is bound to happen again.

It is clear that there is a deliberate choice by a a clique of political elites in Kenya who are inciting fear and hatred to keep themselves in power yet both African and Western leaders are reacting timidly and tardily while the killings are growing on a scale that is alarming each day.

EVIDENCE: http://www.ushahidi.com/


http://www.nationmedia.com/dailynation/ … sid=115693
In the crisis, the buck stops with Kibaki
Publication Date: 1/30/2008

Whether the killing on Tuesday of Embakasi MP Melitus “Mugabe” Were was an assassination or — as the police put it — pure murder, it will certainly complicate the state of national insecurity, which threatens to turn Kenya into a failed state.

It comes as the country grapples with national unrest in which 350,000 people have been displaced, at least 800 have died and property worth billions of shillings has been destroyed.

Such is the cycle of violence that has poisoned ethnic relations that the fear of civil war is not far-fetched and the prospect of healing wounds and reconstruction is simply daunting.

Every image of a razed house, every shot of a drying patch of blood is a chilling reminder of the deep fissures which have turned Kenya’s fabled unity into a mirage. Eldoret, Kisumu, Nakuru, Naivasha — it’s all a tale of blood-letting and destruction on a scale never envisaged in our beloved country.

We have now reached a stage where we must wonder whether the Government has been absent or has been unable to function since President Kibaki was declared elected for a second term and sworn in under a cloud of controversy.

Yet we are nowhere near resolving the dispute: Opposition presidential candidate Raila Odinga claims that the election was rigged and has refused to accept President Kibaki’s victory; The President insists he was fairly elected and duly took up office. The standoff has precipitated the worst crisis Kenya has faced since Independence.

This is not about who won or who did not win the presidential election. It is not about who is responsible for organising or fuelling the violence. This is about the simple and indisputable fact that, whatever the circumstances of his victory, President Kibaki now occupies State House and owes this country a responsibility. Granted, the legitimacy of his presidency is in question, but nobody is better placed than he to deal with the daily slaughter of innocent Kenyans and the rancid climate of ethnic distrust.

For now, he controls the instruments of State.

If then there is a government in place, why has the situation been allowed to get out of hand? The killings and evictions in northern Rift Valley, the revenge attacks in Nakuru and Naivasha and the ethnic fighting in Nairobi slums all indicate an abysmal failure of government.

The diplomatic effort

Yes, the formal mediation by Mr Annan’s team has started, but the public’s confidence in the diplomatic effort is continually dampened by jarring remarks — bordering on the insensitive — from Cabinet Ministers and Opposition hard-liners harping on the legitimacy of their cause. How, for instance, does Mr Amos Kimunya propose to push ahead with the Safaricom flotation with internal refugee camps full and some mortuaries overflowing with strife victims? How callous can one be, Mr Otieno Kajwang’, to dismiss the fate of innocent women and children burnt to death in a church as a “wake-up call”?

Then there are the politicians and businessmen who are fuelling a frightening new conflagration. Impatient with what they see as President Kibaki’s inability to handle violent dissent, they are reported to be raising funds and mobilising militias to counter what they see as the targeting of their community. The attacks in Naivasha and Nakuru may be part of this strategy, which may also include leaflets by a shadowy group containing a hit list of alleged tribal “traitors.” The list includes politicians, civil society activists and journalists.

Much of what has befallen Kenyan indicates an absence of leadership. No one can dispute the fact that in many of the worst hit areas, particularly in the Rift Valley, the government’s security and administrative organs fell flat on their faces.

In Nakuru and Naivasha, the world watched in horror as police stood by while armed mobs set up illegal roadblocks and killed innocent people.

Whereas in Kisumu and Nairobi police were accused of using excessive force against rioters and demonstrators, in Nakuru and Naivasha the force appears to have done exactly the opposite: It was ineffective against murderous mobs who killed and maimed in full view of television cameras. Mr Kibaki has at his command awesome powers that can be called upon to restore sanity before things get out of control.

This should not be about using the full might of the security forces against the opposition; this is about applying lawful force to counter all troublemakers, whatever their political or ethnic affiliations. It’s about defending the Constitution and protecting life and limb; it’s about enforcing peace; it’s about statesmanship.

While all sides in the political divide bear responsibility for what has happened to Kenya, it ultimately falls on the President to exercise his authority and do what needs to be done. He has to restore law and order and drive the pursuit of a just political settlement.

That is what occupying the Top Office is all about, Mr Kibaki, and there can be no evading that responsibility.

If Kenya disintegrates, history books will record that the collapse of a once great, united and prosperous country happened on your watch.

Monday, January 28, 2008


Embakasi MP shot dead outside his house
January 28, 2008, 10:53 pm

Newly elected MP for Embakasi constituency in Nairobi, Kenya - Mr. Melitus Were has been shot dead in his house. The ODM has issued a statement through its spokesman Tony Gachoka pointing fingers at the government and the Mungiki sect. Suspicion is also being directed at the immediate former member for Embakasi Mr. David Mwenje who has in the past publicly admitted to being in cahoots with the Mungiki terror gang.

The murder of the MP comes at a time when Kenya is faced with its worst crisis since independence. It is unclear how the residents of the populous Eastlands constituency will react to the news of the murder of their representative. Were was just sworn in recently after winning a bruising battle against the long time MP David Mwenje.

Police spokesman, Kiraithe said that they are not sure what the motive of the murder was and are not going to attribute it to the ongoing violence in various parts of the country, saying that it could have been an act of thuggery.






http://soulfarikenya.blogspot.com/2006/ … ndora.html


KDPM condemns the killers of Hon. Melitus Mugabe Were.However, more condemnation goes to the Kenyan Police Commissioner Maj.Gen. Mohamed. H.Ali. If the situation in Kenya is out of hand, he should be man enough to resign or call for international help. How many more members of parliament does he want to see dead before he makes a tangible move?

Gerald Baraza, President, KDPM


Intelligence reports reaching KDPM say that there is evidence that the 1st lot of Mungiki terror gangs have arrived in the Western & Nyanza Provinces of Kenya. They have been ferried there by rich Kenyan warlords from Central Kenya on a revenge mission. They have arrived in Kisumu in the following vehicles:

Vehicles Regs:

KAC 258E

KAY 658D

KAE 126A

KAV 847L

KAJ 194K

KBA 209N.


Related news:

Unconfirmed reports indicate that kipkaren river bridge that links eldoret to malaba(kenya-uganda border) is down cuttin off supplies to ug. Also,in kisumu,demonstrators are busy uprooting the railway line. In kakamega 8 hses have bn reduced to rabbles after about 700 youths descended on the town. I managed to talk to some n they indicated that they want to tell annan that this war is abt elections n nothin else n that Its not abt rift valley alone but the whole country.Bungoma,luanda,busia n kipkaren police have bn overwhelmed.More to follow.....

Source: http://hapakenya.blogspot.com/2008/01/latest-frm-western-kenyadestrution.html

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Situation in Kenya!

The following sources have an excellent coverage of current events in Kenya:





KDPM appreciates the work done by all these sites.

Saturday, January 26, 2008


by James Lutaaya

27/12/07 occasioned a landmark in the history of African politics. It made judicial notice of the illusion called democracy in Africa. Violence erupted in Kenya after the purported rigged re-election of President Mwai Kibaki. His main challenger Raila Odinga Amolo disputed the results and the rest is what is becoming the obvious in African politics, violence. Since then several thousands have fled Kenya seeking refuge in neighboring countries especially Uganda.

Amazingly and unsurprisingly; the focus is turning from rigged elections to fighting for land ownership and tribal conflicts. Over 700 people have been killed and 250,000 displaced and this number is increasing with further calls for more protests by the opposition. The Chairman of the African Union John Kufuor and Washington Diplomat Jendayi Frazer has tried to intervene and resolve this dispute in vain. Recently, the former UN Secretary General Kofi Anan and the Ugandan President have been to Kenya to try and bring about national reconciliation and political dialog with a view to stopping the violence and political upheaval in Kenya. The latter's presence has not helped much since he was criticized for congratulating Mwai Kibaki despite the opposition disputing his re-election. Needless to say, this is not going to be achieved in the short run as the underlying factors that brought about this are very deep rooted and need a complete re-evaluation of the political and social culture of Kenya and Africa as a whole.

Some of the salient historical features of Kenya's inevitable conflict dates back to independence when after the British gave the rule of law to the Kenyans. The Rift Valley, the largest and most fertile area in Kenya that had been occupied by the colonial settlers was offered to the Kikuyu mainly by the then Kikuyu president Kenyatta. The Kalenjins and Masai believed that that was their land before colonialism and have since believed they have to fight for it. When President Moi was defeated in the 2002 elections by a coalition of the Luos and Kalenjins supporting Raila Odinga and Kikuyus supporting Mwai Kibaki, the latter made promises to Raila he did not fulfill and there in lies the hatred and distrust between these two political heavy weights that have put Kenya in a political decadence. Come the 2007 elections. Raila Odinga stood against his former ally Mwai Kibaki and as expected lost to the incumbent through what many believe was a rigged election.

The issue surrounding Kenya now has nothing to do with rigged elections however. I do believe whatever the result, there was bound to be a battle to settle old scores between these two. Raila Odinga's Luos have allied with Kalenjins (whose leader Moi was defeated in the 2002 elections) to try and re-establish themselves in to the political fold and enjoy its benefits. However, they are going about it the wrong way by indulging in what is close to a tribal genocide trying to eradicate the Kikuyus in the process. They have killed and displaced several of them. The Kikuyus who have held on to power through Mwai Kibaki's re-election' are fighting back. The Mungiki (radical Kikuyus) who were at one time locked up by Mwai Kibaki for their atrocious killings of any body have mysteriously re-surfaced and are engaged in a battle killing Luos and Kalenjins in retaliation.

Most of this as I said earlier is focused on which tribe occupies which land and the feared consequences of a Kikuyu leader would do to pre-election perceived plans. Most of the other tribes are caught up in this battle of the bigger tribes and depending on what the rival believes is their allegiance, are also being killed or displaced.

The former American President Abraham Lincoln in describing democracy as a government of the people, by the people, for the people was thinking of a virtual world. In the real world democracy has become a myth and its definition has been what the people in power want it to be. The people's view has been in the politicians least interest as they pursue personal ambitions. We have on several occasions had international observers at African elections declaring them rigged. It has become such a re-occurrence that some organizations do not see the need to continue monitoring African elections.

We, however, need to understand why African leaders never want to relinquish their positions, why there has to often be blood shed before stability is established, why some presidents disregard two presidential terms and want to rule indefinitely and what is perceived as democracy in Africa? One of the main reasons is high levels of corruption of regimes in power that fear the arm of the law catching up with them on standing down. Most African countries are also multi-tribal with an average of over 15 tribes each seeking a chance at leadership which they can achieve by their tribes man being in power. There is also an assumption that the privileges, pomp and opportunities for personal wealth that come with the Presidency in most Africa nations are too addictive that most Presidents want to stay for life. This often leads to their disregard to the rule of law that often brings about political upheaval and discontentment.

However, if the truth is told, democracy in Africa cannot be a model of the Western democracy because our circumstances are very different. Africa is very multi-tribal and each tribe having its own cultures, beliefs and expectations. Western Democracy as such should be replaced sooner than later by a kind of Democracy that fits in Africa's social, cultural and economic setting. The West should have realized by now that they can never assimilate Africa totally. With uncountable different ethnic factions, Africa cannot conform to the standard of western democracies. These are predominantly capitalist democracies and everything functions on money and on political tradition with a very tested and long precedent historically. It is a result of several wars and long journeys of political and economic reforms.

African countries, most still Third World Countries cannot be asked to evolve to First World political ideologies overnight. Even with advancement over the years, the need to protect their financial interest other than their cultural settings will help achieve this level of democracy. Until then, the sad reality is that Africa has little or nothing to work with! The little that's available is fought over by several people and often the minority in power and positions of wealth share most of it with in themselves.

However, when all is said and done, there is still hope for Africa. It is a continent in transition and soon will find their own identity and what works for them. With development and economic advancement, there will be a lot to protect and compromise will be the new form of leadership. There are countries that are already standing out as yardsticks for democracy in Africa and a case in point is Tanzania. Needless to say, until Africa reaches that level of development, crimes against humanity, genocide, warfare, tribal conflicts and abuse of the rule of law' will continue to be associated with our governments.

On hindsight, if the white settlers had not displaced the Masai and Kalenjin from the Rift Valley during colonization and if Kenyatta had not re-offered the vacated land to Kikuyus mainly, after independence, Kenya would not be in this situation. Furthermore, the genocide in Rwanda would have been avoided too if the Belgian did not create a distinction between Rwandans based on their looks and physical appearance. There are several other examples I can quote. Western occupation of Africa for the selfish motives seems to have laid a foundation for its problems. Ironically developed nations look on in amusement and still try to impose their idea of democracy on us. They forget that their forefathers witnessed similar discrepancies in their rule of law when their nations were evolving and would identify with where Africa is coming from. It is arguable that Africa needs a dictatorship at this point in time, as compromise often will bring about political turmoil? I am certain that it is by making mistakes that the consequences will bring about change.

February 2008.

Ruud Elmendorp of Wikiboom has an excellent chronology of the events that led to all these. You can see them at: http://rocketboom.wikia.com/wiki/Kenya

Land In Kenya: Kofi Annan misunderstood the Rift Valley problem!

It seems to me that Kofi Annan misunderstood the RV problem when he went to Nakuru and then called it “systematic human rights abuses” and asked the government “to provide more security”. He was talking from the emotions of someone who has lived in the West since 1960s and rarely experienced the historically deep-rooted African challenges of land resettlement.

The issue in RV should never be confused with the post elections conflict. Whereas Kenyans are pissed off that Mwai Kibaki stole the elections, Kalenjins specifically are fighting for the right to reclaim what they perceive as their ancestral land. If historical facts are adhered to, they can reveal that Kalenjins and Maasais were the original pre-colonial inhabitants of the RV land. The fact is that the colonialists came and grabbed land in Kenya – mostly Kikuyu land in Central/Mount Kenya Region and Kalenjin-Maasailand in the Rift Valley.

What Kenyatta did after the end of colonialism was immoral and despicable!

He allocated majority of the land that wazungu left in Central Province to The Kenyatta Family and the cronies of The Kenyatta Regime. THEN, he resettled the Kikuyus in the Rift Valley. This essentially means that there were a group of Kalenjins whose land was grabbed by the British, then, transferred to the Kenyan govt during Independence and instead of Kenyatta giving back this land to its rightful owners, he resettled his people there. WHY? BECAUSE Kenyatta had grabbed the land the colonialists left in Central (Kikuyu land) for himself and for his cronies! THIS IS THE ROOT CAUSE OF WHAT IS GOING ON IN RV TODAY!

( By the way, I am sure that had Moi been our first President, and did the same thing in reverse i.e. grab the land that wakoloni left in RV for himself and his cronies, and then, use the land that wakoloni left in Central/Mount Kenya Region to resettle displaced Kalenjins there (in Central), we would have had even a worse land conflict than we have today!

Land is the Independence.. the basis of any Independence struggle is land. Kenyans fought Mau Mau war to repossess our land from wakoloni.. what happened after we repossessed the land?)

Let Kenyans not live in denial, OUR FOUNDING FATHER WAS NOT PERFECT! He was an eloquent orator but he was never morally perfect… Most of the problems Kenya face today is because we started our journey of post-independence Kenya with the WRONG LEADERSHIP.

Unless and until Kenyans accept the simple fact that Jomo Kenyatta grabbed the land in RV and then settled his people there, we will never see Peace in the Great Rift Valley. And may I remind you now that there has never been real Peace in the Great Rift Valley--- these people have been living in tension that only required an ignition to explode. That ignition is none other than Emilio Mwai Kibaki. When Kibaki stepped on Kenyans, the Kalenjins took advantage of the general instability in the country to wage a thorough and well-calculated struggle for their land. Do you think that the GSU, the Army, etc will make Kalenjins give-up and surrender? I DON’T THINK SO.

What needs to happen, in my humble opinion is this.

Let the future legitimate government take full responsibility of re-appropriating the misappropriated land that was repossessed from the British Colonialists. Let the government take full ACCOUNT of this land. In an honest way, let those who inherited this land ILLEGALLY surrender it back to the government e.g. the Kenyatta Family, Njonjo, Moi, Kibaki, Koinange Family, Dr. Mungai Family, etc.

Let us go back to history, reconcile with our past and surrender back the land to their rightful owners. Why should the Kenyatta Family own over 10,000 hectares of land when Kikuyus are being displaced in the RV? I bet you that the over10, 000 hectares of Kenyatta Family land in Central Province BELONGS TO THE KIKUYU COMMUNITY. It is a shame that we have displaced Kikuyus when a few post colonial Kikuyu leaders grabbed the land that belonged to the Kikuyu community.

The struggle for land will not end by blaming and even going after William Ruto for this violence. Kenyans are good at targeting individuals instead of solving issues. Kalenjins and Kikuyus have never lived in real peace and harmony since 1960s. There has always been tension in RV, and former president Moi did a good job in defusing that tension. But please, do not confuse absence of war/conflict with presence of Peace.

Please, face the reality: THERE IS ENOUGH LAND FOR EVERYBODY IN KENYA if the land can only be fairly allocated to the rightful owners. The Kenyatta Family owns land enough to settle 100,000 displaced Kikuyus. The Kiambu Mafia collectively own land big enough to settle every Kikuyu from RV to Central.

I remain saddened by Kenyans’ hypocrisy.


Source: http://kenya.rcbowen.com/talk/viewtopic.php?id=60375

Ruud Elmendorp of Wikiboom has an excellent chronology of the events that led to all these. You can see them at: http://rocketboom.wikia.com/wiki/Kenya


Hon.Makwere: "Being a chameleon is the only option here. Tell Kibaki and his people that they are welcome to take land in Coast province and tell the Coastal people that foreigners are not welcome here!"

Hon.Kimunya: "The title deeds that were given to Kalenjins by Moi are are just papers! We need all that land for the Kikuyus!"

Hon. Mungatana: "The Kikuyus are free to take all the land in Coast Province as long as I remain in Kibaki's government!"

Hon.William Ruto: "No piece of Kalenjin land will be grabbed from us! Period!"



The passion with which millions of wananchi valued their presidential vote in the stolen 2007 presidential elections can be reflected in scenes of the bloody post-election clashes today that engulf Rift Valley, Nyanza, Coast, Nairobi, Western and to a less extent in other parts of the country. Nakuru is now the latest epicenter of inter ethnic murders.

The violent reactions to rigged elections may reflect the pain of deep and historically rooted injustices some of which predate Kenya’s independence in 1963.

They are in fact motivated and exacerbated by landlessness, joblessness, and poverty believed to be heavily contributed towards by the prevailing political status quo that has dominated Kenya since independence. This is a system that has continuously perpetrated, in successive fashion, socio-economic injustices that have been seamlessly transferred from one power regime to the next.

The Land Issue.

With a fast growing population in Kenya, limited resources including land and jobs, have severely been put in extreme pressure. Responsive political operatives cognizant of this reality have appreciated the importance of incorporating progressive policies that seek to aggressively address poverty, landlessness, unequal distribution of resources and unemployment, as a matter of priority (in their party manifestoes) if any social stability is to be maintained in Kenya.

Without doubt, the opposition party ODM sold an attractive campaign package that sought to address historic land injustices, unemployment, inequitable resource sharing and poverty through a radical constitutional transformation, under the framework of the people-tailored Bomas Constitution Draft.

ODM proposed to tackle the land problem through clauses in the Bomas draft, captured under devolution and land chapters, with specific plans to form a National Land Commission to address the issue of landlessness and historic injustices of expropriation of native land by colonial and post-colonial powers.

The roots of the land conflicts in Rift Valley land lie with the former colonial power, Britain; post-independence land policies by the Jomo Kenyatta, Daniel Moi and Mwai Kibaki administrations; and the tendency for ethnic favouritism and patronage by power wielders.

Colonial expropriation of native lands in Rift Valley and Coast.

In a nutshell, the British settlers literally grabbed native Maasai and Kalenjin lands in Rift Valley and Miji-Kenda, Taita and Taveta land at the Coast. At the Coast, there was also the added grabbing hand of the Middle-East Sultans who lay claim to another Coastal strip. Millions of voters from these communities (now deeply affected by landlessness and poverty) are today largely drawn towards ODM’s reform policies that seek to address these INJUSTICES.

Long before Independence, vast arable tracts of the Rift Valley were designated as White Highlands, reserved for European settlers. The pastoralist communities, mainly Kalenjin and Maasai, were simply moved away.

The 1904 and 1911 Anglo-Maasai land “Agreements” details the unjust grabbing of Maasai lands in Laikipia, Naivasha, Ngong, Karen, and tracts along the Uganda Railway line whereby uneducated Maasai Laibons either friendly to, or fearful of the British (christened Paramount Chiefs) like Lanana Ole Mbatian, were cajoled and intimidated into giving away native fertile Maasai land to the colonialists.

The words in the “Agreements” read like ……”we the undersigned, being the Laibons of clans of Maasai, have of our own free will, decided that it is for OUR best interests to REMOVE OUR PEOPLE, FLOCKS, AND HERDS into definite reservations away from the Railway line and away from European settlements…..” and “…..In conclusion, we wish to state that we are quite satisfied with the foregoing arrangement, and we bind ourselves and our successors, as well as OUR PEOPLE, to observe them as long as the Maasai as a race shall exist..”

The next thing we knew was that the Maasai were crumbled into arid portions of present day Kajiado and Narok districts. Grazing fields, and the very pastoral lifestyle of the Maasai instantly became threatened and continues to do so as we speak, without any restitution, compensation or pro-active rehabilitation into another life.

100 years later, when asked to address this burning Maasai land issue, former Lands Minister appointed by Mwai Kibaki, Mr. Amos Kimunya, once told the Maasai that there was nothing to address since the wise Maasai forefathers had given away their land to the British in a BINDING AGREEMENT which continues to apply to date.

Well, similar horrid but true stories applied in Kalenjin lands of Rift Valley and at the Coast too.
Before independence, Kenyan political parties argued over whether the native land should be returned to the indigenous population under a federalist system of government or kept firmly under the control of a centralised state. Needless to add, those who favoured the latter option, in the form of the Kenya African National Union (KANU), which went on to form a government under Jomo Kenyatta, prevailed.


1963 Independence, enter Jomo Kenyatta and GEMA Land-buying companies

Trouble is, we had a majimbo constitution at independence. Jennifer Widner explained in her 1992 book, The Rise of A Party-State in Kenya: From "Harambee!" to "Nyayo!" that KANU "urged central control of all regions in an effort to forestall local majimbo legislation restricting land transfer to those born in the area, and to maintain the foothold of the party's Kikuyu supporters in the Rift Valley land market".

Many settlers were returning to Britain. Kenyatta and his cronies quickly formed the Settlement Transfer Fund Schemes (STFS) and asked the British for a loan to the Kenyan government, to buy off land from colonial settlers returning to Britain. Good idea up to this point.

Britain, having been reassured by Kenyatta that those settlers still wishing to stay on in Kenya would not have their land repossessed, advanced the money. This money was used to buy settler land which was officially sold into the Kenyatta initiated Settlement Transfer Fund Schemes (STFS).

Next, Kenyatta began to give away and sell for peanuts, these government (STFS)-acquired, former colonial land parcels, to himself, his family and cronies around 1964 and 1965. This is the point when the rain started beating Kenya. Kenyatta’s then Vice President, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, cried foul and rejected these acts of wanton land grabbing.

The opportunity to choose nationalism and selflessness over greed and ethnic tendencies was lost. Rather than address this land issue once and for all, Kenyatta opted to REPLACE the settler colonialsist in land they had initially grabbed from natives. We have began harvesting the seeds of the mustard sown by Kenyatta in the 1960s. It will not be sweet at all.

The Seroneys and other Nandi and Kipsigis leaders immediately cried foul when Kenyatta ensued in his land grabbing tendencies. So were many Maasai and Miji-Kenda leaders like Ronald Ngala. Their cries were feeble and over run. Today and tomorrow, their descendants will demand justice and restitution in an exercise that threatens to tear apart Kenya’s social fabric.

Who will shoulder the burden of the fruits enjoyed by Kenyatta and his cronies, Moi and his cronies, and Kibaki and his latter day cronies? Will it be the poor Kenyan taxpayer taking the bill in form of blood, and more taxes?

Going back,.... down memory lane..... in the immediate post-independence era, the moment, the Seroneys and Ogingas started crying foul, and nothing was done, we entered a dangerous phase of our nation’s socio-political path.

The political leadership of Kenya began carving out into two distinct groups. The pro-Kenyatta land beneficiaries, sycophants and apologists where Tom Mboya, Daniel Moi, Paul Ngei and others trooped towards,….and another force resisting the greedy post-Independence governance by Kenyatta which was led by Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, and included several former KADU operatives like Ronald Ngala, Jean Marie Seroney, Masinde Muliro, Martin Shikuku and others.

Kenyatta soldiered on with his grabbing. He concurrently went ahead with the help of Tom Mboya to change the constitution to give immense imperial powers to the Presidency. He further began using such powers to allocate more land to his cronies and sycophants. His salivating appetite for Rift Valley land largely motivated his choice of Rift Valley natives as Vice President after Oginga Odinga.

First he chose a Maasai, Joseph Murumbi, who read the scheme of land-betrayal on his people and resigned in a huff, then Kenyatta selected Daniel Arap Moi, a Tugen not drawn in the Nandi and Kipsigis land battles, as his next loyal VP. He then descended upon grabbing Rift Valley and Coastal land in a business as usual and “mtafanya nini” attitude that Kibaki is trying to emulate today.

Kenyatta cronies including Mbiyu Koinange, Njoroge Mungai and others devised a clever scheme to further benefit themselves from the land transferred from the colonialists. They formed land buying companies through loans which were actually funded with tax-payer money. At the height of land buying companies, most of the power brokers acquired huge chunks of land at the expense of the landless who were meant to be the initial beneficiaries of the scheme.

According to Widner (in her book), by 1971, more than 60 % large-scale farms around Nakuru and 40% of small scale settler farms, were held by Kikuyu, who fared very well from this arrangement, at the expense of other Kenyan communities.

Another scholar noted that "Using the political and economic leverage available to them during the Kenyatta regime, the Kikuyu, took advantage of the situation and formed many land-buying companies. These companies would, throughout the 1960s and 1970s, facilitate the settlement of hundreds of thousands of Kikuyu in the Rift Valley," wrote Walter Oyugi in Politicised Ethnic Conflict in Kenya: A Periodic Phenomenon.

In 1969, Jean Marie Seroney, a leading Nandi politician and MP, issued the Nandi Hills Declaration, laying claim to all settlement land in the district for the Nandi. His demands went unheeded. Aping the British Kenyatta government used a policy of divide-and-rule to neutralise such opposition by parcelling out land to other ethnic groups and thus winning their allegiance. Daniel arap Moi, the then Tugen vice-president was allocated the settler farms of the Lembus Forest and the Essageri Salient to divide the Tugen from the Nandi like Seroney.


Most of the power brokers in the Kenyatta regime who formed land-buying companies established huge farms in the Rift Valley either jointly or on their own. They included Njenga Karume, the then Chairman of Gema Holdings, who acquired 20,000 acres in Molo where he is growing tea, coffee, pyrethrum and potatoes and 16,000 acres in Naivasha.

GG Kariuki acquired his 5,000 acres at Rumuruti, Laikipia Division, while former Attoney-General Charles Njonjo bought into the 100,000 acre Solio Ranch. Don’t forget, grabbing of settler land in Central by many colonial collaborators, at the expense of the Mau Mau fighters, was part of the scheme. Senior Chief Munyinge from Muiga took 400 acres. Initially, senior chief Munyinge was allocated only 70 acres but with time he managed to acquire 330 more acres.

Mwai Kibaki acquired 20,000 acres in Nanyuki, Former MP Munene Kairu has 32,000 acres at Rumuruti. Mr Isaiah Mathenge, the former powerful Provincial Commissioner under Kenyatta and an MP under Moi, is arguably the largest land owner in Nyeri municipality.

He owns Seremwai Estate, which is 10,000 acres. Kibaki’s friend, Kim Ngatende, a former government engineer, has 500 acres too.Mathenge also owns—jointly with former Provincial Commissioner Lukas Daudi Galgalo—the 10, 000-acre Manyagalo Ranch in Meru.

Back in Rift Valley, as Jaramogi and the rest of Kenyans were saying, Not Yet Uhuru, it was land grabbing business as usual. Land-buying companies were heisting big. There result was big acquisitions, for instance, Munyeki Farm—which stands for Murang’a, Nyeri, Kiambu – (4,000 acres), Wamuini Farm (6,000 acres), Amuka Farm (2,000 acres), Gituaraba Farm and Githatha Farm (1,000 acres each) and GEMA Holdings 12,000 acres. A few of them are being utilized, today with the owners growing various crops ranging from coffee, tea, maize and dairy keeping.

The other big farms include Chepchomo Farm (18, 000 acres), owned by the former Provincial Commissioner Ishmael Chelang’a. The family of the late Peter Kinyanjui, who was a close friend of President Mwai Kibaki and a former DP Chairman in Trans Nzoia between 1998 and 1999 owns 1,800 acres.

In Nakuru, several politically connected individuals have acquired many acres of prime land within the town—they include lawyer Mutula Kilonzo, who owns an 800-acre farm for dairy farming. The immediate former Auditor General, D S Njoroge, owns 500 acres, while Biwott’s Canadian son-in-law & co-owner of Safaricom (Mobitelea) a Mr. Charles, boasts a 100-acre piece where he is growing roses.

D. S. Njoroge also owns the extensive Kelelwa Ranch in Koibatek, which is less than 10km from Kabarak, where he rears cattle and goats. The 10,000 acre Gitomwa Farm—acronym for Gichuru, Tony and Mwaura—is owned by the family of the former Kenya Power and Lighting Company Limited (KPLC) managing director, Samuel Gichuru. Tony and Mwaura are his sons.

Another 10,000 acre farm in Mau Narok belongs to the family of the late Mbiyu Koinange, Kenyatta’s side-kick and powerful minister of state in the Office of the President. His Muthera Farm (4,000ha) is leased to different people to grow wheat, while a group of squatters is demanding a piece of it. The owners are yet to clear the Sh7 million Settlement Transfer Fund loan.

Ford-People leader Simeon Nyachae’s Kabansora Holdings owns 4,000ha in the area. Former Rongai MP Willy Komen’s family owns 10,000 acres — 5,000ha adjacent to Moi’s Kabarak Farm and another 4,800ha near Ngata in Njoro.

Coast Province was not spared. Kenyatta family owns almost 15% the prime resort land in the province, besides a huge sisal plantation spanning both Taita and Taveta districts, safely watched by his son-in-law and former MP Marsden Madoka, and another close friend to Uhuru Kenyatta, and current Minister in Kibaki’s illegitimate government, Naomi Shaban.


Kenyatta, Moi and Kibaki land holdings

Kenya’s two former First Families and the family of President Mwai Kibaki are among the biggest landowners in the country.The extended Kenyatta family alone owns an estimated 500,000 acres — approximately the size of Nyanza Province — according to estimates by independent surveyors and Ministry of Lands officials. (This report first appeared in the Standard Newspaper report by Mr. Otsieno Namwaya)

The Kibaki and Moi families also own large tracts, most held in the names of sons and daughters and other close family members, all concentrated within the 17.2 % of Kenya that is arable or valued. Remember that 80 per cent of all land in Kenya is mostly arid and semi arid land.

According to the Kenya Land Alliance, more than a 65% of all arable land in Kenya is in the hands of only 20 per cent of the 35 million Kenyans. That has left millions absolutely landless while another 67 per cent on average own less than an acre per person.

The building land crises in the country, experts say, will be difficult to solve because the most powerful people in the country are also among its biggest landowners.
The tracts of land under the Kenyatta family are so widely distributed within the numerous members in various parts of the country that it is an almost impossible task to locate all of them and establish their exact sizes.

During Kenyatta’s 15-year tenure in State House, he used the elaborate STFS scheme funded by the World Bank and the British Government, to acquired large pieces of land all over the country. Other tracts, he easily allocated to his family.

Among the best-known parcels owned by Kenyatta’s family, for instance, are the 24, 000 acres in Taveta sub-district adjacent to the 74, 000 acres owned by former MP Basil Criticos.
Others are 50, 000 acres in Taita that is currently under Mrs Beth Mugo, an Assistant minister of Education and niece of Kenyatta, 29, 000 acres in Kahawa Sukari along the Nairobi—Thika highway, the 10, 000 acre Gichea Farm in Gatundu, 5, 000 acres in Thika, 9,000 acres in Kasarani and the 5, 000-acre Muthaita Farm.

These are beside others such as Brookside Farm, Green Lee Estate, Njagu Farm in Juja, a quarry in Dandora in Nairobi and a 10, 000-acre ranch in Naivasha. There is another 200 acres in Mombasa, and 250 acres in Malindi.

Other pieces of land owned by the Kenyatta family include the 52,000-acre farm in Nakuru and a 20,000-acre one, also known as Gichea Farm, in Bahati under Kenyatta’s daughter, Margaret. Besides, Mama Ngina Kenyatta, widow of the former President, owns another 10, 000 acres in Rumuruti while a close relative of the Kenyatta family, a Mrs Kamau, has 40,000 acres in Endebes in the Rift Valley Province.

Uhuru owns 5,000 acres in Eldoret, 3,000 acres in Rongai and 12,000 acres in Naivasha, 100 acres in Karen, and 200 acres in Dagoretti. A 1,000-acre farm in Dagoretti is owned by Kenyatta’s first wife Wahu.

It is also understood that part of the land on which Kenyatta and Jomo Kenyatta Universities are constructed initially belonged the Criticos family. The government bought the land from him in 1972 under the Settlement Transfer Fund Scheme and transferred to the Kenyatta family the same day Criticos sold it to the government. Land for the two universities was subsequently sold partly and a portion donated by the family.


One of President Kibaki’s earliest grabs is the 1,200-acre Gingalily Farm along the Nakuru-Solai road. And in the 1970s, Kibaki, who was then the minister for Finance under Kenyatta, via STFS transferred to himself, 10, 000 acres in Bahati from the then Agriculture minister Bruce Mckenzie.

Kibaki also owns another 10, 000 acres at Igwamiti in Laikipia and 10, 000 acres in Rumuruti in Naivasha. These are in addition to the 1,600 acre Ruare Ranch.

Just next to Kibaki’s Bahati land are Moi’s 20, 000 acres although his best known piece of land is the 1,600 Kabarak Farm on which he has retired. It is one of the most well utilised farms in the area, with wheat, maize and dairy cattle.

The former President owns another 20, 000 acres in Olenguruoni in Rift Valley, on which he is growing tea and has also built the Kiptakich Tea Factory (recently torched). He also has some 20, 000 acres in Molo. He also has another 3, 000-acre farm in Bahati on both sides of the Nakuru/Nyahururu road where he grows coffee and some 400 acres in Nakuru on which he was initially growing coffee.

The former President also owns the controversy ridden 50, 000 acre Ol Pajeta Farm—part of which has Ol Pajeta ranch in Rumuruti, Laikipia. Some time in 2004 Moi put out an advert in the press warning the public that some unknown people were sub-dividing and selling it.

Can solutions can be offered to address these land problems?

This is clearly a socio-political problem that requires a political solution. It involves digging up the archives, consulting experts, policy makers, local politicians and community elders to find a comprehensive solution.

Such formulated blueprints can then be sold to Kenyans of all creed, race, religion and ethnicity in a publicity campaign that seeks to draw in as many supporters as possible. A responsive political party genuinely keen to tackle this tough problem can actually sell a comprehensive and just land reform policy as part of its manifesto.

These must be cognizant of the constitutional implications concerned in addressing past and present land issues.

Guess what. This incidentally happened already. ODM party, using the Bomas draft constitution which proposes to establish a National Land Commission sold this idea to Kenyans during the referendum campaigns and at the 2007 General election campaigns.

Many Kenyans especially those directly affected by landlessness chose to give this idea a test. That party attributed to ODM’s resounding win over Kibaki’s PNU which prefers to sleep over the land issue quietly.

But before the coronation of ODM into government, Kivuitu and his ECK had other ideas. Blatant and daylight robbery of an outright electoral win by ODM was executed by Kivuitu and ECK to illegitimately hand over power to Kibaki.

None of the confident voters who were determined to start demanding results and accountability with regards to land and other biting issues such as unemployment and poverty, from the NEW government they elected seem ready to take Kibaki’s attempted robbery lightly.

What we are witnessing in Rift Valley, lately in Nakuru, may just escalate to new heights considering the fundamental weight of the underlying blood and soil issue of land.
See also

Undercurrents of Ethnic Conflicts in Kenya. Contributors: John O. Oucho 2002



The author of this article is a Kenyan lawyer based in the US.