By vetoing a bill that would have increased retirement bonuses for Kenyan lawmakers, President Mwai Kibaki may have redeemed himself and paved way for Kenyans to forgive him for his role in the 2007 post-election violence.
The violence began after the head of the Electoral Commission of Kenya declared incumbent Kibaki the winner over Raila Odinga, in an election observers said was severely flawed. Kibaki was sworn in on the same day.
Almost immediately, Odinga’s supporters began to attack people thought to have voted for Kibaki. Unfortunately, because of the ethnic nature of Kenyan politics, it was widely believed that all Kikuyus (Kibaki’s ethnic group, and Kenya’s largest) voted for him. That’s whom Odinga’s supporters began to attack. The violence continued for several weeks and ended only after former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan brokered a power-sharing agreement. By Feb. 28, the day the two rivals signed the deal, the ethnic clashes had claimed the lives of an estimated 1,200 people, and left more than a quarter a million displaced.
For years, we the people of the Socialist Federation of African Republics (SoFAR) have sat around and watched those freedom-loving American birthers torment our son, President Barack Obama. The latest is Gov. Mitt Romney, Obama’s main rival in the upcoming presidential elections, who recently revived the birther debate.
As the ruler and dictator in charge of SoFAR, I’d like to confess on behalf of my subjects that we too think that our son in the big White House was born in a little mud hut under thorny acacia trees in the sweltering Kenyan savanna, as rays of the stunning East African sunset beamed through the holes on the roof of his grandmother’s grass-thatched roof. Lions and hyenas battled for a wildebeest kill in a nearby bush. Read more
A few days ago I received one of those e-mails asking me to do something for Africa. (I guess the thousands of dollars I have sent there for more than a decade aren’t enough). The e-mail was from the Peace Corps, and the subject was, “Young Farmers Ideas Contest Launches.” The contest is part of the Peace Corps’ African Rural Connect program, which seeks to “improve the lives of farmers in sub-Saharan Africa.”
“You can win seed funding up to $5,000 for your business plan that engages youth in sub-Saharan Africa under the age of 18 through an educational project, community-building initiative, social program, and more, all centered around agriculture and farming,” the e-mail announced.
Editor’s Note: This is an “autoeulogy” from departed Malawi President Bingu wa Mutharika, as told to his witchdoctor, Mfiti wa Mutharika, the only person capable of having a postmortem conversation with him.
When I first learned that a cardiac arrest was coming for me, my first reaction was something like, “Does this Cardiac guy know who I am? I’m President Bingu wa Mutharika. No one arrests me. I arrest people. More accurately, I get poorly paid cops to do the dirty job for me. And I don’t think anyone in Malawi has enough petrol to get to my palace, let alone escape.” Read more
I’m in China. No, I’m not here to reverse the Second Scramble of Africa; just trying to make a buck.
The highlight of my trip has been going to a club here in Shenzhen, a city in Guangdong Province in south China. The club was full of young women and men, with some men in elaborate female costumes, and others wearing nothing but bow ties and skimpy underwear. But it’s not the revelers’ fashion that impressed me. (I live in the San Francisco and have seen things I can never erase from my soul). It was the fact that the men and women were doing karaoke-style hip-hop performances in perfect English, but not one of them could help me communicate with the bartender. Read more