Thursday, May 27, 2010

Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds (Marcus Garvey*)

Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds (Marcus Garvey*)

In line with the theme “Afreeka is the wealthiest, Afreekans are the poorest,” I think that the problems that the African people have is mental slavery, just as Garvey put it many years ago. This has been brought about by years of condemnation and deliberate lies, that have affected our self respect and self confidence. Our history has been deliberately changed, so that it may be seen as if the African knew nothing, before the white man came. Once we change our mode of thought, then everything else is bound to change.
Unfortunately, our education system does nothing to change this, it in fact entrenches it in to the minds of young Africans, and hence making the process of mental emancipation very very difficult.
Some of the things that I have over time come to be aware of over time, and have really captured my attention and interest have been:

Hunger is synonymous with Africa. Every year, hundreds of Africans die of hunger, and thousands suffer from malnutrition. But what is interesting is that Africa can more than sufficiently feed itself. Numerous studies have shown that Zaire(DRC,) Zambia and Zimbabwe can comfortably, safely and strategically feed the whole of Africa and beyond. By comfortably I mean that the Zambians will continue mining copper, exporting cash crops and doing all the other things that they are doing today. By safely I mean, the farmers will continue using the normal seeds and natural manure, without involving GMOs and heavy fertilizer. By strategically I mean, the cost of transporting the food to the whole of Africa will be low, since these countries are positioned somewhere in the middle of the continent.
But the question is, what is it that prevents us from making use of the 3Zs? And the simple answers are the artificial boundaries that were erected by the colonialists over a hundred years ago. The other factor is the imperialist involvement in these three countries.

Let us emancipate ourselves from mental slavery, Africa can feed itself, only if we unite, and after we kick the imperialists out.

The Congo River
The Congo river is a massive river, deep in the DRC, that towards the end pours into the Atlantic, and interestingly divides two capital cities of two different countries, Kinshasa and Brazaville.
Africa is known to have a big big energy problem. There are constant electricity shortages from Jo’burg to Nairobi, from Addis to Dakar and all over Africa.
Again, numerous studies have shown that the Congo River alone can generate electricity for every household in Africa and beyond. This can be done cheaply, strategically and with almost absolute environmental safety.
Unfortunately, this cannot be done, because of the imperialist interests, who have managed to destabilize DRC since 1962, and are currently harvesting timber, mining the rare minerals from that rich country. And that is why we must honor those who over the years have tried to liberate DRC, from the days of Che Guevara and the Cubans and Nyerere, to the days of Mugabe.

Let us emancipate ourselves from mental slavery, and save the Congo before they milk it off completely.

The size of Africa
We all know the USA, the superpower of the world, let us picture it in our minds, let’s picture China, that big, populous and emerging economic superpower. Let’s take India, with a population of over one billion people and finally take Europe (without Russia, of course.)
What most people do not know is that Africa is bigger than USA, Europe, China and India combined.(you can even include more countries of you remove the territorial waters.)
But the world map is intentionally drawn to make Africa appear small, so that Africans will not have a “big continent mentality.” In earlier maps, the error was genuine, but since the discovery of the error many years ago, the maps have never been changed.
Given that kids learn maps at a relatively early age, these diagrams stick to their heads, and denies them the confidence that comes with “bigness.” The effects are so deep, that even an adult who is hearing this for the first time will dismiss it as a big lie.
I would also like to relate this to population.
Africans are always told that they are too many, and the must bring control their population growth. That is not true, Africa is the most under populated continent in the world, vis a vis its size. According to the recent census result, USA, whose size is 9.6 million sqkms, has a population that is approaching half-a-billion, while Africa, which is more than three times the size of USA (and with a bigger percentage of habitable land), has a population of just under a billion. Yet we never hear of population control in America.
Some people will argue that the African governments cannot handle the ever increasing population, so we must control our productivity. This is a very dangerous way of reasoning, what needs to change are our incompetent governments, not our sex lives. (It is like the police telling us not to use a certain street, because it has many thieves,,,,,,,,,,,,,it is the thieves who should be removed from that street and not vice versa!)
But could there be a hidden agenda? Especially given that Africa is the continent of the future? We all know what they did with the red Indians in the Americas, and thanks to their syphilis, Gonorrhea, and smallpox, red Indians are a minority in America.

Let us emancipate ourselves from mental slavery, Africa is the continent of the future, let us populate it.

The Pyramids
The technology that was used to built the pyramids over 6000 years ago was so advanced, that it even today, it would be very difficult to built such pyramids. For a long time, it was naturally thought the it is the Semitic Egyptians who built the pyramids, but scientific evidence in the 20th century shown that the black Africans were involved in the making of the pyramids, but since nobody would believe that the black man could build such a wonder, it was decided that it was built by black slaves, under the Semitic leadership. But as we jumped into the 21st century, it was conclusively discovered that by the time the pyramids were being built, the lighter colored Egyptians had not occupied the area, and hence the pyramids were built by black Africans, with black leadership.
This hasn’t gone down well with some people, and they are now trying to bring in lies about Extraterrestrial involvement in the building of the pyramids.

Let us emancipate ourselves from mental slavery: If our forefathers had such technology over 6000 years ago, what is my potential today, 6000 years later?

Coming home now, it is said that Kenyans didn’t know how to read and write until the missionaries came, and taught them how to do this. This is not true.
The Kikuyus knew how to read and write, many many years before the Europeans appeared. In fact, it was these Europeans who came and completely destroyed the kikuyu writing, so that it would be said that the peoples of sub Saharan Africa knew not how to read and write. To the Kikuyus, this was just a game, so the missionaries had an easy time destroying it.
This writing was called; Gicandi. It was a form of writing using a style similar to that the Egyptian writing. One village would write a piece of story on a gourd, and pass the gourd to the next village, the next village would try to decipher (read) the information on the gourd, and once they succeeded, they would sing that information to the other village.
Unfortunately, what remains of Gicandi today is the song aspect of it, not the writing. I am told that only one gourd is known to exist in the world, and it is in the museum of Turin, complete with info of its origin.

Let us emancipate ourselves from mental slavery, we knew how to read and write, and ours was much better.

Neurosurgery and medicine
Though neurosurgery is a very ancient art, it is still one of the most sophisticated branch of medicine. In Kenya, many people die of brain diseases, and the lucky ones get specialized treatment in the developd world.
What many people do not know is that we have brain surgeons, right here in Kenya, who have never stepped into formal schools. They are to be found among the Kisii people, and their success rates are very very high. They will open your scalp, sort out the brain, and stitch it back in just a few hours,,,,at a extremely affordable fees.
My fear is that 15-20 years from today, these people will be long gone and forgotten. They will die with their art. Fifty years later, people will be told that such doctors existed, and that will be dismissed as a lie.
Today, many women die because of birth related complications. Others give birth to dead babies. Those who are lucky undergo the caesarean operation, which is not only expensive, but puts a limit to the number of births one may have after that.
Among the Mijikenda, there are women who can assess the development of a baby in the womb, and without the use of surgery, can correct the positioning of a baby who’s bound to come out legs first. They can even position the baby in a manner that reduces the pain at child birth.
Unfortunately, these old women will also die with their skill, and Kenyan women will be condemned to unnecessary surgeries and pain for the rest of the ages.
Traditional herbal medicine is still dismissed as non dependable medicine, some even consider it evil, this is despite numerous research done by some African professors.
There are many other examples of people (mostly very old men and women) who can cure many conditions which are otherwise fatal, but our leadership, which has the capacity and machinery to ensure that these arts do not die, and are instead improved and spread all over the world, is just not interested at all.

Let us emancipate ourselves from mental slavery, lets us save our traditional medicinal practices.

But we must not forget that with the emancipation from mental slavery, there is need for the physical and visible emancipation. This can only come through a revolutionary process, since the bad leaders, the artificial boundaries and the imperialists will not just fade away. And their roots are deeply entrenched into our society. An African revolution is the answer.
In my opinion, the revolution will sweep across Africa, just as the “winds of change” did over 40 years ago. My bet is that it will begin either in Kenya, or in South Africa, and will sweep over the whole continent. As for us, we now need to study revolutionary theory, since there can never be a revolution, without revolutionary theory.

Benedict Wachira Mamluki
24th May 2010

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Why Magoha must go (as drawn from my experiences.)

Today, Police are all over the University. The administration police have surrounded Kikuyu campus. The GSU are baying for innocent students’ blood, across the Kabetes.
A combination of anti-riot, AP, and GSU police have cordoned off the statehouse road, and all they are waiting for is the whistle, the whistle to allow then to maim, maim male students. The whistle that allows them to rape, rape female students. And the whistle that will allow them to kill, kill anybody who runs away from them.
The media, the Kenyan media, has decided to give the situation of national importance a total black out, or give a one sided story, on the turn of events.
The media is trying to make this issue of national importance, to look like a simple politico-goonship story. The media wants to make the students look like barbarians, and that all they want is to stone cars and cause disruptions.
The media is part of the problem.

It all began in 2006. April, 2006. A group of former expelled students came to the University, they came as “revolutionaries” who had been kicked out because of fighting for students rights. They came and made promises, they came and excited students, they came and played with students’ emotions, but all they wanted to do was to fuck the students up.
Unknown to the University Comrades, Magoha had made a deal with these returned expellees, a deal to help him steal money, a deal to help him stay on his seat for longer, and a deal, to feed them with the cramps that fell.
In 2006, April, 2006, Magoha and his accomplices succeeded very well, and took almost all the executive posts.

Come 2007, May, 4th, 2007, Magoha wanted more, he wanted a tribally balanced SONU. He wanted arse-lickers, who could do whatever he wanted. And he had prepared well for it. Very well indeed.
In the course of 2006, he instigated for the changing of the SONU constitution, so that the outgoing office, would serve as the incoming electoral commission, this he did by: And I quote him “massaging the backs of the then student leaders.” Bribing through stealing from the students’ fund no longer had the common name of corruption, no, it now had been given a new name: Massage.
Come May 4th, 2007 Susan Chege, won the chairperson’s seat with a landslide majority. But Magoha could not allow that. He wanted the chairperson’s seat to go to a person who understood how “The system works,” not a novice whom he could not trust. Furthermore, he wanted a tribally balanced SONU, and given that there was no Luo vying for the SecGen’s post, he had to get a Luo for the chairman’s post. This was against the wish of the majority of Luo students, who didn’t like Adinda, Magoha’s candidate, due to his poor performance as a sports secretary the previous year.
Those who had tried to stop the rigging were instead beaten up by the riggers, and the University security.
Not only was Adinda, a person who had been booed and dismissed all through his campaigns given the seat, but so was a whole lot of others students vying for other seats.

We mobilized students to oppose those fake results and tension was all over the university. Even two former student leaders, the late Oulu GPO and Fwamba NC, could not just sit aside and watch, they came to our aid.  The University students wanted to take to the streets, but we told them to wait. To wait until we tried out the other channels. We went to all the offices that one could think of, from the ministry of justice, to the ministry of education, from well known lawyers, to river road lawyers, we did letters to the University Council and we finally met the VC himself. All he did was plead with us, not to cause chaos in the University. He instead blamed the constitution. But what he seemingly could not remember was that HIS constitution (new) was never passed by an AGM, and it was thus ILLEGAL. All we wanted was a repeat election of the elections, with neutral electoral commissioners. The talks failed and we settled for our last option: Leading the students to the streets with two agenda only.
1.       Magoha must go.
2.       Yote yawezekana bila SONU.

It was the only option that we had been left with, everybody else, the government, the Council, the Judiciary had given us a blind ear.
Oblivious to some of us, Magoha had already begun clandestine talks with some of the people we were together with, and by the date of the demo, only three people had remained. Demoralized and disoriented.
How did this happen? Was the only question in our minds. Magoha had proved that he was not only a master tribalist, but a master in the world of bribing. Some of the fellows had been given money, lots of money, others had been given imaginary posts, and others were merely threatened. (Here I can’t help but remember how I had a very progressive meeting with one Mr.Kibore, on how he would mobilize guys from Upper Kabete, drop with them in Chiromo, and head on to main campus. then 20minutes later, I meet Dann Mwangi, who shows me an sms from Kibore, who was already campaigning for the speaker’s post! A post that he had been assured of by Magoha himself!,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,of which needless to say, he never got. )
*Interestingly, the same rigging tactics that were used by Magoha’s men, were the same rigging tactics that Kibaki used in the presidential elections later that year (lack of ballot papers in some areas, changing of results at the summation halls, the use of security persons to protect the riggmasters etc etc)

But this was just the beginning of of Magoha’s successes.
That year, millions of shillings were stolen, by the SONU leaders in conjunction with Magoha’s administration. By the way, the SONU leaders had given the stealing a nicer name: Jackpotting.

Adinda had no decency whatsoever. His lowest point being when he led his goons to beat and maim around 60 Biomedical students, who had sought the University’s intervention for the recognition of their degree, by the Kenya Biomedics registration Board.
Instead of the goons, who had used metal pipes and whips to beat up the peaceful and innocent young women and men from Upper Kabete being suspended and facing disciplinary action, it was the victims who were suspended, and some even expelled from the university. It was hence quite clear, who was behind all this.
After a year of stealing, stealing and more stealing the elections were here again. This time round, I decided that I was not going to vie for the Secretary General’s post, but not under the conditions that were there.
Comrade Amuke and I (and later joined by Onchari) formed the reformist movement. And our call was >>no reforms no elections<<
All we wanted was one thing and one thing alone: THAT THE ELECTIONS BE SUPERVISED BY A NUETRAL BODY other than THE OUTGOING OFFICE. We had proposed the University religious student leaders, or NGOs like CMD, ford foundation and even the ECK, all of whom were ready to run the SONU elections.
Since when did the outgoing president of a country, chair the country’s electoral commission at the end of his term?
But Magoha could hear none of it. He instead told his commissioners (the outgoing exec.) that they should do everything in their power to ensure that one Mr. Mamluki does not get any post that he will be vying for.

I had forgotten who what we were dealing with, and I organised a meeting with the V.C, to try and prevent any trouble, and to promote conditions favorable for a fair vote. We attended the meeting with Che Ndumia, and Marvin Sissey. We had planned that Sissey would put our case up, and the rest of us would react later, the meeting lasted for around 10 minutes and Marvin managed to make our point very clear to the VC. As usual, the VC had to cut him short, but Sissey tried to push on (with reason,)
But reason seemingly doesn’t go well with him, so I intervened, and told him that all those things about security and supervision were useless, if we had the outgoing office overseeing the election. He then retorted something to the effect that he wouldn’t allow me to abuse him in his office, and this is roughly how he finished:
Magoha: Mamluki, if you think that you are a man, you will know that I am also a man, and you (Sissey) leave these people and go back to class!
Ndumia: Professor, when I was coming to this office, I thought that we could reason, but all we have had was a waste of time!
I went out of that meeting a very happy man, the battle horn had already been blown. When Sissey, Ndumia and I passed the info to Amuke and GPO, who were waiting for us outside JKML, they were both happy, not happy because now there would be a struggle ahead, no, they were happy to confirm that Magoha was just evil, we now not only  knew, but we confirmed what we were fighting.

But 2008 was not a good year to stage a struggle in the University. The tribal tensions were still very high, due the effects of the PEV.
By the time we hit the road for our >>No reforms no elections/SONU must go campaign<<, the SONU election date had been announced, and it was so near.
All this time we were doing quiet sensitization, some comrades could not imagine a UoN without SONU. Here are some of the questions that they would ask:
Question: Without the congressman, where will we be getting our bulbs from once they burn?
Answer: From the Custodian.That is where you get it even now.
Question: Won’t the admin misuse our SONU money once SONU is not there?
Answer: If SONU goes, then the subscription to SONU also goes, so there will be no money to misuse, but with these bad leaders, they will continue misusing the fund together, and that is why the admin insists on rigging guys in.
Question: Who will fight for our rights once SONU is not there?
Answer: The vacuum will be filled, by genuine people, since they won’t get paid to represent you, they won’t use or misuse your fund. As at now, SONU doesn’t fight for anyone’s right, it is actually used to pacify students, by giving them an illusion of representation,,,,,Kwani didn’t you see what they did to the Biomedical students? Didn’t you see how they raised the subscription fee from kshs100 to kshs500? Are those the rights that you are speaking about?

Our first place to hold a meeting was hall 5.
There we met a full house that thought we were looking for seats. That was until Onchari, who was acting as the MC took to the floor. Onchari didn’t know how to shout, but the guy was perfect when it came to passing of rebellion messages. As for my part, I would express my fears to them, which were their fears, and finally charge the crowd through songs and chants, Amuke would then kill it by telling them on the way forward. At the end of the meeting, all the freshmen who were vying for whatever posts stepped down, and we went chanting>>No reforms, no elections/SONU must go<<

But of all the meetings we held, the most memorable is the HALL 10 Kamukunji. Hall 10 hosts senior students only, and in most cases, they are never interested in politics, in fact, 4th years always hope for a smooth running of the uni so that they can finish up their studies. But this time round, even they had decided that they had had enough. Sisqo, Ndumia, Moraa, Musonye and I took the whistles and asked guys out.
On hearing the whistles, some guys from hall 11 also joined in.
As usual, Onchari cleverly introduced what we were pushing for, then Ndumia (I think) addressed the crowds, I charged the comrades through songs and chants, and Amuke finally killed it. In that Kamukunji, students were baying for Adinda’s blood, somebody within the crowd would shout that we go to his room and burn it(since he himself resided in hall 10) and the crowd would show their readiness but I remember Onchari telling them that if we did that, we would lose our objectivity, since it was Magoha that we wanted, others would ask us to take them to the road, but Onchari, almost overwhelmed by the crowds, told them to wait for proper mobilization. Adinda tried to mobilize his goons, but by the chants that they heard from afar, they could not dare come near.
I will never forget those comrades.
As I have noted, 2008 was a tribally tense year, but from hall 5, we had Kisii, Kikuyu, Luo and many other candidates stepping down. Truth had managed to remove the tribal veils from their eyes. In hall 10, I could see Mutiga, Onyancha, Fred&Poly, Onguka, Limo and many other people in solidarity with us. For them, they already knew the truth, since they had been at the university for a long time, all they now wanted was action.
But in the prefabs, we were met with serious resistance, some freshmen had been bought for alcohol, they came to disrupt our message, there was some physical tussle, and we knew that the system had begun retaliating.
Amuke, believed that it was Atemo DFO who had sent these people, since they were chanting his name (in fact, I had thought that there would be a fist fight once they meet, but that didn’t happen, they just exchanged some words)
(Some of the guys would later apologize, and wish they had supported us)
I then went ahead to a meeting in hall 7, and a few rooms in hall 8. But one thing that was very clear, was that the tribal divisions would not allow people to reason, and it would have been extremely difficult to holds more meetings in such conditions. Magoha was well aware of this, as we could see his bootlickers going round, polarizing the students, so that they could not support the third way. They had well oiled pockets for that job.
I didn’t really care for the outcome. Since the elections were held on an illegality (even the dates it was held were not constitutional>both in the Magoha and the legal documents<)

When elections are held under such conditions, there is bound to be complains. Even those who lose fairly are bound to claim victory, since the process itself is flawed. Whatever has been happening in SONU elections since 2007 has been pure madness, thanks to the machinations of the mad Prof.

That is why I am so happy today, two years later, to see that the students have risen, one and all, to fight this corrupt Tribalist.
That is why I support the methods that they are using, since we had tried all the other methods and failed.
But above all, that is why I am optimistic that, this country too, will rise from the oppression, exploitation and tribalism and the petty nationalism that the larger Magohas have used to suppress and divide  us for over 40 years.

Wachira Mamluki
17th May 2010