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Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Westgate Mall Terrorist attack: Could it have been carried out by the CIA? From whom should we learn from? and why IG Kimaiyo should just go

The Westgate Mall terrorist attack was the worst of the continued Terrorist attacks in the country since the birth of Al Shabaab organisation.
What sets terrorism apart from all the other deadly crimes that Kenyans encounter on a daily basis, is the fact that it causes fear, curtails our free movement, its objective is to kill, and it is impossible to negotiate with it.
For instance, in the case of armed robbers, they are interested in their loot, with all the intention of enjoying it later, so if you cooperate with them, they will most likely spare your life (that is why most of the survivors said that they thought it was a ‘normal robbery’). In the case of ethnic clashes, it is easy to prevent, and talks between communities will usually solve matters. If it organized criminal gangs, it just takes the government to deal with them since most of these mafia-like groups operate openly.
Terrorism tends to cause a lot of fear, whether we like it or not. Kenyans will fear(albeit temporary) going to churches when churches become targets, they’ll fear going to clubs when clubs become targets, they’ll fear taking public transport to Eastleigh when they become targets, they’ll fear going to the mosque when mosques become targets, and they will now have a subconscious fear when going into any of the big malls and even supermarkets.

Reforms needed
Now that the blame game has begun, all eyes are rightly focused on National Intelligence Service(NIS), for the failure to unearth the Westgate Mall attack beforehand.
This is not the first time that the NIS has been blamed for laxity, with the highest blame coming in the 2007/8 PEV. Of course, this criticism reduced when during the commission of inquiry on the PEV it became evident that the NIS had the information, and they passed it on to the Police who then failed to act adequately.(I wonder what will happen if the NIS informs us that they had already informed the Police, again)

The question that was however left unanswered after the PEV inquiry was, since it’s clear that the NIS cannot act on what it gathers, what reforms should have then been made? This problem, in my opinion, can be solved by making the Inspector General of National Police Service answerable to the Director General of NIS, in addition to the president.
Nevertheless, the NIS, whatever they tell us this time round, must reorganize its priorities. The NIS is known for doing very good work on spying on politicians and patriots, but not the same work when it comes to prevention of crime.
The best way that I can describe the NIS in terms of its capabilities is that “it can do an excellent job towards preventing the toppling of the President by progressive civilian uprisings like the ones that we see in Tunisia and Egypt, but will do a terrible job in preventing gunmen from shooting the President at a political rally.”

David Kimaiyo should just go
I have always asked for the removal of the IG Kimaiyo, and with good reasons for that matter. We’ve tried to engage the National Police Service Commission to this end without any success.
On comparison, Kimaiyo is the worst of the three Police heads that we’ve had since 2004. Major General Hussein Ali was intelligent, confident and did well in TRYING to reform the Police force (save for the PEV blot). Mathew Iteere did not improve things at the Police Service, he rather maintained what Hussein Ali had began. But David Kimaiyo!! This IG still lives in the Nyayo Era days, and in my opinion, he is far less intelligent than his two predecessors. He seems not to have the slightest understanding of civil rights, it is as if he does not understand that we now have a Police service and not a police force, and he appears more proud when stating that they have arrested 20 prostitutes in Mombasa, than he does when explaining more important security matters. He is also “untouchable” since he gets all the protection he needs from another Nyayo era dictatorship mentality fellow, Francis Kimemia (and his wing man Mutea Iringo).
Actually, two events happened last week, which just shows how incompetent the man is;
        1.       Dealing with Hawkers.
Last week, some ‘activist’ friends of mine were working with a group of Hawkers, and they had organized a demonstration against the Police/Council Askaris constant wars. Then on the day of the Demo, the OCPD central called the activists and told them to call off the Demo, since he had intelligence information that a criminal gang wanted to join in the demo and cause havoc in the City, and he instead offered to organize for a meeting between him, the Governor and the Hawkers later that day. After long deliberations, the activists agreed to the OCPD’s request since this was the first time that he was cancelling a demonstration, but on condition that they would go and address the hawkers together, which they did. The Police intel was accurate, in that even after calling off the demo, a group moved out and went ahead to cause a lot of chaos and destruction in the City.
Two days later, the IG tweeted that he had created a special force of 450, yes, FOUR HUNDRED AND FIFTY Anti-Hawkers Police squad, drawn from the RP and the AP, to deal with the hawkers. If that is not a joke, then I do not know what is. The questions that we should ask are; Why use 450 Policemen to deal with Hawkers? What is the mandate of these policemen?? If we need 450 Policemen to deal with hawkers, then how many do we need to deal with crime in this country???
As for the talks, it was declared that there would be no negotiations with the Hawkers.

Back to the OCPD central meeting, one question that he could not answer was, if they knew that a criminal gang was planning to interfere with the peaceful demo, why didn’t they just go ahead and arrest them before the demo? In any case, they are criminals, meaning that there are other crimes that they have committed before and they can be arrested for those crimes.

I have had a chance to engage with the hawkers too, and these hawkers have proposed solutions (which are of course temporary, given the unemployment rates in this country..) which include opening up of back streets like the late Karisa Maitha had done 10 years ago, letting them operate on certain streets on certain days, and specific times; re-evaluating those operating at Muthurwa Market, so that anyone with an investment of above, say sh20, 000 may move to proper shops in town since their investment is above that of a hawker and many other good proposals. Why Kimaiyo prefers to use force and not a mixture of talks and if need be, force, is something that is incomprehensible.
The second thing that I have come to learn is that there is a group that charges the hawkers monies between sh50 and sh100 daily as protection fees. This group spies on the City Askaris and alerts the hawkers of their presence. This is the group that also fights out with the Police/Askaris in River road and Ngara, as the hawkers take cover. The group collects a minimum of sh75, 000 daily. I believe that this is the criminal gang that the OCPD was talking about, and if it’s the one, then the Police should be able to deal with them with ease, unless they want the status quo to remain, because I wouldn’t be surprised  to hear that senior policemen get a share of the over sh75, 000.

       2.       How he dealt with the Westgate Mall saga
The second event of last week that confirmed to me that we have the wrong person at the helm of the Police Service was how IG Kimaiyo appeared at Westgate during the siege.
The fellow was fully aware that he was dealing with a terrorist attack/hostage situation, and then he appears at the scene with a helmet and an AK47 leaves behind his officers who are better equipped and wants to single handedly walk into the Mall and kill all the terrorists! And it had to take pleading from his juniors so as to bring him back into sense!! If this is not utmost carelessness, incompetence, a joke or a mixture of the three, then I do not know what is. Up until now, I am still trying to understand his motivation that day, and I zeroed down on four postulations;
      ·  Either he was so angry with the terrorists that he wanted to deal with the matter himself, in direct combat (which epitomizes his incompetence)
      · He has watched too many Commando and Rambo movies and wanted to implement what he had watched (going by his preferred Police Hat, the beret, this could be a high possibility)
      · He was intentionally doing that for the TV and cameras (The fact that he can perform such a show  when hundreds of lives are at risk is a huge disappointment)
      · Or maybe he has emotional-mental problems (which should be taken seriously)
Whichever reason he had, if that is how he is leading the Police Service then I think the man should just go, since in command institutions, the leader really matters. Great commanders lead from the front, but not Kimaiyo style.

Who should Kenya learn from?
The Kenyan media seems to be infatuated with the Israeli and the American forces. Even when the President says that there were no foreign forces involved in the final assault, the media (especially the Nation media) still insisted that these foreign forces were involved. Kenyan government also holds the American and Israeli forces in high regard in relation to military stuff, and even the GSU’s Reece squad trains in Israel.
Not that we should not learn from foreign security forces, on the contrary, we should. However, we should learn from those in similar circumstances first.
If Kenya’s intention is to occupy other people’s lands, practice apartheid and to terrorize innocent people in other countries, then the best teachers will be the Zionists in Israel. If the intention is to dominate other people, kill innocent civilians in countries abroad, topple governments, host and train terrorist groups so that they can cause havoc against perceived enemies etc, then we can best learn from the Americans.
Kenyans cannot allow such colonial-imperialistic habits, nor can Kenya afford such.
Terrorism is not a new thing. If we want to learn how to effectively deal with it, now that we expect more of it, then we should learn from countries like Tunisia, Algeria and such. These two countries have had long experiences in dealing with Islamist terrorists and all their tactics, from suicide bombings, to taking of hostages, hijackings etc …… and here we are talking about 20-30 years experience.
I happened to visit Algeria earlier this year, and I could see the vigilance right from the airport. I interacted with a few Kenyan students on scholarship in Algeria, and they were full of praise of the Algerian Police, how helpful they are, how if you are lost or need anything, they will go to great lengths to help you, and also how firm they are. Nevertheless, what further impressed me was when one of them told me that Algerians “ni wambenye” and if you happen to be new in a neighbourhood, the neighbours will “Snitch” on you to the police. The civilians themselves do not joke with their security. The people are the first line of intelligence.
Then I flew to Tindouf, Southern Algeria, so that we could attend the 40th Anniversary of Western Sahara’s Polisario Front, in the refugee camps (the reason our stay was in the refugee tents was because the Moroccan Kingdom, with the support of France, has been illegally occupying half of Western Sahara Republic since 1975.)
 So when coming back, at the airport at Tindouf, I somehow forgot to remove some things from my pocket, and the Security officer moved his hands all over my body, and began feeling my pocket, and he asked me; “flashdisk?” I said yes. “Keys?” I said yes…then he amazed me when he asked me “lapel pin?” I responded yes….and finally, there was something that he could not decipher, so he asked me “what else?” I said nothing, just that. Then he said “no no, there is something else, please empty your pockets,” and kumbe what he could not decode was the Key holder, which is a metallic Whistle! I then passed through the metallic sensor really impressed.  All this checks were being done despite the fact that I was using the government VIP facilities.
Early this year, Algeria dealt with terrible hostage situation at one of its natural Gas complexes, where 37 multinational hostages were killed, 29 Islamist terrorists killed and 3 arrested alive, at a complex with over 700 workers. The US and other western countries had offered to send their Soldiers, but the Algerian government, which is very critical of the west, turned down the offers and successfully dealt with the situation, keeping in mind that it borders Libya, Mali and Niger.
I think these are the people that we should learn from. Countries where Security forces are well trained can be trusted in matters of Security, and countries where people know that they have a role in their own Security.

HSM Press and My Conspiracy Theory
I am not a fan of conspiracy theories, but some questions are leading me to this believe that there is one here.
When the Kenya Defence Forces rolled into Somalia, there was, alongside the war at the front, a ferocious propaganda and lies war on the media and specifically on Twitter, where KDF’s Major Emmanuel Chirchir was battling it out with whoever runs Al Shabaab’s HSM Press. I was following both of them, though I believed more on what KDF’s spokesperson Colonel Cyrus Oguna and Major Chirchir told us.
But all this changed when in September last year, some KDF soldiers were captured at the battle front, and after some days, KDF claimed that they had rescued some. This raised two contentions; firstly, KDF had said that those captured were five, and secondly, that they had rescued two soldiers. Al Shabaab on the other hand claimed that they had captured more, and none had been rescued.
So as to end the argument, Al Shabaab posted photos that killed my appetite for that day. They were photos of bodies of young Kenyan soldiers, some with their KDF ID cards and ATM cards placed on their chests. Kenya responded by condemning the showing of photos of the dead (no longer denying).
From that point on, I begun taking the HSM Press tweets seriously. Eventually, when KDF made the final and impressive amphibious attack and captured Kismayu, I did not fully believe the triumph, until the HSM Press confirmed it. The HSM Press had claimed that they were still holding on, but a few hours later, they admitted that they had been defeated and had closed operations from Kismayu……and the tweets that followed were angry tweets against Somalians who had betrayed them and worked with the “Kuffars”.

What I appreciate about the HSM Press is the fact that their updates are very genuine and honest. For instance, when police stations along the border were attacked or a bar in Nairobi was bombed, they would celebrate the killing of the policemen/civilians, but admit that they were not responsible, and when they were responsible, they did not hesitate to proudly tell us so, and they would also correct themselves when they gave wrong information. Secondly, they give information as it happens, hours before other media stations relay it, eg the attack of the Somali UN complex, the attack of Somalia President Sheikh Mohamud’s armored convoy among many others.
Anybody who was following the Al Shabaab on twitter will agree with me that the person who used to update that handle was extremely intelligent, composed and with a very good command of English. S/he could always fit sensible information within 140 characters.
But just a few weeks before the Westgate Mall attack, the “official” Al Shabaab handle was suspended. This was a strange move, and I couldn’t understand why it was suspended at this time. I remember that at the time of KDF’s incursion in Somalia, there were calls to close down their account, since their propaganda was demoralizing Kenyans, and the US government (without being asked) said that it supported the closure. KDF’s spokespeople however, in a show of confidence, opposed the idea of closing the account, saying that they(Al Shabaab) should be allowed to say whatever they wanted, since whatever they updated did not interfere with the battle on the ground, and in any case, their updates were just lies. The HSM Press therefore continued to operate.
Fast forward: A few days after the closure of this “official” account, another account was opened and closed, and another one opened, with others that were already there running parallel to the original one becoming more active than they were before.
During the Westgate Mall attack, we had the newest HSM Press account throwing in updates after every while. What was clear was that the person updating this new account was not the person who used to update the old account. The present manager of the account is erratic, makes too many grammatical errors and is extremely inconsistent when compared with the “official” updater. The present manager knows the Westgate Mall very well, and s/he can even throw a few Swahili sentences (which means that his message was to Kenyans and not Kenya government.) At some point, it felt as if the guy was updating the account in between sips of beer and w*#king in Nairobi.

The big question is: Why was the ‘official’ Al Shabaab twitter handle suspended in September 2013 when it was very  harmless? Was the US government behind the suspension? Why would they push for its suspension now?

The other thing that leads to the idea that this attack was not an Al Shabaab attack was President Uhuru Kenyatta’s reaction to the matter. He kept on insisting that no foreign forces were involved in the main operation, and that even though foreign governments had offered to intervene, only the Kenyan forces under Kimaiyo (and Gen Julius Karangi) would deal with the matter. This insistence for me appeared strange. Unlike the Algerian government which is known for being wary of imperialism and which has a lot pride in itself, the Kenyan Government would ordinarily welcome support from Israeli and American forces in this kind of rescue operation.
Why did Uhuru and his CS vehemently deny the involvement of external forces, even when Mossad and SAS soldiers had been involved in the foremost rescue attempts at the mall? Why didn’t they continue working with them alongside the KDF Special Ops force? What is it that Uhuru Kenyatta knew about the Israeli, British and the US forces that he did not want their continued involvement? Why did CS Amina Mohamed point out that some of the terrorists were US citizens in an interview with Al Jazeera even before the Mall was secured by KDF?

Wikileaks info tells us that the US government was strongly against KDF’s entry into Somalia. We know that what aggravated the situation in Somalia was US support for some militants and Warlords in Somalia, an act that most conflict analysts viewed as sabotage by the US government on the Peace efforts that were being hosted by Kenya. We also know that the US government has been reaping billions in terms of protection fees against piracy off the Somali Coast. We also know of some multi-national companies being in the process of exploring Oil and natural gas in Somalia, in cahoots with a few warlords. Definitely the CIA has made some infiltration into Al Qaeda and its affiliate organisations.
Does Peace in Somalia mean losses for the Empire, and hence the efforts to sabotage the efforts in Somalia?

Some individuals will begin demanding for the withdrawal of Kenyan troops from Somalia, since that is what the new “unofficial” Al Shabaab kept on demanding.
But how will the withdrawal of Kenyan forces from Somalia ensure Security for Kenyans? If these terrorist began attacking even before KDF’s entry, what will they do with KDF’s exit? What if the terrorist continue with the attacks and demand that Kenya withdraws from the former North Eastern Province, will we withdraw for the sake of Peace? How far back will we go? Kitui? Eastleigh?
I have in an older post on this blog said that the KDF was invited into Somalia by the Somalia government, which was a legitimate government since it was born out of the Islamic Courts Union of Somalia. If the present Somali government says that we should withdraw, then Kenya must withdraw, but such withdrawal should not be because of the terrorist attacks in Kenya, or because of foreign funded NGOs push, or even because the US feels that Kenya should withdraw. As a Pan-Africanist, I know what Peace in Somalia means for Africa and the region.
On the other hand, the KDF should not retaliate and punish Somalians for this terrorist attack, that will be against their objective. They should continue with their operations under AMISOM in collaboration with the Somalian government as they had planned. I am saying this because we have before seen backward generalized retaliation against the population by the Police in Eastleigh, and by the Military in Garissa in reaction to terrorist attacks.

Benedict Wachira
26 September 2013
4:33pm

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The MPs should stop this stupid talk of giving watchmen guns. That move will only endanger the lives of innocent Kenyans and that of the guards themselves even when it comes to ordinary crimes like robbery…….and please, they should stop giving examples of Kampala guards…they look so helpless with their funny looking guns.
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It is so sad that those terrorists took the lives of so many Kenyans, including that of the brilliant Peter Simani, Chairperson of the Political Parties disputes Tribunal. I remember first, and severally thereafter engaging him in the tribunal when we filed a case against Peter Ndwiga, Mutahi Kagwe, Mutua Katuku and the registrar of political Parties for hijacking our Party, the Social Democratic Party of Kenya. We were then in the Youth League of the Party, and we could not afford legal representation, so we represented ourselves. The other side was represented by well known lawyers, and the three hijackers were all serving in the Mwai Kibaki government. Most people told us that even though the facts were on our side, we would lose the case with costs, since we were going up against powerful Kibaki people. But the tribunal, under the leadership of Peter Simani, Chacha Odera and Jessie Mutura listened to the case, and gave us our rightful victory. He appeared as a man with arrogant intelligence, but very fair when listening to cases. So sad that he, and many other compatriots are gone.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

As the bullets fly in Goma, the end of Kagame looms,and maybe there shall be Peace in the Congo

We are not alone. Africa, Asia, and free and liberated people from every corner of the world will always be found at the side of the Congolese. They will not abandon the light until the day comes when there are no more colonizers and their mercenaries in our country.”
Wrote Patrice Lumumba in his last letter, December 1960.

Four years later, at the UN General Assembly of 1964, Ernesto Che Guevara said;
I would like to refer specifically to the painful case of the Congo, unique in the history of the modern world, which shows how, with absolute impunity, with the most insolent cynicism, the rights of peoples can be flouted. The direct reason for all this is the enormous wealth of the Congo, which the imperialist countries want to keep under their control. In the speech he made during his first visit to the United Nations, compaƱero Fidel Castro observed that the whole problem of coexistence among peoples boils down to the wrongful appropriation of other peoples' wealth. He made the following statement: ‘End the philosophy of plunder and the philosophy of war will be ended as well.’
Che continued; “All free men of the world must be prepared to avenge the crime of the Congo.

Then there is the famous statement attributed to Julius Nyerere at the installation ceremony of Laurent Kabila in 1997; That-“There are no uncles any more for Congo, do not wait for them to come and help you – the country is yours and you must take the responsibility for it and for your people


The Political Map of DRC

Congo’s depressing History
Much has been said about the Congo, mostly about its tribulations. In fact, if anyone wanted to make a study of why Africa, 50 years after independence from colonial rule is still struggling, then one needs to look no further than the Democratic Republic of Congo.
If it is about assassinations of progressive and visionary leaders and replacing them with puppets controlled by foreigners, then you will find one of the earliest in the Congo, in the form of Patrice Lumumba, and Mobutu Sese Seko.
If it is western countries arming and supporting rebels to create war and destabilize African nations through demands for secession, then you will find one of the earliest examples will be found in the DRC, with Moise Tshombe and the mineral rich Katanga cessation attempt.
If it is about dictatorships in Africa, lack of democracy, puppet regimes, leaders enriching themselves & looting their countries dry, despicably corrupt leadership, political prisoners, forcing personality cult worship of leaders, nepotism,,,,anything & everything bad about African leaders and leadership, you will find the best example in the DRC, through Joseph Desire Mobutu, aka Mobutu Sese Seko Kuku Ngbendu wa Za Banga ( the cock that spares no hen).
If it about UN interventions that worsen matters in world conflicts, then the UN Congo intervention in the 60's is one of them.
If it is about deadly ethnic superstition, you will find it in DRC.
If it is about exploitation of African resources by foreign countries and corporations with extremely little or no benefits to the African people, then look no further.


Slavery, King Leopold II, the Belgians and resistance
Even before the tragedies of the last half of the last century, the people in and around Congo had experienced the unspeakable brutality of the slave trade for several centuries, from both its Eastern and western sides, where millions of the strongest and the fittest were captured and taken as slaves to the Americas, Europe and the Arab world; an atrocity whose negative effects were felt for many generations that followed. (we can only imagine how far the African would  be today, if millions of its strongest youth were not taken to slave elsewhere or die in the slave ships, or we can instead imagine, how stagnated Africa could remain, if for the next 100 years, millions of its most able youth are taken out of it, never to come back again)
Then came King Leopold II of Belgium, (whose claim to the Congo he supported by his ‘wanting to end slavery’) who brutalized the people, killed over 10 million Congolese in just 20 years, and left tens of millions of women and children with their hands chopped off and genitals mutilated either because their husbands had not worked had enough to produce enough rubber, or just because it was not possible to produce enough rubber for Leopold.(Most of Leopold's wealth that he had gotten from Congo was taken up by Belgium after his death)
Then Belgium moved in and continued with the murder and plunder (Belgium has the world’s best diamond cutters, and exports a lot of natural diamonds, yet it does not produce any!) until the nationalists managed to gain their independence from their colonizers,,,,,,and the rest of the story is recent history.
             
          [Below are the more known internet photos of the way things were during Leopold's colonization]
A young girl and her sister with cut off hands

Women who's hands were cut off because the husbands did not 'work hard enough'
Some Congolese men holding some of the cut hands

A father, looking in disbelief and sadness at the hands that belonged to his five year old daughter


 On the other hand, the story of DRC has been that of resilience of the people, people rebuilding their lives after each of the numerous manmade calamities that have been imposed on them. A people whose scars are hidden in their happy faces and their welcoming hearts. A people who have refused to be put down by their sad history and an uncertain future. A people who in them resides a deep sense of Utu.


Armed Conflicts and wars
Over the past two decades, the DRC has been through deadly conflicts, and wars that sound more fiction than real. The two Main recent Congo wars left over 6 million people dead and tens of millions devastated.
First came what was seen as a progressive struggle against the backward regime of Mobutu, when the rebels from the East, led by among others Laurent-Desire Kabila, and primarily supported by Paul Kagame’s RPF soldiers, and also directly by the Uganda army (and later by Angola) and they managed to quickly take over town after town reaching Kinshasa with no much struggle from the Zairean Armed forces, whose Commander in Chief had already fled into exile in Morocco.
The main reason that Kagame gave for their entry into Congo was that the Hutu Interahamwe rebels were reorganizing themselves in Eastern Congo(including within the refugee camps) with the intention of invading Rwanda for the purposes of retaking power and continuing with the genocide that they had began earlier, and so they had to move into Congo and fight them off from within Congo……but later they realised that they also had to remove Mobutu from power, since he was supporting the Hutu rebels, and so they did remove him from power.
As expected, Laurent Kabila became the President of the then Zaire, which he renamed Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), but even before he could settle down, trouble started again.
His government and his Military was dominated by the Rwandan Tutsis, and they were creating trouble for him concerning agreements that Kabila had made with Rwanda and Uganda “while in the Bush.” (It is alleged that they (Kabila, Museveni and Kagame) had agreed that after toppling Mobutu, the mineral rich Kivu would be left under total administration of Rwanda.)
 Due to the tensions in his government, he ordered all the Tutsi Rwandan elements in his government out of DRC, and he replaced them with some Congolese nationals.
Rwanda and Uganda immediately began aiding and funding rebels in the East of Congo, and another war began in Congo. Later, Rwanda, Uganda and to some extent Burundi openly joined the War, and began repeating what they had done earlier, taking over town after town with so much ease, with the intention of toppling Laurent Kabila, and this time round replacing him with a person that they could trust, a Rwandese Tutsi.

Intervention of Zimbabwe, Angola and Zambia
Kabila’s young government could not stop what Mobutu’s old government could not stop. He was facing two armies that had toppled three presidents in less than 15 years (Kagame had fought under Yoweri Museveni when NRM/A toppled General Tito Okello from power(just seven months after Okello had removed Milton Obote from Power), Kagame was aided by Museveni when he launched his RPF rebel army from Uganda and removed the Habyarimana regime from Power…..and both Kagame and Museveni armed forces had participated in the overthrow of Mobutu (for Museveni, it was sweet revenge against Mobutu who had earlier supported Okello militarily against the rebels))
Kabila called for help from everywhere, and finally under the strong influence and leadership of Robert Mugabe, some SADC countries, Angola, Zambia and Mugabe’s Zimbabwe agreed at a summit in Harare to move into DRC in support of Kabila. That is when the Rwandan and Ugandan Armed forces met the wrath of Zimbabwe’s armed forces, supported by Angola and Zambia.
By the time Zimbambwe’s Army (born out of the experienced Anti-Colonial Guerrilla Army) moved into DRC, the Rwandan and the Ugandans were at ‘the gates’ of Kinshasa. But after a few battles between the allied forces and the invading armies, the invading army had to run with their dead back to Rwanda(and Eastern Congo)….and then some sort of peace deal was later brokered, which required that Rwanda withdraws all its forces from the DRC, but as expected, this was never to be.
**I regard RG Mugabe highly for this. Many people in DRC do so too.**

Even though another peace deal was brokered in 2002, the Government of Rwanda continued to fund rebels in Eastern Congo, and continued mining the high-value minerals in Eastern Congo.
The Rwandan Defence Forces (RDF) would continue openly entering into DRC, with their usual excuse of fighting the Interehamwe who were organized as Democratic Forces for the Liberation Rwanda (FDLR), but they would continue with their mining business and causing terror to the people of Eastern Congo.

Massacre of 200, 000 Hutus
The lowest point of all the RDF invasions was when, with the logistical support of the United States of America, RDF murdered an estimated 200, 000 innocent Hutu refugees in the DRC, having branded all Hutus in DRC as FDLR.

Peace talks and Inclusion of rebels into DRC Government
The DRC would later, in an effort to end all this violence in the east, engage in talks with the rebel armies fighting against it, and most of the rebel groups agreed to the peace process, and joined the government and the army, with their leaders getting senior positions in the military.
By the time these talks (with Kagame and later with the rebels) were being carried out, Laurent Kabila had been assassinated, and his son, Joseph Kabila (through the influence of RG Mugabe) was appointed the President of DRC by the Congolese army.
(At the time of his assassination, Laurent Kabila, who had several decades before fought alongside Che Guevara, had been moving consistently to the left, and some of his advisers were people like Comrade Ludo Marteens, a brilliant thinker and member of the Belgian Workers Party, alongside other Socialists.)
To cut the long sad story short, Kagame continued/continues to support and armed rebel groups in the East of DRC; and the killings, deaths and devastation continued/continues. Kagame also continued/continues to deny the he had any links with these mostly Tusti-led rebel groups, (just as he had at first denied-but later accepted, that there were any Rwandan forces fighting alongside Laurent Kabila to overthrow Mobutu).


All rebel leaders seek refuge in Rwanda
But even to most gullible supporters of Kagame couldn’t help but notice that whenever these rebel groups are destabilized either by the Armed Forces of DRC (FARDC) or through their own internal wrangles, the losing rebel leaders have always found safe refuge in Rwanda, under the facilitation of the Rwandan government. The likes of Colonel Jules Mutebutsi, General Laurent Nkunda, Colonel Baudouin Ngaruye, Eric Badege, Colonel Innocent Zimurinda, Bishop Runinga Rugerero and many others lead open and comfortable lives in Rwanda. This is despite the many warrants of arrests issued by the DRC government.
It is only General Bosco Ntaganda who did not have a good time in Rwanda since he had refuse to respect the leadership of Sultani Makenga in the M23 as approved by Kigali. He had to seek refuge at the US embassy in Kigali and asked that he be extradited to the Hague.

Kagame’s eternal excuse, FDLR, ends
Kagame’s excuse for invading DRC had always been that he needed to exterminate the FDLR rebels operating from the DRC. He has always used the early 90’s Rwandan genocide to blackmail the world, so that he could do whatever he wanted to do to avoid ‘another genocide’ in Rwanda.
Tired of this excuse, the DRC government agreed with the Kagame government that the FARDC conduct joint operations with the Rwandese Defense Forces (RDF) in eastern Congo to weed out all the FDLR rebels in eastern Congo.
The joint military operations, which began in 2009 were named operations Kimia, Kimia II, and Umoja Wetu. The operations were successful and they weeded out almost all the FDLR (Interehamwe) rebels, with hundreds of them having been killed in combat, and over 12, 000 Rwandese repatriated back to Rwanda.
Below is one of the videos taken at the end of the operation in Eastern DRC.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ehK-jdQve4

Coming to birth of M23
Left with no other excuse of directly invading the DRC, the only other option that Rwanda was left with was to increase its support to its rebel movements in the DRC, who were consolidated into the M23 movement. (Kagame’s open support for the M23 led to the temporary withdrawal of military funding to Rwanda by some western countries)
(It is observed that Kagame’s mentor, Museveni, has always used a similar strategy but in different circumstances. Even after fighting and exterminating Joseph Kony’s LRA rebel group in Northern Uganda, Kony would always reappear as the election periods in Uganda neared, and Museveni’s soldiers would fight Kony so bravely that his support at the ballots would increase. Joseph Kony also seems to operate where Museveni has interests. If Museveni needs to interfere with the Sudanese government/support the SPLM/A, then Kony will go and hide in Sudan. If Museveni wants to do some joint military operations with the US army in Central African Republic, then Joseph Kony will go and hide in CAR, if he needs minerals from the DRC, then Kony will flee and hide in the DRC……)


Some hope
After the quick takeover of Goma by the M23/RDF towards the end of last year as the FARDC ran away, while the UN peace keeping forces just stood by the side as the M23/RDF violently took over Goma, Ban Ki Moon gave the rebels an ultimatum to disarm and withdraw, but the rebels ignored the ultimatum and instead demanded for talks.
The process of searching for a permanent solution for Eastern Congo was thus initiated (again)
At about the same time, Ugandan soldiers were also operating in the DRC, with their usual claim that they are after some LRA rebels.
With M23/RDF taking over Goma, and Ugandan military operating in DRC, It was clear that a script from the past was about to be replayed.
This made Kabila look for help within SADC, and Angola announced that it would be sending its elite forces into DRC’s eastern front, a move that had already been consented to by the DRC government.
Of course, if the Angolans were to deal with M23, then it meant dealing with the RDF and in essence dealing with Kagame. Zimbabwe and Tanzania also promised to volunteer troops to the region.

Temporary diversion from hope
Museveni and his wing-man, Kagame, sensed the danger, and instead, they did four critical things;
·         Museveni hastily withdrew his armed forces from the DRC.
·         Museveni called for an ICGLR (International Conference on Great Lakes Region) led peace talks meeting between the M23 and the DRC government.
·         Kagame and his western allies (US & Britain) expanded the mandate of the UN neutralization brigade, transforming it into an Intervention brigade that could engage M23/RDF in open battle. Meaning that the justification for the Angolan/Zimbabwean/Tanzanian direct intervention was no longer there.
·         Museveni quickly ran to Luanda, and begged Eduardo Dos Santos not to sent any troops, since the peace talks were about to begin, and since the mandate of the UN forces had been expanded.

Those ICGLR talks began and failed because the M23 stuck to their demands which included that:

·         The government of DRC should share power with M23, and they should be appointed as ambassadors, that they should be allowed to head some of the government parastatals and institutions and that there leaders should also be appointed as provincial heads.
·         The M23 soldiers should be integrated into the FARDC and given high ranks.
·         Amnesty should be given to all rebels who have engaged in Eastern DRC from 2009.
·         The M23 should be given total administrative and military control of the region of Rutshuru for a renewable period of 5 years.

Also, SADC seemed to agree to the UN plans, and so Tanzania and South Africa contributed troops for the UN Intervention Brigade. (The idea of an Intervention Brigade is good, but not better than the idea of direct intervention against M23/RDF)

M23 and Kagame react
The M23 responded by threatening both Tanzania and South Africa, with a stern warning letter to Jacob Zuma that ‘should he send SA troops into the DRC, then they should prepare for more body bags than they had gotten from Central African Republic’ a few months earlier.
Then there were allegations of Rwanda’s plan to cause destabilization in Western Tanzania, by infiltrating the region with rebels so as to keep Tanzania busy with some internal affairs, since Jakaya Kikwete was openly becoming more critical with Kagame’s activities in the DRC.
Kikwete followed up with a warning to Kagame that “Anyone who dares invade or provoke us will face dire consequences” and a few weeks later, thousands of Rwandese national who had entered western Tanzania illegally were expelled from Tanzania.

Recapture of Goma and new ICGLR talks
As for the better part of last month, the MONUSCO(FIB)-FARDC forces have been battling the M23, with a lot of success, as was expected.
They quickly recaptured Goma, and they are still trailing the M23/RDF into the hills of Eastern RDC/Western Rwanda.(where the geography of the area makes it difficult to further battle the M23/RDF, unless they get into Rwandan territory)
Kagame has claimed that the FARDC has shelled its territory, and has send thousands of RDF soldiers along its borderline and some of these RDF soldiers openly engaged in combat alongside the M23 during their retreat from Goma (and Ban Ki Moon’s best reaction to this brazen involvement of RDF was to ‘strongly condemn Rwanda’ for its involvement!).
Kagame is also claiming that the FARDC & the UN forces are being aided by the FDLR (interehamwe), which ironically they had almost completely wiped off during the Kimia I, Kimia II and Umoja wetu joint operations.

The just ended ICGLR peace talks meeting in Uganda (whose resolutions were actually overshadowed by photos of Kikwete and Kagame shaking hands) demanded for the halting of all hostilities and also demanded for new talks between M23 and DRC, which must begin and end within the next 14 days. This for me appears to be just another plan to buy time, and help M23/RDF reorganize.


The Congolese armed forces
as a way forward, Joseph Kabila needs to reorganize his Army and all his security apparatus. For a country like the DRC, security should be more important than everything else. The DRC should be one of the biggest military spenders in Africa.
A question that comes to anyone hearing about the Congo conflicts usually is; How comes a big country like the DRC, is always troubled by smaller countries like Rwanda and Uganda?
In as much as this question may sound too simplistic, it still holds a lot of water. Joseph Kabila has been given legitimacy through two elections in the past, and he should take proper charge of the DRC. He should not encourage war, but he should not fear engaging in it when it has been imposed on him. Most importantly, he must prepare for war. It doesn’t make sense having a big and beautiful capital while you are living in constant fear that it might be destroyed anytime.
African countries that have experienced Wars, both external and internal, or are situated in unstable regions do not joke around with their military expenditure. Algeria, which has been invaded in the past by Morocco; has had a bloody civil war; and continues experiencing threats from the imperialist countries and Islamist terrorists, has an annual military budget of over ksh 800 Billion.
Angola, having been faced by civil wars that were imposed on them spends over ksh 300Billion. Sudan and Nigeria, having faced civil wars in the past, and still facing constant internal threats spend annually over 160Billion and 140Billion respectively.
Morocco, spends over ksh300Billion on its military, which has in the past been used to invade Algeria, and has been illegally occupying/colonizing Western Sahara Republic since 1975(keeping in mind that its economy is dependent on Tourism, Sale of drugs like Hashish& Heroine and minerals stolen from Western Sahara)

Military spending alone will also not be enough. Brother Leader Muammar Gaddafi went down without any real fight, despite spending heavily on his army. (They never even tried to bomb France which is not far off!)
He will need to instill Patriotism, courage and boost the morale of his soldiers. His soldiers need to be loyal to the DRC and her people. He will need to mobilize the whole country to itself.
The stories of the DRC soldiers fleeing like cowards should be stories of the past. Che Guevara wrote about that problem during his engagement in the Congo in the 60’s. Mobutu’s forces did the same in the 90’s. Laurent Kabila’s forces continued with the habit, so have Joseph’s forces as was even seen last year during the M23 takeover of Goma.
The worst thing about the FARDC is that whereas they used to be biggest cowards when faced with foreign invaders, they are also known to be very brutal and undisciplined when dealing with its own population. This means that Kabila will need to work on the discipline and order in his Army.
Over the past few months though, the FARDC has engaged the M23/RDF very courageously and with utmost discipline, which not only shocked the M23/RDF, but also surprised people like us who support DRC’s sovereignty. Even though the intervention brigade has really helped in beating off the M23/RDF rebels, The FARDC also managed to recapture strategic positions from M23/RDF all alone! This is an extremely positive turn for the FARDC.
 This is because all indications show that, just like Kagame needed to get into DRC territory to weed out the Interehamwe rebels, the FARDC will need to get into the Rwandan territory to weed out the M23 rebels and other rebels.
It also follows the same logic that just as it was necessary to remove dictator Mubutu Sese Seko from power in 1997 so as to reduce the possibilities of war in Rwanda, it is now, more than ever before, extremely necessary to remove dictator Paul kagame from power, so as to reduce the possibility of further wars in the Congo.

Photo of a FARDC Soldier being cheered by the population after the re-capture of Goma from M23 rebels                 (Photo from the FARDC facebook page)

At least dealing with Yoweri Museveni is much easier. He is more pragmatic than Kagame, and he is also a coward. A call from a few African heads of states is enough to tame him. He seems also to be brighter than Kagame; It is easier to deal with bright people, than it is with the opposite.


Imperialism will not rest.
Even with the extermination of M23, even with the removal or death of Paul Kagame, imperialism will not rest, nor will it allow the DRC to rest. Instability and interference in the DRC were there even before Kagame came to power.
There is a common saying among some people that war in the Congo will only end after all its resources are depleted.
The Americans have never abandoned their plans to divide the DRC into several countries.
The Americans, the British, the Israelis, the Belgians, the French, the Japanese and many others are still mining Coltan, Uranium, Platinum, Diamonds, Gold, Timber, and many other natural resources in the DRC.
The DRC leadership needs to learn from its history, and also from the experiences of how other mineral rich countries like Angola saved themselves from its past wars. Only they themselves can solve their own problems as they move forward.

In the meantime, all progressive people in the world, and especially in Africa must speak up, show solidarity and work hard to support the sovereignty of DRC and the prosperity of Bana ba Congo.


8th September 2013
5:01pm

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The DRC is, and has been Africa’s Superpower in terms of Music for a long time. Right from the days of Franco and his TPOK Jazz, Madilu, Papa Wemba, Pepe Kalle, Tabu Ley, Tshal Mwana, Mbilia Bel, Kanda Bongoman, Awilo Longomba to the invigorating bands of the early 90’s. Great musicians like Koffi olomide, JB Mpiana, Werrason, General Defao. Beautiful voices of people like Lokua Kanza and Barbara Kanam…..to the current sensations like Ferra Gola and Fally Ipupa among many others.
Maybe the DRC government should work with these artists to promote unity among the people of DRC, and also to act as Peace/Sovereignty ambassadors for the DRC. If for instance Fally Ipupa stood up and told M23/RDF off, it would be more powerful than when the same is done by DRC’s foreign affairs minister Raymond Tshibanda. Koffi Olomide’s word will have much more impact across Africa than that of Louise Mushikabwo (Rwanda’s minister of foreign Affairs)

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After President Uhuru Kenyatta’s inauguration, President Joseph Kabila stayed around a little bit longer than the rest of the visitors, and he held several talks with Uhuru Kenyatta.
Even though we do not know about the content of their discussions, Uhuru should definitely play an active role in resolving the never ending DRC conflicts. He is at a good position to influence both Museveni and Kagame (even in the midst of the supremacy battles with Tanzania in the EAC).
His predecessor Mwai Kibaki did very well with Somalia. Under him, Kenya hosted peace talks after peace talks, eventually sending her Defense Forces into Somalia, and it looks like Somalia’s future will improve.

I do not see why Kenya should not work closely with the DRC, so as to end her never ending conflicts, and possibly engage with her and others in the Intra-Africa trade that Uhuru keeps talking about. Supporting the DRC is first as a matter of principal, and secondly as a way of promoting Africa’s interests right from its heart.

Monday, September 2, 2013

To Reduce Road Accidents, We Need To rein in Carelessness.

Last Thursday, the country woke up to shocking news of the gruesome road accident in Narok that left 41 people dead, and many others sustaining permanent injuries.
The President himself gave his condolences, and the Cabinet Secretary in charge of Roads and Transport, Engineer Kamau, went to Narok to personally inspect the scene of the accident, and to console the survivors at the hospital. The same C.S later declared a ban on night travels by the long distance public buses as one of the solutions to the road carnages.
The government has in the past come up with different ways of curbing the road deaths; from introducing the alco-blow, use of speed guns on some highways, increasing the number of police checks on the roads, to media campaigns on road safety....
But when it is all said and done, we will all need to deal with the main problem: Carelessness on the roads.

A view on some of the major roads
During the just ended elections campaign period, I traveled quite a lot along the Major roads and below are some of the general trends that I saw with vehicles that were  travelling to/from:

Central Kenya region;- Careless driving by personal car drivers and Miraa Pickups
Nyanza region;- Careless driving by PSV buses travelling along Mai Mahiu road, with the main culprits being buses from Kisii.
Coast region;- Careless driving by PSV buses& heavy trucks.

Mai Mahiu-Narok road
There were occasions when we would be moving by night from Kisumu at those not-so-interesting speeds of 140kmph/150kmph using some Prados (whose stability makes one feel like they are moving at 110/120kmph on a smaller car).. and then out of nowhere, a Nyamira express bus would swish past you and disappear in to the horizon, meaning that they could be doing anything between 160kmph and 170kmph! anyone who has ever used those long distance buses knows very well that there is usually a sense of lack of stability even at 80kmph, especially when overtaking, or passing over an uneven section of the road. I wouldn't refer to such driving as over-speeding,it is instead just speeding carelessly.
What is interesting is that some of my friends who use these buses are usually very happy about this carelessness. They will tell you that “Siku hizi kuenda Kisii ni 4 hours tu!” or “Siku hizi tunakulanga breakfast na familia asubuhi, sio kama kitambo.” Another friend of mine wondered why I would travel using the Easy Coach buses from kisumu to Nairobi, instead of using the very fast (meaning no speed govenor)and smaller Shuttles.

Highway to Mombasa
While this careless-speeding will make you cross your fingers while in a bus to Homa Bay, what will make you hold tightly onto your seat in buses travelling to Mombasa is how they overtake. In fact, when travelling to Mombasa by bus, I always prefer travelling at night when there are a few heavy trucks, hence less overtaking. You will find a bus that is travelling at 80kmph, trying to overtake a tanker that is moving at 70kmph, while there is an oncoming SUV possibly moving at 100kmph.
Now, me being the type that does not easily fall asleep while travelling, the only choice i am usually left with is stepping on some imaginary breaks whenever such ‘overtakings’ occur(which is quite often)
The other careless thing that these Mombasa bus drivers do is what I can call “communal overtaking.” This usually happens when there are say three slow trucks closely trailing each other, and about four buses behind them, then the driver in the leading bus sees the opportunity to overtake and goes for it, then the rest of the buses blindly follow suit. It is usually not so bad if you are in the first bus, but your hair will definitely stand if you are in the third or fourth bus.

Vehicles to central Kenya
When it comes to vehicles going to/from Central Kenya, it is not the PSV Matatus but some private car drivers and Miraa vehicles that will send you to an early grave.
These roads have very many private cars especially from Friday to Sunday, all of them in some hurry to go wherever. When driving to/from those sides, you will find yourself flashing your headlights many times, just to remind/warn an oncoming overtaking car that you are also on the road. In many occasions, you will be forced to slow down to avoid a head on collision. There are also situations where there are persons overtaking from opposite sides at the same time, again forcing you to slow down to avoid a bad accident, and also so that the fellow can just go where they want.
Some of the drivers on those roads seem to over-estimate the acceleration power of their fielders and Primeos.
There are also these old lorries ferrying food stuff, charcoal, timber etc. where just like the heavy trucks on the Mombasa highway, you’ll find them creating long queues of vehicles behind them, each moving in a zigzag motion, peeping to see whether they can shoot forward and overtake the slow moving lorry (especially headed to Nairobi) which is usually a difficult process given the number of vehicles on the opposite side. Some Macho drivers will nevertheless overtake, and dangerously force themselves in front of you to evade an oncoming vehicle.
Then there are the Miraa pickups. They are always brand new, well maintained Toyota Hiluxes, with a huge Miraa load at the back, and two spare tyres. The speed and recklessness of these pickups makes that of the Kisii buses look like some joke. They will overtake dangerously, and if there is an oncoming vehicle, then it will be up to that oncoming vehicle to get out of the road, or slow down completely so as to allow the Miraa Pickup time to overtake. The Miraa Pickups drivers are the ones who will actually flash their headlights at you, to warn you that they are overtaking, not the other way round. I hear that the drivers  walk around with some huge “petty cash” so that when they hit you, they just give you the money to sort your repairs as they go on with their journey.
Even the police do not bother to stop them, they just won’t stop.
Interestingly, the public transport vehicles on these roads are much disciplined. Most of the vehicles move at maximum speed of 80kmph, and the few that have tampered with the speed governors rarely do over 100kmph. If it takes two and a half hours from Nairobi to Karatina, you will most likely take two and a half hours,or slightly more, not less. The drivers never seem to be in any hurry. The passengers are also very vigilant (especially the women) and they will complain and warn the driver to drive carefully whenever he makes any mistake (since the Matatus are smaller, it is easier to complain directly to the driver). They will also start complaining and verbally expressing their shock if another motorist drives dangerously. You will normally get into these Matatus and everybody sits quietly, minding their own. But if any motorist drives badly, or if they go past an accident scene, then everybody will begin talking to everyone, and they can sometimes stay on the topic of accidents/careless driving for over 30 minutes.
But Maybe the reason as to the why PSVs on these routes are more sober is because they used to be the complete opposite some years ago. When we were younger, my brother and I would always be on the lookout for Matatu accidents every time we traveled upcountry for the holidays. We would never miss two or three fatal ones. In fact, as Alfred Mutua once joked, back then, before commencing a journey, some street pastor would turn up just after all the passengers are fully seated, and make a prayer that believers refer to as “journey mercies” and get some small collections for his prayers.

Superstition.
Just as some people believe that if they pray they will arrive safely, others believe in other forms of superstition.
Just yesterday, I was seated in a 4W Matatu, and the topic of Narok accident came up. Everyone was agreeing that those accidents are not “normal”, and it is the owners of those buses who are “giving sacrifices to the devil” so as to increase their wealth. It was alleged that the politicians also are sacrificing their people after winning the elections, as a sign of gratitude to the devil. Statements like “the season for offering sacrifices has arrived” were repeated. Apparently, the season begins in August, peaking and ending in December. All my counter-arguments fell onto deaf ears.
The problem with such superstition is that the drivers will continue to be reckless, and the passengers will just pray that God saves them from being sacrificed.
There is also the philosophy that “kama siku yako imefika, hata undeshe polepole aje utakufa tu.”
There was a time when my good friend Booker Ngesa complained that a Matatu which we were in was being driven badly and instead of the driver listening and driving carefully, he stopped the vehicle in the middle of nowhere and insisted that we get off the Matatu since we had brought “Swara”(bad omen) into the Matatu by complaining. The other passengers supported the Matatu crew through agreeing that we were bringing bad omen and others through their silence. Of course, we had to calm down (though a fist fight did later occur between the Matatu crew members and ourselves immediately we arrived where we were going…)

Sleeping,Madharau and stray dogs
Then there are some long distance drivers who sleep on the wheel. These drivers claim that they know the road so well, that they can actually close their eyes intermittently along some stretches. There is a time we were going to Kisumu on a Friday, not knowing that it is difficult to get buses to Kisumu on Fridays. We found all buses booked, and we were advised to wait for the buses that travel from Mombasa to Kisumu and chance on getting some space. Just as they said, one of the buses arrived but it only had two spaces left, yet we were four of us. We were then told that two would get their seats, and the remaining two would lie on a mattress that is reserved for the Makanga near the driver, only if we assured the bus crew that these two wouldn't sleep, and that they would do the makanga’s job, which is to “pigisha dereva mastori ndio asilale!”
Then there are other drivers who assume that motorcycles and bicycles do not have the right to use the road, and they will just hoot at them, zoom close to them in high speed, or just knock them off and drive away. (I think that before people get their driver’s license, people should first be made to ride a bicycle along one of the major highways, and maybe the experience will help them follow the law and respect cyclists once they get to drive their vehicles.)
There are also some dog (and occasionally donkey) owners who let their animals lose near the highways. Motorists will either hit them and continue with their journey; hit them and lose control therefore an accident; or they try to evade knocking these animals down, and instead they themselves end up dead in some ditch.

Some solutions.

  • Regulation of long distance buses/Matatus-The idea of having speed governors on long distance buses should be thoroughly followed. There should be a limit on the number of trips a driver can make in a day, and also a limit on the number of trips a bus can make in 24 hours (if the minimum time that a bus moving at 80kmph can take from point A to point B is 10 hours, then the bus can make a maximum of two trips only). Self regulation should be encouraged, though there should be government inspectors who follow up on these matters. If these two limits are broken, then it is the bus owners who should be held responsible.
  • Have surveillance cameras where possible(like they do in Sudan), and mobile police (I heard that they will now be riding in Subarus) replacing the useless road blocks.
  • Have proper lighting and signage on our roads. The government should also care to paint the roads so that they can be clear at night. The marks should include road reflectors on the yellow line.
  • Introduce a hotline specifically for reporting those who are driving carelessly. (so that those mobile police may follow up where possible)
  • Increase the upper speed limit on the highways (except for PSVs), and also introduce lower speed limit on these highways (to deal will those trucks that move at 40kmph on the highways)
  • Combine Insurance renewal with vehicle inspection.
  • The government should have a serious campaign against careless driving (the same way they’ve done against careless sex in relation to HIV spread)
  • And finally find ways of getting rid of those stray dogs (and Donkeys)………I hear that there was a time when town councils would poison those stray dogs?