RSS

Tag Archives: President Uhuru Kenyatta

It is Time to Step Up, Point Blank with Asian Weekly 28th July 2017

17023684 - abstract word cloud for tribe with related tags and terms

At the brink of our General Elections, the Asian Community was recognized as the 44th Tribe of Kenya on 22nd July as per the gazette notice issued by the President Uhuru Kenyatta. The term Asian will refer to those who are descendants of Indian and Pakistani origins.

While this marks a long time needed recognition it also means many other things. The counting of the Asians will be taken more seriously and their contribution has been notably large to the Kenyan economy. However it will be under further scrutiny and most of all, it is time they stepped up their participation in the running of the nation. These General Elections will probably see the highest ever proposals of various candidates of Asian origin proving that they can be the next Member of County Assembly or begin to play a role as the voice for the community in the Government.

Their results and more so their performance will set the standards and expectations from the rest of the nation as to what this 44th tribe is really capable of when in office. A larger representative can strengthen the image of the community. Becoming a 44th tribe is a tremendous opportunity for the Asians to further reiterate their Kenyan loyalty and to protect, defend and earn for the sovereign nation. For some it can be an opportunity and others can be a responsibility. Yes, the responsibility to do more and speak up about issues and really make that change for one and all and not for one estate or area.

According to Wikipedia: “A tribe is a group of distinct people, dependent on their land for their livelihood, who are largely self-sufficient, and not integrated into the national society.”

Also, the word Asian is different in the United Kingdom and United States.

In the UK it refers to South Asian ancestry, those from Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

In the United States they say East Asian.

Asians have worldwide been known to also include Japanese, Chinese and others from East Asia. Thus, in a way things may go ahead and get complicated and others may want their status recognized too. This, brings the question that is there any benefit for this recognition? The most important classifications should actually be based on age and income levels, then the demographics can be more effective in producing change. When you start dissecting which tribe is outperforming or underperforming then you are certainly working on the divide-rule factor. Then, where can the country progress too? All should be one, and one passport can mean just that. It is the constitution that holds the power and a strong judiciary to put the balances right.

Kenyan Asians are starting a new chapter of their millennial history since 1963 and what the youth do will certainly set the pace of what it means to be one, just like British Asians have so far done. We may not be as diverse as India itself, but Kenya certainly is setting up for the new way of governance in the coming decades, where youth of all tribes are bringing in new ideas to shape the country. How tribal it will get only time can tell, what is more important is always the candidate’s capability and performance, all words and no action will never create a Rainbow Nation.

 

Advertisements
 
Leave a comment

Posted by on August 11, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Big Brother Watch, Point Blank with Asian Weekly 24th February 2017

Big Brother Watch, Point Blank with Asian Weekly 24th February 2017

Big Brother Watch

 

“I don’t want to live in a world where everything that I say, everything I do, everyone I talk to, every expression of creativity or love or friendship is recorded.” – Edward Snowden

 

 

We live in an ironical world and it has been especially so since the launch of reality TV because that is the closest we as regular people can get to watch other fellow beings. If we can entertain ourselves by watching a Big Brother or Survivors and other numerous reality shows, then why are we afraid of being watched? In subtle ways a husband spies on his wife and vice versa, parents keep tabs on their children, employers check their employees, shopping mall owners watch us on CCTV for security reasons, whichever way you look at it we are being watched.

But what happens when the Government decides to watch its citizens? Edward Snowden broke the news to the world that intelligence agencies watch he and us had the proof and he is currently in Moscow under asylum. While it may sound like a Hollywood film, right here at home we are not far from it. The Kenyan Government announced that they need to tap cell phones for the primary reason to fight the war on counterfeit devices and eventually catch tax evaders through the mobile money transactions. There has been a court order to stop this plan, which seems to have started almost since last year but maybe this temporary step may not be enough.

Currently there are easily over 10 countries where their respective Governments are watching their citizens. In most cases the idea is to prevent rising opposition to the current state of power. Thus, with our upcoming General Elections, is there need for panic? Can these counterfeit devices not be discovered in any other way? Why is there a need to check private data to determine these bogus devices? What will happen when we start to use smart devices such as refrigerators, talking speakers etc to monitor us? Did you know what SMART also stands for Surveillance Marketed As Revolutionary Technology?

When you watch to catch someone, have you noticed how they run further? Well then, a secret is not safe until it becomes one.

“If you want to keep a secret, you must also hide it from yourself.”

― George Orwell, 1984

This entire exercise is an intrusion of privacy. However if it can stop a terror attack or assist in catching the perpetrators then it keeps us safer. Seriously intelligent smugglers will not leave traces of their counterfeit business like this.

As a citizen you need to figure out where the buck stops. Privacy matters more or nabbing criminals? Unfortunately if hackers access your data and use it against you then there can be dire personal consequences.

If you are not guilty then why do you have to worry?

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 24, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , ,

The Dancing Drought and Doctors Strike, Point Blank with Asian Weekly 17th February 2017

twitter-troll-250

Stop! Wait! Don’t! Before you drink that cup of tea or order out some food, remember that over 2 million Kenyans are facing starvation up in North Eastern Kenya. Yes it is not just some other area of the country, but a part of the Nation and you should contribute or participate in resolving the solution. If a desert like Israel can raise its crops then we have got to learn how to come up with a longer lasting solution for the sake of the future of our people.

President Uhuru Kenyatta did the right thing by calling this situation a National Emergency. However a lot more needs to be done for we all know we never had or never will have control over weather but we can create an enabling fruitful environment?

Unfortunately his dancing dab on Twitter, one of the most widely used social media channels in Kenya to spread news hijacked his headline. He was probably caught in a moment of being cool with the FBI Dancing Crew and the whole dancing dab went viral and was quickly called #DabOfShame

To amplify this craziness, Twitter is a perfect target for trolls, where several dubious accounts are created and they abuse mostly celebrities and politicians or can be the cause of blowing up a small incident into worldwide phenomenon. In a recent update, the Twitter creators have come up with 3 new tools to battle with these trolls and abusers and especially abusive tweets that can become personal attacks.

The personal attacks in the world of Doctors Strike in our country sadly are still on. The doctors have been on strike since 5th December, 2016 and several patients are lingering and of course dying at the expense of this stand off, but doctors say they have no choice but to force the Government to implement the 2013 agreement which was supposed to increase their remunerations and definitely working conditions. The #DabOfShame churned up huge emotions and is calling for the Government to provide the immediate solution to end the strike.

Does this all end up as a big PR fiasco for the President? Why has the 2013 agreement not been implemented so far, especially now that this is the Election Year and will this make any difference? Kenya has faced several severe droughts throughout its history, should there not be a better way to deal with it, like prevention is better than cure? Or are Kenyans reacting and exaggerating to a dancing President as an opportunity rather than fixing the other issues?

Union strikes, weather disasters happen in every other Nation and yes more than often a Head of State is not caught dancing, but surely we are not privy to the hard fought negotiations or rescue operations going on behind closed doors by him to resolve these issues. We are only seeing what comes our way and perhaps just maybe his PR team should be sensitive to the mood of the Nation. He was not dancing at a party, he was receiving guests and showing his hospitality. Therefore in that moment of context it was not out of order.

What is more important is just like the people of South Korea came out in large numbers to hold their President accountable for a valid allegation- corruption, we need to come out in large numbers to support the Drought rescue and Doctors strike. Thankfully there are a couple of bodies and individuals doing these efforts, but they need more support, so instead of wasting time trolling over #DabOfShame let’s push the agenda forward for no more drought and better lives for doctors so we give patients better care.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 17, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , ,

Kenyan Banking Change, Point Blank with Asian Weekly 2nd September 2016

Kenyan Banking Change

Banking Courtesy Payment News

Banking Courtesy Payment News

The world’s first bank according to historical records was opened in the 15th Century in Barcelona.

Paper money first started in China in the 14th Century and reached Europe in Sweden in the 17th Century.

The concept of Central Banks started in Europe with England opening its Central Bank in the 17th Century.

According to Investopedia, an Interest Rate is:

“Interest rate is the amount charged, expressed as a percentage of principal, by a lender to a borrower for the use of assets. Interest rates are typically noted on an annual basis, known as the annual percentage rate (APR). The assets borrowed could include, cash, consumer goods, large assets, such as a vehicle or building. Interest is essentially a rental, or leasing charge to the borrower, for the asset’s use. In the case of a large asset, like a vehicle or building, the interest rate is sometimes known as the “lease rate”. When the borrower is a low-risk party, they will usually be charged a low interest rate; if the borrower is considered high risk, the interest rate that they are charged will be higher.”

In simple words, this is the “profit margin” for the banks on your money.

On 24th August, 2016 President Uhuru Kenyatta signed the 2015 Banking (Amendment) Bill into law.

According to a recent report by the Oxford Business Group, Kenya has over 40 commercial banks and over 10 microfinance banks serving a population of over 40million whereas Nigeria has about 22 banks serving 180million people.

Another significant change made recently before the Banking Bill was the introduction of the Kenya Banks Reference Rate (KBRR). This was created by the Central Bank of Kenya to replace the base-lending rate used by commercial banks to price their products.

While this Banking Bill is affecting the commercial banks in Kenya, it does not affect mobile bank loans or those from microfinance institutions, the interest rates will remain high.

While the share prices of a few top banks dipped to some of their lowest levels right after the signing of the Bill, the common Kenyan is going to benefit.

Also, bankers are yet to find out whether this change will also affect current loan contracts. The coming few weeks will surely determine the fate of many from existing borrowers to new loan applicants.

Kenyans will continue to borrow loans for cars and homes because these are significant milestones. But the rising cost of living, stagnant salaries, unemployment and less access to borrowing capital for entrepreneurship may prove to be a disaster in the making. If the interest rates on the existing loans do not drop then it will surely discourage them to borrow anything for a while to come. Borrowing is necessary sometimes to keep the business running, homes happy and lives fulfilled and for a very long time Kenyans have been strained in living under debt. Sometimes you are taking another loan to pay off another loan. Moneylenders will loose business but then again this is an opportunity for the common person not to get carried away and take more loans or continue to mismanage their money.

What you save today is a gain tomorrow. Bank executives may not feel the pinch of losing a gap in their salary but the average worker can invest in his or her future, clear a bill, pay a school fees and do more. The President’s decision was the only way to stop this long term almost mafia moneymaking pyramid by the banks. This is not a drastic move compared to other countries in Europe or Asia who also have their interest rates capped by the Government.

The key is to keep creating employment and provide financial and any other support to businesses so we become more self-reliant and when we are borrowing there is a more wholesome benefit than just the bank manager sitting in a corner office. This picture needs to get bigger for the average person.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on September 2, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Namaste and Karibuni Kenya Prime Minister ModiJi, Point Blank with Asian Weekly 24th June 2016

Namaste and Karibuni Kenya Prime Minister ModiJi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi (Courtesy CDN)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi (Courtesy CDN)

When President Barack Obama became the first African-Amercian to take the highest office in the United States in 2008-2009, the world stood up and took notice. Something unprecedented was happening and there was a big change on the way. In 2014 when the Indian General Elections were taking place, a little over 6 months prior, there was a buzz about the Chief Minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi. The Indian diaspora from UK, US to Kenya had their eyes on the Bharatiya Janata Party and their leader. His election win was seen as the biggest ever and historic since 30 years of the Nehru-Gandhi party rule.

Watching him from the TV speeches and debates and reading all the work that the Prime Minister and his party are doing, a few simple things are coming to light. They have a great marketing strategy and are not leaving behind the digital media. They want to achieve progress of a first world nation as soon as possible and they want to move forward, way ahead and not look back at what has happened, lost or useless. Mr Modi has certainly charmed his nation and the global audience with his charisma, sharp words and articulated messages whenever he speaks. He knows what he wants and he will do anything to get there and he wants India to join him in whatever success they are going to get or face the failures together.

Kenya also witnessed its own political buzz when the Jubilee Government came into power in 2013. We also had a suave, smart and young representation in both H.E. President Uhuru Kenyatta and our Deputy President William Ruto. This team is also transmitting a similar message, to have Kenya move forward and compete with the rest of the world, give us a big shot at winning. Thus, this historic visit by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Kenya will be one to watch out for. Mr Modi has already interacted with the Presidents of US, China, Afghanistan and more and filled up stadium capacity followers from Wembley to Madison Square Garden. It is now time for Kasarani Stadium to experience the magnitude of possibly the only ever Indian Prime Minister to visit Kenya since our independence.

At a time when the world is facing challenges from the War in Syria, Trade agreement changes, the closure of the refugee camps in Dadaab and Kakuma, refugees landing at the shores of Europe, including the Paris Climate Agreement this visit will hold interesting on a variety of topics. Kenya and India have both signed the Paris Climate Agreement, thus environmental and energy issues will be particularly important. How can we share solutions, learn from each other and go into partnerships that will benefit especially Kenya’s industrialization?

With the recent burning of the Ivory at the Nairobi National Park, it would be important to hear how we can further promote our tourism and protect our wildlife and make India a more strategic partner.

India is known for its vibrant entertainment industry, by this I mean everything from Bollywood, Music, Shopping, Clothes and the list goes on. Kenya should learn and make a long term alliance on how to tap this rich energy that has given immense pride and economic growth to India. We are at the cusp of our own breakthroughs in the world of culture, arts, music and entertainment so a little help and knowledge from India can take us far and wide.

While medical tourism in India continues to attract so many Kenyan patients also, I would rather see more collaborations and advancement in science and technology especially in the medical field such that the effects are felt in the rural parts of Kenya and not just urban, private wings of hospitals. This way so many more jobs are created right here at home and individuals don’t have to travel far but can get better access to affordable healthcare.

This will remain a historic visit and a productive one only if some serious partnerships, alliances, projects are signed up and effected immediately.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on June 24, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Obama Visit – Is it Worth It? – Point Blank with Asian Weekly 24th April, 2015

Obama Visit – Is it Worth It?

 

Audacity of Hope Courtesy Penguin Australia

Audacity of Hope Courtesy Penguin Australia

Indeed history was created when President Barack Obama was elected as the United States of America’s 1st Black President. I still remember watching the ceremony when he came out to give his victory speech and for a moment everything in the world seemed easy and possible. Oprah Winfrey couldn’t hold back her tears and for a little bit you could relate to the struggle of a black person living in America and achieving the pinnacle of success or in this case power.

Perhaps in this new age media he has been the most written, photographed, tweeted, selfied, painted, blogged and talked about President ever. When he launched his website and raised funds through it, people raised eyebrows, but you have to give credit to him and his team, they are creative, young and interesting. From his great logo to the slogan “yes we can” nothing could stand in his way but racist America. He overcame and managed just slightly to make it to 2nd term. As his presidency will come to an end, he is making big changes, executive orders and reaching out to the rest of the world. Is this a PR tactic that will keep his income going after leaving the White House or does this make any difference to the current Government and political scene? I think it is both and a well learned strategy from former President Bill Clinton who then ended up setting the Clinton Global Initiative.

But the biggest thing that caught the attention of Kenyans recently was when our very own President Uhuru Kenyatta announced the POTUS (President of the United States) has accepted his personal invite and will be seen in Kenya this year. So what does this mean? The world’s most powerful man has finally accepted to come to Kenya and credit does need to go to our powerful man, for working on the Corruption with the naming and shaming and getting acquitted from the International Criminal Court so now business can be done.

For Kenya apart from this being mega publicity, it sends out a strong message to the world. We are ready to engage, always have been. We shed blood just like you did when we were bombed in 1998 and still today we face the same threat of terrorism like you so why can’t we join hands and face the terror together? The US economy has been slowly recovering and since we are now a Middle Income country there is more to learn from each other especially in trade, finance, professional services, energy and the list goes on. President Obama is an icon for many Kenyans and they look up to him, especially because his father was Kenyan. This gives them hope that they too can conquer the world either in a Fortune 500, Silicon Valley, OPEC, UN or USA again.

Kenya can learn from this 200 year old democracy but I also believe we have much to teach them too. To the land of immigrants we are a land of tribes, who continue to remain resilient and live in harmony. Which nation doesn’t face small issues, ethnic clashes, but despite that we are preserving that we want to keep moving forward. You can’t expect a 50-year-old country to be problem free. We are stepping into the wise era and the next 50 years will either make or break us and that’s why we need advisors like President Obama. That doesn’t mean the West can take over us and use us for their gains, but we are great sovereign state with very many intellectual, talented and hardworking people that want the best for us. We do desperately need assistance in infrastructure to catch up with the demands of the population. Will the Chinese feel bad because so far they have been the biggest rescuers for Africa and even Kenya? Incidentally China does a lot for the USA too especially financially so there’s always going to be plenty of business for all.

It would be interesting to see what role President Obama will take on upon leaving the White House. Will he become an Africa Advisor? Or do more Africa? Or none at all?

So far yes this Kenya trip is worth it and I personally am looking forward to it and its impact in general. It’s definitely an “Audacity of Hope”.

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 27, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Our Divide is Their Unity- Point Blank with Asian Weekly 10th April, 2015

Pray for Peace Courtesy Freely In Hope

Pray for Peace Courtesy Freely In Hope

I am human, I am not an Asian, Sikh, Christian, Muslim, Kenyan, Somali, I am human.

147 is not a small number, even one death makes a difference to a family, friend, child, community or the country. Why did they die and for who?

Garissa is located in North Eastern Kenya and home to mostly Somalis due to proximity to their border. On 2 April militants from Al Shabaab stormed the Garissa University opened fired and killed 147 people including the two security guards.

According to Al Jazeera “Kenya first sent its troops into neighboring Somalia in 2011 after several attacks inside its territory that it blamed on al-Shabaab. It later joined the AMISOM peacekeeping force.

Al-Shabaab has since carried out a string of attacks to punish Kenya for its intervention, including a raid on Nairobi’s Westgate shopping mall in September 2013 that killed at least 67 people.

Kenya responded the following November by “completely destroying” an al-Shabaab training camp about 300km west of the Somali capital Mogadishu, which was believed to have housed more than 300 al-Shabaab recruits.”

Al Shabaab is taking revenge by killing innocent lives. But wait a minute, the expression an eye for an eye comes to mind. Is there any justice in wiping out Al Shabaab? Maybe yes. But could there be an underlying violent streak from the Kenyans to the Somalis that is fuelling this revenge?

Can any peacekeeping force eliminate the enemy? Lieutenant-General Romeo Dallaire tried his best as Force Commander of UNAMIR (United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda) to keep the peace between the Hutus and Tutsis. It remains a delicate balance and Kenya needs to identify its long-term objective against Al Shabaab. Terrorism is an international problem but one would have imagined a better response to the Garissa University attack since the Westgate attack from the relevant authorities. President Uhuru Kenyatta issued a statement giving a glimpse of some of the immediate changes still to be done, but is this a little too late? “I further direct the Inspector General of Police to take urgent steps and ensure that the 10,000 recruits whose enrolment is pending, promptly report for training at the Kenya Police College, Kiganko. I take full responsibility for this directive.”

I am not a security expert on which force should handle what, but when intelligence has been received on a threat to attack a “university” then what preventative measures were taken or should have been taken? In fact seeing the most wanted poster and bounty of KES 20million come out nearly the same day for Mohamed Mohamud alias (aka) dulyadin alias (aka) gamadhere is suspicious. If you knew him why hasn’t anything happened to arrest him or get him so far?

It has been over a year since the Westgate attack and so much of these basics should have been covered, attended to and prevented another horrific attack. Is the failure in the division of the security forces because of ethnicity? Even it has been known that Al Shabaab was separating Muslims from Non-Muslims at the Garissa University and carrying out their killings. Thus, are they using our weakness as the tactic to create fear, animosity and destruction? Senator Hassan Omar was interviewed by Jeff Koinange and he clearly pointed out “in Mogadishu there is no such separation, they realize that we are a currently fairly fractured, they know that we have an ethnic slant in this country, there is definitely an intention to incite religious hatred in our country, we are hiring as per tribes just to secure a 2017 win and then unfortunately we have on our hands non-performers.”

Let us not waste another second, another soul, another bullet, another breath of freedom but act and act immediately on what matters most. Better intelligence, performers in the security forces, increased security, reduce xenophobia, accept that we need better tactics to deal with an international problem at a national level, which clearly Al Shabaab has understood and is using it against us.

Humanity comes before anything. I am human.

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 13, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,