Monday, May 21, 2018

Forty years and a Governor, Mr Bindra

If leaders are your problem, where do they come from? Are they invaders imposed on you? Do they inherit their powers? Don’t you people go to the polls, and don’t you have the power to bring in people who know what they’re doing, who care about the public, who will play it right and not steal from the public purse? Don’t those people offer themselves for election, and what do you voters do when they appear? - Sunny Bindra, Water everywhere but none to drink! Where do Kenyans go wrong?
My introversion kept me from doing many things as a child, so much so that I was labelled "shy" by everyone. What it afforded me, though, was an opportunity to hone one of life's important skills: observation. Many introverts spend great amounts of time observing their world and those who occupy it, because it helps us navigate the noise and emotion that make up human affairs. I dedicated great time observing the most popular boys and girls and the ones among them that became rulers and those that became leaders. I applied these observations to politicians and there were minor differences here and there but, all in all, pretty much the same.

I also observed the children who followed the rulers and leaders. There were many factors that prevented them from becoming rulers or leaders, and left them, for the most part, content to be ruled or led. But the most important, I think, was the long term effect of losing battles, one after the other, especially to the rulers, while adults refused to intervene to forestall the creation of juvenile monsters, aka, bullies. There were two possible outcomes: apathy or resentment, neither of which tended to end well.

The same is the case with our political rulers. Almost all of them have bullied their way to the top, using monies they may have acquired, erm, creatively, to buy the loyalty of those whose loyalty is up for purchase, and using that loyalty as a blunt instrument in their ascent to the upper echelons of the political classes. In the early 'nineties, just as the gap between the national poverty and national ambition widened explosively, budding neo-Hitlers bought and paid for militias that became the principle weapons in winning political power. And the more innocent Kenyans became innocent victims of the violence, the more they withdrew from the political process, retreated to ethnic or familial cocoons, and allowed monsters to occupy all the ground that was available.

As Kenyans withdrew from political engagement, everything they took for granted fell apart: roads, schools, dispensaries, playgrounds, places of worship, cinemas, discotheques, football stadiums, social halls, markets, bus companies, universities, polytechnics, police stations, the railways, the national airline, the East African Industries, and so on and so forth. Nothing was spared. As more Kenyans withdrew and retreated, more bullies emerged until we find ourselves ruled by more bullies than leaders.

Nairobi City County is the harbinger of what awaits the rest of the country if all people of goodwill leave the ground open for the thieves, liars, murderers, pederasts and henchmen that have occupied the ground in Nairobi: dry taps, potholed roads, vanishing playgrounds, sewerage-soaked primary schools and a governor whose refrain is, "It was my predecessor's fault."

Mr Bindra, "these people" didn't emerge overnight, and we didn't willingly cede ground to them. For twenty-eight years, violence has been visited on the good and innocent among us. We have been abandoned by every official power. We have been fed a steady stream of lies: that family is everything; that the tribe is our protector; that when "our own" is up there, then we will be safe; that the other tribe is always out to get us; that the State will never help so long as it is not in "our" hands; that one can get away with anything so long as he has a big enough "army" standing with him. It used to be that when it came to the public purse, you knew who the crooks were. But after waiting for forty years for the crooks to be jailed and nothing happening...well, the effects are everywhere to see, aren't they.

The Board will eventually lose

The official Twitter handle of the Kenya Films and Classifications Board quotes its corporate communications manager as declaring that "Creativity has to be guided by the law". This is in relation to the protection of children from harm because of the media that they may be exposed to. This is after she retweeted what the Secretary to the KFCB had tweeted regarding the Hamilton statue standing outside the Supreme Court Building in Nairobi, "We must begin to ask hard questions and shape our future through media and art instead of opening up the space and becoming passive recipients of foreign dogma!"

"Foreign dogma" for those joining the show at this hour, is a tame euphemism for anything that the Board, its officers and employees have deemed as "aberrant" and, therefore, harmful to children.

When Uhuru Kenyatta, while attending the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London in April, sat for a televised interview with a CNN anchor in which he made it as plain as he could without having to come out and say it explicitly that homosexuals could not expect special protections from his Government because, in his words, the "subject is of no major importance to the people and the Republic of Kenya." He would not come out and declare that homosexuals would be protected from harassment and abuse from organs of the State.

The officers of the Kenya Film Classification Board have never hidden their animus against homosexuals, never mind that they have sometimes stated that even qualified homosexuals are fit to work for the Board. On several occasions, they have declared these humans to have committed offences simply for being homosexuals and have accused them of spreading their agenda through the media including through film, music and children's animated TV shows. According to these public officers, being a homosexual is a crime and "glorifying homosexuality" is a crime. They have taken every opportunity to truck in some of the worst tropes about homosexuals, including paedophilia and sexual crimes. And because of their aversion to homosexuals, they have made it their mission to purge cinema, the airwaves and the internet of any message, no matter how benign, that they have deemed to be a glorification of homosexuality or the promotion of the homosexual agenda.

It doesn't occur to them that they have been passed by time. Many Kenyans, out of misinformation and misunderstanding, will react with disgust if someone reveals themselves to be a homosexual, but that is a shrinking number these days. More Kenyans are more exposed to new ideas about morality and ethics because of the internet and the ease with which they can travel abroad. They are more accepting of people who are different from them. And they have greater and greater appreciation for notions of individual rights such as privacy. Fewer and fewer Kenyans, outside the realms of gossip, are truly interested in the goings on in other Kenyans' bedrooms. Only the State, in the guise of the Kenya Film Classification, still has what sometimes feels like a prurient fascination with the affairs of not just homosexuals, but the entire LGBTQI+ community. This prurience is reflected in the sometimes violent language used by the chief executive officers and his director of communications.

The Board, therefore, though out of time and out of touch, will continue to argue for the criminalisation of free expression and the punishment of those who dare to say the un-sayable in film. And while the Board leads the charge to purify the nation's films, airwaves and internet, the world will come out to celebrate the filmmakers, thinkers, writers, musicians, poets, actors, dancers and artistes who dare to show us what we never even knew we had. The Board will eventually lose. I just hoe it won't be before it ruins many lives.

Friday, May 18, 2018

The end times

For the next six months or so, regardless of the political situation in the country, or the state of Government, and intended to ensure that Kenyans don't pay attention to the goings on in their own Government, or the number of new scandals that shall mushroom in the moist and dampened darkness of the bowels of the State, one phrase shall, in all its iterations, be repeated: "It's too early to campaign for 2022."

If there is one lesson we have been taught it is that "politics" and "politicking" are for an elite few. In recent weeks, as a taunt against elite members of that class in the Opposition, a Cabinet Secretary has asked those who don't have at least two hundred billion shillings to sit out the 2022 presidential race. Billion, not million. Clearly he did not get the memo.

The memo, though, is intended for the hoi polloi, the Great Unwashed. Our utility in the grand political scheme of things is reduced to two things: to act as a, usually, ethnic vote bank and for our youth, mostly, to act as cannon fodder in the when political chieftains have to measure their strength against their rivals in bloody street combat. We aren't needed in the great debates of the day nor is our input necessary for arriving at just decisions concerning inter- and intra-generational tax justice. We are to be seen, we are to vote, and we are to die for the elite if need be; but we are not to participate fully and vigorously in the making of crucial decisions about our present, past or future. In short, we have no say on who qualifies and who doesn't to be a presidential candidate in 2022, two-hundred-billion-shillings war chests notwithstanding.

And to make sure we know our place, the law of the land is being rewritten to ensure that should anyone of us step out of line, should anyone if us get the uppity sense that our opinions are important in any way, and should we then set down our opinions in writing, in newspapers, news magazines, social media accounts or online journals, we shall do so at the risk of being hauled off before pet magistrates and suffer millions of shillings in fines and years of incarceration for our temerity.
 
There are many things that they can and shall do to silence the Unwashed Masses from thinking or speaking. All of them, as history has consistently shown, will fail. Whether or not we have the right to discuss 2022 isn't up to the men making decisions about war chests. It is up to us, the rabble that we are. Soon enough this message will get through to us because if the Computer and Cybercrimes Act, 2018 is any indication, the elite already know this to be true.

Friday, May 11, 2018

A dance 22 years in the making

It used to be that no matter your station in life, rules and regulations guided most of your public acts, if not your private ones, because it was always assumed that at the very least, paying lip service to the tenets of the rule of law was a good thing. Scofflaws, even among the rich and powerful, did their best to hide their antisocial habits. It wasn't because they were ashamed but because it would simply make them a visible target for when things went awry in their affairs. As a result of this tacit compact among the people, it was easy for us all and our betters to keep up appearances - the fiction that we were in this together, that hard work always paid, that evildoers would be punished.

The lesson of the past twenty-five years, if not thirty, is that we no longer hew to this fiction. Brazen defiance of rules and regulations doesn't attract the opprobrium of right-thinking members of society because, and I can't believe I am saying this, if you can find a right-thinking member of society, you must have turned over every single rock in Kenya.

Nothing demonstrates how much we have erased the norms that made life tolerable than the predictable cases of Kenyans being killed by the dozen every time the floodgates of the heavens open and catastrophes follow, whether it is collapsing building, rivers that burst their banks or dams that collapse. The most recent, of course, is the ongoing tragedy in Nakuru County where Patel Dam on the Solai farm, failed and released millions of tonnes of water that have so far killed 40 Kenyans and displaced hundreds more.
 
The eponymous Mr Patel is said to have been a farmer in the area for at least two decades, and has built 8 other dams, one of which was the subject of Government "investigations", with an official from the Water Resources Management Authority saying that not one of Mr Patel's dams was licensed and that he had rebuffed all demands that he regularise his developments. Mr Patel is the latest in a long line of "private investors" who defied safety measures imposed on them by our laws and, more or less, did as they pleased, going back to the ill-fated Sunbeam Supermarket that collapsed and killed 35 Kenyans in 1996. Mr Patel has gotten away with his actions because in Kenya, led by the rich and powerful, it is no longer enough to defy the law: you are a hero to many when you do it brazenly and with great impunity.

It has been reduced to a fine dance, the events that are about to unfold over the Solai tragedy. Numerous Government officers will issue statements, some of remorse and some of condemnation. The media will attempt to parse what everyone is saying, without success, instead making the survivors and the families of the dead feel even worse. The Director of Public Prosecutions will direct he National Police to investigate. In a few days, certainly not more than two weeks, we will have forgotten and moved on to the next tragedy. We have perfected this dance for twenty-two years.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Tweeting Bandit is right

Stories from all over Kenya, in politics, academia, agriculture, religious, and corporate sector stories of exploitation, patronage, factionalism and outright suppression of talent paints the picture of elites who can't stand dealing with those smarter/more inventive than them. @TweetingBandit
We have witnessed many events in Kenya, some uplifting, but many dispiriting beyond compare. Despite what many of us undergo, we tend to soldier on in the hopes that hard work, luck, and access to connections, will bear out and we will lives lives of fantasy. Not many of us will succeed in our dreams, but many of us will make do. It isn't much to look forward to, but it is something and more often than not, it is something we have made for our ourselves.

It was reported in online versions of some of Kenya's dailies that Watu Wote, a Kenyan film nominated for an Oscar, was exhibited without the permission of its makers, Germany's Hamburg Media School, in Las Vegas by the Secretary and Chief Executive of the Kenya Film Classification Board. He, of course, denies everything and welcomes the aggrieved parties to sue him in order to prove their case. 

In late 2017, Sauti Sol released a video for their song, Melanin, and the KFCB head honcho thought that Kenyans did not deserve to be exposed to its contents. In recent weeks, after praising a talented Kenyan filmmaker (even though he hedged his praise with the mealy-mouthed "we still have some things to sort out"), he was very happy to announce that the Board had refused to grant Wanuri Kahiu a certificate of approval for her film, Rafiki, which was successfully exhibited at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival in France.

Having listened to him speak on several occasions, it is difficult not to see what Tweeting Bandit means when he says that our elite can't stand dealing with those who are smarter or more inventive than them. So far as we can tell, beginning with his tenure at the Nation Media Group, there is nothing lasting to his name, other than career advancement. His sojourn at the Kenya Union of Journalists wasn't marked with great achievements on behalf of the members of the Fourth Estate either, other than, of course, the one-note reminders about the role of journalists in promoting "national values". This is a trend that saw him swiftly move up the ranks in the Ministry of Information before he ended up in his current cushy sinecure.

At every step, it is hard to discern what he has built other than his sterling reputation for Christian fundamentalist thought-policing about sex and sexuality. Had he enforced the laws he was meant to enforce without inventing moralist reasons for his zealotry, we would have shrugged our shoulders and waited him out. But he often exceeds his jurisdiction, inventing constitutional fig-leafs for some of his extreme views, and daring the aggrieved (who often have done something that wouldn't receive much public support though remains lawful) to sue him and prove him wrong. In all this, one gets the impression that he is as described by Tweeting Bandit.

Kenya, in its infinite wisdom, denied Rafiki a certificate of approval. The French academy is reaping where we have sown. The Kenya Film Classification Board, its moralising religious zealot in charge, is the reason why. This is a lesson foreign filmmakers will take to heart and persuade them to carry one filming "Kenyan" locations in Johannesburg.

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Throat-slitting godmen

Some of the most evil acts ever done were done by ministers of faith. Kenya has had its fair share of false prophets but it seems that ever since we asked Baba Moi aende retire, ministers of faith have picked up more bad habits than we had even imagined. It isn't enough that faith-based organisations happen to rival Government and one or two prominent families in land ownership, but that their leaders have become the epitome of greed, murder and mayhem that the political classes once were.

We are a snobbish people and classify faith-based organisatiosn based almost entirely on their antecedents. If their forebears were Western European or North American, then they are kosher. If their forebears are Black Kenyans, then they are to be distrusted on sight - unless they can persuade a North American caucasian evangelist* or a Western European canon* to sanctify their existence with an endorsement. It is why mainstream* churches such as the Roman Catholic Church and the Anglican Church are treated as respectable and one-pastor* churches like the Salvation Healing Ministry are seen as no more than the fly-by-night operations designed to separate the faithful from the contents of their wallets.

In recent years, though, the mainstream* churches and the fly-by-night ones have been losing out to another church altogether, helmed, if that be the right word, by charismatic ministers of faith who have taken the prosperity gospel to its logical extreme end. These ministers of faith are flashy and, despite one or two gauche flourishes, have a devoted following. They can do no wrong, not even when they live in the lap of luxury while their congregants make do with the squalor of day-to-day survival in this Kenya of the twenty-first century. They can get away with murder.

It is quite an astonishing thing to see a minister of faith with a police bodyguard and a police escort whenever he or she travels long distances. The police sweep the road ahead of the man or woman of the cloth, ensuring that the road is clear of the hoi polloi and their livestock, so that the messenger of Christ is safe and untroubled. It is less astonishing if one pays attention to how ministers of faith have infiltrated political circles, promising captive vote banks for politicians and asking for material accommodations in return, including unofficial police bodyguards and outriders.

So it comes as no surprise that even when things go tragically wrong and innocent Kenyans are killed because of the acts of these godmen, this web of patronage and influence that they are a part of swings into action, smoothening the path to judicial sanctification. It may be a few months but sometimes that is all it takes for witnesses to recant their testimony, for evidence to disappear, for prosecutors to inexplicably make catastrophic errors and, finally, for judicial officers and to make the right determination given the peculiar circumstances of the case. More often than not, though, tragic events are never investigated or prosecuted.

The inherent hypocrisies of systems founded on myths that make no sense are almost always exposed when ministers of faith behave badly. In Kenya, they have parlayed their notoriety into political power and untold wealth. And it matters not that they are mainstream*, fly-by-night or charismatic evangelists: all of them will slit your throat in a second if it meant more money, more power or both.

*It is interesting how titles conceal so much bad ish, isn't it?

Dr* Mutua's intellectual shell-game

Dr. encouraged us not to relent on our efforts to promote moral values in Kenya through stringent content regulations. Yet, on Sunday another distinguished Kenyan lawyer Prof. Makau Mutua wrote some not so flattering piece in the Sunday Standard. referred to our actions as an ignominy, saying that our banning of gay content has caused Kenya international ridicule. If one was to choose between the two, whose view would you uphold in respect to the KFCB work.
 The functions of the Kenya Film Classification Board are set out in section 15 of the Films and Stage Plays Act. It states,
(1) The functions of the Board shall be to—
(a) regulate the creation, broadcasting, possession, distribution and exhibition of films by—
(i) examining every film and every poster submitted under this Act for purposes of classification;
(ii) imposing age restriction on viewership;
(iii) giving consumer advice, having due regard to the protection of women and children against sexual exploitation or degradation in cinematograph films and on the internet;
(b) license and issue certificate to distributors and exhibitors of films.
(2) The Board may from time to time prescribe—
(a) the procedure for application for licensing as a distributor or exhibitor of films; and
(b) guidelines to be applied in the classification of films.
Dr* Mutua has expressed himself on numerous occasions on the need to protect children from harmful content, using this argument as the basis for some of the classification board's edicts against music videos, insurer's billboard ads and animated shows on TV. It is also one of the arguments both he and the Board have advanced in refusing to grant a certificate for a film by a Kenyan filmmaker who has been invited to exhibit her film at the Cannes Film Festival. In Dr* Mutua's and the Board's mind, the "promotion of lesbianism" is an unlawful act and should not be portrayed on film, or if it has been portrayed on film, the film should not be exhibited because it is against Kenya's "national moral values".

The protection of Kenya's "national moral values" is not one of the statutory functions of the Kenya Film Classification Board. And when it comes to the protection of children, as set out in section 15 (1) (a) (iii) of the Act, the Board's function is to give consumer advice for the express purpose of protecting [women and] children from sexual exploitation or degradation in films or on the internet. No reasonable interpretation of this function could lead any reasonable person to conclude that the Board has the power to deny a filmmaker a certificate on the basis of the content of her film.

In fact, section 17 of the Act explicitly provides for the certification of films that are not suitable for children. If Dr* Mutua insists that children, because of their vulnerability, should not be exposed to "lesbianism", he and the Board have authority under section 17 of the Act to classify the film as "unsuitable for children" and to direct that no child should be allowed into any place where the film is being exhibited. That, in my estimation, is the correct interpretation of the Act.

Dr* Mutua has not persuaded us that his interpretation of the powers and functions of the Board under the Films and Stage Plays Act or the Kenya Information and Communications Act, 1998 is the correct one. One way of doing so would have been to prosecute persons he believes have contravened the provisions of law. There is a possible explanation why neither Dr* Mutua nor the Board have asked the Director of Public Prosecutions to do so: Dr* Mutua and his officers know that what they are doing is outside the powers or functions of the Board and they would be exposed to serious legal jeopardy if they ever appeared as witnesses against alleged offenders. So, in order to camouflage their weak stance, Dr* Mutua pits two supposedly opposed views of the Board from two respected jurists and declares that the view from the jurist who supports him is the right one. Sooner or later, Dr* Mutua's intellectual shell-game will be exposed.

*Titles, in Kenya, hide so much, don't they?

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

On the right side

Dr has met Dr and of where discussions on partnership in pushing for media content that promotes development, equity, culture and moral values were held.
Once upon a time, it was the duty of every patriotic and right-thinking Kenyan to sing songs of praise for the President*. Indeed, Kenya had a national mass choir, art of whose job was to compose and perform songs of praise for both the President* and the ruling party, KANU. These patriotic songs epitomised the role that Government, personified in the President*, had arrogated to itself: of national moral guardian.

Back then it was routine for Government, executing the President*'s divine will, to ban songs, books, magazines, films, posters, or TV shows and stage plays, if they were suspected of being subversive. A thing was subversive because the President* deemed it so. Civil servants contorted themselves into Gordian knots when attempting to discern what was and what wasn't subversive. It mattered little what the law said; what mattered was whether or not the President* would be offended. The Kenya Film Censorship Board, the demon-seed progenitor of the Kenya Film Classification Board, was the apotheosis of this system: it lived for the opportunity to show the President* that it was the most loyal follower of the moral message of the President*. It caused many people a great deal of misery.

The constitutional order may have been upended in 2010, but the innate instincts of the factotums who divined the President*'s will have refused to die. These illiberal instincts that drive public officers to decree what is and what isn't morally wholesome and, thereby, what we can or can't read, hear, watch, listen to or experience, are alive in institutions such as the Kenya Film Classification Board and in the likes of Dr* Mutua, its eponymous Secretary and Chief Executive Officer. You can witness Dr* Mutua seeking a return to the glory days of moral uprightness by how he sometimes hysterically cavils against Coca-Cola advertisements, Cartoon Network animated shows, YouTube music videos, insurers' billboard advertisements and films submitted to the Board for classification.

Dr* Mutua, ostensibly, does all this in the name of the vulnerable and children. Dr* Mutua believes very strongly that he is called upon to act by God Himself to protect the vulnerable and children using the tools available to him, that is, the Kenya Film Classification Board and the Films an Stage Plays Act, chapter 222 of the laws of Kenya. Dr* Mutua is a zealot and he will wear our snide comments about his motives, methods and moustache like badges of honour. In his zeal to protect the vulnerable and children, Dr* Mutua will ban what he must ban and campaign for the erasing from public view of every single unwholesome billboard, video, poster, private party, debate, and film that threatens the moral safety of the vulnerable and children.

Dr* Mutua claims he is doing what he is doing for the sake of the vulnerable and the children because he knows that he cannot openly claim to be doing it for the President*. The days of civil servants swearing and demonstrating fealty to the President* are long gone. Now public officers - including the likes of Dr* Mutua - must at least pay lip service to the constitutional obligations of leadership and integrity, that is, that they are doing their thing for the people. If Dr* Mutua truly believed that he was doing what he is doing for the people, then he would listen to the people and not just a section of his choir. He would take into account that in the twenty-first century, censorship is unlikely to lead to the generation of wholesome moral content because if he had even read his history, he would know that censorship has always, painfully failed. The history of the Christian church is a history of failed attempts at censorship.

Dr* Mutua, just like his predecessors at the censorship agency, criminalise the very act of thinking, the very fact of being. They do so shamelessly. While in the past they did it violently, today they are more insidious. They use the law as a cudgel, stripping you of your dignity and, quite often, liberty and property. And it is striking that unelected politicians and their political parties re joining hands with Dr* Mutua or his Board. We Kenyans frequently get many things very wrong, but in even the most nascent opposition to Dr* Mutua and his enablers, history will judge us as having stood on the right side of things.

*Titles, in Kenya, hide so very much, don't you think?

Friday, May 04, 2018

Searching for our next Don Quixote

When Mike Sonko won the Makadara by election in 2010, he brought a style of politics to Eastlands that had never been seen before. Reuben Ndolo and Dick Wathika were cookie-cutter city politicians who had done what their predecessors had done going back to the 1960s. Mr Sonko upset their tidy little plans with his exotic motor vehicle fleet and a passionate following among the denizens of the various Mukurus that make up Makadara constituency. He had a fat campaign war chest - rumoured at around one hundred and fifty million shillings - and he wasn't afraid to deploy it in billboards, posters, flyers and a passionate - and sometimes violent - horde of unemployed youth, mostly men, who sang his praises until they were hoarse.

His tenure as the member for Makadara in the National Assembly wasn't marked with significant social developments but by his colourful personality. He thumbed his nose at political decorum in the way he spoke, behaved, and dressed. He developed an unhealthy habit of intervening in muscular ways in how Nairobi was managed by the City Council, suing it on several occasions over the management of the public transport sector or on-street parking charges. He almost always prevailed. Having established a name for himself, he took his show to the rest of the City and in 2013, he was elected as Nairobi's senator. Political seniority did not seem to temper his personality or his behaviour. In one notorious episode, he demonstrated just how far he had gotten by calling the President on the phone in the full glare of the media to ask him to intervene over a property dispute between a public institution - the Kenya Veterinary Vaccines Production Institute - and a private real estate developer. The real estate developer got a presidential stay of execution as a result of Mr Sonko's intervention.

Mr Sonko parlayed his notoriety into the governorship of Nairobi. As predicted, it has been a total disaster. It is now as plain as the nose on your face that Mr Sonko is utterly unsuited to the office of a governor of a somewhat thriving city. He has proven woefully incapable of managing the public transport sector - the very same one he had fought valiantly for merely a decade ago. He can't seem to manage a solid waste management system as shown by the ever-growing mountains of garbage in all of Nairobi's residential zones. The roads under his jurisdiction are potholed obstacle courses that remain dangerously unmarked with missing road signs or road furniture. That he he has found scapegoats for his ineptitude should surprise no one. First it was his deputy and now it is former Nairobi Central Business District Association nawabs who have become enemies of his regime.

What Mr Sonko's ardent defenders did to Mr Muriuki is unconscionable. Mr Sonko's silence over the violent abrogation of Mr Muriuki's rights speaks louder than words. The men who accosted and assaulted Mr Muriuki - over his desire to give a press conference in favour of Mr Sonko's regime - more or less received the endorsement of Mr Sonko when he failed to denounce their violent acts in his name. Mr Sonko is, for better or for worse, Nairobi City County's eternal shame. And just as we turfed out Evans Kidero from city leadership, Mr Sonko's Ides of March will soon enough be upon him and in typical Nairobi fashion, we shall heave a sigh of relief and find another Don Quixote to take on the nigh on impossible task of salvaging the reputation of the Green City in the Sun.

They all fall, eventually

The member of the National Assembly for Mumias East is a spectacularly unpleasant character. But he is not unique. A former member of the Na...