Saturday, 26 December 2015

A road trip to Mombasa and meeting a man I have always admired.

Last week, Friday, 18th December, me and my good friend Ahmed Mohamed -Eastleigh's point man and 'Governor' at large - decided to take a road trip to Mombasa. Though we have been to Mombasa before, this trip was totally a different one for three reasons.

On the road
 One, I was travelling with a story teller. Ahmed - popularly known as @Asmali77 on Twitter, is a close friend, mentor, guardian and big brother all rolled into one - can tell all sort of stories that can make one shriek with laughter. He can translate Somali songs word by word and give you the reason behind each and every song.  Of course we had a full compact of Somali music. The curious beauty of Somali music is that it uplifts even as it tells a sad tale. Probably a true love gone sour. Somali music is often about the inspirations of the Somali people. Indeed we're in a festive mood. Ahmed is the kind of man you will cherish to travel with to anywhere.

Ahmed Asmali deep in the sea

Two, we were looking forward to meet a man we have always admired. A man we have interacted many a time on social media. A man who inspires his followers and fans. Am talking about Mohamed Hersi, CEO of the Heritage Hotels.
A week before we decided to travel, Mohamed shared on Facebook about an event -The White Party themed ‘unleash the courage within’. The White Party, organized by the Mombasa Rotary Club, Nyali branch - Hersi's wife, Mrs Sureya Roble is the president of the club - was meant to raise funds for some charity work the club is engaged in. As the guest speaker, Hersi never disappointed. He gave us an exceptional, inspirational talk that gave everyone in the room a reason to look forward to 2016.
Mohamed is an irreproachable and upstanding man. We also appreciate Mrs Sureya's care and concern during our stay.
Even City lawyer Rahma Jilo was there.

From Left: Ahmedkadar, Mohamed Hersi and Ahmed Asmali

Three, we travelled to Mombasa to unwind, have fun, eat Mombasa's mouth-watering Biriani, drink madafu, rediscover the beaches and all that pertains to Mombasa. We really enjoyed the gorgeous beaches - From the Pirates (I have no idea why it's called the Pirates) to Voyager Beach in Nyali - exciting water sports, vibrant night scene and bustling Mombasa city life. Of course you cant be in Momasa and not visit the famous Kongwea Merket.

Ahmed Asmali with a friend (Baken) shopping at the famous Kongwea Market.

Our journey back to the city was equally thrilling. One day, when I grow up, I will relocate to Mombasa and try to see whether I can make a sense out of a coasterian. Indeed Mombasa is a Cockaigne.Watu wa bwani husema, kama raha yaua, sumu ni ya nini??

Boat ride

At the Voyager Beach Resort Hotel

Saturday, 12 December 2015

CORRUPTION: NEP Governors owe NEP people a list of corrupt officials.

March this year, while delivering his State of the Nation Address, President Uhuru declared war on corruption. In doing so, the President tabled a list of senior government officials - including cabinet secretaries - suspected of corruption before Parliament.

Recently the President, while reshuffling his cabinet, declared corruption a threat to national security, dropped all the cabinet secretaries mentioned in his March speech and released a raft of the most comprehensive anti-corruption measures in history. The President restated his firm commitment to step up the war against graft in his Jamhuri Day address.

With devolution came governors. A sort of mini-presidents - after all the constitution talks of two levels of government. North Eastern heartily welcomed devolution, for the people of the restive North - who have known no real development, literally - always believed that they were marginalised because of unfavorable centralized national decision-making system. They hoped devolution will be a quick fix to marginalisation which was blamed for the underdevelopment in the expansive region.

Instead of delivering on local priorities long neglected by successive regimes, the region's governors are wantonly blowing money and spending incredible amounts on things that do not benefit the citizens who elected them. Corruption has 'officially' been devolved since reports emerging from these counties suggest that the county leadership has expanded the eating table and spread the loot around. As a result, we have counties where all is in harmony. Where no dissenting voice or challenges to county expenditure or budget is heard because they are all in it together.

In a rare move, NEP residents petitioned the Senate. In the petitions presented separately before the Senate Finance committee, the three governors have been accused of allocating projects in a skewed manner, institutionalized corruption, nepotism and plunder of public resources.

NEP Governors ought to deliver the great expectations with which devolution was received in North Eastern and not dash the legitimate hopes and inspirations of the people.

Therefore the governors of Garissa, Wajir and Mandera owe the people of NEP a comprehensive explanation for what has been happening on their watch.
Above all, they owe us all a long list of shame.