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Not just in Kenya. Corruption = Power + Hypocrisy

If you are wondering how Tony Blair sleeps at night after admitting that he lied and lied again about Iraq and still insists he did the right thing, wonder no more, the answer is Hypocrisy.

In a current article in the Economist (Jan 23 2010) titled “The Psychology of Power: Absolutely” we learn that power corrupts but only those who think they deserve it.

A series of rather clever experiments asked university students to imagine a time when they were in a position of high or low power, and to then make decisions about morality. They rated on a morality scale of 1 – 9 how immoral it was to over report travel expenses at work. The findings are a revelation. Those who imagined they had high power, thought it was not all that immoral, while those in the low power group found it morally objectionable to over report travel expenses.

Another group played a dice power game and had to volunteer their score, a value between 1 and 100. Those High Power volunteeres claimed to have rolled 70 on average, clearly lying – the statistical average is of course 50! The low power group reported an average of 59 …they too cheated but just a bit in comparison. The study goes on to explore how power corrupts those who feel they deserve power. These results are very relevant to people we know quite well, Tony Blair, George Bush, Robert Mugabe, Daniel, Gideon and other Mois, Emilio, Jimmy, Lucy and other Kibaki’s, Uhuru, Muhoho and other Kenyattas as well as the likes of Raila and other Odingas. People who believe they were born privelaged.

The scientsists from Tilburg University in Holland report that the culture of entitlement is the basis for much of the corruption we see in the world today. The students in the experiment who reported that they were entitled to power, were complete and total hypocrits and were very likely to abuse power and forgive those who also abuse power. Sound a little like Tony Blair and the Iraq affair, Kibaki and the election crisis, Moi and the Mau, Mugage and his cronies land grabbing?

And what’s interesting is that those students who felt they were not entiteld to power were much more likely to adhere to the law and judged those who failed to do so harshly. But when transgressions were made, they judged themselves more harshly than others. They are labelled hypercrits – they judge themselves even more harshely than others.

The article suggests that these people are in general quite submissive. Perhaps this is why the whistle blowers of Kenya always disappear into thin air. I mean what ever happened to John Githongo, Maina Kiai, Wangari Maathai, Gladwell Otieno, and others?

It may also reveal why we can’t elect good honest people to parliament, they simply aren’t ‘macho’ enough. Is this why we always support crops of thieving murdering pathological liars to our leadership? I mean how does the sewer rat Cyrus Jirongo keep popping up? I personally wonder if corrupt behaviour innate or is learned – I mean did Jimmy learn from Emilio? Did Gideon get his talents from Daddy?, and Uhuru – is he a chip off the old shoulder, like George Bush Jnr?  I suspect that the scientists are right and if so we’re so totally screwed because democracy cannot then work. What we need is dictatorship by honest wimps.

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January 30, 2010 Posted by | corruption, Crime, Injustice, Kenya | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The history of Kenya as told by the former colonialists

According to the BBC, this is a chronology of key events that shaped Kenya:

You’ll notice that they conveniently forget that the Chinese were in Kenya from the 15th Century…

They also don’t mention that over 14,000 Kenyans died during Mau Mau – and less than 100 whites

Kenya first president

Kenya’s first president Jomo Kenyatta (his name means the light of KEnya) wore endangered species skins and carried an ivory walking stick). Like Presidents Moi and Kibaki after him, he showed little concern for the environment and wildlife and left a legacy of destruction. His own direct relatives engaged in the ivory and rhino horn trade leading to the collapse of Kenyas herds. Frankly the British didn’t do much good either – they started the whole concept of killing animals and destroying our forests.   Grrrrr…..

Interestingly the post election violence that rocked Kenya in 2007 elections saw 1,500 killed, vs less well reported 2000 who are reported to have been killed in 1992 elections.

Bombing of the Norfolk Hotel in 1980 is not mentioned

Listen to one of Kenyattas most famous speeches here

BBC version of events

Evidence of some of the earliest human settlements has been found in Kenya, suggesting that it was the cradle of humanity from which descendents moved out to populate the world.

Maasai women
Maasai women: Once-nomadic tribes are turning to crop farming

600 – Arabs begin settling coastal areas, over the centuries developing trading stations which facilitated contact with the Arab world, Persia and India.

16th century – Portuguese try to establish foothold on Kenyan coast but are driven off by Swahili states and Omani Arabs by late 17th century.

1830s – Omani Arabs consolidate control of coast.

1895 – Formation of British East African Protectorate.

Early 1900s – White settlers move into highlands, railway built from Mombasa to Lake Victoria.

1920 – East African Protectorate becomes crown colony of Kenya – administered by a British governor.

Mau Mau

1944 – Kenyan African Union (KAU) formed to campaign for African independence. First African appointment to legislative council.

1947 – Jomo Kenyatta becomes KAU leader.

1952 – Secret Kikuyu guerrilla group known as Mau Mau begins violent campaign against white settlers. State of emergency declared. Kenyatta arrested.

1953 – Kenyatta charged with management of Mau Mau and jailed. KAU banned.

1956 – Mau Mau rebellion put down after thousands killed – mainly Africans.

1959 – Kenyatta released from jail but under house arrest.

1960 – State of emergency ends. Britain announces plans to prepare Kenya for majority African rule. Kenya African national Union (Kanu) formed by Tom Mboya and Oginga Odinga.

Independence

1961 – Kenyatta freed and assumes presidency of Kanu.

JOMO KENYATTA
Kenyatta was Kenya's founding father
Independence activist, jailed by the British, became president

1963 – Kenya gains independence, with Kenyatta as prime minister.

1964 – Republic of Kenya formed. Kenyatta becomes president and Odinga vice-president.

1966 – Odinga, a Luo, leaves Kanu after ideological split, forms rival Kenya People’s Union (KPU).

1969 – Assassination of government minister Tom Mboya sparks ethnic unrest. KPU banned and Odinga arrested. Kanu only party to contest elections.

1974 – Kenyatta re-elected.

Moi era begins

1978 – Kenyatta dies in office, succeeded by Vice-President Daniel arap Moi.

1982 June – Kenya officially declared a one-party state by National Assembly.

1982 August – Army suppresses air force coup attempt. Private Hezekiah Ochuka rules for about six hours.

1987 – Opposition groups suppressed. International criticism of political arrests and human rights abuses.

1989 – Political prisoners freed.

1990 – Death of the foreign minister, Robert Ouko, in suspicious circumstances leads to increased dissent against government.

Multi-party elections

1991 August – Forum for the Restoration of Democracy (Ford) formed by six opposition leaders, including Oginga Odinga. Party outlawed and members arrested. Creditors suspend aid to Kenya amid fierce international condemnation.

Daniel arap Moi (1991 picture)
Daniel arap Moi, one of Africa’s “Big Men”

1991 December – Special conference of Kanu agrees to introduce a multi-party political system.

1992 – Approximately 2,000 people killed in tribal conflict in the west of the country.

1992 August – Ford splits into two factions – Ford-Asili (led by ex-government minister Kenneth Matiba) and Ford-Kenya (led by Odinga).

1992 December – Moi re-elected in multi-party elections. Kanu wins strong majority.

1994 – Odinga dies. Opposition groups form coalition – the United National Democratic Alliance – but it is plagued by disagreements.

1995 – New opposition party – Safina – launched by palaeontologist Richard Leakey. Party refused official registration until November 1997.

1997 – Demonstrations calling for democratic reform. World Bank withholds disbursement of $5bn in structural adjustment credit.

1997 December – Moi wins further term in widely-criticised elections. His main opponents are former vice-president Mwai Kibaki and Raila Odinga, son of Oginga Odinga.

Embassy bomb

Kenyans were the main victims of the 1998 US embassy bomb
1998 attack on US embassy in Nairobi killed 224, injured 4,500

1998 August – Bomb explodes at US embassy in Nairobi, killing 224 people and injuring thousands.

1999 – Moi appoints Richard Leakey to head government drive against corruption.

2001 April – Leakey appears in court to face charges of abuse of power and perverting the course of justice.

2001 June – Parliament passes a law allowing the import and manufacture of cheap copies of anti-Aids drugs.

2001 – Ethnic tensions culminate in several violent clashes. In December thousands flee and several people are killed in rent battles involving Nubian and Luo communities in Nairobi’s Kibera slum district.

2002 July – Some 200 Maasai and Samburu tribespeople accept more than $7m in compensation from the British Ministry of Defence. The tribespeople had been bereaved or maimed by British Army explosives left on their land over the last 50 years.

2002 November – 10 Kenyans, three Israelis are killed when an Israeli-owned hotel near Mombasa is blown up by a car bomb. A simultaneous rocket attack on an Israeli airliner fails. A statement – purportedly from al-Qaeda – claims responsibility.

Kibaki victory

2002 December – Opposition presidential candidate Mwai Kibaki wins a landslide victory over Kanu rival Uhuru Kenyatta, ending Daniel arap Moi’s 24-year rule and Kanu’s four decades in power.

Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki
Moi’s successor, Mwai Kibaki, promised to tackle corruption

2003 January – Government bill proposes anti-corruption commission. Moi critic John Githongo appointed anti-graft czar.

2003 November – International Monetary Fund (IMF) resumes lending after three-year gap, citing anti-corruption measures.

2003 December – Government decides to grant former president Daniel arap Moi immunity from prosecution on corruption charges.

2004 March-July – Long-awaited draft of new constitution completed. Document requires parliament’s approval and proposes curbing president’s powers and creating post of prime minister. But deadline for enactment is missed.

2004 July-August – Food crisis, caused by crop failures and drought, dubbed “national disaster” by President Kibaki. UN launches aid appeal for vulnerable rural Kenyans.

2004 October – Kenyan ecologist Wangari Maathai wins the Nobel Peace Prize.

Controversy over jail conditions amid intense media coverage of inmate deaths at Meru jail in the east.

WANGARI MAATHAI
Ecologist and Nobel Peace Proze winner Wangari Maathai
Ecologist was first African woman to win Nobel Peace Prize

2005 January – Clashes over land and water rights leave more than 40 people dead.

2005 February – Corruption takes centre stage when it is claimed that graft has cost Kenya $1bn under Kibaki. Leading anti-graft official John Githongo resigns. International donors voice unease.

2005 July – Raiders kill 76 villagers, most of them women and children, in the north-east. The massacre is blamed on a rival clan.

Parliament approves a draft constitution after days of violent protests in Nairobi over aspects of the draft which demonstrators say give too much power to in the president’s hands.

Constitution spurned

2005 November-December – Voters reject a proposed new constitution in what is seen as a protest against President Kibaki. The president replaces his cabinet; some nominees reject their appointments.

2006 January – Government says four million people in the north need food aid because of a drought which the president calls a “national disaster”.

2006 January-February – Government ministers are linked to a corruption scandal involving contracts for a phantom company. One of them, Finance Minister David Mwiraria, resigns and says allegations against him are false.

2006 March – Armed police, acting on government orders, raid the offices and presses of the Standard group, one of Kenya’s leading media companies.

2006 April – Three days of national mourning are declared after an aircraft carrying several prominent politicians crashes in the north.

2006 April – Visiting Chinese President Hu Jintao signs a contract allowing China to prospect for oil off the Kenyan coast. His African tour has focused on trying to satisfy China’s hunger for energy and raw materials.

Somali refugees

2006 October – UN says some 35,000 Somalis escaping drought, Islamist rule and looming conflict have arrived in Kenyan camps since early 2006.

ELECTION VIOLENCE
Kenyan family flees street violence
Hundreds were killed in unrest that followed the disputed 2007 polls

2006 November – December – Regional flooding renders thousands homeless. Some 100,000 Somali refugees cut off by floodwaters in the north-east are supplied by air drops.

2007 May – A Kenya Airways plane with 114 people on board crashes in Cameroon.

2007 December – Presidential elections. President Kibaki claims victory and a second term in office, prompting a wave of unrest. Opposition says polls were rigged.

Opposition Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) wins most seats in the parliamentary election.

Post-election clashes

2008 January – Post-election violence kills more than 1,500, including an MP.

2008 February – Former UN chief Koffi Annan brokers talks between President Kibaki and opposition leader Raila Odinga, which lead to signing of a power-sharing deal.

2008 April – Mr Kibaki and Mr Odinga agree cabinet list. The 40-member cabinet is Kenya’s largest and costliest ever.

2008 October – Report into post-election clashes calls for international tribunal to try those implicated in violence. Many political leaders are reluctant to implement the commission of inquiry’s recommendations, with some arguing that prosecutions could trigger further clashes between communities.

2008 December – Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission (KACC) accuses seven current and former MPs of taking illegal allowances worth $250,000.

2009 July – Kenya’s cabinet announces that it will not set up a special tribunal over last year’s post-election violence, and will use local courts instead.

2009 August – Visiting US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton criticises Kenya for failing to investigate the deadly violence after the 2007 election.

Kenya says that at least 10 million people, or one third of the population, are in need of food aid. The government mobilises the military to distribute food, water and medicines to areas hit hardest by drought.

2009 November – Kenya publishes a draft constitution which would cut the president’s powers and put the prime minister in charge of routine government business, fo

January 28, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment