There was a day Raila Odinga arrived in Kisumu, Ugenya and Bondo but the people who normally give him a rousing welcome could not recognise him. That was around the time Raila quietly boarded a motorboat at Ndeda Beach in Bondo at 4pm and sailed with other passengers at night to Uganda without being noticed.
Travelling under different names, sometimes dressed as a priest and other times as a Sheikh, Raila staged a dramatic escape from Kenya by boat at night, through Lake Victoria to Uganda then to Norway, to avoid arrest just before a 1991 Forum for Restoration of Democracy rally at Kamukunji, Nairobi.
That day, Raila was introduced to Kisumu and Ugenya as Father Augustine from Machakos, complete with a priest’s robe. He arrived in Uganda under the name of Joseph Ojiwa Wadeya. By the time he was leaving Uganda for Norway, his name had changed to Haji Omar, going to Mecca on pilgrimage, complete with a kanzu and a fez.
The Lang’ata MP would probably be dead today had he not made this dramatic exit. Raila remembers in his biography that as the Ford Young Turks and the six elderly men were mobilising for the Kamukunji rally, a US Embassy official, Alan Eastham, told him they had intelligence that the Government was panicking and blaming Raila for all the tension that had gripped the country then.
According to the US Embassy, the Government believed Raila was the man behind the movement despite the fact that Raila held no leadership position in Ford. The Embassy told Raila that he was likely to be arrested two days before the October 5, 1991 rally. It was not going to be an ordinary arrest. “The Moi Government had concluded that Raila no longer feared detention and Eastham warned that they could do him physical harm or assassinate him.
The advice was that Raila should take care,” the biography, Raila Odinga: An Enigma in Kenyan Politics, says. Police raided Raila’s offices in Agip House, but missed him, as he had gone to lawyer James Orengo’s office within the building. A team of lawyers, including Martha Karua, Japheth Shamalla, Martha Koome and media houses were soon at hand to witness the siege. The raid was foiled. But the struggle was not over. It was after this that Raila, Orengo and Anyang’ Nyong’o decided that it was too risky to play games with “a desperate enemy”. From this time on, Raila’s life changed.
A decision was taken that Raila should go underground. The solidarity of the Young Turks paid off for him. At that time, Raila, Mukhisa Kituyi, Paul Muite, Oki Ooko Ombaka, Karua, Kiraitu Murungi, Gibson Kamau Kuria, among others, were allies against dictatorship.
After a night at Orengo’s place, Nyong’o, Raila and Orengo decided that even that place was not safe enough. Another “trustworthy friend” took over when Raila moved to the home of Dr Kituyi, a long time activist who had been expelled with Otieno Kajwang’ from the University of Nairobi for their role in student politics.
Nyong’o drove Raila to Kituyi’s place where the Lang’ata MP stayed for a week while police hunted for him. On the first night at Kituyi’s place, police raided Raila’s home in Kileleshwa. Ida, now used to battles with the police, refused to open, insisting the man was not at home. She pretended to be looking for the keys, while she was in fact calling the press.
She asked the watchman to count the police loudly. When he reached 17 they beat him hard. Then they left with a message to Ida to tell Raila, “if he was man enough, he should come to the police station and they would know who they were.” It was time to get Raila out of Kituyi’s house, to the US Embassy. The task fell on Kituyi’s wife, Ling, who had to take him through the many roadblocks without police noticing. She changed Raila’s beards and hair, fixed him with glasses and took him to the Embassy with Dr Kituyi driving and Nyong’o following.
The Embassy gave audience to Raila, but was not willing to host him. Earlier, it had given exile to Kamau Kuria, to Moi’s chagrin. That day, Raila went to Nyong’o’s house, fearing that police would follow him to Kituyi’s house. Muite showed up. They decided Raila needed to be moved to a friend who was less politically active. They moved him to Jalang’o Anyango’s residence in Loresho where he stayed for another week.
From here, Raila issued a statement that his life was in danger. Moi, on the other hand gave an interview where he said Kenya was a one- party State by law and those going against that were guilty. The die was cast. The Catholic Church took over Raila’s issue, with Archbishop Zacheaus Okoth plotting how to get Raila out of Nairobi.
Raila moved to his sister-in- law’s house, met his children and promised them he would never go into detention again. A white American nun and a Kenyan priest Father Mak’ Opiyo, dressed in their religious dresses, got Raila out of Nairobi. They also dressed Raila as a priest, gave him glasses and with a clean-shaven head, Raila became a different person. Sitting on the back seat, Raila read newspapers as they passed police roadblocks, where they were easily waved on.
That day, even Kisumu could not recognise Raila. When the three reached the Catholic Station in Kisumu, the two priests booked a disguised Raila as Father Augustine from Machakos. He was later transferred to Rang’ala Mission in Ugenya where, again, he was booked in as Father Augustine. His father sent a car to collect him at midnight.
It was time for Raila to leave the country by boat. At 4pm, Raila went to Olago beach in Bondo and boarded a diesel- powered boat. The lake was rough that evening, and the driver had to collect other passengers at Ndeda island. They left Ndeda at 8pm and headed for Uganda. “The boat moved slowly using only the moon and the stars for navigation on an initially calm night,” the biography says.
After two hours, the driver, Hezron Orori, who was also carrying one of his wives who was sick, announced that they were in Uganda. That provided some relief for Raila, before a heavy storm hit the lake. It was cold, and Orori’s sick wife began to shiver. “Raila lent her his jacket and became cold himself,” the writer says. Raila turned to a bottle of Vodka a friend had given him. It gave him some warmth. Raila spent the night in Sigulu, one of the formerly Kenyan islands that had been annexed by Idi Amin.
Here, with the help of sympathetic Kenyans, Ugandans and Tanzanians, Raila acquired Ugandan papers. But his name changed. He became Joseph Ojiwa Wadeya. In Kampala, Raila landed in the hands of a friend who had worked for his company, the East African Spectre, who reported his arrival to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees. Uganda reported to Kenyan authorities that Raila was there.
There was fear that Kenyan intelligence forces in Kampala could abduct Raila and return him home. UNHCR asked Raila to remain underground saying Kenya had sent security forces to search for him. But Uganda declined to help the Kenyan forces. Germany, US and Britain, all keen not to ruffle relations with Moi, were reluctant to give asylum to Raila. Only Norway, which had cut relations with Kenya, accepted Raila.
To leave Uganda for Norway, Raila had to be disguised again. Ahmed Sayyid Farah, a Somali national who was the UNHCR country representative in Uganda, decided they were not going to take chances. Farah got Raila a kanzu with a fez and a jacket similar to those of Uganda Muslims to wear. His name changed to Haji Omar, going to Mecca on pilgrimage. A friend who had boarded Sabena Airlines in Nairobi could not recognise Raila when he boarded in Kampala.
His sisters who waited for him at the airport in Oslo could not recognise him either. Back home, Raila’s wife Ida was still fighting. She issued a press statement detailing why Raila had to, and stubbornly insisted that if anything happened to her husband, she would hold the police responsible.
She said thugs had attacked Raila’s car at their gate and a day later, an unidentified persons left a bucketful of faeces on their backyard. Police were calling their house every day and leaving death threats, she said. “The latest telephone message that police will shoot him if they caught up with him is the most terrifying.
The police have created a lot of fear in our children with these threats. The children freeze every time the phone rings or whenever there is a knock on the door,” Ida protested. “Last week, our daughter broke down in class. I am afraid our children can’t take it anymore. I appeal to the police to stop it for the sake of the children. In this country, all children are supposed to occupy a special place in the hearts of the leaders,” Ida said.
She insisted that those hunting Raila down were not ordinary policemen. “Never before have I heard policemen leaving death messages to people they intend to arrest. May be the tactics have changed. When they say openly that he will see fire or he will see what he has never seen before or that he will never see the sun again, these messages mean the same thing, that they will kill him.”
Ida complained that on October 4 1991, a rowdy and rude group of about 20 uniformed and plain clothed policemen attempted to get to their house by force. Earlier, police had invaded East African Spectre and harassed employees, staged continuous surveillance on the company and at Raila’s home.
At the company, they left the message that Raila should report to Central Police Station. “It was ominous that when we reported to the Central Police Station, no officer at that station knew about his requirement to report,” Ida said in the lengthy statement. “I want to state very clearly and in no uncertain terms that if something happens to Raila, my family will hold police wholly responsible.”
A day later, Raila’s father, Jaramogi weighed in with a statement asking police to leave his son alone. “I appeal to the Commissioner of Police to put a stop to this nonsense. I appeal to the head of the Special Branch, whose professional duty is to advise the Government on political matters as they relate to the security of society to advise against the Gestapo behaviour.”
Apparently, Raila had not left the country or even Nairobi, when this statement was issued. But it created the impression that he was out. It was not the first time Ida was showing this act of defiance in what was increasingly becoming a family’s battle with the State. A few years earlier, Ida had been sacked from her teaching job “in public interest.” That came after she took the State to court in 1988 to demand Raila’s release. A letter of retirement was delivered to her at Kenya High School on September 12, 1988, telling her to handover all school property and leave within six hours. Nobody, not even the Kenya National Union of Teachers protested.
Only the late Bishop Alexander arap Muge did. When international pressure mounted, the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) changed tact. Mr J Kang’ali wrote to Ida about a week later: “The TSC has carefully reviewed its decision on this matter and having taken into account your previous record of service as a teacher, it has been decided that you be reinstated back to the teaching service, on humanitarian grounds.”
TSC declined to take responsibility for the inconveniences to Ida. In early 1991, an uncowed Ida fired a lengthy letter to Attorney General Mathew Muli, demanding to know why Raila was being persecuted. “Why is it that up to now, Raila has not been told specifically what it is that he did to warrant detention without trial? Would you not agree that general reference to his involvement or association with persons is not specific at all? How can he change if his offences are not specified?” she asked. In the end, Norway gave Raila an asylum, a job and a passport that allowed him to travel to all countries except Kenya. He had lived to fight another day and launch an attack on the Nyayo Government from abroad. He returned later to take the Lang’ata seat in 1992.
by Alloyce Ojwang’ Oyoo
Absa Partners With Mi Vida to Offer Affordable Mortgage Financing Targeting Middle Class Earners.
- Absa has partnered with property developer Mi Vida to provide preferential mortgage benefits to prospective and existing customers, with an aim of making it easy for middle income families to buy quality homes.
- 25-year tenor is the longest repayment period in the market
- The units being financed will include 1, 2-and 3 bedroom apartments with prices ranging from Sh8.8 to 15.7 million.
Wednesday, 16 June, 2021… Absa Bank Kenya has introduced a 25-year mortgage facility targeting middle income families seeking affordable homes within Nairobi.
The proposition seeks to increase mortgage uptake by prospective homeowners, offering options towards home ownership such as construction loans and home loans for self-employed individuals (SMEs) with a dedicated a team of experts who will walk customers throughout every step of buying or constructing their dream home.
Absa customers will also benefit from established partnerships with players in the home ownership value chain such as property developers, furnishing partners and home appliance partners, who will offer homeowners a wide range of benefits among them great discounts.
This was announced as the bank signed a financing partnership with Mi Vida Homes where customers will enjoy a discounted rate of 12.5% p.a with up to 90% financing.
Speaking during the signing of the Absa-Mi Vida partnership, Peter Mutua, Absa Bank Customer Network Director, urged both existing and prospective customers to invest in the lengthened payment period and low interest rates of the Absa – Mi Vida mortgage proposition to own their dream homes.
“As a truly African bank, we understand that home is where the heart is. This is why we have availed the Absa – Mi Vida mortgage facility to employed and self-employed customers, presenting a lifetime chance to own ready-to-move-in homes. As a bank, we believe in developing sustainable financing models for our customers, we are offering up to 90% financing within market rates, over a period of 25 years to service their loans,’’ says Mr. Mutua.
The proposition is one of the bank’s contributions towards the government’s housing pillar under the Big 4 Agenda and aims to provide quality family homes with sociable amenities and green spaces that enhance quality of living spaces to potential homeowners.
“We have a team of dedicated experts that will walk the journey with customers using our financial and non-financial expertise to provide credible information, services and solutions throughout every step of acquiring their dream home.” adds Mr. Mutua.
Speaking during the signing ceremony, Mr. Antony Kambiriri, Chief Financial Officer Mi Vida, said, “We are delighted to partner with Absa Bank Kenya as it brings us closer to our goal of addressing the shortage of middle-income housing in Kenya. There is a huge demand for affordable and middle-income homes and through this partnership, we will bridge the gap in this market to exceed customers’ expectations.”
Mi Vida’s project at Garden City, is a first of its kind with the development centred on green space and family living. Phase 1 at Garden City offers 1. 2- and 3-Bedroom Apartments. Launched in 2019, under construction and on course to be complete by March of 2022.
Besides the Mi Vida proposition, Absa’s mortgage flexible offers different options towards home ownership such as financing land purchases and disbursing construction loans as well as home loans for self-employed individuals.
Housing Projects at Garden City Defining the Future of Green Homes in Kenya
By the year 2050, the global population will likely reach nine (9) billion people. Due to household demand
and population growth, the world needs to build more than two billion new homes over the next 80 years
according to global research.
The distress is beyond the demand for new homes. Nations across the globe are becoming increasingly
concerned about the effects of climate change and people growing environmentally conscious, project
builders have implemented sustainable development practices in their real estate properties to promote
energy efficiency, minimize the impacts of global warming, and protect natural resources.
Due to advances in technology, green homes are gradually growing in popularity, and this is a step in the
right direction. If project builders do not adapt to the challenge of building sustainable homes, the
pressure on natural resources will be detrimental to the environment. Some of the resulting negative
impacts include loss of biodiversity and increased greenhouse gases.
Today, the need for more sustainable homes has also been expedited by contemporary homebuyers’
preferences. People want – and will pay more for – sustainable features such as energy-efficient
appliances, windows, and fittings alongside other features that improve their health and quality of life. It is
also worth noting that as younger generations are expected to enter the home buying market, they are
looking out for built-in eco-friendly and sustainable features.
In Kenya, Actis, the developer of the Garden City Residences, Mall, and Business Park, is committed to
green-building and sustainable projects. Garden City development is the first within Sub-Sahara Africa
rated under the Green Building Council of Australia’s Green Star multi-unit residential V1 tool that
promotes the design and construction of high-performance green residential developments.
For instance, the infrastructure uses robust water harvesting and recycling/reuse systems aimed at
reducing wastage and significantly reduce potable water consumption by up to 28 per cent. It also
incorporates a massive solar carport ideal for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
The sustainability aspects of the Garden City mixed-use development made it the first project of its kind in
East Africa to achieve a Gold rating in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) – the
rating system developed by the US. Green Building Council for the design, construction, operation, and
maintenance of green buildings, homes, and neighbourhoods.
At the heart of this green and sustainable development, there is the Mi Vida Homes, a Ksh 12 billion
shilling joint venture by Actis and Shapoorji Pallonji Real Estate. Mi Vida Homes holds significant
importance to the future of green homes in Kenya through the incorporation of more green space in
apartment developments and the development of amenities that meet family’s needs.
Mi Vida homes are certified by the International Finance Corporation “Excellence in Design for Greater
Efficiencies” (IFC EDGE), a green building standard and a certification system for over 140 countries.
EDGE helps to determine the most cost-effective options for designing green within a local climate
context. The project adheres to the IFC EDGE standard of 20 per cent less energy use, 20 per cent less
water use, and 20 per cent less embodied energy in materials when compared to a base case building.
The environmental benefits of green building in our contemporary society cannot be underestimated as it
enhances and protect biodiversity while improving the quality of water and air that we consume. Going
green will in the long run reduce waste streams while conserving and restoring our natural resources.
Author: Ciru Okobi – Commercial Director, Garden City
The 2021 Toyota Urban Cruiser launched in Kenya
Motor distributor Toyota Kenya has launched the Urban Cruiser in the Kenyan market, the latest SUV in the Toyota Kenya product line-up that will start retailing from KES2.7 million inclusive of VAT.
Toyota Kenya Managing Director, Arvinder Reel said the Urban Cruiser, which is the youngest SUV in the Toyota family, embodies Toyota’s quality, durability, and reliability promise, with the vehicle designed for customers looking for SUV comfort, the latest technology at an affordable price point.
“Toyota Kenya has always operated on the premise of giving our customers the best. And we as continue growing our small car segment offering, we continue introducing new and innovative products that offer value for money and will see more Kenyans drive brand-new vehicles,” said Mr Reel.
Despite the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, Toyota Kenya recorded a 4% share growth in the market, excluding truck and buses. “We are therefore optimistic that the small car segment will continue performing well as we progress in the year.”
The Urban Cruiser is an attractive SUV with a combination of design, performance and technology offering consumers the comfort and sophistication required from an SUV. It has a fuel-efficient and responsive engine that gives quick pick up on speed, the best technology that includes Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD) – a further advancement of the ABS, and generous interior space including a luggage space of 328 litres and a 60/40 rear split.
To assist Kenyans to acquire the Urban Cruiser, Toyota Kenya has partnered with major financial institutions in Kenya that offer various financing options.
The Urban Cruiser will be available through Toyota Kenya’s network of branches and dealerships countrywide, with customers enjoying a 3 year/100,000 km manufacturer warranty. We endeavour to offer an unforgettable Toyota Kenya Experience through comprehensive After Sales support as well as the provision of genuine spare parts.
We would love to hear car enthusiasts argue out on which car rivals this.
Reer Yusuf Clan Leadership
The Leader of Reer Yusuf Suldan Macalin Adan Abdi Ismeil Guled Samatar was leading Reer Yusuf Clan for sixty-nine years since Somalia independency from nineteen sixty he worked all Somali government from the first Somali government of President Adan Abdulle Osman to the current government Of president Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo.
During Somalia civil war he was Peacemaker among Somali tribes who were in conflicts among themselves Suldan Macalin Adan Abdi Ismeal Guled Samtar was peace lovers to and initiated several peace project. He passed on 8th April 2021 at the age of 93. May his soul rest in peace.
Suldan Macalin Adan Abdi Ismeal Guled Samtar’s leadership was within the following district which are located within Gedo Region
- Jibraail Adan
- Qurux Adan
- Bees Adan
- Abdi Adan
- Reer Jibril
- Reer Ali Noor
- Reer Roble
- Reer Farah warmooga
- Mahamud Haarun
- Ahmed Haarun
- Abtidow Haarun
BOC Kenya Calls On Kenyans to Return Empty Cylinders to Save Lives.
The Cabinet Secretary for Health, Mutahi Kagwe, on Monday, while briefing the nation on the status of COVID-19, made a passionate appeal for Kenyans to return cylinders to manufacturers to help stem a looming crisis. He made a shocking revelation that cylinders are being hoarded and illegally refilled across the country which means that the cylinder pool is being depleted daily. Oxygen is critical in the management of COVID-19.
The CS said more than 20,000 Oxygen cylinders are in the hands of Kenyans and made a humble appeal that they are returned to enable the frontline workers to save lives of COVID-19 patients and avoid preventable deaths.
“I wish to appeal to those holding cylinders be they hospital facilities or individuals in other sectors, please return those cylinders to manufacturers so they can refill and use them in hospitals that need that them,” said the CS.
BOC Kenya, the leading supplier of industrial, medical, and special gases in East Africa, has joined the Ministry of Health calling on Kenyans to return all idle and unused cylinders to help save lives and fight the pandemic.
“Return idle and unused cylinders and save a life. Oxygen is critical in the management of COVID-19. So, please, do not hoard cylinders and do not refill them illegally,” said the company in a statement.
Before the coming of Covid-19, the market demand for Oxygen in Kenya was 410 tons. By mid-2020, the demand had gone up to 560 tons, and currently, the demand is 880 tons, more than double the demand at the same period last year.
“This demand has come up with other challenges, namely efficiency in the distribution of oxygen gas cylinders brought about by hoarding or diversion of cylinders for other uses,” BOC added. We are running our plant and distribution systems 24hours, 7 days a week.
Overall, there are 73 oxygen plants in both h national & county facilities across the country. Majority of these services one to three units within a facility. There are also about 20,000 concentrators in various health facilities that can be brough back to service to support the efforts of hospitals in the care for patients. Some of these plants and concentrators face several challenges including reliability and the production of oxygen with lower than recommended concentration levels.