The Corrupt are akin to a dog which hides its loot (bones) in unmarked foreign accounts

When I teach Governance I give this analogy matters corruption in Africa. A dog will attack a weaker dog and take away the bone it has been eating. Instead of eating , it will go and bury it and come back to attack the next weak dog & do the same thing.

It will do this over & over again in the course of the day until there are no more weak dogs with a bone . A dog has a habit of burying bones, it might be due to an intense hereditary survival instinct. Dogs in the wild buried bones as a means of storing them to use at a later time. Later it starts to rain & the dog feels hungry & naturally it will remember that had hidden a bone somewhere . Now dogs are not very good with their sense of smell on wet environment. It’s muddy,  messy & it finally goes to sleep hungry and cold. More often than not it may never find that bone & most likely it will be swept away by the floods.

Now our public servant will hide his loot somewhere in Europe. I have heard many times that no civil servants should have a foreign account . You certainly need a lot of money to have a foreign account. Most of the funds are wired to some secret accounts that even their loved ones including wife(s) do not know they exists . We are all too familiar with the Panama accoubts.

In old age their memory is failing  them & they are no longer able to remember where they stashed the loot. Sick ,frail with failing memory ordinary people  will then be asked to contribute Mpesa for their medical & even for their funeral.  Hiding their loot is very similar to what the dog was doing. The weak dog is Eg funds for free primary school , funds meant for ARV’s , hospital funds , water projects etc etc. If only the dog enjoyed that one bone , if only the real looters could be limited to that one bone , if only the loot could have been invested in Africa to create employment etc it would have made a huge difference.

In other news close to £360M stashed by one Sani Abachi is being sent back to Nigeria at least this was not marked as unclaimed funds. Please don’t be that dog attacking weak dogs, please if you hide that ‘ bone’ share the location so that it does not go unclaimed .

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5 Reasons Why Balala ought to be retained as CS Tourism

#WhyILoveKenya

5 Reasons Why CS Balala should continue as CS Tourism. I am writing this in my personal capacity as a Tourism player.

First Things First .

I don’t hold brief for Hon Balala and I am not expecting anything in return. I also know many of you believe that I am also fit to be CS Tourism . No doubt about that but we can only have one CS . Najib is the right man for the job . I am happy to continue to play my role in Private sector.

1. He is on first name basis with all the key world leading tour operators , locally great connection with tourism players. In September he was elected Chairman UNWTO Africa commission .This is building on existing blocks.

2 . Excellent contacts with all the Diplomatic circles. To be on first name basis with key Ambassdors at a personal level is not something you develop overnight. These things take time.

3. Excellent PR & Networking skills. As Tourism CS he has maintained fantastic relationship with Media Kenya and International press. Networking & PR is far deeper than just a photo opportunity . Our business is SHOWBIZ. If you expect a CS Tourism to avoid the media then you are mistaken.

4. He has delivered on key areas :

$Charter resumption to Msa.
$Open skies .
$lobbying for Visa on arrival , next is park fees for Africans to be reviewed downwards.
$Extra funding to KTB.
$Lobbied hard to get the notorious and punishing Non Essential travel advisories on Kenya Coast lifted. $Attends and lobbies at main expos and road shows promoting Kenya .
$Tourist arrivals are now quite close to 2007 figures. $Pushed hard to get the Cruiseship terminal underway. It is now 40% done just last week he made a plea for the work to be speeded up.
$Tembea Kenya campaign
$Halal Tourism promo as a new segment
$Helped to get the Vat on tours rescinded.

5. Passion for the industry . He has taken to the skies to Sky Dive. Hiked Mount Kenya to promote Mountaineering. Promoted Turkana as cradle of mankind .Next on his agenda is The Great Rift & Western Kenya

Simply put he is Plug & Play CS. Not someone who is coming to learn the ropes. Learning the ropes means wasting 3 years. We just don’t have that time .

Bottom line it is the prerogative of His Excellency The President but at least I have done my bit

As always I choose to remain an optimist

Mohammed Hersi

Secession Talk, my dear Kenyans in Nyanza & Western . Some candor may help.

#WhyILoveKenya Secession talk due to alleged marginalization and mainly in Nyanza and Western Kenya. I am sure some candor will help. What will North Eastern, good Part of Ukambani say where even nature has marginalised them ?

If it is historical injustice no place has suffered like the 5 counties of Garisaa. Wajir. Mandera . Marsabit & Isiolo . I recall posting my own challanges growing up in Marsabit. I had the privilege to drive around the gulf in Lake Victoria which is mainly the 10% or so of our share of Lake Victoria. 6 permanent rivers flowing into the 2nd largest fresh water lake in the world. Come to North Eastern and Ukambani even good parts of Muranga where there are no rivers. Arid and semi arid . The road network as shown in the images are A1 and I will tell you for free go drive from Makutano via Muranga to Nyeri it’s terrible. I saw the best road network in Kisumu Siaya and Homa Bay , pictures don’t lie. North Eastern Garisaa to Mandera are now being promised but do you see them lament? They make the best entrepreneurs and hustlers.

The Mbita causeway that was blocking fish and water from the main Lake Victoria forcing our people to go fish in Uganda will now be a thing of the past . Thanks to the beautiful bridge and once again fish can easily breed in the gulf area.. Kisumu International Airport, tell me how many other counties have International airports.? The county fathers should be inviting investors to grow fruits and horticulture for export . Kisumu International airport is dead from 8pm when we should be exporting fresh produce as cargo. Well educated and warm people .

I spent 7 days with locals in Kisumu , Luanda K’otieno, Asembo Bay, Mbita , Rusinga all the way on Mfangano . Everyone I met was warm and nice to me . They only need to be shown direction and empower them . Opportunities galore in that region . Maybe you don’t appreciate what you got because you are used to it but I will tell you for free you have NOT been marginalised. It is all in the mind. You may not necessarily agree with me but it is only fair I tell you what gold mine you are sitting on. Kisumu alone has 35 banks represented out of the 42 banks in Kenya and over 25 Universities and colleges

This talk of secession is nothing but hot air , it is not a walk in the park to secede go ask Eritrea 35 years wait or even South Sudan 40 + years wait then a mess , Somaliland have been chasing for recognition 20+ years .

Please go make your counties work . We should be fighting for more funds to the counties but we must also stand up to confront the waste in the counties with the same energy we fight the national goverment.

Let us debate and As always I choose to remain an optimist Mohammed Hersi

Rwanda Has Its Own Road Map To Democracy, Leave them alone

Rwanda has it’s own road map to democracy. Leave them alone.

Rwanda held elections on 4th August and HE Paul Kagame won and he starts another term of 7 years. This is a man I have met on 3 occasions courtesy of my hospitality role . I have also personally taken alot of interest to read more about Rwanda while I have also been to this beautiful country on numerous occasions.

Many have accused PK of hanging onto leadership and refusing to go. If only you take time to read and understand about the tragedy of genocide only then will you empathise and appreciate that Rwanda is a very special case. Many also dont know that there have been many attacks against the minority Tutsis over the past 100 years but of course the 1994 was the worst one where even moderate Hutus were not spared.

In Kenya during PEV of 2007 1300 people died and we felt the pain. In Rwanda 1,000,000 people were massacred in under 100 days. When Rwanda was crying for help the western world could not even locate Rwanda on the world map let alone send help. The UN were busy pussy footing to do anything. On the hand OAU then was a useless body.

Well one man led a ragtag army under RPF and brought to a stop the genocide that was not showing any signs of slowing down. This is a man who chose not to rush to be President, he even went ahead to work with people who supported the genocide for the sake of forgiveness and moving on. Rwanda showed the world that if it was to jail everyone involved it meant more than half the population will be behind bars hence Gachacha court came into being. This is only unique to Rwanda. The rest as they say is history.

I am not here to enumerate the achievement of PK, I have done that on many other occasions.

I am here to give my own simple analysis why PK opted on a further term of 7 years. It means that in 2017 anyone who was born in 1994 during the genocide is now 23. If you were 10 at that time you would be 33 today. In 2024 God willing anyone who was 10 at that time would be turning 40.

Rwanda has taken a policy NOT to identify it’s people according to tribe but as Rwandans . It is the intention of PK that by the time he is handing over the majority of the population will be post genocide and they see themselves as Rwandans. Dont rule out a post genocide citizen taking over from PK .

Now why would anyone have an issue with that time table?

Why are they so pained yet they are not even Rwandans?

It is laughable when some of my fellow Kenyans are asking PK to exit to support democracy.

Rwanda should be left to heal in its own way . Rwanda should be left to pursue it’s own form of democracy.

If the world is itching to help there are many places that need serious help . We NEVER helped Rwanda when they needed help and it is an insult for anyone to try to patronize them on what to do .

PK is focused on a united Rwanda and anyone questioning that can as well go hang .

As always I choose to remain an optimist

As you amass ill gotten wealth, you can only eat from one plate and sleep on only one bed.

Politics in Kenya has become a surest way to make quick wealth through government contracts and deals. Some of those who have tasted the same will not hesitate to deal with you if you ever stood in their way.

People you can’t even tell what they do for a living? Living large like there is no tommorow. Many a times It is not even the contenders it is the sidekicks who turn to be the hardliners who can’t just imagine staying in the “cold ” for five years so to speak.

Firstly not all businessmen doing business with goverment are crooks but let’s also be honest with ourselves 80% of the time it’s deal cutting at both national & county goverment.

It is only in Kenya we have billionaires who have invented nothing . A billion shillings these days is nothing but that is $10Million , that is alot of money . As you amass the dirty wealth allow me to tell you the following:

1. It has been proven that beyond a certain point the quality of life can never get any better.

2. Irrespective of how much you’ve grabbed you can only drive one car.

3. You can only sleep in one house.

4. You can only sleep in one room

5. You can only sleep on one bed.

6. You can only eat from one plate and due to stress you have been asked to avoid many dishes.

7. You can only travel to one destination on holiday at one time.

The list can go on and on If the wealth that was acquired was dirty or even spilled blood then it comes back to haunt your family. Don’t think you’ve been bewitched when your daughter the one you loved most eloped with a ” useless ” boy or your son became a junkie. Look around us you’ll see very many examples of people who were walking terror in them days and this is all about Karma , as you wrong the defenceless nature will revenge for them.

You steal money meant for free primary education. You don’t spare ARV funds while you take exotic holidays, the list can go on and on. It is said karma has no deadline.

Life is too short to be ruthless killing and maiming .

The first 20 years you struggle in school.

The next 20 years finish university, get a job or simply hustle then marry & start a family .

The next 20 years educate your children & help them through University. If you are lucky to reach 60 years .

Anyone above that is on bonus time. Folks life is too short to be ruthless killing others and walking like you have done nothing. Well when nothing works for you dont look any further. “Malipo ni hapa hapa duniani mwanzo” you’ll taste judgment first right here on earth while full judgement awaits you.

Choice is yours mweawhile as always I choose to remain an optimist in that evil shall not reign forever. Good shall overcome evil.

@mohammedhersi

Madaraka Express, from Ridiculous to Absurd

Madaraka Express from ridiculous to absurd . When we thought that all the feedback we have been giving we now get this

Who is advising KR on Madaraka Express? While we laud the additional train service you can’t fail to miss to see the weired rules that has been sneaked in.

In business when you buy in bulk you pay less per unit , what is this that when you book more tickets you pay more. Why are they so fixated with setting some rules that simply don’t add up . So if a group of Chama decide in under 9 days to travel they can’t get tickets? I thought we are in a free market and buy your ticket anytime you so wish . Then the most ridiculous , so called foreigners will pay Ksh4000. What informed that decision. Even hotels we are now moving from that silly rates discrimination. Can you imagine walking into a London tube and I am made to pay 6 times more than a UK or EU citizen.

Well at this rate I am afraid Madaraka Express is setting a first on how NOT to run a railway passenger line.

Oh My Oh My . Remaining optimistic on this is now becoming quite a hard one. This is very very disappointing

Mohammed Hersi

Chairman Kenya Tourism Federation.

Kenya Elections Prediction

My Prediction Election 2017:

#KenyaElections2017 This is what I foresee , it is a lenghty piece but worth your time.  Trust me.

On 7/8/2017 Kenyans are inches away from a closely contested presidential election while many Governors are also chasing a second final term in office. So are Senators, MPs, Women  Reps and MCA.  Kenya is on the edge .

All media houses are covering the preparedness live on TV across the country with analysts at TV  stations doing their stuff. From the ground it is all confirmed that each and every polling station is ready for the big day. It is dry across the country since rain has been known to disrupt delivery of election material in the past.  Agents from the political devide  are all happy with the arrangement while both local and international observers team give the preparedness an A rating. So far so good

International media are also all over having arrived a week earlier to position themselves.  While elections are also happening in Rwanda  their attention is more focused on Kenya. As they file their reports they keep referring to events of 2007 yet we had a smooth 2013 elections . You know it is hard to change  perception.

Kenyans across the country make a silent prayer for the only place they call home. Ordinary Kenyans interviewed all say how they will wake up early the next day to cast their vote. Our next door neighbours landlocked Uganda , Rwanda  all say a prayer for us since a stable  Kenya is key for them.

On 8/8/2017 media Kenya is now beaming live events across the nation. Polling stations all open on time and it all systems go. Kenyans wake up very early to head to the polling stations to cast their vote .  Queues starts forming and voting process suddenly looks so easy and smooth.

IEBC having given a link on how to check your voters details including the stream where you are meant to vote makes it easy and quicker process. Voting is now under way. Kenyans vote and majority head back to their workplace and some home. Many head home to wait for the day to end with bated  breath.

The day is now coming to a close. Agents and observers are quite pleased with the days flow of events.  Voting was smooth and majority of Kenyans found it easy to vote.

At 5PM  all polling stations close and by 6.30PM counting of votes gets underway. Daylight gives  way to darkness and Kenyans retreat to their homes to follow the happenings from across the country.

Media Kenya is now  pushed to the limit where veteran senior reporters also find themselves on the ground reporting live . International media look bored since no juicy story has cropped up

At 7PM first results starts streaming in and smaller wards declare winners in MCA  positions followed by MP’s results.  Numbers for Gubernatorial & the big one Presidential also start streaming in .

9PM  it’s prime time news and it is all nothing but elections, elections and elections stuff.

It’s midnight and the Presidential race as expected becomes a two horse race. Agents, observers , IEBC  and security spend a sleepless night at polling and tallying centres.

It is now a new day 9/8 and Kenyans are now on the edge . The conversation is nothing but about the vote counting and the results from across the country.  IEBC  has been giving hourly update which is now continuous.

9AM . Agents from across the devide are happy with the vote counting but the anxiety keeps building . International observers are all pleased with the vote counting . Most of the other seats winners are being announced while the main Presidential vote remains a tight  race.

11AM. It is now clear that we have a winner in the Presidential race and he has gone past the 50% mark  and to be more precise 53%. The No 2 who came close opt to call for a press conference to concede defeat. Kenyans are all glued to their TV stations .  He thanks IEBC for conducting a very free fair and credible elections. He also reveals that he has made a call to the winning side and what an election it has been .

Kenyans are pleasantly surprised and can’t believe it . The candidate who came in second appeals to his supporters to remain calm and accept the verdict of the people. He is hailed across the country as a hero and many say a prayer to thank  God for taking the nation safely through a tough elections. Voters are now heard saying what a nice guy he is and wish how they voted for him , but nevertheless they shower him with love and gratitude. Conceding defeat is considered normal in other parts of the world. It only happened once in Kenya in 2002.

It is now midday and IEBC  call for a live press conference. The announcement is nothing new since the candidiate  who came in second has already conceded defeat .  The IEBC  team led by it’s Chairman and CEO address a packed venue full of media . They report a record voter turnout of 86% across the country one of the highest ever ever in the world. Kenyans  sigh with relief.

They finely declare the Presidential race winner and leaders across the world start sending congratulatory messages.  Donald Trump speak to the winner followed by UK, Canada, and EU . Kenya is hailed across the world for holding a smooth elections. The winner thanks his worthy competitor who made it exciting.  The winner promises to serve all Kenyans equally irrespective of how they voted.

In less than 24 hours Kenyans made a choice. Kenyans are congratulating each other. suddenly we are one family.

It is now time to go back to our normal lives, It has not been easy. The stock exchange opens  with a bang and the index across counters are all up. The few who left the country for fear are now looking for tickets to fly back.

It’s now peak period for tourists arriving for the annual wildebeest  migration and Kenyans  have a big smile on their faces and can’t wait to share the good story .

Kenyans so used to politics are now bored. Kenyans who expected contested results are now bored. International media who planned to camp here for weeks after the elections are now forced to fly back  since good news ain’t news.

Folks the above scenario is possible.  We did it in 2002 and yes we can do it once again. To IEBC  thanks for allowing us not only to check  our voting details but even voting stations and stream from the comfort of our phones. Please give us a free fair and credible elections. To the two sides, please give IEBC  space.  Let them deliver on their mandate .  Chebukati  and Chiloba  want  to go down in history as the pair that delivered a smooth elections. They are not from Siberia , they are also Kenyans and they mean well.

As always I choose to remain an optimist, God Bless Kenya .

Mohammed Hersi

Chairman

Kenya Tourism Federation

Madaraka Express ; In 2017 buying a train ticket  you ask us to call ?

#MadarakaExpress  ;

45 days down the line we are still NOT able to book online and NOT  book more than 3 days in advance. Now this is what is called mediocrity.  We just can’t sort out a simple booking engine for one trip from either side. We are not even discussing multiple trips. We then dare scream ” Madaraka Express Bila  Stress:

You insist that one  must present self  physically at the station to pick a ticket . It’s like buying a flight ticket but go to JKIA  or MIA  to get your ticket way before travel.  Talk of rehearsing for the trip. Totally unacceptable. 

You open the ticketing office at 7am and by 9am there are no more tickets  but they are available  from brokers within the terminus area at say Ksh 1000.  It is really unfortunate that we have opted to drag such a noble project this low.

Allow me to brutally honest 

I am a big supporter  of SGR project but the ticketing has been nothing but archaic  and in shambles. In this day and age you ask a traveller to call a number to book for a simple train ticket then physically visit  the station??

Why do we behave like it is the first passenger  train in the world?  We have many train services all around the world.

Even our local buses with various multiple connections have successful online booking engines, Why is KR  not able to replicate the same.

As tourism players we want to buy tickets for groups and we are now asked to write a letter applying , excuse me . We are not applying for a passport.  We are only asking to buy a train ticket.

I am afraid the ticketing mess is taking the beauty out of this good project.  As Kenya  Tourism Federation  KTF  we shall formally express our displeasure. It is this confusion that is creating brokers and middlemen. 

We were promised a John Holland  Co an Australian firm was to handle the logistics , why are they missing in action?

Sabotaging the SGR does not necessarily have to be physical. Ticketing mess coupled with rude counter staff is enough sabotage.  I am afraid some of us will not remain silent. We have waited for far too long for this great project to happen.
We shall not remain silent . To KR  I leave you with this quote  by Brian  Wilson. ” Beware the lollipop  of mediocrity ; lick it once and you’ll suck it forever”. This project is too grandiose to be allowed to operate at mediocre level. You will not suck that lollipop  of mediocrity. 

Mohammed Hersi

Chairman, Kenya  Tourism Federation. 

KTF  Kenya’s  Tourism  Umbrella  Body.

Madaraka Express ; In 2017 buying a train ticket  you ask us to call ?

#MadarakaExpress  ;

45 days down the line we are still NOT able to book online and NOT  book more than 3 days in advance. Now this is what is called mediocrity.  We just can’t sort out a simple booking engine for one trip from either side. We are not even discussing multiple trips. We then dare scream ” Madaraka Express Bila  Stress:

You insist that one  must present self  physically at the station to pick a ticket . It’s like buying a flight ticket but go to JKIA  or MIA  to get your ticket way before travel.  Talk of rehearsing for the trip. Totally unacceptable. 

You open the ticketing office at 7am and by 9am there are no more tickets  but they are available  from brokers within the terminus area at say Ksh 1000.  It is really unfortunate that we have opted to drag such a noble project this low.

Allow me to brutally honest 

I am a big supporter  of SGR project but the ticketing has been nothing but archaic  and in shambles. In this day and age you ask a traveller to call a number to book for a simple train ticket then physically visit  the station??

Why do we behave like it is the first passenger  train in the world?  We have many train services all around the world.

Even our local buses with various multiple connections have successful online booking engines, Why is KR  not able to replicate the same.

As tourism players we want to buy tickets for groups and we are now asked to write a letter applying , excuse me . We are not applying for a passport.  We are only asking to buy a train ticket.

I am afraid the ticketing mess is taking the beauty out of this good project.  As Kenya  Tourism Federation  KTF  we shall formally express our displeasure. It is this confusion that is creating brokers and middlemen. 

We were promised a John Holland  Co an Australian firm was to handle the logistics , why are they missing in action?

We shall not remain silent . To KR  I leave you with this quote  by Brian  Wilson. ” Beware the lollipop  of mediocrity ; lick it once and you’ll suck it forever”. This project is too grandiose to be allowed to operate at mediocre level. You will not suck that lollipop  of mediocrity. 

Mohammed Hersi

Chairman, Kenya  Tourism Federation. 

KTF  Kenya’s  Tourism  Umbrella  Body.

Kenyans please cut CS Matiangi some slack 

Matters Airport Security & JKIA Incident with CS.
Two years ago  on my way from Durban South Africa I happened to be running quite late for my Nairobi flight.  It meant moving from local terminal to International etc and I had less than an hour to pick my luggage and ensure I check  in for my Nbi sector 

If I was to follow the queue etc  there is no way on earth I would have made it . I spoke to an airport official who was kind enough to help me “jump ” the queue and this is allowed world over if you have proof that your flight is about to  board.  This is very normal world over. A well trained airport official with even average intelligence would have no qualms with that. 

Early this year in March same thing happened in London, my flight from Nbi  was running late and I had less than 45 minutes to connect for my Berlin flight. Again I spoke to an official and she was kind enough to fast track me to help me with my connection in Terminal 5 from Terminal 4. Those of you familiar  with Heathrow  it means taking a train.

Now back to Matiangi  case , he was running late with less than 30minutes to go . His handlers brought the matter to the attention of the security and the concerned supervisor was alerted but she chose to say NO. What would have been a non issue has now become a national debate.

Kenyans please stop catching feelings, world over even in Kenya I have seen on very many occasions where people ( ordinary ) people allowed to jump a queue as long as you can show proof that your flight is boarding .  I have happily given way to a passenger(s)  in distress if my flight is hours to go  because others have done the same for me elsewhere.

Now the other day in Msa at 3am I decided to move the queue  rope barrier and cut in since there was no one else . The security KAA  gave me a mouthful why I was messing up with his place of work. I could virtually  see hate in face . He was boiling, I was alone at that hour . I politely told him to calm down.  The reason why there is a pin  after every section  is purely to allow exactly what I had done. This totally unreasonable  guy wanted me to walk though the rope queue control even when there was no one else. What training do this guy go through ?

From what I have just narrated at both Joburg  and Heathrow such requests are made on daily basis if anything 24/7.

Let me also tell you for free , we have overzealous officers and some who don’t fail to display their hate and  they will claim they are putting you in your place Let’s face it , some of these officers like the one who confronted me in Mombasa deliberately  chose to be difficult. I took  time to educate him because he was totally ignorant .

In Matiangis case the good CS NEVER declined to go through security.   Kenyans please separate the two  issues. All he asked was if  he could be allowed to be fast tracked which is quite normal If you are running quite late.  If I was allowed as an ordinary citizen of the world at two reputable International airports what about a CS  who is all very well known to us.

I now see Kenyans in our usual social media mob justice  baying for CS  Matiangi’s blood , some are even asking for him to resign.  That demand is load of hogwash. The CS  made a complaint which is within  his right , it’s upon the management  of KAA  to handle the matter best way they deem fit. It is not the business of a complainant  to dictate how a case should be handled. If an officer is not smart enough to use some degree of reasonableness  then their entire role comes into question including that officer in Mombasa. 

Not all the officers at KAA  are a problem. Being flexible does NOT mean you compromise on Security  check. 

Please cut CS Matiangi  some slack and my fellow Kenyans on social media relax.

As always I choose to remain an optimist

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