So far Islamic militancy has only succeeded in one Sub-Saharan African state – Somalia, a failed state. In other places African traditional values have proven to hold more sway than the murderous ideology of Islamic terrorists, even in areas with high densities of Muslims like West Africa and the East African Coast.
But recent events in Nigeria are a sign that the Continent may not be immune from religious zealotry. A group calling itself Boko Haram has been attacking police stations and killing civilians all across northern Nigeria – all in the name of agitating for the imposition of Sharia law across the country. Nigeria is almost half muslim and half christian, with Sharia law mostly operational in the northern states.
President Yar’Adua has asked his security chiefs to do all they can to stop Boko Haram from taking root in the country. West Africa and the Sahel have a large muslim population and so the fact that Islamic militancy has reached these regions should be a concern to the many weak governments in this part of the Continent – ranging from Chad to the Gambia.
This morning as I was trying to read on the parliamentary reform strategy, I took time to look at the list of members of parliament. Following the 2007 election, a lot of newbies joined the list. But the list also has those who have been household names since the Moi era. One of these old guards is John Harun Mwau, the honorable member of parliament for Kilome.
Back in the day he was a permanent fixture in the news. But since the last election he has gone completely MIA. Where is he? And whatever happened to his reform agenda?
Prime Minister Raila Odinga has tabled in parliament a list of those who acquired land in the Mau based on their well-connectedness with the government. Top of the list are those closely associated with former president Moi – including his son and former Baringo Central MP Gideon. The task force on the Mau issued a report that claimed that 80% of the titles to the land in Mau were issued to undeserving people.
I like this dose of transparency from the Prime Minister (Although for good practice he should have made the list public as soon as he got it in order to allow for a more mature progression of the eviction debate). My hope now is that Kenyans will realise exactly what the interests of those against the government directive to conserve the forest are. Indeed if I had it my way, the millionaires who unlawfully acquired public land should be made to pay a fine.
The popular consensus seems to be that the government should compensate the regular “wananchi” who have titles and who unknowingly legally bought illegally acquired land. But the “wenyenchi” who grabbed public land should not be given a cent. Shame on them.
And on a different note, kudos to the Kenya Revenue Authority. I was surprised that I was able to get my pin number online. The first time I tried getting one I had to wait in line at Times Tower and left because the line did not move for the more than 45 minutes that I was there. My only problem now is that I can’t seem to be able to print my pin number certificate. Anyone with a clue?