I planned to write this blog post about cake sales (it's that time of year again) then got distracted by my obsession with politics/Kenya current affairs. When I stopped off for milk just now I gave in to the urge to buy a local rag newspaper called the 'Nairobi Star'. Buying this paper for the first time ever was a terrible weakness on my part - I suppose it was the obscene photograph of a dead body slumped over a saloon car steering wheel (Oscar Kamau) and the added enticement of a separate inset photo of Tom Cholmondeley re his murder trial that pushed me over the edge.
Scary things keep happening around here - but I'm beginning to accept that that's nothing new.
Oscar Kamau was deemed responsible for organising a demonstration yesterday to champion human rights in light of the recent publication of a report into police killings (especially of Mungiki member suspects). Local minibuses relied on by commuters in Nairobi's almost gridlocked transport infrastructure, were put out of service yesterday, but a real rally or demonstration failed to materialise. Oscar Kamau long ago set up an NGO called the Oscar Foundation providing free legal aid to the poor. Their focus was apparently based around the disappearance and killing of Mungiki suspects. They have 8,000 cases of executions and disappearances on their books and were inviting ICC to investigate the crimes.
Yesterday, government spokesman Alfred Mutua said; 'Mungiki has an NGO which is the Oscar Foundation. It uses the foundation to get money from abroad.' At 6pm Oscar Kamau and a colleague were mysteriously shot dead in Oscar's car on State House road by two gunmen who 'casually walked out of a white Nissan van and shot them through their closed windows'. Hitman style.
Re the protests, a reader, Tina Wanyeki from Westlands gave her insights: 'Kenyans know, the greatest weapon of Mungiki goons is fear. They intimidate people into thinking that they can wreak havoc in the whole of Nairobi in hours. In fact these hooligans are just kids who finished school recently.'
Tom Cholmondeley may have finally turned a corner in his court case. He has been in prison awaiting trial for nearly 3 years - and not a nice prison either. Being an over 6 foot white land owner in a local Kenyan high security jail has, by all accounts, been no picnic. However, court assessors pronounced yesterday that 'the accused is not guilty of murder.... because there was no sufficient proof that the rifle which inflicted the fatal injuries was that of the suspect'. The judge will make his final ruling on 30th April.
There was also some going over of old ground vis a vis the reasons for the raiding of the Standard Newspaper offices a few years ago. Former MP Paul Muite has, in a rather foolhardy move, taken on the President, accusing him of instigating the raid because he feared the newspaper was about to run a story about him having multiple wives - an accusation he hotly denies while the First Lady has been reduced to tears in public on the matter. Scurrilous stuff.
Now what was I going to say about cakes? Oh yes, do make a chocolate one, not too big - put sweets on it (ie smarties) and you will avoid the humiliation of yours being last on the table to go... The sight of so many cakes grouped up together sitting in the sun can turn over the stomach of even the most enthusiastic potential buyer.
Note to self - bin or destroy Nairobi Star newspaper before children get home from school today!