On Madaraka Day 2017, President Uhuru Kenyatta launched the region’s most expensive public works project – the controversial Standard Gauge Railway. Its been the subject of debate for some time… Kiriro wa Ngugi’s take on the SGR
The man whom Western leaders love to hate may be nearing his end. But those presidents and prime ministers in Europe and North America should go easy on the celebrations, hold back on the cheers. Robert Mugabe’s spirit will live on well after he has gone, inspiring supporters from Kenya to South Africa. Far from marking […]
Meanwhile, khat, if anything, appears to be travelling in the opposite direction, becoming more unambiguously illegal around the world. Aside, that is, from countries like Kenya and Ethiopia where it remains such an important crop and commodity.
Meru, Kenya – OILING THE WHEELS OF COMMERCE IN THE 19TH CENTURY The American explorer William Chanler set up base in the Nyambene Range in 1893. He found a thriving local economy that attracted traders from across the region; a unique feature of this market was the use of the narcotic reddish-green twigs of a tree […]
Sometimes when I see an acacia tree, if the location is just right, I am transported back to my first home. For a moment, despite the heat and the dust, I see another scene, a rocky hillside brown with heather and a different kind of tree, a Scots Pine. My two homes, the highlands of […]
London, UK EIGHT MILLION ACRES OF THE COUNTRY’S BEST LAND It was a potentially explosive situation. A few hundred white farmers held over eight million acres of the country’s best land, and memories were fresh of a guerrilla war to dispossess them. Over 6,000 British troops had been sent out to protect the farmers and […]
The conflicts in Laikipia and elsewhere in northern Kenya ought to be looked at as a national security issue exacerbated by historical land injustices and the pursuit of an inappropriate conservation model that relegates the true owners of the resources to the periphery.
When Kenyan troops crossed the proverbial Rubicon and entered Somalia nearly six years ago, it caught almost everyone by surprise. It was Kenya’s first sustained and significant foray into its troubled neighbors territory and ran counter to the country’s historic pacifism -at least in international if not necessarily in domestic, affairs- as well as against […]
Listen to audio or download I had arrived late to Ethiopia, when I first visited it in 2012, barely managing to see the vestiges of the early 20th century nation of lattice work balconies, of Lada taxis, family pizzerias and piazzas; also the Ethiopia of Red Terror squares and state surveillance carried out on such a […]
The Elephant in conversation with John Githongo.
Malindi, Kenya – AN UGLY WAR THAT MAKES A MOCKERY OF THE UN’s CORE MANDATE On World Press Freedom Day on May 3, the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called on world leaders to ‘defend a free media’ and to put an end to ‘all crackdowns against journalists because a free press advances peace and justice […]