Prof Makau Mutua DEMOLISHES Prof Githu Muigai at CJ Interviews.

Professor Ojienda : this is my last question to you: I can confirm that your allegiance to this country is palpable and that you are ready to be sworn in as Chief Justice By President Kenyatta,

Professor Makau: Correct

Professor Ojienda : Why do you then keep referring to President Kenyatta as “Mr Kenyatta?”

Professor Mutua: That is my choice. The same way you can refer to me as Mr. Mutua and not professor Mutua or refer to the commissioner next to you as Mr. Githu Muigai as opposed to Professor Githu Muigai. It is the choice of title and it is absolutely constitutional.

Professor Ojienda: I am satisfied Mr. Mutua.

Githu Muigai: Does that mean that you do not recognize him as your President?

Makau Mutua: The question of my recognizing Mr Kenyatta as President doesn’t arise. There’s no constitutional predicate that requires a citizen to bow down to Mr Kenyatta just because the IEBC and the Supreme Court declared him the validly elected President. That’s the opinion of those institutions, with which I disagree with all due respect to them.

Citizens must obey their conscience and my conscience tells me that the election was so flawed that I would be untruthful to myself and abusive to my conscience, if I was to refer to refer to Uhuru Kenyatta by any other salutation except Mr Kenyatta.

Githu Muigai: Can you call Uhuru Kenyatta- President Uhuru Kenyatta, or will you forever stick to your normal Mr Uhuru Kenyatta?

Makau Mutua: I believe Uhuru Kenyatta’s gender is male. That’s why I address him as Mr Kenyatta. I don’t call him Uhuru or Kenyatta, but Mr Kenyatta, which is what proper educated protocol requires. I have never disputed that the IEBC declared Mr Kenyatta President of the Republic of Kenya, a declaration that was affirmed by the Supreme Court. In that sense, Mr Kenyatta was declared by those two bodies the de jure and de facto the President of the Republic of Kenya. I publicly stated and tweeted after those declarations that “As a matter of freedom of conscience and thought, I can’t accept Uhuru Kenyatta as President of Kenya. I can’t and won’t.” My views haven’t changed, and won’t change. That’s because I believe the election was compromised and not free or fair.

Overall Professor Makau Mutua defended a tweet he wrote in 2013 saying he will have no problem working with President Uhuru Kenyatta if appointed Chief Justice shaming Prof Githu Muigai who in the interview seemed determined to bring down the Harvard trained professor.

The tweet read: “As a matter of my freedom of conscience and thought, I can’t accept Uhuru Kenyatta as President of Kenya. I can’t and won’t.”

He told the Judicial Service Commission panel on Wednesday that the tweet was his personal view as a citizen.

“I never said Uhuru is not fit to serve. I dissented with the Supreme Court decision. My view was that ICC suspects should not offer themselves to vie for office,” he said.

He said as CJ, there will be a difference between ‘citizen Makau Mutua’, who has a right to dissent, and “Chief Justice Makau Mutua”.

“I regard the CJ’s job as one to lead, inspire, provide vision for the Judiciary. I don’t regard the CJ’s job as that of a legal mechanic, I regard it as that of a judicial leader.

Mutua further noted that his interest as a lawyer has not been courtroom experience but the relationship between the state and the individual.

“We teach and train our students as lawyers to perform many functions in society. Knowledge is not mechanical and I am very proud of my legal experience,” he said.


KenyanKenyan photos you won’t find anywhere else.


Kenyatta Ave. 1915







Will she be the first Somalia female President?

Fadumo, 43, has been a refugee having fled the violence in the horn of Africa nation. It was until she was 14 years old that she was able to access education. She holds three master’s degrees in health sciences and public health and is doing a PH.D in women’s governmental participation and empowerment in post-conflict regions.

Dayib was born in Kenya but tensions between Kenya and Somalia lead to the arrest and deportation of her family back to Somalia. Her family sought refuge in Finland where Dayib got the opportunity to get a proper education.

The mother of four left her Children in Finland for Somalia in 2005 to run for Presidency.

“And when I was going to Mogadishu in January, I sat them down and I told them that I’m leaving you, but I’m not sure I might come back. And if I don’t, then you have to know that you are also expected to do this. When the day comes and you have the capability to do so, you must fight for democracy. We must not let evil overcome goodness. And they understand why we need to do this for Somalia because they share the love that I have for Somalia.” Said Dayib to NPR.According to media reports Dayib has already received death threats, but that has not killed her dream of becoming Somalia’s first female President, of from running in the upcoming elections, which are due to be held in 2016.

Kisii Traditional Wedding.

80-year-old Tabitha Kerubo Nyangweso
Recollections by elderly men and women about the traditional Gusii wedding would make today’s wedding procedure look mundane.

In an elaborate and structured system, scouts for a potential bachelor, usually in his late 20s, were sent out to look for a ‘good’ wife. The scout (esigani), would be tasked to pick out a girl with good attributes.

The scouts would avoid families with a history of witchcraft, mental illnesses and laziness, attributes that were frowned upon by the community.

Eloping (okobasa) was taboo and following the cultural wedding traditions was encouraged.

After the scout had located a suitable bride, the groom informed his parents that he had found a potential wife.
Elders then sent emissaries to the girl’s family and dowry negotiations began.

“Dowry at the time could be as high as 25 head of cattle. My family received 13 head of cattle including several calves that were not counted in the total,” recalls 80-year-old Tabitha Kerubo Nyangweso.

Tabitha narrates an unfortunate event that took place during her wedding day in 1944 when the groom’s party was conscripted by the colonial government to take part in the World War II.

“I fainted on learning the news. People cried out asking the government agents to respect the wedding party in vain. We had to bribe the chief to cheat that my husband had a lung problem. He returned from Mombasa a week later,” recalls Tabitha.

Once dowry had been paid, a special day called ekerorano was set-aside for the bride and groom to meet.

“Four men led by the scout esigani arrived at the bride’s home and stood outside. Introductions were usually done while standing. The groom could introduce himself and the bride would ask if he had left the door to his house open (that is whether he was already married),” says Tabitha.

The introduction was followed by a physical inspection where the groom and bride bared their upper bodies. Each checked the other to ensure there were incisions or marks on the body. This was a way of of checking for beauty and strength.

Satisfied, the bride and groom would shake hands and swear not to renege on the agreement to marry each other. Food would be served after this event.

The bride was allowed to visit the groom before the wedding and could sleep over but in the company of a young boy and girl who slept between them to avoid any sexual encounter.

A wedding date was then set when the bride would be escorted by a group of girls from her village to her matrimonial home. The groom’s party arrived a day earlier and a party was organised where young men danced throughout the night.

Gifts including a large pot and blankets for the mother-in-law and a goat for the father-in-law were exchanged for bearing a beautiful daughter.

Her parents gave the bride a table and chairs and other utensils. Dowry was paid in form of cattle usually 10-15 but sometimes higher.

Four goats were delivered alongside the dowry. One was slaughtered on that evening and the other in the morning. One other goat was also slaughtered to accompany the first meal. This practice has been retained to date.

“The bride carried a special gourd enkondo in her arms. The groom walked ahead followed by the bride and bridesmaids (abariakari) and then the rest of the party,” explains Jeriah Moriasi, 88, who served as a bridesmaid in a traditional wedding.

The bride wore red ochre and soot and trudged to her new home taking occasional rests depending on the distance. Villagers cheered and ululated as the wedding party passed by.

A dramatic exit

The departure from her home was however, not without drama. The bride was not expected to leave her ancestral home willingly.

“During my wedding day, I hid and took off to my elder sister’s home several kilometres away. They searched for me in vain and eventually had to pay a fine of a goat to my sister before getting me,” says Tabitha.

She says her husband even threatened to withdraw the dowry due to her antics as she yet again sneaked off to her father’s home prompting payment of another fine.

Young men sent to pick the bride could be forced to work in her father’s farm for days until the fine, a goat, was delivered.

Sometimes brothers to the bride engaged the groom’s party in a fierce battle on the first cock’s crow as they struggled to take off with the bride.

On arrival at her matrimonial home, the bride stopped outside the compound and refused to move prompting use of physical force.

“I was clawed and beaten senseless in order to accept to move into my home. It was no joking matter as I was bleeding profusely by the time I moved,” says Tabitha.

The wedding night

“At night, your age-mates stay outside your hut and listen to ensure all goes well. In case of resistance, they can step in and help ensure the marriage is consummated, but if they hear the woman cry, they laugh out loud as they disperse,” says Omoke Okemwa, an elder.

The bridal party returned home a day later. Two days later, the first brown ugali in a traditional hot pot (ekee) was delivered from the bride’s ancestral home, but the husband was not supposed to take it.

“The first delivery of ugali symbolised consummation of the marriage. It was taboo for the groom to take this ugali,” says Omoke.

A he-goat was slaughtered at the bride’s home and delivered raw with the ugali. No entrails were included in the package carried by three women except the liver and lungs.

Five pots of local brew accompanied the second ugali delivery.

Egetinge, a band worn on the ankle, was given to respected women in a ceremony. For a woman, the band implied she could not leave her matrimonial home or take another man even if the husband died.

“Today, divorce is common.

The traditional wedding had a lot of respect and people meant what they said. These days it is like a joke where people exchange vows they are not prepared to keep,” laments Tabitha.