Kenya: “We Declare This Election Honest and Transparent. We Will Take No Questions. End Transmission.”

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Kenyans rate the performance of their press very highly, in terms of “honest and accuracy.” Then again, so do Nigerians. Have you ever actually read the Nigerian press?  They also
value freedom of the press, according to a BBC-Synovate survey. See Brazilian News Media Garbles Survey Data on the Question, “Does Your News Media Report Honestly and Accurately?”

“The commissioner declares Kibaki the president of Kenya”, said Kivuitu and the broadcast was immediately cut off as few observers present began asking questions. Private television stations were barred from that press conference. Kivuitu had on Saturday warned that with various parties interrupting his work, he could as well announce them at KBC.–The Standard (Kenya) today

An anonymous user on the AboutUs Wiki comments on domaindiscreet.com:

I’ve tracked this blind address used by Register.com to several phishing schemes and Internet criminal gangs. It’s pretty sick to see a corporation become an enabler of crime gangs who use their ongoing fraud schemes to fund terrorism and rob thousands from checking and savings accounts.

No way to confirm that charge easily, but you can find quickly find quite a few complaints about spammers using Web hosting services at the same address in Orem, Utah, such as this complaint about a Craigslist spammer.

I mention it because I was just curious about who is running KenyaElections.com, one of those “citizen journalism” transparency projects whose domain is registered through the “none of your business” division of the Net registrar and lives on a box at a server farm, as I said, at a familiar Orem, Utah address.

Its contact is given as William Angawa, a Senior Lecturer in Marketing at Sunderland University in the UK — and google-uppable as quite the Net activist.

Latest news from the Kenyan elections: The incumbent edges out the challenger in a squeaker that amounts to a technical tie.

The NMM editorial board has just voted to declare 2006-2007 “The International Biennial of the Election Ending in a Technical Tie, With Dueling Exit Polls and Problematic Quick Counts.”

The Electoral Commission has declared Mwai Kibaki the winner of Thursday’s presidential elections, garnering 4,584,721 to Raila Odinga’s 4,352,993.

The challenger was leading by as much as 5% in the early stages of the vote count.

Things get messy, and attention to ensuring the appearance of transparency gets short shrift, according to The Standard:

The Electoral Commission of Kenya has declared President Mwai Kibaki the winner of the 2007 polls and he was immediately sworn in at State House gardens, Nairobi. He will now serve a second term in office. ECK chairman, Mr Samuel Kivuitu, made the announcement that was broadcast live on Kenya’s national broadcaster, KBC, after he was unable to release the results at the press conferences earlier on.

After WHAT?

“The commissioner declares Kibaki the president of Kenya”, said Kivuitu and the broadcast was immediately cut off as few observers present began asking questions. Private television stations were barred from that press conference. Kivuitu had on Saturday warned that with various parties interrupting his work, he could as well announce them at KBC.

Kibaki, like Mick Jagger, is an alumnus of the London School of Economics. I bet they get a nice donation in this year’s alumni giving drive. He came to power, Vicente Fox-like, in 2002 with help from a Netroots effort called the CEC, or “Clean Election Campaign.”

Or so the CEC claims.

Kenya’s Internet penetration rate is 4.7%.

I am just taking rapid notes here for future reference.

The Standard is not an easy place to work, reportedly (sources: the BBC, again):

In late February 2006, the leading newspaper The Standard ran a story claiming that president Mwai Kibaki and senior opposition figure Kalonzo Musyoka had been holding secret meetings. On March 2 at 1:00am local time (2200 UTC on the 1st), masked gunmen carrying AK-47s raided multiple editorial offices of The Standard, and of its television station KTN. They kicked and beat staff members, forcibly took computers and transmission equipment, burned all the copies of the March 2nd edition of the newspaper, and damaged the presses. At KTN, they shut down the power, putting the station off the air. Initially, the Kenyan information minister claimed no knowledge of the raid, but it has since revealed that Kenyan police were responsible. The Ministry of the Internal Security later stated that the incident was to safeguard state security. “If you rattle a snake you must be prepared to be bitten by it,” John Michuki said. Three journalists at The Standard, arrested after the critical story was printed, are still being held without charge. [10] [11] The story now also features the bizarre case of two Armenian businessmen, mocked in the press for their taste for heavy gold chains, watches and rings, referred to as Mercenaries, who the opposition says led the raid and had shady dealings with Kibaki’s government.

The Standard on what are aso referred to as the Arturs.

The “Githongo Dossier” (February 2006), from AfricaFocus.org:

John Githongo, who resigned a year ago as Kenya’s anti-corruption chief, this month released a report on scandals he was investigating that has already forced the resignation of Kenya’s finance minister and threatens to bring down other top officials. The report is based on detailed records he kept during his investigation, and spells out how officials used security contracts worth as much as $1 billion to siphon off government funds into non-existent companies. The cast of officials potentially implicated in fraud or coverups includes David Mwiraria, minister of finance; Chris Murungaru, former minister of security; Moody Awori, vice-president; Kiraitu Murungi, minister of justice; Francis Muthaura, head of public service; and Dave Mwangi, permanent security for security. Also involved were Kenyan businessmen Anura Peres and Deepak Kamani, companies in England, France, and Switzerland, and an American consultant, Merlyn Kettering.

A who is on the Africa Focus URL:

Registrant Name:William Minter
Registrant Organization:William Minter
Registrant Street1:1812 Newton St. NW
Registrant Street2:
Registrant Street3:
Registrant City:Washington

Minter contributes to The Nation (USA):

William Minter is senior research fellow at Africa Action, in Washington, DC, which is conducting a campaign for “Africa’s Right to Health,” focused on AIDS and the structural obstacles to addressing this global health emergency. He is the author of several books on Angola and Mozambique, including Apartheid’s Contras (Zed) and Operation Timber: Pages From the Savimbi Dossier (Africa World).

Meanwhile, this Kettering fellow’s Linked In profile — these sorts of people always have Linked In profiles, why is that? — lists his institutional affiliation as The Church of the Brethren.

A forum entry from somewhere, retrieved from the Google cache, cuts and pastes his official bio:

Merlyn Kettering is currently serving as Management Consultant and Development Advisor on behalf of the Church of the Brethren for the New Sudan Council of Churches, based in Nairobi, Kenya. Merlynbrings numerous years of experience in Economic and Social Development as well as Financial Management and Consulting to this position. Some of Merlyn’s previous work includes positions with the Kenyan Ministry of Finance through Thunder & Associates, Inc. of Alexandria, Virginia; Program Manager for over ten major projects in Africa and Asia through the U.S. Department of Agriculture; and Project Director for the Ministry of Finance in Kingston, Jamaica. In addition, Merlyn served through the Peace Corps as an Education Officer at the Katsina Women’s Teachers College in Kaduna State, Nigeria and also through OXFAM and Brethren Volunteer Service with the Northern Greece Village Development Project. Merlyn has been and continues to be an important presence for the Church of the Brethren in its work with the New Sudan Council of Churches.

Thunder & Associates founded by Noel Berge in 1981. From what purports to be his resume, dated this year:

History of work in organizational development, strategic planning, conflict resolution, team building, project development, and management counsel for select public and private sector clients, including World Bank, WHO, DFID, USAID, Booz, Allen & Hamilton, Team Technologies, engineering firms and other private clients

He is apparently one of those types who supplement, listing ongoing education at “the Jungian Institute, Geneva, Switzerland” from 1990 to the present.

Latest project:

Worked with International Islamic Development Bank to design eight Quick Win projects to fulfill new bank vision for niche work within 56 member countries, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (2007)

His resume was retrieved from metafreedoms.net, which is some sort of “invest in silver and survive the coming economic Apocalypse” scheme — a topic that figures in complaints about people working out of anonymous domains through domaindiscreet, interestingly.

Reuters reporter attacked:

As smoke billowed from protests in Nairobi slums, Kibaki was sworn in on the lawn of State House just an hour after the result was announced, his hand on a Bible. Opposition supporters accused the government of vote rigging.

The 76-year-old Kibaki urged Kenyans to put aside election “passions” and promised a corruption-free government to forge unity in the polarized east African nation of 36 million, long seen as an island of relative stability in a volatile region.

BBC, February 2005: “British high commissioner in Kenya, Sir Edward Clay … bemoaned what he described as the ‘massive looting” of public funds by senior officials of the Kibaki administration.”

The UK envoy told his stunned audience that he had handed the Kenyan authorities a dossier of 20 dubious contracts and allegedly crooked procurement ventures – only six months after complaining that corrupt Kenyan ministers were “eating like gluttons” and “vomiting on the shoes of foreign donors”.

“I thank all of you for the trust you have bestowed upon me,” he said. “I urge all or us to set aside the passions that were excited by the election process and work together.”

Some Kibaki supporters celebrated in the streets.

But they were quickly outnumbered by furious supporters of opposition rival Raila Odinga.

Local TV said 10 people were killed in Kisii, in Odinga’s ethnic Luo homeland. Police shot into a crowd in Kisumu, killing another three people, residents and witnesses said. A Reuters reporter was attacked in Kisumu.

Shades of Mexico, 2006.

The name servers listed for the site belong to a Web host at the following address:

1215 North Research Way
Suite #Q 3500
Orem, Utah 84097

Also home to sites like Islam Monitor, which carries banners for sites like JihadWatch.

A William Angawa or Ang’awa owns a domain called DoNotBeAfraid.org and describes himself as:

a Christian and academic with interest in Global development education.

Same guy? Let us google up his academic contributions in the area of marketing and business administration, if any.

In a nutshell, in the meantime: David “Fear and Misinformation Abound” Sasaki-style fear and misinformation abound.

Seems like maybe the Gnostic faith-based second superpower and its Mamluke armies of winged spam-monkeys may have its ethereal fingers in this one, too.

Another information warfare battlefield in which the casualties were principally vote-wielding civilians, I will bet you.

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