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Plea for Afrika
It's not targeting anyone's religion I just want to pray for Unity in Africa regardless of anything that divides us. I don't mean to make this sound like a religious preaching.
Good morning Comrades.
The UPAM executive Board has voted to have Virtual Global Conference/Meeting every quarter (4 times a year) and 1 Face to Face Conference.
We are also forming a team to help the planning of our Face to Face conference for the 2nd Quarter 2022 host country still undecided and we are calling on volunteers to join the team. Any member in UPAM can be part of this team so if you and anyone in your country who want to join the Planning team can send their names and contact information. +264-81-210-1200 or +1-720-717-9288 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Basic responsibilities include:
- Be able to attend Team Planning Meetings virtually.
- Be able to give contributions towards effective planning of the Face to Face Conference.
- Be a Team Player and A leader,
- Must be able to coordinate, Activities, programs and carry out Community outreach.
Names can be added in the list or forwarded to whatsApp +264-81-210-1200
The next day the son wrote to his father again "Dad you can now plant your cassava and yam this is the best I can do from here."
Dad replied "Hahaaa my son, you are too powerful indeed, even in prison you still command police men to work for me. I was so surprised to see the IGP and his team holding hoes and shovels, digging my farm. I will write to you when I want to harvest."
*MORAL LESSON🎯 : Nobody can imprison your mind. Don't let Lockdown imprison your mind
⭕ *JOKE OF THE WEEK*
An old farmer wrote a letter to his son who is in prison. "Son, this year I will not plant cassava
and yam because I can't dig the field, I know if you were here you would have helped me".
The son replied his father "Dad don't even think of digging the field because that's where I buried the money I stole".
The POLICE & PRISON'S on reading this letter went early in the morning and dug the whole field in search of the money but nothing was found.
It is no longer a news that one of the leading NGOs in Akwa Ibom State has concluded it's empowerment program across the 31 LGAs in Akwa Ibom State where only women above 60 years benefited.
When fielding questions from the newsmen, the Founder / CEO of the organization, Ms Edidiong Akpan the motive behind the humanitarian service to only aged women, according to her, "many of these old women in the villages have no person looking after them and they lack strength to work in order to feed as a result of thier age, little money to buy food stuff like this is a big challenge, they need our attention and support".
Recall that same NGO during 2020 global lock down distributed palliatives worth millions of naira to the less privileged in a view to assist the Government to cushion the effects of the Covid 19 pandemic, though the recent engagement of women in all the LGAs appears to be the biggest, most stressful and emotional since the establishment of Didi Caution Foundation (DCF) in 2020.
The LGAs humanitarian tour and social works had Box of Love package that contains foodstuff, beverages, ingredients and a separate bag of rice to support the women.
The tour which started on 19th July 2021 ended on 13th August 2021 followed with a visitation to a popular orphanage home called Brand of Hope who also benefited from same gesture.
Edidiong Akpan, the Founder of Didi Caution Foundation and her team were showered with prayers from all visited beneficiaries ranging from old women across the LGAs and the orphanage home.
The beautiful humanitarian, Ms Edidiong Akpan who is also the CEO of Brite n Glow Skincare recently bagged an Award as the MOST SUPPORTIVE CEO OF THE YEAR by Ladi Bee Royal Empire at their Abuja Mega Street Dance Hall held in Abuja on Saturday 28th August 2021.
The Federal government has charged a former Commandant General of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Dr. Adewale Abolurin and six others before the Federal High Court in Abuja for laundering N2.5billion. Other defendants in the case are Hakeem Adekunle Shittu, Akeem Ajasa Adeyinka, Gbemi Kehinde, Sanusi Yakubu Tofa, Aminu Lamu Yaji and Lamu Multi Services.
In one of the charges, Dr. Adewale Abolurin and another accused person, Hakeem Adewale Shittu were accused of directly transferring N2,493,188,840.00 from the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps Zenith bank Account No 1013280568. The duo were also accused of transferring the sum of N314,020,000.00 from the same Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps Account with Zenith Bank to one VeronicaOdita with Zenith Bank account No: 1001121868 which they ought to have known or reasonably ought to have known to have formed part of proceeds of unlawful act to wit criminal breach of trust in respect of the funds of NSCDC thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 15(2) (b) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition)Act.2011, As Amended and punishable under Section 15(3) of the Act.
In another count, both Abolurin and Shittu were accused of transferring N390,218,375 from the NSCDC account with the Zenith Bank to the Zenith Bank Account of Olusegun Joshua Ogunkolo with Account No: 20885980277 which was a criminal breach of trust in respect of the funds of NSCDC punishable under Section 15(3) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act.
Another sum of N405,520,74.00 was also alleged to have been transferred from the NSCDC account with Zenith Bank to another Zenith bank operated by one Adewole Kokoyi. Hakeem Adewale Shittu was accused of receiving cash payment of $9,835,170USD being equivalent of N2,206,078,240.00 from one Adewale Samuel Kukoyi without going through a financial institution thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition )Act 2021. Hakeem Adewale Shittu in another count was also accused of making cash payment of $9,855,170 equivalent of N2,206,078,220 without going through a financial institution thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 5 (a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 as amended and in conjunction with Sections 16(1)(d) of the same Act and punishable under Section 16 (2) (b) of the same Act.
Dr. Adewale AbolurinFederal GovernmentNigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC)
For a while now, I have been speaking about the economic warfare that is upon Zimbabwe and how it was designed to destroy the nation’s capacity to decolonize, rise and develop through using its own resources.
But what I haven’t stressed enough is the fact that Zimbabwe has actually been under this economic warfare from the day it attained independence. All done in an effort by western countries to ensure that it never succeeds as an independent black nation as was the case with Haiti.
Some have even suggested that it has been under such warfare since 1890 when the pioneer column crossed the Zambezi and Europeans took over all factors of production from Africans, enslaving them and making them dependent on European systems, to break their ability to compete and resist European hegemony.
What is clear, however, is European nations will continue to sabotage African countries to stop them from establishing the capacity to compete with western countries, so that they retain monopoly on controlling and processing African resources.
This is a key colonial objective that was established, firstly, by the Doctrine of Discovery [Law Of Nations] in 1452-1493 and then codified into International [western] Law, by the Berlin Conference, for the survival of European nations or what they refer to as “the maintenance of their civilization”.
All across the world, we have seen European power projected mercilessly to exploit non-white nations, and now it has been taken a notch up by the United States forcefully exerting its influence upon Latin America, the Caribbeans, Pacific, Asia and Africa through over 900 military outposts or bases, in what has been coined #ManifestDestiny or the Monroe Doctrine.
In Southern Africa, we had a period known as #TotalOnslaught or #TotalStrategy, in which apartheid South Africa, which saw itself as the superpower of Africa, was used by western powers, to destabilize Southern African states to force them to become the CONSAS [Constellation of Southern African States] led by apartheid South Africa.
This, was done to maintain white domination through the firm establishment of western exploitative capitalism in the region, to ensure that white property rights in the region remained secure.
The way this worked was apartheid South Africa would use her political, economic and military might to attack and incapacitate recently liberated African nations to ensure that they remained underdeveloped, indebted and dependent on her European controlled economy.
In 1980, Zimbabwe attained independence and immediately joined SADC [Southern African Development Community] which had just been formed, two weeks prior to Zimbabwe’s Independence Day.
The body was formed, primarily, to break the region’s dependency on apartheid South Africa. Secondly, to build military cooperation between these Southern African states, to neutralize the threat of South African military hegemony on the region and more importantly to end apartheid and its vestiges of colonial capitalism in the region.
As a nation that had liberated itself by the gun, endowed with the most advanced economy, infrastructure, industry, military and road network in sub Saharan Africa after South Africa. Zimbabwe was looked upon by other SADC countries, as the best geared country to leverage SADC into breaking South Africa’s economic and military dominance.
Unfortunately, SADC’s goal of ending apartheid was a problem for both South Africa and the west, because apartheid capitalism contributed the highest returns for global capital. So safeguarding this colonial capitalist order in the region, was of paramount importance for the west‘s future, which put western interests on a collision course with SADC objectives.
It is for these reasons that Zimbabwe became a prime target for the west and apartheid South Africa.
As a bulwark for protecting white interests in the region, the American, British and South African governments, alongside Anglo America, formed the Combined Development Agency, to give the South African government nuclear capability as a deterrent to any military challenge from the black regional partners.
By the time Zimbabwe got independence, South Africa had just tested its first nuclear bomb in 1979, while MPLA in Angola had been under 5yrs of sustained attacks from US backed South African Defence Forces.
Companies like AECI, which belonged to Anglo America and Britain’s ICI (this is the company that manufactured the teargas used on June 16 1976), in collaboration with Canadian and American Space Research Cooperation, developed cutting edge weapons to give South Africa an edge in the Angolan war. All the same, it did not save them the embarrassment of defeat.
Attack On Zimbabwe.
Within the first 12 months of independence, Zimbabwe suffered its first attacks, which developed into a 12yr barrage of sanctions, economic sabotage, assassinations and military attacks, that weakened the economy and put the country into the debt trap it finds itself today.
• It all began between October 1980 and February 1981 with the Entumbane Uprisings, otherwise known as the wars of Bulawayo.
The event was sparked by a period in which Zanla and Zipra forces in demobilization camps in Gweru and Bulawayo’s western townships, began to clash in October 1980.
These clashes were followed by 6000 Zipra soldiers leaving demobilization camps on the 12th of February 1981, to assemble at Gwaai River mine and Essexvale, in preparation for a full-on assault on the new government and Zanla soldiers.
The attack was crushed by the Rhodesian African Rifles, leaving 260 people dead in the aftermath and divisions that would result in a civil war three years later.
• Soon after the failed attack, many Zipra fighters defected to Botswana, Baputotswana and South Africa, where some were trained by the apartheid government as an outfit called Super ZAPU that would later be sent back to destabilize Zimbabwe.
• Over the same period, Prime Minister Robert Mugabe’s Bulawayo State House was attacked in an attempt to make Bulawayo a no go area for him. Many historians have said that these attacks were influenced by ex-Rhodesian and South African intelligence elements who used the tensions among guerrillas to spark tribal divisions in the country.
• Without notice, in April 1981 the South African government withdrew 25 of its locomotives that it had loaned to the Rhodesian government as assistance to move freight to and from South Africa.
This drastically affected grain, sugar, fuel, lubrication and industrial spare parts exports and imports in Zimbabwe. Many businesses were crippled as international orders were not delivered and contracts cancelled.
• 3rd of August 1981, saw the assassination of ANC’s Joe Gqabi in Harare just outside his house in Ashdown Park by apartheid South African agents.
• Thirteen days later there was a huge explosion that rocked Inkomo Baracks, destroying US$40mil of arms.
Patrick Gericke, a former Rhodesian soldier, was arrested for the attack, only for him and the white investigating officer who arrested him, to escape to South Africa a few days later.
• October of the same year Pungwe River bridge that carried traffic and the oil pipeline from Beira is bombed and substantially damaged to put it out of commission for some time.
• This was followed by South African commandos attacking Beira port and destroying its fuel holding tanks, which led to huge fuel shortages in Zimbabwe and Malawi, throughout 1982.
Zimbabwe was then forced to sign a three year fuel supply contract with Anglo American subsidiary, Freight Services and other South African fuel companies. A very lucrative deal for Freight Services and South African fuel companies who were to reestablish Zimbabwe’s dependency on South African products.
It would be later established that one of the white directors of Freight Services and Beira based Briton Dion Hamilton from Anglo’s Manica Freight (a Rhodesian sanction buster) were involved in aiding the South African commandos.
With that, a fragile Zimbabwe had little option but to put together a budget and deploy its soldiers to protect the Beira corridor from further sabotage.
• Additionally, Anglo’s Manica Freight, Old Mutual’s Rennies, which bought the apartheid government‘s SAFMarine, to form RenFreight. Were instrumental in sabotaging Zimbabwean cargo, by refusing to clear non-containerized cargo through Beira, which did not have container handling facilities. This would force all Zimbabwean, Malawian and Zambian shipping to go through South Africa were it was delayed for as long as 32days.
• On the 18th of December of the same year a huge 15kg bomb went off at 88 Manica Rd, Zanu head quarters, in an attempt to kill senior politicians of the governing party.
• Two Australians, two British and two American tourists were kidnapped and murdered on the 23rd of July 1982, on their way to Victoriafalls by ZAPU dissidents and South African agents. The aim was to discourage tourism to Zimbabwe, while making Matebeleland a no go area.
• Two days after that, a bomb laid by a team of ex-Rhodesian and South African bandits rips through Thornhill airbase, destroying a quarter of the air force‘s planes in one fell swoop.
The obvious intent of this bombing and the one at Inkomo 9 months earlier, being to weaken Zimbabwe’s military capacity and force the government to spend scarce foreign currency on replacements.
• 1983, the first of the apartheid government trained and sponsored Supa ZAPU dissidents began a reign of terror in Matebeleland, to foment tribal tensions and civil war.
The conflict would lead to the deployment of the fifth brigade to Matebeleland for 4yrs in a very divisive war that is still haunting Zimbabwe today.
• To augment this, MNR rebels began to sabotage the Zimbabwe Maputo Chicaulacaula route, causing Zimbabwe to close this boarder post and redirect all its cargo through South African ports.
In the process Mozambique lost huge amounts of revenue in toll charges and port fees from other SADC countries, as cargo now had to be diverted to South Africa.
In a further act of sabotage, the South African government reduced toll and port charges to ensure that even if Chicaulacaula reopened, its rates would not be competitive enough to divert traffic back from South African roads and ports.
All this at a time that South African ports were congested and delaying shipments because of a lack of capacity and deliberate sabotage of SADC freight.
• At about the same time, MNR rebels increased sporadic crossboarder attacks against Zimbabwean civilians in Manicaland. This prompted Zimbabwe to commit soldiers to a full war in Mozambique, which was to last 8yrs.
For nine years, Zimbabwe was forced to retaliate to unpredictable attacks on its economy and territory at a cost of billions of dollars in unbudgeted expenditure.
Consequences Of Total Onslaught
The #TotalOnslaught can be characterized as Zimbabwe’s second economic embargoes of many to follow in the colonial thread of keeping Africans incapacitated and underdeveloped.
Estimates put the losses of this period in excess of UD$4.8bil, lost over 12yrs to military incursions, sanctions, economic sabotage, assassinations, destruction of property, defense spending and an immeasurable cost in social divisions, which we are still fighting to heal today.
Put into perspective, Zimbabwe had just come out of a war of liberation with an inherited US$800mil [US$2.8bil today] of Rhodesian debt. This was accompanied by US$120mil [US$360mil] that Zimbabwe had to spend over ten years [1980-90] buying back land from white farmers in the willing buyer willing seller. Only for the country to then incur an unbudgeted US$4.8bil tab from destabilization by the South African government.
By the time we get to 1990, the country was inundated with a US$2bil [$6,1bil in today’s money] foreign debt, largely from western lending institutions. Over the period, the military budget had ballooned to 22% of the entire budget, this, at a time most western nations allocated only 2% of their fiscus to military spending.
According to the government‘s development plans at independence, by 1989, the country was supposed to be building on average 171 000 houses per year to solve its 1.9mil housing backlog. However from 1980 to 1989 government and the private sector only managed to build 56 000 houses as most of the money was lost in mitigating the destabilization campaign.
Even though the country had in excess of US$300mil trade surplus year on year by 1987, the public deficit was running at close to US$600mil by 1989. Foreign currency was running low because a majority of it was going to buy back land from white farmers in foreign currency, servicing international debt (most of it Rhodesian), replenishing weapons and contract penalties due to sabotage of exports by South Africa.
Investment in the country fell because of the instability in Matebeleland and the uncertainty around the war in Mozambique.
Budgets allocated for education, healthcare, sanitation, electrification and social development were diverted to internal security and the war effort, in an effort to defend the nation against the unpredictable apartheid government attacks.
Zimbabwean parastatals like ZISCO and Feruka were sidelined as funds were deviated to the war effort. Other businesses, which were meant to be recapitalizing with new machinery and technology, were losing their contracts due to inefficiencies, sabotage of exports and input imports, so they couldn’t expand.
In a well organized economic war, the apartheid proxies of western imperialism, were able to deal a heavy blow to the Zimbabwean economy and SADC, to stop the region from ending apartheid on their terms.
Peace Negotiations In South Africa
Soon after 1989 the South African government began its negotiations with the ANC in meetings facilitated by Anglo America. Gradually, this saw an end to the apartheid government’s overt attacks on the region, albeit, till today, white South African capital as a western proxy, is still actively sabotaging the region for the same apartheid era objectives (the survival of western civilization).
Nevertheless, the damage had been done. Not only was development of the black states hampered, but South African businesses consolidated control of the region, ensuring, that even if an ANC government came into power, corporate South Africa would continue to dominate the region on behalf of the west for decades to come.
In 1989, Zimbabwe had its credit rating downgraded by the IMF. The war in Mozambique would continue until 1992, draining more financial resources from the nation, resulting in the eventual downgrade of the country’s credit rating to junk status.
As a result, Zimbabwe was forced to restructure its debt and accept the infamous neo-colonial economic structural adjustment programs that saw the nation’s policies being dictated by the IMF. This would lead to the deindustrialization of the economy, in phenomenon referred to as the #ReinartEffect.
Through ESAP, Zimbabwe was essentially put on autopilot to be recolonized by capital, under the auspices of the #WashingtonConsensus and Neo-liberalism, had ZANU PF not resorted to affirmative action and land reform.
As life got tougher due to the austerity measures of ESAP. Zimbabweans lost their jobs to retrenchments and war veterans began to demand the land and the compensation they had been promised for 18yrs.
Instead of letting the country spiral into unrest because of the justifiably disgruntled war veterans who had been neglected while white farmers were being compensated for stolen land and Rhodesian colonial debt was being serviced. Mugabe decided to compensate the war veterans who had liberated the country.
Many Zimbabweans see this as the watershed moment for Zimbabwe’s economy, but the truth is Zimbabwe was already in debt crisis from colonial debt, paying white farmers for stolen land, undoing the underdevelopment caused by colonialism, western multi-lateral institutional sabotage and the cost of South Africa’s destabilization.
In 1998 the country began its conference on land with western countries who wanted to renegotiate the terms of Lancaster. When an agreement on new terms was not forthcoming, Zimbabwe with her mounting debts was suspended from the multi-lateral lending institutions as the noose of #DebtSlavery, orchestrated since independence, was tightened.
No longer could Zimbabwe get access to the development and reconstruction loans that were agreed at Lancaster and so the economy went into a tail spin.
It’s at this point that many of us feel that the Zanu PF government realized that they had been duped into debt slavery [aka debt colonialism] by western countries, after they were persuaded to not demand reparations at Lancaster House, in the name of reconciliation and cooperation with the colonial powers.
Fast Track Land Reform
By the end of 1998, land invasions began as the war vets and communities like Svosve were tired of waiting. In response, government changed the Land Appropriation Act and began the Fast Track Land Reform Program.
At last western powers now had a casus belli to impose its own direct sanctions on Zimbabwe. As a result, from 2001, a plethora of sanctions ranging from ZDERA, Executive Orders 13288, IEEPA and EU sanctions were imposed concomitantly by the United States and the former colonial masters.
These were accompanied by economic sabotage by both local whites, international businesses and South African corporations who pulled US$3,8bil out of the economy in less than a year. This was sabotage on the scale of of the #TotalOnslaught and once again, Zimbabwe was consigned back into western engineered underdevelopment.
Nevertheless, Zimbabwe is not unique, it’s under this backdrop that most of Africa struggles to break the shackles of colonialism.
In the Francophone countries, they are under the leash of the CFA economic imposition. While Africomm, Rwandan hegemony and terrorism keeps West African, East African and Great Lakes countries in check. And in Southern Africa, South African mercenaries destabilize the whole continent, while their capital continues to have a vice grip on the region, as countries in the region have been reluctant to unite and dismantle colonial capitalism in the region.
Until African countries decide to unite in a Pan African block on their terms, Africans will never fully realize emancipation as western countries are moving fast to reestablish colonialism 2.0 through proxies, sanctions, sabotage and compromised leaders, in a new Total Onslaught as they have done since the Berlin Conference.
By Rutendo Bereza Matinyarare
The National Chairman of the Allied Peoples’ Movement (APM) has charged party candidates for the FCT Area Councils’ Chairmanship and Councillorship elections to uphold the motto of the party, INTEGRITY SACRIFICE SERVICE.
He stated this on Thursday while declaring open a day sensitization program organized by the APM, FCT chapter for leaders and candidates of the party in FCT ahead of the 2022 FCT elections for the Area Council Chairmanship and Councillorship candidates on the provisions in the Manifesto and Constitution of the party to domesticate same in their campaigns for votes in February 2022. He reiterated that APM is a party that promotes inclusive participation of citizens regardless of tribal, religious, or ethnic affiliations and urged the candidates to imbibe the spirit of supporting the creation of an egalitarian society where equality and justice for all becomes the order of the day.
He assured the candidates of the support of the party at the national level to facilitate processes that would engender smooth campaigns and provide guidance towards ensuring victory at the polls in 2022 and beyond.
The National Chairman, Alh. Yusuf Dantalle further stressed that candidates must work hard to mobilize and sensitize electorates to participate in the ongoing Voter Registration and encourage them to go and register to obtain their Permanent Voters’ Card as it is the only weapon with which they can secure victory at the polls. He enjoined party leaders in the FCT to work with the candidates to work towards the party’s victory in the FCT.
Similarly, the National Secretary of the party, Mr. Ayodele Oyadeyi also emphasised the need for mobilization of electorates to acquire their voter’s card as well as assured candidates of the readiness of the National Secretariat to provide institutional support towards victory of the party in the 2022 FCT Area Council polls.
Resource person, Mrs. Rose Gyar
The resource person at the program, the National Treasurer and FCT Senatorial flag bear of the party in 2019 Mrs. Rose D. S. Gyar informed participants that it is important they understand the provisions in the manifesto in order to work in line with the aspirations of the party because they are the flag bearers of the party in the forthcoming elections therefore, they are representing the party and not their selves. She urged them to work as a team with a unified purpose to domesticate the provisions of the party manifesto in their campaigns and beyond, while also being in constant liaison with the party leadership for appropriate guidance towards promoting good governance and providing accountable leadership that is responsive to the yearnings of citizens.
She acknowledged the scarce resources at the disposal of the government to provide adequate services to the citizens but urged the candidates to leverage on the various strategies provided in the manifesto to stimulate creativity and innovation in order to surmount such challenges beginning from the campaigns.
Mrs. Gyar who is also an advocate of good governance, ethical behavioural change, and inclusive engagement and participation of citizens in governance to enhance service delivery by state actors through her organization, Global Centre for Human Empowerment and Entrepreneurship Development (GLOCHEED) did not hesitate to remind the candidates that their campaigns should be based on social contracting with the electorates rather than vote-buying. This she said would make them accountable to the electorates.
She also did not fail to remind them that the party would not hesitate to have the candidates sign a performance bond as a tool for appraisal, encouraging all candidates who are youths to take advantage of the opportunity given to them to represent the party and do what is right so that it will encourage more youths to engage in political processes to support good governance.
On the other hand, responding on behalf of the candidates, the AMAC Chairmanship candidate, Alhaji Bayero congratulated the party for providing such a platform for the candidates to have the opportunity to be informed and gain knowledge about the manifesto of the party and the expectation of the party from them as flag bearers.
He, however, solicited for more engagements in order to continue to share information, acquire knowledge and discuss challenges to surmount them together as a team that is bringing solace to the common man, appreciating the organizers of the programme especially the resource person for drumming into their ears that leadership is about sacrifice, responsiveness to the yearnings of the people, and accountability of stewardship.
He added that they would heed to the warning that electorates would use the same voters’ card used to vote them in to also use to recall them for non-performance.
During his vote of thanks, the APM FCT chairman, Mr. Thomas Akuson thanked all participants, the resource person, and the National Leadership of the party for putting the program together and promised that the party leadership in the FCT would work with the candidates to ensure victory at the polls but solicited for the institutional support and guidance of the National Leadership.
Recently when I posted a 1934 photo of Turkana tribesmen wielding guns, a number of readers reacted with disbelief, wondering how the community had modern firearms at that time.
Well, nearly forty years before 1934, members of the Bukusu community also bore firearms, which they actually used in combat, thanks to the Waswahili.
Between 1971 and 1972, a researcher, G. W. Mungeam, set out to interview survivors of a massacre against Bukusus. The interviews were conducted in Lubukusu and Kiswahili, and later translated for Mungeam by the interviewees’ kinsmen, including a grandson who was a Form 4 student at Kibabii Secondary School at the time.
The interviewees were two Bukusu elders - Mukisu Kakai and Sikala Mururumbu. The latter, while aged 91, died in August of 1971. But not before he gave an oral account of what he could remember about an incident that took place in 1895 at Lumboka in Western Kenya.
Mzee Sikala described how armed Swahili men (possibly a mixture of Arabs and locals from Mombasa) surrounded Lumboka in preparation for an attack against the Bukusu in 1895. The Waswahili were also joined on their side by levies from Nabongo Mumia’s community, the Bawanga.
Built by pioneer European visitors, Lumboka was a Fort of sorts. It was strengthened by ramparts made out of thick earthen, and had six-foot deep ditches built around it.
In spite of the fact that the Swahili were armed with rifles, the Bukusu rained spears on them, inflicting a huge death toll on the visitors.
The Swahili, according to Sikala, were part of an expedition of Germans – or Bachilimani as the Bukusu called them.
Shocked by the killings of their Swahili levies, the Germans paid Bukusuland a visit and engaged them. There was a heavy death toll on either side.
The Bukusu managed to inflict a heavy toll on the Bachilimani because they had, in exchange for cattle in many cases, acquired guns from deserting Swahili soldiers.
The headman of Lumboka at the time of the fighting, according to Sikala, was Wamurwa, Omulunda by clan, and his son, Wele, was leader of the warriors. Sikala also named other “headmen”, including Tengi, Omulunda by clan; Sirengo the son of Maika, Omulunda by clan; Maloba the son of Satia, Omubuya by clan; Kasembeli, the son of Muloa, Omulonja by clan, among others.
Mungeam quoted Sikala:
“According to my mother (who had relatives living at Lumboka at the time), the Swahili carried out a surprise attack on Lumboka and killed many inside the fort. My mother told me the attack began when a man had gone outside the fort and noticed a strange person crawling like an animal near the walls.
The man shouted. ‘There is someone by the gate! See he is running away!’
In this way the village was warned and the cry went out to prepare for battle. The people were very astonished that the enemy, whose presence in the area was known already, was upon them so suddenly.
‘It must be the enemy that we were warned was coming’, they said.
At the sound of the alarm Namisi (a white German commander), his Swahili leader and their men rose up from hiding near the fort walls and rushed the gates with guns,
The Bukusu retreated away from the fort entrance, where the enemy was greatest. The Bukusu warriors inside the fort held fast and maintained their position a short distance from the gate.
While the attention or the Swahili was preoccupied with entering the fort, some warriors slipped out of back gates, joined with neighboring Bukusu, and surrounded the enemy from the rear.
When the Swahili heard the noise of warriors behind them they attempted to escape but were encircled. This was at about eight o'clock in the morning.
The Swahili fought like the angry bull does when trapped and raised dust in every part of the fort. The Swahili managed to escape to Mukhweya, where they were attacked again by the Bukusu and were cut to pieces with spears and swords.
Two hundred Swahili are said to have been killed at the place called Mukhweya, which is that section of high ground to the southeast of where we are presently living.
It can be seen also from Kabula further south…..”, he told Mungeam.
This account given by Sikala in 1971 can be confirmed by records penned down by Charles Wiliam Hobley, the first British administrator in north and south Kavirondo.
This is what Hobley – the Abaluhya called him Opilo – wrote down in 1896:
“During the previous twelve months, the desertion of men with rifles had increased, and the Ketosh (Bukusu) chiefs had notably encouraged it, paying cattle for any rifle received. Mr. Spire (the officer in charge of the temporary colonial post at Mumia’s), with laudable intentions, had insisted on the surrender of the rifles as being government property, and considerable palaver had taken place but with little result. He then decided to try a demonstration of force and dispatched twenty-five Sudanese soldiers from the garrison of the station to the village of the Chief Majanja to demand the arms.
He, unfortunately, however underestimated the possibility of hostilities, and had only issued a very small allowance of ammunition to each man. As might have been expected under such circumstances, no European officer being present, a gun went off during the palaver with the chief. The Ketosh tribesmen then emerged from their villages like a swarm of infuriated bees and attacked the detachment of Sudanese. They (Sudanese) fought gallantly but were speared one by one and eventually annihilated....”
Hobley operated from Nabongo Mumia’s fort at Mumia’s. During the long rains season of 1895, he set out for Bukusuland on a punitive expedition "to subdue the tribe."
“Yes! It was Namisi the mzungu who attacked Lumboka before Opilo (Hobley) and Chilande (Grant) set out to destroy it and killed the people with guns”, Mungeam’s other interviewee, Mukisu, recalled.
Namisi was killed by a famous warrior, Wakoli, one of the many warriors that had bought guns from the Swahili. According to Mukisu, the Swahili had earlier made forays into Bukusuland to take the community’s guns by force but they did not succeed.
After Namisi was killed, Europeans – this time English - crossed to Sio River into Bukusuland. Thereafter, they fought the Bukusu at Lumboka and Chitambe.
It is these two punitive raids that I am terming the Bukusu massacre.
Mukisu further recalled that Bwana Opilo (Hobley) came from Esirirwa (as Kisumu was called) while Bwana Chilande, backed by Baganda troops, arrived from from Ejinja (Jinja) to fight the war. He then went on to describe what happened.
At about one o‘clock in the afternoon the attack on Lumboka began. Those in the village had shut themselves off. So the troops attacked the gate using their cannon. When the Ugandans caught sight of the cattle so open to them after the shelling they said ‘we are going to get them’.
Other Bukusu villages in the area also barricaded their gates. What could they do? They had no choice but to resist, the same as their neighbors were doing.
The people inside Lumboka expected to die, so they butchered a cow and roasted the meat to eat as a last meal.
What else could they do?”
He went on.
“At about one o'clock the gate was stormed but the troops were beaten for the first time. Finally the gates were broken and the Ugandans and troops poured into the fort. The Bukusu then hid behind houses and fired at the enemy. They used Namisi's guns.
Many of the captured guns, however, had been given away to the Maasai by this time, so the defense was weak.
Nevertheless many Ugandans and Swahili were killed as well as some Wanga.
The two sons of Maina of the Balwonja clan were killed inside the fort at this time. They were Wanga.
The fighting continued until sunset. Those who remained alive in Lumboka then ran away.
People escaped by climbing over the walls after dark and ran away when the enemy became tired and went to sleep. The Europeans also threatened to fight the people at Sibale fort (a neighboring village) but when the inhabitants resisted with firearms it was decided not to fight two villages on the same day.
Many Bukusu had been killed. Even those who were not involved in the fighting were killed. Men, women, and even girls were killed.
They were shot down. The number of dead at Lumboka cannot be compared, however, with those killed at Chetambe…..”, he offered.
Mzee Sikala Marurumbu told Mungeam that it took a day’s march for the British, who were backed by Teso, Bukhayo, and Wanga warriors, to reach Chetambe.
Having heard of news about the advancing punitive expedition, Mzee Sikala’s family left their village, Ngachi in Siritanya, and like everyone else escaped towards Chetambe, which was not far from Nabuyole Falls (what the colonial government called Broderick Falls).
It was not the wish of the Bukusu, noted Sikala, to continue fighting. As a peace gesture, Bukusu offered a large number of oxen to the Europeans in exchange for peace. But this offer was refused.
“We traveled as far as Mulukhu”, said Sikala, “but the wazungu kept following us”.
He went on.
“When the cocks crowed we crossed the swollen Kuywa and even cattle were swept away. At the time my father had only one cow, the only animal of his herd to survive the Lutumbi cattle epidemic (a contagious diarrhea disease that wiped out large herds of cattle in Nyanza in the 1880s. The disease rendered cattle dead within 48 hours). This animal gave us much trouble when we crossed the river and father asked me to help move a heavy log to be used to support the cow in the crossing. When I went to cross I was pushed by those behind and was nearly swept away.
I do not remember many of the names of those who were with us when we fled for the fort, but Muchemwile and Mboro, our neighbors were in our group, and the father of my neighbor Wekoka’s wife was with us. It was Mboro who, when the fighting at Chetambe became serious, covered his stomach with the small intestines of someone who had died, and pretended he was dead……”
Sikala also reported that there were more drowning incidents on the River Nzoia.
“On their way south, many (of an escaping group) drowned when a rope bridge they were using to cross the river Nzoia gave way. People had been struggling to cross and the weight of overcrowding caused the ropes to snap.
Mother was just about to climb the bridge when the accident happened, so she survived. If she had died, Khapele, my youngest brother, would not have been born.
One woman saw her mother being swept away in the Nzoia after the bridge broke and ordered her husband to get hold of the old woman or else she would no longer be his wife”.
Sikala could not recall if this old woman was saved. But many people were swept away.
“Many of the women with us hid in the thick bush along Kuywa River rather than risk drowning in the flood waters. Those who were found were captured and taken to Mumia’s……”
On the fourth day when the cocks crowed, Sikala recalled, the British approached Chetambe and the war started. Sikala’s brother-in-law raised his head above the fort wall to see how close the enemy was but got shot and fell bark into the fort.
There was a last ditch effort by villagers to release oxen including “highly coveted Ankole cattle” as Sikala described them. Even ivory tusks were put outside the fort in the hope the Europeans would be appeased but, again, the invading force would have none of that.
Then a small boy, Sikala was together with other young children taken to the rearmost part of the fort. He recalled older men and even the aging throwing spears, sometimes blindly, towards positions of the invading force.
Recollections by Dr. William Ansorge, the British medical officer for Uganda, give us a glimpse of how things looked like from outside of the fort.
“When the main body arrived”, he wrote, “it was drawn up in a segment of a circle of about 200 yards range, and we opened fire on one of the Gates with a small Hotchkiss gun. This had no great effect on the stout logs which barred it, so we shelled the huts....Firing the rifles did not inflict any material damage on an enemy crouching behind the protection of the earth-wall, our leader tried the Hotchkiss; but the missiles simply passed clean through without shattering the earthen rampart. He then brought the Maxim gun into position. Handling the weapon himself, he cut down the upper half of the wall near one entrance….”
From the inside, Sikala “found bananas and a roasted chicken inside the house where I took shelter, and began to eat. Suddenly the loud firing of the big gun (Hotchkiss and Maxim) guns] began….”
He immediately stopped chewing and listened. Then, as he described the moments that followed, “the bullets of the big gun fell like rain from heaven and house roofs caught fire…….men died like insects being sprayed with insecticide. People died, hens died, cows, and everything died….”
Amid the gunfire, his father came to check on him and exclaimed “Oh! We cannot help ourselves we will all be killed, Everything is dying, even the chickens and cattle. Some women have even had their breasts shot off!”
At that instance, he then dashed to a different position within the fort but was felled by a bullet.
People ran in all directions and a large number of huts in the vicinity were on fire.
“As I stood watching, this Bukusu warrior with his shield came near me panting but was suddenly shot dead beside me. I saw this and prayed for my own life”, said Sikala.
The victorious Europeans then managed to enter the fort, aiming their rifles at fleeing Bukusus.
Sikala described how one frightened European hid behind a granary amidst the fighting and was then speared to death by a Bukusu warrior whose left arm was burned. Just then, the warrior was also shot dead.
To give readers a different perspective of how the fort may have fallen, this is what Hobley wrote:
“Grant (Chilande) then adopted another plan, leaving a large force of Baganda to threaten a second attack on the original gate, he moved the Sudanese Company round to another gate some ninety degrees away in the periphery of the wall. We then cut down a section of mud wall by Maxim fire and advanced to the attack. The defense then concentrated on this sector; the Spears came over like rain and the Sudanese were held up by the ditch. The Baganda were then ordered to renew their attack at the original gate, and eventually the village was taken and burnt, the survivors streaming out by still another gate….”
When the fighting ended, there were so many people who had been killed that according to Sikala, “you could not walk without stepping on bodies”.
In concluding, I do not think there are any official records of how many people were killed at both Lumboka and Chetambe. However, in 2011, the Daily Nation, quoting one Mzee Nelson Kakai, reported that more than 450 Bukusu fighters were killed and 300 captured.
The newspaper also reported that former Cabinet Minister the late Jeremiah Nyagah once visited Chetambe and planted a commemorative tree.
Maybe the Bungoma County government, if not the National Museums of Kenya, will see it befitting to put up a commemorative monument for posterity.