Sunday, November 30, 2008

Kenyans on us, again!

Hello friends!
A mdau sent me this link from The Nation and thought we could brainstorm about it.
Tanzania is proving to be a liability in EA integration

Posted Saturday,
November 29, 2008 at 15:12

It is time members of the East African Community called Tanzania’s bluff. Our southern neighbour has become a veritable impediment to integration and progress in the region.

Everytime a useful proposal is put forward, it throws a spanner in the works. Kenya, Uganda and the two candidate-members of the Community, Rwanda and Burundi, should simply shrug Tanzania off and forge ahead.

The latest Tanzanian objection is the proposal to allow the use of identity cards when crossing borders instead of the requirement for passports, which relatively few ordinary East Africans have anyway.

The effect of the Tanzanian veto is to limit the movement of people about, who in most cases are traders going back and forth. It is difficult to see the logic of Dar es Salaam’s objection. At this rate, the dream of federation by 2013 will remain dead as long as Tanzania is allowed to dictate terms.

Tanzania has for many years been consumed by a large deceit of thinking it is more important than it actually is.

Basically, it still lives in a time warp where it is forever harping on its old credentials of being a linchpin of the liberation struggles of southern Africa.

WITHOUT DOUBT THIS WAS A historically important role. But the world of today is being shaped not by re-living the progressive glories of the 60s but by learning to adapt to fast-changing economic trends of today.

Tanzania is dirt poor, its economy a fraction of Kenya’s. Further, it lacks the dynamism and skills to drive its economy forward at the pace of its neighbours. Even tiny Rwanda has a better capacity than can be said of Tanzania.

The latter’s prickly sense of wanting to be alone is sadly misguided. Regional prosperity depends on the exchange of skills that free movement of peoples and investment across borders allows.

It is myopic to think Kenyans who venture into Tanzania are only going to take away Tanzanian jobs and opportunities. They are bringing skills, money and enterprise which they cross-pollinate in Tanzania.

It is also wrong to fear that Kenya’s more developed economy is a threat to Tanzania’s and thus should be kept at bay.

That argument flies in the face of all known precedents. Mexico knows the immense benefits it reaps from the North America Free Trade Association (NAFTA) even though its economy can nowhere be compared with the United States’ or Canada’s.

Likewise countries like Slovakia or Croatia would not have been clamouring to join the European Union to be in the company of more advanced members like France and Germany. But the cost-benefit ratio in such situations favours the poorer members.

Of the leaders of the East Africa Community, President Yoweri Museveni is by far the most far-sighted on this question of integration, He is surely right in urging those countries for the idea to go ahead on their own and cast off the laggards.

One country cannot and should not be allowed to hold the process of integration hostage. Another leader who is emerging as a real visionary is Rwanda’s President, Mr Paul Kagame.

He has already okayed the abolition of work permits for Kenyan professionals going to work there. Kenya too, has agreed on a similar waiver for Rwandan job-seekers.


imani said...

The misleading part of this article is when it suggets that Tanzania doesnt want intergratiion or co-operation with other EA countries. The truth is Tanzania doesnt agree with the terms of co-operation as they are in the existing portifolio and the speed of iplementating the intergration goals. The writer seems to be trying to outrage Tanzanian nationalists rather than discussing the matter.

Anonymous said...

I join imani for what you are saying.Certainly,Tanzanians agree the EAC but should be built under the framework which will escape us from loss that we got in previous EAC. Tuly, during the former EAC, Tanzanians were very much committed for intergration when these countries were not.Thus,we do not want to rush into the community without to sort out the failures of the previuos one.For issue of employement, by now everywhere there is a problem of employmenet so if Kenyans are think that it is only in their country, they are deceiving themeselves.

Anonymous said...

We have values in our country (Tanzania)unnecessary agression towards one onother is never a tanzanian thing also the writer should know if not remember "Rome was not built in a day"
Proper intergration terms will enable comformity hence mutual benefit to all of us,the original EC which died 1977 had these problems, therefore hasty intergration process may bring it this new EC to a halt again ,On the otherhand security of this region is still an issue to this day and it can not be overlooked sadly all our neighbouring countries are just time bombs characterised by separitism,genocidism and tribalism what you see in Rwanda Uganda even kenya itself doesnt demonstrate stable authorities no wonder they are pushing so hard into looking for green purchers elsewhere mainly jamhuri ya muungano, we can not let these attitudes came and destroy our peace that has been built for many years by our fore fathers as a matter of fact we will endevor to protect it regardless.

Anonymous said...

Hawa waswahili wanataka ardhi yetu. Nadhani tuko sahihi kukataa wageni kumiliki ardhi yetu.

Anonymous said...

Imani, The whole article is misleading, and Incendiary.

Yeye anapoandika Tanzania ni Maskini, akaimbatanisha na Mexico na Eastern European Countries, he is totally talking from Kibri.

Let me say this LOUD and CLEAR!, Tanzania is the richest countries than any other members countries.

The problem with us is that, we have not been using our assets and wealth in FUll potential thanks to JK na UJIMA.

Jengine sisi kuwa na pwani kubwa na kutabakana na nchi nyingi ambazo ziko land locked pekee ni UTAJIRI. Wenzetu wakenya takribani nchi zote zinazotabakana nazo zina bahari kasoro UGANDA.
Therefore the argument of us being poor, should be thrown out! It has never been right on its own essence, to them is bad negotiating point for a start.

Lazima vile vile tufahamu, hawa jamaa zetu wanamatatizo makubwa ya ardhi bora na watu wengi, hususan ni tatizo kubwa sana kwa upande wa UGANDA NA KENYA, sisi kwa upande wetu ijapokua wingi wa watu lakini bado Ardhi tunayo in ABUNDANCE, na umilikaji wake bado haujakuwa mkubwa kama ilivyo kwa majirani, na siyo kwa taratibu zenye kueleweka thanks to JK Nyerere.

Lack of land in Uganda, has been a big headache to Museveni, the only solution for him to offset his domestic problems he is to push for this so called UNITY, to them that is the only viable solution.

Kwa hiyo sisi njia pekee ya kuepukana na hilo, ni kubadilisha sheria kuhusiana na umilikaji wa ardhi na mali halisi kwa wananchi wake, na jingine uboreshaji wa elimu na uimarishaji wa Miundo Mbinu, hususan barabara na mawasiliano, tukishaliweza hilo basi uwekezaji ikiwa toka ndani au nje ya nchi unakua ni rahisi na hatimae kujikwamua kiuchumi na kimaendeleo.

Kwa hiyo basi tunaomba serikali iamke na imamature haraka iwezekanavyo katika nyanja hizi, tuko vulnerables katika kila nyanja. Lazima tuamke!

kwa kumalizia tu, sio kwamba tunaogopa hii Jumuiya, bali bado sisi ni wachanga mpaka tuwe tumejizatiti, then we can talk an equal term, why talking now! kwani katika ndoa si kuna kukubali au kukataa, bado tuko shule hatutaki kuanza maisha ya UNYUMBA. sorry!


By Mchangiaji

Anonymous said...

One contributor mentioned SECURITY! I came across this article today, I must conclude that they need more time like these to resolve their own domestic problems before spilling their beans somewhere else! We would not want that!

Fowarded by Mchangiaji

Ugandan rebel leader fails to show up for peace deal signing

November 29, 2008 (JUBA)
— The fugitive rebel leader Joseph Kony once again failed to appear today for the signing of a peace agreement reached by his delegation with the Ugandan government since April this year.

Joseph Kony
Ugandan Lord’s Resistance Army rebel leader had not showed up to two previous attempts in April and May to sign the final peace agreement, citing the International Criminal Court (ICC) indictments and arrest warrants hanging over his head as an obstacle to peace in Northern and North-eastern Uganda.

Joachim Chissano; the UN secretary-general’ s special envoy for LRA war-affected areas and members of mediation team returned this evening to Juba after spending the day at Ri-Kwangba, near Sudan-Congo border waiting for Kony as it had been agreed to sign a final document of peace.

However, Chissano speaking to the BBC Radio today remained optimistic about the out come of their efforts to persuade the rebel leader to sign peace. Some members of his delegation stayed near the joint border with Congo with the hope that he could show up in Sunday.

"I don’t have reasons to doubt that he’ll not show up, because all the indications which he gave coming up to now are encouraging so I’m more confident than a few weeks ago," said the UN envoy.

The Chief mediator and Vice-President of southern Sudan government, Riek Machar told a UN radio in Mabanga that the signing was postponed to Sunday. He explained the move by the LRA need to hold more consultations with the religious leaders, Miraya said.

The 21-year brutal conflict in Northern Uganda is blamed for the displacement of nearly 2 million people – now reportedly returning to their places of origin - and the death of tens of thousands more in the region.


Anonymous said...

I am outraged with the article which seem to mean Tanzania is a country of lazy, unintelligent and unaware people. This article is nothing less than an insult to Tanzanians.

The whole concept of East African Union was a brainchild of Tanzania. Starting from the collapsed Union which was Nyerere idea, to this new one which was though of by Mkapa regime. Tanzanians know well about union than any other country in Africa, Tanganyika and Zanzibar union is a wit.

What surprises me is the speed at which Kenyans wants the whole Union to be. To take an example the European Union was not a matter of a one night achievement. It was a well though ideas with advanced and anticipated risk all calculated.

Tanzania is never defiant of the Union, but we want to make sure that the whole concept of the Union is infused to the Majority, infact it is the Citizens who are to benefit from this Union not the Presidents.

So when Tanzania is at some stages reluctant to some of proposals put on the negotiation table its not for the reason that it wants to frustrate the whole concept but rather to make sure that before some of the decisions are made, its people will be the last beneficiaries.

Kibarua said...

Just let it go. Its a comment wether you like it or not.
These kind of a comment are seem to be one sided and are fit or deemed for any or many kenyans if mistaken, therefore, those comments are right in a perspective from a Kenyan writer.The writer has made it all clear, and either way he might be right on his tough.
Ok, As a Tanzanian, I would encourage January to write into this blog or in one of TZ newspapers and post or argue why we, "Tanzanian" should wait on not agree on some of EA intergration matters.Which (many of them) we have seen recently are now peddled fast by our brothers and sisters in Kenya.
Lets remember back in 1975 Kenya was the one pushing fast for the collapse of EAC and CD (Charles Njonjo) the then AG of Kenya holding the door open to force TZ out. Which in some ways led to 1977 EAC collapse.
To me, I will just let that guy (a kenyan writer) express his own fealings if not frustrations and I will not want even to care or even want to know why and in what speed he is blaming TZ now.I will care a lot if those words or that article was written or said by the Kenyan Attorney General or House Speaker.
Next time January , make sure you are the one writing the article and not doing the same as other "stupid bloggers" - Copy and Paste. I will be willing to write in your blog in future anything that is written with you after a lengthy reserch and homework.
Huu mtindo wa ku-discuss mandishi ya watu wengine sio ujanja. Ni sawa na wote tuangalia TV pamoja au kusoma gazeti (uhuru, mzalendo etc)moja na kuanza kubishana kwamba mtangazaji pale alisema hivi au mwandishi pale aliandika au kumaanisha hivi.Wale waandishi wameandika mawazo yao na waliyafanyia kazi kabla ya kuandika na wewe january ndugu yangu nakuomba uandike habari zako ulizozifanyia kazi kutokana na mamabo uliyoyasoma na kututaka sisi wachangiaji tujumuike. Sio Ku-copy mambo ya watu na ku-paste na kutupotezea muda hapa. Huo sio usomi ni kutaka sifa zisizokuwa za kisomi hata kidogo. Haufanani hivyo.

Anonymous said...

I was of the idea that Mr. January you write a column as a counterattack to this stupid article before you ask the opinions of other people.
....why do these kenyan fools always think they are the richest, most intelligent,and all that crappy bullshit?
First of all, this retarded on of a bitch has never ever been to tz to see the economy of tz...he is just relying on the small talks the kenyans always make at the coffee machines.The wiseman once said ''the eye that sees does not see itself,unfortunately''...fucking loser...

Anonymous said...

I opposed EA union and i will always support economical partnership between all East African nations.

I think the author of the article doesn't know why Tanzania fear the whole muungano thing between us, Kenya and Uganda.

Muungano should provides benefits to all partners; however for our case the story is different. Introducing Kenya and Uganda to be part of our community will not do us any better, lather it will destroy us.

Instead of Kenyan criticize us as EA community fearmonger, they should worry about their political instability and unstructured capitalism which is taking care less than 1% of the country.

I am getting sick and tired about the whole Kenyan and EAC drama. I think Tanzanian have many goals to archive before worring about EAC.

Mwisho, nani anataka kuwa partner na Museveni anyway. Museveni soon he will anaounce kwamba yeye ni lifetime president of Uganda.

Anonymous said...

I wrote this article long time ago on my blog. I clerified point after point why EAC won't do us (Tanzanian) any better. I wrote the article in 2006.

early 2000's president Mkapa and other East Africa leaders mate in Arusha to create what the call East Africa Community. The purpose of this illusion meeting was to make Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania as one country, what a mess?

It's true that president Mkapa and his advisers had a rough idea about what will be the obligations of joining three poorest nations on earth. Ideological it's a good idea to have three countries merge to be one, however practically it's total impossible and insane. I can explain why this dump idea will be chaos to Tanzania.

Economically Tanzania is still in bad shape no matter what Balali and his team said, we are in deep trade deficit probably in Tanzania history, we don't produce any more, we only consume. On the other side Kenya are the main producer of East Africa, so their target is to enjoy the easy ride of no tax of exportation. Apart from that Kenya has high number of educated work force than Tanzania and Uganda, majority of educated Kenyan work force are more modernized than Tanzanian, that mean competition between this two is almost equal to zero, so eliminating the border will just increase the number of Kenyan in Tanzania workforce. Tanzania is still in shamble position in a lot of economy sector, join this countries now will create confusion and chiosity between our residents.

Political, Tanzania is in good shape politically than any of this three countries. Uganda their still practice dictatorship, Museveni has been a president for many years without thinking of retirement. Apart from that the confusion he have with Congo, Burundi and Rwanda will be our mess. In Kenyan side, every body know Kenya perform tribalism probably than even Rwanda and Burundi, so introduce this mess in our country will destabilize the region lather than stabilize it, and that is what this Western countries dreaming.

Social, Uganda and Kenya most of their people are immoral, their values is different from ours. Tanzania have high diversity than any of this countries. Tanzania population is about 36 Million people, however our education system still horrible, our health care is a mess, Infrastructure is in bad shape and many other sectors of social services need help. So talking straight to the point, Tanzanian people can not afford big government at this point, we want to be stable on all those aspect before we join that what you guys call EAC

EAC is 400Kg gorilla in the room, that if we will introduce him in our house every body wont make to the next morning. Every Tanzania has to say no to this bad western idea. Look all the world joint are only economical block, but not union. We cant afford EAC at this point may be in the future. To Mr Kikwete Tanzanian has elected you to change the direction of this country, please act on it now, stop EAC illusion plan. MUNGU IBARIKI TANZANIA, MUNGU IBARIKI AFRICA.........SAY NO TO EAC

January Makamba said...

One of the lessons of the collapse of the previous EAC was that the media stoked resentment among the people (particularly between the Kenyans and Tanzanians), and that hastened the collapse of the Community...Tanzanian media called Kenya a man-eat-man society and, in response, Kenyan media called Tanzania a man-eat-nothing society.

If we want this current effort to succeed (at whatever speed), it is important that we learn the lessons of the past. The only way to respond to the impatience of our brothers and sisters in Kenya and Uganda, is not to emulate them in their insults. We should take the moral high ground...and say this: we will move only when it is in the best interest of our country. When France, Holland, and Ireland voted against the Lisbon Treaty (the European Constitution), they did not reject the idea of the European Union. They simply figured that their interests will be served by waiting a bit longer. No insults were thrown across borders.

Anonymous said...

To some extent i don't agree with you January. I think we can't let Kenyan keep throwing towel. We do have every reason on earth to stop EAC.

Kenyan need reason why the 1977 EAC failed? And what make them optmistic this time?

I do have idea, how about Kenyan and Ugandan start their own joint venture na wakifanikiwa to some extent we will join them.

Other than that Thanks but no thank to EAC

Anonymous said...

Suddenly our brothers from the north are now Americans and we are Mexicans ! someone should go and preach this at Kibera.

An oh by the way ,they are sssooo concerned about our poverty and lack of education that they are coming to offer a hand ....please !

About this unity they are banging drums about has anyone told that to Kikuyu and Luos ?
Who won their election any way ? How long has M7 been in power and how long more?
How long can this soldier keep on sending their troops to DRC and be united with us?
You would expect these words to be written to Sudan and Somalia their bloody neighbours

No one is gonna push us around this time around,and that is for sure.


Anonymous said...

mwana lugha atupati kitu au ndio umeamua kuwa mkenya sawa na mfaransa anaandika kifaransa na kiingereza anachanganya eac haina umuhimu kazaniane maendeleo ya ndani achane kutanua soko la watu wamagharibi watu wajitolee kwa maendeleo yao pambaneni kama wazungu

Kazungu Samuel said...

Huo ndio ukweli wa mambo japo unauma.

Anonymous said...

From the style of his writing, The writer is simply idiot, especially to think that Tanzania is poorest country of the three, why do they beg a joint with us now with such speed of implementatio of plan? Kenyan and Uganda have a lot more problem to sort themselves out at higher rate of speed before thinking taking a joint (Wherever the unity name is!! )with Tanzania. they should get it clear that, We don't want a nonsense co-operation period!!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...


Mie sina mengi as most has been said by fellow wachangiaji. It seems to me that, everyone is on the same boat regarding the consequences of RUSHING to the union before it comes to another end.

As suggested by one of the blogger that; this UNION IS NOT FOR MR President, but for fellow Tanzanians; i urge all of you who in one way or another come front to educate,share and enshrine our community with knowldge,to pass this allong to our leaders.

If this can reach our president as an open letter with copy to the minister of foreging affairs, East African coorporation, Industry and Trade,Economy and Empowerment, as well as Internal affairs;we will be doing ourselves a great favor than just bloging what it seem to be a report from Kenyan media but represent the MINDSET and THINKING OF KENYAN LEADERSHIP.

Best regards to you all

Deo Ruta.

Anonymous said...

huyu mwandishi kafiriska kimawazo,na hajui kama hajui alisemalo.mpeni pole

mokes O. gama said...

The East African Community; Patience Is Virtue

“Tanzania greatly likes to be recognized for her ‘Internationalist’ policies, with her leaders spending more time strutting the world than they do in their own country, though the facts show they are quite parochial,” ……Gitau Warigi, Sunday Nation, Nov. 2008.

Just two days ago, I came across a very hot debate and heated discussion on the issue of East Africa Integration. Sparked by an editor/writer for the Sunday Nation newspaper of Kenya’s Daily Nation group, I was impressed mostly with his seemingly frustrated and acerbic comments on the side with which Tanzania stand with regard to the issue of EAC. It seems that there is lifelong and on-going antagonism between Kenyans and Tanzanians, hopefully for good; deplorably useless. If the East African union is truly in our endeavours, then the antagonism has to stop and end.

Mr. Gitau Warigi seem to be a fervent supporter of the EAC, probably the most ardent of all. But he should realise that his either full disdain and contempt of Tanzanians and its leaders or his veritable sense of urgency for the community is not useful. The idea of East Africa Community is grandiose, to say the least. When all other countries in the Western hemisphere are uniting, Africa as a continent should also unite. This is a dream that will soon be realized. Let alone the Eastern part of Africa.

Due to the charisma and intellect of Tanzanians, the world’s largest International body in the name of UN, hosts one of theirs as a deputy Secretary-General. Its leaders chairs various organisations around the world, notably The African Union, Pan-African Parliament, et cetera.
The strutting with which these leaders undertake supposedly with affected air in International meetings, or the time they spend abroad much more than at home is not with vain. Its leaders have realized that Tanzania as a country is not well known outside the continent of Africa. In fact, inside the continent itself a lot of people are oblivious with Tanzania. There is a compelling need to advertise the country and the people of Africa in general. For example, Mount Kilimanjaro is still thought to be in Kenya. In a world of interdependence and globalisation, social, political and economic needs are intertwined and shared, hence the significance of International meetings and organisations. These facts on its people and positions of its leaders are not happenstance. They are merits inherent in the Swahili culture.

The idea of unity is cherished by most of the East African leaders and people, envisioned largely by the late Mwl. Julius Nyerere. There are still some difficulties entwined in the EAC that needs to be solved before the full integration of the region.
I have come across many Kenyans over the years. Most seem to have a snobbish attitude with their knowledge and use of ‘English’ language, either broken or grammar, properly accented or vulgar. In fact, this is the language of the British subjects. It’s one of the striking legacies of colonialism that Kenyans feel proud and dare to criticise its neighbours with their knowledge of English language. As a Tanzanian myself, I speak for many with a good mastery of this extraneous language. It’s only my disregard of this language and the overall silence of Tanzanians that little is heard of them. I’m much more proud of my Swahili language than English. And if Mr. Gitau Warigi would seriously love to see the East Africa Community blossom into maturity, he should use his position and career to further the use of Swahili language, not English. We’re the Africans, the Bantus and neighbours who could communicate and understand each other clearly and comfortably through Swahili language. English should be a secondary vehicle of communication. Never will my mastery of English language act to flaunt my ego, nor even disserve the esteem I have on others.

Currently, the globalisation wave is playing large a role to create jobs in East Africa. Thanks to the policies of laissez faire insisted by the IMF and World Bank. Unfortunately, to fill up the job vacancies, English language is a necessary requirement, the fact that sees many Kenyans filling job opportunities. Either because of the English language or the environment, there are more Kenyans in Tanzania than there are Tanzanians in Kenya. It’s completely unfair to have the indigenous people losing jobs to Kenyans when Tanzanians themselves are hustling daily in search of jobs. It’s because of this fact that Tanzanians needs time to adjust to the existing yet transient needs of English language and tapping of its resources before full integration of the region.

Recently, there has been a rampant wave of bank robberies as part of heinous crimes unpopular in Tanzania. Many a people have justifiably pointed fingers at foreigners. The objection of Identity cards and a favour for passports is a telling proof that Tanzania is trying to protect itself before the free movement of the regional people who bring with them illegal weapons and drugs. It is true that the economy of Kenya is stronger than that of Tanzania. But Tanzania has far more conducive environment for 21st local and foreign investments than its neighbours; another attribute of Swahili culture that has valued peace and understanding of its many tribes. As a matter of fact, neighbours, the likes of Kenya have much more to gain from Tanzania and the community as a whole because of the resources in Tanzania. I’m not speaking to counter Warigi’s accusations, but rather the facts. Tanzanite, tourism from Kilimanjaro, human infrastructure…you name it.

The best way to advance the regional integration (EAC) is through a slow yet sure emphasis with the use of Swahili language as a wherewithal for bridging the gap of economic needs of the East Africans. Once this become a reality, the requirement of English knowledge before employment will be delegated. Then respect and mutual regard for one another will be enhanced. Of course English language is necessary in our modern world since it’s spoken globally and the simple means of acquiring a job. Other needs like identity cards should be second and followed with caution. This caution is buoyed by a need to have peace in Great Lakes regions first and foremost. European Union was not achieved in one day. It took time.

mokes O. gama…Tanzanian in U.S.

Anonymous said...

Tanzanians Should Shun Kenyan Expansionistas

I am a patriotic Tanzanian living in Kenya. I was really offended by the ideas of Gitau Warigi. Dear Blog editor, you may want to post a different article that was written by another colleague of Warigi in the same newspaper a month ago. This article clearly shows that some Kenyans are advocating for an expansionist politics akin to that of nurtured by the small landlocked countries of the Great Lakes Region. The war in DRC and the war in Somalia is feeding the political imagination of the countries in the EAC with dreams of expanding into neighbouring countries by force or deceit in order to make profits for themselves. Tanzania is an exception and maybe Burundi also.

In his recent article that has caused a lot of debate among Kenya's eastern neighbours the Somalis (in the diaspora mainly), Kipkorir proposed that Kenya and Ethiopia should occupy and divide Somalia between themselves into two parts as a long term solution to the political chaos in that country.

Is it possible that some Kenyans now want to expand their territorial dreams into Tanzania in the pretext of the EAC?

Does Kenyans want to conquer Somalia by military force and conquer Tanzania by political deceit?

here is the article. You should post it on as a main post rather than a comment under a different thread

Why Kenya and Ethiopia ought to annex and divide Somalia

Posted Friday, October 3 2008 at 19:36

In Summary

* Since 1960, the country has been a lawless state that is a haven for terrorists and pirates.
* Annexing Somalia is thus in our strategic interest and we must do it now as the financial meltdown continues.

The Article

Last month, Lehmans Brothers and Merrill Lynch, the world’s foremost investment banks, went bankrupt and we witnessed the financial chaos in the western capitals.

In the fog of international headlines on finding a financial bail-out in Washington, a rag-tag army of 50 semi-naked men on rickety boats captured a ship carrying 33 T-72 tanks, rocket-propelled grenades and anti-aircraft guns off the coast of Somalia.

The capture of mv Faina and the stalemated talks amid the surrounding American and Russian warships made me think that maybe this is the time to find a final solution to the Somali problem.

Since 1960, the country has been a lawless state that is a haven for terrorists and pirates. The pirates have told us the destination of the captured weaponry causing tension and panic in Washington, Nairobi and Khartoum.

If it is true that the final consignee was the government of Southern Sudan, as they allege, I will be on the same page with the Kibaki government for the first time.

I am a fervent supporter of a strategic foreign policy even if it attracts us enemies of such malevolent and despotic regimes as that of Khartoum.

Supporting the Southern Sudan government is in our long-term strategic interest and we should not shy from it. The truth of the matter is that as a Western ally, Kenya is an existential enemy of Arab countries, Sudan included.

Annexing Somalia is thus in our strategic interest and we must do it now as the financial meltdown continues to take away the attention of the world.

Somalia as a state exists only in world maps. It is a classic case of a failed state. It is a state dismembered into as many independent units as there are sub-clans. Its 90-strong cabinet is emblematic of the actual number of units.

The Horn of Africa country has no functioning government. The so-called transitional federal government, led by Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed, is confined to a shell-shocked presidential compound.

There is no standing or even sitting army or judicial systems. By all accounts, Somalia is a black hole in international law. Together with Afghanistan and Pakistan they are known as the training grounds and refuge for international terrorism.

Kenya has been a victim of such terrorism, leading to near-destruction of its tourism industry. We cannot afford another such attack. We have the potential to develop our tourism to compete with, if not outpace, Egypt and South Africa. But we cannot do so if Somalia continues to be a non-state.

Somalia neighbours Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti. Of these, it is only Ethiopia and Kenya that have strategic interest in Somalia. Djibouti is a primitive entrepot that can’t even supply water to its 600,000 people, who are forced to drink that imported from France or Coca Cola. Therefore, Djibouti is out in the quest for the final solution to the Somali puzzle.

Kenya and Ethiopia must and ought to dismember Somalia and divide it between themselves along the 4 degrees latitude, each taking all the land below and above the line.

The division will make both countries extend their territories by roughly 300,000sq km and additional populations of about five million.

Once Kenya and Ethiopia have sent their combined army to Somalia and declared the annexation, we will present to the world a fait accompli.

In 1845, America annexed Texas from Mexico and forced the Texan legislature to pass a specific legislation stating that it accepted the annexation. The annexation has stood to date and, for good measure, President George W. Bush is a proud American Texan.

For Kenya and Ethiopia, having the Somali legislature to endorse the annexation will be cake-walk. At any given time, most, if not all, Somali legislators are in Nairobi.

We will have them convene in one of our hotels and to pass the appropriate statutes dividing their country.

When the allied forces liberated Germany from Fuhrer Adolf Hitler, they sent the bill to Berlin.

Our cost of annexing Somalia will be settled by Mogadishu. Somalia is known to have huge deposits of oil, natural gas, uranium and iron ore. Immediately after the annexation, we will invite our strategic foreign friends (not China please) to come and exploit the resources for us.

Kenyans ought to know that although Somalia is a failed state, its positive statistics are impressive. Without a structured economy, its gross national income per capita is US$600 (Sh40,000), when ours is $550 (Sh36,800). Of its universities that operate without budgets and with armed militia guarding them, three are in Africa’s top 100.

International law forbids the use of force by states against the territorial integrity and political independence of others. Somalia doesn’t have either.

But the law also recognises irreversible processes like the extinction of states such as in the USSR, emergence of new states from former USSR and Yugoslavia, and annexations like that of Texas. International order hates reversing completed processes, more so if the world is a better place.

If we do not annex Somalia and now, we will be a victim of its failed status and pulled down by it. We will not be able to achieve our strategic foreign policy in the region, or attain the Vision 2030 goal.

The time to annex and dismember Somalia is now; Washington and Moscow will be grateful.



mdau Rehema Mkecha