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Tuesday, 7 June 2011

The Anchor May-June 2011

Officials, traders 
form coalitions to
steal sand in counties

An assistant minister Gideon Ndambuki was shocked after he made an impromptu visit of river Inzuuni in his constituency and found trucks loading sand at the river.
The assistant minister for agriculture had received complaints over massive destruction of river from excessive illegal sand harvesting at the river usually at night thus making spontaneous visit.
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Ndambuki expressed concern that rivers in Makueni County have dried up due to the ex-cessive illegal sand harvesting regretting that government was using a lot of funds to supply water to the county residents.

Addressing public baraza at Kakuswi primary school in Mbooni East district, the assistant minister ordered the County’s  OCPDs David Kirui of Mbooni area, Joshua Leina and Sara Duncan of Makueni and Makindu areas respectively to crackdown illegal sand harvesting activities.

The legislator is set to hold a crisis meeting on the illegal sand harvesting  with the three OCPDs’, District commissioners’ of the nine district in the county and office in charge of National Environmental Management Authority [NEMA].

Sand harvesting can not take place without the support of the administrators, the  police and Nema officials. They collude to form a formidable cartel of hardcore graft barons in many of the districts of Ukambani. It is the case in Machakos, Kathiani, Masinga, Nzaui, Mukaa, Kangundo and Matungulu Districts others.

Mr Ndambuki underscored the need to control the sand harvesting to reduce en-vi-ron-men-tal destruction at the rivers which have resulted to acute water scar-city in the county.

“Our residents are forced to walk for long distances in search of water since water has disappeared at our rivers following the excessive scoping of sand, the water reservoir  and what is left at  most of the river beds are imaging bear rocks” Ndambuki Lamented.

He cautioned those behind the illegal sand harvesting of severe punishment re-minding them of recent passed bill of harsh penalty over illegal sand harvesting.

   An assistant minister Gideon Ndambuki was shocked after he made an impromptu visit of river Inzuuni in his constituency and found trucks loading sand at the river.

The assistant minister for agriculture had received complaints over massive destruction of river from excessive illegal sand harvesting at the river usually at night thus making spontaneous visit. Ndambuki expressed concern that rivers in Makueni County have dried up due to the excessive illegal sand harvesting regretting that government was using a lot of funds to supply water to the county residents.
 (See a related story elsehwere)

Machakos Girls becomes

Centre for French learning

Machakos Girls High School in Machakos county is now the centre for French language learning in Lower Eastern Region courtesy of the French government.
The ambitious project under the banner Reqional Resource Centre for French (RRCF) was inaugurated French Ambassador to Kenya Mr.Etienne de Poncins.

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The Ambassador was accompanied by a Director of Quality Assusrance in the ministry of education Fidelis Nakhulo,PDE Eastern Province Mr.Benard Gitau,Machakos DEO Abdi Kadir, the school BOG Chairman Justice Kasanga Mulwa and the Principal Ms Flora Mulatya among others.
He said the centre brings to eleven the number of such centers sponsored by his government in the country in the framework of the Franco-Kenyan bilateral cooperation project that supports the teaching and learning of French.
“The Machakos Girls project is one of the ten regional centers that were planned for secondary schools all over the country and five for universities within the framework of FSP project of revitalizing French language in Kenya”, said the Ambassador.
He lamented that  such a vital centre was lacking in the entire Eastern Province hence the reason Machakos was chosen.
Mr Poncins said the resource centres would offer teachers and students modern teaching methods and learning materials by introducing ICT in the teaching of French as a language in Kenya.
He hailed the cordial relationship between France and Kenya and said he was impressed the French language has served to bring the two countries together.
“Social ,cultural, economical and political relationships mostly takes place through languages and we area happy that the French language has served to bring Kenya and France closer”,s aid Mr. Poncins.
Mr.Nakhulo encouraged Machakos Girls students to take advantage of the new projects to improve their performance in French in KCSE.
 The PDE said the centre will help improve the teaching of French in schools within Machakos County and the larger Lower Eastern Province
 Ms Mulatya thanked the French Ambassador for helping the school establish the resource centre and assured him that the school will strive to compete with others in French globally.

Sex scandal in the Catholic

 Church has refused to go away

From where I stand: Many Catholics who had looked up to celibate priests as their models feel betrayed, ashamed and disappointed. They feel that some priests have ‘slipped away from the footprints of the apostles’ by living double lives and sex abuse scandals that has refused to go away. The scandal first appeared as a thing for priests now it has slipped to the bishops. Trust has been compromised. The halo has been tilted, if not broken.

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They see the church as a place of perfect storm of child molestation as depicted by sex scandals. The church had to take responsibility for the hurt, the scandals, the pain and the suffering caused by celibate priests who claimed to be models of good behaviour. Pope Benedict XVI pointed out that the Sin is within the Church. It is only by being above reproach that the church would rebuild the public’s confidence and respect in it and its priests.

I wish I could say that there are only a few bad mangoes, but the outrage around us suggests that there are more than just a few bad mangoes. The abuse weakened the church’s authoritative voice. As church leaders, we become incapable of criticizing the corrupt and immoral behaviour of the members of our respective communities. We have no moral authority to tell people to go to Hague or Hell. We become hesitant to criticise the greed and malpractices of our civic authorities. We are paralysed and automatically become reluctant to guide young people in the many moral dilemmas they face.

We live in fear of being uncovered. Many Catholics no longer take us seriously and that may be a cause of Catholics calling a witch doctor from Tanzania to cleanse a Church in Kavunyu Catholic Church in the catholic Diocese of Machakos. Why would a priest attempt to murder his own best priest friend anyway? There is a big problem somewhere. A good case in point was the campaign against the new constitution in Kenya. It appears many Catholics did not believe their shepherds. It is as serious as that. We all need to put on sack cloth and pray, fast and repent.

 I was surprised in August 2008 when a certain priest long serving as a parish priest shocked me. His children have finished University so I am told by some Catholics who know him. It is a common knowledge to many Catholics that he has biological children. May be he thought I knew him as an Angle! The priest told me to stop the creation of the Catholic Prelature of married Roman Catholic Priests. But I cannot. Because God is calling married priests back to active ministry. I advice the priest to join our ordinariate and stop playing holier than thou as some clerics are doing! Are you really determined to die as a hypocrite, surely?

In all catholic Dioceses in Kenya we have priests who have shunned hypocrisy and got married. Quite a number of celibate priests would like to join our ordinariate but they fear excommunication, suspension, threats, penalties, defrocking. So this gives the Church the picture of PLACE OF FEAR. Hence they have to hang on hypocrisy to feed their clandestine families with Sunday collection and mass stipend. Let the truth be told. It is a public secret that priests with families are known and can be smoked out of their hide outs. Today the world is a global village. You can run but you can not hide! But days of a thief are numbered. Why should you wait to be smoked out unceremoniously? I know quite a number of priests are struggling to make a decision but don’t take too long. Don’t wait for Rome to force you to retire or remove you from parish office on health grounds!! You know what I mean! Kubali yaishe! A delegation of Seminarians from religious congregations visited my office but they came out very clear that they are living in fear in seminaries. So they have to play good boys.

With married priests, there would be less pedophilia so I belief. It seems if a married priest were a pedophile he could stay many more years in many different locales. Had he also emptied the coffers of a parish church, only the Bishop and his select aides would ever know. There is something very wrong, immoral and hypocritical about this depiction.

For us married Roman Catholic Priests will continue maintaining that celibacy should be made optional for clerics. No matter how you demean and dehumanise married priests with Threats, penalties, excommunications and defrocking will not work. Christ was also expelled from the synagogue for revealing His manifesto. What will work is constructive dialogue of equals. It is the spirit of the Lord speaking in us. We shall continue correcting our mother church from inside with care and love. A married priest is an International group growing each day. It is the work of the Lord. The church has physical power and personnel. They are many we are few. They have the physical structures we have few. But remember David and Goliath. The Church may have money and donors but for us silver and gold we have none but we have Christ with us as our Chief shepherd. He begun the good work in us and He will bring it to completion.

What will work at the end of it all is power of the argument but not argument of power. The argument here is that mandatory celibacy is failing miserably and turning out to be a disgrace and that is the obvious powerful argument. Let us advocate for optional celibacy. Priests are having sexual relationship with women. It is pointless to deny what everybody knows. You appear a liar in broad day light supporting mandatory celibacy and telling it to Catholics who have eyes to see and ears to hear in the media about sex abuse scandals by clergy. But if you are looking for chorus answers in support of mandatory celibacy after mass in the church definitely you will get nice chorus in support of celibacy. But may I remind you deep down in the catholic hearts and eyes you are a liar, unrealistic, hypocrite and a fake orator standing on the altar. People know your public private life as a cleric and talk about you in person. The good thing is that they will not tell you! Time is ripe to fear God and speak the truth to shame the devil. Advocate for optional celibacy as Jesus did by calling married Apostles and you will get applause from the Lord.

In Kenya: A catholic Bishop was reported to have been retired on health grounds/ because of sex abuse scandal. Who knows, A little background check may be starting with the loudest ones in attacking married priests can weed out more of the same calibre but we have an attitude of don’t say it and secrecy mantle. Remember the magnificant-He scatters the proud hearted and He casts the mighty from their thrones. Whatever is done in secret one day it will be shouted in the house tops as it has happened in Kenya and other places in the world. A Certain cleric thought he was holier than the married Bishops, now he has been cast from his throne. The question is who is next in the list to being uncovered. Let us watch and pray.

Catholic Bishops Removed: Pope Benedict has “removed” a bishop in the Republic of Congo for mismanagement. It said that this rare move was motivated by “serious problems of management within the diocese, among others economic management” and by “acute tensions within the diocese”, according to the Vatican, which said there was no issue of sexual morals involved. The management at Pointe-Noire had been disastrous and the prelate did not enjoy the confidence of his clergy. The unusual circumstances in which the bishop quit his post suggested he refused to resign.

France: The same procedure was used in January 1995 when John Paul II fired the bishop of Evreux, in France, Mgr Jacques Gaillot. In recent months several bishops in central and western Africa - the Central African Republic, Benin and Burkina Faso - have resigned. No official reasons were given but many Bishops, often the young ones, have to quit over problems of management, sexual behaviour or incompatible religious activities or beliefs. Remember one famous Archbishop once said loud and clear-The smoke of Satan has entered in the Catholic Church. Sex scandal is just but too much. It can’t be just for nothing.

Archbishop Kasomo Daniel is a
Roman Catholic Bishop and 
Bishop of the Society of 
St. Peter and Paul in Kenya.

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