Category Archives: TERRORISM

QUESTIONS WE NEED ANSWERS TO: HUDUMA NUMBER

I hate being forced to do things. That’s exactly what I felt was happening when our government started pushing us to register for the mysterious ‘Huduma Number’.

We’d never heard about this number before the beginning of year, and all of a sudden, the government has put registration of all Kenyans as its top priority.

Not the hunger that was ravaging many parts of this country because this same Government didn’t use the data it already has proactively.

Not the spiraling public debt that could throw our economy into turbulence.

Not the surge in mental illness that is turning our men and women into killers.

Nope. Its top priority is getting us registered for God knows what reason.

The government is threatening to deny its services to citizens that do not have the number (which, btw is actually illegal).

This ‘super-helpful’ process is costing us Ksh 6 billion just ahead of an 18 billion shilling census.

Can you imagine that! More than 24 billion spent on collecting citizens’ personal data in a year that the government is supposed to be implementing austerity measures.

This Government is a punishment for our collective stupidity, greed, and naivety as a populace.

Back to Huduma Namba

I and millions of other Kenyans including children had to waste an entire day at least once in the last 45 days, queing in order to register for this supposed elixir for proper service delivery.

We are not even sure as to how this number is supposed to help us.

I have never heard anyone complain that we have too many identification numbers. Each one has a specific purpose, and keeping them separate is ideal when you live in a country run by a government gone rogue.

That aside, I don’t think our government has the capability of delivering to all of us these squeaky clean numbers that are meant to be the gateway to all of its services.

Epic fail best describes this government, and perhaps deployment of the Huduma Namba will be nothing but a pipe dream, and the citizens can rest a bit easy knowing that an incompetent government doesn’t have in its possession all of their data in one centralised location.

Some of the questions I have regarding this number include:

Is it going to improve service delivery?

How is one number the magic trick for fixing everything that is wrong with our government?

How is this unique identifier different to the other unique identifier numbers we possess?

Wouldn’t it be cheaper to declare our national IDs the only identifier?

Do we really need a census after this harrowing experience? Doesn’t this entity already have all the information it needs?

Will corruption holes in government be sealed as a result of this number?

Where did this idea come from?

Did it come from the Chinese?

Which case studies did they use as proof that this will work?

Is our data secure?

Although most of the data we are providing is already in government records, won’t centralising this data make it easy to steal.

If someone stole this information, what exactly would they do with it?

Will this data be used to monitor us as citizens?

We already live in a failed state; we don’t want to live in a police one too where all of your movements are monitored and trackable.

How is a democratic state supposed to run when the Government can monitor, and quell any opposing individuals?

We will be in a lot of shit when our government finally figures out how to control what we do online and offline.

Who stands to benefit from the tenders associated with registration and maintenance of Huduma Namba database?

Some of the companies awarded the tenders were the same crooks that sold us the registration kits for last elections. They did less than a stellar job, so what makes the Government think they’ll do a better job this time?

Will the maintenance of this database be done at the national or county level?

What happens to kids born after the deadline? How will they get registered?

Who should be held accountable in the event that a data breach occurs, and personal data ends up stolen?

Who should be held accountable if the constitutional rights of citizens to privacy, movement, freedom of speech, and freedom of association, are curtailed as a result of this massive collection and storage of citizen data?

Everything is a bit up in the air at the moment, but, soon we’ll know the truth about this number, and who it is truly supposed to benefit.

Let’s just hope the government effs this up like it does everything else so that we don’t pay the harsh consequences of mass registration.

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JANUARY 2019 III- WHEN TERROR STRIKES

And here comes part 3 of the series on deadly events that have transpired around us in the first month of 2019.

A TERROR ATTACK!

It sounds surreal even writing about it, like, did it really happen, or did we imagine it?

But, it’s true. It happened. It was not a dream, and 21 people died, just like that.

On the 15th of January 2019, 21 innocent people walked/drove/were driven into the Dusit D2 Complex on 14 Riverside Drive, and never came out (alive, that is).

Their families are devastated, their destinies having been forever altered by the actions of a few deranged, brainwashed, mentally unstable, backward individuals who have not yet realized that they are being used as pawns by powerful people, who by the way, place no value in their lives.

700 people were rescued, which we are grateful for, but, we might never fully comprehend the emotional scars they carry with them as a direct result of this terror attack.

They will morph into completely different people as a result of their experiences on this day. For many, the change will not be for the better.

In cases like this, there is also the trauma faced by the rescuers and first aiders, plus the individuals who live and work around the area where the terror attack has occurred.

It is literally a 15 minute walk between our city home, and the complex that was attacked. I pass this area everytime I am going and coming from home. Ever since the attack, all I keep thinking whenever I pass here is that it could have been me.

Or it could have been my parents.

Or one of the guys I watch soccer with at our local every weekend. Or one of their loved ones.

Or one of my friends from Church. Or their parents. Or their siblings.

It could have been any of us because of our proximity to the place, and we would have never known that our end was coming.

Sadly, the end came for those 21 souls. People who had plans for their days and for the rest of their lives.

People who had nothing to do with the war in Somalia. People who had done nothing to deserve the ire of Al-Shabaab.

They were just normal people, leading their daily lives, exercising their full human rights.

Words cannot even describe how senseless this attack was, how senseless every terror attack (including the ones orchestrated by the West) is.

We created this problem ourselves; all of us as a collective.

There are those of us who participated directly in fueling the flames of religious extremism (mainly for economic gain political dominance), and, there are those of us who stood idly by, pretending that we could not see the monster being created, pretending that we had no power to stop it.

WE ARE ALL TO BLAME! Each and every one of us, irrespective of religion, or nationality.

I personally feel like I am responsible. Like there is something I should do or should have done to help fight terrorism authentically without all of the political nuances and intonations.

Like there is a better way to handle this catastrophe, and it’s my fault for not working hard enough to figure it out. For always putting it at the back of my head because it does not affect me directly in the past.

But now it has affected me directly. And, it has been a wake-up call for me, and I hope for everyone else affected by this terror attack to put our individual efforts in solving this problem.

Whether it’s paying more attention to our surroundings, alerting the authorities of any suspicious activities around us, refraining ourselves from engaging in exclusionary practices based solely on religion, intervening before a loved one is inculcated into an extremist group, or choosing political leaders that promote rather than reject diversity, we all have a part to play.

There is something you can do today that can stop a terrorist attack tomorrow.

We owe it to these 21 Dusit D2 fallen souls plus the millions of innocent victims of terrorism all over the world.

You owe it to yourself and to your loved ones.

Stay safe!!!