Monday, December 10, 2007


Kenya's Anti-corruption authorities say politicians used Sh900 million to bribe voters during the recent party nominations. The sources of the funds "could not be explained". Seeing as politicians are only ever generous with other people’s money, Palaver is willing to wager much of this cash was ‘stolen’ from voters through the pyramid and Ponzi schemes that flourished in the last two years!

A wag out there has postulated that ODM Pentagon’s Mr Joseph Nyagah and Mr Najib Balala have greater support in Kisumu city than they do in their respective constituencies. Palaver dares not speculate whether this is due to the high population and unswerving passion for ODM in the lakeside city, or disenchantment in the two men’s constituencies.

Don’t you just love African call-and-response narrative? First Lady Lucy Kibaki and Mrs Ida Odinga had a bit of that going the other day. Lucy challenged women to be more assertive and demand their rights. Ida demanded the First Lady’s office with its now bigger allowance!

Some political tactics are such classics, they will be employed by politicians big and small across the globe. Remember the ‘Call me’ trick where a politician gives his mobile phone number to his constituents so as to appear a reachable man-of-the-people? The sting is that the number is invariably answered by a harried aide or (worse) by some poor sap who has no idea what's what.

Well, it appears none other than the self-described "leader of the free world" used the move on American homeowners seeking help with crippling mortgage payments. Mr George W Bush has provided a number for their use — it’s just the wrong one!

And finally...

A cautionary tale for those opposed to mandatory retirement savings:

Indians who neglect their ageing parents face up to a month in jail under a new law passed by worried politicians. The law, passed last week, reflects concerns that rapid modernisation and a growth in nuclear families are undermining a centuries-old social fabric of extended families. The law also allows authorities to order children or relatives to pay a monthly maintenance allowance to the aged.