because you never forget that funny smell

Author: admin (page 1 of 4)

the guns are with the bad guys

The car had not quite skidded to a halt when Woolie jumped out of the driver’s seat and ran round to get the passenger door. He held it open for her until she was seated. He closed her door and went back and settled himself behind the wheel. He selected drive, eased the handbrake and drove slowly down the short drive to rejoin the Mbeki Road where traffic was nose-to-tail in both directions Continue reading

Booty connection – guest post

Blog writers and readers wherever they may be can be wonderful at inspiring one another. Today, we find great pleasure in introducing a guest post from a reader who has read from many of you. Your own writing has inspired him to share with us a lovely piece. Without further ado I present Lenny and his guest post: The Booty Connection

*December 25th 1994*

This raggedy, hilly place had a feeling of unwantedness but I felt like giving it a further go deeper into the high oak trees. My car heater had been blowing for a non-stop 3 hours as I tried to resist the winter freeze-up.
“Well, my dear loving husband I wish you were here as fast as you can for the romantic meal awaits us both.” Continue reading

The Master’s Garden

…….later that afternoon when the sun had slipped lower the Master came out for a stroll in his lush gardens. Being so late in the season the trees were heavy with fruit and the air thick in natural fragrance. A small stream chuckled nearby as it flowed under the bridge. The hum of insects as they flew between the flowers accompanied the sweet birdsong from up above in the tall trees. Over in the fields the cattle and sheep swung their tails merrily as they grazed in the deep green grass .The Master saw all this and smiled. It was good.


The Master walked on a bit further and came to the edge of a vast escarpment. The Master did not come down this far very often. Down in the valley below a herd of humans were known to have a settlement. It was said that nobody knew where they had come from but they were from all parts of the Masters realm.

The change in the atmosphere down here was palpable. It was as if a big dark cloud hovered above encampament. It trapped the air which smelled of stale breathe, old dirty ashtrays, unwashed bodies and centuries of stupidity, peverty and ignorance. The Master noticed that the stale air was filled with the same old discordant notes of hatred and suspicion and the hysterical shrieks of racism and tribalism just as it had been when he last visited in the first millennium. Amidst claims and counter claims the human herds supported, proposed, opposed. They then claimed to understand, professed tolerance, fought wars, strove for peace, adopted new laws and constitutions but as far as the master could tell they were still as lawless and disorderly as when they first came there.

The Master pulled out his cell-phone and placed a call to his valet.

“Al- Zawahiri, It is me. Things are bad bwana. Come down to the human encampment at once. Bring me my staff and my shield and a PA system. And please Zawa, do not make me wait”

In a short while the valet came down to the escarpment accompanied by two male angels. The master took his staff from one of the angels (the one with an earing) and climbed onto a cliff that overlooked the human settlement. The other angel finished setting up the PA system and handed the wireless mike to the Master. The Master cleared his throat once and then called down in a loud booming voice to the herd people below.

“Oh hear this ye lowest of the lowest creatures in all my dominions. This is a sad day in all the universe. You have made your home on my property and still you disobey me. You have brought dishonour and wickedness to my realm because your lust for evil is greater than your love for peace. Why don’t you live in harmony like my ants and termites whose social skills you will never attain as long as you live? Why don’t you pool your resources to better all your lives instead of having a few wealthy humans beating your sister wanjiku into the ground in poverty?

“It is now rumoured that you do not consider yourselves animals anymore. But lo I say unto thee that you are the most ignorant in all of creation. Some of you book educateds call youselves higher mammals. I have bats living under the eaves of my roof that are far more developed than you shall ever be. I know that the conceit that you have developed as a herd is down to the gifts that I gave you when you first came here.”

The Master called his valet up to the makeshift podium. He said ” I will ask Al-Zawahiri here to remind me of one of the gifts that I presented to you when you first arrived.

Al-Zawahiri, never comfortable in a huge crowd was nervous. He greeted the crowd in a shaky voice. The master looked at him encouragingly and smiled. When the valet caught his master’s eye the master winked and confidence was restored.

He said

“master of masters ye are the greatest and the best. We do not deserve you but we couldn’t do without you. Never forsake us oh Master you who are primus inter pares. I will tell you what gifts you must withdraw from these ungrateful hordes below.

You gave them the gift of sight. Rather than use it to remark at the wonder and glory of your creation they notice their individual differences and primitive as they are they set about going to war. Take away their gift of sight. We shall come back in another millennium to see if they still sqaubble…..”

Maria woke with a start. She had fallen asleep on the couch and the same dream of the night before had come to trouble her. What did it all mean? She went to bed. Tonight she would sleep with the light on.

Lucky Passengers

I just love November and I think it is a lucky month. I saw a report moments ago in the news about a passenger plane from New Jersey that had to make an emergency landing in Poland after its landing gear failed to deploy.

The reports said that none of the 220 passengers and 11 crew on the aircraft were injured


Well done Japan

Photo from BBC News

I watched the Women’s World Cup final last night and what a game it was. Both teams played well and this was reflected in the score of 2-2 after extra time. In the penalty shoot out that followed Japan won 3-1.

In other news Rebekah Brooks a News International executive was arrested and questioned by police for 12 hours while on Sunday evening Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson tendered his resignation both events coming in the wake of the News of The World phone-hacking scandal. The hacking affair seems to have grown legs and more casualties are expected, observers say.

Story that broke the camel’s back

Last Sunday 10th July saw the final publication of the News Of The World as News International, owners of Britain’s largest selling Sunday paper closed it down.


Over the past several years the paper had faced mounting accusations of illegal practices such as phone-tapping and the hacking of voice mail messages of private mobile phones. A royal affairs editor was found guilty of hacking voice-messages belonging to members of the royal family.

Newer and more damaging revelations of phone-tapping by the newspaper were made by several individuals in recent months mostly by celebrities and politicians. In most cases the paper quietly admitted liability and made settlements. Still the scandal would not go away. The Guardian Newspaper continued the fight to expose the extent of the scandal which seemed to link dodgy journalists, shady private investigators, dubious police officers and Big Money.

In late June a convicted murderer Levi Bellfield was found guilty of murdering the 13-year-old school girl Milly Dowler who disappeared in March 2002. It then emerged that in the days following her abduction and during the police hunt for the teenager the newspaper had hacked into Milly Dowler’s voice mail. The journalists deleted some of the older messages to free up memory. This gave false hope to family and friends that she may still be alive. The police investigations were also seriously hampered by this interference.

The public outrage that followed these revelations was understandable. It seemed that nobody was spared the evil hackers’ attentions; Victims of the July 2005 London bombings, families of soldiers killed in Afghanistan and Iraq, their voice-mail was fair game to the journalists as they searched for ‘the story’. The Prime Minister condemned the paper’s activities as ‘truly dreadful’ and many other leaders called for the sackings of senior people at the newspaper. Insiders say that there may be more serious and damaging revelations in the days and weeks ahead.

It is fair to say for now that the activities of a ‘a few’ rotten eggs have pushed many honest newspaper workers out of a job and ended a proud 168-year tradition of tough and often dangerous investigative journalism. The News of The World exposed many scandals and was not fearful of tackling the high and mighty. They took on drug king -pins, arms smugglers, corrupt authorities and exposed hypocritical clergy in sleazy sex scandals. To their advantage they had the cash and resources to pursue any story and in the end, perhaps, they were brought down by their zeal for getting to the story at any cost.

A chance encounter……..

Wow! July is upon us already and whilst I welcome a new month with the thrill and excitement that comes with knowing Chriso can’t be too far away, there is a sad weight upon my heart. You see I failed to put in my June posting. A post that I’m sure would have been a masterpiece – the mother of all posts. Due to bad weather, overwork, facebook and one excuse after another, I kept putting it off for tomorrow and now, alas, it will never see the light of day.

Every cloud has a silver lining and on the very first day of July I got an urgent call to pick up a passenger from a fashionable part of the city. Work is a bit thin on the ground at this time of the year so I dashed to the location in my 2004 Tuk which my enemies call Rusty. I had been informed that the passenger would be waiting at the front of the office.

Would you like a description? I bet you would. She was the most gracious and elegant person that I had ever met. Calm, sweet and soft spoken. She carried herself like nobility. Was she an angel? I could barely hide my sense of wonder as I asked the beautiful passenger for her destination.

“Take me to the Lemon Tree please, be as quick as you can and I will pay you handsomely.” She said, in her smooth agreeable voice.

image from travelpod.co.uk
As we sped along the highway in the busy day-time traffic I stole glances of her in my mirror. One moment she was sitting looking out of the window and the next she had taken out a notebook and was writing stuff into it. We arrived at her destination where she paid the fare, got out of the taxi, bid me good day and walked quickly into the building. She had tipped me quite well. I picked up a page of classy note-paper that she had left behind on the rear seat. It smelled of sweet perfume. I read the neat, posh writing:



Thank and link back to the person who posted you the award.

Share seven things about yourself

Spread the Love and honour

Contact these bloggers and tell them about the award.

It was at that very moment that it it dawned on me that my passenger was none other than the funniest blogger.


Seven Things:

I like the number seven.

    There are few things in life that I fear more than the mosquito. Mankind has brought about the extinction of so many species and still we have mosquitoes. We need to try harder.

I never lend stuff to people. It is not that I am mean – if I can spare it I will give it – but I stopped lending long ago.

I find that there is never enough time to complete the job at hand so I never undertake difficult tasks.

I am proud of the fact that I am consistently able to wake up before lunch-time.

I love wool; The look, the feel and the smell of it, especially when wet.

I am a habitual gambler.


Was that seven or eight? Never mind. Right now I am pointing at Mama Shujaa, Raunau, and OtienoHongo

and hoping.

A tragic accident and a murder

So much has been written and said about the Samuel Wanjiru tragedy that the time has now come for the public to do the decent thing and allow the family to come to terms with their grief without the undue speculation, rumour and gossiping. It is just unfortunate that this case involved a celebrity and thus it has aroused intense media scrutiny.

As it happens, I spent an afternoon last weekend in the company of a family friend, a retired deputy police commissioner who was once the head of the homicide division, Nairobi. We spoke briefly about the “Wanjiru” affair before he told me about a case that he was involved in when he was a junior officer fresh out of college.

“Woolie”, he said, “Nothing is ever what it seems. Be prepared for the unexpected at all times.”

“In those days, you see we all thought that murder was an offence carried out by thugs and gangsters on strangers. In our naïve way we were brought up to be trusting in the general good of humanity.”

We had now retired to a small sitting room and the former cop opened a glass cabinet and took out a single malt whisky and 2 small glasses. He poured the drinks, made sure I was comfortable and sat down to light his pipe. Then he got to his story.

When the Ikumbi case came to the High Court in late October 1985 it made all the headlines because of the gruesome brutality with which Mr Silas Ikumbi had met his death. Here was a well-liked, successful businessman with a seemingly happy home life. He was said to be fair in business and generous to friends and family. He made numerous donations to harambees and other worthy causes. He was hard-working and expected the same from his employees but he also rewarded hard work with bonuses and promotion.

Then there was the widow. Young, beautiful, stylish – with friends in high society. There was plenty of money and hints of something shaky in the marriage.

It was the night of the 26th -27th July of that year. A horrible road traffic accident on the Mombasa Road. A Nairobi bound coach slammed into the back of a heavy goods lorry that stood broken down by the side of the road. A mighty fireball engulfed both vehicles and there were no survivors on the coach. Most of the bodies had been burnt beyond recognition. Four days later Silas Ikumbi’s wife came forward and claimed that she was sure that her husband had been a passenger on the coach on that fateful journey.

image from topnews.in

It is fair to say that most people were surprised by this announcement. Why had it taken this long for Mrs Ikumbi to come forward with this information. She claimed that she had tried to make absolutely certain that there was no mistake before going to the police. Mrs Ikumbi explained that her hsuband had called her from Mombasa on that evening and he had given her the name of the coach and their departure time.

Silas Ikumbi travelled frequently to Mombasa on business trips but he never, ever went by coach. Nor did he travel by train. Silas was a competent driver and he preferred to drive himself on long journeys. He told friends that it helped him to clear his mind, think and plan new business strategies. Also he had many business contacts in towns on the way to Mombasa and he liked to call upon them and catch up with business affairs. It was not unknown for Silas to drive down from Nairobi early in the morning, conclude his business meetings at the coast and drive back the same day. He derived great satisfaction from this.

The remains of the victims were buried and the authorities accepted the wife’s word and a memorial service was held for Silas Ikumbi on 13th of August. The service was attended by friends and family and many business associates from agents to distributors and wholesalers. Silas was a popular man.

It was just over a week later that a Mr Abdul Kadir from Mombasa came to see me in my office. He seemed unsure of himself but I ordered for us some tea and asked what was troubling him. He came out with it. He asked if I had heard of the coach crash tragedy. He then told me that he had attended the memorial service but it was only after going back to Mombasa and thinking things through that he felt that there was something that did not add up.

He pulled out a pocket diary and showed me an entry that he had made: Telephoned Silo, agreed to meet a week from today. Must have the samples ready for him. The date was 29th July a full two days after the accident. He had only realised this discrepancy after the service. Still puzzled he had called Silas’s home hoping to speak to Mrs Ikumbi but there was no answer. What, he wondered, did all this mean? One thing was sure – his friend could not possibly have perished in that crash. Was it all a mistake? Was he still alive.

We spoke at length with Mr Abdul Kadir checking details and covering other background stuff and I assured him that we would investigate all the circumstances surrounding this incident and keep him updated on future developments. Then he took his leave. I was touched by the gesture the man had made for his friend.

The next afternoon I drove up to the Ikumbi home in Tigoni near Limuru seeking to speak to Mrs Ikumbi. The security guard ushered me into the compound but when the front door was opened a young maid informed me that mama was not seeing any callers and that all communication to her was being handled by her lawyer. I could not hide my surprise. The maid duly presented me with a business card bearing the name of a city lawyer. As I turned to leave a young girl, 10 or 11 came up to the door. She had just arrived from school, it seemed. She asked if I was a policeman, come to find out where daddy had gone. The maid told her off and sent her indoors. I got into the car and drove to Nairobi deep in thought. I had now come across two people for whom the story that Silas Ikumbi was killed in a coach tragedy did not ring true.

It was time for action. Investigators went out to try and put together the final hours of Mr Ikumbi’s life. The bus companies of the day were not required to keep passenger manifests so no documetary evidence was available to prove one way or the other whether Ikumbi had been on that coach. My investigators dicovered no sightings of Ikumbi in Mombasa and none of his associates and colleagues had met with him. Investigators visited all the likely places he would have gone on a normal trip to Mombasa and everywhere it was the the same story: Ikumbi had not been there on the dates in question and in any case he always communicated his arrival well in advance – after all it is a long way to come and not meet your objectives.

It was now time to focus on the domestic setting. We already knew that Ikumbi loved his family and cared dearly for his only child, whose name was Faith. Years ago, we learnt, the couple had been told by doctors that Mrs Ikumbi could not have any more kids. This may have drawn the father to cherish the daughter even more closely. Family friends said that perhaps Mrs Ikumbi may have resented this. We focussed even closer coming to the days when Ikumbi had last been seen by the members of the household. We learnt that a day before the crash Faith had seen her dad in the evening and they had done some homework together. He had left for work early the following day and so she had not seen him before going to school.

The night watchman who had worked over that period had been replaced. It did not take long for officers to locate him. He turned out to be a habitual user of marijuana but he was quite willing to speak to the police. According to his statement the last he had seen of Mr Ikumbi was when he opened the gate to him one evening. There was something odd about the way the boss drove into the compound – but he thought nothing more of it. It may sound crazy, he said, but this was definitely after and not before that awful bus crash. He was not too sure about exact dates, though.

With this and other bits of evidence it became clear that Silas Ikumbi should now be classiffied as missing, presumed dead and that we were possibly looking at a murder case. My investigators interviewed Mrs Ikumbi always in the presence of her lawyer and she repeatedly claimed that Ikumbi had gone to Mombasa and had been killed in the coach crash. they stuck to their guns. Further she insisted that theirs had been happy marriage and she did not known what she was going to do with him gone.

There were further enquiries – mostly house to house. One junior officer was carrying out such enquiries within Limuru town when he struck gold.

The officer approached a small garage and found one of the mechanics polishing a car. He introduced himself and asked the young mechanic if he knew a Mr Ikumbi. The boy’s face brightened when he spoke of Ikumbi, a real gentleman. He brought all his cars here for servicing, you know. I always valeted his car. He treated me well. It was he that got me this job – he was like a father to me. We will never know what made him travel in that coach, anyway that is fate, I guess. You cannot escape your date with fate.

“When did you last see him?” – the officer asked

“I can tell you exactly when I saw him – gosh this is weird – he was here on the 29th of July I marked it here on this wall calendar because I changed the tyres on his car. He liked to know when he changed his tyres so we always kept a record.” Mr Ikumbi always checked his vehicle records in the office.

The officer asked a few more questions and then showed the mechanic some photos. He asked him if he recognised anyone in the set of pictures. Twice he picked out the city lawyer.

The mechanic explained that two cars had pulled up outside as he was working on Ikumbi’s car. He saw there were four people in each of the cars. Moments later one man came into the garage and asked if the mechanic knew where the owner of the car that he was working on had gone – this is Ikumbi’s car, right – the mechanic said he did not know the owner by name or where he was but he would be coming shortly to collect his car. He did not like the look of them one bit. That was when the lawyer got out of the front car and came across all smiling and polite and said – do not worry we are just friends of his we thought we might see him – but never mind. Thanks. And with that they got into their cars and left. Mr Ikumbi came soon after, paid for the job and left.

Woolie, these things ususlly take a momentum of their own because just 2 days my officer had visited the garage a Mzee looking after some cows near Maai Mahiu made a gruesome discovery. In a small depression quite out of sight in the fields lay the body of a man. He was clothed only in a loose fitting pair of trousers. No shirt, shoes, belt and no other items that could be used to identify him. His head had been beaten to a pulp as the perpetrators tried to conceal his identity. Police were called. The body had lain there for at least three weeks given the advanced stage of decomposition. After liaising with missing person reports police used dental records to positively identify the body as that of Mr Silas Ikumbi.

Law Courts
Image from taifalangu.com

Well as you can imagine there were many other details that came out in court but the long and short of it was that the lawyer Judas Magaryan and Mrs Ikumbi were long-time lovers. Together they had deviced a plan to kill Ikumbi and make it look like an accident. This would enable them to control the vast financial wealth that Mr Ikumbi had built. Magaryan’s profession brought him in daily contact with gangsters and it was one such group that he recruited to trail Ikumbi from the garage. They had jacked him by the railway tunnel near Limuru and bundled him into their own car.

Magaryan had donned Ikumbi’s jacket and hat and driven Ikumbi’s car back to the house. He was not familiar with the compound layout and even the stoned watchman noticed that his driving was erratic.

The prosecution was able to prove its case and the two suspects were found guilty. They were convicted and sentenced but their lawyer managed to get them out on bail pending their appeals. They are now said to be living quietly, somewhere overseas. You know what this place is like……..

Goodbye 2010 ;-)


As the year draws out its final hours we’ll take a moment to reflect on 2010. It may be interesting to see how it compares with the watered down year of 2009 – the non year.

2010 was ushered in with predictable noise and pomp as the good people around the world threw off their caution sending million dollars up in smoke in spectacular displays of fireworks – there would be plenty of time later to worry when their meek governments announced plans to cut public spending and shed thousands of jobs.

The natural environment became a feature of the new year almost immediately when severe winter weather battered Britain in early February disrupting transportation for the second year running. In April there were several eruptions of the volcano Eyjafjallajokull in Iceland. A huge evacuation effort was undertaken to rescue the local population. Subsequent eruptions sent huge pillars of smoke and ash several miles into the sky prompting the closure of all UK airspace as well as that of many western European countries on safety grounds. The ensuing transportation crisis was unprecedented.

When the UK held a General election in May there was no clear winner. Gordon Brown of Labour was portrayed as a loser attempting to cling to power but in the end David Cameron and Nick Clegg formed an historic Tory – LibDem coalition government following other Serekali ya Msetos patented in Kenya and Zimbabwe. The UK coalition government seems to be on a collision course with Unions over planned cuts to government spending and huge job losses at a time of sluggish economic growth.

In August the people of Kenya held an historic referendum which delivered to the Nation a new constitution. This ground breaking document which swept away the old Lancaster House independence constitution was a culmination of decades of activism and political wrangles and its adoption promised to usher in a new age of democracy and freedom to the people of Kenya.

Wikileaks – now there was a breadth of fresh air. If you ever wondered what your bossom buddies really thought and said about you behind your back – wonder no more. Even superpowers have human weaknesses – US Embassies world-wide were shown to be hot beds of rumour, gossip and scandal. Friends patted their allies on the backs whilst secretly plotting against them. They ridiculed some of their best friends and made very serious allegations against others. There must be a lesson here about the safe-keeping of secrets.

Ocampo Six

The International Criminal Court Prosecutor Moreno Ocampo was in an out of Kenya more times than ever without seeming to make any headway on the main objective – to bring all those suspected of having a hand in the post election violence to trial. More than 1500 Kenyans lost their lives and close to 400,000 were displaced following the disputed elections of 2007. To date no senior official has faced justice for their part in the worst disturbances in our country’s history. In December Ocampo announced what came to be known as the Ocampo list – naming six individuals who would be travelling to the Hague suspected of having played significant roles in the PEV. The list was promptly denounced as a political stich-up. Ocampo had named six suspects three each from the two opposing sides. Whilst these names came as no surprise, Kenyans – and especially those living as internally displaced persons in camps were angered at the names that had been omitted – those individuals and groups who should bear ultimate responsibility for 2007/8 – Those who vowed to win by any and all means.

At the close of 2010 the economy in Kenya is growing faster and we are witnessing impressive changes in the country’s infrastructure. The government does not blow its trumpet and some may be unaware of the huge strides being made. Outlook remains positive with hope of better things once Southern Sudan becomes an independent Nation in its own right. Politically there is an air of optimism in the country even as we grapple with the ghosts of 2007. There are elections scheduled for 2012 so there will be plenty of money sloshing about. It is a good time to be in business.

Here is something else that I think I will really miss

Are there any lessons to learn from this year – time will tell.

A Happy new year and best wishes for 2011

Free Press Vs Responsible Press

Six men arrested by police investigating an alleged plot to attack the Pope during his visit to the UK have all been released without charge, according to a statement from Scotland Yard. The men were said to be street cleaners working in London.

Armed security officers arrested five men at their company’s Chiltern Street depot in London as they prepared to go on shift. A sixth man was arrested later in the day.

Police went on to search eight homes in north and east London and two business premises in central London, including a street cleaning depot. Searches of the premises were completed and had not revealed any weapons or bomb related materials.

So much is written about press freedom (or the lack of it) here in the developing world by western commentators. It seems to me however that it is careless and irresponsible banner headlines like the one from the Express above that remind us that press freedom should never mean a licence to incitement and nor should it give the press powers to act as judge, jury and executioner. Most of all it should never be taken for granted.

Older posts

© 2024 wetwool

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑