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Raila Odinga, the 1982 coup and multipartism achievement

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The Coup

At 3am on Sunday, 1 August 1982, a group of soldiers from the Kenya Air Force led by Senior Private Hezekiah Ochuka, attempted to overthrow the government.

The then president was Daniel Arap Moi. After the failed attempt to overthrow him, President Moi re-organized Kenya’s security architecture.

Staffing it with his loyalists. And then he ensured a law was passed in parliament that gave him emergency powers. Placing the provincial administration under the president’ office.

Odinga’s Arrest

Odinga was arrested and charged with treason after being accused of being among the masterminds of the 1982 coup.

He was released six years later in February 1988 but detained again in August of the same year to be released in June 1989.

Detention Without Trial

In an era of unrelenting human rights abuse by the Kenyan government, Odinga was placed under house arrest.

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For seven months after evidence seemed to implicate him along with his late father Oginga Odinga.

Accused for collaborating with the plotters of a failed coup attempt against President Daniel Arap Moi in 1982.

Death of Civilians and Soldiers

Hundreds of Kenyan civilians and thousands of rebel soldiers died in the coup. Several foreigners also died. Odinga was charged with treason and detained without trial for six years.

A biography released 14 years later in July 2006, apparently with Odinga’s approval, indicated that Odinga was far more involved in the attempted coup than he had previously admitted.

After its publication, some Members of Parliament in Kenya called for Odinga to be arrested and charged.

Statute of Limitations

But the statute of limitations had already passed and the information contained in the biography did not amount to an open confession on his part.

Among some of his most painful experiences was when his mother died in 1984 but the prison wardens took two months to inform him of her death.

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He was released on 6 February 1988 only to be rearrested in September 1988 for his pro-democracy and human rights agitation.

Poor Governance

At a time when the country continued to descend deep into the throes of poor governance. And the despotism of single-party rule.

Multi-party democracy Kenya, was then, by law, a one-party state. His encounters with the authoritarian government generated an aura of intrigue about him.

And it was probably due to this that his political followers christened him “Agwambo”, Luo for “The Mystery” or “Unpredictable” or “Jakom”, meaning chairman.

1989 Release and Incarceration in 1990

Odinga was released on 12 June 1989, only to be incarcerated again on 5 July 1990, together with Kenneth Matiba.

And former Nairobi mayor Charles Rubia, both multiparty system and human rights crusaders. Odinga was finally released on 21 June 1991.

And in October he fled the country to Norway amid indications that the increasingly corrupt Kenyan government, was attempting to assassinate him without success.

Multi-party politics

At the time of Odinga’s departure to Norway, the Forum for the Restoration of Democracy (FORD), a movement formed to agitate for the return of multi-party democracy to Kenya, was newly formed.

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In February 1992, Odinga returned to join FORD, then led by his father Jaramogi Oginga Odinga.

He was elected Vice Chairman of the General Purposes Committee of the party. In the months running up to the 1992 General Election, FORD split into Ford Kenya.

Raila’s father

Led by Odinga’s father Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, and FORD-Asili led by Kenneth Matiba. Odinga became Ford-Kenya’s Deputy Director of Elections.

Odinga won the Langata Constituency parliamentary seat, previously held by Philip Leakey of KANU. Odinga became the second father of multi-party democracy in Kenya after Kenneth Matiba.

When Jaramogi Oginga Odinga died in January 1994 and Michael Wamalwa Kijana succeeded him as FORD-Kenya chairman, Odinga challenged him for the party leadership.

Member of Parliament

The elections were marred by controversy after which Odinga resigned from FORD-Kenya to join the National Development Party (NDP).

In his first bid for the presidency in the 1997 General Election, Odinga finished third after President Moi, the incumbent, and Democratic Party candidate Mwai Kibaki.

He however retained his position as the Langata MP.

Read more at https://thebigissue.co.ke

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How KRA Earned Sh50bn From Banks, Despite Covid-19 Pandemic

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Despite the severe effects emerging from the Covid-19 pandemic, Kenyan commercial banks were reporting double-digit profitability growths resulting from the global crisis, earning huge dividends for their shareholders.

It can be noted that most government institutions discouraged cash transactions in order to contain the pandemic level. This directly promoted digital transactions like mpesa and m-banking.

Besides owners, a new survey has shown that Kenya Revenue Authority(KRA) was the second best beneficiary of the supernormal profits.

According to PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) report, more than a quarter of corporate taxes paid to KRA in the year to December 2021, came from banks.

Corporate taxes

On Wednesday, a report was released on behalf of the Kenya Bankers Association (KBA), indicating the corporate taxes paid to the KRA surpassed 22.82% to Sh50.7 billion. A year earlier, the sector’s corporation tax payment amounted to Sh41.28 billion.

Banks are among the most profitable institutions in Kenya. They are among the biggest revenue generators in a country where tax compliance among corporates is at a low level.

The taxation law requires local companies to pay 30% of their profits as corporate taxes.

A whooping Sh198.24 billion was the total corporate tax paid in Kenya last year, with banks accounting for 25.57% (Sh50.7 billion) of the amount.

“The increase in 2021 compared to 2020 was largely driven by increase in profits with the profit before tax of the banks increasing by 85.17 percent in 2021 relative to 2020,” said the report.

“The profit before a tax increase is aligned to increased economic activity in 2021 as reflected by the GDP growth which grew from a contraction of 0.3 percent in 2020 to 7.5 percent in 2021.”

Check out: Kenya Exits Top 10 UN World Suppliers

According to KRA, the banking sector includes 44 listed lenders, 7 micro financiers, 16 SACCOs, and 38 custodian banks, not forgetting international financiers and bureaus with local offices.

The study focused on both the corporate tax and Value Added Tax (VAT) that it is not able to recover (irrecoverable VAT). Also, the taxes that banks collect as an agent of government such as PAYE.

Overall, the banking industry contributed Sh129.52 billion in taxes accruing from day-to-day operations in the year under the review.

Documented filings from 38 banks which participated were relied on. This represents 97% of the market share.

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Technologies of all time that defined the 21st Century

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iPhone

There was nothing much really new about the iPhone. There had been phones before, there had been computers before, there had been phones combined into computers before.

There was also a lot that wasn’t good about it. It was slow, its internet connection barely functioned. And it would be two years before it could even take a video.

But as the foremost smartphone it heralded a revolution in the way people communicate, listen, watch and create.

Aspect of Life

There has been no aspect of life that hasn’t been changed by the technologies. Bundled up in the iPhone – an ever-present and always-on internet connection.

A camera that never leaves your side, a computer with mighty processing power. That can be plucked out of your pocket.

The 2000s have, so far, been the era of mobile computers. And social networking changing the shape of our cultural, political and social climate. All of those huge changes, for better or worse, are bound up in that tiny phone.

Social media

Though few people noticed, online social networks actually began at the end of the last century.

The first was Six Degrees in 1997. Which was named after the theory that everyone on the planet is separated by only six other people.

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It included features that became popular with subsequent iterations of the form. Including profiles and friend lists, but it never really took off.

Friends Reunited and MySpace

It wasn’t until Friend’s Reunited and MySpace in the early 2000s that social networks achieved mainstream success. Though even these seem insignificant when compared to Facebook.

Not only did Mark Zuckerberg’s creation muscle its way to a monopoly in terms of social networks.

It also swallowed up any nascent competitors in a space that came to be known as social media.

Instagram in 2012

First there was Instagram in 2012, for a modest $1 billion, and then came WhatsApp in 2014 for $19bn.

Between all of its apps, Facebook now reaches more than 2 billion people every day. It has come to define the way we communicate.

And heralded a new era of hyper-connectedness, while also profoundly shaping the internet as we know it.

Six Degrees

In doing so, Facebook has not only consigned the site Six Degrees to the history books. It has also re-written the theory itself – cutting it down to just three-and-a-half degrees of separation.

Bitcoin and cryptocurrency

At the start of this century, the complete reinvention of the entire economic system wasn’t something many people were talking about.

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But then the 2007-08 financial crisis happened. As mortgages defaulted, companies collapsed, and governments bailed out the banks to the tune of trillions of dollars.

People began to wonder if there might be a better way. One person – or group – believed they had the answer.

Nakamoto

Satoshi Nakamoto’s true identity may still be a mystery. But their creation of a new “electronic cash system” called bitcoin in 2009 could have implications far beyond just currency.

The underlying blockchain technology – an immutable and unhackable online ledger – could potentially transform everything from healthcare to real estate.

Bitcoin is yet to take off as a mainstream form of payment. Or transform the global economy like it might have promised.

Cryptocurrency Experiment

But we are barely a decade into the great cryptocurrency experiment. It has inspired thousands of imitators.

Including those currently being developed by Facebook and China. And it may be another 10 years before its true potential is finally realized.

YouTube

“Alright, so here we are, in front of the elephants. And the cool thing about these guys is that they have really, really, really long trunks. And that’s cool.”

It may have been an inauspicious start. But these words would go on to fundamentally transform the way people consume media in the 21st century.

It was 23 April, 2005, and Jawed Karim had just uploaded the first ever video to YouTube. A video-sharing website he had helped create.

Google

Just over a year later, Google bought the site for $1.65 billion. And the fortunes of Karim, his co-founders, and countless future content creators were changed forever.

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There are now hundreds of hours of video published to YouTube every minute. And it all started with that 18-second clip at the zoo. AC

3G, 4G and 5G

Arthur C Clarke famously quipped that “any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”.

But there is surely nothing more like magic – and no magic more powerful. Than the fact that the 21st century has brought the ability to instantly connect to information and people at the other side of the world.

First, at the beginning of the century, came 3G, and then 10 years or so later came 4G. Every decade of this century has been marked by new advances in the speed and reliability of mobile data connections.

Mobile Data Connections

And those mobile data connections have helped re-write the world that relies on them. Just about every other major breakthrough in technology.

That came through the 2000s – social media, instant photo sharing, citizen journalism. And everything else – relied on having data connections everywhere.

5G – which has ostensibly already rolled out, but is yet to make its full impact. Is likely to be similarly transformative through the decade to come, if its evangelists are to be believed.

Constant Connectivity

Debates have raged about whether this constant connectivity. And the distractions and dangers it has brought – has really driven us apart. But that too is surely testament to its power. AG

Gig economy

Many of technology’s biggest developments in the 2000s haven’t really been about technology at all: piracy and then streaming changed how we make.

And consume culture entirely, social media has turned politics on his head. Nowhere is that more clear than in the gig economy and the apps.

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And websites like Uber, Deliveroo and Airbnb that power it, which claim to be tech businesses but are really new ways of buying and selling labor.

Real Revolution

The real revolution of the gig economy was not the technology that powers these apps: there is little difference between calling for a cab and summoning an Uber, really.

Nor was it what the companies like to suggest, that they have opened up a new and inspiring way of working that allows anyone to clock on whenever they log on.

Instead, it was the beginning of a process of changing the way that people work and relate to those who fulfil services for them.

Profound Changes

It is likely that we have not seen the end of the kinds of profound changes that these companies have made to working conditions – or the ways that those workers have fought back.

VR and AR

Virtual reality has been the future before: ever since the first stereoscopes, people have been excited about the possibility of disappearing into other worlds.

That appear before their eyes. But it has never quite arrived. But in the more recent years of the 2000s it started to look a bit more meaningful.

Virtual reality headsets have been pushed out by many of the world’s biggest companies, and consumer computers are finally powerful enough to generate believable worlds that people are happy to spend their time in.

Recent Years

In recent years, much of the focus has turned to augmented reality rather than virtual reality. That technology allows information to be overlaid on top of the real world.

Rather than putting people into an entirely virtual world. If it comes off – if it is not confined to failed experiments like Google Glass – then it could change the way we interact.

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With the world, potentially giving us information all of the time and could even do away with things like smartphones as our primary way of connecting with technology. AG

Quantum Computing

Quantum computing has not really happened yet. A few months ago, researchers announced that they had achieved “quantum supremacy” .

By doing an operation that would not be possible on a traditional computer – but it was a largely useless, very specific, operation, which didn’t really change anything in itself.

Already, however, the promise – and the threat – of quantum computing is changing the world. It looks set to upend all of our assumptions about computers.

Unimaginably Fast

Allowing them to be unimaginably fast and do work never thought possible. It could unlock new kinds of health research and scientific understanding.

It could also literally unlock encryption, which currently relies on impossible calculations that could quickly become very possible with quantum computers.

Read more at https://thebigissue.co.ke

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Entertainment

Marilyn Monroe, One of the best American Actresses in history. Who’s she?

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Marilyn Monroe (née Norma Jeane Mortenson; June 1, 1926 – August 4, 1962) was an American actress, singer, and model.

Famous for playing comedic “blonde bombshell” characters, she became one of the most popular sex symbols of the 1950s and early 1960s.

As well as an emblem of the era’s sexual revolution. She was a top-billed actress for a decade, and her films grossed $200 million (equivalent to $2 billion in 2021) by the time of her death in 1962.

Major Icon of Pop Culture

Long after her death, Monroe remains a major icon of pop culture. In 1999, the American Film Institute ranked her sixth on their list of the greatest female screen legends.

From the Golden Age of Hollywood. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Monroe spent most of her childhood in foster homes and an orphanage.

She married at age sixteen. She was working in a factory during World War II when she met a photographer from the First Motion Picture Unit.

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Successful Pin Up Modelling Career

And began a successful pin-up modeling career, which led to short-lived film contracts with 20th Century Fox and Columbia Pictures.

After a series of minor film roles, she signed a new contract with Fox in late 1950. Over the next two years, she became a popular actress.

With roles in several comedies, including As Young as You Feel and Monkey Business. And in the dramas Clash by Night and Don’t Bother to Knock.

Controversy

She faced a scandal when it was revealed that she had posed for nude photographs prior to becoming a star. But the story did not damage her career and instead resulted in increased interest in her films.

By 1953, Monroe was one of the most marketable Hollywood stars. She had leading roles in the film noir Niagara, which overtly relied on her sex appeal.

And the comedies Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and How to Marry a Millionaire, which established her star image as a “dumb blonde”.

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First Issue of Playboy

The same year, her nude images were used as the centerfold and on the cover of the first issue of Playboy.

She played a significant role in the creation and management of her public image throughout her career. But she was disappointed when she was typecast and underpaid by the studio.

She was briefly suspended in early 1954 for refusing a film project. But returned to star in The Seven Year Itch (1955), one of the biggest box office successes of her career.

Monroe’s Own Film Production Co

When the studio was still reluctant to change Monroe’s contract, she founded her own film production company in 1954.

She dedicated 1955 to building the company and began studying method acting under Lee Strasberg at the Actors Studio.

Later that year, Fox awarded her a new contract, which gave her more control and a larger salary.

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Subsequent Roles Post 1954

Her subsequent roles included a critically acclaimed performance in Bus Stop (1956) and her first independent production in The Prince and the Showgirl (1957).

She won a Golden Globe for Best Actress for her role in Some Like It Hot (1959), a critical and commercial success. Her last completed film was the drama The Misfits (1961).

Monroe’s troubled private life received much attention. She struggled with addiction and mood disorders.

Marriage and Death

Her marriages to retired baseball star Joe DiMaggio and to playwright Arthur Miller were highly publicized, but ended in divorce.

On August 4, 1962, she died at age 36 from an overdose of barbiturates at her Los Angeles home.

Her death was ruled a probable suicide.

Read more at https://thebigissue.co.ke

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