Farewell 2012

Sunday December 30 2012


Year of industrial strikes:

First, it was the school teachers and university lecturers who went on strike, followed by doctors, nurses, and then matatu operators. The strikes disrupted services in key sectors.

KDF captures Kismayu:

The highlight of 2012 for the Kenya Defence Forces is undoubtedly the capture of Kismayu on September 28.

The port town in southern Somalia was the stated objective of Operation Linda Nchi, the incursion to remove Al-Shabaab from power started in October 2011.

That KDF did it with about 35 of the troops killed (two are still Missing in Action) was commendable given that they were once described as a career army.

Kismayu’s capture was also interesting in its execution: After days deceiving Al-Shabaab the invasion would be on the land, the strategic port town was taken via a beach landing.

The following Morning, Major Emmanuel Chirchir announced on Twitter, “Operation Sledge Hammer executed as planned.”

Baragoi killings

On November 10, information that police officers had been killed by cattle rustlers in a remote outpost of Samburu called Baragoi began to filter into newsrooms.

At the end of the day, authorities in Rift Valley could only confirm four deaths but that figure rose to more than 40.

Baragoi became a household name as Kenyans wondered what could have gone wrong with the operation.

Saitoti chopper crash

On June 11, the country was plunged into mourning after Internal Security minister George Saitoti and his deputy Joshua Orwa Ojodeh were killed in a helicopter crash in Ngong Forest.

The crash also left two pilots aboard the copter — Nancy Gituanja and Luke Oyugi and bodyguards, Thomas Murimi and Joshua Tongei dead.

Tana massacre

Kenyans generally believe August is a jinxed month.

Towards the end of last August, simmering tensions between two communities in the Tana Delta erupted into attacks on villages.

More than 139 have been killed in subsequent attacks.

President Kibaki appointed a Judicial Commission of Inquiry to investigate the clashes.

Even before the commission concluded its investigations, Kenyans woke up to news on December 21 that 39 people had been killed in another attack.

David Rudisha

On August 2, Kenya’s 800-metres specialist David Rudisha’s lit up the 2012 London Olympics when he sprinted fastest to the tape timing 1:40.91, a new world record.

The runner cut his former record set a year earlier by an incredible 10 seconds.

Africans dominated the race as Botswana’s 18-year-old Nijel Amos came second while Kenya’s youngster Timothy Kitum was third.

Other new world records on the track were only achieved by the Jamaican Men’s and US 4x100m relay teams.

Obama re-elected

The first African-American President of the US Barack Obama, who has Kenyan roots, was re-elected into office on November 6.

Cord Alliance
The deal was signed on December 4, on a day of high drama as parties raced against time to beat the deadline to lodge coalition agreements with the Registrar of Political Parties.

It has Prime Minister Raila Odinga, the ODM party leader as its flag bearer and Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka of Wiper as his running mate.

Ford-K’s Moses Wetangula is to be the majority leader in Parliament.

Jubilee Alliance

Initially, the alliance consisted mainly of Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta of TNA, Eldoret North MP William Ruto of URP, Narc’s Charity Ngilu of and Mr Najib Balala’s Republican Congress.

The team later on roped in Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi.

However differences emerged on the mode of selecting the presidential candidate, with Mr Mudavadi opting out.

The Sabatia MP claimed Mr Kenyatta failed to honour a private deal they had signed.

Eagle Alliance

The alliance consists of Planning assistant minister Peter Kenneth’s Kenya National Congress and Mr Raphael Tuju’s Party of Action.

The deal establishing the alliance was signed on December 4 at Mayfair Centre in Nairobi.

Despite the fact that members of the alliance are yet to reveal their presidential candidate, they have promised “fresh leadership” if they form the next government.

Pambazuka Alliance
Barely a month after it was established, the Pambazuka alliance is no more.

It was founded by Justice minister Eugene Wamalwa of New Ford Kenya, former Cabinet minister Nicholas Biwott and Lugari MP Cyrus Jirongo and Shirikisho Party.

Officials of other three parties accused Mr Wamalwa of flirting with other outfits without consulting them.

Compiled by Dave Opiyo, John Ngirachu, Benjamin Muindi and Jeremiah Kiplangat