FOREVER TITLE: A ROSE BY ANY OTHER NAME…

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I rub my hands against each other. It is not to generate heat in this invasively frigid weather.

That, we are acclimated to. The task I am about to handle must be done with profound veneration. It is a sacred moment that must be accorded the highest level of reverence.

To do without, I cannot. It is a curse I have to bear. A curse I can’t do without, a curse I rather enjoy. To some, I am just another despicable creature; a vile beast that ought only to grace the grasslands of the Mara.

They have even baptized me a name, one I don’t and never will revel at. It is a name that portrays the savagery within even the chambers of their highest eminence.
Hyena. Really? Is that the most modest name you can brand me?

Commiserations to you, however. I will not elongate my hind limbs no matter the magnitude of assiduity you employ. Once a hyena, always a glutton. My pack knows it, and so do I….

I look at you lying there. I do not see you. I never have. You have always been a path, just a journey to my destination; an accessory to get to my deepest darkest desire. That is however not to say that there is nothing to see.

There is a lot that meets the eye, really.

Your shape, to begin with, is momentous.

All the right junk in all the right places.

Wide-just the right amount at the top-as it progressively narrows towards the waist.

Curvaceous.

That is not the end of it, not even the climax. The real curve now begins, this time, it is bigger and better.

You have a glitter on your face. It allows me a reflection of my smile. I mumble a prayer to the Almighty Deity.

I pray for the members of my sub-species who have not had their daily bread. Most importantly, I pray for those that have not seen the light. They who think starving (not fasting) for a better tomorrow is worth it. They do not take up much of my time. Their ratio in the entire populace is not so palatable after all.

I count my rounds; one…two…many.

Silence reigns in the room.

All sacred moments deserve silence, eerie silence.

I like my work done fast. They all taste better while hot.

Soon, I will be done.

A glass of water will mark the end of this episode, at least till after some six hours. During that time, I may or may not choose you. I am certain of the wide array of similar friends I will choose from, or maybe I will not even use your kind. Not all foods are eaten with spoons after all. Till supper time, adieu.

ADDENDUM
This piece is entirely about the lack of appreciation accorded to a spoon during a meal. The writer has and for the foreseeable future will be of sound mind. Ergo, he will not be liable for damages caused to the literarily inept.

Call me Freak.

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Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS)

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Kenya has once again been ranked among the most corrupt countries in the world, with the newest Transparency International (TI) report ranking it at position 139 out of 168 countries.
According to the 2015 Corruption Perception Index released by TI on Wednesday, Kenya retained the same score, 25 points of a possible 100, it had in 2014.

Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS) was launched in Kenya in 2003 by the Kenyan government,to bring into light the procurement process undertaken for most government projects  and an effort to curb the runaway embezzlement of funds that was being experienced in government at the time.

This however only introduced limited modules with other financial operations remaining manual. Which later lead to the re-engineering of  IFMIS in 2011 to include a full cycle end-to-end integrated approach.

IFMIS is an automated system that enhances efficiency in planning budgeting, procurement, expenditure management and reporting in the National and county governments in Kenya.

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What exactly does IFMIS do?

An IFMIS stores, organizes and makes access to financial information easy. It not only stores all the financial information relating to past and current years spending, but also stores the approved budgets for those years, details on inflows and outflows of funds, as well as complete inventories of financial assets and liabilities.

The core of the system is general ledger. Every transaction entered into the system posts on the general ledger.

Benefits of IFMIS

1. Enables efficient resource allocation mechanism.
Improves management information for decision making.

2.Establishes effective links between key players in accounting and financial management.
3. Enhances development partners confidence.
4.It accelerates the pace/scope of economic growth.

How IFMIS enhances transparency

• Automated identification of exceptions to normal operations.

• Patterns of suspicious activity.

• Automated cross referencing of personal or vendor identification numbers for fraud.

• Cross referencing of asset ownership with tax return entries for local tax payments, identifying scofflaws.

• Identification of ghost workers.

• Cross reference asset inventories with equipment purchase to detect theft.

• Automate and strengthen cash disbursement rules to minimize risk of theft of public funds.

Challenges of using IFMIS.

The system assumes the corruption is detectable. Corruption which arise from abuse of office, where employees take bribes to perform public duties or for special consideration, is outside IFMIS.
It assumes, data entry and incentives for accurate recording are in place. In 2013 the ministry of energy was asked to explain discrepancies in its 2010/2011 expenditure worth about 12 billion. The only explanation that the officials could come up with was that they had resulted from errors in the governments IFMIS.
New corruption opportunities arise from the implementation of IFMIS. This is due to the monopoly of information access and control. IFMIS requires knowledge and skills of ICT in operating and maintaining the system,locking out those without I CT skills.

The mythical image of computers as objective, all-seeing, all-knowing machines, may cause some staff to refrain from corrupt behavior. However those who understand computers with corrupt motive will take advantage of the vacuum of surveillance.

There is also concerns of the system being hacked either from inside or outside. This is very evident in the situation of Malawi, where IFMIS was used to steal billions.

In conclusion, the system is only as good as the people handling it. IFMIS is a good financial tool for developing countries. It can limit corruption to some extent.
A country founded on corruption like Kenya has alot to improve on.

We can change a financial system but we can’t change the morals of the people handling it.

IFMIS is a call to arms against the decadence that is corruption and embezzlement. A very small yelp, but a call none the less.

Vera.

CHOOSE YOUR FUTURE

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It could just be a day’s weather forecast or it could be a climate change to affect the generations to come. Either way, we have seen it early enough and as things stand,the African winter is here.

However, unlike the El Nino, if this trend is maintained, we could hit sub-zero in 14 months, maybe less.
It doesn’t take a political analyst to notice that shots have been fired and if the issue is left unattended to, we are bound to plunge into war, a war within our borders, the second of its magnitude within a decade.

This consistency could prove detrimental especially given that we are a nation in its infantry and a dent acquired during childhood could be hard to erase, even in adulthood. The only difference in this case is that this is no dent. Instead, it is a deep cut through the chest to the spinal cord.

Our ‘leaders’ are making careless utterances that could be the trigger. The next thing will be sending us to the battlefield, fighting amongst ourselves.

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We stake our lives,they gain political capital.They stand a chance of winning themselves a reputation among their ‘peers’ in the ‘African Olympics of most inefficient democracy’ while we juggle higher costs of living and slain friends and relatives. It’s like tossing a coin. Only difference? They win everytime

They stake their reputation, we stake our lives.

We could sit back and play as  pawns on a chessboard. We will take their orders like trained  dogs and do whatever we are told without any rationalization.
We go to war and destroy property, kill that neighbour who gave us a loan, when all the banks sought security we did not have, and our ‘leaders’ had gone abroad to offload their hefty salaries.
That awesome kid whose brain has the cure of cancer in it might be your first victim. When the pangas are finally too blunt to chop, they sit round a table and dine then declare peace.

We go to work but there is nobody to work with or work for, they are either mourning or being mourned. You go back home to your family, your siblings were killed in the ‘unfortunate’ clashes and now you have to cater for your nieces and nephews too.

People did not just wake up to find civil wars in their countries. It all came gradually. A lot of warning signs were overlooked and when they came to fruition, they could not stop it. We may end up being the citizens being sent from other countries citing insecurity, or influx of our kind. Our neighbouring countries might even erect a wall at our boundaries.
Alternatively, we could choose to be tribe-all and opt not to be divided along  ethnic lines. We could boycott rallies hosted by the warlords and watch their divisive minds react to our decisive minds.
On the day when our opinion really matters, we could weed out the seeds of ethnicity, development redundancy and the intellectually primitive amongst the ranks of our leaders.

Alternatively, we could choose to be tribe-all and opt not to be divided along our ethnic lines.

Choose peace, choose your future.

Freak.

DEAR DIARY

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I can’t believe I am here. Campus. All that reading in high school finally paid off. A B+ isn’t so bad. Not what I hoped for but I will go with it. I know I am smart so I will make this degree my b****.

I’ll show it how we smart ladies roll.

*First month*
Everyone in the campus looks great. The ladies in my class to be particular. I need to step up my game. I can’t still be the ‘nerd’ like in high school.

Considering this is a bigger town than huko mashinani where my high school is situated. I am going to reinvent myself and look fabulous like the cool kids in my class. Maybe then they will recognise me.

*Second month*
I like the attention I am getting from people. The cool kids invited me to hangout. I even got invites to their parties. They say they like the way I dress and they think I am edgy. Who knew I could be edgy considering I am just a simple village girl. Atleast that’s what I used to be. To make it even more interesting is that more than ten guys are hitting on me at the same time! These clothes are really working their magic considering I never even got a ‘hello’ from all these guys one month ago. That’s how hot I have become.

*Two weeks on*
Is it just me or do you notice that my friend Bailley is pulling away from me too? She says that she doesn’t like my new friends and that they are shallow. Maybe she is just jealous since they like me more than her. She is pretty nerdy maybe that’s why we hit it off nicely in the first place. Those days are over. I know my new clique of friends is there for me so I don’t need her anymore.

I like this new guy in class. Every chic in class likes him too. The fact that he is ‘loaded’ makes it even better. I have been invited to a house party at their place this Friday. I am so pumped I can’t wait! But I will be careful to make sure I go back to my room so that I go to church on Saturday morning. I know my mum will call to check up on me. You know her too.

*Friday at the party*
Wow.  Amani’s place is great. I have never been in such a beautiful house. Unlike me she stays in rentals and it’s fully furnished. The pile of clothes in her closet is almost hitting the roof and on to the next floor. I wish I had as much money. You will get there someday girl. Don’t sweat it. Everything is perfectly in place and the music is just right for the mood. Everyone looks great. Even the guys who normally look laid back on normal days. Why does everyone have a drink in hand except me? Amani and I have been friends for a while now. She offers to bring me a drink. Juice. That’s all I take at the moment I don’t like alcohol or whatever hard stuff they are taking.

Why is fetching a glass of juice taking thirty minutes ?

Finally! my glass of juice is here.

*Five minutes later*
Holy crap! It’s 5.am. Why am I on the floor? Why are my clothes torn? And what’s that sharp pain I am feeling in between my legs? Where’s everyone?

I need to collect myself. I will get back to you dear diary.

Sylvia