Why i am boycotting Mind Speak

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I knew about Mind Speak through twitter, back at the beginning of last year. Since then I have been a loyal attendee. I listened to Jeff Koinange, Bob Collymore, Gina Din , US Ambassador to Kenya Michael E. Ranneberger and many more at the Mind Speak. Before the events every month Aly Khan Satchu the brain behind it, usually inform the followers on twitter and friends on Facebook about the date and the big shot who is going to be on the stage.

During the event if you missed it, you sure to get all the updates, guess from where? On  twitter.   So basically it is a social media event mmmmh no it is a twitter event. Unfortunately this time round I am giving it a big miss. Yes I am boycotting tomorrow Mind Speak .  And I might not be alone on this.  I was already writing this post when I saw tweeps are already discussing the same on twitter…

Why am I not going for the mind Speak?  President Museveni…yes, he is the reason. He is the guest this month and I hear he is already in town. Mind speak was turning to be a great platform in Kenya to share information among the young generation and get some great insight from some of people who have made it in life. A place to get role models and learn from the best. I even listed it as one of the big tech winners of the year of our Lord 2010 here. But when you give such a great stage to tyrant who is busy jailing his people and some even being killed  back home then what message are you sending out. What exactly are you telling the young people who will be attending the event?

Did you know that Museveni banned twitter and Facebok in Uganda?  Uganda Government …no no no Museveni’s Government  asked major telecoms operators in Uganda to block Facebook and Twitter.  Why…yeah, there is deep rooted fear of the power of people walking to work and discussing that on twitter coz they  cannot afford food and fuel due to high prices! So  #walktowork  tranded on the Ugandan Twittersphere sometime back. Imagine you are allowing a twitter event to be graced by someone who does not allow people in his country to use twitter or facebook! How great is that!!!! Smh

Actually closing or banning of social media is now becoming a trend across Africa and these so called leaders should not be allowed to get away with it else we all should be afraid of the future.   As mentioned on my Amina series article Cameroon Government banned twitter sms and social media sometime back as preemptive measures to avoid riots in the country. In Swaziland social media is a no go zone as Government try to contain demonstrations over political reforms and rising cost of living. The chilling events  in  Northa Africa are well documented .  Is that the solution to people going through hardship? Ban them from talking and expressing themselves.

There are voices out there telling people to just attend the Mind Speak and bombard him with questions about the stories back home. What a waste of space then, what a waste Mind Speak month.  I have also talked to or read comment of some ardent supporters in Kenya. They all reminded me of a question posted on twitter  the other day..

@Kamakil Why does Africa tolerate and even celebrate tyrants???????

Yeah …You remember the welcoming party and prayers to the Ocampo  5.5? Big shame.

People advocating for guys to attend and ask Museveni questions are good people with good intention. But I think they might be disappointed when their questions are not answered or they don’t get a chance to ask those questions. When Ranneberger was the guest at the Mind Speak , I had like 101 burning questions in my mind.  Tough questions I tell you but I did not get chance to ask any. I raised my hand, till it almost dried up there but nobody gave me a chance to talk . I am not saying there was any pattern used to select the people to ask questions…no. I was just not lucky that day. But my disappointment was not based on that..It was based on what the people who were given chance to ask questions were asking. Most of them almost sounded  like “tunaomba serikali questions.”  What are you doing for the youth..What America doing for the Arts in Kenya..What are you doing for the youth business in Kenya…jeeeez what are you doing for yourself before you ask what the others are doing for you!!!

Now Museveni is a different customer. I doubt if he will answer any of the harsh questions or if people will be allowed to air their views freely. You have seen the interviews of some of these big shots, they never answer questions and sometime the hosts don’t allow people to ask anything controversial.  May be it is just rumors but I heard people have to get the tickets to attend in some sort of vetting process. That is a first one. Well I understand he is a President and in Africa Presidents are from mars while the other earthlings are from the trees.

By the way as I write this there are disturbing reports from Uganda on twitter

@kasujja: #Uganda 3 dead, 100 injured 64 are at #Mulago hospital // we are all praying

I wonder why some people  do not value the lives of their brothers and sisters. Why do they fight each other, why do they kill their fellow countrymen and women sometime without blinking an eye.  Mr. Museveni  if you ever read this ..why are those three people dead in your country?

I am praying for the whole continent, because something is wrong! When people who fought to end colonial powers in Africa tell their stories, you listen and smile with pride at their achievements. The likes of Nelson Mandela, Jomo Kenyatta, Kwame Nkurumah. These were soldiers who had  a course in their lives, they believed in a better world for the children of Africa.  The colonials were  bad..never cared about the Africans. So people had a reason to fight, the Mau Mau uprising was well justified.  But in the present time, most conflicts in Africa don’t make sense at all.

The conflicts are caused by people who have refused to reason.  Leaders who care more about looting and retaining power than the lives of the innocent women and children being killed. In some places rebels who have no direction or any known reason why they are fighting. Yes we have seen rebels fighting rebels….unbelievable. Take example of Somalia, everyone is fighting everyone…what are they fighting for!

The irony of the whole Museveni in town is that  Kizza Besigye too is in town. Besigye is not in town to give a talk or attend some ceremony..he is Nairobi hospital nursing the injury sustained from the beating by Museveni’s  so called Government.

For me I refuse to share a room with a tyrant who does not care about the lives of his people…AND I AM NOT ATTENDING MIND SPEAK

What is your opinion on the topic?
Kennedy Kachwanya
Lead Blogger at Kachwanya.com
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Kennedy Kachwanya is a technology blogger interested in mobile phones both smart and dumb, mobile apps, mobile money, social media, startups ecosystem and digital Savannah. New media must not forget the strength of old tech.
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