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Monthly Archives: June 2011

Is Prof. James ole Kiyiapi Ready To Run For President? Not Yet, He Says; He’ll Be Ready In December

Education Permanent Secretary Prof James ole Kiyiapi says he will formally unveil his presidential bid in December, according to Capital FM Online News

Let me first say I am all for anyone who deems himself or herself qualified to run for president, to so openly announce as the good professor has done. If I were him, given his relative low name recognition, I would resign my position and immediately start saturating myself across the country both by way of introducing myself, and letting people know why it is I think I am better than the rest of the field because.

I would do so because I’ll be concerned saying I’ll formally announce six months from now would raise eyebrows as to why not now. I am not him, so let me do here all that I can by way of sharing with him, my views about what he is quoted as saying in the article below.

I have read the article below in its entirety, which in by itself, is a good introduction of the good professor and I agree with him on almost everything he has been quoted as saying.

I say almost everything because I take issue with a number of things the PS is quoted to have said:

The good professor is quoted as saying “We are working round the clock with professionals, like-minded leaders to ensure we come up with a clear vision of my candidature.” Emphasis mine.

If the good professor doesn’t have a clear vision of his candidature by now, which also translates into he does not have a vision as to where he would take the country as president either, then it’s a good thing he is taking time to declare so as to study presidential leadership and what it takes to both run for president, and to win the presidency.

In doing so, he would be served to stack himself against the rest of the field and, if after such evaluation he still believes he has what it takes, then let him make it official as that’s a net plus in our burgeoning democracy. There will be more time to learn about presidential leadership and campaigns during the campaigns and that’s called baptism under fire and, if the good professor emerges the winner, there will be still time to learn on the job.

That will be the second baptism under fire and we shall all do what we can to help him govern as our new president.

If he doesn’t make it, there will be another time, except the next time he would have had the experience to run for president and if elected, well he still will have to be baptized under fire, given coming from academia and technocracy is not exactly a recipe for successful presidential leadership; more is needed, especially on the political front.

Again, we shall do what we can to help him govern as our new president, with or without any limitations he may come laden with, if he emerges victorious as a duly elected president.

The good professor is also quoted to have said he was “ready to bring a new type of leadership that matches his youthful and fresh management skills.

First, there is no correlation between youthfulness and management skills therefore the good professor is planting a ruse upon which to snag the unwary. I will in due course elaborate on this frequently cited “quality” of presidential leadership that has obviously become a refrain for a number of other presidential candidates when, in essence, what they are trying to argue, is that anyone older than they are, is too old to be president, which is obviously a false notion besides being self-serving.

Second, the good professor may bring with him all the “fresh management skills” he believes he possesses but if he has no demonstrable leadership skills, that will take him nowhere, certainly not as president.

I have read and re-read this article but it’s devoid of what leadership skills the good professor brings to the table.

Stating an all not too clear statement as to its meaning, “It is very clear that the successes and challenges our Kenyan people are facing are of great significance to any leader wishing to pursue justice and the needs of the citizens” may be good enough a reason as the good professor gives for “embarking on this journey” just for saying it but it may fall short of getting to the destination, unless one can show and prove more.

Ditto for noting any of of the altruistic sentiments expressed by the good professor on leadership, motivation, youth, and preventing the exodus of Kenyan professionals, which none of us can disagree with but that’s not what separates a leader from the pack; there has to be more, in this case, proof by measurable and persuasive reasons why the good professor is a better candidate and will be better president, if elected, than any of the other contenders, not just on the question of leadership ability, but as a total package as well.

Third, I agree with the PS that we need to change the conversations on a national and local level, and “move beyond the rhetoric into crafting real answers to the critical issues affecting the country.

I take it that’s why he needs six months to come up with the answers.

Some of the candidates have the answers already but have been denied the opportunity to implement them.

2012 may be their turn, unless the good professor gets his wish, in which case the question remains, what answers does the PS have for the unspecified critical issues he refers to, different from those already tabled by other candidates such as Raila’s call for national unity and implementation of his reform agenda he has been at the forefront fighting for, for all Kenyans, as well as his proposals for development in line with Vision 2030?

Prof. Kiyiapi has given himself six months to find answers to this and other questions.

Let’s hope he comes up with good and better answers than others already have on the table, and therefore distinguish himself as such from them.

That’s what campaigns and new to the political scene he might be, the good professor can take solace he is not the only person facing the hurdles of tribalism, regional politics, and money issues, which he says are a concern for him; these are stables of Kenyan politics and he had better use the next six months in figuring how to rise above them and win the presidency rather than perfecting any of them to win the presidency.

Again, candidates like Raila have declared they are determined to be elected on account of their leadership ability and vision for our country and see what the good professor sees as hurdles, as an opportunity to do each one of them a blow, eviscerating those he must, such as tribalism and regionalism, while reducing the influence of money in politics.

The good professor may want to be once again a student and learn how that’s done so that he can continue from where the old professors leave things.

Turning the tables and teaching the professors how that can be done and succeeding at it will, indeed, be prove positive of what “fresh management skills” means as opposed to just management skills and certainly there cannot be any more proof necessary that one has leadership ability, if the pulls off a victory in 2012 against all these odds.

 
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Posted by on June 29, 2011 in Politics

 

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My Response to A Kikuyu’s Concerns About Raila Messaging And Responses to Internet Attacks

A Kikuyu commentator offered his observations to a new subscriber to a Kenyan forum in which I am also a member and frequent contributor. The new subscriber, a Kalenjin—by name,  anyway,  expressed the view, even though new to the forum, he had concluded within the short time he was there that the forum was only for Luos; in fact, that was the title of his topic he posted by way of introduction, which was quite an introduction alright.

The first response to this post was from a non-Luo member, who expressed shock and that he thought he had seen it all, only to find people like this subscriber expressing such views but nonetheless, told him the forum is not dominated by any tribe.

I, too, chipped in, advising the subscriber and, I quote,

“Cherutich’s assertion is not a wonder at all but it’s comically nonsensical because, even if you were to assume [forum] is all Luo, what [the new subscriber] should do–having been accepted to join as a non-Luo, as he obviously has been, he should take the opportunity and educate and inform those Luos who accepted him, the virtues of having a tribal free Kenyan society and the value of having accepting non-Luos, rather than suggesting that they perpetuate the problem of tribalism by merely changing the name of the organization, the latter which makes as much sense as his assertion we can all do without.

Adding, “A number of Kenyans are quick to find problems even where none exists or point out those everyone knows but offer no solutions to same, or refuse to accept solutions offered, if it’s not in their narrow and shallow minded interests to do so.”

Another contributor, a Kikuyu, also chipped in, raising a number of issues, many of which go to the core of what’s at stake in the next elections, which I addressed in my response as follows:

Let me use Nd. N’s earlier post to give my sense on what this forum is about and perhaps with that, you can assess how to contribute, if at all. I have not been in this forum that long, so my response is based on what I have observed thus far and general experience with fora discourse over a number of years, going back almost 20 years.

N says, “You should always remember that in this forum you need to support one individual only.”

My observation has been, people here either support Raila or they don’t. Those who don’t support Raila either have no candidate they support as an alternative or, if they do, they have done a very good job in keeping it a secret. If you push them as to who they support, they will reluctantly but almost convincingly lie in your face that they are still assessing the candidates and that they make up their minds at some indeterminable future date.

The fact is, my friend, very few people in these fora have not made up their minds about who they will vote for in 2012 but none of those include anyone on the record here and elsewhere telling us how much they hate Raila or why Raila should not be elected president.

Nope; not one, and if someone convinces you otherwise, then it will be our pleasure to tell you, when you ultimately find out the truth as you must, that we told you so.

The name of Prof. Kiyiapi has come up here and there as a potential presidential contender but in my view, he still remains an unknown product. If you know anything about him, please share, good or bad.

That’s what these fora are or should be all about. You can make your maiden speech by analyzing whether or not he bears or should bear any responsibility for the Ksh 4.2billion stolen in the Ministry in which he is a Permanent Secretary.

Ruto is also featured in discussions here, but mostly relative to his scandals and ICC. Even those from the Rift Valley who contribute here hardly ever tell you why Ruto will be a better president than Raila. What they will tell you over and over until you get tired and more, is the palpably false claim that Raila screwed Rift Valley after he became prime minister and that therefore Ruto should be elected president.

They will not tell you that prominent leaders from the Rift Valley, including Sally Kosgei and Henry Kosgey, who previously decamped from the Raila train in a dalliance with Ruto, largely on the basis of these same false claims, have seen the truth and are now back now with Raila.

Instead, they will tell you how these leaders are uncouth, unreliable, evil and all other bad things they were not, when they decamped from the Raila train and appeared to support Ruto.

That’s called politics. If you are not used to double speak when people say one thing, only to say the exact opposite when it’s no longer in their interest hold the initial position for which they favorably spoke of, then be prepared to get a good doze of it here.

Contradictions, distortions, embellishments, loose talk and other similar favorites of propagandists of an unpopular  cause are a staple among the anti-Raila class here.

N says, “And truly you shall be at peace and indeed a hero [for supporting Raila].”

I hope you are at peace with yourself and with our country as you embark in this discourse.

I know there is still a lot of hurt feelings and suffering in Kenya.

It is my true hope and prayer we can all live in peace and with love or at least respect for one another.

That’s why I sign of the way I do in all my blogs and postings: Peace, Love and Unity.

Having said that, I can tell you, if you are not at peace with yourself and our country, you are not likely to find it here. That requires a more specialized group, one perhaps with professionals trained in the art of psychological counseling.

I know there is at least one or more here but I doubt such counseling will be appropriate here, other than in the sense we can all learn to communicate with each other, bearing in mind the suffering and hurt feelings in others we may not be aware but can imagine, given the history of our country.

If you are only going to find peace here simply by supporting Raila as N suggests, then it’s not peace you are in search of because, by supporting Raila, you are by definition at peace.

Only among those who don’t support Raila can one find those not at peace, for one reason or another and if you are one of them, then N may be on to something in his counsel about finding peace here, albeit not what I think he had in mind, because, if you come here, filled with hate for Raila, engage in the discourse and have a change of heart and start supporting him, then you will certainly at peace.

N says, “You will find postings that will call you wise and critical thinker and not forgetting you will be called progressive [if in support of Raila]. My observation is, if you are not wise or a critical thinker by now, you’ll likely not make your debut as one by supporting Raila here or elsewhere.

I have seen children as young as five years old who are critical thinkers, wisdom coming only with age, so let not how people judge you be a concern but, as all of us in this fora, there is something we can learn or add to make us better thinkers and ultimately men and women of wisdom.

Thus, whether you are judged wise or a critical thinker is totally irrelevant here.

Ditto for being called “progressive.”

Just say your piece and hope its useful in the discourse.

Now, if you misspell words, or misplace or omit commas, or otherwise commit other grammatical errors, you’ll likely be called out by the English Police but, please, let not that deter you from posting whatever you wish to say.

It’s not a judgment about your prowess in English for people know and accept the reality people have no time editing their work or they make simply mistakes—that’s why pencils have erasers.

N says, “I thought too that I am in a forum where the most educated are and opportunity to think beyond a tribal box is quite obvious.” My observation is, we have our work cut-out in ending this malady of tribalism. Some of us, for sure, have never been tribalists all of our lives, so it’s easy to for us to say this is an easy problem to fix.

Experience and reality shows otherwise, especially given the history of our nation. Just when you think we have made a step forward (2002 elections), we make a giant step backwards (2007 elections).

The other day, someone I previously assumed was not a Raila hater shocked me he is a tribalist, which is pretty much the same thing.

Needless to say, tribalism is a curable disease we must make great advances in resolving this election circle, or we are doomed to fail again as a nation. I, too, like N, have the faith, if we are to make a major progress in ending tribalism, it surely must start with our generation and even right here in these fora.

It saddens me greatly to see deep seated tribal and ethnic sentiments expressed here and on the ground but there is hope.

I recently posted elsewhere on my blog that, after heeding to my own advice to others to forgive, even when the offenders have not asked for forgiveness, I decided to forgive Kalonzo Musyoka, the only person I previously could not say I loved, thus my statement variously, “I love all Kenyans except Kalonzo” for I believed and still believe he was the most culpable in almost sinking our country into a civil war post- election 2007.

Having forgiven him, I can proudly now say I love ALL Kenyans!

That does not mean I’ll be voting for Kalonzo for president anytime in the future; far from it and the fact he still thinks he can be elected president after what he did in 2008, is more so the reason I am not here worried that he will be.

My previous statement that, if for some reason he is elected president, I’ll move to a neighboring country until I recover from the shock, still remains notwithstanding my having forgiven him.

N says, “I thought this is forum where debating is welcome and intellectual views are observed as political lab to crystalize healthy political processes of our country.” My observation is, this forum actually presents this very opportunity for all so, don’t hold back any intellectual views or new ideas you might have to contribute.

He also says, “I am in assumption that any Kenyan with ability to think analytically is welcome without being victimized on his view.” This is an interesting observation because an incisive analysis of someone’s views may be viewed as a “victimization” of the originator of the offending views.

My suggestion is, again, just post what you believe in without regard to how others judge it; if you get abused or “victimized,” you can find solace in the fact that truth lies where it lies regardless of what your abuser or “victimizer” says and the reader or recipient is often the better judge of that.

Going further on this, N ponders, “Doesn’t this tell us what would happen if the same people would be given positions in the government by their political god – fathers.” N assumes those who contribute here do so with an eye to serving in the government.

While that may be the case for some, I am sure there are others whose contribution are based solely on their love for, and desire to do their part in making Kenya a better country.

Even taking the position of those who contribute with a view to serve in government, it is, of course, the case that a true leader takes a position and is defined by it regardless of where the chips fall but only ceases to be so, if on account of being opportunistic, they become that what they are otherwise not for the sake of assuming leadership positions in government.

I’ll be more comfortable with the former rather than the latter.

N says, “When you come here support Raila and call Kikuyu dogs and thieves you will receive roses.”

Several things about this assertion: First, supporting Raila is not synonymous with calling Kikuyus dogs and thieves, so it’s unfair and wrong to collapse the two separate issues together.

Second, it’s wrong and unacceptable for anyone to call all Kikuyus “dogs and thieves” or any other derogatory term or terms just as it’s wrong and unacceptable to characterize an entire tribe or community as being any derogatory term of choice.

We really need to understand and agree to rise above this, no matter what temptation there is not to.

Third, it’s quite alright to call a Kikuyu a thief, if he is, in fact, a thief, just as it’s okay to call a Kisii, a thief, if he is, in fact, a thief.

It’s never right to adjudge an entire community as thieves, just because a disproportionate number of thieves come from their community; guilty by tribal association or affiliation, is something that must be done away with totally, if we are to heal as a country.

I say this fully aware there are many a thief walking around free, having either bribed their way out of being charged for clear theft or, after bribing their way out of a conviction upon being charged.

These, we are yet to deal with as a country as part of the campaign against impunity and future practitioners of this vice are on notice.

In sum, condemnation of all Kikuyus as thieves is wrong and unacceptable and anyone engaged in that kind of name calling or similar group condemnations runs the risk of serious consequences under NCIC.

Calling people dogs is, of course, despicable regardless of tribe or ethnicity.

For more about this issue, please read my blog Tribalism, Like All Bad Learned Habits Can Be Unlearned.

N says, “Call to assassinate the Kenya President and you are going to be called a great planner.”

This is of course, not true; you make such a call you are headed to prison and only an idiot will call such a person a “great planner.”

I don’t think there are idiots here, even though you can’t tell sometimes by some of the postings but even those, you give the benefit of doubt and say there is not an idiot here; we all should know better than make such palpably treasonous statements.

Ditto for N saying, “Come with an idea on how all Kikuyu can be exterminated you will be the wisest.” and his saying, “Some have come out here with such ideas and they have been heralded.”

If this has been said here, it must have been before I subscribed, or I simply never saw it.

Again, needless to say, this is wholly wrong and borders on what NCIC will be very interested to pursue and rightly so.

I have my doubts this kind of language has been used here but I assume Nd. N you are trying to make the point there are people who wish ill of the president. This, I assume there are, especially given what happened in the aftermath of the last elections and even other things that have happened since.

My own take on it is, Kibaki has done a good job in redeeming his legacy and have said as much in my Wishing HE President Kibaki Well As He Prepares To Retire blog.

The rest of N’s post was not directed to the subscriber, so I addressed them to him directly:

You say, “Simply be biased to Kikuyu and some Kalenjins, some like Ruto, Kisii and you will have a new name. Some of us are used to such kind of limited and limiting exploration of political views that each scholar or any intelligent Kenyan should have.” I did not get the point here, so I’ll leave it at that.

You say, “Luo, Kisii, Kikuyu, Maasai or Akamba is a Kenyan and is my brother or sister.”

Great! This the least we need from all of us: treat each other as brothers and sisters and I am sure we can all do it, if only we can gather the courage to do so but it shouldn’t take that much.

You say, “But  switching political vice to oppose any due to his or her ethnic origin is just very unpatriotic and indeed ingriendient for another blood shed in Kenya.

I have addressed this above, except I would simply add let’s please not talk about another bloodshed in Kenya. I understand what you are trying to say, but I would put the message differently if only because a person prone to violence is never afraid of violence, so telling him or her to change his or her way, lest you go to war with him or her might actually encourage him or her to brace for the fight.

You say, “One tribe being angels while others are devils, what a confusing way to be direct kenyans? Kenya cannot be a united country until and unless all Kenyans learn to accept the basic altruism we are are all equal before the eyes of our Creator and we please Him by treating each other as we would have others treat us.
You say, “On the same token i still support another ethnic to gain presidency by the fact that there has been presidents coming from central twice.” This is a noble statement from you and one can only hope more of this can be heard and adhered to from our brothers and sisters in Central.

Indeed, I floated an idea with one of my Kikuyu friends and also elsewhere on my blog that, if I were Kikuyu, I would start an an organization or campaign I called something like Kikuyus Against Another Kikuyu President for Kenya or something to that effect, at least for another circle or two and say this not as a tribalist but as a pragmatist.

Your statement vindicates this position and I just wish more people from Central province would be kind enough as to listen to the message it sends regarding what it’ll take to break away from that which has divided us and that’s entrenched tribalism.

You say, “They had not learned that when you are in his fora, you shall not citizen Raila he is holy and absolute.”

I assume you mean “criticize” Raila?

As one who defends Raila from vicious attacks on this and other fora, I can assure you I never have and never will stand for the proposition that Raila should not be criticized; in fact, the opposite is true in that I am all for people criticizing Raila all they can as long as the criticism is based on issues and policy, no personal attacks, misinformation, lies, distortion and innuendo, which have no place in political discourse or execution.

As one of Raila’s defenders on these fora, I would also be the first one to tell you he is neither holy nor absolute, whatever you mean by that.

The fact is, as we are reminded in the book of Romans 3:23, “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” and that includes you, me, Raila and everyone else.

Or to put it a different way, no one is perfect; not you; not I, not Raila and not anyone else and neither has Raila presented himself as holier than though.

So, let’s leave perfection and holiness out of this debate and instead answer the following questions:

Raila is relatively cleaner than all those others vying for the presidency, is he not?

He has personally sacrificed for the reforms we are finally starting to experience and need more than everyone running for president, has he not?

He is more compassionate and caring about Kenyans than all those vying for the presidency, is he not?

He stands a better chance to unite the country than those vying for the presidency, does he not?

He has the skills and goodwill necessary to lead our country to a better future than all those vying for president, does he not?

All these qualities and others make Raila as close to the perfect candidate for, and therefore best president we’ll have, if he’s elected than all those running for president, do they not?

Objective and sincere answers to all of these questions can only but provide uniform answers in the affirmative and this is what keeps a lot of people sleepless at night trying to conjure and connive ways to “stop” Raila from ascending to the presidency, other than facing and answering these critical and determinative questions, which hardly any can be answered in their favor.

Their victory will be a loss for the country; their defeat will be victory for Kenya, our beloved country.

You say, “When Raila and his team seeming threatened by the Kalejins who had strongly participated in the political and civil-saga of 2007 led by Ruto,  Raila betrayed his relationship and surrounded himself with his tribal team fencing everyone else out.”

I am not sure I understand what you mean by Raila “seeming threatened” or by “strongly participated in the political and civil-saga of 2007” but if by “seeming threatened” you are referring to Ruto’s decision to pursue selfish interests outside of ODM, then the news for you that, in the end, may be a blessing in disguise for the country for if Raila wins despite Ruto’s desperate efforts for a short-cut to power through the old politics of division and rule based on tribalism, the last if not final nail coffin would be hammered into the coffin burying this evil malady.

If by “the Kalejins who had strongly participated in the political and civil-saga of 2007 led by Ruto” you mean PEV and Ruto’s participation in it or lack thereof, the jury is out and the verdict is not in yet, is it?

As to “Raila betrayed his relationship and surrounded himself with his tribal team fencing everyone else out” your statement is so vague as to what you are trying to say, I shouldn’t even bother to respond to it suffice to say, the quality and nature of people any leader surrounds himself with is part and parcel a measure of his overall leadership ability so if your concern is that Raila “surrounded himself with his tribal team” after Ruto embarked on his shenanigans, then even if one were to assume your faulty premise, that cannot be a “betrayal” of any relationship; you do not betray a relationship of one who has left you already; rather, the one who has left you, is the only one who can be said to have betrayed you.

Ruto left Raila and ODM and despite numerous calls for him to return, he has remained stubbornly adamant he is not returning.

Let’s wait and see how brilliant (or dumb) his call is, shall we?

You say, “Ruto did the dirt work Raila got the cream Ruto got hague.”

You are either ignorant of the facts or you have chosen to ignore them as to Ruto and ICC.

Raila did not have Ruto charged and sent to the Hague.

That’s the fact and it will remain so among sound minds and reasonable people not matter how many times you and others continue to perpetuate this lie planted by Ruto that Raila is responsible for his travails with ICC, in efforts to sully Raila’s name in Rift Valley.

This is the kind of truth the expression upende usipende is intended to highlight.

The ICC issue and Ruto is one I have extensively analyzed and if you have not followed the facts and the case, please read my 6-part blog Who Is William Ruto,  or as much of it as you can and you’ll have a good, objective understanding of the issue, including my conclusion, after a thorough legal analysis, that Ruto will not be convicted by the ICC.

You say, “Yet, you shall not criticize Raila here.

I have already addressed this above but let me repeat, anyone is free to criticize Raila as long as that criticism is based on policy and issues but not personal attacks and lies.

You say, “Any leader needs to be analyzed and so that we can have finally a leader whose goals are national not replicatingwhat we seen before since independent.”

I agree with you but qualify to say, not replicate bad things we have seen since Independence.

There are plenty of good things we have seen since Independence that we ought to emulate; there is no need to reinvent the wheel.

You say, “I am sorry, not me I am not a parrot I will stand on what I believe is right for our country.”

Speaking for myself as a blogger, I need not defend against the charge of being a parrot on this for a or anywhere else; that’s a judgment people have to make upon analysis of what others write.

As a reader of other blogs, the only parrots who ceaselessly parrot here and elsewhere are those who rant and rail against Raila day in and day out, singly and sometimes in concert, usually repeating the same lies and distortions planted by Ruto and Co that have long since been exposed and discredited.

These guys have, in fact, parroted themselves to a point of comedy and I am sure we have not heard the last of their rantings and ravings until the polls close on election day, at which point they must take leave and reunite with reality.

Peace, Love and Unity.

Samuel N. Omwenga, Esq.

[Unedited]

 
1 Comment

Posted by on June 27, 2011 in Politics

 

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My Musings and Recollections About Life and Other Things Part II

If you find me watching TV, it’s likely going to be I am watching news programming, nature or informational/educational shows with the kids, or some old movie or show. I am not into any of the current TV shows and completely refuse to watch the Reality TV shows that now dominate the TV sets across this land we call temporary home.

No one has yet to convince me about, even the entertainment value in any of these reality shows, but I understand everyone is different and some can’t wait to watch the next episode or even re-runs of any one of them.

For me, watching Three’s Company or other old shows like the Saint, or Are You Being Served or the Masterpieces, for the 20th time is much better than watching any of these current TV shows.

As to movies, I can’t remember which decade I was last at a movie theater but I remember Cameo and Odeon in Nairobi very well from back in the day. Back then, taking a date to watch a movie in either of those theaters was the height of one’s life; well, almost.

Talking about Cameo and Odeon, neither is anything close to what it used to be—even going back two decades when I think everything started taking a dive for the worse. That’s just one sign of how bad things have become in the country.

I can go down the list of other things that the young reading this blog have no clue how good they used to be, but that will take the whole day except let me just mention Fanta is not what it used to be; butter, is not what it used to be; does Tree Top even exist anymore?

And that’s just at the bottom of the list.

Very tragic, indeed, how bad things have gotten, when they didn’t have to.

If I were president today, I’ll move mountains to return things to where they used to be and even have them stay there permanently for that’s 1 million times better than where things are today.

By the way, change doesn’t and shouldn’t necessarily mean doing away with the old; not at all; some things are just as good today as they will be 100 years from today, if not better, without changing a thing about them.

For example, I’ll still prefer to watch my old movies and shows no matter how much advances are made in either, technologically or otherwise.

My wife figured this a long time ago for, after years of lack of interest, she finally took the advice if you can’t beat them, you join them so she, too, now is into watching some old TV shows and some old movies.

Okay, she only likes two or three old TV shows but that’s a good start, even though it’s been more than 10 years since she showed interest and started albeit rarely watching the only old TV shows she likes.

We have a lifetime together–God willing, though, so by the time we are rocking chairs somewhere in old age, she might get around to liking all of my old shows when I suspect I may be preferring to watch a current show at that time like Single Ladies, a current hot series my wife likes to watch depicting the lives of 3 hot chicks from Atlanta, one a successful black business woman entrepreneur designer catering to the rich and famous, another a black gold-digger with the looks and mouth to match, who is after her clients’ money and their white female friend caught in between the two lifestyles.

Don’t they say the older you get the younger you become?

Talking about old shows, one old show that my wife likes and we sometimes watch together, is I Love Lucy (the other one being I Dream of Jeannie).

The other day, we were watching I Love Lucy and Ricky (the main character) pulled up his chair ready for breakfast, newspaper at hand.

As he did so, I told my wife how things have really changed to the point I cannot remember the last time I actually physically held a newspaper on hand to read here in the US; must be at least several years ago.

Everything is online now.

I know hard-copy newspapers are still the in thing back home and in fact enjoy having to read same when I am at home but the I Love Lucy newspaper episode had me thinking about these changing times and habits, thus prompting me to pen this blog.

For example, talking about newspaper reading, I remember getting hold of a current copy when growing up was such a rare thing it was manna finally getting one to read—even days and weeks old one.

For me, I was assured of a current daily only once every two weeks when my late Mzee will go to the big city (Kisii Town) to haul his regular re-stocking supply for his general hardware and supply store in our small city (Nyamace Market).

I would at least on that day get a current copy of the newspaper.

And two weeks supply of past editions.

You see, Mzee had to buy bundles of old newspapers from his goods supplier, an Indian (more about him below) and the intended purpose for these used newspapers, was to wrap things for customer’s at Mzee’s shop.

The other albeit unintended purpose from Mzee’s perspective, was for my friends and I to catch up with the news of days and weeks before, or get details of snippets we had heard on the radio.

If a bundle of these unused newspapers was supposed to last two weeks, Mzee would be puzzled why it did not and was forced to send for more before his scheduled by-weekly trip to Kisii to restock.

Little did he know that his generous son was discretely re-distributing the used newspapers to his friends and thus the fast disappearance and this went on forever without being caught.

It was one of the “confessions” to be made at Mzee’s death-bed in old age much to his enjoyment. I say confessions in quotation marks because some of these confessions by I and others Mzee figured as much when they were occurring but acquiesced.

One confession I remember vividly came from Mom as Mzee was lying on a sofa in our family living room, with several family and friends visiting him. He had by this time gotten much weaker and lost quite a bit of weight (he was quite an imposing figure in his life and thus the Luambo or Makiadi nickname) but he was nonetheless active in mind but said little much as he always never did in his life.

So, with family, neighbors and friends reminiscing on that day, Mom told of her elaborate scheme that lasted years to supply some of my uncles 10 wives with things from the shop, behind my father’s knowledge and unbeknownst to his brother either, the late flamboyant Senior Chief Mathayo Ratemo (SCM Ratemo), when the latter refused to provide for them as punishment or other reasons, including there just not being enough to go around.

Unlike my father and his other brother who each had only one wife, SCM Ratemo had 10 wives. I have a whole book about my uncle, some of my cousins and polygamy, to write some day.

I have already elsewhere shared about one of my cousin’s son I helped go to Russia in lieu of I and what life would have been like had I gone to Russia instead of coming to America. I noted in that blog I know for sure I would not be married to my wife, had I gone to Russia because, even though from neighboring Rwanda, we met here in the US.

And what a tragedy it would have been for there is no one I could have met in Russia or anywhere else in the world, who could come even close to be the wife my wife is or the excellent mother of our wonderful children that she is!

I believe God God has life perfectly planned for all of us, all the way, we just don’t know it and when we don’t get there, it’s simply because we fail to stay close enough to him, to see the leads.

For his part, my cousin’s son, too, wonders, what life would have been for him, had he not gone to Russia, which he was completely not even thinking about, let alone going overseas for further studies until I showed up to ask him to come back to Nairobi with me and apply for this scholarship I was offered but could not take because it was in science and I hated science but I knew he loved it. I am happy he successfully completed his studies in Russia and so is he. He is now a professor back home.

To be continued.

 
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Posted by on June 26, 2011 in Musings

 

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How the Supreme Court of Kenya Should Interpret The Provisions It Has Been Asked To Interpret

As is always the case, provisions of the constitution are subject to interpretation and thus the importance of the Supreme Court, which is ultimately charged with the responsibility to say what the law is but, if it gets it really wrong, Parliament can step in and correct or fix the errand interpretation with legislation, if the president assents, or by constitutional amendment, as the case may be. Whether or not reversing the Supreme Court is done by legislation or amendment, depends on the clause or interpretation in question (some interpretations can be fixed by Parliament with presidential assent without amending the constitution).

Nobody can tell how the Supreme Court will interpret a particular provision but the range of options is not unlimited.

A blogger posed some questions which no doubt require court interpretation and I believe the Supreme Court has been asked to rule on these questions already but, be as it may be, here is my take on how the Supreme Court should rule on these questions:

  • Who are appointed state officers?

An appointed state officer is anyone who is appointed and “holds” a “State office” which is defined under Article 260 to be:

(a) President; (b) Deputy President; (c) Cabinet Secretary; (d) Member of Parliament; (e) Judges and Magistrates; (f) member of a commission to which Chapter Fifteen applies; (g) holder of an independent office to which Chapter Fifteen applies; (h) member of a county assembly, governor or deputy governor of a county, or other member of the executive committee of a county government; (i) Attorney-General; (j) Director of Public Prosecutions; (k) Secretary to the Cabinet; (l) Principal Secretary; (m) Chief of the Kenya Defence Forces; (n) commander of a service of the Kenya Defence Forces; (o) Director-General of the National Intelligence Service; (p) Inspector-General, and the Deputy Inspectors-General, of the National Police Service; or (q) an office established and designated as a State office by national legislation.

As you can see from the list above, holders of some of these offices are elected, others are appointed, therefore the latter are “appointed state officers,” the former are not.

Article 260 defines a “State officer” as one holding a State office, as defined above. The question is, is a janitor employed at a state office “holding” that office? My answer is no; someone “holding” an office must be other than rank and file employees, which I would define to be a senior officer.

  • Are Ministers/Assistant Ministers appointed?

Ministers and Assistant Ministers are elected, then appointed; Secretaries are appointed.

Given being elected was essential to be appointed minister or assistant minister under the old constitution, appointment is secondary therefore ministers and assistant ministers are not appointed within the meaning of the new constitution.

The opposite will be true in the case of Secretaries, as they will exclusively be appointed.

  • Do they [Ministers/Assistant Ministers] hold public office?

Yes. “Public Office” is defined under Article 260 as “an office in the national government, a county government or the public service, if the remuneration and benefits of the office are payable directly from the Consolidated Fund or directly out of money provided by Parliament.

  • Do the ministries belong to the people of Kenya or political parties.

Ministries belong and serve the people of Kenya, not political parties.

Any reference to minister or ministry/ministries refers also to secretary or department/s under the new constitution.

I, of course, reserve the right to overrule myself or modify my thinking.

 
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Posted by on June 24, 2011 in Law, Politics

 

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Prof. Ongeri Please Step Aside and Leave Abagusii Out of Your Quagmire

Prof. Ongeri is quoted in today’s Standard Online edition as getting ready to “lay the red carpet” for Kibaki in Kisii. I understand he and Kibaki are good friends and therefore his pal would do everything to protect him but there comes a time even friendship must yield to what is right and what is right now is for Ongeri to step aside and allow a full and complete investigation of the Ksh 4.2 billion stolen in his ministry and under his watch.

Ongeri keeps saying he is innocent, then let him step aside and be exonerated. That’s what innocent people do.

Oddly, Ongeri now claims this mounting pressure for him to step aside is “political now, people have gone beyond the ministry. People have gone personal on this matter.”

What is he talking about?

When has corruption not been political or personal?

The right thing Ongeri should is, is simply step aside.

Hiding behind Kibaki can only shield him but so long.

Seeking tribal solace or protection behind Abagusii will not work because Kenyans are beyond that now.

You commit a crime or an offense, or you engage in corruption, you are on your own.

No more running and trying to stir tribal defense against those with the noose for justice with your name on it.

I am willing to give Ongeri the benefit of doubt but his continued resistance to stepping aside only goes to show he knows something he should be worried about.

As is always the case in situations like this, one is either guilty of something or they are incompetent for not knowing something this big happened under their watch; it’s like having one’s priced car missing from the driveway when the watchman was at the only gate to the driveway.

Which one is it for Ongeri? Guilty or sleeping on the job?

The answer can only be provided, if Ongeri steps aside and allows a complete and full investigation.

He might get a pass, if the answer is simple incompetence that allowed theft of this amount of money.

He will be made to pay, if the answer is he is culpable in the theft of this money.

Continued resistance to stepping aside points to Ongeri not being concerned about getting a pass for incompetence.

Peace, Love and Unity

Samuel N. Omwenga, Esq.


 
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Posted by on June 23, 2011 in Politics, Uncategorized

 

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Raila Rescues Forgotten Chelagat Mutai; Another Writing On The Wall For Ruto & Company

I was saddened to read a story in today’s Standard Online about former MP Philemena Chelagat Mutai and her tribulations since before and after the Moi regime. I was particularly moved reading how the former MP is quoted as saying,”When things got too much, I decided to reach out to the Prime Minister and I am so happy he acted quickly to help save my life.”

Politics aside, I was just moved by the human story in this: while she is not alone in suffering in the country, Hon. Mutai is practically alone in suffering this much and for this long simply because she was among a small number of politicians who stood their ground against the Moi regime and KANU at a time even fewer politicians dared never to even try.

Conversely, had she played ball and lined her pockets with what was likely to be the reward, especially coming from Eldoret as she does, P Mutai probably will be at the top in the country in every respect and probably running for president herself.

What a sad irony in by itself.

Indeed, Hon. P Mutai’s saying she is happy the Prime Minister “acted quickly” to “save her life” says a lot not just about this unheralded hero of reforms in Kenya and RAO, the caring PM but it also says a lot about the state of our country where those who have been at the forefront in fighting corruption and impunity, such as Ms. Mutai have essentially been left to suffer the consequences of their unselfish, determined and nationalistic actions while the beneficiaries of the very corruption and high-handedness they fought are riding high and ebullient, even to this day.

Fortunately, the gallant efforts by Mutai and others are finally albeit slowly but surely coming to fruition as manifested in the passage of the new Constitution, and onwards now to implementation of the reforms they fought for in ensuring justice and equality of opportunity for all Kenyans.

To be sure, not all Kenyans have forgotten about these gallant efforts by Mutai and others, however.

By coming to Mutai’s rescue, the story confirms Raila as not just being the compassionate person he is–unlike false accusations to the contrary by some elements aghast about his success and prospects to be president, but the story also confirms that there are those jailed by Moi and who suffered immensely like Raila who would come to the aid of a fellow fighter and compatriot just as Raila has done, as soon as he found out, in this case after Mutai reached out to him for help.

Raila puts it best in saying about Mutai, “She has been with us in the liberation struggle. I was saddened to hear she has been sick and we decided to bring her here for specialised observation. We are trying to reach out and assist people who participated in making Kenya what it is today.” Emphasis mine.

I know the Dean of Raila Bashers and his understudies are fumigating and are about to blast away as to how this is “opportunistic” about Raila and blah blah blah but let them do so; they can’t help it.

The gallant politician herself, her family, her friends and people of good will from across the country, who read or hear about the story, know otherwise and that’s all that really matters about this.

By reaching out to Raila, Mutai did not do so in a vacuum or oblivious of the political implications of such a reach-out but she is sending a clear message about the same at the same time and that is, when it comes to addressing real problems faced by Kenyans, ethnicity, tribalism and politics do not matter and if reaching out to the Prime Minister is seen as an endorsement of him as opposed to Ruto or the other presidential contenders, who she could have easily reached out to as well, if she wanted to make the opposite point, then count her on the side of being practical and true to her reformist self for she has more in common with RAO on this than the rest.

Looking at it from another perspective, this story, in many ways, is the story of Kenya today: even as we prepare to enjoy the fruits of the new reforms, let’s not forget those who have made it possible.

There are many who are barely alive today who have been victims of simply agitating for reforms and change of direction in Kenya.

The least we can do for them, is to at least say “Thank You!” to them.

I would, indeed, propose that Parliament passes a law to provide for such a recognition, coupled with a lawful kitu kidogo.

Electing Raila as president, of course, will be the highest reward one can get for their suffering and struggle for the liberation of our country from the yoke of imperial rule and corruption and I hope he is so rewarded, among other reasons, come 2012.

On a lighter note, I could not but laugh out aloud right after reading the sad but moving Mutai quote above when reading about the one and only Charles Mugane Njonjo (CMN) and his branding of Mutai and six other MPs back in the day as the “Bearded Seven Sisters.”

I remember when he said this, even though I don’t think it was funny then.

Say what you may about CMN but he was just brilliant, even as he was being brutal.

I will some-day blog about when I first saw him in action from up in the gallery in Parliament during the 1984 inquiry into his activities. Needless to say, I was impressed and I don’t know anyone who saw or read what CMN had to say during that time, who was not.

Anyway, I am still laughing for I know Churchill and others are funny but even they would have been hard-put to come up with the “Bearded Seven Sisters” line when describing a group that clearly included Mutai, which was basically a derogatory reference to her as a woman (bearded), and a derogatory of the bearded men as being undesirable communists.

(CMN, I saw him at a hotel I was staying in Nairobi early this year and had to wish him a happy 80th, which he was quietly celebrating there that day with his close family and friends).

Kenya has had colourful politicians, some like CMN will remain equally loved, hated, admired, feared and despised looking back for just being who they are and they have no equal in this regard.

Some, like Hon. P Mutai have rapidly risen to higher political office, only to be forced down to the very bottom below even where they started in life because of their struggle to liberate Kenyans from abusive and brutal rule and have been languishing barely above it simply for being who they are and they, too, have no equal in that regard.

They may yet again arise to even greater heights, God willing.

Indeed, asked if she would rejoin politics, Mutai said: “When I leave hospital, I will shop for a political party that can accommodate my ideologies.”

ODM is home to at least one of the “Bearded Seven” and is led by your other fellow compatriot in the struggle for liberation.

ODM is therefore the way to go, Mheshimiwa.

 
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Posted by on June 21, 2011 in Politics

 

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My Response To Those In Denial About Raila’s Successful Moves in RV and ODM’s Overall Prospects for 2012

The following is my response to someone who keeps repeating the same discredited smear of Raila about his efforts to save the Mau forest and other ill-informed sentiments by the blogger regarding Raila and his efforts to strengthen ODM, especially in the Rift Valley.

My response:

I don’t put you in the category of Raila haters because that’s a special class I distinguish you from for a number of reasons but my concern for you and others I observe saying the same things you do, is you are equally mistaken and have refused to accept the reality and truth about Raila and ODM no matter what, even to the point of ignoring basic, proven facts.

That’s just a disturbing fact, even as we engage in debating leadership and development issues about our beloved country.

For example, you cannot find two thoughtful, laid-back-yet-quick-to-move-when-necessary, best-readers-of-the-walls and therefore effective politicians in Rift Valley more than you have in Dr. Sally Kosgey and Henry Kosgey

The two have weighed Ruto and his antics on one hand and Raila’s prospects as the next president of Kenya on the other hand viz their own political interests and the interests of the Rift Valley as a whole and have concluded Raila and ODM is the better way to go for them and the Rift Valley, compared to going with Ruto and others.

Yet, you and others are trashing these savvy politicians and leaders as “inconsequential” and other characterizations I address below rather than accepting their moves as politically significant for the obvious reasons they spell doom for Ruto & Co and make it easier for Raila to be re-elected as president.

I don’t know what you said when Sally openly parted company with Raila and joined the Ruto bandwagon to nowhere or what you said when Henry Kosgey publicly distanced himself from Raila but I doubt very seriously whether you said or even thought both actions, singly or collectively as being “inconsequential.”

You probably celebrated and rooted for “en masse” defections from the party by other ODM MPs which was to follow as promised by Ruto.

There is a reason the promised “en masse” defections never happened and why the unrelated Kosgeys are now returning to ODM and that is, these leaders have smarted from Ruto’s antics, which they thought meant one thing but has turned out to be something altogether different.

When it’s all said and done, however, the Kosgeys and like minded politicians in the Rift Valley will be thanked by the good people of the Rift Valley for putting the breaks on a train clearly headed to a fall off a political cliff, while loudly warning the passengers in the train of the impending fall and having them board a train headed in the opposite direction to destination full of hope and promise, a destination the train is all but certain to reach to the joy and jubilation of those aboard.

This notwithstanding, you and other like minded are saying, “no; let’s just continue our journey in the train headed to a certain fall off this political cliff because we don’t “trust” the captain of the other train headed in the direction of hope and promise.”

Your lack of “trust” for the captain of the other train is, unfortunately, ill-informed and I and others will continue to point this out to the day we come to rescue you from your crashed train and beyond.

Let me use your own words to show why your lack of trust in the Captain of this train, which is headed in the direction of hope and promise, is ill-informed:

You say, “I was [RAO’s] number supporter in 2007 but after sometime he proved to me that he is unreliable, untrustworthy and heartless fellow.” This is a lofty and heavily loaded statement to make but a case is not made or unmade by the assertion or proclamation of lofty and profound statements or crafty use of words; rather, to be credible, those words must be matched with reality as evinced by facts.

Thus, to an impartial observer or judge, you will have to spell out in any appreciable detail how Raila has been “unreliable,’ how he has been “untrustworthy,” or how he is a “heartless fellow.”

You will then have to show whether Raila has been, or is all or any of these things in his capacity as RAO the person or as RAO the Prime Minister for the two are not necessarily one and the same, even though your “heartless” charge is clearly intended to impugn Raila the person.

In other words, you will have to show whether this is a rant based on a personal vendetta with RAO or is policy based, right or wrong as it may be.

If you make a persuasive case to this point, then you next have to reconcile and make the case why millions of Kenyans don’t see any of these character traits in Raila, including prominent leaders and elders from your own backyard, who have known him for decades and even before you were born and are firmly behind him and fully support his quest for the presidency.

Do you know something they don’t know?

Please do not even as suggest Kenyans are so dumb as to have you and the less than a small fraction of your like-minded Raila bashers as the only ones capable of knowing the truth about who Raila is, let alone whether he is “unreliable, untrustworthy and [a] a heartless fellow” as you wrongly claim.

Disagree and criticize Raila all you can but I urge you not to insult the intelligence of Kenyans as a whole in trying to make this incredible case that Raila is all these things he clearly is not; he is, in fact, the opposite and that’s why he remains the favorite among all serious candidates running for president, and is accordingly the the man to beat to be elected as our next president.

As I and others see it, making the case why Raila is what he clearly is not as you wrongly claim, must in the end fail as a matter of both logic and practical reality; you just can’t convince, let alone make the case to the majority of Kenyans who have and continue to support RAO and believe in him and his reform agenda, that he is this evil man you make him out to be when he clearly is not, in the assessed view of the majority of those who elected him in 2007 and will do so again in 2012.

Ruto tried to make this false case against Raila being this evil man he is not but he has rightly miserably failed in his efforts to do so and so will you or anyone still clinging to this fundamentally flawed position that the way to beat Raila, is to paint him as other than who he is.

Kenyans are more informed now and are know better than be fooled with cheap antics and propaganda such as those being employed by anti-Railaists and those running for president but are unable to match him, or even come close to matching him on the issues:

Who among the pack of those running for president has a proven record of fighting for reforms and therefore is better positioned to end corruption and impunity?

Who among the pack has a proven record of bringing development in the country and is therefore better positioned to do the same and more upon being elected?

Who among the pack has a proven record of tackling difficult local and national problems strictly as a matter of national interest and therefore is better positioned to do the same and more upon being elected president?

Who among the pack has a proven record of uniting a majority of people across the country for a common cause and is therefore better positioned to do the same, especially in uniting the country after the much we have gone through in the recent past?

Who among the pack looks beyond aligning groupings of tribes and ethnic groups as a means to get to State House and is therefore better positioned to bring an end to tribalism and negative ethnicity as a factor in electing leaders, especially at the presidential level?

Who among the pack has a proven record of goodwill among regional and international leaders and is therefore better positioned to unlock the support from those leaders as we embark on putting Kenya on the world map consistent with our Vision 2030?

Who among the pack, simply put, has what it takes to be a transformative leader the country so much needs at this stage in our history, more than everyone else running for president and therefore should be elected as our next president other than Raila?

These are the questions you’ll be better served by answering in making your case why whoever you support for president can be a better president than RAO or at least give people reasons to vote for someone else other than Raila based on your answers to these important questions; you just can’t rant and rail against Raila and rest your case there. No, no, no; Kenyans are way past that.

In any case, the few “issues” you and others have been ranting and railing against Raila have been previously rebutted point by point to show how they are, in fact, non-issues, by I and others but let me re-visit them for the sake of those who have not followed their genesis closely:

You say, “You have to visit Mau to know what I know and to understand what I am saying.” No amount of visits to Mau forest will have someone coming out of it saying, RAO is “unreliable, untrustworthy and heartless fellow.”

Not one visit, not 1o,ooo visits, not a million visits.

This is because no number of visits to any location can result in confirming an untruth.

Although your beef with RAO and the Mau forest is so ill-informed I am quite you and others continue to cling to it even after leading MPs from the Rift Valley finally put this fake issue to rest in their recent confirmation that Ruto manufactured and ratcheted this phony issue for selfish political gain.

Indeed, these MPs confirmed what I and others have been saying for months.

For example, in My Response To Concerns, False Claims and Accusations Agains Raila III, I said the following:

“The Mau issue is yet another one of those false issues Ruto cleverly but wrongly manufactured along the way in his crusade against Raila that not only is hypocritical and pathetic but perhaps the single most important evidence of Ruto’s character flaw. To exploit an issue of such environmental and national significance for shortsighted political gain is abominable.”

I also added, “Again, this is one of those issues I can spend a whole day analyzing, edifying and otherwise showing how Raila has been all right about it and Ruto and a few others completely culpably wrong but no need to; most people who know better than follow lies and distortions know the truth but if you care to fully understand why Raila has taken the stance he has in the national interest, just Google it and learn.”

The Mau issue having now been completely exposed by the Rift Valley MPs with firsthand information and knowledge that this was a concoction and made-up lie by Ruto, let me add by suggesting language for an historic marker to be placed at the entrance of Mau forest and would even have it commissioned myself:

Mau Forest. Thanks to efforts led by the Rt. Honorable Raila Amolo Odinga, then Prime Minister and now President of the Republic of Kenya, total destruction of this forest by illegal-squatters and other unlawful land grabbers, was prevented and, as a result, Kenyans continue to enjoy this forest’s life sustaining benefits, particularly as the source for many lakes and rivers in the region which would have otherwise dried up, leading to major water shortage and deaths but for the Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s intervention. P.S. Mr. William Samoei Ruto, the then Member of Parliament from far away Eldoret area was once a supporter of the PM and his efforts to save this forest but decided to oppose, undermine and malign the PM against his efforts because it was in his selfish political interest to do so. He now regrets having done so and is forgiven.”

The question therefore is not whether the Mau forest should have been saved or whether Raila did the right thing to lead the efforts in saving the forest, everyone including you must agree that was absolutely the right thing to do and we are all the better the Cabinet acted accordingly in authorizing the evictions.

To be sure, as any good leader, RAO knew and still knows preventing total destruction of the forest is one thing, resettling those who for years illegally settled in the forest is quite another problem but he already proposed a solution which has been fought tooth and nail by the likes of Ruto and other illegal land-grabbers in the forest and surrounding areas because it’s in their narrow, selfish interests to do so.

Indeed, I am at a complete loss to understand why anyone cannot see through this simple scheme by Ruto & Co. and instead continue buying wholly into the discredited scheme and is unabashed as they continue to blame Raila for doing what’s absolutely the right thing that needed to be done, if the Mau forest were to be saved for our country’s welfare as it has been.

I am even more confounded by your assertion, “Whether eviction was a cabinet decision or not is irrelevant.

Really?

Are you really serious about this assertion? If so, I take it your preferred form of government is where all government institutions are ignored and decisions carried or not carried at the whim of an individual? Do you hear what you are saying?

This is precisely what we have been fighting to get away from, namely, getting away from government by fiat–which you will obviously prefer, if cabinet decisions are to be ignored, to government of the people by the people through their elected and appointed representatives, which cabinet decisions as the one about saving the Mau forest represents.

I must give you the benefit of doubt, however, and assume you literally do not mean that cabinet decisions are irrelevant in resolving national issues; rather, you are so determined to ascribe wrong doing upon Raila no matter what and glaring cabinet decisions contrary to your dug-in position notwithstanding thus, in this sense, it’s indeed irrelevant what the Cabinet, Parliament, the President, Ruto himself (before he was against for selfish reasons) and others have said and maintained their positions, which are identical and squarely in support of Raila and his efforts to save the Mau forest.

Refusing to see truth while embracing and even advancing falsehoods about the Mau forest issue is, indeed, a sad situation and I am afraid there is not much to be done for anyone so dug-in in refusing to accept  truth other than hope they’ll some day dig themselves out and accept the sunshine of truth and reality.

You say, “The person who came out vocally against the Ogiek of Mau was RAO. He even went to part of Mau to plant trees.The shame and heartlessly of it all is that he went on to invite Kibaki to plant trees with him oblivious of the history of the people who had just been evicted.”

Raila provided and continues to provide leadership in saving the environment in general and the Mau forest in particular. That’s what leaders do; they take a difficult problem and solve it, even in the face of stiff opposition from misguided individuals with selfish interests such as Ruto & Co.

Your grandchildren and generations of Kenyans to come reading the historic marker above will agree and that’s really all that matters in the end for we owe them the duty to preserve and pass on to them that which God has given us and more, not destroy and leave them with nothing to even sustain their lives as those opposed to saving the Mau forest would prefer.

You say, “Now, your idol RAO thinks that the people of Mau are criminals who deserve nothing but death in cold air?

This is a reckless and perhaps not well thought out statement before it was put in print that does not deserve a response other than to simply say as a fellow Kenyan, please refrain from the use of highly charged rhetoric such as this.

Put another way, one can engage in orbital intellectual gymnastics and show how so wrong you are in this assertion but, sometimes the wrongness of a statement is evident in the statement itself requiring no more.

In other words, it’s good to remove oneself from the facts, known or unknown, to see the logic or flaw in one’s argument.

Thus, purely as a matter of logic, your argument is this:

People illegally settled in the Mau forest.

It is unlawful in Kenya for people to settle in national forests

Raila therefore thinks all people who settled in the Mau forest are criminals who deserve to die.

I am sure you can see clearly the conclusion in your argument does not follow your premises at all and that’s why you are so wrong in your assertion.

You are also wrong as a matter of fact because (1) Raila has never said that the “people of Mau are criminals” and neither has he (2) said they “deserve death in cold air,” whatever that means.

That does not mean there are no criminals in the Mau forest any more than saying there are no criminals in public service.

Let me not go there in trying to show other reasons why your assertion is wrong.

You say, “If Rao is a hero let him pursue Triton, Anglo-Leasing and FRE embezzlements.

I don’t portend to know everything that has been said about Raila but all I know he does not go around carrying himself as a hero, even though he is.

Raila’s heroism in relentless pursuit of reform in Kenya is well known and documented. It is one of the many reasons many respect him as a leader locally, regionally and internationally.

Put another way, Raila’s heroism is already established and part of the new political dispensation in Kenya owes part to his heroism and that of others who have been relentless in pursuing reforms in the country.

Neither Raila nor any of those who have been in the front-line in agitating against corruption and impunity and and fighting to end to oppression of the people by the most powerful need to engage in further acts of heroism anymore; heroism is but a means to an end and not an end itself.

That we have in place a new Constitution which Raila himself was instrumental in getting passed, is more so the reason no further heroism and individual sacrifice is necessary for the country to reap its true benefits of independence.

The dual vice of corruption and impunity must be taken head on in the new judiciary that’s being reformed even as we debate today and the appointment of Dr. Willy Mutunga and his new team at the Supreme Court will hopefully take care of what is needed to herald the new reforms to take on corruption and impunity so much so those who have heretofore been the beneficiaries of these dual vices are on notice.

It is therefore misplaced to say “if Rao is a hero let him pursue Triton, Anglo-Leasing and FRE embezzlements.”

This is the sole responsibility of the new DPP and reformed judiciary; Raila or whoever is the next president merely need not get in the way and from what’s known of the current serious presidential contenders, only RAO we can be assured will not get in the way of any such prosecutions.

Put another way, there cannot be a better reformer and proponent of going after corruption and impunity among the presidential contenders than RAO.

You say, “If he wants to regain lost ground [Raila] should address Mau saga and reach out to Ruto…”

As stated above, (1) Raila has and continues to address the Mau forest issue to the extent he is able to and despite concerted efforts to prevent him from completely succeeding by the likes of Ruto who see the issue strictly from their personal gain and not as an issue of national interest and importance it is and (2) Raila need not reach out to Ruto, given the selfish nature of his pursuits but is, as any leader would, happily have him back in the fold as ODM member.

Raila has, instead, been active in reaching out and strengthening his support in the Rift through leaders other than Ruto his ultimate success will be determined at the ballot box and not your condemnation of those he is working with as “fake Kalenjin elders” who are “unknown, unaccepted and with a lot of baggage from the former government.

BTW, do you see the irony and contradiction your advice for RAO not to reach out to leaders like Sally Kosgey because you claim they have a “lot of baggage from the former government” but instead advise him to reach out to Ruto?  Which former government are you referring to? The first Kibaki government? the Moi government? Kenyatta government? Regardless of which one, are you saying Ruto has no baggage from any of these governments or just that he has less baggage? What difference does that make if Raila’s objective is to unite the country, not based on who has served in what administration but who is ready to move the country forward in bringing about economic prosperity by ending corruption and impunity?

Raila has made the call for unity and is going about identifying leaders across the country who have the same vision he does about unifying the country and finally leading us to economic and social prosperity.

Some of these leaders are those he has been in the trenches with before who, for reasons now clear to them were wrong, seek to return to his camp.

Some may have prematurely believed in a shifting ground that never shifted; just a minor tremor without even any after-effects.

Some seek to be associated with Raila and ODM purely for their own political calculations and survival.

Some as a matter of abhorrent dislike of the dish being served by the other camp.

Some as a matter of abhorrent dislike of the leaders in the other camps.

Some just can’t stand the other camps and what they stand for, period.

Some simply because they wish to end tribalism and negative ethnicity as a major factor in deciding whom to elect as president.

Whatever their motivation, Raila has made the call of unity and his task is to make sure those heeding his call also preach o others to do the same and the end result of such efforts will be victory not just for Raila and ODM but the country as a whole for in unity, we shall forever remain strong and ready to face any challenges that lie ahead.

Peace, Love and Unity.

Samuel N. Omwenga, Esq.

 
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Posted by on June 19, 2011 in Uncategorized