The Criteria Everyone Should Use In Deciding Who To Vote For And Why I Blog

04 Jun

Someone asked me on one of the fora what criteria I use to analyze the candidate I support and in response to this question, I replied as follows which also ended up answering the question why I blog and strongly support Raila:

I have previously given my reasons why I support Raila (see my blog to the right ) but I have added an answer here to the related question why I blog, which I can say in short, blogging is no fun but is costly taking as much time it does from doing other things I must do but I do so because I have a passion in what I belief about the future of our country and share same on this blog and elsewhere in the hopes others can see and support the same things I do with the same passion and belief but would settle with just supporting the same ideal of a united and prosperous Kenya.

My response to the contributor in the other forum follows:

Regarding what criteria I use to evaluate these leaders, I have one that I have proposed that everyone uses and it’s posted on my blog The Minimum Qualities, Attributes, and Qualities Our Next President In Kenya Must Possess. If you go through that blog, you’ll see your suggested criteria is included.

As I have noted before, if we elect a president with these minimums, or “non-negotiables” as someone commenting on the blog calls it, then I am confident the country will be in good shape as we chart our way forward.

To put it differently, I am a staunch supporter of RAO and believe he will be elected president but, if for some reason he is not, then I am perfectly okay with whoever is elected as long as he or she meets this criteria and will be more than happy to work with his or her administration to bring about the much needed economic prosperity and decent livelihood for all.

For example, those of us in the Diaspora that are quite comfortable living here forever would nonetheless prefer to return and invest at home–and it would not matter to me one bit whether its ODM or PNU, or a Kikuyu, or a Luo, or a Kisii, or a Mkamba (except Kalonzo) who is president as long as he or she meets the criteria above; we just need a break with corruption and impunity and a commitment to economic and political reform which can only be delivered by exceptional leadership led by a president with the qualities I describe in my criteria. Again, the best person who should be elected to lead in these efforts, is Raila.

Quite frankly, most of us in the Diaspora are quite capable of creating business opportunities at home not just for individual gain or profit for some of us, but for our country’s collective prosperity; all we need is to make sure we have the right political and economic environment to do so.

This is what motivates some of us who are so passionate about political reform, not appointments in such governments as some here and elsewhere naively believe or suggest; don’t need any of that as we are doing just fine on our own.

In fact, there is nothing that stops me or anyone else in the Diaspora who has done and accomplished what we have from running for president. Nothing.

Indeed, some like my good friend from our early KCA days and one of its founders, Dr. Matunda Nyanchama is running, if I am not wrong and if he does run and is elected, then that’s great; I just would expect him as a fellow Kisii to appoint me as his Chief of Staff.

Okay, let me say now that’s a joke before someone takes it seriously and gets worked up into a frenzy searching in the vast database of matusi to hurl at me for this nepotistic stance but the part about being okay if Nyanchama runs and is elected is not a joke.

The only reason I, for example, choose not to run is because I am okay with it and am satisfied there are others who can are better suited to run at this time, everything considered and once elected, will do the same thing I would want to do with the same passion and convictions.

Right now and this point in our history, the best person I believe is better suited to do just that and better prepared than I and everyone else who may wish to run is RAO and thus one of the many reasons I support him.

Again, that does not mean he is the only one who should run; but the only one I am supporting and the one all of us should support because I know him that well and am confident he has the same vision, passion and conviction as I do to transform the country for good and forever.

Part of my belief is shaped by what I and pretty much all of us know about the conditions at home.

Indeed, I regularly visit home, sometimes every other month and it saddens me to see peoples lives getting not better but worse each time I visit not because they can’t achieve success but because every door to success is shut through no fault of their own.

In fact, just the other day, I was walking from KICC to catch my ride outside and this fellow saw me from his car parked in the opposite direction I was heading, frantically beckoned me, calling me by my name, Omwenga, which means he obviously knew me that well so I turned around and even though I barely recognized him, after some exchanges I remembered who he was (I have very bad memory when it comes to that: how do you tell someone, yes, you seem to know me very well, even my name but I have no clue who you are?)–anyway the individual asked me how life is back in the US, etc but totally unexpectedly, he asked if I could “spot him with 5K!”

Perplexed, I asked him what for, he said his wife was at the hospital and he needed to raise some cash quick but could not do so right away. This is not an uncommon request for those of us who travel home regularly; it was an uncommon and totally unexpected request coming from this individual because I all along knew he was a successful in his business.

It turns my distant relative was conned by another businessman in a transaction complete with “official” supporting documentation that turned out not to be, leaving him penniless, with a wife and kids in school and college to support.

No wonder the wife was in the hospital. But this not be.

There are many stories like this at home and thus the reason most of us in the Diaspora have not felt that comfortable to return or heavily invest at home for fear of either being conned or having whatever investment made outright stolen with no recourse in law because of the same corruption and impunity.

I would normally not say some of what I have just said to anyone, but I think its important to do so, so that my contribution in these fora is put in perspective.

To put it differently, I do this because of my love for our country and a sincere desire to do what I, you and others can do to make it a better country so that all those who live within it can even live at least as good a portion of life as most of us have been privileged to live by the grace of God and doing what is necessary to so live by taking advantage of all available tools and opportunities and applying ourselves accordingly, which of course remain wanting  back home.

We can, however, create these opportunities.

We just need the necessary political, legal and economic reforms to do so and Raila is the best man to lead us there in my view.

Peace, Love and Unity


Posted by on June 4, 2011 in Uncategorized


8 responses to “The Criteria Everyone Should Use In Deciding Who To Vote For And Why I Blog

  1. Monda Mathias

    June 5, 2011 at 1:49 AM

    I believe your are genuinley interested in changing the way we have been governed since independence in 1963. While your views may be subjective and based on criteria not acceptable to all, I must support you because this is one way of enhancing debate on the qualities we must look for in a leader. PM Raila Odinga certainly has the qualities that will transform our beloved country from leadership mediocrity to a truly progressive and democratic 21st century nation.
    Bw. Omwenga I also believe ypu are of the generation that has embraced cosmoplitanism, discarding tribal parochialism that has bedevilled us for close to a century. That’s why we must choose leaders based on national interest rather than tribal hegemony.

  2. Samuel N. Omwenga, Esq.

    June 5, 2011 at 5:17 AM

    Thank you Brother Monda. We are all in this together and it doesn’t matter how we get to the land where these ideals are realized as long us we get there with everyone aboard, happy and ready to partake of these fruits of true independence that have long since eluded us.

    BTW, I try my best to be as much objective as possible and if we all tried to be even rudimentarily objective, then we’ll go a long way in finding common ground to work with in finding and applying solutions to these monumental problems facing our country.


  3. Evans MACHERA

    June 5, 2011 at 6:09 AM

    The Citicenry has the duty to enforce the criterias during elections by ignoring those that are not to the letter of chpter 6 of the constitution.

    However,we are in a period of change as country.Its notable that there have been and are bottlenecks on the iplementation courtesy of the ODM/PNU politiking,old order leaders wanting to mentain the statuts qou ( old order is sweet for some).

    We also have poverty where voters are purchased hence compromise on the provisions of chapter 6.

    Worse to it,the citizenry are likey to vote with their tribesmen in mind.

    But given about 6,000,000 youths who are yet to get national identuity cards and a whole 2,000,000//- diasporan community,the political voting trend and patterns will be really different.

    What this space.

    Evans MACHERA.

  4. Samuel N. Omwenga, Esq.

    June 5, 2011 at 6:30 AM


    You are so right about the youth and Diaspora.


  5. Rogers Ngotwa

    June 5, 2011 at 7:46 AM

    Bwana Omwenga,

    I do sometimes enjoy reading your opinions but I think you are so much pro-RAO to an extent that you actually hate his opponents. If I may ask : why do you want the Kenya voters to elect anybody, including any Mkamba except Hon.Kalonzo? What does that tell people about you and your opinion of those merely opposed to RAO’s views? I must admit it speaks volumes of your character. Let us give everybody, including Hon. Kalonzo,an opportunity to market themselves throughout Kenya without necessarily gagging some of them, the way you are doing. If your views are to be taken seriously, kindly subject RAO to the same analysis as you would like others to be. I recall you defending RAO’s family involvement in the Maize Scandal yet it is in the public domain that his son was deeply involved. With this kind of blind support for RAO, I do not think you are doing us any better than those whom you usually like to criticize.
    Kindly review your opinions and be objective

  6. Samuel N. Omwenga, Esq.

    June 5, 2011 at 9:11 AM

    Nd. Ngotwa,

    I understand what you are saying but I can assure you, I really do try to be as objective as one can be but this is always work in progress.

    As to Kalonzo,let me say a few things about this. I have never had any conversation but he and I have run into each other on a number of occasions, most recently a few months ago at a friendly football game between Kenya and Uganda.

    I could have told him what I think about him in any of these occasions, but that’s not necessary because he knows it.

    You may know from my blog that I have already forgiven Kibaki for what I believe he did in 2007 and in fact, believe he has gone a long way to redeem his legacy despite 07 and as I say, he would need to seal that with ensuring the critical sections of the Constitution are timely implemented and that there is a peaceful transition of power to the next president, preceded with a peaceful electioneering period.

    I have done this not by whim, by by carefully observing Kibaki and how he conducts his business; it also helps I know people who know him very well who feel in the gaps for me.

    Kalonzo, on the other hand, I have yet to forgive. I truly believe Kalonzo is more culpable for what led to PEV than everyone else combined; had he not done what he did, the outcome would have been much different, for the better of the country.

    If and when Kalonzo acknowledges this and truly seeks redemption, then I will be the first in line to forgive him.

    The fact is, he has thus far not done so and acts as if 2007 never was to the point he believes he can run again for president.

    I said before I am okay with anyone other than Raila being elected president so long as they meet the criteria I set forth for us all to use to evaluate and decide who to elect but I would not support Kalonzo because I know he falls way short of that criteria, not because he is a Mkamba.

    I have also said, if Kalonzo were to somehow get elected president, I will move to a neighboring country until I rid my body and soul of such a shock and am able to accept the fact.

    That, my friend, is not hate; just pure passion for what I believe in. Put another way, I wish no ill personally for Kalonzo; let him live a good happy life but stay away from the State House.

    Again, as a Christian, I am all ready to forgive him, when he seeks same.

  7. Olima

    June 8, 2011 at 11:59 AM

    Mr. Omwenga,

    I must agree with every point of view you have put forth in this reply. Everything except the last statement. I have no doubt in my mind as to Kalonzo’s culpability in the PEV of 2007. He has himself admitted this on occasions more than one.

    But as a Christian, you do not need to wait for Kalonzo, or anyone, to seek forgiveness before you can forgive them. How about Father forgive them, for they know not what they do (Luke 23:34)?


  8. Samuel N. Omwenga, Esq.

    June 8, 2011 at 12:13 PM

    Thanks Olima,

    I am smiling because you are a little behind the news but that may be because you as I and everyone else are not in all Keyan fora.

    I posted something yesterday or the day before on the Progressive Kenyans forum where I was counseling others to forgive without waiting for the offending person to ask for forgiveness and as I was literally writing that, I thought about this reply about Kalonzo and literally confessed I will heed to my own counsel and forgive Kalonzo, which I did in that post!!!

    It’s amazing you just brought that up here so I’ll post a blog to that effect for the benefit of all as soon as I am able to.




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