Monthly Archives: July 2011

A Conversation With Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Hon. Uhuru Kenyatta

Reporter: Mr. Deputy Prime Minister; is it okay, if I refer to you as Mr. UK or just UK?

Hon. Uhuru Kenyatta (“UK”): Sure; no problem.

Reporter: Mr. UK, the last time you ran for president, you lost to our current president, Mwai Kibaki and now you wish to run again; what makes you believe you’ll be elected this time around?

UK: First, I am much older and wiser. Second, I am not running against a fellow Kikuyu. Third, after being trashed in the 2002 elections, my ego was so severely bruised, being elected president is the only way I can more permanently recover, therefore I am determined to do whatever it takes to be elected this time around. Fourth, I no longer have the ugly monkey, if I may, of the Moi regime breathing heavily over my shoulders. In fact, I believe I lost the elections because everyone believed my being elected president would have been a continuation of the Moi regime, which is true, but who knew Kenyans were that smart to figure this out, even back then.

Reporter: I know you are on a roll with your reasons you think you’ll be elected this time, but can I ask you, based on what you just said, what is your relationship with former president Moi and is he supporting your presidency this time around?

UK: My relationship with the Old Man is just fine but I don’t want my presidential candidacy to be associated with him anymore.

Reporter: Why is that?

UK: Because I have my own pet project now by the name Ruto. You see, with Ruto, I get the best of both worlds: Ruto the Young Turk of YK92 who is both intellectually smart and a superb understudy of Moi’s street smartness more than I ever was or can be, but I also get Ruto of DRAO 2009.

Reporter: I get YK92 but, what is DRAO 2009?

UK: (Smiling) You don’t know? What kind of reporter are you (now laughing).

Reporter: I am sorry I don’t know but I assume it has something to do with Raila; Raila Amolo Odinga, R-A-O, the Prime Minister?

UK: That’s right. The “D” stands for, destruction (more laughter).

Reporter: I see; so you are saying DRAO stands for Destruction of Raila Amolo Odinga–DRAO?

UK: Yes, yes, that’s it (now excitedly laughing).

Reporter: Okay; I get that but what exactly is meant by “destruction” of Raila; are you for the destruction of Raila? I thought you are friends?

UK: No, no, no. I am not for the destruction of my good friend, Awambo. In fact, I wish him well and quite frankly, I would prefer to have him elected, if I am not, because he deserves to be elected for all the sacrifices he has made for the country and everyone else running for the office is simply lightweight and cannot possibly be able to take on the heavy responsibility that office demands.

Reporter: I am confused; you say you want to use Ruto to get to State House—and you are being taken seriously about your interest in the office, but now you sound as though you are endorsing Raila?

UK: That’s not entirely correct. What I am saying is, I would not mind, and, in fact, would prefer Raila to be elected president, if I am not elected but I am going to give him a run for his money, before he gets there.

Reporter: So, you agree with the polling data that shows that Raila is the man to beat in 2012?

UK: No. You have this upside down, Jim; the man to beat in 2012 for me, is a fella by the name Louis Moreno Ocampo!

Reporter: True—and I have some questions to follow about ICC and Ocampo, but is Raila also not the man to beat in 2012, if you were to be elected president?

UK: You can say that, but I have a strategy to beat him soundly and that involves, as I have said, Ruto–my own pet project but in this sense: Of all the presidential hopefuls out there, Ruto is the only one who has convinced me, he knows a thing or two on how to deal with the likes of Moi and Raila. I particularly like his DRAO 2009 deck of cards and am confident I can use him and his deck of cards to boost my own campaign strategy.

Reporter: But is this not a contradiction when you say, you are not for the destruction of Raila, yet you want to use this, what you call “DRAO 2009 deck of cards,” which, I assume has to do with some kind of political destruction of Raila, or is it?

UK: You are right in your assumption, DRAO, is a clever plan devised by Ruto to destroy Raila’s political ambitions, and thus the “D” in DRAO but I don’t see any contradiction in my saying I support and want to use Ruto’s DRAO 2009 deck of cards in my own campaign strategy; any clipping of Raila’s power and influence, is a net-gain for me.

Reporter: But Ruto can say the same thing; namely, any clipping of Raila’s power and influence, is a net-gain for him. What makes you believe you can make Ruto your own pet project and use him in the way you describe to be elected president without him resisting or defeating you in this scheme?

UK: Simple. Without me, Ruto is irrelevant. Ruto knows he cannot be elected president; not this time anyway. Having fallen out with Raila, his best chance for political survival, is for him to work with me. Or, if I can put this differently, I don’t need him, but he needs me.

Reporter: You sound so confident about this?

UK: I am.

Reporter: There has been reporting in the media that, the G7 which you are named as one, will hold elections in which the person who gets the most votes will become the flag-bearer for the G7 team and that whoever comes second, will become the vice-presidential candidate. How do you think you’ll fare in such elections?

UK: Oh, very well; in fact, I am confident I’ll receive the most votes and therefore become the presidential candidate for G7.

Reporter: What if you do not and instead Ruto gets the most votes; are you willing to run with him as his vice-president?

UK: Are you kidding?

Reporter: No; I am not, of course. This is a question everyone is asking and wishes to know the answer from you.

UK: (Laughing)…I won’t answer that one…you go figure (more laughter).

Reporter: Okay; I take that to mean UK is not going to be VP for Ruto?

UK: You are fast!

Reporter: Thank you; I try, anyway, but you politicians never cease to amaze me in your schemes—but I am learning fast, as you say. Now, you said earlier that, for you, Ocampo is the man to beat in 2012. How concerned are you that Ocampo will succeed in having the ICC charges confirmed against you and therefore render you ineligible to run for president as the new constitution directs?

UK: I am not concerned at all. Ocampo is a piece of $%#@ and if he somehow manages to confirm these bogus charges against me, I’ll have the right to appeal, which will give me and those supporting me, enough time to devise other strategies to deal with ICC.

Reporter: It sounds like you are not anxious to go to the Hague?

UK: Not at all; not anytime, soon, anyway.

Reporter: What about your co-accused; do you have any concerns about their charges being confirmed?

UK: I know this interview is on the record, but we must go off record for me to give you an answer to this particular question.

[Off the record].

Reporter: (Back on record). Wow. Are you sure you don’t want me to publish what you just told me about your thinking about each of these co-accused and their prospects at the Hague?

UK: I am sure about this, otherwise I’ll let you.

Reporter: Okay; I respect that. Assuming ICC does not prevent you as you are confident it won’t; what single accomplishment can you point to Kenyans, to show that you are now ready to be elected president than when you last ran in 2002?

UK: I must say being Finance minister has given me the opportunity to hone my skills in finance management, which is crucial for any country leader to have so I’ll say the single most accomplishment I can point to you to show I am ready to be president, is my performance as finance minister.

Reporter: You have twice as minister for finance been unable to explain discrepancies in the range of billions of shillings, when you were asked to and later blamed this on typo-graphical errors, what do you say to those who say this is not something to expect from an accomplished minister who is in charge and knows the goings on of his ministry, as you claim you are?

UK: I’ll agree with them. Quite frankly, I was as shocked as the rest of the nation was, when reading the budget, that there was this vast amounts in discrepancies. If someone was trying to steal the money under my watch, they did not do a good job in trying to hide it but we learned our lessons from that and I can assure you this will not be repeated again.

Reporter: We don’t have much time left, so I am going to ask you a series of questions about the other presidential contenders, you tell me in one or two words, what you think about them:

UK: Okay.

Reporter: Raila Odinga.

UK: If I can’t beat him, nobody will.

Reporter: William Ruto.

UK: My own pet project.

Reporter: Martha Karua

UK: One tough lady and major road block to my path to State House.

Reporter: Kalonzo Musyoka.

UK: (Laughing) Ah, let me see; ready to make any deal anytime with anyone.

Reporter: Peter Kenneth

UK: Fine gentleman, would make good ambassador to Britain.

Reporter: Prof. Ole Kiyiapi

UK: Good technocrat.

Reporter: Eugene Wamalwa

UK: Eugene Who? (Laughing out loud)

Reporter: Thank you for your time, Mr. UK; that’s all the time we have for this interview.

UK: Welcome.

Disclaimer: The foregoing is an imaginary interview between Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Uhuru Kenyatta and an imaginary reporter. It is not intended to be taken as an event that actually occurred.


Posted by on July 31, 2011 in Uncategorized


My Musings And Recollections About Life III

Most of us have literally grown and come of age in the Diaspora, having come here when we were very young. I was barely 20 when I first landed in the United States and, like many before me, and I assume others that followed, I had no clue what to expect other than life was supposed to be closer to what was depicted in the TV show Dallas, which I used to enjoy watching before venturing to the US, than what it actually was or became.

Having been in these foreign lands for close to three decades, I can say I have seen and done it all—well, almost all and would some-day like to pen a book to memorialize some of it for posterity’s sake.

And, boy, do we have stories we can tell about life in America!

Some, we can laugh about them now but they were not laughing matters at all when they happened. For example, when I first came to the US, folded and tucked neatly in my suitcase was a price possession from my last days of high school: very expensive—even by today’s standard, pink corduroy jeans.

Yes, pink corduroy, jeans!

Now, without having any clue, I would wear these pair of jeans with a shirt that did not often match, complete with an eagle necklace and matching gold bracelent and head to a favorite club down the street with my friends in the hopes of, of course, ahh…having fun and bringing home a trophy to account for the hard work.

I did this a few different times until one lady friend I met in one of these excursions, and would later date, told me pink was a color of choice for homosexuals!!!!

I was shocked, disgusted and traumatized for days and weeks but I finally somewhat got over it.

I up-to that point had no idea that homosexuality existed! In fact, I refused to believe there were Kenyan gays at home or even here in the US until just recently when I resigned to the fact in disbelief when I was given names including some very prominent people.

What a shocker it was though back then when I first found out that homosexuality even existed.

Fast forward and these days apparently pink is a mainstream color but you’ll never see me wearing it regardless.

Interestingly, there was a story here in the US the other day where parents “gave in” to their 7-year or so old boy’s wishes to be dressed in pink and as a ballerina.

Seeing the way the boy looks and talked, one could not but conclude he is definitely heading there but the question is, where did that come from? Naturally? I doubt it; it’s parents like these who contribute to this anomaly.

Indeed, I told my wife when watching the story that if this was in a normal African or Kenyan household, the boy will be whipped so silly he will be seeing different colors other than pink.

I was bound to find out about homosexuality back in those days sooner or later and sooner it was: Those days, Kenyans used to have weekly house parties and never liked going to clubs (only handful of us were adventurous enough to do so) so one time there was this house party taking place.

Having worked double shifts in addition to going to school and after a few drinks, several party goers–all men–decided to crash in one bed at least to get some zzzs before facing another day of school and double shift of work.

The partying got louder into the wee hours so a neighbor called the police, who upon entering the apartment, found several of the Kenyan male partiers totally passed out on the one bed!

It took some serious convincing of these officers that this was purely an innocent thing; the dudes had merely gotten drunk and tired and decided to crash before time was up to go to school and work again, and nothing more.

Fortunately, the police believed us and simply told us the party was over, and thus spared these innocent fellas from being busted for sodomy, which is still a crime in Texas.

We may now know that homosexuality exists among Kenyans, but I still find it to be an abomination that must never be allowed to sully traditional notions of family and by that I mean, let the homosexuals have as many rights as they can have, but we must draw the line at not allowing them to marry or openly engage in anything that defies our natural orientation and sensibilities, such as kissing in public or otherwise displaying acts of affection in public.

I should hasten to add I also do not approve of even heterosexuals doing the same, albeit for different reasons which have to do with degree as opposed to the acts themselves.

Thus, discrete to moderate is okay, excessive and exhibitionist not okay.

My position is, let the gays do these in the confines of their own privacy and ditto for the excessive and exhibitionist types.

I know some would rush to assume I am homophobic by saying what I have but I am not.

As president of the Student Bar at my law school in the mid-90s and in charge of distribution of funds to various student organizations, I made it a point to secure funding for an organization for gay and lesbian students, which was previously shunned and ignored at the school.

Indeed, this was true of gay rights across the country at the time.

As it were, a leader of the gay organization happened to be a friend but I had no clue he was gay and did not secure funding for the organization because of him.

I just knew it was the right thing to do that is why I hold the position I do, and that is, let’s not deny homosexuals rights everyone enjoys but let’s draw the line on interfering with traditional notions of family and our natural sensibilities about things of this nature for doing otherwise would, indeed, mark the end of the world but as an Adventist, it just might also bring about the return of the Messiah—not necessarily a bad thing.

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Posted by on July 30, 2011 in Musings


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Butchering the English Language, What’s Martha Karua Up-to And Central Voting Habits

The use of proper English once in awhile pops up as a heated exchange here and there among and between the culprits and would be grammar specialists in these fora.

Sometimes we make genuine typos in our incessant habit of some of us hitting the “send” button before reviewing whatever it’s we have written, sometimes we truly have no clue or just can’t figure it.

I once had someone send me a private email, saying how much she enjoys reading my blogs, even though she does not often agree with me.

She told me in another email, however, that I should edit my blogs to make sure they are grammatically error free because she can’t stand reading anything less than grammatically perfect.

I assume she must be some English teacher or professor somewhere, telling by her sternness in stating the point.

I replied to her that by habit I hardly ever edit my work; its nonstop writing and sending and the reason I don’t, is because (1) no time and (2) I’ll end up rewriting the whole thing.

That’s just my writing style; it’s one time draft and finished, brief or whatever else.

I am not even sure when or how I picked that habit but that’s what I always know as far as I can remember.

It’s also been a good thing I am my own boss and have no one to go over my work because you change even as a word or ask me to and we are finished.

I found this about myself when I was at the Department of Justice as a Litigation Support law clerk, where the senior attorneys I was working under would mark all over my work, at some point I thought they had been sent on a mission to irritate me from Satan himself.

I learned to cope, though, assuring myself it was only temporary and surely I moved on, started my own firm where I could write my own briefs without as someone attempting to tell me how to.

While other attorneys would have their paralegals write or at least do first drafts of their briefs, never have; I’d rather do it myself.

Back to my English or professor reader, I do understand where she is coming from, however, as I am the same way; I get distracted or amused–as the case may be, whenever I find errors where I do not expect any.

For example, reading a story Karua No Longer An Astute Defender of Kibaki in the Daily Nation Online earlier today, I came across the following:

“But Prof Matanga says whether Mr Mungatana runs with her or not is not as big an issue as her community.”

“The community votes as a bloc for a particular candidate and the Central power blockers appear keen on Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta,” he said.

Blockers? Of course, the writer meant, “brokers” but then I started laughing remembering I saw earlier something circulating about pronunciation of certain words by a segment of our people, to which a question arose: whose fault is this? The writer or the editor, or both?

I started looking to see the writer’s name but I stopped, telling myself to stay away from reinforcing these stereotypes.

All this had me remembering a very good old engineer client and later friend of mine I have not seen or heard of for several years now as we simply lost contact–I think he moved back home.

Despite my repeatedly urging him until I gave up, to simply call me by my first name, Sam, (he is my age-mate) my friend preferred to call me by my last name “Mr. Omwega,” not “Omwenga,” of course.

I have got to reconnect with him, now that I am thinking about him; very progressive but apolitical gentleman from deep Central.

On the story itself, a few things:

First, I think our brothers and sisters from Central will surprise everyone come 2012, in that they will for the first time break with tradition and not vote as a bloc for their own.

Second, notwithstanding their overstocked wallets–which no doubt will have an impact in all other races, Central power brokers will be surprised how things are vast and fast changing, I would not be surprised they pull the rug from under the feet of those otherwise counting on their support, and rally with the winner, who should be obvious by then, especially if we go to Round Two.

Third, I have yet to pen my last part of my series of blogs on HMK but I have a perfect recommendation for her that I’ll share about her presidential ambitions.

Hint: Not 2012.

That’s coming soon.

Peace, Love and Unity

Samuel N. Omwenga, Esq.

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Posted by on July 27, 2011 in Politics


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My Response To A Kalenjin Still In Denial About the Truth Regarding Raila and Rift Valley Politics

The following is my comprehensive response to a Kalenjin netter who raises the same old false claims about Raila and Rift Valley, and specifically, that Raila has no chance in getting votes in the Rift Valley, when ever indication is, Raila will do just fine and is making every effort, as he should, to make sure this is, indeed, the case in the end.

My response:

Before I respond to your harangue below, or even before you read mine, you should first go to my blog and read what I have written about Ruto. I know what I have written about him is a lot, so just read Who Is William Ruto Part V and you’ll see that I have done a thorough legal analysis of the case against him, Kosgey and Sang, and concluded all 3 men will not be convicted either at the Hague or in Kenya for the legal reasons I state in the blog.

You will notice that I have provided objective, legal reasons, not the the emotional banter you offer below, why Ruto should not be charged as he is, let alone tried or convicted.

You say, “Folks, I am forced to respond to the current discussion in the sense that there seems to be total idiots in this forum who spout their hatred for Mr. William Rutto.

If you have perused my blog as I suggested, you have therefore readily noted that I am the opposite of those “idiots” who “spout their hatred for Mr. William Ruto.”

In fact, not uncharacteristic of me, I have shown and continue to show nothing but love and kindness for Ruto not because I have to, but because I have no reason not to.

You’ll notice in my blogs about him that I have analyzed and concluded he is a selfish schemer but so are many a politician.

I recently hinted here and elsewhere that I am about to post my last blog about him, and last plea to him to wake up and make amends with Raila, thereafter I’ll wash my hands of him and wait to tell him, I told you so, if he still remains stone deaf to my counsel.

BTW, I have several questions for you: Does someone have to be an idiot in order to “spout their hatred for Mr. William Ruto?”

Or put it differently, is there a correlation between hate and intellect?

Is an idiot more prone to hate for no reason than a genius?

Conversely, is a genius more prone to love than hate for any reason?

I am not a psychologist but I know enough to tell you hate is driven by neither stupidity nor intelligence but by emotion, so labeling people as idiots, just because they express hate, if they do, is simply misplaced and unnecessary verbiage; just stick to telling us what it is they have said that is hateful of Ruto.

In other words, labeling people as idiots does not make them less or more haters and neither does it make them good or bad haters, assuming, as one must, that you mean being an “idiot” hater is worse than an intelligent hater.

Makes no sense to me and thus my effort to point out to you, in debate or any other discourse for that matter, avoid labeling people names; just make your case and let your reader or listener come to conclusions as to who is an idiot or whatever you are trying to describe, you, or those you describe as such: the determining factor is the content of your debate or discourse.

You say, “I bet some of these retards doesn’t even know the man other than what the so called Kenyan National Commission on Human Rights (read Omar Hassan) espouses!!!

Someone can say you are a retard by your incorrect use of English grammar in your sentence calling others retards; who is right? My point is the same, just avoid calling people names as it neither makes nor advances whatever point you are trying to make and, even more importantly, they, too, can call you the same thing so where does that leave the discourse?

Nowhere other than downward spiraling.

You say, “Despite  being a Kalenjin, I haven’t necessarily been a vocal supporter of Mr. Rutto. I have nothing against the man. My main beef ( which a lot of my tribesmen vilified me for), was the fact that he supported Mr. Raila Odinga in 2007. I had vigorously told the said folks that Raila was not a man to be TRUSTED.”

Question for you: Who did you tell these “folks” was to be trusted in 2007 in lieu of Raila?

I can ask you to tell us what reasons you told these “folks” why Raila could not be trusted in 2007 but that would be unhelpful.

You say, “All of them now tell me that I was right all along in my analysis.”

Well, congratulations on this staggering feat.

You say, “And to reiterate again, I have nothing against Mr.Raila.My opinion has always been that he is not cut to be the President of Kenya.

In the new Kenya, leaders must be elected, based not on opinion and innuendo, which can easily be manipulated, but based on provable and demonstrable facts and information that establish one’s qualification to be elected president.

Just as your claim that you advised your fellow Kalenjins that Raila was not to be trusted in 2007, your assertion that you have always held an opinion that Raila is “not cut” to be president of Kenya is equally devoid of any substance upon which either can can be evaluated and therefore both must be dismissed as nothing but hyperbole.

You say, “Who knows, may be I am just biased since he one tried to overthrow a legitimately elected government of the Republic of Kenya.”

I, too, am with you on this bias. I have actually never understood to this day why people bother to liberate their fellow country men and women from “legitimately elected” but oppressive governments. My view is, these governments should and ought to be allowed to continue oppressing their people with impunity and if people have an issue with that, they should wait until the next elections and vote these oppressive governments out. If these oppressive governments have put in place mechanisms to ensure that they “legitimately” remain in power, then this is a fact we all must learn to live with rather than trying other means to remove them from from power so I agree with you, Raila’s admitted involvement in efforts to remove the oppressive government of Moi from power is nothing he should be proud of and nobody should ever give him any credit for his gallant and sacrificial efforts to liberate the people of Kenya for which he ended up paying dearly.

You say, “And it has nothing to do with a Kalenjin being the president then.”

I am with you here, too; why should it make a difference which tribal leader is oppressing his people. The key thing is, if it is a “legitimately” elected government, it should ought to be allowed to oppress its people at will and without any recourse for those who feel compelled to do something about it.

You say, “Call me naive if you want, I just don’t believe and TRUST those folks who want power EVEN TRHOUGH THE BARREL OF A GUN.

Again, I could not agree with you more; people like Nelson Mandela should never, ever be trusted and I don’t even understand why Mandela was ever elected president of South Africa, having previously resorted to armed struggle to liberate black and colored South Africans. Rather than resorting to armed struggle, the best thing Mandela and ANC could have done in fighting apartheid and the oppressive regime of South Africa should have been simply look the other way, while their people were being oppressed.
Ditto for Raila; rather than resorting to other means to remove the oppressive Moi from power, the best thing he should have done is to simply look the other way, while Kenyans continued to be oppressed.

Never mind that Raila’s efforts and sacrifices and those of others led to the Second Liberation and now the Third Liberation with the promulgation of the new constitution. As you say, these people cannot be trusted for putting their lives on the line for the sake of liberating the people of Kenya.

You say, “I know Raila’s die-hards are hyperventilating at this juncture.”

This is one die-hard Railaist who’ll never hyperventilate over anything he reads here or anywhere else for that matter.

You say, “Just calm down and read on!

Again, no “hyperventilation” here, but I am reading on.

You say, “I have nothing against Tinga alias Arap Mibei. He just happens to be a radical. Well, nothing wrong being a radical.

I assume you have already identified your own contradiction, if not hypocrisy in this assertion, viz what you have said above?

Actually, I am one on some level since my undergrad major is political science.”

Pursuing an undergraduate degree in political science makes you a radical? What am I missing here?

You say, “But being a radical and being a Statesman are two different things.

Not necessarily, but what’s your point?

You say, “Raila has never has the fortitude to be one[Statesman].

Raila is, in fact, a statesman and has been for a very long time; at least since 2008 when he took the high road and agreed to share power with Kibaki, who he had defeated at the polls.

You say, “Raila is no Nelson Mandela or Dr. M L King Jr.

Raila has never said he is a Nelson Mandela nor has he ever claimed he is a Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

However, if you must go there, let me state the obvious that Raila has a lot in common with the two great men than any presidential candidate in Kenya today and for a long time to come.

To illustrate, close your eyes and think pick any of the candidates other than Raila and try to compare any with these great men; see anything in common with them?


Now do the same thing with Raila; see anything in common?

If you don’t see at least 5, you need to hit those political science books a little harder.

You say, “[Raila] never knew and still doesn’t know how to be a REAL LEADER!

You are so acerbically alone in this view, there is no need to comment on it any further.

You say, “Like I was telling my folks, Raila came to “bite the hand that fed him“.

I assume you are here trying to say something about Kale’s voting for Raila only to have him “bite” them?

This is such a tired lie first put forth by Ruto and now you and others.

Raila never has and never will do anything to “bite” anyone’s hand that feeds him; his enemies and distractors relish on telling lies to the contrary but in the end, they shall all come to pass with no effect.

You say, “And folks, we are entitled to our own opinions, but what we are not entitled to, is our own sets of facts! Never!

Of course; unless it serves our own purposes and propaganda.

You say, “The truth of the matter is that Raila owes the position of PM to the electorate of Rift Valley(read kalenjins). Thats a fact that Railalets don’t even want to fathom or acknowledge! Too bad coz you can’t argue with facts.

Please heed to your own counsel, with my caveat: you are entitled to your own opinion but not your own set of facts.

You have here manufactured your own set of “facts” and now wish that I or anyone argue with them?

No way.

You say, “Raila has lost the Kalenjin vote

No; he has not. He may have lost some votes of the likes of you and a few others Ruto has managed to misinform and mislead but by every indication is, Raila will harvest a good chunk of votes in the Rift Valley, if not sweep it altogether.

You say, “As to why Mr. Raila has lost the Kalenjin vote and why, is a story for another day.

Very clever. You have nothing to say about something, better not say anything at all.

You cannot articulate a single reason why Raila has “lost” the Kalenjin vote other than Ruto’s lies and distortions.

Note one.

You say, “But it is suffice to say that Tinga doesn’t have any clear path to State House other than Nyanza proper and his Langata domicile.”

You are so acerbically alone in this view, there is no need to comment on it any further.

You say, “Anyone wishing to win the presidency has to go through Kalenjin land.

You missed the memo.

The message we are preaching now is ending tribalism as a determinative factor in presidential elections.

With Raila’s win in 2012, the big, fat, ugly animal of tribalism would be slain and never to be heard of again.

So, get with the program and start preaching the same message.

No one has to go through Kalenjin land, or Kikuyu land, or Kisii land, or whatever people’s land to win the presidency; they just need to be elected on the strength of their qualifications and their vision for the country.

This is what Raila is running on and, as I have repeatedly stated, he wins, the whole country wins, he loses, tribalism prevails much to the jubilation of the likes of you, which shall be sad, indeed, for the country.

You say, “Those are the realities of politics in Kenya as of today. Anyone saying different is just bwoggable or has been drinking a lot of kool-aid!

I am saying what you say is not the reality of politics in Kenya as of today and no, I am not “bwoggable” and neither have I been drinking any kool-aid.

In fact, I am sipping fine Kenyan tea, as I am penning this response to you.

You say, “Now the Kalenjin mood has shifted again and things have become elephant in Tingas ODM. Tinga has lost control and things in ODM are nolonger at ease!!!

I suggest you read my two blogs in which I have thoroughly analyzed the Rift Valley “issue” and concluded Raila will do just fine there and these are, My Response to Those In Denial About Raila’s Successful Moves In RV, and The News About Rift Valley ODM MPs Getting Set To Regain Ground Is Good News for the Country.

Everything you have said about Ruto is emotional blather I need not respond to.

As I suggested above, you should have read my blog on what I have said about PEV, Ruto and ICC, which is what you are trying to say in your emotional, and sometimes angry blather but all you need to say, I have already said in my blog, which I suggest you read, if you have not already for what types of arguments you should be making instead of what you have here.

BTW, I know this is so difficult for the likes of you, but can you try to make your arguments without dragging Raila into every argument you try to make, even where there is clearly no connection?

The last time I checked, there were only six suspects charged with PEV.

Yet, you have spent breathless moments here in futile efforts to make Raila the seventh suspect.

I can tell you are good at making up facts as in when you claim that Kalenjin’s made Raila PM, but no amount of creativity in the manufacture of facts can lead to you or anyone creating any, even for purposes of propaganda, that could even remotely link the Right Hon. Prime Minister Raila Amolo Odinga to PEV.

You can’t do that and neither can anyone else among all of you who refuse to accept facts and reality when it comes to RAO.

You say, “But my bet is on Kalonzo Musyoka as the man to beat next year.”

Please go to my blog A Conversation With Kalonzo Musyoka for my take on the man.

I have elsewhere said, if Kalonzo were to somehow be elected president, I would have to move to a neighboring country and live there until I fully recover from the shock.

Peace, Love and Unity

Samuel N. Omwenga, Esq.



Posted by on July 27, 2011 in Politics


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My Response to Objections to My Open Letter to the President Regarding Tribalism

The following is my response to a netter who raised some objections to my Open Letter to the President urging him to take the lead in ending tribalism by urging our brothers and sisters from Central to vote for candidates other than their “own.”

My response:

On your first point about Kibaki not himself being a believer in ending tribalism, we are not necessarily in disagreement; this is part reason why I, in fact, wrote to him about this, if anything to try and see if, in these waning days of his presidency, he can perhaps make amends, or try to as a patriotic Kenyan.

You can therefore say mine is a call to Kibaki’s patriotism to do the right thing, which we can all agree transcends tribalism.

I noted in my letter that I know this is a tall order for him and have elsewhere said old habits die hard, but I am an optimistic person by nature and am therefore optimistic he will indulge me, at least part of my request.

Although most people who follow my blog know who I support, I did not ask Kibaki in my letter to endorse or “anoint” my candidate; I merely urged him to make sure (out of lack of better language to express what I mean) that the next president is a person who is not only qualified and fit to be president, but more importantly he or she must be one who must unite, not divide the country.

I then suggested to him that, given those who have declared their candidacy, there is only one who fits the bill (referring to my candidate of choice) but for all I know, Kibaki could conclude it’s someone else and that’s fine, as long as it’s not someone from his backyard, which is one of my other point that I am glad you partially agree with, namely, this habit of voting one’s “own” must be shunned.

Talking about this, there is nothing unconstitutional in my suggestion that Kibaki should tell our brothers and sisters from Central to give us a break from yet another Kikuyu president—at least for this and even the next circle.

I am not urging Kibaki to ban or otherwise prevent anyone from Kikuyuland from vying for the presidency; I am just telling him let them vie but let him encourage the good people from the region not to vote for them just because they are Kikuyu but instead encourage them to spread their love and vote for “outsiders.”

In other words, let Kibaki use his presidential pulpit to drill home the message we must end the habit of voting for “our own” and yes, I include in that every other tribe in Kenya that does so but he is from the House of Mumbi and I don’t know a single person who can better effect that message there at this time in our history other than Kibaki himself.

I am fairly confident if he does so, tribalism will be dealt a major, if not fetal blow not just in Central but elsewhere in the country.

This is the right thing to do, in my view and no tortured reading of the constitution could find this noble gesture a contravention of it in any way.

Also, please note there is a huge difference between what I am proposing and what Moi attempted to do: Moi was trying to force down our throats a clearly unqualified person tupende tusipende; I am urging Kibaki to tell our brothers and sisters from Central to spread their love and vote for candidates other than their own as a way of breaking from the choke-hold of tribalism and thus pave the way for a new Kenya where tribalism is not a determinative factor in presidential elections.

I urge other communities to do the same thing.

BTW, this does not mean the communities must vote willy nilly or regardless of the “outsider’s fitness to be president; far from it.

It is perfectly okay for any community to vote 100% for their own, if they deem others running not qualified or fit to be president.

The distinction is, they cannot base that conclusion on tribalism.

An example: If only Martha Karua and 10 buffoons are running for president, I am perfectly okay for all Kikuyus to vote for her and would expect all other Kenyans to vote for her under these circumstances, notwithstanding my position we deserve a break from yet another Kikuyu president.

In other words, tribalism would not be a factor in this sense and in fact, a scenario like this would force people to think outside ukabila box, which is what I am urging.

As for amending the constitution to require, or prohibit, in this case, back to back presidencies from the same community, this would not work, as you correctly point out as well and neither is it necessary.

Once people are educated and informed enough to understand and accept that we cannot just vote for a presidential candidate simply because he or she is our “own,” this issue will take care of itself.

I disagree with you Daktari that all of the current aspirants for the presidency are incapable of bringing about the unity and change in governance we all desire.

Brace yourself please….one of them certainly can and that is Raila.

Peace, Love and Unity

Samuel N. Omwenga, Esq.

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Posted by on July 26, 2011 in Politics


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An Open Letter to H.E. Emilio Mwai Kibaki, C.G.H., M.P., President of the Republic of Kenya

Samuel N. Omwenga, Esq.

Silver Spring, MD


H.E. Emilio Mwai Kibaki, C.G.H, M.P,

President of the Republic of Kenya

State House

Nairobi, Kenya

Re: Open Letter About Ending Tribalism In Kenya

Dear Mr. President:

You have served and continue to serve our country well, despite what happened during and after the disputed elections of 2007.

Indeed, in a previous communication to Your Excellency, I in behalf of other Kenyans acknowledged that you have done good, in redeeming your legacy and that the only thing left to seal it, is for you to ensure peaceful handover of the presidency to your successor, preceded by a period of peaceful campaigning and elections.

Your Excellency, the legacy you will leave behind from your illustrious career as an academician, cabinet minister, politician, father and now president of our country is beyond what I can describe within the scope of this letter.

Suffice to say, Your Excellency, that your name and that of the Right Hon. Prime Minister Raila Odinga, will be forever associated with leading the fight for, and ultimately ensuring passage of the new constitution, which we are already witnessing its impact and are enjoying some of its benefits that have eluded us, as a nation for decades, with an expectation for more.

With the appointment of the new Chief Justice and the rest of the justices of the Supreme Court having been accomplished under the new constitution—and to the satisfaction of all Kenyans, we are confident that further and necessary judicial reforms are also underway.

We are also equally confident that efforts to undermine implementation of the rest of the constitution shall not prevail and that therefore it’s only a matter of time for Kenyans to enjoy all the benefits of the new constitution.

It is accordingly our expectation, Your Excellency that, with the full implementation of the new constitution and execution of the concomitant judicial and political reforms, we as a nation shall finally be able to deal a serious, if not fetal, blow to poor governance, corruption, and impunity.

That’ll be all good but will not be everything.

We have a much more urgent and equally significant malady that we must cure ahead of the next general elections, and that is, tribalism.

This, Your Excellency, is the reason I am writing to you.

When we say Your Excellency needs to ensure peaceful handover of power to your successor, as well as ensure a preceding period of peaceful campaigning and elections, we are also implicitly asking Your Excellency, and now openly urge you to use your power and influence to make sure that we not only have free and fair elections in 2012 but, equally importantly, you must ensure that tribalism is crushed as the determinative factor in electing our leaders, especially at the presidential level.

If you accomplish this, Your Excellency, namely, if you play a key role in ending tribalism as a major determinative factor in presidential elections, Your Excellency would not only have presided over the changing of Kenya from the old to the new, with passage of the new constitution, you would have also planted a seed that would germinate to an even more beautiful Kenya where our affairs are governed not by tribe and negative ethnicity, but by who we are as Kenyans.

As Kenyans, we have for years and decades had a reputation throughout much of the world as a peace loving people.

Few, if any, would disagree, even in spite of 2008 that we are not incapable of living in peace and harmony with one another, divided only by the artificial boundaries necessary for administrative functions of the government.

We are quite capable of doing this, Your Excellency, and its my belief an opportunity presents itself for Your Excellency to set the stage in moving our country in that direction and create an atmosphere of improved ethnic relations upon which your successor can build and take to an even higher level, starting with the elimination of tribalism as a determinative factor in presidential elections.

This, namely, ending tribalism, Your Excellency, ought to be and must be your most significant and everlasting gift you can give our country, which in turn will result in leaving a legacy for you beyond any other, grand as each shall be.

Your Excellency, the question should not be whether you ought to play a key role in ending tribalism in Kenya, rather, the question should be, what role should you play in ending this debilitating disease of tribalism?

Your Excellency, let me suggest that merely urging Kenyans to end tribalism will not do because this has been tried and urged by every known leader since we can remember, but all to no avail.

Part of that is because the very leaders who call for an end to tribalism in the day, are often busy practicing or scheming to practice it at night.

Some, especially a number of those interested in succeeding you, Your Excellency, have made it known their ticket to State House is perfecting tribalism and they are openly pursuing this as their sole strategy, even to this day and, unless something is done to stop them, it shall be their sole strategy to the end.

Your Excellency, you must stop them in their tracks with this heinous scheme for success of their strategy, shall be further perpetuation of tribalism.

Tumechoka na mambo ya ukabila, Mzee.

We must end tribalism, and this is the ideal time to do so, Your Excellency.

The way I see it, Your Excellency, there are a number of things you can do to lead in this effort to defeat tribalism based schemes to succeed you and therefore cleanse our nation of this debilitating disease of tribalism in Kenya and these are:

First, and I say this with all due respect, Your Excellency, it is incumbent upon you, as the president of our nation, to inform our brothers and sisters from Central that, with 42 tribes in Kenya, and having had Your Excellency and our first President Mzee Jomo Kenyatta elected from Central to lead our country, let our brothers and sisters from the area show love and unity with other Kenyans and vote for someone other than their own this time around.

Doing so, Your Excellency, will not be the end of Central as some might seriously believe; rather, it would be the beginning of a new and fresh relations between our brothers and sisters from Central and the rest of the country, the past notwithstanding.

I fully realize this is a tall order, Your Excellency, and that most will advise against Your Excellency undertaking such earthshaking action but this is what greatness in leadership demands and more so, unless and until our brothers and sisters from Central are made to understand and accept the altruism that all Kenyans are equal and that no one tribe or ethnic group should be deemed the preferred one over the others, we shall continue to struggle with the issue of tribalism in Kenya until such a time as this altruism is significantly accepted by our brothers and sisters from Central, which shall be a matter of time, as it is.

I say this, Your Excellency, because there are clear indications many from Central have already shaken themselves free of this debilitating disease of tribalism and view issues not from its prism, but progressively as to how best to move our country forward regardless of tribe or ethnicity, which is commendable.

This is a development, Your Excellency must fully and without delay take advantage of and lead in stepping up efforts to maximize its potential.

It’s our belief Your Excellency is in a unique position to so deliver, given where we are as a nation, your history and background.

Second, Your Excellency should reconsider your position reported the other day in the media that you will remain neutral and let those vying to succeed you, battle it out on their own and let Kenyans choose in the end, one among them to succeed you.

Under ordinary circumstances, this would be a very commendable and, indeed, the only position to take as our president.

As things stand relative to the upcoming elections, Your Excellency, these are no ordinary circumstances for both practical and historical reasons that Your Excellency is fully aware, thus the need for Your Excellency to play your hand, if not directly, certainly indirectly to make sure a successor is elected who is not only qualified to take over from you in every respect, but also one who can unite, not divide the country.

Third, if Your Excellency is reluctant or unwilling to actively influence or offer hints as to who your preferred successor should be—and there is really only one candidate who fits the bill, Your Excellency, if one were to assess all the declared candidates objectively, but be as it may be, the least you can do in playing a key role in ending tribalism as a determinative factor in presidential elections, Your Excellency, is to make sure those who wish to exploit tribalism as a means of reaching the State House, do not succeed at all in doing so.

This is something Your Excellency must do not just as our nation’s leader but in your personal capacity as well for I believe Your Excellency would agree, it’s time Kenya moved beyond tribalism and elected our president regardless of what tribe or ethnic group they hail from, as long as they are qualified and are otherwise fit to hold that office.

Abraham Lincoln, the great American president, freed slaves in America in 1863.

Your Excellency should lead in finally freeing Kenya from tribalism in 2012.

This is our prayer and may the grace of God be with you as you ponder these and other heavy issues you must deal with as our president.




Samuel N. Omwenga, Esq.


Posted by on July 25, 2011 in Politics, Uncategorized


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The Kikuyu Must Lead In Ending Tribalism In Kenya, Followed by the Kalenjin and then the Rest of the Country

I have just returned to the US from my most recent trip to Kenya and even though I frequently visit home, I must say it’s always quite refreshing just being home and each time I visit, there is something new I discover, or observe—and  this trip was no different.

I will find time to more fully share my thoughts about what my other observations were on this particular trip but the one that I feel compelled to write about now, relates to my observation or information I was able to learn regarding the vastly changing attitudes and political maturity among our Kikuyu brothers and sisters from Nyandarua, Nyeri, Kirinyaga, Muranga and Kiambu counties or just for convenience, let me refer to the whole group by its old name, Central Province.

Having extensively written on the issue of ending tribalism in Kenya, I must confess even as I write about the subject, I am often resigned in the background this is just but a dream wish for some progressives like myself because the reality of it is, old habits die hard.

Thus, even when I suggest as I have in the past that, if I were a Kikuyu, I would start an organization I have variously described as Kikuyu’s Against Another Kikuyu President –or something to that effect—something in the back of my mind keeps telling me this is simply a utopian dream.

I could be wrong and would obviously be glad to be so.

I have hastened to add that I hold that view—of not another Kikukuyu president; at least not this round or next, anyway—not because I have anything against Kikuyu’s—I don’t—but I do hold this view for the same reasons other progressive Kikuyus hold the same view, and that is, it is just neither fair nor just for an ethnically diverse and vast country such as Kenya to have two of its three presidents since its independence, hailing from the same tribe.

It’s the Clinton Fatigue, if you will, that many believe denied Hilary her official date with destiny at the White House; ditto for the Bush Fatigue whereby Jeb Bush who, better than his brother he might be, or even better than his father for that matter he could be, the United States of America simply can’t take another Bush at the White House; not any time soon, anyway.

And that includes anyone who may not be related but has the same name—just not another BUSH!

Same concept for Kenya—okay, Kenya goes more in that not just another Kenyatta (sorry UK) but not another Kikuyu either.

As noted above, not a shred of tribalism in many of us who say so;  just a fact of life, if we are to be intellectually honest about these things.

All of us as Kenyans were happy to have and accepted Mzee Jomo Kenyatta as our first president and we lived with the fact that he was to be our president to the day he drew his last breath, which was fine; the man, after all, was very instrumental in our country’s gaining independence.

For purposes of this blog, I am not interested and neither am I evaluating the merits or demerits of Kenyatta’s rule.

That’ll be for another day

Kenyatta was, of course, succeeded by Daniel Toroitich Arap Moi.

Again, I am not interested and neither am I offering any evaluation of these two as our first and second president.

My point is, in 2002, having been fed up with the Moi rule, Kenyans in a euphoria never seen before, showed Moi and his pet project Uhuru the door and ushered in the Kibaki era.

Any informed political observer could not but recognize that, just like his father Jaramogi made the Kenyatta presidency possible, Raila, the son, made the Kibaki presidency possible by his “Kibaki Tosha” declaration.

In other words, Jaramogi assessed what was best for the country, and concluded it was best to put his own political ambitions on the side and make it possible for his friend Kenyatta to become president for the good of the country.

Fast forward to 2002, Jaramogi’s son, Raila, was faced with essentially the same decision, albeit under different circumstances, namely to do that which was politically expedient for him personally, or to do what was right for the country and just like his father before him, Raila chose to back Kibaki with his “Kibaki tosha” declaration, which made it possible for Kibaki, to be elected president.

These were not insignificant acts by either men from the Lake region.

On their own, conducting themselves in their respective times with such unparalleled political judgment and vision, except son mirroring father, coupled with their unmatched sense of self-confidence and sound decision making in the face of the most difficult of times, except as son mirroring father in this only such known example, these are qualities that have already enshrined the names Jaramogi Oginga Odinga and and Raila Amolo Odinga in the annals of Kenyan political history.

But the last chapter has yet to be written about this unique power making ability of father and son that is certain not to be seen again in our country, or elsewhere for that matter.

What reward does either of these men deserve for stepping in at the right time in our country’s critical points and acting unselfishly to save a nation of uncertainty but ensuring her of certainty as to new leadership of its people when doing otherwise would have perpetuated an undesirable status quo much to more suffering of the country?

Jaramogi was briefly rewarded with vice-presidency, only to have it taken away and he sent on permanent political exile.

I do always find it very poignant about Kenyatta, however, when he declared in Kisumu that, but for his friendship with Jaramogi, he would have had him arrested that day.

That alone is all anyone needs to study and understand about Kenyatta, Kenya and our politics, vastly changing as it is today: but for friendship…

What about Raila? What was his reward for “Kibaki tosha?”

What about the friendship between the two, born from that period of campaigning when a wheelchair bound Kibaki could not much campaign but his friend did so for him?

Was this friendship for naught as many feared following the elections of 2007?

Is it still for naught even long after the signing of the peace accord in Kenya?

Again, this is an analysis for another day but those of you who follow my writing, you’ll know I have previously and on more than one occasion suggested in open communication to Kibaki that, what a sweet irony it would be, for him to hand over power to Raila, the man who made him president to begin with, and the man who believes he stole the presidency from him in the second place.

Now, that’s a toast everyone would have to agree will be the mother of all toasts for our country not just because of the irony in it all but it shall be an essential and necessary point of closure as well.

I say essential and necessary point of closure as well because I believe closure must occur to complete this historic saga between the two men from the Lake region and the two men from Central, respectfully.

It’ll also mark the end of tribalism as we know it for other tribes will and must follow suit, especially given the likely healing to take place with Raila’s presidency.

It will be, of course, purely a matter of great intrigue were UK to wake up one of these mornings and head up to Raila’s residence and ask RAO to make him Vice President, thus, the son of our First President seeks Vice President from the son or our First Vice President who never saw the inside of State House as president thanks to the father of the son who now seeks the VP spot from the son who likely will occupy the office his father was unable to occupy as all roads to it were blocked by the son’s father whose own road to the State House appears to be all but blocked.

Purely a matter of great intrigue but I am afraid the time of it has come and gone.

In other words, there would have been a time this could have been possible, intriguing or otherwise.

That time has been overtaken by events.

The dynamics in Central are changing so fast, even a scenario where UK were to be VP Candidate will be quickly rejected by the good people of Central, telling Raila he could do better and he must.

But not without help from the good people of Central.

I think they hold the key to majorly dealing with tribalism in Kenya.

It’s their right of first refusal, and I truly hope and believe they take up the opportunity and just deliver.

Otherwise, by failing to do so, does not and will not mean we cannot end or deal a major blow to tribalism come 2012: we shall and we must I just wish our brothers and sisters take heed and provide the leadership.

They have risen to the occasion in the founding of our nation but that was only half the battle.

The major battle lies ahead in combating the trio vices of tribalism, corruption and impunity.

We are well underway in dealing with the other two, but tribalism looms large and must be confronted from all directions.

Asking the Agikuyu to lead in this war (to end tribalism), should and is intended to honor them and their contribution in our country’s history.

No one and certainly not I wishes to render any of them irrelevant or less important as we move forward with a new Kenya.

By historical nature and other considerations, the Kikuyu shall and will always be an integral part of the Kenyan social-economic and political fabric.

What I am urging, is a recognition of this and looking beyond 2012 and for our brothers and sisters to decide now and presently how best to proceed together towards these idealistic goals we must attain as a nation.

How Kikuyus vote in 2012 will reveal quite a bit about how the community sees its role in the vastly changing and new Kenya: vote as a block for one of their own and remain stuck in the past or move in the direction of new Kenya by spreading their vote around as they ought to, even on a limited and constrained manner.

As I always say, if there is tomorrow, there is hope.

I have been thinking about the Kikuyu factor last several days and putting aside those who belong to two voting  blocks at the national level, which I believe will shape and even decide the politics of 2012 and that is the Youth and Women voters blocks, there are three voting blocks in Central that I can see as follows:

  1. The Progressives Group A. This group is relatively young, intelligent and sophisticated enough not to be swayed by cheap politics. You’ll insult this group, if you try to get their vote by telling them you are so or by flashing your ill-gained wealth. To get this group’s vote, you’ll have to tell them precisely why you are running for president, what you intend to do and what difference will that make to the country, let alone their own bottom lines. This group is very quiet and merely observing the noise makers but in the end, will cast their vote or not at all, depending whether they are impressed by any of the candidates. They are willing to accept, and in fact would prefer a non-Kikuyu president so long as that person makes the case and persuades them they deserve their vote. This group will be the swing vote in Central just as their counterparts will be in other regions of the country.
  2. The Progressives Group B. This group is relatively older, and in some cases very old. They are intelligent and sophisticated as well, if less than their Progressive Group A counterpart. They are old school in every respect: conservative and old fashioned, that is. They will not vote for a woman for president so any aspiring woman for president may as well not waste much time with them. Ditto for every presidential candidate. They know precisely who they are going to vote for but would not admit publicly. Having value and political capital associated with their names, and especially having been around for so long, their value is in quietly rooting for their victor. Any candidate will get mileage merely by being publicly seen with them but that in by itself shall remain a rarity until perhaps very close to elections day. Their word is bankable and so are bills in their overstocked wallets. They are a swing vote but for a different purpose: they will determine how far tribalism is to be tackled in Central Province than any single group. Unlike they younger counterparts in progressive thinking, they are not all that gang-ho about voting for anyone outside of central. The goal is not to have them say not in which case it’ll be a definitely road to nowhere by the recipient of such a curse from any one of them, which in essence is a collective force for they think alike, drink tea alike and influence votes alike.
  3. The Village Kings. They are old with very little formal education but they can write a thesis on Central politics. They are to Central what Central is to the rest of the country. A force to reckon. They are not likely; in fact, they will not vote for anyone outside their own backyard or frontyard, if at all. They have never been happy with any president, including Kenyatta himself but he stands and will always stand tall than any you can dare compare him to; from near or afar. Theirs, is a question of loyalty to the House of Mumbi . Nothing more nothing less. To vary their thinking to the point they can vote someone outside Central, will take something of a small miracle. In fact, it’ll take a fairly large miracle of the kind not seen lately within our borders. Any presidential candidate is advised not to waste their time seeking votes from among this group. Only bet is to work with the Progressives Groups A or B in the hopes they can persuade a handful of them to cast their vote for them, and even then, merely as a token of appreciation for the effort and nothing more. In a tight race to the top, that handful may be the ones just necessary to get over the top and thus the advice never to give up hope, even on a tough group like this one. Indeed, one might even be surprised and find a bit more than a handful of votes from any of their counties. Every vote counts. This is what this expression is meant to describe.

For those who follow my writing, I have repeatedly made the case of all the presidential candidates, only Raila appears to be the one to beat and I can now categorically state contrary to the mistaken belief by many, by saying Raila is the man to beat does not mean Raila will be beaten by another man (or woman in that matter) rather, he will be beaten by the only force than can stop him and that is, tribalism or more specifically, what Kikuyu’s decide to do about it.

If Kikuyu’s were to look back at history, the choice for president for them come 2012 must be Raila, even if their own son is on the ballot.

This is because, as I have noted above, it’s neither fair nor just to deny others a chance at the presidency simply because your own is running.

Rather, there has to be a shift in paradigm on tribalism, which ought to and must begin in 2012.

Jaramogi was not looking at Kenyatta as a Kikuyu in deciding not to throw him under the bus and assuming the presidency himself.

Neither was Raila looking at Kibaki as a Kikuyu in deciding not to throw him under the bus and either heading to the State House himself, or throwing his weight behind someone else who would have been equally elected as Kibaki was in 2002.

Both men from the Lake region obviously knew the two individuals they supported in their respective times, were Kikukuyu men but that was not the deciding factor in their choosing to do what they did: they both looked at the men in their respective times and concluded each was fit and, indeed, the best person to take the helm of power in Kenya as president at the critical times in our history when, by their unselfish and nationalistic move, each declared their man tosha and the rest is history:

Jaramogi, in his mind, said “Kenyatta tosha” and that was enough to usher in the Kenyatta era.

Raila said “Kibaki tosha” and that was enough to usher in the Kibaki era.

Kenyatta is not around and neither is Jaramogi but I am willing to bet, had you asked Kenyatta, he would have preferred that Jaramogi succeed him as president and this I say notwithstanding the bitter ending of their once very warm relationship.

I am equally willing to bet Kibaki in his warm heart wishes Raila succeeds him as president, again notwithstanding the bitter rivalry between the two, especially leading up to the elections of 2007 and the aftermath.

This can be only a natural thing to do, unless one is not prone to natural tendencies.

All Kibaki has to do, is to call a rally anywhere in Central and simply say, Raila tosha.

He, of course, would have to say that in Kikuyu and that’s not being tribal; there is nothing wrong in expressing ourselves in a language that needs no translation in meaning, if it’s for good, not evil purpose.

Kibaki so declaring will accomplish several things:

First, it would show that Kibaki himself is not afraid to say to the country, “we need a break from another Kikuyu president.”

Second, this would reaffirm what most Kenyans being surveyed are saying to date and that is, among those who have declared their interest in the presidency, Raila really is the man so saying Raila tosha in this sense will replicate the history of 2002 and the euphoria that followed.

We need a good doze of that this time around and who better is positioned to deliver this than Kibaki himself.

Third, this would publicly remove the myth that exists out there that Kikuyus from Central will never vote for anyone from outside their region.

My sense of it, this is no longer the case but who can better eviscerate this myth than Kibaki himself.

Fourth, such a declaration will put an end to the permanent campaigns that are taking place even before MPs pass legislation implementing the Constitution under which the new elections must be held, which in turn will focus the energy now being expended in search of tribal groupings, to something more productive, if any.

Fifth, such a declaration shall put to rest this notion that Kibaki is not decisive.

I have said several times in the past that Kibaki is one decisive president we have heard, he just gets bad rap on this aspect of his presidency.

Kibaki has played his cards well as to the succession politics and I have no doubt he is busy doing things to both rehabilitate and solidify his legacy.

A declaration of Raila tosha in Central surely must and ought to feature somewhere in his bag of tricks and if not, he should seriously consider it.

I am willing to bet of my 3 groups I analyze above, one will be fully in support of such bold, objective and decisive move by Kibaki. One may be lukewarm and the other one would absolutely condemn the move.

Indeed, the challenge for Kibaki is how willing is he to dare the most adamantly opposed to the idea that he is his own man and can call the shots in full recognition of his responsibility as both president of the Republic of Kenya and the son of the House of Mumbi.

No one stands above him and neither can there be anyone who can dare question his wisdom, if he were to dare to do so.

Yes, they’ll call him names. Yes. They’ll curse him out.

But in the end, he will stand tall and fade into the glory of our country’s history as a shining example of true leadership beyond any we have witnessed in the country.

He will surpass both of his predecessors by far by just that one action to end the vile disease of tribalism.

His role in the passage of the new Constitution will be simply his other major accomplishment.

2007 will pale in comparison.

This is a dare.

Going by what I saw in a number of events in Kenya last week, including some I personally attended in Thika and Kandara, Kibaki’s message of Raila tosha will be very well received because my sense is, the people of Central are ready for such bold moves and declarations from the leaders from the region.

Raila can deliver the message and I am sure it’ll continue to be favorably received, with the help of his other supporters from the area but would it not be such a fresh day in Kenya consistent with the new spirit of a new Kenya if Kibaki were to make such a declaration, and not even stop there—CAMPAIGN for RAILA to succeed him as president!

Why not; what should he be afraid of? As FDR famously said, fear nothing but fear itself!

Yes, it’ll be earth moving stuff akin to earthquakes and tsunamis but Kenya needs nothing less to do deliver a major, if not a fetal blow to the debilitating disease of tribalism.

Okay, Kibaki need not say exactly “Raila tosha” in those exact words or even in Kikuyu; he merely needs to give a very strong signal to the people of Central—and all Kenyans for that matter, that we must henceforth judge and vote for our leaders, especially at the presidential level, not based on what ethnicity or tribe they hail from, rather, by their proven qualities of leadership and on this account alone, I have no doubt Kibaki will be comfortable and confident to say, Raila tosha.

Let’s hope he does so.



Posted by on July 20, 2011 in Politics


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Prof. Ongeri Must Resign or At Least Be Suspended: An Update

In response to my joining others in calling for at least the suspension of Prof. Ongeri as Minister of Education, pending a full and complete investigation as to who stole Ksh. 4.2 billion from his ministry, a blogger from the Rift Valley agreed with my position  but went on to insist Raila must still be blamed for Ongeri not being removed as minister—never mind he and others holding this view are the very same ones who were shouting the loudest that Raila had no authority to suspend or fire a minister, when he actually suspended Ongeri and Ruto when the money was initially discovered missing, only to be reversed by Kibaki.

The following is my response to the blogger:

We meet again. Good thing this time we at least have something in common. At this rate, we might end up agreeing on everything; well, almost everything important in the end, and that’s a good thing.

I do say this with a caveat I must and am willing to substitute my bifocals for a magnifying glass as I search through your postings to find something I’ll agree with you, but will do so with great pleasure.

Not surprisingly, I knew there was a “but” coming, even as I read your opening sentence agreeing with my position on Ongeri and surely it did in what you say right after that.

Not surprisingly either, I disagree with your “buts” (no pun intended) as follows:

You say, “Raila will not escape blame either.”

Sure; why should he. The man gets blamed for anything and everything, good or bad, even as in this Ongeri case where he took the correct and only right action, only to be reversed by Kibaki!

You say, “[Raila] seems to be toothless and he has in fact surrendered the running of the coalition government to Kibaki who with all due respect has failed miserably to crack the whip.

I actually agree with you to this extent: but for Kibaki’s henchmen, led by Muthaura, being so bent on frustrating Raila and doing everything they can to make sure he does not succeed as PM, the country would be already enjoying more of the fruits of his work ethic, vision and leadership more than we are and more so the reason he should be re-elected president in order to deliver on his promise of a new Kenya.

You say, “[Raila should have put his foot down and [made] it known to Kibaki why he had taken the steps he took.”

Two things: First, Raila did not have to tell Kibaki why he had undertaken the action he did in suspending Ongeri; the two co-equal leaders are briefed and have access to the same information. I know Kibaki gets the rap that he is hands off and has no clue what’s going on most of the time, but I beg to differ; he does, he just chooses to ignore the things he doesn’t care to be involved in but he is very hands-on on things he deeply cares about and it’s for this reason I am always giving him the benefit of doubt and hope or urge him to do the right thing. In any case, even if one is so cynical as to say Kibaki is aloof, I am pretty sure Raila discussed with him the suspension and would even dare postulate Mzee told him to go ahead and show his friend the door, but was prevailed upon by others to reverse himself and Raila at the same time.

Imagine you are the principle and a teacher recommends that a student you happen to know and like be suspended for serious wrong doing; yet his parents and their friends, your life long and trusted friends as well, strongly urge you not to: who do you listen to and do as they wish, knowing the decision to suspend or not to suspend is yours only–and by you, I here mean generic, not you, you?

That’s akin to the choice I think Kibaki faced and to some extent, still faces: do what the professional recommends is the right thing and at least suspend Ongeri, or protect him as he and the president’s own friends are urging him to do.

Second, if by “putting his foot down” you mean Raila should have insisted on some action against Ongeri beyond what he did and has done, my speculation is Raila may have figured it’s only a matter of time before he got vindicated and with the mounting pressure for something to be done finally about Ongeri, it may indeed be just a matter of time for that to happen.

Raila could have also put his foot down and insist on rescission of Kibaki’s swearing in in 2008, having strongly believed as he did, and had a majority of the country behind him in agreeing that he won the elections, but opted to compromise for the sake of peace and country.

These are but qualities of a good leader.

You say, “By keeping [quiet], he in fact came out weaker!!

Perhaps so to the feeble observer, but not to an astute one for, sometimes, a good leader lets the inevitable happen and basks in the glory of vindication, except even better leaders like Raila see that as just one more task successfully accomplished in the never ending tasks of a good leader like him and nothing to bask in glory about for it’s the country that’s ultimately the winner in a case like this, namely, if pressure mounts to accomplish the same thing the PM wanted from the beginning, and that is, suspension of Ongeri pending investigations of the theft in his ministry under his watch, and holding responsible those found culpable.

You say, “and this [not continuing to publicly challenge Kibaki for reversing him] gave rise to the believe that Raila is just a PM on paper!!

 Two things here: If Raila has been reduced to PM on paper by not challenging Kibaki more, even at the risk of getting the country into another crisis, why is he being blamed for everything that is not right with the government, while his enemies and real culprits are given the pass?

BTW, you do have a point and I appreciate your recognition as such, namely, reducing Raila to PM on paper only, has been the wish and an active campaign by many, especially those with the highest stakes in the succession game but, not uncharacteristically, he has thus far carefully and methodically rebuffed every single one of them and should ultimately succeed much to the benefit of the country, not just him.

In sum my brother, given you have found some room to agree, and given as I note above there is more we are yet to agree on, inch upon as it may be, my offer to you is, I’ll have you on my list of guests for a victory party I will host if, God willing, Raila wins the presidency on condition you’ll reciprocate, if your candidate of choice, wins?

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Posted by on July 4, 2011 in Politics


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Prime Minister Raila Odinga Did the Right Thing In Publicly Paying His Taxes and All MPs Should Follow Him, Instead of Stalling

Prime Minister Raila Odinga paid his tax bill publicly  a few days ago and did so in order to put pressure on other MPs to do the same thing, especially given almost all MPs are hunkered down in their position they don’t have to pay the taxes. A couple of other MPs, including Peter Kenneth also paid their taxes at the same time and a couple other have paid since. Kibaki apparently paid his, quietly.

Should the PM have paid his taxes quietly, too?

A number of the usual suspects have gone on attack, condemning the Prime Minister’s action as a self-serving publicity stunt.

What the PM has done, however, is leadership by example and, despite what naysayers say, it is a commendable act.

Now, let all the other MPs follow his lead in paying their taxes rather than stalling as they are.

I address each of these bogus accusations against the PM and his publicly paying of his taxes below but let me first address the legal questions in the issue.

The question of MPs paying the taxes as the taxman (KRA) has demanded, simply boils down to this:

Should MPs who were elected with a law in the books exempting them from paying certain taxes, now be forced to pay the taxes under the new constitution, even though legislation to operationalize the provision that removes the exemption in question,  is yet to be passed and signed into law?

Put another way, should the MPs be forced to pay taxes mid-stream, before the end of their term or even before all the regulations and procedures are in place to collect and pay the taxes to KRA?

This is a valid legal question, whose answer shall determine whether the MPs of the 10th Parliament are required to pay taxes as the taxman demands, or not.

There is no dispute, however, that MPs of the 11th Parliament will be required to pay, regardless of how the courts rule on this issue regarding the 10th Parliament.

As noted above, the question is whether sitting MPs in the current 10th Parliament should be required to pay the taxes or wait until after legislation is passed to require them to do so, or until after the new elections, whichever occurs first.

The relevant provision in dispute, is Article 210, which provides in pertinent part,

 (1) No tax or licensing fee may be imposed, waived or varied

except as provided by legislation.

(3) No law may exclude or authorise the exclusion of a State

officer from payment of tax by reason of—

(a) the office held by that State officer; or

(b) the nature of the work of the State officer.

MPs have always paid taxes on their basic salary; however, until the new constitution was passed, their allowances, which amount to close to Ksh1 million each month, were exempt from taxation, meaning, MPs did not have to pay taxes on these allowances.

By removing this exemption from payment of taxes on allowances, which is exactly what Article 210(3)(b) cited above does, the new constitution essentially imposes a new tax on MPs.

Under Article 210(1) cited above, however, “No tax or licensing fee may be imposed …except as provided by legislation,” thus the MPs argument they cannot be forced to pay the new taxes when there is no legislation on the books operationalizing the provision.

Very clever argument, especially when it’s Parliament itself that must pass the legislation!

On the other hand, there is a generally accepted principal in law that laws are not supposed to be ex post facto, meaning, laws should not be passed that punish or alter status of something or conduct that has already occurred.

MPs of the 10th Parliament were elected in 2007 and were sworn in January 2008. At the time of swearing, every MP was assured by the law existing at the time that their allowances will not be and accordingly relied on that assurance in making decisions, including what repayment based financial obligations and liabilities to incur.

Things changed midstream, however, with passage of the new constitution, which erased the tax exemption that existed at the time they were sworn in therefore they are arguing this law on their tax exemption should not apply to them until they finish their term.

Strictly as a matter of law, MPs making these arguments are on solid ground and the court may ultimately rule in their favor.

As a matter of public mood, however, the words “do not vote for me” are written all over the face of any MP who attempts to make that case to his or her constituents.

The better thing to do, thus, is for these MPs to pay the taxes as the PM and a handful other MPs have done.

Having paid his taxes, rather than wait for the matter to be resolved one way or another by either Parliament or the courts, one would expect everyone to commend the PM for doing the right thing.

One would be wrong in so expecting; this is, Raila we are talking about who to some never has and never will do anything for its own good sake.

I addressed one such person who took issue with Raila’s publicly paying his tax bill and I reproduce my response below for the benefit of those who have not seen my posting:

This is a classic straw man argument: set up a false premise, destroy the premises in your argument and voila, you won!

Congratulations but you have not addressed and neither can you disprove the premise and conclusion that, when KRA told MPs they need to pay their taxes and the MPs raised valid, legal and factual objections, Raila, as the leader he is, did the right thing in choosing to pay his taxes publicly so as others can follow as an example.

Rant and rave all you can, but that’s the fact and truth you cannot change regardless of how many times and how much you try.

BTW, you did not even destroy your false premises to make this a true straw man argument and here is why:

You ask, “was Raila the first one to pay taxes?”

You did not provide one  but the answer is no; Raila was not the first person to pay taxes in Kenya and if you must know, the first Kenyan to pay taxes was the Sultan of Malindi in 1502, according to Attiya Waris, an assistant lecturer at UON School of Law and specialist on such matters.

I know yours was a cynical rhetorical question but it still misses the point in that you are trying to insinuate or imply something wrong, and have actually stated as much, regarding Raila’s commendable act of leadership.

Your rhetorical but cynical question is also ill-advised for another reason and that is, Raila did not say and neither was he trying to say that he was the first Kenyan to pay taxes; rather, he was publicly paying his taxes as an example for other MPs to follow.

In other words, Raila did not say and neither was he saying, “there, I have paid my taxes; now all of you Kenyans need to pay yours” in which case your rhetorical question would have made sense but I doubt even the Sultan of Malindi ever said so therefore your insinuation is without merit.

You say, “millions of us Kenyans have been paying taxes and we continue to do so,” this is true but as to your question, “what is the big deal when Raila pays his?” the answer is, the big deal is, the MPs are likely to follow, despite their current objections because the PM has led by example and made it virtually impossible to avoid paying.

Conversely, had Raila not paid or simply took the position the MPs are taking, the Taxman would likely not seen a penny from any of the MPs now hunkered down.

You ask, “why for instance do you guys loose sight of the fact that this guy has been sitting pretty without paying taxes for the last 10 months.”

Raila said he did not previously pay his taxes because it is the responsibility of his employer to withhold and pay the taxes to KRA.

Please note the PM did not advance the legal arguments I have laid out above.

You say, “don’t you realize the guy is playing to the gallery when forced by circumstances?

No; Raila either paid his taxes when he concluded it was the right thing to do, given the circumstances as they evolved or he was forced to do so by the circumstances but the net outcome is the same, namely, he has led by example.

Which one of these propositions, (evolving or forced circumstances) is true and explains Raila’s motivation, depends on who is judging: someone who likes or supports Raila or someone who does not; I need not say who would choose what.

You say, “lets be honest, Raila has been a tax cheat for the last 10 months, he is a tax defaulter and no amount of explanation will change that fact!!

A tax cheat is someone who culpably evades paying taxes. When the taxman said MPs needed to pay taxes under the new constitution, the MPs balked and say they want legal interpretation of the applicable provision, arguing the new law does not apply to them or alternatively, their employer, PSC has not put in place procedures to collect the taxes.

Rather than await the courts to settle these valid legal challenges, Raila opted, and wisely so, to pay the taxes publicly so as to put pressure on the other MPs to do the same thing, which they are likely to do.

No one can be accused to be a tax cheat until and unless this issue is resolved one way or the other therefore Raila is not a tax cheat as you wish to brand him.

You say, “otherwise turning a distress moment to a publicity stunt is playing cheap!!

A publicity stunt that is good for the country, is a good thing.

You say, “this is one of those things Raila is good at.”

You are right; Raila is good at rallying people behind his cause and, if that includes paying his taxes publicly as he did, so other MPs can do the same thing, so be it.


Posted by on July 4, 2011 in Uncategorized


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