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Monthly Archives: September 2011

Prime Minister Raila Odinga Speaks to A Large Audience of Kenyans in Minneapolis, USA

Prime Minister Raila Amolo Odinga, accompanied by his wife, Dr. Ida Odinga, and several other dignitaries addressed Kenyans on Sunday in Minneapolis, USA

Besides enunciating his vision for Kenya as I reported in Prime Minister Raila Enunciates His New Vision In Speech to Kenyans In Minneapolis, the PM addressed several other important issues as I report below, including a summary of the state of affairs in the country since the formation of the coalition government.

The PM first thanked Kenyans in the Diaspora for the support they gave him in 2007, including those in Minneapolis where he had occasion to visit during the 2007 campaign.

The PM then went on to address the large audience gathered saying he had just recently called a meeting in Nairobi comprised of all the leaders from the Horn of Africa to address the food crisis in the region and at the end of that meeting, the leaders from these countries, namely Ethiopia, Djibouti, Somali, Eritrea, Kenya, Uganda, South Sudan, Rwanda and Burundi, signed what is now known as the Nairobi Declaration, a document that puts forth solutions for resolving the food crisis in the region.

The PM said he presented the Declaration at the UN on Saturday as part of his official visit to the United States.

The PM noted the plight of Somalis fleeing across the border to Kenya is truly monumental for Kenya to deal with alone and thus his decision to call the leaders from the Horn to discuss a solution which was expanded to include food crisis in the region as whole.

The PM said the number of Somali refugees in Daadab Camp has soared to 500,000 cramped in a camp that was only designed to hold not more than 90,000 refugees and more continue to come.

Indeed, the PM said in numbers only, the Daadab Camp is now the fourth largest population area in Kenya with only Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu having more people than the Daadab Camp.

This, the PM said, is a very serious problem facing our country and he is leading in efforts to find a lasting solution, with the help of the UN.

The PM noted the flow of refugees can only get worse as we cannot close the border because we must recognize and accept the fact these are people running away from famine and violence in Somali, with 80% of them being women and children and thus the reason we cannot turn our back on them.

The PM urged the UN to act with speed on the proposal he presented to the body and cited Ivory Coast and Libya as examples of the UN acting with speed to find a solution.

The PM was selected as a special negotiator to find a solution in Ivory Coast crisis following that country’s elections which saw the former president their clinging to power even after it was clear he did not win the elections but the UN ultimately intervened to end the crisis there.

The PM said the UN should equally act with speed to end the famine crisis in the Horn of Africa, particularly in Somalia has been at a state of civil war for more than 20 years.

The PM said the problem of food shortage is primarily due to corresponding shortage of rain as there is a strong correlation between the two.

Interestingly, the PM noted, there is evidence of global warming in Kenya as it normally does not rain Turkana in the months of September and October but this year we have had 115ml of rain.

The last time we had this much rain was in the 30s.

The PM said use of irrigation to maximize food production is needed as well as investment in infrastructure in the region to spur economic growth.

The PM reminded the audience that the time he was last in Minneapolis in 2007, Kenya’s economy was performing at 7.1% but in 2008, economic performance plummeted to 1.7% around where it hoovers even to date.

The PM said the downturn in economic growth was brought about by post-election violence and crisis, drought and global melt-down which started in the United States.

The PM said to counter the worsening economic conditions, Kenya had an economic stimulus akin to that the Obama Administration introduced in the US but quickly added Kenya did not have anything close to the USD billions Obama had, causing the audience to appreciatively laugh.

The PM noted a number of programs were initiated under this stimulus, including Kazi ya Vijana, which was designed to put money in the pockets of the young people and others were designed to help women get money for their various small businesses.

The PM also reminded the audience that during the 2007 election campaign, the PNU manifesto was continuation of status quo, and thus their slogan, “Kazi Iendelee” (Continue with Same Work) but ODM manifesto was effecting a radical shift from status quo and thus its slogan, “Kazi Ianze” (Let the Work Begin).

These, the PM noted, were exact opposite theories of governance but because of formation of the coalition government, the PM noted there had to be a mchanganyiko maalum (serious mix) by way of a compromise such that you had a bit of kazi iendelee and a bit of kazi ianze, the PM said to more laughter.

Kenya is operating under a coalition government that was created unlike anything we have had before and with that, comes challenges in execution but the PM noted there have been many achievements despite these challenges.

The PM noted the implementation of Vision 2030 is underway and explained Vision2030 is the government’s blue-print to have Kenya become an industrialized nation by 2030.

The PM noted Vision 2030 is built on three pillars: Economic, Social and Political and further noted progress has been made or is being made in these three fronts.

For example, there are flagship projects being implemented currently such special economic zones, road construction, development of ICT City (Malili), and general infrastructure development.

In the education sector, the PM said the goal is to make education accessible to all Kenyans irrespective of economic or social background and the PM has recently called upon teachers and other stake-holders to re-focus on improving academic performance in the country that way kids are not just going to school, but they are actually taught and learn to be competitive in the changing economic dynamics where just having a degree does not cut it.

On Vision 2030’s political pillar, the PM noted we have had passage of the new Constitution and are now in the process of having it implemented.

The PM said the new constitution completely changes our system of government with devolution of power, which the PM said should be properly understood what it is.

The PM said devolution is not the same thing as decentralization.

In devolution, the PM noted, power has been given but cannot be taken away exception by amending the constitution, complete with a referendum just as was done in passing the Constitution to begin with.

The PM said the county governments are going to be a significant part of the new government system, headed by governors are to be elected by popular vote.

The county governments will be responsible for roads, health services, agriculture, electricity, etc in their respective counties, the PM said.

In other words, the PM said, the days of “Mtukufu Rais” promising development that is never delivered are over.

The PM had the audience in a prolonged laughter when he imitated how former president Daniel arap Moi would attend a rally, he is told, for example, “Mtukufu Rais we need water,” to which, the PM said, “Mtukufu will then ask, “Wapi Waziri wa maji…the minister gets up at attention like a soldier, Mtukufu then tells him to look into the matter,” said the PM, “then another issue is raised, same thing, Mtukufu asks where is the appropriate minister, when the minister gets up at attention like a soldier, Mtukufu tells him or her to look into the matter and so on but after finishing his hotuba, Mtukufu tells the audience “na mkae hivyo hivyo!” the PM said to another prolonged laughter from the audience as some remembered this classic tactic of fooling the people from the Moi era.

The PM said Kenya has been ran this way for more than 48 years and thus the reason we are underdeveloped as we are.

By contrast, the PM said Korea was equivalent to Kenya and Ghana 48 years ago as measured by common economic indicators.

Indeed, the PM noted, Ethiopia even sent aid and troops to fight for Korea during the Korean war, yet, you cannot compare any of these countries with South Korea and Ethiopia is the one now getting aid from Korea.

The PM noted Korea is 45 times better than Kenya because we have been asleep and when awake, we have been run poorly all this time countries like Korea were emerging and becoming economic power houses.

The PM said he knows we can do better and is committed to having the government focus more on development notwithstanding the challenges the government faces dues to the form of the current government.

The PM noted it’s going to take everyone getting involved to bring about the changes necessary.

The PM also noted specifically the Diaspora must be involved in the economic development of our country and that’s why he created the position of Diaspora liaison in his office.

The PM said once the new Independent Elections and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) is formed, Diaspora voter registration should begin.

The PM announced that a pilot program for Diaspora registration is underway in the UK with the rest of the countries to follow soon.

All that Kenyans in the Diaspora will need to vote, is a valid Kenyan ID or Passport.

Tapping into his famed photographic memory, the PM said Kenya participated for the second time in the Olympic Games in 1968 and during that year, we won 3 gold medals in 1500m, won by Keino, 10,000m, won by Temu and 3000m, won by Biwott.

The PM said the late Ronald Ngara was the Minister for Sports at that time and at the conclusion of the Olympics, Ngara said Kenya will bid to host the Olympics in the Olympics of 1980.

This did not happen, of course, but, the PM said, when the President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) visited Kenya when Ayako was the minister for sports, the minister announced Kenya will bid to host the 2016 Olympics.

The PM said this time around, the press mocked the announcement, saying Kenya will never host the Olympics!

The PM noted the irony that it would have been possible to dream in 1968 of having the Olympics in Kenya in 1980—only 12 years later, but now it’s laughable that we can do so.

This is an image and state of affairs we must change, the PM said, adding “something has happened to the spirit of 1968 and today; the conquering spirit of the 60s has been killed by manipulation and oppression.”

The PM said in order to realize our Kenyan dream, we must reverse this trend and restore the spirit of conquest as we have all we need to achieve our goals and objectives for a better Kenya.

To live in a country with unity, peace and liberty for all with plenty to leave on; we need this back, the PM reiterated his vision.

The PM then briefly delved into politics, noting we need a united Kenya, we don’t need the likes of KKK, which is an idea people have of taking us backwards instead of moving forward as a united country.

The PM brought the house down in hysterical laughter when he said he has heard people saying if he becomes president and there is a Luo peeing “na kuna laini ya watu wanaotaka kukojoa, atasema msubiri kwa sababu Serikali bado inakojoa!”

But the PM assured Kenyans this are nothing but jokes which no one can take seriously or even be concerned about because Luos are just like any Kenyans and if he is elected president, it wouldn’t matter that he is Luo and neither should it matter which tribe one comes from but how he or she governs.

That’s all that should matter, namely, the quality and effectiveness of leadership offered by the leader, the PM emphasized.

The PM concluded his speech by reiterating once more his new vision for Kenya: Let’s not reinvent the wheel; the vision for a true Kenya is right there in our national anthem!

The PM said this is the Kenya dream, which is fully realizable and noted we are at a cross-road this election time around as the kind of leader we elect will determine whether we completely part with the old Kenya and charting a new course for a new Kenya or not.

The PM urged Kenyans to choose wisely come 2012.

The PM was accompanied with Her Excellency Mama Ida, the Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs, Richard Onyonka, Kenya Ambassador to the US, Elikanah Odembo, Members of Parliament Abdirahiman Ali Hassan and Martin Otieno Ogindo who also spoke at the event and their speeches will be summarized in a blog to be posted soon.

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Posted by on September 28, 2011 in Politics

 

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Raila Enunciates His New Vision for Kenya In Address to Kenyans in Minnesota

It was vintage Raila.

Prime Minister Raila Odinga gave an electrifying speech to Kenyans in Minneapolis, Minnesota yesterday.

The PM addressed a number of issues that I am separately reporting in a blog to follow but if there is one major news from the PM’s speech, it is that Raila basically enunciated his new vision for Kenya: Let’s not reinvent the wheel; the vision for a true Kenya is right there in our national anthem!

In responding to a young Kenyan who spoke in behalf of young Kenyans in a Diaspora who, in his brief speech, asked the Prime Minister what he, and by extension, the government would do to bring the American Dream to Kenya, Raila first noted his appreciation and understanding of the young man’s thinking and concerns but at the same time the PM advised the young man, and through him, all Kenyans that Kenya does not need the American Dream; we have our own found in the first stanza of our national anthem:

O God of all creation
Bless this our land and nation
Justice be our shield and defender
May we dwell in unity
Peace and liberty
Plenty be found within our borders.

The PM paradoxically pointed out something I believe has hitherto been obvious but hidden until Raila articulated for the first time ever that all the dreams we can have for our country are essentially enshrined right there in this very stanza and these are:

  1. A united, peaceful Kenya with no tribalism or negative ethnicity or discrimination based on any other characteristics;
  2. A country where justice flows like a river;
  3. A country with plenty of everything we need and necessary for our prosperity and welfare;
  4. A realization and actualization of the fact that the plenty we must have will not drop upon us like manna from heaven, rather, it must and shall only be obtained through not just the labor of our hands, but also through our creativity, intellect, resolve and determination guided by a responsive and responsible government.

I am certain the young man who posed the question has never thought of the full extent of the stanza and neither have most Kenyans.

Sometimes, it takes the obvious to point out the obvious and Raila has done just that and I believe this re-defines who he is and in essence, why he must be our next president.

Not too long ago, a reader of one of my blogs asked the question, what is my ideology and without even taking a moment to think about it, I rattled out the following:

  1. I believe in the sovereignty of the people through their democratically elected leaders and institutions.
  2. I believe elected leaders are to serve the people and cater for their interests first and foremost.
  3. I believe that elected officials cannot and must not be allowed to use public office as a means to enrich themselves
  4. I believe the government exists solely for the purpose of ensuring its citizenry has the basics essential for sustenance of their lives at a standard well above the poverty lines as well as to provide for its safety and general welfare.
  5. I believe as a means of providing for its people, the government has the obligation to ensure natural resources are economically and responsibly exploited for the benefit of its citizenry through a distributive process that is fair and equitable for all via taxation and spending policy that ensures equal and equitable taxation and expenditure
  6. I believe the government has an equal obligation to promote private enterprise and entrepreneurship through tax incentives
  7. I believe in the rule of law and strengthening of our judicial system to allow for fair and just redress of grievances.
  8. I believe in a strong presidency with reasonable checks and balances. I do not wish to see a clawless lion at State House.
  9. I believe in gender equality
  10. I believe in a one Kenya where tribe and ethnicity has no value other than matters strictly cultural

In that blog, I said,

“There you have it my friend. This is what motivates me to do what I do as I truly hope we shall see all this come to pass in the not too distant future, certainly after the 2012 elections.

What Raila is saying is all these ideals and more are already spoken for in our own Kenyan dream as envisioned in our national anthem.

Raila is also saying we have simply been unable to put them into play largely because those charged with the responsibility to do so have failed, including ourselves in some cases.

Until now.

Now is the time to elect a president who can finally implement this vision

Now is the time to elect a president who knows and fully understands what that vision is and how to bring it to life.

In a nutshell, no one knows this vision better; no one understands this vision better; no one can implement this vision better than the man who has sounded the bell that we have been off track for decades because of our inability to really understand the true meaning of the dream envisioned in our national anthem.

And that man is Raila.

The country will make a serious mistake in not coming to this conclusion come 2012 and failure to do so would leave us short of realizing this dream Raila has articulated as no other candidate vying for the presidency I can see has what it would take to actualize the dream fully.

Indeed, none of the candidates has even as bothered to tell us what they stand for other than defeating Raila and listing of the ills the country has faced or faces is not a dream or vision.

There will be others to lay claim of their ability to deliver as much of the dream as Raila as well but in my view, these will be nothing but Johnny come latilies.

 
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Posted by on September 26, 2011 in Politics, Uncategorized

 

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Who Is Raila Amolo Odinga Part I

This is a first of a series of articles I intend to pen regarding our Prime Minister Raila Amolo Odinga.

In this Part I, I simply present Raila’s profile, biography and timeline based on publicly available information, including entries from Wikipedia.

January 7, 1945: Raila Amollo Odinga is born.

Kisumu Union Primary School, Maranda Primary and High School

Herder Institut, a part of the philological faculty at the University of Leipzig in East Germany

2001 to 2002: Minister of Energy

2003 to 2005: Minister of Roads, Public Works and Housing

2008 – Now: Prime Minister of the Republic of Kenya

1992 – Now Member of Parliament for Langata constituency.

1970 –  Lecturer at the University of Nairobi

1971 – Established Standard Processing Equipment Construction & Erection Ltd (later renamed East African Spectre), a company manufacturing liquid petroleum gas cylinders.

1974 – Appointed group standards manager of the Kenya Bureau of Standards, in 1978 he was promoted to its Deputy Director, a post he held until his 1982 detention.

1982 – Raila was placed under house arrest for seven months after being suspected of collaborating with the plotters of a failed coup attempt against President Daniel arap Moi in 1982. He was later charged with treason and detained without trial for six years.

February 6, 1988 – Released from prison.

September, 1988 – Raila was re-arrested for his involvement with human rights and pro-democracy activists pressing for multi-party democracy in Kenya, which was then a one-party state.

June 12, 1989, Raila was released only to be incarcerated again on

July 5, 1990.

June 12, 1989 – Released but only to be re-arrested yet again on July 5, 1990 together with Kenneth Matiba and former Nairobi Mayor, Charles Rubia.

June 21, 1991 – Raila was released and in October, he fled the country to Norway amid government attempts to assassinate him.

In February 1992, Raila returned to join FORD, then led by his father Jaramogi Oginga Odinga. He was elected Vice Chairman of the General Purposes Committee of the party. In the months running up to the 1992 General Election, FORD split into Ford Kenya, led by Raila’s father Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, and FORD-Asili led by Kenneth Matiba. Raila became Ford-Kenya’s Deputy Director of Elections. Raila won the Langata Constituency parliamentary seat, previously held by Philip Leakey of KANU.

January 1994, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga died

In the 1997 General Election, Raila finished third after President Moi, the incumbent, and Democratic Party candidate Mwai Kibaki. He retained his position as the Langata MP.

June 2001 to 2002:  Served in Moi’s Cabinet as Energy Minister

In 2002, the then President, Daniel Arap Moi, pulled a surprise by endorsing Uhuru Kenyatta – a son of Kenya’s first president Jomo Kenyatta to be his successor. Moi publicly asked Raila and others to support Uhuru as well.

Raila and other KANU members, however, including Kalonzo Musyoka, George Saitoti and Joseph Kamotho, opposed this step arguing that the then 38 year old Uhuru, was politically inexperienced and lacking leadership qualities to lead government. The Rainbow Movement went on to join the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), which later teamed up with Mwai Kibaki’s National Alliance Party of Kenya (NAK), a coalition of several other parties, to form the National Rainbow Coalition (NARC) that eventually defeated Moi’s protege, Uhuru Kenyatta and had Kibaki elected president in a landslide with Raila’s famous words, “Kibaki Tosha,” having played a key role in having Kibaki nominated as NARC’s flag-bearer and therefore the eventual winner in the presidential elections.

President Kibaki did not appoint Raila Odinga Prime Minister on assuming office, however, as the parties agreed in the memorandum of understanding (Kenya’s constitution did not recognize a Prime minister then); neither did Kibaki give LDP (Raila’s party) half the cabinet positions. Kibaki instead sought to shore up support for his NAK faction by appointing MPs from the opposition parties (KANU and FORD people) to the cabinet.

The perceived “betrayal” led to an open rebellion and a split within the cabinet, which culminated in disagreements over a proposed new constitution for the country. The government-backed constitutional committee submitted a draft constitution that was perceived to consolidate powers of the presidency and weaken regional governments as had been provided for under an earlier draft before the 2002 Elections. Raila opposed this, and when the document was put to a referendum on November 21, 2005, the government lost by a 57% to 43% margin. Following this, President Kibaki sacked the entire cabinet on November 23, 2005, including Raila. When Kibaki reconstituted the Cabinet two weeks later, Raila and the entire LDP group were left out. This led to the formation of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) – an Orange was the symbol for the “no” vote in the constitutional referendum.

In August 2007, ODM split in two, with Raila becoming head of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) while the other faction, the ODM-K, was headed by Kalonzo Musyoka.

On September 1, 2007, the ODM elected Raila as its presidential candidate in a National Delegates Conference held at the Moi International Sports Centre in Nairobi. Raila received 2,656 votes; the only other candidates receiving significant numbers of votes were Musalia Mudavadi with 391 and William Ruto with 368. Earlier, Najib Balala had withdrawn his candidature and endorsed Raila. The defeated candidates expressed their support for Raila afterward, and Mudavadi was named as his running mate.

October 6, 2007: Raila launched his presidential campaign in Uhuru Park in Nairobi, which saw a record attendance in this or any other venue in independent Kenya. The police estimated an attendance of close to 50,000.

On December 27, 2007, Kenyans went to the polls and Raila and many international observers believe he won the election but he was not sworn as the incumbent was instead declared the winner and sworn.

The swearing in of Kibaki despite widespread sentiment he did not win the election resulted in violence across the country.

In order to stop the violence, Raila agreed to share power with Kibaki in a power sharing agreement reached with the help of former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and signed into law in February 2008.

Raila was sworn as Prime Minister under this Agreement on April 17, 2008 a position he maintains to date.

In 2010, Raila and Kibaki led in efforts to, and successfully had a new constitution passed and promulgated in Kenya on August 27, 2010 after almost 40 years of trying to rewrite the country’s then oppressive constitution.

Raila is now the leading contender for president to succeed Kibaki, who is constitutionally ineligible to run again for another term.

 
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Posted by on September 22, 2011 in Politics

 

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The RV and Ruto Factor: Why Raila Is Doing Fine and Will Do Even Better Come 2012

My analysis upon which I base my suggestion people should start practicing saying President Raila Amolo Odinga or just Mr. President, if they can’t bring themselves to mention his name in the same breath with “president,” is predicated on the following premises I and others believe hold strong against any other analyses there may be out there:

First, Raila has and must have a 47-county winning strategy. In this view, tribalism is not a factor.

I know people are obsessed with tribalism and hope it once again shows its ugly head in 2012, I am more optimistic and say tribalism will be dealt a serious, if not fatal blow come 2012.

Second, the much exaggerated “irreversible losses” in RV will in the end be proven to be just that: exaggerated losses. As I have noted elsewhere, yes, Raila and ODM lost some ground in RV due to Ruto’s early efforts to damage and even topple Raila as leading presidential contender, but Ruto has failed miserably in his plan it’s now too late for him to prevent Raila from regaining lost ground, and even surpassing what support he had in 2007.

I am not just saying that; I have actually looked into all of this very carefully before reaching such conclusion but to understand where I am coming from, one has to read my blogs on this “RV factor,” including the following:

Who Is William Ruto Part VI: The Succession Game And Why Ruto’s Scheme To Topple Raila Failed

The News About RV ODM MPS Getting Set To Regain Ground In RV Is Not Just Good News for Raila and ODM But Great News For the Country As Well

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

An Open Letter to H.E Daniel Retd. President Daniel Toroitich Arap Moi, C.G.H.

Third, regardless of what happens in 2012, there is no single candidate who is going to sweep any region or area, except perhaps Nyanza, and Central, if UK is at the head of whatever party he runs under. In all other cases, votes will be shared leaving only the million dollar question, who will get how many votes and where?

As I have noted above, this for Raila and ODM is a county-by-county arithmetic taking into consideration a number of factors I need not get into here for obvious reasons but I am certain the number crunchers at ODM are busy trying to figure just that out and will continue to do so until election day.

We shall let our opponents cherry-pick the counties along tribal and ethnic lines for their strategy or base it on yesterday voting trends but that’s their prerogative.

ODM is a forward looking party. We lead, others will follow.

Fourth, you cannot find a more stronger supporter of Ruto in ODM than yours truly.

So much so I have done a 6-part series on him in my blog (search the archives here) with my last and final part coming up soon in which I once more invite Ruto to return to ODM or remain adamant in carrying his cross to likely political oblivion and irrelevance.

BTW, I long ago concluded in Who Is William Ruto Part V that Ruto, Kosgey and Sang will not be convicted either at the Hague or in Kenya and even hinted I doubt the rest of the pack will be convicted or if convicted that any of them will ever see the inside of a jail and have shared my deeper strategic analysis about this with those I share privately so one can assume people are not sitting there planning strategy based on charges against Ruto or UK being confirmed or either or both being convicted.

That’s Plan B at best and nobody spends much time on plan B unless they have no confidence in Plan A.

Raila’s Plan A is and has to be predicated on the presumption none of the charges are confirmed or if confirmed, neither Ruto nor UK is convicted.

Everything else is either Plan B, C, D,E or F depending on what different scenarios may emerge, including UK announcing he no longer wishes to run and throws his support behind his friend Raila.

So, in my view, Ruto and ICC is not a factor but I maintain Ruto needs to return to ODM where he should never have wandered away from.

However, strong a proponent of his return I am unlike many in ODM who think he should be jettisoned, I do not say, do not base on and neither would I say as others mistakenly believe that “Without Ruto, Raila will have to forget the presidency” or some variation of that sentiment suggesting Ruto is indispensable for Raila to win.

Not true.

Quite the contrary, Ruto is dispensable as an unused but expired condom.

Ruto may find himself in the same posture figuratively speaking if he does not re-think and return to ODM as I advised him in ODM Prodigal Son Come Home but the call is his and his alone.

Again, I have yet to wash my hands on him with my pleas, but I know he is a smart fellow and will in time come to this realization he is better off in ODM than anywhere else.

For the same reason, I disagree that “anybody who is serious in harvesting Kalenjin votes in 2012 must talk to Ruto or else they can kiss bye the votes.”

Indeed, I have seen elsewhere rabid anti-Railaists claiming to speak on behalf of all Kalenjins that if Ruto were to return to ODM, the Kalenjins will not follow him because they hate Raila that much.

Here is the reality: Some Kelenjins hate Raila; some Kalenjins like Raila and others are indifferent.

Leading these sub-groups, are of course, their elected and local leaders.

Ruto may have sway with those Kales who for one reason or another hate Raila or those who are indifferent but the battle for RV between Raila and Ruto is among the indifferent: Who wins a majority of them, meaning the indifferent, wins RV.

It’s that simple.

As I have repeatedly said, nobody knows how important it is to win the indifferent in RV than Raila himself and anyone following the news, knows he is making progress in this direction.

He obviously need not spend sleepless nights over it as some suggest and neither does he have to “woo” Ruto for Ruto has his own self-interest and natural reasons to have him rethink his decamping from ODM very soon and this shall soon be the case, I believe.

In other words, yes Raila stands to benefit by Ruto’s coming to full realization he is headed the wrong direction and staying put in ODM and backing Raila but the converse is not true for Raila’s train to victory rumbles on whether or not Ruto is aboard.

The notion that “any other move [not wooing Ruto] is a waste of time because even those Kalenjins following Raila will soon decamp or will be swept off the Kalenjin political landscape” abuses the intelligence of the Kalenjin people and I would not want to further dignify it with a response other than to say, please refer to my comments above and specifically those regarding ending tribalism.

Finally, but not least, some are still insisting that Raila is better off with dropping Mudavadi and picking a new running mate.

I at one time briefly entertained the same view but have since changed and now firmly believe Raila will make a fatal error if he drops Mudavadi for reasons I provide in the following two blogs:

My Take On Prof. Makau Mutua Suggestion That Raila Should Drop Mudavadi In Favor of Paul Muite

Why Raila Cannot Drop Mudavadi And Word To Raila Supporters and Admirers in East And Central Kenya

Incidentally, I disagree quite often with Makau Mutua so even though we both live in “Utopia” with Mutahi Ngunyi as  one blogger suggests, we must live in different states of utopia.

You are all welcome to join us there for it’s a perfect world and the next best thing to heaven.

All Kenyans deserve to live in such a world as do the rest of the world.

Peace, Love and Unity

Omwenga

[Unedited]

 
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Posted by on September 19, 2011 in Politics, Uncategorized

 

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Why Raila Cannot Drop Mudavadi and Word To Raila Supporters An Admirers in East and Central

According to a story in the The Standard Online, pressure is mounting on Prime Minister Raila Odinga and ODM to consider a running mate with roots from the East to “demystify the perception that the party is dominated by people from Western Kenya and Lake Victoria region.”

“The move is aimed at attracting more voters from outside these regions and is further triggered by an increasing urge to appeal particularly to voters in Central and Eastern provinces, especially the Kikuyu and the Ameru,” the Standard reporter noted.

“But even as strategists within Raila’s camp brainstorm on the matter, the PM’s headache is how to handle Musalia Mudavadi, a loyal deputy who has stood with him hostile to his previous presidential bids. He hopes to woo them to replace the support he has lost in the Rift Valley after falling out with his party deputy William Ruto,” added the reporter.

The paper noted that “key leaders from the East of Kenya allied to Raila include Cabinet ministers Joseph Nyagah and Charity Ngilu, Assistant Ministers Wavinya Ndeti and Kilemi Mwiria, Igembe South MP Mithika Linturi, Imenti Central MP Gitobu Imanyara, Kiamba MP Stanley Githunguri and former Ntonyiri MP Maoka Maore.”

The paper cites “ODM insiders” who it quotes as saying Mudavadi is “lukewarm and less aggressive” but they give him credit as a “political thinker and a team player,” adding that Mudavadi is “a serious boardroom strategist who has been keeping ODM going in tough times.”

In a comment to this story in the comment section, I said, “Raila will make a fetal mistake which will ensure nothing but defeat at the polls, if he drops Mudavadi as his running mate. Those urging him to do just that are either non-supporters who would love nothing but such an outcome, or supporters who are either disingenuous or are shortchanged in their understanding Kenya politics. Fortunately, Raila understands all of this given what we know about him and therefore my expectation is, Raila will not drop Mudavadi as his running mate.”

I say this because this is an issue I have been looking into for some time and shared my analysis of it in my blog, My Take On Prof. Makau Mutua Suggestion Raila Should Drop Mudavadi In Favor of Paul Muite in which I disagreed with the good professor and instead concluded for the reasons I provided therein that Raila should not drop Mudavadi and these are in a nutshell:

First, and almost without saying, Raila cannot drop Mudavadi as his running mate against the latter’s will for doing so, as I have noted above, will create fatalistic obstacles and traps for Raila which he may not successfully maneuver around to reach victory.

Second, even though it’s conceivable that Mudavadi may, in fact, be persuaded to step aside and be replaced by someone else, and willingly albeit reluctantly do so, everything I am looking at suggests doing so would not bring with an advantage for Raila and ODM significantly enough to warrant the risk of doing so in lieu of keeping Mudavadi as VP.

I noted in my analysis that, even though regional balancing is important as Makau correctly points out and we all pretty much agree, I disagree that “Kenya isn’t “mature enough” to accept a President and Deputy President from the same region,” as Makau argues.

Quite the contrary, I believe we have matured sufficiently enough to embrace tectonic transformational changes, including how we vote notwithstanding the relative youthfulness of our new found democracy.

Indeed, as I further noted, the new constitution provides ample foundation to bring about these changes as shall be witnessed by election of our first president with true nationwide support and backing come next year.

“And therein lies the open secret to Raila’s key to resolving the VP slot dilemma: the constitution.”

I then went on to analyze and have provided my rationale for this conclusion in that blog.

Third, it is far much easier for Raila to convince more voters from East and Central to vote for him in sufficient numbers to overcome any loses elsewhere than Raila convincing voters in Western province why he has dropped Mudavadi, regardless of the perfectly reasonable reasons behind such a move and regardless of Mudavadi’s own blessing for the move.

Fourth, the only way in my view substituting Mudavadi could pay dividends, is if the substitution is for a woman, to provide gender balance.

Gender balance, however, presents a series of its own concerns and considerations which on balance, in my view, there are more pitfalls there than those Raila has to face in tackling regional balance.

Some of these involve the obvious like the obvious women VP candidates cannot be named for any number of reasons I can’t get into now and these women are: Hon. Charity Ngilu; Hon. Hon. Martha Karua; Justice Njoki Ndungu (yes she can serve as VP and then P but she’ll really have to roll the dice on that one before saying yes to the run), or some un-ubiquitous woman but that by itself would be enough reason not to pick her: the above mentioned pack will rally all the women against the team!

As I noted in the blog, “better you go with the known than unknown on this one,” explaining,

“We experimented and succeeded [in appointing relatively unknown “outsiders”] with the Supreme Court CJ but one will be pushing their luck to try the same with the Executive.

I concluded that substitution of Mudavadi for a woman is therefore not desirable either, which then leaves Mudavadi the ideal VP candidate, in my view, everything considered.

Reading this Standard story has had me thinking some more on this and am I am now even more convinced than I was when I posted my blog that Raila will be ill-advised to drop Mudavadi.

Indeed, in concluding my blog, I noted that “this is going to be a close call either way and the margin of error allowed so thin, I fully concur with Makau that, in this case, Raila must choose “very, very wisely.”

I now modify this to say, this should not even be a close call at all, but maintain that all candidates, and in this particular case, must choose their running mates, “very, very wisely” as Makau noted as well.

I am even more confident in this position, after reading this news story for the following reasons, in addition to the foregoing:

First, Mumias MP Benjamin Washiali who is also ODM’s deputy chief whip in Parliament, is quoted as saying, “Western Province and Nyanza remain the biggest pillars of ODM and that any move seen to be hurting the Luhya will see a huge exodus from the party into New Ford-Kenya.”

If by a move “seen to be hurting the Luhya” Washiali means unceremonious and arbitrary dropping of Mudavadi as running mate without his (Mudavadi’s) explicit and unquestionable consent, then I would, of course, agree with Washiali, consistent with the first reason I have provided in my analysis that Raila cannot do this, and I am fairly confident he cannot do so, even going by his own recent hints noted in the story.

Second, Washiali is also quoted as saying, ” “The issue of shifting the ODM running mate from Western Kenya to Eastern Kenya has been doing the rounds within the party informally,” adding, “those those floating it have mentioned that that he or she should be a strong person from the Rift Valley, Eastern or Central.”

Washiali is further quoted as saying names that have been mentioned, include Charity Ngilu, Peter Kenneth, Martha Karua and Joseph Nyagah, with Nyagah being “heavily touted due to his clout in the Eastern region.”

As noted above and in my other blog, dropping Mudavadi in favor of someone from the East or Central would not bring with it an advantage for Raila and ODM significantly enough to warrant the risk of doing so and that includes naming any one of these fine politicians from the region.

I cannot go into reasons why beyond what I have already stated elsewhere in my blog suffice to say we really must find a way to crush tribalism as a factor in voting for our president.

Let me be blunt here: When people talk about regional balance, they are in essence arguing for tribal considerations.

I just refuse to accept this as a viable rationale for dropping Mudavadi.

Instead, let the good people of East and Central consider the ticket as is, if it is so confirmed officially and decide whether or not Raila, not necessarily Raila and Mudavadi, but whether Raila as president is qualified to be our next president and more so, if he can deliver on his campaign promise.

In 2007, Raila made the case and he would argue, an overwhelming majority of Kenyans agreed he was, indeed qualified to be our president and gave him the nod.

No one can say this was the case in either East or Central for obvious reasons.

However, this is 2011 and more importantly, it’ll be 5 years later, come election time.

Needless to say, a lot has happened since the 2007 elections.

Kenya is no longer the same country.

We had PEV, which by God’s grace we managed to get out of with no more deaths and hurt beyond that which was, in fact, suffered.

We are yet to have some closure on this, but that’s an issue on a separate train and track from the train on the 2012 electoral path and if there is convergence of the two trains at some point requiring us all to proceed in one, then to the 2012 electoral train shall we all get into, and continue in the journey without any concern or hesitation other than by those who may be thrown overboard in the convergence.

The train must proceed with or without them for Kenya is bigger than any of them to even bother as to wait for them, having brought about such upon themselves, if that’s the case.

Which brings me to my point about this and that is, as aspiring or potential non-ODM presidential candidates, Karua and Kenneth, have the right to seek the presidency.

If as things progress there comes a time either or both clearly see no path to State House as some suspect there may not be this time around, then they should carefully evaluate the remaining candidates and decide who to support, and do so without regard to tribe or ethnicity but simply on the basis of qualification and ability to lead our country come 2012.

Should that be Raila, then it would behoove these leaders to help him get elected as president, regardless of who his choice for running mate is and by that I mean, they cannot and should not as a precondition insist on their being named as running mates in order to offer such help as doing so is inconsistent and unbecoming a true leader presenting themselves for election as president, especially given the history of our nation.

If they must insist on such consideration, then Raila will be better advised to still go to those not too alien lands and make the case himself with other progressives from there and I am fairly confident, he will find many willing to hear him and even work with him to make more inroads in Central.

In East, and going by what has been reported in the media, including in the Standard story, Raila has a number of key politicians and supporters either are already allied with him or are leaning in his direction, and these include Cabinet ministers Joseph Nyagah and Charity Ngilu, Assistant Ministers Wavinya Ndeti and Kilemi Mwiria, Igembe South MP Mithika Linturi, Imenti Central MP Gitobu Imanyara, Kiamba MP Stanley Githunguri and former Ntonyiri MP Maoka Maore.”

Linthuri is quoted in the paper as saying, “the people from Mt. Kenya region would see Raila as having no regard for them, if his running mate is also from the West” and adds, “[this] will also be a contradiction of the constitution” which, according to him, “is strict on regional balance.”

My good friend Lintuli is wrong on both counts: First of all, why would the people from East see Raila as having no regard for them, any more than the people from the Rift Valley, Central or Coast, if Raila sticks with a man who has done him no wrong, is loyal and trustorthy, is himself quite capable of being president and more importantly, was right there beside Raila as his VP running mate in 2007 when the duo believe they were elected but not sworn as president and vice president?

Secondly, when the constitution talks about regional balancing, the test for whether the mandate on regional balancing is met in presidential elections, is whether Article 138(4)(a) and (b) are met, and that is, the candidate wins 50%+ 1 vote and garners at least 25% of the vote in at least 24 of the 47 counties.

If the the candidate meets this criteria, there is no “contradiction” of the constitution to speak of therefore he is wrong on that count as well.

What each of these and other leaders and politicians not mentioned bring to the table for Raila, however, is beyond the scope of this blog suffice to say it is significant and important individually, if they continue to offer it and even more significant collectively.

Two of these leaders, however, present a unique case that can actually be stated fairly straight-forward and these are Ngilu and Nyagah.

The situation for these two is simple and straight-forward and that is, if they believed in Raila and were willing to back him wholeheartedly as they did in 2007, they should do so again in 2012 for nothing has changed as to Raila the man viz the vision and promise he offered in 2007.

Nothing, of course, except as forced upon him by PEV and the aftermath which both of them know fully well and need nobody to tell or remind them.

Ditto for anyone deciding for either of them specifically whether 2007, PEV and the aftermath has made Raila a worse or better presidential candidate and if the latter, whether he deserves their fighting for him to be re-elected, especially if neither is picked as VP running mate while both look forward to their turn in stepping into the Big House president or VP and president in wait as the case may be.

If they both make that decision with sincerity and honesty devoid of any personal considerations or otherwise do so objectively, then they both must reach the same conclusion because the underlying facts and idiosyncrasies are the same and well known to both of them as the seasoned politicians they are and should that be the case, if upon evaluating those facts and information both therefore decide to support Raila without reservation, then so much the better for them, for Raila and, of course, the country.

Should that not be the case, then Raila has his work cut-out for him but, with proper counter-strategy, he can exact a truly and extremely well deserved victory  upon success of such strategy and have the opportunity to finally prove all of his critics and naysayers wrong in what he does as president and leader of our country.

Peace, Love and Unity

Omwenga

[Unedited]

 
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Posted by on September 18, 2011 in Politics

 

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My Take on the PNU-Alliance MOU Apparently Signed By UK, Saitoti and Kalonzo To Challenge Raila In 2012

In the story appearing in the Standard Online, it is reported that UK, Saitoti and Kalonzo have apparently signed an MOU on the way forward for PNU in its quest to retain the presidency on its column.

I have taken the time to analyze the story and please allow me the pleasure to reveal to you what these politicians are actually saying:

Kalonzo, Saitoti and I are candidates. The issue is to identify a candidate in an open process,” Uhuru said, adding that what mattered was a free and fair process.

Translation: “Kalonzo, Saitoti and I are candidates. If that’s not obvious to you, then I have something else coming for you: The issue is to identify a candidate in an “open” process, which means a process that favors my candidacy. It will only be a free and fair process, if I am nominated as the flag-bearer. Kalonzo is a lightweight compared to me, both in stature and financially. Saitoti is yesterday news and besides he, too, is a lightweight compared to me financially so I am the only one who can take this party to victory against Raila who is even more broke relatively speaking than these two wannabes. How can it therefore be a “fair and open” process, if I am not nominated?”

Mr Kalonzo said that the unity of the three presidential aspirants stands firm. “You have my personal commitment,” said Kalonzo.

Translation: “I know you know that I gave the same “personal commitment” to Raila, Ruto and Mudavadi in the run-up to the 2007 ODM nomination but I bolted the moment I concluded I had no chance of nomination with ODM. However, this is 2011. I am now a firm believer in keeping one’s word and I promise you I am not the traitor everyone thinks I am. You can trust me on my word this time around. Really; you have to because if you must know, no one else is going to. Raila cannot. Ruto cannot. But I must belong somewhere and this is it for me. I’ll do anything you want me to in exchange for something I ask a small favor of all of you: If I am not nominated for president in this alliance, which is not likely, anyway, can either of you who actually does get nominated please consider and pick me as your running mate? Please?”

Kalonzo added, “If we stand together, we will win. We should remove suspicions of any description to win.”

Translation: “As I have said, you have nothing to be suspicious about me; I am as reliable now as in not time in my life. However, I can’t say the same thing about the two of you; UK you have every reason to be suspicious of Saitoti, just as he has every reason to be suspicious of you so I doubt we are all three in the end going to stand together because if we do, that means one of us is not going to be president or vice president and I must be one, you see; I can’t demote myself from VP to nothing. All I am saying is, let’s stand together until nomination time. If either of you is nominated, just remember all I need is for you to consider and pick me for VP and that includes VP for the either of you who bolts, if not nominated so as far as I am concerned, if we stand together, meaning whichever one of you who picks me and I stand together, we will win”

Prof Saitoti said that it was only in unity that they would come up with a leader in 2012.

Translation: “I say let all the parties in the country unite and pick one candidate to run for president. I know that’s impossible, but at least that way I’ll not be the only one fuming about not getting picked with any party as their flag bearer.”

Saitoti, who is the PNU chairman, added he was committed to participate in the presidential nominations and would support the victor.

Translation: “I am so indifferent about this exercise, it really doesn’t matter to me who gets nominated and the only question I keep asking myself is, why me? How can I be this country’s Vice President and yet be treated as though I don’t exist? I know UK here is looking at me with contempt and not sure why but really, am I that bad? And you, Kalonzo, when I was VP, I did more in a day than you have done the entire time you have been VP and now you want to hold yourself as equal to me? I mean, how can I be this unfortunate in having all avenues to State House blocked by the likes of you. I’ll support anyone who gets nominated except for you, pal. And for you, UK, you had better make me your running mate otherwise, off to Central I go to mes up whatever chances you have of getting votes there!”

Peace, Love and Unity

Omwenga

 
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Posted by on September 16, 2011 in Politics

 

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Questions and Issues The Newly Formed Third Force Party Must Answer or Address To Justify Its Existence

According to a story appearing in the Nairobi Star Online, a new political “vehicle,” the Progressive Third Force (PTF), was launched yesterday in Nairobi ahead of next year’s general election apparently as an “umbrella party” which brings together “other ‘socialist democratic’ movements” which seeks to “wrestle power from ODM and PNU.”

Addressing media at the launch, LPK secretary for information Erick Matsanza said his party “will attend to unmet needs of Kenyans and offer desired form of leadership.”

“We are ready to constitute ourselves into a potent progressive third force political coalition order to wrest political control from the tribal elite through the ballot,” Matsanza said. He said that his party will field candidates across the country, in a bid to replace the tribal elite, which will in turn give salvation to the youth.

As I said in my blog The So-Called G47 or Third Force Should Support Existing Party; We Don’t Need Another New Party In Kenya, we actually don’t need another new party in Kenya therefore the formation of this Progressive Third Force, is all good and well and consistent with the letter and spirit of the new constitution but is nonetheless an exercise of negligible contribution other than whatever it may contribute as yet another watch-dog group.

I say so not lightly, but after considerable thought and reflection on this issue, going back several years ago during malti-partysm struggles when I took the position, yes, we needed to be a multi-party state but not an unlimited multi-party one.

I have never known and neither can anyone make a convincing case why we need hundreds of parties registered in the country.

As I have stated before, we should amend our constitution to limit to 3 or no more than five political parties in the country, otherwise we shall continue in this endless party registrations for all kinds of reasons, including undesirable ones I discuss below.

I noted in the blog noted above that the US is a de facto two party state and has done just fine over the centuries but someone came fuming with a long list of registered parties in the US but he missed my point: Yes, you can have all these registered parties but for what?

It’s naïve and simplistic thinking to argue just because our constitution allows freedom of association that therefore we should be free to register as many parties as people are willing to register.

This makes as much sense as saying just because it’s legal to have children, one should have as many children as he or she wishes.

China passed its one child policy to prevent further explosion of its population and agree or disagree with the policy, it has actually met its objectives, otherwise the country will be overflowing with people to everywhere.

Just as we must encourage birth control to prevent further explosion of our own population, so too must we discourage further registration of parties in Kenya to prevent the mischief behind registration of a number of them.

Let me quote at length what I said in my blog above to explain what I mean:

I repeat my position Kenya does not need more parties but strengthening of 2 or 3 of those we already have in existence and working within them to bring about the necessary changes both in the parties and the country as a whole through the political process.

I do not buy the propaganda that none of the parties we currently have in Kenya can produce an effective, reform driven president; a number of them have and can and neither do I buy the propaganda that all leaders in the country are not worth electing president.

I think we can all agree that our country has not met its development objectives and progress due to poor management, corruption and apathy for the general welfare of ordinary Kenyans.

I think we can all also agree in order to turn things around, we have to have new management at the top come next year’s elections.

Where I and others differ with those who claim that no current leader can be elected president to spearhead in efforts to turn the country around, is the incongruousness self-evident in this proposition.

Those making this claim that no current leader should be elected president have been and continue to make the preposterous case that we should get rid of everyone in government and bring in new people.

They also at times talk about getting rid of “old” people in government or that we don’t need “old” people running for president which they essentially define in such a manner to include Raila among the “old” people because he is in reality the only person they are obsessed to “blocking” from becoming president.

Their rationale for a solution makes no sense at all.

Essentially what they are saying from a business perspective is, you have a large company, say Safaricom that is poorly performing and not profitable at all because of poor management, rampant embezzlement, poor morale and shafting of shareholders.

As a solution to turn this company around and make it profitable again, you propose that you get rid of all management and bring in a new crop of senior managers, including a CEO who have never run a large company and further require that none of these new managers or CEO can be “old” which you essentially define to be anyone over 50 years old.

This is absurd and anyone who knows anything about business will tell you so.

Much as it makes no sense to rational and objective minds to propose such a solution, it can only make sense to those proposing it for reasons that have nothing to do with a genuine desire to turn the company around other than creating an easy pathway if not entry through the backdoor to senior management for themselves which in turn will surely sink the company even more than it has by the time they take over.

Prudent business advice or common sense would tell you what you need in a situation like this is, yes, a new CEO and senior management but one with proven success and experience running a company of this size; getting rid of poorly performing employees and managers, sending the embezzlers packing and off to jail and doing a top to bottom analysis of the company to identify ways to make it profitable again.

We need precisely the same solution if we are to turn out country around and point it in the direction of economic growth and prosperity, namely, electing a president with proven success and experience running a country; overhauling the entire government workforce and retraining or otherwise getting rid of non-performing civil servants and personnel, definitely taking head on and having heads rolling for those engaged in corruption and doing a top to bottom analysis of the country to determine, and implementing whatever else is needed to put the country on track to meet its development objectives as outlined under Vision 2030 and more.

ODM is the largest and best organized party in the country and in Raila, it has a proven leader who can be trusted to bring about the transformational changes no different than a new C.E.O. in the above hypothetical would do to a poorly performing company.

PNU is really not even a party in the traditional sense and is simply an instrument Kibaki used to get himself re-sworn as president and will for all practical purposes and intend disappear from the stage with Kibaki’s exit as president.

This PTF is thus beginning its maiden journey on the wrong premise of “wrestling power” from ODM and PNU when there is no PNU to speak of.

This then, raises an important question: Has this PTF been established for the reasons it claims, or is there more to it than it wishes the public to know?

Anecdotal evidence tends to point to the latter and to overcome this, PTF must answer or show a number of things:

First, a number of individuals known or said to be behind this PTF are students and beneficiaries of their association initially with KANU and later on both ODM and KANU.

Having fallen out with the powers that be in these parties (read Moi, Kibaki and Raila) in the various times they were so associated and for whatever reasons, they now wish to present themselves as “clean” outsiders with a different philosophy and outlook in life than the one held once well within the corridors of these power centers.

The cynicism in all of us demands a convincing explanation as to how theirs is now some newfound change in their attitude in thinking any different from that of these principles they are now doing a bad job trying to distance themselves from.

Indeed, those who know some of these individuals say they act no different than Moi when it comes to entertaining dissenting view points and that being the case, why should anyone believe they will be or any different from Moi in the unlikely event they ascend to the presidency?

The cynicism in some of us also demands a convincing explanation as to how this PTF is not a project of the very PNU they claim to “wrestle” power from?

Could a conceivable case not be made that this party is intended to “wrestle” power only from Raila, with the behind the scenes help from whatever remains of PNU in the spirit of “blocking” Raila from being elected as president? Or a project for those standing for the proposition, “Anyone But Raila?”

How can one fully analyze the true intentions of this group without inquiring and being satisfied the forces behind it have no ax to grind or otherwise some score to settle against Raila?

These are but genuine questions this group must be prepared to answer and in fact, do so convincingly, if it is to be taken seriously.

To dismiss them as anything other than, is to confirm the cynicism giving rise to the questions to begin with.

Second, the new party says it’s an “umbrella party” which brings together “other ‘socialist democratic’ movements.” What movements? How many movements do we need in Kenya? Have we not had enough movements to where we are now and is it not now in the interest of our country’s unity and progression to a true new Kenya to have only but one movement, namely, a movement from the dark past where suffrage was nothing but a joke to one where we elect a new government both at the national and county level that reflects the ideals of the new constitution?

Peeling this onion just a bit further, what political goals does this Third Force movement intend to achieve? How different are those from those reformists like Raila have been in the forefront fighting to attain for our country?

Is it political and institutional reforms? Is it government accountability and the ramping out or minimization of corruption? Is it ending impunity or at least minimizing it to the extent possible, given how entrenched it is? Is it finally finding effective means to eradicate poverty? Is it finally giving all Kenyans the opportunity to improve their standard of living? Is it finding ways to effectively share in the wealth from our vast resources? Is it any the myriad of things we know must be done as we try to bring our country at par with other recently developed countries consistent with the goals and objectives set forth in our Vision 2030 scheme?

If so, why do we need a new party to do this?

Again, as I have said above and have consistently argued and will continue to, I do not for a moment buy the propaganda that none of the existing parties are capable of meeting these goals and neither do I buy the propaganda that a proven leader like Raila cannot lead us in reaching and surpassing these goals and objectives.

To successfully “wrestle” power from ODM or other existing party, PTF must do more than shower us with lofty statements and pronouncements where lurking underneath is the traditional quest for power for the sake of power and more specifically, the party must clearly distinguish itself from the rest by telling us precisely how they wish to go about accomplishing that which they wish to and how different that is from what reformists like Raila have been doing for decades with marked progression in success to where we must head.

In other words, PTF cannot on the 80th minute of a game, come and tell the dominant team to leave the field so they can showcase their own talent; they may be skilled all they can be but the dominant team’s fans have their team they know and would rather stick with it than go with players they know not much about; they are better off convincing the fans of the weaker team to do so for they have nothing to loose, given they are already loosing but it would make no sense for this new team to ask that both teams already playing leave the field so that they can show case their talent.

They can but likely to empty stalls as the fans must leave with their teams, dominant or otherwise.

The point: PTF is better off joining the dominant team and help it coast to victory, or join the weaker team and help it emerge victorious in which case its contribution can be said to have actually made the difference.

Finally, but not least, PTF says, “We are aware that the elite have tribalized and privatized the state for their exclusive benefit.”

Very true.

Let’s wait and see where and how this new party fields it’s candidates and how many of their candidate beat their opponents; if it’s across the nation and not along tribal lines, and if the party picks up seats across the nation and in every county, then I will be the very first one right here to congratulate them for accomplishing a feat no one thinks likely at this time in our history.

If, on the other hand, ODM remains strong as it is and replicates or improves its performance from 2007 and Raila is re-elected president, then I would hope PTF will help join all other Kenyans in helping him govern and lead us in finally bringing about the transformational changes we must have come 2012 and thereafter.

Peace, Love and Unity

Omwenga.

[Unedited]

 
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Posted by on September 15, 2011 in Politics

 

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