The following are responses from a Luo professional who says he was an admirer and friend of Raila but not any more allegedly because he no longer believes Raila is committed to reforms.
I ordinarily treat as suspect or dismiss as driven by spite or vengeance, individuals who claim they were friends and supporters of Raila but not any more regardless of what reason they give for such withdrawal of their support and friendship.
However, it is possible and there are individuals who, in fact, were friends and supporters of Raila but for genuine reasons other than having an ax to grind or vengeance, these individuals have genuinely stopped supporting Raila but I believe these are very few and even more telling, if they exist, they’ll hardly be out trashing Raila in public, especially, if they claim they were friends; you just don’t do that to a friend unless you have parted ways for reasons that are personal.
We, of course, know there are individuals who have been paid, are being paid or will be paid to trash Raila.
Indeed, it is more likely than not, that anyone you hear or see trashing Raila is under the direction of anti-Raila forces or is hoping to be.
The Luo I respond to in this blog is someone I have been trying to determine what kind of anti-Raila is; what motivates him, especially given he says he was friends and an admirer of Raila?
This are some of what the individual says now of Raila,
“Something has surely changed, about the PM, that makes him look a pale shadow of the “reformist’s” tag that he cherishes to hang around his neck like a rogue bull’s bell and this is what enrages some of us! To him, the ultimate seems to be the President by whatever which way! But some of us now angrily ask, President for what purpose, and after the Presidency then what???!!! We feel insulted by a man we, for long, erroneously thought we were reading from the same page with!!!”
” Isn’t management by delegation a sterling example of a man in control?! What is the difference between the Triton,maize and famine scandals and the scandals of yester-years which this PM almost became hoarse criticizing?! Or was that just a ruse to get to State House?! What do
you make of a “reformist” who would, contrary to all known laws and
principles of natural justice in a civilized society, sack his immediate aide like a wild rabid dog and then have the temerity to announce in public that “that is normal”! HOW???!!! Some of us, who suffered a similar fate, in the hands of former President Daniel arap Moi’s thugs, shudder to imagine what kind of depraved despot this PM promises to be, once he gets to State House! I could go on and on ad infinitum!!!”
My conclusion thus far is, he may have genuine grounds for abandoning Raila but I am not 100% certain, especially given the tone of his sentiments.
With that in mind, I nonetheless responded to this individual in back to back posts from him as follows:
This is not punting, but I actually have answers to each of the questions and concerns you have posed or expressed.
Unfortunately, however, I cannot provide those answers here for a number of reasons, including the fact I know how how predictable characters will react to them and before you know, it we have a mile long thread with nothing but people talking right past each other, given these go to the very core of some of what I believe Raila is, stands for and is trying to do.
Those who know this, would understand; those who don’t won’t and thus the exercise in futility trying to do just that, namely, answering these questions here.
I would not mind, however, giving you some hints in private and you know you have an outstanding offer to meet up next time I am in Nairobi and I’ll be happy to engage briefly on this or other issues.
For now, let me just say I obviously understand there are many supporters who have either been disillusioned or simply just gotten so frustrated with how things have evolved since the end of PEV.
This is a phenomena not uncommon after all elections and no one knows this better than Obama and Raila.
Believe it or not, there are so many parallels between Obama and Raila and thus the reason I reference both.
For example, there are many Democrats, especially those on the left, who have been extremely disappointed in Obama’s move to the middle in his governing, compared to how he campaigned.
In fact, so much so just the other day, a black Democrat House Member and Martha-like lady from California openly questioned Obama’s “ignoring” the black community!
This is as normal here as American pie is to Americans, however:
Both Democrats and Republicans have to run on either from the left, for Democrats or Right, for Republicans when seeking nomination from their respective parties.
However, upon being elected, whether Democrat or Republican, no one can govern from solely their side of political ideology; they must move to the middle and this inevitably infuriates those on either end of the ideological divide.
However, infuriated as they may be on the left or right, come general elections they almost always all come back to backing their party candidate in his re-election bid or simply sit out the elections.
Rarely do they cross over and vote for the other side as that side is considered even more loathsome.
Raila faces the same dilemma, albeit different in some details that matter.
A lot of people have been disillusioned with him, ODM and generally how the government is performing.
The key for him, is how he responds to the concerns of these genuinely disillusioned individuals.
On the other hand, however, Raila need not seriously waste his time trying to win over his haters and other distractors; there is nothing he can do to turn around this segment of our society that’s always there regardless of who is president and this is true of any country.
No matter how good a leader one is, he or she is always going to have haters.
They must exist and this is what completes their lives, or so they believe.
Rather, Raila could try and win them over but must in the end count them as a lost, gone.
Fortunately, these are few compared to those who otherwise are simply disillusioned or for one or other genuine reason have not warmed up to Raila.
This is what campaigns are meant to do and really one of the reasons I can’t go into details as to your questions.
It’s best Raila himself answers those questions in the context of his campaign or sooner if he has to and I am fairly confident he will as things evolve toward the big day.
Second Response, same individual in another post:
These are the types of assertions about Raila I take issue with for several reasons, especially coming from a learned friend like you:
First, we just made a huge leap to the future in the passage and promulgation of our new constitution. Although we are in the process of implementing it, there are very few people I know who have any concerns about circumventing the constitution and we have already seen that by how the PM stopped Kibaki from making illegal appointments.
It’s therefore extremely unlikely that our constitution will ever again be trumped by a “primitive third world despot.”
[The individual insinuated Raila will become a “despot,” if elected president].
And, in any case, this is something all of us can agree we’ll stand united as a nation to guard against, and push back if we have to but I highly doubt anyone will ever try again to trump our constitution.
This is not to say the President or Parliament cannot find ways to cunningly use the same constitution to effect policies or take action others hate or loath to support; far from it.
Indeed, I have been asked, and am looking into penning a blog elaborating on an issue I posted here a few days ago regarding PLO and the successful stay obtained by my friend Ledama Olekina to keep PLO in office until the matter is resolved by the courts and I am happy to do so because this is the beauty of our new political dispensation under the constitution.
This would obviously never have happened in the despotic times of the past.
My point on this is, there are sufficient checks and balances in the new constitution it doesn’t matter who is president; he or she cannot trump it at will as in the past.
Second, when you say, you were excited after the coalition agreement because “my friend Raila, and his group, would now [after signing of the Accord] get a chance to use the PM’s position to demonstrate to the country what kind of different,and progressive, leadership to expect from him when entrusted with the reigns of power,” [sic] all I can tell you, you must have been alone in this thinking or hardly many others closely following the events thought so.
I can tell you for one, as an ordinary Kenyan offering my views to some of those involved in the discussion leading up to the 2008 Accord, I specifically proposed and pushed for creation of a weak premiership and stronger presidency for reasons I cannot go into here but have to do with what I have publicly said in my blogs and that is, Kenya needed and to some extend needs a good doze of dictatorship to get to where we need to.
I know that’s probably raised someone’s hair but I’ll elaborate on another blog.
Third, even those of us who took the view the premiership should be weaker than the presidency, we expected the Accord to be the transition to that proposed system.
However, the idea of a parliamentary system was scrapped and we shall now resort to the presidential system after the next elections but we are operating under a system intentionally created to provide for a strong president with weak prime minister.
Add to that the deliberate actions by Kibaki’s inner circle in making sure Raila fails as prime minister, you have to give the man an A+ for having thus far managed to accomplish the much he has as PM despite these many odds against him.
My point is, it’s wrong to measure the PM’s future performance as president solely based on his performance as Prime Minister; you can take it into account, and in light of the above, but certainly not exclusively.
Fourth, your conclusion Raila “clearly does not respect power, cannot manage it and is dangerously, if desperately, prone to abuse it!” is just that: a conclusory statement.
To make it more than that, you will have to table your evidence.
Ditto for your other conclusory assertion, “From the happenings around Raila, lately, i worry, mortally, that he is not a manager, he is not in charge neither is he in control!”
When you say, “I worry, too, that allowed into State House, Raila risks running a political harem worse than that of late Francois ” Papa Doc” Duvalier of Haiti, late Emperor Bokassa of C.A.R. late Mobutu Ssese Sseko of Zaire and would be in danger of actualizing the clarion “MOI MUST COME BACK”!!!” you are of course, engaged in classic slippery slope argument which I need not get into as to why first, because I have no time but secondly, I am sure you know why except let me say the best rebuttal shall be when you are proven wrong when Raila is, in fact, elected, if he is but I must assure you from all knowns that we’ll not go down this slippery slope for many reasons, not the least of which I have already pointed out above.
You say, “These are not very nice things to say and, i must confess, i say them with a very heavy heart about somebody i had such admiration for! How i wish i could only hear them said by someone else, but since nobody would, i must say them myself, so that i may hear them!!!”
There are two types of people who used to admire Raila but now don’t:
Those who are genuinely disillusioned with Raila for not meeting their objectives from a policy stand point or
Those who are against Raila because of not meeting their individual needs and objectives, including appointments.
There are, of course, those who never admired him but are now opposed because they have been paid to do so.
I suppose there will be more of any of these as the campaigns get afoot.
I have no reason not to put you in the first category and thus the reason I responded to you the way I did the other day and ditto for today.
In other words, I do genuinely hope and expect, if you are in the first category as I assume, that Raila will listen to you and those like you and hopefully address to your satisfaction, some, if not all of your concerns during the campaign or even before.
Peace, Love and Unity