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Monthly Archives: September 2011

My Response to A Luo Non-Supporter of Raila and Classification of Non-Raila Supporters

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:

First Response:

Nd. X

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.

End

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

Omwenga

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Posted by on September 13, 2011 in Politics

 

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

A few weeks ago, I had a conversation in Nairobi with a friend, an ODM assistant minister and soon the conversation came to discussing whether Raila should keep or drop Mudavadi as his running mate in 2012.

My friend has the pulse of Western politics and I consider him an authority on it over others even from the area.

During the Ikolomani by-election, my friend wanted ODM to back Khalwale but he was outnumbered by others involved in making the final decision.

Soon after the elections, and after Khalwale won, my friend, of course, said “I told you; you should have listened to me!”

My friend and I were on the same page on this but we both fully know and understand politics is not an exact science; sometimes even the best of leaders make the best call but end up missing the mark.

It’s not the missing that matters but lessons learned.

Raila and ODM are now faced with yet another difficult decision:

Should Raila keep Mudavadi as his running mate or should he drop him and pick someone else?

Whichever decision Raila makes, it’s prone to put him on a path full of traps and pitfalls he must successfully maneuver to avoid falling into the pit of being fatally snapped.

In the discussion I had with my friend mentioned above, I told him it was my view Raila should replace Mudavadi as running mate but emphasized should this be done, it should be done fully with the blessing of Mudavadi himself otherwise it should not be done at all for obvious reasons, chief being, a wounded Mudavadi ego by Raila is more dangerous to Raila’s presidential plans and ODM than all G7 characters combined.

I have also shared my views on this issue with a handful of other individuals I sometimes discuss such issues with, including one I know is close to Mudavadi but this individual gave me absolutely no indication one way or the other about Mudavadi’s own views on this issue.

I don’t blame him; you can’t find big enough a crow-bar to beat me with sufficiently enough to have me disclose something I hold in confidence.

I have just read with interest Prof. Prof. Makau Mutua’s article in which he makes the case that Raila should drop Mudavadi as his running mate in favor of former Kabete MP Paul Muite.

Mutua essentially provides regional balancing as the primary reason Raila should make this move, but in addition to, and right up there with this, Makau also provides the possibility of Raila’s likelihood of harvesting more votes from the Eastern and ostensibly the former Central province as the other reason Raila should drop Mudavadi and pick Muite.

Mutua notes he has great respect for Mudavadi but he believes it is in the interest of Raila’s re-election (my word) that he steps aside in favor of Muite but Mutua hastens to emphasize that such substation cannot be made haphazardly.

Mutua suggests a soft landing point for Mudavadi such an assurance for election as governor of Nairobi County.

“Kenya isn’t ‘mature enough’ to accept a President and Deputy President from the same region. That’s why Mr Mudavadi – a ‘westerner’ – must be sacrificed for an ‘easterner,’”says Mutua.

Mutua’s arguments mirror precisely the same arguments I have been making with my friends above, except for one major difference:

Besides regional balancing and the “Central” factor, I have been arguing that gender balance should equally be a factor in Raila deciding whether or not to drop Mudavadi as his running mate.

After having time to think and reflect on this for some time, and having evaluated all the known knowns—borrowing from Rumsfield, the man many including yours truly loathed as US Secretary of Defence, I have come to the conclusion Raila should not drop Mudavadi as his running mate.

I do so for several reasons:

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.

Although regional balancing is important as Makau correctly points out, 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.

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.

The fear of having a president and vice-president from the same region in the old political order, was because it was assumed and the constitution, in fact, made it all but certain that the VP would become the next sure-in president were something to happen to the prudent, which in people’s mind this meant death and nothing less because (1) there was no presidential term limits then so the inclination was to believe only by death were the president were to cease to be president, re-election being guaranteed by rigging and of course (2) no illness was bad enough not to be shielded from the public and (3) further of course, there was no such a thing as impeachment.

Our new constitution removes all these grounds of fear for regional domination.

We of course, have presidential term limit carried over from the old constitution but the fear for president and vice-president coming from the same region pre-date adoption of term limits.

The very existence of the term limit provision therefore continues to mitigate against fear or concerns for domination by one region, unlike the case before its passage which was the height of such concerns.

We now also have impeachment provisions in place to remove a president no longer fit to be president.

Under the new constitutional scheme of things, the VP assumes and serves the rest of the president’s term, but he has to seek a new mandate from the electorate in the next general election therefore putting his position in no better position than the replaced president would have been, which further means there is no net difference whether the president and VP come from the same region:

Had there not been a replacement and president run for re-election and won, no difference as the VP running and being elected full term.

There may be a difference going to the issue on total number of years the VP may serve as president, 10years or 12year and 6 months but that’s a distinction without a difference as to the issue of whether the president and VP coming from the same region is a serious impediment for vying.

These two provisions (term limit and impeachment) therefore ensure we shall no longer have presidents for life, followed by a successor for life from the same region, if that’s who is his or her vice president, which was a main concern before.

Given this, it is my view regionalism is no longer a fear factor as it otherwise would have been therefore Mudavadi being Raila’s VP is not a liability in terms of electability as a duo.

Third, the regional balance factor has already been tested and proven not an impeding factor, anway; Case in point: 2007.

Raila was elected as president with Mudavadi as his VP in 2007.

Although the circumstances are not the same, it is the case I don’t see why the same team cannot go back to the drawing board, make some adjustments from the 2007 winning strategy and come with another winning strategy for 2012, which replicates or even improves upon the 2007 results.

Although I would love to get into what that strategy should be, I leave this out for obvious reasons.

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.

Again, details as to why are not necessary for obvious reasons.

Suffice to say this, though: the G7 or whatever entity emerges as major opponent of Raila and Wamalwa will have a field day in the region condemning the move (dropping Mudavadi) anything Raila or Mudavadi says or do will simply be drowned in the noise or ignored.

It goes without saying Raila cannot afford to have any area that heavily went for him in 2007 hemorrhaging votes; loose some, yes, but no hemorrhage.

A Mudavadi substitution will in all likelihood result in hemorrhaging of votes lost in Western and in numbers that cannot be recovered from elsewhere.

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!

Better you go with the known than unknown on this one.

We experimented and succeeded with the Supreme Court CJ but one will be pushing their luck to try the same with the Executive.

Substitution of Mudavadi for a woman is therefore not desirable either.

This leaves Mudavadi the ideal VP candidate, in my view, everything considered.

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

I am of course optimistic that he will and pray that he, in fact, does so.

Peace, Love and Unity

Omwenga

[Unedited]

 
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Posted by on September 11, 2011 in Politics

 

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The Story Dr. Sally Kosgey Vehicle Was Ordered Out of Ferry To Make Room For Mama Aida Is False

There is a story circulating on the Internet that Dr. Sally Kosgey’s vehicle was ordered out of a ferry in Mbita to make room for Mama Ida’s car.

This is a maliciously false story planted by by Leo Odera Omolo in Jaluo.com and other sites.

For reasons I need not get into here other than what I say below, Omolo is on a one man campaign to smear our other First Lady, Mama Aida.

As to this particular event, what happened as confirmed by people who would know, is as follows:

It is true that both Mama Ida and Dr. Sally Kosgey were expected in Rusinga Island to attend the burial of Mrs Damaris Auma Odhiambo, the mother of the ODM nominated MP Ms Millie Odhiambo.

Both the DC and OCPD were expecting Mama Aida and her entourage.

Hon. Kosgey arrived first at the ferry and her car and several others we directed to park in the ferry.

As soon as the cars were safely parked, the ferry embarked on the about 1hr trip across the gulf.

However, just as the ferry was moving away from dock (about 100 yards away), Mama Aida arrived and upon seeing the ferry leaving, her people contacted the DC, who in turn contacted the ferry.

The ferry captain explained that they actually thought Dr. Sally Kosgey was Mama Ida!

Dr. Kosgey never alighted or even rolled down her windows in her dark government sedan, complete with the flag so one can understand why the dock personnel were thus mistaken.

Having been informed of the mix-up, the Captain immediately returned the ferry back to dock, so Mama Ida’s vehicles can be brought on board.

It was then decided by staff (not Mama Ida) that the vehicles that had been parked, would have to exit first and be re-parked according to protocol, which is quite normal.

At all these times, Dr. Sally Kosgey was in her car and never even rolled down her window and her car exited the ferry as instructed but, rather than waiting to re-park, she just drove off.

The other cars were then re-parked and the ferry took off.

Dr. Sally Kosgey was never asked to leave the ferry and there was room for her car to be on the ferry and even if there wasn’t room for it, there were cars belonging to junior officers on matters protocol, which would have been asked to remain behind and await the next trip in order to accommodate Dr. Sally Kosgey.

Specifically, others whose cars were re-parked and could have routinely been asked to wait were Assistant Minister Elizabeth Ongoro, a journalist and a couple of permanent secretaries, not in that order, who all are junior to Dr. Sally Kosgey on matters protocol.

No one knows why Dr. Sally Kosgy decided to leave but clearly Mama Ida had had nothing to do with her leaving as Omolo maliciously implies in the story.

First forward to yesterday, both Mama Ida and Dr. Sally Kosgey were the guests of Embassy of Brazil in the celebration of Brazil’s 189th Independence Day and both were seated at the same table and both were the only ones who spoke at the event.

In other words, this is a story about nothing, same as the one peddled some time ago about Mama Aida having some tussle of power in New York with some assistant minister when such was not the case.

Now, on this Leo Odera Omolo, my sources tell me he is a supporter of someone vying for the Mbita seat, which nominated MP Millie Ojiambo is also interested in.

I am working on confirming who this Omolo is supporting at the national scene.

It is clearly not Raila.

Whether Omolo is in the payroll of those bent on “stopping” Raila or not; he must cease forthwith in planting and peddling these exaggerated or false stories about Mama Ida.

Peace, Love and Unity

Omwenga

 
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Posted by on September 9, 2011 in Politics

 

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My Response to Another Luo Anti-Railaist Regarding Misconceptions About Raila and Other Issues

This is what I am hearing you saying:

1. Luos like you and X have broken from “slavery and blindness.”

2. People will be shocked and “maybe some will collapse dead [if Raila] is not elected president.”

3. If Raila is not elected president this time, he is done with in politics.

4. Miguna Miguna has “secrets” you are hoping he “spills.”

5. Tuju is an authority on the Odingas and apparently knows something Kenyans need to know or find out.

6. Given all of these, you therefore conclude and urge the young people (Luos, by inference) to support and vote for Ole Kiyiapi because he is “tribeless, woships true God, does not drink, has passed tests of intergrity and humblessness where he has worked, he is strong willed against evil (you will get a sack if you are not serving meaning zero tolerance to impunity  even if you are his friend)

7. You urge people not to listen to the media because they serve as “stooges for status quo” and act as “saviors.”

8. You then dismiss RAO and HMK as having “negative/oppressive/selfish dictatorial measures”

Here is my take on all of this:

First, you are perpetuating a myth that Luos have been “enslaved” by the Odinga family.

While it’s true those who have dared challenge the Odingas have not fared well, this has nothing to do with slavery but has everything to do with the colonial system we inherited from independence whereby you had a local “boss” at the household level, then a hierachy of other “bosses” from there on through Chiefs, area MPs, and all the way to the President.

In every tribe, bar none, there always has been and will continue to be a dominant leader or family; you challenge them at your own peril.

I can list them here but let me give you that as an assignment to find out who they are in each community, if you don’t already know.

The Luos are therefore no more “enslaved” than any other tribe in Kenya so the point you are trying to make in your charge is lost in this reality.

The question one should ponder and analyze is one not whether there is a dominant politician or family in any given community, but one whether such politician or family has utilized its power to advance the welfare of its community and the country at large.

On that measure, the Odinga family scores very high and much higher than any similarly situated family anywhere in the country.

Indeed, what endears Raila to most people is, even though he comes from a prominent family, he was willing to, and in fact, personally sacrificed for his stance and fight against the Moi regime and quest for reforms he and his compatriots agitated for and continue to.

Equally impressive, Raila shows no bitterness or want mentality on account of his suffering.

Instead, you find in Raila, a humble, easy going and deeply caring person, undetered in heading where he believes he must get to in his fight for reforms in our country and more.

This is what endears him to a lot of people and was largely the reason he was elected as president in 2007 but not sworn.

Second, while its true some may be shocked if Raila is not elected, I doubt anyone is going to drop and die over that.

Raila is a seasoned politician who understands fully well that in politics, anything is possible but would be the first one to tell you he never thought outright stealing of elections as we witnessed in 2007 was or can be possible but Kibaki proved him wrong.

I doubt we’ll ever see a repeat of 2007 style election theft but every indication is, instead, we shall for the first time have a fair and transparent elections in 2012.

If in the unlikely event Raila is not elected in a fair and transparent election, like any politician, I am sure he will be disappointed  but that will come to pass.

As the statesman he is, I am confident he will still find ways to help our country reap the benefits of the new constitution, including using his international recognition and influence to bring investment and other benefits to the country.

The money, however, is on Raila being elected president and therefore the concern should be what will happen to those so vehemently opposed to his election, especially the haters.

Those are the people one should be concerned about and hope they’ll recover from their respective shocks and help join hands in rebuilding our country under the leadership of President Raila Amolo Odinga, if he, indeed, gets the nod as expected.

Third, it is not true that, if Raila is not elected president in 2012, he is done politically.

Far from it. at the healthy 67 he is, Raila is going to be a political force in Kenya for a long time to come, regardless of what happens in 2012.

Many a politician has been written off, only to come back and lead their nations to greatness.

Raila has already proven he can be a come-back kid and, in fact, has been in more than one occasion.

In other words, like the cat, Raila has ten political lives.

He is only on his second or third, if you count surviving and overcoming the stolen elections of 07.

Fourth, you are going to be terribly disappointed, if you are hoping that Miguna Miguna will “spill the beans” on Raila.

That will not happen because there are no beans to spill about Raila.

Fifth, I know Tuju and would even say we have been friends.

Tuju is no “authority” of the Odinga family anymore than I or anyone else is therefore there is nothing new he can tell us about Raila or his family that we don’t know as you seem to suggest.

Tuju can’t even tell us anything new about what happens when one becomes disloyal or thinks he is suddenly better than to those who help him get anywhere politically.

We know that very well and in politics, its called you get the boot.

Sixth, when you say you want the youth and others to support Ole Kiyiapi because he is “tribeless, woships true God, does not drink, has passed tests of intergrity and humblessness where he has worked, he is strong willed against evil (you will get a sack if you are not serving meaning zero tolerance to impunity  even if you are his friend),” you have not done your man any good because thousands of Kenyans have those exact qualities, yet none of them is running for president.

Why?

Because it takes more to be elected president not the least of which, is political experience and skills to effectively deal with other politicians.

Good a technocrat Ole Kiyiapi may be, and even as intelligent as he is, he lacks this fundamental quality which is a must have for any president to succeed in governing any country.

In other words, one must prove they know how to work the political class for needed outcome, which only comes from experience gained from holding elective political office or otherwise being actively engaged in party politics.

Lack of this experience alone disqualifies Ole Kiyiapi, in my book.

Seventh, you are simply wrong that the media are “stooges for status quo.”

Remember, all media’s #1 objective as in any business, is making money.

If one is slanted one way in the pursuit of that objective, you’ll be sure to find one slanted the other way for the same reason but on balance, Kenya media is doing a much better job compared to many other countries in trying to be objective, even as they each obviously have their own agenda and preferences.

With the projected increase in Internet access and therefore more sources of information, the media cannot but be more objective, if it’s to continue appealing to broad following, or be markedly biased, if their target is enough to sustain its business objective.

This is the trend everywhere.

Finally, I don’t know what you mean by Raila having “negative/oppressive/selfish dictatorial measures” but the Raila I know is contemplative, accommodating and fair.

Those who characterize him otherwise, simply don’t know him.

Peace, Love and Unity

Omwenga

 
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Posted by on September 6, 2011 in Politics

 

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My Farewell To, And Commemoration of My Brief Dalience With NVK

I have unceremoniously been given the boot from NVK, courtesy of brother Shem Ochuodho.

My only sin, is I dared express views not conforming to Shem’s own views and agenda.

I share with you what happened just so I can make several points, which I do below.

This is how it went:

A few days ago, Ochuodho warned me that I risked being kicked from his group unless I essentially conformed to his thinking and views.

In response, I wrote the following:

Nd. Ochuodho,

I obviously need not ask you to unsubscribe me, if you deem my views and contribution at odds with your agenda.

I will continue to express myself regardless for I have never believed or thought I can ever conform my views to suit any particular person or group beyond not being uncivil, petty or irrational.

Should you choose to kick me out of your group, then that’s fine and all I can say is it’s been good for our burgeoning democracy that we have had occasion to exchange views as we have in this forum and will not doubt continue be it in a closed or open environment.

I would also add that, please rest assured if your group emerges victorious at the polls next year and takes the presidency, I’ll be rooting for your success for in the end, it’s our country that matters and to the extent we can have a president elected to finally rid it of the ills that have been impeding development and progress, so much the reason to be merry regardless of who that is.

In other words, I’ll not be like the Big Fat Idiot Rush Limbaugh here in the US who, upon Obama’s inauguration, declared a one sided war of words against Obama with the opening salvage being that he wished and prayed that Obama failed as president, something so counter-intuitive, even he has been at a loss to explain, yet it’s something he and most of his followers truly believe.

In the same vein, I would expect you, too, to root for the success of any president elected in a fair and open election, whether that be Raila or anyone from the PNU/ODM class, which you seem to loath so much.

BTW, when I say “enemy,” I mean that in a figurative sense, except when referring to all manner of vice, especially the top three: corruption, impunity and tribalism, in which case I mean this to be our common enemy both literally and figuratively speaking.

You’ll agree with me, would you not, that these vice are our common enemy, would you not?

I hope so and to the extent you and I are fighting to eradicate these, then it matters not how we get there for the country wins, if we all win but the enemy.

That’s the spirit I leave you with till we meet again, if it’s good-bye for now.

(In his “warning” to me, Shem rejected the notion I have expressed and continue to, that we all have a common enemy and the difference is only in about how we are going about getting rid of it).

This comment was not posted and neither were several unrelated others I submitted since so, noticing this, I requested that Shem unsubscribes me for one sided conversations never work for me–which is essentially he was attempting to have me endure by allowing me to see comments I cannot respond to.

Shem obliged and I am now unsubscribed.

As I reflected on this, several thoughts came to mind.

Is brother Shem within his right to exclude people of differing opinion from his group NVK?

The answer is an unequivocal “Yes.”

The constitution guarantees freedom of association but does not guarantee anyone the right to belong to an association they are not wanted, unless one can make the case such exclusion is discriminatory on prohibited grounds.

Thus, to exclude someone from an association or group because you can’t stand their views is perfectly okay.

Shem not wanting anything to do with people of differing views or otherwise those who don’t tow 100% with him and his agenda, is no different from a political party getting rid of members with antagonistic or opposing views.

The only difference is, in a political party, there is generally a sense of what the offending dissent is, or who the offending dissenter is and why but in a one man show such as NVK, that’s limited to what the man sees or says it is.

The rest, like sheep in a flock, go along.

I am sure, there are many, if not most, within the group who would want to, and in fact, prefer to hear other viewpoints such as yours truly but, again, who are they to overcome the wishes of the King?

This is not a phenomena confined to a group such as NVK.

In fact, this is by definition, KANU politics!

Does anyone see the glaring similarity and irony?

I actually find it hilarious, especially given brother Shem denies having had anything to do with KANU and that he has been fighting it all along.

He may have, but he certainly has taken a page from its playbook: Shut or get rid of those opposed to your agenda.

My take on this, is this, like the KANU we all are, let’s try and at least accommodate some form of dissent within and without.

In the case of a political party, healthy dissent is, in fact, desirable otherwise one may never know when the party is headed in the wrong direction.

Ditto for a closed or one man operation such as NVK.

Interestingly, however, in the case of a joint like Shem’s, it cannot be said that someone like I, is dissenting, because I am not part of the group in the sense that I do not ascribe to their agenda; I may and indeed do agree with NVK’s ideals and objectives but wholly differ with the group’s thinking and philosophy when it comes to the question of who should be our next president, chief being, its dogged determination to oppose any and all presidential candidates from the existing political class.

I think that’s a naïve and untenable proposition to operate from for a number of reasons.

In my blog While Bloggers Are Busy Fighting Each Other, Masters of Impunity May Have the Last Laugh, I said the following:

Other than individuals who directly benefit from corruption and impunity and their derivative beneficiaries (cronies, enablers, family members, and fellow comrades in crime and vice), all of Kenya is for ending corruption and impunity.

It is naive for one group or another to solely lay claim to be the only ones capable of pursuing this otherwise noble objective of ending impunity and corruption, to the exclusion of everyone else.

We all want to do this, except for the masters of impunity and corruption and their beneficiaries.

The question is, how do we rid ourselves of these dual vices that are at the core of what ails our country.

One school of thought is, let’s get in leadership only those who are committed to ending the vices and have a track record that they can be trusted to do so as required under the criteria set forth in Chapter Six of the Constitution, in addition to meeting other constitutional requirements.

The other school of thought is, let’s get rid of everyone currently in leadership otherwise euphemistically referred to as “the Old,” regardless of their involvement in, or promotion of these vices and regardless of whether they meet the criteria set in Chapter 6 of the Constitution or not.

[Shem and co, want us to believe they belong to the latter school.]

Separate and apart from these two schools of thought, there is a third, not school of thought, but the very masters of impunity and corruption and the beneficiaries of the vice who would fight tooth and nail to maintain status quo for they and only they stand to continue benefiting from the vice.

The logical flaw in [the position taken by Shem and co] is, they have taken an “us v them” approach to address a situation that involves three distinct groups; in other words, in theory and in practice, [they] have reduced everything to two sides (good and evil) when, in fact and in reality, there are three sides to this:

There are those who want to end impunity and corruption by electing new leadership of proven reformists who are committed to ending the dual vices (the first group I describe above), which is Group or Side A.

There are those who want to end impunity and corruption by electing new leadership that is entirely comprised of newcomers regardless of whether they have the experience necessary to lead or not, the litmus test being they are free of the vice (the second group I describe above), which is Group or Side B.

And then there are those who do not want to end impunity and corruption (the third group I describe above), which is Group or Side C.

If I were good in graphics, I would draw 3 circles with two intersecting each other and a third on its own to show these relationships. I am not, so I’ll leave it there.

In the two circles that intersect, Group/Side A and B from above, the intersection represents ending impunity and corruption.

The third lone circle represents masters of corruption and impunity, Group/Side C.

[Shem and others who think like him] are making the implausible and illogical argument that one of the two circles that intersect (A&B) actually intersects with C, when clearly neither of them does.

You don’t even need facts to determine or conclude that there is no connection between Groups A/B with Group C, given the premises and to prove this visually, simply draw the circles as described and you’ll readily see neither A nor B intersects with C, yet this is precisely [Shem and co’s] argument, namely, one of the two groups (A or B) is connected to C and that’s just not true.

In other words, [Shem and others who think like him] are making the argument because one of the two groups that agree on ending impunity and corruption (A and B) is connected to Group C, a group which does not want to end impunity and corruption because [they, Shem and others] disagree with the other group’s strategy or solution to ending the dual vices [and other problems facing the country], when there is no connection between the two in fact and in reality.

They are obviously wrong.

In the good v evil sense, both Group A and Group B are on the one side, and Group C is on the other!

In war parlance, the common enemy for Group A and B is killing the enemy inside the intersection between the two.

To do so, both sides would need to, and must in fact work together for this sole purpose and not to make each other enemies, which, if they do, namely, make each other enemies, the two circles will be killing each other leaving the sole Group C victorious in the end even without as much as lifting its sword!!!!

So, rather than brother Shem using this divisive and counter-intuitive approach and kicking people like myself from his group on grounds we are in support of Group C, or that somehow we must conform to his thinking, merely because he disagrees with our strategy of working with those within the current leadership that we are confident are capable of leading our country out of the malaise we are in, they (Shem and others like him) should instead find ways to work with us to slay the common enemies of tribalism, corruption and impunity.

As I have repeatedly said, no one has a monopoly on this noble quest, unless the talk about fighting same is a charade, in which case those engaged in the latter can have all the limelight for all I care as they in the end must fail as well.

It cannot be the case that, just because one has had a fall-out with any of the current leadership, for personal or other reasons, that therefore by extension that leader or leaders is or are incapable of effectively guiding the rest of the country in leadership, if, in fact, they are capable of doing so.

This is a fallacy that should be proven in the end regardless of whether one is or is not a part of any association, party or grouping.

Peace, Love and Unity

Omwenga

 
1 Comment

Posted by on September 4, 2011 in Politics

 

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Who Is Martha Karua Part IV

In Minimum Qualities, Attributes and Skills Our Next President Mus Possess, I set forth an objective criteria that should be used to evaluate presidential candidates in deciding who among them should get our nod to be our next president.

In that blog, I noted as follows:

To be sure, leadership is a subject that has been studied for centuries and many scholars have tried to define what it is exactly but none has had lasting acceptance.

Analyzing these studies is beyond the scope of this piece but I have drawn from these studies qualities, attributes and skills (QAS) I believe are essential and a must have for the person we elect as our next president and these are:

  1. Religious Conviction
  2. Honesty, Trustfulness and Integrity
  3. Firm Educational Foundation and Wisdom
  4. Experience and Exposure
  5. Inspiration, Vision and Self-Confidence

It is my belief applying these QAS to select our next president will result in the election of the most apt and suitable president at this time in our history.

I then go on at length in that blog, expounding on what these qualities entail and why I think they are apt, if applied properly, in helping us choose an ideal or at least the best leader we can have under the circumstances, given the candidates we have vying for the presidency.

I now apply these qualities and evaluate the candidacy of Hon. Martha Karua (HMK), in this next to last series on her (see my archives for earlier parts).

I will, in the future, analyze other candidates as well.

  1. Religious Conviction.

I don’t have much to go by here other than HMK’s own declaration during an interview with Jeff Koinange on K24 during the referendum in which she emphatically declared that she is a Christian.

How much or less of a Christian she is, I just don’t know and neither her or anyone from her campaign has responded to my phone call and SMS seeking input for this next to last piece on her.

I would therefore simply give HMK the benefit of doubt and say being a Christian, she has been exposed to the teaching of Christianity, especially as it regards to treating others with compassion and love.

2.   Honesty, Trustfulness and Integrity.

This is a tough one and not just for HMK, but for everyone running for president, or for any public office for that matter.

All politicians are not honest or trustworthy to begin with, so do most people believe and except for a few here and there, few people would believe most, if not all politicians have not been involved in questionable transactions of one kind or another, or otherwise engaged in conduct that may be said to adversely reflect on their honor and integrity.

In the end, this may be a question of degree, as opposed to absolute terms.

Be as it may be, the direct question to ask about HMK and all others seeking office, for that matter, is does she pass the threshold set forth under Chapter Six of the Constitution and my answer is, yes she does.

I have no doubt many can look back to HMK’s conduct post-election 07 (PEV) and conclude HMK is the most dishonest, untrustworthy and certainly without any integrity and that would be on the surface, the appropriate conclusion to reach, but there is more to it than that.

There is no question, HMK came across during those grim days as shrewdly cold and recklessly inflexible, all the while advising Kibaki to take the most of hardline positions while the country was about to plunge into civil war, not to say anything about people having already been burned in churches and their homes with streets and homes still on fire.

This was clearly not something you would expect from an honest person and one with honor and integrity; you would have expected such person, at the minimum, to be reconciliatory and accommodating, given the facts known then and that is, Kibaki had flagrantly stolen the elections.

I know the media, and out of respect for the reconciliation finally reached, refer to the 07 outcome as “disputed” or that “nobody knows who won” but there is little doubt in anyone’s mind that Raila won the elections by far, Kibaki and crew just made sure he was not sworn as president.

For her hardline position, and advising Kibaki not to relent even under the tremendous pressure being applied from everywhere, and despite the obvious need to so relent, if anything, to stop the violence, one can and should rightly say or conclude that HMK was then wallowing at the height of impunity.

It therefore would be easy to conclude HMK lacks this trustfulness and honesty elements, when evaluating her leadership ability, solely based on her conduct post-election but I think this would be unfair.

HMK’s honesty, trustfulness and integrity, must be measured in totality, meaning in examining her complete personal and professional, including her political life.

Starting with her conduct during PEV, this is clearly her biggest stain on her trustfulness, honor and integrity but she has explained her conduct as being driven by a desire to serve her master as zealously as she could.

In other words, in her quest to please Kibaki, HMK crossed the line without knowing to a level of zealotry that completely ignored or disregarded reality.

Or put differently, HMK was for impunity before she became against it but unwittingly so, according to her explanation.

If this is her explanation, it is understandable and forgivable, especially given the fact she has since decamped from the Kibaki regime, even though listening to how she puts it, her distancing herself from Kibaki has more to do with not standing Kibaki’s kitchen-cabinet than anything related to her PEV conduct or role.

I’ll give her a pass on that.

Beyond PEV, I have not heard of HMK as being implicated in conduct unbecoming an honest and trustworthy public servant with integrity to boot.

I dismiss as not particularly relevant stories reported in the media about HMK being car-jacked in car she was only with a priest and no security detail near or anywhere around, if anything on double standard grounds: no man would be held to account for anything of that nature, even if the inferences and insinuations from the incident were true.

Besides the issue of impunity I discuss above, I have never heard anyone accuse HMK as being corrupt or harboring corruption and that being the case, I would give her at least a passing grade on integrity.

That being the case, I therefore would have to conclude HMK meets the integrity threshold under the Constitution and cannot be disqualified to run for president on this ground.

3. Educational Foundation and Wisdom

HMK studied law at the University of Nairobi from 1977 to 1980.  Between 1980 and 1981 she was enrolled at the Kenya School of Law for the statutory post graduate law course that is a prerequisite to admission to the Kenyan roll of advocates and licensing to practice law in Kenya.

HMK therefore has the requisite educational foundation and wisdom to be elected president

4.  Experience and Exposure.

After graduating from Kenya School of Law, HMK worked in the Judiciary as a District Magistrate rising to a Senior Resident Magistrate at the time of leaving the Judiciary in 1987.

During this period, she was in charge of Makadara Law Courts from 1984 to 1985 and Kibera Law Courts from 1986 to 1987 when she left to start her own law firm. In the year 1987 Martha Karua formed Martha Karua & Co. Advocates which she operated till the year 2002.

While in practice, Karua presented many pro bono cases notable among them the treason trial of Koigi Wamwere and the late Hon. Mirugi Kariuki.

HMK is credited for having significantly contributed to the development of family law and especially the distribution of matrimonial property as well as constitutional and administrative law.

HMK was a member of the opposition political movements that successfully agitated for the reintroduction of multi-party democracy in Kenya in the early 1990s.

Kenya was at the time under the authoritarian rule of KANU, the only legally recognised political party in Kenya at the time, and which was led by then president Daniel arap Moi.

HMK joined Kenneth Matiba’s Ford-Asili party but lost the party nomination ticket to the wealthy and influential former Head of Public Service Geoffrey Kareithi.

HMK was then offered a ticket and support by the Democratic Party of Kenya (DP) elders who wanted a clean break from the Kareithi – Nahashon Njuno rivalry.

Karua won the 1992 general election to become the MP for Gichugu constituency, which she has represented since, and in doing so, she became the first woman lawyer to be popularly elected to Parliament.

In 2002, HMK joined Raila and other “KANU Rebels” who split from KANU and formed the political coalition NARC that won the 2003 General Election in Kenya and defeated Moi’s Uhuru Project, effectively putting an end to KANU’s nearly four decades of choke-hold on power in Kenya.

To be continued.

In Part V, I conclude the series on HMK

 
6 Comments

Posted by on September 1, 2011 in Politics

 

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