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Monthly Archives: October 2011

I Will Retire A Happy Man, Says Kibaki and Other Truths As Reported By Yours Truly

President Kibaki on Sunday thanked Othaya people, whom he has served for 37 years, for giving him time to pursue his national ambitions.

Speaking at an interdenominational thanksgiving prayer service in Othaya yesterday, President Kibaki said he will retire a happy man after having tried to give his best as president and Othaya MP.

The president said his Government was committed to serving all without too much discrimination.

The president disagreed with those who say all key offices and personnel are disproportionately staffed by fellow brothers and sisters, but mostly brothers from the House of Mumbi.

The president categorically denied charges that he has been the most tribalist president even beating his two predecessors, Daniel arap Moi and Jomo Kenyatta.

Those who have analyzed hiring trends for all three presidents, however, contend the rate and ratio of employees in senior staff positions at all parts of the government, including nearly all foreign embassies are staffed by people who are either from the former Central province or speak the language very well to fool anyone coming from there.

Indeed, it is said but not confirmed there is one embassy where only one language is spoken among and between staff, which is neither English nor Swahili, the two predominant languages in the country.

“Whenever you go in this country, you are impressed by the steps that Kenyans have taken to uplift their lives,” Kibaki told the congregation, meaning neither he nor his portion of the government has done much to help the people and thus the reason he is impressed folk are still making it.

The president was first elected Othaya MP in 1974 after shifting his base from Nairobi’s Donholm Constituency (later renamed Bahati and now comprising parts of Kamukunji) where he was first elected MP in the first post-Independence elections in 1964.

The president also took a swipe at some unnamed leaders who he described as “proud”, saying the pride was likely to be a precursor to their downfall.

He said such leaders “must show humility rather than brag about their achievements as they were only the servants of Kenyans.”

Asked afterwards by a reporter to clarify who he meant by this reference, the president laughed, saying he would leave it up for people to imagine who he may be referring to.

A quick check of the news archives and analysis of media reports shows there is not a single leader in the country other than Raila who has accomplished anything to be proud of so it is likely this was a swipe of Raila, the president’s partner in the coalition government.

Indeed, a source close to the president confirmed Raila, indeed, was the target of the swipe.

The swipe, however, is unfair and inaccurate because Raila has not bragged about his accomplishments and neither has he acted other than with humility in all of his political life.

The PM did recently address a large crowd in Minneapolis, MN where he ticked off the government’s achievements while also stressing the challenges that lie ahead and offered reasons the country has not attained the progress it should have attained by now.

The speech can hardly be seen as bragging, however, and thus confusion as to whether the president really meant Raila or his (Raila’s) opponents who have been bragging about how good they are when, in fact, they are not good at all other than in engaging in empty talk and besmirching of Raila.

It therefore remains to be seen in the days ahead who the president really had in mind with the swipe and his laughingly saying he’ll leave it up to the readers to figure out who he meant, Kibaki may just have been having a little fun playing cat and mouse.

The prayer meeting at the Othaya Approved School Grounds was organized by churches in Nyeri County, including the Catholic, PCEA, the ACK, AIPCA as well as evangelicals such as PEFA and the Redeemed Gospel Church.

HUMBLE LEADER

Archbishop Peter Kairo of the Nyeri Catholic Archdiocese delivered the main sermon.

He said Kibaki had served the country with a bit of humility and some wisdom at times.

Kairo added that Kibaki had brought progress in education, health, infrastructure and trade but noted that a lot more needed to be done to reduce graft, laziness, crime and consumption of illicit brews.

At the service, the president sat between his son Jimmy and daughter Judy, while younger sons David Kagai and Tony Githinji and Jimmy’s wife completed this row.

Also present were his grandchildren, Cabinet ministers Uhuru Kenyatta, Amos Kimunya, Beth Mugo, Chirau Mwakwere and Moses Wetang’ula, MPs Ephraim Maina (Mathira) and F T Nyammo (Tetu) and former Vice-President Moody Awori.

Wetang’ula said the president’s greatest achievement was in reinstating him as minister.

Uhuru said Kibaki had been at the center of national development since independence and has remained there without moving to any direction and will remain a role model to many in how to be hands off, hear nothing and see nothing, even as storms are swirling around you as was the case in 08.

At the meeting, Mwakwere confessed how Kibaki turned down his offer to lead a crusade for extension of his tenure beyond the constitutional limit but he is believed to be in a deep funk since he made the confession, wondering what caused him to confess this as he is now completely and truly exposed as a watermelon who during the referendum supported passage of the new constitution in the day time while being opposed to it at night and therefore a champion of status quo.

His confession was, in fact, the real headline of this event but given Makwere’s now diminished role in political circles and influence, the media may not care much to make anything out of it other than to feel sorry for him and his continued sliding into political irrelevance, if not oblivion.

***The foregoing is a parody of a story appearing on Standard Online***

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Posted by on October 9, 2011 in Politics

 

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Reconfirming My Position on the Ocampo Six And Why I Think All Six Walk, Or At Least 3 Do

The following is my response in other fora to two individuals who is mistaken that I have been inconsistent in my views on ICC and the Ocampo Six.

You are both operating on a false premise.

First, it does not mean one is right only if they stick to their original positions regardless of changed circumstances or availability of new information. Using that, namely, rigidity to original positions taken as a measure of consistency or right or wrong is wrong.

Second, if you read my legal analysis of the ICC case against Ruto in my blog “Who Is William Ruto” at http://omwenga.com I penned back in April, you’ll clearly see I conclude in that blog that Ruto will walk from the Hague. I also conclude Kosgey and Sang will equally walk because their defenses are closely related to Rutos.

I noted in that analysis that I did not analyze UK, Muthaura and Ali’s cases but I clearly hinted they, too, may walk on at least one technical defense I discuss in the blog.

I have also been very consistent in saying none of the Six will ever see the inside of jail in these cases.

You will note in the analysis, I left it open as to when Ruto, Kosgey and Sang (RKS) walk: before the confirmation, or after trial.

After the confirmation hearings for RKS, I blogged that their charges will be confirmed. This is because they did not attack the prosecutors case in a manner that would essentially result in dismissal of the cases against them.

In my blog yesterday, I allowed that one of the six may not have their charges confirmed and I can tell you now that’s Sang because I gleaned from the Ocampo interview that he bodged in the documentary presentation of Sang’s case.

That does not mean he is forever free, if he walks on this ground for he can be recharged with new evidence.

However, I maintain that all three walk after trial because of the defenses I discuss in my analysis.

The all three or each individually get nailed, of course, if they don’t mount the defense or others to overcome the charges.

It’s not unheard of or uncommon for defendants to be nailed for failure to raise a defense or effectively challenge a case and neither is it unheard of or uncommon for a prosecutor to loose a sure case for failure to effectively prosecute or simply by being overpowered by the defense or by simply fumbling a solid case.

These things happen very routinely and the Hague is no different.

Regarding UK, Muthaura and Ali (UMA)–no pun intended, the charges against all 3 will be confirmed.

As for the outcome at trial, I can’t really call it as authoritatively as I have the other three because I have not thoroughly analyzed their cases as I have the other.

I do see parallels in some of the defenses between the two groups of cases which can result in acquittal of UMA but that remains to be seen as to (a) they raise them and (b) how effectively.

Yesterday, I blogged as follows:

Ocampo is a good prosecutor but brilliance is not usually associated with prosecution; a prosecutor is either tough or not and that is measured by the number of convictions he or she exacts.

Those who think otherwise are mistaken; if you are looking for brilliance, go to a academia and private, not government practice.

That does not mean there are no brilliant prosecutors or brilliant lawyers in government service.

Ocampo should not have done the interview at all and if he had to, he should have done it in Spanish.

Conducting the interview in English he is not a master of made him come across as a bumbling buffoon which he  clearly is not.

He has already telegraphed what I have been saying all along and that is, let’s be prepared for some folks to walk and I think Ruto, Sang and Kosgey will walk, much less so the other two and even more less the other one.

It is not inconceivable that all but two would walk.

If this was a Kangaroo court, it will convict Ruto and UK and say, Case Closed.

This is not a Kangaroo court.

Given this record, you can clearly see I have been very consistent in my reasoning and views about this cases.

I have not changed my views like “Dutch weather” as my friend KM suggests.

Again, just so it’s clear, there is nothing wrong with changing views or analysis based on changed circumstances or new information.

Confirming something I left open regarding confirmation of the charges is not “changing like Dutch weather!”

I think you are mistaking the concept of changing one’s principles with changing viewpoints which are two different things: you can freely do the latter but not the former for doing the former is the proverbial being a wobbler–a no-no, especially in politics.

Ask Mitt Romney how he wishes this were not true.

Peace, Love and Unity

Omwenga

 
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Posted by on October 9, 2011 in Law, Politics

 

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Expounding On Raila’s New Vision; What Is He Really Saying?

In 2001, I drafted a document I simply called the Millennium Vision.

At the time I drafted the document, I had not paid any particular attention to any candidate then vying for the presidency at home in the elections which were about to then get in gear for the 2002 election circle.

Each of the top 3 subheadings of the document had the word “Healing” thus, A. Healing the Nation (Social/Cultural); B. Healing the Nation (Economic) and C. Healing the Nation (Political). These were followed by five other subheadings without the word “healing.”

I drafted the document purely as an expression of my thoughts on what I thought was important for any presidential candidate to focus on.

Again, I had not decided on who to support for president and neither had I even discussed with any of my family or friends what their views were about the elections.

Shortly after drafting this document, however, a friend of mine and I started talking about the 2002 elections and in short order, we both decided that, looking at the landscape, Nyachae was the person ideally placed to succeed Moi and that therefore we should support his candidacy.

For those who follow my blogs, you’ll know back then I was as anti-Raila as one could be starting from when Raila decided to merge NDP with KANU in 1997, which I thought was a total betrayal of his reformist credentials and especially given he was going to bed with the same man who had detained him over and over.

I will, of course, later understand why the man did what he had to but not in any of my political science books lining my bookshelf.

Be as it were, when I examined the candidates vying in 2002, I easily concluded Nyachae was the man, not necessarily because he was Kisii as I am but simply because of his mile long resume as an effective administrator, businessman and politician unlike what any of the other candidates had.

In fact, not even the fact that my friend, a professor at that time and to this day, was already good friends with Nyachae and was on board as one of his advisors had me tilting towards Nyachae but all that changed when I met face to face with the man himself and was convinced thereafter that he was, indeed, the man.

Soon after meeting with Nyachae in Washington, DC, my friend and I embarked on the journey to get Nyachae elected with I primarily focusing on Diaspora resources and my friend and others concerned with activities on the ground.

I remember the event we announced his candidacy at the then Safari Bar and Restaurant very well because it put a very big dent in my pocket, having footed the whole bill for the event when everyone assumed it was deep-pocketed Nyachae who footed it.

Not a penny and there was not even a discussion of him doing so at any time; sometimes we do things for the love of our country and causes we believe in but I fully understand why it’s difficult for people to believe that to be the case.

Anyway, fast forward to end of that year, Raila said “Kibaki Tosha” and the rest is history.

I recall the 2002 elections and the documents I reference above now because, several of the individuals who were initially involved in the Nyachae campaign and some even to the end as I was and I do not now see eye to eye when it comes to who should next lead our country.

Indeed, what I find interesting, is not one of them is supporting any conventional candidates as I can tell; rather, they are either mum as to who they are supporting or, if they have indicated anything, they are leaning in the direction of the so-called G47 or Third Force.

What I also find rather very interesting is, I have no idea who these individuals supported in 2007 and have tried but cannot even recall having any one of them associated with ODM during that period; they might and could have as well been die-hard ODM but I just don’t recall even running into any of them during the campaign either in these fora or on the ground but that’s neither here or there.

It is, as I say, very interesting that 10 years ago, we were pretty much on one side of the political divide, but now quite the opposite.

Nothing wrong with it; I just find it that interesting and of note.

The question I ask is, who changed? Did I change? Did they change?

My suspicion is they would claim they have changed with the evolving political winds but sometimes, one must be circumspect not to be overly presumptive as to what change entails.

I have heard of the refrain all current politicians are corrupt or inept and therefore unfit to be elected president.

This, of course, is in my view and pragmatically looking at things, sweeping with too broad a brush.

Yes, there are those in current leadership who are corrupt or inept or both but so, too, do we have a number who are neither but are quite the opposite in terms of being clean and are otherwise in every measure able and effective leaders ideal for election as president.

I associate with the latter, but not the former.

Back to the Millennium Vision document I reference above, I have actually never seen it since 2002; not even before or during the 2007 elections when I was this time actively campaigning for Raila.

When I saw the subheadings of this document earlier today, I was prompted to try and think why I would have had the subheadings so prominently focused on “healing” and remembered with little juggling of my memory that, in 2001, our country had sunk to the lowest levels any can sink and I therefore felt as though we were actually very ill as a country and needed healing.

Little did I know PEV was in the making and would explode in 2008, requiring healing as it now does in the true sense of that word!

It’s truly thought provoking when I look at this document and think, there I was in 2001 thinking about healing our nation of things that now pale in comparison to the near genocide we experienced in 2008.

While pondering these thoughts prompted by revisiting this document, I saw another related document I drafted at about the same time with the aforementioned friend who worked with me in initially setting up the Nyachae operations in the Diaspora in 2001.

This is actually a document we posted as a welcome or home page on a site that was designed to be a vehicle of communication and information sharing for Nyachae and the Diaspora but for reasons that are not relevant now, never became publicly operative.

The document essentially summed up why Nyachae was running for president and why he should be elected president.

Reading through the document, however, it’s hard to believe it was written more than 10 years ago.

Almost word by word, the document has the same sense and purpose in meaning and even more urgently applicable today than it did more than 10 years ago when it was drafted and this is really the point of my blog:

I completely agree with Raila and his new vision that we need not reinvent the wheel; the vision for our country is right there in the ideals expressed in our national Anthem!

I know we have sung the national Anthem a million times but do we really take in all of what these words mean?

Is everything we can dream of as Kenyans not prayed for and included in our national Anthem?

Are the ideals and aspirations espoused in our national Anthem not all the vision and dream we can have for our country?

Let’s revisit these greatly inspiring words:

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.

Let one and all arise
With hearts both strong and true
Service be our earnest endeavour
And our homeland of Kenya
Heritage of splendour
Firm may we stand to defend.

Let all with one accord
In common bond united
Build this our nation together
And the glory of Kenya
The fruit of our labour
Fill every heart with thanksgiving.

In composing the national Anthem, “it was expected that the lyrics would express the deepest convictions and the highest aspirations of the people as a whole.”

“Considering that words can either unite or divide, great care had to be taken to ensure that the Anthem was an indisputable unifying factor in the life of the nation.”

When the commission of five rendered their final version, “what came out was a national song where the people of Kenya sought special prayers and blessings from God, the creator of this universe to protect the land of Kenya from any foreign attack.”

“The song emphasizes unity, peace and liberty not only within the country but also with the neighboring countries.”

When I look at the Millennium Vision document, I see nothing but a reflection of these words.

When I see the welcoming document, I see nothing but a promise to fulfill these words.

There is no need to reinvent the wheel; the founders of our nation had this figured out in this unifying document, which identifies and ropes us together as a people of one nation we call Kenya.

We have recently promulgated a new Constitution setting forth the liberty we have sought for decades in having a government that is responsive to the needs of the people not a blot of itself.

The blue print for the necessary reforms is enshrined within the document.

Right now, given where we have reached in our country’s history, what we need are three basic things prayed for in our national Anthem: Unity, Peace and Plenty to live on.

That’s it.

Fulfilling the rest of our convictions and highest aspirations will simply flow from having these basic 3 aspirations met.

The missing link, is a transformative leader who understands this and is capable of getting us there.

This is what I hear Raila saying as his vision.

I see none better and neither does one really exist.

Peace, Love and Unity

Omwenga.

 
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Posted by on October 4, 2011 in Politics

 

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