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Monthly Archives: May 2012

DPM Musalia Mudavadi Has Once Again Defied Common Sense and Prevailing Wisdom

Here are a few things we know about Deputy Prime Minister and M.P. for Sabatia, Hon. Musalia Mudavadi:

First, he is not a self-made man.

We are not here talking about not being a self-made man for merely being born to privilege; far from it.

Many examples abound of men who qualify for that classification even though born to privilege and you would have to look no further than Raila to when counting them.

Why is being a self-made man important, one may ask; there is something admirable about being one.

Whether in business or in government, a self-made man reassures those he leads he has been there and understands their needs and knows what needs to be done to meet them or to have them excel in their endeavors.

But, more importantly, a self-made man he gives those he leads hope that they, too, can make it by working as hard as he has and that, conversely, he has not made it to where he is by accident or will not take it for granted how he got there.

Otherwise, you are simply dealing with those it’s said were born with a silver spoon in their mouths and wander through life without ever having a clue what an ordinary person’s life is like or what sacrifice means or even what can be done to make the lives of the ordinary folk better.

By this measure, Mudavadi is not a self-made man.

That does not mean he could not have become one through his life to date.

Having succeeded his late father and Moi confidant Moses Mudamba Mudavadi as M.P. for Sabatia, Moi made Mudavadi our country’s youngest minister at age 39.

This would have been an ideal opportunity to break from his comfy background and be his own man, let alone a self-made one.

Unfortunately, however, most people would remember Mudavadi for his 6-weeks stint as VP and serving as Uhuru project running mate in 2002 than anything he ever did as minister.

Third, if Mudavadi did not distinguish himself as minister, he has done no better as DPM even though compared to his colleague Uhuru, one would have to toss a coin as to which one has been worse than the other.

I have previously noted that a compelling case can be made that Mudavadi has, in fact, performed better than Uhuru as DPM but that is just what that was: noting that a compelling case can be made, not that it is made.

Fourth, as noted above, Mudavadi holds the dubious record of being the shortest serving Vice-President of the Republic of Kenya, a position he accepted without shame because he and a handful of other Kenyans led by former president Daniel Arap Moi actually believed that Moi would succeed in shoving Uhuru down our throats as Moi’s successor back in 2002.

In a resounding no vote, Kenyans rejected the Uhuru project and enthusiastically embraced and voted for Kibaki with the blessing of Raila with his “Kibaki Tosha” declaration at Uhuru Park which propelled Kibaki to State House as our Third President.

Mudavadi defied common sense and all prevailing wisdom at that time in allowing Moi to use him in the manner he did and to be fair to him, many a politician driven by unchecked ambition would have succumbed to Moi’s antics in the same fashion.

Mudavadi and Uhuru having been beaten down to the pulp in the 2002 run-in with Kibaki, Raila and Co., he was basically left for the political dead.

Obviously and without any doubt having noticed which direction the wind was blowing, Mudavadi wised up and joined the Orange Democratic Movement led by Raila who basically used his influence to have Mudavadi made his running mate for the 2007 elections.

The rest, as they say, is history.

Except Mudavadi out of the blue decided early this year to re-write part of that history by demanding that he must be allowed to challenge Raila for the ODM nomination in the name of “internal democracy.”

Given the development of events since Mudavadi made public his quest, it is obvious this has had nothing to do with “internal democracy” but the execution of a poorly designed plan to position Mudavadi as yet another project and unbelievably involving none other than Uhuru Kenyatta himself.

To be sure, there were those saying and even providing historical reasons why Mudavadi is another Moi project but it matters less which project he is because he is clearly someone’s project.

This is because if his ambition was simply to become president as his own man, he would have duked it out with Raila for the nomination and even if he were not to succeed, he still could run as an independent if he believed he has the masses behind him.

The latest poll show Mudavadi polling at about 5% of the national vote.

The climb from there to garnering even another 5% to max out at 10% is monumental and it doesn’t matter how much money is to be poured as it shall for the saying puts it well:

Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.

Moi made a spirited effort and fooled those who voted for UK and Mudavadi in 2002.

When Mudavadi presented himself as one who had learned his lesson from the whopping in 2002 along with UK and more importantly upon Raila resurrecting him from the dead and brought him under his wings, Kenyans gave the duo the nod only to be denied the full prize by Kibaki and Co.

Mudavadi wisely went silent, enjoying what little perks and privileges he would as DPM and all would have been good for him but for his sudden change in course and demanding topple the very man who resurrected him from the dead.

If this is how Mudavadi thanks those who do him favors, then he has a thing or two to learn about life.

Once he does that, and he ever succeeds again politically, he would have earned himself the adoration a “self-made man.”

Until then, Mudavadi shall remain a living proof of how not conduct oneself politically and that defying common sense and prevailing wisdom has its price and twice as much if that is the second time one does so.

[Unedited]

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Posted by on May 2, 2012 in Politics

 

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President Mwai Kibaki’s State of the Country Speech

Honorable Members of Parliament and fellow Kenyans.

I am happy to stand here today to report to you the state of our union.

By “union” I don’t mean the state of the union between Mama Lucy and I.

If you thought that’s what I meant then wewe hakuna tofauti na mavi ya kuku.

Anyhow, the state of the union I am reporting is that of our country since that interesting evening back in December 2007 when I had my sycophants and clique surrounding me to hurriedly swear me as president so we could more effectively thwart Raila’s efforts to stop me from grabbing power against the people’s will and be president again.

As you know fully well, my efforts nearly sunk our country into civil war.

Fortunately, however, the worst that came of it was the post-election violence that killed only about 1000 people and caused the displacement of only about 600,000 people.

There were also some other crimes committed against some of these people such as rape and maiming.

Out of my sheer desire to bring peace in the country and without any pressure, I agreed to open negotiations with Raila to see what the man wanted to leave me alone rather than calling for the mass protests that would have surely hounded me from office.

Mr. Odinga told me what he wanted was to take over as president but I told him “hell no!”

Since time was not on anyone’s side, we agreed to have our people meet at Serena headed by His Eminence Kofi Annan.

My team was headed by the take no hostages, tough talking Hon. Martha Karua while Raila’s team was headed by someone I bet you don’t know even if I mentioned his name.

Be that as it may be, Raila and I finally agreed to form a coalition government, which we did by signing the National Accord and Reconciliation Act of 2008 on February 28, 2008.

Under that agreement, I remained president, which is all I ever wanted, and Raila became the Prime Minister.

Raila and I then had our same team negotiate on the composition of the government, especially the number of ministers to be appointed to the cabinet and which party should hold what portfolios.

Because of the lopsided nature of the team given the imbalance in chips either side had in the negotiations, and given the take no hostages, tough talking Martha Karua, my side got everything we wanted and left the PM with a few crumbles from the bread we were supposed to share in half.

When Raila was almost being mauled by some people on his team such as William Ruto for not getting them plum appointments, Raila defended himself by telling the public that he got half-loaf.

My peeps and I just laughed ourselves silly every time he would say that because we knew he didn’t!

I thank Martha for her excellent work in the negotiations that earned her a spot in the cabinet where she distinguished herself as the only man serving in it among all others on my side of the cabinet.

Relationship between the principals

The relationship between Raila and I since the formation of the coalition government has been very interesting.

Early on after the coalition was formed, it was the view of my people that we needed to do everything possible to make Raila irrelevant in the government.

Many great ideas were suggested to me how to go about doing this and we tried to implement quite a few of them but, lo and behold, this man kept outwitting us and before we knew it, he had established himself as a credible member of the government against our wishes.

Not only did Raila establish himself as a credible member of the government, a case can be made in as far as the government having had success in any area, it has been due to Raila’s efforts.

Don’t get me wrong, though; I am not saying I don’t deserve credit as well; I do for I am the one responsible for making appointments to key positions of the government, which I have done with delight.

Those I have appointed have also seen to it that they appoint people meeting my criteria of selection, which is basically the appointees must come from our neck of the woods and if we must throw a bone here and there to the rest of the country, then we do so reluctantly.

I do give Raila credit, however, for stopping me from violating our new constitution by trying to stuff important constitutional offices without following the law.

Up until that point, I didn’t know how much popular Raila still is with the people and must say I have since then been quite circumspect about what I do or allow my sycophants and clique to do.

State of the Economy

Our economy is down in the drains where it needs to be.

In March 2008, our economic growth rate was -3.10 percent, which was slightly better than what we had in the last term of Moi’s administration.

Following the signing of the coalition agreement, however, we saw an upswing in economic activity resulting in an historic high growth rate of 4.20% in June on 2008.

There has been no economic growth to speak of since then.

This is not because our people are not working hard enough; they are but thieves are ever more busy stealing, leaving no money to expand economic activity as these monies are often stashed away under the bed or in foreign accounts.

Efforts by one part of the government led by Raila to stop the theft and corruption have been thwarted by the other part of the government but I can assure you I have nothing to do with it.

As a result of this theft and corruption and lack of investment in the private sector, coupled with low productivity in the agricultural sector, which is the main engine of our economy, the average growth rate of the economy between 2005 and 2011 was a paltry 1.22 percent

In the third quarter of 2011, the economy grew only at a rate of 0.7, which is pathetic, even given our own record of wallowing at the bottom of economic growth compared to other countries in the region.

It is even more pathetic that even as our country is the most industrially developed country in East Africa, the manufacturing sector accounts only for 14% of our GDP.

I blame most of this on the Minister for State for Planning, National Development and Vision 2030 Hon. Wycliffe Oparanya and other relevant ministries from my side of the government that appear to be sleeping at the switch instead of acting to jump-start the economy.

It’s not all gloom and doom, however.

For example, we recently discovered oil and a lot of people are excited about the prospects of a new revenue stream to line their pockets.

Indeed, even though things have been spiraling downwards for some time, there have been recent signs of improvement owing to expansions in tourism, telecommunications, transport, construction and a recovery in agriculture.

I commend the ministers heading the respective portfolios in these improving sectors of the economy and give a particular shout out to Hon. Dr. Sally Kosgey for her superb job she is doing as Minister for Agriculture—a great improvement over the predecessor in that office who shall remain nameless.

I know much was expected of me as an economist to turn this economy around and improve it significantly but quite frankly, I have been too busy making sure my friend Raila does not succeed as PM lest he crushes all his opponents in the next elections and that will not be good or fair for them.

I did, however, let the PM have some crumps here and there even though some, like launching the most ambitious transportation projects including the new Lamu port and the Trans-Africa Highway are really projects long overdue and I was starting to feel guilty to have them wait another year or more.

Constitutional Reforms

As you know, I worked tirelessly with PM Raila Odinga to deliver the new constitution as promised and we are now both doing what we can to have it implemented fully.

Those who are hoping that I grant their wish to delay or stall implementation of the constitution are either dreaming or they just don’t know how I operate.

Domestic and National Security

The top leadership of the national security are my peeps and they tell me everything is under control, then no need to worry. I know the Civil Society has been making some noise about the police force not being reformed but my peeps tell huo si ukweli.

Who do you think I am going to believe?

Everything about our domestic and national security is under control as far as I am concerned.

In sum, kila kitu iko sawa na kama utaki kukubali, basi wewe si ni kama mavi ya kuku tu?

Asanteni sana.

Goodbye.

Kwaheri.

***The foregoing is a parody of the State of the Country Speech as the author believes President Kibaki would have given it under difference circumstances.***

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Posted by on May 2, 2012 in Politics

 

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My Take On Who Raila Should Pick As Running Mate Should Mudavadi Finally Defect

In his DN column titled What Raila Should Consider In Choosing Running Mate, Prof. Makau Mutua argues that for ODM, “it’s time to exhale” and that “thank heavens Mudavadi is history.”

I disagree that it’s time for ODM to exhale and that neither do I see Mudavadi’s impending departure something to celebrate for ODM.

This is because it need not have been but since it has or shall, Raila and ODM must deal with it accordingly and consistent with their common end objective of once again sweeping the country at the polls.

This being politics we are talking about and specifically involving the master politician in Kenya himself by the name Raila Amolo Odinga, it would not surprise anyone someday that the man himself engineered the whole thing with the full blessing of Mudavadi himself to pave way for what I agree with the good professor to be “a free hand to make an inspired pick for running mate.”

I am merely speculating here and wouldn’t that be the engineering of the century were it to turn out to be that way, however.

I do agree with Prof. Makau that Mudavadi’s defection would be a double-edged sword for Dr. Odinga in that he must make as near perfect a pick for his replacement as running mate lest the whole thing blows in his face.

Unlike the professor, however, I am not worried or concerned with the PM listening to his “sycophants and underlings” because he is his own master strategist and rarely so in Kenyan politics.

As for who the best pick should be for Raila’s running mate, it’s worth noting what the ideal universal qualities of a vice president are:

First, he or she must obviously be someone ready to step in and effectively take over as president should the need ever arise—God forbid–during the presidency.

Second, he or she must be someone who is loyal and in every respect of that word.

Third, he or she must bring to the table something of value to help make the ticket a better one than the ticket being without him or her in comparison to all others.

These are the qualities by which Raila must evaluate each and every prospective candidate and whoever gets the most points as to each, gets the nod.

Prof. Makau says the Raila should not let tribal math determine the pick and I fully agree with him on that.

However, it’s important to note that, one of the considerations Raila or anyone for that matter must make, is regional balance which de facto means tribal consideration.

The way I have been saying is we must end tribalism as a major determinative factor in how we elect presidents.

This is because I don’t believe one can expect to have an electoral process in which tribe does not matter given the constitution itself recognizes and actually mandates that regional balance (read balanced tribal representation) is and must be a hurdle to overcome for anyone aspiring to be sworn as president.

In other words, benign tribal consideration is okay; it’s invidious tribal consideration that is evil and must be shunned by all.

If Raila considers having a Kale as his vice president to meet regional balance, then that’s quite alright.

If on the other hand, Raila’s opponents band together into a tribal outfit solely for the purpose of “stopping” Raila to be reelected president, then that’s wrong and condemnable as backward because we must elect leaders by virtue of their leadership ability, not by tribal affiliation.

Conversely, one cannot deny Raila or anyone for that matter a vote on the basis that he has not picked one of their own for his running mate as that, too, is wrong and condemnable as backward because people must realize we can only have one president and one vice president therefore every tribe cannot have one or both.

Rather, what should matter is that the one selected as the running mate meets the criteria stated above and nothing more or less.

Prof. Makau says it would be a “gargantuan political error” if Raila were to pick a Luhya running mate to replace Mudavadi with another Luhya because “there is no Luhya politician – except perhaps Speaker Kenneth Marende – who fits the bill.”

I disagree only because I am sure if the sole issue was “replacing” Mudavadi with another Luhya, there are several individuals who would fit the bill.

A whole community can simply not be devoid of capable leaders who can step in and hold the position of deputy party leader.

I will agree with the good professor, however, that Raila should not pick another Luhya albeit for a different reason and that is, regional balancing.

I also join Makau in rejecting the “Tribal mathematicians” argument that Raila must appease the Luhya by picking one of their number as running mate to make up for Mr Mudavadi’s “loss” or those arguing that Raila must pick a Kalenjin to swing Kalenjins from archrival Eldoret North MP William Ruto.

My thinking on this has been and continues to be there will be a major paradigm shift in Kenyan politics in 2012 brought about by none other than Raila himself such that the traditional tribal calculations will not be the major determinative factor in who we elect as our next president.

I know I have previously argued that Raila should not drop Mudavadi or that if he did so, he had to do it with his blessing lest he finds himself in deep trouble with the Luhya vote but, with Mudavadi basically showing himself the door, and despite spirited urging from his own backyard, his walking away is tantamount to telling Raila he has his blessing to pick whomever he pleases for his running mate.

In other words, Raila is not dropping Mudavadi as his running mate as I previously cautioned him not to but Mudavadi is dropping himself as one and all reasonable and objective Luhyas cannot possibly hold that against Raila nor can they not understand if they believe in Raila and ODM ideals, then so much the better getting a running mate from elsewhere to better balance the ticket.

The focus, that is, now must be regaining the presidency and with that comes the opportunity to implement the same ideals the community has all along anticipated will occur with the Raila presidency.

Nothing changes with the departure of Mudavadi.

The reality and truth is, Raila is far much better off with someone outside Luhyaland as his running mate and he need not go far than the Rift Valley to find someone to bring the more desirable regional balance.

Prof. Makau dismisses the notion of having someone from RV on grounds “none has the requisite credentials” and while crediting Dr. Sally Kosgey with “intellectual heft,” he nonetheless dismisses her as carrying Moi baggage while dismissing all other senior politicians from the region as being “heavily” compromised.

I disagree.

Both Dr. Sally Kosgey and Henry Kosgey are viable options Raila could easily pick as running mate under the criteria stated above, even though Dr. Kosgey may get a strike for the loyalty factor.

Henry Kosgey meets all of the three criteria and even though he does have a past some may argue as Makau does that puts him on the potentially “compromised” category, it is nothing insurmountable and the opposite is actually more plausible and that is, a compelling case can be made that he has if anything become a different breed of a politician almost on a class of his own.

Prof. Makau argues that the ICC charges for crimes against humanity that Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and Eldoret North MP face at The Hague are sure to knock them out of the contest and thereby “detribalise” or throw up the Kalenjin and Kikuyu votes for grabs.

I disagree only because it’s my believe voting in these communities will not be as a bloc regardless of whether either or both suspects are allowed to vie.

Bloc voting is a thing of the past and I don’t have time to explain why the Luo vote for Raila would not be bloc voting in the sense how this phenomena is understood in political parlance.

Prof. Makau touts the credentials of Mandera Central MP Abdukadir Hussein Mohamed and says he makes a compelling case for Raila to pick him as his running mate.

I should without any equivocation note that I agree with most of what the professor has said about Abdukadir and would even add that he has a bright future in Kenyan politics, if he continues on the path he is on.

I only disagree that he makes the most compelling case for pick as running mate because on the one hand, I am a strong proponent for everyone in politics waiting their turn and, on that measure, there are many others who top him for their having waited their turn and leading that pack, is the Hon. Gitobu Imanyara.

Imanyara is a proven reformist, capable of taking over as president, demonstrably loyal and even more importantly, he brings more regional balance in the Raila ticket than anyone I can think of at this moment.

In other words, he is the complete package.

Finally, but not least, Makau argues that the other compelling candidate is Gichugu MP Martha Karua because “she’s fearless and the only senior woman politician with a long record as a reformer.”

I agree.

HMK, as I call her, is someone I have analyzed and concluded she is presidential material and in Who Is Martha Karua Part V, I noted the following:

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.

For her hardline position, and her 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 [recklessness and] 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, however, must be measured in totality, meaning in examining her complete personal and professional life, 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 and given her earlier on and one may argue now resumed reformist attitude, she will make a compelling case for a VP pick for Raila.

In sum, in top consideration for VP running mate for Raila were Mudavadi to defect from ODM, I would have Henry Kosgey, Dr. Sally Kosgey, Gitobu Imanyara and HMK not necessarily in that order but evaluating each by the above mentioned criteria and giving the nod to whoever gets the most points.

[Unedidted]

 
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Posted by on May 1, 2012 in Politics

 

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