In an article appearing on the Capital FM, blog and other Kenyan forums on the Internet, its author John Mbiuki attempts to make the case that Raila is somehow scared of Mudavadi vying for the presidency also.
As my response to Mbiuki below shows, this is not true at all.
Raila cannot be scared of someone who for all practical purposes and intent is politically dead for reason stated in Political Eulogy of Musalia Mudavadi
And now analysis of Mbiuki’s piece as addressed to him:
For easy following, Mbiuki’s claims and allegations are in italics.
“ODM supremo Raila Odinga has let out just how seriously he is taking Musalia Mudavadi’s threat to his presidential ambitions by publicly pledging to support the latter if he won the race.”
It doesn’t follow that if one says they’ll support an opponent if they win that therefore the one doing so thinks the opponent is a “serious threat;” one can say the same thing for any number of reasons even when they privately know or believe the opponent is a weakling who’ll never touch them, let alone defeat them.
“His conciliatory speech to a funeral gathering in Western on Saturday came as further evidence that, with only five months to the General Election, Mudavadi has emerged as Raila’s waking nightmare in the race for the presidency.”
Not necessarily. I and others keenly following these events know or can identify one good reason why Raila said what he said but not necessary to disclose as that will be counter-productive.
Let’s just say Mudavadi is not a “nightmare” in the race for Raila or ODM therefore Raila can’t be waking to such non-existent fact or thing.
“That Raila considers Mudavadi a big threat to his presidential bid has been apparent ever since the former ODM comrades parted ways in April.”
False. Some of us knew even long before Mudavadi started whining and finally left ODM that he was headed nowhere on his own, not even with the help of State House as is clearly evident and shall come to pass.
“What is new on the map is just how serious this threat is deemed to be, and the extent to which the Raila political machine is prepared to go to clip the Sabatia legislator’s wings.”
The Sabatia legislator has had no wings so there are no wings to clip, not by Raila or his political machine.
The man has literally been carried all his life under the wings of someone else.
Had he clung to Raila just a while longer until Raila at least served one term, he may have had a shot at finally flying on his own wings; he didn’t and his clinging to the State House/UK wings will soon prove to be a temporary thing as either or both let go and he comes crushing down, or the public simply rejects all of them leaving them nowhere to fly but south and under.
“Raila’s statement was possibly the first time a senior ODM figure has admitted to the Mudavadi threat and was a departure from the party’s public dismissals of the UDF candidate as a small factor.”
It’s a good thing you and others did not pick why Raila said what he did but I am sure he knows the message reached those it needed to but one would have to be politically adept to know that message was that Mudavadi is a threat to Raila or ODM, which he is not.
“Privately, however, much thought and planning has gone into countering Mudavadi.”
Nothing startling here; it’s prudent to plan how to counter all opponents, weak or strong so not sure what the point here is.
“The ODM strategy, revealed by insiders last week, revolves around two key planks: Weakening the United Democratic Front candidate in his Western Kenya home base, and encouraging Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta to go the whole hog in the presidential race.”
Sounds like a good strategy to me.
“It is particularly interesting how, and why, the Raila machine is encouraging Uhuru to run. It all started with doctored opinion polls showing that a run-off between the ODM candidate and Uhuru would result in an almost equal share of votes while a run-off against Mudavadi would tilt the results in Raila’s favour.”
What evidence do you have that the Synovate poll which I assume you reference was doctored?
“The truth of the matter, which has been confirmed by privately-conducted opinion polls for both ODM and TNA – the former recently commissioned a poll with a sample size of a whopping 47,000 respondents – is that Raila would easily beat Uhuru in a runoff while there is no possibility he can win against Mudavadi.”
First of all, no idea which “privately conducted poll” you’re talking about and, if it’s ODM’s as you seem to suggest, then your assertion fails on its own for one because you cannot be privy to a “privately conducted poll” which by definition only insiders are privy to such data but based on what you’re writing here, you’re no ODM insider and neither have you sourced your knowledge of this sensitive data.
“Raila’s strategy against Uhuru in a run-off, summarised in political circles as the “41 against 1 Plan”, and revolves around galvanizing all of Kenya against Uhuru on the basis that it is untenable for a Kikuyu to succeed another.”
This is a classic mindless assertion. Does it follow that if “political articles” have “summarised” [sic] Raila’s strategy against Uhuru to be “the 41 against 1 plan” that therefore this is Raila’s strategy?”
Raila has made it clear that he is pursuing a 47-County campaign strategy, which means there is no part of the country he rules in or out in as far as his campaign is concerned.
He’s certainly not pursuing no such thing as the “41 Against 1” strategy which has been demonstrably made known to have been a concoction within the Kikuyu community by enemies of Raila and ODM in ill-conceived efforts to whip the Kikuyu vote and more against Raila and ODM, not that it was necessary to do so.
“It is indeed very easy to whip up this mantra, even in the short time between the elections and the runoff.”
The only people whipping up this mantra are people like you, not Raila or ODM for precisely the same reason it was in 2007 but people are more wiser now and nonsense like this will not fly.
Raila will not be working so hard to woo the Kikuyu vote as he is if he were even remotely interested in such a divisive strategy and many of us who support him and believe in a united Kenya would not be a part of such a campaign strategy.
“On the other hand, a widely known fact variously confirmed by every opinion poll and national intelligence report, is that Mudavadi is the one candidate most widely accepted across Kenya.”
False. The more accurate and true statement is Mudavadi is the more accepted among the presidential contenders who see Raila as their roadblock to State House and ditto for most of the monied in the former Central or, if you will, the KSG schemers.
“If the Kamba cannot have Kalonzo, then they would rather have MM, as he is commonly called.”
“If the Kikuyu cannot have Uhuru, they can live with MM.”
There are other serious contenders and alternatives to UK in Kikuyuland such as Martha Karua and Peter Kenneth who most Kikuyus will vote for even if they are not on the ballot before they vote for MM.
If UK chickens out and does not run, the Kikuyu a good chunk of the Kikuyu vote will go to whoever he endorses but an equally impressive number will go to his or her opponent, which shall be none other than RAO.
Raila’s strategy is to simply peel off enough Kikuyu votes to make up for his losses elsewhere but all the same and consistent with his strategy to harvest impressive number of votes in all counties to be victorious in March 2013 and be sworn as our fourth president.
“The same goes for the Kalenjin, the Taita, the Meru and everyone else.”
So does my analysis above, namely, you take the kingpins in each of the communities out of the running, the alternative preference is not MM but a split all in favor of Raila.
“Indeed, a recent Synovate research showed Mudavadi coming a strong second in virtually all regions, including Central, Eastern and Rift Valley, other than Western, where he was the leading candidate.”
Again, no idea what survey you’re talking about but, the latest Synovate poll shows he only has a paltry 7% support nationwide, which means it’s irrelevant whether Mudavadi is first, second, third or tenth in regional polling for it’s the national poll that matters in the context of figuring who has a shot at meeting requisite carrying of 24 counties and winning 50% + 1 of the popular vote.
Right now, Mudavadi has no shot in that equation.
He only has a shot at shooting himself on the foot as he has all his life except this time he may have inflicted a mortal wound with his ill-advised departure from ODM to pursue a presidency under the doomed to fail State House/UK project he is.
“And this is the reality that is giving the Raila team sleepless nights.”
No it’s not.
“The first hurdle towards having Uhuru on the ballot comes from The Hague, that small town in the Netherlands where the TNA leader, along with William Ruto, Francis Muthaura and Joshua Sang, will be tried over the Post Election Violence of 2008.”
The Hague is no hurdle at all for either UK or Ruto to vie for the presidency.
This is because there is no law that prevents either from vying and neither does ICC have jurisdiction to say whether they should or not.
“Will Kenya’s increasingly activist courts allow him to run while facing these serious criminal charges?”
Yes. Even activist courts must follow the law or at least purport to follow it.
In this case, there is no law any court can cite as the basis to hold that either UK or Ruto is barred from vying.
Indeed, even Chapter Six, which many cite in lay opinions doesn’t help because there is nothing in that Chapter that’s anywhere near on point even when subjected to tortured reading.
The economic crimes law obviously does not apply so count on either or both UK and Ruto vying unless either or both chose to withdraw for reasons other than being told so by the courts.
“Strategists at the Friends of Raila lobby group think there is a window of hope provided by Section 93 of the constitution which states that “A person is not disqualified (from contesting) under (2) unless all possibility of appeal or review of the relevant sentence or discussion has been exhausted.”
As a matter of correction, the correct section is Section 99(3), not 93.
That being said, the argument FORA and others including yours truly have made here on this is valid and sound because this is part of what is called due process, which in turn is a part of the rule of law maxim.
“This, they argue, gives some hope against the stringent demands of Chapter 6, the Leadership and Integrity chapter that many thought could be used to keep Uhuru from the ballot.”
It’s not that FORA “hopes” that Section 99(3) applies to prevent a court from finding that neither UK nor Ruto can vie; it is actually the case and the law that that section stands in the way of application of both Article 99 and Chapter Six of the Constitution under these circumstances.
“The Raila plan has also resulted in the flooding of the Western region with Cabinet positions in a bid to strengthen the anti-MM frontline troops, but this has not been without its own problems.”
Can one be more liberal in the use of adjectives; “flooding?!
Raila merely replaced Cabinet positions his party was entitled to; when does that become “flooding?!”
“Although the recent appointments saw the number and profile of Luhya ministers increase, many people were peeved that the Banyala community got the bulk of the seats. Alfred Khang’ati and Ababu Namwamba are Banyala, as is Minister Fred Gumo.”
“Why were Alfred Sambu and Sospeter Ojaamong overlooked?”
I shudder to address this but let me just say I hope and pray there will come a time in Kenya where things are not always seen from a tribal or ethnic prism; we’ve got to learn and more importantly, we must teach our people to accept the reality of the new constitution that appointments must and shall be on the basis of merit with regional, not ethnic balance in mind.
One cannot, obviously, discriminate against another on the basis of ethnicity, tribe, gender or any of the other protected classes.
It therefore goes without saying even though political calculation had to be and must be out of necessity in the mix in these considerations, those whining about these appointments on the basis of what you claim are simply behind the times and need to catch up with where the rest of the country is headed.
“A major plank in Raila’s Western Kenya strategy lies in Busia, where he starts with a slight advantage considering that more than 10 percent of the population comprises Luos. That easily explains Namwamba and Otuoma’s good fortunes. They are both from Busia.”
At the end of the day, people with ears and eyes on the ground tell us Raila stand to harvest nearly half, if not slightly more of the Luhya vote notwithstanding Mudavadi’s comatose performance there, let alone Wamalwa who is better advised to align with Raila.
“Then enters presidential aspirant [b]Cyrus Jirongo[/b]. In an obvious throwback to the famous Moi tactics of splitting the enemy lines, Raila went ahead and sponsored Jirongo’s presidential bid, and did not even pretend he wasn’t involved. The launch, attended by key allies such as Namwamba, is intended to crowd the space for Mudavadi to weaken his home base.”
Perfectly acceptable counter-strategy, given the other side’s doing the same thing in their own KSG featuring the Mudavadi project.
“Raila is also understood to have sponsored [b]Charity Ngilu’s[/b] candidature in a bid to weaken Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka in Ukambani.”
Not true but when has truth been in the way of conspiracy theorism?
“Not surprisingly, whereas Mudavadi had to vacate his Local Government portfolio when he declared his candidature, Ngilu does not have to do the same. No one in ODM is asking her to do so.”
Get your facts straight; Mudavadi resigned as minister because he left ODM to join UDF, not because he is running for president.
Since you bring this up, why is Mudavadi clinging to DPM position when there is clearly no legal basis for him to do so?
“Jirongo’s bid appears to have fallen flat and has had absolutely no effect in the Western Kenya politics.”
No argument there.
“Raila’s challenge in this election is unique.”
So is everybody’s who is running.
“Whereas in the past he has played the reformer card, pegged around the quest for a new constitution, that is no longer a valid card since the new laws are now with us. So what is his compelling agenda this time round?”
Fully implementing the law but his opponents want to scuttle it.
“For other contenders particularly Uhuru and Ruto, this election is about only one issue: the ICC.”
True but not entirely true.
Any of these individuals like any politician would like and do hope to be president for the sake of being president.
They have no agenda for the country, alright, but they can and would like to be elected president beyond ICC consideration.
“They would like the voting to be divided along the lines of who wants the four PEV suspects hanged in Europe, and who is willing to put up a fight for them.”
If you casually follow what’s going on, you’ll note none of the politicians vying, including Raila, are calling for any of these individuals to be hanged at the Hague.
This was a lie propagated by these fellows earlier on this year but was rejected by most Kenyans so they abandoned it.
It would be to Raila’s advantage if they try to run on the same lie because there is an effective way to counter it beyond what has been done.
“The battle lines are clear here. While Raila has stated several times that the four would be behind bars if it were up to him,”
This is a gross misrepresentation at best and a bold lie at worst.
Raila has never said such a thing.
He did draw a comparison that if these ICC suspects were being charged for murder under Kenyan law, they’ll be behind bars awaiting trial.
That’s a fact, not wishing that someone were behind bars if it was up-to Raila.
Remember the context in which this was said was when these ICC suspects were going around the country conducting the so-called “prayer rallies” which were anything but; they were, in fact, efforts to saw seeds of discord they wisely abandoned upon Raila and others calling them out, including the ICC that made it known they risked being arrested for violating their conditions of release.
“Kalonzo has been equally unequivocal in his campaign for the four not to go to the Hague, even though many have doubted his real intentions.”
Does anyone really care what Kalonzo says or does?
“Indeed, Kalonzo’s willingness to fight the Hague monster partly explains why Ruto appears to give him his time of day.”
See the immediately above.
“There were reports last week that the two, along with APK’s Kiraitu Murungi, who is fed up with Uhuru’s increasingly overconfident and often arrogant stance, were about to agree to a pre-election pact.”
Nothing wrong with that.
If Kalonzo brings Raila only his one vote, that might as well be the +1 vote Raila needs to clinch the presidency.
If he doesn’t join Raila, the vote can either be discounted or replaced by another voter.
“The Raila brigade is not particularly worried about Kalonzo, even with Ruto and Kiraitu on his side: He is considered to be the wimp of Kenya political class and unlikely to reach the run-off stage.”
“On the other hand Mudavadi’s statements during his recent US tour in response to reporters’ questions clearly defined his position on the issue.”
“In his clearest stand yet on the Hague trials he said: ‘We killed each other in 2008. Women were raped; children were molested. It would be cowardly to wish this away. We must accept responsibility collectively. The nation is guilty. To prosecute four people for the sins of 40 million people is therefore preposterous. The four carry our national shame, but they must not carry our national guilt. We must all own up.‘”
This is a politically inept statement for a number of reasons:
First, it confirms that Mudavadi is a State House/UK project.
Having been mum all these years the ICC cases have been brewing, he cannot suddenly start blabbing about it now.
The only and obvious reason he would do so and is doing so is simply to align himself with the State House/UK interests when it comes to the ICC.
Second, it’s is simply not the case that all Kenyans are responsible for the deadly violence that took place in early 2008.
I know I was not and so were not most Kenyans.
The PEV was perpetuated by individuals representing a tiny portion of the population and the ICC has chosen charge those it found to be the most responsible to account for the violence.
This claim by Mudavadi is not clever because it exposes Mudavadi as one willing to say or do anything for the sake of those who are propping him up for the presidency, which in turn confirms what others observe and say that he is not his own man.
Third, because Mudavadi has condemned both the innocent and the guilty of the crimes that took place in 2008, he can now forget getting any votes from the innocent on this account, who are, in fact, nearly everyone.
What Mudavadi has done here is no different from what Mitt Romney, the man now with an uphill task to beat President Obama in the run for the US presidency, thanks in part for his recently discovered video in which he is surreptitiously recorded dismissing half of America as basically a bunch of freeloaders.
Just as half of those Americans Mitt derided will now not vote for him for sure, even if most of them were not going to vote for him, anyway, so too will Mudavadi not get the votes of those he now accuses to be murderers, rapists and looters when they are not and never have been.
Finally, by this assertion, Mudavadi clearly shows that he doesn’t understand the rule of law maxim and holding people responsible for actions committed that are against society rules.
Even in a situation where there is mass violations of the law, such as in riots where property is destroyed or people injured, etc, it’s imprudent and impractical to haul everyone to court.
Rather, the police zero-in on the most culpable and arrest them while the rest of the rioters are chased away or simply take off.
True in that case everyone on the streets rioting can be said to have been collectively responsible for the damage of property or injury to others that takes place but it doesn’t follow that therefore we either arrest and charge all of them or do nothing.
That logic doesn’t fly at all and thus the reason this assertion by Mudavadi is (let me not use a word that comes to mind) out of respect for the people of Sabatia.
“Political observers see the race for the presidency taking a more definite shape in the next one month or so as the flurry of defections and realignments is concluded. [color=Red][b]Raila’s claims that this is going to be a two-horse race, between him and Uhuru, is seen by observers as another effort to discourage Mudavadi and cheer Uhuru on.”
The fact is, this is a race between two opponents: Raila v Everyone Else (EE).
Someone shall be declared winner come March 4 and the money is on that person being Raila.
“Whether this strategy works or not remains to be seen.”
As noted above, the battle is between Raila and EE.
Besides, he’s on the record saying the more the merrier.
May the best candidate win.
His Excellency President Raila Amolo Odinga.
Let’s practice these majestic words, shall we?