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Monthly Archives: August 2013

The Phony Age Argument In Kenya

Raila_Uhuruto

In my last week’s Star column Phony Age Issue Argument In Kenya I made the case Kenyans continue to be sold bills of goods, especially on this phony issue of age and leadership.

Exerpts:

Scouring influential literature on leadership, one cannot but come to one conclusion. That is, when it comes to leadership, age doesn’t matter.

Beyond the literature and studies, examples abound both in Kenya and all over the world of leaders who have succeeded and failed at every age in equal measure.

Yet, beginning about two years ago, we started hearing about how certain people, namely, Raila were “too old” to lead the country. Never mind that there has never been any study in Kenya or the existence of even a scintilla of evidence to back up that bold, naked and unmitigated lie.

Uhuru and Ruto merely picked this lie up and just like that, they had another issue to run on besides the other lie that Raila was responsible for their being at the Hague.

Putting aside the question of how or whether Raila and ODM effectively responded to these dual lies, it’s clear from how close and competitive Uhuru and Ruto remained throughout the campaign that the maxim ‘if you repeat a lie often enough and loud enough, people may begin to believe it as true’ is precisely what happened in this case.

It has been more than four months since the so-called “digital” presidency was sworn into office but judging by how they have handled things thus far, we couldn’t have a more analog presidency.

Well; we could.

It’s well known and Uhuru is not even trying to hide the fact that his mentor, who ironically is also Ruto’s mentor, analog of all analogs former President Daniel Arap Moi is gleefully back in the political scene picking up from where he left 11 years ago in advising this digital duo.

Can there be any more perfect example of why this age argument has been phony from the very beginning?

Put another way, were those advancing the phony age argument sincere; would they not be advocating and altogether ceding power to the at least 15-24 year old age group who actually qualify as young?

They, of course cannot do that because age for the sake of the larger good of society is not the real reason they advance this argument but the pursuit of selfish advantage is.

Rather than couching this phony argument as one between young and old, the argument is better and more accurately presented as an effort by the hungry old trying to push over the even older so they can start partaking in the perks much younger than has traditionally been the case.

It’s no different than an old son wishing his father could die now or even killing him so he can inherit whatever they have. Very uncouth and NKT as the truly young put it in a phrase they have coined that says it all: Not Kenyan Traits.

There is also a disturbing trend people of this writer’s generation could not have fathomed or even imagined it could be possible growing up. That is the utter and contemptuous display of disrespect of our older generation we are also increasingly witnessing now that is equally condemnable and NKT.

One hopes our top leadership can lead in at least arresting this trend.

Put another way, were those advancing the phony age argument sincere; would they not be advocating and altogether ceding power to the at least 15-24 year old age group who actually qualify as young?

They, of course cannot do that because age for the sake of the larger good of society is not the real reason they advance this argument but the pursuit of selfish advantage is.

Rather than couching this phony argument as one between young and old, the argument is better and more accurately presented as an effort by the hungry old trying to push over the even older so they can start partaking in the perks much younger than has traditionally been the case.

It’s no different than an old son wishing his father could die now or even killing him so he can inherit whatever they have. Very uncouth and NKT as the truly young put it in a phrase they have coined that says it all: Not Kenyan Traits.

There is also a disturbing trend people of this writer’s generation could not have fathomed or even imagined it could be possible growing up. That is the utter and contemptuous display of disrespect of our older generation we are also increasingly witnessing now that is equally condemnable and NKT.

One hopes our top leadership can lead in at least arresting this trend.

– See more at: http://www.the-star.co.ke/news/article-132388/phony-age-argument-kenya#sthash.fmmzbaBc.dpuf

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Posted by on August 27, 2013 in Politics

 

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Devolution Must Be Had In Kenya

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In this week’s Star column Devolution Must Be Had In Kenya, I note how Kenyans continue to be sold bill of goods, especially on this phony age issue.

Excerpt:

While the new constitution did away with the colonial administrative units of PCs, DCs, DOs and Chiefs in favor of these 47 counties led by their respective governors, however, Kibaki in total disregard of the law basically created a parallel county government comprised of commissioners who would keep close taps on county affairs in behalf of the president.

President Uhuru has somewhat scaled back this illegal parallel or duplicative county government system by recalling and redeploying all provincial commissioners but county commissioners still remain in place with their questionable but useless roles from the taxpayer and voter’s perspective.

As noted above, Jomo Kenyatta immediately sought and successfully dismantled the majimbo provisions in the constitution soon after assuming power with the help of none other than Daniel Arap Moi himself.

This is significant because on the one hand Moi went against the interests of Rift Valley, especially the Kipsigis and Nandis who preferred majimbo.

On the other hand, by allowing Kenyatta to use him in the manner he did in exchange for smooth climbing up the job ladder, Moi helped create circumstances under which all land injustices in RV can be traced to.

A good case can be made Kenyatta the son is attempting to do what Kenyatta the father did in the 60s and that’s yanking from the constitution guarantees and protections for a devolved government. He will not or should not succeed, though, for a number of reasons:

First, unlike his father who already had state tools he could employ at will to effect whatever his wish was, Uhuru is constrained by the very state instruments and tools now available to ordinary mwananchi and these include the right to sue government or initiate and effect constitutional amendments.

Second, Uhuru practically owes his presidency to IEBC’s incompetence and his deputy William Ruto whose region RV could not allow him to be used as Moi was to yet again dash their hopes to be in control of their own destiny and resources.

Third, the country as a whole other than the minority from the president’s backyard has no more appetite for continued hogging and exploitation of national resources at their expense and for the benefit of only two communities who thus far have been exchanging presidencies.

Finally, but not least, we may have in some ways come full circle to the time Kenyatta the father ruled but the world has changed so dramatically in terms of the political awareness knowledge of what those in power connived is not limited to state controlled media which did the bidding for those in power.

It’ll be foolhardy for a leader or leaders not to know there’s nothing more fatal to their ill-advised machinations and scheming intended to exploit, use and abuse than an informed public.

While the new constitution did away with the colonial administrative units of PCs, DCs, DOs and Chiefs in favor of these 47 counties led by their respective governors, however, Kibaki in total disregard of the law basically created a parallel county government comprised of commissioners who would keep close taps on county affairs in behalf of the president.

President Uhuru has somewhat scaled back this illegal parallel or duplicative county government system by recalling and redeploying all provincial commissioners but county commissioners still remain in place with their questionable but useless roles from the taxpayer and voter’s perspective.

As noted above, Jomo Kenyatta immediately sought and successfully dismantled the majimbo provisions in the constitution soon after assuming power with the help of none other than Daniel Arap Moi himself.

This is significant because on the one hand Moi went against the interests of Rift Valley, especially the Kipsigis and Nandis who preferred majimbo.

On the other hand, by allowing Kenyatta to use him in the manner he did in exchange for smooth climbing up the job ladder, Moi helped create circumstances under which all land injustices in RV can be traced to.

A good case can be made Kenyatta the son is attempting to do what Kenyatta the father did in the 60s and that’s yanking from the constitution guarantees and protections for a devolved government. He will not or should not succeed, though, for a number of reasons:

First, unlike his father who already had state tools he could employ at will to effect whatever his wish was, Uhuru is constrained by the very state instruments and tools now available to ordinary mwananchi and these include the right to sue government or initiate and effect constitutional amendments.

Second, Uhuru practically owes his presidency to IEBC’s incompetence and his deputy William Ruto whose region RV could not allow him to be used as Moi was to yet again dash their hopes to be in control of their own destiny and resources.

Third, the country as a whole other than the minority from the president’s backyard has no more appetite for continued hogging and exploitation of national resources at their expense and for the benefit of only two communities who thus far have been exchanging presidencies.

Finally, but not least, we may have in some ways come full circle to the time Kenyatta the father ruled but the world has changed so dramatically in terms of the political awareness knowledge of what those in power connived is not limited to state controlled media which did the bidding for those in power.

It’ll be foolhardy for a leader or leaders not to know there’s nothing more fatal to their ill-advised machinations and scheming intended to exploit, use and abuse than an informed public.

– See more at: http://www.the-star.co.ke/news/article-133307/full-devolution-must-be-attained#sthash.IPWSX94B.dpuf

While the new constitution did away with the colonial administrative units of PCs, DCs, DOs and Chiefs in favor of these 47 counties led by their respective governors, however, Kibaki in total disregard of the law basically created a parallel county government comprised of commissioners who would keep close taps on county affairs in behalf of the president.

President Uhuru has somewhat scaled back this illegal parallel or duplicative county government system by recalling and redeploying all provincial commissioners but county commissioners still remain in place with their questionable but useless roles from the taxpayer and voter’s perspective.

As noted above, Jomo Kenyatta immediately sought and successfully dismantled the majimbo provisions in the constitution soon after assuming power with the help of none other than Daniel Arap Moi himself.

This is significant because on the one hand Moi went against the interests of Rift Valley, especially the Kipsigis and Nandis who preferred majimbo.

On the other hand, by allowing Kenyatta to use him in the manner he did in exchange for smooth climbing up the job ladder, Moi helped create circumstances under which all land injustices in RV can be traced to.

A good case can be made Kenyatta the son is attempting to do what Kenyatta the father did in the 60s and that’s yanking from the constitution guarantees and protections for a devolved government. He will not or should not succeed, though, for a number of reasons:

First, unlike his father who already had state tools he could employ at will to effect whatever his wish was, Uhuru is constrained by the very state instruments and tools now available to ordinary mwananchi and these include the right to sue government or initiate and effect constitutional amendments.

Second, Uhuru practically owes his presidency to IEBC’s incompetence and his deputy William Ruto whose region RV could not allow him to be used as Moi was to yet again dash their hopes to be in control of their own destiny and resources.

Third, the country as a whole other than the minority from the president’s backyard has no more appetite for continued hogging and exploitation of national resources at their expense and for the benefit of only two communities who thus far have been exchanging presidencies.

Finally, but not least, we may have in some ways come full circle to the time Kenyatta the father ruled but the world has changed so dramatically in terms of the political awareness knowledge of what those in power connived is not limited to state controlled media which did the bidding for those in power.

It’ll be foolhardy for a leader or leaders not to know there’s nothing more fatal to their ill-advised machinations and scheming intended to exploit, use and abuse than an informed public.

– See more at: http://www.the-star.co.ke/news/article-133307/full-devolution-must-be-attained#sthash.IPWSX94B.dpuf

 
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Posted by on August 27, 2013 in Politics

 

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Elephants In Uhuruto Living Room

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In this weekend’s Star column Elephants In Uhuruto Living Room I discuss what these elephants are.

Exerpt:

ICC is Elephant number one sitting right in the middle of the UhuRuto presidency living room much as many may wish it wasn’t there. Were someone who’s been in a coma since before the elections of 2007 to regain consciousness and find our president and deputy president to be Uhuru and Ruto, respectively, their first inquiry would be what happened to Raila?

If it is someone who has been in a coma since after Uhuru and Ruto were named by the ICC as being responsible for post-election violence, their first inquiry would be what happened to ICC?

They will, of course, fall right back into a coma if told ICC is still on but these suspects were elected or rigged in, depending on who’s doing the briefing, notwithstanding that fact.

The only exception would be someone sharing the view ICC and PEV victims be damned, a view shared by nearly all those who actually validly voted for the duo.

From a purely political point of view, Uhuru and Ruto took the view they and by extension their respective communities had better hang together or they will surely hang separately when it came to matters involving the ICC.

This strategy actually worked and with the willing participation of the obviously compromised and incompetent IEBC, we have the presidential election outcome we do, not to say anything about the Supreme Court which ratified the results with scant sound legal reasoning to explain or justify the ratification.

While the ‘let’s hang together or we surely must hang separately strategy’ worked for UhuRuto in the political setting, the opposite will likely be the case in the legal case, namely, at least some of the duo’s defenses will pit each against the other and as the expression goes, when push comes to shove, one of these two pals in this marriage of convenience will be shoved so hard and fast, they wouldn’t know how hard until they have crash-landed.

Put another way, and this is something this writer does not believe is lost in the ICC prosecutor’s strategy, there surely must come a time when at least one of the defences for either Uhuru or Ruto will contradict one another.

But both can’t succeed, which means whoever goes for the jugular with the defence will be the one likely to succeed. On the other hand, they both can’t be coy about the defence otherwise they will be nailed.

The other big elephant in the room for UhuruRuto is land. There’s little doubt in order to get Ruto on board besides exploiting the ICC issue, Uhuru must have promised Ruto and Ruto in turn promised the Kalenjin community that Uhuru will finally address the land injustice in the country especially those in Rift Valley areas.

There has been not even a blip about this big elephant in the room save for inconsequential utterances here and there and the appointment of a parliamentary committee to look into the issue.

The committee is going about this in a manner that guarantees that nothing good will come out of it other than the usual application of band-aid to a deep wound requiring more.

How Uhuru and Ruto deal with these two elephants in their political living room will determine the success or failure of their marriage of convenience. This in turn will determine whether either or both remain in office beyond 2017, if they do at all.

– See more at: http://www.the-star.co.ke/news/article-131454/elephants-uhuruto-living-room#sthash.vUBTs8V5.dpuf

 

ICC is Elephant number one sitting right in the middle of the UhuRuto presidency living room much as many may wish it wasn’t there. Were someone who’s been in a coma since before the elections of 2007 to regain consciousness and find our president and deputy president to be Uhuru and Ruto, respectively, their first inquiry would be what happened to Raila?

If it is someone who has been in a coma since after Uhuru and Ruto were named by the ICC as being responsible for post-election violence, their first inquiry would be what happened to ICC?

They will, of course, fall right back into a coma if told ICC is still on but these suspects were elected or rigged in, depending on who’s doing the briefing, notwithstanding that fact.

The only exception would be someone sharing the view ICC and PEV victims be damned, a view shared by nearly all those who actually validly voted for the duo.

From a purely political point of view, Uhuru and Ruto took the view they and by extension their respective communities had better hang together or they will surely hang separately when it came to matters involving the ICC.

This strategy actually worked and with the willing participation of the obviously compromised and incompetent IEBC, we have the presidential election outcome we do, not to say anything about the Supreme Court which ratified the results with scant sound legal reasoning to explain or justify the ratification.

While the ‘let’s hang together or we surely must hang separately strategy’ worked for UhuRuto in the political setting, the opposite will likely be the case in the legal case, namely, at least some of the duo’s defenses will pit each against the other and as the expression goes, when push comes to shove, one of these two pals in this marriage of convenience will be shoved so hard and fast, they wouldn’t know how hard until they have crash-landed.

Put another way, and this is something this writer does not believe is lost in the ICC prosecutor’s strategy, there surely must come a time when at least one of the defences for either Uhuru or Ruto will contradict one another.

But both can’t succeed, which means whoever goes for the jugular with the defence will be the one likely to succeed. On the other hand, they both can’t be coy about the defence otherwise they will be nailed.

The other big elephant in the room for UhuruRuto is land. There’s little doubt in order to get Ruto on board besides exploiting the ICC issue, Uhuru must have promised Ruto and Ruto in turn promised the Kalenjin community that Uhuru will finally address the land injustice in the country especially those in Rift Valley areas.

There has been not even a blip about this big elephant in the room save for inconsequential utterances here and there and the appointment of a parliamentary committee to look into the issue.

The committee is going about this in a manner that guarantees that nothing good will come out of it other than the usual application of band-aid to a deep wound requiring more.

How Uhuru and Ruto deal with these two elephants in their political living room will determine the success or failure of their marriage of convenience. This in turn will determine whether either or both remain in office beyond 2017, if they do at all.

– See more at: http://www.the-star.co.ke/news/article-131454/elephants-uhuruto-living-room#sthash.vUBTs8V5.dpuf

ICC is Elephant number one sitting right in the middle of the UhuRuto presidency living room much as many may wish it wasn’t there. Were someone who’s been in a coma since before the elections of 2007 to regain consciousness and find our president and deputy president to be Uhuru and Ruto, respectively, their first inquiry would be what happened to Raila?

If it is someone who has been in a coma since after Uhuru and Ruto were named by the ICC as being responsible for post-election violence, their first inquiry would be what happened to ICC?

They will, of course, fall right back into a coma if told ICC is still on but these suspects were elected or rigged in, depending on who’s doing the briefing, notwithstanding that fact.

The only exception would be someone sharing the view ICC and PEV victims be damned, a view shared by nearly all those who actually validly voted for the duo.

From a purely political point of view, Uhuru and Ruto took the view they and by extension their respective communities had better hang together or they will surely hang separately when it came to matters involving the ICC.

This strategy actually worked and with the willing participation of the obviously compromised and incompetent IEBC, we have the presidential election outcome we do, not to say anything about the Supreme Court which ratified the results with scant sound legal reasoning to explain or justify the ratification.

While the ‘let’s hang together or we surely must hang separately strategy’ worked for UhuRuto in the political setting, the opposite will likely be the case in the legal case, namely, at least some of the duo’s defenses will pit each against the other and as the expression goes, when push comes to shove, one of these two pals in this marriage of convenience will be shoved so hard and fast, they wouldn’t know how hard until they have crash-landed.

Put another way, and this is something this writer does not believe is lost in the ICC prosecutor’s strategy, there surely must come a time when at least one of the defences for either Uhuru or Ruto will contradict one another.

But both can’t succeed, which means whoever goes for the jugular with the defence will be the one likely to succeed. On the other hand, they both can’t be coy about the defence otherwise they will be nailed.

The other big elephant in the room for UhuruRuto is land. There’s little doubt in order to get Ruto on board besides exploiting the ICC issue, Uhuru must have promised Ruto and Ruto in turn promised the Kalenjin community that Uhuru will finally address the land injustice in the country especially those in Rift Valley areas.

There has been not even a blip about this big elephant in the room save for inconsequential utterances here and there and the appointment of a parliamentary committee to look into the issue.

The committee is going about this in a manner that guarantees that nothing good will come out of it other than the usual application of band-aid to a deep wound requiring more.

How Uhuru and Ruto deal with these two elephants in their political living room will determine the success or failure of their marriage of convenience. This in turn will determine whether either or both remain in office beyond 2017, if they do at all.

– See more at: http://www.the-star.co.ke/news/article-131454/elephants-uhuruto-living-room#sthash.vUBTs8V5.dpuf

 
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Posted by on August 10, 2013 in Politics

 

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No Honeymoon for Uhuruto

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In my Star column this weekend No Honeymoon for Uhuruto, I note how there is no honeymoon for this Uhuruto presidency. I also note how the duo is on a wrong trajectory to the extent they are engaged conduct that worsens rather than improving ukabila such as the lopsided government appointments largely favoring Kikuyus and Kalenjins only.

Excerpt:

When UhuRuto have not been busy appointing folks from their backyards to all key or plum government positions, they’ve apparently been on to the process of knocking off Luos from key government appointments.

Again, Uhuru can easily break from the past and chart a course for the country that’s inclusive not exclusive. It doesn’t take a genius to do that; rather it takes a leader with compassion and belief all that Kenyans are equal under God from whom our laws draw ultimate guidance and therefore none among them should be discriminated against or denied opportunity from the collective sweat of the nation merely because those in power whimsically say they should be so discriminated against or denied opportunity.

Doing so is backward and undemocratic.

Yet, there are those openly calling on Uhuru to use his office to “tame” Raila and, by extension the Luo community and all those others who support him.

We recently saw a manifestation of this by the so-called government spokesman Muthui Kariuki who busted out of nowhere and started blabbing some totally inappropriate gibberish unbecoming of the office of the president. Yet this political hack purported to speak for the President only to be contradicted and corrected the next day by a sober Cabinet Secretary who, to his credit, figured such incendiary chatter unnecessary and intolerable

But beyond politics, vindictive acts like these can quickly send our country back to where we’ve been and worse no one in their right mind should ever wish or want that to be the case.

We know the country is not without any number of reckless individuals who left unchecked would plunge our country where we don’t ever want to go but the prevailing wisdom is that the vast majority of Kenyans won’t let them.

On the other hand, an argument is put forth that Jubilee is entitled to a lion’s share if not all of the appointments because they “won”.

This is a phony argument because, notwithstanding the Supreme Court’s ruling in its intellectually shallow decision in Raila and AfriCog’s petitions, we have a presidency even those who clearly know and believe Uhuru did not win must accept by virtue of accepting the Supreme Court’s ruling as Raila said for the sake of peace.

To turn around and only appoint or direct national resources to only Jubilee strongholds under these circumstances would be to turn on its head the notion of ‘to the winner goes the spoils, adding salt to injury to the extent that doing so exacerbates an already wounded national unity.

One would have to believe our president knows better. Let us hope he will let sobriety prevail and do that which is right in appointing public officials and distributing national resources.

That dual task has thus far been on an unacceptable trajectory.

 
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Posted by on August 3, 2013 in Politics

 

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