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Monthly Archives: March 2017

Jubilee Has Unwittingly Made Joho Popular

Hassan Joho1

In Jubilee Has Unwittingly Made Joho Popular, I make the case why.

And now the oped in its entirety:

Ask anyone, other than a Donald Trump sycophant or hapless partisan Republican, and they will tell you that the 46th US President is the most ill-prepared to occupy that office.

His bungling of the first major Executive Order, and, most recently, the spectacular failure of the “repeal and replace” Obamacare, are just but two examples that show why it’s a bad idea to elect anyone to high office with such dearth of knowledge and hapless leadership skills.

That doesn’t mean the man is uneducated: He did obtain an undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania before his father gave him money and sent him off to real the estate investment business, where he did quite well.

The point here is that, as a leader, there is no correlation between education and performance or success in business for that matter. Just as you have dimwits who plough their way to high office at the expense of well-educated leaders, who can’t match their ill-gotten wealth they use to get power. You end up having well-educated individuals trying to outdo the dimwits in their incompetence in managing the affairs of the big office.

On the other hand, history is replete with examples of individuals, who had only minimal education or were otherwise poorly educated but went on to accomplish great things in life. B ut, to be sure, those are obviously exceptions than the norm, which leads to the question, why did the framers of our 2010 Constitution introduce academic requirements for holding public office?

The answer was obviously an attempt to prevent rich but illiterate people from dominating elective politics as they had since Independence Unfortunately, this has led to the increase of fake academic certificates by politicians, using them to gain office, without necessarily changing the overall quality of leadership.

Jubilee is now attempting to use the education requirement, in a classic holier-than-thou caes unlike anything we have ever seen before, to try and undermine Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho.

It is using every state machine simply because the man dared to challenge President Uhuru Kenyatta, and his failure to provide leadership not just for the Coast people, but everywhere else across the country.

One of the fronts Jubilee is attacking Joho on is using the Directorate of Criminal Investigations, an agency previously mostly known for investigating though not resolving serious crimes, to validate the bogus claim that Joho presented fake documents for admission to university and to get other certificates of higher learning.

The governor confirmed to this writer and others that his academic credentials are not fake and dismissed the fake documents talk about him tas a desperate move by Jubilee to cripple him politically.

What they don’t know is that in doing so, his popularity in Coast soars and now, thanks to this onslaught, suddenly the making of a force to reckon with not just in Coast, but across the country.

Put in another way, Jubilee is going to these extremes to counter Joho’s growing influence and his standing up against the President, not because it’s a wise strategy, but because they’re not used to dealing with a fearless person who doesn’t crumble at the unleashing of state machine against him, or one who’s ironclad against all forms of bribery directed at him to abandon his vision and people-centered politics.

Joho is not alone in this for we have had a number of fearless leaders in this country, who have challenged and in the end won against the powers that be, starting from the man Joho calls his mentor, Opposition chief Raila Odinga.

“I am ready to be punished politically,” declared Joho in the face of all this intimidation.

That’s the making of a force to reckon with and none other than Jubilee takes a lion’s share of this good news that seals the fate of Jubilee in Coast and, indeed, the rest of the country. Other leaders will certainly be inspired and do what the Mombasa governor has done, and that’s telling Jubilee, your days are numbered!

 
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Posted by on March 31, 2017 in Politics

 

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Kalonzo Please Listen To Your Conscience

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In Kalonzo Please Listen To Your Conscience, I make the case why Kalonzo should ignore all the purported consideration to yet again bolt from Team Raila and instead listen to his conscience and stay put in NASA as the jaggarnut rolls on to victory come November 8.

And now the oped:

There’s no person loathed in the Democratic Party circles in the United States than Ralph Nader. Nader earned his stripes as one of the most despised Americans by Democrats because many believe he was a spoiler in the 2000 elections that cost Al Gore the presidency.

Nader is hated because he was asked not to vie because his being on the ballot would make it that much more difficult for Al Gore, the Democrats nominee, and make it easier for George W Bush, then a little-known governor of Texas, notwithstanding the fact that he was son of former President George H W Bush.

Obstinate and adamant, Nader ended up garnering 97,421 votes in Florida, which decided that year’s elections by a margin of 537 votes — the number of votes Bush had more than Al Gore, when the US Supreme Court stopped counting of the votes and essentially announced Bush as the 43rd US President.

We have seen this movie in Kenya before. In fact, we know when President Daniel Moi was not busy stuffing boxes with fake ballots, he was enjoying and actively involved in making worse an already splintered opposition such in 1992, during our first multi-party election. Moi was ‘elected’ president with only 36 per cent of the total votes announced as cast.

You have to subtract from that number the fake votes to determine what the real and genuine votes cast for the man were — probably 20 per cent, yet he went on to be sworn as president and again 1997 only for Kenyans to wake up in 2002 and resoundingly reject him and his then project — Uhuru Kenyatta.

While a splintered opposition in 1992 and to a lesser extent in 1997 can be understood in the sense that those vying in the top tier had a genuine reason to vie, the same cannot be said of the elections in 2007 and 2013. This is because in the latter two elections, we know there were people vying simply as spoilers.

Let’s be clear on this: Neither Kalonzo Musyoka nor Musalia Mudavadi had a shot at even coming close to winning the presidential race in the years they vied. These men stood in those elections simply as spoilers, or at least in the hopes that if President Mwai Kibaki was elected in 2007, Kalonzo would be appointed Vice President. Mudavadi, having been misled to believing he would be the anointed one by Jubilee in 2013, only learnt too late it wouldn’t happen.

Musalia saw the light and his every move since then has always been “please forgive me”, written all over him.

Although he has curiously apologised for supporting Uhuru in 2002, he has not done so for 2013, when everyone knew he was a Mt Kenya project, for which his actions since then beg for forgiveness.

He is accordingly forgiven and welcome to the opposition, where his participation will be helpful in ousting Jubilee from power.

There’s no need to revisit dismissal of Kalonzo as a traitor by everyone except PNU following the tragic elections of 2007 when Kalonzo hurriedly agreed to be Kibaki’s Vice President, even as the country was in flames, rather than standing firm on the side of democracy and justice in demanding that the illegitimate government not be sworn as it was.

Kalonzo would later be discarded by those scheming Kibaki succession.

He, however, did the right thing to rejoin Raila Odinga and the opposition, where he has significantly erased much of the traitor label but there are rumblings the man is yet again being wooed to abandon Raila or NASA.

The human experience tells us his conscious must be telling him no; not again!

Kalonzo you would do yourself good and serve the country better by listening to your conscience. It is also the right and only thing for the Christian, you profess to be, to do and must do.

 
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Posted by on March 25, 2017 in Politics

 

The Danger of Opposition Not Uniting Behind Raila

Jubilee4

In Danger of Opposition Not Uniting Behind Raila, I continue to make the case why Raila is the man to lead the opposition to victory come August and the man to lead the country come the day he wins but this time gets sworn as our next president.

And now the oped:

In the run-up to the last presidential election in the United States, Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton was so loathed by many, even within her own party, that some didn’t bother to show up and vote while others opted to vote for Republican Donald Trump.

This, in a nutshell, is why Clinton lost, and we now have someone who has converted the US presidency into something no different from the reality TV show he used to host.

The question is, why was Clinton so hated or at least not favoured even by Democrats in her own party? The short answer is fatigue: A number of Americans were tired of the same old clans hogging power to the point they said “enough is enough”.

This is also the reason why Jeb Bush, brother of former President George W Bush, couldn’t gain traction in the Republican primaries, because many Americans could not take yet another Bush as President.

Fatigue syndrome is something one must assume former Prime Minister Raila Odinga is or must be aware and have in place a strategy to counter it.

Indeed, just the other day, when having lunch with someone from a neighbouring country, the friend noted that opposition chief Raila, like his Uganda counterpart Kizza Besigye, “has vied for the presidency four times and lost each time.”

I corrected my friend, noting that Raila has stood for President thrice, won on two of the three occasions, but was not sworn in.

That it’s time for Raila to move on is not new. We hear it all the time, especially on social media. It is a misplaced notion.

The reality is that one other than Raila can defeat President Uhuru Kenyatta and his state machine. No one.

And therein lurks the danger if NASA were to make a mistake and give the ticket to someone else to be the joint flagbearer, that person will not only lose big time, but Jubilee may as well rule for another 50 years, as they arrogantly postulated following the last flawed elections.

Why?

This is because Jubilee will be emboldened to get rid of Deputy President William Ruto, and line up yet another one of their “own” to take over from President Uhuru in 2022 — a task which will be made much easier because Luos to a man will refuse to back whoever the opposition candidate would be, as payback for not nominating Raila.

The converse is not true. Other tribes would not punish the opposition flagbearer in 2022 because NASA backed Raila in this election, simply because that would not make sense even among the politicians prone to peddling some of the dumbest things.

For his part, Uhuru is already acting as though Ruto is irrelevant, and thus the effort to keep Baringo Senator Gideon Moi in the fold.

Interestingly, Uhuru has managed to do what Raila failed to do in 2012 — to keep someone in the family, who otherwise was a stumbling block, outside the fold and that was none other than Ruto

This writer dedicated hundreds of blogs and opeds pleading with Raila to woo Ruto back to the fold but was time and again resisted by several of his advisers, who in hindsight were extremely shortsighted and obviously dead wrong in their underestimating the damage Ruto would do.

One such adviser point blank dismissed a strategy I proposed as “too complicated” to be implemented in Kenya when, in reality, it easily could have and allowed Ruto to remain with Raila.

The point is, Raila cannot afford to make the same mistakes again. He should be hands on and be prepared to ignore some of the bad advice he will certainly get, while making sure there’s a disciplined messenger to deliver the message home.

He is the man and the country is doomed without him and, more importantly, without NASA rallying behind him, it is hello to continued domination by you-know-who.

It’s also how he beats back against those peddling the narrative that the opposition chief is fatigued.

 
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Posted by on March 17, 2017 in Politics

 

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Breaking the Yoke of Tribalism

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In Breaking the Yoke of Tribalism, I continue to preach against tribalism in Kenya; what President Magufuli said is an understatement, truth is, tribalism is not just holding us back, it’s destroying us as a nation and each one of us has a role in that, question is, are you for the destruction or for hope and progress of the nation?

Let’s hope and pray the latter; at least for a vast majority of us.

And now the oped in its entirety:

Politicians have from time immemorial exploited the hapless vulnerability of humans to succumb, to appeal to emotions based on race, ethnicity or other immutable characteristic to get elected to office only to pursue selfish agendas. This is with little or no service to benefit these very people.

The most recent example is in the United States, where Donald Trump shamelessly whipped up the emotions of nativist White America (read racists), and mostly rode on that wicked strategy to the White House where has thus far confirmed some of the worst that was feared and with much more to come — if he survives his own self-destruction.

There are many parallels between racism in America and tribalism in Kenya.

Racism has historically been defined as the belief that race is the primary determinant of human capacity; that a certain race is inherently superior or inferior to others, and/or that individuals should be treated differently according to their racial designation.

Tribalism, on the other hand, is the manifestation of strong cultural identity among members of a group that treats as different other cultural groups, which also equally have strong cultural identity among its members and equally treat other cultural groups as different.

Group identity along tribal lines or ethnicity is not per se a bad thing, however.

Such cultural identification become nefarious when used as an excuse to hate or otherwise engage in activities intended to annihilate one or more of the tribes or individuals within it.

Indeed, just as racism in America has been an impediment to greater achievement or progress for blacks, so too has tribalism and negative ethnicity been in Kenya — even among those who practice it.

To be sure, people are not born racists or tribalists, much the same way they are not born knowing right or wrong.

According to psychologists, both racism and tribalism are learned habits.

Children learn hatred, racism, and all these other negative traits from early on but not all of them allow it to define who they become later on in life.

Unfortunately and largely by choice, however, the unlearning of racism or tribalism and other wicked behaviour learned in those formative years stays with some people to the day they die.

Thus, you have grown men and women who leave their respective homes for higher education abroad only to bring their tribalism along, worse than even that practiced by the villagers, who never saw the inside of a classroom

What a shame if these men and women cannot shake loose from the yokes of tribalism. What hope do we have for our beloved country?

These tribalists usually believe that given the “superiority” they have been led to believe has accrued to them by virtue of birth which no one should take away. On the other hand, they are led to believe they’re not or cannot be equal to others they have since childhood, known or have been told are inferior — a belief whose manifestation leads to resentment by the rest who adopt a hatred of their own with the end outcome being exactly what we have had since independence, namely, one tribe believing no matter what, one of their own must be at either end of the table regardless of outcome at the ballot which we should all just agree that’s simply wrong and unacceptable anymore.

Put another way, every Kenyan must ask himself or herself this simple question: Am I a tribalist and if so, why?

Why is it you would have a phobia of a Luo becoming president of our country simply because he’s a Luo? Why?

We must as Kenyans rise above this pettiness and backwardness and learn to choose our leaders based on merit and boot them from office when they have failed as Jubilee has regardless of whether they’re one of “us” or not.

That’s what we need for us to truly break loose from the yokes of colonialism of which tribalism is a by-product and that we must do come August 8.

 

 

 
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Posted by on March 10, 2017 in Politics

 

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Why Raila Is The Best Choice for NASA

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In Why Raila Is Best Choice for NASA, I make the case why the opposition leaders in NASA should pick Raila as the jugganaut’s flag-bearer and go on to send Uhuru packing from State House to jubilation of the country save for the minority who would prefer status quo because to them, mediocrity is a high standard and leadership failure mean nothing.

The oped follows in its entirety.

The late venerable United States Senator Edward Kennedy, whom I had the privilege to work for, was asked 38 years ago a fairly routine question Why he was running for President.

In his response, the already household name from the nearest thing America has had to a royal family gave what someone present described as “a hesitant, rambling and incoherent non-answer [which] seemed to go on forever without arriving anywhere.”

Many people believe this — the incoherent, rambling answer — is why the liberal icon never picked traction with his bid to succeed then President Jimmy Carter, who some thought even a mannequin could beat both in the party primary and later in the general election.

He was nonetheless walloped by some B-movie cowboy actor known as Ronald Reagan.

This question, “why are you running”, has since been a standard question asked of presidential hopefuls and aspirants for other elective offices, with all of them still giving incoherent or nonsensical responses. This is despite rehearsing responses over and over again.

At the core of this question is a quest to understand the depth and conviction of the candidate and even more, their vision.

If one were to ask President Uhuru Kenyatta why he rasn for President in 2002, and if he were to give an honest response, he would have replied, “I don’t know; Moi thought I should.”

He didn’t have to but everyone knew he was going to be trounced by Kibaki as he was, once Raila ‘toshad’ Kibaki; it could have been anyone, anyway, even a mannequin as was the case with Jimmy Carter, because Kenyans had just had enough of then president Daniel arap Moi.

To his credit, Uhuru did not exit the political stage in embarrassment for agreeing to be Moi’s project but he went on to participate in the revamping of our Constitution, working hand-in-hand with none other than Raila, the man he would face in the 2013 elections.

If one were to ask Uhuru why he was running for president in 2012 and the man were to be honest, he would have said “because I simply want to get the ugly monkey off my back aka the ICC.”

That has come to pass and that’s one legacy Uhuru will leave behind when he’s sent packing in August, namely, having successfully taken care of the ICC problem courtesy of the office he holds.

What about Raila; what would he say as to why he’s running for the highest office? The answer is the same he has given in each of the two times he has vied and won the presidency but not been sworn-in.

The answer is the same his supporters and critics alike have known all along and that is, anyone objective who studies Raila’s leadership qualities, who gets the opportunity to observe how the man applies those qualities and skills, and knows of his vision for the country he has articulated since long before he was numerously detained and jailed by Moi, cannot but conclude Raila is the right person to take over the presidency in our country on each of the times he has been denied not at the ballot, but by compromised election boards.

Yet, those most afraid of Raila go around peddling all manner of garbage, propaganda, lies and distortions about him simply because they can’t fathom the man with a broom to sweep away corruption and impunity becoming President, with their blind followers buying the same, hook, line and sinker.

Given as a whole the mission upon which Raila embarked to seek change in the country going back to the 80s remains intact and given much of what he campaigned on in 2007 and 2013 remains largely unaccomplished through no fault of his, Raila will make the case yet again and the country will once again give him the opportunity to finally deliver on his vision. Let’s just make sure their resolve is not again thwarted by the state machine.

This is also why NASA should make the man it’s flagbearer.

 
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Posted by on March 3, 2017 in Politics

 

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