Author Archives: Samuel N. Omwenga

About Samuel N. Omwenga

I am originally and ultimately from Kenya. Upon graduation from Rutgers, the State University School of Law, Newark, I embarked on a private legal career as an attorney at my own firm and after more than 10 years of active practice in the Washington, DC area, I moved on to international business consulting assisting business people and investors interested or doing business in Africa, Southeast Asia and the Caribbean. I enjoy reading and writing--or more precisely, blogging and when time allows, I like taking my family out on nature excursions. My Pet Peeve: Things that move slowly without a good reason.

The Truth About Central and 2022 Politics

Central Province(1)

The Former Central Province Counties

A forum member shared this piece The Rebels Within: The Politics of Kieleweke and Tanga Tanga in Central Kenya in which the author basically makes the case Uhuru is toothless in Central and that therefore he will be of no consequence as to Ruto’s quest to succeed him, which the author says is all but investable that Ruto will succeed in this. The writer attributes this to Kikuyu tycoons blaming Uhuru for loss of business, especially in Nairobi owing to bad economy and failing to prevent Sonko from becoming governor and so they’re backing Ruto just so to teach Uhuru a lesson, or so goes the theory.

The writer also posits that having contributed to Raila hatred in Central, Uhuru cannot make the about turn he has and now expect people in Central Raila is not the devil reincarnate as he (Uhuru) and others depicted him all these years.

The following are my thoughts as I shared them with the netter who shared the link:

The piece is clearly and obviously sponsored by Raila haters from Central who are hiding behind Ruto to spew their hatred and he’s letting them because it benefits him. Not surprising but the desperate false message being peddled that Ruto has more and bigger balls than both Uhuru and Ruto to take the presidency come 2022 is just laughable.

He doesn’t have such; just tiny, small ones that will soon run out of gas.

Responding to another netter on the same topic, the netter posting this link said,

I wish you read the article. You would understand why Ruto has gained grounds in Central. He is not an angel but the best alternative to them. Uhuru is giving another alternative which does not seem as enticing as Rutos.

He only needs to let them know who he prefers. Ruto is there and has a lineup. Folks assume and think Raila is the other option. So it is a choice btw Ruto and Raila. If you think they will vote for Raila because UK wants them to, wait to 22. They may be making a wrong choice but I dont think UK will have an easy ride.

Problems in Central are being blamed on UK. He is where Moi is with Kalenjin nation. He can only use your friends Kamanda and Ngunjiri. How is Kieleweke doing in general. Taps seems dry now.

To this, I responded,

I read the entire article. The author is advancing the same Raila hate and badmouthing I have heard for years, including the one I have blogged about by–yes, a wealthy Kikuyu then friend and business associate who did not know I am friends with Raila and used to call him names whenever our conversation went around to him but I never bothered to correct or tell him off because the relationship was about business, not politics.

Until he saw me on TV next to Raila in one of the interviews at Pentagon (just before 2007 elections) and that was the end of our business relationship!

It is also obvious the brown bag recipient/writer is someone from Murang’a who it’s of course no secret hate the fact they are always overshadowed by your brothers from Nyeri and Kiambu.

On this one, he has a point but it’s not a problem or issue unique to your 3 counties, Raila has been dealing with, and continues to battle fault lines between and among Luhyas and Kambas who must remain on his camp but obviously Mudavadi is constantly spoiling for him, and Kalonzo never sure not uncharacteristic of him.

In case anyone missed it, this is why I support Owalo in Kibra even though it remains the case the seat is ODM’s to lose.

To this, the netter responded,

I can see you read it unlike [the other netter]. Dauti Kahura writes well and is a known journalist. Unfortunately he spoke the truth and never expected you to agree with him.

That was expected. Unfortunately Uhuru is facing that heat. It is not that they hate Raila. The problem is not Raila bit Uhuru. Folks speak negatively about UK.

Today he can get more votes in Luo Nyanza than in the whole Mt. Kenya region. Hana support Toyota. Their hatred for Uhuru and Kahura said so is seeing rise of Ruto. Alternative onge as Luos say….no alternative.

To this I responded,

You’re dug in, so am I and the truth shall set us free: I am telling you and will keep telling you the issue in Central is NOT Uhuru, but Raila hatred. We know even Uhuru rode on that hatred to the presidency but that’s alright; he has since come to terms with reality and that is, you cannot deny people their franchise just because you must cling to power no matter what, or because some people have been programmed to hate Luos and moronically keep swearing that Raila will “NEVER” be president with the only sin he has committed is being born a Luo, and to Jaramogi, a family that has been antagonistic with Kikuyus since independence.

Fortunately, Uhuru and like minded leaders from Central, including Her Majesty Governor Anne Waiguru have shaken the ugly monkey off their backs and will now lead to a new Kenya where such hatred of a man has no place in our politics.

Notice the difference in someone like me who supports Raila, but I DO NOT HATE RUTO; in fact, I am on record saying where Ruto to be pitted against Matiang’i for the presidency, I will support Ruto!

Also, to repeat what I highlighted in a recent column, we know resistance to Raila in Central is stiff, mostly based on historic hatred but the handshake shook things and the peripherally hating folk have been jarred loose and are happily singing our tune Raila deserves his chance to serve as president he has been denied for so long and more are joining the choir.

We know we won’t get all of you [the netter is a Kikuyu]; just enough to respectably say we have done well in the region and build on that to make this a more united republic.

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Posted by on October 21, 2019 in Politics, Uncategorized


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BBI Will Be Implemented One Way or Another

BBI Team

BBI Task Force with President Uhuru Kenyatta and Handshake Co-Principal Raila Odinga

I am not responding to what is or is not in the BBI for the simple reason the report is not official and it’s not wise to waste time commenting on what is supposedly reported to be in it for that could be a trial balloon or spin.

I know at least two individuals in the BBI task force but not once have I even bothered to pry from any of them what’s in the report. Like any concerned Kenyan, however, I have shared to one of them my thoughts and that’s what the task force has been doing, namely, gathering views and input from Kenyans.

We should know any moment from now what is in the report and most of us are ready to push for implementation of the report because we know and have confidence the task force has done the needful to give us a workable and acceptable document.

Btw, it is entirely possible BBI may make proposals that sidestep the constitutional provisions for a referendum, meaning, effecting its proposals without a referendum and I can see how that can be accomplished while staying within letter and spirit of the handshake. Let me just say it involves the Supreme Court.

In 2017, I wrote a paper recommending what I called our own “Nuclear Option” following the nullification of the August presidential election, and as Raila was struggling with the question of whither to participate in the runoff or not.

I made the case he should definitely not boycott the runoff election and offered the Nuclear Option as a solution were he to participate and be rigged out yet again.

My proposal was only shared with NASA principals and a couple other individuals including Orengo and the feedback I received was very positive as to its originality and groundbreaking but in the end Raila opted to boycott the runoff election nonetheless.

It’s amazing what God allows us to see thinking outside the box during a crisis and I recall vividly how that idea came to me literally out of nowhere as I was sitting there thinking hard what we could or should do in the face of this yet again in your face rigging with no assurance the same wouldn’t be done again in the runoff and then I saw the Nuclear Option so clearly and it still remain valid and can be effected were it to be put into play after another in your face rigged elections.

Fortunately, however, we don’t have to worry about that now as BBI is designed to fix this electoral theft once and for all.

I am mentioning it here only because that option involved or required the Supreme Court to rule in its favor and I knew we had the votes for that–strictly by how the Court voted to nullify the elections, ditto this one way I see BBI implementation without a referendum. I may lay what that is in my column this weekend, if BBI is not made public before then, otherwise, we’re ready to roll with what’s in the report.

With Uhuru and Raila ready to hit the road to promote the report, and given the goodwill among all Kenyans of reason and not driven by divisive and brown bag money politics, successful implementation of the BBI report is assured.

Do your part in making that a reality or, if you’re one of those clogged with impermissible reasons to do the right thing, well, we hope you’ll join us in the celebration of our success in implementing BBI as this change is inevitable and it will benefit ALL Kenyans, whether you support the report or not.


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Posted by on October 20, 2019 in Politics, Uncategorized


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Costly SGR and It’s Fall-Out, Kagame’s Take


From a reliable source:

Rwandan President Paul Kagame has poured cold water on Kenya’s Standard Gauge Railway (SGR), calling it “a big sham and a rip-off.”

Speaking at the sidelines of an international seminar at Kigali, Kagame said it was “extremely disturbing” that Kenya’s ruling Jubilee Regime would escalate the costs of the SGR to astronomical levels so as to fleece Kenyan taxpayers of their sweat “for the benefit of a few people at the top.”

“They are now trying to excite Kenyans with the refurbished trains that weres used in China in 1950s, running on diesel engines. Terrible!” Kagame said. Tanzania’s SGR is four times longer than Kenya’s but only two times as expensive.

My not literal but nonetheless brother-in-law has a point here and my view is this is something Kenya must address, after tackling government restructuring.

Where there’s a will, there’s always a way and I can see several here that can bear fruit to everyone’s satisfaction.

Everyone, that is, except the gluttonous cartels.

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Posted by on October 15, 2019 in Politics, Uncategorized


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I Disagree with Baba and Mudavadi on Mwinzi Mwende’s Appointment As State Officer

Dual Citizenship(1)

On this one I disagree with Baba and Mudavadi. As one who lives in the Diaspora and one of the many who pushed hard for dual citizenship, there’s a Constitutional principle here that must be upheld and that is, one cannot have allegiance to another sovereign when serving as a state officer.

While that provision ostensibly shuts off Kenyans with dual citizenship from taking these positions, that’s only by choice as they can or should renounce their foreign citizenship if they so badly need or must be appointed to the position.

The argument Mwinzi is a natural born US citizen who cannot renounce doesn’t hold because she can under US laws; it may not be a wise thing to do, but she can.

Again, as one who fought for dual citizenship, I do not consider upholding this Constitutional requirement barring individuals with dual citizenship from state officer jobs as killing the dual citizenship benefits.

I also wouldn’t put this at par as barring someone from a state job on criminal conviction grounds or even Chapter Six as that’s apples and oranges.

The sole issue here is upholding essential elements of sovereignty and the interest far more outweighs the interest of an individual.

This will be true even if Ms. Mwinzi, who I have no reason to doubt she’s otherwise qualified to be appointed as ambassador ten times more than many we know who have been appointed and are serving; this will be true, namely, upholding the no allegiance to another sovereign requirement will be true even if Mwende was the only person in Kenya who can do the job and we obviously know that is not the case.

In that event, meaning, were someone to have such unique skills such that he or she would be the only Kenyan who can do the job, then the solution would be to hire them as a consultant, not as a state officer.

This is the better balance than obliterating a Constitutional principle that’s grounded on sound reasoning, namely, state officers must be Kenya citizens who have no allegiance to another country.

That being said, it should be noted where the framers of the Constitution had it wrong is, curving out an exception for judges and members of commissions who are allowed to have dual citizenship; it should be either one doesn’t have a right to be appointed to any of these government positions on grounds they have dual citizenship or they do without exceptions.

This is where Mwinzi may have a case but an uphill one nonetheless.


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Posted by on October 6, 2019 in Politics, Uncategorized


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Mudavadi Is Not Lying, But Is Wrong Nonetheless

Mudavadi and Raila(2)

In Why Is Mudavadi Lying About the Handshake?, I posed the question and provided analysis as to why he is. I now scale this back to say what Mudavadi said about the handshake coming to being because of visa cancellation threats is not a lie; rather, Mudavadi reached an erroneous conclusion from what is generally known but went further than that to posit an explanation that is simply not true.

In order to understand why I am saying this, you need to read and understand what I said in Ruto Changes Tactics at Chatham House But, Will That Be Enough?

Here’s an excerpt:

So much so such that when the history books are written, it will be clear we have the handshake, yes, because of Raila’s humility and Uhuru recognition it was time, but even more importantly because of what Chatham House did or more specifically, how they brought about the outcome.

The outcome was an end by itself, rather, a means to an end.

What’s that end?

That’s where it becomes very interesting and the reason why what Ruto said at Chatham House is even more riveting: Revealing Chatham House’s hand in shaping our current and near future politics.

In other words, the roadmap having been placed on the table for everyone to follow for violence-free elections in 2022 and onwards—with a price to pay if they don’t, then one has no choice but to follow it.

Question is, how does Ruto play this hand, knowing the political axes are out to politically chop him? It’s tricky but there’s no doubt he took good notes from Chatham House and will try to follow the script.

Except in that he may find himself written off the play script by those cunning enough to do so without rattling snakes at Chatham House.

End quote.

I’ll soon elaborate on this and as it relates to NASA.

A Musing: Working practically around the clock in the lead-up to the 2017 elections, and especially right after the nullified elections, a Party of Two churned one strategy paper after another and coordinated intelligence from various sources, including Washington.

The duo constituted yours truly and someone very close to Raila and someone very close to Mudavadi as well as several ODM luminaries such that it would be easy to offer or crystalize strategy coming from any direction within the inner circles.

Neither of us were ever at the Secretariat but had someone there we liaised with as necessary. There was also a volunteer there who came from the US to help out and I must say one of the many unsung heroes and heroines in our continued quest to make our beloved Kenya a better country.

She doesn’t know but I fully intend to make sure she’s recognized and appreciated for her efforts, once we get through what we must now–and that is BBI implementation via referendum.

Meanwhile, and as it relates to my good friend I continue to closely work with, I am watching Mudavadi’s moves and curious to know which side my colleague will come down on were Mudavadi to bolt Raila again.

The principled person I am, it’s Raila through and through for me.

I believe my friend would remain with Raila as well for doing otherwise may not be in his interest–or wise, given the trajectory of things presently and to the future.

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Posted by on October 4, 2019 in Politics


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Why Is Mudavadi Lying About the Handshake?

Uhuru and Raila(2)

According to the Standard, Amani National Congress (ANC) leader Musalia Mudavadi now claims the Handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and Opposition leader Raila Odinga was born out of blackmail.

Mr Mudavadi told a gathering of Kenyans in the diaspora that some Western countries threatened to cancel visas for Opposition leaders and their associates unless they entered into a political deal.

Without disclosing the Western countries, Mudavadi said the visa bans were targeting opposition leaders, their spouses, children, and their relatives.

“The secret is that slowly visas were being cancelled. And when Visas are cancelled, they don’t just cancel yours alone. They cancel yours, that of your wife, children, and relatives,” he said.

Addressing a meeting at Muungano SDA Church in New Jersey on Tuesday evening, the ANC leader said the handshake was prescribed a condition to regain the visas

“I want you to go home knowing that I, Musalia, do not believe in cheating you. I believe in telling you the truth. So what gave birth to a handshake is personal survival rather than patriotism.”

Soon or later, Mudavadi said the country will discover the swearing-in of Raila as people’s president and the consequential circumstances were not based on patriotism, but were based on personal survival.

“I am speaking to my fellow Kenyans and I want to deliver some hard truths because, for too long, propaganda is spread and we get carried away,” Mudavadi said.

The Standard concludes its story reminding us Mudavadi and his co-principals Kalonzo Musyoka and Moses Wetang’ula were left out of the swearing in of Raila, with the ANC leader saying they were opposed to the event anyway.

Mudavadi has clearly made up a story about Uhuru and Raila’s being threatened with cancellation of their visas along with those of their relatives if they did not agree to the handshake. Had he said the two were leaned on by the West to enter into an agreement on the way forward–which I have hinted and later explicitly stated that it happened, then no one would have any qualms about that.

Instead, what Mudavadi has done is stated an untruth about threats of visa cancellation as truth. At a very basic level, all you have to know is for people like Uhuru and Raila cancellation of visas means nothing, especially where there is no legally recognized basis to cancel or deny either a visa.

Here’s the $6 dollar question: Why is Mudavadi lying about this?

The short answer is something you should surmise from the value of the question itself: $6 instead of the proverbial $60 million.

In other words, what Mudavadi is up-to, or why he is peddling this lie is inconsequential because he does not factor in the politics of 2022, from Baba’s perspective–and therefore Uhuru and Baba’s perspective pursuant to the handshake.

That being said, there are only two plausible reasons I can see why Mudavadi is doing this second attempt at political suicide:

First, Mudavadi has figured he won’t factor as a major player in the new alliance certain to emerge involving Raila and Kieleweke.

Accordingly, what Mudavadi deems apt from his ill-advised position, is to tear off and align with Ruto with his rudderless Tangatanga boat headed anywhere but State House.

It’s an ill-advised move, but Mudavadi has proven time and again he is not incapable of making such moves.

Second, it may just be the case, as in 2013, someone has misled Mudavadi to believe he can be an alternative this time to BOTH Raila and Ruto.

While theoretically possible, it’s a pipedream on his part, or a serious political miscalculation of Uhuru and Raila’s resolve on the handshake on the part of whoever else who may be misleading Mudavadi as such on that.

In the Political Eulogy of Musalia Mudavadi, a column I penned and had published by the Star on September 29, 2012 but no longer online now, I made the case why Mudavadi was making a mistake to leave Raila, who had already brought him back from the political dead. That piece was so truthfully biting, I received death threats over it.

No need to write another one other than to tell our brother Mudavadi to not make the same mistake, again. Yes, there may not be room for him as DPM but that doesn’t mean he can’t be factored in the new government structure in some other role or capacity.

But, if Mudavadi wishes to instead join Ruto as Deputy Leader of the Opposition, that seems to me going several steps backwards but that’s his prerogative.

Whatever you do, though, Mr. Mudavadi, just stick to facts instead of making them up as you have in this case.





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Posted by on October 3, 2019 in Politics, Uncategorized


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How I Met Uhuru Kenyatta; A Musing and More


Many have asked me to pen a memoir and I fully intend to do so, if anything to put in record that which I have personally witnessed or been a part of. To the extent I can, anyway, for there are things that shall forever remain private, especially as they pertain to public figures I have had the privilege to know or interact with. As I have done previously, I continue to share tidbits here and there, including this one.

The World Bank, through the office of its Vice President for Africa, invited a handful of Kenyans of which I was one to have a meeting at the World Bank offices in Washington DC. The purpose of the meeting was to organize a core group of Kenyans who, in turn, will organize Kenyans in the diaspora to more effectively participate in our country’s economic development.

The recognition was, Kenyans in the diaspora already contribute significantly in Kenya’s economy but mostly by family remittances and other contributions beside direct income and jobs generating activities.

We called this group the Kenya Diaspora Network or KDN.

Although everyone expected yours truly to be the inaugural chairman, this was not a role I wanted to assume, given my then very busy practice and other considerations. Instead, I encouraged a good friend Michael Okomo to vie and we had him elected as chairman.

[I discuss in detail what happened with the group, especially after KCA’s President Mwaniki was invited to join the group, and why I and other founders decided to leave the group and things went downhill from there for the group].

Soon after formation of the group, I had a discussion with the World Bank liaison for groups like this (there were others, including one for Ethiopia and Sri Lanka, which was the pilot country for this World Bank initiative).

In my discussion, I told him I was soon traveling to Kenya and looking forward to bring the group’s vision to the Minister of finance and others.

The gentleman told me this was perfect timing because there was a World Bank Consultative Group Meeting for Kenya taking place in Nairobi at the same time I was planning to be there.

The liaison then arranged to have me credentialed as an observer for the invitation only meeting that was to take place at Safari Park Hotel in April 11 and 12, 2005.

As an invited guest for the meeting, I had an option to stay at Safari Park at reduced rates but I opted to instead stay at Fairview Hotel where I met Ruto for the first time and more on that later.

On the appointed date, April 11, 2005, I was driven to Safari Park and dismissed my driver, with instructions for him to come back later in the evening about 6pm. This is because I was planning to be at the meeting the whole day and ditto the next day.

I then proceeded to the meetings wing of the hotel but could not be admitted to the meeting because I did not have proper credentials. I explained that I was there as an observer by arrangement of the World Bank office in Washington.

The polite staff directed me to go see a Ms. Ruth at the other side of the hotel, which I did. She told me she was expecting me and handed me my name badge as well as other useful information.

I then returned to the venue and this time was welcomed and proceeded to the meeting room, which was actually more like a huge lecture hall.

As always, I never like sitting to the front. I prefer sitting all the way on the back in settings like this and that’s what I did.

As was scanning around, I could immediately recognize the place was full of who’s who in Kenyan government other than Kibaki who was not present.

Everyone else who runs the government or had a stake in how the government was run was there.

During a short break before lunch, I went over to say hi to my political mentor and friend Simeon Nyachae.

As we were talking, several people waved or said hello to him and one, he told him there’s someone I’ll like you to meet.

He then introduced me to someone I already recognized as none other than now President Uhuru Kenyatta.

I had never previously met the man in person but had heard and read a ton about him so, I was pleased to meet and hear him speak one on one like that. As I have previously blogged, my conclusion from that brief meeting was contrary to what I had heard or read up until that point, Uhuru was intelligent, articulate and down to earth like no other person of his background and privilege.

He remains to be so this day.

[More about the meeting, how I also met Amos Wako for the first time, what happened in my brief chat with him about dual citizenship, looking to my right during the meeting and seeing someone sitting all alone, nobody talking to him at all even during the break. It was none other than the now late Nicholas Biwot. I couldn’t believe it; this once so powerful man in Moi era was basically a loner at this meeting! And much more, including how a then cabinet minister and “friend” dodged and basically refused to have his driver drop me in town and why I had to leave earlier than when my own driver could make it back to Safari Park to pick me up]

I will meet Uhuru again, for the second time and this was just after passage of the new constitution referendum before promulgation. I met Uhuru this time at a mutual friend’s house and I told him I was headed back to the United States that evening.

Uhuru told me I should stay for the promulgation then planned about a month later but I told both he and our mutual friend I wished I could but I had to return to the US with intention to plan on coming back for the promulgation as it was going to be the historic event to cap this historic occasion as we ushered in the new constitution. And that’s exactly what I did, namely, returning to the US and then back home 3 weeks later for the promulgation.


[More on promulgation, how Kibaki snubbed my friend and not inviting him and his supporters to State House for the party there following Uhuru Park festivities, how my friend was already ahead of this and hard organized an alternative party at the Carnivore, how as I told to wait in my hotel where my special invitation to the Carnivore bash was hand delivered to my room and what went down at the bash itself, including musing with interacting with then Speaker Kenneth Marende, what I told him, his response and how I shook hands and said hello to the late Dr. Kofi Anan and comedy relief involving one Jeremiah Nyagah]

All that and more in my memoirs when finally published.

Including more on Constitutional Change 2.0; the impending referendum.



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Posted by on September 25, 2019 in Musings, Politics, Uncategorized


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