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Category Archives: Politics

Only Despots Arm Against Masses, Uhuru Is Following Suit But To No Avail

Amin1

My oped this weekend in the Star Only Despots Arm Against Masses, Uhuru Is Following Suit:

Like many countries across the globe, including our own, the US was formed as a revolt from British rule and domination.

The founders of this country let it be known that each person is empowered, self-determining, with every right and conviction to challenge authority and fight for what’s theirs, in this case Independence. The founders also let it be known that the same individual is bound by the utmost reverence for collectivity, peace, power and the rule of law.

These seemingly contradictory ideals have co-existed in the US since its formation, mostly harmoniously, but the country’s history is replete with examples where circumstances have led to chaos and violence chief among these and most recent egregious example being the Los Angeles riots of 1992.

The LA riots were the product of a long-standing and deep-seated enmity between the Black population of Los Angeles and the majority White Los Angeles Police Department. The riots began not after airing of the famous recording of the beating silly of one Rodney King by White police, but after the four officers responsible were found not guilty, in what many considered a miscarriage of justice. Rioting began and wouldn’t stop for almost a week, when not only the National Guard but also the Army and Marine Corps were forced to intervene.

By the third day, George H W Bush sent in the army and the marines, boosting the military presence to 13,500 troops. By the time the riots were over, 53 people had been killed, over 2,000 injured, and over 11,000 arrested. The property that was damaged was estimated at over $1 billion (over Sh100 billion), making it the largest scale American consequential riot since the 1960s.

The LA riot and nearly all other major riots in the US have one thing in common: Triggered by police action with social strife, racial inequality and high youth unemployment in the Black community serving as the propane gas lit by the cops’ action.

Indeed, the relationship between police and the Black community continues to be tense, despite efforts by many to defuse the tensions as high up as the presidency itself — the last President, to be sure.

One contributing factor is increased militarisation of the police, where wearing helmets and masks, toting assault rifles, and riding in mine-resistant armoured vehicles has become common, unlike any other time in the US history. As the country’s major civil rights organisation ACLU has noted, the change in equipment is too often paralleled by a corresponding change in attitude, whereby police conceive of themselves as “at war” with communities rather than as public servants concerned with keeping their communities safe.

President Uhuru Kenyatta has not so quietly armed the police with all manner of anti-riot machinery and gear to keep our communities safe, but in efforts to prepare and quash any mass action that could and would ensue were he and Jubilee to yet again rig the election. This is simply unacceptable and cannot be allowed to come to pass were they to try.

The militarisation of police in the US is primarily to protect cities against criminality and other forms of hooliganism, not to ensure the President clings to power—militarisation of police elsewhere is to ensure those in power cling on, which is, again, simply unacceptable.

The right to be governed by those who have won the hearts and minds of the majority of voters is and must be unassailable, unfettered and sacrosanct. To do otherwise is the very definition of anarchy, chaos and violence, none of which anyone would want for our country.

Put another way, history teaches us you can only oppress and suppress the people only so long; in time, those very people say enough is enough and that the time is upon us. Uhuru and Jubilee have a choice to let the country vote peacefully in a fair, open and transparent election or go the route they’re clearly preparing to — predictable consequences.

The wise choice is obvious for those who love and care about our beloved country.

 
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Posted by on July 21, 2017 in Politics

 

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Determined To Rig, Jubilee Must Be Stopped

Uhuruto1

I have been unable to update my blog last couple of weeks or so owing to travel doing so now please disregard if you’ve already seen elsewhere this column and the one I am posting next.

My oped in the Star on July 15, 2017 Determined To Rig, Jubilee Must Be Stopped:

The first US President after independence was elected in 1789. At the time, only White men who owned property could vote. But the 15th, 19th and 26th Amendments to the Constitution have since expanded the right of suffrage to all citizens over the age of 18. Presidential elections take place every four years, and the campaigns and the polls have evolved into a series of fiercely fought, and sometimes controversial, contests.

However, in none of these elections has there been violence associated with the outcome, not even in 2000, when many believed George W Bush rigged out Al Gore, mad as heck as was many a voter across the nation when the US Supreme Court granted Bush the victory.

That’s what you call a mature democracy: Flawed as it may be in all other respects, including presently having produced a president many, both within the country and across the globe, continue to scratch their heads wondering why.

It’s a mature democracy nonetheless and so are others, where the will of the people as expressed by the majority is respected and held sacrosanct.

To be sure, the only one time peaceful transfer of power in the United States was threatened was late last year, when then presidential Republican candidate Donald Trump saw signs of impending loss and upped his ante in attacking the courts, and started blatantly lying that the only reason he would lose was because the elections were rigged against him, which was false and a made-up lie as one can be.

The reason he did this — as many rightly concluded — was because he was prepared to reject the loss and refuse to concede to his opponent Hillary Clinton, likely causing an outbreak of violence across the nation from among his mob of followers, many who were and are still armed to the teeth.

The country was spared the violence because Trump won in the unlikeliest of circumstances, and the country and the world is now suffering his presidency, short-lived as it might be.

Unfortunately, our beloved Kenya does not have a long history of peaceful transfer of power. Rather, what we have are presidents who cling to power until death does them apart as was the case for Jomo Kenyatta, or term limits as was the case for Daniel Moi and Mwai Kibaki.

President Uhuru Kenyatta now faces an angry and impoverished electorate that wants him out like yesterday but every indication is this man, like his father, Moi and Kibaki, is not interested in giving up power till death or term limits do him apart.

Every indication this far is that he is prepared to mobilise the state machine to rig himself back into office and, worse, unleash state forces to crush any attempt to protest his evil doing and if that means plunging the country into a civil war we avoided in 2008, so be it. This is according to what we can clearly read from his actions.

This is a looming tragedy that can only be avoided by the happenstance of three things:

First is for NASA leadership to remain strong, unwavering and committed to liberating the country from the bonds of corruption, impunity and economic suffocation.

Second, massive turnout of voters aligned to NASA to send a strong message to Uhuru that his time is up and, more importantly, let him and his henchmen not even think about rigging this election.

Third, the Supreme Court will be our last chance and only hope of preventing the country from plunging into a civil war were Uhuru and his henchmen to be reckless enough to try and force themselves back to power upon rejection at the polls.

In other words, the will of the people as expressed by the majority of those who will vote on August 8 must be respected and held sacrosanct, the absence of which shall be an outcome those ignoring or suppressing it will surely regret.

 
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Posted by on July 21, 2017 in Politics

 

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The Power of an Indepedendent Judiciary

Scalesofjustice1

I have been unable to update my blog last couple of weeks owing to travel doing so now please disregard if you’ve already seen elsewhere this column and the one I am posting next.

My weekend column in the Star on July 1, 2017 The Power of An Independent Judiciary:

US President Donald Trump has learned the hard way the power of an independent judiciary, which had stopped him from implementing his ill-conceived and unconstitutional ban on Muslim travel to the US. To be sure, Trump was only handed “victory” by the Supreme Court, which only revived parts of a travel ban on people from six Muslim-majority countries that he said is needed for national security but that opponents decry as discriminatory.

But the lower courts had completely blocked key parts of a March 6 executive order that Trump had said was needed to prevent terror attacks.

This is what is meant by an independent judiciary — a court system, whose decisions and actions are soundly grounded on facts and law and not doing things at the whim of the executive, something that has plagued our nation since Independence. Put another way, an independent judiciary is where litigants can go to court knowing full well in close cases, where an arbiter of facts could rightly rule one way or another, that the decision an arbiter arrives at is one that the losing side can accept as just and fair under the circumstances, and not one arbitrarily decided for nefarious reasons, not the least of which is corruption or doing the bidding of the appointing authority.

With the promulgation of the 2010 Constitution a new Supreme Court was created to lead in establishing an independent judiciary, but we know how former Chief Justice Willy Mutunga let us down in presiding over an independent judiciary, especially in the manner he handled the contested 2013 General Election. Chief Justice David Maraga has now taken over the leadership of the judiciary. But the question is, will he advance judicial independence to the satisfaction of all, or will he also succumb to the ills that have bedevilled our courts from the lowest to the highest?

That question will be put to the test after the upcoming August 8 election, where there’s no doubt Jubilee is once again busy scheming how to once again rig to cling to power.

There are two things that can save us from another rigged election, with its inevitable consequences and these are; an overwhelming rejection of Jubilee as was the case in 2002, when the country overwhelmingly rejected President Daniel Moi and his project Uhuru Kenyatta and, or two — if the voter turnout is not as overwhelming for NASA, giving Jubilee a chance to rig — for the Chief Justice and his fellow justices saying no to any rigging, by granting a petition to stop a rigged -in President Uhuru from clinging to power if, in fact, he tries to manipulate the result, and there’s evidence of that proven in the petition.

Of the two choices, an overwhelming turnout by voters in favour of saying enough is enough with yet another failed government will be the better alternative. Should that not happen, and Jubilee tries to rig, there’s no do doubt NASA will file a petition challenging the result, and it would be then upto Chief Justice David Maraga and his colleagues at the Supreme Court to prove the power of an independent judiciary, by rendering a decision consistent with the evidence before the court and the law.

One of the ominous signs we are headed into yet another rigged election with a court that is unable to justly resolve the outcome is Maraga’s recent roadside declaration, among other things, that the court’s hands are tied with the strict timelines provided in the Constitution.

This was the excuse former CJ Mutunga gave in rejecting Raila and AfriCOG’s petitions challenging the declaration of Uhuru as winner of the 2013 election.

The court can and must do better in balancing the dictates of judicial fairness and justice, and doing whatever is necessary not to make the strict timelines an excuse to deny giving effect to the will of the voters as expressed at the polls, if Jubilee were to try and rig the election again.

Anything else would be unbecoming with predictable outcome to those adversely affected.

 
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Posted by on July 21, 2017 in Law, Politics

 

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Jubilee Don’t Dare Rig August Poll

Kenya Elections

In my oped this weekend Jubilee Don’t Dare Rig The Polls, I make the case why:

In the weeks leading to the last presidential election in the US, it became apparent that Hillary Clinton, though much loathed even by many in the Democratic Party, was inching closer to victory than her challenger, Donald Trump, started the talk of the election being rigged in her favour. This was a way to prepare his cult-like supporters for his loss, which never came to be.

The fact is, it is not possible to rig elections in the US and, according to experts, that has not happened in American history.

Rigging, however, is a mainstay of autocracies such as North Korea, Cuba, Belarus, Zimbabwe and less autocratic states such as Kenya, where incumbents, mostly rigged in to begin with, are never willing to transfer power.

Instead, they cling to power at any cost. What is rigging exactly?

For an election to be rigged, there has to be a top-down and intentional manipulation of the result, using the state machine such that the outcome is different from what it would be if the votes are cast and counted according to the elections law.

It’s interesting to note the only one time we did not have any rigging to speak of in Kenya was in 2002, when the opposition united to reject then President Daniel Moi’s project Uhuru Kenyatta. The wave and longing for change was too strong and formidable that Moi was wise enough not to even try rigging.

How sad Mwai Kibaki, the man whose presidency was ushered in with an aura of euphoria in 2002, would, just a few years later, nearly plunge the country into a civil war for his flagrant rigging and return of Kenya back to the dark days.

Thanks to the intervention by the Panel of Eminent African Personalities led by former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and the opposition leader Raila Odinga’s resolve to find a peaceful solution to his being rigged, we had the formation of the Government of Nation Unity, making him Prime Minister while Kibaki remained as President.

Raila would yet again be rigged out in 2013, but under the circumstances, he found himself with few options but to counter the claim beyond going to the Supreme Court as he did, only to be rebuffed in what remains the worst decision to be rendered by that court, ever.

What about August 8?

Can one assume Jubilee operatives have continued to scheme ways to yet again rig out the opposition leader? Of course.

Will they succeed? The answer is No.

The winds of change and a united opposition, are just too strong and powerful to overcome with rigging, just as was the case in 2002, save in the minds of Jubilee hardliners.

What if that happens? What if these hardliners attempt to rig President Uhuru back to power, notwithstanding the clamour for change sweeping the country?

Well. We are a country governed by law and most Kenyans have no choice but to follow it. This means, seeking legal redress in the Supreme Court would be the first option.

However, in the event circumstances unfold pointing to a Chief Justice Willy Mutunga-like abdication of judicial duty to allow the status quo preferred by those in power, let it not be of any surprise to anyone such an affront to suffrage can and must only met with non-violent mass action to make sure the will of the people as expressed by the majority is effected.

Jubilee, you therefore have a choice: Let the will of the people be expressed at the polls in an uninhibited environment followed by un-interfered with vote transmission and tallying or the same outcome will be effected by either judicial or mass action.

NASA will not be cowed into not taking this route because of a few reckless henchmen more interested in clinging to power at any cost rather than ensuring peace and prosperity for our beloved country.

 
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Posted by on June 16, 2017 in Politics, Uncategorized

 

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Deciphering Jubilee Propaganda In Daily Nation

Propaganda

In Greed and Lies in the Ballot Tender Wars, two Daily Nation reporters, John Kamau and John Ngirachu purport to provide what to a casual reader looks like a well written piece of news reporting you would expect from good journalists in a major daily.

A closer examination of the news story, however, reveals this is nothing but a carefully choreographed piece of Jubilee propaganda.

The authors open with a declaration “[a] vicious tender war over the printing of ballots for this year’s General Election is afoot, sucking in wheeler-dealers, politicians, members of the First Family and, most recently, opposition leader Raila Odinga.”

How can war be “afoot” in a tender that has already been illegally and un-procedurally awarded? Where were these reporters when the illegality was taking place? Did either of them investigate, let alone pen anything about the goings on leading up to the illegal and un-procedural award?

“Jubilee on Thursday denied an allegation that President Uhuru Kenyatta and members of his family were involved in the procurement of ballots,” they tell us; of course. It would be historic and a real bombshell were Uhuru or any member of his family were to admit the truth!

“It also increasingly became clear, from the revelations made by their political rivals, that the National Super Alliance does not have clean hands in the affair,” fair; it would naturally follow in a real journalism piece of a demand and production of evidence backing this claim, not just verbal allegations but none follows; rather, what follows is predictably allegations from Jubilee’s loudmouth in Parliament.

“It was claimed they are fronting Paarl Media of South Africa who are alleged to have met Mr Odinga on various occasions.” That claim comes straight from the loudmouth.

“The two printing companies having been clashing for printing contracts around Africa. In some places such as Uganda, the two companies actually shared the job.” Okay; good bit of news.

“Also, as the political rivals battled each other throughout the day, it also emerged that ANC leader and Nasa principal Musalia Mudavadi took risks with the facts in claiming that Mr Muhoho Kenyatta was the local agent of Al Ghurair Printing and that there was a risk of the election being rigged through the printing of excess ballots.”

Putting aside composition issues in this paragraph, the authors tells nothing about what risks Mudavadi took and why but the reader can understand why Uhuru Kenyatta’s brother being the agent of Al Ghurair presents a real risk for the election being rigged through the printing of excess ballots.

“In a statement to the Nation, Al Ghurair said it has had “no contacts with Mr Muhoho Kenyatta” and dismissed the Nasa statement as “false.” Okay; we know denials like this mean nothing, especially given the circumstances of this case.

“It also denied that any of its officials or representatives was received at State House and explained that the Chairman of Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Majid Saif al Ghurair, who met President Kenyatta is not the chief executive officer of Al Ghurair Printing.” Okay; here’s where excellent journalists distinguish themselves and even get a shot at a Pulitzer; the assertion is factually correct but the reporter’s failure investigate or dig deeper leaves the very false impression whoever wrote the Al Ghurair statement intended, namely, given Majid Saif al Ghurair who met Uhuru is not the CEO of Al Ghurair, it therefore follows any claims he made a deal with Uhuru is false.

Here’s a small problem: the Majid Saif al Ghurair who met Uhuru and is friends with Uhuru’s brother was the CEO of Al Ghurair at the time they met he just only yesterday was replaced as CEO of the company! In other words, the statement is true as to whether Majid Saif is the CEO of Al Ghurair but is false as to the question whether he was the CEO when he met Uhuru.

The reporters missed that entirely, leaving the false impression noted above.

“Please note that there are two distinct business conglomerates in Dubai which share the same family name. The other business conglomerate is Saif Al Ghurair group which has no connection or shareholding in Al Ghurair Printing and Publishing,” the paper quotes Mr Lakshamanan Ganapathy, the general manager. Fine; nobody is talking about Saif Al Ghurair.

“And far from being a fishy operator in war torn countries, the company, one of the biggest printing operations in Asia and Europe, is actually a trusted security printer, often contracted by the United Nations Development Programme, to provide election materials for countries that require UN help to conduct polls.” The company may as well be but that does not preclude its being used to rig elections in Kenya, especially given its procurement has been at the direction of the president—and that’s the problem at hand.

“The Dubai-based company has been printing all electoral material for the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission.”

“In a country where lucrative ballot printing has become a vicious commercial war, the current row has not surprised observers.” The issue is not how lucrative the printing business is, rather, the issue is ballot integrity.

“In 2013, the tender was given to the British company Smith and Ouzman, whose officials were later convicted of paying bribes to Kenyan officials to print by-election ballots. It is now being alleged that the local fixer for that contract is a Mr Ahmed Kassam, believed to be a business associate of Mr Caroli Omondi, Mr Odinga’s chief of staff in the last government.”

The injection of this assertion here that’s partially factual is quite revealing as to the authors’ intentions in that it has no probative value but; conversely, the innuendo in it can only point to this being an attempt to smear Raila.

“In the current tussle, the Dubai printing firm said that “Majid Saif Al Ghurair has no connection or association with Al Ghurair Printing and Publishing.” Again, being clever by half—refer to the exposition above on this semantical dancing around the issue.

 

“If (he) led a delegation to Kenya and met the President, it would be purely an intergovernmental bilateral relationship building exercise in his position of chairman of Dubai chamber of commerce and it has no connection with the ballot paper project.”

Very clever; well, the man either led the Dubai delegation and met with Uhuru or he did not; which one is which? They’re either contradicting themselves of have been tricked by their own trickery intended to falsely create a narrative this Majid Saif is not Majid Saif as exposed above.

PAARL MEDIA

“On Thursday, it also emerged that Mr Odinga’s allies were rooting for Paarl Media, which supplied Uganda with ballots for presidential, parliamentary and district woman councillors.” Which allies? Name them or one may as well dismiss the assertion as gossip.

“Al Ghurair printed papers for district chairpersons, district directly-elected councillors and sub-county women councillors.”

“The row between the two companies, on who would eventually win the lucrative Sh2.5 billion tender, has been fought for the past eight months, after the chief executive officer of IEBC Ezra Chiloba wrote to the Dubai-based company on October 18, last year, notifying it that its bid to supply and deliver 130 million ballots, election declaration forms and poll registers had been accepted.”

Didn’t you tell us in your opening this war is “afoot?” Be that as it may, why do you seem more interested in the “war” aspect of this rather than the illegality and un-procedural manner in which the tender was issued?

“Reacting to insinuations that it was connected to State House, the company said it was “not associated’’ with any political party in any country.” Predictable denial which means nothing.

“(We) have gained reputation as one of the most reliable ballot paper printers by delivering all the ballot paper projects on time without any mistakes with very high quality,” said the statement. That may be true but does not eliminate the prospect for being corruptly used to perpetuate election rigging.

“In Jubilee’s elaborate fightback, it sought to link Mr Odinga to Paarl and demolish claims that a printing deal was struck at State House.” Yes, and this piece is a good piece of that effort.

STATE HOUSE

“On Thursday, the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry denied that Mr Majid Saif Al Ghurair, whom it had hosted in his capacity as chairman of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, met privately with President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House in October 2016.”

“KNCCI chairman Kiprono Kittony said that there was no private meeting between Mr Al Ghurair and President Kenyatta and that none of the issues discussed then touched on anything to do with the printing industry.” I take Kiprono at his word for he’s a man of his word but even if that were true, it does not affect the impropriety of having someone so closely associated with the Uhuru and his brother being given the tender.

 

“In Parliament, Majority Leader Aden Duale led MPs from the President’s party in asking Mr Odinga to account for his relations with Paarl Media, the South African company that challenged the award of the Sh2.5-billion contract to Al Ghurair.” If Duale were a serious person and not one prone to the endless stupidity he subjects and punishes us with every time he opens his mouth, one might take him seriously and call on Raila to respond.

However, he’s not therefore no need to respond.

“Cord should have full disclosure about the company that lost to Al Ghurair,” said Mr Duale.” See above.

“He claimed that the latest controversy around the IEBC, sparked by the statements by Nasa principals, is a diversionary tactic.” Nonsense.

SPEND TIME

“They (Cord) must tell us clearly. Do they want to spend time in the corridors of justice with flimsy cases or do they want to prepare for the General Election?” said Mr Duale. There’s no Cord! And, no, this is not a “flimsy” case but a very serious allegation based on known facts that something has to be done about not the least of which shall be Jubilee abandoning any plans to rig, using stuffed ballots.

“He also asked Mr Odinga to declare whether he would emulate President Kenyatta in declaring that he would concede if he loses the election, without putting in the caveat that the elections would have to be free, fair and credible.”

Here is a good example of this man’s stupidity: he’s telegraphing to the world that Jubilee does not intend the elections to be free, fair and credible! How moronic but the world is watching and, more importantly, the elections better be free, fair and credible!

“Mr Duale claimed that there was information that two directors of the company – Ben Sachs and Dr Peter Shailesh – met Mr Odinga thrice in December 2015 and twice in April 2016 and that they allegedly struck a deal.”

“In the deal, Mr Duale further alleged, they agreed to contribute Sh1 billion to Mr Odinga, but only if he helped Paarl Media secure the contract for the printing of the 120 million ballots.”

Again, were this to come from a serious person, and not one prone to payukaring, Raila may feel obligated to respond; Duale is a joker so no need to respond.

“The Majority Leader said that matters went awry for the Nasa presidential candidate when the contract failed to go the way of the South African company after he failed to get the cooperation of Mr Chiloba, the secretary of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission.” In other words, the joker is bragging Uhuru having selected Al Ghurair, nobody else had a chance!

‘ONE BILLION’

“It’s about him losing the tender. It’s about him losing the one billion for his campaigns,” said Mr Duale. A bald-faced lie not unlike many we’re used from this man.

“Mr Duale offered no further evidence to support his allegations or explain what sense it would make to pay a 40 per cent “donation” from a contract, still deliver and make a profit.” Great observation which points out the obvious the man is only good in payukaring and lobbing baseless claims and allegations against mostly Raila who gives them nightmares.

“On Thursday, IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati said with 53 days to the election, the commission will not cancel the tender.” Lame excuse but if the tender remains in effect and Al Ghurair has to supply the ballots, Jubilee better not even think about siphoning extras to stuff boxes as that will be a recipe for disaster to their detriment.

“If you look at the timelines we have, actually today we should be doing the artwork for the ballot. So, we do not have time to go into procurement of the ballot tender again,” he said.

Again, there’s plenty of time to retender and get the right company to supply the ballot papers consistent with the law and procedures.

“Printing ballots requires large volumes of security paper, which few printers can have in stock and which cannot be procured from paper mills on short notice.” Not an issue.

“On Thursday, Mr Duale claimed that Mr Odinga was “aware” of the Smith and Ouzman scam.” More smears which is the stable of this lunatic.

“A former secretary of the IEBC, James Oswago, Hamida Kibwana and Trevy Oyombra have since been charged in connection with the scandal, with the United Kingdom set to remit the money paid in bribes back to Kenya.”

More to do with Uhuru and Jubilee than anything to do with Raila.

Finally, notice what’s missing in this story: nowhere does it note the reporters attempted to even contact Raila or NASA for their take on the false allegations by the loudmouth Duale, let alone the purported denials by Al Ghurair.

More so this is a Raila hit piece camouflaged as a news story.

 

 
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Posted by on June 16, 2017 in Politics, Uncategorized

 

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Too Late for Uhuru to Compensate Kisii IDPs

IDPs1

My Star column this weekend:

Barely a week before the November 8 election in the United States, Hillary Clinton suddenly realised a number of states that were previously safely in the Democratic Party basket could no longer be counted on.

This was a period she was facing an onslaught from her then opponent Donald Trump, with his appeal to American nativism, waging a campaign entirely based on lies and false promises.

One of these states was Michigan, where Hillary was forced to make a last-minute campaign appearance a day before the poll. As things would turn out, her appearance was too little too late to make any difference.

Had Clinton known the majority of voters in this usually friendly state for Democrats were ready to abandon the Democrats’ camp and vote Republican, she would have gone there much earlier in her campaigns: She didn’t. As a result, she paid dearly by losing in the state, which contributed to her losing the election.

President Uhuru Kenyatta faces the same situation and, therefore, will lose for exactly the same reason: That is waiting until it’s too late to address the needs of the voters in a county where he must get the same or more votes than he received in 2013, if he is to win on August 8. He has, however, done the opposite.

We’re talking about the county of Kisii. Like all Kenyans, voters in the Gusii region expected the President to deliver on his grandiose promises made ahead of the 2013 election.

Like a section of Kenyans, Gusii voters are disappointed that President Uhuru and his government have failed to deliver on these promises, and they’re too smart to be fooled with the gimmickry engaged in, trying to fool voters about what the government has done or is about to do.

We’re all too familiar with the many Kibaki-Raila era initiated or planned projects that Uhuru has been going around the country taking credit for as Jubilee when, in fact, they’re not: They’re only implementing what was placed in the pipeline by the Kibaki-Raila administration and even there, the poor pace of implementation is overshadowed by the wanton corruption bedeviling each of these projects.

The voters in Gusii are angry at the President for ignoring the needs of all IDPs from the area much as he ignored IDPs from other areas all these years in power — favouring those from his community and those from Deputy President William Ruto’s backyard, who were prioritised in the compensation plan. This is both indefensible and shameful.

Like Clinton, Uhuru has realised at the very last minute that the Gusii IDPs he has ignored all this time needed his attention, and he rushed there to give them long overdue compensation.

As was the case for Clinton, this, too, will be proven to be too little, too late for a number of reasons.

​First, Uhuru made the announcement no different than President Daniel Moi’s famous roadside giveaways intended to buy votes, which Kibaki perfected. But in Uhuru’s case, he’s not owed a thank you, let alone votes for doing something the government was obligated to do years ago.

Second, the fact Uhuru and Ruto made sure only IDPs from “their people” were compensated handsomely and timely compared to this last-minute scramble to get votes is another reason the duo must be booted from office not just by Gusii voters, but by all who care about our oneness as a nation bila ukabila (without tribalism) and related vices such as this, where those who rig themselves into government use the same institution to only benefit their tribes.

Third, there’s no justification whatsoever why IDPs from Central and the Rift Valley can be given nearly double what the IDPs in Gusii are being promised or given.

Last but not least, change is long overdue and the way to express one’s anger against those in elective office, who don’t respect you or don’t care about your needs as an individual or as a group, is to boot them out of office, notwithstanding these last-minute Hail Marys.

 
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Posted by on June 9, 2017 in Politics

 

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Chebukati, the Onus Is On You and IEBC To Prove You’re Not Compromised Already

IEBC1

My Star oped this weekend:

For decades, the United States and Russia consistently tried to outdo each other in attempts to be the sole superpower.

But following the collapse of the Soviet Union, the US emerged as the superpower, until the rise of China, and now we really can’t speak of the US as the unipolar superpower, especially in light of the election of Donald Trump as President.

The waning of US supremacy on the global stage is not by accident. Rather, it’s with the invincible, and, in some cases, overt, hand of the Kremlin, led by the ever-conniving President Vladmir Putin. So much so, it’s alleged, and now under investigation, that Russia influenced the outcome of the November 8 presidential election in the US.

While Russia was busy meddling in US elections, [if the allegations are true] then candidate Trump was busy egging them on, in what is now being investigated as illegal collusion that if proven, could lead to his impeachment and removal from power.

To be sure, the Russians tried but were unable to hack into the electoral system, even as they managed to hack other systems.

Notwithstanding this fact, candidate Trump, when he knew he was losing to the Democrats’ Hillary Clinton, started preparing his followers for his then seemingly eventual loss, by claiming the only way he would lose to her would have been because the system was rigged in her favour.

Fact is, it’s virtually impossible to rig US elections, especially at the presidential level, owing to a number of reasons beyond the scope of this column, suffice it to say key among them is the fact that the US system is decentralized besides being open and transparent. Can the same thing be said about our electoral system in Kenya? Of course not!

We have never had a single election since Independence in which the vote was not stolen, especially at the presidential level. The only exception, one could argue, would be the elections of 2002, where the opposition was united and determined to reject the Kanu regime of President Daniel Moi and his then project, Uhuru Kenyatta.

It was impossible for Moi not to have read the writing on the wall and done the right thing as he did by not even trying to rig. This notwithstanding the fact we have always had an institution charged with the responsibility of conducting free, fair, credible and transparent elections.

Unfortunately, each of these institutions was compromised, with the worst being the now-defunct Electoral Commission of Kenya, which was in charge of the 2007 General Election and led by Samuel Kivuitu, now deceased. This was a man who, prior to being appointed to head the ECK, had impeccable credentials, only to sully himself and nearly launch our country into a civil war because of his doing the bidding of those in power who wanted to remain at any cost.

When a new electoral agency, the IEBC was formed following promulgation of the 2010 Constitution in 2010 and Issack Hassan, a Kenyan-Somali, appointed as the chairman, many believed we had put the worst in electoral mischief behind us, and that he would be incorruptible, coming from a community thought to be neutral and not known to be corrupt.Hassan proved he was just as corrupt and inept as the chairmen who served before him.

We now have Wafula Chebukati as the new chairman of the IEBC. But the question is, Mister Chebukati, are you compromised as those before you were? If not, do you have what it takes to proudly stand on the side of the people of honour and integrity, or would the dangling of a few coins and promise of power have you ready to cast all aside for short-lived self-aggrandizement?

We’re watching, knowing fully this time around, only the will of the people will prevail and you’ll be wise not to even try to thwart it, notwithstanding what pressure is put on you and your commission.

 
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Posted by on June 2, 2017 in Politics

 

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