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Jubilee’s Acts of Desperation Must Be Rejected

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My Star column this weekend:

Just before the most bizarre elections in US history on November 8, Donald Trump prepared his mob of followers for the then impending loss, boldly claiming the only reason he would lose would be through rigging in favor of his opponent, Hillary Clinton.

That, of course, was not true, besides the whining candidate ended up being elected as President, courtesy of the unique electoral system in the US that allows a candidate who did not win the popular vote to be sworn in as President if he wins the Electoral College vote.

Trump also won because many voters were exasperated with politics as usual and, therefore, wanted an outsider, inexperienced and tone-deaf as President. It was, and still is, an act of desperation. Americans are now living the very nightmare many were afraid of for electing Trump as President.

Voters acting in desperation to elect an unfit candidate is not the norm. Rather, it’s those seeking office, especially high office such as the presidency, who resort to acts of desperation to either gain or cling to power.

We’ve seen that unfold in Kenya many times, most notably in 2007, when elections were so flagrantly stolen, plunging our country into chaos and almost into a civil war.

When the opposition united and picked Raila Odinga as their flagbearer, you could almost touch the panic in Jubilee because the writing was on the wall that their days in power were numbered.

The fact that Jubilee has panicked is obvious: That they’re now headed into desperation is also obvious. Desperate people do desperate things.

Many examples of Jubilee’s acts of desperation abound but, for the sake of time, three stand out the most.

First, there was retaliation against Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho, when Jubilee realised he could not be cajoled or threatened to abandon his criticism of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s administration. In their act of desperation, they brought the state machine down on Joho’s head. This backfired.

When the High Court recently ruled that presidential election results at the constituency level announced by returning officers should be considered final, the allegedly reconstituted IEBC appealed this well-reasoned, constitutional and common sense court ruling, arguing that the suspect commission must be the final decider on who won what and where; a scheme we know has failed in each of the past election cycles, most notably and egregiously in 2007.

This appeal is the second major act of desperation in recent times as there’s no doubt that the IEBC did not independently decide to appeal this decision but, rather, did so under direction from those who put them there.

The Court of Appeal cannot but affirm the High Court decision which, as noted above, is a well-reasoned, constitutional and commonsensical decision to preserve the integrity of the electoral process and, more importantly, shield the vote from the machinations of those ready, willing and able to thwart the will of the people at the National Tallying Centre if history teaches us anything.

The third most recent act of desperation by Jubilee is its laughable effort to try and prevent NASA from receiving campaign funds from foreign donors.

This is despite the law allowing any political party to do so within certain parameters, while Jubilee loots and allows unlimited inflow of cash from all manner of foreign sources for itself.

Again, when desperate, people do desperate things. These are just but three most recent major examples.

There’s no doubt there is more to come but as Kenyans, we must be vigilant in identifying and pointing them out. More importantly, we must be prepared to tell Jubilee there’s a limit, beyond which they cannot go even with their acts of desperation for the sake of peace.

 
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Posted by on May 19, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Raila Will Not Be President for Luos or NASA Strongholds Only; He’ll Be President for All Kenyans

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My Star oped this weekend:

When Barack Obama beat all odds to become America’s first black President, all eyes were on him, not in just how he would perform, but how he’d tackle problems the Blacks have faced as a group for hundreds of years.

For their part, the Blacks — at least those most affected by these problems — expected Obama to find solutions overnight. That was a pipedream.

On the other hand, some saw the election of Obama as the messianic fulfillment of the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s.

Non-progressives, meaning conservatives in White America, viewed the election of Obama as a passing cloud and the elected among them, especially those in Congress, swore to frustrate and obstruct Obama for the duration he’d be in power, which they did.

Racists, among them, mobilised to ensure Congress had the numbers to achieve this objective such that in the midterm elections of 2010, Obama suffered what he called a shellacking: The Democratic Party losing more than 60 House seats and a half-dozen Senate seats as well as Republican gains in state and local elective offices.

Despite this massive defeat at the polls in 2010, and continued united obstruction by Republicans, Obama went on to be reelected in 2012.

Obama has now exited the presidency after eight years in office with a record of accomplishment that arguably puts him at the top tier of the most successful US Presidents.

Did Obama, as first Black President, make a difference in Black America in his two terms in office?

The answer depends on who you ask. Average Black Americans will tell you he did if anything in breaking that ceiling telling their young the colour of one’s skin is no longer a barrier to achieving greatness in the US.

Black intellectuals such as Prof Cornell West see the Obama presidency as a failure not just for the Black community, but for America, they argue, Obama did not break from being beholden to Wall Street as all Presidents are in favour of Main Street.

There are parallels between Obama and NASA flagbearer, Raila Odinga.

Just as a presidential bid by a Black was resisted for hundreds of years until Obama came along, so too have Kenyans resisted the presidency of a Luo solely based on tribalism no different from the racists’ attitude in America. Like Obama in 2008, Raila is now poised to finally break this resistance to a Luo presidency, which has been cleverly exploited by those in power, and their henchmen, who stand to lose the most when Raila is sworn in as President.

Like Blacks in America, the Luo and others, who so fervently believe in Raila expect him to solve all their problems overnight once sworn in as the Fifth President.

Like Blacks in America, they, too, will be disappointed when Raila completes his term in office as president. For as Obama was not elected to become President for the Blacks only, this too will be the case with Raila. He will not become President of the Luos or NASA strongholds only.

This is the major and irreversible mistake Uhuru Kenyatta and his Number Two William Ruto made when they were sworn to lead the country, namely, assuming and acting as though they were elected to be President for their own tribesmen and strongholds, or, more accurately, to be President for a subset of their tribesmen and henchmen from their strongholds.

To allow these henchmen to use their presidency to loot and further suffocate all other Kenyans, who are barely trying to survive thanks to the historic looting, apathy for their suffering and incompetence of the Jubilee government.

Nobody is saying it’s going to be a walk, but all indications are Raila will be once again elected but this time be sworn in as our next President. When that happens, let everyone be on notice that he will be a President for all Kenyans, not for the Luos, or NASA strongholds.

This is just but one reason why a Raila presidency is most welcome and will be transformative.

 
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Posted by on May 12, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Gang Violence in Kenya Is A Problem But Extrajudicial Killing Is Not Solution

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In Gang Violence Is A Problem But Extrajudicial Killing Is Not the Solution, I make the case how the recent execution of two suspected gang members is not the solution to gang violence. I also make the case Jubilee government has failed to provide solutions for this and many other problems so it’s time to be booted from office and let the opposition led by Raila take over power and let them have a crack at fixing these monumental problems all prior governments have failed or have been unwilling to address.

And now the oped:

Donald Trump deployed uncouth tactics to win the presidential race, including blatantly appealing to racists on the far-right of American politics.

One way he did so — and this is how he launched his presidential race — was by leading efforts to discredit and undermine the legitimacy of President Barack Obama by advancing the bogus claim that he was born in Kenya and therefore not qualified to be US head of state.

The other tactic was to constantly trash the city of Chicago as the epicenter of black youth violence, as part of his attempt to appeal to racists and others as being the tough “law and order” candidate, who would get rid of the problem.

Seventy days plus into his moribund presidency, President Trump has not set forth, let alone even suggested, a single proposal to address the gang violence problem.

Nobody expects that he will, ever!

Neither is the man expected to do anything to address the problem of police brutality aimed at mostly the black youth and other minorities in the US, which increased last year and at the height of his candidacy.

There’s anecdotal evidence that youth and gang violence in Kenya is increasing to uncontrollable levels on President Uhuru Kenyatta’s watch. His Jubilee government is doing nothing to address this problem.

However, in the absence of any effective government intervention, summary execution or extrajudicial killing of even known gang members by the police, as recently witnessed in Eastleigh, doesn’t offer any solutions.

Granted, most people were in support of the executions of the two apparently well-known Super Power gang members by a plainclothes police officer because they’re fed up with these criminals who terrorize people in the area.

In other words, most people have no sympathy for these gang members, given the menace they have become in society.

That’s all true but let’s also focus on where the problem really lies — failure by the Jubilee government to create employment and other opportunities for the youth, who end up joining criminal gangs,where they commit all manner of crimes, including murder.

Jubilee has also totally failed to curb corruption, which has not spared programs intended to help the youth of this country. Indeed, the looting of more than Sh1.8 billion at the National Youth Service, which led to the resignation of the then Devolution CS Anne Waiguru stands as one of the monuments of corruption in a Kenya gone amok, though dwarfed by the Eurobond heist, of more than Sh215 billion that cannot be accounted for by the Jubilee government.

The solution to the escalating gang violence problem is therefore not extrajudicial killings, but ushering in a new government come August 8. A government that can address not just gang violence but the rampant corruption that’s now the worst ever in this country, and has prevented the government from addressing the needs of the people.

As Prime Minister, Raila Odinga was instrumental in the establishment of programs intended to alleviate youth unemployment and food insecurity, with the flagship project being the Kazi Kwa Vijana initiative.

KKV quickly became a casualty of corruption kingpins in the then Grand Coalition government. And later, as Raila would point out, senior officials who controlled the Ministry of Finance and aligned to President Mwai Kibaki killed the KKV program, along with others for fear it would succeed to the credit of Raila and his ODM wing of government.

Raila says he’s committed, now more than ever, to not only resume where he left off as Prime Minister with his half-loaf in finding lasting solutions for the country, but also promised to deliver immediate solutions to address the disgraceful high levels of youth unemployment in NASA.

 
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Posted by on April 9, 2017 in Law, Politics, Uncategorized

 

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Why Voters Should Send Uhuru Packing

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In my Star oped this week Why Voters Should Send Uhuru Packing, I offer some of the reasons why Uhuru will be a one-term president.

Excerpts:

But it wasn’t long after they were sworn in before UhuRuto obviated what many already knew: Their priority number one was to use state resources to thwart and ultimately succeed in walking away from the ICC without convictions, as they eventually did.

So much that for the first two years of the Uhuru presidency, all the focus was on leaving the ICC, when they were not busy filling every possible position in government with their tribesmen and women. They reserved the best positions for their cronies and hangers-on, who in turn made sure they successfully engaged in massive corruption.

And that’s a shame, reason and fact number one that this is a failed government.

To be sure, some of us — and to the chagrin of those with whom we have been in the opposition trenches — rooted for the duo’s success for, after all, we only have one President and one administration at a time and we have, as a country, needs that must be met.

Instead of capitalising on that goodwill and delivering on their promises for the sake of our country, President Kenyatta and Deputy President Ruto squandered it all and, even worse, allowed their cronies to engage in even more corruption, worse than this country has ever endured, which is reason and fact number two why this is a failed government.

There’s not enough time or space here to analyse all the failures of the Jubilee government based strictly on the promises made in their manifesto. They have failed to deliver on those promises, let alone even try, while pretending to launch “new” projects when in reality, they were put in the pipeline by none other than the person who gives them the most shivers.

Suffice it to say, however, that Jubilee has failed to deliver on promises ranging from providing transformational leadership, when they’ve given us worse, to making Kenya safe when, as one blogger put it, “The police have all the weapons and vehicles they need to arrive at a place where it is easy to trample on the rights of the common citizens but not to protect themselves from sporadic al Shabaab attacks and bandits in places such as Suguta Valley and Kapedo.”

From empowering the youth, where the massive looting at NYS tells you all you need to know, to providing food security where, as this same blogger puts it, “people are still dying of hunger in 21st Century Kenya and of all places in Tiaty constituency, where Jubilee reaped 51, 000 votes out of a possible 22,000.”
From a healthy Kenya, in which the doctors’ strike tells you all you need to know to, last but not least, tribalism, which is now worse than ever before.

These are just but a few facts and reasons why the Jubilee government has failed, and which the majority of the voters going to the polls must have in mind in sweeping them out of office come August 8.

 
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Posted by on February 20, 2017 in Politics, Uncategorized

 

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NASA Tsunami Will Sweep Jubilee Away

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In my Oped this week Nasa Will Sweep Jubilee Away, I opine as follows:

History is replete with examples of events that start as national events only to morph into an event which ends up shaping world history in one way or another most recent examples being the fall of Berlin, the 911 terrorist attacks in the US, Brexit and more recently, the election of one Donald Trump in the United States.

The latter two events have something in common beyond the underlying racism and xenophobia in both that’s playing out in Kenya as we head into the general election and that is buyer’s remorse.

There’s anecdotal evidence many voters in the UK who voted for Brexit regretted their vote soon after the results were out albeit not by significant numbers owing to the fact this is still an issue the UK is deeply divided.

Ditto in the US where there’s already grumbling among many who voted for Trump now saying they regret doing so which is going to get worse when others realize what many of us knew all along and that is, Trump promised the impossible he cannot deliver but will try and deliver on policies that will make many who voted for him worse off than they are today.

As in the Brexit and the US elections, there’s buyer’s remorse in Kenya as well among those who voted for Jubilee in general and Uhuru in particular and this is true even among diehard Jubilee adherents; question is, will these disillusioned among Jubilee come out to vote against Uhuru come August 8 or will they stay home instead in classic voter apathy.

One thing we do know for sure, however, is despite Jubilee’s total failure as a government and especially despite its pathetic record on corruption while practicing and exacerbating tribalism and division, there will be millions marching to the polls come November 8 and casting their vote for this failed administration for reasons that have nothing to do with presidential qualification, leadership or good governance.

That’s the tragedy of our people who, like the Trumpians in the US who voted en masse for the race baiter simply what he was saying was music to their ears his flaws notwithstanding, so too will many throng the polls to vote to reelect Uhuru despite having totally failed to deliver on even half of what the Jubilee government promised when hunting for votes ahead of 2013.

The hope is such voters will be fewer and far apart in 2017 and let’s have a repeat of 2002 when there was widespread and total rejection of Uhuru the first time he was presented to the country as a viable presidential candidate only to receive a resounding “NO” from every corner of the country.

The signs of yet another political tsunami is forming in Kenya are there for all to see, except those in deep denial who are desperately albeit comically characterizing the gathering storms as anything but for what it is: a forming political force that will sweep Jubilee out of power.

The irony of all of this is, just as we have buyer’s remorse among voters even in Jubilee strongholds, so, too, do we have buyer’s remorse between and among some key players in the gathering storm.

More specifically, when the storm comes and goes having swept Jubilee out of power, it would be looked back and concluded with pure irony that the political tsunami of 2017 was possible because Kalonzo and Mudavadi had buyer’s remorse with Kibaki and Jubilee, respectively.

Mudavadi having returned to the fold, and Kalonzo having done so previously, namely, back in Raila camp, all is forgiven and now there’s an even greater prize to be had and that is the opportunity to be part of a new government that will finally achieve peace, unity and prosperity of the kind we have not seen in our beloved country since independence and before.

An achievement not possible with Jubilee because you can’t do the same thing and expect different results; Uhuru finds his way back to State House after August, count on same or worse we’re suffering in every respect.

 
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Posted by on February 12, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

FBI Director Comey’s Announcement Regarding Hillary’s Emails Is Much Ado About Nothing

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All Trumpians beginning from the demagogue himself are super-joyed with the news FBI Director has written to a House Committee saying new Hillary emails have come to light he would like to examine to determine whether they’re classified or their significance to the investigation he conducted for months and closed in July saying there was no basis to recommend indictment of Hillary.

The excitement is premature for several reasons; first, even though the announcement is peculiar and certain to give Hillary campaign a headache, in substance, the announcement says absolutely nothing. In fact, the announcement doesn’t even say this is a reopening of the investigation even though right wing media, the demagogue and some in MSM are already calling it that.

Without going into the weeds on this, just know reopening of an investigation usually means discovery of facts or new information that’s material in the now closed investigation yet, in Comey’s own letter, he says he doesn’t know whether these newly discovered emails are significant or not, in other words, he’s just rushed to send the letter to the House for reasons really only he knows.

Second, regardless of whether this is a reopening of the investigation or something else, the outcome will not and cannot be known in the 11 days remaining before elections, which means, yes, the demagogue and his sycophants will try and exploit the news to the max but reality is, this is already a baked in issue for Hillary they may on the margins gain some votes as a result but not nearly enough or even close to close the crater between his numbers and Hillary’s.

In other words, Hillary is the next POTUS notwithstanding this peculiar but suddenly significant development if anything because the media will by hyperventilating over this for the next several days; so much for the rigged media, ah?

There are other reasons to dampen the spirits of the demagogue and his followers but no need to cover them all other than to repeat what I said elsewhere and that is, Comey is proving he’s politically inept and perhaps that’s a good thing because making this announcement does nothing but inject himself into the campaign–something all other law enforcement officials generally avoid be they Republicans or Democrats which in turn will subject him to further criticism and even open him and FBI to a broader criticism, namely, he was incompetent in his investigation to begin with–something only extreme Republican partisans have been making.

How can an email or emails emerge that escaped the snare of FBI’s intensive and extensive investigation? Does Comey seriously want to vouch for the Russians in saying they’re better equipped to find things the FBI cannot? That will be a shame.

What an ending to an already weird election year having the FBI director inject himself in the campaign in this manner which would only leave him even more sullied than he was heretofore in the hands of Republican partisans now he’ll draw the rage of Democrats as well, making sure neither is going to giving him high marks when all this is said and done.

Three things we know for sure:

One, he cannot conclude whatever he needs to do per his letter to Congress by election day, which is only 11 days away.

Two, even if he were to conclude whatever it is he wants to do in the 11 days, he cannot possibly suddenly announce he’s recommending that Hillary be indicted for surely, he will be run out of town by everyone except the most partisan of partisan Republicans.

Three, the outcome of whatever he wants to do will surely be known after the elections; if Hillary is president-elect or already sworn in by then, it doesn’t matter what the outcome is as the new administration will make sure if it’s something adverse, it’s simply ignored; if it’s not, they will still ignore and press on with their agenda to unite and govern the country.

In other words, this is much ado about nothing.

 

 
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Posted by on October 28, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

The End of Donald Trump Farce Beckons

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The Trump campaign is based entirely on an experiment that fortunately for the country and Democrats in particular, will end badly for Republicans and allow Hillary, our now inevitable next president, to not only seal Obama’s legacy but also leave hers by way of reshaping the Supreme Court in a manner that will favor Democratic Party issues for the next several decades.

The irony of all of this is, when people look back and try to figure when Republicans lost their way to the White House, it wouldn’t be the day Trump announced his presidential run; it wouldn’t be at the end of his serial insults and vulgarity he polluted the country with during the primaries; it wouldn’t even be when he started his dog whistling which he stealthily continues to deploy neither will it be when he confirmed this by his moronic and racist attack of a federal judge overseeing the fraud case against him.

Rather, it would be this day, July 19, 2016 when instead of owning up to his wife’s plagiarism, the bigoted clown predictably refused to even acknowledge the obvious plagiarism and instead opted to plow ahead revealing what most observers have known all along and that is, besides lacking depth and notwithstanding his hoping to ride on bigotry and fear all the way to the White House, the man doesn’t have in place a campaign structure and infrastructure to actually get him there.

This fact is only made worse, again, today by the extremely incompetent manner in which the narcissist and his campaign handled his wife’s plagiarism removing any doubt among those undecided few he could have persuaded during the Republican Convention that he’s not this unfit to be president as most of us know.

This is because how a presidential candidate handles a crisis–and make no mistake this is a major crisis for the reality TV star, how the candidate and his campaign handles a crisis gives us a glimpse into how they would handle one during their presidency from Day 1.

No objective observer can say what we saw since this crisis erupted in how it has been handled is anything even remotely close to give anyone any confidence the clown and his team has what it takes to handle a crisis of any kind.

We, of course, know effective crisis management is a requirement for the job any evidence one doesn’t have a clue on how to manage one is by itself enough reason to disqualify them for the office.

The bigoted clown proved once for all he’s unqualified to hold office as our president on this ground alone but there are a ton of others reasons not the least of which is he’s an intemperate and vindictive character with authoritarian instincts to boot.

We don’t need and cannot have that thus the reason he shall and must be rejected come November and instead have the steady, experienced hand of Hillary Clinton as our next and first female president of this already great country.

 

 
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Posted by on July 19, 2016 in Uncategorized