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Tag Archives: Kenya Elections

Why Voters Should Send Uhuru Packing

uhuruto1

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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Can IEBC Chair Be Fair and Impartial?

iebc-scales-of-justice

In A Fair and Impartial IEBC Chair?, I make the case it’s possible but those charged with the responsibility to pick the next chair of this important body must do the utmost in screening and selecting only an incorruptible person who can ensure we once again have a fair and transparent election even half as good as we had in 2002, the only time it can be said we have not had an election riddled with rigging and all manner of corruption as to negate the will of the majority of the voters going to the polls as we have always had as the case going back to our country’s independence.

Excepts:

When President-elect Donald Trump was in the middle of his campaign, a political analyst in the US said Trump lied like a thug, daring anyone to challenge him, while Hillary Clinton was more nuanced in her lying, leaving room to explain away the lie, being the good lawyer she is.

Fast-forward to the 2007 and 2013 general elections and one cannot but conclude the Kivuitu who chaired the ECK in 2007 goes down in history as having presided over the most flagrant, in-your-face rigging of an election and, worse one who, like a thug, dared anyone to challenge him.

For his part, when Issack Hassan was selected to chair the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission in 2011, he presided over questionable elections in 2013, where the rigging may not have been as in your face as was the case in 2007 but, like the smooth lying by Clinton, giving herself plenty of room to wiggle away, Hassan, too, pulled off serious rigging with plenty of room to explain away much of the irregularities that took place.

The onus is on those charged with the responsibility of finding one to do so and with urgency for, surely, we don’t want the IEBC once again being led by those capable of smiling at us while bludgeoning our feeble democracy to death, if not creating forces that literally kill Kenyans.

 

 
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Posted by on December 2, 2016 in Law, Politics

 

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IEBC In Washington To Tell Lies About Elections

IEBC Bomas

The person who is supposed to head the oxymoronically named “Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission” (IEBC) is on a propaganda mission to Washington, DC where he’s expected to tell lies about the March elections in Kenya.

This person is the guest of the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), an NGO that claims on its website it works to advance good governance and democratic rights globally.

That’s all well and good but, when this organization claims on its website and invite info for the IEBC event that Kenya’s elections were “widely regarded as credible” it goes to tell those with even a bare knowledge of what happened that they don’t know what they’re talking about or do and are on a mission to pacify the US and other countries that have grave reservations about the suffocation to near death of democracy in Kenya and other countries.

The organization goes on to say that “while the election was widely considered to be free and fair, there were a number of challenges that the IEBC encountered, including problems with the introduction of new election technology.”

This is the understatement of a century.

What happened in the 2013 elections much as it happened in 2007 were not not “challenges” and “computer malfunctions” in the case of 2013 but a deliberate, carefully planned and executed in your face rigging.

That’s a fact known by none other than Jubilee itself and its leaders starting from the top.

The organization says on its website that the “IEBC is now undertaking a thorough lessons learned process with the help of IFES, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and other election stakeholders.”

Nonsense.

How does one undertake to learn lessons learned from things they planned and meticulously executed to perfection?

“As the IEBC begins this period of reflection on what went right, what went wrong and how this knowledge can strengthen the management of future elections,” says the organization, “please join us for an interactive discussion on this topic.”

We know what went wrong and if this organization wanted to know what went wrong, if they don’t know already, which is doubtful, the person to ask is not this one they have invited to represent the obviously compromised and incompetent IEBC.

Those who are in the Washington, DC area or can travel from nearby states should plan and attend this event if anything to tell the organizers and participants the truth besides asking questions they’re likely to receive nothing but lies for answers from those representing the aforementioned body representative from Keny

To attend, one must RSVP here

 
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Posted by on June 5, 2013 in Politics

 

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My Response to A Luo Non-Supporter of Raila and Classification of Non-Raila Supporters

The following are responses from a Luo professional who says he was an admirer and friend of Raila but not any more allegedly because he no longer believes Raila is committed to reforms.

I ordinarily treat as suspect or dismiss as driven by spite or vengeance, individuals who claim they were friends and supporters of Raila but not any more regardless of what reason they give for such withdrawal of their support and friendship.

However, it is possible and there are individuals who, in fact, were friends and supporters of Raila but for genuine reasons other than having an ax to grind or vengeance, these individuals have genuinely stopped supporting Raila but I believe these are very few and even more telling, if they exist, they’ll hardly be out trashing Raila in public, especially, if they claim they were friends; you just don’t do that to a friend unless you have parted ways for reasons that are personal.

We, of course, know there are individuals who have been paid, are being paid or will be paid to trash Raila.

Indeed, it is more likely than not, that anyone you hear or see trashing Raila is under the direction of anti-Raila forces or is hoping to be.

The Luo I respond to in this blog is someone I have been trying to determine what kind of anti-Raila is; what motivates him, especially given he says he was friends and an admirer of Raila?

This are some of what the individual says now of Raila,

Something has surely changed, about the PM, that makes him look a pale shadow of the “reformist’s” tag that he cherishes to hang around his neck like a rogue bull’s bell and this is what enrages some of us! To him, the ultimate seems to be the President by whatever which way! But some of us now angrily ask, President for what purpose, and after the Presidency then what???!!! We feel insulted by a man we, for long, erroneously thought we were reading from the same page with!!!”

Isn’t management by delegation a sterling example of a man in control?! What is the difference between the Triton,maize and famine scandals and the scandals of yester-years which this PM almost became hoarse criticizing?! Or was that just a ruse to get to State House?! What do
you make of a “reformist” who would, contrary to all known laws and
principles of natural justice in a civilized society, sack his immediate aide like a wild rabid dog and then have the temerity to announce in public that “that is normal”! HOW???!!! Some of us, who suffered a similar fate, in the hands of former President Daniel arap Moi’s thugs, shudder to imagine what kind of depraved despot this PM promises to be, once he gets to State House! I could go on and on ad infinitum!!!”

My conclusion thus far is, he may have genuine grounds for abandoning Raila but I am not 100% certain, especially given the tone of his sentiments.

With that in mind, I nonetheless responded to this individual in back to back posts from him as follows:

First Response:

Nd. X

This is not punting, but I actually have answers to each of the questions and concerns you have posed or expressed.

Unfortunately, however, I cannot provide those answers here for a number of reasons, including the fact I know how how predictable characters will react to them and before you know, it we have a mile long thread with nothing but people talking right past each other, given these go to the very core of some of what I believe Raila is, stands for and is trying to do.

Those who know this, would understand; those who don’t won’t and thus the exercise in futility trying to do just that, namely, answering these questions here.

I would not mind, however, giving you some hints in private and you know you have an outstanding offer to meet up next time I am in Nairobi and I’ll be happy to engage briefly on this or other issues.

For now, let me just say I obviously understand there are many supporters who have either been disillusioned or simply just gotten so frustrated with how things have evolved since the end of PEV.

This is a phenomena not uncommon after all elections and no one knows this better than Obama and Raila.

Believe it or not, there are so many parallels between Obama and Raila and thus the reason I reference both.

For example, there are many Democrats, especially those on the left, who have been extremely disappointed in Obama’s move to the middle in his governing, compared to how he campaigned.

In fact, so much so just the other day, a black Democrat House Member and Martha-like lady from California openly questioned Obama’s “ignoring” the black community!

This is as normal here as American pie is to Americans, however:

Both Democrats and Republicans have to run on either from the left, for Democrats or Right, for Republicans when seeking nomination from their respective parties.

However, upon being elected, whether Democrat or Republican, no one can govern from solely their side of political ideology; they must move to the middle and this inevitably infuriates those on either end of the ideological divide.

However, infuriated as they may be on the left or right, come general elections they almost always all come back to backing their party candidate in his re-election bid or simply sit out the elections.

Rarely do they cross over and vote for the other side as that side is considered even more loathsome.

Raila faces the same dilemma, albeit different in some details that matter.

A lot of people have been disillusioned with him, ODM and generally how the government is performing.

The key for him, is how he responds to the concerns of these genuinely disillusioned individuals.

On the other hand, however, Raila need not seriously waste his time trying to win over his haters and other distractors; there is nothing he can do to turn around this segment of our society that’s always there regardless of who is president and this is true of any country.

No matter how good a leader one is, he or she is always going to have haters.

They must exist and this is what completes their lives, or so they believe.

Rather, Raila could try and win them over but must in the end count them as a lost, gone.

Fortunately, these are few compared to those who otherwise are simply disillusioned or for one or other genuine reason have not warmed up to Raila.

This is what campaigns are meant to do and really one of the reasons I can’t go into details as to your questions.

It’s best Raila himself answers those questions in the context of his campaign or sooner if he has to and I am fairly confident he will as things evolve toward the big day.

End

Second Response, same individual in another post:

These are the types of assertions about Raila I take issue with for several reasons, especially coming from a learned friend like you:

First, we just made a huge leap to the future in the passage and promulgation of our new constitution. Although we are in the process of implementing it, there are very few people I know who have any concerns about circumventing the constitution and we have already seen that by how the PM stopped Kibaki from making illegal appointments.

It’s therefore extremely unlikely that our constitution will ever again be trumped by a “primitive third world despot.”

[The individual insinuated Raila will become a “despot,” if elected president].

And, in any case, this is something all of us can agree we’ll stand united as a nation to guard against, and push back if we have to but I highly doubt anyone will ever try again to trump our constitution.

This is not to say the President or Parliament cannot find ways to cunningly use the same constitution to effect policies or take action others hate or loath to support; far from it.

Indeed, I have been asked, and am looking into penning a blog elaborating on an issue I posted here a few days ago regarding PLO and the successful stay obtained by my friend Ledama Olekina to keep PLO in office until the matter is resolved by the courts and I am happy to do so because this is the beauty of our new political dispensation under the constitution.

This would obviously never have happened in the despotic times of the past.

My point on this is, there are sufficient checks and balances in the new constitution it doesn’t matter who is president; he or she cannot trump it at will as in the past.

Second, when you say, you were excited after the coalition agreement because “my friend Raila, and his group, would now [after signing of the Accord] get a chance to use the PM’s position to demonstrate to the country what kind of different,and progressive, leadership to expect from him when entrusted with the reigns of power,” [sic] all I can tell you, you must have been alone in this thinking or hardly many others closely following the events thought so.

I can tell you for one, as an ordinary Kenyan offering my views to some of those involved in the discussion leading up to the 2008 Accord, I specifically proposed and pushed for creation of a weak premiership and stronger presidency for reasons I cannot go into here but have to do with what I have publicly said in my blogs and that is, Kenya needed and to some extend needs a good doze of dictatorship to get to where we need to.

I know that’s probably raised someone’s hair but I’ll elaborate on another blog.

Third, even those of us who took the view the premiership should be weaker than the presidency, we expected the Accord to be the transition to that proposed system.

However, the idea of a parliamentary system was scrapped and we shall now resort to the presidential system after the next elections but we are operating under a system intentionally created to provide for a strong president with weak prime minister.

Add to that the deliberate actions by Kibaki’s inner circle in making sure Raila fails as prime minister, you have to give the man an A+ for having thus far managed to accomplish the much he has as PM despite these many odds against him.

My point is, it’s wrong to measure the PM’s future performance as president solely based on his performance as Prime Minister; you can take it into account, and in light of the above, but certainly not exclusively.

Fourth, your conclusion Raila “clearly does not respect power, cannot manage it and is dangerously, if desperately, prone to abuse it!” is just that: a conclusory statement.

To make it more than that, you will have to table your evidence.

Ditto for your other conclusory assertion, “From the happenings around Raila, lately, i worry, mortally, that he is not a manager, he is not in charge neither is he in control!”

When you say, “I worry, too, that allowed into State House, Raila risks running a political harem worse than that of late Francois ” Papa Doc” Duvalier of Haiti, late Emperor Bokassa of C.A.R. late Mobutu Ssese Sseko of Zaire and would be in danger of actualizing the clarion “MOI MUST COME BACK”!!!” you are of course, engaged in classic slippery slope argument which I need not get into as to why first, because I have no time but secondly, I am sure you know why except let me say the best rebuttal shall be when you are proven wrong when Raila is, in fact, elected, if he is but I must assure you from all knowns that we’ll not go down this slippery slope for many reasons, not the least of which I have already pointed out above.

You say, “These are not very nice things to say and, i must confess, i say them with a very heavy heart about somebody i had such admiration for! How i wish i could only hear them said by someone else, but since nobody would, i must say them myself, so that i may hear them!!!

There are two types of people who used to admire Raila but now don’t:

Those who are genuinely disillusioned with Raila for not meeting their objectives from a policy stand point or

Those who are against Raila because of not meeting their individual needs and objectives, including appointments.

There are, of course, those who never admired him but are now opposed because they have been paid to do so.

I suppose there will be more of any of these as the campaigns get afoot.

I have no reason not to put you in the first category and thus the reason I responded to you the way I did the other day and ditto for today.

In other words, I do genuinely hope and expect, if you are in the first category as I assume, that Raila will listen to you and those like you and hopefully address to your satisfaction, some, if not all of your concerns during the campaign or even before.

Peace, Love and Unity

Omwenga

 
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Posted by on September 13, 2011 in Politics

 

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Who Is Martha Karua Part IV

In Minimum Qualities, Attributes and Skills Our Next President Mus Possess, I set forth an objective criteria that should be used to evaluate presidential candidates in deciding who among them should get our nod to be our next president.

In that blog, I noted as follows:

To be sure, leadership is a subject that has been studied for centuries and many scholars have tried to define what it is exactly but none has had lasting acceptance.

Analyzing these studies is beyond the scope of this piece but I have drawn from these studies qualities, attributes and skills (QAS) I believe are essential and a must have for the person we elect as our next president and these are:

  1. Religious Conviction
  2. Honesty, Trustfulness and Integrity
  3. Firm Educational Foundation and Wisdom
  4. Experience and Exposure
  5. Inspiration, Vision and Self-Confidence

It is my belief applying these QAS to select our next president will result in the election of the most apt and suitable president at this time in our history.

I then go on at length in that blog, expounding on what these qualities entail and why I think they are apt, if applied properly, in helping us choose an ideal or at least the best leader we can have under the circumstances, given the candidates we have vying for the presidency.

I now apply these qualities and evaluate the candidacy of Hon. Martha Karua (HMK), in this next to last series on her (see my archives for earlier parts).

I will, in the future, analyze other candidates as well.

  1. Religious Conviction.

I don’t have much to go by here other than HMK’s own declaration during an interview with Jeff Koinange on K24 during the referendum in which she emphatically declared that she is a Christian.

How much or less of a Christian she is, I just don’t know and neither her or anyone from her campaign has responded to my phone call and SMS seeking input for this next to last piece on her.

I would therefore simply give HMK the benefit of doubt and say being a Christian, she has been exposed to the teaching of Christianity, especially as it regards to treating others with compassion and love.

2.   Honesty, Trustfulness and Integrity.

This is a tough one and not just for HMK, but for everyone running for president, or for any public office for that matter.

All politicians are not honest or trustworthy to begin with, so do most people believe and except for a few here and there, few people would believe most, if not all politicians have not been involved in questionable transactions of one kind or another, or otherwise engaged in conduct that may be said to adversely reflect on their honor and integrity.

In the end, this may be a question of degree, as opposed to absolute terms.

Be as it may be, the direct question to ask about HMK and all others seeking office, for that matter, is does she pass the threshold set forth under Chapter Six of the Constitution and my answer is, yes she does.

I have no doubt many can look back to HMK’s conduct post-election 07 (PEV) and conclude HMK is the most dishonest, untrustworthy and certainly without any integrity and that would be on the surface, the appropriate conclusion to reach, but there is more to it than that.

There is no question, HMK came across during those grim days as shrewdly cold and recklessly inflexible, all the while advising Kibaki to take the most of hardline positions while the country was about to plunge into civil war, not to say anything about people having already been burned in churches and their homes with streets and homes still on fire.

This was clearly not something you would expect from an honest person and one with honor and integrity; you would have expected such person, at the minimum, to be reconciliatory and accommodating, given the facts known then and that is, Kibaki had flagrantly stolen the elections.

I know the media, and out of respect for the reconciliation finally reached, refer to the 07 outcome as “disputed” or that “nobody knows who won” but there is little doubt in anyone’s mind that Raila won the elections by far, Kibaki and crew just made sure he was not sworn as president.

For her hardline position, and advising Kibaki not to relent even under the tremendous pressure being applied from everywhere, and despite the obvious need to so relent, if anything, to stop the violence, one can and should rightly say or conclude that HMK was then wallowing at the height of impunity.

It therefore would be easy to conclude HMK lacks this trustfulness and honesty elements, when evaluating her leadership ability, solely based on her conduct post-election but I think this would be unfair.

HMK’s honesty, trustfulness and integrity, must be measured in totality, meaning in examining her complete personal and professional, including her political life.

Starting with her conduct during PEV, this is clearly her biggest stain on her trustfulness, honor and integrity but she has explained her conduct as being driven by a desire to serve her master as zealously as she could.

In other words, in her quest to please Kibaki, HMK crossed the line without knowing to a level of zealotry that completely ignored or disregarded reality.

Or put differently, HMK was for impunity before she became against it but unwittingly so, according to her explanation.

If this is her explanation, it is understandable and forgivable, especially given the fact she has since decamped from the Kibaki regime, even though listening to how she puts it, her distancing herself from Kibaki has more to do with not standing Kibaki’s kitchen-cabinet than anything related to her PEV conduct or role.

I’ll give her a pass on that.

Beyond PEV, I have not heard of HMK as being implicated in conduct unbecoming an honest and trustworthy public servant with integrity to boot.

I dismiss as not particularly relevant stories reported in the media about HMK being car-jacked in car she was only with a priest and no security detail near or anywhere around, if anything on double standard grounds: no man would be held to account for anything of that nature, even if the inferences and insinuations from the incident were true.

Besides the issue of impunity I discuss above, I have never heard anyone accuse HMK as being corrupt or harboring corruption and that being the case, I would give her at least a passing grade on integrity.

That being the case, I therefore would have to conclude HMK meets the integrity threshold under the Constitution and cannot be disqualified to run for president on this ground.

3. Educational Foundation and Wisdom

HMK studied law at the University of Nairobi from 1977 to 1980.  Between 1980 and 1981 she was enrolled at the Kenya School of Law for the statutory post graduate law course that is a prerequisite to admission to the Kenyan roll of advocates and licensing to practice law in Kenya.

HMK therefore has the requisite educational foundation and wisdom to be elected president

4.  Experience and Exposure.

After graduating from Kenya School of Law, HMK worked in the Judiciary as a District Magistrate rising to a Senior Resident Magistrate at the time of leaving the Judiciary in 1987.

During this period, she was in charge of Makadara Law Courts from 1984 to 1985 and Kibera Law Courts from 1986 to 1987 when she left to start her own law firm. In the year 1987 Martha Karua formed Martha Karua & Co. Advocates which she operated till the year 2002.

While in practice, Karua presented many pro bono cases notable among them the treason trial of Koigi Wamwere and the late Hon. Mirugi Kariuki.

HMK is credited for having significantly contributed to the development of family law and especially the distribution of matrimonial property as well as constitutional and administrative law.

HMK was a member of the opposition political movements that successfully agitated for the reintroduction of multi-party democracy in Kenya in the early 1990s.

Kenya was at the time under the authoritarian rule of KANU, the only legally recognised political party in Kenya at the time, and which was led by then president Daniel arap Moi.

HMK joined Kenneth Matiba’s Ford-Asili party but lost the party nomination ticket to the wealthy and influential former Head of Public Service Geoffrey Kareithi.

HMK was then offered a ticket and support by the Democratic Party of Kenya (DP) elders who wanted a clean break from the Kareithi – Nahashon Njuno rivalry.

Karua won the 1992 general election to become the MP for Gichugu constituency, which she has represented since, and in doing so, she became the first woman lawyer to be popularly elected to Parliament.

In 2002, HMK joined Raila and other “KANU Rebels” who split from KANU and formed the political coalition NARC that won the 2003 General Election in Kenya and defeated Moi’s Uhuru Project, effectively putting an end to KANU’s nearly four decades of choke-hold on power in Kenya.

To be continued.

In Part V, I conclude the series on HMK

 
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Posted by on September 1, 2011 in Politics

 

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Butchering the English Language, What’s Martha Karua Up-to And Central Voting Habits

The use of proper English once in awhile pops up as a heated exchange here and there among and between the culprits and would be grammar specialists in these fora.

Sometimes we make genuine typos in our incessant habit of some of us hitting the “send” button before reviewing whatever it’s we have written, sometimes we truly have no clue or just can’t figure it.

I once had someone send me a private email, saying how much she enjoys reading my blogs, even though she does not often agree with me.

She told me in another email, however, that I should edit my blogs to make sure they are grammatically error free because she can’t stand reading anything less than grammatically perfect.

I assume she must be some English teacher or professor somewhere, telling by her sternness in stating the point.

I replied to her that by habit I hardly ever edit my work; its nonstop writing and sending and the reason I don’t, is because (1) no time and (2) I’ll end up rewriting the whole thing.

That’s just my writing style; it’s one time draft and finished, brief or whatever else.

I am not even sure when or how I picked that habit but that’s what I always know as far as I can remember.

It’s also been a good thing I am my own boss and have no one to go over my work because you change even as a word or ask me to and we are finished.

I found this about myself when I was at the Department of Justice as a Litigation Support law clerk, where the senior attorneys I was working under would mark all over my work, at some point I thought they had been sent on a mission to irritate me from Satan himself.

I learned to cope, though, assuring myself it was only temporary and surely I moved on, started my own firm where I could write my own briefs without as someone attempting to tell me how to.

While other attorneys would have their paralegals write or at least do first drafts of their briefs, never have; I’d rather do it myself.

Back to my English or professor reader, I do understand where she is coming from, however, as I am the same way; I get distracted or amused–as the case may be, whenever I find errors where I do not expect any.

For example, reading a story Karua No Longer An Astute Defender of Kibaki in the Daily Nation Online earlier today, I came across the following:

“But Prof Matanga says whether Mr Mungatana runs with her or not is not as big an issue as her community.”

“The community votes as a bloc for a particular candidate and the Central power blockers appear keen on Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta,” he said.

Blockers? Of course, the writer meant, “brokers” but then I started laughing remembering I saw earlier something circulating about pronunciation of certain words by a segment of our people, to which a question arose: whose fault is this? The writer or the editor, or both?

I started looking to see the writer’s name but I stopped, telling myself to stay away from reinforcing these stereotypes.

All this had me remembering a very good old engineer client and later friend of mine I have not seen or heard of for several years now as we simply lost contact–I think he moved back home.

Despite my repeatedly urging him until I gave up, to simply call me by my first name, Sam, (he is my age-mate) my friend preferred to call me by my last name “Mr. Omwega,” not “Omwenga,” of course.

I have got to reconnect with him, now that I am thinking about him; very progressive but apolitical gentleman from deep Central.

On the story itself, a few things:

First, I think our brothers and sisters from Central will surprise everyone come 2012, in that they will for the first time break with tradition and not vote as a bloc for their own.

Second, notwithstanding their overstocked wallets–which no doubt will have an impact in all other races, Central power brokers will be surprised how things are vast and fast changing, I would not be surprised they pull the rug from under the feet of those otherwise counting on their support, and rally with the winner, who should be obvious by then, especially if we go to Round Two.

Third, I have yet to pen my last part of my series of blogs on HMK but I have a perfect recommendation for her that I’ll share about her presidential ambitions.

Hint: Not 2012.

That’s coming soon.

Peace, Love and Unity

Samuel N. Omwenga, Esq.

 
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Posted by on July 27, 2011 in Politics

 

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Is Prof. James ole Kiyiapi Ready To Run For President? Not Yet, He Says; He’ll Be Ready In December

Education Permanent Secretary Prof James ole Kiyiapi says he will formally unveil his presidential bid in December, according to Capital FM Online News

Let me first say I am all for anyone who deems himself or herself qualified to run for president, to so openly announce as the good professor has done. If I were him, given his relative low name recognition, I would resign my position and immediately start saturating myself across the country both by way of introducing myself, and letting people know why it is I think I am better than the rest of the field because.

I would do so because I’ll be concerned saying I’ll formally announce six months from now would raise eyebrows as to why not now. I am not him, so let me do here all that I can by way of sharing with him, my views about what he is quoted as saying in the article below.

I have read the article below in its entirety, which in by itself, is a good introduction of the good professor and I agree with him on almost everything he has been quoted as saying.

I say almost everything because I take issue with a number of things the PS is quoted to have said:

The good professor is quoted as saying “We are working round the clock with professionals, like-minded leaders to ensure we come up with a clear vision of my candidature.” Emphasis mine.

If the good professor doesn’t have a clear vision of his candidature by now, which also translates into he does not have a vision as to where he would take the country as president either, then it’s a good thing he is taking time to declare so as to study presidential leadership and what it takes to both run for president, and to win the presidency.

In doing so, he would be served to stack himself against the rest of the field and, if after such evaluation he still believes he has what it takes, then let him make it official as that’s a net plus in our burgeoning democracy. There will be more time to learn about presidential leadership and campaigns during the campaigns and that’s called baptism under fire and, if the good professor emerges the winner, there will be still time to learn on the job.

That will be the second baptism under fire and we shall all do what we can to help him govern as our new president.

If he doesn’t make it, there will be another time, except the next time he would have had the experience to run for president and if elected, well he still will have to be baptized under fire, given coming from academia and technocracy is not exactly a recipe for successful presidential leadership; more is needed, especially on the political front.

Again, we shall do what we can to help him govern as our new president, with or without any limitations he may come laden with, if he emerges victorious as a duly elected president.

The good professor is also quoted to have said he was “ready to bring a new type of leadership that matches his youthful and fresh management skills.

First, there is no correlation between youthfulness and management skills therefore the good professor is planting a ruse upon which to snag the unwary. I will in due course elaborate on this frequently cited “quality” of presidential leadership that has obviously become a refrain for a number of other presidential candidates when, in essence, what they are trying to argue, is that anyone older than they are, is too old to be president, which is obviously a false notion besides being self-serving.

Second, the good professor may bring with him all the “fresh management skills” he believes he possesses but if he has no demonstrable leadership skills, that will take him nowhere, certainly not as president.

I have read and re-read this article but it’s devoid of what leadership skills the good professor brings to the table.

Stating an all not too clear statement as to its meaning, “It is very clear that the successes and challenges our Kenyan people are facing are of great significance to any leader wishing to pursue justice and the needs of the citizens” may be good enough a reason as the good professor gives for “embarking on this journey” just for saying it but it may fall short of getting to the destination, unless one can show and prove more.

Ditto for noting any of of the altruistic sentiments expressed by the good professor on leadership, motivation, youth, and preventing the exodus of Kenyan professionals, which none of us can disagree with but that’s not what separates a leader from the pack; there has to be more, in this case, proof by measurable and persuasive reasons why the good professor is a better candidate and will be better president, if elected, than any of the other contenders, not just on the question of leadership ability, but as a total package as well.

Third, I agree with the PS that we need to change the conversations on a national and local level, and “move beyond the rhetoric into crafting real answers to the critical issues affecting the country.

I take it that’s why he needs six months to come up with the answers.

Some of the candidates have the answers already but have been denied the opportunity to implement them.

2012 may be their turn, unless the good professor gets his wish, in which case the question remains, what answers does the PS have for the unspecified critical issues he refers to, different from those already tabled by other candidates such as Raila’s call for national unity and implementation of his reform agenda he has been at the forefront fighting for, for all Kenyans, as well as his proposals for development in line with Vision 2030?

Prof. Kiyiapi has given himself six months to find answers to this and other questions.

Let’s hope he comes up with good and better answers than others already have on the table, and therefore distinguish himself as such from them.

That’s what campaigns and new to the political scene he might be, the good professor can take solace he is not the only person facing the hurdles of tribalism, regional politics, and money issues, which he says are a concern for him; these are stables of Kenyan politics and he had better use the next six months in figuring how to rise above them and win the presidency rather than perfecting any of them to win the presidency.

Again, candidates like Raila have declared they are determined to be elected on account of their leadership ability and vision for our country and see what the good professor sees as hurdles, as an opportunity to do each one of them a blow, eviscerating those he must, such as tribalism and regionalism, while reducing the influence of money in politics.

The good professor may want to be once again a student and learn how that’s done so that he can continue from where the old professors leave things.

Turning the tables and teaching the professors how that can be done and succeeding at it will, indeed, be prove positive of what “fresh management skills” means as opposed to just management skills and certainly there cannot be any more proof necessary that one has leadership ability, if the pulls off a victory in 2012 against all these odds.

 
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Posted by on June 29, 2011 in Politics

 

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The Minimum Qualities, Attributes and Skills Our Next President In Kenya Must Possess

While pursuing my undergraduate degree in Government and Politics (GVPT) as a returning student at the University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland in the early 90s, I had the privilege to study leadership as a student of the world renowned leadership expert Dr. James MacGregor Burns. I was one of a handful of students selected for this class sponsored by the Academy of Leadership, which was then housed at UMCP.

I also had the privilege while at UMCP to work for the great late U.S. Senator Edward M. Kennedy as a Congressional Intern in my last year of studies at UMCP through the GVPT Capitol Hill Honors Program before venturing on to law school.

As I embark on writing this blog on leadership, I have dusted off my notes from these experiences and added what I have learned and observed since then about leadership in both Africa and here in the US in the hopes I can provide a comprehensive and analytic basis we all as Kenyans can use to choose our national leaders chief among them being the president.

Before I dig into this concept of leadership and how to apply it in Kenyan context, let me state the uncontroverted and obvious upfront:

(1)There is a correlation between leadership and the development of a nation.

(2)Almost all that ails Kenya and Africa for that matter is directly linkable to bad leadership.

(3)Kenyan and African leaders, save for Nkrumah and Mandela  have largely failed their citizenry.

(4)The failure of Kenyan/African leadership is not due to lack of information or resources.

(5)The continent of Africa has in it individuals who can rise to greatness in leadership anytime.

The term “leadership” is one that is used across the globe and in all languages and cultures and perhaps the most if not the only common concept all peoples of the world commonly have in mind from time immemorial when thinking and deciding about how to govern their affairs.

Yet, as Dr. Burns describes it, “Leadership is one of the most observed and least understood phenomena on earth.”

To be sure, leadership is a subject that has been studied for centuries and many scholars have tried to define what it is exactly but none has had lasting acceptance.  Analyzing these studies is beyond the scope of this piece but I have drawn from these studies qualities, attributes and skills (QAS) I believe are essential and a must have for the person we elect as our next president and these are:

  1. Religious Conviction
  2. Honesty, Trustfulness and Integrity
  3. Firm Educational Foundation and Wisdom
  4. Experience and Exposure
  5. Inspiration, Vision and Self-Confidence

It is my belief applying these QAS to select our next president will result in the election of the most apt and suitable president at this time in our history.

For those who were around and followed closely the lead-up to the 2002 elections, the country was in great hunger for change and a new president who was to transform the country.

As history would have it, that transformation has yet to take place and the next elections of 2007 in fact, set us backwards even more than where we were as country in 2002. That was then, this is now. Tomorrow, awaits and the question is, what shall it be? What kind of future lies ahead, given our past?

What we need in Kenya now more than ever before is a transformational leader to finally transform the country for good.

According to Dr. Burns, a transformational leader changes the lives of people by changing perceptions, values, and aspirations of the people – all while working for the greater good of the country. The timing could not be better as our current president is retiring and therefore we’ll have a new president come next elections of 2012, which we assume and hope will be held as scheduled.

A person with the cumulative five qualities, attributes and skills I list above which I analyze in more detail below has more than what is needed and necessary to be a transformational leader in Kenya:

1.  Religious Conviction

Kenya is a heavily religious country therefore it goes without saying our leader must be a religious person and by this I do not mean one who occasionally makes technical appearances in Church but one who actually practices his faith to some greater and acceptable degree of regularity. It does not matter whether the individual is Christian, Muslim, Hindu or a follower of any of the traditional African religions; it’s enough that he or she follows and adheres to one.

This is a critical attribute to have because at the core of most religions are values that if followed guide us all to a better life both inwardly and otherwise. A number of leaders have fallen short of greatness because they simply have not taken religion seriously or have failed to incorporate it’s core values in their decision making process while on the other hand, those who have, have attained greatness much to their individual satisfaction and betterment of those who have benefited from their leadership.

Again, being a religious person does not mean merely proclaiming to be one or making technical appearances at places of worship or having a quid pro quo with religious pretenders and opportunists but being a religious person has to be professing a faith and living by, and applying its teaching as can be deduced from how one lives and conducts his or her private and public life.

Can one who has hitherto never stepped or seen the inside of a church, temple or mosque suddenly convert from paganism and claim this quality of religious conviction at the eleventh hour? Of course; one can do so but the likelihood such a conversion being genuine is very low so the best that can be under this circumstances is to let the electorate decide the issue of whether or not such conversion is genuine or merely a con job.

Having religious convictions is critical because makes one more likely than not to be, among other things, compassionate, which is an absolute must have attribute for a transformative leader.

This is particularly critical at this time in our history because our country has suffered tremendously and most of our citizenry live in conditions of abject poverty or otherwise in shameful poor conditions 46 year after our independence because our leadership has failed to address their plight not because of lack of resources but because of lack of compassion coupled with greed and corruption which has in a fetal combination denied a vast majority of the populace the kind of livelihood they should have by now which they do not have their hard work notwithstanding.

This is a practice we must put to an end by demanding that our next president be a person who is not only compassionate and has shown that he cares about the welfare of our people but also one who has a plan to do so.

Having religious conviction comes with it also the expectation the individual has corresponding moral uprightness and by this I mean one who has and lives a model life in all aspects of his or her life, has and takes care of a family and takes care of himself or herself health-wise to make sure he is there and will be there for his family and the country as a whole which in essence becomes his or her larger family and otherwise tends to the needs of the country as a parent would to his or her children.

This, perhaps, is one of the most important, if not the most important of all qualities our next president must have. But there is more.

2. Honesty and Integrity

Besides being an upright and moral person, our next leader must also be an honest person with high integrity which combined, form the pillars of good leadership and governance.

Dr. Burns points out that a transformational leader sets a personal example of high ethical standards which instills a sense of trust and respect among his or her followers. On the other hand, trust is an inherent part of presidential leadership therefore all these characteristics must be present and required of the person we elect to be our next president.

Indeed, our constitution lays out in Chapter 6, the standard of conduct and behavior expected of those entrusted with holding public office. These qualities and attributes, however, must be demanded of our next president before being elected and assuming office.

Maintaining them while in office is, of course, a must.

Having these qualities and attributes will give us a good measure of how our next president will deal with one of the vices that has bedeviled our country for decades and that is corruption which is practiced deep and wide in government.

To have a shot at getting rid of this vice or at least minimizing it greatly, it is imperative that we have a president whose honesty and integrity is impeccable and beyond reproach, which by definition means they are clean of the vice of corruption to begin with.

This in turn will put them in a far much better and desirable position to fight the vice when they assume office as president.

We therefore must know of our next president whether he or she is a person of good moral character, an honest person and a person with high integrity.

Needless to say, however, no one who has been engaged in proven corruption should ever hold that office or any other public office and neither should anyone who has conducted himself or herself in any other proven or provable dishonest manner be even considered to hold such office, let alone being elected to one.

Having honesty and integrity also means our next president must conduct the affairs of his office in an open and transparent manner subject to legitimate national security interests.

Transparency is intricately linked to accountability which has been wanting in our country since independence.

Leaders from the top down have acted with impunity because they believe they are not accountable to anyone, including the public in whose behalf they are supposed to act.

This obviously has to come to a halting end therefore the next president must show by proven record that he is transparent and accountable to those who have elected him or her to office.

3. Firm Academic Foundation and Wisdom

Dr. Burns teaches that a transformational leader must provide intellectual stimulation by questioning assumptions and asking for creative responses from those he relies on for advice in decision making. This in turn motivates his or her advisors to think out of the box and work independently to find solutions to both common and complex problems.

While it does not follow that an educated and intelligent person is automatically a good and desirable leader, being educated and intelligent is a good indicator the person can be counted on to make sound judgments and decisions upon being presented with an issue or issues and information.

The decision and judgment need not always be right but it cannot be dumb.

Leaders are often presented with competing solutions with success or failure depending on choosing the right one. While theoretically anyone can toss a coin and reach an identical decision or judgment as one reached after careful examination of facts and information, we can’t afford to have that done on as many times a president has to make decisions and judgments.

Rather, you need the president to make informed decisions upon careful analysis and get it right as close as to all times as possible and this can only be accomplished by one having the capacity to grasp the issues and apply their intelligence to the information given to reach the right decision.

On the other hand, it is not necessary that the president have the highest form of education in any field of study or otherwise be the Philosopher Kings Plato envisioned in his Republic.

Rather, it is enough the individual has at least a bachelor’s degree which speaks not necessarily to academic excellence but an indication of the individual’s hard work and determination, which in by itself is a requirement for a good leader, namely, ability to apply oneself determinately to achieve an objective.

As will be further discussed below, wisdom gained through experience would also count as an aspect of one’s overall education and intellectual capacity.

4. Experience and Exposure

In his Crucibles of Leadership,” author Robert Thomas notes the following:

“Accomplished leaders say that experience is their best teacher. They learned their most meaningful and important leadership lessons — lessons that they’ve integrated into their own leadership style—through crucibles. These were critical events and experiences, times of testing and trial, failure more often than grand success, that grabbed them by the lapels and demanded to know ‘What do you stand for?’ and ‘What are you going to do?’ A situation arose that did not respect age, gender, generation, nationality, talent, or charisma; all it asked was that the person step up and be someone or do something they’d never been or done before. Id.

Experience therefore absolutely matters and the more one has, the better.

Our constitution requires that in order to serve as Chief Justice, one has to have at least 15 years’ experience as a judge or 15 years’ distinguished experience in the legal field in addition to the requisite academic qualification of possession of at least a law degree among other qualifications.

The president by analogy must therefore be held by someone with at least 15 years’ experience in a distinguished leadership capacity.

In addition to having local experience, it behooves our next president to have experience dealing with international affairs.

A person who is well traveled and has interacted with other world leaders is likely to be more successful handling any number of international issues he or she has to deal with as president. The more exposure one has with these types of interactions, the better he or she will be equipped to execute tasks touching on international affairs.

Having a solid academic background, intelligence and a good doze of wisdom gained through experience is a good indicator the individual will be comfortable in his or her shoes and therefore less likely to regard those around him or his or her opponents with suspicion because of inferiority complex that is bound to arise if one is otherwise less academically and intellectually positioned relative to all others, especially those he or she deems to be a threat to his or her political life.

We are all too familiar with regular persecution of UON students and graduates simply because they were perceived to be a threat to the ruling clique. Fortunately, this is slowly becoming a thing of the past as more and more Kenyans are fully informed and engaged.

The cautionary insurance, however, is not to let the guard down and elect those who may ultimately end up feeling threatened by others merely because of the latter’s superior academic background or claim to superior knowledge thus rendering them targets of persecution or elimination.

This is not to say the leader must have equal or superior academic background and knowledge to or over all others but simply enough of both to be comfortable in their own skin with those who might even have more of same than she or he.

Similarly, we must select a president who is not afraid to let those who by design or accident emerge as good or even better leaders than they. This phenomena is inevitable but is often met with resistance, sometimes deadly resistance in Africa but we don’t need such leaders.

Instead, we need a tolerant, comfortable in their shoes leader who welcomes the opposition as a healthy part of democracy, provided, of course, the opposition also abides by common acceptable rules and practices of being in the opposition, chief among which is respect for the office itself.

In other words, we must not elect a contender who sees his or her opponent or opponents as political enemies who must be destroyed by all means other than by ideology and/or issues.

Conversely, the electorate must be wary of contenders for the high office driven only by a desire to get there by any means, including utilization of the most wicked and common denominators such as tribalism and negative ethnicity.

Both must be rejected and have a candidate who rises above all of that and demonstrably so to be elected as our next president.

5. Inspiration, Vision and Self-Confidence

A transformational leader according to Dr. Burns must have the ability to provide inspirational motivation.  This is done through the articulation of a vision, creation of optimism, and making sense of the environmental changes.

As noted above, Kenya needs an inspirational leader now more than ever before in our history.  This is significantly because even though we have had dark periods in our history since independence, nothing compares to the stain from 2007 and early 2008 post-election violence (PEV) which remains literally visible as thousands of internally displaced persons remain in camps while not a single person has yet to be held accountable for the violence.

No one knows how the Ocampo Six cases will end. However, what we can all agree on is, no matter how the Ocampo Six cases progress or end, there has to be closure to PEV one way or another and the sooner the better.

Thus, we must demand and elect a president committed to bringing finality to this tragic chapter in our history and, to this end, the next president has to have uniting the country as his or her No. 1 priority upon being sworn as president.

There is no question tribalism and ethnicity loom large in our country’s psyche and have been and continue to be key in these bursts of violence but in choosing our next president, we must rise above this curse from colonial rule and demand and elect a person who transcends tribalism and negative ethnicity and who can inspire others to do same.

A key measure of one with ability to transcend tribalism and ethnicity and inspire others to do same while uniting the country is whether the individual is humble, respects others, has a proven record of compromise in the most difficult of circumstances, shows or has shown he or she is capable of admitting mistakes or wrongdoing, is in touch with or otherwise shows an understanding of the needs and aspirations of ordinary Kenyans, and has shown he or she is not afraid to tackle people’s problems even in the face of great adversity or at the cost of political and personal sacrifice.

Being inspirational in ending the vices that plague our country, including corruption, tribalism and negative ethnicity, is just but one aspect of inspirational ability we must demand of our next president; the other aspect is ability to inspire the nation to be engaged in bringing about other fundamental changes in our way of life.

The next president thus must have a clear vision as to how to bring about these fundamental changes, which should include in the least, transparency, accountability, improved and sustainable economic welfare, housing, health and education and by that I don’t mean merely pointing out what needs to be significantly changed for the better is, but providing a road map clearly laying down his or her plans to achieve these goals, how long it’ll take and how to pay for them.

This then, becomes one measure of success upon which the person elected on such promise can be held accountable on his or her re-election bid, if not sooner by recall.

Finally, but not least, even though we need and must have an inspirational leader, we must also distinguish those who are inspirational for all the wrong reasons. Hitler was very effective in manipulating people’s emotions to create so much hatred for other human beings to the points they allowed him to commit the abominable atrocities he unbelievably committed.

It is unlikely the world would ever see another Hitler but runners-up and would be’s are abound so we must be vigilant as against them to the extent they may wish, as noted above, to appeal to the most wicked common denominators among many a Kenyan and that is tribalism and negative ethnicity which can and has often easily been boiled to levels of unimaginable hatred and violence. We can and must do better.

Indeed, appeals to motion of this type, simply have no place in society neither do they solve but add to the the monumental problems and tasks ahead for the country.

In fact, the absence of this negative emotion will go a long way in ending tribalism and negative ethnicity in our country so Kenyans must reject those leaders who appeal to the people’s emotions along these tribal and ethnic considerations instead of having the country focusing on substantive issues and other things that unite but not divide us.

CONCLUSION

The foregoing comprises the basic and minimum qualities, attributes and skills I believe are essential and must be demanded of our next president. They are by no means exhaustive but they are the foundation and core upon which others evolve. I have not, for example, included the inner qualities such as fairness, impartiality, character, strength, and ability to recognize one’s limitations which go without saying as being essential and part and parcel of good leadership.  I am in the final analysis confident if we elect a president with these basic qualities, attributes and skills, we will transform our country forever and for the better.

Copyright © May 2011. By Samuel N. Omwenga, Esq.

 
5 Comments

Posted by on May 19, 2011 in Siasa

 

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My Response to Concerns, False Claims and Accusations Against Raila III

The following is my response to an individual who raised a number of issues and allegations he thought explain the rift between Raila and Ruto. In this individual’s view, Ruto and Raila are both to blame but the individual makes a number of allegations why he thinks Raila is to be blamed more than Ruto for the rift. I show in my response that the individual is mistaken; Ruto, not Raila is far more responsible for the rift than anything Raila has said or done to cause the rift but I have elsewhere including here on this blog extended an olive branch in behalf of Raila and ODM for Ruto to seek amends with Raila and return to ODM where his political future is brighter and more certain and assured than any dalliances he might have with Uhuru or anyone else would ever lead to.

My response to the individual:

You have raised a number of issues that I do believe are sincere and not merely an effort to malign Raila. So, let me in the same spirit try to respond them one by one and hopefully you may see things differently as to these issues; at least enough to give the man a break for he has not acted with malice as you seem to suggest. I posted the other day a response to someone who believes Raila should resign as PM because in the view of this individual, Raila “omitted” to do something he did not name.

In that response, I posited that if this individual were to point out to Raila what it is he has omitted to do as PM which he has authority to do and has otherwise not been impeded by his distractors in the coalition government, then I am sure Raila will take note, apologize and get to whatever that issue is and were that to be the case, I further posited that the individual should forgive that omission and let the PM do his job, not demand for his resignation which does not make sense there being no ground to resign as it were.

You have a similar but different beef with Raila. While yours is not based on omission as this individual’s but commission, you both and like minded non-Raila supporters will be thrilled beyond expectation if Raila were to give his quest to lead the nation as president and retire to his farm in Bondo. The rest and majority of the country, however, will not be as thrilled because they are so looking forward to his taking the helm of leadership and finally deliver on the promise they elected him in 2007.

Now, as to the specific issues you raise, let me address them this way:

You say, regarding problems between Raila and Ruto, “I heap a bigger share on Raila though Ruto too contributed.”

I commend you for this observation because it shows you are at least somewhat objective. I say Ruto, however, has a bigger share of the blame if anything for being disloyal. I can go on and on on this point alone but let me not but only add that, were Ruto to remain loyal as a Raila supporter, if he ever was (I maintain he was never a loyal supporter), none of the issues you raise or he has with Raila could not have been amicably resolved within the family of ODM. He was or became disloyal and others would say even extremely selfish and that is the genesis of his problems with Raila and ODM, not the issues you raise below I am about to show you why they are not real issues.

You say, “Ruto campaigned with vigor for Raila in the last election…”

Ruto’s campaigning with vigor for Raila is a non-issue and here is why: When Ruto failed to convince his mentor, Moi, to support him as a KANU presidential candidate for 2007, Ruto sought greener pastures in ODM, which overwhelmingly chose Raila is its flag bearer for the 2007 presidential election. Having lost the nomination to Raila, Ruto had two choices: Support Raila in his bid for the presidency or quit the party for yet other greener pastures. He chose to support Raila. Having chosen to support Raila in his bid for the presidency, it was expected of him and all others in the party to campaign with vigor for Raila. That’s part of what is called party loyalty.

You say, “I don’t know of anybody else who can match what he did for Raila, not even Mudavadi and that explains why he is very bitter with Raila.”

Ruto himself admitted in the Waki Report that Kalenjins were ready to vote en masse for anyone other than Kibaki and long before Ruto joined ODM, Raila had made inroads in the region to the point it was a foregone conclusion he will carry it; Ruto came along for the ride to victory therefore he cannot possibly make the case he did more for Raila than anyone else in 2007 and neither should you.

You say, “He spend alot of money and time to campaign for ODM and her presidential candidate and as we all know it ended up where everybody knows.

How much of this money is the fruit of the various scandals he has been accused of? How much of that came from ODM? How much of that was spent for his own reelection? Is this not crying crocodile tears?

You say, “Once he was safely in government, [Raila] chose to work and surround himself with his tribesmen (Orengo, Nyongo, Kwajwang and some MPs) ignoring those who helped him in the campaigns (Pentagon).”

I miss your point: are you saying Raila should have shunned these individuals because they are his “tribesmen?” Also, who exactly did Raila ignore at the Pentagon who helped him in the campaigns?

You say, “He became inaccessible to those who fought for him and it is at this point where the rains started falling.”

Please name names, who, when and where. I am fairly certain none of that list would include Ruto or any representative from the region with a need for access. You, of course, will agree access to a person of Raila’s stature is not and cannot be easy; the man is so popular and in demand everyone wants to have access but unfortunately that’s just not possible, if he has to do his job effectively so unless you have evidence that Raila denied access to Ruto or any representative from the region, then I am afraid this remains a charge with no proof.

You say, “Akina Ruto started complaining, but instead of listening to them, he unleashed his foot soldiers (Olago, Miguna, Olweny etc) to undermine them (he saw an opportunity to get rid of his opponents within ODM) and this is where the pentagon died!!”

In fact, Raila heard and listened to Ruto’s whining and complaining to the point it became annoying, especially when Ruto started being openly disloyal and disrespectful of Raila and ODM. Raila did not send “foot soldiers” to undermine Ruto; rather, Ruto undermined himself by being shortsighted and allowing himself to be misled by people who could care less what happens to his political future, once they are done with him and that’s where he finds himself today and thus my appeal for him to come off his high horses and find a way to return to ODM which has much, much better prospects for him than anywhere else.

As for the Pentagon, the fact is this was an electioneering instrument; it ceased to exist on the day Raila signed the coalition government agreement. All pentagon members, including Ruto became part of the coalition government. There were no elections to run until the next circle so your attributing the “death” of the Pentagon to Ruto’s whining is actually factually incorrect and even if that were not the case, the death of an organization or structure due to his whining and complaining without basis in fact is not something Ruto should be proud of.

You say, “at this point, I think somebody must have been mis-advising him because he developed a very thick skin to criticisms from his supporters…”

First of all I assume you meant to claim that Raila developed a “thin” not “thick” skin and that being your charge, I and most people who have observed Raila for years will beg to differ and can tell you Raila is perhaps one individual with the thickest skins in Kenyan politics other than a number of fallen heroes including his own father. Indeed, he is so thick skinned, he has let Ruto stay in ODM to this day while he could have had him thrown out a long time ago, if he was that thin skinned.

You say, “this is where he could have arrested the dissent that was building up but instead of talking to the Kalenjin leaders (Ruto) he fueled it by trying bypass the elected leaders to work with losers (akina Sirma and Bett) which backfired badly!!

This charge is really an insult not only of Honorable Musa Sirma but the entire Kalenjin community. Ruto having become ridiculously silly and obstinate in his political antics, Raila had every right to find other leaders to work with in the region to further their interests Ruto obviously did not care about even as he was going around falsely claiming otherwise. I can go on and on here about the lies Ruto has told the people of Rift Valley about Raila in efforts to alienate them from him but that will take the whole day I don’t have the time for that other than to say, the Kalenjins are wiser than simply following Ruto when they see he is leading them to a bottomless abyss. Sirma, Langat, Bett, Ntimama and other leaders from the region who have stayed with Raila despite great pressure from Ruto’s lies are not “losers.” Quite the contrary, they are winners and will in the end save the region from Ruto’s efforts to sink it with him, if he does not reverse course quick and be saved as well.

You say,”Then came the calls (Ruto leading) for those who were arrested (most of them Kalenjins) to be released, and this is where another problem came up!!! it needed tact to navigate the situation as all being held at that time was his supporters but the PM also did the unexpected!! he called for those arrested to be jailed!!

You are either ignorant of the facts surrounding this issue or you have deliberately told a bold lie. Raila, as ODM Chairman, led, not Ruto, efforts to obtain amnesty for most of the individuals arrested following the violence on the factual basis they were just demonstrators, not killers and rapists and other criminals who committed criminal offenses even you would agree belong in jail. Please review the Waki Report and familiarize yourself with the facts and issues in this complex saga that is still unfolding. This report will also show you how wrong in the rest of your charges against Raila on PEV that I need not therefore respond to.

You say, “Then came the Mau!! here the PM failed miserably!! he was given a hot potato (bait) by his co-principal and he swallowed it line hook and sinker!! and this is one of those things which make me doubt the intelligence of the PM and his advisors!!

The Mau issue is yet another one of those false issues Ruto cleverly but wrongly manufactured along the way in his crusade against Raila that not only is hypocritical and pathetic but perhaps the single most important evidence of Ruto’s character flaw. To exploit an issue of such environmental and national significance for shortsighted political gain is abominable. Again, this is one of those issues I can spend a whole day analyzing, edifying and otherwise showing how Raila has been all right about it and Ruto and a few others completely culpably wrong but no need to; most people who know better than follow lies and distortions know the truth but if you care to fully understand why Raila has taken the stance he has in the national interest, just Google it and learn.

Perhaps, to put an exclamation point to this, let me answer the you ask,”why would you want to do something like that without looking at the politics involved? didn’t he remembered Kibaki handing over titles to the same people in 2005 during the referendum? and was it not Kibaki now telling him to lead eviction of the same people?

The answer: As he has proven over and over, Raila puts country first and politics second in addressing questions and national significance.  This is what a leader does. A political opportunist, on the other hand, puts politics first, country second, which is what you would have wanted Raila to do by your questions. Raila is beyond that and would not let politics dictate what he does when national interests are at stake. Had Raila ceded to Ruto’s lies and distortions in the fight to save the Mau forest, all Kenyans would have lost in a manner we could not possibly recover.

Thank God Raila won the battle and the Mau forest is saved for all to benefit.

BTW, do you stop to think if Raila is being blamed for things he has not done or has no control over, what do you think would happen to him if he abdicated on his responsibility to lead the fight against the destruction of the Mau forest when all the dozens of rivers and five lakes the forest feed dried up and there was no more water in the country from these sources?  Do you now get what Raila has to deal with? This is what makes him a true leader the country needs at this point in our history and is the reason I believe he will be so elected.

You say, “Now, did you expected Ruto to keep quite when all that was happening?

Yes. Ruto should have kept quiet and enjoyed the coattails of Raila’s victory at the elections rather than creating these phony issues, which have done nothing but adding to the distructions Raila has to deal with in addition to managing the affairs of the country as PM.

You say, “I think you can go ahead and deny all that but, the fact is, Raila failed the Kalenjins who voted for him almost to a man and he failed them big time!!”

I have not denied anything you have said; I have instead refuted everything you have alleged here.

You say, “there are better ways of doing things than the way the PM did without causing the fallout that followed his actions…”

There is nothing Raila could have done more than he has done and continues to do to prevent Ruto from engaging in the antics he is given it’s all about Ruto and if you call this a “fall-out” it’s a fallout without consquence to Raila’s likely election as our next president. Again, I as many others I know in ODM extend a welcome mart for Ruto to return to the party and if you follow any of my postings, I for one I have long since forgiven him for all his misdeeds pain he has caused the party. I think it was Indira Gandhi who said you cannot shake a hand with a clenched fist. ODM’s hand is wide open and extended the question is, is Ruto’s open or is it a clenched fist. I hope the former.

You say, “now I want you to go ahead and mention the things you believe Ruto did to Raila to an extend that he chose to bypassed him and worked with akina Sirma.”

He lies about Raila too much. By constantly lying to the people of Rift Valley, he showed contempt for them (hopefully not anymore). He has not once told the truth about his relationship with Raila since he decided for whatever reason to go against Raila and ODM. He was disloyal to Raila long before he even joined the party. He wrongly believes Raila owes him political patronage beyond what he received. He has not once cared about building the party from the day Raila entered into a coalition government agreement with Kibaki. He has since, in fact, worked to destroy the party but failed.

Again, all these notwithstanding, I still encourage him to return to ODM for his own benefit and the party will resume working with him to deliver on the promise given to his constituents that has so far been made difficult, if not impossible to achieve because of his antics.

Peace, Love and Unity.

Samuel N. Omwenga, Esq.

 
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Posted by on May 12, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Prof. Kiyiapi Is An Excellent Technocrat But More Is Needed and Necessary to Be President

A fellow Kenyan posted in another forum regarding Prof. Kiyiapi and those questioning whether the professor has what it takes to run and be elected president of Kenya. The writer noted, “I am uncomfortable people asking newcomers ‘what have you done’ to be president. The question applies to people who have been in office/public office most of their life.”

My response:

While comfort is a subjective value, I cannot see why asking any presidential candidate the question what has he done presidential, is not the right thing to do. A person must demonstrate they are capable of handling the peculiar demands of being a leader of a country and noting past experiences to inform in that regard is, in fact, a must for anyone who wishes to be so elected.

Put another way, the Professor is one of many equally intelligent and competent Kenyans who, if that were the only criteria to run for president, we’ll have a field of candidates so large it will not be necessary to hold presidential elections. There is a reason we have a limited number of candidates running for the high office and not the least of that is the absence of candidates with the requisite experience and skill to handle both politics and policy among the would be contenders.

Note I am not questioning the Professor’s competency or his work as P.S. as others have; from all I can tell the man is like any other P.S. who by definition are not average in competence and ability. Indeed, the list of our country’s ills is long but you cannot include in that list the lack of skilled technocrats who each president from Kenyatta on knows are essential if the cash-flow to their pockets from the public till is to be maintained.

BTW, have you ever stopped to wonder how after decades of pillaging our country still has a relatively respectable GDP? If so, look no further than the PS office and the men and women who head it. But for them, the country would have been in total economic collapse a long time ago. I can also tell you even in the worst of times, countries, businesses, and individuals continually enter into contractual obligations with counterparts in Kenya regardless of who is president and the state of the economy because of one little known fact: these contracts endure in Kenya no matter the economic or political climate, which also partially explains our economic survival despite all of what we have gone through.

Imagine what it would be like if we did not have the impediments we have had chief among them corruption.

But I digress. My point is, our country is blessed with many a talented Kenyan, including technocrats like Prof. Kiyiapi’s who have helped keep the country functioning even in the face of all forms of maladies.

This does not mean, however, that if you pluck any one of these individuals and plant him or her at State House he or she will do an equally superb job there; far from it as that’s a totally different animal altogether.

Having said all that, let me say I wish the good professor nothing but good luck as he embarks on his sojourn. Given the empty rhetoric we have heard and had from all the other candidates challenging Raila, it will be healthy to have him in the mix as long as he does not succumb to the politics of ukabila and deceit which afflicts and guides the rest of the pack other than Raila.

Peace, Love and Unity.

Samuel N. Omwenga, Esq.

 
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Posted by on May 10, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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