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Time For A Political Tsunami in Kenya

tsunami

In my oped this week Time for Political Tsunami in Kenya, I make note conditions are ripe in Kenya for the opposition to mobilize mass rejection of Uhuru and his Jubilee government much the same way they rejected him in 2002 when then president Daniel arap Moi attempted to force him down our throats.

I offer as reason (1) Uhuru’s amazing failure to take advantage of his being sworn as president to unite the country, which he has clearly failed to do (2) his failure to curb, let alone fight corruption that has exploded to fatalistic levels and (3) his failure to implement much of what he promised during the campaigns leaving Kenyans even worse than they were before he assumed office.

Excerpts:

There’s no arguing, however, that the white supremacists alone would not have elected Trump but in such a close election, their mobilisation in the key states where the Republican candidate needed to win made the difference.

Similarly, no amount of mobilisation of one tribe or two alone can ever elect one President in this country, given the 50 per cent plus one constitutional requirement. A presidential candidate must win 25 per cent of the votes cast in each of more than half of the 47 counties.

Going strictly by the numbers of raw votes cast, this did not happen in 2013 — again, something diehard Jubilee supporters know but cannot publicly admit. We were nonetheless told by the Supreme Court that Uhuru Kenyatta’s election as President was constitutionally valid.

We accepted and moved on. But we now have another opportunity, in a few months time, to elect our next President.

Are Kenyans revulsed by what the Jubilee government has done or failed to do such that they will in huge numbers come out to vote against it and say ‘enough is enough’ as they did in 2002?

The opposition certainly thinks so. That’s why the talk of the National Super Alliance is giving many in Jubilee sleepless nights. This is because were NASA to successfully launch, it’s bye bye to all of them and hello to new leadership in this country.

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Posted by on December 21, 2016 in Politics

 

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The Evil That Must Be Defeated In Kenya

 

jomo1

My resumed column published in the The Star:

As we have sped past 52 years since our beloved country became independent, those who have been alive at least that long recall being taught in school how the colonists came with a Bible on one hand and a gun on the other.

They then went on to colonize us and the rest of Africa, utilizing the strategy of divide and rule.

For those who don’t know, divide and rule strategy is accomplished by breaking up larger concentrations of power into pieces that individually have less power than the one implementing the strategy in order to gain and maintain power and control over the subjects. As stated in the Journal of Socialist Theory the primary objective in this strategy is to prevent smaller power groups from linking up, causing rivalries and fomenting discord among the people.

Among the elements that comprise this strategy include, “creating or encouraging divisions among the subjects to prevent alliances that could challenge the sovereign, aiding and promoting those who are willing to cooperate with the sovereign and fostering distrust and enmity between local rulers.”

If the white man succeeded in implementing this strategy throughout their rule in Kenya and elsewhere in Africa, the Africans who succeeded them in post-colonial times took the concept even further and made it a mainstay of our post-independence politics.

So much so such that today, when we talk of democracy in Kenya—or Africa for that matter we’re not talking of democracy as understood in Western parlance but a system of rule solely predicated on this divide and rule concept better known and understood as tribal and ethnic based politics.

All of this is perfectly understandable; what is incomprehensible is, why would a generation of people born post-independence not only fail to see and reject this antiquated notion of manipulation and control but, worse, why on earth would they embrace it as they do much to the detriment of not only their own interests but to the detriment of our beloved country’s interests.

This is not a rhetorical question but one every Kenyan of voting age should and must ask and answer as we head to another general election come 2017.

It is extremely depressing, saddening and at times simply annoying to see young and older people in social media and elsewhere so entrenched in their tribal cocoons and many to a man and woman shamelessly defending the ineptness, incompetence and corruption of the Jubilee government which all of us as Kenyans must admit, if we are to be honest, that they have failed not only to perform as promised, but they have also failed worse than any government before them.

Those who follow American politics know the country is undergoing a political season unlike anything they have seen in their life time and unlike anything that has happened in the country’s 200+ year history.

A demagogue by the name Donald J Trump has tapped into nascent racism and bigotry that has been percolating undetected in the country with a promise to “make America great again,” which is code for returning America to its racist past.

This is nothing but application of divide and rule that has been successful everywhere it has been applied but as we shall find out a week from today, this time the strategy will fail and the demagogue will surely be sent packing to wherever he came from.

The strategy will fail because a majority of those going to the polls would make the case enough of the nonsense, one cannot possibly ride on racism and bigotry to power and there are more of those who believe this than the racists and other cult-like followers of the demagogue.

It’s precisely what’s needed in our own beloved Kenya, namely, a majority of voters going to the polls come 2017 and saying, enough of the tribal and ethnic based politics, enough of being ruled by inept and incompetent governments and leaders who promise the moon when vying for office only to deliver nothing but more misery, hopelessness and poverty for everyone except themselves and their cronies.

This is the only way we can save our beloved country.

 
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Posted by on November 6, 2016 in Law, Politics

 

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Let’s Pray For Our Beloved Country

We Are One

I have been away on travel last several weeks most recently in Kenya where I was invited and attended the National Prayer Breakfast held at Safari Park on
Thursday, May 29, 2014.

Several wonderful things and prayers were said that morning and the president himself in his closing remarks, said if half of the people present heeded the prayers or what was otherwise said, the country would be transformed for good in less than 1 year.

I was in transit when the Mpeketoni tragedy occurred and have since arrived home and been following some of what is being said on these blogs and elsewhere.

How I so hope and wish someone could recite or regurgitate what was said at that National Prayer Breakfast for that’s what we need, not the unbelievable divisive and hate-filled rhetoric I am still reading online it’s as if 2007/2008 PEV never happened or some people are unbelievably clamoring and baying for more blood.

I can’t think of anything more pitiful, shameless and reckless than that–especially knowing some of this is coming from people who are supposed to be educated beyond a machette wielding uneducated buffoon somewhere in the village ready to mow down anyone for no reason other than he perceives the person as the enemy who must be eliminated for having done nothing other than simply belonging to a different clan or tribe.

That’s a shame and a sad one indeed.

Let’s pray for our country for in God, anything is possible and right now the country collectively needs His intervention.

Peace, Unity and Truth

Omwenga

 
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Posted by on June 18, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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He’s Back! Enigma Raila Gives Statesman Speech To Packed Audience In Washington, DC

Raila Speech at Woodrow Wilson Center, Washington, DC

In vintage Raila mode, our former prime minister Raila Odinga gave a statesman speech cum lecture at the Woodrow Wilson Center earlier today, giving his vision for Africa next 50 years while touching on hot topics in both his supporters’ and enemies’ minds and that’s the elections many believe he won but was yet again the victim of electoral theft.

In his view, Raila said he knows he won but has had to accept the Supreme Court’s verdict to the contrary for the sake of peace for our country and that’s the mark of a statesman.

Listen for yourself what the man had to say and you’ll agree with me why it’s apt to say what I have in the title of this blog.

Or take an Alka Seltzer in the event you’re having an upset stomach over this man’s unparalleled enigmatic ability in the whole of Africa save for a few others like him he shall share the stature for life.

I am here talking about the likes of Nelson Mandela, Kwame Nkrumah, Patrick Lumumba and others who put dealing with the needs and suffering of their people ahead of everything else as proven by their individual and painful sacrifices.

 
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Posted by on June 18, 2013 in Politics

 

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Curbing Defamation and Hate Speech In Kenya

peace_love_unity image

In Curbing Defamation and Hate Speech In Kenya published in the Star today, I share my views and thoughts on these dual vices that afflicts many in these forums and on the ground.

In sum, the point I am making is while we must have the right to enjoy the freedom of expression enshrined in our constitution we fought for many decades to realize, that freedom must also be checked with punitive measures to prevent or minimize the ability of those who would use the freedoms to spew hate or engage in hate or malice driven evil deeds such as defamation.

 
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Posted by on May 18, 2013 in Law, Politics

 

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All Else Having Failed Thus Far, Its Time Someone Occupies The Whole of Somalia

According to the Standard Online, President Kibaki has lauded the efforts of United Nations Security Council towards strengthening the operations of the African Union Mission in Somalia.

“Kenya welcomes the United Nations Security Council Resolution No. 2036 of 2012 that has reviewed the AMISOM future operations in Somalia, as recommended by the African Union,” said President Kibaki.

The President, however, noted that the resolution does not provide for a maritime component, which is critical to the eventual success of the campaign in Somalia, as well as the fight against piracy and international terrorism.

Speaking Thursday during the London Conference on Somalia at Lancaster House, London, President Kibaki said that a new and more dangerous theatre for terrorist action had emerged in Somalia following the involvement of Al Qaeda elements in the Al Shabaab insurgency.

To further enhance security in Somalia, President Kibaki underscored the need for the development of a Somali national security force.

Meanwhile, the BBC, reports that other world leaders attending the conference have urged Somalis to seize an “unprecedented opportunity” to rebuild their nation, at a gathering in London on the war-torn nation’s future.

UK Prime Minister noted ending threats of terrorism and piracy were in everyone’s interests, while Hillary Clinton said plans to elect leaders and adopt a constitution before August were “ambitious,” adding the mandate of the UN-backed interim government would not be extended any longer.

Representatives from many Somali factions are attending the London conference, but the Islamist group which controls much of the center and south of the country was not invited.

Somalia is the world’s worst failed state but PM Cameron and others believe it needs a “second chance”.

There have already been more than 15 attempts to end more than 20 years of fighting in Somalia

Mr Cameron told the gathered world leaders, who included Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, Ethiopian leader Meles Zenawi and UN chief Ban Ki-moon, that the world would pay a high price if it ignored the plight of Somalia.

“In a country where there is so little hope, where there is chaos and violence and terrorism, pirates are disrupting vital trade routes and kidnapping tourists,” he said.

During his speech, Somalia’s President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed called for an end to the arms embargo, saying: “We’re looking for security. We’re scared of tomorrow.”

Yoweri Museveni, the leader of Uganda – which has provided the bulk of troops for African Union (AU) forces in Somalia – told the gathering African solutions to African problems worked best.

On Wednesday, the UN Security Council approved a resolution increasing the number of AU troops in Somalia by 5,000 to more than 17,000. Council members also agreed to extra funding for the mission and to extend its mandate.

The UK says its increased focus on the country is justified as the activities of militant groups and pirates operating off the coast of Somalia pose a direct threat to British interests in the region and to both regional and global security.

Naval ships from the UK and other countries around the world have been sent to patrol the Indian Ocean off the Somali coast to deter pirate attacks.

They have foiled a number of kidnapping attempts in recent months but attacks continue – and have been staged further from the shore.

The UK has also said it cannot rule out sending more military advisers to boost its small team currently assisting Ugandan forces part of the AU mission.

Kenya has also sent troops into Somalia to tackle al-Shabab, blaming the group for a number of kidnappings on its territory last year. Its forces will now be absorbed into the AU force following the UN resolution.

All this is good and well but the solution may just be simply occupying Somalia.

The two countries with the most at stake on this issue, Kenya and Ethiopia should simply move in and occupy the country, backed with the entire AU and, if necessary, the UN.

They should rule the nation until the locals either come back to their senses and agree to once again become a one nation, curve it up to two or three countries or forever occupy it, if they don’t get serious in pursuing and reaching either of the two options.

These half-hearted or weak at best efforts are simply delaying the inevitable and that is, someone occupying the country which has proven over and over it does not deserve to be considered a sovereign nation.

The warloads who have made it impossible to establish a government system in Somalia should be simply rounded up and forced to either accept a nationally imposed government by the occupying forces or they simply must be incarcerated.

The world cannot just sit by and watch or take these endless ineffective approaches to a problem that cannot be allowed to go on forever and getting worse along the way.

No band of people, small or large, lethal or otherwise should be allowed to rain terror on the innocent and hold hostage a whole region, indeed, the whole world when we have seen decisive actions taken in other places to root out worse enemies.

There simply reaches a time the sovereignty of a nation must give way to what is more practical for its own good and for the sake of the rest of the world and there can’t be a better example of that than Somalia.

Again, occupying the country does not mean doing so infinitely but only as necessary to restore peace and security within and without it.

Granted, there are logistical and political considerations that may not be easy to execute beyond the theoretical but, given the gravity of the situation and the urgency of it, this should be accomplished with relative ease so long as the end objectives and means are well thought out and made clear from the outset by those with nothing but the clean intentions to meet those objectives.

Who Is In Control of What In Somalia

 
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Posted by on February 23, 2012 in Politics

 

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Ten Things For Kenyans To Be Thankful For This Year 2011

It is Thanksgiving here in the US so as we get ready to enjoy the day with family and friends, I am taking this moment to reflect on things I am Thankful to God about this year.

The personal ones, I’ll share with family at the dinner table.

The public ones, I am dividing them into two:

Things I am thankful for here in the US and things I am thankful for being a Kenyan.

Below are things I am thankful for being a Kenyan and believe we all are or should be thankful for same:

  1. A country that is holding on to peace and on a path to even greater peace and prosperity.
  2. Plenty of good not food is still found within our borders as prayed for in our National Anthem
  3. We reconstituted the electoral commission without a glitch and now look forward to its work in conducting free and transparent elections without glitch.
  4. We had the successful and unprecedented, highly approved selection process and appointment the Chief Justice of our newly created Supreme Court and associate justices to serve with him in finally leading in, and bringing about the necessary judicial reforms.
  5. We had a less praised selection process and appointment of a new Attorney General but an appointment 10 times more transparent and fair than any in the past.
  6. The economy did not tank any further. According to recent findings by Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS), Kenya’s economy grew by 4.9% in the first quarter of 2011, which is indeed good news compared to the negative growth of recent years.
  7. We saw the construction of more roads across the country further improving our infrastructure with the concomitant improved productivity and economic growth, especially in the rural areas.
  8. Prof. Anyang Nyong’o was diagnosed with prostate cancer and no, not because he was in that sense but because the diagnosis brought the much needed attention to this treatable killer disease that specializes African and African American of men over the age of 50.
  9. The government stepped up efforts to deal with food security, including the PM mobilizing governments in the Horn of Africa and convening a summit on food security, which resulted in the signing of the Nairobi Declaration, a document that is now the roadmap on how to improve food security not just in Kenya but throughout the region.
  10. There was overall less rancor in government, especially between and among the usual suspects and when it mattered, the government and country was united as in the case of the appointments mentioned above and more recently, in efforts to ramp-out Al Shabaab and in other matters of national importance.

There are obviously more things to be thankful for but these are my Top Ten.

When you pause and think about it, things are bad but not as bad as some would want everyone to believe.

Yes, we need to do better but let’s not do that by destroying what we have built or not appreciating or otherwise trashing those who have helped us get here.

Let’s do away with the bad and build on the good and let those who have helped us get where we are continue on their good works  and mission with even greater success and rewards ahead for all of us.

Let those who want to stand in the way of this progress not succeed come next year.

May God bring us more of the good things in infinity.

Peace, Unity and Progress

Omwenga

 
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Posted by on November 24, 2011 in Politics, Social

 

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