RSS

Tag Archives: Kenyan Politics

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.

Advertisements
 
Leave a comment

Posted by on May 18, 2013 in Law, Politics

 

Tags: , , , ,

Some Basic Truths About Mr. Raila Amolo Odinga, Prime Minister of the Republic of Kenya

Some Basic Truths About Mr. Raila Amolo Odinga, Prime Minister of the Republic of Kenya:

  1. He is funny
  2. He is serious
  3. He is courageous
  4. He is cautionary and circumspect
  5. He is an original thinker and visionary
  6. He is always underestimated and second-guessed
  7. He is the object of hate and vitriol
  8. He has the gift of what has been described as “encyclopaedic” memory, yet
  9. He is as forgiving a politician as you are going to find anywhere
  10. He is humble
  11. He has suffered and endured the most physical and psychological pain for the sake of our country none of his opponents and enemies have
  12. He is a loving and caring father and husband
  13. He knows and readily admits his limitations as a human being
  14. His enemies claim he is “demi-god” worshiped by his admirers and supporters
  15. He is intelligent and a master strategist
  16. His advisers and strategists are dismissed as sycophants
  17. He is as honest a politician as you are going to find
  18. He has inspired a whole industry that shamelessly thrives on peddling lies and distortions about him
  19. He is clean and free of the worst of corruption that has plagued our country
  20. His corrupt opponents and others who benefit from corruption do not want him as president
  21. He is the most qualified of all those running for president to be elected as one.

Copyright © Samuel N. Omwenga, Esq. 2011

 
13 Comments

Posted by on November 18, 2011 in Politics

 

Tags: , , , ,

My Response to Another Luo Anti-Railaist Regarding Misconceptions About Raila and Other Issues

This is what I am hearing you saying:

1. Luos like you and X have broken from “slavery and blindness.”

2. People will be shocked and “maybe some will collapse dead [if Raila] is not elected president.”

3. If Raila is not elected president this time, he is done with in politics.

4. Miguna Miguna has “secrets” you are hoping he “spills.”

5. Tuju is an authority on the Odingas and apparently knows something Kenyans need to know or find out.

6. Given all of these, you therefore conclude and urge the young people (Luos, by inference) to support and vote for Ole Kiyiapi because he is “tribeless, woships true God, does not drink, has passed tests of intergrity and humblessness where he has worked, he is strong willed against evil (you will get a sack if you are not serving meaning zero tolerance to impunity  even if you are his friend)

7. You urge people not to listen to the media because they serve as “stooges for status quo” and act as “saviors.”

8. You then dismiss RAO and HMK as having “negative/oppressive/selfish dictatorial measures”

Here is my take on all of this:

First, you are perpetuating a myth that Luos have been “enslaved” by the Odinga family.

While it’s true those who have dared challenge the Odingas have not fared well, this has nothing to do with slavery but has everything to do with the colonial system we inherited from independence whereby you had a local “boss” at the household level, then a hierachy of other “bosses” from there on through Chiefs, area MPs, and all the way to the President.

In every tribe, bar none, there always has been and will continue to be a dominant leader or family; you challenge them at your own peril.

I can list them here but let me give you that as an assignment to find out who they are in each community, if you don’t already know.

The Luos are therefore no more “enslaved” than any other tribe in Kenya so the point you are trying to make in your charge is lost in this reality.

The question one should ponder and analyze is one not whether there is a dominant politician or family in any given community, but one whether such politician or family has utilized its power to advance the welfare of its community and the country at large.

On that measure, the Odinga family scores very high and much higher than any similarly situated family anywhere in the country.

Indeed, what endears Raila to most people is, even though he comes from a prominent family, he was willing to, and in fact, personally sacrificed for his stance and fight against the Moi regime and quest for reforms he and his compatriots agitated for and continue to.

Equally impressive, Raila shows no bitterness or want mentality on account of his suffering.

Instead, you find in Raila, a humble, easy going and deeply caring person, undetered in heading where he believes he must get to in his fight for reforms in our country and more.

This is what endears him to a lot of people and was largely the reason he was elected as president in 2007 but not sworn.

Second, while its true some may be shocked if Raila is not elected, I doubt anyone is going to drop and die over that.

Raila is a seasoned politician who understands fully well that in politics, anything is possible but would be the first one to tell you he never thought outright stealing of elections as we witnessed in 2007 was or can be possible but Kibaki proved him wrong.

I doubt we’ll ever see a repeat of 2007 style election theft but every indication is, instead, we shall for the first time have a fair and transparent elections in 2012.

If in the unlikely event Raila is not elected in a fair and transparent election, like any politician, I am sure he will be disappointed  but that will come to pass.

As the statesman he is, I am confident he will still find ways to help our country reap the benefits of the new constitution, including using his international recognition and influence to bring investment and other benefits to the country.

The money, however, is on Raila being elected president and therefore the concern should be what will happen to those so vehemently opposed to his election, especially the haters.

Those are the people one should be concerned about and hope they’ll recover from their respective shocks and help join hands in rebuilding our country under the leadership of President Raila Amolo Odinga, if he, indeed, gets the nod as expected.

Third, it is not true that, if Raila is not elected president in 2012, he is done politically.

Far from it. at the healthy 67 he is, Raila is going to be a political force in Kenya for a long time to come, regardless of what happens in 2012.

Many a politician has been written off, only to come back and lead their nations to greatness.

Raila has already proven he can be a come-back kid and, in fact, has been in more than one occasion.

In other words, like the cat, Raila has ten political lives.

He is only on his second or third, if you count surviving and overcoming the stolen elections of 07.

Fourth, you are going to be terribly disappointed, if you are hoping that Miguna Miguna will “spill the beans” on Raila.

That will not happen because there are no beans to spill about Raila.

Fifth, I know Tuju and would even say we have been friends.

Tuju is no “authority” of the Odinga family anymore than I or anyone else is therefore there is nothing new he can tell us about Raila or his family that we don’t know as you seem to suggest.

Tuju can’t even tell us anything new about what happens when one becomes disloyal or thinks he is suddenly better than to those who help him get anywhere politically.

We know that very well and in politics, its called you get the boot.

Sixth, when you say you want the youth and others to support Ole Kiyiapi because he is “tribeless, woships true God, does not drink, has passed tests of intergrity and humblessness where he has worked, he is strong willed against evil (you will get a sack if you are not serving meaning zero tolerance to impunity  even if you are his friend),” you have not done your man any good because thousands of Kenyans have those exact qualities, yet none of them is running for president.

Why?

Because it takes more to be elected president not the least of which, is political experience and skills to effectively deal with other politicians.

Good a technocrat Ole Kiyiapi may be, and even as intelligent as he is, he lacks this fundamental quality which is a must have for any president to succeed in governing any country.

In other words, one must prove they know how to work the political class for needed outcome, which only comes from experience gained from holding elective political office or otherwise being actively engaged in party politics.

Lack of this experience alone disqualifies Ole Kiyiapi, in my book.

Seventh, you are simply wrong that the media are “stooges for status quo.”

Remember, all media’s #1 objective as in any business, is making money.

If one is slanted one way in the pursuit of that objective, you’ll be sure to find one slanted the other way for the same reason but on balance, Kenya media is doing a much better job compared to many other countries in trying to be objective, even as they each obviously have their own agenda and preferences.

With the projected increase in Internet access and therefore more sources of information, the media cannot but be more objective, if it’s to continue appealing to broad following, or be markedly biased, if their target is enough to sustain its business objective.

This is the trend everywhere.

Finally, I don’t know what you mean by Raila having “negative/oppressive/selfish dictatorial measures” but the Raila I know is contemplative, accommodating and fair.

Those who characterize him otherwise, simply don’t know him.

Peace, Love and Unity

Omwenga

 
2 Comments

Posted by on September 6, 2011 in Politics

 

Tags: , , ,

My Farewell To, And Commemoration of My Brief Dalience With NVK

I have unceremoniously been given the boot from NVK, courtesy of brother Shem Ochuodho.

My only sin, is I dared express views not conforming to Shem’s own views and agenda.

I share with you what happened just so I can make several points, which I do below.

This is how it went:

A few days ago, Ochuodho warned me that I risked being kicked from his group unless I essentially conformed to his thinking and views.

In response, I wrote the following:

Nd. Ochuodho,

I obviously need not ask you to unsubscribe me, if you deem my views and contribution at odds with your agenda.

I will continue to express myself regardless for I have never believed or thought I can ever conform my views to suit any particular person or group beyond not being uncivil, petty or irrational.

Should you choose to kick me out of your group, then that’s fine and all I can say is it’s been good for our burgeoning democracy that we have had occasion to exchange views as we have in this forum and will not doubt continue be it in a closed or open environment.

I would also add that, please rest assured if your group emerges victorious at the polls next year and takes the presidency, I’ll be rooting for your success for in the end, it’s our country that matters and to the extent we can have a president elected to finally rid it of the ills that have been impeding development and progress, so much the reason to be merry regardless of who that is.

In other words, I’ll not be like the Big Fat Idiot Rush Limbaugh here in the US who, upon Obama’s inauguration, declared a one sided war of words against Obama with the opening salvage being that he wished and prayed that Obama failed as president, something so counter-intuitive, even he has been at a loss to explain, yet it’s something he and most of his followers truly believe.

In the same vein, I would expect you, too, to root for the success of any president elected in a fair and open election, whether that be Raila or anyone from the PNU/ODM class, which you seem to loath so much.

BTW, when I say “enemy,” I mean that in a figurative sense, except when referring to all manner of vice, especially the top three: corruption, impunity and tribalism, in which case I mean this to be our common enemy both literally and figuratively speaking.

You’ll agree with me, would you not, that these vice are our common enemy, would you not?

I hope so and to the extent you and I are fighting to eradicate these, then it matters not how we get there for the country wins, if we all win but the enemy.

That’s the spirit I leave you with till we meet again, if it’s good-bye for now.

(In his “warning” to me, Shem rejected the notion I have expressed and continue to, that we all have a common enemy and the difference is only in about how we are going about getting rid of it).

This comment was not posted and neither were several unrelated others I submitted since so, noticing this, I requested that Shem unsubscribes me for one sided conversations never work for me–which is essentially he was attempting to have me endure by allowing me to see comments I cannot respond to.

Shem obliged and I am now unsubscribed.

As I reflected on this, several thoughts came to mind.

Is brother Shem within his right to exclude people of differing opinion from his group NVK?

The answer is an unequivocal “Yes.”

The constitution guarantees freedom of association but does not guarantee anyone the right to belong to an association they are not wanted, unless one can make the case such exclusion is discriminatory on prohibited grounds.

Thus, to exclude someone from an association or group because you can’t stand their views is perfectly okay.

Shem not wanting anything to do with people of differing views or otherwise those who don’t tow 100% with him and his agenda, is no different from a political party getting rid of members with antagonistic or opposing views.

The only difference is, in a political party, there is generally a sense of what the offending dissent is, or who the offending dissenter is and why but in a one man show such as NVK, that’s limited to what the man sees or says it is.

The rest, like sheep in a flock, go along.

I am sure, there are many, if not most, within the group who would want to, and in fact, prefer to hear other viewpoints such as yours truly but, again, who are they to overcome the wishes of the King?

This is not a phenomena confined to a group such as NVK.

In fact, this is by definition, KANU politics!

Does anyone see the glaring similarity and irony?

I actually find it hilarious, especially given brother Shem denies having had anything to do with KANU and that he has been fighting it all along.

He may have, but he certainly has taken a page from its playbook: Shut or get rid of those opposed to your agenda.

My take on this, is this, like the KANU we all are, let’s try and at least accommodate some form of dissent within and without.

In the case of a political party, healthy dissent is, in fact, desirable otherwise one may never know when the party is headed in the wrong direction.

Ditto for a closed or one man operation such as NVK.

Interestingly, however, in the case of a joint like Shem’s, it cannot be said that someone like I, is dissenting, because I am not part of the group in the sense that I do not ascribe to their agenda; I may and indeed do agree with NVK’s ideals and objectives but wholly differ with the group’s thinking and philosophy when it comes to the question of who should be our next president, chief being, its dogged determination to oppose any and all presidential candidates from the existing political class.

I think that’s a naïve and untenable proposition to operate from for a number of reasons.

In my blog While Bloggers Are Busy Fighting Each Other, Masters of Impunity May Have the Last Laugh, I said the following:

Other than individuals who directly benefit from corruption and impunity and their derivative beneficiaries (cronies, enablers, family members, and fellow comrades in crime and vice), all of Kenya is for ending corruption and impunity.

It is naive for one group or another to solely lay claim to be the only ones capable of pursuing this otherwise noble objective of ending impunity and corruption, to the exclusion of everyone else.

We all want to do this, except for the masters of impunity and corruption and their beneficiaries.

The question is, how do we rid ourselves of these dual vices that are at the core of what ails our country.

One school of thought is, let’s get in leadership only those who are committed to ending the vices and have a track record that they can be trusted to do so as required under the criteria set forth in Chapter Six of the Constitution, in addition to meeting other constitutional requirements.

The other school of thought is, let’s get rid of everyone currently in leadership otherwise euphemistically referred to as “the Old,” regardless of their involvement in, or promotion of these vices and regardless of whether they meet the criteria set in Chapter 6 of the Constitution or not.

[Shem and co, want us to believe they belong to the latter school.]

Separate and apart from these two schools of thought, there is a third, not school of thought, but the very masters of impunity and corruption and the beneficiaries of the vice who would fight tooth and nail to maintain status quo for they and only they stand to continue benefiting from the vice.

The logical flaw in [the position taken by Shem and co] is, they have taken an “us v them” approach to address a situation that involves three distinct groups; in other words, in theory and in practice, [they] have reduced everything to two sides (good and evil) when, in fact and in reality, there are three sides to this:

There are those who want to end impunity and corruption by electing new leadership of proven reformists who are committed to ending the dual vices (the first group I describe above), which is Group or Side A.

There are those who want to end impunity and corruption by electing new leadership that is entirely comprised of newcomers regardless of whether they have the experience necessary to lead or not, the litmus test being they are free of the vice (the second group I describe above), which is Group or Side B.

And then there are those who do not want to end impunity and corruption (the third group I describe above), which is Group or Side C.

If I were good in graphics, I would draw 3 circles with two intersecting each other and a third on its own to show these relationships. I am not, so I’ll leave it there.

In the two circles that intersect, Group/Side A and B from above, the intersection represents ending impunity and corruption.

The third lone circle represents masters of corruption and impunity, Group/Side C.

[Shem and others who think like him] are making the implausible and illogical argument that one of the two circles that intersect (A&B) actually intersects with C, when clearly neither of them does.

You don’t even need facts to determine or conclude that there is no connection between Groups A/B with Group C, given the premises and to prove this visually, simply draw the circles as described and you’ll readily see neither A nor B intersects with C, yet this is precisely [Shem and co’s] argument, namely, one of the two groups (A or B) is connected to C and that’s just not true.

In other words, [Shem and others who think like him] are making the argument because one of the two groups that agree on ending impunity and corruption (A and B) is connected to Group C, a group which does not want to end impunity and corruption because [they, Shem and others] disagree with the other group’s strategy or solution to ending the dual vices [and other problems facing the country], when there is no connection between the two in fact and in reality.

They are obviously wrong.

In the good v evil sense, both Group A and Group B are on the one side, and Group C is on the other!

In war parlance, the common enemy for Group A and B is killing the enemy inside the intersection between the two.

To do so, both sides would need to, and must in fact work together for this sole purpose and not to make each other enemies, which, if they do, namely, make each other enemies, the two circles will be killing each other leaving the sole Group C victorious in the end even without as much as lifting its sword!!!!

So, rather than brother Shem using this divisive and counter-intuitive approach and kicking people like myself from his group on grounds we are in support of Group C, or that somehow we must conform to his thinking, merely because he disagrees with our strategy of working with those within the current leadership that we are confident are capable of leading our country out of the malaise we are in, they (Shem and others like him) should instead find ways to work with us to slay the common enemies of tribalism, corruption and impunity.

As I have repeatedly said, no one has a monopoly on this noble quest, unless the talk about fighting same is a charade, in which case those engaged in the latter can have all the limelight for all I care as they in the end must fail as well.

It cannot be the case that, just because one has had a fall-out with any of the current leadership, for personal or other reasons, that therefore by extension that leader or leaders is or are incapable of effectively guiding the rest of the country in leadership, if, in fact, they are capable of doing so.

This is a fallacy that should be proven in the end regardless of whether one is or is not a part of any association, party or grouping.

Peace, Love and Unity

Omwenga

 
1 Comment

Posted by on September 4, 2011 in Politics

 

Tags: , , ,

My Response To A Netter Regarding His Mistaken Belief About Luo (Kenya) Politics and Raila

Nd. X. This is what I am hearing you saying:

1. Luos like you and Oduya have broken from “slavery and blindness.

2. People will be shocked and “maybe some will collapse dead [if Raila] is not elected president.

3. If Raila is not elected president this time, he is done with politics.

4. Miguna Miguna has “secrets” you are hoping he “spills.”

5. Tuju is an authority on the Odingas and apparently knows something Kenyans need to know or find out.

6. Given all of these, you therefore conclude and urge the young people (Luos, by inference) to support and vote for Ole Kiyiapi because he is “tribeless, woships true God, does not drink, has passed tests of intergrity and humblessness where he has worked, he is strong willed against evil (you will get a sack if you are not serving meaning zero tolerance to impunity  even if you are his friend)

7. You urge people not to listen to the media because they serve as “stooges for status quo” and act as “saviors.”

8. You then dismiss RAO and HMK as having “negative/oppressive/selfish dictatorial measures”

Here is my take on all of this:

First, you are perpetuating a myth that Luos have been “enslaved” by the Odinga family. While it’s true those who have dared challenge the Odingas have not fared well, this has nothing to do with slavery but has everything to do with the colonial system we inherited from independence whereby you had a local “boss” at the household level, then a hierachy of other “bosses” from there on through Chiefs, area MPs, and all the way to the President.

In every tribe, bar none, there always has been and will continue to be a dominant leader or family; you challenge them at your own peril.

The Luos are therefore no more “enslaved” than any other tribe in Kenya so the point you are trying to make in your charge is lost in this reality.

The question one should ponder and analyze is one, not whether there is a dominant politician or family in any given community–there will always be one, but one whether such politician or family has utilized or is utilizing its power and influence to advance the welfare of its community and the country at large.

On that measure, the Odinga family scores very high and much higher than any similarly situated family anywhere in the country.

Indeed, what endears Raila to most people is, even though he comes from a prominent family, he was was willing to, and in fact, personally sacrificed his life in his stance and fight against the Moi regime and quest for reforms he and his compatriots agitated for and continue to to this day and to the future.

Equally impressive, notwithstanding the abuse and torture he suffered under the Moi regime, Raila shows no bitterness or want mentality on account of his suffering.

Instead, you find in Raila, a humble, easy going and deeply caring person.

This is what endears him to a lot of people and was largely the reason he was elected as president in 2007.

Second, while its true some may be shocked if Raila is not elected, I doubt anyone is going to drop and die over that as you claim.

Raila is a seasoned politician who understands fully well that in politics, anything is possible but would be the first one to tell you he never thought outright stealing of elections as we witnessed in 2007 is possible but Kibaki proved him wrong.

I doubt we’ll ever see a repeat of 2007 style election theft but instead every indication is, we shall for the first time have a fair and transparent elections in 2012.

If in the unlikely event Raila is not elected in a fair and transparent election, like any politician, I am sure he will be disappointed  but that will come to pass.

As the statesman he is, I am confident he will still find ways to help our country reap the benefits of the new constitution, including using his international recognition and influence to bring investment and other benefits to the country.

The money, however, is on Raila being elected president and therefore the concern should be what will happen to those so vehemently opposed to his election, especially his haters.

Those are the people one should be concerned about and hope they’ll recover from their respective shocks and help join hands in rebuilding our country under the leadership of President Raila Amolo Odinga, if he, indeed, gets the nod as expected.

Third, it is not true that, if Raila is not elected president in 2012, he is done politically.

Far from it. at the healthy 66 he is, Raila is going to be a political force in Kenya for a long time to come, regardless of what happens in 2012.

Many a politician have been written off, only to come back and lead their respective nations to greatness.

Raila has already proven he can be a come-back kid and, in fact, has been one in more than one occasion.

In other words, like the cat, Raila has ten political lives.

He is only on his second.

Fourth, you are going to be terribly disappointed, if you are hoping that Miguna Miguna will “spill the beans” on Raila.

That will not happen because there are no beans to spill about Raila, unless concocted or fully made up.

Fifth, I know Tuju and would even say we have been friends.

Tuju is no “authority” of the Odinga family anymore than I or anyone else is therefore there is nothing new he can tell us about Raila or his family that we don’t know as you seem to suggest.

Tuju can’t even tell us anything new about what happens when one becomes disloyal or thinks he is suddenly better than to those who help them get anywhere politically.

We know that very well and that is, you do so at your own peril, including likely political extinction.

Sixth, when you say you want the youth and others to support Ole Kiyiapi because he is “tribeless, woships true God, does not drink, has passed tests of intergrity and humblessness where he has worked, he is strong willed against evil (you will get a sack if you are not serving meaning zero tolerance to impunity  even if you are his friend),” you have not done your man any good because thousands of Kenyans have those exact qualities, yet they are not running for president.

Why?

Because it takes more than that to be elected president not the least of which, is political experience and skills to effectively deal with other politicians.

Good a technocrat Ole Kiyiapi may be, and even as intelligent as he is, he lacks this fundamental quality which is a must have for any president to succeed in governing any country.

In other words, one must prove they know how to work the political class for desired outcome, which only comes from experience gained from holding elective political office or otherwise being actively engaged in party politics.

Lack of this experience alone disqualifies Ole Kiyiapi, in my book.

Seventh, you are simply wrong that the media are “stooges for status quo.”

Remember, all media’s #1 objective as in any business, is making money.

If one is slanted one way in the pursuit of that objective, you’ll be sure to find one slanted the other way for the same reason but on balance, Kenya media is doing a much better job compared to many other countries in trying to be objective, even as they each obviously have their own agenda and preferences.

With the projected increase in Internet access and therefore more sources of information, the media cannot but be more objective, if it’s to continue appealing to broad following, or be markedly biased, if their target is enough to sustain its business objective.

This is the trend everywhere.

Finally, I don’t know what you mean by Raila having “negative/oppressive/selfish dictatorial measures” but the Raila I know is contemplative, accommodating and fair.

Those who characterize him otherwise, simply don’t know him.

Peace, Love and Unity

Omwenga

 
1 Comment

Posted by on August 29, 2011 in Politics

 

Tags: , , , ,

An Open Letter to H.E. Emilio Mwai Kibaki, C.G.H., M.P., President of the Republic of Kenya

Samuel N. Omwenga, Esq.

Silver Spring, MD

VIA EMAIL

H.E. Emilio Mwai Kibaki, C.G.H, M.P,

President of the Republic of Kenya

State House

Nairobi, Kenya

Re: Open Letter About Ending Tribalism In Kenya

Dear Mr. President:

You have served and continue to serve our country well, despite what happened during and after the disputed elections of 2007.

Indeed, in a previous communication to Your Excellency, I in behalf of other Kenyans acknowledged that you have done good, in redeeming your legacy and that the only thing left to seal it, is for you to ensure peaceful handover of the presidency to your successor, preceded by a period of peaceful campaigning and elections.

Your Excellency, the legacy you will leave behind from your illustrious career as an academician, cabinet minister, politician, father and now president of our country is beyond what I can describe within the scope of this letter.

Suffice to say, Your Excellency, that your name and that of the Right Hon. Prime Minister Raila Odinga, will be forever associated with leading the fight for, and ultimately ensuring passage of the new constitution, which we are already witnessing its impact and are enjoying some of its benefits that have eluded us, as a nation for decades, with an expectation for more.

With the appointment of the new Chief Justice and the rest of the justices of the Supreme Court having been accomplished under the new constitution—and to the satisfaction of all Kenyans, we are confident that further and necessary judicial reforms are also underway.

We are also equally confident that efforts to undermine implementation of the rest of the constitution shall not prevail and that therefore it’s only a matter of time for Kenyans to enjoy all the benefits of the new constitution.

It is accordingly our expectation, Your Excellency that, with the full implementation of the new constitution and execution of the concomitant judicial and political reforms, we as a nation shall finally be able to deal a serious, if not fetal, blow to poor governance, corruption, and impunity.

That’ll be all good but will not be everything.

We have a much more urgent and equally significant malady that we must cure ahead of the next general elections, and that is, tribalism.

This, Your Excellency, is the reason I am writing to you.

When we say Your Excellency needs to ensure peaceful handover of power to your successor, as well as ensure a preceding period of peaceful campaigning and elections, we are also implicitly asking Your Excellency, and now openly urge you to use your power and influence to make sure that we not only have free and fair elections in 2012 but, equally importantly, you must ensure that tribalism is crushed as the determinative factor in electing our leaders, especially at the presidential level.

If you accomplish this, Your Excellency, namely, if you play a key role in ending tribalism as a major determinative factor in presidential elections, Your Excellency would not only have presided over the changing of Kenya from the old to the new, with passage of the new constitution, you would have also planted a seed that would germinate to an even more beautiful Kenya where our affairs are governed not by tribe and negative ethnicity, but by who we are as Kenyans.

As Kenyans, we have for years and decades had a reputation throughout much of the world as a peace loving people.

Few, if any, would disagree, even in spite of 2008 that we are not incapable of living in peace and harmony with one another, divided only by the artificial boundaries necessary for administrative functions of the government.

We are quite capable of doing this, Your Excellency, and its my belief an opportunity presents itself for Your Excellency to set the stage in moving our country in that direction and create an atmosphere of improved ethnic relations upon which your successor can build and take to an even higher level, starting with the elimination of tribalism as a determinative factor in presidential elections.

This, namely, ending tribalism, Your Excellency, ought to be and must be your most significant and everlasting gift you can give our country, which in turn will result in leaving a legacy for you beyond any other, grand as each shall be.

Your Excellency, the question should not be whether you ought to play a key role in ending tribalism in Kenya, rather, the question should be, what role should you play in ending this debilitating disease of tribalism?

Your Excellency, let me suggest that merely urging Kenyans to end tribalism will not do because this has been tried and urged by every known leader since we can remember, but all to no avail.

Part of that is because the very leaders who call for an end to tribalism in the day, are often busy practicing or scheming to practice it at night.

Some, especially a number of those interested in succeeding you, Your Excellency, have made it known their ticket to State House is perfecting tribalism and they are openly pursuing this as their sole strategy, even to this day and, unless something is done to stop them, it shall be their sole strategy to the end.

Your Excellency, you must stop them in their tracks with this heinous scheme for success of their strategy, shall be further perpetuation of tribalism.

Tumechoka na mambo ya ukabila, Mzee.

We must end tribalism, and this is the ideal time to do so, Your Excellency.

The way I see it, Your Excellency, there are a number of things you can do to lead in this effort to defeat tribalism based schemes to succeed you and therefore cleanse our nation of this debilitating disease of tribalism in Kenya and these are:

First, and I say this with all due respect, Your Excellency, it is incumbent upon you, as the president of our nation, to inform our brothers and sisters from Central that, with 42 tribes in Kenya, and having had Your Excellency and our first President Mzee Jomo Kenyatta elected from Central to lead our country, let our brothers and sisters from the area show love and unity with other Kenyans and vote for someone other than their own this time around.

Doing so, Your Excellency, will not be the end of Central as some might seriously believe; rather, it would be the beginning of a new and fresh relations between our brothers and sisters from Central and the rest of the country, the past notwithstanding.

I fully realize this is a tall order, Your Excellency, and that most will advise against Your Excellency undertaking such earthshaking action but this is what greatness in leadership demands and more so, unless and until our brothers and sisters from Central are made to understand and accept the altruism that all Kenyans are equal and that no one tribe or ethnic group should be deemed the preferred one over the others, we shall continue to struggle with the issue of tribalism in Kenya until such a time as this altruism is significantly accepted by our brothers and sisters from Central, which shall be a matter of time, as it is.

I say this, Your Excellency, because there are clear indications many from Central have already shaken themselves free of this debilitating disease of tribalism and view issues not from its prism, but progressively as to how best to move our country forward regardless of tribe or ethnicity, which is commendable.

This is a development, Your Excellency must fully and without delay take advantage of and lead in stepping up efforts to maximize its potential.

It’s our belief Your Excellency is in a unique position to so deliver, given where we are as a nation, your history and background.

Second, Your Excellency should reconsider your position reported the other day in the media that you will remain neutral and let those vying to succeed you, battle it out on their own and let Kenyans choose in the end, one among them to succeed you.

Under ordinary circumstances, this would be a very commendable and, indeed, the only position to take as our president.

As things stand relative to the upcoming elections, Your Excellency, these are no ordinary circumstances for both practical and historical reasons that Your Excellency is fully aware, thus the need for Your Excellency to play your hand, if not directly, certainly indirectly to make sure a successor is elected who is not only qualified to take over from you in every respect, but also one who can unite, not divide the country.

Third, if Your Excellency is reluctant or unwilling to actively influence or offer hints as to who your preferred successor should be—and there is really only one candidate who fits the bill, Your Excellency, if one were to assess all the declared candidates objectively, but be as it may be, the least you can do in playing a key role in ending tribalism as a determinative factor in presidential elections, Your Excellency, is to make sure those who wish to exploit tribalism as a means of reaching the State House, do not succeed at all in doing so.

This is something Your Excellency must do not just as our nation’s leader but in your personal capacity as well for I believe Your Excellency would agree, it’s time Kenya moved beyond tribalism and elected our president regardless of what tribe or ethnic group they hail from, as long as they are qualified and are otherwise fit to hold that office.

Abraham Lincoln, the great American president, freed slaves in America in 1863.

Your Excellency should lead in finally freeing Kenya from tribalism in 2012.

This is our prayer and may the grace of God be with you as you ponder these and other heavy issues you must deal with as our president.

Sincerely,

/s

____________________

Samuel N. Omwenga, Esq.

 
20 Comments

Posted by on July 25, 2011 in Politics, Uncategorized

 

Tags: , ,

Who Is William Ruto Part VI: The Succession Game And Why The Scheme To Topple Raila Has Failed

In Part V of my series on Hon. William Samoei Ruto, Member of Parliament for Eldoret North, I concluded after a thorough and objective legal analysis that Ruto, along with Kosgey and Sang, will not be convicted either at the Hague or even in Kenya for the crimes they remain charged with by the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

In Part VI, I continue to analyze Ruto’s prospects as a Kenyan politician, given all of these and his fall-out with the leader of ODM, Rt. Hon. Prime Minister Raila Amolo Odinga (RAO or Raila).

More specifically, I am in this analysis attempting to answer the following questions posed to me by someone in another forum: What exactly transpired between [Ruto] and Raila and ODM that caused the rift between the two? What do you know and what have you heard? Is this relationship salvageable?

These are good questions which I have in some way or another answered in my series about Ruto. However, I have not addressed, or if I have, I do not recall addressing the questions from the perspective of answering another question, which I think in the end, provides a good analytic basis to answer them and to also understand Ruto and his status as a significant politician in Kenya and that is, what could have happened had President Kibaki honored his promise to RAO  to make him prime minister, following the elections of 2002?

We all remember Kibaki Tosha, and the euphoria that followed the election of Kibaki in the 2002 elections, basically on the power of those two words.

The excitement was short-lived, however, because no sooner had Kibaki taken office as president did he make it known Raila was not to be a factor in his administration, let alone the prime minister he had been promised in the haggling and dealing leading up to the 2002 elections.

And with that, the Kibaki Succession Game (KSG) Round 1 was on and no one on Kibaki’s camp, especially the master strategists at his inner core was even thinking 2007; they were looking ahead to 2012  because the outcome of 2007, to them, was a given regardless of what the voters had in mind.

There is good reason to believe this but none of it would become  more evident until after the fact.

To be sure, our old constitution did not have any provision under which Kibaki could have appointed Raila prime minister at that time but Kibaki could have had the constitution amended to create the position, if he so wanted.

Kibaki could have also chosen to outdo both of his predecessors by declaring RAO prime minister mupende msipende (like it or not) but I don’t think he has in him ability to be that reckless and dictatorial.

Had Kibaki found a way and appointed Raila prime minister, the politics of Kenya would have taken a path such that Ruto and everyone else in the opposition today would have been neutralized to the point of near total irrelevancy.

On the other hand, the country would not have had the sweeping constitutional reforms we have now for success in creating a premiership, followed with improved or better delivery of services benefiting the public at large, consistent with their expectations with Kibaki’s victory in 2002 would have reduced the hunger for deep and dramatic changes in how we are governed that became even more defined and more urgently sought after, after the elections of 2007.

One scenario that would have emerged, had Raila become prime minister, would have been Kibaki and Raila working together to yes, deliver a new but somewhat less dramatic constitution, followed by Kibaki likely being re-elected in 2007 and setting the stage for Raila to be more easily elected president in 2012 than will be the case under the scenario now playing, which I discuss below.

Ruto, under this first scenario, would not have had anything to be offered by Kibaki or PNU, the prime rib having gone to Raila so he either would have stayed put in ODM, or do what he did and continues to do, under the second scenario that again is now playing and as I describe below.

Under the scenario where Ruto remained put in ODM with RAO prime minister, Ruto will right now be battling with Mudavadi and probably Ngilu in efforts to position himself as the next prime minister after RAO who, under this scenario, and as I have indicated above, would be on a much easier path to the presidency than he is.

But probably unknown to RAO, this scenario first scenario did not come into play because KSG Round 1 was quietly on, leading to the second scenario that is now playing.

Under this second scenario, Ruto features significantly in KSG albeit much to his surprise because I don’t think he was roped in on the initial KSG planning stage.

Instead, Ruto was busy planning his own Raila Succession Game (RSG). Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on who is looking at it, there is only one round in RSG: it’s a knock-out round or nothing.

Although the overall and common strategic end objective of both KSG and RSG is the same, namely, blocking Raila from ascending to the presidency, both have different advantages and disadvantages viz Raila as compared to each other but combined, they remove a determinative and probably insurmountable advantage Raila has going into the final game in the KSG game and that is, home field advantage.

There is no question ODM remains the largest, most organized and widely supported party in the country; there is also no question Raila remains popular across the country and so far is the man to beat to get to State House. This is the equivalent of having home field advantage.

Having a home field advantage is not by itself an assurance the home team must win the game but it’s nonetheless something every player and coach will tell you they’d rather have than playing in enemy or hostile territory, which is precisely where KSG and RSG find themselves playing even as of this writing: in enemy or hostile territory.

Given this reality, KSG must have figured early after the last elections that the only way they could end up victorious against RAO is either (1) to topple or cripple him as the star of ODM or (2) remove his home field advantage, with the two not being mutually exclusive.

This is why Ruto was misled to leave ODM. That is, Ruto was told “come on our side, we’ll help you destroy RAO in ODM and we’ll share the spoils: you by becoming the unquestionable new king maker in the country with continued access to power and money, our man UK the presidency.”

Although this ruse was enticing enough for Ruto to sever relations with Raila and leave him and ODM, which he has for all practical purposes and intent done, he will be the first one to tell you bringing down RAO may have looked easy on the drawing board but when it comes down to it, Raila is more firmly grounded the most and best Ruto or anyone is going to do, is to have Raila’s towering presence sway sideways half-an inch or so and in the process shake off some leaves off his braches but that’s it.

KSG and RSG having put forth their best efforts but failed to topple RAO or even cripple him as the star player of Team ODM half-way through Game 1, its strategists must have figured the only other option is to confuse, deal and even buy and woo away ODM and RAO’s fans and turn enough of them into their supporters therefore negating RAO’s home-field advantage.

KSG once again, found in Ruto the appropriate mascot to do this—and I don’t use this term pejoratively, but, much to their surprise and quite frankly everyone else’s, KSG and Ruto are finding these ODM and Raila fans more deeply committed to their team than anticipated, and even for a number of those not as deeply committed, neither KSG nor Ruto has given them any good reason why they should abandon support for their team and specifically, neither KSG nor Ruto has offered anything in terms of assuring them a thriller game and a lasting celebration thereafter, given these fans are not impressed or interested in what the KSG and Ruto has to offer, compared to what ODM or Raila is offering, or can offer.

Which leads me to the other question posed, and that is, whether Ruto’s severed relationship with ODM and Raila is salvageable.

I most certainly think it is, for the reasons I state in my ODM Prodigal Son Come Home; Extending An Olive Branch To William Samoei Ruto, which I post a good and updated portion of it as follows, for the reader’s convenience. (For full flavor and context, please read the blog itself).

The Book of Luke Chapter 15:11-32 tells the story of the Prodigal Son; a story about two sons and a father in which after the younger son so requests, his father divides the family property evenly between the two sons. The younger son sets off to have fun on wildly things and after squandering everything, returns to his homestead and his father welcomes him back much to the chagrin of his older brother who remained and labored for the father all the while the younger son was having fun but never accorded any show of affection or appreciation from the father.

I thought about this story when reading a Standard Online story appearing on http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/InsidePage.php?id=2000034025&cid=4& that a cabinet reshuffle is afoot and that the PM is faced with a choice to keep or let go the suspended minister for education, William Ruto. The party is apparently divided with the handful of MPs allied to Ruto saying he should be allowed to return with the rest saying he should be shown the door he is already more than half way past anyway. The cabinet reshuffle has yet to take place as of this writing.

Going strictly by what is reasonable, this is an easy decision for Raila to make: show Ruto the door and let in a replacement from the Rift Valley–and there are any number of able and more qualified MPs who more than fit the shoes left empty with Ruto’s departure.

That’ll be a very easy decision to make had there not been such lies and distortions propagated by Ruto and Co against Raila in the Rift which in my view Ruto should basically confess to and save his political career by asking Raila to assent to his return to the cabinet. Doing otherwise is unwise.

Since posting my blog, Members of Parliament led by Hon. Frankling Bett have come forth to confirm that Ruto, indeed, has been lying about Raila and his role in the Mau evictions.  As I discussed in The News About Rift Valley ODM MPs Getting Set To Regain Ground in RV Is Good News, the MPs’ move is good news not just for ODM and Raila, but also for the country at large.

Meanwhile, in the previous Standard story, Ruto’s allies were quoted as saying Ruto “is not desperate” to return to the cabinet. That’s cannot be true. Ruto would rather be a rebel ODM MP and minister than a rebel ODM MP without a ministerial portfolio, which itself is better than quitting ODM and being forced to seek re-election to parliament, an outcome which is not assured despite Ruto having everyone believe it is.

Quitting ODM and seeking fresh mandate is a pre-requisite, if being a PNU minister is what Ruto has been promised by those egging or advising him to quit ODM and join that party.

As I have stated elsewhere in my blog, Ruto has been a rebel ODM member for a long time but time is nearing for Ruto to make a decision whether he disembarks completely from ODM or he hangs on for what it’s worth to him.

The media has cast this as the PM’s major decision as to whether to keep or boot Ruto, given the impending reshuffle. I say the bigger decision is for Ruto to decide whether he leaves ODM for an uncertain political future or seek redemption and stay on in ODM where his future is better predictable and altogether avoid the sharks that await him in the waters were he to jump ship.

Like the prodigal son, Ruto should simply return home to ODM, seek redemption to the extent possible and I am sure the party will welcome him back with no hurt feelings.

Obviously some may consider this prospect out of the question but in the final analysis, it is a better path Ruto should seriously consider given where things are headed politically for him.

Incidentally, just saying this reminds me of one Maasai warrior from Moi era by the name Stanley Oloitiptip. (You’ll have to read about the Oloitiptip connection on the blog).

In sum, Ruto has been trying to find shorter ways to get to the presidency. He has been aggressive and direct about this. There is nothing wrong with that; after all, ambition and a desire to get to your desired destination in a hurry is not necessarily a bad thing, but only if you do it right.

In other words, what’s wrong with unchecked ambition and trying to get to one’s destination in a hurry is if, when in doing so, you create havoc and misery along the way for others, while wrecking everything else to your destination.

Not a good thing to do.

Ruto can still get to his desired destination of State House; he just must make sure his vessel of choice is fully serviced, with all the necessaries to last the trip; since he knows he cannot make it there by himself, even with the support of his entire Kalenjin community, he must make sure he is in a vessel with a good Captain and experienced crew capable of navigating the turbulent waters of the high seas; he must be prepared to work closely with the captain and position himself to take over the role of Captain when the latter retires or otherwise no longer wishes to be at the helm, he must make sure there are no individuals aboard, including the captain ready and willing to throw him aboard for their own desired ends—if and when necessary; he must recognize and let the Captain pilot the vessel without interference and he must make amends with the Captain for anything he may have done to miff the Captain, if he must, and he must do so quick, lest the Captain becomes the one who has to have him thrown overboard to political abyss, if it is in the interest of the vessel and welfare of its occupants and the nation to do so.

I would do all of these things and more, if I were Ruto for it is sometimes advisable and better to follow a longer course one is familiar with, difficult and treacherous as it may be, than following an unknown one with no certainty as to what pitfalls lie ahead, or where it ends, easy as it might be.

Copyright June 2011 Samuel N. Omwenga, Esq.

 
9 Comments

Posted by on June 13, 2011 in Politics

 

Tags: , , , , ,