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The Meaning of President Kibaki’s Nomination of Prof. Githu Muigai As Attorney General

By nominating Prof. Githu Muigai, President Mwai Kibaki has accomplished something of a rarity for a meek but sleek politician like him: He has flipped the finger on Kenyans; he has flipped the finger on Kikuyu lawyers and while at it, he has flipped the finger on all Kenyan women lawyers.

The position of Kenya’s attorney general was held by the venerable Charles Mugane Njonjo from our country’s independence through 1979, when Amos Wako effectively took over the portfolio in 1991 and clung to it in good times and bad times until this month when he was forced to exit, smiling.

President Kibaki has now nominated Githu Muigai to succeed Wako.

What is wrong with this picture?

First, it’s wrong to have public officers serving this long in any office.

Second, when I implored Kibaki to lead in ending tribalism in Kenya and asked our fellow brothers and sisters from Central to do the same thing, a blogger commented on my efforts as being a waste of time for, according to him, Kibaki is the most tribalist president we have had.

I don’t know about all that that but Kibaki has done nothing but propagate this belief among many, with his nomination of Githu Muigai as AG.

Surely, he could have found an equally, if not more qualified Kenyan from other tribes than returning the portfolio to his fellow Kikuyu.

Again, before I hear this from someone, let me hasten to add there is nothing tribalistic in saying what I am saying.

I will say the same thing, if it was a fellow Kisii doing the same thing.

But, why has the president nominated yet another Kikuyu to the AG position?

It is not as if the president is unaware of what appointing another Kikuyu to the position entails.

He is and in my humble view, he is flipping all of us, the finger.

After all, he is the president and this is the last months of his last term.

In other words, he and his advisers must be telling themselves, “we can do this; what is anybody going to do about it?”

The timid Kenyans we are, we must accept this as reality and move on, so the belief goes.

They may have a point, but change is coming where these will be truly attitudes of the past.

But beyond Kenyans as a whole, the president has flipped an even bigger finger to two specific groups:

The first one, is the rest of his fellow brethren from Central.

After his botched attempt to install Muigai as AG, only to be foiled by Raila, Kibaki should have altogether let go the idea of installing Uhuru Kenyatta’s cousin as AG and if he and his advisers this strongly believe he had to have a Kikuyu in the slot, then he should have at least identified and appointed one from among the many other Kikuyu lawyers in the country other than the man he clearly did not have qualifications alone in mind when he tried to recklessly ram him through the process the last time.

Instead, Kibaki has chosen to return to the same man, Githu, which can only mean he has concluded Githu is the only qualified Kikuyu lawyer in the country fit for nomination and appointment to the position of AG.

To those who think otherwise, especially my learned Kikuyu friends, the president is flipping a finger to all of you.

Again, the question they have asked and answered in the negative is, what are you going to do about it?

Kibaki is, after all, the president and is serving the last months of his presidency.

Women have not fared any better in Kibaki’s thinking and calculations.

With the new constitution, which Kibaki does get part credit for helping getting it passed, the role of women in government is greatly encouraged and, in fact, mandated.

Kibaki would have acted in the letter and spirit of the new constitution by appointing a woman as our first woman AG.

Instead, Kibaki has recoiled to appointing yet another man to this important position, which can only mean he has concluded there is no woman qualified to hold the position.

To those who think otherwise, especially my learned female friends, the president is flipping a finger to all of you, too.

What are you going to do about it?

He is, after all, the president and is serving his last months of his presidency.

Sad, but true, I believe.

I know the question running in some of your minds is, where is Raila in all of this? Hasn’t the president made these nominations upon consultation with the PM?

From what I can tell by merely putting two and two together, and not based on any first hand or second hand or even third hand information, Raila has not objected to the appointment of Githu Muigai because he does not have a legal basis to do so.

The PM was successful in thwarting Kibaki’s efforts the last time he attempted to illegally nominate and appoint Muigai and the other allies to the various constitutional offices because Kibaki was clearly acting in violation of the constitution and the public was not going to stand for that flagrant abuse of power, unlike the past.

In this case, however, we are told the president consulted the PM before re-nominating Muigai.

The constitutional consultation requirement has therefore been satisfied, unlike the last time when Kibaki attempted to install Muigai without consulting the PM.

The requisite consultations having occurred, the PM either had to agree with the nomination, or object to it.

Having not objected, one can only conclude the PM did not object because he could only do so based on sound legal ground and one which Kibaki could ignore only at his own peril.

I see none this time around.

Githu is for all I know superbly qualified to be appointed AG.

None of what I say here is legal basis to oppose his appointment, let alone succeed in blocking it.

What I say here, however, is a moral basis to oppose his appointment which would be counterproductive for the PM himself to mount, given the fragile coalition we have and coming to a natural end, as it is.

Besides, if the PM doesn’t really care about the appointment, he can show Muigai the door, once he is elected president, if Kenyans give him the nod as expected, given the AG does not have security of tenure.

In other words, Raila comes out of this the statesman he is; why pick on fights that don’t improve the situation but make it worse?

As Kenney Rogers sings in the Gambler, “you got to know when to hold em, know when to fold em.”

There are some battles not worth fighting.

Knowing how some of my readers misread what I say, let me reiterate what I say is merely an expression of an opinion and neither does what I say have anything to do with PM’s thinking or reasoning in all of this for I never know and don’t know what that could be.

Mine is simply an analysis, based on publicly available information.

I say this because many times, we express opinion and people automatically ascribe it to those we support, forgetting or ignoring the fact that the two are not always one and the same.

In sum, Kibaki’s nomination of Githu Muigai goes to confirm what I have been saying all along, and that is, ending tribalism is a tall order but I still have faith we shall slay the ugly animal sooner than later and, yes, I still have faith and believe Kibaki and our brothers and sisters from Central have a big role to play in this effort.

I continue to urge them to do just that.

Peace, Love and Unity

Samuel N. Omwenga, Esq.

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5 Comments

Posted by on August 25, 2011 in Politics

 

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My Expression of Support and Views on Formation of the Group “Kikuyus for Change.”

In my previous blogs, I have noted that, if I were a Kikuyu, I would start an organization I have variously described as Kikuyu’s Against Another Kikuyu President –or something to that effect.

I have also previously stated my reasons why and I have made it clear this has nothing to do with being a tribalist or anything close. I was therefore very happy to read Mr. Ngunjiri Wambugu’s article, We Must Get Out of Tribal Cocoons, which essentially takes the same position I have been advocating about this issue.

Mr. Wambugu noted in his article that he is a convenor for a group called Kikuyus for Change, ostensibly advocating the same position.

As I noted elsewhere, I couldn’t have put the case better for this concept, which I hope gathers steam and more progressives, especially those from Central, come on board with it.

In response to Mr. Wambugu’s article, however, another writer makes almost equally compelling case in the opposite, namely, formation of such groups as Kikuyus for Change, is not desirable or necessary.

In this blog, I respond to this writer’s sentiments and views.

My response:

You have written an equally excellent rebuttal of Wambugu’s excellent piece on this topic. However, on balance, and everything considered, Wambugu has the better argument, if anything because you are looking at things from a half-empty glass point of view, when Wambugu is looking at things from the half-full perspective.

I am responding to you because Wambugu’s views closely mirror mine on this issue, which I have been writing about for some time and I have several reasons I side with Wambugu.

First, you say, that the “idea of Kikuyus for Change or Luos for Change sounds great at face value. But it presupposes that the Kikuyus or Luos as communities in their entire-ties have been or are against change.

You have missed the point here. The question is not one of whether our communities are or are not for change; one can assume they are, but only if they know what that change is and in any case, not always.

For example, try to convince Omogusii to do away with amatoke, and instead substitute growing some other high yield, high income crop, you’ll be wasting your time for that’ll never happen.

In this types of cases, we are not even talking about change but something wholly different as in genetic restructuring.

There are certain changes, however, that are less drastic that merely require attitudinal adjustment while others are more fundamental and require more than a change in attitude.

Tribalism and negative ethnicity fall in the latter category: To change the mindset of people how they perceive other tribes, you’ll at the minimum require a complete reorientation of their cultural, societal and individual beliefs, which go beyond mere attitude.

This is a staggering feat to accomplish, but it must be done.

What I hear Wambugu saying, and I agree with him completely, is that tribalism and negative ethnicity is so deeply ingratiated in people’s mind because it’s something learned from childhood, not necessarily by everyone, but a vast majority and thus the reason it thrives to this day.

Wambugu’s prescription for a cure to this disease, is also something I completely agree with, to wit, and I quote him, “It is therefore imperative for Central Kenya to engage Raila Odinga beyond our stereotypes of him, and distinguish facts from perceptions.

This is not to say other tribes do not have the same task or responsibility; they do.

This in essence must be a multi-intertwined reciprocal action and reaction involving all tribes.

My point is and has been the Kikuyus and Kalenjin must take the lead in doing this and if they do, the rest of the country will follow.

The question is therefore not whether change is welcome in our communities, but whether we as progressives are willing, ready and able to lead in bringing it about.

Wambugu’s is answering, “Yes,” with Kikuyu’s for Change.

I would love to start one as “Kisii’s for Change” but this is not necessary because Kisii’s have never voted as a bloc for anyone but instead they always split their vote across the board.

That’s not to say some of them are not die-hard tribalists: like a flu or common cold, tribalism does not discriminate by community; it’s a question of depth and degree. It’s deeply entrenched in some communities, less so in others.

Kisii’s didn’t even vote as a bloc for Simeon Nyachae in 2002, much to his chagrin, but true to their form of independence, they also voted for Kibaki in large numbers–again, to Nyachae’s chagrin.

Luos on the other hand, have voted as a bloc for Kikuyu presidential candidates, so no need for Luos for Change there.

I think you see my point, which goes to my earlier point I have been making and that is, a change in voting patterns is essential primarily among the Kikuyu and Kalenjin.

Once that happens, the rest of the country will follow suit.

Yes, Kalenjin voted as a bloc for Raila in 2007 but it’s precisely for this reason they, too, need to take equal share leadership in ending tribalism and negative ethnicity by spreading their vote according to individual qualities and qualifications, not tribal affiliation.

As a Raila supporter, however, I’d be remiss not to say here and now, let also a majority of these communities vote for Raila in 2012.

Second, you say, Wambugu “further presupposes that the few individuals who come together to form the Kikuyus or Luos for Change are the only progressive and pro-reform members of the respective communities  – the rest of the community being anti-change!

I don’t think this is what Wambugu is trying to say; rather, I hear him saying, let progressives take the lead in bringing about the fundamental attitudinal and cultural changes necessary to end tribalism and negative ethnicity.

In other words, someone has and must take leadership on this issue and, since its obvious elected leaders are reluctant or unwilling to do so, given generally this is not something they consider helpful in election or re-election strategies (wrongly so), groups like Wambugu’s Kikuyu for Change must take the lead.

One need not be elected to effect fundamental change in Kenya.

Third, you say because you believe some of those now championing reform are at the core, anti-reformist, one should be “cautious to claim or to want to be associated with such groups as Kikuyus or Luos for Change because such tads, though high-sounding and appearing progressive at face value, are discriminative, isolationist and driven by a false guilt mentality by people who have bought into the stereotype that all Kikuyus are guilty by virtue of the fact that two of their own have been occupants of State House and allowed themselves to be conduits of exploitation.”

You have collapsed several unrelated issues into one.

The way I understand it, Wambugu’s Kikuyu for Change is advocating for fundamental change in attitudinal and cultural thinking vz tribalism and negative ethnicity, which I concur or state as my position, if he is saying something else.

This is related but separate and apart from political and institutional reform in this sense: ending tribalism and negative ethnicity will certainly fundamentally change the political dynamics of the country, especially in how we elect our presidents.

However, electing a president or leaders in an environment where tribalism and negative ethnicity is not a factor will not by itself automatically lead to a realization of political and institutional reform.

That will be a first but necessary reform.

The second part of that would require electing leaders who are truly committed to the kind of political and institutional reforms we have just embarked on a journey to implement.

A leader who is at the core anti-reformist therefore must not expect and cannot expect to be elected in this new environment where reform is the only agenda, double that if his or her hope is to ride the tribal train, if tribalism is dealt a fetal blow in changed attitudinal and cultural tidal wave.

In other words, the watermelons would not have the opportunity to practice their trade; their option would simply be to either embrace reform or pretend to embrace reform but any pretenses without result will be sniffed out and exposed, leaving them vulnerable and therefore towing the line.

It therefore matters not much whether one is pro-reform as a mission or anti-reform at the core but pretending to be the former.

Your caution about Kikuyu’s for Change possibly including such elements is therefore not something to be concerned about.

Another issue you have collapsed in your argument above, is that groups such as Kikuyu’s for Change are, as you say, “discriminative, isolationist” and driven by “a false guilt mentality by people who have bought into the stereotype that all Kikuyus are guilty by virtue of the fact that two of their own have been occupants of State House and allowed themselves to be conduits of exploitation.”

Taking the first part of this argument to be it is undesirable to have a group that is “discriminative” and “isolationist,” no one would disagree with you.

In fact, we have had such groups before and none more representative of the concept and therefore its undesirability than GEMA.

An organization such as Kikuyus for Change represents the opposite, however: While GEMA was intended to create a permanent ruling class from Central, a group such as Kikuyu for Change is intended to erase and abolish this idea that our president must only come from one particular region.

That being the case, your second part of the argument that an organization such as Kikuyus for Change is “driven by a false guilt mentality by people who have bought into the stereotype that all Kikuyus are guilty by virtue of the fact that two of their own have been occupants of State House and allowed themselves to be conduits of exploitation,” is misplaced for the same reason.

In my blog on this subject titled,The Kikuyu Must Lead In Ending Ending Tribalism In Kenya, Followed By The Kalenjin and The Rest Will Follow, I stated as follows:

Having extensively written on the issue of ending tribalism in Kenya, I must confess even as I write about the subject, I am often resigned in the background this is just but a dream wish for some progressives like myself because the reality of it is, old habits die hard.

Thus, even when I suggest as I have in the past that, if I were a Kikuyu, I would start an organization I have variously described as Kikuyu’s Against Another Kikuyu President –or something to that effect—something in the back of my mind keeps telling me this is simply a utopian dream.

I could be wrong and would obviously be glad to be so.

I have hastened to add that I hold that view—of not another Kikukuyu president; at least not this round or next, anyway—not because I have anything against Kikuyu’s—I don’t—but I do hold this view for the same reasons other progressive Kikuyus hold the same view, and that is, it is just neither fair nor just for an ethnically diverse and vast country such as Kenya to have two of its three presidents since its independence, hailing from the same tribe.

It’s the Clinton Fatigue, if you will, that many believe denied Hilary her official date with destiny at the White House; ditto for the Bush Fatigue whereby Jeb Bush who, better than his brother he might be, or even better than his father for that matter he could be, the United States of America simply can’t take another Bush at the White House; not any time soon, anyway.

And that includes anyone who may not be related but has the same name—just not another BUSH!

Same concept for Kenya—okay, Kenya goes more in that not just another Kenyatta (sorry UK) but not another Kikuyu either.

As noted above, not a shred of tribalism in many of us who say so;  just a fact of life, if we are to be intellectually honest about these things.

All of us as Kenyans were happy to have and accepted Mzee Jomo Kenyatta as our first president and we lived with the fact that he was to be our president to the day he drew his last breath, which was fine; the man, after all, was very instrumental in our country’s gaining independence.

All I am trying to say in all of this is this: Kikuyu’s must take lead in ending tribalism by supporting other than “their” own not because of guilt but as a matter of bringing about unity and love for each other as a nation.

Your contention that an organization such as Kikuyus for Change seeks to shame Kikuyu’s into embracing fundamental attitudinal and cultural change viz how we elect our president is therefore equally misplaced as well.

In fact, this change is already taking place within Central albeit not by much not out of guilt or anything like that, but because people of reason and circumspect, especially those who can separate the chaff from the wheat.

In other words, not all Kikuyus have an issue with voting for someone other than “their own,” and those who don’t necessarily are not driven by guilt but by being just objective according to their own needs and appreciation of the concept of oneness in nationhood.

We need more of these not just in the Kikuyu community, but in all communities.

When I read Wambugu’s piece, I felt as though I was hitch-hiking on the highway and he came along and we are all along for the ride to the promised land of a tribalism free nation.

I’ll urge you and other progressives to join as well.

Third, you say that “I am hesitant to be associated with such groups because they criminalize members of the respective communities by creating the false impression that all Kalenjins participated and benefited from the looting of public resources for their individual good so that a few of them must isolate themselves, brand themselves as Kalenjins for Change to gain acceptance among the rest of the Kenyan people.”

As I have said and it’s clear from above, no one is talking about criminalizing anyone, let alone any community.

And neither is anyone advocating for people to isolate themselves from their respective communities by merely branding themselves as individuals for change to gain acceptance from the rest of the Kenyan people.

We are not even talking about who has benefited from what, as clearly you will find Kikuyus living in abject poverty in Central and elsewhere, just as much as you will find Kalenjin’s living in abject poverty in RV and elsewhere, despite the fact these are the two communities from among where all of our presidents in our country’s history have come from.

Is there a disproportionate per capita wealth accumulation from among members of these two communities owing to the fact that all of our presidents have come from among them?

Of course; but that’s not the issue here.

We are not talking about pay-back time.

Rather, all we are saying, is simply let’s end tribalism as a factor in electing our future presidents and demand that the presidents we henceforth elect and national leadership is fair and just in the distribution of national resources.

Other than perhaps in cases of provable theft or illegal accumulation of wealth and such, the past must be let go.

Fourth, you say, “it is always a class thing and unless such groupings as Kikuyus for Change are made up of victims of political manipulation and the economically marginalized Kikuyus who have to contend with jigger infestation because they are too poor to afford basic sanitation and hygiene, I would advise the founders of Kikuyus for Change to rethink the philosophy of their outfit

I have completely missed the rationale for this argument therefore the best I can do is to simply ask the question, why? Why would an organization like Kikuyus for Change limit itself as such? Would that not be self-defeating as to the objective of moving our country where we are united by our shared common values and not divided by tribe?

When you say, “they must rethink it because had Dedan Kimathi not been for Change, had all the Mau Mau freedom fighters not been for Change (majority of who were Kikuyus), Kenya would not have attained independence as early as it did,” you confuse me. But Kikuyus for Change stands on the same principles as did Dedan Kimathi, except the underlying and driving force is not revenge for exploitation of the House of Mumbi but a desire to spread brotherly and sisterly love or at least unity across the nation?

When you say, “they must rethink the philosophy because my suspicion tells me that the surviving remnants of Mau Mau are not members of the so called Kikuyus for Change, yet they are the pioneers for the Change that we enjoy today,” you confuse me even more. An organization like the Kikuyus for Change stands for the proposition its time progressive Kikuyus to lead the community into the 21st century Kenya where tribalism and negative ethnicity is not a factor in how we live or elect our national leaders.

The surviving remnants of Mau Mau are therefore by definition included by virtue of being Kikuyus, in the Kikuyus for Change or whatever other group for change in the same fashion.

Finally, you say, “Why anybody would form, at this late hour in Kenya’s history of struggle, a group calling itself Luos for Change when their predecessors have immortalized change or become the change in themselves, would be the height of hypocrisy and selfishness only designed to earn oneself a special place one does not deserve.”

I agree with you for the reasons I stated first above.

I hope this moves the needle in your mind toward supporting Wambugu’s group, Kikuyus for Change, which needs all of our support.

Peace, Love and Unity

Samuel N. Omwenga, Esq.

[Unedited]

 
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Posted by on August 19, 2011 in Politics

 

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An Open Letter to H.E. Retd. President Daniel Toroitich arap Moi, C.G.H.

An Open Letter To H.E. Retd. President Daniel Toroitich Arap Moi, C.G.H.

Your Excellency:

I am absolutely sure you do not remember this, but you and I have had occasion to meet twice in our life-time, albeit mine being a fraction of yours.

The first time was in June 1982 when I was in High School.

I was walking along State House Road, having alighted from a bus at Uhuru Highway and headed to my brother’s residence nearby where I was spending the holidays that year.

As your limo cruised by me, and I squeezed myself tight to the edge of the road to avoid being run-over by your motorcade, your limo slowed down, you rolled down the window and waved at me and I confusedly waved back in disbelief that you took the time to roll down the window, smile and wave at me.

It didn’t matter how many times you had done this, namely, slowing down your limo to wave at a lone roadside walker on that road or elsewhere but, for a high school chap that only saw you on TV or read about you in the papers, having such a close encounter was thrilling enough.

My brother I was visiting and staying with that summer worked in your administration as a senior Foreign Service official and is now retired.

The next time Your Excellency and I had occasion to meet was in September 2000, in New York City, where you had come to attend the UN Millennium Summit.

Before your coming to New York, one of your handlers or one of their friends (not sure which) contacted me and asked if I could come to New York to attend a meeting of Kenyans to be addressed by you.

I initially declined the invitation for a number of reasons, including scheduling conflicts but agreed to attend the meeting after the individual insisted that I do.

On arrival in New York, I was told that the organizers of the meeting had preselected a handful of individuals, including myself to ask Your Excellency questions during the Q&A session at the meeting for Kenyans.

I told the organizers I could only agree to be used as such only if I decided what questions to ask and not to be spoon-fed what to ask but they insisted on pre-approving the question so I relented and after going through some questions, it was agreed that I ask a question about the large amount of money Kenyans in the Diaspora were remitting home and what Your Excellency intended to do to minimize corruption so that some of these money can be invested in ways that were otherwise impossible due to corruption.

Prior to the meeting getting started, those who were to speak or ask questions at the meeting were ushered to meet you in your hotel suite.

The room was so crowded with people, I could barely reach over for a handshake and when I attempted to say something, I quickly gave up because of the many ears tuned in and up-close to hear even a whisper.

It was clear your handlers did not want us to say anything they did not approve, which is always baffling: Shouldn’t our leader be required to hear the good and the bad about anything affecting our country? What are these handlers always afraid of; that our leader would be told the truth? Isn’t truth better than living in denial?

I know what I had started saying to Your Excellency was asking you whether you had seen a news piece about you in that morning’s New York Times newspaper but I couldn’t even finish asking you that question, due to the over-eager ears leaning over and near shoving atmosphere in the crowded suit so I just abandoned the idea of trying to engage you in any meaningful chat, which was never to be, given that environment.

Anyway, at the end of that brief encounter, we headed to the meeting venue, where I asked the pre-approved question and as soon as I finished posing the question, we all saw you saying something almost frantically to some minister sitting next to you (can’t remember the name) but whatever you told him, which you indicated you had asked him to look into it, in your response, nothing ever come of my question.

Other than these encounters, and perhaps in spite of the first one, I was a very strong supporter of Your Excellency in the early years of your administration and have letters of commendation to that effect from our then Ambassador to the US.

It is with this background in mind that I write to you now more than 10 years since that last meeting in New York.

I am not writing to offer a comment about you or your presidency in particular, other than to say what I have said above and will say below in order to provide context for a request I am about to ask of Your Excellency.

I am writing to you in particular, to urge Your Excellency to support the presidential aspirations of the Rt. Hon. Raila Amolo Odinga, who obviously needs no introduction to you.

I have noted this letter is not really about Your Excellency’s presidency, per se, but, to put my request in perspective, however, I must note three historical facts of relevance:

First, Raila, as he is popularly known, or just Awambo, spent a good part of his life in detention at your behest, where he was not spared the humiliation, pain and torture reserved for detainees like him.

Second, his life having surprisingly been spared, and after his release and unsuccessful presidential run in 1997, Raila surprised many and annoyed some, by deciding to join your administration as a cabinet minister.

Third, when you attempted to install the then young and inexperienced Uhuru Kenyatta as your successor, Raila became instrumental in making sure you did not succeed, which you did not and instead a candidate Raila backed and campaigned for, Mwai Kibaki, was elected as president largely due to Raila’s endorsement of him with his declaration “Kibaki Tosha,” followed by euphoria across the country with the election of a new president to succeed you.

One can therefore say, yours and Raila’s has been a peculiar personal and political relationship, to say the least,  and certainly, one can assume setting aside the 1990s, you cannot be happy with Raila and his successful efforts to defeat your Uhuru Project, let alone in his successful efforts along with President Kibaki to repel your opposition to the passage of the new Constitution.

However, everything considered, you still owe Raila and the nation, one, Your Excellency.

Some would say you owe Raila a public apology for having him detained all those years and for whatever else happened to him then.

Given your age, your stature and our history, however, I highly doubt this is even an appropriate expectation Your Excellency.

Your Excellency, can,  however, do something history will favorably record and that is, even in spite of all what has happened in the past between you and Raila, Your Excellency, you can bring everything full circle by supporting Raila for president.

I and others believe and have stated elsewhere, including in communication to President Kibaki himself that the Kikuyus and Kalenjins must lead the nation in ending  tribalism and negative ethnicity in Kenya by not voting as a bloc, in the case of the Kalenjin and by voting for someone other than “their own” and not voting as bloc, too, in the case of Kikuyus.

Your Exellency, the ugly animal of tribalism will be slain with no resurrection possible, were this to happen in 2012.

Unfortunately, Your Exellency, your former protégé, the Hon. William Ruto, is going around the Rift Valley, spreading lies about how bad Raila is for the region and that Kalenjins should not vote for him.

This is not only a malicious campaign, if successful, it would only serve to entrench tribalism, which we all must reject.

It would certainly do nothing to advance the interests of the Kelenjin people, Your Excellency, and more so the reason you should thwart these efforts.

You can thwart Ruto’s efforts by preaching the message of peace and unity for the country via the election of Raila.

There are four ways Your Exellency can offer your support for Raila:

First, as suggested above, you can simply do what you can to thwart Rutos tribalistic antics in the Rift Valley.

Second, you can actively campaign for the election of Raila.

Third, you can simply do your own version of “Raila Tosha” either by express and direct endorsement of Raila or some form of endorsement.

Fourth, if you can’t bring yourself to do any of the above, Your Excellency, then you should at least quietly offer your support for Raila or at least not publicly or privately seek to “block” Raila as the likes of Ruto have sworn to do as their sole mission in line in this electoral political circle.

Mzee, you do any of these, you can be assured Kenyans will ultimately be thankful and the gesture of good will for this purpose alone will go a long way in painting your legacy more favorably than otherwise would be the case and the simple act alone will certainly cast in a more positive light, the history as it relates to you, Raila and other political detainees.

Of course, I can only urge you do so.

The ultimate decision is yours.

But I am confident the president I saw slow down, roll down the window and wave with a smile at this young chap walking along State House Road more than 29 years ago, surely would have the compassion and enough temerity to honor the request.

It is my prayer that you do so and that whatever decision you reach, if you do, it is the right decision for the good of the country for I am sure you’ll agree our country should and must come first.

Sincerely,

/s

Samuel N. Omwenga, Esq.

 
7 Comments

Posted by on August 15, 2011 in Politics

 

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The Kikuyu Must Lead In Ending Tribalism In Kenya, Followed by the Kalenjin and then the Rest of the Country

I have just returned to the US from my most recent trip to Kenya and even though I frequently visit home, I must say it’s always quite refreshing just being home and each time I visit, there is something new I discover, or observe—and  this trip was no different.

I will find time to more fully share my thoughts about what my other observations were on this particular trip but the one that I feel compelled to write about now, relates to my observation or information I was able to learn regarding the vastly changing attitudes and political maturity among our Kikuyu brothers and sisters from Nyandarua, Nyeri, Kirinyaga, Muranga and Kiambu counties or just for convenience, let me refer to the whole group by its old name, Central Province.

Having extensively written on the issue of ending tribalism in Kenya, I must confess even as I write about the subject, I am often resigned in the background this is just but a dream wish for some progressives like myself because the reality of it is, old habits die hard.

Thus, even when I suggest as I have in the past that, if I were a Kikuyu, I would start an organization I have variously described as Kikuyu’s Against Another Kikuyu President –or something to that effect—something in the back of my mind keeps telling me this is simply a utopian dream.

I could be wrong and would obviously be glad to be so.

I have hastened to add that I hold that view—of not another Kikukuyu president; at least not this round or next, anyway—not because I have anything against Kikuyu’s—I don’t—but I do hold this view for the same reasons other progressive Kikuyus hold the same view, and that is, it is just neither fair nor just for an ethnically diverse and vast country such as Kenya to have two of its three presidents since its independence, hailing from the same tribe.

It’s the Clinton Fatigue, if you will, that many believe denied Hilary her official date with destiny at the White House; ditto for the Bush Fatigue whereby Jeb Bush who, better than his brother he might be, or even better than his father for that matter he could be, the United States of America simply can’t take another Bush at the White House; not any time soon, anyway.

And that includes anyone who may not be related but has the same name—just not another BUSH!

Same concept for Kenya—okay, Kenya goes more in that not just another Kenyatta (sorry UK) but not another Kikuyu either.

As noted above, not a shred of tribalism in many of us who say so;  just a fact of life, if we are to be intellectually honest about these things.

All of us as Kenyans were happy to have and accepted Mzee Jomo Kenyatta as our first president and we lived with the fact that he was to be our president to the day he drew his last breath, which was fine; the man, after all, was very instrumental in our country’s gaining independence.

For purposes of this blog, I am not interested and neither am I evaluating the merits or demerits of Kenyatta’s rule.

That’ll be for another day

Kenyatta was, of course, succeeded by Daniel Toroitich Arap Moi.

Again, I am not interested and neither am I offering any evaluation of these two as our first and second president.

My point is, in 2002, having been fed up with the Moi rule, Kenyans in a euphoria never seen before, showed Moi and his pet project Uhuru the door and ushered in the Kibaki era.

Any informed political observer could not but recognize that, just like his father Jaramogi made the Kenyatta presidency possible, Raila, the son, made the Kibaki presidency possible by his “Kibaki Tosha” declaration.

In other words, Jaramogi assessed what was best for the country, and concluded it was best to put his own political ambitions on the side and make it possible for his friend Kenyatta to become president for the good of the country.

Fast forward to 2002, Jaramogi’s son, Raila, was faced with essentially the same decision, albeit under different circumstances, namely to do that which was politically expedient for him personally, or to do what was right for the country and just like his father before him, Raila chose to back Kibaki with his “Kibaki tosha” declaration, which made it possible for Kibaki, to be elected president.

These were not insignificant acts by either men from the Lake region.

On their own, conducting themselves in their respective times with such unparalleled political judgment and vision, except son mirroring father, coupled with their unmatched sense of self-confidence and sound decision making in the face of the most difficult of times, except as son mirroring father in this only such known example, these are qualities that have already enshrined the names Jaramogi Oginga Odinga and and Raila Amolo Odinga in the annals of Kenyan political history.

But the last chapter has yet to be written about this unique power making ability of father and son that is certain not to be seen again in our country, or elsewhere for that matter.

What reward does either of these men deserve for stepping in at the right time in our country’s critical points and acting unselfishly to save a nation of uncertainty but ensuring her of certainty as to new leadership of its people when doing otherwise would have perpetuated an undesirable status quo much to more suffering of the country?

Jaramogi was briefly rewarded with vice-presidency, only to have it taken away and he sent on permanent political exile.

I do always find it very poignant about Kenyatta, however, when he declared in Kisumu that, but for his friendship with Jaramogi, he would have had him arrested that day.

That alone is all anyone needs to study and understand about Kenyatta, Kenya and our politics, vastly changing as it is today: but for friendship…

What about Raila? What was his reward for “Kibaki tosha?”

What about the friendship between the two, born from that period of campaigning when a wheelchair bound Kibaki could not much campaign but his friend did so for him?

Was this friendship for naught as many feared following the elections of 2007?

Is it still for naught even long after the signing of the peace accord in Kenya?

Again, this is an analysis for another day but those of you who follow my writing, you’ll know I have previously and on more than one occasion suggested in open communication to Kibaki that, what a sweet irony it would be, for him to hand over power to Raila, the man who made him president to begin with, and the man who believes he stole the presidency from him in the second place.

Now, that’s a toast everyone would have to agree will be the mother of all toasts for our country not just because of the irony in it all but it shall be an essential and necessary point of closure as well.

I say essential and necessary point of closure as well because I believe closure must occur to complete this historic saga between the two men from the Lake region and the two men from Central, respectfully.

It’ll also mark the end of tribalism as we know it for other tribes will and must follow suit, especially given the likely healing to take place with Raila’s presidency.

It will be, of course, purely a matter of great intrigue were UK to wake up one of these mornings and head up to Raila’s residence and ask RAO to make him Vice President, thus, the son of our First President seeks Vice President from the son or our First Vice President who never saw the inside of State House as president thanks to the father of the son who now seeks the VP spot from the son who likely will occupy the office his father was unable to occupy as all roads to it were blocked by the son’s father whose own road to the State House appears to be all but blocked.

Purely a matter of great intrigue but I am afraid the time of it has come and gone.

In other words, there would have been a time this could have been possible, intriguing or otherwise.

That time has been overtaken by events.

The dynamics in Central are changing so fast, even a scenario where UK were to be VP Candidate will be quickly rejected by the good people of Central, telling Raila he could do better and he must.

But not without help from the good people of Central.

I think they hold the key to majorly dealing with tribalism in Kenya.

It’s their right of first refusal, and I truly hope and believe they take up the opportunity and just deliver.

Otherwise, by failing to do so, does not and will not mean we cannot end or deal a major blow to tribalism come 2012: we shall and we must I just wish our brothers and sisters take heed and provide the leadership.

They have risen to the occasion in the founding of our nation but that was only half the battle.

The major battle lies ahead in combating the trio vices of tribalism, corruption and impunity.

We are well underway in dealing with the other two, but tribalism looms large and must be confronted from all directions.

Asking the Agikuyu to lead in this war (to end tribalism), should and is intended to honor them and their contribution in our country’s history.

No one and certainly not I wishes to render any of them irrelevant or less important as we move forward with a new Kenya.

By historical nature and other considerations, the Kikuyu shall and will always be an integral part of the Kenyan social-economic and political fabric.

What I am urging, is a recognition of this and looking beyond 2012 and for our brothers and sisters to decide now and presently how best to proceed together towards these idealistic goals we must attain as a nation.

How Kikuyus vote in 2012 will reveal quite a bit about how the community sees its role in the vastly changing and new Kenya: vote as a block for one of their own and remain stuck in the past or move in the direction of new Kenya by spreading their vote around as they ought to, even on a limited and constrained manner.

As I always say, if there is tomorrow, there is hope.

I have been thinking about the Kikuyu factor last several days and putting aside those who belong to two voting  blocks at the national level, which I believe will shape and even decide the politics of 2012 and that is the Youth and Women voters blocks, there are three voting blocks in Central that I can see as follows:

  1. The Progressives Group A. This group is relatively young, intelligent and sophisticated enough not to be swayed by cheap politics. You’ll insult this group, if you try to get their vote by telling them you are so or by flashing your ill-gained wealth. To get this group’s vote, you’ll have to tell them precisely why you are running for president, what you intend to do and what difference will that make to the country, let alone their own bottom lines. This group is very quiet and merely observing the noise makers but in the end, will cast their vote or not at all, depending whether they are impressed by any of the candidates. They are willing to accept, and in fact would prefer a non-Kikuyu president so long as that person makes the case and persuades them they deserve their vote. This group will be the swing vote in Central just as their counterparts will be in other regions of the country.
  2. The Progressives Group B. This group is relatively older, and in some cases very old. They are intelligent and sophisticated as well, if less than their Progressive Group A counterpart. They are old school in every respect: conservative and old fashioned, that is. They will not vote for a woman for president so any aspiring woman for president may as well not waste much time with them. Ditto for every presidential candidate. They know precisely who they are going to vote for but would not admit publicly. Having value and political capital associated with their names, and especially having been around for so long, their value is in quietly rooting for their victor. Any candidate will get mileage merely by being publicly seen with them but that in by itself shall remain a rarity until perhaps very close to elections day. Their word is bankable and so are bills in their overstocked wallets. They are a swing vote but for a different purpose: they will determine how far tribalism is to be tackled in Central Province than any single group. Unlike they younger counterparts in progressive thinking, they are not all that gang-ho about voting for anyone outside of central. The goal is not to have them say not in which case it’ll be a definitely road to nowhere by the recipient of such a curse from any one of them, which in essence is a collective force for they think alike, drink tea alike and influence votes alike.
  3. The Village Kings. They are old with very little formal education but they can write a thesis on Central politics. They are to Central what Central is to the rest of the country. A force to reckon. They are not likely; in fact, they will not vote for anyone outside their own backyard or frontyard, if at all. They have never been happy with any president, including Kenyatta himself but he stands and will always stand tall than any you can dare compare him to; from near or afar. Theirs, is a question of loyalty to the House of Mumbi . Nothing more nothing less. To vary their thinking to the point they can vote someone outside Central, will take something of a small miracle. In fact, it’ll take a fairly large miracle of the kind not seen lately within our borders. Any presidential candidate is advised not to waste their time seeking votes from among this group. Only bet is to work with the Progressives Groups A or B in the hopes they can persuade a handful of them to cast their vote for them, and even then, merely as a token of appreciation for the effort and nothing more. In a tight race to the top, that handful may be the ones just necessary to get over the top and thus the advice never to give up hope, even on a tough group like this one. Indeed, one might even be surprised and find a bit more than a handful of votes from any of their counties. Every vote counts. This is what this expression is meant to describe.

For those who follow my writing, I have repeatedly made the case of all the presidential candidates, only Raila appears to be the one to beat and I can now categorically state contrary to the mistaken belief by many, by saying Raila is the man to beat does not mean Raila will be beaten by another man (or woman in that matter) rather, he will be beaten by the only force than can stop him and that is, tribalism or more specifically, what Kikuyu’s decide to do about it.

If Kikuyu’s were to look back at history, the choice for president for them come 2012 must be Raila, even if their own son is on the ballot.

This is because, as I have noted above, it’s neither fair nor just to deny others a chance at the presidency simply because your own is running.

Rather, there has to be a shift in paradigm on tribalism, which ought to and must begin in 2012.

Jaramogi was not looking at Kenyatta as a Kikuyu in deciding not to throw him under the bus and assuming the presidency himself.

Neither was Raila looking at Kibaki as a Kikuyu in deciding not to throw him under the bus and either heading to the State House himself, or throwing his weight behind someone else who would have been equally elected as Kibaki was in 2002.

Both men from the Lake region obviously knew the two individuals they supported in their respective times, were Kikukuyu men but that was not the deciding factor in their choosing to do what they did: they both looked at the men in their respective times and concluded each was fit and, indeed, the best person to take the helm of power in Kenya as president at the critical times in our history when, by their unselfish and nationalistic move, each declared their man tosha and the rest is history:

Jaramogi, in his mind, said “Kenyatta tosha” and that was enough to usher in the Kenyatta era.

Raila said “Kibaki tosha” and that was enough to usher in the Kibaki era.

Kenyatta is not around and neither is Jaramogi but I am willing to bet, had you asked Kenyatta, he would have preferred that Jaramogi succeed him as president and this I say notwithstanding the bitter ending of their once very warm relationship.

I am equally willing to bet Kibaki in his warm heart wishes Raila succeeds him as president, again notwithstanding the bitter rivalry between the two, especially leading up to the elections of 2007 and the aftermath.

This can be only a natural thing to do, unless one is not prone to natural tendencies.

All Kibaki has to do, is to call a rally anywhere in Central and simply say, Raila tosha.

He, of course, would have to say that in Kikuyu and that’s not being tribal; there is nothing wrong in expressing ourselves in a language that needs no translation in meaning, if it’s for good, not evil purpose.

Kibaki so declaring will accomplish several things:

First, it would show that Kibaki himself is not afraid to say to the country, “we need a break from another Kikuyu president.”

Second, this would reaffirm what most Kenyans being surveyed are saying to date and that is, among those who have declared their interest in the presidency, Raila really is the man so saying Raila tosha in this sense will replicate the history of 2002 and the euphoria that followed.

We need a good doze of that this time around and who better is positioned to deliver this than Kibaki himself.

Third, this would publicly remove the myth that exists out there that Kikuyus from Central will never vote for anyone from outside their region.

My sense of it, this is no longer the case but who can better eviscerate this myth than Kibaki himself.

Fourth, such a declaration will put an end to the permanent campaigns that are taking place even before MPs pass legislation implementing the Constitution under which the new elections must be held, which in turn will focus the energy now being expended in search of tribal groupings, to something more productive, if any.

Fifth, such a declaration shall put to rest this notion that Kibaki is not decisive.

I have said several times in the past that Kibaki is one decisive president we have heard, he just gets bad rap on this aspect of his presidency.

Kibaki has played his cards well as to the succession politics and I have no doubt he is busy doing things to both rehabilitate and solidify his legacy.

A declaration of Raila tosha in Central surely must and ought to feature somewhere in his bag of tricks and if not, he should seriously consider it.

I am willing to bet of my 3 groups I analyze above, one will be fully in support of such bold, objective and decisive move by Kibaki. One may be lukewarm and the other one would absolutely condemn the move.

Indeed, the challenge for Kibaki is how willing is he to dare the most adamantly opposed to the idea that he is his own man and can call the shots in full recognition of his responsibility as both president of the Republic of Kenya and the son of the House of Mumbi.

No one stands above him and neither can there be anyone who can dare question his wisdom, if he were to dare to do so.

Yes, they’ll call him names. Yes. They’ll curse him out.

But in the end, he will stand tall and fade into the glory of our country’s history as a shining example of true leadership beyond any we have witnessed in the country.

He will surpass both of his predecessors by far by just that one action to end the vile disease of tribalism.

His role in the passage of the new Constitution will be simply his other major accomplishment.

2007 will pale in comparison.

This is a dare.

Going by what I saw in a number of events in Kenya last week, including some I personally attended in Thika and Kandara, Kibaki’s message of Raila tosha will be very well received because my sense is, the people of Central are ready for such bold moves and declarations from the leaders from the region.

Raila can deliver the message and I am sure it’ll continue to be favorably received, with the help of his other supporters from the area but would it not be such a fresh day in Kenya consistent with the new spirit of a new Kenya if Kibaki were to make such a declaration, and not even stop there—CAMPAIGN for RAILA to succeed him as president!

Why not; what should he be afraid of? As FDR famously said, fear nothing but fear itself!

Yes, it’ll be earth moving stuff akin to earthquakes and tsunamis but Kenya needs nothing less to do deliver a major, if not a fetal blow to the debilitating disease of tribalism.

Okay, Kibaki need not say exactly “Raila tosha” in those exact words or even in Kikuyu; he merely needs to give a very strong signal to the people of Central—and all Kenyans for that matter, that we must henceforth judge and vote for our leaders, especially at the presidential level, not based on what ethnicity or tribe they hail from, rather, by their proven qualities of leadership and on this account alone, I have no doubt Kibaki will be comfortable and confident to say, Raila tosha.

Let’s hope he does so.

[Unedited]

 
4 Comments

Posted by on July 20, 2011 in Politics

 

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My Response to A Kikuyu’s Concerns About Raila Messaging And Responses to Internet Attacks

A Kikuyu commentator offered his observations to a new subscriber to a Kenyan forum in which I am also a member and frequent contributor. The new subscriber, a Kalenjin—by name,  anyway,  expressed the view, even though new to the forum, he had concluded within the short time he was there that the forum was only for Luos; in fact, that was the title of his topic he posted by way of introduction, which was quite an introduction alright.

The first response to this post was from a non-Luo member, who expressed shock and that he thought he had seen it all, only to find people like this subscriber expressing such views but nonetheless, told him the forum is not dominated by any tribe.

I, too, chipped in, advising the subscriber and, I quote,

“Cherutich’s assertion is not a wonder at all but it’s comically nonsensical because, even if you were to assume [forum] is all Luo, what [the new subscriber] should do–having been accepted to join as a non-Luo, as he obviously has been, he should take the opportunity and educate and inform those Luos who accepted him, the virtues of having a tribal free Kenyan society and the value of having accepting non-Luos, rather than suggesting that they perpetuate the problem of tribalism by merely changing the name of the organization, the latter which makes as much sense as his assertion we can all do without.

Adding, “A number of Kenyans are quick to find problems even where none exists or point out those everyone knows but offer no solutions to same, or refuse to accept solutions offered, if it’s not in their narrow and shallow minded interests to do so.”

Another contributor, a Kikuyu, also chipped in, raising a number of issues, many of which go to the core of what’s at stake in the next elections, which I addressed in my response as follows:

Let me use Nd. N’s earlier post to give my sense on what this forum is about and perhaps with that, you can assess how to contribute, if at all. I have not been in this forum that long, so my response is based on what I have observed thus far and general experience with fora discourse over a number of years, going back almost 20 years.

N says, “You should always remember that in this forum you need to support one individual only.”

My observation has been, people here either support Raila or they don’t. Those who don’t support Raila either have no candidate they support as an alternative or, if they do, they have done a very good job in keeping it a secret. If you push them as to who they support, they will reluctantly but almost convincingly lie in your face that they are still assessing the candidates and that they make up their minds at some indeterminable future date.

The fact is, my friend, very few people in these fora have not made up their minds about who they will vote for in 2012 but none of those include anyone on the record here and elsewhere telling us how much they hate Raila or why Raila should not be elected president.

Nope; not one, and if someone convinces you otherwise, then it will be our pleasure to tell you, when you ultimately find out the truth as you must, that we told you so.

The name of Prof. Kiyiapi has come up here and there as a potential presidential contender but in my view, he still remains an unknown product. If you know anything about him, please share, good or bad.

That’s what these fora are or should be all about. You can make your maiden speech by analyzing whether or not he bears or should bear any responsibility for the Ksh 4.2billion stolen in the Ministry in which he is a Permanent Secretary.

Ruto is also featured in discussions here, but mostly relative to his scandals and ICC. Even those from the Rift Valley who contribute here hardly ever tell you why Ruto will be a better president than Raila. What they will tell you over and over until you get tired and more, is the palpably false claim that Raila screwed Rift Valley after he became prime minister and that therefore Ruto should be elected president.

They will not tell you that prominent leaders from the Rift Valley, including Sally Kosgei and Henry Kosgey, who previously decamped from the Raila train in a dalliance with Ruto, largely on the basis of these same false claims, have seen the truth and are now back now with Raila.

Instead, they will tell you how these leaders are uncouth, unreliable, evil and all other bad things they were not, when they decamped from the Raila train and appeared to support Ruto.

That’s called politics. If you are not used to double speak when people say one thing, only to say the exact opposite when it’s no longer in their interest hold the initial position for which they favorably spoke of, then be prepared to get a good doze of it here.

Contradictions, distortions, embellishments, loose talk and other similar favorites of propagandists of an unpopular  cause are a staple among the anti-Raila class here.

N says, “And truly you shall be at peace and indeed a hero [for supporting Raila].”

I hope you are at peace with yourself and with our country as you embark in this discourse.

I know there is still a lot of hurt feelings and suffering in Kenya.

It is my true hope and prayer we can all live in peace and with love or at least respect for one another.

That’s why I sign of the way I do in all my blogs and postings: Peace, Love and Unity.

Having said that, I can tell you, if you are not at peace with yourself and our country, you are not likely to find it here. That requires a more specialized group, one perhaps with professionals trained in the art of psychological counseling.

I know there is at least one or more here but I doubt such counseling will be appropriate here, other than in the sense we can all learn to communicate with each other, bearing in mind the suffering and hurt feelings in others we may not be aware but can imagine, given the history of our country.

If you are only going to find peace here simply by supporting Raila as N suggests, then it’s not peace you are in search of because, by supporting Raila, you are by definition at peace.

Only among those who don’t support Raila can one find those not at peace, for one reason or another and if you are one of them, then N may be on to something in his counsel about finding peace here, albeit not what I think he had in mind, because, if you come here, filled with hate for Raila, engage in the discourse and have a change of heart and start supporting him, then you will certainly at peace.

N says, “You will find postings that will call you wise and critical thinker and not forgetting you will be called progressive [if in support of Raila]. My observation is, if you are not wise or a critical thinker by now, you’ll likely not make your debut as one by supporting Raila here or elsewhere.

I have seen children as young as five years old who are critical thinkers, wisdom coming only with age, so let not how people judge you be a concern but, as all of us in this fora, there is something we can learn or add to make us better thinkers and ultimately men and women of wisdom.

Thus, whether you are judged wise or a critical thinker is totally irrelevant here.

Ditto for being called “progressive.”

Just say your piece and hope its useful in the discourse.

Now, if you misspell words, or misplace or omit commas, or otherwise commit other grammatical errors, you’ll likely be called out by the English Police but, please, let not that deter you from posting whatever you wish to say.

It’s not a judgment about your prowess in English for people know and accept the reality people have no time editing their work or they make simply mistakes—that’s why pencils have erasers.

N says, “I thought too that I am in a forum where the most educated are and opportunity to think beyond a tribal box is quite obvious.” My observation is, we have our work cut-out in ending this malady of tribalism. Some of us, for sure, have never been tribalists all of our lives, so it’s easy to for us to say this is an easy problem to fix.

Experience and reality shows otherwise, especially given the history of our nation. Just when you think we have made a step forward (2002 elections), we make a giant step backwards (2007 elections).

The other day, someone I previously assumed was not a Raila hater shocked me he is a tribalist, which is pretty much the same thing.

Needless to say, tribalism is a curable disease we must make great advances in resolving this election circle, or we are doomed to fail again as a nation. I, too, like N, have the faith, if we are to make a major progress in ending tribalism, it surely must start with our generation and even right here in these fora.

It saddens me greatly to see deep seated tribal and ethnic sentiments expressed here and on the ground but there is hope.

I recently posted elsewhere on my blog that, after heeding to my own advice to others to forgive, even when the offenders have not asked for forgiveness, I decided to forgive Kalonzo Musyoka, the only person I previously could not say I loved, thus my statement variously, “I love all Kenyans except Kalonzo” for I believed and still believe he was the most culpable in almost sinking our country into a civil war post- election 2007.

Having forgiven him, I can proudly now say I love ALL Kenyans!

That does not mean I’ll be voting for Kalonzo for president anytime in the future; far from it and the fact he still thinks he can be elected president after what he did in 2008, is more so the reason I am not here worried that he will be.

My previous statement that, if for some reason he is elected president, I’ll move to a neighboring country until I recover from the shock, still remains notwithstanding my having forgiven him.

N says, “I thought this is forum where debating is welcome and intellectual views are observed as political lab to crystalize healthy political processes of our country.” My observation is, this forum actually presents this very opportunity for all so, don’t hold back any intellectual views or new ideas you might have to contribute.

He also says, “I am in assumption that any Kenyan with ability to think analytically is welcome without being victimized on his view.” This is an interesting observation because an incisive analysis of someone’s views may be viewed as a “victimization” of the originator of the offending views.

My suggestion is, again, just post what you believe in without regard to how others judge it; if you get abused or “victimized,” you can find solace in the fact that truth lies where it lies regardless of what your abuser or “victimizer” says and the reader or recipient is often the better judge of that.

Going further on this, N ponders, “Doesn’t this tell us what would happen if the same people would be given positions in the government by their political god – fathers.” N assumes those who contribute here do so with an eye to serving in the government.

While that may be the case for some, I am sure there are others whose contribution are based solely on their love for, and desire to do their part in making Kenya a better country.

Even taking the position of those who contribute with a view to serve in government, it is, of course, the case that a true leader takes a position and is defined by it regardless of where the chips fall but only ceases to be so, if on account of being opportunistic, they become that what they are otherwise not for the sake of assuming leadership positions in government.

I’ll be more comfortable with the former rather than the latter.

N says, “When you come here support Raila and call Kikuyu dogs and thieves you will receive roses.”

Several things about this assertion: First, supporting Raila is not synonymous with calling Kikuyus dogs and thieves, so it’s unfair and wrong to collapse the two separate issues together.

Second, it’s wrong and unacceptable for anyone to call all Kikuyus “dogs and thieves” or any other derogatory term or terms just as it’s wrong and unacceptable to characterize an entire tribe or community as being any derogatory term of choice.

We really need to understand and agree to rise above this, no matter what temptation there is not to.

Third, it’s quite alright to call a Kikuyu a thief, if he is, in fact, a thief, just as it’s okay to call a Kisii, a thief, if he is, in fact, a thief.

It’s never right to adjudge an entire community as thieves, just because a disproportionate number of thieves come from their community; guilty by tribal association or affiliation, is something that must be done away with totally, if we are to heal as a country.

I say this fully aware there are many a thief walking around free, having either bribed their way out of being charged for clear theft or, after bribing their way out of a conviction upon being charged.

These, we are yet to deal with as a country as part of the campaign against impunity and future practitioners of this vice are on notice.

In sum, condemnation of all Kikuyus as thieves is wrong and unacceptable and anyone engaged in that kind of name calling or similar group condemnations runs the risk of serious consequences under NCIC.

Calling people dogs is, of course, despicable regardless of tribe or ethnicity.

For more about this issue, please read my blog Tribalism, Like All Bad Learned Habits Can Be Unlearned.

N says, “Call to assassinate the Kenya President and you are going to be called a great planner.”

This is of course, not true; you make such a call you are headed to prison and only an idiot will call such a person a “great planner.”

I don’t think there are idiots here, even though you can’t tell sometimes by some of the postings but even those, you give the benefit of doubt and say there is not an idiot here; we all should know better than make such palpably treasonous statements.

Ditto for N saying, “Come with an idea on how all Kikuyu can be exterminated you will be the wisest.” and his saying, “Some have come out here with such ideas and they have been heralded.”

If this has been said here, it must have been before I subscribed, or I simply never saw it.

Again, needless to say, this is wholly wrong and borders on what NCIC will be very interested to pursue and rightly so.

I have my doubts this kind of language has been used here but I assume Nd. N you are trying to make the point there are people who wish ill of the president. This, I assume there are, especially given what happened in the aftermath of the last elections and even other things that have happened since.

My own take on it is, Kibaki has done a good job in redeeming his legacy and have said as much in my Wishing HE President Kibaki Well As He Prepares To Retire blog.

The rest of N’s post was not directed to the subscriber, so I addressed them to him directly:

You say, “Simply be biased to Kikuyu and some Kalenjins, some like Ruto, Kisii and you will have a new name. Some of us are used to such kind of limited and limiting exploration of political views that each scholar or any intelligent Kenyan should have.” I did not get the point here, so I’ll leave it at that.

You say, “Luo, Kisii, Kikuyu, Maasai or Akamba is a Kenyan and is my brother or sister.”

Great! This the least we need from all of us: treat each other as brothers and sisters and I am sure we can all do it, if only we can gather the courage to do so but it shouldn’t take that much.

You say, “But  switching political vice to oppose any due to his or her ethnic origin is just very unpatriotic and indeed ingriendient for another blood shed in Kenya.

I have addressed this above, except I would simply add let’s please not talk about another bloodshed in Kenya. I understand what you are trying to say, but I would put the message differently if only because a person prone to violence is never afraid of violence, so telling him or her to change his or her way, lest you go to war with him or her might actually encourage him or her to brace for the fight.

You say, “One tribe being angels while others are devils, what a confusing way to be direct kenyans? Kenya cannot be a united country until and unless all Kenyans learn to accept the basic altruism we are are all equal before the eyes of our Creator and we please Him by treating each other as we would have others treat us.
You say, “On the same token i still support another ethnic to gain presidency by the fact that there has been presidents coming from central twice.” This is a noble statement from you and one can only hope more of this can be heard and adhered to from our brothers and sisters in Central.

Indeed, I floated an idea with one of my Kikuyu friends and also elsewhere on my blog that, if I were Kikuyu, I would start an an organization or campaign I called something like Kikuyus Against Another Kikuyu President for Kenya or something to that effect, at least for another circle or two and say this not as a tribalist but as a pragmatist.

Your statement vindicates this position and I just wish more people from Central province would be kind enough as to listen to the message it sends regarding what it’ll take to break away from that which has divided us and that’s entrenched tribalism.

You say, “They had not learned that when you are in his fora, you shall not citizen Raila he is holy and absolute.”

I assume you mean “criticize” Raila?

As one who defends Raila from vicious attacks on this and other fora, I can assure you I never have and never will stand for the proposition that Raila should not be criticized; in fact, the opposite is true in that I am all for people criticizing Raila all they can as long as the criticism is based on issues and policy, no personal attacks, misinformation, lies, distortion and innuendo, which have no place in political discourse or execution.

As one of Raila’s defenders on these fora, I would also be the first one to tell you he is neither holy nor absolute, whatever you mean by that.

The fact is, as we are reminded in the book of Romans 3:23, “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” and that includes you, me, Raila and everyone else.

Or to put it a different way, no one is perfect; not you; not I, not Raila and not anyone else and neither has Raila presented himself as holier than though.

So, let’s leave perfection and holiness out of this debate and instead answer the following questions:

Raila is relatively cleaner than all those others vying for the presidency, is he not?

He has personally sacrificed for the reforms we are finally starting to experience and need more than everyone running for president, has he not?

He is more compassionate and caring about Kenyans than all those vying for the presidency, is he not?

He stands a better chance to unite the country than those vying for the presidency, does he not?

He has the skills and goodwill necessary to lead our country to a better future than all those vying for president, does he not?

All these qualities and others make Raila as close to the perfect candidate for, and therefore best president we’ll have, if he’s elected than all those running for president, do they not?

Objective and sincere answers to all of these questions can only but provide uniform answers in the affirmative and this is what keeps a lot of people sleepless at night trying to conjure and connive ways to “stop” Raila from ascending to the presidency, other than facing and answering these critical and determinative questions, which hardly any can be answered in their favor.

Their victory will be a loss for the country; their defeat will be victory for Kenya, our beloved country.

You say, “When Raila and his team seeming threatened by the Kalejins who had strongly participated in the political and civil-saga of 2007 led by Ruto,  Raila betrayed his relationship and surrounded himself with his tribal team fencing everyone else out.”

I am not sure I understand what you mean by Raila “seeming threatened” or by “strongly participated in the political and civil-saga of 2007” but if by “seeming threatened” you are referring to Ruto’s decision to pursue selfish interests outside of ODM, then the news for you that, in the end, may be a blessing in disguise for the country for if Raila wins despite Ruto’s desperate efforts for a short-cut to power through the old politics of division and rule based on tribalism, the last if not final nail coffin would be hammered into the coffin burying this evil malady.

If by “the Kalejins who had strongly participated in the political and civil-saga of 2007 led by Ruto” you mean PEV and Ruto’s participation in it or lack thereof, the jury is out and the verdict is not in yet, is it?

As to “Raila betrayed his relationship and surrounded himself with his tribal team fencing everyone else out” your statement is so vague as to what you are trying to say, I shouldn’t even bother to respond to it suffice to say, the quality and nature of people any leader surrounds himself with is part and parcel a measure of his overall leadership ability so if your concern is that Raila “surrounded himself with his tribal team” after Ruto embarked on his shenanigans, then even if one were to assume your faulty premise, that cannot be a “betrayal” of any relationship; you do not betray a relationship of one who has left you already; rather, the one who has left you, is the only one who can be said to have betrayed you.

Ruto left Raila and ODM and despite numerous calls for him to return, he has remained stubbornly adamant he is not returning.

Let’s wait and see how brilliant (or dumb) his call is, shall we?

You say, “Ruto did the dirt work Raila got the cream Ruto got hague.”

You are either ignorant of the facts or you have chosen to ignore them as to Ruto and ICC.

Raila did not have Ruto charged and sent to the Hague.

That’s the fact and it will remain so among sound minds and reasonable people not matter how many times you and others continue to perpetuate this lie planted by Ruto that Raila is responsible for his travails with ICC, in efforts to sully Raila’s name in Rift Valley.

This is the kind of truth the expression upende usipende is intended to highlight.

The ICC issue and Ruto is one I have extensively analyzed and if you have not followed the facts and the case, please read my 6-part blog Who Is William Ruto,  or as much of it as you can and you’ll have a good, objective understanding of the issue, including my conclusion, after a thorough legal analysis, that Ruto will not be convicted by the ICC.

You say, “Yet, you shall not criticize Raila here.

I have already addressed this above but let me repeat, anyone is free to criticize Raila as long as that criticism is based on policy and issues but not personal attacks and lies.

You say, “Any leader needs to be analyzed and so that we can have finally a leader whose goals are national not replicatingwhat we seen before since independent.”

I agree with you but qualify to say, not replicate bad things we have seen since Independence.

There are plenty of good things we have seen since Independence that we ought to emulate; there is no need to reinvent the wheel.

You say, “I am sorry, not me I am not a parrot I will stand on what I believe is right for our country.”

Speaking for myself as a blogger, I need not defend against the charge of being a parrot on this for a or anywhere else; that’s a judgment people have to make upon analysis of what others write.

As a reader of other blogs, the only parrots who ceaselessly parrot here and elsewhere are those who rant and rail against Raila day in and day out, singly and sometimes in concert, usually repeating the same lies and distortions planted by Ruto and Co that have long since been exposed and discredited.

These guys have, in fact, parroted themselves to a point of comedy and I am sure we have not heard the last of their rantings and ravings until the polls close on election day, at which point they must take leave and reunite with reality.

Peace, Love and Unity.

Samuel N. Omwenga, Esq.

[Unedited]

 
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Posted by on June 27, 2011 in Politics

 

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