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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

First Response:

Nd. X

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

End

Second Response, same individual in another post:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Peace, Love and Unity

Omwenga

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Posted by on September 13, 2011 in Politics

 

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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

 
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Posted by on August 29, 2011 in Politics

 

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My Response to A Comment Regarding My Response to A Virulent Luo Raila Distractor

The following is my response to the comment to my blog on the right titled “My Response to A Virulent Luo Raila Distractor.” The actual comment is at the end of that bog.

My response to the individual who has been ranting against Raila has nothing to do with whether or not Raila won in 07 so my being right or wrong as to whether he won is not relevant and so therefore your conclusion that my arguments are either justified or fallacious based on this false premise, i.e., that they had anything to do with 07 elections, is misplaced.

I agree with you that to be a viable party, especially as we wish to move our country forward with the new Constitution, a party that seeks the presidency must be national in character and composition. I will disagree with you, however, that Raila’s only allies now are Luos; that’s just not true and I’ll leave it at that.

As for Rafael Tuju, I have known him since long before he went to parliament and can even say we were friends. RT’s mistake was not failure to pay allegiance to Raila but his failure to recognize that Raila is here to stay no matter the storm.

Regarding Raila’s leadership, I am not the one calling him a leader; his character, his deeds, his story and what he has done for the country speaks to this issue and that is why he leads in the polls as compared to those seeking the presidency. As an employer, you give me the resumes of the top 5 presidential candidates in Kenya and ask me who would I hire without even an interview for the job, I’ll tell you Raila without any reservations. All other employers will do the same thing.

This is just fact and sometimes facts are hard to accept but try.

Polls are tricky business. I amuse myself all the time with them. When they show your candidate winning, they are authoritative and a strong prediction as to what is to happen at the actual poll. When they show your candidate loosing, they are unreliable, a sham, a popularity contest, the property of the candidate they show winning; everything except what they are if scientifically done and that is, accurate predictors within a 3-5% margin of error of the eventual results. So, I understand your dismissal of the fact Raila is leading the pack by far; how would you accept that as fact if he is not your man? You cannot; it’s human nature and it is the nature of politics.

Talking about polls and 07, after returning to the US following the chaos in early January 08, we learned that the hardly known International Republican Institute (IRI) <“http://www.iri.org/”&gt; which was in Kenya as an observer during the elections, had conducted a nationwide exit poll as they do in all elections they observe. The information we had was that the exit polling data showed that Raila had won. This was now several days after Kibaki had already sworn himself as president or at least his people had so sworn him. Knowing this, we secured an appointment attended by myself, a current minister and two other individuals. Our goal was to have IRI publicly release this critical information which would have tremendously impacted the outcome of the impasse but they declined for reasons I know but need not disclose here.

As events played out, we did all the necessary lobbying (see my letter to the then US President GW Bush elsewhere on my blog), including having Congressional hearings held on the issue, which forced the US to change its policy (of supporting Kibaki) which in turn forced Kibaki to rethink and agree to discussions that ultimately led to coalition agreement made possible with Kofi Anna’s intervention and Raila’s willingness to compromise more than Kibaki did.

The rest of it is, as they say, history.

So, my friend, let’s enjoy the ride. We are in it all together and may the best candidate win. That could be my choice, Raila, or yours you have not disclosed and if your candidate wins, I as all Kenyans will support him if he is truly committed to uniting the country, tackling all the social and economic ills and otherwise moving the country in the direction of prosperity and peace as I know Raila will.

Unless, of course, it is Kalonzo Musyoka that wins, in which case as I have repeatedly told my friends, I will seek temporary refuge in neighboring countries at least long enough for my mind, my soul, my body and my whole recovers and gets used to the idea of him being president.

Peace, Love and Unity.

 
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Posted by on April 23, 2011 in Siasa

 

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