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Is HMK (Hon Martha Karua) Being Honest In Now Saying She Cannot Work With Raila?

In my series on HMK (Hon. Martha Karua), I have been examining this Kenyan politician and her quest for the presidency.

In Way To Go HMK (Hon Martha Karua), I complimented HMK for taking the position she could not work with Uhuru but expressed her willingness and readiness to work with Raila.

More specifically, it was noted in that blog HMK said at an interview she’ll not support Uhuru because she doesn’t share in his ideology and that neither would she support him merely because he is a fellow Kikuyu

In the same breath, she said she could see her supporting Raila because “he has a lot of history on reforms” even though she lamented his office was letting him down by tainting his image.

Meanwhile, it has in recent times been rumored that HMK is on the shortlist of those Raila is considering as running mate.

It is now being reported by the Standard that HMK is vehemently denying any such development regarding working with Raila.

“I do not share any values with the Prime Minister nor do I admire his brand of politics,” declared Karua whilst urging voters to send him home, the Standard reports.

This is an intellectually dishonest statement to say the least as shall be shown below.

Note also something very interesting here and really the focus of this blog:

HMK cites lack of shared values as her reason for not working with Raila, which is precisely the same reason she cited in not working with UK.

Now, the question and gaping hole for which would bury herself with an answer were a journalist interviewing her to do his or her job would be simply; “What values or ideology!?”

A quick check on HMK’s website tells us that she is predicating her campaign on the following “policy pillars:”

1. Erode the power of impunity through a new spirit of CONSTITUTIONALISM (emphasis here and below theirs).

2. Expand, improve and maintain transport, water, ict and energy INFRASTRUCTURE

3. Empower industries, innovators, traders and communities to create JOBS within a MORAL ECONOMY an economy that benefits all citizens especially the weak and vulnerable

4. Invest in our farmers, solve distribution problems and ensure sustainable national FOOD SECURITY

5. Pursue a cost-effective ‘Cradle-to-Grave’ UNIVERSAL HEALTHCARE and a responsive, comprehensive EDUCATION

6. Prioritize and invest in national security , Secure Kenya’s regional advantage,and diaspora engagement through a ROBUST FOREIGN POLICY

Putting aside the question of whether this is an expression of ideology, it’s not, strictly speaking but let’s for the sake of argument assume it is; we’ll then have to compare her “ideology” with Raila’s ideology and vision expressed below to objectively assess whether or not HMK is genuine in offering lack of commonality in ideology as the reason she’s opting not to work with Raila.

I’ll let UK sycophants handle the same question for him, not to say I am one for Raila, which I am not despite the tired chant from the other side that I am.

Anyway, I digress; back to this analysis.

Here is what Raila has said is his vision–and I am only presenting part of it to make the point I do at the end:

Raila On health:

Therefore, there is great need to increase government spending on the health sector, introduce a national social health insurance scheme, improve hospital infrastructure, upgrade rural hospitals and build new health centres in remote areas by using public/private partnerships, boost the fight against HIV/Aids through education and counseling to promote behavioral change, continue to encourage population control strategies, expand safe motherhood programmes in all districts by ensuring that these centres have improved referral systems, communications and transportation facilities and achieve full TB, polio and measles immunization.

Raila On Security:

[Raila’s] plan is to dedicate increased resources to the law-enforcement arms of government, by modernizing their training, equipment and housing, improving their pay, and introducing life insurance, health insurance and a modern retirement scheme, maintain law and order and be tough on crime, by apprehending, trying and sentencing offenders, and tackling the causes of crime, recruit and train more police officers, ensure adequate resources for training, the purchase of modern communications equipment and transportation, and the forensic science capacity to investigate crime.

[He also] plans to engage people in active crime prevention through Neighborhood Watch schemes and community policing, seek to regulate the private security industry, so that it works in partnership with the police in the battle against crime, establish a national crime squad to provide an effective, nationally coordinated approach to organized crime and be tough on drug-abusers and drug-pushers, as drugs are root causes of crime, especially in urban areas.

Raila also plans to “strengthen and speed up the criminal justice system – justice delayed is justice denied, to both victim and offender, review sentencing policy and ensure that anyone convicted of a second serious sexual or violent crime gets an automatic life sentence, enforce the strictest firearms laws and ensure maximum vigilance at our borders and make use of our armed forces to prevent infiltration of our country by armed bandits. [He] plans to ensure support for victims of crime, especially those who have suffered rape and other sexual crimes.”

Raila On Corruption:

[Raila’s] plan is to review the functions and efficacy of the institutions set up by the government to fight corruption, use the criminal justice system to ensure conviction and appropriate punishment, with mandatory prison sentences, for those convicted on corruption charges, lead in the interest of the many, not the few, and build a future Kenya in which we all have a stake, restore trust in politics by discharging my duties through consultation and inclusivity, guarantee to build a Kenyan society based on fairness and equal opportunity, where merit comes before privilege, introduce Community Relations legislation to prohibit any discrimination on the basis of ethnicity and encourage the Kenyan diaspora to invest in Kenya and to take an interest in playing an active political role at home and abroad. I value their skills learnt abroad and we need to harness those for our common good.

Other things Raila hopes to do as president in fighting corruption, include “addressing the issues of ethnicity and inequality in our country as a topmost priority. [He] believes that the government, which represents all the people, not just one interest group, has an obligation to remove those obstacles that hinder individual achievement – obstacles emanating from tribe, gender or economic condition. [He] guarantee their removal by using anti-discrimination legislation similar to that which has been successfully employed in other countries. If we can consign tribalism to the Museum Of The Sins We Need Not Put Up With, let us do so in this generation, not the next.

On Food Security

Raila has a detailed plan to ensure food security for all you can read all about it here, ditto for improving the government’s fiscal management you can read all about it here as well as redistribution of resources and opportunity which you can also read all about it here.

When you compare these two policy and/or vision statements put forth by Prime Minister Raila and HMK, therefore NO difference in what HMK has as her “ideology” or policy when compared to what Raila has as his vision for the country; in fact, everything HMK has stated as her “policy pillars” is included in Raila’s vision, which is broader and this in turn means when HMK says she will not work with Raila because she does not share any “values with the Prime Minister,” she’s being both intellectually dishonest and disingenuous at best.

She may have a point, though, in saying she does not share in “Raila’s brand of politics.”

That brand does not call for her to be his running mate as many, including her, had hoped would be the case.

That, in the end, may be the reason and, in fact, is the reason HMK has crossed out Raila as someone she could work with if and when she folds her own quest for the presidency, which is all but certain to be at the of the first ballot, if there is Round 2, which many including yours truly doubt there will be one.

It may also be the working of a strategy to lurk nearby should the hyenas be forced to leave their kill.

That strategy will be a win win for Raila and ODM but, even more importantly, one can never say never especially when it comes to politics.

HMK could, indeed, take swallow her own words and agree to work with Raila anytime were she to deem that necessary in her own political interests.

Unlike all other politicians, Raila hardly ever closes his door even for those who have shut that door tight as they leave in a huff but he opens it right back up and keeps it wide open in the event they find no greener pastures elsewhere as they always don’t.

And many shall come back right through that door to the open and embracing arms of Raila and ODM.

More the reason I have been urging people to start practicing saying or getting used to hearing quite a bit of the majestic words, His Excellency Raila Amolo Odinga.

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Posted by on October 9, 2012 in Politics

 

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Who Is Martha Karua Part IV

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

In that blog, I noted as follows:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. Religious Conviction.

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

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

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

2.   Honesty, Trustfulness and Integrity.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I’ll give her a pass on that.

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

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

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

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

3. Educational Foundation and Wisdom

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

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

4.  Experience and Exposure.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To be continued.

In Part V, I conclude the series on HMK

 
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Posted by on September 1, 2011 in Politics

 

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