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We Need A Break from Kikuyu Presidents

Image-Kenya-ethnic-distribution-map

My Star oped this weekend:

Forty-three men have served as President of the United States with the following ethnic origins: 27 English, two English/Scottish, two English/Welsh, four Scottish, one Scottish/Irish, two Irish, three Dutch, one German and one African. This is according to the Atlas Forum.

It took more than 219 years for the first President of African origin to be elected as US head of state. This is despite the country having men and women of African ancestry for years, who would and could have served ably 10 times better than the current President.

This is no longer the case after Barack Obama was elected in 2008, and served up until last year. Kenyans should and must learn from this backward refusal of Americans to accept a Black man or woman, for that matter, as capable of leading them.

The question to ask is: Is it fair or right for a country of more than 40 tribes to be led in all of its history by sons hailing from only two communities, which have exchanged the presidency only between them?

The answer is clearly a resounding No. Since Independence, this country has been led by the Kikuyu, who have dominated the presidency, and the Kalenjin, who got in-between on account of President Jomo Kenyatta naming Daniel Moi as Vice President.

No one expected Moi to last more than the constitutionally provided 90 days within which a new President was to be elected. But, thanks to Charles Njonjo and his team, Moi quickly figured how to entrench himself as President and the rest is history.

Mwai Kibaki, another Kikuyu, succeeded Moi in 2002. Moi himself had picked another Kikuyu, Uhuru Kenyatta, to succeed him.

Upon completion of his rigged second term in office in 2013, Kibaki, in a classic asante ya punda ni teke, made sure the man who made his presidency possible could not occupy State House, by unleashing the state machine to yet again rig the man out for the second time as was successfully done in 2013.

With the dominance of these two tribes in leadership, so has been the case in the allocation of resources across the country besides jobs, which clearly and indisputably favour the Kikuyu, followed closely by the Kalenjin.

This is neither right nor fair as other communities are left to scramble for crumbles, if any at all.

One of the reasons Raila has been mercilessly opposed in the Mount Kenya region is because there are many there who believe presidential leadership belongs there and nowhere else.

This is wrong for several reasons.

First, Kenya, as in many other countries, has never embraced dynastic rule, even though one can argue that the dominance by one community in presidential leadership is no different.

Voters must reject this notion of dynastic rule come August 8.

Second, underlying the thinking among those who hold the view presidential leadership belongs to the Mt Kenya community is this sense of misguided belief that one community from that area is particularly superior to all others, which is pure nonsense.

It’s actually this kind of thinking that has created hatred and animosity among tribes of all manner in many countries, most notably Rwanda, where the 1994 Genocide is attributed to this backward superiority based ethnic and tribal divide.

Third, even though the Constitution attempts to force this issue of not having one tribe win the presidency merely due to its numeric strength, those in power have and do find ways to manipulate the system to produce an outcome they desire but this time we, as Kenyans, must be prepared to say Never Again.

There’s nothing tribalistic, divisive or discriminatory in urging we get a break from yet another Kikuyu presidency: This is just a question of fairness and fatigue anyone objective would have to agree with.

It’s our hope and prayer this shall come to pass come August 8 and we live happily thereafter as a nation.

 
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Posted by on May 26, 2017 in Politics

 

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NASA Principals Have Kenya’s Future In Their Hands

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In NASA Principals Have Future of Kenya In Their Hands, I make the case why:

When Hillary Clinton announced her second bid for the presidency in April 2015, she was immediately faced with hostile opposition from within the Democratic Party by a wing that to this day, has never really liked her for a number of reasons, among them her being wife of former President Bill Clinton.

Others didn’t want her to be the Democrats flagbearer, arguing she was not progressive enough, while others deemed her not qualified simply because she’s a woman.

To make sure Hillary did not see the inside of the White House, Republicans on their part embarked on a relentless campaign to discredit her as “untrustworthy” by cooking up and peddling various false claims against her, key among them being the bogus claims that she somehow was responsible for the deaths of Americans in Benghazi, Libya, when the American embassy was attacked by terrorists back in 2012.

Republicans, who controlled the House, brought their entire party machine to tear down Hillary, courtesy of the sham Benghazi Committee, in which one of their member would later admit in a classic Freudian slip that the committee was, indeed, “a sham committee setup to damage or destroy Hillary”.

When they were not busy with their onslaught on Hillary on this ground, the Republicans, joined by Hillary haters in the Democratic Party, used their loudmouths in both radio and television to drumbeat the notion that she was being anointed without opposition, which, in their logic, was not a good thing. So much that many Democrats demanded an alternative to oppose her and thus the emergence of Senator Bernie Sanders.

Sanders provided home to disgruntled and short-sighted Democrats, who to the end remained loyal to him, and refused to support Hillary even after she became the party nominee.

Whatever their reasons were, most of these Democrats now regret not having supported Hillary because the outcome was having a President Donald Trump — a clueless man who stands for nothing they believe in and is certainly worse than Hillary could ever have been.

We’re faced with the same situation in Kenya where opposition chief Raila Odinga, like Hillary, is being resisted from both within and without.

There are those in and outside the opposition who begrudge Raila simply for who he is — the son of Jaramogi Oginga — who in his own right went on to become the icon and doyen of opposition politics much like his father was.

Many would like Raila to exit the world of politics and probably from this world altogether, without the title of President.

Then there are those who, like Hillary haters, simply dislike Raila for no apparent reason other than simply believing the smears and lies peddled about him.

Jubilee, like TNA before it, has done a superb job in profiling Raila variously as a “dangerous” or threat to the Kikuyu community.

While Raila is obviously not dangerous by any measure, he’s certainly a threat to those who have looted or illegally gained from the public coffers, regardless of their community.

This is a good thing for Raila to be feared for that must not only be applauded, but all progressives and well-meaning Kenyans must rally behind. The choice here is either being behind him or the corrupt who have looted this country.

Which brings us to the NASA principals: To each one of you, you hold the future of Kenya in your hands for if you don’t do the wisest and only right thing and make Raila the joint opposition flagbearer and rally the nation to defeat Jubilee, you’ll forever carry the cross of being the worst among the political class.

Worse than the very worse you’re very well-placed to uproot from power and present an alternative vision and leadership for this country.

 
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Posted by on April 21, 2017 in Politics

 

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Gang Violence in Kenya Is A Problem But Extrajudicial Killing Is Not Solution

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In Gang Violence Is A Problem But Extrajudicial Killing Is Not the Solution, I make the case how the recent execution of two suspected gang members is not the solution to gang violence. I also make the case Jubilee government has failed to provide solutions for this and many other problems so it’s time to be booted from office and let the opposition led by Raila take over power and let them have a crack at fixing these monumental problems all prior governments have failed or have been unwilling to address.

And now the oped:

Donald Trump deployed uncouth tactics to win the presidential race, including blatantly appealing to racists on the far-right of American politics.

One way he did so — and this is how he launched his presidential race — was by leading efforts to discredit and undermine the legitimacy of President Barack Obama by advancing the bogus claim that he was born in Kenya and therefore not qualified to be US head of state.

The other tactic was to constantly trash the city of Chicago as the epicenter of black youth violence, as part of his attempt to appeal to racists and others as being the tough “law and order” candidate, who would get rid of the problem.

Seventy days plus into his moribund presidency, President Trump has not set forth, let alone even suggested, a single proposal to address the gang violence problem.

Nobody expects that he will, ever!

Neither is the man expected to do anything to address the problem of police brutality aimed at mostly the black youth and other minorities in the US, which increased last year and at the height of his candidacy.

There’s anecdotal evidence that youth and gang violence in Kenya is increasing to uncontrollable levels on President Uhuru Kenyatta’s watch. His Jubilee government is doing nothing to address this problem.

However, in the absence of any effective government intervention, summary execution or extrajudicial killing of even known gang members by the police, as recently witnessed in Eastleigh, doesn’t offer any solutions.

Granted, most people were in support of the executions of the two apparently well-known Super Power gang members by a plainclothes police officer because they’re fed up with these criminals who terrorize people in the area.

In other words, most people have no sympathy for these gang members, given the menace they have become in society.

That’s all true but let’s also focus on where the problem really lies — failure by the Jubilee government to create employment and other opportunities for the youth, who end up joining criminal gangs,where they commit all manner of crimes, including murder.

Jubilee has also totally failed to curb corruption, which has not spared programs intended to help the youth of this country. Indeed, the looting of more than Sh1.8 billion at the National Youth Service, which led to the resignation of the then Devolution CS Anne Waiguru stands as one of the monuments of corruption in a Kenya gone amok, though dwarfed by the Eurobond heist, of more than Sh215 billion that cannot be accounted for by the Jubilee government.

The solution to the escalating gang violence problem is therefore not extrajudicial killings, but ushering in a new government come August 8. A government that can address not just gang violence but the rampant corruption that’s now the worst ever in this country, and has prevented the government from addressing the needs of the people.

As Prime Minister, Raila Odinga was instrumental in the establishment of programs intended to alleviate youth unemployment and food insecurity, with the flagship project being the Kazi Kwa Vijana initiative.

KKV quickly became a casualty of corruption kingpins in the then Grand Coalition government. And later, as Raila would point out, senior officials who controlled the Ministry of Finance and aligned to President Mwai Kibaki killed the KKV program, along with others for fear it would succeed to the credit of Raila and his ODM wing of government.

Raila says he’s committed, now more than ever, to not only resume where he left off as Prime Minister with his half-loaf in finding lasting solutions for the country, but also promised to deliver immediate solutions to address the disgraceful high levels of youth unemployment in NASA.

 
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Posted by on April 9, 2017 in Law, Politics, Uncategorized

 

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Jubilee Has Unwittingly Made Joho Popular

Hassan Joho1

In Jubilee Has Unwittingly Made Joho Popular, I make the case why.

And now the oped in its entirety:

Ask anyone, other than a Donald Trump sycophant or hapless partisan Republican, and they will tell you that the 46th US President is the most ill-prepared to occupy that office.

His bungling of the first major Executive Order, and, most recently, the spectacular failure of the “repeal and replace” Obamacare, are just but two examples that show why it’s a bad idea to elect anyone to high office with such dearth of knowledge and hapless leadership skills.

That doesn’t mean the man is uneducated: He did obtain an undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania before his father gave him money and sent him off to real the estate investment business, where he did quite well.

The point here is that, as a leader, there is no correlation between education and performance or success in business for that matter. Just as you have dimwits who plough their way to high office at the expense of well-educated leaders, who can’t match their ill-gotten wealth they use to get power. You end up having well-educated individuals trying to outdo the dimwits in their incompetence in managing the affairs of the big office.

On the other hand, history is replete with examples of individuals, who had only minimal education or were otherwise poorly educated but went on to accomplish great things in life. B ut, to be sure, those are obviously exceptions than the norm, which leads to the question, why did the framers of our 2010 Constitution introduce academic requirements for holding public office?

The answer was obviously an attempt to prevent rich but illiterate people from dominating elective politics as they had since Independence Unfortunately, this has led to the increase of fake academic certificates by politicians, using them to gain office, without necessarily changing the overall quality of leadership.

Jubilee is now attempting to use the education requirement, in a classic holier-than-thou caes unlike anything we have ever seen before, to try and undermine Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho.

It is using every state machine simply because the man dared to challenge President Uhuru Kenyatta, and his failure to provide leadership not just for the Coast people, but everywhere else across the country.

One of the fronts Jubilee is attacking Joho on is using the Directorate of Criminal Investigations, an agency previously mostly known for investigating though not resolving serious crimes, to validate the bogus claim that Joho presented fake documents for admission to university and to get other certificates of higher learning.

The governor confirmed to this writer and others that his academic credentials are not fake and dismissed the fake documents talk about him tas a desperate move by Jubilee to cripple him politically.

What they don’t know is that in doing so, his popularity in Coast soars and now, thanks to this onslaught, suddenly the making of a force to reckon with not just in Coast, but across the country.

Put in another way, Jubilee is going to these extremes to counter Joho’s growing influence and his standing up against the President, not because it’s a wise strategy, but because they’re not used to dealing with a fearless person who doesn’t crumble at the unleashing of state machine against him, or one who’s ironclad against all forms of bribery directed at him to abandon his vision and people-centered politics.

Joho is not alone in this for we have had a number of fearless leaders in this country, who have challenged and in the end won against the powers that be, starting from the man Joho calls his mentor, Opposition chief Raila Odinga.

“I am ready to be punished politically,” declared Joho in the face of all this intimidation.

That’s the making of a force to reckon with and none other than Jubilee takes a lion’s share of this good news that seals the fate of Jubilee in Coast and, indeed, the rest of the country. Other leaders will certainly be inspired and do what the Mombasa governor has done, and that’s telling Jubilee, your days are numbered!

 
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Posted by on March 31, 2017 in Politics

 

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The Danger of Opposition Not Uniting Behind Raila

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In Danger of Opposition Not Uniting Behind Raila, I continue to make the case why Raila is the man to lead the opposition to victory come August and the man to lead the country come the day he wins but this time gets sworn as our next president.

And now the oped:

In the run-up to the last presidential election in the United States, Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton was so loathed by many, even within her own party, that some didn’t bother to show up and vote while others opted to vote for Republican Donald Trump.

This, in a nutshell, is why Clinton lost, and we now have someone who has converted the US presidency into something no different from the reality TV show he used to host.

The question is, why was Clinton so hated or at least not favoured even by Democrats in her own party? The short answer is fatigue: A number of Americans were tired of the same old clans hogging power to the point they said “enough is enough”.

This is also the reason why Jeb Bush, brother of former President George W Bush, couldn’t gain traction in the Republican primaries, because many Americans could not take yet another Bush as President.

Fatigue syndrome is something one must assume former Prime Minister Raila Odinga is or must be aware and have in place a strategy to counter it.

Indeed, just the other day, when having lunch with someone from a neighbouring country, the friend noted that opposition chief Raila, like his Uganda counterpart Kizza Besigye, “has vied for the presidency four times and lost each time.”

I corrected my friend, noting that Raila has stood for President thrice, won on two of the three occasions, but was not sworn in.

That it’s time for Raila to move on is not new. We hear it all the time, especially on social media. It is a misplaced notion.

The reality is that one other than Raila can defeat President Uhuru Kenyatta and his state machine. No one.

And therein lurks the danger if NASA were to make a mistake and give the ticket to someone else to be the joint flagbearer, that person will not only lose big time, but Jubilee may as well rule for another 50 years, as they arrogantly postulated following the last flawed elections.

Why?

This is because Jubilee will be emboldened to get rid of Deputy President William Ruto, and line up yet another one of their “own” to take over from President Uhuru in 2022 — a task which will be made much easier because Luos to a man will refuse to back whoever the opposition candidate would be, as payback for not nominating Raila.

The converse is not true. Other tribes would not punish the opposition flagbearer in 2022 because NASA backed Raila in this election, simply because that would not make sense even among the politicians prone to peddling some of the dumbest things.

For his part, Uhuru is already acting as though Ruto is irrelevant, and thus the effort to keep Baringo Senator Gideon Moi in the fold.

Interestingly, Uhuru has managed to do what Raila failed to do in 2012 — to keep someone in the family, who otherwise was a stumbling block, outside the fold and that was none other than Ruto

This writer dedicated hundreds of blogs and opeds pleading with Raila to woo Ruto back to the fold but was time and again resisted by several of his advisers, who in hindsight were extremely shortsighted and obviously dead wrong in their underestimating the damage Ruto would do.

One such adviser point blank dismissed a strategy I proposed as “too complicated” to be implemented in Kenya when, in reality, it easily could have and allowed Ruto to remain with Raila.

The point is, Raila cannot afford to make the same mistakes again. He should be hands on and be prepared to ignore some of the bad advice he will certainly get, while making sure there’s a disciplined messenger to deliver the message home.

He is the man and the country is doomed without him and, more importantly, without NASA rallying behind him, it is hello to continued domination by you-know-who.

It’s also how he beats back against those peddling the narrative that the opposition chief is fatigued.

 
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Posted by on March 17, 2017 in Politics

 

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Why Voters Should Send Uhuru Packing

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In my Star oped this week Why Voters Should Send Uhuru Packing, I offer some of the reasons why Uhuru will be a one-term president.

Excerpts:

But it wasn’t long after they were sworn in before UhuRuto obviated what many already knew: Their priority number one was to use state resources to thwart and ultimately succeed in walking away from the ICC without convictions, as they eventually did.

So much that for the first two years of the Uhuru presidency, all the focus was on leaving the ICC, when they were not busy filling every possible position in government with their tribesmen and women. They reserved the best positions for their cronies and hangers-on, who in turn made sure they successfully engaged in massive corruption.

And that’s a shame, reason and fact number one that this is a failed government.

To be sure, some of us — and to the chagrin of those with whom we have been in the opposition trenches — rooted for the duo’s success for, after all, we only have one President and one administration at a time and we have, as a country, needs that must be met.

Instead of capitalising on that goodwill and delivering on their promises for the sake of our country, President Kenyatta and Deputy President Ruto squandered it all and, even worse, allowed their cronies to engage in even more corruption, worse than this country has ever endured, which is reason and fact number two why this is a failed government.

There’s not enough time or space here to analyse all the failures of the Jubilee government based strictly on the promises made in their manifesto. They have failed to deliver on those promises, let alone even try, while pretending to launch “new” projects when in reality, they were put in the pipeline by none other than the person who gives them the most shivers.

Suffice it to say, however, that Jubilee has failed to deliver on promises ranging from providing transformational leadership, when they’ve given us worse, to making Kenya safe when, as one blogger put it, “The police have all the weapons and vehicles they need to arrive at a place where it is easy to trample on the rights of the common citizens but not to protect themselves from sporadic al Shabaab attacks and bandits in places such as Suguta Valley and Kapedo.”

From empowering the youth, where the massive looting at NYS tells you all you need to know, to providing food security where, as this same blogger puts it, “people are still dying of hunger in 21st Century Kenya and of all places in Tiaty constituency, where Jubilee reaped 51, 000 votes out of a possible 22,000.”
From a healthy Kenya, in which the doctors’ strike tells you all you need to know to, last but not least, tribalism, which is now worse than ever before.

These are just but a few facts and reasons why the Jubilee government has failed, and which the majority of the voters going to the polls must have in mind in sweeping them out of office come August 8.

 
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Posted by on February 20, 2017 in Politics, Uncategorized

 

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Women In Politics Is Not End of Chivarly

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In Women In Politics Not End To Chivalry, make the case just because a woman decides to enter the political arena to vie for public office does not mean that’s the end to chivalry in as far as she is concerned.

Rather, women in politics yes must undergo the normal rough and tumble of political life but in the end they are still women deserving of greater sensitivity and respect than one would expect from one male politician to another.

Excerpts:

As father of two teenage girls and a young lad, I have always known before any of them freely breathed on earth how to treat a woman or what to expect from a man is not something a father has to lecture his children about but something he simply has to teach them by example in how he treats their mother; if he ever says anything worth noting about the subject, it’s simply to reinforce the right message he has otherwise conveyed.

On the other hand, there’s the proverbial counsel to young women that if they want to know how a man would treat them in marriage, they first must observe and learn how the man treats his mother.

Thus, where one is raised in a family where the father treats his wife with respect, is never abusive and takes care of the family in every respect, then one can expect a young man emerging from such a household doing the same thing to the women in his life, especially one he takes as his pride.

However, marrying into a good family and having a perfect husband—well, as nearly a perfect husband as one can have is not all a woman would want; rather, the modern woman wants more than just bearing and raising children.


Not too long ago, we witnessed the manifestation of this notion on public TV when a woman candidate for governor was subjected to public humiliation and smear unlike any of her counterparts have ever received in Kenya leading to the question, does one need to be this much uncouth in bringing down his opponent and more so a woman?

The answer is obviously no; one can be critical of a female candidate without getting into the salacious and utterly irrelevant details of the kind we saw valid or not.

Meanwhile, when Mrs. Pasaris was savagely attacked by one of the wishful gubernatorial candidates, one Miguna Miguna, those who like this type of savagery cheered him and were all giddy oblivious of the fact they were cheering their own uncouthness and stupidity.

This is what’s wrong with our politics in Kenya where grown men and women are willing to readily accept mediocrity, incompetence and abhorrent corruption simply because the culprits are fellow tribesmen or those aligned with their tribal party much the same way they cheered Miguna.

Nobody is suggesting that women should be stuffed into positions they don’t want or nominated to legislative office they cannot get elected on their own; rather, where one is qualified to vie as Mrs. Pasaris is, there should be unanimous condemnation of those who would malign and smear a candidate just because she’s a woman.

We should judge and elect our office holders based on their leadership ability and vision not all this other nonsense such as name calling and smearing which has reached toxic levels in the country and doubly so when mixed with tribalism.

We can and must do better.

 

 
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Posted by on December 23, 2016 in Politics

 

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