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Is A Raila/Uhuru/Ruto Deal To Work Together In The Offing Hard To Believe As That May Be?

There have been rumors lately that Raila through emissaries is talking to his rivals, including his sworn enemies Uhuru and Ruto.

Neither Uhuru nor Ruto is confirming this but Raila’s people are all but confirming these talks are, indeed, going on.

In a story reported today in the Daily Nation, the two sides simultaneously continue to deny talks are taking place, on the part of UK and Ruto, while basically confirming they are on the part of ODM.

How is it possible that these two sides are saying what appears to be on its face two contradictory things?

Is either or both telling the truth?

A good assumption would be both are telling the truth; you would have to carefully parse the words and language they are using to figure why.

Basically, this is politics 101.

It is not in neither Uhuru nor Ruto’s interest to admit at this time of any talks, if any, for doing so would be as good as saying the deal is done politically speaking because those are words they cannot take back in case the deal doesn’t go through.

In other words, the two must remain steady with their message Raila is a bad man who they want to block from becoming president while quietly and behind the scenes anxiously and eagerly discussing with him the various scenarios they can all three make sure their individual interests are take care of post-election.

On the other hand, it’s in Raila or ODM’s interest to broadcast widely and vigorously any talks or even plans of talks going on.

Indeed, according to the DN, “an MP from Nyanza, however, confirmed that he attended one of the meetings between Mr Odinga and Mr Ruto in what he termed as a series of negotiations to bridge the gap between the two leaders.”

“I was at Mr Ruto’s home and I had never been there before. Our mission there was to engage him and to offer him Mr Odinga’s proposal,” he added, noting Ruto “insisted that the PM must address the ICC issue first.”

While denying talks are taking place, for their part, Ruto’s lieutenant Belgut MP Charles Keter said that “though URP is open to political negotiation with other political parties no meaningful talks had taken place between the Ruto and Mr Odinga camps.”

Noting what may be key in this whole mini-series, Keter added, ““We know that if Mr Odinga wants to talk to us he has to come alone and convince the party leadership and the Kalenjin nation. There is no need for him to send people to us.”

One would have to assume the modalities and mechanics of having that done may just be what’s on the table and that could mean a lot of things.

A lot but not too many not to find a common ground to make it happen.

Meanwhile, Uhuru’s denials are firm and unyielding: ““This [the rumors about talks] is an attempt by ODM to disrupt our focus from serious issues and campaigns,” said Mr Kenyatta’s spokesman Mr Munyori Buku, adding, “Mr Kenyatta has not and will never meet or talk to ODM on any alliances or political engagements.”

This unyielding, emphatic denial can only mean one thing; if talks are going on, they are likely more serious and even more so likely to yield results in the case between Raila and Ruto but less so with Uhuru who nonetheless must have his nose stuck in there between the two because any deal they make he must somehow be a part of it, given his twin interest with Ruto courtesy of ICC.

Which leads one to conclude a deal could be in the offing among these three that is unprecedented and too complex to even try and throw out there as a trial balloon.

I have an hunch I know what it could be strictly from putting two and two together but let me not put it out there for the same reasons other than to say if it is what I think it could be, it would not make sense to a lot of people until it is actually done and successfully implemented (read after the elections).

That being said, notwithstanding the denials, all one has to observe to know there is something interesting going even without knowing the behind the scenes goings on is to observe what these two, namely, UK and Ruto have or have not been saying about Raila lately.

Compare that to the dangerous rhetoric of earlier this year.

Something gave at some point and that is the high-handedness and a false sense of invincibility on both UK and Ruto ostensibly because (1) reality sank in as to the ICC, especially dire warnings of not just the two from the ICC but the government itself likely heard an earful from the US, UK and Denmark to the effect the countries will rally the UN to isolate Kenya were it to try and defy the ICC and (2) a realization Raila is, indeed, a mugumo tree nobody is going to bring down no matter how hard they try.

Uhuru and Ruto realize confident as they may publicly project toughness and ability to beat Raila, they privately know and would admit Raila has a better chance of beating either or both of them and no matter how small that chance is, only but a fool would not want to make sure were that to happen as its likely to, namely, Raila being reelected as president, at least they ought to be in a position not to be told the PM’s calendar is full through 4 years down the road when trying to secure an appointment to see him.

Neither is a fool so you might as well believe they are talking–just in case.

As note above, my hunch is if there are such a talks that result in a deal, it will not be something readily understandable or even readily observable but the net effect will be the same, namely, making sure all three men have their individual political and personal objectives met.

It’s worth noting Mudavadi does not feature in any of this analysis because it’s true he is politically finished.

Our next president is going to be either Raila or Uhuru or whoever Uhuru backs.

Ruto is very much relevant in influencing who that could be albeit not to the exclusion of others who may negate such influence.

My money is on Raila, even though I am not a betting man.

Kenyans will vindicate that belief and hope.

So will God.

Amen.

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Posted by on October 7, 2012 in Politics

 

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A Message To ODM MPs and Those Aspiring To Be

It is a well-known phenomenon, especially in Kenya that come election time, one is likely to see a flurry of defections from one party to another and even back to those people are defecting from.

This is because in other than very few cases, most politicians owe no permanent allegiance to their parties and certainly an alarming number have no loyalty at all or of the kind that can withstand money temptation to flee even their own families for some.

It is with this in mind that Uhuru and Ruto and more so Uhuru than Ruto are on overdrive to dish out as much cash as possible to snag as many ODM members as they can and aided by a willing media, try to project such buyouts as somehow something bad for ODM.

That’s not true!

Pouring money which many argue and rightly so is ill-gotten to begin with to have members of one party defect to your party is nothing to brag about.

Granted, such gimmicks are bound to work as against the unwary and easily gullible, which is most of the public that does not look behind the curtain to see the real naked truth and that is, virtually all these defections have everything to do with money than principle, ideology or anything one can even remotely say is a virtue.

There is one exception.

These are the defections from other parties to ODM.

This is because no one can argue that relatively broke Raila and ODM as compared to their well-oiled financially speaking opponents, those defecting to ODM are not doing so on account of being bought but do so because they simply recognize that ODM is the party that has any ideals worth joining efforts to champion and certainly its leader, Raila Amolo Odinga has been and continues to be at the forefront fighting for the common mwananchi by making sure impunity and corruption is brought under control, if not altogether eliminated.

Interestingly and this is really worth noting and goes to speak volumes as to this phenomena of party hopping as being a cash cow for most of these politicians, the MPs just passed, by unanimous consent! a law extending their party hopping potential through January 4, 2013 instead of a couple of days ago.

Do you hear the sound of cash flowing to the pockets of many of these MPs who are busy bargaining their souls away?

To be fair, there are a good number of MPs who may wish to have more time to put the figure in the air to see which direction the winds are blowing before they decide whether to remain in the parties that last sponsored them to Parliament or to bolt.

But there is no question a majority are largely looking at this strictly from a monetary point of view and which direction the wind is blowing is merely a guide as to which party to milk.

That being said, one can easily see what is emerging in 2012 through January 4, the new deadline these MPs have set for suitors to come and offer their best lines and that is, defections in 2013 is going to be a contest between those with a conscious and those without; a contest between those who would put their individual selves first or country and their constituents first; those intent on taking the country to a higher level above the usual siasa ya tumbo and those who would rather engage in just that, namely, siasa ya tumbo while the 2013 elections shall in turn be a choice between chatting a new path for our country more free from cheap politics, corruption and impunity and one where any or all of the three remain to reign supreme.

The choice is obvious as to which of these choices must prevail and I have faith in our people and more so in a good number of the politicians in key constituencies to resist the temptation of being wooed with this kind of unprincipled party hopping driven only by either greed or money.

So, to our esteemed ODM members of Parliament and those aspiring to be, stand firm and let not your hearts be troubled if you refuse the onslaught currently underway to buy your defection from ODM for all shall be okay in the end if you stand on the right side of what’s right under these circumstances and that is, simply not jump ship for the sake of money.

The party needs you.

The country needs the party.

Raila needs both you and the country and not that the other side doesn’t need you; they do but all for the wrong reasons and that’s simply to use you as a means of stopping or thwarting Raila’s efforts to ascend to the presidency for no reason other than the fact they just don’t want him to.

That’s not and never will it be a good reason to ever sell your soul.

 
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Posted by on October 7, 2012 in Politics

 

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The World’s Poorest President; Does He Have Anything In Common With Our Kenyan Leaders?

I saw this story on the Standard Online and the first thing that came to mind was, really?

The world’s poorest president? Is there such a thing? Who could it be?

Several other questions also came to mind such as, is it that possible or is this some kind of a joke? Isn’t the use of poorest and president together oxymoronic? And so on.

To cure my curiosity, I went straight to where one can find quick answers for questions like this, Wikipedia, and there I found the following entries about this president:

His mother’s family was composed of very poor Italian immigrants from Piemonte. His mother was born in Carmelo, where her parents, growers of vines, bought five acres in Colonia Estrella to cultivate vineyards. His father was a small farmer that was in bankruptcy shortly before his death in 1940, when Mujica was five.

That explains it, I said.

But, there was more,

His ‘folksy’ speaking style and manner is credited as part of his growing popularity since the late 1990s, especially among rural and poor sectors of the population.He has been variously described as an “antipolitician”[ and a man who “speaks the language of the people” while also receiving criticism for untimely or inappropriate remarks.

Then I thought, there is at least one thing he has in common with Obama and Raila: a man who speaks the language of the people, folksy style!

Is making untimely or inappropriate remarks something else he has in common with both of these gentlemen?

Sure; but what politician hasn’t made remarks that are untimely or inappropriate? I wondered.

None so I dug deeper into Wikipedia to see if I can find more similarities with this obviously admirable leader.

Then I found this one; it was actually right there at the beginning as I was hastily reading through the entries to find why this man could hold such an honorable title, or is it?

More on that later but, for now, here is what else I found as I was trying to find if there are any similarities with either of these leaders I was trying to compare him to, namely, Obama and Raila:

In the early 1960s, he joined the newly formed Tupamaros movement, an armed political group inspired by the Cuban revolution.[2] He participated in the 1969 brief takeover of Pando, a town close to Montevideo, and was later convicted by a military tribunal under the government of Jorge Pacheco Areco, who had suspended certain constitutional guarantees.[3][4] Mujica was captured by the authorities on four occasions, and he was among those political prisoners[5] who escaped Punta Carretas Prison in 1971. He was eventually re-apprehended in 1972, and was shot by the police six times. After the military coup in 1973, he was transferred to a military prison where he served 14 years.

Viola!; this man is no doubt more Raila than Obama, even though all three men are admirable leaders in their own right but its the simpleness, unorthodox, down to earth and ability to relate to ordinary folk qualities of this president that peaked my interest as I wondered if this is not exactly the kind of person we need in Kenya as our next leader.

Put aside for a moment the Minimum Qualities and Skills Our Next President In Kenya Must Possess, isn’t someone like this by definition going to be a leader who can truly break with the past and take the country in a new direction where leadership of all levels is not obsessed with either amassing the most wealth or dreaming about it at the expense of actually doing anything to help ordinary folk?

That being the case, who among those vying for the presidency now in Kenya fits that bill?

Is there any doubt that’s none other than Raila?

The answer has to be and must be in the affirmative if the one answering were to be honest.

When I saw this man driving himself in this beat up and old Volkswagen, with no security detail within site and actually almost all by himself in some not to great looking place, I immediately thought about one of President Obama’s motorcade, see link at end of this blog.

Definitely one thing this president doesn’t have in common with Obama.

What about Raila; what’s his motorcade like?

A quick check finds the following:

Well, not exactly a Volkswagen but the commonality is there and more: one car among a mass of people.

Add one more on the similarities column comparing this poorest president of the world with Obama and Raila.

And then it downed on me; Raila is a simple, down to earth leader who relates and understands the common needs of ordinary Kenyans and much like this poorest president of the world who donates 87% of his salary to charitable causes, Raila is no doubt the one who comes closest in comparison to him when it comes to charitable contribution and helping the needy among those vying for president in Kenya.

I can hear someone breaking glass over my saying this but it’s true as anyone who actually knows what the Odingas do for individuals they have helped over the decades but not necessarily for public show.

Perhaps they need to make that known but there is no question if you ask ordinary Kenyans who among those vying is the most compassionate and unselfish when it comes to caring about our country and its people, that choice will be hands down Raila.

He will also likely be the least wealthiest president when he completes his term as president, if Kenyans give him the nod again; he may not rank as the poorest president or even very close to this real holder of that title, but he embodies values that will surely put him as as close to him more than any of those vying ever would, other than those who have no chance.

The point being, let Kenyans choose someone to lead us who cares more about the common needs of the ordinary Kenyan than enriching himself or his cronies.

It’ll be a repetition to say that person is none other than Raila Amolo Odinga.

 
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Posted by on October 3, 2012 in Politics

 

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Raila Is Not Running Scared of the Politically Dead Mudavadi As Someone Claims On Capital FM Blog

In an article appearing on the Capital FM, blog and other Kenyan forums on the Internet, its author John Mbiuki attempts to make the case that Raila is somehow scared of Mudavadi vying for the presidency also.

As my response to Mbiuki below shows, this is not true at all.

Raila cannot be scared of someone who for all practical purposes and intent is politically dead for reason stated in Political Eulogy of Musalia Mudavadi

And now analysis of Mbiuki’s piece as addressed to him:

For easy following, Mbiuki’s claims and allegations are in italics.

ODM supremo Raila Odinga has let out just how seriously he is taking Musalia Mudavadi’s threat to his presidential ambitions by publicly pledging to support the latter if he won the race.

It doesn’t follow that if one says they’ll support an opponent if they win that therefore the one doing so thinks the opponent is a “serious threat;” one can say the same thing for any number of reasons even when they privately know or believe the opponent is a weakling who’ll never touch them, let alone defeat them.

His conciliatory speech to a funeral gathering in Western on Saturday came as further evidence that, with only five months to the General Election, Mudavadi has emerged as Raila’s waking nightmare in the race for the presidency.

Not necessarily. I and others keenly following these events know or can identify one good reason why Raila said what he said but not necessary to disclose as that will be counter-productive.

Let’s just say Mudavadi is not a “nightmare” in the race for Raila or ODM therefore Raila can’t be waking to such non-existent fact or thing.

That Raila considers Mudavadi a big threat to his presidential bid has been apparent ever since the former ODM comrades parted ways in April.

False. Some of us knew even long before Mudavadi started whining and finally left ODM that he was headed nowhere on his own, not even with the help of State House as is clearly evident and shall come to pass.

“What is new on the map is just how serious this threat is deemed to be, and the extent to which the Raila political machine is prepared to go to clip the Sabatia legislator’s wings.”

The Sabatia legislator has had no wings so there are no wings to clip, not by Raila or his political machine.

The man has literally been carried all his life under the wings of someone else.

Had he clung to Raila just a while longer until Raila at least served one term, he may have had a shot at finally flying on his own wings; he didn’t and his clinging to the State House/UK wings will soon prove to be a temporary thing as either or both let go and he comes crushing down, or the public simply rejects all of them leaving them nowhere to fly but south and under.

Raila’s statement was possibly the first time a senior ODM figure has admitted to the Mudavadi threat and was a departure from the party’s public dismissals of the UDF candidate as a small factor.

It’s a good thing you and others did not pick why Raila said what he did but I am sure he knows the message reached those it needed to but one would have to be politically adept to know that message was that Mudavadi is a threat to Raila or ODM, which he is not.

Privately, however, much thought and planning has gone into countering Mudavadi.

Nothing startling here; it’s prudent to plan how to counter all opponents, weak or strong so not sure what the point here is.

The ODM strategy, revealed by insiders last week, revolves around two key planks: Weakening the United Democratic Front candidate in his Western Kenya home base, and encouraging Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta to go the whole hog in the presidential race.”

Sounds like a good strategy to me.

“It is particularly interesting how, and why, the Raila machine is encouraging Uhuru to run. It all started with doctored opinion polls showing that a run-off between the ODM candidate and Uhuru would result in an almost equal share of votes while a run-off against Mudavadi would tilt the results in Raila’s favour.

What evidence do you have that the Synovate poll which I assume you reference was doctored?

“The truth of the matter, which has been confirmed by privately-conducted opinion polls for both ODM and TNA – the former recently commissioned a poll with a sample size of a whopping 47,000 respondents – is that Raila would easily beat Uhuru in a runoff while there is no possibility he can win against Mudavadi.”

First of all, no idea which “privately conducted poll” you’re talking about and, if it’s ODM’s as you seem to suggest, then your assertion fails on its own for one because you cannot be privy to a “privately conducted poll” which by definition only insiders are privy to such data but based on what you’re writing here, you’re no ODM insider and neither have you sourced your knowledge of this sensitive data.

“Raila’s strategy against Uhuru in a run-off, summarised in political circles as the “41 against 1 Plan”, and revolves around galvanizing all of Kenya against Uhuru on the basis that it is untenable for a Kikuyu to succeed another.”

This is a classic mindless assertion. Does it follow that if “political articles” have “summarised” [sic] Raila’s strategy against Uhuru to be “the 41 against 1 plan” that therefore this is Raila’s strategy?”

Raila has made it clear that he is pursuing a 47-County campaign strategy, which means there is no part of the country he rules in or out in as far as his campaign is concerned.

He’s certainly not pursuing no such thing as the “41 Against 1” strategy which has been demonstrably made known to have been a concoction within the Kikuyu community by enemies of Raila and ODM in ill-conceived efforts to whip the Kikuyu vote and more against Raila and ODM, not that it was necessary to do so.

“It is indeed very easy to whip up this mantra, even in the short time between the elections and the runoff.”

The only people whipping up this mantra are people like you, not Raila or ODM for precisely the same reason it was in 2007 but people are more wiser now and nonsense like this will not fly.

Raila will not be working so hard to woo the Kikuyu vote as he is if he were even remotely interested in such a divisive strategy and many of us who support him and believe in a united Kenya would not be a part of such a campaign strategy.

“On the other hand, a widely known fact variously confirmed by every opinion poll and national intelligence report, is that Mudavadi is the one candidate most widely accepted across Kenya.”

False. The more accurate and true statement is Mudavadi is the more accepted among the presidential contenders who see Raila as their roadblock to State House and ditto for most of the monied in the former Central or, if you will, the KSG schemers.

“If the Kamba cannot have Kalonzo, then they would rather have MM, as he is commonly called.”

False.

“If the Kikuyu cannot have Uhuru, they can live with MM.”

False.

There are other serious contenders and alternatives to UK in Kikuyuland such as Martha Karua and Peter Kenneth who most Kikuyus will vote for even if they are not on the ballot before they vote for MM.

If UK chickens out and does not run, the Kikuyu a good chunk of the Kikuyu vote will go to whoever he endorses but an equally impressive number will go to his or her opponent, which shall be none other than RAO.

Raila’s strategy is to simply peel off enough Kikuyu votes to make up for his losses elsewhere but all the same and consistent with his strategy to harvest impressive number of votes in all counties to be victorious in March 2013 and be sworn as our fourth president.

“The same goes for the Kalenjin, the Taita, the Meru and everyone else.”

So does my analysis above, namely, you take the kingpins in each of the communities out of the running, the alternative preference is not MM but a split all in favor of Raila.

“Indeed, a recent Synovate research showed Mudavadi coming a strong second in virtually all regions, including Central, Eastern and Rift Valley, other than Western, where he was the leading candidate.”

Again, no idea what survey you’re talking about but, the latest Synovate poll shows he only has a paltry 7% support nationwide, which means it’s irrelevant whether Mudavadi is first, second, third or tenth in regional polling for it’s the national poll that matters in the context of figuring who has a shot at meeting requisite carrying of 24 counties and winning 50% + 1 of the popular vote.

Right now, Mudavadi has no shot in that equation.

He only has a shot at shooting himself on the foot as he has all his life except this time he may have inflicted a mortal wound with his ill-advised departure from ODM to pursue a presidency under the doomed to fail State House/UK project he is.

“And this is the reality that is giving the Raila team sleepless nights.”

No it’s not.

“The first hurdle towards having Uhuru on the ballot comes from The Hague, that small town in the Netherlands where the TNA leader, along with William Ruto, Francis Muthaura and Joshua Sang, will be tried over the Post Election Violence of 2008.”

The Hague is no hurdle at all for either UK or Ruto to vie for the presidency.

This is because there is no law that prevents either from vying and neither does ICC have jurisdiction to say whether they should or not.

Will Kenya’s increasingly activist courts allow him to run while facing these serious criminal charges?”

Yes. Even activist courts must follow the law or at least purport to follow it.

In this case, there is no law any court can cite as the basis to hold that either UK or Ruto is barred from vying.

Indeed, even Chapter Six, which many cite in lay opinions doesn’t help because there is nothing in that Chapter that’s anywhere near on point even when subjected to tortured reading.

The economic crimes law obviously does not apply so count on either or both UK and Ruto vying unless either or both chose to withdraw for reasons other than being told so by the courts.

“Strategists at the Friends of Raila lobby group think there is a window of hope provided by Section 93 of the constitution which states that “A person is not disqualified (from contesting) under (2) unless all possibility of appeal or review of the relevant sentence or discussion has been exhausted.”

As a matter of correction, the correct section is Section 99(3), not 93.

That being said, the argument FORA and others including yours truly have made here on this is valid and sound because this is part of what is called due process, which in turn is a part of the rule of law maxim.

“This, they argue, gives some hope against the stringent demands of Chapter 6, the Leadership and Integrity chapter that many thought could be used to keep Uhuru from the ballot.”

It’s not that FORA “hopes” that Section 99(3) applies to prevent a court from finding that neither UK nor Ruto can vie; it is actually the case and the law that that section stands in the way of application of both Article 99 and Chapter Six of the Constitution under these circumstances.

“The Raila plan has also resulted in the flooding of the Western region with Cabinet positions in a bid to strengthen the anti-MM frontline troops, but this has not been without its own problems.”

Can one be more liberal in the use of adjectives; “flooding?!

Raila merely replaced Cabinet positions his party was entitled to; when does that become “flooding?!”

“Although the recent appointments saw the number and profile of Luhya ministers increase, many people were peeved that the Banyala community got the bulk of the seats. Alfred Khang’ati and Ababu Namwamba are Banyala, as is Minister Fred Gumo.”

“Why were Alfred Sambu and Sospeter Ojaamong overlooked?”

I shudder to address this but let me just say I hope and pray there will come a time in Kenya where things are not always seen from a tribal or ethnic prism; we’ve got to learn and more importantly, we must teach our people to accept the reality of the new constitution that appointments must and shall be on the basis of merit with regional, not ethnic balance in mind.

One cannot, obviously, discriminate against another on the basis of ethnicity, tribe, gender or any of the other protected classes.

It therefore goes without saying even though political calculation had to be and must be out of necessity in the mix in these considerations, those whining about these appointments on the basis of what you claim are simply behind the times and need to catch up with where the rest of the country is headed.

“A major plank in Raila’s Western Kenya strategy lies in Busia, where he starts with a slight advantage considering that more than 10 percent of the population comprises Luos. That easily explains Namwamba and Otuoma’s good fortunes. They are both from Busia.”

At the end of the day, people with ears and eyes on the ground tell us Raila stand to harvest nearly half, if not slightly more of the Luhya vote notwithstanding Mudavadi’s comatose performance there, let alone Wamalwa who is better advised to align with Raila.

“Then enters presidential aspirant [b]Cyrus Jirongo[/b]. In an obvious throwback to the famous Moi tactics of splitting the enemy lines, Raila went ahead and sponsored Jirongo’s presidential bid, and did not even pretend he wasn’t involved. The launch, attended by key allies such as Namwamba, is intended to crowd the space for Mudavadi to weaken his home base.”

Perfectly acceptable counter-strategy, given the other side’s doing the same thing in their own KSG featuring the Mudavadi project.

“Raila is also understood to have sponsored [b]Charity Ngilu’s[/b] candidature in a bid to weaken Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka in Ukambani.”

Not true but when has truth been in the way of conspiracy theorism?

Not surprisingly, whereas Mudavadi had to vacate his Local Government portfolio when he declared his candidature, Ngilu does not have to do the same. No one in ODM is asking her to do so.”

Get your facts straight; Mudavadi resigned as minister because he left ODM to join UDF, not because he is running for president.

Since you bring this up, why is Mudavadi clinging to DPM position when there is clearly no legal basis for him to do so?

“Jirongo’s bid appears to have fallen flat and has had absolutely no effect in the Western Kenya politics.”

No argument there.

“Raila’s challenge in this election is unique.”

So is everybody’s who is running.

“Whereas in the past he has played the reformer card, pegged around the quest for a new constitution, that is no longer a valid card since the new laws are now with us. So what is his compelling agenda this time round?”

Fully implementing the law but his opponents want to scuttle it.

“For other contenders particularly Uhuru and Ruto, this election is about only one issue: the ICC.”

True but not entirely true.

Any of these individuals like any politician would like and do hope to be president for the sake of being president.

They have no agenda for the country, alright, but they can and would like to be elected president beyond ICC consideration.

“They would like the voting to be divided along the lines of who wants the four PEV suspects hanged in Europe, and who is willing to put up a fight for them.”

If you casually follow what’s going on, you’ll note none of the politicians vying, including Raila, are calling for any of these individuals to be hanged at the Hague.

This was a lie propagated by these fellows earlier on this year but was rejected by most Kenyans so they abandoned it.

It would be to Raila’s advantage if they try to run on the same lie because there is an effective way to counter it beyond what has been done.

“The battle lines are clear here. While Raila has stated several times that the four would be behind bars if it were up to him,”

This is a gross misrepresentation at best and a bold lie at worst.

Raila has never said such a thing.

He did draw a comparison that if these ICC suspects were being charged for murder under Kenyan law, they’ll be behind bars awaiting trial.

That’s a fact, not wishing that someone were behind bars if it was up-to Raila.

Remember the context in which this was said was when these ICC suspects were going around the country conducting the so-called “prayer rallies” which were anything but; they were, in fact, efforts to saw seeds of discord they wisely abandoned upon Raila and others calling them out, including the ICC that made it known they risked being arrested for violating their conditions of release.

“Kalonzo has been equally unequivocal in his campaign for the four not to go to the Hague, even though many have doubted his real intentions.”

Does anyone really care what Kalonzo says or does?

“Indeed, Kalonzo’s willingness to fight the Hague monster partly explains why Ruto appears to give him his time of day.”

Not true.

See the immediately above.

“There were reports last week that the two, along with APK’s Kiraitu Murungi, who is fed up with Uhuru’s increasingly overconfident and often arrogant stance, were about to agree to a pre-election pact.

Nothing wrong with that.

If Kalonzo brings Raila only his one vote, that might as well be the +1 vote Raila needs to clinch the presidency.

If he doesn’t join Raila, the vote can either be discounted or replaced by another voter.

 “The Raila brigade is not particularly worried about Kalonzo, even with Ruto and Kiraitu on his side: He is considered to be the wimp of Kenya political class and unlikely to reach the run-off stage.”

True.

“On the other hand Mudavadi’s statements during his recent US tour in response to reporters’ questions clearly defined his position on the issue.”

“In his clearest stand yet on the Hague trials he said: ‘We killed each other in 2008. Women were raped; children were molested. It would be cowardly to wish this away. We must accept responsibility collectively. The nation is guilty. To prosecute four people for the sins of 40 million people is therefore preposterous. The four carry our national shame, but they must not carry our national guilt. We must all own up.‘”

This is a politically inept statement for a number of reasons:

First, it confirms that Mudavadi is a State House/UK project.

Having been mum all these years the ICC cases have been brewing, he cannot suddenly start blabbing about it now.

The only and obvious reason he would do so and is doing so is simply to align himself with the State House/UK interests when it comes to the ICC.

Second, it’s is simply not the case that all Kenyans are responsible for the deadly violence that took place in early 2008.

I know I was not and so were not most Kenyans.

The PEV was perpetuated by individuals representing a tiny portion of the population and the ICC has chosen charge those it found to be the most responsible to account for the violence.

This claim by Mudavadi is not clever because it exposes Mudavadi as one willing to say or do anything for the sake of those who are propping him up for the presidency, which in turn confirms what others observe and say that he is not his own man.

Third, because Mudavadi has condemned both the innocent and the guilty of the crimes that took place in 2008, he can now forget getting any votes from the innocent on this account, who are, in fact, nearly everyone.

What Mudavadi has done here is no different from what Mitt Romney, the man now with an uphill task to beat President Obama in the run for the US presidency, thanks in part for his recently discovered video in which he is surreptitiously recorded dismissing half of America as basically a bunch of freeloaders.

Just as half of those Americans Mitt derided will now not vote for him for sure, even if most of them were not going to vote for him, anyway, so too will Mudavadi not get the votes of those he now accuses to be murderers, rapists and looters when they are not and never have been.

Finally, by this assertion, Mudavadi clearly shows that he doesn’t understand the rule of law maxim and holding people responsible for actions committed that are against society rules.

Even in a situation where there is mass violations of the law, such as in riots where property is destroyed or people injured, etc, it’s imprudent and impractical to haul everyone to court.

Rather, the police zero-in on the most culpable and arrest them while the rest of the rioters are chased away or simply take off.

True in that case everyone on the streets rioting can be said to have been collectively responsible for the damage of property or injury to others that takes place but it doesn’t follow that therefore we either arrest and charge all of them or do nothing.

That logic doesn’t fly at all and thus the reason this assertion by Mudavadi is (let me not use a word that comes to mind) out of respect for the people of Sabatia.

“Political observers see the race for the presidency taking a more definite shape in the next one month or so as the flurry of defections and realignments is concluded. [color=Red][b]Raila’s claims that this is going to be a two-horse race, between him and Uhuru, is seen by observers as another effort to discourage Mudavadi and cheer Uhuru on.

The fact is, this is a race between two opponents: Raila v Everyone Else (EE).

Someone shall be declared winner come March 4 and the money is on that person being Raila.

Whether this strategy works or not remains to be seen.”

As noted above, the battle is between Raila and EE.

Besides, he’s on the record saying the more the merrier.

May the best candidate win.

His Excellency President Raila Amolo Odinga.

Let’s practice these majestic words, shall we?

 
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Posted by on October 3, 2012 in Politics

 

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Uhuru’s TNA Having The Largest Number of Listed Members Is Nothing To Brag About

The Daily Nation has posted some interesting numbers based on data it says were obtained from IEBC, which shows that Uhuru’s TNA has the largest number of registered members at 153,352, followed by Ruto’s 108,124, Raila’s ODM at # 3 with 83,526, Mudavadi’s UTF with 83,348 and when I saw a party called Mwangaza has 81,368 at #5, my antena went up.

For what it’s worth, this story was brought up by a Raila supporter with ties in the former Central who came across as fired up and ready to go to bat for Raila than quite frankly many whose task is to be fired up and ready to bat for Raila but are not for one reason or another; not yet, anyway.

Be that as it may be, when I read the story, I posted the following comment, which the DN published:

Not that it’s irrelevant, it’s not the party with the largest number of registered voters that matters but which party has the largest number of voters across the country that does.

TNA having 153,000 members all from the former Central, ditto for Martha Karua having 64,644 from same place or Ruto having 108,124 all from Uasin Gishu and so on is really not something to write home about.

However, it’s disturbing and one more good reason why we need a limitation of political parties to less than five because by these statistics, the top 10 parties by registration of members have less than 30% of the total number of members of the various registered political parties, which means we have hundreds of parties registered but for what?

Let’s hope the new Parliament and President addresses this issue for we certainly don’t need that many parties, not even close to that number.

I have since posted a response to someone commenting on my comment:

@maobe, Yes I am aware of the constitutional requirements. That only means at Kshs 1000 each (Moi’s # adjusted for inflation), anyone who has lined up their pockets from the public till can easily buy 24,000 votes.

So, it doesn’t mean that a party has nationwide appeal or following merely because it has the required minimum number of registered members in each county.

All I am saying is you have to look beyond these numbers to know the real story; are they all from the expected strong-holds or are they from across the nation such as ODM’s members are and none of the other parties have such a cross-nation registration; at least not in comparative strength and how many of those registered members are genuine and don’t tell me they are simply because they are accepted by IEBC for we know there are documented cases of double registration and illegal registration of people who have not consented to such registration.

That being said, what we all should watch out for is actual registration of new voters and ensuring the integrity of the register roll.

A party that is serious about winning elections must make sure as many of its supporters and target constituencies are registered as possible and actually show up to vote.

Failure to tend to this simple age old staple of democracies shall be a sure way for a party to lose elections.

In sum, there is nothing nothing here to get excited about these numbers unless you know or have all the data to determine the composition of those numbers but I am sure the data will confirm what I am saying here and that is all these parties except for ODM have their party rolls completely filled with members from their strong-holds many of whom are double registered or illegally registered.

Besides, what is there exciting about a party having less than 6% of the total number of all registered members of the various types, yet that’s exactly what the TNA numbers represent?

 
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Posted by on September 28, 2012 in Politics

 

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The Kenyan Living In London Claiming He Is Wary of Raila Is Being Disingenuous As To His Real Motives

In an article appearing in the Standard yesterday titled “Why I Am Wary of Raila,” its author, one Peter Ngilu attempts to offer reasons that flatly fail on any level of analysis in making the case this Peter was trying to make.

As any objective reader will conclude after analyzing this piece of political hack job by someone I have no doubt is a TNA/URP/UDF fan—and there is nothing wrong with that except the hacking, there is nothing, in fact, to be wary about Raila or his presidency.

Rather, we have in Raila a president in waiting all Kenyans except the naysayers will be happy and proud to have at the helm.

Here we go:

Peter says, “Our Prime Minister is a very likable person, a very respectable and of course extremely excellent nationalist with a very workaholic persona. He is a reformist who has fought tooth and nail for our constitution and we do appreciate that from the bottom of our hearts as a nation.”

Right on.

This is at the core of who Raila is; had Peter left it right there, he would have made the case he actually believes as does everyone one else, which is, Raila is the best qualified among those vying precisely because of this and more.

He says Raila has “also fought for human rights, equal opportunities and freedom of speech and has been imprisoned for that cause. We know that the Prime Minister may soon be our president if we go by current opinion polls.”

Again, right on.

Indeed, combined, what Peter has said here is at the core of who Raila is; had he left it there, he would have made the case he actually must believe as does everyone and that is, Raila is the best qualified among those vying for the presidency precisely because of what this Peter has said and more.

But he did not leave it there; he instead chose to pursue a line of thinking and argument or “raising concerns” as he calls it that fail in making whatever case he was trying to make when subjected to scrutiny.

Never mind he prefaces his attack with these accolades and even shows his “respect” by noting, “However, with all my respects to my honorable respectable Prime Minister,” because his is nothing but an attack piece that I address to him in rebuttal as follows.

1. Inconsistency

You say, “The Prime Minister is very inconsistent. Today he will say this and that, only to refute it the following day and say that he never said it. He will say he was misquoted.”

There is no one among those vying for the presidency that has been more consistent in what he or she does than Raila.

Instead of making this sweeping allegation without any factual foundation, you would have been better off–and this is, in fact, required in making any convincing case–to cite specific examples where Raila has been inconsistent, shown why that’s relevant or important in the context of his overall leadership ability and, more importantly, you would have had to compare and contrast that with all others seriously vying for the presidency and then make the case why anyone should be more wary of Raila than all the others on this account, namely, inconsistency.

You did not therefore this assertion must be dismissed as nothing but an effort to merely say things for the sake of attacking Raila.

You say, “Previously, [Raila] has denied many press reports that he said in public.”

First of all, which politician doesn’t do this rightly or wrongly and, secondly, and as noted above, by not citing any example, you again leave us with the impression you are merely saying or repeating things you have heard or read without more.

Had you cited any example, we could then analyze that example or examples to determine whether (a) the thing was said and (b) whether the denial is accurate.

If it turned out that (a) the thing was said and (b) the denial was not accurate or intellectually dishonest, then to complete the analysis, we would have to compare and contrast with the other presidential contenders to determine whether (a) they have said something they later denied having said and (b) if they have and the denial is not accurate or intellectually dishonest, then your point will be pointless to the extent it doesn’t raise anything new to distinguish one politician from another in as far as leadership ability is concerned, which is, in fact the case, namely, a politician saying something and later denying it is not a good measure of their leadership ability, taken in isolation.

You say, “This has made him earn the title of ‘Kigeugeu’ which means that he keeps changing like a chameleon.”

Here, you are simply payukaring or simply don’t know much about Kenyan politics.

Raila has never earned the title “Kigeugeu” and neither has he been referred to as such even by his enemies because he’s not and thus the reason I say you’re payukaring.

You say, “This has also made him lose many friends, honourable members and support and earn a lot of foe in the political arena.”

Because it’s false that Raila is or has been a Kigeugeu, it follows therefore that he has not lost any friends or support on account that he is a “Kigeugeu” he is not.

You say, “A leader must be calm, resilient, credible and patient.”

True.

You say, “And just as US Democrat president Obama said of his Republican opponent Mitt Romney, Raila seems to shoot first and then aim later.”

Again, examples can help your case or whatever point you’re trying to make; when has Raila shot first and aimed later? How important was that and more importantly, how does that compare to others vying for the presidency to make you more wary of Raila on this account than the rest?

You say, “We all know of Kibaki’s out-of-hands rule, he will be the last to comment in any situation however critical it is. While this is not a requirement for any national leader, it outlines how strong and resilient he is in taking his time to respond to issues of national interest.”

You are collapsing so many issues into one let me unbundle them for you:

First, you are comparing apples to oranges.

Kibaki is serving his last term in office while Raila is trying to succeed him, which means by definition Raila must and has to say more than Kibaki does or should.

Second, while I would agree with you there are times Raila has said things he shouldn’t or in a way should not, those are rare and taking everything into consideration, they take nothing away from his overall strong leadership abilities and certainly not when compared to those vying for the presidency.

Third, Kibaki’s silence when shouting from the top of the mountains was appropriate has not been good for the country.

For example, earlier this year when Uhuru and Ruto went around the country in the so-called “prayer rallies” which were anything but, Kibaki sat quietly as these two sowed seeds of discord and it took the intervention of the ICC warning the two they risked being arrested if they did not stop the reckless conduct and thankfully they heeded the warning and stopped the nonsense.

That silence by Kibaki was telling and there are others I can cite but need not as you get the point trying to put forth Kibaki’s ubiquitous silence as virtue and occasional Raila misspeak as a vice doesn’t wash factually and analytically speaking.

You say, “In any national issue, Raila is the first to comment and Kibaki is the last to conclude.”

I’ll rather have a leader who thinks on his feet than one who must be told what to say; in other words, the issue is not that Raila comments on every national issue—he must as a leader but it’s what he says that matter.

When I say there are things Raila probably shouldn’t comment about I am not talking about “national issues” which, again, he should and must comment lest he becomes like Kibaki whose silence is often mistakenly read to be he doesn’t care—true in some cases but not in all cases.

You say, “This makes the difference of a national leader; that he must go slow and hold his piece and think carefully what he is going to speak before he opens his mouth.”

No argument there but only to point out Raila does, in most cases, do just that.

He certainly does just that in all cases that are of national importance or significance.

2. Association with criminal outlawed groups

You say, “The Prime Minister has been seen campaigning with the leader of the outlawed criminal group Mungiki and these scenes only remind us of how grizzly the criminal sect murdered innocent civilians.”

I have previously said I intend to pen a comprehensive blog addressing the question of Maina Njenga and his support for Raila and specifically to address the question of religious conversion and what that means in the context of seeking forgiveness and redemption.

Put differently, the question to be asked and answered is can someone like Njenga see light and put his past behind him and become an agent of positive change in the country and my preliminary answer is yes and this was even before I recently met and briefly chatted with Njenga, and especially in light of something he told me that I would note in the blog and that has to do with unity of the country.
You say, “Mungiki murdered hundreds of people in cold blood especially in Central Kenya. By associating with this sect, the Prime Minister is simply telling us that he is so desperate for votes that he does not care which group he associates with, however bloody it is.”

You are mixing things that are actually separate.

While it’s true that Mungiki murdered hundreds of people in cold blood especially in the former Central province, it doesn’t follow that Raila is associating with the sect.

There is no Mungiki sect in the country anymore so Raila cannot associate with something that doesn’t exist.

What he does not realize is that he is simply reminding us of the horrible accounts of how our relatives were murdered by Mungiki.

Would Raila seek the votes of the former members of this defunct sect, most of who were and actually are nothing but hungry and poverty stricken youth and not the murderers some as were some in the sect, Yes!

Is seeking votes from the defunct sect a sign of desperation?

Heck No!

These are Kenyans who more than anyone other than fellow impoverished youth need a leader in the country who can finally address their plight and there is no one better suited for that than Raila among all those vying for the presidency!

You say, “Additionally media reports tell us that Raila has also sought dialogue with another outlawed group: Mombasa Republican Council (MRC). MRC is a group that advocates for secession. This is a criminal outfit that has no place in our country at all; for Kenya is one country in, peace, love and unity.

You clearly have no understanding or knowledge about what you are talking about here; in other words, you’re payukaring again.

First, MRC is not an “outlawed” group, so get your facts straight.

Second, while some in MRC are still advocating for secession in violation of a court order that lifted the organization’s ban, shunning them or responding to their calls with force is not the solution.

Third, and needless to say, MRC is not a “criminal outfit” as you falsely claim.

Because MRC is none of these things, and because it’s far more easy to divide than unite, there is nothing wrong for Raila to reach out to MRC and try and have their issues addressed in lieu of the alternative of doing nothing and allowing a controllable situation get even worse.

Indeed, it’s a sign of strong leadership ability when a leader like Raila takes on and tackles difficult issues such as those raised by MRC instead of ducking as all other presidential candidates.

You say, “Any leader associating with such groups does not love our country at all.”

Your premise is false therefore your conclusion is equally false and please educate yourself before you start saying things like Raila doesn’t love our country; what are you also a rabid follower of the birthers and haters of President Obama in the US who have been screaming to hoarseness that Obama hates America but are miserable because nobody but their kind believes or buys the nonsense?

You can attack Raila all you wish but leave some room between nonsense and the attacks and to even suggest that Raila doesn’t love the country is not only nonsensical, it’s laughable.

3. Coup involvement

You say, “It is no secret that the Prime Minister himself once confessed, with his own mouth, that he was involved in 1982 coup in which hundreds of people were murdered in an attempt to overturn the government.”

What’s your point?

You say, “Whether the government was bad or not is not our concern. And it is not an issue at the moment. But the coup itself was a treason act in the strictest sense of the word. Make no mistake; two wrongs never make a right. As the African proverb says, ‘a snake still has the venom, even if you remove its teeth.”

You are clearly desperate if you’re going back 30 years to bring up the 1982 attempted coup as something to attack Raila with; this is actually shameful and not worth even a rebuttal other than to say the reasons you have advanced as to why it makes you wary are nonsensical, misplaced and ill-informed so I won’t say much more than this about this.

4. Dictatorship

You say, “Former Agriculture Minister, Mr. Honourable William Ruto, the VP Mr. Kalonzo Musyoka, former Tourism Minister Mr. Balala and current Prime Minister Mr. Musalia Mudavadi, among others, have all complained of dictatorship inflicted in their midst by the Prime Minister Raila Odinga.”

You are here again demonstrating your lack of understanding of Kenyan politics and rather than spending time edifying you, let me just tell you this much:

Early on in the Kibaki Succession Game (KSG), which started soon after the coalition government was formed, it was decided that Ruto will be used as the vehicle to destroy Raila so he and the schemers decided it would fit their plans to try and depict Raila as a “dangerous” man who cannot be trusted.

Ruto then embarked on his mission of lies upon lies against Raila for months on end but to their surprise, Raila withstood all the lies and attacks so it was on to plan B.

Plan B was to try and depict Raila as a “dictator” who would take Kenya back to Moi and Kenyatta days—if you can believe that– because they know gullible Kenyans like you would fall for such nonsense and antics.

You then started hearing shameless mumblings about Raila’s “dictatorship” by the likes of Mudavadi that got louder and louder until Mudavadi left ODM on the false claim that the party was prone to Raila’s “dictatorship” when that’s obviously a lie for Mudavadi has gone on to do exactly what he falsely decried with Raila, namely, carrying himself as the presumptive presidential nominee of UDF.

The point is, Raila is no more a dictator than any of the presidential candidates and anyone who says or believes otherwise is either lying or is hopelessly in denial.

In fact, Raila is the more accommodating and far less dictatorial of all those vying for the presidency and more so the reason he should and will be reelected as our president.

You say, “They have all indicated that Raila rules with an iron hand and does not accept competition that is required in a democracy.”

This is first of all false and, more importantly, every single one of those saying so will do exactly what Raila does in maintaining party discipline and loyalty the only difference is, none of them can do so as effectively as Raila does.

Conversely, leadership is not for the weak and timid like Mudavadi who has demonstrated he is a very weak and indecisive politician.

You say, “Indeed, that is why some of these have left his party.”

False again.

Each one of the politician who has left ODM has left for reasons that have everything to do with seeing greener pastures elsewhere in as far as their personal gains politically are concerned than anything to do with democracy or Raila’s leadership of ODM.

Mudavadi, for example, is a certified Kibaki project to succeed him and if you think for a minute Mudavadi left ODM for anything other than this reason, then besides being gullible, you have a lot to learn about Kenyan politics.

You ask, “Is this what Raila calls democracy? Is this not dictatorship? Can all these people be wrong?”

The answers are irrelevant question, no, and yes, respectfully.

5. Extravagance

You say, “We are also told in the media of the extravagant nature of the PM’s trips abroad. The Prime Minister is known to spent [sic] nights in very expensive hotels in United States. One night of his trip in New York can pay for several of the striking teachers, doctors and lectures.”

You are here repeating a worn-out attack on Raila that has no basis in fact.

Raila, like all other world leaders, travels and stays in a manner and style you would expect any of those leaders to and certainly his travels are no more extravagant than any of the leaders undertake.

To argue that the travels are extravagant merely because the money could be used to pay striking teachers, doctors and lecturers goes to show you neither understand why Raila travels as much as he does and, more importantly, you certainly don’t understand or appreciate the benefits to the country from such travels that are far much more than merely paying the striking teachers, doctors and lecturers.

You ask, “Does this explain why the PM has never responded at all to the striking teachers?

You are obviously ill-informed or are unaware of the many things the PM does daily to address and resolve all manner of problems in the country but let me at least assure you from publicly available information the PM intervened in the teachers’ strike and, as a result, a deal was reached ending the strike.

You say, “Let us all Kenyans use our votes wisely in the coming elections and elect leaders of credibility. The choice is yours. Use your vote wisely.”

Excellent message I join in making the same call.

 
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Posted by on September 27, 2012 in Politics

 

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