“Vita vya panzi, furaha ya kunguru.”
The presidential election is now behind us, and our wheels of our struggles are trudging on uphill in this journey of survival in Kenya. There are those who are stubborn to a fault, and they won’t accept the verdict rendered by the Supreme Court of Kenya upholding Uhuru Kenyatta as the fourth president of the republic of Kenya. Some with psychological and possibly mental problems have committed suicide; some misguided members of parliament (names withheld) have threatened to bring a motion to parliament to disband the Supreme Court because “this thing” which was theirs was taken away from them by Chief Justice Dr. Willy Munyoki Mutunga and his fellow justices. (This is hot air because that it requires an amendment to the Constitution through a referendum to tinker with the independence of the Judiciary and the commissions and independent offices or to disband a commission or an independent office Under Article 255 of the constitution) There has been talk of democracy being on trial, but now it is the rule of law and justice which are on the cross. The shocker has to be that one by Prof. Makau Mutua, a man whose academic, legal erudition and alacrity I will always stand in awe of, that Uhuru will never be his president. All this heat minus any light is coming at a point when the real contender Jakom Raila Amolo Odinga has despite having reservations about the finding of the court, already moved on and is strategizing and planning on how to check the incoming government.
Many of those who are baying for the blood of the Supreme Court have never done anything for democracy, apart from rabble rousing in pubs and screaming on the internet. The Chief Justice and Justice Mohammed Ibrahim spent stints in detention for their agitation for democracy and civil rights. Those calling for the formation of the Republic of Nyanza are people who would never stand before a policeman wielding a mere baton with a single teargas canister; they are verbal warriors who can never take the heat. The comparison of Fidel Castro, Yoweri Museveni, Dr. John Garang and other revolutionaries who have employed successful guerilla war with some Facebook analysts is a stuff that stupidity is made of. I do not think that any part of Kenya can marshal the financial, military, political, and tactical resources to upstage the Kenyan government with its allies. To this end, it should be manifestly made clear that Nyanza (or any part of Kenya for that matter) is a key plank of this country, its natural and renowned human resources are key planks in this country and the world over, and this must remain to be so.
There were unfounded talks of sanctions in the event that Uhuruto duo was elected, The United Kingdom’s House of Commons dispelled such notions, some puerile rumour was doing the rounds that the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) was shifting its operations to Seychelles because Kenyans had elected a pair of International Criminal Court (ICC) indictees, to the contrary, shortly thereafter, UNEP was upgraded to an assembly status and it now United Nations Environmental Assembly. Johnnie Carson had talked of “choices having consequences”, we of course know that the United States will definitely take care of its interests in Kenya.
Those hopeless naysayers have gone to a desperate extent of claiming that Kenyans have been barred by the US from applying for the Green Card when in real sense one of the legislative arms of the US government has shown an intent to do away with the whole thing across the whole world. Leaders from David Cameron despite William’s Hague’s reservations about Kenyans choice of leaders, Jose Manuel Barosso, Napolitano, Francois Hollande, have promised to work with Uhuru, not us the Kenyan people and those still hoping that the sanctions are coming are dreaming. America installed Mobutu Seseseko in Zaire and supported him for over thirty years, still deals with Israel, America deals with Pakistan, America deals with Egypt and it will continue to work with any government for as long as its interests and the interest of its people is taken care of. And yes, it will continue dealing with Uhuru and Ruto.
A while back, politician and entrepreneur Esther Passaris wrote on her Facebook page that not all Kikuyus are thieves as it was being alleged by some people (which is a crystal clear factual statement). The vitriol that was poured on her person by young Kenyans most of who are either diploma or degree holders was pathetic and uncalled for. I know that there are Luos who have been offended by some very inane quote doing the rounds (uthamaki ni witu, thamaki ni ciao – which I understand means governance is ours, the fish are theirs). For those with thin skin, it is understandable that they will blow the top, but it does not call for retaliatory snide quotes about others communities. Kalenjins have been told by some to go back and milk their goats; they are foolish for pairing up with “thieving” Kikuyus who will continue stealing their land, Kikuyus have been termed as genetically wired to be thieves. What does anybody gain by becoming myopic, petty and reprehensible?
All sane Kenyans must be made aware that the presidency of Uhuru will not be a presidency for Kikuyus, the successes and failings of Uhuru while in office will not squarely lie on Kikuyus and it is therefore vile for anybody to lampoon all Kikuyus into the Uhuru name. My Kikuyu friends are still struggling, I personally know Kalenjins who are out of school because they can’t afford the fees despite the fact that William Ruto is the in-coming second in command in the pecking order. What then does this tell us? Simple; that it will be the elites of the society who will directly profit from the Uhuruto administration and those few who will be lucky, not Kalenjins and Kikuyus. The stereotyping must and has to stop. For any Luo who thinks about the stupidity of Kalenjins, remember, Dr. Sally Kosgei stuck with Jakom to the bitter end, to those Kikuyus who think that Luos are not fit to lead, juggle your mind, the Secretary-General of Uhuru’s The National Alliance (TNA) is none other than Onyango Oloo, to those Kalenjins who think Luos can only have half a loaf, remember this, in 2007, you saw in Arap Mibei what Moses was to the children of Israel on their journey from Egypt.
All those hell-bent on sowing the seeds of discord, please have this in mind; your burden is projected to be much heavier as a result of the devolved government and therefore any iota of time and resources that you have must be channeled towards creating wealth and opportunities. Our wage bill is projected to rise because of the devolved government; the taxes that you pay will definitely be raised to support government projects and recurrent expenditure. You have already seen some very outlandish statements being made by your elected leaders even before settling into office; governors fighting over the right flying of the national flags as if they do not fathom the provisions of The National Flag, Emblems and Names Act. Cap 99 of the Laws of Kenya, The County Government Act, Members of Parliament are egregiously bracing for war with Sarah Serem’s Salaries and Remuneration Commission for what they term as poor pay and have threatened to move a motion to scrap this constitutional body, your county representatives have spoken and spoken in a very loud voice; you are currently paying them peanuts and they want a pay rise. If these “royals” across the political divide have in common bond united to desecrate the constitution in pursuit of parochial selfish ends, why are Kenyans debasing themselves by abusing whole communities on their behalf? These leaders know that if you want to do something which is compatible with an existing law, you lobby legislators to amend or repeal the sections you don’t like, not cry like a kid in defiance of existing laws which you swore under oath to uphold.
There are those praying that the Uhuruto government may fail, I hope it does not fail for it fails, I will be among those who will be affected by the instability. Tribalism is a cancer that is gnawing way our national conscience bit by bit. We take a stand; and now is the time. We must fight negative ethnicity and foster a spirit of brotherhood and inclusiveness if we are to really “move on”. This confusion that you are creating will be a blessing in disguise for the political elites and class. While you are busy fighting and calling each other names, corruption networks are forming across the political divide to suck your lifelines. We the people are supposed to be the vanguard in defence of our country and constitution, the more we waste time sidelining our real brothers –those from different – tribes the easier it will be for the divide and rule philosophy to gain a foothold.
Good people, wise up and rise above.
“Men give away nothing so liberally as their advice.” F. de la Rochefoucauld.
Now that the Supreme Court of Kenya cleared the way for President-elect Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto to be sworn into office, the next question is what will be the protocol to be observed on the inauguration day. The key thing of the day (scheduled for 9th April, 2013 at Moi International Sports Center Kasarani which seats 60,000 people. For many employees, this will be a much deserved rest day as it will be a gazetted public holiday) will be the transition of presidential reigns from Emilio Mwai Kibaki to Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta. Technically, this will be Kibaki’s last official duty as he heads into retirement joining his predecessor Daniel Toroitich Arap Moi. This will also be the last day Kibaki’s presidential standard will be hoisted to be replaced by Uhuru’s. (The standard is just another word for flag, usually; you may have noticed that vehicles carrying a president usually have two flags, one the national flag and the other a presidential flag. Jomo Kenyatta’s standard was previously on display at the Kenya National Archives).
Given the situation which transpired at Uhuru Park on 31st December, 2002 when Moi handed over power to Kibaki, the current generation of leaders saw it fit to come up with a clear-cut manner of doing things whereby we will not have to pity Kibaki as some goons who may have a bone to pick with him throw mud at him as it happened to Moi. We may be travelling through previously uncharted waters, but the law is now very lucid on how the president will assume power as set out by law. The relevant law is Article 141 of the Constitution as read with the Assumption to the Office of President 2012 Act. The applicable provisions under the current circumstances is Article 141 (2) (b) which reads;
(2) The President-elect shall be sworn in on the first Tuesday following––
(b) the seventh day following the date on which the court renders a decision declaring the election to be valid, if any petition has been filed under Article 140.
To make this day successful and hitch free, there is an established Committee to the Assumption to the Office of President headed by the current Head of Public Service Francis Kimemia who is also its chairman. This time, just like in 2002, the swearing-in will be in broad daylight and I believe UK may not have to struggle with some words the way Kibaki inserted “kazi ya uhalifu” in his oath in 2007.
What happens if a president dies before assuming office? This is tackled by Article 139. Should a President-elect die before being sworn in, the Deputy-elect will be sworn in as an acting President on the date on which the President-elect would otherwise have been sworn-in and a fresh election to the office of President shall be held within sixty days after the death of the President-elect.
If both the persons declared elected as the President and the Deputy President die before assuming office, the constitution decrees that the Speaker of the National Assembly (this would be Justin Muturi) shall act as President from the date on which the President-elect would otherwise have been sworn-in and a fresh presidential election shall be conducted within sixty days after the second death. Reliable sources indicate that Uhuru and Ruto cannot currently attend public events together, board the same aircraft or be outside the boarders of the country at the same time until they are sworn into office.
On the appointed day, Uhuru and Ruto will precede Kibaki in arriving at Kasarani and Kibaki will be the last to arrive in his motorcade with police outriders from Sierra Hotel (State House) in what will be his last presidential ride and function. President Kibaki will inspect a Guard of Honour, his last as Head of State, before going to the main dais where he will shake hands with the incoming President. Then the prayers will be offered from several religions and traditional leaders.
Uhuru will be administered the oaths by The Chief Registrar of the Judiciary, the affable Mrs. Gladys Boss Shollei (Kenyan advocates must be familiar with her scorpion-like signature on their current practicing certificates) in the presence of Chief Justice Dr. Willy Mutunga. Uhuru will take and subscribe to the oath or affirmation of allegiance and the oath or affirmation for the execution of the functions of office in accordance with Article 141 of the Constitution. In 2002, it was Amos Wako; Chief Justice Bernard Chunga assisted by William Ouko (as he then was). In the absence of the Chief Justice, the Deputy Chief Justice (Who we currently do not have after the monkey business and exploits of Nancy Baraza although we are still awaiting the approval or rejection of Lady-Justice Kalpana Rawal by parliament) is mandated by law to swear in the president and the deputy president. The passing of instruments of power will take place after Uhuru takes the oath of office and signs a certificate of inauguration.
Kibaki will then hand over the ‘instruments of power and authority’ – a special sword and the 2010 Constitution – to Uhuru. Uhuru will also be handed the EGH chain.The ceremonial sword will mark the change of guard from Kibaki as the Commander-in-Chief (C-in-C, pronounced sinc in military parlance) of Kenya Defence Forces, to UK. At this juncture, Kibaki will cease enjoying the services of an aide-de-camp who will now be seen standing or seating behind Uhuru.
Upon completion of the swearing-in of the President-elect, the deputy President-elect, William Ruto will be sworn into office by Chief-Justice Dr. Willy Mutunga by taking and subscribing to the oath or affirmation of allegiance and oath or affirmation for the execution of the functions of office in accordance with Article 148 of the Constitution. After swearing has been dispensed with, Ruto will then be required to call on Kibaki to give his exit speech. Thereafter, Kibaki will invite President Uhuru to deliver his inaugural speech to the nation which will likely set out his agenda for the next five years. Twaisubiri speechi hii kwa hamu na ghamu kufahamu yaliyomo.
After the swearing-in, Kibaki’s white presidential flag will be lowered as Uhuru’s navy blue one hoisted. The National Anthem will then be played to pave the way for a change of the standard, which is to be displayed alongside the national flag whenever Uhuru is on official assignment. The flags also flying on Kibaki’s limousine pendants will be folded up.
Kibaki will then (I assume) rush to State House to welcome the new occupant Uhuru before he is driven to either Muthaiga or some place he may decide as a citizen of this country. (Those who were around in 2002 may wish to replay the scene where Moi boarded the chopper to take him to Kabarak in the presence of weeping Hon. Zipporah Kittony and Dr. Sally Kosgei). I do not think any tears will be shed this time round.
What I have written may turn out to be true, or may not be adhered to in the order set out, but this is my opinion.
How far can a man (or lady) go to make money or steal ? If you are in Kenya….. Open a church (anoint yourself and apostle or bishop to drive the point home) and start praying for the sick, preaching the gospel of prosperity and dishing out an Mpesa number? Become a pick-pocket? Become a mganga mashuhuri with the ability to search and trace lost people? vie for a political office and fight to determine your own pay ? go to school, study smart, pass with good grades join a university –then get employed. All the above are feasible in today’s Kenya.
But none beats the ingenuity and bravery of one Giovanni Di Stefano, derisively termed as the “Devils Advocate” a former Dundee FC director and a lawyer of international repute who has represented the high and mighty of this world. He couldn’t rule out representing Adolf Hitler or satan on the basis that satan has never been heard, he has been condemned unheard which is against the basic tenets of natural justice! This is a man who has managed to swindle several “desperate and vulnerable victims” purporting to be a Cambridge University educated “avvocato” in simple terms, those fellows who refer to each other as learned friends. It was submitted to the court that he employed the use of the Italian word “avvocato” on business cards, letterheads and identification documents to give clients – and the judiciary – the impression he was an advocate, when in essence he was just but a bright quack. In the course of his long running career, he has claimed to have represented the who-is-who of the criminal and political empires. Among those he had their hands of friendship were Patrick ‘Dutchy’ Holland, Dr. Harold Wickman, the Serbian warlod Arkan, Robert Mugabe, Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein and Slobadan Milosevic.
The man lined his pockets enjoying his holidays in villa in Majorca, Spain while his clients suffered, among them a disabled man seeking damages for the loss of an arm, while he prospered undeterred. How he was even allowed to practice without even raising eyebrows amazes me. He was so brazen – and still is if his tweets behind the walls of prison are anything to go by- even managed to overturn convictions, and secured release from prison of people. His forty days as a “lawyer” expired and he was charged with and convicted on 25 charges including deception, fraud, forgery and money laundering between 2001 and 2011. He will be taken care of by Her Majesty’s government for the next 14 years.
To be a successful lawyer, you must be capable of thinking on your feet, an innovative and critical thinker with strong analytical skills. All this are qualities that Giovanni Di Stefano possesses which made his profession even easier and if you throw in his honorary PHD in Law from the University of Belgrade facilitated by his buddy Milosevic, he is good to go (plus with his politician’s side and lying tongue he was fit and proper). I know that I posses many positive qualities, and my silver tongue rarely fails me. In these harsh economic times, I am really getting ideas!
“Whom the gods wish to destroy they first call promising.” Cyril Connolly, Enemies of Promise.
Is national development getting shunted aside by the politics of the moment? Raila, a man who is both feared and loved in equal measure is still adamant that he won the presidential election and what he is waiting for is just the declaration to this effect from the Supreme Court of Kenya. With the exhilaration, confusion and exhaustion of the grueling campaigns temporarily behind us, we assumed that the dust would have settled and people moved on awaiting the verdict of SCORK. But this was not among Raila’s plans due to the perceived nature of our national amnesia. He is currently engaged in a war of words with President-elect Uhuru Kenyatta over his sensational utterances in Changamwe that he won the presidential contest garnering a comfortable 5.7 million votes against Uhuru’s 4.5 million without any empirical proof. Raila ought to know this; the skills and talents of his operatives failed the test of efficiency. If Raila’s “truth of numbers” is truly true, then the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) failed Kenyans. Because a lot of plaster is coming off the ceiling, they must give Raila his votes and explain to us how and where Uhuru’s 6.1 million votes against Mr. Odinga’s 5.3 million were arrived at! If this ain’t the truth then Raila’s advisors are exhibiting signs of delusions of grandeur. Theirs is a Sahara of ideas. In the Supreme Court rules in favour of IEBC, Uhuru will effusively thank God for Raila’s drudgers, Johnnie Carson’s “choices have consequences” and our good Ghanaian friend and eminent African personality Mzee Kofi Annan.
Kenyans have been previously advised to have confidence in their institution, but it seems some of those in leadership positions do not have an iota of trust in these institutions. When Charles Nyachae’s Constitution Implementation Committee advised ministers to relinquish their positions, Attorney-General Prof. Githu Muigai swiftly overruled him in a legal brief only for president Kibaki to direct that ministers and assistant ministers elected on March 4 to resign, “with immediate effect, so as to qualify to be sworn in” for various elective posts. Not long thereafter, Raila was on the news again overruling Kibaki! It surely appears to be the Tower of Babel with different actors reading from different scripts but acting in the same play. This underscores the lacuna that exists between the law and the executors. I had opined that Raila would not concede defeat, whether he lost by fair or foul means, his mind was already made up – that he had to be declared the president. He is challenging Uhuru Kenyatta’s presidential win but his utterances paint a picture of a person who would rather sort out the matters in a public forum, not in the corridors of justice. He has been insistent that he will not stop commenting about the case because it is political and judges are handling the judicial aspects. I am not a lawyer and therefore I am not competently qualified to cite the merits and demerits of the sub judice rule and its variance with the right to free and fair speech. My hope is that the citizenry will not be complicit in this devious manner of doing things.
Unless a miracle happens, and it won’t happen anyway, the next president will inherit a mortgaged country. The rules of civil discourse have been thrown to the wind. Raila, a man who is both feared and loved in equal measure is still adamant that he won the presidential election and what he is waiting for is the declaration to this effect from the Supreme Court of Kenya. With the exhilaration, confusion and exhaustion of the grueling campaigns, we assumed that the dust would have settled and people moved on awaiting the verdict of SCORK. But this was not among Raila’s plans due to the perceived nature of our national amnesia. He is currently engaged in a war of words with President-elect Uhuru Kenyatta over his sensational utterances in Changamwe that he won the presidential contest garnering a comfortable 5.7 million votes against Mr Kenyatta’s 4.5 million without any empirical proof. If this is true, then the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) failed Kenyans. They must give Raila his votes and explain to us how Uhuru’s 6.1 million votes were arrived at and where Mr. Odinga’s 400,000 votes went!
However, Raila and his errand boys robust utterances border on not having due regard for the due process. We can only hope that the court rules in his favour if we wish him to accept the verdict and say that he has confidence in the court bandia system. The former Raila Odinga was a warrior, a player in his on league. Raila was a lion in 1982 when he decided to take on Daniel Moi and the KANU operatives, although we may never know what motives he had for organizing the attempted coup d’état on 1st August, 1982, his name will never be removed from the rich and deep history of this republic, the flipside is that while the naïve coup executors with nondescript names like Hezekiah Ochuka were sent to the gallows, those with prominent names like Raila got away with it. Nowadays hearing him moan and complain about Uhuru paints a picture of a shadow of the vibrant man he once was and Jaramogi Adonijah Oginga Odinga would not be amused by the current-day-ever-complaining Raila. There was a time Raila fought for the masses, nowadays; he only fights for himself, his family, his cronies and his bankrollers. Those who are equating him to legends like Mekatilili Wa Menza, Jaramogi Oginga, Masinde Muliro, Nelson Rohilela Mandela, Dr. Martin Luther King Jnr., Malcolm X, Patrice Emergy Lumumba, Steve Biko, are trivializing heroism and missing the whole point of serving the nation at all costs with conscience. These people fought wars of ideology and conscience and not for personal gains. Even Kenneth Matiba who still suffers from the debilitating effects of the Moi torture system score higher than my much beloved Jakom.
Each time he talks about Kenya’s 42 tribes and the domination by some, Raila is calling on our subconscious mind to read Kikuyu leadership. I am not a Kikuyu but I do not mind having Samuel Ndungu Njoroge as my County Representative, Dennis Kariuki Waweru as my Member of Parliament, Rachel Wambui Shebesh as the Nairobi County Women Representative in the National Assembly simply because they are Kikuyus, I do not mind having Dr. Evans Odhiambo Kidero being my governor because he is a Luo, I believe that he is a leader who will take Nairobi to great heights because he did so at Nation Media Group and Mumias Sugar. I will also not complain if a Kikuyu becomes a president because the crux of representative democracy like ours is that the people have the final word on who leads them. When former General Service Unit paramilitary from Eldoret turned Anglican Bishop Alexander Muge was exposing Moi’s dark façade, no body took him as a Kalenjin, but as a voice of reason, when the poacher J.M. Kariuki was telling Kenyatta off about the select few millionaires and the majority living in poverty, many university students lionized him without calling him a Kikuyu, when Thomas Joseph Mboya was airlifting the Wangari Maathai’s and Barak Obama’s abroad to acquire education, many cheered because he was acting as a Kenyan and most importantly, a human.
I was among those who were excited with a Raila leadership, but look at what his ideas and actions have delivered over the last five years – apart from a posh office, red carpet, and trappings of power; he has done literally nothing for those who believed in him, those who saw an emancipator in him. He did nothing about taxes, he did nothing serious about corruption (even in his office), he did nothing about education, he did nothing about health, he did nothing about unemployment, and many other nothings. He turned into a profligate spender (because it was in vogue) of government money because he was “touring the world to bring investments to Kenya” and closed ranks with those who were corrupt and inept in pursuit of his political ends. He has a selective way of honouring names and families of freedom fighters, during national holidays he remembers to cite their names and gallant actions and during campaign seasons he visits their families promising things once he gets into power. There are those desolate men who lost their jobs when Kenya Air Force was disbanded in 1982, he promised them that he would plead their cause once he got into power. Trace and find them and ask what happened to the promise.
When I lived in Limuru, I learnt a certain saying “kuuga na gwika” translated as kusema na kutenda in Swahili and saying and doing in English. This was at a time when William Ruto, Kipruto Arap Kirwa, Cryus Jirongo and their friends were popularizing, long before Ruto took it as his clarion call. What I mean to convey is that Raila can promise, but deliver he can’t. In 2008, because of several reasons, I was among those who sympathised and emphatised with Raila because we felt that he had been robbed, betrayed, wronged and disappointed by the system he trusted. We believed that Raila was a pre-eminent proponent for social justice and equality at a time when democracy was on trial. But not now, he renounced his commitment to social justice and now espouses divergent ideologies. There’s a group surrounding him telling us that the grass is ready to be lit, those talking about “kukiona cha mtema kuni” but he is doing nothing whatsoever to tell them to behave. There are a lot of people who never voted for Uhuru who are not talking of Raila must accept the results and move on but these are people who pray and hope that whichever way the case goes, life will go on as usual without violence flaring up. These are people who were not to be indignant or embittered with any win, CORD or Jubilee, for them, life is a struggle. We gave Raila votes, but from what IEBC announced, it appears they would not tilt the scales in his favour.
p/s Can anyone near UK advise him to stick to his usual retinue, a lot of feathers are being ruffled every time he is seen with the trappings of power like the police outriders, red carpet, the presidential jet, pilgrimage by state security bosses, dancing troupes welcoming him, and so on, and so forth… until he is sworn in as a president ( in case Jakom’s votes are not given back to him). And to my Jakom Raila, those around him please deliver this to him: Kenya is bigger than an individual and these two gentlemen need to bury the hatchet, reflect and move on.
Facts are stubborn things; they do not yield unless they are doctored facts. To paraphrase Sunday Nation’s word guru Philip Ochieng, they stand out like the Kenyatta International Conference Center in Nairobi’s skyline. Politics in turn is more of a game of numbers and less a game of morals sadly. Raila’s political career is at stake, he is fighting a fight for his political survival and future in Kenya. And so, if Raila Odinga thinks that if the Supreme Court of Kenya was to invalidate Uhuru Kenyatta’s victory and order for a fresh round of presidential polls he would emerge victorious and any of you believes this thought, I have a bridge across the Indian Ocean for sale. My skepticism id predicated on the fact that Raila as it stands now cannot marshal numbers to beat Uhuru. Raila made strategic mistakes when he decided to rely on “voters” like Makau Mutua, Ipsos Synovate, Infotrak, Strategic Research, Consumer Insight, Smart Octopus, Facebook, Twitter and Gallup instead of mobilizing his lieutenants to ask “real” people to register in large numbers during the voter registration exercise and turn up in large numbers to vote come 4th March. Currently, Uhuru is busy mending fences and building making amends with the Mudavadi’s of this country while Raila is calling Uhuru and Ruto criminals who ought not to be stepping in State House but serving time in prison. How this is supposed to earn him marks or votes is inexplicable.
So while Raila (who we can consider was the incumbent in the race since only Kibaki ranked higher than him in the political field in Kenya) was busy attending World Economic Forum meetings and dinning and wining with the topnotch executives of the world’s leading brands, Uhuru was busy strategizing and touring the ground. While Friends of Raila (FOR A) were busy chest-thumping about their reform credentials, the Dennis Itumbi led teamuhuru,co.ke brigade was in the trenches preparing for the actual game. In the Art of War, Sun Tzu posits that the, while Hassan Omar (the Mombasa senator-elect) was busy trumpeting how ICC would nail Uhuru, Prof. Peter Kagwanja and his foot soldiers were busy deflating the shots. And so it came to pass that Uhuru beat Raila in the game of numbers. When Mutahi Ngunyi released his tyranny of numbers document, CORD through Wachira Maina a Constitutional Lawyer retained by Africa Centre for Open Governance (AfriCOG) hit back in a very cavalier manner calling Ngunyi’s take as “wishful thinking” through his “What tyranny of numbers – Inside Mutahi Ngunyi’s Numerology”. Instead of CORD using Ngunyi’s assertions to buttress their fort and claim more territory, they just became pedantic in their response instead of offering a meaningful rebuttal culminating in Raila’s loss.
Those who truly love Raila will tell him that from the look of things, it is game short. He cannot under any circumstance beat Uhuru even if there was to be a fresh voter registration exercise. Not that I do not like Jakom the person, but these are the facts which he has to contend with. The Muthama’s around him are cheating him, they are like the people he refers to in his the King is naked analogy, they will not tell him the truth that he is exposed. While his deputy captain Kalonzo Musyoka has been unreservedly been clear that CORD will abide with the verdict of the Supreme Court, Jakom has been insistent that the court will rule in his favour the way he was too confident that he would win in 90 minutes. We need to slay the dragon of tribalism but we cannot burry our heads in the sand and assume all is well. We must put our shoulders to the wheel.
Going by the voting pattern countenanced on 4th March, we are still a way off from discarding the tribal mentality. (Although we have made positive steps to remained peaceful irrespective of our tribes) From Ukambani, to GEMA, then Rift Valley (Kalenjin) and then Luo Nyanza, it does not amount to hate speech to say that the majority voted along tribal lines based on how their “people” were represented at the various coalitions apex. As much as Raila claims to be a patriot or democrat who is devoid of tribal ideology facts show a different person. Were it a matter of ideology, he would not have teamed up with Kalonzo Musyoka who was deriding him just a few months prior to their union to retire with Kibaki because he was old. He joined hands with Kalonzo based on personal interest, not the national good.
Whether Raila wins his petition against IEBC and Isaak Hassan and gains a new lease of political life, or loses and Uhuru’s victory is upheld and he decides to quit active politics, Raila should be careful about the friends that he picks because his current friends are sinking – and they want to go done with him. It is said that friends should be few but honest and understandably, the cacophony of people around Jakom meant no good to him or his presidential ambition. People like Anyang Nyong’o ought to have been isolated a long time ago – keep in mind the fact that the NHIF fiasco – affected millions of workers while he was in his hubris lecturing us how he was blowing away money on lunch at Nairobi Serena Hotel on what some people earn as a month’s salary. CORD rested on their laurels, the offhand manner and the scale of incompetence in which Jakom’s strategists operated cost him victory and they will have to live with this fact on their consciences. As it stand now, Uhuru’s Jubilee Coalition has an upper hand in both houses parliament and senate.
I now rest my case, but for the rest of us who are not active politicians, our duty is just to watch the vents as they unfold. We are the dances who will dance until the music stops; we are more of catalysts in this process of politics. In my case, I just hope that the government that will be formed will take a fresh look at the tax regime in Kenya with a view of revising it to cater for different types of workers to ensure that we do not pay taxes at the expense of our progression.
“One way of life is based upon the will of the majority, and is distinguished by free institutions, representative government, free elections, guarantees of individual liberty, freedom of speech and religion, and freedom from political oppression.
The second way of life is based upon the will of a minority forcibly imposed upon the majority. It relies upon terror and oppression, a controlled press and radio; fixed elections, and the suppression of personal freedoms.” Harry S. Truman.
Some scenes are rarely forgotten due to what they symbolize. A good example would be what is reflected at the end of contest – either sports or political. For a sportsperson, a win puts one among the mythical Greek gods, while a loss brings about a feeling of inadequacy. The sad thing with politics is that in most contests, the person who bags the number two slot is deemed henceforth irrelevant, a footnote in a book while the winner takes the honour of gracing the book and having the title of the book for him/herself. In 2002, Moi’s firm grip at State House Nairobi had to let go so that Mwai Kibaki would occupy the pinnacle of Kenya’s political structure. The image of Dr. Sally Kosgei the then Head of Civil Service and Secretary to the cabinet braking down and sobbing uncontrollably as Moi boarded the military chopper that took him to Kabarak will remain etched in our national memory. At that moment, the stark reality had sunk in; that she would have to sit back and watch others lead the nation which she had had at her beck and call.
Al Gore, John Kerry, John McCain and lately Mitt Romney have suffered the fate of being number two in a political contest. In 1992, Kenneth Matiba thought that he had State House for his occupying only for fate to pull a fast one on him, in 2007; all indications were that Raila Odinga would be Mwai Kibaki’s successor at State House Nairobi only for some dark forces to snatch the victory through a razor-thin margin as per Kivuitu from him. But what sets Raila apart from the rest of the above-mentioned men is that he never gave up; he gallantly rose up and dusted to fight another day –or year- squaring it out with Uhuru Kenyatta in the just concluded General Elections. Most pundits opined that this was Raila’s race to lose considering that his key opponent Uhuru was bogged down by the ICC scandal and the threats of sanctions from some nations to rethink their relationships with Kenya in the event Uhuru won. This confidence minus clear focus and real determination may be said to have been a factor to his coming a shock second to the Uhuru-Ruto alliance.
I had decided not to vote for any person who joined the Coalition government but through advice and campaigning by my friends, I decided to deny Mwalimu Mohammed Abduda Dida the chance to govern Kenya but gave to a different farasi. Although I have already congratulated Kenyans for a peaceful and credible election and wished team Uhuruto success, I am not afraid of saying that I will demand educational and economic opportunities and services from Uhuruto government despite the fact that I didn’t vote for them. For me, it was a win-win situation, whether Raila or Uhuru, I expected them to deliver on their promises and manifestos. But the most surprising and depressing thing has been bearing with the rants and name calling from my friends about why “my people” are so unredeemably stupid to an extent of having denied Jakom the numbers to enable him get a pass to state house. Why my people had to be the ones to decide the winner, I do not know. Let it be known, from the manner I have grown up, It will be impossible for me to sieve out “my people” from the Kikuyu’s, Kalenjins, Luos, Luhyas, Mijikendas, Somalis, and numerous others who have had a hand in bringing me up and making me who I am today. I grew up in such a manner that I would not have gotten anywhere had it not been for the input of those who are now being called “hao” (them).
The election put the hate wheels in motion. Why a friend would be angry that Jakom was not the one handed the presidential certificate by Issack Hassan defies logic. There is no empirical proof that those people who will gain more from the Uhuruto government will not be Kalenjins or Kikuyus, but those who are near the inner sanctum of power the Onyango Oloo’s, the Nancy Gitau’s, the Johson Sakaja’s, the Alfred Getonga’s, the George Muhoho’s , the Njee Muturi’s, the Jomo Gecaga’s, the Dennis Itumbi’s, the Isaac Maiyo’s and not some Rono’s or Kamau’s. We must separate real power from perceived power. So the anger bein felt by my friends in Kibera, Riruta, Kawangware, Kapsoya, Kondele and other places is misplaced. We must make it plain and clear that Uhuru and Ruto do not exist to help their tribes – if they do, it will just happen that they are their buddies who happen to be from their tribes – not some nondescript tribesmen whose only affiliation with them is the common tribe. If you want to know that tribal omenas mean nothing to the elites, just look at how seamless James Orengo the lofty guerilla fighter is working hand in glove with the custodian of the devil’s keys Mutula Kilonzo. Reason; they have common interests. When you see them surrounding Raila, it is not because they want to help him uplift the Kenyan people, they are raking in fortunes and defending their forte and ill-gotten wealth.
Therefore, dear fellow Kenyans, we are currently in a storm aboard a very rickety economic boat, it will need our resourcefulness to bring this boat out of this perilous tide. When fingers are disjointed, their impact is rarely felt, but when you bring them together, they become a force. Let our diversity be the source for our unity and not discord. Raila Odinga yesterday visited Kibera in the company of Coalition for Reform and Democracy’s (CORD) fire-breathing bigwigs like Budalangi MP-elect Ababu Namwamba, and Senators-elect Anyang’ Nyong’o (Kisumu) and Johnstone Muthama (Machakos).and exuding confidence told those in attendance that he would emerge victorious when the court renders its verdict on their petition against Independent Electoral and Boundary Commission (IEBC) pegged on Article 140 of our constitution. Irrespective of what the Supreme Court of Kenya will rule in respect of the presidential election contest, let us also take care of our affairs as people who share common everyday struggles and challenges and live on hope instead of expending our energies bringing down Luos, Kikuyus, Kalenjins, Kisiis or any other people because they didn’t vote for our candidate or for us. In the long run, if this stupidity prevails, we will only have ourselves to blame if we find that we are unable to pay our bills as a result of the time wasted on ranting and hating.
I take this opportunity to thank the people of Kenya for their peaceful and respectful demeanor shown before, during and after the March 4th 2013 General Elections. I also have the honour of congratulating president-elect Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta and the Deputy President Elect William Samoei Ruto and wish them the very best of success as they embark on this journey of healing and leading our great nation Kenya. May God continue granting us peace, prosperity and unity despite our differences.
History has once gain repeated itself; William Kipchirchir Samoei Arap Ruto who has the ability to both convince and confuse has made sure that the horse he is not backing does not get into State House. In 2007, Mwai Kibaki banked his hopes on retired president Daniel Moi to clinch the votes of the Kalenjin nation while Jakom Raila Amolo Odinga countered with the Ruto trump card. While people considered Ruto an overly ambitious political greenhorn not worth his weight in salt, the Kalenjin nation had different thoughts. The result was disastrous for Moi and Kibaki, at the end of the contest in the ensuing battle for State House, more than 1,300 people had lost their lives, more than 600,000 people had been displaced and property worth millions (or billions!) of shillings destroyed. In Kalenjin nation, Moi’s family was to rmain in the political cold for 5 years – Gideon Moi having been trounced by Ruto’s friend and former lands commissioner Sammy Mwaita.
When the National Accord was signed at the steps of the office of the president’s Harambee House in the presence of Koffi Annan, Benjamin Mkapa, Graca Machel, Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, Miguna Miguna amongst others in February, 2008, many assumed that as Raila’s foot soldier Ruto would clinch a key post in the re-constituted coalition government. This was not to be as Raila had to do a balancing act with whatever crumbs of the mkate nusu were thrown his way. With only twenty ministerial portfolios and the deputy prime minister’s portfolio, he was perhaps ill-advised that handing the deputy premier’s position and the local government ministry to Ruto would massively raise the stature and profile of Ruto. He thus gave Musalia Mudavadi the two positions and gave Ruto the equally powerful Agriculture portfolio which had slightly over thirty parastatals under it ambit. If this was meant to clip the wings of Ruto, the plan appears to have backfired.
The parting point came when Ruto was accused of having a hand in the maize scandal. Ruto claimed that the Ikolomani legislator Dr. Bonni Khalwale censure motion in 2009 was orchestrated by none other than Raila himself; the bullfighter was just a patsy. This was because the likes of Raila’s henchmen Orengo and Otieno Kajwang’ were baying for Ruto’s blood and spoiling for a fight, calling for his stepping aside. It was claimed that the PNU wing of the government led by Kiraitu Murungi and Uhuru Kenyatta met at Palacina Hotel along State House Road to stategise on how to help Ruto defeat the censure motion. When they emerged victorious, Ruto called a press conference at his Kilimo House office and asked Raila to face him as a man and not use underhand tactics. This indeed was the beginning of the friendship of Uhuru and Ruto which culminated in their election as the president and deputy president respectively and the end of the camaraderie between Raila and Ruto.
From then on, it was evident that the die had been cast and the bridges between the two elephants had been burnt. Going forward, their relationship took a turn for the worse. Given the fact that both men are very ambitious and ruthless in execution of their ambitions, a casualty had to be found from between them. In 2010, Raila considered Ruto to have grown too big for his breeches and decided to cut him to size and tried to fire (suspend was the term he used) Ruto only for Kibaki to re-instate him based on some ambiguous legal arguments advanced by the then Attorney-General Amos Sitswila Wako that although Raila had the power to appoint, he did not have the power to fire. Ruto was later transferred to Jogoo House to head the Ministry of Higher Education swapping places with Dr. Sally Kosgei who took the reigns at Kilimo House. Ruto and his supporters took this as a demotion. Raila was to have the last laugh when Ruto had to step aside after the high court put him on his defence in relation to a Kenya Pipeline Company land deal. Even though Kioko Kilukumi won the court battle, the International Criminal Court (ICC) sword of Damocles prevented his return to the cabinet. He later resigned himself to fate and decided to concentrate on his presidential quest.
Raila it seems never learnt from Kibaki’s mistake or history, but repeated it to a t. He decided in his own words to engage the people “directly” and found no need for elected leaders except those who obeyed his orders and sung his song like Henry Kosgei, Musa Sirma, Magerer Langat, Dr. Sally Kosgei, Frankline Bett and others. He forgot, one key element of Kenyan politics; that it is sadly but true a very tribal and parochial affair – our form of democracy – and that’s why Luo Nyanza votes him to a man, Central province always votes for mundu wa nyumba to the last man, My Kamba brothers have perfected the same art of and Kalenjins appear to have taken the block vote thing too seriously. So while Uhuru understood the practical dynamics, Raila sat back and relied on pollsters and celebrity endorsements, while Uhuru roped in Johnson Sakaja for his campaign, Raila countered with the vitriolic Johnston Muthama who cherished calling people names at the expense of seeking votes. So while Team Uhuruto traversed the country talking of how they would co-operate with the ICC and unite the country, Raila, Kalonzo and Moses Wetangula personalized the race and were busy reminding people of how disastrous it would be for the country’s image to elect suspects and thieves – certainly not a good way to endear yourself to the undecided voters.
Uhuru Kenyatta may then be said to have concluded that in order to get to state house, he had to have the backing of tribal numbers, registered voters to be precise in majority of counties. With this in mind, he hit the road running, making forays into every corner of the country promising people milk and honey, from the primary school children to the elders while Raila chose and spent unprecedented time promising implementation of the constitution (which has a self trigger mechanism), reform and democracy, change in government (while they are still in government and doing nothing) topped up with vice president Kalonzo Musyoka a very untrustworthy fellow. So while Raila pulled all stops to win over the Kalenjin vote, including asking them to forgiveness them if he had offended, it all landed on deaf ears. The Mau debacle is also said to have contributed to the mistrust that a section of the Kalenjin nation harbour for Jakom. We agree that Mau had to be saved, and those on the ground can attest to the fact that the reforestation has helped in some ways. But seeing the women in the cold, children and the elderly forsaken and dying and Jakom chest-thumping that he was ready to sacrifice his presidential ambition may have remained embedded in the thoughts of those voters.
Some have said that it was Kibaki who set up Raila for the mess that became Mau after the small time farmers were kicked out but Moi’s Kiptagich Tea Farm left standing – to date. What Raila may have not known is that those few farmers had more votes than Moi and they read this act as a class war. Ruto, Linah Jebii Kilimo, Frankline Bett took this as an opportune moment to sow the seed of discord between Raila and the small-scale farmers. Although Bett was later bribed with a cabinet position and Dr. Sally apologized to Jakom for calling the national flag on her government limousine a kitambaa, the relationship between Raila and the Kalenjin nation was never to be the same again. Raila never bothered to do a damage control. The last-minute action to get the endorsement of Joshua Arap Sang who is in the dock at the ICC appears not to have had any impact if the votes cast for Uhuru are to be considered.
Most skeptics never believed that the CORD-Raila “nyeupe kama pamba” behemoth would be eclipsed by the Uhuruto house of cards and consequently never looked at TNA’s candidate more than once on the ballot paper. But they were wrong. In the end (or rather until the legal hurdle is cleared) it is likely that the unheeded tyranny of numbers alluded to by political analyst Mutahi Ngunyi may after all have been true. A president of the republic of Kenya must be elected by the whole country, but as we do not live in a perfect country, sometimes tribal arithmetic makes all the difference. Ruto turned out to be the kingmaker who was to determine who replaced Emilio Mwai Kibaki. Uhuru won because he managed to convince Ruto who in turn convinced majority of the Kalenjin nation to vote for the Jubilee Coalition and Raila lost because his talks with Ruto collapsed. Had Raila been able to mend fences with Ruto in time, he wouldn’t be laying his fate in the hands of justices Dr. Willy Mutunga, Prof. Jackton Boma Ojwang’, Mohammed Ibrahim, Philip Tonui, Njoki Ndung’u and Dr. Smokin Wanjala at the Supreme Court of Kenya – but would have been preparing to be sworn in as Kenya’s 4th president at the Moi International Sports Center Kasarani on 26th March, 2013. Raila’s loss is without doubt manifestly a self-inflicted wound.
My parting shot; to the electoral victors, please be magnanimous in your victory, and to the losers be gracious in defeat. This election was not about Raila or Uhuru only, it was not about Luos or Kikuyus, but about you and me, the victory was not just for Jubilee supporters, but for all Kenyans and we have an equal share of the national cake irrespective of how we voted. Uhuru must get to work and find the ways and means for fulfilling his campaign promises. Let us therefore join hands to take this country forward and to great heights of prosperity through payment of taxes as we have always done.