Archive for November, 2012

Unanswered Questions: Why I find it hard to simply board the PK bandwagon

One of the reasons people hate politics is that truth is rarely a politician’s objective. Election and power are.
Cal Thomas

I’m not about to just join the Peter Kenneth hype train and here’s why:
1. I’m not buying that: “supporting PK is a move away from tribal politics” claptrap. Just because PK is biracial and has no indigenous sounding name doesn’t mean he has no tribal roots; otherwise then why would he have represented only Gatanga and not anywhere else? If we really want to move away from tribe how about a minority like a Njemp or even a Shakeel. In fact it might seem like a good idea now to be “Kenneth” but let PK look around and he’ll notice Esther Passaris was forced to use “Muthoni” (and I understand Shebesh is also going the same route calling herself Wambui), to try and connect with a “core” constituency that doesn’t appreciate abstract association. Let the self-appointed social media aficionados in Kenya fool PK that resonating with their deceptive online personas counts for much, but I can tell him for free it does not.
2. I want to know what PK is worth. It is not clear to me how he made his money, money which seems to be of a quantity not to be sneezed at if running a secretariat, constant TV ads and two helicopters is anything to go by. If this money is being given to him by some wealthy benefactors then I would like to know what interest they have in him winning the presidency; the wealthy do not get wealthy by giving away free money.
3. I am very interested in knowing what happened at Kenya Re and in fact the means by which PK came to be at its helm, and what difference this made to the corporations value in comparison to PK’s wealth when he walked away from the smouldering ruins.
4. I want to understand what kind of relationship PK had with a certain former Head of the Civil Service and what was in it for both, especially considering their age difference. You see many years ago, while loitering the roads of my boondocks, I happened to see PK personally driving his grey 4.6HSE in the direction of the Civil head’s home, and that was way before he was MP and I only recognized him due to his role at KFF.
5. Speaking of KFF, where were PK’s fabled management skills during his tenure there? Looking far far back I only see that complete ineptitude has been the hallmark of Kenyan football management since siku za jadi, so much so that our KPL was recently voted the worst league on earth.
6. Then regarding the agitation for multi-party democracy: Where was PK when the bearded sisters, young turks, Wangari Maathai, Muites, Raila, Imanyara, Shikuku, Matiba, Rubia, Jaramogi, Karua, Orengo, Muliro, etc were fighting against the one party KANU regime? This absence alone makes me find it hard to stomach the likes of Kalonzo, Ruto and Jirongo who were in bed with KANU while the protagonists of the second liberation dug in in the trenches and fox holes facing the brutal ancien regime. How will PK own a liberation he was absent from and perhaps cowered from supporting?
7. Managing a CDF fund well, while a good thing, hardly begins to scratch the surface when it comes to executive power as wielded by a president. In fact does managing a CDF exceptionally prove one’s credentials to manage an entire country? a position that calls for more than initiating cattle dip programmes etc and forces one to dive into the deep end of such matters like: dealing with internal security matters like the Baragoi rustlers, Mt. Elgon secessionists, Al Shabab, External threats, international criminals, cartels, exploitative powerful countries, terrorism, a tanking global economy and its attendant issues, a budget that doesn’t match the revenue from an already overtaxed populations, a growing poor majority ravaged with disease, hunger and illiteracy? a position that along with the power of being commander in chief makes one the de facto chief negotiator, thick skinned scapegoat, whipping boy, model parent, and the first responder to the ubiquitous and uncongenial cliché “Naomba serikali”?…

Remember that: “If a politician isn’t doing it to his wife , then he’s doing it to his country.”

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Cognitive dissonance: Kenyans, their love for Obama and opposition to his liberal message

I believe marriage is between a man and a woman. I am not in favor of gay marriage. But when you start playing around with constitutions, just to prohibit somebody who cares about another person, it just seems to me that’s not what America’s about. Usually, our constitutions expand liberties, they don’t contract them.
– Barack Obama

Kenyans… most of us claim to be staunch (read conservative) Christians and Muslims, which is why I find it interesting that we support Obama (somewhat a liberal) unreservedly to almost a man, but I understand why: we love politics of ethnicity like that, we extrapolate our politics globally like that.

Now a few of us, pricked by their conscience no doubt, would have rather Mitt won, this is because they disagree with Obama’s decision to be the first president to “support” gay marriage, as well as to put a condition that Africa ceases discriminating against LGBT communities as a precondition for aid. Well let me try to put this into perspective and, in so doing, try to make everyone sleep better knowing they root for “our boy” even though the positions Obama holds clash with their own.

I think choosing an LGBT lifestyle is a matter between two consenting couples and their God. As a matter of fact it is misleading to simply say Obama demands “acceptance of homosexuality”, the correct way to look at it is that America demands that African countries agree to stop discriminating against people on the basis of sexuality, the same way we stopped discriminating on the basis of sex, or race, or creed.

I am not comfortable with homosexuality, I don’t want to see men kissing in the streets, I definitely would be very distraught if a child of mine turned out to be gay; but do I want to see this child jailed?, do I want to see this child live condemned and shunned or even facing death by a frothing self-righteous mob, a mob probably made up of adulterers and coveting hypocrites who forget the bible condemns their sin in the ten commandments itself? I mean if we are going to make homosexuality and lesbianism criminal because it goes against our beliefs, why isn’t adultery, coveting, speaking God’s name in vain, etc, criminal as well?

Where does one draw the line between their personal beliefs and those of others. Where does personal choice end and state law take over? Where does a country tip over from secular to religious? We might think these things don’t matter because we who share a certain faith are a majority at the moment and can speak almost in unison; but what if the tables were turned and we were not? What if we were in a situation like they have in northern Nigeria where it is Sharia law for everyone? What if we were in a communist state where religion itself is outlawed outright? What if someday homosexuals outnumbered us and voted to ban straight relationships? What if….

I think that gay marriage should be between a man and a woman.
– Arnold Schwarzenegger

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Meet the 2013 candidates, same as the 2007 candidates, sons of the 1963 candidates

In politics we presume that everyone who knows how to get votes knows how to administer a city or a state. When we are ill… we do not ask for the handsomest physician, or the most eloquent one. – Plato

Kenyans can guarantee you of two things: the memory of a warthog, and kufuata bendera kama upepo. After the smoke settles in about a weeks time, no one will remember Peter Kenneth’s pitch, a few superficial girls might still have Andrew’s photo as their avatar but that will be it, Kenneth will fade away as have many others before him.

We can run around mouthing our progressive credentials but deep down we are beholden to tribe and dynastic moneyed families; this race, whether we want to admit it or not, is going to be decided between Jaramogi’s son and Kenyatta’s son, other influential cast members will be Moses Mudavadi’s scion, Wamalwa’s brother, and Moi’s adoptive KANU boys Ruto and Kalonzo. Everyone else is wasting their time.

The middle class might identify with Tuju, or Kenneth, or Karua, but unfortunately they have no say in who gets elected, they are just a snobbish minority that a crafty politician pays no heed to, that’s why Sonko and Waititu usually beat to a pulp and then wipe the floor with the likes of Mbaru and Passaris; the real votes, the numbers, are in Kayole, Mathare, Mukuru, Dandora, etc not in South C, or Lang’ata, or Parklands, or Westy.

Voters in slums and hovels do not care for nor identify with Kenneth’s crisp shirts or his scion’s pretty boy swag. They however identify with Waititu being dragged to filthy police cells after having joined them in physically assaulting a wealthy land grabber; they identify with Sonko’s non-conformist attitude and shabby dressing. They also remember who Moses, Jaramogi and Jomo were; they assume their sons are natural born leaders (even though one, even maybe two, of them never held a job in their life)

That is the sad truth my countrymen

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