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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  1. #1 by MMK on November 21, 2012 - 5:24 pm

    Hapo umedunga points. Elections are about the lesser of the evils. Once you get to the ballot box, you have to pick one or make it a spoilt vote.

  2. #2 by Machanga on November 21, 2012 - 7:29 pm

    Good points Wesley! Can’t argue with many of them. One thing though – I hope PK is not thinking of winning, let alone coming close to winning, this election. I think/hope he is putting himself out there so that his face will be recognized in the NEXT election. As for the guy being MP for Gatanga and the fact that he belongs to the tribe that has the majority vote there, well …. that’s how it is. I think that the fact that he is a RELATIVELY new face allows us to think differently about him in terms of tribe. He is still a Kikuyu but he is far from being a tribal chief like Uhuru. Moving to a minority tribe I feel is just shifting the illusion of power to another tribe. For me, PK represents the semblance of someone who can be judged for what he says apart from what he is/which tribe he belongs to. You will never get a perfect politician but PK, as many as his faults may be, is closer to the ideal than a lot of the guys running for presidency (bar perhaps Martha Karua – unfortunately for some, also Kikuyu -Raphael Tuju, and Ole Kiyapi). My two cents.

  3. #3 by Douche on November 22, 2012 - 6:44 am

    What choice do we have? All the others have worse track records.

    – Uhuru – Genocide. I don’t think I need to expound.

    – Ruto – Genocide

    – Raila – Led a coo. Has a sense of entitlement to power. Was part of KANU – never left because he disagreed with the greed/corruption, but because he was passed over. Sense of entitlement to the presidency. Has been prime minister for five years.

    – Martha Karua – Sonko. Kabogo. Her choice of MP’s is questionable at best.

    Who else is left?

  4. #4 by Lydia on November 25, 2012 - 10:33 pm

    as much as your article may have some valid points, sometimes I think it’s better to spend time arguing who we should vote for as opposed to concentrating on why we should not vote for Tom Dick or Harry! We have 1000 reasons why we should not vote for 90% of those standing to be president, and we have heard 999 of these reasons… If I am an undecided voter, really your article has not made a difference but actually created more awareness on PK. Tell me who I should vote for and why… That would probably be a more interesting read…

  5. #5 by odhiambo on November 26, 2012 - 11:09 am

  6. #6 by NewYork 4 PK (@NewYork4PK) on November 27, 2012 - 7:02 am

    Few comments,
    The reason PK was not part of the liberation at that time is because he is not a grandfather like Raila, Matiba, Wangari Mathai. When this second liberation was going on, 20 years ago, where were you? I’d bet in diapers. Is it fair, then to ask, why you were not part of this second liberation? A couple of years from now, people will be talking about the youthful revolution. Will we then blame the kids in diapers and tell them that they were not part of that change. It is just as ludicrous to blame Ruto, Uhuru, Tuju (or any other younger politician) for not being part of that era. Not to give them respect for that reason is a bit unreasonable.

    On the issue of Sally Kosgei. So what if he had something going on with her? (I’m not saying he did or didn’t). That is between him, his God and his family. What he did on his time is his time. Who are we to judge on the issue of relationships? Are you questioning the issue of Kibaki’s second wife? How much media attention did that receive? Or the legions of MP’s who have other women. Or even the young men of our generation who have 2 wives or mpango ya kando? Time would be much better spent on issues affecting the country.

    Pk has not claimed to have no tribal roots. He was born of a Kikuyu mother. Of course he has tribal roots. What he is claiming to do is not form tribal based alliances. He wants you to vote for him because he is Peter Kenneth (If his given name was Njoroge Kamau he would say you vote for him because he is Njoroge Kamau and not because he is Kikuyu) He is not forming alliances to get the central vote, western vote or Nyanza vote etc. If he forms alliances, first and foremost, it will be because they have the same vision and are in alignment in terms of future direction of the country.

    While at Kenya Re, he got to the place when they was a deficit in their accounts and left them with a surplus. At KFF, he was chairman during Kenya’s most successful bid to the world cup.

    While managing a CDF does not necessarily say that one can manage a country, it at least shows leadership potential. Being on time, setting goals, execution of goals, time management, people management, reliability, insprational. At least we know that he has these qualities. There are many other candidates promising to do things that they have been unable to deliver in small scale. You know scaling up is always challenging. How then do you expect them to run a country. On international issues and other issues, he might not have experience, he does not need to know it all. What he needs to do is recognize that he is not the expert in the matter, that there those who know better and more than him and let them head those departments. You can be a jack of all trades but not a master of all trades. And we continue to learn something new everyday.

    When you say you hope he is not running for 2013, who then do you want to elect? The same people who have pilfered the country? You want him to set up for 2017? Why not just go ahead and elect him because he is the better choice? You want to elect a Njemp. Then let a Njemp put himself forward as a nominee. Since there is none who’s put themselves up then they are not an option.

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