Posts Tagged Kibaki
“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.”
Bishop Desmond Tutu
The joke is on us:
So Kibunja (Mzalendo indeed!) has cautioned politicians against discussing historical injustices as the campaigns heat up; saying “Such statements are tantamount to incitement”
Is that so? Should all those people who fought against past injustices and triumphed have followed your narrow thinking where would we be? Should Moses not have questioned the servitude of Israelites to Pharaoh? Should Abraham Lincoln have closed his eyes to the brutal history of slavery? Should Martin Luther King not have brought up the injustice of institutionalized racism? Should Mandela have never endured those three decades behind bars because his statements prior to his sentencing were “tantamount to incitement”?
Would you, Mzalendo, have this job had not courageous men and women such as Maathai, Muite, Leakey, Raila, Imanyara, Murungi, Orengo, Matiba, Rubia, Shikuku, Muliro, Karua, etc, not questioned the past injustices of the KANU one party system under Moi?
PS. For the record, anyone who thinks they have a share in one wealthy individual’s property because he happens to be from the same ethnic stock as them should slap themselves in the face.
When I question how Raila acquired the molasses plant, I’m not questioning all Luos.
When I well up with anger at Moi continuing to process tea at Kaptagich in the middle of the Mau forest, I don’t hold all Kalenjins responsible for this destruction of our ecosystem, I do not for a minute believe profits from this factory have been enjoyed beyond the immediate family of the owner.
When I am baffled at how the Kenyattas came to, allegedy, own so much land, I’m not counting the half an acre my friend Mborogonyo toiled to buy in Molo as being part of the Kenyatta’s holdings, I do not think Mama Ngina has listed Mborogonyo in her will just because he was born in Gatundu.
For how long will poor people fight each other over things they don’t own? Why do you allow yourself to be provoked by questions that have been asked of an individual who, by dint of accident, just so happens to share a language with you and nothing more? Do you see the folly that you would even make enemies of lifelong friends for the sake of a wealthy ruling class? One that doesn’t know you personally and wouldn’t lose any sleep if you and your family were swallowed by a hole in the ground.
Open your eyes.
One of the reasons people hate politics is that truth is rarely a politician’s objective. Election and power are.
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.”
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
“A good scapegoat is nearly as welcome as a solution to the problem”
In 2007, in the wake of the disputed elections, Ruto was ODM’s most vocal defender at KICC and Uhuru was the first to clinch the ignominious title of an opposition leader defecting to the ruling party. Kalonzo was an opportunist, just as he is today, waiting to benefit from whatever outcome.
Then came PEV and subsequent formation of the coalition, and we had no less than three opportunities to form a local tribunal and we didn’t. RAO, Kibaki and the entire cabinet even once came to parliament to beg members to vote for such a tribunal in vain.
The reason was Ruto, being then in ODM which was not really an equal partner in the coalition, was afraid he would be made the scapegoat. UK probably never thought he could be touched. And so the inevitable happened, Ocampo came calling and now WSR and UK are in the difficult position they are in.
What astounds me is the fact Ruto’s and UK’s supporters and/or tribesmen, even the most learned, take every opportunity to blame RAO for this turn of events, even when we know that our own parliament and the same accused individuals insisted on going the hague route.
It is fine to hate Raila for whatever reason including the fact you only want your “man” in power, but give the devil his due and just admit the hague matter was a poorly calculated move by the gang now operating under the moniker G7.
In any case if anyone stands to benefit, and who fully intends to as the cat was inadvertently let out of the bag by Muthama, then it is Kalonzo –he of the shuttle diplomacy that’s akin to wolves and chickens voting what’s for dinner; he who sacked Mutula from the MoJ the other day for stating clear points of law, and he stood uncondemned. Yet when RAO sacks Balala, a minister who had made it his business to light fires within the ODM boat at every waking opportunity, we get this hue and cry from the G7 brigade.
Let us have an honest discourse: Why is RAO blamed for everything that goes wrong even from choices made by those affected?
Raila said on Wednesday that he felt justified giving Najib Balala the sack because he wasn’t adding value to their party. The PM added that the former Tourism Minister had continuously opposed the Orange Democratic Movement outright and eventually he could no longer stomach Balala’s public attacks on the party.
Everyone has a democratic right to speak their mind, for instance you might want to say how much of a total jerk-off your boss is, but you have to whisper that to yourself in your bedroom and not shout it loud at the company staff meeting or to the press. So I really don’t know why anyone expected Raila to keep Balala in cabinet if Balala’s swansong had become “Raila is a dictator”.
Let’s face it, cabinet appointments are political appointments and those are based on loyalty and regional balancing much more than on merit, otherwise Mwakwere and his confused ilk, whose presence in the cabinet is just as bad as Balala’s absence, should be in retirement homes. Equally Mutula has been demoted not because he was not performing well. Just like Ruto was not retained based on his very good record during his stint at the Ministry of higher education.
Back to Balala; he has repeatedly attacked Raila, and ODM in general, as dictatorial and he knew/should have known what the consequences would be. Mutula, who has been equally firm at Ministry of Justice in contrast to his flipflopping party leader, has also been demoted for almost similar reasons. In fact the very same thing would happen, if not worse, to any PNU minister who, for whatever reason, genuine or not, kept attacking Kibaki publicly and for a sustained period of time.
Furthermore, were these events to have happened during the single-party era, perhaps humiliating lashes by a fireside graced by traditional dancers, or involuntary lodgings at Nyati or Nyayo house would most likely have been part of the menu of retribution.
Even Obama had to sack his first in command in Afghanistan, General McChrystal, for disparaging remarks he made about his administration. That is just how power and authority bestowed on public officers for political reasons works.
We must therefore ensure we fully implement the new constitution such that future ministerial appointments are made from professionals outside the realms of politics as opposed to what happens now. I can only hope Wamalwa hasn’t been put in place to stifle said implementation in addition to his foremost, and futile, role of barking at the moon in badmouthing an ICC process that is out of our hands as a country.
When virtue is lost, benevolence appears, when benevolence is lost right conduct appears, when right conduct is lost, expedience appears. Expediency is the mere shadow of right and truth; it is the beginning of disorder. ~ Lao Tzu
Help me understand these conflicting reactions and existing conditions in light of PEV and confirmation of charges against four of the Ocamp0 6:
1. GEMA/PNU leaning friends are angry that charges were confirmed against UK and Muthaura, not because they believe in either’s innocence but because “he is our man”
2. URP/RV friends are angry that charges were confirmed against WR and Sang not because they believe in either’s innocence but because “he is our man”, but are happy that Kosgey is off the hook also because “he is our man”
3. Both groups are happy that the main “our man” from the opposing side isn’t off the hook, but yet the main men are in an alliance of shared interests against the “other man” who ultimately be blamed for ICC’s actions.
4. Both camps pray to God to get their men off the hook. The very same God that shivering IDPs pray to for justice everyday.
5. Are all IDPs genuine former landowners/farmers? Reason I ask is if they can identify the land taken from them, shouldn’t the government have the responsibility to resettle them on those very lands and provide security and programs to create cohesion? (or at the least ask those occupying these lands illegally just what kind of lawless land they think can allow one to settle on land that they took by force). Otherwise if the government resettles IDPs in “friendly” areas, doesn’t that vindicate criminals who evicted fellow citizens while also making it the government’s responsibility not to provide security but, rather, to demarcate safe areas based on ethnicity. What good is that for a country seeking cohesion and/or claiming to uphold laws.
It is not power that corrupts but fear. The fear of losing power corrupts those who wield it, and fear of the scourge of power corrupts those who are subject to it. – Aung San Suu Kyi
Besides the noise and rancour being generated by the attempt to move the election date in contravention of the new constitution, this in itself occasioned by the fact our so called leaders have simply pulled down their masks and are openly asking to be allowed a few more weeks of sucking at the tit of public monies, there’s a lot else that can be said of the 2012 polls, especially the presidential polls.
For obvious reasons, jokers will have to think twice before running for president because there’s no fallback to parliament in the event of a loss, so really who should and who shouldn’t bother running?
A casual look at our past presidents: Kenyatta, Moi and Kibaki; shows that the majority of Kenyans always go for the quiet (at first), sneaky and dumb/or pretending to be dumb, but ruthless and deep pocketed chief executive.
The hot headed and populist types like Jaramogi, Mboya, JM Kariuki, Ouko, Raila, Ruto, Karua, Kenneth, and even Kalonzo, never stood/don’t stand a chance of leading this banana republic since they just don’t fit the mould, they are not part of the top 1% who actually call the shots and would not have firebrands take the reigns of power.
This I explain using Russell’s observation: “Our great democracies still tend to think that a stupid man is more likely to be honest than a clever man.”
and Plutarch’s ancient advice: “Imbalance between rich and poor” is the “oldest and most fatal ailment of all republics.” (of course in Kenya you have to have the money, loads of money, to buy votes, it’s that simple)
Watch out for the wealthy, quiet and aloof types like Mudavadi, or perhaps even Uhuru, they are the kind of “leader” our risk averse, money grabbing voters prefer. That is the reality of politics in this country.