Posts Tagged PNU

Dividing the Kenyan electorate: The Gift that keeps on giving….

If God wanted us to vote, he would have given us candidates. ~Jay Leno

The contempt in which our 'leaders' hold us... (image from http://mavulture.com/)

The contempt in which our ‘leaders’ hold us… (image from http://mavulture.com/)

Sigh….

It is a wonderful 1st of August in Kenya today as the venerable Moses Kuria (more or less) becomes the next MP for Gatundu South, that’s the president’s backyard, as his opponent Kamere ‘withdraws’

“Kuria becomes the first MP to go in unopposed in more than a decade since Gideon Moi did it in 2002.”

This news of the unopposed ascendancy to power is courtesy of Ole Itumbi. (who however embellished the truth somewhat because Kamere’s withdrawal leaves one opponent for Kuria, Boniface Njoroge of Kenya National Congress)

In case you’ve forgotten (or haven’t heard), Kuria is the courageous misunderstood genius who wrote/spoke this gems of patriotism (and for which he appeared at the Nairobi Chief Magistrate’s court on charges of incitement, hate speech and causing ethnic contempt, for which he was released on a Sh2 million cash bail and Sh5 million bond:

“why only consult certain regions and yet one of the agenda 4 dialogue is inclusivity?” Foreskin misleads the mind” – from his twitter @HonMosesKuria

“I am sure of many things but am (sic) not clear whether ODM is working for Al Shabaab or Al Shabaab is working for ODM”

“You don’t coordinate terrorist attacks from Bostom and get away with it”

(these quotes courtesy of the Kenyan-post)

“The new attack in Lamu confirms that the CORD armed wing (Al Shabaab) is providing rear cover for the political wing ahead of Sabasaba.” (from his twitter page)

In one instance on a post on his Facebook page where he had written this post:

“I think its just a matter of time before Kenyans start violence against PERCEIVED terrorists, their sympathisers, their financiers and those issuing travel advisories without sharing intelligence. I am not sure I will not be one of those Kenyans. When you touch Gikomba the nerve centre of our economic enterprise,you really cross the line. Brace yourself. Choices have consequences”;

A character calling himself ‘Kofia Mbaya’ replies “it’s not Somali’s throwing grenades, it is Odhiambos”

and Kuria matter of factly replies: “We will kill both” (screenshots at nairobiexposed.blogspot.de)

We get the leaders we deserve……

We’d all like to vote for the best man, but he’s never a candidate. ~Kin Hubbard

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A country of free men is not free if they are owned by somebody else.

“Debt is the fatal disease of republics, the first thing and the mightiest to undermine governments and corrupt the people”
Wendell Phillips 

Numbers, huge sums of money, mind boggling debt, billions in expenditure, very few people like these or can process articles about such quickly while dealing with the other hassles and vagaries of daily life in a third world republic.

Lately I have felt that I have been inundated with news to do with just such numbers. Whenever I look at headlines all I see are staggering figures bandied about like they were mere exercises in mathematics class, except they are not.

We are in trouble, we have let unbridled expenditure coupled with borrowing at the rate of a drunken sailor take hold of our lives.

Sample this:

Kenya’s gross domestic debt (government’s borrowing from the local markets) had in June this year hit the trillion-shilling mark up from 859 billion twelve months ago.

We already have an external debt burden of Sh800 billion, therefore the national debt comes to about Sh1.8 trillion, which is basically one half of our Sh3.6 trillion economy.

That is not all, we have during this August borrowed another 425 Billion Shillings from China, this means our external debt is now more than 1.25 trillion Shillings, there’s a ceiling on how much we can borrow externally and this ceiling is 1.2trillion which we have exceeded.

And lest we forget: “Debt is an ingenious substitute for the chain and whip of the slavedriver. ” 

While looking at these figures we have to remember that there’s no record of anyone having ever managed to wildly spend their way out of a slow economic growth or to borrow their way out of debt, certainly spending money we don’t have by borrowing more and more while our debt burden rises cannot be good economics.

if-all-the-countries-in-the-world-are-in-debt-where-did-all-the-money-go

Meanwhile I read today that in our country a Judicial Service Commissioner ‘earns’ Sh80,000 for every sitting, and that in the last year; the JSC held 247 meetings, meaning a commissioner who attended all 247 meetings took home Sh1.6 million every month in allowances, coming to a total of KES 19,760,000.00 per year. This then led to a situation in which in the 2012/2013 financial year, commissioners gobbled up Sh377 million in allowances for board meetings, conferences and seminars, foreign travel and subsistence, catering service and accommodation, gifts, food and drinks and legal fees.

The CJ had a house bought for him at 310 million, when the initial budget was 200 million.

Remember, while this was going on we couldn’t pay teachers, policemen, and health workers the pittance we offer for their crucial services.

The government also had time to throw in half a billion for offices for a retired president, as well spend another half a billion shillings building a home for him on his private land at Mweiga.

And then there was the plan to blow Sh2.5 billion on celebrations to mark 50 years of Kenya’s independence with: Sh690 million for events management and logistics, Sh286 million for conference and exhibition during the one week celebration, Sh300 million for publicity and communication, Sh365 million for entertainment and a handsome Sh320 million to go towards identifying Kenya’s most prominent personalities.

It also includes Sh50 million for erecting a bronze statue of retired President Mwai Kibaki

And we think MPigs are the worst of the lot?

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They never should have given us freedom to choose

“I have refused to ALLOW MULTIPARTY DEMOCRACY in Kenya because it will divide Kenyans along TRIBAL LINES.Vyama vingi vitaleta UKABILA Kenya.Siku moja mtakubali haya maneno yangu”

DANIEL TOROITICH ARAP MOI
2RD MARCH 1992

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Baba said it, we thought him mad

I look at the slim pickings of the likes of Kiyiapi and Karua, then I look at the close to 100% votes for UK and RAO in their “ethnic strongholds” and I am left wondering: Is this really democracy?

Is the choosing of leaders based on number of votes garnered a good thing for a country where for the vast majority the only criteria considered is the tribe of the person being voted for?

How can we say we are voting for a symbol of national unity when we are engaged in a national contest of tribal chiefs and ethnic coalitions?

This would be comical if the implications of the choices we make (if you can even pretend there are choices) weren’t so grave.

Moi was correct (albeit for selfish reasons): Multi party politics has only managed to bring out the tribalism ingrained in our bones.

What a bloody shame

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Historical injustices: Let’s simply bury our heads in the sand and hope they will all just go away:

“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

MARTIN-LUTHER-KING-injustice_1024

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.

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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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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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RAO: The eternal scapegoat

“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?

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