Monday, December 22, 2014

The New KANU Monopoly( 1980-85)

By Ndung'u Wainaina
The proscription of ethnic welfare societies did little to reassure Daniel arap Moi that his grasp on the country's highest office was assured. State House had not necessarily undercut the power of GEMA or the Luo Union in his view. The leaders of these societies could salvage the financial resources they had accumulated and seek to advance their interests in other ways, he argued. His mind turned increasingly to fear of underground opposition, rooted, he believed, in the university system but fomented by the former leaders of the welfare unions.

In fact, significant political organization on a scale that could have led to the president's ouster and replacement by a government acceptable to a majority of Kenyans was extremely difficult at this time. Ability to organize sustained backing for cross-regional initiatives was now sharply circumscribed in two ways. First, the presence of multiple factions exacerbated the problem of defections for coalition-builders. 

Disaffected members of Parliament and local leaders constantly shifted their allegiances to the leader who promised the greatest advantages at any particular moment. Because no one faction chief could offer the prospect of long-term benefits in return for support, opportunism began to run rampant, increasing the negotiating costs associated with promotion of a national platform. Second, restrictions on political space made it very difficult for local and national leaders to assemble. 

Because the government controlled the registration of societies, it could simply disapprove the papers submitted by an opposition party and refuse to grant the necessary certification, as had happened in the case of the KPU in 1966–69.[27] Only a coalition with a very strong parliamentary base could forcibly have brought the State House's refusal to register a party to the floor of Parliament for discussion.

Notwithstanding these bars to the effective organization of an opposition, the president appeared increasingly fearful of dissidence in any form. During the period before and after the measures to eliminate welfare societies, he continually cautioned Kenyans to beware of disgruntled elements and warned that traitors would receive ruthless treatment.[28] Moi employed three tactics to try to secure his grip on power. First, he tried to expand the scope of restrictions on political activity. For example, he requested that Parliament contemplate limits on press freedom as a way to deny potential opposition leaders an audience. The minister for information and broadcasting announced that Kenya could no longer afford a free press. 

"As a young developing country, we cannot afford the luxury of permissive reporting practised by the developed countries. We must therefore use our mass media systems for nation-building and in uplifting the standard of living of our people."[29] The years 1980 and 1981 witnessed implementation of a number of other measures aimed at safeguarding presidential power, including closure of the university, harassment of foreign journalists, seizure of lecturers' passports, warnings of "crackdowns," and a call for the reopening of detention camps.

Expenditure on police services, especially in rural areas, expanded greatly. Beginning in 1978 and 1979, the approved budget allocations for the Office of the President, which in Kenya at this time had responsibility for the police forces, shot up.[30] Disaggregated by type of expenditure, the budget appears to have increased most rapidly in the category of personal emoluments for the police, Criminal Investigation Department, and Government Services Unit staff, and in the category of GSU transport (the latter a possible indication of increased activity, as well as of increased numbers of personnel, although it is not known whether purchases of trucks and other transport may have been to replace aging equipment). Because the rates of growth in personal emoluments exceeded the rates of growth in numbers of personnel, it can be assumed that in addition to enhancing the capability of the police, Moi was seeking to increase their fidelity to him by purchasing their loyalty. By 1985, the budget of the Office of the President was greater than that of any other ministry or government function, with estimates totaling K£74,932,700.[31]

Simultaneously with the increase in security budgets, evidence of more government surveillance emerged. An unfortunate consequence of strategies that emphasize restriction of political activity and factionalizing opposition in order to maintain stability is the politicization of information. Information "costs" more and becomes something to be bargained and traded because of its scarcity and importance in decision making.
Moi's second tactic was to render illegal any attempt to constitute an opposition to KANU. In June 1982, two months after a statement by the Luo MP George Anyona that he and Oginga Odinga planned to found a new political party, the Office of the President proposed that Kenya be declared a single-party state. Anyona had said that the time was ripe for creation of a second political party, an assertion for which KANU expelled him from its ranks. In May, with Oginga Odinga, he established the Kenya African Socialist Alliance (KASA).[32]

By himself, Odinga did not command sufficient power to warrant such a strong and politically costly reaction on Moi's part. A GEMA-Luo combination, however, could conceivably have rallied sufficient support to force the issue of party registration to the floor of Parliament and Moi's decision most likely reflected an assessment by the president that a party involving Odinga would also involve either the GEMA machine, now underground but not defunct, or the new Rift Valley populists. A Luo-Rift coalition would have wielded less parliamentary power than a GEMA combination but might have elicited substantial popular support during a period when economic difficulties had stirred general unease.

The constitutional amendment to make Kenya a de jure single-party system moved quickly through the legislature, with little overt objection from the honorable members. The difficulty of organizing a parliamentary opposition did not indicate general support for the president's proposal, however. MP Koigi wa Wamwere complained that at a KANU parliamentary group meeting, MPs were threatened with detention without trial if they did not go along with the proposal.[33]

A little more than a month later, Kenyan political life was disrupted by a shadowy coup attempt that startled the country's allies, who had always considered the nation a stable point in an otherwise turbulent continent. The exact character of the "August Disturbances," as they were euphemistically known, has never been clarified and is likely to remain indecipherable. Members of the air force, a youthful and highly educated segment of the military, allegedly combined with university students and disaffected members of the Luo community to dislodge the Moi government. After eleven days of skirmishing in the capital, the rebel group met defeat at the hands of Government Services Unit (GSU) elite forces. The slowness of the army to respond to calls for assistance has led some observers to speculate that the uprising was really two or even three coup attempts launched from different quarters and gone awry. The demands of the coup plotters were never clear, although opposition to the move to a single-party system was widely believed to have been one of the motives.

The Office of the President embarked on a series of moves to try to curtail underground associations. The arrest of a large number of Luo, including Odinga's son, Raila Omolo Odinga, for participation in the August Disturbances, and the detention of the Rift Valley populist and Nakuru North MP Koigi wa Wamwere followed the collapse of the resistance. Surveillance of the university expanded and resulted in periodic questioning and detention of lecturers. The police Special Branch stepped up its monitoring of foreign press organizations and aid agencies, at one point closing the Associated Press offices after AP placed on the wire a story describing food shortages in Meru. The Ford Foundation representative came under fire when a report on the events of 1982 he had prepared for the foundation's New York office was intercepted and passed to the internal security agencies.

State House also moved to limit even more severely the political space available to members of Parliament. One senior minister initiated an inquiry into the funding received by radical MPs for harambee meetings. Next came an end to parliamentary privilege, the provision that enabled members to obtain information from the executive, and on which ability to hold the government responsible for the actions of its officers depended. Finally, on June 4, Parliament voted to reinstate the detention laws, suspended between 1978 and 1982.

Thus, the failure of members of Parliament and extra-parliamentary leaders to resist imposition of restrictions earlier had triggered a poorly planned and coordinated attempt to restore room for political opposition in Kenya. The failure stemmed largely from the difficulty of assembling stable bases of support in a single-party-dominant system with a high degree of fragmentation and from the limitations placed on politicians' ability to use exchange of private harambee funds to secure one another's support. Over the next three years, resistance to further assumption of party functions by the Office of the President would become more and more challenging. The move to a party-state was almost assured.
Ndung'u Wainaina, is ‎ED at International Center for Policy and Conflict

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

President Obama Delivers Remarks at the Clinton Global Initiative

Has the UN lived up to its Mission?

Has the UN lived up to its mission especially now that global leaders mostly from poor countries are congregating in New York, where they will make sweeping recommendations which sound good to an intelligent mind but are NEVER implemented? So far, has the UN achieved anything in maintaining global peace and security? How about health and environmental protection? How about checking human rights violations?
On peace and security, bombs are raining in Damascus Syria today, the Israel and Palestinian crisis has been in perpetuity at the Middle East, memories of the Rwandan genocide of 1994 left indelible memories to the entire human race, two Kenyan leaders are facing genocide charges at the ICC etc.
On health, West Africa is being wiped out by Ebola; leave alone the world’s struggle find a cure for the HIV pandemic for the last three decades since the incurable syndrome surfaced in the world.
On environmental protection, Kenya is the global headquarters of the United Nation Environment Program (UNEP) and Centre for Human Settlement; Habitat, but we still continue to experience environmental degradation- Karua Forest has been undergoing grabbing, the Mau conservation plan started about 7 years ago is still at limbo. Nairobi River is falling back to the old stench after the late Minister John Michuki did a wonderful job to clean it.
Don’t forget, our own President, Uhuru Kenyatta, who is currently in New York, authorized the destruction of a ship by exploding it in our Ocean. Did UNEP; housed in our State capitol Nairobi, question why Uhuru did what he did and even address the environmental implications of the sunken ship to aquatic and human lives?
Why can’t UNEP make Kenya a model for environmental protection, since we house them? It doesn’t make sense when you find an environmentalist from Paris living in Nairobi earning 5 million a month with allowances and doing totally nothing to protect the environment. We need results from the global body and not the glamour and the title which comes with it.

This is a huge intellectual debate with diplomatic connotations, power controls and memberships and funding. However, the common denominator remains, the UN hasn’t done enough since it was founded over six decades ago.

Monday, September 22, 2014

SCIENTISTS WHO DON’T BELIEVE IN GOD NEEDS TO REMEMBER THESE…

Scientists who invalidate the existence of God merely because of his invincible nature but validate the existence of atoms aren’t fair to themselves and even to those who believe in God.

If a scientist who doesn’t believe in God, and his existence can validate the existence of an atom; something which cannot be seen by a human eye or even a simple microscope, and even validate elements which catalyze chemical reactions in laboratories, why would the same scientist you fail to acknowledge the workings of God, and his existence despite his invincible nature?

Scientists see beautiful humans, animals, gorgeous landscapes, waters, the work of god-given knowledge and wisdom-innovation, technology, modern medicine, amazing discoveries in science, engineering and space explorations etc Can’t the same scientists decipher the fact that all these didn’t just happen out of the blue, but through the divine power of the Omniscient, Omnipotent, Omnipresent God?





Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Kibaki failed to mend ethnic rivalry between Kikuyus and Luos after victory in 2002

Truth be told, former President Mwai Kibaki, had the best opportunity to mend the tattered relationship between Luos and Kikuyus, which begun after independence during the late Jaramogi and Jomo Kenyatta.  
Instead, Kibaki, stirred more hate by failing to honour the MOU associated with the Rainbow coalition which brought together almost all key political players in the country to dislodge Kanu from power in 2002.

Don’t forget, its Raila Odinga, a Luo, who stood at Uhuru Park and openly endorsed Kibaki as the torch bearer of the Narc coalition with a belief that there will be a genuine power sharing deal after victory. Instead, Kibaki who was sworn in on a wheel chair not only trashed the MOU but also parted ways with Raila Odinga, at the infant stage of the Narc government.

 In 2007 elections, Kibaki ruptured Luo wounds further by openly stealing the Presidency from Raila Odinga.

Last year, Uhuru Kenyatta, another Kikuyu, controversially became President, which many believe; he never attained the required threshold to be declared victorious. This further angered the Luos who look back and count betrayal after betrayal from the Kikuyu Presidency. They saw victory snatched from Raila for the second time from a Kikuyu candidate.

Kenya’s history is very vivid. Jaramogi stood with Kenyatta up to the last minute but ended up being betrayed. Tom Mboya was killed purportedly by the Kenyatta regime since.

It’s therefore prudent not to look at the Luo versus Kikuyu political rivalry on the face value. Let current political leaders try to mend the fences and restore trust between the two communities.

Call it Luo hooliganism from but don’t forget to tell us why! To me, it all about historical mistrusts and injustices and nothing else.

Our top leaders continues to plant hate through inequality and negative ethnicity- tribalism and nepotism and blame it on wanjiku or Anyango who are always quicker to express their frustrations especially what happened in Migori during a Presidential function. These are solid truths people don’t want to talk about but rather to demonize Luos as stone throwers.

It’s the leaders who have the capacity to heal the nation by bringing all communities to the dinner table through equity, equality, justice, fairness etc. 

Failure to do so, Kenya will continue to sink in disunity and hate amongst communities. What the Luos did in Migori is just the beginning. Soon you will see it from:Turkanas, Samburus, Kalenjins, Kisiis, Somalis, Mikikendas etc if they feel they are not getting a fair deal in their own land.


Sunday, August 17, 2014

PRESIDENT UHURU’S DUTY WAIVER ON DIASPORA HAS PITFALLS

There is no denying, we need rules regulating all imports to the country especially on sensitive materials like: drugs, alcohol and other consumables. However, there are certain restrictions that should scrap in order to create a flexible environment for business in the Country. 

The recent directive by President Uhuru Kenyatta while on a tour to the US, to waive custom duty on cars owned by Kenyans returning home was merely a political

enticement. Kenyans are aware that we are under a new dispensation where the President can say yes while the law says the opposite.  

Kenyans in the Diaspora should not just jubilate about the President’s directive, but ask the government to do more in fast-tracking the improvement of cargo clearance at the port of Mombasa as well as to amend or scrap some import rules which do not augur well for importers.

While the President’s directive is intended to benefit Kenyans returning home from countries where left-hand cars are a norm to buy right-hand cars in another country and have it cleared duty free, there is a rule on motor vehicle importation which makes the directive elusive unless the rule it’s scrapped or amended.

Remember, to qualify for a duty waiver, Kenyan returnees must have owned a car for not less than 365 days. This caveat makes Uhuru’s promise sound like Moi’s old roadside declarations. The deal sounded sweet but to me, very fictional- a returning Kenyan flies from US; lands in Uganda or Japan, and buys a right hand car which is less than 8 years and have it cleared duty free upon entry to Kenya!

First of all, the President should rally his Jubilee government to scrap the 8 years age on all imported vehicles into the country, scrap the restriction on left-hand vehicles and 365 days ownership period. With this, we can believe his word.

Let us not be brainwashed. Duty waivers have been in existence for all returning Kenyans so long as the vehicle they bring in are less than 8 years and of right-hand drive mode… I therefore challenge Kenyans in the Diaspora who are praising President Uhuru first learn about our import rules on motor vehicles.

Nip corruption at the Port
I personally think that the government should do more to improve on cargo clearance at the Port of Mombasa, ensure that, there is integrity in the process, right from the time a consignment docks, up to the time it’s handed to the importer.

Importers go through hell at the Port in their quest to clear cargo. Many are often compelled to bribe during the processing of import document especially in the notorious “Long Room” building in Mombasa, where money speaks.

Clearing and forwarding agents often work in cohort with Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) and Kenya Bureau of Standards (KBS) personnel to intentionally delay the clearance process by demanding bribes.

The tragedy is: If an importer fails to bribe, the documentation process can be intentionally delayed to trigger a last-minute rash to beat the grace period allowed for clearance. At this point, the importer is desperate and can bribe to avoid the accrual of demurrage on the cargo which increases daily after the expiry of the grace period.

These are the challenges President Uhuru and his Jubilee government should address urgently because it demoralizes all business people across the board. Picking a single item to entice Kenyans in the Diaspora was mere a PR stunt to spur his political base abroad.

Government double standards
On over-age vehicles, Kenyans are tired of double standards in the application of the law. If the over-age vehicles former Tinderet MP Henry Kosgey cleared in 2011, are still running on Kenyan roads, why can’t the law be scrapped all together?

Giving a free-hand to the ruling elite who violate the law; only to punish the “small guys” s a great injustice. Our laws are meant to protect the interests of all citizens irrespective of their class or status.

Worse still, there are many luxurious left-hand vehicles on the Kenyan roads; often owned by famous people, thereby amplifying the culture of double-standards in the country. One wonders how these vehicles are cleared at the port of Mombasa.

Authenticating road-worthiness on imported vehicles
On road worthiness, all vehicles imported must have a detailed inspection report from the country of origin. Secondly, we need to have standby local inspectors to authenticate what is stipulated in the foreign inspection report.

 If a vehicle is found to be unroadworthy, the importer should be compelled to do necessary repairs under strict supervision of the ministry of transport before the vehicle is registered and allowed to run on Kenyans roads. If the vehicle fails to meet the standards of road-worthiness, the government should decline registration and declare it as a write-off. The owner can be advised to sell it as salvage for spare parts.  

Bureaucracy in a developing country kills economy
By and large, we need more automobiles on our roads to consume our oil inTurkana. Vehicle owner will pay road levies, buy insurance premiums and spare parts, employ mechanics and drivers as well as transporting goods and services within Kenya and the surrounding regions. All these will improve revenue collection to boost Kenya’s economy.

We are behind in research; behind in manufacturing; and behind in technology. Its good economics when a developing country gives room for local and foreign investors to trade in an environment of less bureaucracy and more flexibility in the exchange of goods and services.

It beats no logic when a developing country is engaged in too much bureaucracy when doing business. After all, is Kenya better than Nigeria, which has fewer restrictions on the vehicles they import? Our western neighbour-Uganda does not have restrictions on automobile importation yet, they have the most organized public transport system in East Africa.

We are on low ebb economically; struggling to be at par with the emerging economies like: Hong Kong and Singapore. We can’t even manufacture a needle; leave alone a bicycle tube yet, the government want us to import newer vehicles and a total ban on left- hand vehicles into the country.

Kenya is down there; decades away to even compete with the industrialized world like Japan, US, France and Germany. For me, if it’s drivable from Kilindini Port to Busia, it’s good.


Monday, August 4, 2014

JOMO KENYATTA AND LAND BUYING COMPANIES

SOME USEFUL INSIGHTS TO LAND GRABBING IN POST INDEPENDENCE KENYA

In the immediate post-independence era, the moment, the Seroneys and Ogingas started crying foul, and their sentiments went unheard,then this is the time Kenya started entering a dangerous phase of its socio-political path that lasts to date.

The political leadership of Kenya began carving out into two distinct groups. The pro-Kenyatta land beneficiaries, sycophants and apologists where Tom Mboya, Daniel Moi, Paul Ngei and others trooped towards,….and another force RESISTING the greedy post-Independence governance by Kenyatta which was led by Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, and included several former KADU operatives like Ronald Ngala, Jean Marie Seroney, Masinde Muliro, Martin Shikuku and others.

Kenyatta soldiered on with his grabbing. He concurrently went ahead with the help of Tom Mboya to change the constitution to give immense imperial powers to the Presidency. He further began using such powers to allocate more land to his cronies and sycophants. His salivating appetite for Rift Valley land largely motivated his choice of Rift Valley natives as Vice President after Oginga Odinga.

First he chose a Maasai, Joseph Murumbi, who read the scheme of land-betrayal on his people and resigned in a huff, then Kenyatta selected Daniel Arap Moi, a Tugen not drawn in the Nandi and Kipsigis land battles, as his next loyal VP. He then descended upon grabbing Rift Valley and Coastal land in a business as usual and “mtafanya nini” attitude that his SON is trying to emulate today.

Kenyatta cronies including Mbiyu Koinange, Njoroge Mungai and others devised a clever scheme to further benefit themselves from the land transferred from the colonialists. They formed land buying companies through loans which were actually funded with tax-payer money. At the height of land buying companies, most of the power brokers acquired huge chunks of land at the expense of the landless who were meant to be the initial beneficiaries of the scheme.
By 1971, more than 60 % large-scale farms around Nakuru and 40% of small scale settler farms, was given to the Kikuyu, who fared very well from this arrangement, at the expense of other Kenyan communities.
Another scholar noted that “Using the political and economic leverage available to them during the Kenyatta regime, the Kikuyu, took advantage of the situation and formed many land-buying companies. These companies would, throughout the 1960s and 1970s, facilitate the settlement of hundreds of thousands of Kikuyu in the Rift Valley,” wrote Walter Oyugi in Politicised Ethnic Conflict in Kenya: A Periodic Phenomenon.

In 1969, Jean Marie Seroney, a leading Nandi politician and MP, issued the Nandi Hills Declaration, laying claim to all settlement land in the district for the Nandi. His demands went unheeded. Aping the British Kenyatta government used a policy of divide-and-rule to neutralise such opposition by parcelling out land to other ethnic groups and thus winning their allegiance. Daniel arap Moi, the then Tugen vice-president was allocated the settler farms of the Lembus Forest and the Essageri Salient to divide the Tugen from the Nandi like Seroney.

Most of the power brokers in the Kenyatta regime who formed land-buying companies established huge farms in the Rift Valley either jointly or on their own. They included Njenga Karume, the then Chairman of Gema Holdings, who acquired 20,000 acres in Molo where he is growing tea, coffee, pyrethrum and potatoes and 16,000 acres in Naivasha.

G.G.KARIUKI acquired his 5,000 acres at Rumuruti, Laikipia Division, while former Attoney-General Charles Njonjo bought into the 100,000 acre Solio Ranch. Don’t forget, grabbing of settler land in Central by many colonial collaborators, at the expense of the Mau Mau fighters, was part of the scheme.

Senior Chief Munyinge from Muiga took 400 acres. Initially, senior chief Munyinge was allocated only 70 acres but with time he managed to acquire 330 more acres.

Mwai Kibaki acquired 20,000 acres in Nanyuki, Former MP Munene Kairu has 32,000 acres at Rumuruti. Mr Isaiah Mathenge, the former powerful Provincial Commissioner under Kenyatta and an MP under Moi, is arguably the largest land owner in Nyeri municipality.
He owns Seremwai Estate, which is 10,000 acres. Kibaki’s friend, Kim Ngatende, a former government engineer, has 500 acres too. Mathenge also owns—jointly with former Provincial Commissioner Lukas Daudi Galgalo—the 10, 000-acre Manyagalo Ranch in Meru.

Back in Rift Valley, as Jaramogi and the rest of Kenyans were saying, Not Yet Uhuru, it was land grabbing business as usual. Land-buying companies were heisting big. There result was big acquisitions, for instance, Munyeki Farm—which stands for Murang’a, Nyeri, Kiambu – (4,000 acres), Wamuini Farm (6,000 acres), Amuka Farm (2,000 acres), Gituaraba Farm and Githatha Farm (1,000 acres each) and GEMA Holdings 12,000 acres. A few of them are being utilized, today with the owners growing various crops ranging from coffee, tea, maize and dairy keeping.

The other big farms include Chepchomo Farm (18, 000 acres), owned by the former Provincial Commissioner Ishmael Chelang’a. The family of the late Peter Kinyanjui, who was a close friend of President Mwai Kibaki and a former DP Chairman in Trans Nzoia between 1998 and 1999 owns 1,800 acres.

In Nakuru, several politically connected individuals have acquired many acres of prime land within the town—they include lawyer Mutula Kilonzo, who owns an 800-acre farm for dairy farming. The immediate former Auditor General, D S Njoroge, owns 500 acres, while Biwott’s Canadian son-in-law & co-owner of Safaricom (Mobitelea) a Mr. Charles, boasts a 100-acre piece where he is growing roses.

D. S. Njoroge also owns the extensive Kelelwa Ranch in Koibatek, which is less than 10km from Kabarak, where he rears cattle and goats. The 10,000 acre Gitomwa Farm—acronym for Gichuru, Tony and Mwaura—is owned by the family of the former Kenya Power and Lighting Company Limited (KPLC) managing director, Samuel Gichuru. Tony and Mwaura are his sons.

Another 10,000 acre farm in Mau Narok belongs to the family of the late Mbiyu Koinange, Kenyatta’s side-kick and powerful minister of state in the Office of the President. His Muthera Farm (4,000ha) is leased to different people to grow wheat, while a group of squatters is demanding a piece of it. The owners are yet to clear the Sh7 million Settlement Transfer Fund loan.

Ford-People leader Simeon Nyachae’s Kabansora Holdings owns 4,000ha in the area. Former Rongai MP Willy Komen’s family owns 10,000 acres — 5,000ha adjacent to Moi’s Kabarak Farm and another 4,800ha near Ngata in Njoro.

Coast Province was not spared. Kenyatta family owns almost 15% the prime resort land in the province, besides a huge sisal plantation spanning both Taita and Taveta districts, safely watched by his son-in-law and former MP Marsden Madoka, and another close friend to Uhuru Kenyatta, and a former Minister in Kibaki’s Government, and A TNA MP,Naomi Shaban.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

CORD IS FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE, NOT WRECKING THE COUNTRY

The voice of one mortal man Raila Odinga, has disoriented the government of the Republic of Kenya. He is the subject in many kitchens, eating joints, State house, bedrooms, offices, Churches and mosques. I’m yet to comprehend why this hype from the Jubilee regime over Cord’s Saba Saba rally.

 

I also wonder why the government of Kenya with the overall management of the state affairs is in a state of panic due to activities of mere political opposition.

 

The Jubilee regime of Uhuru Kenyatta has forgotten the threat from the Al-Shabaab terror group, insecurity and the poverty in the country and has instead made Raila Odinga and the Cord coalition their daily agenda.

 

Kenyans, Raila Odinga is a mortal man just like all of us. He is not Joseph Kony of the LRA or Abubakar Shekau of the Boko Haram. We only have one arm in Kenya. The political opposition has got no known militia to terrorize the country to capture power.

 

Majority of Kenyans are in agreement that Cord’s concerns about the current state of the nation are genuine.

 

While I don’t agree with everything Raila does, the Cord leader has remained consistent and a strong voice for the downtrodden proletariat by the bourgeoisie in our society. Those who are deprived social justice, equity, equality and fairness see Raila, as their true advocate.

 

There is no way the Jubilee government can win the argument against Cord or derail Raila’s influence in the country if the poverty stricken poor continue being the majority. This poor majority poor aren’t after quick fixes. They however, see Cord as the right voice because the Jubilee government has failed to offer them hope.

 

The character of a good opposition which cares about the future of a country is not to rejoice or salivate when the government in power is failing but to provide tangible alternatives especially when a country is in a crisis.

 

That is why I think Uhuru’s government is the luckiest to have opponents who want to provide alternative avenues to get the country out of the current challenges and ultimately improve our national wellness.

 

A true friend is one who reminds you to zip up your trouser and not the one who remains silent so you can be ashamed in public! What Raila’s Cord is doing is reminding Uhuru Kenyatta, to zip up his pants or precisely pursuing audience to offer ideas which can help get Kenya out of the current mess.

 

The three Cord Principals are doing Jubilee a favour by trying to tell the government where they have gone wrong and offer alternatives for improvement.

 

If Kalonzo Musyoka, Moses Wetangula and Raila Odinga were sadists, they would be feasting over Jubilee’s failures. Just as the Swahili saying goes, “vita vya panzi, ni nehema ya Kunguru.” (the vulture rejoices when two wild beasts are rocking horns).

 

The ultimate winners for any positive dialogue will be Kenyans and President Uhuru, for it will earn him respect for showing statesmanship…


---Rekindled disunity---

The country is back to the trajectory of disunity which dominated President Mwai Kibaki’s 10 years regime, despite being voted on a united platform in 2002. He had the best opportunity to mend fences and nurture ethnic harmony but he aborted it less than a year in office. In fact, when we look deeper, it’s Kibaki who laid the genesis for Kenyans to clobber each other in the 07/08 post election violence.

 

Fast backward, former President Moi was dictatorial but the Country was united. Moi hated the opposition but never marginalized any specific community in his government. His dining table had most Kenyan communities. That is why the Kanu regime lasted for too long.

 

Today, when the likes of Kalonzo, Raila, and Khalwale talk about equity and safeguarding regional balance in the national government as per the constitution, they are labeled as tribalists and purveyors of havoc.

 

I want to challenge President Uhuru Kenyatta to tell Kenyans and more particularly the Luyia community why has destroyed the political career of Eugene Wamalwa and Musalia Mudavadi?

 

Does it impress any Luyia when Uhuru duped these two young leaders before and after the last election? In fact, Mudavadi even went ahead to sign a post election-pact between his Amani coalition and Jubilee but he remains a spectator.

 

Let us call a spade a spade and not a big spoon. Uhuru diluted Wamalwa and Mudavadi’s career and dumped them…

 

In my home front, how does the Kisii community feel when one of their best minds, Bitange Ndemo, is not utilized to help the country? Ndemo’s views in the media speak volumes about his professional prowess. The number is huge of Kenyan professionals at home and abroad who are ignored because they don’t belong to the tribe in power.

 

In fact, there is a lot of grumbling in the Rift Valley, despite massively voting for Uhuru over unfairness in the allocation of government jobs.  

 

Kenya's cancer cannot heal with the use of Panadol. The Right medicine and therapy is for the current government to ensure equity and equality as well as implementing the TJRC recommendations. This is the surest way for Uhuru Kenyatta to enjoy his Presidency.
 
Otherwise, Saba Saba will pass but what is a head will be titanic. Kenyans from Moyale to Namanga; Mount Elgon to Liboi will rise up irrespective of tribe, creed and gender to fight and pave the way for a leadership which will care about them.  
 
For Jubilee regime to continue using sycophants like Aden Duale, Kithure Kindiki and Murkomen as attack dogs on the opposition is a waste of time. Not even the rants in the media by the likes of Moses Kuria will save Uhuru, during the inevitable hour.

The Saba Saba rally will be over but tough times are ahead for the Jubilee regime unless they do something to pacify the Country. Cord has set a tempo which may not end on 7/7/2014. Jubilee will regret why they ignored dialogue. A referendum is unstoppable...

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

My answers to Questions about Saba Saba rally and why it' s the BEST way forward...

By Joseph Opiyo
2 July 2014 at 11:54

I believe CORD coalition and it' s supporters who are well beyond half of the Kenyan voting population, is on the right path and doing the right things.

I am not a tribalist. Every African, let alone Kenyans who have known me would serve as a witnesses to this truth. Infact, I abhor all kinds of discriminations and I have given my entire life to fighting against them. This principle has won me friends from all over the continent of Africa and beyond. Majority of my Kenyan friends, perhaps to the surprise of many, are from Kikuyu community.

This is purely by coincidence not a free choice. I mean I never ask Kenyans which tribe they were before I extend a hand of friendship. This proves beyond any reasonable doubt that I have no problems whatsoever with people from that community or any other community for that matter.

While still on the same breath, I wana make it clear to the rest of Kenyans that not all Kikuyus are tribalists, not all of them are thieves or armed robbers and not all of them are prostitutes. Just as it happens with every community and nations, there are good and bad Kikuyus out there.. Just make your friends carefully and without ethnic prejudices and/or unnecessary stereotyping. I hope I have made my first point clear.

Secondly, If I were to freely choose to be what I want to be, I would choose to be a Law practioner and not a politician. If anybody sees me as a politician, I wish to say that it' s never my free choice to be but at the same time, I don' t apologise for being one. Circumstances seems to lead me into it. I love my Africa. I retire to my bed as an African, I wake up an African, I walk African, I talk as an African.

I am indeed, an African. I recognize Kenya as a nation with her boundaries, laws and her people but I would have prefered one stronger African federation that brings us, the African people together. If Luos as a tribe and the Swahilis can make a nation, there is no justification as to why the Ndebeles or the Shonas or the Bagandas (Luganda), or the Igbos or the Xhosas and the Zulus, the Tutsis etc can' t form part of that one Nation....but this is for another day.

I accept to hold my patience or even postpone that issue to be handled by my children or my children's children. Let me briefly concentrate on the contemporary Kenyan question. Isn' t it?

Kenya fought hard and bloodily to gain her independence in 1963. Independence is a synonime of freedom. The question is are Kenyans truly free? My asnwer would be as good as yours. They are free in books but not in truth. They are not free. The British oppressors exited, and there entered an African oppressor.

This story, I know, is a replicate in many other African nations...of which I wish to prescribe same medicine to redeem or liberate them. Yes, we can be poor and still be free. I see no contradiction whatsoever about that. Afterall, we aint poor at all. We have mismanagers of our resources masquarading as leaders. The Kenyan population for example, hardly have had a chance to elect freely and fairly their own leadership. In 50 years, Kenya has had only one credible elections that took place in 2002.

I would say that apart from that, Leadership has always been imposed rather than being freely elected by Kenyans. Saba Saba however, does not dwell exclusively on the elections but it does on some of the issues that aggravates life quality of an average man and woman on the street. These are the burning issues affecting my beloved nation and which makes me be a diehard supporter of DIALOGUE (Saba Saba Movement).

My friends who follows my posts will attest to the fact that I was in favor of aggresive revolution long before Hon. Raila Odinga' s CORD came up with Saba Saba's dialogue. Infact, many believes they borrowed this idea from me.

High rate of unemployment (currently standing at 75%).
Insecurity ( Right here on facebook, a friend of mine has posted a potrait of a dead body of his brother who was killed yesterday in the evening).Besides this, we also have the Alshabab terrorist attacks that comes at anytime anywhere within the Republic. This is despite the fact that there is a government that took an oath to protect the lives of the Kenyan people.

Corruption. You can' t get a mere birth certificate for your child in Kenya without being subjected to harrasment and demands for a bribe. Women giving birth bribes their ways into those maternity wards and Mega corruption is the order of the day in the government leadership itself.

Recently, The government of Uhuru Kenyatta paid billions of US dollars of Kenyan tax payer money to various scammy firms. This is regardless of the sorrowful state of the Kenyan man/woman on the street.
Tribalism in the appointment of Kenyan people to national positions. In Kenya, your surname and not on merit (your competence or academic qualifications), either gives you or denies you a job.

Inflation ( Sky rocketing food and basic commodity prices). You get into a Kenyan supermarket, you' d think for a moment that you are somewhere in Europe where the basic salary is 800 euros. The difference is that the basic pay in Kenya is less than 80 euros and 75% of them are actually unemployed.. In the EU and US, less than 20% unemployment.. I just hope some reasonable people are reading this...

Implementation of the Kenyan constitution especially on devolution of resources. Kenya promulgated a new constitution in 2010 after a a twenty year bloody struggle. This document is now under an eminent threat. Women empowerment and devolution of resources are being mishandled with impunity. Infact, the current budget was done based on the 2011/12 fiscal report rather than 2012/13. That' s contrary to the spirit and letter of the constitution.

Implementation of Truth, Justice and Reconciliation report cost Kenyan tax payers billions of Kenyan shillings. This report was out in mid 2013 but since it implicates the family of the President and close confidants, it has never been implemented. He blocks it' s implementation by refusing to approve to it as the law requires.

This report in itself has the potentiality to bring peace in Kenya. It brought a solution to perenial land problems from 1950s, 60s and todate especially in the Rift Valley area.

Last (for now) but never the least is the issue of Kenyan electoral body.. The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC). This is a rog body by proof of available evidence that it was handled by a Presidential candidate's political party during March 2013 elections. The available evidence was never given a chance to be cited in a court of Law.

I wish to reply to those fellows who says I call for Saba Saba movement while I reside abroad..

I came to where I am today not because of my free choice but because of these same broken system that led to joblessnes of many Kenyans. I had to find a greener pasture somewhere. I am very human as everybody else and with personal ambitions just as yourselves...Freedom fighters must not always do same things all the times..

There will be those volunteers who shall be on the streets, those who shall sacrifice resources in other ways also exists.. Nelson Mandela was in Jail, Oliver Tambo was in exile mobilizing resources.. I, Joseph Opiyo shall fit in any place that my comrades would commend for me..Before that happens, let me be available and be ready to mobilize support from other friendly nations. I am doing it with a passion..

Already, The USA and the UK supports Saba Saba. I may have to consult France.

Note: The Kenyan armed Forces be it the Police or the GSU have no rights whatsoever to kill anybody but if they do, Uhuru Kenyatta' s ass shall be roasted and he'll find himself at the Haque.

I therefore ask all of you to go out there during Saba Saba and help liberate our country. I am very much with you in any support you may stand in need that is available to me.

I love Kenya.. Kenya is for all not just a few.

May God bless Africa.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

MPEKETONI TRAGEDY IS SHROUDED IN CONFUSION

From media reports, Presidential communique and debates in our legislature; one can easily conclude that we live in confused times as a country especially when tragedy occurs.

We can therefore conclude that like other tragedies we have experienced before, the current double-talk by leaders from different persuasions will fade as soon as the victims of the Mpeketoni massacre are interred.

Two key theories have been fronted as the cause of the two day mayhem- pointing fingers on the Al-Shabaab terror group and Cord leader Raila Odinga.
However, what puzzled me is a delegation to Statehouse on Thursday by political and religious leaders from the Coast. They floated before the President the issue of land at the Coast as the main cause of the massacre. These leaders have known all along that the land question at the Coast is thorny but waited for people to die in Mpeketoni before seeking audience with the President.

Ironically, it was in September last year that President Uhuru gave out 60 thousand title deeds to the Coastarians and promised to issue 3 million more title deeds throughout the Country in a span of five years.

It all sounded problem solved to land question at the Coast but, where we are today, over 60 innocent lives has been lost mysteriously. Before the sputum dries out, leaders from the region come to seek audience with the President as if they didn’t know that the problem existed.
My critical view on the situation in the country is this: we have become like a doctor who knows the infection of his patient but prescribes painkillers instead of antibiotics to kill the bacteria.

To put it more succinctly, we cannot solve the land problem in Kenya if the Ndungu Land Report and the TJRC commission findings are gathering dust. The TJRC report provided concrete avenues to address historical injustices especially on land at the Coast but the current leaders who are key beneficiaries of the injustices cannot be trusted to implement the reports. Otherwise, what we have seen from the Jubilee government is just piecemeal gestures to score political points.

It’s sad that some of the title deeds they issued last year were not legit.

Kenyans wonder where the tangible contingency measures the “digital leadership” promised to put in place during the campaigns to spur socio economic development and also avert calamities in our land!

Where is the tough media house with tough journalists to ask tough questions what the current leadership stands for when theirs; is to wait for tragedies and thereafter start whining and laying blame games?

President Uhuru Kenyatta, should stop talking tough and wearing fake faces during calamities… he spoke tough during the Westgate terror attack and promised the nation a commission of enquiry to unravel the truth but all was mere empty words to buy time, burry the victims and forget about it.

Riding a high horse and repeatedly remind Kenyans that he is the President is now monotonous. We want results from you Mr. President. Even the cockroaches know you are the President of Kenya.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

WE VOTED FOR WRONG LEADERS LAST YEAR

Why did Kenyans ignore candidates like Peter Kenneth, Prof Ole Kiyiapi, Martha Karua, and Abduba Dida, and vote for a President and deputy who are slowly destroying our Country?

No wonder, we were fore-warned by the West on the repercussions of voting for individuals accused of crimes against humanity but we buried our heads and now, we are harvesting the consequences of our choices.
Today, the very crimes Uhuru and Ruto are accused of at the ICC continue to manifest through different ways in our country- deadly attacks in the Tana Delta, Bungoma killings, mysterious killings of Muslim clerics and lately, the Mpeketoni massacre.

The list is even higher if I would include the perennial explosive attacks in our urban centres and the Westgate terror attacks last September.

In spite of the malpractices in the last polls, Kenyans in a tune of millions voted Jubilee. Otherwise, there was no way Uhuru Kenyatta, would have found room to manipulate the votes if the count-differential between him and Raila Odinga was wide.

As voters, if we had voted the right person into office, perhaps we would not be experiencing the current challenges which are almost tearing a sunder the social fabric of our nation… Kenya is like a bomb ready to explode. Perhaps if it were not the ICC, Kenya will be flowing with human blood today.

Back to the last polls, I’m convinced that if we had voted either Abduba Dida, Martha Karua, Peter Kenneth, Ole Kiyiapi or even the man who is sending cold shivers in the Jubilee leadership; Raila Odinga, they would have done a better job than Uhuru Kenyatta.

The President is not worried of anything so long as his power is intact. He is full of verbose without results. He talks tough but ignores wise counsel. Just recently, while in a funeral at Rongo, the Migori Senator, Wilfred Machage gave him the “best” advise publically’ almost similar to another one given by Dr. Bonny Khalwale last month when the President toured Western Kenya.

Sadly enough, Uhuru does not heed advice…is word is law. This is how we are reminded in the book Proverbs12:1: the person who loves correction loves knowledge, but anyone who hates a rebuke is stupid. It’s therefore upon Kenyans to gauge the type of President they have.

Our poor voting patterns…
The general view that poverty and ignorance compels Kenyans to vote the way they vote is pure hogwash! If we were so ignorant to vote for Uhuru, how come in a span of one year, we now have sanity to point out his flaws handling matters of state? In other words, what has Uhuru done to reduce our poverty? Are we richer and better than we were in March 2013 before Uhuru was sworn in as President?

In my opinion, the failed Uhuru Presidency is the best form of civic education for Kenyan voters. In future, we all need to think twice before we entrust the future of our country on wrong hands. We need to think twice before casting our votes during an election.

Don’t forget, a right governor, MCA, MP, Senator and President are likely to ensure our peace and security and socio economic development. Don’t forget, the Jubilee government is a travesty to our spiritual lives because even the houses of worship are not safe.

Kenyans, we need to change our mentality on the way we see and think about those aspiring to lead us. Let us not pocket Kshs 100 and vote wrong people into office and within a short span, we start whining. In any case, did those who receive handouts from Ruto and Uhuru during the campaigns ever questioned how the two attained their massive wealth?

Back on the goofs of Cabinet Secretary Joseph Ole Lenku, my view is that, those blaming the man are extremely unfair. If the chief executive officer in a company experiences incompetency from junior employee; shall the CEO wait for the staff to step down or fire that person immediately and replace him with a competent one to safeguard the interests of the company?

Why blame Ole Lenku when the appointing authority- Uhuru Kenyatta sees no wrong? If sanity was prevailing in the Uhuru leadership, Lenku would have been fired immediately after the Westgate tragedy. This is where the rain started beating our nation over insecurity. And now, the Mpeketoni massacre has added more insult to injury.

Uhuru Kenyatta, cannot withstand the rigours of the Presidency and the MOST honourable thing for him to do is to step aside. As one MP in Jubilee hinted, Uhuru and Ruto were not prepared for their current task. If they did, we would not experience perpetual contradictions, confusion, and lose of innocent lives through insecurity.

While it’s a tall order for Uhuru Kenyatta to step down, let him edit his public pronouncements, reshuffle his security chiefs, tame his handlers like Kabando wa Kabando, Aden Duale, Kithure Kindiki and his deputy William Ruto. This will thaw the animosity they elicit before the public.

Uhuru loves his seat but he needs to safeguard it by doing the right things for Kenyans. How many times shall he talk about negligence and abdication of responsibilities by his security personnel?

Since he has opined that his security was aware of the Mpeketoni massacre, what is Mutea Iringo, Michael Gichangi, Ndegwa Muhoro, Julius Karangi, Raychelle Omamo, and David Kimayo, and the man many Kenyans are pointing fingers at; Joseph Ole Lenku, doing in office?

Thursday, June 12, 2014

REPRESENTATION REFORM

Representation Reform Bill
By Nicholas Oyoo
Nairobi, Kenya
June 12, 2014

I blame the current representational system for the woes that this country is currently facing. Look at the way National Assembly membership reasons and you will know that The Kenyans is usually a distant third or fourth in the consideration. I therefore wish to offer my thoughts as a suggestion of a solution going forward. I want to appreciate, that what am proposing will not be seen any where else but i think Kenya needs a different system to deal with a unique set of scenarios that have been obtaining in our nation. Without further ado, here goes.

1)We form an Electoral College; it will have the role of Appointment/Vetting of all Commissioners of all commissions cited in the constitution, and the heads, The Chief Justice and the deputy Chief Justice, The Auditor General, The Controller of Budget, The Political Parties Registrar, Head of Prosecutions, Inspector General etc

2)The Electoral College will elect the Senators, MPs and qualify the presidential candidates for upcoming elections if they receive at least 25% of the Electoral College support or become top three in a second vote (Where non got above 25% in the first vote). They must first submit a written application to the Electoral college with work plans, rationale and ideological grounding of what they intent to do as president in at least 5 Mandatory issues (picked by the Electoral College) and another 5 self selected issues each with at least 5 pages of elaboration, they must talk about their plans to promote national unity, national values, bill of rights and constitutionalism.

3)Election of Senators – A senatorial candidate must come with an application, a CV and 1000 signatures (at least 500 from the county the come from and at least 300 outside that county, in order to be in position to face the Electoral College. All those who have so qualified from all the constituencies will be up with the chance to be senators of the republic. 50-Senatorial seats will be up for grabs and after public vetting by a sub-committee. The roles of senators will be Oversight and Legislation on County Governments. Candidates for the senate present their senatorial leadership plans in writing and why they are the best to be considered for the role and on the strength of that a shortlist of 300 people, finally the three hundred will each get 15 minutes with the Electoral College select team with the rest of the college watching. A vote will be done and each Electoral College member must select 50 people from the list (they are allowed to mark out their preferences as they listen to the speak as long as they can guarantee no one will see who they are making) . A second vote will be called for the balance of votes where there is less that 50 people voted for until the 50 are found.

4)Election of National Assembly Members – A NA candidate must come with an application, a CV and 300 signatures at least (100) from the constituency the come from and at least 100 outside that county, to earn the right to face the Electoral College. All those who have so qualified from all the constituencies will be up with the chance to be senators of the republic. 150-National assembly seats will be up for grabs and after public vetting by a sub-committee. The roles of senators will be Oversight and Legislation on County Governments and the roles of MPs will be Oversight and Legislation on national issue. Candidates for the senate present their National Assembly leadership plans in writing and why they are the best to be considered for the role and on the strength of that a shortlist of 1000 people, finally the 300 will each get 15 minutes with the Electoral College select team with the rest of the college watching. A vote will be done and each Electoral College member must select 150 people from the list. A second vote will be called for the balance of votes where there is less that 150 people voted for until the 150 are found.

5)County Electoral Colleges will also use the same criteria to selected MCAs and Independent office holders. Each county will have 25 MCAs. They have to have at least 100 signatures with at least 50 from their wards and at least 20 outside their wards.

Selection of the Electoral Colleges
Applications and CVs for serving in the Electoral Colleges will be received at the Public Service Commission and the commission will carry out due diligence to confirm that the details presented are true and once satisfied it will submit the names, coded in numerical digits to the electoral commission to conduct a draw to pick 3 names from each ward in the country. A Woman, A Man and a third representing youth, people with disabilities, Minorities etc. they will serve for 2 years and can only be considered after 3 such electoral colleges have served for a second stint.

Advantages:
 A professional law making set of units free from tribal capture, political party capture, political big personality capture, corruption (money capture)
 More focused legislative leadership more time for legislation and parliamentary business other CDF issues
 Reduced Corruption as the NAs and Senators will not have used money to get elected
 Government seriousness and with well thought through bills will get it sailing in Parliaments
 Involvement of ordinary wananchi (like with a jury) will lead to more awareness by the public
 Redistribution of wealth – with 9,000 people serving in the various Electoral Colleges, with a quick turnover will mean more chances for people to get wealth
 People centered leadership will have more opportunity to be perpetuated
 Issues based elections
 Better training ground for higher level leadership with depth in understanding of issues
 Clarity in job description for parliamentary personnel
 Kenyans leadership in provision of answers for indigenous solution as opposed to copy pasted systems (Kenyaocracy is what we may call it)
 Cutting the umbilical cord between parliament and executive forcing the executive to present water tight proposal to parliament which will debate them objectively and must pass those that are sensible because of people pressure.
You will not see the kinds of headlines again:-

Raila tells Luo MPs Over Polls - http://www.the-star.co.ke/news/article-152352/raila-tells-luo-mps-over-polls
Uhuru Meet Meru Leaders Over Waiguru - http://www.the-star.co.ke/news/article-170798/uhuru-meet-meru-leaders-over-waiguru