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Thursday, July 19, 2007

The Kalonzo Musyoka Comedy Of Errors in ODM

"…I am probably your most serious challenger for the presidency."

In welcoming President Kibaki to his Mwingi North constituency this week, area MP Kalonzo Musyoka said those words in his brief speech delivered in his usual style of speaking in Swahili polluted with big English words which one wonders whether the majority of the simple village people that make a huge percentage of his constituents ever understand. In fact the quoted part was fully delivered in English.

Now let us reverse roles a little and put Raila Odinga in Kalonzo's shoes. What do you think would have happened in a similar situation of Raila Odinga hosting the president in his Langata constituency? Bwana Nyundo would have probably delivered the whole sentence in Kiswahili jerking his forehead forward for emphasis as he usually does. No doubt a brief soccer commentary where he scores the goal with President Kibaki as the hapless goalkeeper would have followed.

But what would have followed?

You guessed it, CHAOS.

Kalonzo would have cried foul and would have immediately called a press conference to say that some candidates wanted to give the public the impression that the ODM presidential candidate has already been decided in their favor. And he would have whined and complained and protested—as he usually does. And no doubt the ODM high command would have scrambled to make amends (as they usually do).

But I guess it is okay when Kalonzo says things that give the impression that he is the leading ODM presidential contender.

NTV Swahili news bulletin have a fascinating new series where they give ordinary folks a platform to talk politics. A clip yesterday featured various views on the controversial Steadmann poll. One man summarized the whole Kalonzo fiasco in ODM perfectly. He said that Kalonzo had been a Raila project all along (and that is why he scored highly in the Steadmann polls) because many people believed that Raila would leave the presidency for him this time round. Actually Raila is on record as clearly telling wananchi "Kalonzo tosha" in Ukambani in the run up to the referendum where he emphasized in several meetings that if the Kamba voted against the then proposed constitution, he (Raila) would ensure that Kalonzo would be the opposition's presidential candidate. Alas that may have been just one of the many lies told for the sake of defeating the government in the referendum. They were so many other blatant lies that were told to wananchi that to this day Justice Minister Martha Karua cannot stand the site of Raila.

But what goes round comes around. Kenyans, the majority of whom see the only hope for the country in ODM, are about to be deeply disappointed. ODM has already lost most of Kanu and contrary to common belief the party never really had Kalonzo Musyoka, and they are about to realize why.

Yesterday party secretary general Prof. Anyang Nyong'o put a strong face when journalists asked him about Kanu's now clear intentions to officially withdraw from ODM. Nyong'o said that the ODM high command were like the Chinese, they genuinely do not interfere with the internal affairs of others (in this case constituent parties of ODM). Still the truth is that an ODM without Kalonzo Musyoka and most of Kanu is bound to be a much weaker ODM.

Kumekucha has learnt the hard way that there are some people within the ODM high command that are masters of planting propaganda, half truths and blatant lies within the press all disguised as exclusives. I have since established through a spokesperson for John Githongo that the issue of him being a contender in the party HAS NEVER been discussed with him.

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vikii said...

Chris what are u suggesting here? Are u saying that Kalonzo should henceforth start addressing rallies in 'pure swahili' while moving his head back and forth? I have seen many greater leaders and better politicians than Raila but they dont do that. That has never been the SI unit for any political acumen. Moi never gave any football comentaries and he gannered 1.8M and 2.4 M votes in the elections of 92 and 97. Kenneth Matiba too never did it and he got 1.4 million votes, Kibaki over 1M,1.8M and recently 3.5 M. Uhuru Kenyatta 1.6 million and of course the 'goal scoring' Raila got 0.6 M. The moral of this story is that comedians will always make u laugh and cheer but earning your vote is a different ball game.

People have a right to join political parties of their choice. This is the message Mwai Kibaki is telling those who feel that we should all be herded into one party. Uhuru Kenyatta and company have a right to choose to belong to KANU or to form a coalition with any party that they wish. Kalonzo has a right to choose to belong to ODM or to join another party and of course Raila has a right to choose to stay with the orange or join the hammer if he wishes. Freedom to choose is the connerstone of democray.

John Githongo was never going to join Raila for anything. His chances of vying for the presidency were as high as that once upon a time presidential candidate who dropped his bid so he could first pursue his graduate studies, very high indeed.

Anonymous said...

Chris you seem obsessed with KM for a reason best known to you. Raila, I think, will win the ODM nominations but I'll mourn if KM were to leave ODM. That, I think will happen sooner or later. Otherwise, how can you translate his statement in Mwingi. To me, I think he meant that he'll challenge Kibaki whether on ODM, NARC, NARC Kenya, DP, RAP Kenya...WHATEVER. In short, he'll vie for the presidency at all costs. And Vikii, if you think that a Raila-Kibaki duel is no contest, then think twice. If the Steadman Opinion Polls are doctored by the government to achieve some purpose, then you can be sure it will achieve the opposite for the government. Remember one Joseph Konzolo Munyao once retorted during the referendum that the crowds the "NO" proponents were pulling were nothing since in towns, there are bound to be jobless people who'll always attend the rallies. If you think crowd-pulling does not translate to votes, please tell me what does! Is it a "growth" in the economy, or a 7PM news bulletin address? Vikii tell me, is your vote "cleaner" than Biwott's? Or is it bigger? Moral of the story: Whether they are youths, thugs, old women, whatever, the vote will always be one.
About UK, it was bound to happen at some point. I am not surprised. But I can promise you, ODM will soldier on!

Chief MA Nanga, MP.

Phil said...

Its definitely true Chris that Raila has an unparalleled all-round political knack. Much as Kalonzo may try, it will take him a life time to match Raila at any given political platform.

Although Swahili is not a yardstick for measuring presidential votes in Kenya, Vikii, the importance of that language for anyone aspiring for a position of national leadership is crucial. Swahili language was recently the first indigenous African language to be adopted by the Africa Union as one of the official working languages. That language also remains Kenya’s national language, as it is for all East African community states. Microsoft Corporation has also developed a Kiswahili version for its popular Windows software program. Currently more than 100 million people in Africa speak and write Kiswahili fluently. Kalonzo had better start private lessons if he cares for a bright political future.

Kalonzo only makes a full of himself when he uses big English words to stress a point when addressing a public baraza in rural Kenya. Another presidential candidate guilty of this offence is Musalia Mudavadi. And this is where you find minnows like Wakoli, Ndile or Gumo are popular with wananchi whichever side of the political divide they stand. They speak boldly using Swahili language as their preferred medium of communication. In business terms, it is important that you communicate to your target market in a language that they understand. Infact former Mozambican president Joachim Chissano earned lots of plaudits after an AU meeting in 2004 in which he delivered his official speech in Swahili although he is not a native speaker himself. And why should he not I ask, Arabic, English, French and Portuguese are all imported languages.

Back to your post Chris, Raila has NEVER uttered the words Kalonzo tosha anywhere. Although you claim it is on record, I think you are confusing this with when Raila was reported to have said ‘Kalonzo is the one with the ball’ during the early days of LDP. As I have said in my comments elsewhere, KANUs or Kalonzo’s defection from ODM-K will hardly make a difference in the minds of wananchi who are voters in Kenya. These folks know what they want – and it matters little whatever an analyst sitting somewhere in an aircon room in Europe or North America posts on this blog. Chris you need to tie up with me I take you to the ground. We can spend some time at BS (Bus Station) in town, Kangemi, Kibera, Gikomba or Congo in Kawangware – you will clearly hear from the horse’s mouth. The common denominator is Raila. Even the most open opinion poll - FM station call-in programs – have repeatedly given Raila as the leading candidate with large margins ahead of Kalonzo and Kibaki.

As I have told you before, you guys will see an elaborate campaign blitz never seen before in this country as and when Raila is installed as ODM-K candidate. And the election results should not surprise those sceptics in the diaspora as they will have had the benefit of reading it here several months before the polls.

vikii said...

Who is in the diaspora? Kitui is very much part of Kenya and that is where Vikii lives.

Anonymous said...

Well, well, well. Looks like Raila phobia still continues to baffle many. Why Choose Mbooni to attack Raila instead of a city like Mombasa or Nairobi or Nakuru/Eldoret e.t.c. Or KM doesnt have support in those areas? Mzidi Kungoja tu. whether consensus or delegates Raila will beat them hands down.


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