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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Will Moi's Second Project Work?

The First project, Uhuru Kenyatta failed miserably in 2002. Has the former president and self proclaimed professor of politics learnt anything?

Former President Moi still does things the way he used to do them during the 24 years he ruled Kenya.

For instance we know that he made his mind a long time ago to back President Mwai Kibaki but yesterday he gave the impression that he had thought about the matter long and hard and really agonized before finally reaching a decision.

He however stressed that he would remain in Kanu and that he would be actively campaigning for the party in the run up to the forthcoming general elections. The former president who now walks with a distinct limp (although he has stubbornly refused to use a walking stick, at least in public) moves much more slowly these days and hardly looks like he is up to the task of indulging in a rigorous campaign, even if that campaign will only be within the borders of the expansive Rift Valley Province.

This morning all Kenyans newspapers are analyzing the impact of Moi's declaration of support for the incumbent. I have deliberately avoided reading any of them at least not before I write my own analysis of it. One of the reasons why Kumekucha is so popular is because we DO NOT recycle information from the daily newspapers like many other Kenyan blogs do and always like to give our own independent perspective.

Moi's move now clearly shows us what President Kibaki's game plan is. Although there are those in the opposition who see Kibaki as Moi's game plan and in fact his project in the upcoming elections, just like he had the Uhuru project in the run up to the 2002 elections.

Still, for the first time in the history of presidential elections in Kenya, the incumbent will leave his campaign efforts in certain areas of the country to partnering political parties. It is very clear that the President's campaign in Rift Valley is fully in the hands of Kanu and retired president Moi. At the Coast it will be mainly handled by the Shirikisho party. Narc Kenya and DP (democratic party) will handle it in Central Kenya and Nairobi area. In hostile arts of Eastern province like in Ukambani, it will be handled by DP. The president himself will most likely seek re-election under a new umbrella party to be registered soon that will most likely take on all other political parties supporting his re-election as corporate members.

This is in keeping with the president's so called hands-off administration style that has thrived on delegation. Delegation is not a bad thing except that it can be taken a little too far when we all know where the buck stops and who will be held responsible when things go wrong. You see Kenyans did not elect the individuals who are now so powerful in this country and some of whom have caused great suffering to the ordinary folks by the decisions that they have made. NO. They elected President Kibaki. So it is not acceptable for the president to criticize some of his ministers in public instead of firing them on the spot and getting the kind of people who will help him deliver on his promises to the people.

I think this is campaign delegation thing is a very dangerous strategy that looks very good on paper but could so easily fall flat on its' face out there in the rough and tumble of Kenyan politics and heated campaigns.

Take Rift Valley for instance. There is still a very strong anti-Kikuyu sentiment amongst the Kalenjin community and that is why Mrs Linah Chebii Kilimo in her recent announcement declaring support for President Kibaki clearly said that she will definitely not join Narc Kenya in her re-election bid. That tells you a lot.

The Kikuyu versus Kalenjin tensions and mistrust in the Rift Valley dates back to the time shortly after independence when President Kenyatta allocated himself vast tracts of land in the agricultural rich Rift Valley. Many of those close to him did the same and the result was an "invasion" of Kalenjin land a lot of which was taken forcibly and illegally without proper compensation to the previous owners. An uneasy calm was somehow maintained during most of President Moi's tenure, but when multiparty politics was forced on Moi, he decided that it was time for all Kikuyus (including many of those who had obtained the land legally) to be ejected. What followed were the infamous land clashes of the Rift Valley that started in the early 90s.

That is why to date, selling Narc Kenya in the Rift Valley is an uphill task. This is the reason Moi has carefully made his announcements in a piecemeal fashion. He started by urging the Kalenjins to reject ODM and to remain in Kanu. He then added that he would tell them who to vote for as president at a later date. He did not mention his preferred presidential candidate even when he clearly already knew who that person was.

Politics is a game where one shifts with the wave. Kanu will definitely be the most popular political party amongst the Kalenjin but the masses could easily fall into a wave to support another presidential candidate other than President Kibaki. Again I say the president's battle plan looks neat, too neat on paper. And that is just the sort of plan that could easily get derailed and fall flat on its' face on the ground and in the heat of a moment. When parliamentary candidates start fighting tooth and nail for a win, they will say anything and support anybody whom they think will help take their popularity a notch higher. In the Kalenjin Rift Valley, that candidate will NOT be president Kibaki.

P.S. There is the part of Rift Valley that is pure Narc Kenya, including constituencies like Nakuru town and the environs. Narc Kenya is already pretty active in these Kikuyu area of the Rift Valley and will definitely carry the day.

Can this young aspirant turn out to be a giant killer In Cherangany?

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Anonymous said...

Kibaki does not need Moi to win. Moi is the one who desperately needs Kibaki to retain power for his own protection. Kibaki will still carry the day, and it will be the end of Raila kabisa!

bloggeratti said...

This "scratch my back, I scratch yours" policy just might work. Take this into consideration.

Rift Valley is Kenya's breadbasket. This administration carry's favour with the farmer. Picture this; a guernsy heifer pre-2002 cost 2,500/- - today, you'll be lucky to get one for 10k.

Chris, don't you think the farmer on the ground can create some pockets of support for Kibaki, thus eroding ODM's tsunami?

Also picture this; ODM is still drunk with the referendum victory - the so-called TSUNAMI. But nobody ever talks about the 46% of Kenyans that voted YES. Further in my humble view a 54% win doesn't qualify to be a tsunami.

Anyway, its only 3 months away before we find out the answer!

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Anonymous said...

hey guys! i hope you know that those who dance are normally looked at as crazy by those who cant hear the music. let those thinking kibaki will get farmers' votes all over the country continue dreaming. the same farmers are just too poor to bother even listening to him.their graduate sones are still unemployed since 1993, the cost of fertilizer is higher than it was in 2002, bread is costing 30/- a piece, kerosene 65/- per littre, their primary school children have to stay in school the whole day without a teacher. pls lets listen keenly and we will all be able to hear the ongoing tune however faint it might be then we can join in the dance. otherwise continue dreaming until it is too late. i wish you all luck.

Anonymous said...

and by the way could somebody explain to me why kikuyu guys always carry uncooked meat to their houses late at night? does it mean they have to wake up their mamas to cook for them at that time of the night or does it mean they cant afford a fridge to store meat in bulk?

Anonymous said...

kibaki is exposing himself too much and so he is likely to receive lethal punches where it hurts most come dec 07. he should know that when moi declared his surport for him, he must have lost more votes than he gained. when uhuru came in i am sure 1 m votes ran away. why? because moi and biwot are well known by kenyans,then uhuru comes in to prove to those doubting thomases just how tribal the kyuks can get. it is now quite easier to explain to the rest of kenyans why they should also vote as a block but in the opposite direction, ama?


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