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Saturday, September 29, 2007

Kibaki’s Surprise Appearance At The Ford People’s Delegates Conference

All indications are pointing at Kenyans going to the polls earlier than our countdown by as much as a whole month (30 days). However we will stick to our latest possible date countdown and will only change when the election date is formerly announced.

One of the clear indicators of this is the president’s increased activity. Yesterday he turned up unexpectedly at the Ford People’s delegates’ conference. Terrible PR if you ask me because the implication was that the president is fully behind his cabinet minister Simeon Nyachae. Somebody that he should have fired from his cabinet over the political violence incident in Kisii recently where William Ruto and Omingo Magara were chased by armed youths and got slight injuries as a result. But the issue was not the so much the severity of the injuries as the ugly head of political violence rearing its’ head.

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Just as I was making this post, I received word that President Kibaki has also turned up at the Kanu National Delegates Conference today where he again addressed the Kanu delegates and appealed for their votes. I will analyze this in more detail tomorrow.
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Addressing the delegates the president appealed for votes because his government “imefanya kazi” (has worked hard for the people).

Just before the president arrived, Nyachae was stressing the independence of the party where he said they should build their strength in parliament and will be fielding candidates where they felt they were strong, meaning in Gusiiland (irrespective of what the PNU high command decided.)

Interestingly Nyachae told the press this week that the devil moves in them, even though it was clear who was under the influence of the devil from the naked threats and warlike activities of Simoen Nyachae last week in Kisii.

In a way it is sad that a political party founded by such a principled politician and a man who was before his time, Kimani Wanyoike would end up in the hands of such a violent tribal chief as Simeon Nyachae, a man who milks ethnicity for all that it is worth.

Is The Steadman Poll Accurate Only When Your Preferred Presidential Candidate Is Winning?



Kalonzo Musyoka of Hoo Ndii Emm says that the Steadman poll is flawed.

This is really interesting because when he was doing well in the same poll, last year, he often praised it as being very accurate and representative of the people’s views. It is now clear that since he is lagging behind, the poll is suddenly flawed.

Kumekucha has been consistently critical of the Steadman polls. My view is that the people conducting them concentrate most of their efforts on Kenyans in a certain class. The pollsters are quite often young girls in mini skirts and smartly dressed graduates who have never used a pit latrine in their lifetime and are frightened to go into places like the Kibera or Mathare slums—two places that will decide the presidential vote in Nairobi.

When these areas omitted by Steadman are factored in, the implication here is that Raila odinga has a landslide victory if the elections were to be held today.

The other thing is that if president Kibaki loses this election Steadman will be to blame just as their polls are to blame for causing Kalonzo Musyoka’s head to swell so much so that he told President Kibaki; "I believe I am your most serious challenger." The same poll gave many of the president’s advisors the mistaken fatal attitude that the president was invincible.

One of the reasons why I think a Kalonzo presidency would be disaster in this country is because, in sharp contrast to Raila Odionga, Kalonzo believes that nothing should be done about the looters of the past and the country should only set its’ eyes on the future. Very wishful thinking this and just the recipe to encourage even more corruption if Kenyans allow for a Kalonzo Musyoka tenure in State House.

Kenya Is A Failed State

Guest post by Mathayo

Some time back there was a heated debate emanating from an article that purported that Kenya is a failed state. A lot of noise has been made over this issue. Many Kibaki apologists and "patriots" were all up in arms trying to counter the sentiments echoed in the foreign publication.
During the past few weeks, I have been doing some analysis on the way this country is run. I can now conclusively agree that Kenya is in deed a failed state.

Case Study One: Elections
In a few months time, we are headed for the polls. Once again, Kenyans are going to vote for their tribal chiefs. Kikuyus will overwhelmingly vote for Emilio, Luos Raila, Kambas will also do the same for Kalonzo. How many plates of ugali will be added to my house after having voted for someone who happens to come from my tribe? Note that most of us have never even had the chance to meet these people. But we will proudly shout ourselves hoarse declaring our undying support.

"Intellectuals" who support Kibaki will continually rant about how the economy has grown. The "intellectuals" supporting Raila will tell you that he represents "true change"for Kenyans. But why does it happen that, you will never find a Luo Prof supporting Kibaki and vise versa. Since they don't want to appear as petty, they bring about non-issues to back up their tribal choice. Mutula Kilonzo, Prof Anyang Nyong'o and Lawyer Paul Muite are perfect examples of what am talking about. If at all our very learned members of society are playing petty politics, what do you expect of the general populace?

More to that, Raila is the best candidate in the forth coming general elections, but when you look at the characters he's working with, you feel that we're being cheated. How do you enact change when you have all those Kanu faces in your cabinet? There was a time Raila was on Citizen Television; Louis Otieno asked him a question about bringing change of government. Raila wasted no time in saying that Kibaki's government is full of members from the Lancaster House. But Louis got him this time, he asked him, What about Martin Shikuku on your side?
On Saturday, Raila was reported to have said that he would ensure that what belonged to Kenyans is brought back. But how do you do that without interfering with the "peaceful" retirement of past leaders.

Kenyans are in a classical catch 22 situation. All the options we have support the status quo.
Just like Kumekucha keeps saying, hope Githongo is reading this. We need him urgently!!!!


Case Study Two: Police Force
I come from Githurai, of late there have been "Msakos" (Police operation) as we call them. Woe unto you if you are a young man. What has been happening is, around 9.30 pm the Police from Kasarani Police Station have been coming to this dangerous neighbourhood with a lorry. Due to the traffic jam usually experienced on Thika Road, most people happen to be getting home at around this time. But as soon as you alight from the matatus, one meets the police. Without any questioning, you are told to sit down in a big group before being shown your way into the waiting lorry. Crime committed?

I was once caught during the Mungiki uprising. When I asked what crime I had committed, they told me that they would tell the courts am a member of the dreaded sect. I had to part with Kshs 200 albeit bitterly, to buy my freedom Don't forget that they told me that bail for such a crime is Kshs 200,000. In fact, they initially told me to part with Kshs 1,000. However, I didn't have such kind of cash by then. After, a bit of "bargaining" that's when they accepted to take the Kshs 200.
I ask how many innocent people are in jail today since they were not able to buy their freedom? In addition, how many criminals are on the loose?

The other day, people were running helter skelter as soon as the lorry was spotted. Are we supposed to feel safe when police appear or we are supposed to run? I couldn't believe my eyes.
This is just one example, how many roadblocks do we have on our highways? Of what significance are they to the fight against crime. Isn't it an open secret that all the police are after is money?

Well, let me just highlight the others other than ranting here how ours is a failed state no matter how hard we try to deny this.

• Dilapidated infrastructure. Even when thousands throng the Maasai Mara to see the migration of the wildebeests, the road leading there is in a despicable state. A lot of revenue coming from this attraction notwithstanding.

• On being elected into parliament, the current legislators first had to ensure that they filled their stomachs and their pockets.

• Amos Kimunya would rather, award himself and the rest of his crew huge gratuity allowances first and look for funding for the free primary education from donors or through treasury bonds.

• The issue of renumeration seems to be the only one that our legislators agree. Across the political divide, nothing else brings them together, and no other debate attracts a full house. The rest are dogged by lack of quorum.

• Despite the fact that we have no natural resources (oil, gold, diamonds etc), the former regime according to the Kroll report siphoned 500-700 billion to Swiss accounts.

• We have no disaster management program in the country. We are so good at begging when we are hit by both natural and artificial calamities. Why should Israelis come to assist us when a building of not more than six floors collapses?

• A fire department that can't even put out a fire at our own City Hall. Don't forget that they are always late and never have enough water. According to John Gakuo, the City Council collects Kshs 8 billion per year. But when I look at the situation right now, his priorities are more on planting more flowers as fires gut down industries and residential premises.

• When they fail to get to your premises in case of a fire a council in charge of city planning accusing Kenyans of poor planning even when the buck clearly stops with them.

• Talk of buck-passing, every one is good at blaming others. I have a friend who can blame you for anything including why he always seems to be broke, never mind that he is an idler. But government officials have perfected the art.

• The economy growing by 6% but the price of basic commodities rising by an even higher percentage.

• A police commissioner who does not seem to read from the same script as the Minister for Internal Security.

• A country where the Attorney General happens to be a judge and can say nolle prosequi since there wasn't enough evidence to prosecute. If that is the case how many people languishing in jail, deserve that legal term more than the mzungu settler?

The list is long, you can add more on the same.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Mwai Kibaki Politics And The Experienced Cobbler


Artists impression wioth crayon of the nice guy president who was never meant to be a politician posing with his family recently.

One of the things Kenyans must do as we approach the elections later this year is to look back and analyze mistakes that were made in the past so that we stop them from ever being made again.

In understanding Mwai Kibaki the politician, it is useful to take in the following short story. I love to tell stories and I hope you love to take them in.

Nzisa was new in town and wanted her shoes repaired. She saw quite a number of cobblers at one street corner and went to the first one, an elderly looking man, and asked him how much it would cost to repair her shoe. The old man with a very bored expression on his face said it would cost Kshs 200/-. He didn’t even look at her shoes.

“But why is it so expensive?”

The cobbler replied rudely that she was free to take her shoes to the other cheap cobblers if she so wished but he had 40 years experience as a cobbler and his price was 200/-, take it or leave it.

Nzisa decided to ask the other cobblers for a quote so that she could compare prices. She approached a young good-looking cobbler who smiled and welcomed her.

Mathe hio itacost 20 bob.” He told her after carefully examining the shoes.

Nzisa was confused. The old experienced cobbler charged 200/- but this other one charged 20/-. There had to be a catch somewhere. After some thought she decided to use the old experienced cobbler because she really liked her shoe and did not want any cheap cobbler messing around with it.

The first thing that went wrong is that she came several times on false promises before the shoe was finally ready. But her problems had just started. When she saw the way the shoe had been done with string showing and even sticking out where the cobblers’ needle had gone through, she wanted to scream.

The old cobbler remained bored as Nzisa bitterly complained about her special shoe which had a lot of sentimental value above all else to her. But now it had been damaged beyond repair. She stalked off with her shoes, the tears flowing down her cheeks. The 20/- cobbler saw her and hurried after her. He calmed her down and assured her that he was able to solve the problem as she waited. It would take him only 20 minutes.

The cheap shoe repairer did it in 15 minutes and when he had finished work on the shoe, Nzisa could not believe her eyes. It was as good as new.

Many days later when she had recovered from the ordeal she invited the young cobbler to a cup of tea. She was very curious and this was one mystery she was determined to solve.

“What happened to you sister has happened to very many people who don’t know the old cobbler.” The young cobbler told her.

“But why? Is it true that he has 40 years experience in the trade?”

“Yes, that he has,” Nzisa was told. “But the problem is that he was never meant to be a cobbler. He found himself in it accidentally. He hates the smell of shoes and can hardly sew straight. In short he has no interest in the profession that puts food on his table. In fact the reason why he charges 200/- is because he is sure any customer he gets will never come back to him again and will tell others how bad he is. So he charges for the 10 visits he know he will never get from you. The rest of us charge 20/- knowing that we have a customer for a long time to come.”

The problem is that the number of years in a profession is not as important as your capability and capability depends a lot on your love and interest for the profession.

The truth is that Emilio Stanley Mwai Kibaki was never meant to be a politician. He hates the lies, and the hypocrisy and avoids confrontations at all costs. At heart he is really a very good man, a gentleman and too good to be in politics. He got into it by accident when the late Tom Mboya drove all the way to Makerere to fetch him to become Kanu’s first executive officer. They required an educated person and there were not many gradutates those days, let alone university lecturers. Mr Kibaki would have made an ideal don and listening to him lecture wananchi sometimes, I feel pity for him and his missed calling.

Contrast him to Jomo Kenyatta who loved nothing more than a good confrontation and was never scared of the “mud’ that so easily splashes on you when you are in politics. Jomo also understood and greatly respected public opinion. He knew it was what kept a president in power and not control over the military as is widely believed.

That was one mistake we all made including yours truly in 2002. We elected somebody whom we did not really know. Somebody who was and is a great lecturer in economics and would have had an amazing career at any leading university in the world.

Raila and company chose him mainly because he was a Kikuyu and they wanted to neutralize Moi’s project. They were also sure that he would be the easiest to control and manipulate. What they forgot was that there is something called a kitchen cabinet and that kitchen cabinet just surrounded the president and made him completely inaccessible to those who had worked to get him into State House. The rest as they say is history. You can see the problems the president is having with a presidential campaign when all his campaigners and strategists the last time round are all in the opposition now. Watch what happens as he continues to implement his own neat theoretical ideas working at something he was never meant to be.

With the benefit of hindsight, it is my view that Kenya would have achieved much more under a Uhuru Kenyatta presidency. Moi stooge or no Moi stooge the younger man would have gotten much more done.

But alas, let us remember my old violent cane wielding teacher’s mantra; it is OK to make a mistake once. But twice? Eh!! That teacher of mine would go berserk with the cane, his fists, his legs and everything on any student silly enough to make the same mistake twice.

Very important lesson in this short life, very important.

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Trouble In Eastleigh Again: Time Bomb Is Still Ticking

Two days ago, residents of Eastleigh in Nairobi were involved in running battles with the police for the better part of the day.

Trouble started when residents got fed up with the failure by the City Council to clear garbage that had piled up in a certain area of the expansive estate, so they decided to protest by placing piles of it on the road. The riot police were quickly called in to clear the roads.

Eastliegh is mostly occupied by Somali refugees from a neighboring country that has been at war for decades. Most of these foreigners have been able to effectively pose as Kenyans easily acquiring the national ID and are expected to influence the outcome of the coming general elections in that constituency (Kamukunji). It is no accident that this part of town has been christened Mogadishu (after the capital of war-torn Somalia).

The fact that most of those involved in the protest were foreigners is clearly evident in the fact that Kenyans have always drowned in garbage without seeing the need to riot because of it. This is a terrible thing to say, but it is the truth. It seems that the attitude has been that we have so many other problems that overflowing garbage is the least of them.

Part of the reason that trouble has been triggered off just now is the fact that our Muslim brothers are going through their holy month of Ramadhan and it is reported that the stinking garbage heap was close to a mosque.

Residents complain that they have pleaded with the city council many times to get rid of the eye sore and health hazard but their pleas have fallen on deaf ears.

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Kalonzo Musyoka’s Strange Presidential Campaign




For most of last week and into this week Hoo Ndi Emm presidential hopeful Kalonzo Musyoka has been campaigning in Ukambani spending considerable time in his own backyard and the neighboring constituencies, including that of Health Minister Charity Kaluki Ngilu.

This is rather strange for a national presidential candidate. Imagine President Kibaki spending a whole week campaigning in Central province with most of his time spent in Nyeri and Othaya? Or Raila Odinga spending a week in Luo Nyanza campaigning? It just doesn’t work like that.

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For our count down to elections in our main Kumekucha site we have taken the latest possible date for the election which will be 27th and 28th December 2007. There have been strong indications that the president is eager to have the elections done before Christmas so that Kenyans can enjoy their holidays without pending polls hanging over their heads. However this seems more unlikely by the day, as a result of several emerging factors including the delay in printing of ballot papers caused by an ongoing court case filed by a company that lost the lucrative tender. A high court judge has ordered the Electoral commission to halt all work on the ballot papers. Still there is the possibility, albeit remote, that elections could still come earlier than the 27th/28th date (the extra day is usually to allow for an extension of voting if necessary.)
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My understanding is that where your bedrock of support is, is the place to send representatives while you the presidential candidate concentrates on gaining votes in other difficult provinces.

It has been widely reported in the media that Hon Kalonzo has had difficulties campaigning in areas of Rift Valley where charged crowds have accused him of being a traitor. The presidential hopeful has also met with hostile reception in one or two other areas in the country. So it would seem that Kalonzo prefers to campaign closer to home as a result.

But that’s not the way a serious politician, especially a presidential candidate should do their things.

If I am wrong can somebody explain to me exactly what is going on here?

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Are All The Polls Putting Raila Ahead Rigged?

The latest Steadmann poll puts ODM presidential hopeful, Raila Odinga slightly ahead of President Kibaki. 44% of those polled said that they would vote for Raila while 40% said they preferred President Kibaki. Only 10% said that they would for Kalonzo Musyoka.

This is the only survey by Steadmann where it has been revealed how the survey was financed. This particular one was paid for by the Standard Newspapers group.

However the poll was conducted ONLY in Nairobi.

This is very surprising because most analysts (including those leaving comments in this blog have always been sure of a Kibaki victory in Nairobi.)

Of course there are also those wonderful Kumekucha readers who believe that any poll that puts Raila ahead of Kibaki has been rigged or is just plain propaganda. I will be very interested in what Jeff and PKW have to say about this latest Steadmann poll.

As reported here, some days back, all the figures coming in are telling a story that nobody wants to believe. They seem to suggest that if the election were to be held today, Raila Odinga would not only win, he would win by a landslide.

Other strategies to halt Raila’s popularity that even I thought would work very effectively seem to be falling flat. For instance the circumcision thing that Simeon Nyachae tried to pull off in his Kisii stronghold has backfired badly and we are seeing photographs on the front page of newspapers of Kisii people burning effigies of Mr Nyachae.

Deep in Central province, there is a lot of discontent against the Kibaki administration. In my view, were the elections to be held today, Raila would get no less than 15% of the votes in Central province and probably even more.

So what has happened? What has changed in Kenya?

Actually a lot seems to have happened. For starters the younger generation is starting to assert itself in Kenyan politics and many of them abhor tribalism and all that it stands for. Many of them are well educated and able to influence folks in their rural areas. I can say that we are in for a shock this time round. But nobody will be more shocked than the political classes who have held on to power for too long by cheating the masses.

If I was Raila I would also be very frightened. Frightened at the extremely high expectations Kenyans have of an ODM government. To be very honest, so far I have not seen any conclusive evidence that they can deliver on their promises. However most Kenyan voters seem to be of the opinion that they deserve a chance.

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The Advantage Kibaki Will Enjoy If He Fires Nyachae And Mwakwere Now

This government condemning election violence means absolutely nothing. We have seen this kind of lip service before.

In 1991/2 there was plenty of evidence to suggest that the government then was financing the tribal clashes in the Rift Valley. But we saw some very strong statements from President Moi then, condemning the clashes and saying the usual fairy tales—like the government is in control of the situation and so on.

The only thing that can convince Kenyans is action. For starters the president should distance himself from Simoen Nyachae and his actions and a slap on the wrist is not enough. He needs to sack the roads minister. And while he is at it, he also needs to fire his other cabinet Minister Ali Makwere who has given his government a very bad image.

During a live call in show on KTN last week a caller asked the minister about his being sighted at the notorious Koinange street with other politicians. Makwere appears to have lost his head on live TV and answered back sarcastically that he was looking for his mother (the caller’s mother) to make love to. This abusive language from a full cabinet minister on live TV says a lot of things about the quality of the president’s cabinet and the kind of election violence that these sort of characters are bound to promote.

Imagine the consequences of giving such an answer to a mwananchi at a public meeting?

If the president is still interested in competing in the forthcoming elections, he needs to start making his moves now. He needs to spin a new image of a decisive hands on president who can get things done. He has the golden opportunity now by taking action against members of his cabinet.

In my view both Makwere and Nyachae are especially vulnerable now and expendable. If anything sacking them will gain the president many more votes than he will lose just now. Word on the ground is that Makwere is not popular in his constituency and that is why he is very keen to support the president in return for a war chest of cash that is his only chance of seeing the inside of the 10th parliament next year.

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Fake Notes On The Increase

One of the sure signs that there is an election around the corner is when we suddenly get flooded with fake notes.

My information is that there has been a very sharp increase in fake local currency circulating in the market. High on the list this time round are Kshs 200 notes which many unsuspecting Kenyans do not look at too carefully—at least not in the same way that they look at Kshs 1,000 notes.

The fake notes are also getting better and better and much more difficult to detect.

So why should fake notes increase when elections are around the corner?

A reader gave us a theory here last year about how politicians and thugs are very closely linked and are sometimes the same people. By the way another sign that an election is imminent is a dramatic increase in armed robberies including bank robberies.

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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Unspoken Truths About The Nyachae Election Violence Incident



Hon Simeon Nyachae who watched in glee as ODM’s William Ruto, Omingo Magara and Chris Bichagge formerly of Coffee Board Of Kenya but now an aspirant, were chased by armed youths stubbornly insists that he has nothing to apologize about. He further adds that the press has taken sides already in these elections and they seem to be overwhelmingly on ODM’s side.

Before we go into the events of last Friday that have raised so much heat, let us analyze Nyachae’s allegations against the press. The Minister gives as his evidence the fact that his incident has received so much publicity and yet the harassment of other candidates in Kisumu has not been covered by the press. He also insinuates that ODM seem to be getting more press than other political parties.

Now that last statement is true although it is not a matter of favoring but pure commercial reasons. The brand new Nairobi Star seems to have been struggling until they discovered the “ODM trick.” The truth is that any headline you put on any second rate rag of even gutter press publication that has ODM on it will sell like hot cakes. So what do you expect the press to do? I do not want to speculate at this juncture as to why this is so and why ODM headlines sell even in the heart of Central province. But I want to say that I believe in fairness and that the major political parties should get equal coverage as far as possible. However the headline business is serious business because it touches on the commercial survival of publications and my take is that publications have the prerogative on what headline they should carry.

Incidentally the East African Standard was first off the blocks on this one and their circulation ahs increased by several tens of thousands with sales going overboard in Nyanza and Mombasa, since they started carrying ODM headlines daily.

But I digress. Let us come back o the issue of the day. Here are the facts;

- William Ruto and Omingo Magara were NOT invited to the said fundraiser, but decided to do some mischief to pit the popularity of ODM against the waning one of Hon Nyachae. Hon Nyachae simply had to hit back. That’s the man’s character.

- Hon Simoen Nyachae openly provoked the youths (who were armed to the teeth) to attack the ODM leaders by his every action, including that of leading them in Kisii circumcision songs used in times of war.

- Jimmy Awenyi openly told the press that the day he went through the Kisii circumcision ritual he took an oath to defend the Kisii community. What he meant was to defend the community from infiltration by any other political interests. It is instructive that the Kisii have always been insighted by their leaders to be hostile to any foreign political interests. Remember how Raila Odinga also got attacked in Kisii in the run up to the 2002 elections. In fact the only presidential candidate to have campaigned freely in Kisii without heavy security presence is Charity Ngilu when she ran for the presidency in 1997.

- However this time round the ordinary folks are refusing to be told what to do and for the first time we are seeing them defying their leaders. Look out for this trend countrywide as the general elections approach. Many politicians are still not aware of the big leap ordinary voters have taken in understanding the issues at hand and in their yearning for real change. Most voters will be virtually impossible to cheat (see my other post on how Moi ran into similar problems in Aldai recently.)

- Nyachae instructed the security personnel present in the area to stay out of the proceedings and for this, I support the idea of him being made to answer for his actions. There is no law in Kenya that says it is OK to use violence when you have been provoked and sparing Nyachae will encourage many other politicians planning violence in the forthcoming polls.

- It is now clear that just as I said last year, violence is going to be rampant in the forthcoming polls as Friday’s circumstances are going to be replayed in so many other parts of the country.

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Narc-Kenya Versus DP: The Crux Of The Problem in PANU

Yesterday a reader left the following comment in this blog;

“The problem with PANU is the sitting MPs. Truth be told, most of them are not going to be re-elected. Whether it's by coincidence or design, they are all in Nark-Kenya. Through guerilla tactics they have been able to get nominations to vie using that party's ticket. Since the situation on the ground is different, their opponents had to look for ways of ousting them in the coming general elections. The option therefore being DP. This explains the differences being experienced in PANU.

In Central province, Peter Kenneth & William Kabogo are almost sure of re-election irrespective of party their party affiliation. The rest have a battle ahead of them. In their quest for re-election they are jeopardizing the President's campaign juggernaut. It will be a tall order to convince them to run on one party. Reason being, they will lose to new comers who can offer what they have failed in the last four and a half years.

Just listen to likes of Joshua Toro, Robinson Githae, Amos Kimunya and you will see that there's more here than meets the eye.”
Mathayo

I could not agree with Mathayo more. In this comment he has described the crux of the problem within PANU. Clearly it is something that is unreasonable.

So what should President Kibaki do? The truth is that he is between a rock and a hard place. If he abandons current legislators supporting his re-election bid it will be political suicide because chances are that they will all troop across the road to ODM and make things even more difficult for him. If on the other hand continues with his current policy of relying on them to help him assemble his troops, he could prove so unpopular that voters voting for the challengers might just end up voting against him. Please note that I have said, vote against the president and not for ODM. There is a big difference and increasingly it looks like Ho Ndii Ema Kalonzo Musyoka will get a surprisingly large and unexpected number of votes from Central province, not because he is popular but as a result of angry voters voting against the President.

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Fireworks Expected In Juja Constituency


William Kabogo looking more than a little worried when he was seeking a court order to avoid arrest by police earlier this year. The police wanted to charge him inconnection to the outlawed murderous Mungiki sect.

Election Analysis: Focus on Juja Constituency

There are those who insist that incumbent MP William Kabogo Gitau will smoothly sail back to parliament. Kumekucha does not quite agree. Although Kabogo will have to start as the hot favorite to retain his parliamentary seat, it will not be smooth sailing and what we will see in Juja will be a bruising no-holds barred battle.

Kabogo is extremely popular in his constituency, especially with youths. Thanks mainly to his habit of staying close to the ground throughout his entire tenure this last 5 years. And his wallet has been busy all over the constituency and many have realized that the relatively young legislator is much richer than was earlier thought. His ride (a noisy helicopter) has enabled him to efficiently be in many places almost at the same time. That helicopter will be one campaign tool that will give him a serious edge against any would-be challengers.

The fact that Mr Kabogo made it to parliament through the ticket of an obscure party called Sisi Kwa Sisi, should tell anybody interested in Juja politics, a lot.

This is how they voted in 2002;

SISI William Kabogo 20,897
Narc Charles Muchai 16,423
Kanu Stephen Ndicho 7,784
MPK Paul Hato 1,484
Safina Tony Gachoka 930
Ford-P Peter Kamau 583
SDP Peter Kiama 451
NLP David Nzioka 406

Registered voters: 104,385

As you can see, not even the National Rainbow Coalition wave was strong enough to sweep Kabogo aside.

The entry of George Thuo of Citi Hoppa fame into the Juja race has raised temperatures considerably and it is apparent that Kabogo is already feeling the heat. Thuo has been busy in the constituency dishing our generous donations to churches, women’s groups and schools. And although Kabogo identified himself with Narc Kenya right from the beginning, he has now fled from the party as George Thuo has firmly entrenched himself in it. Thuo is of course a close ally of powerful internal security Minister, John Michuki.

As a clear indication of how nasty this battle will be Kabogo at one time deliberately flew his helicopter very low over a George Thuo party in progress somewhere in the constituency, ruining the food with the cloud of dust he raised.

So which party is Kabogo in at the moment? There was a time that rumour had it that he was getting very close to the ODM high command and even flew them in his chopper to a meeting or two. However since the split of Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka, it has been difficult to read the situation and the legislator has played his cards very close to his chest.

But one major issue that is expected to emerge in the Juja race for parliament this time is the issue of the source of William Kabogo’s colossal wealth. Rumours have been flying for years and others have even claimed that they have evidence to support those rumours. The situation has not been made any better by the legislator’s closeness to the shadowy John Harun Mwau. It has been said that the Juja legislator is a drug baron. Assuming that he is not, it is still very difficult to tell where his money comes from.

Last time Kabogo defeated the holder of the seat then, Stephen Ndicho who is a born again Christian. In fact on losing his parliamentary seat, Ndicho became a full time preacher. It will be interesting to see what party Ndicho stands with this time round.

Others expected to stand for the same seat include, the Kibaki’s family friend, Dick Githaiga who is a building contractor, Kenya National Union of Tecahers secretary general, Francis N’gang’a, Kiama Wangai (a qualified doctor and qualified lawyer) and entrepreneur Enos Nzioka. Alice Wambui Ng’ang’a and Francis Waititu Munyua are also expected to run.

However it is expected that the race will mainly be between Kabogo and Thuo.

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Moi Heckled In Aldai: Hired Mob Or A Sign Of Things To Come?




Poor Moi is hardly experiencing the quiet retirement he may have hoped for. He is now seeing things that he has never experienced before in his long political career.

Moi turned up at a fundraising function in Aldai constitution only to be greeted by chants of “ODM” “ODM” (ile shetani sitaki itajwe mbele yangu).

Tempers really flared and the crowd got worked up when area MP Jimmy Choge appealed to the people not to vote for Raila Odinga in the presidential race.

When Moi stood up to address the people and asked them to raise the one finger Kanu salute, only a handful did so while most of the crowd stubbornly kept their hands down. Still MOi warned the crowd that they would deeply regret supporting ODM blindly.

Former nominated MP Ezekial Barengtuny criticized the crowd and said that they had been hired to embarrass the former president.

Moi pleaded with the people to vote for Kibaki so that the Kalenjin community will be included in the next government.

Kumekucha has long predicted here the feelings of the people of Kenya on the ground about the current government only to be abused and ridiculed by some readers, but still I am rather surprise and taken aback by the open animosity against President Kibaki and his re-election bid in many parts of the country from usually quiet and polite Kenyans who often wait for the polls to express their feelings in their voting.

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Nyanza Man Who Tried To Get Rich Selling Hippo Milk




There was this fascinating case where a Nyanza man was charged with selling hippo milk (unfit for human consumption) to unsuspecting consumers.

You have to understand that a hippo is one of the most violent wild animals around and is commonly found around Luo Nyanza in the many rivers that criss cross the area. A Hippo will attack without being provoked. So for starters the prosecution had a problem convincing the court that the milk the accused had sold to his clients was actually milk from a hippo. How does somebody get to milk a hippo, the judge wondered?

Locals claim that the man was using witchcraft to hold the hippo in a trance so as to milk it. Apparently Hippo milk like any other mild does not taste very different from the usual cow milk. Luckily for the defense, the judge was not as superstitious.

It is said that most of clients were school teachers who appreciated the fact that the accused man’s prices were lower than those of other milk dealers. Many of them paid him monthly to have their milk delivered.

Rumours started doing the rounds when the man’s milk business really took off and locals envious of his rapidly accumulating wealth wondered where he was getting his milk supplies from. More so when the man was a loner-type and was not known to possess any cows of his own.

When word reached the teachers as to the alleged source of the milk, they appear to have been more furious than surprised at the news and the man quickly found himself charged in a Kisumu court. But alas, it was a very difficult case for the prosecution to prove, more so when the defense was able to establish that none of the “enterprising” man’s clients had gotten sick in the long months when they had eagerly and enthusiastically consumed the milk.

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Guest Post: Why I am Dumping the Kibaki Campaign

Guest post by anonymous

Read a desperate Kikuyu sentiments below!! What is it Kikuyus see in Tinga that other tribes don't see??

The govt knows very well the reason they'll be losing the December polls yet Tinga is still being used as the scapegoat!!

Ok its official I have defected from supporting Kibaki The man does not want to win I can't support a man who doesn't want to win .

However i will not be voting for odm Because i cant find anything of value to support in it . I like many young people in Kenya will be staying at home

The one thing that came out glaring from last week's news was the fact that Mwai Kibaki will lose the General Election, even with all the advantages of incumbency and the inertia he enjoys as head of state.

Mwai Kibaki is not a bad man; he is no more corrupt than Raila Odinga. He is no more a tribalist than our first President Kenyatta ever was, and neither is he a violent man. By all accounts he is a God-fearing, kindly family man with an excellent educational background and a long career in politics. What he is not by a long shot is a leader, and for all those Kenyans who are opposed to a Raila Odinga presidency, nothing could be more disheartening.When the President and his cohort contrived to lose the 2005 constitutional referendum, it was obvious that in a country filled with people who were blissfully ignorant of what their votes entailed; a little effort from the President's side would have changed the result. Indeed, it was clear both from the results and the euphoria preceding it that more than a referendum, the vote contest was more like a confidence vote.

Arrogant and aloof, sneering and soporific; Mwai Kibaki's Banana Team was as indolent and incompetent a congregation of politicians as have walked a campaign trail in all history. That the Kitchen cabinet saw this as a virtue and that its officers and their parrots in the national media congratulated themslves for this attitude has played the largest part in the creation of our present desperate situation.

But that is not all. When a rag-tag band like ODM, following a much maligned leader manages not just to catch up with the government's side, but to make inroads into its innermost political constituency; some serious introspection is needed. But such must be the luxuries of youth, for the band of brothers ensconced atop Kenya's government has scant regard for such panicky action. Instead it self-confidently strides towards its defeat, pausing every now and then to execute acts of such low voltage imagination; it is best described as self-sabotage. The creation of the rickety PANU, the handling of Charity Ngilu, the betrothal to Moi and Biwott, the doggedly unfriendly stance towards the media and the renunciation of the political platform for ODM's domination will be moments pondered over by tortured Kibaki supporters during the long and cold political night that they will have to endure.

For all the accusations of using the provincial administration and the instruments of power to battle this election, the government's failure to attempt an accommodation of the boisterous city masses will prove a regrettable decision, especially as this constituency can be amplified to give the impression of vast numbers, a technique ODM have managed to carry out to near perfection. Even worse, completely misreading the national consciousness, the president has sought to ally himself with the oldest and most despised individuals in the land, a fact which has given his opponents an easy time in casting his government as not only too old to function, but most importantly as a carry-over from the oppressive days of the Kenyatta and Moi governments. That among the septuagenarians in his government are individuals who seem eager to prove to the nation just how violent and intolerant they can be cannot be a voter-friendly strategy in any but the most obtuse minds.

Even less clever, was the incredibly insensitive announcement of a million-shilling per plate fund-raising party. No greater symbol for the contempt in which the ruling party holds its citizens is imaginable, but this is Kibaki's government, and it has good form in keeping away from the mwananchi's pulse. After all, it gloats about a near invisible economic growth, while the poorest Kenyans overtaken by a most painful multiplication in the prices of the most basic consumer products.

But worst of all is the point we started out with, the total abdication of the throne by Emilio Mwai Kibaki. Every last problem I have laid out here would have been very easily surmounted by the prestige and gravitas of the presidency. He has had at his disposal, the untrammeled goodwill of a nation in catharsis, the political support of all Kenya's ethnic groups and the nation's forgiveness for his complicity in the crimes of the past governments. More than that, he is in office during a period of global economic expansion, and the boons of the change of government in 2002 have brought him international acclaim and a renewed national pride.

The fates have also woven into Kibaki's yarn the opportunity to form a cross-party government of national unity, drawing on allies from across the country to augment the passionate support he can rely on from the Central Kenya region. Destiny has gifted him an opposition led by a demagogue with a questionable history and a fanatical tribal following that terrifies many across the country. Famed for his perfidy and the fickle nature of his word, his main opponent is also feared by the business classes, and has recently made enemies that he should properly be regretting for all his days. Loud, brash, polarising and cunning; he would have provided the perfect foil for a calm, unifying and down to earth presidency.

Such are the blessings of Kibaki. So bountiful that one would expect the President to have the election in the bag. Instead, recent reports indicate that it is Kibaki who is running scared; it is his posse that is paralyzed by internal wrangling; rudderless, headless and with nary a mooring.While the government without a name basks in its facile superiority, ODM rolls across the nation, making the President's allies look tired, apathetic to the battle, unsympathetic to the poor and the hungry, and oppressive to their dreams. This, the enormous chasm in collective charisma and political acumen will hobble the Kibaki government until election day when it can finally slither away into the darkness, leaving behind an orphaned nation that is a much harder place to live or conduct business.

Mwai Kibaki has already given us a polarized republic, with his last days in office; his hands-off attitude may very well land us in a tyranny with a President enjoying the support of nearly every non-GEMA Kenyan.

At the last inauguration ceremony, angry wananchi opposed to Moi pelted his convoy with mud and rocks, Mwai Kibaki may very well find himself being pelted


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Monday, September 24, 2007

Kibaki’s Inner Circle And Re-election Campaign Team: Is It Possible To Rid It Of The Arrogance?



President Mwai Kibaki was visibly in pain from his road accident injuries when he was sworn in as Kenya's third President in December 2002.

It is said that when the people fear the government, you have a dictatorship and when the government fears the people you have a democracy. So what is the verdict with the Kibaki administration?

Whatever it is, one thing is crystal clear. This government has tried very hard to re-create the Jomo Kenyatta era in many ways. In actions, policies and thinking and have completely disregarded the people, let alone feared them. The only thing they have not done is to assassinate politicians that are seen as threats (although Raila Odinga is still on record for saying that the infamous Artur brothers were hired to do just that. To date the Artur brothers saga is still shrouded in mystery).

If there is one word that will be used often to remember the Kibaki administration, then it will be the word; “arrogance.” Incidentally this is the same word used by members of the Democratic Party within the controversial PNU umbrella party who are feeling left out of things. They refuse to see the president’s strategy to downplay the role of his home Central province in the umbrella party and to give a more nationalistic outlook. It really doesn’t matter because that attempt has fallen flat on its’ face. I am not going to ask that famous question of mine again, but I will just say that the president’s campaign is being handled by amateurs who have no idea what they are doing.

It has become clear that the warring factions within the PNU are irreconcilable. Not to mention the issue (which apparently nobody gave much thought to (of how to resolve the parliamentary nominations for the scores of different parties under the PNU umbrella.

Meanwhile the ODM campaign looks impeccably organized in comparison and is going forward at full steam. The violent protests in Kisii and Sotik triggered by the beating up of ODM officials in Kisii seem to sending forth a very loud message as to which political leaning that part of the country has.

Of course the ODM party is yet to go through the usually thorny period of parliamentary and civic candidate nominations which this time round will be extremely challenging. Imagine running a nomination process with no less than 50 candidates seeking one parliamentary seat. The danger here is that it will be unlikely that the most popular candidate will get the party nomination. So what you will end up with is several very strong candidates competing in other party tickets against the ODM parliamentary candidate.

Actually this challenge of parliamentary and civic seat nominations will make the already concluded presidential nominations at the time Kalonzo Musyoka was still in the running look like kid’s play. It is something ODM really need to think about and strategize very deeply on.

The other opposition party, Hoo Ndii Emm has already announced that all candidates including their presidential and vice presidential nominees will have to fight it out for the party’s ticket at the parliamentary level like anybody else.

What I would do if I were handling the president’s re-election bid would be to change tact and try to do the impossible (get rid of the powerful but arrogant inner circle) who are causing so much unnecessary tension in the president’s re-election campaign.


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Is It Yote Yawezekana Bila Moi Or Is It Bila Mwai?

It is said that nothing can capture a heart like a melody can. The seasoned campaigners within ODM know this only too well. Remember the popular Unbwogable number that became the National rainbow Coalition theme song in 2002? Not to mention the corrupted Yote Yawezekana Bila Moi..

It is emerging that this time the Mapambano, Musilale ODM anthem is taking the country by storm and chances are high that Yote yawazekana Bila Moi is set to make a come back only that this time it will alternate with a new release, Yote Yawezekana Bila Mwai.

The massive crowd in Kericho yesterday seemed to thoroughly enjoy Mapambano, Musilale, of course they all got the right musical key from legislator Otieno Kajwang.

Meanwhile the PNU side seem to prefer old fashioned electric guitar music and vigorous dancing with no words, and no song with a message. The case is the same with Hoo Ndii Emm.

Actually the campaign styles of the three major political parties seem to be very clearly emerging and incidentally also tells you a lot about them and what they truly represent, more than meaningless vision statements that have little substance.

Folks if we can keep the peace, it is gong to be a mighty fascinating campaign that will be historical in many ways.

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A Man Dies And Goes TO Hell...

A man dies and goes to hell...

There he finds that there is a different hell for each country and decides he'll pick the least painful to spend his eternity.
He goes to the German hell and asks, "What do they
do here?"

He is told "first they put you in an electric chair for an hour. Then they lay you on a bed of nails for another hour. Then the German devil comes in and whips you for the rest of the day".

The man does not like the sound of that at all so he moves on. He checks out the USA hell as well as the Russian hell and many more. He discovers that they are all similar to the German hell.
Then he comes to the Kenyan hell and finds that there is a long queue of people waiting to get in...

Amazed, he asks, "What do they do here?"
He is told "first they put you in an electric chair for an hour, then they lay you on a bed of nails for another hour. The Kenyan devil comes in and whips you for the rest of the day."
But that is exactly the same as all the other hells, why are there so many people waiting to get in?" asks the man.

A concerned fellow calls him aside and said,

"Because there is never any electricity so the electric chair doesn't work. The nails were paid for but were never supplied by the contractor, so the bed is comfortable to sleep on.
And the Kenyan devil used to be a civil servant , so he comes in, signs his time sheet and goes back home for other business!!"

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The Controversy Of The Man Eaters Of Tsavo

Nothing yet has had a bigger impact on East Africa than the impact of what was then called the Uganda Railway which cut into the interior (through what is today Kenya) and ended up in present day Uganda.

But what has for a long time fascinated Kenyans, East Africans and historianms the world over is the chilling account of the lions of Tsavo that developed a taste for human flesh and caused scores of deaths in 1898.

In that year as the story goes, as the railway was being built in that part of what is now the Tsavo national park, two lions notorious for eating humans caused havoc and almost brought work on the railway to a halt.

Amazingly the lions behaved very strangely and not like any other lions then and to date. The would enter a health center (attracted by the scent of human blood and drug out a live human being whom they would promptly kill and feast on. The lions were also known to drag humans from inside tents.

Lions are by nature very intelligent animals but are not known to hunt humans, which is exactly what the two famous Tsavo lions would do.

Locals and the coolies from India swore that the beasts were not lions but evil spirits angry at the railway line being built across that particular area and now hungry for human blood. This seems to have been confirmed by some Maasai warriors hired to take care of “the problem” who left after a few encounters with the lions. They confidently passed the verdict that those were NOT lions but evil spirits that took the form of animals. This scared those working on the railway line even more because the Masai had a long tradition of hunting down and killing lions and so if they were unable to deal with these “lions” then surely they were not lions.

To this day experts have not been able to explain the lion’s uncanny ability to hunt humans and stalk them inside buildings, tents and all sorts of places, only to pounce on them totally unexpectedly.

The lions believed to be 2 were shot in December 1898 by a fearless American ex-soldier called Lt-Col John Patterson who had developed a reputation as a Tiger hunter in India. But the superstition associated with the lions did not end there and locals insisted that the lions killed were not the man-eaters and the evil spirits had in fact been somehow exorcised.

Experts on the other hand said that the lions had developed a taste for human flesh as a result of the slave trade. They were however unable to explain why other lions on the long slave trade route were not as notorious man eaters as the Tsavo lions. In 1990 experts examining the bones of the lions said that they found evidence of gum infections which is what they believed caused the lions to go for softer human flesh.

The National Museums of Kenya is now campaigning for the remains of the two famous lions that ended up in a Museum in Chicago to be returned to Kenya.


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Sunday, September 23, 2007

What Would You Do If You Were A Looter In Kenya Today?

Somebody told us here that when you go to the bank and they tell you your balance is Kshs 500 million, your thinking and everything about you changes. I believe this is 1000% true and for this reason it would be very difficult for any ordinary Kenyans like me and you to figure out how looters think.

Just to give an example from the Kroll report. You are so rich that money is coming out of your ears, literally, but then you decide not to pay your lawyer’s bills and many other bills for services rendered. So when a lawyer keeps $650,000 from land they have sold on your behalf and sends you a fee note demanding the balance, you go ballistic. You even rush to a city hotel when somebody calls you to tell you that the lawyer involved is there having a drink and you go on cause a scene in public. Yet to you $650,000 is chicken feed. You could literally use it as toilet paper and not even think about it.

Still I will ask you to put yourself in the shoes of looters in view of the Saturday speech by Raila and also new developments in recent weeks which seem to threaten your family fortune stuffed in foreign accounts. What would you do now that it has become apparent that Raila is set to win the general elections? Would you;

(a) Join ODM and heavily finance Hon Raila’s campaign for the presidency and get as close to him as possible so as to avoid prosecution (or even worse returning all that money) when he walks into State House?

(b) Compile a long “hit” list and assassinate anybody who may have any evidence in connection to your looting ways (over 250 people).

(c) Pour billions into the re-election of Mwai Kibaki as president, so much so that it will look like Jirongo, Ruto and company spent chicken-feed in 1992.

(d) Do nothing. After all you are the proverbial stone that has proved time and again that it is too heavy to be turned and if anybody touches you, they shut down almost 50% of the Kenyan economy.

(e) Use some of your money to hijack parliament and get them to pass additional ridiculous laws that make it impossible for you to be investigated let alone be compelled to return anything.

(f) Arm your tribes mates for a war and use the time worn and time tested strategy of announcing that it is your tribe that is being finished, although many of them are starving to death and have not shared a single cent of your ill gotten wealth.

(g) Carry out the threat of 2001 to have Rift Valley secede from the rest of Kenya so that you can appoint yourself King of the Republic of Rift Valley forever. Kings are never prosecuted because they are not only above the law, they are the law.

(h) Use your specially pre[pared contacts for instigating violence and mayhem so that Kenya suddenly becomes ungovernable and elections are put off indefinitely.

Feel free to add other possible solutions that I may have left out.

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Why Kenyans Must Reject PANU

Kenyans who vote PANU are risking more than they can imagine. This is because the message from the government and the incumbent is that things are already getting better and therefore they should be voted back to do even more good in the years between 2008 and 2012. In other words a vote for PNU or PANU is a vote to retain the status quo.

But what is our real situation in the world today?

Sample this.

In most International airports in the world customs and immigration checks usually have two queues. One specifically for passports from a certain well known large and heavily populated country and the other for the rest of the world. Now for your information, there is a third queue that is developing slowly but surely specifically for those carrying passports from a country called Kenya.

Have you been through an airport security check recently in some Western capitals?

The reason is simple. Kenya has become one of the biggest transit points for hard drugs. The Kroll report showed us why this has happened. According to that report sons of presidents are involved in drug peddling and distribution. They even provide protection for container loads of drugs to be imported into the country and offloaded in parts of the country like Malindi.

Kenya now has a reputation and I am NOT talking about our performance in the 3000 metres steeplechase race. It is highly likely that some of the money being laundered through our financial system as a result of this and other illegal activities has contributed to our amazing economic growth over the last 4 years or so.

What all this means is that Kenyans MUST vote for change and do more than that and demand change as well as put unwavering pressure on those we elect to go through with the changes they have promised us as they seek our votes.

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Open Letter To Raila Odinga From Marianne Briner

September 22, 2007-09-22

Dear Mr. Odinga,

now that you have officially entered the ‚race’ to become the next President of Kenya and knowing that many people are putting all their hopes into you for leading them into a better future, I wish to remind you of some promises you once made and which you should finally try to fulfill – with or without winning the Elections……..
You remember that we spoke several times on the phone on June 27 and 28, 2000, when you accompanied President Daniel arap Moi to Switzerland. You stayed with the Kenyan Delegation at the Golf-Hotel, Crans-Montana (and just to revive your memory, you stayed at Room 326).

I do not want to go into all the details for our contacts at that time since they are included in detail in my London Declaration, because they are also not the reason for this Open Letter to you.

I just want to remind you of your promise to me to put all your political influence behind certain people for not only bringing the (known) killers of Dr. Ouko behind bars, but also to go to the bottom of all the corruption cases and cheating of the Kenyan People and to make sure that something like that can never happen again in the future.

I know that at that time (June 2000) you still hoped to be Moi’s chosen candidate for the 2002 Presidential Elections and your hopes were high to become the next President.

That’s why you made the remark that I would therefore be able to meet the ‘present and future President of Kenya’ should I agree as proposed by you and Mr. Kulei to come to Crans-Montana.

Things turned out different as we all know – but some things should stay the same, i.e. your promises regarding Dr. Ouko and others who have lost their lives and mainly regarding not only erasing the corruption in the future but also to go to the bottom of all corruption cases in the past – and the promise given to me at that time should now also include the new ones of the current Regime – and not only with regard to Anglo-Leasing. I am sure, there are many more you and others know about ………
Only if you and your friends are willing to ‘clean’ the house and make everybody (and I mean really everybody, including the former and the present President, Ministers etc.) legally responsible, Kenya will have a chance to go into a brighter and better future.

I know, it will need strength and courage – a courage also for you personally since I and many other people will expect you and your family to come out with all the details how and under which conditions you ‘acquired’ the Molasses Plant. And just in case, you have forgotten, I repeat here something Mr. Kulei told me in your presence (you passed the phone to him to say ‘hello’ since he entered your room while we were talking).

Mr. Kulei said that you and Mr. Moi are now even partners in the Molasses Plant although he is acting as his ‘proxy’ ……….. and that the President had ‘cleaned’ the debts with the Swiss Banks for you.

So – please – do not say like many others have done before you …. ‘no, it was not me – it was somebody else …… I am clean, only the others have dirty hands ………..’
Don’t make this mistake – it will haunt you forever – because you will destroy all your chances right from the beginning.

And please do not forget, leading a country means also to take over the responsibility for its people – people who have trusted you in voting for you – people who have put their hopes and even their lives into your hands believing that you will guide them and their children into a better future ………

Only if you are willing to take over this responsibility and are willing to at least try your utmost to fulfill their expectations, you should continue with your struggle ………

And I am sure, if and when you can convince the people of Kenya that your intentions are honest, you will also succeed ………
If not, you will be another ‘failure’, another ‘error’ – for which not only the present but also the future generations will have to pay.
You are a father and maybe soon a grandfather – so do it also for your children and grandchildren ……….. prove to everybody that you are the best candidate and most important, the best President Kenya ever had …………………. and an example for everybody following you.

This is my honest wish – and may God bless you – and Kenya.

Sincerely yours,
Marianne Briner



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Saturday, September 22, 2007

The Coming Crisis That Kenyans Refuse To See

Despite accusations by people with their own agenda here, I have never been a paid agent for anybody and what’s more I have always told the truth. Many readers have been able to sense that and that is one of the reasons they have been endeared to this blog in large numbers.


Artist's impression of Raila And President Kibaki in happier times soon after the 2002 elections.

Regular readers know that the only possible presidential candidate that I have been a die-hard supporter of is John Githongo. But alas, the poor hero of a man seems to be too scared for his life to come back and give us all a genuine choice—and quite rightly so, as you will discover when you are through reading this article.

I am about to spoil all your excitement for the forthcoming elections and ask you all to think beyond your narrow interests and put our beloved country first.

As matters stand on the ground, ODM and Raila Odinga are set to win a landslide victory in the upcoming elections. No need to breathe fire and call me names, I had absolutely nothing to do with the feelings most ordinary Kenyans have against the current government and the incumbent (although I have been trying to tell you about it since 2005 but few paid any attention).

And if you doubt me, just make a brief tour of the country and talk to the voters. In many areas of Rift Valley, Coast and even Western, a mere mention of your support for the incumbent can cause you serious bodily harm from wananchi who are dead set on ODM and Raila.

And all this is being revealed at a time when PANU can’t seem to get their act together. In fact the parties supporting the president’s re-election are so sharply divided that they look irreconcilable.

So maybe Kenyans who support Raila should be happy and start celebrating? No way! All is far from being well. Today on his arrival back from the United States, Raila Odinga has given a very bold and tough talking speech on how he plans to tackle corruption head on by constituting what we have always suggested here; a truth and reconciliation commission. Whatever you say about Raila, he is one brave cookie. I say this because any sensible Kenyan who is aware of the people who control this country that is rapidly hurtling towards being another Columbia know that what Raila has done is a very brave thing and there are those who would argue that it is NOT wise at this time.

Of course the son of Jaramogi must be buoyed by the strong support and popularity most keen observers know he enjoys. Incidentally across tribal lines and surprise, surprise, even amongst many voters of the younger generation in the heart of Central province.

And that is where the crisis is. Yesterday I asked a question in one of my posts. I wondered aloud how the campaign team on President Kibaki’s side would react in the face of the massive and rising popularity of ODM. Little did I know that even as I penned that question an answer was being played out in Kisii where ODMs William Ruto and colleague Magara were badly beaten up by armed youths as Simoen Nyachae and security personnel looked on with glee. Nyachae later told the gathering that Ruto and company deserved what they got because they provoked “our youths’.

Reports just in are that a very prominent Meru politician’s brother has been stabbed to death in a political incident there.

Na mambo bado.

It is clear that my prediction of more than a year ago that this would be the most violent election in history is just beginning to be played out. It is also quite apparent that this is going to be the mother of all general elections, simply because of what is at stake for the politicians. For starters President Kibaki cannot afford to lose and the evil team of Kibaki looters and Moi looters that has now been put together to ensure the president’s re-election do NOT fancy appearing in front of some truth and reconciliation commission to confess the evil they have done. Many of them would rather die than lose face in that way.

So I ask again, what do you think that they are capable of doing to stop at all costs a Raila and ODM victory? Again I ask, what are these evil people capable of?

To make maters worse certain people who regularly leave certain types of comments here have all of a sudden gone quiet (as I said sometime back) and you can be sure that this is not a good sign.

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Raila Statement At The Airport That Surprised Many

On his return to the country earlier today, Raila Odinga released the following statement to the press;

A NEW GOVERNANCE AGENDA FOR KENYA

Press statement delivered at JKIA, Nairobi, 22 September 2007

By Hon Raila Amolo Odinga MP



WHO WOULD HAVE imagined a conspiracy of fate that today - in September of 2007 - political forces in our beloved country have realigned themselves as malevolently as they have.

Today, the Daniel arap Moi who was evicted from State House 5 years ago has effectively returned there.

And the man who served as his Vice President, Mwai Kibaki who is now the constitutionally elected head of state is also in the same State House. And recently he has sadly been joined there by the Official Leader of the Opposition, Hon Uhuru Kenyatta.

Home guards who castrated freedom fighters now manage our security system, and the individuals from the Moi kleptocracy era continue to head and manage our civil service and the parastatals. Kenyans are once again at the mercy of the repressive and regressive forces.

The second liberation has been consumed by the authors of KenRen, Goldenberg and Anglo Leasing. The very same men who turned Kenya into one of the most corrupt nations on the planet have united in an attempt to hold onto power once again so that they can continue enriching themselves and their friends. To woo the wanainchi for their votes, stolen funds will be poured and they shall be constantly reminded of their differentness along tribal lines. The time has come to bring this vicious cycle to an end for good!

Everywhere I went during my recent safari overseas I heard the same weary complaints from Kenyans and foreigners about corruption. I would like to make a solemn promise to the Kenyan people today with regard to corruption in particular and governance in general.

Our ODM administration will implement a governance agenda to fundamentally transform the way Kenya is governed and end the game of geriatric musical chairs by thieves and would-be thieves that we have witnessed for decades.

The ODM's governance agenda is based on the premise that the single issue on which Kenyan minds are most concentrated is on equity. The lack of fairness fuels inequality, undermines governance institutions, weakens social cohesion and generally holds Kenya back from playing its rightful political and economic role on the regional and international stage. In my view "Equitably we share, together we prosper".

Our agenda will be achieved via seven interlinked pillars.

1. Constitutional Reform: This is the national contract between the governed and those who govern them. A key measure for ensuring equity shall be the integration of measures that promote Executive Accountability in the new Constitution via creation of the post of Prime Minister, including devolution of power. Executive Accountability will start at the top of the Government with the President who shall be answerable to the Kenyan people and not an aloof monarchical character who delivers development that should be a right as if it is a gift to be distributed prior to elections.

Subsidiary measures include abolishing the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs – after all constitutional reform will be done.

2. Growth for the People: The economic programme initially conceived for the NARC administration in 2002 was aimed at Growth for Employment Creation. Today's growth is for 0.5 million Kenyans while poverty deepens for the other 33 million – especially the youth. ODM's economic programme will be anchored on the Kenyan dream, that is, economic justice and prosperity.

To the business community my Government shall be a service provider, and an enabler and facilitator in the process of their making profits, paying taxes and creating jobs. Gone will be the days of economic growth, in spite of, rather than in partnership with government.

3. Justice, Truth and Restitution: Past economic crimes hold Kenya's political class hostage to their own past crimes; it has compromised our ruling elite and corrupted our politics and public service. It is this that has led to the weary endless questions about where the clean people in politics in Kenya are.

Our administration would bring closure to past economic crimes via a process of Justice, Truth and Restitution. This shall include asset recovery and amnesty where restitution has been made. To this end we are finalising what we shall call the Usawa Restitution Instrument for just this purpose. For those who admit, declare and repay there shall be forgiveness. For those who forget or pretend to forget their past abuses there shall be a heavy price to pay.

The principle of restitution has ancient African roots. There are powerful historical precedents for a process that shall be aimed at facilitating the act of restoring to the rightful owners that which has been taken away, lost, or surrendered in the past. A process driven by equity - making good or compensating for past loss, damage, and injury; is what we are proposing. We intend to return to the Kenyan people what is rightfully theirs.

My belief in the importance of this is not new. In the early days of the NARC administration I was part of the Cabinet Committee Against Corruption that resolved to trace, freeze and repatriate the proceeds of past economic crime that were now in foreign domiciles. Early in 2003 a representative of the internationally renowned risk advisory firm Kroll was introduced to me in London. I invited him to Nairobi and introduced him to the Secretary of the Cabinet Committee against Corruption, John Githongo, then PS in the Office of the President. They were later introduced to the Cabinet Committee against Corruption formally, and appointed to start the work. Incomplete version of their report was recently leaked on the internet. There is more to come. Our administration would pick up this ball and run with it as part of our Justice, Truth and Restitution and its critical Usawa Restitution Instrument.


4. Our administration shall also be a Listening Government and the Public Complaints Unit that was recently announced shall be transformed into a fully fledged Office of the Ombudsman.

5. We shall implement the principle of Transparency in Public Affairs: To this end our government would genuinely implement the Public Officer Ethics Act and go further to facilitate the open disclosure of wealth declarations: starting with the President - me!

6. Fighting Corruption: The current government was never serious about the fight against corruption. Recent reversals with regard to the Economic Crimes Act shall be critically reviewed by our Government. We will review with speed and clarity the entire anti-corruption infrastructure with a view to its rationalisation. This shall include in particular reviewing, rationalising and strengthening the capacity of the Attorney General's Office and that of the Solicitor General.

Over recent days we have heard the most expensive, ineffective, duplicitous and, I would add, hypocritical public servant in Kenyan history – Aaron Ringera – blame parliament for the so-called difficulties he has faced in his drama of pretending to fight corruption. This man owes a great debt to the Kenyan people morally and financially. On Anglo Leasing for example he has traversed the entire world at great expense pretending to find who the principles behind Anglo Leasing are when an entire nation of 33 million – from parking boy to chief executive - can tell him that Anglo Leasing is right here in Kenya! And it has Kenyan faces and even on occasion speaks Kimeru like him! The last remaining theatregoers left watching the Ringera saga are the representatives of bilateral and multilateral organisations. They mislead their bosses with the notion that Kenya is making huge strides in the fight against corruption. So the expensive tenure of the Chief Executive of the KACC, his fellow directors and the institution as a whole shall be rationalised.

7. Our Governance Strategy shall implement the principle of Equity in Public Service: The Public Service Commission will also specifically address issues of gender and regional equity in public appointments and do in a transparent manner.

Presidential Candidate 2007

Orange Democratic Movement


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Commentators Threaten Kumekucha

Yesterday I reused a comment left in this blog earlier on which everybody apparently missed initially where a Mr Joseph-Oloo Obiero of Denver claimed that he had had a candid session with Raila in the US where amongst other things he had asked what the ODM candidate planned to do against corruption and looters.

What was most interesting about the post was the fact that both pro-Raila and anti-Raila forces here were very upset by it. Pro-Raila forces because it exposed their candidate’s true feelings on looters at a time when they had worked very had to tone down their candidate’s perceived radicalism. Anti-Raila forces were very upset because it made the candidate look good and decisive in what they were going to do against corruption.

Somebody even threatened Kumekucha with legal action (if the popularity of this blog can be ascertained). Firstly whenever somebody starts talking about the popularity of this site, I immediately know whom I am dealing with. Basically chaps from the old school who think a blog is like a printed newspaper where you regularly get concerned that folks will not buy copies. They have no inkling of what search engine optimization and search engine traffic means. Basically we are talking about old school chaps with an agenda and on somebody else’s payroll. And sometimes they are partly effective in convincing some of our other readers here that the information we publish here is mere propaganda.

Personally I am NOT moved and I have other bigger worries on my mind than getting sued for a non-issue. It is my view that the remarks published by Mr Obiero were actually made by the ODM candidate who has a reputation of binding with ordinary people by telling them his true feelings on many matters maybe not a prudent thing for a politician but certainly very endearing in my book and a breadth of fresh air from the carefully worded plastic replies of politicians. I also believe that Raila is serious about fighting corruption in this country which has reached crisis levels under President Kibaki and will certainly go overboard if the incumbent is given another 5 years to practice is hands-off-see-no-evil-and-everything-is-OK style of management.

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