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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Big News Everybody Missed

Some very strange events took place yesterday in Nairobi.

Kofi Anan went into a meeting with Mwai Kibaki at the president’s office at Harambee house. When they emerged from the meeting it was announced that President Kibaki had completely rejected the power sharing idea floated by the International community to end the political crisis in Kenya.

Everybody seems to have missed that very significant development. Except the razor sharp alert KTN and Standard group folks. Daily Nation which has been carrying some disturbingly bizarre headlines, packaged the news differently and the headline is about Kibaki’s proposals to end the polls crisis. More on why the Nation are behaving the way they are, later in this post.

The significance of this news is that Mwai Kibaki has trashed what the entire International community is saying. The Americans are rich guys but one wonders what was the point of Condi Rice, burning jet fuel all the way to Nairobi to deliver a message that has been totally rejected without any serious consideration.

But even stranger was the reaction of ODM. The silence of the party was deafening. In fact over the last few days ODM has said very little. Why?

One theory is that the party does not want to accused of incitement or to be associated in any way to the violence that is bound to break out when news of Kibaki’s latest stand finally trickles down to the Rift Valley. Another is that they have realized that the best strategy is to led blundering Mwai Kibaki produce the rope himself and proceed to hang himself, which is precisely what is happening currently. It is increasingly clear, as Mutahi Ngunyi so aptly puts it, that this crisis is NOT about 2 people. It is not about Raila and Kibaki. Actually it is about one man. That man is Mwai Kibaki who wields all the power to end the crisis yesterday or last week.

Clearly the writing is on the wall. The talks will not work. In fact listening to Kibaki’s foot soldiers who are all saying the same thing, it is clear that PNU’s strategy is to use delaying tactics and just hold out until everybody tires and the next elections are around the corner. It remains to be seen whether this plan will work. Interestingly Danston Mungatana (who is also a lawyer by profession) says that any agreement arrived at by the peace negotiations, like power sharing, will need to get the approval of the people of Kenya through a referendum.

So what is going to happen next?

To start with I have no reason to doubt reports reaching me that there is heavy presence of the Kenya army in the Rift Valley. That means that the Kalenjin militia who the foreign press are telling us are preparing for war, will be dealt with. Only that the army is hardly trained to deal with civilian unrest. And besides it could easily degenerate into a guerrilla war which will be terrible news. Whatever the case the casualties are bound to be high.

It seems that the international community are also ready. Sample George W. Bush’s words in Rwanda yesterday;

What George Bush said;

“One of the lessons I take from the Rwanda genocide is to take some early warning signs seriously…

“Pay attention to the warning signs and prevent crises like this from happening. We are obviously trying to prevent such a crisis from happening in Kenya. Condi Rice briefed the president in her meeting yesterday (Monday), and we strongly support Kofi Annan’s efforts.

“I am not suggesting that anything close (to what happened in Rwanda) is happening in Kenya or is gonna happen, but I am suggesting that there are some warning signs that the international community needs to pay attention to. And we are paying attention to it and I know the AU will as well.”

P.S. It is said that the Nation editorial staff are under firm instructions from Paris (where the majority share holder the Aga Khan is based) to take a very low profile and to support Mwai Kibaki’s government as much as possible. That is why the headlines you see in Nation are bizarre these days.

My favourite so far is the one that talked about Anan signing a half way deal with PNU and ODM. Does anybody have any idea what that may mean? A half way deal?

Actually senior staff at the Nation group are all very jittery at the moment because the word on the street is that the Aga Khan is about to announce major changes at Nation Center. Nobody knows how major and nobody knows who is leaving and who is being promoted.

That fax could come through at any moment and on any day. Quite a terrible waiting situation to be in.


odmdamu said...

This is terrible. Very terrible Xris. The Kibs are willing to stay in power no matter what the cost. They dont care. and i think what is giving them this hardline is the fact that it is the common mwananchi that is suffering. so they do not feel the pain themselves. it is like describing to a woman who has never given birth how painful labour is. She wil not understand but wil only remember the day she goes to labour herself. How i long for the time of Pharaoh, those days when God used to talk to people with signs! I wish he can send just one to Kibaki and let His people go. We can not continue being captives in our own country. If the americans and britans and the swiss think that freezing the bank acs would help why not that? waiting for disaster to happen so as to act? It might be too late!

Anonymous said...

I am writing from Kenya (20/02/08 12.45 pm) and there are already reports that there are chaos in Mathare slums of Nairobi.
People are tired of waiting for a solution that they are already too sure that is not coming any time soon. This is agrevated by the fact that Kibaki told off Anan that he is willing to share governement responsibilities with ODM but under the current constitution. That means that he can even apoint Raila to be the Permanent Secretary of Education ministry of Roads ministry held by Michuki.
We are preparing ourselves for the worst. Your guess is good as mine what the worst is all about.

Anonymous said...

More rumours- again.
This blog specialises on kanua news agency reports. Taka taka kabisa.


Anonymous said...

Only three words can describe you!!
"Prophet of Doom"

Anonymous said...

I have a friend who told me that he is seriously looking for a weapon for protection. I told him it is not necessary but he doesnt agree. He says If Annan fails, then we should all be prepared for the worst. I hope Kibs and his henchmen are listening coz this guy is damn serious!

Anonymous said...

of course all kenyans must be ready for anything if the ANNAN talks fail coz I dont think we are ready to have kibaki as a leader in this Country for another 5 yrs. Just like the Mungiki, we in the Rift Valley are also prepared to fight untill justice is done. Can somebody Tell me what other language Kibaki understands coz we kept telling him of our problems for the last 5 years but the guy doesnt listen. His gvt took away our land and our sons and doughters were chased away from their jobs, we have been second class citizens.
I believe he only understands Voilence/war. If this is the case then lets all be prepared to pay the price it takes for us to have Justice and Democracy.

Anonymous said...

I didn't realise that Kibaki was quite so terrible. I wonder how I missed that in the last 5 years.
For folks in the Rift Valley who accuse him of not listening for the last 5 yrs, I didn't hear you complain while Moi nyanyasad Kenyans for 24 years.
It takes more than 5 years to undo 40 odd years of bad policies including the land issues, corruption etc.
If you want Raila to get the presidency, you can support him without demonising his opponent.
These destructive politics are what have brought Kenya to where we are today.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous from Rift Valley who says they are prepared to fight coz Kibaki took their land must have just landed in Kenya coz even before Kibaki and Moi came to power there were different communities living in Rift Valley in peace so having the guts to write and say Kibaki took 'your' land and he only understands the language of war/violence just goes to show that if that is the kind of thinking some of our fellow Kenyans have then no wonder peace will continue to elude us.


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