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Saturday, March 29, 2008

Hearty Laughs All Round As Ordinary Kenyans Bleed

The story of Kenya is really sad. Even as hundreds of ordinary folks lined up to start purchasing Safaricom shares yesterday, hoping to make a quick killing, details emerged that may not be such good news for them.

The privileged in Kenyan society are also not aware or have chosen to completely ignore the great suffering going on amongst many ordinary Kenyans that has been directly caused by insensitivity from the government. I have in mind the IDP camps where since the long rains started pounding down last week, life is rapidly becoming unbearable. It is obvious that we will soon hear of deaths in these camps as a result of young children being exposed to the cold and rain. But alas the government’s energies are at the moment fully concentrated on IPOs and ensuring that the Safaricom one is a huge success at all costs, ordinary mwananchi kitu gani?.

Secondly the campaign by Local government minister Uhuru Kenyatta (who has never used public transport in his life) to keep Matatus out of the CBD has caused a lot of suffering amongst ordinary Kenyans, more so as the city is experiencing a lot of rain these days. A clear illustration of the fact that the government has no idea what it is doing, is the introduction of special shuttle buses to get passengers into the CBD from Muthurwa and other far off pints where they are dropped by matatus from the residential estates. These shuttles are charging Kshs 20/- while the old fares from the estates remain the same. Forcing ordinary folks to pay more at a time when they are desperately trying to recover from the effects of the post-election skirmishes. So if somebody was paying Kshs 40/- to get to town, they now need to pay Kshs 60/-. All in all the return trip now costs Kshs 120/- up from Kshs 80/-.

This past week there was a case of a man’s leg being cut off when he fell from a moving train in Nairobi. The man also sustained injuries to the neck and was lucky to be alive. It is said that the man jumped on the train as it passed through the city’s Dandora estate in a desperate attempt to get to work on time. However eyewitnesses say that the man slipped and his leg was caught between the rail and the wheels of the train. He was taken to Kenyatta National Hospital by the police who arrived at the scene more than an hour after the 7:30 am incident. If he was conscious, you can imagine the agony the man went through all that time.

The bottom line is that the government does not care for ordinary Kenyans. Period. And this lack of caring includes ODM which is yet to release a single statement about the IDPs or the suffering Nairobi commuters.

But let us go back to the Safricom IPO, shall we.

You know how the rich and powerful laugh?

It is usually a hearty, forced laughter that has a lot of throat activity in it. Usually it will be accompanied by a sneer and a patting of the huge pot belly. It is the kind of laughter that is unmistakable and tells you that somebody has enough zeroes next to their bank balance to make you dizzy.

There was a lot of this hearty laughter from the rich and powerful at the Safaricom IPO launch yesterday, from characters like Jimnah Mbaru who has made an absolute fortune from the NSE so much so that if he was still having children he should name the next one “Stocks” Mbaru. Meanwhile it is becoming increasingly clear to this blogger that serious threats loom close in the horizon for Safaricom profitability.

For starters many analysts agree that the climb in profitability has peaked off and can now head in only one direction; south. Up to this point Safaricom has had no serious competition to speak of. Kencell entered the market first but the truth is that their management was a joke and they failed to read the clear signs on the wall in the famous per second versus per minute billing war. Safaricom were charging more but cleverly passed the message to consumers that they do need to pay for seconds they did not use. Kencell completely out of touch with the common man in Kenya were charging less per minute but resisted introducing oer second billing until it was too late. In fact they started talking about it being cheaper to order a bottle of wine rather than a glass of wine at a restaurant. Wine ni pombe? many Kenyans wondered. The Kencell European managers, were never able to explain why Kenyans went for the higher tariffs.

But Kencell and their out of touch European management is no more. The recent take over by Celtel has already shown clear signs that the future is definitely going to be a lot more red (Celtel colours) than green. Safaricom are for the first time experiencing real competition.

But perhaps the largest threat yet has to do with the changes taking place at Telkom Kenya. France Telecom has purchased a significant stake and the CDMA wireless system has taken off like a rocket. The huge advantage is the cheap rate calls to landlines. Then there is also the fact that this system is favored by businesses who ordinarily make a lot more calls than individuals. A price war of sorts is inevitable and that is bound to reduce profits dramatically for Safaricom. The fat cats behind the Safaricom IPO have this information and more. Which convinces me that their strategy on Safaricom is rather short term. The shares are not 5 bob for nothing, I can assure you. It is all dependent on the masses buying the shares in large numbers and so many people missing out on the IPO that they will be lining up at the NSE when trading starts in June ready to buy at a slight markup. This will shoot the price up quickly, the fat cats will then clean out and make a strategic retreat and the Kenyan public will have paid them handsomely for their trouble. You know what will happen when the fat cats dump the shares. In fact some of the same fat cats have invested heavily in Telkom Kenya through the foreign investor (details of that can be found in my raw notes. Sorry that information is still too hot to publish here.)

P.S. Here are some fascinating tidbits about mobile telephony in Kenya.

Kenyans are only second to the Phillipines in the world in terms of using SMS text messages.

Nairobi density of cell phones during the day is higher than that of New York, a city many times larger.

It is still a puzzle to Safaricom management why phone traffic between 8:00 pm and 8:40pm on week nights is four times higher than normal.

Most of the government statistics on income expenditure and population are all wrong and are still wrong. One just needs to look at the huge number of cell phone users in the country to prove this. The government’s figures on Internet use are also hugely understated (Kumekucha can authoritatively tell you).

Friday, March 28, 2008

What Kroll Report Says About Mobitelea Ownership and That Of Other Companies

CAUTION: According to my information the ownership of Mobitelea as suggested in the Kroll report is not accurate. The true owners are named in my raw notes.

Msamaha alleges that the following companies are owned by those detailed and NOT Kulei..

Name of Company

Ownership Structure

Stoney Athi River

George Saitoti

Heritage All Insurance Company

CFC Bank

NIC Bank

Ndegwa Family

Trans-National Bank

Moi, Biwott, Nyachae, Kangwana, Gideon and five others

A Laikipia ranch

Moi 100%

An Eldoret farm

Moi 100%

A Rift Valley dairy farm

Moi 100%

The Kabarak farm

given by Moi to University of Kabarak

The Mau farm

given to the AIC (Church) by Moi

The Cherengani farm

now owned by Government

The Kilgoris farm

leased by Moi

American Life Insurance Company

Trans-National Bank, Moi, Biwott, Kulei

Kobil and Kenol Petroleum

Moi 50%, Biwott 50%

Nairobi Airport Services

owned by Moi, Mungai and Ndegwa

Rai Plywood of Eldoret

Moi 6%, 94% Rai family I

Safaricom Kenya

Biwott, Charles Field Marsham and Gideon 40%, the Post Office 60%

African Cargo Handling

Since sold to Kenya Airways

Kenchic Ltd

Moi, Charles Njonjo, P.K.Jani, J. Kiereini

Morris and Company

Kulei used to be a director but left in 1992

Capital Project Transport

Boinett 50%, Philip Murgor 50%

MDI Consultancy

Miles Donnelly

Anhalt Road Apartment

Miles Donnelly

A Dairy farm in the UK

Msamaha refutes ownership

Hotels in the UK

Msamaha refutes ownership

Firestone Africa

No Comment

Kenya Commercial Bank

No Comment

Kamsons Ltd

No Comment"

DT Dobie Car Distributors

Not Comment"

The Paper House Ltd

Kulei became nominee a! AGr,1

Rift Valley Agencies Ltd

No Information

Gambit Holdings Ltd

No Information

Great Rift Transporters Ltd

No Information

Sovereign Group (owned by Sovereign Holdings)

Kulei, William Sambu, N.R Pavitt, Secretary: Grace J. Kipyator

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Naomi Campbell and Mass Action Over Safaricom IPO

Kenyan politics is getting rather tiresome and exhausting, especially for yours truly. So let’s start this political post on the fringes.

World super model Naomi Campbell loves the Kenyan Coast and that is where she spent the recent Easter holidays. Kumekuchans will remember that one of the most desirable women on earth had a case in 2006 where she was accused of throwing a cell phone at her maid or something. The supermodel has quite a temper.

This was hardly the first time the volatile Campbell, 35, has been accused of assault. Yet another employee said Campbell threw a phone at her during a tantrum in 2001. Then in 2004, Campbell’s maid claimed that her employer slapped her. Campbell pleaded guilty to an assault charge for beating yet another assistant in 1998. As the Americans say, Phew, some broad!!

But even more fascinating was the fact that during her recent stay in Kenya, Ms Campbell released a statement from her Malindi hideout praising Kenya as a holiday resort and declaring it very safe for tourists. That was excellent PR for Kenyan tourism, especially after what has happened in the last two months or so. But wait a minute! Who organized that publicity?

You will begin to understand what I am driving at when you realize where Ms Campbell was staying and who owns it. She was at the Lion In The Sun Resort in Malindi. A mere weeks stay at this private resort costs 36,000 Euros (don’t bother converting it into Kenya shillings, just know that it is a lot of money, actually close to Kshs4 million).

It is owned by world renowned playboy Flavio Briatore. This man has been linked to the underworld. Need I say more, you all know the kind of Italian crowd that runs Malindi don’t you. My point is that you can be sure that Mr Briatore did not do this kind f favour to the Kenyan government for free. Of course the favor will be returned in some way and I leave that to your imagination. Hint: Mr Briatore is NOT an ice cream magnate.

There have been rumours that Briatore and Campbell are lovers, which has been denied by both parties but the paparazzi say they have evidence contrary to the denials.

Those are the kind of powerful persons who deal with the Kenyan government. I must emphasize, the duly elected Kenyan government.

Oh and I almost forgot to add something very important. Despite the hefty prices charged at this resort, in 2002 the angry employees threatened to burn the place down because they were sick of their low salaries which they said were much lower than the generally very low salaries in the Italian neighborhood in Malindi.

* * *

ODM has called for mass action tomorrow (Friday) to protest the launch of the Safaricom IPO after the PNU government completely ignored appeals to delay the IPO so that the issue can be discussed at great length in the yet-to-be-named grand coalition cabinet. Actually the IPO raises too many questions.

However if only you knew the owners of Mobitelea and who is really the power behind the Safaricom offer you would understand a lot of things. Keep your eyes on this space to find out, or alternatively subscribe to my raw notes which has all the shocking details.

* * *

Meanwhile TNK a regular commentator of Kumekucha has the following fascnating observation and suggestion to make;

Having read this article

and the very many contributions by many over the composition of cabinet i must say am still totally in the dark

what exactly is the message being given by these leaders? am going to try below in a simplistic near naive approach

a) that the ministries are not equal and therefore the ministers also are not equal as such some ministers will be considered to be more senior in position on account of holding a more strategic or otherwise more senior ministry or portfolio i.e there will be mheshmiwa senior and mheshmiwa mdogo. supposing that that is true, then why not turn those junior ministries into departments and thereby also solve the problem of bloated cabinet.

b) members of parliament unlike councilors are elected to not only represent the interests of their constituencies in a national forum but to also debate the interests of other constituencies in order to foster harmony and promote the well being of the nation. further, when any of these MPs is appointed to a cabinet assignment then national interest should supersede or be very close to constituency interest and priority. so theoretically it should not really be a problem which MP is appointed to what ministry but that the ministries are well defined and a specific non-partisan and national code of ethics govern the conduct of performance with appropriate checks and balances. kibaki said in his campaign trips that the electorate should give him a clean set of MPs, and as he claims to be duly elected so then are the duly elected MPs who have been chosen to represent their constituents, so why is it a problem to give any MP a portfolio. Is kibaki and pnu saying that only PNU mps are worthy of certain ministries adn why? Is the problem ODM, PNU or is the problem the MPs. Lets suppose an MP say were to somehow cross over, say Anyang Nyongo defects to PNU will he suddenly be a better Minister of Planning than when he is Anyang Nyongo of ODM or will he be rewarded for stoking kibakis ego and therefore performance is inconsequential? if Michuki defected to ODM, will he still be a worthwhile minister fro roads or somehow his credibility will change in an Orange shirt? What exactly is the message? What madness is being preached? if these 220+ mps are unworthy of posts when in opposing parties why pretend to sit in debate with them in parliament?

c) assuming that kibaki finds his distribution of posts very balanced in the PNU proposal, aside from President and PM posts would he give the posts he suggests for ODM to PNU and affiliates, and those he has suggested as for PNU can he give these as is to ODM, remember balance means each team can be awarded either side and it still remains fair.

I hope Annan comes and uses the PNU proposal but awards the PNU side the ODM slots and vice versa and suggests that in all fairness that to be done for the first year and then reverse in the next year. Stupid, yes but these people are also playing stupid games with Kenyans.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

ODM Statement On The Privatisation Of Safaricom

Few public events in the financial realm have been as eagerly awaited in the history of our country as the forthcoming Safaricom public offering. The company is one of the most successful in our country’s history, thanks to the investments made by Kenyans’ hard-earned tax contributions.

For ODM, the most important dimension of this and all other privatizations of public corporations is to ensure that the ordinary Kenyan is able to compete in the purchase of shares on a level playing field with all other Kenyans and institutions. These public offerings offer Kenyans not only an opportunity to benefit from their small investments the way the well-to-do have always been able to do, their purchase of such shares also gives them a stake in the future of this country’s peace and stability.

ODM last year opposed the sale of Safaricom because it did not meet this cardinal test of providing a level playing field for all Kenyans who wished to participate in the Safaricom share offering, rather than organized business enterprises which stood to reap most of the benefits. To ensure that this level playing field obtains for ordinary Kenyans, ODM believes that exceptional arrangements must be made for a sale as eagerly sought by millions of Kenyans as this one. For example, the requirement that shares need to be purchased only through banks and brokerage houses which are difficult for most Kenyans to access need to be reviewed.

We also believe that the entire offering, and not just a portion as currently envisaged, must be made available for Kenyans.

There are, of course, a host of other important reasons which forced us to oppose the sale. We moved to the High Court of Kenya to seek orders compelling the Government to bring into operation the Privatization Act and to conduct the intended privatization of Safaricom within the provisions of the Act. ODM had the following major concerns with the Safaricom privatization:

· The ownership of shares worth in excess of five billion shillings in Safaricom by MOBITELEA under circumstances that have never been made public and which appear to have been made otherwise than as a “true investment” by the owners of MOBITELEA poses the danger that these “ghost owners” will now be unjustly enriched. The identity of MOBITELEA and its shareholders is still a secret; having been kept hidden by the Government;

· The Privatization Act was enacted in 2005 to regulate all future privatizations. By the time that ODM moved to Court, the Minister for Finance had not published a notice in the Gazette bringing the Act into full force and effect, a period in excess of two years, thereby rendering the legislative authority of Parliament nugatory.

· The Privatization Act requires Parliamentary approval of all privatizations and sets up a Privatization Commission, imposing standards of transparency to protect the public interest which were not being followed in respect of the Safaricom privatization.

· Issues of equity with regard to the distribution of Safaricom shares amongst various income groups, gender and regions of Kenya had not been addressed.

· There was a deliberate attempt by the Government to fast-track the privatization of Safaricom before the General Elections in December 2007 even though the fundamentals, such as the capacity of the Nairobi Stock Exchange to handle the transaction, remained doubtful. The timing just before the Election and the Christmas gift buying period meant there would be a less than robust appetite for the stock among ordinary Kenyans. There was strong suspicion that the speeding up of the process was being caused by considerations other than the public interest.

The court case by ODM was therefore initiated in the public interest: to protect the legislative authority of Parliament, to bring transparency to the privatization of Safaricom, to stop unjust enrichment by a few individuals who appear to have acquired interest in Safaricom vide MOBITELEA, and to demand equity in the distribution of the shares of Safaricom to all segments of Kenyan society.

The High Court declined to grant the orders sought by ODM. ODM then proceeded to the Court of Appeal but its appeal was further denied. ODM’s only interest in pursuing the case was the public interest.

In the meantime, the Minister for Finance, Amos Kimunya, published a Gazette Notice bringing the Privatization Act into full force and effect from January 1, 2008. He then proceeded to appoint a Privatization Commission. All these actions are a direct result of the pressure generated by ODM’s court case.

ODM is keen to ensure that the privatization of Safaricom proceeds as smoothly and as quickly as possible. However, certain fundamental questions in addition to those stated above need to be addressed.

1. The privatization of Safaricom must be in conformity with the provisions of the Privatization Act. The process should therefore be transferred from the docket of the Investment Secretary at the Treasury to the remit of the Privatization Commission, as the law requires.

2. The preparation and submission of a Privatization Strategy to Parliament for public debate is required under the Privatization Act.

3. The issues of equity raised above need to be formally and systematically addressed. Given the recent problems at the Nairobi Stock Exchange, is this the right time to undertake such a major privatization at the Exchange? In any event, concrete measures have to be taken to address the regulatory and structural inefficiencies of the bourse.

4. How was the value of Safaricom shares established?

Theses and numerous other questions that remain unanswered must now be addressed in the interest of transparency on a subject that it is of such immense interest and concern for countless Kenyans. The only prudent approach therefore is to subject the entire privatization process of Safaricom to the requirements of the Privatization Act, as now in force.

Our aim as a party is to encourage and support economic growth with equity and social justice in our country. As such, the sale of Safaricom through the Stock Exchange is a very positive step forward which Kenyans applaud, but we must ensure that the sale is conducted in a way that will benefit the greatest number of them. We should therefore proceed with the offering within the requirements of the Privatization Act, which will of course mean that the share offering needs to be delayed.

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Is PNU Rather Desperate For The Safaricom IPO?

The reaction of government hardliners to the dust ODM has kicked up concerning the Safaricom IPO is really fascinating. As I write this, I am still gaping in wonder.

I had braced myself to see the entire PNU force coming out with both guns blazing. Woi! Nothing of the sort has happened as I write this. Instead what we have seen is a very polite and humble Amos Kimunya speaking with great restraint and respect to the PM emphasizing to the press that he did speak to Raila Odinga about the IPO and Raila Odinga indeed supported it, just last week. The truth is that neither Raila Odinga nor the ODM are on record has having denied Amos Kimunya’s well publicized statement at the time to the effect that they had met and discussed the IPO with the ODM leader. In fact Kimunya added a rider, to the effect that Hon Raila wanted to purchase the shares on the spot, if it were possible. That silence to Kimunya’s significant utterances must now be interpreted as accent on the side of Raila Odinga and ODM. Let us be serious here, folks. Please.

Interestingly in reply to one question today Kimunya said that ODM should be considered separately to the Prime Minister designate. Implying that Raila Odinhga still supports the controversial Safaricom IPO.

The other government bureaucrats quickly fell on this administrations favorite “whipping boy.” They say, the law gives them no power to halt an IPO in progress. That one really made me laugh. I wondered why the same law does not stop the same government from banning matatus from the Central Business district and causing so much chaos as well as suffering to ordinary Kenyans as they blunder around for a solution. Can you imagine Uhuru Kenyatta saying; “The law does not allow me to stop any vehicle from coming into the CBD”? Interestingly, the latest drama in this CBD circus is the fact that although buses are supposed to ferry people from Muthurwa to town it takes ages because Nairobi still has a serious congestion problem in the mornings even without the Matatus. Could it be those multi-vehicle families including that of the Minsiter of local governments? But I digress. Oh I forgot, all his kids go to school abroad (what happened to the Visa ban?)

PNU are saying that they have no way of stopping the IPO from happening even if they wanted to and whose fault is it? Why, the law of course!!

So why is it that that I sense desperation here? Why is it that I even sense fear? Fear that the lucrative (for a few) IPO may actually be halted. Nay I sense panic. And why, I pray to ask, has this Safaricom IPO been speeded up at such breakneck speed? Approvals and hurdles have been cleared in record time and it is scheduled to launch this Friday.

This thing reminds me of my days as an employee when people in the office used to stop everything to help speed up the accounts department and the endless procedures so that the salary cheques could be send out early. This is further evidence even for those who have a terrible cold and have lost their sence of smell, that there is a terrible odor coming out of this Safaricom IPO. All Kenyans of goodwill should stay clear of the thing. Anybody who cares about Kenya and fighting corruption and the fat cats must have nothing to do with that demonic, devilish IPO. And those who end up handling the prospectus on Friday should make sure they wash their hands thoroughly after that. With soap. This thing which has caused ODM to tell lies in broad daylight… na bado. Remember Goldenberg and how it destroyed so many reputations? Just watch what happens with this Safaricom IPO.

Poor Prof Anyang Nyong’o. This unsung brave hero of the struggle was forced to keep quiet all those days as the Safaricom IPO was rushed forward. Now suddenly when PNU and ODM cannot agree on the cabinet, ODM changes its’ mind about the Safaricom IPO. The same IPO Kimunya tells us they were enthusiastic about and nobody challenged his statement then. Please, let us deal with the truth here. It will always set you free.

This is a good time to introduce Prof Nyong’o to all you young Kenyans out there who were toddlers or not even born in the 1980s. That was the time the good professor was a guest of the State at the dreaded Nyayo house dungeons and torture chambers. The man himself admitted once in parliament how his private parts were squeezed using a pair of pliers (ouch), in a vain attempt to make him sing like a bird to the Special Branch about his involvement with the clandestine Mwakenya anti-government movement at the time.

No wonder the good professor causes fear in PNU quarters whenever he calls a press conference. At the time when Nyong’o’s “valuables” were being given “mechanic treatment” at Nyayo House, the then MP for Othaya Mwai Kibaki was busy singing mama na baba songs and saying that the government was a Mugumo tree and those who were opposing it were like some silly man trying to cut a Mugumo tree with a razor blade. Kenyan politics is very funny because as you read this it is not Nyong’o or the other brave Kenyans who suffered untold torture to fight for freedom in this country who are seated in State House. It is in fact the Mugomo tree chap who is there. Wonders of all wonders.

Let me say it again fellow brothers and sisters; stay very far away from the Safaricom IPO folks. Trust me, I beseech you to do that for the love of the motherland. There will be other bigger and better IPOs after we have sorted out this mess, I assure you, even if I have to float Kumekucha shares.

P.S. President Kibaki had to wake up very early yesterday to make it for his meeting at Harambee house with Raila Odinga. The duly elected president usually wakes up at 11am or a little after that. Now many people, me included are usually in a bad mood when we have to wake up earlier than usual. Could this be why these guys who have proved to be great buddies in recent times could not agree?

But what is even more interesting was the body language and close consultation that went on with Prof George Saitoti yesterday. Here’s a tip to ODM if you are planning to ask for Internal security docket, forget it. Too much work has been done there in readiness for what is about to happen. Trust me Saitoti can not be moved from that ministry. Curious as to what work the mathematics professor has been so busy with? Keep your eyes on this space. Or even better get a copy of the Kumekucha Raw Notes

P.S. 2 Joke of the day (I have never laughed so hard in my life). One of the new Ministries being proposed by PNU; Ministry of Implementation of Vision 2030. While they are at it we also need Ministry To Investigate Election Theft, Ministry to investigate the government spokesman.

Meanwhile some civil society folks have recommended a cabinet of 24. NO Way! That’s too large. Germany who currently have a coalition of 3 political parties have a cabinet of 15! I change my position. Let the new grand coalition government have no more than 18 ministers (max) and then one assistant minister in each ministry. No need for assistant ministers in the Prime Ministers and President’s offices. And by the way the 18 should include the PM and his deputies as well as the Vice President.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Shocker: PNU Proposing 44 Ministries Including Hilarious New Portfolios

High Drama: ODM Now Changes Its’ Mind About Safaricom IPO

Raila And Kibaki No Longer Smiling As Coalition Cabinet Remains In Limbo

Even before the celebrations of peace are over trouble is looming large in the horizon. Insiders had informed me that the grand coalition government would be announced as early as this last Easter weekend Saturday and catch everybody by surprise.

Those spreading this story had assumed that the principals President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister designate Raila Odinga would quickly agree. It was not to be.

Today After what reliable sources say was a stormy meeting that lasted from 11 am to about 2 pm Raila Odinga and Preasident Mwai Kibaki for the first time did not emerge together and neither were they smiling. It was clear that all was not well.

A further indicator of trouble was that some ODM people leaked some details of what had gone on inside Harambee house today. A clear sign that this coalition marriage is in trouble even before it has been consummated.

It is now dawning on Kenyans that the powers that be do not have a reform agenda government in mind. PNU wants no less than 44 cabinet ministers; 23 from PNU and 21 from ODM. ODM are suggesting 34 ministries which is not any better. Actually the grand coalition government should not have more than 20 cabinet portfolios.

One of the new ministries being suggested by PNU for ODMers is a ministry of Nairobi affairs. Amongst other extremely hilarious portfolios that will have the rest of the world laughing at Kenyans for weeks on end.

Actually what has happened is that PNU are insisting on keeping ALL the ministries that they already have.

And in reaction it seems that ODM have moved extremely fast. The dormant-for-weeks Prof Anyang Nyongo immediately called a press conference and announced that ODM are now NOT supporting the Safaricom IPO due to be launched in two days. They have recommended that it be put on hold, until it can be fully discussed. Quite an about turn from just a week ago when Finance Minister Amos Kimunya assured the public that ODM leader Raila Odinga was in full support of the IPO.

So it now seems we are almost back to the familiar situation of a deadlock between PNU and ODM once again.

One thing that has not yet sunk into the heads of the political class and wil cost them dearly in the weeks and months to come, is the fact that the country has changed fundamentally since last year’s general elections. For starters the public are scrutinizing their leaders and what they are doing much more closely than they ever have. A case in point is the Safaricom IPO which is being pushed forward at breakneck high speed even as various quarters rub their hands in glee and lick their lips waiting to reap a huge sum of cash from this historical IPO.

They seem completely oblivious of the fact that 132,000 shareholders who brought their shares in NSE listed companies through the collapsed Nyagah Stock brokers are distressed and asking lots of questions about the NSE operations. It has emerged that Nyagah Stock brokers were already technically insolvent at the end of 2006. So the question is why did the NSE allow them to continue operating and why did the Capital market Authority look the other way?

But there’s more. Some reliable sources indicate that auditors have found the firm to be indebted to the tune of over Kshs 800 million. Yep, approaching Kshs 1 billion.

It is increasingly clear that there is a very foul smell emanating from the NSE and more so from the proposed Safaricom IPO. The NSE is a closed club where a few rich people use the general public to make huge profits using their special privileged position that allows them access to insider information not to mention the manipulation of shares.

Can you imagine a soccer league where the owners of clubs manage the league and are also referees in matches involving their own teams? That is exactly what the NSE is.

If you cast your mind to last year when the Finance minister Amos Kimunya was telling Raila that the stock exchange is not a fish market, you will quickly realize that the problem was that Raila had touched what is almost considered to be a private members club. And even before that NSE chairman Jimnah Mbaru who also owns a stock brokerage firm of his own had told some amused lunch guests at a city hotel that ODM’s popularity would impact negatively on the NSE.

The truth my fellow Kenyans is that there are some games being played at the NSE and one of the reasons why the elections had to be stolen had everything to do with the Safaricom IPO.

It seems that ODM leader Raila Odinga was not quite the push over some people within PNU thought and the next few days should be very interesting. It will be fascinating to see what happens in this high drama. The only sad thing is that the tension is creeping back.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

The “Sina Makosa” Grand Coalition And The Mouth-Watering Safaricom IPO

We are going to discuss some very serious business in this post. The problem is that it is bound to upset many of you see-no-evil-hear-no-evil-on-the-coalition faithful dear readers of Kumekucha. Kindly bear with me, my brothers and sisters. It is all nothing but the truth. I have checked and cross-checked my facts and I have confirmed all the sensitive information.

But fortunately, I am not some heartless brute, so to make “the medicine” a little less bitter and unpleasant to take, I have tied this article to African music. I am sure most of you folks out there in the Diaspora love African/Kenyan music and many folks back home too. So do I. My all-time favourite is a Les Wanyika song called Nimaru.

I have a fascinating tale to tell you today about how a hit song destroyed a soul and I was there to witness some of the destruction as it was happening, so I can tell this story first hand.

In my view the late Omar Shaban, of Les Wanyika better known as Prof Omari is the best rhythm guitarist to have ever walked the shores of Eastern Africa and beyond. But many people do not know the story behind the smash hit Les Wanyika song, Sina Makosa.

Actually Prof Omari and bassist Tom Malanga (both Tanzanians playing their music in Kenya then) left Simba Wanyika to form the legendary Les Wanyika together. They were joined by two other fellow Tanzanians namely, John Ngereza and Issa Juma.

To launch the group, they needed to head straight to the recording studios and release a hit. And the song had to be a hit if the new group was to survive. There was hardly time to come up with something new, so Prof Omari dug out an old song that he had composed together with George Kinyonga of Simba Wanyika before he left. The reason why they did not record the song was because it was too similar to another Simba Wanyika song that had been recorded called Diana. That song was Sina Makosa.

Sina Makosa released in 1979, became the smash hit that Les Wanyika and Prof Omari are best remembered for. I watched as the flood of money that poured in from the song completely destroyed Prof Omari. He womanized excessively and he took to drinking more and more potent whisky. Eventually it slowed down his fingers on the guitar. Then followed a power struggle for leadership of the band with the more level headed and equally gifted John Ngereza, which the latter won. Prof Omari left the group briefly but came back shortly after and I watched the latter years of a great rhythm guitarist, a mere shadow of his old self but still a joy to watch and listen to in live performances at the then Bombax Club opposite Kenya Science Teacher’s college.

George Kinyonga could only wring his fingers in agony as he watched the song he had refused to record smashing all records in sales.

Prof Omari passed away in 1997 and John Ngereza followed in 2002.

The words of that hit song that made Prof Omari so much money so suddenly that it destroyed him are very appropriate for the grand coalition government that is now in the process of being formed.

You can listen to Sina makosa HERE.

The main words in the song are;

Wewe unawake nyumbani na mimi ni na wangu nyumbani, chuki ya nini kati ya mimi na wewe. (You have your lover at home and I have mine at home, why is there hatred between us.)

I have impeccable information to the effect that the grand coalition which many Kenyans have placed all their hopes on is all about wacha ni kule hapa na wewe ukule huko, hakuna aja ya chuki kati ya mimi na wewe. (Why don’t you eat there and I eat here, there is no need for hatred between us.)

The first deal is the Safaricom IPO. The owners of the mysterious Mobitelea Ventures (who own 12.5% of Safaricom) are about to make a cool 10 billion shillings from the IPO and my sources assure me that the money will be shared with the principals of PNU and ODM respectively. Indeed many Kenyans were taken by surprise when the ODM leader and Prime Minister designate, Raila Odinga suddenly made a 180 degree turn and said that he had no problem with the Safaricom IPO.

Anybody who cares about Kenya, as a matter of principal should not go anywhere near the Safricom IPO. But alas I am aware that I am shouting myself hoarse for nothing. The same principled Kenyans who are always making noise here and elsewhere about corruption are already rubbing their hands in glee waiting for the mother of all IPOs.

I sincerely believe from the bottom of my heart that the time for us Kenyans to put our money where our mouths are has come.

My humble advice is that before purchasing the Safricom shares, which many of you must buy, come what may, Get a good clean mirror and look at yourself in it. If you do so without blinking, just go out and apply for your shares, but you should never waste our time and yours ever complaining again about our leaders robbing us.

P.S. Here is a question that every keen analyst of Kenyan politics should be asking themselves. The country has recently purchased a lot of police equipment and then there has been an urgency to recruit 10,000 policemen and to get them working as soon as possible by even cutting short their usual 6 month training period. What is all this urgency for? Why should there be any urgency at all and there is a poecae agreement that has been signed?

Think hard my brothers, and without emotion… and then keep you eyes trained on this space. Or get hold of Kumekucha’s raw notes.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Famous Man Died From Taking In Enough Calories To Keep An Elephant Alive

The most important weight loss tip has to do with your food intake. Many times the mistake we make is to try and complicate the whole controversial weight issue when it would be more prudent to start with the very basics.

To date the simplest and most valuable weight loss tip is simple watching your calorie intake.

It may be useful to remember this real life story about this famous man who would comfortably take enough calories in a day to keep an elephant alive. And yet the most exercise he would ever get round to doing would be getting up from his couch to get the next high calorie snack to gorge himself with.

Actually food addiction sound harmless enough but experts now insist that this very famous man, well known across the States and indeed all over the world was killed prematurely by his love for food.

We all need a minimum of 1,500 to 1,800 calories every day to stay alive. People doing heavy work and therefore burning lots of calories need even more calories and may require up to about 10,000 calories per day.

Now it is documented that this man I am referring to was consuming over 85,000 calories per day and was sitting around doing nothing more strenuous than reaching forward to flip the channels on his TV set.

The truth is that 85,000 calories is more than enough to keep a full grown elephant alive. And it goes without saying that stuffing one’s body with that kind of calorie intake is bound to cause serious problems as they did fro this individual.

Read the story of the rich man who ate himself to death

Friday, March 21, 2008

Why Is Biwott Transferring Assets Now?

When we were all busy worrying about the post election tensions and turmoil, nobody remembered to analyze exactly what happened in the last elections and especially how the giants fell. Actually one of the major shocks of last december’s general elections was the felling of political giant, Nicholas Kipyator Biwott by a nobody in his Keiyo South constituency. Jackson Kiptanui Kiplagat of ODM garnered 30,380 votes to Biwott’s paltry 9,483.

So for the first time since the late seventies, Biwott is not an MP.

But what should worry Kenyans even more is what Biwott is up to now that he is away from the political limelight and can spend much more time on his colossal business empire. The reason why Kenyans must forever be interested in Biwott is really simple but let me spell it out here. We know how Bill Gates made his money and we also know how the Rockefeller family (descendants of JOHN D. Rockefeller) made their money. Closer to home we have a pretty good idea of how Manu Chandaria came to own so many prosperous companies. Now my question is simple, How did Nicholas Biwott make his money? If I may put it bluntly he made his seed money from stealing public money and taking hefty bribes for major government projects. The Turkwell Gorge Hydroelectric project made Biwott, to name one colossal project.

Sources inform this writer that in recent times the former Keiyo South legislator has been very busy transferring huge funds to the most unlikely of destinations. And that is Canada. The leaked Kroll report told us that the Moi’s for example have been getting pretty nervous and have transferred a lot of their funds to an African country called Namibia. We also know that if push comes to shove accounts in Switzerland and elsewhere can be frozen. So behind this backdrop why would Nicholas Biwott transfer vast sums of his ill-gotten wealth to Canada of all places?

To make things even more fascinating, Biwott is on Visa bans to the West. Meaning that his travel is very limited. He cannot go to most of Europe and the United States. This is the reason why the recent movements of one of his several wives, Eldoret east legislator Prof, Margaret Kamar has raised eyebrows. Prof Kamar has been on an extended visit to most of Europe and other undisclosed stop overs.

Some have even speculating that she is being used to move around Biwott’s cash and to even transact on behalf of him. Hon Prof Kamar was conspicuously absent from parliament on Tuesday when the legislators were passing the landmark bills that emerged from the Annan peace deal.

But experts in these matters point in a different direction in relation to the movement of funds to Canada by Biwott. One of the prominent names to belinked to Biwott in the Krol report was that of his sin-in-law, a Mr Charles Field Marsham. Guess what nationality Mr Marsham is? Surprise, surprise. He is Canadian.

In fact there is now a very easy way to trace Biwott’s involvement in many prominent Kenyan companies. Just look for Mr Marsham’s name in the board of directors.

So could Mr Biwott be handing over most of the colossal family assets to his trusted sin-in-law? What are the legal implications? Can the assets be touched by future investigations and asset freezes? Thos are the questions that this writer is still searching answers for.

You may be reading this and getting a little confused. Maybe you are aksing yourself the question, how many wives does Biwott have? Actually to be honest with you, I have no idea. And I believe few people on the planet do. But theer is also his Israeli wife, maybe the most prominent amongst his wives and the mother of the Biwott daughter who is married to Mr Marsham.

Concerning the transfer of funds, Mr Biwott is capable of anything. Many Kenyans have forgotten or are not aware of the fact that Biwott cut his teeth carrying the late Bruce McKenzie’s briefcase. Mr Mckenzie was the first White face to appear in an independent Kenya cabinet and was appointed agriculture minister by Kenyan’s first president Jomo Kenyatta. But more fascinating is the fact that most people seem to have been aware that the burly, always jovial mzungu was an operative for major foreign spy agencies. It is instructive that Mckenzie died on a flight back to Kenya from Uganda in the 70s. It is believed that Ugandan dictator whom he had come from seeing, planted a bomb on the plane in the form of a “gift” he gave to Mckenzie.

So what I am trying to say is that covert operations are not new to Biwott and one cannot rule out the possibility of his sneaking in and out of countries where he has been barred from visiting.

Theer are indications that a number of major local businessmen are at the moment desperately trying to sell off their local assets. It seems that the recent troubles and the increasing clamour for proper democracy and justice could be scaring them off since most of them have done deals that they may not want to be scrutinized too closely by an unfriendly government of the future.

It will be interesting to observe what happens to Biwott’s assets in Kenya in the next two years or so. Probably his most lucrative operation is the Kenil/Kobil operation which together with Biwott’s personal important of fuel accounts for 17 per cent of the Kenyan oil industry. This is fairly significant in an industry mainly controlled by foreign owned conglomerates.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Sneak preview of Kumekucha's raw notes (latest)

* Why a large chunk of the evidence PNU have against Ruto cannot be used. Impeccable sources deep inside PNU make shocking revelations to Kumekucha that he cannot dare print in the public domain.

A legal expert confirms the legal position concerning this type of evidence to Kumekucha.

* Charity Ngilu is the best health minister Kenya ever produced and many Kenyans would not be interested in her love life...

Like the steamy affair she had with somebody who is very close to president Kibaki at the moment.

* Plus numerous other heart-stopping stories every week.

How To Get Kumekucha's raw notes every week

I have increasingly found that a lot of the raw information I have I am NOT able to use in the public domain and especially here in Kumekucha for various reasons. I have therefore decided to launch a private facility called Kumekucha’s raw notes where I openly share the very latest hot information I have in my notes weekly, and especially what I am NOT able to use directly in Kumekucha. I will charge a mere $15 (or Kshs 990) for one full years' subscription to this information. If you are interested in subscribing to this hot info drop me an email NOW at umissedthis at yahoo dot com and I will give you further details of what you need to do.

By subscribing to Kumekucha’s raw notes, you will also be helping to finance the continued existence and enhanced quality of Kumekucha.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Is William Ruto In Danger Of Being Arrested?

No other politician in Kenya today elicits such strong emotion either of strong hate or extreme fondness. Even Agwambo himself has not been able to keep up with this younger man where extreme emotions from the public are concerned. More so as the latter has tried to mellow down his radical image in preparation for the highest office in the land.

I am of course referring to William Ruto.

Although ODM insiders vehemently deny it, there is a lot of tension within ODM at the moment. In fact the anxiety is much higher than it ever was in the ODM-K days when there was heightened rivalry between Kalonzo Musyoka and Raila Odinga over who would be the party’s presidential nominee.

William Ruto is right at the centre of that heightened tension within ODM today.

This is the man who rubbished the decades of experience of retired former President Moi right across the Rift Valley and delivered virtually the entire Kalenjin community to Arap Mibei (as Raila is fondly referred to by the Kalenjins.)

PNU hardliners have always secretly sworn to deal with Ruto whom they accuse of being the chief orchestrator of the unprecedented violence in the Rift Valley. Interestingly this tough talk against Ruto has not ended with the signing of the peace deal, if anything it has increased considerably and impeccable sources tell this writer that evidence that links Ruto to the killings is being gathered even as you read this. Of course it is possible that this evidence is being put together for blackmail purposes. However this possibility is highly unlikely.

Apart from this evidence being gathered against their man, there are other factors responsible for the heightened tension amongst the Kalenjin community within ODM. The Kalenjin strongly feel that whatever has been achieved in partly reversing the blatant stealing of the presidential elections last year, their community has played the biggest role. It is therefore only fair that they get the majority of cabinet posts allocated to ODM in the grand coalition government. They will therefore settle for nothing less than at least 50 per cent or half the posts.

In fact what is making observers like Kumekucha increasingly nervous is the prospect of anybody going after Ruto, more so at this time when the peace is precarious to say the least. Sadly the truth of the matter is that incidences like the burning of women and children inside a church in Eldoret at the height of the violence, which received considerable International media coverage have pushed this whole issue into the realm of International politics and countries like the United States and others are now insisting that perpetrators of that extremely inhuman crime must be punished.

It is said that the Kalenjin militia who surrounded the church and made sure that the doors were bolted, stood and watched as the mostly Kikuyu women and children inside screamed and begged in vain for their lives. In fact it is said that the onlookers appeared to dance in glee at the horrible, horrible sounds coming from inside the church. Not to mention the distinct and unforgettable smell of human flesh burning.

There is no doubting that it was a hideous and ghastly crime. In fact if I were the judge, the first thing I would do would be to send the suspects for intensive psychiatric assessment.

Still there is a rather strong argument being raised by the Kalenjin community and other ODmers. They ask a simple question. Who was the bigger, inhuman murderer, the militia at that church in Eldoret (who killed a dozen or so people) or those behind the outright rigging of the presidential polls last December? This would include President Kibaki, his advisors and even Samuel Kivuitu and his ECK cronies who insist on hanging on to office to enjoy their big salaries and perks as many Kenyans displaced by their actions struggle to find something to eat.

This is an interesting question because those behind the rigging of the elections, assisted by the government of the United States, caused the death of over 5,000 Kenyans and then to add insult to injury falsified the death toll which to this day is reported everywhere as being a mere 1,000. This is laughable if it wasn’t such a serious issue because there are parts of the Rift Valley where one would count hundreds of bodies rotting on the ground and still unburied. Not to mention the packed mortuary in Kisumu which had hundreds of bodies. Add to that the City Mortuary in Nairobi where we have published photographic evidence in this blog that proves that the death toll could not have been 1,000. So who is the worse murderer and shouldn’t that murderer be brought to book before the Eldoret heartless militia? After all justice is supposed to be impartial. Right?

Actually, you can go tell that to the birds. In Kenya it has been known for a long time that “justice” is only meted out against the weak powerless and poor. For example the jails are full of poor people whose only crime is being poor. As you read this some of them are facing murder charges. The true criminals are not only roaming the streets free as a bird, after bribing their way out, but a good number of them are also sitting in high office in government.


Some PNU insiders have repeatedly claimed that there is irrefutable evidence that links William Ruto to the violence in the Rift Valley. The only problem is that most of it cannot be used because it would compromise State security. But other evidence experts inform me that it is fairly easy to collect other evidence the minute you are sure you have the right man.

Those close to Ruto argue that their man is innocent and that it is other prominent Kalenjin leaders, some of them mere elders, who were behind the murderous violence in the Rift Valley.

William Ruto himself insists that he is innocent and that he has great love and respect for the Kikuyu community pointing out that his own sister is happily married to a Kikuyu.

Assuming that the government with the prodding of the Americans does not carry out their Kamikaze mission against Ruto, what is the political future of this darling of the Kalenjin community?

The bitter truth is that William Ruto for all his gallant political efforts may end up being the ultimate sacrifice of the ODM political party. This is because where the country’s politics is headed clearly does not favor Ruto politically. For starters after what happened in the Rift Valley recently, it matters little whether Ruto was guilty or not because the vast majority of the Kikuyu community would react even more violently than they ever did against Raila if Ruto were to seek the presidency in 2010, 2012 or whatever year it is we will go back to the polls. It is rather obvious that the next 2 presidents at least will have to be widely accepted across both the ODM strongholds and the PNU ones. This is assuming that Kenyans want their nation to be healed from the nightmare that was launched by the actions of a few Kenyans on the 29th and 30th of last December. If on the other hand, the idea is secession then Ruto would have a very bright political future. It is as simple as that.

And even as ODM struggle to keep their ship intact, a major determining factor in the immediate future of that party is William Ruto. The Kalenjin community too, will be a major force to reckon with in the next 3 or so presidential elections, even though their blue-eyed boy will most likely not be a participant.

P.S. I have increasingly found that a lot of the raw information I have I am NOT able to use in the public domain and especially here in Kumekucha. I have therefore decided to launch a private facility called Kumekucha’s raw notes where I openly share the very latest hot information I have weekly, and especially what I am NOT able to use directly in Kumekucha. I will charge a mere $15 (or Kshs 990) for one full years subscription to this information. If you are interested in subscribing to this hot info drop me an email NOW at umissedthis at yahoo dot com and I will give you further details of what you need to do.

By subscribing to Kumekucha’s raw notes, you will also be helping to finance the continued existence and enhanced quality of Kumekucha.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Safaricom Introduces 20 Bob Scratch Card As Government Continues To Ignore The Masses

Although it has not officially been announced impeccable sources on the ground inform me that Safaricom agents started selling Kshs 20 (approx US 30 cents) scratch cards today.

Is it any wonder that Michael Joseph’s company is the most profitable outfit in East and Central Africa and probably beyond? And if you want to know their secret, it is really very simple. They listen to the common man and they don’t just listen, they act.

This is in sharp contrast to the political class who have no interest in the common man at all. In fact it is ion their best interests if the ordinary folk remain as poor as possible so that they can bribe them to vote them back into power when the elections come round again.

Ironically on the same day that 20 bob scratch cards were introduced there were running battles along Jogoo road where matatu touts and drivers went on strike over the inadequate facilities at the new matatu terminus in Muthurwa which was created when the government banned matatus from entering the CBD. One protestor interviewed by a local TV station put everything into perspective rather neatly. He said that there were many homes where there were at least 3 private cars. One for the husband, another for the wife and a third one to take children to school. So what was the logic of banning matatus from the CBD? It was better to ban private vehicles. He added that the government should realize that matatus served the majority whom they should take care of.

That simple logic awed me.

Now my question is simple. Will ODM’s enmtry into government change the way government does things? Will ODM succeed where ODM-K failed because I do not hear Kalonzo Musyoka talking about a 24 hour economy and the creation of jobs for ordinary Kenyans. If he fears getting fired, why doesn’t he just voice his ideas and incase he is fired he will be extremely popular with Kenyans.

My apologies for publishing such a naïve thought in this respectable blog. The truth is that the political class would care less if there are no jobs created this year. Their main concern is themselves and their plans.

Yet the success of Safaricom sends forth a very loud and clear loud message. The message is that Kenya has a huge active hardworking population that can be exploited for the benefit of the country. If we can change our economic think for one minute and emulate the good things in countries like China, a double digit growth of the Kenyan economy is very feasible and not the 7 per cent growth on paper that has shed hundreds of thousands of jobs and caused so much misery that it was no surprise that economic growth fell flat on it’s face as a campaign tool in the December 2007 elections. Just as we predicted in this blog.

Sadly the extremely old and ancient thinking in our government will never see the huge well-educated labour force that is unequalled in Africa as an asset. Even when the huge sum of remittances from Kenyans abroad remains the number one foreign exchange earner. They still can’t see. By the way with tourism dead now, forex from Kenyans in the diasporas is the undisputed number one forex earner without a single close competitor.

P.S. Introducing a 20 bob scratch card may look like a simple thing to do but Safaricom have had to make many modifications to their high security scratch cards for a number of years to reach that place where 20 bob cards would be viable. And that is no mean feat. Secondly without the huge and wide distribution network Safaricom currently has and enough numbers such a small denomination card can easily turn out to be more of a headache than an innovation for higher profits.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Who Is Being Backed By The Americans Now?

You Will Never Guess… But They’ve Got It Wrong Yet Again…

There is great anxiety amongst many quarters in Kenya at the moment as to whom the Americans may be backing for the presidency after their Mwai Kibaki honeymoon ended rather unceremoniously with unprecedented blood-letting in Kenya.

If truth be told the Americans contributed a great deal in provoking the post election violence in Kenya by failing to read the mood on the ground and blindly assisting Mwai Kibaki to steal an election in such an obvious manner. It is on record that the World Bank continued to do business with the corrupt Kibaki government days before the elections and their point man, World Bank country director Colin Bruce not only boasted that he knew who would win the presidency, but he even put his sentiments in writing (remember the leaked memos?). This is behind a backdrop where polls showed a close race and one that favoured ODM’s Raila Odinga. The truth on the ground was that at no time was the presidential race in Kenya last December, close. Actually Raila had a very convincing win, bordering on a landslide as even the flawed results showed because he won 6 out of the 8 provinces very decisively indeed. But all that is now water under the bridge.

Any keen observer in International politics will quickly tell you that American foreign policy has really never succeeded anywhere. From Iraq to the mess they have created in neighboring Somalia by orchestrating the removal of a stable Islamic courts government when they had nothing feasible to replace it with. Power abhors a vacuum as any high school history student will tell you.

And the list of American failures in Africa goes on and on.

But nowhere is the consistent and spectacular failure of the Americans’ foreign policy more fascinating than it has been in Kenya.

They started off backing a brilliant young politician called Tom Mboya. Mboya had such influence at one point that it is said that he was easily able to access President John F. Kennedy any time he wanted. The shrewd Mboya on his part milked his relationship with the Yankies to the limit. For instance the famous airlifts to the US enabled hundreds of Kenyans to study in American universities. One of the famous beneficiaries of this is current Internal security minister Prof. George Saitoti.

To date theAmericans have never gotten a better bet than what they had in Mboya. All they had to do was to be just a little careful and lie low and wait and voila, they would have seen their man safely inside State House.

But alas, they still managed to botch the whole thing and made numerous mistakes and many analysts including Kumekucha believe that had TJ gotten his backing from the Brits instead, he would still be alive today and Kenya would be a totally different country.

The mistakes Uncle Sam made with Mboya are the very same mistakes he’s still making to date. The American’s arrogance and superiority complex does not give them the patience to study the situation on the ground more closely and think things through. Or better still, to seek opinions from those who may know. They also seem to have this belief that anybody who can’t string together a few good sentences in English is not intelligent and that persons who can speak the damn language with an American accent are extremely intelligent. This unintelligent approach led to one Daniel arap Moi running circles around the Americans for 24 long years. But I will come to that in a moment.

The Americans failed to correctly analyze the political developments in Kenya where despite Mboya’s immense intelligence, he was making enemies too fast as the young Kenyan nation hurtled towards independence. They totally ignored the less than fluent Jaramogi Oginga Odinga (father to Raila) who proceeded to casually lock Mboya out of the presidency by insisting that Jomo Kenyata be released before independence. The Colonial government at first flatly refused, but later reluctantly accepted. That was the end of Mboya because he could not dare oppose Kenyatta’s release or his ascension to the presidency because it would have meant him losing his Nairobi constituency for good. Most of those who enthusiastically voted for him every time were Kikuyu (Kenyatta’s tribe). Later the Americans failed to see that Mboya’s assassination was bound to happen. Even after a failed first attempt on the Economic Development Minister and Kanu Secretary general where a policeman fired into his empty Mercedes Benz, they failed to take the necessary precautions.

When President Kenyatta died rather suddenly and unexpectedly in August 1978, the Americans like everybody else were taken by surprise. Still they could not hide their delight. They were sure that this time they would get their man in the seat of power because the two front runners to succeed Kenyatta, according to them were both “friends of America.” Mbiyu Koinange was the front runner according to the American state department and second in line was the late president’s nephew, a Stanford educated medical doctor turned politician called Njoroge Mungai. Indeed the influential Time magazine published an article where they echoed these sentiments. The Americans completely ignored the Kenyan constitution and the man who had been running the government of Kenya for years, one Chrales Mugane Njonjo. Meanwhile the Brits had already done their homework and moved in quickly to reassure a frightened and overwhelmed Moi that with their backing he would not need to fear the Kikuyu so much.

What followed was a 24 year Tom and Jerry (I love that classic cartoon) battle between the mighty Americans (Tom the cat in this case) and the humble former herds boy who never saw the inside if a high school, called Daniel arap Moi (Jerry). At the height of the battle, millions were poured into the campaign of one Charity Ngilu with the American hoping to replicate what they had helped happen in the Philippines with Mrs Corazon Aquino, where she swept into the presidency. It failed badly and Ngilu could onmlyu manage a distant fifth position behind the winner Moi, Kibaki, Raila, and Wamalwa Kijana. Moi outsmarted the Americans every inch of the way.

In exhaustion and completely sure that Moi was invincible, the Americans threw in their lot with Moi’s project, Uhuru Kenyatta in 2002. This time they must have been double sure that ythings would go their way. Yet again they failed to read the mood of the Kenyan voters and their determination for change in Kenya.

Now after their failed honeymoon with Kibaki the Americans are said to be supporting Raila Odinga to succeed President Kibaki. Surprise, surprise, yet again they are ignoring the very fluid political situation in the country at the moment. Acvtually klenyan politics has never been as slippery and unpredictable as it is currently. NEVER.

The truth is that even as you read this there is a possible storm brewing within ODM which could easily come to the surface after the announcement of the grand coalition cabinet within the next 10 days or so. There are those ODM supporters who while supporting the grand coalition are not happy about Raila warming up to President Kibaki too much. Some are nervous that it may be a PNU plot to isolate and then divide ODM pentagon members in preparation for moves in future that would be aimed at completely scuttling the unity of the most popular political party in the country.

Then there is the fact that Kenyans seem be increasingly gravitating to a new generation of leadership that is more sensitive and in touch with the needs and aspirations of the people. Indeed the odd silence of the British in this matter should be a clear signal that the Americans may be yet again backing the wrong horse.

Other quarters would put it thus; whatever horse the Americans back, no matter how good their chances of winning, suddenly end up being jinxed out of the race. So based on this past record, the same might just happened to Raila. Only time will tell but if Raila does succeed President Kibaki, it will be the Yankies first success ever in Kenya.

P.S. Just as I was posting this article I received news that a group of Kalenjin MPs within ODM came out today to demand the equal sharing out of the ODM cabinet posts between the Kalenjin on one side and the rest of the communities on the other.

P.S. 2: Kumekucha is in total support of reducing the term of office for the President, Parliament and civic seats to 4 years and a maximum of two terms ONLY in office. So even if somebody rigs themselves in as is the habit, they can only impose themselves on us for a maximum of 8 years. Some MPs have been in parliament so long that they believe the seat is their birthright. Just ask Americans what they would have done if President George W. Bush had been in office for two terms of 5 years each…


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