Author Archives: moderatekenyan

Giniwase-chaos?

Sunday, the third of November was the day which had failed to come for many a season. Eighteen seasons if you are keen on counting. To their credit, Gor Mahia players, officials and fans kept the faith, swallowed the heartache and kept believing.

Finally, in 2013, they could say, actually with a couple of games to spare, Giniwasekao (this thing we have taken it) and Ginimarwa (this thing is ours).

Given that the team styles itself as Sirikal (the government), the trophy presentation ceremony was dubbed a state function with a promise of a spectacle worth remembering. There were rumours of suits being measured, limos being hired and conflicting reports as to who between Raila Odinga and President Uhuru would present the trophy.  It was a moment of history in Kenyan football.

I got to town at 1400HRS and Tom Mboya Street was engulfed in a carnival atmosphere. Green and white was everywhere. Fans actually got suits! White with a trim of green or green with a white shirt was the preferred style. Ladies were also not left out with some donning green figure hugging dresses while others went for green and white kikoys.

Unfortunately, what would have been a delight to marvel in was ruined by the sense of entitlement exhibited by some of the the fans. Both vehicular and human traffic was at their mercy as they wailed, chanted and hogged the street. One fan shouted, “Make way for Sirikal and if you have a problem, go to your house.”

By a stroke of luck I got to the road leading to Kasarani just as the convoy of limousines carrying the players made its grand entrance.  It was impressive with the four stretch limos complimented by Mercedes’ and several four-wheel drive cars.

Sadly, what was a great idea was ruined when someone decided to allow the limos onto the stadium track for a celebratory lap of honour. Never mind that there was an ongoing KPL match.  The fans went berserk and stormed the stadium. This lead to numerous injured fans, a damaged ambulance and it was awhile before sanity was restored.

The arrival of Raila Odinga made the fans go wild as did the stadium walk-around by the K’ogalo players who were dressed in suits.

The choice of music was Ohangla and it blared from the mega speakers positioned around the stadium with fans dancing and singing along. Kenyan and American flags blew in the wind as a whiff and at times a cloud of marijuana smoke wafted around the stadium. Flares were lit and the noise levels were phenomenal.

Words fail to do justice to the atmosphere inside Kasarani. Personally have never seen anything like it and I felt as though this was more than just a trophy celebration.

Several images stood out for me:

There was a feeling of defiance and achievement with one placard capturing this by simply declaring: “This is a victory which you cannot steal from us.”

Gor Mahia fans are no slouches in the dressing department but the fan who took the cake was clad in white underwear, long socks and green sports shoes. All through the match he danced – perhaps to keep warm as a light drizzle and a chill engulfed the stadium – while clutching a portrait of prolific striker Dan Sserunkuma. At the end of the match, the fan, still in his underwear went into the middle of the pitch and presented a very surprised Sserunkuma with the portrait.

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As the Gor players did their lap on honour in the stadium, impeccably dressed in lime green suits, white shirts, dark green ties and black shoes, I spied among them Rama Salim looking lost and forlorn in jeans, tshirt and sneakers. For context, Rama played for Gor in the first leg of the season and he and Sserunkuma had a brilliant partnership. To everyone’s surprise and the club’s dismay, he ditched Gor for Arab money, signing up to an obscure team in the Gulf. Watching him, I wondered whether he regretted his decision.

After a thunderous rendition of the Gor Mahia anthem, the match kicked off. K’ogalo players were clearly overawed by the occasion. Or maybe for them it was just a formality before the trophy was presented. Either way, KCB played delightful one-touch football and took a two nil lead into the break.

On the stands the party continued albeit in a muted tone. The fans were getting restless since KCB were hell-bent on spoiling their party. The entry into the stadium of roughly thirty anti-riot police led to ugly scenes. Apart from horrid verbal abuse, the fans threw plastic water and soda bottles, broken seats, beer cans and even poured water on the cops who exited and stood at the entrance of several gates. It was a shocking display of anti-authority.

Just a few minutes to seven in the evening, the referee blew the whistle and the K’ogalo fraternity was put out of its misery. Despite the two nil loss to KCB, the Okombe (trophy) was Gor’s.

The trophy presentation which was the point of the point of the afternoon was nothing to write home about. The Kenyan Premier League management did make a gallant attempt to put on a show like normally seen abroad. Confetti, fireworks, a winner’s podium, the works but it all seemed rushed and somehow not authentic.

Unfortunately, no sooner had Jerim Onyango lifted the trophy aloft and even before the rest of the Gor Mahia had a chance to hold the hard fought for trophy; shots of teargass rent the air. This was because thousands of fans were invading the pitch overwhelming the thirty or so anti-riot police. Alas, there was to be no orderly celebration.

That for me was my cue to leave.

As I walked out of the stadium in the dark, with thousands of fans making deafening noise around me, I reflected on the afternoon.

There had been glimpses of excellence and even moments of heart-warming expression. However, these were drowned out by excesses of unprofessionalism and hooliganism. Sadly, a fitting metaphor for what is the state of Kenyan football. I also thought of what could be a booming professional football industry in Kenya as opposed to the infrequent current sparks in the dark.

One day, it will happen, I told myself, one day, and hopefully, it would not take 18 years. However, getting to town at around 2100HRS and seeing the mayhem being caused by a section of Gor fans around the Tom Mboya monument, I was not so sure.

There you have it. K’ogalo, the Kenya Premier League Champions 2013. K’Ogalo, the team which is never far from chaos and mayhem.

Good and Bad.

Wonder what comes to the mind of Kenyans when they think K’Ogalo?

GOD BLESS KENYA!

(Images courtesy of Google)


Gagged

The passage by a handful of MPs of the Kenya Information & Communication Amendment Bill 2013 has caused shock waves in the country.

For Kenyans old enough to remember, this feels like the start of a return to the dark days of dictatorship when KANU was baba na mama. For the younger ‘digital’ generation who have no recollection of Kenya Broadcasting Corporation ruling the airwaves and bulletins riddled with Mtukufu Rais, the hullabaloo may seem to be overkill or even a timely blow to the unfashionable traditional media.

As for the Kenyan media for whom the bill has direct impact, shock is an understatement. Just the other day, tea and a photo-op at Statehouse was the hottest ticket in town. Now the members of the Fourth Estate are learning, if you jump into bed with someone, do not be surprised if they screw you.

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Before jumping in on the debate which was unfolding on my social media space I took time to read up on the laws, bills and amendments in question.

There is the Kenya Information & Communication Act of 1998 which is subject to the 2013 amendment Bill which sailed through parliament and now awaits Presidential assent. Then there is the Media Council Bill 2013 which in MY reading repeals part/all of the Media Act 2007.

Both the KIC Amendment 2013 and Media Council Bill are being pushed by Aden Dualle, Leader of Majority in Parliament and also Hawk-Extraordinaire for Jubilee. I am unsure whether he is fronting the bills in his individual capacity or as the government head in parliament.

As a matter of full disclosure, I am a journalist or is it broadcaster or is it media practitioner? It depends on which of definition of the diverse media laws you read. But more importantly, I am a Kenyan worried about the slippery slope the country has embarked on. Echoes of China or Uganda anyone?

Let us start with the Kenya Information & Communication (KIC) Amendment Bill 2013:

The Communication Commission of Kenya (CCK) is to be replaced with the Communication Authority of Kenya (CAK).

According to Section 6A, the board of the CAK shall comprise of a Chair who will be appointed by the President, Principal Secretaries of Information, Interior, National Budget and 7 persons appointed by the Cabinet Secretary of Information.

According to Section 6E, the CAK Board will establish a Broadcasting Standards Committee. This committee will administer broadcasting content, formulate media standards and regulate and monitor compliance.

Section 34 of KIC Amendment Bill 2013 seeks to amend Section 102 of the 1998 Act. This is the part dealing with the Appeals Tribunal. In 1998 Act, the tribunal was made up of a chair who is an advocate of the High Court of Kenya, 2 people chosen by the Minister for Communication and 2 people forwarded by Media Council of Kenya. In the 2013 Amendment, the tribunal is to be made up of a Chair who is a Judge appointed by JSC and 4 people chosen by the Cabinet Secretary of Information.  Quorum is 3 = Chairman + 2 members.

Surprise addition to this part is the punitive fines to media houses and threat of fines and deregistration to individual journalists. (This was not on the amendment put forward so my take is this was an on the floor of parliament addition.)

The Appeals Tribunal part of the KIC Amendment 2013 Bill is what has caused major furore. Mega fines with threat of accounts getting attached is sure to get tongues wagging. But in my (very layman) opinion I think this KIC Amendment 2013 Bill in totality is in bad faith.

The entire board of the CAK which has sweeping powers is made up entirely of government functionaries. How can they be fair?

The Broadcasting Standards Committee will be established by the CAK. Its function of to administer content, formulate standards, regulate and monitor compliance has a terrible ring to it. Does this not sound like some Communist country in the 1980s not Kenya in 2013? This to me is even worse than the Appeals Tribunal.

Then there is the threat of suspension and de-registration of journalists. Is there/was there a registration of journalists conducted? And just to ensure absolute supplication, there is the threat of individual fines up to the tune of one million which may lead to journalist accounts getting attached.

This the bill in front of the President.

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Let us now check out the Media Council Bill 2013:

It is quite a long bill which for large parts addresses itself to the nitty-gritty’s of the running of the Media Council. However, it still finds space to address journalists and journalism.

The first thing I did in this Bill was to re-read the Code of Conduct for Journalists which is in the Second Schedule. By and large have no problem with the code. Methinks, it should be required reading for all with an interest in media.

My reading of Section 8-11 is that for all intents and purpose appointment to the 7 member Media Council is in the hands of the Cabinet Secretary of Information.  Does this then not make the Council a government puppet?

According to Section 45(a) the Cabinet Secretary of Information may from time to time amend the Code of Conduct for Journalists. Imagine that?

Section 28 talks of the council setting up a Complaints Commission whose functions are in Section 32.

Perhaps lawyers can illuminate this. How does Section 34 of Appeals Tribunal in the Kenya Information & Communication Amendment Bill 2013 relate/co-exist with Section 32 of the Media Council Bill 2013?

This Bill is still snaking its way through Parliament.

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In conclusion:

Let me remind everyone that freedom of the media is enshrined in the constitution under Article 34. I also understand that no freedom is absolute. Actually, regulation of the media is a constitutional requirement under Article 34 (5c).

However, I totally dispute that government through the Cabinet Secretary of Information and his lackeys can be trusted to be 100% decider of what the media can or cannot broadcast.  That is wrong on so many levels and I shudder to imagine that the Jubilee government is seeking to return us to the dark old days.

The two bills as presently constituted are wrong both in the letter and spirit of the law. Will President Uhuru Kenyatta stand on the right or wrong side of this debate? Let’s wait and see.

GOD BLESS KENYA.

(all images are courtesy of Google)


Proudly Kenyan!

I love sports. This past weekend was a brilliant sporting weekend for Kenyan national teams in various categories. I take this opportunity to salute the sportsmen and sportswomen for flying our flag high.

180111081502--Kenya Flag

In athletics, the Kenya team to the World Cross Country Championship battled muddy and icy conditions to register wins. I pay tribute to the entire tem and pay special tribute to Japeth Korir who bagged the elusive gold in the 12km senior men’s race. The 19-year old joins a prestigious club of John Ngugi, Paul Teregat, Joseph Ebuya and Kenenisa Bekele. Not a small feat. Hongera!

Japheth Korir

Japheth Korir – Winner 12km Men’s race

In rugby, the Kenya sevens team was at the Hong Kong Sevens. They emerged fourth in this leg and are placed fifth in the IRB world standings. While I pay tribute to the entire team I wish to pick out two players who stood out for me; Willy ‘Lomu’ Ambaka whose receiving of the ball from kickoffs and amazing runs are a sight to behold and Biko Adema who had an almost 100% conversion record. These are a bunch of armatures who juggle work, school and other commitments in addition to rugby but are mashing it up with the best in the world in their field. They embody the never-say-die-in-your-face Kenyan spirit.  For the joy and occasional heartache that their performance delivers consistently as they journey around the world, I say asante!

Biko Adema

Biko Adema

In football, Harambee Stars traveled to Nigeria and secured a draw against the defending African champions. This was after they were accorded shoddy treatment by their hosts. It is worth noting that the Stars were leading from the 35th minute and the Nigerians equalized in the 94th minute with the match ending in the 95th minute. Apart from the shock result, there is the fact that the boys played attractive football; they showed self-belief and the free-kick that delivered the goal was sublime. I pay tribute to the entire Harambee Stars team and pay special tribute to my man-of-the-match Francis Kahata who had the match of his life.  Great job Harambee Stars, keep it up!

Francis Kahata

Francis Kahata

These men and women are true Kenyan heroes. They give their blood, sweat and tears for the sake of our country and they deserve respect, recognition, and accolades! They also give us priceless joy, pride and bring us together like nothing else does. I salute them. I am proudly Kenyan!

GOD BLESS KENYA!

***All images are courtesy of Google***


I am at ease…

Chinua Achebe has gone to meet his Maker.

As is wont nowadays the news started as an online unconfirmed story before his family confirmed the worst. I got the confirmation via a BBC World Service news bulletin.

There is a point to my rambling. There was a time when BBC was the authority of news in Africa. During those days autocratic authorities practiced censorship. Now online social media is the first to break news. Time certainly do change. Also Achebe worked for radio in Nigeria and he also had a relationship with BBC.

So the dots do connect. You just have to know where and when to look.

Chinua Achebe

Chinua Achebe

I have read all of Achebe’s books and his style of weaving the old and new is breathtaking. I have visited Nigeria from the comfort of my house. I have come to learn of Nigerian traditions and culture via Achebe’s books. As a history buff Achebe helped open a window into how life was before and after the coming of the whiteman. I have enjoyed countless hours immersed in an Achebe books. For all these I say thank you.  Also I have grown as a writer due to my reading and thus by extension I owe Chinua Achebe a thank you for the inspiration.

As an aside, over and above mourning his death I also mourn that I will now never have a chance to meet him. I have been blessed to meet Wole Soyinka and Chimamanda Adichie and early this year I spoke of how a brilliant hatrick it would be to meet Chinua Achebe. Sadly that now will never be.

If I had had a chance to meet him I would have asked him about his simplicity in his writing which is something every writer aspires to and which Achebe seemed to achieve effortlessly. I also would have love to chat him about his passion for Nigeria as I am passionate about Kenya and I seek to write to make Kenya better.

Chinua Achebe’s life was a life well lived. He was a storyteller extraordinaire and he will live forever in the memories of all of us who savoured his work and that is why although I mourn I am at ease.

Fare thee well.

‘There is that great proverb—that until the lions have their own historians, the history of the hunt will always glorify the hunter… Once I realized that, I had to be a writer.’

– Chinua Achebe

‘I was conscripted by the story, and I was writing it at all times – whenever there was any opening. It felt like a sentence, an imprisonment of creativity.’

– Chinua Achebe

‘It is only the story…that saves our progeny from blundering like blind beggars into the spikes of the cactus fence. The story is our escort; without it,we are blind. Does the blind man own his escort? No,neither do we the story; rather, it is the story that owns us.’

– Chinua Achebe

PS: Every African needs to read The Trouble with Nigeria by Chinua Achebe.

GOD BLESS KENYA!

***Image courtesy of Google***


Kenya First!

If you take anything from this post let it be: Kenya FIRST! Kenya is BIGGER!

I am quite astute on matters politics. The trends, the nuances, the undercurrents and more importantly the bigger picture. It was thus to be expected that this blog would be overflowing with the politics of the day in this election period. This has not been the case.

The reason is simple. I disengaged emotionally from political commentary and discussion over a month ago when I realized that logical thought has flown out the window. And that folk who should know better, folk who are young, urban, brainy had become so tribal and fanatical of the so-called front-runners. Candidates who honestly are nothing to write home about have suddenly became messiahs with their fanatical, very decided voters willing to lay down their lives for them.

It is scary. It is shocking. It is numbing. I have no mouth with which to express my emotion of this. A related phenomena is the rise and rise of social media. Unfortunately this rise has not had a correlation rise in intelligence and individual thinking. This however is a story for another day.

I may be disengaged from the political nonsense Kenyans have been subjected to but I am a registered voter. This brings me to the second point of this post.

My preferred candidate will most likely not win. I will still vote for said candidate. My conscience will not allow me to vote any other way.

Moving on, I have been praying a lot for Kenya. My prayers were two-pronged: Peace and Good leadership. However from how the race is shaping up, it appears that sadly good leadership will not visit Kenya in 2013.  It is said that a people get the leadership they deserve. As Kenyans we need to ask ourselves what we did wrong to deserve the leadership we are most likely to get.

So for now, I pray for peaceful elections. I also pray that we get a first round winner because this country cannot afford (money-wise and emotional-energy-wise) a run-off.

Despite the front-runners not being my cup of tea, I shall respect the wishes of the majority and accept whoever wins as the President of Kenya. That is democracy and also because Kenya is BIGGER.

Which leads me to my final pitch, Fellow Kenyans, as you go out to vote on Monday, no matter who you will be voting for, please put Kenya first because Kenya is BIGGER!

GOD BLESS KENYA!

PS: I am no longer an undecided voter :). Today I sat and figured out exactly who i am voting for in every position. Political party did not matter to me. I looked at a candidate’s past track record and ability to do the job based on the job description as prescribed in the constitution.


Kwa maoni yangu…

Kenya yesterday held a historic televised presidential debate. I watched it at very packed K1 which is a popular restaurant in Nairobi. The debate lasted close to four hours and these were my thoughts as I watched in 140-character sized capsules.

 

NB: PK –Peter Kenneth. RAO – Raila Amollo Odinga. UK – Uhuru Kenyatta. MaDvd – Musalia Mudavadi.

We love our politics. Streets full of Kenyans rushing home to catch the debate.

At a very packed K1. The Kenyans I have spoken to have articulated issues they want addressed. Now we wait to watch history.

Loud cheers for PK, Martha, Uhuru and RAO.

Noone stood for the anthem at K1. Shows of patriotism don’t sit well with Kenyans?

Martha has mob mafans here. PK too. They are the ones getting cheered most so far.

Raila strikes first low blow. Mutahi Ngunyi tribal numbers get a mention. And director pans to UK.

Cheers for PK & Martha in Tribalism question. Felt UK also acquitted himself well.

First jeers and boos of the night at K1 go to Raila over his answer to 41 v 1 question.

After the Raila and Uhuru interlude of denials of tribalism a guy screams ‘Ati now you are brothers?’ to much laughter.

Second low blow of the night goes to Dida with his irony jab to most of the guys on the dais.

ICC issue getting guys excited now at K1. Guys jeering and cheering per which side of ICC-suspects issue you are.

‘I’m an ICC-suspect. That’s a personal problem I have. Pick me anyway.’ Says Uhuru. Choice and consequences in black and white.

‘It would be a challenge to run govt from the Hague via skype.’ Third low blow is by Raila.

Muite tears into Raila and Kibaki. ‘Both principals should be standing trial at the Hague’.

ICC question: Raila gets battered. Peter Kenneth, Mudavadi fence-sit. Muite takes no hostages. Uhuru&Martha express stands very well.

Very very impressed by Linus Kaikai. He brought his A-game tonight. Solid moderating thus far.

Personally impressed&intrigued by Dida. He’s funny and has got a different way of thinking. I’ll google him.

Dida apewe kile atakunywa. Because the quips and brains. Haha.

At start someone asked ‘Why is Migingo an issue?’. After Muite ‘I’ll send Navy’ guys cheer and clap. Tough president needed?

Julie appears to says 1.5hrs to go and someone screams, ‘Haiya? Its not over?’

Halftime: Martha has aced most ques. PK&Madvd share a fence. RAO&UK have taken a beating. Dida&Muite are wild cards. Ki-what?

Noone has answered Mr. Godana. Candidates just blabbing now. Sinaubaya but can Kaikai return?

2hours in. Guys have started leaving K1. Maybe #KEDebate13 should not have had the second segment. Attention lost now.

Wa. I can’t keep up with what question is being answered. This is like Press Conference KBC. Julie unatuangusha joo!

This is now :-(. Julie you have singlehandedly managed to kill off #KEDebate13. Amazing.

Dida asks the public schools question. Julie hijacks it and kills it! Wtf? Oh boy.

My take: Kiyapi didn’t connect with me. Dida made me laugh a lot. Muite has toughness and grasp of the law. Madvd was invisible and colourless.

My take: RAO took quite a beating. UK was eloquent, angry and defensive. PK fence-sat, was mechanical and unappealing. Martha really brought her A-game and shone throughout the debate!

My take: Linus Kaikai has cemented his stature as great moderator. Julie Gichuru has gotten terribly exposed on big stage.

Admit I was skeptical of #KEDebate13. Now methinks it’s a step in right direction. A seed planted for Kenya’s future.

Talked to various Kenyans after debate. Debate was a hit. Yes, some tribal mindsets are constant but a shift may just have started.

Hats off to the production team that was behind the #KEDebate13. Almost 4hrs of live going flawless is big. Kudos.

Hats off to Kenyan media for organizing the debate.

End of my two-cents.

So what did YOU think of the debate? Who do YOU reckon won it? Did it change YOUR mind?

GOD BLESS KENYA!


Word on the street…

(Guys in a house watching football, listening to music, having a beer and basically chilling.)

Guy A: Who will you vote for?

Guy B: (Proudly) Peter Kenneth. My conscience cannot let me vote for these other fools.

Guy A: Okay. After you and your conscience have wasted your vote and forced Kenya into an expensive run-off who will you vote for?

Guy B: Wa! Between worse and worst I guess I will pick worse so I will reluctantly vote Cord. I do not want to live under sanctions. Just look at Zimbabwe or Sudan.

Guy C: I was also going to vote for Martha or Peter Kenneth but after the alliances formed I realized it will be a close two-horse race. So I changed my mind! I am not going to waste my vote. I will vote for Cord. Not that Cord are that great.

Guy D: I will vote for Jubilee. Kenya and Kenyans do not need half-shocks like PEV 2007/8. Kenya needs major shock to happen so that it can rebuild once and for all. These half-measures mean Kenya never grows. Look at Rwanda? It totally broke apart then now it is doing well. Let us break apart totally and then rebuild. Also I can’t vote for Raila after his 41 tribes versus 1 tribe mantra in the last elections.

Guy C: So it is basically about tribe?

Guy D: Off course it is about tribe! This is Kenya. How would you feel if your community is targeted and singled out through no fault of your own? Even you are in Cord because your guy got running mate.

Guy B: See? This is why I am voting Peter Kenneth. To end this tribalism nonsense.

Guy C: To bad Kenneth has no chance in hell of winning. So you are wasting your vote. And these wasted votes will force us into a run-off. Do you think Kenya is politically mature enough and rich enough to go through a run-off? Or will a close election result in chaos?

Guy A: And to be honest, Kenneth appears to me to be an Obama in 2008. He looks good, can be branded well and he can speak well. But when push comes to shove he is short on concrete and long on fluff.

Guy D: So you who will you vote for?

Guy A: No one! I do not have a voter’s card. And looking at the options available and after listening to all your reasons for voting, I can’t say I am missing out on anything. Whoever wins it seems we are screwed and the question the election is settling is just how screwed we are!

Ends…

The above conversation played out in my presence over the holidays.

The guys chatting are all young, urbane and educated with exposure to internet, media and world affairs.

It is amazing that all these attributes seem to have had no impact on their decision on who to vote for. No one mentioned issues or track record. It basically comes down to tribe and political history of aspirant.

It is a sad indictment of the level of our politics/democracy after 50 years of independence.

With two months to what promises to be bruising and very competitive elections, it is also worrying and scary.

Pray for Kenya.

GOD BLESS KENYA!


Dinner is served!

Jumbled thoughts. Long post. Bear with me.

Let us start with the basics. I am a registered voter. Yes, finally! It took me only three minutes and I was done. Unsure whether I will vote though but as my pal told me, why deny my future the opportunity?

elections-ahead-sign-600x400

*image courtesy of Google*

I was out and about and managed to get snapshots of word on the street:

When getting my weekly haircut I listened in on very interesting conversations at the barbershop. Folk are planning on voting for CORD so as to ensure that Jubilee has no chance of winning the presidency. Their reckoning is that Jubilee is BAD for Kenya and voters should do all they can to ensure that it does not get to State House. Martha Karua is not liked while Peter Kenneth is liked but seen as a future president.

Left the barbershop and went to the kibanda. They have amazing Ugali Matumbo! Again listened in on conversations. The electoral process has disillusioned young people who also believe elections are rigged always and winners are pre-arranged for voters to rubber-stamp. Thus there is no point of voting.

The alliances make one dizzy. Lemme try drawing the picture:

CORD is the alliance for Raila-Kalonzo-Wetangula and motley of other hangers-on who also include ex-Mungiki leader Maina Njenga. Its been fronted as the coalition of reforms and democracy. The irony in this statement is tragi-comic

Jubilee is the alliance for Uhuru-Ruto-Mudavadi and other hangers-on like Ngilu and Balala. It originally was Uhuru-Ruto but somehow they have roped in Musalia and attracted the hangers-on. It’s the coalition of the accused and their back-up plan.

Pambazuko is an alliance of has-beens, never-beens and unknowns. It brings together Eugene Wamalwa, Cyrus Jirongo, Nicholas Biwott. How the three found themselves together is baffling.

Kenneth-Tuju are in an alliance which to the best of my knowledge does not have a name. They are selling themselves as the face of new Kenya. Whether their gentleman mien and American-style of politics will resonate in Kenya is a matter of conjecture.

Surprisingly even Kingwa Kamencu, her of tears and no underwear also has a coalition with several other parties.

Martha Karua is a lone ranger as is James Ole Kiyapi.

Courtesy | Google

Courtesy | Google

This is the political landscape roughly 12 weeks to the general election.

Kenyan politics makes one disgusted. Little wonder voter apathy is so high. But it is what it is.

Lemme try dissecting the alliances and candidates.

Kingwa Kamencu’s alliance, I have nothing to say. James ole Kiyapi is a non-entity for me. All I know is he is an ex-civil servant who is running for president most likely to put it on his CV and tick something off his bucket list. Pambazuko alliance is a group of people trying to position themselves to pick up the crumbs from the high table where Kenya is been shared.

Martha Karua has fizzled out. She was once the candidate for the chattering classes on the social media but after Peter Kenneth launched his bid she got eclipsed. My feeling on her is she has not connected with people. You vote for someone you like. Martha Karua does not inspire liking. I can hear her logic but I do not relate to her. Her campaign team has tried really hard to work on this but it has not worked.

She is also too stubborn to work with anyone so most likely she will end up on the ballot on principle but even in her heart of hearts she knows winning is a reach too far.

Kenneth-Tuju is the non-tribal and development-focused ticket. They have captured the imagination of the young and a lot of those on social media. I keep hearing the statement, “I will vote for Kenneth even if I know he will not win”. They however have not managed to transform their appeal to tangible support. I have a problem with their communication teams who I feel are sleeping on the job. Also the fact that Peter Kenneth was willing to jump into bed with the Mudavadi, Jirongo and Gideon Moi has rubbed off some of his innocence even though he bailed on them at the last minute.

They are the face of Kenyan politics of the future.

That Uhuru, notwithstanding his status as an ICC suspect and the fact that Kenya is coming from a Kikuyu presidency has managed to make Jubilee a strong force in the elections is a statement about our politics. Make no mistake. Jubilee is Uhuru and Uhuru is Jubilee. Ruto is a commoner who has by association managed to eat with the Kings. Musalia is a son of a former Minister who appears to me to be a puppet of the powers that be who is been fronted by ALL means and been forced down our throats via all means to succeed Kibaki.

Jubilee coalition is very fragile and all its members do not trust each other. How they will remain together until elections is beyond my comprehension.

CORD is a coalition of the unlikely. It is also five years late. If Raila and Kalonzo had stuck together five years ago, they would have won with a landslide. They did not. And Kenya was plunged to post-election violence. Also if you had told someone a month ago Raila and Kalonzo would be a joint ticket they would have thought you are mad.

They are now together and the actions coupled with the presumed implications of the Jubilee ticket are pushing many towards this CORD ticket if only to frustrate Jubilee.

Ladies and gentlemen, that is the menu. What will you have for dinner?

PS: The two-horse race is bound to be bloody with the stakes so high. Uhuru v Raila is CORD V Jubilee is personal, family, tribal and generational scores getting settled. The fight has been on-going since the 1960s and this elections may be the climax.  Pray for Kenya.

GOD BLESS KENYA!


Kenya Daima…

These words of William Butler Yeats in his poem The Second Coming keep playing in  my head:

    Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

My country is no longer at ease.

Before I wrap my head around what is going on I would like to:

Pay tribute to all the members of the security forces who have lost their lives in the recent days while in the line of duty.

Pay tribute to all Kenyans who have lost their lives due to the recent spate of violence.

Request you to spare a minute every day to say a prayer for our beloved country Kenya.

GOD BLESS KENYA!


Undecided…

During the US elections I often wondered how given all the media coverage and adverts available any voter would be undecided on whether to vote for Obama or Romney.

It is therefore funny that with three months to the Kenya elections I find myself being an undecided voter.

Do not get me wrong, I am decided on who I will NOT vote for. The indecision is on who I WILL vote for.

Courtesy | Google

I am tired of crap. 50 years of nonsense is enough for Kenya. I believe time is nigh for Kenyans to break away from the yoke of mediocrity.

The launch of Tunawesmake was a breath of fresh air. Issues appeared to have come to the fore-front of Kenya’s body politic. But two weeks later there is no sustained buzz from the Peter Kenneth campaign. Methinks this was a wasted chance to build momentum by his campaign team.

Enough about Peter Kenneth.

Let us talk about the ‘elephant in the room’: Martha Wangari Karua.

For a while, Martha was touted as the ‘change candidate’ for the demographic of Kenyans who are tired of the tribal nonsense and business as usual politics.

However her campaign appears to have lost team and direction. It feels to me that it has fizzled out even before it got started.

And now with the launch of Tunawesmake many of those who were Team Martha are slowly getting seduced by Peter Kenneth. Therein lies the indecision many pro-change voter are faced in. They have to choose between Martha Karua V Peter Kenneth.

This is reminiscent of Obama v Hillary duel in 2008 for the Democratic Party ticket. Hillary lost and had to settle for Secretary of State while she bids her time. She is said to be considering running for the US presidency in 2016.

Martha Karua is no stranger to politics. She has been in politics since 1992. Prior to that she served as a magistrate. She rose up to position of Minister of Constitutional Affairs in President Kibaki’s cabinet where she was referred to as the only man in the cabinet due to her strong-will. Her only blemish is her unequivocal support for President Kibaki during the 2007 election debacle.

Her political pedigree is not in doubt but the question begs, is Kenya ready for a woman president? Or is presidency a bridge to far for Martha? Should she swallow her pride and support Peter Kenneth so as not to split the reform-centred vote?

Kenya is a patriarchal society. This is even more pronounced in the rough and tumble of Kenyan politics. Just look at the hullaballoo over the two third rule. Despite women having the numbers it is highly likely that not enough women MPs will get voted into Bunge thus resulting in a constitutional crisis after the elections. Add to that mix what I call the Baraza-effect; Kenyans been averse to a strong confident women leader following the Baraza alleged nose-pinching incident. The odds are thus heavily stacked against Karua.

Folk have been saying that Kenneth can choose Karua as his running mate. I believe this will be problematic. A ticket that has Peter Kenneth and Martha Karua would be a hard sale due to the fact that both have Kikuyu roots and President Kibaki is Kikuyu. I know it should not matter but Kenya in 2012 is a tribal country and tribe cannot be ignored. Two Kikuyus seeking to succeed another Kikuyu would not go down well with ordinary Kenyans.

Since she has already said goodbye to Gichugu constituents, how about Martha borrows a script from Hillary Clinton? She can throw her weight behind Peter Kenneth and then negotiate for a Cabinet Secretary for Constitutional Affairs. With the new Katiba needing massive implementation, she will have mega visibility and she will be working on something she has labored for over the years –constitutional reforms.

Will she? Would she? I have no idea. That ultimately is Martha Karua’s decision to make.

Decisions, decisions, decisions.

It appears that I am not the only one who has to make decision concerning the upcoming 2013 elections.

Given the state of our country and our politics, the decisions are not black and white. It is about choosing lesser evils, been strategic, sacrificing individual desires for the greater good of many.

The only constant I can see in the midst of the ever changing variables is the love for Kenya.

Everything notwithstanding we all have to put KENYA FIRST!

GOD BLESS KENYA!


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