Tag Archives: Raila

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!


Tunawesmake

Tunawesmake is a crap slogan.

There are no two ways about it. But because it is crap it may work. Any kind of publicity is good. With everyone going on and on about how a bad slogan it is, everyone is talking about it and by extension the candidate which is what the campaign team wants.

Tunawesmake is Peter Kenneth’s campaign slogan. Kenneth has launched his presidential bid on a Kenya National Congress ticket.

In the recent past I have gotten cynical about the mundane nature of Kenyan politics and therefore I have been giving the party and presidential launches a wide berth. However I sat through the Kenneth’s launch and it availed some food for thought.

His speech was impressive. It was sober, issue-based and grounded. When he spoke of the fiscal discipline he will instil in governance it struck a chord, when he talked of his up-bringing in Bahati by a single-mum who struggled to take him to Starehe Boys, I saw someone who knows real Kenyan struggles.

If anything, I pray that the speech heralds a new dawn of issue-based politics in Kenya.

The launch itself felt too pre-planned and airbrushed. One could see echoes of Obama ’08. Also many of the speakers did not move his agenda forward and some performances like Amani’s were painful to watch. While we are it, Big Ted and Jua Kali are really making a fortune out of the political launches without committing to any candidate.

19-year-old Andrew Kenneth’s speech was a bright spot in the launch. It appeared honest and real. He certainly will aid his dad lock down further the female vote. It also heralds a new fad in Kenyan politics were family are part of the package of the candidate.

Peter Kenneth spoke of the iron-discipline instilled by his mum and by Starehe Boys but for him to connect with voters methinks he needs to loosen up.

Politics is about emotions, liking & other non-tangibles. The launch and the Kenneth campaign so far have gone for logic and sense.

Clearly him (and his son) have strong appeal to young urban women voters. He also appeals to urban male voters who tend to be thinking voters.

His campaign team needs to figure out how to sell him to the emotional voters. The ones who vote due to euphoria, tribal reasons or our-man-said-we-vote thus. The kind of voters who have no qualms voting for the likes of Sonko or Waititu. Unfortunately they make the biggest number of voters in Kenya.

Some questions that Peter Kenneth will have to answer are;

His identity – In Central, he is derogatorily referred to as Kamuthungu with Muthungu being Kikuyu for White man. People are already asking what is his ‘Kenyan’ name.

His source of wealth – He was raised in Bahati by a single-mum, his school fees in Starehe was paid for by a well-wisher, how then did he became as rich as he is now?

Is he over-reaching – Gatanga Constituency Development Fund under his patronage has been run well. Many expected him to then run for Governor of Murang’a County. His insistence of being in presidential race raises eyebrows. Is he a plant? Is he just making a point and positioning for 2017?

All in all, his one-party, no alliances, no mention or name-calling of other aspirants and sticking to issues is different from regular Kenya political fodder.

Methinks, Peter Kenneth’s launch will occasion a rethink in strategy by other parties and presidential aspirants.

The ICC ticket of Uhuru and Ruto is court-prone. Its take-off is dependent on the integrity case lodged at the Supreme Court and its success is dependent Kenyans feelings about having a president and running mate entangled in the ICC court process.

Raila’s campaign is currently blunder-prone. He is a far-cry from the invincible candidate of 2007 who inspired mega-support. Cases in point – Why pray did he apologize to the Kalejin community and not to entire country? And exactly what is this mistake he is apologizing for? Also as a self-declared proponent of democracy and reforms how can Raila ask his brother Oburu and his long-time friend Orengo who are competing for the Siaya Senate seat to share out positions? Don’t the electorate have a say?

Martha Karua’s campaign appears to have currently run out of steam and she has fallen off the radar. She also has to contend with what I will call the Baraza-effect. Nancy Baraza’s alleged nose-pinching incident has shown women in authority in a bad light and Martha is unfortunately reaping this.

Musalia Mudavadi and Kalonzo Musyoka are non-starters. They are both KANU orphans who are so used to the Mtukufu Rais phenomena and thus cannot or have never learnt how to walk with their own two feet.

Enter Kenneth! Anawesmake?

I don’t know but it is shaping up to be an intriguing couple of months as we count down to March 4, 2013.

PS:  What if Kenneth and Martha were to set aside their egos and come together as one ticket?

GOD BLESS KENYA!


Unnecessary Noise

DISCLAIMER: This post should NOT be used to attack a community or vernacular music. NOT all vernacular music is bad. NOT all members of any given community are chauvinistic and archaic in their thinking.  Any comments that are even remotely inflammatory will be deleted. Kenya is bigger than all of us!

I listen to Kikuyu music, both secular and gospel. A lot of Kikuyu music is very informative and the beat is quite catchy.

Current song I am jamming to is Agiginyani by Shiru wa GP. An awesome keep-your-head-up gospel song.

My attention has been drawn to an emerging genre of Kikuyu music  that is inflammatory, provocative and in very bad taste. In a country that is yet to heal after the post-election violence, these songs are a harbinger of bad tidings.

I shall not sit back and watch my country burn. This post is blowing the whistle. I do not know the extent of the fire that these songs have caused. What I know is the Demathew, Kamande and Muigai are some of the most popular Kikuyu musicians with mega sales of their VCDs. Thus I shudder to imagine the number of households that are playing these songs.

For the many who cannot hear Kikuyu, I have translated snippets of the songs and in Demathew’s case explained the nuances as he sings in parables. You can ask your Kikuyu friends to translate further.

Uhuru ni Witu (Uhuru is Ours) – Kamande wa Kioi

Translated snippets:

Greetings people of the house of Gikuyu and Mumbi. I bring you a message from all Kikuyu musicians. This is a message from God. Uhuru is the Moses of the Kikuyu nation. He is meant to move Kikuyus from Egypt to Canaan. Do not agree to be divided. Let all votes go to him. He is ours. He is anointed by God, poured oil on.

Raila, there is a call. Go to Mama Ngina’s house, a king has been born there. Once there ask where Uhuru is seated and pour oil on him. Just like Samuel did for David in the Bible. Stop chasing the wind Agwambo, go to Icaweri and anoint Uhuru.

You thump your chest about Hague, is Hague your mother’s? There is a curse from God. Philistines who do not circumcise cannot lead Israel. When Abraham stressed God, he was told to go get cut, even you General of Migingo, your knife is being sharpened.

Listen to the entire song  here.

Hague Bound – Muigai Wa Njoroge and Muhiko

Translated snippets:

Question: If it was you who is being pushed to The Hague what would you do?

Answer: I would call my family and divide up my property and then ask my mother to pray for me.

Question: What if you knew that Hague you are being pushed there by an uncircumcised man who wants to push you there and take over your wife and all your wealth? A man who can do anything to ensure you are in problems.

Answer: There it is better to die. Things for a man are not governed by an uncircumcised man. I would kill him. Its better they increase my charges.

Question: What would you tell your crying supporters as you are being shipped to Hague?

Answer: I would tell them to pray for me and know I am being persecuted for my love of my community.

Question: When you get to Hague how you would ensure the white man does not cheat you?

Answer: I would ask for proceedings to be done in Kikuyu.

Question: When on the dock what would you be thinking of the uncircumcised man who is the source of your predicament?

Answer: I would ask God to forgive him. I would also ask that he gets circumcised so that he matures mentally. I would also ask Kenyans to be very wary of that man.

Listen to entire song here.

Mwaka wa hiti (The year of the hyena) – Demathew

Translated and explained snippets:

As Demathew I prophesize and let the stones hear me if men wont.

It is now the year of the hyena. Who will teach you and your ears are blocked?

When a man is seated he sees further than a boy on top of a tree.

You are like a greedy hyena seeing a man walk and following him hoping that his arm will drop off. You follow him till he boards the train and the arm does not drop and you never eat. (A reference to all that may benefit from ICC)

Before Jesus was crucified He stood in the court Judge Pilato and he answered all questions, Judge Pilato said Jesus is free but the crowd asked that a thief be freed instead. (ICC will show Uhuru’s innocence)

Where are you (Peter Kenneth) from? If you were one of us, you would be pained by the people burnt in Kiambaa church. My brother lost his property in Kisumu, how can you tell us he (Raila) is our community’s friend.

Father (Jomo Kenyatta) I feel sad when I see your son (Uhuru) being persecuted by men of ill-will and a woman (Martha Karua) is carrying their bags.

In-law (Kalonzo) things are not going well for you now. You are clueless and your matters are now being discussed by women in the market. But I still remember how you saved me (after 2007 elections) when leopards had attacked me.

Listen to the entire song here.

After listening to these three songs I shuddered. If the leading lights of Kikuyu music are doing this, then how much more prevalent is it? Are other communities also producing such inciteful vernacular songs? This is a ticking time bomb right under our noses!

Let us think of how to put out this fire before it is too late!

PRAY FOR KENYA!

GOD BLESS KENYA!

 


Hapa na pale

The Ruto+Uhuru v Raila ‘mine is bigger than yours’ contest has left a bad taste in my mouth. The less said about that the better.

I have a Sunday night ritual. Those who follow me on Twitter are familiar with my ‘Sunday night at the local’ tweets. I love reggae music. There is something about the drumbeat and the conscious message that has appealed to me ever since I was a young boy listening to Jeff Mwangemi’s Reggae Time on KBC English Service back in the day.

Sunday Night Reggae however is more than just about reggae music and drinking. It is also about the community. I live in the hood and Sunday Night Reggae is the BBC and CNN of the hood. Who did what, to who, where, how and when are all adequately dissected and analysed. It is truly ‘Nusu ya Kuonana’ as the KBC salaams guys used to say. (Aside: anyone remember John Shoto Umnyololo kutoka Shamakhoho?)

Anyway, I was at the local this past Sunday and the DJ went on a trip down memory lane. He played all the ragamuffin hits from the 90s and the contrast was hilarious. The older guys were all excited while the younger guys had alama ya mshangao! Yes, before bendover there was chini kwa chini and before that there was shika shika time. It is funny how every generation thinks it’s the epitome of cool.

I love that the Kenya Premier League is finally getting massive support from Kenyans. The clubs that have managed to attracted fanatical support are AFC Leopards (Ingwe), Gor Mahia (K’ogalo) and Sofapaka (Batoto ba Mungu). SuperSport and FKL laid a good foundation several years back and players are now professionals with salaries of up to Kshs 100,000. It is my prayer that Nyamweya’s KFF will not drop the ball and will now work on upgrading the tactical levels of the game now that stadia are filled.

There was a song I forget by who which asked, Kati ya Man U na Arsenali gani kali? Maybe another forgettable musician (I am using this term loosely) should do a Kati ya Lillian Muli na Janet Mbugua nani msupuu?

Before they do let me bravely venture into this minefield. I have asked around. Many women have distaste for Lillian Muli while they have a soft spot for Janet Mbugua. For men it is the opposite, they have the ‘hots’ for Lillian Muli while they are indifferent to Janet Mbugua. I wonder why.

My one cent on the matter is that Lillian Muli really puts an effort into ‘Brand Lillian’. From how she dresses, how she walks, poses and smiles. I may have an issue with what ‘Brand Lillian’ espouses but I have to applaud the effort. On the other hand, Janet Mbugua comes across as bland and boring. Yaani yuko tu!

Again, it is MY one cent. Now go ahead and shoot the messenger :).

GOD BLESS KENYA!


The Bigger Picture

It took me awhile to get the bigger picture of the sudden political heat in Kenya. My pal kept prodding me not to think of Kibaki and Raila but of the folks who have all to lose if the constitution implementation goes as planned and the ICC process is not derailed. Finally I think I have got it.

Let’s begin at the beginning. On Dec 17 2010, Moreno Ocampo named six men who are accused of bearing the greatest responsibility. From that day, reforms, doing things for good of Kenya and been patriotic were all thrown out of the window.  The folk named were apparently bigger than Kenya and name of the game changed to their preservation at the expense of Kenya and Kenyans.

Enter into the picture KKK, which is a loose grouping of Kikuyus, Kambas and Kalejins fronted by Uhuru, Ruto and Kalonzo. It is instructive to note that KKK has two of the six ICC suspects as its key proponents and the third as a puppet who is intrinsically opportunistic and malleable. KKK wants to evade justice by all means. It also wants to keep the dragon of impunity alive in Kenya.

Due to media attention and backlash from the public as a result of its explicit tribalism KKK went underground. Its leaders completely distanced themselves from it and in typically Kenyan fashion we presumed that was the end of the ugly tribal grouping. Apparently KKK just went underground and it is now engaging in even more dangerous tactics.

Remember the bigger picture is to save the ICC six from The Hague. Kenya can burn but these six have to be saved.

Plan A – Lobby African states for the deferral of the ICC case with the rider that Kenya is reforming its judiciary and will be able to try the post election violence suspects. This is been done by Kalonzo’s shuttle diplomacy. The Judiciary must be malleable enough to aid the process so of course Kibaki had to appoint ‘his’ judges to the posts and ignore Raila’s views. It was then expected that Raila would in a fit of anger leave the coalition and Kibaki would ‘be forced’ to call a snap election. KKK then presumes they will win the snap election and thus became immune to prosecution or arrest like Bashir is.

Plan B – This is just a variation of Plan A. Since Raila did not leave the coalition, PNU has asked to leave the coalition.

Plan C – A censure motion against the Prime Minister or a vote of no confidence against the PM.

Whatever happens at the end of this episode of the endless drama, this is a win for the KKK side. Either, the coalition falls apart and snap elections called or their judges get approved and politics takes centre stage with reforms been placed on the back burner.

Just for the record, in no way do I think Raila’s side is comprised of angels BUT the unholy alliance of KKK in its bid to save themselves from The Hague is willing to burn Kenya. They currently believe that Raila is at his weakest and thus are going for his jugular in the belief that they can amass numbers in Parliament and also in a snap election.  It is dangerous ground and we are as usual blinded by the ODM v PNU or Kibaki v Raila and cannot see the high stakes chess games been played.

Regarding the appointees:

Justice Vishram has presided over high profile libel cases and the case against Royal Media Services in the late 90s. In those cases he ruled harshly against the media and thus I do have questions regarding his views on a free press.

Kioko Kilukomi until last week was William Ruto’s lawyer. Enough said.

Prof Githu Muigai is an expert on ICC procedures and has allegedly been advising the government regarding the ICC case.

William Kirwa left the Agricultural Development Corporation under unclear circumstances regarding mismanagement of funds. How then can he be Controller of Budget?

So in my view, they may have amazing academic credentials but in the matter of conflict of interest it appears they do not pass muster.

Less than six months after promulgation of the new constitution which heralded the beginning of a new dawn for Kenya finds itself again at crossroads.

The constant in this endless drama appears to be pea-size brained politicians who are hell bent on self-preservation.

For how long shall 40 million Kenyans be at their mercy?

GOD BLESS KENYA!

UPDATE: After the circus in the Parliamentary committees, Speaker Marende finally declared the nominations unconstitutional. President Kibaki then broke his silence and insisted that the nominations were constitutional. In the midst of these there are rumors of Marende been impeached!

Next week will definitely be explosive in the political scene unfortunately to no value-add to the ordinary Kenyan.

Read this anonymous comment somewhere online and it wholly captured my feelings:

‘The Constitution is not for Raila, Kibaki, Uhuru or Ruto . Let’s force these people to follow the right and sincere process. No interest attached to any name. Advertise the jobs, shortlist the names by respective professional bodies, forward names to Raila and Kibaki, forward chosen names to Marende, take it to Parliament, THE END. If not take process back to the origin. Don’t nominate friends of Raila, don’t take lawyers of Ruto, don’t settle on advisors of Uhuru.

We want transparency and not tribalism, impunity, side-road nominations.

Kibaki, Raila, Ruto, Uhuru are not Kenya.’

Enough said!!!!

GOD BLESS KENYA!

 

 


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