Tag Archives: Jubilee

The Wanjiku Phenomenon

The Member of County Assembly (MCA) post has attracted a huge amount of aspirants and it is proving to be the most fatal of seats one can go for in the 2017 General Election.

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This is surprising given that according to the Kenyan constitution the MCA seat is practically that of a diligent public-spirited person in a ward who basically acts as a linkage between the public and county government.

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However the perks which include a salary in the neighborhood of half a million shilling, a potential to hold a governor at ransom and the possibility of running the unconstitutional ward development fund has brought out the savage and greed in Kenyans.

An MCA ticket is seemingly a chance to get a lot of money for doing basically nothing.

This captures the essence of a Kenyan’s quest for public office.

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This post is inspired by a conversation between radio presenters Nderitu Waihura and Professor Ngugi wa Njoroge on their show Gukera on Inooro FM on the night of May 22 2017.

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Nderitu began the show by alluding to a conversation that had taken place earlier on Inooro TV’s show Kimuri which he co-hosts with Michael Njenga. The show had included former and aspiring MPs among them Lewis Nguyai, a former MP for Kikuyu. The show had focused on the life of an MP in relation to a Kenyan voter.

Nguyai had stated that given his Kikuyu constituency was near, when he was an MP he would be in his constituency office 4 times a week and every time he would be there he would be forced to give voters forty thousand which would translate to one hundred and sixty thousand a week and then to six hundred and forty thousand a month. At times this would see him take home only twenty thousand a month from his salary.

Another former MP Jeremaih Kioni stated that he often adviced young people getting into politics and intent on staying on the straight and narrow that they surely had found a sure route to poverty.

Based on these politicians’ comments, the two hosts began dissecting the Kenyan voter: ‘Wanjiku’.

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It appears that Wanjiku does not care about a leader who provides an oversight role on the government, does not care about a leader who passes good laws or a leader who is honest and stays on the straight and narrow.

Wanjiku’s view on leadership is money. Following towards her. Why does Wanjiku presume that a leader is an ATM bank? Why does Wanjiku presume that a leader gets into leadership for their own enrichment and thus they should milk the leader dry before voting for them? How is it that a leader is expected to pay maternity fees, funeral costs, school fees, etc? Who even knows why exactly does Wanjiku vote? Who benefits from Wanjiku’s uninformed voting?

We are currently on the eleventh parliament and from the first parliament voters have been conditioned or have conditioned themselves that a leader is as good as the money they give and imagine the damage done over the years.

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Professor Njoroge then gave a story of a donkey. The donkey was tethered and well-fed and a lion was salivating at the donkey. The lion then sent a hare to tell the donkey how much he loved her and wanted to be with her. The donkey despite knowing the perils of a lion agreed to be wooed. Once the donkey was in the lion’s den the lion went for the donkey’s neck but somehow the donkey managed to run away. So the lion once again sent the hare to tell the donkey that the lion was not seeking to bite the neck but rather it wanted to hug the donkey due to love. The donkey bought the story and returned to the lion’s den and shortly thereafter the lion tore it apart. The hare which was present then ate the heart and the liver which are soft and sweet. Once the lion had struggled with the tough donkey’s meat it sought to eat the soft heart and liver but found they were missing. Upon asking the hare, the hare said that the donkey had not had a heart or a brain because if it did there was no way it would have accepted to go back to the lion’s den.

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The two contended that Wanjiku like the donkey was quite stupid and every five years accepted the lies on offer from both sides of the political divide and every five years was lied to without fail but still went back for the lies.

A case in point is the maize story. The opposition had made it a campaign tool not because they cared for Wanjiku but because it would help them push their vehicle to Statehouse.  As for the government their solution to the maize puzzle was not to ensure that Wanjiku had affordable food and to ensure that it would not happen again but rather to mint money and to deflate the opposition’s momentum.

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Currently there was no 90 bob maize available on the shelf but that was not what Wanjiku cared for. Wanjiku was more interested in if their MCA, MP, Govenor, Presidential candidate had submitted their papers to the IEBC, whether or not independent candidates were good or bad and other political issues of the day. For both Jubilee and NASA Wanjiku’s their hunger can be seemingly be postponed until after elections.

Clearly Wanjiku is deserving of a PhD thesis as a phenomena.

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The two also spoke of how right now ‘everyone’ knows that for you to get public office all you need is money, it does not matter where you got the money from. Once you have acquired money from legal or illegal means then no one can touch you, you can hire lawyers to frustrate the legal system and Wanjiku will cheer you and brand you a hero or heroine for being the ‘true Kenyan’ who is a hustler.

Then Nderitu, sought to look at Wanjiku away from the political prism: Wanjiku in a matatu.

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When Wanjiku is in a matatu in the morning or in the evening they are a cheering squad to a bad matatu driver. They are very happy when the matatu driver breaks all laws and gets them from point A to B in shortest time possible. However, if Wanjiku is driving then they are very much against matatus and they see how reckless and law-breaking matatus are.

From the perspective of Wanjiku in a matatu and away from matatu clearly Wanjiku is her leaders and her leaders are Wanjiku.  Everyone is seeking for their chance to eat and they only complain about eating when they are not doing the eating.

Little wonder President Uhuru Kenyatta famously once asked…”sasa mnataka ni fanye nini jameni?”

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At the end of the conversation the agreement was that the value system in Kenya is broken but no one has any idea how to fix it.

Therefore we shall keep performing democracy every five years but never addressing our root problem.

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Food for thought…

GOD BLESS KENYA.

There is a perception that vernacular radio do more harm than good by just blowing the trumpet for the tribal lords but seemingly sometimes they also pause and smell the coffee.

A lovely touch was playing Eric Wainaina’s Nchi ya watu wadogo song as well as in the famous quotes segment playing a timely sound bite of Tanzania’s First President Julius Nyerere.

PS: All images courtesy of Google.

 

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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?

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*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!


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