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Kenya: Towards 2012 ......

Discussion in 'Kenyan News and Politics' started by Keil, May 4, 2008.

  1. K

    Keil JF-Expert Member

    May 4, 2008
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    Ni mapema sana kuanza kujipanga kwa ajili ya uchaguzi wa 2012, lakini ndiyo hivyo wenzetu mambo yameishaanza na ni maswala ambayo yako wazi. Tofauti na Tanzania ambako ni nadra watu kutamka kwamba watakuwa kwenye king'anyang'iro miaka 5 kabla. Ngoja tuone hii vita itaishia wapi na je Kibaki ataweza kuwanyamazisha na kumaliza ugomvi wa chini kwa chini?

    Ni ukweli uliowazi kwamba Kalonzo amekalia kuti kavu, maana kule kwake ukambani mambo hayamwendei vyema na pia GEMA hawatakubali kum-support mtu kutoka nje ya Central Province. Yangu macho ....

    Kenya after Kibaki’s presidency

    By Sunday Standard Team

    Because President Kibaki is serving his second and final term, his legacy may be uniquely defined by the succession wars building up around him. Signs are out the combatants, some reluctantly crammed into the Grand Coalition by circumstances beyond their control, have staked out their claim. The portfolio and protocol wars are signs of the undercurrents in Kibaki’s backyard – both within his Party of National Unity and Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s Orange Democratic Movement. Little is said about it but behind the mask, post-Kibaki era is on the lips.

    The Grand Coalition as propped up by the National Accord is transient. The real battle is ahead and the leaders are buying time, while oiling their war-machines. It is probably the lull before the storm and that is why some ministers around the President who shouted the most, staking out their careers for him, have gone quiet. They are said to be keen on pulling away from his shadow to be judged on their own merit.

    In ODM Raila, having come so close, and with the feeling his victory was stolen, will before then be remoulding his electoral machine, while ensuring he keeps on his side the Pentagon. With the executive powers he has, and the appointment of ministers the President cannot fire, including him, it will be a journey in self-reinvention.

    That is why Kalonzo, who his party perceives as the presumed rather than heir apparent, given his dismal performance in the General Election last year, has to be dealt with first.

    That is how Kilome MP John Harun Mwau could be coming in. Raila nominated him for an assistant ministerial position, though he is not an ODM member. Behind the scenes, he has been a strong supporter of the party and its leadership.

    With Water Minister Charity Ngilu, Mwau can be trusted to keep Kalonzo busy in lower Eastern Province. It is a policy of containment and Raila knows he might be meeting Kalonzo in the ring again for what could be the final round – and this time without Kibaki.

    The protocol wars, on who is higher in the executive hierarchy, burst out of the Kibaki succession. Raila will obviously be fighting to keep the ODM brigade on his side while at the same time winning over some in PNU with the assurance he is neither vengeful nor bound to a particular group.

    Kalonzo, on the other hand, will be counting on Kibaki’s ‘anointment’, to reciprocate his joining him in a coalition at the time the President was at his weakest, with the country going up in smoke.

    But two things are unlikely; Central Province will traditionally field its own candidate; and Kibaki may in the sunset of his political career, choose to be neutral and so let the ‘boys’ fight it out. This is reinforced by the perception he never fights anyone’s war, especially when things are going his way.

    Central Kenya heir

    Kibaki may want to bequeath the seat to a trusted ally and could be spoilt for choice among the four leading PNU politicians who have made it clear they want a higher profile and Cabinet posts are not enough.

    They include frontrunner that is also a party leader Mr Uhuru Kenyatta. Kibaki gave Uhuru a head start by appointing him Deputy Prime Minister. Uhuru has been close, having come second to Kibaki in the 2002 presidential election. His youthfulness could be handy as Kenyans push for a generational change. The only handicap is that he is from central Kenya and it may not be easy for Kenyans to pick the fourth President from a region that has produced two of three since independence.

    But as DPM he will be repositioning himself for the duel of his life, when the whistle is blown.

    Next, is Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister Martha Karua, who last week declared her name would be on the ballot paper in the 2012 General Election.

    For the moment her focus is improving Narc-Kenya’s fortunes – a party whose profile her backers say was lowered by alliance to PNU.

    Sources around her say she is working on a strategy to change her image as a hardliner, a perception reinforced during her stint as one of Kibaki’s representatives at the Serena Peace talks.

    She is also said to be keen on winning the image of a mother figure, with an equally improved image of a national leader.

    There is also Internal Security Minister Prof George Saitoti, the mathematics from the University of Nairobi, and a former Vice-President. Last year he said he was going to support Kibaki but in 2012 he would be in the ring.

    Saitoti has deep pockets; has almost outgrown the Goldenberg stigma; and has his roots in the Rift Valley and Central provinces. His friends, too, are well spread out. Though he was not appointed DPM, he has the President’s ear.

    There are those who argue the President could have set off the protocol war, especially by refusing to intervene even as it played itself out before him, to appear to be above the fray. Some observers, however, see peril for both the President and his principal assistant, should they escalate the protocol wars.

    For the VP, it will be a journey down a trodden path, littered by ambitions of predecessors who saw themselves as heart beats away from the presidency only to realise how far they were, abandoned or dropped at the convenient time.

    Kalonzo, unlike the ODM brigade in the Cabinet, can be replaced at the convenience of the President.

    For the President, the peril is that, by presiding over the attempt to undermine the Prime Minister, who gave him a run for his money and has almost equal following across the country, he could spark off a succession battle that would derail the national agenda.

    The battle could also render Kibaki a lame duck President too early in his second term, with politicians and their supporters planning for government without him.

    Uhuru could be lying low now but he is seen to be the leading contender for the presidency from Central Province. A leadership style that leaves these politicians fighting for space could bury Kibaki early and bog down his agenda and his attempt to salvage his battered legacy.

    Fight for supremacy

    It is a delicate balance because even if they work together and deliver on the national agenda, credit would most likely go to the President as Head of State and the PM, who is the supervisor and co-ordinator of functions of the Government.

    That scenario could also spark battles for supremacy in the coalition, each would-be contender for the presidency angling to be seen to be the one driving that national agenda.

    The national agenda, as laid out in the peace accord, focuses on resettlement of the displaced, investigating past abuses through the Justice, Truth and Reconciliation Commission, investigating the Electoral Commission, and atoning for historical injustices.

    "If the leaders concentrate on these, the succession battle may wait until, say, three years into the Kibaki presidency, then the fighting for supremacy may begin. If that does not happen, the succession battle may begin soon, as each fights for himself or herself," a PNU supporter said.

    But even those close to the President say it is highly likely that he supports the line up that puts Raila below Kalonzo, although the Head of Public Service and Secretary to the Cabinet Francis Muthaura has been seen to be the one pushing it.

    For the VP, the odds are greater. That struggle, which some politicians and legal experts see as unnecessary and instigated, has refocused attention on the explosive number two office, and where it will leave Kalonzo in 2012.

    From independence in 1963, the Vice-President has been touted as the President’s principal assistant, making it look like the holder is president-in- waiting. But the reality is different: Only one holder of the office has become President, and in 2002 Saitoti and Mudavadi who were VPs in the dying months of Kanu, were sidestepped.

    The assumption in ODM is that it should remain united for the unfinished business – the Presidency. To their advantage they have a solid political movement, not a cluster of parties like PNU. Its leadership line-up is set and its support blocs mapped out.

    Over in Kibaki’s camp, without him in the race it is a scramble. For both parties, and barring the emergence of a third force with the capacity thrice as ODM-Kenya, and however far the election is, the drumbeats of another PNU-ODM war is in the air. The Grand Coalition could just be the changing room players occupy before the next round.

    In what they do as members of one government, the eye is on the next election, and it can never be far. It is the war for control of Kenya after Kibaki.

    Source: The Standard
  2. K

    Keil JF-Expert Member

    May 4, 2008
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    The ‘protocol war’ is all about succession

    Story by GITAU WARIGI

    Fresh from the “protocol wars” in the Rift Valley, Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka arrived in Nairobi to find his docket under fire as prison warders went on strike.

    To add to Mr Musyoka’s misery, two heavyweight appointees he named to a committee to investigate the prisons fiasco – former Vice-President Moody Awori and former Prisons Commissioner Abraham Kamakil – publicly turned down the appointments.

    One of Mr Kalonzo’s aides, Mr Kaplich Barsito, hinted that the government, with the VP’s consent, encouraged the duo to turn down the appointments after the prison warders rejected them outright. However, the tone Mr Awori adopted while claiming he was “busy writing my memoirs” did not sound calculated enough to save Mr Musyoka much face.

    Political enemies

    There have been the usual suspicions about whether the strike was instigated by the VP’s political enemies, but so far there has been no hard evidence of such. However, Mr Musyoka’s vulnerability certainly was in the political interest of his main nemesis, Prime Minister Raila Odinga.

    It so happened that Mr Odinga tactfully kept out of the fracas; it coincided with a trip he had scheduled for Germany to undergo minor eye surgery.

    It is entirely possible that the prime minister would have sought to intervene at some stage if the prison crisis got prolonged. The VP’s circle did not hide their fear that such an intervention would have made him appear in even worse light than he did when Mr Awori declined to be a part of the proposed prisons reform committee.

    And the protocol issue continues to fester. The National Reconciliation and Accord Act has introduced a novel experiment where a new political office, that of the prime minister, has far more political clout than that of the VP, a situation the VP’s aides concede while pointing out that such seniority should not be confused with “constitutional precedence”, even where the latter is largely ceremonial.

    The latest government circular yet again classified the VP as second to the President in order of precedence, and it is noteworthy that it was leaked in the wake of the “protocol wars” that erupted in the Rift Valley.

    The circular, signed by Cabinet Secretary Francis Muthaura and dated April 25, is meant for ministers and top-notch government officers to acquaint them with the different responsibilities and roles of the President and the prime minister ahead of an “induction” ceremony for all of them that had been scheduled for last week at the Kenya School of Monetary Studies.

    The induction ceremony, where the prime minister was to give a keynote address, was postponed at the last minute to enable Mr Odinga travel to Europe, from whence he detoured to South Africa.

    According to an official in the Cabinet office, the delay in announcing the postponement was occasioned by the letter from the prime minister’s office about the trip to Germany arriving late.

    Dramatic direction

    The protocol problem had taken a potentially dramatic direction when some initial reports intimated the prime minister had been invited to be chief guest at the Labour Day rally, but then in a curious reversal it later transpired the invitation had gone to President Kibaki, who since coming into office has customarily graced the occasion.

    There is clearly unfinished business on all sides as the prime minister tentatively seeks to chart out the extent of his new fiefdom.

    That is probably the best way to interpret a letter from the PM’s office to the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission asking the Commission to explain the latest deal where corruption charges against Mr Kamlesh Pattni were dropped in exchange for him giving up all ownership claims to the Grand Regency Hotel.Chief of staff

    The letter had been dispatched through a certain Mr Caroli Omondi, who gave his designation as “chief of staff in the prime minister’s office”.

    Mr Muthaura reportedly chose to ignore the letter on the grounds that such a position of “chief of staff” did not exist in the known civil service structure and because the chain of command acknowledged by the Head of the Public Service is through line permanent secretaries, of which there is one at the PM’s office.

    The letter had been copied to Mr Muthaura and Finance Minister Amos Kimunya, among others. This is probably going to be the first litmus test on how much room some entrenched departments of government are willing to allow the prime minister, even with the anti-corruption mandate Mr Odinga has set upon himself and which he is to some extent accorded under Mr Muthaura’s latest circular by virtue of such departments as the Efficiency Monitoring Unit being put under his overall supervisory wing.

    It did not escape notice that the target of the enquiry from the prime minister’s office – the Commission – is a body presumed to enjoy constitutional autonomy.

    Nobody has any illusions that the protocol drama in Eldoret was anything else but the opening salvo of the epic succession war that is already shaping up in the countdown to 2012.

    Contesting the presidency

    Mr Musyoka’s position is complicated by simmering mini-shows in Central Province about the probability of either Security Minister George Saitoti or Justice Minister Martha Karua or Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta contesting the presidency in 2012.

    The danger in this, as Mr Musyoka’s people see it, is not that any of the trio can make a runaway impact nationally – the national political mood playing out suggests it will be improbable for another figure from the province to succeed Mr Kibaki at State House.

    Rather, for the VP the danger is that the possibility of either Prof Saitoti or Ms Karua or Mr Kenyatta running for President would frustrate him out of the bloc vote from Central Kenya, which he now critically depends on for his own 2012 candidacy.

    The person who the VP’s advisers express the deepest anxiety about is Prof Saitoti. Technically, he is not a Central Province politician, but for years people have been linking him culturally to the region.

    The worry from the VP’s corner is because the Security Minister has, as is his character, stoutly refused to confirm or rule out his intentions for 2012.

    And as all his rivals know, Prof Saitoti has at his command the resources and networks to seriously complicate the VP’s delicate succession strategy.

    Mr Kalonzo’s camp seems more comfortable with Mr Kenyatta, who they believe will opt to bide his time and support their man in the meantime, a position that, interestingly, Mr Kenyatta’s aides have not contradicted so far. Indeed, the two camps have quietly been building a rapport which, barring something unexpected, could mean a Musyoka-Kenyatta ticket for 2012.

    Ms Karua does not have the resources or networks of either Prof Saitoti or Mr Kenyatta; but for the VP or anybody else interested in the Mt Kenya vote, underestimating her might prove costly in view of the “hero” status she has acquired for herself in the region for the steadfast pro-Kibaki role she has played throughout the turbulent post-election period.

    However, her viability nationally has been hampered by precisely this perception that she is a PNU hardliner.

    Fizzled out

    Earlier expressions by Energy Minister Kiraitu Murungi that he would also run for President seem to have fizzled out.

    The real question is whether any of the PNU claimants, starting with the VP, has what it takes to stop the powerful Mr Odinga and his ODM. Mr Musyoka’s advisers are hoping the threat alone of ODM’s might will sooner or later simply force the VP’s PNU rivals for the presidency to band together behind him.

    President Kibaki’s own severely circumscribed authority is unlikely to be of much help in the meantime.

    The President himself did not escape the booing subjected to his VP in Eldoret. His inability to tame the Labour Day crowd at Uhuru Park, which otherwise was very responsive to the prime minister’s name whenever it was mentioned, was a reminder that Mr Odinga remains the real crowd puller of Kenyan politics.

    It is understood Mr Odinga was reluctant to take up COTU’s invitation to the Labour Day rally, but not entirely because he wanted to avoid upstaging the President so early in the grand coalition’s life.

    Unlike Kibaki, the prime minister reportedly anticipated the assembled workers would expect a salary hike and they, in their understanding, believe Mr Odinga is now in charge of government and hence in the position to meet all their demands.

    As it turned out, it was President Kibaki who endured the embarrassment from the crowd when he showed up but declined to order the desired wage increments.

    Parliamentary by-elections scheduled for June 11 in Embakasi, Kamukunji, Kilgoris, Emuhaya, Ainamoi and Wajir North will be an eye-opener as to whether PNU is any shape to put up a fight against a still potent ODM.

    Already, the latter has taken care to clarify that it will treat the PNU as a rival and competitor, whether they are in a grand coalition together or not.

    Source: Sunday Nation
  3. Ab-Titchaz

    Ab-Titchaz Content Manager Staff Member

    May 8, 2008
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    Kuna By-elections zinakuja hivi karibuni and we will have a
    mini-fight to see how stable this coalition is!

    Renewed rivalry as ODM, PNU pick candidates

    Published on May 7, 2008, 12:00 am

    By Standard Team

    Hostilities are set to be renewed between the Party of National Unity (PNU) and the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) as each party picks its candidates and rolls out campaigns for the June 11 parliamentary and civic by-elections.

    The Standard reliably learnt last night that negotiations are ongoing between ODM-Kenya, Kanu and PNU together with all its affiliates aimed at fielding one candidate in every electoral area under one party - PNU.

    Five parliamentary and 55 civic seats are up for grabs in another contest that is beginning to display all the signs of a cliffhanger.

    Its timing - coming hardly before the dust settles on a post-election crisis that drove the country to the brink - easily makes it another life and death affair for the two main coalition partners eager to assert their political supremacy. ODM will be seeking to maintain its dominance of the House, while PNU will be out to wrench leverage from its rival. The numbers remain crucial to both sides.

    In Nairobi, where ODM will be seeking to recapture Embakasi, a seat it lost through the death of its youthful MP-elect, the late Mugabe Were, the Mungiki factor is expected to play a role.

    But this time the outlawed sect, earlier perceived as sympathetic to PNU, appears to have switched allegiance. Its political leadership has openly stated it will support the ODM.

    David Mwenje, who previously held the Embakasi seat before it was wrenched away from him by Were has also since passed away.

    Apart from Embakasi, the parties will also fight it out in Emuhaya, Kilgoris, Wajir North and Ainamoi.

    The by-elections will be historical in the sense that both PNU and ODM are in Government after being forced into an uneasy cohabitation by a peace deal that hauled the country out of a crippling post-election bloodletting and mayhem triggered by a disputed presidential vote.

    Whether President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga, who signed the historical peace accord that returned sanity to the nation, will go at each other hammer and tongs as was witnessed in last year's elections also remains to be seen.

    "We will not take each other lightly. Even if we are partners, we won't spare our comrades in Government. Just like a man and his wife find themselves sharing ugali from one plate, but they all end up swallowing for each self but still end up on the same bed after that. That is what will happen when by-elections come," Prof Anyang' Nyong'o, the ODM secretary-general and Medical Services minister has been quoted saying.

    Both the ODM Pentagon campaign centre and the PNU headquarters on Lenana Road, Nairobi, are expected to erupt back to life all over again.

    With both sides in Government, civil societies will be watching to see who abuses State resources during the campaigns. It has been common for Cabinet ministers to hit the campaign trail with their official vehicles, raising an outcry from taxpayers and civil rights activists.

    Discredited ECK

    The December 27 General Election cost the taxpayer Sh5 billion. Supplementary financial estimates released last week show some Sh400 million has been pumped into the Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK), part of which could go towards funding the mini-polls.

    Still standing discredited and currently under investigation over the manner in which it handled the 2007 General Election, the ECK will handle the polls at time when public confidence on its performance is at the lowest ebb.

    ODM is already understood to be lining up big names for Embakasi, a constituency with 249,811 registered voters.

    Top on the queue is Ms Esther Passaris, whose ambition to become Nairobi Mayor was nipped in the bud after the then Local Government minister, Mr Uhuru Kenyatta, rescinded her nomination to City Hall.

    "I've been approached by a number of residents. But I'm still weighing my options," Passaris, a Nairobi businesswoman, told The Standard by telephone. " I still have the bigger dream of representing the entire city as a Mayor and not just Embakasi Constituency as an MP. I can do more from the City Hall."

    Others seeking the seat on an ODM ticket include former Juja MP Mr William Kabogo, Mr Irshad Mohammed Sumra, former Bumula MP Mr Lawrence Sifuna and Mr Stephen Mwanga, who contested the Ugenya Parliamentary seat but lost to Lands minister Mr James Orengo.

    Orange House again erupted to life yesterday as the prospective candidates started picking nomination papers. They included Passaris, Kabogo, Mwanga, Sifuna, Prof Tony Wambua, Mr Lameck Kiage, Mr James Kabitu and Nairobi lawyer Mr Robert Asembo.

    It is also understood that a brother to the late Mugabe Were, Mr Julius Were, is also interested in the seat on an ODM ticket.

    Former councillors Mr Ferdinand Waititu and Mr John Ndirangu both who contested the last General Election are in the race too.

    Waititu already has his PNU posters and large banners displayed in the constituency ahead of the by-election.

    On the PNU, ODM-Kenya single-candidate consultations, the PNU spokesman and nominated MP Mr George Nyamweya was cautious.

    "We're in consultations but affiliate parties are yet to hold meetings of their respective party organs to ratify any decision," he said.

    He said members of the coalition were seeking ways of approaching the by-elections as a united entity, but no decision had been reached yet.

    Party deputy executive director Major (Rtd) Francis Matu said the general consensus is that the PNU coalition should field a single candidate.

    "The general consensus is that we would like to field one candidate. The party's' leadership is going to sit down to agree on the best way forward,'' said Matu.

    Elsewhere, the outlawed Mungiki promised to marshal support for ODM to show solidarity with Raila and his party.

    The Lang'ata MP appeared to have opened a new political chapter with the sect on the day he was sworn in as Prime Minister when he stated: "It's time the Government spoke to Mungiki and listened to their grievances."

    Mungiki sect

    He even compared the leadership of the sect with that of the Lord's Resistance Army led by Joseph Kony, saying it started in a similar fashion and now for more than a decade had snowballed into a guerrilla outfit difficult to control.

    Last week, Raila seemed to cement this new relationship when he sent Maina Njenga, the jailed Mungiki leader two books of immense political importance -The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Green and Nelson Mandela's Long Walk To Freedom.

    In Wajir North, the Kanu and ODM candidates tied in the last elections, occasioning the by-election.

    Emuhaya voters will go to the polls to elect a new MP after Mr Kenneth Marende was elected Speaker of the National Assembly, thus relinquishing the seat as required by law.

    The seat has so far attracted scores of personalities including Mr Joshua Otupa, Ms Helen Alitsi, former MP Mr Sheldon Muchilwa and Prof Norah Olembo.

    In Kilgoris, fresh elections will be carried out after ECK nullified the results, while in Ainamoi constituents will vote to replace the late David Kimutai Too (ODM), who was shot dead in Eldoret by a policemen in unclear circumstances.

    Two former Cabinet ministers who are both now allied to PNU - Mr Gideon Konchela and Mr Julius Sunkuli - could battle it out against each other in Kilgoris.

    In Ainamoi, elders from the constituency have already endorsed the candidature of the slain MP's younger brother, Mr Benjamin Langat. His candidature was given a major boost during the burial when speakers, including top ODM officials, spoke in his support.

    In Wajir North constituency, the battle will be between the two candidates - Mr Mohamed Hussein Gabow of ODM and Dr Abdilahi Ali Ibrahim of Kanu - who tied during the December 2007 polls.

    Presently ODM has 106 MPs, while PNU has 98. However, a PNU affiliate DP has indicated it will be going it alone. The party's organising secretary Mr Jacob Haji said DP was not party to PNU's agreement to sponsor joint candidates for the vacant seats.

    Narc Kenya's Danson Mungatana is also on record stating his party's position on the by-elections. The Medical Services Assistant minister said Narc Kenya will being going it alone.

    -Additional reporting by Joseph Murimi and Beauttah Omanga