- Nov 7, 2006
Kenyan-Tanzania na Sundu,
Zipi sera za Raila? Ni majimbo? Kibaki has improved the economy of Kenya- is it not fair to give him another chance in 2007 and Raila since he is still young to wait until 2012? Very few African leders have served for only one term- I see Kibaki as a genttleman trying to unite Kenya- why change right now?
What new will Raila offer other than Majimbo? Is it not better to deal with a monkey you already know other the one you are not very sure?
Good thoughts indeed Ndugu Mzalendohalisi, good thoughts but save for a few facts that contradict your good view, especially when one reads your concern within the context of Kenya's recent political history.
Point 1: The basis of gentlemanship or the practice of being a gentleman is keeping your word. In other words, ukimwambia mtu wewe ni gentleman unamaana kwamba tabia yako inaenda sambamba na hio kauli. Kibaki "looks" like a gentleman but looks are deceptive and this is known fact the worldover. It is for his deceptive "gentleman" looks that Kibaki was made the compromise candidate to defeat Moi and KANU in 2002. So deceptive was his "gentlemanship" that even when he was hospitalized in the UK at the very mid of the campaigns, the opposition led by Raila still convinced Kenyans not to vote for Kanu and Moi's choice successor Uhuru Kenyatta. The Raila team at that time told Kenyans that even with the captain out of the field, the team must win and it did win.
Yet Kibaki betrayed the Raila team that had campaigned so hard for him when it came to honouring the vipengele of the document (MoU) that had bind them together against Moi. Instead of working on the Bomas Katiba in which Kenyans wantd devolution and the creation of a prime minister position to castrate the powerful presidential powers, Kibaki consolidated these presidential powers like Moi and Kenyatta whom he workd for in the 60s, 70s, and 80s. When the Raila group complained, they were marginalized, frustrated by fellow ministers close to the president who were nowhere in 2002 to campaign for Kibaki. Kibaki lost all the deceptive gentlemanship he is asscoiated with and assumed his true nature. He consolidated members of his ethnic group in powerful civil, executive and judiciary positions as a way of reinforcing his weak coalition-based government against internal opposition from the raila team which was crying foul. From a nationalist he became the exact opposite. Today his popularity lies only in the province wher he comes from.Indeed a child can be rejected everywhere but its mother can never deny it even when it deserves such denial.
Point 2: President Kibaki's disrespect for Kenya's senstive tribal mathematics where all communities through their leaders want to enjoy the fruits from the defeat of KANU, is his biggest weakness. And this, muulize Mkenya yeyote, is a weakness he will pay for dearly by entering the annals of history as the first East African president to ever defend his sit and lose. His selfishness yakuidharau ile gentleman's memorandum of understanding (MOU) that had brought the opposition victory against Moi ati simply because haikuwaimetiwa saini kisheria kwa hiyo hangeweza kupelekwa mahakamani. Now when a gentleman cannot keep a gentleman's agreement with his colleagues why should he continue being called a gentleman? Or is it because he looks like one?
Between 2002 and 2005, Kibaki's selfishness ushered in the season of political wrangles in the victorious National Rainbow Coalition (NARC) Party that slowed government business, pissed of Kenyans, and made Moi to look as if he was right. The quarells divided the party as one group became that of Kibaki and his tribesmates whom he had brought closer to himself and given them powerful positions in the Executive and Judiciary. The other group who were the true soldiers on the ground in 2007 Elections led by Raila Odinga were frustrated in their Ministeries by their peers in the Kibaki kitchen cabinet. At certain points the Raila group even raised questions as to why the president was sacrificing the hard earned unity that Kenyans had found in opposing Moi at the altar of ethnicity but their cries were in vain. Instead they were accused of rocking the government from within. Inawezekana wapi, hata ndani ya Bibilia eti uwe Msamaria mwema umuokea msafiri alijeruhiwa vibaya kisha akipata nafuu akukandamize?
Point 3: As a result of his negative politics of ethnicity that has seen one tribe (read his tribe) take Lion's share in all forms of appointments starting from the Civil Service to the Executive. The negative ethnicity that we had kind off buried in the elections of 2007 as we opposed Moi and his project uhuru the son of Kenyatta, was ressurrected again by Kibaki to serve his antinationalist and narrow political vision. You are aware that in Kenya, we have been trying to write a totally new consitution away from the one we inherited from the British. Millions of dollars have been spent, people's time and energy, opinions have been collected and all these surprisingly was done under Moi's dictatorship. When Kibaki took over power 90% of the new consitution (called the Bomas Draft) was already in place and thats why he promised that Kenya will have a new constituition after 100 days of his coming to power. Lakini because of President Kibaki's negative politics disguised with the so-called economic growth (ntarejea kwa hilo later), Kibaki and his cronies mutilated this people's draft and inserted some vipengele eti ili kuchek akina Raila! Now swali ni: katiba ni ya Kenya au ni ya kabila fulani na viongozi wake wakorofi?
We are lucky to have Raila. Together with his able team, he campaigned across the country and because Kenyans even in the village are very much politicized, they knew he was right about the mutilations in their draft by a certain community and certain members of its leaders. They rejected the new Kibaki-sponsored draft (Kilifi Draft) of the Katiba overwhelmingly. Mikoa saba kati ya nane zilisema NO to the Kibaki Katiba na ilikuwa mkoa mmoja tu (atokako) ndio ulisema YES. Raila akapata ushindi mkubwa 2005 na ikabainika wazi kwamba yeye ndiye sauti ya waKenya waliowengi, wananchi wa kawaida na sio mabepari wa mkoa fulani. Kwa hiyo amepata umaarufu kihistoria jameni na sio tu kwa kiini macho. Kura za maoni zimekuwazikifanywa nchi mzima na kampuni tano tofauti za hapa nchini, za EAC, AU na EU na zote zimeonyesha kwa miezi miwili sasa kwamba Raila anaongoza kwa asili mia 51-53, na ni maarufu kwa mikoa yote saba iliyokataa Katiba Kibaki. Kibaki anaongoza kwa mkoa atokako tu, na ni ile Mkoa anaotoka Uhuru mwanawe Kenyatta ambaye katuweka aibu kwa kuwa Kiongozi wa Upinzani wa Kwanza Duniani kumuunga Rais wa serekali tawala mkono awanie kiti tena ilhali kikatiba hii ni kosa. Obvious waKenya wajua anamuunga Kibaki kwa sababu gani.
Point 4: Raila si mgeni kwaWakenya unavyosema Ndugu. Unakosea ukisema ni kama the Angel you dont know na Kibaki ni the devil we know so afaa Kibaki. NO. Raila ndiye aliwezakuivunja uti wa mgongo wa chama cha Moi KANU, na kuimaliza kabisa kwa kuwa kama kinyonga kuungana na Moi halafu kutoroka na mawaziri hadi Upinzani uchaguzi ulipowadia 2002. Bila yeye, Uhuru angekuwa leo Rais wa 3 waKenya. Raila anapendwa sio kwasababu amejenga hili au amepitisha lile serekalini. Anapendwa kwasbabu watu wana imani na yeye. Amewin nyoyo za waKenya wa kabila nyingi zikiwemo hata zile zilizokuwa adui au hasimu wa waJaluo atokako Raila. Leo hii kabila zote isipokua wakikuyu na binamu zao wanaoishi karibu na Mlima Kenya zipo ndani ya chama cha Raila, ODM. Waluhya, Wajaluo, waKalenjin, waSomali, waMaasai na waSwahili ambao ndio kabila sita kubwa Kenya mbali na waKikuyu zote zimo ODM. Na ujuavyo kura ni namba. Raila atapita kwa hisani ya viongozi wa jamii hizi ambao ndio Kibaki aliwadharau na kuwafukuza kwenye wizaera walizowakilisha bila kuwa na hekima ya kisiasa kwamba atawahitaji kwenye uchaguzi wa mwaka huu.
Point 5: The constitution is the basis of all forms of development within any nation. Without its constitution, USA will be probably contrary to what it is today. The quest for new constitutions in DRC and SA also attest to this basic point. In order to redress the inequalities that bedevil Kenya, a new constitutional dispensation is urgently needed. The basic thread that ties all the Kenyan tribes is their commitment to the ethics of hard work. We do not need free and diluted education in Kenya. What we need is an improved purchasing power to be able to buy quality education. This is the ODM messege and the Raila vision for Kenya is for that of a prosperous nation that can afford its basic and secondary needs. Not a begging nation that always looks up to the serikali with the "tunaiomba serekali this, tunaiomba serikali that" mentality but one that can PAY for its lifestyle. There is no dignity in free things that is why many empathize with a beggar's situation on the streets of our cities but also look down upon the same beggars.
The unitary system of government in Kenya that we have had since independce is good. But it has been abused by self-centred people who exploit the proximity of their community to the capital city and other social dynamics to milk resources from other regions of the country without ploughing back the profits to these regions. What does Kericho in Southern Kenya have to show for its vast fields of tea? What does Coast province have to show for its world renown international tourism? Now, they have discovered traces of oil in the Northern arid lands and we know that under the centralised unitary system of government which is prone to abuse it is Nairobi and its environs, including the home province of the incumbent that will continue to blossom competing with capital cities of middle economy European nations.
The devolution agenda is not Raila's. It is the wish of the majority of the Kenyan people. It is what they told the Ghai Commission that came up with the Bomas Draft after deep and expansive consultation. Let the regions regulate their own resources and let the central government be a mediator of such regulations. It has worked in Nigeria, SA, India, and Brazil in the developing countries. It is the model of US, Japan and Germany. We have tailored our own and all this is enshrined in the popular Bomas Katiba draft that the Kibaki regime mutilated and made Kenyans vote against it in the historic 2005 National Referendum. The Raila team is only saying that it will resurrect the true or original Bomas Draft and ensure that it becomes the working constitution of the Republic of Kenya. Seven provinces of the Republic should be allowed to free themselves from the manacles of one province and thereby enabling Kenya to leap into its own dream, what Raila calls the Kenyan Dream.
Conclusion: We are not ready to vote for a President for the second term simply because we want to be consistent with History in the sense that no E.A. President has ever occupied one term in office. We in Kenya have finally learnt you do not vote for a leader who SHOWS you how "new things" such as economic growth CAN fast be achieved. You vote for that leader who TELLS you that "old things" such as economic equity MUST be achieved first.
Voting like learning is normally based on punishment and reward.
You do what is right and you are rewarded even sometimes a statue is erected in your honour somewhere in the city. Children learn about you in books and generations talk about you with awe in future.
You do what is wrong and you are punished with a humiliating election defeat (like the one Kibaki faced in 2005 and will face this year). We do not need percentage economic growth that even our stateless eastern neighbour, Somalia, can achieve were it not for external forces at play. What we need is leadership and that is what most Kenyans believe Raila has earned at last.
NB: For a general view of the policies the ODM stands for: view the following websites:
a) Raila's www.raila07.com
b) Raila's running mate Mudavadi's www.mudavadiforkenya.com