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The Diaspora and the 2012 Kenya elections

Discussion in 'Kenyan News and Politics' started by Namtih58, Nov 24, 2011.

  1. N

    Namtih58 JF-Expert Member

    Nov 24, 2011
    Joined: Oct 23, 2007
    Messages: 236
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    The 2012 General Election is just round the corner, and already Kenyans, whether back home or
    in the Diaspora, are beginning to feel the heat of what promises to be a rather exciting campaign.

    It will be an election to watch not just because a new President must move into State House but
    also because the new constitution brings with it a complete re-definition of Kenya’s governance
    structures. It will be a completely new electoral process, with a fresh way of creating line-ups
    and defining battle grounds.

    One would expect that Kenyans in the United States will one way or another be involved in the
    electioneering process, whether as individuals or as organized groups. What has not been clear is
    what the pre-campaign stakes are and how the battle lines are being drawn.

    It happens that our diaspora is an immensely potent political machine not just because we
    greatly influence the thinking of our people back home, but because of our ability to contribute
    to campaign kitties. Add to the fact that many people here have access to important ears across
    America – in Washington and elsewhere - and you see why the campaigns here will be as hot as
    back home.

    But who is ahead of the game so far? I would say Raila Odinga and his well-oiled ODM

    For one, he managed to outwit the PNU people by having his people at virtually all the
    important diplomatic offices in the country. His brother-in-law is the ambassador in Washington,
    and his sister – tumbo moja, toka nitoke - is in charge of the New York office. I understand there
    are efforts to align other Kenya Government resources, such as the influential communications
    consultants in DC, to the ODM campaign.

    But what I found rather cheeky is the setting up of the so-called Diaspora Advisory Councils
    (DACs) which are, when looked at closely, ODM cells that are being positioned to run the Raila
    campaign across the United States. The embassy says the councils would serve “as a machinery
    to unite the Kenyans in the US and encourage them to play a role in the development of our
    country Kenya, working in partnership with the Kenya Embassy in Washington D.C”.

    But when you look at the way their leadership is constituted and selected, it becomes obvious
    that an agenda beyond brotherly relations in a foreign land is at play.

    Rest assured that the battle for full control of Washington is in the offing as we cruise towards
    the election date. It will be some time before the lackluster PNU and its various nomenclatures
    realize what is happening or even what the stakes are. But when they do, it will be another full,
    full condition…
  2. My 125

    My 125 Member

    Nov 26, 2011
    Joined: Nov 7, 2011
    Messages: 30
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    good 4 them.