- Nov 7, 2006
I am just a realist- Kibaki will get a 2nd term- no other sitting president in EA region has just won one term- Kenya is not unique in African politics- we wait and see!
Kibaki can win only through a miracle and the consequences of such many may live to remember. This is why.
PNU and its operatives are working out all sorts of strategies to counter the heady Raila tsunami sweeping like a wild bush fire across Kenya. But they are scared for the good reason that they know where their weakness lies. One versus Many. Kibaki like no other east African leader in East Africa before him is locked in a situation which is not only unique but sets Kenya;s politics in a class of its own.is locked Kibaki's weakness is that he is against a coalition
He is the first leader to face a stone hard coalition of ethnic and regional political baron in a country where one wins or loses an election on the basis of such coalitions. The British used these barons, Kenyatta inherited the baron politics, handed it over to the perfectionist Moi and in 2002 it worked against Moi himself and since exiling these barons from his government after they defeated him in the National Referendum, Kibaki has always known what he will be facing come December this year.
He will not only be facing Raila. He will be facing the mind of Kenyan politics. How it works. With six out of eight regional (and ethnic) barons solidly behind Raila and one province behind the third presidential candidate, Kalonzo, it does not need Einstein's mind to see why even foreign embassies can predict who will be in State House next year. Kibaki only has solid minority supports from about six provinces and a hard majority from his own mother province and almost nothing from Raila's home province which votes to the last man for their own.
Kibaki will get votes, I agree as all people do. He will get kuras that is the required 25% in at least 5 provinces but looking at the ethnic mathematics in Kenyan election campaigns 2007, he will lose because of the formidable numerical force he is up against.
Mzalendo, dont be knaive, you know just like anyone objective does that Kenya can surprise many anyday just as it did when some said Moi's end will mark our first civil war. Remember some predicting that though defeat was imminent, Kibaki would use government and state machinery to rig in an unpopular constitution in 2005. Both predictions were naturally disappointed yet they used your frame of reference: Kenya is not an exceptional African country. What goes round in other East African or African countries must come to Kenya too. Well, this may be true but at least the time for it hasnt come yet.
The other truth is that Kenya, and any other African country for that matter, is as special as its own particular national "mind" borne out of its specific history and present realities.
For instance, in spite of our violent societal nature, Kenyans can, and many will vouch me on this one, conteplate fullscale anarchy or civil strife if you like when the sovereignty of our Republic is at stake. Violence here may reach fever pitch like the Mungiki fiasco early in the year but the situation normally finds its resolution in good time somehow.
Let me explain pole pole why its logic rather than emotion that predicts there will be a new man in State House, Nairobi leading Kenyans into the New Year.
Paradoxically, though logical, it is not reason that prevails in the life of Kenyan politics. It is the management of the intricate colonial-created tribal mathematics which if well calculated gives you victory. Raila has calculated well. He needs 25% from at least 5 provinces and a simple majority sum across the nation. To get this you must make alliances with the most popular leaders of all regions beside yours and ensure everybody brings huge parts of the votes in their own areas to your election box. You rely on these lietenants to campaign so thoroughly that while you get the kost of the votes you also block out your opponents' votes the much you can. This is the trick. This is Moi's golden lifeline over the years and this is Raila's wisely borrowed strategy for his presidential campaign which begun with the defeat of the 2005 Referendum.
He aims at getting an average of 70% in at least four provinces leaving Kibaki and Kalonzo to struggle for the 35%. These provinces are Nyanza, Western, Rift Valley, Coast and North Eastern.Then get 60% in Coast and 50% in Nairobi leaving Kibaki and Kalonzo to scramble for 40% and 50% in the respective provinces. Then Raila only needs 30% from Kalonzo's Eastern Province and 5% from Kibaki's tiny though heavily populated Central province.
The Breakdown may read something like this:
NYANZA (his homeland)- 85%
WESTERN - (his running mates land) - 60%
NORTH EASTERN - Muslim Somalis heavily backing him - 60%
RIFT VALLEY - Post-Moi Kalenjin pointsman Ruto's home - 60%
COAST - Muslims heavily backing Raila - 65%
NAIROBI - Raila's political base & its Elites always in Opp.- 55%
EASTERN - Kalonzo's turf but because of Muslim Somalis here - 20%
CENTRAL - Kibaki's turf - 5%
GENERAL % = 410 out of 800
Now, I must warn you that I have tried to decrease the Polls's ratings for Raila and ODM in all provinces by 5% except Nyanza which normally votes en majorite for Raila.
Now, the only way Kibaki will escape from this well-set trap is by "the usual African ways of getting a second-term" = Bribing voters, enrolling more voters including the under-aged in your strongholds, violence, and manipulation of voter records to lower the power of your opponents.
PNU has tried all these already but as you may rightly be aware, most of these techniques only work if you have the help of pointsmen in other regions to duplicate what "you do" in your province in their own provinces so as to give you a lead. This was the hallmark and genius of Kenyatta and later perfected by Moi.
Kibaki's allies from the other region are his Achilles Heel. Here they are:
1. Simeon Nyachae (Nyanza). If he manages to counter the ripe ODM wave in his Kisii backyard and deliver all the Kisii votes he will give Kibaki 15% because the Luos make 75% of the Nyanza province and vote for Raila, their own son as a block.
2. Musikari Kombo (Western). In this province there are 25 subtribes which together are known as the Luhyas. 24 are behind Mudavadi who is backing Raila and is the running mate. Therefore 80% of the voters in the province have shown they are for Raila. Kombo leads one subtribe, the biggest, called the Bukusus and will with an MP here and there from the wider ODM friendly Western province deliver all their voters to Kibaki. Sadly they only account, as one subtribe out of twenty five they only account for at most 20%.
3. Daniel Moi (Rift Valley) - An influential figure capable of delivering the old generation of Kalenjins and the Rift Valley Kikuyus to Kibaki. They will amount to 40% or slightly more. The youth and women of Kalenjin have consistently backed Raila and so have the Maasais, Samburus and other pastoralists in the province. These latter group accounts for the majority of the province so again Kibaki loses.
4. Eastern - Kibaki relies on the Merus and Embus who are cousins of the Kikuyus. He will definitely get 20% or even more but not over 35%. This is because this is the province of the third presidential candidate Kalonzo and the numerically superior tribe in the province, the Kamba are voting for their own to the last man. Kalonzo has consistently led with upto 60% in the province. Raila isnt likely to get much here maybe 20%
5. Coast - Muslims in Kenya are nonpartisan but this time appear to be inclined towards Raila because the Bomas Draft taht Raila's campaign is based upon is Muslim-friendly in certain aspects including banning the US-sponsored and Kibaki implemented Anti-Terrorism Act. Raila relies on the Arab and Arabized Muslims of the coast who are solidly behind him to clinch the lion share of Uswahilini. Kibaki relies on the old Arab/African tensions here to win the support of the largely Christian coastal bantus who can give him upto 40%. Kalonzo may split Kibakis vote significantly because a third of these coastal bantus are Kamba migrant labor that has over the years established itself at the coast.
6. North Eastern - Following the Muslim inclination towards Raila, and his promise to unleash a Marshall plan for Kenya's most neglected province together with the province's loved leaders like Billow Kerrow, Kibaki has no chance here. This is made more complicated bythe fact that the Somalis felt let down when the Kibaki government supported the fall of the Sharia regime in Somalia. Here Kibaki relies on the traditional Moi thinking that people in need always vote for the government. Lately it hasnt worked. They rejected Mois candidate in 2002 and voted overwhelmingly against Kibaki in the 2005 referendum despite their hardships.
7. Central - No comments. They will vote to the last man, woman and youth for Kibaki. He will get 99% here. Needless to say that this is the only province in Kenya made of one tribe. And the whole tribe is intoxicated with the Kibaki re-election bid if we go by their normal voting pattern: none but their own.
8. Nairobi - Raila is the MP of Langata which is in Nairobi province. He commands a lot of the province's vote because of its concentration of people from all over Kenya, majority who are from the six provinces where Raila is popularly and will likely vote like their home provinces. The central Kenya Nairobi residents who shrink in number in the face of the coalition of other tribes are likely to win four out of the six seats as ODM scoops the rest. Using past trends, Raila will scoop at least 50% and Kibaki will share with 40% for himself and 10% to Kalonzo.
This is the closest you can get to a detailed explanation of the politics of Kenya and why this is not just any African country's election but a unique politics formed by our past and present realities.
Buy me a gift if ODM wins and the patterns of victory follow my experienced breakdown. I will do the same if H.E. Emilio Mwai Kibaki miraculously wins and Kenya doesnt boil over in protesting the obvious lie.