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Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Senator Obama: Why The Kenyan Government Will Never Figure Out What Hit Them

As I write this post government insiders are still trying to control the fall out and do the best they can at damage control, but it is clear the damage will be hard to control.

Senator Barack Obama seems to have been too “hot” even for the opposition ODM to handle, stealing the headlines and limelight. Not to mention getting the sort of rousing reception that probably no other Kenyan politician can manage at the moment right across the nation.

The visit to the country where his father was born and bred must have been a rather emotional experience for one of the most popular politicians in the American democratic party at the moment. A man whose name will just not go away in discussions about the 2008 presidential polls in that nation.

A point everybody seems to ignore is that whatever you want to call him, Obama has Kenyan blood flowing through his veins. And the Kenyan public seems to have sensed quite rightly that this is their son for whom they have a lot to be proud about. He holds the distinction of being the first American of African descent to win any election in the US. He is only the fifth African American to serve in Congress and the only one in Congress currently.

But what seems to have endeared this liberal politician most to ordinary Kenyans is his kind of politics, last seen on these shores practiced by another son of Kenya from Luo Nyanza, one Thomas Joseph Mboya. A man who never relied on Luo votes to win a single election (ironically most of the folks who voted for him were Kikuyu). The sort of populist politics that has also been seen in the likes of JM Kariuki. Something the country is badly crying out for.

Yesterday I published a tongue-in-the-cheek open letter to the American electrorate in this blog asking the American people to release the man to run for President of Kenya incase they do not consider him suitable for office in the US. On a more serious note, the political reaility is that if push came to shove, the Americans would never accept to do that and in all likelihood and despite several public denials, chances are very high that Senator Obama’s name will ultimately appear in the list of democratic presidential hopefuls for 2008.
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Vee said...

I've been on a political hiatus - meaning I've been avoiding the news like the plague. So with the new month I'm back and what better way to restart my juices than tuning in to NTV last night to watch the exclusive interview with Senator Obama and a listen to his UoN speech...

Yes the government and politicians don't know what hit them. While Sen.Obama was talking - weaving words of diplomacy and condemnation in the same breathe - I asked myself:

•Who in the aspiring crop of politians can hold a crowd for 30mins with their words.. not their rhetoric, not their blame games, not their complaints and irrelevant whining... but with words that speak to the people, that inspire them, that remind us the fight isn't over... that we must persevere if we want a new Kenya...Who can do that?

•As much as I want to back up a young person in next years election... I also am weary because the fad might just be to vote a young person for the sake of...just to get the old men out of power... we had a "VOTE MOI OUT" fad in 2002 and so 2007 might be "VOTE YOUNG"... But what is the substance behind such a campaign if we will not ask of them to stand NOT on their PERSONALITY, AGE or TRIBE... but to ask for support on pertinent ISSUES... can we also strive to make 2007 an ISSUE DRIVEN ELECTION?

I heard someone say that the current politicians didn't get into power on issues so why should the youth... we should just grab the power cause it's our time... I say bulls**t... If we are to "Vote Young" in 2007 we should start a new style of voting that calls for us to look at "Character vs Personality" and "Issues vs Rhetoric" and so on and so forth...once we get on that such a footing then people will learn to hold their politicians accountable... and Politicians will start being as diplomatic as Sen. Obama... you could see that clearly the State of Illinois was first agenda on his mind - while being a Kenyan and supporting Kenyan causes was secondary...

I ask you do you see the same of (for instance) Raila... when he opens his mouth... do you sense that the constituency of Langata's interest in anything he says?

I will "Vote Young" come 2007... but I will also urge everyone around me to "Vote Issues"...

Anonymous said...

Vee you have raised a fundamental flaw inherent in the "Youth" campaign.

We need to go back and emphasize on basic morality, basic honour, discipline, basic honesty and sound character. The template of a successful society is found here. Sound issues, vision and restraint (verbal and physical) from a leader is then possible.

We usually forget that the moral fabric of the Kenyan society was torn asunder sometime back and hypocrisy permeates every pore of our nation.

I would squarely blame the society which brings forth such freaks (politicians).

The Kenyan society idolises thieves, corrupters, perverts etc. How then do you expect an upright leader to survive in such an environment? I would also blame the religious leaders for espousing ideals which they are 'afraid' of implementing. What is the point of the Pastor haranguing his congregation on the virtues of accountability yet he wines and dines with the 'unaccountable' politicians?

In sum, the society is convulsing morally and has reached a nadir. Its products are therefore political leaders who propagate political promiscuity.

It is that simple, an immoral society, diseased with sin, begets immoral leaders and children.

We have let our mothers down.

chris said...

When we start thinking in this direction, then you quickly come to the realization that the current crop of politiucians are in trouble and it is only a matter of time. And most of all you realize that there is hope for Kenya. When hope is lost, all is else is lost.

Thank you all for taking the time to comment, I always get a high reading so much sense from former constituents of the Moi error and now the Kick-baki tosha regime.

Vee said...

Indeed we have let our mother's down... but not all is lost. Personally I think if we treated campainging like a job interview...then we would get somewhere.

Candidates in each Ward & Constituency:
•Must hand in a Resume...explaining their schooling, job and social history.
•Shortlisted candidates should hand in a proposal stating what issues they want to address.
•Shortlisted candidates will also be obliged to hold forums where members of public can question them.
•Shortlisted candidates will have to have a public debate before final elections.

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