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Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Political Circus That Is ODM


Guest post by Kinuthia WaMwangi

For almost five years, some leaders have carried on a sustained hate campaign punctuated with vitriol, contempt and fractious politics.

It is not difficult to imagine that this has something to do with breach of trust based on a piece of paper known as the Memorandum of Understanding between individuals who agreed to share power in a certain fashion back in 2002.

It may also be based on a feeling of self-loss after an individual scored an own goal by uttering the phrase "Kibaki Tosha." This quixotic self-deceit that one denied oneself the chance to be in State House undermines the intelligence of voters who overwhelmingly chose the person they wanted to occupy it.

Unfortunately, the deceit was packaged and delivered to Kenyans who swallowed it lock, stock and barrel. It has been used to peddle a regime-change campaign full of vitriol.

The media led the way by praising the rational distribution of government posts according to diverse national interests, but...

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Anonymous said...

It looks increasingly like President Kibaki will run and win a second term. Kibaki’s victory will be a triumph of pragmatism and progress over ethnic division and hatred. We could even simplify this further and say that it will be a triumph of good over evil.By this I do not mean to label the opposition evil, opposition is a central and necessary ingredient in a healthy democracy. The evil is in the tactics adopted by the most virulent section of the opposition. This section led by odm base their campaign against the President on fanning the flames of ethnic hatred and regionalism.

ODM and their de-facto leader Raila Odinga were once members of the ruling coalition NARC. Soon after NARC came into power LDP devised a plan to take over power for themselves, seeking what Raila Odinga referred to as “a luo presidency”. Early on in the new goverment LDP was introducing a tribal or ethnic component to its politics. In LDP’s agenda published shortly after NARC came to power, LDP stated “4. The government must be isolated and shown as a Mt. Kenya backed government without national appeal.” This simple statement signaled LDP’s intention to create regional division and to ride the consequent wave of ethnic hatred to power(Raila’s tsunami).

But is this evil you may ask. The answer is a blunt yes. The deadliest conflicts in the twentieth century all occurred in areas of great ethnic diversity, where politicians exploited ethnicity as a weapon to achieve political power. The byproduct in all these areas has been a paroxysm or “tsunami” of ethnic violence and ethnic cleansing that left millions dead. So when ODM lights the match of tribalism and tosses it into the tinderbox that is Kenya, they are displaying a callous disregard for life in their gluttonous quest for power.

Ethnic hatred is a powerful weapon and that is why ODM chose that route to power. But how are they deploying it and why won’t it work. The first thing that ODM’s and their apologists have done is to try and paint the government as a Mount Kenya affair just like their agenda plotted.

ODM have used lies like the cabinet and civil service are mostly from the Kikuyu tribe of President Mwai Kibaki even though this is public information and easily disproved. LDP has beaten this drum repeatedly raising ethnic sensitivity to unrealistic levels especially among their supporter. The result is that any Kikuyu or other Kenyan with a Kikuyu sounding name who happens to be in government is viewed as proof of Kibaki’s tribalism. By promoting this view ODM seeks to create ethnic grievance and therefore try to isolate Kikuyus and rally other tribes behind their leader Raila.

There have been a myriad other lies promoted by LDP all designed to promote a sense of ethnic grievance and all thoroughly debunked but yet repeated endlessly by ODM’s tribal warriors. We all know allegations that the majority of government scholarships go to Kikuyus easily debunked when the list was produced in Parliament. The allegation that 70% of DC’s are Kikuyus , that only Kikuyus are benefiting from the economy, that Nyanza failed KCPE because education money was allocated to central province and not Nyanza. That Kikuyus are stealing and robbing the country blind and a thousand other pernicious lies.

Interestingly at the height of ODM’s ethnic campaign they accuse the President some saying “Kibaki has never missed a chance to remind us of his intense tribal leanings”. Despite this kind of patently false statements the LDP ethnic hatred campaign is coming to naught. Even though ODM have succeeded in polarizing the country along tribal lines they have been unable to harness that tribal hatred they have generated to propel Raila to power. Instead other regions have come up with their own champions and it is not clear that they will support Raila in the end.

A major problem with ODM’s ethnic campaign is that it is based on lies. It generates ethnic division but destroys Raila and ODMs credibility. ODM has maintained that Kibaki has done nothing for Kenya, he has been asleep, incompetent etc. ODM has persisted in this fiction for almost 4 years but in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary they appear increasingly delusional.Recently ODM leader Raila Odinga has been forced to grudgingly admit the gains the government has made. Raila lauds govt development effort an incongruous statement on Raila's part. Raila did not recently discover what the government had done, rather his lies were becoming increasingly exposed in the face of unassailable evidence of economic and social progress.

Now Raila’s is treating us to ridiculous contortionist tricks as he tries to lay claim to the governments development record even as he trashes the President. Lang’ata MP Raila Odinga wants some of the achievements made by the Government credited to ODM.. Obviously ODM-has never been in goverment so he must be reffering to LDP. If ODM (LDP) want to claim the governments successes are they willing to claim it’s failures?Even the Presidents staunchest and most unfair critics the Standard Newspaper were forced by the weight of facts to admit the governments great progress. Economy promising despite political heat . It is the cognitive dissonance between ODM’s message of hatred and ethnic grievance and actual events that is responsible for the failure of ODM's campaign against the goverment.

Recent polls indicate that a majority of Kenyans support the President and recognize the governments achievements. This will be a unique occurrence in the world finally pragmatism will defeat the forces of ethnic prejudice. Another incredible triumph for the man from Othaya who has all along preached hard work and a Working Nation while leading the way by keeping his mouth shut and his foot on the pedal

Phil said...


Mr. Mwangi here is entitled to his views on ODM. It is a party that belongs to all Kenyans from all walks of life including himself. I saw this piece in the Daily Nation a few days ago, it seems to have found its way to Kumekucha. I replied you via the DN, but the Editors there would not publish my right of reply - for obvious reasons!!!! So I thank Chris for this chance.

Although I voted for Kibaki and NARC in 2002, I personally have a very dim view of his GNU arrangement. I will begin by reminding you that it is incredibly irresponsible for Kibaki to have run the country in the lackadaisical manner he is known for since 2002. No wonder thieves are raiding the state coffers right under his noes. His laidback style, would be understandable is our constitution allowed for President who is merely Head of State. In our case, he is also the Chief Executive and Commander in Chief of the Armed forces. Kenya is a deeply wounded nation struggling to rise from more than 40 years of economic and political disaster. From what you write above, it is as if other citizens only exist to be ridden on the back. The same citizens are surviving at the mercy of God, because as you wake up each morning, one is unsure whether they will see the sun set because of the nationwide gross insecurity.

Politics aside, our situation in Kenya demands determined leadership so as to consolidate the potential that the whole country holds. Unfortunately, the experience of the last four years is a first hand case study of how a CEO & C-I-C who gained power effortlessly can sit on his laurels . It is obvious the President has abdicated his duties particularly in good governance and security view points.

I am surely glad that at last, someone who is 'a lawyer and an expert on local government' has come out openly and confirmed that Mwai Kibaki was deceiving Kenyans into voting for him when he penned his signature on that 'piece of paper' known as the MOU. That is where the fraud on the people began.

Democracy, respect for human rights and promotion of the rule of law was one of the four pillars required for good governance in the recovery process. Following 2002 general elections, a new democratic and acceptable constitution was to be enacted soon after. This was never done. YWe regrettable remmebr Kiraitu Murungi using his office to mobile delegates who support government side outside. Our recovery process was also to be accompanied by zero tolerance for corruption; corruption has been tolerated many figures above nil.

Mwangi, you put across a very big lie when he purport that voters overwhelmingly chose to vote for Kibaki because 'they wanted him to occupy state house'. I wonder why those same voters who Mwangi refers to did not 'overwhelmingly' vote for Kibaki in 1997 and 1992? We have not forgotten that it wasnt until most of those fellows you see in ODM showed us their selflessness by putting aside personal ambition to declare Kibaki Tosha that Kibaki was able to be sworn in on a wheel chair not having personally campaigned for himself...I wouldnt call that an own goal but a very brave and generous action by these individuals. Kibaki's win in 2002 was not just his and for his family. That victory was for all Kenyan people who voted for him and its greatness has been compared in value to Kenya's independence in 1963 and repeal of section 2A in 1991.

It is common knowledge that Kibaki and his foot soldiers sabotaged the Bomas Draft in preference for the Wako Draft. It resulted in a straight forward and very embarassing loss for a sitting president something never heard before in Africa. 45 solid years is indeed a very long time for a people to wait in order to achieve government accountability, devolution of executive power and improved governance. Your so called GNU has shown every indication that a new constitution or minimum reforms are not on its agenda in the near future. Because of that, Kenyans will certainly elect a government and a parliament in 2007 that has a clear political will, intellect and social capacity to facilitate comprehensive reforms.

The Kibaki regime showed us during the referendum and at the recent by-elections it will use state power and resources with impunity in order to tilt the balance. The same thing is already happening as NARC-K takes its campaigns to the people. Cabinet ministers are using government resources in vehicles, provincial administration and state media. Mwangi, this is surely unacceptable and will never work in this country. Moi tried it and failed miserably.

Mwangi's piece above talks of an ODM hate campaign. How can you call revealing the Artur brothers as hate campaign? Or the fact that Githongo publisized recordings of cabinet ministers preventing him from seeking justice on behalf of the public? Or if ODM condemns the sending of a commando squad to raid a free media in the darkness of night? In all honesty Mwangi are these what you call hate campaigns? Perhaps as a lawyer you can tell us if and when the KACC will ever prosecute its first 'big fish' corruption case.

All political parties choose strategies and tactics based on whether they will draw them closer achieving political power. This is how democracy works. ODM, as an opposition political party is busy campaigning countrywide in order to show people that a honest and workable alternative is possible. Is there anything wrong with one supporting a course you believe is of value? I would encourage Mwangi to focus his energy in discrediting the principles and visions political parties are propagating rather than peddle propaganda so as to defend Kibaki's regime merely because he's working for those who desire a continuation of the old order. To other Kenyas I say, let us discard these people who have been with us since colonial times and instead focus on choosing a TEAM led President who will make this country what we all know it ought to be.

The reality of this GNU fraud is that it has resulted in mass poverty and unprecedented tribalism. The country is more polarised than when Kibaki found it. There inequality gap is much larger and grand corruption it seems has blessings of Kibaki's power men. Insecurity, including on going mungiki beheadings have overwhelmed the police even as re-election enthusiasts organise one-million shillingi per plate dinners! Kibaki tena you say? Not for me thanks.

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