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Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Will The Raila-Bashing Strategy Work For Kibaki?



The president’s campaign strategy has begun to take shape.

It is rather clear that it will involve a lot of Raila-bashing. The idea will be to put fear and anxiety in the hearts of voters on the dangers of a Raila presidency. The message is that he is not to be trusted with such an important seat and with so much power. The most likely thing that will happen, those handling the president’s campaign want to tell Kenyans, is that Raila will use the presidency to seek revenge and thus slide the country into chaos.

This strategy has many similarities to the strategy that was used by Karl Rove the legendary campaigner of President George Bush who against all odds got his man back to the White House in 2004 despite widespread discontent with the Bush handling of the Iraq war and other issues. It worked very well, especially when Osama Bin Laden released one of those video tapes of his right on cue, very shortly before Americans went to the polls. The message to American voters was simple; can you trust John Kerry to deal with Bin Laden and the war on terror? Bearing in mind that the events of 9/11 were still very fresh on the minds of many Americans many of them felt that their better option and the lesser evil was George Bush. That is one presidential election that political scientists will study and analyze for many years to come.

But back to Kenya. Can President Kibaki’s strategy work in closing the gap between himself and Raila Odinga in the presidential race? Can it give him victory?

My answer is that the president urgently needs a strategy if he is to win these elections. In other words the current approach will fall flat on its’ face.

Clearly it is the kind of strategy that has struck a chord with my dad who is over 70 and an ex-senior policeman. However how many voters do we have in Kenya of that age and background?

The other thing this strategy does not address is the Kikuyu back-lash caused by 5 years of arrogance and too many appointments from the house of Mumbi in a country that boasts of at least 42 tribes. The president’s strategists have tried to address this issue by placing full page advertisements in the press listing senior appointments in government and their tribes.

Again the president’s men have missed the point completely. In these matters perception counts much more than actual numbers. What do you expect when you appoint a Kikuyu as governor of the Central Bank denying a popular lady who has done an excellent job as acting governor? And that is just one example. Take for instance another highly visible appointment like that of director of CID which Kenyans have observed is always a tribal appointment. During Kibaki’s tenure two appointments have been made—both Kikuyu.

What I really wonder about is what else President Kibaki can talk about when he is not talking about that unnamed leader who has done nothing over the last 5 years. While it is true that both Raila and Kibaki are uninspiring speakers, the president is obviously in a very difficult position because his main opponent has a lot to talk about which will get many more Kenyans listening to him than to the president.

Right now things look rather bleak for the Kibaki camp according to all the reports and analysis I have in front of me, some of which I cannot even talk about here. I don’t see how the president’s campaign can be saved. Anyway, I will sleep over it and see if I can come up with a brilliant counter strategy for the Kibaki camp tomorrow.

ODM supporters I hear you and I can see you making faces. Please don’t throw barbs at me. I am after all like Taabu and Luke, still horseless and they say that this thing is a game don’t they? So let’s play.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Chris, what is it that your hero Raila has done or will do that would make one to vote him? When he talks about change, does it mean that he becomes president so that instead of the Mt Kenya Mafia we'll now have the Kisumu/pre-2002 GoK Mafia eating and vomiting on our shoes?

Raila who somewhere became an overnight billionaire in 2001/2 after joining Moi's cabinent and he has now sourrounded himself with corrupt theives-so what is the difference with Kibaki?

Raila who daily talks about how inflation has robbed the poor the benefits of self-evident economic growth and yet doesn't even know the meaning of the word inflation and how you can control it.

Raila who forever talks about majimbo as the solution to equiality-its easy to talk about equality when you have 4bn in the bank. Yet majimbo is a more expensive and wasteful form governance than the ineffecient corrupt edific we have today.

Anonymous said...

Sitting African presidents NEVER lose elections. I can't even recall one who did and baba Jimmy surely would not like to go that route. Already billions of shillings are at work buying votes in the likes of Kibera and Kisumu and with many days to go before the big day, lots of poor Kenyans living under sh 67 per day will gladly accept sh 1000 for the vote without batting an eyelid. If you think the elections will be free and fair, think again. Even in U.S we know they never are. Already we have seen running battles between hired goons and lots of vote buying at night. Ironically there's nothing much our powerful president can do. It's all part of our election's ritual. How do you stop an unemployed, hopeless and broke youth from selling his/her vote? Kindly let me know! Money is being poured big time this season. On the issue of tribal appointments, I saw the full page AD in the media and was shocked coz I thought it was a widespread problem. I never hear anyone complain about Kalenjin dominance in athletics, because they are mostly taken on merit. So is civil service jobs and with Kikuyus being most populous, you expect some dominance. Same argument applies to dead bodies in mortuaries, Kenyans living abroad, prisons, media etc. But I guess many would like to see an illiterate tribesman in shuka being hired to run KRA just like in Moi days. Ironically the most criticized depts like KRA and Treasury are the most successful! Let's wake up guys. Tanzanians already have! Be advised accordingly. AMK

Anonymous said...

Chris, if you have a friend who operates a Heart's clinic, please ask him to order for very many life support machines. Because the way things are going, I forsee very many pple being admitted somewhere towards the end of December. Some might not even enjoy christmass or the new year. I forsee so many heart attack cases (Sharrif Nassir style).

Yes, it is very rare for a sitting African president to lose an election. And this is why so many will be in shock at the end of the year. Questions such as "How could a sitting president lose by such a big margin?" will frequently be asked. And anyone who thinks the propaganda war will win them another term; wait and you will be shown what propaganda means! Right now, it is "Hummer for Hummer, Chopper for Chopper, Ida (Odinga) for Ida (Livondo), and Propaganda for Propaganda".

If there is a dossier Kibaki's men are waiting to release about Raila, they better be advised to keep it. Because Chris, more is coming. It's bound to me dirty! Forget about the Kombos, Mungatanas, Nyachaes, Dr. Shabaans, Shitandas on Sunday.Put your ears on the ground, ask yourself what Raila was doing in the US after the ODM nominations. And I can tell you that there is one last one from Githongo. This will be just a month before the elections. Wait and see. It's going to be like a movie. Infact, right now, you don't need to take your better half to 20th Century Plaza, or Nairobi Cinema for a movie. Just watch this space!

Always, Chief Dr. Alhajj M.A. Nanga, MP!

Anonymous said...

Chris, if you have a friend who operates a Heart's clinic, please ask him to order for very many life support machines. Because the way things are going, I forsee very many pple being admitted somewhere towards the end of December. Some might not even enjoy christmass or the new year. I forsee so many heart attack cases (Sharrif Nassir style).

Yes, it is very rare for a sitting African president to lose an election. And this is why so many will be in shock at the end of the year. Questions such as "How could a sitting president lose by such a big margin?" will frequently be asked. And anyone who thinks the propaganda war will win them another term; wait and you will be shown what propaganda means! Right now, it is "Hummer for Hummer, Chopper for Chopper, Ida (Odinga) for Ida (Livondo), and Propaganda for Propaganda".

If there is a dossier Kibaki's men are waiting to release about Raila, they better be advised to keep it. Because Chris, more is coming. It's bound to me dirty! Forget about the Kombos, Mungatanas, Nyachaes, Dr. Shabaans, Shitandas on Sunday.Put your ears on the ground, ask yourself what Raila was doing in the US after the ODM nominations. And I can tell you that there is one last one from Githongo. This will be just a month before the elections. Wait and see. It's going to be like a movie. Infact, right now, you don't need to take your better half to 20th Century Plaza, or Nairobi Cinema for a movie. Just watch this space!

Always, Chief Dr. Alhajj M.A. Nanga, MP!

Anonymous said...

Raila was fund collecting and campaigning in the states to seek support from Kenyans living there.Because in truth we have the capacity to raise a lot more for him here.

There are thousands of Kenyans in the States if every 1 of them gives at least $20 dollars to the Raila campaign or more then he has enough to campaign with ease.

Fund raising is not illegal.

PS:im coming home to vote for Raila

Anonymous said...

Chris come rain or sunshine, whether they say Raila is a kihii or not. They can even go to juju experts in Nigeria who go in the Ocean and come out more powerful. This Kibaki government is doomed.

Talk to any common mwananchi a watchman, a mama mboga, a waiter etc… who is not a kiuk they will tell you the problem with this government is ukabila. Tumechoka na wakikuyu na hata waseme nini ju ya Raila hatutawapatia kura. Apparently the email that has been circulated with top government posts held mainly by people from Mt Kenya has also been circulated to the common mwananchi. One from Kisii told me Telkom wame vuta kabila zingine kazi, uncle yangu anawatato hawajamaliza shule sijui atafanyaje. People are very bitter and know that goodies are only offered during elections but honoring them after that is another story. Kibaki not honoring the MOU is very fresh in people’s minds. Let them continue with their bashing but let them know Kenyan’s are no fools. not a tribalist and believe our kiuk brothers and sisters have a right. But their leaders have shown a very bad example.

Mzalendo

Phil said...

Chris,

Of course Raila is the most inspiring political speaker of our time. You only need to attend an ODM rally or conduct a personal interview to know what I mean.

Anyway, here's my take for the day.

WE DO NOT WORSHIP RAILA BUT WE LIKE HIS RESUME!

- Do I support Raila?-YES
- Am I a Luo?-NO
- Is Raila a visionary leader?-YES
- Is Raila a god?-NO
- Are there many supporting Raila just because he is a Luo?-YES
- Are there many against Raila just because he is a Luo?-YES
- Is Raila the answer to all the Kenyan Problems?-NO
- Can Raila help lead Kenya towards justice and prosperity for all?-YES
- Is Raila better than Kibaki?-YET TO BE DETERMINED (but, I believe so?)
- Is Raila better than Moi?-YES-anybody is better than Moi, even Kalembe Ndile is better than Moi!!!
- Has Raila proven himself as a freedom fighter, astute politician, and a capable leader, qualified to lead Kenya?-ABSOLUTELY YES

Although some of the questions and answers above may seem silly and pedestrian, they are meant to show that some of us are objective supporters of a Raila presidency! We are not just some dogged loyalists driven by irrational euphoria galvanized in inveterate tribalism! NO! You must understand that some of us are the same patriotic Kenyans who survived Moi and feverishly supported Kibaki in the last elections. So, we are not just some ignorant worshippers kneeling relentlessly at the Raila shrine. We have valid reasons-motivated by patriotism, Kenyan pride and dear love for country.

Despite the overwhelming tribal influence, which stifles and precludes progressive national politics in Kenya, some of us appreciate Raila Odinga because we have the ability to separate the patriot from the politician-it is not that difficulty! Firstly, most Kenyans know what the man has been through. Raila has been fighting for better governance, political suffrage, and justice for all Kenyans before it was fashionable to do so! The man lost many years in detention while the rest of us sat by and allowed Moi and his cronies to cast him as a radical determined to ruin Kenya. As Raila languished in jail, most of us, including some of the current politicians, continued to support Moi who did everything in his power to tribalize, impoverish, plunder, and corrupt our dear country.

Secondly, Kibaki would never have been president if it wasn't for Raila! It was Raila who destroyed Moi's dreams of a Uhuru Kenyatta presidency in the last elections. Whereas the other politicians remained in total disarray as Moi impetuously imposed Uhuru on the people, Raila took charge. Raila formed a rebellious coalition within KANU and delivered a severe blow to Moi. Moreover, he handed the Kenyan presidency to Kibaki on a silver platter. He crisscrossed the country popularizing and campaigning for Kibaki. Even in Central province, Kikuyu men and women were singing Raila praises to the effect of *"Raila ni Jamba!"-*Raila is a warrior! Let's not forget that Luos, Kambas, Kalenjins, Luhyas, and many others voted for Kibaki because of Raila. It was their belief in Raila-the man, the patriot, the freedom fighter, the visionary, which gave value to a Kibaki presidency.

Thirdly, there is no doubt that the present Kenyan constitution is lacking! It is foolish to assume that any country can deliver to the citizenry when the supreme law of the land is flawed and ineffective. Progressive minded Kenyan's appreciate this simple fact. They proved it when they sided with Raila and the Orange swallowed the Banana by refusing to support a constitution that gave too much power to the executive branch. Kenyans wanted the Bomas Draft, which was drafted by Kenyans for Kenyans. Once again, Raila Odinga stood on the right side of the issue with the common man/woman.

Mwai Kibaki, on the other hand, is just an OKAY president! I say this because Moi was so terrible that by default Kibaki, or anybody else for that matter, was destined to fair much better. However, Kibaki is not a great leader. A good economic manager he may be but a transformational leader he is not. Sure, the Kenya's GDP growth had risen but so has inflation. The Nairobi Stock Exchange has delivered higher returns but many Kenyans continue to be marginalized as the country quickly evolves into a plutocracy where most of the national wealth is controlled by a chosen few-namely the Mount Kenya Mafia! The trickle down effects of Kenya's growing economy are debatable but there is no denying that the best economic opportunities have been allocated to specific sons of Mumbi.

What's more infuriating is Kibaki's new-found love for Moi! One of Kibaki's leading priorities should have been to recover what Moi and his cronies stole from Kenya. To turn a blind eye to Moi's plunder is to debase the dignity of every Kenyan man and woman. A gruesome crime was perpetrated on the Kenyan people. Large amounts of money were stolen, public institutions bled to death, and many sentenced to crippling poverty under Moi's government. During Moi's twenty four year rule, Kenya experienced a devastation that is tantamount to economic genocide. Kibaki knows this-explains why his government had commissioned an investigation whose results they now refuse to acknowledge or act upon. Wake up Kibaki? Moi is a spent cartridge!!! Not to mention that John Githongo-a true patriot- is still hiding in exile for exposing government corruption at its worst! SHAME! SHAME! SHAME!

It is pure hog-wash to argue that Moi must be respected and left-alone to enjoy his ill-gotten wealth for the sake of national unity! Whose unity? And who are the beneficiaries of this unity? No one person is bigger or more important than the whole citizenry, not even Moi. It is wrong, immoral, unjust, and myopic for Kibaki to relent on this fight. For him to embrace Moi is to validate thievery and plunder. And we wonder why certain elements within the society are so eager to grab an AK47 to rob and kill the rest of us silly! How can they refrain from using a Kalashnikov to facilitate their ominous acts when the leader of the nation is allowing the greatest kind of injustice to go unpunished? HOW?

The facts are simple and naked! Raila has a long history of being right. He suffered for justice, he defeated Moi, he made Kibaki president, and he supports the right constitution for Kenya. Some of you may ask-and how does this make the size of my ugali bigger today? The answer is simple. It doesn't. But what I know is that of all the current leaders, only Raila has the tools and skills needed to unite Kenyans across tribal barriers. The man understands what Kenya is suffering from. He understands that many Kenyans lack a national identity, thus, default to tribe. He understands why many Kenyans have embraced a defeatist attitude that allows them to wallow in the "comfort" of mediocrity and low expectations. He understands that Kenyans have zilch faith or trust in their elected officials. Whereas many are recommending Panadol to cure brain tumor he is urging for the right remedy-radical surgery. What we need in Kenya is the Raila Answer- a new and proressive national mind-set.

If you listen to Raila speak and read his writings you must discover that his rhetoric is not based on populist propaganda. His vision for Kenya is founded on a profound wisdom that advocates for national pride and love for country. I dare say that when you are completely proud to be a Kenyan and you are willing to fight for liberty, uphold justice for all and create prosperity for all Kenyans, then and only then will your ugali get bigger. Since Raila has been right many times before, if anything, let's give him a chance to prove himself as the next president of Kenya!!!

Anonymous said...

FROM BC, CANADA.
am I a Kikuyu: NO.
Do I support Raila Odinga: NO and NEVER.
WHY?: because he is a power hungry and a power thirsty kihii with mucus in his mango shaped charcoal black head. All he talks about is some senseless MOU and constitutions. He has mentally enslaved the kavirondo natives. He uses witchcraft and thuggery to entrench himself as a demi-god.
DO I support the President: Yes and Yes and Yes.
WHY?: He has brought economic prosperity to the Nation. Every sector of the economy has registered growth. He has achieved it without IMF and world Bank support. He has provided free education to all. (Although many jaluo kids prefer selling groundnuts in the estates rather than go to school because a certain ogwambo has not given his consent). Road construction all over the republic. Stabilised the Shilling at 67 to the US $. He has allowed freedom of expression. He is a statesman and is also the President of COMESA.
Kioko, BC,Canada. kazi iendeleeeee!

Vikii said...

Did you ask people to give him a chance? I thought he was the one who made Mwai Kibaki president. Why does he need people like you to beg for votes for him? Let him use the same magic he used to make Kibaki president, this time for himself. Mr Phil!!!!

You failed your own set of questions. The answers to the following questions are grossly wrong: Q2,3,4,5,8,9,10 and 11. your score in that test is 3/11. A score below 30% is not something you want to be very proud of, is it?

Derek said...

Kioko...chuckles!!!

Anonymous said...

anonymous above vikii

u are definitely a Kikuyu!

we know that hatred and intolerance not to mention the childishness.......

Anonymous said...

I think Kioko has a point. thumbs up this tyme round.

John Maina said...

vikii and derek have you considered that raila may after all win and both kibaki and kalonzo accepts defeat?

Be more open minded and objective in your commentaries, remember anything i and you are not in control goes on its direction.

Anonymous said...

John Maina ngui ino. You seem to reason like an old woman in the village. Don't you have eyes to see what kifaki has done for kenya. kiino giki.

Thuraku said...

raila cant win -raila is like john kerry by the time the kibaki campaign is done with him -he will be damaged goods -those who say kibaki can win on character assasination are wrong no pro kibaki supporter will defect because raila was insulted if anything the base will be pumped

1.kibaki has to talk about the economy
2.all the raila phobia people must be pumped up to come out and vote

in this game its do or die -the only way to go after odm is to go after their character -ntimama raila and ruto are fair targets - more matusi kwa nwingi

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