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Sunday, November 18, 2007

A Missed Opportunity By PNU To Bury ODM

There is no doubt that the popularity of ODM and Raila Odinga has slipped significantly over the last few weeks. One of the reasons for this has been what started out clearly as mere propaganda over the Internet to the effect that Raila had signed a secret MOU with Muslim leaders in Kenya to introduce Sharia law into the Coast and North Eastern province Jimbos shortly after the introduction of the majimbo system of governance as proposed by ODM.

It was a ridiculous claim that many readers here quite rightly dismissed. However, one thing led to another and very soon Raila found himself under considerable pressure to reveal the details of his alleged MOU with the Muslims. He actually put more pressure on himself than was necessary by initially denying the existence of any such agreement. He later changed his mind and admitted that an agreement of sorts had been reached between himself and the Muslims, Coming so soon after the famous Kadhi courts battle in the proposed Bomas draft between Christians and Muslims in Kenya, the issue has caused considerable anxiety amongst Christians all over the country and this has without doubt considerably reduced the momentum in the Raila presidential campaign. Several polls have clearly shown his popularity slipping.

It is quite likely that the hiring of the controversial Dick Morris (a gifted but controversial pollster who former President Clinton talks of very highly of in his biography—My Life.) was one of the measures taken by Raila’s handlers to try and reverse the situation. It really isn’t a crisis yet but in politics...

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Taabu said...

To go with IMAGIGE IS EVERYTHING mantra in politics is the essence of TIME. Timing a political jab is a guaranteed victory. But Kibaki is also alivbe to the fact that Kenyan voter is becoming sophisticated and base propaganda can harmfully boomaarang.

Raila can count of the short memry of Kenyans. After the shambolic nominations attention will definitely lie elsewhere. Flogging Dick Morris won't wash. The chaps head is what matters and whether he can weather Kenyan ETHNICALLY charged landmines only time will tell.

Kibaki finds himself between two hostile scenarios. He cannot be seen to isolating the Muslims after all the heat from war of terror and depotaions. Neither can he be seen to pander to the Yesuists. He needs a middle ground lest he cooks the goose before dinner time with no storage facilities.

On Raila the polls may his for the losing. As Mutahu aptly puts it to him his mouth will be his making or doing in the but next 30+ days. He must banish his nasty and only resurrect it after Dec 27 if he must.

All said the heat is on and the next 3 weeks will be full of theatrics like never seen before. May the best candidate win, na baado.

Anonymous said...

Chris, please note that Raila did not deny signing an MOU with Muslims. Daily Nation misquoted him and later apologized.

Anonymous said...


This one you lost despite all your articles being superb. The fact is that Kenyans are not interested in chest thumping about religion. Kenyans love their tribes more than their religions. If Kibaki would have portrayed himself as a good Christian (though I wonder if Mamlukis and Anglo-fleecing are Christian acts as well), his GEMA clergy killed that idea. This is because they came out in his defence and rejected devolution even before Kenyans discussed it. Note that the rest of the clergy be they Christians or Muslims kept quiet about devolution, but in a brazen tribal act yet disguised as moral guidance, GEMA clergy said devolution is bad. Immediately, the Church was divided between GEMA and the rest. Don’t forget that many former church leaders including the immediate former moderator of the PCEA is in Kibaki’s re-election team; no wonder David Githii said devolution is bad.

The second thing is that the MOU that was circulated was utter rubbish and ludicrous. What was written there could have even been dismissed by a 4 year old boy since it was unrealistic and impractical even in a fascist country. It was basically useless concoctions that defied both logic and reason. Furthermore, Muslims later reproduced an MOU Kibaki signed with them in Nyali Beach Hotel in October 2002. This MOU as they said was political and economical. In other words, he was supposed to have come up with a marshal plan to develop Muslim areas that lack behind in development. They said the one they signed with Raila is similar to that. Note that there are many truths here. Raila said he will create a new ministry called the Northern Affairs (North Eastern and Upper Eastern; Muslim populated areas) so that it deals with economic generation, livestock development and regional development. These were the promises Kibaki made to Muslims when he [Kibaki], Balala, Raila, Ngilu, and Wamalwa met them at Nyali.

Kenyans will ask if Christianity made or makes Kibaki good, why is he bad? Corrupt? Works with Mamlukis? With Anglo-fleecing? With tribal warlords? Remember Michuki lashing at Ngilu and the Kamba dance slander. Martha Karua tearing into Somalis saying that they were refugees when she went to seek their help for the Yes vote. Furthermore, The Christian clergy that joined Parliament in 2002 failed to show that religion can guide them to be honest and loyal to the nation and the public. They turned out to be opportunists and as greedy as the rest. Now, if you look at the nominees of ODM and PNU, you will realize that ODM has many clergy nominees unlike PNU which has Mutava Musyimi alone. To convince Kenyans that Kibaki is a better Christian is not easy here; neither does the religiosity of a person whether Kibaki or Raila convince anyone to settle on them. If Kibaki or Raila is a good Christian, the poor man in Nyeri, Alego Usongo, Lokichoggio, Namanga or Mandera doesn’t give damn to it because he wants food and the religious ostentation of either Kibaki or Raila doesn’t convince him as such. Martha Karua would have been humble and meek if Christianity and Father Wamagunda would have effect. The religion of Kenyans is food and tribe; let no one engage in cheap rhetoric about any other sideshow. Kamanda, or Mwenje, or Michuki or Karua don’t convince me that they are good because of their religion. Lucy is a marauding, violent and corrupt old lady who has no inkling of what humility and Christ is all about. One more thing that undermines the purported MOU is the fact that Muslims have always been peaceful and co-existed with the rest. Don’t forget that Islam was in Kenya hundreds of years before Christianity came and Muslims and Christians love each other and lived well throughout. By brandishing a false and ludicrous MOU, PNU drove away all the pro-PNU Muslims. You remember this is what happened in 2005. Many Muslims were for Kibaki and yes, but some GEMA clergy were insensitive like David Githii who called Islam a “poison” and Kigumo MP who said Islam “was a dragon from the East.” Muslims complained about this to Kibaki. But his ineptitude failed him to lead. So Muslims ganged up and they provided the swing vote. Gitau Warigi handled this in his column last month. Kibaki should advise his PNU lieutenants just like he advised them when they lashed at the USA. If he doesn’t do, the few hundreds who are with him will run away.

About the Indians you talked about and how PNU can win over them, already Raila pulled a fast on them. Don’t you see he anointed Shakeel Ahmed Shabir, the Indian, to be the ODM Kisumu town MP? Would you imagine PNU giving the Juja seat to the Indians of Thika? In Migori, he made a Somali to be the mayor despite them constituting few families. He has already scored many goals on this fronts and shown tolerance and assimilation that can hardly be done in other areas. Remember also that it is not lost on Muslims that Shakeel is a Muslim. Also many Indians see Raila as their friend and he has a good network and elaborate relationship with Indians. Prof. Yash Pal Ghai, the Bomas architect and his close relationship with Raila convinces few Indians that he understands them. The fact that also Luos have a considerable Muslim minority including the Obama parents and grand parents made many Muslims agree with him. My point is simple: No Kenyan Muslim will vote along religious line and no Kenyan Christian will do it since there is no such reality at all. Granted, Muslims will deny their votes to Kibaki, but it is about exclusion, lack of development, harassment of security personnel and etc rather than Islam itself.

Anonymous said...

Dont be silly, its true the damn snake denied:

Anonymous said...

In Kenya politics for politicians is about getting to the August house irrespective of Party- refer this weekend.
For the rest of us who take them there its about tribe first, tribe 2nd tribe 3rd.
You 4-get Xtians have Catholics, SDA's, Evangelicals, Pentacostal Churches etc. All these are routed in certain areas already affected by tribe.
4- get it Kumekucha if religion was a decisive factor Muiru rather than Kibaki would be leading in the Polls. After all Kibaki does not go to Church he is no different from RAO. All we have seen are him attending Harambes, Memorial services, and on religious holidays.
Why can't Kalonzo score despite his repetition of being saved etc?
Once you get into Church Adventists and Evangelicals will start asking why a Catholic??
It's all about tribe that's how i see it.

Taabu said...

Our clergy have LOST it big time. The moral high ground of Ndingi in the 60s/70s condemning oathing during Kenyatta's hey days is gone. Even for him the spark deserted him fews year ago before retiring.

All we have presently are triba kingpins with the collar. They are tribe X first before their faith. Church and state is an intricate mix. Seeing senior clergy taking pseudo-state positions was the beginning of the end. Hosting politiciand and making secterian/partisan speeches was the icing on the cakke.

Forget about religion, Kenya's politics is premised on 3 pillars: TRIBE + TRIBE and some more TRIBE. We only mouth religion when it suits us just as the clergy preys into our insecurities. Makes me ask does it mean our forefathers who never knew the 'modern' God are all destined to hell?

Anonymous said...

Why is it necessary to deny hard facts? The MOU was signed, the Muslims own newsletter confirms it. So why deny when the source of the information is the horses own mouth?? There is a clear cut difference between stating that there was no MOU and accepting that there was one.

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