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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Githongo Blames Expediency and Inequality

Strong case for a new Mumbi republic

John Githogo last night literally measured to HARD TALK's billing when he traced the genesis of Kenya's present turmoil to two vices of INEQUALITY and EXPEDIENCY. And I couldn't agree more when he added the optimistic line that all is not lost and Kenya can pull herself out of this hole.

Talking straight unlike majority of us who often prefer baptizing Lucifer as God's disgraced angel, JG made it clear that the buck stops with Kibaki who STOLE elections from Kenyans. To him the protests is a commitment to democracy which Kenyans are ready to die defending.

Looking at he bully ex-graft czar one cannot fail to read the pain on his face. While trying TOO hard not to disappoint the BBC Hard Talk host, he appeared to be keenly aware of the sharks lurking in the waters for is blood. You cannot blame him knowing that nobody exiles himself and remains happy. In JG's mind the present violence is traceable to his pet subject of corruption by our political top dogs which they dole by whipping ethnic tensions and rivalry for expediency.

Unsung heroes
Githongo's parting shot is that unless the present obscene inequality among Kenyans s addressed expeditiously, then all the efforts at seeking lasting peace will be nothing but coloured charades. And I would hasten to add that unless we get a new political order (CHANGE) ready to strip Kenya of the imperial presidency, the ethnic tensions will boil over and end up consuming all of us.

Kenya's only salvation lies in a new constitution that makes the presidency UNATTRACTIVE and corruption VERY EXPENSIVE. But who will bell the cat, any takers?


Anonymous said...

Former anti-corruption czar john githongo just appeared on a bbc hardtalk special with jonathan charles. In the programme, githongo looked to take a neutral stance on the election imbroglio but came off, perhaps predictably, looking more than a little biased. Charles seemed much more informed and balanced than the exiled kenyan anti-graft crusader, pointing out to githongo, as has been severally reported -and affirmed by the likes of american envoy jendayi frazer and muthoni wanyeki- that there were massive irregularities on both sides.

To this, and other questions asked of him by his interlocutor, including one of the violence across the country, githongo seemed still to pretend that the kenyan crisis was about election anger against the government, ignoring completely any malfeasance from the opposition and insisting that both sides were equally culpable in the violence. Perhaps as expected, he forgot about his career as a journalist where he had chronicled raila odinga's own history of violence and incitement to violence, perhaps he forgot that during his time in kenya the evil spirit of ethnic hatred was raised in the rift valley after every election.

Surprisingly, he spoke of kenya's desire for change in distinctly odm terms, and highlighted, like a foreigner, the fact that kibaki's pre-election cabinet lost their seats. This is the sort of statement an uninformed foreigner makes, how was raphael tuju to defend his ticket? what of the fact of the disorganisation in the pnu or the multiplicity of pro-kibaki candidates that weakened their ability to beat the single odm candidate. How dishonest to pretend that this was symbolic of a need for change of government. Now it is necessary to point out that i do not believe the election result should stand, or that it was without deep flaws, or that there is no reaction to the violence on the part of kikuyus, but to so blatantly take the odm position on every subject should deeply embarass any kenyan representing civil society. In his defence, the former ethics permanent secretary did speak out clearly against the brinkmanship on both sides, although this was strongly urged on by charles's lamentation of the provocative effect of raila odinga's display of coffins and accusations of targeted annihilation of the luo; and on the other side the dismissal of the need for negotiation by members of the kibaki cabinet.

Additionally, githongo must be lauded for his optimistic assurance to the world that kenyans were jealous guards of their country's destiny and that already business leaders and civil society had come together to seek a middle ground, a compromise that would accommodate both sides. He continued however, to insist that the election was stolen, and that this was done on national tv, a statement which again shows clearly that he has either forgotten the ethnic nature of kenyan politics or has otherwise cast his lot with the odm. The true and principled view, shared by all who truly care for this country must be that there is no way of telling who won the elections, and that irregularities begun not at kicc as githongo supposes, but also on the ground where there was voter intimidation, ballot box stuffing and the widespread absence of agents in areas of one or the other party's domination.

Githongo also continues to insist that the parliamentary elections were free and fair, even as there continue to be several questions asked of votes across the country. Even the local civil society groups point to gross irregularities with more than half of all constituencies across the board for example, reporting presidential tallies far in excess of parliamentary and civic votes. (analysis in pdf by david ndii) there is every need now that someone informs the international media of this characteristic of kenyan politics; namely that one side's lead in half the country does not mean an electoral victory simply because this side could very possibly win close to nothing on the other side of the country and therefore have its seemingly unassailable lead obliterated.

The interview also discussed what value new elections would have with charles pointing out a nairobi house wife's protestations that all elections ever brought for the majority of kenyans at the local level was a lot of violence and death. Githongo praised kenyans commitment to democracy, taking on the hackneyed line about kenyans standing in the sun and that the only thing that went wrong was at the tallying hall at the kenyatta international conference centre. With reference to the action of western governments, and the effect of sanctions, he simply commended the foreign powers for their united stand, and asked that the african union mediation effort be supported in a collective decision-making structure.

When asked whether he would be willing to work for the odm government as had been promised him by its head raila odinga, a clearly uncomfortable githongo declared his desire not to take sides, but also that he was ready to leave his comfortable job and serve his country if called on to do so. The exiled kenyan spy declared that his main concern was the desire for an end to the strife, especially given the hundreds that had lost their lives in the conflict so far. The most contribution from githongo's interview i suppose was the final questions about fighting corruption in kenya. His undoubted expertise came through as he showed how it was the overall system that promoted corruption making it very expensive for a president to come out against graft, especially if such graft was committed by his core supporters, family and friends. He spoke clearly of the dangers of succumbing to political expediency, especially when it was necessary to cut deals in parliament.

This for me is something kenyans have constantly overlooked in their eagerness for new leadership, our obsessive neglecting of the demands of mature democracy, that our decision making is informed by a desire for clean government, that we do not expel a government that is delivering merely so we can have our tribesmen in office, that we do not reward corruption by entrenching in public service individuals who have in their short careers as public servants grown to be billionaires many times over. In the end though, the interview was most notable for its omissions. It was especially crucial that githongo come out and condemn the incitement to ethnic hatred inherent in the 41 against one strategy, which spirit still lives on as it is painted on kikuyu homes across the rift valley. It was necessary that he point out the fact that the mass demonstrations across the country were proving destructive not just to the president and his government, but to kenya's economic prospects. Still, it seems reason is clearly too much to ask of sections of kenya's civil society - now there is an oxymoron.

They seem to have forgotten that they are servants of a higher calling than politicians. I note for example that the institute for education in democracy took off exit polls that showed kibaki leading the presidential race from its website. Reuters still show multiple links reporting kibaki's lead, but koki muli, the organisations head has said nothing of this vital resource that in many countries, for example georgia, is used to settle election disputes. People like githongo and maina kiai, mwalimu mati (and our religious leaders across the board) who pick and choose what crimes to speak out against lead to disillusionment with what remains as perhaps the last institution that kenyans can look to for neutrality and an assessment of the public good. Vote rigging, corruption, violence and ethnic hatred are immoral, whether committed by the government side of the opposition.

chris said...

This is more proof that secession is the only answer for Kenya. I watched the Githongo interview and I might well have watched a very different interview, if this piece is to be taken seriously. I know many will agree with me that you are totally biased, anon@5:57.

In fact your true colours and intentions come out very clearly when you call this Kenyan hero "the exiled Kenyan spy." This has been the official Kenyan Kibaki corrupt government line ever since Githongo left you guys dumbfounded when he said "NO" to ill gotten wealth. This is really a ludicrous allegation if ever there was one because spys don't live in exile.

Nice try, though trying to pretend that your commentary is netral and unbiased.

P.S. Let's have a Republic of Mt Kenya quickly so that this small clique is limited to stealing from the people who voted for them and not the rest of Kenya.

Anonymous said...

Paka Imenyeshwa Sasa Ni Simba
"Listen here Government, if you don't lift the ban on live broadcasts by tomorrow, we will do something about it because we are not afraid of you now that Michuki is no longer internal security minister i am lion hear me roar........."

hahahahahaha!!!!!!! ati what! I TOLD YOU....mtameza wembe. Now that ODM is a forgotten gotta kaugh at this statement. story tellers like you (PHIL AND CHRIS) are just what you are; just a bunch of story tellers that lost their day-jobs due to payuka mode. Ochieng, kama uku na shida with some media bosses please don't take out your frustrations on them but keep on payukaring as you do.
PHIL, and by the way...what will you do now that ODM is no more....ONE DAY TO GO!

Anonymous said...

CHRIS, Thank you for the aiding us in our mission to bringing this blog to the status it deserves. Keep on on doing the good work. we are loving it!

Phil said...

I do not understand some of you (conveniently anonymous) geezers.

Whats this obsession with Chris/Phil? And what brings you here daily to read and react to "story-tellers"?

That post is by Luke and is mainly about our fake mainstream media.

Its got nothing to do with ODM/PNU or elections.

No wonder this country is in the mess it is, if these anonymous comments are a representative of PNU/ODM-K/KANU minds.

lamentation said...

Kenya, a country that gained independence as a result of
1- Men, women and children paying the ultimate price
2- Children being left in the streets to wonder alone begging for food and some them being rescued by the same thugs who had murdered their parents (Starehe Boys)
3- Women being raped or widowed
4- People being put on concentration camps, similar to the ones in Kibera and Mathare so that they could be constantly monitored
will never be at peace if those Kenyans in power are merely there as the care takers for the interests of the same foreign powers who were directly or indirectly responsible for the deaths, displacements, long prison terms, rape, and internment of Kenyans before 1963.

The young Kenyans, no matter how highly educated, must stop thinking that the neo-colonialists consider them as equals. The educated Africans have become the means for the neo-colonization of African. African elites are merely there to promote and serve foreign interest. In Kenya, that interest is the vast natural resources. These elites do not seem to grasp that “Foreign Interests” have nothing to do with the interest of the Kenyan voting public.

When you look at this critically, the elites in power are also expendable if they do not deliver the goods (catering for foreign interests). The Neo-colonialists have alliances in which Kenyan or African leaders are not included. The policies adapted at these members’ only alliances are implemented in Kenya and African countries and the elites are very happy to comply with their implementations.

I was curious to learn that Kofi Annan’s mediation in Kenya was approved by London and Washington. Why would their approval be that vital in a crisis where poor innocent Kenyans are losing /running for their lives after peacefully waiting in long lines and casting their votes? Doesn’t that not imply that Kenyan voters’ verdict has been nullified by London, Washington and their flunkies in power so that (Washington and London) objectives can prevail in Kenya?

Why is it important for any African, like Kofi Annan, that this mediation venture be approved by Washington and London? Why are African elites eager to promote neo-colonialism while brutalizing those people they are suppose to protect????

Is it Stupidity, Greed or both? Or is it “If you cannot beat them join them”?

To the anonymous who laughed
“hahahahahaha!!!!!!! ati what! I TOLD YOU....mtameza wembe”

I do hope you are not a black African, because if you are, you must be a Mobutu like person who have decided that condemning millions of Africans to slums (no running water, no sewage, no healthcare, and no future) is worth the bribes you get from your foreign Lords!!

Tribalism is merely a dictator’s means for controlling the masses. Usually, few of the people being controlled benefit from the tribalistic tools.

Anonymous said...

Ya, ODM will save us from the depths of poverty! These are the same people that wanted to go above the constitution by swearing themeselves in as government. These are the same people that watched innocent people being hacked and burnt to death, then had the audacity to preach peace when their supporters go to cause mayhem. These are the same people that have too been involved in corruption scandals, that Githongo is holding up as credible leaders. Githongo needs to realize that when fighting corruprion he also needs to offer solutions. I think his appearance on BBC only gave the international community bait for an onslaught on the Kibaki govt to serve their own interests

makena said...

I agree with his whistle blowing on corruption. He is, a stooge of the British. Kihii kya mothongo.

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