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Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Another Political Showdown Looming in the Horizon

New ODM Civic Leaders Expected to overhaul local government service delivery in major towns

Past Nairobi Mayor's elections; Kama mbaya, ikue mbaya!

Former Mayor Joe Aketch gets one on his head!

In the not so distant future, the Orange Democratic Movement will flex its political muscles yet again when the local government elections are held for mayors, their deputies and chairmen of county councils. Local Government minister Uhuru Kenyatta is expected to announce election dates anytime before the end of next week and then political parties will be expected to nominate additional councilors and thereafter hold elections of mayors and chairmen of councils.

For many years (actually since multi-party politics returned to Kenya in 1992), Kenyans have watched with bitterness as their local authorities are rundown by inefficient councillors who are better at grabbing plots than working for the public. Most of our civic 'leaders' have been semi illiterate, corrupt and uncivilized. They are known to openly resolve differences through fistcuffs and bickering , chair fighting, name calling and all sorts of drama during official council meetings.

Councillors preside over huge budgets and make decisions that impact directly on local city/town residents when it comes to provision of water and sewerage, roads and infrastructure, primary education, health clinics and many other social institutions like markets, social halls and play grounds. For instance, during the eighties, any city resident could use their water bill to obtain a new aluminum dust-bin from Nairobi City Council. NCC run clinics were the best in the city. Sadly, these are no more. Corruption is openly conducted at city hall when contractors 'send' councillors for all-expenses paid weekend 'retreats' in coastal hotels before important council decisions or mayoral elections.

Thank God, due to their strong showing in the December 2007 elections ODM managed to get a majority in the country’s top civic bodies. Not just that. The majority means the party gets greater nomination slots which it can then use to nominate additional individuals who possess the necessary skills and experience for management of public affairs, that is just in case none of the party's own elected councillors meet the qualification criteria. It is refreshing to learn that not any other Tom, Dick, John or Harry will be sitting at the mayor’s parlour.

ODM intends to change the negative perception of Kenya’s civic bodies and has made no secret of the fact that it is targeting control of the major cities the country (Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, Eldoret, Nakuru) through election of professional, experienced and dynamic mayors. ODM wants to replicate the high standards of service delivery that Kisumu residents enjoyed during the reign of former Mayor Shakeel Shabir (now MP). Not only was Kisumu roads repaired, but the town was cleaned and basic services like water and garbage collection restored. During that time, Kisumu was elected the cleanest Kenyan town and it went further and achieved ‘city status’. Shabbir had been nominated and then elected Mayor through the National Development Party (NDP).

The current civic elections also give the ODM an opportunity to implement its pre-elections affirmative action proposals in that women, youth and other disadvantaged groups can be elected into positions of leadership not because of they belong to any dominant party or tribe.

Thank God Kivuitu will not be announcing these results and lets hope this time PNU will not manipulate votes in favour of its candidates.


Anonymous said...


It provided for majimboism (Devolution of Powers) which as the recent crisis has shown, is the only way for Kenyans from all regions to get politico-economic justice.

abby said...

ODM would have surely flexed it's muscle if they were in gava. What good is an ODM mayor under the leadership of PNU local gava minister who can fire any mayor at his own will. Anon 8:15 you are right on the point devolution is the only way out. This will increase accountability and lessen the blame game that mayors and minister alike are used to.

Anonymous said...

Mmmh...and i'm I to assume that the ODM 'kanjuras' (read concillors) are literate? What can they do that their leaders havent done to far? Incite, piga domo till 2007. We shall vote you out! Domo domo

Anonymous said...

Mmmh...and i'm I to assume that the ODM 'kanjuras' (read concillors) are literate? What can they do that their leaders havent done to far? Incite, piga domo till 2007. We shall vote you out! Domo domo

Afropolitan said...


We need a new constitution and independent economic powerhouses.

ODM should start solidifying the Rift Valley, Western, Nyanza, Coastal and North Eastern block into an economically independent powerhouse. They should start encouraging, marketing and supporting local entrepreneurs and businesses within those regions and networking them solidly. These 5 provinces are strategically and geographically positioned to operate and sustain themselves independently. ODM clearly has control of the local authorities as they have the majority of M.P.s in those 5 provinces. We must urgently develop our own areas as we all stand to benefit from such efforts. This will hurt Kibaki's cronies economically, obviously by reducing their customer base and hence sales and Kibaki's cronies and their businesses will be forced to reduce their prices which in turn will reduce their profit margins. If Kibaki and his cronies do not respect the will of the people, they will feel the will of the people deep down in their pockets, where it hurts them the most. This is the only way forward my friends. An injustice anywhere, is an injustice everywhere. YES WE CAN! YES WE CAN! YES WE CAN!

Watchman said...

PNU walks out of talks as Anan presses the US and EU to exert more pressure. Read more (

Anonymous said...

But...Uhuru Kenyatta is the Minister of Local Government and can disband them all and appoint Commissions, just like Musalia Mudavadi's father used to do.


Anonymous said...

What about three minucipal toilets in Kenra in 15 years of being an MP????

Anonymous said...

What about three minucipal toilets in Kenra in 15 years of being an MP????

Anonymous said...

Is it true that Marende is suggested as the interim leader for six months?

If so, this would be the best route.It has some independence, and if either of Raila or Kibaki refuses,then they are the worst leaders we have.
Marende is the boss of MPs who represent the Kenyan voters. The Mps elected enjoy voters support, and the only thing holding Kenya at ransom is the presidential vote results.We can do without Kifaki and Raila for a short while.

Kiriamiti said...

Before I am condemned, I am a Afrikan and proud of it but we must call a spade a spade.

Africans will always be Africas. We should not expect Kenya to be any different. We are a curse lot condemned into bad leadership rooted in sectorism, clanism and tribalism.

Power and Africans do not go hand in hand. Slavery was as a result of misuse of power by our 'chiefs', Colonialisms was catalyst by intertribal conflict, and the current poverty is as a result of poor leadership.

I have come to the conclusion that Africa will always self destruct in pursuit of sectoral interests and furtherence of tribal superiority.

We are just Africans after all.

Anonymous said...

Lets hope ODM are committed to what you have mentioned. But merely changing the calibre of our mayors will not solve anything. And as for their targeted cities, there is a secondary cities growth strategy that was considered in the 60's and that would be mirroring developing these cities. However, that cannot last unless powers are transferred to regional govts who have the proper admin capacity (skills and education) and have effective checks and balances in place. And... they cannot rely on the central govt to bail them out, thus making sure that they compete, and work hard to receive additional funding, not just keep going bankrupt. Besides the eventual situation should be more of a federal system. Kenya cannot handle anything else after the way we have behaved

kimeli said...

Paul Kagame calls for a re-run.

Nairobian said...


Credit where Credit is due. Dick Wathika was an excellent mayor. Nairobi's been in good shape these past five years. You've got to temper your writing at least a little. Credit where credit is due.

kimeli said...

South Africa slams Kenya after mediator returns home.

Umkhoto We Sizwe said...

Emilio and Lucy are a bunch of consolidated mutants of the world's worst dictators. He has been able to drive Kenya from its place as an example to Africa to the league of Somalia and Darfur. He has been able to turn neighbours against each other and friends into enemies.

Emilio's curse by Githinji is consuming our nationhood.

Anonymous said...

Proposing Esther Passaris for Mayoress:
If Adopt a Light was the brainchild of Esther Passaris, then I agree that she should be nominated by ODM and made Mayoress of Nairobi Shakeel Shabir style. She dealt with lighting only and we all can see how Nairobi has changed at night. Even thieves and muggers have found it difficult to operate and people have been able to carry on their businesses later into the night. How much more can she achieve if she is given the chance to deal with water , roads, rubbish, environmental pollution, transport, beautification of the city, education, social amenities, slums, housing, CBD, employment, Street families, health etc? Passaris has some Kikuyu blood and her presence at Nairobi City Hall under ODM nomination will reduce ethnic competition and improve her acceptability across the parties, which will result in fewer arguments and more work. It will also prove that ODM is not a tribal party. She is beautiful and young and her photos in papers and images on the screen will be fresh air and a true representation of the green city in the sun. She is a woman and a mother and will be less inclined to corruption and other immoral activities. This will also augur well for ODM which will be seen to be gender-sensitive. She is intelligent, forthright, fluent and focused and therefore she will be able to handle debates at City Hall well and discharge her duties professionally. If she is given the chance, she will soon become the role model for most girls in Kenya. She will be able to employ and exploit the potential of women in Nairobi, thereby improving their lot. Ladies and Gentlemen, I propose Esther Passaris for Mayoress of The City of Nairobi. Who is seconding me?

Voice of Reason

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 10.45; that is why these talks will be a waste of time if we do not come up with a new constitution.

If there is anything we can learn from the recent tragedy is that WE CANNOT CONTINUE AS WE HAVE FOR DECADES.

We need MAJIMBOISM and we need an entirely new constitution.

Anonymous said...

Anon @11.38; I support Esther Passaris for Nairobi too!!!!!! She truly has proven her worth. The lighting project was no small affair.

Anonymous said...

PHIL; By now you should know that nothing can change without a new constitution.


Taabu said...

Anon@11.38 that is spot on and I hope the power fathers are listening. Her Worship Esther will be killing numerous birds with one stone. She stuck her neck with ODM against the odds and she is all the superltives you mentioned. The ball is in ODM's court. Phil niaje na huyu karembo na intelligent one?

kimeli said...

US Peace Corps Suspends Kenya Operations

Anonymous said...

Please Kenyans,
Why are you forgetting the most important issue here! Yes we need constitution, but we demend better leadership even more than a new constitution!.
Why do I say so? Mwizi Kibaki is relying on the constitution to justify that he is 'duery erected' as the president of Kenya. He claims that the 'erection was flee and fair'.
Kenya may have the best constitution on planet earth but without good leaders and political will to impliment it, then that constitution is NOT worth the paper it is written on.
Wh have 'Officer and Ethics Act' in our constitution, but has it stopped corruption in Kenya? Absolutely NOT. Yes we need it but it is leadership and leading from the front we need most.

Anonymous said...

you clowns are just giving esther credit coz she's beautiful...foolish men!
The only way Mayor's will be effective will be when the citizens vote mayors, not when mayors are voted by councillors.
If Dick waithaka did a good job, then congrats on his part. If Shabeel shakir did a good job, then kudos to him too. But these guys only did good coz they had the integrity to do so.

a mechanism should be put into place that shows transparency and all.
We should say bye to the days of kina Daniel/ Kimani kongo who would get tenders to supply chlorine and instead supply chalk dust worth kshs.900 million.

I support the ANON guys calling for a constitution to make this happen.

Kenyan Son said...

A constitution to do what for God’s sake? To recognize a thief? If Kibaki is not stepping aside for new elections and then a new constitution, I find this offending from Mr. Annan. This guy came to our land to make sure that a reversal of illegal election is done and a new one is set up. What kind of junks are we? Are we surely asking a foreigner with 6 people to amend our constitution? Whatever comes out from them will never go through the illegal parliament and will never be accepted by the people of our Jahmuhuri. Annan needs to settle the election discrepancy and get the hell out of Kenya. Other better and dying nations needs him e.g Chad among others. His family needs him too. Some punks like Karai aka Karua are wasting his time playing their usual kill time while negotiating for peace and in the mean time distributing resources unfairly. You feel me?

Anonymous said...

KENYAN SON: Solving the election issue is short-term, installing the 2002 Constitution is for the long-term.

There will be many Kibaki's in Kenya's future and the only way to make sure they do not abuse their positions is to have a constitution in place that checks their powers and devolves powers regionally (majimbo).

We should USE THE CURRENT INTERNATIONAL ATTENTION AND PRESSURE TO PASS THE 2002 DRAFT in addition to solving the electoral impasse.

Anonymous said...


I would like to share with you this euphoric feeling, but on a second thought I would rather not. What makes you so excited and optimistic? Simply because these are ODM councillors doesn't mean much. Remember this is the same party that could not be courageous enough to condemn the uprooting of railway lines a few days ago. In the absence of an articulable and viable ideology to govern ODM, the best policy my friend is to keep your fingers crossed, go about your life, and hope for a pleasant surprise. Otherwise, you will be left high and dry like the members of the communist party in the former Soviet Union.

kimeli said...

Look how remoseful this Kikuyu is as he states the greed of Kikuyus and their inherent betrayal.

There can be no peace without justice

By Ken S Muriithi

The debilitating anger consuming the country is due to a build-up of emotions over time.

In 1963 Jaramogi Oginga Odinga stepped back to allow Jomo Kenyatta to become founding president. But a certain community took it as their right to dominate leadership.

Kenyatta dished out massive tracks of fertile land, to select people or ‘politically-correct’ politicians, especially from Central Province in the Rift Valley.

The rest of Kenyans felt being pushed aside.

In 1969 Tom Mboya was assassinated. Right-thinking Kenyans perceived this as a sign that no one should dare to compete for leadership.

A promising leader was lost. People perceived this as another plan to sideline western Kenya.

In 1974, JM Kariuki was assassinated and the Government responded with repercussions if any one dared to blame it. His vision had given hope to the middle class and the poor of the possibility of a better Kenya. Again this chance ended with his death.

The brutal way he was killed again reflected the dictatorial and absolute style of the regime. The country had been taken back once more.

In 1982 the one party regime was introduced. Wananchi felt oppressed and unhappy, many were detained, without trial.

Again freedom of speech, thought as and human rights were denied.

In 1991 Dr Robert Ouko was assassinated. He was a respected and honest leader. There were massive protests. Once again western Kenya felt neglected.

In 1992 and 1997 General Elections were rigged and the population felt deprived of their democratic rights.

Interference of the Government into Judicial matters was the order of the day.

The nation was divided along tribal lines. There were tribal clashes, treated as "events" which have not been addressed.

In 2002, Mwai Kibaki was elected, marking the end of the Moi era. It was Raila Odinga’s campaign and declaration of ‘Kibaki Tosha!’ that did it for the then Democratic Party leader who had ran for the presidency twice (1992 and 1997) and lost. There was hope of Kenya being a successful country, with a new democratic outlook.

After Kibaki assumed power, he changed tact and scandals started rocking his Government — dismissing the MoU, brushing over Goldenberg, Anglo Leasing, poor performance of Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission and Artur scam and the raid on the Standard Group premises.

There was no new constitution despite the promise. There was and there is tribal dominance in most public offices, especially the Finance, Security and Provincial Administration ministries.

Under Kibaki the average and below average Kenyan has suffered more than ever with little hope for a better future.

The massive rigging machine, which had been put in place long before the elections, and the subsequent rigging then made people snap with anger. It was the spark next to the dynamite keg. People remember the misgivings over these past 44 years, during which governance has been most wanting, having deprived millions of Kenyans over the years. It is therefore human to respond with anger.

Therefore, the main responsibilities lie with governments whose main objectives have been to rule and stay in power at any cost, rather than serving the citizenry. Equally guilty are the recent poll violators and executors of the rigging.

The election troubles are not a Raila-Kibaki affair it is the injustice done to voters. There must be justice so there can be peace.

Once in power some presidents will do anything to stay in power even if that means having a few hundred of people killed, often for the reason of avoiding being exposed. Their arrogance makes them to think that God come after them. They are a gift to their country and the world at large. If this is not corrected we will always remain at the bottom of the pith.

The writer is based in Kiambu

Anonymous said...

KIMELI @ 2.58 p.m. Thank you for posting the gem above from Ken S Muriithi.

There truly will never be genuine peace without justice.

Those who are wise and sincerely care for the future of this country will pass the 2002 constitution and address the 2007 Dec. injustice.

We have had clashes, demos and riots before but things will only get worse. Perhaps next time, Kenya will be plunged into a full scale civil war.

Anonymous said...

Voice of Reason @ 11:38.
I second you. Passaris is incorruptible (ask Dick Wathika) and a fighter for her rights (ask John Gakuo). She is a generous contributor to a cause (ask ODM) and a good debater (ask Judy Gichuru). She is beautiful and my namesake (ask me) and a great patriot (ask Kenyans).

Esther Wairimu

Anonymous said...

Esther Wairimu and all other Passaris supporters.

Unfortunately for you, Passaris will probably not be able to do much. The PNU govt. plans to frustrate all ODM electees to enable them to point their fingers at them in ridicule come the next general elections.

However, if the constitution is changed and majimboism is installed, Passaris may be able to shine.

Anonymous said...

it is apparently clear we forget too fast that it is arguments which rubbish the other persons tribe or party that have resulted in 800,000 people loosing their homes people killed in ways that only the curses that will befall their killers will tell, our economy shattered etc. Let us step out and leave the bad habits since all we need is a good city dispite who fixes it.Let the question be what and not who. Someone observed in Africa few hands work hard to feed many mouths and also few heads think to come up with descisions that affect many. Let us sit downand ask ourselves why are we allowing hate to sprout again. Those responsible for yestadays pain are not in control of our tommorows destiny. Albert Einstein said THE PROBLEMS WE FACE TODAY CANNOT BE SOLVED AT THE SAME LEVEL WE WERE WHEN WE CREATED THEM. Let us start looking at ourselves in the global arena and realise while china india malawi are talking of growth Chad and Kenya we are busy competing who can destroy their country faster. Instead of critisising our leaders let us ask what kind of leadership do we want.

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 8;51 What is your point? What are you referring to?

Anonymous said...

Yes, anon @ 8.51; What is your point?

Kenya cannot and will never truly progress without good and accountable governance.

This crisis may be the best thing that has happened to this country since independence; we have been forced to face our demons;

a) Unjust constitution.
b) Overgrown executive.
c) Land grievances.

If we solve the above, then we can allow ourselves to begin working for genuine economic progress.

Anonymous said...

This site has become and ODM mouthpiece. When did Esther Passaris become dignified? Funny how none of you recalls her court battles with one Pius who she was sleeping around with and then sued. This is typical of this site. It has become a classic example of just looking at one side of the coin. Last time i checked, Kajwang, Ruto, Kosgey, Wanjiru, and many other crooks were in ODM. Professionalism? Huh! Looking at what the likes of Kimeli contribute here, I can just imagine him/her/it roaming around with a machete looking for blood. This site does not and will never help the cause of democracy, because it is just full of crap.

Kings manyuon said...

Anon 10:09 be realistic. This debate was so constructive until you posted your crap then you claim the whole thing is a crap. If you cant argue your point on any issue just keep off and let those who can go on. But the cause for democracy in Kenya will be won from all sides Kumekucha included.

Kings manyuon

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

anon 8.51 we chose our leadership on 27th of december. kibaki's refusal to accept our verdict just emphasises his opinion that 'we are supporting luos, foolish us!'

Anonymous said...

Esther Passaris will do a good Job in Nairobi.
- She is a woman hence less corruptible.
-She is smart.
- Not burdened by tribal bigotry.
Look what she did to our City with adopt a light!
Plz talk to the ODM kanjoras to give Passaris a chance?

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:09 What makes Passaris undignified? Claiming what is rightfully hers.It is the responsibility of a father to take care of his children....Pius and Esther have children together so he has to pay for upkeep...The bible is clear a man who can't take care of his children is worse than an infidel....We have said crroks are in both sides in PNU also (Someone in UG has just described them as messengers of foreigners) and ODM and mark you we are not looking for angels coz there are all in heaven...The change we want is not found in PNU and that is why we voted it out, just that it rigged.......By the way what are you doing here? Go form your own mouthpiece and let us see if you will get quorum.....As i always say to wengine wenye tabia kama hiyo yako...Go spit to the wind

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 10:09
This is a forum where people express their opinions irrespective of party affiliation. Some opinions get approval across the board. Others have definite party leanings. On the case of Esther Passaris, someone proposed her for Mayor of Nairobi on this forum and gave his/her reasons for doing so. Most of them were about her ability to do the job. You rubbish all this and disqualify her on the mere allegation that she had a quarrel with some man you call Pius. Surely is there any (including you) perfect person on this earth? She was not being proposed for a nun's position, nor was she being proposed to be someone's wife. The issue of her alleged infidelity is not such a big issue as to make her incapable of running the city of Nairobi as Mayor. In fact I dare say she may perform well IN SPITE OF the problems with Pius. She did well with Adopt a Light, remember.
By the way, whom are YOU proposing for Mayor of Nairobi? Maybe if we knew your proposal we would quickly change our minds. Please don't criticize without giving a better alternative. Finally, on the issue of Mayor of Nairobi, it has to be an ODM affair because they are the ones with the majority-unless if they start going down by the bullet one by one.

Anonymous said...

i agree with you anon 12.44 we are not looking for angels in ODM no one has ever put it so nicely before it is also simple enough for pnu to get it-we voted ODM because we did not want pnu we have seen their actions and we did not like what they did in the past five years-simple logic.

secondly, ati passaris is undignified because she had sued that wretched man for refusing to maintain his own children?! eeiii!! honestly!! so anon 10.09 to you it would have been more dignified of her to let him walk scot free so that he can continue to sow his wild oats without a care in the world? i have no words for you.

Councillor Muhindi said...

I beg to strongly disagree. Allow me to quote you:

"ODM intends to change the negative perception of Kenya’s civic bodies and has made no secret of the fact that it is targeting control of the major cities the country (Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, Eldoret, Nakuru) through election of professional, experienced and dynamic mayors."

What a laugh!

In the just concluded elections, majority of voters chose their councillors through the infamous 3-piece system or through sheer guesswork. We've ended up with the same low-calibre councillors we've always had, albeit, in different party/tribal colours.

How on earth are we going to end up with "professional, experienced and dynamic mayors" if a majority of Nairobi voters cannot even tell you who their current councillors-elect are?

As a pointer to what you can expect: KTN last week Thursday 31.01.08, carried a 9PM news feature on a Mombasa Councillor-elect, currently holding a job as a matatu makanga.

With an estimated Ksh. 4M Local Authority Transfer Fund (LATF) at his disposal for 2008 alone (without a ward committee), don't bother to hold your breath in expectation of grand projects at his ward.

Isn't time to think of de-linking civic elections from general elections so that media and public alike can scrutinise aspiring councillors before casting their vote? I propose we elect our councillors every 4 years, MPs and President every 5 years.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Have you seen the petition against Ruto at With all the evidence against this guy, i doubt he will last six more months.

Anonymous said...

annon 10:21, where's this petition on this site ?

Kingwendu said...

Lol, those photos of councillors clobbering each other with chairs is very hilarious. I wonder what for? Power? Cash? Whatever it is, its rib cracking. I cant stop laughing...
Good one Phil! Once again you've made my day.

Have a good one too!

Tony said...

@Anon (7:50AM)
With all due respect, a Makanga background is not the sort of profile we should be celebrating in our civic leaders. Unless you are living in another country, we all know the uncouth and crude culture exhibited by makangas on our roads everyday.

What edifying qualities do you think the said Mombasa councillor will bring to the better management of Mombasa Municipal Council?

Surely, as Kenyan voters, we can do so much better. I agree with Councillor Muhindi that nothing much should be expected from the ODM councillors at City Hall in Nairobi.

For one, I know the new Kangemi Councillor was working as a KK security guard (watchman) last year before he won the chaotic ODM nominations, courtesy of one Hon Gumo. I stand to be challenged on this fact.

Do you really expect this Councillor to engage himself with tackling the many urban problems bedevilling Nairobi, or to quickly make his first million from LATF funds?

Phil, Do some serious research on Nairobi Councillors and correct me if am wrong.

Mdawida said...

Councillor Muhindi and Tony.

With all due respect to your sentiments, would it not be prudent to check the educational background of the two councillor elect? We are all entitled to an opinion.

On account of the number of unemployed university graduates, these may have had no option, but to take up their occupations leading to the elections. Am not pointing fingers, just being optimistic. There are after all some people out there who mean well (Genuinely) for their voters.

Lets all keep hope alive!

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