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ODM Rift Valley MPs Running Errands for Retired President
Writing recently in the Sunday Standard, Jason Kap Kirwok presented startling figures that actually show that the current grand coalition cabinet is the most ethnically balanced ever. Said he:
“.....Our source of statistics for Kenya’s ethnic composition is the March 2008 edition of the CIA’s World Fact Book. If we map ethnic composition against the distribution of full Cabinet positions, we get the following statistics. The Kikuyu, our most populous ethnic group, compromises 22 per cent of the population. Their share of positions in the Coalition Cabinet is 19 per cent. The Luhya, at 14 per cent of the population is the second most populous ethnic group. Their share in the current Cabinet is 19 per cent. The Luo come next at 13 per cent of the population; they occupy 12 per cent of the slots in the Cabinet. The Kalenjins represent 12 per cent of the population and their share of Cabinet positions is also 12 per cent, while the Kamba are 11 per cent of the population with a share of seven per cent of Cabinet positions. The Kisii represent six per cent of the population and have six per cent of the Cabinet positions, while the Meru are six per cent of the population with a two per cent share of the Cabinet. The rest of the other 35 African ethnic communities comprise 15 per cent of the total population. Their share of the Cabinet is a surprising 21 per cent. Finally, the non-African "tribes" — Europeans, Asians and Arabs — comprise one per cent of the Kenyan population with a share of the Cabinet of two per cent. The picture changes only slightly when we include the Assistant ministers. We may quibble about a percentage higher here and a percentage lower there, but a it is reasonably balanced. ....”
How come then Rift Valley Members of Parliament, particularly from the larger Kericho area, be so adamant that their community has been left out of cabinet? Why would educated and presumably civilized politicians suddenly rise up with unreasonable demands on their party leader? Is someone controlling their utterances by remote control……to sabotage ODM unity?.......or perhaps to ensure IDPs are not resettled..?….or maybe to undo the grand coalition…..?...reinvigorate KANU….? YES to all the above!
Looking at the history of the Orange Democratic Movement, it can be vividly recalled that during the period after the 2005 referendum when ODM-K was formed, it was none other than former President Moi who took it upon himself to politically undermine ODM-K and his efforts in infiltrating the party led to its eventual disintegration. First it was Uhuru Kenyatta who made history in the world as the first official opposition leader to abandon his post and support the incumbent. Uhuru, however, did not abandon the salary and other benefits that come with that office. Closely following him, Kalonzo Musyoka also purportedly ‘defected’ from LDP to LPK, while his puppets Chairman Maanzo and Secretary Chepkonga refused to hand over ODM-K to legitimate party secretariat officials. Shortly after this, the same Rift Valley politicians were on the frontline calling some ODM presidential candidates ‘unelectable’.
Fast forward to the highly publicized ODM Kasarani nominations where Raila Odinga reigned supreme and was elected party torch-bearer, the former President then opted to make it his personal business to campaign against ODM at every given opportunity in Rift Valley and elsewhere. It was telling that everywhere he went Moi was not campaigning for the PNU candidate that he had endorsed but rather campaigning against ODM and its candidate. Some of his utterances were picked up by PNU adherents and this led to a marked rise in hate speech against the ODM candidate all over including those notorious vernacular FM stations.
Prior to Kivuitu’s astonishing announcement, the very day almost everyone expected Raila Odinga to be declared president (and Kibaki was said to be willing to concede defeat because Raila was ahead by an unassailable 1.2 million votes during which time more than 90% of votes had been counted), it is rumoured Moi made a night visit to State House via helicopter. What happened to this country after that visit scarred Kenya forever.
In the period after Kibaki’s swearing-in (bedroom Chris?), Moi’s respected peers from other African countries were in town in an effort to reconcile the ODM and PNU factions. Whereas it would have been natural for Moi to lead his peers in these efforts in his own country, his choice to engage in murky partisan politics could not allow him to do so. Even with Kenya at the brink of disaster and Koffi Anan shuttling between the Serena Hotel, State House and Pentagon House, ‘statesman’ Moi was nowhere to be seen. Instead, the same political forces unsuccessfully tried to intimidate Annan using crude methods and eventually leading to Annan resolving to deal directly with principals. At about the same time, senior figures in ODM were approached with cabinet appointments if only to sabotage the grand coalition plans that Annan was insistent on.
After Anan’s effort bore some fruit and the grand cabinet was about to be announced, Rift Valley MP’s were at it again, demanding that one of their own be appointed Deputy PM. To end Moi’s political maneuvers, it took Raila Odinga’s personal intervention to compelling William Ruto to publicly support and show respect to Musalia Mudavadi. At Pentagon House, behind-the-scenes maneuvers were that Raila had to prevail in ODM cabinet appointments because some elements from Rift Valley did not want to see Joe Nyagah appointed to cabinet, something Raila did not take very kindly. Incidentally, save for Arap Moi, the Rift Valley MPs were conspicuously absent at Nyagah’s funeral last week. Nyagah himself was present at the funeral of Ruto’s father just three weeks ago.
As if to show a deeply divided country who is in-charge, ‘statesman’ Moi was sitting at the presidential dais to witness the swearing-in of the grand-coalition cabinet. His presence at the swearing-in of a grand coalition cabinet and that of former Malawian President Bakili Muluzi, was in bad taste and it clearly shows, people still imagine the retired president has a role to play in the destiny of this country, his own disastrous reign and that of Muluzi notwithstanding. The whole inauguration ceremony was organized by the State House protocol officials. (Muluzi served a 10 year constitutional term from 1994 to 2000 in office as president of Malawi, but is now planning a comeback for the presidency in Malawi’s general elections due in 2009. Muluzi’s corruption CV is very similar to that of Moi. Both men have mega-fraud and embezzlement allegations following them like shadows).
Today, Raila and Kibaki are due to meet with Rift Valley MPs because it has emerged it will take much more than Annan’s efforts to resettled individuals who had been displaced from that province. Rather than fight ODM, the advise to Moi’s (and his Moi Africa Foundation) to re-direct their efforts in re-settling IDPs in Rift Valley and elsewhere. Or better still, to please retire honourably at his farm in Kabarak.