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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Will The Kibaki Succession Shut Down Kenya?

As we have been saying here in Kumekucha for a long time now, politics in Kenya these days is all about the Kibaki succession and nothing else. Yesterday two things happened that go a long way in confirming this fact.

But even before we go into them we need to ask the most important question of all; where does this leave the long suffering Kenyan people? Actually in a very bad place and between a rock and a hard place. As you read this the problem of the IDPs has really been forgotten. Indeed our politicians are not even interested in dealing with the aftermath of the post election violence which has destroyed many Kenyan businesses (Chris will highlight this in our new small business features section in the brand new re-launched Kumekucha in the next few days).

The first thing that happened yesterday was that Prime Minister Raila Odinga made a public appeal to former ethics PS John Githongo to return to the country. The PM emphasized that Githongo now has nothing to fear. Really? As succession politics intensifies, is it true that Mr Githongo would be safe living in Kenya and yet he seems to know “too much” about some of the top contenders (or shall I call them top pretenders) to the throne? Of course a mere visit is another matter altogether, but the prime minister was NOT talking about a visit.

Analysts, including this blogger believe that Githongo is now being used as an important piece on the chess board in what is shaping up to become a long drawn battle in the Kibaki succession. The PM and ODM need to reach out to the Kikuyu community and for this reason it is important that they have a high profile Kikuyu name in their fold.

The second thing that happened was that Justice Minister Martha Karua came out into the open to declare her interest in the presidency come 2012. The iron lady of Kenyan politics told a KTN journalist in an exclusive interview that her 16 years in parliament and her character qualify her to seek the highest office in the land. Interestingly enough in a news bulletin yesterday I heard Ms Karua’s middle Kikuyu name being used for the very first time (was it Wanbui? NO it is actually Wangari-thank you Ken). Mere coincidence or careful positioning? It is obvious that the bedrock of her support will initially have to come from the house of Mumbi and it may be necessary to remind voters at this early juncture, exactly what part of the country she comes from.

There is nothing wrong with anybody having ambitions to ascend to the presidency. However the really worrying thing here is that it is already clear that 2012 campaigns (which have already started in earnest) will be carried out along ethnic lines. Now we all know that the deep ethnic wounds of January this year are far from healing. Indeed nobody is addressing them at all. In my view (and in Chris’ view as well) this is a national crisis that needs to be addressed right away before anybody delves into the nonsense of campaigning for the presidency in 2012. Last week a Kenyan was knifed by a fellow Kenyan shortly after a political discussion started about the disputed presidential elections. We are even informed that in most Western capitals where Kenyans live there is now a clear distinction being drawn along ethnic lines, between PNU and ODM supporters.

God help Kenya.

(Article written by Chris and Oscar)

P.S. The position of Kumekucha is that all ministers accused of corruption irrespective of their party affiliation must step aside to allow for investigations to be carried out. It is fascinating that one of the ministers involved was doing deals relevant to his ministry days before Kibaki named the grand coalition cabinet.


Ken said...

Her name is Wangari NOT Wambui. "Martha Wangari Karua Njoka".

To more serious matters, this 2012 succession is actually going to cost Kenya more than the 2007 violence. We need those greedy MP's to atleast be trying to do something to justify their huge pay yet they are busy re aligning for 2012. What has Kenya become.

Chris, I suggest we start a campaign that will see ALL current and former MP's out of parlianment in 2012 then hopefully we can have people who know what they were elected to do and Kenyans or is it "Wanjiku" can benefit.

Anonymous said...

Going by the messages sent to KTN last night, looks like karua is now the darling of odmers!

Anonymous said...

It is pre-mature to start gunning for 2012..many wont be voted in anyway and those who are starting now may burn out on the way!there are more serious matters that need to be addressed TRANSPORT,water,housing, health, education, and employment.Those in government have not even delivered on election pledges and are jostling for 2012???
ODM AND PNU should clean their houses to avoid a repeat of the mess that was.... when there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you.

Anonymous said...

Succession is utter rubbish and too early. Who among them has a guarnatee that he or she will be alive then anyway?
There are other important things to talk about....Inflation rate and most people can't just afford the cost of basic needs....But if they are going to tackle all corruption and economic crimes, let them do it fast....It is long overdue


Anonymous said...

Like it or not succession debate is here with us. I dont seem to mind it in the least because i feel that we will have all the time to separate the proverbial goat from the sheep. If anything i imagine serious contenders will work hard to deliver at their portfolios to improve their profiles.

To Martha, whom by the way i admire a lot. With all due respect if there is someone who has her ear here in kk, please tell her to invest in the services of PR. For instance, last night on KTN when she was asked what efect she thought the perception that she is a hardliner would have on her campaings she quickly declared that it did not bother her a bit since that would only be an issue for those who "do not know her."

However, i doubt a presidential candidates' major headache is ever about those who "know" him/her. This is Africa and we vote "our" man/woman be they from family, village, church, personality, business, millitia, profession, tribe, age, gender, social class, province etc.

I doubt Martha is serious about wanting to be commander-in-chief in 2013 but even if she only wants to galvanise a voting base and then sell/donate it to someone else she needs to be aware of the dynamics of attitudes formation and change among the majority of Kenyan voters.

The reason i dount her seriousness is the hardline position she took in the too recent past (read Annan deliberations) and about something that was too close to wananchi's hearts against clear public opinion. Her moves didnt strike me as strategic/calculated in the least. I dont think you just wake up and decide you want to be president, unless of course "you want to be president" the miraculous way.


Anonymous said...

seems Kumekucha is running out of propaganda material to the extent that they have picked on a woman. dont u guys chris and oscar have balls n pick fights with men?
why not bring an issue like mau forest which threatens to tear down the paper odm unit in the middle with outright rejection of Raila n Rutos meek commands. now raila no longer needs mau forest votes so they can be crucified..


Anonymous said...

i will say it again...lets stick to real issues like a new constitution. raila has been a pm for 8 months and this issue seems to be long forgotten. who will he blame in 2012?


Anonymous said...

Ken i agree with you but i fear your good intentions will not be warmly welcomed by the kenyan voter/ordinary man of the street/mwananchi who enjoys too much politicians riding on his/her back to want to upset the old order and break free of the past-some people cannot bear to think outside the box to see their beloved current MPs out of parliament in 2012-no, life is more complex than that unfortunately Ken-nice sentiments though-you and i are alike in thought

Kwale said...

Kenyans, you are obsessed with politics. It’s just over 6 months since that fateful day of Dec 27 07. The country is still reeling from one of the most darkest and traumatic days in our Kenya history. And yet, we have these greedy selfish politicians talking about succession instead of addressing the issues that are afflicting the long suffering Kenyans. It all about the big men/women and what they can get. And we stupid people follow them blindly like cattle being taken for slaughter and in the end the only change they have in mind is change of who sits on the throne.

Last year by this time, the inflation was running at 9.3% est., today the inflation is well over 30% and still rising. Yet, I have not heard anyone talk about this dire need which is threatening many lives in Kenya. The unfortunate thing is, with the global food shortage and credit crunch at our hands; things aren’t going to get better anytime soon.
We are living in an age of sudden reduction in the availability of loans and an increase in the cost of obtaining a loan from the banks but yet we have not heard a word from the governor of CBK or an MP on how to tackle inflation or the credit crunch.

We elect these politicians on a promise to change and improve services but instead we find them now squabbling about who is next in the line of the throne. Etiquette dictates that politicians cannot squander taxpayer’s money while men, women and children are dying of hunger. We must wake up and stop worshiping our Mps and demand for a better service delivery.
And this is irrespective of your political party affiliation.

Marianne Briner said...

Has Sam Okello paid what he owes to the woman?

Is Sam Okello still in the succession game of 2012?--Remember, Sam told me that he wants to run for presidency in 2012!

Is Sam Okello still writing fake and cheap novels that are stolen?

Is Helen Okello, a.k.a Shaddy, still busy 'while on her knees'?

With regards
--Marianne Briner

Anonymous said...






then his cronies will follow him - kenyans will demand it.

Anonymous said...

Anon @6.40

If Kibaki step aside, is that going to solve our problems?

Msema Kweli said...

Anon @6.40, Mr Pumbavu should have "stepped aside" on the 27th of December '07 after Raila beat him at the elections which Mr Pumbavu went ahead to STEAL. We would have ended up avoiding all these ridiculous scandals and bad manners and Kibaki's serial bungling ways that tend to make him (Mr Pumbavu) look like a joke, A BIG JOKE!

Shaddy said...

Hi Chris and Oscar,

Fantastic as always. As much as we would like to sweep the succession battles under the rug, the very nature of the way the 2007 elections concluded make it impossible to avoid early strategizing. Election 2012 is underway and those who don't believe it will wake up when the last mile of the journey is what's on the mind of the alert.

The Sagana Factor not withstanding, I'm aware that this will be a bruising campaign. And now it's clear that alliances are set to shift in ways we may have never dreamed of. Isn't politics exciting?

Still, it's distressing that our brothers and sisters in the IDP camps continue to languish and Kivuitu and his band of thieves go on...telling themselves, "We pulled it off, guys."

One more thing, If Githongo takes the Prime Minister seriously and goes back to Kenya, he'll need to seek the advice of a sungura mjanja like Phil to survive. Is there room for this guy in Kibera, Phil?

Sam Okello

Msema Kweli said...

Sorry I made a mistake. I was refering to Anon 6:47 AM: The one who was asking about Mr Pumbavu stepping aside. And not 6:40 AM. Apologies in advance.

Anonymous said...

Msema Kweli, wewe jinga sana. Kwani Raila ni Mungu?

You and Okello, Kibaki did not steal any vote. He won it fairly and squarely. If you disagree with that, take him to court.

Vikii said...

It is just risible how Kenyans always find someone to blame for their shortcomings. Now, we are blaming politicians for starting early campaigns as if we are not the same ones who grace those rallies (even when it is raining cats and dogs). We are the ones who stoke the fires right here in Kumekucha. We scramble for the papers every morning as long as those papers carry juicy stories.

Even the people who are campaigning--starting with Kalonzo, Uhuru and most recently Raila have the guts to fool people with little lectures on how it's not time for politics. What the hell are they doing in those retrogressive homecoming rallies then? Why not concentrate in office matters or at least tour development projects and encourage Kenyans. It is all fine for them to campaign but they should emulate Martha-be a man about it. Amdmit that you are campaigning for 2012.

That said my opinion is that the constitution guarantees both the freedom of asssociation and that of speech. If anyone really feels these endless political rallies are a waste of time (and I feel so), then don't atend them. Let those who have the time to attend them do. If politicians find empty stadia, they will stop calling for rallies.

About Martha Karua and her bid, she has the democratic right to run for office. She does not need to seek permission from anyone to run for office. Some sections of the Kenyan citizenry seem to foolishly believe that Kenya's national politics should be left to a few families. That is why everybody who dares challenge these families that have authoritatively controlled our politics since the 50s and the 60s is bombarded with all kinds of bad press.

Members of the PNU should not be jittery about Martha's endeavours. Recently she has been treated as an outcast by her own party and as an heroine by the opposition (are they still in opposition?).let Martha articulate her vision for the country and if people buy that, she will be President. Let her test the depth of the water. she will predictably burn out because she certainly cannot play in the Presidential league.

Anonymous said...

Is the below a gut feeling or do you have evidence to back it up?

"she will predictably burn out because she certainly cannot play in the Presidential league."

mariannebriner said...

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Anonymous said...

Is this the Marianne Briner the lunatic from Spain?

Kimi Raikkonen said...

"Analysts, including this blogger believe that Githongo is now being used as an important piece on the chess board in what is shaping up to become a long drawn battle in the Kibaki succession. The PM and ODM need to reach out to the Kikuyu community and for this reason it is important that they have a high profile Kikuyu name in their fold.....blah,blah,blah"

Does that mean that Githongo is important to Kikuyus, in your assessment, and can therefore influence Kikuyus to vote for Raila and ODM? My God, how do you arrive at these daft conclusions? You even have the gall to afford yourself the exalted title of "Analyst"?
I think you should apply for a job with Citizen Newspaper, you know, the one where sentences begin with the phrase "It is imperative to note.." or "reliable sources has it.." etc,etc

Anonymous said...

will gichangi be used to finish martha our iron lady?what will he be telling waki in camera?ofcourse i also think the succession politics will feature in his revelations to the commission....see at the commission!!

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