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Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Why You Get That Sick Feeling Every Time You Think About Kenyan Politics

The signs are all there. Take a tour round Kenyan blogs to see what things political Kenyans are discussing. Most are busy discussing Barack Obama and the US presidential elections, many others including Kumekucha seem to have ran out of enthusiasm. Or even better ask around about viewership of prime time news in Kenya these days and you will be shocked. The whole situation is best illustrated by the kinds of headlines you see in leading Kenyan dailies these days. Surprise, surprise for the first time in its’ history the Daily Nation is carrying front page splashes on social topics that steer clear off politics.

To confirm what I am saying just talk to your friends about Kenyan politics and carefully observe their body language and what they say.

Actually I felt this thing myself only that I did not understand what it was until a friend told me that they were going through the exact same thing.

Kenyans are generally sick about Kenyan politics. And I mean really, really, sick.

Just how much emotional stress can a people take?

It started in 2002 and the euphoria Kenyans felt that year when the Kanu government was finally uprooted from power after 40 years on that memorable December 30th Day of 2002 at Uhuru park. Despite the high hopes we all after those elections, we ended up being terribly disappointed. I will never forget that man who was so elated that he swam in the murky waters of Uhuru Park and was captured by TV cameras. I wonder where he is now. And I also wonder what he would have said had he been told then that all the celebration was for nothing and that the worst was still to come. The worst came in 2007 of course. After the referendum drama and the long presidential campaign that started immediately after we ended up with nothing but the 2007 fiasco that some still insist on referring to as a general election which has left a bitter taste in the mouth of many Kenyans.

To add salt to a very raw wound the behaviour of Kenyan politicians is unbelievable. The heartless folks are already campaigning hard for the presidency in 2012. Yet the cement on the graves of victims of the post-election skirmishes is yet to dry properly. Let alone the fact that very frustrated and still grieving IDPs are roaming like refugees in the country that they call home. And the political class would care less. Of course they occasionally make the necessary “noises” for political advantage when the need arises.

Is it any wonder that most Kenyans these days feel like throwing up any time they hear Kenyan politics discussed anywhere?

If I was in the 10th parliament right now I would be very worried because I can assure you that in the next elections those Kenyans who make it to the ballot box will be very very very angry. Angry people are pretty unpredictable.

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Ivy said...

Precisely Chris.

The feeling is mutual....Same feeling here...I am damn tired of politics...I would rather watch Man U play or just watch neighbors

I have decided that this time round for me to cast my vote, someone has to drag me by my ear.

Phil said...

What is the purpose of voting if the winning candidate is already predetermined so that if he loses then his votes are simply topped up?

You see Chris, there shall never be any disaster greater for Kenyans than ever electing that old geezer called Kibaki in 2002. His was a case of being at the right place at the right time because Moi was not giving anyone a chance to compete having already settled on rookie Uhuru Kenyatta. I was there in Uhuru Park on that momentous occassion and I saw Kibaki pledge atop a wheel chair. Indeed - we were all very very happy. Sadly, its turning out Kibaki out done both Moi and Kenyatta for the worst in terms of official corruption, nepotism,economic management, tribalism, national cohesion and even social justice.

The disaster that is Kibaki's regime, the one we know as serial goofers, is at the moment caught with their pants down smuggling a huge cache of arms and in the process violating a UN Security Council sanction and seriously compromising peace and stability in the great lakes region. Karume (former minister defence), Karangi (VCGS) and Mwaura (former PS) are apparently fully behind the commercial deal to re-arm the SPLM in preparation for a referendum which will decide the division or the unification of Sudan. It matters little to Kibaki and his group that Kenya as country is violating international laws. All they want is recoup the money they lost in the abortive ANGLO-LEASING. Those purporting to defend the government like Alfred Mutua, Kalonzo Musyoka and Moses Wetangula have got absolutely NO idea that Kibaki is really the big shadow behind this deal. I will e-mail you the names. The deal is reportedly worth more than US$100m. Do the math. Defence supplies attract commissions as high as 25%. This one could have been more because 'Kenya Government' is provinding guarantees and cover-up. Remember there was a commercial firm registered to trade as Republic of Kenya???

The big QUESTION is, how can Kenya import tens of tankers from the EAST, yet we have pending proposal for rehabilitation of our own vickers tankers from the west lying in a shocking state of disrepair in Kahawa Garisson and Isiolo Barracks??? Chris, are you aware that Kenya is the weakest country in terms of military strength in the entire horn of Africa region, including Eritrea and Somalia? Simply put, we are a sitting duck!!!

Why, because military generals and cabinet ministers have been officially allowed to make their own golden-handshake deals prior to retirement or being voted out - all in the name of modernizing the Kenya armed forces. That is why we buy used ferries thinking they are warships. Thats why we prefer to re-arm SPLM because our own civil society and parliament has become too inquisitive! This is why Kimunya was so so so bitter at being forced to resign saying he would rather DIE than resign. Ask yourself, what is so special about that office at treasury building that a man would rather die than be forced out of it?????

But then again, you have to remember this country is not immune to civilian or military coups. Neither is it immune to revolutions.

Those of us who care for this country shall never give up. We owe it to the future generations, dont we??

E-cop said...

how are you daughter of Samia?Samia women are jewels of western kenya

Chris, tell Kenyans to release their anger don't bottle it up inside your head will explode like a volcano and your heart will burst like a pipe. please swallow some Big G & remove bitterness from your life. anger and bitterness is not the right strategy for fighting to take ownership of Kenya-

lets get a national dialogue taking between politicians and kenyans? even among us dialogue is better than anger or bitterness-

how many in the 10th parliament read kenya's blogs? this might be the only place where they'll get pure unadulterated opinions of the majority

the 10th parliament have a fantastic opportunity to go down in history as one of the most reform minded members in the history of parliament if they get down to it. the choice is theirs, our job is to wait patiently we have many options what to do with them wembe ni ule ule

Kwale said...

Another one of those Chris's charade! You know all too well this is an ironic post.
Since when did Kenyans stop idolising politicians? Politics in Kenya is a cult, a religion with fanatic followers and that's the reality. You see it yourself here, some people in this Kumekucha think, breathe, eat and sleep politics and politicians. There is this deep enduring insatiable love for our politicians. When you get some educated people like Phil having erection at the mention of name Raila, then you should know this unreasonable love with our politicians runs deep, and it will take an awful amount of thought reformation and re-education to channel out those long held belief in a country where politicians are seen as loyalty. It's only in Kenya where people are willing to kill and maim others for the sake of their politicians and it will require some radical coercive persuasion to turn people away from politics.

First give the youths something to talk about other than politics and slowly but surely the interest will begin to dwindle away from politics.

Ivy said...


I am A-OK. And yes you have said it (jewels of western Kenya). And i agree with you too, it is therapeutic for people to rant and rave. It helps to clean the system.

So no hard feelings...I have read some of your rants.

By the way i forgot...Phil could someone please tell Wetangula that his services are desperately needed now...He leaves the rogue ambassadors, he never know they might just come to his aid...He should come forth and clear the air abt these arms deal.....Lest he forgets that we are a sovereign state.

Anonymous said...

Chris - Yes you are really spot on. Kenyans are tired of politics and politicians. They are the biggest curse to roam the nation. Unfortunately a countrys leadership is a reflection of its people. We are all as a people guilty - we elect some and tolerate rigging some of them in.

Some of the politicians who shout loud about rigging practice it too, yet they singly determine who shall be an MP or not - What about Orengo and teh Ugenya debacle - siasa zina wenyewe? How do you demonise a community and rally a country against a community for no apparent reason other than the fact that an MOU privately signed was dishonoured by an individual but not a community. Why would a commander in chief allow a massacre and a genocide of a people - others including Phil consider his people?

Phil - with due respect, its your man who gave us kibaki for his own personal interest. You should demonise Rao equally just like we should demonise kibaki. As much as i agree with you there is no need to spend time on 2012 - i gather in private you guys have already formed a think tank whose TOR is 2012, then in public you demonise the others. Learn to be consistent with what you stand for Phil.

On the issue of tanks, i share your concerns. But make no mistake, i have visited Malakal, Juba, Wau and Yei - and sooner than later South Sudan will secede - its in everyones mind. If Kenyan military generals thought it wise to develop a buffer so be it. Its in Kenyans interest. In any case its an act of God taht we share a border with South Sudan. A safer south sudan is in teh best interest of Kenya.

I also agree with you - we are the weakest in terms of military strength, but remember during MoiS Time, Kenya for 10 straight years did not receive budget support from bretton institutions. Why should we stockpile when our people have no drugs, they are hungry etc. Do you also know in the region we have teh harshest and unproductive land after Somalia? DRC or uganda even if they fight they will never talk of hunger - drought is not an issue. Its all an issue of allocating resources. I hope am wrong, i fear am right.

Phil if you care for the country as you state - then raise issues that are substantive. The day you will realize we are all Kenyans, no matter our origins - and Kenya is bigger than the man you idolise - thats the day i will take your assertion of care for the country seriously. For now you are just providing verbosity.

Mzee wa Kijiji

Kwale said...

One more point to add, Politics in Kenya is deadly cocktail of fanaticism, fixation, obsession, enthusiasm and God knows what else, where emotions are filled with excessive, uncritical zeal, and obsessive enthusiasm like a pastime or hobby which has lead to abnormal devotion to Daily newspapers and Primetime televisions.

M-Pesa said...


I'm one of those who voted for old Kibaki and pardon to the toothless Jeremiah Nyaga, I would have taken a bullet on his behalf. I was PNU damu as you all know cheering from the rooftops and even made a donation to the party from my hard earned cash.

Sadly just like most Kenyans, I had been conned blind. Phil is damn right that Kibaki has become a disaster for this country and history will judge him harshly some day for being insensitive to our cries and arrogant. This is because we expected so much and believed in him than we ever anticipated from Arap moi. Whatever happened to zero tolerance against corruption?

This old man just cares about himself and his family and worships material wealth while IDP languish in prison like camps despite harsh weather conditions. He has done absolutely nothing tangile about rampant corruption being perpetuated by his cronies with impunity apart from bribing the AG and KACC boss with huge payslips to buy their silence.

Talk about Anglo fleecing, illegal arms, Grand Regency, Dela Rue, Standard newspaper raids, endless commissions whose files are rotting in State Hse, genocide earlier this year despite warnings from Mj Gichangi of intelligence...I could go on till morning.

Kenyatta once warned against the presidency "crossing over to river Chania.." The old man was just dead right! I don't hate Kibaki the man, just his guts! Kenya needs regime and generation change now.

chola said...

kwale and core you shall pass but kenya will kick on,live today and plan for kesho

Anonymous said...


Very true. Its expected after having put our hope on politics (as always) only to wake up again and realize we are on our own.



You shld have made a separate post for your 'info'.
How i wish you would mean your words that you care for this nation. Your kind of lot is what keeps this nation backwards. If your eyes are not blinded by fanaticism and idol worship it would be clear to you that even those you support (and assume are better and clean) are no different than Kibs and Kalonzo. What differentiates them is that your idol knows how to manipulate most of his tribes men while the other two are on the mercy of those with huge wealth.


Thing is, we need to look for a solution else where. What I know the solution is not in any of the current political class.

Anonymous said...

Once standards are lowered it takes sacrifice to raise them.....That's the problem we have in kenya we have never had a generation of selfless people with a sense of nationhood.....

We have constantly been lead by pigs, slimy, seedy pigs and they have gone and sired children who know of nothing else.. it will take a miracle to turn kenya around with its current leadership...problem is there is no incentive.

Onother way to look at it is that we are tasting the bitter after taste of a compromise.....and the laziness that has lead us to constanly elect idiots as our representatives.....we shall continue to be tired until we realise that unless we elect the right people the sadness and gloom will be our portion......

nothing good comes from just sitting on out butts and wishing or whinning, we will have to do more that just cast a vote....thats the harsh reality.......

There are no good people out there who love us, we must fight for whatever we want,so we must creat accountables systems that are as neutral as is humany possible.

Sir Alex

Anonymous said...

chris, you never cease to amaze. nulla tam bona est fortuna de qua nihil possis queri syrus maxims

good question; 'why do i get that sick feeling every time i read the usual blogs or posts about kenyan village politics?'

and why do people like chris want the world to believe that they any different from the sickening neo-colonial village politics of kenya?

we all know that the apple, sorry i meant the banana, doesn't fall far from the tree. so why do people like chris and the usual holy than thou company hate the apple tree, banana stem in this case, yet end up chewing the apple or swallowing the banana?

kenyans are so funny, because we are always forget that we are what eat in private.

stultior stulto fuisti, qui tabellis crederes plautus, curculio, 551

Anonymous said...


You say gok is breaking international law? Same gok that includes rao? Have you taken up this with him?

Also i thought you would be happy that the nilotes of ss are being assisted.

Anonymous said...


Kwale said...

Sir Alex, what did you expect Kibaki to do within 5 years? Create a welfare system, build superhighways, channel tunnels and rent free homes?

In my standard Kibaki has done well given the amount of work needed to be done and the space of time. What you forget is, Kenya is a third world country and there is no miracle formula to country chronic problems and it can take up to 15 years to see any tangible change.
Are you ODMers trying to tell me if Raila is the president of Kenya all our problems will be solved? Believe me you Raila would have created more problems than solving them. You think Kenya is messed now, boy, he would have mess it up big time with his Marxism Communist ideologies. Thank God he will never be president!!!
Kenya does not need Raila, what Kenya needs is a reformist who is different from a communist like Raila Odinga.

Ivy said...


No one has mentioned Raila's name anywhere....Could you pls give the guy a break? I am outta of here.

I would have taken 5th ammendment but i couldn't resist the temptation.

E-cop said...

Goodbye Ivy, till tomorrow, nice evening

i only ever had ONE expectation for Kibaki ever since 2002-stop CORRUPTION dead in its tracks. fullstop
i never cared for "welfare systems, build superhighways,channel tunnels rent free homes" etc

Kibaki has not done well on this one Key promise he made to Kenyans "corruption will cease to be a way of life"

Kwale what type of an excuse is "Kenya is a third world country"? time has no place in the success equation, integrity has no incubation period unlike pregnancy If indeed Kenya needs a reformist what we DON'T NEED is one who crawls at snails pace while the world around us moves at the speed of lighting

This is what gives Kenyans that sick feeling every time we think about Kenyan politics

Taabu said...

Ever heard of REVERSE LOGIC? Well, you may not since you are neck deep into it. You accuse Phil of idolzing RAO but take a huge mirror infront of you and what do you see? Mentioning RAO makes you do blank and the rants are endless.

You will never convince even yourself to be objective if all your take is premised on loathing an individual and not ideology. BTW that marxist remark could see aplenty in the 1980s. FYI this is 2008. Or better still tune to SKY or C4 documentaries. Or you only enjoy the pictures on your digital channel. Please reflect the quality of what you watch instead of being an exported villager who mistakes LOUD MOUTH for volume of quality discource.

Just think hard enough Bw Kwale and see how obsessedwith siasa you are. You beliggerently speak of 3rd world to betray your complex. Bring them on and indulge.

Anonymous said...

Some ODMers think that if Raila becomes president they will be able to walk into a Kikuyu-owned house and live rent free. That will never happen, learn to live off your sweat.

Anonymous said...

Dear Friends,

Life can be very funny.

One day a community swears they are proud of their foreskins and they will never cut them off. The next, they are walking around anouncing to all that they are circumcised, and they are ready to flash out their organs to prove it.

I tell you friends, in some parts of Kenya life is a theatre of the absurd.

Phil said...

Just count the number of bloggers who have responded to the main post by Chris, in comparison to those who are attacking me for mentioning RAO in their imaginations!

No one wants to address the fact that Kibaki and his greedy brigade have now been caught with their pants dow. A continuation of a series of serious COCK-UPs in a presidency which I have said is the BIGGEST TRAGEGY ever to have happened to this country.

The even bigger tragedy is that some bloggers want to sweep this under the carpet and MOVE ON to another official disaster!

Heri ni wachane na mafala.

Anonymous said...

For once I have sympathy for those who had so much hope in ODM.Despite being touted as the most assertive in recent times,the ODM majority parliament hasnt matched the expectations of its fanatical supporters.I have watched with barely concealed glee and am serious on this one,folks who would have gladly killed on behalf of Raila turn around and question how despite their party having the most representation in parliament they are still grappling with high fuel,power and food costs.They ask,does the effect on government that mps have only reserved to showing a fellow mp like Kimunya dust while powerless to act against large oil multinationals that are fuelling inflation with unjustifiably high oil prices?Which impacts heavily on Kenyans pockets?Or are our mps omnipotent when it comes to matters directly affecting the average Kenyan?

Kwale said...


CORRUPTION in Kenya is institutionalised, it is deeply entrenched in Kenyan society, and it's endemic throughout all levels of administrations which has been a way of life (custom) that has existed for a very long time, and to eradicate it would require patience and willingness.
You also have to understand there was a transitional period between KANU govt to NARC govt, and Kibaki administration inherited an awful lot of corruption from the previous regime. And to me, he has created an image that understands what corruption is and that in itself is a real big change if you compare with the previous administration.
You cannot do everything at once, but one should go step by step: administrative reform; public, civic and legal education of the society because you cannot expect an intolerant attitude towards corruption in a society where it has been a part and parcel of life.

I believe there is only one way to approach corruption head on and that is good public procurement laws, a normal code of conduct for civil servants, a normal law regarding conflict of interests, normal police and normal prosecution, normal everything, one by one, all together in it together. It is not that you approach only corruption, but the whole government, in a very normal way. If the normal democratic instruments are working there is no corruption, at least in theory.

Anonymous said...

Raila is surpervising and coordinating the importation of these arms to South Sudan to help the Dinkas, the Luos of Sudan. His ultimate goal is to unite the Luos of Kenya, the Acholis of Uganda, and the Dinkas to rule East Africa and South Sudan. Wait until this plan succeeds and some of you bloggers will run out of tears to cry. Never say you were not forewarned!

Anonymous said...


interesting view point on corruption

will not touch on the parts i disagree with, but lets take a look at some of your salient points in this para

You cannot do everything at once, but one should go step by step: administrative reform; public, civic and legal education of the society because you cannot expect an intolerant attitude towards corruption in a society where it has been a part and parcel of life

this is not new, we've been down this road a gazillion times.

by mid 90s majority of kenyans realised and became increasingly aware that no matter what efforts went into economic development and growth, corruption was and still is like a ruptured artery and will uncontrollably drain all public resources to the point of dysfunctional systems. the heamorrhaging neede to be stopped immediately. it also became glaringly evident that the moi regime was totally incapable of addressing this due to a complex web of complicity by the major players. it is for that reason in 2002 as has been and still is repeatedly being pointed out (phil, m-pesa above in this thread and many others before) it became necessary to uproot moi-ism and all his projects so that there would be a fresh start (read less complicit characters) which is the first point in your paragraph, i.e administrative reform starting at the top. clearly that failed in the period 2003-2007 and in 2007 we tried again to start at the top since this jamaa at the top simply cannot do it. all other efforts are complementary but without that major effort from the top its an uphill struggle.

corruption is not a culture, its a crime. it should be tackled the same way murder and other criminal behaviour is tackled, i.e permanently and decisively using the same big words of govt parrot - "we do not negotiate with pirates, criminals, terrorists etc"

the reason corruption and by extension all other crime in kenya thrives is because the govt says one thing and practices another.

people like pattni, somaia, ephraim maina, jirongo, feel free to add all the rest of the names that float your boat, should not hold public office and should be in jail for engaging in crime.

we do not need education, retreats, workshops and seminars, all these people should be put in jail, and throw the key away, and if others repeat the crime let them do the time too.


Anonymous said...

C in C is back from Mars. Yada yada yada...and not a word about the arms cache.

Kibaki goads military on IT

President Mwai Kibaki on Wednesday challenged military personnel to embrace a culture of continuous learning to keep pace with regional stability challenges posed by new technology..................... President Kibaki said at the Armed Forces Officer Cadets Commissioning Parade at Lanet.

Anonymous said...

How comes the Kenyans are suffering due to "water shortage". I have been traveling to the other parts of the world and it surprise me that they have no water shortages since they have the ocean around them. What is the Indian ocean for and why does the government put up more water reservoirs in Kenya? 'dry taps in NAIROBI'...what does this mean...a shame due to mismanagement.

How come the IDPs are still in the camp yet there is a government of Coalition...if people never have a heart they will never make a change to our country...if government cannot support the people who suffered because of them, what else can they do...people with no any heart at all and neither do they care about their citizens. If these politicians are given KSHS. 10,000 each and be told go and rebuld your home,take kids to school, feed on the same cash... Is it possible for them to be denied their pay for the remaining time and just give them Kshs.10,000 and ask them to live on is a big shame they have started campaigns...they don't even feel any shame...remember we have not yet recovered mentally from what we experience and politicians prove to us that they never care of anything that happened in our own country and they only think of themselves.....why so hungry with the power like you will be buried with it.

Anonymous said...

this is exactly how i see it

i wonder how it will be blocked

a) assassination
b) money
c) prorogue parliament
d) jail
e) HBC suspend the man

add to that

and make sure legislators re-phrase to say that a president must be no more than 65 years old so that it includes incumbent and we have a major vacancy in the offing. its a bad call but if thats what will give us a clean start, why not

Linturi forgot to mention that we still have some dinosaurs at the head of civil service in the name of one Amb Muthaura and the appointing authority is culpable of misconduct


Anonymous said...

the pirates should just blow up the ship so that kibaki can count his losses. arms trading is illegal!

Anonymous said...

anon 4:17

i wish it were that way. but mutua said the cargo was paid for using tax-payers funds - please note that it was PAID for.

2nd since it has not yet been delivered, either the shipper / insurance has to refund the cash hence another scandal that never was (quote kiraitu of the fleecing fame)

and by the way how come the shipment was paid for when not yet delivered (that question is directed to mutua)

so either way, the key players still get to live another day to fleece the public

but lets wait and hear how this develops further

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