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Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Sad Maize Saga

How to ruin a developing country and wipe out its’ bright future

As you read this, Kenyans are facing the mind-boggling prospect of finding it cheaper to cook chapatis this Christmas than it will be to make some ugali to go with the traditional nyama choma. A casual look at this scenario should be good news for lovers of chapatis like this blogger. Right? WRONG!!!!

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Actually recent developments in the price of maize flour look like they may just trigger a crisis of unprecedented proportions. Already food riots in Kenya have begun in earnest.

Many readers of this popular blog might find it a little difficult to understand why the high price of maize flour can be such a serious thing. Remember the famous quote from the French revolution where the queen asked why the people cannot eat cake if there is no bread? So you may be asking what the big deal is and why people cannot eat rice, chapos, cooked bananas and a host of other foods available.

The fact is that Ugali (cooked from maize flour) is the staple food of a vast majority of Kenyans. For many reasons but one has to do with the fact that it was a low cost satisfying meal until recently. In other words what is already happening amongst poor Kenyans who for obvious reasons cannot get to this blog to leave a comment, is that they are going hungry. YES. That’s because the money they have cannot feed them and their families.

But the saddest thing of all is that the current maize crisis was created by the political class with the intention of raking in huge profits from selling maize at very high prices.

You will remember that soon after the post election skirmishes, many experts warned of a looming food crisis because the country’s bread basket in Rift Valley was the worst hit by the post-election violence. It was rather obvious that the government needed to act fast then to avert hunger. Instead there is evidence to suggest that those concerned dragged their feet on the matter deliberately with their eyes firmly fixed on a prize. The prize was super-normal profits from the sale of maize at highly inflated prices. Indeed the cabinet censured Agriculture minister William Ruto just this week over these very allegations (Read the story here).

In other words, greedy politicians in our beloved country did not care how many people may end up dieing from their actions but were instead only concerned about making a quick buck.

Names that have been linked to the maize scandal include that of Cyrus Jirongo and Ababu Namwamba (have you noticed how his silence is deafening on all this?). Word on the street (yet to be confirmed) is that Mr Jirongo is the main financier of the “maize project”

But all this is nothing new. Kenya was ruined a long time ago and to date we never succeed in getting our priorities right simply because the political class will always look for a place where they will make a buck. It is as simple as that.

Interestingly while the country is grappling with the maize crisis, acting Finance Minister John Michuki took the opportunity to announce that the government was going to spend Kshs 700 million on the Prime Minister’s office. Kenya Shell House in Nairobi will be purchased for this purpose. While sources say that this project is being financed by a foreign government, clearly our priorities will always be misplaced.

Kenya was ruined a long long time ago.

By the way this is NOT about ODM or PNU—I am of course well aware that I am wasting my breath saying this since ODM and PNU hawks are all over this blog.

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47 comments:

Anonymous said...

Come on Christ:

How can you say this is not a party problem. The ministry of Agriculture which in charge of Maize is under ODM and the characters starring in this saga are from ODM and its affliates. This is the change we were promised that ODM was to bring - steal ugali right from the mouths of Kibera people. Almost every ministry under ODM has an exposed scandal or one waiting to be exposed like the one in the Ministry of Health Services. They are building 2012 war chest and each ministry has its quarter to raise. Lord have mercy upon us!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, And the bottleneck caused at the Mombasa Port, where six ships are losing Sh2-6m a day each queuing to offload maize at the only bulk handler, is an ODM-caused problem that will continue to haunt us until 2018. (Raila has backed the monopoly, which has an effect on the price of fertiliser, wheat, maize and rice, because Jaffer donated to his campaign... including the 'Pentagon One' bus). ODM has its Murungarus too!

Anonymous said...

It must be truly satisfying for the likes of Chris to see the path 'that these people who were supposed to be our liberators from all the evils of the past' are leading our country to.I have read in this forum time and again how central Kenya is the devil in matters corruption related.When the scandal broke out at Afya house KK prefered to look the other way and pretend it was nothing,with this maize scandal we are now told it isnt a party issue.Give us a break!Its very much an ODM created mess and I can visualise the posts that would be appearing here if the scandals were coming from PNU led ministries.It was almost comical seeing those clowns at that rally in Kibera yesterday blaming the government for the maize shortage.Can someone please explain to me the meaning of government if Raila,Mudavadi,Ruto,Marende,Nyon'go,Orengo,Gumo can stand in front of a crowd and talk of government.What government that they are not part of?Lord have mercy.

Anonymous said...

ODM thieves!!

Anonymous said...

Let's not forget the work permit scandal by ODM's Kajwang. Maybe the maize scandal will encourage people to vote wisely next time. But then if you're poor and ignorant like the Kenyan masses, then you'll vote foolishly. Now that maize flour prices are too high, why can't people eat chips or pasta?

Anonymous said...

We have really lost it as a country.Sad we still look at issues in terms of party, geographical boundaries etc. Yet the "mal" that ail us continue to eat deeper. If someone heads a whole ministry and goes his way to collude with his buddies to hoard maize at the mercy of poor citizens, such people should be judged as such. Any kenyan with responsibilities to the public whatever his party affiliation and fails fulfil his duties ought be shown the door simple. Condemning a party or a region will not take us anywhere. Its well documented that such thugs only work for their stomachs. It beats logic how the kenyan electorate continue rewarding thugs who steal from them. Its only in kenya where thieves are seen as heros, those who avoid paying taxes called honarable leaders and hard toiling poor citizens are perpetual flops. How do you explain then an "enlightened" electorate electing JIRONGO as an MP not to mention the whole lot of our current MPs.kanoo

Vikii said...

I just love the hypocrisy. It makes me wink at my friends.

Anonymous said...

I have no doubt in my mind this is the 'maisha bora' we were so thrilled about when we took politicians for their word.I mean life has never been better what with high food prices,high energy prices and overpaid,underworking Mp's who wont pay taxes.Only in Kenya!

Taabu said...

Leaves you wondering where the difference lies between COLD BLOOD MURDERERS and those who starve fellow Kenyans to death. Well, we are simply swimming in our own blood populated by sharks who have perfected our national ETHOS of deception and fraud. We haven't seen anything yet, na bado.

Anonymous said...

ODM members were not called ODMorons for nothing...They recycled thieves from the Moi era and deluded themselves that they were going to be saviours. Now the heartland of ODM, Kibera are going to political rallies carrying placards written 'Unga at 40 bob' while the PM and Agric minister both accuse the 'goverment' of being responsible for maize shortage...I am yet to meet a more comical bunch of losers...

Vikii said...

I am told Anyang Nyong'o is seeking permission from Raila Odinga to initiate mass action over the high prices of maize meal. What a bunch of morons!

Anonymous said...

Reminds me of that famous statement by Githongo during the early Narc days about people who 'found a skunk and took it home for a pet'.Well,well ODM found lots of skunks looking for political direction and promptly took them in.The stench that will continue coming from that house will soon be unbearable!

E-CHANGE said...

Vikii
you speak like a totally satiated man with large stocks of maize sitting in reserve won't you share some with that poor neighbour next door to you?

"Chriso"
its about time riots of some sort started in this country again! i mean, how can Unga cost 120 when someone only earns 100ksh and less?this is not a banana republic and
we should not have some people sumptuously feasting on homecoming parties and philanthropic charity while the ones that pay taxes are starving and preparing to eat rats for christmas

we must keep the pressure up on hoarders and poverty profiteers until Annan comes AGAIN and brings us back to our senses

YOTE YAWEZEKANA na Annan

sereast said...

I will say this for the 100th time. We have no liberators in Kenya. Those waheshimiwas regardless of the political wing they are from are all crooks.

Kenyans should be wise. If they decide to play games with maize, swiftly remove the carpet from beneath their legs by going for an alternative, then the maize that they think will make them some quick cash will just be lying there without buyers and so the natural law of demand/supply will set in and prices tumble.

Anonymous said...

well....at least the mass surgery went well. a resounding success. how about that!

Anonymous said...

All this happening as the illegitimtae sloth - he who is duly elected continues snoozing away and plotting how to anoint another bunch of status quo losers for 2012.

By the way, haters, Ababu, Jirongo and Ruto are only in ODM by name. They have discovered their place in PNU - thankfully ODM now has the opportunity to clean house.

Anonymous said...

"idiots of idiots" that is what we have been for the last forty-five years, that is what we are in 2008, and that is what we will be for the next two decades.

we are tail-less mules, toothless hyenas and blind sheep who always get used to whatever it is that is dished out to us by whoever happens to be in power and in charge of our so called nation and future of its dead-walking citizens.

dogs of a nation are so used to wagging their tails so excitedly whenever they are fed on empty promises.

all we do is talk-talk-talk-talk until another juicy, gossipy and zombie of a topic lands on our decaying laps or worse hits the narrow scoped media in the country.

if i may ask, what is so surprising or shocking about maize (cattle feed in some nations) shortages in the country? it's blind fools who never learn from their past and prepare for their future.

an intelligent and wise leadership would have made sure that the nation has strategic reserves of maize in various parts of the country.

reserves that can last the nation with its several millions of hungry mouths for a period of two years or more.

one would think that a simple lesson such as making sure there were enough maize reserves should have been deeply ingrained in our national psyche by now - forty-five years after neouhuru.

we are such a damned nation that invests all of its resources and valuable time in backward and wasteful politics, rather than good industry that benefits the people in the the long term.

ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

we cannot have our rotten political/tribal cakes and eat them at the same time.

by the way, let the rest of the country suffer in the same cruel manner that the residents of north eastern, eastern and north rift valley provinces have been suffering (starvation, decay, death) for the last five years.

welcome to the rest of the nation to the pangs of hunger, claws of confusion and panic, and jaws of slow death in the most affected areas.

"idiots of idiiots" that is what we have been, that is what we and that is what we will be for the two decades.

Anonymous said...

"idiots of idiots" that is what we have been for the last forty-five years, that is what we are in 2008, and that is what we will be for the next two decades.

we are tail-less mules, toothless hyenas and blind sheep who always get used to whatever it is that is dished out to us by whoever happens to be in power and in charge of our so called nation and future of its dead-walking citizens.

dogs of a nation are so used to wagging their tails so excitedly whenever they are fed on empty promises.

all we do is talk-talk-talk-talk until another juicy, gossipy and zombie of a topic lands on our decaying laps or worse hits the narrow scoped media in the country.

if i may ask, what is so surprising or shocking about maize (cattle feed in some nations) shortages in the country? it's blind fools who never learn from their past and prepare for their future.

an intelligent and wise leadership would have made sure that the nation has strategic reserves of maize in various parts of the country.

reserves that can last the nation with its several millions of hungry mouths for a period of two years or more.

one would think that a simple lesson such as making sure there were enough maize reserves should have been deeply ingrained in our national psyche by now - forty-five years after neouhuru.

we are such a damned nation that invests all of its resources and valuable time in backward and wasteful politics, rather than good industry that benefits the people in the the long term.

ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

we cannot have our rotten political/tribal cakes and eat them at the same time.

by the way, let the rest of the country suffer in the same cruel manner that the residents of north eastern, eastern and north rift valley provinces have been suffering (starvation, decay, death) for the last five years.

welcome to the rest of the nation to the pangs of hunger, claws of confusion and panic, and jaws of slow death in the most affected areas.

"idiots of idiiots" that is what we have been, that is what we and that is what we will be for the two decades.

papa plus said...

Just another day in your run of the mill banana republic

cicero said...

are we going to take another day off to celebrate Obama's inauguration?

The siver lining here is that slowly we are coming to the realization that as wananchi, we are collectively being shagged...regardless of tribe. So if we get shagged together, one wonders why we cannot say "NO TO BEING SHAGGED" together. But alas, along the way will emerge a politician who manages to convince his lot (tribe) that tribal affiliation trumps their self preservation! warped thinking, warped thinking!

Anonymous said...

Chris,

Can someone explain why our PM, Mr Raila A. Ondinga, opposed the introduction of competitors in the bulk grain importation business? Why is he protecting Mohammed Jaffer, owner of Grain Bulk Handlers Ltd? Are the business interests of Mr. Jaffer above the lives of ordinary Kenyans, the ugali eaters?

What is going on in our country; is there no leader left with a humane heart? Somebody, help me understand the source of this extreme indifference to human suffering by our leaders!

Sayra said...

Anon 10.28pm

Only a human can feel and understand a fellow human being ... that is why you feel bad when a fellow human being is suffering.

But an animal in a human figure will never feel you even when you are dying. Infact they will continue 'eating' you till they can eat you no more since you will be literally 'over'.

Like we say ... a cockroach can only communicate to a fellow cockroach. That is why they will quickly agree and pass a bill not to tax themselves but when it comes to important human matters they somehow lack the energy and the time for it.

But thank God their time is over and enough is enough.

Edwin said...

When are we going to get rid of this scum we call our representatives?do you remember the massively rigged party nominations prior to the general elections?
And it was rigged coz as they used to tell us" you cannot have a strong captain without leutenants"So even if you were a bright young mind and convinced the voters, they made sure you lost so some scum they could keep eating with.
Well, I used to admire RAO but these days I have no time for him. It is his paranoia that got us these silly,greedy fellows in ODM.
After all, we know Ruto's and Jirongo's past.
I doubt we are stuck with them for the next 20 years.Lets just keep up the pressure and never let our votes be bought again no matter how hungry we are at that moment.Where is the 100/= you sold your votes for?Was it not over the same day?
I remember a young lady walking aroung houses in Kingorani ward(Mombasa)asking "please vote me in as councillor"of course everyone loughed and she never made it. The guy in the 4x4 did.
So there you have it. Cheap,directionless politics.

Anonymous said...

I remember Ruto specifically blaming Kibaki on escalating food prices in the run up to the 2007presidential elections yet this is the highest price escalation in the history of Kenya for a basic food stuff, and so far there is nothing credible coming from this Minister. Infact, credible reasoning has been from other quarters. Yet Kenyans could shout about Ruto being an agent of change and prosperity. He is a leader unto darkness, exploitation, propaganda, and poverty. There can be no prosperity with Ruto.

Anonymous said...

ODM was the greatest lie that ever happened to the history of Kenya. We can now see. Greed and lies.

Anonymous said...

This is the greatest congame to the people of Kenya in the history of our nation. Forget Goldenberg, Angloleasing and the Grand Regency allegations. This one is biting every breathing sole in the Republic for whom the white cake, or rather ugali, is the staple food. Poverty looms everywhere, from Lamu to Kisumu, from Lodwar to Namanga. Poor to Kenya under Ruto and Raila supporting exploitative monopolies. More poverty to Kibera. It is the ODMs masterplan to fund their campagn kit for 2012.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1.36, try telling that to my Phil or his half brother uxclnc.
They think ODM is a manna from heaven to kenyans. washindwe kabisa!

Phil's Mistress

Anonymous said...

Chris,

If you are a good-natured chap like you claim to be. Neither ODM or PNU and care about people, why don't we have an article to Mark world's AIDS day?
Somewhere people can leave their comments and share the experiences with this terrible disease. AIDS does not know ODM or PNU you know.

b-carotene said...

This sad maize saga is so SAD.
And December is here with us too, one year after last year....
such darkness. in this our finest hour!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zje20q1eRCY


and for a country i love.

Anonymous said...

Phil, Sir Alex Urxlnc

Please sema kitu

UrXlnc said...

anon 4:48

there are two separate issues here

first is regarding the current food security/crisis

on that i prefer to follow the analysis presented in reports such as those listed in the links below

http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/COUNTRIES/AFRICAEXT/KENYAEXTN/0,,contentMDK:21665883~menuPK:356516~pagePK:2865066~piPK:2865079~theSitePK:356509,00.html

http://appablog.wordpress.com/2008/05/29/agricultural-commodity-prices-expected-to-remain-high/

http://www.ecofair-trade.org/pics/de/HBF_who_gets_the_money_Kenya_HHoeffler.pdf

closer home the reports here are quite informative

http://www.kenyafoodsecurity.org/inside.php?articleid=209

not forgetting that by mid year kibaki was well aware and expressed the following sentiments

http://allafrica.com/stories/200806020833.html

i therefore respectfully disagree with chris particularly the statement

"...is that the current maize crisis was created by the political class with the intention of raking in huge profits from selling maize at very high prices...."

that is a rather sensational statement and is bound to evoke the reactions above. especially with our kenyan nature of pointing fingers at the slightest chance of abnormal activity.

on the second issue, it may however be true that the political/economic elite could have (colluded and) taken advantage of the situation (as they always have and will continue to do) to position themselves to reap from these unfortunate circumstances. if its through illegal practice i have no care it they are thrown in jail, however if its through deft business calculation, then sadly its a case of morals and is no different from hawker selling blankets or food to refugees. its very sad and i'd expect better, but such is life

having said that however, the reality on the ground is that the biting cost of high prices of basic commodities is major security concern and these cosmetic approaches such as the reactionary reduction of maize flour is bound to backfire in the long run and should be a warning indicator that major disaster lies ahead.

papa plus said...

I remember some time back arguing with a good friend as kenyans in the North went hungry while the rest of the country enjoyed their New years feast with our fearless leader in Mombasa unaware that fellow citizens where starving (this was when dog food was offered to the GK for the starving northerners). After a long discussion about the real economic power of a country measured by it's ability to feed it's own, my friend scoffed thusly,

"kwani what is new here? these people have always gone without food"

Kimi Raikkonen said...

Raila's solution after "consultation" with the millers is to have Unga sold at different prices, one for rural people @ 52/= and another for urban people @ 72/=. How brilliant!! The "People's President" thinks that you can classify poor people into rural and urban, and does NOT UNDERSTAND that poor is poor whether you are in Kibera or whether you are in Gem or Ukunda. This blinding arrogance is simply a camouflage to hide Raila's characteristic deception and depraved mendacity as he seeks even now to protect the ODM linked profiteers who put together the national con with Ruto's active connivance, INSPITE OF and REGARDLESS OF the mournful cries of millions of Kenya's hungry poor. Selling Unga at 52/= IS STILL A CON. Do you want to tell me that Raila, in consultation with Kibaki, cannot instantly issue an enforceable decree that Unga be sold at 35/=, or else, regardless of what the millers say OR THINK? This is a national security crisis after all, but i doubt that Raila and Ruto see it that way. Why would they with full bellies?
As for Kibaki, we learnt long ago he was never a pro people person, so his silence is true to character.

Taabu said...

Kimi
In the face a CRISIS (natural or artificial) do you harangue him taking token gestures or the purposely INACTIVE partner whose silence can be interpreted as sabotage in disguise? Raw rage can bling an otherwise creative argument bro and your last paragraph grossly betrays the bias.

BTW Emilio remains the CEO and why not put his foot down and SHAME the little devils for once in showing leadership by example and from the front? Or are we resigned to his CONTEMPT and lack of leaderhip thereof even as we casually take that as a virtue?

UrXlnc said...

kimi, taabu

in the final analysis we are in an increasingly hopeless situation with the one that wants to act not having the necessary powers, and the one with the powers hopelessly in a permanent state of inertia of rest.

this is bound to explode sooner or later, and i fear the cosmetic surgery such as the arranged lowering of prices is only delaying the inevitable.

this administration that is unable to be proactive at identifying problems long before they occur or finding potential solutions and is only reactionary to (real or potential) catastrophes with make believe acts cannot be termed as leadership. for how long must kenyans continue to live from crisis to crisis?

Kimi Raikkonen said...

Taabu, you say:

"...in the face of a crisis do you harangue him taking token gestures..."

But that is precisely the point. What is the use of taking token gestures which pong of insincerity? What does Raila achieve except to hoodwink the ignorant masses? Why is it impossible to simply impose and enforce low food prices by fiat? He can do it and the people, EVERYBODY, EVERY KENYAN, will be on his side. Even Kibaki would not dare intervene on the side of the milling cartels or else there would be food riots he would not be able to control. In any case, it would give Raila a perfect opportunity to walk out of Govt and demand a new election.
The reason i don't attack Kibaki is not because i think he is blameless, but because if he takes no action, it would not be surprising. He did nothing when his supporters were being massacred in Eldoret and the wider RV. The same people who are now IDPs have yet to be resettled even in their ancestral homeland, and it does not look like it will happen anytime soon within the lifetime of Kibaki's Presidency. Why then, should i expect Kibaki to do anything about hungry hoi polloi? It is simply beyond his thinking and vision to do so.

UrxInc says:

"...we are in an increasingly hopeless situation with the one that wants to act not having the necessary powers..."

Really? How can you be so infuriatingly naive? If Raila really felt he did not have power to do anything, then what is he still doing in the GCG? Why can't he just walk out today? Answer: Because he really does have power and he enjoys wielding it. He may not have as much clout as Kibaki, but it is still clout nonetheless and Raila remains the second most powerful man in Kenya. He could not have been unaware that Ruto was issuing allocation letters for maize purchases from the NCPB to the likes of Namwamba and Jirongo. 1.5million bags of maize cannot just disappear from Govt custody into thin air without Raila's knowledge. The fact is that he let the matter slide for reasons best known to himself, until the CON OF ALL CONS was exposed by the press.
Incidentally, i hear Raila's motorcade was spotted outside Jimmy Wanjigi's offices after 6.00pm, outside official hours. What was he doing with a known corruption facilitator like Jimmy Wanjigi of the Anglo-leasing infamy and one of the architects, in cahoots with Ruto, of the maize scandal? Maybe he wanted to get information that could lead to prosecution of the perps,right? Tell that to the birds.

UrXlnc said...

kimi

political naivete would be walking out of the GCG with nothing tangible achieved. kindly note, todate we have a lot of heat generated by the numerous commissions, but on the ground, ECK still exists, and there is still no new constitution and basically everything still remains the same. i.e no concrete action has been taken as a result of these reports and the only one that stands any chance is the Waki report because of some really ingenious conditions.

RAO still wields political clout and unfortunately any executive decision unless sanctioned by kibaki will be torpedoed by the likes of Mutahura lets not confuse this with executive clout. IMHO despite the hype, i think the PM post as is, is an overglorified cabinet minister with oversight/supervisory capabilities but no direct responsibility and at the moment is best viewed as a barrier/guard against kibaki firing/sacking any ODM minister without consultation as well as the point person when negotiating new power balanced/shared opportunities.

e.g kibaki in rwanda issued a decree lifting the kenyan visa requirement for rwandese nationals. simple as that. not a peep from any quarters on rationale or modalities on how this would be worked out etc. of course trust kibz to always pick the easy ones out and fence-sit the controversial ones. Am still waiting kibz word (opinion) on the hijacked cargo, mau forest etc

however, RAO on the other hand appears to always pick the ball on the controversial ones whether by design or whatever almost all "initiative" (pseudo PM decrees) have been met with fierce resistance either from ODM or PNU and sometimes both either through legal or political loopholes and roadblocks. (implementation of Waki report, Kriegler recommendations, Mau forest, etc). In fact the only reason for any forward movement is that there is considerable public of donor/external support or influence or interest.

if that sounds like am defending or favoring RAO/PM, its not.

regarding the speculations i have no input.

Taabu said...

Kimi,
I get you. But are you latently implying that you are safe battering #2 and spare ineffective #1? Where is honesty in power with responsibility. If Kibaki cannot do anything why is he there and getting paid in the first place? Overlooking the basics is what propels us into inteelctual doom.

Trust me is RAO would have employed FIAT as you suggest you would have been the first person to shout CHEAP POPULISM. But again trust business minded Kibaki to have rescinded that pronto. He never has any national pulse and damn the consequences. Painful but true. Over to you Kimi.

Kimi Raikkonen said...

UrxInc, Raila could simply announce that prices of maize flour have been reduced to 40/=, and lets see Kibaki oppose that. I am saying that regardless of what Muthaura or whoever thinks, Raila can do this. This is no longer a characteristically pedestrian Kenyan political issue, but a question that touches directly on the survival of the people, whether ODM,PNU or ODM-K. It is a matter of national security and beyond the scope of a conservative, insular and out of touch civil servant like Muthaura. His opinion means nada. He can speak but the people will ignore him. Only the people will decide the final outcome of this 'unga' matter by either accepting or rejecting whatever prices are arrived at!
I am sure that Raila knows that on at least this one, he too can issue a decree, but he isn't doing so? Question is: why?

UrXlnc said...

kimi

i see your point and understand where you are heading to with this.

if we were translate this to the ground, lets suppose RAO or even kibaki issued such a decree to lower the price to 40/-. simple enough

lets suppose a few traders are willing to play ball, a few others play hard ball and refuse to comply and others wait and see

the next possible scenario is ugly whichever way one looks at it,

the public may take the law into their hands to force the traders to comply with the decree (mass action??), or whoever issued the decree will have to enforce compliance through the security organs (denying spirit of free enterprise) in any case, vendors can simply stop stocking or boycott the goods, leading to elevated black market activities (such as in zimbabwe). speculative i agree but not very far from the truth.

its not as simple as that kimi. it would be another thing if state had such stores that they could avail the commodities at the recommended price, here they can only play the ever dicey game of regulator.

i do however agree that under the circumstances, the PM needs to stop hedging and show some teeth on some of these issues that are going to adversely affect the majority of kenyans (mau forest, food security, poverty etc)

but like taabu says, why do we focus so much on pushing results from someone or a post that so many tried very hard to make sure that he got nothing substantive or authoritative, and yet are resigned to say nothing of the one that constitutionaly still has all the keys and buttons to push to make things happen.

even if we replace the current PM holder with say Uhuru, or Kalonzo, Karua, Saitoti, Namwamba etc. the fact remains with the present terms, they can only use either their sway with the public and/or the rapport with 'duly elected'. even if they made bold moves and decrees, they will only hold if duly elected openly supports or keeps quiet but with so called tacit support. if duly elected similarly keeps quiet while opponents deride or present obstacles this too is assumed to be tacit support and again leads to the stalemates we are now accustomed to. in fact starting 2002, any controversial issue has not made any headway and instead the number of stalemates is increasing daily. i think the two or three "statesmen" are stale mates permanently creating stalemates of each and every contentious issue with no hope ever of reconciliation or resolution.

Taabu said...

Kimi,
You are playing SMART ALEC. You are egging on RAO to aveil his neck for the political noose. Ever heard of INSURBODINATION? And trust Kibaki to do exactly that if his cronies were to smell that RAO is scheming political capital. RAO would be so naive to fall for your trap. There is populism and responsibility. Not that I care what they do with it anyway.

Come to think of it si ni Kibaki RAIS? Why would you want RAO to bypass Emilio in ruffling NATIONAL FEATHERS? Again I ask you are you cleverly implying that Kibaki is defrauding Kenya by not earning his pay? Honest answer bro Kimi please.

Kimi Raikkonen said...

Taabu, you have really made me laugh hard. I am not "egging on" Raila neither am i encouraging Raila to be insubordinate. For one, how could Raila EVER be insubordinate to Kibaki? Under the terms of the National Accord that formed the GCG, Raila is EXPLICITLY NOT answerable to Kibaki, and you of all people knows that very well. Aren't you being a little hypocritical here then? You know very well his supporters would never accept it and would probably stone him.
Also,why would Raila be scheming political capital, he already has it from ODM supporters doesn't he? If, on the other hand, PNU supporters were to support Raila if he lowered the price of "unga" to 40/=, it would be Kibaki's own fault and there is nothing he can do about it. If Kibaki loses his supporters over "unga", who is at an advantage here, Kibaki or Raila? Do you then think this is the time for Kibaki to risk breaking the coalition? Without his support base, Kibaki cannot move against Raila even if he wanted to, get it?
Taabu, your arguments only betray your disappointment that Raila has not lived up to the high pedestal you had placed him and have realised, finally, that he is just another ordinary Kenyan politician like all the rest and is NO VISIONARY, admit it and be stress free.
UrxInc, i doubt that people would riot because prices have been lowered. They would if consequently, there was an artificial shortage, which is of course, a very foolish gamble to attempt. Raila wanted to show national leadership and what he is made of but he is not doing it. This is the time to so. What is he waiting for, or was it all just hot air, as i have suspected all along?

odm hater said...

Imagine ODM are thieveing UGALI from Kenyans, and to make matters worse, they are thieving ODMiers of which UGALI is their favourite dish, What a thief!

Taabu said...

Kimi,
You will never answer a simple question will you bro? Well, I give up lest you re-invent another wheel. So who is the CEO? and please don't quote what so-called supporters say. Who calls the shots, for once be honest on who signs bills into law-who wields FIAT Kimi please?

Kimi Raikkonen said...

Taabu, Kibaki is the CEO and the buck is supposed to stop with him. The fact is, however, Kibaki will not take up the responsibility and lower the "Unga" prices himself! So if he will not do it, who else other than Raila has the clout to do so? Raila does not even have to decree anything! He can just hold a public rally in Kibera and declare that wananchi should not agree to pay more than 40/= per 2kg packet. Why isn't he doing that even if he has no clout as you would like us to believe? He IS "The People's President" after all right? WRONG AGAIN! Raila has in fact joined the eating chiefs, is part of the kleptocratic exploiters who have milked Kenya dry, is where he has always wanted to be, and you had better get used to it. In a word, he sold you and other ODM supporters down the river long ago, you just can't bring yourself to believe that he is a man who could do so. Well, this is just African leadership for you brother, sorry!

kaburu said...

I beg to ask, how many of you readers actually reside in kenya? Or are many of you pontificating political wisdom from afar? Whats the basis of your wisdom, heresy?
This country was doing quite fine before 2007 December. We were moving on along a beaten path to some measure of economic and political respectability. We were doing our 'own thing' and getting good results. We were getting to a point where other smaller neighboring countries were looking to us as a model of a nation that can come up from 0% growth to 6.4% in under three years. And yes, the old man we elected in 2002 was snoozing away in the house on the hill all this time ( as many are want to say, that all he does is sleep)even as we headed towards the 7.1% mark. In the meantime, our current saviours were busy organizing a machine that would eventually bring us to where we are today. Now all they do is have meetings with pale skinned folks who cant stand our midday sun and discuss how much money we need to borrow from their countries even as we beg for grants and aid. We spend time sitting down with Indians to discuss whether they should lower the price of maize meal. Two things that we Kenyans had forgotten about since 2002 as they had become very uncommon.
For the sake of power, some of our so called saviours made a deal with the devil, the mzungus would give the assistance and do the firefighting on their behalf. In return, they would open up those corridors that had been banged closed in 2002. The contracts, grants with strings attached, budget support etc. All the stuff that the country had gotten used to doing without from our former colonialist. Unless many of you will not believe that we the people were financing our nation to the tune of 96% of budgetary needs.
As that old man in the house on the hill asked sometime back, these folks who are saying they will bring change and a 10% growth rate, what is this new thing that they have learned which has made them so clever for them to get such results? Where were they all this time then? Now we see their talents at work. The best thing they can do is spend Kes700 million on a office that probably wont stand the test of time just because the money if coming from George Bush? How about saying no to such expenditure and redirecting the funds to go feed the Pokots and Tugens in Baringo who for the last Eight months have been feeding on wild poisonous bush berries for want of nothing else they could eat. What if they were to purchase anti-retrovirals for our hospitals to give to the same poor folks who now cant eat coz maize meal is at Kes120 per packet?
Change indeed!

Taabu said...

Kimi,
Nice to see you are still hanging on there SOBERLY. Did you say .."Raila has in fact joined the eating chiefs, is part of the kleptocratic exploiters who have milked Kenya dry..........

Well, that effectively gives you away and betrays all the hitheeto pretense you have been having on standing for the wider good. It appears to you two wrongs makes nobody any better. Well no sin is a lesser sin and you better convince otherwise which I fear you won't succeeed in.

So you latently agree that Kibaki is INEFFECTIVE and the leader of eating thieves and once joined by RAO fair game? Mhhhhh, Kimi, I get you and no need to explain anything lest it turn so stale aki to a joke explained.

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