Also posted a few hours ago: Then.. it got really ugly
By GUEST WRITER
The Saturday Nation has a good story about the appointment letter Prime Minister Raila Odinga signed for his job. Only few men would be so willing to display their letters of appointment – and a good majority of the male flock lock them up in a safe custody where their wives have no access.
But in our beloved Kenya, anything that doesn’t include creating jobs for the youth, providing food for the hungry, offering visionary political leadership, creating and distributing wealth to all regions in Kenya, fulfilling campaign pledges, being corruption free, not stealing maize for hungry Kenyans etc is possible. For now, all Kenyans of goodwill have to stop looking for ways we can all uplift and develop our country and focus on the letter Raila signed with Kibaki. Fate has made us peg our precious lives on the two conmen.
The letter could have been leaked by either side (Kibaki’s or Raila’s) with intention of projecting themselves in better light and mud-slinging the other party. After reading the story, my opinion was the letter exposed both Kibaki and Raila in good and bad light on 50/50 basis.
The letter could have been leaked by Raila’s aides (with his blessings) to “prove” to his fast decreasing supporters that he is gagged and hence he can’t play the role he knows best – criticizing the Govt even the one he serves. If letter was leaked by Raila’s aides, intention could be to earn him some public mileage in his falling political star.
He recently revisited his pet lies that his life was in danger. This time threat did not come from “assassins” shooting seven bullets on ONE SPOT of windscreen of his car cruising from Garissa to Nairobi at over 100km/p, but from “terrorists” wanting to blow up PM’s plane. I have lost count number of times Raila has went public saying his life is in danger. Which stupid terrorist would want a third-rate PM from a humble country like ours? Terrorists are people with a clear big missions. And I highly doubt Raila fall under their mission. But the police dossier (which was in Raila’s favour) could have achieved what Raila, through his aides, wanted – military helicopters for the PM. A PM should not use those misfit aircrafts at Wilson while Kibaki uses military choppers. Aren’t they “equal” partners in the Grand Coalition Government? So, the law says.
On the other hand, if Kibaki’s aides unleashed the Raila appointment to Saturday Nation, they were trying to fix Raila by showing he has all the executive powers he needs and he should squarely be blamed for the Government’s poor performance. Furthermore his job is that of a very powerful PM and the law expects him to formulate and enforce the implementation of all Cabinet decisions. So, Kibaki can come out clean and say, I seceded a big chunk of executive powers to the PM and he should take blame for any mess.
Knowing Raila’s chameleon politics, Kibaki outsmarted his “equal” partner. Kibaki’s letter to Raila says: “Outside these close government circles, you must, at all times, support the policies of the government both in public and in private.” As long as Raila signed the document, he can’t jump from a burning ship and blame Kibaki. Both of them are in it.
If you read the Saturday Nation story and look at it from both Kibaki’s and Raila’s angles, you will see how both can use the document to throw mud at each other or score political mileage. However, Kibaki’s, not Raila, political career is not at stake on or before 2012. Kibaki is on his way out and he cares little about the problems he has blindly led us into. Unlike period between 2002 and 2007 when all sins both real and imaginary (including somebody fighting with wife) were squarely blamed on Kibaki, under the current arrangement, both Kibaki and Raila are in same cage. But Kibaki doesn’t care as he’ll go home 2012.
As long as Raila agreed to be duped by Kibaki to drop his quest for a “stolen” presidency and agreed to sign a conmanship PM deal, he has no business whining all the time. On paper, Kibaki and Raila are “equal” partners. But in reality, Kibaki calls the shots. If they are “equal” partners, why did Raila swear an oath to Kibaki and accept a letter of appointment written and signed by Kibaki? Why didn’t Kibaki swear to Raila? Kibaki’s letter says: “I have no doubt that you will do your best to discharge your duties diligently and wholeheartedly for the benefit of the people of Kenya.” Why not other way round where Kibaki’s letter being drafted and signed by Raila or both having their letters signed by a neutral authority?
Apart from RECOMMENDING ODM ministers to cabinet, how comes all ministers swore to Kibaki as President and no mention of Raila or his PM post? How comes all ministers received letters of appointment signed by Kibaki and not Raila and no mention of PM in their letters? Raila’s role is JUST WATCHING as ministers swear to the dinosaur that is Kibaki. If they are “equal” partners, how comes Raila is only one who RECOMMENDS to Kibaki and not other way round? Why is it only one partner (Kibaki) who can call, chair or dissolve the cabinet?
In his protocol tussle with the VP, how comes Raila waits alongside Kalonzo and other dignitaries for Kibaki to arrive at every public functions? Why not other way round Kibaki waiting for Raila to arrive in other functions or arriving same time?
Who between Kibaki and Raila holds key to real power? Can Raila dissolve Cabinet or even sack a minister? What if Raila RECOMMENDS sacking of his own ODM minister and Kibaki rejects it? What if Kibaki fires an ODM minister and use state machinery under his firm control to enforce his move? What can Raila do? Can Raila sack an ODM (leave alone PNU) minister. He can only recommend in respect to ODM only! Can Raila appoint a Chief Justice and judges?
Can Raila sign any law passed by Parliament? Wasn’t he humiliated by Kibaki the other day when he received a memorandum from media owners protesting about a new law that had been passed in Parliament? Raila was gleaning on TVs assuring them the “Government” would look into their grievances and that he would present their memo to Kibaki for consideration. In an open show of contempt, Kibaki signed the law three days later! It had not dawned on Raila that the law on signing of laws passed by parliament was not amended and the president did not need to consult the PM.
If Kibaki and Raila are “equal” partners, how comes Kibaki’s salary is clearly set out in the constitution and Raila cannot use his own executive powers to determine his own salary and all he can do is whine in secret leaks to the media and in public that he wants a salary at par with his “equal” partner? How comes we have not heard Kibaki demanding to be paid the PM’s “higher” salary?
How comes it is only one partner who has the key of the vehicle (Kenya as a country and overall executive powers) and the other “equal” partner cannot drive it and the only thing he can keep doing is to keep RECOMMENDING to the other, “please drive we go”? Kibaki’s letter says: “Neither are you at liberty to announce major policy decisions without having to put the matter in question before the Cabinet.” But Kibaki can make all manner of roadside declarations, like Moi perfected, including making a village a province, if he likes, without consulting PM, Cabinet or PM. Maybe, he can consult Lucy Kibaki to make Othaya Kenya’s ninth province.
How comes Raila depends on Kibaki to provide him with security and not vice versa? We all see it. Whenever Kibaki is in same function with Raila, Kibaki’s guards are fully in charge and Raila is reduced to level of other dignitaries. Why do the bodyguards of Raila coil their tails and fight for space with the crowd?
If Kibaki drops dead today, what does the constitution say? Does it even mention the PM in any role after death of President? It says the current VP takes over. Raila’s and Kalonzo’s public gimmicks to be next to Kibaki are a result of bloated ego and signs of inferiority complex. It’s only Raila (not his “equal” partner Kibaki) who struggles to be next to Kibaki. Why that if both “equal”? Shouldn’t we be seeing a drama of Kalonzo jostling with Kibaki to be next to Raila and to invite Raila to speak last?
If Kibaki dies today, Kalonzo would automatically take charge as a caretaker president for three months before fresh polls are held. Kibaki’s death would bring an automatic death to the Accord he signed with Raila. Hence, Raila needs Kibaki alive to keep his job! But VP who would be in office then would be the sole beneficiary of Kibaki’s death as he would assume power and there would be no deal with a PM. Raila would then find himself jobless and he would most likely stay in the cold for three months trying to endear himself to his disillusioned supporters (if at all he still has their grip today) before a General Election is called by the interim president.
Bearing in mind Kibaki would not be a candidate, the political landscape we saw in 2007 (which favoured Raila and I believe he deserved it) would shift and Raila would have an uphill task marshalling the frenzied support he got in 2007. In fact, a big majority who voted for Raila were doing so in protest against Kibaki but not their love for Raila. Raila was the only strong DUME capable of flooring Kibaki and that is why we saw all sorts of characters of divergent political (criminals included) and ethnic backgrounds gang up in ODM to defeat Kibaki and his PNU.
On the other way round, a big majority who voted for Kibaki did not do so because they loved him. They did so due to the Raila Odinga presidency fear phobia that Moi put in Kenyan minds. Raila is regarded by some Kenyans, GEMA in particular, as a big threat to their survival. We saw all sorts of thieves and tribal political chiefs gang up behind Kibaki to secure the unfinished culture of eating and guarantee their seats in Parliament (and possible plum cabinet posts).
Kibaki out of the way, even in 2012, Raila will have the biggest test of his political career. Unless Kibaki openly backs him in 2012. Can Kibaki for once shelve his selfishness? I doubt.
But if Raila dies today, Kibaki would hold a state funeral for him and shed crocodile tears of how he had lost a brother! Afterwards, he would appoint a new PM from Raila’s ODM and he remains in office till his term ends in 2012. None of the other ODM heavyweight as Raila’s political muscle and Kibaki would have even an easier ride. If mighty Raila failed to shake Kibaki (apart from “sharing power to save Kenya”, the Mudavadis, Rutos, Henry Kosgeys, Balalas of this world would dance to Kibaki’s tune while wiping Kibaki’s shoes with their tongues.
The “executive powers” Raila “shared” with Kibaki are just an illusion and Raila was so hungry for power to see the con trap Kibaki had placed on him. In fact, the PM should thank his stars Kibaki wants to have title of president and cares little about running Kenya. If Kibaki and Moi were to swap places in the current arrangement, Raila would find himself dancing to a different tune. Moi would frustrate him and make his work a nightmare. This thing works because Kibaki wants it to work. Raila is Kibaki’s hostage.
It is, therefore, too late and pointless for Raila and his aides to keep whining over spilt milk. Raila has two choices – move out of Govt to force it collapse and or stay inside, shut up and fly in the same smelly oil with his “equal” partner.
The article is not intended to ridicule Raila and please Kibaki’s henchmen but the bitter reality. I have never been in support of this Grand Coalition (42 ministers, a PM, a VP and President!) as it does not fulfill my interest and desires and that of the majority of Kenyans. It only serves the pockets and egos of Kibaki, Raila and their equally greedy friends. Since both camps claimed there was theft of presidential votes, the best thing would have been to conduct fresh polls or one takes one for 2.5 years and the rest finishes. You can’t have two husbands sharing one wife and expect all will be well.
The Kibaki-Raila Govt will be another wasted five years. Time for Kibaki and Raila and their foot soldiers to go to Hague and leave us to charge destiny of our beloved country is now.