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Sunday, July 19, 2009

What Do You Tell A Friend When There's A Brick Wall Ahead

That friend is Raila Odinga.

I've agonized about the increasingly fragile situation this masterful politician from my backyard finds himself in. Because of his stand on various issues, he faces what is beginning to look like a quagmire, a situation he will be unable to extricate himself from when the time to run for president rolls around in 2012.

The range of issues that the Prime Minister needs to worry about are growing. Obviously he is at the point where he has just about successfully alienated the Kalenjin. We all know that the Mau situation needs to be carefully handled, and that a solution must immediately be found that takes into account the interests of the folks there at the same time as the interests of the wider Kenyan, and indeed East African community, is taken care of. But this is a landmine. Should Raila have played politics on this issue and placed the future of a region in jeopardy?

What do you tell a friend?

Then there is the growing perception that a certain group of people is setting up the PM for failure. According to this theory, it is believed that this group has curved out only the most politically difficult issues for Raila to deal with and not Kibaki. For instance, they say, why has Kibaki not been as forceful in handling the Mau issue as Raila has been? Why hasn't he been seen to be vocal about a new constitution? And why has he appeared so disinterested in the Migingo issue when he knows that Migingo is an issue that deeply troubles the folks from his own Prime Minister's backyard? And just wait. Does it look strange that when the Hague now looks inevitable the conniving group has brought in Raila to plead with Kenyans for a local tribunal? Why can't Kibaki crisscross the nation campaigning for that dead-horse idea, the theorists ask?

What do you tell a friend?

If a friend is a man or a woman you love and trust, you will always tell them the truth. I've read accounts of well-meaning men and women who have advised Raila to go slow on Mau, to let the perpetrators of ethnic killings roast at the Hague, to be more defiant in the face of the charged assignments slapped on his desk by the group hell bent on making him catch the flak when things go wrong. My fear is that such people are not Raila's friends.

Friends tell the truth.

The truth is that Raila, as a leader, must stand firm for what is right. When those who understand the environmental issues at play at Mau tell us that we face a disaster if the activities currently ongoing there are not addressed, why would Raila choose political expediency and play to the ignorant lot that don't seem to care what will happen in just five to ten years? And since Raila signed on to work with Kibaki as a partner, why would he now turn around and cause upheaval in the coalition a good three years before the next presidential campaign season? Isn't it right for the PM to keep his end of the bargain till the time comes to say, "Let's present a new vision to the Kenyan people?"

What do you tell a friend?

Tell the friend to lead with conviction and wisdom. In all that you do, Hon. Prime Minister, ensure that you put the interests of this nation first and all will be just fine. And even if I should disagree with you about the local tribunal, I give you the fact that you this point in time...weighed the options and decided that the local tribunal route is the best for Kenya. I hope soon you'll sense its retrogressive nature and join those of us who are pushing for the Hague.

I hope you also tell your friend you are praying for them!


Anonymous said...

you tell a friend if he is not with ruto he may kiss the RV good bye

Anonymous said...

You tell a friend that it is not too late for them to learn a new trick.

For example, Raila was in Mt Elgon announcing the creation (not creating) of some districts. These are the same type of districts he called Kibaki primitive about in February. He has realised that if you can't beat them you join them or the world will move without you. This is an apt case of an old toothless dog learning how to swallow some bones without choking. And that is the way to go, you tell your friend.

Anonymous said...

You tell you friend that the next time the elections campaigns come around, he should not lie to the people to get their votes. In 2007, Raila told the Kalenjins that when his administration comes to Nairobi nobody will touch the Mau forest settlers. Then he becomes the PM and he remembers Sodu Miriu hydro-electric dam in Nyanza and tells the Kalenjins that they need to get out of Mau. I mean, even if it was the right thing to do, do you blame the Kalenjins for feeling lied to, used and dumped. Even in politics there is a limit to ukola, I would tell my friend. And, of course, I would pray for him to see the folly of turning his private residences into palaces using public money.

Mwambu said...

Tell him Mwambu said that:


M-Pesa said...

Raila raised a lot of eyebrows when he was baptized and "saved" in a pool by doomsday prophet pastor David Owuour. There was a whispering campaign that he had embraced Christ to repent from post election violence that had been carried out in his name.

Many people especially in PNU that I have spoken to believe Raila was not directly involved in the violence but he must have known something and refused to act or acted reluctantly too late.

So that begs the question, was Raila in the dark when killers struck in his own backyard? Was he in the dark when his closest political allies are deeply implicated in bloodshed? This questions can also be applied to Kibaki but we are discussing about Raila here!

But of late, Agwambo has taken some positive steps which should be applauded by all and sundry. He has confounded critics and foes by distancing himself from the blood soaked and war mongering William Ruto who is obviously destined for a spectacular downfall. The bigger they come the harder they fall.

He has also disowned the purported renovation of his Karen Home which was to be worth Ksh 33 million. Raila also gauged the public mood and acted right when he and his wife turned down Ida's hefty salary which the Kibakis and Kalonzos greedily accepted.

Now it's up to Raila to gauge the political mood once again and sing The Hague tune with over 60 per cent of decent Kenyans who have rejected the local kangaroo courts/commissions according to Steadman polls or whatever they are calling themselves these days.

We know a local sham tribunal will just be manipulated by big shots to snare the small fish while the big fish go free as they have always done. Kibaki can do whatever he pleases since he's not standing for re-election, but Raila cannot afford to be careless or insensitive especially on the issue of post election violence.

So far, RAO has question marks all over his face. This regards his dismal performance as a prime minister and his role if any on post election violence. This baggage is making him limp politically but his biggest enemies are not in PNU as people think. The enemies of the Rt Hon PM are just right there next to him.

Watch your back man Tinga, the Kalenjin sharks are circling and hoovering around while they exercise their massive jaws. They have sensed a wounded animal. They have picked a scent of it's fresh blood. It's now just a matter of when and not if, before they unleash a powerful strike!

Anonymous said...

I know that if Raila lifts the nation above expediency, he will be okay in 2012. Ruto will fall, but who is set to replace him? Will that person be pro or against Raila?

we will see!

Philip said...

Raila got born again recently and I would wish he follows the example of Jesus whom he believes in.

Many times Jesus goes against what the disciples want because of His love for "wananchis". Look at what His disciples say before feeding of 5000 people, before blessings of children, or the Pharisees says about His visit to Zacheus.

He should not worry about what will happen to him, even if he'll be crucified by the elites - this will open our eyes and also he'll leave a good legacy. Look at what happened to Martin Luther King II, he was assasinated but he drove the point home and this led to an improvement of America. If something bad happens to Raila because of his fight for common wananchis in Kenya, irregardless of tribe and race, I'm sure it will open most people's eyes, whereas if nothing happens to him, but he fights hard for common wananchis, you never know, he might receive votes from all over Kenya including Central and Rift Valley.

Raila needs to see this as an opportunity at a time that our leadership is rotten with ineptitude, bigotry, indifference etc., from our leaders, who will never raise a voice to fight against hunger, corruption, insecurity, tribalism etc., unless it's directly affecting them.

He needs to do this fast so that we can start seeing the fruits of his labour before 2012, since if we can't then we are likely to say that he was pretending.

This is the time that he needs to revamp his stagnant blog and start communicating with Kenyans about his plan for prosperity of Kenya and how he needs all of us to support him, not through votes, but through actions like demonstrations to push the government to implement some of this agenda.

But will he do this?

I really don't know.

Anonymous said...

As Mutahi Ngunyi said in 2007, the Kalenjins were voting for Raila not because they loved him but because of the lousy way Kibaki had treated them by sucking their senior civil servants and evicting them from Mau by fiat. Kibaki will not be on the ticket this time as an object of protest.

Apart from the protest vote, the Kalenjins were voting for Raila because of the alure of the promised Majimbo (and the unspoken twin sister of ethnic cleansing of Kalenjin lands of "foreigners"). By 2012, the Majimbo will either be de facto or agreed upon by all in one form or another. With the issue of ethnic cleasing, it is obvious even to the dumbnest worrior that this was a terrible pipe dream. Today, even RV madmen are reasising that they will have to coexist for ever with neighbours who may not speak their tongue. The tide of human history cannot be damed. What is slowly being worked out on the ground is how to live and let live, each neighbour with his own madness. So none of these issues will be on the table in 2012 for Raila to use.
The only potent issue remaining in RV that he can exploit is the issue of the large farms. And that is a class issue, not tribal. The landless Kalenjins and Kikuyus would like a leader who can lead them into these farms by any means necessary. The owners of these farms are locals (KANU, ODM & PNU fellows) and international corporations and true foreigners. Who is ready to be a hero to the landless and risk being called a Robert Mugabe of Kenya? Raila? Your guess is as good as mine. What is clear is that Raila's options in RV are dwidling fast. At any rate, the season of harvesting Kalenjin votes as a block is pretty over.

Anonymous said...

Tell the friend the truth. He will not see the inside of state house. But he can throw his weight behind people with good possibilities: Dalmas Otieno and Musalia Mudavadi.

Anonymous said...

Tell your friend that he doesn't have to sleep at State House to live a fulfiled life. If he could only improve the conditions of Kibera people (just some toilets and drainage of rain water from the muddy paths), the kingdom of heaven would be his.

Anonymous said...

I would tell my friend that a baby starts to walk by taking small steps. As a small step, I would urge him to return the squatters land he took from the people of Malindi.

Anonymous said...

If he is still crying at night for the people of Kenya, I would tell him to stop it. The people of Kenya don't care about his tears, they want the Mau forest restored as he promised last year. A promise should mean something.

PKW said...

You send Michuki to say on TV that he (the 'friend') can come back after losing politically, but when Mau is gone, it's gone forever.Common sense, if you ask PKW.

Mwarang'ethe said...

We would tell Raila a few things:

(i) Spartans did not inquire HOW MANY the enemy are, but WHERE they are.

(ii) No great deed is done by falters who ask for certainty, we are told by George Eliot.

(iii) Fortune befriends the bold as Dryden said.

(iv) Let him say like Bayard, "Let me die facing the enemy."

(v) Let him DARE like Regulus. When Senate in Rome begged him not to return to Carthage to fulfill an illegal promise, he dared to say,

"Slave as Iam to Carthage, I still have the spirit of a Roman. I have sworn to return. It is my duty. Let the gods take care of the rest.

(vi) As we said before, let him DARE like Haratius. When the consul shouted that, the bridge was tottering, Lartius and Herminius sought safety in flight.

It was only Haratius who strode near the enemy, the single champion of his country and liberty. In doing so, he defied and DARED 90, 000 Tuscans who went silent in the face of the audacity of this Roman.

He then denounced the Tuscans in utter silence for their baseness and perfidy. It was only when his sound was drowned by the collapsing bridge, did the Tuscans hurl their arrows and javelins.

Although, stabbed in the hip by the a Tuscan spear, which lamed him for life, he still managed to swim to safety to Rome.

(vii) Finally, we would ask him to remember these immortal words by Gandhi to public servants and policy makers.

"Whenever in doubt apply the following test: Recall the
face of the poorest and the weakest man whom you may
have seen and ask yourself if the step you contemplate is
going to be of any use to him.Will he gain anything by it?

Will it restore him to a control over his own life and
destiny? In other words, will it lead to self-reliance for the

Anonymous said...

The Big problem with the vast majority of us - especially the so called highyly educated middle class - Kenyans is that we do not like doing and saying the right things. We HATE the TRUTH and we are extremely big HYPOCRITES (the Mwai "pumbavu" Kibaki, Daniel "Kleptocrat" arap Moi and Kalonzo "msaliti" Musyoka types). We do not EARN our Keep, We STEAL or CORRUPTLY obtain it thru BRIBES, FRAUD, DECEPTION, THEFT etc.

Sam, the reason why Raila is in such a "challenging position" right now is because of that 1st paragraph of my comment.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

You tell a friend:Go Bro! Raila is where he is because he is good at what he does.There's one saying that Michuki believes in..the only way to stop this man is by a bullet on his cranium...
he survived Moi's torture chambers, entered Kanu to dismantle it from within..dragged out cerelac politicians like Kalonzo and Ruto, practically handed Kibaki the presidency and thrashed hiom during the referrendum. Now, so much negatives have been written and talked about him Standard group and Moi lead the onslaught on ODM and Raila.

judging from what i read here and on the print media, i realize just how much we underestimate Raila.

Write him off you may, but he's a phoenix and he'll show you all just how.Is it any wonder he remains the most popular politician to date? No one on kenyan political scene has anything on him, and its not about Riala's policies..he just has the x-factor and that's what PNU cant match even if they threw oiled maize at him.


Anonymous said...

tell him its time to quit and head home!!

Anonymous said...

Mwarang'ethe @ 4:55 AM,

That comment of your @ 4:55 AM was brilliant. Dynamite!

If only more Kenyans thought like you, this country would be miles ahead, at par or even ahead of South Korea as we have even more natural resources than S. Korea. The problem with Kenya is that our values and thinking are rotten to the core. This is what has made us lag behind countries we should even be ahead of.

Unfortunately, Fraud, Deception, Mediocrity and Theft are the dominant values - if I can call them that - that we Kenyans collectively aspire to and live by - good people like Raila will always have "problems" living in and trying to lead in such a rotten society. The "Kingpins" and the "elite" of this rotten society of Kenya will always try to "fix" and "destroy" him.

Anonymous said...

All you Raila haters, read this comment from Kiprono Kalya @ 5:19 AM.

"Write him off you may, but he's a phoenix and he'll show you all just how. Is it any wonder he remains the most popular politician to date in Kenya? No one on the Kenyan political scene has anything on him....... he just has the x-factor and that's what PNU can not match even if they threw oiled maize at him."

Hear that all you Raila haters: even if you throw as many bags of oiled maize that you can muster at him, your efforts will come to naught. It will be a foolish giant excercise in futility.

Anonymous said...

Advise our friend to create another `kabila adui`

Anonymous said...

Tell it easy to play opposition politics and challenge government position, but it is different ball game when you are in the government.

Tell him to realise that as politician you become very popular with the masses before they vote for you and they hate after you get into the office

Tell to start building new bridges for his political survival. He is already good at this though this time it may not be easy as in the past.

Tell him never to make force promises in future just to get votes but realistic and promise only what he can deliver

Tell him what the country needs is someone who can unite nation. He has the charisma and he can probably do it

kevoh said...

I have no dimentia, clearly I remember RAO refusing to accept the results of a stolen election, he asked for a recount, he asked for a re-run also, he was pressured by the whole world to sign the Annan documents too because he knew any MOU with kibaki is as good as nothing.

what Im still wondering is how come people who say and know RAila and ODM got a raw deal in the GNU are still expecting him to perform wonders. IN kenya the buck lies with only one man and it is KIBAKI.example if RAO had powers he would sack the govt spokesman... true or false?

RAila had good plans for Kenya since 2002 and its all been shelved by KIBaki whether you believe it or not.

Anonymous said...

Please, stop coming up with excuses for Raila's failures...ati a certain group is misleading him, doesn't he have a free will? And if the guy is that gullible how dangerous would it be to entrust him with the presidency!

Also, I know KK had ANALYSTS, SOURCES ON THE GROUND, SOURCES in STATE HOUSE and now...THEORISTS??? Yenyewe kimeumana! Hague direct!!!

Anonymous said...

Politics of lying to the masses always comes to an end and you always have reason to be very worried when your past eventually starts catching up with you.Tell him that!

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:54
Hehehehe,now thats a good one,from analysts to inside sources everywhere and now to theorists!Wonder what happened to the impeccable sources who always had an ear to the ground.

JR Alila Writing Blog said...

The Hague is a Nation Killer. When it is through with Kenya, there will be no Kenya left. Try 3 top people at the Hague; don't try 219 people and the whole Nation at the Hague. Successful warriors accept their fallacies, and revise their strategies. Mr. Oding is one of them.
The Kalenjin know their enemies; Raila Odinga is not one of them.
Raila has shaped the direction in Kenyan politics; it doesn't matter that he crossed to the 'promised land.' Moses Never did. A right-thinking Luo in his position would say NO to another run so soon with the "bride" still grieving the loss of her children.
The battle for Kenya's future is yours, not Raila's alone.

Mwarang'ethe said...

Our view is that, under the current arrangements, it is very difficult, nay impossible to judge RO's perfomance. How can one judge him when he is contrained so much by the President?

Futhermore, there is an assumption that, RO can only get votes if these votes are driven by tribal leaders. Thats a fallacy.

For instance, in Gachoka Constituency, a lot of young people, we would say the majority, supported RO, while rejecting Nyagah. In that case, we do not think winning the tribal leaders is the most important thing for RO, for he can win without them.

We would argue that, it is these tribal leaders who win because of their association with him, and not the other way round.

Anonymous said...


You said, "For instance, in Gachoka Constituency, a lot of young people, we would say the majority, supported RO, while rejecting Nyagah."

You wish, eh!? Where did you get this data from or is it one of the many "facts" that only reside in ODMorons' heads?

Mwarang'ethe said...

Anonymous said...

You said, "For instance, in Gachoka Constituency, a lot of young people, we would say the majority, supported RO, while rejecting Nyagah."

You wish, eh!? Where did you get this data from or is it one of the many "facts" that only reside in ODMorons' heads?

Our response:

To a modern educated man/woman everything he knows/thinks, must come from an authority because, the power of observation is dead.

Learn to use your observation and experience and not just rely on official nonsense in the name of data.

Anonymous said...

"We would argue that, it is these tribal leaders who win because of their association with him, and not the other way round."

An empty statement, if not utter and absolute nonsense.

The case that you draw upon destroys your argument. Nyaga should have won--a pentagon member, closely associated with the messiah.

What happened to the Kalenjin in 2002, even after Raila said Kibaki Tosha!?

The only place that proposition might work is in Luo Nyanza, but then Raila is the tribal chief there.

Anonymous said...

When this Mwarang'ethe guy strays out of legal analysis and into political thinking his reasoning becomes laboured and disintegrates under the weight of Raila worship just like an ordinary ODMoron.

Anonymous said...

It's even worse when he tries to work the classics. Silly, stupid donkey.

Anonymous said...

Would a friend hive off 50% of cabinet posts for his 1 tribe?

Anonymous said...

Mwarangethe, stop it.Even rao would disagree with you. Narc in 2002 and odm in 2007 were basically the same.

There is another thing which aided rao's good performance in 2007: the death of Wamalwa. Like the other tribes, the luhya crave the presidency. Wamalwa would have remained wth Kibs and luhyas would have seen Wamalwa as better placed than mudavadi to become president. It may also have been the case mudavadi would have been prevailed on to side with Wamalwa. My point is that Wamalwa's death was a blessing to rao because it produced the Western Alliance that gave most its votes to rao. If Wamalwa had lived and remained Kibs' #2, there would have been no western allaince worth talking about.

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