Wednesday, January 27, 2010
The Simama Kenya Rally that Never Stood
In this YouTube clip, Alex Chamwada of Royal Media has a one on one interview with the Simama Kenya Patron Jimmy Kibaki ahead of the much talked about big political announcement on January the 31st. President Mwai Kibakis elder son jimmy praised Saboti member of parliament Eugene Wamalwa as presidential material. He referred to him as the embodiment of the leader Kenya needs.
Breaking News (Updated 1700 hrs EAT, 28/01/10)
As if the organisers had read this Kumekucha post, the much publicized Simama Kenya Rally has been called off. Jimmy Kibaki told reporters earlier today that "police had already withdrawn a licence earlier issued to them". You can read more on Jimmy's press conference here.
According to the self confessed tribeless Jimmy Kibaki, first time parliamentarian and Saboti MP Eugene Wamalwa is the best presidential material there exists to succeed his father come 2012!
Keen observers of Kenya’s political landscape are not convinced. Indeed, the general view amongst most residents and leaders of Western Province and the country at large is that Wamalwa’s unholy dalliance with proponents of still-born KKK alliance, his open flirtation with the amorphous Simama Kenya and his declaration to run for presidency are premature, ill-advised and bound to fail even before they start. Most people reckon Eugene is a mere pawn in the wider Kibaki succession intrigues and a clever scheme to chip away some of ODM's support base ahead of 2012.
To begin with, who or what is Simama Kenya? It should be recalled that inside the tenth parliament, PNU is not really considered to be a political party and was in fact just a vehicle for Kibaki’s abortive re-election through a coalition of various parties. In other words, there is no political party for Jimmy Kibaki to manouver himself and join the high octane succession politics, hence the idea of Simama Kenya. Observers opine that with the prospects of being elected in Othaya dwindling by the day it is only a matter of time before Simama Kenya is swiftly transformed into a political party to be used a springboard by Jimmy Kibaki into parliament, even if as a nominated MP.
All eyes however, will be focused in Bungoma this weekend when the political future of Saboti MP Eugene Wamalwa is put on the line when he hosts a Simama Kenya financially backed rally in Bungoma. The rally has been called ostensibly to launch the young Wamalwa’s so-called grand march to State House. An endorsement from Jimmy Kibaki may not mean much to casual observers, but remember it is one Gideon Moi – then known as ‘Chairman’ and a powerful member of Moi’s kitchen cabinet - who convinced his father, retiring President Moi, to pick up and support Uhuru Kenyatta as successor in 2002, at the expense of a much more experienced KANU line-up.
Simama Kenya Patron Jimmy Kibaki says they want to use the Bungoma rally to make “a strong political statement”. Apart from being Kibaki’s son, and whose father’s tenure is the most disastrous since independence, one wonders what other qualifications does Jimmy Kibaki possess to even suggest a presidential candidate to Kenyans.
Fast forward to 2009 and the Kibaki’s succession - not due until 2012 - is being fiercely contested behind the scenes that it has already claimed the political futures of the likes of Amos Kimunya and Martha Karua, and now threatens the delivery of an acceptable constitution. After ignoring the plight of Wamalwa family - moreso his late mother and widow - for the better part of Kibaki’s first term, PNU never even considered Eugene for any cabinet posting following the NARA agreement. In fact PNU chose to reward the likes of Wakoli instead of Wamalwa.
Then Jimmy Kibaki walks in with one of the most outrageous proposals since Kibaki was declared presidential poll winner. Wonders never cease. What would motivate Jimmy Kibaki to become so desperate to spend a substantial part of a family fortune looking for a possible Kibaki successor then unexpectedly fall on to support a rookie MP as presidential candidate even before he himself has established himself a front runner in succeeding his father President Kibaki as Othaya MP? Even as this happens and quite interestingly, the final constitution has yet to pass the referendum test and the executive set-up of the country is still unknown, not to mention that Eugene has no public service record worth talking about!
The answer probably lies in the activities of Simama Kenya in 2009. Prior to anointing Eugene Wamalwa, Jimmy Kibaki had struggled for to be front runner in succeeding his father’s political province in the face of being rendered irrevant by one Mary Wambui in Othaya, which has been formed the bedrock of his father’s support for more than three decades. The same Jimmy Kibaki has reportedly spent huge sums of money in attempting to rope-in so called young leaders to his side, where he managed to get firm commitment from Kamba political minion Kiema Kilonzo and perennial parliamentary race loser Tony Gacoka.
Jimmy then set his eye higher; Identify a worthy presidential candidate from one of Kenya’s populous communities. The carrot was dangled in the faces of not less that than five leading politicians who were promised an endorsement from President Kibaki if they accepted to be the torch bearer although Simama Kenya is not a registered political party in itself. Well informed intelligence sources intimate that Jimmy Kibaki has prostituted Simama’s support to Musalia Mudavadi, Uhuru Kenyatta, William Ruto, Peter Kenneth and Eugene Wamalwa. All but Eugene politely declined, choosing to play their cards close to their chests. The inexperienced and obviously excited Eugene was found to be a willing partner but the rest of these politicians were non committal. None was ready to ditch their political parties for an unknown entity like Simama. Remembering his own brother’s poorly organised and ill-fated presidential campaign in 1997, Eugene’s acceptance of jumping into bed with Jimmy Kibaki has largely been driven by promises of substantial funds being injected into his presidential campaign, expected to take off soon after the forthcoming referendum.
The reality though for Eugene Wamalwa is that his political ambition is not to actually win the presidency, but an acceptance to be used to split the Western Province vote and thereby frustrate Musalia Mudavadi’s and by extension ODM’s fortunes. ODM’s enjoys a huge support base in the Western Province where it also hold 18 of the 24 parliamentary seats.
Apart from former Bundalangi MP Raphael Wanjala who has come out openly in support of Eugene (read – hopping to cash-in on Eugene’s pay-cheque), the rally has sparked confusion in Bungoma District where there are two other presidential candidates (Moses Wetangula and Bufwoli Wakoli). Wakoli and Wetangula presidential charades complete a three pronged attack on ODM’s support base in Western. Most of the other leaders in Western are wary of the real intentions of Jimmy Kibaki who is seen as a front stooge for the KKK alliance which wants to test the Western political waters through Eugene Wamalwa.
Eugene Wamalwa has a remote chance of dislodging Musikari Kombo from the Chairmanship of Ford Kenya, which he claims is his vehicle to the presidency. In an instant, Eugene- who is a trained lawyer - has proposed various amendments to FORD-K’s constitution most of which are aimed at giving him a soft landing amongst party delegates. Among the amendments he has proposed is one to allow any member to contest the presidency and not just the party chairman. Eugene knows he has to elbow out senior party stalwarts like Kombo and Wetangula so he has been quick to also proposed the creation of the ceremonial posts of party leader and party patron, in the hope of accommodating and appeasing other president wannabes’ in FORD-K.
However much they try, Eugene’s rally in Bungoma this weekend has already been seen to have all the hallmarks of a KKK rally. Sources intimate that to avoid this satanic name hanging over their heads Messrs. William Ruto, Uhuru Kenyatta and VP Kalonzo Musyoka are tacitly planning to send their lieutenants to ‘endorse’ Eugene in Bungoma and at the same time introduce a catchy “One Kenya” (OK) slogan.
The race for 2012 is on!