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Friday, February 19, 2010

Political Chess: Spoiling for Ellusive Divorce

Traffic to this site has shot up dramatically and I am also reliably informed that newspapers in Kenya are selling like crazy over the last week or so since the dramatic events of Valentines day. But what do you expect when a deadly game of political chess is unfolding before our very eyes, whose outcome could easily bring back chaos to Kenya? There is no doubt that Kenyans are very concerned about what is really going on with the grand coalition government and the possible implications of that government going belly up on us.


ODM’s brilliant political maneuver whose objective was to position Raila Odinga as a champion fighter against corruption in sharp contrast to lethargic Mwai Kibaki was well executed but did not quite work according to plan. One of the things that went terribly wrong was that Kenyans were quickly able to read the real motives behind the actions of ODM’s Raila Odinga. That is NOT good because the first rule in these kinds of political games is that thou shall never show the fish the hook. I mean how do you expect fish to bite when they can clearly see the hook?

The fact that the press was able to swiftly read the political game plan here is clear testament to the fact that the Kenyan press has matured tremendously from the days of blindly reporting what the politicians say at press conferences and political rallies to deep and instant analysis of the dangerous cards being played under the table. The cards under the table are usually the real news.

The other thing that went wrong was that President Kibaki did not receive the strong rebuke from the Kenyan public blaming him for condoning corruption amongst his ministers. In fact Kenyans have completely ignored the big elephant in the room.

But what I find even more fascinating is the fact that opinion is divided over whether what Raila and ODM are doing is above board. Those from the old school are livid and are certain that forcing a general election is not very different from a military coup like the one Raila helped organize in 1982. Their argument is that anything that destabilizes the country is dangerous and certainly NOT acceptable. More so if there is the possibility of it resulting in blood-shed. The Prime Minister’s handlers seem to have taken note of this and the tone of recent statements from the deputy leader of the party and others seem to be designed to downplay the instability being caused. On the other end of the scale are Kenyans who believe that in competitive politics, anything goes as long as it is NOT illegal.

A so-called leaked confidential document from ODM that a reliable source supplied me with last night made for some very interesting reading. The document indicates that ODM are keen on forcing a general election not later than Feb 2011. My hunch is that the dossier is fake. But to produce such a document and convince people one always needs to mix facts and reliable intelligence with whatever it is you want to “plant” in the minds of the public. I am convinced that the consensus within ODM insiders is that Raila’s presidency can only succeed if early elections are called and the date they have in mind is not later than Feb 2011.

My personal view is that Raila Odinga’s best chance to be president has passed. The truth is that even if general elections were called today, the ODM captain will not ascend to the presidency. My position is that Raila Odinga will remain the best president Kenya never had. That is a very sad fact because the truth is that Mr Odinga won the 2007 general elections.

The dangerous thing here is that the PM and those close to him have still not sobered up from the heady support Raila got in 2007. One of the reasons for that support was a strong anti-Kibaki vote. Raila handlers seem oblivious of the fact that things will change dramatically when Kibaki is not a candidate. In fact if ODM strategists continue pushing their luck they could easily end up handing over the 4th presidency of Kenya to a nobody who will benefit enormously from a strong anti-ODM wave.

But what should really be of great concern to Kenyans is the whispered ‘foreign input’ in the attempted ODM coup of government. There are those whop believe that President Kibaki is not fit run government, especially at a dangerous time such as this when there are so many challenges facing the country. Simply put the ship called Kenya is in extremely rough waters and the only way she can have a fighting chance of steering through the danger is if the old, slow tired, lethargic captain is removed and a younger more alert one assumes command. It is whispered that many foreign governments with delicate interests in Kenya share this view and would be delighted to see a change at State house. It was not lost on close observers that major foreign powers issued carefully worded statements after the Valentine day events that seemed to lean in favour of Mr Odinga and the action he had taken against corruption in government.

Some naïve Kenyans think that the days of foreign powers sponsoring political changes in third world countries are over.

Lastly the way President Kibaki has handled this crisis has confirmed that those of his critics who say he is unfit to rule have a point. The effect would have been much better if he had done nothing on Valntine’s day and just kept his ministers in office. In any case he has no powers to retain William Ruto in office since Ruto is in government courtesy of Raila Odinga’s half of government. The powers the current president of Kenya has are such that the holder does not need to rush around issuing statements and trying to prove that they are powerful enough. That kind of action only makes them look weak and unsure of themselves and the authority they wield.

And so the deadly game of political chess continues. How will it end? Who will win? Even folks who recklessly like making predictions like this blogger cannot hazard a guess this time. Let’s just wait and see shall we? I will of course keep you posted.

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

Chris, you are STAR. You have read the game proper. Look at the timing. Raila was flying out the same night. He was out of the country when Kibaki reversed the suspension.

He could have milked all the praise and hit the ground running upon return on a platform of FIGHTING CORRUPTION. It could have as well silenced the people connecting him to corruption. And true, if Kibaki did not act on Sunday, then, Raila should have been on top now.

He could have come back to a country still reeling from the effect and the public opinion could have gathered heat in the 2005 fashion. Unfortunately, it was not to happen. Bad luck ODM, the most euphoric outfit that never ruled Kenya.

Simply disorganised at ODM.

-Derek-

JIMMY said...

"ICC judges ask Hague prosecutor Luis Ocampo to provide more information on Kenya violence and suspects within two weeks" DO I SMELL SOMETHING COOKING SOON? Ruto and Uhuru will just make noise and drag likes of Kutuny and the other cronies to their sinking ship but Hague is about to come calling shortly. All PNU wants from Ruto is the support to push through their agendas at the expense of ODM but when theings get hot, he'll have to carry his own cross. Watch Kutuny disown Ruto pretty soon when cases like land grabing of land belonging to wilson airport are filed in court. Ruto Better wake up and smell what's cooking

deroo said...

Jimmy, wewe wacha zako. You say arrest Ruto and take him to The Hague? Why? Who was he fighting for Raila Amolo Odinga. Just stop there. Let us talk about Ester Arunga and Fingers of God. Wacha siasa za maskan ya BUSAA Kawangware. Talk politics

-Derek-

JIMMY said...

@ Deroo, this Esther Arunga thing is a serious matter that needs prayers. If that was your sister being brainwashed into entering a BENNY HINN cult church, how would you feel? Please lets pray for Esther and all the rest and flash this HELL(on) guy out of the country. Benny Hinn has already disowned him. Benny Hinn by the way is a real crook everybody knows that with the manipulation of the mind.

Anonymous said...

Deroo,
You are back to your reknown juvenile ejaculations at the mention of RAO/ODM. Please try polishing your stinking PNU and quit the cheap take of kupaka competitor mud hoping to be left shining. Whatever RAO did to you or your family must be unforgivable, please share. Ama ni cheap crying louder than the bereaved?

Mwarang'ethe said...

deroo said...
Jimmy, wewe wacha zako. You say arrest Ruto and take him to The Hague? Why? Who was he fighting for Raila Amolo Odinga.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Do not be over excited man.

If you read ICC's press release para. 11, you will see that, the Court needs further information/evidence in terms of Article 7(2)(a) of the ICC/Rome Statute.

Now, if you look at that particular issue, it deals with

"Attack directed against any civilian population’ means a course of conduct involving the multiple commission of acts ...
against any civilian population, pursuant to or in furtherance of a State or organizational policy to commit such attack."

Note the words State or organisatinal policy.

We all know Ruto or RO was not rnunning the State at the material time.

Obviously, this is not all the ICC has asked, but, your comments are misplaced and uncalled for.

deroo said...

Mwarangethe,

Did Slobodan Milosevic shoot someone in the Balkans in the early 1990s. Is there anywhere documented that Omar Bashir shot or maimed in Darfur??? No, No and Never. So, arrest Ruto, Raila, exhume Kipkalya Kones, carry with you on the same plane, Bill Ole Ntimama, remember Balala and Lesotho, Nyongo and Kikuyu businesses, and the DADDY of them all Kabila Adui, madoadoa and sangiri aka RAO

deroo said...

Kumbe it is Raila Odinga who called Kibaki from Japan not the other way round as Phil went gaga yesterday. Salim Lone has just confirmed that the humbled ego of Raila got the better of him.

Kazi iendelee baba!

Mwarang'ethe said...

deroo said...
Mwarangethe,

Did Slobodan Milosevic shoot someone in the Balkans in the early 1990s. Is there anywhere documented that Omar Bashir shot or maimed in Darfur???

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Well, what is your point? We have stated that, ICC has requested more information on state policy at the material time.

And, we added, Ruto or RO were not running the state at that time. Simply, you should be worried about those who were running the state at that time. That does not exclude others.

Anonymous said...

Chris,

You keep on lying that Raila won the 2007 elections. Please, quit this nonsense. He didn't despite rigging in parts of Luo-Nyanza and RV. A lie can never turn into truth no matter how many times you repeat it.

Anonymous said...

Newspapers in Britain are saying that Raila's turntrums are not about fighting corruption. It is about Kibaki not coming out to endorse Raila as his heir to presidency as per discussion in Bondo last year.

Good thing is the people were quick to see through the turntrums this time.

Anonymous said...

These ODM buffoons want to renegotiate NARA. Soon these lost souls will be going to their mothers to renegotiate their births.

Anonymous said...

Betty Murungi Orengo is causing trouble at TJRC. She writes self-serving internal memos and then leaks them to the media.

She is getting instructions from her husband, James Orengo. Her loyalty is not to the people of Kenya as a whole but to the Kisumu Pepo Mbaya Mafia, a deadly group of vipers out to grab power through the back door.

Anonymous said...

anon 2:40 PM,

Very true.

One of UK best and respected newspaper, The Independent, carried a an article asking: The Big Question: "What's gone wrong in Kenya, and is the peace deal unravelling?"

It went to ask:
-Is this about corruption?
-What is the PM up to?
-How serious is the crisis?
-Is Kenya increasingly a failed state?

It concluded: While corruption is arguably the issue in Kenya it's not the reason that the unity government marriage is on the rocks. Behind the scenes it has become increasingly clear that an informal deal between the two protagonists – that Mr Kibaki would endorse Mr Odinga for the presidency at the next elections, expected in 2012, in return for his support now – has been reneged upon.

At the least, the prime minister would demand that the president not actively support anyone standing against him but it's now clear that will not happen either. The battle lines between Mr Kibaki's PNU party and Mr Odinga's ODM have been drawn and corruption happens to be the chosen issue.

Anonymous said...

If Uhuru and or Ruto is indicted by ICC Kalonzo will be elected president with 57% vote because Kikuyus and Kalenjins will blame it on Raila. That is the nature of our politics.

In fact, any indictment will kill the prospects of a Luo president for 20 years. Mark my words.

Anonymous said...

What Kenya needs is an iron broom that will sweep all the political mende from their corrupt cages, enclaves and ethnic cocoons.

Political Chess: Spoiling for Ellusive Divorce will only land some well known people into a Mamadau Tandja type of an immediate eviction with the blessing of an "outside hand".

Politicians will expect a stalement nor a checkmate, but they will end up forfeiting their whole chess board in the process.

Anonymous said...

@3:10 AM

Pleeeeeeeeeez! Any other Kamba but Kalonzo. Why are some blind people pushing so hard for a man who is as corrupt as Raila, Kibaki and the rest?

What makes your warped mind believe that Kalonzo or any other Kamba will become Kenya's president in the next twenty years?

Don't you people ever stop to wonder that the rest of Kenya is sick and tired of TRIBAL POLITICS as perpetuated by the KIKUYU, LUO, LUHYA, KALENJIN, KAMBA, and KISII?

There is more to Kenya than the usual short sighted and sickening tribal political goons.

WHEN WILL YOU EVER WAKE UP FROM YOUR TRIBAL SLUMBER? In twenty years friom now or what?

Anonymous said...

Mwaran'ethe

"We all know Ruto or RO was not rnunning the State at the material time."

RO and Ruto were not in charge of state affairs, but they nevertheless were in charge of an organization called ODM which had both express (Party manifesto, majibo) and implied policies (kabila adui, madoadoa sangari). Also, have a look at the several inictments and arrest warrants already issued by Moreno to four different African states as of now. With exception of Sudan, the rest are in connection to organizational outfits and movements, not those directly incharge of the state. Our neigbour, Kony in Uganda, is a clear example

Kiruga said...

it is wrong 2 say that Raila won th 2007 electns by virtue of th fact that the electn ws rigged.it is an open fact tht there ws rigging in ODM strongholds too....just because a cow eats grass and we eat cows doesnt mean we eat grass does it?its nt linear logic.....

Hari Sheldon said...

No Kenyan politician worth his salt will ever, ever willingly give up power or even risk his seat supporting early elections.

"Best president" is a relative term. For someone like Raila who sleeps with corrupt individuals on his personal quest for power, he would also be a disaster for Kenya. Granted, maybe not as bad as the sloth from Othaya.

Mwarang'ethe said...

With exception of Sudan, the rest are in connection to organizational outfits and movements, not those directly incharge of the state. Our neigbour, Kony in Uganda, is a clear example

2/19/10 8:46 PM

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

You are very confused.

If you do not know the meaning of state, then, it is impossible to say anything further.

Simply, there might be an indictment of people who were running the State at the material time, as well as those who who were not.

However, the ICC's statement gives very clear indication that, some people who were running the state, might indicted. What is so difficult to see here?

Mwarang'ethe said...

Kiruga said...
it is wrong 2 say that Raila won th 2007 electns by virtue of th fact that the electn ws rigged.it is an open fact tht there ws rigging in ODM strongholds too....

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Can we rule out the possibility that, the ECK or those who tampered with elections, also did tamper in the so called ODM strongholds so as to "prove" that, both sides rigged?

Surely, this should be obvious.

Anonymous said...

Mwarang'ethe said ...

Can we rule out the possibility that, the ECK or those who tampered with elections, also did tamper in the so called ODM strongholds so as to "prove" that, both sides rigged?

Surely, this should be obvious...

==========================
We ask:

Can we rule out the possibility that, the ECK or the ODM who tampered with elections, also did tamper in the so called PNU strongholds so as to "prove" that, both sides rigged?

Surely, this should be obvious even to Raila worshippers like you.

Anonymous said...

Haiya! Wife inheritance is still going on in Nyanza in 2010 AD!

http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/InsidePage.php?id=1144029326&cid=159&story=Wife%20inheritance%20persists%20in%20Nyanza%20despite%20scourge

Anonymous said...

The ECK commisioners were 100% MK's appointees. The ECK rigged MK in. Please dont support an evil plot simply because it is from one of your own. They underestimated the effects of their plot and the IDP situation will haunt MK till the day he will rest six feet under.

Anonymous said...

Mwarang,ethe,
Anon 8:46 p.m.
First and foremost, am not confused. Your statement went thus:
"Attack directed against any civilian population’ means a course of conduct involving the multiple commission of acts ...
against any civilian population, pursuant to or in furtherance of a State or organizational policy to commit such attack...Note the words State or organisatinal policy...We all know Ruto or RO was not rnunning the State at the material time."

Therefore, your statement purports to exonerate RO and Ruto on account of them not running the affairs of state at the time. Though not am not stating they are guilty or otherwise, indictment are focusing also on those who were in charge organizational outfits. I agree with you they were not running affairs of a state, but then, Moreno has to convinced that they are also not guilty of commissions or ommissions as agents of organizational outfits such as ODM.

The ICC statement has gone ahead to clarify that:
"...the Chamber requested additional information and more clarity on the linkage between, on the one hand, the events, the persons, and the acts of violence allegedly committed in the various regions of the Republic of Kenya during different periods of time and, on the other hand, a policy of a State or one or more organisations."

Mwarang'ethe said...

Therefore, your statement purports to exonerate RO and Ruto on account of them not running the affairs of state at the time. Though not am not stating they are guilty or otherwise, indictment are focusing also on those who were in charge organizational outfits. I agree with you they were not running affairs of a state, but then, Moreno has to convinced that they are also not guilty of commissions or ommissions as agents of organizational outfits such as ODM.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Sometimes, one wonders whether to cry or laugh. This is exactly what we wrote:

"Simply, there might be an indictment of people who were running the State at the material time, as well as those who who were not."

If you do not understand, or you refuse to understand it, what we are saying is this:

(a) There appears some people who were running the state affairs might be indicted. This is evidenced by demand for more evidence as per Article 7 of the ICC Statute.

(b) There are also some people who were not running the state, who might be indicted.

You must also appreciate the context in which we raised this matter. It was this.

Deroo is celebrating too early, for it seems even some guys who were running the state might be in "trouble." Thus, we never said ODM members will be spared.

Anonymous said...

Moi used to ask, "ODM kitu gani?'" Now I know what the Mzee has seen. He had seen a collection of genocidal tribalists led by a delusional thug. That was 2007.

Today, ODM has been reduced into a Luo thingamagigg led by the same thug, but this time assisted by the infamous Kisumu (Pepo Mbaya) Mafia. The mafia has vowed to use every means to grab state power. My advice to them is that they should limit themselves only to legal means. The tactics of 2007 have no place in a civilized culture.

Anonymous said...

Drop it pal, you cannot see it but you better to avoid embarassment. That infamous Kisumu (Pepo Mbaya) Mafia tag has refused to fly. Leta ingine.

Anonymous said...

Sadly, Esther Arunga is going to end up like many other learned Luos before her - and that is going back to western kenya to waste away without any fufilment in this life. And that unfortunetly is how our Jaluo brethens ends up - so much promise but in the end all wasted.
So sad!
(Not a hater but a concerned friend)

Anonymous said...

Mwarang'ethe
"Sometimes, one wonders whether to cry or laugh. This is exactly what we wrote:"

More effective commmunication and unbiased explanation in your earliest comment on the ICC request, as you have now done, would have indicated your objective appreciation and understanding of the issues before the ICC better

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