I have said it here before that I love to study the way decisions are made in the corridors of power. Now this constant study has led me to stumble on an astounding discovery. Take a deep breadth now…
The patterns in decision-making in the Raila court is looking more and more like what has happened in the past in the Kibaki court of indecision. Raila Odinga’s decision-making skills have been tested in the high-pressure office of Prime Minister and leader of the most popular political party in the country and they have been found wanting.
The clearest evidence of this is the recent drama and more so Raila Odinga’s decision yesterday to back down after the president rescinded his decision to “suspend” two cabinet minsiters. The first decision to create the crisis in the first place by “suspending” the two ministers, William Ruto and Sam Ongeri was ill-advised and showed that the party king-pins completely mis-read the mood of the Kenyan people and greatly underestimated the intelligence of the Kenyan press. The second decision to back down with a lame threat that errant ODM ministers will be dismissed was even worse. It has made the Prime Minister look so weak and the kind of man who loves to “play little games” at a time when the Kenyan people have had enough and are in no mood for political games. So the Prime Minister cannot even fire ministers from his own ODM side of the cabinet without consulting the president? And yet the president can clearly fire or “re-appoint” ministers from his own PNU wing of government without consulting the PM as he proved on Sunday? What a shame!! Then the two are definitely NOT equal partners are they? Folks lets quit the b***, Raila Odinga is nothing more than a senior prefect and the most he can do is announce that the headmaster is coming (and sometimes the headmaster doesn’t even turn up, remember the Mau tree-planting ceremony?). This is grossly unfair to Mr Odinga because when a man shares responsibility for what is happening in the country, he should surely share the authority to make decisions. As it is I have now absolved Raila from everything that is going wrong in the current government. The buck stops at Mwai Kibaki’s desk!!
Living collective national lie
When will we stop cheating ourselves and be trutful for once? Here we are all pretending we do not know the problem with the coalition. The accord was and is about POWER sharing. The fact that ODM was conned into being co-opted as a paper tiger is no reason to give reality leave. PNU's interpretaton of NARA accord is that ODM has no power while (thanks to its volubility) ODM shares all blame for inactivity. Meanwhile all Kenyans play along with the scoundrels demanding good governance from ODM while feigning ignorance and outrage when things don't fall in place. Well, I guess it is no understatement to brand all kenyans shameless hypocrites. And you know what, we deserve all the theft and RAPE.
But back to the subject of this post.
The reason why the latest decision by Odinga was a terrible mistake is because there are certain decisions once made, you don’t abort. You just can’t. It’s like a jumbo jet taxing down the runway for takeoff. There is point it reaches where take off cannot be aborted whatever happens (I think pilots call it the point of no return). Raila reached that point and then promptly aborted take-off. The result is tragic consequences for him and his passengers in the Jumbo jet. In this particular case tragic political consequences for him and ODM—the party that was.
You see the first thing about effective decision-making at the top is that you have be consistent and have clear objectives from the onset. That is exactly what Daniel “no university degree” arap Moi used to do. His politics aside, as a manager Moi was an effective manager. You see politics is fluid and if one is not careful you can quickly degenerate to a situation of running around in circles and getting absolutely nowhere.
When Raila took the decision to sign the national accord that formed the grand coalition government, what were his objectives? Have those objectives changed now? How so?
In my view Mr Odinga had a chance to make a quality decision that would have guaranteed his place as the fourth undisputed president of Kenya. Imagine what would have happened had he signed the agreement but nominated somebody from ODM to take his place and rule with Kibaki? Say Mudavadi or even better, Ruto? Remember what Jacob Zuma of South Africa did after successfully getting rid of Thambo Mbeki from the ANC? Zuma would have taken over right away as president on behalf of ANC. But he did not. He resisted the temptation.
Raila would have remained MP and a major decision-maker within ODM. Okay he would not have had a motorcade and all those people running after him. But I guarantee you he would have been a cult figure in the country by now.
Instead Raila Odinga’s initial decision was based on the fact that it is a curse of our Luo brothers that they always like to feel important. It has been said in Kenya for years that give a Luo man a big office and all the trappings of management-power and you can pay him peanuts. He won’t mind, you have a loyal manager for life. The poor chap will probably live off telling people in the bar about his “big office.”
Raila made the big mistake of being predictable to Kibaki and his chauvinistic Kikuyu court. A friend of mine and former supporter of Raila, put it very well when he told me; “The minute I saw that Raila motorcade I knew that Kibaki had outfoxed him.”
That first decision at the time of the signing of the national accord has led Raila to where he is now. Between a rock and a hard place. Amongst Raila’s objectives at the time was to concede a junior role in a coalition government for the sake of peace in the country while preparing himself for 2012. I am told that part of the deal was that he was assured PNU support in 2012. So in effect Raila had no business taking the decision he did on Valentine’s day. But since he did, he had absolutely no reason back-pedaling so soon. In effect he is now looking more and more like Mwai Kibaki in his first term. A decision-maker just putting out fires and running round in circles but with no clear direction.
Interestingly those surrounding the Prime Minister are displaying very similar characteristics. Take Miguna Miguna for instance. Is he a Canadian national or a Kenyan? Since Kenya does not allow dual citizenship (and he is still using his Canadian passport), this former Kenyan is technically a Canadian. Does he have a work permit? Or perhaps he wants to enjoy the benefits of his adopted home country, Canada and at the same time take away the very limited job opportunities his brothers have in Kenya. How fair is that? How patriotic is that?
Miguna Miguna (with cap), the Canadian national is pictured with "The Captain" and other Kenyans.
Take another example; Salim Lone. The on-and-off-and-on-again spin doctor of the Prime Minister. The last we heard was that Mr Lone had resigned. Now I see him back at the PM’s side. It seems that he too cannot make up his mind whether to leave the PM or to stay. Or is it that the man enjoys being seen rubbing shoulders with the high and mighty (cracking a joke for Uhuru Kenyatta as seen in a recent TV clip, and all) that he cannot bear NOT to be at the PM’s side no matter what!!!
Salim "on-and-off-and-on-again-spin doc of the PM" Lone
The good book says that a double-minded man gets nothing.
In any event we are the sum total of our decisions and the sums are totaling rather fast for one Raila Odinga, the right honoroable Prime Minister of the republic of Kenya.
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Salim Lone denied this exclusive Kumekucha story about the time he fled Kenya.