Saturday, March 27, 2010
Sungura Mjanja Kanu's Poisoned Bag of Tricks
As I sit down to write this article the sun is streaming in through the curtains and I am listening to the mega-hit Les Wanyika number Sina Makosa. A very old song no doubt but I love it still. I also love to study legends and there is a story of a legend behind this particular song.
I watched with my own eyes as the late Prof Omari was completely destroyed by the windfall that came to him when this song hit beyond all expectations. I loved the good professor. He was a genius with the rhythm guitar. But too much money coming in too quickly killed him.
One thing I have always noticed is that the more I study legends the more I realize their shortfalls and am rudely brought back down to earth with the reminder that they were human after all.
For a long time now KANU diehards have been quick to remind all and sundry that Kanu is the oldest political party in Kenya. And many Kenyans respect that.
But actually it is all hogwash when you examine this legendary party more closely.
Kanu was formed amid squabbling and accommodated bigwigs from various other political parties and interests, just like FORD, Narc and ODM after it. The difference and what kept the party around for decades was the limited political space that Jomo Kenyatta quickly moved to narrow and limit even more. What followed were threats, political assassinations etc. Kanu was made the only political party anybody who wanted to go into politics would have to do business with. When the second president of Kenya, Daniel arap Moi took over, a one party system was entrenched into the constitution.
So the truth is that the only reason Kanu is such a long surviving party is that it did not operate alongside any competitors for decades. That was simply NOT allowed. In my view Kanu is well and truly dead and the next elections will prove my statement correct
But what I would like to draw your attention to, my dear friends are recent going-ons within the former mama na baba party. Gideon Moi (still taking very careful instruction from his dad) is making some very deliberate moves to rid the party of its’ de-jure chairman Uhuru Kenyatta. And some of the tactics being used are fascinating.
Gideon Moi is planning to go to court to force a KANU national delegates conference. The big issue with calling for a national delegates conference is that the younger Moi plans to mount a challenge for the chairmanship of the party. Interestingly Gidoen said very early (sometime last year) that Kanu would field a presidential candidate in 2012 (and it would NOT be somebody who has failed to get the presidency before) This of course was a thinly veiled reference to Uhuru who stood against Mwai Kibaki in 2002 and lost.
As I have said in this blog before, Gideon has been on campaign mode for a long time now and chances are high that he will be the Kanu candidate for the presidency. In any case he is one of the few Kenyans who can independently finance a presidential campaign without breaking into a sweat or losing any sleep over it.
But what is even more fascinating is the game plan that Baba Moi and his son have. The idea is to split the Kalenjin vote by having two presidential candidates (if Ruto survives the Hague and runs he will be the second candidate.) This will neutralize the power of the community or the possibility of violence breaking out again. And then at the very last minute Gideon will be running mate to the winning Candidate (whatever party they will come from, whether PNU or ODM).
Not a bad strategy you will have to agree with me. But then I have said that the next presidential elections will upset every known form book and therefore even this well thought out strategy will be dead in the water.
Meanwhile the drama in KANU will be interesting to watch, especially when it starts boiling down to who will finance the national delegates conference that has to be called to elect new national party officials. The budget for that little circus is a whooping 60 million.
Extensive property listings are in the current Kumekucha classifieds.
Posted by Chris at 6:35 AM