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Saturday, April 17, 2010

Kenyans need to find the motives of the “NO” camp

Read the second part of Luke’s thought-provoking piece on Kenya’s looming class wars.
Although I am yet to forgive Martha Karua for her role in the events that led to the post-election blood shed in early 2008, I have to agree with her 1000 per cent on her position concerning the draft constitution.

I can hear some of you asking what Martha’s role was. Well her sharp legal mind was used to find loopholes in the current constitution that would make it difficult for anybody to challenge Kibaki’s planned controversial “win.” She must have known that Kibaki planned to steal the election. Her ambition got the better of her there.

But back to the main point of this post; Martha now says that we must move forward with the new constitution at all costs because we will never stop discussing contentious issues. More so with people who constantly keep shifting the goal posts. She mentions her colleague William Ruto who was a key figure in the Naivasha talks that ironed out the contentious issues before the draft reached parliament. After all that hard work at Naivasha, Ruto then suddenly changed his position to oppose and disown the same document that has his thumbprints all over.

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Kumekucha’s quote of the day: There are really no contentious issues, only a constitution that will finish certain people.
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It seems that it has not crossed the minds of some Kenyans that there are people out there who want to frustrate this new constitution at all costs. There are really no contentious issues, only a constitution that will finish certain people. And that is why it is extremely important that we ask ourselves what the motives of Ruto, Moi and company, as well as a section of the church really are.

I had a chance to see a recorded version of a live interview that Ruto and Karua gave to the KTN Newsnight show. As always I observe the body language (I never listen to any politician without doing this) and it was obvious that Ruto was very uncomfortable on the few times that he mentioned the word “land”. And the man went on to bully the presenter, Beatrice Turkwell Marshall hogging the show as well as carefully avoiding talking at length about why exactly he is now suddenly against the land clause which he agreed with all heartedly at Naivasha. The COE is now Ruto’s favourite punching bag.

Ruto did not tell his colleagues to listen to the church in Naivasha but now that is his pet phrase. The truth my dear readers is that Ruto has received legal advice that has shown him something that he had not seen in Naivasha. And that is his personal position and ill-gotten personal wealth will be in grave danger if the new constitution is passed. It is as simple as that.

The committee of experts (COE) role in the process needs to be understood. They are experts in various aspects of constitutional law. Their work was to ensure that the whole package iss balanced and does not have technical errors or contradictions. And so Ruto should know that they were not going to copy and paste what was written in at Naivasha without any due diligence. So statements like “it was changed by the COE because of some people’s influence” is utter rubbish and an attempt to confuse Kenyans. As Martha put it so eloquently you cannot be an expert at everything and you have to leave certain things to the experts.

Meanwhile some of the stuff that is being circulated online mainly via email, by Christians pushing for a “no” vote borders on hate speech against the country’s minority Muslims. I will do a post later about why the church is wrong this time round. By the way the Catholic church is a very major landowner in the country and is also bound to be touched by the land clause which the church leaders have cleverly refused to mention as one of their reasons for rejecting the current draft constitution. And not all the church land has churches built on it. Just do a little research on who owns scores of commercial buildings in the prime Westlands area for instance and you will be shocked.

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Excerpt from kumekucha’s groundbreaking book, Dark secrets of the Kenyan presidency;

Usually president Kenyatta’s speeches were boringly predictable. He would always warn people about playing around with the valuable Uhuru which had been won by bloodshed. (Clearly he was implying threatening his presidency was “playing around with Uhuru.”) He would often pepper his Kiswahili speeches by suddenly breaking into Kikuyu vernacular. Rarely would he translate what he had just said for those Kenyans who were not Kikuyu or did not understand the language. All his speeches were so humdrum because somewhere along the line he would congratulate ordinary Kenyans for the hard work that they were putting into nation building.
So Kenyans were shocked one day when in his speech the president went down an unfamiliar path and said that it had come to his attention that some people were saying that he was incapable of fathering children. These people, the president said, claimed that when the colonialists had detained him they had tortured him to such an extent that he had lost his manhood and ability to sire children. There was shocked silence at first with many ultra-conservative Kenyans of the time embarrassed that the president would even talk about such things in public.
Kenyatta went on to castigate the people spreading such lies about him and said that any Kenyan who doubted his manhood should go ahead and ask Mama Ngina. The president’s fourth and last wife was seated right there at the dais a few short paces from where Kenyatta was making his speech. She was visibly shaken and very embarrassed (wouldn’t you be?).
Although the president’s speech had the desired effect many Kenyans still wondered. Were the rumours true? Was Kenyatta bluffing? Or was it all untrue? It is difficult to tell and we will probably never know. But the point here was that such petty bedroom talk would actually reach the president’s ears.
There are many analysts of the time who hold onto the belief that Kenyatta the man was not really a bad person. To them it was the people who surrounded the president who did all the damage. However the incident that we have just detailed would imply otherwise. That the president was often well aware of what was going on around him, even in the years that he became increasingly ill.
An incident within the precincts of parliament some time in 1965 should be an eye-opener on those who would want to absolve the old man from everything that was evil.
The incident just outside parliament was a confrontation…

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16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Chris,

Don't waste your precious time on Ruto, the church and their No campaign. It's a non starter my friend. It's DOD, Dead On Arrival. He who pays the piper, calls the tune. The Catholics are being bankrolled by Wazungu fundamentalist organizations from US and Europe. The same catholics even have the audacity to undermine the fight against AIDS by warning their faithfuls against using condoms. Do you really believe Kenyans will listen to these very old church leaders who are clearly out of touch with modern reality? Surprisingly, I have not seen a single woman among those stuffy old men in grey suits who are speaking so eloquently about abortion! As for Arap Moi backing the NO campaign, you couldn't ask for a better candidate who is least trusted. When does one tell when Moi is lying? Every time his lips move!

M Pesa

Mwarang'ethe said...

Chris,

There is something many Kenyans are missing. It is this. The key objective of land reforms. Yes, under the proposed constitution, we might be able to tax land values. Up to that point, we say, amen.

But, there is a catch. Land value taxation should not be used as another additional taxation measure.

If it is implemented, and it seems to us this will be the case, the whole purpose of land value taxation will be entirely lost because, these additional funds will either be used to:

(a) pay public debts, and or,
(b) expand the government and its corruption.

When this happens, it will not make Kenyan economy more competitive than it is now.

It is for this reason, we proposed to the COE this key point:

"LAND/NATURAL RESOURCES VALUE TAX (including landing slots, airwaves etc), POLLUTION and WASTE shall be the main source of revenue for running the affairs of the Kenyan state. There shall be no taxation of INCOME, CAPITAL & EXPENDITURE etc until the WHOLE land value, pollution and waste tax has been collected and utilised productively."

NB: We include stuff such landing slots at the airport, airwaves.

Let us give a very interesting hint that few know about. Sometimes back, we saw the President launch the digital transition from old analog spectrum.

Has any Kenyan figured what will happen to the analog spectrum? We wish the masses could know more than what is seen on TV's every evening. But, we leave this for another day.

Anonymous said...

If it is implemented, and it seems to us this will be the case, the whole purpose of land value taxation will be entirely lost because, these additional funds will either be used to:

(a) pay public debts, and or,
(b) expand the government and its corruption.

--OBVIOUSLY. SO WHY NOT JUST SCRAP THE LAND VALUE TAX OR ANY FORM OF TAXATION ALTOGETHER?

Mwarang'ethe said...

--OBVIOUSLY. SO WHY NOT JUST SCRAP THE LAND VALUE TAX OR ANY FORM OF TAXATION ALTOGETHER?

4/17/10 3:19 AM

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Is this not what we advocated in these lines?

"...There shall be no taxation of INCOME, CAPITAL & EXPENDITURE etc until the WHOLE land value, pollution and waste tax has been collected and utilised productively."

For instance, LVT should be accompanied by scrapping or reducing income tax, VAT etc to the extent of value of the LVT collectable in the whole nation.

Panafricanist said...

Kumekucha,

Great post! I had heard about Ruto's large land holdings but Catholic Church! It reminds me of what I have learnt about the Catholic Church in medieval Europe.

I once had the opportunity to have a long discussion with Rev Njoya and he pointed out that a large portion of the Church hierarchy was as corrupt as sections of our political establishment. This land business of the Church confirms it.

Ruto's U-turn on the constitution is more than land. He is trying to hide the fact that he sold out the federalism/majimbo efforts of ODM in Naivasha by siding with PNU in his bid to fight Raila by eliminating the Prime Minister position (a bad move in my view as the position provided an additional slot for tribal balancing - this accursed tribe thing is likely to bedevil Kenya for long).

Ruto knows that the NO camp will lose anyway (with or without Church support as tribal considerations are more important in national politics) but wants to re-burnish his majimbo credentials in Rift Valley.

Mwarang'ethe said...

I once had the opportunity to have a long discussion with Rev Njoya and he pointed out that a large portion of the Church hierarchy was as corrupt as sections of our political establishment. This land business of the Church confirms it.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

The Catholic Church knows what is right about land, but, the materialism prevents it from pronouncing that truth to the masses. As a consequence, a lot of Catholics are in darkness on this issue.

If Catholic Church could pronounce what we have been saying, the equation would change cos it has huge following.

We know that, the Catholic Social Teaching has asserted the right to private ownership of property (as we propose).

But, it has also balanced this view with another:

"God gave the earth to the whole human race" - (Rerum Novarum) and "Every person has the right to glean what they need from the earth" - (Populorum Progressio, 1967).

The same principle lies behind the biblical Law of Jubilees:

"Land shall not be sold in perpetuity, for the land belongs to me, and to me you are only strangers and guests". - Lev 25:23.

As thus, what we proposed to the COE is nothing, but, what Catholic Church priests know, but, they dare not teach that truth in their churches.

Anonymous said...

Mwarang'ethe,
Ever heard of the words PATRONIZING and BOREDOM? Well you already have 3/6 posts. Slow down man and downgrade your importance and relevance, will you?

Anonymous said...

Kenyan church leaders are the one of the most greediest people i've seen the current constitution suites them very well as more and more have political ambitions just like akina wanjiru so that they can steal from both sides whoever listens to these people these days is living in the stone age.

Anonymous said...

I dont care what names or how many names they call me, i will vote NO!You dont replace a mistake with another.

Anonymous said...

Chris:
What amazes me is the intolerance of the WING OF THE "YES" CROWD LED BY RAILA. They are very quick to call their opponents names and to attribute ill motives to their opponents' actions. Why call the "no" people liars and dishonest land grabbers and thieves, why? Does it mean the grabbers on the "Yes" side have been white washed by the "yes" chorus. And you, Chris, fall for this nonsense. When will these people discuss ideas without resulting to this low-life mental indulgence?

Anonymous said...

If Raila is supporting this proposed constitution thinking that it will finish some of his political opponents and clear the 2012 field for him, let him consult a better witchdoctor.

Raila should observe clearly the game being played by Kibaki and Kalonzo. The two amigos have just finished the longest road show a president and a vice-president have ever held since independence. It began in Nakuru (a Kikuyu diaspora) and ended in Meru (where Raila visited recently) all in the name of opening roads and "other" development projects. Only delusional political fools miss to see the significance of such a show of togetherness. The amigos occassionally pitched for the draft consitution with a rider that the campaigns should be devoid of hate language. Did you happen to see the huge crowds in Meru? Come 2012 and the DOMO people will be crying that they have been rigged when they lose.

Anonymous said...

Chris,

Wakati huu, Kalonzo anapitia katikati ya Raila na Ruto.

What is going on now reminds me of an episode I observed back when I was a boy. Two very fierce dogs were fighting for a female dog in heat. They fought and fought all the way from a neighbouring village to our village. As they passed through our village, a lame dog, which used to hang around the market place, saw what was happening and tagged along from a distance. The alfa-males contitnued to fight and chased each past a cattle dip, down a hill and into the bushes. After a while we run to go see what was happening. As we went round the cattle dip, we were amazed to see the lame dog, with all its fleas, busy impregnating the female laying down in the shade of the roof. What was left of the alfa-males were just echoes of their barkings coming from down the valley.

Just think about that and we will meet at the polling booths in 2012.

Anonymous said...

Mwarang'ethe,
Ever heard of the words PATRONIZING and BOREDOM? Well you already have 3/6 posts. Slow down man and downgrade your importance and relevance, will you?

VERY SOUND ADVICE.

brayo said...

i just dont understand some of you guyz on this blog who behave like the very politicians they criticizeYou go around speaking of tolerance yet you are the most intolerant!!!No matter how much they intimidate me(note I've not used 'us')am still voting no and thats my democratic right!!the Issue of ruto being this and him being that is neither here nor there. first of all just look at the yes proponents,2 weeks ago they were singing no now they've crossed over to damascus??just who are they trying to fool? why have they degenerated to silly threats and intimidation za pesa nane?especially one ali hassan joho.the other day at khadija grounds he made aveiled threat to churches that they should be very careful because of a pact signed during independence,and that we shouldn't dare rock there boat because all people are now welcome to coast province!is this tolerance?does that mean that the coast is a de-facto islamic nation different from the rest of kenya?why havent the rest of kenyans threatened the muslims in the various places they are living outside coast and NEP?
Raila himself is the one who is totally confused,last year the prophet owuor baptized him and he was now 'saved' this year due to the high stakes politics he is calling the no camp names and even supporting abortion.
I've listend to all the hogwash that it's prohibited but/unless...that is cheap propaganda suffused with emotions of abortion activists.murder remains murder,whichever name you give it.
they go farther and say "the church should preach to people so that they do not get pregnant thus avoid unwanted pregnacies",this is diversionary because what a husband and wife do in their bed no one can dictate it to them secondly the bible clearly states that thou shalt not murder but why did we have yo make laws gainst murder if it were possible for people to be preached not to murder?this is because the ordinary citizen has to be protected,why then cant this unborn child not be protected?
the constitution is for the next 100 years,who will enjoy it if we are terminating their very innocent lives even before they've seen the light of day?
whether the yes camp calls us names or intimidates us,am still votig NO!!
and let us discuss issues not get drunk on high emotions because of our political tin gods

jr Alila said...

Kenya has many religions and it is not practicable to write a constitution that meets all their individual needs, but it is possible to give Kenyans, of all faiths, a political document that promises freedom of worship, which, to me, means “living one’s faith” without being a detriment to other Kenyans of other faiths! The Draft Document does that.

It is not possible to legislate on land, so perfectly that mega-land owners (not corporations) and the landless, like me, are agreed. It is okay to legislate how much land an individual (not a corporation) can own anywhere in the nation. A nation can not survive on an agenda that aims to achieve regional ethnic purity. Who can remind us about this fact when the leaders have recoiled back to their ethnic cocoons?

Kenya as a free nation is younger than the two main religions, Islam and Christianity. We have to remember this before we play with religious fire to sort out Land and Reproductive issues. Who can remind us about this when political parties and politicians are betting their odds on a failed constitutional referendum under the imagined safety of their tribal houses?

Kenyans: Wake up! Fellow Kenyan, your VOTE is your VOICE and SHIELD! No roof is going to fall over your head when the YES VOTE carries the day!

The wise are a hopeful lot, they walk a step at a time, with one eye to the past and the other eye to the future. Kenyans, move on. we know the current document is a disappointment.

Anonymous said...

Hi

brayo,

as a God fearing xtian woman should I get an ectopic pregnancy woe n behold i shall procure an abortion to save my lyf. Should I or my under age daughter get raped God forbid, I shall do the necessary...sorry but the law must protect victims wit genuine cases regardless of any religious affiliation!!

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