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.
Kumekucha’s quote of the day: There are really no contentious issues, only a constitution that will finish certain people.
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.
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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