Friday, December 21, 2007

Mwiraria in Santa's list of naughty

This week, Daudi Mwiraria found out that his name was in Santa Britain’s list of naughty. The news was delivered as usual through newspapers with Britain denying any knowledge of the information saying, “We cannot comment on individuals or provide names.”

The Britons used the same line when they denied William Ruto and Musalia Mudavadi UK visas leading to the cancellation of the UK bonding meeting organized by Gilbert Deya. Information of their unfruitful trip to the UK High Commission offices in saw leaked to the newspapers.

The Standard reported:

“The dramatic last-minute collapse of the much-awaited ODM-Kenya London bonding mission has been linked to a visa hitch and the involvement of controversial preacher, Archbishop Gilbert Deya, The Standard reports.

The UK mission in Nairobi denied Eldoret North MP, Mr William Ruto — one of the front-runners for the party’s presidential ticket — a visa to enter Britain.

Sources at the UK mission said Ruto presented his visa request early this week, and the application was forwarded to the Home Office for clearance.

When The Standard sought an official comment, Deputy High Commissioner Ray Kyle, said: “I am sorry we do not comment on individual visa cases. That is our policy.”

Prime Minister in waiting William Ruto was no amused with the move by the UK. He accused the government of joining forces with the UK to break the party.

The reason for Ruto's visa hitch was that he stole Ngong Forest land and sold it to a parastatal raking in millions of sh.

Ruto was also mentioned in the Ndung'u Land Report for his role in massive land grabs. The Ndung'u report is wane of the many documents that Kenyans want implemented but ODM has promised to bury in a bottomless pit because it implicates top ODM leadership in corruption.

That is the reson why Ruto said, "My name and that of Raila are in the report. How can we implement it? We are not foolish to implement a report that was engineered by our enemies."

Exactly bwana Ruto. How do we expect ODM to bring the corrupt to justice when it is a club of the corrupt who have hired worldclass spinners to sanitize their names?
Mudavadi was not lucky to get a visa because as Raila said, "Mudavadi was the Finance minister in 1993. He first paid out the Sh5.8 billion in export compensation and then the Sh13.5 billion. I know what I am talking about. I stand for the truth and the VP and the President should come out and prove me wrong."

On hearing the news of Mwiraria and Biwott’s fate, William Ruto and Mudavadi must have thanked their God because their embarrassment came months ago. Kenyans are known for a short memory span so the duo stands a good chance of clinching their constituency seats. No politician wants embarrassing news a week to elections.

Raila Odinga too must be thanking his God because most Kenyans have forgotten that his designate VP and PM can’t travel to the UK and the USA.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Neo-Luddism under Raila Odinga

Politics is one of the professions where one has to put aside his education credentials and sense of self worth to survive. It is the only profession where Kariuki Chotara could floor Prof. Anyang’ Nyong’o in a debate on economics. It is for this reason that our academically enlightened politicians have to downgrade their abilities to fit in. That is exactly what Hon. Engineer Raila Odinga did to win the support of tea pickers in Rift Valley.

Raila Odinga promised that if elected, his government would safeguard the interests of the manual worker by preventing the use of technology. He pledged to use his first executive order to ban private tea estates from using machines to enhance productivity.

“Tea companies using plucking machines to deny Kenyans jobs will not use them at all starting January,” he said.

Raila Odinga is a mechanical engineer for crying out loud! He owns factories that use cutting edge technology to maximize profit by increasing productivity. Yet he is promising to use presidential powers to bar private businesses from utilizing technology!

Raila’s rhetoric is akin to that of the Ludite movement in Britain. This movement was against industrialization because they feared that workers will be replaced by machines. They were particularly against sewing machines. They wanted factories to use the good old thread and needle that had existed for many centuries. This movement destroyed property and led to a massive loss of lives. It is a shame that a man who wants to be president of Kenya has picked inspiration form the 19th centaury.

The Ludites will drop back to death if the saw the extensive use of robotics in the textile industry. The rudimentary sewing machines that they opposed in the early 18th century are no match for current technology. What is important to note is that humans still have jobs. In fact Kenyans are migrating to Britain to help take care of the excess jobs that may be available.

Raila is being the flip-flopper that he is. He tells people what they want to hear. Recently while addressing university students he promised to create quality jobs for them by creating a high tech Kenya. He accused the current administration of creating Jua Kali jobs to absorb jobless university graduates. But now he is promising to create an economy where technology is used sparingly to create more manual jobs!

I had an opportunity to listen to Raila’s brilliant ideas when he visited New Jersey early this year. Raila wondered why Kenya still lags behind yet countries like Korea and Malaysia that were in the same class as Kenya in the 60s are far ahead. Raila made that argument a key point in his vision for Kenya.

"The other country that fascinates me is South Korea and I believe the development models of these countries, can be replicated in Kenya," he explained.

Raila has asked this rhetorical question at every given opportunity.
The South Korea that fascinates Raila thrives on technology. The countries policies are not geared towards creating more menial jobs as Raila is suggesting. Korea has heavily invested in education and research. The country also promotes free enterprise unlike the command system that Raila wants to institute in Kenya. These policies have enhanced the productivity and attracted giants like Microsoft that recently opened a research and development center in Korea. This means Koreans will have more high quality jobs that pay well.

Economic Giants like the USA have very high productivity due to technology. This means the USA spends less to produce more. The USA also invests in high end jobs while outsourcing tedious menial work to countries like China, Kenya, and others. In China, they are trying to graduate from menial labor to high tech. This will lower pollution levels while creating quality jobs for the masses.

Raila should have no reason to fear that technology will deny Kenyans jobs. The machines will need to be fixed when they break down; be operated; be programmed etc. All this will require human labor. The graduates who are picking tea will instead utilize their skills to exploit the technological advances that may be brought in when the fiber optic link to the global telecoms network is complete. The fear for technology is unfounded and being used for political expedience.

Raila’s kaeni vile mulivyo politics will not add any value to our country. His populist policies will get in the way of development. Last but not least his anti-enterprise policies will send us back into the command economy that drove people into poverty. No president should force businesses to utilize 1st century technology in the name of creating menial jobs. That is how dictatorship creeps in.

By the way: in the spirit of Luddism, Raila’s Energem, Spectre International, etc should dismantle all their conveyer belts. Raila should then go to the street and hire all jobless people and ask them to replace the conveyor belts. I know he may not be willing to do that because it will lower productivity. But what if Kibaki used executive powers to tell Raila’s factories how they should be run? Will Raila be amused?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Why Raila should promise to concede when he loses

As the debate on why Raila Odinga should concede when he loses the election heats up, we need to restudy the lessons from past elections in Africa.

Those who have been following the war in Congo DRC will know one Jean-Pierre Bemba. Bemba is a rebel leader causing trouble in Eastern Congo. He is married to Liliane Teixeira. Liliane is the daughter of Antonio “Tony” Texeira the CEO of Energem Resources. The company owns 55% shares in the Kisumu Molasses plant.

Jean-Pierre Bemba With his family

The war in Congo is fueled by her mineral and oil riches. Foreign companies interested in cheap minerals have heavily invested in war at the expense of poor Congolese. There are companies that are backing Kabila in exchange for mineral and oil concessions; some are backing Bemba and Kunda for the same; last we have those backing both sides with the aim of creating murky waters where their looting and human rights abuses will go unnoticed.

General Khaleb Akandwanaho AKA Gen. Salim Saleh –Museveni’s brother- was named by the UN as one of the key people involved in the looting of Congo.

The report names Saracen –a mercenary group- as one of the companies arming and training rebels in Congo. Saracen’s owners include Gen. Salim Saleh, Tony Texeira etc. Saracen provided security to Heritage Oil’s operations in Uganda. Heritage Oil was investigated for its role in the Eastern Congo conflict. Its employees have in the past been arrested for illegally entering Congo DRC.

Several sources have linked Heritage Oil, Branch Energy and Energem owners with mercenary activities. The firms have been criticized for their role in the trade of blood diamonds.
Is Energem (formerly DiamondWorks) funding the war in Congo? May be; may be not.

Did Energem fund Bemba’s bid for the big seat? May be; may be not.

What I can say it that it will take massive restraint for a father in-law not to help his son grab power. It is unimaginable that the Tony Texeira who was accused of shipping supplies to UNITA in clear violation of UN arms embargo can resist the allure of having a son in-law as the headmaster in a country that is chocking from massive reserves of minerals and oil.,,236080,00.html

In Kenya, Raila Odinga is been operating on an endless supply of money. Some have attributed this to the successful $20 dollar dinners that Raila’s supporters organized in the USA and Europe. Others have pointed out the enormous political investment by companies that were running the modern scramble for Africa. What about a combination of the two?

Raila Odinga is a shareholder in Energem -the firm that co-owns the Kisumu Molasses Plant. Until recently his buddy Tony Texeira was heading the Kisumu plant. I am sure that his friend Tony will be happy to have him as a president. Has he given him a few bucks to run the campaign?

A number of mineral and energy resource companies have in the past invested in political power. The most recent team of power venture capitalists were convicted in the failed coup in Equatorial Guinea. The main investors according to a list that Simon Mann tired to smuggle out of prison were Mark Thatcher, David Hart, Ely Calil, Greg Wales, among others. The team of investors wanted their man on the throne so that they could benefit from oil revenue generated in EQ.

Raila Odinga has been making several trips to South Africa. This is kind of strange! The people who are going to vote in this election are Kenyans based in Kenya. At this eleventh hour, every minute spent on the ground meeting the voters is very important. I will be happy to hear from Raila and his supporters why South Africans are all of a sudden more important that the voters in Kenya. To add to the mystery, Raila never met any Kenyan groups during his recent visit to South Africa.

Plan B in the Making!

If Raila has a plan B like his buddy Jean-Pierre Bemba, then South Africa is the place to be. The plane carrying mercenaries to Equatorial Guinea departed from South Africa. Mercenary groups like Executive Outcomes, Sandline etc operate from South Africa. When Bemba was cornered by DRC forces he ran to the RSA embassy that then shipped him out of Congo.

Raila Odinga is making an environment conducive for his plan B. The master strategist in him started writing this script way back. Remember the 2006 campaign ads on DSTV? Let me quote the Standard:

Just before the World Cup kicked off early that month, Raila was abroad, to set the stage for his presidential campaign advert on DSTV.

When the tournament began, Raila came on to the screen via DSTV, to announce he would be running for Kenya’s Presidency this year.

In the advert, the Lang’ata MP introduced himself as a Pan Africanist and wished African teams in the World Cup success.

Interesting! Why would a Kenyan politician blast his ads across the world claiming to be a Pan Africanist? If you are Raila Odinga and you understand that opinion leaders in Africa believe in Pan Africanism, you must understand the importance of identifying with them. I have never heard Raila push for Pan Africanism beyond calling himself a Pan African.

The label and the fame come in handy if you lose the election. You can justify anything you do in the name of rigging. You will find support in media houses across the continent manned by people who grew up in the 60s and 70s when Pan-Africanism was fad.

If you are Raila, you will cry wolf claiming the government is to rig you. You will spread propaganda that they are printing ballots to rig the elections. If you have Dick Morris on your side he will advice you to print ballots, circulate them and come out saying that your prophesy has been fulfilled. The problem is that the gap between the propaganda of ballots being printed and releasing the fake ballots will be too long. This has given PNU a chance to open its eyes wider.

Raila Odinga inspecting a guard of honor mounted by his youths in Nakuru

Raila Odinga also has an active youth group that dons military uniforms. This is a break from the T-Shirts that are used widely in political campaigns. Why one needs a para-military unit to support his campaigns is simply stupid. This is one way of glorifying militancy and tilling the ground in preparation for sowing war!

Peace supersedes personal ambition

We cannot say that Kenya is 100% peaceful. We have our own problems but we are not ready to kill our neighbors in the name of helping Raila Odinga achieve his ambition to be president. In 1982, the Kenyan Army successfully squashed the mutiny that Raila is proud of and has justified on several occasions.

Our Army has been apolitical and operates as a professional institution. It has let politicians fight each other without any interference. In fact it doesn’t occur to most people that Kenya has an army. This is a quality that we should not take for granted.

The army should brush aside those promoting tribalism. Our officers serve the citizens of Kenya and not any tribe or tribal king. We hope that it remains to be the case after the election. I have faith that the seeds of division will land on barren ground.

It is important that Raila comes out with the promise of respecting the voter’s verdict. Storming statehouse, parliament etc should not be an option. He has made such threats in the past but we must make him realize that his ambition should not jeopardize out existence as a nation.

Other Sources:[5]%20Sept%202007.pdf

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Raila’s economy doesn’t add up

They say facts should not get in the way of juicy political promises. That seems to be the case with Raila Odinga’s economic model for Kenya. He has promised to use 10% of the GDP on infrastructure, send 60% of the national revenue back to the Majimbo (Provinces) and increase government expenditure on social programs. On top of that he will not increase taxes and will pay government employees more. All this seems to work in the political world but cannot work in a real economy.

GDP is simply a sum of Consumer spending, Government expenditure, Investment, and Net Export. Kenya’s GDP is about $41.4 billion with government expenditure standing at about $5 billion. That makes government spending about 12% of the GDP. From this 12%, Raila wants to spend 10% on infrastructure. That leaves Raila with 2% of the GDP to spend on Health, Education, National Defense, and so on. I wonder how Raila will manage to split this 2% between free secondary education, universal healthcare and other social programs.

We must also ask ourselves how Raila’s ambitious economy will work when the central government will be left with 40% of national revenue after sending 60% to regional governments. The Raila administration will have to work with about $1.7 billion since our national revenue stands at about $4.7 billion.

In this season of promises, we have to take promises with a pinch of salt. It is imperative that we go through these promises with a fine comb check for practicality. It is vital that our leaders strike a balance between populism and pragmatism. I can promise you the moon; the problem is how I deliver it.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Why ODM's Majimbo Propaganda Backfired

Here is my shorter version of the rant below as edited by the Standard

And here is the full version:

Raila Odinga has historically never favored Majimbo. His father –Jaramogi Oginga Odinga- was opposed to Majimbo. Until 3 weeks ago, Majimbo was a word that never featured in ODM's vision for Kenya. Why ODM chose to employ the Majimbo government in their campaign is puzzling to many. One will not be wrong to conclude that Majimbo is ODM's Division for Kenya. Recent Steadman polls show that a significant majority of Kenyans oppose Majimbo.

Those who have keenly watched the ODM campaign unfold will agree with me that everything ODM has said has ended up with Kikuyus shortchanging other Kenyans. ODM has successfully created an image of a Central Province where residents are swimming in money; where roads and footpaths are paved; where the local dispensary is more equipped that Kenyatta National Hospital and bla bla bla. That is far from the truth.

ODM's "wining" line has been turning the rest of Kenyans against the Kikuyu community.

ODM's opinion on economic growth is that only Central Kenya is benefiting while the rest of the country languishes in poverty. ODM has completely divorced poverty from the disparities in income between the very rich Kenyans and the very poor Kenyans. The reality is that it is the rich employers like Raila Odinga and others who are raking in tons of money while their employees still earn a minimum wage. Our ODM MPs have nothing to say about their close to sh 1million a month pay (nearly tax-free) they earn in comparison to the sh 4,000 a month minimum wage "enjoyed" by a majority of Kenyans.

After successfully "identifying" the Kikuyu community the "root cause of poverty in Kenya," the ODM propaganda team came up with Majimbo as the solution. Majimbo was supposed to bring in 2 major gains to ODM. First, it could have isolated the Kikuyu further and second, it could have locked in the Rift Valley and Coast Province votes. The problem is that the ODM propaganda team was in the 1980s and 1962 mode.

They picked the term Majimbo to further their segregationist agenda because the term is akin to what the swastika means to the Jews. Majimbo as we know it in Kenya has been used as an excuse to drive out "foreigners" from their land.

ODM's linkman in Southern Rift, William Ole Ntimama is one of the well known proponents of Majimbo. He is well known for his role in tribal clashes and fiery segregationist statements.

Here is a quote from the Nation:

But Mr Nitmama admitted that he insulted the Kikuyu on the floor of Parliament after the Finance magazine wrote a derogatory story on the Maasai, saying that they would be obliterated from the face of the earth.

He said that to even the scores, he stood up in Parliament and described the Kikuyu as a filthy community with protruding stomachs, red teeth, and jigger infested feet.

"I told them that because of their arrogance, they will be cut down to size as it happened to the Ibos of Nigeria."

The Nation (Thursday, April 15, 1999)

It is hard for Kenyans to trust people like Ntimama's new version of Majimbo as preached in the ODM gospel. In 1992 and 1997, Ntimama and others led a Majimbo campaign in Rift Valley and Coast province. These campaigns were followed by tribal clashes. The same calls are being made and evictions have started in Molo and Sondu. Communities like Kisiis and Kikuyus who are viewed as being against Majimbo are now being evicted for their land.

Human Rights Watch:

Akiwumi Ethnic Clashes Inquiry

It is a shame that leaders who should know better are deliberately and irresponsibly using populism to push for an idea that has failed in the past because of the hate and violence that is associated with it.

Polls have shown that Kenyans don't support the ethnic segregation suggested by Majimboists. Constituency Development Fund (CDF) and Local Authorities Transfer Fund (LATF) have been vehicles of economic devolution and should be strengthened and closely monitored to make sure that the money reaching the village is used to improve living standards.

Majimbo as a Trojan horse for tribal segregation is not the way to go. Kenya belong to all of us; every single inch of it.


I will like to dedicate this poem to a friend of mine who is a high ranking campaigner of ODM. His family experienced clashes in 1992 and 1998 because they were "foreigners" in Rift Valley. Today he sees nothing wrong in what is going on in Molo and Sondu because his tribe is in good political books with the tribalists fanning the tribal flames.

First They Came for the Jews

First they came for the Jews
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for the Communists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for me
and there was no one leftto speak out for me.
Pastor Martin Niemöller

I hope the poem will make sense to my friend. Some issues should transcend who we support in politics.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Raila Odinga can be compared to Jesus?

Raila: "When you see Raila, you see a leader who stands for the truth. I can be compared to Mandela, Galileo Galilei and Jesus.”

When I saw Mandela I said maybe. Galileo; I opened my eyes wider. Jesus! No! The few people that I have seen call themselves Jesus were on Prozac or were admitted to some mental facility for treatment. It is shocking for a future president to be arrogant enough to compare himself with God.

When Jesus was on earth, He did not brag about being the son of God. He never rode on the chariots –the era’s Hummers. The bible told us that Jesus rode a donkey to Jerusalem. As God, Jesus had the powers to say let there be white horses and a golden chariot but he did not. It is ridiculous for a man rides around in a Hummer and leaves people chanting ere mtoka to compare himself to Jesus.

Jesus died on the cross for our sins. He made the ultimate sacrifice. That cannot be said of Raila son of Odinga. The man who brags of leading the 82 coup attempt fought to save his skin as sons of peasants were led to the gallows. Raila didn’t offer to die for Ochuka, Oriwa Hongo, Odhiambo Ndege, Injeni Njeremani, Fenwicks Obuon, Ogidi Obuon, Mirasi Odawa, Odira Ojode, Pancras Oteyo, Adel Omolo, Odemba Otieno or Akoth Otila. Today he is a billionaire enjoying life while the families of his buddies wallow in poverty. A Jesus?

Jesus was never power hungry. That cannot be said of Raila who has gone as far as shedding tears as he sees his ambition disappear into thin air. This is a man who has even sworn with a bible in the air that his arch-rival made power promises that he did not deliver.

Lang’ata MP Raila Odinga lifts the Bible at Boito PAC Church,
Kericho District, and swears that in 2002, President Kibaki
pledged to govern for only one term.

Jesus was never violent. He was a democrat who believed in free will. Not once did He order his disciples to stone those opposed to His teachings. The same cannot be said of Raila who is known to be the de facto leader. Storming and stoning are words that are always on his lips. Anybody who dares oppose the Dear Leader is branded a tribalist and orders of his stoning are issued. The honorable MP even throws punches in Bunge when he is lost of words to support his stand. If Raila is like Jesus them Gumo can say the same on himself.

Brutal: Armed youths beat up an innocent bystander outside Parliament yesterday. The men circled are said to be aides of NDP leader Mr. Raila Odinga.

The sage said: Chema cha jiuza, kibaya cha jitembeza. Raila should not go around blowing his own trumpet. Mandela has never compaired himself to Jesus or Martin Luther King Jnr. He is Mandela; a brand of it’s own. Galileo never called himself Aristotle. Let Raila be Raila. He cannot go around bragging that he is in a class of Jesus for he is not.

11th LDP NEB meeting held on July 1, 2003

The Following is an article published by the Dec 22, 2003 edition of the Standard.

11th LDP NEB meeting held on July 1, 2003

A part from the official meeting held, a brainstorm was conducted on a brief research paper presented by the chairman. It touched on how the LDP should be strengthened. It was recommended from the debate:

1. LDP must continuously show it is the one pushing for a constitutional reform while NAK is against constitutional reform as Kanu was depicted in the past.

2. LDP must explore all avenues of fruitful engagement with Kanu. Efforts must be made to reverse the nasty merger experience between Kanu and NDP, LDP should help Kanu look good among members of the public.

3. LDP must be shown as pro-people and for reforms whereas the government must be painted as anti-change.

4. The government must be isolated and shown as a Mt. Kenya backed government without national appeal.

5. We must continue to hold the government responsible for breaching the MoU so that Kenyans can see it as unfair and insensitive.

6. We must promote the view that government ministers are corrupt so that the government has no moral authority to pursue corruption and it looks bad in the eyes of the international community.

7. We must continuously paint the government and Narc-Nak as the same as the former Kanu.

8. LDP must seriously engage the media-owners — editors and journalists— to discredit the government, NAK and the people who are pro-establishment.

9. Every opportunity must be taken to destabilise the government in a way, which is not traceable to us.

10. Friendship of the security forces and the entire civil service should be sought. We must resist a civil service shake-up.

11. Finances must be raised including from foreign friends and domestic friends. Ministries we control should assist our friends to make money legally some of which can be contributed to the LDP kitty.

12. LDP must capture all influential civil society including COTU, Maendeleo, human rights groups etc.

13. Ministries we control should assist our MPs and regions where we are recruiting.

14. We must treat Bomas delegates well at all times. They are very important for the constitutional reform process.

15. We must demonstrate always that with our friends in Kanu we control parliament.

16. LDP can take a chunk of Kanu and most of Narc with time so that in 2007 we are independent and in control.

17. LDP must recruit nationally so that we have national elections. We should only accept Narc elections if we are sure we’ll take over Narc. Otherwise we must now not accept the convening of a summit we can’t control.

18. We must continuously destabilise NAK.

19. A strategy for 2007 elections must be put in place. Our research think tank should be tasked to prepare a confidential road map.

20. We must not relent on executive prime minister as well as a president who had limited powers. The vice president position should be deputy president. Three deputy prime ministers should exist. These positions will be used to a formidable coalition of LDP, friendly Kanu etc. We must seek new friends all the time.

21. We must invest in the underground media.

22. We must show government cannot perform; only LDP ministers can.

23. We must be careful that LDP elections do not create problems for us.

24. The credibility of all those who oppose our agenda must be destroyed.

25. We must also continuously woo NAK affiliate parties and personalities.

26. We must always create the impression that LDP is a big movement, which is popular.

27. Let’s get NAK affiliates to fight each other whenever it is possible.

28. We must dialogue with the international community to show them NAK has betrayed us and democracy. We must ask them to engage the government in a cautious way.

29. We must capture the local government movement.

30. If possible some strategic government motions should be defeated. A vote of no confidence should be an option.

31. Weak LDP legislators should be helped.

32. We must plant competitors to destabilise all those MPs and councillors who oppose us.

33. We must take Bomas very seriously. Attendance is a must.

34. LDP must continue to own and popularise the LDP-harambee-rainbow clarion call.

35. If we cant have Narc we must destroy it by 2006 or early 2007. Let it be a nominal party.

36. We must maintain an efficient secretariat and infiltrate Mwenge House.

37. LDP ministers and assistant ministers must act like they are the government.

38. LDP functionaries must always collect intelligence, which must be shared.

39. LDP must work tirelessly to have the youth, women and Muslims on its side.

40. Bonding activities for LDP must be organised continuously.

41. The research/think-tank group should be strengthened. LDP intellectuals who work abroad should be mobilised to contribute to the future of LDP.

42. We must continue to point our Narc election officials and Narc Mwenge House functionaries have not been paid since December 2002.

43. A sub-committee to vet all government appointments should be established. All past political appointments should be scrutinised.

44. The issue of the MoU between the Kodhek group and LDP should be settled.

45. Strategic and innovative ways of having political rallies and civic education meetings to be explored in Mombasa, Kericho, Eldoret, Kakamega, Kisumu, Garissa, Nairobi and other places in our country. The main agenda should be constitutional review.

46. LDP must at all times support Yash Pal Ghai and show that the government does not and wants to scuttle the review process.

47. LDP civic support has been analysed and will be available to all members.

48. We must try to compromise secretaries and other workers in the offices of those close to the establishment.

49. LDP must stay in government for as long as possible. This is strategic in many ways

50. We must develop relations with other political parties abroad.

This information should only be shared on a strictly confidential basis with LDP officials including Hon. Kamotho, Hon. W. Ole Ntimama, Hon Job Omino and LDP summit members. This LDP Roadmap to 2007 will be subject to review and refinement from time to time.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Political capital from bashing Kenya?

Imagine yourself as a presidential candidate in the Kenyan general elections. You are invited as a keynote speaker in a meeting comprising of university students -drawn from all Tanzanian universities- at the University of Dar es Salaam. What will you tell these students? Will you use the forum to campaign for presidency?

During Barrack Obama’s tour in Africa, we saw him market the USA as a beacon of hope. He called on African government to develop a close relationship with the USA for the benefit of citizens of both continents. He also took a HIV test in Kenya to motivate Kenyans to participate in testing and prevention of AIDs. Please note that at the time, Mr. Obama had shown interest in running for office.

Back in Kenya, the countries interests take the back burner as personal ambitions are put on overdrive. This was clearly evident when Raila Odinga took his campaign overseas with claims that the Kenyan economy and the NSE thrives on drug money. Some may argue that he had every right to make such ridiculous claims because he was addressing a crowd comprising mainly of Kenyan citizens. But what do you make of his keynote speech to over 10,000 East African Community university students in Kampala? In the speech Raila lampooned president Mwai Kibaki telling him that he must meet all ODM-K demands for “minimum reforms” or else… He read ODM’s demands to these students even when it is clear that they cannot vote in Kenyan elections.

I think there are many issues affecting the three East African Community members that Raila could have talked about instead of using the inter-university forum to advance his campaign for presidency. Chief among these are the issues of the EAC economy and the political integration of these three countries.

In the realization that these students will be shaping up future policies that affect the EAC, Raila should have raised the issue of cross border trade, work permits, and development of infrastructure to ease movement within the region. As of today, Tanzania remains the only country in the region where Kenyans have to go through red-tape regulations to get work permits.

In march last year, Kenyan journalist were arrested in Tanzania and deported. Kenyan businesses in Tanzania have also had their employees deported as Tanzanians claim that Kenyans are too aggressive in business. Raila should have used this forum to reassure Tanzanians of our commitment to make the EAC a success by encouraging cross border employment and investment. Instead, Mr. Odinga chose to embrace party activism as he threw statesmanship out of the window.

The inter-university forum would have been the best venue to challenge students to think about how best the region can utilize resources from this lake. In the past we have seen Ugandan forces crossing into Kenyan waters to arrest fishermen. This issue touches the interests of Mfangano Islands residents who depend on fishing.

It is a shame that our leaders are behaving akin to the woman who requested King Solomon to split up the baby so that each can have a share. These leaders want to be president but they use foreign countries as platforms ridicule their motherland and spread bold lies. Will they have an intact country to govern if their preoccupation is selling Kenya as a dead horse?

Monday, March 05, 2007

MPs with For Sell sticker

I cannot help it but share yet another petty observation elicited by a story in the Standard (March 5th, 07). I promise that this will be the pettiest of them all.

The Standard tells us that MPs allied to ODM will visit London on a bonding mission. Their bonding session will be presided over by 10 UK MPs. While in London, Kenyan MPs will hold a dinner event for ‘investors’ with an entry fee ranging between 100 and 1,000 sterling pounds.

“What you pay will determine how close you sit to the aspirants,” the Standard quotes ODM Publicity Secretary in London who goes by the names, George Muruli.

It all sounds innocent unless you are one of the petty Kenyans like me. To a petty Kenyan, this marks the official auction of your MPs. The auction is a charitable act that will raise money to set up a theocracy in Kenya after Kibaki is kicked out. So it is all in the name of Wanjiku!

Skeptical me smells a fish! Why would British MPs be involved in a matter that is 100% Kenyan? And why would Kenyan MPs invite British MPs into an affair that is 100% Kenyan? This sounds odd unless you are a Kenyan who doesn’t indulge on petty issues. From what I understand, we elect officials to serve our interests as Wanjiku. By inviting foreigners into Kenyan affairs, our MPs are submitting themselves to be used as puppets by foreign nations as they (these nations) seek to serve their interests. Direct interference into our political system by foreign interests is one thing that Kenyans need to worry about because it amounts to colonialism by proxy.

And then there is the issue of the dinner where the highest bidder gets the seat closest to our MPs. Those of us who thrive on petty issues don’t see this as an activity where an investor will pay more than £1,000 for a piece of chicken and call it a night. Small-minded Kenyans like me see this as a dangerous precursor to a new mega corruption scandal. ‘Investors’ –especially those from the UK- don’t dish out money to Kenyan politicians without expectations from the politicians. Ask John Githongo and he will tell you that these infesters don’t live of chicken wings alone. Githongo will tell you that the so-called dinner is a vector for very infectious deals that can turn reformists into devils.

These pay-to-play games must be discouraged at all costs. Those bidding for our MPs ears might be the same people harming Kenya’s interests in the UK. Our MPs should ask themselves: What if the highest bidder happens to be the firm calling its self ‘The Kikoy Company UK Limited’? What if New Anglo Leasing and Fleecing Co. outbid everybody else for the seat at the high table? What if ...?

As Kiraitu said about Anglo Fleecing, campaign funding is the mother of all corruption in Kenya. Kiraitu said that future scandals can be mitigated by instituting campaign funding laws. Hate him or love him but he was right. It is only human that he who pays the piper calls the tune.

The London bonding meeting will not only bond ODM Luminaries but also conceive the future Anglo Goldenberg. The so-called investors are the good old infesters who have infested our country infesting it with various strains of corruption.

The sad part of this petty story is that educated Kenyans that are cheerleading for our Luminaries welcome pay-to-pay as long as it serves their Luminary’s interests. They have prepared a well-thought defense on how noble it is to have UK MPs and investors join hands with ODM and Wanjiku in kicking Kibaki out. Their upcoming defense reminds me of the fable, The Hunter and the Horse. I am looking forward to hear their side of the story.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Made in Kenya

While addressing Kenyans in Minnesota, our MPs Raila Odinga and Omingo Magara attributed the rise in crime to unemployment. It is ironic that they used the same forum to sell custom made attire made by Mr. Odinga's personal tailor in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.

That simple action speaks volumes about Kenyan leaders who preach water while drinking wine. Jobs are not a creation of the government but as a result of trade. The government’s role is to stimulate growth and create an environment that is conducive for free trade.

There are many tailor in Kibera Constituency who will be more that happy to serve their MP Raila Odinga. There is a possibility that one among the thousands of tailors who call Kibera slums their home can do a better job than Raila’s personal tailor in Abidjan. I think it will make sense if Raila and his wife give Kibera residents a chance to work.

But I cannot whip Raila too much over this. The belief that foreign made stuff and foreign services are better than Kenyan goods and services is prevalent among our leaders and financially endowed citizens. When Kibaki was involved in an accident, he took a flight to London for treatment denying Kenyan doctors, nurses, pharmacists etc a chance to make a shilling. Recently Moi took a trip to Germany for treatment after being humiliated by the UK government. Moi’s family was denied UK Visas making it impossible for him to seek treatment there.

It reminds me of the Chadian PM Pascal Yoadimnadji who recently died of a cerebral haemorrhage a Paris hospital. It is a shame that Chad had no hospital to take care of the problem forcing him to take a long flight to Paris.

What is shocking is that those selling the ‘buy made in Kenya, make Kenya rich’ launder their suits in London. Without shame, they brag about it. Some Kenyans are known to import drinking water from abroad!

The mentality that foreigners are better than Kenyans drives our government into dishing out engineering jobs to foreign nationals at the expense of their own citizens. Little known to government officials is that there are many successful Kenyan engineers abroad who would be jobless had they remained in Kenya.

I think it is time we dealt with these notions of ‘International Standards’, ‘Foreign Experts’ etc. We should build our own institution and give our people a chance to work. Mama Atieno in Raila Slum, Nairobi, Kenya will be honored to tailor clothes for Raila and Ida.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Useless talk devoid of action

Here are some excerpts from a commentary carried in the Kenyan newspapers. Please have a look and at the end it, give me a guess of the writer’s profession. Ready?

“…the national defence policy should be reviewed…,” the author says.

“… operations of units sharing the national security mandate … should be harmonised. I do not see why the units should not routinely share intelligence and equipment, and support one another in emergency operations,” the author adds.

“…the veil of mystery and secrecy surrounding procurement of security hardware should be shredded,” he continues to argue.

Last but not least, the author says, “…private security is a service many Kenyans are paying for, and there is no reason we cannot enhance it through legislation and license competent private firms to have controlled armouries so that their guards can bear arms…”

You are wrong if you thought the writer’s profession was something other than legislating. At the end of his article, the byline at the bottom of the article says, “The writer is the Eldoret North MP and an ODM-Kenya presidential hopeful.”

In the byline they should have included this: He is also a former assistant minister in the Office of the President and former Minister for Home Affairs.

William Ruto is an example of the breed of people called legislators AKA Members of Parliament. It is common for them to address the public saying this or that should be done. But by whom?

MPs are given a mandate to make laws and amend laws. They have failed miserably to do this. Instead of making laws to rectify flaws, they take the higher moral ground and point the finger at ‘the Government.’ But what is government?

The four proposals –on how to improve security- that hon. Ruto made sound genuine if only Ruto was an ordinary citizen. Hon. Ruto served as an assistant minister in the Office of the President for some time. This position placed him in a position to give proposals on how to improve the security situation of Kenya. What did he do with that position? What will he be remembered for?

Hon. Ruto now admonishes the secrecy behind the National Security budget. This secrecy didn’t start today. It has been around for a long time. The masses have talked about this black-hole for as long as Ruto has been an MP. Did Ruto move any legislation to make the tendering system open to scrutiny by public institutions?

Parliament has powers to approve or reject the executive’s budget proposal. If we went to Ruto’s voting records in parliament, we will for sure find out that Ruto never cast a single vote against the security budget that he now describes as making “little economic sense.”

Most Kenyans will agree with me that nominated MPs Dr. Julia Ojiambo and Ms Njoki Ndung’u cannot be described as noisemakers. We never hear them say this or that should be done. They instead bring in legislation to address their concerns. In 2006 alone, Dr. Ojiambo’s initiative gave us two new bills and one amendment. In this 9th parliament new comer Njoki Ndung’u gave us a bill to address the rising cases of sexual assault and abuse. It is a shame that the biggest noisemakers in the land don’t have their names attached to single bill.

It is high time we told our MPs to slow down on their rhetoric and use their mandate as MPs to make laws that address what they whine about. These MPs should first exhaust their powers as MPs before seeking presidential powers. Their use of parliamentary powers should be an aptitude for their performance as presidents.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Of eating your cake and having it too

Welcome aboard the Mosaisi Time Travel Machine. Our first stop is Saturday, Nov 17 2002. Since you are now in that day, your brain has no memory of happened between that date and today. On that day, Kibaki’s presidential campaign is heated. The masses are singing yote yawezekana na Kibaki.

You are now in Ngong attending a Narc rally being addressed by Mwai Kibaki, George Saitoti and Raila Odinga among many other Narc luminaries. Now Raila has taken the microphone. The air is rent with Tinga chants.

“Kitendawili?” Raila screams out.

“Tega!” the masses answer him.

“Nauza hewa Napata pesa?” Raila throws his riddle.

The crowd has no answer so Raila asks for mji. He then solves the riddle by screaming out, “Goldenberg!”

Raila tears into Moi and Musalia Mudavadi and accusing them of plotting and executing the Goldenberg. He is saying: "Musalia and Moi know the whole truth about Goldenberg and they should come out clean.”

"Mudavadi was the Finance minister in 1993. He first paid out the Sh5.8 billion in export compensation and then the Sh13.5 billion. I know what I am talking about. I stand for the truth and the VP (Mudavadi) and the President (Moi) should come out and prove me wrong," He adds

I bet he is ready take the bible and swear that Moi and Musalia are responsible for the Goldenberg.

Here comes Professor George Saitoti weeping like a child as he remembers how Baba na Mama wa taifa Mtukufu Rais Mzee Baba Moi used him to do evil deeds.

"Anybody who wanted to serve the nation was not given a chance to do so. A trap was always laid out for you and all the dirt and blame was heaped on you," says the Prof Saitoti.

"Unachezewa kiswahili, unatemewa mate, unawekewa mtego,” Saitoti adds.

He ends by promising to spill all the Goldenberg beans.

Photos from the Profesa Kimya Play at Kisirani 1

Now I want to speed forward our second stop; Saturday, November 26, 2006. You are in Eldoret attending yet another rally addressed by Raila Odinga among others. As usual Raila –and not the other attendees- is going to be the next day newspapers’ headlines.

“Kitendawili?” Raila is shouting.

“Tega!” the crowd answers back.

“Panya alinaswa kwa mtego nikamuokoa!” Raila asks the crowd.

Once again the crowd has no answer … mji … and the answer is … Moi!

In the usual Railaistic ‘overjustifications’ and boastful take on his actions, Raila captivates the crowd detailing his political gains and favors.

"Moi should be grateful. I organised his first meeting with Kibaki at State House. He should thank me by not attacking ODM unfairly," Raila says.

"I came to Moi’s aid when the Government wanted to take away his houses and sue him over Goldenberg during my days as the Minister for Roads," Raila adds.

As usual the crowd applauds. A great leader has spoken! The great leader did not boast of obstructing justice -to save Moi- once. That is why I am taking you to our last stop of the day; Sunday, Feb 4th 2007.

On this date you are not in a political rally. You are in a house of God that we call church. You are in this church to witness Raila swear that he overheard Kibaki promise to run for one term before handing the reigns of Kenya to the late Kijana Wamalwa. Hata Mama Rainbow alikuwa when the promise was made.

After swearing in the name of the Almighty Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost; Raila went on to tell the congregation that he saved Moi’s behind –not once but thrice- so Moi owes him one.

In reference to the Kanu-NDP merger, Raila says: "Moi detained me for over eight years. But when his leadership almost sank, I joined him with my National Development Party (NDP) team and enabled him to complete his wavering final term in office."

His braggadocio doesn’t stop there. He collects credit for defending Moi in a cabinet meeting where it had been decided that Moi should face prosecution over his role in Goldenberg and that he should be ejected for public owned -official residence of the VP- Kabarnet Gardens.

"I was censured at the Cabinet meeting for fiercely defending (note that he fiercely defended) Moi but as then Minister for Public Works, I said Moi still deserved to retain his Kabarnet Gardens home," Raila says.

And the congregation answers, “Amen!”

Did you realize what Raila just did? No? Civilized people will say he used his office to obstruct justice. In Kenya it will be just another entertaining piece from a pet politician.

At the time Raila tells us he protected 'Moi's house' from the evil Mt. Kenya Government (because that is how he wants us to see it,) he was the Minister for Housing, Roads and Public works and Housing. The Kibaki administration had just taken oath of office. On their plate was an orgy of land grabs that had to be brought to a halt. A Ministerial Committee on Public Properties was formed repossess grabbed public property. It was recommended that Moi, Michuki, Biwott among others surrender government property that was allocated to them. Key to implementation of this report was Raila Odinga in his capacity of Minister for Housing, Roads and Public works. Now we know that Raila used his office to feed the Nyayo Holy Cow with fodder. Today, the time has come for Raila to milk political capital out of his Holy Cow. Like any good farmer, he is reminding his Holy Cow where the fodder came from!

As they say, “what is good for the goose is good for the gander.” Since Baba Moi retained his stolen property, Michuki, Biwott et al retained their too. That epitomises what we call the war on corruption.

Now that you have taken that long trip and learned a lot (I believe), I want you to answer one simple question: On whose side is Raila playing?

My answer will be on his own side. This man who champions himself as a public watchdog is turning out to be the biggest cry baby. Or is it cry puppy? He is now spending too much of his energy detailing how he scratched the backs of Baba Moi and Mzee Kibaki and how they have refused to scratch his back in return. He even has a bible handy to swear by it.

By now you should have noticed the pattern. When sanitizing Saitoti, Raila was in Ngong trying to appeal to the Maasai. When he made his first proclamation of obstructing justice in favor of Moi, Raila was in Eldoret. He was trying to appeal to the Kalenjin. The second pronouncement on protecting Moi was made in Kericho. Same thing! He was trying to appeal to the Kalenjin.

For how long will this Sungura games go on before Raila finds himself painted into a corner? Even in the good old fables, Apwuyo the hare runs of lies and tricks. You cannot eat your cake –of sanitizing corrupt tribal chiefs- and still expect to have it –in terms of being a public watchdog. One thing has to give!

The average Chepkoech was hurt due Moi and his sons milking KCC, CBK -through Goldenberg, etc. Should Chepkoech celebrate Raila as a hero for his role in bargaining for Moi and his cabal’s freedom? Should Atieno and Moraa who were nailed on the cross due to Baba Moi’s 24 year misrule and outright looting welcome Raila’s statements with joy?

The wolves have become too bold to wear its sheep skin as a disguise. They have shed the sheep skin exposing their pelt. We are drunk with euphoria till we cannot see the wolves for what they are! We still expect them to lock up the corrupt and recover our money. In our dreams I say!

This Tribal Monster!

This is in response to .

As political campaigns heat up, the tribal chiefs and increasing the tempo of their drums as they try to awake the tribal monster. Anything and everything that happens is given a tribal twist. The in-thing is attributing crime and government control to the Kikuyu and to a certain extent to the Meru and Embu communities.

The article published by Public Eye made many allegations without giving any evidence to support them. For example, Public Eye alleged that promotions at the Kenya Police and international scholarships distributed based ones tribe. For one to make such allegations, he must also give us his source of information lest we dismiss his allegations as wild imagination.

The allegations that law enforcement is dominated by kikuyus may have no merit considering that the Police Commissioner Maj-Gen Hussein Ali is not a Kikuyu. Other senior police officers at Vigilance House including Senior Deputy Commissioners Lawrence Mwadime and David Kimaiyo, have never publicly identified themselves as Kikuyu. Other officers in the rank of Deputy Police Commissioner like Joel Biomdo, Gideon Mutua, Alice Kagunda, Christine Mutua, Edward Muchori, Mary Mwangangi, etc owe their ancestry to different parts of the country. People selling tribalism will ignore all these Kenyans and only focus on John Michuki as they seek to paint him as the image of the Police.

While I don’t rule out tribalism in the police force, I must remind you that what goes on the in the force is typical of Kenya. We are brought up knowing that you need somebody who knows somebody high-up to hook you with a job or a promotion. We have a police force where applicants bribe to be recruited. Focusing on the tribal aspect of it while ignoring the fact that corruption plays a big role in Kenya’s civil service is setting on the road to Rwanda.

Another wild allegation is that the judiciary is controlled by the Kikuyu. If the author took his time and surveyed all Court Clerks, Magistrates, and Judges; I bet that he would see a shade of all colors. The ethnic composition of our judiciary doesn’t in any way mean that ours is a clean machine. It is riddled with corruption. If you investigated a court in Machakos, you will find out that the clerks and the magistrates who are giving the masses a raw deal are predominantly of Kamba ancestry. That is the same in most parts of Kenya. Martha Karua –devil or angel- is in no way the defector judge or magistrate. Using her Kikuyuness to brand the judiciary a Kikuyu outfit is simply ignoring the real problems as you chase the tribal shadow.

We all have a right to decide what aspect of our ancestry we want to identify with. This right extends to George Saitoti. Napoleon Bonaparte (born Napoleone di Buonaparte) the French Emperor was never born French. Napoleon went on to conquer other countries in the name of France. Your Identity is your choice. We should let Saitoti enjoy his identity as a Maasai moran as much as his half Maasai brothers John Keen and Ole Ntimama.

Once again politicians and the media have pulled the stereotype that Kikuyus are genetically thieves. Public Eye was not left behind. That is why Public Eye said: “We are not surprised how thieves arrange with insiders in bank robbery from the same community to rob the nation.”

I am yet to understand why a Kenyan should make such an outrageous statement. Of what purpose is it to our nation? If the Public Eye team interviewed violent crime victims in the Gusii Higlands, it will be found out that a majority –if not all- were attacked by fluent Ekegusii speakers. These criminals have to date killed dozens of people in cold blood. We have heard of people being killed even after handing over all their money to these murderers. I am 100% sure that the Public Eye team will be red hot if one insinuated that Kisiis are cold killers. When will be start seeing crime as crime and criminals as criminals and not Taita or Ogiek?

Crime is an equal opportunity phenomenon. Perpetuators and victims of crime are as diverse as Kenya is. Attributing crime to one community is irresponsible and prejudicial. Those seeking to milk publicity out of stereotyping others should be condemned with the contempt that they deserve.

ODM is making a big blunder by making this a Kikuyu vs. Kenya campaign. ODM will rather see Mt. Kenya Mafia than see the crime that is corruption. Why? If ODM's campaign platform was to be on corruption in Government, very few of the luminaries will have the credibility to promise us a corruption free administration.

ODM chairman Henry Kosgey will not talk about efficient running of parastatals because we know what he did to Kenya National Assurance and the 4th all African games. His friend Mutula Kilonzo will have no credible words on rule of law because we know a lot about his role in the Goldenberg among many other looting expeditions. For sure Raila Odinga will be the offside if he promised to hold the corrupt individuals accountable after saying in public that he protected Moi from prosecution and handed him the government-owned Kabarnet Gardens. That is why they will rather tell Kenyans to kick the Kikuyu out because the Kikuyu are eating alone.

We need to see beyond the tribal euphoria that our politicians are serving. Mama Mboga in Nyeri is in a no better state than Mama Mboga in Mombasa. Citizens in Funyula and not having 3 meals a day just because their own in a VP. The roads in Nyaribari haven't been transformed into Turnpikes and Autobahns just because their own is minister for roads. On the contrary, the once tarmaked Kisii Kilgoris road that traverses Nyaribari is worse than a cattle track.

The above is reason why Kenyans should be cautious of the they-are-eating-alone and it-is-our-time-to-eat notion. In deed they are eating alone. But the they is no kikuyus or Luhyas. The they is social political and economic class where the Kibakis, Nyachaes, Odingas, Kenyattas etc belong. It is this cabal that is using us as bargaining chips to guarantee them a lifetime of eating. What is in it for you and I? Absolutely nothing!

We need to turn back because we are walking down a dangerous route. Tribalism has no place in modern Kenya. Ask the Baringoans living in abject poverty as the Moi and his sons lord over them.

Friday, February 02, 2007

The reality of being Kenyan

Before reading this article, please read what the late Wahome Mutahi said when he was campaigning to be president.

I will retire to Kisumu State House to receive defectors from the Opposition in Nyando and will smile as I receive cheques for 'projects of my choice' from the defectors. I will forget conveniently that I'm receiving money from the same people I had given relief food.

Then here is something for those who missed EA Standard's Feb O2, 07 edition.

Kham captured a "Kodak moment" of what makes us Kenyans. In Kenya, Mheshimiwa knows it all. Mheshimiwa in Kenya has the same status as that of Paris Hilton or Britny Spears of the USA. Mheshimiwa is an entertainer, an advisor, … an expert in everything! What Mheshimiwa says has to be right.

I was shocked when Prof. Ayiecho Olweny, MP, told the masses that they didn't have to read the Draft Constitution because Raila had read it and found it flawed. How could he say that and be applauded, I wondered. It is not till a friend of mine told me a few days ago that he had not read the draft that it hit me. Prior to that, this friend used to argue like he knew the contents of the draft inside out.

He profoundly lectured me on the demerits of the draft. He always talked about the Imperial president it would create. He showed his fears that the draft would take away land from Kenyans and bla bla bla. So a few days ago, I challenged him to tell me if or not he had read this draft. His honest answer was NO. He happened to be one of the millions of Kenyans who feel safe to let politicians interpret issues for them.

The in thing today is "Minimum Reforms." Everybody is singing "Minimum Reforms." Ask them what they want to be reformed and you will get a shock of your life. Those who may think they have the best knowledge will tell you: "we want a free Electoral Commission and reduced presidential powers."

When you demand for specifics, they will dismiss you as a Kibaki sympathizer. That is Kenya for you!

I think we put too much faith in politicians. It is time to take charge of our destiny. In Dholuo they say, Mhesmiwa ose rundo jowa mang'eny kendo nyaka koro watang'ne. Go ask for translation.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

High-noon for British Empire

Those who said the sun never set on the British Empire are right!

In 2001, Tanzania signed a single-sourced $40m contract with a British arms supplier BAE Systems (British Aerospace Limited). In this deal, BAE was to supply Tanzania with an Air Traffic Control (ATC) system to serve the country’s eight -yes only 8- military aircraft!

The ATC system in question was described by the United Nation’s International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) as being a dated technology. The agency said that upgrading the system to meet civil aviation demands would cost Tanzanians millions of dollars. The agency further argued that Tanzania’s needs would have been met with a $5m to $7m civil aviation system.

What is interesting is that the deal was pushed by none other than UK Prime Minister Tony Blair. Blair’s argument was that the deal was good for the UK because it would protect 250 British jobs on the Isle of Wight that were at stake! (Who gives a damn about Tanzania Wanjiku who has to go to bed on an empty stomach to make such a purchase!)

Even more interesting is the revelation by a Tanzanian middleman Sailesh Vithlani that BAE paid him $12m (30% of the contractual amount) through a Swiss bank. The payment was done through Red Diamond Trading –one of BAE’s covert offshore companies registered in the British Virgin Islands. Red Diamond is the same outfit alleged to have given a Sterling pound 1M to the late Chilean dictator Pinochet.
Vithlani’s business buddy Tanil Somaiya (no relation to Ketan Somaia) collaborated the bribery allegation saying that they (Somaiya and Vithlani) were paid 1% of the contractual amount to make sure the deal was signed and awarded to Vithlani’s Merlin International.

Tanil Somaiya Left Donating bikes to Tanzanian Police

The World Bank and IMF refused to extend a loan to Tanzania for this purchase claiming that it was waste of resources. This however did not stop the deal. The UK’s Barclays Bank stepped in and finance it at interest rates that were much higher than those charged by the Bretton Woods institutions. In the end Tanzanians were left with a huge bill stemming from the UK’s quest to create less than 300 jobs for Britons.

Politicians will always be politicians. In this case, there was more to the storyline than securing 250 jobs. Did the kickback extend to individuals in the UK? Vithlani has no comment because the most likely answer is yes. The zeal by which Blair pushed for the deal suggests that money may have changed hands. This will not be the first time that an East African has dished out money to UK politicians.

Proprietor of Shivacom Tanil Somaiya (Center) presenting an award to Miss Tanzania

During the Goldenberg proceedings, we learnt of the cozy relationship Ketan Somaia has with UK politicians. We were treated to juicy stories about Pattni’s trip to the UK where he attended a Tory fundraiser. Pattni and Somaia were privileged to share a table with former Conservative Party chief and Cabinet minister Lord Cecil Parkinson at the Tory Winter Ball. Pattni didn’t fail to brag about mingling with the likes of Mark Thatcher –the arms dealing son of Margaret Thatcher.

To cap it all, we learnt that upon retirement, Lord Parkinson became the chairman of Somaia’s offshore company, Dolphin Group the mother company of the collapsed Delphis Bank. Lord Parkinson also served as Kamani’s envoy to South Africa as to promote Kamani’s controversial 25-year monopoly in the development of Mpumalanga Game Park of South Africa.

The two Tanzanians in this mess have been linked to many other corruption scandals in Tanzania’s defense contracts. These crooks continue to travel in and out of the UK as they will. The UK’s seems to have a traditional stand of protecting companies and individuals who are plundering Africa. The Pattnis, the Kamanis, the Somaias and now the Vithlanis have a safe heaven in the UK. This reminds me of the colonial era companies like the British East Africa Co. that owned East Africa and plundered it with full support of the UK.

The UK doesn’t seem to mind about corruption as long as the proceeds benefit her and her politicians. For this reason economic hitmen are treated like loyalty while relatively smalltime thieves like neo-colonial Paramount Chief Murungaru are prohibited from stepping on the English soil. After all the UK has to hoodwink us to see them as protectors and not perpetuators of corruption. What the heck! Fry one Murungaru and Africans will sing God Save the Queen.

In this setting, our leaders come out as colonial paramount chiefs who sold their people and land for a blanket and a mirror. And we say we are independent countries!

Monday, January 22, 2007

The death of Anglo Fleecing

Kiraitu Murungi has persistently said that Anglo Leasing was a scandal that never was. He has gone on to declare it dead and buried. Now Amos 'Smiley' Wako has declared Kiraitu and former Finance minister, David Mwiraria as spotless as snow. This has awakened the top anti-corruption czar John Githongo from his winter hibernation. As usual, Githongo has promised to spill all beans on the scandal and name all the politicians involved. In short, he is their scariest nightmare.

Walks like a duck, quacks like a duck... It must be a duck!

The focus on the political aspect of Anglo Leasing is what in my opinion has killed the quest for justice over the scandal. The politicians will be killed while the master puppeteers have been spared to sack Central Bank another day.

The Anglo Fleecing schemes were hatched early 2001. On 16th of August 2001, Anglo Leasing signed a hyper inflated contract worth $54.56 million to build a Forensic Lab. On the same day, Silverson Establishment signed a $90 million contract to supply security vehicles. These two contracts opened a flood gate of multi-million dollar contracts by Apex Finance (AKA Sound Day Corp), LBA Systems, Universal Satspace, First Merchantile, and Nedemar (the company that wanted to sell the Kenyan embassy in Netherlands). All these contracts were signed and paid for by Nov. 2002.

5 months after the Narc government came to power; more firms joined the gravy train. These firms included; Midland Bank, Naviga Capital, Empressa, Euromarine, Infotalent, and Ciara Systems Inc. The eating through these deals went on till January 2004.

The common denominator in the 2 parts (the Kanu and Narc parts) of the scandal is the Kamani clan. Chamanlal Kamani, his daughter Sudha Ruparell, and his sons Rashmikant (Rashmi) and Deepak have been implicated in numerous economic scandals. There was the Mahindra saga where the Kamani’s though their company Kamsons supplied substandard vehicles to the police force at hyper inflated prices.

Deepak Kamani

Rashmi Kamani

The lion’s share of the contracts in the Anglo Fleecing went to entities owned by the Kamanis. These contracts include the Anglo Leasing where Sudha Ruparell’s company Saagar Associates was the main mover; Infotalent –a company registered in India and owned by the Kamani’s Unicorn Holdings; and Apex Finance.

The Kamani’s were also involved in Anura Perera’s Navy Ship deals that were signed in the Naviga Capital, Empressa, Euromarine contracts. And who is Anura Perera? He is the man who paid President Kibaki’s hospital bill after the 2002 road accident. Perera was also involved in numerous defense contracts during the Nyayo era. The benevolent Perera is also the man who loaned Githongo senior money to buy a piece of land in Kitusuru.

It is puppeteers like these who will keep corruption alive. We have put all our focus on Kibaki must go and forgotten that Kibaki will go but the interests of the puppeteers will remain intact.

In a recent interview, Githongo said: “I feel badly let down (by Kibaki). I truly believed in Kibaki’s commitment to fight corruption. Perhaps I was naive and should have realised earlier that I was merely part of a window dressing process.”

There is yet another surprise awaiting the man the UK media is describing as an urban-raised, Western-educated, non-tribal, new generation African. Githongo is yet to find out that the UK’s commitment to assist Kenyans in fighting corruption. The clue is in the do nothing approach that the UK is giving to the issue of Kenyan citizens and UK businesses domiciled in the UK. This may be the biggest huddle in the war against corruption.

I plead with anybody with Githongo’s ear to tell him to widen his war. Going after the current politicians while ignoring politicians from the former regime is simply digging a grave for the Anglo Fleecing. Focusing on politicians while ignoring the puppets is putting the last nail on the Anglo coffin. We can only win by looking at Anglo’s past and present.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Wanjiku and the Hunter

Fables sound silly and childish but in them is hidden a lot of knowledge. Give me a chance to tell you one such a story. Ready?

Story come!

Once upon a time, The Horse and the Stag were friends living together in the wild. A quarrel arose between the two friends, so the Horse went to a hunter to ask his help to take revenge on the Stag.

The Hunter agreed, but said: “If you desire to conquer the Stag, you must permit me to place this piece of iron between your jaws, so that I may guide you with these reins, and allow this saddle to be placed upon your back so that I may keep steady upon you as we follow after the enemy.”

The Horse agreed to the conditions, and the Hunter soon saddled and bridled him. Then with the aid of the Hunter the Horse soon overcame the Stag, and said to the Hunter: “Now, get off, and remove those things from my mouth and back.”

“Not so fast, friend,” said the Hunter. “I have now got you under bit and spur, and prefer to keep you as you are at present.”

The moral of the story is that you shouldn’t let people misuse you even when their mission sounds noble. But how many times do we let politicians misuse us?

Back in 2002, we had a quarrel with Kanu and Moi. We enlisted the services of Kanu hawks that had transfigured themselves into Narc. We knew that Saitoti, Gumo, Ntimama, Ruto etc were up to no good but we had a mission. They put us under under bit and spur. They placed the saddle on our backs. We conquered Kanu!


Just when we though the enemy was vanquished, the new liberators hiked their pay and jumped into bed with the likes of Kamani and Pattni. The Anglo Leasing project that was set up by Kanu was inherited by Narc. These politicians went on to protect Moi and his cronies from prosecution. It was the same old Kanu minus Moi.

Now we have the same hunters in a new party they call ODM-Kenya. They are promising to help us vanquish Kibaki and his cronies. They are back in bed with the same old Kanu hit-men. Will they be our solution?

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The Straw Man called Government

It is often gratifying to blame the monster called Central Government for every little misfortune that befalls our locality. It is common to hear people say, “Nairobi is stifling development of our area because we are not from the president’s tribe.” Some of those making such claims are MPs who sit in Nairobi and are part of the central government.

A close look at allocation of funds will show that Local Government and constituencies get a piece of the pie. This piece often ends up being privatized. Our local leaders will then point fingers to Nairobi when asked why services are not being rendered.

Districts, Local Authorities (LA), and constituencies receive money directly from the central government. The LAs receive budgetary support from the central government in form of Local Authorities Transfer Funds (LATF). 5% of the total income tax collected by the central government is allocated in this fund. 7% of this is shared equally among 175 Local Authorities while the remainder is distributed in consideration of population and other economic indicators. The central government and Kenya Local Government Reform Program’s secretariat –where Local Authorities have representatives- come up with the formula of distribution. More often than not, LAs do not account for these funds.

In addition, Local Authorities collect local taxes, duty for trading permits, parking fees, and collect levies for delivery of services. It is shocking to note that most LAs owe their employees several months of worth of salaries in arrears.

Citizens -through a mandate given by Local Service Delivery Action Plan (LASDAP)- are supposed to question how their moneys are being spent. They are supposed to participate in planning for development projects and evaluating if they met their expectations. We are also given a constitutional mandate to elect and fire councilors should we feel that we are being taxed without fair representation. It is a shame that we keep on electing empty heads as our councilors. Most of these councilors –if not all- don’t know what their duty is. That tells you a lot about the electorate.

There also exists a Road Maintenance Levy Fund (RMLF). 16% of this fund goes to districts to maintain rural roads. MPs, Councilors and other opinion leaders sit in committees that share these funds among all constituencies in respective districts. So in any given year, every constituency gets a part of the RMLF. The monies end up in people’s pockets.

Constituencies receive money from the Constituency Development Fund (CDF). The fund shares 2.5% of our ordinary national revenue among 210 constituencies. This financial year, sh 5 billion was allocated to the fund. The CDF is intended to go into the development of capital projects in respective constituencies. More often than not, MPs’ cronies and their spouses manage the fund. A majority of MPs cannot account for this fund.

Tea farmers are surcharged a 1% Tea Cess. According to the Kenya Tea Board statistics, Kenya exported tea worth US $567.42 million in 2005. 1% of that amount went into the Tea Cess. 80% of the tea cess goes into road building and maintenance. The fund is distributed to every tea factory. It is a shame that most of the money if not all ends up in people’s pockets.

In my home (Mokomoni in N. Mogirango/Borabu Constituency) we have a number of tea factories; we receive the CDF, LATF, and RMLF. One would expect to the constituency to have average roads but this is not the case. The Nyaramba-Mokomoni road –which borders the Sang’anyi Tea Factory and a stone throw away from the area MP’s shop and residence- is a total mess. Right outside Sang’anyi factory there are deep gullies in the road from years of soil erosion. Even the huge trucks –popularly known as Toriti- that ferry tea find it rough navigating through these canyons. So what went wrong?

We pride ourselves as democratic citizens in a democratic country. What we have is a “once-in-five-years-democracy” where were trade our votes for money or we vote along tribal lines. Our local leaders have successfully created a straw man called central government to whom they attribute all our tribulations. This way they have succeeded in looting with impunity.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Steadman Polls

There has been a heated debate on the accuracy of Steadman Polls. Those who feel cheated are rubbishing it as poll financed by Colonialists and the Kibaki administration. Critics of the polls are not questioning the methodology used to conduct the polls. Their beef is that the results don’t make sense to them because they believe their candidate should be the next president.

These individuals use a classical fallacy of composition to validate their opinion. Sample this:

“Kenyans reported approval of Kibaki’s record is suspect. Have they forgotten his unfulfilled pledges, corruption, Arturs’ saga and the killing of civilians by police? Or what is Steadman up to?”

Miguna’s argument proclaims that if Kenyans are angry about the things he listed, then they must disapprove Kibaki with a vote of 100%. He also assumes that if he disapproves Kibaki because of the reasons he listed then all Kenyans must disapprove him on those grounds.

Miguna argues: “Take, for instance, the reported results of how Kenyans view their political parties. The first error the Steadman poll committed was to attempt to compare Narc, which is a coalition of more than ten political parties (including LDP), with LDP … if this question was to be considered valid, then people’s views should also have been sought of Narc versus DP; Narc versus Ford Kenya; Narc versus Ford People; Narc versus Safina; Narc versus Sisi kwa Sisi; Narc versus Kanu.”

One point that Miguna ignores is that LDP does not count itself as part of Narc. LDP has been presenting herself as an opponent of Narc. I bet Miguna will be throwing a tantrum if LDP was not presented for polling.

Miguna goes on to say: “But there is something even more shocking in the Steadman poll claim that needs to be exposed. The most favoured presidential candidate is Kalonzo Musyoka of the LDP with about 35 percent. This is not unreasonable when we consider the popularity of LDP and ODM. What is shocking and completely unbelievable is the claim that one of the most recognised and leading lights in the LDP and ODM, Raila Odinga, did not even qualify to be polled.”

In that (Dec 2005) poll, Kalonzo Musyoka was in first place with a 35% vote. We should remember that Kalonzo had been selling himself a presidential material while Raila preferred to be considered for Premiership. It is only recently that Raila declared his interest in presidency. That Kalonzo beats Raila –the most vocal LDP chief hawk- should not be shocking. It is possible for somebody like Balala to beat Otieno Kajwang’ in a popularity contest.

In my opinion, Kalonzo is a more popular presidential candidate as compared to Raila because of the image Kalonzo has created. Kalonzo presents himself as a cool, diplomatic, intelligent, honest, and loyal guy. This is in contrast to Raila’s self created image of a forceful, cunning, coup loving, violent, and arrogant guy. When you complement this with what others think about him the result is a disaster.

A glimpse of past Steadman polls

Steadman’s prediction
No – 42
Yes – 32

Results from real polls
No – 57
Yes - 43
Note the difference in both results?

December 20006
Kibaki – 42%
Kalonzo – 20%
Raila – 14%
Uhuru – 5%
Ruto – 3%

July 2006
Kibaki – 30%
Kalonzo – 27%
Raila – 14%
Uhuru – 13%
Ruto – 5%

March 2006
Kalonzo – 34%
Kibaki – 24%
Uhuru – 22%
Raila – 11%
Ruto – 4%

December 2005
Kalonzo – 35%
Kibaki – 26%
Uhuru – 17%

June 2005
Presidential elections
Kalonzo – 29%
Uhuru – 29%
Kibaki – 15%

Raila - 35%
Kalonzo – 11%
Ngilu – 11%

July 2004
Uhuru – 27%
Kibaki – 24%
Kalonzo – 18%
Raila – 4%