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.


Anonymous said...

Why did the standard newspaper edit your article so badly that it lost its meaning??? The standard newspaper is really an odm propaganda machine

Warioba said...

ODM is now singing Ugatuzi, Uteguzi, Upuzi etc A Rose by any name is still a rose.

Kibaki Go Home said...

Kibaki is going home upende usipende. These are cries of a losing team.

Anonymous said...


This Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is made between Honorable Raila Amolo Odinga on one hand and the National Muslim Leaders Forum (NAMLEF) on the other hand.
At the time of execution of this MOU, on one hand, Hon. Raila Odinga has declared to vie for the presidency of Kenya during the 2007 General elections. He has sought the support of NAMLEF in getting the backing of the Muslim community in Kenya to back him for presidency.
On the other hand, NAMLEF a national umbrella platform of all leaders of Muslim organizations desires to see our country Kenya as a just, harmonious, peaceful and a prosperous nation based on good governance, constitutionalism and the rule of law, pro-poor policies, enhanced democratic space and where Kenyans effectively participate in shaping there destiny and the positive upliftment of the status and welfare of Muslims in Kenya and the correction of historical and structural injustices and marginalization meted on the Muslim through deliberate policies and programmes.
In entering into this agreement, NAMLEF and the Muslim community in Kenya recognize the fact that president Mwai Kibaki’s government has meted out calculated, deliberate, unprecedented discrimination, intimidation and harassment of sections of Kenyans, including the Muslims. NAMLEF and the Muslim in Kenya desire to see an end to this.
After due consultations, NAMLEF has arrived at a decision to support the candidature of Hon. Raila Odinga for Presidency during 2007
In this MOU reference to NAMLEF is intended to include and bind all such persons who have authority to commit NAMLEF or work under its authority.
This MOU therefore declares and commits Hon Raila Odinga and NAMLEF as follows. That:
A. Hon Raila Odinga and NAMLEF agree to this MOU to take effect forthwith upon it signing
B. This MOU is made to secure and cement solidarity and partnership between Hon Raila Odinga and NAMLEF constituency based on values of mutual trust, honesty integrity, transparency and good governance.
C. This MUO is made in utmost good faith and trust between Hon Raila Odinga and NAMLEF with the common objective of transforming our country Kenya into a proud, prosperous and just nation, where all Kenyans live in harmony realizing their full potential without discrimination, subjugation or fear.
D. NAMLEF shall:
a. Declare support for Hon. Raila Odinga’s candidature for presidency.
b. Support no other candidate for presidency for the 2007 General Elections.
c. Mobilize the Muslim constituency countrywide ti support Honorable Raila Odinga’s candidature for presidency.
d. Provide Hon Raila Odinga’s presidency with support and wise counsel.
e. Maintain open links of communication during the presidency of Hon Raila Odinga
E. Hon Raila Odinga shall:
a. Embrace NAMLEF totally as his partner of choice In seeking the backing of the Muslim community, including access to and representation on all his presidential Campaign Organs.
b. Upon successful election and serving as the President of Kenya:
I. Continue to embrace NAMLEF as his partner of choice, providing support and sustain relations with it and the Muslim community.
II. Accord NAMLEF both an advisory and partner role in his government on all muslin affairs.
III. Embark on the radical transformation of Kenya to be as a just, harmonious, peaceful and a prosperous nation based on good governance, constitutionalism and the rule of law, pro-poor policies, enhanced democratic space and where Kenyans effectively participate in shaping there destiny through a genuinely devolved government.
IV. Initiate, within the first year, deliberate policies and programmes to redress historical, current and structural marginalization and injustices on Muslims in Kenya. This will include the entrenchment in the Kenyan constitution provision that will outlaw the targeting and profiling of any Kenyan community (including the Muslim) and subjecting them to human rights abuses, violations and discrimination under the guise of whatsoever , as has specifically been witnessed by the Muslim community in the pasty. Specific action will include the setting up of a commission to inquire on deliberate schemes and actions of government, its agencies or officers, to target or interfere with welfare and social well being of Muslim in Kenya as citizens including rendition of Kenyans to Somalia, Ethiopia and Guantanamo Bay. Such schemes and actions will be put to an end and public officers’ responsible for the same named and held to account.
V. Ensure equitable representation of all Muslims in all public appointments.
F. NAMLEF as a credible national Muslim institution and Hon Raila Odinga as a dible national leader known for consistency, valor and statesmanship and vying for the highest position in Kenya Commit themselves to this MOU.