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