Secession in Africa means war

Africa separatist movements1

You go to war slowly.

Before some wayward intellectual or political mentor tries to sanitize the thought, let me say that secession means war declared. It is a war between the central government and the separatist movement- the secessionists. It is a war between the majority and the minority. It is a war that nobody needs or wants. But it is war.

In a democracy the majority determine who shall be the leader or leaders. We are lucky that our founding fathers chose a centralized government in 1964. Otherwise the counties (Jimbos) would all have started their own banana republics most of which would have been gobbled up by socialist Tanzania or socialist Uganda or communist Somalia or even communist Sudan, depending on their location! Or been annexed by a Kenyan entity. Mzee Kenyatta said in 1964 that Kenya was strong because of our diversity. Can one advance any reason to rebut that assertion?

angola_cabinda

Africa is reeling under the threat of secession. Over thirty separatist movements exist. In Angola they demand the creation of Democratic Republic of Lunda-Tchokwé (República Democrática da Lunda-Tchokwé) (RDLT) made up of the traditional Lunda-Tchokwé Kingdom. They have a government in exile founded and led by Dr. Jota Filipe Malakito.

Angola also has to contend with the Forças Armadas de Cabinda (FAC) (Armed Forces of Cabinda) in a long-running battle to create a Republic of Cabinda. They have a government in exile named Frente para a Libertação do Enclave de Cabinda (FLEC) (Front for the Liberation of the Cabinda Enclave). Cabinda produces the bulk of Angola’s oil. Active since 1975.

Ambazonia- Cameroon-Nigeria

In Cameroon the Calabars of the Bakassi Peninsula propose to establish the Democratic Republic of Bakassi fronted by Bakassi Movement for Self-Determination and backed by Bakassi Freedom Fighters. Active since 2006.

In South Cameroon the ethnic groups there have proposed the creation of The Federal Republic of Southern Cameroon (Ambazonia-declared 2006). The Southern Cameroons National Council is backed by a youth group and the armed Southern Cameroon Peoples Organization.

Within the Central African Republic a rebel Muslim movement Séléka declared The Republic of Logone or Dar el Kuti in 2015. It is not recognized internationally.

In the Comoros, two islands Anjouan and Mohéli are struggling to create the Republic of Anjouan and the Democratic Republic of Mwali respectively.

In the Republic of the Congo various groups want to establish the State of South Congo around Brazzaville and the Kingdom of Loango.

Female-fighters-from-a-Mai-Mai-group-in-North-Kivu-DRC

Next door, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo there are those who are pressing for the creation of the Kingdom of Kongo, the Republic of Katanga around Lububashi backed by Mai Mai Kata Katanga and the United Republic of Kivu around Kwili, Kivu and Bukavu.

In the Equatorial Guinea, the Bubi ethnic group want Bioko Island which they inhabit, made a country. They are outnumbered by Fernandinos and Fang immigrants from the mainland.

Nearer home in Ethiopia the Afar Liberation Front are out to create the Islamic State of Afaria.

Oromia fighters

The Gambela People’s Liberation Front is pushing for a Gambela Republic as three armed groups have their eyes trained on The Republic of Ogadenia.

The Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) was formed in 1973 and has been fighting for the secession of Oromia from Ethiopia to form the Republic of Oromia. Since then they have been joined by Oromo Independence Movement, Islamic Front for the Liberation of Oromia, Conference of Oromiya Peoples Liberation Front, Oromo Youth Revolutionary Movement also known as Abiddaa)

In the Sidama Zone, the Sidama Liberation Front is fighting for the recognition of the Republic of Sidama.

In Mali, the Tuareg, Songhai, Fula and Arabs-cum-Moors root for the recognition of the State of Azawad. Their militancy is overseen by the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad.

Azawad Soldiers

In Namibia, the Lozi ethnic group, want a Free State of Caprivi Strip-Itenge. The Caprivi African National Union (CANU) and the Caprivi Liberation Army are on the ground.

In Nigeria the Igbo have been pushing for a Republic of Biafra since 1967. Bilie Human Rights Initiative Political party, Biafran Congress Party (BCP), Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra, The Indigenous People of Biafra, Biafra Zionist Movement, Biafra Government in exile are the result of the quest.

In Senegal, the Diola ethnic group founded a separatist movement in 1982 to establish the Republic of Cassamance and still they struggle.

Darfur soldiers

In Western Sahara, the Polisario Front (PF) is a secessionist movement seeking to end the Moroccan presence in Western Sahara. The Polisario Front was formed in 1973 by a group of Sahrawi students and a few Sahrawi men who served in the Spanish Army.

In Somalia, Somaliland Ethnic group have through various political organizations created    the Government of Somaliland. The militant organization is called the Somaliland Armed Forces. In Southern Sudan, the South Sudan Nuerland Ethnic Group want to create its own republic through the Nuer Militant organization called the Nuer White Army formerly known as SPLA-Nasir (1991 – 1994). There is an ongoing insurgency. Then there is the Sudan Darfur Ethnic groups i.e. Fur, Zaghawe and Masalit, which propose a Darful State. They are supported by the militant Darfur Liberation Front. There is an ongoing war in Darfur.

CUF Zanzibar

In Tanzania the Civic United Front (which is a member of Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization) based in Zanzibar and Pemba want to secede but with little advancement.

In Uganda, the Baganda want to establish the Kingdom of Buganda as a de facto autonomous area. They are backed by the Kingdom of Buganda Youth movement. In addition, from the Rwenzururu Ethnic group – the Konjo people are keen to found the Yiira Republic.

In Zambia, the Barotse Ethnic Group has proposed the The Lozi State. They are backed by the Barotseland Militant organization otherwise known as the Barotse Patriotic Front.

Lastly, in Zimbabwe, the Matabele Ethnic Group wants a country of its own called Matabeleland, Mthwakazi Free State. The militant wing is called the Mthwakazi Liberation Front (M.L.F.) and their political wing is the Matabeleland Freedom Party (MFP).

So far none of these have shown any signs of proximate success. Is this what we want to subject our people in Kenya to?

GK 2017

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Is Supreme Court to Blame for Raila Poll Exit?

Raila-Kalonzo gig2017                Raila and Kalonzo Gig.

In my considered opinion, Raila Odinga opted out of the 26th October contest largely because the Supreme Court gave him a Pyrrhic victory on 1st September 2017 and amplified it on 20th September. The Court allowed his Petition but denied him what he coveted most: the trophy. His coveted trophy was expected to be the names of various persons at the IEBC who he claimed had bungled the Presidential election on 8th August. He hoped to clean out the IEBC and emerge the hero. He would then demonize Uhuru Kenyatta to such an extent that he would be in-electable. The Supreme Court denied him that pleasure. The High Court’s decision last week that cleared Chebukati and Chiloba of individual culpability was the straw that broke the camel’s back. What was Raila and his Nasa team to rely on for a win at the polls?

RAO ChebukatiChilobaIEBC            Raila with Chebukati and Chiloba

The second loss was in terms of his costs. Every successful litigant hopes to reap the costs of his suit. Raila had a battery of very expensive lawyers researching and prosecuting his Petition. They spent days if not weeks preparing and trying the Petition. They must have been looking at a billion shillings in costs; maybe more. Instead, the Supreme Court decided that Parties should bear their own costs!

Raila lawyer Orengo in court         Lawyer James Orengo and others in the Supreme Court

With those words, the billion shilling dream went down the drain. That is a major headache. It might very well have turned into a migraine. Why did the learned judges deny Raila his costs knowing very well that he had incurred monumental sums of money already? To tell a winner that you do not want to burden the taxpayers with the payment of costs worth a billion shillings just after burdening the same taxpayer with a repeat election worth 10 Billion shillings would clearly not wash. It was already a major burden for him and the decision only made it worse.

Raila Kalonzo carry petition docs               Raila and Kalonzo carry their burden to Supreme Court

For my part I sense something here. Raila in his Petition had not asked for a recount of the votes for the polling stations that, to him, were suspect or generally. He had not even asked for a re-tallying of the original Forms 34As and Bs even though he knew they were already in court as per the requirement that they be delivered there within 48 hours of the pronouncement of the results. Could the Supreme Court order a recount for the better rendering of justice, in a case where the Petitioner had not PLEADED for such remedy? In a case of this magnitude I think the court ought to have left the party in default unwittingly or otherwise to its own devices.

Supreme Court Judges1             The Supreme Court starts Session

Let us say that through a devilish twist of fate the evidence in the Court Record completely escaped their attention. It very rarely happens, but it is not beyond possibility. If that were the case, what would befall the judgment that the majority reached? In my view, that judgment would fall into the category of judgments made ‘per incuriam’ that is, through a mistake or lack of care or some other lapse.

Per incuriam Judgments

The assertions of Lady Justice Njoki Ndungu and Justice Ojwang are that the forms 34A, 34B and 34C were all in the Court Record and properly filled out and signed and containing the right features. What is the inescapable conclusion other than that the learned majority judges paid no attention to them through a lapse of attention? I am aware that one has to be extremely careful and circumspect in concluding that a judgment of the Supreme Court is per incuriam. I have tried, perhaps hopelessly!

Be circumspect

This is the only case I know where judges have sharply differed on facts. Who are we to believe, CJ Maraga who did not examine the Forms 34A, B and C filed in the Court record within two days of the declaration of the disputed Uhuru win or Justice Ndungu who says she did? Since the documents are in Court, is the country not entitled to know whether they were of dubious authenticity or contained systemic irregularities as held by the majority? Why was this evidence given short shrift?

Short shrift                     Short shrift?

Could this be the reason why the Majority decision refused to directly and pointedly condemn Chairman Wafula Chebukati and CEO Ezra Chiloba, thereby saving their necks from the wrath of Raila?  Sad will be the day when an innocent man will be sent to the gallows through a disregard of material evidence.

Innocent1

The Chief Justice threatened future similar judgment should a similar case be filed in his court. As far as I know, the Supreme Court is prohibited from making  any  statement  that might  reasonably  be  expected  to  affect  the outcome  or  impair  the  fairness  of  a  matter pending or impending in any court. A judge should not,  with  respect  to  cases,  controversies,  or  issues that  are  likely  to  come  before  the  court,  make  pledges,  promises,  or  commitments  that  are  inconsistent  with  the  impartial performance  of the adjudicative duties of judicial office. That is what the US Supreme Court Rules say.

fairness4

If this had been said in passing one would have considered it ‘obiter dicta’ that is, the judge’s incidental expression of opinion not essential to the decision and not establishing precedent, since it was not part of the ‘ratio decidendi’ in the Petition.

ekuru_aukot_launches manifesto                           Dr Ekuru Aukot

This must be the reason why the High Court decided to allow Dr Ekuru Aukot to be on the ballot for the 26th October election. The 2013 Supreme Court observations that only the successful petitioner and the incumbent would run in the ensuing re-run was held to be obiter dicta.

Ratio Decidendi or Obiter Dicta

Lastly, shortly after the tragic drama of 2007-8 in Kenya, the Zimbabweans went to the polls in March and Morgan Tvsangirai defeated Robert Mugabe by garnering 47% of the vote to Mugabe’s 43%. The law required that a run-off be held within a month since neither of then had breached the 50%+1 threshold. But the Government decided it would be held in three months. During that time, the whole of Zimbabwe was brutalized by militias allegedly comprising the army, police and prisons. People were branded with hot iron on their backs, buttocks and elsewhere for betraying the Revolution. A month to the run-off, Tvsangirai withdrew and Mugabe won.

Mugabe brutal reprisals1    Mugabe brutal reprisals6                        Victims of 2008 Zimbabwe violence

Can Raila plead such a scenario? Obviously not.  Talk of a Pyrrhic victory! No costs, no individual culprits to blame and little change of scenario. Was the Presidential Election 8/8 an exercise in futility? It seems like everyone lost. When all is said and done on the 26th October 2017 who take home a smile? Will it be Raila Odinga who claims to be Joshua of old who is pondering quitting or President Uhuru Kenyatta? Remember Joshua never quit. And quitters never win!

RAO n UK                                                      Raila Odinga      Uhuru Kenyatta

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why I will deny Raila My Vote

First Reason

Military1

The first reason is that he is not a dependable man for the country’s security. He does not inspire confidence because he has eroded the trust of the Kenyan security apparatus as a whole: the Kenya Defence Forces which includes the Kenya Army, Kenya Navy and Kenya Airforce, the Police Service, NIS, the Prisons. His frequent and unnecessary attacks have seen to that. His posing as a security expert has exposed him as a leader that does not respect their professionalism and commitment. An overwhelming majority of Kenyans would rather the KDF fought the Al Shabaab in Somalia than in the streets of our towns and villages. After all, how many of them are there in Somalia? He should borrow a leaf from the US Forces who fight the enemy wherever he is and not merely on their home soil. In that respect Raila is myopic.

Ugandan soldiers recognized

Uganda has over 6000 troops in Somalia. Burundi has over 5000 and Ethiopia over 4000. Kenya has only 3600 troops there out of over 24,000 active personnel while Djibuti has 2000. Nigeria, Ghana and Sierra Leone have policemen there. How would Kenya manage if Uganda and Burundi also moved their soldiers out of Somalia?

Second Reason

Raila explains

The second reason is that Raila has no credible plan for creating jobs while expanding development without borrowing. He is averse to borrowing but he does not offer any tangible alternative. Infrastructural development cannot be achieved without both domestic and external borrowing. Without the development of roads, railways, waterways, seaports and airports, where would the jobs for the youth come from? The SGR and Lapsset, Isiolo International Airport, dams and bridges have created jobs. The Last Mile electricity connection and the hospital upgrades have created jobs. The NYS projects have created jobs. So has the lighting of all schools. Where would Raila get new jobs without following on the footsteps of Mwai Kibaki and Uhuru Kenyatta? Almost all developed countries have levels of borrowing over 85% of GDP with Japan leading at 250% last year and the US at 105% of GDP. They borrow at very low rates to lend to us at a profit!

Third Reason

Constitution1

The third reason is his current opposition to the 2010 Constitution of Kenya. The constitution guarantees Kenyans freedom of movement, residence and ownership of property in any part of Kenya. Raila merely pays lip service to that provision of the Constitution. His incessant, oblique appeals to certain communities not to sell land to outsiders, is testimony enough despite his eloquent denials of ill-motive. All that his denials do is raise temperatures in the country and instill fear. He is a fear monger of the first class. He is opposed to integration of the peoples and cultures of this beautiful land. Since he opposes integration how can he claim that he will fight tribalism?

Fourth Reason

Joshua 2

This leads me to the fourth reason. He claims to be Joshua. Who is his Moses? Joshua son of Nun was an assistant to Moses, the Greatest Prophet ever. He was given the Book of the Law by Moses. Which law is this Joshua following? At the time God called on Joshua son of Nun to lead the Israelites to cross the River Jordan, Joshua was a young man. That is why God kept exhorting him to be strong and not to fear as He would be with him just as He had been with Moses. Joshua was a man who had not led anyone before and was wondering how God could ask him to lead the Israelites against the armies of the tribes that occupied the lands in-between and those inside Canaan. But God told him not to worry as he would lead the way, which He did. Thus, Joshua defeated many armies and destroyed many cities, including burning Jericho with all that was in it and the City of Ai. He was a very successful military man; but only as the Soldier of God. Joshua was not an over-ambitious power-seeking politician with three failed stabs at the Presidency. With his promise to change the Constitution and the system of government if elected, Raila proved that he will not follow the law that we ourselves created only in 2010.

milk-africa

My question for Raila is this: did God promise free milk and honey in Canaan?  Yes, God provided manna in the desert. Did He promise the same in Canaan? Why does Raila promise people free things which he knows he cannot deliver? People have to work hard. There are no free things in Canaan. And for his information our Canaan is Kenya. We got here in 1963. Already Kenya is the number one producer of milk in Africa followed by South Africa and Uganda. We are not too far behind in the production of honey. This is our Canaan. Kenya. Do not lead us astray!

Fifth Reason

Amisom1

The fifth reason is his strategy against external threats to our country, particularly by al Shabaab. He was one of those who deployed KDF into Somalia. The military threat is not yet contained. Yet he would rather bring our soldiers to ‘the border’ to protect Kenyans. That position is not informed by any credible military strategy recognized by any leader other than him. It is naivety of the first order. The KDF along with other forces are being supported by the AU to protect not only Kenya but to assist the Somali government as it builds its capacity to fight her internal enemies. The day KDF leaves Somalia is the day when Somalia will fall to the al Shabaab. Is that strategically tenable for Kenya? We have a long and porous border with Somalia. We would be inviting trouble to our very doors. I had a taste of the 1960s shifta war. I do not want another and bigger war.

Baidoa_Burundi_CoS_Visit_006

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Too Many Cooks Spoil the Broth

Strategy

This is something we learn pretty early at school. The expression alludes to a situation where each of many cooks adds something to a soup, which finally tastes awful. It seems to have eluded certain men in the Nasa team. Even our Constitution has recognized the fact that certain jobs are best left to one person, who then co-opts advisers and assistants.

Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta of the Jubilee Party and his Deputy William Ruto display their clearance certificate from the IEBC after presenting their candidacy for the presidential race in Nairobi
Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta (L) of the Jubilee Party and his Deputy William Ruto display their clearance certificate from the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) after presenting their candidacy for the presidential race in Nairobi, Kenya, May 29, 2017. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya

The supreme law of the land says there shall be a President and a Deputy President of Kenya. It has no Pentagon, or First among equals. It creates a point where the buck stops. Where do these men want the buck to stop? With a Triumvirate? Quadrumvirate? Hydra?

KMRAOWETA1

In 1963-5, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga considered himself to be almost equal to Mzee Jomo Kenyatta and to demonstrate this he sought and accepted weapons from the Communist East and when found out he said the weapons were a donation from ‘friends’ of Kenya. As far as Jomo Kenyatta was concerned, those friends should have presented the gifts to the President and not clandestinely to his deputy.  That exacerbated a growing rift between the two leaders. Kenyatta had made it clear that Kenyan nationalism would be the path to follow as envisioned in the motto Harambee. For him, both imperialism and communism were – anathema- not good for Kenya.

Jomo in action

In a speech made in early 1965 Kenyatta emphasized this point when he said, “Some people deliberately try to exploit the colonial hangover for their own selfish purposes, or in order to serve some external force. We must reject such people publicly. It is naive to think that there is no danger of imperialism from the East. In world power politics, the East has as many designs on us as the West. This is why we reject Communism. To us, Communism is as bad as imperialism. What we want is Kenya nationalism. There is no place for leaders who hope to build a nation of slogans.”

Communism Creeping

Kenyatta criticized unnamed people who he said wanted to trade Kenya’s colonial masters for new ones. Not once did Jaramogi Oginga Odinga support the call of Harambee. Nasa is offering Kenyans FIVE equal partners in running the country in case they win the coming elections. We have witnessed public and not-so-public disagreements between and among the Nasa top brass. How much more likely are they to differ over important matters of state if they ascended to power?

Rao and Mudavadi

Already, we have heard Mombasa Senator Omar Hassan state that the Wiper Party wing of the Pentagon would not accept anything less than certain senior cabinet posts. If they are not given those posts, they would quit the Nasa outfit. Is this not a pointer to the possible scenario of having too many Chiefs and not enough Indians, as they say?

Too many chiefs1

Kenyans want a clear path. Five ‘equal’ partners who are already pulling in different directions in the Governor, Senator, Women’s Representative, MP and MCA contests do not offer that clear path. If they intend to seek the concurrence of every ‘Principal’ in running the affairs of state, it is clear to me that on many an occasion that concurrence would not be forthcoming and matters would have to follow a protracted route to fruition or implementation. I believe the majority of Kenyans want a clearer point of reference. The unexpressed visions of ‘five equal partners’ who espouse different political stands on different issues do not give Kenyans a clear point of reference.

Nasa2

Kenyans want a leader they can trust. The Nasa team is not that leader. They distrust many of those principals on various issues and the said principals have failed to show that they trust one another implicitly. That means trusting each other completely, totally, unconditionally, utterly, unreservedly and wholeheartedly. That is what must be the thrust of their union. Uhuru and Ruto trust one another and there is no doubt as to who is who. But what do we see in the Nasa team?

UhuRuto3

When five hunters go into the forest to hunt an elephant, and two of them decide to hunt a bush buck even as they hunt the elephant, would anybody be surprised if they missed the elephant altogether and came home carrying mushrooms? They are not serious hunters. The Nasa team is like the five hunters. Two of them- Moses Wetangula and Isaac Rutto, are hunting bush bucks.

Hunters 1

It is the same with a choir without a master: everyone imagines that the way they sing is the only way. Too many singers would be trying to influence, control or guide the choir. What the Nasa team must be honest about is that whatever they were calling ‘Equal Principals’ ceased to be when Raila and Kalonzo were picked to run for President and Deputy President respectively. Their formation ended at that point. It is the only way they would be able comply with the Constitutional set-up. Kenya cannot afford to have State secrets shared with the so-called ‘five equal principals.’ Two would have been sworn to keep those secrets and three would not have been so sworn. The buck would have to stop with the President, not the Pentagon. When too many cooks spoil the broth, only a lot of blame is served, as one writer put it.

Forward

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Great Nasa-Kenya Conspiracy

Nasa1 The Nasa Brigade

They have set many traps to ensnare you into believing that they stand for change. Which kind of change? I ask.  We are no longer analogue. We are digital. We are not going to regress. Young people should not be deceived by grandfather stories and proverbs. Moi said when one is wooing a woman, a man cheats her left, right and centre in an effort to win her over. Once she is at home, kwisha, finished! He was talking, not matters matrimonial, but politics.

Raila-Kalonzo gig2017 Hon. Raila Odinga with Hon. Kalonzo Musyoka

You will be swayed by the tales of monsters and dragons, and once inside, you will realize that old habits die hard. The people baptizing themselves as saints today are the same people we know from an earlier era. And we remember their ways. Re-branding will not change them. The rose petals will fall, but the thorns will remain. Remember, too, that those who quarrel on the ground should not climb up a tree together.Don’t go two steps forward and then two steps backward. You will be at a standstill.

akbar-din-quote-life-has-come-to-a-standstill      Bill Clinton1 Pres. Bill Clinton

Some ran for President in Bill Clinton’s era, the George W Bush’s era, Barack Obama’s era and are now again at it in Donald Trump’s era.  Al Gore did not cling to his voters and offer himself for the 2004 contest. John Kerry did not claim to have such a large support base for running again in 2008. John McCain did not do so after he lost to Obama in 2008.

George W Bush1       Al Gore2             G W Bush with Al Gore

Neither did Mitt Romney after the loss to Obama in 2012. After each election over 50 million voters moved on to the next candidate. I believe Hilary Clinton will not run again in 2020 despite her support base which is higher than that of Trump. Her over 60 million followers will have to support someone else. My question to Nasa is this: why did those voters transfer their support and loyalty from Al Gore to John Kerry to Obama or from McCain to Mitt Romney and to Donald Trump?

John Kerry1          Sen John McCain                 John Kerry and John McCain

The answer is that in an established democracy, once you have lost an election for the top seat, you are no longer the face of a future success. You remain the face of a past failure. You do not insist that people should love you more, if they did not do so last time around. Remember, a man’s enemies are as many as his friends. As your friends increase so do your enemies. You should let the people go. Let the people go, Raila! They are not chattels. They will migrate to a new leader because the women of Kenya are giving birth to new potential leaders every day. It cannot be that the last time they gave birth to a hero was seventy one years ago!

Mitt Romney2  Hilary Clinton1      Mitt Romney and Hillary Clinton

If we have to develop responsible politics, leaders have to stop holding the people hostage. They have to let go. No one should be allowed to rule over generations and generations. Parties will never grow if leadership is held by one person for ages and ages. If people have to recognize talent, the baton must be passed by them to the younger leadership. Or it will be snatched.

Jomo Kenyatta with Jaramogi Oginga Odinga 1963 Pres. Mzee Jomo Kenyatta with V-P Oginga Odinga

That means that party supremos have to groom successors or just let the people decide on younger leaders! Generational change is inevitable, but it is better when it is properly managed. The old leaders will keep telling the younger ones to wait. ‘You are leaders of tomorrow,’ they will tell you. That is what Moi preached for 24 years. That is what Rao and company are preaching now.

UK with Gov Mutua Pres. Uhuru Kenyatta with Gov. Mutua

He betrayed the Young Turks by cohabiting with Moi. Then he did so again by his Kibaki tosha. His generation lost the chance to take over leadership. Now he wants to take over leadership from his nephews and sons. Is this generation ready to sacrifice their chance to rule by voting in the old men? Or is it ready to fight for its own survival?

raila_odinga_at_statehouse31-05-16 Hon. Raila Odinga with Pres. Uhuru Kenyatta

They will tell you that your generation has become too corrupt. Remind them that their generation had its corrupt people some of whom were close to them. Tell them that each generation has its crooks and madmen… and its own good people. There is no saintly generation.  There are no Angels on earth. Should you condemn your generational leaders merely because the wheels of justice turn a little slower than others? Remember that he who fights for a head, fights for his own head. The Great Nasa conspiracy is to rewind the clock back to the 1990s. It is only a fool who believes that things just change. They do not. Things are changed. Vindu vichinjangWA.

Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta of the Jubilee Party and his Deputy William Ruto display their clearance certificate from the IEBC after presenting their candidacy for the presidential race in Nairobi Pres. Uhuru Kenyatta with DP William Ruto

I appeal to the youth. Msinaswe na nasa. Msirudi nyuma kamwe!

Vote wisely.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Holy Trinity of Political Persuasion in Africa

fidel-castro-y-wojciech-jaruzelski Fidel Castro of Cuba with Wojciech-Jaruzelski of Poland

I have tried hard to discern whether there is someone in Kenya who is truly a master of political persuasion. So it is perhaps futile to search for the Grandmaster of the technique of political persuasion. The late Kiprono Biwott was perhaps one of the best practitioners of the art.  The late Mark Too was also a master. Then it went something like this: I know a secret about you. I want something from you and I have something for you.

Nicholas Biwott1              Charles Njonjo2  Nicholas Biwott                                                     Charles Njonjo

‘Sir’ Charles Njonjo was said to be a master in his time. He kept tabs on every politician, businessman, churchman or crook. That was long before the internet and the advent of social media took over control of information. Then, the political class controlled the news since they were the only ones with access to the state apparatus that gathered information as a matter of course. That has not changed but now virtually anyone can gather information- sometimes enough to confound a liar.

Mzee and Gurcharan Singh Chana Eastleigh AirBase Mzee Jomo Kenyatta with Gurcharan Singh Chana of Kenya Airforce

The treasure trove of the pre-internet era came in handy especially during elections or lead up to elections. A presidential election is war declared, as you very well know. The rules go out of the window, even as the election officials claim to have everything in their grips. The only rule that politicians worry about is the Winner-take-all rule. It is a difficult time for the contestants. For those who manage elections it is also an exhilarating period since this is the only time the high and mighty pay attention to them. Those in charge of major political party campaign strategy are supposed to be particularly good at this. The Grandmaster knows well that power must have money back-up.

UK with Angela Merkel in Germany06-04-2016  Uhuru Kenyatta with Angela Merkel of Germany

For the Grandmaster, this is the time to meet the rich, the powerful and the corrupt. They all need you to help them survive the onslaught unleashed by their opponents.  They will never say it but the fear is nearly always palpable. That should be a source of pure, unadulterated adrenaline for you. You must run with it. They need you for your talent and you must satisfy that need. You must turn into a super political animal, a breed or two above the mediocre type you see around you, who run on ‘high octane power and fear mix.’

raila_odinga_at_statehouse31-05-16 Uhuru with Raila Odinga

Work on the basis that every politician has enemies. That is the case always. But most of them have particular enemies, who would do anything, including things bordering on criminality, to see their enemies flounder. Those are the enemies they most worry about. And it is in dealing with them that the Grandmaster must exhibit unsurpassed acumen.  That is when he has to resort to the proven technique of the holy trinity of political persuasion. Out of his political bag of tricks gathered over a long period and sustained political research, must come an answer to the puzzles presented by every particular enemy of his politician client.

UK with JZuma of RSA at Ticad2016  Uhuru with Jacob Zuma of the Republic of South Africa

It is no secret that most politicians are only interested in what they can use. They operate on the principle that if it is not of advantage to them, then there is no need to know. One would be forgiven for thinking that some of them are utter and complete bastards with no breath of compassion. They possess the gift of pure selfishness. The protagonists may be a long-term opposition figure in national politics or just a great tactician with an astute political brain. The Grandmaster ought to know everyone in politics, the church, civil society and the unions, even student unions. He must know all their sins and scams, know who is getting what and how much. He must be utterly discreet with a long and dangerous memory.

KK and Moi  Moi with Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia

On the face of it, he must be a dependable gentleman who delivers all the favours promised during the campaigns in time and good measure. He must be inscrutable, permanently neutral even when he says he will give it to you in writing that ‘we will win and you will get XYZ.’ He never has, nor entertains, any doubt.  He knows that politicians shout loudest when they are not certain of themselves. They do not trust even the one sitting beside them in parliament. But they must trust the Grandmaster, the moneybox. With him they must discuss everything and tell him everything. He alone is able to move upwards or downwards or sideways in the party. The politicians might even hate you with a passion but so long as you deliver a win, you should be content.  Just get the job done.

Kenyatta-Obote  Mzee Jomo Kenyatta with Milton Obote of Uganda

Let nothing and nobody stand on your way. You know which button to press, who to call and what to say.  They should know that with you everything is possible; for you are the optimist who schemes and dreams big dreams. Through a discreet suggestion or a gentle reminder of an indiscreet incident in the past, you will get the target to pay attention to you. Always exercise that power of quiet and persistent malevolence. You will get your way. Tell them to do as they are told and when they are told to do it. And always couch it with a promise for the future and how much. On certain issues, tell the party what to say, how to say it and when to say it. The emphasis as you have heard around is not WE in but THEM out.

UK with British PM Theresa May11-05-17  Uhuru Kenyatta with Theresa May of Britain

The Grandmaster must raise money to say it in newspapers, on radios, TVs and elsewhere, a task which demands a man who has learnt to pull a great many strings. You must be sagacious enough to avoid drawbacks or setbacks. No matter the case, exercise one-upmanship of the highest calibre, as you wield this faceless power that casts no shadow. By all means, vanquish your opponent but do not shame him for his lack of political judgment. You are the Godfather.

Kwame Nkrumah Kwameh Nkrumah

Engage the best people who can deliver the advertising design to do it all on Radio, TV, newspapers, banners, handouts, billboards, social media and elsewhere. Work them like dogs, get them to respond like dogs, and deliver everything in time. Your assistants should be your personal 24/7 property for the period of the campaign who, together, know every aspect of national politics. You must be remorseless.

largest gorillas going extinct Self explanatory

Above all, never abuse your position or betray a confidence, and you will end up with enormous power and influence. Remember, I KNOW something about him; I WANT something from him and I HAVE something for him.

July 2017

 

 

 

 

TO BORROW OR NOT BORROW

kenyan-president-uhuru-kenyatta-left-and-his-chinese-counterpart-xi-jinping-right-pose-for-photos-at-the-great-hall-of-the-people-in-beijing-in-2013 President Uhuru Kenyatta with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing

Several political leaders in this country have voiced their concern over State borrowing. Some have condemned the government over the issue. They want Kenya to borrow less. The official line is that there is room (and need) to borrow more.

Some leaders have even claimed that Kenya is the No.1 borrower in Africa. That obviously is not the case, but convincing the public after such careless utterances by leaders is an onerous task. If that is the aim of the said leaders, then the perception will thrive even though damaging and faulty both in substance and merit. Here are some facts to consider as the debate rages.

kenya-148713531 Nairobi City Skyline

For starters, Kenya is at number 13 in Africa and number 70 in the world at 52.80% of GDP. In Africa, Cape Verde stands at 123%, Egypt at 90%, Sudan at 79%, Zimbabwe at 77%, San Tome & Principe at 68%, Ghana at 67%, Mauritania at 67%, Morocco at 64%, Mauritius at 61.60%, Seychelles at 60%, Mozambique at 55.40%, Djibouti at 55.20%, Kenya 52.80%, Gambia 50.70%, South Africa 50.10%, Tunisia 47.50%, Lesotho 45.80%, Senegal 44.20%, CAR 41.83%, Tanzania 39.90%, Sierra Leone 37.65%, Angola 36.50%, Ivory Coast 36.41%, Niger 36.40%, Madagascar 34.90%,  Uganda 34.70%, and so on.

tokyo-bay-aqualine-tunnel Tokyo Bay Aqualine Tunnel

Apparently some of the biggest borrowers are also some of the most developed and biggest bilateral lenders, as witness the following list: Japan 229.20%, USA 104.17%, Canada 91.50%, Euro Area 90.70%, Greece 176.90%, Italy 132.70%, Belgium 106.00%, Singapore 104.70%, Spain 99.20%, France 96.10%, Ireland 93.80%, UK 89.20%, Jordan 89.00%, Germany 71.20%, India 67.20%, Brazil 66.23%, Netherlands 65.10%, Israel 64.80%, Pakistan 64.80%, Malaysia 54%, China 43.90%, Russia 17.70%.

unitedkingdom-road-network1 United Kingdom Road Network

It is clear from the above list that there is a relationship between borrowing and development. The West understands that very well. Japan is lending to the whole African continent. Their borrowing in relation to the GDP stands at a staggering 299%. And those who have been to Japan will tell you how superbly developed the country is. The figures above are clear evidence, if one is needed, that to grow and modernize a country has to borrow.

malaysia-1 Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

The few countries in Africa which have borrowed much less than Kenya fall into two general categories: those developing at a much slower pace and those that have mineral wealth which supplied the necessary funds for development.  Gabon 34.10%, Namibia 34%, Republic of Congo 34%, Guinea Bissau 32.20%, Zambia 31%, Guinea 29.50%, Ethiopia 28.60%, Burkina Faso 28.30%, Rwanda 28%, Botswana 22.70%, Malawi 18%, Burundi 15.20%, Nigeria 11.50%. Algeria 8.76%, Equatorial Guinea 6.40%, Libya 6.10%.

sgr-10star Standard Gauge Railway under construction.

Critics of the government borrowing policies overestimate Kenya’s dependence on foreign investors while underestimating the foreigners’ need to invest. An example is China which clearly needs a strong Africa for economic reasons just as it needs the US and Europe for trade reasons. China depends on US consumers to purchase its products. The latter consumes Chinese imports equivalent to what the whole of Europe consumes. That makes China dependent on those economies. They want to improve African consumption of their products and the only viable way is to empower African economies. I do not think that is necessarily a bad thing.

kenya-stickig-to-spending-targets Nairobi by Night

It is unwise in my view, to blame government for not creating jobs while at the same time denigrating it for borrowing too much. We have to define what ‘too much’ means bearing in mind our thirst for development. A decline in economic activities cannot be remedied by reducing borrowing for infrastructural improvements. To reduce pressure on government resources to pay off debt can only be solved by empowering the tax payers and improving their capacity to pay more to the tax agency. That is what the Roads, Railways and Airports upgrading will do to the tax payer.  Instead of freezing employment it will create jobs and improve incomes. The more developed a country is, the more they are able to borrow at better terms. Japan seems to be borrowing at very low rates of interest for on-ward lending at much higher rates of interest to poorer countries, including Kenya and most of Africa.

shanghai-freeway Shanghai Freeway

I believe our main emphasis should be on monitoring the expenditures by the state, state institutions and agencies, counties, and the independent contractors and suppliers; and highlighting discrepancies where they exist and condemning proven graft. And finally, legislating in detail to curb spillage and empowering agencies that handle investigations.

pres-inspects-sgr-section President Uhuru Kenyatta inspects a section of the SGR.

If the figures above are faulty, please check with Tradingeconomics.com, my source.

GKthinji 2017