PERSONAL EGOS IN NASA

nasaIf the NASA leadership had played its opposition role to the satisfaction of Kenyans   then one would have a genuine reason to trust them with the gerontocracy kind of leadership they desire to plunge into country. But because the breed of true leadership, statesmanship and patriotism is remaining to be extinct in Kenya, they did the absolute opposite of squandering the opportunity of creating unity among the ethnic polarized communities and failing to build trust with citizens that they are the alternative government that can deal with the corruption crisis. They rather throughout the Jubilee’s first term sacrificed the hope of Kenyans of a better future at the altar of their own political crescendos and putting much energy in solidifying their position of tribal kingship.

In one of his widely read books in Kenya, author Babafemi Badejo penned that ‘…the role of the opposition is not to engage in confrontational stand-offs with the government everyday of the week’. Hypocritically, the opposition became opportunists of the human problem of corruption to signify their potentiality to lead Kenyans to a corruption free path giving a cold shoulder to the fact that potentiality to lead is not same as leading from the front.

The Raila led CORD team literally failed to address and play an oversight role in pulling out the thorn of corruption that  was  and is continuing to directly hurt Wanjiku in the devolve system of governance . The opposition instead opted to be meretricious and to  hover around the country subjecting themselves in an aura of non-beneficial political rhetoric. They remained ignorant of the fact that they are the key characters who are sine quo non in doing away with the aspect of the ethnic polarized national outlook that has not only  been a stumbling block in unification but has also deeply robbed off a once peaceful and stable nation in east and central Africa its pride. They much complained about the tyranny of numbers of the incumbent portraying themselves as those with the tyranny of brains, the technocrats and the well educated. But from their scorecard, the sophisticated and the intellect in the Kenyan society might have a question of… what if they got the wrong education?

Notwithstanding the fact that Jubilee leadership did the opposite of their 2013 manifesto, the opposition leadership personal egos made them fail to introspect and  learn of enormous lessons of the last  elections and gave Uhuru-Ruto led team to present themselves as leaders who can resonate well with the hoi polloi suffering Kenyan. They became like lions confined in a cage who could roar about scandals in the government but could not through proper channels make a kill to curb the menace. Turning a blind eye to the fact that peace is fragile in Kenya, they opted through ethnic chauvinism to tackle matters of national interests through violent mass demonstrations that resulted to fatality and in which most of the low class participants knew nothing about.

Today their agenda to Kenyans is in question because of the likely fragmentation in their house that we are likely to witness and, divergent views, lack of consensus in picking their flag bearer. If an opinion poll which is always an enemy to those it doesn’t favor is anything to go by, then it is true that most people are appreciating the little developments and changes that the Jubilee government has implemented.

Kenyans today desire for leaders with statesmanship qualities and they are tired with blind political entertainment that they are witnessing every day. They are tired of the tragic farce of them fighting to get their candidate elected and then wait for another five years of adversity, poverty and despair to do the same.

 

Advertisements

OPPORTUNISTS AND FEMINISM

PPPZarina Patel, a feminist and one of the few Kenyans from the South Asian origin who championed for the rights of  many  during the Moi’s authoritarian  era once lamented  in her biography Zarina Patel, An Indomitable spirit by Dr. George Gona that women cannot accept male dominance at home and claim to  challenge it in public. She portrayed women in leadership positions particularly those in key political echelons as hypocrites who during the electioneering period present themselves as feminists and taking advantage of the feminism agenda as a catalyst to clinch seats.

These women rarely do anything to challenge the dominance of their male counterparts but are rather swallowed, remain tribal ensnared and dance to the tune of   non beneficial political rhetoric as it is the nature of Kenyan politics. Zarina’s understanding of a feminist is ‘a person who understands /recognizes that women are oppressed as a sex and is willing to carry out an uncompromising struggle to end that oppression.’

As Kenyans head to the polls, there have been many calls to elect more women. Ironically these calls are being made by men who seem to be the holders of the infrastructure of feminism ideology in comparison to women. This vividly predicts that the Kenyan woman doesn’t necessarily suffer from the dominance of their opposite sex but rather another major problem-probably a problem that has no name.

Betty Freidan, an American author, once said rights have a dull sound after they have been achieved. The 2010 constitution provided for the representation of women at the august house by the elected women representative. Kenyans are now heading to the second polls under this constitution and many, women electorate to be precise have seen no significance regarding the roles of the women rep with some having literally forgotten who their representatives were.

Aspiring women candidates seeking to be re-elected  are now hovering around with eloquent platitudes and clichés confusing the electorate by lamenting how their potential to lead has been futile because   their fellow male counterparts have been a stumbling block whenever they want to champion their course.

Women leaders need to wake up from their cocoon of ignorance and realize that potentiality to lead is not same as leading from the front. They need to stop campaigning on the basis of how women have been oppressed but stick to their ideologies of how they will ensure that the rights of the women and the marginalized have been advocated for. They also need to stop identifying themselves as akina mama but as able leaders. As watetezi not as wanasiasa. Presenting themselves as mothers vividly shows that they come second and that there exists other father figures above them.

With the little resources that they have, they need to do few significant efforts to counter patriarchy. Free seats, gender rules and political nominations just signify that women’s voices are controlled from other quarters. Political goodwill alone will not help the women find their niche but rather commitment in trying to understand their problem and creating proper channels of finding a solution.

IS RANGUMA A ONE TERM GOVERNOR?

pp With the deadline(June 24th ) for political parties to submit party list candidates for various positions before the IEBC for the August general election approaching, political parties are facing a nightmare to conduct party nominations to beat the deadline.

Within NASA, initial reports had indicated that ODM could delay preparations for its nominations as it awaited the go-ahead from its principals but the chairperson of the party’s election board Judy Pareno clarified that things were on course.

Across the NASA stronghold regions, one of the stiffest races is the Kisumu county gubernatorial race which has seen four major contestants line up for the highest office in the county. The contestants include the incumbent governor Jack Ranguma, Senator Anyang’ Nyong’o, Dr. Hezron Mc Obewa and youthful Architect Christopher Ondiek.

Our sources state that there is unease and disquiet among some of the aspirants who fear there could be unfair and undemocratic nominations. These accusations are targeted towards senator Anyang’ Nyong’o who it s claimed that majorly campaigns among ODM delegates and has been quoted saying that the party(ODM) prefers him for the position and that he will be “handed” the certificate. This has further been confirmed with rumours stating the Prof. Nyong’o paid for both the Governor and Senate nomination tickets.

Leaked reports within Governor Ranguma’s camp told us that the sitting governor is likely to decamp the ODM party with claims that he might not be handed the ODM party certificate even if he wins the nomination, this according to our sources arises from the “poor” relationship the governor has had with the party since he took over as the Kisumu County Governor. This is despite IEBC setting date for submitting party membership list to be march 19th after which the IEBC will not allow anybody to decamp.

Political analyst, Prof. Odao Gaya, says this would be a suicidal move for Ranguma. ‘’He (Ranguma) has the highest support from the whole county and if elections were held today, I think he would most probably win, so I don’t see the reason why he should shy from facing his opponents in party primaries ” he said.

Opinion poll

According to an independent county opinion poll conducted in the month of January in all the seven sub counties in Kisumu County, Governor Jack Ranguma remains the most popular aspirant with 33% followed by at Dr.Mc Obewa 27%, Arch Chris Ondiek comes in third at 25%, and Prof. Nyong’o at 11% and 4% are yet to decide.

Regional factor

Governor Jack Ranguma and Dr.Mc Obewa both ail from the dominant Kano Clan (Nyando and Muhoroni constituencies respectively) .The two former friends have lately been involved in fierce verbal exchange which has created an intense rivalry amongst them. This according to political analysts indicates that contrary to the previous election where the governor garnered nearly 95% of Kano votes (which contributed widely to his election as governor), the Kano votes will be split among the two.

Prof. Nyong’o hails from Seme where according to the opinion polls he has the least percentage despite the region being his home ground.

Architect Chris Ondiek hails from Nyakach and according to the opinion polls he would comfortably lead in that region.The Architect also has an added advantage of having his maternal home being in Kano (Nyando) where according to the opinion polls he has the second highest popularity after Governor Ranguma. This comes as another disadvantage to the latter as it means he would not garner as much votes as he did in the last election in this region.

However interesting figures were revealed by the opinion polls in the other constituencies. In Kisumu Central constituency for instance  , Governor Ranguma leads in popularity  followed by Prof. Nyong’o, Dr.Mc Obewa comes in third and Architect Ondiek fourth. In Seme constituency, Governor Ranguma leads the pack, Arch. Ondiek second, Mc Obewa third and surprisingly   Prof.Nyong’o at fourth.

In kisumu East constituency, Governor Ranguma still leads ,Dr.Mc Obewa second  ,Arch Chris Ondiek third and Prof.Nyong’o at fourth position , and finally in Kisumu west constituency ,Gov Ranguma comes at first position, Arch Chris Ondiek second, Dr. Mc Obewa falls third and Prof. Nyong’o at fourth.

In a more related event, there seems to be a lineup of ‘favored’ aspirants led by Prof. Nyong’o as Governor, Outa as Senator, Ruth Odinga as Deputy Governor, Buyu as Women Rep and Odoyo as speaker. This group has been campaigning together.

Ondiek to the advantage

According to Political analyst Prof. Odao Gaya, the rivalry between Governor Ranguma and the two other aspirants (Prof. Nyong’o and Dr.Heron Mc Obewa), might work to the advantage of Architect Ondiek. “I won’t be surprised if Arch. Chris Ondiek becomes the next governor of Kisumu county, the rivalries between Governor Ranguma and the others (Nyong’o and Mc Obewa) might be so tense that he(Arch. Ondiek) might benefit”, he said.

Leaked reports indicate that Prof. Nyong’o recently told his close allies that he would rather lose the race to the Architect rather than to Governor Ranguma. These comments were allegedly made by the professor after his rally was disrupted by arrogant youth which he claimed to have been hired by the governor. Unconfirmed reports indicate that each of the other three aspirants (prof.Nyong’o, Mc Obewa and Gov.Ranguma) are willing to work with the Architect to ensure that the others do not clinch the seat.

Sources also say that there is a possibility of Prof.Nyong’o and Mc Obewa working as a unit with the latter being the deputy governor in order to send Ranguma parking. This however according to Political analysts reduces the chances of removing Ranguma from the seat. “if you ask me, Most of Kisumu county residents based on Prof.Nyong’o’s pervious s performance indices as Senator and as Seme Mp,believe that Prof. Nyong’o will not make any developmental changes in Kisumu county and a majority would rather vote in Ranguma for a second term instead of Prof.Nyong’o”, Prof.Odao said.

Speaking to Hon. Jared Okello, aspiring MP, Nyando Constituency, he said “if it happens that Arch. Chris Ondiek goes to the ballot with Nyong’o and Ranguma, there are high chances that he might get substantial votes, this is because there is a high population of voters who want a change in the gubernatorial seat but would not prefer the change to be Senator Nyong’o leaving Architect Ondiek as the “safe” candidate”. He continued to say “Others will also vote him (Ondiek) for the sake of solving a crisis that would arise as a result of the fierce rivalry between them-Nyong’o and Ranguma -that would result to intense conflicts.

Performance factor

 According to the opinion polls 47% of Kisumu residents would prefer a shift on leadership from the governor and the senator based on their performances since they were elected. Governor Ranguma has ,according to ,a recent audit report rated as among the least performing governors in the country.

The governor has also been under serious corruption allegations in his reign and is currently among the governors to be questioned by Ethics and Anti-corruption commission and cleared before they are allowed   to defend their seats. This presents an opportunity to the new comers- Dr.Mc Obewa and Arch. Ondiek- to present a case before the voters.

Previous opinion polls

According to a similar previous opinion poll conducted in November 2016, Governor Jack Ranguma had the highest chances of being re-elected at 41%, Dr Mc. Obewa was second at 30%, and Arch. Chris Ondiek was third at 15% and Prof. Nyong’o at 13%.

Going by the figures, the architect is the only aspirant that has gained popularity with all the other three aspirants dropping significantly.

Watch his space, he is rising too quickly”, these were the words of Prof. Odao when asked about Arch. Chris Ondiek’s gubernatorial candidature.

 

NCIC IS ENSNARED IN POLITICS AND HAS FORGOTTEN ITS CORE MANDATE

PPPP

In his book The Grand Coalition Daniel Macaria brings out the activities leading to formation of the Kibaki-Raila led administration and how the political protagonists in the country failed to utilize but rather squandered the opportunity of finding a long time solution of ethnicity in the country as a result of the post election violence. With fresh memories of communities rising against each other, an opportune moment had presented itself for the political leadership, technocrats and the clergy to preach a unifying message of peace and come up with mechanisms of creating awareness on the negative impact of ethnicity that had polarized the nation.

After doing so, then it was necessary for the formation of the National Cohesion and Integration Commission to now dig deep on the root causes of ethnicity which are the historical political and social injustices so as to bring cohesion among the different tribes of this country.

It’s almost a decade since it came into place and the commission is still way back from achieving its core mandate which was   to bring a long term peaceful culture in the country and not a culture of hate free speeches and comments among political protagonists. For a long time the commission has invested much energy  on the latter getting itself trapped in the center stage of politics  and have turned a blind eye to the  root causes of negative ethnocentrism that fueled the 2007/2008 post-election violence. This has created an aura of mistrust and hopelessness by Kenyans especially the victims towards the commission.

We are several months away from the general elections and still a larger percentage of Kenyans are divided by ethnicity rather than political ideologies. By now the commission ought to have made necessary strides in national healing, reconciling communities and championing of ethnic related conflict transformation. Though peace is fragile, they needed to have invested much and focused on dealing with origin of tribalism to curb fear among Kenyans anytime general election approaches. By doing so Kenyans who are ensnared in tribalism would have become more sophisticated and would have changed their perception on matters election and politics in general.

The commission needs to propel an agenda of peace not only among politicians but among the trustees of the nation which is the citizenry. Concentrating much on dealing with the perpetrators of hate speech alone will not bring cohesion and integration among Kenyans. Addressing the root causes of tribalism is what will make the pride of this country never to vanquish and will provide an opportunity for Kenyans to enjoy the benefits of civilization.

 

 

TIME TO TRY OTHER POLITICAL OUTFITS

isThe tradition of the two-horse race that often pops up in times of election is here with us. It is evident that the August polls are going to be dominated by the Jubilee-NASA outfits. Flattering statements are going to fill the election atmosphere wooing voters with the common promises and political clichés that many voters are becoming repugnance about. The current blame game is that the NASA team whose leaders were heads of the previous government did nothing and placed the country on the wrong path while the Jubilee administration is driving the country on this wrong  path whose destination has been reputed by  political commentators and analysts  to be a KANU era.

In the Kenya’s style politics the two-horse race is a phrase fundamentally founded on unification of major ethnical communities gagging up on the show of might of which side has the highest number of voters. If we continue in that direction then maturity of our democracy will come to a halt. It is democratic enough to have two major forces in times of election competing but to a sophisticated Kenyan voter who understands the political traits of the trustees of these two forces, it will be better if we had a third horse.

Is it possible to have the third horse that can defy the status quo of tribal alignments and bring transformation in the country? Yes it is possible. It is possible if Kenyans will not only empower themselves politically but also engage in politics and get to understand that between the horses, when one rises to power and tribalism is engineered they are the victims. When corruption is digitized, the voter who voted for a leader because he was ‘one of us’ has no option but to suffer from its consequences.

The stumbling block comes in when leaders eyeing for the country’s top job with better agendas for transformation resurfaces only months to the polls. With that they are unable to gain the aura of trust and confidence among Kenyans. Many presidential aspirants are known for causing public stunt but I believe there are a few that have genuine ideas that can push this country to greater heights. Ideas that can make a Kenyan who resides from a certain lake to have the same reason to vote for as a Kenyan that resides from a certain mountain.

It is not possible to achieve vision 2030 if known selfish politicians continue to use Machiavellian style of politics to run this nation. Because politics in Kenya is deeply rooted in sycophancy ,ethnical based and of young democracy, it will take long for a third force to come up and sell their agenda to Kenya and ensure that they do away with this tribalism menace.

Today we have the likes of Ekuru Aukot, Abduba Dida, Nazlin Umar and others who have shown their interest but are not doing much to push for their agenda and to find their niche in national politics. The media on the other hand need not to be biased to other aspirants but to  give all of them fair coverage.

MUCH POLITIC REASON FOR SLOW DEVELOPMENT IN KISUMU COUNTY

th

Initially Kisumu County was perceived as a potential major economic hub for the East African region. Due to its geographical position together with being endowed with one of the largest fresh water bodies in Africa, Kisumu was seen to be a significant destination for investors and tourists. With devolution in place, many residents were optimistic of the opportune moments that it will bring and they continued to remain hopeful that their state of adversity will soon be addressed. Hierarchically speaking, among the cities in the country, Kisumu city has always been ranked fourth.

Four years after the enforcement of a devolved system of governance, the promise of transforming the county by the incumbent has remained to be a sham as the ‘great’ county of Kisumu stands enfeebled by its natural resources. Currently, Lake Victoria which is dependence for many as a source of livelihood has been invaded by water hyacinth which reputably is the largest invasion ever. Nearly all business activities along the shores of the lake from fishing to the usual recreation practices have stalled. Poverty levels of many locals have reached rock bottom due to the slow rate of development in the lakeside city. Kisumu is today covered by filth across the residential estates and slums.

Vis-à-vis the state of affairs, the noisy minority has reproached the county government of politicking much instead of addressing the bones of contention that affect the residents. It is indeed true that between politics and development in the county, the latter has much less been prioritized. The leadership of the county has been demagogic with a habit resurfacing and roving around in times of political related activities.

The county leadership has lost its aura of hope of transformation among the residents. Ironically, instead of addressing insecurity which is one of the menaces that many bodaboda operators suffer from, the leadership has resorted to building  bodaboda shades for the motorists. This is one of the meretricious acts of coating one of the poorest scorecards in terms of county development in the country.

Instead of providing opportunities for employment among the enormous number of jobless youths, many leaders have turned into elating most of them during political activities by giving out hand outs. This was common and witnessed in many areas during the mass voter registration.

I recently joined other fellow residents in one of the many small political gatherings in the cities’ central business district and I was not shocked to   hear the voices of the people sharing the same inkling that indeed the county had lost its glory due under development. The residents had become more sophisticated and were tired of party politics that favored only a few leaving the economic growth in the city stagnant. I realized that the calls of the noisy minority have indeed continued to shape the opinion of many.

Party politics will not address slow growth and development neither will it revive the dead port of Kisumu among other issues that affect the lives of the residents.

To bring back this lost glory, the residents need to stand up and say no to politics and instead champion their right to proper infrastructure, health and proper implementation of projects that can benefit them.

OPPOSITION IS NOT MANDATED TO GIVE SOLUTIONS

imagesA government that relies on the opposition for solutions to curb its woes is a government led by an incompetent leadership. Let me clearly state that it is not the work of the opposition to give a hand to the government in matters concerning governance. The fundamental mandate of the opposition is to criticize the government and from that the Jubilee leadership needs to withdraw lessons and offer solutions. The problem chips in when these criticisms are politicized as it has always been the case.

The general culture of politics in Kenya is that criticisms are perceived with minds clouded by politics. You do not expect the Jubilee administration to compromise its position and ride on a solution raised by Raila even when the matter is of grave concern and is directing implicating negatively on the lives of Kenyans. So this growing antipathy towards the opposition performance in Kenya is not in any way logical.

Let us pick an example of the thorn in Jubilee’s administration-corruption. Opposition needs to be given credit for blowing the whistle of the major scandals that has hit the economy of this country rock-bottom. Any time the opposition chief raises the concerns of the corruption in public coffers the Jubilee leadership especially the law makers have often been on the forefront to downplay the claims and categorize them as political. Barely a day ends without the likes of the National Assembly Majority Leader Mr. Duale holding a press briefing to counter the accusations. With that expect no solutions.

This criticisms which include corruption and incompetence, is an absolute replica of what is ailing the country at the moment and in these criticisms if positively approached, better solutions will always be found. The unfortunate reality is that our country’s style of politics is deeply rooted into sycophancy. People who need to be advising the President on issues that have degraded the reputation of this country have concentrated much more of advising the head of state that advise that he would like to hear.

At such time when the mood of the country is shifting towards elections, the opposition can only give its solutions that they will initiate immediately they capture power. Criticism on the other hand is the only justifiable tool they have to show the reasons as to why they need to be elected. In a state of the nation where  elections are in the corners many activities such as provision of healthcare have stalled, the opposition cannot offer a solution but politicize the matter and rip off mileage.

Jubilee has failed to get enormous lessons that misfortune presents.