Friday, 20 December 2013

A DOUBLE EDGED SWORD FOR WETANGULA

To our Senator! As you go to sleep with a smile on your mind, we join you in celebration. However, as good supporters, we will not let you sleep and just sleep. You fought a good fight in the by-election and now you have been handed a honorary sword; a double edged sword.

The sword handed to Wetangula glitters with pregnant expectations and high public enthusiasm. This is great and worthy celebrating but a few issues have to be written on a tablet and laid before our eyes daily as we chart the path to tomorrow

1. In the general election, many of us supported Wetangula simply because he was CORDED

2. In the by-election, Wetangula trashed Kombo because of good campaigns but largely due to the anti-jubilee sentiment

3. The Luhya nation wants a leader or coalition that will give them a rationally practical opportunity to be in government and enjoy the fruits of being in government

4. The Luhya nation has suffered enough from lack of singular direction as witnessed in the late political life of Wamalwa Kijana

5. The Luhya nation strongly desires a leader with charisma and dexterity to take on other national leaders in a way that Luhyas are not seen as a weaker political constituency

6. Wetangula was voted for in the by-election on grounds that he will bring home the bigger things Mudavadi and Eugine could not

Therefore, as Wetangula relishes the great win, the overwhelming support received, this is his greatest political trap. He has to die to himself and be reborn.... this means that he will have to forget himself and with all his passion, all that he has, seek to work in the interest of the populace.

Wetangula is in a fix because

1. Raila might be going for another jab at presidency in 2017 (Wetangula and other Luhya leaders in CORD have to work tooth and nail to prevent or prepare for such an eventuality)

2. Mudavadi and AMANI camp will either go for presidency or join with TNA or URP should Ruto Bolt out of Jubilee (Ruto bolting out at the end of term and seeking an alliance is highly likely, if he has hopes of becoming president of Kenya)

3. CORD may want Line Up to remain as it was in 2013; given Kalonzo Musyoka may not have practical chances away from an alliance with Raila and yet Luhyas expect one of their own on the presidential ballot
4.Mudavadi is now too bitter to consider working with Wetangula; ego battles

All in all, politics is dynamic and scenarios change every day. In the murky political waters, one can never rest but has to keep on scanning the horizon and laying down strategies and counter-strategies. Majority of voters in 2017 will be dot.com generation like me and digital generation like lads born in 1997 when I was in class 8 at the 'famous' Talitia primary school.To the dot-com or digital generations, telling them about heroics of Raila is like telling tales of Ludwig krapf. The stories are interesting and to some entertaining but they just do not mean anything tangibly moving. The dot.com and Digital generation want a dream, a vision or a big picture they can hook in. They want to visualize the great life a head of them and how politics would deliver that. So, Wetangula should not count on Raila brand remaining the big thing in Kenyan politics; save for political history classes.

Away from National Political Considerations, Mr. Senator, I hope you do not confuse things. It is the people of Bungoma County that have elected you and they want you to represent them. So far, they youth are crying that their voice has been neglected when it comes to county programs, county jobs and county strategies. The governor is great, and we still kind of trust he will surprise us. However, a lot remains to be desired. Therefore, do your national dance but just remember to always connect with the grassroots; your stronghold. Be a unifying figure rather than a divisive figure. Lest it happens again that Raila comes to drum up support for you from among your people rather than you being Raila's point man.


Thursday, 5 December 2013

Team Weta, Battle on Numbers in Home Stretch

I chose to support Deam Weda mpaka kwa Tepe in this by-election. This was informed by the realization that what the gods have ordained, it is not for man to Judge. Like him or hate him, the gods have conspired and it is Weda's (read Weta if you are not a bukusu like me), to reign supreme in Luhya land or at least in Bukusuland.

There are those, TeamMakali, who claim they need fresh blood. They are jilted in their beliefs because they do not appreciate reality as it is. In thinking, we should always be careful to reconcile the ideal with the real. This election was not for a first comer like Makali.

TeamKombo and sympathizers claim we should be in government, but they fail to demonstrate what we will get from government by voting in an old NFK senator. We have an NFK governor but we have not seen any surprises or anything to write home owing to that. They accuse Wetangula for tying us to a man who has killed Luhya unity and politics. These accusers  are not so well informed people  and they do not appreciate history. Our history is such that Bukusu's only support their leaders and to a large extent we have been supporting Kikuyus. We voted for Wamalwa in 1997, Wamalwa and Kibaki in 2002, Kibaki in 2007 and were split between Raila and Mudavadi in 2013. Moreover, we are currently tied to Raila because UHURUTO have made the Jubilee government a two tribe thronged government.

TeamWakoli and TeamKombo claim that Weta is a Raila Project. They claim he is responsible for the NFK governor being a non-starter. Among them, there are those who argue that Voting for Wetangula does not gurantee him of being on the presidential ballot in 2017 but is that not jumping the gun? It is funny that TeamWakoli could even dream of splitting the vote to deny Team Weta a win. Wakoli is just spoiling for himself any opportunity of getting back into elective politics by choosing to do Jubilee bidding; he joins the likes of Eugine and Mudavadi whose association with Uhuru has rendered them useless. We forget very easily what Raila has stood for and what many who value the status quo has always feared him for. We forget that Mudavadi, after being wasted by Moi, became a force in Luhya politics and national politics through association with Raila. We forget that Wetangula is now a man to reckon with due to his going into coalition with Raila. Therefore, Raila does not dimminish Luhya but rather he props them and they should blame themselves for not using given platform to higher political standing. As to whether Wetangula will achieve that, it is too early to judge. However, given he is our only option at the moment, shouldn't we give him a chance?

Therefore, as it stands,  Team Weta or Deam Weda has largely and logically so won the propaganda war. Weta is so strong that even with Lusaka supporting the Team Kombo, they still have no more hope than to garner about 40% of the vote come 19th December. Why do I believe that Kombo will only manage at most 40%? Kombo enjoys support in Webuye, Kimilili and Mt.Elgon and some minimal support from across the county. Mt. Elgon, many tend to assume is Sabaot only. Even as Kimili considers following their son Lusaka to support Kombo, there are some that will be wary of not being in the winning team. Webuye will be split due to Kombo's Record in the area. Even though we should expect Kombo to get some votes in Wetangula  strong holds, this will be minimal due to support given by sitting Mps in the area to Weta. For example, one would expect Weta to loose votes in Sirisia but due to local leaders supporting Weta, the losses will be minimal.

This win is awaiting Weta but as we move into homestretch, focus should be on by what margin. Team Weta has to focus on mobilization of people to vote. We have to come out and vote to the last man. This battle has to be won by the diligence of the foot soldiers. I suggest the adoption of a nyumba mia moja strategy. Let every Weta leaning MP have clear targets. Let every Weta leaning MCA have targets. Let every MCA subdivide his region and usual political brokers  from villages be assigned an area of accountability and targets. Let the brokers at each polling station be assigned responsibility and be held responsible for given targets agreed upon through consultations with them. If this is carried out well in the final stretch, the turn out may just exceed the general election turn out and we shall have given our man Weda, an unequivocal mandate. Whatsoever he does with that, we shall be waiting........ and in the sidelines, Team Makali can be laying down strategies for a real political duel for senator-ship in 2017. I also think Juma wa Mukhwana would have some practical chance if he gave the possibility of becoming our governor in 2017 some consideration.

Saturday, 30 November 2013

SEEING BEYOND 2013 - LUHYA POLITICS



The game in Kenya is “Us” against “them” and every other tribal outfit has mastered this game except Luhya-land. People keep wondering why and some excuse it for being democratic. However, let us face it, how can one uphold democratic principles in a country whose DNA is divide and rule. There are tribes that have mastered this; they own the state machinery and by dividing others they surely rule.
It all started with Kenyatta senior who entrenched the politics of patronage and clientilism. Patronage was inward looking i.e. using state to prop our own. Clientilism was outward looking i.e. getting clients who are maintained through tokens to keep given tribes under arms; all well wrapped. Moi perfected this and turned the state into a regime perpetuation machinery. When Kibaki came, he carefully used astute professional principles well fused with patronage and clientilistic approaches. The state backed tyranny of numbers win by Uhuruto in 2013 goes to show how perfected patronage and clientilism based politics is in Kenya. 
For a long time, the Luhya have been a contented lot. It is generally said that Luhyas are cooks and watchmen who love food a great deal. In Luhya land, we have mastered the politics of the stomach. We do not see beyond the stomach and as long as we are eating then it is okay. When Wamalwa Kijana was fighting against Moi, the son of Mudamba and Wetangula were busy eating and it was all okay. When the son of Mudamba joined Raila in the fight against Kibaki, Kombo and Weta were eating and it was okay. When Wetangula joined Raila in the run up to 2013 (for personal survival), the son of Mudamba and Eugine was eating from Uhuru’s plate and it was okay. This stomach driven politics explains our situation.Like any cook, we real love good delicacies; we real love nibbling. Unfortunately, unlike others, we are ever nibbling at the expense of our own brothers and sisters. We never look out for our brothers and sisters and consequently, we miss out on opportunities to have our impact as the second largest community.
Like good watchmen, we are always keenly watching. Unfortunately, instead of watching others and their moves, we are very busy watching our own brothers just in case they also come to eat what we are eating. We are very jealousy of what is in the brother’ plate; we scrutinize and gnash our teeth ready to tear in and lay bare. While we are busy watching our brothers and checkmating them, our real opponents in the real match cheer us on and we miss the opportunity to checkmate them.
We are very greedy in the face of food and we do not know when enough is enough. We are good at binge politics; we just do politics for the sake of politics and do not know when to say I have had my fill. It is for this reason that every Wannabe in Luhya-land wants to be president, to be king, to be the big man. At the moment, we are standing on a precipice. Our people like good sheep are seeking guidance. They are ready to crown any king, as long as he will be their king and provide just some semblance of leadership. It is for this reason that some strongly believe the otherwise abhorred Wetangula is the Messianic Moses.
I am of the opinion that Luhyas will remain in the dark for two or more decades to come. We are a confused house; confused due to the inward looking ego. Like low self-esteemed people, we are overly critically of our own but very accommodating of outsiders. It is not surprising that a Luhya vehemently criticizes Eugine Wamalwa for being a flip flopper and yet embraces Raila the doyen of Flip Floppy politics. It is surprising, that a Luhya aggressively criticizes Mudavadi of being slow and non-decisive and yet we were the greatest cheer squad members for one Mwai wa kibaki. It is surprising that Luhyas think Cyrus Jirongo is a conniving and shrewd man who is not worthy of leadership and yet gleefully support Ruto who worked so well with Jirongo and is known for his hand in Land Grabbing etc. It is funny that Luhyas think Wetangula is a shrewd-selfish politician who can not be trusted, yet they trust Uhuru; a man who has mastered the art of under-table deals while putting on PR shows in public.
Going into the future, we just need to stop cooking and watching each other. Instead, let us unite in watching and cooking up traps for the others. Stomach politics led to Mudavadi missing his grand opportunity to cannibalize Raila. There was a time, the stage was ripe for Mudavadi to stage a nice coup in ODM; and the Luhyas were backing him. Then he moved away from the people and started below the table deals that led to him becoming a Demon. There was a time Eugine was the man to watch; and in every forum we cried and begged that he moves with the people – he chose to put his stomach first and out danced himself.
Fast forward to end of 2013 and our leaders have an opportunity once again to dream Luhya Unity. Luhya Unity is a very big cake and they can share it comfortably and we shall question none of them. It is possible that Kombo, Wetangula, Marende, Ababu, Eugine, Jirongo and any other Luhya leader work together. When Mudavadi or Eugine who are not voters in Bungoma De-campaign Wetangula, what exactly are they doing? Doing the bidding of their Jubilee masters? If they truly believed in Luhya unity, how about them saying Wetangula and Kombo are brothers, let the people decide. They could be returning the favor Wetangula did them in the past, but who ever gained from the politics of revenge?
It is possible to have a united Luhya front in Kenyan politics. It starts now, let our leaders stop trying to cut each other to size and focus on how to cut a share of the national cake for their community. They have a choice to make; it is possible to have a vehicle that is systemic as opposed to individualized. By systemic we mean a political party that is not under the control of any one leader. In case Wetangula wins the senatorial by-election, he is enjoying the good will Mudavadi enjoyed during his rebellion days in ODM. He should lurch at this opportunity and provide leadership. Let him start to build a vehicle that threatens ODM in CORD. Some may think this is not possible but just look at the number of politicians supporting him in his re-election bid then you will agree with me that if he puts his mind to it, he can do it. CORD is definitely set to disintegrate but while it lasts, it can be used to coalesce like minded Luhya leaders and others from other regions. If it is done well, then maybe we shall be in bargaining position come 2017.... If our leaders stick out their necks as a united front in 2017, the Luhya Presidency may just come early enough. Can these leaders see beyond their stomachs?

Friday, 11 October 2013

10 REASONS WHY UHURU KENYATTA MAYBE A ONE TERM PRESIDENT



1.      In 2017 Uhuru will be carrying the burden of incumbency and all unfulfilled dreams will be credited to him by Kenyans

2.      If he succeeds to halt The Hague cases or gets them differed, the ICC issue will be a major campaign platform in 2017. However, unlike in 2013 when it worked to his advantage, Kenyans know that ICC trials are no longer a personal matter. Actually, the president is using the country as hostage against ICC onslaught

3.      There is a high possibility of Ruto beginning to feel jitters about his position in Jubilee and the likelihood of being a credible presidential candidate one day. The more time goes by, the more Ruto’s supporters will want more; some excitement, some surprise

4.      There is a likelihood of Uhuru manages to frustrate his case while that of Ruto drags on. The case of Walter Barasa being used by the Deputy President only makes matters worse for the DP. That will be the beginning of mistrust and sense of betrayal leading to a schism along the already drawn 50/50 line in Jubilee

5.      There is likelihood that the tyranny of numbers strategy will not work once again. It worked in the 2013 elections because CORD did not realize the loopholes in its strategy. Will CORD be caught napping once again? Well as long as institutions remain compromised and CORD does not use judiciary and parliament to promote electoral sanity; the status quo may not change. But if we change, the tyranny of numbers will not work in 2017

6.      There is likelihood of fallout among those who supported the Jubilee presidential bid. The recent perceived demotion of Francis Kimemia is just a beginning.

7.      There is likelihood of the professional cabinet secretaries being overwhelmed and exposing the president Naked. How, they are not engaging the public in a way that adds value to the Jubilee Regime brand. There is a vacuum in the chain of command; especially in interacting and communicating the Jubilee dream to the Public

8.      Tribalism and tribal appointments to major public offices will sustain the anti-Kikuyu sentiment even in 2017. There is a feeling that only Kikuyu have experience and are qualified enough to be appointed to any serious government position.

9.      Uhuru has happily pushed the question of land and historical injustices under the carpet. The TJRC 2013 report and how it is implemented will be a major bone for political jibes in 2017. The question of land is not going away, especially if the solution promised by Uhuru remains the title deeds to air (small portions) of land that coastarians received.

10.  The lies that brought Uhuru into power have been busted. They lied that Raila was keeping them at the ICC. They lied that Raila only knows vitendawili. Come 2017, we wonder if all they have will be attacks on Raila. If that will be the case, their goose will be smoking burnt.

The only hope for Uhuru lies in the fact that the opposition in Kenya is in shambles and Kenyans are not interested in truth but lies that massage their egos. The opposition is in Shambles because they are not united by any other ideology rather than desire to be the ones eating. The likelihood that Raila will be on the ballot will disenchant the likes of Kalonzo sending them to Uhuru's doorsteps. Additionally, Ruto may actually find refuge in the better half a loaf than nothing adage and stick with Uhuru.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

WHO IS LIKELY TO WIN THE BUNGOMA SENATE BY-ELECTION?



From my intelligence, the following may just be on the ballot come the 2013 senatorial by-election in Bungoma
a.       Juma Wa Mukhwana
b.      David Makali
c.       Moses Wetangula
d.      Musikari Kombo
e.       Alfred Khang’ati
The question is, what are the chances of the above being elected senator in the by election?

1.      Moses Wetangula
He has an 80% chance of retaining the seat due to the following factors
·         He is a seasoned politician
·         He does not shy away from using any means to achieve an end
·         He is a very pragmatic and shrewd politician
·         He has many foot soldiers in the form of County Reps and other boys and girls that directly benefit from him
·         He enjoys support of many elected MPs in Western
·         He enjoys Support of CORD brigade and Raila can not dump him without damaging himself
·    The anti-Jubilee sentiment in Bungoma County is currently even stronger than it was during the general elections
·         He will receive sympathy votes; many feel he is being persecuted
·         He has the resources to share around.

He has a 20% chance of not being senator due to the by election because of the following factors
·         There is a chance that Jubilee uses courts to influence his being on the ballot
·     He has a reputation weakness e.g. He is a shrewd and cunning politician who does not stand with the populace but only furthers individual or selfish interests
·         He is suspected to have been behind recent killings after the general election
·         The Death of Lawyer Wanyama may just be used against him.

2.      MUSIKARI KOMBO
Musikari Kombo has a 10% chance of being elected Senator in the next by election. These are the factors in his favor.
·         He enjoys the support of Eugine Wamalwa (who still fools  a few with his rhetorical skills)
·         Lusaka the Governor may want to influence against Wetangula due to turf wars
·         If many candidates come in and split votes, Mt. Elgon may be the swing vote in his favour
·         Jubilee may bankroll him and thus he may enjoy state support in manipulating process
·         He may get sympathy votes on the ground that his vote was stolen

Musikari Kombo has a 90% chance of not being our senator after the by-election because of the following factors
·         Many think he is old enough and should retire
·         He lacks charisma and leadership; the reason why FORD Kenya crumbled under him
·         He is seen as a Jubilee stooge
·         The deaths in Bungoma and Killing of Lawyer Wanyama are issues he has to exonerate himself from (we can imbue a motive on him to want to paint Wetangula as the Killer)
·         Many think he is the one who has misled Eugene into making all the political blunders he is perceived to have made.

3.      Juma Mukhwana
If Kombo and Wetangula will be on the ballot, Mukhwana has a 1% chance of being our Senator. The following factors would work in his favour only if Wetangula is barred
·         He would stand a chance as a compromise candidate
·         He is a good hearted and jovial person (very warm and generous)
·         He is a professional and academic of repute
·         He is an entrepreneur and social capitalist that has been widely acknowledged
·         He already has some political experience
·         If Jubilee supported him, he would have a big machinery to ride
·         He was also cozy with Eugene and maybe Eugene would lend him support due to past dealings

All Factors Held Constant, Juma Mukhwana has a 90% chance of not doing well in the by election especially if Wetangula will be on the ballot.
·         He has already soiled his name through his participation in Kanduyi and recently Kabuchai constituency elections (He has that tag of political failure)
·         He ran on a New Vision Party (AMANI) coalition, which does not have much support on the ground
·         He does not have a ground network that Kombo and Wetangula have given they ran for countywide positions in general election
·         He is not a career politician and thus may not put his soul, body and mind into winning the election (he has other interests that make politics just another option and not a life and death issue for him)
·         Other politicians may fear supporting him because of his intellectual and proven social capitalism prowess (if he gets there, he may outshine some)

4.      David Makali
He stands an 80% chance of winning the seat if Wetangula is barred and Kombo is supported by Jubilee. He is highly regarded among young Bukusu elites and enjoys the support of CORD. He is Fresh, Young and could be a nice surprise..... (The new kid on the block that everyone would be curious about).
However, should Wetangula be barred and Kombo also steps down for another candidate like Juma Mukhwana, then his chances would be reduced to about 60%. This is because he would enjoy CORD support but then Jubilee leaning Politicians like Governor Lusaka would have someone that they can sell successfully.

5.      Alfred Khang’ati
Alfred Khang’ati has a 5% chance of being elected. This is because his brand suffered a major dent when he dealt arrogantly with issues as My MP (Kanduyi). He did not connect with the people and seemed to indicate that they are just a bother. His performance in the gubernatorial campaigns was dismal further denting his credibility as a man who can give a county seat any serious fight.

VERDICT
·         If Wetangula is not barred, he is highly likely to retain his seat
·         Kombo has no chance of being our senator
·         Juma Mukhwana, unless he wants to use the platform for the future, can only be a meaningful candidate if Wetangula is barred
·         David Makali should only try going for the Seat if Wetangula is barred; if not, let him let the by-election pass and start aligning himself with the right wave on which he will ride for a real fighting chance in 2017
·         Alfred Khang’ati and the like of Bifwoli Wakoli should focus on prayers that they get a stab at being member of parliament once again come 2017

THESE ARE MY HUMBLE VIEWS; YOU ARE ALLOWED TO HAVE YOURS!