Happy New Year – here are a few thoughts.
- I would be remiss if I did not warn Kenyans of the serious ramifications on the economy social life and politics of Kenya if by strange chance the coalition of the accused were allowed to ascend to the presidency. Under the weight of debilitating sanctions, Kenya will rapidly decline and whither to a basket case. I will revisit this issue later but I want to be able to say that I warned Kenyans.
- I have absolutely no doubt that Raila Odinga will win the presidential elections and become the fourth president of Kenya. My confidence is based purely on the issues and the credentials of the emerging candidates. I know that some budding ‘thinkers’ prefer to look at tribal arithmetic, opinion polls and so on. But for my opening statement on these elections I want to respect the intelligence of Kenyans. I make my prediction based on the assumption that Kenyans are rational and will be persuaded by principle, strength of conviction, track record and major proposals on the key development challenges of our time.
- I have previously and severally discussed African political development over the past 50 years of independence. One of the interesting questions has been this idea of ‘generational change’. My analysis has shown that African dictatorships and kleptocracies were the product of youthful leaders. From Samuel Doe and Valentine Strasser to Mobutu Sese Seko and Robert Mugabe; these were leaders whom we elected as young men. I once developed this thesis somewhat on Jukwaa. I was also the first person to point out the irony of William Ruto railing against ‘old men’ when he led youth for the ageing Moi. As Uhuru continues to attack Raila on the basis of age, he must be politely reminded that his own father displayed remarkable virility when he sired the lad Uhuru at the age of 67 – much older than Raila. Folks, people lead with brains not age. If age is anything, it is an asset.
- I find American politics replete with examples that Kenyans could learn from. Perhaps the most popular and successful American presidents in recent times in Ronald Reagan, who was elected in 1981 at 70. The American Luo president, Barack Obama is 51 and has struggled with a divided America. But Obama is likely to hand over to an extremely popular woman, Hillary Clinton who is 67! – so folks, age is irrelevant. If the coalition of the accused wants a debate, let it be on the real issues that affect Kenya, including the troubling question of justice for victims of PEV.