Mudavadi’s and KANU’s (mis-) fortunes

We have been talking in general about the different coalitions, and how they came about as well as the key players either individuals or parties.

I would however like to just narrow focus for a little bit on two entities:- Mudavadi and KANU

Before i proceed lets watch this. Also pay attention in the last minutes of the clip and see how Ngunyi in his usual eloquent self, continues to market and sell snow to guys living in Greenland. Its phenomenal

Now, from the foregoing there are several scenarios to ponder

a) Were these two entities (remember although they are in the same pit, they probably arrived there seperately) so completely desperate, that when the carrot was dangled (or was it straw), they simply had no choice and grabbed at it with both hands and feet and everything else?

If this is indeed the case, how did they arrive at the bottom of this pit? Was it by making poor decisions along the way, or was it due to some extremely clever ploy by political geniuses who thoroughly beat them into a corner

b) Or perhaps on the other hand, are these two entities, a project or projects of the oligarchy to re-invent themselves and having found that there exists a gap (ICC and / or tribal inclination) in the TNA/URP axis are exploiting it by injecting themselves into the matrix knowing very well that there are mutual benefits to be derived. They may hate each other, but without UDF, TNA is central province leaning and URP is RV leaning, making them two tribal outfits having experienced presidency, do not want to let go.

c) Was Mudavadi and/or KANU over-rated in their importance and somehow people made a mistake and invested in their fortunes only to realise too late the folly, and are now in desperate late comeback moves?

Am sure there are many other scenarios to ponder

One thing is however clear, where it is now, the engineers that designed this carriage got the design all wrong.

They each have a carriage and two heads that must be connected

Each head can only face one direction and its opposite to the other head. If you put the two heads next to each other, they head butt each other and leave the carriage intact or cannot see each other and one gets played. if on opposite sides of the carriage, they pull in different directions.

The carriage here is their supporters and the two heads are (for presidency) uhuru and mudavadi, and (for the political parties) URP and KANU in rift valley

What a quandary, what a nightmare.

As the events unfold, and as supporters of the coalition come to terms with what they are faced with, we shall in due course determine whether this was a brilliant work of a scheming strategist, or simply the blunder of the century.

Stay tuned

Fresh appeal stalls case on integrity law

A petition seeking the High Court’s interpretation on chapter six on leadership and integrity has taken a new twist with a fresh application to stop the proceedings.

Two activists now want the hearing and determination of the petition stopped until an appeal they have filed against the striking out of the names of five presidential candidates is heard and determined.

Patrick Njuguna and Charles Omanga claimed that by striking out the names of Prime Minister Raila Odinga, Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka and Deputy Premiers Musalia Mudavadi, Uhuru Kenyatta and Eldoret North MP William Ruto the petition is now bare and cannot adequately deal with the issue of leadership and integrity.

“The main thrust of the petition is to deal with the question of integrity on the named five prominent Kenyans who are leading contenders for the presidency,” said the petitioners.

The two argued that they will appear to be acting in a discriminatory manner on issues of integrity if the petition proceeds without the five presidential aspirants being enjoined.

The petitioners, in their original application, had sought an order to restrain the electoral commission from accepting the nomination of any candidate who has been committed to trial for serious criminal charges under the Kenyan and International law.

According to the petition, the implication of the charges by the ICC meant that the two are committed to trial and that they will bring embarrassment to the country if elected and at the same time being tried for crimes against humanity.

The original petition was filed in January in the wake of confirmation of charges against Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto at the ICC by a group of civil society activists and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) seeking a declaration that the candidature of the two is a threat to the Constitution.

They sought an interpretation of Chapter 6 of the Constitution on leadership and integrity claiming that the candidature of Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto would be a recipe for chaos and perpetuate the culture of impunity in the country.

Later Mr Njuguna and Mr Omanga made an amendment to include the integrity of Mr Odinga, Mr Musyoka and Mr Mudavadi citing allegations of fraud, corruption, abuse of office, nepotism and land grabbing.

They accused the PM of fraudulently acquiring his post-graduate degree in Germany and being involved in events that caused the 2007/08 post-election violence and the attempted military coup of 1982.

The activists accused the Vice President of using his office to acquire radio frequencies for a company owned by his wife and for authorising the sale of the Somali embassy in Nairobi.

They accused Mr Mudavadi of committing perjury during the Goldenberg Commission of Inquiry by misleading the commission on his role in the scandal and that he grabbed land owned by the City Council of Nairobi.

However, the other petitioners disowned the amendments and asked the court to strike it out and only determine the original petition which challenged the suitability of Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto to contest the presidency.

They argued that the amended petition amounted to serious misjoinder since their original petition was about the confirmed charges against Uhuru and Ruto at the International Criminal Court and that its intention was to turn the court into a battle ground to settle political scores.

A three judge bench of Mohammed Warsame, Isaac Lenaola and Philomena Mwilu upheld the preliminary objection to the amended petition and struck out the names of all the five presidential candidates.

The judges ruled that only the original petition which sought to restrain the IEBC from accepting nomination of any candidate facing a criminal charge should be heard.

The hearing was however adjourned after the two activists filed the application to stop the proceedings until the appeal against the striking out of the names is determined.

Justice Lenaola directed them to serve all the parties and set November 23 for the hearing.

 

http://www.nation.co.ke/News/politics/Fresh+appeal+stalls+case+on+integrity+law/-/1064/1603864/-/oljsp5/-/index.html

presdebate

Kenya’s Inaugural Presidential Debates 2013

Am sure by now we have all heard of the media initiative and launch of the inaugural presidential debates as can be seen in this video clip

The plan is to host the presidential candidates in a joint forum and live broadcast with interactive participation from Kenyans

The tentative schedule as proposed by the committee is

  • November 26, 2012
  • January 14, 2013
  • February 11, 2013

However I must at this point raise some preliminary issues.

First: “Issue driven” vs “ethnic” politics.

Almost all those at this launch talk about “issue driven” politics vs “ethnic” politics

This is unfortunate because the media is the largest culprit in fanning ethnic politics. The media has many times twisted and contorted public events into ethnic conflicts either to achieve their sales/marketing objectives and in other instances to either denigrate a politician not in their favor and or alternatively give biased advantage to a favored politician. Regardless, one cannot go objectively into a debate if already the moderators have a prejudiced opinion.

The moderators of this initiative/forum cannot go into that debate with preconceived ideas

Second: Dates for the debates

Especially the first date, is a mere 5 or 6 weeks away. The reality is that parliament the other day created a law that allows party hopping right up to mid January.

What this means is that there could be other presidential wannabe’s lurking in the background looking for the right opportunity to launch their presidential bid in January. Also there are party hoppers that will make their shift and allegiances in January, thereby causing significant shift on the political landscape

But more importantly, apart from the self-anointed or self-appointed chest thumping de-facto presidential candidates, I have not seen or heard of any party that has plans to legally  formalise their presidential nomination process earlier than mid-January (someone correct me if am wrong)

Sure these heads of parties are strong and basically unchallenged in their outfits, but the reality is that due process must be followed in their individual parties, calendars and schedules for nomination process must be publicly announced and followed. In light of the fact that as of today, none of these parties has actually announced their internal dates for these processes, doing so now, would be tantamount to the media debates dictating schedules for these parties. It is my view therefore that interviewing these potential nominees is actually committing and perpetuating a public fraud – the proverbial putting the cart before the horse. I am therefore tempted to state that this initiative is a project by the oligarchs to hoodwink and confuse the public

In my view, the listing of the schedule is premature and should begin a day after at least two parties have nominated their candidates. Provision must therefore be made for late nominations otherwise some candidates will have unfair advantage over others

Third: Number of Candidates at the Debate

Considering that there are at least 5 or more candidates. Could even be as high as 15, there need to be some sense of reducing the actual number of candidates to participate in this forum.

Typically one would chose the top say 3 in the polls, unfortunately the credibility of polls in Kenya is very low and partisan. It is also possible that the polls are grossly misleading.

Its however illogical to even assume that one can have more than 3 politicians on a platform to articulate their vision as well as respond to structured and ad-hoc questions. Realistically either the process will be too rushed to provide any valuable insight, or else will be way too long and carry on for even 30 hours if true opportunity is to be provided for adequate question and answer sessions. And this assumes that the politicians are on the same page, with rival policies, this can stretch even more as the candidates or their supporters  rip into each others credentials.

Finally having expended themselves in the first interview, a second, third or even run-off interviews will not add any new value and they will end up repeating themselves. Follow up interviews may be great, but these should be more to do with clarifying issues arising from the first debate rather than conducting new debates

There will be a need to restrict the number of candidates for the debates, the schedule as well as heavily strucuture format in order to optimise the quality for the session(s)

Fourth: Mindset of the Debates

Kenyans are in the habit of going into debate to finish and destroy each other, and come back carrying our “hero” shoulder high.

The media is already setting such a tone for these debates. I think, the media need to reverse this mindset, and require that the tone for the debates be that of articulating policies, interrogating the viability of the policies as well as review of the candidates background etc, otherwise debate can quickly degenerate into unpleasantries.

Kenyans love opportunity to grill an individual rather than discuss opinion. Huge difference. And in turn, some affluent folks love to hammer sense into detractors.

Also some of these candidates are quite intimidating

__________________________________________________________________

Overall, this is a welcome initiative, the media has time and again showed its bias for and against certain candidates and I therefore recommend that a credible panel be the one to conduct the debates, the media should do what they do best – broadcast.

__________________________________________________________________

This is the first part in this series, keep an eye out for the second part

In the meantime

What do you guys think?

Amendment of Elections Act 2011 Fails To Sail Through

Bunge

Members of Parliament

The proposal by Members of Parliament to extend party hopping period has hit turbulence after three ODM aligned MPs opposed fast amendment to Elections Act 2010. Deputy Speaker Farah Maalim (ODM) deferred the third reading to tomorrow. Members of Parliament were this morning planning to rush amendments to the Elections Act to enable them keep their seats until January.

Chepalungu MP Isaac Ruto’s Elections Amendment Bill (Bill No. 58 of 2012) was scheduled was to go through the three stages so that it could be before the President for assentment later today. Over 100 MPs risk losing their parliamentary seats tomorrow if the law is not amended. That list includes leading presidential contenders Uhuru Kenyatta (KANU to TNA), William Ruto (ODM to URP) and Musalia Mudavadi (ODM to UDF).

The intention of the proponents of the amendment is to have them retain their parliamentary seats until the expiry of their terms in January 2013. Parliamentary standing orders require a minimum of three MPs to reject an attempt to rush through any issue by dropping any other business.

ODM MPs John Pesa, Nicholas Gumbo and Martin Ogindo effectively thwarted the attempt to seek ‘leave of the House’ at 11.24 am.

The Bill can only come back to Parliament if the House Business Committee puts it back on the Order Paper for the afternoon session. Still, its proponents would still have to seek the MPs’ permission for it to be debated.

Analysts have branded the Proposed  Election Amendment Bill by Chepalungu MP Isaac Ruto as a gross abuse of legislative powers and betrayal of public sovereign will.

New – Test Poll

Gender Balance in Public Office in Kenya

This forum calls for more in-depth and critical analysis and will therefore attempt to do so in this article. You may skip to page 2 or page 3 (under development) if the background is of no interest to you.

Introduction

A lot has been said and discussed about marginalized groups in society and representation to various institutions and offices. Throughout history in various countries, organizations and offices, marginalization and discrimination has occurred due to race, ethnicity, religion, gender, physical appearance, sexual orientation, bigotry, hegemony, nationality, language, intellect, academic exposure, professional settings, societal attachments, cultural leanings and a whole host of other differentiators  and persuasion, that humans can or want to identify with.

Some of these differentiators are subtle while others are fairly obvious. Some might require use of sophisticated or localized coded language or deep syntax i.e. more intimate understanding of certain nuances to decipher (e.g. slang), while others are just plain in-your-face type out there in the open.

Regardless or rather, irrespective of the differentiator, it’s easy for certain groups of people to identify a differentiator, latch on to it for support and thereafter create an environment of inclusion for those they want to relate to/with, and of course the exclusion for those they’d prefer not to engage with based on the differentiators described above.

Throughout history we also find a few visionary people who recognized the fact that the differentiators did not necessarily point to flaws or failing but in fact were an insight into the different personalities, character and diversity that as humans we must embrace to create and appreciate better society for everyone.

And even with this realization, some would like to embrace this from a point of view that is condescending in approach, while others do so with deceit and cunning yet others embrace this as an opportunity to further enrich our overall experience on earth.

In my view, all these differentiators are ultimately tied back to one form of resource or another. i.e. Somehow, all these different people, using whatever form or type of discrimination have consciously or unconsciously identified a resource that they somehow believe whatever community it is they believe they belong to, has a genuine and perhaps exclusive claim to and therefore desire to keep sole ownership (individually or as a community) to this resource and will go to amazing lengths to retain ownership.

Tricks and strategies, include such as deriding other communities or groups as incapable of understanding what it takes or having the ability to preserve, nurture etc. the resource, or an exaggeration of own community’s abilities and capabilities. This often manifests or is typically recognized as stereotyping.

I think such passion is great. I also think that being caught up in one’s own cocoon is potentially disastrous, but hey feel free to do as you please.

Anyway back to the discussion at hand and this in my view is fairly trivial

After between two and three decades of an active search for a new all-inclusive constitution, Kenya did promulgate a new constitution in August 2010. Granted, there are some ambiguous statements on account of several revisions to accommodate diverse interests and changes. However, the spirit of the document remains clear. In a few years, many of the drafters, many of those that shared their visions and many others will be gone and this spirit may altogether vanish and be replaced by others. But for now let’s focus on gender balance in the house of representatives i.e. parliament or the national assembly as it is referred to.

It was deemed necessary, for whatever reasons, that there be proportional gender representation which was identified as a ratio of 1:2 i.e. no more than 2/3 of any gender whether male or female, be in any elective, appointed or nominated office.

Face value this is simple enough, but when it comes to elective office, there is no way of guaranteeing or predicting the results or outcome. The national assembly therefore has to find means to address this requirement otherwise it may end up in a convoluted quagmire.