Saturday, December 11, 2004

2005: The Year for Mass Democratic Action and Organizing!

Onyango Oloo's End of the Year Plea to Comrades

1.0. Today is International Human Rights Day.

It is also the day

Professor Wangari Maathai was officially awarded the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize. You can read her address at this link.

I had already paid my glowing tribute to her the day the announcement was first made so there is no need to rehash matters, except to say once again kudos and congratulations!

2.0. YAWA!: Kibaki Selects Wife, Sidekicks, Hirelings and Underlings Amongst Other Real Luminaries For National Top Honours

It is 6:59 on a Friday evening here in the Notre-Dame-de-GrĂ¢ce neighbourhood of western Montreal-a city which just so happens to be an island. Am I lucky or what? Twice in one life time I have claimed a sexy island city which starts with an M as my adopted hometown.

I was supposed to have started this essay about 18 minutes ago, but I had to excuse myself from my home-office, dash over to my bathroom on the other side of the house and there I was,

doubled over the porcelain bowl- vomiting and vomiting and vomiting for a good fifteen minutes. No, I did not get a lethal virus from the demented fellow Kenyan who keeps stalking me all over the internet, bombarding with more than 100 messages every single day.

I was retching and throwing up because I had ingested something nasty and nauseating from the Saturday papers. Actually two things, but let me tell you what made me puke repeatedly.

It was that freaking Jamhuri Day honorees list.

Now I am sure that the bulk of the nominees richly deserved the national recognition that they will be getting come this Sunday.

But, Mr. President, come on:



and all your


and fellow NAK partners in crime?

Have you become so TACKY, so GROSS that you,

without the faintest trace of shame, cite your own wife for an award??!

Zeroing in on your narrow NAK faction in the ruling bloc?

Is there a

Presidential Donkey?

Is it getting an award too?

Is there a

Presidential Tortoise?

Is it being honoured as well?

Is there a

Presidential Goat?

Will it line up on Sunday, bleating as it becomes the newest member of the Order of the Burning Spear?

How about the Presidential





Mzee Kibaki!!!

Huna Haya?!




Yarabi Stara!!!


Wanistaajabisha Baba Jimmy!!!!

Before you hastily and anxiously ship me those three cartons of Maalox via FEDEX or UPS to deal with my allegedly turbulent tummy, please cancel that order as you once again, remind yourself that I just loooove pulling your collective miguu.

Ati nilikuwa natapika huko msalani!

I admit that I could have simply stated the following:

"The 2004 Honorees List is OBSCENE."

But who wants to stand accused of having killed his readers with boredom?

Not I.

3.0. I am glad Odenda Lumumba and Wanjiku Miano EXPOSED Mumunya Kimunya's Subterfuge

After months of this much talked about document being selectively and systematically been leaked to well-placed journalists in the various media houses, NAK insider and cabinet minister, the former chair of the Muthaiga Golf Club, Amos Kimunya "released" the much vaunted Ndung'u Report, carefully opting to conveniently hold on to the two crucial annexes.

Odenda Lumumba, the Coordinator of the Kenya Land Alliance and one of the authors of the detailed report IMMEDIATELY and openly cried "FOUL!" sensing a dastardly cover-up. and he was not the only one. Wanjiku Miano who is the Executive Director of the Kenya Human Rights Commission also took issue with the fact that Kimunya did not include parts of the report when he did his little media event in Nairobi.

I first met Odenda Lumumba in 1986, on the day he was jailed as one of the Mwakenya cadres.

He was brought, like hundreds of other militant, patriotic and anti-imperialist Kenyan comrades to Kamiti after the likes of the unlamented Moi era lap dog Bernard Chunga had helped stage those macabre 6 pm instant political trials in those hastily convened kangaroo courts after the Nyayo torture house sessions. Unlike many of the Mwakenya comrades, Odenda had studied in Makerere, Uganda-partly because his “home squared” is those sides of Busia District. At the time he was nabbed however, he was teaching, together with Ndugu Oduor Ong'wen, at Kipsigis Girls in Kericho. His stint in Kamiti over, Odenda Lumumba was among a group of Kenyans who were spearheaded by comrades like Willy Mutunga and Njeri Kabeberi to play a very active part in the Citizens Coalition for Constitutional Change (in the mid 1990s) before joining the Kenya Human Rights Commission as a Program Officer. One of the untold stories in the Kenya civil society sector is how the KHRC has acted as an incubator and mentor to a whole bunch of human rights organizations, NGOs and CBOs. When I was in Kenya in December 1996 I remember seeing Lumumba and Njuguna Mutahi (who currently heads People Against Torture, another KHRC offshoot) work frantically to put out a special report on the Land Question. It is from the KHRC that Lumumba Odenda and others eventually set up the Nakuru based Kenya Land Alliance. That is why I was far from surprised to see the KHRC and the Kenya Land Alliance work in tandem to expose Kimunya’s cover-up.

Odenda Lumumba has been vocal on land and host of human rights issues for quite some time. This is what he was saying barely a month ago.

In a previous digital essay, I went to great lengths talking about the land issue in Kenya so today I will restrict myself to other things. You may get a sampling of Lumumba’s written contributions on the Land Question in Kenya by visiting this link

4.0. Let 2005 Be The Year For Militant Mass Democratic Action in Kenya!!

The honeymoon is DEFINITELY over.

The fractious NARC coalition is in tatters and even the NAK faction itself is in internal strife.

Thankfully many of the NGOs and civil society bodies that turned a blind eye as Kibaki and his regime reneged on promise after promise have finally woken up, and not only smelt the coffee, but actually quaffed a few cups down already. Many hitherto NAK friendly formations like NCEC, KHRC, LSK, FIDA, and KMA are beginning to take the Kibaki regime head on. Njonjo Mue’s recent scuffle on the grounds of Bunge is a harbinger of further confrontations. The RPP protest action on Moi Day provides a trailer to the full length feature presentation pitting the Kibaki regime and the Kenyan comprador and petit bourgeois elite on the one hand and the wananchi on the other hand. Almost two years into its mandate, the NARC does not even bother pretending that it is listening to the people who voted it to power. That is why some of us stopped about a year ago to write letters to ministers hoping that we could engage them publicly in a bit of critical reflection about the Kenya we want.

I am suggesting that we should stop wasting our time pleading with this government, reasoning with this government, talking sense into this government.

Instead, all of us who think we still subscribe to patriotic ideals should start talking more to each other; we should start arranging more one on one, two on two, three on three, four on four meetings at our individual homes, offices, neighbourhoods and hometowns. Those of us who are outside the country have been trying to link our efforts with what is happening back home; we have tried coming back when we can and we will do more of that; we followed up on a pledge made to some home based comrades to try and create a way to link Kenyan progressives together. At the Kenya Democracy Project we are doing that through this blog, through the DUNIA radio show and the kenyademocracyproject mailing list that currently has more than one hundred organizations/individuals and counting. In Sweden, Ndugu Okoth Osewe of the Kenya Socialist Democratic Alliance recently took the initiative in linking Kenyans around the world to launch the Mapambano Newsletter, an offline publication that will be circulating WITHIN and ACROSS Kenya real soon. There are of course, tons of other things that we are certainly NOT going to blab on the blog about.

One project that I have been singing about is this idea of convening an All Kenya National Conference of Democratic, Patriotic and Progressive Forces to be held in Nairobi or Mombasa sometime between June and August 2005 to chart the way forward for the organized progressive, Left leaning democratic forces in Kenya.

I will leave it there for today.

Onyango Oloo

1 comment:

john said...

While i'm naturally hesitant to support a marxist-style mass action in Kenya,i have completely given up on any reform coming from within the major parties.A people led uprising that cleans out this corrupt system of recycled KANU/KADU landgrabbers is needed.Even though i was born into a priveleged family in kenya(S.M/wambui),i've seen firsthand how corruption ruins it for all-its in the interests of us Kenyans abroad to reclaim our home (whats left of it ).So i guess i'm with you o.o