Friday, August 05, 2005

The LDP Should Adopt the Chameleon As Their New Symbol

Onyango Oloo Wants to Share Something with the Liberal Democratic Party of Kenya...

-First Draft-

1.0. An Introduction to Ethnic Cartography 101

Scores and scores of very polite, very mature, very serious and totally objective online Kenyan braniacs, geniuses and other internet-based life members of the Mensa High IQ Society never cease to remind me how uneducated I am.

By the way, something really embarassing happened to me very recently.

Tried to keep it as a dirty little secret, as

one of the skeletons in

my family kabati but it is finally time to fling the

mifupas out into the


So this is what actually happened, walahi naapa, haki ya ngai, I swear, awacho adier!

I foolishly tried to, get this, ati join the

Mensa High IQ Society (silly me, what was I thinking?) by sitting this online 30 minute work out test and I failed TOTALLY FLAT.

Nilishika mkia- chuta, mwisho wa mwisho,omega of the omega, dead last earning myself a

wooden spoon. You know I did not get a mere "F"; I think I had a "P" or a "Q" or something very close to a "Z". I am cowering in shame, dear readers. If you looked up the word " NINCOMPOOP" in the Oxford Kamusi for Advanced Kenyan English, you will see my silly mug staring blankly back at you with a very, very vacant and empty headed look-

Bertie Wooster is

Albert Einstein compared to mimi.

So you see that is why I have never really argued, for real, with the REAL, bona fide members of the Kenyan Cyber Chapter of Mensa High IQ Society. And I have never argued with them because it is such a self-evident fact isn't it- anyone who has ever been unfortunate enough to stumble into my jumbled heaps of disjointed words and scatter-brained "thoughts" masquerading as "digital essays" must now doubt have swiftly arrived at the same universal verdict-Onyango Oloo is completely shallow, totally ignorant and perhaps even a suspected congenital imbecile.

Aibu! Aibu! Aibu!

Every day, every week, every month, as I am confronted with all these brilliant ripostes, all these piercing analyses and all these deep insights into the human condition and the true meaning of universe that underscores the bathos and pathos of the cosmos rewarded with the semi-permanent residence status of the various Kenyan online pundits, I have to agree, at least to myself, that I am actually not very well endowed when it comes to the stuff that matters-between my ears.

I confess to my very limited understanding of Kenyan history, and even less of her geography.

The little that I used to know forty or fifty years ago in primary school has long since been wiped out because of all the siasa ovyo ovyo na maneno matupu, mkono mtupu haulambwi pesa nane poritiks mbradi shmoritriks.

For instance, I was actually stumped, flabbergasted and taken quite aback to learn (NATURALLY, BEING SUCH A DIM BULB, I was the LAST TO KNOW) that there have been a series of serious cartographical and administrative revisions and updates regarding some regions in Kenya.

It is in this context of this quite bulky, self-confessed chandarua of ujinga that has wrapped my pea of a so called ubongo making me scratch my zero content kichwa maji in genuine befuddlement that I would now like to raise or launch AN URGENT ACTION APPEAL FOR FREE GEOGRAPHIC KNOWLEDGE ABOUT THE WESTERN PART OF KENYA.

You know, almost thirty or forty years ago when I first ventured tentatively on a primary school compound I was taught by my stern teachers that Kenya had the following provinces- Rift Valley, Eastern, Coast, Nyanza, Central, North Eastern and Western.


Little did I know.

You know what?

I used to think that the following was the map of Kenya, broken down by provinces:

and ati the province of Nyanza(with Gucha District not showing) looked like this:

And that if you ogled a little closer you would see the following towns and townships:


Sikujua Kaka.


It would appear, that sometimes BACK, I do not know know EXACTLY WHEN, somebody somewhere did a sneaky switcheroo-they went and wiped off and swiped the above map and replaced it with a new map of Nyanza.

What am I talking about?

You see, you no longer just have plain old vanilla Nyanza Province.

Oh No, Sirree.

It is now broken down ETHNICALLY into 2 or 3 parts.

What are these?

There is a big chunk that goes by the handle,"Luo Nyanza".

Then I suppose there is another part of this region now known as "Kisii Nyanza" and I would imagine "Kuria Nyanza" But since there are Luhyias who live in Nyanza and Kalenjins who live in Nyanza and Wahindi who also live in Nyanza not to speak of Gikuyus, Embus, Tharakas, Tiganias, Chukas, Merus and other Slopes people who also live in Nyanza, I am just wondering where "Luhyia Nyanza", "Indian Nyanza" "Somali Nyanza" "Mt. Kenya Nyanza", "Kalenjin Nyanza" "Mjikenda Nyanza" or "Arab Nyanza" and the associated "Muslim Nyanza" "Seventh Day Adventist Nyanza" "Anglican Nyanza" "Legio Maria Nyanza" "Nomiya Nyanza" "Johera Nyanza" "Kalasinga Nyanza" "Ugandan Refugees Nyanza" "Congolese Nyanza" "Hip Hop Nyanza" "Chini Kwa Chini Nyanza" "Ndombolo Nyanza" "Benga Nyanza" "Nyatiti Nyanza" "Orutu Nyanza" "Busaa Nyanza" "Chang'aa Nyanza" "Miraa Nyanza" "Chori Nyanza" "Jajuok Nyanza" "Jakuo Nyanza" "Tulipigwa Bomba Baada Kujipeana Ngambo Ughaibuni Nyanza" "Akina Dada na Mama Nyanza" "Vijana Nyanza" "Mashugadadi na Nyumba Ndogo na Ndogo Ndogo Nyanza" "Tuliokoka Nyanza" "Where is The Weapon of Mass Destruction Nyanza" "Satan Riswa Dhi Na Kucha Oyo Akadwari Adagi Atamora Wek Tema Obel Sibuth Asindwe Nyanza" "Gor Biro Yawne Ne Yo Nyanza" and "Ex-Koinange Street Profesonols Nyanza" are SPECIFICALLY LOCATED in the former map of Nyanza.

And that is why I am appealing to all those well-meaning, good-hearted, brainy Kenyan Mensa High IQ Society members online to help me trace the origins of

these little microkabilastans in the Province Formerly Known as Nyanza.

And guess who was one of the proponents of this Kenya style apartheid federation of kabilstans? None other than Raila Odinga way back on Monday, 3 September 2001!

Perhaps the people who carved up Nyanza into little tribal bantustans had taken a keen look at the following ramani:

More seriously, in October 2003 while nestling in a certain oasis located along University Way, near the Central Police Station, two hundred and forty eight footsteps from the

Maasai Market in the City in the Sun nursing and leisurely imbibing a

Made in Kenya malt product, together with the likes of

Suzzana Owiyo,


Tabu Osusa,(the brains behind the innovative and socially conscious

Nairobi City Ensemble, finally enjoying international success with their latest outing

Kalapapla; their success should hopefully kick open a few doors for up and coming talented acts like the

Nairobi Yetu Hip Hop Collective;)

and THAT guy with a music show on KBC-is it Kareithi, Kamau, Koinange or KaSomething like that
I drank in some quiet words of wisdom about this regions ethnic diversity when

Paul Kelemba aka Maddo, the political cartoonist was explaining to us that he went to Kisumu’s Victoria Highway Primary and Vihiga’s Nyang’ori Secondary and that his

Home Squared is in Kiboswa, not too far from

Kima in the vicinity of

Maseno, a mere spitting distance from the

Equator and a gari la moshi stesheni on the

Kisumu-Butere route. His dad used to have a posho mill at the main trading centre,

not unlike this one above in that small township. And he said it was a veritable melting pot-Nandis, Luhyias, Luos and Kenyans from other tribes and he told us it was not uncommon to find the same person speaking three languages- apart from Kiswahili and English.

2.0. Meet the Nyanza Neo-Colonial Paramount Chiefs of the 21st Century

Now that we have learnt our tribal lessons and forgotten about that hoary fiction of Nyanza as a complex, multi-ethnic, multiracial, multi-faith diversified UNIFIED ADMINISTRATIVE region of Kenya, we can then gleefully go on to examine its modern political make up as a loose undeclared federation of allegedly hostile and rival tribes whose sole ambition is to stab each other in the back as perpetual payback from some half-mythical half-forgotten ethnic feuds focusing on cattle rustling, burning of villages, rape and kidnapping of women and children dating back two or even three hundred years ago. In this highly tribalized overview of this fractious region, the people of Nyanza are NOT seen as having shared a common history of colonial oppression and neocolonial exploitation; oh no- it is a tinderbox where the Luos square off against the Abagusiis, and the Kurias try to stay neutral from their more numerous ethnic neighbours- and no one says a thing about the other Kenyans from a myriad other nationalities who have called Nyanza home for a very long time.

In this RACIST,TRIBAL rendering of the Nyanza reality, there really is no province but a a mishmash of microkabiladeshs that has been overdue for a gerrymandering reconfiguration along even more minute ethnic demarcations- perhaps to clan and sub-clan economically unviable administrative monstrosities. My strong views AGAINST the kabilastanization of Kenya are not new as you can see from this essay I first wrote a long time ago-on February 27, 2000.

In order for this Kabilastan/Kabiladesh Dystopia to work within the context of the Kenyan neo-colonial state and its associated pecking order of patronage and clientilism powered by top down elite based rivalry from the Central government level downwards, it is CRUCIAL for "Kisii Nyanza" to have its Paramount Neo-Colonial Chief and for "Luo Nyanza" to also have its equivalent Neo-Colonial Paramount Chief. In order for these Chiefs to benefit their acolytes and tribal constituencies, they must have ELECTORAL VEHICLES that serve as conduits, negotiation chambers of seeking and wresting control of crumbs of neo-colonial state patronage from our Kenyan National Uber Nabongo, the Father and Mother of All Ethnic Kabakas, in other words, the President of the So Called Republic of Kenya.

Dear readers, are you following me so far?

We have a region divided into some crudely ahistorical Kabilastans; we have each Kabilastans headed by a Neo-Colonial Paramount Chief and you have these Chiefs paying tribute- if they are not launching their own ETHNICIZED wars against the Uber Nabongo, the Mtukufu Baba na Mama of all Kenyan Kabakas, the Republican Imperial Sultan known as the Executive President of the Kenya Tusioitaka.

So it now makes PERFECT SENSE to find that in the Principality of Gusiiland you have Paramount Chief

Mzee Nyachae bin Nyandusi ruling through his FORD-People council where FOURTEEN out of the FIFTEEN elected members of parliament ni wa Kisii; likewise, in the neighbouring Tributary State of Ramogiland you have Ruoth

Agwambo Tinga Tinga Owad gi Akinyi where ALL of the MPs from Migori,Kisumu,Siaya and Homa Bay are members of what some supporters of the Mount Kenya Mafia like dismissing as the "Luo Development Party"-conveniently forgetting the Limos, Khamisis, Kamothos, Musilas and indeed Wangari Maathais.

In a Kenyan mainstream milieu where there is little pretence at ideologically based politics, the various "political parties" are often little more than ethnic horse trading cartels where this or that tribal chieftain tries to negotiate the best deal for "HIS (deliberate emphasis)people". And that is why you will find a

Musikari Kombo cutting a deal with

Nyachae, Awori and Kiraitu and other so called "government friendly MPs at Sun N Sand over the The Naivasha Accord and the Kilifi Draft in the hope that this will push the buttons of Raila Odinga to the point where the LDP can storm out so that more Luhyias and Kisiis can become government ministers when "errant" mawaziri like

Najib Balala who I understand is a Mjaluo from Pand Pieri,

Kalonzo Musyoka who is an Omera Biro Biro from Gem Kathomo and

Andrew Ligale who is a grandson of Ramogi from Suna, Migori are turfed out along with

Ochilo Ayacko and

Prof. Anyang Nyongo who is actually in NAK, but who cares, isn't he a LUO after all?

Occasionally, the Paramount Chiefs of Nyanza agree- even if it is a mere week after they had torn into each other...

Within the context of the contemporary Kenyan neo-colonial state ruled by an

Imperial President the way the game is played it is a mchezo wa kamari,karata ya kupata potea and there is more of vuta ni kuvute rather than tuvute pamoja harambee!

One has to emphasize that these jostlings are confined to the ELITE of the respective ethnic groups-from the mainstream politicians to the their ANONYMOUS representatives on the internet who like lurking at forums where they can spew their tribal ujinga in a nameless fashion- a week before they go to a public Kenyan public forum to pontificate about uzalendo and the lessons of kupigania uhuru.

All the same, one cannot actually overemphasize the patron-client relationships that define the interaction between say, President Mwai Kibaki and his cabinet ministers like Simeon Nyachae and Raila Odinga. From his end, Kibaki sees the various tribal chieftains as cards in a political deck that he has to keep shuffling for his own short term and long term survival.

As I indicated in my recent open letter to the Kenyan head of state, Kibaki acted as a NATIONAL leader for the first time in a long time when he went to Nyanza and

re-embraced on of the chief architects of the demolition of the

Uhuru Project in 2002. Somebody must have spiked my favourite mango/pineapple/papaya/avocado/banana/orange/tangerine/cashewnut smoothie because I was a gushing milk river,flowing with kind and soothing words for the Prezzo in that digital. In any case, the firm rebuff that the President gave to his "loyalists" from Central Kenya appears to bolster the notion that HE was NOT intoxicated on achwaka during his recent Nyanza tour. The fact that he followed up the Nyanza tour with his first ever excursion to Mwingi and Kitui, the home turf of both Kalonzo Musyoka and Charity Ngilu appeared to indicate a bouyant President enjoying a rejuvenated political spring as he criss crosses the country mending fences. I will not be surprised if he stopped by Najib Balala's Mvita constituency before sitting down with Bahari's Joe Khamisi for a little bit of roasted


Not surprisingly, given the blighted tribalization of our so called "national" politics, Kibaki's warm words and overt rapprochement with Raila did not go down very well with the shameless

andu aitu tribal supremacists who thought they had this game all figured out- right down to the expected "riots" in Nyanza which would be followed by the expulsion of the LDP from NARC so that the other sellouts from KANU,Safina, FORD-Kenya and FORD-People could hit an ethnic bonanza in terms of "harvesting" some suddenly empty ministerial seats in the serikali.

All of this is in keeping with the politics of patronage so common throughout Africa. For instance, if you read the following passage from a text about Cameroonian politics, you could easily substitute Kenyan names and regions and it would still make sense:

"...Power was increasingly centralized in the hands of the President, while the position of Vice-President as well as West Cameroon's separate Assembly and House of Chiefs were abolished. 65 These actions, along with a growing brutal repression of any group in opposition to Ahidjo, further confirmed Anglophone suspicions that they would be marginalized in this new system. Ahidjo used force to try to unify "two different countries, two different cultures, two different economies." 66 The abolition of the federal system created the basis for future Anglophone claims of marginalization and exploitation.

In 1982, Ahidjo hand-picked his successor, Paul Biya. Many had hoped that Biya would push the country further along the democratic path. Although Cameroon became a multiparty democracy in 1990, this transition, like many other African transitions, was in name only. Biya carved up the North into three administrative provinces (Adamawa, North, and Far North) to undermine the power of the Muslim leaders in the North. 67 Biya started out with a democratic agenda, but following the bloody 1984 coup attempt, began to centralize and personalize power even more than Ahidjo. 68 Beti and Bulu ethnic groups (from Biya's region) began to dominate government and parastatal organizations.

Repression was justified in the name of national unity, political and economic stability, and the security of the state. Many citizens were willing to forgo their short-term individual liberty for the sake of economic development and national unity. 69 Under President Biya, the National [End Page 164] Assembly became a rubber stamp, and the judiciary became corrupt, inefficient, and far from independent. 70 For example, the President is the head of the Supreme Command of Magistrates and signs promotions, transfers, and the like. This has helped to undermine the rule of law and promote the personal/patrimonial rule of Paul Biya. As Gabriel argues, "Both Ahidjo and Biya practiced presidentialism, built up an excessive clientelistic network to control a highly diverse country, and in order to obtain the loyalty of their clients, engaged in a massive redistribution of state resources." 71 Co-optation of potential and real opposition forces was the crowning achievement of Biya and the CPDM.

The CPDM has remained an important actor in Biya's personal/patrimonial rule, remaining in power since Biya took over in 1982, creating a virtual one-party state. Opposition parties were only legalized in 1990 following widespread riots, many concentrated in Bamenda, Northwest Province. There are now some 150 political parties operating legally, but only three main opposition parties: the Social Democratic Front (SDF), the Union Nationale pour la Democratie et le Progres (UNDP), and the Union des Populations du Cameroun (UPC).
C. Co-optation

Until 1992, elections were simply a formality, with the CPDM and Biya assured of victory. Multiparty presidential elections were held in 1992 and 1997 with legislative elections in 1997. 73 Biya and the CPDM remained in power, but the elections were widely criticized as fraudulent by both international and domestic observers. 74 The UNDP and a faction of the UPC party joined the CPDM in a coalition government after the 1997 elections.

Biya used patronage to win the support of individuals as well as regions, offering plumb ministerial posts to new coalition members and maintaining an alliance between his southern-based tribe and the northern Muslims. 76 [End Page 165] Biya also used patronage and key appointments to divide the Anglophone opposition. In 1997, Biya appointed Peter Musoke, an Anglophone elite from the Southwest Province, Prime Minister. Musoke replaced Simon Achidi Achu, an Anglophone elite from the Northwest Province. 77 This appointment created greater Southwest Anglophone loyalty to the CPDM and further widened the gulf between the Southwest and Northwest province Anglophones. As Eyoh argues, "cleavages between regional factions of the Anglophone elites have been sustained by a state-centered process of elite formation."

Biya seems determined to remain in power, either through the use of the stick or carrot (co-optation). In 1996, President Biya had the constitution amended to allow the president to remain in power for seven years. Thus in 2004, Biya can run for another seven year term. If he wins, he will have held power in Cameroon for almost three decades.

This centralization and personalization of power has led to the development of the "big-man" syndrome. The man with power (from the President to lower civil servant officials) uses his power as he sees fit, and the population generally looks up to the "man with power" to solve all their problems. The "big man" is thus "above the law." This creates a negative human rights culture where the man with the most power can and does abuse the rights of men (and women) beneath him, because he has the power to do so, and because he makes the argument that it is in the national interest to do so. In other words, when you are the "big man" you don't have to respect the rights of others.

In short, the centralization and personalization of power in Cameroon created a negative human rights culture, whereby the rights of some could be sacrificed for the so-called rights of others. This alienated the Anglophone minority, and undermined the rule of law, further promoting "chop politics."

3.0. The Big SWALI for Me is the Following: Are These Jeng MPs Licking Kibaki's Matako Too Much?

You see, there is a NATIONAL way of interpreting Kibaki's recent trip to Nyanza and the recovery of his gift of speech; and then there is a TRIBAL way of looking at it.

Today I want to cut my -in laws from the slopes some slack- who wants your brother in law fukuzaring you like a ngui when you show up with the mahari to claim their sister, ati because of some rambling blog entry on some goddamned hechteeteepeeforwardlashcolonblogspotdotsijuinini?

Not I.

So I am doing a Kibaki and sending an olive branch to any MEGA-GEMA life members who have been scowling at my threads on the various Kenyan discussion forums online. Like Em-Oh Wan used to say, back in those good old KANU days, "Peace, Love and Unity-na HIYO Ndiyo Maendeleo Nduguzaguni!"

Yes, I know. I KNOW. Time to BE SERIOUS.

Here is what is making me scratch my head, this item in yesterday's Nation:

"We'll Vote With State, Says LDP

The Nation (Nairobi)

August 4, 2005
Posted to the web August 4, 2005

David Mugonyi

The Liberal Democratic Party will vote with the Government in Parliament.

It would back the Kibaki administration on matters benefiting the public, it said, and welcomed the President's refusal to heed the calls by a group of MPs to sideline Cabinet ministers Raila Odinga, Anyang' Nyong'o, Ochilo Ayacko and Najib Balala for voting against the Government on the Bomas Draft.

MPs Otieno Kajwang', Joe Khamisi, Oloo Aringo, Reuben Ndolo and Peter Owidi said their colleagues, who had sought to have the ministers sacked, had wanted to create a wedge between them and the President so they could win favours from him.

They accused their colleagues of trying to portray Mr Odinga as a rebel to endear themselves to the President.

Mr Kajwang' said the President had blocked a dangerous political trend of creating camps and kitchen cabinets.

He explained that the party opposed the Government's motion to amend the Bomas Draft since its members had been excluded from the Parliamentary Select Committee on the Constitution.

Also joining the LDP in criticising the 52 MPs, who visited State House on Tuesday, were Subukia MP Koigi wa Wamwere and South Mugirango's Omingo Magara.

Mr Wamwere described the move as shameful, while Mr Magara said the MPs had overstepped their mandate by presuming to advise the President on how to run his Government.

The group was unhappy about the new-found rapport between the President and the LDP team during his recent visit to South Nyanza.

President Kibaki told the MPs he was the President and had a right to visit any part of the country.

During the visit, the President thanked Mr Odinga for his role in the Narc election victory.

Yesterday Mr Aringo said: "President Kibaki was right. They were elected to be MPs. He has put them in their place."

He added that the lawmakers had tried to put undue pressure on the President while usurping his role of deciding who should be in the Cabinet.

The President had sent a message to Kenyans that he had no ill feelings against those who had opposed the Bomas vote in Parliament.

Mr Kajwang' said: "As we said recently we will continue to support the Government in Parliament. This is our stand since we returned to our sitting position in the House."

The Mbita MP said some of those who visited State House had made "Raila bashing" a business so they could be "close to the President."

Mr Khamisi described President Kibaki's action as a good lesson to the MPs who were arrogating themselves mandates that were beyond them.."

WHAT THE F...???!

Are these guys OUT TO LUNCH or what?

Are these the same members of same LDP who attended a meeting barely THREE WEEKS AGO where they DEMANDED Kibaki's resignation? Are the same wanasiasa who boycotted the Kikambala retreat?

The other day I had some very true things about Musikari Kombo and his raft of FORD-Kenya MPs and I want to take out Kombo's name and see if you can fill in the blanks:
"...Ubarakala is the Kiswahili word for "opportunism." Msaliti means "traitor". Kibaraka is a puppet in the same widely spoken African tongue. If a brand new illustrated Kiswahili-English dictionary came out tomorrow, you would find the face of XXX explaining all three words. Yaani,it is precisely because of the spinelessness, the flip flopping and the shamelessness of the XXXs of the world that makes people all over the world PUKE when they hear the word "politician". It is because of the sheer lack of principle of people like XXX that some of us, no matter how POLITICAL we are, we would S-H-U-D-D-D-D-E-R-R-R with disgust B-R-R-R-R-R-R!!!! if you ever deigned to label us as "politicians"-I remain a POLITICAL ACTIVIST to you, thank you very much. Mainstream politics in Kenya would not be mainstream politics if it did not have vibaraka, vibarakala na wasaliti FROM EACH AND EVERY NATIONALITY, REGION and ETHNIC GROUP..Once again to emphasize, there are vibaraka, vibarakala na wasaliti FROM EACH AND EVERY NATIONALITY, REGION and ETHNIC GROUP in Kenya. I could name one prominent politician for each tribe in Kenya so please let us NOT even go there. I am underlining this because I saw some LUO CHAUVINISTS ranting and raving about a certain ethnic group, casting aspersions, slandering and trashing millions of Kenyans whose only "crime" is the biological accident of being born in the same community as Political Opportunist X...Mainstream Kenyan politicking is underscored by its shameless opportunistic flip flops. These guys were born without a political backbone I tell you. Sometimes when I look at these wanasiasa, they remind me of cattle rustlers who assemble at three o'clock in the morning near River Yala to divvy up the livestock they stole from neighbouring villages. So in a sense Ngilu, Raila, Kombo, Mungatana and company are trying to decide how many goats are going to Bungoma, how many donkeys are going to Tana River, how many sheep are going to Bondo and how many bulls will end up in Ukambani..."


So why is the LDP FLIP FLOPPING in such a WISHY WASHY fashion in much the same way that I characterized FORD-People leader Simeon Nyachae as a

political eel?

Is it because of this picure below:


Some Luo politicians are simply MAD and DOWNRIGHT PATHETIC when it comes to kissing political ass. And some LDP MPs are no different from a MENTAL PATIENT suffering bi-polar disorder in the way they swing from one extreme of upbeat political militancy to the other extreme of deepest despondency. They should actually get a GRIP and fear a CURE for their INSUFFERABLE SYCOPHANCY.

Do these LDP members EVER consult with their social base before they yabber and yammer in parliament?

Right now supporting the President and voting with the government LITERALLY MEANS endorsing the VERY KILIFI DRAFT that the LDP, through many of its leaders including Raila Odinga promised to oppose with all their strength and with all their might.

Do PRINCIPLES mean ANYTHING to these LDP MPs who are blithely blathering on and on and on how eagerly they are going to jump when Kibaki says jump!

But I guess it is easy to do all this if one does NOT have a


On March 18, 2002, at the height of the Made in Nyanza euphoria over the merging of the now defunct NDP and soon to be "New KANU" I was almost LYNCHED by my fellow TRIBESMEN (yes it is usually guys who volunteer to skin other human beings alive) because I had the audacity to URINATE at their PARTY. And I did not actually, technically speaking answer a short call of nature at Kasarani as such- as a matter of fact, I was right here in Montreal. What I did to however, was to write a fairly long poem in my mother tongue, Dholuo and simultaneously translated it into English. Here is the link to the poem.

From the foregoing, it seems fair to surmise that Kenyans SHOULD NOT expect any kind of CONSISTENCY from the LDP, just as they should look forward to even MORE betrayals from NAK and the two FORDs who are now part of the ruling clique.

It is therefore OBVIOUS that the LDP will NOT and CANNOT the fight for a new, national democratic and constitutional order based on the popular mandate of the Bomas process and the unanimous adoption by the national constitutional conference dellegates of the Zero Draft as long it is more important for the LDP to nango olund jotelo mawuondo jopiny. Can someone translate THAT please?

Now, I know some LDP DAMU fellow Jeng is going to hunt me down with a poisoned arrow and brand new panga because of my candid comments.

Well, Omera, as the Oswayo people say,

Ukweli Wawasha. Huko huko Wajaluo wenzangu. Mtanikoma na sitachoka kuwasuta viongozi wenu! Na ukumbuke nilesema KUWASUTA, kwa hivyo usichafua lugha kwa kusema mengine...

Just to remind the LDP, Kenyans ARE STILL OPPOSED to the Kilifi Draft- even after Kibaki visited Nyanza, can you imagine?

And in case my ethnic brothers Otieno K'Ajwang, Peter Owidi and other Kibaki PRAISE SINGERS have been afflicted by a sudden case of Alzheimers, I would like to invite them to listen to this interview I conducted via phone on Wednesday, August 3 with 4 Constitution of Kenya Review Commissioners Abubabakar Zein Abubabakar, Prof. Okoth-Ogendo, Ms. Kavetsa Adagala and Mr John Mutakha Kangu.

Again to the lawyer called K'Ajwang' , here is very comprehensive legal opinion that skewers the proponents of the Naivasha Accord and the Kilifi Draft.

The LDP has to make a choice and it has to make it quickly:

Is that NARC constituent party going to be on the side of Wanjiku and the Wananchi-driven march to a democratic constitution or to the SLIMY and OPPORTUNISTIC politics of expediency where Kenyan elites are obsessed with their real and perceived tribal and personal "enemies" on the national political stage.

Moving on to something else:

The circumstances of my upbringing has had a lot to do with it. I am talking about my somewhat detached critical engagement with mainstream Luo politics.

As a Kenyan who was born in Nakuru to parents who identify primarily as Luos (my mom the progeny of Ugenya people who relocated to Gem; my dad a scion of the dominant Kagola clan in Gem) even though they have a significant Luhyia heritage(my mother's maternal grandmother in Ugenya spoke very heavily accented Dholuo till her dying day in October 1972; my own maternal grandmother was a Luhyia woman from Emanyulia who traced her origins to a LUO clan in Alego, go figure- and throw in the mix the fact that my paternal grandpa, Mzee Isaya Oloo had a Luhyia mother); my village is LITERALLY on the border between Nyanza and Western Province- a sliver of dirt road places my grandfather's homestead in Western and we stare at our Nyanza neighbours literally three feet away...My village Luanda Doho in Kisa Location of the old Kakamega District USED to be in Nyanza until the early 1960s. That is until Martin Shikuku who speaks fluent Luo and was married to the late Shangazi Dolly of Kipindi cha Watoto- a woman from Alego- Shikuku successfully agitated for my village and the surrounding area to be incorporated into Western province. The interesting thing is this: virtually everybody in Luanda Doho speaks Luo- and yet perhaps more than half of the clans who today consider themselves "Luo" were originally Luhyia clans- the Ujimbe and Umina people rush to mind; "Jo-Ukhoware" betrays its obvious "Abandu" connections. People in Luanda Dudi are not caught up trying to figure out whether they are Luos or Luhyias- my grandmother would switch flawlessly from one language to the other depending on who showed up. Recently one of my younger cousins introduced me to her brand new husband from Butere town. He is a Luhyia with a very distinct and common Luo name- no it is not Onyango, Ochieng, Odhiambo or Otieno- but something equally common. My brother in law- let us call him "Otieno" since that is NOT his name- Otieno comes from a clan around the Butere area who consider themselves Luhyia- but they know all their Ugenya relatives. Like my grandma, "Ochieng"'s ma switches from one tongue to the other- "Ochieng" himself speaks impeccable Luo. So is my cousin married to a Luo, a Luhyia or just another typical Kenyan with diverse heritage?

I have been among those Kenyans who have publicly and consistently questioned the accuracy and efficacy of these "pure tribe" myths. I am willing to bet that there is no "pure" Somali, Borana, Mgikuyu, Mkisii, Mkamba, Mluo, Mhindi or any of the forty pluse nationalities that make up the Kenyan nation.

Also it is very difficult to determine for sure who is the "true" ancestral owner of this or that patch of land in many cases. For instance- and I am deliberately opening up a can of worms here- who are the "true" owners of Laikipia District- the Maasai? the Gikuyu? the Ogieks??? All of the above, one of the above, some of the above or none of the above? I am not going to even ATTEMPT to answer that one today...

The foregoing has been written to underscore my amusement whenever I hear anti-Luo tribalists DEMANDING that Onyango Oloo should and must issue a statement on this or that thing happening in Nyanza simply because my name is Onyango Oloo and I speak Dholuo.

The fact that I am NOT from Nyanza and grew up mostly down at the Coast has zero swaying power to persuade deranged ethnic warriors who insist that Onyango Oloo MUST BE ipso fact be the Chairman of the fictitious Canadian Branch of ALA! aka Association of Luos Abroad!

And yet I deeply and directly identify myself with my Luo roots, my Luo culture, my Luo language, my Luo name and the bulk of my blood relatives who come from the province of Nyanza. I see myself as a Kenyan who was lucky enough to have multiple heritage and influences from a myriad sources.

Today however, all that is tangential.

Incidentally, for now, I just wanted to tell the LDP that it would be entirely appropriate if they adopted the common

CHAMELEON as their new SYMBOL.

That is IT. I am DONE.

Onyango Oloo

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