I am definitely voting YES come the August 4th Referendum on the Proposed Constitution for Kenya.
But we may very well lose to the NO side, perhaps by a significant margin, which may shock those Yessers among us who have been snoring soundly because of the positive opinion polls by Synovate, Info Trak et al.
First of all, the YES side does NOT have its complete act together.
YES, we do have our heavy hitters- Prime Minister Raila Odinga, President Mwai Kibaki, the bulk of civil society stalwarts and some very influential media pundits.
But if we rewind just a few days to the just concluded World Cup tourney hosted by South Africa, we know the fate of Messi’s Argentina, Dunga’s Brazil, Klose’s Germany, Van Persie’s Holland, Rooney’s England, Gyan’s Ghana, Forlan’s Uruguay, Ronaldo’s Portugal, Drogba’s Ivory Coast and Et’oo’s Cameroon.
Monster rallies in humungous open air fields are simply not enough to hack it folks.
As someone who straddles both the political party/civil society expanse, I can give first hand testimony of the territorialism, self-seeking and gate keeping that has kept able, capable and available foot soldiers (and I count myself as among these humble and ever ready wanajeshi for change) out of the kitchens and core organizing hubs for the YES camp.
There are people reading this (I am referring to my comrades and friends in ODM AND the civil society YES teams) who can attest to the fact that Onyango Oloo has tried and failed over the last few months, through repeated phone calls, text messages, emails and personal entreaties, to be included in either the political party dominated or the civil society fronted YES secretariats here in Nairobi.
And I know of dozens of people of far greater experience, skills and networks than myself who find themselves in the same doldrums.
Sadly, quite a lot of time and effort has been expended by many well connected individuals both in the major political parties AND civil society circles, on finding a sure niche for themselves and their hand picked associates, to access, for private and personal use and corrupt purposes, some of the millions (or is it actually billions?) raised for the YES campaign.
In the meantime, our determined opponents in the NO campaign have been patiently and steadfastly mobilizing their special teams overtly and covertly.
The NO side’s main success has been infiltrating the YES camp with their nefarious and toxic watermelons led by Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka and Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta.
By maintaining a dodgy fifth column right in the heart of the YES Secretariat, the NO side is privy to all the secrets, strategies and tactics of those leading the campaign to endorse the proposed new constitution.
In Uhuru Kenyatta the NO side have someone- who, as Finance Minister and also privately as one of Kenya’s wealthiest tycoons- controls a lot of financial and material resources capable of scuttling the YES juggernaut. And let us not forget that he now controls K24 and the People newspaper.
Through Gideon Moi, who is practically the Editorial Director at the Standard Group, the NO schemers have been able to tilt media coverage in favour of their dishonest propaganda.
Viewers of KTN must have noticed by now that clips of YES rallies largely focus on the speakers’ podium as opposed to the huge crowds and are frequently the fourth or fifth items as opposed to the leading stories. In the Standard newspaper, any criticism of NO’s blood stained patriarch, Daniel Toroitich arap Moi are promptly squelched. Two of my friends who contribute columns to this publication have testified of brutal censorship on this score.
Over at the Nation Media Group, the NO schemers who emanate from the other political cartel grouped around one of Africa’s famous mountains have tried with some degree of success to ram the NO message down the throats of their readers, viewers and listeners.
For instance, some deep pockets with old money from the Kenyatta looting era poured a reported four million shillings into the coffers of a well known political scientist cum high profile weekend columnist to trash the proposed constitution.
The only hitch in the plans of the mountainous conspirators against constitutional change is that the guy who actually owns the Nation Media Group- His Highness The Aga Khan- is actually rooting for the YES team.
That is why said columnist has done a mysterious disappearing act and the NMG waffles between YES, NO, and Watermelon.
As the YES team leaders continue to wax and wallow in a very misplaced sense of complacency, their NO antagonists are quietly organizing behind the scenes.
One of their most effective tactics is to harness the passions and emotions of the Kenyan Christian charismatic faithful in railing and rallying against the proposed constitution.
And here those overfed two faced hordes of greedy, materialistic televangelists have done a stellar job in trying to drive a satanic stake through the hearts of democratic minded and justice seeking Kenyans mobilizing for a new constitutional order.
Applying the tried and tested Republican underhanded campaign tactics crafted by their far right religious donors from the United States of America, the rabid Kenyan evangelical NO crusaders against change and social progress have managed to tap into the blind loyalty of those naive church goers who help maintain the lavish lifestyles of the Bishop Wanjirus and Pastor Lais through regular generous donations and ongoing tithes trumpeted most notoriously through the decidedly Un-Christ like so called “Prosperity Gospel”.
A well placed source of mine told me the other day how some of these fake “Bishops” and irreverent and irrelevant “Reverends” desperately approached a certain media house very recently in an attempt to purchase the original video footage from the Uhuru Park bombing scene depicting them exhorting and extorting money (minimum contribution: 1,000 shillings!) from their gullible adherents just around the time the grenades were killing innocent Christians who had come to the park thinking they were attending a prayer crusade as opposed to a NO rally.
While the YES heavyweights have been pitching their messages to the Fortysomething plus generation of voters, the religious storm troopers in the NO campaign have been targeting the younger 18 to 34 age bracket millions of registered voters.
I have interacted with literally THOUSANDS of young Kenyans in person or virtually via Facebook and emailing lists like Mlahoi and Young Professionals-who will either vote NO or abstain altogether.
The vast majority of these young Kenyan naysayers profess to be Born Again Christians.
Me thinketh NOT.
Over the last few months, there has been a carefully calculated propaganda campaign carried online by crafty charismatic religious hate mongers and fear specialists who have done a very good job, using Power Point presentations, chain mails or concocted email “debates” provoking and "flaming" Muslims, in scaring a significant percentage of the young Kenyan Christian faithful into a paranoid state of mind where the majority actually believe that if the proposed constitution passes, Kenya will be transformed into an East African Taliban theocracy ruled by evil Somalis and brutal Waswahili brandishing swords to cut off the heads, limbs and other body parts of Christians hauled before hastily convened Sharia courts headed by President Ahmedinejad Kibaki and Prime Minister Osama Bin Raila.
Believe it or not, unless Pastor Ng’ang’a of Neno performs one of his dubious miracles on television within the next couple of weeks to change their minds, many of these very frightened young Kenyan Christians are either voting NO or staying from the polling booths altogether come August 4, 2010.
Retired dictator Daniel arap Moi has claimed strenuously, stridently and repeatedly that his “NO” against the proposed constitution is a special and unique “NO”-qualitatively different, separate and unique from the “NO” of Kalonzo Musyoka, John Michuki and Uhuru Kenyatta; the “NO” of Cyrus Jirongo, Naomi Shabaan, Samuel Poghisio, Jamleck Kamau and William Ruto; the “NO” of Wanyiri Kihoro, Charles Rubia and Koigi wa Wamwere; the “NO” of Pastor Lai, Pastor Ng’ang’a and Pastor Muiru; the “NO” of Reverend Elijah Wanje (who was my classmate and friend from Form One to Form Four at the Mombasa Baptist High School in the Seventies-and I was the best Christian Religious Education student in that class throughout! If in doubt, verify from “prophet” Elijah himself); the “NO” of John Cardinal Njue, ex-radical Sheikh Khalid Balala, Bishop Margaret Wanjiru and Bishop Mark Kariuki.
When the cantankerous KANU strongman old man denies links to his notorious and nefarious “NO” cohorts and sidekicks, he LIES, he FIBS, he utters UNTRUTHS.
What connects Moi to Wanjiru, Lai, Muiru, Ng’ang’a, Kariuki and the rest of the NO evangelical posse?
A man with two names:
You see, the contemporary Kenyan multi-millionaires of the charismatic cloth are all spawns of Arthur Kitonga, the doyen of the Gospel Redeemed Church which showed the latter day televangelists how to grab land when he set up shop in the Huruma slums all those years ago.
But Arthur Kitonga is himself a protégé of the late Kamba kingpin Mulu Mutisya, who was in turn a shameless, spineless sycophantic doormat for none other than Daniel arap Moi.
Back in the days when the NCCK was a credible democratic voice for constitutional reforms, Moi sought a religious counterweight to diminish its influence.
Arthur Kitonga and his evangelical sidekicks were used to set up an alternative Protestant lobby group to rival and undercut the influence of the NCCK. A variant of this original “alternative” these rears its sordid head today as the “Kenya Church”- a grouping distancing itself from the other mainstream churches like the Catholics, Anglicans, Presbyterians, Methodists etc as it largely clustered around the plethora of Pentecostal leaning charismatic formations- Deliverance this, Gospel that, Redeemed this, Revived that…
And remember Moi is one of the main financial backers of the African Inland Church- where Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka regularly partakes morsels of his spiritual muthokoi.
Together, these Kenyan far right Christian fundamentalists became part of the religious bulwark buttressing the Moi-KANU dictatorship in the 1980s and 1990s.
Dictator Moi rewarded their leaders handsomely.
Pastor So and So, one of the three richest evangelists in Kenya- is he based in Mombasa, Malindi or Makindu, I forget- was irregularly allocated land by Moi and the KANU regime. Other Christian leaders outside the evangelical fringe also fed off this trough. And some of this land is in the Mau water catchment area.
I am reliably informed that one of the reasons why the Catholic top hierarchy is so hell bent on opposing the proposed constitution is because that institution is one of the largest land grabbers in the country. A big percentage of the land that the religious leaders grabbed was transferred to individual, private hands of specific religious leaders, their families or associates.
So what glues the “NO” team together?
Daniel arap Moi.
The leading “NO” leaders hiding in the YES camp- Uhuru Kenyatta and Kalonzo Musyoka-are Moi’s adopted political children.
Cyrus Jirongo and William Ruto-the masterminds of the Youth for KANU ’92, may have differed slightly with Daniel arap Moi over the last three years. But it was Moi who created and sustained their political careers.
Through Arthur Kitonga, there is an unbroken umbilical cord tying the right wing televangelists to their male mother, Daniel arap Moi.
How about Samuel Poghisio?
KANU MP, but more importantly a recipient of the corrupt corporate largesse of Uhuru Kenyatta and his billionaire first cousin, Beth Mugo and therefore directly connected to Moi. Naomi Shabaan is the “indigenous mpwani” veneer which helps to camouflage the fact that the Kenyatta family grabbed large tracts of land from the Dawida and Taveta communities at the Coast and is shipping out its rubies and other mineral wealth out of the country with cynical impunity.
Koigi wa Wamwere?
There is something I heard, but since Koigi is a political fellow traveler of mine going back to the 1980s, I will seek him out and ask him directly to his face whether it is true that Moi gave him land not only in Subukia which he represented in parliament, but also Kahawa Sukari where he built his Nairobi residence during his stint as assistant minister for information between 2003 and 2007.
I draw a blank here, quite honestly because Wanyiri is also another very good comrade and friend who ruffled Mount Kenya elite PNU feathers by publicly endorsing Raila Odinga for President in 2007. He clearly has strong sentiments and reasons which makes him uncomfortable with the proposed constitution.
Ironically by default, both Wanyiri and Koigi are today finding themselves in the surreal situation of working with the same individual who almost killed them in detention-Daniel arap Moi.
Coming back to the televangelists who I clearly have very little respect for, I just wanted to add that some of them are thoroughly despicable when you examine their moral fibre.
Take for instance Pastor M or N (I will one day spell out his full names, but not today) who may or may not have been a candidate for a certain high elective office in 2007. Not too long ago he was a preacher doing the Aga Khan Walk beginner’s beat. Then he met a certain lady who is his mother’s age mate. This lady, from the Wairimu stable, had her own church but could not preach her way out of a black plastic bag. So said lady hooks up with fledgling preacher M or N who was articulate, riveting and obviously alluring to said age mate of his mother. He joins her church. Did I mention that he was a married father at the time? Never mind. He abandons his lawfully wedded wife for his mother’s age mate who proceeds to make him fabulously wealthy. When his lawfully wedded wife whimpers about this moral decadence, said Pastor M or N hires brutal thugs who beats up lawfully wedded wife’s relatives/associates so badly that they are left for dead. Word goes around Pastor M or N’s church with a lot of disapproving tongues clucking. Pastor M or N is forced to enter into some kind of unspecified settlement with said lawfully wedded wife. But that is not all. Not too long ago same man of the cloth was forced to pay off some members of the fourth estate astronomical amounts of money when it came to light that three Cameroonian conmen/manufacturers of fake money were operating from said Pastor’s palatial home!
Then there is Bishop V or W who is said to be stashing away her own biological out of wedlock love child away from Kenyan public scrutiny somewhere in Scotland. She is known to have hastily given one hundred thousand good ngiris to a certain intrepid investigative journalist whose last name starts and end with “O” who ran into her, when he was with his “clande” and she was with her secret lover exiting from a certain “slaughter house” in Nairobi where people go for short time underground sexual peccadilloes with their adulterous partners.
God is good, all the time…
Several months ago the award winning KTN crime busting duo of John Alan Namu and Mohammed Ali broke a story on their Jicho Pevu television show about corrupt dealings involving KRA and the Mombasa Port.
But my sources told me that the real story which was suppressed by both Standard and KRA big wigs was that John Alan and Mohammed Ali were on the trail of the biggest fish in the KRA pond itself who it is said, receives millions of shillings every month for his central and crucial role in the illegal importation of SUVS which are older than eight years old. It does not really matter if John Alan got the tip from his own mother and father who both work for the Kenya Revenue Authority.
Do you know who orders these 8, 9 or 10 year old Prados, Explorers and what not?
Some of your holier than thou televangelists.
And I will spare you the details of the macabre rituals, blood curdling superstitious incantations and nocturnal semi-nude dancing some well heeled friends of mine used to eyeball taking place next door almost daily in their leafy suburb in the Kilimani neighbourhood as recently as a few months ago performed by a weird, but rich Kenyan family who are high ranking members of that Made in Nigeria front for drug smuggling- Winners’ Chapel.
Simply disgusting and despicable, makes me want to throw up, I kid you not.
To end where I began:
I am a very worried YES voter.
I hope we win, but I am not as confident as I was two and a half weeks ago.
Will the political big wigs (especially those in ODM) digest and apply the real lessons from South Mugirango and Matuga debacles before it is too late?
We will find out on the morning of August the 5th.