Sunday, November 25, 2012

Hamba Kahle Dada Kasuku!













 A Tribute by Onyango Oloo

Lillian Mwikali Andree, fondly known by her online Jukwaa handle as "Kasuku" was laid to rest on Saturday, November 24, 2012 at her rural home of Mithanga village, Mumbuni location in Machakos.

Hundreds  of people showed up at the  


Machakos mortuary and her rural home for the  teary, celebratory




 and sad send off.


There were lots of floral tributes from her father

Dishon Mwanzia Tua (her mother, Alice Nduku, died of cancer a few years back);
 her brothers,

her sisters and other relatives. Her  German husband Benhard Bilo was unable to attend because his passport had expired and he needed six weeks to renew that travel document according to information conveyed to the mourners.

However Lillian's two brothers-in-law,  

Gideon Aswani who is married to Lillian's younger sister Lucy as well as the one who is married to the other sisters were on hand to place a wreath on Benhard.

Jukwaa was represented by its founder and administrator,  

Onyango Oloo who later addressed the crowd.

He brought greetings from Jukwaa members in Germany, Norway, Sweden, the United Arab Emirates, Russia, South Korea, Holland, Belgium, Tunisia, South Africa, Botswana, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Ethiopia, the United States, Mexico, Canada, Brazil, India, Kenya, Jamaica, the United Kingdom and other areas around the globe. Jukwaa was committed he said, to  seeing that justice was done in finding and convicting the  violent, heartless criminals who murdered Lillian Mwikali Andree in such a brutal manner. He spoke of the outpouring of condolences from Jukwaa members and reported on what he had done to contact the relevant  authorities to share the information he had regarding this case and said that some Jukwaa members had taken the  initiative in writing to all the presidential candidates as well as the heads of the police and CID urging for concrete action to be taken. He added, tongue in cheek that all his attempts so far to reach Maurice Kilonzo, Lillian's lawyer had been met with  a robotic digital message of "Mteja  Hapatikani" (the subscriber is unavailable) and hoped that since Kilonzo was present at the funeral perhaps Oloo would have a chance for a one on one chat.

As it happens it was  

Maurice Kilonzo himself who followed Oloo to the podium.

Kilonzo explained that due to several death threats to him personally as a KEY PROSECUTION WITNESS in the  Lillian homicide case, he had been  screening all his calls as part of a whole raft of security measures to ensure his safety.  He revealed that the chief suspect, Emiel Van Der Werf had approached him directly on November 12, 2012 to  urge him to  hand over the case to another lawyer. This was the DAY AFTER Lillian's  killing. Mr. Kilonzo was  very militant and adamant, speaking with visible anger about the brutal slaying of his client. He shared a lot of valuable insight about the matter.

Everyone, from Lillian's father, Dishon Mwanzia Tua to her sisters, brothers, cousins, aunties, uncles, in laws and other members of her family spoke in one strong united and courageous voice about the need for  truth and justice saying that they would not relent until the matter was  successfully concluded.

Jukwaa got a hearty round of applause for its spontaneous global solidarity with their departed member Kasuku. At the final prayers, the pastors and other religious clergy specifically called  for "The Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ to protect Onyango Oloo and lawyer Maurice Kilonzo  from the evil plots of those who may be trying to harm them in their pursuit for justice."

From what I later gathered from some key sources at the funeral ( whom I cannot mention for various reasons), I was able to glean the following:

1. The killers of Lillian Mwikali Andree are known to the relevant investigating authorities who have details of how many of them were part of the conspiracy, their names, places of residence and occupation;

2. A Sailfish Club member who was part of Lillian's security detail was a WITNESS but NOT a perpetrator of the crime has fled from Malindi out of fear for his life and is hiding out in his rural (former) Western Province home;

3. Lillian was NOT the first person to be found murdered at the Sailfish Club. Two years ago the body of a young woman was found floating in the  swimming pool. Three years ago another woman was found murdered at the same establishment;

4. The spouse of Emiel Van Der Werf has been linked to  earlier killings involving the Sailfish Club. Around 1995 the bodies of two German businessmen were found burnt almost beyond  recognition. They had  been tied to the ownership wrangles to the property. Mrs. Van Der Werf according to these accounts was once married/ or living with one of these  dead Germans. After their killings, this Kenyan born woman hooked up with Mr. Van Der Werf as a companion and later wife. She is the woman  who  is reputed to have been approached by Lillian when she went to the Sailfish Club to prove her ownership of the property;

5. Mr. Van Der Werf is rumoured to have been  linked to people being thrown overboard into the sea. Mr. Van Der Werf is reported to be a world acclaimed deep sea angler who has won accolades for the catch he brings in. 

6. Lillian was murdered on her 52nd birthday INSIDE the Sailfish Club. Earlier that evening she had telephoned her lawyer Maurice Kilonzo to report that some unknown people claiming to be "lawyers" had contacted her, wanting to "serve her with some papers regarding her dispute with the club". Her lawyer advised her NOT to deal with them because legally she could not be served after six o'clock on the weekend. He also advised her to check out from the Sailfish Club and  move into his Malindi residence AFTER calling the cops. He last spoke to Lillian around 10 pm on the evening she was murdered. Mr. Kilonzo has promised to  avail Jukwaa with a detailed statement on what he knows about this case. At some point her killers barged into her room, overpowered her in the course of which they broke one of her arms, bound her limbs, stabbed her in the neck before bludgeoning her repeatedly with a blunt weapon. To stem the amount of blood rushing from Lillian they stuffed her in a plastic bag before  wrapping her dead body in the bed sheets in the bed she was sleeping in. The fact that her panties and other under garments were used to blindfold and gag her may or may not point to a sexual assault dimension to the grisly murder. It is reported that a lorry (truck) was summoned to the premises in a bid perhaps of  transporting the body out of the club. The vehicle left without its  lifeless human would be cargo. This is when, I was told, the body may have been stuffed in the Club's  septic tank to avoid detection. Mr. Van Der Werf is reported to have been sighted at the facility around the time of the murder.

7. There is a separate lawyer pursuing the  property rights of Lillian. Mr. Kilonzo revealed at the funeral that he has ALL the relevant documents to prove Lillian's ownership of the Sailfish Club. There is a likelihood that all other  purported documents claiming ownership from other  quarters are forgeries. It has been decided that due to the centrality of Mr. Kilonzo in the  criminal case of homicide as a material prosecution witness,  he needs to step aside from directly representing Lillian as a lawyer at this point in time.

8. A Legal Defence bank account drawn up in Lillian Mwikali's name is being set up and soon her supporters will be provided with the account details so that they can know where to remit any contributions.

The whole tragedy surrounding Lillian Mwikali Andree aka "Kasuku" has driven home a point to me as a blogger and social media aficionado. 
And it is a a simple statement: 
The Jukwaas, Kenyaonlines, Africa-Opeds, Kenya Talk and other online communities and cyber forums which are often abused and misused to spew xenophobia, racism, sexism, tribalism and other forms of fear mongering among Kenyans and other people around the world can indeed by sources, ambassadors and conduits for  national and international friendship and harmony; these sites can be powerful tools for social justice, conflict transformation and weapons for promoting human rights  speaking truth to power.

Sincerely,

Onyango Oloo
Mithanga Village, Mumbuni Location
Machakos, Kenya

Monday, November 19, 2012

Is There a Mafia Link to Kasuku's Murder?


 By Onyango Oloo in Nairobi

Malindi is a beautiful town on the Kenyan coast.



Famous for its tourist attractions, Malindi has over recent years gained prominence as a magnet for Italian magnates.


Here is an excerpt from a story featured in  the November 18, 2012 edition of the Nairobi-based Sunday Nation newspaper:

Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is thought to be one of the prospective wealthy owners of holiday homes at an exclusive club set to be built in the Kenyan coastal town of Malindi.

Formula One billionaire Flavio Briatore, while announcing his plan to build the club at a cost of Sh500 million last week, said that 24 VIPs had confirmed interest in owning holiday homes.

They consist mostly of wealthy friends of Mr Briatore from Italy and other parts of the world.
Speculation about the Berlusconi connection is fuelled by the fact that the socialite Briatore recently hosted the former Italian prime minister at his Lion in the Sun Resort and Spa in Malindi.

The two billionaire friends spent a week at Lion in the Sun which, for years, used to be Mr Briatore’s holiday home.

Soon after the holiday, Mr Briatore announced his plans for a billionaires club with 24 exclusive apartments whose ownership will be by invitation only.

Artistic impressions of what the club will look like and the disclosures by Mr Briatore that customers seeking to acquire units at the club had to be vetted to ensure that they were people of status suggests it will be one of the most expensive and luxurious resorts in Africa.

“We are not just accepting any client, we are going for the high level upmarket investors. Actually I mainly prefer people I know, friends… you know you cannot get into a private jet with somebody who you do not know or is not your friend,” Mr Briatore said.

Increased demand for high class accommodation for the wealthy prompted the Italian business magnate to change his holiday home into a hotel. Lion in the Sun was voted one of the best clubs in the world for providing guests a healthy holiday under nutrition experts.

One of the attractions at Lion in the Sun is the acclaimed Thala Spa Henri Chenot, which offers a range of body treatments using the principles of ancient Chinese medicine to restore the body’s natural equilibrium. It is said to be one of only six such exclusive centres around the world.

The planned investment is expected to push Malindi’s profile as a tourist resort town up by leaps and bounds.

Mr Briatore said Malindi is a great destination and it deserves high class accommodation for high value tourists.

“Malindi has a good weather, some of the best beaches and, apart from being secure, its people are very friendly to tourists... For that reason there is need to improve the standards and attract upmarket tourists here,” he said.

Another advantage Mr Briatore is exploiting is Malindi’s easy accessibility from Europe and the short distance between the holiday resorts and the Malindi airport.

“Here, one feels completely at home and relaxed, it is the international media in Italy and elsewhere which goes wild on how unsafe it is in Kenya but, after coming to Malindi for more than 20 years, I am convinced this is the place to be with my friends.”

He called on the Italian government to lift the travel advisory to Italians against visiting Kenya.
He said the visit by Mr Berlusconi had been covered by all the major newspapers and magazines in Italy and it was testimony that Kenya and Malindi are safe.

“We have been here for a week and walked on the beach and enjoyed our stay thoroughly. There was no problem at all with security and my guest is happy,” Mr Briatore said.

He said the presence of wealthy people at the Malindi marine park would not affect tourists and Kenyans intending to use the beach since “all over the world there were no private beaches and shorelines are accessible to anybody”.

But that is NOT the story which spurred me to compose this digital piece.

It was another tale, darker;  a gothic narrative tracking a mystifying macabre weekend atrocity; a grim account about a brutal murder of an innocent Kenyan business woman who happens to be a very good friend of ours in one of the well-known Kenyan online communities-Jukwaa.

We knew Ms. Lillian Mwikali Andree simply as


Kasuku-that was the handle, the pseudonym she used as a member of that discussion forum that I founded way back in August 2005.  

Jukwaa has since emerged as one of the most respected sites for sober discussions on all things political, economic, social and cultural with a Kenyan focus.

Although we had been corresponding long distance for  quite some time, it was not until late July this year that we met face to face for the first time in Nairobi.

Kasuku, who had lived in Germany since 1979 had come to Kenya on a personal and business trip but she had also come in the country to follow up directly with me on this request that she had communicated to me privately on June 7, 2012:

Kisumu High Court
« Message sent on Jun 7, 2012, 3:00pm »
Dear Onyango
First of all, please forget about my earlier request. I have researched the information myself.
Thank you.
Secondly, I need your help concerning a criminal judicial issue in Kisumu High court which has to do with a lawyer from the region selling a property of mine in Malindi Fraudulently...
His name is Michael Owuor, who created a case against my property in Malindi in order to get it auctioned. This was in 1997 when he had an office in Malindi. But he went to get the court order in the Kisumu High court.
At the time he got court order, my property, a Villa, stood alone as my Manager had passed away and I was sick in Europe. As he couldn’t get someone to officially auction the property, he found a willing buyer in two guys from Holand who bought it for peanuts.
- Since the property belonged to my deceased husband who passed away a few years before the properties fraudulent selling, after his death there was estate dispute between my 2 step sons which lasted 10 years and so I couldn’t get to apply for a letter of administration before 2007, which I have now, as I was left the villa by my Husband.
But there is the court order in Kisumu we have to lift. My lawyer in Mombasa just informed me that the file can’t be traced and he wants to go there. But I am thinking just how much this will cost me, as have being already conned by a prominent lawyer (between us please) the alleged Human rights lawyer).
I am very desperate to get this matter solved without complicating it worse.
You are from Nyanza province. Could you kindly advise me on what to do when a file can’t be found? As I believe it was made to disappear as soon as it did its purpose of selling my villa fraudulently – if at all there was one at all? Do you know a very good lawyer in Kisumu who  can advise me and do the work there for its cheaper than my Mombasa lawyer flying there as I have no money to throw away.
The file in Kisumu high court:
The civil suit number is 269 of 1997
The court order was issued on the 3th. October 1997
Plaintiff: Michael Owuor
Defendants: Hans Ulrich Schubach, Henri Johann and Norbert Joseph Burke
(My Husband who owned 2 thirds of the property isn’t even being sued there as he was dead maybe?)
Maybe if you can pass this to a Kisumu lawyer you trust won’t go running to Owuor (Who must be an old man now), please do forward him this email and tell me his honorary.
I would be totally thrilled for a little help from Kisumu.
Kind regards
Lilian
We kept communicating on this issue. This is from June 25, 2012:
 Dear Oloo
I was bedridden too and no Internet connection at home. What  pity i missed this mail...I think you will reach more than my lawyer in Mombasa, who has a lawyer connection in Kisumu who seems to be unable to reach anything after not finding the file.

By the way that auctioner guy, Kinyua is none other than the one who teamed up with Owuor to allegedly auction my place. I have his signature from the alleged sale agreement.

This is my mobile number in Germany. Please send me yours and we will communicate that way for now. Am due to fly to Nairobi next week.
Regards
Lilian
 But Kasuku did not travel at that time:

Re: Kisumu High Court
« Message sent on Jul 12, 2012, 12:18pm »   
Dear Onyango

Due to circumstances, my traveling schedule keeps on changing. I am needed here for some time but will probably come before August.

However, kindly email me your feedback for me to look for a way forward.

I appreciate your help

Kind regards

Lilian
This is when she made it to Nairobi:
  L.Andree
Thu, Jul 19, 2012 at 10:59 PM
To: onyango.oloo@gmail.com

Dear Onyango

 Am arriving in Nairobi on Sunday 22, July. Can we meet on Monday?

 Regards

 Lilian
 We met about three times during her short stint in Kenya in late July to discuss further the assignment she gave me. When she went back we kept communicating via phone and email. I took the initiative of meeting the "prominent human rights lawyer" she had mentioned in her June message.

 As it turned out, the said attorney is a very close pal of mine and we have collaborated on several issues since  the year 2000. He told me that he had actually managed to retrieve the file that Kasuku had been looking for and the hold up was over some payment wrangle between him  and Lillian. On his part  he said that they had agreed on a fee of 700,000 Kenyan shillings and Lillian had only paid  him100,000. While Lillian/Kasuku later told me that the "prominent human rights lawyer" was holding on to the file despite her forking out something in the region of 150,000. I was later a victim of friendly fire from both sides-the lawyer wanted  Lillian to apologize for a series of attacks on him that she had posted on of a certain  Facebook Group featuring Kenyan issues while Lillian insisted that the said lawyer should not blackmail her.

They each threatened to report each other to various authorities. When I offered to be the mediator between the two, Kasuku who we were having dinner with at the South C motel where she had moved to from the original guest house in Parklands, blew her top turning on me for my effrontery of trying to cajole her into negotiating with someone who had wronged her.

Her flare up quickly dissipated as she calmed down. She even left me some very nice clothes to pass on to my wife because she did not want to take them back to Germany.  She was scheduled to fly later that evening so we bid each other goodbye.

Unfortunately, to cut a long story short, I was not able to deliver on my mission to retrieve the file in Kisumu as I explained to Kasuku in this email:
Thu, Aug 30, 2012 at 11:06 AM
To: Lilian Andree
Dear Lillian:

Sorry for the delay in getting back to you.

Kisumu was a nightmare. I actually went there twice this last weekend.
On Thursday, August 23, 2012 I was there from Kericho. Since I knew we
were going to Kisumu Hotel for the book launch I arranged with my
contacts to meet me there. One of them showed up and we had agreed
that we would go to a quiet corner to talk after our function. I am
sure you read or saw on YouTube what happened. By the time the cops
were pushing people out of the room he had fled along with the rest of
the attendees. After the fracas, I went to my mother-in-law's funeral
in Kendu Bay the same day. She was being buried the following day.
Immediately after the burial I got a ride back to Kisumu where I had
arranged to meet my second contact and from there travel straight to
Mombasa. This one simply refused to show up or take my calls. After
waiting for an hour and a half at the place where we had agreed to
meet, I got an SMS from him blasting me and telling me that he had not
known that I was such a traitor to the Luos by associating with
Miguna. He asked me never to contact him again. So I left Kisumu for
Mombasa once again empty handed.

What to do now?

The atmosphere and political climate in Kisumu right now will make it
difficult for me to even go there...No need to risk a personal assault.

What I can do-but only with your permission-I can try and persuade
xxxx xxxxx to part with the file. Before I suggest how, I need to get
your feedback because the last time I proposed that, you were
vehemently and adamantly opposed to the idea.

Take Care.

Sincerely,

Onyango Oloo


Kasuku  was in person a very warm, direct and intelligent person who had worked very hard to build several enterprises in Germany and in Kenya. At the time we met she had bought some property in Mtito Andei where she was busy constructing a home where she  hoped to relocate to after all those decades living in Europe.

Although she had earlier told me about a women's conference taking place in Nairobi in October, I was not aware that she was back in the country because she never contacted me this second time around. I only came to learn of her presence in Kenya through this posting on Jukwaa:
On Nov 3, 2012, 5:01pm, kasuku wrote:
The title is really correct. Malindi is being stollen every day by foreigners. Right now am capturing my property from some thieves.
Oh, the other day Raila's property was stollen at Kilifi!
And by the way it isnt only foreigners who are stealing properties here. Kenyans have grabbed too.
Berluskoni knows the safest place to hide in the worl is Malindi. Tomorrow am going to the beach Party and hope to see that kaman face to face to see what makes a man bahve as if he could just walk to God and tell him to vacate his sit.
And then on Sunday, November 14, 2012 as I was watching the seven o'clock news on Citizen TV, I was shocked speechless at a news item which was later to be repeated during the nine o'clock bulletin:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=uM_576UnfaI&list=UUhBQgieUidXV1CmDxSdRm3g&index=7&feature=plcp

The subsequent articles in the print media confirmed my worst fears:

From the Daily Nation:
BY ROBERT NYAGAH rnyagah@ke.nationmedia.com
The decomposing body of a business woman was yesterday discovered dumped inside a septic pit in a Malindi hotel.
Police have launched investigations into the death of Ms Lillian Mwikali Andree, a Kenyan based in Germany and collected samples of blood and other items from the scene.
The security agents and Malindi fire brigade officers took about four hours to remove the body from the septic pit — used for waste water at the Malindi Sail Fish Club — after breaking through its concrete cover.
The police found blood stained clothes at the scene while the decomposing body was tied with pieces of torn bed covers on the legs, hands and the mouth.
There was a trail of blood from the room she had occupied right into the top section of the septic pit where her body was recovered.
Neighbours said on Sunday they heard strange noises but did not attempt to check what was happening especially because noisy parties are sometimes held at the club.
The woman is said to have gone missing from Sunday amid claims from her lawyer that she had expressed fears about her safety at the club.
“When she complained about threats to her life, I cautioned her against staying at the club, whose ownership she was fighting over,” the lawyer, Mr Morris Kilonzo said.
Detectives arrested an investor who operates the club and five Kenyans who work there.
According to the lawyer, the woman arrived recently from Germany and had sought help to regain ownership of the club. Mr Kilonzo said Ms Mwikali established the club with her husband in 1981 and managed it together until he died in 1995. She was then forced to go Germany and legally pursue her husband’s property.
Irregular transfer
However, according to the lawyer, a German tenant was left behind to manage the club and it was then that an irregular transfer was allegedly made on the Malindi Sail Fish Club.
“When she returned from Germany and attempted to access the club, tenants restrained her and even claimed they had documents to prove they owned it,” said the lawyer.
The lawyer said his client also owns tourism, travel and deep sea fishing establishments in Germany where she lives with her two daughters.
The lawyer said that when a clerk from his firm visited the club in an attempt to talk to the woman and know her whereabouts, he was denied access to the establishment.
The lawyer explained that he was shocked when the police called him yesterday to inform him of his client’s death.
“We were supposed to be in court today (yesterday) and it is shocking that Ms Mwikali is no more She was just pursuing her property which she was legally entitled to,” said Mr Kilonzo.
For the Star story, click on this link .

There was this follow up in the Daily Nation of November 19, 2012 with picture (on the online edition) of hotel owner being arrested.

As for me, I  sought my friend, the "prominent human rights lawyer".

We met at a certain hotel in the vicinity of the State House here in Nairobi on Friday, the 16th of November.  We there for hours. Later, perhaps by happenstance, a senior NSIS officer, whose brother just happened to be a close associate of the late Lillian joined us.

Both individuals gave me valuable information. The lawyer said he had in his possession a photo copy of the long sought file which he was willing to hand over to the authorities and Kasuku's lawyer.

The NSIS guy and his brother (who later also showed up) told me that they had both known Kasuku for several years.

They revealed that the lawyer that Lillian had been seeking, Michael Owuor, had actually DIED sometime in November 2011.

The NSIS officer told me that he had hooked up Kasuku with his counterpart in Kisauni, Mombasa who had in turn linked her with the DCIO in Malindi, a Mr. John Ndung'u. They had all advised Kasuku to pursue her matter through the police.

However, Lillian being a headstrong and independent woman had opted to grab the proverbial bull by the horns, going directly to the Sailfish Club (which was actually her former villa that had been grabbed from her years ago) and through one of the friendly members of staff managed to access the wife of the Sailfish owner, Mr. Emilicus Vandewerf (also known as Emiel Van Der Werf) . Since she happens to be a Kenyan from the Luo community a rapport quickly developed between Kasuku and Mrs. Vandewerf (Van Der Werf?). Kasuku was able to share documents which proved that she was the real owner of the property.

According to my NSIS contact and his brother, Kasuku soon met the Dutch owner of the Sailfish Club. They soon struck a deal: Mr. Emilicus Vandewerf told Kasuku that clients had booked the Sailfish Club for upto six months and therefore would need some lead time before they could transition to the next stage  where they could jointly run the club or work out some other amicable arrangement.

When Kasuku reported back to the DCIO, her lawyer and other police connected authorities these development, they still cautioned her to let her lawyer and the police to handle the matter. But Kasuku who was now very optimistic  waved the caution away since she was convinced that the hotel owner was expressing goodwill.

Then according to my sources, she did the unthinkable:

She went and  BOOKED HERSELF INTO THE SAILFISH CLUB!

And that is AFTER she had expressed some concerns to her lawyer about death threats  she had been  receiving over the last few days. Her lawyer had advised against staying on the precincts of the contested property.

How was Kasuku killed?

Well according to my sources (corroborated further after a telephone conversation with Mr. Ndung'u who was part of the team investigating her death)  her killers broke into her room, seized Kasuku, bound her hands and her feet, gagged her before hitting her on the back of the neck with a rungu and throwing her in  the septic tank, confident that her body would be flushed away with the waste.

This account differs somewhat with what was carried in the Daily Nation. A close family member revealed to me later  that information they received after being present at the postmortem showed that Lillian suffered a lot before she died. Apparently one of her arms was broken;  she was stabbed in the neck before being strangled; Her body was stuffed in a plastic bag after her limbs were bound. It took the pathologist forty minutes to unwrap her body before he started examining her. 

But that did not happen.

Her body was stuck in the septic tank and the stench of her remains is what first raised the alarm.

Arrest: Malindi based Dutch businessman and owner of the Sail Fish Club Malindi Mr. Emilicus Vandewerf  (also called elsewhere Emiel Van Der Werf ) where the badly decomposed body of Lillian Mwikali Andree was found dumped in a septic tank at the club is arrested by the police at the scene.  Other suspects, among them workers at the hotel, are Mr Said Abdalla, Mr David Kadenge Ngala, Mr Mwinyi Kombo Said, Mr Bakari Mukala Nzila and Mr Samson Bahati.
Photo/ROBERT NYAGAH/Nation Media Group.

The killing of Lillian Mwikali Andree aka Kasuku must be seen within the wider context of the presence of members of the dreaded  Italian Mafia in the resort town of Malindi. For instance, here is a piece done by a courageous journalist from the Standard Group.

 A few days after filing that report. Paul Gitau complained of the threats to his life as can be seen in this article carried by the social media blog, Kenyan Post.

And these concerns are echoed in this site.

It is not only the media which was concerned about the situation in Malindi. Here is a leaked cable from the US Embassy in Nairobi which was posted on WikiLeaks.

I am fully aware of the serious risk to my own safety in taking the plunge to write this story with a view of helping to bring the killers of Kasuku to book so that they (whoever they are) can be held accountable in a court of law in Kenya. I have volunteered information to the DCIO of Malindi, Mr. Ndung'u. He has given me his PERSONAL ASSURANCE that he will see to it that the five or so people they arrested, including the Sailfish owner, Mr. Emilicus Vandewerf  help the police with their investigations into the murder of Kasuku.

Is it possible that the information I shared with the authorities can get into the hands of the criminals who snuffed out Kasuku's life so brutally?

Anything can happen.

Am I worried?

Not really.

Still, I have taken the trouble to write to the Commissioner of Police, Mr Iteere and other senior people in law enforcement asking for concrete steps to be taken to ensure justice is seen to be done for our popular Jukwaa colleague. I have copied that letter to the German Ambassador in Nairobi, the Head of the EU Mission to Kenya, the Kenya Human Rights Commission, the  new state connected human rights watchdog, representatives of Kenyans in the Diaspora and around the world. However since I am yet to deliver that letter, I do not think it would be professional to splash it on the World Wide Web  just now.

Let me end here  by saying:

Rest in Peace and Hamba Kahle to you Mkenya Mwenzetu Ms. Lillian Mwikali Andree fondly known to us as Kasuku.

Onyango Oloo
Nairobi, Kenya



Friday, October 12, 2012

Who Will Be Sleeping in State House in 2013?




A Digital Essay by Onyango Oloo, Secretary for Ideology, Social Democratic Party of Kenya



The most important piece of political news in the world at the beginning of October 2012 was the re-election of Hugo Chavez as President of Venezuela for the 2013-2019 period. He vanquished Henrique Capriles Radonski   his right wing opponent from the Roundtable of Democratic Unity coalition (MUD). It will be his third term in office under the 1999 constitution, and is his fourth election as Venezuelan president since 1998.

 Voter turnout was an astounding 81%-the highest rate of participation in the history of Venezuela-and Chavez won 55.11%, to Capriles’ 44.27.The socialist president also won a majority in 22 of Venezuela’s 24 regional states, including the capital district and, by 0.5%, in Miranda, where Capriles is governor. The opposition candidate won in the Andean states of Merida and Tachira.

Not bad for a leader pilloried in the West as a “Communist tyrant.”

Owen Jones, certainly no socialist, wrote in the October 8, 2012 edition of Britain’s Independent newspaper:
Is all the Western media coverage that portrays him as a dictator by chance related to his politics? Here in Venezuela, the truth is very clear to see. 
If much of the Western media is to believed, I write this column from a country brutalized by an absurd tinpot caudillo, Hugo Chavez, who routinely jails any journalist or politician with the temerity to speak out against his tyranny. 
According to Toby Young, Venezuela is ruled by a “Marxist tyrant” and a “Communist dictator”. Chavez’s defeated opponent in Sunday’s presidential elections, Henrique Capriles, was portrayed by contrast as an inspiring, dynamic democrat determined to end Venezuela’s failed socialist experiment and open the country to much-needed foreign investment.The reality of Venezuela could not be more distant from the coverage, but the damage is done: even many on the left regard Chavez as beyond the pale. Those who challenge the narrative are dismissed as “useful idiots”, following in the footsteps of the likes of Beatrice and Sidney Webb who, in the 1930s, lauded Stalin’s Russia, oblivious to the real horrors.Venezuela is a funny sort of “dictatorship”. The private media enjoys a 90 per cent audience share and routinely pump out vitriolic anti-Chavez propaganda, pro-opposition areas are plastered with billboards featuring Capriles’ smiling face, and jubilant anti-Chavez rallies are a regular event across the country.Venezuelans went to the polls on Sunday for the 15th time since Hugo Chavez was first elected in 1999: all of those previous elections were judged as free by international observers, including ex-US President Jimmy Carter, who described the country’s election process as “the best in the world”. When Chavez lost a constitutional referendum in 2007, he accepted the result. Before his massive registration drives, many poor people could not vote. In stark contrast to most Western democracies, over 80 per cent of Venezuelans turned out to vote in Sunday’s presidential elections.Even opponents of Chavez told me that he is the first Venezuelan president to care about the poor. Since his landslide victory in 1998, extreme poverty has dropped from nearly a quarter to 8.6 per cent last year; unemployment has halved; and GDP per capita has more than doubled. Rather than ruining the economy – as his critics allege – oil exports have surged from $14.4bn to $60bn in 2011, providing revenue to spend on Chavez’s ambitious social programmes, the so-called “missions”.

Do we have a Hugo Chavez among the several Presidential aspirants in Kenya?

That was a rhetorical question.

It is just but a few months before our own hugely anticipated elections here in Kenya, the first to be held under the auspices of the constitution promulgated in August 2010.

We will be electing a raft of representatives in six categories at both the national and county levels.

Needless to say, the Presidency still holds sway.

Ironically, our current constitution whittled away most of the former draconian powers of the executive.

But there is still a wide disconnect between the democratic aspirations of our constitution and the lust for political power and economic  dominance among and across the factions and fractions of our neo-colonial comprador bourgeoisie who are determined to maintain control of  what is increasingly taking on the character of a bastardized  Narco-State in its reconfigured form both at the centre and the county levels. 

Already many fat cats-several of them known drug dealers, war lords and unconvicted fraudsters and plunderers of the economy-are lining themselves up to  be  president, governors, senators, members of parliament and county representatives of one kind or the other.

More than 2007, the 2013 elections are likely to witness an even more garish and rapacious attempt by the Kenyan comprador bourgeoisie to harness their financial clout, access to state offices and institutions as well as the multi-layered ethno-class privileges to buttress their sway over the millions of impoverished Kenyans. 

From ongoing indications, these elite forces are already stoking the flames and flares of clannism, creed, ethnicity and regionalism to carve for themselves a niche in the mosaic of personality-based fiefdoms across the country.

All of this is unfolding in sharp contrast to the spirit and letter of the constitution which defines Kenya as a multi-party democracy and underscores the sovereignty of the people of Kenya.

The leading presidential candidates in their boisterous and often raucous rallies and public pronunciamentoes  are blithely trashing Kenya’s political pluralism as they declare either that the race to State is a “two horse race” or underscore of cobbling  together a putrid tribal alliance for the express parochial purpose to block individual politicians from ascending to certain high offices.

Against this back drop, the print and electronic media with the usual gaggle of political soothsayers and hyper ventilating pundits with whom they enjoy a symbiotic co-existence continue to trumpet the much ballyhooed “Kibaki Succession” talk-misguided in the sense that Kenya is not a monarchy where a leader is “inherited” or “succeeded”.

The question still remains, who will be President of Kenya in 2013?

But before we proceed further we must ask what appears on the surface,  a very silly question:

Will we have elections in the first place, in 2013?

Some of us who live in and around Nairobi may have been privy to a document that has been doing the rounds within certain progressive circles.

That document mulls over four possible scenarios:

Scenario  One,  the  Harmony  scenario  is  where  preparations  for  a  free  and  fair  election offers Kenyans an opportunity to elect a credible government led by a  President who does not carry the baggage of our regrettable past. Such a great leader will unify and secure the nation, transform the economy and create jobs and   opportunities   while   facilitating   social   justice   for   the   majority.   In   one  sentence,  lead  Kenyans  to  build  a  great,  prosperous  and  proud  nation.  This scenario is unlikely because the ingredients for this result are nowhere in place today. This election is going to be a rerun of the incomplete 2007 election under different circumstances and may be with different faces on the ballot.

Scenario  Two,  the  Limping  Scenario,  is  where  Kenyans  use  the  next  election  to  settle for what Dr. Archbishop David Gitari calls the lesser of the evil on offer in  the  election  given  our  political  culture  and  realities.  This means that Kenyans shall go for a government steered by a president who shall Not actually break the back of impunity, corruption and tribalism but a government that shall be benign
in its greed and criminal tendencies and that will possibly allow institutions to perform and deliver justice.

Scenario Three, the Impunity Scenario is where those who fear that accountability  will end their privilege and see them punished for their crimes against the people  Kenya  will  gang  together,  mobilize  numbers  and  get  a  corrupt  and  vicious  government elected to secure their status of enjoying the fruits of impunity.

Scenario Four, the Military scenario is where the legion of impunity does not trust that they can insulate themselves from accountability by rigging themselves into power alone because under the new constitution the personalization of power is deterred. Their agenda is how to suspend the constitution by having a military takeover.  In this scenario, the impunity plotters who control the intelligence,financial  and  security  sectors  as  well  as  the  information  channels  (including  CCK?)  in  Kenya  in  toto  will  sponsor  the  escalation  of  violence  and  general  insecurity across the nation blaming it on Al Shabab and other disgraced actors.

By the beginning of 2013 the country will be under a huge cloud of violence and terrorist-spawned insecurity that will be used as a pretext for the declaration of the state of emergency.  MRC,  Al  Shabab  and  Mungiki  will  be  blamed  for  this  ugly scenario. In the end the military will “arrest” Kibaki from State House and  detain him at the Langata Barracks for being responsible for the instability and insecurity and general despondence  in  the  country.    The constitution will be suspended and the military will assure investors and Kenyans that security shall be restored and elections to return the country to civilian rule shall be after one year.  The  beneficiaries  of  this  scenario  are  The  Hague  Four,  the  hundreds  of  middle and lower level PEV perpetrators who do not want to see the day when they  are  finally  brought  to  justice  and  President  Kibaki  himself.  The  current  National Assembly will be co-opted into this machination because nearly 2/3 of  the members of the National Assembly stand for impunity and will cherish the  continued  patronage  of  the  merchants  of  impunity.  Those who are for the Limping and Harmony scenarios in parliament are in the minority.

When  you  look  at  the  stakes  involved  in  this  election,  the  first  under  the  new  constitution, you realize that the stakes cannot be higher. People in the impunity legion have everything to lose if the elections were conducted freely and fairly and in time. The ICC  trials are no longer a farfetched narrative it was in 2010  now  looking  at  the  fate  that  Charles  Taylor  and  Lubanga  have  met  under  the  mechanisms of international justice. Those 50 years Taylor received brought the reality of criminal accountability home to the Kenyan nation. It is anticipated that the Ocampo 4 will not be at The Hague in September to take the plea. This means that warrants of arrest will be issued.  That  will  demand  that  the  impunity  plotters  will  apply  all  resources  towards  having  one  of  their  own  elected  to  ensure that the Warrants of Arrest are not executed. It is very unlikely that they  are  going  to  support  one  of  the  others  from  the  so  called  anti-reform  platoon  because  that  is  no  assurance  whatsoever  that  they  will  be  insulated  from  prosecution and accountability given the state system established under the new  constitution. It is do or die.    In  fact  when  you  see  that  the  people  who  stand  to  lose  most  if  a  free  and  fair  election  were  to  be  held  currently  control  the  security  apparatus,  the  financial,  intelligence and information power, then it becomes clear why they are not going  to relinquish power and lose all that advantage. In other words because Kenyans  cannot  guarantee  them  “safe  exit”,  they  will  then  secure  their  safety  and  freedom  by  retaining  these  four  instruments  of  power  and  use  them  to  silence resistance  and  throw  out  the  current  constitutional  order  which  is  a  great  inconvenience  to  them.  Given  the  situation  in  Sudan,  Somalia  and  the  DRC  generally, I am not sure that the international community cannot trade off the  freedom and democracy of our nation to buy “Security and stability” from the  securocrats  if  they  were  to  take  over  power  through  a  bloodless  and  stage
managed coup. And for me the role of China in Kenya may prove decisive when matters get to this stage. Unfortunately, and paradoxically in the current state of  things it the PNU wing which seems to be in love with China where as the ODM  side which has people formerly associated with the left seems to lean towards the  West more now. When I see how China has played the decisive role of propping  the  decadent  ZANU-PF  regime  in  Zimbabwe  including  supplying  weapons,  tractors,  oil  and  other  essential  amenities  through  Angola, I get  convinced  that  China is going to play a decisive role in Kenya’s democratic evolution.

With our civil society not willing to steward the nation or with most civil society  organizations  infiltrated  and  rendered  weak  through  self  censorship  or  limited  by   its   donor   project   character;   the   religious   leadership   delegitimized,   the  democracy movement dispersed to atoms and Kenyans hopelessly tied to their  little ethnic and tribal tethers, the impunity scenario looks like the luckiest we are  going to get. 


However if you were to look at the stakes involved in this elections,  the  military  scenario  is  what  the  architects  of  darkness  would  want  for  the  nation. They would have every motivation and determination to push this policy to the end.  

The author of the document excerpted above is a well known Kenyan civil society activist AND political party leader. Since he has not authorized me to name him publicly, I will not do so.

Are the four scenarios likely or possible?

As I let that thought linger and percolate in what I hope is   by now, a slightly disturbed mind, I would want to zoom backwards into the European mid 20th Century past and talk of a dead man who once lived in the country called Bulgaria.

That man was named 
Georgi Dimitrov.

Who was he and why is he relevant to Kenyans in the year 2012?

He was a communist who later became his country’s head of state after many years of living as an exile.

You can find out more information about him at this Wikipedia link.

That is not why some of us remember him and definitely not the reason I am bringing up his name in this essay. Dimitrov’s main contribution to the world is found in his reflections on how progressive forces could combat the main threat to the world in those days:

Fascism.

Here is an excerpt from an extensive report he gave in 1935, two years after the Germans had ELECTED Adolf Hitler as Prime Minister of Germany and four years before the same Hitler in cahoots with fellow fascist Benito Mussolini plunged Europe and the world into a bloody imperialist war:
Was the victory of fascism inevitable in Germany? No, the German working class could have prevented it. But in order to do so, it should have achieved a united anti-fascist proletarian front, and forced the Social-Democratic leaders to discontinue their campaign against the Communists and to accept the repeated proposals of the Communist Party for united action against fascism. When fascism was on the offensive and the bourgeois-democratic liberties were being progressively abolished by the bourgeoisie, it should not have contented itself with the verbal resolutions of the Social-Democrats, but should have replied by a genuine mass struggle, which would have made the fulfilment of the fascist plans of the German bourgeoisie more difficult. It should not have allowed the prohibition of the League of Red Front Fighters by the government of Braun and Severing 6), and should have established fighting contact between the League and the Reichsbanner 7), with its nearly one million members, and should have compelled Braun and Severing to arm both these organizations in order to resist and smash the fascist bands. It should have compelled the Social-Democratic leaders who headed the Prussian government to adopt measures of defence against fascism, arrest the fascist leaders, close down their press, confiscate their material resources and the resources of the capitalists who were financing the fascist movement, dissolve the fascist organizations, deprive them of their weapons, and so forth. Furthermore, it should have secured the re-establishment and extension of all forms of social assistance and the introduction of a moratorium and crisis benefits for the peasants -- who were being ruined under the impact of crisis -- by taxing the banks and the trusts, in this way winning the support of the working peasants. It was the fault of the Social-Democrats of Germany that this was not done, and that is why fascism was able to triumph. Was it inevitable that the bourgeoisie and the aristocracy should have triumphed in Spain, a country where the forces of proletarian revolt are so advantageously combined with a peasant war? The Spanish Socialists were in the government from the first days of the revolution. Did they establish fighting contact between the working class organizations of every political opinion, including the Communists and the Anarchists, and did they weld the working class into a united trade union organization? Did they demand the confiscation of all lands of the landlords, the church and the monasteries in favor of the peasants in order to win over the latter to the side of the revolution? Did they attempt to fight for national self-determination for the Catalonians and the Basques, and for the liberation of Morocco? Did they purge the army of monarchist and fascist elements and prepare it for passing over to the side of the workers and peasants? Did they dissolve the Civil Guard, so detested by the people, the executioner of every movement of the people? Did they strike at the fascist party of Gil Robles and at the might of the Catholic church? No, they did none of these things. They rejected the frequent proposals of the Communists for united action against the offensive of the bourgeois-landlord reaction and fascism; they passed election laws which enabled the reactionaries to gain a majority in the Cortes (parliament), laws which penalized the popular movement, laws under which the heroic miners of Asturias are now being tried. They had peasants who were fighting for land shot by the Civil Guard, and so on. This is the way in which the Social-Democrats, by disorganizing and splitting the ranks of the working class, cleared the path to power for fascism in Germany, Austria and Spain. Comrades, fascism also attained power for the reason that the proletariat found itself isolated from its natural allies. Fascism attained power because it was able to win over large masses of the peasantry, owing to the fact that the Social-Democrats in the name of the working class pursued what was in fact an anti-peasant policy. The peasant saw in power a number of Social-Democratic governments, which in his eyes were an embodiment of the power of the working class; but not one of them put an end to peasant want, none of them gave land to the peasantry. In Germany, the Social-Democrats did not touch the landlords; they combated the strikes of the farm laborers, with the result that long before Hitler came to power the farm laborers of Germany were deserting the reformist trade unions and in the majority of cases were going over to the Stahlhelm and to the National Socialists. Fascism also attained power for the reason that it was able to penetrate into the ranks of the youth, whereas the Social-Democrats diverted the working class youth from the class struggle, while the revolutionary proletariat did not develop the necessary educational work among the youth and did not pay enough attention to the struggle for its specific interests and demands. Fascism grasped the very acute need of the youth for militant activity, and enticed a considerable section of the youth into its fighting detachments. The new generation of young men and women has not experienced the horrors of war. They have felt the full weight of the economic crisis, unemployment and the disintegration of bourgeois democracy. But, seeing no prospects for the future, large sections of the youth proved to be particularly receptive to fascist demagogy, which depicted for them an alluring future should fascism succeed. In this connection, we cannot avoid referring also to a number of mistakes made by the Communist Parties, mistakes that hampered our struggle against fascism. In our ranks there was an impermissible underestimation of the fascist danger, a tendency which to this day has not everywhere been overcome. A case in point is the opinion formerly to be met with in our Parties that "Germany is not Italy," meaning that fascism may have succeeded in Italy, but that its success in Germany was out of the question, because the latter is an industrially and culturally highly developed country, with forty years of traditions of the working-class movement, in which fascism was impossible. Or the kind of opinion which is to be met with nowadays, to the effect that in countries of "classical" bourgeois democracy the soil for fascism does not exist. Such opinions have served and may serve to relax vigilance towards the fascist danger, and to render the mobilization of the proletariat in the struggle against fascism more difficult. One might also cite quite a few instances where Communists were taken unawares by the fascist coup. Remember Bulgaria, where the leadership of our Party, took up a "neutral," but in fact opportunist, position with regard to the coup d'├ętat of June 9, 1923; Poland, where in May 1926 the leadership of the Communist Party, making a wrong estimate of the motive forces of the Polish revolution, did not realize the fascist nature of Pilsudski's coup, and trailed in the rear of events; Finland, where our Party based itself on a false conception of slow and gradual fascization and overlooked the fascist coup which was being prepared by the leading group of the bourgeoisie and which took the Party and the working class unawares. When National Socialism had already become a menacing mass movement in Germany, there were comrades who regarded the Bruening government as already a government of fascist dictatorship, and who boastfully declared: "If Hitler's Third Reich ever comes about, it will be six feet underground, and above it will be the victorious power of the workers." Our comrades in Germany for a long time failed to fully reckon with the wounded national sentiments and the indignation of the masses against the Versailles Treaty; they treated as of little account the waverings of the peasantry and petty bourgeoisie; they were late in drawing up their program of social and national emancipation, and when they did put it forward they were unable to adapt it to the concrete demands and to the level of the masses. They were even unable to popularize it widely among the masses. In a number of countries, the necessary development of a mass fight against fascism was replaced by barren debates on the nature of fascism "in general" and by a narrow sectarian attitude in formulating and solving the immediate political tasks of the Party. Comrades, it is not simply because we want to dig up the past that we speak of the causes of the victory of fascism, that we point to the historical responsibility of the Social Democrats for the defeat of the working class, and that we also point out our own mistakes in the fight against fascism. We are not historians divorced from living reality; we, active fighters of the working class, are obliged to answer the question that is tormenting millions of workers: Can the victory of fascism be prevented, and how? And we reply to these millions of workers: Yes, comrades, the road to fascism can be blocked. It is quite possible. It depends on ourselves-on the workers, the peasants and all working people. Whether the victory of fascism can be prevented depends first and foremost on the militant activity of the working class itself, on whether its forces are welded into a single militant army combating the offensive of capitalism and fascism. By establishing its fighting unity, the proletariat would paralyze the influence of fascism over the peasantry, the urban petty bourgeoisie, the youth and the intelligentsia, and would be able to neutralize one section of them and win over the other section. Second, it depends on the existence of a strong revolutionary party, correctly leading the struggle of the working people against fascism. A party which systematically calls on the workers to retreat in the face of fascism and permits the fascist bourgeoisie to strengthen its positions is doomed to lead the workers to defeat. Third, it depends on a correct policy of the working class towards the peasantry and the petty-bourgeois masses of the towns. These masses must be taken as they are, and not as we should like to have them. It is in the process of the struggle that they will overcome their doubts and waverings. It is only by a patient attitude towards their inevitable waverings, it is only by the political help of the proletariat, that they will be able to rise to a higher level of revolutionary consciousness and activity. Fourth, it depends on the vigilance and timely action of the revolutionary proletariat. The latter must not allow fascism to take it unawares, it must not surrender the initiative to fascism, but must inflict decisive blows on it before it can gather its forces, it must not allow fascism to consolidate its position, it must repel fascism wherever and whenever it rears its head, it must not allow fascism to gain new positions. This is what the French proletariat is so successfully trying to do.


Excerpts from The Fascist Offensive and the Tasks of the Communist International in the Struggle of the Working Class against Fascism, Main Report delivered by   Georgi Dimitrov
at the Seventh World Congress of the Communist International, August 2, 1935.

Without delving too much into the details with the accompanying Marxist-Leninist jargon, simply put, Dimitrov was saying that the best time to fight fascism is BEFORE it comes to power and that the people to lead this onslaught are the most radical and progressive political forces in society.

21st Century Kenya is certainly NOT mid-20th Century Europe.

However, the urgent need to consolidate the democratic gains achieved in Kenya through struggle over the last thirty years cannot be overemphasized.

It is important that the forces of social justice, democracy, sustainable development, gender equality, youth empowerment and constitutionalism maintain the upswing, the moment which picked up especially after the defeat of the Moi-KANU Uhuru Project in 2002 and the patriotic victory following the promulgation of the Kenyan Constitution in August 2010.

Kenyans cannot afford to revert to the status quo ante-the period of arbitrary arrests and detentions without trial; kangaroo trials; pork barrel tribal politics; state instigated violence; grand corruption; grand larceny; official misogyny, anti-youth bias; religious bigotry and other forms of backward and reactionary policies at the national, county, constituency, municipal and ward levels.

We can choose to fret, whine, quake and shake about the chilling possibility of a nefarious putschist plot or we can opt for the more sensible option:

Maintain eternal vigilance and redouble our efforts in steadfastly implementing our new constitutional order.

If the matters raised in the document I cited at the beginning of this essay are credible, then we should collectively heave a sigh of thankful relief for as they say, to be forewarned is to be forearmed.

That being said, I suggest we put these baleful scenarios in the parking lot for a few minutes while we go back to the original question:

Who will be the President of Kenya in 2013?

Well, I can tell you straight away who will NOT be President:

Bifwoli Wakoli.Mutava Musyimi. Ole Kiyiapi.Kingwa Kamencu.Eugene Wamalwa. Raphael Tuju. Charity Ngilu. Moses Wetangula.Peter Kenneth.Kalonzo Musyoka.Cyrus Jirongo.

Rule all of them out.

At least three of them have already ruled themselves out.

That leaves Martha Karua, Raila Odinga, Uhuru Kenyatta, William Ruto and Musalia Mudavadi.

One of them is going to be the President of Kenya.

Two of them have a modicum of reform credentials.

Four of them have major mainstream connections and underpinnings.

All of them come from Big Tribe backgrounds.

If we were to go by depth of pocket, then the leading candidates would be Uhuru Kenyatta, followed by Raila Odinga, then William Ruto with Martha and Mudavadi bringing up the rear.

If we were to go by ethnic constituencies, then Uhuru Kenyatta will be leading the pack in terms of single regional blocs while Raila would wipe out that lead if Gikuyuphobia played a part in voting patterns.

If we were to go by reformist credentials then it would be Raila and Martha at the frontlines with Ms. Karua’s gender being both a positive (there is a huge chunk of female voters) and a negative (patriarchy, sexism and misogyny is systemically embedded in Kenyans that often even women opt to vote for male candidates even when there are strong credible women on the ballot).

If we were to factor in the ICC process, then Ruto and Uhuru are automatically KAPUT.

Mudavadi’s apparent “strength”-his colourless Boy Next Door image- is also his main drawback:

He lacks a political spine.

When I was growing up in Mombasa as a teenager in the mid to late seventies, I was quite the Holy Joe who started teaching Sunday school at the age of nine. I didn’t curse. I did not smoke Sportsman, SM or Embassy cigarettes like my cousin Evans two years my senior who started sucking on the cancer sticks at the age of eight.

I was so painfully shy that it took me FOUR years (13 to 17) to tell my upstairs neighbour Angelina Chepchumba in Tononoka that I had an undying crush on her upon which she humiliated me further by laughing derisively in my face informing me, by the way, that that she saw me as a YOUNGER brother (she was one year my junior as a matter of fact) and in any case she went out with MEN rather than schoolboys.

 I noticed that I was not alone. All the goody two shoe guys like David (as I was then known) did NOT get the girl. Instead that hot chick went for the nastiest, skankiest toilet mouth in the mtaa. He was often that mean looking matatu conductor; the boy from down the  street who sold marijuana to your live in  job seeking uncle who monopolized the bed you were hoping to inherit once you hit 15; he  was what the African-Americans call the “bad boy” and Jamaicans refer to as the "rude boy”.

In the contemporary Kenyan political scene, Mudavadi is the choir boy, the altar boy while Uhuru is the “bad boy”, Ruto is the “rude boy”, Raila is the “bhangi peddler” who can hook you up with those expensive text books and leaked papers you need to swot on to pass your “O” levels. Even Martha Karua can be the “rude girl” the “freaky zonked out bitch” because after all, she may know one or two things about covering up stridently for a sneaky electoral thief who swears themselves into office after sunset in a shady suburban back yard.

Guess who will get busy with the pretty girl on the third landing of that dark stair case after she has lied to her mom that she needs to buy that maths exercise book?

Not your guy Musalia.

He has to wait for his parents to fix him with a wife for life in an arranged set up with some family friends.

Too bland to rule.

No oomph.

No kaboom boom.

In Kenya you need that malevolent kick, that subversive edge.

Where is the sleaze?

Where is the hate speech?

Where are the clandes?
   
The nyumba ndogos?

The Chips Fungas?

Some mischievous wag whispered to me with a wink and a twinkle that MM,  the former Mean Machine rugger player is no playa but has a Mgikuyu Gachungwa stashed away in Kitale, but THAT is of course a “malicious rumour” manufactured by Musalia’s jealous, vengeful political rivals.

Where is the political assassination?

The rigged out opponents or post election violent carnage?

Musalia can only cite in his defence that whiff of Goldenberg and wisp of cemetery odour.

That’s it!

On a more serious note though, what in fact, does Musalia Mudavadi stand for?

I once read somewhere that when you are trying to brand yourself, you need to create a CATEGORY WHERE YOU ARE THE ONLY MEMBER in order to distinguish yourself from the others.

You need to be a Ferrari or a Jaguar standing apart from all those gazillions of  Subaru’s, Toyotas, Hondas and Hyundais; you are the Samsung Tab 11 looking down on the Tecnos, Jibambes and Mulika Mwizis;  you are the David Rudisha who can be distinguished from the  scrawny and famished scared petty thief dashing into the kichochoro around the junction with the stolen sufuria; you are the chick rocking the original Bvlgari or Elizabeth Arden scent above the stench of fake cheap knock offs peddled surreptitiously in Eastliegh or Shauri Moyo.

To what extent are Uhuru, Raila, Ruto and Karua brand names?

And do these brands appeal to the mass market or the haute couture designer set?

The pollsters glibly tell us that it is neck and neck when it comes to Raila and Uhuru.

The son of Jomo is banking on a multi-tribal elite alliance to help him play the ABR (Anybody But Raila) card to regain access to the palace he played in as a real kamwana.

The son of Jaramogi on the other hand wants to cash in on his family’s claims on the reform agenda mantle.

But is the reform agenda synonymous with Henry Kosgey?

Is Dalmas Otieno the face of progressive democratic transformation in Kenya?

Is Amos Wako the harbinger of the judiciary’s overhaul?

Where are the Chelagat Mutais, the Karimi Nduthus, the Tirop Kiturs, Onyango Oloos and the Mwandawiro Mghangas of  yesteryear?

Are they ALL in ODM?

If the presidential contest is going to be a wrestling tag match pitting the forces of reform against the forces of impunity then Raila Odinga will need three or four extra hands in his corner.

ODM as presently constituted, is simply TOO NARROW, TOO PAROCHIAL to qualify as the VANGUARD of the progressive Reform camp.

Many of the ODM MPs-especially the ones from Nyanza- rigged themselves to parliament and do not have a chance of being re-elected on ANY party ticket.

Some of the functionaries at the Office of the Prime Minister have corruption scandals swirling around them like a bunch of house flies on a rural urchin’s smelly buttocks after a trip to the pit latrine.

A handful of the operatives in lobby groups like FORA are well-meaning technocrats WITHOUT A CLUE how to carry out POLITICAL MOBILIZATION among the ordinary wananchi.

That is why ODM should climb down from its high horse of thinking it can go it alone and start negotiating with those small parties like SDP that Raila Amolo Odinga dismisses as “donkeys”.

Talk of “farasi” and “punda” is to put it bluntly, UNCONSTITUTIONAL because the Chapter Two, Section 2 of the Constitution states that:

“The Republic of Kenya shall be a multi-party democratic State founded on the national values and principles of governance referred to in Article 10.”

The multi-party character of our emerging national democratic state is the surest safeguard and bulwark against the forces of impunity, reaction and “watermelonishness”.

To summarize:
  1. ODM should convene a Special 2 Day Retreat by November 15, 2012 bringing together progressive political parties big and small, to chart together a Common Reform Agenda for the 2013 Elections. Among the parties I have in mind are ODM, SDP, NARC-Kenya, NARC, PPK, CCM, New Democrats, Saba Saba Asili and many others. The other objective of this retreat is to create a Broad Alliance for Reforms.
  2. Once this alliance is formed, it should then seek ways of working with the progressive sections of civil society including a broad range of NGOs, CBOs, trade unions, women, faith groups, professional bodies and the like.
  3. I have 15 additional points but why should I allow my brain to be picked for free in a digital essay when I can negotiate a decent fee to craft a comprehensive position paper paid for by ODM and all these parties I am talking about?
In all seriousness though, if ODM can seriously consider some of the proposals I am putting forth and implement the same, then I am convinced Raila Odinga will be the next President of Kenya.

If they ignore voices from the wilderness such as Onyango Oloo's then Kenyans can brace themselves for the possibility of Uhuru Kenyatta being sworn in as President of Kenya from a well known Dutch city.

Onyango Oloo
Nairobi, Kenya
Friday, October 12, 2012

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Miguna Miguna in Nyeri

A Photo-Essay by Onyango Oloo in Nyeri County

[Photos courtesy of W.]

These pictures speak decibels, crytallize  hectares of paragraphs: