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:

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Pro-ODM Goons Physically Attack Miguna in Mombasa

A LIVE REPORT BY Onyango Oloo in Mombasa

It is 12:55 pm on Saturday, August 25th, 2012.

I am sitting in the Kilindini room, located on the fourth floor of the  Castle Royal Hotel where a couple of hours ago the 120 capacity space was three quarters full of members of the public who came for the Mombasa launch of Miguna's Peeling Back the Mask.

At the front was myself, acting as MC, Mvita MP, Najib Balala and Miguna Miguna.

I kicked off the meeting with the usual overview, clarifying once more for the benefit of the media that I was NOT and has never been my namesake who is Secretary General of TNA.  I went into a historical overview of the Kenyan struggle for democracy and justice and lauded the promulgation of the constitution as an important breakthrough for the country's development. Before inviting Miguna to speak, I  reminded the audience of the Bill of Rights and the need for all Kenyans to practice tolerance and peaceful coexistence. I then told them how the programme with  unfold with Najib Balala following me to greet the crowd and then Miguna would take the podium to make his address following which the floor would be opened for a question and answer session.

That is exactly what happened. Miguna echoed my message of the need for peaceful dialogue and debate, going as far as underscoring that the Prime Minister himself has gone on record to defend these freedoms have served eight years in detention without trial. He then took the audience through an overview of his book which he said was "99.9%" about his life, emphasizing that Peeling Back the Mask was NOT written with the express intention of castigating any particular individual. He implored the participants to take time to actually read the book before rushing to conclusions. He cited the issues raised in the book including unemployment, corruption and other socio-economic ills and political malfeasance.

He then sat down after thanking the audience for listening to him to the end.

I  then stood up, announcing it was now time for the  Q& A, saying that  one was free to ask a question, make a general comment or simply make any kind of intervention.

Several hands quickly shot up. I chose six. I told them to each remember their "number" to keep an orderly sequence and implored the rest not to interrupt each other when one  was asking a question or making a comment.

The first heckler, a twentysomething woman who I later learned was called Eva and had spent one a half years behind bars on a drug offence, wearing a white Gor Mahia top made her first appearance heckling at nobody in particular, I reassured her that she would be among the first in the second round of questions. She piped down, seemingly mollified by my calm reassurance. Several voices in the audience also loudly asked her to be patient.

All six asked their questions. A certain percentage of the questions were directed at Najib Balala who was  criticized for  going silent; castigated for using the Wapwani vs. Wabara ethnic card and for abandoning ODM and Raila Odinga. Most of the questions directed at Miguna revolved around the timing of his books which some participants found fishy; why he waited until he was sacked to go public; why he deliberately mislead the Prime Minister to make questionable decisions yet he was Raila's trusted adviser; what was his agenda on the book tour-was it commercial or with a national interest; what was the justification for according top level state security; where was he when Kenyans were fighting and dying to liberate the country and other questions along the same general lines.

Miguna took the microphone to answer this battery of questions. As soon as he did that, a big burly dark skinned guy of middle height in a green Gor Mahia T shirt starting shouting, but more importantly moving forward towards on the dais. Within a matter of minutes they had surrounded us, caving us in, upsetting the media's microphones before  flinging the table we were sitting behind to its side as they edged ever closer to Miguna. The guy in the green Gor Mahia T shirt  who I made told is from the  Makande area and was visibly drunk egged the others on. Even I was hassled, but I was determined to secure my lap top. I noticed that the person from Prestige handling book sales was nowhere to be seen leaving two  unopened cartons of Peeling Back the Mask. I quickly corralled the Castle Royal Hotel staff who carted away the cartons.

Meanwhile a group of local human rights activists formed a protective cordon around Miguna as his security detail led him downstairs. One of them, Magak advised me NOT to follow Miguna downstairs. Instead he led me to a small cavern at the back of the fourth floor where I found a plain clothes officer from Mombasa's Central Police station who later identified himself to me as  a Mr. Obade.

We later on found out that the same Mr. Green Mahia T-shirt guy went and grabbed Miguna's Muslim cap, while another  hooligan managed to run off with one looted  shoe- I am not sure how they managed to rip it off Miguna's foot. Unfortunately, Miguna wears size 13 and it is practically useless when it is not accompanied with the other from the other foot. The OCS has just informed me that in an altercation, Miguna's right hook connected with Mr. Green Mahia's  chin knocking that drunken  soccer/political hooligan senseless.

Through the magic of   mobile telephony (voice calls, SMS) other ODM supporting hooligans and vandals quickly descended in downtown Mombasa's Moi Avenue address of the Castle Royal Hotel in matatu loads from Makupa, Makande, Tudor, Kisauni, Changamwe, Bangladesh to heckle, loot and physically attack us.

But by then hordes of cops in police uniform and civvies were on the scene.

Miguna was taken out of the hotel by members of the crack Flying Squad.

I understand Mr. Green Gor Mahia T-shirt was commenting to the undercover cops that he seemed to know by name:

"Nyinyi maafisa fanyeni kazi yenu. Mimi pia nafanya kazi yangu."

(TRANSLATION: "You officers do your job. I am also doing mine.")

Ok. I have to stop here. The cops are here to drive me out of the venue.

But I have a MAJOR worry.

And it is not for Miguna Miguna.

Rather it is for the Rt. Hon. Prime Minister Raila Amolo Odinga:

If this trend of hooliganism continues, some of the PM's enemies are going to hire  trained goons to make a direct attempt to assassinate  the author of Peeling Back the Mask and lay the blame squarely on these mindless heckling vandalizing hooligans.

Is the leadership of ODM remotely concerned about this distinct possibility?

Onyango Oloo
Mombasa, Saturday, August 25, 2012

PS: My thoughts are with the family, friends, comrades, supporters of the late Father John Kaiser as we commemorate the 12 anniversary of his assassination.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Reflections on Democracy and Political Tolerance

Onyango Oloo in Kendu Bay, Homa Bay County

It is the morning after the day before.

I have woken up in a picturesque part of Old Town, the history drenched section of the Muslim Quarter of the Seventh Day Adventist dominated urban-rural Kendu Bay area in Karachuonyo, famous for its annual show and its pioneering role in the evolution of the Made-in-Kenya Benga musical genre- the late great George Ramogi was born, raised and buried here.

A more contemporary exponent, Ongoro-vocalist, guitarist and co-leader of the Eldoret-based Jamnazi Band, well known for its rumba/benga fusion hits

like I Am Not Sober, Osiepe and Riziki-is also a proud son of Kendu.

It is Friday, the 24th day of August 2012.

I am here to bury my 80 year old mother in law.

Actually, strictly speaking, my wife’s step mother.

You see, my spouse comes from a polygamous family. The recently departed Mama Margaret Sijenyi Nyar Ogada is my wife’s mother’s co-wife as well as elder sister.

My father-in-law, Mzee John Osano, is a highly respected octogenarian patriarch in the community, a retiree from the now defunct East African Community; a cousin of Paul Mboya, the path breaking author of

Luo Kitgi gi Timbegi ("The Customs and Traditions of the Luo People").

Incidentally, Oriang’, the village where my wife comes from, is a stone’s throw from Kanyadhiang’ Kogweno, where Barack Obama’s grandfather Hussein was born and raised.

Since I am a son in law, the cultural strictures of my Luo community prevent me from either sleeping in or entering the Osano homestead (an ODM stronghold) before the actual funeral day.

That is why I am keyboarding these lines at five o’clock in the morning from a dingy little room, powered with a solar lamp in this obscure bar/boarding and lodging establishment in Kendu Old Town which is home to one of the oldest Muslim enclaves in the western part of Kenya, along with Mumias in the former Western Province.

Before I proceed,  a minute of sober reflection and mkono wa tanzia on the passing of Martin Shikuku, the 78 year old veteran nationalist who rejoined the ancestors on the same day (albeit in different years) as Mzee Jomo Kenyatta and Kijana Wamalwa. Shikuku was for many years, my MP for Butere-my ethnically mixed village of Luanda Dudi had many of us from the Gem Luo speaking folks residing and voting in his constituency which has now been subdivided, with our part falling in Khwisero. Shikuku spoke fluent Luo and one of his wives known for being the long time host, Shangazi Dolly of VOK’s Kipindi cha Watoto, was from Alego.

I said at the outset that this is the morning after the day before.

I alighted from the matatu I took from Ahero at the Kendu Bay stage opposite the Roman Green restaurant at around four thirty on Thursday afternoon.

The reason I boarded a matatu from Ahero is because I had been driven there under police escort from the Kisumu Hotel where Miguna Miguna and I, along with members of our small Peeling Back the Mask County Tour crew had been confronted by a very hostile crowd of mostly ODM affiliated young supporters of Raila Odinga who had occupied most of the two hundred seats in the upper conference room of the hotel we had booked for the function. What is ironic for me is that the highlights flashed on television and the sound bites on radio last night of the Kisumu incident were a very partial and misleading interpretation of the event itself.

Yesterday had begun early, slightly past seven thirty in the am with our departure from the Kericho County Club where we had slept overnight after a successful encounter with that town’s residents at the Tea Hotel where Miguna had addressed approximately 150 people who had showed up to listen him expound on the reasons why he churned out his now heavily discussed and debated political memoirs. Actually were it not for the fact  several other Kericho residents were mistakenly waiting for Peeling Back the Mask’s author at a different location, the audience had been much higher.

Kericho had been our second stop after our inaugural rendezvous at the Nakuru Town Square next to the Standard Chartered on the morning of August 22, 2012. Miguna and I were guffawing and shaking our heads in utter incredulity at the distorted media depictions of the Nakuru event.

Without much ado, please dear reader/browser/surfer/lurker/viewer, eyeball the following digital snaps from the Nakuru book launch and form your own independent opinion:

We got to Kisumu Hotel having been escorted from Awasi through Ahero to Kisumu by police officers from the two stations. As we got in, a gaggle of  youthful boda boda piki piki riders yodelled at us a stream of mild  profanities and obscenities mostly in Miguna's direction, which we ignored. Protus, the guy from Prestige Books travelling with us unfurled the nifty tarpaulin banner of Peeling Back the Mask and set up a table to display the books. To cut a long story short, our local MC, Wycliffe, having ensured the room was full, took charge of the proceedings and introduced me. In a  45 minute address in Kiswahili, I first clarified that I was NOT Onyango Oloo of  TNA before giving a political/ideological/historical background on the aspirations and angst as well the zeitgeust of the generation that people like Miguna and I came from and what motivated us to get into student activism, underground politics and exile-based campaigns to bring down the Moi-KANU  one party stat. I spoke passionately about the need to uphold the constitutionally sanctions freedoms like freedom of expression, freedom of conscience, association and so on. I hailed Miguna's book as a triumph for us all, since it encouraged those of us who had not yet done so to compose our own memoirs. I then invited Miguna to speak.

In a 90 minute address Miguna first of all thanked the people of Kisumu for welcoming him to his hometown. He spoke about growing up dirt poor; of his early travails struggling to get the fees to complete his education; his initiation into radical politics at the University of Nairobi; running foul of the repressive state; escaping to Tanzania, Swaziland and ultimately Canada. His decision to come back to Kenya; how he got involved inODM politics and how he was eventually became Raila Odinga's advisor and how Kibaki appointed him Joint Secretary, along with Kivutha Kibwana of Inter-Coalition Affairs; the rot he witnessed while working at the Office of the Prime Minister; his fall out with Raila Odinga; his decision to pen his memoirs; the launch; the lies that he had fled from justice; the fact that none of the people who threatened him law suits had stepped forward even after he came back to Kenya from his one month Canadian vacation before delving deeply into the problems of unemployment, crisis of education and general underdevelopment in Nyanza especially as these issues pertained to the youth and were aggravated by ills like corruption, tribalism, nepotism.

It at this point, towards the END of his address that a handful of youths started heckling him, disrupting the function.

To their credit the District Commissioner and two OCPDs from Kisumu and Ahero respectively tried in vain to calm down the  youths who were obviously reacting to a pre-arranged script to change the headlines of the day's function. Miguna and the rest of us adamantly REFUSED to "flee" from the baying mob. Instead we patiently waited until they had trickled completely out of the room. We later on found out that they had completed surrounded the hotel, keeping vigilance at EVERY entrance, including observing from the rooftops of the neighbouring buildings.

But like I said earlier. we did manage to leave Kisumu unscathed and we considered out mission to meet the people of Kisumu a success.

You wouldn't tell that all that happened if you were to go by the  piece of creative fiction published in the Daily Nation of Friday, August 24, 2012 would you? Calling me the TNA Secretary General when I had clearly and loudly gone to great lengths to clarify that case of common mistaken identity.  I am writing to them for a full retraction and apology.

Just read this email I received from Wycliffe the young man from Kisumu who was our local MC:

On Fri, Aug 24, 2012, Wycliffe Mboya  wrote:Dear Mr.Oloo,
My name is Wycliffe.I was and still i am the point man in Kisumu and we hosted the meeting in Kisumu Hotel.I totally don't agree with media because 90% presented are politically driven.But with TV K24 really reported the exact thing!Kisumu need"over-owl and proper tun out of good and right messages"intolerance and hooliganism should not be allowed.
My stand is that I would rather wish and want to associate myself with GREAT Leader of my time(Miguna Miguna).We don't just want good leaders but leaders who take risks in opinions and tell the truth.These leaders who are GREAT take people to where they don't want to go!where as "good leaders move with small masses"
The following day my life was threatened with unknown calling and i switched off.Miguna have my number and I wish to present myself to be part of the team.Let him (Miguna know this).
Lastly how to we pay the picture man and how to I get the pictures to you?
My number is 07xx xxx xxxx or in case you forgot give Miguna my email address and my telephone which I know he has.


Gotta run.

My wife just beeped me to tell me that the coast is clear for me and other in laws to make our entrance at the
funeral of her step mother.


Onyango Oloo
Kendu Bay
Friday, Augst 24, 2012 

Sunday, August 12, 2012

SDP’s Days in the Hoja Alliance are Numbered

By Onyango Oloo, Secretary for Ideology, Social Democratic Party of Kenya

The Social Democratic Party of Kenya, one of the constituent members of the Hoja Alliance, is on the brink of quitting that fledgling formation.

I speak with authority as one of the senior leaders of the SDP. The proposal to pen this essay was mooted at the highest levels of the party and is being circulated with the full knowledge and approval of the Social Democratic Party Central Committee. I was the person designated by our party to sit on the technical committee which deliberated on the structures, strategies and future plans of the Hoja Alliance and therefore can expound on issues connected to the alliance from a position of first hand information and insight.

To commence at the end:

Why is the Social Democratic Party on the verge of discontinuing its membership in the Hoja Alliance?

Primarily it is because we have, as a party, discovered to our disappointment, that the alliance is riddled with opportunism, unprincipled political horse trading and crass elite-pacting-the complete antithesis of the values, ideals and building blocks we thought the Hoja Alliance was anchored on. 

To give a snippet:

One of the principles we had consensus on was that no member of the Hoja Alliance would simultaneously enter into a dalliance with other alliances without consulting the rest of the alliance partners. More so, if these other alliances were predicated on tribalism, regionalism and personality-based obsessions.

The Hoja Alliance was supposed to have been the anti-dote to such nefarious pacts like the G-7, GEMA, KAMATUSA and so on.

Imagine our shock and consternation when we turned on our television sets a few days ago, to be confronted with the sight of perhaps the most high profile individual in the Hoja Alliance making pronouncements in the comfy company of shady politicians who to us represented the very negation of what was supposed to be a national, issue-based non-ethnic, ideology driven centre-left grouping of progressive Kenyan political parties charting a new vision for this country.

We were dumbfounded to be confronted with a fait accompli when the same person convened a hastily arranged meeting of some representatives of the Hoja Alliance in almost total contravention of our rules of engagement without going through the proper channels and giving adequate notice to the parties to prepare for such a meeting.

Even as we write these lines, I am watching, live on the Sunday, August 12, 2012 evening news, none other than Raphael Tuju, the main driver of the Hoja Alliance concept announcing that his Party of Action will send  two representatives to a special technical committee set up to galvanize the political ambitions of the G-7!!!

This happening against the backdrop of deliberate stalling and foot dragging on the part of influential members of the Hoja Alliance to act on previously agreed upon recommendations has sparked our ire as a political party making us to openly question the value addition of our continuing presence and membership in the alliance.

2.0. Background to SDP’s Membership in the Hoja Alliance

The Hoja Alliance is a coming together of several political parties (nine at last count) who resolved to work together on a common platform that is ISSUE-based and IDEOLOGY driven and united by the need to buttress and consolidate the multi-party character of Kenya’s emerging democracy-something the constitution itself underscores.

Each party entering into the Hoja Alliance had to read and sign the following agreement:
    Code of Conduct and Terms of Engagement     

By signing this pledge, we commit our parties to:

    1.  To uphold the Hoja Alliance Principles and values in line with Kenya Constitution 2010.   

2.  Collaborate with the Alliance members towards securing victory in the next general election through deliberate efforts geared towards building friendships, trust and confidence among members of the Alliance through activities such as joint meetings, workshops and other team-building events.   

3.  Integrate our campaign activities as an Alliance whilst staying open to pursuing activities specific to our mother parties but not at variance with the core ideals of the Alliance.   

4.  Articulating the principles and values espoused by the Hoja Alliance in all our public and media events and continuously publicly identify with the Alliance and at all times while respecting the diversity of the Alliance.   

5.  Work actively towards recruiting further partnerships that may bring on board other political parties and caucuses that share the ideals and principles of the Alliance.   

6.  At all times uphold the tenets under Section 10 (2) of the Constitution of Kenya especially as relates to social justice.    

7.  Adhere to the code of conduct as spelt here below;   

Code of Conduct   

We members of the Hoja Alliance commit ourselves to the following:   

1.  Desist from talking at cross-purposes.   

2.  Allow only the designated spokespersons to make pronouncements on behalf of the Alliance.   

3.  Take cognizance of strengths and resources that individual parties bring on board and deploy them to strengthen the Alliance.   

4.  Host weekly consultative meetings in order to review progress and to continuously chart the way forward for the Alliance towards developing events and building consensus.   

5.  Commit to keep off any public announcement on disengagement before the matter is discussed and agreed upon by the top organ of the Alliance.   

6.  Vet all members who join subsequently in order to maintain the ideals of the Alliance.   

7.  Ensure the Alliance Charter is signed by the top leadership of the constituent parties, for instance, the Party Leader, Chair and Secretary General or their designated representatives.    

8. At all times strictly adhere to and be guided by the Principles of Chapter Six of the Kenya 2012 Constitution.

The SDP sent a high powered delegation who participated very actively in all the deliberations setting up the alliance right from the outset. We gave direct input to the principles, demands and aspirations at the core of Hoja Alliance vision and agenda. We were satisfied that these principles were not at variance with SDP’s own minimum democratic demands as captured in our party documents. We designated the Secretary for Ideology to represent the party in the technical committee. The party’s Secretary General and Chairperson represented SDP in the principal policy making body, the Oversight Committee.  After a series of meetings it was decided that a Hoja Alliance Secretariat be set up.

Here is an excerpt from the minutes of the third meeting of that Secretariat:

Third Meeting of the Hoja Alliance Secretariat
Date: June 29, 2012
Venue: POA offices, Muthangari Gardens, Lavington, Nairobi

Onyango Oloo – Social Democratic Party of Kenya
Vicky Betty Chepkorir– Party of Action
Kathomi Njeru – New Democrats
Kisemei Mutisya – Chama cha Mwananchi
Saba Saba Asili
People’s Party of Kenya
Chama cha Uzalendo

Time: 11:00 to 12:45


1. Review draft job descriptions;
2. Assign Secretariat tasks;
3. Rules of Operations for Secretariat;
4. Action Step to be recommended to the Oversight Committee

This was a continuation of the previous meeting.

Minute 1: Job Descriptions Overview

The four job descriptions for Secretariat Coordinator, Financial Coordinator, Media and Communications Specialist and Secretary were reviewed and adopted as acceptable for commencing on the core functions of the Hoja Alliance Secretariat.
The meeting resolved to create an additional position- Research and Strategy Coordinator and later developed a job description for this as well.

Minute 2: Allocation of Secretariat Positions 

It was noted that previous sessions of the Hoja Alliance Secretariat had repeatedly deferred this task to allow the constituent political parties who were members of the Alliance to delegate their members to the Secretariat. Unfortunately, despite several reminders some parties were yet to do so. It was reported that two parties- Saba Saba Asili and Chama Cha Uzalendo had officially communicated to indicate that they were still not in a position to send someone to the Hoja Alliance Secretariat because of ongoing internal consultations within their respective parties.

After a comprehensive, cordial and collegial discussion, the following were recommended for the respective positions:

Secretariat Coordinator - Onyango Oloo (Social Democratic Party of Kenya)
Media and Communications Coordinator – Kathomi Njeru (New Democrats)
Financial Coordinator/Secretary - Vicky Betty Chepkorir (Party of Action)
Strategy and Research Coordinator - Kisemei Mutisya (Chama cha Mwananchi)

Minute 3: Rules of Operations

It was decided that the Secretariat will work out a detailed document on this for the perusal of the Oversight Committee.

Nevertheless, the meeting came up with the following as among the basic guidelines of the Hoja Alliance Secretariat:
1. The secretariat is bound by the rules and terms on engagement of the alliance
2. The secretariat members should observe professionalism. Integrity and confidentiality are key.
3. English and Kiswahili are the languages of communication at the secretariat
4. On the issue of quorum for Secretariat meetings it was resolved that the minimum number would be four and that an apology sent in advance would be considered as part of the quorum.

Minute 4: Action Steps

The meeting revisited the suggestion first mooted at the Oversight Committee retreat for an inaugural Hoja Alliance rally. It was proposed that we hold a rally on the  21st of July.

 A detailed proposal from the Secretariat on when, where and what resources were needed for this rally will be circulated to the Oversight Committee between July 3rd and 4th, 2012.

There being no further matters to discuss, the meeting adjourned.

In sending out the above minutes to all the members of the Hoja Oversight Committee in my capacity as the INTERIM Coordinator of the Hoja Secretariat, I tacked the following note:

Greetings.  Attached please find some documents providing updates of the proceedings of the newly set up Alliance Secretariat.
These include:
1. Minutes of the third meeting of the secretariat;

2. Job descriptions for some of the functional responsibilities;

3. A proposal from the Secretariat for a Hoja Rally to be held inBomet around the 21st of July.

It is our hope that the Oversight Committee can be convened on Friday, July 6, 2012 from 10 am to 12:30 pm at the POA offices to discuss among other things, the issues raised in the attached documents.


Onyango Oloo

Hoja Alliance Secretariat

No other party apart from the Social Democratic Party confirmed attendance at the proposed meeting. There was no feedback to the minutes and other documents sent by the interim Hoja Alliance Secretariat. Subsequently, through the informal grapevines word seeped out that some of the well-connected personalities in the alliance were busy with fund raising initiatives and that the Secretariat would be up and running once it was resourced to roll out its activities.

Within the SDP we continued to be perplexed at the dearth of information, lack of direction and sheer inertia which had set in, making us wonder what in fact, we as a party, were doing in the Hoja Alliance.

In addition, SDP was  getting perplexed and bewildered with the process (or lack of it) of identifying, vetting and approving new members of the Hoja Alliance.

This following excerpt from a June 23, 2012 report by the SDP Secretary of Ideology to the party’s Central Committee captures our concerns:

Secretary for Ideology’s Report to the SDP Central Committee on the Hoja Alliance’s”Vetting Exercise” of Saturday, June 23, 2012

Onyango Oloo represented the SDP at  the above exercise after being mandated and requested to do so by Mwandawiro Mghanga, the party Chair.

What I participated in was a travesty, a sham calculated to rubber stamp decisions previously made elsewhere. It was totally against SDP’s principles and values.

While having breakfast with two of the Hoja Vetting Committee members at the nearby restaurant I quickly brought up the subject of the vetting exercise.

First of all, there was no trace of the prospective new Hoja Alliance member that I came to learn was the Party of Democratic Union.

I then broached the question of the methodology of vetting. Was there a certain format, a scoring grid, an interviewing process, some key questions that were posed, I asked?

It became patently clear that there was no such process.

Everything I was told, was quite “informal” partly because, I was told, “some of our leaders have already met these people. They are good people-we know them.”

I was simply dumbfounded and astounded given the length and depth all our parties had gone through in defining the core principles of engagement anchoring the Hoja Alliance.

After some chit chat, we decided to go back to the POA Secretariat, our breakfast having been consumed. On our way back we saw three representatives of PDU also approaching the venue.

In the meantime we still could not locate representatives of the New Democrats who were also supposed to be in the meeting. Other parties had sent apologies that they would not be showing up.

After PDU had finished their presentation and seeing that no one else wanted to take the initiative in drilling the PDU leaders, I decided to ask a few questions having to do with PDU’s manifesto; if they understood the terms of engagement of the Hoja Alliance and so on.

But I was quickly rudely and crudely interrupted by one of the Hoja Vetting Committee members. He admonished me for “interrogating” the PDU leaders saying that these “were good people” that he could personally vouch for.

In any case he said, “We all know who our COMMON ENEMY is.  It is ODM.”

Another member intervened, explaining how all these parties had previously met Raphael Tuju, who was the “Convener of the Hoja Alliance”. Besides she expressed her surprise at SDP’s questions because “Kinara wenu, Mwandawiro” had met with the other party leaders to talk about the process of inviting other parties into the alliance. The committee member who had cut me short now said that we had apportioned ONLY ONE HOUR  for this meeting “because some of us are very busy and have other engagements after this". 

My reaction to this naked attempt to trivialize what I was saying and ultimately silence and shut me down was to announce that I was retracting my questions.

I said I would be writing a formal report to SDP that had sent me to that meeting.

I further said that SDP was driven by certain principles which led it to join the alliance.

I said that our party did NOT believe that our alleged “common enemy” was ODM or even Raila Odinga. I said that our party shunned and spurned the cult of personality and I asked what difference, therefore, Hoja Alliance had with the G7, whose sole binding glue was hatred of Raila and opposition to ODM.

I further added that “Kinara wa chama chetu ni Kamati Kuu; sio Katibu Mkuu; sio Mwenye Kiti ama mtu yoyote binafsi.” 

The SDP, I explained, believed in COLLECTIVE LEADERSHIP; our party unlike many other Kenyan ones, was not “owned” by a single individual.

When I came to that meeting I said, I came as PART OF THE LEADERSHIP of SDP.


1. SDP should endorse PDU as a member of the Hoja Alliance because it is already a fait accompli, decisions having been previously made elsewhere. We were just there to rubber stamp this decision. As proof of that, even before we met PDU a ceremony had already been confirmed and organized for Sunday, June 24, 2012 to officially induct PDU into the Hoja Alliance! This is a BIG JOKE comrades.

2. This vetting committee should be officially baptized the H.R.C- in other words, the Hoja Rubber Stamp Committee.

3. SDP should pick someone other than Onyango Oloo to attend these so called “vetting meetings.” I cannot participate in such charades. My conscience troubles me.

4. At the next Hoja Oversight Committee meeting, SDP should open up for discussion the question of WHO is OUR COMMON ENEMY. I always assumed it was Imperialism and the local neo-colonial bourgeoisie as a STRATUM across their many feuding factions and fractions- PNU, TNA, ODM  URP, UDF etc.

Report compiled by:

Onyango Oloo

Secretary for Ideology

Social Democratic Party of Kenya

Saturday, June 23, 2012


One could cite further examples, but the above will suffice for now.

In summary here are the main reasons why I believe the SDP days in the Hoja Alliance are numbered:

1. Looking at events unfolding over the last two weeks, it is evident that the Hoja Alliance is geared to be an appendage of the G-7 grouping of tribalists, throwbacks to the dark days of the KANU dictatorship and bastion of the forces of impunity. The Social Democratic Party will not be party to such conservative regroupings.

2. Collectively, the Hoja Alliance has completely disregarded its terms of engagement. That is why the SDP feels no twinge in our conscience in terms of sharing this issue in the public domain.

3. We have lost a lot of time, putting our ideological reputation and historical credibility on the line expending our energy on an alliance built on deception. It is time better spent on building the Social Democratic Party.

4. We abhor and detest the bankrupt underpinnings of some politicians whose sole raison d’ĂȘtre is the axe they have to grind against this or that personality, this or that ethnic group, this or that region- yet the full meaning of the Hoja Alliance is a coming together based on principle, ideology and issues affecting the Kenyan wananchi.

We have not yet exited from the Hoja Alliance.

We await the deliberations and outcomes of the upcoming Hoja Oversight Committee meeting which was scheduled to take place on Monday, August 13, 2012 but has UNSURPRISINGLY been postponed yet again.


Onyango Oloo
Secretary for Ideology
Social Democratic Party of Kenya
Sunday, 12 August 2012