Wednesday, July 14, 2004

NARC Has Dropped the Diplomatic Ball

Onyango Oloo Analyses

The Growing Isolation of the Kibaki Regime

Wednesday, July 14, 2004
Montreal, Quebec

1.0.” Liberte, Equalite, Fraternite!”

Today is Bastille Day, and over here, in this territory where the people are often said to be more French than the French, there will be a lot of reflections on that day in 1789 when the storming of a notorious prison presaged the beginning of the end for an aristrocratic ancien regime in what was truly “Old Europe”.

As an avid student of history and a buff for political symbolism, I am struck by the coincidental irony of penning these lines on an anniversary celebrated as one of the most significant milestones of the liberal democratic tradition in the West.

Charles de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu’s name is forever associated with the constitutional question over the separation of legislative, judicial and executive powers-an issue not far removed, shall we say, from Kenyan politics at the moment.

In fact, his “Spirit of the Laws” published in 1748 was almost a hero worship of the English Constitution (which remains unwritten to this day!)

click here for an extract from Montesquieu's "Spirit of the Laws"

The Fourteenth of July 1789 marked the end of the French monarchy and the beginning of the First Republic.

Even more than the Declaration of American Independence in 1776 (that codified slavery and subhumanized African-Americans and Indigenous people), the French Revolution is seen as marking the first political triumph of the then emergent bourgeoisie, in the sense that this social class actually managed to overturn the feudal system and lay the foundation for capitalism.

It is not often appreciated by the neo-conservatives of the 21st century that there was a time when the names of Robespierre, Danton, Marat and the Jacobins were associated with terms like “radical” “revolution” AND CAPITALISM.

Imagine that: the bourgeoisie leading a popular, indeed one of the BLOODIEST social revolutions in the history of humankind!

Well, that was then, and this is now.

For more on Bastille Day, check out the following link:

Bastille Day

2.0. Let Us Segue Into Tabloid Territory for a Moment

I try not to take myself too seriously-even though I consider myself a very serious person. If we do not sprinkle our sobriety with a bit of levity, we may turn out to be the poster boys for pristine puritanism-and I would much rather be a cadaver carved up medical students in a lab rather than a specimen of that pristine kind.

So here is my non-commercial entertainment break before we return to the regularly scheduled digital.

Let me put on my familiar conspiracy theorist hat for second.

Does NAK have a mole who lurks in its midst, intercepting and leaking that faction’s internal and confidential email correspondence willy nilly to the entire universe?

I ask this question(only half-facetiously by the way) because for the second straight week, a certain Kenyan who is active on at least two Kenyan forums (Mashada and the Nation newspapers discussion group)known as “Kipchirchir” has unleashed yet another potential bombshell.

About an hour ago (it is now 2:45 in morning by the radio clock on my computer desk) I was indulging in my usual vice while I compose an essay.More often than not, I try and monitor what Kenyans around the world are saying online in real time- so I zoom through about 345,765 different Kenyan sites(just kidding) sampling the conversation, throwing an acerbic barb here and a sardonic aside here to my flamers and aficionados alike before getting down to the really boring task of marshalling all those research findings and massaging them into a readable(or does one say legible) essay while everyone enjoys rapid eye movement deep sleep and I punch away at my keyboard- to be greeted in the morning on certain forums with deranged comments and paragraphs obviously composed under the influence of excessive alcohol by writers who do not read what they respond to….

Anyways, so here I am at and “Kipchirchir” hits me with this “breaking news”:
"Kipchirchir"'s Latest

This purports to be an email sent by a Harvard Law don to a senior Kenyan minister essentially doing to the said minister what the Grammy people did to Janet Jackson after that Super Bowl wardrobe malfunction.

I invite my readers to make up their own minds.

For the record, I was the very first person to CHALLENGE the authenticity of the email, wondering how a whole Professor would fail to spell his own professional appellation and reporting that I failed to find an Edward Smith lecture on my quick google trip.

Pressed by other netters,“Kipchirchir” has now coughed up the name of Kiraitu Murungi, the country’s Justice and Constitutional Affairs minister.

If this turns out to be the case, then clearly the NAK supremo does not have a firewall in his Outlook- if that is his mail client to begin with…

3.0. The Imperious Hectoring from Ambassador Clay Was Clearly Front Page material

What is not in dispute were the very public remarks by

Edward Clay, the British High Commissioner to Kenya:

Clay's Rant

Mr Clay’s candid comments echoed similar concerns expressed by his US counterpart William Bellamy a few days earlier.

The Western donors has been conducting a very coordinated campaign to pressurize the Kibaki regime to do something about corruption in its ranks.

click here

bonyeza hapa

jaribu hapa

press here

And even the normally sedate and reticent UN chief Kofi Annan was unusually forthcoming with his views on internal Kenyan politics:

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan with President Kibaki

press here

click here
click here

These remarks have stung deeply and supporters of the status quo fired back their own salvo:
click here

These yelps have been ten fold amplified by howls of the other hounds like Mungatana and his gang members waiting to lynch the Katiba Watch organizers in Mombasa next week.

According to one opinion poll at least, donors’ concerns are shared by many ordinary Kenyans

click here

But before we examine these diplomatic flare ups in greater detail, let us visit a small sideshow.

This is a novel development:

Rabid NAK attack dogs turning around to bite their own masters.

The Nairobi based lawyer, Kibe Mungai has BEEN NOTORIOUS for his defence of some of the most undemocratic tendencies of the NAK faction.

A protégé of Kamau Kuria and Kiraitu Murungi, Mr. Mungai has fired off op-ed article after op-ed article praising to the skies the forces in the Kibaki regime who support the dictatorial powers of an executive presidency. Earlier this year he made waves when his civil suit against the Zero Draft won what some saw as a significant tactical legal victory that has essentially slowed down the constitutional review process giving the Kiraitu-Murungaru faction ample time to execute their coup de grace into the heart of the Raila- Kalonzo axis of this deeply divided NARC cabinet.

That is why it is simply startling and bewildering to read the following lines from Kibe Mungai:

click here

Koigi is another NAK hawk who is flapping his wings in a different direction:

click here

Some of us had anticipated Koigi’s flip flops after he was left out of the new line up.

And of course the famous last words of NAK ideologue and apologist Makau Mutua are familiar to all my readers by now;

I just wanted to revise my earlier references to “attack dogs” and “hawks”.

I think we should be kind to those two species.

The Three Mouseketeers of NAK-Kibe, Koigi and Makau-are more like RODENTS-as in rats abandoning a sinking ship.

Just my opinion.

Note that I did not call them rats, I just compared them to the larger well known relatives of the common house mice.

4.0. The Fall Out from Anglo-Leasing

Driving the fury of the diplomatic corps in Kenya has been recent revelations of shady deals going on in a NARC government that rode to power on the crest of a popular wave pledging to fight grand graft. Anglo Leasing is the abracadabra which opens this fetid can of corrupt NARC worms.

Transparency International, the former employer of John Githongo (the regime’s current anti-corruption czar) has been following the issue for some time:

click here

click here

The Standard newspaper has probably done more to expose this scandal than either of its two Nairobi rivals:

click here

click here

Which is not to say that the Nation has been sitting on its butt, doing nothing:

click here

The London-based Guardian dropped its own small bombshell recently:

click here

I have a lot more information to share on Anglo-Leasing but I am looking at my clock and I have a radio show to do in about an hour so I will truncate this juicy info sharing and dash to some summary tentative conclusions.

5.0. What are the Political Ramifications?

The Kibaki regime has managed a spectacular task-it has succeeded in alienating almost everybody who supported it nationally and internationally barely a year ago.

The NAK faction is on a collision path with the Kenyan people and we have tracked that conflict in other digital contributions.

But what is it going to do about this international isolation?

Let us be real.

Kenya is NOT a free, sovereign nation.

On the contrary Kenyans live in a neo-colonial state beholden to the diktats of Whitehall, the White House, Berlin, Paris, Tokyo, Ottawa, Stockholm, Canberra, Copanhagen, Oslo, Rome and other western capitals.

The IMF and World Bank draw up our economic plans. Kofi Annan can fly in an irate school principal and give Mwai Kibaki a public dressing down.

High Commissioner Edward Clay is not that different from Governor General Malcolm Macdonald. Ambassador William Bellamy for all practical purposes plays the same role Lugard played in Nigeria and Gordon in the Sudan.

Bellamy and Clay are practically the “Massa” and the Kibakis, Murungarus, Kiraitus etc merely their butlers, valets, chefs and gardeners.

So what happens to the servants when the Bwana Kubwa and Memsahib are pissed off?


The cooks, gardeners and ayahs are fired and fresh, hungry ones hired to replace them.

I am saying that the imperialists are going to FORCE Kibaki to get rid of some of his lieutenants.

Within the next two months three of these ministers will not be in the government:

Kiraitu Murungi, Moody Awori, Chris Murungaru, George Saitoti, David Mwiraria.

Take your pick.

Folks, I am getting late for my radio show!

Onyango Oloo
Wednesday, July 14, 2004
6:08 am EST

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