Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Narc Elections: Is The DP In A Pickle?

By Adongo Ogony

The DP tribalists, whom as we know hijacked the presidency a long time ago, are busy digging themselves a little comfy grave called Narc elections. I am not a member of Narc or any of its affiliates so I would care less what Narc does as a coalition. But because they run the country I care what they do as a government in power today.

The trouble for the country and the question we must all ask is this: Will the DP take President Kibaki with them to their new grave as they did on the constitutional review process or will the President “rise above” party politics? I will come to that later, but for now it is decisions, decisions for the president. Phew!! That is the kind of stuff our president never likes. Making those hard decisions never sat well with Kibaki who has acquired legendary fence sitting credentials over his long political career.

At one level the whole thing is the usual Narc circus of recycled alliances that hardly lasts a few months. Some people would say who cares if Narc wants to swallow itself. But the reality of the matter is that this new confrontation between DP damu and the rest of the Narc coalition partners could be the end of Narc as a coalition and could even bring the merciful end of their moribund and increasingly hopeless regime. I wouldn’t shed a tear for that. In fact I would celebrate if Kenyans can bring down this ugly monster called the Narc government, which continues to lie to Kenyans on practically everything that matters in their lives. But then again we celebrated when we floored Kanu and look where we are now. In the dumps again

What really is the problem? Why is Murungi and co so desperate for a fight? The issue is the DP folks are scared of simply holding a DP recruitment drive and elections like the other parties are doing with varying degrees of success. May be they are terrified of discovering just how unpopular and despised their party is across the country.

Instead of holding their own elections, the DP wants to kidnap the brand name Narc and give their party (DP) a huge new cloth called Narc before going to the big dance called elections for 2007. The DP crew also wants a free hand in the legislative agenda of the nation and in running the government without restrains from the “enemies” of Kenya whom they suppose are in the other Narc Coalition partners. The problem is that the cloth they want to cover their behind with doesn’t belong to them only; they share that piece of clothing with others. They could borrow the cloth for a dance (election) here or there but always have to return it to its collective ownership. Well now they are clawing and fighting over it and like I said the ugly piece of cloth might just tear up completely and then Kibaki would be in real trouble, never mind the laughable claims of people plotting a coup against Kibaki. This is a government busy plotting against itself. How pathetic.

I read an interesting analysis by David Lumbasi the other day in the Kenya Times Jan. 25, 2005. According to Mr. Lumbasi the President can easily pull wools on the collective eyes of Kenyans by appointing Musikari Kombo the VP, thereby buying him and the entire Luhya community to support the DP takeover of Narc and appoint Madame Ngilu the premier again to buy her and the Kamba community to support this silly and practically useless project Kiraitu and his cronies are obsessing with at the moment. In fact as we speak there are reports in the newspapers that a flurry of meetings are being held to persuade the two to support the takeover. They haven’t told us how many shares in the new holding is being offered to the two worthies.

The ethnic consultants are working overtime. Personally I wish things were this simple in real life, but we all know some of the tribal caricatures just don’t work. Lumbasi has a point though. The real motive of the so-called Narc elections was to isolate Raila and the LDP and find away to kick them out of the coalition and the government through the back door. The DP biggies were looking to do to Raila and his party what Kanu did to Jaramogi Oginga Odinga in 1966. The trouble is history is never static even if the minds of politicians sometimes tend to be. History moves forward in dynamic ways. Kibaki and the DP will be doomed if they think they can apply the methods Mzee Kenyatta and his cohorts used almost 40 years ago to kill democracy in our country and set us on the path to personal dictatorship and the one party rule. We know the dangers of that road and we are not going there, Sir.

For one thing Kenyans are alert and informed. Just look how Kenyans are responding to the little Kiraitu project in their letters to the Editors of different newspapers, through columns and of course not forgetting the very strong statements from political figures virtually from all walks of life and from diverse communities.

Those who had plotted this to be a struggle between the Luos and the Kikuyus will have to go back to the drawing board. My advice to my friend Lumbasi and others, particularly those in DP who think like him, is that even if Kibaki were to buy Musikari Kombo and Ngilu he might end up with useless assets, since these leaders may have credibility in their communities precisely for being able to stand up to the likes of Kiraitu. If Kibaki were to take away that credibility and reduce the two leaders to cheap commodities in the political market place I am not so sure they would still be useful in the DP coup being organized by Kiraitu. So yeah things are a little more complicated than simple tribal mathematics.

Anybody who thinks Kenyans are going to support spineless leaders who can be bought with two cents, just because they are from their own tribes need to wake up to the new reality of Kenya. We are a nation of pretty smart people and Kenyans know what is at stake here is bigger than any of these individuals and their ambitions. At any rate I tend to think Kombo and Ngilu have pretty much crossed the Rubicon on this issue, so to speak. I don’t think any of these folks want to risk their political futures just to back up the lunacy of DP supremacy in Narc. That would be a very dangerous political gamble on their part.

The other question Kenyans will be asking is whether Kibaki can rise above partisan tribally motivated “party politics” and nix the DP election nonsense from by his bosom friends. My answer is that Kibaki is very much part and parcel of the same partisan tribal madness that is ruining the nation as we speak. Under Kibaki our country’s national leadership has become even more tribalized than under the old regime. Those who are scared of telling the President the truth can continue hiding under the table as long as they want. We know what the results of such cowardice in the past has been for our country so I am sure many Kenyans are going to tell it like it is. And it is bad and ugly. I am talking about the political leadership in our country today. Look at what Kibaki has done with the crazy constitutional Amendment Bill, which is not only illegal, but which threatens to tear the country apart. Mzee has no problem as long as Murungi says it is o.k. And you ask me why the country is heading for chaos. The DP’s new baby will be still born, but don’t expect Mzee to do anything about it. He probably prefers a DP still born child to a robust baby from the Narc team, which is what the nation expected.

What happens then? There are two scenarios. One is that the Kibaki people pushing for the DP takeover of Narc might just be as blind and confused as Moi was when he tried to impose Uhuru Kenyatta as the Kanu candidate for the presidency. At that time Kanu diehards who with the benefit of hindsight, look very much like the DP fundamentalists believed, just as some people do now that their problem was just Raila and the “bloody” Luos. So their strategy was to get the usual Luo political rejects as some kind of back up to appease the Luos (Good Luck). Then they thought Kalonzo, Saitoti, Mudavadi all will boycott the Rainbow team and Raila would be left alone and then kaboom the Uhuru coup would be complete. How wrong were they? Just ask Mzee Daniel Toroitich Arap Moi. He has plenty of time now in his hands to give you an answer, thanks to the big blunder his people made. Boy these guys never learn a damn thing.

What I am saying here is that if the DP thinks they can steamroll this election garbage, which has nothing to do with democracy in the parties, but a lot to do with crude tribal chauvinism and bloated arrogance, they are going to need more than just “lets isolate Raila” slogan. Our country is much bigger than Raila, Ngilu, Kiraitu, Murungaru, Kibaki etc all combined together.

Kenyans are going to mobilize like we have never seen before to tell Kibaki and his people that enough is enough. We did not elect a DP government and we have endured one for far too long. We elected DP as part of a team called Narc with a very specific agenda, the pillar of which was a new constitution, which, the same DP crew has sabotaged for the last two years. If the DP wants to run the country on their own then let Kibaki dissolve parliament and lets go to the polls. Lets see if we are going to elect Kiraitu or Kibaki as our president. But the idea of DP usurping the government through the back door is not going to work folks. Yes we elected President Kibaki as a leader of the Narc team not as the chairman of DP. So give the nation a break.

I don’t know how many Kenyans remember the scene at State House when the Rainbow team was ready to quit Kanu. Moi realized these guys were serious and called them to State House obviously to try to buy them. They refused and I still remember vividly a picture in the papers of Nicholas Biwott chasing Kalonzo on foot as he (Kalonzo) headed to State House gate. That was an act desperation and the beginning of the colossal collapse of the Kanu dynasty. Now we have people who have been in power for two years and they think and act like they are kings. Well just wait till we expose your dirty clay feet for all to see.

The other good news is that the same crazy crew pushing for DP takeover of Narc are the same group bent on sabotaging Wanjiku’s constitution to replace it with one tailored to suit the interests of the State House posse. Why is this good news? Well, may be we can use the same broom to just get rid of all the offending characters once and for all and take our country back. Bring it on boys. The nation awaits you with open arms and big brooms. Lets Rambo.

The other scenario is that the DP is going to realize their own survival is at stake and find some face saving mechanism to chicken out. Their trump card here is none other than Kibaki himself. I know as we speak there are several groups, some of them the usual tribal entrepreneurs who are telling Kibaki that he has to talk with his folks to back off. If Mzee thinks he might be toast if the Narc election fiasco goes ahead, then may be his own sense of survival and self-preservation will force him to for once say no to Murungi. My point is Kibaki will never stop the exercise because of its potential to divide the country and promote tribalism, except if the operation threatens his political life. That to me is a problem in itself but that is another story.

The tragedy of it all is that we truly have some massive problems to deal with in the country even as the political clowns continue with their endless games and intrigue. The nasty clashes are cropping in too many places. I am glad the president finally addressed the clashes in Mandera and other areas in North Eastern Provinces and had some very tough words for the perpetrators. I applaud him for that leadership. But we have problems in Maai Mahiu where the death toll has now reached sixteen and counting. What is the problem in Maai Mahiu? Equitable us of land and resources like water for survival, that is the problem. We have similar problems in Laikipa and many other places. Is our government and the cabinet sitting down working with the communities to solve these problems of life and death? Are you kidding? They are busy fighting ghosts, amassing wealth and giving us fake promises like Kimunya our Minister for Lands and Housing promising to seize idle land and give them to the poor. You are right!! Dream on.

Hunger and starvation is stalking the land again with increased ferocity. In Makueni alone we have been told 500,000 people are likely to face starvation due to crop failure in the area. Are our leaders concerned about that? No. I bet when you make more than Kshs 500,000.00 a month you would care less if millions of Kenyans were going to face starvation. You and your children sure won’t starve. Or may be we are going to get interested in the looming hunger and starvation when it comes the time to give out tenders for those who will ship in food donations. Either way we are screwed as a nation for now and that to me is the big story behind the Narc/DP circus. We need massive diarrhea however painful, to flash out the Narc constipation from our system and move on. That is my massage to Kenyans. Lets get rid of the entire Narc thing and then go to the polls. It is about time we stopped imprisoning ourselves under this dysfunctional and uncouth regime called the Narc government. Amen.

The writer is a human rights activist

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