Onyango Oloo Dissects The Ideological Underpinnings of the Anglo-Kenyan Tensions
1.0. Kenyans Kids Are Sharper Than Wembe
Bill Clinton showed a flurry of interest in Africa towards the end of his presidency and he continued to talk about Africa afterwards. In fact, this irritated me. I used to say to myself, 'You used to be the most powerful man in the world. Why did you not do more for Africa then?'
According to the former secretary of state at the Department for International Development in the UK,
Tony Blair displayed very little interest in Africa during his first term and it was
Bill Clinton who sparked the British PM's enthusiasm for our continent.
I gleaned all this from the current issue of African Business published in London and edited by Anver Versi, a Kenyan who used to teach at that same school where I did the first four years of my secondary education-Mombasa Baptist High School-but in the early seventies before I got there.
The cover of the February 2005 issue is dominated
by the chubby countenance of Gordon Brown with the caption,Live Now, Pay Later, Gordon Brown's Africa Recovery Plan.
If you do not know who Gordon is and you are living in Canada, the United States or anywhere in the world for that matter, then I advise you to go to
That's right. Go to that teeming poverty stricken urban wasteland that squats in the Kenyan capital mocking Woodley,
Kilimani, Loresho and other leafy suburbs of Nairobi.
But why Kibera?
Because there is a young boy who lives in Kibera who knows exactly who Gordon Brown is. Ask him and he will tell you.
How do I know this?
Well, if you go to page 18 of the current issue of the same magazine and look at the third sentence in the third paragraph of the first column on that page, you will eyeball this quotation:
In Kenya, while touring the slums of Kibera in Nairobi, he asked a boy if he knew who he was. The answer was prompt: “You are Tony Blair’s biggest rival,”the youngster quipped, reflecting the fact that rivalry between the two men has provided many African newspapers with a juicy slant to their foreign coverage.
That snippet is noteworthy for at least two reasons.
The small boy reminded me of who I was at a younger age-like many Kenyan pupils and students very conversant with international current affairs in a way which is shockingly absent among a similar age set in the West. I read of a British survey from a few years ago when Scottish kids responded with the answer “sheep” when they were asked the question, “Where does cotton come from”?
On a related point, the fact that the East African Standard, The Daily Nation, The Kenya Times and other local publications treat UK politicians, celebrities and sports figures as if they live in Nairobi underscores our continued dependent, neo-colonial ties with our former beberu masters. Kenyans are still slavishly following British politics because in actuality it does affect in a very direct way the day to day national sequence of events in Kenya.
As I write these lines, the latest irate, candid outburst from
the recently knighted British envoy to Kenya with an aversion to vomit deposited on shoes is dominating the headlines and providing material for robust discussions on the internet based Kenyan political forums.
By the way,just in case you still have problems locating that elusive Kibera Kijana, let me go ahead and exclusively reveal to you who Gordon Brown is.
Come closer because I want to whisper it in your ear.
do not tell anyone i told you this but Gordon Brown
is Britain's CHANCELLOR OF THE FRIGGING EXCHEQUER YOU SILLY GOOSE WHO CANNOT GET OFF YOUR FANNY ADAMS TO GOOGLE!!! INCIDENTALLY, THE INITIALS FOR FANNY ADAMS ARE ALSO THE INITIALS FOR YOUR FAT ASS.
2.0. Why Are Murungaru and Murungi Parvenu Schemers?
Hopefully you have access to a dictionary this time around because I am fed up of feeding you brand new words every single week with each new entry over here at the good old Kenya Democracy Project blog.
Could you please do me a favour and look it up,just this once?
If you are looking at the same dictionary entry that I am looking at right now, here are the words that you and I are seeing simultaneously:
Parvenu (F, fr. pp.of parvenir to arrive, (1802): one that recently or suddenly risen to an unaccustomed position of wealth or power and has not yet gained the prestige, dignity, or manner associated with it.
Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary, p. 859.
As you can see,that word was coined in 1802 in far off Europe so do not think it is some foul mouthed Jaluo Jeuri in Montreal using a Quebecois swear word to cuss out the desperate NAK fat cats and back room boys. Believe me I know quite a few juicy and choice expressions in Kivaite, Kisapere, Kijeng, Kingoso and Kisheng if I wanted to go verbally ballistic on my Mount Kenya in laws and relatives.
In our Kenyan neo-colonial context, the aristocrats of the Kenyan comprador bourgeoisie, those with the old money include those quiet faceless kaburus you never see, those quiet Wahindi Mababi you never hear from, those Waarabu wa Nyali na Bamburi you never view and of course, at the top of the pile, the indigenous Wabenzi like the Kenyattas, the Mois, the Ndegwas, Njonjos, Biwotts, Nyachaes, Odingas and others who have had a lot of money for a very long time. Just a notch below them is a very sly and shadowy stratum of Kalenjin, Luhyia, Kisii, Somali and Maasai multi-millionaires who are quite affluent and quite quiet about their affluence. Many of them made their fortunes in the years 1978-2002, a period which strangely coincides with something that slips my elephant memory for some arcane reason.
The Kenyan parvenu arriviste is defined by Onyango Oloo as anyone who "has recently or suddenly risen to an accustomed position of wealth or power in Kenya AFTER December 27, 2002, and has not yet gained the prestige, dignity or manner associated with such position of wealth or power."
Semantically, Chris Murungaru and Kiraitu Murungi technically qualify for this clinical diagnosis.
The problem with parvenu rulers is that they tend to get excited as they wield their new power, kind of like a katoi with a surplus of
sucre going hyper all over the house as they show off their
new electronic gadget. Or another comparison which is closer to the NAK bone is with the teenager who gets drunk for the very first time. Think back if you have been intoxicated in your life to how RIDICULOUS you acted the first time alcohol made you stagger like a buffoon on the beat-or even a baboon on heat.
Judged from these drunken lenses, one can soberly see why
my former lawyer and
my would be pharmacist are so giddy with power to the extent that they do not care whether they bring down the Kibaki government with their ridiculous pronunciamentos regarding NARC elections.
3.0. What Is Up With Gordon Brown's White Man's Burden?
As if Africa did not have enough missionaries stewing in cannibalistic pots with hungry natives eagerly waiting for their lunch all over the continent, we now see yet another Johnny Come Lately political do-gooder and two faced bleeding heart approaching us with
David Livingstone's zeal with yet another cockamamie scheme lift us out of the underdeveloped nightmarish dystopia that they plunged us into in the first place through slavery, colonialism, imperialism, neo-colonialism and now overt, blatant recolonization. We know from history that Livingstone’s idealistic zeal is often accompanied by
Cecil Rhodes' calculating guile which is captured in Sir Cecil’s dictum: "Philanthropy is good, but philanthropy at 5 percent is better."
Imagine the gall-and of course it NOT coming from any gal!
Perhaps I should be less jaundiced against the patronizing overtures of Gordon Brown and other Rich White Men from the West.
How many commissions of inquiry into Africa’s poverty are needed before the imperialists grasp the simple solution: Africans need national independence and genuine democracy rather than external top down schemes in order to get on the fast track of the development journey.
Gordon Brown's latest scheme is just that, a cynical ploy to wrest control of the British Labour Party and get a head start in succeeding the blood soaked Evil Twin Butcher of Baghdad, Falluja, Tikrit and Sadr City-Tony Blair.
By its very internal logic-a scheme to develop Africa coming from the one imperialist power who has helped to under develop Africa the most-this scheme is like a dodo, dead in the water from the get go.
But what the heck is it?
You mean Gordon Brown's Africa Recovery Plan?
You mean I have started railing, wailing and yelling without bothering to explain what the hare brained scheme is all about?
Let me Xerox that, as we used to say back in our Nairobi hey days, recolonizing a brand name to mean “let me repeat that”.
Like I said, you can read all about in the latest issue of African Business:
When the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown announced his version of a Marshall Plan for Africa, media uproar in Britain reached fever pitch. This was not because the British media had suddenly discovered a new interest in the continent or because they thought the plan was a stroke of genius; the intense interest was because the announcement was seen as another blow struck by Brown against his political rival, Prime Minister Tony Blair...Gordon Brown’s Africa plan must be seen in the light of a similar context(of British historical instances that see major political and economic developments growing out of personal conflicts between strong willed leaders-Oloo). It is no exaggeration to say that the current conflict between Tony Blair and Gordon Brown goes further than party leadership; it is about Britain’s role in the world and thus the forging of a new identity of what it means to be British. The battleground for this new ideological struggle is Africa. The fate of Africa is in a sense a microcosm of the fate of the developing world in general. The current economic, military and political relationship between the rich and poor worlds has led to an ever widening gulf between the two. Left on its own, the gap will grow, not close. The Malthusian nightmare-constant war, famine, disease- is already manifesting itself with the addition of yet another evil, terrorism…The American response to the terrorist attack was to declare War on Terror. It dispatched military aircraft, bombs, tanks and soldiers to kill off an abstraction. The Americans failed to see that September 11 was a symptom, not a disease. By lancing the boil, they thought they had cured the illness. They did not appreciate that the boil was a warning of a deeper, more serious malaise that was growing. The British, who at one time or the other have ruled most of the world’s people and who are still deeply involved, culturally and economically with their former colonies, knew otherwise...
Anver Versi, African Business, February 2005, p.16.
In dissecting Gordon Brown’s plan, African Business gives an overview of the original Marshall Plan to see any parallels with Africa:
Can this model be transferred to Africa and achieve the same result? The answer is both ‘yes’ and ‘No’. In theory, there is no reason why a similar process, with food, capital, material and know-how from the rich countries cannot be transferred to African states to enable them to establish the base for a modern economy. The important difference between the aid that went to Europe through the Marshall Plan and the aid that has gone to Africa is that most of the Marshall Aid plan did not have to be repaid. This allowed Europe to construct its infrastructure without having the burden of debt to worry about. Aid to Africa however was of a different character. It has mostly been in terms of loans which have had to be repaid. Hence the huge burden. When this aid is applied to the creation of infrastructure, which in itself does not produce revenue, the only way the debt can be serviced is by using revenue from the export of commodities. The result is that infrastructure is incomplete and often cannot be maintained. This in turn reduces productivity which leads to declining income. The disposable income is then further eroded by having to service the debts contracted earlier. The results are plain: $13 bn earmarked for European reconstruction have yielded handsome returns; billions of dollars in aid poured into Africa have produced a negative return. The problem was not in the giving but in the mindset that accompanied the giving. Marshall Aid was designed to revive European industry and agriculture and allow it to expand as far as the skills and energy of its people would permit it; aid to Africa was designed to retain the status quo, with Africa continuing to provide cheap raw materials for the factories for the factories of the West. In both cases, the intentions worked: Europe became a major economic power and Africa has remained a provider of cheap commodities. Because of this ‘snow blindness’, billions of dollars have been wasted and no-one, not even the West has really benefited from it when opportunity-cost analyses are taken into account...
What is MISSING from the Anver Versi's otherwise cogent observations above?
Two things in my opinion.
One is the immediate historical, political and ideological context obtaining in post war Europe. It was 1945.
Fascism had been vanquished,largely with the help of the Soviet Union which lost at least 20 million of its own citizens in the second imperialist war unleashed by
Hitler and supported by
The Union of the Soviet Socialist Republics-a powerful formation comprising at least 17 nation-states from Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan in Asia to Latvia and Estonia in Europe emerged as probably the most powerful country in Europe and second only to the United States in the entire world- despite the fact that the Soviet system was LESS THAN THIRTY YEARS OLD at the time! In Central and Western Europe, one half of Germany plus Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary and Rumania were also moving away from capitalism. In the Balkans, Yugoslavia and Albania embarked on their own path to socialism, albeit on a non-Soviet model. Communists came very close to capturing power in Italy and Greece and the only thing which prevented the same thing happening in Portugal and Spain was brute fascist repression overtly and covertly supported by the so called “liberal democracies” of the United States, Britain and so on. In the UK, just like the first Bush, the conservative leader Winston Churchill went down to electoral defeat despite his flowery war time demagoguery. In Vietnam, the French were facing imminent, humiliating defeat from the national liberation movement led by communists like Ho Chi Minh, Vo Nguyen Giap, Pham Dong and Le Duan; in India, social democratic oriented nationalists like Jawaharlal Nehru were agitating for independence; in Indonesia, the anti-imperialist leader Sukarno was about to become President; the Chinese Revolution under Mao Ze Dong, Chou En Lai and Jiang Qing was in the offing; in Malaysia and the Philippines there was a communist insurgency against the British and the Americans respectively; in Algeria, the FLN under Ben Bella was champing at the bit and raring to go, while in our very own Kenya, soldiers who had served in the British colonial forces in such theatres as Burma, Palestine and elsewhere( people like
J.D. Kali and others) were coming back home to be part of the underground movement for Kenya's liberation called Kiama Kia Muingi.
Germany, the country that had unleashed the world war, was of course the centre of the ideological conflagration. The allied forces had entered the country from different directions- the Soviets from the east and the Americans, the British and the French from the West and the South. Remember that before the war, Germany had the LARGEST and MOST ORGANIZED communist party in Western Europe and German socialists who had been the first victims of Hitler-even before the Jews, the homosexuals and the people with disabilities- had been part and parcel of the GERMAN anti-fascist national liberation movement.
The United States and her capitalist allies panicked at the prospects of a COMMUNIST government coming to power in one of three most powerful capitalist states in Western Europe-Germany.
They had to move in quickly. This is part of the real story of the division of Berlin after the war. The Soviets were not sitting on their hands either. They naturally allied themselves with the German communist and socialist forces that had a strong hold in Berlin (the German capital) and the eastern part of Germany. Which ever side of the ideological fence you stand, there is probably consensus that both the FRG (the Federal Republic of Germany with its seat in Bonn) and the DDR (the German Democratic Republic with its headquarters in Berlin) symbolized the stalemate in the fierce contest between world monopoly capitalism and emergent socialism at the heart of Europe.
The Marshall Plan can then be seen as a VERY DESPERATE shot in the European economic arm from the American imperialists to stem the flow of socialist advances in Europe. George Catlett Marshall was smart enough to realize that the post-war devastation provided ample breeding ground for the European Left who were actually quite strong in Germany, France, Italy, Portugal, Spain , Greece and had actually grabbed power(with more than a little help from Moscow) in Poland, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Albania, Rumania, Hungary, Bulgaria and elsewhere. In Scandinavia, the capitalist governments were social democratic and left of centre. Even in Britain the middle of the road social democrats in the Labour Party were at the helm.
In hindsight this was a brilliant move, because international capitalism managed to stabilize itself and recover from the fascist induced crisis of the late 1930s and early to mid 1940s. This was also the same time that the Americans unleashed their SECOND Marshall Plan-in Asia-to combat the threat of the Chinese and Vietnamese revolutions and tame the Korean, Indonesian, Filipino and Indian national liberation movements- all of which had very clear anti-imperialist inclinations. The emergence of Japan and the so called Newly Industrialized Countries of South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore and elsewhere were very closely linked to the machinations of
The Cold War-southern Korea was captured by America and turned into a neo-colony because of the Revolution in the North; Taiwan, a part of China was where the reactionary, pro-imperialist Chiang Kai Shek remnants fled to AFTER the Chinese Revolution of 1949; Singapore is an artificial state created by the British in reaction to the Malaysian communist insurgency of the 1940s and later capitulation of Indonesia in the mid 1960s was to thwart the militant anti-American and anti-capitalist tendencies which saw up to 500,000 communists slaughtered by the neo-colonial butchers of Suharto in 1965-66.
Without factoring in these ideological and historical FACTS, it is simply disingenuous to seek and see very tenuous correlations between the Marshall Plan for Europe over fifty years ago and Brown Plan for Africa which are yet to see come to fruition.
The second big difference that one must talk about is that those post-war European countries had INDEPENDENCE and had developed to a point where they had some NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC INSTITUTIONS and CULTURE that one can speak of.
Africa is STILL groaning under the yoke of imperialism, the legacy of colonialism, reality of neo-colonial dependency and the threat of outright recolonization. No infusions, no matter how generous can help African countries that are still NOT YET HURU to decide their national economic priorities, their political decision making processes and the ideological elbow rooms.
In as much as I DENOUNCE and DETEST the naked manifestation of crude avarice and primitive accumulation featuring the Mwirarias, Ndwigas, Murungarus and so on, I MUST, IN ALL HONESTY and out of PRINCIPLE,AGREE with my former lawyer Kiraitu Murungi that Kenya DOES NOT NEED any lectures in governance, transparency and accountability from a colonial power like Britain.
And I would also echo the following words by
Prof. Peter Anyang' Nyongo, Kibaki's National Planning Minister:
The Government will continue awarding key contracts based on its cost-cutting policies despite growing outrage from a development partner, a Cabinet minister has said.
Prof Anyang' Nyong'o said the sloppy economic relations between Kenya and Britain could not allow for continued awarding of contracts to the latter's companies hence the decision to turn to more manageable economic blocs, mainly in the Far East.
"The current Government found the country lying on a very low economic pedestal and logic had it that we must cut on cost by resorting to cheaper technologies that are readily available in China, Japan and others," he said.
Added the Planning and National Development minister: "The exchange rate between the Kenyan shilling and the British pound is too overwhelming for us to continue trading with companies from there while we could readily find cheaper technology elsewhere."
Prof Nyong'o said the buffet of corruption claims levelled against the Government by the British High Commissioner Edward Clay were tilted towards diverting attention from the blatant imperialism Britain continued to wage on Kenya decades after she claimed independence from them.
"Imperialism is real and still alive today and its proponents still want to enjoy the dominance it had over their former colonies. But we are now sovereign and would not allow any more of this to spread over us," he said.
Compared to the centuries-long plunder of Africa by Britain and her European and American imperialist cousins, the shillings filched by the NAK parvenu pick pockets is pocket money stolen from a mother by a hungry school boy who wants to stock up on his dwindling njugu karanga, Big G and muhogo wa kuchomwa supplies.
Before Sir Edward Clay utters one more epithet about vomiting on shoes, he should issue a public apology to ALL AFRICANS and people of African Descent about the British role in the odious Trans Atlantic Slave Trade, its rapacious colonial land grabbing, its genocidal campaigns of pacification against our people and its continuing looting and plunder of Kenyan and other African natural and human resources- not to speak of installing military dictatorships in Ghana, Nigeria, Uganda(yes, Idi Amin was brought to power through Israeli and British collusion) and propping up despots like Kenyatta, Moi, Banda and others. Only then, will these hypocritical, sanctimonious Oxbridge inflected fulminations have any credibility for one, Onyango Oloo.
I was speaking to my comrade and friend Adongo Ogony on the phone last night and I did tell him that I was writing this essay and that I somehow differed with the analysis of his recent essay on the same topic. Perhaps it is because we are looking at the same issue from different vantage points. Adongo (even though he is outside the country) is on the inside looking out, while I am on the outside looking in. Adongo starts from the venal malpractices of the NAK parvenu gangsters; Onyango Oloo locates this NAK pick-pocketing within the macro context of the centuries long day light robberies from the notorious imperialist robbers with their dens in Whitehall, Washington, Paris, Tokyo, Berlin, Rome, Ottawa and elsewhere.
Forgive me for sounding like a mean-spirited ingrate, but I do NOT THINK that Britain deserves a MEDAL for announcing that they will “forgive” Africa’s debts. I think that Britain should be down on its knees beseeching our continent’s forgiveness for the scandalous and shoddy mistreatment and short-changing that has gone on between North and South for far too long.
The United Kingdom should not only write off those African debts. They should start negotiating pronto. the rate at which they will pay African people REPARATIONS for slavery, colonialism and neo-colonialism.
For those who do not know, here is a link to the classic work by the late Guyanese revolutionary,
Dr. Walter Rodney who brilliantly exposed How Europe Under Developed Africa.
4.0. Three Pre-Conditions That Will Enable Kenyans to Benefit From Debt Cancellation
Under the existing political arrangements, Kenya CANNOT benefit from any cancellation of our debts.
Look at the myopic corruption scandals, the shameless drug dealing, the demented nepotism and the naked andu aitu ukabila- and I am restricting myself to the NAK thugs, not touching Biwott’s shady deals, Nyachae’s wealth accumulation, the stranglehold on Kisumu by the Omino family, the chokehold on Garissa by the Maalim Mohammed family, the domination of the long distance freight industry by the Bayusufs and of course the greediness of the Kenyatta land grabbing clan.
How safe are the vifaranga in the chicken run with a fisi for a night askari? Can a ravenous shark teach primary school children swimming? Imagine if the late Wakinyonga or Nugu was appointed the Commissioner of Police. Think about the fact that the name of our Finance Minister is an alleged crook known as David Mwiraria.
Kenyans should realize that Sir Edward Clay is NOT getting personal with Kibaki, Kiraitu, Ndwiga or Murungaru. Being a hard nosed imperialist agent, Clay knows that the British agenda to create geopolitical stability in Kenya and the East and Central African region is today being actively hampered by the shameless majambazi in Kibaki’s government. Clay is afraid, that sooner or later, there will be more and more Kenyans thinking like Okoth Osewe, Onyango Oloo, Adongo Ogony, Release Political Prisoners, Kimathi Movement, Sinpare, Do Klan Revolution, People Against Torture, Mwakenya and other elements of the Kenyan Left. The longer the Mwirarias and Murungarus stick around, the more fertile breeding ground for the Kenyan Left. We may be a teeny weenie flea on the nose of the thugs in power, but believe me, in historical terms, this is just a matter of time. Kenyan politics is moving gradually to the Left. The wananchi are extremely angry, disappointed and frustrated by ALL the players on the Kenyan political mainstream. A good friend of mine who comes not too far from
my rural home in Gem (yes, Onyango Oloo is from Gem, Kisa,Mombasa and Montreal, deal with it!) was telling me the other day that the ordinary people in the villages of Anyiko, Ulumbi, Rawalo, Muhanda, Ujimbe, Malanga, Nyawara, Mutumbu, Got Regea, Sirembe, Nyamninia, Jina, Kilo, Dudi, Got Kokwiri, Yala, Maliera, Kathomo and other places in Gem are very angry with
Jakoyo Midiwo, complaining that he was imposed on them by Raila Odinga(because they are cousins) when in fact the incumbent MP is actually quite useless. There is even a suggestion currently being mooted that Gem constituency should be sub-divided so that those who want “development” can get their “Maendeleo Mbunge” and leave the rest of Gem to those who prefer “ Jo Ma Goyo Siasa Manono” to elect their ineffectual political hot head. Of course Oloo’s take is that it is ONLY THOSE consistently RADICAL MPs who can bring about real development in any constituency- work hand in hand with the wananchi of course… Now, Jakoyo, if you are reading this, do not panic- Onyango Oloo is NOT planning to run against you in Gem in 2007. I am saying this with a chuckle remembering that one of my communist friends from Kisumu was amused at the anxiety of Gor Sunguh simply because this friend of mine was visited at his rural homestead by Mwandawiro Mghanga causing Gor to fret that an upstart rival had started campaigning against him in 2003! Masira Kindaki! Yawa! Notim Nadi! Jowa Joge, Joge Jowa! Nyikwa Ramogi Utimore Nadi, Piny Nene Ogumu Nu Kose Angoma Notimore?, as I would short wave in the quaint Gem dialect of my mother tongue not considered “pure Luo” by folks from the South Nyanza side of Lake Victoria (I am not insulting anyone, so chill already you non-Dholuo speakers). Even with this reassurance, I am still telling Jakoyo Midiwo to WATCH HIS BACK KEENLY in Gem because something tells me that Jakoyo (literally in Dholuo, the “Man from the Cold”, maybe about to return to the cold) will continue the illustrious, virtually unbroken tradition of single term Gem MPs (Wasonga Sijeyo, Omollo Okero, Horace Ongili Owiti, Otieno Ambala, Grace Ogot, Ooko Ombaka, Joe Donde and hopefully, Jakoyo Midiwo).
Wait a minute:
On second thoughts, what is wrong with Oloo throwing his hat in the Gem ring? What is wrong with my Kisumu pal going after Gor Sunguh (who so happens to be married to Oburu's daughter)? How about Oduor Ongwen in Alego? I think that Adongo Ogony(who is from Bondo) would give Oburu Odinga a run for his money-as long as PLO Lumumba stays out of the race.
On third thoughts, there is NO WAY that I am running if the Kenyan Left has not registered and launched its own independent, socialist oriented party.
Anyways, let us move away from the disgruntled and impoverished NARC voters in tattered mitumba barely subsisting in the scattered obscure, AIDS afflicted obscure and marginalized villages of Gem Location, Siaya District, Nyanza Province, western Kenya in east Africa to the global stage where international finance capital drums out its 21st century agenda of economic enslavement, mental slavery, technological alienation, military state terrorism, commercial short-changing and political domination.
Democratic, progressive and patriotic minded Kenyans can ensure that we get a reprieve from poverty, taking advantage of the debt cancellation if and only if the following conditions obtain:
1.We are politically independent to decide our national destiny;
2.Within the country we enjoy democracy at the national, regional and local levels that will allow us to forge autonomous, participatory and long term development plans predicated on our own Kenyan needs rather than this or that diktat of imperialism or hitched to this or that plank in some Englishman’s short term political ambitions against their 10 Downing Street rival;
3.We jettison and detoxify from the IMF/World Bank poison of privatization, liberalization, retrenchment, cost-sharing and other right wing, neo-conservative economic policies.
Let us look briefly at these three “Oloo Conditionalities” if I could be so twisted and tongue in cheek even as I develop a serious argument.
As long as an unelected haughty foreign diplomat like Edward Clay feels that he can give ultimatums to the President of Kenya, we as Kenyans are NOT FREE. If we were truly free, Clay should have been deported WITHIN FORTY EIGHT HOURS for going beyond the bounds of diplomatic protocol and interfering in the internal affairs of a sovereign nation. Since we are NOT independent, but DEPENDENT, Sir Edward Clay has every RIGHT to LECTURE and HECTOR his neo-colonial SERVANTS (yes, that is EXACTLY who they are) like Kibaki and the rest of his government.
Secondly, as long as we continue to operate under the cloud of the old undemocratic constitution we will not have the freedom to put in place the structures, institutions and policies that will allow Kenyans to benefit economically from debt cancellation. The Zero Draft (at least several chapters of the Draft Constitution passed at Bomas on March 15, 2004) provides the legal framework to initiate a national democratic regime and regimen in Kenya. The passage of the Bomas Draft is the sine qua non of Kenyan democratic development. Which is another way of saying that Kibaki, Mwiraria, Murungaru, Murungi and the NAK team MUST GO, and THEY MUST GO NOW!
Looking at my third conditionality, I argue very strongly that any boon or boom from debt cancellation will be immediately wiped out if we try to restructure the Kenyan economy according to the demands of the IMF, the World Bank, WTO and the Western Donors who are holding a gun to our heads insisting that we PRIVATIZE, RETRENCH, LIBERALIZE and OPEN THE GATES FOR UNBRIDLED PROFIT REPATRIATION and EXTENDED TAX HOLIDAYS for corporation. We were to be FOOLISH and NAÏVE enough to accede to these economically FASCIST demands, we may as well take dhow to
Fort Jesus and
Goree Island museums and scoop up all those exhibits featuring chains of slavery, yokes and leg irons and apply them to our necks, hands and feet because the neo-conservative IMF/World Bank/ WTO/ Western Donors Agenda is an agenda for certain 21st Century Recolonization. What is the point of the West canceling their debts if we end up bending lower and opening wider to be shafted by the corporations and other imperialist institutions? It just DOES NOT MAKE political and economic sense, OK?
Meanwhile as we grapple with these maswali, I notice that Anglo-American cousins are in a dog fight over this very issue of debt cancellation with the far right empire builders of the second Dubya administration quite reluctant to meet their right of centre New Labour Iraq partners in crime half way even as progressive members of the United States Congress fire off a strong letter to Secretary of the Treasury Snow urging complete cancellation of debt to reinforce the earnest appeal of
Nelson Mandela to the G7 leaders on the same theme.
5.0. Githongo's Resignation
Dozens of Kenyans have already commented on the resignation of
Anti-Corruption Czar John Githongo. His exit can be read many ways. Personally I consider it more than a mere coincidence that it came a couple of days after Edward Clay's ferocious and widely reported onslaught on the Kibaki regime. I also think it is not just of passing interest that he chose to send his resignation statement from London, one of the twin capitals(the other being Washington) of Kenya's Anglo-American imperialist masters. His departure, to my mind, was choreographed and synchronized and I think these are the opening moves of a drawn out Diplomatic Coup that will find Kibaki and his lieutenants at the wrong end of the Regime Change stick. They have outlived their usefulness for the imperialist project in Kenya, pure and simple. Kibaki like I have said, is a dying man; Kiraitu, Mwiraria and Murungaru are mortally wounded; check out the next moves of Mrs. Charity Ngilu because she could be very well be the person the imperialists want to install as the next head of state.
In my opinion, I think that John Githongo's move comes as too little, too late. He should have spoken up earlier and should not have waited for cues from Whitehall to pack his bags and go to LONDON, of all places to announce his resignation. The impact of his resignation would have been greater had he announced it in Nairobi flanked by his former colleagues from Transparency International (Kenya) and other civil society players.
I am just wondering, seeing the critical comments of people like Kivutha Kibwana and
Makau wa Mutua, whether a section of the petit-bourgeois civil society intelligentsia are in cahoots with US led imperialism to unleash a Georgia style NGO coup against the Kibaki regime. All of a sudden we notice that the former rabid attack dog of NAK known as
Kivutha Kibwana is now rejoining the same protesting hawkers that he abandoned when he deluded himself that he was one of the rising stars in post Moi Kenya. We all know that for a very long time Prof. Kibwana was one of the gate keepers of imperialist funded NGO projects in Kenya and had the ear of most of the donors and their affiliated foundations and development agencies. What is he up to? Also, Prof. Makau wa Mutua who only months ago drew up a list of errant ministers to be fired by Mwai Kibaki, is these days one of the most trenchant critics of NARC. Frankly both of these anti-Boma NAK apologists are devious opportunists who have used up the goodwill built up from their previous decades of principled democratic struggles.
I am convinced that Makau, Kibwana and Clay were NOT unaware of John Githongo's resignation plans.
Let me also express my open suspicions regarding the hidden agenda of the so called Third Progressive Force. They are certainly NOT progressive, so WHAT are they up to and WHO is behind them?
Unfortunately, in order for all these NAK malcontents to be credible within the wider Kenyan democratic community,they must associate themselves with those Kenyans who have been patiently calling for the same Bomas Draft that they spent the better part of the last two years trashing in public and in private correspondence.
Progressive, patriotic, democratic and revolutionary minded Kenyans must look way beyond the dramatic resignations of assorted NAK mandarins to reaffirm and reassert the need for Kenya to be on a firm trajectory of democratic development that is underscored first and foremost by laying down the foundations for the emergence of avibrant national democratic culture in Kenya- and that has a lot to do with the very democratic constitution that the Makaus, Kibwanas, Koigis, Mungatanas and Co. have been resisting with all their body and their souls.
Incidentally, I wonder what
Dr. Alfred Mutua, NARC Spin Doctor in Chief thinks of this op-ed piece that he wrote for the Sunday Nation way back in November 2003...
6.0. Is There A Way Out?
But of course. I have already shared my views on this. Click here.
And ORITI aka SAYONARA, AU REVOIR, Auf Wiedersehen and
similar GOOD BYES...
Tuesday, February 08, 2005
NAK Parvenu Schemers, Anglo Recolonizers and National Renewal in Kenya
Posted by Kenya Democracy Project at 5:27 AM
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It's an interesting approach. I commonly see unexceptional views on the subject but yours it's written in a pretty unusual fashion. Surely, I will revisit your website for additional info.
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