Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Six Months After the NO Victory...

CLiCk here for the September 7th DUNIA Show:Special coverage on Katrina; Tribute to Dr. Fulbert Namwamba; Critiques of the Race and Class dynamics behind the devastation in New Orleans; A poem from yours truly; music by New Orleans family of Jazz, the Marsalis family; the Triumph of Publicly Funded Collective Research- the International Rice Genome Mapping ;Suzzana Owiyo complaining about the mosquitoes on her back....

Are We in The Throes of a Civilian Coup?

Published in the 09/08/2005 of the Daily Nation
The proposed new Constitution is a product of treasonable conduct, and an abrogation of constitutionalism. It is founded on utter contravention of the existing Constitution through an absurd contrivance, unmitigated abuse, and manipulation of the legislative authority of Parliament.

The eventual proclamation of the Wako Bill as the new Constitution and the subsequent subscription of the oaths of allegiance and office by every public official, including the President, judicial officers and MPs, will make a mockery of the oaths they took to defend, preserve and protect the existing Constitution. And to take or prescribe a new oath will be a crime.

The Narc government is creating a dangerous precedent, which will become the jurisprudence for future successful acts of treason. Mr Hans Kelsen, whose writings have been invoked in every successful coup d'etat (in Pakistan, the Seychelles, Uganda, Fiji, Lesotho, and Grenada), does not accept the notion that the replacement of an old constitution in a manner inconsistent with an existing constitution can be described as legitimate or valid unless there is a revolution.

President by Acclamation

"A revolution occurs wherever the legal order of a community is nullified and replaced by a new order in an illegitimate way, that is, a way not prescribed by the first order itself. It is, in this context, irrelevant whether or not this replacement is effected through a violent uprising against those individuals who so far have been the legitimate organs competent to create and amend the legal order. It is equally irrelevant whether the replacement is effected through a movement emanating from the mass of the people or through action from those in government positions."

Kenya is in the throes of a successful civilian coup through the actions of those in government. And we are not the first. Uganda, Lesotho and Zimbabwe (Rhodesia) have had this experience where those in government (Obote, Chief Lebua Jonathan and Ian Smith) overthrew existing constitutional orders and proclaimed new constitutions or basic law.

Indeed, President Obote's action had the colouring of constitutionalism because Uganda's 1966 constitution was a product of legislative enactment by Parliament and proclamation by the Prime Minister.

Dr Obote subsequently became the President by the instrument of proclamation. The High Court was constrained to uphold his position by accepting that there had, indeed, been a revolution as was argued before it by Attorney-General Godfrey Binaisa. The court then applied the Kelsian doctrines of necessity and change of the basic norm to declare that the entire legal order had been superseded by a new constitution and by effective government.

Attorney-general Amos Wako, Mr Justice Aaron Ringera, and Speaker Francis Kaparo have made the point that a new constitution must be made in a medium of legal purity without compromise to major principles. Mr Wako has demonstrated the dangers of disregarding the fact that the new constitution is being undertaken under an existing valid constitutional order with a democratically elected Government and a National Assembly in place.

Mr Kaparo put it more succinctly: "'I firmly believe that, ultimately, you need to have a constitutional amendment to allow the President to make the final proclamation".

Contrary to all this advice emanating from public officials acting from their respective seats of power in the Executive, the Judiciary and the Legislature, the President has preferred to listen to the unofficial cabal of advisers and politicians who have vested interests in the outcome of the review, and taken, literally, a "by-pass".

The French revolutionary constitutions of the years after 1789 created volatile political orders, because they failed to provide constitutional mechanisms for replacement or alteration. The result was quick successions of a multiplicity of constitutions, ending in political instability and other revolutions. Those opposed to the Wako Bill, if it became law, would not bother to look at the provisions of the proposed new Constitution and strive to achieve the majority required to alter or replace it.

Using the logic (turned on its head) as found in the Constitution of Kenya Review (Amendment) Act, 2004, and invoking the name of the people and their sovereign right and power to replace the Constitution, they would simply enact another ordinary statute to replace the Wako Bill.

That is why Ringera makes the compelling argument that "if a new Constitution is to be made in peace time and in the context of an existing valid constitutional order as is being done in Kenya as opposed to in a revolutionary climate or a ceasefire document after civil strife, it must be made without compromise to major principles".

Constitutional Logjam

Prof Okoth-Ogendo has written extensively on this subject and offered practicable solutions, which can enable the country to go through this constitutional logjam without compromising the guiding principles and objects of constitution making.

The sovereign right and power of the people to make a new constitution cannot be self-executing. There must be a legal framework. That cannot be written and enacted in an ordinary statute without running the risk of constitutional challenge and roadblocks. It is not too late, even after the referendum, to address this major constitutional issue.

The Consensus Act has subverted the very foundation of written constitutions. The purpose of a written constitution is not only "to grant power, but to keep it from getting out of hand, in both good and bad times".

In matters of law and jurisprudence, the end never justifies the means. That is why constitutional democracy is perhaps the most difficult scheme of government. But Man has found no better. We have come deep from an unfathomable abyss. We are at the foot of the mountain looking up. But we must climb the mountain
Mr Orengo, a former Ugenya MP, is a practising constitutional lawyer

PS: Onyango Oloo spoke about a civilian coup in an essay posted online on August 11, 2003 at 4:47 am Eastern Standard Time.

What happens on the day after the Referendum?

One thing for sure, Kibaki will be still be sleeping in the State House.

But will he be sleeping soundly or slipping fast?

From the look of things, unless he rigs the entire process, Kibaki is staring at a stinging, resounding NO! repulse.

Will he then fire his

five errant and defiant Cabinet ministers?

From the feisty speeches in Machakos earlier today (Wednesday, September 7, 2005) it would appear as if Kalonzo, Raila, Uhuru, Anyang', Ruto, Balala, Ayacko and

the United Orange Growers Cooperative are just getting started.

And if Kibaki retains them in his cabinet, what will be the power dynamic inside the NARC government?

The other day I was reading Dr. Noah Wekesa's comments about the uncertainty in pushing the "Yes" message in FORD-Kenya's Western stronghold. I also recall hearing some MPs from the same electoral machine angling to dangle a carrot in front of their referendum foes in the form of an eleventh hour rejigging of what Dominic Odipo was calling the "Abunuwasi Draft" in his Standard column a few days ago.

And of course the tingling terror in the tremulous tones of our

FeePee Mooty stating what Kenyans have known for a long time- November will be provide yet another opportunity to pass a vote of NO confidence on the wagongaji who came to power promising to introduce a parliamentary democracy in Kenya. The Mwai Kibaki who promised

"The tick forgets about itself, even when the cow is slaughtered it remains clinging to the skin, it is only when the skin is put on the sun for drying that it realizes that there is no future for it.."
Raila Odinga that the Othaya KANU founder member would always stand by the side of the former KANU Secretary General is gone, replaced by the doddering and querulous septuagenerian who rushes to insert PCs back into the Imperial Katiba only days after Wako has surgically removed them from the Bomas Draft. This more familiar Kibaki is warning the Five Musketeers in his cabinet that he will still be President on the day after the referendum- a not so subtle message from a bully that if you do not toe the line I will yank the bendera from your 4 WD gas guzzler...

At the same time the same Kibaki is dropping broad hints that he really does not care either way. This ambigious position has made one well known LDP supporter to declare:

Is Kibaki secretly rooting for a NO vote?

From: Kichwa Mbaya - Wed, Sep 07, 9:20 AM

Kibaki has now made enough statements for one to conclude that he is not as commited to the proposed constitution as his followers. This guy has served the government for years under the old constitution and seems to be uncomfortable with changes proposed in both Bomas or Kilifi or Wako. It is clear that he wants the provincial administration retained. It is also clear that he is comfortable with the powers he has now and is not particularly crazy about more powers like the tribalists around him. He has now made it clear twice that he does not care either way which side wins. His relationship with Raila has not changed and sources close to the two swear that he has been seen giving Raila a secret thumbs up. Kibaki has resisted any calls to fire Raila and the five cabinet ministers opposing him and does not want to discuss the matter. Regardless of what is going on in Kibaki's mind, his attitude and style has created a very democratic atmosphere so far in the process and wananchi are the beneficiaries as they try to make an informed choice on this matter without the pressure from the head of state. The people that have to be watched are those around the president. They were brought up in the Kenyatta/Moi era and cannot up to date tolerate dissent. They have to be reprogrammed and tought how to live with people with opposing views. It is amazing that some western educated Zokwes here in RCB actually support their advice to Kibaki to employ the the Kenyatta/Moi era tactics of silencing dissent. Raila and Kibaki are emerging as quite a team (intended or unintended) in the democratization of our political culture.

Personally, I would not go that far. A seasoned political player, Mwai Kibaki is perhaps cognizant of the obvious- the YES campaign is headed for the dung heap. Having been one of the founders of the Kenyan neo-colonial state Mwai Kibaki knows only too well that the "power" of the so called "powerful politicians" emanates directly from the patron-client relationships of which he, as the head of state, is the chief local gate-keeper. As a veteran KANU founder member he saw how first, Kenyatta, and later Moi, survived by playing off one political faction against the other- in the case of the latter, it must still be vivid in Kibaki's mind how he, Mwai, was originally part of the Moi-Mwai-Njonjo triumvirate of 1978-84 before Nyayo turfed out the Duke of Kabeteshire using the conjured up "Msaliti" Crisis; how he, Mwai was later to fall from favour barely four years later and how he served his apprenticeship in the opposition for a good decade before rising to power. One can make the strong argument that Mwai Kibaki has not only ENJOYED the factional wrangling between the LDP and the NAK- he has THRIVED and RELIED on these tensions for his very political survival. After the realization before the 2002 elections that neither faction could defeat KANU single-handedly, Kibaki has also depended on the fact that without the LDP faction in government his regime is KAPUT. But because of Raila Odinga's mass appeal, it was necessary, if I can borrow some soccer lingo to employ a series of

defenders to stop the Langata

centre forward from

roving too close to the goalkeeping zone.

In their naivete the Murungarus, Githaes, Mwirarias, Muthauras and Kiraitus may have imagined that they "control" the President when he is merely using them deftly to keep Raila in check while these minions picking up all the unpopular flak while Kibaki plays "Missing in Action". I started thinking about this possibility when I kept hearing Kibaki talking about how he does not care- and then it dawned on me that the Othaya MP is an extremely SELFISH man who cares only about his PERSONAL survival. No wonder he was retained by both Kenyatta and Moi right up to the end of 1991.

Who knows if Kibaki has not worked out a quid pro quo with Raila Odinga:

Kibaki: " If I win the referendum you still stay in the cabinet. If I lose the referendum, I will step aside to let the Yes strategists fall on their own swords- even reload myself as the New National President of Kenya- minus Murungaru, Muthaura and Kiraitu."

Raila: " We have been down this path before. I will not promise anything beyond 2006. If I remain in cabinet I will not fight you, but you should know I am going for the big one come 2007. My personal opinion is that you should retire from politics and join Moi as the second elder statesman of Kenya."

Another factor to bear in mind:

Kibaki may have a particular fondness for the current Kenyan constitution precisely because he was one of the authors of the original draft way back in the early 1960s!

So what side is Kibaki on?

The YES side as he has declared or the NO side as "Kichwa Mbaya" alleges?

My frank view is that Mwai Kibaki is the ulimate Opportunist
Uber Ales and that he is somehow going to try and transform the whole referendum question into a win/win situation for Kibaki no matter which side wins:

If the YES side prevails he downloads all these new fangled fangs; if the NO side romps home to victory, he merely sharpens his existing claws.

There is one thing that he is ignoring- it has to do with the Kenyan wananchi and I will get to it in a second.

Just wanted to point out that the current vuta ni kuvute around the various versions of the Katiba has migrated also to the online forums.

For instance, I am at the moment I am in the middle of a very heated cybertiff over at the Africa-Oped discussion forum where I am giving as much as I am getting. Hey, here, grab a slice will ya:

Sample A:
From: "Onyango Oloo"
Date: Sun Sep 4, 2005 10:03 am
Muiru/why the Bomas Draft is superior to the Kibaki Imperial Draft
Most of the reasons and rationalizations you give for voting YES could
have been used to endorse the Zero Draft as well.

Ironically the same people who were opposing the Bomas Draft
presumably because it was written for a certain individual( read the
most prominent LUO politician in the country) are now enthusiastically
backing a draft that was written specifically with Kibaki and his
annointed successors in mind.

Unlike the atrocious document that some people are lining up to vote
YES for, the Bomas Draft has the advantage that it included input from
its most virulent opponents who were delegates to an almost year long
constitutional conference until they walked off in a huff when it was
clear that the Imperial Presidency was rejected from Malindi to
Chepkube, Moyale to Namanga.

Having said all that Muiru, I am glad that you did slide from that
fence you were perching on and took a more honest and principled
position that you have the presence of mind to defend with somewhat
more credible arguments than your previous opportunistic waffling and

Onyango Oloo

--- Edward Muiru" wrote:
> YES for new constitution
> By Edward Muiru
> September 02, 2005
> I support a Yes vote for the proposed Kenyan constitution.
> Among the reasons:

It is a significant improvement from the present one and includes many rights, obligations, and opportunities (social, economic, and political) across the country, thereby providing a much enhanced environment for future growth and development. It is a product of various groups, including the delegates conference at Bomas, religious groups, and legislators. It is time for a new constitution in the country after more than a decade of jostling about it. No constitution review effort or constitution itself is flawless or meets everyone's demands fully. Constitutional review is a give-and-take process, as long as the majority emerge better off than before. There is allowance for amendments in future. Some of the lesser issues can be addressed then. I do not foresee any group of political leaders coming up with a better constitution or one with major executive and devolution conflicts, in future, as proposed at the Bomas conference. Some of the political leaders calling for a NO vote seem at least influenced by political defeat of 2002 than contents of the draft. A constitution has to operate within some budgetary constraints, and should be one that a country can afford. The country needs to move forward. At the moment it looks like train cars being pulled by a weak and slow engine. A new constitution will allow for the scale and scope necessary to accommodate the growth and momentum developed over the last few decades, and which has been held back by a much constricted overall environment. Majority of the people in the country are simply concerned with their day-to-day life and it's improvement, and not political or other jostling that a constitutional review process, and referendum may create. Like any group in the country, religious groups had to be accommodated in the proposed constitution the best way possible. Since independence, the courts of the land have had an upper hand overall in the observance,
enactment, and enforcement of law. This will happen too under the new constitution. Kadhis courts' laws, for instance, have no superiority in law any more than customary laws in Kenya, and other countries. It is to be expected that religious groups will show suspicion toward each
other, but Kenyans need to consider the overall picture, not just religious persuasion. If there are areas to be enhanced, this can be done between now and the referendum. What appears a favorable document should not be thrown out due to unbending partisanship and similar smaller issues. With any change and growth, some uncertainty and anxiety is to be expected. Kenyans need to separate such anxiety with true rationale of the various areas of the draft.
I support a YES vote at the referendum for proposed Kenyan constitution.

From:"J. Makwach Ochungo"
Date: Sun Sep 4, 2005 5:44 pm
Subject Re: Muiru/mchimba kisima huingia mwenyewe

"...well, i am seeing some blatant tribal supremacists on this and other fora
suddenly rediscovering the virtues of a powerful presidency a mere two and a
half years after going on hunger strike agitating for a prime ministerial
slot and devolution of power- which is apparently too sweet for certain
elites in the country. there is a very distinct possiblity that a politician
other than kibaki will be the next president in 2007 with the same powers. i
will watch with amusement as people rediscover the virtues of devolution,

Reading the above lines one would think that the proposed draft, unless
rejected now, will be immortalized in iron plates, rendered immutable,
untouchable, and never to be spoken about. But as we know, this or any other
constitution is subject to amendments. I'd rather have a strong presidency
than a perpetual dog-and-dog suspicion between alternative centers of power.

Besides, there's nothing to assure me that even when a constitution is
perfect that it would not be collectively abused. It's not the existence or
lack of a constitution that awards MPs inordinate salaries and fringe
benefits or even ministers to conceive of phony survey researches in order
to fatten pockets.

My preference for this draft over the Bomas draft and the current
constitution is not predicated on a single issue, namely, the devolution of
power. No, it's based on several provisions.True, there are aspects of the
present draft I would have wished changed, but, on the balance, it is a
superior document that I will go home to vote for.



From: mtumishi orina
Date: Tue Sep 6, 2005 2:29 am
Subject: from issues to emotional talk on the referendum

I am surprised that J. M. Ochungo has taken to the assessment of Onyango Oloos emotional status. He is assessing Onyango's frustration levels or CONFIDENCE/happiness levels.

He talks of certain Kenyans who have seen many good things in the Wako draft. But he has not been able to point out these many good things himself. It is a matter of hearsay for him.

And he does not even credit Onyango Oloo with some intelligence to know that the YES vote camapaign has its day of doom well set for November 21. It is public knowledge this.

Why are we not responding to the fundamental issues of democracy, freedom, liberation and transformation which are being raised here and in fact, which are the reasons why we went to the streets and to died for a new constitution in the first place? Is this what Ochungo calls frustration? Does Ochungo believe that Wachira Maina, Njeri Kabeberi- Kanene, Orina Nyamwamu, Otsieno Namwaya, Fred Aboge, Macharia Gaitho, Kepta Ombati, Ng'ang'a Thiongo are all frustrated and all the democracy leaders in Nairobi are saying is all frustration? NO it is not.

The story on the ground is about confidence and optmism,, that a State that wants to destroy its people shall be defeated on November. THIS IS NOT BETWEEN ONYANGO AND OCHUNGO, IT IS BETWEEN THE PEOPLE OF KENYA AND THE VAMPIRE STATE OF KENYA. That violent, and predator state that was established in the colonial days, to facilitate teh exploitation and repression of our people must be transformed and made a facility for thwe liberation of our people.

Leave Onyango Oloo alone to make his contribution to democratisation. Ochungo should also go on and preach about his democratic right to vote for dictatorship and the privatisation of the state.

Orina Nyamwamu


From: "Onyango Oloo"
Date: Tue Sep 6, 2005 1:09 pm

the kenyan people are among the most politically conscious and
sophisticated IN THE WORLD. i found out this directly when i first
went to tanzania. given my socialist leanings, i expected the people
in dar es salaam to be way ahead of kenyans in terms of consciousness.
i was shocked to find out that the opposite was true. and speaking of
canadians- and let us NOT touch those 59 million people who voted for
Dubya- they are practically politically ILLITERATE compared to kenyans.

remember it is these same kenyans who have always been AHEAD of their
politicians; the same kenyans who FORCED the fractious opposition
chiefs to unite; the same kenyans who voted out moi and kanu; the same
kenyans who contribute intelligently to the newspapers columns,
television shows and radio call in programs not to mention online
forums like these.

i think the kenyan people know EXACTLY what is in both drafts and i
KNOW they will be NOT confused when they are in that referendum booth
come november 21, 2005.

Onyango Oloo

- In, "Fred Aboge" wrote:
Musau, youre dead right! Not more than 8% of the kenyan population
know what the noise about the constituition is all about! A good number will vote yes, if theyre told one of their "own" will eat and in the process they will also! I can imagine the look my grand mother would give me if i break out at a dinner table
with imperial presidency vs parliamentary system of govt topic! As far they know, they have always been under a president above the law! Fact that when grandpa dies she has claims to his cassava farm is really inconsequential!
----- Original Message -----
From: steve musau

> Sent: Monday, September 05, 2005 5:59 AM
> Subject: Re: [africa-oped] Re: Kenya - Constitution Referendum -
NO or YES/ distribution of resources
> the lack of a clear political vision has caused us a
> great suffering and therefor which way the voting
> goes, the elitist political group, full of high class
> propaganda shall dictate to us kenyans for many years.
> Am not convinced that kenyans have really known the
> meaning of a preidentail vs a parliamentary system,
> devolution and decentralisation, public
> finance/revenue collection and its distribution.
> Therefore the Yes and No vote is a perpetuation of the
> domination power not cahnge for the people with the
> people and by the peopple.
> may the best elitist group win
> --- nyakwarotiya wrote:
> > ---whereas the quest for kenyans to have a say in
> > how distribution
> > of national resources was one of the pillars on
> > which the demand for
> > a new constitutional dispensation was built, the
> > constitution bill
> > published by wako takes it away. for instance,
> > whereas district
> > governments will supposedly have a free hand in
> > managing funds
> > allocated to them, they would still be subservient
> > to the central
> > govt from where they will receive funding. put
> > differently, if for
> > example i became president of kenya today, and have
> > an axe to
> > grind with say, chifu wa malindio, then i would
> > ensure that chifu`s
> > malindi area/district does not receive adequate
> > funding. i envison
> > a situation whereby even the minority el-molo
> > community would not
> > care who leads the country in as long as their
> > regional economic,
> > social and political interests will be catered for.
> >
> > in "the microeconomics of income distribution
> > dynamics," development
> > economist francois bourguignon and others contend
> > that the
> > understanding of economic growth depends on growth
> > of total income
> > and how its distribution behaves over time.
> > although majoring in the economies of east asia,
> > china and latin
> > america, this book, which is a must read for
> > students of social
> > sciences with a bias in development studies,
> > resonates as well with
> > the situation in lcds<> in
> > general and
> > kenya in particular.
> > using microeconomic empirics, nonparametric and
> > parametric methods
> > for entire distributions, this book shows to a huge
> > degree of
> > success how development and income distribution
> > dynamics are related.
> >
> > while it may take me a little longer to explain why
> > it is that i
> > will vote a categorical NO in the November
> > referendum, and while, as
> > i had indicated before, would prefer to vote only on
> > contentious
> > issue, i am submitting here very humbly that issues
> > of substance and
> > not personal innuendos and theatrics should guide us
> > in this crucial
> > period of our nation`s rebirth.
> >
> > unedited.
> > n`otiya


Date: Tue Sep 6, 2005 6:33 pm
Subject: and yet, JUMO you feel you can play Sigmund Freud bin Carl Jung?

where do some people get the gall to come to this forum and declare that the oloos of this world are "frustrated" ati just because we are not sold on that fraudulent Wako Draft?

I am NOT a Christian you know- you will not CATCH ME turning the other cheek for you to slap. I will, instead offer you a few hot kofis (mark you I did not say "coffee") that will make you think twice before you try that foolishness the next time.

On a fairly regular basis, I offer for discussion, rigourously researched, deeply analysed pieces for comment. 98% of the time, I am met with a blanket of silence. Yet when it comes to insults the pompus J. Makwach Ochungos act as a mfereji missing a stopper.

Mimi si mchokozi wala sitafuti ugomvi. Lakini usiniharie kichwani na
utegemee shukrani kutoka kwangu.

Onyango Oloo

-- In, "J. Makwach Ochungo" wrote:Oloos emotional status. He is assessing Onyango's frustration levels or
> CONFIDENCE/ happiness levels.>>
> Orina:
> Africa-Oped is a respectable public forum for the exchange of views.
It is
> assumed that views here are subject to criticism. No contributor
should be
> allowed to brand others as "shallow" and "myopic". Such subjectively
> evaluative terms demean the status of this forum and reflect poorly
on the
> status of the mind that conceives them.

Sample F:

From: Edward Muiru
Subject: A reminder on this forum's standards

We need to observe the use of decorous language on
this forum and as far as possible offer English
translations to whatever we write. Let's not hide
behind other languages, such as Kiswahili, to utter
words and expressions that are totally unbecoming of
the level of interaction in this forum and elsewhere.

Nor should we hide behind terms and "ideologies" such
as Maxism, communism, socialism, and atheism.
Ideologies mean nothing, if one doesn’t make sense.
Members of this forum are enlightened enough not to be
awed by such words and ideologies. In fact, some of us
can discuss them to the last details, but it just
doesn't seem so, since we decided some of them are
trips to nothingness.

Personally I am not impressed by use of such labels,
neither awed by them. They just detract from the
debate, add little value to the discussion, and after
one labels himself too variously, I start to question
whether he knows where he stands with himself, let
alone with others, and why he should run to labels as
security blankets.

Additionally, there are enough forums, miles from here
on the information superhighway, that such approaches
can find market and expression.

The fact that the intended constitutional referendum
in Kenya is being discussed here, and that, as
expected, opinion is divided, is not an excuse to
engage in indecorous behavior and language. There is a
saying that small minds discuss people, and big minds
discuss ideas.

If anyone feels this is not his type of forum he is
encouraged to participate elsewhere. Otherwise the
rules of engagement in this forum are clear, and can
be found on the main page of the forum and in frequent
emails from moderators.

Let's discuss in an atmosphere of civility. We cannot
afford to be anything else.

In addition, it is not the number of postings that
counts, but the quality of postings. One need not
respond to every email so long us he can respond to
the issues. The scarce time, energy, and other
resources of members need to be recognized and

While this can be seen as a marketplace of ideas, it
is not an actual out-of-order market on the ground.
Such marketplaces also exist online, and are a click
away for those so inclined.

Edward Muiru

From: "Onyango Oloo"
Date: Wed Sep 7, 2005 2:17 am
Subject: Re: A reminder on this forum's standards/some questions for muiru
1. Who made you the referee for this forum?
2.Is Kiswahili our national language or not? It is simply insulting to
read a Kenyan demanding that another Kenyan should express themselves
in English before Muiru can find it acceptable.
3. Is there a default ideology on this forum? Have you become our
modern day Kariuki Chotara wondering why this man Kari Maksi has not
been arrested? Are you that intimidated by socialism and socialists?
4. Who belongs to this forum? Is it Muiru, Kibaki supporters, fence
sitters and opportunists only?
5. How many posts are considered acceptable in this forum?
6. How do you have the nerve of complaining about decorum and personal
attacks when launching unprovoked personal attacks?
7. Do you think Muiru you will drive some of us out of this forum by
using infantile red baiting tactics?
8. What is eating you Muiru?

Onyango Oloo

Immediately after this round of exchanges, Onyango Oloo's messages were BLOCKED from that forum- in the meantime the snide remarks continued flowing. Prompting Oloo to pen this email to the moderator of that forum:

From:"oloo oloo"
Subject: Censorship Disguised as "Moderation"
To:Name Withheld
(The Moderator):

Not for the first time I notice whoever is moderating
this forum ABUSING their powers to silence someone who
differs with them using the spurious and specious excuse of
"moderation"; at the same time, the people who
initiated the round of vile talk, those who would, if
they could, calibrate people's ideological beliefs;
measure the length and frequency of one's posts;
decide which political faction to support and with
what vigour I see the Muirus and Ochungos continue
with their trash talking.

What is different is that they seem to echo the people
with the power to switch on and off moderation, just
like the Nyayo censors of yesteryear.

Is this how we have become? So intimidated by militant
thoughts that when stony silence, sarcastic putdowns
and gossip does not work, we ultimately resort to
crude censorship?

How sad.

Onyango Oloo

And so it goes.

The stakes seem to be very high indeed- but I am never one to walk away from a robust political exchange- especially when I KNOW there is NO MALICE involved- at least on my part...

Within Kenya the battle over the Wako Draft Referendum can be seen on at least two levels.

On the mainstream plane, it is a preview of the 2007 election season. It is safe to say that whoever win this referendum will form the next government. Thus political careers are on the line and each side will DO EVERYTHING, up to and including MURDERING their political opponents to achieve their goals. We saw the other day, the YES side using shamelessly using the police in Eldloret to try and thwart democratic discussions and public debates on the Wako Draft. For a lot of these recycled dead wood wanasiasa which wagon one hitchesd their farasi to will make the difference betweeen debtors prison or comprador bourgeois paradiso. At this mainstream superficial level, this contest is worth following for curiosity value.

As a Kenyan Socialist however, what is even more interesting to me is how the wananchi are looking at this process.

To my mind, the wananchi have move to a place that the politicians will get to in about three years. In 2003 when I was in Nairobi I met young Kenyans in their early to mid-twenties who had already seen through NARC and were busy mapping out extra-parliamentary alternatives. They knew back then, that the whole Katiba thing would come a cropper and end in a fiasco.

Today they are NOT rubbing their fingers in glee saying "Gee! see! I told you so!"

On the contrary, they are consolidating the formations and institutions that they set up when a big chunk of Kenyans inside and outside the country were still caught up in the NARC delirium.

The sharpest of the mainstream politicians know that if they hope to lead the wananchi, they must follow them first.


That's right.

The political visionaries are already seeing the clear skies after that dusty, cloudy and nasty Referendum day that everyone is so caught up about.

For one to see the lay of the land in Kenya one has to zoom ahead to Madaraka Day 2006 and ask oneself what will be the balance of power on May 31, 2006.

I have a very lucid idea of what I think the situation will be on that date.

The one thing I can predict is the following:

At least half of the so called "most powerful" politicians will be lame ducks- whetther or no they remain in the cabinet. Kibaki will have solved the Murungaru problem. Progressive Kenyans will be an organized national force by then.

Onyango Oloo

"Borrowed" from the Kenya Times( who often borrow from us..):

Views of Kenyans on Draft Constitution, referendum

By Times Reporters

Antony Wachira, 44
Tour guide

What we want is the Bomas Draft as it touched on the issues affecting the common man.

The religious courts have been put in to appease the Muslims. Christians did not want this. Soon, other religions would also start to demand their own courts. Even the Mungiki sect would demand it.

If we introduce religious courts, soon what will come in is the introduction of the Sharia Law and Kenya will be like other Muslim countries like Nigeria. The Muslims in this country have been given too much powers.

Introduction of district laws will lead to more trouble as some unheard of laws may be introduced and this might lead to majimboism.

Jones Wambua, 74
Private investigator

There is no need for the referendum. What was represented in the Bomas draft is what the people want.

In the African culture, women have no rights to own property and should therefore not even inherit land. It is against our culture.

The issue of the religious courts will only bring controversy to the citizens as there are many religions in the country.

On the issue of the provincial administration, the people should be left to decide what they want. There is high insecurity and cultural problems especially in the rural areas and the people should decide if they want to do away with chiefs or not.

Daniel Awuor Otonga, 45

The Wako draft only favors the few rich individuals in the country. It does not favor the common mwananchi and especially the disabled.

The religious courts which have been proposed do not help the religions in Kenya like the Christians.

No one wanted them. In fact, people were very content with only the Kadhi’s courts and no one asked for them in the Bomas.

During the last general elections, people were expecting to have a prime minister but not as it is now. A prime Minister who has less powers and one who is appointed and fired by the president any time would not help in fighting corruption. He will always be in the side of the president.”

James Nyamwanda, 40

The issue of the Prime Minister in the first place was to neutralize the powers of the President. But what would happen of the people voted Yes for the Wako draft would be adding the President even more powers than his predecessors.

The Kadhis courts have been there since independence but no issues have come up about its interference with the people. Therefore, there is no need for the introduction of other religions courts. Otherwise it will cause conflicts and cause a religious division that might lead to civil war.

The Prime Minister should have powers equal to the President or this would be misusing the post. If there have to be a PM, then he should share powers with the President.

Linda Kawira, 21

This issue of the constitution is only about power of the President and other politicians. A PM who wants more powers than the President is unheard of otherwise he will rule over the President.

The people elect a President and having someone else who has more powers than the person is very bad. If there has to be a PM, then he should have less powers or be elected by the people themselves.

The chiefs in the villages have been known to be conspiring with the lawbreakers in the society and they should be done away with.

However, there is need for civic education even to the people living in the villages as there is much that needs to be explained in the proposed draft.


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