Saturday, December 31, 2011

Open Letter to Prime Minister Odinga

 By Onyango Oloo

To the Rt. Hon. Prime Minister:

Mzalendo Mwenzangu,


Heri na fanaka za mwaka mpya.

I hope and trust you are well.

We all received your New Year message in our living rooms via satellite hook up to India where you are currently on a 10-day official visit.

As we linger at the door step, about to enter next year which is already this year; as I write these lines in the flickering flames of the almost burnt out candle that is 2011; we know that 2012 is pregnant with hope and trepidation; 2012 may be a harbinger of promises or a receptacle of uncertainty.

Eons ago, the ancient Mayans of the Americas boldly predicted that the World as we know it would be extinguished on December 21, 2012.

But humankind, having survived many a doomsday prediction, is confident of marching on in the quest for social progress, deepening prosperity and widened democratic  vistas.

As Kenyans, we wait with bated breath, for the ICC pronouncements on the fate of the Ocampo Six even as we await our courts to rule on whether we go to the polls in August or December.

In the penultimate Kenyan presidential race, you, Raila Amolo Odinga, enter 2012 as the candidate everyone wants to vanquish.

I could wander and meander, pondering and wondering over this and that; however, knowing your tight schedule, let me cut to the chase and reveal the reason for this open letter to you from me.

I am writing over the matter of Miguna Miguna, your personal advisor and a joint secretary, along with Professor Kivutha Kibwana, for the Grand Coalition Government of Kenya.

As you are all too aware, the matter of his abrupt suspension without pay from his official duties has elicited and excited a lot of comment, discussion and debate all over Kenya-in homes, work-places, matatus, newspaper columns, letters to the various editors and all over cyberspace, the blogosphere and other social media outlets and networks.

I am the founder and administrator of Jukwaa, which since its inception in August 2005, has emerged as among the most focused and disciplined Kenyan online discussion forums.

The matter of Miguna Miguna’s suspension has dominated the political interventions on Jukwaa for over three months now.

Being a diverse forum, the views expressed in Jukwaa have ranged from passionate support to outright denunciation of either Miguna Miguna or yourself with a new thread on the subject being launched on a weekly if not daily basis, with several interventions from Miguna himself jumping in to clarify, skewer or augment yet another riposte, rejoinder or broadside.

In these rambunctious digital free for alls I opted not to play the role of the detached and bemused umpire, but rather, waded in and out of what was frequently an all out mud wrestling match.

What was Onyango Oloo’s considered opinion in the matter of Miguna Miguna’s suspension by your office Dear Prime Minister?

Well, I said several things which are needless to reproduce in this essay in their entirety.

But perhaps this posting dated 5:45pm, October 20, 2011 neatly crystallizes my thoughts:
Miguna is a close friend of mine and a political comrade.

So is Adongo.

I regard James Orengo and Raila Odinga as political comrades as well.

The fall out between the Prime Minister and his former political advisor has been well chronicled here in Jukwaa.

Since we are constant contact, Miguna knows my views.

Onyango Oloo believes that Miguna was mistreated by the Prime Minister in terms of the way his suspension was handled from the very outset. He should seek and secure redress. He has a right to be angry and ventilate his rage.

As a Kenyan, he also has a democratic right to express his views and articulate his political differences with anyone, including Raila Odinga.

I too have a track record of being very public and candid in my views. In the past decade, I have written and published Open Letters to among others, Mwai Kibaki, Kiraitu Murungi, Adhu Awiti and yes, Raila Odinga (way back in 1999).

Where perhaps I differ with Miguna is on how to handle contradictions.

I am using “contradictions” here in the Marxist sense because those of us from that dialectical and historical materialist school of thought firmly believe that life itself develops organically through the resolution, over time of contradictions in the complex, holistic interplay between thesis and anti-thesis segueing into a synthesis at ever higher levels.

Marxist-Leninists recognize two forms of contradictions:


Examples of antagonistic contradictions are those between master and slave; feudal lord and landless peasant; colonial governor and rural squatter; neo-colonial dictators and anti-imperialist cadres.

Antagonistic contradictions cannot be resolved except through revolution and drastic social, economic and political transformations.

Non-antagonistic contradictions are those differences and tensions that can be resolved peacefully, amicably, through dialogue and so on.

Illustrations of non-antagonistic contradictions can be the differences between friends; the tension between parents and their teenage offspring; lovers’ tiffs; ideological debates between comrades or arguments between business and professional associates.

While it is true that that some of the contradictions cited in the above paragraph can graduate to irreconcilable hostilities the fact of the matter is that this is the exception rather than the rule.

Now when it comes to the vuta-nikuvute between Raila Odinga and Miguna Miguna, what is the nature of the contradictions?

Are these antagonistic or non-antagonistic?

In my private, one on one conversations with Miguna, I have argued that the tensions, hostilities and conflicts between the duo are NON-ANTAGONISTIC.

I have argued that those of us who are part of the progressive camp in Kenya are on THE SAME SIDE WITH RAILA AMOLO ODINGA.

I have argued that whatever misgivings we have about the Prime Minister, we cannot wily nilly EXPEL HIM FROM THE REFORM CAMP.

Is EVERYBODY in the Kenyan reform camp a card carrying Communist?

Clearly not.

Some of us are socialists, some are social democrats. Many are liberals and dozens upon dozens are nationalists and sincere women and men of faith (Christian, Muslims, Hindus etc), well meaning decent Kenyan citizens who do not care much about ideological distinctions and what not.


What is that binding glue?

At the moment I would posit that ANY KENYAN who genuinely believes in the Kenyan Constitution and works strenuously for its faithful implementation is in the PROGRESSIVE and REFORMIST CAMP.

Note: I did NOT say “revolutionary”.

Does my above definition of progressive Kenyans in the REFORM CAMP include or exclude Miguna Miguna?

Does it include or exclude Raila Odinga?

Those are rhetorical questions.
Given the tortured angst evident in the excerpt above, it was with considerable relief and exaltation that I greeted the December 28th announcement that you had, in your capacity as Prime Minister, fully reinstated Miguna Miguna to his job.

Indeed, here is part of an e-mail message I sent to Miguna Miguna on December 29, 2011 reacting to what I thought was very good news from your office:
Whichever way you look at it, the public announcement from the Office of the Prime Minister that you had been exonerated and reinstated with full salary and benefits is a BIG VICTORY and vindication, not only to you as a person but to all progressive Kenyan people…in this context….you must factor in the fact that you are not just Miguna Miguna; you are part of a wider, if amorphous ideological collective which has a long term agenda in reshaping this country in a positive, progressive direction…
That is why I was somewhat perplexed when I got an SMS message from  Miguna Miguna’s phone inviting me to a press conference convened at his Runda residence here in Nairobi.

By now you are familiar with contents of that event which have been archived in this Jukwaa link.

Since I was there I witnessed everything live.

What stood out for me was this key passage from Miguna Miguna's statement:
On Tuesday, December 27, 2011, from about 12:15 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. – a whole three hours – the Prime Minister and I met, in the presence of a mutual friend, at the Serena Hotel, in the City of Nairobi. It was the Prime Minister who called me, personally, and requested for the meeting.
We had a courteous, respectful, dignified, cordial and professional meeting, which when it concluded, we – the two of us, alone - unanimously agreed, in good faith, that the Prime Minister would make the following announcement, that day, personally or through his office, before he traveled to India.
The agreement was in writing, and was witnessed by the mutual friend. It was to be unconditional and to be implemented immediately without any delay whatsoever. Both the Press Statement and letter of reinstatement were to contain the following terms:
1. That the suspension of Mr. Miguna Miguna, the Prime Minister’s Advisor on Coalition Affairs, be rescinded, unconditionally, with immediate effect, since it was determined that all the allegations against him were unfounded;
2. That Mr. Miguna is hereby ordered reinstated, forthwith;
3. That all arrears, emoluments and accrued interests owed to Mr. Miguna, be paid to him, forthwith; and
4. Upon resumption of duty, Mr. Miguna would be reporting DIRECTLY to the Prime Minister.
We agreed that I would approve - as to form, nature and content - all statements and/or letters that would be issued with respect to this matter.
There were no other terms or conditions the Prime Minister and I agreed on, apart from the four items above.
Which was a preface to Miguna’s stunning revelation that after that cordial, comradely and principled interaction between you as Prime Minister and Miguna as your personal advisor, SOME of the mandarins from the Office of the Prime Minister tried to scuttle that gentlemen’s agreement.

By now, even a goat herd in Kabartonjo, a crocodile hunter in Garsen, an omena monger in Oriang’ Kogweno; a mutura vendor in Mukurweini, a traditional circumciser in Chavakali and a hair saloonist in Gongoni just north of Malindi knows that Miguna Miguna has publicly declined the overture to reinstate him.

What happens next?

But wait a minute, which offer did he decline?

Was it the face to face offer you gave him at the conclusion of your three hour meeting at Serena?

It cannot be.

On that occasion, you not only shook hands to seal your verbal concurrence, you went ahead and captured the essential elements of that agreement in writing-an act witnessed with a formal signature  by the person Miguna refers to as “a mutual friend.”

Miguna did NOT decline YOUR offer to reinstate him with full salary, arrears and benefits to his job.

So what did he refuse?

Well, if we go back to Miguna Miguna’s statement we see the answer to the above question in black and white.

Here is the relevant passage:
I have declined to accept the decision to reinstate me, on terms and conditions contained in the letter by one Abdul Mwasera, dated 27 December 2011.
Miguna Miguna is clearly adamantly opposed to the startling terms and conditions of Abdul Mwasera’s letter.

Given the background that Miguna laid out during his press conference, it was astounding, nay, shocking to peruse the following letter from Mr. Mwasera which was one of the annextures to Miguna’s press statement:

But why did Mr. Mwasera, an employee in your office who is actually quite junior to Miguna in the first place communicate to Miguna terms and conditions which were diametrically opposed to your Gentlemen’s Agreement at Serena Hotel?

Was he acting on his own?

A highly placed source who is familiar with your Permanent Secretary Mohammed Isahakia’s style of writing confided to me that he saw Isahakia finger prints all over Mwasera’s letter-almost as if Isahakia dictated the letter to Mwasera word for word.

For obvious reasons, I can not disclose the identity of that individual.

Whether he was acting on his own or not, what was the MOTIVE of Mr. Mwasera’s misleading and provocative correspondence which clearly misrepresented your own express instructions?

Was it an attempt to ridicule you, to tarnish your reputation by portraying you as a person who cannot keep his word of honour?

Foolhardy and suicidal as it may seem, one cannot rule out that bizarre possibility.

What is more plausible in my opinion is that one, Mwasera was not acting alone and two, that letter was a DELIBERATE act of provocation by conveying to Miguna he had NO OPTION but to REJECT outright.

But WHY???


They may have ordered the busaa, changaa, muratina, mnazi and champagne too hastily to celebrate what they assumed was the “final exit” and “good riddance” to Miguna Miguna.

That thought is nauseating, stomach churning, in other words DISGUSTING to me.

Contrary to what some online (and offline) pundits who claim to be in your corner posit, Miguna was a VALUABLE ASSET and STRATEGIC ALLY who defended you tenaciously and consistently often alone while some of the aforementioned mandarins and ODM appartchiks played it safe or even surreptiously slept with the ideological enemy.

It is my argument that the desperate attempt to get rid of Miguna by some of the schemers in your office is driven by a crass need to protect their parochial turf, bolster their networks of graft and that these shenanigans have NOTHING to do with advancing your interests either as Prime Minister or presumptive President in 2012.

I can describe them as a millstone destined to drown your political ambitions.

If I had my way, I would hang millstones around THEIR NECKS and DROWN them for sure-either in Lake Victoria or the Indian Ocean.

I took a break from writing this essay just now to watch the 9 pm December 31, 2011 news on the various television channels where I noticed the latest spin from the same forces of impunity embedded in the OPM distorting the truth that they tried to get in touch with Miguna in vain-where the facts of the matter are that Miguna tried to repeatedly get in touch with the key people in that same office with none of them picking his calls.

The same spin continues to trumpet that the Office of the Prime Minister has “accepted Miguna’s decision”.

Rt. Hon. Prime Minister, do these sentiments reflect your views, instructions and advice?

I sincerely hope not.

What message are you sending to all those intelligent, hardworking, diligent, honest, politically committed and socially conscious professionals and other Kenyans who rallied to your presidential campaign in 2007 like Miguna Miguna?

What message are you sending to those of us on the Kenyan Left who have believed that you are the only consistent voice and face of reform in mainstream Kenyan politics?

What message are you sending to Kenyans in the diaspora who fund raised for you; campaigned for you; gave up their jobs and careers to come and work for you? Who voted for you in droves? 

Miguna is just one among hundreds who did that without hesitation.

Is a kick in the teeth their only reward?

Was this alleged “reinstatement” nothing but a cynical trap to defang Miguna Miguna?

Was it a crude joke designed to push the final nail in Miguna’s political coffin?

Rt. Hon. Prime Minister Raila Odinga:

Miguna is not just a son of the Nyando people who has in laws in Gem and Migori.

Miguna Miguna is a son of the Kenyan political struggle.

Miguna has political brothers and sisters who have spent more than half of their lives fighting for a new Kenya over many decades-some going back over thirty years.

There is a saying popularized by the massive South African trade union movement COSATU:

An Injury to One is An Injury to All.

To paraphrase, an injury to Miguna is an injury to all those patriotic and progressive Kenyans who have been supporting you because they saw you as a beacon of democratic reform.

Mheshimiwa Waziri Mkuu:

Let me close by reminding you of a powerful speech you gave on August 18, 2011.

Remember this was the evening you assembled many of us-ex political prisoners and detainees; Nyayo House survivors; veterans of the December 12 Movement (Pambana), Mwakenya, Kenya Anti-Imperialist Front, Me Katilili Revolutionary Movement, Kenya Patriotic Front, Kenya Anti-Imperialist Front, Kenya Peoples Union, Kenya Socialist Alliance to name just a few. At the high table with you and its immediate environs, were people like retired Archbishop David Gitari, Edward Oyugi, Ida Odinga, Mwashengu wa Mwachofi, Betty Murungi, Koigi wa Wamwere, James Orengo, Gitobu Imanyara, Oduor Ongwen, Ngotho wa Kariuki, Reverend Timothy Njoya, Davinder Lamba and Peter Anyang’ Nyongo.

Remember what you told us?

That the electoral battle in 2012 would pit the forces of REFORM against the forces of REACTION.

Dear Prime Minister, let me ask you this humble question:

Are some of your senior and prominent staffers among the forces of reform or the forces of reaction?

How about Miguna Miguna?


Onyango Oloo
Nairobi, Kenya

Friday, December 09, 2011

Kenya Can Still Correct Its Mistakes in Somalia

A Digital Essay by Onyango Oloo

This is a follow up to my earlier my earlier digital essay on the quixotic invasion by Kenya into the territory of her north eastern neighbour.

The first big casualty of the Kenyan military foray into southern Somalia has been the truth.

Kenyan print and electronic journalists, female and male, are tumbling over each other in an insane quest to be on the front-line of regurgitating the latest doublespeak from the Kenyan propaganda machine; anxious to earn extra stripes as the most zealous zealot; the most “patriotic” parrot and the most blood thirsty member of the war mongering Kenyan fourth estate. This a point driven forcefully home by Henry Makori, a Kenyan journalist working for the widely read Pambazuka electronic social justice newsletter in a recent piece on how the Kenya is in bed with the military.

With such a fawning, sycophantic mindset the Kenyan media is hardly in a position to interrogate troubling questions raised by organizations like Human Rights Watch who have alleged that Kenyan security forces are arbitrarily detaining people as detailed in the following link.

One of the biggest lies that the Kenyan state has fed our citizens through outright military propaganda and blatant lies from the highest echelons of the political leadership including the President and the Prime Minister is that our defence forces went into Somalia to “Linda Nchi” (protect the nation) after a series of violent provocative assaults by the rag tag Al Shabaab militia.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

According to a series of revelations posted on the whistle-blowing site Wikileaks, the Kenyan authorities have been plotting their moves in Somalia for almost four years now.

For example on the 26th of January 2010, the US Assistant Secretary of Defence had separate meetings with Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga, Internal Security Minister George Saitoti and Defence Minister Yusuf Haji.

Here is the summary of that document:

"C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 NAIROBI 000159 SIPDIS E.O. 12958: DECL: 2020/02/11


SUBJECT: ASD Vershbow Visit Highlights Regional Security Issues

CLASSIFIED BY: Mitchell Benedict, Political Counselor, DOS, POL;

REASON: 1.4(B), (D)

1. (C) Summary: During separate January 26 meetings, Assistant Secretary of Defense Alexander Vershbow met with Prime Minister Raila Odinga, Defense Minister Yussuf Haji, Chief of Defense Jeremiah Kianga, and Interior Minister George Saitoti. PM Odinga expressed serious concern over regional instability emanating from Somalia and emphasized that the international community has not acted with resolve as needed. The PM was equally concerned about the potential for Sudanese instability before and after the 2011 referendum. Minister Haji expressed his appreciation for defense cooperation and offered new details on Kenya's proposed "Jubaland Initiative" in Southern Somalia. Kenyan officials expressed concern over spillover of violence from Somalia and the flow of Somali refugees into Kenya."
Click here to read more about what they discussed.

We are further informed that:
"During a one-day visit to Kenya on the 29th of January 2010, US Ambassador-at-Large for Counterterrorism Daniel Benjamin, discussed threats from Somalia, Islamic extremism inside Kenya, border security and Kenya's efforts to aid the Somalia Transitional Federal Government (TFG)when he met with George Saitoti, Minister of Interior and Provincial Administration.Saitoti was joined by Mathew Iteere, Commissioner of Police, Commandant K. Mbugua, Administration Police (AP), MG Michael Gichangi, Director General of the National Security Intelligence Service (NSIS), and Nicholas Kamwende, Chief of the Anti-Terrorism Police Unit (ATPU). The delegation met separately with Brigadier Phillip Kameru, Director for Military Intelligence (DMI). Accompanying Amb Benjamin to these meetings were Lee Brudvig, Nairobi Deputy Chief of Mission, Mark Thompson, S/CT Deputy Coordinator for Counterterrorism (Operations) , COL Rich Clarke, Joint Special Operations Command, MAJ Craig Miller, Liaison to S/CT, and Samuel Madsen, East Africa Regional Strategic Initiative Coordinator.
Details of that meeting are available here.

As far back as December 8, 2009 according to Wikileaks,
"During a meeting on the margins of the Djibouti IGAD ministerial visiting US Deputy Assistant Secretary Wycoff and Kenyan Minister of Foreign Affairs Wetangula agreed to continue to work together to promote stability and political reconciliation in Somalia. DAS Wycoff told Wetangula that the USG continued to strongly oppose the Kenyan "Jubaland" initiative as a bad idea that would more likely add to Somalia's instability than to help stabilize the country. Wetangula defended GOK plans to pursue its Jubaland (southern Somalia) initiative, implied that it was in evolving concept, and offered to facilitate better USG understanding of Kenya's plans. He also urged, as he had in interventions at the ministerial, international community support for the Somalia Transitional Federal Government (TFG). Wycoff agreed and highlighted the importance of supporting the Djibouti Peace Process (DPP) and efforts to promote political reconciliation. When the subject was raised, Wetangula excluded further expansion of the teeming Dadaab refugee camp in northeastern Kenya, which he said had received 12,000 refugees in November. The Foreign Minister took a hard line on Eritrea. He told DAS Wycoff that he had rebuffed efforts by the visiting Eritrean Foreign Minister to solicit support for a new Somalia reconciliation process. The Kenyan government had expelled Eritrean diplomats that Wetangula thought had played a role in the mid-September suicide bombing attack on AMISOM in Mogadishu."
To access the cable, press on this link.

More ominously, Wikileaks informs us that
"A high-level Kenyan delegation headed by Foreign Minister Wetangula used a long January 30 meeting on the margins of the AU Summit to lobby Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Johnnie Carson's support for the GOK's long-incubating Lower Juba initiative. Wetangula, the Minister of Defense, the Director of the National Security and Intelligence Services, and the military's chief-of-staff each in turn highlighted the dangers to Kenya emanating from Somalia and advertised an incursion into Somalia by the roughly two thousand Somali forces currently being trained by the GOK as the best solution. The Kenyan delegation assured A/S Carson that both Somalia's Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and the Government of Ethiopia supported Kenya's efforts and insisted that A/S Carson's longstanding concerns about the Kenyan plan had all been addressed. 2. (C) Summary and comment continued: A/S Carson tactfully, but categorically refused the Kenyan delegation's attempts to enlist USG support for their effort. He worried that the Lower Juba initiative could be very expensive, that it could catalyze clan and sub-clan rivalries, that success could create a rival to the TFG, that the GOK could be unwittingly providing training to future or current ONLF members, and that the GOK was not prepared to handle the domestic repercussions should their effort fail. The January 30 meeting marked Wetangula's third attempt to enlist A/S Carson's support and was only the latest in a long-running campaign by the Kenyan government to win USG agreement to its initiative. The persistence with which the GOK is courting the USG suggests, if nothing else, that they have finally awakened to the implications for Kenya of long-term instability in Somalia and are attempting belatedly to address the problem."

If you want to download the cable in its entirety go to this site.

Even without prior knowledge of these now exposed Kenyan government top secrets, many people-Kenyan and non Kenyan- were quick to denounce this misadventure.

This writer was among the very first to come out publicly to express disquiet with Operation Linda Nchi.

A group of Kenyan writers and public intellectuals issued a statement carried in the Africa Report expressing their opposition to the war.

Another Kenyan, the young upcoming writer S. Abdi Sheikh, who hails from the northern Kenyan town of Wajir did an analytical piece for Somali Point which you can access at this link. Abdirahman Hassan Tammam published his opinion in the same publication at around the same time as did Michael Weinstein.

A Ghanaian pundit, Kweku Osei, weighed in with this interesting perspective; while Zimbabwean commentator Tendai Marima, used the Aljazeera platform to say this.

The influential, subscriber based electronic newsletter Africa Confidential carried a series of well-researched articles featuring interviews and hard nosed assessments. Click here to see the first article; go to this link to access the second one and to access the third article press here.

From the United States, Jeremy Scahill composed a very compelling essay published in one of that country's most progressive publications while here in Nairobi his compatriot Andrew Franklin, an ex-Marine who is now a financial consultant in the Kenyan capital did an opinion piece for the Business Daily.

From the viewpoint of a Somali national, I think that Prof. Abdi Ismail Samatar's analysis and proactive proposals are among the most far reaching.

Internationally respected and renowned scholar-activist, the Jamaican-born Pan Africanist revolutionary Dr. Horace Campbell recently contexutalized Kenya's foray into Somalia as part of a wider imperialist project bent on the recolonization of Africa.

This is a view echoed by Ali Dirshe, the President of the Somali Canadian Diaspora Alliance.

I recently finished reading Afyare Abdi Elmi's book Understanding the Somalia Conflagration: Identity, Political Islam and Peacebuilding.

I consider it essential reading for ANYONE who wishes to understand in depth what is going within the depths of that complex conflicted Horn of Africa nation. I recommend to all Kenyans- especially those who are quick to wrap themselves in the Kenyan national flag and trumpet their jingoism through earnest ring tones on their cell phones based on the tune of the country's national anthem. Of particular interest should be Chapter 6: "The Role of Regional Countries and Organizations in the Somali Conflict"; Chapter 2:" Understanding the Sources of Somali Conflict"; Chapter 5:" Understanding the US Policy toward Somalia" and Chapter 4:" Making Sense of Islam and Islamic Awakening in Somalia".

The Kenya government continues to make unforced errors in relation to Somalia. Let me list a few of those mistakes:

1. It is morally, politically and militarily wrong for Kenya to invade Somalia- a neighbouring African state.
2. It is reprehensible for the Kenyan government to LIE so brazenly to its own citizens about its real reasons for invading Somalia.
3. It is against the Kenyan constitution for the Kenyan government through its security forces to violate the human rights of its citizens and those of a neighbouring country, especially defenceless civilians under the veneer and using the canard of allegedly defending itself from Al Shabaab.
4. It is dangerous for Kenya to retreat from its laudable foreign policy based on respect and peacebuilding to embrace this reckless quixotic misadventure.
5. It is unwise for the Kenyan government to allow itself to be a pawn, a puppet and a tool for US led imperialist aggression in Africa.
6. It is foolhardy for top Kenyan leaders-including Prime Minister Raila Odinga and President Mwai Kibaki to go globetrotting, especially to Israel which alienates so many peaceloving people, and especially Muslims to seek military, intelligence, financial and other support to ratchet up its conflict against real or perceived enemies in Somalia and within the country.

What some may ask, should the Kenya government do?

Well I have a few suggestions:

(a) Immediately withdraw all Kenyan troops from the territory of Somalia;
(b) Seek peaceful solutions to the Somali conflagration by acknowleding that it is the Somali people-within and outside the country-especially the civic formations who must take the lead in ending the conflict in that Horn of Africa nation and state;
(c) Delink itself totally from the machinations of the US through Africom;
(d) Recognize the authority and the legitimacy of the African Union in leading regional, continental and international efforts in restoring peace and national harmony in Somalia;
(e) Giving up the outlandish fantasy of annexing parts of Somalia and creating buffer zones like the proposed "Republic of Jubaland";
(f) Deepening thorough socio-economic reforms in Kenya, especially by tackling the endemic youth unemployment which is by far the biggest attractor of past, present and future Kenyan born Al Shabaab militia militants;
(g) Encouraging the flourishing of a free and independent Kenyan media, that instead of joyfully donning military elements, flak jackets and bullet proof vests, will instead carry out thorough research, hold the military propagandists to account, speak truth to the chest thumping political mandarins and inform the Kenyan citizenry with facts rather than DOD press releases;
(i) Investigate and prosecute all cases and instances of human rights abuses carried out by the Kenyan police, paramilitary, armed forces and of course Al Shabaab and their supporters whether these violations have occurred on Kenyan territory or within the boundaries of Somalia.

I could go on and on for about fourteen other pages, but I guess I will stop here for today.

Onyango Oloo
Nairobi, Kenya

Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Quixotic Invasion of Somalia Will Devastate Kenya

A Digital Essay by Onyango Oloo in Nairobi

Let me start with a WARNING:

The link below contains very graphic, gory and disturbing images:

Those forlorn, bloated young corpses roasting in the scorching Somali sun could very well be the remains of recently expired Kenyan combat troops.

There has been a lot of fervent flag waving, agitated anthem intoning and cheesy chest thumping over the last few days all across the country.

Nairobi-based television anchors have exchanged their ill-fitting suits for equally bizarre military fatigues in a pathetic attempt to reprise the recurring martial misadventures of the CNN and BBC superstars like Christiane Anampour, Nic Robertson et al.

The hyped up Kenyan jingoism and misplaced machismo and boisterous braggadocio has left an overwhelming feeling ravaging through my body:

A sense of nausea and profound disgust.

Excuse me while I throw up.

As our preening neo-colonial chieftains, who get their talking points from Washington, London ,Brussels and other capitals of capital, try to out Bush Bush and out Blair Blair in banging the drums of war and clanging the cymbals of foreign intervention , the hapless wananchi are reduced to an abject bleating national choir of meek sheep endorsing every propaganda sound byte of the cynical war mongers in cabinet and the self-serving parliament.

First things first.

This war is UNNECESSARY.


It is FAKE.



What ostensibly “provoked” the impulsive invasion of Somalia by armed to the teeth Kenyan military troops was a CRIMINAL act involving the kidnapping of a couple of foreigners by bandits who could even turn out to be KENYANS, the assumption that they are definitely Somali born, bred and based Al Shabaab militants notwithstanding.

The response which could have been apt was a POLICE response; not an uncalled for massive military operation for crying out loud! The details of this suggested police intervention need not have precluded covert coordination with our security organs-Kenyan and non-Kenyan.

Why is this war ILLEGAL?

The supreme law in Kenya is the CONSTITUTION.

What does the Kenyan constitution say?

State of emergency

58. (1) A state of emergency may be declared only under Article 132 (4) (d) and only when—
(a) the State is threatened by war, invasion, general insurrection, disorder, natural disaster or other public emergency;

Role of the National Assembly

95. (6) The National Assembly approves declarations of war and extensions of states of emergency

Term of Parliament

102. (2) When Kenya is at war, Parliament may, by resolution supported in each House by at least two-thirds of all the members of the House, from time to time extend the term of Parliament by not more than six months at a time.

Functions of the President

132. (4) The President may –
(d) subject to Article 58, declare a state of emergency
(e) with the approval of Parliament, declare war.
Everyone knows what happened. The minister for internal security flanked by his ministry of defence counterpart informed Kenyans through a press conference that Kenya was at war, in total violation of the constitutional provisions.

Why is it FAKE?

Because Kenyans have been lied to.

Contrary to the impression that this is an angry national reaction to a recent provocation, the fact of the matter is that this military operation has been in the planning pipeline for quite some time.

According to impeccable sources who are quite familiar with the inside workings of Kenya’s military, intelligence and security machinations, what is happening in Somalia is part of a detailed and coordinated IGAD joint intervention in Somalia with specific roles for Ethiopia, the Transitional Federal Government in Mogadishu, the African Union troops and the Kenyan military.

A story published in the October 28, 2011 issue of the Africa Report cites the Kenyan political leadership at the highest echelons admitting that an earlier plan to go after Al-Shabaab covertly from Kenya using specially trained elite forces recruited from the Kenyan ethnic Somali population floundered after most of these recruits DESERTED after their training.

Far from this incursion into Somalia being propelled by a patriotic Kenyan desire to defend the country it turns out that we are just pawns in the larger US/NATO geo-political agenda to “stabilize” the Horn of Africa region in line with the wider imperialist agenda of consolidating world monopoly capital which has of late been buffeted by a severe crisis in the United States itself, the meltdown of the Euro in Europe and growing protests by the burgeoning global Occupy Wall Street inspired citizen mass actions. There is a connection between the Kenyan military foray into Oddo, Kismayu and other towns and the NATO led bombing of Libya and the ultimate brutal slaughter of Colonel Muamar Ghadaffi and his loyalists in Sirte.

Closer home, the military misadventure in Somalia may provide the excuse for some of these Kenyan political criminals in power to go for a horrendous cash grab to bolster the 2012 war chest for their various presidential bids.

Think about it:

What is the LEAST TRANSPARENT aspect of the Kenyan budgetary process?

Allocating funds to the military and national intelligence and security services.

Using the guise and pretext of safeguarding some undefined “national security interests”, the mandarins in the Treasury, the well-connected technocrats and securocrats at DOD, the back room boys at State House, the appartchiks at the various party headquarters and the merchants of impunity in parliament and the errand boys in the civil service could very well conspire to STEAL BILLIONS OF KENYAN TAX PAYERS’ SHILLINGS with the excuse that these funds are paying for the operations in Somalia.

On a related note, a close friend of mine told me the other day that some of the ICC connected players in PNU and ODM are blackmailing Prime Minister Raila Odinga into being part of this Somalia circus because they hope to DELAY or EVEN POSTPONE next year’s Presidential and General Elections hoping to buy time in case any of the Ocampo Six are confirmed for trial at the ICC.

By declaring a CONVENTIONAL military offensive against a loose militia with a penchant for GUERRILLA tactics, it is apparent that the Kenyan government has NOT learned anything from the last fifty years of contemporary conflicts- from Vietnam, through Northern Ireland, Guinea Bissau, Mozambique, Eritrea, Uganda, Iraq to Colombia.

The Kenyan regime could prove very gullible ideologically to the machinations of Al Shabaab. Remember, Kenyans in the north and among sections of the country's Muslim population may be vulnerable and even receptive to overtures from pro-Al Qaeda and Al Shabaab elements who may portray the conflict with the Kenyan state in RELIGIOUS terms as a Jihad against pro-Western infidels headquartered in Nairobi. There have been credible reports of KENYANS being recruited or acting as recruiters for both Al Shabaab and Al Qaeda.

Tactically it might not be very wise to unleash all this machismo and braggadocio with reckless talk of "bring it on". Remember the kind of people who join outfits like Al Shabaab see themselves as martyrs to higher spiritual causes who are quite ready and more than willing to strap themselves with explosives and blow themselves up as suicide bombers so it will take more than threats of tanks and fighter jets to cow them into abject submission.

Below is an excerpt from a Somaliland blog carrying an opinion piece by Dr, Dirrir Ali which might prove interesting reading for Kenyans

Long before Restore Hope, the joint UN and USA humanitarian campaign in Somalia in early 1990s, a consultant to the UNO on Somalia, advised the USA administration to attempt everything else but not war with Somalis, in his opinion; war is the thing Somalis know best. The USA did not heed to that precious advice and we all remember the way that campaign went wrong – it ended with the famous Black hawk down and that was the last USA chapter of waging war in Somalia – at least an open and all out ground war. That UNO consultant is called Mr. John Drysdale. He knew the closing stages of the campaign even before it was waged. He was not a fortune teller; Mr. Drysdale was some one who had first hand experience of what Somalis are capable to accomplishing in the war field. He was the British administrator of Somaliland more than four decades prior to the debut of that campaign.

The Ethiopians were not dissuaded by the USA experience in Somalia. They did not either learn much from their centuries-old wars with Somalis and with the help of the USA air power, they too attacked and captured Mogadishu, but their victory did not last for too long and they were also compelled to a humiliating withdrawal after Somalis taught them a lesson in urban and guerrilla warfare.

Now it appears that the Kenyans did not learn much about the history of Somali warfare. In my opinion they too have made very bad miscalculations and do not understand that all Somalis are not the murderous Al-shabaab group and the Transitional Federal government. The Somali population is not the weak and famine-devastated thousands that live in refugee camps in the Northern Frontier district (NFD), which it self is a Somali region given to Kenya in the early sixties, after Kenya gained its independence from Britain. NFD is one of the five Somali territories represented in the star on the Somalia flag. Besides NFD, the other four Somali territories are Somalia, The Republic of Djibouti, The self administered Somali region in Ethiopia and the Republic of Somaliland.

The Kenyans fancy to believe that they could win a war and defeat Somalis, it is passable for them to accept as true what they believe, but the truth of the matter is they are playing with inextinguishable fire – a greater Somali fire. By starting a war in this region can easily instigating Somalis to reclaim their Northern Frontier District (NFD). Therefore, I brotherly advise the Kenyans to withdraw immediately before Somalis beat the drums of war, believe me that will not be a good sign for the Kenyans. To give you an example of what that could mean; the recent Kenyan civil unrest will feel just like a picnic in warm summer day on Mount Kilimanjaro.

Since its independence from Italy, Somalia is wounded by civil war, famine, terrorism and corrupt incompetent consecutive regimes, but Somalis are far from death and are strong enough to inflict an ever lasting damage to an aggressor. They are also blessed with Muslim and Arab brethren, who will not hesitate to assist them to rebel all enemies from all Somali territories.
Kenyans have no business crossing the borders to Somalia; it is illegal under International law and it is morally wrong. If they have beef with Al-Shabaab then they must fight them in their own territory and not inside Somalia. Kenyans must not arrogantly over estimate their economic and military power and must keep in mind, that only Somalis are capable of defeating Somalis and no body else. They must bear in mind that their country is very easily susceptible to be fractured through ethnic and tribal lines. By starting a war with Somalis Kenyan economy and tourist industry can be devastated within hours. It must realize that it can not win the wars lost by super powers. Kenya must not be fooled by the guys who call themselves the TFG of Somalia; these guys lack morality, education, experience and live their lives under the protection of the Ugandan forces tanks in their home – Mogadishu. They can be bought and sold in a junk yard. If the Kenyans trust the strategic analysis of these TFG guys then they are deficient in judgement.

Somalis know too well the illegal Somalia territorial water’s concession made to Kenya by the illegal and morally corrupt TFG. Somalis are aware of the Azania project that is established by Kenyans through a mercenary force headed by Mr. Gandi, a power Hungary opportunist. Somalis quite appreciate Kenya’s geopolitical ambitions, both short and long term strategies. By looking at realities on the ground, these Kenyan dreams are far from becoming true. Kenyans politicians must clear their heads of the myths and wrong assumptions. They are not able to conquer more territories from Somalis, but instead the Northern Frontier District might go back to hands of Somalis.

In recent years Kenya was enrich with not only the looting of the Somalia’s International assistance through the NGOs operated mafia that consider the humanitarian assistance, war and drought confounded Somalis as their personal spoils of war. Not only that, but Kenya is also benefiting from Somalis who bring with them capital, technical and business expertise to that corruption riddle East African country. Somalis have both directly & indirectly created jobs for millions of Kenyans. Thus, Kenya benefited from Somalia more than any country in the world. For those simple reasons, Kenyans should be grateful to the Somalis and must not try to slaughter the goose that laid the golden eggs. Kenyans and for that matter any other neighbouring country must think twice before they venture to play with Somali fire; it will never die very easily. Somalis might consider moving their businesses and investments from Kenya to neighbouring Republic of Somaliland and The Republic of Djibouti. Both Somaliland and Djibouti are eager to receive their Somali brethren and their investments with open hearts. The United Nations and the donor countries might also consider moving their offices to the more peaceful and politically stable Somaliland, since Kenya is not able to provide security to the foreign diplomats, expatriates and tourists in its country.

Yusuf Dirir Ali

On the broader geo-political front, the announcement of Saitoti, Haji and the war mongers in the Kenyan cabinet could be a stratagem signalled at the fascist US and NATO military-industrial complex that the PNU side of the Grand Coalition government is gung ho about the much discredited "War on Terror" with a view of gaining traction with the so called "international community" (a convenient nick name for the Western powers) as a defender of "security" and "stability" of the East African and Horn of Africa restive region.

But this could backfire if the zealots in Al Shabaab appeal to their extremist allies in Pakistan, Afghanistan and nearby Yemen that they are under threat from a hostile client regime in Nairobi- triggering a devastating wave of urban terrorist reprisals targeting civilian populations in places like Mombasa, Kisumu, Nakuru, Eldoret, Nairobi and the like-not ignoring business, infrastructure and military targets.

They are those who will react with shock at my views expressed in this digital essay.

Some will find me "unpatriotic".

Some will scream that I be prosecuted for TREASON.

Well, I am in good company.

The Chief Justice of Kenya was once detained without trial allegedly because he was deemed "unpatriotic" by our retired dictator.

The Prime Minister of Kenya was almost hanged after being accused of TREASON.

I was among dozens of peaceful pro-democracy social justice activists who spent long years behind bars on SEDITION charges because we dared to speak TRUTH to POWER.

We counterpose our genuine LOVE for our Motherland Kenya to the fake nationalism of the war mongers.

Our commitment to the freedom, liberation and emancipation of all Kenyans from neo-colonialism and imperialism preceded and will outlast these synthetic screeches covering up the local elite's attempt to be the slaves of Uncle Sam and her NATO cousins in this part of Africa and the world.

We will continue fighting for peace, democracy, equality, social justice and Pan African liberation in the spirit of Internationalist Solidarity and Third World Liberation.

A Lutta Continua!

Onyango Oloo

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Why Was Miguna Thrown Out of the Window?

A Digital Essay by Onyango Oloo

For a country which is the economic hub of East Africa; a country envied by its neighbours for its relative peace, security and stability; a country lauded internationally for its fairly progressive constitution-Kenya continues to depict stubborn primitive tendencies when it comes to hiring and firing people, especially those positions that swirl around political personalities.

Former President Daniel arap Moi created and perfected the template. About a decade ago, Dr. Adhu Awiti was on a Nairobi bound bus which had done a quick stop over in Nakuru to enable the passengers to visit the washrooms and have a quick bite. As he completed the washroom break, he was serenaded with the news, announced over the radio, that the President had just made him a cabinet minister. Ambassador Bethwel Kiplagat was flying back to Kenya from Madagascar where he had gone to bury his mother in law. Upon landing at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, shocked relatives informed him in hushed tones that Moi had fired him as a permanent secretary in a terse statement announced over the radio.

This tradition continued in the post KANU NARC era-even after incoming President Kibaki had pledged in his inaugural address that the era of roadside pronouncements was over. Because his wife Lucy did not like a senior State House operative, Matere Keriri suddenly found himself jobless. Because he resented the fact that some of his ministers led by Raila Odinga had the temerity to campaign against the Wako Draft during the 2005 Referendum, Kibaki promptly fired them from their cabinet posts. Because he was more comfortable with his Gikuyu tribesmen around him, Kibaki shamelessly appointed the heads of the NSIS, the Central Bank and the Armed Forces without consultation and due process.

The Rt. Hon. Prime Minister, Raila Amollo Odinga, was supposed to be different, a counter point to the KANU authoritarian culture.

He knew first hand about the ignominy of arbitrary appointments and disappointments. He had been a perennial victim of high level, state connected, back room machinations and shenanigans by unscrupulous schemers, unprincipled wheelers and demented political dealers. He had led the public outcry and popular indignation when his co-principal tried to sneak in Visram, Muigai, Tobiko and Co. Ltd into the positions of Chief Justice, Attorney General and Director of Public Prosecutions. He had been the torch bearer in the clamour for the new constitutional dispensation which had strict and rigorous criteria, standards and safeguards when it came to public appointments.

Then on Thursday, August 4th 2011, Raila Odinga shocked the progressive and democratic minded contingents of this nation when he delegated one of his political functionaries to throw Miguna Miguna, probably his most ardent defender and supporter, out of the 16th Floor office in the NHIF building located in Upper Hill that Miguna occupied as the Prime Minister’s Advisor as well as Joint Secretary for Inter-Coalition Affairs.

did this while safely ensconced away in Kisumu, far away from the political maelstrom he knew was brewing in the Kenyan capital.

Since it was the Prime Minister who had essentially hired Miguna Miguna (even though the actual appointment letter was signed by President Kibaki) one would have expected, at a minimum, Raila Odinga to proffer Miguna the simple courtesy of calling him or even more preferably, summoning Miguna in person and informing him to his face that he was being suspended. After all, two people who had far more serious charges of corruption during the Maize Scandal- Mohammed Isahakia and Omondi Caroli- had been offered a fig leaf as well as a face saving option of seeming to “voluntarily step aside” when they had as a matter of fact, been effectively suspended-with pay and access to their respective offices.

Those of us who have known and been in the trenches with Raila Odinga for the last thirty years supporting him steadfastly when the forces of repression, reaction and impunity were clamouring for his neck at the end of the hangman’s noose, must today condemn in the strongest terms, the shoddy way the Prime Minister has treated his former Political Advisor; we must denounce, without reservations and caveats, the lack of due process he displayed towards Miguna; we must stand up and angrily, loudly and stridently blow our firimbis while showing the Prime Minister our yellow cards for that flagrant and unnecessary foul Raila perpetrated against his stalwart full back Miguna Miguna.

Why bring down one of your star players at the exact moment when your opponents are bolstering their G 7 attack pack?

Since Agwambo is fond of soccer, I am sure he understands perfectly well what Onyango Oloo is saying.

Unwittingly, the Prime Minister is now making even some of his most ardent supporters to give a second thought to William Ruto’s constant refrain that Raila Odinga is a master of “Use and Dump” dirty tricks.

What I am saying is that even though it was the mandarins from the PM’s office-themselves throwbacks of the Moi regime- who announced to the world Miguna’s payless suspension, it is the Prime Minister himself who must take responsibility for this callous act of ingratitude.

But why was Miguna Miguna flung out of the 16th floor with the cold blooded intention of letting the prolific columnist and pugnacious political pugilist to hurtle to his premature doom?

Permanent Secretary Mohammed Isahakia and ODM Chief Whip and Gem MP Jakoyo Midiwo (who just so happens to be Raila’s cousin) have given their versions which are in the public domain and are not worth repeating here.

Miguna Miguna has given an eloquent account stating his side of the story. I posted it on the Jukwaa website and you can access it by pressing this link.

In summary, Miguna recounts his surprise at the lack of due process, defends himself against all the allegations and zeroes in on Midiwo and Isahakia as among the principal culprits who plotted his ouster.

The reasons adduced as contributing to Miguna’s abrupt fall to grass from grace are too implausible and threadbare as to withstand serious objective scrutiny.

So what really caused Miguna’s downfall?

To be quite candid, it is not a secret that many pangas have been brandished for the last couple of years, aiming at Miguna’s burly neck.

The big wigs in the PNU double decker bus have been gunning for the PM’s advisor from as far back as the December 2007 civilian coup that imposed Mwai Kibaki illegally as President for a second term.

My Facebook friend and PNU Spokesperson Moses Kuria (curiously he, like Miguna, is a former SONU student leader who once faced expulsion for his campus activism) wanted Miguna turfed out on the grounds that the former Nyando aspirant mwananchi was actually a Canadian alien.

In early 2010 a bunch of spineless ODM MPs from Nyanza, many of them former KANU life members, called a press conference to defend the dictatorship of Daniel arap Moi and denounce Miguna Miguna for criticizing the KANU despot. A victim of Moi- Immigration minister Otieno Kajwang who was expelled from the University of Nairobi in 1979- also joined the raucous anti- Miguna chorus.

Lately, the rowdy pro- Ruto ODM MPs from the Rift Valley have ratcheted their rhetoric against “The Canadian in the PM’s office” even as Miguna went on a relentless onslaught against the Ocampo Six and Ruto in particular.

KACC Chairperson PLO Lumumba, Director of Public Prosecutions Keraiko Tobiko and IIEC head honcho Isaack Hassan have tasted the iron hot ire of Miguna’s withering critiques.

But NONE of these- not Moi; not Ruto; not PLO, Tobiko or Moses Kuria twisted the dagger in Miguna’s surprised innards.

We have to turn to the last pages of Agatha Christie’s famous detective novels for an insight into the identity of the true culprits. The late British crime raconteur had a gift in keeping her abject readers in taut suspense to the very end- only to reveal the least likely person as the mastermind of the dastardly crime.

In Kiswahili there is a saying, “Kikulacho ki nguono mwakoliterally meaning that what is gnawing you lurks within your garb- in other words, the ENEMY IS WITHIN.

In the last few days I have been conversing with some well placed sources within ODM itself.

One source intimated to me that:

“Your friend’s fate was sealed when he went against the party hierarchy last year. They schemed to remove him from ODM’s YES Secretariat just before the referendum even though he had played a key role in helping with the drafting and strategizing. Some of them were uncomfortable with his no compromise position when they were busy horse trading and diluting the original harmonized draft in active collusion with PNU at Naivasha. They also felt that Miguna pushed the Prime Minister to alienate the Rift Valley MPs costing ODM crucial votes in that region.”

Some of the attempted justifications of Miguna's suspension by ODM party appartchiks border on the comical.

For instance, the party's Chief Whip, Jakoyo Midiwo is quoted on page 28 of the August 6th edition of the Standard on Sunday as asserting:

"The party could not hear civil servants interfering in political affairs. The party had to impose discipline and more is coming. His actions of interfering with other autonomous departments and heads of institutions from the Speaker of the National Assembly to the Independent Interim Electoral Commission were hurting us(ODM)".

Here is a news flash for the Gem MP:

Miguna's title was POLITICAL Advisor to the Prime Minister. How could he do that without "interfering" in politics?

More immediately, Miguna Miguna was NOT an employee of the Orange Democratic Movement party. Miguna Miguna was appointed to a STATE position by President Mwai Kibaki in exactly the same manner as Prof. Kivutha Kibwana and Raphael Tuju. The letter of appointment was written by Head of Civil Service Francis Muthaura on behalf of the President. Miguna was at Job Group V (along with Francis Muthaura, Tuju and Kibwana). Job groups U and V are not governed by the PSC. Miguna could have only been suspended and fired under the same conditions and by the same authority which hired him.

Thirdly, the views Miguna expressed over the IIEC were shared by other top officials in the ODM party and therefore the fake indignation expressed by Jakoyo Midiwo is not only dishonest but galling. ODM Executive Officer is actually the one who commissioned Miguna Miguna to write the article. This was after ODM Secretary General Prof. Peter Anyang' Nyongo had sent the IIEC a letter essentially making more or less the same arguments. So the alleged "reason" cannot be Miguna's article on the IIEC published in the Star, which in any case, only bolstered ODM's position on Isaack's adamant refusal to deregister the 38 nominated councillors who had brazenly defected to UDM but still wanted to retain their ODM perks.
Jakoyo Midiwo also faulted Miguna Miguna for having the audacity to fly to the Hague when the Ocampo Six were making their first appearance before the International Criminal Court.

But here the Gem MP and ODM power broker is being deliberately mischevious, disingenous and plain malicious.

The fact of the matter is that Miguna along with Salim Lone, went to the Hague with the express permission of the Prime Minister. Their business class tickets, per diems and expenses twere covered fully by the Government of Kenya as it did for Uhuru Kenyatta, Francis Muthaura, Gen. Hussein Ali, Prof. Kivutha Kibwana, Muchemi and others.

I have stopped various people on the streets of Nairobi and asked them to comment on the Miguna saga. I have been surprised at the number of ODM supporters who welcome his departure. Their reason is less shocking: if Raila got rid of Miguna, he must have had very good reasons.

I read the front page "splash" as they call the lead story in the newspaper industry in the Sunday Express ( a paper I served as Political Editor in 2009). Writer Brian Adero reveals that:
...The suspension of Miguna Miguna and recent reshuffling of Caroli Omondi from critical assignment and dockets is part of the strategic game plan by the colourful politician going forward. To show he is fast changing his game plan for the 2012 race, Raila has been preaching peace and building bridges with his sour grape contacts in Rift Valley and making forays in Central Province after covering good ground in the Meru region and winning point men in Gitobu Imanyara, Mpuri Aburi and Maoka Maore and warming up to Mithika Linturi among others. But it is the suspension of his advisor on Coalition Affairs that sent shivers and signals that is not business as usual for Raila...According to a powerful minister from Nyanza who has been close to Raila since their days in NDP and KANU, the PM must crack the whip or else he will lose favour with his supporters who are critical to his success in the 2012 general elections. Some of the PM's close allies and confidants especially those from Nyanza whom Raila have retained are accused of being more of a liability to his 2012 and should be kicked out."
Some of these people who are apparently a "liability" to the Prime Minister include James Orengo who was at the forefront of protesting Mwai Kibaki's electoral theft at the height of the 2007 civilian coup.

As the Waswahili say, " Ahsante ya punda ni mashizi." (A donkey shows its gratitude by shitting on you!).

Another highly placed source told me something surprising.

“Everyone is talking about the Kibaki Succession. But how about the Raila Succession? Raila is pushing 70 years of age. What happens if he dies or becomes incapacitated? Who takes over as leader of ODM? Some of them feared that Miguna’s high profile and closeness to Agwambo was a threat to their own political ambitions. Was Raila grooming Miguna to be his successor? You know this is how some of these people think- devoid of principle and a strategic vision grounded in ideological clarity.”

When I pressed this person to give me names, he demurred, hesitating to go on the record beyond this point apart from blurting out:

“ Who were some of the people who attended that meeting that decided to suspend Miguna? Therein lies part of your answer.”

From my own independent sources I was made to understand that there were actually TWO meetings held in the Prime Minister's office to decide the fate of Miguna Miguna and the following people were in attendance:

Jakoyo Midiwo, Oburu Odinga, James Orengo, Mohammed Isahakia, Isaack Hassan, Alfred Mutua, Francis Kimemia and Raila Odinga himself.

I do not want to be drawn into speculating whether this was a grand plot by the wider Odinga dynasty to protect the apex of the ODM party restricting it to one of their own.

It is possible that Miguna Miguna had rubbed the conservative wing of ODM the wrong way.

It is possible that on the Miguna Miguna issue, the forces of impunity closed party ranks, united in their determination to silence the former Political Advisor of the Prime Minister. This would explain the presence of Mutua and Kimemia in that meeting.

It would also explain how an intercepted text message from Miguna’s cell phone to that of the Prime Minister ended up on the newly set up blog, www. The people most likely to hack into these highly secured devices are agents of the National Security Intelligence Service, the same force responsible for the confidential documents found by Miguna’s young son at the “Gate House” used by the state security assigned to “protect” Miguna at his Runda home.

Whatever the case, Raila Odinga has lost one of his most trusted and valuable allies sacrificed on the altar of political expediency. ODM has been unnecessarily weakened because of narrow and fleeting ambitions by some insecure political traders who are unlikely to add any new value to the Prime Minister’s plans to become the Fourth President. The G7 cabal must be uncorking their 15th champagne bottle.

Onyango Oloo
Nairobi, Kenya
Sunday, August 7, 2011

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

ODM Dies as Moi’s Offspring Relaunch KANU

A Digital Essay by Onyango Oloo in Mombasa, Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The recent traffic snarl up in Nairobi triggered by the Ocampo Six so called “home coming" for the first half of April 11th was so severe that I was able to compose half of this digital essay while trapped in a Double M bus along Jogoo Road. I had left my Eastlands abode just beyond the Buru Buru neighbourhood two hours previously and here I was, not even past the ageing City Stadium. On both sides of Jogoo Road, Citi Hoppa, KBS, Double M matatu manyangas and minibuses croaked, choking and coughing in a snail pace unsure if they would reach their respective destinations before the Second Coming of Christ.

The second half is being keyboarded a couple of days after the Uhuru Park event in the breezy, if somewhat humid milieu of Mombasa where I am on a professional assignment.

By the way, I never made it to the city centre on that Double M bus on that Monday. When we finally reached Muthurwa, the traffic was so bad that we were all ordered to disembark as the bus turned round to go back where it came from!

I had to trek to downtown Nairobi on foot.

Considering how much it had contributed to my travel travails, I considered it my duty to look for a television beaming the Uhuru Park event live to follow it keenly.

Soon, I was reunited with the Citizen channel where I heard a Muslim cleric predict that the fourth Kenyan president would emerge from the Ocampo Six while, not to be outdone, a Christian cleric compared Uhuru, Ruto and Sang (or was it Muthaura) to the biblical Shadrack, Meshack and Abednego and how the holy Kenyan-born Ocampo trio were flung to the Hague den of lions.

Among the first camera shots from the Uhuru Park venue was a close up of Agriculture Minister Dr. Sally Kosgei, a long time confidante and ideological aide of former President Daniel arap Moi.
I ogled my former lawyer Kiraitu Murungi, the Mvita MP and ODM Pentagon member Najib Balala, VP Kalonzo Musyoka, former MPs Maina Kamanda and Betty Tett to name just a few on hand to trumpet the arrival of the so called G7 alliance of right wing Kenyan politicians.

When the bling blinged Madaraka MP Mike Sonko was called to the stage, the crowd went berserk-in this Kenya of ours where suspected drug dealers are treated like rock superstars. He went on to talk about rotten oranges, insulting some people’s mothers in the process while dishing out his Safaricom mobile number to the youth advising them to call HIM, rather than the Minister for Immigration if they needed to acquire IDs. He concluded by calling on his “mother” Karua to cross over to the Uhuru/Ruto camp. Sonko was followed by another suspected drug dealing MP, also from NARC-Kenya, William Kabogo. WhenWilliam K intoned “Harambee”, the crowd roared back “Uhuru!- the same Kenyatta Jr. he had locked horns with during the Juja by elections when Kabogo trounced Uhuru sidekick George Thuo.

The ridiculous thing was that at various points, the same crowd was extremely confused of what to say to the “Harambee!” call.

Some said “Chungwa!” (and you could tell that they were Wiper Kalonzo’s supporters); others said “Nyayo!” (the die hard Moi era KANU holdouts) while others screamed “Ruto! ” and “Uhuru!”

Noticing this collective befuddlement, Ferdinand Waititu the Embakasi MP who was doing the honours as the MC, helpfully suggested that the response should be “PAMOJA!”

Moyale MP Mohamed Ali, who is actually ODM’s Deputy Secretary General, loudly read every line of the now infamous fake ODM letter castigating his boss, Professor Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o.

ODM Vice-Chair and Dujis MP Aden Duale from the former North Eastern province was on hand to blast his own Party Leader, Raila Odinga, using abusive language so strong as to make the PNU crowed go gaga delirious climaxing into an orgasmic frenzy. Hitler would have been proud of these choice epithets of hate speech.

Musikari Kombo, Bifwoli Wakoli and especially former Budalangi MP Richard Wanjala as part of the (former) Western Province choir said that the enemy was Raila Odinga who was the instigator of ethnic violence and that ODM stood for ”One Dangerous Man.”

Ali Mwakwere, Naomi Shabaan, Shakila Abdalla and other members from the Coast were not to be left out in the Agwambo Hate Fest.

It was not long before people like Kiema Kilonzo unleashed their war cries, puncturing the hypocrisy of the so called “peaceful prayer meeting”. One of the Hague tourists, Johnstone Muthama boasted that as a “real man” he gave Miguna Miguna a “technical knock out” at the venue of the ICC hearings before ripping directly into Prime Minister Raila Odinga once again comparing the Ocampo Six to the Kapenguria Six.

Sam Ongeri dutifullly led the Nyanza chorus on stage introducing Dr. Machage, George Nyamweya, Wilfrid Ongui, Jimmy Angwenyi, Omingo Magara, my name sake Onyango Oloo from Kisumu Town East, and PDP head honcho Nyarangi before passing the anti-Raila relay baton to ODM politicians from the Rift Valley ranting and raving against their Party Leader in a rally organized by ODM’s most rabid detractors.

It sounded eerily like a replay of those blood curdling 2007 PNU shrieks.

Earlier in the morning of April 11, 2011, I had watched on telly, with bemusement the triumphant re-entry of the Two Musketeers, Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto emerging from JKIA’s VIP Lounge to the ululations of their vociferous and easily excitable supporters.

Despite his ubiquitous absence from the April 11th rally/prayer meeting it was patently obvious that Daniel arap Moi’s spirit suffused every crevice, every nook and every cranny of the history drenched Uhuru Park.

To my mind, what was NOT happening at the April 11th Uhuru Park so called “prayer meeting” was the crowning of Jomo Kenyatta Junior as the post-Kibaki King of Kenya or the anointing of William Samoei Ruto as the Crown Prince and head of state in waiting.

Despite the chest thumping about a new party being launched, what Kenyans were witnessing was the peddling of a mere retread of a very tired set of political tyres.

Why do I say this?

I will answer with a series of rhetorical questions:

1. What is common between Dr. Sally Kosgei and Uhuru Kenyatta?
2. What is common between William Ruto and Najib Balala?
3. What is the connection between Zakayo Cheruyoit and Aden Duale?

They are all, politically speaking, the OFFSPRING of Daniel arap Moi.

This shared ideological parentage cuts across region and religion; age and gender, ethnicity and educational status.

When, a decade or so ago Moi boasted of KANU ruling for one hundred years, he was NOT yodeling idly.

Do the math:

KANU was the ruling party between 1963 and 2002. Moi’s former Vice President and fellow life member of KANU, Mwai Kibaki took over in 2003 and from 2004 has been co-ruling openly with KANU. In the 2007 elections, Uhuru Kenyatta, then KANU Chairman, officially abandoned his post as Leader of the Opposition in parliament to campaign vigorously for the re-election of Mwai Kibaki. In 2008, one of Moi’s Crown Princes, Kalonzo Musyoka rushed to the rescue of Kibaki’s discredited civilian coup junta. Most significantly, Kenyans remember Daniel arap Moi himself hitting the stumps for Kibaki during the 2007 electoral hysteria.

All these moves had one objective:

To defend and consolidate the political power, economic clout and ideological hegemony of the elitist status quo which had its bedrock in the decades old tyranny of the KANU dictatorship.

Wily despots know how to adapt to stay ahead of the curve. Moi-KANU was able to “win” multi-party elections in 1992 and 1997 through corruption, skulduggery, tribal divide and rule stratagems, open state terror, covert security intelligence operations and infiltrating the fledgling opposition forces. In 2002, upon realizing that KANU could no longer rule in the old way, they simply crossed over to the corridors of NARC power and soon ensconced themselves comfortably as partners at the helm, knowing that through Mwai Kibaki, KANU’s influence would still be felt.

During the 2010 referendum on the constitution, contingents of the old order cleverly divided themselves into four teams working in tandem, even when they appeared, at the veneer to be locked in mortal combat. From one extreme you had the NO forces led by Moi and William Ruto; you had the waffling Water Melon fifth columnists epitomized by Kalonzo Musyoka and then you had the right wing lukewarm Yes wing led by Mwai Kibaki and Uhuru Kenyatta.

Despite their seemingly discordant positions they were united in one determination- to preserve the privileges of the ancien regime whichever way the vote went. As expected, millions of Kenyans overwhelmingly voted YES and that is when the Right Wing Yes forces led by Mwai Kibaki swung into action with their opening volley being the infamous invitation of Sudan’s Omar el Bashir to attend the August 27th promulgation of the constitution followed by the now rescinded illegal Presidential appointments. Kalonzo Musyoka’s quixotic and brainless shuttle diplomacy to try and shut down the ICC trials of Muthaura, Ali, Uhuru, Ruto and Co. Ltd was the next step in the ploy. The putrid ethnic Railaphobia vomited at rowdy and raucous rallies before the early April dates at the Hague was a continuation of that strategy of KANU recharging its age old batteries.

The April 11th Uhuru Park event was nothing more than the platform for the official relaunch of KANU for the purposes of consolidating its power come 2012.

Of course we know that Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto had previously ballyhooed the birth of an allegedly “new political party””as their conduit for their "grand march to State House".

But to paraphrase Jesus Christ, who Ruto is fond of quoting, what we are seeing is just old KANU changaa being poured into a new political kube so that can wananchi can be intoxicated by the Mututho approved potent brew (apologies to my non-Kenyan bloggers reading this paragraph: you have to be an indigene to get the cultural Kenyanisms).

All were all ears for the announcement of the “new party”.

In the end, nothing.

The mask had dropped.

Mzalendo Kibunjia and his NCIC sleuths should have no trouble at all collecting and collating evidence of hate speech from this so called “peaceful prayer rally”, which also included a surprising dose of anti-white xenophobic tirade.”

If the organizers of the April 11th Hate Crusade expected to win media and public accolades for their show of FARCE then they must be slightly disappointed by now.

The day after the event, ALL the leading dailies lambasted the rally in no uncertain terms.

The Standard called it an Anti-Raila Crusade; the Nation started its scathing editorial on the front page while the Star called on the organizers to ”avoid falsehoods in political debate”.

The letters to the editor columns were flooded by irate readers furious at the undue media coverage glorifying accused criminals as heroes.

An internet based petition has been launched appealing for a total news blackout on the Ocampo Six.

Somebody from Mandera chimed in, aghast at the fact that hunger and drought in northern Kenya was running a distant third to the obsession with Ruto, Uhuru, Muthaura, Sang, Ali, Kosgey and Co. Ltd.

All the same, the astounding makeover and rehabilitation of Ruto by the PNU back room boys is as dramatic as it is opportunistic.

In the first half of 2008, the Eldoret North MP was their Enemy Number One. This was back in the days when the Agikuyu elite was accusing William Ruto of being the chief instigator of an alleged genocidal campaign to wipe out members of Kenya’s largest tribe from the Rift Valley region. At that time they were quite vociferous in demanding that Ruto and his ODM acolytes be hauled to the Hague to answer to charges of heinous crimes against humanity. Today, PNU is the biggest saxophone blaring the innocence of Ruto. Yesterday when the Chief Magistrate acquitted Ruto, Kulei and Mwaita of fraud charges, the same PNU machine shepherded boisterous Nyakinyua Agikuyu dancers to gyrate and ululate outside the Nairobi Law Courts. It is just a matter of time before William Samoei Ruto is catapulted back to cabinet to bolster the PNU wing in much the same way Kalonzo Musyoka salvaged Kibaki’s civilian coup junta after the fractious, bitterly contested 2007 presidential polls.

I consider William Ruto to be among the most intelligent Kenyan politicians on the scene today. That is why I am baffled as to why he cannot see through the naked PNU power plot with Uhuru Kenyatta as the centre piece and Ruto as a sideshow and dangling carrot. Surely the Eldoret North MP must know that the Central Kenya power barons are not about to pass the baton to one of the most vilified figures in their Agikuyu social base. Surely Ruto knows that there is no way he is going to be declared the PNU presidential candidate with Kenyatta Jr. on the undercard. Within months I predict, the irreconcilable contradictions between the Kalenjin and Agikuyu elite will burst out in the open with dangerous ramifications in the 2012 election year.

But let us leave that aside for the moment.

The other big story coming out of the April 11th Uhuru Park event is the following:


I can already hear the cat calls from my friends in the Orange Democratic Movement:

Alarmist! Traitor! Appeaser! Liar!

I will let the heckling die down a bit before I proceed to explain myself.

Can I go on now?

As I was saying, the last stake was driven into the heart of ODM at that KANU revival rally at Uhuru Park.

Why do I say this?

When you have one of the Deputy Leaders of ODM; two members of the ODM Pentagon; one of the Vice-Chairmen of ODM; the Deputy Secretary General of ODM and more than half of ODM’s elected members of parliament showing up to denounce their own party and more specifically, their Party Leader who happens to be one of the Co-Principals of the Grand Coalition Government, then it is pretty obvious that there is no party unity; no party cohesion; no party discipline and consequence one is staring at an empty shell, an apparition.

According to some very credible sources within ODM, the party lost a key part of its old Rift Valley stronghold and cannot really count on sections of northern Kenya. The source clarified that this was in reference to the Kalenjin dominated counties of the North and South Rift rather than the whole of the old Rift Valley province because the Maasai sections are still firmly within ODM.

The death of ODM is obviously bad news for the majority party in the country.

But paradoxically, this is the BEST NEWS that could have happened to Raila Odinga at this point in time.


Is Onyango Oloo DRUNK???!!!

Of course not.

Once again, let me explain myself.

I remember writing a position paper for ODM way back in October 2005, at the height of the first referendum campaign. I argued that the leaders of ODM had started ON THE WRONG FOOTING. I questioned why progressive democrats like Raila Odinga and Anyang’ Nyongo were seeking common cause with opportunists and die hard KANU stalwarts like Kalonzo Musyoka, William Ruto, Dalmas Otieno and others. I remember being met with a palpable stony hostile silence as if I had urinated in church during a packed wedding ceremony.

Nevertheless I believe time has vindicated my initial skepticism from six years ago.

I am today, in April 2011, calling upon Raila Amolo Odinga to do EIGHT THINGS WITHIN THE NEXT THREE MONTHS:

1. Jettison the KANU crowd in whatever partisan shape or ethnic form they come in. Some of them are in Nyanza, Western, Central as well as the Rift Valley and northern Kenya and the Coast. He should consider those who have decamped to PNU as GOOD RIDDANCE OF BAD RUBBISH. Use the upcoming ODM elections to bring in new blood-even if it means losing many parliamentary seats before 2012. This will prove to be only a temporary set back.

2. Revert back to his ORIGINAL power base- the left leaning national democratic forces consisting of tried and tested Kenyan patriots. Some of these veterans of the democratic struggle are militant nationalists; some of them are sincere liberal democrats; others are consistent social democrats while some of us are unabashed Marxist-Leninists. We have endured the dungeons of Kamiti, Naivasha, Shimo la Tewa not to forget the water logged cells of Nyayo House with Raila Odinga and his comrades. We started fighting for multi-party democracy long before it became fashionable and most of us were NOT dreaming of ministerial flags and parliamentary perks. In fact, most of us are very far from such superficial trappings of power and privilege.

3. Avoid using particular individual politicians to “deliver” their ethnic constituencies. Najib does not represent the Swahili, Arab or Mijikenda vote in Mombasa. Omingo Magara does not equal the Abagusii. Mohamed Ali is not representative of the Borana or the Upper Eastern communities. And yes William Ruto is NOT the king of the Kalenjin. Instead use the precepts in our new constitution to appeal to KENYANS, irrespective of ethnicity, region, religion, gender, age ability/disability.

4. Work with progressive members from the so called PNU territory to create a democratic beachhead in that part of the country. I have been speaking to my Tharaka, Imenti, Chuka, Tigania, Nyambene, Embu, Ndia, Muranga, Kiambu, Nyeri, Kinangop, Nyahururu friends, to name just a few who are as fed up with the ethnic chest thumping by some of the chauvinistic politicians from the Central Kenya, Meru, Embu and Central Rift regions as millions of other Kenyans from other parts of the country. In this connection, Raila Odinga should try very hard to forge alliances with people like Martha Karua, Kilemi Mwiria, Peter Kenneth, Gitobu Imanyara and other progressive voices. I am aware that some of this is already underway but more can and should be done.

5. Launch a National Democratic Movement from the grass roots which transcends the narrow and parochial confines of the existing but crumbling ODM/PNU/NARC-Kenya/FORD-Kenya and ODM-Kenya fault lines. Of course in a separate aside, it is the task of the Kenyan Left to steer the ideological direction of this proposed national movement.

6. Make implementation of the constitution the corner stone of Raila Odinga’s public pronouncements from henceforth. There should be earnest and urgent attempts to seek common ground with the politically conscious and democratic sections of Kenyan civil society.

7. Do NOT ignore the resurgence of the Kenyan Youth in the country’s dispensation. They represent a big chunk of the electorate and can not be ignored- especially in terms of being catapulted into positions of power at party, county and national levels.

8. Ensure that the political process is gendered and integrates Kenyan women at the highest echelons of power.

I could say more, but I am tired of writing this digital essay.

Onyango Oloo
Mombasa, Kenya
April 13, 2011