Friday, October 12, 2012

Who Will Be Sleeping in State House in 2013?

A Digital Essay by Onyango Oloo, Secretary for Ideology, Social Democratic Party of Kenya

The most important piece of political news in the world at the beginning of October 2012 was the re-election of Hugo Chavez as President of Venezuela for the 2013-2019 period. He vanquished Henrique Capriles Radonski   his right wing opponent from the Roundtable of Democratic Unity coalition (MUD). It will be his third term in office under the 1999 constitution, and is his fourth election as Venezuelan president since 1998.

 Voter turnout was an astounding 81%-the highest rate of participation in the history of Venezuela-and Chavez won 55.11%, to Capriles’ 44.27.The socialist president also won a majority in 22 of Venezuela’s 24 regional states, including the capital district and, by 0.5%, in Miranda, where Capriles is governor. The opposition candidate won in the Andean states of Merida and Tachira.

Not bad for a leader pilloried in the West as a “Communist tyrant.”

Owen Jones, certainly no socialist, wrote in the October 8, 2012 edition of Britain’s Independent newspaper:
Is all the Western media coverage that portrays him as a dictator by chance related to his politics? Here in Venezuela, the truth is very clear to see. 
If much of the Western media is to believed, I write this column from a country brutalized by an absurd tinpot caudillo, Hugo Chavez, who routinely jails any journalist or politician with the temerity to speak out against his tyranny. 
According to Toby Young, Venezuela is ruled by a “Marxist tyrant” and a “Communist dictator”. Chavez’s defeated opponent in Sunday’s presidential elections, Henrique Capriles, was portrayed by contrast as an inspiring, dynamic democrat determined to end Venezuela’s failed socialist experiment and open the country to much-needed foreign investment.The reality of Venezuela could not be more distant from the coverage, but the damage is done: even many on the left regard Chavez as beyond the pale. Those who challenge the narrative are dismissed as “useful idiots”, following in the footsteps of the likes of Beatrice and Sidney Webb who, in the 1930s, lauded Stalin’s Russia, oblivious to the real horrors.Venezuela is a funny sort of “dictatorship”. The private media enjoys a 90 per cent audience share and routinely pump out vitriolic anti-Chavez propaganda, pro-opposition areas are plastered with billboards featuring Capriles’ smiling face, and jubilant anti-Chavez rallies are a regular event across the country.Venezuelans went to the polls on Sunday for the 15th time since Hugo Chavez was first elected in 1999: all of those previous elections were judged as free by international observers, including ex-US President Jimmy Carter, who described the country’s election process as “the best in the world”. When Chavez lost a constitutional referendum in 2007, he accepted the result. Before his massive registration drives, many poor people could not vote. In stark contrast to most Western democracies, over 80 per cent of Venezuelans turned out to vote in Sunday’s presidential elections.Even opponents of Chavez told me that he is the first Venezuelan president to care about the poor. Since his landslide victory in 1998, extreme poverty has dropped from nearly a quarter to 8.6 per cent last year; unemployment has halved; and GDP per capita has more than doubled. Rather than ruining the economy – as his critics allege – oil exports have surged from $14.4bn to $60bn in 2011, providing revenue to spend on Chavez’s ambitious social programmes, the so-called “missions”.

Do we have a Hugo Chavez among the several Presidential aspirants in Kenya?

That was a rhetorical question.

It is just but a few months before our own hugely anticipated elections here in Kenya, the first to be held under the auspices of the constitution promulgated in August 2010.

We will be electing a raft of representatives in six categories at both the national and county levels.

Needless to say, the Presidency still holds sway.

Ironically, our current constitution whittled away most of the former draconian powers of the executive.

But there is still a wide disconnect between the democratic aspirations of our constitution and the lust for political power and economic  dominance among and across the factions and fractions of our neo-colonial comprador bourgeoisie who are determined to maintain control of  what is increasingly taking on the character of a bastardized  Narco-State in its reconfigured form both at the centre and the county levels. 

Already many fat cats-several of them known drug dealers, war lords and unconvicted fraudsters and plunderers of the economy-are lining themselves up to  be  president, governors, senators, members of parliament and county representatives of one kind or the other.

More than 2007, the 2013 elections are likely to witness an even more garish and rapacious attempt by the Kenyan comprador bourgeoisie to harness their financial clout, access to state offices and institutions as well as the multi-layered ethno-class privileges to buttress their sway over the millions of impoverished Kenyans. 

From ongoing indications, these elite forces are already stoking the flames and flares of clannism, creed, ethnicity and regionalism to carve for themselves a niche in the mosaic of personality-based fiefdoms across the country.

All of this is unfolding in sharp contrast to the spirit and letter of the constitution which defines Kenya as a multi-party democracy and underscores the sovereignty of the people of Kenya.

The leading presidential candidates in their boisterous and often raucous rallies and public pronunciamentoes  are blithely trashing Kenya’s political pluralism as they declare either that the race to State is a “two horse race” or underscore of cobbling  together a putrid tribal alliance for the express parochial purpose to block individual politicians from ascending to certain high offices.

Against this back drop, the print and electronic media with the usual gaggle of political soothsayers and hyper ventilating pundits with whom they enjoy a symbiotic co-existence continue to trumpet the much ballyhooed “Kibaki Succession” talk-misguided in the sense that Kenya is not a monarchy where a leader is “inherited” or “succeeded”.

The question still remains, who will be President of Kenya in 2013?

But before we proceed further we must ask what appears on the surface,  a very silly question:

Will we have elections in the first place, in 2013?

Some of us who live in and around Nairobi may have been privy to a document that has been doing the rounds within certain progressive circles.

That document mulls over four possible scenarios:

Scenario  One,  the  Harmony  scenario  is  where  preparations  for  a  free  and  fair  election offers Kenyans an opportunity to elect a credible government led by a  President who does not carry the baggage of our regrettable past. Such a great leader will unify and secure the nation, transform the economy and create jobs and   opportunities   while   facilitating   social   justice   for   the   majority.   In   one  sentence,  lead  Kenyans  to  build  a  great,  prosperous  and  proud  nation.  This scenario is unlikely because the ingredients for this result are nowhere in place today. This election is going to be a rerun of the incomplete 2007 election under different circumstances and may be with different faces on the ballot.

Scenario  Two,  the  Limping  Scenario,  is  where  Kenyans  use  the  next  election  to  settle for what Dr. Archbishop David Gitari calls the lesser of the evil on offer in  the  election  given  our  political  culture  and  realities.  This means that Kenyans shall go for a government steered by a president who shall Not actually break the back of impunity, corruption and tribalism but a government that shall be benign
in its greed and criminal tendencies and that will possibly allow institutions to perform and deliver justice.

Scenario Three, the Impunity Scenario is where those who fear that accountability  will end their privilege and see them punished for their crimes against the people  Kenya  will  gang  together,  mobilize  numbers  and  get  a  corrupt  and  vicious  government elected to secure their status of enjoying the fruits of impunity.

Scenario Four, the Military scenario is where the legion of impunity does not trust that they can insulate themselves from accountability by rigging themselves into power alone because under the new constitution the personalization of power is deterred. Their agenda is how to suspend the constitution by having a military takeover.  In this scenario, the impunity plotters who control the intelligence,financial  and  security  sectors  as  well  as  the  information  channels  (including  CCK?)  in  Kenya  in  toto  will  sponsor  the  escalation  of  violence  and  general  insecurity across the nation blaming it on Al Shabab and other disgraced actors.

By the beginning of 2013 the country will be under a huge cloud of violence and terrorist-spawned insecurity that will be used as a pretext for the declaration of the state of emergency.  MRC,  Al  Shabab  and  Mungiki  will  be  blamed  for  this  ugly scenario. In the end the military will “arrest” Kibaki from State House and  detain him at the Langata Barracks for being responsible for the instability and insecurity and general despondence  in  the  country.    The constitution will be suspended and the military will assure investors and Kenyans that security shall be restored and elections to return the country to civilian rule shall be after one year.  The  beneficiaries  of  this  scenario  are  The  Hague  Four,  the  hundreds  of  middle and lower level PEV perpetrators who do not want to see the day when they  are  finally  brought  to  justice  and  President  Kibaki  himself.  The  current  National Assembly will be co-opted into this machination because nearly 2/3 of  the members of the National Assembly stand for impunity and will cherish the  continued  patronage  of  the  merchants  of  impunity.  Those who are for the Limping and Harmony scenarios in parliament are in the minority.

When  you  look  at  the  stakes  involved  in  this  election,  the  first  under  the  new  constitution, you realize that the stakes cannot be higher. People in the impunity legion have everything to lose if the elections were conducted freely and fairly and in time. The ICC  trials are no longer a farfetched narrative it was in 2010  now  looking  at  the  fate  that  Charles  Taylor  and  Lubanga  have  met  under  the  mechanisms of international justice. Those 50 years Taylor received brought the reality of criminal accountability home to the Kenyan nation. It is anticipated that the Ocampo 4 will not be at The Hague in September to take the plea. This means that warrants of arrest will be issued.  That  will  demand  that  the  impunity  plotters  will  apply  all  resources  towards  having  one  of  their  own  elected  to  ensure that the Warrants of Arrest are not executed. It is very unlikely that they  are  going  to  support  one  of  the  others  from  the  so  called  anti-reform  platoon  because  that  is  no  assurance  whatsoever  that  they  will  be  insulated  from  prosecution and accountability given the state system established under the new  constitution. It is do or die.    In  fact  when  you  see  that  the  people  who  stand  to  lose  most  if  a  free  and  fair  election  were  to  be  held  currently  control  the  security  apparatus,  the  financial,  intelligence and information power, then it becomes clear why they are not going  to relinquish power and lose all that advantage. In other words because Kenyans  cannot  guarantee  them  “safe  exit”,  they  will  then  secure  their  safety  and  freedom  by  retaining  these  four  instruments  of  power  and  use  them  to  silence resistance  and  throw  out  the  current  constitutional  order  which  is  a  great  inconvenience  to  them.  Given  the  situation  in  Sudan,  Somalia  and  the  DRC  generally, I am not sure that the international community cannot trade off the  freedom and democracy of our nation to buy “Security and stability” from the  securocrats  if  they  were  to  take  over  power  through  a  bloodless  and  stage
managed coup. And for me the role of China in Kenya may prove decisive when matters get to this stage. Unfortunately, and paradoxically in the current state of  things it the PNU wing which seems to be in love with China where as the ODM  side which has people formerly associated with the left seems to lean towards the  West more now. When I see how China has played the decisive role of propping  the  decadent  ZANU-PF  regime  in  Zimbabwe  including  supplying  weapons,  tractors,  oil  and  other  essential  amenities  through  Angola, I get  convinced  that  China is going to play a decisive role in Kenya’s democratic evolution.

With our civil society not willing to steward the nation or with most civil society  organizations  infiltrated  and  rendered  weak  through  self  censorship  or  limited  by   its   donor   project   character;   the   religious   leadership   delegitimized,   the  democracy movement dispersed to atoms and Kenyans hopelessly tied to their  little ethnic and tribal tethers, the impunity scenario looks like the luckiest we are  going to get. 

However if you were to look at the stakes involved in this elections,  the  military  scenario  is  what  the  architects  of  darkness  would  want  for  the  nation. They would have every motivation and determination to push this policy to the end.  

The author of the document excerpted above is a well known Kenyan civil society activist AND political party leader. Since he has not authorized me to name him publicly, I will not do so.

Are the four scenarios likely or possible?

As I let that thought linger and percolate in what I hope is   by now, a slightly disturbed mind, I would want to zoom backwards into the European mid 20th Century past and talk of a dead man who once lived in the country called Bulgaria.

That man was named 
Georgi Dimitrov.

Who was he and why is he relevant to Kenyans in the year 2012?

He was a communist who later became his country’s head of state after many years of living as an exile.

You can find out more information about him at this Wikipedia link.

That is not why some of us remember him and definitely not the reason I am bringing up his name in this essay. Dimitrov’s main contribution to the world is found in his reflections on how progressive forces could combat the main threat to the world in those days:


Here is an excerpt from an extensive report he gave in 1935, two years after the Germans had ELECTED Adolf Hitler as Prime Minister of Germany and four years before the same Hitler in cahoots with fellow fascist Benito Mussolini plunged Europe and the world into a bloody imperialist war:
Was the victory of fascism inevitable in Germany? No, the German working class could have prevented it. But in order to do so, it should have achieved a united anti-fascist proletarian front, and forced the Social-Democratic leaders to discontinue their campaign against the Communists and to accept the repeated proposals of the Communist Party for united action against fascism. When fascism was on the offensive and the bourgeois-democratic liberties were being progressively abolished by the bourgeoisie, it should not have contented itself with the verbal resolutions of the Social-Democrats, but should have replied by a genuine mass struggle, which would have made the fulfilment of the fascist plans of the German bourgeoisie more difficult. It should not have allowed the prohibition of the League of Red Front Fighters by the government of Braun and Severing 6), and should have established fighting contact between the League and the Reichsbanner 7), with its nearly one million members, and should have compelled Braun and Severing to arm both these organizations in order to resist and smash the fascist bands. It should have compelled the Social-Democratic leaders who headed the Prussian government to adopt measures of defence against fascism, arrest the fascist leaders, close down their press, confiscate their material resources and the resources of the capitalists who were financing the fascist movement, dissolve the fascist organizations, deprive them of their weapons, and so forth. Furthermore, it should have secured the re-establishment and extension of all forms of social assistance and the introduction of a moratorium and crisis benefits for the peasants -- who were being ruined under the impact of crisis -- by taxing the banks and the trusts, in this way winning the support of the working peasants. It was the fault of the Social-Democrats of Germany that this was not done, and that is why fascism was able to triumph. Was it inevitable that the bourgeoisie and the aristocracy should have triumphed in Spain, a country where the forces of proletarian revolt are so advantageously combined with a peasant war? The Spanish Socialists were in the government from the first days of the revolution. Did they establish fighting contact between the working class organizations of every political opinion, including the Communists and the Anarchists, and did they weld the working class into a united trade union organization? Did they demand the confiscation of all lands of the landlords, the church and the monasteries in favor of the peasants in order to win over the latter to the side of the revolution? Did they attempt to fight for national self-determination for the Catalonians and the Basques, and for the liberation of Morocco? Did they purge the army of monarchist and fascist elements and prepare it for passing over to the side of the workers and peasants? Did they dissolve the Civil Guard, so detested by the people, the executioner of every movement of the people? Did they strike at the fascist party of Gil Robles and at the might of the Catholic church? No, they did none of these things. They rejected the frequent proposals of the Communists for united action against the offensive of the bourgeois-landlord reaction and fascism; they passed election laws which enabled the reactionaries to gain a majority in the Cortes (parliament), laws which penalized the popular movement, laws under which the heroic miners of Asturias are now being tried. They had peasants who were fighting for land shot by the Civil Guard, and so on. This is the way in which the Social-Democrats, by disorganizing and splitting the ranks of the working class, cleared the path to power for fascism in Germany, Austria and Spain. Comrades, fascism also attained power for the reason that the proletariat found itself isolated from its natural allies. Fascism attained power because it was able to win over large masses of the peasantry, owing to the fact that the Social-Democrats in the name of the working class pursued what was in fact an anti-peasant policy. The peasant saw in power a number of Social-Democratic governments, which in his eyes were an embodiment of the power of the working class; but not one of them put an end to peasant want, none of them gave land to the peasantry. In Germany, the Social-Democrats did not touch the landlords; they combated the strikes of the farm laborers, with the result that long before Hitler came to power the farm laborers of Germany were deserting the reformist trade unions and in the majority of cases were going over to the Stahlhelm and to the National Socialists. Fascism also attained power for the reason that it was able to penetrate into the ranks of the youth, whereas the Social-Democrats diverted the working class youth from the class struggle, while the revolutionary proletariat did not develop the necessary educational work among the youth and did not pay enough attention to the struggle for its specific interests and demands. Fascism grasped the very acute need of the youth for militant activity, and enticed a considerable section of the youth into its fighting detachments. The new generation of young men and women has not experienced the horrors of war. They have felt the full weight of the economic crisis, unemployment and the disintegration of bourgeois democracy. But, seeing no prospects for the future, large sections of the youth proved to be particularly receptive to fascist demagogy, which depicted for them an alluring future should fascism succeed. In this connection, we cannot avoid referring also to a number of mistakes made by the Communist Parties, mistakes that hampered our struggle against fascism. In our ranks there was an impermissible underestimation of the fascist danger, a tendency which to this day has not everywhere been overcome. A case in point is the opinion formerly to be met with in our Parties that "Germany is not Italy," meaning that fascism may have succeeded in Italy, but that its success in Germany was out of the question, because the latter is an industrially and culturally highly developed country, with forty years of traditions of the working-class movement, in which fascism was impossible. Or the kind of opinion which is to be met with nowadays, to the effect that in countries of "classical" bourgeois democracy the soil for fascism does not exist. Such opinions have served and may serve to relax vigilance towards the fascist danger, and to render the mobilization of the proletariat in the struggle against fascism more difficult. One might also cite quite a few instances where Communists were taken unawares by the fascist coup. Remember Bulgaria, where the leadership of our Party, took up a "neutral," but in fact opportunist, position with regard to the coup d'├ętat of June 9, 1923; Poland, where in May 1926 the leadership of the Communist Party, making a wrong estimate of the motive forces of the Polish revolution, did not realize the fascist nature of Pilsudski's coup, and trailed in the rear of events; Finland, where our Party based itself on a false conception of slow and gradual fascization and overlooked the fascist coup which was being prepared by the leading group of the bourgeoisie and which took the Party and the working class unawares. When National Socialism had already become a menacing mass movement in Germany, there were comrades who regarded the Bruening government as already a government of fascist dictatorship, and who boastfully declared: "If Hitler's Third Reich ever comes about, it will be six feet underground, and above it will be the victorious power of the workers." Our comrades in Germany for a long time failed to fully reckon with the wounded national sentiments and the indignation of the masses against the Versailles Treaty; they treated as of little account the waverings of the peasantry and petty bourgeoisie; they were late in drawing up their program of social and national emancipation, and when they did put it forward they were unable to adapt it to the concrete demands and to the level of the masses. They were even unable to popularize it widely among the masses. In a number of countries, the necessary development of a mass fight against fascism was replaced by barren debates on the nature of fascism "in general" and by a narrow sectarian attitude in formulating and solving the immediate political tasks of the Party. Comrades, it is not simply because we want to dig up the past that we speak of the causes of the victory of fascism, that we point to the historical responsibility of the Social Democrats for the defeat of the working class, and that we also point out our own mistakes in the fight against fascism. We are not historians divorced from living reality; we, active fighters of the working class, are obliged to answer the question that is tormenting millions of workers: Can the victory of fascism be prevented, and how? And we reply to these millions of workers: Yes, comrades, the road to fascism can be blocked. It is quite possible. It depends on ourselves-on the workers, the peasants and all working people. Whether the victory of fascism can be prevented depends first and foremost on the militant activity of the working class itself, on whether its forces are welded into a single militant army combating the offensive of capitalism and fascism. By establishing its fighting unity, the proletariat would paralyze the influence of fascism over the peasantry, the urban petty bourgeoisie, the youth and the intelligentsia, and would be able to neutralize one section of them and win over the other section. Second, it depends on the existence of a strong revolutionary party, correctly leading the struggle of the working people against fascism. A party which systematically calls on the workers to retreat in the face of fascism and permits the fascist bourgeoisie to strengthen its positions is doomed to lead the workers to defeat. Third, it depends on a correct policy of the working class towards the peasantry and the petty-bourgeois masses of the towns. These masses must be taken as they are, and not as we should like to have them. It is in the process of the struggle that they will overcome their doubts and waverings. It is only by a patient attitude towards their inevitable waverings, it is only by the political help of the proletariat, that they will be able to rise to a higher level of revolutionary consciousness and activity. Fourth, it depends on the vigilance and timely action of the revolutionary proletariat. The latter must not allow fascism to take it unawares, it must not surrender the initiative to fascism, but must inflict decisive blows on it before it can gather its forces, it must not allow fascism to consolidate its position, it must repel fascism wherever and whenever it rears its head, it must not allow fascism to gain new positions. This is what the French proletariat is so successfully trying to do.

Excerpts from The Fascist Offensive and the Tasks of the Communist International in the Struggle of the Working Class against Fascism, Main Report delivered by   Georgi Dimitrov
at the Seventh World Congress of the Communist International, August 2, 1935.

Without delving too much into the details with the accompanying Marxist-Leninist jargon, simply put, Dimitrov was saying that the best time to fight fascism is BEFORE it comes to power and that the people to lead this onslaught are the most radical and progressive political forces in society.

21st Century Kenya is certainly NOT mid-20th Century Europe.

However, the urgent need to consolidate the democratic gains achieved in Kenya through struggle over the last thirty years cannot be overemphasized.

It is important that the forces of social justice, democracy, sustainable development, gender equality, youth empowerment and constitutionalism maintain the upswing, the moment which picked up especially after the defeat of the Moi-KANU Uhuru Project in 2002 and the patriotic victory following the promulgation of the Kenyan Constitution in August 2010.

Kenyans cannot afford to revert to the status quo ante-the period of arbitrary arrests and detentions without trial; kangaroo trials; pork barrel tribal politics; state instigated violence; grand corruption; grand larceny; official misogyny, anti-youth bias; religious bigotry and other forms of backward and reactionary policies at the national, county, constituency, municipal and ward levels.

We can choose to fret, whine, quake and shake about the chilling possibility of a nefarious putschist plot or we can opt for the more sensible option:

Maintain eternal vigilance and redouble our efforts in steadfastly implementing our new constitutional order.

If the matters raised in the document I cited at the beginning of this essay are credible, then we should collectively heave a sigh of thankful relief for as they say, to be forewarned is to be forearmed.

That being said, I suggest we put these baleful scenarios in the parking lot for a few minutes while we go back to the original question:

Who will be the President of Kenya in 2013?

Well, I can tell you straight away who will NOT be President:

Bifwoli Wakoli.Mutava Musyimi. Ole Kiyiapi.Kingwa Kamencu.Eugene Wamalwa. Raphael Tuju. Charity Ngilu. Moses Wetangula.Peter Kenneth.Kalonzo Musyoka.Cyrus Jirongo.

Rule all of them out.

At least three of them have already ruled themselves out.

That leaves Martha Karua, Raila Odinga, Uhuru Kenyatta, William Ruto and Musalia Mudavadi.

One of them is going to be the President of Kenya.

Two of them have a modicum of reform credentials.

Four of them have major mainstream connections and underpinnings.

All of them come from Big Tribe backgrounds.

If we were to go by depth of pocket, then the leading candidates would be Uhuru Kenyatta, followed by Raila Odinga, then William Ruto with Martha and Mudavadi bringing up the rear.

If we were to go by ethnic constituencies, then Uhuru Kenyatta will be leading the pack in terms of single regional blocs while Raila would wipe out that lead if Gikuyuphobia played a part in voting patterns.

If we were to go by reformist credentials then it would be Raila and Martha at the frontlines with Ms. Karua’s gender being both a positive (there is a huge chunk of female voters) and a negative (patriarchy, sexism and misogyny is systemically embedded in Kenyans that often even women opt to vote for male candidates even when there are strong credible women on the ballot).

If we were to factor in the ICC process, then Ruto and Uhuru are automatically KAPUT.

Mudavadi’s apparent “strength”-his colourless Boy Next Door image- is also his main drawback:

He lacks a political spine.

When I was growing up in Mombasa as a teenager in the mid to late seventies, I was quite the Holy Joe who started teaching Sunday school at the age of nine. I didn’t curse. I did not smoke Sportsman, SM or Embassy cigarettes like my cousin Evans two years my senior who started sucking on the cancer sticks at the age of eight.

I was so painfully shy that it took me FOUR years (13 to 17) to tell my upstairs neighbour Angelina Chepchumba in Tononoka that I had an undying crush on her upon which she humiliated me further by laughing derisively in my face informing me, by the way, that that she saw me as a YOUNGER brother (she was one year my junior as a matter of fact) and in any case she went out with MEN rather than schoolboys.

 I noticed that I was not alone. All the goody two shoe guys like David (as I was then known) did NOT get the girl. Instead that hot chick went for the nastiest, skankiest toilet mouth in the mtaa. He was often that mean looking matatu conductor; the boy from down the  street who sold marijuana to your live in  job seeking uncle who monopolized the bed you were hoping to inherit once you hit 15; he  was what the African-Americans call the “bad boy” and Jamaicans refer to as the "rude boy”.

In the contemporary Kenyan political scene, Mudavadi is the choir boy, the altar boy while Uhuru is the “bad boy”, Ruto is the “rude boy”, Raila is the “bhangi peddler” who can hook you up with those expensive text books and leaked papers you need to swot on to pass your “O” levels. Even Martha Karua can be the “rude girl” the “freaky zonked out bitch” because after all, she may know one or two things about covering up stridently for a sneaky electoral thief who swears themselves into office after sunset in a shady suburban back yard.

Guess who will get busy with the pretty girl on the third landing of that dark stair case after she has lied to her mom that she needs to buy that maths exercise book?

Not your guy Musalia.

He has to wait for his parents to fix him with a wife for life in an arranged set up with some family friends.

Too bland to rule.

No oomph.

No kaboom boom.

In Kenya you need that malevolent kick, that subversive edge.

Where is the sleaze?

Where is the hate speech?

Where are the clandes?
The nyumba ndogos?

The Chips Fungas?

Some mischievous wag whispered to me with a wink and a twinkle that MM,  the former Mean Machine rugger player is no playa but has a Mgikuyu Gachungwa stashed away in Kitale, but THAT is of course a “malicious rumour” manufactured by Musalia’s jealous, vengeful political rivals.

Where is the political assassination?

The rigged out opponents or post election violent carnage?

Musalia can only cite in his defence that whiff of Goldenberg and wisp of cemetery odour.

That’s it!

On a more serious note though, what in fact, does Musalia Mudavadi stand for?

I once read somewhere that when you are trying to brand yourself, you need to create a CATEGORY WHERE YOU ARE THE ONLY MEMBER in order to distinguish yourself from the others.

You need to be a Ferrari or a Jaguar standing apart from all those gazillions of  Subaru’s, Toyotas, Hondas and Hyundais; you are the Samsung Tab 11 looking down on the Tecnos, Jibambes and Mulika Mwizis;  you are the David Rudisha who can be distinguished from the  scrawny and famished scared petty thief dashing into the kichochoro around the junction with the stolen sufuria; you are the chick rocking the original Bvlgari or Elizabeth Arden scent above the stench of fake cheap knock offs peddled surreptitiously in Eastliegh or Shauri Moyo.

To what extent are Uhuru, Raila, Ruto and Karua brand names?

And do these brands appeal to the mass market or the haute couture designer set?

The pollsters glibly tell us that it is neck and neck when it comes to Raila and Uhuru.

The son of Jomo is banking on a multi-tribal elite alliance to help him play the ABR (Anybody But Raila) card to regain access to the palace he played in as a real kamwana.

The son of Jaramogi on the other hand wants to cash in on his family’s claims on the reform agenda mantle.

But is the reform agenda synonymous with Henry Kosgey?

Is Dalmas Otieno the face of progressive democratic transformation in Kenya?

Is Amos Wako the harbinger of the judiciary’s overhaul?

Where are the Chelagat Mutais, the Karimi Nduthus, the Tirop Kiturs, Onyango Oloos and the Mwandawiro Mghangas of  yesteryear?

Are they ALL in ODM?

If the presidential contest is going to be a wrestling tag match pitting the forces of reform against the forces of impunity then Raila Odinga will need three or four extra hands in his corner.

ODM as presently constituted, is simply TOO NARROW, TOO PAROCHIAL to qualify as the VANGUARD of the progressive Reform camp.

Many of the ODM MPs-especially the ones from Nyanza- rigged themselves to parliament and do not have a chance of being re-elected on ANY party ticket.

Some of the functionaries at the Office of the Prime Minister have corruption scandals swirling around them like a bunch of house flies on a rural urchin’s smelly buttocks after a trip to the pit latrine.

A handful of the operatives in lobby groups like FORA are well-meaning technocrats WITHOUT A CLUE how to carry out POLITICAL MOBILIZATION among the ordinary wananchi.

That is why ODM should climb down from its high horse of thinking it can go it alone and start negotiating with those small parties like SDP that Raila Amolo Odinga dismisses as “donkeys”.

Talk of “farasi” and “punda” is to put it bluntly, UNCONSTITUTIONAL because the Chapter Two, Section 2 of the Constitution states that:

“The Republic of Kenya shall be a multi-party democratic State founded on the national values and principles of governance referred to in Article 10.”

The multi-party character of our emerging national democratic state is the surest safeguard and bulwark against the forces of impunity, reaction and “watermelonishness”.

To summarize:
  1. ODM should convene a Special 2 Day Retreat by November 15, 2012 bringing together progressive political parties big and small, to chart together a Common Reform Agenda for the 2013 Elections. Among the parties I have in mind are ODM, SDP, NARC-Kenya, NARC, PPK, CCM, New Democrats, Saba Saba Asili and many others. The other objective of this retreat is to create a Broad Alliance for Reforms.
  2. Once this alliance is formed, it should then seek ways of working with the progressive sections of civil society including a broad range of NGOs, CBOs, trade unions, women, faith groups, professional bodies and the like.
  3. I have 15 additional points but why should I allow my brain to be picked for free in a digital essay when I can negotiate a decent fee to craft a comprehensive position paper paid for by ODM and all these parties I am talking about?
In all seriousness though, if ODM can seriously consider some of the proposals I am putting forth and implement the same, then I am convinced Raila Odinga will be the next President of Kenya.

If they ignore voices from the wilderness such as Onyango Oloo's then Kenyans can brace themselves for the possibility of Uhuru Kenyatta being sworn in as President of Kenya from a well known Dutch city.

Onyango Oloo
Nairobi, Kenya
Friday, October 12, 2012