Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Jubilee to Rule Kenya for the Next 20 Years?

A Digital Essay by Onyang Oloo

Over this very past weekend, I bought a stack of Nairobi-based news publications.

Apart from my regular staples- the Star, the Daily Nation and the Standard- I also picked up a couple of tabloids for my titillation as well as the somewhat cerebral East African (I always look forward to Muthoni Wanyeki’s weekly column and the occasional op-ed from Tee Ngugi among others) and The Counties, launched last year by the Standard Group.

I spent hours poring over the words in the newsprint, reading on and off through Saturday, picking the Sunday papers the next day and voraciously nibbling at the Monday dailies as well.

Two headlines stood out for me.

From The Counties, this story:

Uhuru, Ruto work on Jubilee’s 20-year rule

Where I read inter alia that:

The Jubilee government has set its eyes on how to first remain in power for the next 20 years by ensuring that President Uhuru Kenyatta is succeeded by Deputy President William Ruto.

And then I turn to the front page headline in the  November 11th edition of the Daily Nation:

Quit Call by Ruto ally rocks Jubilee

Informing us that:

A senator allied to Deputy President William Ruto has demanded the resignation of more than 10 top government officials whom he accuses of “coaching witnesses” to implicate Mr. Ruto at the International Criminal Court. In a statement likely to rock the Jubilee Coalition, Kericho Senator Charles Keter-one of Mr. Ruto’s closest allies-sensationally called for the resignation of the unnamed officials, threatening that if they did not, they will be forced out of office.

Is there a connection between these two headlines from different publications?

We shall see, won’t we?

 Don’t get off the matatu-we have just begun our digital cruise, navigating through the bumpy, pot holed dilapidated, traffic jammed Jogoo Roads of Kenyan politics.

Back to the 20 year Jubilee pledge to govern Kenya without interruption.

When is the last time Kenyans heard something eerily reminiscent?

Oh yes, back in nineties, the salad days of Mtukufu Rais, Mheshimiwa Daniel Toroitich arap Moi, Tawala Tawala…

That is the time when KANU day dreamers were rubbing their corruption fattened fingers and repression hardened palms together in glee, chortling how KANU would misrule Kenya for the NEXT HUNDRED YEARS.

If memory serves me right, William Ruto graduated from being a linchpin of Youth for KANU 92 to being KANU’s Director of Elections to being KANU Secretary General before he got the ultimate promotion of  being KANU’s –sorry Jubilee’s Deputy President in March 2013. Uhuru Kenyatta started off as a nominated KANU MP before crashing out as Moi’s KANU failed project in 2002, reemerging as KANU’s Official Leader of the Opposition, selling out to campaign for Kibaki in 2007, having the dubious distinction of being indicted at the ICC while running for the top office in the land before somehow wangling the KANU-oops! - Jubilee Presidential crown earlier this year.

KANU’s fantasy of dominating Kenyan politics for an entire century in turn evokes another day dream from another continent over seventy years ago.

I am talking of the determination of the Third Reich to rule for 1,000 years- that’s right: TEN TIMES THE NUMBER OF YEARS KANU had set for its unbridled dictatorship.

Now for the younger generation of Kenyan  Illuminati searching, Tweeting Facebookers who live in cyberspace but have never heard of the  Third Reich–despite the fact that Google is on stand by eager to make online  friends only a  click away- the Third Reich was the fascist, totalitarian European regime unleashed upon Germany and the rest of Europe by one of history’s most blood thirsty racist  killers, the 

NAZI Fuhrer, Adolf Hitler whose CV includes gassing at least six million innocent Jews, gays, communists, disabled people and minorities; invading his European neighbours; unleashing the Second Imperialist War which lasted from 1939 to 1945 in a quest to put in place his 1,000 Year Reich Dictatorship before a  combined force of French, Polish, Italian, Greek resistance fighters, Anglo-American invading troops and advancing Communist formations from the Soviet Union toppled this macabre, dastardly, inhuman and brutal Nazi  force, which had the Italian fascist despot 

Benito Mussolini as a junior partner.

Closer to our time, another  buffoon and tyrant, our departed and unlamented Ugandan neighbour Idi Amin Dada declared himself the

“Conqueror of the British Empire” while his cartoonish,  quixotic pal  

Jean Bedel Bokassa  with delusions of being  the Central African reincarnation of yet another expired  tyrant, Napoleon Bonaparte,   in a surreal spectacle, crowning  himself “Emperor” of his impoverished, tiny neo-colonial backwater banana republic  in between storing uneaten human body parts in his royal refrigerator for a mid night snack.

So our 21st Century Made in Kenya Jubilee overseers and slave drivers are in splendid, blood stained historical company-Hitler, Mussolini, Amin, Napoleon, Bokassa and throwing in 

Haiti’s Papa AND Baby Doc Duvalier as a bonus!


I mean…

How RIDICULOUS can one get?

I mean, wasn’t it just the other day that we Kenyans overwhelming passed, celebrated and promulgated the 2010 Kenyan Constitution which affirmed our democratic destiny and social justice trajectory?

Where are all these silly, repressive, undemocratic hallucinations of an unbroken JUBILEE MONARCHY coming from?

Which feverish, mentally confused, marijuana addled craniums are these delusions emanating from?

So what will WE, the hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of  patriotic, democratic minded progressive struggling Kenyans BE  DOING FOR THE NEXT TWENTY YEARS while  Uhuru Kenyatta rules for TEN YEARS before passing the baton to William Ruto to lord it over us for ANOTHER TEN YEARS?

Sitting on our hands?

Playing with our genitals?

Watching a pirated DVD of last year’s Big Brother Africa?

Chomping on githeri in Githurai?

Trawling for tilapia off  

Migingo Island?

Waiting for the coconuts to fall on our heads at  

Majengo Sidiria or Mwembe Tanganyika?

Watching an ageing Bonny Khalwale award prizes to winners of a

bull fighting contest at Bukhungu Stadium?
Gyrating to a follow up of Aloka’s ohangla monster hit, Kanungo e Teko?

Have these totally benighted Jubilee day dreamers contemplated the very real possibility that Uhuru Kenyatta  may be a next door neighbour to 

Charles Taylor and that William Ruto may be  a chess partner for many years to come of Lubanga, Gbagbo or some  shady Serbian with an impossible to pronounce  surname consisting entirely of consonants and no vowels?

Over those very TWENTY YEARS?

Please wake up.

Even if you do not smell the kahawa, at least gaze at the sun shining brightly outside your window.

Will the Jubilee Coalition rule Kenya for the NEXT TWENTY YEARS?

Good question.

You see Jubilee is the coming together of two ETHNIC BASED Kenyan elite formations:

The GEMA dominated TNA faction led by Uhuru Kenyatta and Kalenjin preponderant URP clique. Together these two groupings with their leadership historical roots in Moi’s KANU utilized the so called “tyranny” of their tribal numbers to wrest control of the Kenyan neo-colonial state during the March 2013 Presidential, Parliamentary, Gubernatorial, Senatorial and County elections. Today Kenya has a TNA President, a URP Deputy President; a TNA National Assembly Speaker; a URP Senate Speaker; a URP Chief Whip; a TNA Senate Majority Leader; a National Assembly that is dominated by Jubilee and a Senate where Jubilee holds sway. In terms of the Counties, Jubilee has a lot of Governors, Women Representatives and County Representatives.

Using this numerical advantage, the Jubilee Government has rammed through draconian and repressive legislation to muzzle the media and has a nefarious plot in store to shackle civil society. In a most recent act of spite, pettiness and childishness, its National Assembly Majority Leader led a raucous chorus to deny leaders of the opposition their legally mandated emoluments, insisting that CORD leader Raila Odinga and his co-principal Kalonzo Musyoka must first give up their constitutional and democratic rights to participate in national politics if they want to access their pensions and benefits.

It appears that the level of vindictiveness from the Jubilee leadership-a section of which decamped from ODM merely months ago is likely to intensify as the newly fangled Jubilee leadership seems dead set on wreaking revenge and public humiliation of their former colleagues in the former Grand Coalition Government.

United in their tribal vendetta against their CORD adversaries, Jubilee has lately been bruised by brawls that threaten to spill over to the public domain with possibly devastating ramifications unless speedy measures are undertaken in the short term to heal the fissions, fractures and tensions.

However, when it comes to sexism, patriarchy and misogyny, the National Assembly is very  "bipartisan"  as you can  see from this November 13, 2013 Daily Nation report:

Parliament Tuesday evening passed a lop-sided law which strips women of the right to an equal share of family property in case of divorce.

Male MPs changed the Matrimonial Property Bill to say that a man and his wife will share matrimonial property according to each person’s contribution.

They also forced another change to the Bill which, if it becomes law, means that spouses are only entitled to a share of property which is in their joint names. Property which is in the name of only one spouse is no longer matrimonial property.

In its current form, the Bill is a blow to stay-home mothers who contribute to the family in non-financial ways. Also, family property is traditionally and as a matter of routine, registered in the father’s name.

Women MPs wanted a simple formula where the wealth is shared equally, irrespective of what each partner contributed.

But with only 34 women MPs in the House, they were beaten 87-28 in a physical vote.

The House — whose attendance yesterday was unusually high — also passed the Bill which, while requiring the couple to share wealth depending on contribution, says the burden of debt incurred by the family is to be shared equally by both partners. The debt will be shared so long as it was “for the benefit of the marriage”.

According to another amendment pushed by the MPs, matrimonial property is defined as “matrimonial homes, household goods and effects in those homes and any other immoveable or movable property jointly owned by both spouses”.

“If there is any property to be divided, it must be in accordance with the share of each spouse’s contribution to the matrimonial property. It ensures that no one person just sits and waits for the other person,” said Justice and Legal Affairs Committee chairman Samuel Chepkong’a, who proposed the amendment.

In the debate touched off by his amendment, there were impassioned speeches.

Dr James Nyikal (Seme, ODM) was among MPs who argued that property ought not to be shared equally irrespective of contribution.

“If it is taken for granted that just being in the marriage everything will be shared equally and there will be no question, I don’t think that will be fair,” said Dr Nyikal.

Ms Millie Odhiambo (Mbita, ODM) lost despite her argument that equal sharing is a constitutional principle and MPs had no business suggesting that the contribution of each partner should be determined.

“The Constitution is very clear about equal rights before, during and after dissolution of a marriage. It is not really anything we have a choice about and that is an argument that we would have had very well when making the Constitution but at this point, unless it is calling for the amendment of the Constitution, the principle is clear in the Constitution,” she said.

Ms Zainab Chidzuga (Kwale County, ODM) argued that women’s contributions to marriages are more than just the financial.

“Mwanamke akiolewa anaweza kuwa pengine hana kazi lakini mfahamu kwamba atakuja kwake kufagia, kumchemshia bwana maji amabayo pia ni contribution, na mengineo mengi ya kuwa waeze kupata equal share (A woman might be unemployed but remember she will clean her husband’s house, warm his bath water and many other things that may be considered a contribution that should enable her get an equal share of any matrimonial property),” she said.

Ms Esther Murugi (Nyeri Town, TNA), said: “Whether the woman has contributed or not, she has fed the man, she has cleaned the man, she has taken care of the family. She is entitled to 50 per cent.”

When Ms Rachel Shebesh, who was chairing the session, put the matter to the vote by acclamation, the amendment appeared to have sailed through, but the women MPs marshalled the numbers to force a physical vote. That was where the men won 87-28.

Mr David Ochieng (Ugenya, ODM) had the MPs return to the Bill after the Third Reading to include the provision that only property that would have been owned jointly would be shared equally.

This drew protests from Ms Wanjiku Muhia (Nyandarua County, TNA), who said that would be unfair to women because many of them are not jointly registered as owners of property acquired by their husbands.

She was supported by Ms Florence Kajuju (Meru County, TNA) who argued along the same lines.

“We don’t live in Utopia. We know that in our society, it is very rare for a woman to be registered as the owner of property,” she said.

The women were once again outnumbered by the men in the vote.

Mr Chepkong’a had to withdraw an amendment removing a provision which allows spouses to go to court to nullify a pre-nuptial agreement if it is determined that it was influenced by fraud, coercion or is manifestly unjust.

Having noted that, let me go back to the aforementioned headline that we cited at the beginning of this digital essay:

Quit Call by Ruto ally rocks Jubilee

A senator allied to Deputy President William Ruto has demanded the resignation of more than 10 top government officials whom he accuses of “coaching witnesses” to implicate Mr. Ruto at the International Criminal Court. In a statement likely to rock the Jubilee Coalition, Kericho Senator Charles Keter-one of Mr. Ruto’s closest allies-sensationally called for the resignation of the unnamed officials, threatening that if they did not, they will be forced out of office.

Read the full story by clicking on this link.

Among the people that Senator Keter wants to get rid of are  

Nancy Gitau,  President Uhuru Kenyatta’s CHIEF Political Advisor and  

Mutea Iringo, the powerful Principal Secretary in charge of Internal Security. Both of them are part of Uhuru’s inner sanctum, effectively members of the kitchen cabinet.

By aiming at the heart of the President’s close circle, Senator Charles Keter is effectively saying that the TNA leadership has essentially set up William Ruto to be trapped for imprisonment by the International Criminal Court, in other words, having used Ruto, URP and the Kalenjin to ascend to power, TNA now want to dump Ruto and save Uhuru in order to consolidate a GEMA hegemony over Kenyan politics.

This is a very grave and serious charge indeed.

Mark you, Charles Keter is a close confidant of William Ruto. When former Prime Minister Raila Odinga dropped Ruto from the Grand Coalition cabinet, he also fired Keter as an assistant minister. It is inconceivable that Keter would go public with his bold demands without not only the knowledge, but more importantly the approval of his URP leader who deputizes Uhuru in the presidency. Indeed, it was first William Ruto himself, speaking through his ICC lawyers who first fingered the cabal around the son of Kenya’s first president as being responsible for his Hague woes.

Kenyans, with their annoyingly fickle and  irritating convenient  political amnesia, should quickly chew on some memory inducing leaves  of the gingko biloba herb (available from  those mushrooming Chinese herbal clinics at Sarit Centre, Village Market, China Centre along Ng’ong’  Road and elsewhere) to flash back that way back in early 2008, the GEMA elite was gung ho, feisty and very adamant about taking some prominent Kenyans to the ICC.  In case any of the latter day anti-imperialist converts have forgotten, let me remind them today in 2013 that in the aftermath of the post election violence crisis, the main ogre, culprit, and demon in the eyes of the GEMA community was one, William Samoei Ruto.  The fulminations from back then were not clandestine or whispered conversations.  

These were loud, frenetic, public denunciations of Ruto and the ODM as the dark forces which were hell bent on carrying out “genocide” against the Agikuyu in the former Rift Valley. Have Kenyans forgotten these public exchanges that were recorded for posterity in among other places, the Jukwaa forum that I founded in 2005 and administer to this date.

It is worth noting that behind the sheer, threadbare veneer; underneath the deceptive fa├žade  of “Jubilee unity“ there is a fierce jostling for supremacy on the part of TNA, and a determined push for power  parity on the part of URP within the elite, tribal Jubilee coalition of expediency. 

Like ALL opportunistic political alliances and  electoral dalliances (and YES, exactly the same sentiments apply to CORD!) Jubilee will sooner or later crack along the cleavages which were there all along. Most Kenyan pundits and political analysts are alive to the palpable tensions and mistrust between the SOCIAL BASES-as opposed to the APEX of TNA and URP respectively. Many of the voters who rallied  behind TNA are quietly nodding their collective heads in affirmation with every new revelation from Fatou Bensouda’s prosecution witnesses against William Ruto.

Likewise, the broader ODM fraternity, which whether they like it or not, URP STILL BELONGS TO, can hardly wait for Uhuru Kenyatta’s trial to commence in  early February 2014 so that the President can be “ nailed” for bankrolling the Mungiki gang for retaliatory attacks in Nakuru and Naivasha in January 2008.

ICC is what twinned Uhuru to Ruto; ICC will be the  sharp axe which separates the political Siamese twins.

 A few months ago, when I was analyzing Jubilee’s cabinet picks, I made the following observation:

Before I delve further into the connection between the World Bank, the IMF and the new Jubilee administration, I want to take a temporary detour and talk briefly about the so called “Washington Consensus”.

Wait a minute!

I have some juicy gossip to share about

Henry Rotich, you know the middle ranking Ministry of Finance functionary who has been catapulted to become head honcho of the revamped Treasury portfolio.

According to page 5 of the April 26th edition of the Standard, Mr. Rotich was the Deputy Director in charge of macro economic policy at the Ministry of Finance since 2006.

That means he was FIVE LEVELS below the minister until just a few days ago. That means he was junior to the permanent secretaries, deputy secretaries, under secretaries and directors that he will now be coordinating and supervising.

Quite a meteoric rise eh?

We all saw the guy sputtering, stuttering, quaking and almost quacking when the President invited him to the State House lectern to say a few words to the wananchi gawking at his image on television screens across Kenya.

Now get this.

All his former bosses are there by dint of the Public Service Commission (the bulk of them at least). The ones who are not going to be relieved of their jobs, retire, or as they say these days, “move on”, will retain their titles and privileges in the Kenyan Mandarinate. It is going to be surreal contemplating the prospect of the relative equivalent of a senior clerk dressing down his former managers- if it comes to that, that is.

But that is NOT what tickled my fancy.

I am made to understand that according to the 50/50 arrangement between TNA and URP, the finance plum job had been RESERVED and GUARANTEED to Deputy President William Ruto.

Those who are assuming that Rotich, because of his Kalenjin surname was Ruto’s pick are in for a rude shock.

Who was Rotich’s Oberhaupt  his Vorgesetzte when Uhuru Kenyatta was still in charge of Finance?

That was a rhetorical question.

Henry Rotich, in turns out, was a TNA pick!

My hard working moles , who must have been furtively eyeballing the  tense vuta-ni-kuvute through the State House key holes,  whispered in my left ear when I was not looking that the REAL POWER behind Uhuru (some well-connected Mt. Kenya Mafia have been cited, including one of the maternal relatives of very senior government officials) simply confronted a rather rattled Uhuru and told him, that despite the Gentleman’s Pact with the other half of the Dynamic Duo, the “House of Mumbi” simply had to keep control of the Treasury for well articulated strategic, ethno-comprador power considerations and interests.

If Uhuru was rattled, then Ruto was keeled over with stupefied astonishment!

It appears that Uhuru was coerced into going along with the assurance that he did not have to propose a Mgikuyu. The simple ploy was to pick an Uhuru loyalist-but from among members of the Kalenjin community. Kenyans would be then hoodwinked into thinking that Henry Rotich was Ruto’s pick. I was told that Ruto had his own nominee.

That is what I was told.

I was not there obviously, so this could be just one of those nasty Made in Nairobi rumours.

Anywayz, to conclude this little tattle tale.

Ruto was reportedly adamant that the cabinet selection process would be halted there and then.

No move until the Dynamic Duo reverted back to the original pact.

That I am told, is REAL REASON WHY THERE WAS SUCH A LONG DELAY in announcing the cabinet.

There was a tense tussle between TNA and URP over the composition and the balance of the Jubilee government with Ruto’s people crying foul as they struggled to unsheathe the dagger from their ambushed backs.

The drip drip announcement of four names today; twelve names a couple days later; that was basically management by crisis.  

A circular had gone out to the media corps to be on hand for a 4 pm State House announcement and the hawk eyed Fourth Estate were parked in the Presidential lawns by 3 pm.

What to tell them?

What to tell the waiting nation?

Announce four names and that was it for the day. Give the media and the country a bone to chew on as heads were scratched, brows furrowed plotting of a Plan B in rolling out the new cabinet.

Is Onyango Oloo telling the truth or just mongering some wild, baseless fabrications?

 I wrote and posted that digital essay way back on Saturday, April 27, 2013 when the Jubilee Government  WAS BARELY ONE MONTH OLD. Click here to go to the original piece.

Given what I have said above, is the Jubilee government going to collapse before the end of the week?

Next month?

Next year?

Probably NOT.

Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto are NOT going to  fall out ANY TIME SOON.

There is a LOT: power; the ICC; the need to consolidate comprador bourgeois lucre; real politik, pseudo "Pan African" shenanigans that keeps the so called "dynamic duo"  joined at the hip. Their  humungous ethno-regional electoral constituency has invested in these two. They are not going anywhere any time soon.

What Charles Keter did, being a  typical cynical Kenyan politician, was a  calculated tactical gambit.
Maybe William Ruto has realized that the clique around Uhuru Kenyatta is scheming to delink Uhuru from Ruto in a selfish Central Kenyan elite manouever to save the President's political hide while making his deputy a sacrificial lamb at the ICC altar and  Ruto is simply telling this clique:



Or it could be something else.

All I am saying at this point is that given the subterranean undercurrent of intra-Jubilee tensions, I think that TNA and URP will be kept  quite busy over the next two years keeping tabs and checkmating each other that they will have  HARDLY ANY TIME  to lay out  a grand long term strategy of a twenty year rule.

Besides, CORD is disintegrating before our eyes. I have it on good authority from one of my comrades that one of the CORD senators (outside Ukambani  may I add) who was elected  to the Senate on a Wiper ticket is ALREADY in bed with Jubilee. I think it is only a matter of time before Kalonzo Musyoka does a Kalonzo na kupita katikati akijiunga na  Jubilee. It is NOT such a big secret that SEVERAL of the MPs in ODM and UDF get regular fat envelopes from their Jubilee handlers.

In three years time, there WILL BE NO JUBILEE OR CORD in the sense that we are talking about them in November 2013.

Who can rule out a Raila/Ruto ticket or a Uhuru.Kalonzo ticket in 2017?

And why does one think that the progressive, democratic and radical forces are incapable of getting their act together and putting up a serious presidential candidate  come the next elections?

What I am SURE of is the fact that contemporary Kenyan politics is SO FLUID that it would  be foolhardy in the extreme to start mapping out long range twenty year grand plans for this or that party formation to rule Kenya without interruption.

Onyango Oloo
Nairobi, Kenya
8:00 am, Wednesday, November 13, 2013