Thursday, January 03, 2008

Elections derail Kenya’s Vision

some rambling thoughts to start the new year

It's been a week since the election was held last Thursday and we are in a different world at the beginning of 2008.

Up till December 2007, the focus of Kenya was investing towards Vision 2030 - now we may have to find a new target to aim for – a Vision 2009, which is to perhaps to get the economy back to where it was in 2007.

The coverage by bloggers, Kenyan Pundit, Thinker's Room and others has shown how we have receded from a generational vote (half the cabinet and sitting MP's voted out – some after spending decades in parliament) to the equivalent of a - hate the term banana republic

Kenya has been there before, but was it necessary to go back? To be on CNN and Al Jazeera alongside Pakistan and Zimbabwe? If Ms. Bhutto had not been assassinated, Kenya would probably have been the top world story. This has now happened as Pakistan has reverted to status quo (with an election next month)- while the situation in Kenya has gotten worse each day.

The election was a spark; When one is car-jacked carjacked or caught in a Nairoberry situation, the smart advice, is to co-operate with the thugs – as a car or money is not worth your life. The election created such a feeling of being robbed in many parts of the country, but people fought back. They could not hit at the alleged (and likely) carjackers at the KICC, so they revenged against the agents of their perceived enemy (Kibaki, Raila, Moi, and Kivuitu) on the ground – their own neighbors.

Beyond Politics
From stories about the violence around the country, this has gone beyond any PNU vs. ODM, or Raila vs. Kibaki. It has pitted neighbors against each other, the have-nots against the haves, communities being targeted, revenge targeting, rapes, looting, highway extortion or murder gangs, and others acts verging on ethnic cleansing.

There have been simmering issues in the country – unemployment, poverty, landlessness, jealousy & envy, police crackdown on cartels in slums and the matatu sector, the government crackdown on pyramid schemes that had developed extensive networks of 'investors and savers' in many urban & rural areas, - all followed by opportunistic thieves (looters).

The bloodshed in Kenya is a result of simmering tensions in the country. It has been totally unnecessary, could have been avoided, but the spark/pressure cooker was triggered by the ECK decisions over the weekend.

consumers & the economy
My personal hardships pale in comparison to most Kenyans - but include; no petrol for car, January funds being used to stock up/buy essential dry foods, no fresh foods, no cash as ATM's were empty/unplugged, lack of Safaricom airtime and Internet access (except by cell phone)

We as Kenyan citizens are not used to this – we have a culture of positive self development – that we have to improve our lives by investing, acquiring assets, educate our kids, – which probably informs a widespread government expectation that we will soon have to get back to work, and forget the politics.

But, on a national level, certain industries have taken a hit from which they are unlikely to recover this year (2008) – insurance, transportation, tourism, real estate & mortgages, banking sector, banking, real estate, the agricultural sector, infrastructure, insurance, and thousands of small businesses (SME’),

We can forget about 8% or 10% economic growth for 2008 and maybe the next two years as well. As banks, we tried to persuade companies (local and foreign) to commit to business decisions from October onwards - without much success; now their wait-and-see caution appears to have been the right thing, and they will probably take another six months to recommit. Also, the demand for credit to rebuild, both from the whichever ‘government’ and the private sector is likely to dominate the budget of June 2008.

There's been a dead cat bounce, with some companies making a little money against the odds – Uchumi supermarkets, Safaricom, Taxi's, private security companies, hotels (until they run out of supplies), and soon building & repair companies, but they will be the minority.

we need solutions

But don’t look for answers here:

- Police: They are tired and overworked. They have been on high alert since November tackling electioneering and extra security. They have done their best given the circumstances.
- Violence: does not solve anything
- international and diplomats – they seem to think political leaders have all the answers.
- Politicians: Everyone is calling on political leaders (Raila, PNU, ODM but especially Kibaki) to have dialog as a way to peace. While, as far as I know, no national leader has orchestrated any violence around the country, they are old hands (three years of constitutional war – remember 'consensus building') at sitting at the negotiating table and not resolving issues. They can wear out Nobel Prize winners and the international community with their bickering.
- The USA: As the WSJ story on the violence in Kenya shows, they have a history of siding with sitting regimes after unpopular elections e.g. Ethiopia, Nigeria
- The Kenyan court system

The answer is citizens themselves

Every day this week, I have heard & seen touching stories like these;
- Neighbors talking to one another about maintaining their many years of peace
- Neighbors setting up watch out groups and liaising with the local police
- Neighbors taking in and sheltering friends, relative and strangers
- Police officers talking down residents this morning who had hoped to march to Uhuru Park.
- Local leaders and MP's talking to their constituents – preaching non violence.
- Neighbors standing together and ignoring the sparks from outsiders

I'd like to see the media highlight more of these, but such peaceful efforts may only put such proponents at risk. However today, all th media houses appear to have come out with a joint peace campaign message.

And whatever the outcome from the peace parley's over the next month; I'll make money with a Kibaki win, but I feel that the country needs Raila to lead and tackle some of the serious imbalances in this country. If Kenyans were rated among the most optimistic people in the world in 2003, how do we feel in 2008?

other losers & gains

- Kenyans; It was sad to watch the pre-elections stories on Al Jazeera and CNN breaking the election number down by 'big', 'populous' tribes of leaders, but the vote outcome showed that we still vote against tribal lines
- Kenya: The image of the country is shot. There are the huge land cruisers racing around Nairobi displaying their MEDIA and RED CROSS stickers and flags that grant immunity and safe passage in trouble spots. And will the Diaspora continue to invest in the country?
- President Kibaki whose 50 year political legacy is at stake
- Former president Moi; his sons lost and what were those ODM Win violence threats about?
- Majimbo proponents.
- The ECK and especially its Chairman whose popularity stemmed from the fact that Kenyans expected him as a righteous, religious man to do the right thing.
- Free secondary education promised by all the parties will likely be shelved, as will many other promises made in November/December.
- Nyerians who are the butt of jokes by their regional neighbors for their incompetence at ‘vote tallying’ (this could either be funny or not – I apologize if you’re offended)

- Kenya voters who turned out in record numbers, despite overwhelming difficulties, many voting for the first time. Unfortunately many of them have been stranded in the rural areas where they went to vote & enjoy Christmas.
- Safaricom and Celtel until their distribution networks dried up: – I thought Safaricom would be shut down, but it is so essential for communications (police use cell phones more than their call radios) and has kept families in touch. People have used M-Pesa and Mama Mikes to send money to stranded relatives even from abroad.
- NGO’s and civil society. They had become largely irrelevant under the NARC administration, but have become energized by the post-election outcome.
- Former president Moi: the sad events of the past week could have happened in 2003, but he took the mud and the humiliating defeat, and walked away (until recently) - allowing the pent-up emotion in the country to become euphoria and optimism.


Günter said...

It is horrible what happens in your land, whish that all is over soon
Hope it for all the people
Günter from Austria

Anonymous said...

These elections have been an eye opener for me as far as ethinicity and politics are intertwined in Kenya. Its hard for me to understand how even professionals can retreat back to their tribal cocoons, and unleash propaganda that just does not base our politics on ideologies. I have to salute you for having remained neutral and not sounding biased in your political commentary, and i just hope our generation will be able to think of themselves as Kenyans first before talking of which tribe or village they come from. I guess having grown in Nairobi and interacting with Wambuas, Otienos, Chepchumbas and all other Kenyans makes it easy for me to hope for the ultimate Kenyan utopia where tribes co-exist peacefully. What amazes me is the fact that no one has concentrated on Kibaki's economic record in terms of uplifting the standards of living, but i guess with prosperity and not being hungry and impoversihed gives Kenyans a chance to participate in ploitics since they have most of their basic needs met. It is called maslow's hierachy of needs and it seems the government did a marvellous job of ensuring we could meet the basic ones, and i think that is why Moi ensured we were deeply steeped in poverty so that we had no chance of participating in politics on full stomachs. Thats my two cents.

MainaT said...

Bankele, well done for being objective a tad pessimistic.

IF Kenyans can turn to each other rather than politicians (none of those politicians has lost a loved one or been maimed and they are all getting 3 square meals a day and are able to retreat to their leafy suburbs every night) and start seeing each other as Kenyans, there is no reason why we won't manage continued economic growth. This needs to happen fast and I am confident it will.

Anonymous said...,0,4416543.story?coll=la-home-world

Kenya chaos and killings continue
Robyn Dixon, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
3:03 AM PST, January 3, 2008
NAIROBI, KENYA -- Kenyan riot police today fired tear gas and water cannons at thousands of opposition protesters waving branches and white cloths, stopping them from marching to a banned rally at a city park.

Defying the police ban, opposition presidential candidate, Raila Odinga, called on his supporters to go ahead with a "million man march," raising fears of a new surge of tribal killing. He accuses President Mwai Kibaki of rigging elections and illegitimately grabbing another five-year term.

But while police succeeded in containing the demonstrators to the slum area of Kibera, home to about a million people, they could not contain their anger. Despite the white cloths, protesters, mainly from the Luo tribe, threatened to keep on killing Kikuyus from President Kibaki's tribe until he steps down.

"We are slaughtering them and we will keep on slaughtering them," said one young protester, Gabriel Okelo, who got up at six and walked nine miles from the outskirts of the city to march in support of Odinga.

As the political violence worsens, tribal fighting and tit-for-tat killings have been going on in Nairobi's slums and in other towns.

Okelo said he killed two people with a machete for the first time Wednesday because "When you are angry, it's easy. If they refuse our president, Raila Odinga to address the rally, it will happen again. We shall slaughter the Kikuyus. It will go on and on and on, in all parts of the country."

The confrontation threatened to deepen Kenya's political crisis and worsen the tribal violence that flared up over the weekend and has so far killed at least 300.

Intense international diplomatic efforts have so far failed to persuade the two to step back from the brink and reach a political settlement.

Kenya's morning newspapers pleaded for compromise, with the Daily Nation and Standard running identical front page banner headlines: "Save Our Beloved Country."

"No grievance and no cause is worth the innocent blood of Kenyan children," said an editorial in the Daily Nation. "We're on the brink of becoming one of Africa's failed states," ran another headline in the newspaper.

Until last week's election, Kenya was a beacon of democracy in Africa. With elections due in Ghana, Zimbabwe and Angola this year, the message Kibaki's administration sends to other African countries about democracy is seen as crucial.

South African Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu flew in to Nairobi today offering to mediate and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was talking to both sides in a bid to find a compromise and avert a slide into tribal warfare. African Union chairman and Ghanian President, John Kufuor, was due to fly into Nairobi today to meet both Kibaki and Odinga.

But so far, neither side is willing to make a meaningful concession in a winner-take-all standoff for the right to rule East Africa's strongest economy.

Even if there was a political settlement there is a question mark over the extent to which Odinga can control his supporters.

One opposition protester, Edward Okoo, 32, said the protesters would not support a power-sharing deal, sentiments echoed by many others yesterday.

"There will be no peace until Raila (Odinga) is president. We voted for our party to lead." "You can't ask for a sheep and you get a goat," chimed in another opposition supporter, David Namale, 39, referring to any power sharing arrangement.

The two political leaders are stalemated: Kibaki insists the election was fair and demands Odinga accept the results; Odinga demands that Kibaki admits he is not the legitimate president or accepts international mediators.

Both have refused a power-sharing deal, seen by the international community as the only speedy way forward in order to avoid more deaths and a slide into more entrenched tribal killing.

Anonymous said...

Every election is a high stakes affair, involving as always aggressive campaigning, passionate speeches, oratory to rally the troops, spin in newspapers, flyering, lies -contortions and outright falsification and even the macho grandstanding that we as Kenyans have come to accept as part and parcel of our political culture. That is standard fare, expected and a part of the competitive aspect of modern politics.But some actions go a little too far, especially because once committed they unleash forces that cannot be restrained and whose effect will be most difficult to mitigate against.

With all due respect to odm sympathizers Young Kenyans reported the Following well before the elections( All well documented)A report complied in early December stated the following

1.What the ODM has introduced in this election, is a determined effort to decide that any result that does not have them winning both State House and Parliament has been arrived at by a nefarious rigging scheme. This crusade is so determined and nothing it seems is too large a stretch for it. Not content with demonising Steadman the pollsters, they are now determined to paint a picture using some alien logic of a collusion by the media and the all the pollsters to give a low 40s approval figure to Raila Odinga, when he instead should have a 55% backing.

2.This idea, that ODM already has the election sewn up and that the government is planning to rig it out of its legitimate victory has been repeated so often, and given such prominence by the ODM friendly East African Standard, and the party’s top officials that is now accepted in many quarters as truth. This is especially the case given two crucial characteristics of our electorate. The first is that the majority live in concentrations where one candidate or party holds sway. A man living in Oyugis for example or in Kerugoya is unlikely to have met more than five people of political persuasion different than his own.

3.ODM has proved very adept at drawing out large crowds, and their candidate is without a doubt the most skilful of the candidates on the pulpit. These large numbers, beamed about the country indicate the ODM leader’s popularity with the youth and the unemployed; they indicate the curious thrall in which the colourful ODM juggernaut holds large parts of the country. What these television and print images do not show however is in what standing the ODM leader is held by those employed in activities that would preclude their attendance of his rallies, it does not reflect the evolution of perception or indeed give a breakdown across the different national regions.

4.These fantasies, unhindered by a media that has totally abdicated its role as public watchman, are based on ignorance of the fact that there are already massive measures in place by the political parties, local NGOs and foreign observers to ensure that the election is regulated in compliance with the law. They also choose to ignore the fact that since the 2002 elections, the ECK pays a mere coordinating role with the actual counting taking place at the polling station, rather than at some underground point of rigging. But this is not private knowledge; the ODM knows that the government cannot rig the election. Even more, the ECK chairman has indulged the Orange parties and has bent over backwards to prove to them that there is nothing untoward going on. Still, they persist, and yesterday the ODM’s presidential candidate was in meetings with the American Ambassador, seeking to internationalise the issue of his most fertile imagination.

5.These imaginings are a political ploy, straight out of the perpetual victim philosophy that has caused its candidate to repeatedly allege that the State had hired assassins to finish him off. So should we pay him any mind? Yes, Raila’s cries must not be ignored because they influence many Kenyans perception and are from his lips a powerful cudgel, as dishonest and irritating as they may be. It is commendable that the ECK is doing everything in its power to prove Raila’s claims not only untrue but also unreasonable. The claims about the black-book and double registrations for example have been properly dealt with and with 20,000 observers from the EU alone; there will be no voting station that is unwatched.

6.It is clear what the ODM parties are trying to do. Their employment of the talents of **** Morris evinces this desire to win at all costs, fair or foul and it is a strategy that Kenya can ill afford. **** Morris, for those Kenyans who may have forgotten is particularly famous for his involvement in the ‘revolution’ of the Ukraine where his strategy was to flood the streets with flag-carrying protesters after the election, thereby creating the perception of a defeated government that had rigged itself back into office. Just like in the Ukraine, it is clear that in Kenya, an opposition win is the desired result for both the British and the American governments. These governments then went on to underwrite the sustained effort of the demonstrations and its international portrayal as a display of democratic will, against an unpopular government never mind that half the country supported the incumbent. The international media are already being alerted to the role they will be required to play in this coup, a make-believe spontaneous ‘Orange Revolution’ coming to our streets if Raila and his shadowy allies are not pleased with the election result.

7.The election is unlikely to be glitch free, and the need to vigilance can hardly be overstated but it is also fact that such a large conspiracy as the ODM suggests would not go off succesfully. Indeed so slim are its chances of success, that it is extrememly unlikely that any such attempt will even be made. There is a big difference between random electoral failures and a concerted campaign to cheat at the elections. Any such scheme would long ago have been discovered, not just for its sheer unwieldy nature, but also because the polling officials are drawn from all corners of the country and have in all likelihood support for all shades of political opinion, including being supportive of the ODM.The media must now point out to Kenyans that the national population dispersion is such that the president may be dominant in only two provinces, but still have a large percentage nationwide. Articles such as Dennis Onyango’s in the Standard or Raila Odinga’s statement that because he was leading in all but two provinces and only just in the national polls, then the opinion polls were definitely biased will only serve to incite the public who cannot be expected to comprehend basic statistics. Statements such as ODM secretary general Anyang’ Nyong’o’s assertion that it is impossible to close a five point gap in the approval ratings also fly against reason, especially as earlier in this very year, his party’s candidate lagged far behind in the opinion polls. To the innocent mwananchi, already driven into frenzy by the heat and passion of the campaign period, it will be difficult to accept defeat after such rhetoric. Worst of all, this is an attempt at blackmail against the PNU, essentially a demand that the PNU stop campaigning and concede the election, or else…

Anonymous said...

Ihave to tell you this, I LOVE YOU. I have been reading a lot oF garbage by other bloggers and as usual you do not disappoint. You are concise, objective and very even headed.
You have in the last 5 minutes reading your blog, restored my Faith in Kenya.

Thank you and you be richly blessed!

Anonymous said...

Great post ! Keep the details coming please. In Canada we are hearing nothing but what is official.
I am posting links on my blog to help get the word out.
Robin in Canada

Anonymous said...

the article on young kenyans report was ver informative. Could the writer please supply the full reference for those who want to see the full article. Thanks

Imani said...

Its very unfortunity that we find our country in such terrible mayhem. How godless have we as a country turned. We have dipped ourselve in the most akward of a position. We have now stripped ourselve all the dignity that we had as a country. My dear friend we are all to blame for this and unless we turned our eyes to heaven there is no help in sight. We need divine intervention and I beseech you all to look beyond what is happening in the ground and ask ourselve the real questions in life. Are we doing what our God expects for us, leaders will come and go, Presidents will live and go but one day we all will stand before God. We will be responsible for all our deeds. Dear friend am writing this so that you and I as an individual can stand and ponder at what our individual responsibility is. Lets do what we can to restore sanity in our country, seek to establish love with your neighbour even though he may be of the "wrong" tribe. We are all made in God's image and in Him there is no Kikuyu or Luo. Please stop and pray for our country.

Anonymous said...

Bankele, excellent post.

I would add - the UK - to your don't look for solutions here list and add an additional Raila Odinga entry to the losers list for stoking ethic friction in the pre-election run-up. (There is an excellent pre-election piece on this in Africa Confidential but you may need a subscription to see. )

Anonymous, I like you very detailed and comprehensive post also. I disagree, however, that the US -- unlike the UK -- had or has a clear view on which party it would want to win.

The UK seeems to be playing the role that France has played in Cote d'Ivoire, very colonial and heavy handed in its treatment of the current government. The US, on the other hand, has noted the issues but not created undue friction.

The Black Mamba said...

Banks, There was a lot of expectation built-in after the elections.

It would be important if everyone could understand that economic recovery will be pegged on political stability.

I feel your disappointment. The events of the last few days are very unfortunate.

I can't tell you how frustrating it is for some of us who us who have always wanted to come back home and build our country.

Anonymous said...

This reads like the middle of the road, milk toast editorials that have been running in Kenyan papers. Everybody loses and everybody wins, and please "let us not point accusing fingers because people are dying".
If Kibaki had let the people have their way at polls we would not be where are. FULL STOP!!
Of the many solutions floating around these new age "kumbya - neighbor talk to neighbor" ones, are the lamest.
Now that the fire is at Kibaki's door, all of a sudden we are ALL Kenyans, before then unless you were GEMA you were a "pumbavu", waKenya wengine are fed up. There will be no peace until justice is meted out.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous write
2.ODM ...7. ODM
What the writer fails to mention are the facts.
A. Kibaki was declared the winner by Kivuitu against protest of inconsistent results.
B Intenational observers invalidated those results.
3.Kivuitu admitted he does not know if Kibaki won.

1. This issue is bigger than PNU/ODM, Kenyans need to think where do we go from here, We have to address the root of the problem. Same thing happened before, 2002 was an anomally ( thanks to Odinga), and it is bound to happen again and again, next year, in 2012/2017?
The problem with Kenya is that there is no LAW, so everyone has to take the law into their own hands.
The only way out, is for a change in the constitution so that it protects every Kenyan, and we have a process to argue our case with our mouths instead of with Pangas.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your commentary Bankelele. We are destroying our fragile economy and no Kenya will emerge the victor at the end of the day.

I am personally exhausted. At this point, I have resigned myself to another 5 years of Kibaki. I just hope the opposition will spend those 5 years massacring him and his party in parliament and reforming the ECK in time for the next election.

We need to return to work. The longer the conflict, the harder it will be to recover as a nation.

Anonymous said...

You know what's scary? Both of these cretins are acting as if they are in control. They have unleashed forces they cannot control, mob madness and tribal hatred. No one, not Kibaki or Raila or any of their luminaries can control these dynamics once unleashed. For crying out loud, we are surrounded by Somalia, Sudan, Ethiopia, Uganda immediate neighbours with violent histories and in the wider region have the examples of the Congo, Sierra Leone, Cote D'Ivore, Liberia, Angola, Mozambique, Zimbabwe etc etc. When will this lunacy end?

Fedha said...

A travesty of justice indeed but hope it doesn't escalate to anarchy.
A harbinger of slow economic activity that will erase all the gains made over the last 5 years.

Instead of repeating the same platitudes and offering band aid solutions, here's what we can do:

-Donate to the kenya red cross.

-Petition safaricom and celtel to make airtime available so people can open up lines of communication. All online merchants of airtime appear to have closed shop as well.


Anonymous said...

This is all well and good, the whole kumbaya rhetoric,right as it is, is obviously not a solution. What we need is a solution to this murderous situation Kenya finds itself.

The courts aren't an option, a re-tallying of pres. votes tops the list of bad jokes. My suggestion is that this entire pres. election should be redone. This isn't a really popular option on paper but please understand nothing short of this will console or placate the aggrieved parties. As long as Kenyans feel short-changed by a process they trusted to be free and fair, nothing less will suffice.

Onto Kibaki's "press conference", I think he should just have kept his silence. He offered NO solutions, answered NO questions, and the killer is he said he was PLANNING to visit the struck areas. ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?? This geriatric should have been there 4 days ago. His insensitivity or senility is annoyingly clear. How the hell has this guy been holed up at State House while the country has been literally ablaze?

Lastly this whole issue of changing this supposed rally's dates needs to stop. Raila knows there's no way any sensible government will let all these hooligans assemble at Uhuru Park. The more he stokes the issue of marching there, the more civil unrest we'll witness (this may actually be his intention). Raila needs to quit this rubbish, this dude is holding an entire country at ransom. By the way from a reliable source, Fidel and Winnie (Raila's kids) left the country earlier this week...go figure.

Really this whole thing needs to be redone, after these ECK clowns acquire the ICT apparatus they so suspiciously shot down earlier in the year. Oh heavens, this is all seriously a stage for all these vaudeville-esque characters. Kalonzo also said he's willing to negotiate... WHAT?? With who? About what? Who the fuck even thinks you can correct anything?

Anonymous said...


I am soo feeling you, I would add that the new elections should be carried out after an independent commission such as the 9/11 commission has been set up. The commission would look into not just at the election issues but the insanity that happened afterwards. There should be recommendations on how to stop all manner of electoral rigging (vote buying, ballot box stuffing, breaks in procedure etc). I would also like to see some kind of campaign ethics rules and regulations that address amongst other things hate speech and tribal hate speech precisely. We have shown that we are willing to have democracy but not its responsibilities.

Anonymous said...

Is it just me or does this seem to be a horrible dream I can’t get out off. The images of dead kids in the city mortuary or bodies in burned churches are images I associate with those “other” places in Africa. Groups of Machete wielding men look eerily familiar to the Interahamwe (hutu militia of the Rwandese genocide). I can’t seem to reconcile the fact that this is Kenya, not southern Sudan, Somalia, Rwanda or the DRC . I have tried to read up on how ethnic tensions and hatred resulted in what happened in the Balkans, Rwanda and Iraq to understand how we have gone from the country I saw in a few month ago to where we are now, I find no reprise, this is actually my Kenya.

Anonymous said...

Banks;fine blog.objective analysis.

in the end, kenya's image is the main loser,followed closely by the citizens.just how many % points of gdp growth are we likely to lose?

as for the odm-pnu stalemate,it'll likely last till february.

just what?

Anonymous said...

poor kenyans if you had oil like iraq you would have been saved by the worlds police.the americans could go to iraq and pick saddam from an underground hiding and execute him in the name of rights of the iraqis and world kenya america is biased cant see who is on the wrong and added insult to the rights of the people by accepting corruption to rule.isnt it easy for americans to simply land an army in kenya and tell the riggers i am here and justice should take its course to give back the right where it belongs.America has played the game of divide and rule as long as kenya is going to increase its coffers by buying more weapons to keep the fight.ok world police wake up to the rights of people and keep up your image.kibaki has been playing to americas tune of arresting alleged alqaidah youths thinking america will shower it with financial aid.come to the reascue of the innnocent if you really care for kenya as much as you care for iraq.

Anonymous said...

there were irregularities in the election process, no doubt..
people can and probably should protest.. even violently..
but i still cannot explain why in many parts of the country everyone turned against kikuyus..
i might be wrong but in such synchronized acts, there's usually some leader(s)..
-to reconcile people, explanations (thus investigations) on the violence (and obviously the electoral process) have to be done.. because violence might be over but the bitterness has to be treated too, for longterm sakes..
-finally, i think that we should think of a different governing system eg. every province votes and the 8 leaders brought forward form a governing committee whose chairmanship revolves each year and after every one has had chairmanship , election are held once again.
why? because in my opinion the 1 man president thing is really not working in africa where countries are made up of different communities/tribes with the differences that come along.That way every(one/ community) will feel represented.Mark you there's even a problem in belgium which hasn't had a govt for some months now, and which is made up of french and dutch communities - its not exactly the same case but..
and lastly (really), its time to reduce illiteracy levels in kenya,

Anonymous said...

I am happy and proud of Kenyans and their sense of civic duty. Must Raila negotiate with a criminal? Would you negotiate with a robber who came to your home about the return of your property? Everyone has said the election was stolen, the ECK chairman and commissioners, the EU observers, the local observers. What more evidence of election theft/crime do you want? I support Kenyans who take their civic duty seriously and resist resist resist Kibaki and his evil cronies

Anonymous said...

By the way all this talk is that black petty bourgeois talking. Listen to real Kenyans and it's quite simple, Kibaki rigged the elections. No deep philosophy there, just basic primal power grab, a primal response has followed. Talk to Kibaki, he has lost his soul and direction. Make him step aside because he will surely lose it for all Kenyans too and mostly for all his supporters.

Anonymous said...

If you listened to Raila, you'd think Kibaki only got one vote from an old woman in central. However, on close examination one can see that Kibaki got 15% of the vote in Nyanza, 30% in western, over 30% in Coast and Eastern and his required 25% in the RV.

Raila's supporters started celebrating before all the votes were counted and when all the polls had said that this would be a close election. Whose fault is that?

And now look what they are doing to the country? engaging in acts of pure thuggery and violence. Kibaki must fight them till the end and bring them all down. They have said they are willing to die for Odinga - the government should oblige them and grant them this wish.

Odinga is a dangerous politician whose entire campaign was laced with subliminal messages to "finish" off Kikuyu. His supporters are now carrying out his message with violent practical effect.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for what you are writing! I am a mother in the U.S., but my adopted son is Kenyan/American (Kikuyu) and we are praying along with his birthfamily here for the safety of his birthfamily who remain in Nairobi.
Hopefully a peaceful solution will happen soon. This moment is not the Kenya we have been so proud of, and that I want for my son to come to when he is a man. I want more for him & for all of Kenya.
Thank you again for keeping those of us informed! You are doing God's work here.

Anonymous said...

i think this is a corrcetion.. bringingt hings down to earth but im still bullish on kenya. buy real property. banking will be a problem all those loans that need to be paid.

on the other hand any so solution to the problem requires urgent attention to youth unemployment and urgent reconstruction of kisumu eldy and affected towns.

1000's will be laid off esp in the hospitality industry....power truly corrupts..

never again should we give so much power to so few.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 1/04/2008 5:06 AM said:

"This reads like the middle of the road, milk toast editorials that have been running in Kenyan papers. Everybody loses and everybody wins, and please "let us not point accusing fingers because people are dying".
If Kibaki had let the people have their way at polls we would not be where are. FULL STOP!!
Of the many solutions floating around these new age "kumbya - neighbor talk to neighbor" ones, are the lamest.
Now that the fire is at Kibaki's door, all of a sudden we are ALL Kenyans, before then unless you were GEMA you were a "pumbavu", waKenya wengine are fed up. There will be no peace until justice is meted out."

Your prescription is one of continuing and deepening clashes. Think carefully about all the inter-ethnic clashes that have caused interminable wars and genocide. This is not a joke. This is a slippery slope.

Firstly, the politicians are at fault not the neighbors, even if they have been influenced by rhetoric. Killing people who have not wronged you will only deepen the conflict, creat true hatred that cannot be stopped for generations. If you don't think that both sides feel somewhat right -- ODM because they know the story of Kikuyus historical prejudices against Luo president -- PNU because they heard the anti-Kikuyu rhetoric stoked by ODM and because people were being killed in Molo before the elections.

If both sides continue to escalate, there is only one place this will go, with million of martyrs on both sides.

I personally hopes Kibaki steps aside for the good of the country. He will never do this if he cannot do so with dignity.

And not because he won or lost. I believe that the Luo's are more historically aggrieved in this issue. For the good of the country, in the long-term, this would be best. But should he be pushed...

Think of South Africa's truth and reconciliation process. Think of the recriminations that could have happened without th process. This is one issue I have clear respect for Mandela's government and others for fostering. It may not be perfect, but it is better than the alternative.

The most question is not what has been done, though it should not be ignored, but what should be done at this point.

I pray.

Anonymous said...

Joy ...kuwait

Thanks for keeping us Updated.I hardly understood before whats going on,but now am on my knees for Kenya.Its so bad to be killing poeple we have shared our lives together, in times of happiness and adversity. I pray that this madness stop .

Anonymous said...

I love you Kenya why are we breaking up?

I have lived in naivasha, nakuru also schooled in different parts of the country and never gave a damn about realistic lines at all, never gave a damn bout the kikuyu, or luo or embu in short had no ill feelings to any tribe I mean am young and the group I know we do crack some jokes here and there along tribal lines but now nobody is, we cut it off due to what’s going on.

what happened people, what is going on in Kenya, i sit here and ponder does me killing a kikuyu or I hear an embu help me, no no people no. and what’s with the burning of the church, i know we are of a third world country but a church you got to be kidding me, you playing right!

my fellow Kenyan man we got to grow up i do know that racial lines, tensions will always be there that’s human but sometimes its human to think too. I have no clue how we are going to pull out of this but man if we do let the Lord ride us on this one.

its a shame what we have come to burning little kids you mean little children u got to be kidding me I mean little children, they have no clue what’s going on. seriously what about the women who gave birth to us, the womb, you just stole that too.

its a shame man its really a shame, do people sometimes print out this pictures, the gruesome pictures at the morgue, on the streets, alleys and worse of all carcasses of people so that these heinous crimes can be seen by all? and lets be honest here for a little bit each tribe has lost somebody right its just barbaric how these has happened.

now lets talk about our two year old kids, our politicians who of course cannot think straight and know that lives are at stake here,. Mr. Kibaki you very well know you are not suppose to be there, you like a kid holding on to a candy stick. Sir please think of what’s going on and I mean right now. Your own people are dying and you think while you sit there at what you call state house give a sheepish address and go back helps. As these man gone out of that place anyway to the streets and seen what’s going on. Kenya is burning brother, Kenya is burning and who will pour in the water.

Sir please please think I know you are a father think and think. If you keep sitting k have no clue then, you know Raila is not stupid to say I am going to court hello they aint go do nothing! and so will a recount help. Can you guy seek help from outside do something. Man kibaki was doing good till now. Is it really that hard to leave that famous sit for the sake of a brother living is it?

My second born child raila you probably know that they might listen to you and I mean the protesters they are out there dying for you, why cant you walk out there and ask them to stop and I mean plead with them, its time to stop all this raila it is. One thing I do understand is I know the courts will fail you I totally agree but is there something else you can do. Peacefully!

I love Kenya I do I really do love Kenya, we were doing so so good till now. Why Kenyans why, why did we have to bring mama African pride down why.

Get up be proud and ask ourselves what are we really doing. Yeah I know something was wrong with the vote but we can stand up peacefully and cry ourselves out.

By the way I am a kalenjin and proud of who I am, proud of those I have met, those I have befriended and those that loved and been loved by me. I love each one of you as a Kenya except for the barbaric creatures that slaughter little children that to me is extremely sickening and unforgivable. I put this on out high ranking officials remember that the honorable, misters and mistresses. Think and sleep thinking this is all on you.

Love Kenya.

Liisa R said...

Troubbling, yet not surprising, are the international news agencies reports from Kenya. All the agitated young men armed with pangas, looting; and the uniformed armed response; after that the aid convoys. Surely there must be much more going on, but we get to see the "action" not to hear anything that would help us understand or support.
I want to thank you for your blogg and thinking. There is much hope in Kenya if even Jiringo can act to stop a mobb. There must be many more local leaders who have taken their responsibility. I also want to believe that ordinary people want to leave peacefully and few would make tribe an issue, though some would now utilize the opportunity to fight other battles.
From last elections I have a very vivid visual memory. Hon. Mudavadi took money from his pocket and gave it to the "youth group" supporting him - after a few seconds the group started chanting the name of his worst competitor. It is not easy to be a politician and remember that your actions can have uncontrollable consequences.
Wishing you well

Anonymous said...

I am a Kikuyu. (Insert stream of profanities here). i'd like to think it doesn't matter but it does. Before the election many were worried about the action Odinga would take against the tribe. The last few weeks have only ingrained that fear further. Expect more tribal voting next time. Now here i go with the pro Kibaki conspiracy theory. 1st of all let me make it clear that I do have a problem with Raila Odinga as a person. Why? Because from what I have read, the man willingly and knowingly participated in the planning (don't know about the execution) of a coup against a government that was popularly elected and at the time popular and yet shows no remorse for it. (Correct me if I am wrong.) While MP for kibera for 15 years, he has done nothing on either a national or constitutional level that is worth noting and yet claims to be a revolutionary force for the country. Revolutionaries are not powerbrokers, they are principled. The man joined the Moi government for God's sake. And as for what is happening now, I have to ask, where is the proof. The Juja case, which was a much touted example for the ODM patrol has been debunked. They have no proof that there was any rigging. He refuses to respect the rule of law. A law that he swore to uphold as a member of parliament. By signing nomination forms he promised to uphold the electoral laws of the country. He hasn't and my sticking point is the fact that all he has backing him is a stream of irregularities that have not been investigated. Where is due process? Innocent till proven guilty? The ECK should atleast be given that privilidge. With the rubble that the ODM has raised right now, a petition would most certainly be fast tracked. So why not go to court? An unfavourable ruling would give them grounds to go to the international criminal court if the still felt they had enough evidence. Indicators point to legitimate Kibaki win. Al Jazeera polls had shown a narrow win for the president. How can we allow him to usurp a legal system that he has never even tried to reform? He obviously trusted it enough to in the last six months try to gain control of ODM-K and petition for the withdrawal of the safaricom IPO. What has changed now. He is being dishonest on this . There is no other explanation. The fact that the international community has chosen to indulge his whims in full ignorance of the fact that there has been no decisive breakdown of state machinery and institutions doesn't make it right. And the United States under a Bush administration should be the last to talk. Not with the way he got into the white house. They should be the first in line proposing a judicial resolution to the problem. This boils down to accusation with no evidence holding the country at ransom and don't tell me that the mass looting in the country is proof that there was rigging. Despite what Kenyan academics parrot around everywhere I do believe that it is ethnic tensions boiling over. Partly precipitated by comments made during campaigns but still, ethnic violence. You may not want to believe that we are that primitive but i guess we are. As for how fast the started, I'll say one thing. people are idiots. Before you go calling me elitist understand what I said. A person can at times be rational and reasonable but a group of people is a essentially a bunch of idiots who don't take time to think things through. Alfred Mutua for once put it right when he said "You do not share power with losers."


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