Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Jubilee Coalition Must Rise Up to Issue Based Campaigning

By Micah Kigen

Two weekend meetings addressed by Jubilee Coalition leaders as they declared the beginning of their campaigns for the next general elections should awaken Kenyans to some tough choices ahead.

In a monotonously repeated chorus, the Uhuru Kenyatta led outfit, both at Tononoka rally and the Kasarani Sports Gymnasium Delegates' Conference painted themselves champions of generational change and the vehicle for Kenyan Youths to ascend to power, while painting the CORD coalition as an outfit for the retiring generation.

In the Tononoka meeting Uhuru Kenyatta openly attacked the CORD Coalition as a puppet of unnamed Western governments who if they win power will be directed by the foreign powers.

Unknown to Uhuru and his flower girls in the Presidential race, Kenyans could easily pick out the hidden details in his propaganda. In the Western Powers outbursts we all know it to be a ploy to hoodwink Kenyan Muslims to abandon the CORD as he falsely believes the Muslim Community has a big grudge with Western countries.

In the generational Change message the Gatundu South MP is hiding the fact that he fears working with older and more experienced Kenyans who know that he is a project of the Kenya's dirty former oligarchs' who flashed the independence dream and planted the seeds of ethnicity, corruption, assassinations and dictatorships.

We know for sure the Honorable Uhuru Kenyatta has hired foreign experts from the same Western countries who have advised him that because he lacks national support he should engineer divisive propaganda and spread it ruthlessly to confuse Kenyans so that he can be able to pick a few stray votes.

One area the Western propaganda experts have told him to work on powerfully is to bastardize the older generation in the eyes of the younger generation so that no reference is made to the extreme transgressions of past regimes that borrowed heavily from his own father's dictatorship of 1963 to 1978.

That is why he is calling on the youths of Kenya to rebel and defy African traditions and kick out the elder generation from participation in the coming general elections.

But Uhuru and his team's short memory let them down on the fact that Kenyans could easily read between the lines to even note that they were employing old KANU tricks in getting endorsement to be candidates , thus a clear indication that the Jubilee Alliance is a sneaky but determined reincarnation of Kanu dictatorship before 1992.

That is why the richest politician in it (Uhuru) bullied all others to bag the Presidential ticket. That is why noisy William Ruto was bullied into accepting to be subservient to Uhuru. That is why Charity Ngilu and Najib Balala were intimidated into becoming mere escorts of Uhuru instead of going through a democratic process.

As William Ruto and Uhuru Kenyatta chest thumped at Kasarani sports gymnasium Sunday afternoon proclaiming the Jubilee Coalition to be the team of the future, Kenyans could not help but marvel at the loud ceremony to endorse the TNA leader devoid of any democratic process by leaders who just a week ago had so loudly insisted on an election by delegates in the acrimonious standoff with UDF’s Musalia Mudavadi.

It was all surprising as Mrs. Charity Ngilu of NARC, a known key player in the second liberation that fought for increased democratic space in Kenya sat meekly to be donated to a junior seat in the alliance instead of going for a full blown election.

Theirs was Double standards in huge doses. Just when did the organs of URP, NARC and Republican Congress Party agree to become subordinate to TNA?”

It was all shocking for self proclaimed democrats and leaders of youths to re-invent old Kanu’s “Kura ya Makelele” in picking Uhuru as presidential candidate at Kasarani.

The message clearly is that in the Jubilee alliance the “youth” being touted is of mere age but neither of ideas nor ideals.

They actually confirmed what Prime Minister Raila Odinga has always told Kenyans:- that there are some young men in this country with very archaic. Old and retrogressive ideas even as they shout –youth, youth , youth: whereas there are wise old men who have embraced and refined new, progressive ideas that are needed to steer this country into the future to greater achievements.

Back to Tononoka, Saturday's fake allegations by Uhuru during Jubilee's damage Control rally to the effect that CORD coalition leaders are puppets of Western countries should be treated with utter contempt.

The National Alliance (TNA) leader Uhuru Kenyatta who uttered those allegations while trying to paint his wobbly Jubilee Alliance as home grown and Pan Africanist should not play around with the intelligence of Kenyans.

We know for sure that Mr. Uhuru and his running mate William Ruto have hinged their Presidential campaign on lies that the International Criminal Court (ICC) which is handling their Crimes against Humanity Charges at the Hague is a tool of Western Countries who have been lured by their local political opponents to stop them from participating in the coming General Elections.

It is Common knowledge that that shallow propaganda got a real beating and their campaign became shaky when the ICC loudly informed the whole World that the two were free to contest and that the Court would not interfere.

Things got worse for Uhuru Kenyatta when it became apparent that he bulldozed William Ruto from the Presidential race and was treating all parties and communities in his coalition as junior partners to his localized Central Kenya outfit that is TNA.

Kenyans and the World witnessed firsthand how they desperately sought out UDF's Musalia Mudavadi to help them survive but when the dictatorship in their coalition and Uhuru's personal feeling of entitlement to Power crashed the UDF deal, they are now trying to revive the dirty propaganda about the Western Powers conspiracy in Kenyan politics.

Uhuru should be told in no uncertain terms that his efforts to demonize opponents using conspiracy theories will not wash.
It is an open secret that of all the top politicians in this country, more so those vying for the Presidency, Mr. Kenyatta and his family have more business and social interests in Western capitals than any other. He went to school in America, his children have schooled there variously and their business empire struts much of Western Europe.

The same cannot be said about our top leaders in the CORD coalition who are least Western leaning. The only difference with Uhuru is that he knows that given his unpleasant political record and his current tribulations , leaders from the civilized World and advanced democracies epitomized by Western Super Powers would be hesitant to warm up to him whether CORD existed or not. He is politically stinking, and he knows that.

Therefore Mr. Uhuru Kenyatta's outburst should be seen more of a temper tantrum by a man put down by deep fear of impending defeat at the hands of Kenyans who love their country and are supporting CORD.

Besides, his was a hidden attempt to divert the attention of the residents of Coast Province from the bigger Land question that his family has questions to answer, by trying to portray himself as an enemy of the West whom he believes the majority Muslim population at the Coast dislike.

He should be reminded that the West are Kenya's biggest business partners, economic partners and cultural partners. No sane Kenyans can buy into his attempt at trying to drive a wedge with the West when even he himself is readily dealing with the same West in various ways.

A case in point is his preference for British lawyers in his ICC case, European managers in their family business and American consultants on the coming general elections. Why, is the West is that bad?

He should be told in no uncertain terms that "SIKU ZA MWIZI NI ARUNBAINI" His forty days are here with us.

Next time he goes visiting Coast province he should be reminded to explain why the bloodletting in the Tana Delta and insecurity in Mombasa yet the minister for Internal Security Mr. Katoo Ole Metito is his crony and appointee? Why they have large tracks of land in Coast Province and prime plots when locals are squatters and why he is quiet about the drugs menace in Coast province.

Writer is Chairman - FORA (Friends of Raila) Lobby Group

Friday, 21 December 2012

CORD Statement on the Struggle for a New Kenya

The official launch of CORD has coincided with two momentous events that will shape Kenya's politics for decades to come. The first is that a historic 14.3 million Kenyans registered to vote, many of them travelling very long distances to do so. We know that the thirst for democracy in our country is unquenchable. At the same time, we are conscious that there are a few million others who were unable to register. That will never happen again.

The other event is the approval by Parliament of the first-ever Inspector General of Police, David Kimaiyo, who had been nominated by the President and the Prime Minister. These two events have eased many anxieties that Kenyans felt ahead of the election.

As all of us know, the upcoming election is the most definitive one of this generation. This is borne out by a level of politicking that is unprecedented in its intensity in our history. The stakes are very high but the choices are also equally clear. There are two political currents that are in contention, with diametrically opposed visions for the future of our country. One is CORD’s, which stands for fundamental change emphasizing national unity, justice for all, and equitable distribution of our nation's resources. The other side represents the status quo so deeply that it is mired in internal strife, unable to agree on anything except their distaste for those committed to reform.

Indeed, many leaders who were previously with the other side have already left after discovering there was no room for their diverse views, and that in fact there was little public support for the group’s ideology even among the people they claim to represent.

It is clear now from the figures just released by the IEBC that CORD will romp to the largest presidential victory of our multi-party era. We expect, given the level of support for our various parties, to win the presidential election with more than eight million votes, at least 160 parliamentary seats, and 29 seats each for governorships and the Senate. CORD will also win more than 30 women seats and gain the majority in more than 31 county assemblies.

But we urge our supporters to come out in large numbers since even this margin of victory will not ensure that we can push the legislative changes that Kenyans are demanding for a better life. Ours is a completely open tent which has the capacity and desire to accommodate all Kenyans committed to justice, inclusion, growth and equity. We CORD partners ask you to join us tomorrow to celebrate the beginning of a national unity and prosperity anchored for full equality for all Kenyans and their counties.

Anyang’ Nyong’o, Mutula Kilonzo, David Eseli 

21 12 12

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Thursday, 13 December 2012

CORD Coalition Plans Major Uhuru Park Rally 22nd December

Prime Minister Raila Odinga has announced that the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) plans to hold a joint rally at the Uhuru Park where a major political statement will be made public.
He said the CORD alliance which brings the ODM, FORD Kenya and the Wiper among other parties will make a major announcement at the rally slated for the 22 nd of December.

Odinga made the announcement at a press briefing at his office shortly after a meeting with leaders affiliated to the coalition.

The one hour meeting brought CORD luminaries including the Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka and FORD Kenya chairman Moses Watengula.

The Premier however said the alliance was concerned about the low voter apathy at the registration centres and urged Kenyans to take the exercise seriously.

He said the President may soon assent to the amendment to the election laws to allow holders of the National Identity Cards waiting cards enlist as voters.

“You should not bank on a possible extension of the registration period but enlist as voters before the expiry of the exercise on the 19 th of this month” Odinga cautioned.
Members of the cabinet present included Sally Kosgey, James Orengo, Dalmas Otieno Musa Sirma, Ababu Namwamba and MPs John Mbadi, Charles Kilonzo, Philip Kaloki.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

CORD Coalition Parties, Wiper And ODM Extend Deadlines for Aspirants

The Wiper party and ODM have extended deadlines for aspirants to submit applications for various positions.

The Orange Democratic Movement on Monday extended the deadline for submission of application forms from December 10 to December 20.

A statement from the National Elections Board chairman Muthee Kathurima said that the deadline which ought to have expired on Monday had been extended to Thursday next week.

“The National Elections Board wishes to inform all aspirants for the various positions in the March 4, 2013 General Election that the deadline for submission of application forms has been extended from today to Thursday December 20, 2012,” read the statement.

Kathurima also asked ODM officials who are seeking elective positions to quit as they are already time barred as stipulated in the party’s constitution.

“In accordance with rules and regulations governing the election process, including clause 7:19.1 of the ODM party constitution, all aspirants who are currently holding official positions in the party must have resigned by the close of business on December 8, 2012,” Kathurima added.

Meanwhile, the Wiper Democratic Movement (WDM) also extended its deadline for submitting applications at a National Delegates Conference held at the Kasarani gymnasium.

The delegates resolved by acclamation to extend the deadline for aspirants to hand in applications from December 10 to December 17.

In November, the ODM National Elections Board indefinitely postponed party primaries that were supposed to start on December 4.

In reaching the decision, the board said that it did not want its program to clash with that of national examinations for primary and secondary schools.

Both ODM and WDM have already dispensed with the nomination of their presidential candidates having endorsed Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka respectively.

The Elections Act requires parties to have conducted their nominations by January 18 and to have settled emerging disputes by January 25.

Video: Wiper National Delegates Conference: Raila Odinga's Speech

Raila Odinga's speech during the Wiper Democratic Party National Delegates Conference on 10th December 2012

Video: Wiper Democratic Party National Delegates Conference : Kalonzo Musyoka's Full Speech

Wiper Democratic Party National Delegates Conference - Kalonzo Musyoka's Speech on 10th December 2012

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Uhuru and Ruto Advised to Join CORD Alliance

By Micah Kigen

Tuesday’s grand re-union of Kenya’s national unity and reform minded politicians in a major public rally at the KICC grounds is yet again a reassurance to all Kenyans that the hope of success and prosperity as kicked off by our founding fathers is still alive and kicking.

Many are the doubting Thomases and enemies of the people who proclaimed the end of Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s never dying crusade for sustaining the reform momentum who were caught by surprise.

Once more Kenyan people’s legendary resilience amidst negative political machinations and other evil schemes was on display at the KICC ceremony as Vice President Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka, Ford Kenya Leader Moses Wetangula and Narc leader Charity Ngilu led other leaders in signing the pact to kick start the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD).

Rt.Hon. Raila Odinga once more has proved to his critics that he is the most accommodating of all the top political leaders in the country today by being able to persuade many opponents to rejoin him in re-energizing the reform agenda as a key focus for the country into the coming elections and immediately after.

And it is now very clear that the CORD juggernaught has taken the entire nation by storm and victory is more than guaranteed.

Critics of the Prime Minister and other competitors should in fact see the writing on the wall and throw in the towel. There is no need to just compete for the sake of it.

If anything, we advise that they fold their weak outfits and their negative campaigns and join CORD this early enough so that we form the next government without wasting billions of Shillings on expensive campaigns and elections. Kenyans need that money to pump into development projects and buy drugs in hospitals.

More importantly we will be glad if the ICC suspects, mostly Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto quickly come to their senses and join the rest in CORD for a smooth transition. We are all praying for them and even both PM Raila Odinga and VP Kalonzo Musyoka have sworn to ensure that our government will swiftly intervene for them to ensure the ICC cases are returned back home and that they will not allow them to face humiliation in a foreign land.

Kenyans should more than ever before seize this renewed opportunity to vote decisively for Raila Odinga’s new national team and CORD to crash and bury the demons of bad leadership, ethnicity and mediocrity once and for all. We are at the dawn of the great liberation that we have been fighting for, for decades.

The writer is National Chairma - Friends of Raila (FORA) Lobby Group 

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Statement by Raila Odinga on the Formation of the Coalition for Reform and Democracy (CORD)

December 4, 2012

At the signing this morning of the largest coalition agreement in our history, Kenyans saw what they had so eagerly been waiting for – the composition of the new government that will usher in the change that our people have yearned, fought and sacrificed so much for over the decades.

Vice president Kalonzo Musyoka, Hon Moses Wetangula, Hon Charity Ngilu and I – with so many other leaders who appeared at the formation of CORD – have today made a pledge of total commitment to fight for a new future for our beloved country.

It has been absolutely heart-warming to see the outpouring of support for the new national democratic front which will unite all Kenyans who want a better future for all our people and not just a few. CORD is now poised to deliver a resounding victory on the 4th of March.

We thought we had achieved the goal of an inclusive government that would finally bring justice, peace and prosperity in 2002, and then again in 2007, only to see our hopes crushed by divisive politics which benefitted a minority. But that dream is now finally within our grasp, and no one can stop us.

The team that assembled at KICC today with little advance notice is just one segment of an evolving and very broad coalition of Kenyans from every class and nook and cranny of this great nation. In the days to come, numerous other leaders, professionals and activists will come out and support this ticket. All of them realize that this election is by far the most important of our history. If the people do not win it, a future of even greater impunity stares us in the face.

Our new alliance is a highly symbolic one. It brings together parties – ODM, ODM Kenya (now Wiper), Ford and NARC – which emerged in the ferment for change and justice. Their coming together is proof that we have learned to overcome barriers that have been used to divide us by those running the corrupt and unjust systems that have held sway for decades in our country.

Today marked the beginning of a wave that will sweep away the power and influence of all entrenched elites.

Kenyans have already lived through a coalition government for the last five years. While it kept the peace and also delivered the new Constitution that is the guarantee of a better future for us all, it did not meet the aspirations of the vast majority of Kenyans who wanted a complete break from the past.

But after the disastrous election and the bloodshed that engulfed us for the first time in our history, we had no choice but to accept a forced marriage to save our country.

The Grand Coalition was a forced marriage – and a marriage without shared values. The two sides had campaigned on completely divergent platforms. One stood proudly for change and the other no less proudly for the status quo. But in this forced marriage, ODM managed to get the minimum it had fought for – the Constitution, Devolution and the entrenchment of Integrity as the essential pre-requisite for leadership.

To safeguard these gains and rapidly transform our country, we have created the only kind of coalition that can work – a coalition of the willing!

We are headed for a massive victory in March. Let no one fool Kenyans that such and such region is committed to the other side. Kenyans are too savvy now to be herded like sheep to alliances that serve nothing but their leaders’ interests. The people know what they want. They will not succumb to bribery or intimidation. A few leaders can be bought but not an entire community or country.

We are now launching a unified, pro-people’s campaign of a kind never before seen in our history. We will fight together for the vote of every single Kenyan in every county, constituency and ward.

Full Video Coverage of the Launch of CORD Coalition

News: Raila Signs Pre Election Pact with Kalonzo, Wetangula, Ngilu
Video courtesy Standard Media / KTN Streaming LIVE