Saturday, January 31, 2009

Raila's Kryptonite

Superman had kryptonite, Rail ahas that massive chip on his shoulder that says 'Kenya owes me!' He nshould have known better to arbble-rouse against the media in his home turf of Kibera - a slum many of whose inhabitants cannot afford to buy the materian from the Standard Group. Indeed, it is instructive that the PM did not and could not point to any specific issue that had so irked him that he threatened to 'deal with them'. His mealy-mouthed attempt to explain himself smacks of wounded pride and shame. The meaning of his threat was clear. Weren't Raila and his fellow-travellers in government when the Standard Group had its facilities raided in 2005? Has Raila now discovered new information in the records of government to suggest that the Standard Group is a threat, if not national security-wise, but politically?
All those who climb to the top of the greasy pole by stepping on toes, eventually let their success go to their head. The day the Grand Coalition was formed was the day the fight against high-level graft stopped; Raila's explanations that he will fight graft from the inside is all talk and no trousers. He knows this and he knows that at least the Standard Group knows it too. Here's a sample of the coalitions greatest hits: Triton-berg, NCPB-berg, the sugar-industry imbroglio, the sale of SafCom shares, and now the deaths of thousands and the risk of millions more dying of starvation. He has given up the fight.Does he have an honest answer, especially to the millions of Kenyans who will starve because of his government's perfidy?

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Please, hold my brief!

Four shit-inducing words for the novice. It's even worse when you have to ask a lady advocate, because more often than not, she'll say no!. I don't know why - men are more arrogant with clearly colossus-sized egos. So why is it that they are more generous when it comes to holding briefs for others? It can't be because they like spending time in court corridors. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that they tend to make exceptional mentors and assisting one another fosters that sense of camaredire among colleagues.
The day before yesterday, a femal-mentorship programme was launched at the UoN and I wonder if it will succeed. Ms. Passaris is no doubt a very successful person, by any standard and if she is offering to mentor Uni-types, that is all well and good. It just shouldn't be one of those women's empowerment programmes that come a cropper because the ladies in question are busy being their very worst nature. Here's to them not emulating the lady-advocates of Milimani Commercial courts.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Death will be too good for them

When you look at Kenya in the here and now, you are shocked by the images of hunger and thirst...the desperation of a people reeling from one politically-inspired mess to another. Kenya is living proof that there are those for whom the milk of human kindness is a figment of a lunatic's imagination. I am talking about our political class. Three years ago, you would be hard-pressed to identify Raila Amolo Odinga with the oppressors of the poor. The likes of William Ruto and his South Rift cohort had gorged themselves during the Good Old Kanu days. When they realised that the Old Man had other plans for them, they simply removed themselves en masse to an entitiy that would keep them in truffles-NARC. Today, as PLO Lumumba said, the forest has changed but the monkeys have remained the same.
The catstrophes visited upon the poor and marginalised have not diminished one iota since the Second Liberation was declared won by Mwai Kibaki and his fellow-travellers. He has presided over some of the greatest financial scandals this country has witnessed. He has presided over the steady erosion of Kenya's influence in its near abroad - first by appointing that idiot Raphael Tuju and compunding the error by appointing the moron Wetangula to replace him when the good people of Rarieda no longer required his services. He has presided over the expropriation of public assets for private gain - the NCPB has become the private grannery of a corpulent privileged few while at least 10 million Kenyans starve slowly to death.
The dead tell no tales, so they say, but they have long memories and long reaches. If the thieving 10th Parliament believes that it will escape the opprobrium of the masses, let the events of January 2008 be a warning. Then they got Kenyans to slaughter one another in the name of 'power-sharing'. They play their games while our people die. That is the reality. That reality will not last forever. Our hunger and anger will run over and we will vent at the venal class that rules us - they don't lead; they RULE. Velvet gloves over iron fists, that's our government (Parliament, Executive and Judiciary).
Simply lining them against the walls of the National Assembly and mowing them down with AK-47s will not salve our wound or satisfy our rage. No, they must be made to pay back every last cent they have squandered building 100 million shilling Vice-Presidential palaces of vice, purchasing 700 million Prime Ministerial offices, and other items of conspicous government consumption. They must enjoy the highly motivated and enthusiastic attentions of prison warders in Kapenguria and Shimo La Tewa. They must live as we live...struggling to put a kilo of meat in the sufuria!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Inauguration II

When he intoned those words, "I Barack Hussein Obama, do solemnly swear..." my heart, such as it is, swelled in pride. Here was a Luo abandoned by his father, raised by his mother and grandparents on 3 continents. And today, he is the President of the USA, ushering in a new era of US history. Kenyans, well some of us anyway (excluding Mutua, Baba Jimmy, Moses Wetangula ... mnajijua), have high hopes of his presidency, not just for what he can do for us but for inspiring us to make a better life for ourselves and future generations.
Collectively, Kenyatta, Moi, Kibaki and Raila have fucked up our country irreparably. It's time we emulated the Obamania and demanded change - real change - of our political rulers. It has been a variation of the same corrupt and venal regime since independence and I have no doubt that a Raila or Ruto or Saitoti or Karua dispensation would be equally if not more corrupt and venal.
These people have proven time and again that they do not have the spirit or the will to look out for the 'ordinary mwananchi'. Their stomachs come now we have the likes of Ababu Namwamba being implicated in the shenanigans surrounding the food shortages at the NCPB. And at one time he was touting himself as a leader of the 'opposition' and you remember where my position was on that little drama?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Inauguration

It occurs to me that Obama ran a near-perfect campaign. He identified the most talented members of his party as well as some outside it and he ran a disciplined, well-organised campaign. But it is not the fact that the campaign succeeded where others foundered that impresses in the context of Kenya's shambolic and corrupt campaigns. No, it is the fact that his team was a well-judged blend of the Old School and the New, old and experienced coupled with youthful and capable of enormous amounts of work. And it paid off in the best possible way. He has a clear mandate to lead and a lot of goodwill going into his 100 days. However, it is not strange that David Miliband or his German and Italian counter-parts are not in Washington DC today.

However, the spectacle of Wetangula and Anyang' Nyong'o attending a 'bash' was, perhaps, not the wisest thing to. The argument that you must leave the confines of your borders to better appreciate world perceptions and broaden your world-view cannot apply to the entourage in DC. No, our rulers have consistently demonstrated a deaf ear to the cries of reason and moderation from the people of this our nation. As hunger saps the energies of millions, this Government is expending precious resources to transport a so-so Foreign Minister and his sidekicks to a nation that is not waitng to receive them with open arms - if they seriously thought they would be given audience by US administration officials this week of all weeks, then all their education is for shit. That is a job left to professional diplomats and career bureacrats. Ohhh ... I forgot, we don't have those either, having politicised the diplomatic and civil services.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The law is an ass...

Today, the Court of Appeal declined to hear motions in 2 election petitons because of the disbandment of the Electoral Commission of Kenya and the failure by the government to establish the Interim Independent Electoral Commission. Mr. Justice Riaga Amollo chastised counsel for the applicant and counsel for the erstwhile ECK, and asked them 'who was instructing them?' If the ECK is 'dead', then all proceedings in which it is a party die with it. Indeed, Mr. Kioko Kilukumi pointed out that Cap. 2, Laws of Kenya, does not and cannot apply to the Constitution.

Today's fiasco could have been avoided if the drafters of the Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Act (No. 10) of 2008 had included a savings and transitional clause. However, even this clause could not have cured the provisions of Cap. 2.

This is a pattern that has been repeated time and again since the creation of the Coalition Government of Kibaki, Odinga and Musyoka. The Amendments made to the Constitution in 2008 did not consider the impact those hastily drafted clauses would heve in the early part of 2009. Now, ODM claims that Amb. Francis Muthaura, the head of the civil service, is overstepping his mark and that his role should ideally be played by the Prime Minister. Mutula Kilonzo and James Orengo, two experienced senior lawyers, have squared off in this matter and neither is backing down, both claiming that the Constitution of Kenya supports their point of view. Both are correct and both are wrong.

The problem is not a legal one or a constitutional one; it is political. Kibaki and Odinga do not trust each other and from their behavior in the past 12 months, they never will. It is time Kenyans realised this basic truth and acted accordingly. It would be in our best interests to confine Raila and Kibaki, and their entourages, acolytes, brown-nosers and hangers on to the dust-bin of history. Else, the law will keep kicking us in the ass.

It is because of their mutual distrust that 'errors' like the ones contained in the IIEC law have found their way therein. If they trusted each other, it would astonish you at the speed and intellect that would be deployed to come up with a good law. As the situation stands now, all election petitions at the High Court and the Court of Appeal, are stayed until the legal tomfoolery is corrected. But do you trust those ones at risk of losing their seats? I know I don't. Not one of them will vote to amend the Constitution to ensure that the petitons are heard to their logical conclusion.

Some bosses lead, some bosses blame

Bosses make great CX a central part of strategy and mission. Bosses set standards at the top of organizations. Bosses recruit, train, and de...