Monday, October 26, 2015

Raila surrounded by people waiting to buy ODM nomination tickets

January 16, 2016
By Joseph Lister Nyaringo
In a do-or-die contest by Raila Odinga next year, my free advice to him is this, even as he continues to give Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee government sleepless nights, he needs to review the way he plays his politics.

For instance, Raila needs to change tact, get rid of hangers-on and incorporate fresh minds in his final quest for the presidency. He needs to gauge the value of those who purport to be closer to him.
If I may ask, where is the Orange Democratic Movement secretary general Ababu Namwamba when he should be articulating the party agenda before the nation now that we are a year away to the next election?

Where is the energy Namwamba portrayed when he traversed the country in choppers under “team fresh” fighting to become secretary general of ODM which he eventually won? Even nominated senator Agnes Zani who is Namwamba’s deputy is muted.

These party leaders have left Raila to cook, serve and wash the dishes! I’m sure the two are intelligent enough to know the work of a secretary general in a political party. Even most Cord governors are silent. They have forgotten that they are politicians with a responsibility to defend the coalition’s agenda in order to win in 2017.

Raila has unraveled deep scandals in Jubilee government but his crusade decapitates immediately because he lacks people in his party and the Cord Coalition stir the momentum which eventually gives Jubilee’s Duale, Kithure Kindiki and William Ruto room to launch vicious as well as spinning the truth.
Have you ever wondered why Jubilee MPs cannot replace Duale as majority leader in parliament despite making many misleading statements?

Ruto’s words flow like honey when he takes the microphone. He has the capacity to cry and evoke sympathy from the hoi polloi. The most powerful propaganda which cost Raila in 2013 was when he successfully convinced his community that it’s Raila who took him to the ICC.

Listening to Uhuru, he sounds like a Barack Obama replica – a super statesman, focused, intelligent and sharp. It’s like has all the solutions to the problems facing Kenya which is not the case.
On whether Cord has any contingency measures to dispel the ICC notion, it remains to be seen. In fact, people in Ruto’s turf still reflect Raila on bad light as far as his woes in the ICC are concerned.
Raila needs strong people who will spur the momentum of his offensive against Jubilee. That is why I suggest that he brings on board Barrack Muluka who is witty and a calm strategist to articulate the Cord agenda to Kenyans.

Secondly, he needs to ask Miguna Miguna to rejoin Cord. After all, Raila forgave former President Moi, who detained him for almost a decade and ended up working with him in Kanu.

I say so because even if they broke apart, Miguna proved to be one of the strongest and fiercest defenders of Raila before and after the grand coalition government. He has enough fire in his belly to tackle the vicious Jubilee led by Uhuru, Ruto and Aden in readiness to 2017.

Raila has cried so many tears for Kenya. Today, he is on the same trajectory with his late father during the early 1990s. Many Kenyans who support him are afraid that his ascendancy to the Kenyan throne is on a delicate phase.

It’s sad that Raila is surrounded by people who don’t advance his political philosophy. Governors, senators, MPs, MCAs, are only waiting to queue at Orange House to “buy” nominations and start singing “baba” in 2017 in order to be elected.

He also needs to take a tactical retreat from the limelight. He needs to start using the 16th law of power where you use absence to increase respect and honour. Appearing on media cameras in perpetuity will reflect you as a king without prince and princes. I don’t mean that he should completely hibernate from the limelight but just to play it cool and let others fight your wars.

There is no doubt the scandal-ridden Jubilee government has failed and needs to be replaced next year.Corruption and tribalism have hit a crescendo. Dubious deals are done to make people billionaires overnight.

Therefore, those at the frontline as an alternative government, needs to put their acts before 2017. It’s worthy to remember that, elections are literally won now, not in the election year.

Saturday, October 24, 2015


Kenyans, where do we run to if the Executive is a wreck, the Judiciary a total failure and the Legislature (Parliament) a fraud?  Where do we run to when most voters are extremely tribal and gullible during election time, since they can even vote for a dog so long as it barks like the one they see in their villages?

We need to change our thinking that it’s only a good President who can turn things around for Kenya!  A president is just an individual; with one mind, heart and soul. A good President with a greed and corrupt legislature and Judiciary and other cartels in government can’t do anything. He is like a prisoner manacled in a cage.

 Be reminded that if our legislators were value-driven, Uhuru Kenyatta won’t be behaving or running the country the way he currently doing. A governor won’t buy a mere wheel barrow for a thousand dollars.

With incorruptible Parliament, corrupt individuals like Anne Waiguru, would have been hounded out of office immediately she was mentioned in the NYS scandal because she was vetted and confirmed by the same Parliament.

Remember, Alfred Keter’s vote of no confidence on Waiguru was watered down by the same MPs we entrust with vetting members of the Cabinet. Soon and very soon, don’t be surprised to see them confirming even Kamlesh Patni as a Cabinet Secretary!

 We need to remember that, Governors, Senators, MPs, MCAs mean a lot for the success of our Country. Many will argue that the mess starts from the top but I disagree because it’s the pillars which make the house stronger. Even if the main pillar is strong, if it lacks support pillars, it will eventually collapse. If legislators are wicked, Kenya will continue to sink and a President can’t do anything.
Where do we run to when most voters are extremely tribal and gullible during election time, since they will vote for a dog so long as it barks like the one they have in the village? A Kikuyu, Kalenjin, and Luo can die for Uhuru Kenyatta, William Ruto and Raila Odinga, respectively just because of tribal foolishness and leanings.

When we shall end this mentality, it will be the beginning of a better Kenya. Otherwise, voters continue to be initial purveyors of tribalism because they follow what their big boys and girls in politics tell us.

They don’t care about the public records, backgrounds, character and values of those they vote for. The major consideration is sharing a dialect and handouts (cash) and from here, one is in as an MCA, MP, Senator, Governor or President.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Cord needs to offer a viable alternative on the teachers strike not fundraisers

The Coalition for Reform and Democracy (CORD) can only be viewed as an alternative government if it desisted from pursuing piecemeal solutions to the challenges facing the country. We laud Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka for their empathy on the striking teachers but, asking Kenyans to fundraise for them isn't the best way to go.  
Where will Raila and Kalonzo hide their heads four days after their Cord coalition launched a campaign fund raiser for teachers, now that the court has suspended the strike and requested the unions to resolve the dispute in 3 months? Secondly, who will be the beneficiary to the meagre funds they have collected and, will this not provide raw fodder for jubilee critics?
Soon, the two principals will be accused of swindling (coning) Kenyans under the aegis of fundraising for striking teachers!
What Cord needed was to show us a better alternative which is the surest way to convince voters that if the coalition takes power in 2017, they will mitigate national challenges through viable and long-term remedies.  
Watching the Cord rally at Uhuru Park, I was extremely disappointed that no leader was able to propose anything tangible except threatening how they will occupy Harambee House as if this will produce money to pay teachers and restore learning in our national schools.
Launching a pay bill number to solicit for donations from Kenyans to cater for 300,000 KNUT and KUPPET members wasn’t a well thought idea. In fact, how much will they actually raise to pay teachers?
Secondly, what will Cord do if Civil Servants under the Civil servants Union and the Central Organization of Trade Unions (COTU) downed their tools demanding more pay? Will they launch another fundraiser?
It’s worthy to remember that, we haven’t been told what happened to the Orange Relief Services launched in May and spearheaded by Governor Ali Hassan Joho. Besides, the OKOA Kenya Referendum initiative whose issues resonated well with the nation appears to have stalled.
The opposition should give Kenyans hope. Asking for donations from citizens whose majority are living from hand to mouth is not only an insult but also a desperate campaign tool.
Unless Cord wants to raise a paltry amount that can only buy a cup of tea for each striking teacher, I don’t expect the coalition to raise funds that can pay over 300000 teachers.
We want to hear concrete policy proposals to tackle the bloated wage bill and reducing income inequality which are the genesis of perennial industrial unrest, poverty, disunity and tribal disharmony in the country.
We can’t dismiss the Jubilee government’s argument that honouring the teachers pay hike as ordered by the court will overstrain the national exchequer but Cord failed to offer any solution during their rally on this catastrophic matter which has ruined learning in our schools; a tragedy in the modern information age.
The opposition should talk about issues like, corruption in the national government and Counties, how they will recover funds stashed in offshore accounts if they capture power, warning thieves who steal from the public and plough the loot back as harambees to buy political loyalty, how to net culprits involved in the mysterious disappearance of funds from the treasury and downsizing the number of elected representatives in order to reduce recurrent expenditure.
We also expected the opposition to hit at Governors who have formulated costly bureaucracies instead of applying reasonable and cost cutting measures to improve service delivery at the Counties. It’s also worrying that during Cord’s rally, no MP backed the bill proposed by ODM Secretary General, Ababu Namwamba which is intended to slash the MP’s salaries by 50 percent to raise money for teachers.
Our leaders are either unprincipled, inconsistent or suffers from selective amnesia. Why did the Mwingi Central MP Joe Mutambu renege on a bill he was pursuing last year whose enactment would have resulted in the reduction of the number of counties, senators and Members of the National Assembly?
Secondly, during the burial of former Juja MP George Thuo, the deputy Chief Whip in parliament Jakoyo Midiwo hinted that he will pursue a bipartisan motion in Parliament that will restructure the legislature to cut government expenditure. 
It’s high time we started questioning the consistency of the leaders we elect in order to hold them accountable for their actions.
Finally, fundraising for teachers wasn’t a well thought idea by Cord. What the country expected from the opposition on the teachers strike is workable alternatives since they purport to be a government in waiting.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

The Solution to Kenya’s Problems is Kenyans not the current leadership

The Rutos and Uhurus of this World steal from us and plough the loot back to us in form of harambees. We then start glorifying them and dancing to their tunes like monkeys enticed with banana peelings. We have become a nation with people who cannot decipher between truth and fiction.

We shun and castigate those who mean well for Kenya and tell the truth but elevate those who steal from us and tells lies. Kenyans, have we learnt any lesson even after proving that the leaders we have today have failed us and that even Separation of Powers institutions like the Judiciary, Executive and Legislature which are tasked to enhance our democracy, best leadership practices and safeguard the rule of law, purvey social justice, nurture equity and equality have been totally misused hence failing the country?

Are we aware about the powers we hold as citizens in our young democracy? How long shall we continue being led by the corrupt who don’t care about our pain? They don’t care about our poverty, debilitating health care, skyrocketing in the cost of living, unemployment, dwindling education, increased graft etc.

Come on fellow Kenyans. As commoners, we are like two toddlers left in the interior of a jungle with nobody to turn to… just waiting to perish unless a Good Samaritan shows up. To me, the Good Samaritan is our voting Cards. If we can use it wisely, we can send all the current corrupt leaders home in 2017 and replace them with men and women who mean well for all Kenyans.

The current government is in the ICU. Uhuru and Ruto have failed the leadership test. They are blank; confused and with no clue on how to get Kenya out of the current mess. I end with this: The kicks of a dying horse are extremely fatal. However, the end result to the horse isn’t impressive. They will twist us, they will play propaganda; they will play the tribal card but come 2017, they will be replaced with men and women of good will if only the Kenyan voter will think twice and vote wisely. 

Remember, we have men and women who stands tall as true champions of our aspirations. We know them and we will rally behind them.

Monday, August 31, 2015

South Sudan civil war dents the meaning of liberation from Omar Al-Bashir

The civil war in South Sudan after the secession from the north makes Omar Ali-Bashir look like an angel especially when we remember the horror during the Darfur Genocide. 

I just wonder what is wrong with African leaders who fight for freedom for so long and with much suffering only to use the same freedom to kill their own people!

Why did they even fight to emancipate themselves from the north? They ran from the tyranny of Omar Al-Bashir but what they are doing in a liberated young nation isn’t different.

No wonder, the late Playwright Francis Imbuga was right when he said this in Betrayal in City: "It was better while we waited. Now we have nothing to look forward to. We have killed our past and are busy killing our future." South Sudan emancipated itself from the butcher of Darfur only to manufacture two butchers who don’t care about peace and human life!

The two political opponents-Salvar Kiir and Riek Machar lack leadership, are power hungry and suffers from a syndrome deeply embedded in most African dictators. They don’t care about peace at all. Why have they made a ‘U’ on a cease fire they signed last week?

Back to the history of South Sudan’s struggle for liberation, what was the reason for emancipation when Southerners are killing each other left and right because of power?

Salvar Kiir and Riek Machar have proved to the World that independence for South Sudan was a mistake; it was a mistake because the country is a “hot bed” for civil strife and anarchy. South Sudan is inhabitable… People are dying yet the two leaders are only interested in power.

I wonder if the late General John Garang would have done things differently after the secession if he was a live today. The struggle for power by the two men who once served in the same government may not bring lasting peace to the country.

The crisis has reached a stage that the international community through the United Nations needs to move in with speed and work a formula for a transitional government which will pave the way for presidential elections where the two rivals can fight it out democratically.

Otherwise, what is happening in Africa’s youngest nation may degenerate to the Rwandan horror of 1994. Expecting a peaceful resolution between two rivals is totally untenable.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015


When William Ruto attacks Raila Odinga for corruption in Mumias sugar company, country, even Christ   Jesus, now sited on the right-hand side of God’s throne, looks at Kenya and sees a great   country led by corrupt leaders who LOVE and cherish LIES but HATE the TRUTH.

1)How many times has Ruto been hounded in court over corruption allegations in his political  life?

2) Is it not Ruto who has a case at The ICC where he is accused of roasting humans alive in a worship sanctuary in Eldoret and went ahead to illegally acquire 100 acres of land belonging to Adrian Muteshi, an internally displaced person (IDP) at the height of the violence?

3)Is it not Ruto who rose to millionaire status just within two months while campaigning for Nyayo (Moi) under the Youth for Kanu (YK92)?

4)Ruto purports to have sold chicken in Turbo to rise to millionaire status. I challenge him and his supporters to tell Kenyans how many chicken sellers on the highway can afford to build a 5 Star Hotel in Sub Saharan Africa?

5)How did AMACO, Assurance Company which is owned by Ruto win the tender to insure all government vehicles in the country? Was there proper bidding to give other companies a level playing field for the tender?

6)As Raila challenged him recently, how justified is it that a man who earns about 2 Million per month uses almost 30 million in harambees per month… if Ruto is not using some voodoo magic to mint these huge sums of money which he uses to buy political loyalty through fake harambees, is it not fair then to conclude that he is a chief looter and corrupt?

7)Is it not Ruto who hijacked the procurement at the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital where he inflated the costs to divert surplus money to put up a personal entity?

8)Is it not the same Ruto who illegally acquired a house in Elgon View Estate in Eldoret?

9)Is it not the same Ruto who featured in the grabbing of Langata Primary School playground?

10)Is it not Ruto who is featured in the Grabbing of Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) plot where his Weston Hotel stands?

11)Is it not the same Ruto who featured in the grabbing of the Kenya Pipeline land in      Nairobi?

12)Is it not Ruto who featured in the grabbing of Prisons land in upper hill Nairobi?

13)Is it not Ruto who is associated with the mysterious disappearance and murder of Meshack Yebei?

14)Is it not Ruto who is associated with the murder of Jacob Juma?

15)Is it not Ruto who is associated with the strangling to death a young boy during a campaign convey with Cyrus Jirongo during the time of President Moi?

16)Is it not Ruto who is associated with the burning alive of worshippers who had sought refuge in the Kiambaa Church in 2007 during the Post-election violence?

17)Is it not Ruto who is  associated with abandoning a child he sired out of wedlock with an underage student?

18)Is it not Ruto who is associated with lies, raw, divisive propaganda in his public pronouncements?

19)Is it not Ruto who has created an atmosphere of fear, animosity, division, strife and tribal politics in the Rift Valley where he always strives to silence and dim political careers of political dissenters like Alfred Keter, Gideon Moi, Isaac Ruto and Johana Ngeno?

All the above are in the public domain. By and large, Ruto can’t spare any empty ground… even a cemetery. He has a gargantuan appetite for land and MORE money. He can use every shortcut to acquire it. Kenyans especially those who can earn a million dollars honestly.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Obama Visit: Kenya Must Borrow a Leaf

Kenyans are more inclined to American politics more than any nation in the globe since Barack Obama, who derives his ancestral heritage in Kenya was elected President in 2008.

The lingering question we need to ask ourselves is this: have we learnt any lesson from the USA’s model of governance in order to improve our own or we are just proud to be associated with the most powerful country led by a President who shares our roots?

Last week, CNN branded Kenya a hot bed for terrorism while doing an analysis on President Obama’s visit which attracted a barrage of condemnations from Kenyans at home and abroad. For me, the report was a solid reality and not a fallacy.

Kenya is one of the biggest terror targets not because the terrorists hate us more but because we have faulty lines caused by a corrupt security system and the government’s incompetence to act upon available intelligence on impending attacks.

Remember, from Westgate Mall, Garissa, Mandera and Lamu; Kenya’s intelligence Service was aware but failed to mitigate the attacks.

Those who got offended by CNN’s use of “hot bed” to describe our vulnerabilities as a terror spot need to remember that, we are indeed a hot bed not only as a terrorism target, but also other vices like corruption, inequality, injustice and nepotism. Let us not whitewash the truth just because it was highlighted by a foreign media.

Remember, desperation mostly caused by corruption, unemployment and inequality, has made many young Kenyans to be radicalized by joining Al-Shabaab terrorist gang.

Back to Obama’s visit, we got excited that he landed in style and glamour in the land of his father. We felt more attached to the most powerful country and its leader in the globe. However, how can public and private citizens capture the utility of Obama’s visit to enhance the future of Kenya?

More importantly, if current leaders in government will ignore the speeches delivered by Obama in Gigiri and Kasarani, we may as well conclude that we are doomed as a nation. Remember, whoever fails to learn from his big brother with global feelers like Obama is either impervious or allergic to progressive leadership.

President Obama spoke eloquently about the impediments which bedevils the success of Kenya. He spoke about the-get-rich-quick methods by public servants which has stifled service delivery and ruined foreign investment. He stressed the need to address inequality which affects marginalized groups like women.

Shying from the truth on the state of our nation isn’t fair at all especially when we are in a quandary on many fronts for instance: the government’s unwillingness to nurture transparency and accountability in public affairs, lack seriousness to fight graft and inequality and a biased justice system which favours the rich at the expense of the poor.

President Obama urged Kenyans to change their attitudes if they expected to transform the country. I agreed with him that corruption can only be tackled if both leaders and citizens are ready to say enough is enough to stop the vice.  

I extend my accolades to President Uhuru Kenyatta for his great eloquence and confidence during a joint press conference with President Obama. He did great beyond our expectations.

However, the tragedy is: when you have a President who rocks in eloquence but is ambivalent to turn his words into action, you have a stagnated country. After all, oratorical prowess is a plus for a leader but cannot add value when it’s not translated into action.

If we can slowly adapt the American brand of politics since we borrowed heavily from their model constitution, it can help us to spur our governance- ensuring accountability, improving public service, safeguarding justice, democracy and the rule of law.

If you admire your neighbour’s manicured lawn, you need to learn how to manicure your own lawn… let us borrow a leaf from Obama’s visit and the USA’s governance systems to improve Kenya.

I urge Kenyans citizens irrespective of their ethnic backgrounds not to be shrouded in ethnic linens; often voting leaders with questionable integrity merely because of sharing an ethnic dialect. Remember, the Americans from all races voted for Obama in 2008 and honoured him for a second term in 2012 despite being black.

Finally, Obama didn’t just come to lecture us but to share his ideas and experiences. He was very candid on how the US keeps trying workable systems for improvement.  He challenged us to choose between improvement and changing our attitudes in order to float and swim as a nation or sink and drown.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Are Western Kenya leaders easy prey for the ruling elites?

The genesis of the current rebellion by Western Kenya leaders begun when Uhuru Kenyatta’s government bailed Mumias Sugar company with Shs1 billion. This is when leaders like the ODM Secretary General started to signal an exit from the opposition.

What our leaders fail to understand is this: it’s the responsibility of any government to bail out struggling companies to enable them regain fiscal soundness.  

What President Uhuru Kenyatta did to Mumias Sugar Company isn’t a favour but his responsibility as Kenya’s chief executive; charged with the responsibilities of ensuring that  public and private sector interests are safeguarded since they affect the livelihood of wananchi.

In the United States, Obama administration has spent a whopping $51 billion tax payers’ money to bail out General Motors. Legislators from his party do not use the bailout it as a stamping pad for political mileage.

In fact, the State of Michigan which is the headquarters of General Motors has a republican governor; Mr. Rick Snyder. I’m sure if Michigan was one of the Kenyan counties, this governor would have defected to the ruling Jubilee coalition.

Therefore, the Luyia leaders gyrating about the Mumias Sugar bailout by sanitizing Uhuru with praises should remember that the 1 billion extended to the company is a loan that the Mumias farmers must eventually pay.

I’m sure we have legislators from the Luyia community who understand economics and fiscal management in government.

Politics aside, the challenges of Mumias Sugar Company are multiple- corruption, mismanagement and importation of cheap sugar by cartels who are actually know by the Jubilee government. That is why it’s appalling to see leaders like Senator Bony Khalwale and MP Ababu Namwamba, who are key opposition figures shying away from these realities.

Truly, what does Khalwale expect the 3 Cord principals to do about Governor Evans Kidero who is suspected to have been involved in the financial meltdown of Mumias Sugar Company?

Raila Odinga, Kalonzo Musyoka and Moses Wetangula do not work with the judiciary or the anti-corruption commission; which has so far been disbanded by Parliament. They have got no prosecutorial powers. Their role as opposition leaders is purely oversight and nothing else.

What Western leaders needs to do is to ask what President Uhuru’s plans are after bailing out the cash-strapped firm. Effective leaders always focuses on treating the symptoms as well as laying out contingency plans to prevent another negative occurrence.

By now, the President would have moved a notch higher to ask Khalwale to provide all the evidence he has so that Governor Evans Kidero can face justice in a court of law. Otherwise, as things stand, politics has taken centre stage.

At first I thought Khalwale’s move was noble when he took Kidero head-on. I now doubt how genuine he is in the whole saga which has taken a political dimension by many leaders in the Luyia community.

In the last election, Kenyans saw how Mudavadi used scapegoats to quit ODM during the nomination stage. Presently, the vibrant Budalangi MP Ababu Namwamba does not sound like the Secretary General of the largest political Party in Kenya. His words speak volumes about his commitment to the Orange Democratic Movement.

Is it a common trend that elected leaders from Western Kenya are easily compromised through monetary enticements (Ugali) from the top echelons of political power?

After the 1992 general election, almost all the 7 MPs elected on the Ford Asili Party of Kenneth Matiba from Western Kenya defected back to Kanu purportedly due to monetary rewards from former President Moi.

In fact, the late Martin Shikuku was left standing like a skeleton when the likes of Benjamin Magwaga and the late Nichodemus Khaniri and others defected to Kanu. This pattern of defection characterized by the quest to be part of government is a barbaric gesture in a multiparty democracy.

Leaders are elected to serve through articulating issues that matter to their constituents. The current dispensation is even rosy since development can be realized in a constituency even when a legislator is in the opposition.

Many Kenyans are shocked to see Moi’s political trend of 20 years ago creeping into our system through elected leaders.

The ‘Ugali’ talk is denting the image of many elected leaders in the country. Even under the current dispensation where funds are devolved to the counties, majority of our leaders especially from the opposition are still manacled in the old Kanu days where leaders sung the Nyayo chorus to realize development in their regions.

When Ababu Namwamba employs double speak, Khalwale appears to capitalize on the Mumias scandal to score political points and former Speaker Kenneth Marende talks like he has undergone a complete metamorphosis, we have to conclude that something is extremely wrong with our leaders. Marende’s Solomonic wisdom as Speaker in the last Parliament earned him a lot of admirers.

It’s sad that even the former UDF Party leader Musalia Mudavadi cannot effectively define what he is up to as a political leader in Kenya. His pronouncement are wobbly.

It’s high time our political leaders cultivated solid principles if they expected Kenyans to take them seriously.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Uhuru and Ruto's lethal propaganda should worry Cord

Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto’s competitors should tread carefully. The two are lethal propagandist who can sell lies to even the most intelligent Kenyans. The two can call a spade a big spoon and a dog a small lion and many Kenyans will shout yeah! They can concoct anything to kill the truth by brainwashing people.  

They know how to manipulate the Church, professionals, youth, their tribesmen, the rich and the poor. Ruto did it successfully in 1992 by sneaking Moi back to power and in 2013, he sandwiched Uhuru with the same tricks which catalyzed Jubilee to power to the chagrin of Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka.
Besides, the self-proclaimed hustler has used extremely unorthodox maneuvers to become one of the wealthiest people in Kenya, if all the corruption spears thrown at him are real. Don’t forget, money and success in Kenya’s political scene are synonymous.

Ruto’s boss- Uhuru Kenyatta, is a beneficiary of the big name- Kenyatta dynasty, family wealth. He can be a big trickster. He has learnt to hold the ropes since his mentor; former President Moi brought him to the political limelight from nowhere to contest for the Presidency in the Kanu party in 2002.

Although he lost the big seat, he kept learning from both Moi and his ‘uncle’ Mwai Kibaki. He bounced to the Presidency in 2013; courtesy of the Supreme Court, which ruled in his favour. The Uhuru and Ruto combination can be lethal politically. They have the capacity to sell even the weirdest propaganda to achieve their ends. In 2013, they used adversity- ICC case to their advantage. Time will tell if The ICC saga will favour them in the 2017 contest if they decide to learn on the same ticket.

My free advice to Raila Odinga and Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka is this, even as you continue to give Uhuru and Ruto sleepless nights in the 2017 contest, when you attack the two in public, don’t let the attack decapitate; let your attack dogs continue pounding hard…Propaganda wins with propaganda and not with facts especially in our political system.

Remember, it’s the last propaganda which sells and ends up convincing many. Ruto successfully convinced his Kalenjin people that it’s Raila Odinga who took him to the ICC. This was the most powerful propaganda which kept Jubilee’s tempo surging in the Rift valley.

Cord needs to utilize its trusted lieutenants especially elected leaders from all parts of the Country to talk about the coalition. It doesn’t make sense when Kenyans only see Mps John Mbadi and Francis Nyenze at the limelight when Cord has many MCAs, MPs, Senators and governors throughout the country.
Kenyans want to hear what Northern Kenya, Rift Valley, Western Kenya and Coast leaders are saying about Cord’s transformative agenda for the country. In as much as Kenyans love former Prime Minister Raila Odinga and former Vice president Kalonzo Musyoka, they are more than happy to also see what key leaders both elected and non-elected are saying about the status of our nation and why Jubilee should be kicked out of power democratically.

Kenyans want to see new faces; new leaders talking about Cord. It’s worthy to note that familiar faces on news headlines from even the most popular leaders can be a monotony especially when you are out to sell a political agenda.

Seeing Raila on the screen as the only critic to the Jubilee government does not reflect well for the opposition. The former PM is not politically childless. Let his admirers play his game while he takes the back seat; controlling the gears. His hard hitting criticism on Jubilee should be ventilated from all men and women who believe in Cord as the alternative government.  

Cord needs to remember this, when Ruto takes the microphone, His propaganda flows like sweet honey. The guy can cry to attract the hoi polloi. When Uhuru speaks, his passion reflects him as a super statesman; natural patriot, incorruptible, focused, intelligent and sharp. He sounds like has all the solutions to the problems that bedevils the country. This must worry Cord. The same applies to Jubilee attack dog, Aden Duale, the loose talker in Jubilee is a great asset a great peddler of propaganda in Jubilee. Ever wondered why Jubilee MPs can’t replace him as majority leader even after misleading the country about the terrorism dossier?

The only consolation for many of us who believe in the possibility of Kenya’s transformations is this: the actions of the two jubilee rulers speaks the opposite. They condone graft, nepotism, disrespect of human life, steals from the poor, purveys injustice and can do anything for the sake of retaining power. A replacement will be a great hurrah for Kenya.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Lupita Nyongo’s move on wildlife conservation is laudable but she will face hurdles

The elephant is an endangered species
The poaching of wildlife, proliferation of arms, abuse of illicit drugs and corruption are vices well known by many national governments. The Kenya government for instance has the capacity to deal with poaching and even corruption once and for all but, we all know that it’s elusive for a judge to sentence his own son for life imprisonment.

We need to laud Lupita Nyongo for joining global conservationists to try and save our elephants which are being killed at an alarming rate for its valuable ivory. However, any effort worthy its weight in salt for local and global conservation is for governments where poaching is rampant to cooperate with private actors like Lupita Nyongo for purposes of information sharing, capacity building, judicial interventions through heavy penalties on convicted poachers and activism to sever diplomatic links with nations which harbour poachers and open markets for wildlife products.

Lupita’s initiative is great. Her fresh passion to save our elephants depicts the validity of her dreams as envisaged in a speech she gave after winning the Oscar. She has joined the league of Dr Richard Leakey and Prince Philip; The Duke of Edinburg, who is also the patron of the Wild Wide Fund (WWF), amongst other world conservationists. The Oscar winner needs to be supported so that Kenya can realize the fruits of her efforts to combat poaching.

This is the time Lupita needs to dialogue with the Kenyan government and also work closely with the Kenya wildlife service to capture the loopholes which have made poaching a thriving illegal business for many decades despite the government efforts to combat it. If she is not supported, all her energies will be dry words; while our wild life will continue being killed by a few people who want shortcuts to riches.

Like drug cartels in South America, poaching is a get-quick-rich avenue often pursued by who-is-who in the society. Its economic benefits are huge. Many African governments are often aware who the direct beneficiaries of the wildlife trade are but often stays mum. For instance, it will be a big lie to say that the government of Kenya is not aware of those killing our elephants in the country’s national parks and game reserves.

Kenya has even embraced the Chinese when the demand for wildlife materials is so lucrative in China and other Asian markets. The Chinese are building our roads and bridges which often traverse through natural terrains inhabited by our wildlife…Can we trust that they are honest and cannot capitalize on their presence in the country to perpetuate illegal poaching since the market for wildlife products in China is sky high?

Kenya now boasts as being a true friend of China, I wonder if our country has initiated any measures to ensure that the Chinese government acts tough on wildlife trade which has a direct impact on the lives of our wildlife. Just like the way the people of Kisii conduct their stone carving at Tabaka soapstone grounds, ivory carving is a legal business in Guangzhou, one of the biggest cities in China.

According to Adam Welz, a South African writer, some African governments are trying their best to stamp out poaching through military empowerment to its rangers especially in South Africa. In the local scene, Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) is more equipped, coordinated and with better equipment than where it used to a decade ago but the rate of poaching is twice higher. Nothing has scaled down the poaching of elephants and rhinos. Not even setting ivory on fire which Kenya has done several times.

I’m not being pessimistic with the efforts Lupita Nyongo has initiated in the fight against poaching but I’m skeptical if her efforts will yield any results without government engagement and intervention. Engaging the government and the intelligence service is the best way to go because they know local cartels involved in the illegal trade.

Just like the Kenyan government knows those behind corruption and illegal drug business, they know 100% those behind poaching.

Keep up the good job Lupita, and welcome to a society where thieves, drug barons and poachers are revered and celebrated. They attract and control power, they shape national debate in anything as they continue to kill our elephants and rhinos whose money they use to buy political loyalty.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Looting of public coffers in Kenya has skyrocketed

Now we are told, the country has no back-up for its financial system, and that local corrupt guys leave alone online thieves/hackers from some West African country can easily compromise the country’s treasury and cripple the economy completely.

Imagine with a digital government; with an ICT Ministry yet we lack a contingency plan in case the current servers storing the country’s financial data are compromised! Why should the government expose its vulnerability or something bad has already happened and we are being sabotaged? Is it not tragic that we have a government which is smart at executing election rigging mechanisms yet they cannot protect and safeguard the country’s financial data?

We have MPs who have totally forgotten what their roles are as representatives of the people. Many have been in Parliament longer enough to comprehend how the country’s financial systems operate and should be at the front line to protect the interests of the nation in many fronts.

It was just March last year, when the auditor General Mr. Edward Ouko revealed that the government was not able to account for Sh500bn from the year 2012. Truly, where did this money go? What is the work of the public accounts committee? What measures has the government especially the executive done to locate how these whooping sum of money disappeared?

The government is now telling the country openly that our financial servers can be hacked easily due to lack of backups. Who knows we've been hacked already and revealing this openly is just sabotage.

Fast backward, no government officials or legislators have voiced any concerns that out of Sh 920 billion spent by government in the financial year 2011/2012, Sh303 billion was not accounted for. Where did all these money go yet when our MPs saw President Uhuru Kenyatta dishing just 1 billion as a bailout to Mumias sugar company, they literally worshiped him.

Nobody has even questioned the source of the 1 billion? Without forgetting, in the 2012 financial year, the treasury received Sh 142.5 which was not spent; a clear demonstration that some government bodies are incapable of spending budgetary allocations meant for national development.

Last month, the auditor general report released shocking revelations that a whopping Sh 67 billion cannot be accounted for. The looting of public monies is a matter of grave concern for the country's success in the current era of devolution. Coincidentally, the report came out when a State corporation, Kenya Airways is running on a deficit of Sh28 billion.

Who can protect Kenyans from these challenges because the government, elected representatives and other bodies have failed?
1.How to stop internal and external thieves from hacking our treasury system since the government has revealed we are vulnerable?
2.Where unspent money returned to the treasury in more than three financial years disappears to?
3.How the executive is acquiring all the money they are spending  to buy political loyalty under the aegis of development?
4.How to locate the billions of Shs unaccounted for in many financial years!
5.How to recover the monies which has been looted by known thieves!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015


What assurance does Cord have that Uhuru’s Jubilee won’t play monkey tricks to remain in power just like what Kibaki’s PNU did in 2007? How come Raila Odinga, the liberator who has fought for the country in decades hasn’t learnt the tricks of taking power to liberate the Kenyan people after he was robbed victory in 2007?

The guy was in power with Kibaki and would not even use his intelligence to decipher the plans Kibaki had with Uhuru and Ruto in the 2013 election contest. You can’t be the best player in a soccer match and fail to score a single goal! For a man who has fought for liberation in decades, and with a deeper interest to entrench best leadership practices in the country, how come Raila would not take advantage as Kibaki's co-principal in the grand coalition government to win and actually take power?

Democracy is an expensive tool. The likes of Shikuku, Anyona, Jaramogi etc went to their graves fighting for liberation but they never achieved much. That is why sometimes following democratic channels in a crooked system like ours can be costly politically. Raila may end up leaving the scene without getting a chance to showcase his yearnings for the nation of Kenya and this will be too sad indeed.

Truly, did Raila Odinga learn any lesson from 2017 election fiasco, to let novices- Uhuru and Ruto to take power and ruin the country?
As we stride towards 2017, does Raila Odinga, Wetangula and Kalonzo Musyoka of Cord have a solid strategy to SNATCH power from Uhuru and Ruto? Just like Miguna says, winning is one thing and taking power is another. This is a solid reality in our system whether you like or not.

I’m sure there are no contingency plans for 2017… Raila Odinga as Prime Minister and Kalonzo Musyoka as Vice President in the Nusu Mkate government were so complacent in the 2013 contest. They slept on the job while the tricky and moneyed Ruto of the YK92 fame and Uhuru Kenyatta; backed by his predecessor, Mwai Kibaki played smart cards to take power.

Leaving the country on the hands of the 2 dubious men for another 5 years from 2017 will be a risky venture for the country. After all, the two dudes are smart and Cord MUST wake up before it’s too late.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Diaspora voting mechanisms should accommodate all Kenyans abroad

Joseph Lister Nyaringo's perspectives on how external voting will increase political participation and thereby contribute to political accountability for democratic development in Kenya....
Kenya’s Diaspora is huge. From those living in Uganda to those in Sydney, Monaco China, Qatar, Russia, South Sudan and Brazil. The fixation by media and the Kenyan government to Kenyans living only in the USA is not only wrong but also one-sided.

The more than 3 million Kenyans living abroad do not only come from the USA but from other parts of the world where they have spread their businesses wings, investments and expertise which is an advantage to the country.
That is why recent announcement by the government to zone 6 voting centres in the USA where majority of Kenyans live does not make sense. Any democratic government worth its weight in salt should focus to ensure that the highest percentage of Kenyans living abroad is given a chance to exercise their universal suffrage.

Exercising one’s democratic right in an election means that every vote must count. The government should not focus on big numbers a lot but ensure that even in countries where you will only find less than 20 Kenyans living there must be given a chance to vote.

After all, how will a Kenyan living in Alaska travel to Washington DC to vote? How about those living in Asia, Europe and South America; leave alone those living in Uganda and who may not have a chance to travel to Kenya during voting day? 

Remember, not all Kenyans will have the privilege to travel home during the electioneering period to cast their votes but all can be made possible by the IEBC because the body has the capacity to do so. 
If millions of Kenyans shillings were lost on fake BVR kits for the 2013 polls, why not start early since elections are 3 year away?

First of all, the best mode to accommodate voters living abroad is through e-voting since we live in the information age. To make this happen, the government through Dr Fred Matiangi, who is the Cabinet Secretary for ICT together with IEBC’s Issack Hassan, need to work mechanisms to ensure that Diaspora can vote electronically in 2017.

Focusing on 6 voting zones in the US; will only attract a poor voter turnout but will not cater for the democratic interests of other Kenyans scattered all over the globe. We even wonder how the government came up with the establishment of the 6 voting zones in the USA. We hope it’s not the work of the some dubious registered Diaspora organization purporting to speak on behalf of Kenyans living abroad!

Since the supreme law of the land allows Diaspora voting, the same should be applied to all citizens across the board irrespective of where they live. This is the surest way to avoid disenfranchising them on an important matter like the right to vote.

By the way, when did Ambassador Robinson Githae quit his diplomatic duties to join the IEBC? Note that it’s his office in Washington DC which announced the formation of 6 voting zones in the US.

If the IEBC wasn’t involved in these latest arrangements since it’s the only body mandated by the constitution to coordinate all matters related to elections in the country, then Githae’s announcement totally unconstitutional.

Who knows this is a conduit to pre-rig the 2017 polls using a diplomat who also doubles as a senior government civil servant serving as ambassador?

On voting rights for Kenyans living abroad, many developing democracies like Angola, Dominican Republic, Philippines, Ecuador and Iran have made it possible for their nationals residing abroad to vote.

Why not Kenya when we are actually a head in many fronts compared to the said countries?
It must be remembered that a well managed external voting despite accounting for a relatively low percentage of overall turnouts can have a considerable impact on election results. This is the true essence of democracy where every vote and every voice must count to define the leadership destiny of a country. 

IEBC should start an early head count of Kenyans living abroad and then map out proper online voting systems.

Kenyans living abroad are tired of being sanitized about the huge remittances they make to boost the exchequer. They need tangible mechanisms put in place to address their social and political interests in the land of their heritage.

Statistically, in the year 2014, diaspora remittance was Kshs. 122 billion. It’s projected that this will increase to Kshs. 245 billion in the year 2015. This isn’t mean business to the national economy from the Diaspora. And indeed, it should stir the current government to enact laws which caters for the interests of Kenyans living abroad.

Why not even the creation of a 48th County in the Country, a senatorial seat or even a constituency? Kenyans abroad need a say; a big say in the management of Kenya’s affairs. Currently, the Diaspora affairs are managed under a mere Directorate under Dr. Amina Mohamed’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This directorate has been accused of mismanagement of diaspora affairs and most recent during the just concluded Easter Conference. A full-fledged Ministry will be a step in the right direction to address Diaspora challenges in a more coordinated manner.

Finally, entrenching mechanisms for external voting will increase political participation and thereby contribute to political accountability for democratic development in Kenya. It’s also part of citizens’ rights in the quest for best leadership practices in a country where they derive their identity and national origin.