Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Raila should bring back Miguna Miguna to tackle Jubilee

The 2017 General Elections will be, most probably, former Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s last shot in his quest for the presidency. Should he get his equation wrong, his goose is cooked and the more reason he should hung-up his political boots.
Even as he continues with his offensive against President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Jubilee Administration, he needs to get his act together – and probably reconsider reconstituting his team of ‘defenders’.
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 (ODM) Secretary General Ababu Namwamba at a time when he should be articulating the party agenda before the nation now that we are a year 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, Namwamba’s deputy, has since gone mute.
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.
And the most worrying trend now is that the CORD Governors are nowhere to be seen, their silence is deafening. They have forgotten that they are politicians with a responsibility to defend the coalition’s agenda in order to successfully seek re-election in 2017.
Raila is an enigma in Kenyan politics, and his ground cannot be matched. In the recent past, he has unraveled deep scandals within the Jubilee government but his crusade decapitates immediately because he lacks people in his party and the CORD coalition to stir the momentum which eventually gives Jubilee’s Aden Duale, Kithure Kindiki and Deputy President William Ruto room to launch vicious attacks at him as well as spin the truth in their favour.
Have you ever wondered why Jubilee MPs cannot replace Duale as Majority Leader in Parliament despite making many misleading statements which tarnish the name of Jubilee?
Ruto’s words flow like honey when he takes the microphone and especially when addressing gullible voters. 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 is Raila who took him to the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Listening to Uhuru, he sounds like an Obama replica – a super statesman, focused, intelligent and sharp. It’s like he has all the solutions to the problems facing Kenya which is not the case.
On whether, CORD has built any contingency measures to dispel the ICC notion, tackle Duale, Ruto and Uhuru, as we stride towards 2017, remains to be seen. In fact, people in Ruto’s turf still reflect Raila in as far as his (Ruto’s) woes at the ICC are concerned.
To tackle this, Raila needs strong people who will spur the momentum of his charm offensive against Jubilee. That is why he needs to bring back Mr. Barrack Muluka, a witty and 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.
Even if they parted ways, Miguna has always proved to be one of the strongest 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 Duale in readiness for 2017.
Raila has sacrificed so much 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” sarcastically 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; Use absence to increase respect and honor.
Appearing on media 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 his 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 in the front line as an alternative government need to put their act together before 2017.
It’s worthy to remember that; Elections are literally won now, not in the election year.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Money will determine between Raila and Uhuru, who becomes President in 2017

Joseph Lister Nyaringo and
William Ntoina
The political opposition Coalition for reform and Democracy (Cord) should remember that it will not be a walk in the park for President Uhuru Kenyatta of the Jubilee Coalition to hand over power in 2017.

 However, if Cord will garner votes resoundingly like what NARC did in 2002 when Kibaki was first elected, then President Uhuru Kenyatta may find himself with only one option- to concede.  

The incumbent Uhuru, may also want to safeguard his legacy if Cord wins resoundingly. Such move is likely to ensure that he doesn’t soil family’s name in future contests. This will maintain the trust of Kenyans to the family.

However, if the elections will be too close like what happened in Tanzania between President John Magufuli and his main rival Edward Lowassa last year, Jubilee will take advantage of this where Cord will cry foul but to no fruition. On the other hand, the metrics of 2013 election results will equally be a disaster for Cord.

Cord, should avoid handling their campaign the way they did in 2013.They need a clear strategy devoid of complacence, craft a catchy manifesto which appeals to the populace and ensure a fair and orderly handling of fallouts after party nominations. Above all, identifying a formidable Presidential candidate democratically will deflect a Musalia Mudavadi scenario of 2013.

The Jubilee coalition is lethal in its calculations. Whichever strategy Uhuru used to kill the ICC dragon, the lesson he has learnt as president, and his closeness with two East African leaders- Yoweri Museveni of Uganda and Paul Kagame of Rwanda whose democratic curriculum vitae are questionable, should put Cord on the alert.  

What may help Cord to strengthen itself is to pursue the OKOA Kenya referendum with gusto and determination. This will ensure that, the proposed recommendations like reforming the IEBC to provide a level playing field in the contest are factored in law before the next election.

The opposition should also remember that in Africa, incumbency is pivotal in determining election outcomes. This is because, they control all tentacles of governance which is often used to catalyse victory.

The Jubilee government has been embroiled in numerous financial scandals. Funds have vanished like the Malaysian aircraft without a trace. If the end users happen to be top politicians in Jubilee, this will critically affect the outcome of the election. The stolen money is likely to be used to entice voters, funding candidates and buying defectors from the opposition.

The yet to be launched Jubilee Party of Kenya is riding on a high horse. Through a charm offensive carried out by deputy president Ruto, it is luring opposition legislators with goodies in the Coast and Western Kenya. Things will get murky for Cord as we stride towards 2017.

Many mysterious financial improprieties have been reported on public expenditure. Notably, the government has been fuzzy on the Eurobond and the projects it funded. This was brought to the fore by Raila Odinga.

Secondly, the auditor General’s revelation last year how a whopping Kshs 67 billion could not be accounted for remains as mysterious as the dark side of the moon. To add insult to injury, Kshs 303 was declared unaccounted for during the transition from Kibaki presidency to Uhuru Presidency. The informed can figure out where the money may have disappeared to.

This should catalyze the opposition Cord not to sleep on its tail and expect victory on a silver platter. Since Raila Odinga of Cord is likely to face the incumbent, next year, he needs to think critically with his co-principals- former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka and Senator Moses Wetangula on how they will face the moneyed Jubilee in 2017.

Cord needs to build their campaign on a better strategy as opposed to Jubilee which is only riding on money. Bringing to the fold former politicians like Dr Sally Kosgey, Henry Kosgey, and Kipruto Arap Kirwa who are currently silent will spur Cord’s support base in the vote-rich Rift Valley. In the North eastern Kenya, Senator Billow Kerrow who is one of the dissenting leaders in Jubilee needs to be prevailed upon to join Cord.

It is up to the cord coalition to do its math well if indeed they are serious with taking power from Jubilee which is swimming from crisis to crisis.

Cord should wake up from its slumber bed and craft a technical and well planned election victory formula to outshine the moneyed jubilee which has the advantage of incumbency. Until then, we are closely watching.