Connect with us

Opinion

Politics Of Coalition Building For 2022: Both Ruto And Raila Stand To Lose

Pundits have observed that Raila has been cheated out of his presidential elections victory three times in a row.

Published

on

By Dr Vincent O. Ongore Public Policy analyst

We are witnessing high-level political strategy and treachery unfolding before our very eyes.

The brains behind this latest strategy of coalition building must be political geniuses.

The intended beneficiaries and losers are both camouflaged. What’s obvious to many naked eyes is the presumed loser in this game.

As an insider, that presumed loser understood from the very outset the scheme to systematically edge him out of the very center of state power. He promptly moved out to carve a new political life of his own, away from the hostilities of the center.

As things stand, both the apparent loser and the heir presumptive will most probably lose, with the latter loosing big time!

The unfolding coalitions, though characteristic of political re-arrangements preceding every election cycle in Kenya, are telling in many ways.

First, the Moi orphans have attempted to coalesce under a new outfit dubbed ‘One Kenya Alliance.’ The main target of the alliance appeared to be Raila Odinga who, for long, has been viewed as the only ‘meddlesome outsider’ who has significantly transformed the political landscape in ways that will take ages to mend. The strategists behind the alliance quickly realized that with DP William Ruto and opposition maestro Raila Odinga out of it, they were not going anywhere.

They have gone back to the drawing board. It should be appreciated that the overriding goal of the latest efforts at coalition building is not a manifest hatred of Ruto or love of Raila. Far from it. It’s about a permanent interest, and how to protect it in the post-Uhuru Kenyatta dispensation.

The coalition strategists will go to any length or depth to craft a satisfactory arrangement that will put a most trusted prince at the levers of power.

The winning coalition may not necessarily be the most popular with Kenyans, but it will certainly be the most trusted by the deep state.

DP William Ruto’s demeanor over the last eight years has left observers with no doubt as to his ruthlessness and huge appetite for property and opulence. He can stop at nothing in his bid for primitive accumulation. Besides, he has never hidden his intention to fulfill the ambitions of the late Nandi legislator Jean-Marie Seroney who emphasized that ‘every inch of the Nandi (read Kalenjin) soil belongs to the Nandi.’The late Seroney made the famous statement in relation to Mzee Kenyatta’s policy of aggressive settlement in Rift Valley of the displaced Kikuyu people.

Most of the Kikuyu were displaced by the British from the ‘White Highlands’ and a good number of them who agitated for their land rights driven to concentration camps. Many of them ran to the forests to join the MAU MAU fighters. When they came out of the forests after independence, there was a great shock awaiting them: their land had been taken over by black imperialists who, for many years, had worked for the British as informers, homeguards and sell-outs.

The land had been transformed into large commercial farms, and placed under the ownership of comprador groups of Kikuyu elite and their British business partners. This was rather surprising and disappointing at the same time to the MAU MAU returnees who were hopeful of enjoying new found freedom and independence on their land after the departure of their British colonialists and tormentors. That was never to be.

On realizing that a new fight was in the offing, this time pitting poor Africans against wealthy collaborators, President Kenyatta decreed that they be settled in Rift Valley and Coat Provinces. At that time all the powers to distribute land was vested on the person of the President.

So, Kenyatta used the constitutional powers to help himself to huge tracts of land in Rift Valley and the Coast regions, and also eliminate the eyesore of the MAU MAU landlessness by settling some of them there.

The idea was to completely delink the Kikuyu Diaspora from their kith and kin in Central Kenya, and ensure that they remained there to prevent them from distabilizing the property ownership structure back ‘home’ and in Rift Valley where the same groups of elite had acquired mind-boggling acreages of farmland side-by-side the British commercial interests.

With the support of the British and their surrogates, the Kenyan elite have systematically entangled the Provincial Administration, senior members of security agencies, foreign investors, politicians and the military into a complex web of property ownership that has come to define the ‘permanent interest’ for which the ‘deep state’ exists to protect. Political power rotates around property and the promise to protect it without questioning the predatory arrangement between Kenya and foreign interests. This is true of Kenya, and it’s true of other African countries.

Resource-rich countries of Africa exist to serve the interests of the West, and are expected to be exceedingly thankful as they get paid infinitesimal fractions of the real value of their resources. That’s the way geopolitics works. Any politician who threatens to run a parallel arrangement to the ‘permanent interest’ must be driven farther and farther away from the center of power.

DP Ruto and Raila Odinga haven’t ‘washed their hands’ sufficiently to join the table. But they are hugely popular with the masses of poor Kenyans. This is a threat to the permanent interest, for no one knows what they would do with political power if they got it. For that reason, they must not be allowed to join forces and work together in pursuit of their political ambitions. When the two teamed up in 2007, their coalition easily made minced meat of the Kibaki coalition that even had official state machinery at their disposal. The rest, as they say, is now history.

The state cannot countenance a repeat of that embarrassment. They will do anything and everything to stop it. Let nobody be misled into believing that between Ruto and Raila there’s a preferred candidate. Not at all.

The deep state cannot entrust either of them to protect their interest. You can take this to the bank either in Eldoret or Kisumu: I do not know who will wield executive presidential powers in 2022, but I can bet that it will be neither Ruto nor Raila. What you’re seeing is a smokescreen.

All politicians have ambition to wield the ultimate executive power in their country. There’s nothing short of political power that politicians want. Pundits have observed that Raila has been cheated out of his presidential elections victory three times in a row. He now understands very well that it is not the people who vote that matter, but those who count the vote.

At 76, Raila has mellowed. He’s no longer the maverick of 2007. The deep state can now do business with him. Raila himself has realized, rather late, that it’s not by one’s might that the Presidency is delivered, but by external forces that even the president doesn’t control.

Those forces trust Mudavadi, Kalonzo, Wetangula and Gideon Moi more than they do Raila and Ruto. Of the four, Gideon Moi is the most preferred. Unfortunately, the four trusted gentlemen are political feather-weights who do not even control their own backyards.

In fact, in the 2017 presidential elections, Raila got more votes than Mudavadi in the latter’s backyard of Vihiga. Likewise, Ruto whitewashed Gideon Moi in Baringo where the latter was fronting for KANU candidates. Kalonzo is always under the constant threat of Charity Ngilu in Kitui County. Wetangula, on his part, has never managed to shake off the Bukusu tag.

On their own, the four gentlemen cannot even be relied on to deliver votes from their communities. This puts the deep state in a catch 22 situation where they have to work with people they don’t trust.

The proposed Jubilee-NASA coalition should be understood in the foregoing context. Note that the proposed coalition must bring in all the NASA constituent parties so as to pacify their respective constituencies.

The biggest catch, though, is the ODM leader, Raila Odinga. The proposed coalition with his erstwhile political opponents will damage Raila in at least two ways. First, it will deny him an opportunity to present his candidature for the Presidency without clearance from the new outfit. If he defiantly bolts out, it might be too late, and he will certainly have lost the support of his NASA coalition partners. By then, Ruto will most probably have fully established his presidential campaign structures. If Raila chooses to join him, he can only do so on Ruto’s terms, and play second fiddle. I am not sure Raila would be comfortable with such an arrangement.

Second, it will be a herculean task for Raila to shake off the tag of a selfish politician who has been in alliance with the oppressors. It’s equally noteworthy that the proposed coalition will be heavy on political luminaries.

The current constitutionally supported political architecture of the country can hardly accommodate more than two senior political positions: President and DP. For the ambitions of all the party leaders to be accommodated, the BBI must be implemented.

In Kenya, the President can get his way if he’s so determined to. So, we need to brace ourselves for surprises. The time is not just right for betting on political outcomes. The defections from Central Kenya to UDA might not mean much in real politicss.

We witnessed numerous such defections from KANU to FORD in the early 1990s. The excitement about Raila finally becoming president should equally be kept on hold. The greatest advantages that the deep state enjoys are that it controls the state coffers and the constitutional means of violence.

Every politician has a price. Their prices are known to the deep state. To one side, the carrot will be dangled. They will weigh their options, then figure out how to hoodwink the voters to tag along. On the other side of the aisle, the stick will be shown, then an opportunity to settle on the middle ground will be explored.

Both Raila and Ruto fully understand what the state is capable of achieving with the carrot and stick. They are not naive. Raila is most likely going to be cajoled into supporting someone for executive Presidency or premiership, in exchange for an overrated ceremonial position.

The negotiators on the Jubilee side know fully well that Raila controls half, if not more, of the country. He’s capable of paralyzing the country to create conditions for negotiations. Unfortunately, sympathetic, and therefore, pathetic in the nuts and bolts of negotiation itself. He always leaves the negotiation table with crumbs.

On the other hand, Ruto is a hard-nosed, no-nonsense negotiator who manages to get literally most of what he asks for. Nobody wants Ruto at the negotiation table now. They would rather deal with him on an arm’s length basis.

Both Ruto and Raila stand to lose. But, an impression will be created that one of them is preferred to the other so that they spend the rest of the time to election barking at each other. That way, there will be no opportunity for them to work together, and the strategy shall have succeeded. That’s what will happen. All the political players know this fact and are playing along. Whatever campaigns are going on are mere to raise political stakes for negotiations. Other than that, the rest is mere politics.

Finally, an arrangement will be cobbled up in which all political interests will be accommodated, whether or not it works to the benefit of the ordinary Kenyan.

Let’s compare notes on this post later. Thank you.

Kenya Elections 2022

The People’s Manifesto Must Be Inclusive Of Economic And Political Institutions

Published

on

By Auscar Odhiambo Wambiya

As the race towards August 2022 elections hots up in Kenya, debate rages on economic and development models that Kenya should adopt in the post elections dispensation.

In the recent weeks, we have seen political parties hold public rallies, listening tours and national delegates conferences to either unveil presidential candidates or adopt economic or development models that they seek to champion if or when they form government after the elections.

As ultimate presidential candidates spruce up their manifestos,  ahead of their launch towards August 2022, it is essential that the people’s manifesto wins.

What does a people’s manifesto portend? Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson in their book, “Why Nations Fail; The Origins of Power, Prosperity and Poverty,” answer with the argument that economic and political institutions are the greatest people centered engines of prosperity among and within nations. Further, that inclusive economic and political institutions are those that allow and encourage participation by the great mass of people in economic and political activities, that make the best use of their talents and skills and that enable individuals to make the choices they wish. To be inclusive, the people’s manifesto must feature ideas on how to secure private property, an unbiased system of law and a provision of public services that provides a level playing field in which people can exchange and contract. It must also permit the entry of new businesses and allow people to choose their careers.

As manifestos get unveiled,  Kenyans need to scrutinize them on whether they answer the people’s needs, while building on Kenya’s Vision 2030. Kenya aspires to be a middle income economy, with the political pillars envisioning a democratic political system that is issue based, people centered, result oriented and accountable to the public.

Empirically, it is impossible to achieve inclusive economic prosperity without inclusive political institutions. That is why we must fix the politics and the economics simultaneously.

In the education sector, for example, Kenyan’s must embrace manifestos that promote entrepreneurial initiative, creativity and adequately prepare pupils and students for skilled work. Most professionals in the education sector agree that the recently launched Competency Based Curriculum is conscious of skills for future work. One need to find out if their candidate speaks to the competency based curriculum. If not, much of the education our children will receive in future, could end up being propaganda meant to shore up the legitimacy of the regime in power with fewer and limited books to read, let alone computers.

Does the future education espoused in your candidates manifesto embrace technology and innovation?

Evidence now exist to show that inclusive economic and political institutions foster economic activity, productivity growth, and economic prosperity. Secure private property rights are central, since only those with such rights will be willing to invest and increase productivity. A businessman who expects his output to be stolen through corrupt institutions, expropriated, or entirely taxed away will have little incentive to work, let alone any incentive to undertake investments and innovations. But such rights must exist for the majority of people in society according to Doran and Robinson in “Why Nations Fail.” The people’s manifesto must therefore speak very candidly to the investment atmosphere anticipated by the next government and whether it will promote a market economy, built on private property where successful entrepreneurs, both local and foreign, enjoy the fruits of their investments and efforts.

These will have ripple economic effects on the ordinary citizens at the bottom of the economic pyramid.

Inclusive economic and political institutions create inclusive markets, which not only give people freedom to pursue the vocations in life that best suit their talents, but also, provide a level playing field that gives them the opportunity to do so.

Those who have good ideas will find it easy to start businesses, workers will tend to go to activities where their productivity is greater and less efficient firms can be replaced by more efficient ones.

Setting up inclusive economic and political institutions is therefore much more than sloganeering and giving handouts to woo voters, it includes long term structural and systems thinking. Can you say this about your candidate’s manifesto?

If people’s manifesto that embrace inclusive institutions lead to prosperity, why are they shunned? Joseph Schumpeter, former Finance Minister of Germany-Austria, suggests that political leaders oppose such manifestos for fear of what he calls creative destruction.

This is because inclusive institutions replace the old system with the new, new sectors that embrace technology and guarantee higher returns to the people attract resources away from the old sectors where looting has been easier. This, as an example explains the low uptake of technology driven revenue collection at the national level and in the counties because the porous manual revenue collection systems are avenues for pilferage. The process of economic growth and the inclusive institutions upon which it is based create losers as well as winners in the political arena and in the economic marketplace.

What does the manifesto of your candidate say on embracing new structural systems that will empower the people in the long term?

On the opposite end of this manifesto debate is the extractive economic and political institutions which should be looked out for and shunned ahead of August 2022. Poor economic performances are attributable to manifestos that fail to create incentives for parents to educate their children and by political institutions that fail to induce the government to build, finance and support schools and the wishes of parents and children.

The price that nations whose institutions are extractive pay for lack of inclusive markets is high. They fail to mobilize their nascent talent.

If we fail to scrutinize these manifestos, we could end up with ruining many people with potential like Bill Gates and perhaps one or two Thomas Edison or Albert Einsteins who will work as poor, uneducated farmers. People being coerced to do what they do not wish to do, like pushing a wheelbarrow around, because they never had the opportunity to realize their vocation in life.

Keep vigil. Most importantly, ask yourself what the candidate’s history and record is with regard to respect for and execution of inclusive economic and political institutions.

The Writer is a Masters in Development Studies Graduate of The Catholic University of Eastern African. He is based in Siaya County.

Continue Reading

Opinion

Though I’m Kikuyu, I Won’t Vote To Give Ruto 20 Years In Power

Published

on

By

 

By Koigi Wamwere

Some people say every Kikuyu man and woman will spontaneously elect Ruto as the next president come year 2022.

But this is an open falsehood. Though I am a Kikuyu, I will not automatically vote for William Ruto or anyone else to be Kenya’s next president when next elections come.

But while Ruto wants every Kikuyu to vote for him because he or she is Kikuyu, just as he wants every Kalenjin to vote for him because he is Kalenjin, I will not deny William Ruto a vote because he is Kalenjin and not Kikuyu like me. Nor will I vote for anybody merely because they are Kikuyu. I will only deny Ruto a vote because he is not fit to be president of Kenya for the following ten reasons.

First, the next president Kenya must be a president who is totally committed to the elimination of corruption and negative ethnicity. But from his history, William Ruto is not a leader of integrity and cannot be relied upon to develop Kenya by eradicating corruption.

Second, from my knowledge, Ruto is not a patriot or a nationalist capable of sacrificing his personal interests to save the country from any danger or tragedy like dictatorship. For me, the only reason Ruto pursues leadership is wealth and power. As a youth, Ruto therefore never did anything to save Kenya from one-party dictatorship.

Three, despite public pronouncement, Ruto never fought for democracy and will not protect democracy as a president because, philosophically, he does not believe in democracy. Instead he believes in dictatorship and therefore fights to protect dictatorship as he did when he was in the YK 92. How can I who has been a victim of dictatorship vote for Ruto who believes in tyranny?

Four, Ruto wants me to vote for him, not because he qualifies to be president who will protect my freedom and improve my life, but only because I am a Kikuyu and he is a Kalenjin and the two communities are in a political coalition, not for the good of the two communities but aggrandizement of their leaders and economic elites. This to me is no reason to vote for Ruto.

Five, Ruto would also want me to vote for him, not because he qualifies to be president, but because he voted for Uhuru as president and every Kikuyu therefore owes him a debt of gratitude for which he or she must pay or be shown the door out of Rift Valley.

Six, though Kikuyu, I don’t owe Ruto a debt. I could only have a debt of Ruto, if Ruto had ever voted for me or ever gave me anything and cannot be forced to vote for Ruto. Nor can I be forced to vote for Ruto because I live in Rift Valley which is an integral part of Kenya. As it is, Ruto and Uhuru have never voted for me. And nor have they done anything for me. Instead of Kikuyus owing Ruto a debt, it is Ruto who owes Kikuyus a debt.

Seven, had UhuRuto government transformed Kenya economically in the last 5 years Uhuru and Ruto have been in power, I could have an excuse to vote for Ruto. Right now when I look around, I see no transformation for which I can vote for Ruto. The only transformation I see is Ruto’s personal transformation and enrichment. We have had so many strikes starting from Doctors to lecturers but he only think of how he will own everything in the country. He has never raised an issue to benefit an ordinary Kenyan as he move around the country to meet his own heart desires. Should I therefore vote for Ruto’s further personal transformation instead of trying someone who can transform Kenya?

Eight, for Kenyans to give William Ruto not just 10 years of vice-presidency but another 10 years of presidency, he and Uhuru need to have done so wonderfully that Kenya would have achieved half of Singapore’s development which we can expect him to complete if we give him 10 years of presidency. As it is, it would be suicidal and crazy if Kenyans were to give Ruto 20 years of power, almost same time Moi lasted in power.

Nine, not even Ruto’s background as a hustler should persuade the so-called hustler nation or poor people to vote for him. Ruto is no longer a hustler or poor person. If anything he is already a trillionaire or double trillionaire who like other rich people thrives on exploiting poor people.

Ten, even Ruto’s early campaign for presidency using government projects should not persuade any Kenyan to vote for him. And he is especially disqualified for presidency because he is blamed for rigging so many people in the last election to create a political network that will ensure he is voted for presidency come 2022.

Continue Reading

Opinion

Liech Community Living In Kenya Congratulates H.E President Salva Kiir For Signing Peace Pact With SPLM-IO (Kitwang Faction)

I take this honour to assure his Excellency the President that he has the full backing of our Association. We shall play our part in disseminating messages of peace and reconciliation within and among our people in South Sudan and the region at large. 

Published

on

Leaders of South Sudan During the signing of peace deal with President Salva Kiir.

The Liech community Association in Kenya is in receipt of the Peace Agreement signed between the government of South Sudan and the three leaders of the SPLM-IO (Kitgwang faction) led by General Simon Gatwech Dual on 16th January, 2022 in Khartoum, Sudan. 

Deal of the day

On behalf of this Association and the entire people of Unity State, I congratulate you on your success in restoring peace in our country. 

On 7th August, 2021, we wrote a petition letter asking the office of the Moderator General of the Presbyterian Church of South Sudan and Sudan, to mediate between the two SPLM-IO factions to avoid bloodshed. However, when this did not happen as we expected, many precious lives and valuable properties were lost as a result of violent clashes between these two factions mainly in Upper Nile State. 

We did not know that His Excellency the President would be willing or voluntarily accept to initiate a talk with Gen. Simon Gatwech Dual, because he declined to work with him when he was appointed as Presidential Advisor on 20th June 2021.  As such we equally express gratitude to the SPLM-IO Kitgwang Leader for the positive change of heart, and for seeing into it that the country and peace are better than anything else.  

I take this honour to assure his Excellency the President that he has the full backing of our Association. We shall play our part in disseminating messages of peace and reconciliation within and among our people in South Sudan and the region at large. 

Dak Buoth Riek-Gaak,
Chairperson, Liech community Association in Kenya

Deal of the day

Continue Reading

Deal of the day

Trending