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CORD Presidential Candidate Rt. Hon. Raila Odinga Waves to Supporters in Uashin Gishu County
CORD Will Safeguard Turkana Oil Interests
Orange Reporter “Oil can be a blessing or a curse. It all depends on who is in power. A bad leadership can easily sell this oil abroad, pocket all the money and leave the Turkana suffering here the way they have for 50 years now. You should count yourselves lucky that the oil was discovered under the coalition government, otherwise you would have lost everything,” Mr Odinga said. He warned those rushing to the area to buy land for purposes of speculation that it was an exercise in futility as his government would nullify such transactions and have them be looked into a fresh by the coming county government. Page 1 of 6 The Coalition for Reforms and Democracy has asked voters in Turkana County not to trust its rivals with the oil and other valuable natural resources being discovered in the region. CORD Presidential candidate Raila Odinga and running mate Kalonzo Musyoka said their challengers had never shown interest in the development of Turkana until oil was discovered there recently. The leaders were addressing supporters at rallies in Turkana County. Mr Odinga addressed rallies in Lokichar, Kalokol and Lodwar where he said Kenyans had clear choices to make in the coming elections whether to turn left or right. “Turkana region had been forgotten for close to 50 years. It is only now that oil has been discovered here that some of our leaders have realised the county has something to offer. They are now salivating for land here because they know riches are coming,” the PM said. Mr Odinga told residents that whether they benefit from the oil will depend on the government they elect in two weeks time.
“This election is the chance for Kenyans to decide whether they turn left or right. I assure you that if you take the left turn, it will be a path to change and greater prosperity. Branch to the right and you will be taking a journey to the very same Kenya we have known for the last fifty years. Nothing will change,” PM said. Mr Odinga said his government would prioritise the expansion of irrigation schemes already in place and introduce new ones to ensure food security and jobs.
he would ensure herders have grazing rights and secure migration routes. “The irrigation projects I launched here is just a small example of what a government that has your interest at heart can do. It is the will that matters first, then resources will follow. I have shown that I have the will to develop this area,” the PM said. He promised that his government would invest in “truly free” education where parents don‟t dig into their pockets to buy stationery, uniforms and pay teachers. The PM promised to ensure the LAPSETT project runs its course to provide jobs in the Turkana County. He appealed to registered voters to turn out in large numbers and vote for CORD candidates to ensure development comes to the county.
Former Kangundo MP Mr Johnston Muthama, who accompanied Mr Odinga, asked Turkana voters not to trust Jubilee coalition saying the group has leaders who cannot be trusted. Muthama said the oil in the region would never benefit residents if Jubilee wins. “These people signed an agreement with Musalia Mudavadi in the morning one day. Less than 24 hours later, they changed and said it was the devil. Those are not people you can trust with a precious resource like oil,” Muthama said. The PM arrived in Turkana addressed rallies in Lokichar, Kalokol and Lodwar where he was joined by his running mate Kalonzo Musyoka, Moses Wetangula, John Munyes and Josephat Nanok, among others
He said the 10,000 hectare irrigation scheme he launched in Todonyang would be expanded more than two times and he would invest in the security of residents. The PM said CORD would invest in harvesting of rain and underground water for livestock and domestic use, adding that
CORD Presidential Candidate Rt. Hon. Raila Odinga and Hon. Johnson Muthama dance at a Rally in Lokichar, Turkana County
Kenya: A Nation Betrayed by Bad Leadership
Larry Gumbe An analysis of Kenya today shows a nation of boundless potentials yearning for change. A nation of plenty whose people are wallowing in abject poverty while a handful enjoys obscene wealth siphoned out of public coffers. A nation repeatedly betrayed by a cabal of predatory dictators entrusted with the solemn duty to lead and transform. They have privatised the state. They seek to dismember the nation using tribe at the altar of personal aggrandisement. Perhaps for them, Kenya is but a carcass for hounds. We are a people who continue to struggle for justice, equity and prosperity. We stand on the threshold of momentous changes. Whereas this crisis portends danger of disintegration for the nation, it also provides an opportunity for transforming Kenya into a powerful and vibrant nation with a compelling national identity and strong core- values and principles. A prosperous nation in which those born into Page 2 of 6
different circumstances enjoy equality of opportunity and hope and live dignified lives; a nation in which all Kenyans feel at home. Yet even as the nation totters on the brink of collapse, the reactionary forces of backwardness are re-grouping. They are marshalled against the people of Kenya. They seek to hold us in bondage. They want to perpetuate their hold over the state to protect their ill-gotten wealth. In this situation we need to retrace our steps. Where did the rain begin beating us? Colonial Era: Expropriation of a People’s Land, Labour and Resources The problems that we face today can be traced to bad colonial policies which have been compounded by myopic and narrowminded post-colonial leadership. Inherited colonial structures were bound to be a challenge to national development. However, a committed visionary leadership should have been able to transform such structures and create a strong nation capable of meeting the needs of the broad masses of our people. It is worth remembering that Kenya is a colonial creation. In the process of colonizing Uganda to secure the source of the Nile and protect British geo-strategic interests over the Suez Canal in Egypt and their maritime imperialist interests, they needed access to Uganda through Kenya. Thus Kenya was declared a protectorate and later a colony. Creation of an Agrarian Colonial Economy: For Foreign Kitchens and Industries Following the building of the Kenya– Uganda railway, the rich highlands of Kenya were expropriated and alienated to white British settlers. This set in motion the creation of an agrarian colonial economy whose primary purpose was to supply British industries and kitchens. By 1915 there were about 1,000 white settlers to whom over 4.5million acres of land had been alienated. The social and economic infrastructure of the country was consequently organized to fulfil that purpose. African labour and resources were forcefully expropriated as part of the primitive accumulation of capital in the colonial economy. Settlers: A Vision for a Homeland Whereas the colonial office was concerned about metropolitan imperial interests, the settlers saw Kenya becoming a settler
colony in the same manner as Australia and New Zealand. They had a vision of a Kenya dominated by them as a ruling class dominating both the immigrant Indian dukawalas and the Africans. The colonial office was forced to issue the Devonshire White Paper in 1923 which asserted that Kenya was primarily an African country. This did not, however, stop settler interests from dominating the content and direction of state policy. The settlers depended heavily on the colonial state subsidies. The colonial state also ruthlessly extracted and repressed cheap African labour to keep them going, thus retarding African agricultural production. No investments were made in providing education and health facilities for Africans. When the colonial government paid any attention to African education (the PhelpsStokes Commission of 1924), it decided that Africans should receive only practical, agriculturally-oriented education suitable for rural communities. In fact the settlers were mad with missionaries for attempting to give even rudimentary literacy to Africans. No investments were made in African agriculture not to mention industry Colonial Industrial Policy: Consumer Products for Settler Tables As early as 1905, a number of importexport houses established branches in Kenya to satisfy settler consumer needs. These included: Gailey and Roberts, United Africa Company, Mitchell-Cotts and Company, Baumann and Company and Leslie and Anderson. All these exported primary commodities and imported manufactured goods. However, before World War II a policy of Import-Substitution Industrialisation (ISI) was adopted. Instead of importing all manufactured goods, a few industries manufacturing products for sale within East Africa were established. These included: East African Breweries, African Highlands produce Company, Kenya Tea Company, East African Tanning Extract Company, East African Meat Company, Magadi Soda Company, and East African Portland Cement. It is important to note that all these firms were established to promote settler and foreign capital interests. The colonial state, for example undertook to provide not only the loan capital for the construction of the East African Meat Company (a subsidiary of Liebiggs UK) but also to guarantee the factory a steady through-put of cattle by
introducing compulsory purchasing legislation. Consequently the colonial state forced the Akamba herdsmen to de-stock their herds on the dubious grounds that they had over-grazed the land. The real reason was to protect white settlers. In the post-World War II period, the USA emerged as a new super-power and Britain was in decline. US multinational corporations (MNCs) began penetrating protected British colonial markets. At the same time, African nationalism began to threaten the continued hold of settlers over the colonial state. Independence and After: The Creation of a Subservient Political Elite In this context, Britain passed The Colonial Development and Welfare Act of 1940 which provided greater possibilities for initiating industrial projects within the colonies. Within this framework, the British sought to chaperon a guided unionism to avoid working class rebellions. They also sought to enhance the formation of a „responsible middle class‟ which could guarantee capital investments and profit repatriation from the colonies. This way, African nationalists could be brought in to share power with their former colonial masters. The period between 1945 and1963 saw the emergence of a radical nationalist movement that began to demand for independence. The Mau Mau insurgency forced Britain to begin a rapid process of de-colonization. The Swynnerton Plan (1954) argued that the development of capitalist agriculture among the peasantry would be the best way to indigenize capitalism thus providing a bulwark against the emergent radical nationalism. The Kenyatta Era: Betrayal of a Peoples’ Dreams KANU came to power as a popular nationalist movement with a promise, not only to liberate Kenya from the yoke of colonialism, but also our people from the degrading conditions of life they had been subjected to by imperialism. KANU promised to eradicate poverty, disease and ignorance. Kenyans were therefore extremely excited about the future. However, by the end of the first republic, the national dream was dead. It had been killed by narrow ethnic chauvinism. Kenyatta failed to restore displaced persons to their lands; in fact this was a major point of disagreement within KANU. The million acre scheme was hijacked by government Page 3 of 6
operatives for their own gain – giving themselves large tracts of land with many landless. Corruption became a national pastime. The leadership forgot that nation building is a project that requires work and dedication. This period also saw the death of political party politics in Kenya as Kenyatta replaced the party with state bureaucracy. From 1963 to 1975, a number of important changes took place: Kenya became independent (1963); The re-organisation of the ruling class (KADU merges with KANU in1964); The neo-colonial political, social and economic agenda is put in place (emphasis on attracting foreign capital); Defeat of the pro-people forces in KANU; Consolidation of political class that uses the state to promote primitive private accumulation of capital ( through The Ndegwa Commission Report); Enunciation of policies that marginalise the workers and small scale agricultural producers; Increasing intolerance and repression of divergent political tendencies; Criminalizing of political opposition (banning of Kenya Peoples Union(KPU), 1969); Detention without trial; Political assassinations; Repression of freedom of expression especially in universities; The creation of an ethnic political cabal which misuses and abuses state power for private gain Rampant corruption
Legalized one party dictatorship Crushed political dissent Created the Nyayo chambers Forced many into exile
Under him, the economy all but collapsed. Moi pretended to revive the party, KANU, but only as a government instrument of coercion. Furthermore, KANU was basically run by the Provincial Administration rather than the grass root party structures. The Return of Multiparty Democracy Following the discredited Mlolongo Kanu nominations of 1988, the fight for a return of multiparty democracy gained momentum culminating in the first multiparty general elections in 1992. Multiparty democracy saw the rise and fall of popular people‟s parties. FORD, which united the people against Kanu, emerged as a credible threat to the Moi regime. It subsequently split following a leadership dispute. A split opposition made it easy for the incumbent to win the 1992 and 1997 elections with a slim margin. Money and Violence in Kenyan Politics Politics in Kenya is increasingly developing a do or die character to it. There is a raging conflict between politics for private gain and politics for public service. There are those for whom participation in politics is primarily meant to benefit them and their clique of shadowy financiers. For them, the organs of the state must be captured at all costs and using any means to serve self and cronies. To them, democracy is an irritant that must be tolerated for effect. Political parties are but dispensable electoral machines much like matatus that you board and disembark at your convenience. On the other hand are the people of Kenya who believe that politics should be organised to fulfil the aspirations of the broad masses; that the state has a duty to guarantee the fulfilment of these aspirations and that national leadership has a duty to serve all Kenyans irrespective of origin and status. For these Kenyans, the failure to capture the state and transform it to serve the needs of a majority through a democratic electoral process is a tragedy. It portends a dark future in which their needs and interests are trampled underfoot. In the run up to the 1992 elections, as the ruling elite faced the risk of losing power, they organised major scams such as
Goldenberg to siphon money out of public coffers to enrich themselves and fund politics and violence so as to retain power at all costs. This period saw the removal of legal limits to how much money one could use in elections campaigns in our electoral laws. It was also during this period that the so called tribal clashes were first organised by the same people to prevent opposition parties from ascending to power. In the absence of legislation on political party financing, the shadowy characters that fund political party activities and political campaigns have continued to have a negative impact on our politics. They see that financing as investment which must be paid back with returns after an election. Apart from perverting public policy in their favour, they also pervert the public procurement process so that contracts in the public sector are over- priced and are never performed to the expected standards and timelines. This looting and misuse of public funds has also caused unemployment and poverty thus intensifying the bitterness of the resultant underclass which survives in squalor on the periphery of our urban and rural slums. This monetization and commercialisation of politics continues to alienate large sections of potential leadership who have no access to the necessary resources to mount credible campaigns. In these circumstances, political parties cannot nurture a principled leadership that can effectively champion the interests of the broad majority. They have been reduced to accepting any candidate who comes along with enough resources to mount a credible campaign, whether they believe in the party programmes or not. This is what was seen in the run up to the 2007 elections. Campaigns for nominations within the major political parties were not only heavily funded but were also extremely violent. Given high unemployment levels and grinding poverty, politicians found it easy to hire militia to disrupt the campaign activities of opponents. This is „do or die‟ politics is a recipe for disaster. It is however gratifying to note that in spite of the heavy use of both private and public funds by those in government to influence the outcomes of the last elections, the people handed them a humiliating defeat. The Constitutional Review Debate Kenya got independence with a negotiated constitution that provided for a vertical and horizontal distribution and sharing of Page 4 of 6
Kenyatta failed to engage in nation building; instead he facilitated the growth of a corrupt and supremacist cabal around him. Even though the economy grew, it followed the well laid out colonial pattern which marginalized large sections of the country. Public investment was directed to areas which already had well developed infrastructure. Large sectors of this society felt alienated from the mainstream of national politics. The Nyayo Era: The Betrayal Intensifies Any hopes that Moi would resolve the pressing national issues were dashed when he engaged in doing more of the same. The following are some of the manifestations of his continued betrayal of the nation‟s wishes, he: Replaced the Kiambu Mafia with the Rift Valley Mafia
political power at the centre and between the centre and the regions. This was done through a bicameral parliamentary system of government where the leader of the party with the majority in parliament exercised executive authority as a Prime Minister. This forced parties to forge broad national coalitions and hunt for votes and parliamentary seats across the country and checked abuse of power and office in the hands of an individual or small clique. It also ensured prominence of political parties in the management of public affairs. The independence constitution also guaranteed devolution of power to regions to ensure decision making on issues of local concern thereby guaranteeing minority rights. The regions had legislative assemblies and there was a senate at the national level to guarantee the interests of the regions. However, by 1964, Kenya was declared a republic. The prime minister became a president (without any new election). Kadu joined Kanu and the country became a defacto one party state. In due course, the senate and the devolved governments were abolished through constitutional amendments. By the year 2002 when the Constitution of Kenya Review Commission (CKRC) was set up, the Constitution had undergone 35 amendments. Most of these amendments had centralised power and concentrated it in the hands of an imperial president. The amendments also weakened parliament, subjected the judiciary to the whims of the president and rendered political parties essentially irrelevant in the management of public affairs. In fact, the 1997 Inter- Parties Parliamentary Group (IPPG) driven amendments made it possible for a president with a minority in parliament to simply poach from other parties and rule. The president is then able to exercise personal rule. All he needs is to appoint more than half of the parliamentarians into his cabinet as has happened before. These changes have spawned an inequitable political and economic system which now threatens the very survival of Kenya as a nation. This concentration of power in the hands of one man has led to the concentration of national wealth in the hands of a few who surround him while the majority languish in poverty (according to government statistics, over 56% live on less than a dollar a day). It has fostered politics of exclusion. The large majority of Kenyans, who are excluded from effective participation and benefit, call into question the legitimacy of this small clique which exercises national power. The cabal on
their part develops a laager mentality claiming that they must retain power for the protection of their ethnic group. The debate on constitutional review as a basis for restructuring the state, which began with the return to multiparty democracy, gained momentum after the 1997 elections. This debate was meant to address how to create a constitutional mechanism that will enable all Kenyans have a share in the exercise of state power and prevent its monopolisation by an individual or small group, so that this power may be used to benefit Kenyans equitably. The CKRC was formed and came up with a draft constitution after intensive and extensive civic education and consultation with the general public and various groups. Moi disbanded Bomas 1 before it met and he dissolved parliament so that we went to the 2002 elections under the old constitution. NARC promised to deliver the Bomas Draft to the people of Kenya within 100 days of being elected. President Kibaki however reneged on this promise. Under his watch, the government came up with another draft constitution, drafted by the then Attorney General, Amos Wako, hence it was consequently referred to as the „Wako Draft‟. The Wako Draft, which was a mutilation of the popular Bomas Draft, sought to retain the imperial presidential system and powers against which the Kenyan people had fought for so long. It also perverted the desire of the Kenyan people to devolve power and resources to the grassroots. The Orange movement decisively triumphed over the Banana movement which was made up of the Government of National Unity under the leadership of President Mwai Kibaki. NARC and the Kibaki Era: The Death of a People’s Renewed Dream 2002 saw the emergence of NARC, a popular peoples‟ movement that sent KANU packing after 40 years of miss-rule. Kibaki was voted for by Kenyans from across the country. NARCs popularity was based on leadership by a team representing the interests of the various groups constituting the country. NARC collapsed following dishonouring of a MoU between the LDP and NAK and subsequent hijacking of the government by a clique around the president. The constitutional dream was killed as the government failed to deliver a constitution encompassing the aspirations of the
majority, culminating in the government losing the 2005 referendum. There was a renewal of rampant corruption by senior government operatives. The evidence of this began with the unearthing of the Anglo Leasing scam by the former Ethics PS, John Githongo (that led to his fleeing to exile). Other schemes were also subsequently revealed, rubbishing the NARC promise of being anti-corruption. President Kibaki also blatantly raided the opposition benches for government posts following his fallout with the LDP mentioned above, resulting in a bloated cabinet and a weak opposition. He also resorted to using provincial administration for political party work especially in drumming up grass root support for his party. The State, Ethnicity and the National Question: The Politics of Ethnic Exclusion The use of negative ethnic ideologies to capture, retain, misuse and abuse state power and public resources, positions and opportunities for the benefit of a small ethnic cabal has been an ever present characteristic of all Kenyan regimes since independence. Perhaps it is this, more than anything else that threatens our continued existence as a united country. It has created the feeling of marginalisation and exclusion on the part of some and a misplaced supremacist and hegemonic mentality on the part of those who feel „covered by the cloth of the state‟. If we are to resolve our current crisis, we must tackle this National Question. It is therefore important for us to understand the basic concepts involved in ethnicity and the national question. Kenya is a country composed of different races and ethnic groups. An ethnic group is a community of people with shared kinship and culture including history, language and traditions. A nation is a large and stable community which shares economic life, culture, history, language and in many instances live in the same geographical area. A state is an organised group which controls behaviour of people in a geographical area and in many instances is recognized by other states. It is worth remembering that Kenya is a colonial creation and the national question has never been negotiated. What does it mean to be Kenyan? An alien who resides in Kenya for five years continuously qualifies to be a Kenyan citizen. As an Page 5 of 6
individual, an ethnic group or a nation what is in Kenya for me? What do I expect from Kenya? What does Kenya expect from me? At independence, because of the nationalism and the shared experience of colonial subjugation, it was thought that in order to mould a Kenyan nation, we had to suppress our various ethnicities. However, our leaders who were entrusted with the task of nation building instead created an ethnic cabal which captured the state for private aggrandisement. They essentially captured and privatised the state. They
structured state organs and institutions around their ethnic and personal interests. Paradoxically, these same institutions were supposed to mould a nation. In South Africa, Belgium, Switzerland and other states, which are multi-ethnic and multi- national, state ideology recognizes individuals, ethnicities and nationalities. The law ensures equitable access to opportunities and resources by all individuals and ethnic groups. This way, it is less likely for the institutions of the state to be structured around the narrow interests
of an ethnic grouping. Our Constitution recognises this fact.
As we solve the current crisis, we must ask ourselves this question: do we want to remain Kenyans? If the answer is yes, then we must ask: How? The only answer to this question is to create a state in which each individual, ethnic group or nationality has a defined and guaranteed stake in governance, access to economic opportunities and resources and enjoys full human and social rights.
CORD Team dance with Supporters during CORD Campaign Rally at Bomet Stadium, Bomet County
The Orange is a Newsletter of the Orange Democratic Movement Readers are invited to submit their articles for publication at the address given below: Prof. Larry Gumbe Email: firstname.lastname@example.org SMS: 0713 764809 The Orange Democratic Movement Orange House Menelik Road, Kilimani Area P.O. Box 2478, 00202 Nairobi. Email: email@example.com Check out our website at www.odm.co.ke Opinions of contributors are not necessarily those of the ODM. Page 6 of 6
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