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Issue 4 Vol. 1 #4
Opinion newsletter dedicated to fair 2007 Kenya election coverage Issued Nov. 20, 2007
Internet attacks to eventually beneﬁt ODM most say
By Aggrey Kitonga
Kenyans in U.S. say negative campaign against ODM and its presidential candidate Raila Odinga, have helped build Odinga up as the biggest threat to President Mwai Kibaki’s re-election bid. Over the past week, Odinga faced a barrage of nasty Internet campaign from quarters allied to Kibaki’s PNU. Documents described by ODM Pentagon member Najib Balala as fake, claimed Odinga signed a memorandum of understanding with a Kenyan Muslim group promising them autonomy when he comes to power. “That was clear propaganda,” John Muchemi of Dallas, Texas said. “Sometimes I wonder how some people think people can believe something like that.” Muchemi said it was in PNU’s interUnder siege from all quarters, Raila has enjoyed wild support around the country. But he ﬁnds himself est to distance itself from such negative under attack from suprising quarters including the Kenyan clergy, but some Kenyans see tribalism as campaigns because it denied PNU an the motivation behind the clerics’ attacks. opportunity of selling its policies. “I don’t think they want people to think “I think they got desperate, it would veriﬁable and within reasonable scope. that’s what they mean when PNU says have been believable if they didn’t make “Now they have soiled the topic, which kazi iendelee,” Muchemi said. it sound as if Raila wanted to put Muslims if they had handled well, would have Sylvester Rading of San Francisco, above the law,” Rading said. Calif. said the propaganda would have Rading said propaganda works well See RAILA on page 2 passed if it was not so exaggerated. when it’s subtle. The message should be
Negative campaigns analyzed
Kibaki faulted for weak leadership
By Mark Kairu
Disillusioned supporters of President Mwai Kibaki and his opponents are united on one thing—Kibaki has not shown much leadership over the past ﬁve years. While his supporters are cautious about criticizing him during the campaign season, they admit he has failed in most of the pledges he made in 2003. Mark Muthui a resident of Austin, Texas said Kibaki’s second term did not depend on his achievement in the past ﬁve years, but the mistake his strongest opponent Raila Odinga makes. “It sucks when you have to rely on your opponent to stumble to win the elections,” Muthui said. Muthui said over the last four years, Kibaki was aloof and looked the other way as Kenyans called for his leadership. He said many Kenyans were mostly disappointed because Kibaki failed to tackle corruption, a pillar of his promises during his inauguration in 2003. “For Kibaki, an incumbent to be trailing in the polls for so long is just bad news,” Muthui said. “He should have been more decisive with corruption and dismissed all those ministers in his government accused of graft.” Kibaki’s government has been accused of condoning corruption, in his expose` of the corruption rot in the Kibaki government,
Commander in Chief President Mwai Kibaki commands very little respect with his hands-off leadership style.
See KIBAKI on page 2
KIBAKI from pg. 1
former anti-corruption Tzar John Githongo released a series of secretly recorded tapes implicating ministers in Kibaki’s government to corruption. Githongo’s latest tape posted in Mars Group Kenya Website www.marsgroupkenya.org, reveals Kibaki’s minister for Energy Kiraitu Murungi and former minister of ﬁnance David Mwiraria trying to cover-up evidence of the Anglo-leasing corruption. Achieng Keno, a resident of Santa Clara, California said his biggest problem with Kibaki’s leadership is the fact that he reneged on the agreement that made him president. “That was greed of the highest order. He can never be trusted and I feel sorry for people like [Musikari] Kombo” Keno said. Kombo, the Ford-Kenya boss has put his weight behind Kibaki’s re-election and formed an alliance with the amorphous Party of National Unity, Kibaki’s re-election vehicle. Keno said Kibaki also reintroduced tribalism by appointing mainly his Kikuyu tribesmen in key government positions. Keno said Kibaki maliciously targeted Kalenjins for sacking and brought bad faith to his quest of cleaning up the civil service. “It’s true that Moi dished out goodies to his people, but not all of them were bad,” Keno said. “Some were very qualiﬁed like Sally Kosgey.” Kibaki is also faulted for sitting silently while foreigners attacked EA Standard Newspaper ofﬁces and his wife, Lucy attacking reporters in Nation House. “I wanted him to come out and say something about the Arturs and Standard raid,” Mukami Njeru, a resident of Albany, New York said. Njeru said Kibaki was perceived as having lost control of the country or insensitive to the plight of Kenyans when he failed to comment on the matter that dominated the media.
President Mwai Kibaki and ﬁrst Lady Lucy are running a disjointed campaign buoyed by an alliance of politicians united against ODM presidential candidate Raila Odinga. Kibaki has been faulted for being slow in reacting to Kenyan’s concerns and his wife has been accused of abusing privilege.
“And when his wife attacked Nation, that was it for me,” Njeru said. “I don’t know if there was anything he should have said, but it showed how his family were abusing privilege, people don’t forget abuse and Lucy gave them a major one to remember.’ Santa Monica, California resident Leonard Chebii said targeting of Kalenjins for sacking and the clashes in Mt. Elgon are the two issues that turned him against Kibaki. “I hate to hear when people say Kalenjins are incompetent, yes Moi favored some of us, but there are many who are qualiﬁed,” Chebii said. He said Kibaki’s lack of urgency to send police to quell the clashes in Mt. Elgon and Kuresoi was also another indicator that he was not a good leader. “When we vote for the government, we expect it to provide security, Kibaki’s government comes
across as if it’s not concerned with the welfare of poor wananchi,” Chebii said. The insecurity caused by the Mungiki sect in various parts of Central Province and Nairobi was James Wangai biggest disappointment with the Kibaki’s administration. “He just seemed powerless in the hands of these people,” Wangai said. “I would have liked to see Mungiki leaders getting arrested and taken to court.” Wangai said he the police effort of killing Mungiki members without taking them to court created a dangerous precedent and gave the government a bad name. “Now Kibaki’s government could face human rights violation charges just like Mobutu, it’s pathetic, Kenya is above such things,” Wangai said. Kibaki’s choice of words was Japheth Senteu’s of San Francisco, Calif., main concern. “It just bugs me when he calls people Kumbafu,” Senteu said.
RAILA from pg. 1
“The Kibaki government has messed up on a lot of things and they said nothing, now they can hardly wait to attack Raila, it looks dishonest.” -Dennis Njue Houston, Texas given them some mileage,” Rading said. Mary Kerubo of New Jersey said ODM was going to use the propaganda to its advantage. “PNU is so disorganized so they cannot respond when ODM starts using the attack to demonize the president and PNU,” Kerubo said. “Kibaki will have to do double-time to counter the ODM attacks on this issue.” But Dennis Njue of Houston, Texas said the attack was pointless to begin with. Njue said Few Kenyans were Njue, not related to newly-named Cardinal John Njue, said the clergy attacks on ODM would also not help PNU because they were not sustained. “PNU cannot depend on church people to ﬁght for them especially if they’re from GEMA communities,” Njue said. “When someone like Bishop Mark Kariuki attacks Raila, it just looks like he’s helping Kibaki because he’s a Kikuyu like him.” Njue said it would have been more credible if members of the clergy pointed out ﬂaws on both sides instead of just coming across as if they’re against Odinga. “The Kibaki government has messed up on a lot of things and they said nothing, now they can hardly wait to attack Raila, it looks dishonest,” Njue said.
Supporters, some carrying giants posters of Raila Odinga, cheer him after he presented his nomination papers to Kenya’s electoral commission Wednesday Nov. 14
aware of the MoU circulating on the Internet because they lacked Internet access. “I think it’s a waste of time for PNU to do its attacks on the Internet, they should do it in the campaign trail like ODM. That’s more effective,” Njue said.
Genius or blunder; Kenyans across U.S. weigh in on new ODM consultant
By Elizabeth Muvinya
Last week ODM Presidential Candidate Raila Odinga caused yet another “Morris has never been controversy after charged or convicted of introducing his new a crime, the man has political consultant, written several bestsellers American polititeaching politicians how cal strategist Dick to win elections, and he Morris. has proven that he has the The move mojo, why not? I say “Go evoked mixed Raila!”” feelings with some accusing Odinga of --Franklin Makhoha reverting Kenyans Dick Morris is a regular guest in The Oakland, Calif. O’Reilly Factor, a news commentary show to colonialism and others saying hosted by Bill O’Reilly, in the ConservativeHe was, however, leaning Fox News Channel in the U.S. it were a good forced to resign Aug. 19, political move that 1996 amid tabloid reports would inject fresh that he allowed Sherry Rowlands, a 200ideas in the ODM campaigns. an-hour escort, to listen in to his private Odinga’s move attracted mixed feelconversations with President Clinton. ings in the U.S. as well. His wife stood by him and as the master “It was a risky but good move,” ODM strategist he is, Morris started looking supporter and Miami, Florida resident for work elsewhere and found it in TV Francis Chemoss said. “I’ve watched networks as a political commentator and Dick Morris on Fox News here and apart analyst—his best product—bashing the from his bashing Democrats, I think he’s Clintons. smart and can be very helpful.” “I admire his ability to survive crisis, Karano Kiarie also from Miami said him and Raila make a good pair” CaroOdinga made a dumb move. lyne Masese of Tallahassee, Florida said. “I’ve always said Raila is his own “His scandal happened a long time ago worst enemy, why did he need to anand there was nothing criminal about nounce that guy in a press conference?’ what he did. At the end of the day the Kiarie posed. “I think Morris will give them man is more than one incident.” fresh ideas, but he’ll open up ODM to Stephen Njenga of Atlanta, Georgia some juicy attacks from PNU, which he said Morris should be deported back to doesn’t need now.” the U.S. Njenga, who described himself Morris is credited with helping U.S. as “Kibaki damu,” said PNU should take president Bill Clinton win several elections. During his heydays in American politics, he was known as the man who had the president’s ear. advantage of such obvious goofs by ODM to bring Odinga down. “This shows that Raila has lost focus of his campaigns, how can he allow that man in his campaigns? The guy was cheating on his wife,” Njenga said. Catherine Mwangi-Smith of Redding, California is also not forgiving. “Raila is insulting Kenyans by bringing such a person to help him, kwani there are no Kenyans who can do the job?” she said. In his press conference Morris said he was offering his services to the ODM team pro-bono, a factor one Kenya said was irresistible. “Hey, you can’t beat free,” Franklin Makhoha of Oakland, California said. “I’d accept anyone in my campaign if he offers his services for free—even the devil himself if I can get away with it.” Makhoha said PNU members were just bitter because Odinga had acquired the help of a quality political strategist and they were clearly panicking. “Morris has never been charged or convicted of a crime, the man has written several bestsellers teaching people how to win elections, and he has proven that he has the mojo, why not?, Makokha posed. “I say “Go Raila!”” Makhoha said if Americans hated Morris as much as PNU supporters wanted Kenyans to believe, why do they spend millions of dollars buying his books? “If I were PNU, I’d be seeking out Karl Rove, that’s one guy I know, who can save PNU now,” he said.
Is this another Morris mess?
By Ben Agina and Ayub Savula EA Standard
ODM move to stem rebellion
results would be transparent. He said the party election board, chaired by retired Judge Richard Kwach, was composed of professionals. “Unfortunately, the board was overwhelmed by the logistical tasks. Many political leaders wanted to run on the ODM ticket. They wanted to be in the winning team,” said Mudavadi. Mudavadi congratulated the candidates nominated on the party ticket. He also thanked those who were not nominated for participating and urged them to stick with the party despite their loss. He announced that some of those who lost, including former MPs, Mr Musa Sirma and Prof Christine Mango, would be in the presidential campaign team. “It’s now time for all of us to stand together and work for ODM to win the elections and bring change,” he said. However, Mudavadi blamed the ECK over the nominations debacle. “ECK should have extended the deadline for submission of nomination lists when it was made aware of the difﬁculties political parties were facing,” he said. He added that the deadline left no room for petitions and repeat nominations. ODM recommended that the ECK should in future be mandated to handle nominations as a way of improving democracy and building political parties into strong institutions. Mudavadi assured all Kenyans that the party condemned all forms of violence. “Violence can never be used to gain political mileage in any democratic process,” he said.
Pick from Kenyan papers
ODM has reached out to aspirants who lost in the party nominations by incorporating some in the presidential campaign team. The Orange party has also admitted that the nomination process fell short of expectations and dented its followers’ conﬁdence. Addressing a Press conference at Orange House, Nairobi, on Tuesday ODM running mate, Mr Musalia Mudavadi, said the nominations were the ﬁrst attempt by a political party to conduct primaries using the secret ballot. Mudavadi explained that the party’s ﬁrst task was to show that it was committed to internal democracy and that the
Kalonzo becoming more relevant
Supporters want ODM-K presidential candidate to avoid mistakes made by other candidates. Polls place him third with about 15 percent support nationwide.
By Andrew Ongoro Kalonzo Musyoka, the ODM-Kenya presidential candidate may be due for yet another miracle. The jostling in ODM and the disorganization in PNU is set to create major fallouts that’ll likely beneﬁts Musyoka. “Kalonzo should just chill and wait for them to come,” Erastus Kanyi, of Denver, Colorado said. Kanyi said Kalonzo could pull a big surprise in the coming election because ODM and PNU are engaged in all kinds of internal problems leaving him free to campaign unperturbed. Stephen Tarus in New York said Musyoka cannot be taken seriously as long as he continues to copy every ODM moves. “He has to distinguish himself. It seems as if he lacks original ideas and he’s hanging on the coattails of Raila to get to State House,” Tarus said. To win, Musyoka has to gain all the votes from the nomination fallout in ODM and PNU and also take advantage of the disorganization in PNU Tarus added. “I don’t know what’s stopping Kalonzo from taking 90 percent of
Our staff Editor in chief Sally Sande Chapman Reporters Elizabeth Muvinya Mark Kairu
the votes in Eastern Province,” Tarus said. “Kibaki is trouncing him in his own backyard despite all the problems in PNU.” Simon Ngumba of Minneapolis, Minnesota said Musyoka has all the time to get the votes to be president. Ngumba said the problems affecting ODM and PNU will linger on for the rest of the campaign season and Kalonzo should take his time so as to avoid the mistakes made by ODM candidate Raila Odinga and President Mwai Kibaki.
“Kalonzo is in the best position, he should pace himself and attack them
slowly by slowly,” Ngumba said. “He’s the only one who can gain votes because he’s more neutral.” Ngumba said he’d not be surprised if Musyoka beat both Kibaki and Odinga to clinch the presidency. He said Musyoka’s steady rise in polls is an indicator that he’s the man to watch. “Kibaki and Raila cannot go any higher in the polls, but Kalonzo is moving upwards. If this trend continues, he’ll pass in between them like he always says and take the presidency,” Ngumba said.
Esther Mwikali said Musyoka was her choice for president. “I know some people will say I’m supporting him because he’s a
Aggrey Kitonga Andrew Ongoro Photos from the Internet. Opinions expressed are not endorsed by WaK-
Kamba like me, that’s part of it but the main reason I support him is because he’s not tainted with corruption like ODM and PNU,” Mwikali said. Critics have scoffed at Musyoka’s claim that he’s clean and corruptionfree charging that as a minister in the disgraced Daniel Arap Moi’s regime, Musyoka could not escape the blame place on the administration. Musyoka is undoubtedly, however, gaining prominence and his candidature is getting noticed even by those who thought he was ﬁnished when Odinga led a team from the united ODM –K. Salim Mohammed said he supports Odinga but he’d be willing to support Musyoka as long as he showed he could beat Kibaki. “My problem is Kibaki, anybody who can beat Kibaki will get my vote,” Mohammed said. He said the Kibaki regime has not helped Muslims and it has reneged on agreements made in 2003 to improve the lives of Muslims and people of North Eastern Province. “He promised to ﬁx the problems in N.Eastern but he has not done anything, I like what Raila is saying but if Kalonzo proves to be more popular I’ll support him.”
enya Diaspora.WaKenya Diaspora is one of the ﬁrst virtual news magazine serving the Kenyan Diaspora in the U.S. Contact us by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
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