Politics In Kenya Part I

Any attempt to analyze politics in Kenya (including this one) are doomed from the get go. This is largely because POLIITCS IN KENYA DOES NOT MAKE ANY SENSE. Time and time again I have been asked why I no longer satirize politics and politicians. True, my attentions have been diverted elsewhere, but another factor is that politics in Kenya is hilarious as it is without anything being done. Just reading the headlines is enough to break you down with tears of laughter. I mean, where else can you have the President attending the National Delegates Conference of the Official Opposition, sing their anthems and flash their salute?

Priceless.

Government & Parliament

Under normal circumstances, parliament is constituted as follows:

normal

In Kenya however, it is more like this:

abnormal

In most countries, nominations and elections are like this:

normal2

In Kenya, however, they are like this

abnormal2

It get even more interesting. During elections the incumbent expects to be challenged by the leader of the Official Opposition and h(is/er)Government In Waiting like so:

normal3

But in Kenya we have a situation where the official opposition will support the incumbent in the next elections

abnormal 4

The mind boggles

Political Parties

Political Parties in Kenya are largely meaningless entities. Very few political parties if any actually have a coherent vision and manifesto. Only a handful can actually describe what they are all about. At last count there are 144 currently registered political parties. 144. A good chunk of these are briefcase parties, hoping to cash in at some point in time when the correct political wind blows. Let us take a closer look at these, shall we?

Four Horses

The four horses are the political parties that dominate the political landscape, by virtue of having relatively country wide support. These include

  • Mwai Kibaki’s PNU et al
  • Raila Odinga’s ODM
  • Uhuru Kenyatta’s KANU
  • Kalonzo Musyoka’s ODM – K

These are characterized by formidable machinery, grassroots support in most provinces and relatively organized leadership. Many of us have heard of the KANU Manifesto, though I personally have yet to see it. Has it been updated? I have personally never heard any of these other parties share with the electorate their manifesto. And no, promises thundered over microphones do not a manifesto make!

Barnyard Fowl

Barnyard Fowl are political parties which, like some people, have an exaggerated (and misguided) belief that their very names (and themselves) should inspire awe and admiration from the public at large, blissfully unaware that not only does the public not give a flying rat’s ass, they do not really affect the price of tomatoes.

These are the political parties with exaggerated opinions of their popularity, blissfully aware that their sole uniting purpose is tribe. These include outfits like

  • Musikari Kombo’s Ford Kenya
  • Simeon Nyachae’s Ford People
  • Chirau Mwakwere’s Shirikisho
  • Joseph Munyao’s DP

These parties are generally of nuisance value characterized by having impressive numbers of their members and officials either hailing from the same area or speaking a similar language. Take for example Ford Kenya. Hitherto one of the most popular parties in the country it is now a pale shadow of its former self. Those brave enough to attempt to listen to Musikari Kombo’s monotonous monotone (at least until he puts them to sleep) will doubtlessly have heard him try and explain the disturbingly large number of officials and MPs from Western Kenya, taking pains to illustrate that the Party Secretary General, John Munyes is not from Western. Well, John Munyes has parallels with Token Black in Southpark.

The other parties are no better. Ford People’s MPs are almost entirely from the Kisii Community. Are are almost all Shirikisho MPs from Coast Province. The same with DP and its affinity for members from the Central Province and its environs.

These so called leaders are the ones generally frothing at the mouth on TV at pains to elaborate on “consolidating the xxx vote”, where xxx is their tribe of choice.

Duck Billed Platypae

These, like their namesakes are the oddities of the political landscape. These include parties like

  • Raphael Tuju’s NARC Kenya

They are characterized by the following

  • Babel like confusion about themselves, their identity, their goals, their activities
  • Extremely top heavy leadership, where almost every other member is  vice chairman
  • Impressive lack of shame. Only the very brave will stand behind a statement like “Our support for Mwai Kibaki is unconditional. Even if he runs on an ODM ticket”. This essentially means they know where their bread is buttered, and little things like ideals mean little. Parallels can be drawn between the morality of such an attitude and alley cats.

Class Insecta / Filler

These are political parties whose chief function is to serve as filler for TV news and newspaper, to cover that white spot in column 4 page 27 or to make the 14 minute political news 15 minutes. Their contribution to anything is negligible at best.

DISCLAIMER

Which political party do you support? That’s the greatest party EVER!!!

PIC OF THE DAY

number

There’s advertising and then there’s advertising

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24 Responses

  1. Kirima says:

    LOL! The picture is worth all a thousand numbers.
    Sorry but I’m deliberately ignoring the party and political confusion, give me south park anytime.

  2. udi says:

    I wonder why Kenyan Media even bother covering those neanderthals.

  3. kenya FM says:

    You forgot, that the Prezy defected to PNU.
    PNU ate KANU (or is it the other way round),
    There are really two horses and a sea biscuit: PNU, ODM, ODM-K

    NB: The number of times the Prezy candidates changed parties
    Kibaki: KANU,DP,NARC,PNU
    Raila:FORD-K,NDP,LDP,NARC,ODM
    Musyoka: KANU,LDP,NARC,ODM-K

  4. Adrian says:

    the last three lines of kenya FM’s comment speak volumes!

    and one can probably add a “to be continued” to all three names…

  5. Rista says:

    LOL @ “POLIITCS IN KENYA DOES NOT MAKE ANY SENSE”… certainly not from a conventional analysis perspective. Now, if only we could disconnect the comedy show from growth and economics… then we’d all have a good laugh.

  6. toiyoi says:

    I Agree with my buddy kenya FM

    On Parties:
    Only Kenyatta (Jomo) was steadfast:
    Kenyatta (Jomo):KANU damu
    Moi: KADU,KANU,PNU(sort of)
    Kenyatta (uhuru): KANU,PNU (sort of)

    On the bright side:
    A Kenyan (Mr. Uhuru Kenyatta) will now hold a Guinness world record on being the first(only?) leader of opposition of modern (or are we seeing pre-Plato democracy here?) democracy to throw in the towel and “THERE IS NO POINT TO BE IN THE OPPOSITION” and go mainstream. Did this guy go to school in the USA?

    And yes, to be continued..

  7. Has anyone given thought to what would happen if Kibaki won? I mean he seems to be the only individual member of the PNU. All other parliamentary and civic candidates would be elected under different parties. Means that in the event of his victory, we would be governed by a party with a single MP. This is coalition politics gone mad. I do not think we have had a scenario in our history where the President leads a party of one and is outnumbered 221-1 by the “opposition” in Parliament. But it might turn out to be a well disguised blessing if it effectively divorces the Presidency from Parliament.

  8. Toiyoi,
    It seems you are not aware of the shenanigans surrounding Vladimir Putin’s last election campaign. Even his opponents in that election (i.e. the people running against him) were declaring that they would actually vote for Putin and urging their supporters to do the same.

  9. farmgal says:

    That pic of the day! Yenyewe there’s advertising!!
    Will refrain from commenting on the politics cos I know nada about them.

  10. toiyoi says:

    @Gachara
    I was no aware of the Putin case. You may be right, but is Russia considered a democracy? Maybe someone should follow this up and clear up the air before i nominate UK for the Guinness record.

    On PNU having 1 MP: This would not be a problem for Kibaki- there will be no shortage of MPs seeking to support him from all the parties (ODM,ODM-K,etc). Again, as we all know, our people(and MPs) do not believe in anything except what goes into their Tummies!

    Here is a winning strategy for Kibaki:
    Get Kalonzo into PNU to run for Prezy and Kenyatta as his running mate. Him and the old men can stay on the side and pull the strings as Moi has. I doubt that KM will cause any ripples for the status quo boat. (But will our Mt Kenya Brodhas accept KM?)

  11. odegle says:

    some fundis were discussing politics and what they actually said is that Kalonzo musyoka doesn’t really want to be prezzy, he wants to be official leader of opposition. since RO will win prezzy, and Kibz will have only one MP – himself hence he wont become the official leader of opposition. the other parties eg, NK, FK, DP, etc will have at most 10 MPs each due to internal competition within PNU.

    but on another note, if Kibz wins then we will have dictatorship since no bill will go through parliament. ODM will have majority MPs Kombo will insist on ‘horse trading’ at a huge cost and PNU will have no power of whip! Kanu may have just Uhuru as sole MP. another danger, ODM can still rule the country without winning the prezzy. imagine what happens if they have like 120 MPs. out of 210! meaning they will control all the committees, nominations and debating.

  12. excess says:

    We are in a class of our own when it comes to politics! nuff said

    Advertising hmmmm mmmmmm gives me an idea….

  13. Wathii FM says:

    Apart from one Kalembe who cracks me up with his jokes on some people who opened their mouths n 5000 votes just dissappeared,Kenyan politics is just another nonsense full of antics.

    I like the advert :D

  14. JG says:

    M, that was spot on.I find kenyans incredibly patient,given all the bullcrap we take from these idiots(on both sides of parliament). Certainly, all of us deserve a collective Nobel prize.

  15. aegeus says:

    now i get here, and what do i find, politics, mental block occurs and i am at a loss of words. then, please sir, ati politics is supposed to make sense? where? at the restaurant at the end of the galaxy, perhaps magrathea, no even there it is all rubbish! this here is the reason why i shall give news and related discussions a wide berth.

  16. donworry says:

    A fantastic analysis as always and actually the diagrams are very helpful in trying to decipher the riddle that is Kenya politics.

    The telephone number on the move picture also reminds me of a riddle which perhaps your esteemed readers might have have heard.

    If the early bird catches the worm what does the second mouse get?

  17. Gish says:

    Politics bah! The advertising food for thought off to find my trusted fundi.

  18. JKE says:

    What really shocks me again and again is that almost nothing has been achieved so far through politics, no matter what party took over “leadership”. These guys should be confronted with the same tight performance contracts their colleagues are objected to @ gov institutions.

  19. W.M. says:

    You’ve hit it out of the ball park. Again. Oh, Cry the Beloved Country, really…
    (Yes, I’m fine, thanks).

  20. njege says:

    i have had to stop watching news until dec 27…who wants to know about another acronym for party no. 2,304?

  21. Kamuguta says:

    50 QUESTIONS FOR KIBAKI TENA NOISE MAKERS
    1. Who renegotiated and signed the agreement granting a 20 extension for the British military to continue training in Kenya around Laikipa, Nanyuki and Archers post?
    2. Why do we find it necessary to allow foreign troop to bomb the crap out of our landscape, littering it leaving huge amounts of ordinance and making these prime games reserve areas practically inhospitable
    3. Who sold the oil prospecting rights to the entire Kenyan offshore including Lamu (A UN historical site)?
    4. Who further parceled out huge tracts in North Eastern Kenya to the Chinese government for huge amounts of money, none of which the residents of Northern Kenya will ever see?
    5. Was there any competitive bidding for these rights?
    6. How many other companies were willing to pay significantly higher sums for these rights in open bidding?
    7. Why was the Kenya Sugar Board boss fired?
    8. Did you know that by law only the board of directors can do this?
    9. Did you know that he was fired for sticking to procedure and opening tender documents at the pre-assigned time and date?
    10. Did you know he refused to allow a late and low bid by a certain consortium?
    11. Did you know the treasury has no legal mandate to take over the bidding for these sugar companies?
    12. Did you know that for 40 years the GOK has appointed MDs for Miwani, Muhoroni, Chemelil and Sony sugar factories?
    13. Did you know that for those 40 years they deliberately appointed inept managers so long as you were willing to help the rulers siphon out money from these companies and kill these industries?
    14. Did you know that the GOK wrote of billions of shilling in debts owed by coffee farmers?
    15. Did you know that the same was done for Dairy Farmers?
    16. And tea farmers?
    17. BUT not the Sugar Industry?
    18. Do you know why?
    19. Do you know how much money from Western Kenya goes into the government’s budget (consolidated fund)?
    20. Of this do you know how much goes back to the same region in terms of recurrent and development expenditure/
    21. Who owns Mobitelea?
    22. Did you know if the Safaricom IPO goes through, these illegal and corrupt owners who should be in jail in any civilized society stand to get up to Ksh 2 billion in COLD HARD UNEARNED CASH – FROM POOR ORDINARY KEYANS?
    23. Who is trying to sell TELKOM Kenya NOW?
    24. Did it take 5 years to realize you want to privatize this company?
    25. Or did it take five years to line your pockets enough to make an embarrassingly low bid for this dull jewel (never the less a jewel)?
    26. Who said a 50% stake in Telkom Kenya is worth Ksh 2 billion?
    27. Who did that valuation?
    28. Did you know that some of the biggest land owners in Kenya are Kenya Telkom and the now ripped off Kenya Railways?
    29. So you PRIVATISED Kenya Railways to a nobody with ZERO experience in rail management, are the trains moving?
    30. What about the KR land – is it still there?
    31. Did you know we (via our taxes) refurbished Sagana State Lodge for a mesmerizing Ksh 600,000,000?
    32. Did you know that the work is still INCOMPLETE?
    33. Did you know that the Head of State has never spent a night at the SAGANA STATE LODGE?
    34. Did you know that Ksh 600,000,000 could buy and/or build any residential property in Nairobi – Yes including the State House?
    35. Do you know who signed the financing agreement (read loan!) to buy so called frigates for the Kenya Navy?
    36. Did you know that what was purchased were OLD FISHING VESSELS fitted with a few motor and torpedo launches?
    37. Do you feel any safer with these schooners protecting our waters?
    38. Do you remember the unveiling of the UHURU HIGHWAY PROJECT by the PRESIDENT? Have you seen any progress? You may have seen the grading of the road sides? What else?
    39. Do you know that the financing was arranged by the Chinese government?
    40. And you, your children and your grand children will be paying for this non starter of a project?
    41. Did you know that the Goldenberg scandal cost Kenya 90 billion shilling or 20% of our current budget? Yes I thought you would say that – It was Moi! What then is Kibaki doing with this man? Why the sudden legitimacy to a known and acknowledged criminal and fraudster?
    42. DID YOU KNOW that the Kibaki government signed several agreements (Anglo Leasing) for projects to be paid by Internationally Accepted Promissory notes and THESE ARE LEGALLY BINDING?
    43. DID YOU KENYA KNOW THAT THESE WILL BE REDEEMED IRRESPECTIVE OF WHO IS IN THE STATE HOUE?
    44. DID YOU KNOW THE GOVERNMENT HAS MORTGAGED ME AND YOU VIA ANGLO LEASING PROJECTS TO THE TUNE OF KSH 80 BILLION? AND PENDA IT OR NOT IT WILL BE PAID BECAUSE IT IS LEGALLY BINDING. CANCELLING THE PROJECT DOES NOT REMOVE THE OBLIGATION? HERE ME WELL – KIBAKI TENA TEAM – IT IS WORSE THAN GOLDENBERGE!!!
    45. Did you know that no body in this government has balls enough to arrest and prosecute Mr. Pattni? Of course he would finger them all!!
    46. DID YOU KNOW THAT THE ONLY MAN CLEARED BY THE GOLDENBERGE COMMISSION WAS MUSALI MUDAVADI?
    47. DID YOU KNOW THAT THE GOVERNMENT OF KENYA can nail Mr. Ruto, but will not because the can prosecute a case and it will inevitably touch their new found buddy Mr. Moi?
    48. Did you know who proposed the amendment to the Kenya Constitution making Kenya a one party state?
    49. Do you know what a crime of omission is? It is sitting and doing nothing when evil is all around you.
    50. Can anybody tell me what role Kibaki played in the second liberation and the fight for freedoms that we now enjoy? I remember Oginga Odinga, Gitobu Immanyara, Charles Rubia, Raila Odinga, Martin Shikuku, Okii Ombaka and Kenneth Matiba. I remember Koigi Wamwere, Kijana Wamalwa and Masinde Muliro. I remember the forgotten ones – Miguna Miguna, Wahome Mutai (Yes cartoons kept us going!), a jungu called Smith Hempstone (I could swear huyu alikuwa Kenya damu!), Prof Oyugi, Ngugi wa Thiongo, Okongo Arara, Adungosi Titus and Shem Ogola. I remember Adam Mathenge, Willy Mutunga, Wachira Kamonji, Maina wa Kinyati, Mukaru Nganga, Anyona George, Khaminwa John, Otieno Mak Onyango, Onyango Paddy, K’Oale Muga, Wahinya Bore, Mutuse Thomas, Mugo Micere, Kimani Gecao, Ngugi wa Mirii, Ngweno Hillary, Mwachofi Mwakudua, P.L.O., Gikenya Waititu, Peter “Young” Kihara, Theuri Mugo, Kathangu Njeeru and Wafula Buke.

    My dear Kenyans, if you can honestly define crimes of omission or commission, then you can understand where Kibaki was and what he was doing. He has stood for nothing but maintaining the status quo and ku fuata nyayo. Kumbuka walala heri na walala hoi ni nani.

    Would these great Kenyans sit in a Kibaki Government?

    ‘We did not attain independence to have a country of ten millionaires and ten million beggars’ – JM Kariuki
    “Whose Kenya is it?” shouted Tom Mboya. “Ours!” shrieked 20,000. Now the mob’s chant was in throbbing rhythm. “Are you tired of asking for freedom?” asked Tom Mboya. “Never!” came the resounding answer. (1960)
    “What all of us wanted was to show people that we were all one family and that there was no difference between all the tribes of Kenya” – Harry Thuku

  1. Tuesday October 16, 2007

    [...] Politics In Kenya Part IAny attempt to analyze politics in Kenya (including this one) are doomed from the get go. This is largely because POLIITCS IN KENYA DOES NOT MAKE ANY SENSE. Time and time again I have been asked why I no longer satirize politics and … [...]

  2. Wednesday October 17, 2007

    [...] Jag sökte efter bloggar om Kenya och hittade en intressant blogg med ett talande och roligt skrivet inlägg just om politik i Kenya. Vet ni hur mÃ¥nga registrerade partier det finns i Kenya? 144! Wow, jag tycker det är svÃ¥rt att välja mellan sju svenska riksdagspartier som ändÃ¥ har sin grund i nÃ¥gon slags ideologi eller partimanifest… [...]

  3. Saturday October 20, 2007

    [...] Original post by M [...]

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