Sunday, February 20th, 2011 .Tononoka Mombasa
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Addis Ababa — THERE was high drama at the African Union headquarters here yesterday when Commission chairman Dr Jean Ping publicly clashed with his controversially-appointed mediator to Cote d’Ivoire, Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga after the latter held a Press conference ahead of the Peace and Security Council Summit that was convened to discuss the situation in Cote d’Ivoire. Procedurally, Mr Odinga was supposed to brief his superiors in the Peace and Security Council first after which they would deliberate on his report and any other reports pertinent to the Cote d’Ivoire crisis before holding a Press conference to announce their decision.Dr Ping — who sources said faced a rapping from the leaders over his handling of the Cote d’Ivoire issue including the decision to appoint Mr Odinga, a lowly premier to mediate between a president and an aspirant — was naturally peeved by Odinga’s breach of protocol and summoned AU security details to stop Odinga’s Press conference.
There was some shouting, pushing and shoving with the clearly discomfited Kenyan premier attempting to rush through his statement before handing out copies to journalists who were being dispersed after which he left the scene in a huff.In his statement, Mr Odinga — who was rejected by incumbent Cote d’Ivoire President Laurent Gbagbo’s camp for openly siding with challenger Mr Alassane Ouattara — accused Mr Gbagbo of clinging to power.”Cote d’Ivoire symbolises the great tragedy that seems to have befallen Africa, whereby some incumbents are not willing to give up power if they lose.”This refusal is particularly egregious in Cote d’Ivoire’s case, since never has there been such internal, regional and international unanimity among independent institutions about the outcome of a disputed election in Africa.”Mr Odinga, who was initially unequivocal that Mr Gbagbo should step down then, ended his statement on a conciliatory tone, urging the summit to encourage dialogue between the Gbagbo and Ouattara camps.”This summit must send a strong and unequivocal message that the two parties must negotiate face-to-face,” he said.Diplomatic sources said the West’s meddlesome hand was evident in the manner the AU secretariat had invited foreign ministers of seven Western countries — among them France and Australia — to address foreign ministers of the Peace and Security Council all of whom were amazed by the turn of events that was without precedent in the history of the AU.The Peace and Security Council, as the most powerful union organ by nature, has no room for outsiders yet western foreign ministers were invited to attempt to set the tone for deliberations over Cote d’Ivoire.Unconfirmed reports indicated that French and American warships were patrolling the waters off the Cote d’Ivoire coast in the wake of a visit by an Ecowas delegation to the United States to pursue the option of military action against Cote d’Ivoire.The US and France have been at the forefront of trying to force President Gbagbo to step down. The UN has also sent peacekeeping troops to Cote d’Ivoire.
ECOWAS had threatened military action if President Gbagbo did not concede defeat by stepping down. The Ecowas ultimatum passed without incident with analysts saying the bloc risked getting discredited by resorting to such threats without seeking a peaceful solution to the crisis in Côte d’Ivoire.Sources close to deliberations in the PSC said Sadc had expressed real consternation at the fact that Ecowas, the AU and the UN had all hastily taken a position before investigating developments in Cote d’Ivoire.
“They moved to dictate not to mediate, something quite contrary to the AU and UN traditions and to common sense,” quipped a southern African diplomat.The Peace and Security Council, which convened at Presidential level here, was still in session last night under the chairmanship of Mauritania.President Mugabe joined other heads of state and government at the PSC summit that had only one item on the agenda, the political situation in Cote d’Ivoire following the disputed presidential run-off election result that created two parallel governments.The PSC is the only AU organ tasked with enforcing union decisions.Cote d’Ivoire, which ironically was supposed to sit on the PSC before its recent suspension from the AU, was thrown into turmoil after last November’s elections that had both PresidentGbagbo and former prime minister Ouattara claiming victory and appointing their own governments.Ouattara’s nationality is also being challenged as he is said to come from Burkina Faso.Zimbabwe was elected into the powerful Peace and Security Council for a three-year term in January last year.The PSC has three representatives from Central Africa, three from East Africa, two from North Africa, four from West Africa and three from Southern Africa namely Zimbabwe, South Africa and Namibia.
Report by Caesar Zvayi, 31 January 2011
LIBREVILLE, Gabon —Morgan Tsvangirai, Raila Odinga, Alassane Ouattara & now Andre Obame.Gabon’s government dissolved the country’s main opposition party Wednesday, accusing members of high treason after their leader declared himself president of the oil-rich nation, a government minister said.Opposition leader Andre Mba Obame took the oath of office late Tuesday declaring himself the new leader of Gabon, challenging the authority of President Ali Bongo, the son of Gabon’s longtime dictator who died in June 2009 after a 41-year rule.Obame came in third place in the Central African country’s August 2009 elections, which opposition candidates said were fraudulent.African Union chairman Jean Ping condemned Obame’s actions in a statement Wednesday, saying the declaration comes 17 months after a presidential election monitored by international observers. Obame’s announcement “hurts the integrity of legitimate institutions and also endangers the peace, the security and the stability of Gabon,” said Ping, who is from Gabon.
The 2009 election was called to replace the late President Omar Bongo. His son Ali was declared the winner with 41.8 per cent of the vote, but opposition candidates accused him of vote-rigging. Days of rioting and violence broke out in the southern oil hub of Port Gentil in the former French colony.Obame was among the country’s top three opposition leaders who went into hiding after the elections, saying they feared security forces were trying to kill them.A spokesman for Obame said at the time that the opposition was considering forming a parallel government.Late Tuesday at the opposition party headquarters, Obame said it was time for those in Gabon to be directed by someone they truly chose as their leader. He said he would “defend the constitution and the rights of the state.”Obame named a parallel government of 19 ministers, and the group then marched to U.N. headquarters with hundreds of supporters, where they stayed overnight.
The move is likely inspired by events in Ivory Coast, where incumbent leader Laurent Gbagbo has refused to cede power even though the international community recognizes his opponent Alassane Ouattara as president. Ouattara runs a parallel government from a hotel that is being guarded by U.N. peacekeepers.Jean Francois Ndongou, Gabon’s interior minister, said Wednesday that Obame and his co-conspirators had committed high treason, according to a Gabon news website where the government’s statement was published.
In the statement, Ndongou said that Obame and his supporters “made the choice to not respect Gabon’s constitution.”The government said it has dissolved the National Unity party and “has the right to take other legal and necessary measures relative to this situation.”
I have been waiting for the military intervention which African leaders, especially, those of the ECOWAS region pledged, as the only alternative to remove Laurent Gbagbo from office. The reason I am on the lookout for this intervention is to justify my long held belief that our leaders in Africa are simply, strings tied to the aprons of some western powers. For me, nothing is as laughable as the military option proposed by AU and ECOWAS leaders. Somehow, those fellows who sit at AU and ECOWAS meetings are confirming to us that they are blind to the realities of sovereignty.
Ivory Coast is a sovereign and the sovereignty rests in whomsoever Ivoirians decide to submit their will. Today, we are being made to see Gbagbo as a sit-tight. Of course, he is, having put in more than 10 years in the leadership of the country. But we have refused or even become deaf to the demands and desires of the greater number of the Ivoirian people. AU and ECOWAS leaders must, before deploying their soldiers to die on Ivoirian fields, first ask to find out what exactly the people of that country want. They must not fall into the trap of becoming pawns on the chessboard of France and some western war lords who are battling to sustain their annexation of an impoverished Ivory Coast.
Besides that, the basic reason I laugh at AU and ECOWAS leaders’ proposal of military intervention in Ivory Coast is the fact that Africa has been living and tolerating Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe. I recall that soon after Charles Taylor was forced into exile in Nigeria on the platform of NEPAD (New Partnership for Africa’s Development), which some people christened Never Expect Peace And Development, a move was made to ease Mugabe out of office. That move was anchored by NEPAD through its peer review mechanism. The proposal was such that Mugabe had become an embarrassment to Africa and for the West to be assured of its interest in Zimbabwe and the aligning nations; Mugabe must be eased out of office.
Some of the details of the proposal were a plan to get Mugabe to introduce an ally, his boy more or less; to AU leaders whose task it would be to market him to the West as suitable replacement. It was then proposed that after a successful marketing tour of America, Europe, Asia and other parts of the world, an election would be arranged in which the Mugabe surrogate would be announced winner and power transferred to him. What happens to Mugabe afterwards would be part of the comic drama. AU leaders had proposed that Mugabe can comfortably go into exile in South Africa or Nigeria and his loot would be transferred to him while his domestic interests would be secured by the new president. The proposal given to Mugabe was such that he could still be president from exile while a new face sits in office.
Interestingly, this proposal was made to Mugabe while Taylor was still “enjoying” his exile in Calabar. However, the same African leaders who accused Mugabe of over staying his welcome as president of a sovereign country, and had successfully removed Taylor in what was more like a coup, were themselves plotting to extend their own tenure. Our own Olusegun Obasanjo, was an integral part of the AU proposal and as a NEPAD advocate, made sure Taylor was removed as President of Liberia at a time he was busy plotting a tenure extension. It was later disclosed that the proposal to Mugabe failed because the Zimbabwean leader saw that those who had sent him a plan to ease him out of office were busy plotting tenure extensions for themselves. He also saw that Taylor, who was removed on mutual agreement, had been handed over to the US for punishment. So, it would have been foolish for him to accept to lose his grip on power and go the way of Taylor. Today, Mugabe is still president in Zimbabwe and those pontifications by AU leaders have come to nothing.
Among AU leaders who pursued the NEPAD cause included Boutefilka of Algeria, Wade of Senegal, Mubarak of Egypt, Obasanjo of Nigeria and Kuffour of Ghana. While Obasanjo lost out to popular will, and Kuffour was voted out at the end of his tenure, those other leaders have been working the constitutions of their various countries to give them longer hold on power. So, why haven’t AU leaders intervened in Algeria, Egypt and Senegal? I am sure that if Obasanjo had his way, he would still be in power till date. Atiku had made detailed expose on why Obasanjo plotted a third term. He had said Obasanjo was not comfortable with the prospect of leaving office when those he left while handing over in 1979 were still there when he came back 20 years later. No denials from Obasanjo yet. In essence, for most parts of Africa, constant regime change does not bode well.
I agree that democracy is about the will of the people expressed in ballot, even when an absolute and an irredeemable idiot gets it. But I think there comes a time when a people decide on the type of leadership that best suits their existential situation. Yes, democracy is good, but certainly, it is unAfrican to foist a western surrogate on a people. In Ivory Coast, democracy has been expressed as the will of France and some western corporatocracy forcefully expressed through allies. I do not think what is happening there at the moment is about an African state. To my mind, it is about western influence and pressure being expressed through AU and ECOWAS leaders, who in themselves will cry foul if the opposition wins in elections in their country. If AU leaders are not being hypocritical, why, for instance, would the Egyptian government not allow the Muslim Brotherhood, a free participation in a general election? Why would Sudan not freely walk into a referendum to decide the fate of Southern Sudan? Why would Wade in Senegal seek constitutional amendment for yet another tenure? And why, also, would the PDP in Nigeria not sincerely and openly honour its own constitutional provision on power rotation in the party?
Let us face the fact. None of these self-serving AU and ECOWAS leaders will willfully quit office if they find themselves in Gbagbo’s shoes. Between the two gentlemen in Ivory Coast, we find a situation where no one is asking the people, for whom power is being exercised, exactly what they want. The concern seems to be more of what France, IMF and World Bank wants. Between IMF and World Bank, you have a corporatocracy that determines who becomes president, when and how, in an African or developing country.
Alassane Quatarra’s background revolves around the IMF and World Bank and the determination to make sure he rules Ivory Coast should, in my mind, be x-rayed against his call for general civil disobedience in Ivory Coast which was largely ignored. But the same people trooped into the streets to demonstrate in support of Gbagbo and against the dictates of France in their country. This, in itself, ought to send some signals to the international community and the United Nations. This is the same international community that backed and defended the fraudulent presidential elections in Afghanistan in which Hamid Karzai clearly lost.
I therefore think that to solve the Ivorian conundrum, those super powers beating the drums of another civil war, including AU and ECOWAS leaders must think less of a military action and seek a better study and understanding of the situation in that country. I know that Nigeria, for instance, will bear the brunt of military intervention for which a resistance by the Ivorian military is certain. Such resistance will surely lead to another civil war causing massive outflow of refugees into neighbouring West African states.
Nigeria will have a good share of them. So, is the Nigerian government prepared to handle such an inflow when it has proved in capable of attending to the needs of internally displaced persons? These are issues too.
Therefore, it is not enough to issue military threats against a sovereign nation. That, in itself, is an invitation to war.AU and ECOWAS leaders must look the way of Iraq to draw lessons from the forceful removal of its government.They must also look toward Liberia to realize that loyalists of Taylor are not entirely happy that their leader was betrayed. AU leaders must also go back to history to note that after the war, there was Nuremberg.
*The Writer is a Nigerian National Copyright© 2011 Daily Champion. All rights reserved.
Angolan Government denounces defamatory campaign over Côte d’Ivoire crisis ( European Conspiracy Against Côte d’Ivoire)
Luanda, – The Angolan Government strongly condemns the defamatory campaign in circulation, according to which purported Angolan mercenaries or soldiers have been spotted in Côte d’Ivoire.The condemnation is contained in an Angolan Government declaration on the crisis in that West African country, released Friday in Luanda.The declaration considers the news as false and as part of the usual strategy of external interference in matters of the continent, aiming at blackening its leaders and institutions and once again manipulate the public opinion in order to justify the inevitability of the war.
In the declaration, the Angolan Executive stresses that it continues following up, with much concern, the situation that followed the election in Côte d’Ivoire that is on the verge of relapsing into a conflict of unpredictable consequences, liable of threatening stability in West Africa.The source states the fact that West Africa is a stable region, with processes of stabilisation in progress in various countries where the democratic systems are recent, after long lasting wars that tragically marked the sub-region, namely Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea-Conakry, Guinea-Bissau and Niger.
The Government states in its declaration that this concerns grow at a time new electoral processes draw near and are exposed to be affected by the situation in Côte d’Ivoire, with the creation of new tragedies on the continent.The Angolan Government says that it learns with much concern the fact that all measures so far adopted by the international community are inexorably pushing Côte d’Ivoire into a war.In this regard, the Government mentions that the pace at which this degenerative process is going is just an indication of the grave abnormalities and factors that before, during and after the elections, contributed and continue negatively affecting the critical situation prevailing in the country.
It adds that “it is strange that within five days radical and extreme measures that we know were intentionally taken, without prior and due attention and evaluation of all complaints about the election itself, in order not only not to unequivocally establish the winner, but also dissuade any dispute and, secondly, without a minimum use of paths for a peaceful resolution of the conflict, through dialogue and negotiation, in line with internationally acceptable norms in such cases.”
After mentioning that the Angolan Executive has been contacted by diverse entities and countries for an eventual mediation, with a view to a search of a solution to the crisis in Côte d’Ivoire, it reaffirms its support for “a peaceful and negotiated solution of the Ivorian conflict.”
On the other hand, the executive deplores that powers external to the continent are currently urging other African countries of the sub-region to precipitate the war as a solution to a problem that, to the Angolan authorities, can and must be peacefully resolved.“It is the Angolan Government understanding that the crisis in Côte d’Ivoire is about an African issue and is, for that matter, up to Africans to take the lead in its treatment. Thus, the African Union must assume the responsibility of this leadership in order to avoid that the present conflict irreversibly elapse into a human disaster, using all investments at its disposal,” reads the Government’s declaration.
Nairobi — Prime Minister Raila Odinga was on Wednesday put to task in Parliament over corruption in the Cabinet and why some ministers implicated in graft were still holding on to their positions.Mr Odinga, the ODM party leader, was also accused of applying double standards when it came to dealing with MPs from his side of the coalition.
Mr Odinga, the ODM party leader, was also accused of applying double standards when it came to dealing with MPs from his side of the coalition.”Mr Prime Minister, we would like to know your definition of political responsibility because when it is ministers from your party, you defend them, but when they are from the other side you remain silent,” Ms Amina Abdalla, a PNU nominated MP, said on Wednesday.
Gichugu MP Martha Karua challenged the PM to give his position on Immigration minister Otieno Kajwang’, who despite being struck off the lawyers’ roll several times by the Law Society of Kenya over accountability issues was still appointed to the Cabinet.Mr George Nyamweya (MP, Nominated) accused Mr Odinga of applying double standards.
He challenged the PM over why he had suspended then Agriculture minister William Ruto and Education minister Sam Ongeri over alleged fraud in their ministries, while urging patience in the current cases.Mr Njoroge Baiya said Industrialisation minister Henry Kosgey should have resigned over alleged abuse of office and corruption relating to importation of old vehicles.But Mr Odinga said he was not aware of any tainted ministers in the Cabinet. He also said that no one would be spared in the war on graft.
The government wants to get into your bedsheets with you. They want to see what you wear when you go to bed, who or what you get into bed with, and why. They want to listen in as you whisper those sweet nothings to whomever or whatever it is that keeps you company. They want to be so far into your business, they will be able to hear you think. Better believe it.While Kenya is gripped with referendum fever over the proposed constitution, the government has declared that compulsory registration of mobile phone Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) cards has begun, and will continue for another month or so. The ostensible reason is that this will help government fight crimes such as mobile phone theft, kidnappings, and the like. This is nonsense.
A traceable SIM card in a stolen phone can simply be thrown away. Similarly, it is ludicrous for the government to think kidnappings will cease merely because text messages can be traced to a given cellphone number. What’s to stop the kidnappers using one of the many free web-based services to send the text message? They could even use the kidnapped person’s own cellphone to send text messages or make calls – what’s to stop them?No, this is not about crime and security. This is about government wanting to listen in, to spy on us, to take us back to the bad old days under the malevolent regime of President Moi, when you could not say anything without a furtive look over your shoulder. It is a massive step back in civil liberties.
Unfortunately, our representatives in Parliament seem to be too busy holding night-and-day referendum meetings to take note of what is happening. It also flies in the face of economic sense. The mobile phone sector in Kenya – and most of Africa – is booming essentially because there is little or no bureaucracy involved in purchasing a mobile phone SIM card.Replacing a lost one is easy, but most people do not bother to go through the hassle of lining up at their service provider’s to wait for this: they simply purchase a new line and advise their contacts to change to the new number. This is what has kept the dynamic mobile phone sector so vibrant and profitable.
The introduction of mobile phone registration will very quickly curtail growth in the sector, as many people will be reluctant to provide their details to the government, knowing that this government has, in the past, actively sought to block citizens from even sending each text messages – as happened during the disputed general elections of 2007.It is virtually guaranteed that a significant proportion of subscribers will let their SIM cards lapse. Corruption will enter the mobile phone sector, as proxy registrations gain ground: indeed, unscrupulous agents with fake identity cards will pop up to help customers register SIM cards falsely. The directive will hit service providers’ bottom lines quite significantly: the massive sales they have witnessed through decentralised, roadside shops will simply stop.
That is not to say there is no place for some form of registration – there is, as the popular M-Pesa money transfer service has shown. However, such registration should be service-related and voluntary, rather than a Big-Brother-style gun-on-your-temple quid pro quo for accessing telephony and similar communication service.Considering that criminal messages can also be passed using email, shall we see the government seek to have people register their computers and email addresses with the CCK? After all, one might want to trace the source of an email if such a facility is used in committing crime. Perhaps we should also have identifiable cyber-café accounts, too.
This SIM card registration directive is wrong and should be re-thought. It is perhaps no coincidence that many of the countries that have implemented such schemes – like Iran, Ethiopia and the like – are among the most oppressive in the world. In the hands of Kenyan security and intelligence forces, SIM card registration will simply become yet another tool of repression and denial of civil rights.
By P. Wanyonyi – published NMDN
Background :The grand coalition partners Thursday took their wrangles to the international theatre, clashing over the establishment of an African liaison office for the International Criminal Court.The drama, which ended with a member of the Kenyan delegation being shouted out of the meeting, pitted the Party of National Unity against its partner, the Orange Democratic Movement.ODM accused PNU of working with other African countries to block the work of the ICC in Africa.But Attorney General Amos Wako accused the ODM delegation, comprising Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s adviser Miguna Miguna and University lecturer Mutakha Kangu of “acting out of ignorance” and said the government will abide by its obligations to the ICC
Opinion:Wrangling among the Kenyan delegates at the ICC Conference in Kampala was embarrassing.
Attorney General Amos Wako is a Constitutional Office holder and was in Kampala as a legal representative of the Government. That he was embarrassed at an international conference by Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s legal advisor Miguna Miguna is a tragedy of unimaginable proportions.
Kenyans must now ask some hard questions: Who is Miguna in the Government and whom does he represent? Where does he derive the authority to undermine the AG during the course of his official business? Wako, as the AG, should not be ‘shadowed’ by a party legal representative for whatever reason.
If indeed Miguna is a representative of the PM, the later ought to tell Kenyans whether he could have instructed him to contradict and embarrass Wako and why?
When Martha Karua announced in late 2007 that she would be one of the debutantes for the 2012 presidential polls, most of us ignored her.Enter 2008, she has repeatedly reiterated this and proceeded to underpin it with concrete political action. She is now interim chair of NARC-K, the PNU partner boasting the highest number of members in the tenth Parliament. When she therefore asserts that she is no longer interested in PNU unity and wishes to strengthen her party in preparation for 2012, only non-serious political strategists can afford to take her lightly.
Ms Karua is the embodiment of political suave. No one quite understands how she appeared on the political scene. She stands on no historical political legacy akin to Mr Uhuru Kenyatta, Mr Musalia Mudavadi or Mr Raila Odinga, nor was she chaperoned into politics by any national or regional kingpins as was Mr Kalonzo Musyoka. Neither was she born into financial plenty to help her “buy” her way into parliament as many others have had to. And, in the many years she has served from the backbench of parliament and later the front bench as cabinet minister, she has not been embroiled in financial improprieties.
Her tenure as cabinet minister has also been colourful. Those in the Water ministry will tell you that she left a legacy that endures. She is credited with a reform model that has now become a benchmark for reforms in other sectors. And, she was strong and no-nonsense when she served there. Those in the Justice ministry will have stories to tell about her tireless style. She works indefatigably. That’s good for policy formulation and driving.
Her raw courage amazes. Recall when she stoically walked out in broad daylight, cameras zooming, on former president Moi in Kerugoya stadium, that she had been denied a chance to address her people?
Why then would anyone be surprised that she, today, can easily stand her ground against President Kibaki on this small matter of PNU unity? That’s Martha for us.That’s why I think it would be political folly to disregard her current drive for presidential office. Here’s a Kenyan with an unblemished record of public service, occupies a key cabinet office, is leader of a growing political party, has courage and a doubtless clarity of mind.Clearly, she has come from afar to occupy ground earlier reserved for only the likes of Mr Uhuru and Mr Saitoti in taking the mantle from President Kibaki.
By Susan Chipanga
MARK Twain, an acclaimed American author wrote: “It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt”.
This timeless quote was brought to mind after intolerable criticism of Zimbabwe by Raila Odinga, Prime Minister of the Kenyan Government of National Unity whose ticket to power was signed by the blood of innocent people. Odinga’s moral right to condemn Zimbabwean elections is overshadowed by his coming into office as a result of the death of 1 500 people and the displacement of over 600 000 people.
On December 30, 2007 the chairman of the Kenyan election commission declared Odinga’s opponent, incumbent president Mwai Kibaki, the winner by a margin of about 230 000 votes. Raila challenged the results alleging fraud by the commission, but refused an election petition before the courts and urged protests, which plunged the country into one of the brutal and bloody post-election violence ever to be witnessed in recent history. Shamefacedly, the poor fellow has been blabbering on about Zimbabwe’s elections, violence, peacekeepers and for the country to be barred from regional bodies; a case some may attribute to being overwhelmed by the glare of the media after being in political obscurity for so long. Consequently, the whole of Africa and the world are regaled by the antics of a witless and hypocritical African politician whose propensity to expose himself unearths his want of tact and maturity in African politics.
Some who are not so harsh in their criticism of Odinga’s unwarranted utterances on Zimbabwe are easy to forgive him as he is a product of incarcerations, flights into exile and betrayal by erstwhile political allies which undoubtedly has made him a bitter man mad at the whole of Africa for not intervening on his behalf. Odinga, as a result, has made himself a champion of opposition politics in Africa after his backdoor entry to leadership in Kenya making him an emperor without clothes after Kenya’s recent history which someone said reads like a Shakespearian tale; full of dramatic intrigue, intricate conspiracies and king making plots.
Odinga’s unwarranted criticism of Zimbabwe might be borne from a need to outshine Mwai Kibaki, the Kenyan president who trounced him in the December election. But, Zimbabwe cannot bear the brunt of his inferiority complex in a bid to gain recognition in African politics. Someone should advise Odinga that the route he has taken is a dead end and neither is it going to absolve him of the blood that is on his hands as rightly pointed by the presidential spokesperson, George Charamba, during the recent African Union Summit in Egypt.
Maybe Odinga’s weakness is more to do with not acquainting himself with African history. He should start to appreciate that more is at stake than meets the eye in the Zimbabwean situation. If the sentiments he echoed during his inauguration are anything to go by, then he is in for a rude awakening in his quest to liberate Kenyans from neo-colonialism.
When Odinga was sworn in as Prime Minister of Kenya on April 18 2008, he told the gathering that “we will ensure that power, wealth and opportunity are in the hands of many, not the few”. Robert Mugabe whom he is now alleging is a dictator was once the darling of the West until he decided to empower his people by distributing land, which was in the hands of a few whites to the majority of the landless blacks Kenya, like all other African countries, is no exception. It would want to address these historical imbalances and some have alluded that the chaos that Kenya witnessed is the result of historic injustices including land tenure systems and the unequal sharing of resources between the country’s more than 40 ethnic groups.
Other African leaders know that addressing the injustices born out of colonialism is at the core of all African problems and that sooner or later, these issues have to be addressed by each member country. The decisions made by African leaders at the AU summit, that is, wanting Africans to solve their own problems is born out of a realisation that abandoning Zimbabwe at this critical stage will set a bad precedent.
Some delusional African politicians like Odinga might not understand that sticking together with Zimbabwe is also for their future well-being. That, Mr Odinga, is the definition of Pan Africanism. It is not about calling yourself a Pan Africanist when your deeds are devoid of “ubuntu” as you were able to countenance the beheading, skinning, raping, murdering and torturing of innocent people for your own political gain.I am no religious fanatic but I do believe the good book offers sound advice in the case of looking at a straw in another’s eye whilst not considering the rafter in your own eye. It is evident Odinga is singing for the few morsels that the United States is dropping on his lap whilst mortgaging Kenya in the process. Reports indicate that the US government is negotiating base access agreements with the government of Kenya that will allow American troops to use military facilities when the United States wants to deploy its own army in Africa. So at the right intervals Odinga has to make the right noises on Zimbabwe so as to appease his benefactors. Shame on you Odinga!
Odinga is a disgrace to the continent, which has produced notable statesmen like Nelson Mandela who spent all his life fighting for the liberation of his people and Robert Mugabe who is fighting for the total emancipation of his people. What has Odinga to show for himself, except bloody hands, which no doubt soiled his reputation of ever being regarded as a statesman. Instead of being fixated with what is happening in Zimbabwe, Odinga should be concerned with healing his own country where thousands still remain displaced, traumatised and reluctant to return to the their former homes because the horrors they witnessed are forever etched in their minds. Odinga will remain an overly ambitious politician who would stop at nothing to achieve his political ends. He should keep his tainted hands off Zimbabwe.
BREAKING NEWS: China and Russia Veto Zim Sanctions.
The zimbabwe government has responded to kenyan prime minister, raila odinga’s calls for military action on zimbabwe and for the african union to expel the country from the group by saying he is not qualified to speak on zimbabwe as his hands ‘drip of blood’. In response to questions about recent utterances by prime minister odinga presidential spokesman, george charamba said: “you follow politics carefully.
I hope you follow kenyan politics closely. Prime minister raila odinga’s hands drip with blood,” said charamba. He continued, ”raw african blood, and that blood is not going to be cleansed by any amount of abuse of zimbabwe.”odinga has become one of the harshest critics of the zimbabwean government. He called for zimbabwe to be suspended from the african union until president robert mugabe allows ‘free and fair elections’ adding that the au would be making a grave mistake if it recognized president mugabe as a legitimately-elected president.he also asked the african union (au) to deploy peacekeeping forces in zimbabwe to protect opposition supporters from alleged harassment and torture.charamba’s response referred to kenya’s recent which saw raila odinga declared prime minister after coalition talks with president mwai kibaki.
The kenyan election was marred by the worst election violence ever seen on the continent, with 300 pre election deaths and over 1 500 people dying post election.the government of president kibaki accused odinga’s party of unleashing “genocide” on the kenyan people. The coalition government in kenya has not been without problems as violence has continued in kenya.kenyan politics is deeply embedded in tribalism with most members of parliament elected on the basis of tribal and community votes.recently tension has been rising in kenya’s rift valley, the epicentre of last january’s post-election chaos
According to the East African standard things in Central Kenya might be looking good for Raila Odinga.
There is soul searching in Central Province with disappointment targeting President Kibaki and elderly politicians who have surrounded him over the years.With the anger and rebellion that for now is being expressed only in hushed tones, the idea of a generational transfer of power initially associated with followers of the outlawed Mungiki sect, is getting a new life and going mainstream.
Anchoring these is the feeling that the General Election last year left the region hugely isolated from the rest of Kenya, in what some upcoming leaders blame on the old guard. They accuse them of using the community to fight the battles of just 100 or so rich people.
Sources told The Sunday Standard that the clamour by some leaders to have the Government negotiate with Mungiki instead of killing its followers is inspired largely by two issues:One, old leaders are trying to catch up with, if not all the same hijack and control the idea of a leadership change.There is also the fear that the youth in this region could soon rally behind Prime Minister Raila Odinga who called for an end to the killing of Mungiki members and advocated for negotiations.Interviews with various sources familiar with the simmering dissent in the region revealed that people here, especially the young, are beginning to take a new look at Raila, especially after he agreed to share power with President Kibaki, then going with him to the camps for the displaced in the Rift Valley.
According to the resident “experts on Kikuyus” Raila Odinga could run away with votes from poor Kikuyus and the children of the Mau Mau because people are resentful of kibaki . It is always amazing how people will spin almost any story to their advantage .The only problem with spin is that its just spin. So lets get the facts straight.Mungiki is what can be considered an ultra nationalist organization(and i dont mean kenyan Nationalism).Mungiki is founded on returning kikuyu people back to their basic beliefs and roots. How Raila can fit into this supreme goal i don’t know. Mungiki is for kikuyu supremacy .If a polite moderate like Kibaki trashed the MOU with Raila . What will the faceless shadows that control Mungiki do .
On a side note
The grand Coalition is like the Treaty of Versailles.Everyone thought it solved all the problems and settled things I don’t need to tell you what happened later.What has the coalition settled apart from sharing out seats none of the underlying historic issues real or imagined have been resolved .Everybody is smiling as we sweep the dirt under the carpet .
While on US tour, Mr Maina Kiai, the chairman of the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights, and Ms Muthoni Wanyeki asked their American hosts to freeze all military financial assistance to Kenya.They wrote in the Washington Post that “some of the security forces benefiting from this aid and equipment have been killing Kenyan civilians with impunity.There is no doubt that the country has been experiencing ferocious eruptions of violence since December 30, 2007.
The four words, happy, home, peace and prosperity are heavenly music to the ears of traumatised and displaced Kenyans.The Kenya Army has played and will for sure continue to play its rightful role by clearing highways of marauding gangs, securing the national economic arteries, escorting public transports, and providing medical services.While some 57 brave police officers have died in the violence in the line of public service, I have not heard of a single civilian killed by the military during these public unrest.What got me worried, however, are the serious, unsubstantiated aspersions on the integrity of our Armed Forces coming, as it were, from a highly placed and a jurist of Mr Kiai’s status.
To begin with, the Kenyan qualifying to be a member of the country’s military takes an oath to uphold the Constitution of the Republic and defend the country against all enemies, to bear true allegiance and to discharge well and faithfully, the duties of office.Most of them attend to their duties with fidelity, valour and patriotism. Our security personnel operate under difficult and risky environment.
They are like all public officers, the glue holding the country together.Without their exemplary sense of fidelity, the country could not have endured in its present form since the turbulent times of the 60s.The least the military personnel expect are encouragement, appreciation and understanding of their heroic contributions, not unjustified condemnation for crimes they have not committed.
Western Man has mis-taught himself his own history.
“A familiar and influential narrative of 20th-century European history argues that nationalism twice led to war, in 1914 and then again in 1939. Thereafter, the story goes, Europeans concluded that nationalism was a danger and gradually abandoned it. In the postwar decades, Western Europeans enmeshed themselves in a web of transnational institutions, culminating in the European Union.”Muller contends that this is a myth, that peace came to the Old Continent only after the triumph of ethnonationalism, after the peoples of Europe had sorted themselves out and each achieved its own home.
At the beginning of the 20th century, there were three multi-ethnic empires in Europe: the Ottoman, Russian and Austro-Hungarian. The ethnonationalist Balkan wars of 1912 and 1913 tore at the first.World War I was ignited by Serbs seeking to rip Bosnia away from Austria-Hungary. After four years of slaughter, the Serbs succeeded, and ethnonationalism triumphed in Europe.Out of the dead Ottoman Empire came the ethnonationalist state of Turkey and an ethnic transfer of populations between Ankara and Athens. Armenians were massacred and expelled from Turkey.
Out of the Russian and Austro-Hungarian empires came Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia. In the latter three nations, however, a majority ethnic group ruled minorities that wished either their own national home, or to join lost kinsmen.
In China, Uighurs, Mongolians and Tibetans all resist assimilation. Tatarstan may be the next problem for Russia. In the Balkans, it is Kosovo. Serbs there and in Bosnia may emulate the Albanians and secede.Many, writes Muller, “find ethnonationalism discomfiting both intellectually and morally. Social scientists go to great lengths to demonstrate that this is a product not of nature but of culture. …”But none of this will make ethnonationalism go away.”Indeed, we see it bubbling up from the Basque country of Spain, to Belgium, Bolivia, Baghdad and Beirut. Perhaps the wisest counsel for Kenya may be to get out of the way of this elemental force. Rather than seek to halt the inexorable, we should seek to accommodate it and ameliorate its sometimes awful consequences.