Political Analysts Confuse Kenyans Instead of shaping Opinion

After the much overly advertised Kenya Presidential Debate in July 2017 between President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga, I looked forward the next day for insights on the performance of the NASA flag bearer Raila Amollo Odinga. I had not decided who to vote for before the debate. Not that I have decided but the discussion helped in deciding

Debates are important for people like me who do not have time to attend political rallies.

There is no better place to get that other than the prime time TV talks with political analysts who are mostly politicians themselves. They confuse people by disagreeing on even fundamental questions that they shouldn’t.

I agree with Herman Manyora, a lecturer at the University of Nairobi and frequent analyst on prime time talks, that there is a growing number of Kenyan voters, not many but very few, who resonate with the idea that Kenya presidential candidates have to debate for Kenyan voters to decide who to choose.

These calibre of the electorate are gradually growing by the day perhaps significant enough to dictate things by the next general election.

Although Kenya is still not a thriving democracy with most voters being swayed based on their tribal groupings, there is a group of the electorate who have intermarried and prefer having candidates who do not lean towards their tribes.

They seek leaders who have a vision that is far beyond their tribal backgrounds.

What if we ban political rallies altogether and replace them with a series of debates with properly structured ways of addressing voters? Or better still the government employs every eligible Kenyan such that it will be uneconomical to traverse the entire country lying to jobless Kenyans with gimmicks and outright propaganda?

Political Analysts on TV Influence Opinion

What will be prevalent is issue based politics where the history becomes an integral part of the evaluation of a candidate. Political analysts in Kenya side with different factions. The idea of having these analysts on TV analysing say, the Kenya presidential debate 2017, only confuses voters who look up to them as opinion leaders.

Political analysts insights on trending matters in the country are important in shaping the leadership. Unfortunately, political analysts in Kenya take sides and differ even on obvious topics like whether the debate is necessary or not.

The type of political analysts Kenya would like to see is Barrack Muluka type of critics who tend to see through the idea of each political party succinctly. Kenya would like to listen to respectable journalists who are not aligned to any political affiliations. I would like to see political analysts who call a spade a spade.

I  congratulate the Kenyan media owners for trying their level best to have the Kenya presidential debate 2017 despite a disappointing end. At least it was a good start, and the pitfalls exhibited in 2017 elections would not be repeated in the next election.

I  recommend senior journalists in Kenya to step up their level of discussions and engagement to stop political sycophants from playing with our wits on prime time discussion on matters of national importance.

 

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Why Kenya Presidential Debate 2017 Failed. Media Is to Blame

I religiously went home last evening full of hope. I was particularly happy just thinking of how the Kenya presidential debate 2017nwould be. I had this idea in my head that I have an opportunity to make a decision who to vote for.

Unfortunately, Presidential running mates in Kenya just ignored a call to debate even after months of preparation and subsequent communication with respective campaign teams.

Only one little know running mate Eliud Mathiora showed up, took to the podium to tell the country why they have the perfect solution to the Kenya. Kenyans on social media fell in love with him. I think he did well. He may not ascend to power this time, but he will remain in voters minds as one who had the courage to present himself for scrutiny of his agenda.

The lone debater confirmed that there had been consistent communication between the organising committee and the campaign teams

Snubbing the debates began with front runners to the presidential seat boycotting an earlier scheduled debate. President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga cited non-consultation, and they were not privy to the rules of engagement.

However, the organising committee of the Kenya Presidential Debate 2017 refutes the claims and further reiterated that there had been consultations with the respective campaign teams.

It seems politicians are not afraid of what the media can do. They are used to status quo of attending many public rallies and rant false statements and propaganda against each other. The media on the, on the other hand, does not recognise the potential and influence they possess.

Politicians do not want to have a single platform to explain to the entire nation at the same time why they should be elected. They want to stand on a platform in the towns to be cheered as they attack their opponent with meagre propaganda.

The snubbing of the debates can be seen as failed attempt by concerned Kenyans to hold leaders accountable. However, the failed presidential debates are just but the beginning of a new norm.

Candidates can boycott standing in front of the nation to articulate their ideologies to the country, but it won’t be long, they will have to account for every decision they made while in power.

The Shift

The political landscape is changing. Very fast indeed. The rise of social media has placed Kenyans physically apart, but they are closer than ever. Voters can synthesise and discuss issues on social media pages.

Presidential debate failure last night was the beginning of something very great that will shape the leadership of this nation. Leaders will be held into account. I see a country that is headed in the right direction.

The only thing that the organising committee must do is never give up. They should continue offering a platform for Kenyans to know their leaders and be able to make a choice away from tribal, religious or gender affiliations.

Here is the plan



The focus should shift from covering allegations and responses on propaganda and non-issues to focus on what brings change. Weed out “Nasa hawa” and focus on “We’ll bring free improve health for every Kenyan and Free education.”

The media should stop being a conduit for allegation and responses. They should rather focus on national matters that the leaders have in their manifestos. Boycott to report about what Jubilee said about Nasa and focused on what Jubilee said about the people. If allegations are made against either camp, we need journalists pressing these leaders to provide proof. With proof ask the other team to respond with proof.

If the media do some quality reporting and upholding top level reporting, then the politician will be very very afraid of the reporters.

The IEBC Must Step Up its Decision Making Organs.

Kenya is on the home stretch towards the August 8th elections. The question that lingers in the minds of many is whether the IEBC is ready with less than a month for August elections. IEBC has a long way to go with the courts faulting some of the decisions that they are making.

The news from the other arm of government, the judiciary, seems to bring some hope for the future. One of the judges appointed to hear a case filed by NASA to compel IEBC to use the electronic system in the next general election exclusively has recused himself from the case. He said that he practised with one of the NASA principals and it would be improper for him to sit on the bench.



Lately, the manner in which the Judiciary and its members have been acting is rather commendable and encouraging. Kenya is almost confident that the courts can handle the aftermath of the 2017 elections. The judiciary has practised impartiality and ruled cases in a manner to suggest that Kenya is heading in the right direction.

Despite calls from incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy Willian Ruto that the courts should not take their respect for fear, it is interesting to note members from all political camps seem satisfied with the ruling on presidential ballot paper printing tender against the IEBC.

The ballot raw ruling follows an earlier ruling in which the courts overturned the decision by IEBC to bar Wavinya Ndeti from contesting for Machakos gubernatorial seat. It was a win for Wavinya and rather shameful loss for IEBC who have suffered a series of losses seems the swearing in of the new commissioners.

There is a concern though for the IEBC chaired by Wafula Chebukati. The commission which consists of experienced legal practitioners and members of high social standing has been making reckless and rather arbitrary decisions that have been easily dismissed by the courts for lack of legal basis.

As a constitutional body mandated to carry out free, fair, credible and verifiable elections, the IEBC has a long way to go lest it loses its credibility in the eyes of Kenyans and the international community. Decisions that IEBC makes must stand the test of the law and found to be just and constitutional.



The Constitution of Kenya has deployed necessary resources for the IEBC to run a credible election. Kenyans have bestowed their trust in the IEBC to be effective in its role. It must not fail Kenyans. IEBC must work round the clock to ensure that the Judiciary does not overshadow it with repeated revocation of the decisions the commission makes including announcing the winners of August 8th polls.

 

 

Africa Doesn’t Need the West to Grow

African countries do not need US, China or Europe to survive. African needs alliances that will equally benefit in terms of research and proper exploitation of its resources that will leave Africans with wealth to stand on their own. Over dependence on the west leaves Africa poor and destitute.

In the last decade, there has been a rising concern of population in Africa with an estimated 60% of African population being younger than 25. This statistic makes Africa a power to reckon with regarding productivity and innovation that come with it and developed nations are worried.

The secret weapon the West has is to tie African countries to half-millennium-long debt that is often siphoned through unscrupulous businessmen and shady contracts. Huge IT firms in the US are said to be headed by immigrants from India.

However, developed countries face hurdles over the deteriorating birthrates. Some states have been forced to import workforce to match the needs of the economy.

Europe’s birthrate is staggeringly low attracting an influx of refugees from war-torn areas like Syria and North Africa. The worry for the current leadership is to accept the humanitarian crisis in destabilized the Middle East, economically ailing African continent and the already evident power of China, Iran, and North Korea.

Britain is trying so hard to run away from what it advocated during the colonial era, Brexit. Exiting the European Union because it couldn’t dictate its force to other members. It is even more challenging for Britain to leave given that its population has been hosted well across European and any aggression efforts against non-British citizens are likely to be met with equal measure across the other United European countries which leaves Britain in a dilemma.

Young African population has risen so fast in the recent past spilling over to Europe through Italy raising a concern of the next generation of the African-European population that will likely force a shift to a new form of power.

Intermarriage will happen one way or the other. The low birthrate and influx of immigrants both legal and illegal pose a huge challenge for existing world order.

Asia is a rising political and economic force that gives the West jitters. It is common sense that North Korea is not scared of United States anymore. The superpower struggle between the US and Russia balances the equation to give countries like North Korea to do whatever it wants. On the other hand, China, which has formed allies with African nations is another force that anyone should be aware of.

Trump’s ideologies are a mockery of faith, family and societal virtues that were long standing thousands of generations according to New York Times. Some opinion leaders don’t like Trump for this, and the rise of gender equity and equality is likely to ruin his tenure.

Help me Make a choice who to vote for!

My son and I fight over who watches what. It is 7 pm, and I need to know what has just happened. My son wants to watch his cartoons. My wife sides with me because he will want to switch the station in an hour. My son is so disappointed at me as I changed channels.

It is election time all news stations are on the campaign trail.

“Hey, did you hear that? William Ruto keep repeating the same sentiments about the opposition every time he is addressing a rally!”

“Yeah, I heard. Watching Ruto on TV is boring. I can for tell what he will be saying next time he opens his mouth” She replied while she busied herself as she cleaned the carpet.

She does not think that William Ruto will be president in 2022. I am sure whether she thinks he will ever be president but I think he will make the worst president in the history of Kenya if he becomes one. Most Dangerous in the sense that there is likely to be more media oppression under his presidency. More extra-judicial killings and a lot more scandals that all scandals exhibited in the past four regimes combined.

In an invite only fundraising dinner for the jubilee party attended by the president and his deputy, the event collected over a billion shillings to fund President Kenyatta’s re-election bid in record 2 hours.

In the dinner, the president reiterated that he didn’t want to meet anyone at Statehouse to discuss funding his campaign.

That was a good gesture, though, perhaps to shut down political blackmail that has been rampant in this country. Maybe what Ann Waiguru called cartels. I tend to believe Waiguru by the way.

The official opposition, on the other hand, seems not to have anything concrete to deliver to Kenyans. I don’t think they have a serious unique strategy to wipe out corruption and end corruption for the first time since independence. I believe corruption and impunity have been a part of every regime ever since we got our independence.

The opposition just wants the incumbent out. I feel their hunger for power and their deep desire to prove a point to the ruling party. I am not convinced to vote for them. I am inclined to say give Uhuru Kenyatta another term to implement one more mega project. I also fee like voting out Jubilee because they have my future generations into debt. I am not sure they can fully account for the debt they have taken so far.

I don’t feel a sense of enthusiasm and desire to change this country among those seeking the presidency. I see political fights. I see individuals who thrive on the misery of others. I see selfish capitalistic people who use divide and conquer as the British did.

What Kenyans Need to Know Now

Our founding fathers wanted a fair country. A country where everyone, regardless of gender orientation, age or faith, had equal opportunity to pursue and achieve happiness in the lives. They envisioned a stronger future society that would thrive under democratic capitalism and economic equity. They hoped for a community that was empowered to exercise their freedom and constitutional right to decide who governs them.

Every Kenyan has an equal chance to pursue happiness in their lifetime and contribute to improving the livelihood of generations to come. What our freedom fighters would like to see is:

  • A country free of ailments for infants and mothers. that is why we need free access to Medicare
  • A democratic nation guided by national values. They wanted to see citizens who were passionate about their country and ready to defend it.
  • A diverse nation that disagrees to agree. A country of 42 tribes that coexisted peacefully harmoniously
  • A country that presents an equal opportunity for both men and women to compete and pursue their interests without fear

I believe and share in the vision of those who laid the foundation of this great nation. The selflessness of our founders gave us an equal chance to compete on the same level as every active citizen in the entire country.

I have an equal constitutional right to chase my dream of becoming independent and self-sufficient. I have the same opportunity to contribute towards making America comfortable now and even stronger for the generations to come.

For my family and friends, they all have that chance to participate in making the dream a reality. It is the prerogative of everyone who shares the belief and values of the America to take their part in the making of history.

There will be people who do not share the same values and would want to see Kenya fail, but it’s the duty of those of us who believe in the spirit of equity and equality to prove otherwise.

The Kenyan democracy may be the only hope to the realization of the dream through the formation of governments that are inclusive and just and fair to all. We may share varied opinions as regards power, but the ability to accommodate those who differ with and forge ahead as a country is what makes us great.

Although our democracy may seem hijacked by a few selfish and corrupt individuals, our ability to stand up to them and say no is what will make the next generation stronger?

War in Syria is Spilling Over to the West

The scramble for world resources has led to more harm than good. May 23rd, 2017, the world woke up to terror attack at a music concert in Manchester, the worst attack in more than a decade. 22 young people lost their lives while 59 injured. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack.

My thoughts and condolences go to the families of victims, most of them teenagers, who were hurt by hurt by the cowardly act of targeting defenseless and innocent citizens.

But the general feeling among those whose countries are at war is that the West is too peaceful while they bring the war to us.

Powerful countries meddling into smaller nations affairs since the beginning of current millennia can be blamed for the conflicts that are seen across the globe.

It is fair to say the United States is meddling in Syria has destabilized the Asian nation. The US support for the rebels has only exacerbated the conflict with the current regime clinging to power. Russia and United States take sides while the war escalates.

Common sense will tell people there is something precious that attracts the interest of both Russia and the United States.

The situation in Syria has been worsened by US activities in Iraq and Afghanistan. Since the US orchestrated the fall of Saddam Hussein, Iraq has never been stable. Further 9/11 attacks, the United States set its military prowess in Afghanistan.

The logical question is, why would the US continue with activities in the Middle East after the death of Osama Bin Laden? Since then, more and more terror groups has been sprouting endlessly.

 

The region has become more volatile than ever before. Young radicalized youths are sympathizing with the branded terror groups. These youths go back home to their peaceful communities and cause anguish.

Why are extremists targeting the West?

China is one of the powerful countries that sits on the UN Security Council. While other members scratch their heads with terror threats, China is heavily investing in Africa with little to worry about their security. Experts say the only time to be more prepared for war is not during the war, but rather during peaceful times.

China is forming alliances with African governments to exploit untapped natural resources especially oil and gas. Although Africa has its fair share of problems, like the Boko Haram menace in Nigeria, the humanitarian crisis in South Sudan and Somalia and rising inequality, the conflict in Syria is far much worse requires immediate attention. If this is not done, terror will continue spreading until no one is safe.

Oh and the Korean peninsula conflict is boiling up as well.

39 Year Old Macron, France Youngest President who married his teacher

The world is experiencing what many would call a paradigm shift. Politicians are defying the acceptable social norms, and for the first time, the most likely impossible things are happening in the political arena.

France will be installing their new president, the youngest president in the history of the country. An interesting part of Emmanuel Macron,  president-elect, is that he is married to a woman 24 years older and his former high school teacher.

Macron partly attributes his success to her for being a never failing force towards his rise to the presidency.

Late 2016, Americans had shocked the world by electing a rather unusual candidate, Donald Trump, who defied all odds to become POTUS.

Trump trumped over more experienced opponents in the Republican primaries despite never holding an elective office and cruised to defeat a former first lady and former secretary of state and new times favorite candidate Hillary Clinton.

Despite Macron’s victory in France, he is faced with a difficult task of uniting a divided country. Nearly 34 percent of French voters didn’t vote for Macron.

Macron represents a new generation of leaders who defy big party nomination and support and run as independent candidates.

Kenya will be electing their next government in August 2017. Following the events during party nominations, the electoral body is faced with a hard task to list over five thousand independent candidates who are thought to be primarily nomination losers or dissatisfied candidates.

Given world trends and failure of incumbent political bigwigs to clinch the nomination with respective parties, it’s possible to experience Macron kind of victories in Kenya although it may be a hard task for independent governors and president to push their development agenda on a house that is controlled by political parties.