Monday, September 14, 2009



By Jerry Okungu
Nairobi, Kenya.

We are on a roller coaster heading to the Indian Ocean. Politicians have set us in motion. Our destination is down hill and there is no stopping unless they hold the breaks which are in their possession.

They decide for us what to do, which issues to discuss and when to do them. We have totally lost control to the politician. The public lost control of the situation a long time ago. Now it is the turn of the Executive to cede the same. With Marende at the chair in the august house, we surely are in for a spin.

Just a recap at the year’s events to date, I must say that we Kenyans are resilient. Our backs are strong. They cannot be broken easily. The amount of stressful events we have been subjected to in the last eight months have been weighty and mind boggling.
If it hasn’t been Uhuru Kenyatta presenting fictitious figures to Parliament, it has been the Mars group poking holes into such figures. If it hasn’t been William Ruto breathing fire in Rift Valley over the Hague trials, it has been his cronies issuing threats against Mau evictions.

At onetime even the LSK feebly attempted to impeach the Chief Justice and even forwarded their petition to the President. When their attempts came to nothing, their chairman accepted an appointment to the KACC oversight board, now as discredited as KACC itself.

Haven’t Kenyans and their livestock been dying for quite some time? Whereas the death of animals can be attributed to changing weather patterns that have altered rainy seasons, the death of our peasants and the less fortunate was at one time attributed to the maize scandal that almost shortened the careers of the Agriculture minister.

When the motion to censure the agriculture minister was defeated by the status quo, the maize scandal fizzled out. Today, though famine persists, nobody is discussing the maize scandal. Those who fleeced both the National Cereal Board and starving consumers are sitting pretty as if nothing ever happened.

Then followed the oil scandal that claimed the job of former Kenya Pipe Line boss. When he was finally arraigned in court, it was on other charges unrelated to the Ks 7 billion oil scandal.

What about the less serious KTB scandal that sent home both Rebecca Nabutola the Tourism PS together with the KTB Chief Executive? That too is dying away as the backlog in courts of justice takes it toll.

After all that we have been subjected to in the last eight months, will the Hague trials take us to another level now that Ocampo has camped in town recruiting his subordinate staff?

If The Hague had to dare and make some arrests, would that act alone take the thunder out of the Mau Forest and Ringera debate?

Could Kibaki divert attention from him and Ringera if today he were to order the arrests of at least two warlords and hand them over to Ocampo or haul them in a local criminal court?

And what happened to Bethuel Kiplagat’s Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission that raised quite a storm recently? Incidentally, some of the very activists that went to court over Kiplagat are the same characters that have gone to court over Ringera! Will they finally get justice from a judicial system they have always disparaged from time to time?

The Mau evictions and Ringera motion in parliament have finally put Kenya on edge. When evictions start, no matter how humane, there will be violent political ripples in Rift Valley. Local politicians from Bonde la Uma will want to cash on it whether wrongly or rightly for political mileage.

In the Mau, the government is in a catch 22 situation. If it doesn’t act, the Maasai will say enough is enough and will most likely take their crude weapons to clear the forest. Maasai leaders including, of all people, the man in charge of internal security have said as much. In other words, if Raila Odinga does not act fast enough, there will be a civil war in the Rift Valley pitting the Masais against the Kipsigis.

What about Aaron Ringera? The good judge has put the presidency of Kibaki in a quagmire. If he stays put and very happily as he says, parliament will cut off his life line and possibly disband both KACC and its oversight board. If this happens, it will portray Kibaki not only in bad light in which case, as a wounded lion, he might just act with fury. And on this score, two options are open to him; he may disband the cabinet just like he did following the referendum in 2005, or better still, dissolve parliament and call snap elections. If he does this, a legal technicality may just give him another five year term!
So much for Kenyan politics!