Monday, 18 February 2013

The Politics of Land Reform

It is highly regrettable that we Kenyans simply cannot have an intelligent conversation on land reform. It was deeply troubling for the Inspector-General of police to purport to warn us against having a national discourse on the issue yet land reform is one of the foundations in which the Vision 2030 pillars are anchored on. Ours is an agrarian economy in which land is the primary source of wealth and the most productive resource. Our land-tenure system however is faulty and has been identified as an impediment to economic development.

To be sure, the driving force for undertaking land reform is usually political, not economic. Don’t be fooled by the irony; whereas the driving force for undertaking land reform is political, the purpose for undertaking land reform is underpinned by sound economics. The irony only serves to prove that in every true democracy there is more politics than economics in economic policy formulation.

Monday, 11 February 2013

Politics Most Foul

For all of its denials, it was an open secret that State House was secretly propping up Musalia Mudavadi to succeed President Kibaki. The word on the street was that Musalia was as a ‘compromise candidate’ for the Gema community. Despite Uhuru Kenyatta having what seemed like good prospects of succeeding President Kibaki, his indictment at the ICC with crimes against humanity was for all intents and purposes an insuperable millstone around Uhuru neck. Apparently, the level headed State House operatives had long since come to grips with Uhuru’s predicament at The Hague and they were intent on handing over the reins of power to an acquiescent moderate that is Musalia and the Gema community understood it thus.

Everything seemed to have fallen in place when Musalia, who had earlier been cajoled to ditch Raila’s ODM party, signed a pact with Uhuru and William Ruto in which Uhuru agreed to step down for him as their coalition’s presidential candidate. And then, out of the blue, Uhuru pulled a fast one on Mudavadi and backtracked on his promise citing manipulation by ‘dark forces.’ Poor Mudavadi was short-changed and in effect consigned to the political junkyard where he fittingly belongs depending of course on which side of the political divide you look at it from. The operatives behind project Mudavadi were none the wiser even though they were left with egg on their faces. With the benefit of hindsight, it was a total escapade.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

We Must Learn to Concede Defeat

A truly historic and highly publicized presidential debated in which all the presidential candidates will take part is slated for the day after tomorrow, 11th February 2013, and I have to say that I have both good and bad feelings about it. Good feelings because not only is the presidential debate merely a first in our fledgling democracy, but primarily because political debates of this nature are an essential part of the electoral process. The debate is expected to greatly help voters in their evaluations of the candidates and hopefully the voter decision come 4th of March 2013, will be more informed. Bad feelings because it is a debate that will be ruinously cluttered, defeating the very purpose of the presidential debate.

There are eight candidates in the race to State House but as we all know, Raila Odinga and Uhuru Kenyatta are the only two serious contenders in the race; the other six: Musalia Mudavadi, Martha Karua, Peter Kenneth, James ole Kiyapi, Paul Muite and Mohammed Duba are all peripheral candidates who for all intents and purposes do not stand a cat in hell’s chance of winning the election. Be that as it may, these peripheral candidates are expected to take part in the debate simply because it is politically incorrect to not have them take part in the debate. Well, I beg to differ!