Ukambani Politics

Editor’s note– We all have our struggles in life. We can get a fresh perspective by helping someone else who has a similar struggle. We can also learn that an item we thought was part of the problem might actually help with the solution. Often it is not conflict, but lack of communication that is our root cause. Let’s talk to each other– regularly.

Take our friends of 30-some years, Solomon and Protasia. One chose to follow a Baptist tradition, the other comes from a Benedictine tradition. They have the same value system, and are still involved in both East African communities today.

Why did Solomon decide to run for Kenya’s Parliament? Because his funding got cut off some years ago, when two groups of Baptists in Texas could not resolve their differences. Baptists are independent– on occasion, they agree to disagree.

Kenyan Elections took place last Monday, March 4th. There was less violence than in 2007, and even with a new Constitution, there remains much room for improvement for all Kenyan Elections.

Lessons Learned:

  1. 11 candidates in 11 parties is way too many. Give the voters a primary election.
  2. There is too much incentive to steal votes. Pay elected officials less; have term limits.
  3. Build bridges– don’t burn them.
  4. Do the right thing, respect others, and be excellent. 
  5. Let’s build real solutions to real problems. “Proving” that the guy who isn’t in the room is totally incompetent is probably less than accurate, and only makes problems worse for us all.

Kenyans vote

Kenyans voted Monday. March 4, 2013.

Ukambani Politics
by Dr. Solomon Kimuyu

After the general election and its results which way for Ukambani politics?
Will Charity Ngilu and Kalonzo Musyoka remain relevant?

Tribal Leaders Background:
Before the British colonial rule in Kenya, the Akamba tribe was organized in many small clans for the purpose of governing. Their governmental system was very strong because elders were elected to the office of leadership by the virtue of their character and integrity. The clans never had a chief or a king, except a war chief in time of war. Their government can best be described as a government by agreement.

In times of war and famine the clans had one large (parliament) council of the elders from every clan. They established rules and regulations to run the general council. During many of their council gathering there was always one elder who stood out from among all the other elders, as one having outstanding oratorical ability, integrity, respect, physical presence and who was willing to be accepted as a leader in times of war with or against other tribes. This was the war chief, one always reliable and a person of good character. The elders were also the judges for their clans. The government was ruled by consensus. No elder or any other speaker was allowed to speak or address the council with a forceful tone of anger that would only weaken his point. The tribal rulers ruled until they were replaced by the next incoming generation.

The Akamba tribe was first enlightened to the Word of God in mid 1840s by Dr. Krapf[1]. They generally have an ethical and moral basis on which they form their opinions because of the exposure to the Word of God. In addition, they are vulnerable because of the scarcity of the natural resources.

The tribe’s lack of aggression in leadership jeopardizes their political advancement in Kenya’s political arena. There Akamba tribe is crucial in Kenya national politics, because of their size and political association with her neighbor tribes: Kikuyu, Embu, and Meru, who have similar if not one and the same traditional value systems. The tribe had a presidential candidate during the last Kenya general elections, December 27, 2007. When an Akamba elder was asked why he voted for a candidate that had little chance to win a presidential election, the man said, he voted for the candidate simply because he was Akamba tribe.

The tribe does not have scarcity of land, but it is a land with poor soil erosion, without adequate water supply and experiences shortage of food every other two years. Her economic pressure has lagged behind in public infrastructures since Independence. Akamba leadership is not aggressive enough to address her economic pressure within the region. It on this premise the tribe has never settled on a man or woman who could solve her economic pressures and political muscle.

Ngilu and Kalonzo never took the interest of their people since they both got into political power. Instead they used their political power base to settle personal problems and forgot the Akamba people. They no longer matter in Ukambani politics because they failed to marshal Akambas’ two million votes to one presidential candidate.

An officer of the prisons service helps to carry ballot boxes for stacking after their results were tallied, at a vote tallying center in Nairobi, Kenya Tuesday, March 5, 2013. With about a third of ballots counted provisional results showed Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, who faces charges at the International Criminal Court, taking an early lead Tuesday as votes were counted the day after the country's presidential election. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)

An officer guards the ballots at a vote tallying center in Nairobi, Kenya Tuesday, March 5, 2013. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)

[An officer of the prisons service helps to carry ballot boxes for stacking after their results were tallied, at a vote tallying center in Nairobi, Kenya Tuesday, March 5, 2013. With about a third of ballots counted provisional results showed Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, who faces charges at the International Criminal Court, taking an early lead Tuesday as votes were counted the day after the country’s presidential election.]

First half of the Akamba population of voters failed to register because they were divided by Ngilu and Kalonzo. Both individuals used the Akamba people to vote to woo them to Raila or Uhuru candidates. In the end Akamba lost politically.

Is the coming in of Dr. Alfred Mutua and the likes of Prof. Kivutha Kibwana as governors reflect the changing fortunes in Ukambani politics?

The Akamba people must unite to develop new leadership. The new arrivals, Dr. Alfred Mutua and Prof. Kivutha Kibwana do not guarantee a change in Ukambani politics, because they are part and parcel of Honorable Ngilu and Honorable Kalonzo as their kingpins. It is the responsibility of the Akamba voters to develop new, young men and women away from Ngilu and Kalonzo lineage. It is the view of the many Akamba leaders across the board the two honorable have taken advantage of the tribe which led to be left out national politics, therefore, the Akamba elite have come to realize they have been misused and misled by two individuals from the same county, resulting in the Akamba vote split between the two presidential candidates.

Solomon Kimuyu, PhD

____________________
More Info:

  1. Of course, some African enlightenment goes back even further, to 1499 for the Augustinians in Tanzania, and as early as the First Century for the Coptic Church in Egypt, and for the Amharic Church in Ethiopia. The Jewish scholar, Maimonides, was enlightening the continent with mono-theism in the 1100’s. David Livingston brought widespread attention to the continent in the 1840’s. Even more info at: Society of African Missions, African Museum of Lyon, Ignatius Lissner, Melchior de Marion Brésillac.
  2. Demand for recount IEBC
  3. Forms not signed 1 IEBC1
  4. Forms not signed 2 IEBC2
  5. Altered results 1 IEBC3
  6. Altered results 2 IEBC4
  7. Unstamped forms IEBC5
  8. Buying votes IEBC6
  9. Procedural errors IEBC7
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