“The Daily Nation” And “Raila’s Stolen Presidency”

In the wake of a biased review of my book, “Raila Odinga’s Stolen Presidency” by The Nation newspaper, and in relation to enquiries and comments by people who have read the book, it is prudent to highlight what the book says about the paper so that the sloppy review can be put into context. Excerpts below are drawn from Chapter thirteen (The anatomy of the 2007 election rigging) of the book.

Controversy: A snapshot of the Nation Article on Stolen Presidency

Controversy: A snapshot of the Nation Article on Stolen Presidency

Just before and after the Referendum on a new Constitution, which Kibaki lost, Kenya’s Daily Nation newspaper was notoriously accused (rightfully or wrongfully) by politicians, research groups and opinion pollsters alike of being pro-Kibaki government and anti-Raila allegedly because the paper was being managed by a clique of Kikuyu barons, the same ethnic group as Kibaki. A poll conducted by the Strategic Public Relations and Research (SPRR) on behalf of UNDP noted “…a general bias in favour of the President in both State-owned and private media.”(313) At the time the SPRR poll was conducted, the result showed that The Nation had given Kibaki “space coverage” that totaled 741, Raila 532 and Kalonzo was trailing with 645.(314)

Top staff who were promoted at The Nation before elections and who were Kikuyus were supposedly entrusted with a special responsibility of helping Kibaki’s election campaign at the propaganda level and at the expense of Raila’s team. For conspiracy theorists, the plan was to have The Nation employ a level of bias in favour of Kibaki. This theory almost gained credibility when an SMS was circulated across Kenya urging ODM supporters to boycott The Nation and to stop the newspaper’s journalists from covering ODM events. Sensing the potential damage the message could inflict on his election campaign, especially through accusations that his Party was trying to muzzle the press, Raila dismissed the SMS, saying, “I would like to state categorically that I have nothing to do with that message.”315

Although The Nation Media Group is a private entity, it is a mainstream daily newspaper in Kenya and, therefore, its line of reportage has the potential to influence political events depending on circumstances on the ground. Because of its high position in the Kenya media rating, and were this the agenda, the paper’s top brass of Kikuyu extraction clearly had the capacity to collaborate with designated members of the Kikuyu ruling class to influence political opinion in Kenya for purposes of materializing a specific pro-Kibaki psychological outcome, especially among the Kikuyu. The phenomena of mainstream media emerging as a major player to influence voting patterns in general elections is rampant across the world. In the United States, the Republicans are known to depend heavily on the Fox News TV channel for propaganda dissemination while in China, the view of the government is known to find echoes in key TV stations, especially those controlled by the State.

In Kenya, the State-controlled Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) exhibited obvious bias in reportage of election campaigns in favour of PNU, a bias that reached a climax during Kibaki’s secret and illegal swearing-in ceremony at State House Nairobi where KBC was the only media house that was invited to cover the event. That was after KBC was given exclusive rights to cover the announcement by Samuel Kivuitu that Kibaki had won elections. Every media outlet, including International Press, were kept out of the announcement room by General Service Unit personnel and regular police after the great deception at the vote tallying room at Kenyatta International Conference Center. Before elections, Kivuitu was himself quoted by the BBC accusing KBC of bias in their reports on election campaigns. According to one media report, “Samuel Kivuitu condemned the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) for not providing equal coverage to all presidential candidates.”(316) Given his role in election rigging, was Kivuitu’s attack on KBC for PR purposes?

This view about KBC bias was further supported by Raila Odinga who had no kind words for the Corporation. He said, “We are demanding equal coverage by this station, which is being funded directly by taxpayers’ money,” he (Odinga) said after holding talks with US Ambassador Michael Ranneberger in Nairobi.(317) In the report, Raila went further and accused Permanent Secretaries and Provincial Administration officials of having been directed to campaign for Kibaki. Using the inclination that The Nation was pro-Kibaki, Kenyan conspiracy theorists literally saw the rigging of election plans as early as 2005 when The Nation and other privately owned media houses controlled by boys from Central Province began elevating members of the Kikuyu ethnic group into top positions apparently in preparation for election rigging. Kikuyus who were already in high slots at The Nation Media Group were retained in the process of the abrupt promotions as non-Kikuyus were allegedly transferred to peripheral positions that could have no impact when it came to the general direction of news during election campaigns. Media houses that were already owned by the Kikuyu were reportedly encouraged to sing pro-Kibaki hymns as members of the Kikuyu ethnic group apparently underwent a choreographed psychological preparation on a mass scale to vote for Kibaki on grounds that power in Kenya should not leave the “House of Mumbi” (the Kikuyu nation). In rural areas populated by Kikuyus (especially in Central Province), this media brainwashing strategy is said to have gone overboard with some news channels using radio stations to openly demonize ODM as a political Party, spread hate messages to scare the electorate and, in particular, demonize Raila Odinga…

…For example, Linus Gitahi, who hails from Nyeri (Kibaki’s home turf ), was appointed the Chief Executive Officer following the retirement of William Kiboro. Mr. Gitahi, whom, at the time of his appointment was also a non-executive director of Kikuyu origin, controlled Equity Bank and had previously been a senior executive with GlaxosmithKline, a pharmaceutical giant.(321) With an interest in Equity Bank, Gitahi was not just another baron at The Nation but a member of the wealthy class of Kenyans whose interest formed part of the economy of the Kenyan nation. The post of Managing Editor of Business Daily, a sister paper launched by The Nation Media Group in early March 2007 and partnered with Wall Street Journal, went to Nick Wachira, another Kikuyu also from Nyeri. If any pro-Kibaki reporting or propaganda spreading was to be executed, these two boys allegedly from Kibaki’s own backyard were said to be the key point men.

In the run up to the 2007 elections, other key positions at The Nation were occupied, almost entirely, by members of the Kikuyu and this, in the minds of conspiracy theorists, further strengthened the view that changes at The Nation’s top leadership that began in January 2005 were not accidental. Other Kikuyus patched on top positions of The Nation Media House included the paper’s Editorial Director, Wangethi Mwangi; Managing Editor of The Daily Metro, Tim Chege; General Manager in charge of Marketing and Circulation, Mike Ngugi; General Manager in charge of Advertising, Julius Maina; Managing Editor, The Sunday Nation, Macharia Gaitho; Managing Editor, The Daily Nation, Bernard Nderitu while Managing Editor of Taifa Leo (sister paper in Swahili) was Wainaina Kiganya. Nderitu, who had been the Managing Editor of The Sunday Nation, had just returned from post-graduate studies in Britain when he was posted to his new position.

Theoretically, if The Nation was to help with sending pro-Kibaki signals to its English readers allegedly through a media master plan, the “Swahili assignment” rested with Kiganya and this made substantial sense, especially to a conspiracy theorist who could have found lots of indigestion trying to decipher why Kikuyus (whom, by the gist of their ethnic origin, were supposed to be aligned to PNU) were literally patched on the “control tower” of The Nation, especially in an election year. The paper’s top brass who were non-Kikuyus such as Joseph Odindo, the group’s Managing Editor, were seen more as flowers meant to colour the Kikuyu-populated garden of The Nation and to give it a semblance of ethnic balance. The non-Kikuyus reportedly had no influence when it came to key decision making, especially on political reporting that could influence opinion in the run up to the elections.

Besides having their fingers on The Nation, the State-owned Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) was also in the hands of children from the House of Mumbi, namely David Waweru, Managing Director and Waithaka Waihenya, Editor in Chief. It is instructive that Waweru hails from Nyeri, Kibaki’s home turf. Together with other boys from Central who were in the control room at The Nation, it is possible that election news could well vibrate positively in the direction of Kibaki and at the expense of ODM as a covert or “invisible” contribution to Kibaki’s President’s campaign.

In a media survey conducted between January and June 2007 by Steadman Group, Kibaki was leading in media coverage among top Presidential candidates. He topped with 33 percent in mentions in newspapers, television and radio. Raila received 22 percent while Kalonzo trailed with 11 percent.322 The Daily Nation (25.08.2007) reported that from a grand total of 2,042 mentions, Kibaki got 1,151 mentions in radio, 747 in print media and 144 in television. In the month of June alone, the same issue of the newspaper reported that Kibaki got 32 percent of total mentions while Raila got 18 percent, a clear indication that there was a media bias that tended to favour Kibaki during election campaigns. Who could have been behind this bias?…

While the theory that the media may have been part of the rigging as early as 2005 sounds credible, it cannot exclusively explain this historic and criminal act that appeared to have had much broader conspirators. The Kikuyu-controlled media may have been a cog in the wheel of election rigging but my view is that Kenyans need to look much further and search for other parts of the puzzle that together can add meaning to an act of cowardice that not only shocked the nation but also plunged the country into deep crisis.

RAILA ODINGA’S STOLEN PRESIDENCY: Consequences and the future of Kenya

KSB Comment: The right wing media is unlikely to be obejective in its review of the book, given that the book also questions the capitalist status quo.


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17 Comments on ““The Daily Nation” And “Raila’s Stolen Presidency””

  1. Arne Malo Says:

    I did not know that it was this well hooked up reminds me of the Warburgs in http://warburg.sas.ac.uk/institute/institute_introduction.htm

    Please check it out for the earli progressmade in the rhrtoric of “popular” culture.

    Bless

  2. amangana Says:

    It seems that the book is known to the big Bosses in kenya
    including the Mungikis and their allies !
    Now, the problem is, there are only few copies in circulation ! arent you planning to print more ?
    and by the way, after reading the nations comments, you need watch your back especially when in Kenya !

    KSB: The book is in circulation. The truth will never die and I am glad that the key message inatembea.

  3. amangana Says:

    About the first Lady Lucy !
    I think it is time now somebody slapped badly so that she should learn that what is doing is wrong !
    This happened a few days ago in Tanzania, when the former president Ali Hassan Mwinyi was delevering a speech at a Maulid gathering. Instead of talking about Islam and its values, he started talking about condom using against AIDS
    he got slapped heavely ! (Kibao kikali mzee)
    Now, this Lucy just because she managed to take her husband off the booze does not guarantee her to slap people !
    learn from Bongo Mzee !

  4. Kenyan Says:

    For now what Kenya needs is a very robust erection commission that can withstand the test of time.

  5. Manyonyi Mulimah Says:

    The more I read literature from different authors regarding the criminal and cowardly acts of 2007, the more I feel less pity for my brothers and sisters from Central who became victims of pev.

    The ethnic callousness did not stop with the rigging of elections. Throughout the life of the coalition Govt, ODM supporters have continued to endure the indignity of their leaders living under a hail of dehumanizing abuses. It is true that we all need peace to thrive. This love for peace does not however mean we hold our noses and look the other side as some people defecate in our lovely hut that is Kenya. In such a situation, violence that leads to mutual respect and eternal peace is virtuous.As a peace loving Kenyan am willing to support such a process. A war of virtue that leads not to a liquidation in totality, but one that would drive us to appreciate each other and acknowledge our commonality of fate as a nation.

    As for the Daily Nation, I admire the maturity of its editorial team. However I, like many of my friends, do not trust them when it comes to objectivity in political commentary. On one Sunday Gitau Warigi wrote of how his co/ethnics could mobilize their numerical and financial strength to teach those who protested a stolen election a lesson. We look forward to such a time.

  6. James Says:

    Please let as stop ethenicity, are only kikuyu in the goverment?? those belive in it slow mind…

  7. lazaro Says:

    ok.

  8. Issack hassan bure Says:

    The Star has established that the IEBC has decided to push the public of the results sometimes after September, seven months after the elections were held.

    We established that the commission has been unable to reconcile their figures which is the main reason for the delay.

    IEBC is wary of the legal and financial implications of these petitions should its published results be at variance with what was declared during the announcement of the official results in March.

    The commission should have published complete results of the elections two weeks after the announcement of final results as stipulated in the law.

    “All the three figures show clearly that the total votes cast was seriously overstated,” said the commissioner.

    http://the-star.co.ke/news/article-1280 … ember-iebc

  9. Ambrose Otieno Ounyo Says:

    It is so bad, but Raila should take heart an comfort in the Scriptures. The Bible says all things work good for those whom God has called according to his purpose – Rom 8: 29. What I wish to state here right now is for people to read and understand Eccl 10: 2 KJV. Uhuru Is left handed.

  10. luiza Says:

    At times we find it to be very challenging when our nation can be ruled by thugs,its a pity yes but at times people should learn from mistakes. The truth is R.A.O had won and he is our president at heart and he keeps us going.Above all we thank God for him

  11. esther nyangweso Says:

    i dnt think most people r proud to be kenyans n i bet if this hbbit of stealing votes wnt stop,thn kenya is going nowhere.but the day Jesus will decide to clear this i bet it will be worst than soddom n gommorah.
    i pitty my self for being a kenyan….bcz my country is divided by tribalism n hunger for power……lord hv mercy

  12. mulani dan Says:

    i wish i could get hold of the bk for it seems it unravels the untold truth.kuelewa jambo ni kulijua!

  13. alex Says:

    raila is our president

  14. kibaki useless legacy Says:

    Kenya: Let Kenyans Be More Truthful With Kibaki’s Legacy
    By Koigi Wamwere, 5 January 2013

    opinion

    As people consider President Kibaki’s legacy upon retirement, that legacy must include not just his presidency but entire political career. A leader’s legacy does not cover partial but whole of his or her public life.

    While people might write their partial legacy entirely favourably, posterity is a better judge because, uninfluenced by money and power, it is objective, thorough and impartial. Therefore, it matters less that Kibaki has been advertising his legacy in expensive pull outs of the Nation, Standard and Star newspapers making money out of a dishonest job. Lasting legacy is never bought with money.

    Legacy is somebody’s life’s balance sheet that must show assets and liabilities, successes and failures, credit or debit. A balance sheet of assets alone without liabilities is not a legacy. It is a lie which can be bought with money. Let us now look at some of Kibaki’s liabilities and compare them with his most publicised assets.

    One, overall, President Kibaki has been a weak leader who suppressed his conscience to survive dangers of one-party dictatorship. To get along Kibaki has never taken risks of leadership that are associated with leaders like Dedan Kimathi, Jomo Kenyatta, Mahatma Gandhi or Nelson Mandela who sacrificed greatly for the cause of freedom, justice and country. With a dwarfish conscience, Kibaki allowed the man in him to die and never did anything truly memorable.

    Two, when Kenyans wanted Kibaki to lead them against the tyranny of Kanu, he turned them down and stuck with dictatorship. Consequently, many Kenyans called him “General Kiguoya” or “General Coward.”

    Three, Kibaki’s politics was characterised by an attitude of taking extreme caution or “sitting on the fence” over risky questions. He only took sides when the safe side was clear. While some called this cowardice, Kibaki’s admirers called it wisdom that won him the highest office in the land winning the favour of whole communities and elites. It remains to be seen whether this “wisdom” will win him lasting legacy as well. In judging his legacy, I will say Kibaki and his ilk committed grave errors that saddled Kenya with her terrible calamities of dictatorship or impunity, poverty and underdevelopment.

    Four, Julius Caesar said cowards die many times before their death. Kibaki too must have died many deaths whenever the lion of dictatorship roared near him. Many times I saw Kibaki in Parliament tortured by fear and indecision. The incisive say Kibaki has lived his life like a queen bee, doing nothing for but receiving a lot from the country. How well does he compare with JF Kennedy, the late president of America?

    Five, some time after he joined politics, leaders of the left like Bildad Kaggia and Oginga Odinga said Kibaki joined the Kenyatta led team of bad leaders that destroyed Kenya’s development and democracy with brutal one-party dictatorship in the name of fighting communism.

    Six, in judging Kibaki, posterity will not forget that, when Kenyans were risking jail, detention, exile and even death to end Kanu one party dictatorship, he called every second liberator “mad man of the market that was trying to fell a fig tree with a razor blade.”

    Seven, Kibaki has been praised as a brilliant economist. But his ‘Kibakinomics’ have kept Kenya poor and backward when other Third World countries were industrialising and joining the First World. ‘Kibakinomics’ has given leaders and elites freedom to grab and rob, enriched a few, impoverished millions and has afflicted thousands in his Central province backyard with jiggers. Same ‘Kibakinomics’ has allowed the country to lose Sh367 billion annually to corruption that has flourished under Kibaki’s watch. ‘Kibakinomics’ even hired Mackinsey Ltd to dream Vision 2030 for Kenya! In the meantime, foreign companies have had a field day minting trillions in Kenya.

    Eight, when the Kikuyu said: “when the leader limps the flock does not reach pastures”, it could have been in reference to Kibaki leadership.

    But to his credit, Kibaki just finished opening super Thika Highway. Yet even this may not save his legacy because, when in the 1960s during the great debate between capitalism and socialism in Kenya, Odinga and Kaggia called for economic cooperation between Kenya and socialist countries, Kibaki and Mboya stood gallantly opposed. Whenever one sees Kibaki, one wonders where Kenya would be today if Chinese road builders had come to Kenya earlier, 49 years ago?

    Nine, unbeknown to most people, Kibaki entrenched ethnic rule and encouraged his ministers to turn their ministries into dens of ethnicity. Accordingly, the Kibaki government shared public funds and top jobs ethnically, to communities according to their political loyalty and numerical strength. Those who did not fit into clear ethnic definitions like all residents of Nakuru were simply left out of the cabinet and other political appointments.

    Ten, five years ago, Kibaki’s reckless governance resulted in the worst post-election violence ever in Kenya’s history that killed more than 1,000 Kenyans, created thousands of IDPs and put six Kenyans into the dock of ICC in The Hague, redefining Kenya as a failed state.

    Eleven, as a single politician, Kibaki has never sacrificed career or comfort for the nation. He was never jailed for a cause, however, noble. He never dared speak truth to power. His government never pushed the Mau Mau case to world courts. He failed to tell us who killed our heroes like JM Kariuki. His government nipped TJRC in the bud. Kibaki never denied he chaired National Security Committee, when it authorised torture of political dissidents by police. Many of us who were detained by Kenyatta and Moi doubt we would have survived if we had been struggling against government of Mwai Kibaki and John Michuki.

    But Kibaki supporters say all the above are outweighed by Kibaki’s successes. One, he introduced free primary school education. Two, he does not go after his critics like me. Three, he revived the economy from the ashes of Moi’s misrule Four, whoever dreamt Vision 2030, Kibaki claims credit for it. Five, he delivered the new constitution that was the dream of Kenyans and so many had suffered and died for.

    Kibaki’s legacy is not flattering. It is, however, not limited to him and ironically, many Kenyans identify and sympathise with it. Mirugi Kariuki told me because it is a reflection of what the average Kenyan has become. Long live the King, the King is dead.

    Koigi wa Wamwere, Leader of Chama cha Mwananchi.

  15. Uhuruto bure sana Says:

    Viewing cable 08NAIROBI239, KENYA,S ELECTORAL CRISIS — PUSHING KIBAKI-ODINGA

    08NAIROBI239 2008-01-22 17:36 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Nairobi

    Classified By: Ambassador Ranneberger, reasons 1.4 (b,d)

    ¶1. (C) Summary. In the lead-up to Kofi Annan,s expected
    arrival January 22, we have continued to press for President
    Kibaki and Raila Odinga to use that opportunity for a
    face-to-face meeting and to launch a meaningful political
    dialogue. Achieving that would go a long way towards calming
    tensions and ending violence. Both have reaffirmed their
    commitment to meet. Both said they agreed in general terms
    with the non-paper I presented on the way forward (ref A),
    but each said they would want a number of changes. This
    message reports on my meetings with Raila Odinga, Vice
    President Musyoka, and President Kibaki. End summary.

    ——————-
    Meeting with Odinga
    ——————-

    ¶2. (C) I met with Odinga on January 18 to stress the
    importance the U.S. attaches to resolution of the current
    crisis through a political solution, and made clear we
    expected Odinga to meet with Kibaki under the aegis of Kofi
    Annan. Odinga told me: “I am ready to meet one-on-one with
    President Kibaki, without pre-conditions, in the presence of
    Kofi Annan.” Odinga also said that the non-paper on the way
    forward, which I reviewed with him, could, with some small
    changes, serve as the basis for discussions between the two
    sides following a Kibaki-Odinga meeting. (One of Odinga,s
    aides, however, subsequently came back to me with extensive
    proposed changes.)

    ———————-
    Vice President Musyoka
    ———————-

    ¶3. (C) On January 20 I met with Vice President Musyoka.
    During a one and a half hour discussion, I made clear to
    Musyoka that we expect him to use his leverage within the
    government to support a political solution. Kibaki and his
    Party of National Unity, I pointed out, need Musyoka and his
    Orange Democratic Movement ) Kenya party in order to have
    any semblance of legitimacy, since his votes plus those cast
    for Kibaki clearly constitute a majority of votes cast (and
    in order to have at least a near-majority in Parliament). I
    reviewed U.S. policy at length and told Musyoka that he will
    destroy his political future if he participates in a
    government that is not broad-based and seen as reflecting the
    will of the Kenyan people. Therefore, it is in his interest
    to work for a political solution.

    ¶4. (C) Musyoka repeatedly emphasized the importance he
    attaches to his friendship with the U.S. and his commitment
    to work with us to achieve a political solution. Musyoka
    said that Kibaki is willing to meet one-on-one with Odinga in
    the presence of Kofi Annan. Musyoka tried to take credit for
    mobilizing government efforts to promote dialogue. He
    claimed that he and Uhuru Kenyatta went to Kibaki, telling
    Kibaki that he is isolated and that the government needed to
    develop a strategy to demonstrate commitment to dialogue.
    That, he said, is why a committee for dialogue and
    reconciliation headed by him was announced (see below). He
    recognized that the presence on the committee of Minister of
    Justice Martha Karua, considered one of the staunchest
    hardliners against compromise with Odinga, is a serious

    NAIROBI 00000239 002 OF 004

    problem. (He did not mention that his own leadership of the
    committee is a huge issue, given the personal animosity
    between him and Odinga as a result of their split in the
    run-up to the elections.) Musyoka confided, as is generally
    believed, that as a quid pro quo for his accepting the vice
    presidency position, Kibaki and Uhuru Kenyatta agreed to
    support Musyoka as candidate for the presidency in 2012.
    Perhaps reflecting the reality that he does not want Odinga
    brought into the government, Musyoka argued that Odinga
    should remain outside of government as leader of the
    opposition in Parliament.

    ¶5. (C) Musyoka did, however, recognize that there must be a
    comprehensive political solution. He focused particularly on
    the need for electoral and constitutional reform. I reviewed
    the non-paper with him. With minor proposed changes, he said
    he thought it would be acceptable to Kibaki.

    ¶6. (C) Musyoka also said he understands the need to lift the
    ban on demonstrations, indicating this might happen within a
    week. He also said that, in response to my letter to the
    Minister of Security, allegations of the use of unjustified
    deadly force by the police are being investigated. He urged
    that efforts be made to dissuade the opposition from holding
    demonstrations in the coming days that could lead to more
    violence.

    ——
    Kibaki
    ——

    ¶7. (C) During a one-hour meeting with President Kibaki on
    January 21, I emphasized the U.S. position on the urgent need
    to launch a process of dialogue leading to a political
    settlement of the election crisis. Kibaki reaffirmed that he
    is ready to meet with Odinga under the aegis of Kofi Annan.
    Noting that it was Odinga who backed out of the meeting which
    Kibaki had agreed to during President Kufuor’s visit, Kibaki
    expressed skepticism that Odinga would actually meet. Kibaki
    complained that “Odinga keeps putting conditions.” I told
    the President that Odinga had reaffirmed to me his
    willingness to meet without preconditions, and Kibaki
    welcomed this. The President said he talked with Annan on
    January 21 and will see him early on January 23.

    ¶8. (C) As do we, Kibaki sees a face-to-face meeting with
    Odinga as the starting point for launching a dialogue between
    persons they designate. However, the President made clear
    that he has certain bottom lines and that he is deeply
    skeptical that Odinga will ever agree to anything
    “reasonable.” Kibaki said “I cannot have Odinga in the
    government. It is impossible to work with him. Some of his
    people could come into government, but not him, and not
    Ruto.” I pushed back, but the President was adamant. “We
    effectively already have power-sharing, with the ODM
    (Odinga,s party) controlling Parliament,” Kibaki said.

    ¶9. (C) He then launched into a detailed review of his
    concerns regarding ongoing violence. He did not blame Odinga
    for this, saying it is clear there are forces beyond his
    control. He said that William Ruto, one of the members of
    the ODM,s “pentagon” leadership, is largely responsible for
    continuing violence in Rift Valley. The need to end such
    violence must be a major issue in any talks, Kibaki insisted.
    I agreed and made clear that we have pressed Odinga and the
    other pentagon members on the need to send clear signals
    against violence. When I argued the need to allow peaceful
    demonstrations by the opposition, Kibaki said that this could
    not be done while violence continues in Rift Valley (with
    incidents as recently as last night, he said). “Odinga must
    help restore normalcy,” Kibaki said. Kibaki agreed that a
    meeting between him and Odinga, and the immediate launching
    of a process of dialogue, are key to ending violence.

    ¶10. (C) Kibaki carefully reviewed the way forward non-paper
    that I presented to him. He said that the paper was in
    general terms fine, but that certain changes needed to be
    made. He specifically said that it was right to focus on the

    NAIROBI 00000239 003 OF 004

    importance of constitutional and electoral reform. However,
    he said that creating the position of an executive prime
    minister was not something that should be considered. When I
    pushed back, he said, “I know this is what Odinga wants, but
    it is not appropriate for Kenya.” Kibaki agreed on the point
    calling for an independent investigation of electoral
    irregularities, but said this should be established pursuant
    to the filing of a legal petition with the courts regarding
    electoral irregularities.

    ¶11. (C) I complimented the President for his dignified manner
    while hearing some very tough attacks on him during the
    parliamentary session to elect the new Speaker. The
    President said it had not been easy to sit through such
    comments, but he was proud that his team handled the ensuing
    debate so skillfully, resulting in the ODM Speaker actually
    ruling in favor of the position taken by the President,s
    Party of National Unity. He said he will work with the
    Speaker to convene the Parliament at the beginning of March.

    ———-
    Next Steps
    ———-

    ¶12. (C) Annan will arrive on January 22 and will work to
    bring about a Kibaki-Odinga meeting. I will share the
    non-paper on the way forward with him in the event he thinks
    it could be useful as a framework for dialogue between the
    two sides following a Kibaki-Odinga meeting, and to give
    Annan a sense of our thinking.

    ¶13. (C) Interestingly, when I met with former presidents
    Chissano and Mkapa on the 18th, they suggested that the two
    sides should form delegations prior to the arrival of the
    eminent persons. When I met with Odinga on the 18th he also
    floated the idea of the two sides forming delegations for
    “talks about talks” to set the stage for a Kibaki-Odinga
    meeting. I emphasized to Odinga that having such preparatory
    talks was a recipe for failure. As he well knows, I said, a
    face-to-face meeting is imperative to start the process of
    dialogue, so the two can then give instructions to their
    respective teams. I expressed my concerns about this
    approach with Chissano and Mkapa as well.

    ¶14. (C) On the 18th, the government announced formation of a
    political committee to spearhead national political dialogue
    and national reconciliation. The members include: Vice
    President Musyoka, Minister of Security Saitoti, Foreign
    Minister Wetangula, Minister of Finance Amost Kimunya,
    Minister for Local Government Uhuru Kenyatta, Minister of
    Justice Karua, Attorney General Wako, and Member of
    Parliament Mutula Kilonzo (who is close to Musyoka and is the
    lawyer he designated for the overnight review of the vote
    tally carried out at the KICC on December 29). Odinga
    considers Musyoka a traitor for having deserted the ODM in
    the run-up to the elections. Saitoti, Kimunya, and Karua are
    considered extremely hardline against any real political
    compromise.

    ——-
    Comment
    ——-

    ¶15. (C) It appears, based on these discussions, that there is
    a reasonable chance that Annan will succeed in getting Kibaki
    and Odinga together. Such a meeting will probably result in
    agreement to appoint representatives of the two sides to
    follow up, thus launching a dialogue. However, from what we
    know of Odinga,s position and from Kibaki,s comments above,
    it is clear that the two sides are very far apart and that
    achieving a meaningful compromise political settlement will
    be very difficult. Although the two sides could eventually
    coalesce around agreement to constitutional and legal reform,
    achieving agreement on investigation of electoral
    irregularities, establishment of a truth and reconciliation
    commission, joint efforts to end violence, and power-sharing
    will be a huge hurdle ) if Odinga wants to come into the
    government (and have 50 percent of all positions, as he has

    NAIROBI 00000239 004 OF 004

    stated before).
    RANNEBERGER
    http://wikileaks.ch/cable/2008/01/08NAIROBI239.html

  16. Agwambo Tinga Says:

  17. flame of freedom Says:

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