Challenging Mutahi Ngunyi’s Hypothesis on the March 4th Elections
The falsification reeked of intellectual bias and dishonesty
On the surface, Mutahi Ngunyi’s warped hypothesis, claiming that the March 4th Elections had been won by the Jubilee Coalition when IEBC announced voter registration results in December last year appears very convincing. Ngunyi has received a lot of criticism following the publication of his findings while on Facebook, a “condolence book” was opened by those who believe that the quality of Ngunyi’s analysis had “passed away” and that Ngunyi’s career deserved to be buried and left to Rest In Peace.
While attacking Ngunyi is a matter of freedom of expression, opposition to his findings should be based on a factual challenge of his basic assumptions, table of figures and principle line of arguments which constitutes the nucleus of his now infamous conclusions.
Ngunyi’s first assumption is that “We do not see things as they are; we see them as we are”. This assumption is meaningless in an election context in which it was being applied. This is because it is not just numbers that are there “for us to see”. There are visible critical factors that could adversely affect the way the numbers we see impact the March 4th elections. These factors cannot be ignored if one intends to reach a credible conclusion in the kind of complex assignment Ngunyi had unilaterally awarded himself.
Ngunyi’s second assumption is that “We have made up our minds; we do not want to be confused by the facts”. While this assumption could be partially applicable in the situation under study, Ngunyi, (wittingly or unwittingly) admits that there are certain facts which are present in the matrix and which (if not ignored) could confuse the minds that have supposedly been made up. Critics who have picked up legitimate quarrels with Ngunyi appears to be transfixed on an exploratory examination of facts discarded by Ngunyi. Instead of being confused in the process (as Ngunyi warned in his preamble) they are seeking to excavate hidden realities that could effectively help dismantle Ngunyi’s conclusions and cast them in the garbage bin. What are these facts?
Exaggerations in Central Province
Ngunyi has claimed that the Jubilee Coalition has 6,188,372 votes out of which he has claimed that the “Kikuyu vote” alone is 3.4 million. This is not correct because according to IEBC statistics on registered voters, the figure for Central province where Kikuyus live stands at 2,190,477 and that is if by “Central” the reference areas are: Kiambu (860,716); Kirinyaga (262,715); Muranga 457,052; Nyandarua (252,889) and Nyeri 357,105) . If the assumption is that registered voters in Meru (483,517) and Embu (226,989) belong to the Kikuyu voting bloc, the new figure for the registered Kikuyu voters shoots to 2,900,983 so where is Ngunyi getting his figure of 3.4 million if he is referring to the same IEBC figures? Even if Tharaka-Nithi (155,823) is added to inflate the Kikuyu vote in Central province, it still does not add up to 3.4 million votes. In Nairobi, Ngunyi’s analysis leaves Cord with no single vote out of 1,778,903 votes. Even a Kenyan in the streets knows that this is not possible unless naked facts are conveniently ignored as directed by Ngunyi.
The second problem with Ngunyi’s “Kikuyu vote” is born out of analysis. According to Ngunyi’s assumption, both the Embu and the Meru will vote for Jubilee. This is very questionable because the division between the Gikuyu and the Meru has seen leaders of the two communities set up rival parties with accusations that Uhuru Kenyatta ignored the Meru by refusing to get on the driver’s seat of the “Mbaas Party” that had been constructed by Kiraitu Murungi. Kiraitu has stated publicly that his Party will direct its members to vote for Uhuru but then, Kiraitu does not command the Meru vote.
Apart from the Kikuyu-Meru divisions which are also based on historical neglect of the Meru by the Kikuyu ruling elites once the latter came to power, Ngunyi’s analysis tends to dismiss the political clout of Gitobu Imanyara, Cord’s point-man in Meru. For Ngunyi, Cord’s vote count in both Meru and Embu is zero and this is where Ngynyi’s assumptions degenerates into “assumptions of convenience” for the purpose of arriving at a pre-determined conclusion – that Jubilee had already won the elections as Cord leaders slept. Apart from the glaring discrepancies in the Kikuyu vote calculations, Ngunyi’s analysis of the situation in the Rift Valley is even more flabbergasting.
Convenient Assumptions in Rift Valley
After a psychological preparation of his audience “to ignore the facts”, Ngunyi places the number of votes for Jubilee in the Rift Valley at 1.8 million. However, if the hard facts are examined, RV emerges as a region whose votes will be the most difficult to attach to any specific Coalition. Why?
The Kalenjin vote is not as homogenous as Ngunyi wants his audience to assume. This is because the 1.8 million votes are spread within 14 regions whose inhabitants have different cultural, linguistic and political affiliations that might result in the Rift Valley vote being split between Jubilee, Cord and Amanai Coalitions. Why?
Ethnic groups which have settled in the region known as Rift Valley are: Elgeyo, Kipsigis, Mawakwet, Nandi, Pokot, Sabaot, Terik, Turgen and Sebei. From the facts (which Ngunyi proposes should be ignored) three Coalitions could lay claim to chunks of the Rift Valley vote thereby depriving the Jubilee Coalition of all votes in the Rift Valley. The geographical, cultural and linguistic differences of communities in the Rift Valley compounded by recent historical developments in the region may play a significant role in determining the voting pattern in the province. Who could be the main beneficiaries?
The Amani Coalition, which mainly comprises of Mudavadi’s UDF and Moi’s KANU, will not leave Rift Valley empty handed because die-hard KANU supporters led incognito by former dictator Daniel arap Moi, have not forgiven Uhuru Kenyatta for abandoning KANU for almost five years when the son of Jomo was mating with Kibaki in a political marriage entered into following the stealing of Raila Odinga’s presidency in 2007. Likewise, members of the Kalenjin community are well represented in Cord and it can only be an act of fallacy for Ngunyi to claim that Cord will not walk away with a single vote in Rift Valley. It can be argued that in 2007, Rift Valley voted almost “to a man” for Raila Odinga and that this scenario will be replicated on March 4th. It might not.
This is because circumstances have changed. In 2007, there were no ICC cases hanging on the neck of a key reference figure of the Kalenjin. Secondly, it is members of the Kalenjin who gained in the 2007 PEV by virtue of having appropriated huge tracts of land that belonged to the Kikuyu. To instruct the Kalenjin to vote for a Kikuyu is tantamount to suggesting that after the vote, confiscated land will have to be returned. The impossibility of returning land to the Kikuyu is the very factor that has prevented the return of IDPs who have been rotting in camps for the last five years.
Still on Rift Valley, apart from charges of Uhuru having abandoned KANU, Ngunyi would like his audience to conveniently ignore the argument that the Kalenjin have been uneasy with the idea of them voting for Uhuru because such a move places them on a lower pedestal with the Kikuyu with whom they have fought bitter inter-community wars which were christened “ethnic clashes” during the Moi regime, clashes that have been attributed to Ruto as the master-mind. The key problem is that in 2002, the Kalenjin voted for Uhuru Kenyatta for post of President and the least the Kalenjin expected was for Uhuru to step down for Ruto this time round. For this reason, the entire Kalenjin vote in the Jubilee bag cannot be guaranteed unless one is ready to turn a blind eye to the facts as Ngunyi suggests.
Key Misrepresentations in Western Province
Further, Ngunyi’s hypothesis is built around ignoring the fact that Cord will not harvest a single vote (out of a total of 1,434,987) in Western province. Is this really possible? This is despite the fact that Cord is the only Coalition which boasts of the biggest population of key Luhya leaders with Moses Wetangula being a key partner in the Coalition. To achieve his objective of arriving at a Jubilee victory, Ngunyi assigns all Western votes to Mudavadi and this kind of skewed tabulation is what has earned Ngunyi the wrath of critics.
Mudavadi was Uhuru’s running mate in 2002 but he never got the Luhya vote because the Luhya community tilted heavily on Kijana Wamalwa who had better chances of ensuring that the Luhya would be included in the next government. In 2013, the Luhyas are well represented in Cord and only an act of blindness to facts could deprive Cord of votes in Western province in a fraudulent analysis of the type Ngunyi presented.
Omissions in Coast and Nyanza Provinces
The list of Ngunyi’s omissions continues all the way to Coast province, home to 1,164,083 voters. Just like in Western province, Ngunyi’s weird hypothesis is that Cord will never walk away with a single vote from Coast province although the so called historical voting patterns has shown that Coast is one of the strongest Cord strongholds. Once again, is this possible? The answer to this question can only be “Yes” if facts are ignored because Jubilee must win through Ngunyi’s cooked up arithmetic.
After effectively hiding behind the assumption of ethnic block voting, Ngunyi doesn’t factor in the Kisii vote of 414,493 and Nyamira votes (219,616) in Nyanza province because he only notices the Luo vote which he places at 1.6 million. In Ngunyi’s analysis, the Kisii and Nyamira votes are either lost in the arithmetic or belongs to “the rest” group. This is despite the fact that Kisii is another unsung Cord strong-hold as evidenced during the 2007 voting pattern. Let me not go into Eastern and North Eastern provinces which Ngunyi proposes, ought to be forgotten. Just in passing, Ngunyi ignores his stated assumption that guides his analysis (violates his own rules) on ethnic bloc voting in North Eastern and awards Cord the Turkana vote of 120,000 probably because this move could not change the desired conclusion of a Jubilee victory. The ruse is to demonstrate that although he is being generous to Cord by awarding the Coalition votes that it does not deserve, the coalition still performs poorly.
On the whole, Ngunyi’s hypothesis appears to have been intentional to give Jubilee unnecessary mileage during electioneering. After the collapse of a previous hypothesis in which he solidly placed Mudavadi as “the next President of Kenya” (ask Jeff Koinange), it was probably time for Ngunyi to resurface in order to remain relevant for the sake of staying in business.
Through crude sophistry, Ngunyi comfortably robbed Cord of votes because Jubilee had to win. Ngunyi’s poor performance this time around was least expected and this explains the current uproar following the circulation of his half-baked combinations which spewed out of “The Consulting House” oven.
The falsification reeked of intellectual bias and dishonesty leaving the informed reader wondering whether Ngunyi has been laughing all the way to the bank following the publication of his lop-sided findings about a major national event that required more responsible handling.
Kenya Red Alliance (KRA)