alexa Is Raila’s stand on the Mau unrealistic or statesmanship? - Daily Nation

Is Raila’s stand on the Mau unrealistic or statesmanship?

Friday November 27 2009


Is Prime Minister Raila Odinga a master of brinkmanship or an unwavering adherent of the doctrine of real politik? Real politik dictates that a leader have little regard for moral, ethical and emotional considerations when matters of the state are at stake.

If we take it that the PM is beholden to brinkmanship, we are thinking of an astute politician who has driven himself into a wall, but has created the impression that he will not concede any ground. This way he gains in that we see him as a man of steel, on whom you can put your money.

On the other hand, Mr Odinga has not been known to pursue unrealistic goals, eyes closed to practicality. In this case, one is persuaded that he is acting in the belief that whenever private interests clash with those of the state, the state ought to, and must, win.

If he is, we are seeing the embodiment of statesmanship. Whatever is driving him, Mr Odinga has lost a huge chunk of the Rift Valley vote for standing firmly on the eviction of squatters from the Mau Forest. But the man is shrewd and enigmatic. Watch out for his engagement with central and eastern Kenya.

Good Morning, Mr Philip Kisia,
Had I walked into your office today, you would have shielded your eyes from a dazzling glare. I’m not putting on mirrors, but shoes resembling them. On that score, the garrulous shoe-shiner at Vedic House or thereabouts gave me a nasty look because he will earn Sh30 less.

As I dismissed his ineffectual curse, I also noticed that you can’t grow anything on the streets any more: Soil, which is a factor in germination, is gone. It has to do with the great job City Hall is doing tarmacking suburban pavements, meaning that mud clods aren’t finding their way into downtown Nairobi.


The people throwing a spanner into the works are pastoralists who think the term “prime residential area” is one and the same thing as prime grazing land. It’s within your means to make urban grazing very painful. Do it for the sake of the young trees — and your city’s scatter-brained motorists.


The harmonised draft constitution may have internal contradictions, class bias, lacunas or any other weakness as may be evident from time to time. However, it certainly hasn’t created special powers for President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga and denied Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka.

That’s what I heard from a benighted analyst who was trying to make a call to one of the tribal radio stations. Fortunately, he didn’t get through, after which he made his position very clear to whoever cared to listen in the smoke-filled eating house. I am figuring out whether his was an overblown case of ethnic chauvinism or plain idiocy.


There’s this shopkeeper in River Road, Nairobi, who has been playing the same song for years, I’m told. Apparently, the good Lord blessed him abundantly, and what a better way to thank him than play the song whenever the business is open. But, thanks to Mr Michuki’s anti-noise law, this merchant will have to keep his secrets to himself. Meanwhile, his neighbours will, probably for the first time, realise what sanity is.


Now you can read the Bible on your mobile phone, which I thought was a good idea when I received a short text message from Safaricom. A public spirited me shared the good news with a workmate. “I hope that seed has not fallen on a rock,” remarked. Toute!