Wednesday, January 23, 2008


Just watched a programme in the last hour on Nation TV called “ShowDown” where they had Martha Karua, for PNU, and James Orengo, for the ODM side debate against each other, and what came out of it really?

Well I hung on every word, or so I thought, although it was kind of tricky not to drift off as they repeated the same thing again and again no matter what the question was! And all I can honestly say I heard repeatedly is this;

James Orengo say it was a ‘stolen election’ and Kibaki must admit that he did not win, and Martha Karua said; “It was clear Kibaki won, and if ODM accepted the tallying for Raila, why couldn’t it accept the numbers for Kibaki.”

They argued over the tallying and what happened and what didn’t happen

The firing went backwards and forwards and all I really got out of it is that although they “say” that PNU is ready to talk and ODM is ready to talk, they certainly do not agree on what they have to talk about!

Martha says they are not getting into any ‘mediation’ process, but dialogue only.
Orengo then said that there was no political goodwill in ‘dialogue’ and that these high profile mediators did not come to Kenya to ‘have a cup of tea’!

Orengo says the ONLY way forward is to have a rerun of the elections within 90 days as the current constitution says if there is no clear winner, then this is the way forward.

Martha retaliated with “Unless ODM takes this to court, and give the evidence to prove this, then the rerun of the elections cannot happen”.

Orengo said this was obviously impossible as if they took it to court, chances were they would still be waiting for a resolution in 5 years from now as history shows that the courts are compromised as the judges are appointed by the ruling government’s side and back in 1997 Kibaki took a case to court against the then President Daniel Arap Moi, and that case wasn’t solved until late 2005. ODM says therefore that by taking this case to court is just a trap by the government to do nothing for years and there would be nothing that ODM could do about it.

There was a lot of bickering about what, and what not, Kibaki’s government has achieved in the last 5 years and who scuppered the talks on the new constitution that was promised back in 2002 – Funnily enough, they both blamed each other!

Martha blamed Orengo for propaganda, and Orengo blamed Martha and the PNU for surrounding Kibaki with ‘power hungry old men’ who were not willing to discuss anything reasonable and were the ones who helped steal the election from Raila, and they went on disagreeing until, finally they agreed to ……….

Er, absolutely BOG ALL actually !!

At the end of the programme, Ms Karua and Mr Orengo were asked to shake hands. I honestly thought Martha was going to spit in his eye! As for Orengo, shaking Martha’s hand looked for him like an incredibly painful procedure – but perhaps she had one of those trick things in her hand that gives you an electric shock – in fact, she must have because that’s what his face showed – sheer pain!

And after that little debate, I’ll leave you with some up to date news.

1. Raila has called off tomorrow’s demonstrations at the request of the mediators – hope the supporters get the MEMO because that’s only just happened within the last half an hour and most Kenyans are probably all tucked up in bed by now. (Funnily enough, watching TV news is not generally on the evening agenda of slum dwellers who are lucky if they even have a roof on their head and power is certainly a rarity in most of those areas.)

2. Kofi Annan has spoken to Raila – although we are not told what about, but he didn’t speak to Kibaki and has rescheduled meeting him until tomorrow, so we will just have to wait and see what tomorrow brings.

- Mmmmmmm, Seems we’re getting quite used to that!


aims said...

Popping in again to ask you a question - do you love living there?

reluctantmemsahib said...

wonder what will happen vis a vis the rally today ... as you say, not too many slum dwellers tune into BBC World or CNN with hot cup of cocoa to watch the news at ten. Hope Kofi has more luck than previous mediators. perhaps he'll give the Big Boys flu and they'll go to bed for two weeks and peace may find its way back in? perhaps?


Aims - Wow, now there's a question. Kenya is my home and always where I have loved to be, and where I have run to in times of trouble in my life, but now that it is a country in trouble, for the first time in my life, I have actually thought about whether I should stay or perhaps start again somewhere else - although I'm not sure if I'm brave enough for that - OR young enough either!!
So it seems I can't actually answer that right now - in fact, it kind of makes we want to cry!

Memsahib - You'll be jolly pleased to know that it seems they got the "Memo" and have not - as yet anyhow, which is a relief - taken to the streets. (Perhaps someone did get a chance to watch "News at 10" after all, or I've underestimated 'Bush Telegraph'!)
Keep your toes crossed for us that they don't get stuck in later!

lovely legs said...

Ok - my question is what on earth is Museveni up to? As I understand it, it was because he spent so much time with Kibaki yesterday that there was not enough time left for Kibaki and Annan to 'chat'. M7 (as he is fondly known as locally) hardly has the best record as an advocate of democracy. His speciality is 'keeping the opposition down'. I realise that he may have come to safeguard the best interests of Uganda - which is suffering in terms of supplies as a result of the Kenyan crisis - but I hope that he is not preaching a hard line approach to Kibaki. Whilst Annan is trying to open doors (dialogue/mediation, whatever...) my fear would be that M7's influence might be to close them again.


Well lovely legs I'm totally with you there. Why yer man M7 is here is quite beyond most of us. There have been a lot of rumours about Ugandan troops being around in the West of Kenya helping out Kibaki's regime - so he's hardly seems a neutral opinion, and like you say "his speciality is keeping the opposition down", so unless we're just going to lock them all up, not sure where he's going with his mediation ?!! Not sure that I'm with you on the optimism of Annan though being able to open any doors anyhow, but he can only try I suppose, and we can only hope and pray.
Our biggest sticking point is that although they seem to agree they need to talk, they just cannot agree about what !