Thursday, December 01, 2005

Of Khamisi and Maitha's flirtation with State House goodies

The claim by the duo (and I gather Kajembe as well) that their increased rapproachment with President Kibaki is because Coast Province was given a raw deal in the formation of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) is hogwosh. First things first: I'm no blind supporter of the ODM. But a few things ought to be put in context. Fact: Coast Province voted Orange nearly to a man, some will argue. Fact: The province is - at least since Nov. 21st - predominantly LDP and KANU. Fact: Khamisi has been an ardent proponent of LDP power games in the region, the other two have been cautiously ambivalent at times. I have lived at the Coast for 10 years now and spent good time in each of its districts, including stints reporting on some events for some mainstream Kenyan newspapers. The one thing I can say for certain is that Khamisi and company are - and perhaps rightly so - piqued by the apparent glorification of Mvita MP Najib Balala as the new king of coastal politics in the aftermath of the referendum polls. Balala had a big battle on his hands, much of it to do with personal political survival, but the referendum campaigns at the Coast offered him a much than bigger life-line. Khamisi, on the other hand, complained a few months ago that...yeah..."some of us have given much already to this LDP-NAK war...we would have been in the cabinet were it not for that" (this is my paraphrase of a verbatim press account I just can't lay my hands on at the moment). For purposes of clarity, the statement was made shortly after Mbita MP Otieno Kajwang had made that now famous LDP "unilateral retreat" statement (at a time when party supremo Raila Odinga was under siege...on the verge of national demonization and isolation). Making noise in the manner they are gurantees Khamis et al a fighting chance to dislodge Balala from the apex of coastal leadership (there are those who think he is better at it, though), increase their national stature and, importantly, provide a public-friendly platform upon which they may secure their parliamentary seats at the next polls. There are those who believe, for instance, that Khamisi may have trouble defending his seat were embattled Anania Mwaboza to (for some reason - say Mombasa Mayor Taib Ali Taib) shift grounds from Kisauni to Bahari where he would be more assured of support from his ethnic base (Kisauni happens to be largely cosmopolitan...and so one can never really be certain about his prospects here). Khamisi is good upstairs as well as with his tongue; his journalistic instinct must have raised his antennae ages ago. I've a hunch the LDP leadership will attempt to mollify its Vice-Chairman.....what i'm not certain about is for how long and how far they will be willing to appease party renegades. An appeaser, someone has said, is one who feeds a crocodile on others hoping that it will not eat him last. It failed with Hitler (sorry for the comparison....)....... A Tuju-Ramba-eject appears more appropriate in this instance. Just hope another poll comes up soon enough.


Anonymous Kimundu said...

I'd rather think of these Coast MPs as having awoken from the euphoria of ODM and its presumed mandate as the custodian of what Kenya needs. I hope the retreat in Naivasha will inform the minds and hearts of the participants that true sovereignity lies with the people of Kenya and not the ODM. The referendum was not an endorsement of ODM as a constituent authority. ODM right now is as good as a political "merry-go-round". If you don't agree with your party, do a Sharon & Shimon manoeuvre and let the citizenly judge you in the ballot box.

12/02/2005 10:19:00 am  
Anonymous Rayolla said...

I think save for Maitha who at least did some real work on the Orange national campaign, I think Khamisi's problem arises from the very fact that he was conspicously missing from the national radar of the ornage campaign and previously he had taken a back seat due to what observers saw as 'having been given some ugali and told to go slow on this gover'. issue is he doesn't see himself in any gover negotiated or not so he has to pick the initiative and tie the hands of ODM. kajemebe probabbly has a chance as assistant minister for something, Maitha a full ministerial post and well like i said joe has nothing. i wouldn't give him...

12/02/2005 10:20:00 am  
Blogger Rayolla said...

am convinced that Khamisi is not woken up from any euphoria; he never went to sleep on it in the first place he has just realized he has no fighting chance: 1) he is not a Mijikenda, so unless he is seen to be at the forefront of fighting for them he aint making it back to bunge 2) he wants to create an 'Arab can't lead Mijikenda" propaganda so that the most visible coast mp right now, Balala, has very diminished chances 3) he doesn't see himself in any cabinet under an ODM arrangement..

Those are enough reasons to make a politician try to blackmail a popular course. But I don't think Khamisi should begrudge Balala, why? 1) Najib deed god work for the campaign whatever his reasons are I want to give credit where its due and Balala deserves Kudos from anyone 2) Khamisi has been hands in glove with NAK for a while since the likes of Mwaboza, 'Mbwatana'- no pun intended, Dzoro et al were appointed to cabinet and he missed the bus..

My pick is that if he doesn't blackmail ODM into giving him a slice now then he had rather take Banana's offer that way even if he doesn't get re-elected, well you n I know he flew the DAMN Flag!!!...

12/02/2005 05:31:00 pm  

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