The Presidential Strategic Communications Unit has been calling Raila Odinga an ‘economic saboteur’, a term which is becoming common in their new fear mongering and hate mongering propaganda to paint the opposition leader as bad for the country’s economy (of course Uhuru’s disastrous management of the economy is ‘good for the country’).
Raila Odinga as Prime Minister arbitrated on many things, from blue chip companies facing unfavourable business practices from their competitors aide by corrupt regulators (BAT for example) to teachers fighting for fair wages to touts facing harassment from traffic police etc. The now known case of Keroche Breweries Vs EABL classically shows Mr. Odinga could not have been driven by ulterior motives to arbitrate these issues, or to sabotage the economic development of Kenya.
Recently while being interviewed, Odinga, to drive the point home,revealed even the Standard Group, which is known to be a Moi business, ran to him when their premises along Mombasa road was under threat from the PNU pettiness which followed a series of Standard Newspaper exposes of dubious characters in the country, including the Artur brothers.
These are not actions of an ‘economic saboteur’. [And] if indeed they were, why was it that Kenya’s economy grew in leaps and bounds under him? Put differently, why has over 100 blue chip companies issued profit warnings (making losses) under Uhuru?
PSCU is allowed to peddle their propaganda. This isn’t what I wanted to tell you though.
A lot has been about Joho’s tiff with Uhuru yesterday. However, one issue is being shrouded in the media jamboree that claims to ‘analyse’ the differences between Joho and Uhuru. It is the dues to Mombasa County that Waitiki Farm owes.
The farm owes Mombasa County close to half a billion shillings in unpaid land rates. Joho wants this money to be paid to his county. Mombasa deserves this money. It needs it.
Unknown to many people, Mombasa County is among the last counties, if not the very last, which often receive disbursements from the Treasury.
Uhuru regime continue to use late disbursements of funds to counties to frustrate devolution. A number of counties had to threaten that they’ll stop free maternity services for Treasury to release funds for the project which, surprisingly, the Jubilee touts as one of its main achievements.
No county has suffered the pettiness, the shenanigans and the selfish shamelessness of the National government than Mombasa County. No county has also been terrorised by the national government than Mombasa County.
It is important for those who’ve just started following Mombasa County politics after yesterday incident to understand why Governor Joho has no ‘time’ for President Uhuru.
President Uhuru, beyond by captive of the status quo forces which still imagine Kenya is still being controlled from Nairobi (and Nairobi controlled from Kiambu) is a politically petty man. He is surrounded by petty and bitter people. It is what Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka terms ”the crisis of insecure incumbency”.
Insecure incumbents teeter towards dictatorships when their records are put to question. Insecure incumbents do the kind of things the ‘dynamic duo’ is doing. Buying off communities. Endless propaganda and scaremongering on their opponents. Desire to control mainstream media, thus shape mainstream narratives in their image and likeness. Violence. Consolidation of the nation’s already devolved power.
There was a time in 2014 they imagined county commissioners would water down powers of governors. There were governors who allowed themselves and their authorities to be subservient to county commissioners. Ali Hassan Joho was not one of them. A few months ago I shared with you my thoughts on Joho-Commission Marwa duel, which essentially was, and remain, a Joho-Uhuru duel.
Now, no one in the opposition wants to fight Uhuru. He is the President. And while some of us still maintain he was ‘elected by IEBC’ and ‘legitimized’ by the courts, we long accepted he is the President. However, this isn’t even the issue. The issue is; what kind of President is he?
Jubilee often makes a grievous assumption that no one should question the policies and politics of the President.To the extent that Uhuru gives nothing to Mombasa then signs a sh100 million ‘healthcare agreement’ with Lamu, people must question him. To the extent that he gives ‘Leases’ to Mombasa and ‘Title deeds’ to Lamu and Nakuru, people must question him.
As we head to 2017 and sharpen our questions; they [Jubilee] should wake up from this long slumber that they have monopoly over the future of this country.
CORD counties will continue to demand that President Uhuru and his regime stop economic sabotage. Disburse money to counties in good time. Pay Joho what belongs to Joho. It is biblical to do so.
Dikembe is ODM Blogger-at-Large.