Monthly Archives: March 2013

What do the Numbers tell Us?

As promised, this is the first in a series of analyses of polling data and patterns during the 2013 Elections. I obtained the data from IEBC’s website ( As most statisticians/data analysts will tell you, if you torture the data long enough it will tell you what you want to hear! With that said, a few interesting points stand out:

1. At the risk of stating the obvious, Mr. Kenyatta’s Jubilee Party received 6,173,433 vs. 5,340,546 for Mr. Odinga’s CORD Party.
2. Kenya’s 2013 vote map looks like America’s 2012 vote map albeit along tribal/regional lines with Mandera in Kenya’s north-east mimicking Alaska in America’s north-west as a Jubilee enclave in the CORD dominated Eastern/Coastal region of Kenya, to wit, Jubilee’s appeal among voters was concentrated in the central region of the country. CORD’s appeal was more spread out –
a. Jubilee got almost 60% of its votes from one region – Central. CORD got just over 50% of its votes from four regions – Eastern, Nairobi, Nyanza and Western.
b. Of the 291 constituencies that voted, 157 (54%) voted for CORD vs. 134 (46%) for Jubilee. Note: The 291 includes votes from the Diaspora who voted 52.5% vs. 41% in favor of CORD.
3. Nairobi County voted in favor of CORD: 691,156 (49.4%) vs. 659,490 (47.2%).
4. Mombasa County, another “diverse” metropolitan voted 70.5% vs. 24.1% in favor of CORD.

Top 20 Counties (vote totals)

1. Kiambu – 705,185
2. Nakuru – 494,239
3. Muranga – 406,334
4. Nairobi – 404,366
5. Meru – 384,290
6. Nyeri – 318,880
7. Kericho – 238,556
8. Nyandarua – 232,808
9. Kirinyaga – 231,868
10. Uasin Gishu – 211,438
11. Bomet – 210,501
12. Nandi – 192,587
13. Embu – 177,676
14. Kajiado – 138,851
15. Baringo – 134,488
16. Laikipia – 134,111
17. Tharaka – 128,397
18. Elgeyo Marakwet – 113,680
19. Narok – 109,413
20. West Pokot – 79,772

1. Nairobi – 441,298
2. Kisumu – 337,232
3. Machakos – 319,594
4. Homa Bay – 303,447
5. Kakamega – 303,120
6. Siaya – 284,031
7. Kisii – 236,831
8. Makueni – 228,843
9. Migori – 225,645
10. Kitui – 219,588
11. Mombasa – 189,985
12. Busia – 185,419
13. Kilifi – 182,708
14. Nyamira – 121,590
15. Narok – 118,623
16. Kajiado – 117,856
17. Nakuru – 105,660
18. Kwale – 101,407
19. Trans Nzoia – 92,035
20. Vihiga – 77,825
Thoughts? Comments??
Stay tuned for more analyses

© [WashingtonM.Osiro] and [], [2013]. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to [WashingtonM.Osiro] and [] with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


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The Loyal Opposition and The Fruit

According to George Oraro, CORD’s lead attorney, he “is confident of a strong case” after filing the petition challenging Jubilee’s victory in the just-concluded presidential elections. In part, CORD is accusing the IEBC of negligence and failure to conduct free and fair elections.

I am not a lawyer nor do I have access to the information CORD’s legal brain trust has pertinent to their case but accusing a government bureaucracy of negligence and failure to perform its functions fairly and effectively i.e. oversee a “fair” and “free” election is akin to accusing high-powered Kenyans of being corrupt, the US/West of being hypocritical or Uhuru of being the beneficiary of ill-gotten gains – land!

To quote my ten-year old son, “dad…..square duh!”

Let me offer the following:

• Bureaucracies by their very nature are ponderous, inefficient, and indeed negligent! The question for CORD is whether or not Kenya’s institutions have matured enough to independently deal with the claims of inefficiency and fairness without political interference and influence. Even more important is whether Kenyans have matured enough from the ugliness of 2007/2008 to respect the verdict of the High Court.
• Transparency International ranks Kenya as the most corrupt country in the former East African Community and the fourth most corrupt country in the regional development organization IGAD. Two of the eight countries in the organization – S. Sudan and Djibouti are unranked, the former having gotten its independence in 2011 and the latter in 1977 compared to Kenya that become independent in 1963!
• The US and the West long ago patented hypocrisy!
• The president-elect is the beneficiary of vast tracts of land his father amassed legally and illegally!

As much as I did not want the president and vice-president of the country of my birth facing charges at the International Criminal Court, Kenyans have spoken and the majority voted for two people facing charges of crimes against humanity. I believe that we get the leadership we deserve: The majority that voted for the Uhuru and Ruto ticket have the leadership they wanted AND deserve.

Which brings me to Raila Odinga.

Given the vote count put forth by the IEBC, it looks like Raila fought the good fight and lost. That is the reality of the just-concluded elections. Democracy can be torturous and as the late British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill is rumored to have said, “(I)t, democracy, is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried.” Be that as it may and like they say stateside “It is what it is.” Raila lost the elections the complaints filed with the High Court notwithstanding.
Depending on the High Court’s ruling on CORD’s petition, the numbers (votes) as they currently stand favor Uhuru: 6,173,433 vs. 5,340,546 – a gap of 832,887 votes. The other six candidates (Musalia, Kenneth, Dida, Karua, Kiyiapi and Muite) garnered a combined total of 707,064 votes, one hundred and twenty-five thousand, eight hundred and twenty-three (125,823) votes less than the difference currently separating Uhuru and Raila. The hard numbers favor Uhuru. Raila would have to get ALL the votes cast for the six candidates PLUS an additional 125,824 to overcome Uhuru’s current total. I honestly do not see that happening. Given the voting pattern displayed by Kenyans on March 4, I can see the majority of Musalia’s vote going to Raila and those of Karua, Kenneth and Muite going to Uhuru. The two front-runners would split the votes of Dida and Kiyiapi. The end result would be Uhuru with 6,349,598 votes vs. 5,824,527 for Raila: A 478,153 margin of victory for Uhuru. To quote former US President Bill Clinton, “the arithmetic just does not add up” for Mr. Odinga. Damn the tyranny of numbers! This article does not delve into why the 50%+1 voted the way they did nor does it challenge the veracity of the final votes, It accepts both the totals of the vote and their accuracy.

Given the reality of the numbers as they currently stand, it is my hope that Raila becomes what he has been his entire political life: The political opposition, albeit a loyal and constructive one, to Uhuru’s government. It is my hope that RAO offers, indeed mentors those aspiring to become the next generation of political and civic leaders in Kenya. To quote the current Chief Justice Willy Mutunga: “(G)iven the crisis of political leadership in Africa, and the burning quest for alternative political leadership on the continent, Raila Odinga…provides an interesting case study …and food for serious thought on both issues.” (Babafemi Badejo, Raila Odinga: An Enigma in Kenyan Politics, Back of book).

This a role Raila should embrace regardless of the outcome of the petition. Kenya needs an effective and respected counter-weight to Kenya’s “masters of impunity” of which I hate to say but Uhuru is one! It is Jomo Kenyatta, the president-elect’s father who perfected the art of co-option, demonization and assassination of political opponents in the nascent “democracy” that was Kenya in the 60s (David Lamb, The Africans, pp. 63, Colin Leys, Underdevelopment in Kenya, pps. 235-236). It was also Mzee who set the stage for the current animus between Kenya’s tribes by playing them against one another in a colonialist-like master stroke of “divide-and-conquer”? (Michela Wrong and John Githongo, It is our turn to eat, pp. 50) It was Mzee who turned on Jaramogi even after the latter told the Brits that release of Mzee from detention was a pre-condition for continued talks toward Kenya’s independence? Oginga Odinga, Not Yet Uhuru: An Autobiography, pps. 155-156).

Given what transpired between Uhuru and Mudavadi during the run-up to the March 4 elections, methinks it is safe to say that Uhuru learnt his politics from two of the best, his father Mzee and his father’s vice-president and former president Daniel Arap Moi. It is combination of the Machiavellianism of the president-elect, the charges he faces at the ICC, the kshs. 9.2Billion “computer error, typing error or whatever” under his watch as Minister for Finance, the building sycophancy around the president-elect and the adage “the fruit does not fall far from the tree” that creates the crisis of political leadership the current CJ alludes to and makes the need for Raila in Kenya’s political scene extremely pressing, indeed vital.

© [WashingtonM.Osiro] and [], [2013]. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to [WashingtonM.Osiro] and [] with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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Kenya’s Rorschach Test.

And it has come to pass:

The Jubilee ticket of Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto, which was cobbled together as a counter-weight to the charges of crimes against humanity the two face at The Hague, is now poised to lead the very people they are accused of committing the crimes against! Presidential and vice-presidential candidates Uhuru and Ruto dared the International Criminal Court (ICC) to try and convict the now president- and VP-elect of Kenya; a country, hitherto March 4, 2013, a favorite of the west. Their decision to run for the presidency even as they faced the possibility of being convicted by the ICC ergo becoming personas non grata in some of Kenya’s most important allies was in my opinion, the height of hubris and arrogance. On the other hand, show me a politician who is not arrogant or self-assured and I will show you a loser!

Mr. Kenyatta and Mr. Ruto basically told Kenyans, who apparently agreed with them to the tune of 50% + 1, that their presidential (read personal) aspirations were more important than respect and reverence, indeed justice for the thousands of Kenyans who were murdered and displaced from their homes by the violence the two are accused of fomenting!

In an apparent response to the charges against the two by the ICC, the majority that voted for the Uhuru/Ruto ticket answered several questions. In a near-Rorschach Test response, the voters said the following:

  1. We are not serious about eradicating the culture of impunity and entitlement, especially if it means holding to account one of “our” own!
  2. Yes we are all “Kenyans” but primary allegiance and loyalty is to the tribe.
  3. We have selective memory: Don’t be vague! Go to The…er…never mind!
  4. While it is shameful and sad that so many of our fellow citizens were murdered and displaced from their land in 2007, the shame and sadness was not enough to allow those “other” guys to become president!
  5. Even though we live in an inter-dependent world, we are a sovereign nation and will act in our self-interest, even at the risk of inflicting (economic) damage to the country we “love.” National pride is more important than economic relationships; unless I need to invest my millions in foreign bank accounts or buy flats in London or New York.
  6. The enemy of my enemy is my friend! Russia and China are now our newest BFF! Besides, the Cold War is so 1960s!

The euphoria of Jubilee’s victory notwithstanding, tis the contention of the ICC that the coalition’s principals – Messer’s Kenyatta and Ruto – instigated Kenyans to murder, permanently scar and displace fellow Kenyans because they voted for the “wrong” candidate from the “wrong” tribe in the “wrong” part of THEIR country during the 2007 elections! As callous as this may sound, it is apropos that two individuals charged with crimes (against humanity) are now poised to become the leaders of a country whose image is synonymous with crimes, albeit of corruption and impunity!

I am glad that Ms. Fatou Bensouda the Chief Prosecutor of the ICC has called their bluff and despite dropping charges against Mr. Muthaura, is pressing on with the charges against the two – Uhuru and Ruto. This is extremely important for those who want justice for the post-election violence (PEV) of 2007/2008 and an end to the culture of impunity Kenya is notorious for.

Messer’s Uhuru and Ruto may eventually beat back the charges they face at The Hague. However, it will cost them a pretty penny, earn them the qualifier former crimes-against-humanity-suspect alongside the title “President” or “VP” of Kenya respectively. Finally, facing a force (ICC) more powerful and with deeper pockets than the two will force them and others like them to think long and hard before fomenting violence against the weak and innocent just to retain power.

© [WashingtonM.Osiro] and [], [2013]. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to [WashingtonM.Osiro] and [] with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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The Enemy Of My Enemies

So China and Russia, two-fifths of the UN Security Council have come out in support of Uhuru’s presidential victory. Additionally, the March 13 edition of The Standard has a picture of the president-elect and his VP meeting the Cuban ambassador Raul Rodriguez. I am waiting for presidents Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran, Bashir al-Assad of Syria and Omar Bashir of Sudan to schedule facetime with Uhuru, not to mention Kim Jong-un of North Korea! Unfortunately for Uhuru, Fidel Castro is on his death bed and Hugo Chavez IS dead as is Khadaffi! Uhuru is playing a tried-and-true game: The enemy of my enemy is my friend. It is a game that may give him short-term gains as he deigns for legitimacy of his presidency given the charges he faces at the ICC.

It is my opinion that Uhuru will get legitimacy, not by cavorting with the Chinese, Russians, Syrians, Cubans or other countries that are eager to thumb their nose at the west or are pariahs, but by being exonerated of the charges he and his VP face for the sickening crimes against the very people who provided the two with their margin of victory in the just concluded preisdential elections! Beyond being cleared of the charges at The Hague, the legitimacy of Uhuru’s presidency will come once the High Courts have heard and ruled on the complaints of vote-rigging and Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission’s (IEBC) bungled management of the elections lodged by Raila Odinga’s CORD Party. Finally and even more important, legitimacy of Uhuru’s presidency will rest on how he governs Kenya, a country still reeling from PEV of 2007 he, Uhuru, and Ruto are accused of fomenting and the culture of corruption and impunity first put in place by Jomo Kenyatta, his father!

And make no mistake about it folks, Kenya is a highly divided country; one divided along tribal lines. For those quick to pounce on me as one of the people fomenting the very tribal division I allude to, let me point you to the election map and the actual votes cast. Visit this blog for an up-coming analysis of the voting trend during the elections but suffice to say, there was near-perfect voting along tribal lines by the Luos and the Kikuyus. Uhuru’s votes came from Central and Rift Valley – homes to the tribes of the president-elect and his VP. Raila’s votes, while comparatively less tribal-based, came from Nyanza, Western, Eastern and the Coast – home to the Luo, Luhya, Kamba, Arabs, Swahili, Taita and Mijikenda respectively. Furthermore, a casual reading of the various blogs – Daily Nation or The Standard – addressing the election results reveals an under-current of tribal jingoism that is very worrisome and portends a disturbing future.

The “warning” Uhuru issued to CORD re: raising the political temperature of the country should have been issued to ALL Kenyans, including supporters of the victorious Jubilee Coalition. The biggest mistake Uhuru would make is to perceive his High Court-pending victory as a “sweeping” mandate. To do that in the politically-charged atmosphere that is Kenya would be the height of hubris and a dangerous lurch into the unknown.

© [WashingtonM.Osiro] and [], [2013]. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to [WashingtonM.Osiro] and [] with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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