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Monday, February 8, 2010

Little birds, little birds, don't I love your whispers!

Salim Lone was around. I am not sure if he still is, but then again, I saw him last week in the Prime Minister's boardroom. There were some councillors meeting the PM and he was right there looking and enjoying it.
Salim Lone, just in case you forgot, is the thinktank of a man that mobilised all the media in Kenya to look at Raila Odinga as the saviour of the country in the 2007 General Elections. He is a strategist, a political thinker with an astute mastery of the workings of the media. You just have to love this guy. And as he went underground on Friday, he let the Prime Minister hog the headlines with a political bass when he called for the resignation of Education Minister Sam Ongeri and the permanent secretary Karega Mutahi.
So, the PM was more visible for what he said and what he didn't say. That's fine. But all sides of the story have to be looked at, and in my earlier note after I left the meeting, I alluded to double-speak. I still stand by that.
Yes, some people will stop reading at this stage, but come on, Raila Odinga is the enigma in Kenyan politics, no? I just hope I didn't upset you. But I digress.
Now, let's go to the little birds that have been busy on the grapevine with lots and lots of stories about ODM's strategy for the constitution and the takeover of government after the May or is it June Constitution Referendum.
The PM has been going round and round meeting ODM delegates, asking them "kukaa imara kwa chama" (sit tight inside the party). He has also insisted that "tutafika mwisho wa safari", meaning the journey will have to end in State House.
The open campaigns in Kenya have political writers looking at mere pronouncements of a shot at the presidency by MPs Bifwoli Wakoli, Martha Karua, Eugene Wamalwa, Musalia Mudavadi, Moses Wetang'ula, William Ruto, Uhuru Kenyatta, as crucial leads to the power play in the emerging Kibaki succession.
The little birds have it that Prof George Saitoti, he who is the chairman of PNU was going to be ousted, or if this proved difficult, a new party will be registered soon to take care of the Central Kenya votes. That's what Nithi MP Kareke Mbiuki, an assistant minister in Mr Ruto's Agriculture docket, said over the weekend --that a new party was in the works.
Mr Mbiuki, a quiet schemer in his own right, said the party will target the traditional ODM areas ahead of the elections.
Now ODM is spreading its tentacles to Central Kenya, an erstwhile stronghold for the PNU party and presidential contender Uhuru Kenyatta. The little bird has it that some in central Kenya have read the writing on the wall and opted to start their election machine, so that if indeed the PM is campaigning with an intention to call for fresh elections as soon as the new Constitution comes into play, they are not caught off-guard.
The little bird cracked my ribs: "Can you guess what Raila would say as soon as the new Constitution comes into play?"
"I don't know," I said.
"Let me tell you. He will call Nairobi delegates and party members for a meeting at either Bomas of Kenya or Uhuru Park. Then he'll ask. "ODM ilisema italeta katiba mpya ama haikusema?" The crowds would roar "Ilisema."
"Sasa kwa vile katiba imeingia, kwa nini tusijenge serikali ile sisi tunataka, tuwache kula mkate nusu na supu majimaji?"
Hahaha! I laughed.
But can you really place that beyond Mr Odinga? I can't.
So, to the little birds, Salim Lone was around to gauge the ground and see if the thing was viable. If it is, he perhaps eponymously told the Prime Minister that: "I SHALL return again; I shall return" just as Claude McKay said in his poem, Salim is perhaps around to fulfill the "people's choice" and "change" that Mr Odinga promised Kenyans.
For some reason, I remain cynical on that score, but as Claude McKay insists,
I Shall return again, I shall return
To laugh and love and watch with wonder-eyes
At golden noon the forest fires burn,
Wafting their blue-black smoke to sapphire skies.
I shall return to loiter by the streams
That bathe the brown blades of the bending grasses,
And realize once more my thousand dreams
Of waters rushing down the mountain passes.
I shall return to hear the fiddle and fife
Of village dances, dear delicious tunes
That stir the hidden depths of native life,
Stray melodies of dim remembered runes.
I shall return, I shall return again,
To ease my mind of long, long years of pain.
How I wish that day would come and we'd forget all these unemployment, poverty, demagoguery, dishonesty and corruption. Nepotism, tribalism and all other isms remain. Will they ever end?

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