Why Kibaki Withdrew Nominees

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President Mwai Kibaki withdrew his nominees to constitutional offices even after declaring that he would not because his credibility and support among a cross section of Kenyans was waning because he had run out of ammunition to fight his opponents and lacked justification in law. The president was also wary that his efforts to leave a positive legacy would be defeated if he continued to maintain his reactionary position that appeared to support a position favourable to his preferred successor, Uhuru Kenyatta.
But perhaps the biggest reason for the president’s abrupt change of heart was the bad manners displayed by Kenyatta, the principal beneficiary of the list. Soon after Speaker Kenneth Marende’s ruling last week, Kenyata went into an unprovoked tirade against Prime Minister Raila Odinga, hurling unprintable epithets in the media, leading to condemnation by even those considered his core tribal supporters.
According to sources close to Statehouse, Kibaki was also advised by the National Security Intelligence Service that his position was unpopular with Kenyans and was being interpreted as an affront to the constitution. “Kibaki is not the type to listen to advice but after 2008 when he refused to listen to us (NSIS) and the events in Egypt and Tunisia, he had to listen,” an officer with NSIS told this writer. He also revealed that NSIS was surprised when the president agreed to follow their advice to withdraw the names and start the process afresh because it had been rejected by almost every institution that mattered in the country. The only people who supported the president’s ill-advised action were the perceived beneficiaries who have marshalled MPs to support their cause in parliament. Some of these MPs are ODM members but have joined PNU in an amorphous relationship, which many people are sure will not last beyond the moment as the ambitions of the leaders, William Ruto and Uhuru Kenyatta, are bound to clash. It is also expected that as Ruto has projected himself as the Kalenjin Messiah against the Kikuyu who he demonized in the run-up to the 2007 elections, he may not have much room to manoeuvre in his choices before the 2012 elections; he must run for president.
Although a section of the press indicated that Ruto was responsible for starting the process that led to the withdrawal of the names, it is not likely that he could have had so much influence on Kibaki as to prompt him to make a move. Although Ruto has lately supported Kibaki, the latter has not forgiven him for the embarrassment he subjected him to during the swearing in of the current parliament in January 2008. Ruto is also not trusted among Kibaki’s inner group, which makes no secret of its intention to use him to fight Odinga and then abandon him when the job is done.
Instead knowledgeable sources believe that the rumour of Ruto’s supposed role, which found its way to the press, was planted by Ruto’s people in the NSIS. The Ruto moles provided him with the intelligence that the president had been advised to withdraw the names and he quickly moved to take advantage and gain some political capital among the mostly ignorant PNU hardliners. Most of Ruto’s informers in the NSIS are Kalenjin remnants of the Moi regime installed in the service by its founder, retired army Brigadier Boinett.
It was also revealed that Kibaki took his action because he had been warned that he risked being toppled by a popular movement if he continued being adamant and acting in defiance of the constitution. There were also claims that the president appeared not to have read the constitution, which expressly states, unlike its predecessor, that the president is subject to the constitution and action grounded in it can be taken against him if he continued to violate it.
The fact that the president’s principal advisors, attorney general Amos Wako and justice and constitutional affairs minister Mutula Kilonzo, also served to persuade Kibaki to reverse his decision. The two senior legal advisors have consistently held that Kibaki acted unconstitutionally, even though their boss continued to behave and act as if all was alright.
A move by some of Kibaki’s PNU MPs, with the support of Ruto’s renegades, to censure House Speaker Kenneth Marende also made the president very unpopular. This was because with his rulings, Marende, although an ODM MP, had demonstrated sobriety and respect for the law in the pronouncement that the Kibaki nominations were unconstitutional. There were indications that Kibaki did not want to derail his sabotage of Odinga’s ambitions by dragging in the increasingly popular speaker.
But even as the sabres were withdrawn with Odinga accepting the president’s decision to withdraw the names, there were indications that a new front had just been opened with regard to the sensitive subject of appointments to public offices. While the president said that some of the jobs would be advertised through the Public Service Commission, Odinga was categorical that the PS|C had to be reconstituted in accordance with the new constitution before it could competently undertake the task. Without that, Odinga averred, he would contest any appointments made.
The law, and the people, seem to be on the PM’s side as Kibaki appears headed to making more blunders just to support his choice of successor; the increasingly detestable and ill-mannered Kenyatta…

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Why Kibaki Withdrew Nominees

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President Mwai Kibaki withdrew his nominees to constitutional offices even after declaring that he would not because his credibility and support among a cross section of Kenyans was waning because he had run out of ammunition to fight his opponents and lacked justification in law. The president was also wary that his efforts to leave a positive legacy would be defeated if he continued to maintain his reactionary position that appeared to support a position favourable to his preferred successor, Uhuru Kenyatta.
But perhaps the biggest reason for the president’s abrupt change of heart was the bad manners displayed by Kenyatta, the principal beneficiary of the list. Soon after Speaker Kenneth Marende’s ruling last week, Kenyata went into an unprovoked tirade against Prime Minister Raila Odinga, hurling unprintable epithets in the media, leading to condemnation by even those considered his core tribal supporters.
According to sources close to Statehouse, Kibaki was also advised by the National Security Intelligence Service that his position was unpopular with Kenyans and was being interpreted as an affront to the constitution. “Kibaki is not the type to listen to advice but after 2008 when he refused to listen to us (NSIS) and the events in Egypt and Tunisia, he had to listen,” an officer with NSIS told this writer. He also revealed that NSIS was surprised when the president agreed to follow their advice to withdraw the names and start the process afresh because it had been rejected by almost every institution that mattered in the country. The only people who supported the president’s ill-advised action were the perceived beneficiaries who have marshalled MPs to support their cause in parliament. Some of these MPs are ODM members but have joined PNU in an amorphous relationship, which many people are sure will not last beyond the moment as the ambitions of the leaders, William Ruto and Uhuru Kenyatta, are bound to clash. It is also expected that as Ruto has projected himself as the Kalenjin Messiah against the Kikuyu who he demonized in the run-up to the 2007 elections, he may not have much room to manoeuvre in his choices before the 2012 elections; he must run for president.
Although a section of the press indicated that Ruto was responsible for starting the process that led to the withdrawal of the names, it is not likely that he could have had so much influence on Kibaki as to prompt him to make a move. Although Ruto has lately supported Kibaki, the latter has not forgiven him for the embarrassment he subjected him to during the swearing in of the current parliament in January 2008. Ruto is also not trusted among Kibaki’s inner group, which makes no secret of its intention to use him to fight Odinga and then abandon him when the job is done.
Instead knowledgeable sources believe that the rumour of Ruto’s supposed role, which found its way to the press, was planted by Ruto’s people in the NSIS. The Ruto moles provided him with the intelligence that the president had been advised to withdraw the names and he quickly moved to take advantage and gain some political capital among the mostly ignorant PNU hardliners. Most of Ruto’s informers in the NSIS are Kalenjin remnants of the Moi regime installed in the service by its founder, retired army Brigadier Boinett.
It was also revealed that Kibaki took his action because he had been warned that he risked being toppled by a popular movement if he continued being adamant and acting in defiance of the constitution. There were also claims that the president appeared not to have read the constitution, which expressly states, unlike its predecessor, that the president is subject to the constitution and action grounded in it can be taken against him if he continued to violate it.
The fact that the president’s principal advisors, attorney general Amos Wako and justice and constitutional affairs minister Mutula Kilonzo, also served to persuade Kibaki to reverse his decision. The two senior legal advisors have consistently held that Kibaki acted unconstitutionally, even though their boss continued to behave and act as if all was alright.
A move by some of Kibaki’s PNU MPs, with the support of Ruto’s renegades, to censure House Speaker Kenneth Marende also made the president very unpopular. This was because with his rulings, Marende, although an ODM MP, had demonstrated sobriety and respect for the law in the pronouncement that the Kibaki nominations were unconstitutional. There were indications that Kibaki did not want to derail his sabotage of Odinga’s ambitions by dragging in the increasingly popular speaker.
But even as the sabres were withdrawn with Odinga accepting the president’s decision to withdraw the names, there were indications that a new front had just been opened with regard to the sensitive subject of appointments to public offices. While the president said that some of the jobs would be advertised through the Public Service Commission, Odinga was categorical that the PS|C had to be reconstituted in accordance with the new constitution before it could competently undertake the task. Without that, Odinga averred, he would contest any appointments made.
The law, and the people, seem to be on the PM’s side as Kibaki appears headed to making more blunders just to support his choice of successor; the increasingly detestable and ill-mannered Kenyatta…

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