Prime Minister Raila’s appeal on voter registration

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BY RAILA ODINGA

SINCE the bloody uprising that shattered our image as a nation of peace and tranquility following a disputed election at the end of 2007, Kenya has regained much ground, thanks to our ability to make compromises and look forward.

I believe all of us have made compromises. Your President, Mwai Kibaki did. Your Prime Minister, Raila Odinga did.

The supporters of the main parties to the conflict, ODM and PNU, compromised too. Only the compromises have enabled us to move this far.

Only with the understanding of our supporters have we, the Two Principals to the Grand Coalition, been able to take the nation this far.

As we set on the path of governing through coalition, we had no precedence to borrow from.

Under the guidance of President Kibaki and myself, we simply set on this path trusting that the people of Kenya, and the luck of history would be on our side. The President and I trusted that we were acting in the best interest of the nation

In many ways, and despite many set backs, luck, history and our people have been on our side.

Two years into the Coalition, we, the people of Kenya, endorsed a new political system, embodied in our globally acclaimed new constitution.

In a short span, we recovered our breath, lifted and dusted ourselves and decided to forge ahead as the region’s economic motor and diplomatic nerve-centre.

We have done so much in five years. We have so much to lose should we get reckless again. We have so much to do in the next five years and beyond.

Think about the crime and insecurity that continue to keep our people down.

Think of the traffic jams in Nairobi that make us waste valuable time on the road instead of getting to places of work in record time and build our nation.

Think of the close to 60 per cent of Kenyans living in squalid slums. Think of the millions of our young people looking for working and finding nothing.

Think also of our strengths that we could easily make better and leave competitors far behind and move ahead as the nation for the rest of Africa to look up to.

We have the best banks, hotels and services in the region.

We have the biggest road-building projects in the region.

Our mobile-phone penetration is the highest in the region.

Our money-transfer services have attained worldwide acclaim.

Nairobi is the region’s air-traffic hub. It has also become the place in Africa where people come to make global diplomatic decisions. Only Johannesburg and Pretoria beat us.

We have attained much of these because of the decisive step we took in 2002 to go for change peacefully through the ballot.

All these gains and more could continue and get better or they could be reversed, depending on how we conduct our next elections.

I believe that we are moving ahead, sadder but wiser, determined never to repeat the mistakes that took us to the precipice and back in 2007-2008 period.

Today, we begin another process that should ensure our future gets brighter and more secure.

Today, the Government, led by President Mwai Kibaki launches the voter registration exercise.

From here on, it will be upon each one of us, as citizens, to ensure we register to vote.

It is a civic, patriotic duty of a magnitude none of us can take for granted.

This registration will take us to a historic election next year. So much is at stake in this election.

The March 2013 election will determine whether we rebrand, reinvent and renovate our nation or we continue with business as usual.

At worst, and God forbid, that election will also determine whether we sink back to the same shame of the 2007-2008 chaos that put us, shamefully, at the mercy of neighbours and friends.

Kenya cannot take chances again. One thing looks certain to me. One more false step, one backsliding 2007 style and all our neighbours will overtake us, and all our friends and supporters will give up on us.

The 2013 election must pass off peacefully. There is no way to ensure that other than by all of us registering to vote and making a vow that only the vote, and not the force of crude weapons, the cruel tongue of politicians and vote manipulation will count.

This is my appeal to my people, the citizens of Kenya. It is my pledge to my beloved country. Fellow Kenyans, let us go out and register to vote. Let us ensure our friends and neighbours do too. We owe it to ourselves and to the country our parents and grand parents bequeathed us.

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  • Mr. PM sometimes you need to spare Kenyans some of your unlikely pronouncements. We know you like basking in false glory. But thats not enough to make you push us around or try to create history which is not there. First, there was no bloody uprising but unparelelled bloody incitement by you after announcement of election results in 2007. Its was actually not disputed. However, only you disputed the results. So, the matter of dispute is single and onesided here. Obviously, PNU didnt dispute the elections!
    Secondly, you never made any compromises at all. If anything you agravated the situation. Only that eventually you were forced to backdown. The sort of defiance that you helped create is actually our todays insecurity. Certainly, your “new found good will” was missing all along. Remember you went to north eastern Kenya and demanded that our borders be opened for Somali refugees? Incidentally, in those refugees, included were parents, sisters, brothers, relatives and even al-shaababs themselves. Your stooge, immigration minister, even angrily accused OP of treating supposedly starving refugees as security threat. OP was truly right. However, after your power display, it took only a few days before we started experiencing insecurity. Interestingly, you joined those who were genuinely condemning those terror acts! Your need for votes certainly superpasses anything else, including the lives of Kenyans. Your stand on MRC clearly reinforces my argument.
    Thirdly, there was no luck on our side as you claim. President Kibaki always conducted state affairs with unmatched professionalism unlike you. I guess you are talking of luck because you simply dont know how things were worked out. And on new constitution, it must have been another event of luck for you! Thats because you called people names and even pretended to be behind it all. Forgetting that you even said that if sister Hon. Martha Karua had failed to give us constitution, you didnt see how brother Hon. Mutula Kilonzo was going to do it. You inserted tribal clitch in the matter! Eventually when Mutula Kilonzo made the train leave station, you just jumped in to it and surprisingly, pretended to be its driver. But if that train nearly left you behind, one wonders how you could have truly been possibly its driver! Needless to say, just before referendum, you personally told us that some PNU members expected you not to join the bandwagon. Which means before that point, you were a mere spactator.
    To this day and for you to maintain you fake driver status, you have continued to claim that some people were opposed to the law. Nevertheless, the truth is that no single Kenyan was opposed to the document. After reading the document, it was only 25% of it that was unwanted. Thus, by the time we went for referendum, the matter had been reduced to mere “WHEN” amendments were to be effected,- BEFORE or AFTER passage. Soon after those who wanted amendments before passage lost, there you were, claimimg that those who had “opposed” the law couldnt be allowed to implement it! Who was “opposed” to it sir? YES team wanted passage before amendments while NO team wanted same before that. In a simple like that, who was really opposed to the document? And where will you get supposed watermelons? We must be driven by purported luck indeed!!!!

    • WILLIAM RUTO

      STOP YOUR HATE FOR PRIME MINISTER….you can go to hell!!!you talk non sense

      • @WILLIAM RUTO: This is not new. Every truth about PM Raila is some sort of hatred! But why cant we be given the other side of the coin if am wrong? Screaming hatred surely doesnt help at all. You need to say, minute by minute, this or thats wrong or not true. Then you give your version. You certainly cant force false feats on us pal! You should level with us instead of resorting funny coils and recoils. Truth is God Mr. fake william ruto!!!!

        • pjiok

          Usiless kwessi, your brother Kibabki was lying dead when our people are killing one another in Garissa waiting for the pm to come back from Asia!! he will be in Garissa tomorrow to come down the tempest while the sleeper is snoring at state house.

          • @pjiok: You know what that means? He is coming there to lie to you and nothing else! Military is a government within a government! If PM Raila plays it cheap, you should be sure what to follow. Instead of using funny language, just show security forces where your hostile brothers are! To imagine that our men in uniform are going to be killed and get away with it is to day dream. Am trillion percent behind them!!!!

          • mkenya halisi

            kwesi pratt@,why do you always comment bad against prime minister?ooh!, i forget you must be a kikuyu who thinks nothing but his tribe,this time round there is no easy ride from other 41 tribes,infact i know you kikuyu hate raila because he has proven to be much wiser and more foccused than the whole mt kenya region icluding you and your president,rao is a nationalist who wants bests for this country,

          • @mkenya halisi: I pity you pal. I have heard this hate against PM Raila when truth is paraded for far too long. Obviously, someone expects us to support fraud in order NOT to be seen as hating him. Thats not possible especially when you are saying things that are 100% true. If I had a tribal mind like some of us, I would be firmly in TNA. However, my support is for brother VP Kalonzo Musyoka, the Wiper guy of humility. PM Raila is more wiser and focused than a whole region?! Thats rich! If he was that clever you think he could have resorted to faking feats? You think he could have lapsed for over 20 years in football and parable antics if he was as better as you say? You think he could have thoughtlessly exposed security items like VIP toilets in public rallies if he was something beyond a standard 4 pupil? You think if indeed he is that wiser, he would hide education his background while he is ever ready to bask in distorted feats, if not outright falsehoods? Do you know any other politician who has used rampant lies to cushion his spinless career apart from your supposed “wise” Raila? By the way, conmen make kills because they are able to plausibly lie but that doesnt mean they are focused and wise! They have only developed wicked survival skills. I guess, some of our most celebrated purported wise politicians actually bath naked in those open-air “waters!!!!”

          • ObieK

            Mkenya Halisi, huyu Kwessi Pratt ni mtu wa Ghana. This guy is not Kenyan!

    • Nathan Njoroge

      Kudos for a well thought out rejoinder to PM

      • @Nathan Njoroge: Be blessed pal, truth is God Sir!

    • mkenya mvumilivu

      Kwessi, wow! I couldn’t come close to putting it this well.Kudos.

      • @mkenya mvumilivu: Be blessed pal. We have to stop pretending that falsehoods are the truth. When deception is taken away from some of these folks, they WILL start aimlessly crowling on their fours!

    • NEO_KENYAN

      Do we live in the same world? And you actually have people supporting your view.

      First, This is what the Kreigler commission concluded, “The conduct of elections was so materially defective that it is impossible to establish true or reliable results for the presidential and parliamentary elections. It is not clear whether Kibaki garnered 4,584,721 to be declared winner over Raila Odinga who accumulated 4,352,993 votes. The recorded and reported results are so inaccurate as to render any
      reasonably accurate, reliable and convincing conclusion impossible.” In the event you’re still wondering, this what they call a dispute in English. You go on to misunderstand the difference between incitement and picketing. To his point you describe Raila’s actions after the election as incitement. read a freaking book, a legal one would be nice.

      Second, a little background to this point. Somalia was experiencing a famine, the UN estimated that 750,000 Somali’s were at risk of starvation. On the outset Raila was of the opinion that a refugee camp should be set up in Somalia to cater for the expected influx. Remember Daadab was originally meant to cater for 90,000 refugees but at this point was already catering to 500,000. For those comments, Kenya and Raila came under so much international pressure that we “Kenya” were compelled to let the refugees into Daadab. Raila made the following statement at the UN “We cannot close the border because we will be condemning people to death.” This was after it was established that setting up the camp within Somalia was not viable. In case you missed it, Kenya made this decision.

      Your third point is just ridiculous. if you don’t understand what the word dispute means. Just give up.

      Fourth point, the Anglican Church of Kenya (AKC) rejected the country’s draft
      constitution, encouraging its members to vote against ratification. The AKC joined the Catholic Church and the National Council of Churches of Kenya in opposing the revised constitution endorsed by Parliament and the Cabinet of President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga.The Archbishop, Wabukala said,”the institutionalization of Kadhi courts governed by Sharia law with
      the justice system, and the permissive stance on abortion was
      unacceptable to the Church.” This is the bullshit we were being fed by illiterate pastors and Ruto (I can get you the quotes if you think I’m lying and the dates and places they were made). Where are the pervasive and ungoverned abortions, has sharia law taken over Kenya, where are the contentious land clauses (alleging that land would be taken away from people without recourse to the law?) The referendum was about those who understand how the law works against ignorant people like you and Ruto.

      Every single word in quotation marks were the words actually spoken, Look it up. These issues are simple and straight forward, there are far more complex issues that will come up. If you can’t remember what the issue was and the prevailing facts surrounding the issues, give up. While your at it throw away your voters card. idiot.

      • @NEO _KENYAN: Kreigler came much later and in any case, had no idea what goes on here. And not only that, guys who appeared before him were mostly Odm fellows. PNU supporters had no bitterness in themselves. Thus, they hardly saw any reason to go before the Kreigler commission. They lost nothing anyway!
        Your much hyped english is actually conceited. It suits only certain situations that are likely to justify murderous mass action. Thats simply because picketing was NEVER THERE AT ALL. What was at play was only wicked pugnacious incitement. And who said that picketing is ever marked by murderous violence? Perhaps, as earlier said, your english is totally different from whats internationally known!
        There was no justification whatsoever for any Kenyan or PM for that matter, to auction us for selfish purposes. The bottomline is that Raila failed us badly, by ordering our borders opened for characters that had no respect even for their own country. It would be very right if he was accused of allowing enemy troops to establish beachhead on our land. There was no pressure at all for him to do such things. Furthermore, he wasnt the head of state! He was only trying to kill two birds with one stone. First, he wickedly wanted to secure the Somali vote. His stooge, immigration minister, has even committed treason by dishing out IDs to those Somalis. Secondly, he wanted international community to take note of him. Basking in treacherous glory is one of his major habits. When world media quotes PM of Republic of Kenya, he is fully satisfied. Thats without caring a thing about his irrational actions.
        You live in unreal world pal. But I dont blame you, for you are doing your best to “protect!” Church leaders were NOT against the constitution. They only wanted removal of certain clauses that are seemingly in favor of gays, – or softs on wickeds. There stand was that amendments be made BEFORE passage. If thats opposition then I dont know whats opposition! The issue of Kadhi courts was settled long before we went in to referendum. But we are used to creating false feats for our village idol! Buy the way, if Raila himself told us that PNU expected him not to support the new constitution, what does that say about his involvement? Could he really have been the driver in such a situation? May be you should accuse of hating him!

        • NEO_KENYAN

          You’re incapable of distinguishing facts from your own subjective beliefs. You assert that Kreigler had no idea what goes on here (Kenya). Isn’t the purpose of an investigation to unearth “what goes on here?” You then question the impartiality of the witnesses by asserting they were ODM witnesses. Entirely missing the part of the investigation that focused on the
          documentary evidence from the ECK (which formed the basis of the dispute, you so aptly misunderstood in your first post) In totality you question the validity of the Kreigler report without so much as a shred of evidence, basing your ludicrous allegation purely on your subjective understanding. And get this, all these misconceptions are only in your 1st paragraph.

          I gave you a hint, hoping you would look up the legal meaning of incitement and hopefully distinguish it from picketing (you did neither), again relying solely on your subjective understanding. I wont even read the rest of your post. Your fundamentals are all wrong, and your post will comprise more innuendo than fact.

          • @NEO_KENYAN: We have gone through this idle ridiculing for far too long. It never bothers us any more. We know when one runs out of steam, the best way is to hide behind something. This time round, being the so called my “subjective beliefs!” Tell us the truth pal! Did Kreigler come here after things cooled down or before? And among PNU and Odm, which group was dying to prove a point?

            You need to re-do your research properly. All ECK documents were completely in order. Only two or three forms had alterations. They are still there if you need a recheck. They never formed basis for alleged dispute that was captured by Kreigler commission! And when Justice Kreigler checked in town, he had no idea that pugnacious tribalism marked by maddening bitterness was behind it all. He saw Kenyans (Odm supporters!) come before him with what appeared to be solid evidence. Unknown to him, that represented only one side of the divide! As a legal mind, his report captured what was laid before him.

            You “gave a hint!” Get over it pal, legal picketing and murderous war on opponents are totally two different things! By the way, are you trying to justify mass action that turned to mass murder? You think mayhem, destruction and killings that took place can be narrowed to mere picketing? Since when did crimes against humanity become picketing? Obviously, like many of Odm supporters, you think Kenyans are too stupid to understand! I guess, thats the reason your idol has politically gone down on his fours. Those days when information was controlled by few people, who supported their own for nothing, are gone forever. We SHALL NEVER again be fed with falsehoods that are meant to build tribal characters at expense of the nation.

    • Boiyot

      Kwessi,

      If you read the blog again, I am sure you’ll notice that the PM is saying what happened in the past should remain in the past only remain as a lesson irrespective of your political inclination. What we need right now is to register to vote and use that vote in future as the ONLY means to get new leadership.

      There’s nothing to be gained by getting ourselves horse screaming about the past… We all know how it was, and importantly, how we want the future to be. So go register to vote…

      • @Boiyot: Who is screaming about the past, not the PM? His highlights, as usual, were full of distortions, if not outright lies. Thats what we attempted to correct. We cant also ignore the fact he has used rampant lies to assassinate characters. He should only have talked about voter registration but not trying to cleanse himself. If he wants to do that, he should as well apologize to the country, even when specificity is lacking!

        • mindo

          Go register and wait to vote in march 2013, Its more effective for you to vote him out, than to sound like a broken record here vilifying the man, why do you think you are any better than the 3 million kenyans that voted for him in 07? I may not support him, But I dont support your open display of hate either.

          • @mindo: Thats rich! How do you vote someone out when he is not in? 3m voters were from collaterals that he has already discarded through unmatched arrogance. Opportunity is one pal! If you expect replay, you are going to be very very disappointed. Times have greatly changed. Brother Ruto ran away with much of that 3m and brothers Balala & Mudavadi finished the game. You are still dreaming of good yesterday? Desperation has already set in pal! Why do you think somebody who has humiliated president Kibaki time and again, is heaping praises on him? He thinks the old little fooling of hijacking other persons’ feats would help out! He is trying to tell us Kibaki’s successes are jointly owned! Things are pretty bad pal! I have already registered, just hope you wont commit suicide once the final nail is put on the coffin!

  • mkenya mvumilivu

    Please! you and the other horses cannot be trusted with this country. You are sensational and a self seeker.Kibera which has been your constituency,is still the biggest slum in Africa if not the world-thanks to your ‘visionary’ leadership.

  • Gathii

    I have only one question for you. Can you tell us your top 2 or 3 achievements since you became PM? By achievements I mean what you have done for this country not what you have personally gained.
    The last few weeks the President has been quite busy commissioning his various pet projects but we do not know what you have done for us or which development project we can associate with you. I can associate various development projects with the President but cannot seem to recall any completed project that was your brainchild……maybe hearing too much politics from you over the last 5 years has clouded my memory…..

    • @Gathii: Dont wait for an answer for there is none. But false feats are plenty: ONE: Fought for us for initiating a tribal failed coup. TWO: Fought for multi-partyism when he was wastting in remand prison or detention because of same coup attempt. THREE: Became a GIVER of new constitution when he only jumped in to a train that had already left station and started pretending to be its driver! Remove these three fake “achievements” from his career and the guy starts crowling on his fours aimlessly!!!!

    • ObieK

      Does the President work by himself in this government. The achievements is a concerted effort by all in leadership. So, please spare us with your questions on the PM’s “achievements”. Oh you myopic one!

      • Gathii

        The PM has been complaining that he only got mkate nusu and cannot do much. The President also got mkate nusu but see what he has done with his.
        I ask again, what has the PM done with his mkate nusu?
        Considering he has been in the last 3 governments, he must surely have a long list of achievements.

  • shem

    You have spoken like a Savior,this country still needs change and if we don’t change,we will be changed.Also,if we don’t want to move as pm has said,we will be moved.It is only through focus,determination and commitment that we shall bring prosperity to this nation.

  • NjugunaNdungu

    Sir, if you adopted this tone in 2007 I would have voted for you.

    • @NjugunaNdungu: Remember his praises for president Kibaki after wickedly humiliating him time and again? These are well calculated moves to fool Kenyans. It wont work! People dont just become good when elections are around the corner! Only pretenders can do that.

      • ObieK

        How did he wickedly humiliate President Kibaki, and why did Kibaki have to retract some his underhanded moves?

  • Walter K

    I find this story interesting considering the PM was more of a distraction, what with all the I WAS NOT CONSULTED!

  • lisema

    Very well stated and captioned appeal Mr. Prime Minister. I am off immediately to get my vote. Thank you for the compromises made thus far. It is a sign of maturity and statemanship. May God always bless your work and your endeavours. You have contributed immensely to the history of Kenya. Keep writing such hopeful blogs. They are a breath of fresh air. Shukran Waziri Mkuu

    • @lisema: The PM has been the worst nightmare for the country. He has immensely contributed nothing but lies and massive insecurity. Compromises cant involve endless scerams of “not consulted!” Even when one breaches protocol in foreign lands and security forces of that land tells him to behave, he mistakenly thinks of home hands behind it all. And then yells with bitterness not consulted! Those must be real compromizes indeed! Faking feats and corrupting people to sing them over and over must be alot of maturity indeed. We should be showered with alot of blessings for parading falsehoods at every turn!!

  • hayan omar

    i would like Kenyan to remember that the moment you can correct anything is when u are voting,think who can do for you and all Kenyan good things.on the other hand,north eastern province is Kenya not else country. but the refugee are there is innocent people and our bro’s and sis’s because they are African and we must treat them as our relative and guests. but who we see is against our peace-country at that time come we will take action.but remember even some Kenyan are member of AL-shabab but those are not our people because they are destroying our country. ke4nyan are Kenyan. jluo,Kikuyu,Somali and all others.let us vote our future

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