By-elections a test about what Kenyans want


There has been many debates and analysis about the just concluded by-elections in three constituencies and 15 civic wards. This is hardly surprising in a country where even the most plain set of facts always attract conflicting conclusions based on where one stands in the political divide.

Luckily, whilst everyone is entitled to their opinion, they are not entitled to their facts. Facts are sacred and a few of them stand on a pedestal in the just concluded polls.

Out of the three constituencies that were being contested, the fledgling new kid on the block, The National Alliance (TNA) won a whopping 67 percent of them while the Orange Democratic Movement(ODM) won 33pc of the seats. In the battle for civic seats, ODM won six seats, TNA won five, Wiper Democratic Movement won two, while Ford Kenya and New Ford Kenya won one each.

Overall, 133,054 number of votes were cast in the by-elections. TNA led the pack garnering 38.89 pc or 51,878 votes, followed by ODM with 33.7pc or 44,837 votes, PNU with a respectable 4.46pc or 5,929 votes, Wiper Democratic Movement with 4.44pc or 5,912 votes and UDF with 4.15pc or 5,520 votes.

TNA won civic or parliamentary seats in seven different counties while their closest challengers, ODM won seats in only four counties – including four seats in Homa Bay County alone. Clearly, the term ‘National’ in TNA’s name is not a mere decoration.

Whichever way one looks at it, this was a resounding success for The National Alliance. For a party that was launched only 120 days ago, even pathological cynics will admit there is something the party is doing right. Some will attempt to view the results in ethnic lenses.

Yet the party won seats in Nairobi, Kajiado, Nyamira and Eldoret in addition to the few seats won in Kirinyaga, Muranga and Kiambu counties.

Still worse, others are trying to portray the result as setting the ground for a two horse race between TNA and their distantly remote challengers, ODM. To the undiscerning, this may look remotely factual. Yet nothing can be further from the truth. This election was all about the lives of Kenyans. It has nothing to do with horses.

The only reason some would want to play the two-horses card is not only to confuse Kenyans away from the real issues that informed this vote but also plant a seed for balkanization of our people along ethnic and other sectarian fractures and fissures.

Yet this election was never about horses, neither was it about personalities. It was about real Kenyans, making a statement about real issues in their real lives. They did not do so in opinion polls.

They spoke eloquently in real polling centres, by casting real votes in real ballot boxes. Without equivocation they stated that they truly believe in TNA’s message of hope.

They were sending a clear message that they believe that their lives can be better and that through TNA they see a vehicle through which they can achieve our collective national aspirations. Whereas they know that they can definitely do better, they refused to fall prey to the cynicism of those who have opted to drive the car with the rear mirror only.

This election was never about horses. It was about Kenyans expressing their views about what kind of education they want for their children, their preferred choice of healthcare and the quality of their lives. It was a referendum on what is more important between empty rhetoric and politicking and the price of unga.

It was an expression of how they want agriculture to be revitalized through irrigation and other modern farming techniques. It was about unity of all Kenyans in a secure country at peace with herself and her neighbours. It was about affordable and renewable energy resources.

Ultimately it was a referendum on which team Kenyans trust to grow the economy, create real jobs and unite Kenyans towards achieving a prosperous middle-income economy through Vision 2030. With a deafening statement, Kenyans spoke loudly through the vote and said that they trust the TNA team to deliver these aspirations.

It is instructive to note that ODM, which was hitherto considered the leading party, was defeated squarely by TNA in all parameters. This is the price to pay for incumbency, unfortunately. ODM’s presumptive candidate, Raila Odinga, is considered the only incumbent in the presidential race. As such, voters are expressing doubt about what Mr Odinga can do that he could not do as the incumbent for the last five years.

In conclusion, the violence that was experienced after the Ndhiwa, Wang’chieng and Wire Hill/Migwa by elections is regrettable. I hope that the police and IEBC will act on the violence in order to gain the confidence in Kenyans that the forthcoming elections will be free, fair and devoid of violence.

(The writer is a strategy advisor to The National Alliance and the Uhuru Kenyatta 2013 Presidential Campaign).

16 Replies to “By-elections a test about what Kenyans want”

  1. Police should be sending a strong message to those who plan and implement violence by aprehending the culprits.We saw violence in Nyanza during by election and before that , goons were attacking Miguna2 in the presence of the police and cameras.Not long ago we heard RAO campaign press release information of how TNA was and has been planning to cause chaos and then blame it on ODM.This is a very serious complain which should not be taken lightly.The truth should be exposed.We kenyans should ignore violence and engage in a healthy political competition

  2. When i feel like reading politics. The last thing i want to read is an article authored by “strategy advisers” of one of the officials from either TNA or ODM camps. I prefer writers who are articulate, unbiased …. the likes of Mutahi Ngunyi. I was not even half way through reading this article when i realized its one of those one sided articles. on scrolling down to find out about the author, i wasn’t surprised.

  3. Mister Kuria you are only being smart tribalists! Simply playing with words and twisted facts to make them look pretty plausible. However, beyond that is total emptiness. First, by-elections in the country, as history has shown, are won by those who have deep pockets. In other instances as was the case in Ndhiwa, tribalism is the deciding factor. And not only that, those who win in those by-elections hardly make it in election proper. Examples litter all over the country. Nakuru, Wajir, Nyeri, etc, are some good examples. Guys who were elected through by- elections quickly faded from the scene when the main event checked in.

    Now if Kenyans were told that those guys were pointer to better life on election of those fellows in Nakuru, Wajir and Nyeri, what would they have done when same same quickly disapeared from the scene? We should be careful not to parade tribalism disguised as facts. By the way, we knew who was going to win in the three consituencies even long before the polling day. There were several factors including tribalism that clearly pointed to that.

    Uhuru is being prepared by illogical people to go it alone in coming elections. He wont go far at all. Infact, its interesting to hear that G7 is looking for future without him. Thats because you cant negotiate with bloated sense of self-importance marked by desperation. Even ICC matter reduces Uhuru to a man standing on quicksand. But folks around him are quickly fronting desperation as unassailable strength of sorts. That he is inflated balloon waiting to burst is not in doubt at all. Pride comes just before fall, even the Holy Bible says as much guys!

    Brother Uhuru is unashamed tribalist who thinks that small communities should just forget the presidency. He doesnt seem to understand what that twisted logic means to majority of people in the country. He even seems to forget that the mere fact of parading tribal numbers is toxic. But of course people essentially wearing empty bravado thats meant to cover utter desperation normally behave this way. Its noteworthy since we went around praying for him and other brothers, Uhuru simply took it the wrong way. He assumed that he was more equal than others. Prayers are actually never meant for such selfish people!

    Its astonishing that a guy we believed was not a tribalist is turning out to be the worst kind. However, signs were there right from the start that Uhuru had a huge sense of self-entitlement. Surprisingly, that selfish feel of being owed by Kenyans is backed by vacuum. In his political career, the guy has remained bereft of achievements. When he led local government ministry, he was totally unnoticable. His stint in finance ministry was marked by scandals, if not outright thefts! Needless to say, whenever “mistakes” occured, he hardly explained himself.

    If Uhuru were ever to became the CEO of the Republic, Kenyans should rest assured impunity would become the order of the day. They should also start living with reality of their president being tried by ICC. Once the charges have been confirmed, there is no escape from trial. Here again, Kenyans need to ask themselves why they should go through such a situation when they are blessed with so many leaders? Are we prepared to be blacklisted by international community because of a single individual’s selfish greed for power? Are we supposed to be used as shield by some fellow who thinks that he is indispensable? Are we prepared to have the country sank by people whose presence in leadership never translated in to anything? Are Kenyans really supposed to be held hostage by seemingly empty tribalists?

  4. This is a total misconception! Expecting that TNA would not win Kangema or ODM would not win Ndhiwa is being unconsciously incompetent in political analysis. In the case of Kajiado, nothing has changed from 2007. One community still holds sway in demographics. Further to this, Kibaki got 48k votes and Raila got 29k votes in 07. This time TNA got 25k and ODM got 13k votes. Do I need to say more??? The correct version of arguments is that G7 has a valid reason for concern because TNA is bound to have a field day in most of there areas perceived as their strangle hold. With the exception of GNU that their civic candidate gave stiff competition to TNA’s…guess because Kiunjuri and Co. didn’t go in heavily, the other parties are indeed ‘donkeys’.

  5. Kwesi, you may try to play ignorance, but kenyans have continued to mature in politics. Below are some writings reported by different people quoting different speakers. Infact, none of these opinion letters have quoted Uhuru personally claiming this or that will happen. Raila has been mentioned.
    I also don’t see logic when you say that G7 is looking for a future without Uhuru. I do not remember when all the other G7 members elected leaders forfeited their seats to seek them back on an alliance Ticket. On 22/9/2012, Raila urged Kalonzo to rejoin ODM and support him for a one term president agreement. Does that mean now that the two are in an alliance? Can you be kind enough to remind Kenyans what scandals were recorded during uhuru’s tenure at the treasury? I think there are better means to defend a course than to be led by malice, ignorance and mere hatred,


    By-elections were about Raila and Uhuru- Daily Nation 23/9/2012 by Kwendo Opanga,

    Race between Uhuru and I: Raila


    Wednesday, September 19
    2012 at

    Raila Odinga described the Monday by-elections in
    which Mr Kenyatta’s The National Alliance (TNA) won two seats against
    ODM’s one as an early indication the two-horse race was beginning to
    shape up

    By-elections to gauge aspirants’ popularity


    Friday, September 14

    Campaigns for next Monday’s by-elections in three
    constituencies and a number of wards across the country are set to end
    on a high tempo on Saturday with leading presidential aspirants hoping
    to use the results as a measure of their popularity ahead of 2013.

    The major political parties identified with Prime
    Minister Raila Odinga, Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka, Deputy Prime
    Ministers Uhuru Kenyatta and Musalia Mudavadi and Eldoret North MP
    William Ruto have each fielded candidates in the parliamentary
    by-elections in Ndhiwa, Kajiado North and Kangema.

    1. @Peter Konza: Obviously you are trying to tell us that however doesnt support our village boy hates him. That can never be true. But you know when you are arrested by tribalism, you hardly have any words to defend your position. Having said that, you better realize that however attempts to go it alone in the next election, WILL be committing political suicide. Before I even venture on other issues, can you tell us what can be associated with brother Uhuru at national level?

      I find if funny that you dont seem to remember that everytime Uhuru presented budget, seemingly enormous “errors” appeared only a few hours later. Were they really deliberate mistakes or genuine errors? And would hundreds of millions or billions for that matter, be classified as mistakes? And all that happened in no less than two instances! Perhaps, you need to tell us what are scandals anyway, if those faked mistakes were not. Am surprised we seem to be in agreement about his performance at local government ministry but not this one.

      Brother Uhuru is certainly having bloated self-importance thats not supported by ideas and known achievements. His bloated attitude has even made it impossible for G7 to come together. Actions speak louder than words pal! With recent wins in village by-elections, be sure the fellow WILL purport to have support across the country now. However, forces aligned against us cant allow him to get anywhere at all. Either he has to stick with others or he goes to waste. He has shown through words and deeds that he has no time for those who dont have tribal numbers. Actually his seemingly one day fun party, TNA, is on record on that one!

      Uhuru has actually never made election deals with anybody since he joined politics. The only person he ever supported was president Kibaki in 2007 and the reasons for that are too obvious! He is therefore not a team player at all. You should tell us any grouping that he ever fitted in. Remember when he went to Lukenya with other guys, he quickly returned alone in Nairobi. Infact, it would be very valid to say that he was the one, through his actions, who helped merchants of deceit craft 41 against us! May be when he joins other leaders on table of brotherhood, he expects to be treated like a crown prince when we dont have kingdoms here!

      1. Why deals, to hoodwink the innocent kenyan electorate? I think Uhuru believes in working for the people, with the people, and by the people. Raila has shown his true dictatorial colours by his capacity to create enemies without regret, and using KANU old tricks of chasing those who hold different opinion, it cannot work now during the multiparty era. How do you work for the public as the leader deputized by your wife? With that kind of winning methodology you would need alliances. If fitting in a group is hopping from ford to ford kenya, to ndp, to kanu, to Ldp to narc, to odm,to………,to………, until Jesus comes back, i would urge uhuru to cement his crown prince status for ever. The principled Uhuru did not vie for presidency in 2007 when he knew he could not make it alone, instead he supported the winning team as a wise leader. Raila admitted in Mombasa that most of the pre-election promises by the leaders have not been fulfilled due to coalition handle where decision implementation takes long to be executed.
        Why advocate the same failing mechanism if one really cares for Kenya and it people?

  6. Mr. Kuria and Mr. Gachoka must be on each other’s necks to impress the king!?
    What sometimes astounds me is the blind loyalty typical of the North Koreans to their ‘dear’ leaders. In our context or just any other context, there appear to be a blurred distinction between extremism, centrism and liberalism. At times is like listening to the late Jewish extremist Kahane or Iranian president Ahmedinajad, Chavez, KKK, BNP, Talibans, Rev. Jimmy Jones,Osama Bin Laden, American Evangelists, the Tea Party, Salafis or the Nazis! What feeds all these extremists is twisted truth which is fed to the masses as existentialist threat to a group of people or ideology and where no rational discourse about the issue or thought is exercised or allowed by the individual or ‘merchants’ of truth – ‘The Gospel truth’ sheer nationalism at a primordial level? The Challenge that is there with humanity is to draw them to the middle, a position where you have room to articulate thought, idea, belief etc. May be by achieving that such people like M/S. Kuria. Gachoka, Miguna Miguna, Muthahi Ngunyi, Mutuma mathiu, Kwenda wa Kwayera, Dr. Mutua, and the other lot above et al and the politician, may be irrelevant and hence loose a source of living and so existence?

    1. @kamolo nicholas: While I have no time for likes of Hon. Waititu, seemingly something is being clouded to sacrifice the guy. Certain watchmen had caused death in his constituency. He only used bad language in propagating the interests of his constituents. His situation is even worsened by the fact most Masai Mps came very hard on him. And not only that, DPP and security minister ordered for his “arrest” not for investigations! Are we missing something here?

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