By Arkan Uddin
On January 30th 2018, we witnessed the truth of Bob Marley’s chant of April 17th 1980 at the birth of the country he named his now famous song after, Zimbabwe. He promised we would “…know the true revolutionaries”, and on January 30th 2018, we did.
We honour the Luo Nation. It has reminded us who we are – the way of men. That all a man is, is his word. No man, now nor in the future, will invoke your name in vain. The Luo Nation stood true to its pledge. The soldiers torched their ships, not even the Kerr could retreat.
The men of January 30
January 30th 2018 was a day of revelation, a day of many truths. It revealed NASA to be an illusion. It revealed the hunger for real revolutionary leadership amongst the youth. It revealed that the youth, the men especially, are politically activated. Most importantly, the day revealed the metal element in the bones of the Luo Nation. Like Nabii Ismail (as) to his father Nabii Ibrahim (as) the youth of the Luo Nation bravely, without blame or moroseness, submitted themselves to certain death by the hand of their father. They answered the call.
Sadly, their father intended to sacrifice them on the altar of Kratos, the demon of the might and power of sovereign rule, not their Creator. But fortunately for the Luo Nation the Creator has ultimate authority over all of man’s affairs; it was not to be a day of blood.
Nevertheless, for this act of submission to a purpose and cause higher than themselves, we must pay homage to the Luo Nation, the Men of January 30.
In this age of godlessness, where all have succumbed to the seduction of Western hedonism and instant gratification, the Luo Nation is a jewel, for its warrior remains alive.
Only two nations on the Somalian tectonic plate are capable of lifting the yoke of imperialism upon the necks of the tribes: the Somali and the Luo Nation. The Somali have joined the Kikuyu in the Church of Mammon, becoming the hand of the Imperialist oppressor. Hope now rests with the Luo Nation. We must wake the Luo Nation up to its true potential and the urgency of this overarching undertaking by asking the question, is Raila Amolo Odinga a true revolutionary anymore?
For, in Bob Marley’s words, we must not allow “our people to be tricked, by mercenaries.”
Raila Amolo Odinga can neither govern nor rule, nor is he interested in governing or ruling. He is interested in the trappings of power. This is what is important to understand. He will neither govern nor rule, not because his personal duplicity, which is now well documented in “Peeling back the Mask” by Miguna, and not because of any of his personal flaws. He revealed his complete innocence in ruling and governance when, as Prime Minister, in a moment that is unforgettable, he cried out to the masses about the state of his outhouse, betraying that even a simple administrative matter for his protocol office was beyond him. A ruler is judged for who he is in office and not who he is in private.
While Raila’s “anti-Kikuyu hegemony” – the forty one against one rhetoric – has borne fruit in consolidating his base, it will be insufficient going forward. Given the appetite for revolution the Luo Nation has shown, they can lead us all against the Imperial master and not his “House Negro”. The comprador ruling elite of Kikuyu ethnicity are only the face of the oppressive imperialist system, not the system itself.
Of interest to us here is now that the men of January 30 showed themselves worthy of the ultimate prize, is Raila the man to lead them to glory, and the rest of us to liberation?
What would Raila Amolo Odinga need to take the Centre?
We are beyond Elections or any Constitutional means to ascend to power for Raila. The man has lost his religion. He has apostatised Democracy and Constitutionalism.
He also has no message beyond “Kikuyus are the problem” (packaged as “electoral autocracy”), and “I want my turn” (packaged as “electoral justice”). In other words, he has no “idea”. Democracy’s true nature has been revealed and can no longer be used capture all the tribes’ imaginations. Democracy is now known to simply be a method for the strong to legitimise their power over the weak. “Democracy” is now understood to be whatever the elites decide it is, whenever they decide.
Given Raila has abandoned the illusion of rechtsstaat, he is now only left with realpolitik, begging the question, what combination of entities and institutions does he need to dislodge the centre? In less subtle terms, what does Raila need to orchestrate a “coup”?
Raila promised his supporters an “Emmerson Mnangagwa” style of coup. But he, as articulated above, will never win the prize of president by any means as we will show. Not for lack of support, neither for lack of opportunity nor for lack of fortune but for his lack of awareness. As anyone can probably tell, the time to orchestrate an “Emmerson Mnangagwa” was when he was Prime Minister under the weakest President to ever govern in the region. It was then that he was supposed to build alliances, consolidate power, seize institutions and endear himself to tribal elites. Instead he betrayed his generals and alienated the government he led. An “Emmerson Mnangagwa” coup requires supreme patience, building of confidence and trust through painstakingly slow diplomacy that can only happen in the shadows.
We began by stating without qualification, Raila will only ever be Tribal Chief, never Chief of the Tribes or, if you prefer, “President”.
Now we qualify.
Absolutely simplified, there are three important levels of play: the international state space, the nation-state level – which for “Kenya” is more correctly client pseudo-state – and the state institution space.
In the international state space, a client-state putchist requires a suzerain sponsor primarily for political cover and funding. Raila has been the United States Government “man on the spot”, making no secret of it – fund-raising in the US and meeting with US politicians multiples of time on multiple tours that were widely covered in the local press. Suzerain backing, though vital, is not sufficient as we will explain later. Suzerain backing equips the comprador for the “neighbourhood fight”; rarely does the suzerain fight for his comprador directly.
To win the neighbourhood fight, the comprador then needs to assemble a “winning tribal coalition” before capturing the vital instruments of power in the institution space. This is where we submit Raila’s Achilles Heel reveals itself; he is his own greatest enemy.
In 2008, the Rt. Honourable Raila, like “Macbeth” drunk with power, spite and fear of loss, betrayed his comrade at arms “Bacquo” – William Samoei Ruto by dispatching the political assassin, ICC Prosecutor Professor Moreno Ocampo to solve the “future” problem before it became a present problem for him. It was at this moment in the year 2008 that we submit Raila lost all future elections, because he over-estimated his own popularity in a territory that suffers a lower order of Otto von Bismark’s “3 out of 5” problem.
Europe, in the 19th Century, had five powers: Germany, Britain, France, Austria and Russia. German Chancellor and aristocrat Otto von Bismark understood “the importance of being a party of three on the European chessboard”. Raila, in 2008, played himself out of the two thirds, in to the one third. As in the Kenya territory’s current configuration, the tribes of power are consolidated into primarily three pillars; the Central bloc, Britain’s core pillar, the Rift Valley bloc, the king makers, and the Western bloc, America’s arrogating surrogate. Raila made possible what was thought impossible after the Kiambaa Church Massacre in the Rift Valley where dozens of Kikuyu women and children were burnt alive at the height of the 2007 post-election violence. He managed to create a marriage of convenience between the Central bloc and Rift Valley bloc as they worked together to rescue their brigand sons from perceived imperialism, giving rise to an unbeatable political coalition, which has successfully managed to keep him in the cold since. All Raila’s efforts to “divide and rule” the coalition have born no fruit and all indications are this will hold true into the future. Nothing but failure awaits him down this road.
Raila still has the United States Government’s suzerain support. He does not have the two out of three tribal coalition necessary to de-centre the territory like he did in the year 2007, but what opportunity exists in layer three – the institutions layer?
According to Adnan Khan’s recent treatise on coup d’etat, “Making Sense of Coups”, there are two coup strategies; “coup by election” and “coup by battle”. Given the social order of the Kenyan territory, it would require a “coup by election” – here implying a referendum among the elites on whether to support Raila or Uhuru Kenyatta, not universal suffrage.
In his bid to compel this “referendum amongst the elites”, Raila would need to first completely control public information. Second, he would need to make his de jure “people’s presidency” a de facto “executive presidency” by creating the illusion of its inevitability. Third, he would need to persuade or coerce Parliament into submission. The fourth, final and most vital prong of the entire initiative would be the co-option of the vital fraction of the National Security Council, without which all the other prongs will either be ineffectual or easy to roll back.
To control public information, unlike in the past when all putchists needed do was capture the state’s only public broadcast station, is another dire battlefront. In a complex information infrastructure ecosystem like Kenya has, the putchist would require the support of a combination of key business elites and total seizure of the behemoth Safaricom. This avenue is barely even worth exploring given that it was, on January 30th 2018, in a live security operation, proved to us all that it is now impossible for government to fully control information flow. A Government in power made a massive effort to censor and failed miserably. Raila cannot therefore achieve even fractional control of public information in a situation as fluid as a coup where a Government fully in power was unable to. And this failure by Jubilee to strangle communication for the public should not in any way be an indictment on its competence – the US government is unsuccessfully struggling with the same problem. The Internet is its Frankenstein monster.
The other three depend on the fourth. To create a strong illusion of his inevitability, compel submission of Parliament and prevent a military rout of his leadership by any of the security services requires him to successfully co-opt key members of the National Security Council, a fête that is impossible given his reputation for political betrayal and the infamy of his personal duplicity. Whichever way a rational, expedient politician or administrator games it, there is no scenario in which a Raila “Presidency” would be worth the risk by any member of the National Security Council. Supporting Raila risks personal loss on the slim chance he wins, as William Samoei Ruto learnt, and guarantees it when he loses.
Now, the above only analyses Raila’s side of the chessboard. There is no discussion of what obstacles he would have to surmount against a counter-attacking centre, assuming he somehow managed to overcome his own limits.
How is the centre structured?
Uhuru, many fail to understand, is only genealogically Kikuyu. Uhuru’s sociological father is not Gikuyu; it is Imperial Britain. He is no more Kikuyu than Queen Elizabeth is English. Queen Elizabeth is actually German. She is Queen Elizabeth of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. They changed their house’s name to Windsor in 1917 to make it more palatable to the English public whose sons they’d send to war against the sons of the citizens of their German relatives, King George V’s first cousin German Kaiser Wilhelm II – just like Johnstone Kamau became Jomo Kenyatta to enter the class that has no tribe and no colour, only interests, imperial interests.
Uhuru is also only in terms of legal process an elected leader; he is, in reality, an enthroned prince. He has on many occasions, true to his characteristic sincerity, confessed this to the public, but been largely misunderstood. He has said roughly something to the effect “electing me or not electing me to office will have no significant impact on my life…”
This is actually correct. Uhuru’s power does not come from the number of votes he gets in an election, only his legitimacy to govern. His power comes from his hectarage. He is part of the land aristocracy the British created in all their colonies to protect their empire. Land is a source of power. Because Capitalism is materialistic, its criterion is property (capital), as such the amount of land one owns is directly proportional to the power they wield within the territory and population. Any elected or appointed official in power is there to serve the major land owners. Remember, Philip Murgor, as Director of Public Prosecutions, flew to Nakuru to enter a nolle prosequi for the human game-hunting coloniser now late serial killer Tom Chomondeley. Beth Mugo, Uhuru’s cousin once said cryptically, “the title-deed is sacrosanct”, indicating it is more than just property, it is a religious artefact, and it is their sceptre of power.
Uhuru does not need to be “elected president” to exercise “presidential” scale power for his personal benefit. Thus his statement, “electing me is of consequence to you, not me”.
And it is this characteristic that RAILA has to contend with in any assault against the centre. Raila’s only hope is to rip the map of KENYA-tta. With the substantive nature of Uhuru established, we can now assess what it means to Raila’s extra-constitutional ambition to seize power.
We have established Raila is backed by a powerful suzerain, lacks the necessary tribal coalition but can, under exceptional circumstances, which we are completely unable to artificially construct even for gaming purposes, ally key members of the National Security Council.
First, though RAILA’s suzerain America may have successfully infiltrated the security services under cover of its War on Terror (joint war game simulations, training arrangements, supply of communications gear), this is far from sufficient to guarantee control of the entire command structure. America’s ability to activate security groups may not transcend the specialised Anti-Terror units and Special Forces groups.
American capture of the military is also far from sufficient to alter the political landscape without significant support from the tribal elites that we have established Raila does not have. Therefore, even with the highly improbable seizure of the city by a highly ambitious colonel with a highly motivated, inordinately committed special operations battalion or two, just like in the case of 2012 Malian coup, it would most probably be eventually rolled back.
It is also of extremely significant consequence that through the ongoing occupation of Somalia by KDF, Uhuru is a ”wartime” President. The state of wartime powers activated for the President cannot be ascertained at the time of writing this, but the political ramifications are to consolidate Uhuru’s chain of command to the disadvantage of any other interloper. If Raila supports the occupation, he reinforces Uhuru; if he opposes the occupation, he falls out with his suzerain, whose occupation it really is. On this key issue – the Somalia occupation, which is the only one of sufficient significance in use as a political lever to widen a crack between the incumbent and his military commanders, Raila is damned if he does, and damned if he doesn’t, making his capture of the military nearly impossible.
Now again, it must be stated, “politics is the art of the possible”. Dismissing Raila outright while he is backed by the imperialist architects of Operations AJAX, Mongoose, Charlie Wilson’s war, DBACHILLES and every other of hundreds of coup around the world, would be unwise.
To this end, we introduce a supranational line of defence present within the territory and that has been activated in the past. In 1965, the British Army intervened locally in an Operation called Binnacle. As it so happens it was by Uhuru’s father Jomo Kenyatta against Raila’s father Oginga Odinga. Though the British MoD website states they number only about a hundred permanent staff, it is difficult to confirm or ascertain the real configuration of British troops in the territory. This is a layer Raila would have to contend with in direct engagement but that exists at an operational level completely beyond his reach, yet has the ability to change the reality on the ground.
What are we saying?
That in addition to everything else going for him, Uhuru Kenyatta is one of the few presidents on the continent who can potentially survive a mutiny by his own armed forces.
Short of direct American invasion and installation of Raila in office, Tinga is incapable of the coordination necessary to capture the territory.
Holding all pre-existing factors constant, the centre is solid.
Which way forward for the revolutionary spirit of Anyuola?
January 30 was to be the day of earthquake. The centre avoided a massive crisis by a hair’s breadth. January 30 was the day the long promised Raila political tsunami should have hit the bank and re-ordered the entire political landscape. On January 30, for the real revolutionary, it was the day for a Raila speech that would echo across the continent and the world. January 30 was the day to march on Statehouse…
…But true to his word, he was every inch the virgin he promised to be. He submitted meekly to the demands of the roaring Luo Nation, begging it to be gentle and patient now that he had kept his promise.
To quote Kwendo Opanga in the Sunday Nation of February 11th 2018, it is time for “new leaders and ideas”. ^