Monday, 14 April 2014

An Examination of the Facts For or Against Religious Victimization in Kenya


Summary:
Fact 1: the nation is at war with terrorism only GoK protects Islamic faith as a constitutional guarantee. The official fight back is not to Islam, it is to the unlawful use of force to meet terrorist goals.
Fact 2: many Muslim and or Somali security agents are involved in the war against terror. They have not come out to complain or protest victimization of their families and friends.
Fact 3: al shabaab is affiliated to al qaeda both have stated goals of spreading extremist Islamic faith and over throw national constitutions through introducing Sharia law by use of force or threat of use of force.
Fact 4: in a war if you fly the flag of your enemy you are the enemy even if that emblem has a holy message. In the USA kuklax clan used the sign of the cross but it didn’t make them Christian. The flag is a symbol used to indicate control of territory even if it is a mosque in Mombasa.
 Fact 5: al shabaab was born in Somalia and disguises it’s agenda in Muslim faith. Thus the police will naturally concentrate their vetting in these communities to weed out the evil and leave the genuine.
Fact 6: Muslims and Somalis are not the only ones to be vetted as a community. During the mungiki clean up of the last decade, government vetting concentrated on kikuyu youth as a result we now enjoy freedom from a generally mafia like criminal system.
Fact 7: terrorists wear civilian clothing as uniform and the battle front is the streets you live on. For the police to find the attackers and the houses with hidden weapons and explosives have to vet people in suspected areas and searched all residents private or otherwise.
Fact 8: we the public demand much more from GoK in delivery of smart security that minds violation of personal rights and deals with strategically negative propaganda whether done intentionally or out of exasperation from current poorly perceived GOK security strategy.
Main discourse:
To my Kenyan, Muslim brothers and sisters and to all other persons of goodwill around the world, I’d like to undertake here a short examine of the facts about the police swoops going on around the country aka operation Usalama Watch. A lot of protest has been made about the way it has been conducted and that understandably from friends, kin and concerned people alike. I am glad we have a free nation here, where we are all able to air our opinions without fear of reprisal, those comments help keep the recipients in check, whether the accusations are true or false, a matter I hope we can come closer to determining by the last word of this discourse.
Let us establish the first fact, Kenya is not at war with Islam as a religion, its continued practice is guaranteed along other religions in our constitution. This also has been reiterated by President Uhuru recently. The raid in one mosque in Mombasa which we will examine later does not constitute war on religion either, arguing that touching one is an aggression to all, is risking comparison to the proverbial blind mourner who in true African compassion was served with the choice piece of meat at a funeral in western Kenya but went on to contend angrily saying, “if he, a blind man, has gotten such a nice portion, how much better pieces have the seeing mourners been given!” As one Masjid Musa Mosque (then) was raided let us see how many more mosques are being built, supported and protected without issues. So is the GoK evil given its continued issuance of title deeds to Muslim institutions? I would say rather it is doing very good.
The first thing I should have said is that I believe over 90% of all Muslims are indeed piece loving, god fearing persons who abhor any sort of violence against any other human being. In fact as we talk many Muslim and or Somali security officers are engaged actively in the war against terror some of whom I have had the good fortune to meet, love and work alongside including be trained by. As a consequence it will be difficult to convince me that these Muslim and or Somali colleagues are consciously, unfairly victimizing their own brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers and children. If it was you in their position would you? (I’ll answer for you No), so why think they would? I certainly would not! Fact: I have not heard any Muslim and or Somali security professionals involved in the command or execution of Usalama watch & other anti terror operations in Kenya, come out to protest or defend their people from unfair government agency harassment. Question to you currently serving officers, would you sell your own people for a morsel of bread or are you being intimidated? What I’d give to hear from an especially senior officer involved in the operation.
In a war if you wear the uniform of your enemy or fly his flag guess what’s going to happen! You don’t need a calculator to figure it out. This surely is a fact, don’t matter if the flag is in a base in Somalia or on a Mosque in Mombasa, GoK should have sent in the army instead of police to take back Kenyan territory. Someone may be asking what war are we talking of? Well terrorism is categorized as a tactic of warfare and Kenya’s president Kibaki declared war on its perpetrators in 2011 since then up to and including KDFs arrival in Mogadishu al-shabaab has never surrendered or called for a cease fire implying we are still at war. The shabaab group is affiliated with al qaeda both groups have their stated goal of spreading their extremist beliefs and rule and governance through Sharia law to our region and throughout the world. Now, no reasonable person would have a problem with that unless as it has become abundantly apparent these groups intend to do the spreading through the sword or by threat of the sword. The way I see it the Quran has just like the bible, been interpreted in various differing ways some extreme others moderate. I personally don’t support the spread of Christianity through coercion just as I don’t expect any proper Muslim would support the spread of Islam (connotes peace) through intimidation. Fact: if that were to happen I would resist it strongly and with all severity. Note I would be resisting being forced. As Dedan Kimathi said, “it is better to die on your feet than live on your knees”. The terrorist have argued they are doing exactly that but question begs who was the original aggressor was al shabaab not the one raiding and taking hostage people in Kenya? When a cleric speaking in public calls over 250 Kenyans, collateral damage, when al qaeda attacked the US embassy in Nairobi in 1998 I would call it extremism if he did it sitting in a mosque I would call it extreme Islam. That’s where I believe part of the problem is, because if it was IRA in the 80’s some Christians might have felt like Christianity is under siege from non Christian forces. I see where Muslims and or Somali’s in 2014 may be feeling like they are being victimized in security clamp downs in Nairobi and Mombasa, yet it isn’t so, rather it is this killing, murdering form of religious extremism of whatever orientation Christian or Muslim that thinks to walk into Westgate mall guns blazing, picking off peaceful civilians like insects. The kind that would ask you to receipt a prayer to prove you were of the same faith, failure to which could only earn you an immediate dispatch to the next world via their bullets as postage stamps.  Fact: if we do not see too many pastors, churches or seeming Christians being targeted it isn’t because the police are biased rather the police are focusing on Somalis because al shabaab is originally from Somalia and is largely led from there by people from there (Admittedly not exclusively). To add to this Kenya has been home to many refugees legal and otherwise, unfortunately suspected of harboring among them some terrorist elements from their homeland. Unfortunately Kenyan Somali’s and Somalian’s are just one people who were politically separated by colonial powers in the rush for Africa decades ago.  The challenge of ones in ethnicity or religion coupled with disgruntled thinking from years of official marginalization in Kenya, similar to the suffering from years of no government in Somalia, I postulate has affiliated some of our Kenyan youth to al shabaab’s cause and activities.  Those who were kidnapped were not taken to Ethiopia or to Dar es Salam but to Somalia the challenges thus being the terrorist will not stand up and ID themselves as such so the government has to as it were ‘sieve’ through many suspected Somali’s and or Muslims in order to ID the few extremists with terrorist intentions of bringing down a 20 floor building (as was intended by the recently capture Mombasa VBEID – pipe bomb) in order to convince us to change our faith & constitution. Remember a few years ago when mungiki criminal gang threatened to take over business in Nairobi mafia style. The Kikuyu community where most mungiki hailed saw elimination of many youth in confrontation with police. But was the government out to finish the Kikuyus, haa! Seems preposterous the president himself was Kikuyu, nonetheless weren’t we saved from a society enslaved by a form of African mafia-    ism. Fact: In terrorism the uniform is civilian clad the war front is the streets you live on, how else would the police know who is the terrorist and in which house weapons and explosives are hidden unless they vetted people in suspected areas and searched all residents private or otherwise. Why is the focus in Eastligh and Mombasa because the apparent modus operandi of the attackers is to attack seemingly from nowhere because they are so well blended in appearance with residents in those places and because they probably to have to transport their lethal arsenal across town. That’s why immediately after the attack they fade away into nearby hiding places, no trace, no arrest made. If these criminals came from other places say Machakos their logisticians would probably calculate the risk to be too high to travel all the way to another town or estate to deliver death to a singly inconsequential location (no slight intended) like a small restaurant in down town Nairobi. The still unchallenged media pronouncement from Senator of Nairobi Mike Mbuvi aka Sonko, that he passed information on a suspected terrorist cell in the parklands area to NIS a month or so before the Westgate attack confirms an interesting fact of the al shabaab attack trend. The Westgate attackers chose to locate their launching base within a short distance of their target as is the case in Garrisa, Eastligh and Likoni. Finally just by looking at where the attacks are concentrated we can infer at least one more hypothesis, that the groups resources including competent soldiers, weapons and cash is not unlimited in addition they must be very concerned with being detected and arrested otherwise they would be striking at will in the numerous soft targets in different towns of the country. It being a war as I started by saying, one would expect that kind of attacking strategy otherwise to demoralize us would have to take much more. I will write more on this but for now suffice it to say attacks in Eastligh, Mombasa and north eastern regions of the country serve to destroy business and livelihoods of the majority populations in those areas which would be Muslims and Somalis. If I were part of those communities I would be celebrating that GoK has come to our aid even if like during the matatu revolution we are a bit inconvenienced by walking to work.

The National Intelligence Service did well in their contribution to finding the VBIED in Mombasa and the arrest of a doctor suspected of aiding the terror group at pipeline estate recently. That having been said I feel the nation is demanding more from NIS including operations to arrest corrupt immigration, customs and police officers facilitating terror operations through corruption, more intelligence led targeting in and out of the country such that it doesn’t seem like we are fighting on one front. GoK MUST develop an aggressive well coordinated public relations program on social media, the web and TV among others. Terrorism being a battle of the minds much more than it is, a physically destructive tactic unlike the carpet bombings of 2nd world war in Europe, GoK must URGENTLY construct a counter propaganda unit in their security strategy which would so far be dealing with issues like discourse on the above. Just listening to public comments on TV you feel how the negative sentiment from some sectors is contributing and playing right into the hands of master terror planners and at the same time further alienating law abiding Muslims and Somalis who in the first place have suffered a raw deal from previous administrations in their majority areas like the coast and northern Kenya. Some concerns like involving community leaders in security operations can be easily dealt with if general briefings immediately after swoops and planned visits to detention centers later among other initiatives are properly strategically organized This task is technically much wider than what we see as a task left for security chiefs and politians to undertake. 

Monday, 28 October 2013

Factoring in the Expense of Good Security

Every time I watch the news or read the paper I can’t but notice the growing need for professional safety and security services with each new day. Here in our region of the continent the prevailing political, military and socio economic issues have created opportunity for life threatening hostility into the core of daily concerns. Good security like a good wine will cost you in its acquisition. Generally speaking for the adequate deterrence and or containment of dangerous situations, both public and private sector institutions will require state of the art security systems in order to properly mitigate the threats they face.  That having been said it is important to note that security services and products as others in different sector vary in cost and quality. The most appropriate set is always dependant on what is being protected and from what threat it is being protected from. The threat of cell phone tampering by a 3 year old only requires the application of a pin code, not so for a Westgate mall kind of terror attack. This provision of a complete and cost effective solution is often over looked where decision makers fail to ask themselves the right questions or where security falls victim to budgetary constraints. Only when the unexpected security breech occurs do people begin counting the cost. Safety like security is often one to suffer the same fate as was recently the case at the JKIA airport fire incident. In order to avoid some of these common pitfalls the following captioned guidelines will serve to help in decision making:
Mission & Money
·         Always keep in mind Security supports the company’s mission, not the other way around;
·         Because of the likely high expenses for good security, protect the most critical assets, those that if compromised, are likely to have the most serious consequences for your organization;
·         At all times relate security objectives to how they improve the business position of the company
·         “Security is always too much, until it is not enough” don’t rely on a crisis to gain resources to deliver on expectations.
Risk Management vs. Risk Avoidance
Since there is never a 100% security situation, all credit to the ingenuity of the human mind. The security manager must have strategy and design in the measures he chooses to implement in order to protect what must be protected while managing the rest. Part of that strategy will include your security design criteria (those specific reasons as to why a certain security system was installed in place of another, and/or why security devices such as cameras and access control readers were placed at certain locations and not at other points within a facility). This way whatever funds are available can be used to maximum protective effect.
Return on Security Investment (ROSI)
·         Having selected a strategy based on the overall corporate mission and risk posed to it the security manager can then employ ROSI to further determine the plans viability. ROSI is a performance measure used to evaluate the efficiency of a security investment or to compare the efficiency of a number of different investments. Executive decision-makers don't really care whether firewalls or rocket propelled canines protect their company's assets. Rather, they want to know the impact security is having on the bottom line. In order to know how much they should spend on security, their interest and what they need to know is as below:
ü   How much is the lack of security costing the business?
ü  What impact is lack of security having on productivity?
ü  What impact would a catastrophic security breach have?
ü  What are the most cost-effective solutions?
ü  What impact will the solutions have on productivity?
·         Before spending money on a product or service, decision makers want to know that the investment is financially justified. A simple formula for calculating the security return on investment (ROSI) is as follows:

 (Risk Exposure x % Risk Mitigated) - Solution Cost = ROSI
                                                                          Solution Cost

An imaginary example to how this equation works can be gotten by looking at the ROSI profile for acquisition of an explosive detector. Top Mall situated in a Nairobi suburb 4 IED incidents a year. The management estimates that the average cost in damages and lost sales due to a single bomb incident is KES 25,000. The mall expects to stop at least 3 of the 4 attempts every year by acquiring and using a KES 25,000 explosive vapor detector.

Risk Exposure: KES 25,000, 4x every year totaling to KES 100,000
Solution Cost: KES 25,000
Proportion of Risk Mitigated: 75%
ROSI = (KES 100,000 x 75%) – KES 25,000 = 50%
                    KES 25,000

Do Your Homework
Research thoroughly, identify the right threat level: It is important for an organization to understand who one should be protecting themselves from. There is a significant difference, both financially and manpower-wise between protecting facilities from state sponsored terrorists as opposed to dealing with theft, or a disgruntled employee intent on making a statement against their employers. Your suppliers can also be the source of great expense and probably further unwillingness to provision security. Undertaking proper due diligence on them will help you avoid costly surprises later when you realize the supplier doesn’t match up to his written profile.
The absence of an adequate legal contract document is also an expensive pit fall. The contract should include a monitoring and evaluation close with clearly stipulated performance measures and /or after sales services like maintenance work, for the proposed supplier. There should be an escape route commonly termed as an exit close to protect you in the event you desire a quick termination of the arrangement. Finally all charges for the initial service/ product any other incidental cost and any future increments must also be inserted before the signing and later provision of the agreed work.
Budget Your Security
In view of all the above now prepare a budget, defend it and later manage the cost of security. In addition make a successful case for investing in your chosen security strategy by including some non-traditional areas of argument to those that we as security managers regularly revolve around. Explore the issue of customer confidence to the provision of reliable and well protected services and or products. With the help of the marketing department an argument you could use is that the improved security system will be communicated to customers as further reason for them to have the utmost confidence in your organization. Loss of public confidence with any organization can have very serious consequences, and is a major terrorist goal in itself. Another relatively new area is the issue of counter liability. In the event of a security incident there may be law suits following alleged gross negligence charges. The inability of an organization to demonstrate that they had taken the right measures using qualified personnel is likely to be seen as an immediate example of the failing of the organization. Common high cost of security dockets include continuous staff training programs, equipment purchase especially the IT based type which becomes redundant almost on an annual basis due to the rapid pace of innovation and development of newer improved versions, salaries and benefits mostly where the security is increasingly manpower based, specialized consultancy services in areas like ballistics, forensics, IT security among others and finally a major draw on the cost of security is the occurrence of a severe security incident. As is often witnessed, failing to prepare adequately is the most expensive docket of them all, one incident can easily crash a major company as happened in the December 1988 Lockerbie bombing of Pan-Am which was the largest airline worldwide at the time or the distraction of the Twin Towers in the US in September 2001 completely removing the building from existence. Expensive contemporary episodes may also include targeted cyber attacks and or a major loss of corporate reputation.
Avenues as those discussed in this last chapter can be calculated using the ROSI formula, coupling that with the other guidelines will greatly add to a security managers’ defense of the proposed expenditure.




Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Are Police Service Reforms On the Right Track



My concern with current police operations is that the national police service seems to input more on managing its image than any actual efforts to deal with the now too frequent criminal incidents sprouting all around the country. It has become common place to see the top brass rushing to scenes of occurrences or transfer of fail senior officers and meetings with political leaders to chart operational strategy. On the other hand we the public almost never get comprehensive statements giving direction and proper explanation as to how or why certain disturbing major events happened.  Some cases that come quickly to memory are like the suspicious killings of several officers linked to the largest drug find in the country or the Baragoi massacre of over 40 police officers not even the recent wide spread attacks of villagers in western Kenya.  If any official statement comes, like in the Tana River massacres case there is no accompanying arrest of those suspected to bare overall responsibility. Today in the news the police oversight authority is said to be complaining that the Inspector General is frustrating the internal reforms process by threating, interview candidates for the county police commanders job (Assistant Inspector General). This is the same authority responsible for recruiting the Inspector Gen.
So where does this live the envisioned police reforms? As I have said in earlier posts I don’t think the role of top cop should necessarily have been given to persons with technical police background. For the record I have nothing against the current police boss. But to take a step further I think, out of the three top brass positions in the national police service two of them should have gone to non-cops preferably to a CEO with a strategic outlook, strong leadership qualities, a success record in corporate turn rounds, an individual who is not afraid to bit the bullet. One deputy on the other hand should have had a proven performance record in culture change, governance and big project management, among others. But as it is, the drafters of the constitution and parliament, to some extent set up the service for failure on the reforms front at least. Chapter 14 on National Security requires there to be a Kenya Police Service and an Administration Police Service. Then the National Police Service Act 2011 followed through to determine that each of the two units constituting the police service will be headed by a Deputy Inspector General. This therefore limited the hiring authority to only employing bosses for the two units and not necessarily a team positioned and qualified to steer reform with effective efficient corporate style management practice. In other words imagine if at the top we had a deputy In-charge of Operations while the other was responsible for something like Administration and Resource Development with a quality control element directly under the Inspector General himself. As a result what we are seeing is the old police force and administrative police unit now working together to some extent, though understandably not entirely. By no means can this be called reforms. I dare say not the type that ‘wana inchi’ envisaged.

There is now no use in crying over spilt milk. So I suggest to the police service commission, that they contract an internationally reputable partner like Harvard School of Business, Price Water House Coopers, Deloitte and Touche, Mckinsey & Company among others with successful record in steering organizational reforms as envisioned for the police by the people of Kenya. If it means contracting two firms one with good police management history and the other with corporate and government turn round background, to partner with the government, even then go ahead and spend the cash in order to realize better results than we are set to reap for the foreseeable future.

 

There have been statements about equipping police officers better; while this is truly required the reform step that would bring about most impactful change to the service would be the transformation from its current deplorable organizational culture. For a section of officers at all ranks this may not be achievable having been grounded in employment long malpractice and corrupt ways, to the extent that some support their lifestyles with it. Cases at hand are like some officers who own matatus, bars or other businesses that benefit from their owners police protection to continue in business. For them the axe should fall mercilessly. Some of the other actions the reform team may need to take will include a punitive hard approach in order to convert the thinking of some of the other officers. This system should be immediately implemented, independently of the operational commanders to avoid conflicts or victimization. In turn this will ensure some officers are saved, as it were through the flames to benefit together with the rest who are willing to change to a new accountable way of working and delivering results. The entire compliment of serving officers should be retrained in much needed modern policing skills to include lessons learnt and innovative ways to handle particular scenarios from the local Kenyan scenario. They also will require corporate culture and professionalism training and support at the work place. A standardized organization wide system of monitoring delivery, rewarding good performance and punishing deviant behaviour must of necessity also be put in place. Support from the client base, the citizens, can be incorporated to this monitoring system so that officer and therefore the organization’s performance are also pegged to client satisfaction. A concurrent review and upgrade of the service standing orders should be implemented to provide clear step by step direction to every work behaviour required of an officer and at the same time laying down the individual’s responsibility for the expected outcomes. Finally these service orders should then be made easily accessible to all officers so that they acquaint themselves properly. This will ensure that there is no ambiguity or confusion when it comes to delivery of specific services.
Now that I have identified organizational culture above as the major factor required for performance improvement in the police service this next chapter attempts to answer some questions about culture change. For better clarity I have defined organizational culture in this article as similar to corporate culture even though that might not always be the case in other discussions. It is, "the specific collection of values and norms that are shared by people and units in an organization. It controls the way officers interact one to another and at the same time with other stakeholders outside the national police service. Values here mean beliefs about the appropriate kinds of behavior officers should exhibit in order to achieve the police organizations goals. On the other hand norms are guidelines to direct suitable kinds of behavior for officers in every work related situation. An improved culture is critical for the service because it inevitably boosts officer morale and loyalty towards their commanding officers. Every organization is known by its culture and the police service is no exception. Talk about corruption, ineptness, nepotism and lack of sensitivity to client needs, in this country you may be defining the police.  It is the culture of an organization which extracts the best or worst out of each staff member. For example in a culture where the management is strict about serving the public in the best manner at all times the employees, no matter the challenges will endeavour to put the customer first as is common place in the service or tourism industries. The good culture will breed habits in the officers which allow them to excel in the work environment. For example at Apple Inc. the computer and consumer electronics giant, Steve Jobs being a demanding perfectionist clearly defined what he wanted the company to be at every level. Apple’s focus and operations were clearly driven by Jobs' influence on the culture of quality and innovation. He drove people to see design in every aspect of the firm’s products. As a result, the company produced popular electronic gadgets that enhanced consumer life. Many in management don’t really recognize fully their own business culture. A major influence in why I believe the best suited people to steer reforms in the police service are not those who have a long service record within the same organization. Towards making the police one of the most successful government departments’, efforts to improve its culture will result in the eventual attraction of highly talented people, the kind that the service requires to fight modern crime. These high potential types want employers that offer the best opportunities for advancement, at the same time they require environments where they can show off their talents.
Finally a strong and positive culture will reform how all officers view their work. Instead of seeing it as stressful or boring they are likely to see it as a place for self-actualization and belonging. They will thus love coming to work and will even work harder when there. All the above are just some of the fruits we could reap if the Inspector General and the Police Service Commission could get down to thoughtful reflection and execution of strategy to improve the fishing net rather than chase after criminal fish already left the scene of crime.


Wednesday, 13 February 2013

3 LEVELS FOR FEARED COMING HOSTILITIES, GET SET



I am not much for putting into script any science fiction although this write up, may smack of it somewhat. Crisis scenarios or ‘CS’ as they may be called in safety & security circles are meant to deliver as close to real life a circumstance as can be done. It will normally not involve danger and the lack of control to factors of causation present in most emergency situations. Crisis scenario development is to some extend the product of a creative mind, yet for it to become useful to its users the CS has to be based on real life possibilities. Teams that are required to respond to such situations find this useful in training and preparing for just such an occurrence. My aim through this article will be to provoke the readers thinking a bit like in an election violence crisis scenario exercise. Hopefully this will happen in time to allow for your preparedness before the occurrence of an actual event where you may need it!
Professor Ian Mittroff of California University maid this revealing statement; “With good preparation, the probability of a crisis decreases by 50%”. My interpretation is; when the crisis starts it will be too late, like grasping at straws to halt a fall. To help us prepare we must remember there are three common characteristics of any crisis; (1) the emergence or escalation of a threat (2) the occurrence of the unexpected/ surprise (3) the short timings involved to make critical decisions. Without adequate preparation these three elements will quickly overrun a situation and turn it into a disaster. An example of this is the infamous 2008 Kiambaa church massacre where 31 people lost their lives while escaping attackers in the area. They went to seek refuge supposedly on holy ground but the security provision there if any at all was completely inadequate. Those responsible for their safety including the police had not envisioned such a scenario despite tribal clashes having erupted in the then rift valley province since the 90’s.
Today we are faced with a similarly close contested national election. The just completed party nominations have shown us that Kenyans and their political leaders heavily tainted with corrupt intentions still prefer demonstration, confrontation, mayhem and outright violence in place of orderly non violent redress through the courts. This is despite a reformed and credible judiciary unlike what existed in 2007/2008. The big question is how to avoid escalated crisis situations like in our example above, from happening to your loved ones or to your property during this probable volatile season?
To tackle this issue I look at what threats we could face through escalated violence from the electoral process. I advance 3 scenarios as possible avenues the violence could take. Beginning with the 2007/08 kind of backlash, then there is the August 1st 1982 military coup type situation and finally the worst kind being similar to the 1994, 100 days of wide spread genocide in Rwanda. In addition I volunteer some reason why I think electoral violence is a possibility in Kenya today. Remember surprise is better achieved here on the black and white than in true life. We will then examine all the aspects of preparation from how people react, emergency supplies, causes of action open for you to take and other related issues. As we pray for peaceful outcomes, wisdom dictates we prepare for the worst so I hope this article will help you reduce the number of critical maybe life saving decisions you may need to make correctly in a flash of a moment.
My blog article of 12/10/2012 titled; “Possible electoral or post electoral violence & how to escape it.” Lists some reasons why violence remains such a big possibility. As is commonly pointed out by many concerned people and organizations the occurrences of both public and individual family hostility since 2008 cannot be ignored. This affinity to violent means of resolution to competitive and dispute situations that Kenyans portray could have grave consequences for the country. Our government has only had an ornamental impact with their initiatives designed to lessen chances for a relapse to a 2007 chaos. Politicians expend time and energy engaged in baseless tribal posturing which is bound to breed an unhealthy rivalry among different peoples of Kenya. With the official unemployed mark being in the 40% region unofficially it could be over 50% meaning there is fertile ground for finding those who will support violent mechanization as they already have little or nothing to lose.  They may see one or the other leader as their only ticket to a better life or they may be available for hire to execute the dark wishes of bad losers. Past human rights abuses including injustices in relation to land also remain raw just under the surface and could become boiling points. Police reforms have also not been that extensive and significantly their equipping or numbers has not been increased. Although the military could be used to back up the police service we know nothing of any preparatory training and planning for the officers who may be expected to deal with civilians. Targeted information in the media concerning such plans alone could serve as a deterrent to would be offenders. Finally having talked to so many of my friends I find that almost all of them believe that many of the leaders we support have an allowance for some violence which they could put down as the price for their success. Further examining this position I find valid reason in our history right from independence where freedom fighters were quickly swept under the carpet and forgotten and in each presidential dispensation citizens in different areas have suffered violence, neglect even death at the hands of government officials, [even if not the official policy], right down to 2012 yet not much in terms of legal redress and or properly reorganized security measures can be spoken off, some of those suspected remain in office untouched in the least by the gross failures. So why not believe you could suffer as a pawn yet again?

Different Possible Scenarios:
A 2007 type clashes, this time many people already being fore warned through past experience may be better armed either with the guise of self protection or consciously intending to inflict maximum harm and damage to perceived offenders. These would include those who the aggressor can accuse of electoral malpractice and or commencing the violence in the first place. As we have seen in this year’s party nominations it may not be past loosing contenders to cause confusion possibly violence including against polling station officials and material. My calculations indicate this kind of violence this time can mostly be used to necessitate nullification and a rerun of the polls on a later date. This might be caused if the interference is sufficiently extensive especially at the vote tallying phase and before the winner is announced.
Back in 2007, within minutes of the Commission's declaration of Emilio Kibaki as victor, tribe-based rioting and violence broke out across the country and the government suspended live television coverage for a few days. ODM announced its intention to hold a ceremony at Uhuru park on the last day of the year, in which Raila Odinga would be pronounced the "people's president", but police said that this could incite violence and that Mr. Odinga could be arrested if the ceremony occurred. Homesteads were targeted along tribal lines by neighbors who had coexisted for years. The main route from Nairobi to the western parts of the country was closed in several places by marauding gangs and although police tried to reopen the road they seemed to be overwhelmed due to the number of instances compared to their limited numbers. We witnessed deployment of prisons officers and in a limited way the armed forces in order to back up the outnumbered police force.
By January 28, the death toll from the violence was at around 800 - 1100. Up to 600,000 people were displaced from their homes. The loss of property including 117,216 private properties and 491 government-owned properties among these were offices, vehicles, health centers and schools, personal goods, documents and businesses, farm produce and animals were not speared either. An unknown but significant number of women were raped including gang rape cases and many victims both male and female also suffered genital mutilation. Moneywise Kenya Revenue Authority lost 2billion in daily collections, tourism in 2008 lost 10.54 billion to election related violence, agriculture had an estimated asset loss of 300$ from the same. Many more losses were experienced from the first month of violence to the end of January 2008.
Some points to take home from this period; 1) Ethnic suspicions can turn long time neighbors to hostile attacker; 2) Violence escalates with each revenge missions being planned and executed as was alluded to in the Naivasha killings of the time where family members were also burnt alive after the Kiambaa church murders. 3) The number of police officers is limited because the service is planned to enforce law in a largely law abiding citizenry and not in the mayhem witnessed in 2008. Our new constitution has made it easier to deploy the armed forces to back up the police where need be now. But as in many other African cases they too being subject to the same pressures that cause the violence in the first place, could be swayed in favor of one side. We shall explore this type of circumstance in the other scenarios. 4) Our leaders never lose elections, they get rigged out, it was obvious then as it is today 5) Roads quickly become impassable other facilities closed down almost immediately. Woe unto those without supplies! 6) Communication broke down as a society heavily dependent on the mobile phone found itself suddenly without airtime for majority prepaid users and in many places no network. Live TV coverage was also suspended to reduce levels of agitation therefore one wasn’t sure what they saw could be sufficient to base an actionable escape plan on. 7) If not for quick intervention by friends of the country and the shock of what had already transpired hitting home, the violence would have probably carried us into a full blown civil war. This time round anyone one who would use violence as their means to an end will have calculated to go the full hog and not resolve to face a Hague based court or similar criminal tribunals.
Although tribal affiliations have since changed unforeseeably since 2008 the old suspicions have not been erased and in some aspects political rivalries between the tribal power blocks is as rife as ever. While some may say that Kikuyu’s and Kalenjin’s have now marvelously united in the Jubilee alliance and thus no violence is expected there. I believe that this fact where two communities highly antagonistic to each other. To the point of causing such loses as described above, just five years ago, now changed in their group (not all inclusive) psyche to partner for the illusion of coming out ahead in an election. Shows how easily the masses can be manipulated towards extremes of either side. Not particular to these two communities alone we are all just as malleable to the whims of perceived tribal kings. Despite their pronunciations to the contrary if a situation will be deemed to require a measure of roughing up our leaders by their history are not ones to back off from influencing the use of a strong arm.  
Our new constitution has made provision that a president elect can only be sworn in after minimum 14 days from the date of declaration as winner. This means anyone capitalizing from a 2007 type violence scenario would be very challenged to hurriedly declare himself president, just from the number of days and or the legal process set out in law for resolving any possible dispute including the  code of conduct signed by all candidates. Looking at some of the presidential candidates they seem to be in this thing as a do or die undertaking. The campaigns appear to have ceased to be about what might be best for the country and has become a very high stakes, multi faceted game involving many powerful personalities and relations. This, concerns me as it should you because if that be so and any of them due to the pressure to win the election were to subscribe to violent means, it will be geared not for simple rights agitation but it will be a course of action that guarantees its intended results. On the other hand the possibility of fresh international court charges against the perpetrators cannot be easily wished away which therefore brings me to my second scenario. History is notorious for repeating itself, a military coup like the August 1st 1982 attempted takeover of government by a section of the armed forces is thus another possibility. See a scenario where in the desperate strategizing of one or the other of the presidential candidates they hatch a plot worthy of court martial, to take over the rightful government by use of force. Off course it would take corporation from some military personnel who would be responsible for coordinating the plan among their colleagues. Precedence on the continent indicates junior officers could even be the ones heading the mutiny. In Kenya as recently as last year we witnessed the likes of Mwamnazi an ex-soldier of low rank now heading the military wing of the banned Mombasa Republican Council [MRC] which had plans for the cessation of the coastal regions from Kenya. In 1982, Hezekiah Ochuka, a Senior Private, the second lowest rank in Kenya’s military led the coup and ruled Kenya for about six hours before escaping to Tanzania.
In that instance a group of soldiers from the Kenya Air Force took over the then, Voice of Kenya radio station and announced that they had overthrown the government. The group tried to force some Air Force fighter pilots to bomb the State House at gunpoint. The pilots pretended to follow the orders on the ground but once airborne they ignored them and instead dropped the bombs over Mount Kenya's forests while unarmed so that they would not explode. The ring leaders were later arrested and charged in military court.
For purposes of record let me declare here I have great regard for the Kenya Defense Forces [KDF] and their leadership. They have to date performed excellently in peace time operations and in the fight against terror with deployments still on going to the African Union Force in Somalia. But as stated in my opening sentences we require scenarios to help us better plan our responses. I am fairly sure there are measures that any professional military, as our own will have in place to prevent the kinds of things discussed here. Nonetheless we must all be aware that the first failing of any good security system would include an over confidence in its robustness or an under estimation of your enemies capabilities in overcoming it. Thus it will be necessary to continue on this line of discourse for prudent actors, not the least of them being in the KDF.  Going back then to our scenario, see a ‘no-holds-barred candidate’ possibly conspiring with some KDF employees for some consideration either financial, status [huge promotion] or tribal hook ups among many other reasons that can be imagined for discontent with status quo. Some advantages such a misplaced candidate may see would be that first, no opposition supporters could succeed in physical confrontation with the military even other government agencies would not match up militarily to the KDF. The idea would probably be sold as a bloodless coup because of that. This in turn may seem attractive to the candidate because they would not have genocide charges hanging over their heads. Charges for offenses against humanity and genocide among other charges of similar magnitude can be brought against a sitting president in Kenya as per the new constitution. A bloodless scenario would therefore be more enticing than the first one to unscrupulous individuals furthermore they could use the same armed forces to suspend the constitution, arrest opponents, cancel unfavorable elections, sensor media and other freedoms. Promises from the military to hand over power back to civilian rule could be used to assuage foreign interests while ensuring the very candidate responsible for the mess in the first place gets power in the vacuum created after other contenders have been removed or intimidated. When the transfer happens the soldiers could be declared liberators and national heroes then rewarded with high office promotions including in charge presidential guard, head of intelligence services and other coveted positions. They would partake of plumb deals like those in recent oil finds, government supply tenders and others. The population being disillusioned, intimidated and no different from many other places in history would be relived for relative peace and stability assured in the return to civilian rule, even if that leadership is of a feared despot.  For any intending evil leader this is almost a fairytale ending but common experience espouses the atypical nature of miraculous circumstances. Said differently, this scenario will probably not play out as finely as imagined. Questions arise like, what happens if akin to 1984 only a section of the armed forces agrees to play along with the plan and a larger portion of the force decides to defend against those in revolt? The coup would probably not succeed. A graver situation would be if the coup participants were organized largely along tribal lines as most politics is in the country. The possible resisting force could easily then move from defense of country to defense of community, even if not by design the revolt would probably be seen as targeting an opposing community while the defending force would be perceived as protection along ethnic lines too.
Depending on the initial severity of attacks, especially if one side or community is perceived to have suffered heavy loss or damage against the other, then we could witness severe retaliation and or a breakdown of law and order even of society itself as we know it.
We plan and pray to win in battle but many times the proverbial fan sprays bad things all around. In the event tribal allegiance has the better of the armed forces then we easily risk a 1994, 100 days in Rwanda scenario. Picture a widespread civilian support and involvement in quelling the second scenario uprising. This probably being encouraged by the shocked but quickly trying to recover ‘other-side’ of a closely contested election. Also see some highly polarized sides each hauling accusation at each other and claiming victory. It can easily cease to become bloodless. A short recap of events in Rwanda affords a good comparison for where we find ourselves in Kenya today and where we could easily descend to. The details and account given here have largely been extracted from the Wikipedia post on the internet.
From the assassination of Juvénal Habyarimana and Cyprien Ntaryamira on April 6 through to mid-July the death toll is estimated to range from 500,000–1,000,000, or as much as 20% of the country's total population. It was the culmination of longstanding ethnic competition and tensions between the minority Tutsi, who had controlled power for centuries, and the majority Hutu peoples. Four years earlier the Rwandan Patriotic Front, a rebel group composed mostly of Tutsi refugees, invaded northern Rwanda in an attempt to defeat the Hutu-led government. They began a civil war, fought between the two sides. This exacerbated ethnic tensions in the country. In response, many Hutu gravitated toward the Hutu Power ideology which asserted that the Tutsi intended to enslave the Hutu and must be resisted at all costs. Continuing ethnic strife resulted in the rebels' displacing large numbers of Hutu in the north, plus periodic localized Hutu killings of Tutsi in the south. International pressure on the Hutu-led government resulted in a cease-fire in 1993. Upon the assassination of the 2 presidents, Hutu groups conducted mass killings of Tutsis and pro-peace Hutus, who were portrayed as "traitors" and "collaborators. The genocide was supported and coordinated by the national government as well as by civil officials and mass media. The military was also fully compromised but primary responsibility for the killings themselves rests with two Hutu militias that had been organized for this purpose by political parties: the Interahamwe ‘those who stand (fight, kill)’ together and Impuzamugambi, ‘those who have the same (or a single) goal’. Even then once the genocide was underway a great number of Hutu civilians took part in the murders. Family ties and relationships were manipulated by the Rwandan government as well as the Rwandan Armed Forces to create killing groups, or Interahamwe, throughout Kigali and more rural areas. Without these killing groups, the genocide would not have been nearly as effective and gruesome.  
In this account one can almost feel the tribal perceptions and strife, true or false, similar to what we witness regularly in this country. Not surprisingly the genocide is noted to have been coordinated by political parties with wide participation of supporting civilians. If this were to happen and if any violence is truly being planned even what is falsely known as controlled violence, I fear it could easily spiral into the end of our country as we know it. For those who may argue that Rwanda has only 2 ethnic communities and disputes or suspicions are more easily defined and precipitated into violence, what then will they say in the case of our other neighbor, Somalia which has a number of different clans and yet having chosen to go down the road of violent confrontation has now paid the price for decades? Consider our stubborn attachment to negative tribal sentiment and all the relate damage it does to our national fabric. In the end where will it lead us to?
Further details of what happened in Rwanda can be found on Wikipedia. For our purposes though we should now move to examining the preparation to overcome these kinds of dangerous scenarios.
An analysis of the crimes committed can tell you what to guard against this time round. Murder, rape, arson, theft including looting, blocking of public roads, ethnically based violence, possible use of excessive force by police all of them mostly within the first 21 days after the presidential results are announced. In addition this time round if attacks occur expect better armed assailants and defendants too,  they will also be wiser to the fight situations so if the police true to character are slow to react then there could be much more bloodshed in a much shorter period. In these kinds of situations people could be expected to react with shock and even panic depending on proximity to the actual attack. In turn the logical decision making process may be affected detrimentally to personal safety. For example an individual caught up at a surprise flare up in one part of town may chose to rush home to attempt to rescue his family therefore further exposing himself to harm yet his family could already have been evacuated to safer areas. Without proper plans expect confusion to hit hard especially if regular means of communication are also compromised. There is also a tendency for some individuals to be overwhelmed by these types of situations and thus denial, despair and inability to act effectively in response could be experienced. Although the security agencies are promising to mitigate any possible violence it may be your location is an unexpected zone or has marginally less volatility compared to other regions. This doesn’t mean there will be no deaths or damage there it just means there could be less experienced in that particular region. Obviously if you are the single family attacked it will not matter! Other reactions that are not normally discussed but worth our consideration include frustration with expected yet delayed or nonexistent responses or routine services. Anger is also commonly directed at perceived enemies or inadequate service providers especially when destructive results are witnessed.  Finally in the heat of action families or friends get easily separated or lost, it will be prudent to plot how you could reunite or trace each other again when possible. For young children name tags similar to those used in pediatric wards can be used, they should be water proof and possibly contain contact information like email or phone that could be used and can be a set of two placed separately on a hand and on a chain around the neck and even sewed onto clothing. In your preparing some things you may want to look at should include the contents of your emergency kit. The regular first aid box is sufficient for normal situations but in addition consider cases where your supplies may require additional bandages to treat extensive cuts or burns. Simple situations without treatment may also become aggravated so have some anti malaria, anti biotic and other drugs to deal with common family ailments including spare prescription medicines that you may be using. Check the expiry date of all the medicines to ensure it doesn’t elapse when you cannot replenish them also consider the number of people who you will need to take care of using it, a good measure is to plan for double your entire household where recourses allow. It may be a good idea for all members of your family to brush up on your first aid skills too. Clothing is another aspect to consider if packing for a quick exist. Mainly consider functional clothing and foot ware, stuff that’s both durable like jeans or kaki and other kinds that will work for cold nights or wet seasons. Small children and the elderly will require more protection from the elements while big bags may become too cumbersome to carry especially if on foot. Other essential supplies include sleeping bags utensils for outdoor use, some jerry cans to store water, a ground sheet and waterproof cover with which temporary refuge can be set, water purification tablets for at least a month, full car fuel tanks and where possible some in a jerry can to top up when there is space in the tank, cash include some in dollars in case you cross borders or the Kenya shilling gets devalued also have your identification papers ready, safely pack important documents like birth & marriage certificates exam slips, degrees, title deeds, important receipts and significantly your photos. Also ensure your car has been serviced prior to voting day to avoid unnecessary breakdowns on the road. Of utmost importance is your communication preparedness, load up different provider sim cards with airtime ahead of the voting process to ensure you can make contact with others at all times. Plan and check out all routes to and from your location making space for alternates to walk or drive. If you are going long distances then consider having GPS enabled devices and or maps to help you in the event you may require to detour from known routes. If you get caught up in mass movement situations like refugees fleeing an area then bear in mind the column due to its size and speed of movement may become a target for attack and thus the need to keep close to loved ones during your travel and to monitor any reports of enemy movement and also the need to place scouts or outer periphery look outs to serve as an early warning system. It may be necessary to keep going for even more than a 24hr stretch without extended rest to put space between yourself and suspected enemies. If the state security organs don’t collapse as happened in Rwanda then your best bet will be travelling in escorted convoys where you can depend on the police to get you through the worst areas. Note most embassies will only give refuge to their nationals and a few other foreigners with whom their countries may have agreed to do so. Mostly they will leave locals to fend for themselves. If the worst happens and you find yourself seeking refuge in another across a border note preparation of refugee resources may take up to 30days to get sufficient supplies in place depending on the number of refugees and that country’s preparedness. For most of us the up country refuge would be the preferred choice including for those voting in different locations from their rural homes like in the urban areas of Nairobi and Mombasa. Given that upcountry areas are normally inhabited by one ethnic community with close kinship ties among them. Furthermore politics assumes we vote together with those with whom we hail from the same region so chances are those regions may as was the case in 2008 will remain peaceful.
Part of your plan could be to vote early and immediately depart and take refuge in your rural home an obvious challenge to intermarried couples. Proper planning will still be needed taking note of volatility of areas along your route or at the destination. In the next few days to the voting date 1 or 2 practice runs will serve to iron out your get away plan this will help you check out alternative routes and other possible bottle necks for you to resolve beforehand maybe even plan some safe houses with friends on your way. For those staying put within the violence prone areas or in urban areas like Nairobi, do your shopping for essential goods early to avoid panic buying or the consequently escalated prices. Goods like powder milk, grains like beans, green grams and some canned and dried foods can keep for long periods. You may boil some stuff and put in your fridge also although that is totally depended on provision of continuous electric power to keep them frozen. You may also need that second gas cylinder may be a sack of charcoal and remember to stock up on water in case of disconnections, for those with a little more cash throw in your solar charger too. Don’t leave anything to chance: Get ready to manage crisis like a professional. Make elaborate security plans with your neighbors and as a team establish links with local police service to get their guidance and support, [see other tips on my blog article referred to above].
Other things you could do before hand include petitioning your political party to keep peace and to on make a public commitment to abide by legal non inflammatory means to contest results. Petition media to value the country as opposed to selling political news which in turn serves to increase our preoccupation and tension over who will win. Desist from harmful and provocative speech that could be used to insight others to violence. Petition friends, relatives and all people to take up their individual responsibility as law abiding citizens.  In that respect I ask the police service which has planned for added security at violence prone areas, to make part of their tactic, a quick redeployment strategy probably involving airlifting manpower and supplies, in the event violence erupts in traditionally quieter regions instead of the regular boiling pots.

For businesses some actions you can take could involve keeping only necessary stock especially for less well protected retail outlets. In other businesses plan for less work such that the numbers of workers who could be exposed to danger is reduced. Resolve to close down immediately at the onset of a violent event. To better monitor the situation set up an incident observation unit which you may wish to share with close industry stake holders so as to watch on ground occurrences and advice as violence escalates. Upon reaching preset levels this unit can then activate the crisis response and business continuity plan to protect against any attack. Today is also the best time to ensure adequate reinforcement of your physical measures consider sirens, emergency beaconing lights, smoke screen systems, colored water markers, reinforcing burglar proofing and other perimeter defenses, well set full coverage CCTV, even media campaigns e.g. about your state of the art CCTV recording system. Review the adequacy of your guard force faced with elevated scenarios include the guard dogs option, check your fire preparedness if need be hire extra equipment like extinguishers etc, plan your crises response and business continuity now. Factor in staff residential areas verses transport to work through volatile areas of town among others. As an individual major tax payer or as a group of businesses you could petition police services and government to give you a comprehensive site specific agreed security plan to protect all your interests and a commitment to follow it on those critical days. Also talk to your suppliers and other essential stakeholders including providers of staff transport, security and cleaning services etc you could set up a plan together to overcome each possible hurdle so that no further problems happen in addition to the insecurity. In addition take appropriate insurance cover for all aspects of your investment including political violence, arson, looting and injury to staff members. As the Kenyan business community we have been unprofitably silent while politicians run a mock in the name of electioneering, we should as tax payers and investors, bring our voice to bear on the political scene to ensure we get the required foundation of peace and stability that we need to operate. In addition to having firm public statements and direction another way is by refusing to purchase or transact any business with those who are deemed to insight to violence.
Finally the thing we should all be doing is to pray for peace.

Monday, 14 January 2013

IF GOD WAS TO VOTE WHO WOULD HE CHOSE AS 4TH PRESIDENT OF KENYA



IF GOD WAS TO VOTE WHO WOULD HE CHOSE AS 4TH PRESIDENT OF KENYA
I have found it necessary to say my bit on this topic even though mine is a non-political, non religious blog that represents my line of work. After all professional or not we don’t exist in a vacuum and where the nation is healthy in its existence the benefits accrue to all of us. Indeed it is not lost to me that taking a position may cause me loss at least in customer base as a business. I hope my measured words will in the end justify my position and cause my valued clients to consider giving me another chance to serve them as I most appreciate doing know. Remember Kenya is not a cake to be gobbled up rather it is a farm which needs to be tilled and kept so that we all can enjoy its harvest. This is one way I have chosen to do my part how about you?
In the maze that is Kenya’s political arena the mwana inchi will be hardest put to select the right leaders required to carry this country forward.
In my estimation this dilemma exists due to a lack of measurement standards for leaders among majority of the voters. It goes without saying that a wrongly calibrated ruler with which to measure these necessary qualities for post holders can but only result in unwanted outcomes.
Looking at the goings on at most events addressed by politicians the same topics seem to recur un- abated. For most of them it is ridicule, decapitate your opponents recent pronunciations and actions, remove oneself from blame for the many problems the government or country faces and appeal to an ambiguous, ‘authorities with the power you don’t have and now want’, to do something to alleviate the suffering of the masses. This doesn’t give ‘wanjiku’ a clear differentiation of leader quality. Resulting in polarization of votes by adapted measurements of leadership like the ethnicity gauge.
Mounting interest in the presidential candidacy by a fresh breed of young Kenyans is a strong indicator for the desire of most Kenyans to breathe a breath of fresh leadership air in the governance of their country. This group of contenders may not at the moment be engrossed in political rhetoric as their more seasoned counter parts. For some their impressive credentials are touted as a good reason to elect them others seem to have a focused agenda for development and yet others offer youth vitality and freshness different from the old muddle of common contenders.
This then brings us to the big question how to choose the right people for the job? In considering this it has occurred to me divine intervention shall be required for us much as we may evaluate and assess the different candidates only God knows what lies in the depths of an individual’s heart. It is for this reason I chose to seek His say from the bible.
Last year I was moved to consider the title subject, careful not to go by physical appreciation of the likely candidates as the biblical prophet Samuel first did 1Sam16. In that account the prophet was impressed by the outward appearance of seven of Jesse’s sons yet the Lord had not chosen any of them, finally against the imagination of his father and family David was anointed king over Israel.
My choice for the next president of Kenya is Peter Kenneth. Anyone watching PKs official launch for his bid to be the next president would have been impressed, the clarity of his vision, his track record even before that day and his son who as many have already said a tested to a great upbringing.  All good and significant qualities of a leader found in 1Tm3:1-13. Although this reference is to persons desiring the office of a bishop I think it a good measure for those who desire the office of president too. The bible’s amplified version lists qualities like; above reproach, husband of 1 wife, circumspect, temperate, well behaved, disciplined, not given to wine, considerate, accommodating, not a lover of money (ready to obtain it by questionable means), manage his household commanding respect of his children and keeping them respectful, well thought of by none members (my paraphrase) not a double talker and finally not a new ‘player’ (my paraphrase) but be tried and investigated and proved first. When I read this I thought to myself, God must have made PK immediately after writing this part! Who else do you see fitting as fully this description in that long list of ‘wanna be’s’? In my opinion you could catch and stop all of the other contenders on one or more issues in this list. For indeed there are those who have been noted to be under the influence of strong drink even when addressing public, there are those who have been mentioned in corruption deals or even others accused of un-leader-like behavior if not outright criminality, some we see even now playing the tribal card, many we know who have no vision other than winning, we may not know if they are Christian or Muslim maybe both at the same time and they are often double minded today supporting one interest group tomorrow the next team,  others are caught in immorality or impunity related matters the majority have mismanagement issues like those related to CDF. I will not name any hear but then it is not necessary to do so, you the reader know them only too well already.
Those familiar with God’s ways will know He chooses the least likely or the low to shame the high and mighty 1Cor1:27-29 & Dan 4:17, 25, 32 & to make sure all the glory when it comes to pass goes to Him alone. So if you are looking for His preference it is not likely going to be the so called, ‘top contenders’. It is going to be someone like; biblical Joseph, King David, Daniel, Gideon even Jesus Himself in a long list of others of humble unlikely seeming weak support bases like PK in Kenya currently. So that when they do sit on the throne, men will say this is by the hand of God.
Mt7:15-20, 12:33 both scriptures tell us to recognize a tree by its fruit. In light of this PK is the MP whose constituency is known for the best use of its CDF allocation in Kenya. Even those who support other candidates agree he is the right person only arguing for want to follow their tribal herds. A phenomenon I closely relate to the wilder beast migration jumping into a river of crocs mindlessly, why they don’t just build a bridge, I wonder? For wilder beast I can understand why but for human beings ready to vote along ‘mtu yetu’ lines even if it means their continued suffering it is a mystery to me! Since I gained consciousness I found Kenyans bewailing negative ethnicity and even after the 2007/08 abysmal experiences we have continued to suffer along tribal lines. Almost all top contenders are working overtime to convince us tribal politics is the only way to organize ourselves for leadership, to the point of making it a sport they regularly call, ‘the game of politics’. Let it be known there is nothing sporty about determining your future and that of your children. Do you go to a gambling hall to bet for school fees or rent money? Do you play the lottery to see who you will marry or if you will go to work tomorrow? Why then make a sport of choosing the planners and directors of the economic and security situation you will have to live in for many years after?  PK has consistently refused to be drawn into tribal politics despite deceivingly obvious advantages in this already polarized climate. He has rejected any playfulness with the matters concerning leadership of this nation. These are his fruit. As for other politicians I see many bitter and sour tasting fruits including the bitter fruit of business as usual i.e. corruption, impunity, government lethargy etc
Mt 12:34-35 declares out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks another scripture says as a man thinketh in his heart so is he. These give us a clue where to look when seeking to vet likely leaders, the words of their mouth matter. So ask yourself who has stuck to issue based discourse? Who has refused to use the media to lash back at detractors with pointless argument? Prominently featuring on your list will be Peter Kenneth. Many of the rest are double talkers; they declare for one thing today mainly to create euphoria or for some personal expediency, tomorrow they deny it, take an opposing view and even blame the previous pronouncement on their opponents.  Have you not heard it? The topics revolve around who is more powerful to win, who they are joining with and how evil others are, not on where we need to go as a nation. It shows you what is in their heart and who they really are. Using the word of God as a weighing scale many of them are the wrong choice, will you not know it? Yet the writing is written clearly on the wall. Unfaithful men out to get what they can no matter what, false witnesses, self centered, not speakers of the truth which the bible calls, speaking the language of the devil. Don’t be deceived voters, what you sow is what you will reap Gal6:7.
The issues that matter most are not that difficult to grasp. What do you as an individual want for Kenya? Would you not want to be safe in your home and in the issues of your life? Are you not concerned about the grabbing of your plot or your cattle being raided, your family short dead or your house broken into, car jacked or killed in a terrorist attack as you move about in your daily activities? Are you a government security officer or a relative of one? If so then security is an issue for you. How about the cost of food even its availability do you wonder if the rains don’t come where your kids will get a meal from? Have your animals died in drought before your eyes? have you harvested only to miss a good market for your produce? Have you tilled that farm and remained poor with no hope of eventually coming out of lack in this life? Then agriculture is an issue for you. How far from Nairobi do you come from? Are there roads to get to there or must you only travel in certain seasons? Have you ever wondered now that the current government has started on infrastructure development if the coming one will allow the country to continue on to benefit from its completion nationwide? Then infrastructure is an issue for you. What is it going to cost us if they continue with it, twice or thrice the cost? What of the current natural resource discoveries who will actually benefit from them, obscure off shore companies? Don’t you want the corrupt and the robbers to be brought to book? Isn’t it all our desire to see an efficient, effective government saving on cost to improve all our lives and not just in Nairobi or in the president’s home turf? Then justice with expediency and integrity are your issues too. Have you suffered in poor or nonexistent medical facilities? How many have lost a loved one there? How many more do you think we need to lose before we put in someone who has an already laid down plan to improve the situation in the first year on the job? These are just some of the issues by which we see Peter Kenneth’s actions in his planning and his words as he declares his vision and goals. Be delivered ye of little faith there is yet hope for Kenya, Gen8:22 while the earth remains seed time and harvest is our portion, plant by voting wisely Tutawesmake!
It is a critical time for the church too will we count the persecution that may come from making a stand against evil, against tribalism, against the wrong that has continued in society, will sectarian interest and considerations for favor sway us? Will we follow the masses in our regions to retain a church membership or will we declare what is right? Mt5:13-16 describes the church as both the salt of the earth and the light of the world. Of salt it cautions if it loses its saltiness it is to be trodden underfoot while of light; a candle cannot be lit and hidden under a table. So therefore we have an obligation to fulfill in this issue which will determine all our lives going forward. Church leaders could lead on this issue, not campaign, but declare and teach the flock on what qualities or traits they must see in prospective leaders from president to county representative. They should also be vocal on critical issues of our time like tribal politics or violence, societal corruption, future of Kenyans as a people before God and many more like these. By doing this its role will have been fulfilled and it will be up to individual believers to follow the light or close their eyes and continue to bump into all sort of challenges for years to come. 
As a keen PK supporter I know he is not one to give advantage to any group of Kenyans over any other group. Still we should be aware that, Tunawesmake does not end with winning an election the country will need continued leadership to make it the shining star we all hope it to become. To do this Prv29:2 counsels that it is when the righteous are in authority that people can rejoice [for growth, prosperity, wellbeing and security will be theirs].Prv16:21 By this wisdom church receive prudence, now when the churches support and prayers will be most valued in this campaign. Take the chance to gain and hold the ear of the next president. Why is that important? Firstly it is for the very reason that to ensure the nations rejoicing, the righteous need be able to advice on matters of governance. Secondly remember, high leadership seats have an attraction to the realm of the occult. Simply put the kingdom of darkness will not handover its influence on a silver platter. Take note, if the church doesn’t take up its position evil will quickly fill the space, for there can be NO vacuum, take your pick.
Don’t wait for God to come down with great voice lest you get disappointed. He may not even send you a renowned prophet or perform any wondrous act to tell you who His choice is Lk16:27-31 investigate this message now and if you find truth in it accept it and run with it.Hbk2:2 Remember God never operates in human majorities Dan4:35.
As for Kenyans why celebrate President Obama in the U.S when you turn right around and refuse to vote for those who are not your own tribe back home. Isn’t it very hypocritical? Imagine if Obama was running for a seat here in Kenya, with our current thinking it is unlikely he would get more than a local reps seat. Get delivered a second time in Jesus name. Another good candidate is Mr. Ole Kiyapi he has declare many similar plans for the nation with Peter Kenneth. Even so he is new to the political arena where it will be required somewhat different proving than in the public service and we saw above a man desiring promotion to an overseer’s position should not be a new convert 1TM3:6. I believe as a running mate he would make an excellent choice. But for most of the others look at their positioning in life, are they likely to protect ill gotten gains or will they seek reconciliation and restitution for those wronged? What have other names been associated with? What is their development track record? In what camps have they been? do they hide behind legal and political positions for the justification of previous actions? Judge with open mind and heart for your decision will surely affect you.
For those still praying, God give us a good leader; note that the deadline for receiving your answer is January 2013. This is the date that all those intending to run for top leadership must submit a list of presidential candidate and running mate to the registrar of political parties. Watch out that you don’t resemble the Pharisees and Sadducees of Jesus’ time, whom even though He was standing before them would not acknowledge him Jhn10:19-40 despite His words and His works. If you know God answers prayers Pslm65:2, Prv15:8 be informed many have asked Him to give us a good leader be sure then, His answer will be among those who are approved to vie for the seat. That answer I offer is Peter Kenneth. Even his rallying call, Tunawesmake is a call that gives hope not just to win the election but gives hope to a country that is looking to break away from a past of bad leadership with chains of suffering on the masses and move into a bigger, brighter future for all. Instead I suggest you change your prayer to say lift up your man in the nation of Kenya in Jesus name, Dan4:17, Jere3:33, Dan2:17-23.
The writer has not been asked by any man to write this article nor is there any payment given for it or expected. This is my letter to all churches and to the entire body of Christ in Kenya. Receive my encouragement to stand with the truth at all times and not only when you think it will make a difference.

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