Q and A-Why didn't you raise your voice in Moi days Publication Date: 3/31/2007
In this Saturday Nation series, we invite you to put questions to public figures. Our guest this week is Mwingi North MP and former Cabinet minister Kalonzo Musyoka .
QUESTION: How come you never raised a finger during the Moi days when some people almost ruined our country and only started noticing the shortcomings when things did not go your way?
— Mugwika Isaac, Nairobi.
ANSWER: I was not president then. Judge me by my presidency.
You claim to stand for integrity; can you confirm or deny that you presided over the worst case of election rigging in Kenya when you supervised a by-election in Kiharu constituency between Dr Gikonyo Kiano and Mr Gidraf Mweru?
— Robinson Kariuki Mwangi, Meru.
Mr Kalonzo MusyokaI was not the supervisor for the Kiharu elections. David Mugambi, the executive officer of Kanu was. I went there as an observer and I strongly advised President Moi against the outcome.
You were a Foreign minister for a long time, yet the country does not have a sound foreign policy. Please comment.
— Enoc Osando, Pangani.
It is not correct to say that Kenya has no clear foreign policy. We have a policy of non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries. A policy that advocates for the aggressive projection of Kenya’s image abroad. As a country, we practise economic diplomacy aimed at winning investors and seeking markets for Kenyan manufactured goods and products.
Do you think you have the resources to face President Kibaki in a General Election?
— Peter Odawa, Nairobi.
Leadership is about trust and not resources. I have criss-crossed Kenya looking for ODM votes and that required resources, which were available.
If Raila Odinga beats you fairly in ODM nominations and goes ahead to appoint you as his running mate in the General Election, would you take up the offer?
—Benard Kibet Langat, Nairobi.
I will support him in the event that he beats me fairly.
Mwingi North is one of the poorest constituencies in Kenya, despite you serving in key government positions for many years. What will you offer Kenyans as president that you have failed to offer your constituents?
— Alex Muthyoi, Kitui.
Mwingi North is not the poorest constituency. Mwingi North has the cleanest water to be found anywhere, thanks to my intervention. Mwingi Town is one of the fastest growing towns in Kenya. I took over as MP when there were four secondary schools. Today, we have 40. We have built 167 primary schools, a sub-district hospital, health centres, etc. The only drawback is that we have poor roads.
Can Kenyans trust you with leadership when you served the Kanu regime when proponents of change were harassed, maimed and even killed while you defended these atrocities internationally?
— Nguthi Nyingi, Nairobi.
Almost everyone in politics today is associated with Kanu in one way or another.
Some people from Ukambani say they will support ODM only if you are elected the flag-bearer. Please comment.
— Chris Mutungi, Kaiti.
They are entitled to their views. ODM is not about Kalonzo only, there are other players.
Can you deny that the Kibaki Government’s performance has been better compared to the Moi regime which you served for more than 10 years?
— Francis Kimani, Nairobi.
What we are seeing is recovery and not major growth. In any case, we envisage faster recovery than is currently experienced leading to a sustained growth should ODM form the next government.
In correcting some of our worst problems, some people feel Kenya needs a radical leader. You portray the image of a “soft” or “diplomatic” leader. To what extent could you exercise positive radicalism to reform the economy and the political system?
—Stephen Mutoro, Nairobi.
I am compassionate leader. I refer you to my vision.
Why don’t you support President Kibaki’s re-election for the country to experience uninterrupted economic growth for the next five years.
— D.K. Gicheha, Gatundu South.
Let democracy flourish. We in ODM intend to challenge him in competitive politics and wananchi will decide the victor.
Why don’t you and Raila Odinga hold private meetings to resolve your differences?
— James Otieno, Japan.
Thank you for your advice. We are working on it.
In the event that you win the ODM-K nomination and eventually the presidency, how do you plan to accommodate Mr Odinga, Mr William Ruto, Mr Najib Balala and Mr Musalia Mudavadi in your government?
All of them will be accommodated, because I believe in team leadership.
Why didn’t you raise the idea of free or affordable secondary education when you served as minister for Education?
— Bethwell Enaga, Teso.
It is possible. In my constituency I have seen thousands of people through secondary school. Kenya can afford free secondary education for the very poor.
What makes you think you are the best presidential candidate in ODM, other than opinion polls?
— Kennedy Otieno Abong’o, Kitale.
Opinion polls are just that — opinion polls. However, I believe Kenyans who have followed my political career over the years know that when duty calls, I am ever ready.
In light of your impressive showing in opinion polls, can you tell us whether you will not go your own way and contest on another party if you are not nominated ODM-K presidential candidate?
— Richard wa Malabe, Mumias.
I am part of a bigger team that will form the next government.
The genesis of the current political, economic and social crisis in Kenya is the fact that at independence, power was handed over to the hijackers of the struggle, who to date have continued ruling over us. The second liberation was not any different. When did you see the light, or are you interested in hijacking the struggle again?
— Mwaura wa Muthoni, Nairobi.
I believe in effecting change from within and without.
What is your Plan B in case of a fallout in ODM?
—Hassan Mohamed, Meru South.
I have no Plan B. There will be no fallout.
Do you agree that you need Mr Odinga more than he needs you to win the presidency?
— Molly Abuga, Nyamira.
We are part of a team. We all need each other.
What plans do you have for minorities such as the Hindu community?
— Nav Patel, Nairobi.
My government will embrace the interests of all Kenyans.
How do you plan to eradicate poverty, corruption and regional imbalance in Kenya?
— James Mutuka, Murang’a.
By focusing on empowering the rural poor economically and equitably distributing resources to all regions.
In 2002, you and Mrs Ngilu rallied your supporters to Narc and now you appear not to be reading from the same script. Are you making efforts to consolidate your support in Ukambani and speak with one voice with Mrs Ngilu?
— David Nyang’onda, Kisii.
I am seeking support everywhere in the country, not just Ukambani.
How will ODM handle the fact that some of the political offices proposed in its power sharing plan are not provided for in the Constitution?
— Kibunja wa Ndung’u, Nairobi.
In ODM, we believe in principles and commitments, when the time comes those constitutional provisions will be created.
Some people perceive you as a slow-to-forgive person, please comment on how you handle disappointment.
— Wilson Situma, Thika.
That is a wrong perception. I am fortnight in speaking my mind but also forgive those who wrong me.
Last weekend, Health minister Charity Ngilu, declared that she too is going for the presidency on an NPK ticket. How would you gauge her popularity and does she pose a threat to you in Ukambani?
— George Gopal, Nairobi.
She is not a threat. I have countrywide support.
Don’t you think it is good to campaign as a team to avoid breaking up ODM instead of each presidential candidate going their way?
— Justus Onkware Arita, Nairobi.
It is good to campaign as a team but individual candidates should also freely woo delegates to their side.
In the event that someone else (other than you) won the ODM presidential ticket and you feel that the process was not free and fair, will you pull out of the movement?
— David Oruongo, Nairobi.
I will do my best to keep the unity of the party. We are putting in place mechanisms to ensure that the outcome is acceptable.
You have been portrayed by the media as “Mr Clean” . The land where your Kasuku Complex in Kileleshwa stands used to be Government land. How did the ownership change?
— Vincent L. Kirwa, Nairobi.
The complex is not mine.
Should Kenyans entrust you with the high office, how will your presidency be different from the Kibaki regime?
—Dr Benjamin Mogaka Obegi, Nigeria.
All inclusive, taking account of all regions in the distribution of national sources; progressive; and economically empowering the struggling majority.
Who funds your ODM campaign rallies?
— Donald Tony Ambunya, Nairobi.
You once said, all the IPOs conducted recently at NSE will be rescinded after ODM comes into office; don’t you think you’re scaring investors?
— Kuria, Githunguri.
That was not me, it was another aspirant. I did say that the IPOs majority stake is in the hands of a few individuals.
Comment on allegations that the ODM secretariat is flooded by cronies.
— Benard Ndung’u Maseno University.
We intend to overhaul the secretariat to cater for the interest for all members.
In my view, people from poor backgrounds do not necessarily make good leaders; Nazi Germany’s leader Adolf Hitler is a case in point. Yet in your campaigns, you seem to make the issue of “family background” mega. Can you shed more light on “leadership” and “family background”?
— D. Odwar-Orondo, Nairobi.
A leader who shares a similar background with the people he leads is more in tune with their aspirations and suffering and able to deal with them better.
LILI NA FILA HAVITANGAMANI
Q and A-Why didn't you raise your voice in Moi days Publication Date: 3/31/2007