Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Nakuru County Politician Gideon Kubai: I’m not the ICC Witness Against William Ruto, Joshua Sang

Gideon Kubai at LaGuardia airport in USA
Gideon Kubai, a Nakuru county politician and the grandchild of former freedom fighter Fred Kubai  has denied that he is the fifth ICC witness testifying against DP William Ruto and journalist Joshua Sang at the ICC.

He's currently in Boston, USA. Kubai is my FB friend and the guest blogger in the previous post Why Jubilee supporters Should Leave the President Alone- By Gideon Kubai.

Here is a transcript of a WhatsApp interview I had with him today at dawn: 

Burning Splint: How long have you been in USA?
Gideon Kubai: Since May this year, first at SIT Graduate Institute in Vermont for a peace and conflict management program then in Boston, Massachusetts.

BS: When are you due to be back in the country and who your visit to USA?
GK: For my personal safety I am not travelling back until the matter is conclusively addressed by security agencies. I intend to attend to this seriously. I will also notify ICC for action from their side. Also note that I fear for the safety of my wife and our two years old daughter in Naivasha.

BS: Back to elections as an MCA: which ward did you contest in, what party did you use and what was the elections results if you can remember.
GK: Maai Mahiu ward in Nakuru county assembly on a Kenya National Congress (KNC) ticket. I polled second but left before i received the IEBC tally.

BS: Ok who won? And going back to the earlier question when were you expecting to be back in the country, that's before the current situation?
GK: A TNA candidate won, although on the second part I prefer not to disclose that at this point.

BS: Ok. Who facilitated the exchange programme which took you to USA?
GK: World Learning sponsors the programme on their campuses in Vermont and Washington DC.

BS: Of course World Learning partnered with an organisation in Kenya.
GK: Vijana na Mageuzi Initiative where i’m a program coordinator, the initiative has been involved in civic education, peace and conflict management projects in the volatile Nakuru county and we started the period after the PEV.

I am also the founder of The Fred Kubai Foundation, which engages in social welfare programme in Naivasha constituency in line with my late grandpa aspirations. I have extensively supported IDPs in Maai Mahiu on education.

BS: Going through the FB profile of the person who posted your photo, he states that he worked for The National Alliance Party. Do you believe TNA is behind this ‘leakage’? And where did he get the photo from?
GK: That was lifted from one of my profile pictures on my FB profile.

BS: Back to my earlier question: Do you believe TNA is behind the leakage? Or do you you’ve an hint of who is involved?
GK: The culprit seem to have a link with TNA/Jubilee online hawks. (You see) people have been critical of me not supporting UK despite our families' history, it was an issue that largely contributed to my election defeat.

BS: What’s your message to the IG of Police David Kimaiyo?
GK: The security machinery should move with speed to protect innocent Kenyans against political extremists both on the ground and on social media platforms. The police's cyber crime unit should double its effort in cracking down on these cyber criminals. Above all Kimaiyo should guarantee safety for my wife and daughter who have already recorded a statement with security agents in Naivasha.

BS: What about a message to President Uhuru Kenyatta and the Government of Kenya?
GK: The president should caution his followers across the country against extreme political stance that could put the safety of any Kenyan in jeopardy. He and all government leaders should adopt and set a rational and non-confrontational tone while addressing the ICC issue.

BS: Any statement to ICC president and prosecutor Fatou Bensouda?
GK: I urge constant vigilance from ICC against all forces that can compromise fair trial and justice for both the suspects and the victims through malicious interference of witnesses and unwarranted propaganda. The ICC should treat these claims brought to its attention with utmost seriousness with a view of punishing the culprits.

BS: Good we are about to finish... But first you worked with victims of PEV in Nakuru county, have you in anyway helped to get witnesses for ICC?
GK: My projects were strictly aimed at fostering reconciliation, urge for peaceful dispute resolution and champion the course of peace. A point of correction I didn't work personally with victims, but my work was at Maai Mahiu which was among places most affected by PEV. These projects were implemented in close conjunction with other stakeholders who included local police and provincial administration.

BS: So you were not involved in any way with the current Kenyan cases at ICC?
GK: Absolutely not!

BS: Thanks sir, I'm done. Do you have any parting shot?
GK: Welcome. I urge Kenyans on social media platforms to exercise restrain during discussions on ICC with sobriety and maturity. They should desist from the temptation to be overzealous and misinform.

BS: Better bro, Good morning (it’s 5:02am). I pray that may God keep your family in Nakuru safe. Have a nice time.
GK: Thanks. We will live through it. Later.

BS: Welcome and amen.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Why Jubilee Supporters should leave the president Alone - By Gideon Kubai

President Uhuru Kenyatta
With the hard fought victory during the last general election which was only decided through a Supreme Court ruling Jubilee and UhuRuto supporters have been in euphoria.

Under the guise of this win, it is becoming hard to reason with millions of Jubilee supporters across the country and in the diaspora.

Suffice to say the campaign and election battle was fought and the win was splendid against seemingly insurmountable odds.
But amid this wall of unbridled happiness, this is an opportune time to direct a few cold hard truths and facts for President Uhuru Kenyatta to be left alone by his supporters and given space to deliver his election pledges.

The space should be left now to help salvage president’s national image and help him carry his national task easily.

President’s personal battle
Once Uhuru became the president he has acquired crucial national responsibilities which surpass narrow ethnic interests which are carried by supporters who come across as his defender in fighting his personal and tribal battle.

These soldiers’ zeal is best manifested online where bundles are dedicated on
facebook, twitter and blogs to sing praise to Uhuru’s and his name against ‘agents of devil and imperialists western powers.’
This otiose zeal has roped in the Kenyatta family, even those who can’t differentiate between Jaba and Jomo, to make it sound like hagiography of Wango’mbe Waihura - the legendary Kikuyu warrior.

The two Uhuru’s sons are young fine men who must be secretly wondering who these very dedicated jubilee supporters are talking about and what is going on.
Equally, both national and senate houses have ground troops have not been left behind in battle mood and arrested campaign mentality. Let us take Aden Duale for example; why did he create a big fuss about withdrawing from the Rome Statute?

Was Duale and Co on a mission to please and ingratiate themselves to the president? Was sycophancy, boot licking and self-preservation so fuzzy to make them realize the pullout was null and was detrimental ongoing ICC cases?
But Duale, like most jubilee elected leaders owe their current positions not from democracy or people’s but due to engrave their images next to the president’s during the campaign period. So perverse was the trend, a foreigner would’ve been mistaken to think Uhuru was running in hundreds of constituencies.

Across the social strata jubilee supporters irrespective of their level of education have became experts on dissecting the country’s sovereignty against imperialism and neo-colonialism pushed down Kenyans throat by US and Britain ‘funded’ ICC.

Even in the most rudimentary United Nation definition we are sovereign and this unwarranted braggadocio on proclaiming the obvious will be our downfall as a country.
Kenya isn’t a military superpower, have a runaway inflation and debt ridden economy and donor fund help fight hunger and disease in don’t have the biggest military in the world, we don’t have the biggest economy in the word and our people are still dying of hunger and st Century and over a half a century from independence.

An overzealous jubilee supporter or legislator wearing a crisp western style suit, a parliament funded by millions of US grant, using standing orders borrowed from British house and laboring in Queen’s English can’t lecture us on liberation and neocolonialism.
Even Uhuru Kenyatta a fully born and bred elite has a degree from Amherst College in Massachusetts; the state famously touted as the spirit of America.

I won’t go about the soft power colonization through English football, Hollywood movies, American music, dressing culture and western food like pizza and burger as we seek to look “in the East for development.’
The world is one big village; we are interconnected because even China we seek for aid can’t afford to cut ties with US even though they compete for world supremacy.

Cord/Jubilee matrix and attack on civil society
And here is how this overzealous sycophancy is affecting Kenya: the country still stays polarized more than six months after election.

Comments, criticism or work of civil society is measured in a very narrow lane of either being a Cord or a Jubilee supporter or a gun for hire.
A simple news post online boils down to Cord/Jubilee insults often laced by stereotype tribal insults. Fellow taken as under-class citizens and activists are often labeled traitors, betrayers and reminded that elections are over and they should move on.

It’s very crucial to hold the current government to account especially in delivering campaign promises and manifestoes and not every critic is a Cord critic or is betraying Kenya, which is sadly mistaken for Jubilee and Uhuru.
From a personal point of view since I have worked as an activist civil society doesn’t want to fix the president. I worked with a Naivasha based youth movement funded by US which was implementing peace and civic education.

Getting grant was purely based on project viability, objectivity and political neutrality and I even went to US for training and not once was I asked to participate in any scheme to overthrow my government or fix anybody in the political circles.

Civil society has taken a key role in changing the country in the second liberation and the West we so much abhor was key in bringing change with most dissidents seeking refugee there and like US Ambassador Smith Hempstone who a key figure against president Moi tyranny.
Uhuru acceptance
The president assumed leadership in full cognizance that he carried personal liabilities, weaknesses that will occasionally if not always impinge on execution of his state duties. He has even accepted that severally on national television.

But his supporters’ overzealous support bordering on ignorance, propaganda and fallacies are pressing the president to dump his personal liabilities on the shoulders of Kenyans who are already sagging with heavy burdens.
This has so far done Kenya as a country a great injustice by demonizing every criticism directed to the government.

(The writer Gideon Kubai is the founder and program coordinator for ‘Vijana na Mageuzi Initiative’ and is a grandson of the late freedom fighter Fred Kubai)