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Levi Cheptora Cheruo has a Bsc. in Pure Mathmatics from Nairobi University 2013 and is SIDO's political columnist based in Nairobi, Kenya. He is also the author of two books 1. The Greatest Thieves of Kenya  2."The Bitter Pills" and a narrative poem collections -"Songs from my Soul". To get a copy of his publications visit: http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/Cheruo124 or send us email: sabaots@gmail.com


You are Dreaming if you Want your Governor to be Powerful than the County Commissioner.
By Levi Cheptora Cheruo. Posted 13th June, 2013.

Do you want your Governor to be more powerful than the County Commissioner? Well, YOU ARE DREAMING!
I must acknowledge that I am not an agent of the national government but the County commissioner shall remain the powerful 'unwanted'
public officer in our country. These are the reasons:
1. The executive powers of the country lie with the presidency. The county commissioner is the representative of the presidency to the
county. The governor is a promoted civilian.
2. The county commissioner shall be in charge of the tools of curbing violence; security intelligence, the boys in blue among others. The
Governor has no power to summon or direct these tools.
3. By a resolution of the senate, a county government(county executive committee and county assembly) can be abolished and replaced within 90 days...ask yourself how permanent the national government tends to be...the county commissioner is more permanent than the governor.
4. In the Fourth schedule Part I, the national Government has to coordinate over 35 functions (with raw powers) while the Governor and
his government have 14 functions in the same schedule part II. For the president to be powerful, he must be felt to the grassroots.
This cannot be done without empowering the County commissioner and his assistants and apparatus.
For me, County Commissioners being powerful than Governors is not undermining devolution but playing politics 101. To satisfy the masses
UHURU KENYATTA MUST WEAKEN THE COUNTY COMMISSIONERS BY WORD OF MOUTH
BUT EMPOWER THEM BY ALL MEANS NECESSARY INDEED!!!!!
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WHOM RAILA AMOLO ODINGA SHOULD BLAME FOREVER
By Levi Cheptora Cheruo. Posted 24th March, 2013.

Whilst his ‘bitter’ rivals are busy Chris Crossing the country preaching unity and stamping their authority, CORD Man of The Moment has been helplessly shuffling his feet in what has since graduated into a muddy pool of ‘dirtier’ politicking. That he even had the guts to claim that he indeed emerged the victor (having floored his ‘closest’ rival by more than a million votes), our outgoing Prime Minister must surely be finding it extremely hard to cope with the prevailing dust of reality and the painful truth that his ‘has been’ classical political career is just closing its wings! When the rain did started beating our outgoing Prime Minister? Political analysts, politicians, political writers and a horde of other ‘politically inclined parties’, have time and again pointed out two chief causes of what inevitably marked the ‘dead end’ for Raila’s Political Career:

[1] The Alienation of his former Pentagon Key Allies notably the Elect Deputy President (Mr. Samoe Kipchirchir Ruto) and the AMANI Coalition ‘superstar watermelon’ going by the name Wycliffe Musalia Mudavadi. This, by far, meant the P.M had to forget about two million crucial votes under the wings of the duo.
[2] The allegedly ‘Inhuman Mau Evictions’ and the I.C.C factor. The former did bore what would inevitably become a major source of ‘dislike’ and discontent among the Kalenjins of Rift Valley against the P.M. The latter would interestingly become a recipe for sympathy and widespread indirect campaigning for the UhuRuto team that trounced the much experienced politician.
However, according to my take, Raila’s ideal hung-men emanated from his very own backyard. Foremost will be his closest allies and cronies notably Mr. James Orengo, Prof. Anyang’ Nyong’o and the ‘ignorant’ lots like Kalembe Ndile and Muthama Johnstone. Not only are they all responsibly for ‘ill’ treating resourceful politicians, thus driving away a major thrash of votes that would have enabled their man carry the day, but also guilty of ‘verbal diarrhoea’ that has been treated coldly and with displeasure by voters across the country during their campaign trails.
Most disturbing was the largest number of voters that never showed up in solidarity to cast their votes in favor of the outgoing Prime Minister in both his home tough and the most cosmopolitan voting zones like Nairobi. In essence, UhuRuto’s voter turn out did made the whole difference and effectively denied the Prime Minister the top most country’s Governing Job that he has been seeking for years on end!
In the end, no matter how much noise CORD will make, they are to blame and they must be willing and ready to shoulder their ‘grieving’ supporter’s reproaches and accusing fingers. Should the High Court decide not to rule in their favor, they must not turn Kenyan’s against each other for it is apparent now that as a nation, and for the very first time, we have chosen peace over turbulence and tribal animosities. CORD has no otherwise other than to hold their horses irrespective of the Court’s Verdict and preach piece!

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MUDAVADI’S RE-UNION WITH UHURU A ‘POLITICAL PROSTITUTI
ON’
By Levi Cheptora Cheruo. Posted 23rd March, 2013.

It is both unbelievable and hypocritical for Mudavadi to pitch camp once again in Uhuru’s ‘triumphant’ team after a ‘bitter’ campaign that saw him ‘inciting’ the electorates not to vote for people with cases with the ICC!

One can say it is indeed too soon for such an unanticipated ‘post election political marriage’ between the duo. Most disturbing is Mudavadi’s pleas to be ‘given’ a cabinet position even when it is apparent the battle of the ideal titans (Uhuru vs. Raila) is seemingly not yet over.

I am tempted now, just like a volley of other ‘U.D.F Fanatics & diehards), to believe that Wycliffe Musalia Mudavadi must have been the President-Elect pet project from day one. Why?

Were it contrary to my presumptions and suppositions, then Musalia would rather have resorted to strengthening opposition against Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta other than adding girth and live in Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta’s ‘jubilant’ team. More over, he would have taken his time and await for the Supreme Court’s Verdict before deciding on where to nurse his frustrations of having lost miserably in an election that brought together eight contestants.

Borrowing a leaf from the inevitably accurate theory of Tyranny of Numbers coined by non other than Mutahi Ngunyi (Kenya’s Most Controversial Political Analyst), it need not some rocket science knowledge to oversee a possible calculation by both Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta and Mudavadi to eventually carry the day once the Luhya Voting Block has been distributed unevenly between him and Uhuru’s chief political antagonist, Raila Amolo Odinga.

 As per the theory, Kenyan’s were expected to vote along tribal lines and it has so far been proved with the results of the just concluded General Elections. With both the first and the second largest voting blocks in his pocket, Uhuru must have feared a possible ‘fallout’ should his opponent take home the third, fourth and fifth largest voting blocks thus the forehand possible ‘staging of a political drama’ that was characterized by ‘publicity stunts’ such as ‘denials’, ‘betrayals’ etc.

Well, about the allegations that his ‘maker’ labelled him blindly a ‘demon’, no doubt this was a mere drama and a slap in the electorate’s face that is now helplessly coming to light! For the U.D.F Chairperson to come out and deny the latest political development orchestrated by their now ‘former Political Presidential Nominee’, it is apparent Mudavadi must have cleverly outwitted them alongside his Luhya Community and now that his goals have been realized, they effectively means great deal of nothing!

It will be worthwhile to remember also that Mudavadi was financed by the son of the former Retired President Daniel Toroitich Arap Moi: a seasoned politician whose relations with the CORD Man, Raila Amolo Odinga, have never been any kinder or friendlier by a whisker! To therefore expect Mudavadi to ‘blindly and accidentally’ throw his weight behind Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta would have been both naive and myopic.

Whereas it can be argued that Mudavadi did indeed slice off a merry chunk of what would have been Raila’s winning numbers, no one can deny that it wasn’t that easy! Raila did walk away with a sizeable chunk that certainly puts him in a promising position to put a good fight should the Supreme Court rule in his favor and order a presidential election re-run.

The problem now would be Mudavadi’s second attempts to ‘fool’ his community should we have a re-run. That Uhuru performed dismally in Western, is a sure prove that after the electorate unearthing their Man of the moment, they might put a brave face and thus punishing him by denying his ‘maker’ their votes al together! Furthermore, his community will in future have to think again before ‘tagging a long’.


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SLICE SALARIES OF THE ELECTED POLITICIANS NOT SATISFIED

By Levi Cheptora Cheruo. Posted 22nd March, 2013.

The latest move by the Salary Remuneration Committee to tame the sitting allowances and monthly salaries of the incoming Eleventh Parliament is highly welcomed!

I wonder why the sitting allowances for the senators, governors, women representatives, county representatives and the members of the legislative assembly and they are doing what they are paid to do. It’s just like am employed and when I attend a meeting related to my work, I tell the employer I want to be paid also!

The only good thing I have read in newspapers for a very long time the politicians should start behaving like the rest of us taxpayers ...they have had good times for a very long time! Do you the reader get paid more money for showing up for work? If you have such a job let me know so that I may too seek it. Why this ridiculous survive this long. I bet other countries are amazed how we do it in Kenya!

However, given their past record, I still honestly believe that a further cut of their salaries and allowances will be in order. As such, the seemingly overpaid SRC Officers need not to waiver in their move. After cutting down their own fat cheques, they should reconsider reducing considerably cheque sizes of the elect Members of Parliament.

All MPs are set to earn a minimum salary of Sh532, 500 that will eventually progress to a maximum of Sh710, 000 by completion of their parliamentary term according to SRC. Whatever happened to Servants of the people analogy? Half an M sounds more like we are serving them. Truth is this still looks like an overpayment to millions of Kenyans out there who earn peanuts!

Moreover, their medical cover provisions for the MPs’ sons and daughters below 25 years of age are both weird and absurd! Tax payers should not be paying medical cover for MPs children who are 25 years old. These are adults and some are even married with children, for goodness sake! Maximum age should be 16 or highest 18. I hope my tax shillings are not being used to pay allowances for leader's wives for services not rendered to me.

All that said then, SRC should have no further excuse of not bringing down the wage bill, more so the one still recommending a ‘an obese’ cheque for the MPs...It’s still too high as we have many poor Kenyans who don’t even earn 5k pm and they need service. They should be servants and not masters of the people. It should not be used as a gateway to wealth.

© 2013 Cheruo Levi Cheptora

Author: The Greatest Thieves of Kenya

Saboti, Trans Nzoia County

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WE SHOULD NOT GET TIRED OF BEING A PEACE LOVING PEOPLE

By Levi Cheptora Cheruo. Posted 6th March, 2013.

So far so good...save for a few hiccups from our ever seemingly 
‘ungrateful’ brothers from the ‘terror’ gangs going by the names M.R.C & Al-Shabab, we have proved as a people that indeed we’ve come of age and that never again are we going to allow politics to tear apart our once firm unity fabrics. As a people, we’ve demonstrated so far that in the end, we the electorates shall be the sole bearers of any loss and turbulence emanating from a violent election. As such, we have realized the need of remaining calm, tolerant of our divergent political views and more vital, peaceful and cognizant of the fact that we shall forever remain
Kenyans.
The huge numbers witnessed and registered during the voting day is a sure sign that we as a people are no longer afraid of exercising our democratic right of participating in an election. No doubt a great chunk of us are now fully aware of the real impacts that shying away
from an election can leave to our communities and societies. It has been reiterated time and again that bad leaders are always elected by
good citizens of a country who do not vote! For the first time ever, a sense of maturity, sobriety and sanity has been exhibited through the major send offs of those ‘bad beans’ we elected five years back. We have taught them an important lesson in life: indeed, they now silently walk back to their former shells knowing that you can do ‘bad’ things to a people sometimes but not all the times! Moreover, the ‘fresh catch’ we’ve bestowed our hopes and faith in for the next five years, have undoubtedly witnessed what we just did to their predecessors...Now is the time to prove wrong our skeptics and the entire world. If we will stays put and hold our horses till the very last minute, generations to come will remember not our past iniquities but will rather live exalting the manner in which we selflessly embrace one another with brotherhood and love. Tales will be passed over about a people that renounced their once ‘exaggerated’ love for tribe and ethnicity and instead accommodated each other’s political differences. March 4th election will go down in major writings of history as a day that Kenyans refused to dwell on an ugly past and instead, chose to set their every crooked past straight once and for all. We must this time round put this great nation before everything else. We must continue saying a fat, round and a BIG NO to hateful preaching, tribal animosities, and ethnic affiliations and for once, reason, act and live as Kenyans! For too long a time, we’ve allowed our vulnerability to tame our temperaments and consequently found ourselves an easy prey for the ever demeaning, myopic, degrading and retrogressive elements who only loves the world for themselves. For too long a time, we’ve been made to believe not in being patriotic but rather bending and retreating to our tribal cocoons once we have an election. It is no surprise that the very people who are used to setting us apart do wine and dine with their colleagues (who apparently hardly share a tribe with them) in their mansions and offices while watching and anticipating how we the electorates will
reduce each other into nothing!
Well, we are much wiser now and we are still proving to be so, are we not? Never again as a peace-loving people are we going to allow our
vulnerable youth to bay for each other’s blood. Never again are we going to walk tall in that bloody path of strife and tribal enmity. Never again are we going to take this great nation back into that dark alley of scorn and ridicule from our neighboring countries and the entire globe. Amen!!!
© 2013 Cheruo Levi Cheptora (Kenya)

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Kenya-Elections: Negotiated Democracy for the Marginalized Like Sabaots.
By Levi Cheptora Cheruo. Posted 11th February, 2013.

In less than Thirty Days and Sabaots (one of the marginalized communities in Kenya), will cast their most crucial vote alongside other Kenyans. Just like previous elections, it will be with mixed feelings: with only a single representative from the entire community that cuts across the two most populous Counties of Bungoma and Trans Nzoia in the Kenyan Parliament since independence, poorest infrastructure, perennial land conflicts and a horde of other challenges; ‘negotiated democracy’ is widely seen as the only way out!

The community cuts across the larger Bungoma and Trans-Nzoia counties where it is seeking a political ‘walk-away’ amidst a robust, prominent and almost ‘omnipresent’ Bukusu Community: their main ‘political’ adversaries since independence! Indeed, the two share an icy past which has sprung forth ugly and deadly confrontations that either of them are not anticipating and are more than willing to prevent from ever happening again.

Land-based conflicts have been a common phenomenon in Kenya since the pre-colonial days. Community conflicts and violence have erupted over land and associated resources in different parts of the country, particularly between agriculturalists and pastoralists, resulting into the loss of many lives, massive destruction of property and livelihoods, population displacements and human rights violations.

Indeed, analysts generally agree that the unresolved land question was at the root of the unprecedented violence that rocked the country in the aftermath of the disputed December 2007 elections, not least because the violence was most widespread and intense in the Rift Valley region, where the land question has been most intractable.

Yet, the rhythmic nature of land-related violence, often coinciding with general elections and other critical moments in Kenya’s national politics, indicate that there may be more to it than just land disputes or pure inter-community hatred. Indeed, it points to a possible political motive for the chaos. This is borne out by the fact that in some instances, state agencies have been implicated in the conflicts, while in others the state has remained ambivalent.

It will be worthwhile to note that after Kenya’s Independence, the government did not have a national policy on the rights of the marginalized and the minority.For instance, during Jomo Kenyatta Administration, the government displaced Sabaots and resettled the Bukusus because Sabaots were thought to back the defunct Kenya African Democratic Union (KADU) and Bukusus supported Kanu. This subsequent move by the government to displace the Sabaots led to the first clashes and to a broader extend all the troubles and successive wrangles (the worst being 1992 clashes) that tore down the once firm fabric of trust the two communities had enjoyed for years on end!

Today Endebess, Saboti & Mount Elgon Constituencies are perceived to be Sabaots strongholds (that is as far as history is concerned). Truth is, apart from Mount Elgon where outright win is guaranteed, Saboti and Endebess has registered an overwhelming number of voters from the Bukusu Community!

For Jenipher Masis of CORD and Pukose of URP vying for parliamentary seat in Endebes constituency while Jonas Kugo in Saboti constituency are candidates hailing from the larger Sabaot community, it is going to be tough walking-good the ‘tight-rope’ held firmly by the ever-domineering Bukusus. However, the latter seems the favorite to clinch the Saboti Constituency Parliamentary Seat courtesy of his Party U.R.P which has a huge backing given the fact that it is under the umbrella of the Uhuru led JUBILEE COALITION. On a good note though, Ole Ndiema has since secured the Senatorial Ticket using the Bukusu ‘owned’ Party (Ford Kenya) whereas Mr. Hilarry Chongwony has been named as Dr. Lusaka’s running mate in Bungoma County Governor race.

Despite the fact that countless meetings (both in the night and day) have been held, schemes laid down and strategies established: the looming distrust that has withstood the test of time is undeniably holding every Sabaot hostage. The whole community is apparently faltering in its shaky political steps; in the horns of dilemma and uncertain of what will become of their candidates come March 4th 2013.

For the time being, every Sabaot can only watch: their ‘third eyes and ears’ ever alert; eager, uncertain, impatient and hopeful perhaps! More so, they have another hope: the back up enshrined in the constitution which safe-guards the interests of the Kenyan Communities Categorised as ‘marginalised’ and/ or ‘minority’.

Will the government ensure justice is done to such ‘marginalized’ communities? Time will tell. For now, it is the government’s duty to protect every single Kenyan: marginalized or not, whether in ‘would-be-political-marriages’ or not; simply put, come 4th March 2013, every Sabaot and Bukusu will peaceful cast their votes in favor of their favorite candidates (since it is their democratic right anyway) and be able to co-exist peacefully thereafter!

[About the Author: Mr. Cheruo Levi Cheptora (Bsc. in Pure Mathmatics from Nairobi University 2013) is SIDO's political columnist based in Nairobi, Kenya. He is also the author of two books 1. The Greatest Thieves of Kenya  2."The Bitter Pills" and a narrative poem collections -"Songs from my Soul". To get a copy of his publications visit: http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/Cheruo124 or send us email: sabaots@gmail.com].

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Kenya Elections: The Harsh, Bitter and Unforgettable truth. 

By Cheruo Levi Cheptora. Posted 7th February 2013.

The recent directives from the Police Chief and Kibunjia’s National Cohesion Team that past social injustices (land issues in particular) should not be mentioned during campaigns, are hypocritical, insincere, and a clear indication that remnants of impunity are still out there: whiling their good time and expecting to get away with their ‘not-so-good’ past!

We must refuse as a country to live a lie a day at a time assuming all will be well. Terrible, wrong, unjust and cruel things have time and again been done to many a Kenyan since independence. The few untouchable power wielders have resorted always to run-away impunity and delaying tactics. Not one of them ‘mistreated’ Kenyans has ever seen justice!

We must not sit back and soldier on ignoring the plight of those who had had to endure painful nights and days all their miserable lives, denied basic human rights, robbed of their land by the very familiar faces well known to the public and subjected to eternal trauma. We must not be coerced to accept sweeping the dust under the carpet only! It is time we live up to the true creed and spirit enshrined in the New Constitution.

Numerous commissions on social injustices orchestrated and perpetrated by Moi’s & Kenyatta’s regimes, have tabled their damning findings which blames the power wielders in the past regimes for having irregularly acquired land. These findings are in the public domain and a long lasting solution is even echoed in the New Kenyan Constitution (2010).

The current constitution which has since been viewed as a beacon of hope to many a distraught Kenyan, clearly proposes establishment of a land commission that should address past and present land injustices. Why is the Kibaki’s regime dragging its feet as far as establishing a Land Commission is concerned? Those in the know, hopefully, have the answers that they are either unwilling to share with Kenyans or are simply too afraid of the consequences!

I must reiterate that the land issue has to be addressed as soon as last year or else, we prepare ourselves AS A PEOPLE OF Kenya to embrace would-be perennial ethnic exclusions and expulsions especially in the Rift Valley and some parts of Coastal Province.

Taking Taita Taveta as a classic example: the two Sub-Districts are jointly owned by the Kenyatta’s & the former Area Member of Parliament Basil Criticos. The perceived ‘natives’ are mostly squatters and are the chief labour source for the massive Sisal Plantations belonging to the duo!

In Rift Valley, Moi, Kenyatta & Kibaki are the largest land owners. We’ve witnessed bloody and deadly ethnic expulsions in the Province every successive electioneering period and we do know the main reason: Past Land Injustices against the ‘natives’!

As a nation, we must face this stark reality with sobriety and shun cheap emotions. Indeed, we must face the charging bull by the horns and never run away! Land, scarce as it always keeps getting, is an emotive, sensitive and the sole factor that sows animosities amongst communities living in Rift Valley & Parts of Coastal Provinces. First, let the government establish a Land Commission then the rest can follow!

[About the Author: Mr. Cheruo Levi Cheptora (Bsc. in Pure Mathmatics from Nairobi University 2013) is SIDO's political columnist based in Nairobi, Kenya. He is a 4th year student at Nairobi University. He is also the author of two books 1.  The Greatest Thieves of Kenya  2."The Bitter Pills" and a narrative poem collections -"Songs from my Soul". To get a copy of his publications visit: http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/Cheruo124 or send us email: sabaots@gmail.com].

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Kenyan Elections: Blame the Electorate but not Politicians.

By Levi Cheruo Cheptora ©2013. Posted 5th February 2013.

It is election season once again. A season that Kenyans always embrace with mixed feelings: a time to scramble for cash and gifts from a handful of the aspiring politicians who seem to have since perfected & sophisticated the tactics of playing their ‘dirty’ political game. The ever seemingly meek Wananchi are inevitably dancing to their old usual lulling tunes; true, they will hardly master the coded rules of the said ‘dirty’ game indeed!

“You only need to identify what your electorate likes the most...there are those who like drinks (Chang’aa & Busaa), a few cents to buy a ‘korokoro’, and others simply hate those they perceive as ‘outsiders’ in their midst!”

This is what an Educated Kenyan aspiring to be an M.P in one of the most ‘ethnicitized’ constituencies told me. He further added that it matters the least your personal tenets and believes. If you honestly want to be voted in, kindly consider dancing to the tunes of the electorates!

Kenyans have been made to harbor senseless animosities against their fellow Kenyans who incidentally happen to be from a tribe different from theirs (mostly so during every electioneering period). We easily forget the issue-based politics and fail to question what ‘our’ own has done or will do for us given a chance. In the end, we miss out on development projects, hardly benefit from C.D.F Kitties and subsequently remain backward, poor & neglected!

Politicians have always known the issues that deeply concern us (including those that divides us), and are seriously harping on them to touch our hearts, coat our innocence with tribal goggles and woe our votes by hook or crook. Despite the fact that we’ve always known this as electorates, in the end, tribe-factor will matter the most!

One of the long running and perennial concerns of Kenyans is the runaway corruption in our public processes. In 2002 as well as in 2007, corruption had been a key campaign issue. Already it is an issue on the lips of many politicians. But considering the lessons of the last 10 years, What must we do to avoid being taken for a ride by corn artists who are either deeply rooted in grand corruption or are the greatest and loudest defenders of those suspected of looting public coffers? What must we do as electorates to save guard our constituencies from possible ‘would-be’ corrupt managers who will mismanage our public till? What must we do to embrace merit and shun tribal sentiments as far as electing our preferred candidates is concerned?

We must base our decisions on people’s record in shunning and fighting corruption. Mere rhetoric is not enough. An eloquent character won’t deliver us from this bondage of ethnicity & run-away corruption unless his or her past is scrutinized, questioned, judged rationally and determined by a fair and just mind.  Candidates should articulate what they have done and plan to do to fight corruption. We need to subject this rhetoric to their past record and assess whether it is worth believing or not.

Vote Wisely Please, Won’t You! 

[About the Author: Mr. Cheruo Levi Cheptora is SIDO's political columnist based in Nairobi, Kenya. He is the author of a book -"The Bitter Pills" and a narrative poem collections -"Songs from my Soul". To get a copy of his publications visit: http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/Cheruo124]

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