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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

A few facts you should know about economic sanctions before going out to vote on Monday 4th of March


The Jubilee Coalition, if elected, has vowed to reconsider Kenya’s relations with the West, who have been key in Kenya’s economic development on account of their position regarding the ongoing ICC cases. Withdrawal of essential funding that complements Kenya’s tax revenue will be a direct consequence and will lead to high budget deficit.
It is a no brainer to assume that to bridge the budget deficit in order to sustain government expenditure, in particular the ever-rising wage bill, the Jubilee Government would resort to, raising taxes including income tax, VAT and import duty, among others tax categories. This will have a serious impact on households, especially the middle class and the rural poor.
Meanwhile, it is an open secret that the West has threatened economic sanctions and weed out “non essential contact” with a Jubilee government. Below are some of the effects of such sanctions:
·       The European Union will put an embargo on flower exports from Kenya, meaning there would be no access of market, leading to a massive loss of jobs and foreign exchange in the flower cluster around Naivasha, Limuru, Nairobi, Nakuru,Thika and Kericho.

·       Travel advisories will impact on tourism as tourists will shun Kenya, and the industry will collapse. Most tourists visiting Kenya are from Britain, US, Italy and Germany; contrast that with zero from China, Russia, Syria, Iran, North Korea and Sudan, among other rogue states Jubilee is planning to turn to.

·       Programs like Free Primary Education and the life sustaining and critical national HIV & Aids management effort would collapse as they are funded by the European Union and the US.

·       Farmers in the tea and coffee industry will be hard hit as there will be no market for their produce. The ban on miraa export to Netherlands is just the tip of the iceberg.

·       Kenyan artisans will not get a market to sell their artefacts. The soapstone industry in Kisii, Masai beads and ciondo weaving among other small micro business would collapse overnight.

·       Most international companies having their regional headquarters in Nairobi will have to relocate to other pro-West territories like Tanzania and Uganda; this will lead massive job losses and turning investments like the Konza IT City into white elephants.

·       Investors will shun Kenya, leading to zero Foreign Direct Investment into the economy and worsening Foreign Exchange situation. Do you need to be told that this will necessitate declined or stagnated economic growth?

·       The United Nations will relocate the UNEP headquarters from Kenya most probably to South Africa or Germany.

Are you ready to see the Kenyan economy go to the dogs? Thankfully, many Kenyans are now starting to realise what is at stake as some politicians try hard to shift the debate from these critical issues and keep the masses under their tribal spell. Please vote wisely on Monday.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Tyranny Of Numbers 2.0 - Mutahi Ngunyi's analysis refined

Mutahi Ngunyi's "Tyranny Of Numbers" has now been
discredited and found to hold no substance.
There has been uproar over the recent projection of numbers made by Mutahi Ngunyi which gave Jubilee Alliance an advantage over the CORD coalition. For the first time, Ngunyi was dismissed by the public, particularly on social media.

It is an open secret that any political contest can only be won on numbers. A group of political scientists and social research experts took a critical look at the Ngunyi analysis, taking into account the emerging developments from battlefront areas all over the country.
Let’s start with the total  numbers of registered voters as per IEBC:

1. Central - 2,190,476
2. Nyanza - 1,
954,756
3. Western - 1, 434,987
4. Coast - 1,640,083
5. N. Eastern - 504,482
6. Eastern - 2,092,883
7. Rift Valley - 3,373,853
8. Nairobi - 1, 778,903


It’s regrettable that majority of the electorate will vote along tribal lines. Jubilee Alliance’s Uhuru Kenyatta's support base is in the former provinces of Central, Rift Valley, parts of Nairobi and parts of 
Eastern. On the face of it, if Jubilee can keep intact these regions and presume 85% support, then a win in the first round will be imminent.

However, scratching deeper below the surface complicates the puzzle somewhat.

Consider the supposed Jubilee strongholds of Rift Valley, Eastern and Nairobi. Central is purely uncontested for Jubilee just like Nyanza is for CORD. Moving to Rift Valley, however, the bitter truth is that majority of the Kalenjin will vote as per Ruto’s wishes, while majority of the cosmopolitan areas will vote along ethnic lines.

Rift Valley Region - 
The core Kalenjin Counties (registered voters)

1. Elgeeyo Marakwet - 134,290
2. Nandi - 254,788
3. Baringo - 171,013
4. Kericho - 290,102
5. Bomet - 254,405
Total - 1,104,598

The total of 1,104,598 from the core Kalenjin Counties can be assigned to Jubilee since William Ruto commands the region, save for a significant minority of Tea Plantation workers in Kericho, Bomet and Nandi, compromising mainly Gusii and Luo tribes. Gideon Mois’s KANU, in an alliance with Mudavadi, may chip out an insignificant minority as spoils.

The non-Kalejin Rift Valley 
(registered voters)

1. Kajiado - 315,053
2. Narok - 253,086
3. Turkana - 120,345
4. West Pokot - 107,894
5. Samburu - 56,662
6. Trans Nzoia - 231,352
7. Uasin Gishu - 318,717
8. Laikipia - 170,267
9. Nakuru - 695,879
Total - 2,269,255

The above Counties do not have a clear favorite. Jubilee cannot confidently claim more than 60%, and here is why: The Maasai who reside in Narok and Kajiado are largely pro-CORD, courtesy of William Ole Ntimama and Maj. Gen. (Rtd) J. K. Nkaissery. The Mau eviction and the perceived historical land injustices are a major encumbrance to Jubilee's support.

Samburu and West Pokot Counties might be a 50% scoop for both CORD and Jubilee. Trans Nzoia is purely cosmopolitan, with Luhya, Kisii and Kalenjin farmers residing in the area with native Sabaots, giving neither CORD nor Jubilee an edge.

Nakuru is even more cosmopolitan and if you scan the register of Nakuru County, Gusii, Luhya, Akamba and Luo weigh in with 258,624 voters, giving Jubilee a maximum 60%.

From the foregoing break down of Rift Valley, Jubilee Alliance therefore cannot brag to command the region beyond 60%. Half of the votes are split! The split is due to the cosmopolitan nature of some parts, and the Maasai, Turkana and Samburu comfortably give Raila between 800,000 – 1,000,000 votes from Rift Valley. That is Jubilee's biggest nightmare and may be a game changer.

With the Maasai, Samburu and Turkana votes in the bag, we can now add the cosmopolitan Luyha, Kisii and other communities who will most likely add up for Raila and NOT for Jubilee. A few weeks ago, CORD signed a MoU with Kalenjin elders, farmers and professionals; these will give Raila a few more votes. Raila’s schemes and political antics will be at play, and it is possible that he can cut through these numbers. Jubilee may have the numbers in Rift Valley but NOT a clear majority, and this complicates the Tyranny Of Numbers for Jubilee in the Rift Valley.

Nairobi Region
Nairobi has a total of 1,778,903 IEBC registered voters. Since elections will be held in March, the IEBC calendar has forced village voters to vote in the city, meaning they won’t be travelling upcountry to vote as they been. This explains why voter registration turnout was 138% in Nairobi. A tally of Luo, Luhya, Kamba and Gusii voters, who are inclined to CORD, totals 1,192,037. If they will be faithful to their ethnic spirit like their village counterparts, then they are likely to vote for CORD and an insignificant minority will vote for Amani. There is absolutely no doubt that Raila Odinga will emerge the winner in Nairobi by at least 1,000,000 votes, assuming a more than 95% voter turnout.

Eastern Region
Eastern can be split into two parts: the upper Eastern region has historically been voting as a block with Central under the GEMA, and is expected to do the same this time round. However, Lower Eastern, compromising mainly the Kamba, will most likely vote for CORD. Charity Ngilu is a light weight, with no significant position in Jubilee Alliance and no sway in the Kamba vote.

Now this what the numbers in Lower Eastern say:

1. Makueni - 300,086
2. Machakos - 445,819
3. Kitui - 323,624
Total 1,069,529
Lower Eastern with 1,069,529 registered voters can comfortably be said to be in CORD.

Meanwhile in Upper Eastern:

1. Meru 483,517
2. Isiolo 52,617
3. Marsabit 104,408
4. Embu 226,989
5. Tharaka 155,82
Total 1,023,354
Isiolo and Marsabit might be an equal share or a slight win for CORD. Meru, Tharaka and Embu are solidly Jubilee. However, the recent inroads by Raila into Meru and the ban of miraa export to the Netherlands and the perception that Raila is better placed that Uhuru (who is leaning towards China, North Korea, Iran, Syria and the rest of Africa where miraa has no market) to negotiate with the European union should ensure that Raila picks up a few more votes. With the mistreatment of Kiraitu Murungi and the subsequent take off of Mbus, Jubilee is vulnerable in Meru.

Mutahi Ngunyi’s Tyranny Of Numbers would only hold if Jubilee got absolute control of Eastern, Nairobi and Rift Valley. CORD, on the other hand, is expected to lead with big margins at the Coast, Lower Eastern, Western, North Eastern and Nyanza; juxtapose this to Jubilee’s lead in Rift Valley and Central.

As illustrated above, Raila is likely to garner more than 1,000,000 votes in Rift valley mainly from the Maasai, Turkana, Samburu and Cosmopolitan or CORD aligned immigrant communities - Gusii, Luyha, Luo and Kamba. This will enable Raila Odinga to win round one hands down. This is practically and politically possible.

If Raila won’t win round one, he will definitely win the run-off on the basis of:



  • Hague/ICC related complications
  • Senior Jubilee stalwarts like Prof. Ongeri, Balala, Mwakwere and Ngilu may fail to win their senate races. They would be shell shocked and embarrassed to come out and campaign for Jubilee in their respective home turfs. With all the fringe Presidential candidates out of national limelight, Jubilee would be confirmed as a two tribe outfit and will be soundly rejected by majority of Kenyans.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Why I Endorse Raila For Fourth President - Pheroze Nowrojee

"Kenya needs a tried and tested leader, not two
apprentices of the Likoni Ferry type - accidents
waiting to happen."
This is a serious country looking to a serious future. It needs a tried and tested leader. Not two apprentices of the Likoni Ferry type – accidents waiting to happen. And further distracted by their personal problems. I endorse Raila Odinga for President and urge that he be supported at the polls on election day.


There are three key issues – implementation of the constitution, reform (not just of laws but also of values in government and society) and devolution. There are three key qualifications – a track record, sacrifice, consciousness of the ethos of the new constitution.
I consider that on these critical issues and these critical qualifications Raila emerges as the candidate most to be trusted to implement the new Constitution fully and within its prescribed time frame. And his main opponent is the least trustworthy on each of these three issues.
Constitutions do not come into being of their own. They do not just happen. Raila is the one who has brought about the new Constitution. In 2000, it was Raila, not Moi, who brought KANU to the constitutional review process and facilitated Prof.Ghai’s chairmanship of the process.
After Moi dissolved Parliament in 2002 and halted the process, Raila revived it in 2003 and brought about Bomas. He did not walk out of Bomas, like Kiraitu and others. When Bomas was ended without its recommended Constitution, and a fraudulent substitute put to the country, Raila led the country in the Referendum of 2005 to reject it.
Raila was dropped from the Cabinet. After the 2007 PEV and the 2008 National Coalition, Raila again put constitutional review on Agenda IV. Raila and Kibaki then brought the Review law to Parliament in 2008, pushed the process through its many steps and campaigned the Referendum of 2010 to victory. Raila’s culminating point after 12 years of moving constitutional reform was the Promulgation on 27 August 2010.
This is the candidate who will best defend and apply the Constitution towards protection of the weak. No candidate can guarantee every right or fulfil every promise.
But Raila is the most experienced and able candidate in this election. This is shown by his purpose in the years he suffered. That purpose was others, not himself. Such suffering does not bring a person wealth. It was done out of a nationalist conviction. What nationalist or political conviction does any deed of Uhuru show us? None comes to mind.
This absence is also shown by his quick readiness to hand over the country to Ruto to run. Yet all Kenyans know that Ruto is against the Constitution, and that Kenyans in 2010 expressly and overwhelmingly rejected Ruto’s stand.
This is how persons without strong or any political convictions approach high political office. The vacuum in Uhuru’s beliefs and convictions will soon translate into a vacuum of power in government. This will then be swiftly filled by the exclusive ethnic elites in the Civil Service and ethnobusinesses pushing now for his election. This, and therefore Uhuru and Ruto, are I believe a major danger to Kenya.
In contrast, Raila’s persistence over 30 years on behalf of the people of Kenya has earned him respect from crowds in every part of the country. He was the motor in the elections team of FORD-Kenya in 1992, when FORD-Kenya emerged as the only political party to win a seat in every province of Kenya.
Raila has sacrificed for the country, and tested his ideas for the country. Firstly, through his detention, torture, prison and exile in the 1980s and 1990s. Secondly, through his sacrifice in placing Kenya above himself, giving up his 2007 election victory and agreeing in 2008 to come in on a National Coalition in the national interest.
It is Raila who has brought us to 2013 in a manner that is still holding Kenya together. Not Uhuru nor TNA nor their shadowy backers. Raila’s huge efforts to this end contrast with the failure of the same type arrangement in Zimbabwe. And show what we owe him.
What has Uhuru sacrificed for Kenya that enables him to claim the best right to prescribe for its future? Uhuru parrots only one answer : that it is his democratic right to stand.
Not any special fitness, experience or qualification. Nor has he grasped the irony that his democratic right to stand in a multi-party election was brought about by Raila and others and not by himself!
Uhuru’s standing with KANU in 2002 when he had kept mum throughout the Nyayo KANU years while fellow Kenyans were suffering greatly, showed that he was for the status quo and was not a man for reform. This is what Uhuru still is, though the new Constitution is for change and reform, of both structures and values.
Uhuru now pretends that he is for the poor, offering Waititu over the able Jimnah Mbaru. Raila shows that you can be for the poor and others, and still be experienced in administration and government and still respect everybody.
Uhuru has not been for the poor at any time before this. Raila has been for the poor in Langata for the past 20 years as MP, and for them for 30 years through prison, detention and exile. Raila’s has not been a Luo seat but a Kenyan seat containing all Kenyans. He did not hide in a safe seat, like Bondo, or Gatundu.
Uhuru’s is not the party of the poor. Not with launching a manifesto for the poor with American -style expenditure, music, lights, flags and confetti. Nor is TNA the party of the middle class. The Middle Class are protected and assured growth through rights, only through an implemented Constitution.
I believe Raila is the most reliable candidate to complete that necessary constitutional process. I will vote for Raila.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The letter that Mungiki sent to Dr. Mutunga (reproduced here)

You know we're in an election cycle when the outlawed Mungiki sect brazenly intimidates the Chief Justice of the Republic of Kenya. Or, in his own words, the Head of the Civil Service Francis Kimemia musters State resources in an attempt to intimidate him; in this instance, using Immigration officials to try and bar him from leaving the country. 

It is now becoming crystal clear who the real owners of Mungiki are, as evidenced by the famous "poison-pen letter" from the Mungiki Veterans Groups/Kenya Sovereignty Defence Squad making all manner of threats against judges, ambassadors and the CJ himself:


Vote wise, not popular

"Let's have a debate, but please ask easy questions only.
If you ask hard ones, I won't come back. By the way,
I want to be your president!"
Kudos for the first ever Kenyan presidential debate and I'm sure the organisers are learning lessons and it will keep getting better.

I have read that the moderators "concentrated too much on Uhuru Kenyatta" and were "tough on him."

Unfortunately, the debate is part of the democratisation process of this country and Kenyans fought hard for that space. The debate is part of the different initiatives that allow Kenyans to occupy that space. Therefore, refusal to participate in the debate smacks of disdain to citizens and could be a indication of things to come. 

Before elections is the only time we have to engage with those seeking elective office. Could refusal to engage be a TNA strategy? If the polls showed that Uhuru Kenyatta shone in the first round, should that not have bolstered his confidence? Remember how Waititu went on interviews all weekend after he won the primaries? What happened when they started to dig deeper? He simply stopped showing up.

Finally, I do not buy the story that these people are biased against Uhuru and do not like him. At the end of the day, whoever wins the presidency will have been "unliked" by at least 40% of the Kenyans! A leader must be ready to know that there will be times he will have to make an unpopular decision because it is the right one.

I chose to investigate before I invest and yes, voting for Kenya is an investment, so refusal to willingly offer yourself for engagement is like buying a car on as-is-basis; you will only find out what is wrong with it after you have bought.

Let's keep it peaceful, folks


UHURU: Manze RAO, sa ile risto ya skype ilicome how? Haikunibamba walahi...

RAILA: Sasa we Uhunye nikuulize, we unadai unidiss alafu mi kazi yangu, eeh, ni kucheka tu na kulenga sindio? We nisho, molasses inaingia aje? Hiyo stingo ulitoa wapi budaa, za ovyo utaacha!

UHURU: Ooh, ni hivo eh? Ni kutoana rangi eeh? Wazi wazi, haina ngori. No wonder madem wanakulenga wananikamia.

RAILA: Ati? Loool! Ati Ngilu na Shebesh? Ha ha ha... buuda, hapo umejiwaste kuruka, hizo maganda za miwa ndo unasema? Watakumanga mkwanja ushangae!

UHURU: RAO, acha hizo mtu nguyaz; dem ni dem. Mistari ya-mine imekutoa. Kubali yaishe!

RAILA: Yenyewe ka ni hao, afadhali nibaki single mzeiya! Na nikuulize, kwani uliduia nini mademoni? Huyo msee hakunice!

UHURU: Na wewe ulimfanyiaga nini? Si alikublock FB akanisendia friend request mara ya fao. Lakini huyo boyz ako tu na zake. Ati anadai akam, halafu ati sasa ye ndo akuwe baba yao, imagine! Amechizi ninii?

RAILA: He he... lakini si unajua baba yao ni nani?

UHURU: Ha ha ha... ati wewe? Ha ha ha... jokes utaacha! Lool!

Monday, February 18, 2013

BREAKING: From 'Kidneys For The King' to 'Penis for the househelp': Miguna Miguna arrested for attempting to rape his house girl

It seems like a natural progression from 'Peeling Back The Mask' to 'Pulling Down The Skirt'. News just in is that Miguna Miguna this morning attempted to rape his house girl.The house girl is currently at Muthaiga Police Station where she is recording a statement about the incident.

We're watching this story for you.

The myth of 'Tyranny Of Numbers' bebunked and exposed as a hoax

The projection that Uhuru Kenyatta starts off with an unbreakable numerical lead is pure myth. That 43 per cent Mutahi Ngunyi speaks of may actually represent the best that Uhuru can hope for. (Remember Mitt Romney's 47 per cent?)

Nothing has provoked as much controversy in this election cycle, as the narrative about a “tyranny of numbers” put out by the veteran political commentator Mutahi Ngunyi a few weeks ago.

The basic points of this narrative are as follows: historically, Kenyans always vote on a clear tribal pattern, irrespective of what the issues are in any election. As such, if you look at the combinations of key tribal leaders who have agreed to work together in a political coalition, you can more or less ascertain how many votes each coalition will get.

Arising from this comes two key points: that (as one source puts it) “Jubilee Coalition and Its Tyranny of Numbers; if history is a reliable reference point, we assume that the Gema and the Kalenjin nations will vote for this coalition as a bloc. If they do, the combined vote for this bloc is 6.2 Million or 43.2 per cent of the total vote according to the IEBC December 18 voter registration tallies.”

This source adds that “The CORD coalition is primarily composed of the Luo nation and 80% of the Kamba nation. The combined starting point for CORD coalition is 19.2 per cent or 2.74 million votes…arrived at this figure by adding the Prime Minister’s ethnic support (Luo) and that of the Vice President (Kamba).”

This, of course is what caused so much consternation among those who support CORD and so much rejoicing among the supporters of the Jubilee Coalition. By any standards, a political coalition starting off with 43 per cent of the total Kenyan vote locked up in its strongholds would be more or less invincible. Especially if the principal rival coalition has only 20 per cent roughly, as a starting point. Indeed Mr Ngunyi actually went so far – in his TV interview – as to call the presidential election in Jubilee’s favour, announcing that the outcome of this election had been predetermined at the voter registration exercise, and CORD was bound to lose.

This kind of wild generalisation would be merely amusing, for very many reasons, if not for the fact that it has brought back the spectre of massive rigging into the upcoming election.


When speaking in private, the hard core of Jubilee Coalition supporters – who base their expectations entirely on the ‘tyranny of numbers’ theory – claim that they are sailing to victory with the greatest of ease. And that nothing short of phenomenal rigging could possibly deny Uhuru Kenyatta the presidency in the very first round of voting.

On the other hand, the partisans of CORD are willing to come out quite openly to allege that the whole purpose of this deeply-flawed theory of the ‘tyranny of numbers’ is to create the right psychological framework for massive rigging by Jubilee. And that the whole point of this theory being put out in the first place, is to provide a narrative which will be used to explain why and how Uhuru Kenyatta won – after he has been rigged in on March 4.

Thus, it is worth considering what merit, if any, this theory has, and whether it is in any way an accurate rendering of what we should expect in the elections.

Perhaps the most effective refutation of the ‘tyranny of numbers’ theory in the results of the recent opinion polls. Virtually all the reputable pollsters are unanimous in predicting, as of this point, a “dead heat” between the two leading presidential candidates, with the CORD candidate, Raila Odinga considered to have a slim lead. In general, Uhuru Kenyatta is rated to have somewhere between 42 per cent and 44 per cent of the vote at this point in time, and Raila Odinga is rated at between 44 per cent and 46 per cent. Given the margin of error in such polls, this amounts to a situation in which either candidate could just as easily win.


Interestingly enough, this is more or less what the pollsters had as Kenya went into the 2007 general election: Raila had a slight lead over the incumbent President Mwai Kibaki in that election, which was also generally judged to be “too close to call”. To this we may add the fact that Kenyan pollsters have accurately predicted the results of the 2002 presidential elections, the 2005 referendum, the 2007 presidential elections and the 2010 referendum.

This is a track record of reliability which would be acceptable in any nation and at any time since the advent of opinion polling.

So, the first question which could be posed to those who uncritically accept the theory of ‘the tyranny of numbers’ is, If Raila Odinga starts off with only 20 per cent of the vote, then where does he get the additional 25 per cent of the vote that pollsters are predicting he will get?

Or put another way, since Uhuru Kenyatta’s supposed ‘tyranny of numbers’ only amounts to 43 per cent - the same percentage of support that the pollsters give him – does this mean that only the Gema and the Kalenjin will vote for Uhuru, while almost everyone else will vote for Raila? Are we facing the spectre of a clear voting pattern of '40-against-2'?

Oddly enough, there is nothing unusual about people saying to pollsters that they will vote for one candidate, and then turning round and voting for the rival candidate. It is actually quite common in an election where deep (but often unspoken) racial or communal rivalries exist, which is considered to be ‘politically incorrect’ to discuss openly. In the US, this is known as ‘the Bradley Effect’ among political scientists and newspaper columnists.

In a 2012 article in The Daily Caller, political columnist Mickey Kaus explained, “The Bradley Rule holds that voters will be reluctant to tell pollsters they are voting against an African-American for fear of being labelled racist. It allegedly hurt Tom Bradley in 1982 and Douglas Wilder in 1989.”

Indeed, thanks to what happened to Doug Wilder (i.e. he too seemed to lead in the polls, but ended up losing) this phenomenon is sometimes called the Wilder Effect too. And it is always a consideration when there is a black candidate on the ballot for a significant political office like governor or senator.

The New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof noted in 2008, for example, that “Democrats are wringing their hands in nervousness over the 'Bradley Effect', in which black candidates poll well but win fewer votes than expected. That’s usually attributed to voters lying about racism — telling pollsters they’re going to vote for a black when they actually plan to vote for a white — but some scholars believe it has less to do with lying than with unconscious racism that leaves voters with growing doubts that lead to a last-minute mind change in the voting booth. In any case, though, the Bradley Effect has been diminishing in recent years, and in many caces, has disappeared.”

In the Kenyan context, what we are faced with at this time is not an election result which paints a completely different picture from that which the polls had led us to expect. Rather, it is a conflict between two narratives, based on more or less the same voter registration figures.


Nobody seriously doubts that the great majority of Kenyan voters tend to go along with a clear tribal preference when it comes to presidential elections. So Mr Ngunyi’s point of departure – that the Kalenjin and the GEMA ‘nations’ together amount to a huge basket of votes – is not in doubt.

The unanswered question though, is, what has Mutahi Ngunyi missed? For if his projections were accurate, then there should be no question of a ‘dead heat’ between Uhuru and Raila. It should have been equally obvious in the opinion polls that Uhuru had a huge (though by no means insurmountable) lead. Or at the very least, the numbers given by the leading pollsters should vary so widely as to create serious doubts about their credibility.

One pollster may be wrong; but they cannot all be wrong. So how do you reconcile the pollsters being unanimous that this election is a dead heat, while Mutahi Ngunyi’s theory – and a very influential theory it is – argues that Uhuru Kenyatta has such a huge lead, that Raila cannot hope to catch up?

Just as the Amercian political scientists turned to psychology to explain what they thereafter termed as “the Bradley Effect” so too, must we now turn to psychology to explain this divergence between the two sets of statistics: Mutahi Ngunyi’s reliance on the registration numbers from the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to project an unassailable lead for Uhuru Kenyatta, and the combined results of reputable Kenyan pollsters, which suggest that either Uhuru or Raila could just as easily win, with Raila – at this point – having a slightly better chance of winning.

But before we even consider the psychological factors, we should note that the ‘tyranny of numbers’ theory is based on just 62.4 per cent of the vote. That alone makes it suspect. If this theory were to be taken seriously as in any way reflecting final outcomes, it should at least have accounted for 95 per cent of the vote, thus giving some indication as to why one candidate had effectively won already; and the other was doomed to fail.


In this case, there is a clear 37.6 per cent which is not accounted for. This is far too large a number to be referred to as a ‘swing vote’. The swing vote factor only comes in when 90 per cent or more of the vote has been accounted for. Using yet another American example, here is an analysis published in 2001 in the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, and written by Jeffrey Helmreich. It is titled ‘The Israel swing factor: How the American Jewish vote influences US elections’ and it made this argument:


“There are two clashing myths on the political power of American Jewry. One claims that the community is too small to affect national elections; Jews make up less than three per cent of the US population. A contrasting view holds that US Jews play a disproportionately large role in national politics thanks to their campaign donations and media influence.
According to evidence confirmed in the most recent elections (2000) however, American Jewish voters maintain the potential to be the decisive factor in national election results. Yet, this ability does not emanate from any financial or public relations clout, which is overestimated. Rather, American Jews wield power through their high concentration in key states, and their tendency to behave as a swing vote in ways that set them apart from virtually all other groups in American politics.”

So if a population as small as three per cent counts as a decisive swing vote in close elections, then how can any calculation that leaves out a clear 37 per cent of the vote – and confidently predicts a precise outcome from this calculation – possibly be taken seriously?

A different interpretation of the IEBC registration numbers then – when reconciled with the results of the opinion polls – may well be that most of the country is united against the Gema-Kalenjin political coalition that goes by the name Jubilee. And that perhaps a significant number of Kalenjin and Gema community members have also decided to vote against their tribal “wave” and support Raila Odinga instead. And that this claim of a solid 43 per cent of the vote having been locked in by the Jubilee coalition is a hoax, which will be exposed when the final tally is made.

There could be any number of reasons why “the rest of the country” might unite against Jubilee: it could be a growing awareness that the Jubilee candidates for president and deputy president will not be here to preside over anything if they should win; that they will have their hands full defending themselves at The Hague.

It could also be a fear of economic sanctions if the two refuse to obey the summons from The Hague.

It could further be a simple sense of resentment that only those two communities – the Kikuyu and the Kalenjin – have ever had “one of their own” occupy State House, and so someone from some other tribe should now have an opportunity to lead the nation.

Or it could be that – contrary to appearances on the surface – there are many within the Kalenjin community who are not yet reconciled to voting for a Kikuyu presidential candidate, given the extreme bad blood between the two communities as revealed in the 2008 post-election violence.

It could be that when William Ruto gave up his own presidential ambitions to support Uhuru Kenyatta, he did not really take the entire Kalenjin vote with him into the Jubilee coalition, much as the DPM Musalia Mudavadi evidently did not carry all of Western Kenya with him into the Amani Coalition.

This, of course, would be a classic example of the psychological phenomenon defined as the ‘Bradley Effect’: that Kalenjin voters may currently appear to be reconciled to voting in a Kikuyu president, but then when they get to the ballot box, we will find that – owing to unresolved historical differences – they are, ultimately, not willing to do so.

In short, it may well be that the true “tyranny of numbers" will be expressed in a 57 per cent vote against Uhuru in the widely-anticipated runoff between him and Raila; that although he is a strong candidate with massive grassroots support in Central Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta will lose solely because it goes against the national sentiment to have a Kikuyu succeeding another Kikuyu to the presidency.

And it is to be noted that such a perspective does not argue that Mutahi Ngunyi cooked up those numbers from the IEBC. Those numbers – on the face of it – appear to be real enough. What is however revealed is that Ngunyi had no real idea what those numbers signified; and that he lacked the sophistication to go beyond a simple tribal calculus which, in any case, he based on less than 65 per cent of the total vote.

We can conclude then, that the ‘tyranny of numbers’ narrative is little more than an empty hoax. The alleged ‘starting point’ of the Jubilee Coalition is basically just the 43 per cent that all the polls estimate Uhuru Kenyatta will get. And the only ‘tyranny’ possible, is that the rest of the Kenyan voters will unite to deny Uhuru victory in the second round of balloting.

The projection that Uhuru starts off with a huge numerical advantage is pure myth. That 43 per cent may actually represent the best that he can hope for. It is an ‘end game’ number, not a starting point. And unless all the pollsters are wrong – despite having been right for the last five electoral events in Kenya – this presidential election is going into a runoff which distinctly favours Raila Odinga as the eventual winner.