Martin Tairo's Unsolicited View

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My Duel with Martha Karua on Twitter

Was following Justus Amito, a blogger, who was giving a TL of Martha Karua‘s achievements and goofs over the years. And this is how it started:-

Justus Amito: With others, Martha Karua successfully agitated for the reintroduction of multi-partydemocracy in 1992. This was true, i however fast forwarded to 2007 and responded to Amito as below:

Me to Justus Amito while mentioning Martha Karua: Don’t forget Martha Karua supervised the flawed reconstitution of the defunct ECK which bungled the election leading to PEV.

Martha Karua to me: Fact elections bungled at polling stations largely by supporters of Kibaki and Raila. Refer to Kriegler report.

Me to Martha Karua: But you had already ensured a Kibaki friendly ECK was in place to declare him winner. Why did you boot the 1997 IPPG?

Martha Karua to me: Necessary consultations done before appointments and we are all in parliament courtesy of the same commission (note that she has totally avoided the question of why she ignored the 1997 IPPG)

Me to Martha Karua: Yeah, i guess the same kind of consultations Kibaki had with you before he appointed new judges. Swords cut both ways.

Martha Karua to Me: I will answer genuine tweets not clever ones!

Me to Martha Karua : This was simply a concurrence with you that consultations always existed in Kibaki’s government. Needed no response

Martha Karua to Me: You appear to have been an insider

Me to Martha Karua: While we know this parliament is there courtesy of Kivuitu’s ECK, its the presidential election that was rigged

Martha Karua to Me: Excuse me what of election petitions?

Me to Martha Karua: Khalwale, Wanjiru, Mwakwere won their seats back, if it means anything

Martha Karua to me again: We cannot chose when to believe Kivuitu and when to curse him,those who tampered on both sides to blame

Me to Martha Karua: I believe Kivuitu as he clearly said he doesn’t know who won the election. If Kibaki won, he would have said it.

Martha Karua to Me: I believe Kriegler who after inquiry found both sides exaggerated votes

Me to Martha Karua: But i don’t get your point, do you mean since we accepted a bungled parliamentary election, we should swallow a presidential one too? Last time i checked, two wrongs didn’t make a right. Plus that’s a lame justification for blatant rigging of elections

Martha Karua to Me: I believe Kriegler who after inquiry found both sides exaggerated votes

Me to Martha Karua: Then in your opinion, the cleverer thug won?

Martha Karua to Me: Your interpretation not mine guys you seem to be running short of fresh allegations?

Me to Martha Karua: Its not just about finding fresh allegations. You seem too keen to bury the past but it will haunt you to the ballot! Its people like you who make Moi look like a saint. Despite the atrocities of his regime, he respected the IPPG. You didn’t.

Martha Karua to Me: Seek ye knowledge first IPPG was about parties after 2005 referendum parties became unrecognizable due to shift

Me to Martha Karua: But in the same spirit you didn’t think the opposition should have a say in ECK appointments, if only to give it credibility?

Martha Karua to Me: The “opposition” then was largely members of government party Narc and hence consultation with parliamentarians

Me to Martha Karua: You misuse the term ‘consultation’. The major stakeholders were the presidential aspirants. Who were these parliamentarians

Martha Karua to Me: The list of who was there then is in the archives of parliament

Me to Martha Karua: The viability of your candidature is solely dependent on how you explain your role in the 2007 election.

Martha Karua to Me: To you?

Me to Martha Karua: I know you will dismiss me as a single vote. But then again, the questions will still linger.

Martha Karua to Me: Now that I remember you posed same questions to me on this very forum about a month ago your agenda?

Me to Martha Karua: No agenda. Just that it pains me to see you lose decades of credible and consistent leadership to one bungled election.

Martha Karua to Me: I believe so why do you resurface with same issue over and over and unsupported allegations?

Me to Martha Karua: While my hypothesis could be termed as allegations, the issues i have raised on ECK are facts. You would have been the obvious alternative leadership to this country had you made wiser decisions well in advance…. The big question is whether you can be trusted. This question would not arise had you refused to be sucked by the powers that be.

Martha Karua to Me: An individual do not determine my credibility and not on a false premise Kenyans collectively will do fairly!

Before the debate heated up, some bloggers had already joined the conversations with tribal stereotyping and insults hurled at me. This spoiled my wonderful conversation with Karua but i thought i should mention who these other bloggers were:-

  • @Kentrepreneur said, “Only Luo’s need explanation from Martha Karua about the 2007 elections.” When i noted that i am not Luo and rebuffed his tribal stereotyping, he responded, “If he’s still crying over Raila, I can place him into a few ethnic categories.” I decided to ignore him.
  • Another blogger called Charles @Wanjura did not mince his words, “shut the fuck up en grow up! You can as well run for the office! I didn’t know you such an idiot!” Well, i didn’t know where all that came from and i asked why the insults. He responded, “You just need to do a lot of growing up, you don’t have to disrespect people or fabricate allegations.” I checked his bio where he has described himself as a Martha Karua fanatic. I realized i could not have any meaningful and objective conversation with him. I ignored him too.

33 comments on “My Duel with Martha Karua on Twitter

  1. emunenen
    May 7, 2012

    It’s sad that the conversation wasn’t sustained it was very objective.

  2. Ehud
    May 7, 2012

    Wow! What a conversation that was,i only wish it was on the bench. Nice one and keep going.

  3. kevin
    May 7, 2012

    i admit i’d vote for Karua as pres. but i have to say it was a healthy nontribal debate till the likes of charles @wanjura ruined it.. heck! and you call him a blogger? need to finish this conversation

  4. Good points raised and objectivity displayed…do not worry about the stereotyping and the fanatics, this shall come to pass with each new generation. A majority of our generation still plays by the rules of the old guys, I guess schooling did not really help all of us.

  5. optimusthe1
    May 7, 2012

    It’s sad that despite all the schooling the younger generation have been exposed to, we still have people who retreat into their tribal cocoons when any of their “tribes-people” are asked to account for their actions. MK is a reformer albeit her lapse in judgement in the events leading to the 2007 PEV. However, this is a big deal hence the lingering questions about her complicity in all the issues before & after. Let’s all grow up mentally and stop behaving like the older generation!

  6. Shem Otanga
    May 7, 2012

    I would have considered voting for martha Karua but her voracious defence of the Kibaki “win” in 2008 robs her of any credibility in my eyes. By the way, I am not an ODM supporter and Have nothing against Kikuyus. I am a Kenyan seeking a patriotic leader who has integrity to lead this nation forward regardless of what tribe he or she is from

  7. George
    May 7, 2012

    That was good debate. Martha was given a chance to show her leadership qualities but she messed up. I am not sure if she should be given another chance. But then again I have one vote. LOL.
    It all depends on who will be in the ballot boxes. It might be a case of who is the least “thief” that is if there are no saints.

    I think if she owns up and apologizes she may increase her ratings. Otherwise same old same old politicians

  8. JM
    May 7, 2012

    You raising good points but do not forget we are all to blame for the mess that is 2007 election rigging. Much as Martha may have played a part in the flaws that let to the mess, every politician running for presidency did the same too.
    One thing Martha did and it is what differentiates her from many is, she left the government and has been standing for positive change. She is one of the few who can help us get close to the promised land if not reaching there.
    And well the elections were rigged by all parties in their own turfs. We should focus on the future that is next elections and elect leaders who will lead us. Martha or whoever, the choice is yours.

  9. noah
    May 7, 2012

    very objective and non tribal, i only wish our “journalists” would be at this level when “analyzing” and interviewing our political leaders…

  10. Abdalla
    May 7, 2012

    Ignore the tribalism that cropped-in, and persue on with Martha. I have always asked her on fcbk, to tell people her involvement with 2007. She never response.

  11. the miz
    May 7, 2012

    good convo bt i nthink you probed too much and it got a little bit too personal

  12. Myrrh
    May 7, 2012

    The blogger begun sounding like a broken record at some stage, insisting on asking & re-asking the same questions, all it showed was Martha Karua’s patience and presence of mind as she answered the same questions for the umpteenth time …

    From here on we can only look forward into the future, not keep running around in circles regarding one perceived misdeed on Martha’s part … she was comparatively a very small player and benefactor in the events following the bungled elections

  13. Myrrh
    May 7, 2012

    …. in 2007

  14. mmnjug
    May 7, 2012

    I recall this conversation vivdly…….!! You not only raised very pertinent issues, but Karua did not respond to some of them. It is about trust.

    The insults by these guys were a damper…………..pitiable really!!

  15. A good debate it was Tairo…Martha wants genuine qns, not clever ones..I like that!!! Maybe you should try to get hold of her again soon so that this worth debate can go on…and try to keep it genuine as she wants

  16. Umesema tu ukweli, Tairo. I’ve always thought Martha Karua to be an interesting candidate. In fact, I would be inclined to vote for her, but that ‘little’ matter of the last elections and the ECK is a blemish on her record. She needs to come up with a way of addressing the issue, not avoiding it. Even if addressing it means she admits she was misguided, that is far better than the current response.

    As for the comments you got from those hostile bloggers, this is what I have talked about elsewhere ( ). We, as a people, need to learn to talk about our imperfections and problems without resorting to the language of tribalism.

  17. jwan
    May 8, 2012

    That blogger really wanted to test Martha’s patience. She had no role in the 2007, and if the outcome favoured her, not her fault. But again, leaders like her need to be tested by all and sundry so that they have clearer objectives and answers to questions that plague our political arena.

  18. Salvador Ogacho
    May 8, 2012

    That was a sad thing with the election back in 2007, but i must state that we will not forget the bad nor the good she has done for this nation to bring about these freedom we now associate with kenyan politics. The time to put tribe aside is now and in my opinion I would choose her over most of the other candidates majorly becoz I think with this new constitution she is better placed than most to form a solid foundation for growth, for now and the future. In short I would trust her to build the foundation for a new Kenya based on the new constitution. Am just another kenyan thinking of my daughters future and for that MK is my choice.

  19. Abu
    May 8, 2012

    I think she should at least get credit to engage and respond. Others would either have ignored / sent sycophants to insult…

  20. MU- Accurate
    May 8, 2012

    Show me a saint in Kenyan politics and I will show you the next president of the Republic of Kenya. In Kenya it seems to me, time washes and anoints leaders. Corrupt thieves of yester- years or even coup leaders have over the time been ‘cleansed’ and now preach integrity. Martha tripped and she deserves a second chance.

  21. Tijan Khalifa
    May 8, 2012

    Interesting debate, good objective questions from Tairo and similarly good rebuttals from MK. I agree with some of the comments that indeed it is time we moved on and focused on how to better build the country, but the point is, justified or not, are we willing to overlook flaws and vote for the ‘lesser evil’ among a hoard of them? truth is, it is refreshing to have the likes of Martha standing by their strong convictions but that alone does not absolve them from their past. The problems we are currently in, in terms of leadership are to some extend a result of our past and therefore it is totally ok, for Tairo to question past actions if only to ascertain the quality of a leader seeking to lead the country to greater heights. I laude the kind of level-headedness that particular conversation took, and as a journalist i hope we can be able to borrow a few lessons from here.

  22. Amito_J
    May 8, 2012

    Thanks Man for taking this up. It was such a nice conversation that lasted more than 6hours. We must also give Martha the credit for staying up upto past mid-night to respond.
    The iron lady was humbled by the questions expecially on her tenure at the Water Ministry and the issues of 2007 elections. Its unfortunate that she avoided some of the issues raised.
    As for the haters or tribal comments, all we can do is to try and accomodate them. Afterall they are all Kenyans, our brothers and sisters.
    Lets keep the conversation going.
    I was hoping that someone from the mainstream media will pick the story up expecially her confesion that Kibaki never won the elections. Too bad they ignored it.

  23. Quest
    May 8, 2012

    Interesting debate but can I just point out that you were hammering her on ONE single weakness. If that is her only flaw then we should only be so lucky to have her as president given the track records of the other aspirants….some of whom are facing cases in the ICC!!!! If you had brought up other issues it may have been better because to go on about the same issue was akin to a dog that would not let a bone go. Having said that I liked you argued with facts not sentiment and you did so in a respectful manner 🙂

  24. Amito_J
    May 8, 2012

    If you followed the conversation, the issues were on extra-judicial killings while Karua was justice Minister, Her tenure at Water Ministry, He role in the 2005 Wako Draft (Constitution) among others

  25. wordsynthesis
    May 8, 2012

    I like the debate… its the kind of questioning that will instill the much needed intergrity in the future leadership of this country. There is a bit of evasion on Martha’s part but I would like to believe that, her role in the 2007 elections cannot be scrutinized solely without mincing it with the role played by her political party at the time. She came out in full support of her party leader which would be expected of anybody. I am not justifying her behaviour but as someone pointed out, show me a blemish free sheep among the political leadership -not only in Kenya- and I will point you to a unicorn. In summary , we should be more concerned with weighing her positive attributes against her negative ones. If the pros reasonably outdo the cones then I think she should be given a chance at national leadership .

  26. Noel Otieno
    May 9, 2012

    your debate with martha karua was fantastic because if she palns to run for the presidency this same issue will come up costing her votes. Like you said Martha Karua has been issue oriented and not partisan but her role in the 07 elections will definately cast a bad shadow over presidential campaign
    Thanks Martin Tairo its a quite a interesting read

  27. Kenyans4Martha
    May 10, 2012

    I know for a fact that Martha Karua is the most accessible Kenyan leader, especially on twitter. However, haters abound everywhere. I’ve been following her for a while and she always answers questions as long as they are not insults, factually wrong, disrespectful or traps. I think Martin is being unfair to Martha. She engaged with you then you started unleashing unsubstantiated allegations. Even Krigler says both PNU and ODM rigged 2007 elections.

    Blaming it on Martha while kibaki’s campaign was being managed by Saitoti, Kiraitu, Uhuru, Wetangula, Muthaura, Equity Bank’s Munga, Michuki, Karume, Uncle Moody, etc is being economical with the truth. Yes Martha stood up for her boss, but Saitoti, Uhuru, Wetangula were also PNU’s presidential agents and the ran away leaving Martha to oversee the tallying alone. Who was running for president anyway, Martha or Kibaki?!

    Martin, please give credit where it’s due. How many presidential candidates have responded to your queries on twitter lately? My 2 cents…

    • Martin Tairo Maseghe
      May 11, 2012

      Its quite unfortunate when specific leaders get questioned, their supporters like defending them on the basis that others are worse. That granted, it does not give Martha the right to be ‘a little less bad’. I questioned Martha here, not Raila or Saitoti or Uhuru or any other politician for that matter.

  28. Barret Aguvasu
    May 12, 2012

    I got the feeling of ignorance from Martha’s part. Is this how she will be addressing us, addressing serious credible issues with disregard and disinterest!
    She knows not Kenyans are not a group but individuals, an individual. my president should address me and not Kenyans because ‘Kenyans’ is a non-existent group of persons and Martha should begin addressing Individuals and not Kenyans because individuals will determine her credibility and not ‘Kenyans’

  29. Francis mwandembo
    May 15, 2012

    Excellent conversation Bw. MT. For MK, the tactical evasion or deliberate denial to respond to some issues which leaves any doubts to my thinking leaves a lot to be desired!

  30. Pingback: Missing ‘my’ Martha | Njeri Okono

  31. Kirstie
    May 28, 2012

    I respect your arguments – factual and substantiated- not in any way tribal. Any learned person can see that. Big up!

  32. Anonymous
    November 19, 2012

    Martin, If you don’t mind me asking and if you are confident enough to say. Who are you supporting for the Presidency?
    (Please do not interprate as a malicious question, it’s an innocent one. I’m just curious.)

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This entry was posted on May 7, 2012 by in Export.
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