First Diaspora Kenyan George Wajackoyah declare Presidential ambitions
Prof. George L Wajackoyah
The first Diaspora presidential candidate Prof. George L Wajackoyah talks to Luvei Times about his intentions to succeed retiring President Mwai Kibaki as the fourth president of Republic of Kenya.
From a destitute in the street of Nairobi, to police inspector to a practicing lawyer and currently a professor of law in the US, it’s been a long journey for Prof. Wajackoyah. He went into hiding fearing for his life in Kenya, after he led investigation in disappearance and subsequent murder of the late Dr. Robert Ouko, a former minister for foreign affairs in former president Moi’s government.
Following is the full text of the interview with Luvei Times reporter.
Luvei Times: We understand that you have interests in gunning for presidential elections come 2012; tell us more about yourself.
Answer: My name is George Luchiri Wajackoyah. Son of Titus Olilo Luchiri and Melenia Makokha Angengo. I am a professor of law at American Heritage University in Southern California. I am also the vice-president of My HubNet Corporation, a company based in Rancho Cucamonga in California.
My website is: www.glw4president.com.
Luvei Times: Why the interest in presidency?
Answer: First and foremost, Kenya needs strong leadership that has the people’s agenda. The current leadership has failed us. Even if reform agenda finally gets through, implementation will need a lot of resolve. Most of the current leadership has too much vested interests in the status quo.
Secondly, this is the highest seat in the land.
There has been systematic abuse of power under the current constitution. It fetters too much authority in the presidency. The current and former president used this constitution to entrench tribalism, nepotism and elimination of opponents. They have used the executive authority to grab land, fill positions of influence to members of their tribes and political supporters.
They have leased the country against the wishes of our people. Government land and properties have been grabbed and sold by the system to foreigners, with little disregard to the citizens. Kenyans are tired of endless Commissions.
The rule of law has been antagonized. The attorney general is a big joke. If elected, I will eliminate the aforementioned and restore the legitimacy of our institutions through a fair and considered constitution drawn by the wishes of the majority.
Luvei Times: Kenyan laws as per the constitution currently requires that anybody vying for the presidency has to be a member of parliament as well; which constituency will you therefore vie for its representation in parliament?
Answer: Matungu constituency in western Kenya.
Luvei Times: Word has it that you previously served as a policeman during the Moi regime and that you sought asylum in the United States of America following revelations that you were a witness in the infamous assassination of the former powerful foreign affairs minister Dr. Robert Ouko, what is your take on that?
Answer: Yes, I served honorably in the Police Force and had to flee to the United Kingdom where I sought political asylum. I read and practiced immigration law before relocation to the U.S. While in the U.S., I also read law to expand my legal understanding of the American jurisprudence. I was not a witness in the Ouko issue.
I was only assigned to investigate the suspected killers. The case is in court and I have no further comments.
Luvei Times: Kenya’s political landscape is awash with familiar names of people hailing from prominent families such as the Kenyatta’s, Moi’s, Odinga’s and Mudavadi’s; what chances do you have against these personalities?
Answer: It is almost fifty years since we got our independence. Our citizens are very intelligent and well informed today. Most of the people that you mentioned have remained close to the seats of power to serve their selfish interests.
The Multi-Party era has changed the dynamics. One has to be accountable to the citizens. Kenyans are tired of recycled materials. Come 2012, the voters will be reading report cards and giving grades. Those who are not producing will not be elected even if they have a prominent last name.
I will make my case to Kenyans and let them decide their destiny by choosing whether they would like to be represented by the same old clique of corrupt people or an untainted and corruption free person.
FORTY YEARS of despotic rule, manipulation and dynasties is a long time. Even the Shah of Iran, the Duvalier’s of Haiti, the Marcos of the Philippine, Bokasa of Congo and the Mobutus came to an end. LET THE KENYANS DECIDE. My chances are great. First I am making my case in the Diaspora and I am receiving great support. Secondly, my background speaks for itself. I am tribeless.
I have been supported, dined and accommodated by Kikuyus and the Swahilis from coast in London. My first desk and chairs in my law firm in London were donated by James Karuiki. The people from coast assisted and supported me during those hard times of Moi’s regime.
I have nothing ill against the Kalenjin. I have embraced a lot from the Luo culture and speak the language fluently. I have no tribal inclinations, so are my published opinions on tribalism.
Luvei Times: The mood back in the country is that; your would be competitors in the 2012 elections have already begun their campaigns in earnest, when are you planning to hit the ground?
Answer: I believe that actions speak louder than words and my campaign office will announce my itinerary in due course. My views in which way Kenya should go are well known.
I have fought injustice in the Moi era and I make my views known on frequent occasions about the ills that both Hon. Kibaki and Hon. Odinga are committing. Visit my website at www.glw4president.com.
Or further visit My page on facebook, MySpace, twitter or flixster for an update. You can also read my campaign through Google or Yahoo. As of hitting the ground, I am still consulting with other Kenyans in the Diaspora on the way forward.
I will come and hit the campaign under the Diaspora direction. They have done a lot, but the current crop of leaders is afraid of them. In fact politicians fear to integrate us into building our country. They will no longer keep us out.
My government will bring back Kenyans from the Diaspora to help fix the mess.
Luvei Times: The country is currently seriously plagued with runaway corruption and tribalism, what measures do you plan to adopt to alleviate these?
Answer: Tackling corruption is my number one priority.
When elected I will create awareness by putting an acceptable constitution in place. Awareness programs on corruption, overhauling the judiciary, setting hotlines and special forums to sensitize the issue will, I believe be a milestone to weed this vice.
Tribalism as mentioned elsewhere will be a crime. Laws to integrate communities to promote culture and embrace patriotism will be embedded into the Constitution. We shall research other constitutions and methods that have worked well elsewhere.
In the United Kingdom for example, created The Race Relations Act to harmonize relationships between whites and ethnic communities. This law forbids direct and indirect discrimination.
It has worked. Similarly, the First and Fourteen Amendments Equal Protection Clause as per the U.S. Constitution is enshrined to close the disparities and protect American citizens against wrongs committed in the past and deter the
government or government agencies or any American from promoting racial hatred or discrimination of any kind. We can devise a law that could harmonize relationship among different tribes in Kenya.
Infact we can make it a crime to discriminate a Kenyan because of his tribe, gender, religion, inter-tribal marriages etc. Kenyans can buy and own property in any corner of the country. What we need is a nation of working people.
Luvei Times: What are your suggestions on the raging debate on the suitable criteria for formation of constituencies in Kenya?
Answer: I want to see Devolution of power and regionalization of infrastructure.
I want to have in place a system whereby elected leaders held accountable to the ordinary Kenyans. I will do away with the archaic system of provincial administration and pave way for a Jimbo (federal) system of governance. Those uniforms, ‘kofias’ and ‘bakoras’ that is a reminder of colonialism will be relegated to the past.
Regional or federal governments have worked well in Nigeria, India, South Africa and the United States. I will explain myself by putting my plan of regional assemblies and why I think that it can work. Further, like in the United Kingdom devolved system, I will empower Kenyans and make sure that their voice is heard on all matters of importance through referendums.
The Scottish and Welsh decided to go for devolution. Our politicians have failed the nation. To conclude this question, proportional representation works well in Australia. Therefore, the form of gerrymandering in Kenya by a few politicians is unacceptable.
Luvei Times: Comment on the decision by both America and some EU member state’s to ban some senior Kenya government officials from traveling to their countries over allegations of standing on the way to major reforms.
Answer: The decision to ban corrupt leaders and their families’ from traveling US was long overdue. However, this action should not be applied selectively. The United States and the EU countries are perceived to be playing double standards. Why not include the principals of impunity instead of senior government officials alone? The U.S. and the E.U. needs to go further and just do what they did with Noriega. Someone in these countries is not making an informative decision. We should expect harsh measures instead of delaying democracy by playing tricks. They should be withholding withdrawal of our monies that are banked in their countries and imposing measures that will help to redistribute the same in selected projects to help our people.
Luvei Times: Do you plan to form your own party or join any of the existing political parties?
Answer: The decision of forming a party or joining an existing party has not been reached yet, I will deliberate with my supporters before making final decision. But for now I will keep all my options open.
Luvei Times: The last general elections in 2007 almost plunged the country into anarchy following claims of a bungled election; your opinion?
Answer: The electoral fraud that was committed, and the inability of the principals to deal with it honestly will be tested again come 2012. Instead of fixing the problems, the leaders are planning how to win the elections by hook or crook.
The underlying problems that have disillusioned Kenyans to the point that they want immediate change are issues of land reforms, constitution, unemployment, health care, poor infrastructure, clean water, housing, gender, education, security and equitable distribution of resources. These elected leaders are instead looting the nation.
Luvei Times: Several Kenyan politicians including the Prime Minister and the Vice-president have already declared interest in the forth-coming presidential elections; which one amongst these are you willing to work closely with?
Answer: I am willing to work with anybody with a clear mandate from Kenyans. They must have a reform agenda not only in words but in deeds. Personally, I have no problems with Hon. Raila or Hon. Kalonzo or any other person that is running for presidency. We may differ on issues but I hold no ill feelings against either of them. As a matter of fact, I will be inviting them to support my candidacy.
Luvei Times: Where would you wish to see Kenya in the next five years given the chance?
Answer: I would like to see Kenya free of corruption, a new constitution and a working people in my first five years should I be elected president.
Luvei Times: The constitutional review process in Kenya has dragged on since the advent of multipartism over twenty years ago, the way forward?
Answer: I discussed this review with Hon. Marende our speaker in April this year when he visited the U.S. He was sure the review would be over with and ready for a vote in parliament during this session.
Like everything else, we have to wait and see. The Executive Branch of our government is not moving fast enough as the system has as usual adopted business as usual policy. We need a total overhaul of the system, get the dead wood out and infuse new energy in the government. I am out to perform this task diligently.
Luvei Times: What should Kenyans expect from your government?
Answer: Integrity, accountability, working institutions, clean police force, a thriving economy including industrialization, affordable education, free health care, clean air and water working infrastructure, security, renewable sources of energy, massive privatization and liberalization of trade, promotion of agriculture and desertification programs, eradication of illiteracy, rooting for gender equity and afforestation programs. I will also work closely with our neighbors to achieve a united East African State where people will be free to trade without barriers.
Luvei Times: Campaigning in Kenya requires a lot of money and usually the party in power takes the opportunity to use funds from the treasury without the tax-payer’s consent.
What will be the source of your funding?
Answer: My funding will come from well wishers both in the Diaspora and in Kenya. But I will not be buying votes. Those who wish to contribute towards my campaign should do so patriotically. I have at the same time been overwhelmed on the support that I have received on the internet. President Obama campaigned through the same method. Americans contributed towards his campaign through many methods. I will not allow tainted money from looters of our economy like it happened in both ODM and PNU to fund my campaign.
Luvei Times: You are still in the formative stages as far as your campaigns are concerned. How can interested citizens get in touch with you?
Answer: I have a website that Kenyans can log onto and ask questions that I and my campaign team will gladly respond to accordingly. Go to www.glw4president.com . I also have accounts on Facebook, MySpace, and twitter or via e-mail: George@glw4president.com. I will also start a weekly radio and TV address once negotiations are completed. I will be available to answer questions after each session. Details will be given soon.