Archive for March, 2007

Some spiritual nuggets for you

Last year, I blogged about a collection of books I had received.  Well, I have been reading and re-reading some of them.  Excerpts:

  • He will keep his word – the gracious one, full of grace and truth – no doubt of it.  He said, “Him that cometh unto me, I will no wise cast ou” and “whatsoever ye shall ask in my name I will give it.”  He will keep his word: then I can come and humbly present my petition, and it will be all right.  Doubt is to be inadmissible, surely.  – David Livingstone, in his journal for May 13, 1872.
  • As long as matters are really hopeful, hope is mere flattery or platitude.  It is only when everything is hopeless that hope begins to be a strength at all.  Like all the Christian virtues, it is as unreasonable as it is indispensable.  G. K. Chesterton.
  • One thing and one thing only can break my tranquility of soul. That is deep emotion issuing from love-stirred tears. This calm, which neither wickedness nor danger can disturb, is mightily moved when I behold pure love redeeming the world.  Then the fountain of my soul begins to start to ripple under a drenching shower of tears like the untimely waves which rise when a squall falls upon the surface of the sea.  – Toyohiko Kagawa.
  • Cheap grace means grace as a doctrine, a principle, a system.  It means forgiveness of sins proclaimed as a general truth, the love of God taught as the Christian “conception”of God….Costly grace is the gospel which must be sought again and again, the gify which must be asked for, the door at which a man must knock.  Such grace is costly because it calls us to follow, and it is grace because it calls us to follow JESUS CHRIST.  It is costly because it cost a man his life, and it is costly because it gives a man the only true life.  It is costly because it condemns sin, and grace because it justifies the sinner.  Above all, it is costly because it cost God the life of hisSon; “ye were bought with a price,” and what has cost God much cannot be cheap for us.  – Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship.
  • We thank God for giving us brethren who live by His call, by His forgiveness, and His promise. We do not complain of what God does not give us; we rather thank God for what He gives us daily.  And is not what has been given us enough: brothers and sisters, who will go on living with us through sin and need under the blessing of His grace?….Christian brotherhood is not an ideal which we must realize: it is rather a reality created by God in Christ in which we may participate.  The more clearly we learn to recognize that the ground and strength and promise of all our fellowship is in Jesus Christ alone, the more serenely shall we think of our fellowship and pray and hope for it.  – Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together.
  • Who taught the evangelists the qualities of a perfectly heroic soul, that they paint it so perfectly in Jesus Christ?  Why do they make him weak in his agony?  Do they not know how to paint a resolute death?  Yes, for the same St. Luke paints the death of St. Stephen as braver than that of Jesus Christ.  They make him therefore capable of fear before the necessity of dying has come, and then altogether brave.  Jesus would not be slain without the forms of justice; for it is far more ignominous to die by justice than by an unjust sedition. – Blaise Pascal, Pensees.
  • The Church exists as community, servant, and messenger of the reign of God in the midst of other kingdoms, communities, and powers that attempt to shape our understanding of reality.  the world of those kingdoms, communities, and powers often opposes, ignores, or has other priorities than the reign of God.  To that world, the missional Church is apostle – sent out on behalf of the reign of God.  – Missional Church: A vision for the Sending of the Church in North America, edited by Darrel Guder.
  • God is not ashamed of human lowliness.  He enters right into it.  He chooses a human being to be his instrument and works his wonders where they are least expected.  Jesus Christ is the love of God become human for all men and women, and hence he is not a preacher of abstract ethical ideologies, but the concrete executor of the love of God.  God is love.  That means that the beggining and end of human life are sheltered in God’s hands.  – Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Letters and Papers from Prison.
  • Tolerance is one of today’s most coveted virtues.  But there are at least three different kinds of tolerance. First there is legal tolerance: fighting for the equal rights before the law of all ethnic and religious minorities.  Christians should be in the forefront of this campaign.  Second, there is social tolerance, going out of our way to make friends with adherents of other faiths, since they are God’s creation who bear his image.  Third, there is intellectual tolerance.  This is to cultivate a mind so broad and open as to accomodate all views and reject none.  This is to forget G. K. Chesterton’s bon mot that “the purpose of opening the mind is to shut it again on something solid.”  To open the mind so wide as to keep nothing in it or out of it is not a virtue; it is the vice of the feebleminded.  …to evangelize is in the words of the Manila Manifesto) “to make an open and honest statement of the gospel, which leaves the hearers entirely free to make up their own minds about it.  We wish to be sensitive to those of other faiths, and we reject any approach that seeks to force conversion on them.”  – John R. W. Stott, Christianity Today, September 2003.

March 29, 2007 at 11:43 pm Leave a comment

Lionhearted and Lamblike: The Christian Husband as Head, Part 2

Via Desiring God

March 25, 2007
By John Piper

Read, listen, or watch this resource on our website.

Ephesians 5:21-33

Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. 22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. 25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. 28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body. 31 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. 33 However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

Jesus—The Pattern for Manhood

The reason I am using the title “Lionhearted and Lamblike” to refer to the Christian husband as head of his wife is because the husband is called to lead like Jesus who is the Lion of Judah (Revelation 5:5) and the Lamb of God (Revelation 5:6)—he was lionhearted and lamblike, strong and meek, tough and tender, aggressive and responsive, bold and brokenhearted. He sets the pattern for manhood.

But it may not yet be crystal clear to some that the concept of headship involves leadership as its main meaning. That is what I think is the case. The key verse on headship here is Ephesians 5:23: “The husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior.” So the husband is to take his unique cues in marriage from Christ in his relationship to his church. I take that to mean that the husband bears a unique responsibility for leadership in the marriage.

The Husband as Leader

I suggested last time that a biblical definition of headship would be: Headship is the divine calling of a husband to take primary responsibility for Christ-like, servant leadership, protection, and provision in the home. The more I have thought about those three facets of headship—leadership, protection, and provision—the more it seems to me that they really resolve into one thing with two expressions. Leadership is the one thing, and protection and provision are the two expressions. In other words, a husband’s leadership expresses itself in taking the lead in seeing to it that the family is protected and provided for. So protection and provision are not separate from leadership. They are the two most fundamental areas where the husband is called upon to bear primary responsibility.

So what we need to do is see the support for this in the text and then some application or illustration of what it means. Let’s give a few arguments from the text for why we think the word head in verse 23 involves a unique responsibility of leadership.

The Husband as Head

1) Head is used for leader in the Old Testament. For example, Judges 11:11, “So Jephthah went with the elders of Gilead, and the people made him head and leader over them (eis kephalÄ“n kai eis archÄ“gon).” (See also 10:18; 11:8, 9; 2 Samuel 22:44; Psalm 18:43; Isaiah 7:8.)

2) Ephesians 1:21–23 says that Christ is “above every name that is named . . . and God has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, which is his body.” The focus in this text is on Christ’s rule and authority when he is called head of the church. So the emphasis falls on his leadership over the church.

3) In Ephesians 5:25, Paul says, “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” While the stress here falls on Christ’s sacrifice for his bride and so tells the husband to love like this, we must not miss the inescapable truth that Christ took an absolutely decisive action here. He was not responding to the church. The church did not plan its salvation and sanctification. Christ did. This is leadership of the most exalted kind. But it is servant leadership. Christ is taking the lead to save his bride, and he is doing it by suffering for her.

But we see leadership in Christ’s sacrifice not just because he planned it and took the initiative rather than responding to her initiative, but also in the fact that he died to give an example to us. Jesus said, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me” (Matthew 16:24). In other words, I have taken the lead in suffering for love’s sake; now you take up your cross and follow me. This is why leadership is not mainly a right and privilege, but a burden and a responsibility.

4) Finally, in view of these three reasons why headship involves leadership, the fourth argument is that the concept of submission, when related to headship, implies that headship is leadership. Paul says in verses 22-23, “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife.” When the ground of submission is expressed as the headship of the husband, it is clear that headship involves the kind of leadership that a woman can honor.

The definition of submission that we will unfold after Easer is: “Submission is the divine calling of a wife to honor and affirm her husband’s leadership and help carry it through according to her gifts.” The point today is simply that when submission is correlated with headship, it implies that headship involves leadership. The wife honors and affirms her husband’s leadership and helps carry it through according to her gifts.

So from these four observations—and there are more for other parts of the Bible that we could look at—I conclude that headship is the divine calling of a husband to take primary responsibility for Christ-like, servant leadership, protection, and provision in the home.

Protection

Now where in this text do we see the idea that this leadership takes special responsibility for protection and provision in the family? First, consider protection. In verses 25-27, Paul shows the husband how to love his wife—that is, how to exercise the kind of servant leadership that Christ did: “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.”

In the words “gave himself up for her,” we hear the saving sacrifice of Jesus Christ. When Christ gave himself up for us, he took our place. He bore our sins (1 Peter 2:24) and became a curse for us (Galatians 3:13) and died for us (Romans 5:8); and because of all this we are reconciled to God and saved from his wrath. Romans 5:10: “If while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.”

If there ever was an example of leadership that took the initiative to protect his bride, this is it. So when Paul calls a husband to be the head of his wife by loving like Christ when he leads, whatever else he means, he means: Protect her at all costs.

Provision

And what about provision? I am contending that headship is the divine calling of a husband to take primary responsibility for Christ-like, servant leadership, protection, and provision in the home. Are there evidences in this text that a husband’s leadership should take primary responsibility for the provision for his wife and family? Yes. If anything, this is even more explicit. Consider verses 28-29: “In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church.”

The words “nourish and cherish” are significant. The word nourish (ektrephei) is most often used in the Bible for raising children and providing them with what they need, but the part of that meaning that applies here is not that the husband is a parent but that he is a caring provider. It’s used more in the sense of Genesis 45:11 where Joseph says to his brothers, “There I will provide (ekthrepsō) for you, for there are yet five years of famine to come.” So the point is at least that the husband who leads like Christ takes the initiative to see to it that the needs of his wife and children are met. He provides for them.

Similarly, the other word in verse 29 points in the same direction but even more tenderly. The husband “nourishes and cherishes (thalpei) it [his body, his wife], just as Christ does the church.” This word for cherishing is used by Paul one other time, namely, to refer to his tender love for the church in Thessalonica. He compares himself to a mother caring for her infant. First Thessalonians 2:7: “We were gentle among you, like a nursing mother taking care of her own children.” The point was not at all to belittle the church; the point was to emphasize his tender care and that he would do anything he could for them the way a mother does her child.

So I conclude that there is good reason just from Ephesians 5—not to mention Genesis 1-3 and elsewhere—to lift up the divine calling of the husband as bearing a primary responsibility for Christ-like, servant leadership, protection, and provision in the home.

Life Hangs on Protection and Provision

Now notice something about protection and provision. The reason they stand out is that they are so basic. Without protection and provision, life itself is threatened. So the reason these two rise to the surface so quickly is that if a husband fails in his leadership here, there may not be any other place to exercise it. The life of the family hangs on protection and provision. Life itself must be protected and nourished, or it ceases to exist.

But there is another reason these two stand out. Protection and provision both have a physical and a spiritual meaning. There is physical food that needs to be provided, and there is spiritual food that needs to be provided. Husbands need to protect against physical threats to the life of the family and spiritual threats to the life of the family. So when you think it through, virtually everything a husband is called upon to do in his leadership is summed up in one of these four ways: 1) physical provision (like food and shelter), 2) spiritual provision (like the word of God and spiritual guidance, instruction, and encouragement), 3) physical protection (as from intruders or natural disasters or disease), and 4) spiritual protection (like prayer and warnings and keeping certain influences out of the home). Provision: physical and spiritual. Protection: physical and spiritual.

Encouragement of Husbands

Before I give some examples, let me give a word of encouragement and caution. The encouragement is to men. If this sounds new and overwhelming, be encouraged that Christ does not call you to do what he won’t empower you to do. My father loved to quote to us as a family Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Husbands are called to do some very hard things. Leadership is not easy. That’s part of what being a Christian means: Take up your cross and follow me. But with every command comes a promise. “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10). So be encouraged. Leadership is hard. But you’re a man. You’re a man. If your father never taught you how to lead, your heavenly Father will.

A Caution to Wives

The caution is to women. You cannot demand that your husband take leadership. For several reasons: 1) Demanding is contradictory to the very thing for which you long. It is out of character. If you become the demander, he’s not the leader. 2) Demanding will be counterproductive because if he had any impulse to try harder, your demanding will take the heart out of it, because it won’t feel like leading any more; it will feel like acquiescence. 3) It has to come from inside him worked by the word of God and the Spirit of God. So, instead of demanding, 1) pray earnestly for him that God would awaken his true manhood. 2) Ask him for a time when the two of you alone, when you are neither tired nor angry, can talk about your heart’s desires. When you express your longings, do it without sounding any ultimatums, and with a sense of hope grounded in God, not man. Express appreciation and honor for any ways that he is leading.

Examples and Explanations

That’s the encouragement and the caution. Now some examples and explanations. These must be brief and provocative rather than complete and an attempt to answer all your questions. Consider what leadership is in each of the four spheres mentioned earlier.

1. Leadership in Spiritual Provision

To provide spiritual food for the family, you must know spiritual food. This means that a man must go hard after God. You can only lead spiritually if you are growing in your own knowledge of God and love for God. If you are feeding your soul with the word of God, you will be drawn to feed your wife and your children.

Gather your wife and children for family devotions everyday—call it whatever you want: family prayers, family worship, family Bible time. Take the initiative to gather them. If you don’t know what to do, ask some brothers what they do. Or ask your wife what she would like to do. You don’t have to be a loner here. Remember, headship takes primary responsibility, not sole responsibility. The wife, we pray, is always supporting and helping. And regularly has gifts that the husband doesn’t. What women rightly long for is spiritual and moral initiative, from a man, not spiritual and moral domination.

And remember there is no necessary connection between being an effective leader and being more intellectual or more competent than your wife. Leadership does not assume it is superior. It assumes it should take initiatives. See that the family prays and reads the Bible and goes to church and discusses spiritual and moral issues, and learns to use the means of grace and grows in knowledge, and watches your example in all these things.

2. Leadership in Physical Provision

The husband bears the primary responsibility to put bread on the table. Again the word primary is important. Both husbands and wives always work. But their normal spheres of work are man: breadwinner; wife: domestic manager, designer, nurturer. And that never has meant that there are not seasons in life when a wife cannot work outside the home or that the husband cannot share the domestic burdens. But it does mean that a man compromises his own soul and sends the wrong message to his wife and children when he does not position himself as the one who lays down his life to put bread on the table. He may be disabled and unable to do what his heart longs to do. He may be temporarily in school while she supports the family. But in any case his heart, and, if possible, his body, is moving toward the use of his mind and his hands to provide physically for his wife and children.

3. Leadership in Spiritual Protection

The spiritual dangers that beset the family today are innumerable and subtle. We need valiant warriors like never before. Not with spears and shields, but with biblical discernment and courage. First, husbands, pray for your family everyday, “Lead them not into temptation but deliver them from evil.” Fight for them in prayer against the devil and the world and the flesh. Pray the prayers of the Bible for them. Don’t grow weary. God hears and answers prayer for our wives and children.

Set standards for your wife and children. Work them through with your wife. Remember the path of leadership here is primary responsibility, not sole responsibility. Wives are eager to help here, but what frustrates them is when we don’t take any initiative and they are left to try to determine and enforce the standards alone. Take the initiative in thinking through what will be allowed on TV. What movies you and the children will go to. What music will be listened to. And how low your daughter’s necklines will be. I am tempted to preach a whole message on the relationship between dads and the way their daughters dress. Yes, mom is the key player here in helping a young woman learn the meaning of modesty and beauty. But dad’s role for both of them is indispensable both in celebrating what they look like and telling them when the way they dress means what they don’t think it means. Dads, you know exactly what I mean. What you need here is courage. Don’t be afraid here. This is your daughter, and she must hear from you what she is saying to men with her clothes.

One other example of leadership in spiritual protection: Paul says in Ephesians 4:26-27, “Do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil.” In other words, one wide open door to the devil in your house is unresolved anger as you go to bed. In the children and in the marriage. Leadership means we must take the lead in reconciliation.

I don’t mean that wives should never say they are sorry. But in the relation between Christ and his church, who took the initiative to make all things new? Who left the comfort and security of his throne of justice to put mercy to work at Calvary? Who came back to Peter first after three denials? Who has returned to you again and again forgiving you and offering his fellowship afresh? So husbands, your headship means: Go ahead. Take the lead. It does not matter if it is her fault. That didn’t stop Christ. Who will break the icy silence first? Who will choke out the words, “I’m sorry, I want it to be better”? Or: “Can we talk? I’d like things to be better.” She might beat you to it. That’s okay. But woe to you if you think that, since it’s her fault, she’s obliged to say the first reconciling word. Headship is not easy. It is the hardest, most humbling work in the world. Protect your family. Strive, as much as it lies within you, to make peace before the sun goes down.

4. Leadership in Physical Protection

This is too obvious to need illustration—I wish. If there is a sound downstairs during the night and it might be a burglar, you don’t say to her: This is an egalitarian marriage, so it’s your turn to go check it out. I went last time.” And I mean that even if your wife has a black belt in karate. After you’ve tried, she may finish off the burglar with one good kick to the solar plexus. But you better be unconscious on the floor, or you’re no man. That’s written on your soul, brother, by God Almighty. Big or little, strong or weak, night or day, you go up against the enemy first. Woe to the husband—and woe to the nation—that send their women to fight their battles.

For God’s Glory and Our Good

When Adam and Eve sinned in the garden and God came to call them to account, it didn’t matter that Eve had sinned first. God said, “Adam, where are you?” (Genesis 3:9). That’s God’s word to the family today: Adam, husband, father, where are you? If something is not working right at your house and Jesus comes knocking on the door, he may have an issue with your wife, but the first thing he’s going to say when she opens the door is, “Is the man of the house home?”

When a man joyfully bears the primary God-given responsibility for Christ-like, servant leadership and provision and protection in the home—for the spiritual well-being of the family, for the discipline and education of the children, for the stewardship of money, for holding of a steady job, for the healing of discord—I have never met a wife who is sorry she married such a man. Because when God designs a thing (like marriage), he designs it for his glory and our good.

March 27, 2007 at 11:05 am Leave a comment

Obama, Kenyan TV station

  • An interesting discussion has been building up concerning the colour of Obama’s spirituality for some days now.  Give power to the blogs, eh! I so want to hope I will still be able to watch all the Democrats’ pre-nomination debates ahead of the November 2008 polls, as I did those ahead of the 2004 polls. I so love the questions that go with them.  I also want to hope Kenyan media will equally grill those seeking to run this country (on either side of the aisle), all the way to the councillors.  It should be possible with the proliferation of various forms of media these days.  John Sibi-Okumu, anyone?
  • At least three different friends of mine in the mainstream media have suggested that one of the local TV stations has been bought by a leading opposition figure, who is quietly trying to poach staff from rival TV stations with the intention of shaking the market with some quality products.  The politician in question no doubt has the cash.  If true, it will be difficult not to see this as part of the wider pre-poll manouvres here.

March 26, 2007 at 10:46 pm Leave a comment

Letter from America

Jesse:

I read all the comments on the prophetic post. What worries me most about them is the willingness of so many of your brothers and sisters over there to regard all philosophy and theology as somehow unimportant, dangerous, or showing a lack in one’s relationship with God.

Scripture teaches us to “praise the Lord with the heart, and with the mind also”. This indicates to me that reason is in fact a gift from God and, when properly guided by study of Scripture and an examination of the teachings of the Church fathers, enriches and deepens faith, and guards the heart as well as the mind of the believer from false teachers.

Satan is the great deceiver, and his deception may be of the heart as well as the mind. Isn’t Satan capable of deceiving our experience? So reason and experience must check each other, with Scripture as a guiding source for both and the teachings of the Church fathers as a useful lense to keep us from reinventing the wheel, so to speak.

Jesse; through our friendship and through my study of events both ecclesiastic and political I have come to believe that the future of the church lies in large part with the global south, and that Africa will have a large role to play. I hope that the life of the mind will continue to have a large role to play as well, as I know it does with you.

A.J.

*The writer is a long-time buddy of mine, from the Lutheran tradition, with whom  I schooled in my student days in the US.  We mused and still muse about many things in God’s world.  In his free time, he loves to opine on politics, faith, history, indeed much else under the sun.  

March 26, 2007 at 3:40 am 7 comments

Healthy crusader journalism, kudos Standard

It’s long since I read such a powerful piece as this in today’s edition of the Standard.

I have lived and reported  from the Coast long enough to know that what she has written is true.

I also attended a university where, during one election year, some of the crooks contesting for the presidency right now would come fishing for some of our colleagues (leaving their wives sijui wapi).

If only Kenyans would know some things, few if any of our politicians would want to stand in public ever again.

March 24, 2007 at 1:01 am 4 comments

Miseducating the Negro, Zim, Kenya

I was at my alma mater part of today to help mentor some undergrads on the occasion of its academic week.  The student leadership had organized for some of the institution’s alumni for this purpose and invited PLO to give the keynote address.  I was part of the alumni team, which also included folks from OP (yeah, that high), the media, the ICT industry, etcetras.  There was also an alumnus from Zimbabwe. Memorable rants / thoughts: 

1.  PLO – I had never listened to him at close range.  This guy is good and deep. He began by telling off Citizen radio..which reportedly played clips of an address he gave jana…both in Swa n’ English…before some presenter complained how hard it was to understand him.  The guy said leo that if someone is mediocre in the English language, he should not expect him (PLO) to lower his standards just so as to be at his level.  Spoke off-head for almost 45 minutes on a wide range of issues and from diverse fields of knowledge, quoting liberally and faithfully from the Bible, Quran, etc.  He has a capacity to annoy, and he succeeded in doing just that today.  Lambasted:

  • Kenyan / African varsities for teaching economics the Western world ceased toying around with 100 years ago.
  • The same institutions for having professors who have published nothing, not even an article.  Said the much they deserve is assistant lectureships.
  • Kenyan / African leadership for flocking to the UK / West for medication (colds, broken legs, etc) over 40 years after the country’s / continent’s independence.
  • Kenya for nationalizing its railway system at independence, only to give it away recently owing to its inability to manage it profitably.
  • Kenya for trainning thousands of engineers, yet still has no decent road network to talk about.
  • Vintage PLO went on and on…

All in all, it was a study in how to get annoyed, and he appeard to have succeeded in that going by what I witnessed on the part of the audience.

2. Alumni rants – After we were done with PLO n’ the students, we (the alumni) retreated to our office at the campus for a little catch-up n’ some siasa.  Ok, no specific attributions here for who said what but here are tips of what was said:

  •  “We make a mistake by calling Kibaki a transitional President.  He is not.  Look, he is merely the president of a nation in transition.  Let’s be fair to the man.”
  • “Mutua declined to comment on Zimbabwe yesterday allegedly because Kenya is not into conducting its diplomacy through the media. But the heart of the matter is that we have no foreign policy to talk about at all.  And that is one reason why I’m not going to vote for Kalonzo. Kwani what was he doing all those years?”
  • “No, no, that is one foolish way to think about the Zimbabwean question.  You can’t assasinate Mugabe, no, you won’t succeed.  That guy is always two-steps ahead of everyone.  You won’t solve Zimbabwe’s issues that way.  People will just suffer more.”
  • “The world does not understand the real Mugabe.  He is a grand, ruthless schemer.  He thinks through everything he wants to do wel ahead of time.  He has killed people he has perceived to be his rivals throughout his life and political career.  He sees far and prepares for it in every way. There are serious human rights issues here, but few see it that way.”
  • “The Shona-Ndebele question is too sensitive. Let’s not go into that.”
  • “There is no government in the part of Kenya from which I come.  I am what I am today mainly because of the Catholic Church and its work in my district.  Hatuna serikali huko, so stop puling wool over our eyes eti oh, the government has done this, the government has done that, where is the government?”
  • “No, you cannot be a life-President in Kenya.  No, we are too wise for that. We won’t allow anyone to do that. No, not this generation.”
  • “Nigerians prayed about Abacha and God answered.  Zimbabweans should also keep on praying.”

March 23, 2007 at 8:54 pm 3 comments

“Nyagah, Muturi going nowhere”

A few minutes ago, I caught up with one of my tight buddies from the Mount Kenya region. We ended up talking about the political prospects of some folks there. Excerpts.

Q. Uhoro wa Siakago?

A. Wewe, achana na hiyo. Heri tuongee lugha ya taifa tu au tujaribu Sheng 🙂
Q. Sawaz. Nipe siasa za kwenu.

A. Siakago ni sawasawa. See, kuna clans mbili muhimu hapa kwetu. Kuna Irumbi (kubwa) na Thagara (ndogo). Kutoka Irumbi, wagombezi ni Justin Muturi (incumbent), Mbogo Kathenthe (proprietor of By Grace Academy and Ministries in Nairobi), Engineer Mathatha, Engineer Nicasio Muferethi and Joel Gatiari (former principal for the Nairobi School). Gatiari, though, is yet to declare interest in the seat. Ni rumours tu tunasikia eti yuko interested.

Q. Na Thagara?

A. Kuna Lenny Kivuti (Geomap proprietor) na Dr. Gabriel Njue (KNH).

Q. Muturi anarudi?

A. Akirudi mwaka huu, tutamwachia arudi 2012 bila ya kupingwa, I swear! Huyu jamaa haendi popote. Kura ikipigwa kwa msingi wa clans, basi huenda akapata nafasi. Kivuti pia aweza kupita kwa msingi huo huo. But if young people and the elite choose to defy clannism, then Dr. Njue atapita. Mbio za Siakago ni za hao watatu tu.

Q. Ni nini chaweza kumfanya Muturi asirudi?

A. Amegawanya wasee kwa misingi ya clans kwa muda mrefu. Wengi wetu tumeerevuka na hatutavumilia hiyo. Pili, akipata nafasi za kazi kwa vijana, yeye huwa anachukua wadhii wa clan yake tu. La kustaajabisha ni kuwa yeye ameoa Mkikuyu ilhali angependa sisi tugawanyike kwa msingi wa kikoo.

Q. Ni vipi risto za vyama huko kwenu?

A. Muturi ni ODM-K / KANU damu. Kivuti ni Narck-K damu. Dr. Njue huenda akagombea on any other party juu hawezi kupata fair nominations in any of the major parties. Baba Jimmy ana nafasi nzuri huku upande wa urais, ingawa kura ya ubunge huenda ikapigwa bila ya kuzingatia tofauti za chama. Wananchi huku wanataka mtu, siyo chama.

Q. Na vipi risto za Gachoka?

A. Aah, huko, Mutava ana-win hands-down. Joe will have to work extra-hard if he wants to return to bunge. Everyone is crying, “We want Mutava, we want Mutava.” See, huenda Mutava hana lake kitaifa katika baadhi ya mambo kutokana na urafiki wake na Baba Jimmy, lakini ana heshima zake Gachoka na anapendwa na watu. People want to associate themselves with him, especially coz of his faith. It is expected that he will leave the NCCK around June so as to be on the ground full-time.  Huenda pia akafaidika na fact kuwa Benjamin Musakwa, ambaye alimpinga Joe 1997 na pia 2002, ni ka ame-go slow mwaka huu.

Q. Kwani Joe ame-do?

A. Wacheki, wasee Gachoka wamechoka na one-family dynasty. Wanataka change. Pili, yeye ana the same issues ambazo Muturi anazo: Kugawanya wasee kwa laini za clan.

Q. Lakini si ye pia ni m-savedie ka Mutava?

A. Yeah right! We know that but his actions, especially on clannism, speak louder than words.

Q. Niaje risto ya vyama huko kwenu?

A. Twajua Mutava yuko na orezo Narc-K, lakini akitaka ku-win Gachoka, huenda ikambidi across into ODM-K sabu kuna a significant Kamba population ambayo iko ODM-K damu sabu ya Stevo.

March 23, 2007 at 11:02 am 98 comments

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