By Washington Osiro
The recent firestorm created by the Dorcas Sarkozy mystery fueled in part by a series of posts by Silas Chepkeres Jakakimba got me thinking about the competence of persons 2 or 3 degrees of separation removed from the center of power.
Silas, reportedly a former ODM political operative, used his Facebook wall to push the wild and wide-eyed but easily debunked claim that the elusive persona was Washington Osiro, former Patcherian (Class of ’78) and Maseno Boys (Class of ‘80).
For the record, Silas’s 1+1 never did equal 2 and he knew that BEFORE he posted the rambling and inchoate post. I know that because on a Dec. 29th tweet to Eddy Illah, the person who mailed Prof. Anyan’g Nyong’o’s book to the US address, Silas glibly tweeted (to Eddy) that:
“At your age Bro: You should already know that RECEIVING A MAIL AT A US ADDRESS DOES NOT MEAN THE FOLK LIVES OR WORKS THERE….”
When I pointed out the disconnect between his 12/29 tweet to Eddy and his claim in the 12/31 “Debunking the Myth….” post, Silas not only defaulted to abusive/foul/threatening language, he DELETED the revelatory tweet. Subsequently, the man went on to delete two other tweets:
“You don’t want to start me up on this” and the invective-laced and grammatically suspect “Dorcas 1(b), Stop f%$#@g up here, I stand with ALL the revelations in my Facebook Account Handle.”
Why did Silas delete a comment that contradicted the main thrust of his 12/31 supposed expose – on his FB wall?
Why did he delete his abusive/defensive tweets/responses to my questions/comments made in response to said tweets?
Why did Silas, a seemingly smart person, choose to force-multiply – on social media – allegations he KNEW were tenuous at best and outright falsehood at worst?
I don’t know and frankly, I don’t care anymore.
What I do know is that ALL the tweets Silas deleted exposed the tenuity of his main claims in the Dec. 31 post and along the way, he dragged my reputation through the mud and potentially worse.
Additionally, given the socio-political tone of some of my posts, I also know that I may have stepped on some toes. I also understand that powerful and famous figures attract hangers-on like you-know-what-attracts-flies. Silas Jakakimba’s FB wall lists, among his many jobs/titles, “Raila Odinga Secretariat”. It is this distinction that led me to wonder about the competence and professionalism of some of the people employed by these powerful/public figures or organizations bearing their name – in Silas’s case, the “Raila Odinga Secretariat” – and how the gofer’s actions in the Dorcas Sarkozy affair, his lack of basic due diligence bordering on abject incompetence and criminal negligence, is reflected in the quality of information he, Silas, delivers to his boss who THEN considers or uses said information to make decisions.
Leaders and policy makers make decisions; enact policies that affect lives based on the quality of information they receive from the likes of Silas.
Manufacturing 101: Organizations are only as strong as their weakest link/s. A leader is only as effective as the quality of information they receive from their staff, from their aides.
Silas’s role in the Dorcas Sarkozy silliness also reminded me of one Desiree Glapion Rogers – President Obama’s first White House Social Secretary.
A “FoO” (Friend of Obama) from their days in Chicago, Ms. Rogers was one of the many black faces from the Windy City that graced Obama’s White House when the first non-white POTUS was inaugurated as the 44thPresident of the United States in 2009. She was also one of the first casualty of an Obama White House that was hyper-sensitive to any miscue/s given the perception Americans have of their African American citizenry; a reality Michelle Obama alluded to in her blockbuster “BECOMING” – that blacks have to be twice as good to get (ahead) half as far as whites – in life – in these United States.
While the Secret Service took responsibility for the Michaele and Tareq Salahi gate-crash breach (“Desiree Rogers, outgoing White House social secretary, speaks out on party-crasher incident” – The New Orleans Advocate, Mar. 2010), the outcry was too much for the incoming admin of America’s first non-white male president to countenance – especially at a time when the US/global economy was on the verge of collapse.
In less than one year, the statuesque pixie-coiffed Ms. Rogers, a Wellesley College grad and Harvard MBA, was out of a WH job she was tailor-made for; this notwithstanding the Secret Service’s mea culpa for the lapse during a state dinner for the visiting Indian prime minister HE Manmohan Singh.
There was something about the efficient and cold Germanic professionalism of Obama’s two terms in office that did not sit well with many people but in hindsight, given the current circus in DC, Obama’s 8-year stint allowed Americans (and the world) to go to bed without wondering what crisis they’d wake up to the following day.
The nickname “No Drama Obama” started from the man at the top and seeped downwards to his staff.
Unfortunately, Rogers, a former marketing maven who “boasted of the marketing potential of ‘the Obama brand’ became THE story in an operation i.e. White House where “top staffers were/are supposed to remain in the background” (“Desiree Rogers: Dinner gaffe puts spotlight on Obamas’ social chief”, Chicago Tribune, Feb 2009). Incidentally, this reality is (also) embodied in the FIRST law catalogued in the Greene/Elffers masterpiece “The 48 Laws of Power”.
“Never Outshine the Master”; a variant of “Never Make Yourself THE Story”.
The obvious breakdown in WH security during a state dinner WAS unacceptable and put Ms. Rogers’s competence under scrutiny leading to her ouster.
Markedly LESS serious but indicative of the scrutiny under which staffers linked to high-profile public figures is the Dorcas Sarkozy saga and how the words “Dorcas” and “Sarkozy” are now synonyms for almost everything dark and nefarious about the internet; this progression facilitated/propagated by the social media platform belonging to ODM staffer Silas Chepkeres Jakakimba.
Along with making his relationship and exchanges with Dorcas Sarkozy THE story, Silas placed under scrutiny, the competence of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) at a time when stories about the organization’s ineptness in the last two election cycles are making the rounds.
You have to wonder about the competence (AND agenda) of an aide who draws conclusions that could put people in harm’s way even as they themselves question the factual basis on which they base those very conclusions.
Readily available for Silas, long BEFORE he drew his wildly inaccurate conclusion about me were sources that could have stopped him cold in his tracks but for some strange reason/s, the PhD in International Law from University of the Witwatersrand chose NOT to connect THESE exculpatory dots.
Instead, Silas opted to link wild hare-brained / imaginary dots that were all in his less-than-creative mind. He then used his social media platform to amplify the innuendos, half-truths and outright lies.
Why? I don’t know and I don’t care anymore.
“You Can’t Fix Incompetence, but You Can Call it Out AND Prevent It From Assuming Power”