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FINAL AND BIGGER TRUTH

 

By Kipkoech Tanui

There are brutal truths leaders, the public and ailing parties must confront because electioneering can be delusive.

If we do not, we will probably be in the dung heap in January when we hope to have a new or re-elected Government. We always plan to win, but we tragically do not have in our hearts the room to fail.

That is why from Mwingi North MP Mr Kalonzo Musyoka to the Leader of the Official Opposition Mr Uhuru Kenyatta (he has one foot out of the backbench), they all want to be in the next Government in the fashion of Ford-People leader Mr Simeon Nyachae and Kiambaa MP Mr Njenga Karume.

It is as if we can, via strategic buy-outs, all be in Government. But sadly, there are only about 30 Cabinet seats at most and, already, if President Kibaki wins, he has enough men and women around him. He is, after all, the one credited with making promises knowing he will not appear before a High Court judge for reneging.

He will tell you it is realpolitik at play. In Machiavellian philosophy, it is the end justifying the means. Why would he, for example, want to have Kalonzo for Vice-President when Kajiado North MP Prof George Saitoti has shown humility and willingness to work with him despite coming so close to power.

Where will he take Cabinet ministers Mr Kipruto arap Kirwa, Dr Mukhisa Kituyi and Mr Musikari Kombo? Will he tell them that Kalonzo is the consummate diplomat imbued with the love of God, and is the latter-day King of Ukambani?

What of the Shirikisho squad led by Cabinet ministers Mr Chirau Ali Mwakwere and Heritage minister and former Uasin Gishu District Commissioner Mr Rashid Shakombo. There is also Mr Morris Dzoro, the minister who, when not denying paternity in court, lords over the Tourism industry.

The first truth is this: With the clock ticking, there will be many carrots and sticks, but nothing in law binds the winner to abide by the boardroom pre-election pact. Once the iron gates of State House clung shut, and the tenant is in, it could be a different ball game.

 

 

The second truth is this: That the new or re-elected President will be sworn in on the current Constitution and he or she cannot change it at will. It will be the work of the Tenth Parliament, with its skewed ethnic arithmetic and partisan baggage. It will still require a two-thirds majority of the House to change it.

The Constitution does not say two-thirds of the MPs seated in the House! It follows, therefore, and this could be bitter for some to live with, particularly the Orange Democratic Party brotherhood led by Mr Raila Odinga, that no individual can give Kenya the Prime Minister’s post.

Unless, in the unlikely circumstance ODM (minus Kalonzo) can marshal two-thirds of the House. But even if it does, the ethnic factor will still play itself out. There is no guarantee that they will vote as a party, and not miniature tribal blocs.

That is why Karume and the likes of Cabinet minister Mr John Koech, the generals Kibaki borrowed from the enemy camp, have eclipsed the Mungatanas and Wamweres. The point is that the promise of the PM post, First and Second Vice-Presidents that hold the ODM’s drifting ethno-political tectonic plates together, could crumble once the chase is over and the carcass is in the lead hunter’s leather bag. But a lot depends on whether the leaders mean what they say.

We are truly ‘democratic’

The third truth is that we have an incumbent President who could be the first to lose an election. He is defending his seat whether he has a party now or not. He is in charge and his crews are already working.

Government coffers are opening up. Caterpillars are burrowing the roads. He will not remain on the fence for long and lunch with him on September 1 will be Sh1 million a plate!

The fourth truth is that there are many politicians who will outgrow their sale-by-date after December and, by 2012, the reality will be different. To say: Support me today and I support you in 2012 is a fallacy. I have reservations on trusting a politician’s promise to serve one term.

The fifth truth is that we have adopted the definition of politics as a game of numbers literally. At this rate, power may be just a game of ping-pong between the larger central Kenya and the new fad, Western Alliance.

As in my local butchery, each will just need a small ‘stone’ from, say, the North or the Coast to angusha the kilo.

The final and bigger truth is that, as it were in Kanu, we are all captives of the tribe and do its bidding. A roadside talk with the voter is testimony how ‘democratic’ we are!

The writer is The Standard Managing Editor, Weekend Editions

 

By Kipkoech Tanui

There are brutal truths leaders, the public and ailing parties must confront because electioneering can be delusive.

If we do not, we will probably be in the dung heap in January when we hope to have a new or re-elected Government. We always plan to win, but we tragically do not have in our hearts the room to fail.

That is why from Mwingi North MP Mr Kalonzo Musyoka to the Leader of the Official Opposition Mr Uhuru Kenyatta (he has one foot out of the backbench), they all want to be in the next Government in the fashion of Ford-People leader Mr Simeon Nyachae and Kiambaa MP Mr Njenga Karume.

It is as if we can, via strategic buy-outs, all be in Government. But sadly, there are only about 30 Cabinet seats at most and, already, if President Kibaki wins, he has enough men and women around him. He is, after all, the one credited with making promises knowing he will not appear before a High Court judge for reneging.

He will tell you it is realpolitik at play. In Machiavellian philosophy, it is the end justifying the means. Why would he, for example, want to have Kalonzo for Vice-President when Kajiado North MP Prof George Saitoti has shown humility and willingness to work with him despite coming so close to power.

Where will he take Cabinet ministers Mr Kipruto arap Kirwa, Dr Mukhisa Kituyi and Mr Musikari Kombo? Will he tell them that Kalonzo is the consummate diplomat imbued with the love of God, and is the latter-day King of Ukambani?

What of the Shirikisho squad led by Cabinet ministers Mr Chirau Ali Mwakwere and Heritage minister and former Uasin Gishu District Commissioner Mr Rashid Shakombo. There is also Mr Morris Dzoro, the minister who, when not denying paternity in court, lords over the Tourism industry.

The first truth is this:

With the clock ticking, there will be many carrots and sticks, but nothing in law binds the winner to abide by the boardroom pre-election pact. Once the iron gates of State House clung shut, and the tenant is in, it could be a different ball game.


The second truth is this:

That the new or re-elected President will be sworn in on the current Constitution and he or she cannot change it at will. It will be the work of the Tenth Parliament, with its skewed ethnic arithmetic and partisan baggage. It will still require a two-thirds majority of the House to change it.

The Constitution does not say two-thirds of the MPs seated in the House! It follows, therefore, and this could be bitter for some to live with, particularly the Orange Democratic Party brotherhood led by Mr Raila Odinga, that no individual can give Kenya the Prime Minister’s post.

Unless, in the unlikely circumstance ODM (minus Kalonzo) can marshal two-thirds of the House. But even if it does, the ethnic factor will still play itself out. There is no guarantee that they will vote as a party, and not miniature tribal blocs.

That is why Karume and the likes of Cabinet minister Mr John Koech, the generals Kibaki borrowed from the enemy camp, have eclipsed the Mungatanas and Wamweres. The point is that the promise of the PM post, First and Second Vice-Presidents that hold the ODM’s drifting ethno-political tectonic plates together, could crumble once the chase is over and the carcass is in the lead hunter’s leather bag. But a lot depends on whether the leaders mean what they say.

We are truly ‘democratic’

The third truth is that we have an incumbent President who could be the first to lose an election. He is defending his seat whether he has a party now or not. He is in charge and his crews are already working.

Government coffers are opening up. Caterpillars are burrowing the roads. He will not remain on the fence for long and lunch with him on September 1 will be Sh1 million a plate!

The fourth truth is that there are many politicians who will outgrow their sale-by-date after December and, by 2012, the reality will be different. To say: Support me today and I support you in 2012 is a fallacy. I have reservations on trusting a politician’s promise to serve one term.

The fifth truth is that we have adopted the definition of politics as a game of numbers literally. At this rate, power may be just a game of ping-pong between the larger central Kenya and the new fad, Western Alliance.

As in my local butchery, each will just need a small ‘stone’ from, say, the North or the Coast to angusha the kilo.

The final and bigger truth is that, as it were in Kanu, we are all captives of the tribe and do its bidding. A roadside talk with the voter is testimony how ‘democratic’ we are!

The writer is The Standard Managing Editor, Weekend Editions

 

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About SG

Secretary general of Chama Cha Mwananchi. This blog www.chamachamwananchi.wordpress.com, is based in Sweden.

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