Jubilee decision to take Kenya backward surely bound to fail

Maina Kiai by Maina Kiai
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There is little doubt that we are headed for big trouble. The Supreme Court decision should have sent a signal that those ruling needed to obey the Constitution and laws, and cultivate more participation, more humility, and more inclusivity.

But alas, Jubilee Party has decided to take the exact opposite approach, adopting the classical dictator’s tactics of “might is right.” These tactics, clearly learned during the disastrous Moi regime, are about bulldozing their will on us, breaking the law whenever they want, and to change the law willy-nilly to suit their wants.

And their wants are simply about retaining power, any which way, including stealing elections.

We have seen Museveni type tactics used by the police without shame (whatever happened to the DFID and USAID funded police reform?) on MPs Babu Owino and Otiende Amollo. 

OFFENSIVE JIBE

Mr Owino may have called somebody a “son of a bitch,” which is a common euphemism used in everyday speech, but why was Mr Uhuru Kenyatta not arrested for insulting Chief Justice Maraga and some of his other judges when he called them “wakora,” a far more offensive jibe?

There is also the attempt to stop Messrs Kalonzo Musyoka and Moses Wetang'ula from flying out of the country, on the guise that they needed “clearance.” That is not only unconstitutional, but it is also juvenile. But it speaks volumes about the direction that Jubilee wants to take us: force their domination on us, try to see if we are intimidated, and then force a culture of silence and fear.

As all this is going on, Jubilee MPs decided to force amendments to election laws so that they can get the result they want, Kenyan voters be darned! 

Some Jubilee supporters urge that we look at the contents of the proposed amendments, citing one that would allow any Commissioner to declare results in the absence of the Chairperson, but the process of enacting law is as important as the content, and one (very abusable) provision can’t be reason to force the amendments.

VIOLENCE

Elections are Kenya’s almighty trigger for violence. This is because we — rightly or wrongly — take elections as the route to addressing some of our age-old grievances. No other issue demands as much for consultations, negotiations and compromise. So much trouble can be avoided if clear thinking people would prevail on the Jubilee hierarchy.

Yet Jubilants proceed as though they are the only Kenyans who matter. That may be true now, but it will not be in a few weeks, months or years. For as night follows day, there will be reaction to these actions and attempts to take us backward. The 19988 mlolongo elections, and the 2007 Kibaki appointments to the Election Commission, should have taught us that. Let us hope that the reaction, when it does come, does not result in killings, murder, rapes and chaos.

CRISIS

In times of crisis, and we are firmly in one, statesmen and stateswomen are revealed by those who urge reasonableness and compromise. No matter what we may think of the Supreme Court judgment, the fact that it found that there were violations of the law, and the fact that IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati has outlined some of the illegal internal manoeuvres by the Secretariat, should have resulted in the swift resignation of Ezra Chiloba. Once a decent and honourable man, this Mr Chiloba is a different person and he will bear huge responsibility for the chaos that will surely follow.

Mr Kenyatta has bared his fangs, and he is happy to telegraph what he can and wants to do. He has made a choice to take the country backward, naively imagining that he can turn back the clock back as his friend Mr Museveni has done so well in Uganda. He will fail, of that I am certain, because Kenyans are in a different zone, even if that means communities and regions seeking self-determination.

I hope Mr William Ruto realises that this sort of zeal from Mr Kenyatta, this approach of getting what he wants, may come back to affect him, if Mr Kenyatta returns to power. For if he can do this to get to power, why should he ever leave power at the end of 2022?

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