Kenyan politics is fun; when you pretend you are on the sidelines and it’s just a show that has no effect on your well being then it’s one of the funnest things to indulge in. However, it’s depressing when you think that the decisions the politicians make actually have big impact on the development of the country.
I like that the new constitution has brought with it a few new regulations that can cap how much games can go on in the political arena. The introduction of the deadline to form coalitions for example has arm twisted the politicians to shamelessly show how much they care about political seats than anything else.
We have for example Kalonzo Musyoka who ran up and down to various corners of Africa on a tax money spending spree dubbed ‘the shuttle diplomacy’ in a failed attempt to save the asses of Uhuru and Ruto from the Hague. It’s now more obvious that he had vested interests in protecting the war crime suspects – most probably being given a fat seat in the G7 alliance. Now that the Uhuruto have shown him he is dispensable he is back to forming a coalition with the guy he’s been against for the last 5 years. In just the last month he has gone from almost forming a coalition with 3 different parties with very different political views. They say that a wise man changes his mind but at the rate Kalonzo changes his mind, he is nothing but wise, sly maybe.
Musalia Mudavadi the once nearly clean politician has joined the Uhuruto alliance in a race against time to join something, no matter how dirty it is. I’m not saying that Uhuru and Ruto are guilty of crimes against humanity – ICC will be the judge of that in a few months – am simply saying that when you have a coalition made of war crimes suspects that is bent on trying to stop their cases, a coalition of that if found guilty if they form the government might turn the country into something akin to Sudan, a coalition that will go out of their way to fuck up our foreign policy by claiming that the west is interfering (even though such a position might lead economic sanctions that could result in Kenya becoming another Zimbabwe), then it doesn’t matter what kind of visionary you are because your dignity is tainted for life. This might very well be the end of his political career.
I have a lot respect for Raila as a reformist, or rather the closest thing we have to a reformist in a high place of power. But I’m not the biggest fan of his latest decision to have Kalonzo as his running mate. There’s a reason Kenyans refer to Kalonzo as ‘water melon’. It’s not because he is known to eat a lot of the fruit. Kalonzo goes with the tide. You need to watch his statements just for a month to realize how true this is. He is a big liability to ODM especially given how much negative interactions they’ve had in the recent past. I wonder how they would run the country smoothly with that kind of relationship. But then again they are politicians, more unpredictable than electrons. I feel like here Raila just played a game of numbers. From a rational perspective it’s a wise move since one needs the numbers to win, but then again Kenyans are ‘waking up’ and numbers might have a whole new meaning this time round.
I have never voted before except for those few times when someone says ‘by the show of hands…’ Those ones are easy, one doesn’t need to sit down and have a philosophical argument with self on whether democracy works or not etc. But this one is bigger. Today I read an article with a snippet on President Kibaki’s speech that said: “If you don’t register as a voter then how will you participate in choosing the right leaders to govern this nation?” Now am not one to be looking for inspiration from the same guy that says ‘Mavi ya Kuku’ and ‘Kumbaffu’ on a national presidential addresses. However, this simple statement has changed my all life reluctance to vote.
When the sun rises, and the window for making pre-election deals has passed, politicians will be waking up in the morning realizing who they are in bed with and go ‘Did we….? Oh shit!’. You on the other hand are not supposed to just stand by the road taking pictures of their walks of shame. Instead find a registration center, identify the right candidate that addresses your issues, and vote. Because at the end of this process the one thing the Kenyan politicians should finally learn is that numbers are taking new dynamics. It’s all about policies, issues, economy et al. It’s not tribe anymore. We are of one tribe. Kenya.