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HOW CAN ODM ALLOW PNU, A PARTY THAT LOST ELECTIONS, DRAG IT IN THE MUD?
Right now, Kenyans are angry with Raila who has refused to read the writing on the wall
By Jerry Okungu
Some things are difficult to understand. May be I am just a dumb person.
On December 27, 2007, Kenyans went to the polls and elected a government of their choice. There were three main parties in the contest. Of the three parties, ODM of Raila Odinga came tops by winning six of the eight provinces and an outright majority seats in Parliament. Kibaki’s PNU came a distant second with just two provinces and 43 seats.
However, Raila Odinga and his party were never to celebrate their victory. A miracle happened along the way. That miracle gave Mwai Kibaki’s PNU victory of some sorts despite losing the elections in every aspect.
What followed was not unexpected. The whole nation rose up in arms and went on the rampage. In just ten days, a thousand Kenyans lay dead. Another half a million people were sent scampering for safety either to local police stations, churches or sought refuge across our borders!
The rage with which Kenyans responded to the theft of their votes stunned the world. The international community and government intelligence forces were caught flatfooted. The bloodletting sent a chilling message across the globe. The tourist heaven was on fire! They had to arrest the situation before Kenya became another Rwanda. Nobody wanted another senseless genocide blood on their hands again.
When Kofi Annan and his team arrived in Kenya, they spent four weeks talking a settlement. By February 28, 2008, he had brokered a peace deal whose signing was finally witnessed by the current AU Chairman and Tanzania President, Jakaya Kikwete.
That peace deal, signed between ODM and PNU was specific and watertight. It spelt out a power sharing arrangement on a 50-50 basis in the Cabinet, the Civil Service and Foreign Service.
It retained Kibaki as the Head of State while it created the post of Prime Minister and Head of Government for Raila Odinga. It created an exit clause in case either of the parties felt like getting out. It specified that the accord be entrenched in the current constitution to protect it from going the way of the 2002 MoU. It was very clear that this coalition power sharing arrangement was a stop gap measure pending the overhaul of the current constitution. It called for genuine sharing of power during the transition
Now, six weeks later, Kenyans are yet to get their coalition government. Raila Odinga, though enjoying government security detail, is still referred to as Prime Minister designate. Several meetings with President Kibaki over the cabinet positions have yielded only frustrations for Kenyans. One-on-one meetings with Kibaki have become chess board games. Somebody has decided to play Russian roulette with the lives of Kenyans.
Right now, Kenyans are not even angry with Mwai Kibaki. They are not even blaming him. He has been playing the same game he has perfected since January 2003 when he first fooled the same Raila Odinga into signing an MoU with him prior to the 2002 general elections. A few months later, he went ahead to trash the same MoU with ease.
Right now, Kenyans are angry with Raila who has refused to read the writing on the wall. They are asking why Raila cannot stick to the spirit and letter of the Accord and quit the coalition if Kibaki cannot honour this constitutional amendment. Right now Raila has allowed low level operatives in the Kibaki government to comment on the document they were not party to. He has allowed mere civil servants to prepare ground for his future insubordination and sabotage!
Kenyans are annoyed with Raila because he has allowed PNU operatives to drag his name in the mud, erode his popularity with the people and make him look like he is merely after state power rather than real change he preached to Kenyans prior to the elections. And they have proved that he is gullible enough when they offered him state security that he accepted even before being sworn in as the country’s second Prime Minister!
The only way for Raila to redeem himself in the eyes of the public is to renounce the forty member cabinet, reject the state security and tell Kibaki to either accept the spirit and letter of the Accord or he walks out of the deal. This is the time for Raila Odinga to show that he has some spine!