There is no doubt that a united opposition will beat the wobbly Jubilee, like a drum, in a free and fair election come August 2017. However, the person who will lead the opposition to victory over Jubilee in the next year polls matters a lot.
We all know that a flock of sheep led by a fearless lion is far much formidable than a pride of lions led by a fat, timid sheep. Lest we forget, the genesis of the general public outrage against Jubilee is the constant daytime robbery of public coffers by those in power, together with their rela-thieves and cronies.
Kenyans are likely to cast a serious protest vote against the irredeemably corrupt Jubilee gov’t come next year. This means that we might have a euphoric general election in 2017, only akin to the 2002 general election, which was largely driven by the deep resentment Kenyans had against an autocratic, corrupt and overly repressive KANU regime. And this is where my main problem lies.
In an election driven by euphoria, people are likely to be so blinded by their anger against the incumbent gov’t, to an extent that a large section of the voters might fall for any formidable alternative opposition outfit, without properly vetting the person at its helm. Good people, the person at the top always matters a lot.
Political impostors and masqueraders, with a questionable political past, are known to ride on waves of euphoria, to ascend to high office. These are people who cleverly portray themselves as latter-day saints who can effectively bring the much-desired change, but only towards elections. However, if you dig a bit into their political past, in the last 10 years or so, you are likely to find questionable and glaring inconsistencies that contradict what they purport to stand for now.
In 2002, one Emilio Mwai Kibaki (a certified conservative) rose into power, riding on a huge euphoric wave and a wheelchair. This is a man who cut his political teeth on the laps of Jomo Kenyatta and Moi. He was a KANU insider since independence, and one of the longest-serving Kenya’s vice-presidents under Moi (1978-1988).
Even though he was in the opposition from 1992 to 2002, after falling out with Moi, Kibaki was not a true reformer. He was what I can describe as a rebellious KANU first-born, who moved out of the main house to pitch his own tent. But the true genes of KANU continued to flow in his DNA and blood.
At the peak of KANU autocracy, when he was still in its good books; he is on record as having said that, ” Trying to get KANU out of power is like trying to cut a mugumo tree using a razor blade!” Kibaki was simply a man at home with Kenya’s elitist status quo. He understood the system well.
It is for this reason that, soon after he took over power, we started hearing of mega-corruption scandals like Anglo-Leasing. It is for the same reason that he soon threw a spanner into the works, and in a KANU-Style Machiavellian mode of operation, he soon trashed the power-sharing MOU between him and other leaders who had helped him rise to power. This triggered the animosity, within his gov’t, that eventually culminated into Kenya’s moment of madness, in the 2007/08 Post Election Violence. The PEV almost threw this country to the dogs!
To cut the long story short, we should not repeat the same mistake come August 2017. Those of us in opposition should ask: why do we want Jubilee out of power? The answer is, simply due to its gross incompetence, impunity and daylight rape of our economy through runaway corruption.
The next question we should ask is: who among the opposition bigwigs has shown consistency in the fight against these vices, in the past, and continues to do so? After answering this particular question, that is the person we want at the top of any opposition Super Alliance.
Many power-sharing structures have been bandied around lately, both in mainstream and social media, with various opposition figures at the top of the much talked about NASA. Some of the reasons being given in support of key opposition figures, as possible flag bearers are too lame. You hear things like “acceptable across the political divide!” and “likeable!”
Ladies and gentlemen, this is not a beauty contest; neither is it a “catwalk” extravaganza. We are not looking for the fairest of them all. We need a fearless person who will shake the status quo to the core. A person who has been tested and has consistently shown that he is capable of taking the bull of corruption by its horns. Such is the person who can scatter the deeply entrenched corruption cartels, in the country, to the four winds.
Good people, let’s be brutally honest for once. The only person who fits the bill as per the above description is Raila Amolo Odinga. He absolutely towers over his opposition comrades like a colossus. The others have some more years to prove their political mettle, and they can actually make good future presidents.
Without any fear of contradiction, I can state here today that any opposition outfit that doesn’t have Raila at the helm is doomed to lose to Jubilee spectacularly unless it has Raila’s full blessings. However, just like I am sure the sun will rise from the East and set in West tomorrow, if Raila will be alive and kicking in August 2017, his name will be on the presidential ballot. Take that to the bank and have some loan on it.
If the opposition leaders care about Kenya and are serious about sending Jubilee home next year, then they should not waste any more time haggling about who should lead them but move with speed and rally behind Raila. If they do that, it will be GAME SHOT in August 2017.
Besides, we all deserve a Raila presidency in this lifetime, so that we can have a chance to hold him accountable, using the same standards that he has set against others. His presidency is also likely to be a sure way of exorcising the demons of the never-ending animosity between Kenya’s main political antagonists: the Luo and Kikuyu communities.
A Raila presidency is likely put to rest the bitterness exhibited by a large section of the Kenyan populace, who feel that he has been unfairly cheated out of his presidential victory twice. Kenya needs a Raila presidency for any meaningful healing of political animosities in the country to take place.
The man has already set the standards through which he will be held accountable and I am sure he will try so hard to live by them.
Meanwhile, NASA is under the microscope.