Sunday, April 6, 2008



By Jerry Okungu

Forget about what the press has been talking about in the recent past. Forget those handshakes, smiles and false speeches that ODM and PNU principals made soon after Kofi Annan brokered peace between them in February 2008. They were not worth our time. One party was busy coning the entire nation and the international community. That party had no intention whatsoever of keeping his promise. Now Kenyans know him even better for what he truly is; a chronic liar and a fraudster.

Let us face it. Kenyans spilt blood when they realized they had been cheated out of their choice of government. They went on the rampage, burnt homes and looted property worth millions of shillings. They didn’t care whose property they destroyed. Hopelessness had driven them to the wall. Their hope for change in their lifetime had been dashed by thieving and conniving political elite. Then they said enough was enough. Had the international community not intervened on time, Kenya would be a failed state today.

Yet our President, Mr. Mwai Kibaki and his clique have refused to see the writing on the wall. They have refused to acknowledge the gravity of their costly mistake. They have retreated once more in to the fool’s paradise. They think this relative peace is sustainable and that it can be business as usual. They are wrong again.

It is now obvious that any partnership between Mwai Kibaki and Raila Odinga cannot work, not under the present circumstances. It cannot work because Mwai Kibaki is not his own man. He is not in control of a cluster of parties masquerading as PNU affiliates. He has lost executive powers to a cabal of ministers bent on extracting their pound of flesh from the present regime. Being a president who has no capacity to flex his muscle, any arrangement with a third party like Raila Odinga will always hit a brick wall back in his kitchen cabinet.

Gone are the days when the President was the President. Those were the days when Jomo Kenyatta or Daniel arap Moi set the agenda and no mere minister would dare squeak! Today Minister Saitoti, Uhuru or a Wetangula can lay claim to a ministry that is not his father’s communal property! That is how low we have sunk in terms of executive power. Things have truly fallen apart for the Kibaki regime.

Because of this absence of a decisive Head of State, the most logical thing to do now is to dissolve this nonsense called the National Accord that was brokered by Kofi Annan. Let Kenyans exploit the exit clause that allows either of the two partners to walk out so that Kenyans can return to the polls in order to elect a government of their choice. Let ODM and PNU face each other at the polls so that whoever wins can form a sane government that is lean, clean and efficient. This bloated government that is full of morally bankrupt individuals is not the type of change that Kenyans have been waiting for all these years.

If Kenyans don’t go back to the polls now, the restlessness upcountry will very soon degenerate into another round of civil strife. IDPs will not go back to their parcels of land. Militias will start regrouping. Sooner rather than later, there will be new roadblocks and burning of houses.

If this happens, Kenyans will this time know who is truly responsible. They will take the blame to the doorsteps of the President.

As it is, PNU in its ill-advised strategy is clinging to the ministries of Defence, Internal Security, Provincial Administration and Lands. What a mess! Can’t they see that brute force will not take displaced Kikuyus back to the Rift Valley? Can’t they see that the ministers they have appointed to these portfolios have no capacity to even address villages most prone to violence of land disputes?

One would have imagined that if William Ruto or Sally Kosgei was appointed Minister for Lands or Internal Security, either of them would be able to quell violence in the Rift Valley because they command respect among his people.

That was the strategy Jomo Kenyatta devised in 1960s. He appointed Daniel arap Moi, a Kalenjin as Vice President and Minister for Home Affairs to deal with Jean Marie Seroney and Taitta Towett on the sensitive land dispute in the Rift Valley that pitted Kikuyus against Kalenjins. Had Kenyatta behaved the way Kibaki is behaving, Kikuyus would have been evicted from the Rift Valley forty years earlier!