A presidential election was held in
When he withdrew from the scene after exhausting every trick in the book to stay on, barred by immutable constitutional provisions, to his village a veteran opposition leader who had tried twice to unseat Moi to no avail won power defeating Moi’s anointed successor, Uhuru Kenyatta in a free and fair election. ‘Moicracy’ like ‘Babacracy’ was thus buried as the system was ‘deMoised’ for a fresh new democratic beginning.
Kibaki’s first term in office witnessed some giant strides in economic rejuvenation and the overwhelming enthusiasm and hope in the future. His presidency was characterised for five years by bold steps towards economic recovery and social emancipation though corruption was never tamed. Besides his private marital life witnessed some scandals like his relationship with a woman that had had a child for him and the arrogant First Lady, Lucy, his supposedly second but official wife, whose undignified behaviour sometimes included terrorising the media, slapping journalists and ordering the beating of ordinary people who ‘offended’ her presidential sensibilities.
The leading opposition leader who ran against Kibaki through a political movement called Orange Democratic Movement, Raila Odinga, son of a late veteran Kenyan politician, was leading Kibaki in opinion polls right up to the elections. Every indications pointed to an Odinga victory at the polls in a free and fair contest without the incumbency factor playing a negative role.
The election was held in a relatively peaceful atmosphere with millions of Kenyans going all out to make an electoral statement deciding who they prefered among the lot seeking their consent to govern them. But as results were being announced the Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK) Chairman Samuel Kavuitu like Maurice Iwu of
When the electoral body head came back to finish his job of declaring the victor and the vanquished he surprisingly gave victory to the vanquished declaring Kibaki winner (after taking a break to be briefed presidentially). Kibaki, desperate for a second term but aware of his defeat, was sworn in minutes after the final declaration by ECK. Ever since then the streets of
What pricks the conscience as one watches the spectre of violence in
It criminally boggles the mind how and why indecent old-breed politicians in
And in April 2007 former President Obasanjo and his man friday Maurice Iwu organized the very worst election in
In the ensuing carnage in Kenya Kenyans have so far demonstrated that they are unlike Nigerians in seeking that their votes count. When one saw some young Kenyans declare on TV that even in the event of Raila Odinga buckling to international pressure they would continue the struggle as it is one beyond the Orange party candidate. Unlike Nigerians Kenyans are standing up for democracy and the military dogs and police are killing them. In one demonstration of frustration the demonstrators touched a church in which over thirty people were refuged!
The political activism of Kenyans unlike Nigerians reminded one of how Ivorians achieved a great feat in the year 2000 when the late General Robert Guei who confiscated power in the new year eve of 1999 sought to fool all the people. The then veteran incorruptible opposition leader who contested the presidential election against the murdered General and now President Laurent Gbagbo successfully demystified the military and the gun as he used mass appeal to cut the General to democratic size.
The ultimate essence of any democracy resides in the ballot. Whenever the people’s votes are counted but disallowed to count things could get nasty and violent. Like the civilian dictator in
The present political crisis in
The way forward lies in returning the stolen mandate to its real beneficiary. That is giving back to Raila Odinga what rightly belongs to him. Kibaki must concede defeat and allow peace to reign. Kenyans like Nigerians deserve some respect from their illegitimate leaders.