Siasa Mbaya Maisha Mbaya
“Siasa Mbaya Maisha Mbaya”. The former President Moi used to love this phrase and the crowd would always chant out ‘Nyayo’ as they bust out with praises for a self proclaimed ‘Professor of Politics’. In reality Moi meant; if you conform and agree with the Government then you’ll enjoy prosperity and if you choose otherwise then be prepared to be sidelined. The 24years of Moi’s rule seemed to go well with his line and regions perceived as opposition strongholds seemed to lag behind when it came to development and that was in spite of the fact that everybody pays tax. The Moi era was no different than his predecessor’s reign as Kenyatta orchestrated one of the earliest divisions ever witnessed in this Country by amassing wealth and grabbing large tracts of land and prevented this Country from taking off. Independence was a new dawn for this nation but Kenyans walked out of the hands of colonialists into another trap of bad governance. Africa in context has suffered tremendously through colonization but as the light of independence started to glow it was fast diminished by emergence of dictators. We have all heard of the story that we were in the same economic status with Malaysia when we attained independence but 50years later we are not even closer to it. Blame leadership for that.
The search for freedom continued even after we attained self rule. The regime that took over power trampled on the rights of its citizens and was focused more on being a dictatorial system whose main aspiration was to limit the voice of its populace. The fight for multi party democracy was another freedom struggle that was meant to limit the strain of a one party state and with it many lives were lost. The thoughts that we were now a state with ideals and values at its core were gibberish and the Country became a state where injustice and assassinations was the order of the day. The struggle to break loose from a one party state was a collective fight as even University students joined the battle and the use of excessive force, intimidations as well arrests could not stop people from venting out their anger. The pressure beard fruit as we finally managed to gain multi party democracy but that was not the immediate answer to our problems. The Kenyan case was just a mirror reflection of Africa as Moi clinched to power with manipulation and interference of the electoral system and that gave him 24years. The truth is, if we were a constitutionally well functioning state then Moi would not have survived more than one term as a president. The arbitrary arrests and detentions of opposition leaders and all those who seemed to be having contrary opinions was the stamp of Moi’s regime.
The 2002 election was a special one and it was filled with so much hope and optimism. As Kibaki took to the podium to be sworn in, the famous “Yote Yawezekana Bila Moi” slogan rent the air. The whole nation felt like we had finally ushered in a new era of governance that will make us forget the yester years of a painful Moi era. The hope of the people was short lived as Kibaki proved that African leaders have no audacity to prioritize on the interest of the people. The ugly sites of PEV marked the sad period of this Country and that in so many years was an implication of how elections are shoddily conducted in this Country. The election in so many ways lacked credibility and it was evident the lengths leaders would go to stick to power. The 2010 constitutional dispensation was the most exciting period in Kenyan history and the day it was signed marked a new dawn for us. The Country was reborn again and the new constitution was and is still a great law for a nation like Kenya but the open disregard of the supreme law of a Country is slowly sending us to the dark years.
The constitution in chapter seven affirms the need for an election that is free, fair and transparent. The constitution also makes it clear that the process should be free from violence, intimidation, improper influence or corruption and it should be administered in such a way that it’s proved to be impartial, neutral, efficient, accurate and accountable. The Independent Electoral Boundary Commission which is a creation of the constitution is tasked with ensuring elections are conducted in accordance with the constitution. Elections in this Country have always been in favor of the system of the day and it has always been swayed to ensure only few cronies remain in power. The recent election of August 2017 was termed as null and void by the Supreme Court. The court found issues with the way the process was conducted and therefore could not be able to ascertain Uhuru’s win. The ruling was praised in many parts of the World and as a Country we proved that we can have an independent judicial system that cannot be cowed by the ruling system.
The IEBC was forced to conduct a fresh election within the next 60days and ensure it’s free, fair and credible. The opposition led by Raila Odinga decided to withdraw from the election after their minimum reforms were not met. The decision of NASA was a bold one as it would be impossible to trust a team that conducted a shoddy and sham election to carry out another election. The ballot was again a divisive affair in Kenya as it now placed us in a crossroad as a nation and the precedence of open disregard to the constitution braced all Kenyans. The repeat ‘Elections’ which many believed was a mockery of democracy was conducted with a great part of the Country boycotting it. The winner was known even before the process ended and the muscles had now been flexed and the Government went all out in a bid to stamp its authority on the people. The President is a symbol of unity but only if he clinches power in a democratic process and therefore acceptable by all. Uhuru Kenyatta was then sworn in as the President of the Republic of Kenya and it appeared comical when large parts of the Country didn’t join the celebrations. It now seems impossible to govern a nation divided right at the core.
The economic sidelining of opposition’s region and electoral injustices opened up secession conversations and that was bound to happen. Power has been revolving around 2 regions for the last half a century and you won’t blame people if they start talking. The feeling in many quarters is that the 2022 politics of passing the mantle to the Rift is disrespectful to the other tribes found in the Country. These communities now feel threatened and they are now resolving to secession talks as they aspire to be ruled better and receive a treatment that depicts them as Kenyan citizens. The aspiration is that everybody will receive equal privileges not out of ethnic affiliations but the mere fact that we are all citizens of this great nation. Electoral injustices and marginalization of the opposition’s region is at the core of all this debate and if not corrected then the deliberations on secession will not go away soon.
Raila’s swearing in.
There was so much debate on Raila’s swearing in as the peoples’ president and he finally took the oath despite the threats from DPP. The man has proved himself as the best this Country ever had and his status as the voice of the poor has made him draw a million of followers. Raila has fought for this Country and his fight has been on advocacy to ensure social justice prevails and he has done that for over two decades even risking his life in the process. The status he now enjoys as the People’s President is a clear indication that he has the masses behind him and to Uhuru and Ruto it means Raila is still politically alive and therefore the Game On. The arrests on his allies are a meant to scare the man but the reality is Raila has faced so much that fear is his second name. The likes of Miguna are being charged for being present and consenting to administer an oath which they term as ‘Capital Offence’. If at all Raila committed the said capital offence why are the police running after witnesses and the purported culprit is walking freely. The two gentlemen should know that the father of democracy has so much up his sleeves and someone needs to tell them Raila is still an enigma in Kenyan politics.