When I last wrote about politics, a case had been filed in the Supreme Court of Kenya challenging the election of the Uhuro duo as the president and vice president. The case has since been decided and the ruling was delivered Saturday and we have a president who will be sworn in a few days from now. My friends who are worried for my safety shouldn’t, at least we are not trying to kill each other.
The jury is still out and it will be for a long time to come whether the decision by the SCOK was to safeguard constitutionalism. Here and here are just a few of the articles I have laid my eyes on concerning the ruling. I will let jurists, political scientists and other pundits to talk about this for generations to come. That notwithstanding, I will say my two cents on the matter. To start with, in as much as I support universal suffrage where everyone eligible to vote should, I have some qualms with such a system. It allows anyone to participate and this to me is it’s greatest weakness. I don’t know a better solution to this problem but I think there ought to be a way of determining who can or can’t vote.
We are not a democracy neither are we a united nation. No, that is a sham and you are a fool to believe it. We are a group of tribal nations forced to live together by the colonialists within a randomly drawn border making a country called Kenya. Anyone who believes differently is an idiot of the first degree.
When the matter of the election was taken to court, it soon came to [at least following what I observed on social media] a contest between the two ethnic groups at the centre of this matter viz the Luo and the Kikuyu. Very few people took time to consider the merits of the case, the impact it has on the future conduct of elections and whatever democracy we are trying to build. Insults and invective was the order of the day. Any time an issue was raised concerning the conduct of the election, people could reduce it to a tribal matter regardless of how far removed it was from any ethnic consideration and it is a shame that the people involved in this exchange are those we would want, for a lack of a better word, call the elite and the future of the country. What future are we talking about? We behave like savages, the only thing that stops us is the state control on arms but in essence we aren’t any better than the Syrians or the Somalis indeed we could even be worse!
I am proudly Luo. Am a humanist to the core but at the same time am proud of my heritage as a Luo. I will not hesitate to speak out against Luos, no, am an equal opportunity basher and no one is exempt. You can call me tribal if you will but remember I didn’t choose to be born along the Lake Victoria basin and I have not treated anyone as being different or less a person than I am because she is of a different tribe. Acknowledging my Luo heritage doesn’t make me tribal. I have written that I stand for equal treatment of all, regardless of religion, race, gender or status in the society. I have said strongly that I abhor all forms of slavery and am equally against any forms of favoritism that disenfranchises an individual[s] based on factors out of their control.
Having said this, I must now say what I think [ the Kibunja’s commission that is busy arresting people for hate speech-what does this even mean- please listen]. It was wrong for the high court judges that heard to the case challenging the eligibility of Uhuru and Ruto to run for president to not find a problem with their candidature. Anyone having a court case in future has every right to refer to this case when they are running for office and their eligibility is questioned. It is to me a failure to discharge their duties as they swore to do when they took the oath of office. Anyone who for a moment thinks we have an independent judiciary is deluded. I am not asking anyone to agree with me, but if you are going to disagree you will have to show cause why you think am wrong. It is not lost on me that some judges have acted to assert their independence, but please tell me how many these are and how many cases of national importance they have dealt with.
It was a failure by the media to point out that it was wrong to allow Uhuru and Ruto to run. Please don’t give me the line of benefit of doubt. I have neither the time nor the patience to grant them that. If you have please do but I don’t want to hear it. I have said in several posts that we have the second most useless media anywhere in the world [I don’t know the first]. Many Kenyans have a false aura of superiority. To get a small glimpse of what I mean, one need only need use the twitter hashtag #someonetellBotswana to get a picture. If there are any areas we have excelled, they are not so grand that we have bragging rights to insult our neighbors whenever we feel slighted. It is stupid and cheap and guys have to grow up or sooner you will have eggs on your faces.
I will say here that I am a supporter of candidate Dida. His only failure at least to me was his thinking we need to pray to god whenever we are faced with problems and I will say am a great fan of Raila Odinga, yes I am, go ahead and call me tribal. He stands for something so dear to me. He is our connection to the fight for democracy and constitutionalism, a journey began by among other Jaramogi, Oneko, Rubia, Pio Gama Pinto, J.M Kariuki, Anyona among others. It is also not lost to me that he has many faults which I pointed out in my open letter to Raila. He is a great statesman. His losing the petition is not only a personal lose to himself but it is a loss to anyone who cares about rule of law and constitutionalism. And those who take offense, the tribal bigots when I call you fools take note that neither a Raila or Uhuru or any other person’s presidency for that matter brings food to my table, no, I still have to work for it. But you must know that a Raila presidency is a step towards national cohesion, constitutionalism and a semblance of progress.
The SCOK failed in its mandate to uphold the constitution. It is indeed strange that people like the chief justice, Willy Mutunga, who claim independence of mind, would make such a ruling. That all of them agreed that the election was free and fair in the face of evidence to the contrary citing late filing of evidence, shortage of time and I don’t know what else is a sign of the careless that I think is unparalleled anywhere in the Commonwealth of nations. It is one institution that I can’t trust to defend my rights and freedoms should I be aggrieved by the state. Many of you will hail the decision, many have already done so, calling it Solomonic [whether Solomon was the best judge, the jury is out] and adding that it will be an example to other countries in the region and beyond. What lesson is this they will learn from it? That the supreme court of the land will not consider evidence because they are short of time? Someone please tell me that there was a dissenting opinion. Am beyond shocked that someone in their right minds would think there wasn’t evidence to show that the election wasn’t credible. It is indeed abdication of duty to make such a ruling and the judges must remember they failed in their mandate. I will say again that this court is useless and is to me a sham.
The parliamentarians who were recently sworn in have as their first order of the day a desire to increase their salaries. As you can recall in the open letter I wrote to the MPigs last year, I did ask that their first duty be reduction of their salaries, those of PSes and other state officials earning obscene amounts. It appears to me and to those who have eyes that we are going to be fucked from the ass by this house. It is indeed worrying that both houses are controlled by the government, many of them people who give a rat ass about constitutionalism. I allow those celebrating to do so now, but in a few short weeks we will be together when things come to ahead. There are those of you who think those of us raising such matters are doomsday prophets, but ask Americans what happens when you elect a not so intelligent guy for president, you end up fighting wars you don’t need and budget deficits only shallower than a black hole.
As I finish therefore, a word of advice to all of us. If this country is to move beyond tribal enclaves, then we must do something about our institutions. We must look ourselves in the mirror and ask hard questions of where we want to go and how we will get there. We can’t bury our heads in the sand and hope that tribalism will go away, nepotism will go away and corruption will go away. We also must be concerned with party politics not just as organs for getting state power but as drivers of opinion, good governance, democracy and constitutionalism. We must put our elected leaders to task. We are their paymasters not the other way round. The media has to examine itself critically and ask themselves whether the independence they claim is real or just a mirage.
Lastly, though am not sure he will read it, I advice Raila to go for holiday in the Bahamas, take up some job in some country where ideas are valued and send his greetings every once in a while when we are fucked just as a reminder that we need to be smarter in future.
Here is Raila’s concession speech
This dear Kenyans is my rant.