As we await the Supreme Court full judgement that led to the nullification of the 2017 Presidential results, some of us are keen to see the findings that informed the decisions. The integrity of the electoral process matters just as the outcome.
Of interest are the developments we have gone through in the last five years. The country is politically vibrant and hence our economic performance is thus related to the same. Competition for political supremacy has largely defined our social fabric.
My one desire is the day the country will go beyond the ethnic factor and agree to pursue interests with common benefit to all. Every single citizen is concerned of the rut we are in, poverty and mediocrity affects all of us.
Our Political System
Whereas we gifted ourselves a constitution in August 2010 that seeks to create working systems that will serve all of us. We have taken an unpredictable path of politicizing everything. This is dangerous. From general observation the space for professionalism and objective criteria in Government has remained shallow.
With observation it baffles me how, when it’s convenient for us, we have taken to defending what is the opinion of our political leaders, even when the position may not be objective. A good observation is the remarks of our recently elected leadership and interested parties on furthering the position of their preferred side of politics as opposed to the right and objective position. Ours are politics of convenience.
On reflection, I’m of the opinion that we have become people who are going to act on convenience. What is convenient becomes right. This does not create stability in our society.
If the law is for all of us, why are we failing to invest ourselves heavily in creating pre-determined laws (as the supreme law requires us to) so that we can then remain safe within the law as opposed to remaining safe in convenience?
The electoral disputes
As law required, political leadership in the country will be attained through competition in an electoral process with the majority carrying the day. The process to achieve that is now proving a liability to the country and we are handling it to our convenience.
The last seven years have seen us form an electoral body, gone through an election that has left us badly divided and conveniently dealt with the outcome from it.
The two major political players are not helping the situation either. Their actions have not been for the interest of the nation but their own.
Whereas we for good intent did laws establishing the electoral body with independence, we in the years last two years went against the law and acted in convenience in dismantling it.
We took a political process (for convenience) leaving the law intact in handling our dissatisfaction with the conduct of the electoral body. We had all the time since the elections in 2013 to deal with the electoral body on the account of its breaches, some which were proven. If we were objective we would have done it well for the interest of longevity starting with the 2017 elections.
We did set a wrong precedent that we can set the law aside and act in convenience. Kenya Shall we all say “Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa” indicting our leaders, The President and the opposition leader failed to honestly follow the law in handling the disbanding of the IEBC.
Our unfaithfulness to the general requirements of the law has opened up issues that should be disturbing to all those who are genuine patriots. We have been treated to secessionist talk. The judiciary has been thrown mud at for not agreeing with the executive and the majority in legislature may be used to smear more mud. Will we be looking at political or convenient processes to undermine other rights and institutions? These conveniences are costly.
The two competing sides have different positions as to how we should conduct the elections. The incumbency favouring the status quo as the law requires on the conduct of elections while the opposition is looking at having a reformed referee before the repeat poll. What is the most convenient way of solving this impasse?
The country awaits the repeat of the presidential elections. As a Kenyan looking at the economic outlook of the country we are fatigued and cannot afford to have a lot of time in anxiety. We need the elections as soon as now so that we can move on with our lives.
What lessons should we learn from the situation we are in? It does not matter how many times we reform the laws and regulations in the conduct of elections, what we perhaps need to review are our credibility parameters as a Country, Individually and collectively.
September 17, 2017