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Sunday, September 02, 2007

2007 Mother Of All General Elections In Kenya: Wrong Time For Predictions

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Yes, I am aware that the ODM presidential nominations were completed yesterday, however a word of advice.

This is not the time to start making sweeping predictions on who the next president of Kenya will be. In case you haven’t noticed, things are extremely fluid just now. If you are one of those people fond of showing off your prediction-making skills, I would advice that you wait until the beginning of November at the very earliest to start making any predictions.

It will also be very clear soon why I keep on referring to

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9 comments:

butwaa said...

While I know 4 months is a lifetime in politics, I will have to guarantee one thing. If Raila and Kalonzo do not bury their egos and team up together, they both have no chance at all against Kibaki. History and the polls prove this both in Kenya and all over Africa. A disjointed opposition faces an uphill battle against the incumbent in a presidential election. Then again, there is a first time for everything!

Vikii said...

I agreeith you Chris that we cannot make predictions, at least on who is gonna be the leader of official opposition. Musalia Mudavadi will defect and we may have other interesting realignments.

It is my humble opinion however that the opposition lost these elections atKhadija primary school Grounds in Mombasa a couple months ago. That's just my opinion.

Phil said...

Chris, after the ODM and ODM-K nominations, I have to say Kenya multi-party democracy has made a very big step forward. Maybe you do not know, but nowhere in Africa has two opposition parties in one country held democratic primary elections to choose their flag bearer and emerged united. I would have thought this blog would lead all Kenyans in patting themselves on the back for this major achievement. Kenyans, it seems suffer from a big attitude problem based on their tribal inclinations. The comments area of this blog in the last the two days are full of insults and name calling. Nawasihii tuwache unaafik jamaa.

One thing am aware of is whereas the current opposition is organising itself for elections, it is currently impossible to distinguish which is the ruling party because our ruling class are busy trying to persuade a confused president to be on their side. Now, suppose Kibaki is defeated at the elections, who will be the official leader / party in opposition benches in parliament? I think it is important to have a determined opposition because, ODM and ODM-K have made it known their priorities are to introduce new constitutions. We actually need an opposition to act as a check that will make sure that even if reforms are introduced by an ODM government, the interest of all people and their future are well covered in the new constitution. By their current behavior, I do not think the GNU will be up to the task.

This confusion has been made worse by the inability of the speaker of parliament to make constitutional rulings when the president was busy fishing from opposition benches. The judiciary also seems to acting at the whims of the executive. When will we develop and respect governance structures, I ask? This is why I am saying, whatever they shortcomings, ODM and ODM-K have done this country extremely proud and we all ought to support this development even if we do not ascribe to the party policies.

Another thing which perhaps you didnt notice is: the youth are finally making a stab at national leadership. Balala, Ruto, Mudavadi and Joe Nyagah although not victorious, made up to more than 60% of the total 8 presidential candidates in these two political parties below 50 years old.. This might be an indication that Kenya will probably in the next 10 years or so, elect a president whose age could be around 45 years old. It also shows that the opposition is giving young candidates a chance but the electorate are still not convinced to vote for them. Women will not be left out either, if Kalonzo's and Raila's speeches are anything to go by. It is important that affirmative action is seen to be done and working withing our public service and leadership.

On the other hand, our so called ruling class are very disorganised to be called a government and I am worried we might not have an official opposition in January 2008. Maybe they intend to come with their tribal parties to ask for favours at state house gates. Am afraid that, unlike the confused GNU, that will not work with an ODM government. As we speak, no political party has been identified as their vehicle to parliament next term. More sadly, young people among its ranks have not shown any interest in challenging the top, ie Kibaki and Awori, who are octogenarians and there isnt mix with the youth or women and there arent any heirs being groomed to take over when they retire. Worse still, there isnt any agenda to increase the number of women in its ranks.

Am thoroughly disappointed that Derek and company only identify political opponents as objects with their tribes or alleged corrupt practices. Nothing more. How sad.

Ten or five years ago, no one could have imagined political parties conducting internal presidential polls, but ODM and ODM-K have shown it can be successfully done maturely and in an organised manner. Developments in ODM and ODM-K are things we all need to be extremely proud of as Kenyans...The Kenyatta's and Moi's of our world could not have allowed anything like that to happen in their time.

Anonymous said...

Phil,

I need a little enlightenment. If Kibaki were to lose the elections and he is the official leader of the opposition, what will be his entitlements? In this position he will be entitled to an MPs salary and perks and allowances equivalent to that of a cabinet minister (state-of-the-art car, probably a H1, security, etc). But as a former president will he also be entitled to any perks and allowances as are being enjoyed by Moi?

JEFF

Phil said...

Jeff, in my opinion, the retirement package of a retired president is more attractive than that of official opposition leader. It also has more prestige. Uhuru Kenyatta has shown how not to be an official opposition leader. I think the personality of the holder of this office also matters.

Besides, the embarassment of being a one term president will be too much for Kibaki to continue holding on to leading a public life started in the 1960s. Not to forget his advanced age is far past retirement.

This is where I lay fault squarely at his feet. There are some very intelligent men and women in the GNU at a prime age; some of them presidential material. But Kibaki is doing them a great diservice by not consolidating his troops in one political party/coalition, and he is also not showing any signs grooming anyone with better prospects of leading the country. He needs to shuffle them around in different offices with different duties so they can gain experience required. He should also send them to international conferences so that they can brush shoudlers with other Heads of Government. Surely, that cannot be Moody Awori (who is the current VP and constitutional heir apparent), nor Simeon Nyachae or Njega Karume? Neither can it be Kalembe Ndile or Newton Kulundu. Its up to Kibaki to start to making arrangements identify future leader(s) of opposition or head of state in this country. Moi and Kenyatta both played negative politics at the expense of the development of this country, let not Kibaki be recorded in history as one who only thought of his family and tribe.

The ODM PENTAGON is part named and is in essence a government-in-waiting. It is shortly going to show Kenyans what it means to undertake gruelling provincial grassroot campaining, and it remains a very ideal example for Kibaki to borrow ideas from.

Taabu said...

Not so fast Bw Phil. You have bought the flour don't rush to the oven lest you end up with burnt fingers and smoked bread. True, the ODMs primaries were generally signs of maturing democracy. But that ends the party and the agony begins. I fear you fell head long for Jeff's well laid trap.

Before you accuse me of being a pessimist open your eyes and see the betrayal Kenyans arestaring at in the two ODMs. Speaking of MK being in the opposition is not only hypothtical but hysterical too. It is too eaerly inthe day bro and all you can do is if get your horse ready for the ultimate. As for swearing and sweating with wild predictions, I am lonely and enjoying every bit of it.

As you criticie MK, you inadvertently credit him when you say Moi and Kamau stanted democracy. Give it to Emilio and his apologies the economy is growing and we the RUINERS and Kroll must be condemned for suffering untreatable bouts of mass political amnesia.

Anonymous said...

Phil, Taabu,

My question is genuine....no traps. I know which side Phil is and he will defend it to the end. But does any one know what the law says about my question i.e. what is the entitlement of official opposition leader who was a former president? Will he get MP+Cabinet minister+former president benefits? Could he earn more than a sitting president?

JEFF

Phil said...

Its tricky Jeff. My take is that the constitution recognises both offices of the President and that of the Official Opposition Leader in parliament. When Kibaki is "defeated" at the general elections in 2007, he cannot be said to have "retired"...and if my interpretation is correct, whether he chooses to retire after the defeat or he chooses to continue serving as leader of official opposition, he will have foregone his retirement benefits.

If Moi would have opted to continue serving as MP in 2002 and as Official Leader of Opposition after the elections, I highly doubt if he would be qualified to receive presidential retirement benefits.

As it is already, he also irregularly inherited the stately government home at Kabarnet Gardens which is the official residence of the VP. Kibaki however, will have to vacate state house if he is defeated in December. Either parliament or the constitutional court would need to guide the nation on it.

derek said...

Phil, Okay, you win.

Raila (Odinga Democratic Movement-Leader; Secreatry Peter Anyang Nyongo; voters from around the conutry. Legitimate ODM- Kalonzo Musyoka-Leader; Secretary - Mutula Kilonzo; Voters - from around the country. Thanx for that

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