By Wanjiku of Mombasa
In these days when the 1.00 pm news bulletin can change your travel plans, it seems some main characters have still not yet grasped the magnitude of the problems that may come about if the talks fail. Or maybe they just don’t care. Just last week it was almost clear we were going the power sharing way. For the sake of sanity I want to believe that is the way things will end up despite a snag here and a deadlock there. Did we expect power sharing negotiations to be smooth? I want to be optimistic that a solution will come out of the house of peace. For me what remains to be seen is whether the deal, when officially sealed, will appease ODM and PNU supporters. More so the ODM since they’re the aggrieved party. And by supporters I mean voters, not the so called hardliners and million shillings per plate dinner buyers.
For the sake of much needed hope and optimism, let us assume that Kenya shall get over this recent snag in the negotiations. But first let us acknowledge that if indeed we go the coalition way, neither Kibaki nor Raila will be what his supporters expected. After all we voted for our favorite candidate to be in full control of government. Let us also acknowledge the obvious possibility of incessant bickering in government for as long as the said coalition lasts. Even in the absence of bickering, settling into the new arrangement would be quite a distraction from the day to day running of the country. Don’t be surprised if neither half of the government delivers much for this whole term.
ODM for example will most probably be opposing the other half of government left right and center from day one. Just as well since if the power sharing deal works, Kenya will not have much of an opposition anyway. I had a domo session with a certain Kumekucha fence sitter and we agreed that Raila is a natural born oppositionist. That is not necessarily a bad thing because his opposing traits have helped expose scandals which Kenyans might never have got wind of. Some may argue that if Raila had lost the elections fairly and duly conceded, Kenya would have had the best opposition ever.
Sometimes I allow myself the luxury of dreaming a little on the wild side. Ok, a lot. Supposing we had a different president other than the two for some time as we put our act together? Go on, feel free to dream. Our strange dreams will not be signed into law any time soon. John Githongo for example? PLO Lumumba? Wycliffe Musalia Mudavadi? All worthy leaders but unfortunately, this being Kenya in February 2008, anyone born within our borders will elicit the tribal debate afresh. We’re therefore looking for a tribeless president people and that can only mean one from without. I told you it was wild!
I can feel the daggers but we’re dreaming remember? Look at it this way. We cannot expect a thief to be a fair jury in his own case. Even if Kibaki tried really hard to share power, he has to cover his interests. We know for a fact that he will not step down for Raila. In short Raila will not be president and Kibaki will not be a fair president. So we need this neutral person for a short time while we put our house in order. Before he/she learns the ropes of corruption, tribalism, land grabbing and other vices that seem to be necessary qualifications for our politicians, Kenya will be mended and it will be time for him/her to go. After which we can elect a whole new bunch of leaders – preferably people who have never held public office before. And Kenya can boast another first.