President Mwai Kibaki , left, and Prime Minister Raila Odinga , right, wave at a crowd of Internally Displaced persons(IDPs) in the Kenyan town of Naivasha Saturday, April 26 2008 as they toured the area to preach peace and reconciliation Most of the 157,000 IDPs living in camps still cannot go home more than four months after a disputed presidential election unleashed weeks of ethnically tinged bloodshed.
For far too long now, this country has been treated to the tired old line. Constitution says this, constitution says that, blah blah blah. It is so ironic because the same constitution, everyone agrees, is responsible for a myriad of problems facing the country and is actually overdue for a major overhaul.Because of the same constitution, the electoral process has always been tipped to favour the incumbent and in 2007, ECK's Kivuitu took full advantage of a constitutional vacuum to declare Mwai Kibaki as president.
It is my considered opinion that Raila Odinga and ODM are not in anyway obligated to participate in peace rallies organized by President Kibaki. But by graciously accepting to do so, some PNU politicians are already mistaken in assuming that ODM must see to it that IDPs are re-settled. To make matters worse, the minor protocol incident between the Prime Minister and the Vice President has already resulted in the IDPs saying that they will not return home. In these peace missions, it is now apparent that the VP is a heavy liability rather than an unifying asset and his attempts at gaining relevance is producing reverse consequences.
Perhaps we ought to listen to Rift Valley MPs who are opposed to this hurried resettlement missions. The fact is that IDPs were present in Kenya even before the post elections violence broke-out; but it never received presidential attention. That’s right folks. The period between the 2005 referendum and the 2007 general elections saw Kenya become home to an unprecedented one million IDPs spread all over the country. This is the highest number of internal refugees anywhere in the world for a country not at war. I did not for once hear the Kiunjuris of this world insist on immediate resettlement of these hapless Kenyans. As presidential candidates, Kalonzo or Kibaki never bothered to highlight the plight of these forgotten citizens the current ODM MP for Mt. Elgon was nominated to run for the seat while in police custody on trumped-up charges. As head of state, and commander in chief, the president himself has never concerned himself with the state-sponsored insecurity that existed in some of the violence hotspots like Mt. Elgon, Kuresoi and Molo. It has not escaped anyone’s attention that because the majority of these so called IDPs in Rift Valley are from a certain ancestry, it has suddenly caught the attention of the powers that be we actually have Kenyans who are living like refugees in their own country. As we speak, the government is at war with its own citizens in Mt. Elgon through a massive military operation. Do you see where Hon Kapondi, Hon Ruto and Hon Bett are coming from?
Back to the current peace mission in Rift Valley, it is an open secret that DULY ERECTED Kibaki would never have attempted to embark on a peace tour without the POLITICAL SHIELD that is Raila Odinga. After being forced to a agree to share power with ODM, the PNU coalition partner is using the discredited constitution to once again politically undermine the ODM by purporting to rank the Prime Minister as a junior to the Vice President. As the PM rightly told the President, these sort of juvenile games are what is creating problems kule mashinani (at the grass roots). The people know that the VP happens to be a miserable presidential candidate who was resoundingly rejected at the polls. The two leading contenders amassed votes that were more than TEN TIMES what the VP got. Now, now, the constitution says that this is the individual who will automatically take over power should our current president become incapacitated. God forbid!
Regardless of what the constitution says, the facts arising out of the unique circumstances of early this year are;
- The 2007 presidential vote was heavily discredited and even the ECK cannot ascertain who the winner was. (One political party known as ODM-K, unashamedly supported the release of disputed presidential results).
- Two political parties (ODM/PNU) signed a peace accord to create a grand coalition as equal partners in order to make this country governable.
- The VP and PNU ’half loaf’ cabinet remain answerable to the President and serve at his pleasure, while ODM ‘half loaf’ cabinet serve at the pleasure of the PM who is only answerable to parliament. How then Raila as PM be subordinate to Kibaki's 'servant' so to speak? My understanding is that Raila’s ODM and Kibaki’s PNU are EQUAL partners.
- The accord says that the PM shall be the leader of the party with a majority of MPs in parliament. Unfortunately, some civil servants who should have retired when Moi and KANU were ousted from power, want us to believe that the VP is above the PM. The VP himself can hardly say he commands loyalty from his 15 ODM-K MPs.
- The recently released CAPF report on political parties election funding indicates that although the VP’s party was the lowest in terms of expenditure….its sources of cash were from former president Moi, Uhuru Kenyatta and George Saitoti amongst other 'ghost donors' – all of whom endorsed and strongly supported the candidature of PNU’s Mwai Kibaki. The ODM-K and its candidate never had any intentions of being elected to rule this country but rather to withhold votes that would have naturally ended up in favour PNU’s opponents. A further proof of this was the party’s disgusting behavior in the election despute and its hastiness in jumping into bed with PNU for purposes of blackmailing the president to part with the vice presidency and cabinet positions in order to obtain legitimacy. Puuuulease!