The bloated cabinet in session: Great panic now in meetings
For days now, I have quietly analyzed and re-analyzed the current situation in Kenya even as you read this. I have talked to my most important contacts again and again. Admittedly information is very scanty at the moment but all the clues and signs are there. And they all spell only one word; PANIC.
The Grand Coalition Government is currently facing the biggest crisis any government in Kenya has ever faced. At least I can authoritatively say that this is the position with key players in that government.
There is an African proverb that says even a giant can be brought down by a very small pebble on the footpath and folks, I have good reason to believe that this is exactly what is threatening to happen to the Kibaki/Raila adminstration.
The source of all the trouble is one annoying five letter word that is the name of a place. HAGUE. The problem is the possibility of some very senior persons appearing at that place to answer for the happenings of December 2007 and January 2008.
Kenya has always been governed by a government that is in total control. And that control has always very much included the judicial process. The single telephone calls that have changed numerous court rulings are too many to be counted and is a story for another day.
But as you read this, the fate of key individuals in the GNU is in the hands of a foreigner and what has caused major panic in the corridors of power is that that individual can hurt Kenya’s “untouchables.” A phone call won’t work this time and neither will a cheque leaf with zeros that would make anybody dizzy. That is the crux of the problem.
So the major preoccupation now is how to make the Hague go away.
Let’s flash back for a minute to January 2008 when the then Ghanian president and chair of the African Union John Kofour jetted into the country with the full backing of Americans and the Brits. You will remember that this man did a lot of work shuttling between the two major protagonists. Insiders say that after days of sleepless nights he finally managed to draft an agreement of sorts that both Raila Odinga of ODM and Mwai Kibaki of PNU were ready to sign. But what happened next remains a puzzle to this day. It is said that when the document was brought to President Kibaki, he disowned it completely and said that he had never agreed to any of the points on it. And yet he himself had earlier assured Kofour that those negotiating on his behalf would be in consultation with him.
Still the point I want to make here is that the hardliners on President Kibaki’s side must today be regretting bitterly why they pulled such an embarrassing stunt on poor John Kofour who hurriedly jetted out of the country hours after this embarrassment. Had Mwai Kibaki signed on the dotted line, there would be no Hague today. The crisis that he faces would never have existed.
You see the moment the team of eminent persons led by Koffi Anan jetted into the country, then the whole issue ceased to be a domestic squabble and turned into an international issue where the involvement of the increasingly powerful and visible International courts at the Hague could NOT be avoided. We in Kumekucha saw this very early and that is why our main writers all gleefully announced that it was now the Hague option, moments after the bill to set up a local tribunal to try post election violence perpetrators was defeated in parliament.
Back to the crisis at hand, the major worries for both Kibaki and Raila but especially Kibaki are as follows;
- That even if they are initially NOT indicted to appear at the Hague (none of them is on Anan’s list, I can authoritatively tell you. Send for my raw notes to see the full list) those who appear will be forced to mention their names in their defense and the trail will inevitably lead back to them. And that CANNOT be allowed to happen.
- The Hague trials will further splinter both major parties and turn everything into a everybody for themselves survival game. This will annihilate both major parties as political forces.
- Judging by what has happened in the recent past, even if the two principals manage to keep people from “singing” at the Hague, there is a very real possibility that the evidence already collected is enough to force both principals to appear at the Hague on some very serious charges.
If you doubt for a minute the panic in town over the Hague issue then you need to think about the following unfolding events.
- Emergency cabinet meetings have been called with the main agenda being how to avoid the Hague. All the meetings so far have reached a deadlock with no agreement on the way forward. What fascinates me greatly is the fact that although it is clear that if the GNU do not unite, most of them will hang separately, the two sides are not interested in uniting and it seems would prefer to hang separately than unite and get out of the current crisis.
- Key witnesses who testified before the Waki commission have suddenly started receiving death threats again and are living in great fear.
All this brings me to the shattering climax of this post. And that is the kamikaze (suicide) options being considered by the heavyweights in the GNU.
Option One: Since there is no way that the current parliament can pass the much needed legislation to set up a local tribunal and thus make the Hague go away, the president can dissolve parliament and call for a snap general elections.
The problem with this option is that it disqualifies the president from running again and it would mean that the term he so desperately wanted to serve until the end (irrespective of the bloodshed that was going on in Kenya) would grind to a sudden halt. However Phil of Kumekucha said here in a comment that there is a possibility that Mwai Kibaki could come back as Prime Minister in a Raila Odinga led government (with the necessary assurances having been worked out behind the scenes). I have checked with my sources and they are not laughing when I suggest such a scenario.
Of course the main problem here is that it is being assumed that the Kenyan voters will play ball. I can authoritatively tell you that they WILL NOT. You see our politicians believe that anything is possible in Kenya as long as somebody can write a cheque that is big enough to cover the “costs”. I don’t think this is true anymore. Starving poverty-stricken Kenyans not withstanding.
Option Two: The president resigns. Constitutionally this means that the Vice President will act for 90 days pending a general election. A lot can happen in 90 days, especially if you have planned for it all well in advance and written all the necessary cheques. The objectives would be the same as in option one only that there would be more time to influence how the general elections go.
My conclusion: Things will never be the same again in Kenya. This is the beginning of a chain of events that will rid Kenyans of the current political class and usher in the much awaited new beginning. My view is that it is now too late for the political class to do anything to save themselves. My only fear is what has to happen before we arrive in the promised land. Secondly I have just confirmed that what I said here months ago has come to pass. That is the major driving force behind all this is one President Barack Obama who wants to make an example of Kenya for the rest of Africa.
Posts On Obama from the past in Kumekucha;
Matatu riding president and the world economic melt-down
President of the US who rode in a matatu
Predictions of democratic nomination for Obama
All Kenyan blogs except Kumekucha said Obama had no chance