Desperate PNU ready to sacrifice......if only to avoid the Hague!
Following political uncertainty arising out of disagreement by the principals on key judicial appointments, speculation is rising over the possibility of one partner unexpectedly pulling out of the coalition and demanding a snap general election. Political temperatures are escalating and it is noticeable through the same vitriolic utterances of some of the amateur players (read-Hague suspects) who so nearly led this country to civil war in 2008.
But even as the two principals retreat and appear to close ranks, both are still talking of following difference routes towards resolving the stalemate and it now seems unlikely they will reach an amicable agreement given the contents of statements released by each of them. To add insult to injury, PNU and its allies continue to plot all manner of attacks against their coalition partners aimed at weakening them politically. Despite their presumed greater numbers, they came out of parliament with black eye and without any victory against mainstream ODM.
Matters are not made easier by the immense pressure on key political figures named as ICC suspects in Kenya's post elections violence. The Ocampo6, actually Ocampo3, are believed to be the real power behind the push for the ill conceived and moribund ICC deferrals. ICC Prosecutor has vowed to make Kenya an example to the rest of the world and had promised to start the Kenyan cases at pre-trial chamber of the ICC at the beginning of March 2011. This date which is hardly one week away is giving the powerful Ocampo3 sleepless nights. The rejection of judicial nominees by speaker Marende almost drove Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto to tears. The reality is dawning key men of the president's camp, including defecting ODM allies, who have made a huge about-turn from favouring Hague, to favouring a local tribunal. They are hopeful that the UN-Security Council may just grant their wish.
The unspoken secret is that the recent controversial and hurried judicial appointments were geared towards showcasing to the international community that Kenya's judiciary is now reformed and peddle the lie that the country can successful put to trial all the post election violence suspects using local mechanisms. The AU Heads of State fell for the campaign and it is only the UNSC that now stands between Kenya and the ICC. All signs are that some members of the UNSC will veto Kenya's application for a deferral and that the ICC pre-trial chamber judges will soon be issuing summons, or on a worst case scenario, arrest warrants, against the Kenyan suspects, since Ocampo had predicted the cases would begin by March 2011. Arrest warrants are more likely because on all intents and purposes, the Kibaki government will not co-operate with ICC since the suspects still serve in the same government.
With the dreaded month of March fast approaching, PNU (and defecting ODM allies) are extremely desperate and are now exploring unthinkable options to ward off the possibility of Uhuru Kenyatta, William Ruto, Francis Muthaura, Maj-Gen. Ali, Henry Kosgey and KASS FM presenter Joshua Arap Sang being shipped to face justice at the Hague. Not only are the individuals influential in their own right, there are deep fears that they may cut deals with Ocampo to implicate one or both of the principals, and even agree to testify against one of them. One can only imagine the bombshells if, say, Muthaura or Ali decides to testify against their boss Kibaki!
Although a snap election appears to many as a far fetched eventuality, keen observers of the Kenya's political arena, will not have failed to notice the recent semi official political rallies by ODM Leader in all parts of the country. Raila has already been to NEP, Coast and is this coming weekend expect to be in Western, where ODM bigwigs are expected to troop to town and address a huge political rally at Kakamega's historic Muliro Gardens.
Before this, an unexpected sms is already doing the rounds in Nairobi today that Raila Odinga will tomorrow morning at 10am, Friday the 25th February, address an unscheduled political rally at Nairobi's Country Bus station, otherwise known as Machakos airport. Not only is the rally an unusual occurrence, but it is an obvious choice to any smart politician. It happens to fall in Kamkunji constituency which is due for a by-election soon, and it is a location through which hundreds of thousands of common Kenyans pass through each day. It is also adjacent to the populous Eastlands area of Nairobi and also close to the ever busy and quite expansive Gikomba open air market. In other words, rather than hold a rally in Uhuru Park, there are hordes of common inflation-hit wananchi readily available at Machakos airport everyday and the ever scheming Raila, it seems, wants to take full advantage of this to address them directly. ODM insiders have already confirmed the rallies are on. So what does Raila know that the rest of the country does not know? Will Kamkunji OCS ban this rally on grounds of insecurity as he did for Eugene Wamalwa and Maina Njenga, or is the PM on a 'working tour'?
These highly charged political rallies can only mean, either the country may be in for a snap election, or subtle campaigns for the 2012 have began.
With the recently promulgated constitution hardly implemented, it remains to be seen if the coalition may collapse, or if snap elections may be called. Many middle class and upper class Kenyans are expressing their usual scepticism over the possibility of going for premature polls but if you talk to any poor Kenyan on the street, you will be shocked at how much wananchi are fed-up with the MPs of the 10th parliament and the dysfunctional coalition government. Wananchi are ready to vote out these pretenders to the thrown.
Watch this space!