In the 1990s, a group of intelligentsia arose to partner with the then civil society, and the new crop of firs-time politicians in parliament. The three different factions were all conflated to be part of the civil society. But as senior economist David Ndii clarifies, these three groups were distinct yet cooperative in expanding the political space in the country's democracy.
As long as we focus on the tribe, we will lose the nation and be stuck in the tribal mire. Kenya will cease to be a society. We will lose our sense of collective responsibility and find in its place a culture of competitive victimhood. The Elephant in conversation with Rev. Canon Francis Omondi, a Priest of All Saints Cathedral Diocese of the ACK, a Canon of the All-Saints Kampala Cathedral of the Church of Uganda, Adjunct Lecturer at St. Paul’s University, Limuru, and Research Tutor at the Oxford Centre for Religion and Public Life.
Hubris got us here. Not only the hubris of our nobles who felt entitled to choose leaders for us from amongst themselves, but also from the scholars who have excelled in law, history and political science, but choose to serve the nobles rather than apply the knowledge to our human conditions in situ.
In the Aug. 9 Kenyan polls, Azimio coalition backed by Pres. Uhuru Kenyatta was whitewashed in the key Mt Kenya region. Prior to the elections, the chickens had already been counted — Mt Kenya would overwhelmingly vote blue. The Kenyattas costly assumed that victory was certain but were left smarting, asking “why have the Kikuyu people turned against us?”
To have honest elections, its not just the electoral machinery but Kenya itself which will have to change.
At the core of the latest IEBC controversy is the question of whether or not commissioners have a role to play in counting, tallying, verifying, and announcing the presidential results. Public opinion is divided but what many pundits have ignored is the role and structure of the IEBC.
We should be careful not to equate the youth’s apathy towards mainstream political structures with a disinterest in politics and social change.
As in 2013 and 2017, the fate of Kenya’s presidential election has been placed in the hands of the Supreme Court.
With so much effort going into making allegations of electoral manipulation, there seems to have been little time for Azimio leaders to reflect on what may have gone wrong and why.
Unfortunately, what we go to deposit in the ballot box is more than our vote. At the polling stations, we lay our energy at the feet of politicians, who promptly channel it into negotiating new power relations with each other.
On the limited point of whether Chebukati had the power to make the declaration that he did on 15th August, 2022, we are of the view that he did and that in doing so he has fulfilled the obligations required of his office in accordance with the principles of the Constitution and the relevant election laws.
No matter who wins, however, we must resist the absorption of our struggles by the imperial sponge and pick up where we left off before the campaigns heated up. We must fight for the right to memory and to interpret our politics over the long term history, not over 5-year electoral cycles.