Kenya’s sham nominations

By David Ohito

Nairobi; Kenya: Political parties in Kenya treated their members and citizens to what may arguably be one of the worst nominations ever seen since independence.

Having fiddled with the nomination dates, pushing them to the very last day of deadline, party big wigs found themselves in trouble on how to handle the hotly contested elections.

From missing ballot papers to delayed voting by up to seven hours the nominations were simply a sham and a shame perhaps a true reflection of the leadership we expect to derive from such a process.

The big parties ODM, URP, TNA, Wiper Democratic Movement and Ford Kenya were in for a rude shock as they were unable to see smooth sailing exercise.

Observers and experts now liken the nomination exercise to the single party Kanu era’s infamous 1988 Mlolongo nominations.

Rarieda Constituency was treated to rare drama as the returning officer entrusted with presiding over the exercise disappeared and his phone could not be reached.

The nominations that were billed to be a mini election which would mirror the kind of elections Kenya would undertake during the March 4, General Election.

Reports filtering in across the country painted a gloomy mess, which does not reflect the flashy political rallies often seen with elite politicians flying helicopters and donning branded party colours.

And if you thought you had heard the last of defections, Kenya’s witty politicians dumped parties they have associated with lately and announced new ‘homes.’

Philip Kisia, Hassan Omar in Mombasa ditched ODM for Wiper and Federal Party respectively while out going MPs Peter Mwathi (Limuru), Robert Monda (Nyaribari Chache) ditched TNA for Narc.

Academic qualification

Those sidelined from gubernatorial contests because of fishy academic papers were quick to jump ship and announced they would seek posts where papers do not matter like MPs and Senate.

Soita Shitanda got a rude shock as UDF offered former PC Paul Olando the certificate.

Bishop Margaret Wanjiru met a similar fate after ODM said her papers could not match the job she applied for-being governor of Nairobi.

The questionable nomination exercises will no doubt expose the top presidential candidates to pressure and in way will jolt their campaign momentum as they spend energies in mediation.

Jubilee Coalition postponed its nomination exercise to Friday for areas that have been dogged by irregularities.

But observers now question the wisdom behind holding the nomination exercise on the tail day where in the event of a dispute it would be difficult to resolve the crises.

Tough questions will face parties that have in the past portrayed themselves as driven by deep democratic roots after they were exposed as just.

In the ensuing confusion brief case parties found a lifeline as they sold tickets to wiling buyers and highest bidders.