These quarrels would be amusing were it not for the fact that they have sucked in the rest of the country
His supportersRaila Odinga has repeatedly tried to foist the country’s corruption problems on the DP. He has cast aspersions on his character without tangible evidence of malfeasance. Leveraging on the fact that a good number of those implicated in matters of graft are from the DP’s backyard, he has insinuated that the trail leads back to the DP. But the DP has countered that Raila is nothing more than a master of division whose sole intention is a play for power through means other than the constitutionally mandated renewal system every five years. His supporters have pointed out that every party associated with Raila has at some point imploded; Ford Kenya in the 90s, to KANU, NARC, CORD and lately NASA, none have remained the same after a stint with Raila. It is argued that by accommodating Raila, albeit unofficially, the ruling party Jubilee’s death knell has been sounded and it is just a function of time before, too, goes South.
Last electionsIt is perceived as indicative of Raila’s growing influence in a government where he holds no elective position. But it has the deleterious effect of creating disaffection to a broad constituency that gave Jubilee its support in the last elections. It also sits rather badly with many Kenyans who have an antipathy for any form of political repression. After all, the government owes every citizen a duty of care regardless of political persuasion. Considering these circumstances, Raila’s call for a referendum for constitutional amendment before the year ends is not a good idea. For starters, the atmosphere of political truculence has ensured that any plebiscite would be strictly along the lines of partisan or personal interests and not national concerns. It would be realpolitik on the part of those who consistently eviscerate the current constitution through the wilful disregard of court orders; those who dole out government services as favours and not rights to be enjoyed by every citizen. Further, it may just be another source of angst to a country whose citizens are starving in some marginalised areas and whose agricultural back-bone stands threatened by the effects of drought. And this is where the focus of the Government ought to be. In drought-mitigating measures to ensure that the country has enough reserves to counter impending famine. There is, after all, a new people-power dynamic that is sweeping the continent and that cannot be ignored. Taking after History’s French Revolution where a monarchy was deposed on account of bread, a new wind is sweeping. A revolution in Sudan, started by the steep cost of essentials, has forced the government out. Kenyans are tired of being divided for inimical political interests. They will soon stand up as one house and put an end to the current politics of carpetbaggers. Mr Khafafa is Vice Chairman, Kenya-Turkey Business Council