The NADCO report is a great diagnosis of our society. As the Azimio team call it; imperfect and incomplete. Just as all human endeavours. To have expected the report to read like anything more than it is, would be wildly optimistic.
While from the start, members of the dialogue committee knew where the problem assailing our country is domiciled, they decided to follow the old beaten path that commissions of inquiry have followed; diffusing public pressure with phony public hearings. For all that the team reported are things in public knowledge that we need to deal with as a matter of political practicality.
It does not require a prophet to know the office of prime minister is a political reality that we have to introduced some day and with it, the office of leader of official opposition. For in an ethnically fragmented society like ours, competition over the power to distribute costs and benefits public administration will always take ethnic expression and at a very high political cost to the nation.
So that is why this column holds the view that pure presidentialism is incapable of serving a society like ours. But the solution will not be found in the same old political belligerence where one political faction threatens the other with hell and brimstone.
All Kenyans enjoy same rights and status. So for any political formation to come out of Bomas crying foul can only imply one thing. The mass action that claimed the lives of so many Kenyans was certainly not in pursuit of high ideals rooted in scientific conscience. For as the good books reminds us all things are lawful but not all things are beneficial.
The economic, political reality is that, the president must be supported by all Kenyans of goodwill to deliver on the economy, at least in the first term. We can then do a referendum to introduce either a hybrid or pure parliamentary model.
This position is rooted in the understanding that since the collapse of the nationalist consensus in 1960s, the closest we came to healing ethnic wounds was during the grand coalition days. As such, it demonstrates that the reality of consociational democracy is a legal, political issue that we must engender ultimately.
But for the opposition to demand that we go to a referendum now to have these two offices entrenched in the Constitution is to the height of innocence never seen before.
For their members whom they sent to the national dialogue spent time and money discussing how to distribute cake (positions) and not how to bake it (cost of living).
We will have to rely on the tested hands of the commander in chief to first bake the cake before we can tolerate conversations around a referendum. If anything to underscore the need to embrace consociationalism, the President sent a memo to Parliament earlier in the year for people’s representatives to ventilate on these issues that came out of the National Dialogue long before the opposition took to the streets.
It is therefore incumbent upon the opposition to deny that they are not executing a scheme intended to force a nusu mkate government. Anyone who took time to keenly watch their modus operandi could tell that what was called ‘’people’s consultations’’ was intended to reenact the handshake.
The best part is that some of us were alive to warn them and this very column reminded them that their game plan was going to flop for it was five years too late. The subsequent disruption was undeserved.
As one side of Azimio is drifting towards ethnic enclave called ‘Kamwene leadership forum’ the other side must choose between the narrow political rendezvous or take a long hard look at our politics and without undue pre-conditions, support the president in his bid to re-engineer the second republic towards mass prosperity steeped in production, higher,export led growth and availing real opportunity to those left behind.
Ours is an imperfect and unfinished society. May we always come together to finish that task of perfecting it.
-The writer is the Convener, Interparties Youth Forum. [email protected]
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