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With such hopefuls for State House, what hope for Kenya?

By By Bill Kembo | Jun 11th 2012 | 4 min read

By Bill Kembo

There’s something about parties (and here I am referring to a soiree and not the one referring to a group with common beliefs) and the energy and the life and the spirit of entrancement they generate.

Maybe I am different, but have you been to an exceptionally laid out bash and never wanted to leave? Well, I have been to a few.

The food, drinks — never ending streams and the conversation are simply captivating.

Where am I going with this? The political party launches we have had in the last few weeks and the many more that will be laid out to inaugurate manifestos for the “old” parties come to mind.

There have been multiple entrants into this race to State House; I am not writing anyone off but for the significance of this opinion, I shall intentionally focus on the “Big Four”, namely, Uhuru Kenyatta, William Ruto, Musalia Mudavadi and Raila Odinga — their entourages, euphoria, integrity and the letter and the spirit of the new Constitution 2010.

Back to the flowing drinks and great food. Here’s the thing, all the parties I have been to invariably have had chicken, beef, duck, sea food, all sorts of salads, an assortment of wines and spirits, sweets and desserts.

What makes any party stand out is how the décor is set, how the chicken is done; choma, stir-fried, baked, sauced, rubbed, crusted, stuffed etc. This applies to all the other dishes you might savour.

To date I cannot decide which party I attended was the ‘Best’. Reason being, all kinds of cooking antics were used and these have over time confused my palate. I have my feet all over like the proverbial greedy hyena and want them all.

Musalia Mudavadi. He went all out. Ok well, at least he tried to go all out with the launch of his presidential bid at the KICC on a UDF party ticket.

With a well-crafted speech for the nation, he made lots of promises as is expected of such discourses. He said :“I have sought to identify with a party and leaders whose pursuits are consistent with my aspirations for a country governed by the rule of law...”

William Ruto. Gave full measure at Bomas of Kenya to unveil his party of choice, URP, and launched his presidential bid. Ruto’s manifesto seeks to assure on “the dream to found a society anchored on the beams of liberty and justice, equity and dignity... a political system underpinned by the rule of law...”

Raila Odinga. All polls show Raila leading this race. His hasn’t been a launch. Maybe we will see a re-launch. But we have ODM reloaded being sold already.

ODM has a clause in its manifesto that talks of governance and how the party shall guarantee Kenyans a new constitution within six months of coming to office and using this as the bar, ensure executive accountability...” This constitution we have now.

Uhuru Kenyatta. Thus far, Uhuru has set the bar pretty high for presidential wannabes. His launch was not only grand, it was well orchestrated.

The speeches and choice of speakers was excellent. The idea here, as I mentioned earlier, is to get the multitudes entranced. That is the effect a great host wants to leave on his guests. Now, Uhuru says his “alliance is driven by a deep desire to fully implement the Constitution of the Republic of Kenya....”

It is important to note that all the presidential hopefuls are promising to uphold the rule of law and govern, guided by the Constitution.

Here is where the glamour of the launches and appeal of the speeches ends.

Mudavadi launches his bid while breaking the law he promises to uphold. He is still DPM, he didn’t resign from ODM, he simply “stepped” aside because he is still holding onto the Sabatia seat.

Uhuru with all the glam is riding in the same boat. Ruto is not an exception here. Just as Mudavadi, he has simply stepped aside. Resignation would mean complete loss of title of their respective seats.

This they cannot afford at this time as some are not very sure they will make it back in a by-election. so the Constitution and the law they swear to uphold can take a back seat in this case. It is a small inconvenience for now.

Once this hurdle is crossed then we can start adhering to the spirit and letter of the constitution. This is what they are telling us. Raila is not left behind either; his party has officials who are MPs in blatant contravention of the law.

Their entourages have people who owe Kenyans explanations on some of the scandals we’ve had in the past: Anglo Leasing, maize scandal, De La Rue fiasco, and of course, the unresolved ICC cases.

This is not a judgement call on any of the aspirants or their devotees. But, fellow Kenyans, if in doubt, refer to Chapters 6 and 7 of the Constitution and why we need to hold these individuals to a greater standard of accountability.

The law is absolutely unambiguous. If they can flout the law with such ease now, I wait to be trampled on when one of them eventually sits at the House on the Hill. God Bless Kenya!

The writer is a Network Administrator at The Standard Group Ltd.

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