From manifold discrepancies witnessed in the 2013 General Election and subsequent by-elections, it can be safe to deduce that IEBC as currently constituted is perhaps not fit to conduct a free and fair election.
That is why it is not anything out of this world that CORD, the clergy and the Law Society of Kenya seem to read from the same page in regard to the unfitness of the Isaack Hassan-led team. But to want to disband is not the same thing as to reap from the disbandment. I will explain.
Times without number, political pundits have admonished politicians to calculate and ascertain the feasibility of all political manoeuvres they make. For politics, anyone should know, is oft-times about gaining mileage at the detriment of the opponent.
While it might not be politically correct to imply that the enigmatic Raila Odinga and the whole CORD brigade have run out of ideas, I am afraid there is no better way of saying or even going around it. It seems to me that either the once mysterious Baba has lost his ingenuity or the people around him are political blockheads. In the long and short of these shenanigans, CORD should want to ask the question: “What do we stand to gain by sending Isaack Hassan and team home?” Lest it be a case of what King Solomon described as ‘all is vanity.’
The nitty-gritties of how to disband IEBC (as a friend in legal recently indicated) is well provided for in the Constitution. In a civil political sphere, it should have been a legal process as opposed to crusading and teargasing.
But whether legally or not, being hostile to a referee is not one of the best practices in the world of politics. Because by doing so, the referee now has no choice but to go to bed with the opponent. Or- if it already did- to cement the marriage.
In other words, the way to winning an election in Kenya and perhaps the world over is by ‘dating’ the electoral body. The opposition has been a poor seducer over the years. They have been the typical naïve village boy who talks to a beautiful girl but doesn’t say exactly what he wants. He thinks, ignorantly, that being friendly means being in love. So he enjoys being around the girl and brags about having won her but says nothing about his heart’s desire.
Later when a serious know-what-he-wants stranger comes and snatches the girl away, he complains that the stranger uses love potion. And then raging with sour grapes, he now becomes hostile to both the snatcher and the girl: badmouthing the former and denigrating the latter.
But politics, like love, has no rules. You can use money, lies, family name, fame, empty promises. You can plead days on end. You can even be sympathized with etc. Eventually, when you have the electorate in your warm embrace, it doesn’t matter what you went through. You can then party and make merry.
You can even drop all the pledges you made and become callous to the needs of the nation. You can basically do all you wish to because you are ‘already there.’ But since CORD is not yet there, it ought to slyly woo the girl using all forms of trickery- acceptable or not. They need astute schemers and agile thinkers only comparable to Miguna Miguna; not clueless experts in unhelpful abracadabra. To paraphrase Achebe, the problem with civil disbandment is that you don’t know what you get at the end. If you are not careful you could replace a bad commission with another much worse.
The noise, I suppose, will suffice to send IEBC home but that would only be an easy triumph. Should CORD’s pressure yield fruits, the next team of IEBC commissioners might just be as unfit. Thus, whether Isaac Hassan-led commission or another, CORD should think beyond the noise, get to business and forge ways of ‘grabbing’ power.