Elections 2017

We've lost sight of our woes to never-ending drama that is Jubilee

This week I have none of the usual proposals for the improvement of our great nation.

Instead, I want to focus on the distressing, sometimes comical, state of our nation’s affairs and ask what these portend for our nation as we head to several contentious national processes in the next three years.

In 2022, we will have our predictably contentious national elections. Before then we are required to hold a census, and as we all know, counting people in Kenya is highly political. 

We will also review our constituency and ward boundaries, which will impact the boundaries of counties. We fight and kill each other on district boundaries. Expect more angst on review of constituency and county boundaries. 

There is also a very real possibility that we will have a referendum, most probably before the election as the referendum results will determine electoral positions. As we head to these antagonistic processes, our nation is in disarray. We went through two heavily contested elections, one was nullified by the Supreme Court, the second was boycotted in opposition strongholds.

After the Jubilee won the boycotted elections, the country was tense. It looked like we were headed for a season of major discontent. Alas, before the ink had settled on Jubilee’s IEBC certificate, the March 9 handshake happened and lo and behold, the former opponents of Jubilee were now further in the Jubilee kitchen than its erstwhile owners.

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Calm gratefully returned to the Motherland. But those in Jubilee who had not been privy to the handshake dealings believed it was meant to undo the existing URP-TNA handshake, which they felt was manifestly unjust. Naturally, this led to cracks within Jubilee and the party has since been on political self-destruct mode. Its former opponents are more enthusiastic supporters than Jubilee members themselves.

Even in Parliament, one gets more opposition to some government agendas from Jubilee members than from the Opposition. The Jubilee civil war is so intense that only the hopelessly optimistic believe it can be salvaged.

Imagine the events of the last couple of days. The Deputy President of the Republic of Kenya is said to have lodged a complaint about an elimination plot with the Directorate of Criminal Investigations. If you have lived in Kenya for a while, you know that politicians get eliminated.

Such claims are therefore not for taking lightly. What is amazing is that the “elimination suspects” comprise inter alia of four Jubilee ministers in the same party as the DP. The FBI is being called in to investigate a letter which was purportedly authored by a Jubilee minister to the President, complaining of the anti-DP goings-on at La Mada Hotel.

It doesn’t end there. The Interior Principal Secretary is said to have lodged a complaint alleging harassment by his boss, the DP, with the DCI. If this does not give you heebie-jeebies, you deserve an award. While this is going on, a Jubilee MP makes xenophobic statements and is arrested. His visitors, largely Jubilee MPs, are teargassed by the police, I assume on orders of the Jubilee government. One of its MPs, who happens to be the President’s MP, warns of a revolution, presumably against Jubilee. There is no better evidence of WB Yeats poem “The Second Coming”

“Turning and turning in the widening gyre, The falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold, Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world”

To compound the anarchy, we do not have a functional IEBC. The IEBC went into civil war and lost half of its commissioners to a circus of resignations and unsuccessful de-resignations. The CEO was sacked.

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As we speak, this body that will oversee the several contentious events that I detailed above does not have a statutory quorum to effect its mandate fully. It has no CEO. But our focus is of course elsewhere; what with Jubilee’s non-ceasing drama. To re-quote my favourite writer Alex la Guma, one only hopes that this is the fog of a bad season’s end.

- The writer is an advocate of the High Court.