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August elections will be followed by loud cries of betrayed leaders

By Mohamed Guleid | Jan 26th 2022 | 3 min read

Ballot boxes at Kangaru Boys during a previous election [Joseph Muchiri, Standard]

Come September 2022 after we are done with the general election, I have no doubt there will be contestation in the highest constitutional court and the Kenya we have today will be very different from Kenya we shall have then. Like a jilted lover, many so-called allies in the various political formations will be left in confusion.

Those who have spent fortunes to campaign for their preferred presidential candidates hoping to have a share of the spoils will find themselves on the benches of a psychiatrist awaiting psycho-social counselling. It will be messy and probably also noisy, to echo the words of Moses Wetang’ula. Even those who are fortunate enough to find themselves in government will also be disappointed because ideally, there is nothing called sharing power in politics.

The design of Kenyan politics is meant to empower only one individual at the national level, the president and the governor at the county level. After the elections, proximity to power will be determined by other parameters other than executive positions or appointments to high positions. The fact that one is appointed Cabinet Secretary means nothing unless you are a close confidant of the boss.

Talk about forming a coalition government is a deception. Soon after one is elected the president, he shall get his sanctuary behind the high walls of the State House. The gates are manned by hawk-eyed officers wearing red berets who don’t care about the position you hold. Without authority, you might never set your eyes inside the president’s official residence.

Out of nowhere, the newly elected president will appoint or will be advised by close family members whom to trust. All the so-called principals or co-drivers of the political bandwagon will most certainly be relegated to the periphery. Once sworn in, the new president will even change the tone of his voice and probably even his mobile phone number. In our recent history, we saw it all. During the 2002 elections that brought the rainbow coalition to power, the bromance lasted only a few months, then was followed by disappointments and fallouts. Raila Odinga, together with members of his side of the coalition had to leave the government ahead of the next elections.

Similarly, the grand coalition after the post-election violence of 2008 was not any different. The fallout between President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto after the 2017 elections is another case in point. Many of the people, some of who were even ready to die for the president, were sacked and left out in the cold. Politics is brutal and heartless. There is no faithfulness in politics. Even before the elections come up in the next few months, we shall see more ‘earthquakes’ and disappointments. This is because politicians by nature are more interested in gaining access to instruments of power but only realise after achieving whatever they desired that all that glitters is not gold.

But Kenyans suffer from political amnesia, and we shall see history repeating itself as usual. We shall have a new movement to liberate the country again from the new leadership, and then the drama continues after the 2027 elections.

Mr Guleid is CEO, Frontier Counties Development Council. 

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