Azimio search for real democracy continues

Azimio la Umoja presidential candidate Raila Odinga with his running mate Martha Karua during a past event in Machakos County. [Emmanuel Wanson, Standard]

Azimio la Umoja coalition supporters in the Diaspora have been closely monitoring the trajectory of the new Kenya Kwanza administration.

We are interested in the government's approach to the economic and political quagmire the country is currently entangled in.

And although it is just months into their first term, President William Ruto's initial approach lacks inclusivity.

There was no diversity in establishing the new administration, which depicts deficiency in strategy to achieve the country's immediate and long-term solutions.

Following the August 9, 2022 General Election, Kenyans were robbed of the right to freely elect leaders of their choice. Our democracy was dented, democratic culture manipulated, democratic institutions abused and the Constitution systematically overstepped.

On the face, these matters may look to have been settled but that is far from truth. Indeed, the country is divided like never before.

The electoral mess left a huge damage on our society and the western powers who had a hand in this have made a strategic blunder that will be hard to comprehend or amend.

After the debacle, Kenyans chose to respect the Constitution, and allow the so-called elected leaders to take over the mantle.

However, the agitation for justice, truth and democracy is not yet over. Indeed, our preference for peace should not further deceive them.

We respected the rule of law, taking into account the country's economic situation and the sufferings and hardship facing majority of citizens. Truth will avail itself soon.

The conduct of an election must always be above board. The electorate must have confidence in their vote and be assured that their decision carries the day.

We have seen cases where voters cast their ballot but are not guaranteed of an honest outcome. We as Kenyans must never tire of demanding a transparent and fair electoral body. As Kenyans in the diaspora, we will continue pushing for real democracy.

Meanwhile, while diaspora contribution to the Kenyan economy is paramount, President Ruto administration to engage the diaspora was a good gesture.

However, failure to involve the entire diaspora without segregation on party line could cause division or systematically sidelining the majority and most productive diaspora would be another serious strategic fiasco.

Some 70 per cent of the diaspora electorate voted for Azimio presidential candidate Raila Odinga in the last elections. These are among the prime investors and remitters of the hard currency to Kenya.

Indeed, they can make or break the policy target set by the Ruto administration.

It is unfortunate that the new diaspora department leaders and officers are only engaging members of the UDA and Kenya Kwanza coalition in their initial consultations.

The diaspora policy issues affect the entire Kenyan diaspora and cannot be dictated or decided by one party or a few people or some party diehards.

We have already received reports of prominent diaspora members sidelined and debarred by Kenyan foreign missions in important national functions as a castigation for their political affiliation.

That is absolutely unethical and uncalled for. After all, we are all Kenyans. The operations of revenge by the Kenya Kwanza administration shall further frustrate the already fragile situation. It is already in full gear back home in Kenya. That said, we are closely observing the trend on a daily basis and we will deliberate on way forward based on the situation on the ground.

Finally, the diaspora members strongly urge our supporters in Azimio coalition and its leadership, to remain united and focused. We are also determined to help Kenyans get out of the current economic hardships.

-The writer is Azimio diaspora chief coordinator