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Why corruption has become a factor in the scramble for Coast votes for both CORD and Jubilee Party
By FRANCIS OKELO | Updated Nov 27, 2016 at 09:14 EAT

Public spat and raw emotions between Orange Democratic Movement, an affiliate of Cord and Jubilee party arising from corruption allegations on the loss of Ksh. 51 million in Kilifi county is unnecessary political shenanigans.

The impetus given to it can be seen in the sense that the Kilifi County governor his Excellency Amason Kingi has been summoned to appear at E.A.C.C to shed some light on the loss, that has since ballooned to I billion.

The government is accusing the opposition of throwing stones at the former’s glasshouse forgetting that it also lives in a glass house, on matters corruption. Now that graft has been alleged, in Kilifi County, the accusation and counter accusations should stop. The two big political parties should let the body charged with graft pursue the matter further. Their continued squabbling about graft in Kilifi and any other previous one does not augur well for the just process, politics and more politics will prejudice the legal process.

The Kilifi rebel MPs have vowed to work with Jubilee government to bring development closer to the people. And the current pressure sustained on Kilifi County can be understood. The rebel MPs are the ones who stoked the fires of corruption allegation, then picked up by government.

First forward, Hon. Raila Odinga realized generally that, being permissive and nice would not work for him in bid to tame rebellion in the party. As a result, all rebel MPs were expelled from the party. Like in the case of Kilifi County, Hon Gideon Mung’aro of Kilifi North and Hon. Mustafa Iddi of Kilifi South have turned against the vessel that took them to parliament hence, hurt Hon. Odinga. This is why Hon. Odinga should be cunning like the prince. The letter used some rules to help him claim his kingdom.

The pragmatic tough minded prince strategy would bring some order. The expulsion from the party and subsequent writing to the registrar of parties to de-register them because of jumping ship and if possible subject them to seek a fresh mandate from electorate, shows that Hon. Odinga has a prince book in his hand. That aside, the opposition argues that the rebels got swayed to decamp due to material largesse.

 In his book “prince”, Machiavelli argues that because men are fickle, hypocritical, greedy and deceitful their loyalties are bound to be won and lost. Hence, to guard against shifting allegiances he advises a prince to develop a reputation for generosity. However, he cautions against overly generous prince as this might bankrupt the state and his subjects greed for largesse.

Just like swing states in USA, Coast region is key to the next general election. Coast will determine, among other regions like Western Kenya who becomes president next year August 2017. This is the reason, when Jubilee holds a rally at the Coast, immediately they leave Cord affiliate parties will match the same.

Hon. Odinga faces a challenge of keeping Coast under his wraps. The current busy schedule of government at the Coast in terms of development projects such as roads, electricity connectivity and land reforms among others are part of these challenges the former faces. Not to mention, the emerging allegation of corruption in Kilifi County.

However, these challenges emanate from his Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta. Machiavelli aptly says in prince: “A captain ought to endeavor with every act to divide the forces of his enemy either by making him suspicious of his men or by giving him cause to separate forces and because of this become weaker”. For a discerning eye, this is precisely the strategy the president and his Jubilee party have adopted. The question seeking for an answer is, between Cord (affiliates of Wiper, Ford-Kenya and ODM) and Jubilee party, which party will win the key votes at the Coast? Meanwhile, vote hunt impromptu visits will be made on either side of political divide, and corruption will be platform of these rallies going forward. 

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