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Elections 2017: Cord and Jubilee are pulling the political triggers
By Musa Hassan | Updated Dec 25, 2016 at 14:00 EAT

Kenya is poised to go to the polls in 2017. Scouring the political landscape makes it abundantly clear that the country is yet to put in place proper structures to ensure a free, fair and unfettered exercise in 2017.

Why do I surmise so? You only need to look at the increasingly bellicose utterances coming from members of the political class-both in Jubilee and Cord.

Politicians have been hogging the limelight, mostly for the wrong reasons. Just the other day, parliament descended into the theatre of the absurd with parliamentarians trading blows, accusations and counter accusations flying.

The bone of contention was the decision by the Jubilee brigade led by the leader of Majority, Hon. Aden Duale petitioning house speaker, Hon. Justin Muturi requesting for a special session of parliament to pass a budget policy document as well as amend election laws.

CORD parliamentarians and their sympathisers filed out of parliament in protest. The contentious edicts were later passed by a parliament largely dominated by Jubilee members.

The passing of the contested laws was tinged with wild celebration by Jubilee, while a dejected cord retreated with vehement calls for "mass action".

Both Jubilee and Cord have maintained an iron-clad hard posture regarding the above issues among a laundry list of other contested issues ahead of what is shaping up to be perhaps one of the most divisive and hotly contested elections that Kenya has ever witnessed.

At a time when Kenya should be gearing up for elections 2017 in earnest, the country could well find herself in the political pit punctuated by endless political recriminations and blame games which if not checked early enough could spiral into political violence.

Kenya can ill afford another bout of horrendous political and ethnic blood-letting. Less than a year to the elections, the government has not put in place a credible Independent Elections and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) that would help to moderate and serve as the unequivocal umpire to preside over the elections.

Time and again, Jubilee has used her sleight of hand commonly summed up in the "tyranny of numbers" to muffle the opposition while Cord has increasingly become belligerent and has resorted to mass action in the absence of meaningful political engagement from both sides.

If Jubilee and Cord do not exercise political latitude and find within themselves the need to dialogue and chart the way forward amicably, this country will literally "go to the dogs in 2017".

I don't want to sound ominous but the portents of doom and gloom are all there in 2017, if politicians do not step back from the brink.

The problem with Kenya is that political debates have centered around individuals and not issues and that should serve as a serious worry to all. The current political situation in Kenya reminds me of the Latin word " ad hominem" which essentially means attacking individuals as opposed to the issues they espouse.

According to democracy.org, "ad hominem" means "playing the man, not the ball". This is exactly what afflicts Kenya. The debate is centered around individuals-Raila Odinga, his excellency the president, Millie Odhiambo et al and not the issues they propagate or put forth.

The result is that Kenya like a tired donkey is laden with issues, hot fused issues that are waiting to explode like a match thrown into the tinderbox.

Which brings me to the reckless utterances by politicians lately from the loud pronouncements by CORD that they would not accept the results of elections 2017 if in their purview feel that they were rigged to the equally swashbuckling stance adopted by Jubilee as if matters elections 2017 were as easy as "squatting a fly".

Those calling for mass action should not be oblivious to the gut-wrenching images of savagery and violence witnessed in the post-election violence of 2007-2008 which sent the country to the corridors of the ICC in 2013.

Kenya needs to free herself from the current political entanglement and the only way forward is political dialogue devoid of suspicion and recrimination. Both Jubilee and Cord need to be the agents and messiahs of peace.

Good thinking, serenity, and calm needs to prevail over the gathering smog of uncertainty. We require an urgent political climbdown from both Cord and the ruling party Jubilee.

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