March 12, 2013 Mad Hatter

THE CORD PETITION: IT’S RAILA’S STATESMANSHIP ON TRIAL

 

I recently joked with a friend, that I believed Isaack Hassan for one simple reason; the Kanzu he wore on Friday. My readers will note, that towards the election, I wrote that Kenyans were faced by a certainty of evil in the election choice, and that in my estimation, Raila was the less evil.

As I expected, CORD adherents agreed with me, jubilee pals questioned my objectivity. While it is impossible to influence how one sees my opinion, I am certain that I owe my absolute loyalty to my thoughts and discernments, not a party or a political coalition.

When election results were announced, the CORD coalition candidate Raila Odinga declared he did not recognize the results and would seek legal redress. It excited passion, many lauded him, many vilified him, and many lacked an opinion.

Those who disagree with him, see Raila as a power hungry politician, who cannot agree to any outcome that does not favor him. Those who agree with him say it is his right, entrenched in the Constitution and by all means he should exercise it.

While I initially thought it was unwise of Raila to file the case, for the simple reason that he would be at a political disadvantage, I came to realize that no one takes such an action without deeply going over the matter.

Rights can be a nuisance, but their absence is worse. And for speculation’s sake, imagine the court annulled the result; we went for either a run off or a fresh election and then Uhuru Kenyatta Won. I imagine, we would have spent 6 billion shillings, to confirm that Uhuru is president. I see sharp tongued, anger-writhing social-media moguls tearing him apart. He will perhaps be the single most Kenyan who has cost Kenya the largest amount of money to get him out of office. He will retire to Bondo or Karen perhaps with half the country saying ‘to hell with you’.

But wait a minute, is this reality not apparent to Raila. I certainly am sure it is. I went over his speech when rejecting the results, he said much stuff, and one outstanding aspect was: He knows he cannot lead if the people do not want, but he has to be sure that the people do not want, and that in his opinion, it was democracy on trial.

I have to admit, I do not know what to believe, I do not know whether it is a deep sense of wishing to see democracy entrenched or a matter of fulfilling his ego that is at play. But whatever it is, it shall have a deep bearing on how tomorrow will evaluate Raila’s place in the history of our country.

I have to admit that deep down my heart, I hope that the CORD’s allegations be found untrue; that they were perhaps founded on an honest, but untrue belief. My hopes are not influenced by the thought of this country spending six billion on a fresh election or the ‘fatigue’ people are suggesting. I hope that these allegations are untrue, because if they are, we will be a plainly forgetting nation.

For speculation’s sake, what would a finding that the election results were doctored mean? If it does not change anything else, it must change the narration of who is “hungry for power” in this country. If someone doctored the election process, it would show the regard they give Kenyan lives, that after 2007, we would ever again dare to follow the same path to influence whoever gets to power.

More than anyone else, the reality of Raila the man is what is on trial. This petition will prove whether he is plainly hungry for power, whether he is a person who did everything he did to get the big seat power or confirm that he is a democrat who could shut his ears to the shouts of half a country and follow his true persuasions.

Its Raila’s statesmanship, his ability to live what he made us believe that is on trial. This ultimately makes me agree to this petition.

If Raila exited the political scene with that defeat, he would be a character that may have been misconstrued forever. His supporters would see Raila the hero, the man who was caged for political pluralism and his opponents would see Raila the villain, for whatever reasons they have.

I think this petition places his reputation on trial, a chance every Kenyan should welcome. We have a chance to see what influences political decisions of our leaders. That petition, its substance and basis will help me to know whether to hold him in high esteem forever, or concede that his actions were a mere scheme to disguise an otherwise hungry man.

In this regard, I think all well meaning Kenyans should co-operate with the process. In particular the IEBC does not want half the country to continue cursing that their man was rigged out. The IEBC chair stated that the elections were credible, in that sense the commission, if it so believes has no reason to withhold any information from the Cord petitioners. Rather I would think, it should facilitate that access.

I was blessed to be part of a team of Kenyans who drafted the Freedom of information Bill and held two subsequent meetings with the then chairman of Parliamentary Committee on Information Hon. Rege trying to push that the bill be debated; it never was, because the government thought its proposals would make Kenyans to have rights to “sensitive” information.

I equally followed closely a case filed by Gitobu Imanyara on article 35 of the Constitution. By the determinations of the high court, CORD is within its constitutional rights to seek that disclosure, and the IEBC under an obligation to disclose the information.

I expect the High Court to order for that disclosure, and if the IEBC has nothing to hide, it should open its doors for scrutiny and facilitate the true determination and conclusion of the matter.

Looking at it from another angle, would it not give UhuRuto supporters greater pride in the duo if the process of their getting to office is audited and given a clean bill? They will have a right to say: “Just like you have been silenced, may you keep silent for the next five years”

And UhuRuto will take that oath, and serve all Kenyans, and I will know men can go to prison, reject credible results, Go to Court when they are hungry for power.

For the certainty of our future, this is worth a billion dollars.

 

 

 

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