By Dorcas S
Politics is oftentimes described as the “art of the possible” i.e. an endeavor in which hitherto enemies come together to make possible, a common goal.
Beyond pursuit of some idealistic altruistic endpoint, (democratic) politics is about crafting outcomes that either appeal to the base or are in the interest of the “greater good” and anyone who thinks differently has probably never won an election and probably won’t anytime soon.
The same democratic process is also described as being akin to “making sausage”. It is messy. It is ugly and oftentimes contains unsavory ingredients but when done right, has a “Farmer’s Choice” tasting-like outcome!
Finally, democratic politics is about hard numbers/votes i.e. the “tyranny of numbers” – period!
Bell Labs Computer Scientist Jack Morton, alluding to the limitations of the era’s technology vis-à-vis transmission of volumes of data, coined the expression “tyranny of numbers” to describe that engineering quandary – and no, it was NOT Mutahi Ngunyi.
So why all the quasi-philosophical waxing on the democratic political process?
Because with less than four months to go before the general elections, the opposition’s National Super Alliance Party (NASA) is yet to agree on its top ticket. The leadership of the opposition party also appears tone-deaf to the message/s they are sending out to their base, their supporters and more importantly, to Kenyans who are desperate to make the corrupt duo of Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto a one-term administration. And that confusion, dithering and in-fighting is making the already-satiated Jubilants, well, jubilant!
Unless NASA can cobble together, and yes, it IS cobbling together, a coalition of groups (ethnic in Kenya’s case) in numbers greater than the GEMA/Kalenjin axis, the incompetent wanna-be-digital duo will serve a 2nd term into 2022.
It is that serious and somehow, that sense of urgency has not sunk in on the mandarins of NASA.
If it had, the Ojaamong-Otuoma race would not have played out the way it did with allegations of “tharakanithization” allegedly orchestrated by the party leadership!
If the NASA quartet of Raila, Kalonzo, Mudavadi and Wetangula truly believe/d that theirs is a calling in the servant/leadership mold i.e. for a Kenya whose leaders seek leadership, not as conduit for self-enrichment, but to serve the voters, they would learn from one Hillary Clinton who (a) agreed to serve an America led by Barack Obama – the person who wrested the nomination from her back in 2008 and (b) appealed to Americans to “give Donald Trump” a chance after losing the 2016 race to the least presidential, indeed least respectful AND qualified presidential candidate in American history.
Closer to home, NASA can (make that “should have”) take/n a page out of the blatantly convenient and self-serving “coalition of the accused” as the pre-crimes-against-humanity ticket of Uhuru Kenyatta/William Ruto was called. The two erstwhile mortal enemies found Jesus when the ICC filed charges against them and the rest, like “they” say, is history.
Simply put, the four NASA principals should prove to their supporters AND country writ large that pursuit of the top ticket is not about a checking a personal “bucket list” item but giving Kenyans a government that reflects much of the country and is devoid of the thievery and balkanization perfected by the Uhuru/Ruto presidency.
Raila Odinga, Kalonzo Musyoka, Musalia Mudavadi and Moses Wetangula and their respective supporters should ask themselves whether they are willing to subornate their personal interest and that of their base for the larger good – election victory on August 8th, 2017.