By Kiboyye Okoth-Yogo
Must we always fight even if there is nothing to fight over?
This CORD, Jubilee war over whether they should talk or not is the most baseless political argument in the History of Kenya. It just shows how much we have refused that we shall never mature as a country. This is for the mere reason that our enemies, Alshabab, underdevelopment, hunger, disease, poor economic performance and the like have never cared whether we are CORD or Jubiliee. They just hit us.
No wonder the framers of the current constitution insisted on asserting that sovereignty of the country belong to the people. One of the apt meanings of article 1 of the constitution is that government is but an aspect of delegated sovereignty. Discussions on governance can take place both within the confines of formal institutions and outside of them, because the public retains such right. Those great ladies and gentlemen who wrote our constitution were well aware that the organized formal government is no panacea to all our challenges as a nation.
They probably read the conduct of British politics at the inception of the first world war. Churchill after an illustrious political and military career was in political Limbo in the 1930â€™s. Many did not trust his very strongly held opinions and credentials and some thought his political life was over. However, he was steadfast in warning against the emerging evil, Hitler. He even suggested that the UK should rearm as a matter of priority. The government of the day did not take him seriously. Instead, the then Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain took to the policy of appeasement. Hitler took Austria. UK government position was that well Austrians are basically Germans. Hitler himself was originally Austrian. Hitler again took Czechoslovakia, The government thought he would now be satisfied. Eventually he took Poland and the other European powers were aghast.
The UK government quickly formed a government of national unity, and had Churchill appointed First Lord of the Admiralty. One year later, in 1940, Chamberlain resigned and Churchill became the Prime Minister. Actually he did not become a PM through an election. It was a national compromise. A compromise for the good of the United Kingdom of Great Britain!
Now we do not have an issue worth forming a government of national unity for. However, the call for a bipartisan approach at this time of grave national challenges could never be greater. The issue of confining talks to government institutions should not arise. Let the parliamentarians talk in the National Assembly and the Senate. Let the Governors talk in their Governorâ€™s Council. Let the County Authorities talk within their jurisdictions and with their publics. Let the bureaucrats talk. Let the President talk in with his cabinet. Let both the government and the public participate in a bipartisan national conference to build a national bonding, reenergisation and concerted campaign. Even if CORD is to win plaudits for having first suggested it, it would not matter at the end of the day for Kenya will be the winner.
And President Uhuru should lead this from the front!
Mr. Yogo is a Communication and Law lecturer at Moi University and an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya.