By Gilbert O Kenya
The 2017 elections are now a chapter behind us, if indeed we had any. We are all ready to match forward and live our lives as we have always done. However, as a Kenyan voter, I feel cheated because I believe that something went terribly wrong with the presidential election results at the National Tallying Center in Bomas of Kenya.
In a hotly contested election, which pundits said was too close to call, IEBC still owes us a plausible explanation as to why Uhuru Kenyatta took an early lead and maintained a constant gap of 10-11% over his main rival, Raila Odinga, all through the entire tallying process. Remember this was an exercise where results were supposedly streaming in randomly. It was obviously wrong for Chebukati and team to declare a winner before addressing the serious issues raised by NASA.
For those of us who believe in a free, fair and just society, this cannot go unchallenged. It is now incumbent on the NASA leadership to put results from their tallying center public, and prove beyond reasonable doubt that the wrong person was declared president by IEBC. Let them exploit all the legal avenues by going to the supreme Court while armed with enough evidence to prove their case. Maybe the Supreme Court might restore our faith in our seemingly “Dependent” institutions.
It would be a very sad thing for Kenya if it turns out that institutions which are, by and large, supposed to be independent prove to be mere marionettes and flower girls of powerful individuals in the country. That will be symptomatic of the making of a banana republic, where justice and fairness will be rudely thrown out of the window.
We have been told that now we must move on to other matters of nation-building. But, which nation are we building if communities cannot live in genuine peace? Which nation, if the voice of the people can be contemptuously disregarded?
A country only qualifies to be called a ‘nation’ when its communities live cohesively in true peace and harmony. This cannot be achieved if elections don’t matter any more and the voice of the people is suppressed by a few powerful individuals, who will lord it over the masses whether they like it or not!
This cannot be achieved where police are shooting unarmed folks who have done nothing other than picketing, which is a cardinal right enshrined in our constitution.
This can’t happen when people from one community taunt those from another community online and celebrate fraud because it seems to favor “their own” aspirations.
A proper nation can only be achieved if we manage to build a free, fair and just society where everyone feels accepted and respected. I am and will always be a staunch supporter of Raila Odinga because I believe that he has spent a better part of his life fighting for the tenets which make a free, fair, and just society possible. That is why, whether he remains in politics or bows out at some point, most of us will loudly continue advocating for what he has always stood for.
However, if you are a true patriot, don’t hate your fellow Kenyans because of their political stands. Nothing pains me like seeing poor people savagely attacking each other, both physically and on social media, because of political differences. Truth be told, a majority of citizens don’t even understand why they support some leaders other the fact that they share a tribe! Instead of hating such folks, pray for them and direct your energies towards exerting pressure for true reforms in our ‘dependent’ institutions.
With properly working independent institutions, we can be sure of a free, fair, and just society; a society where elected leaders will represent the true will of the people. My only worry is the fact that the Jubilee side is poised to have a huge majority in both houses of parliament. In the past, Jubilee ligislators have shown that they never engage their brains when ordered by Uhuruto to pass any piece of legislation in parliament. If this doesn’t change, our constitution risks getting mutilated beyond recognition very soon. We can only pray that those chosen, this time round, will not become as robotic as the Duale and Kindiki teams in the last parliament and that the courts will become true custodians of our supreme laws.
As for our elections, we must all appreciate one thing. If we celebrate a culture where winning elections is all about who rigs best or uses the most lethal force to have their way, then the gov’t of the day will always carry the day since it controls immense state machinery and retains the monopoly of organised violence. We must all purpose to put a stop to this culture at all costs.
“Kama tuliwashinda tukiwa msituni wakati ule, sembuse wakati huu tuko ndani ya serikali?”
Does that statement ring a bell?
The Jubilee government must henceforth stop the horrific killing of unarmed citizens, whose only crime is protesting the results of the just concluded elections. This might be a sure recipe for total anarchy in the country. Lest we forget, it doesn’t matter how long it takes but the will of the people must always prevail.