As a country that had been fed the assured victory of Foreign Affairs CS Amina Mohammed at the African Union come to terms with a sobering loss, Amina has opted for a holiday in Dubai, alongside her husband Khalid Ahmed.
Foreign affairs ministry is in shambles. A cabinet reshuffle has been put on hold. Confusion.
Sources in the Kenyan delegation to the 28th AU Summit could not contain their emotions, and many are reported to have wept openly as the enormity of the loss began to sink in.
This was a continental loss with devastating local consequences.
Amina’s candidature, for some pundits, had nothing to do with Amina herself. She was merely the proverbial round peg in a square hole.
As the global face of Jubilee impunity, elevating her to AU, a body that is becoming extremely critical in electoral transitions in Africa, was one way of getting a safe pair of hands.
The regime that viciously pushed Amina to head AU secretariat is heading to an election in six short months with a legitimacy crisis.
An economy in free fall, growing joblessness, a restive youth population, uncertain future for millions. Compounding this is runaway corruption and suffocation of freedoms with heightened militarization of the civilian police.
Until last night, Jubilee which has created an aura of infallibility didn’t plan for a humbling defeat.
In Nairobi, victory parties had been held in her honour (and queer anticipation of her exit) where she was crowned the new national queen, complete with royal hat, like those spotted on Queen Elizabeth. High society women tossed champagne, danced to a rendition of somali songs and swallowed the evening in heightened gossiping, many planning to escort her to Addis Ababa.
These were no ordinary women.
Led by First Lady Margaret Kenyatta, spouse of President Uhuru Kenyatta, they were the who-is-who in the Kenyan women fraternity from politics, business, academia and media. Top female journalists, a judge of the Supreme Court, several female cabinet secretaries and their principals, women CEOs of government-run parastatals, women tendepreneurs, female MPs et cetera attended.
But she lost, thanks to the geopolitics of the African Union.
At home, Amina candidature had divided the country down the middle, politically. Egged on by Jubilee regime, her candidature had been narrowed to an affair of the ruling regime, albeit masked in patriotic ululations, ostensibly to gag those who would be mad enough to oppose her.
Mainstream politicians in the opposition CORD never openly opposed her, same as those on the ruling side who may not have liked her candidature. The conspiracy of silence was only broken by ever querrelsome kids of social media, who holds no prisoners.
Kenyans on the Internet publicly and brazenly aired their blatant opposition to her candidature, caricaturing her as an insensitive woman, being pushed on by insensitive men, at the expense of numerous sectors of the Kenyan society gasping for national intervention.
Doctors. The sick. Fallen soldiers and military families. Drought-stricken, famine ravaged north. Lectures on the streets and students out of class. An economy thinning, a nation divided.
In 2013, President Uhuru romped to power in a nation not reconciled with its haunting past. This year, Kenya, irreconcilable, faces Armageddon.
“We do not like the way this country is run”, posted Gabriel Oguda on Facebook, prosecuting Amina Mohammed in the court of public opinion.
“We are against the impression that Amb. Amina Mohammed is more important a Kenyan than all our gallant soldiers who died in Kulbiyow, combined. We reject, in totality, the notion that Amb. Amina Mohammed deserves more attention than poor Kenyans being affected by the doctor’s strike, now in its second month. We are against the government’s plan to elevate one Kenyan to a demigod pedestal while a million others are collapsing under the searing heat of famine and starvation,” he said.
“Amina needs Hijab more than AU seat, posted H.L Adam Birik Ahmed.
Some questioned the wisdom of fielding her, wondering whether propelling another Kenyan, in this case Amb. Erastus Mwencha, who until this week was the Deputy Chair of the Commission, could have been less costly a defeat, if that would still have been the eventuality.
Kenya is now effectively out of the management of African Union. Apart from Amina, the other Kenyan candidate Amb. Mahboub Maalim who gunned for AU Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy, also lost. Nothing much is known of him or his candidacy.
A regime suffers first major loss. Humbling loss!