Re: The Die Has Been Cast: It is Uhuru vs. Raila – Part II
By D S
And so it came to pass.
The National Super Alliance Party (NASA) revealed its line-up for the August 8th General Elections and to no one’s surprise, at the head of the ticket is former Prime Minister and a perennial member of the opposition, Raila Odinga with Kalonzo Musyoka as his running mate. And unlike the duopoly that is Jubilee, the NASA coalition has a more national outlook with virtually all regions of Kenya save the incumbents’ strongholds of Central/Mt. Kenya and most of Rift Valley represented.
Maybe that is NASA’s ace in the hole; that compared to the current (Jubilee) leadership, NASA has a history of servant/leadership that Jubilee can only speechify about. The coalition is headed by the personification of Kenya’s struggle for multi-partyism Raila Odinga. That is national hero status in most societies! Additionally, in any polity other than Kenya, base lining the last four years since 2013 would be enough to make Uhuru/Ruto a one-term administration. Between the gross and rampant corruption, impunity, incompetent and unaccountable leadership (jameni mnataka ni fanye nini?) and very few significant and successful development projects INITIATED (given the amount of money borrowed), this election should be a slam-dunk – for the opposition.
NASA’s encouraging and promising diversity aside, I find myself more indifferent than surprised by the selection. Part of my indifference is a function of the post-ICC/post-Trump/post-Waiguru era where individuals of suspect character and moral turpitude can be elected into public office.
The other reason for my indifference about the line-up; frankly about the upcoming elections is because of the highly dysfunctional and chaotic nature of primaries – across all major parties. I have an unsettling feeling that just like some of hotly contested high profile primary races, the presidential competition is going to be a national exercise in confusion and chaos with the incumbency having the upper hand, NOT because they have superior ideas or competence or a record they want to tout.
The incumbency have the upper hand because those who control the levers of power, first at the grassroot level then at the national level have a decided advantage and will do whatever it takes to retain power. This is a point vividly illustrated in some primary races where shouts of “rigging”, “ballot-stuffing” and “shenanigans” reigned supreme.
My apathy and blasé aside, pundits and prognosticators alike have been in hyper-drive since the line-up was announced in Uhuru Park this past Thursday April 27. “Experts” and “analysts” have even taken to posting screenshots, supposedly from 2-3 years ago when they “called it” i.e. the opposition’s line-up. Likewise, quack-statisticians, applying predictable “push” polling methodology to provide “statistical” bases for their bias, have unveiled “polling data” that show Raila “losing” to Uhuru, with some boldly predicting that the loss will come in the first round.
Since I don’t have a crystal ball nor a graduate of it. Hall’s School of Government, I will harken back to a previous post where I offered that regardless of whether one is in elected office or not, Kenyans should seek to be servant/leaders.
I realize that public service is not for the faint-hearted, especially in a country and culture such as Kenya. However, the country is in desperate need of public servants in the servant/leader mold. Frankly given the country’s penchant for wearing its religiosity on its collective sleeve, I am surprised that the idea of serving others in the servant mold is not the modus operandi. Additionally, given how many “Prayer Rallies”, “Hours of Power” and “Revivals” Kenyans attend in any given year, I am surprised that we don’t have a country teeming with servant/leaders.