To the chagrin of the doubting Thomases and doomsayers, a NASA coalition is gradually becoming a clear reality with each passing day. With the signing of yesterday’s opposition coalition working framework, the NASA leaders have yet again demonstrated their resolve to offer Kenyans a viable alternative.
They have no option but to stick together and offer Kenyans a viable alternative to the wobbly Jubilee, or be hanged from separate trees, in their way to political oblivion, come August.
Many Kenyans are getting more and more incensed with Jubilee’s dismal and extremely underwhelming performance. Among many other issues, the two top Jubilee leaders have clearly demonstrated that they will never tackle the runaway corruption in the country, even if their own lives depended on it.
We can understand that the intricacies of building a potent coalition are quite complex and stressful. The body language of the four NASA principals says it all.
When they appear together, it is obvious that they might sometimes be having unpalatable exchanges during the serious haggling that is most likely going on behind the closed doors.
But being seasoned politicians, they have to always put on brave faces and maintain a united front, since their supporters not only want, but demand that they stick together to the very end. Just like any good thing, strong coalitions are never easy to cobble up and huge sacrifices must be made.
Jubilee operatives have been incessantly dismissing the NASA coalition top leadership as a bunch of losers only driven by greed and the need to share top gov’t positions with nothing to offer.
But then, that brings into sharp focus what Jubilee leaders have done with the top gov’t positions. Haven’t they selfishly and shamelessly shared them amongst their cronies and relatives for the last four or so years?
Top gov’t and parastatal offices are predominantly flooded with people from the president and his deputy’s backyards! This denies Jubilee even a shred of moral authority to lecture others on the sharing of gov’t positions.
In any case, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with sharing top leadership positions, but how you share them matters a lot. Coalitions like NASA ensure that all regions of the country are well represented at the top and this is very crucial, especially in a country that is deeply divided along ethnic lines like ours.
I have a strong hunch that a NASA regime will strive to completely move away from Jubilee’s modus operandi and offer a better deal to Kenyans, than the raw deal this PR-obsessed current regime has offered us.
Coalitions of strong parties, not monolithic single parties, are the way to go in countries where ethnicity is deeply rooted. The bigger the coalition in power, the better in terms of equal representation.
It is totally astounding to see the supposedly “dynamic duo” at the helm of the country’s leadership today, deliberately driving the country towards the opposite direction of this reality! The killing of over ten parties to form one amorphous behemoth called Jubilee Party confirms this.
The way Jubilee moved with speed to make a law that was specifically meant to lock all those who collapsed their parties inside inside the party, regardless of whether they’re disgruntled or not, was quite selfish and undemocratic. It is for this reason that many politicians in Jubilee will soon be weeping in toilets after being denied nominations.
You see in monolithic parties like Jubilee, the owners of the party will always have a free hand in deciding who gets nomination and who doesn’t. Forget about what they tell you in the glare of media cameras. The script is totally different in the boardrooms.
Any politician in Jubilee who shows a streak of independent and free thinking is likely to be locked out of nomination, whether popular or not. Only those who strictly tow the line of their bosses will sail through Moses Kuria-style. After all those who lose unfairly have no option but tow the party line!
Jubilee seems to borrow a lot from large and dictatorial parties like Daniel Moi’s KANU (in its heyday in the 80s and 90s) and China’s Communist Party. The presence of representatives of China’s communist Party in Kasarani, during the official launch of the Jubilee party was quite telling. We all know that China’s “Communist Party” and “Democracy” can never fit in the same room. They have never been friends.
In such monolithic parties you either shape up or ship out. Individual freedoms are very limited and always suffocated since internal party democracy is an alien subject to them. Their maxim is, “you are either with us or against us.”
Is it any surprise then that the riot act has been read to those smaller parties that claim to be friendly to Jubilee, and have been having a field day receiving defecting Jubilee politicians, who are taking a walk out of the party after reading the signs of time?
One of these small parties is Alfred Mutua’s “Maendeleo Chaf Chaf” (as my friend Musyioki calls it), which has received a number of Jubilee politicians -who fear unfair nominations- in the recent past. Jubilee has made it very clear that they wont be flattered by anyone in a different party, claiming to support Uhuru’s re-election.
You can be sure that when the rubber meets the road, in a couple of months towards elections, all those defecting to the so called “friendly” parties will be treated like any other opposition candidates. No mercy or friendly fire will be involved.
Jubilee has been highly banking on a possible fallout in NASA. However, the steadfastness with which NASA principals have stuck together has baffled Jubilee. The signing of a NASA operational framework yesterday has sent Jubilee strategists scampering back to the drawing board. Any step towards fielding a single NASA candidate, like yesterday’s, causes jitters in the big white mansion on the hill, at Dennis Pritt Road.
As I have always maintained, the only thing standing between NASA and statehouse is: amicably agreeing on one candidate and the coalition’s operational structures, once they seize power. They must offer us something totally different from Jubilee or face the wrath of the electorate. They have no option.