By Jackson Omondi
The gathering was billed as a consensus building event that was to culminate into a ‘new,’ all inclusive political outfit, but it turned out to be a Homeric event with the exact same things that the status quo has been feeding Kenyans since time immemorial.
If you were looking for something new, this was not your event. Take your pick. It was a menu of total confusion, doublespeak, coercion and outright chicanery. The array of mixed emotions on the faces of those political leaders in the audience said it all. From DP William Ruto’s abrasive comportment to the President’s incredible double speak, the leaders sat there like school kids listening to a stern mathematics teacher!
Was it a consensus building and bonding session? Negative. To those opposed to party assimilation and dissolution, it was more like a torture chamber! They had to sit there and listen to a shouting Deputy President giving ultimatums and consequences of not joining ‘Tuko pamoja’. As if that was not nauseating enough, the President came up with a theory that the new outfit was going to change how electoral politics is done.
The President went on to tell those leaders that in dissolving the Jubilee affiliate parties and joining his new reelection outfit, Kenyans were going to see the end of electoral politics as they know it. His new outfit is going to usher in political party stability. There is just one problem with that statement: er, Mr President, we already have the largest party in Kenya called ODM, a party that has managed to weather political storms and remained intact while political mutations and coercion have dominated the other side of the divide.
Mr President, you are not offering anything new, after all, Presidents running for reelection only care about reelection! Kibaki’s PNU was a concoction of other parties designed just to get Kibaki a second term( Which he lost to RAO). If in doubt, where are those 43 PNU MPs who made it to parliament in 2007 ?
The President is simply trying to convince people that they need to wear belts and suspenders at the same time! But the body language of those politicians told a different story.
Those who chose the party symbol and motto did a huge disservice to their course! For starters, the much maligned ‘Kusema na Kutenda,’ predictably turned out to be a colossal let down and now this? Eti ‘Tuko Pamoja?’ Nyinyi na nani na wakenya wanaumia? Uchumi umezoroteka, Kina yakhe wanalia, usalama umeadimika, wanainchi wengi wanaelekea jongomeo! Serikali haijui be wala te! Ufisadi umenoga! Na mengineo.
Lastly, the symbol is the kicker! A depiction of arm-wrestling is a fitting metaphor for a regime that has consistently treated wanainchi to a lot of taunting, intimidation and poor governance. They arm twisted the legislature to pass draconian laws that included the media and security laws. They arm twisted the nation’s teachers into submission despite the national outcry and the disrupted school timetable. They ignored court’s decisions and muscled their way on every front except service delivery! This is the most muscular regime of all time and for them to choose arm wrestling as a symbol, I can’t agree more!