By J Ambuka
A majority of Kenyans believe that Mr. Uhuru Kenyatta is illegitimately occupying office of the President of Kenya. This incontrovertible reality emanated from electoral process that was universally judged as illegal and irregular.
Luckily, stakeholders in Kenya and abroad agree that dialogue between Mr. Kenyatta and Jubilee administration on one hand and Mr. Raila Odinga and NASA coalition on the other hand can neutralize an already toxic environment created by fraudulent electoral process. Even European Union and the U.S. support dialogue as a means to assuaging imminent political instability. In fact, the U.S. has committed financial support to jumpstart reconciliation process.
Unfortunately, Mr. Kenyatta and Jubilee administration remains arrogant, adamant and dismissive. Yet, it is undeniable that the just concluded election wasn’t free, fair and credible. Dialogue is needed to restore the integrity of electoral commission and institute transparent and accountable electoral system.
Sadly, the window of opportunity for dialogue is clossing expeditiously with January 29th being the deadline until Mr. Odinga is sworn in on January 30. It seems Jubilee administration and Uhuru Kenyatta in particular is either in denial or unable to fathom ramifications for Mr. Odinga’s oath of office as people’s president, which to me, will be catastrophic.
One, Mr. Odinga’s swearing-in will officially and effectively divide Kenya into two strongholds, namely, Jubilee and NASA. Citizens in both strongholds will pledge their allegiance to a President they deem legitimate. Raila and Uhuru will automatically become persona non grata in territories they do not control. Politically, it will be impossible for Uhuru to preside over a function in NASA stronghold. His mandate will be limited within his area of jurisdiction, namely, Jubilee stronghold.
Secondly, Mr. Odinga’s oath of office will precipitate serious calls for cessation. With NASA strongholds recognizing Mr. Odinga as legitimate president, his supporters will demand for instruments of power to govern. These instruments includes but are not limited to official state house and office, military, police, budgetary allocation, and institutions of service delivery. For these instruments to be presided over by Mr. Odinga, NASA strongholds will be hived off Jubilee strongholds and be turned into an independent state.
Third, Mr. Odinga’s oath of office will divide armed forces right in the middle. Although disciplined forces have a structured chain of command that is highly revered, we must remember that members of these forces are people who have political feelings, are from a tribe and cast votes. With two “presidents” in “office” each leader and service officer may choose who between Raila and Uhuru is to be recognized as legitimate commander in chief.
Fourth, Kenyan citizens residing and working in strongholds that are considered hostile to their political stands will lack freedom of expression, association and movement. Without guranteed protection, Kenyans in hostile regions will flee to settle in friendly areas.
Fifth, Raila’s swearing-in will precipitate unpredictable environment where investor confidence will be diminished, employment opportunities will shrink, prices of essential commodities will skyrocket and economy in general will be destabilized.
Sixth, Raila’s oath of office will automatically impose economic sanctions to companies NASA will determine as unsympathetic to it’s political cause. NASA has already called supporters boycot products from companies that were considered to be supportive of Jubilee.
Seventh, Jubilee administration will highly likely unleash police brutality against innocent civilians attending the swearing-in ceremony. This action could lead to untold suffering and record slaughter of NASA-leaning Kenyans whose crime will be attending the ceremony. End result is that Kenya will become ungovernable under unprecedented chaos. However, dialogue can end this crisis.