By Deng Vanang,
March 07, 2016(Nyamilepedia) —- As known by all and sundry, in this case dumb, deaf and blind, Kenyan elections of 2007 didn’t give the electorate the winner they voted for, opposition leader Raila Amolo Odinga. Instead, President Mwai Kibaki re-emerged from behind the curtain by sheer act of default as declared winner for a second five – year term.
The unexpected turn of events was in absolute annoyance of Odinga who tried his luck for three times nearly in a row and had to cry foul before an army of zooming cameras over spilled milk. The more sought after and slipped away Presidency that became his stolen votes.
He was right to shed sea of tears since in the previous evening, his Luo Nyanza stronghold went to bed thinking Odinga was victorious given the vote tallies relayed through electronic media. But unfortunately woke up in the following morning to hear and see Odinga vanquished and crying his eyes out before the local and international press. For they couldn’t believe their popped out eyes and pricked ears, their last resort was to reach out for the nearest pangas and machetes to face it off with Kalashnikov wielding Mount Kenya mafia.
That marked the beginning of an end of Kenya’s renown tolerance overstretched beyond the elastic limit with explosion of the country into post-election violence in January, 2008 amidst angry chants of ‘’No Raila, No Kenya.’’ Sooner than later, the world swept into action to save Kenya from herself. As she was going to the dogs and had to be clawed from the brink of a possible civil war into which she was irredeemably plunging.
Odinga and Kibaki were then cajoled into board rooms negotiation so as to share the government of national unity on fifty -fifty basis. Half loaf was better than none, Odinga had to seize with all the relish to the chagrin of Luo intellectuals hell-bent on the warpath or else Kibaki owned up. But little did Odinga know, Machar has to learn from as first Vice President in the impending rockier coalition government with Kiir, that wasn’t an end in itself, but proposedly a means to use as the stepping stone for bigger things ahead.
Failure to understand on such face value, Odinga not only settled on half loaf, but went a step further into indulging in the delicious spoils of the executive premiership while they lasted, thereby involving himself, as widely alleged, in worse mal-practices for which he blamed Kibaki. Four years down the line, voters could have been forgiven for seeing his ODM party as Kibaki’s PNU look alike.
With Kibaki’s second five – year term over, Raila had to content with his successor and another kikuyu, Uhuru Mugai Kenyatta. The election on all accounts as it turned out, was a repeat contest between Odinga’s Vice President father, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga against Uhuru’s President father, Jomo Kenyatta 40 something years ago. And inundated with Odinga’s campaign slogan:’’ not yet Uhuru’’ as he relived the title of the book his father, Jaramogi authored 50 years ago against Uhuru’s father, Jomo Kenyatta’s ethnically motivated kleptocratic rule.
More theories emerged about Odinga having disappointed so many of his diehard supporters in taking them for granted that helped him ride up the ladder, including his right hand political kingpin of Kalenjin ethnic group, William Sumai Ruto. While his stalwarts unreservedly buried their heads in public coffers in rampant corruption spree like no any other.
Took for a rough ride his core constituency of Luo Nyanza by favoring his close relatives over others in 2013 controversial party’s executive and parliamentary nominations for the general elections a few months away. For in his delusion, he now edged closer to the coveted state house unstoppably. The end result was voter apathy in that region where a whopping 50,000 voters abstained from voting in protest. Went on to trash principles of democracy he claimed to have espoused for over the years by building personality cult of drumhead sycophants as he was equally flouting executive and parliamentary nominations for them.
And to crown all the aforementioned vices, paid no serious attention to the very cardinal corner stone that made one a potential winner in any election. Being the voter registration PNU was busy defrauding in its own favor. While Odinga was day dreaming of a walk over Uhuru into the house on the hill, State buy generic xanax online house, PNU on the other hand was busy pulling the country away closer to its bosoms from under his feet.
Closer to similar fate haunted his friend, Morgan Richard Tsvangirai in Zimbabwe who defeated resoundingly in a straight elections fight his archrival, Robert Gabriel Mugabe. Like Odinga, Tsvangirai was pressed by his supporters not to accept anything short of inauguration into Presidency against power sharing of sorts with ever cunning Mugabe.
And alike Odinga too, he chose to work as Prime Minister contrary to wise advices of his stalwarts with Mugabe as President.
Deeply dived into her own fool paradise, was one female deputy Minister of Tsvangirai whom I met at Naivasha Lodge in Kenya where I attended the African Political Parties conference as lone representative of former SPLM-DC, currently DCP in June 2013.
I asked the honorable Minister whose name I don’t longer remember about the chances of her party, MDC scrapping it through the upcoming Presidential race home and dry as I was worried about the bleak analyses that were spiraling out of Zimbabwe from political pundits around the world. She exuded confidence in her party for a resounding victory. But learned later was quite an illusion of the highest order.
A few months later in 2013 after a five – year uneasy coalition, far older Mugabe outwitted younger Tsvangirai half his age by letting loose war veterans on opposition supporters and rampantly rigging polls through state sanctioned terror.
Unconcerned about Zimbabwe’s future and satisfied with his political exploits, Mugabe went headlong into forming his government as Tsvangirai groaned helplessly on the sidelines. His bungled win made him to pock funds at Tsvangirai about where and who taught him politics as he is partying while crisscrossing his once lost country he recently reconquered from the opposition and its band of Western backers.
Mugabe has all the reason to celebrate. For he has secured all that he wanted such like the retention of the lost Presidency hundred percent and cleansing for him of political ruins which his war veterans visited on white farmers, leading to a staggering economic decline of millions percent inflation. Thanks to an opposition MDC that undid the mess he created for not less than two decades.
And above all, with MDC completely driven into the deep woods and frighteningly in limbo, ZANU-PF has got no external enemies to look over its shoulders about with exception of internal warring factions, one led by Mugabe’s wife Grace and another by Vice President Emerson Manangagwa, intensely queuing to secede 92 years old Mugabe when he dies a natural death.
While Tsvangirai, a fault from which Machar should learn, dived into misery and solitude due to his blind optimism about none-existent brighter future most of his supporters see from different angle. His scandalous indulgence, was another shot in his leg, with women one after another following the loss of his dear loving and workaholic wife in a fatal road accident distracted him from day to day business of realpolitik.
Like PNU renamed Jubilee, ZANU-PF engaged in an illegal voter registration exercise. Another was compromising voting pattern in which under age children were registered to vote for ZANU-PF. Many eligible voters, especially elderly cast double votes for ZANU-PF. While voting in MDC’s strongholds, particularly cities was deliberately made chaotic to dissuade opposition supporters from voting.
Subsequently with party divided by defeat, loss of public confidence in his faction and a resurgence with vengeance of ZANU-PF to the stronger position out of which it was previously shunned, now Tsvangirai, a laughing stock, ashamed and in hiding in Zimbabwe, is bemoaning about the lost glorious days of his once immense popularity many observers don’t think of him reclaiming.
Just like his friend, Odinga whom many believe is as well lost the political ground too big to recover as he wades into his twilight years and unlikely to catch up with ever receding dream of his life time, the Kenyan Presidency.
Deng Vanang is an author and journalist, he can be reached at: email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
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