For all of its denials, it was an open secret that State House was secretly propping up Musalia Mudavadi to succeed President Kibaki. The word on the street was that Musalia was as a ‘compromise candidate’ for the Gema community. Despite Uhuru Kenyatta having what seemed like good prospects of succeeding President Kibaki, his indictment at the ICC with crimes against humanity was for all intents and purposes an insuperable millstone around Uhuru neck. Apparently, the level headed State House operatives had long since come to grips with Uhuru’s predicament at The Hague and they were intent on handing over the reins of power to an acquiescent moderate that is Musalia and the Gema community understood it thus.
Everything seemed to have fallen in place when Musalia, who
had earlier been cajoled to ditch Raila’s ODM party, signed a pact with Uhuru
and William Ruto in which Uhuru agreed to step down for him as their
coalition’s presidential candidate. And then, out of the blue, Uhuru pulled a fast
one on Mudavadi and backtracked on his promise citing manipulation by ‘dark
forces.’ Poor Mudavadi was short-changed and in effect consigned to the
political junkyard where he fittingly belongs depending of course on which side
of the political divide you look at it from. The operatives behind project
Mudavadi were none the wiser even though they were left with egg on their faces.
With the benefit of hindsight, it was a total escapade.
Besides proving that he is a very cunning politician, Uhuru’s
move proved that he is determined to control his destiny and he will not allow
his fate to be in the hands of somebody else. It is a cold fact, but Uhuru does
not have a vision for Kenya; he is a man with a mission that is inspired by an
instinct for self-preservation. Uhuru knows that the only way to dodge The
Hague is by becoming Kenya’s fourth president. The idea however, is not
far-fetched if President Bashir of Sudan is anything to go by. The only problem
is that Kenya is not, by any stretch of the imagination, Sudan. Be that as it
may, his implausible coalition with William Ruto – the kingpin of an arch-rival
community but a man nevertheless with whom he shares that dreadful ICC predicament
is a plot to make good his escape from the ICC.
Surprisingly, the unlikely Uhuru-Ruto presidential bid has turned
out to be a formidable political reality which, no matter way you look at it, has
turned our upcoming presidential election into a referendum on the ICC. Electoral
politics is the court of public opinion and Uhuru and Ruto reckon that a win in
the court of public opinion will somehow the discredit the prosecution, quash
their indictment, and vindicate them at the ICC. Call it self-delusion, clutching
at straws, or whatever you like but that is the duo’s game plan against the ICC
regardless and they have said as much at sundry times.
Most observers agree that should the Jubilee luminaries
clinch the victory in the presidential contest, Kenya will be plunged into a
catastrophic constitutional crisis right from the day they are declared
winners. You can be rest assured that Uhuru and Ruto will not co-operate with
the ICC much less board a flight to attend the hearings against them. Think
about it, if the ICC is not receiving all the cooperation it needs from President
Kibaki’s administration, what should you honestly expect if the suspects ascend
to power? Be that as it may, I am extremely doubtful that Kenyans will stand
idly by and let fugitives from justice govern Kenya in peace.
One, however, cannot help but wonder how on earth two people
indicted with crimes against humanity –the most heinous crimes known to man –
could be presidential candidates and be sufficiently popular to be strong
contenders. It is utterly bizarre when you take into account the fact that the
electoral policy, legal, and regulatory framework in Kenya’s new constitutional
dispensation was supposed to have been improved significantly. To be sure, the constitutionality
of the Uhuru-Ruto presidential bid remains contentious, but to have the suspects
a heartbeat away from State House is incontrovertible proof that the rotten character
of our politics has not changed.
At the heart of the problem is what the acclaimed political analyst
Mutahi Ngunyi recently alluded to in his controversial ‘tyranny of numbers’ analysis
of the upcoming election. Uhuru and Ruto descend from the populous Gema and
Kalenjin ethnic communities respectively and because we vote for leaders based
on their tribe as opposed to the content of their character, we have ended up a
political system that could very well witness people suspected of crimes
against humanity elected to office. The Gema and Kalenjin communities from
which Uhuru and Ruto descend from had however initially warmed up to the idea
of Musalia Mudavadi as a ‘compromise candidate.’ He was considered a ‘compromise
candidate’ based on the fact that many people from the Mount Kenya region had a
very low opinion of Uhuru Kenyatta and considered the candidature a man indicted
at the ICC with crimes against humanity unacceptable as it would be detrimental
to the nation. Unfortunately for them, Uhuru outwitted Mudavadi and as such, as
they like to say, they were left with no choice.
As everyone will agree, this madness by the people from the
Mount Kenya region and the Rift Valley is tribalism in its vilest form and
represents everything that is wrong with Kenyan politics. Personally, I do not how
else we can effectively deal with this ominous problem; however, I do know that
by exposing it for what it really is, I am making it a matter of individual
conscience and I expect every Kenyan of goodwill and especially those from the
Mount Kenya region and the Rift Valley to take a pause and have some serious
soul-searching before deciding who to vote for in the upcoming election.