Saturday, 6 April 2013

President Uhuru has a chance to build bridges so they say

The fact is Kenya is stuck with Uhuru Kenyatta for better or worse.

Okech Kendo hits the nail on the head with some of the issues that need to be addressed in his article below.

From Mombasa to Busia, Migori to Marsabit, and Kilifi to Kisii, the past had returned to torment. It was an old play with a new cast, but the same old audience was sitting through the show. For the Independence generation, it was back to the 1960s and the 1970s – the era of grand isolation.
These feelings, which run across the other Kenya, are challenges President-elect Uhuru Kenyatta must address when he takes office on April 9, with a solemn promise to Kenya.
Yet these feelings of betrayal are not entirely without pillars. If these issues are not addressed, they would still leave the other Kenya feeling isolated and second-rated.
The President will have to show he is a new generation leader in the post-2010 constitutional era. He will have to show that although he is a Kenyatta, he is not Old Jomo; that even though he is from central Kenya, he is out of sync with the Mwai Kibaki generation. That generation could only trust homeboys and home girls with ‘sensitive’ dockets like security, finance, and energy.

What President Uhuru does to reconcile the nation will show he is not encumbered with the prejudices of the Kenyatta and the Kibaki eras.

Right-thinking Kenyans desire a president who would give all Kenyans a sense of belonging. The agenda then is to build one Kenya –  one nation.
The other Kenya should appreciate how the other Kenya lives. Northern Kenya, western, and coastal should be one Kenya, the way it was intended to be.
The other fact is that Raila would remain the most prominent defender of civil liberties, a post-independent liberator without compare; a leader who has sacrificed and dedicated his entire life to making Kenya a better place.
Raila is an Odinga, another liberation hero and first Vice-President of Kenya, but his national eminence is a child of his own ideological gravitas as a citizen with a high sense of civic responsibility. That he did not become president in 2007 or 2013 has nothing to do with his flaws, but with democracy as a game of numbers, which is still framed in ethnic terms.

Quotes from President Uhuru has a chance to build bridges.

Michela Wrong's interestesting perspective is it is the most useless exercise in Kenya

Yet it won’t be business as usual. Something fundamental shifted with last month’s elections in both the way Kenyans view themselves and the way the outside world will view them, whether they like it or not.
Courts are by nature conservative, so Saturday’s announcement was only to be expected. But in confirming the election of a man indicted by the International Criminal Court for allegedly orchestrating the ethnic cleansing that followed Kenya’s 2007 polls, Chief Justice Willy Mutunga did more than solve a national wrangle over a ballot count. He secured Kenya’s place as a shining international symbol of impunity.
The I.C.C. case against Kenyatta now seems doomed. The chief prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, has revealed that unprecedented levels of witness intimidation and bribery are undermining the cases brought against Kenyatta and fellow indictees, who include vice president-elect William Ruto. These tactics will only escalate, and it’s hard to see any Kenyan being brave — or foolhardy — enough now to take the witness stand against a head of state.

It will take a long time for any official to admit it, but the failure of the Kenyatta case may be the first chime of the death knell for the I.C.C., whose prosecutors already stood accused of anti-African bias and slapdash preparations long before the election in Kenya handed them a poisoned chalice.
The success with which Kenyatta and Ruto turned their I.C.C. indictments into electoral assets exposes how deep the scars of imperialism go. The anti-Western, anti-British vitriol that characterized exchanges in the press and on social media — most generated by Kenyans far too young to have experienced firsthand the Mau Mau rebellion of the 1950s — showed how grievances are efficiently relayed from one generation to another.

Jingoistic and cynical while campaigning, the Jubilee alliance of Kenyatta and Ruto is likely to be bullying while in power, with foreign diplomats whose respect it demands and constituents alike.
The immediate concern of ordinary Kenyans will be how the incoming government implements a new Constitution designed to devolve power and money to the counties. The document is seen as the key safeguard against a return to the “winner-takes-all” system of old. But historians warn that when Kenya tried devolved governance before, at independence in 1963, the experiment was swiftly sabotaged by Uhuru’s father, Jomo Kenyatta.

Civil-society campaigners, who were briefly shocked into silence by this weekend’s Supreme Court ruling, are bracing for a long campaign in the defense of the bill of rights. One issue they will have to tackle — in a country polarized as never before — is the political disengagement of people who queued for eight hours in the sun to vote, saw the tallying process grind to a halt, digested the damning details of the petitions citing election-law violations, only to be told this botched process was free and fair after all. Odinga has predicted a surge in voter apathy given that “what has happened here is a replica, a repeat of what happened five years ago.”
A Facebook page created over the weekend captured that bitterness. Entitled “I will NEVER VOTE in a Kenyan election,” it had attracted over 25,700 likes by midday Tuesday. “We are done with Independent Judiciary, Independent Electoral Commission, we are done,” reads one post on the page. “Let all Kenyans be done with VOTING, the most useless exercise in Kenya.”

Quotes from the Most useless exercise in Kenya

John Githongo  a leading anti-corruption campaigner and advocate of political reform, says

the election failed as a nation-building event. “Kenya emerged from this process far more polarised than ever before along tribal lines,” he laments. Though political violence has been averted for the time being and Mr Kenyatta is bound to appoint a cabinet that reflects the country’s ethnic diversity, tribal grievances over land and politics could yet erupt.

Quotes from Kenya's new president will the new centre hold.

Relevant articles: Open letter to President elect Uhuru on Agenda

Did the calls for peace drown out democracy 

 Update related article:Historic hair veteran of the Mau mau laments the new order

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