By Kichwa Mbaya
Usually the living are the last to appreciate the changes taking place during their lives and it is left to the historians to later write about it and give it names.
There is a struggle going on right before our eyes on how to define our democracy under the new constitution. The constitution is like a new cloth or shoes and how you wear it and the shape of your body or your feet defines its shape in the end. I also earlier compared the freedoms sanctioned in the constitution to an erection because of the male dominated board, “you use it or lose it”.
Ouru the first president under the new constitution did not waste time to try to define this new constitution. He immediately set out to define it in the same way his father defined the first constitution and dominated with his tribe and his autocratic authority. Ouru like his father immediately surrounded himself with his tribesmates, immediately dominated the legislature and made it an appendage of the executive branch with sycophants like Duale and Kindiki and completely muscled the opposition in the parliament like his father did. His next step was to completely obliterate the opposition as his father did to Kadu and later Kapu and create a de facto one party state.
Unknowingly the first people to sound the alarm were his partners the Kalenjins but for the wrong reasons. Isaack Ruto rebelled rebelled to protest ouru’s moves to usurp the powers of the governors through appropriations and belittling them. They also set to destroy the senate and rendered it toothless and useless.
It took the opposition a long time to figure out what is going on. Ouru clearly had a plan to create his father’s Kenya under the new constitution. It was easy for him to do this because this is the political culture which most Kenyans know and have lived in all their lives. Most people did not therefore realize it because it sounded and felt “normal”.
Now comes CORD, late, but better late than never trying to protest the sneaking back and the sanctioning of the old order under Kenyattaa.
Immediately Raila called for re-engaging of the people as the owners of Kenya’s sovereignity ouru reacted very angrily because Raila was trying to interfere with order he wanted to create. Under ouru’s doctrine, the opposition is supposed to use the institutions that he has already conquered to suffer quietly during his first term while he strengthens his hold on the government and rebuild the imperial presidency that his father had but this time under the “new constitution”.
Ruto does not understand what is going on except his narrow interests and is therefore useless just like Moi was in the Jomo/jaramogi struggle until Kenyattaa dropped dead and Moi continued Kenyatta’s agenda to abuse democracy.
We do not know how this epic battle will end, but so far certain small battles have been won by Raila and CORD. They have reestablished their right to hold rallies and beaten back the dangerous concept being advanced by ouru and his supporters that opposition cannot directly go to the people but that they have to use the pre-rigged institutions such as IEBC and the parliament.
The opposition and Raila has a big fight on their hands to redefine this democracy because they do not have the money and the instruments of power that ouru has but they are the only hope this country has because if they do not succeed, Kenya will have to go to war first and destroy everything before we can built a just society since the people in power are hell bent on building a kikuyu dominated democracy which relegates the other tribes into 2nd class citizen status. This is recipe for chaos.
A stable democracy can only be created when the people believe that their is fairness and justice in the democratic and economic process. So far ouru is trying to create an apartheid political and economic system where the Kikuyus are at the top of the pecking orders then any tribe that he picks and then everybody else gets little crumbs. This is why the kikuyu on this board are united to protect their interest under ouru and the kalenjins are confused and all over the place. RV pundit is an example of how the Kalenjin are confused but his heart is in the right place when it comes to freedoms which is the biggest problem for the kikuyus because for them to preserve the system they want to create, they have to redefine and restrict these freedoms and manage them.
Kichwa Mbaya is a leading contributor to Political Debate in Kenya