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Uhuru's repeat poll blunder he may never recover from

Sunday November 05, 2017 - 03:53:05 in Latest News by Ahmed Editor
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    Uhuru's repeat poll blunder he may never recover from

    Uhuru Kenyatta will rue the day he decided – come rain or high water – that the IEBC had to conduct the repeat election on October 26. For him, and for Kenya, that day will live in infamy.

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Uhuru Kenyatta will rue the day he decided – come rain or high water – that the IEBC had to conduct the repeat election on October 26. For him, and for Kenya, that day will live in infamy.
Except for two days in a person’s life – the day one is born and the day of death – fewer days have been more consequential. That’s because Mr Kenyatta drew a line in the sand. He gambled and lost big. He made an epic blunder from which he won’t recover no matter what he does from here. His tenure at the top of the state – and his legacy – have been irredeemably shattered. I don’t know who thinks for, and advises, Mr Kenyatta.

But I do know this – he has lost any legitimacy to govern Kenya. Let me tell you why. Mr Kenyatta misdiagnosed his opponent. No doctor can successfully treat an illness if he doesn’t know what ails the patient. Mr Kenyatta and his underlings – especially William Ruto – have wrongly identified NASA’s Raila Odinga as their enemy. To them, Mr Odinga isn’t even an opponent. He’s Public Enemy Number One. Their congenital obsession with the man from Bondo has created the fog of war and robbed them of any strategic ability. They see apparitions of Mr Odinga everywhere they turn. They have nightmares about him. Like boxer Mike Tyson in his prime, Mr Odinga has psyched them out.

Mr Kenyatta and his acolytes, including his funders, don’t realise that while Mr Odinga is a phenom, he’s only the embodiment of something larger. Kenyatta and his brain trust need to figure out what’s that "something larger.” Mr Odinga is but only the immovable symbol of a people’s desire to be let 

This is a very painful pill for Jubilee to swallow. But as they say in America, politics ain’t beanbag – it’s not child’s play. It requires maturity, wisdom, and cold calculation. All three are absent in Jubilee. You can’t rely on the empty bloviation of the likes of Moses Kuria, Aden Duale, Mr Ruto, AG Githu Muigai, and Prof Kithure Kindiki for wise strategic advice.

Mr Kenyatta and Jubilee’s top honchos seem to believe one can rule Kenyans through chicanery and brute force. Some of the sycophants around him have even urged him to be a dictator. Prof Kindiki recently asked Mr Kenyatta to use KDF against Mr Odinga and NASA. These factotums remind me of those in the court of Hosni Mubarak just before the Arab Spring swept him out of power.

I don’t know whether it’s hubris, utter incompetence, or slow minds. I don’t know how anyone of average intelligence couldn’t have foreseen that a forced election – organised by captive IEBC Chair Wafula Chebukati with complicit commissioners and staff – would be totally rejected by the people of Kenya, not just Mr Odinga.

Mr Chebukati has exceeded all historic expectations for cowardice and incompetence. The numbers that he’s announced – on turnout and votes – stretch credulity. He announces one thing and then comes back and says another. He’s clearly a puppet with many puppeteers. He doesn’t know whether he’s coming or going. Kenyans have concluded that his numbers are fake.

In fact, Kenyans now believe that the August 8 election was more credible than the one on October 26. And that’s saying something because the August 8 was a total fraud. No sane person – domestic and international – believes that turnout for the October 26 election exceeded one-third of registered voters. In many counties, Mr Kenyatta received less than 10 per cent of the votes. This is how you spell illegitimacy.

Mr Ruto, without whom Mr Kenyatta wouldn’t be in power today, seems the most aggrieved by Mr Odinga. In a painful CNN interview on October 28, Mr Ruto came apart. He was unable to answer simple questions and form clear sentences in English. He was angry and loud. I was embarrassed a Kenyan leader could be so discombobulated before a worldwide viewership.

I guess the reason for Mr Ruto’s bizarre performance is that Jubilee doesn’t have a good story to tell. The CNN reporter exposed the illegitimacy of Mr Ruto’s outlandish assertions about voter turnout. He couldn’t make a case for the legitimacy of the election. Mr Ruto has taken a hard line because he believes any concessions for a free election would doom his chances in 2022.

Mr Kenyatta and Jubilee need to understand that their contest is against Kenyans, not Mr Odinga. The Jubilee regime will not be legitimate under the October 26 elections. Nor can it rule Kenyans with an iron fist. That won’t work. The October election was null and void – as the Supreme Court should rule soon. Kenya needs credible electoral reforms and a fresh election within 90 days.

The Standard

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