By Murimi Mwangi
The two-horse-race cliché has dominated the presidential campaigns. The ODM team has already bestowed the reform tag on their horse and is rubbishing the G7 horse as a wagon of conformists of impunity.
However, this reformism-conformism gimmick is a lyric that the public must ignore since riders of both horses have a history of being merchants of impunity and none of them qualifies the title of a true reformist.
For starters, Uhuru Kenyatta has over history dirtied himself with the muck of impunity due to his relationship with all the post independent governments. He was a Moi project in 2002, despite being a political naïve then. It is widely believed that Uhuru never joined politics to serve the interest of the wide citizenry but to protect members of the elite class that had illegally amassed wealth during the Kenyatta and Moi regimes.
The unprecedented merger of KANU and other pro-Kibaki parties in 2007 into PNU was a deliberate attempt by Uhuru to remain politically relevant after his untenable loss to Kibaki in 2002. He did this with the hope of in inheriting the kikuyu chiefdom from Kibaki, which he has dully achieved despite having serious crimes against humanity in The Hague!
His rival horse rider, Raila Odinga’s credentials of reformism are pegged on his 7 years detention by president Moi, his vigorous campaign against the insubstantial 2005 constitution and eventually his efforts in acquisition of the new constitution. Ironically, Uhuru also rejected the 2005 draft and campaigned for the 2010 constitution alongside Raila. So why does Raila qualify to be a reformist for the same things that the alleged impunity-conformist also did?
Raila has also been acclaimed for his momentous role in bringing the lakeside nation into the Narc coalition of 2002 that trounced the 24 years of the despotic Kanu regime.
However, Miguna Miguna, in his memoir peeling back the mask claims that prior to Raila’s historical pronouncement, ‘Kibaki Tosha’, he was just from signing an MOU endorsing Nyachae’s presidential bid. This is a clear indicator of a wavering politician; an allegation that has also been confirmed by his former head of protocol Tony Gachoka.
Raila’s campaign strategy in the 2007 election to date still encapsulates serious suspicion. Muted allegations that he conducted the campaign based on a concealed agenda of 41 tribes against 1 (that fuelled the 2008 chaos), is a serious negatron of his alleged reformism.
Additionally, his occasional doublespeak on national matters also portrays a leader without a clear stand. In parliament he says MRC is a prescribed gang but at the Coast he has the guts to say that the armed hooligans wrecking havoc there can come to a round table with him and discuss peace!
At one time he says that ICC suspects should be locked up in Kamiti Maximum prison, but later on we hear he is in serious coalition talks with Ruto, one of the ICC suspects.
Paradoxically, both Uhuru and Raila claim that they would fast track the full implementation of the constitution upon election. However, for Uhuru to be given the green light to even contest the presidency a flawed integrity bill mutilating chapter 6 of the constitution has to be effected- that tells a lot about what would be his style of constitution implementation.
Raila’s promise of speedily implementing the constitution also sounds ridiculous. On one hand he wants to forge an alliance with Ruto, yet that can’t happen unless the integrity Bill is blemished to allow Ruto into the arena. Additionally, how will Raila Marshall his government to implement the constitution if he brings aboard Ruto who captained the rejection of the draft by the Kalenjin nation?
A true reformist is an indefatigable leader that not only stands by a single voice but who also walks their talk.
However, none of the two horses prognosticated as key contenders for the presidency pass the test of reformism! Perhaps we should select among the rest who have been discarded as insignificant by the polls.
The writer is a communication and media student at Maseno university firstname.lastname@example.org