For the current crisis to be resolved, it has to be confronted
By Richard Mammah
Kenya, Africa’s leading economy on its eastern flank is walking a dangerous path today and Africa should be alarmed.
The elections that were held several weeks ago and its follow-up re-run contest are the issues. The main opposition National Super Alliance, NASA bloc that is led by former prime minister, Raila Odinga has not only rejected the outcome but has currently proceeded on a series of resistance initiatives to press its insistence that both the results and its projected outcome must not stand.
On its part, the ruling Jubilee Alliance that is led by incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta is determined to not only proceed with taking up what it is calling ‘the confidence reposed in it by the electorate,’ but it is also insisting that the opposition should fall in line or else?
And that is the issue.
At the moment, NASA has embarked on a course of mobilising county legislatures to pass resolutions rejecting the polls outcome. Some have already done so even as it is also prosecuting a countrywide commercial products ban, having targeted the products of several businesses that it says are in cahoots with the Uhuru Kenyatta team.
According to NASA principal, Musalia Mudavadi, the initiative to get county legislatures to void the elections outcome was ‘informed by the constitutional provisions allowing Kenyans to exercise sovereignty directly.’ The end game, he revealed is ‘a planned consultative forum and national people’s assembly convention that will deliberate on the status and future of the country.’ Then there is equally talk of subsequently proceeding to call for a referendum.
Analysts fear that without even using the words at the moment, all of these developments could eventually snowball into calls for secession in the country even as they wonder on how practicable this would be given that Kenya has – for the better part of the past 54 years since gaining independence – been run as a centrally administered unitary state to all intents and purposes. This is even without prejudice to the recent constitutional reforms that led to the promulgation of a new constitution in the past few years.
However, even as the current crisis lingers, at the back of everyone’s mind is the yet very raw fact that just about a decade ago, very serious post-election violence had wracked the nation. Issues got so bad that the determination of that conflict had to be taken to the doorsteps of the International Criminal Court, ICC. With even that outcome yet to be concluded, the very clear charge now is that something must be done today to bring things under control and to guarantee that Kenya would not walk through that most debilitating path again.
For come to think of it, how many conflicts can a single nation withstand? Let the African Union, AU rise to the occasion today and hastily bring both parties to the negotiating table.
Kenyan Opposition/NASA leader, Raila Odinga