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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Theatre of the Absurd

Guess who's the new Official Leader of the Opposition? None other than Nicholas Kipyator Biwott. Yesterday afternoon, following the Registrar's acceptance of his list of KANU officials, the "Total Man" sauntered into Parliament and, to applause from the Narc Government's front bench, sat in the seat formerly reserved for Uhuru Kenyatta. In a shocking turnaround, the man who more than any other personified the corruption of the Moi era is now the one to lead the way in vetting the Kibaki administration.

According to the Standard, the Registrar of Societies, Bernice Gachegu, had initially turned down the request to ratify the election of Biwott as Kanu Chairman but succumbed to pressure from an unnamed Cabinet Minister. The registration thus appears to be the culmination of meetings between Mo1 and Kibaki and amounts to a Government attempt to appoint the Leader of the Opposition.

This needs to be opposed by everyone, not because we have love for KANU, but because it represents an existential challenge to our hard-won democracy. If the Government is allowed to get away with determining the leadership of opposition parties, then we are on our way back to the days of de facto one party rule. The ridiculous vista of government ministers applauding the (s)election of the man supposed to lead the way in scrutinising their actions speaks volumes. The government seeks a free hand to do as it will without the encumbrance of a parliamentary opposition.

The unnamed Cabinet Minister (Uhuru in his press conference implied it could be Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister Martha Karua) should be prosecuted for abuse of office and relieved of his/her position. The Registrar of Societies should likewise go. If she cannot stand up for what is right, then she doesn't deserve the job. The President should come clean and tell us what was discussed in the meetings with Mo1. If indeed this was on the agenda, then Kibaki should also go. The blood of the many who died in the cause of democratic governance calls out for this.

3 comments:

Shiroh said...

To be honest Gathara i think the thing is Politics is a game. And as the gambler says you gotta learn to play it.

Do you consider the likes of Mutula Kilonzo to be more evil than evil itself.

Uhuru is finished albeit too early in his career politically.

KANU has strong structures, ODM is an amorphous party.

Gathara said...

Shiroh,
This is not about politics. This is bigger than NARC, KANU or ODM. Politicians can be as dirty as they want provided they do not interfere with the system itself. Kibaki is undermining one of the raison d'etre for Parliament and Multi-party democracy. The former is supposed to serve as a check on Executive excess and the latter to encourage good government by providing political competition for power.

The Executive appointing the leaders of the opposition is the same thing as the members of one soccer team appointing the referee and captain of the side they are playing against. They may win, but in the process we all lose. We lose the very things that are supposed to safeguard us from Moi-era type rape and plunder.

Josh said...

Kinga na kinga ndipo moto uwakapo:

From now until the elections, it's game time.
Unfortunately, politicians on both sides at this time could care less about eroding the system. Everybody is worried about their survival ...

As Shiroh says, it is a game - i call it chess.

ODM guys are merely shocked that Kibaki (I suspect he's behind teh coup) has made the first move ... after all, si ODM was playing Queen side ....