Sunday, February 11, 2007

Promising Candidates? Don't You Believe It!

Why do Kalonzo Musyoka, Raila Odinga, Musalia Mudavadi, Wiliam Ruto and Uhuru Kenyatta want to be President of Kenya? Could they perhaps have some vision of how best this country can be governed for the befits of its citizens? Not if you believe Mbita MP Otieno Kajwang'. The Standard quotes him:
"Kalonzo’s supporters say he is the best, going by opinion polls. Mudavadi is being told he is a coward who left for Uhuru the other time so he must run to prove he is not. Raila’s people say he has struggled and supported other people for too long. The people of Rift Valley are investing in Ruto and he has to carry on. Uhuru is a party chairman, so if you tell him not to run, it is like killing his party."
The sad fact is none of these gentlemen is interested in my welfare (or yours, for that matter). They are too busy looking out for Numero Uno. The process of picking a presidential candidate offers a great opportunity for political parties to debate issues and work out their platforms. An opportunity that is being wasted. I expect that come election day, we will be inundated with half-baked pie-in-the-sky promises of the heaven that awaits us should we elect whoever is on the ticket. Promises that will surely not (and probably cannot) be kept as they were not the result of a deliberative process but were "roadside declarations" made with little thought of their implications.

Aren't these guys supposed to be better than the septuagenarians they are trying to remove from office?

The thought of 420,000 delegates converging in Nairobi from all over the country to select the party's candidate for President seems to be a recipe for chaos. Has anyone considered the logistics of coordinating such a huge gathering? Where would they all meet? How would they vote? Where would they sleep? Witness the fiasco that was the World Social Forum. And that was less than 100,000 people. However, I doubt that the party owners, making decisions in the luxury of 5-star hotels, lose any sleep over this.

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