Thursday, February 7, 2008

Which Way ODM?

Let us face facts here. You should find this assertion rather simplistic and naive, but in my view, the talks in Nairobi are aimed at "baby-sitting" ODM as Kibaki settles into his seat. I may be wrong, but listen to the latest word from Annan: under the present circumstances in Kenya, a re-run of the Presidential vote is not feasible for at least one year. Now, this statement comes after he has received ODM's evidence as to how the Presidential tally was rigged. Prior to this, Kalonzo, that pretty face from Masaku, is stomping world capitals promising that peace has returned in Kenya, and Kibaki is in control, and chairing IGAD.
Meanwhile, ODM is being told by PNU that, indeed, ECK membership messed up, and will be reconstituted. Secondly, ODM is being advised by "alien friends" to swallow the bitter pill and take ministerial positions (Agriculture and Fisheries!) in a Kibaki Government (Coalision Arrangement!) as a new constitutional order for 2012 is being worked under WAKO, Karua and Parliament. To show that they are serious, these Western Friends have given a number of ODM MPs (and PNU too) DO-NOT-ADMIT cards so that they accept a coallition arrangement.
ODM has been trapped; if it walks off City Hall in a huff, the label "Rebel" will follow it quickly. It will be miraculous for ODM to leave these talk as a solid entity: It accepts a coalition, and it dies as a Party of any relevence in 2012, and multi-party democracy with it. It walks off in protest, and the country burns with it, which ODM will not do.
I have known African dictators who gleefully inspected guards of honor mounted by skulls and bones. The PNU band appears to be the dangerous sweet-talking type that can declare that there are floods in Garissa in the middle of a drought. This PNU band will not compromise its position, and will be willing to sit it out long and play the plight of IDPs in Kibera and Rift Valley to the international media. That land has become the contentious matter makes this scenerio the more likely (Look at Zimbabwe).
In the unfolding tragedy, the noblest thing ODM will do is to decide that too much suffering has visited the people; and that it does not want "a bride with blood on her hands," and becomes a formidable opposition in parliament. For this to happen, the leadership and MPs must be in it together, and the people must be willing to join them on this long journey to 2012. Bitter? Yes. But it is for the same reason that our men do not mourn the deaths of infants.

JR Alila

No comments: