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Uhuru/Kenya shines again but falling into Rail’s trap

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CHANGE OF GUARDS – The recent bloodless incident whereby the leader of the opposition coalition, NASA, Raila Odinga swore himself in as the People’s President of Kenya has added more credit to President Uhuru Kenyatta and Kenya as a country.  The security forces allowed tens of thousands of opposition supporters to exercise their freedom of movement from different parts of the countryside and assembling in the capital Nairobi for the function.  The said function was allowed to take place at the country’s Uhuru Park which is a public place and it ended without any incident of violence.  Save for a very few countries on the African continent, it is unimaginable for any African government to allow such.  That is how far civilised Kenya has gone with such unimaginable level of political tolerance.

In neighboring Uganda’s capital Kampala, for the last almost five years both the Independence Square at Kololo and City Square in the center of Kampala which are the equivalence of Nairobi’s Uhuru Park have been cordoned off by the security forces.  When the leader of the Opposition, Dr. Kiiza Besigye swore himself in from a secret location, the Museveni regime, acting on online video footage, brutally arrested him before charging him with treason.  Earlier he and the opposition had been accused of plotting to burn the city by torching fuel stations.  For Museveni, the act of swearing in amounts to terrorism and if Dr. Besigye had dared to publicly carry it out the same way Kenya’s Raila Odinga did, Kampala would have been littered with dead bodies.

From the time Kenya’s Uhuru Kenyatta accepted to travel to The Hague to face criminal charges before the ICC; the time he was exonerated by the ICC; non- suppression and curtailing of opposition with trumped up charges and illegal detentions; managing a violent free election campaign period; accepting a court of law verdict that invalidated his election victory; etc., he won the confidence of Kenyans, Africans and the international community.  However, isolated incidents like the closure of TV and radio stations that were airing out Odinga’s swearing in ceremony and the ongoing arrests of opposition politicians in relation to the same incident, will undoubtedly taint his and the country’s good reputation.  Whoever is advising President Uhuru over the ongoing crackdown does not wish Kenya well.  Recall, his excusable emotional reaction to the nullification of elections when he called the Chief Justice a Mukoora (thug) before vowing to ‘sort out’ the judiciary.  Consequently, Uhuru’s government could be falling into Raila Odinga’s trap.  Violent crackdown and curtailing of press freedom and freedom of expression and assembly is what the opposition has been missing.

On the other hand, Raila Odinga missed the opportunity to significantly swear himself in immediately the court of law annulled Uhuru Kenyatta’s first election.  By accepting a rerun and later pulling out before the polling day greatly discredited his political stature.  The question is which round of election is Raila Odinga claiming to have won?  If it is the first round, why did he celebrate the nullification by court and consented to a rerun?  If it is the second round, he did pull out before the polling day and thus he couldn’t have won an election exercise where he wasn’t a participant.

Therefore, the future of Kenya’s political stability and the political future of Raila Odinga and Kenya’s opposition is to be determined by the conduct of President Uhuru and his government towards the challenges paused by Raila Odinga and group.


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