The Day Odinga let me down: Ordinary relfections on Kenyan Elections


I’d like to believe that the Kenyan elections were somewhat free and fair judging to the previous standards of Kenya in regards to elections and broadly their handling of the electoral process from the start. I applaud them being Zimbabwean I must say , Kenya transitioned over the past five years through processes which one can follow more than what is happening in Zimbabwe. In a week I am expected to vote for a constitution I know nothing about. . I am afraid I can’t say the same for my country. We don’t respect process. At this point, I will express my disappointment and say I thought Odinga would win but he didn’t and was thrashed by a wide margin. Recognising this, we should note that these elections were not explicitly or rather out rightly rigged amidst the alarmist calls by one to many comrades who lost the struggle they thought they would win easily without uniting the tribes in Kenya. I feel that tribal issues have been the underlying factor of the results we got out of Kenya.

Now this post is not out to fuel hatred amongst the Kenyans and their different tribes. But it’s an offhand caution of the thoughts of a young woman who is scared for this nation and all the other African Countries going through transitions or rather those failing to go through their political transitions. We must learn from Kenya and watch them very intently. If my notion pointing towards tribal gymnastics had any part in influencing the outcome of this election then Kenya is in trouble and Africa has some real democratic shit to shovel out of its system. If I am wrong then the next 6 months need to prove me wrong. Kenya must prove me wrong.

The Day Odinga let me down- So after the violence which rocked Kenya some 5years back, we thought perhaps maybe they will be space for change and it was actually going to happen. Naturally as a Zimbabwean I was hoping that Odinga would win so that we have a message that is sent out to assure those of us without hope in political systems that change may come if proper political procedures are followed. I was hoping that it becomes a wave after Zambia. And deeply dreaming that young people would become a greater part of that revolution. This is what I thought. Tracking the Kenyan results was depressing, I don’t think anyone can pull off rigging with an 800 000 margin with an electronic voting system. It’s practically not possible. Odinga failed , being the candidate I would have wanted to lead Kenya as he was the most visible figure in Kenyan political agenda. He failed and we need to reflect and analyse his failures objectively. Forget the rig talk, critical conversations need to follow the Kenyan debate because I feel that it spills over its influence into other nations particularly Zimbabwe which has been borrowing concepts and ideas from Kenya at a close call. Let’s get rid of emotional sentiments and dig on what really happened to Kenya. Who/What  is  tipped to bring in the ideal change –the people, a specific tribe or the process of transition whether it was flawed or not?

Who needs the olive branch?

Uhuru offered Odinga an olive tree branch to his opponents which was not accepted by a single one of the presidential candidate indicating a surging energy of unacceptance. In this case I begin to question these movement for democracy entities. Are they going to mourn and groan over the lifetime of their politics and tell us that they are not moving g fast enough to democratise Africa because elections are being rigged (timely) in their face. Who started the rig talk? What was the intention of it all? I keep thinking that sometimes in Africa’s real politics we keep thinking of how we have been short changed, how they are beating and throwing us against the wall, we speak and go on top of mountains and lament. Never have I seen these democratic stalwarts on top of mountains speaking real strategy and action. They mourn all the time and reflective of apathy and their failure to come to the throne and deliver their rants, it seems they this cycle in African politics will forever stink of one party politics. Perhaps they should all line up at Freedom Square in Nairobi and accept the branch after all they opted to work in a divided Kenya.

 For five years, they preached peace and passively pointed towards unity not knowing that Africans will always value their own first. There is no way the Kikuyus were going to put Odinga in power and they happen to be the majority. I don’t know why the opposition expected this to happen. The dynamics of power and money are at play here. Kikuyus own most of Kenya and there were no possibilities of them letting that wealth grip go. In fact, it is a common trend in Africa and the politics is more about the money than the people. So why did we over look that? I have no idea what the other tribes have or own but I suggest that the Kenyan fight becomes less about who has the power but on who owns what .Yes explicitly like that. Money is power and that power shall remain in the hands of who have it. Odinga can dream on now.

Adding on, if elections have been presumably rigged can we make it about the people more than it is for the political parties? What are the Kenyans saying about the result? Can we reflect on the common conversation on the streets and the village? In wake of this, political leaders who rush to the people and seek sympathy should know better. The last thing that we expect from our leaders is for them to be cry-babies in our sight. Playing victim all the time when they are not building their strategy for attaining power enough. I hate it when I have to find myself constantly disappointed by those whom we expect to save us at least when they are outsmarted at the peril of their sweat. Odinga worked for the new Kenyan constitution and it did not work for him. God knows he tried to follow the trench without missing the ideal corners but today he emerges the loser. I hear the echoes of the same trend in Zimbabwe. I can almost predict the speeches which will be made in the near future in regards to this. They will grace podiums and say we were on the right track but the rules were bent etc. We, the people do not want to hear that nonsense. We are tired of it. Political leaders can outsmart each other not the people.

Post Kenyan election, Odinga should know better than to complain and disregard the fact that he ignored the elementary tribal factor and its impact in Kenya.  It’s not over yet for him but I think he should bank on the fact that it’s never going to be an easy humiliation to serve a man who was once your subordinate. He is on his own now.  

And a few words for Kenya, I think the people of Kenya are tipped to learn the hard way in the political period which they have entered. Uhuru Kenyatta is an echo of the previous systems we dare not remember. Here’s to hoping that the Kenyans will not re-live that memory. I am not saying that Odinga was going to be good leader, I am just saying they ought to watch their backs and this time beyond the political space….

Its time for Kenya to look past the tribal lenses before its too late.