Cord protests, renowned political analyst Mutahi Ngunyi believes, have nothing to do with the incompetence of the IEBC. According to him, they are simply part of a wider scheme to discredit all arbitrating institutions as we approach elections so as to legitimise mass action and guarantee a stake in the next government should Raila lose.
As far as Ngunyi’s politics goes, far from the widely perceived position that Raila wanted UhuRuto jailed at The Hague, his desire was to actually see them freed as this would allow him to sell his own version of the “ICC is compromised” narrative by pointing out UhuRuto’s non cooperation and the ICC’s “lack of bite.”
Second was to bury any notions of IEBC’s impartiality by knowingly presenting “fake signatures” to the Commission on the Okoa Kenya referendum, with the hope of winning with the adoption of its motion by the IEBC, or winning with the denial of the right to proceed to referendum by the Commission. The protests, according to Ngunyi, are meant to legitimise this outcome.
The final play was to totally annihilate the Supreme Court by presenting it as an irredeemably corrupt, which not only deliberately and unfairly handed the winner’s medal to UhuRuto in 2013, but also as one that could not be trusted with doing otherwise in 2017. To do this, all Raila had to do was to create the Tunoi bribery scandal whilst, just to dispel curiosity, taking out a senior Cord politician, the Nairobi Governor, as collateral.
The importance of the likes of Prof Makau Mutua and David Ndii to this grand scheme doesn’t bypass Ngunyi either. Borderline defamation, he dismisses them as opposition foot soldiers whose intention is to set up an intellectual platform upon which a Raila presidency will be delivered.
In short, Ngunyi theorises that Raila plans to reject the results of the upcoming elections on the pretext that they were manipulated, take to the streets with the excuse that the courts cannot properly resolve election conflict and, amidst the anarchy, demand a stake as Prime Minister in what will be another “nusu mkate” government.
The good professor would have us believe that Cord is actually using the masses’ support to advance its own selfish political interests, and that they raise no legitimate questions worth addressing, with the man (Raila) hell bent on becoming president at whatever cost. Granted, these protests may not enjoy national support, yet lest we forget, neither have the courts nor the IEBC covered themselves in glory.
The 2013 presidential petition was thrown out on technicalities. While sentiment was unanimous that the commission had messed up in large part, the court erroneously refused to be guided by volumes of opposition evidence that would have perhaps given us a perspective on the nature and extent of this commission’s mistakes. And he is not alone.
Pro-government politicians, churches and a host of other political commentators have called for the ouster of the IEBC. If Ngunyi is right, then these persons, as well as leading lawyers, such as George Kegoro, should also be condemned to the Raila bandwagon.
Ngunyi’s assessment of Ndii’s “separatist notions” is flawed as well. Far from favouring Raila, separation would actually leave him as the president of Luo Nation only, a position I am not sure is a priority given that he already holds it de facto.
He accuses others of being pawns and political lapdogs, but it’s hard to see his own independence if his advisory positions in the UhuRuto government as well as “stellar mentions” in ethnic profiling sagas, not to mention the Anne Waiguru corruption scandal, are anything to go by.
On the ICC, it’s simply absurd of a man of Ngunyi’s standing to even insinuate that Raila nominated suspects to the ICC when we all know that the names came from Waki – unless we are horrifyingly uninformed. Not only so; if Ngunyi is to be believed, wouldn’t it have made much more political sense for Raila to support the acquittal of ICC suspects, and endear himself to a few Kalenjin souls in the process, whilst seeing him achieve his eternal purpose of muddying the ICC as a bonus?
As far the history of elections in Kenya goes, it’s not hard to see where Raila is coming from. Ngunyi could be right, which would make Raila as a shrewd, power-hungry politician who has succeeded in blinding us all. Then again, he could be ‘consulting’ for someone. Be that as it may, institutions that need reforming must be reformed. While Raila’s motives could be ill-intentioned, his logic is quite sounds.