Sunday 18 November 2012

Ngunjiri Wambugu responds to Uhuru Kenyatta on elections

Two comments by Uhuru Kenyatta have come to my attention.

The first one is how Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta keeps comparing his 2002 defeat in the Presidential race with the 2007 general election dispute between PNU and ODM. On more than one occasion he has suggested that whereas he conceded defeat in 2002 for the sake of the country, those who refused to do the same in 2007 directly led to the post election violence that left over a thousand dead, and millions displaced. Basically what Uhuru Kenyatta is saying is that he believes that PNU won the last election, and ODM refused to do what KANU had done in 2002, i.e. concede defeat. On this basis he argues that ODM is politically responsible for the violence of 2007/08.

The facts are that in 2002 Uhuru Kenyatta got 1,836,055 votes as compared to Mwai Kibaki’s 3,647,658 votes. This means Uhuru lost by close to two million votes. This also means that whether he had conceded or not, it was clear to literally everyone that he had lost the elections. There is no way anyone was going to the streets even if he had refused to concede defeat.

On the other hand in 2007 Kenya had to form a Commission to investigate the 2007 general election results. This Commission, headed by Justice Johann Kriegler, stated that it was not clear whether Kibaki had actually gotten the 4,584,721 votes that had been used to declare him the winner over Raila Odinga, who accumulated 4,352,993 votes. This difference of around two hundred thousand votes was enough to cause tension even in a free and fair election. In a situation where, to quote the commission "the conduct of elections was so materially defective that it is impossible to establish true or reliable results for the presidential and parliamentary elections’, it became the basis of violence. The commission went on to say that although in there was room for honest disagreement as to whether there was rigging of the presidential results, the answer was irrelevant as the recorded and reported results were so inaccurate as to render any reasonably accurate, reliable and convincing conclusion impossible.

However Uhuru Kenyatta would want us to believe that he knows who won, and who lost the elections. He would also want to point fingers at the person who is to blame for the lost lives and property, as well as the stain to the national fabric of Kenya that is the 2007 post election violence, despite the fact that he has been confirmed as having a case to answer at the Hague for it. He also forgets that it is due to the un-certainty of the 2007 election results that he is a Deputy Prime Minister of Kenya.

I also see something even ‘darker’ than mere ‘forgetfulness’ in this statement. One would wonder why Uhuru Kenyatta seems determined to re-kindle the very argument that led to the 2007 post election violence a few months to another general election. Is he trying to recreate the political environment that led to the 2007 blood-bath? Why would he want to raise the basis of a conflict that led to over 1,300 dead Kenyans, over 3,000 raped women, over 600,000 displaced Kenyans at a time when there is no reason to do so? What is his focus in doing this? What does he want to achieve?

Incidentally maybe Uhuru does not realize that his preferred running mate for the 2013 general election has stubbornly stuck to the argument that the 2007 post election violence was a spontaneous reaction to a stolen election. As far as William Ruto is concerned the 2007 post election violence is directly related to PNU refusing to concede defeat at the hands of ODM. I would like to see Uhuru take his argument to a public rally in William Ruto’s political backyard.

What Uhuru Kenyatta is trying to do is very dangerous for Kenya especially because there is no similarity between him accepting what was essentially a resounding defeat in 2002, and the election fiasco that was the 2007 general election. As far as I am concerned, (and I voted for PNU in 2007) Uhuru is playing a very dangerous game of inciting Kenyans back to the post-2007 political climate in his attempts to build a political following towards the next general elections. He must be told off by every Kenyan who wishes to see a peaceful election in 4 months.

My second concern is on his comments about all Mt Kenya joining TNA. Why would Hon Kenyatta assume he can tell leaders like Hon Martha Karua and Hon Kiraitu Murungi, who were fighting against Former President Moi and the KANU juggernaut when he was in political diapers, which party to join in order to win in the next election? Political hubris is a dangerous thing.

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