Ibrahim Mwathane: Why the old order can't deliver

COLUMNISTS HAVE CHURNED out commentaries pointing out that our current political elite is mainly driven by self-interest and self-preservation — that they are hardly interested in good governance or a buoyant economy.

It is a fact that they have trained their eyes on totally different targets — themselves, their future and that of their families and friends. Kenya comes second.

But with your vote and support, never mind its ethnic nature, you provide the fodder and bridge to their destination.

Otherwise how does anyone justify this newfound friendship and ability to agree to strangulate our country with this bloated Cabinet?

Because a friend can’t be left out. Community “A”, which offered support, must have representation. “So and so” cannot be dropped, he helped us fight it out when things got tough, they say in an attempt to justify their decisions.

But where will Kenyans get the money to pay the “lucky” men and women? Not from our hard earned tax money?

Strange how things work out. Some politicians protested; some even offered to be left out of the Cabinet, but no one would listen. Religious leaders protested, but their appeals made no difference.

Members of the civil society took to the streets in protest, taking with them the courageous Maina Kiai and Nobel laureate Wangari Maathai — not even that helped. The business community made appeals, which were never heard. Employers and workers added their voices, but those, too, were ignored.

Kenyans consulted over radio voiced their displeasure with the intention to form a bloated Cabinet. In offices and social places, Kenyans were united in calling for the expeditious naming of a “small” Cabinet, not bigger than 25, in recognition of hard economic times.

NOW THAT THE POLITICIANS HAVE defied all these calls from people who put them in office, have they not invalidated themselves? From whom will they continue to draw authority?

What I predicted earlier in these columns has come to pass — that in the final team, besides the few faces fished from Kanu to reward its support to PNU, the old 2003/04 Narc team will be back to run Kenya. Then I argued that the ODM/PNU contest was more a revenge-driven duel over promises breached than one driven by ideology.

And here we are. The old players are back on a common table. There are few fundamental ideological differences between the two on how to govern and grow Kenya.

We know that Mr Kibaki and Mr Raila Odinga kept consulting their respective political camps. And each dug in to ensure inclusion. So, Kenyans now know the truth: That the political crop, save for a very small group that feels let down, is out for political self-preservation.

The free secondary education can wait, fixing the infrastructure in the North can wait, and the promised 10 per cent economic growth rate can wait as well.

Yes, indeed, even the 24-hour economy can be put on hold. The internally displaced persons, who are shouting and trying to burst their way into town, must wait. The money must first be committed to a politically convenient Cabinet. On this, the political chiefs have agreed. None can be absolved. For this they will politically pay.

Mr Mwathane is a consultant on surveying and land information management

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