Kenya Politics: Politics of Diversionary Tactics

Kenyans got into 2009 an angry lot. Most of the anger was directed to the grand coalition of Kibaki and Raila for failing to rise to the occasion.

Jamhuri day celebrations of December 12, 2008 were supposed to capture the mood of Kenyans against the grand coalition were it not for the media hijacking of the Kenyan people’s cause with the replacement of the original cause for that of media bill revolt.

The people-driven agenda that the Kenyan people wanted their leaders to take note of comprised of unbearable standards of living, escalating food prices, high transport and fuel costs, general hard economic conditions, poor leadership, corruption in government and delayed reform agenda.

During the celebrations, Kibaki and Raila tried unsuccessfully to delay the people-driven agenda by trumpeting the issue of the new constitution that they were to give Kenyans in the new year. Kenyans no longer care much about a new constitution as they care about the pressing needs of survival and probably a brand new leadership devoid of Kibaki and Raila. The Christmas and New Year festivities slowed the people-driven agenda which was gaining momentum at a rapid pace to the relief of Kibaki and Raila.

The people-driven agenda was aptly picked up in 2009 with more corruption scandals in government especially on maize the staple food of many Kenyans, famine and extra-judicial killings by police and was putting Kibaki and Raila on the spot for failed leadership until now. It was becoming embarrassing for the two principals as witnessed when religious leaders blasted the two in a public fund-raising function.

However, in a span of one week, Kenyans attention has been diverted from their people-driven agenda to a Raila Kibaki agenda.
  • Kibaki did his part by focusing Kenyans on who is and who is not his wife on national television. He did injustice to the KCSE results announcement which needed more attention then. The nation needed to debate on failing educational standards but were denied this for the president was in a foul mood.
  • Raila and his ODM brigade did their part by calling on Koffi Annan to help them renegotiate of the National Accord for they need more power and political positions for those who are their wives, sons, daughters, immediate relatives and those who are not their wives. This call came three days after ODM pentagon member, William Ruto had told off Koffi Annan for frequent meddling with Kenya Affairs
  • The rest of the PNU brigade, in characteristic fashion, told their ODM counterparts to take a walk if they are discontent and the to and fro accusations kept Kenyans busy off their problems. Kalonzo and his party ODM-K, also tried to contribute to the diversion of Kenyan minds but their voice was drowned
The extra-judicial killings debate, Mungiki demonstration and the murder of Oscar foundation officials just made sure that Raila and Kibaki can peacefully rest from the wrath of Kenyans; for Kenyans have a short memory for now.

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