Political cesspool stirs as Jubilee starts dumping
- Our politics revolves around who controls the levers that determine the presidency and their capacity to dish out privileges to less powerful but important kingpins.
- In between elections, the absolute minimum will be done to address the health, education, employment and other critical concerns of Kenyans.
The cesspool that is Kenya’s politics is astir again as the Covid-19 shock starts to wear off, with President Uhuru Kenyatta finally starting to shake up the Jubilee Party and wrest control from his deputy William Ruto.
Regrettably, it is the start of a battle that is of little benefit to the majority of Kenyans confronting life and death situations in the devastation Covid-19 is leaving in its wake, the floods and the inevitable starvation that will follow.
The script is not complicated. It started with the Senate leadership change that was forced through by an apparent party decision taken at State House.
It has been claimed the meeting was boycotted by a number of senators in the DP’s camp, denying it the majority stamp it required to effect the changes.
But that did not stop the decision from going through and being accepted by Senate Speaker Kenneth Lusaka.
Angered by the effrontery of nominated senators he felt should have come to the State House meeting, the party boss now wants to eject them and further weaken the grip of the DP on the Senate.
Party Secretary-General Raphael Tuju and Vice-Chairman David Murathe have been candid that the changes are a clean-up of the party to teach Dr Ruto a lesson and deny him that vehicle as his ride to power in 2022.
We can expect that Parliament will be the next stop for the fumigators, after perhaps a detour through Cabinet.
The President is reminding his deputy that even if they were elected on a joint ticket and that the latter got an opportunity to propose about half of Cabinet and other senior appointments in government, true power resides in only one person.
And that for a deputy to imagine even for a moment that he can have a view that is different from that of his boss is extremely naive and dangerous.
Just as the game plan is now clear, the names of the people that may be targeted are known.
Inevitably, we are going to see a stampede to court for interventions citing illegalities based on failure to follow party procedure.
Court decisions will be ignored and it will not be the first time. The President is still sitting on appointments of superior court judges months after the Judicial Service Commission nominated them and a court ordered that the President should appoint them.
This disregard for the law continues to be an extremely dangerous virus in our political system as it tears away any confidence the public have that they enjoy the protection of the law in case they need it.
And so is the denial of service to the public. If the ministers for Lands, Energy and Water and a bunch of principal secretaries are targeted, as has been speculated, it is dumb to expect that they will focus on executing their assignments with any diligence.
They are too busy trying to play the survival game by pledging loyalty to the President, or are resigned to their fate.
What we are seeing yet again is the complete disconnect between Kenya’s political reality and wananchi’s priorities.
Our politics revolves around who controls the levers that determine the presidency and their capacity to dish out privileges to less powerful but important kingpins.
Mr Kenyatta and Mr Raila Odinga have forged a working alliance that gives them control of the path to the presidency in 2022.
They are now bringing in useful props with name recognition like Kalonzo Musyoka, Isaac Ruto and Gideon Moi. I am certain overtures have been made towards Musalia Mudavadi and Moses Wetang’ula.
NO SERVICE CENTRE
This game of building numbers, which Dr Ruto is expected to counter with his own moves, has nothing to do with improving the lives of those Kenyans that make up the numbers.
In between elections, the absolute minimum will be done to address the health, education, employment and other critical concerns of Kenyans.
When will these games end? Not until we find a formula to dilute the presidency to being a service centre, not an imperial court that protects the privileged.
The writer is a former Chief Editor of the Nation Media Group and is now Managing Partner for Blue Crane Global. ; @tmshindi