01 February, 2013

Was the AU Panel of Wise -Unwise on Kenya Pre-election Assessment?

Was the African Union Panel of the Wise and the COMESA/IGAD committee of elders unwise in their assessment of whether Kenya is ready for peaceful elections #choice2013 ?

A priori ,from the reporting of the Kenyan Daily Nation Article entitled "Kenya ready for peaceful elections-panel" it may seem so.But wait a minute Kenya's media houses have been known for sensational reporting was this perhaps one such instance?I cannot say that with certainty as the author actually quotes Dr Simbi Mubako of Comesa as having said "following our assessment, we get the impression that Kenyan people are ready to conduct these elections in a peaceful and free manner that is dignified"

I was just about to forcefully rebut  the opinion of the team with cogent evidence of a Country now waiting with anxious baited breath and properly so as evidenced in the violence, confusion,corruption,bribery and un-democratic  manipulation  witnessed during the recently held nomination primaries.The hard fact is that the Country and its populace is little or ill prepared for the task before it.
Common sense however dictated that i first read the  Communique from the team before i issued the rebuttal. A close look at the communique indicates that the committee has not given the Kenyan republic a clean bill of health as the head to the elections in March 2013.

While the Panel applauds "the strides made during the last 5 years to address some of the structural causes of the [2008] post election violence...the positive impact of the new Constitution and the growing confidence in key institutions that have undergone reforms,notably the judiciary and the security sectors" .It  urges that, and this is the point that " closer attention" be paid to "security sector,media role and responsibilities,civic and voter education,and the management of post election phase including transparency in tallying,professionalism in reporting and management of electoral victory and failure".Their opinion falls short of a clean bill of health, there is not even an iota of a conclusion that Kenya is ready.Rather the thinly veiled warning is for the Country and its institutions to tread carefully and watch out for pitfalls that have been identified within the one week period that the AU panel and committee of elders had to assess the state of preparedness of the Kenyan election year 2013.

In real sense they are addressing areas that many sensible and peace loving Kenyans are apprehensive have not been given due concern that they rightfully merit especially after Kenya being on the precipice of violence and anarchy at the last election.It is important to note that at present Kenya is still balkanized on a tribal and political basis. There is still great intolerance in various parts of the Country to political ideals at variance with those belonging political/tribal leaders from the particular regions.You can almost determine to a person their candidate of choice dependent on the region they come from.At the same time, the campaigns hardly focus on the real issues but on name calling,political vitriol, threats and dares and the likes of what was witnessed some years back save for a sniff of restraint due to the ICC snare.

A wise man once said ,"if you always do things the way you have always done-you will always get the same results you ve always had-in other words expect the same results" and that's true,The truth is even if the elections proceed with no major skirmish...deep in their conscious thoughts Kenyan are at a state of hostility and suspicion with each other based on such insignificant issue as tribe,language, colour or religion.A poor man would rather vote for a known thief simply because he or she belongs to his tribe rather than a person of impeccable conduct and above suspicion as 'Caesars wife' such choice simply based on  ethnicity is a sad state of affair.

As the Dutch/Jewish philosopher Baruch Spinoza(1632-1677) succinctly put it "Peace is not absence of war it is a virtue, a state of mind, a disposition for benevolence, confidence, justice" and might i add a state of mind and heart that within itself has no element of mistrust.To achieve that state of affairs, a higher and more honorable form of civic education needs to be undertaken but sadly it is beyond the scope of the current regime or human effort to attain that.

1 comment:

  1. There is a petition that people are signing to show their support for Kenyans voting peacefully at the upcoming election. It's called URGE KENYANS - VOTE IN PEACE. Please sign and spread the word:




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