Sunday, December 16, 2012

The New Political Face of Kenya

Peter Kenneth and Raphel Tuju
The new constitution gives the people of Kenya a golden opportunity to elect into public office people who represent a change of the political face of Kenya. Whether the electorate will avail themselves this opportunity, given the political parties alliances that have unfolded in the recent days, is not certain. To do this, they will have to vote for candidates outside these political alliances.

Martha Karua
The judiciary offers a good example of what change of leadership, through infusion of new blood, means. The appointment of Chief Justice Willy Mutunga and other new faces to the judiciary gave it a boost of the change of image it required. Today, the judiciary gradually is gaining the confidence of the people. If the other arms of the government, the legislature and the executive, are to have the confidence of the people, a change of the political leadership is need. This cannot happen if the electorate is going to recycle the same old politicians back into leadership of these institutions.

Prof. James Ole Kiyiapi
There are three compelling reasons why the political face of Kenya needs to change. Firstly, in order to end the domination of Kenyan politics by two families: The Kenyatta and Odinga families. The politics of Kenya since independence have revolved around these two families. The rivalries between the Jomo Kenyatta and Oginga Odinga dominated during the Kenyatta presidency and by proxy the Moi presidency. Their sons Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga, entered into the scene in 2002 and through proxy dominated the politics during Kibaki presidency too. Exit Kibaki and now it is full blown domination by the two sons. If in the next ten years Kenyans are to avoid the unfolding domination by these two families, a new face of leaders is required.

The second reason is to end the domination of Kenyan politics by KANU. KANU has ruled Kenyan in the last 49 years. The entry of NARC in 2002 and PNU-ODM coalitions in 2007 did not change KANU dominance as the new parties were off springs of KANU. To end KANU dominance Kenya needs a new face of fresh politicians who have had no flirtation with KANU in the past. The two main alliances fronting for the next elections, Jubilee alliance and CORD alliance are nothing new but reminants of KANU.

The third reason is to end the domination of Kenyan politics by tribal arithmetic and alliances. Voting in Kenya is tribal. The main ethnic communities tend to vote as a block for the candidate from their tribe. Even where they vote for other candidates, their choice of alliance is mainly determined by their tribal interests. The two main alliances, Jubilee and CORD are tribal in nature as they bring together tribal groupings in order to counter their rivals in other tribal groupings.

The analysis above begs the question - who are the new political face of Kenya? These are candidates who have nothing to do with the two dominant families, KANU off springs and tribal alliances. Can we find such candidates, especially in the presidential race? Yes. Peter Kenneth, Raphael Tuju, Martha Karua and James Ole Kiyiapi. These are the true new political face of Kenya. The electorate ignore these new leaders at your own peril.