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Friday, February 29, 2008

Kibaki makes a logical choice (and avoids military action)

But he had precious little options, didn't he? Ok, the "historic" power-sharing deal is now in the bag. So?

Forgive me if I sound a bit sceptical but honestly, we all know Kibaki—his record speaks for itself; he who once compared the clamour for multi-party to "cutting the Mugumo tree with a razor blade". The same Kibaki who trashed the MoU with LDP as soon as he was comfortably seated in State House, all the trappings of power at his beck and call. The same Kibaki who blatantly stole the 2007 Presidential Election, disenfranchising millions of Kenyans and effectively setting the country back a whole 17 years, not to mention the misery he has visited on the hundreds killed and thousands displaced as a direct consequence of this thoughtless act. The same Kibaki who now sits as a pretender to the throne. I'm sorry; I trust Kibaki only as far as I can throw him. I will start my celebrations only when a Constitutional amendment is in place to secure the gains made so far. It is good to note at this point the cautious congratulatory message from the US after the signing, with it's allusion to the "implementation" being "crucial", sentiments carefully repeated by Kikwete. It was tantamount to saying "We are still watching y'all... just try and make one false move!" But more about that later.

“We have a deal,” mediator Kofi Annan said. “Compromise was necessary for the survival of this country. They kept the future of Kenya always in their sights and reached a common position for the good of the nation.” The truth is that, not unlike the General Election and the disastrous Referendum, Kibaki has lost again. The truth has come to conquer, and never again will the country be at the mercy of selfish individuals. Apparently, the deal stipulates the office of an Executive Prime Minister and the sharing of cabinet posts based on each party's strength in parliament, as well as two deputy prime ministers; one for each side of the coalition. Did I hear someone say "Bomas Draft"? Also on the cards is a comprehensive review of the constitution, a 45-year-old relic Kenyans have been pushing to change since the 1990s because it gives the president nearly unchecked authority over the affairs of state. Oh, the joys of stealing an election!

Speaking after the signing of the document, the People's-President-turned-the-People's-Prime Minister was eloquent: "We have opened a new chapter in our history, from the era of confrontation to the beginning of cooperation," he said. "We should begin to ensure that Kenyans begin to celebrate and love each other, that we destroy the monster that is called ethnicity." So please step up, ODM, and take up your rightful place in the grand scheme of things.

All that said and done, what "magic key" did Kikwete carry with him to the mediation, after several prominent Africans failed so miserably, and Annan was on the verge of throwing in the towel and going home? Remember that in one of my earlier posts I alluded to a solution being found, come what may, and that the onus of an agreement has passed over our leaders? My sources reveal that Kikwete came armed with a special message from the Americans. You will remember that after dabbling momentarily in Kenya, Condoleeza Rice jetted straight to Dar es Salaam, where Bush and Kikwete were on high gear, prescribing a solution to the Kenyan crisis. This prescription is what Kikwete came to deliver to the recalcitrant Kibaki. So, are we a "sovereign nation"? You tell me. Another straw that broke Kibaki's back was Condoleeza Rice. Yes, the big woman from America, whose equal is not Martha Karua; or even Kibaki for that matter. We have reliably learnt that before jetting out to Dar es Salaam to meet with Jakaya Kikwete and Dubya, she laid it squarely on Kibaki, leaving absolutely no doubt in his mind that he would be held personally responsible if the Annan-led talks came a cropper. So what message did Kikwete bring? Plain and simple: "the planned military action is now ready to roll, Mr. 'President'. This is your last chance to save yourself." There are whispers that it was to be carried out under the auspices of the AU (whose new chairman is none other than Kikwete himself) and that Tanzania had a pivotal role to play in it. Now we all know why Kibaki and his hard-liners suddenly and uncharacteristically thawed out. Can somebody tell me where John "Rattlesnake" Michuki has been? Haven't heard from him for a while...

Which brings us to the story everyone is missing: what does the success of the mediation now bode for Traitor-in-Chief Kalonzo Musyoka? For him, recent developments could not have come at a worse time; what with him having been to Uganda just this week, for a mission only he and Kibaki (and now M7) know about. With all the dissent and party wrangles going on in his backyard, he has his hands full. And with the prospect of losing a job and being rendered irrelevant in the grand scheme of things, his self-destruction could not have come at a better time. At least he got a chance to taste the vice presidency, even if he's set to break the not-covetable record of "shortest-lived vice presidency"... he got more than his 600,000 odd Presidential votes entitled him to.

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