Just before the most bizarre elections in US history on November 8, Donald Trump prepared his mob of followers for the then impending loss, boldly claiming the only reason he would lose would be through rigging in favour of his opponent, Hillary Clinton.
That, of course, was not true, besides the whining candidate ended up being elected as President, courtesy of the unique electoral system in the US that allows a candidate who did not win the popular vote to be sworn in as President if he wins the Electoral College vote.
Trump also won because many voters were exasperated with politics as usual and, therefore, wanted an outsider, inexperienced and tone-deaf as President. It was, and still is, an act of desperation. Americans are now living the very nightmare many were afraid of for electing Trump as President.
Voters acting in desperation to elect an unfit candidate is not the norm. Rather, it’s those seeking office, especially high office such as the presidency, who resort to acts of desperation to either gain or cling to power.
We’ve seen that unfold in Kenya many times, most notably in 2007, when elections were so flagrantly stolen, plunging our country into chaos and almost into a civil war.
When the opposition united and picked Raila Odinga as their flagbearer, you could almost touch the panic in Jubilee because the writing was on the wall that their days in power were numbered.
The fact that Jubilee has panicked is obvious: That they’re now headed into desperation is also obvious. Desperate people do desperate things.
Many examples of Jubilee’s acts of desperation abound but, for the sake of time, three stand out the most.
First, there was retaliation against Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho, when Jubilee realised he could not be cajoled or threatened to abandon his criticism of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s administration. In their act of desperation, they brought the state machine down on Joho’s head. This backfired.
When the High Court recently ruled that presidential election results at the constituency level announced by returning officers should be considered final, the allegedly reconstituted IEBC appealed this well-reasoned, constitutional and common sense court ruling, arguing that the suspect commission must be the final decider on who won what and where; a scheme we know has failed in each of the past election cycles, most notably and egregiously in 2007.
This appeal is the second major act of desperation in recent times as there’s no doubt that the IEBC did not independently decide to appeal this decision but, rather, did so under direction from those who put them there.
The Court of Appeal cannot but affirm the High Court decision which, as noted above, is a well-reasoned, constitutional and commonsensical decision to preserve the integrity of the electoral process and, more importantly, shield the vote from the machinations of those ready, willing and able to thwart the will of the people at the National Tallying Centre if history teaches us anything.
The third most recent act of desperation by Jubilee is its laughable effort to try and prevent NASA from receiving campaign funds from foreign donors.
This is despite the law allowing any political party to do so within certain parameters, while Jubilee loots and allows unlimited inflow of cash from all manner of foreign sources for itself.
Again, when desperate, people do desperate things. These are just but three most recent major examples.
There’s no doubt there is more to come but as Kenyans, we must be vigilant in identifying and pointing them out. More importantly, we must be prepared to tell Jubilee there’s a limit, beyond which they cannot go even with their acts of desperation for the sake of peace.
Samuel Omwenga is a legal expert and political commentator in the United States