DISHARMONY

Uhuru’s quest for unity unconvincing

In Summary
  • Perhaps he thought that by forcing different leaders to think the same way he was fostering unity
  • The truth is, such are the proclivities of tyrannical and dictatorial rule
President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House, Nairobi.
President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House, Nairobi.
Image: PSCU

President Uhuru Kenyatta seems to have harboured a false illusion about how to unite the country. Perhaps he thought that by forcing different leaders to think the same way he was fostering unity. The truth is, such are the proclivities of tyrannical and dictatorial rule.

In his first term in office, the President’s coalition enjoyed a rare majority in both the National Assembly and the Senate. And the absolute majority allowed him to do whatever he wanted in the House, even promulgating bad laws that the courts resoundingly impugned.

Such repudiation and the boldness of the courts led to frosty relationship between the Judiciary and the Legislature on one hand but more so between the Judiciary and the Executive. 

All these capped by the infamous “revisit” remark signified a deliberate attempt to control the levers of government and by extension the people. Roping in the opposition to do government bidding therefore became a necessity.

Today we find ourselves in a much more precarious situation than before, thanks to selfish leaders and citizenry more inclined to looking at issues through narrow ethnic and parochial lenses.

With appointments in key government institutions not only ethnically skewed but dished out on the basis of friendship or sycophancy, it is almost impossible to convince the people that efforts at uniting the country will bear fruit.

Parliament, which could have acted as the people’s vanguard, is more willing than ever to listen to directives from outside. Party positions have upstaged the members’ conscience and duty to the people.

The opposition leadership swapped roles through auctions they disguised as “unity and peace crusades” with enticements and hollow sloganeering couched in clever concepts such as constitutional review becoming the new normal.

When matters that in normal circumstances would need consensus, are railroaded like is happening with the BBI, then waiting to be told the dangers lying therein will be akin to taking a rest at the jaws of a sleeping crocodile hoping that when it wakes up you will get a smile.

Economic and political analyst