"NO CHANCE"

MAKODINGO: Dear Oka, spare Kenyans the pain of a presidential rerun

Presidential rerun will only worsen this pain, may end up costing our economy billions.

In Summary

• Any unbiased observer will tell you that the so-called Oka principals have no chance of reaching this feat in the August poll either collectively or on their own. 

• A presidential rerun will only worsen this pain and may end up costing our economy billions in a lost activity besides the actual money required to conduct the elections. 

ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi, Wiper's Kalonzo Musyoka and Kanu's Gideon Moi during a meeting with Mt Kenya tycoons on October 7, 2021.
ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi, Wiper's Kalonzo Musyoka and Kanu's Gideon Moi during a meeting with Mt Kenya tycoons on October 7, 2021.
Image: MERCY MUMO

It is an open secret that the stated aim of the fringe candidates in One Kenya Alliance (Oka) is to run and ensure neither Raila Odinga nor William Ruto wins the August 9 Presidential Elections in the first round and hope that they can negotiate with them.

As per our Constitution, a candidate must garner at least 50 per cent plus 1 of all votes cast and at least 25 per cent of the votes cast in at least 24 of the 47 Counties in Kenya.

This is not a mean feat to achieve.

Any unbiased observer will tell you that the so-called Oka principals have no chance of reaching this feat in the August poll either collectively or on their own.

Only Deputy President Dr William Ruto and ODM Party Leader Raila Odinga have support diverse and significant enough to meet that criteria.

And it is safer to say that save for a major disaster, one of them will take the oath of office to be Kenya’s fifth President.

Our General Elections are already one of the most expensive in the world with the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) asking for nearly Sh50 billion to conduct this year’s elections.

With economic activity virtually grinding to a halt in the run-up to all our elections and sometimes longer if there is a dispute, the National Treasury will be hard-pressed to find this money, leave alone an additional Sh10 billion required to conduct a Presidential re-run should it come to that.

And in the event of a Presidential re-run, matters are complicated further.

For the over two months that it takes to determine a Presidential Petition and conduct another election, the whole country literally comes to a standstill.

The already stretched school calendar will be disrupted again given that public schools are used as polling stations with parents of children in boarding schools shouldering an even bigger burden of getting transport money for their children.

A lot of investors are already jittery about putting money into this economy at the moment with the uncertainty of the elections looming large.

The result is more jobless youth being released into an already severely depressed job market that is just now beginning to recover from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

A presidential rerun will only worsen this pain and may end up costing our economy billions in a lost activity besides the actual money required to conduct the elections.

Practically, an election period that should ideally end by mid-August will take up the whole of September and October with companies and institutions having slightly over a month before the festive season kicks in.

That would be a full half-year lost given that the official campaign period begins in June.

Which begs the question, why would OKA Principals be so hell-bent on taking us to a Presidential rerun this country cannot afford?

Why would a few selfish individuals who know they have no chance of coming anywhere close to winning in the General Elections insist on prolonging the pain of the same Kenyans they purport to care so much about?

When he is not telling us about his mythical “safe” pair of hands, Amani National Congress’ Musalia Mudavadi is always telling Kenyans that he wants to put money into their pockets (with vague platitudes of exactly how he intends to do this!).

Why would a man whose stated desire is to put money into our pockets want to go it alone in an election he stands zero chance of winning to force a rerun that will literally stop Kenyans from making and putting money into their pockets?

Is his entitlement worth costing Kenya and Kenyans hundreds of billions of shillings in missed opportunities?

Is he so desperate to see his photo on the ballot paper that he does not care what happens to the same Kenyans that will gleefully ignore it to vote for his opponents?

Is his desire to whip Luhyas into line, presumably to deny his nemesis, Raila Odinga, their votes, so strong that he does not care about the millions of jobless Luhyas whose suffering his misadventures will exacerbate?

One may understand Kalonzo Musyoka’s reluctance to join either of the big two without a solid plan of how he and his supporters will benefit given that his usually solid core support could easily hit the two million mark.

But even he must surely know that there is no room for him to pitia katikati yao as he did in 2007 to become Kibaki’s Vice President.

Our Constitution now requires each Presidential Candidate to choose their running mate and would be Deputy President long before they go to the ballot and cannot change them after they win.

With his core support mostly intact, he has a very strong hand to play in the upcoming elections and could very easily negotiate for at least a third of the next administration with a first pick should he not be the Deputy President.

Why is he allowing his otherwise joyriding friends in OKA to derail what could be a very lucrative election outing?

The less said about the other OKA “principals” the better.

And to the two people either of whom President Kenyatta will hand over the country, Raila Odinga and William Ruto, could you please get these OKA people to the negotiating table now and save us from the circus and the pain that may come with a presidential rerun?

We are tired of endless elections and our socio-economic life cannot withstand nonsensical presidential reruns!

Let us have a new President in the first round, whether or not the person I vote for wins!