• Azimio is making far-off accusations against the IEBC, the Supreme Court, President William Ruto and the Kenya Kwanza of having “stolen” Raila's victory in the August polls
• They further claim not to recognize President Ruto’s government, which was duly elected in one of the most constitutional-compliant and egalitarian elections
Azimio leader Raila Odinga has announced a series of rallies in dissent against the Kenya Kwanza government.
These are accompanied by far-off accusations against the IEBC, the Supreme Court, President William Ruto and the Kenya Kwanza administration of having “stolen” his victory in the August 2022 polls. They further claim not to recognize President Ruto’s government, which was duly elected by Kenyans in one of the most constitutional-compliant and egalitarian elections in the history of our nation.
Azimio is making all these claims after voters exercised the highest degree of patience and restraint awaiting the due processes by both the IEBC and Supreme Court. Azimio fully participated in these constitutional processes as stipulated in the 2010 Constitution and other presidential elections laws.
It is, therefore, highly deceitful and a depiction of total contempt for the rule of law and constitutionalism by the Azimio leadership to attempt to undermine our fast-growing democracy. The Supreme Court pronounced as “hot air” the evidence presented before it as it upheld the Kenya Kwanza victory. While Article 37 of the Constitution guarantees every person the right, peaceably and unarmed, to assemble, to demonstrate, to picket, and to present petitions to public authorities, this right is not absolute.
Every Kenyan citizen should enjoy provisions of Article 37 bearing in mind their civic responsibility to live up to the national values and principles under Article 10. These include patriotism, national unity, the rule of law, democracy and participation of the people.
It is, therefore, a desertion of civic duties by Azimio to disregard all the constitutional and legal processes that birthed the Kenya Kwanza government in a rigorous legal process. It is national joke that a coalition that fully participated in the most compliant electoral processes is undermining the outcome of the very processes they initiated.
The rule of law is founded on the principle that governmental authority is legitimately exercised only in accordance with written and publicly disclosed laws. These laws are adopted and enforced in accordance with established procedural steps that are referred to as due process. Azimio indeed initiated and submitted to these due processes while Kenyans patiently awaited the outcome of the same. They are therefore estopped from disputing an outcome they would have happily embraced should it have been in their favour.
Constitutionalism describes the system of government regulated by the supreme law of the land, in our case the 2010 Constitution. Niccolò Machiavelli, who is credited as the father of modern constitutionalism, opined that government should operate through known and stable laws. This argument is further propagated by John Locke in his 1690 work ‘Two Treatises of Government’ which cites the principles of Constitutionalism to include separation of powers, responsible and accountable government, popular sovereignty, independent judiciary, individual rights and rule of law. Kenyans must be worried by the Azimio’s attempt to tamper with such sacred ideals used in all progressive modern societies.
Kenya otselgprides as a model democratic society and economic powerhouse within East Africa. This is due the sacrifices made by our forefathers in fighting oppressive and opaque regimes, including the fight against the white colonizers. It is, therefore, critically important that all political parties and coalitions strictly observe these very core ideals that have upstretched Kenya’s position as the big brother in the region.
It defeats logic and rationality for Azimo to act civilly during and after elections and then want to dent the nations progress in constitutionalism and the rule of law five months after elections.
President Ruto has exhibited great magnanimity since he was sworn-in as the fifth president. He clearly announced his commitment to serve all Kenyans, despite whom they voted during his inaugural speech. Pragmatic actions of goodwill have followed the President’s actions of visiting Azimio strongholds to assure them of equal treatment under his leadership. These visits have seen announcement and unveiling of transformative projects in these areas.
These projects are meant to bring economic progress to people who are eager to achieve economic freedom and stability. This is what the Kenya Kwanza government is exactly working towards. Public rallies will neither serve the core interests of majority Kenyans nor the future of this nation. Every Kenyan is under civic duty to support President Ruto as he determinedly works to stabilize our economy. The opposition can do their part by objectively criticizing and advising government within the confines of established ideals of a contemporary egalitarian society.
Gikuru Kamau is an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya and ANC secretary general