Monday, January 23, 2006

Will Kibaki survive the 2007 tsunami?

By ZAKAYO MWANGI
 
President Mwai Kibaki has been taunted as a lame-duck president by numerous columnists in the Kenyan media and has not been spared either by the political elite who campaigned for him in the 2002 elections.
Kenyans have not spared the President either after his failure to deliver on the 500,000 thousand jobs a year.
Led by the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) luminaries and the "Young Turks" from the Mt. Kenya region, Kenyans are now blaming the President for lack of political development in the country.
But what has brought Kibaki's scale down the most after the famous "Kibaki tosha" in 2002 by Kenya's political kingmaker Raila Odinga?
Kibaki has been blamed for dining and wining with the old guards who, politically, rate nowhere near the likes of Odinga, Kalonzo Musyoka or even the Young Turks from Central Kenya.
According to the public court of opinion, the likes of Nat Kangethe, Joe Wanjui, George Muhoho together with the other old guards in the kitchen cabinet John Michuki and Njenga Karume have been a stumbling block to other politicains who campaigned for the President in 2002.
But the one million dollar question is, will Kibaki survive the 2007 elections if he offers himself for the presidency alongside the likes of Uhuru Kenyatta, Odinga, William Ruto, Musikari Kombo and Musyoka?
After the 2002 elections, Kibaki's road to State House in 2007 started to narrow after he failed to honour the much-publicized Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
Supporters of the "Kibaki tosha" declaration started to revolt and alienate themselves from Kibaki, pulling their supporters along in the anti-Kibaki bandwagon.
The LDP luminaries started to cite political frustrations from the Mt. Kenya mafia in the likes of Kiraitu Murungi and Christopher Murungaru. According to them, State House access was hard to come by as they were seen as removable stains in Kibaki's white-as-snow government.
The "Government Project" (constitution) was another set-back as the Narc "party" disintegrated into factions aided by the arrogance of some of his close ministers, some of whom vowed  to splash  taxpayers' cash to shake every corner of the country, some too desperately trying to hijack the constitution. 
In the comfort of State House, Kibaki failed to read the mood of the people even after intelligence reports showed clearly that the Orange movement was in the lead.
After the massive defeat in the referendum which was seen as a vote against Kibaki and not against the constitution, the man taunted as Kenya's economic healer started to lose clout.
Even in Central Province where they overwhelmingly voted for him, Kenyans started to blame Kibaki's political advisers and associates but as analysts would say, the buck stopped with the President himself.
The age factor is another odd playing against Kibaki in his bid for State House in 2 years' time (assuming he overcomes the Anglo-Leasing affair and a hostile Parliament).
After the famous declaration by former President Daniel Arap Moi that it was time for the young people to take over, the statement has continued to linger in people's mind in their political choices. 
For the longest serving Member of Parliament (Kibaki) who his heading to his political sunset, political analysts rate him nowhere near the likes of Musyoka, Kenyatta and Mudavadi who are seen as the bridge between the old and the young in Kenyan politics.
After the dissolution of the cabinet, Kibaki was seen to have stumped his authority and taken charge of the country.
People saw it as a good gesture where they hoped new blood and competent people would be brought in while those who had been perceived to be corrupt, arrogant and ineffective would be chased away.
After the cabinet was reconstituted, a "we have been duped" facial expression was evident on people's faces where it fell below expectation.
Though Kibaki had very few alternatives to pick from, coupled by the arrogance of the ODM members, people felt he would have done more.
If Kibaki was to vie in 2007 only a miraculous change in politics in the next two years would make him go back to State House.
Though he cannot be written off, Kibaki has a rough time as he tries to balance his political equation in his come-back to "Korogocho" to solicit for votes en-route to State House. 
 
The Writer is a Communication graduate from Daystar University.


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