By Osuolale Alalade
Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Muiga Kenyatta, 51, of the Jubilee Coalition won 50.07 percent in Kenya’s 4 March 2013 presidential election to beat rival, Prime Minister Raila Amolio Odinga, candidate of the CORD Alliance, with 43.31%. The peace that surrounded Uhuru’s victory over the western backed prime minister expressed an increasing consciousness of African societies of their responsibilities to themselves and their nations. However, the emerged consciousness of Kenya’s electorate expressed in Uhuru Kenyatta’s ascendance and the paradoxes in and the implications of Odinga’s loss in the elections reflect the starkness of Africa’s challenges in its confrontation with western forces. These elite forces are undeterred as ever to instrumentalize democracy to advance their imperial agenda in Africa. Meanwhile, for Raila Odingo, 68, this third loss at the poll for Kenya’s presidency has the ring of tragic paradoxes that are imbued with historic lessons for African players in politics at the national level and, consequentially, for their aspirations for validation at the international level by powerful forces. Odinga has been hitherto a fine and remarkable nationalist. His implicit faith in the support of the West to gain the Kenyan presidency has been ruinous. This unfortunate error would appear to have driven his recent controversial postures. These acquired orientations, obviously convenient in the pursuit of international validation, were blatantly out of tune with his consolidated nationalist profile and outstanding pedigree in politics. This turn around was evident in his role in the Ivorian crisis in 2011, as he charged roughshod over a process whose nuances and complexities he seemed to have a little understanding of. He would impress the West, as he literally became a spokesman of western interests in the Ivorian crisis. It would appear that he had his 2013 elections in sight and was making the required choices to endear himself to the West. But ironically, as Johnnie Carson, the State Department’s top diplomat for Africa, sternly warned Kenyans in relation to picking their leaders, “choices have consequences.” Odinga’s choice to count on the West played well with his western political benefactors. Accordingly, he was, tragically, anointed as the candidate of the West for the Kenyan presidency. With an indictment orchestrated by the same West over Uhuru Kenyatta, the Kenyan presidential election, pitting him, now cloaked in a nationalist toga, and a new born again Odinga baptised as the West’s point man, was transformed into a multi – dimensional referendum to repudiate or validate the West and its shenanigans in Kenya. These developments had critical consequences for the prospects of Odinga’s election as president.
The West was clearly nervous about the prospects of victory for Kenyatta. Such a victory was tantamount to defiance of the West and a poignant statement of Kenyans on what they thought of the indictment of Uhuru Kenyatta and his running mate, William Ruro, by the International Criminal Court (ICC). The outcome of Kenya’s elections strengthens pervasive perceptions of the legitimacy of the ICC in Africa. In fact, some have speculated that the indictment of the ICC was a decisive factor in tipping many voters in favor of the Uhuru/Ruro ticket. It was against this background that the revitalized African Union asked the world not to meddle in Kenya’s politics and to let citizens elect their president without interference. This is a reassuring statement from an organization that fell flat on its face under the manipulation of the West in Abidjan.
As Uhuru coasted home to his 50 per cent plus one threshold to win the elections, the apprehensions of western players were palpable. These were expressed in alarming headlines in the western media inciting controversies around the integrity of the process. It was familiar. Kenyans knew better and did not bite the bait of the West to instigate another murderous crisis. The Kenyan media decisively maintained a responsible self-imposed censorship in the interest of national harmony. The Kenyans had seen through the antics of the western conflict consortium in Africa and its local allies seeking to foment another crisis under the self-serving role that they have imposed on themselves. More importantly, they rejected threats of consequences against Kenyans issued by the Obama administration, France and the United Kingdom. They voted for whom they believed would best serve the interests of Kenya. And those who so thought of Uhuru Kenyatta as best placed to lead Kenyans at this time have triumphed with at least an 8-point advantage over the overwhelming choice of the West-Odinga ticket. In so doing, Kenyans issued an unambiguous red card and expressed a lack of faith in the ICC. The Kenyatta indictment of the ICC has had a completely counter-productive effect from what was intended. Worse still for the ICC, it has been dismissed by former US Under-Secretary of State Jendayi Frazer as a very manipulated institution. More importantly, Kenyans now affirm that Kenya has choices, and that nobody will ever dictate to Kenyans again what they can or cannot do.
Also, the Kenyan political class has to be congratulated. It is instructive that in conceding defeat at the presidential poll, Musalia Mudavadi called on Kenyans to join other Kenyans to be part of building national institutions to move the country ahead and write a new, brighter chapter in Kenya’s history in accordance with the new Constitution. He testified that the election had been “a living demonstration of universal and popular democracy at its highest and noblest levels”. Further, he affirmed that Kenyans had had their say without fear, favor or ethnic or regional strife. As a result, Kenya’s democratic experiment under the new Constitution was much stronger than it was just a few weeks ago. Noting that it was clear the choice of Kenyans for the presidency was between two formations – the Jubilee and Cord coalitions, he summed up that irrespective of the winner, Kenya is bigger than the sum total of presidential candidates.
The Nairobi Bar Association would not countenance the instigation of the western conflict consortium in Africa. As Kalonzo Musyoka, Odinga’s running mate alleged at a press conference that the vote tallying should stop because it is ‘”doctored” and lacks integrity, the Association told the politician to take their grievances to the courts. The Association also observed that the airing of electoral grievances in press conferences risked breaking the calm surrounding the elections. The Kenyan media refused to disseminate any such political toxic. Only the western media, with a few misguided allies in some local non-governmental organizations, was left to do its own dirty job of trying to incite Kenyans against each other. Also, the Bar Association expressed confidence in the national judiciary. This avoided the temptation to delegitimize the Supreme Court, as was the case in Abidjan. The Kenyans had taken a common stand not to be manipulated into suicidal enterprises by the deleterious western conflict consortium in Africa that claims to be promoting democracy in Africa. Kenya’s triumph is a historic victory for Africa.
More importantly though are the clear messages of the just concluded Kenyan elections to Africa. A first lesson is for Africa to be wary of the antics of the western democratic evangelicals and their instrumental and toxic political liturgies. A second is for the African Union to collectively formally renounce the ICC, demand the nullification of all its indictments in Africa and release of all Africans incarcerated by the institution. As a politically manipulated institution, the ICC is hopelessly aligned to western interests and it is implicitly unable to serve the cause of justice. Africa must develop its homegrown institutions to curb its many monsters.