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Opinion / Columnist

"No reform, no elections!" said Odinga and withdraws unlike Zimbabwe's sell-outs

11 Oct 2017 at 05:34hrs | Views
On 8th August 2017 Kenya's Supreme Court annulled the result of the country's presidential elections after finding many serious electoral irregularities from which Uhuru Kenyatta had benefited. The re-run was due to take place on 26 October.

"We have come to the conclusion that there is no intention on the part of the IEBC (election commission) to undertake any changes to its operations and personnel. All indications are that the election scheduled for 26 October will be worse than the previous one.

"Considering the interests of the people of Kenya, the region and the world at large, it was better that I withdraw from the race!"

The response from Uhuru Kenyatta is what one would expect for one whose commitment to democratic values of free, fair and credible elections has been questioned at every turn.

"We have no problem going back to elections," said Uhuru. "We are sure we will get more votes than last time.

"We are also telling him it is the people's right to choose their leader. It is their sovereign right to choose their leader of choice."

If he meant that, then he would have no problem in making sure the reforms are implemented and the irregularities the Courts picked up in their investigation are attended to BEFORE the re-run. The people's sovereign right to free, fair and credible vote must never ever be called into question.

For the record, Uhuru Kenyatta, has threaten to "deal" with the Supreme Court judges who had annulled the August result. Where is the respect of the independence of the judiciary in that!

The electoral commission has rejected the changes Odinga called for "largely because of contractual agreements with the companies providing key services for the election". What a feeble excuse!

Was the "contractual agreements" not subject to the companies delivering a quality product fit for purpose?

Kenya has been held back for decades because the country was stuck with a corrupt and incompetent regime which the people could not vote out of office because it rigged the vote! The country has a real chance of making sure it does not fall back into these nightmare years ever again. Allowing the re-run to go ahead with no reform will set the country back to those vote rigging days again!

Whatever contractual penalties Kenya will pay for disregarding the contractual agreements the commission has with the companies involved in this dispute are nothing compared to the material and human cost Kenya will pay if future elections are not free, fair and credible!

The one thing no one can ever take away from Raila Odinga is that he did implement many democratic reforms during his term as Prime Minister in the GNU. For the first time since Kenya gain her independence the country had its first ever free, fair and credible elections in 2012. Whilst this year's elections were not free, fair and credible as the High Court has found out still it was only because of Odinga's reforms making the courts independent that they had the independence to make such a ruling. 

The people of Kenya must now think long and hard about what they want because the decision they make now is not only important for the here and now but will have serious political ramification for generations to come. If they allow elections to go ahead with no reforms then they have accepted the status quo of the incumbent regime tampering with the electoral process. Uhuru Kenyatta will never implement any reforms and fire the people who helped him rig and win the elections.

If the people stand firm and demand the reforms then they will have hope of future elections being free, fair and credible.

As for Raila Odinga, there is really no point in him contesting an election that he already KNOWS is flawed and illegal! To do so is insane!

A prominent opposition senator James Orengo has called for people to protest using the slogan "No reform, no elections!"

Every Zimbabwean must be hanging his or her head in shame! Morgan Tsvangirai, was in exactly the same situation during Zimbabwe's GNU and he failed to get not even one reform implemented in five years. After the rigged July 2013 elections, he too vowed "No reform, no elections!" but he long since forgotten about that party resolution.

"Mazivanhu eMDC adzidzi kudya anyerere!" (MDC leaders have learnt to enjoy the gravy train lifestyle and not rock the boat!) Zanu PF thugs boasted, as to why MDC leaders had completely forgotten the need to implement the reforms during the GNU.

Mugabe has daggled the promise of a few gravy train seats to those opposition leaders who would contest Zimbabwe's election regardless how flawed and illegal the process happened to be. It is this this bait that has made Tsvangirai forget the "No reform, no election!" promise.

Many Zimbabweans have tried to compare Morgan Tsvangirai to Raila Odinga the later has given Kenya a real chance to reset its democratic institutions whereas the former has helped invigorate the Zanu PF dictatorship. Mugabe has rewarded Tsvangirai with a $4 million mansion, among other things. Meanwhile Zimbabwe is still stuck with this corrupt, incompetent and vote rigging tyrannical regime.

Of course, it is insane to contest next year's elections with no reforms in place to stop Zanu PF rigging the vote but what can the ordinary people do! The country's opposition do not have any common sense to say anything and mean it; their greed has made them blind to reason, they are insane! 


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Source - Wilbert Mukori
All articles and letters published on Bulawayo24 have been independently written by members of Bulawayo24's community. The views of users published on Bulawayo24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Bulawayo24. Bulawayo24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

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