Kenya Politics: How Opposition Cord Can Win Power

Published on 26th April 2016

Politics being like a game of chase, it’s quite evident that the number of registered voters currently with IEBC favours the Jubilee Alliance led by President Uhuru Kenyatta. The ruling coalition has almost 6 million votes from Central Kenya and Rift valley combined while Cord has almost 5 million votes from Western, Coast, Nyanza and Eastern, which leaves Nairobi with 1.8 Million and North Eastern with a paltry 500,000 registered voters.

If we use the last election metrics to predict the turnout for next year, it will be fair then to conclude that CORD strongholds have a poor voter turnout as opposed to Central Kenya and Rift valley of Uhuru and Ruto’s turfs respectively.

All arguments about the electoral malpractices we have experienced as a nation in previous elections have taught us great lessons to predict the future. We all understand that some areas in the Rift Valley like Kitale, Nakuru and Eldoret are cosmopolitan and so as Mombasa and other major urban centers.

Cord can scoop votes in the Rift Valley not only from non-natives but also from local communities like: Turkana, Samburu, and Maasai where indications reflect these areas as swing vote regions within the larger Rift Valley.

Tribal alignments are a reality in our politics. Even as leaders take advantage of this scenario to advance their political interest and selfish endeavours, there is room for Cord to play a wise card to win in next year’s general election.

In order for the three Cord principals- Kalonzo Musyoka, Raila Odinga and Moses Wetangula, to be seen as liberators from the Jubilee misrule, they need to constitute a formidable challenge like the one meted on Kanu in 2002 through the Rainbow Coalition. They should fore-go their ambitions for Presidency if they want to get rid of Jubilee from power in order to lift Kenya from decay. The three should rally behind a compromise candidate who will easily neuter the tyranny of numbers and catalyze the coalition into victory. This will be the surest way to show Kenyans that they are selfless, patriotic and above self-serving politics.

The best compromise candidate for CORD to behind next year is non other than lawyer Gitobu Imanyara, former MP for Central Imenti. Imanyara has the gravitas to appeal to Kenyans because of his embraceable record in the struggle for the second liberation. He is an incorruptible man with unquestionable integrity. Many Kenyans have cried many tears for a Raila Presidency but the stakes are very high as he hits sunset years of his political life.

While majority of Kenyans know how the Cord leader has been unjustifiably denied victory twice due to the phobia of Kenya’s ruling elite especially from Central Kenya, all hope is not lost in Raila to influence who our next CEO will be next in 2017. He did it in 2002 through the “Kibaki Tosha” declaration at Uhuru Park and this time round, he can do the same by declaring “Imanyara Tosha.”

Many Kenyans may question why Imanyara and not Kalonzo or Wetangula! The game is simple. The former MP will without doubt harvest 80% of the Meru, Tharaka, Mbeere, and Embu votes; drastically weakening the tyranny of numbers. After an Imanyara victory, the CORD principals can be key pillars in the new administration by focusing on service delivery under the coalition’s manifesto.

To ensure effective participation in the new administration, former Prime Minister, Raila Odinga can coordinate the national Government, the County government and international investments. This will scale down foreign trips made by county leaders; thus strengthening devolution as well as catalyzing economic growth at the grassroots. 

On the other hand, former Vice President Kalonzo and Senator Wetangula who are both experts in law and foreign affairs help to craft laws to nurture reconciliation and cohesiveness in the country, ensuring equity, equality and the dispensation of justice and the rule of law.

Note that, an Imanyara Presidency may not be pegged on ethnic loyalties but the unity of all Kenyan communities; each having equal share of the national cake through county and national governments. It’s true some leaders may brand Imanyara a traitor  but this might not hold water since former the MP is known to be principled. 

To add more meat to the ticket by shifting from ethnic baggage, Gitobu’s deputy should be the renowned economist Mr. Robert Shaw. The Caucasian writer and economist has been part of the struggle for reforms in the country especially when he worked with the late Jaramogi Oginga Odinga in the 1990s. He has the capacity to link the country with the rest of the world on investment opportunities.  

Finally, the Cord government under Imanyara, can hold a constitutional referendum after two years in office to improve the laws on devolution and also entrench a Parliamentary system of government. We can them have a President in charge of the nation and a Prime Minister, who may be leader of the party with parliamentary majority to run the day-to-day affairs of government.

By Joseph Lister Nyaringo, USA.

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