Here's a quick quiz for you.
Which is the party to beat in 2007?
My good friend Phil will say that the answer is obvious. It is ODM-Kenya.
There are those who see Narc-Kenya as the party to beat. What with all the resources of the provincial administration that reaches every little tiny village in the republic fully behind it. Surely this is the political party that will easily grab the vast majority of seats in parliament.
Both political parties are missing a vital ingredient for winning at anything and not just elections. Unity and in this case, party unity.
The party to beat in 2007, it is now clearly emerging, will be Kanu.
Yesterday party chairman and his bitter enemy since 2002, Nicholas Biwott held lengthy discussions (that were of course closed to the press) at a Nairobi hotel. For over 5 years the two politicians have hardly had a word to say to each other. The climax of this rivalry was the bitterly contested Kanu chairmanship at Kasarani where the older man left in a huff before the results were even announced.
Alas, all that is now water under the bridge. Script written and directed by Baba Gidi. All these guys already knew exactly what they were going to do (when Uhuru was practicing his passionate speech in secrecy in London, nay lecture on the difference between a coalition and a merger), it was clearly just a matter of time. I was amused about 2 weeks ago when Mr Biwott said that his condition for reuniting the splintered Kanu was that the party completely removes itself from ODM Kenya. The whole situation of ODM and Kanu is not very different from that of a woman who already knows that she is going to give in to you know what, but is just going through the motions of last minute resistance and pretences of doubts so that nobody says she is an easy lay.
I told you here that Kanu were out of ODM-Kenya, weeks ago. I also told you that Kalonzo Musyoka would be the presidential candidate that Kanu will back. It is still not clear whether he will stand for the presidency in a partner party or within Kanu. The reason why I say this is that the professor of politics puts a high premium on party unity and it is unlikely that Kanu will form a coalition (opps I meant Alliance. Lecturer Uhuru reminded us all that coalitions are formed ONLY AFTER elections) with any other major political party. In fact what other major political party is left to form an alliance with? Although you cannot rule out KANU swallowing a number of smaller political parties in some sort of unity pact.
I will also repeat what I have said here often. The fact that the void that separates ODM and Narc is too wide, meaning that a leap from one of the two parties to the other, though possible, will always be highly unlikely. Meaning that any smart political party that positions itself in the middle of the wide void will receive lots of strong disgruntled candidates from both sides of the divide. Kanu under the careful direction of Baba Gidi has done just that. And don't forget that the older Moi hardly has anything else to do these days but to play political chess.
There is one other huge advantage that Kanu has. The party has the three richest Kenyans most capable of financing a fully-fledged political campaign without breaking into a sweat. Namely Daniel Moi, Gideon Moi and Nick Biwott. Most Kenyans re not really interested in how these fortunes were amassed. They prefer to just gawk in admiration.
The saddest thing of all is that Kanu represents all that is wrong and has gone wrong in this country since independence and returning this evil party to power is a strong statement in support of retaining the status quo. What Kenyans will be saying is that basically nothing has changed in Kenya and nothing will ever change.
Putting ODM Kenya into power is hardly any better because that party is more Kanu than Kanu itself. The top political minds in the party that many argue is the most popular political party in Kenya today (although winning political contests is not just about being the crowd puller) are all from the old school and as was clearly displayed in their vision launches, none of that crowd is capable of thinking outside the box. They can hardly think of anything more than free secondary school education and generous tax reductions. And the saddest thing of all is that nobody wants to tax their minds to find a way to pay for it all. Guess what the result is; the over-burdened ordinary Kenyan is left holding the bills in one way or the other. Ordinary Kenyans have paid more dearly for free primary education than they will probably ever realize.
The stage is set for the new initiative, which Kumekucha supports passionately to step in and get our country back. I have been told that Bwana John Githongo is listening. Watch this space.
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