The defining image for me from the 2002 general elections was the swearing in of President Kibaki when a Nairobi man voluntarily took a dip in the murky waters of Uhuru Park, drinking some of the water in the process. He didn't care, he was ecstatic that change had come over Kenya with the felling of Kanu and the win of the National Rainbow Coalition and Mwai Kibaki. I often remember that man and wonder what became of him. More so because somebody trashed his dream (and our dream) into those same murky waters of Uhuru Park.
I mention this because I saw a similar spirit at Kasarani today during the ODM presidential nominations. Enthusiastic Kenyans, enthusiastic and extremely hopeful that the change they were cheated out of in 2002, will happen this time. I couldn't help feeling pity for them because there are still too many obstacles to real change in Kenya.
A leopard cannot change its' spots and I see the same looters and "rapists" of the Kenyan economy and Kenyan people hanging around Raila and Odm and waiting in anticipation for him to win the presidency so that they can continue to do what they have been doing all along.
Presidential hopefuls, Raila Odinga were blocked and then slowly escorted into Kasarani by enthusiastic, chanting crowds. The crowds shouted; "Ruto, Dawa Ya Moi." (meaning Ruto the "strategy" against Moi.).
By the time I posted this, the high point of the special delegates conference at Kasarani to elect the party presidential flag bearer was the dramatic stepping down of Najib "Nina Jibu" Balala in favor of Raila Odinga. That left only four candidates, namely Raila Odinga, William Ruto, Musalia Mudavadi and Joseph Nyagah.
Raila claims that the move took him totally by surprise and Kenyans saw a side of the ODM hopeful that they had never seen before. Raila visibly shed tears and openly wiped them off with a white handkerchief.
The facts are that Balala has a lot to be grateful to Raila for.For instance, impeccable sources inform me that a large number of voters supporting Raila in Coast province have shifted constituencies to Mvita where Balala should win re-election easily despite the big names plotting to oust him from the seat. Stepping down for Raila has therefore been a move than many keen political observers have anticipated for a long time.
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