The old tricks that worked like a gem during the 2002 party nominations have this time failed to work.
Let me explain. In 2002 the Summit as it was then called made unilateral decisions and over-ruled the voters concerning various candidates who had lost party nominations countrywide and instead ended up handing over the precious nomination certificate to many losers. Many folks did not even know what the real nomination outcome had been in many areas of the country.
This time round things were very different. Voters have just said “No” and have complained bitterly. Using technological gadgets like the mobile phone and instant messaging online, as well as email, most Kenyans were very well informed on what was going on on the ground. What most people noticed was that those who had emerged as winners on the ground were often the losers when party headquarters released the names of nominated candidates to the press.
In some areas voters have been very incensed by what they see as a deliberate effort to impose candidates on them. Impeccable sources from the ground tell me that a significant number of voters in Kisumu rural have vowed not to vote in the general elections as a way of protesting the direct nomination of Prof Anyang Nyong. While these threats may quickly be forgotten when the campaign gets under way, it is clear how parties often shoot themselves in the foot by denying the electorate a say and instead imposing a candidate on them.
But even more disheartening are the candidates who campaign for months on end using hundreds of thousands of shillings and even millions, only to have rude shock when their bid is halted by a direct nomination.
Both PDM and PNU have been affected by nomination controversy although ODM seems to have been the hardest hit which is quite understandable considering the colossal number of aspirants the party had. The big question here is how many votes have been lost by presidential candidates as a result of trying to impose candidates on the people? And how many parliamentary seats will be lost?
Interestingly ODM-Kenya is the party that has most successfully managed the nomination process. Despite a few complaints (mainly from Ukambani), it is clear that Hoo Ndii Emmm (as we call them here in Kumekucha) were very well organized and have also gained some very strong candidates countrywide who were defeated unfairly.
P.S. The beating up of KJ (John Kiarie) who is the ODM aspirant for the Dagoretti parliamentary seat should be condemned in the strongest terms possible. The police should also move quickly to arrest those involved including the rival candidate who is said to have sent the goons to attack KJ. However the comedian’s resolve as he was interviewed in hospital while on his back is a clear message to the perpetrators of the violence that their actions have badly backfired and there is no doubt that KJ has won many sympathy votes from the incident.
It really is idiotic for somebody to have a rival beaten up simply because they have lost to them.