What does Jubilee ‘restructuring’ mean for Kenyans?

Friday, May 15th, 2020 00:00 |
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President Uhuru and DP Ruto. Photo/PD/BONIFACE MWANGI

Hesbon Owilla 

The power games that have drawn the country’s attention for the last few weeks are not new to the Kenyan political space.

In fact, the Kenyan political landscape is a like a movie and a few critics have claimed that betrayal is the main theme in a storyline characterised by politics of deceit. 

However, the current happenings in both Jubilee Party and the broader political space presents a fairly complicated scenario with more questions than answers.

You see, in our politics, strategic alliances change while political players remain the same.

Because of the intricacies of the current dispensation, therefore, we need to ask more questions rather than draw conclusions. 

The political intrigues aside, what does the coalition agreement between Kanu and Jubilee party, and the attendant changes in the Senate mean for Kenyans?

Granted, the public domain is awash with the perception that the Deputy President has been undermining the President and that MPs and senators loyal to the former have been frustrating government agenda in Parliament.

Do Kenyans understand this agenda and is it possible for the very people who went round the country campaigning for “Uhuruto” to frustrate the very agenda that they sold to Kenyans? 

How true is this and to what benefit would this possibly be to the DP? 

Some Kenyans are celebrating the President for cracking the whip and are urging him to sweep the party clean!

So, once the house is clean, who is going to benefit and what does a “clean house” mean  for Wanjiku? 

The alliance between the President and his deputy was in the public domain and the President is on records saying he would serve his 10 years after which the deputy would also serve 10.

Was that statement a promise and as we situate the issue of promise broadly we need to ask; to what extent does a sitting president have the power to ascertain or even control how Kenyans will vote to categorically have said that his deputy will also lead for ten years?

If the president actually meant that he will support his deputy, then there are two critical issues. One, it is not yet 2022 and, therefore, it is too early to talk of betrayal. 

You see, a day in politics can change years of political love stories or enmity. You just never know.  

Two, if indeed the President has since moved on from the covenant and that the marriage is broken as most speculate, then we need to ask ourselves to whose interest is this new strategic shift in alliance? 

Finally, and most importantly, to who do members of Parliament owe allegiance? Is it the political parties, party leaders, their tribal political kingpins, the president or the people of Kenya?

You see, our political leaders have muddied the water and it is no longer clear whose interest they serve.  

A friend recently told me that leaders in Kenya operate on the principle of pain and pleasure. They unleash pain on dissidents and give shower loyalists with pleasure. Tanga Tanga loyalist seem to be on the receiving end of this pain now. 

There is a school of thought that the President is not seeking elections in 2022 and, therefore, has no reason building political alliances for himself.

His objective, according to this school of thought is to unite Kenyans of all political persuasions, fight corruption and deliver the Big Four agenda. 

Will  Kenyans enjoy the pleasure of this objective?  —The writer is a PhD candidate in political communication

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