@TheStar

And now comes the year of reaching out and compromise

5 months ago, 29 Dec 16:27

By: Wycliffe Muga

If you follow American politics, you will know by now that a surprise win by a Democratic Party senatorial candidate in a by-election in the state of Alabama seems to have affirmed that the Democrats are well on their way to gaining control of Congress in the 2018 mid-term elections. It was a major surprise because Alabama has unfailingly voted in Republicans in state-wide races for about two decades now. The Kenyan equivalent would be an ODM party candidate winning a senatorial race in Murang’a or Nyeri county. So now the Democrats can realistically look forward to winning plenty of congressional seats in 2018, and then, come 2020, “casting President Donald Trump into the dustbin of history” as some have delicately put it. This is of some relevance to us here in Kenya, because of what President Uhuru Kenyatta has been urging for some weeks now: That we put the election and campaigns behind us; and that those who lost should wait until 2022 to try their luck again. Sounds very reasonable. But here is the odd thing: That is precisely the opposite of what our political history suggests is the best path for Kenya right now. What works very well in the US does not necessarily work here. What has made for some degree of political stability here in Kenya – the stability without which no prosperity is possible – is that just as soon as a President is sworn in, he begins on the urgent task of making the difficult compromises that will lead to his absorbing his previous rivals into his government. Consider our founding President, Jomo Kenyatta. He was sworn in back in 1964. But by the next General Election, in 1969, he and the other key politicians in his Kanu party had managed to persuade their arch-rivals in Kadu to dissolve their party and join the governing party. In the process, they also abolished the Senate as well as the regional ‘majimbo’ governments through constitutional reforms. Indeed, the only period during which such an absorption of the parliamentary opposition did not occur was in the 20-year period roughly from 1970 to 1990, when Kenya was a classic authoritarian single-party tyranny. This is a period now often defined as a long dark night for the nation. For as soon as there was a return to a multiparty dispensation in 1991, you found that (now retired) President Daniel Moi after winning the 1992 election managed to bring into his Kanu party almost the whole contingent of Western Kenya MPs who had won their seats in that election through Kenneth Matiba’s Ford-Asili party. And after the 1997 election, which Moi again won, he brought in the entire NDP, which drew its electoral strength mostly from “Luo Nyanza”. This was done by a merger of two parties: Kanu and NDP. It involved no less than the now former Prime Minister, Raila Odinga – back then famous mostly as having spent nearly a decade as a political detainee of the ...
Read More


Category: oped opinion

Suggested

19 hours ago, 22:27
@DailyNation - By: Andrew Rasugu Rie ...
Behaviour change key to managing waste

Littering is attaining a national disaster status. ...

Category: topnews news oped opinion
19 hours ago, 22:21
@DailyNation -
THE CUTTING EDGE

Corruption is eating into Kenya’s body as serious efforts are not being made to eradicate it. ...

Category: oped opinion news
19 hours ago, 22:27
@DailyNation - By: Gilbert Manirakiz ...
Can code of ethics tame data breach?

A user like Cambridge Analytica has a different view of what is ethical conduct in regard to data privacy. ...

Category: topnews news oped opinion
19 hours ago, 22:19
@DailyNation - By: Editorial
Tackle graft in grains sector

As far as maize imports is concerned, we are dealing with a clear case of corruption. ...

Category: topnews news oped opinion
1 day ago, 12:39
@DailyNation - By: John Walubengo
The benefits of the Computer and Cybercrime Act that no one is debating

The gains are unlikely to be discussed as everyone focuses on protecting bloggers ...

Category: oped opinion news
1 day ago, 00:40
@TheStar - By: Machel Waikenda
We litter and are used to filth

After high school, my father encouraged me to study engineering in the US, which was a five-year programme. I got a culture shock at how different things were, and how efficiently the country was run. ...

Category: topnews news oped opinion

@TheStar

And now comes the year of reaching out and compromise

5 months ago, 29 Dec 16:27

By: Wycliffe Muga
If you follow American politics, you will know by now that a surprise win by a Democratic Party senatorial candidate in a by-election in the state of Alabama seems to have affirmed that the Democrats are well on their way to gaining control of Congress in the 2018 mid-term elections. It was a major surprise because Alabama has unfailingly voted in Republicans in state-wide races for about two decades now. The Kenyan equivalent would be an ODM party candidate winning a senatorial race in Murang’a or Nyeri county. So now the Democrats can realistically look forward to winning plenty of congressional seats in 2018, and then, come 2020, “casting President Donald Trump into the dustbin of history” as some have delicately put it. This is of some relevance to us here in Kenya, because of what President Uhuru Kenyatta has been urging for some weeks now: That we put the election and campaigns behind us; and that those who lost should wait until 2022 to try their luck again. Sounds very reasonable. But here is the odd thing: That is precisely the opposite of what our political history suggests is the best path for Kenya right now. What works very well in the US does not necessarily work here. What has made for some degree of political stability here in Kenya – the stability without which no prosperity is possible – is that just as soon as a President is sworn in, he begins on the urgent task of making the difficult compromises that will lead to his absorbing his previous rivals into his government. Consider our founding President, Jomo Kenyatta. He was sworn in back in 1964. But by the next General Election, in 1969, he and the other key politicians in his Kanu party had managed to persuade their arch-rivals in Kadu to dissolve their party and join the governing party. In the process, they also abolished the Senate as well as the regional ‘majimbo’ governments through constitutional reforms. Indeed, the only period during which such an absorption of the parliamentary opposition did not occur was in the 20-year period roughly from 1970 to 1990, when Kenya was a classic authoritarian single-party tyranny. This is a period now often defined as a long dark night for the nation. For as soon as there was a return to a multiparty dispensation in 1991, you found that (now retired) President Daniel Moi after winning the 1992 election managed to bring into his Kanu party almost the whole contingent of Western Kenya MPs who had won their seats in that election through Kenneth Matiba’s Ford-Asili party. And after the 1997 election, which Moi again won, he brought in the entire NDP, which drew its electoral strength mostly from “Luo Nyanza”. This was done by a merger of two parties: Kanu and NDP. It involved no less than the now former Prime Minister, Raila Odinga – back then famous mostly as having spent nearly a decade as a political detainee of the ...
Read More

Category: oped opinion

Suggested

19 hours ago, 22:27
@DailyNation - By: Andrew Rasugu Rie ...
Behaviour change key to managing waste

Littering is attaining a national disaster status. ...

Category: topnews news oped opinion
19 hours ago, 22:21
@DailyNation -
THE CUTTING EDGE

Corruption is eating into Kenya’s body as serious efforts are not being made to eradicate it. ...

Category: oped opinion news
19 hours ago, 22:27
@DailyNation - By: Gilbert Manirakiz ...
Can code of ethics tame data breach?

A user like Cambridge Analytica has a different view of what is ethical conduct in regard to data privacy. ...

Category: topnews news oped opinion
19 hours ago, 22:19
@DailyNation - By: Editorial
Tackle graft in grains sector

As far as maize imports is concerned, we are dealing with a clear case of corruption. ...

Category: topnews news oped opinion
1 day ago, 12:39
@DailyNation - By: John Walubengo
The benefits of the Computer and Cybercrime Act that no one is debating

The gains are unlikely to be discussed as everyone focuses on protecting bloggers ...

Category: oped opinion news
1 day ago, 00:40
@TheStar - By: Machel Waikenda
We litter and are used to filth

After high school, my father encouraged me to study engineering in the US, which was a five-year programme. I got a culture shock at how different things were, and how efficiently the country was run. ...

Category: topnews news oped opinion
Our App