BY MACHEL WAIKENDA
An article by Karuti Kanyinga titled “every election has consequences, but this time our choices are stark” left a bad taste in the mouth (Saturday Nation, February 23).
The article, masquerading as intellectual discourse, was really nothing more than the tired clichéd attack on the presidential ticket of Mr Uhuru Kenyatta and Mr William Ruto that we have come to expect from intellectuals who have sold their souls to the West.
Prof Kanyinga is part of a group of intellectuals and civil society activists who think that Kenyans are so dumb they cannot be trusted with democracy.
They, therefore, must be saved from themselves. This attitude is very insulting to millions of Kenyans and their thinking capacity.
It’s also not difficult to figure out his alignment.
A consultancy associated with him, South Consulting, did a hatchet job on the IEBC for Kofi Annan’s report on electoral preparedness.
That report said IEBC is “unprepared” to run the poll.
These attacks have risen to a crescendo in recent weeks by people whose declared goal is to stop Uhuru becoming president at all costs, even if it means subverting the will of the people.
Prof Kanyinga goes on at great length to regurgitate tired arguments about the “consequences” of Uhuru’s election.
There will be sanctions, and the economy will collapse as the “international community” adopts a “wait-and-see attitude”, and so on ad infinitum.
This is dishonest. The international community is not made up of two or three Western countries with vested interests.
The envoys of countries like Germany and Denmark, among others have stated categorically they will work with “whomever Kenya elects as president”.
Further, the European Union, despite their prevarication on this matter, categorically ruled out sanctions if Uhuru is elected.
The African Union has asked the world not to meddle in Kenya’s politics and to let citizens elect their president without interference.
Many other “friends of Kenya” have told businesses from their countries operating here to work with whomever Kenyans employ.
So, where is this message about fire and brimstone coming from?
One can only conclude that there is a small cabal of local and international meddlers who have a certain agenda they are trying to sell to everybody.
Unfortunately for them, in Kenya where it matters, that agenda has fallen flat.
Prof Kanyinga goes on to harp about the “critical” place of development assistance in Kenya. Well and good.
But what President Kibaki has been doing is to move Kenya from the servitude of the “Lords of Poverty” who dole out so-called development assistance as a tool for keeping entire populations chained.
More importantly, Kenya now has choices, and nobody will ever dictate to it again what it can or cannot do.
So, to keep harping on such an old line shows just how far behind some people have been left by the brave new Kenya.
The other issue to pose about the heightened activity against Uhuru and Ruto by Prof Kanyinga is this: why now?
In a word, desperation! All the well-plotted plans to derail Uhuru’s candidature have come unstuck.
The ruling by a five-judge bench that it had no jurisdiction to hear the integrity case against the Jubilee ticket sent Prof Kanyinga and his ilk into a panic.
The bogeyman of the ICC has had a completely counter-productive effect from what was intended.
Worse, the ICC has now been dismissed by former US Under-Secretary of State Jendayi Frazer as “a very manipulated institution”.
It is time Prof Kanyinga and his ilk realised that they are living in the past. The old order has changed for all time. Kenyans have moved on, and are on a completely different agenda.
(Machel Waikenda is TNA’s director of Communications. Twitter: @MachelWaikenda)