Unprecedented unity could return our faith in politics

Shares

With Wiper Democratic Movement leader Kalonzo Musyoka joining his former NASA colleague Raila Odinga to stand alongside and support President Uhuru Kenyatta in the ongoing fight against corruption and in the achievement of the Big Four agenda, Kenyans are witnessing the type of political unity for the greater good perhaps never seen before in the history of the Republic of Kenya.

Under the partnership move, Kalonzo has revealed that all Wiper lawmakers have been directed to support the government agenda while in Parliament, meaning that they will now join forces with those from Jubilee, ODM and KANU in particularly supporting the agenda under the Building Bridges Initiative.

“After consultations with our greater membership and party structures and in the spirit of a united Kenya, we commit to work with President Kenyatta in his fight against corruption as well as his broad agenda of transforming this country under the Big Four agenda,” Kalonzo said at the party’s headquarters in Karen, Nairobi.

The Wiper leader explained that their decision to work with the government was informed by the handshake between President Kenyatta and ODM party leader Raila Odinga on March 9.

This was the handshake, which rocked Kenya and ensured that two former opponents united under a shared and progressive agenda. Now it seems that many other politicians have decided that they want to join the war on corruption and ensure even greater unity.

Kalonzo was instantly the subject of great praise, demonstrating that the Kenyan people greatly approve of his move. While there are some who criticised his move, they were drowned out by countless others who hailed the move.

While it is important to have a robust opposition in any democracy and informed debate with competing sides, the issue of corruption crosses party, ideological, ethnic and religious lines and thus requires a holistic response.

Thus, it is certainly an issue where it is a case of the more the merrier.

If corruption became a one-party issue or addressed on narrow political terms it would be hard to make a dent in this disease, which unfortunately has permeated every corner of our country for far too long.

The fact that such competitors as Uhuru, Raila and Kalonzo have joined hands and forces to fight corruption sends a great message to both the corrupt and uncorrupt that theft and graft will no longer be tolerated.

This message of unity is one the people have waited for such a long time and it is compelling and attractive.

These are three politicians that were at each other’s throats only last year and there is certainly no love lost between them, so this unity is one based on purpose and not friendship or shared affinity.

It will make all of the necessary but difficult decisions that lie ahead in the fight against corruption easier to pass through. It means that no one party or group of individual politicians will be able to hijack and stymie the laws necessary to achieve the revolution against corruption.

These politicians by this action have demonstrated that they are putting Kenya and Kenyans first and this will also have the added benefit of allowing us to place our faith back in politics and politicians, especially after the divisiveness that has characterised our politics for too many generations.

It is hard for many of us Kenyans to remember a time when it seemed like politicians put the people before their own narrow interests and ambitions, but in this episode, we see a clear example of it and it has come at a vital time.

While there are still some years before the next elections, our leading politicians are showing that this is not a move to engender votes, support or necessarily attention, but to join hands in a united fight against a common enemy.

The Kenyan public has responded in kind to this type of unity and has sent their messages of approval. This approval will have a long term effect on politics in Kenya and how it is perceived by the average citizen.

This might be a by-product of the war against corruption, but it is an essential one.

Shares
Hit enter to search or ESC to close