Bid for collegiate voting system will flop – Ngunyi

August 15, 2013 12:10 pm
Political scientist Mutahi Ngunyi was spot-on when he predicted an UhuRuto win for March 4. Photo/ FILE
Political scientist Mutahi Ngunyi was spot-on when he predicted an UhuRuto win for March 4. Photo/ FILE

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 15 – Mutahi Ngunyi’s political wizardry catapulted when his prediction that the Jubilee Alliance would carry the day in the General Election came to pass.

He based his prediction on the large number of Kikuyus and Kalenjins who registered as voters saying Kenyans would, as they have in the past, vote for their kin.

“Kenyans had buried their heads in the sand in a bid to avoid confronting the reality that history would repeat itself and Kenyans would retreat into their tribal cocoons when it came time to vote,” Ngunyi said of the March 4 polls.

Ngunyi argued his case in a presentation dubbed, “The Tyranny of Numbers,” that led to him be glorified and vilified in equal measure with Facebook pages both flattering and non-flattering being created in his honour.

And now, the Tyranny of Numbers has been brought back to the forefront by the Eliud Owalo-led March 4th Movement (M4M).

Owalo was opposition leader Raila Odinga’s chief campaigner in the race for State House and having witnessed Ngunyi’s hypothesis play out on the political scene, wants to level out the playing field by borrowing a leaf from America’s way of electing the President.

Should M4M succeed in its quest, Ngunyi says the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) would have found a way to get Odinga into power.

“Look at it this way, if there are 150,000 voters in Kibra constituency and 2,000 voters in a constituency in Mandera, their vote would count as one, irrespective of the numbers, should we adopt the collegiate system of electing the President,” Ngunyi explained.

“It would be tantamount to a civilian coup as we would be forced to go back to the ballot even before President Kenyatta’s term is up,” Ngunyi told Capital FM News.

But while Ngunyi feels a referendum is inevitable, he doesn’t believe Kenyans will sanction the collegiate system.

“It will fall flat on its face. President Kenyatta and company still have the support of the majority of Kenyans and they won’t just sit back and let CORD have their way,” he explained.

In the case of the governors however, Ngunyi is of the opinion that the government can avoid a referendum all together.

“The push by governors for an increment in their revenue allocation can be dealt with administratively. The constitution says 15 percent is the minimum not the maximum amount the national government should allocate to the counties.”

But Ngunyi firmly holds that Kenyans will eventually have to decide how they intend to elect their President going forward.

“We’ve been grappling with this question ever since the Bomas process. It’s no longer a question of if but when the referendum will take place and there’s nothing more vicious that a fight between two rights.”


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