ODM came to KIA and even before the deal-making began, they issued a statement saying they want regional governments, they want counties increased, they want no one to mess with transitional clauses and that they want a powerful Senate.
These things are what in the first place took PNU and the Ruto-Uhuru axis to Kabete. And now ODM was drawing the line and daring PNU to cross it. Perhaps making it clear that there'll be no Kabete deal.
I recalled what Alex Ndegwa -- that Iser at The Standard whom together we covered the KIA meeting for competing newspapers--had said on that first morning.
Ndegwa reckoned that it was a tactic. Come with outrageous demands, make your partner concede and you also concede and in the end, you concede all you have after your partner has conceded everything.
Now at KIA, ODM issued that statement, got PNU off-guard and boom they got their way in Parliament. Then they issue a another statement today (sunday) saying the MPs making amendments with "extremely broad divergence" from the CoE proposal are "mutilating" the draft. Ouch! On hearing that PNU issued theirs saying they were backing down from their calls and were keen to pass the draft as it is. He he, they are now aware that there is no perfect Constitution.
So PNU concedes and for now knows that the matter is beyond them. The two parties knew pretty well that they lacked numbers in Parliament and so the grandstanding was just to 'buy time". They filibustered at KIA until Mr Speaker got angry and devised a way to sort out the matter.
Mr Speaker, on realising that MPs were making tortoise progress on the "consensus-building", got wise and made a mini-team to hammer out the deal-- a team of 23 MPs. This group came out with 25 regions as the units of devolution.
At KIA, that man Miguna Miguna was there and so was the Mutakha Kangu guy. These two are ODM advisors on the Constitution-making process. They think of themselves as think-tanks. While Mr Kangu is soft-spoken, calculating and a good listener, Mr Miguna comes across as abrasive, often keen to push his position, really lord it over the rest. In the words of Prof Makau Mutua, Miguna thinks he has the monopoly of intellect.
These two were angry at the deal. And this anger got to Jakoyo Midiwo (the ODM whip) and Gwassi MP John Mbadi.
These two MPs walked out of the KIA meeting room leaving in James Orengo, ODM chairman Henry Kosgey and about 110 other MPs and they agreed on the 25 counties and the abolition of local authorities. Mudavadi who was in Machakos then was not amused. He rubbished the deal.
ODM had pushed the PNU side to a corner when it came out and said it had no deal.
Miguna sent out a text message to a colleague on why there was no deal at KIA and what he wrote, I found frivolous, but then again after speaking to many other people, I now gather that that was ODM's strategy to the politics of consensus-building.
Their "noise" on the KIA deal smoked PNU out and saw it drop all its positions in favour of the ODM view that the Committee of Experts draft be passed as it is. That was fun, I tell you. It was!
As soon as ODM finished their press briefing with the fresh demands, it reminded me of their demands during the negotiation of the National Accord. That President Kibaki resigns, that fresh elections be held, that Raila Odinga be declared winner blablabla.
All these seemed "impossible" demands, but they got Raila half-a-loaf and ODM half the Cabinet.
Back to KIA. So ODM wins, gets its way because it stated long before the draft came to Parliament, that it was best for Kenya. I am not sure about that. We have to see it work. We lauded the coalition government when it was formed, it was best for Kenya then, but it has now turned into a mongrel fanning corruption with immature politics left, right and centre.
And this time round, without Salim Lone. I just hope the MPs agree to pass the draft as it is, because come Tuesday afternoon, all eyes will be focused on them.
PS: I was at KIA and did not see the live 'rapid fire' between John Sibi Okumu and Raila, Kagame, Mkapa and Wangari Maathai. I finally got my way round it and watched it somehow. Ha! I have to laugh a little. I saw a politician, a sycophant and an administrator in this team. Also, there was Wangari who is an activist. John Sibi Okumu was the moderator. Kitendawili? (I assume you said tega). Who is the politician? Who was the sycophant? Who was the administrator? Tell me I am oversimplifying?
PS2: When Raila quoted Moi's "Siasa ni maisha, siasa mbaya maisha mbaya" I was shocked. Raila quoting Moi to explain, really, to buttress his position? Who was there to explain this to me?