I am not a prophet. But I know two things about the President and his men: they believe they are the law, and if not, they believe they are above the law.
I spend most of my time in Parliament and that is not something to smile about. A friend of mine, George, joked that I spend my time “surrounded by 222 idiots”. “How do you survive?” he asked. Being a journalist, I looked at him. Is this guy trying the ‘show-me-your-friend-and-I-will-tell-you-who –you-are’ thing on me? But then I laughed it off. But, kindly indulge me.
The President submits names to Parliament. The Prime Minister makes a lot of noise about being left out of the loop and asks the Speaker not to accept the President’s nominees. So, the Speaker is harassed for sometime to make crucial decisions. He ponders about it; buys time “hoping” the President and the PM will sit and agree. The duo fail to agree and say, “On the Issue of the nominations to fill State offices currently under consideration by Parliament, the two Principals agreed to respect the ongoing parliamentary process and its outcome.
Furthermore, the two Principals assured Kenyans that they will observe the letter and spirit of the Constitution in implementation of the Constitution including the appointment to State Offices.”
Now, this is what the Presidential Press Service, whose word, the Head of Public Service, Mr Francis Muthaura told us, is “almost like law”. Today, the old man who speaks in a lazy staccato stood up, looked us straight in the eye and forgot that the word “respect” has a meaning. He now wants the courts to rule. And guess what, the person to pick the judges is the very person who ensured the President’s twilight swearing-in two years ago. What else explains the President’s shameless intransigence declaring his nominations ‘legal’? Who is he? Didn’t he just disobey the High Court? If that is not impunity, what is? He believes he’s the law and believes nobody should defeat him.
Okay, there are those who’ve called the Speaker names. They want him hanged and stuff like that, just because he said what everyone else has been saying. That the President was wrong! Forget the ‘consultation’ debate. He simply echoed the sentiments of the Judicial Service Commission, the Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution, the Church, the High Court and even the Chief Justice and the Attorney General Amos Wako. That the nominations were unconstitutional.
These are not people you dismiss. You listen; see what they have to say and follow their lead. You can be “progressive”, but then the whole world can’t say you’re wrong and you insist that you are right. Seriously!
Let’s look at it this way? Our dear cartoonist Gado has drawn informative cartoons alluding to the believable reality that it is possible that the suspects headed for the Hague for masterminding serious crimes like rape and murder, could have handpicked the Chief Justice, the Attorney General, and the Director of Public Prosecutions. And with the push to have the exchequer pay for the trials abroad, it could be the very reason why the Controller of Budget was picked by this lot.
And now, some Kenyans, and non-Kenyans think the President is right for “standing up to the Speaker”! Come on! Let’s look at it this way, when Michael Ranneberger, that man we love to hate spoke about the “lords of impunity” being the President and the Prime Minister, we thought he was wrong. When the President and the PM stood up and called him names, we applauded. Now, is he not vindicated?
The PM spoke moments ago in Mombasa, saying that he’d meet with the President and sort out this matter. He’s sounding conciliatory and level-headed. He’s saying there’s no winner or loser in the case of Kenneth Marende’s ruling. What rubbish! Constitutionalism won. And also, even though he won’t admit it, he won in his bid to have the nomination done afresh. So what is this “no winner, no loser” nonsense! Thank goodness he recognized that and said “Kenya won”.
The PM spoke the same language a fortnight ago in Kisumu (and even in Busia at a funeral for Ababu Namwamba’s father) when the matter first stepped in Parliament. He said he’ll meet the President and they’ll sort the matter out. What is he telling us about another meeting yet we know the President has already gone to court? Spare us the politics!
And Mr PM, don’t think that if you sit down with the President and “agree” then it makes it constitutional. No! We want a process of competitive recruitment. Some kind of scientific formular that if one goes through it, we can accept the outcome.
And another thing: PNU has been all over waving the flimflam about pulling out of the coalition. Like their new friends from the Rift Valley who’ve been singing the “we’ll pull out of ODM chorus”, this has also become a song. A tired song. Why don’t they just walk?
They can censure the Prime Minister if they want. I wish them well. They can censure the Speaker if they think they can (167 MPs is not a small number). I wish them well too. But walking around the country thinking that we, the rest of Kenyans, have to tow the line just because they say so; is stupid. Idiotic. People like me, read the Constitution, saw the landmines, pointed them out before voting against it, unlike the majority of Kenyans. Kenyans won. We accepted and quickly switched our minds to working with what we have. Kenya has to move forward. Now, just because they can’t protect some of their own, they want to burn the country down.
I know the President’s men will look me in the eye and say, dude, in the US, the President picks his men and dumps them as he moves forward. It’s like the Cabinet! It is his government! It is there to fulfill his manifesto. An ideology. Fine! But that’s the US and this is Kenya. And two, we have a coalition government!
That’s quite a rant! Forgive me!