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Africa’s Political Crybabies

By Ofwono Opondo

 Aug. 09 2017
Kenya’s political duel between independence hero families of Mzee Jomo Kenyatta and Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, first president and vice president respectively ended this week in spectacular fashion, with current president, Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta taking a poisoned victory as Raila Amolo Odinga (a.k.a. Agwambo) cried foul. We leave to Kenyans to peacefully resolve their intricate disputes from colonialism perpetuated by brutality, socio-economic deprivation and toxic tribalism.
The older Odinga died in 1994 a dejected political figure who had retreated to his home in Siaya district among his people who are yet to acknowledge the Kikuyu’s numerical, socio-economic, and political mobility. The Joluo as represented by the indefatigable Raila feel unreasonably treated.
Having served a long jail term for treason under former President Daniel Toroitich arap Moi, Odinga came out in 1990 to continue the political fight his father lost, or didn’t conclude. He fought running battles against Moi until multipartysm was restored hoping to be rewarded, but nay.
Since then, Raila Odinga has lost four presidential elections, and each time claiming being cheated, which in other normal circumstances he should have given up. But now at 72, against Uhuru, 55, Raila still thinks he is succulent like fresh tomato from the gardens, which many in Kenya doubt.
As anticipated, Raila has rejected the results tallied by the IEBC alleging that IEBC computer servers were hacked into by Jubilee ‘wizards’ who falsified the results in Uhuru’s favour. How Odinga concluded so is yet to be proved by him because as the adage goes “justice is never sought on unsubstantiated claims.”
Election observers including former US Secretary of State John Kerry and European Union usually his backers immediately re-affirmed that the IEBC’s servers are safe, intact and the results relayed were credible. In addition, the African Union too endorsed the process leaving Raila to be seen as the usual African crybabies who never accept defeat.
Sections of Raila supporters attempted to begin riots but were promptly nipped by police in Mathare and Kisumu, presumably Raila strongholds. Most observers believe that Raila lost this election for reasons not attributable to the IEBC. They argue that NASA was ill-prepared and only relied on bombastic loud talk in the media.
NASA, like FDC in Uganda, had promised supporters that they would have parallel tallying centre which never was, and apparently didn’t invest in IT infrastructure as claimed. They hired Canadian and American "experts" who didn’t establish the infrastructure as required.
Examining Uhuru’s gains in former Raila strongholds, and NASA candidates knocked down like Evans Kidero (Nairobi) and Issac Rutto (Bomet), it appears Raila took traditional support for granted and forgot that dynamics had changed. Meanwhile, Uhuruto consolidated their strongholds and won over regions hitherto belonged to opposition. Consequently, Jubilee has 27 governors compared to NASA’s 16, 165 MPs to 101, 27 Senators to 17, and Women representatives 30 to 13 respectively.  

Jubilee made serious in roads into regions such as Kisii, Western Kenya where NASA’s two co-principals come from, and in Bomet. Loud mouthed Isaac Rutto, Moses Wetangula and Musalia Mudavadi added little value to NASA. As is, Jubilee honchos in western Kenya namely William Ruto, Gideon Moi and Kijana Wamalwa had the upper hand. Even the coastal areas where Raila is adored, this time round Uhuru made some inroads especially after distributing land titles to former squatters.  
Let us congratulate President Uhuru and those who won and appreciate all who participated and urge them to embark on uniting Kenyans. As for NASA supporters who invested heavily in the campaign, the only advisable thing to do is to reflect strongly on what went wrong especially loss of their traditional strongholds. Candidates in the other tiers of elections should embark on the task of healing their country instead of spreading political rancor.
Back here another crybaby Kizza Besigye mid week tweeted a sneer “Mr. M7 (Museveni) campaigns for Amin. George Orwell’s genius never dims!” which we could have laughed off as sour grapping from a perennial loser had it not been that Besigye still wants to be elected Uganda’s president.
Besigye got barrage of negative responses because he was seen as holding former President Idi Amin’s family to collective guilty, an attempt to provide cheap political entertainment, which in the end doesn’t matter because life goes on.  Under President Yoweri Museveni children of ousted presidents have or are serving. Ommulongo Wasswa Lule was deputy IGG, Henry Okello Oryem son to Gen. Okello Lutwa is foreign affairs state minister, Jimmy Akena son to Milton Obote is MP while his wife Betty Amongi Ongom is MP and minister for Lands . Idi Ami’s son, Taban Amin is Deputy DG ISO, and needless to add, Kabaka Ronald Mutebi II is on his throne.
Down South Africa, President Jacob Zuma narrowly survived a parliamentary no-confidence motion by 194-177 votes, the eighth such attempt during his tenure. The ANC like NRM in Uganda suffers political lethargy, bureaucratic inertia, anti-democratic tendencies, corruption and poor delivery of critical services which the masses yearn for, and shouldn’t find scapegoats in the maverick and opportunistic opposition exploiting establishment fatigue. The ANC must cleanse itself internally to remain credible.