BY THOMAS KARIUKI
EDITOR NT .
There comes a time when the country is bigger than an individual, this are the interminably evocative words spoken by former Internal Security Minister Prof George Saitoti, God rest his soul in eternal peace.
These words would have many interpretations to different people but allow me to read the meaning according to the Kenyan context at present.
They were meant to say that individuals, politicians or non-politicians are subject to the country’s interests and that the Kenya’s interests come first before any person or people’s interests.
I want to think that the late Prof Saitoti had reached a point when he deemed his interests as secondary to those of Kenya.
In UhuRuto and Raila-Kalonzo Kenya today, individual interests override the interests of Kenya. Every one pulling the yacht to their side and as the Swahili saying goes, ‘kila mwamba ngoma huivutia kwake’.
Allow me to venture into this ranging storm citing the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission imploration on politicians to tone down politics and allow them to do their job. The issue I am really concerned with is the call for dialogue from the IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati.
Several questions come to mind with this call by Mr Chebukati;
- Who should dialogue?
- Why should they dialogue?
- Who will loose and or gain?
I would like to be contingent with this statement of the late Prof Saitoti in answering these three questions.
Who should dialogue?
With all due respect to political party secretariats, I would like to include you in the dialogue but you are so divided to the point of being irredeemable- the fear of being outdone by the other. But political secretariat members should behave this way because as they say he who pays the piper calls the tunes.
They are actually meeting the interests of their party and not of Kenya. Now, back to my question, we have the presidential candidates with their running mates.
These are the two people who should attend dialogue because they have the bigger picture of the country’s interests. I strongly believe that in the Chebukati talks, only these two people should be allowed to attend the dialogues and whatever they agree on should be carried as the law to their parties.
The leaders should therefore guide their party luminaries. I propose that Chebukati and his commissioners should lead the talks with only presidential candidates and their running mates.
Why should they dialogue?
Dialogue is meant to unravel the stalemate not steal a match on anyone. Kenya is bigger than any one of the politicians. Dialogue will also ensure that the issues of concern are ventilated in the talks and that each of the candidates feels their concerns are adequately addressed.
Dialogue does not belittle but is actually meant to come up with better ways of doing things. UhuRuto commands a following and so do Raila-Kalonzo and all other candidates.
The issues of discussion must not be untenable, if it is to win, all parties win and if it is to lose then all parties lose. Dialogue is therefore key to unravelling the stalemate. On the table, everyone is equal to all and not less to anyone.
Chebukati talks should therefore be encouraged with no other party participating but the primary stakeholders.
Who will loose and or gain?
Kenya stands to gain. UhuRuto command a following, Raila-Kalonzo command a following, all other candidates command a following as well. Instead of having this hard stances that are actually hurting Kenya, there must be a structured dialogue which Chebukati should lead.
Everyone comes to the table with no less or more advantage over the other. The talks again do not border on power sharing and as Raila put it he is not interested in a ‘nusu-mkate’ government and so did President Kenyatta say, “I cannot watch this country bleed because of our political differences.”
Kenya is hurting; no one should allow Kenya to bleed. This is my sincere judgment for this country.