Political intrigues that punctuated the past year

Irene Githinji @gitshee

Political intrigues in the country are seemingly far from over, even after going into campaign mood for almost a whole year giving rise to what pundits described as economic uncertainties. It is an year that President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto were elected twice within a span of three months, the political battles and uncertainties notwithstanding.

When the Supreme Court quashed the August 8 election, President Uhuru and Ruto accepted the decision with a pinch of salt. Nonetheless, they went back to the ground for the second round of campaigns when the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) announced that the repeat elections would be held on October 17 and later moved to October 26.

Hours to the repeat presidential election, National Super Alliance (Nasa) announced the formation of National Resistance Movement (NRM), where they urged their supporters not to take part in what they described as a flawed process.

In announcing the boycott, Nasa leader Raila Odinga also went ahead and told his supporters to boycott any goods and services offered by the businesses benefiting from the government.

Fast forward to October 26 and elections were held for the second time but Nasa declared they would not be part. President Uhuru and Ruto were elected for the second time and handed the certificate by IEBC on October 30.

Nasa declared they will not recognise President Uhuru even after yet another petition opposing their election was dismissed. Under NRM, Nasa launched the so called economic liberation programme through targeted boycott of companies, corporations and businesses that they claimed were beneficiaries and supporters of the Jubilee regime.

“We have a long and comprehensive list of companies, both local and global on our radars and which we will be naming at intervals. We wish to emphasise that the list of companies will come officially and formally from Nasa. We ask our people to stick to the list from time to time,” said Nasa MPs when they announced the boycott. Then came Nasa’s idea of forming People’s Assemblies.

At least 11 County Assemblies have passed the motion towards creation of “people’s assembly”. The Opposition further came up with the idea that they will swear in Raila as their president on Jamhuri Day on December 12. But Attorney-General Githu Muigai warned against planned swearing in saying it is an illegality that attracts charges of high treason.

Githu said any attempt to swear-in any person as president other than the one elected in line with the Constitution and in the manner provided for in law is unlawful, illegal, null and void and that the punishment for high treason is death.

And as far as the “people’s assemblies” is concerned, Githu qualified it as illegitimate and unconstitutional saying that County Assemblies passing that motion do not possess such powers. He said the “people’s assemblies” are institutions totally unknown to both the Constitution and County Governments Act, even as he cited the High Court in Kitui having pronounced itself on this issue.

But days later, Nasa leaders announced the postponement of his swearing-in and “apologised” for disappointing their supporters who were eagerly waiting for the event. “We wish to assure Kenyans that our resolve has not changed.

Specifically, we want to reiterate that any national dialogue must have electoral justice on the agenda. We are not interested in sharing illegitimate dictatorial power,” a Nasa statement read. To date, Nasa holds that it won in the August 8 election but denied the victory, and under their six-pillar, they state that no elections were held on August 8 and October 26 other than “coronation rituals”.

They vow that President Uhuru will not continue to occupy and exercise powers and privilege over “Kenyans who rejected him” and that they will do anything to remove him from office.

And during the burial of Kitui West MP Francis Nyenze, Raila said: “We said we won and we will be sworn in. We have been told of treason, I want to respond to Githu Muigai and his boss that if there must be death, it must happen so that we do not have a stolen election again.” It remains to be seen Nasa’s next course of action as another year comes forth.

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