2002: main presidential candidates were from central province. 2012/3: All presidential candidates shall be from Western province!

Since the advent of multi” party politics in Kenya, 2002 was the only time Kenya didn’t experience political violence.

In 1992 and 1997, Kenya had pre-election violence, also christened “ethnic cleansing” or “ethnic clashes”. The clashes didn’t get international attention coz it only involved some parts of the country so the rest of the Juggernaut that is Kenya still crawled on. My conspiracies-prone mind is also of the idea that the international powers that be had no particular interest in rocking the cosy arrangements they had with the status quo…but this is neither here nor there.

In 2002, the leading lights in the opposition united to form NAK. Some KANU renegades formed LDP party and joined the NAK at the 11th hour (Johnny come lately?) to form NARC. The Bible says that those that came to work at 5 PM shall be paid the same as those who arrived for work in the the morning…..I digress.

NARC chose President  Kibaki  (CENTRAL PROVINCE) to be its  flag bearer.

Moi,the then president and head of KANU had already settled for Uhuru Kenyatta (CENTRAL PROVINCE) as his preffered  presidential flag bearer,a situation that had precipitated the jumping ship of the malcontents in a boat called LDP.

All this set the stage for a presidential contest between members of a single community.  This was the most exciting electoral process I’ve ever been engaged in. I’m sure most enlightened Kenyans who witnessed and/ took part in it would be hard pressed to disagree. 

Kenyans rose beyond the petty issue of tribe. Nobody was hated or killed because of voting for a person of his tribe, since we were all choosing from members of the same tribe.

The political discourse during this electioneering period was  on real issues: qualifications,age and experience of the candidate, and the party with the manifesto that would be able to address the various issues afflicting Kenyans at the time…

I was convinced that Kenya was finally truly and firmly on its way out of political tribalism, which would enable Kenyans to gradually deal with social tribalism. In fact, if Raila had not come up with the fractious and contentious issue of MOU, he was guaranteed all or most of the Kikuyu votes as well as votes from all over the county in 2012, or whenever kibaki left office. But I guess his greed got the better of him and the rest is history…

Kenya has yet another chance of killing many birds with one stone by voting ONLY from among candidates from WESTERN PROVINCE

For starters Kenya will be able to exorcise itself of the ghosts of tribalism. Voting from members of only  a single community shall effectively neutralize  the issue of tribe as  a qualifications for the presidency.

Secondly,it’ll enable Kenyans to start scrutinizing the various presidential  candidates’ individual qualifications and/ experience.

Kenyans shall be able to scrutinize the parties and their manifestoes. The Political party with the best manifesto, and the people with the capacity to walk the talk of those manifestoes shall be elected.

This will grant all those like me who yearn for national leaders their wish!

Thirdly,Kenya and Kenyans  will be able to pick up the gradual but important process of ethnic healing.

The country will also  avoid another bout of PEV. This will enable the country to build on the current economic gains, rather than starting from 1% again.

This will also prove to everyone that every community has the potential of producing qualified and capable presidents!

This will enable Kenyans to move past the ideology of “mtu wetu” 

So far we have various presidential candidates from the region: Mudavadi, Eugene, Jirongo….I sincerely hope Mukhisa kituyi gets into the race for statehouse!                    

 

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