That’s the Way the Cookie Crumbles

If you are the type that bites your nails when nervous, then the past few weeks must have left you bleeding.

But what else would have been expected from you when the presidential race was a nail-biter or simply put, a race tighter than your gir… (pun unintended). As Chebukati slowly crunched the numbers, speculation grew rife and the rallying call was ‘Not yet! Just not yet! Hold your horses’.

As an ardent Azimio supporter I only wished that wishes were horses, in fact Trojan horses even, so that just like the ancient Greeks we’d ride them into Canaan (our city of Troy). Just like the biblical odyssey to Canaan, there was the Red sea, only that, our ‘Moses’ was no hero enough to split it into two.

That brings us to now. Be that as it may, the birds have flown, the die has been cast and the breaks have been broken. That’s just the way it is, that’s democracy. Yet every time the word ‘Democracy’ pops up as a discourse, we are all called to heed the wise counsel of Margaret Atwood that ‘the fabric of democracy is always fragile’, especially on a continent where assaulting democratic institutions is the rule and not the exception. In a continent where there is deep distrust for democratic processes and institutions, then the discourse on democracy is yet to be settled.

Yet to be settled not because democracy isn’t a strain running through African blood but because elsewhere on the continent in West Africa, there have been six military coups in the past 2 years or so. Yet to be settled because some African states are still held captive by autocrats. For centuries the West has been lecturing us on democracy, making a mockery of Africa, oblivious of the fact that their democracies have been around for centuries. That was the case until January 6th happened (US Capitol mob storming). To me the events of that day were a vindication of Margaret Atwood’s statement. Bottom line is, democracy is a continuous discourse that will never be settled.

Before I get to the crux of my short article, allow me to digress once more. The steps we’ve made as a country in ensuring the transparency of our elections cannot be gainsaid. However, if the events at Bomas of Kenya are anything to go by then that overshadows all the gains made. For four commissioners to disown results citing ‘opaqueness’, and a chairman to appear alone and declare a winner, leaves more questions than answers. To my mind what comes is the repeat of history. History has a tendency to return and when it does, it does so with a lot of vengeance. Much to my chagrin and to majority of Kenyans, there are men who didn’t take lessons from the 2007 election. I choose to believe that the actions of the four commissioners are not a gimmick. That said, I’ll leave it at that. The truth of what happened remains to be seen and only time will tell.

Yote hayo tisa kumi ni kuwa William Ruto amechaguliwa kuwa rais wa tano wa jamuhuri ya Kenya. His election as the fifth president to me is a backlash against the establishment thanks to a campaign fired up by the ‘hustler narrative’. A revolution perhaps but just a cautious reminder that revolutions have a tendency to eat their own children. It’s easy to start a revolution but difficult to stop one, as it’ll almost always become radical. The French revolution didn’t stop until it had claimed its founder, one Maximilien Robespierre. The act of devouring its own is a consistent thread running through the history of most if not all of the revoutions.

Who would be termed a Robespierre today??? It’s the 7 million plus gullible Kenyans who believe a billionaire masquerading as a hustler will solve their poverty. I don’t want to cast any aspersions but as a writer I must call out such stark hypocrisy. However, maybe, just maybe, let us give the ‘billionaire hustler’ the benefit of the doubt. I don’t believe in the hustler narrative but what we’ve seen is a rise of populism, from Trump’s ‘build the wall’ to our very own Ruto’s ‘hustler v dynasty’. I do not ascribe to the school of thought of the lesser devil but when it comes to games of thrones there is no middle ground, we must each pick a side.


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