Free at last, Free at last Thank God Almighty President Uhuru is FREE AT LAST! A similar infamous phrase, uttered years ago by American civil rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to project the freedom and equal access of African Americans’ civil liberties, aptly captures Kenya’s president Uhuru Kenyatta and most Kenyans feelings FOLLOWING ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda’s withdrawal of charges against Kenyatta on December 5, 2014, http://www.nation.co.ke/news/
ICC-Prosecutor-Fatou-Bensouda- withdraws-case-Uhuru-Kenyatta/ -/1056/2545850/-/ltcshez/-/ .The case had hung a big cloud over the country and blamed for distracting the president and his deputy from properly attending to governing the country in some instances e.g. security. The case was doomed to fail from the get go because it was poorly constructed and ill-conceived in the first place- driven by politics, innuendo and retribution rather than justice for the victims. Kenyatta should NOT have been charged at the ICC and Kenyans saw through the political shenanigans of his opponents and the civil societies who were backed by their western sympathizers and flatly repudiated the ICC in the March 4, 2013 general elections. Witnesses saw the light and recanted their coached testimony; whether you like the president or not, they shouldn’t framed him or borne false witness against him, it was wrong. And those who did, shame on you! Bensouda has finally conceded what she already knew or should have known all along; simply put, there was no corroborative evidence to implicate the president in the 2007/2008 PEV, not then, not now, and the one manufactured has been thoroughly discredited, we know it, the court knows it and let this president turn his focus on governing.
Pundits have predicted and are clamoring for the day the Jubilee coalition breaks up now that the case against the President has been withdrawn. I think that is premature on their part but the truth is the ICC brought these once adversaries together and it is yet to be seen if this decision will break the marriage. I think the President will not walk away from his deputy, it will be unwise but I suspect those in Ruto’s camp might stir up consternation. Politically, the president would be wise to expand his reach beyond Ruto’s base and divest or at least demystify the Kikuyu factor in government, it is an open secret that there is disproportionate dominance of his tribe in government and if the Ruto case goes south, it may as well tip the scales and swing the pendulum against the president in the country as a whole, not necessarily against him personally but to make a statement against excesses of such dominance, real or otherwise. So I would carefully start mitigating against that now if I were President Kenyatta.
Additionally, if I were to advise Kenyatta, I would tell him to start over Mr. President, Kenya is as strong as your weakest link. If and when you identify that link, which shouldn’t be that hard to do, replace the link with a stronger link. The president, and by extension the country, has been let down by some in his circle not the least of which is national security, there is some “dead weight” in key positions in his administration that is weighing him down and curtailing his effectiveness as president. I say, time is now to cut them loose or move them around to less strategic positions in the interests of the country, I mean turn the leaf. The president has already made some changes in the security arena, a good start but those changes must be in fact substantive and not cosmetic. I was much young when our founding father Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, the President’s dad ran the country- even so, I am still in awe of the old man and can’t help but wonder what he would do today if he were still around. I think the old man was too wise and too old school to put up with any of these shenanigans. I think that Mzee would crack the whip so hard that the country will probably the most disciplined and corruption free of any. I want to see Mzee’s reincarnate in Uhuru, I want to see an assertive President who cracks the whip. Granted he is a very nice and amiable guy but being nice and tough are not mutually exclusive. The president can be nice and tough at the same time, his dad was- why not him? Think about it.
All in all, I expect a much smoother ride for this administration going forward provided the president comes to terms with the fact that it is a completely new day not just for him but also for his supporters and the country as a whole. Turn the page Mr. President.
By David ochwangi