4. The New Constitution Will Be an Unbearable Burden
The most annoying thing about constitutions and laws in general is the multiple interpretations that can be made from any one clause. That is because while the letter of the law is clearly objective, the spirit of the law is a monster with seven heads each saying a different thing. For instance, in 1890, the U.S Supreme Court made a ruling in favor of racial segregation. Much later, in the 1960s, judges sitting in the same court, reading the same constitution, outlawed racial segregation.
We have a similar constitutional problem in Kenya. The letter of the constitution is undoubtedly progressive, but our collective naivety of assuming the ruling class is capable of interpreting it with good intentions is our undoing. That is where the spirit comes in. If you are already tired of this tedious legal discussion, I totally understand because I am also already nose bleeding trying to differentiate letter and spirit. In 2010, Mutahi Ngunyi castigated our collective naivety thus, “… This is the most read constitution in the history of African politics. Yet, in reading it, we miss the point. Our focus is on the “letter” of the law; not the “spirit” of the law. Its letter is intact, even logical. But its spirit is dangerous and deceitful. No. It is mischievous, recklessly playful, and grossly naive! I will explain. A constitution is not a legal document. It never was. It is an instrument of politics. It defines “… who gets what, when and how.” In other words, it is about getting. It is a shopping list. Everything else is detail.”
When the constitution passed, Kenyans, whose capacity for naivety is infite, were euphoric because they thought life will change. Life changed. For the elite only. They got choice meat while ordinary Kenyans were left to scavenge for matumbo. In the past, we only had to deal with only 210 mp
igs, now we have 290 elected, and 12 nominated Mp igs, 47 elected plus 20 nominated fat-cats in senate, two clueless speakers, plus 3000 rats in County assemblies, 900 County executives, 94 governors and deputy governors, cabinet secretaries and 400 commissioners. That is a battalion of nearly 5000 elites who have near absolute power to plunder including the power to set their own salary, which they promptly used as soon as they set foot in office. As we like to say, we transferred the same monkeys to different but more food-abundant forest. And they reproduced just like pigs and rats.Meanwhile, your life is the same old, same old. What’s wrong with you?
By the way, what is it with all these commissions? Every time we encounter a problem, our counter-attack strategy is to conjure up a commission to fight the problem. Strangers are callling each other id*ot on Facebook? Don’t worry, create a commission. Illegal brews? Fuel prices go up? And when we were tired of creating commissions, we started creating pseudo commissions going by the name Authority. They are so many commissions that the core function of some is to fight with others. Consider the Police Oversight Authority, whose job description is to quarrel with the police service commission.
3. The Presidency Will Be a Duopoly of Two Communities
You have already heard about tyranny of numbers. Am not talking about that. Long before anyone knew how the candidates will line up for the 2013 general election, Mutahi Ngunyi was predicting how the battle will shape up. In 2010. At that time, the relationship between Kibaki and Raila was so cozy that some people started thinking Kibaki will endorse the Prime Minister for presidency. Uhuru and his partner in crime, Ruto, had not been indicted. Kalonzo was in KKK, Mudavadi was still in ODM, Abduba Dida was still a teacher, and Paul Muite was representing Mau Mau in UK courts. The IEBC had not even been formed.Simply put, there was no teams yet, so no one could imagine how the game could end up. I said no one, except the one person who did it:
“Academically, anybody can marshal 50-plus-one per cent to become president. In reality, this is political nonsense. The presidency will be the preserve of the dominant “nations”. The dominated “others” will have to scavenge and nibble around the counties. But why do I say so? The Rift Valley vote is 2.9 million; the Kikuyu vote is 2.7 million. In fact, the Luhya and Luo vote combined does not equal the Rift Valley vote. If this is true, the presidency will be determined by two communities only. This is our tribal reality; our untidy path to future problems if we pass the draft. And to Gema and Kamatusa dominance.”
Everyone knows how that turned out to be. For those who don’t know, Gema merged with Kalenji, Maasai, Turkana, and Samburu (Kamatusa) to do what Ngunyi predicted they would do.