By Joseph Lister Nyaringo,
The opposition Cord’s quest for dialogue with the Jubilee government is double-speak and a show that all may not be well in the OKOA Kenya Movement. Why WASTE time for dialogue with Jubilee instead of trying to show Kenyans why your coalition is a better option in terms of governance and better leadership practices?
After the demise of Fidel Odinga, Cord has rekindled the dialogue debate. For me, I don’t see how the coalition can push for dialogue with the government and a referendum at the same time. Cord should not burn the candle at both ends- pursue the OKOA referendum and dialogue with the government at the same time.
The ruling Jubilee coalition of Uhuru Kenyatta has thawed its hard-line stand on dialogue and Cord needs to be careful. This is because, positive overtures from ruling coalitions can be like dangling a bait and needs to be handled with a pinch of salt.
In order to remain afloat and relevant towards 2017, Cord must make decisions which are in tandem with the aspirations of winning the 2017 elections and for me, dialogue with the ruling coalition is not one of them. Between dialogue and the OKOA Kenya Movement, the latter is likely to provide the opposition with more clout as opposed to the former.
We are tired of inconsistency and double-speak from our political leaders. Kenyans want to see a robust official opposition which checks the Jubilee government’s excesses day and night. This should be Cord’s cardinal goal for now. Pestering the government for dialogue is not only causing confusion amongst Kenyans but also myopic and a waste of time.
When the government turned down Cord’s clamour for dialogue last year, they reverted to pursue a referendum through the OKOA Kenya movement and we therefore expected them to stick to it consistently up to the finish line. It’s my hope that the latest pursuit for dialogue after the dead of former Prime Minister Raila Odingas son, Fidel, is not a reflection of a crumbling movement.
This time for the three Cord Principals- Kalonzo Musyoka, Raila Odinga and Moses Wetangula, to choose what is to the BEST interest of the coalition and the nation as a whole. As the official opposition, what they choose MUST reflect their passion to capture power in 2017 so that they can get the opportunity to showcase their yearnings for the nation. A viable political opposition should capitalize on the failures of the government in power to build confidence within the populace for victory when elections are held.
Cord also needs to remember that even with the many challenges bedeviling Jubilee-insecurity, nepotism, corruption etc, the ruling coalition still enjoys incumbency and defeating it requires concrete and water-tight strategies.
I don’t see how trying to help a government in power with your BEST ideas while in the opposition, can help sell your agenda and propel you to victory by defeating the same government in an election.
Therefore, Cord’s insistence for dialogue with the ruling Jubilee is similar to sharing vital secrets with an adversary at the battle front. The dialogue quest should be disbanded completely so that Cord can embark on building a strong base for the 2017 polls.
In business, when your competitor makes inferior products, you don’t need to advise them but rather to watch as they crumble and eventually dominate the market base. This is what Cord should do. What Cord should do from now is to press for the disbandment and reconstitution of the IEBC to ensure that there is a level playing field for the 2017 elections.