Sunday, February 10, 2008

All that could go wrong with a Government of National Unity

I guess right now we are all waiting to see what this agreement is thats supposed to come out this week. After a lot of soul searching, scanning the blogs and intense discussions with family and friends, I still find myself leaning away from a negotiated settlement.

I think that we as a country stand at a crossroads. We have wasted the last 40 years of independence. As an economic developer, if you looked at most of the metrics you would want to see progress on including employment, quality of life, infrastructure amongst others, we are clearly lagging with a significant achievement gap. So, we have the opportunity to either fix the problem and set our country on a path that will see all Kenyans be all they can be, OR we can apply a band aid and well, end back up here again.

So here is how i see it
  • Despite any protestations otherwise, this clearly started out as a political problem and was triggered off by a fraudulent electoral process with the net result that no one knows who won. (I believe ODM won, and I dont know if it will ever be proved to everyones satisfaction). So, well, maybe a coalition government will in some way be an undesirable, but necessary settlement for the ODM, and PNU. But where does that leave the Kenyan people and what does that say for our future as a democracy. If all it does is postpone things for another 5 years till the next general election, then that is an unacceptable solution. How many of us want to be back here in 5 years. Ask any of the people who have been living in clash areas since 1992. Those areas have never settled down and there has been a low level conflict going on for the last 16 years under everyones noses. How can we build a country on that foundation. We need to fix it and fix it right. Any resolution that doesn't address these issues is a patch and we will end up back here again. Any resolution has to address and entrench the right of the people to vote and to have their votes mean something, something that trumps any political arrangments of convenience
  • I guess somewhere during the past 40 days since the elections, the water really got muddied and ignoring all the advice that the relationship quacks give, we dragged the past into it. This crisis in kenya is now about more than an election fiasco. It has become about land inequities going back to our independence, it has become about social inequities, it has become about nepotism and ethnic biases amongst other things. So, now the cats out of the bag, I don't envy the folks who have to try and unravel this whole mess.
To be continued .....
Let me have your thoughts.

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