At what point does opposition politics stop and opposition administration kicks in?
by NjukiMartin Posted on 26-04-2016
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The moment the Electoral body closes the files and a new government is in place, the opposition ought to stop politics and embark on keeping the government in check. This was the number one failure of CORD after the 2013 general elections. Instead, the opposition began campaigns for 2017 general elections.

 Governments will mostly begin falling out with the citizens when the promises made during the campaigns start fading off.  When the roads which were to be built in 100 days fail, then buyer remorse kicks in. People begin feeling like they made the wrong choice. At this point, the opposition should conduct itself in Parliament as to persuade the people of the country that it could be an improvement on the government of the day. 

A strong opposition only complements democracy. In the event of a weaker opposition, ruling government and its representative may become complacent and insensitive for duration of their rule. A disruptive opposition which opposes everything for the sake of opposing is not good for democracy nor the tax-payers. It simply avoids discussion and does not offer any solutions. Blowing whistles in parliament as opposed to tabling sensible motions for house deliberations. This has been CORD since 2013. 

Unfortunately in Kenya, the only opposition we have known is that of preparing to win the next general elections. A closer look at what CORD has championed for in the last four years will clearly show that they re only interested in the next general election in 2017. 

1. INCLUSIVITY AND NATIONAL UNITY.

The opposition demanded among other things a publication by the Public Service Commission of all appointments made in the public service since election, with full details listing names, regions and percentages. They asked for a list of all senior public officers dismissed from work categorised by ethnicity. Of course by so doing, they hope to show just how skewed the lists are. This unfortunately is not going to be news since it is in the public domain that Jubilee has at times appointed board members from only the Rift and Central Kenya. 

When you look at the demands the opposition is making, it comes out clearly that CORD is poorly administered. They have to beg the government for information open to the public domain like budgetary allocations. When the opposition asks for a list on County by County basis of the budgets allocated to farmer and cooperative subsidies, then you know that their machinery is dead.

So what solution has the opposition proposed to this challenge? None. But they surely have done well in reminding us of our already well know troubles.

2. ELECTORAL PROCESS AND THE INDEPENDENT ELECTORAL AND BOUNDARIES COMMISSION 

This has been CORD's chorus since they lost in 2013. They have vowed to overhaul the IEBC but will not use the constitution to do so. They will opt for 1980's street fights since that is the only war strategy their leader knows, having employed it to reinstate democracy back then.

I will leave this at that. Soldier on fighters, muscle out the IEBC if you can.

3. DEVOLUTION AND RESTRUCTURING OF THE PROVINCIAL ADMINISTRATION

In my well researched opinion, Uhuru's government has failed miserably to tackle the errant spending at the county levels. This was one area the opposition should have used the mechanisms provided for in the constitution to address the rampant wastage of public resources. Wheelbarrows have cost 100,000 KES and gates millions of shillings. Further monies have been wasted in the name of benchmarking.

Instead of CORD legislators passing registrations to curb such malice, they resulted into being news anchors, constantly informing an already aware public of who stole what from where. The reason CORD is not blowing whistles on this is mainly because it is equally a headache in CORD governed counties as it is in the Jubilee ones. This means neither the opposition, nor the government has the capacity to streamline county errant spending. 

God have mercy on us.

4. CORRUPTION

Truly truly I say to you, whoever offers a permanent solution to corruption will govern Kenya and subsequently Africa. Judging by the strategies, if any; that CORD has employed to fight corruption, then this "whoever" is not from the opposition. They have relied heavily on the media to address the vice, always echoing what the media says and at times picking up the role of investigative journalism.

To be clear, we know we are a corrupt country. Left, right and center, the tax payer's money is ending up in individual's pockets. What we need is not new names to join the membership of an overgrown list of scandals. We need a solution. The government of the day cannot be the solution to its inefficiencies. Only the opposition can offer this. It is not the opposition's duty to budget for the nation but it is their noble obligation to ensure that every coin is well spent. Report to the hopeless citizens and pleading with the government to stop stealing is not a strategy. This leaves the mwanachi with little hope of a saviour from the chains of corruption.

5. NATIONAL SECURITY

Jubilees headache that was Alshabab is slowly but surely being contained. If recent quiet is anything to go by, then kudos to the government of the day. However, alshabab is not the only threat to National Security. Too many killings are taking place and the government ought to guarantee each citizen the right to their security.

CORD hasn't done much to assist in improving the security of the country. It is not their role. They are not the government elect. So ask your president where your security is. What CORD is quick at doing is press release in the event of attacks.  On Mpeketoni, for istance, CORD asked the president to admit having failed to act in accordance with his Office. They insist the he must take full responsibility for any ethnic tension in the region and should be ready to be held accountable for any crimes that may occur as a result of incitement.

This is not offering a solution, nor is it comforting the affected. It is taking advantage of bloodshed to paint your opponent as a failure. These are the times you stop politicking about the issue and get down to mourn with the believed. CORD should have initiated a community program to help the people of Mpekotoni rebuild thier life, or at least appeared to offer solutions to the insecurity problem. This way, the electorate may just find out that CORD is a better option. 

6. COST OF LIVING AND IRRESPONSIBLE BORROWING

The Eurobond saga where billions of shillings borrowed from the west cannot be accounted for is a total shame to Uhuru's government. Worse still is that the Central Bank governor seems to take the issue lightly by calling people's leaders "Third Parties" when they seek explanation.

Raila has taken his time to keep this topic afloat, even as the government tries to sweep it under the carpet. If CORD can work with the International Monetary Fund and bring light to the matter, then this will be worth writing home about. They have an upper hand on this. Raila is well travelled, networked and respected abroad, far more than he is at home. Kalonzo has the experience from the shuttle diplomacy. Surely these guys can bring back the money if they pulled the right strings. This would earn them immense popularity amongst the 50%+1 voters. 

Meanwhile, the cost of living has been going up even before Jubilee came into power. CORD should offer exemplary solutions by effecting working strategies in the counties where they are governing. How are they creating jobs? How are they reviving collapsed industries? Blaming the government for this is simply joining the mwananchi in his woes. That is what we voters do best..blame it on the serikali. The opposition to do, or appear to be doing better. Offer solutions. 

7. HISTORICAL INJUSTICES AND THE TJRC REPORT

Prayer rallies will always be a cover up for political plays. CORD has perfected this art. A day known to witness opposition theatrics is Seventh July, commonly known us Saba Saba. While in pretence of trying to resolve historical injustices, CORD used the 2016, 7th July rally to, once again, showcase how empty of ideas they were. 

A public release ahead of the rally said, "We also call on the conveners to pray for the Saba Saba rally scheduled for Monday so that we are able to deliberate peacefully and soberly and find practical solutions. It our hope that the prayers will reinforce the Biblical dictum of, “come, let's reason together”.

Which administration calls for a public rally to find practical solutions and reason together? CORD should know better that this is done in well constituted forums. We all know why politicians call for rallies, to ascertain their popularity, to showcase their might. This is no longer working. We agree Raila is famous, CORD is well known and there is no need to prove that. What the opposition needs now is to be popular in areas where they receive poor following. Do something in Central CORD, build that bridge in Mwea which was swept away. Visit Meru and build a kindergarten. Hata kama ni ya mbao. Get out of Kamukunji if you need 50% + 1 in 2017. 

I rest my case. 




   

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Njuki Martin JM
About the Writer NjukiMartin
OCCUPATION Computer Science

I have purposed to be very keen on the role of ICT in today’s world and in shaping the future towards a global economic system. I therefore strive for excellence in whatever I do through teamwork, training and learning so as to be competent with the necessary social skills and hands-on-knowledge required in developing market oriented solutions to the challenges and problems that face us.




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