The disappointed and unhappy leading lights of the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy are well within their rights to bitch mightily about the unfairness of it all, but even they cannot escape from the discomfitting knowledge that they were asking the wrong people to help them paint the national government in a bad light. Issack Hassan, his fellow commissioners and Ezra Chiloba aren't really interested in helping Raila Odinga fuck up the August 2017 general election with a stupid thing like a constitutional amendment referendum.
The Big Brains of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission don't really know how to deal with Raila Odinga. Truth be told, no one in the Government knows how to deal with Raila Odinga. He is not easily bullied; after all if he could survive unlawful detention in the 1980s, there isn't much the IEBC can do, is there? The more militant members of the National Government don't have the balls to detain Raila Odinga. He knows it; they know it; everyone else knows. They can make his life uncomfortable, but they can't throw his ass in jail.
This makes for a very strange co-existence. Mr Odinga is over the hill in many respects, save the one that counts: large swathes of the populace love him. They love him because despite his flaws, Mr Odinga is not condescending to them. Despite his boorish acolytes, Mr Odinga knows how to articulate what the people who love him want. Added to what his father sacrificed in the '60s, Mr Odinga is the antithesis of the modern Kenyan politician: avaricious, rapacious and randy A.F.
Mr Odinga has made many mistakes and has lusted after the presidency for too long, but not even the idiot section of the ruling coalition thinks of him as simply power-mad; in him they see the possibility of the radical change they have tried, and failed, to bring about and it scares the shit out of them because there is a slightly smarter section that keeps fucking things up for the rest of the gang by stealing like stealing were going out of fashion.
When Mr Odinga returned from Boston in 2014 (or was it 2015), and the talk of referenda was pregnant in the political air, rather than panic over it, the ruling coalition should have let him go ahead with his referendum. Okoa Kenya would have exposed Mr Odinga's partners for the crooks everyone seems to think they are. The ruling coalition would have had the best opportunity of separating Mr Odinga from his seniormost partners, and thereby ensuring that he would not be in a position to cause problems while he rebuilt his strength in the trenches. So what if it would have cost billions to hold the referendum? Kenya seems to lose billions down the back of the sofa every year anyway! This is a price all concerned parties should have been willing to pay, especially the ruling coalition and the IEBC.
The ruling coalition, however, is bereft of strategic thinkers, political chessmasters in Mr Odinga's league and it shows in how panic guides their tactics every time Mr Odinga takes a fancy to something. Mr Odinga is not the hardliner of popular political lore; after all, he took up with President Moi despite their poisonous past, and he took up with Mr Kibaki despite the post-2008 poison. He understands that political quid pro quo might rub some people the wrong way, but it is till the best way to ensure that politics remains smooth. Now that the IEBC has firmly, and foolishly, aligned itself with the ruling coalition, things are about to get mighty acrimonious where Mr Odinga is concerned. Mr Odinga may not win the war, but the IEBC is about to lose a few battles and with it what little credibility it had left.