Thursday, August 10, 2017

Don't cock it up

It took me three hours and forty minutes to vote on the 8th August. I joined the queue at the Bidii Primary School Polling Station at noon and cast my final ballot at 3.42pm in stream 16 of polling station 15 in Makadara Constituency. I was exhausted but elated that I had voted for the women and men I wanted to vote for. (Whether they do anything worthwhile in the next five years is all up to how willing I am to get in their faces when they do stupid things.)

Of course there was no violence on the 8th and there was none on the 9th either. It's the 10th and in Makadara things seem to be getting back to normal -- Double Ms were back on the mostly empty roads. My cigarette guy hasn't reopened but that may be because he travelled to Murang'a to vote and may have decided to spend a few extra days there. His absence is good for my health as seeing that Tuskys Eastlands doesn't do tobacco or alcohol and Uchumi Buru Buru is shit these days and all dukas seem to eschew cigarettes as a rule and no wines-and-spirits seems to sell anything other than wines and spirits and beer.

I have followed -- sporadically -- "Joshua's" increasingly vehement assertions that the "IEBC system was hacked" and, quite frankly, even though I feel for the guy, it's time for him to can it and retire gracefully from active national politics. The only way his assertions will have any purchase is for whatever proof he advances in support to be endorsed by independent experts. Trotting out his pet "IT expert" to tell us that hacking took place is not enough.

The incumbent's fans are a graceless lot. If all of them were stricken by the greyscale that had stricken the sellsword Jorah Mormont, I would only feel a slight twinge of mercy -- but not much. They are the least graceful winners. It is almost certain that they will revive their accept-and-move-on choir and demand that the rest of the nation sing the chorus as enthusiastically as the choir most certainly will. I am not interested and, I suspect, neither are the hundreds of thousands -- perhaps, millions -- who think the Jubilation is made up of fast people with the consciences of sicario.

In the end, whether things remain largely peaceful will turn on whether Baba can make his allegations stick and how many Kenyans believe him if he does. The commission has been given every opportunity to demonstrate its capabilities and its credibility; it has squandered most of them. This time round, by and large, the KIEMS worked and those whose details were available were able to vote. Everything else about the counting, tallying and transmission simply heightens tensions because so much remains unknown to so many interested parties. Our presidential elections are all high-stakes affairs and they can be tipped over into full-scale violence quite easily. The fate of these elections is in the hands of the commission. If it cocks it up I don't think we will ever trust an election ever again.

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