Monday, October 30, 2017

Legitimacy? Nah, fam.

Legitimacy is not that difficult a concept to understand. Constitutional and statutory legitimacy is quite often easy to achieve if one is a stickler for the strict reading of constitutions and Acts of Parliament. In Kenya, especially over the past fifteen years, constitutional and statutory legitimacy has come to supersede all other forms of legitimacy, including moral, ethical or political legitimacy. The October 26 fresh presidential election is a testament to the triumph of legal legitimacy in the face of great moral, ethical and political illegitimacy.

The ruling alliance is dead set against admitting that it is in the throes of the greatest lack of faith in its legitimacy on five years. It has managed to sink even lower than it did in the wake of its "accept and move on" victory in 2013. On the 26th October, no matter how the numbers are managed, massaged or statistics-ised, out of 19 million voters, more than half, perhaps more than two-thirds, chose to stay away from the polls, hewing to the clarion call of the Doyen of the Opposition to boycott the poll because of the steadfast refusal of the ruling alliance and the electoral commission to make concrete and meaningful changes to ensure a credible election.

Even if we accept the bad-faced canard that "seven and a half million voters chose to participate in the election, this represents only about 40% of the registered voters. In an atmosphere of great mistrust, especially of the ruling alliance and the electoral commission on account of the harsh indictment of both by the Supreme Court, when sixty percent of the voting public chooses to stay home on the day of the presidential election, whatever legitimacy one enjoys cannot be moral, ethical or political even if the strict letter of the law is observed to the last comma (which it has not even in this fresh election). But when the ruling alliance glories in declaring whose swathes of the population as "paid militia" and sees no wrong in the heavy-handed police action in "opposition strongholds" that have led to scores of dead Kenyans, any talk of legitimacy is an insult to any rational adult.

The fresh election has exposed the ruling alliance for what it is: a money-obsessed, formalism-ridden, intellect-bereft, immoral and ethically bankrupt cabal of power-hungry managerialists whose idea of a peaceful nation is one in which all its enemies -- aka rivals -- are dead. The ruling alliance is not interested in the education of its young, the health of its people or the safety of the nation; the ruling alliance is hell-bent on selling national assets in the market of developmental economics come hell or high water. In this scenario, the ruling alliance is the hell and the high water. Legitimacy? No, good people. The ruling alliance is far, far away from legitimacy.

No comments: