Chaos, violence and rigging a damning verdict on parties

Monday April 24 2017

A voter is assisted by a clerk to cast his vote

A voter is assisted by a clerk to cast his vote at Lelwak Primary School polling station in Nandi Hills on April 24, 2017, during the Jubilee Party nominations. A sober revisit of the party nominations will reveal that none of our political parties and coalitions are fit to run the country. PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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Kenyans should have closely watched the party nominations that come to a close this week.

Most of those of right mind will, for good reason, not have wanted to get muddied in the murk, but one does not have to be involved in party elections to recognise the importance of such political formations in management of national affairs.

Thus the party nominations, should, for most Kenyans, not have been just about who gets the ticket to vie for the member of the county assembly (MCA), President, or any other post in between; but about what the poll displays of the party’s democratic credentials, sense of fair play and justice, organisational ability and other qualities essential to good and proper management of any organisation.

To put it simply, a party whose internal elections are characterised by dictatorship, rigging, violence, chaos and general disorganisation and incompetence cannot be trusted to run a country.

If a party cannot manage itself, then it surely cannot manage the much more complex business of managing the nation.

So, before deciding to cast your ballot for National Super Alliance (or separately for any of its affiliates), Jubilee Party, Thirdway Alliance, Narc Kenya, Tunza Coalition, Kanu, Safina, PNU, Federal United Coalition of Kenya or any other outfit in that bewildering alphabet soup, ask yourself a simple question: How did the party manage its nominations?

If the party managed smooth, flawless primaries that was the epitome of democracy, transparency, fair play, good planning and organisation, then that is the party whose leadership and candidates will be worth entrusting with the onerous responsibility of marching our country forward.

On the other hand, if the party presented a shambolic farce that exposed such utter incompetence, corruption and disorganisation that it cannot be entrusted with management of the village cattle dip, then obviously it cannot be trusted with the destiny of the nation.

It is as simple as that. If, for once, we put aside our ethnic blinkers, we can make use of what we are witnessing in the party nominations to help us vote intelligently for a better Kenya.

The simple fact is that not a single political party took the opportunity to demonstrate that it can manage the simple task of an internal election.

If the General Election in August is to be between two main contestants, Jubilee and Nasa, it was clear that both failed dismally at the nominations.

The ‘ruling’ Jubilee, with all the awesome machinery at its disposal, including illegal appropriation of public resources, could not manage the simple task of producing and distributing an adequate number of ballot papers countrywide.

Forget that asinine spin from President Uhuru Kenyatta about the Jubilee election board being “under-prepared” rather than “unprepared”; the fact of the matter is that the Jubilee nominations were a flop from day one.

What does that say about the competence of those asking our mandate for a second turn at the meat-eating trough, as they would put it?

As for Nasa and its conglomeration of bickering political outfits, the less said the better, as none of them can laugh at Jubilee.

Mr Raila Odinga’s ODM was about the only other party that tried to rival Jubilee in putting on nomination contests across the country.

The sheer incompetence, corruption and anti-democratic tendencies put on display beggars belief.

The other Nasa affiliates, Wiper, Ford Kenya, and Amani were not much to talk about either.

They largely slipped under the media radar because they did not mount any nominations of note except in their own little village bastions.

They were not much different from the briefcase and handbag parties that dish out nomination certificates to the highest bidders fleeing from defeat in the bigger outfits.

That they did not attract much negative press was not because their nominations were well-managed, but because they didn’t hold any that were worth attention.

Now we are left with a big dilemma because a sober revisit of the party nominations will reveal that none of our political parties and coalitions are fit to run the country.

None of those seeking elections through those parties can be entrusted with the presidency or any other elective post down to MCA.

Should we perchance do away with elections and ask some management head-hunters to recruit our political leaders?

[email protected] @MachariaGaitho