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Nasa have given peace a chance; now wait for the judges to speak

On Wednesday, just hours before the Nasa coalition leaders were to announce their decision to go to court, I drove to a petrol service station to have the tyre pressure on my wheels checked and was dumbfounded by the reception I got from an attendant.

He was sullen and reluctant to do the simple job.

To my consternation, I later discovered that he had found a way to over-inflate the tyres when I checked with another station.

ELECTIONS

You see I had become suspicious when he started fiddling with dials while grumbling that the pump may not work.

I was astonished. Why would a total stranger go out of his way to sabotage my vehicle without provocation?

Soon, the answer became pretty clear: this was the week when political tensions were at fever pitch.

Could it be because Mt Kenya was written all over my features and my Kiswahili accent betrayed me?

I was later to learn from the chap’s colleagues that he, indeed, was extremely disgruntled with the political developments, and it showed in his work, which is why I never reported him to his bosses.

PETITION
That evening, I was mighty glad to learn that the Nasa leadership had, after all, decided to challenge the presidential election results in court, a very civilised and sagacious move, which immediately lowered temperatures and probably put the smile back on the face of the poor fellow.

Anything else would have been terribly misadvised.

There are rumours that some in the Nasa high command had been willing to let the country burn to protest the results of an election they describe as fraudulent.

CREDIBILITY
It is amazing to what extent we have let politics poison our lives.

Will there ever come a time when this country holds a “clean” presidential election whose results are uncontested?

Will it ever be possible for people to vote, go home and await the verdict without acrimony, and then agree that the voice of the people is the voice of God, which must be obeyed without question?

Is there a chance that one day, mobs will not be incited to run amok in the streets as the only alternative when their tribal demigods lose?

VIOLENCE

Will Kenya ever hold elections that do not lead to actual or incipient insurrection by half the country’s population?

Should we expect a time when no life is lost because undisciplined security goons aim loaded guns at protesters after disputed results?

Is it possible that nobody loses an election in Kenya unless rigged out?

These questions must be asked because, in our collective madness, we have decided to make elections a life and death affair, a painful ritual, which we must undergo after every five years.

KANU RULE

The facts speak for themselves. Ever since the restoration of multiparty democracy in 1991, only one presidential result — that of the year 2002 — was accepted across the board.

This came about when all the parties opposed to the continuation of the predatory 40-year Kanu rule joined forces and decided on a single candidate.

The last three elections, apparently, have all been stolen, something that does not make statistical sense.

However, try selling such notions of improbability to the long-suffering, “disenfranchised” denizens of the country’s slums who have for long been waiting for their messiah.

SUPREME COURT

It will be futile to try telling them that it is entirely possible for their heroes of the second liberation to lose elections fair and square.

It is good, though not necessarily gratifying, that the real outcome of this year’s election should, for the second time ever in our history, be settled by seven bewigged individuals of high learning.

Any other course of action would have been too destructive to contemplate, which is why no one should attempt to second-guess the decision of the Supreme Court.

STABILITY

As some observers have pointed out, since this issue will not be decided in press conferences, we should all wait to hear what the eminent judges say.

However, one thing is certain. There cannot be two winners in this contest, so all the contenders must pledge to bow to the findings of the Court, concede defeat if they lose the petition, and then shut up.

Personally, I do not want to spend the next five years being denied service at petrol stations, or being told that despite spending nearly five hours on a queue, my vote was merely generated by some busybody computer.

The writer is a consultant editor; [email protected]

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