The recent crisis in Kenya following the presidential elections of 8 August reveals the tribal aspect that undermines electoral processes in African countries. Indeed, the political currents are often secondary, the preference going to the tribal affiliation of the candidates, as we have just seen in the recent Kenyan elections. These elections pitted the outgoing president, the « liberal » Uhuru Kenyatta, against Raila Odinga, « center-left » and leader of the opposition. It was the fourth presidential campaign of the latter. The opposition was represented by a coalition of five « center-left » parties named NASA (National Super Alliance). Opposition leaders have all held positions of power in previous governments and although they often have contradictory interests, they have agreed to follow Odinga under the banner of NASA provided that they share the power: Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka chief of the Kambas, Wycliffe Musalia Mudavadi leader of the Luhyas, Moses Wetangula, and Isaac Kiprono Ruto are all former ministers, rich and powerful men. Raila Odinga is a « social democrat » who made a fortune in ethanol, benefiting from the deregulated economy of Kenya. Uhuru Kenyatta, whose father Jomo Kenyatta was the first president of Kenya, belongs to the powerful Kikuyu tribe. Raila Odinga, from the Luo tribe, is the son of Oginga Odinga, who was vice-president of Jomo Kenyatta. The fathers opposed each other fiercely, the sons perpetuate the tradition. Because the Kikuyus hate the Luos, and vice versa. Actually, these two tribes have not ceased to oppose since the country’s independence in 1963.
After a few days of wavering, on Friday August 11th at night, Kenyatta is officially re-elected with 54 % votes against 44 % for Odinga. This one denounces then a massive electoral fraud. Sure of his victory, Odinga had promised to contest the results of the election in the street in case of defeat. Immediately, riots erupt, shops are set on fire in the slums of Nairobi and Kisumu. The police shoot real bullets and several people are killed. The violence kills 24 people and injures more than 200 people. Odinga wants to continue the struggle even at the cost of reproducing the tragic events of 2007 which killed 1,500 and displaced 600,000 following the re-election of the outgoing president Kikuyu Mwai Kibaki against (already) the Luo Raila Odinga, but divisions are deep within the fragile coalition. There are two opposing trends regarding the attitude to adopt following defeat. On the one hand, the close friends of Odinga who are mainly members of the Luo ethnic group who advocate mass demonstrations. On the other hand, moderates who want to avoid a bloodbath at all costs. John Kerry, head of the Carter Foundation in charge of monitoring the elections, weighs all his weight and reminds everyone to order to stop the violence. Finally, under international pressure, from the White House to the European Union, via Great Britain, on 16 August, Raila Odinga renounces his plan to use the street and now puts his future in the hands of the Supreme Court judges.
We contacted Raila Odinga but he did not want to answer our questions because they were considered embarrassing for him and his friends of the opposition who receive their orders from the Western powers. The sad reality of Kenya and other African countries is that the political decision is not made in these countries but in the western capitals. What is happening in Kenya and which is symptomatic of what the entire African continent is experiencing is that a ruling caste plunders resources while serving Western interests, as is also the case in Algeria or the DRC, etc. Without the West, which is the main support of these elite, they could not sustain themselves in power for more than a quarter of an hour. Africa is full of wealth while its population lives below the poverty line and an oligarchic caste lives in opulence by bleeding the continent. The main characteristic of these leaders is corruption, fraud and the rejection of a real alternation that would come from a party or force that would come clean their alliances with the West and threaten their interests as well as those of their Western masters. The question of the completion of the independence of African countries such as Kenya and many others remains on the agenda. The principle of the predisposition to be colonized in Africa remains to be asked, like that of independence.Without real dynamics of genuine change that would surpass tribalism, nepotism, clientelism and corruption of these African politicians who do not serve the interests of their country, without strong institutions such as legitimate parliaments, and with a corrupt press in its totality in the image of the ruling oligarchic caste, Africa will continue to replicate the same failures. In fact, the political struggle currently taking place in Kenya and in some African countries takes the shape of a cockfight rather than a political struggle with major issues such as social justice, freedom of expression, independent justice and real alternation, etc.
Moreover, these tribal despotic regimes pave the way for terrorist groups in Africa, including Kenya, such as Boko Haram and others, who are taking advantage of the impoverishment of the population and are recruiting to spread blood there. Kenya, like other African regimes, is far from reform and therefore unable to offer a better life prospect to its citizens. As a result, the criminality that characterizes this country and this continent, as well as migratory waves and terrorism, will remain the only horizons of the Kenyan people and other peoples of Africa as long as these corrupt and servile leaders of the former colonizers and Western powers will exist. These interchangeable despots and factitious opponents, in their blindness of having absolute power, will block the way to the progress of their country by sacrificing it on the altar of their personal profit and that of their Western masters.
Published n American Herald Tribune: https://ahtribune.com/world/africa/1861-kenya.html
In Palestine Solidarité: http://www.palestine-solidarite.org/analyses.mohsen_abdelmoumen.280817.htm