The Supreme Court judgment delivered this week though reaffirming Judiciary’s independence; left a lot to be desired. If anything, it affirmed the fears that Judiciary is indeed under threat.
Firstly, that the dissenting judgment focused more on poking holes at the majority judgment rather than offering their reasoned judgment. In the words of the Narc Leader, Martha Karua, it was as though they had put their colleagues on trial.
It’s also not lost to wananchi Supreme Court’s decision to absolve the IEBC officers of any criminal offences despite the majority judgment confirming illegalities were committed.
The Judiciary had already been labelled partisan by government politicians and one could argue they feared including criminal charges could only escalate tension. In the end they made a judgment that appeared political.
That Parliament is captured is not in question. Only this week Parliamentarians have shown their unity, yet again in fighting the Salaries Renumeration Commission (SRC) yet again. MPs know as long as they do things that please their political godfathers they are free to go rogue and the electorate can go hang.
Otherwise, why would the Budalangi MP be so bold in his silliness? He said, “In the 10th Parliament, this House was covering our many wives and the children of these women and girlfriends. This cover must be brought back,” referring to the medical cover that currently covers one wife and four children.
This disrespect for Wananchi is because Parliamentarians are only afraid of their party bosses-the main politicians-not mwananchi who put them there and has no medical cover.
Unfortunately, the Fourth Estate that one expects to help the electorate in making more informed decisions is also experiencing institutional capture. Not only was the media unable to report objectively during the August 8th polls but they were also muddying the waters by bringing on set partisan politicians who fed viewers more propaganda. Sadly, to this point, the media continues bringing politicians on set rather than experts who can add meaning to the conversation and help steer the country from the polarized state.
Other independent institutions also suffer the same problem. Again, this week, the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) complained that the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) cleared 106 candidates who were not fit to hold office against its recommendations. EACC now says over 60 per cent of the leaders in question were elected. Why then did IEBC clear these people? But one also wonders why EACC appeared toothless then, as it is now.
It appears the country is being held hostage by a cabal of politicians who are interested in nothing but power for the sake of power.
And while the electorate is partly to blame for electing the same people; the challenge to a large extent is the undemocratic nature of political parties where the choice presented to mwananchi is the worst. Right now, all eyes are on IEBC as they work to deliver free, fair and credible elections in the second round. And the rest of us are hoping this key institution will choose to serve Kenyans rather than politicians.
In the meantime, Kenyans must refuse to be dazed by the political rhetoric that keeps us fighting each other on social media and other public places at the expense of people who have little interest in us.
We must refuse to be pawns in the politician’s game even as we prepare for the next round of elections.
Let’s remember the real fight here is between the rich and the poor and choose our sides wisely and hope the media and other key institutions will do right by the people and hold the fabric of this nation together.