I have been impressed by the U.S. ambassador for his very diplomatic attempts to calm Kenyans down, get us to rise to a higher level while still respecting us, and calling on Kibaki and Raila to meet and sort this out. It is from him that we heard that Raila has traveled to Kisumu in an attempt to stop the violence.

For real, if the looting and violence in Kisumu is about Kikuyus stealing the presidency from the Luos then they are going about it in a very dumb way. Why the heck burn your house because you’re pissed that a thief has been in it? Same for guys torching houses in slums. They know full well that when a fire catches one shack it easily spreads to others. If you burn your neighbours house down, the fire will eventually reach your own home. That and the mazimas are too busy spraying water on protesters to come put off the fire in the slums.

 

As one radio commentator said today, if the politicians could fly around in choppers making 5 campaign stops a day to ask for votes why in the world can’t they both do the same thing now asking for peace?!!

I’m madly disappointed and frustrated by the lack of leadership in the country. All Kibaki has done is hole up at State house and declare the elections free and fair while wishing us a happy new year. (For those who see this as about Kiuk vs. Luo: do you think Kibaki is feeling anything for those families that died in Eldoret today? Of course not. He and his are comfortable in Nai)

I firmly hold that the ongoing crisis is about institutions of democracy. We have a faulty constitution that does not provide an avenue out of the current impasse. We have a stupid mix of a presidential and parliamentary system where the president has no checks and the parliament has not teeth. This is not about personality politics and who is president but about the institutions of our democracy and strengthening those institutions so we can hold our leaders accountable. If we don’t resolve this situation in a way that strengthens our institutions then we will have this problem every five years. A gentleman’s agreement is not what is needed here, we need to fix our institutions once and for all!

 

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