Jul 22, 2009


A few months ago, it was hard to belief that president Barrack Obama would triumph over Senator John McCain in US elections. Obama made history for being the first African American to become president of the United States of America. He is famed for his charisma and alacrity that charges many with hope in America and across the world. Had he been Martin Luther’s son, he would certainly be a chip off the old block.

The embracing of a black person by Americans as president is the greatest thing that could ever happen to the Negro society, keeping in mind that an American leader is also the world leader. But have you imagined what could be the case if the Obama-McCain race was in a different environment, in Kenya for that matter?

If all that happened in 2007 is anything to go by, then I can’t imagine the infamy that everybody would live to remember. Obama would be given a direct nomination by his party following his sensational dwarfing speeches. His party also would conduct the most fraudulent party nominations ever and baptize them “free and fair”.

Kenya has been a powder keg of ethnic mistrust, betrayal and imbalance. The ethnic stereotypes that we so innocently pander would take center stage at the expense of nationalism and patriotism.Obama would be accused for coming from a community that has held on presidency for too long. He could also be accused for coming from a minority tribe or a community that “will never lead Kenyans”. Political platforms would be characterized by the “domo” “domo” hate campaigns. His opponents would capitalize on this and move for a kill.

News stories on Obama would take the lion’s share of space in particular media houses as was religiously done by the main-stream media in 2007. The opposite could also happen to him depending on the media house and the community it supported. The press would forget media ethics and professionalism and run all sorts of unethical political adverts to safeguard their interests.

Obama would be termed as a very dangerous man, fish marketer or a coward just to instill fear in voters and ensure he does not succeed. Our vocal friends from the civil society would also go tribal. The men and women who are supposed to protect us from the private sector’s exploitation would kill the goose that lays the golden egg. With all their influence, some would shoot up hands for Obama and others against him and confuse Kenyans whom they often think cannot make decisions independently.

Kenyans would desperately be besieged to vote for Obama or jeopardize his chances by turning in large numbers at the polling stations. His party would skim to rig, yet cry foul innocently over rigging plans by other parties. The ECK would be put under pressure and people would hurl skepticism claims over its mandate and credibility. Many people would be perished for supporting Obama or even for supporting his opponents. Such more would happen as was literally transpired in this country towards the tail end of 2007.

However, this was abysmal. The intransigent for such thinking can never be expected to be the prerequisite for a mature nation. One wonders if by any chance in our savvy, we have learned anything from our American brothers and sisters. Perhaps our leadership fraternity needs to borrow a leaf from US politics. This might redeem us a great deal even as we brag that Obama’s ancestral blood lives in Kenya.By Duke Mwancha.

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