Tried to blog yesterday, but all the cyber-cafes in my neighborhood were closed. Trying to grab a matatu home before it gets dark so this is rushed.
– First, I will echo everyone who has commended Kenyans for voting peacefully and continuing the trend towards maturity as a democracy…it was funny reading all the international news coverage that had the words “predicted violence” in the first sentence. Wonder how many editorials there will be commenting on the peaceful exercise of democracy and the great job done by the Electoral Commission of Kenya under difficult circumstances?
– Mood on the ground as far as I can tell is that people are happy with the Orange Victory for a whole bunch of reasons that point to how little this had to do with the draft constitution at the end of the day. Some of the reasons: for those who took time to read the document, it was obvious that parts of the draft were cobbled together and inconsistent, not to mention parts of Bomas that were dropped (especially devolution and reduced exec powers); people felt that the draft was being forced down their throats by an illegitimate process and wanted politicians to listen to them rather than speak at them; people felt that if we have waited for fifteen years then they were prepared to wait longer rather than live with a flawed document; this was a vote against the government and an expression of dissatisfaction with the status quo (inevitable since the government itself turned the whole process into a vote of confidence); Kibaki’s lame attempt at influence-peddling and bribery, especially towards the end of the process signaled a return to the days of sycophany which Kenyans didn’t appreciate; the arrogance of the Banana side as exemplified by the President’s infamous pumbavu remark (seen on a placard yesterday, “Nani pumbavu sasa?”) and the fact that having expressed a particular position he wouldn’t go out and meet the people face to face in support of his position; this was a vote driven by fear of the return of Kikuyu hegemony in government (no coincidence that the only province to vote Yes was Central)… Lots more reasons have been expressed in editorials in the Nation (a guy called Macharia has a particularly good one) and the Standard. More thoughts on the outcome and post-referendum scenarios to follow.
– Randomness: Java House cafe on Mama Ngina was boarded (as in with mbaos) up since Saturday, but Dorman’s right across the street was open for business all through the weekend (and gained a new customer in the process). Wonder why one business owner was more paranoid than the other…
– SMS I received this morning, ” Tunasikitika kutangaza kifo cha ndizi, mtoto kubafu wa Kibaki, kutokana na Orange. Mazishi ni hapo KICC wakati wowote. Roho haki na ipotee milele.”
– AOB: Orange victory came on the eve of the first anniversary of the Orange Revolution in Ukraine (or so some guy on Nation TV claims, haven’t had time to verify).