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Post-referendum doze..

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).

10 comments to Post-referendum doze..

  • Ory, that SMS was a killer! ‘Mtoto kubafu wa who??’…LMFAO!

    I know, the beauty of Kenya…the amount of humor generated by this referendum has been never-ending.

  • githush

    The “Orange Revolution” begun after November 21, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orange_Revolution

    I second magaidi’s sentiments on the SMS

    Also find it rather odd that Banana was only able to carry Central, it would seem that they failed to reach out to other people, or did not have an efficient grass roots effort. You on the ground can better analyze the situation.

    The final outcome was not just a result of a failure to reach out to other people or the lack of an efficent grassroots effort by the Banana camp, but also the amount of vitriol coming from their campaigners, especially those who campaigned in Central and from stations like Citizen FM who repeatedly talked about protecting the “House of Mumbi”…the rest of the country feared a return to the Kenyatta days when the only people who benefitted from the government were Kikuyus, as one person told me yesterday, it was time to let those who bandied ethnic chauvnism about that Kenya ina wenyewe.

  • Your coverage (and comments) have been invaluable, especially for those of us living abroad.

    Just wanted to say thanks!

    You are welcome!

  • The banana people lost it in May when they excluded LDP from the PSC on the pretext that they wanted Govt friendly MPs on the committee. They further imposed a chairman on the committee resulting in a KANU walkout.

    This was just one of the many things they screwed up on….most people voted on other grounds, in fact the more I talk to people the more it is clear that this was a referendum on the government’s performance and the perceived arrogance of the Banana camp and what they purported to represent.

  • bankelele

    It was anniversary or orange revolution in Ukraine (which has since imploded)

    Macharia gaitho has written some pretty hard-hitting opinion pieces – which even murungaru has responded to (complained about to the Nation) in writing.

    Each business owner has to decide on the level of risk to his business, staff, and customers.

    Macharia Gaitho has another good piece today in response to the Cabinet sacking.

  • Ory, Thank you!

    You are welcome!

  • echo keguro: thanks for keeping us informed.

  • prousette

    As one of those people who said no AND did not bother to read the proposed constitution, the reason for no was against chauvinism arrogance and house of Mumbi. Especially the house of mumbi part! Kenya ina wenyewe indeed.
    What surprises me is that there was champagne and bulls ready to celebrate the Yes win. How narrow minded could the banana camp be:twisted::twisted:
    and thank you for the analysis

  • I also own a political blog on Kenya. Would you be interested in exchanging links so that we can promote each other?

  • You are so awesome! I do not think I have read through something like that
    before. So wonderful to discover another person with unique thoughts on this topic.
    Seriously.. thanks for starting this up. This site is
    something that’s needed on the web, someone with a little originality!