By Bernard Wainaina
Did I hear some people suggest that CORD and
Jubilee should cooperate, and work together?
Folks, perish the thought already.
‘Dialogue’ noise is nothing but rhetoric.
It won’t happen.
And if it does, you will be bored to death.
An eerie state of political minds has beset the land, and strange things are happening.
Kenyans are used to politicians being obnoxious, and behaving like spoilt brats who throw tantrums for no reason, hurl insults at the slightest provocation and whip out baseless accusations, just to earn political marks or
even just get one over their opponent.
This template is so well-established that one can just look at the name of a politician and, given any function — funeral, fundraising, wedding, political rally — one can then predict with uncanny accuracy what the politician in question will say.
This rather tired predictability has its advantages.
You could pick a random Kenyan from any of our slums and ask her what was discussed in Parliament on any given day.
Whether she watched the parliamentary session in question or not, she will give you an accurate summary of what transpired —and it all involves some of the usual shenanigans that
our politicians get up to.
A female representative will have her panties
embroiled in the melee at some ruling by the
Speaker; another elected worthy will have thrown a book — or even bottled urine (oh yeah, don’t assume every liquid in a bottle is water), take your pick — at the Clerk of the Assembly; a third representative will have bitten the fingers right off the hand of an opponent and a couple of opposition bigwigs will have had their trousers ripped off, leaving a big
chunk of his backside exposed and clearly letting all and sundry know whether he had anything underneath the trousers!
The antagonism between the governing party and the opposition is fantastic for neutral observers.
It makes the Kenyan political scene quite possibly the most entertaining in Africa, certainly in the region.
Far removed from the boring Museveni-worship that Uganda’s rubber stamp of a parliament prefers to engage in.
And definitely more entertaining than the snore that is Tanzania’s parliament in session, unless there is a corruption scandal for mandugu to discuss.
As parliaments go, ours is matched only by Somalia’s: the Somalis are an interesting bunch.
Back when they used to hold their Bunge sessions in Nairobi hotels,they would descend into fisticuffs at the slightest hint of an insult from one clan to the other.
In the process, bills would be left unpaid,chairs
would be broken, and everyone around would
scamper for safety into the nearest hotel rooms.
Further afield, the parliaments of Taiwan and South Korea are well-known for their entertaining fights.
The two countries are big on martial arts, and kicks will fly at alarming speeds when the respective speakers make any unpopular ruling.
In South Korea, the speaker has to be physically present in parliament before any motion can be passed — and Seoul wags claim that this has led to an interesting phenomenon: opposition lawmakers routinely barricade the speaker in his house, preventing him from attending parliament and thus, effectively killing any government business in the House.
Anyone trying to rescue the speaker from this house arrest gets a good Tae-Kwon-Do beating!
Unfortunately, this is about to change, in Kenya.
A strange wind is abroad the land, and it has brought with it that most rare of political occurrences: a concurrence in opinions between the government and the opposition.
Politicians used to spitting and flinging panties at each other from across the parliamentary aisle are suddenly finding nice things to say about each other.
Very interesting times.
Formerly intractable opponents — whose closest personal encounters with members of the opposite side have hitherto been when biting off those opponents’ fingers and similar body parts — are rather strangely finding
And talking as if they have all been lobotomized and then injected with a cooperation serum.
If our politicians close ranks and indeed sit at a ‘dialogue’ table(I suspect they’d prefer sitting at a ‘Dinner’ table instead!) , the Kenyan political scene
will certainly be a very boring.
“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®