No Way Out

There are lots of ways I could see Raila Odinga deciding to cut a deal with Kibaki. A suitcase full of cash, Kalonzo being sacked to open up the vice-president’s job, a meaningless new post of prime minister (sort of ic parliament) or some such. But I still can’t see any way that Mwai Kibaki would make any concessions to an opposition that is fast running out of ideas.

Two weeks ago the Orange Democratic Movement had the moral high ground and the momentum. It brought the country to a standstill. And then backed down.

Today it looks like it has played all its cards and realised its full house was actually two pair.

Meanwhile Kibaki is prepared to tough it out. MPs go back to work today and the president has a functioning cabinet around him. No matter that the country is carving itself up along ethnic lines, he is a president with total belief in his power.

The only chance of a compromise now seems to rest with the international community. In her statement at the weekend Jendayi Frazer, US assistant secretary of state, hinted that the US could not continue “business as usual” with Kenya without movement on constitutional and electoral reform. And now the European Union could cut its aid to Kenya over concerns about disputed elections, according to its top aid official.

It’s deeply depressing. Once again Kenyans are no longer in charge of their own destiny. They are left with a president who clearly doesn’t give a toss about them and an opposition leader bereft of ideas. I generally believe countries get the government they deserve. No-one deserves this.


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