I have been holding on to this piece for 2 days due unforeseen circumstances including intimidation from certain political quarters. Well, I have decided to say what I wanted to say and disregard those who think I don’t have a free mind and the freedom to speak my mind.
Anyway, I have come to learn that political statements must be taken with a pinch of salt. And this is what I did as I listened to Kibaki’s statement under the hot sun on the steps of KICC. I did the same as I listened to the Raila’s recast statement like an hour later.
Kibaki through the help of the PNU and ODM rebel MPs told Raila on his face that consultations would only be on the replacement of the Attorney General.
It was also not mere coincidence that 125 or so MPs including senior members of ODM like Kosgey, Ruto and Balala were at the President’s press conference. To me it was a show of might on at least two fronts.
One, that the names sent to Kibaki by the JSC will sail through the house. And two, that the group has enough numbers to kick Raila out of the PM’s seat in a motion of no confidence in Parliament. It is also not lost to observers that it was Ruto who brought forward the proposal that the process could restarted and Raila sidestepped.
The Kibaki press conference ensured that Raila had to push his, which was on everyone’s lips the entire day, for almost an hour and also edit his speech which would have escalated the row to new heights. Raila made it clear that even if Kibaki had dropped his earlier stance, he still did not trust him.
The reason being that he wants the Public Service Commission reconstituted – a notion that I have dismissed elsewhere on this site. Raila had listened to the words of the President more carefully than most other people and had realised that he had been played a good one.
In the President’s statement, it was curious to note that he omitted any mention of consultations between him and the Prime Minister in the appointment of the Chief Justice, Director of Public Prosecution and Controller of Budget.
Instead, Kibaki threw the process to the Judicial Service Commission and the Public Service Commission. It was then not surprising that Raila appeared to cry foul by indicating that the PSC had not been reconstituted.
But that could not be a problem to Kibaki and his soldiers. They still have 6 months to reconstitute the PSC and have the appointments of DPP and CoB made by August 27.
The President can easily invoke Article 166, which Raila and his allies has been pushing and skip the consultation process. And even if he decides to consult as envisaged in Article 292 (24), he may send the list to Parliament without concurrence.
All in all politics is about perception and a game of numbers. It would appear damaging, politically, for Raila to cry foul for a second time and deny having been consulted. Then again, the JSC may send only Kibaki friendly proposals, which Raila may have to accept since the JSC is supposed to be “independent”.
Politics is a dirty game and things are just getting murkier!