Some of us remember the bloody recent election in Kenya despite the fact that it seems like a long time ago. The last time I wrote about the election, Kofi Annan’s mediation brought an agreement between president Mwai Kibaki and Raila Odinga, the opposition leader and the winner of the election, to form a unity government compromised of 50/50 coalition of Kibaki’s party and Odinga’s ODM party, however, the implementation of that agreement, like everything else in Kenya, has been elusive. It was reported yesterday (Monday Apr 7), that Odinga skipped on a meeting that was to suppose to announce the “new” coalition based unity government.
Apparently Raila Odinga got Kibaki’s SMS message to his party officials (just before the meeting and instead took a detour to news conference ) that read: odinga is gona fall for it again, LOL Kibaki BFF….PS: keep it confidential. Obviously I’m dramatizing it a little but perhaps this is what really happened because last Friday they both agreed to announce the new government’s cabinet posts on Sunday, with the understanding that they both will appoint an equal amount of ministers while presidential powers will be divided equally as well. I mean, doesn’t it seem like a fair expectation?
From my point of view, Kibaki is really greedy, considering that he did lose the election and thousands died and displaced as a result of this, still Raila Odinga is willing to share power with him when he could simply refuse negotiating with him until a new election decides who’s president. Perhaps I’m Monday-morning quarterbacking here, so to speak, but isn’t the definition of a leader is to do the good of the people instead of self-interest motivations? Yet no one can argue with me that what Africa lacks are courageous leaders who are not afraid of losing elections or appeasing Western interests in their countries but only care about their people’s welfare.
While the debacles of the recent Kenya and Zimbabwe elections hijacked the international media, the president of Botswana stepped down last week without any bloodshed or coup or political pressure (there was no scandal at all, if that is what you’re thinking) although he still had a year and half left on his term because he just felt that was the right thing to do. Isn’t that amazing? Juxtapositioning that with Robert Mugabe who has been in office for nearly three decades is nothing short of astonishing.