Thursday, 28 March 2013

It’s sad our leaders didn’t go beyond tribe in choosing petition lawyers

There is a curious trend for choice of lawyers by one petitioner and several respondents over the presidential election at the Supreme Court.
The main petitioner, Raila Odinga has chosen his tribesmen George Oraro and Ochieng’ Oduol to represent him. Isaack Hassan’s choice his tribesman Ahmednassir Abdullahi, while Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto have Fred Ngatia and Katwa Kigen respectively.
Only the IEBC came with a hybrid for its representation but that could be due to the fact that it is an institution.
I’m not rushing into accusing anyone of tribalism and the usual or into interjections of “everyone has a right to legal representation of his or her own choice”.
We may be blaming greed and hatred for fanning tribalism, but the problem could be much bigger than we thought; we may need the intervention of psychologists. It could be emotional weakness and the feeling of insecurity.
When under duress, like when confronted by an ogre, many shout for help from an unlikely source — mama! She held us close to her heart.
Even though our leaders are trying to put up brave faces, we know that they are restless about this presidential petition. They are under serious stress and when push comes to shove, the closest to mama could be tribesman!
Under such pressure, these leaders must have first shared the stress with their tribesmen (possibly in their mother tongue) who swallowed the ogre and advised that help could only come from the nearest mother — tribesman.
So tribalism could be much more entrenched than we thought and the problem could be psychological and not mere hatred. There is no such thing as integrity, transparency, equity, etc when under duress.
Big shame!
Are our leaders playing tribal games with us? In the latest election petition it is evident that our leaders are most ethnic. They would rather be represented by their “own” — their tribesmen.
Is this the kind of change they preached during their campaigns? Is this what they want the people of Kenya to see and embrace? Don’t our leaders have advisers?
Mr Odinga’s lawyer is Oraro, Uhuru’s is Ngatia, Mr Ahmednassir is representing Hassan and Kigen is Ruto’s lawyer. From the names alone you can tell that each leader has his tribesman defending him. It’s a big shame and a pity.

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