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PELS was responsible for the 2007-2008 post-election blood bath
Blamuel Njururi, August 26 –Nairobi. Claims by Kenya’s former Prime Minister Raila Amolo Odinga and his lead sycophant Anyang’ Nyong’ that the March 4, 2013 was stolen in Nairobi, is testimony that they are suffering from acute Post-Election-Loss Syndrome (PELS) – a psychiatric disorder that mainly afflicts 3rd World politicians.
Acute PELS complications in some cases call medication, including hospitalization. In extreme cases PELS may lead to unexplained illness and death. This explains the high rate of election losers’ illnesses and irrational post-election reactions that manifest themselves in violence and a tide of court petitions.
PELS manifests itself in several conditions that include:
Some psychiatrists and psychologists are now taking keen interest in PELS with a view of setting up consultancy and treatment clinics for politicians, their spouses and supporters who fall victims of PELS. There is awakening realisation that counseling should be encouraged to assist election losers, and in some cases winners, to cope with PELS.
It is now dawning on political observers that PELS was responsible for the 2007-2008 post-election blood bath driven by Raila’s Tyranny of mass action. The revolt against the election “won” by President Mwai Kibaki with a razor thin margin of just about 200,000 votes, triggered PELS in Raila and his henchmen sending them on a violent path to claim a victory they “believed” had been stolen.
PELS is also believed to have been responsible for coup de tats that have brought political governments tumbling soon after elections. In cases of military take overs, the coups have in most times than not been instigated by losing politicians, who would rather have the government control go to any other person but their rivals. Counter coups are generated by a combination of above PELS conditions by those deposed along with their supporters.
PELS has been generally ignored by social scientists, psychiatrists and psychologists for fear and lack of interest in political behavior of key players and instead choosing to study social effects on political development. The result is that general populations are rendered victims of competing individual political interests and their countries turned into battle fields to satisfy personal self-image, self-esteem and bloated egos.
Individuals suffering from PELS can engage in impulsive irrational activities that may lead to extensive loss of lives and economic destruction. Groups of PELS victims can easily be seized of mass hysteria, panic and frenzy madness whose actions they cannot rationally explain. In a stupor of PELS they can inflict uncontrollable damage and harm – including genocide as it happened in Rwanda and continues to happen in most African states.
In 2008 Raila-instigated mass action was extended to depriving innocent individuals of their business and residential properties by hysterical Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) adherents. Some of those involved were using ODM as an umbrella under which they were pursuing their personal interests to satisfy what they considered socio-political injustices. Forceful occupation and illegal acquisition of other people’s property has no place in a civilized society.
Furthermore, how would other ODM adherents explain such actions as raiding Ruma National Park and setting it ablaze to burn innocent wild animals? Why would youths rip off a railway line that transports goods and their tribes folk to Kisumu and other destinations? Why would party goons set ablaze a Church with human beings in it or an important communications exchange? Above all, why would mature grown ups continue to claim election “victory” that only exists in their fertile imagination?
A psychiatrist who of late has taken keen interest in PELS told KENYA CONFIDENTIAL that some of its reactions and damage can be tampered before elections. He observed that Kenya was saved from another post-election violence this year by pre-election peace campaigns conducted before March 14 General Election. He singled out the peace prayers conducted by Prophet David Owuor of the Ministry of Repentance and Holiness.
During the February 24th event Owuor gathered five presidential candidates, including the forerunners Raila and Uhuru Kenyatta, and made them all pledge they would maintain post-election peace and respect the election results. His unintended target was Raila, who was the only candidate capable of master-minding and wreaking post-election havoc. Indeed, Raila did not agree with the results. He petitioned The Supreme Court and even after his appeal was dismissed, he still insists his victory was “stolen”.
Raila’s top ODM supporters, who appear to be suffering from PELS include Nyong’ along with their CORD new-weds Kalonzo Musyoka and Johnstone Muthama. Others exhibiting full blown PELS symptoms include lawyers James Orengo, Kajwang and Raila’s cousin Jakoyo Midiwo. Several CORD election losers and supporters had to undergo medication and hospitalization after suffering massive shock when Raila and Kalonzo lost the presidential race.
This may explain Raila’s current loss of self-confidence and political flamboyancy, his burning sense of inferiority complex and demands for VIP recognition coupled with his frequent repulsive impulses of public tantrums claiming his victory was stolen. Some people very close to him suffered a serious PELS-induced bouts of depression from which they are yet to fully recover.
Conversely, some election victors suffer from Post-Election-Victory Syndrome (PEVS), – another area attracting psychologists and psychiatrics – which manifests itself in unwarranted sense of self-importance, superiority complex, newly found aura of confidence and ungrounded sense of power. PEVS in recent years has afflicted Kenyan Members of Parliament hitting terrifying levels in the 10th Parliament and spreading to the current National Assembly and the Senate.
This explains the “midnight” huge salaries and benefits increments by MPs that culminated in the ongoing clamour for higher salaries by both Houses and the superiority battles between the two. The nonsensical superiority war has escalated towards Constitutional Commissions, which some MPs jealously feel are over-paid and act as if they are senior and more powerful than the legislators.
Both PELS and PEVS infliction has played havoc on elected leaders and reduced parliamentary discourse to a circus of debasing talk-shows that leave a lot to be desired. Some MPs have at times demonstrated complete lack of parliamentary decorum using vulgar language against fellow MPs and public servants. Others display misplaced sense of importance and power because they represent the ruling executive as leaders of majority and committee chairmen. Unfortunately many do not know they are victims of PELS and PEVS.
Meanwhile, driven by the Post-Election-Loss Syndrome, Raila and his disciples are now mooting the idea of a Constitutional Amendment to introduce what they are calling a “Parliamentary System” of Government. They claim it is only a parliamentary system of government that can oversee full implementation of devolvement of governance to County level. Raila was unrelenting crusader of Parliamentary governance before he beat a sudden retreat during constitutional negotiations in Nairobi early 2008.
When launching his presidential bid in 2007, he said he was “deeply committed to a new Constitution and a Parliamentary System of Government, as contained in the Bomas Draft. The USA is the only country among the major western powers with a presidential system. All the rest are parliamentary democracies, and this is what we must aim for in Kenya.”
This was soon to prove to be mere rhetoric in the wake of PELS-driven 2008 post-election Tyranny of mass action, during the final Harambee House negotiations. At the negotiations, co-chaired by President Kibaki and Raila, over the system of government in the draft constitution, the same Raila proposed the adoption of the presidential system of government. He astounded everyone around that table, including Kibaki, who smiled but said nothing.
Clearly, by then, Raila was prepared to jettison what had only months earlier been one of the cornerstones of his campaign. He no longer desired a parliamentary system because it would scatter Executive Power. Raila, in his trade mark miscalculated short-cut to State House, wanted all executive power concentrated in his hands, when, as he imagined, he became President after elections then scheduled for 2012. He now wants to disrupt Uhuru’s presidency by creating confusion between parliamentary and presidential systems because he lost and Majimbo has lost political flavour. The two systems have nothing to do with devolution implementation.
The new found parliamentary-system-crusaders have yet to define the nature of government they want. In the stable government of South Africa the head of state and government is called a President even though the system – from top to bottom – is a federal parliamentary. South African Presidents assume office when their political parties win majority seats in parliament.
In South Africa, no one votes directly for the President and members of parliament. Parliamentary seats are allocated to parties premised on a formula based on the overall performance of each party in the general elections – like nominations in Kenya currently. Yet, there are no complaints that the 336-member mandate the South African Presidents derive from winning majority seats in the elections is somehow inferior to the so-called “directly” elected persons.
In Kenya, the basic system of government has all along been parliamentary since independence in 1963. Members of parliament, including presidential candidates, are required by law, to contest parliamentary seats in demarcated constituencies. That was the same method used in March 4th elections.
At independence, the Head of State was the Queen (Elizabeth II) whose representative, the Governor General, acted in her absence. The Head of Government was a Prime Minister (then Mzee Jomo Kenyatta) who assumed that position by virtue of being the leader of the political party (Kanu) with majority seats in parliament. Both the heads of state and government derived their mandates and legitimacy differently. The method of assuming office didn’t and couldn’t determine the functions, responsibilities and privileges of each office.
Hardly six months since Raila was driven out of the Grand Coalition, into which he forced himself through 2008 Tyranny of mass action, he’s like fish out of water, furiously gasping for power. He appears to have long forgotten that Quoting Mahatma Gandhi, in 2007 he stated that, “we must guard against politics without principle; pleasure without conscience; wealth without work; knowledge without character; business without morality; science without humanity; and worship without sacrifice.”
Raila’s latest move is to trigger a constitutional crisis if the Constitution amendment favouring a Parliamentary system succeeds. He plans to seize power as Prime Minister since his party ODM is the single party with majority parliamentary seats. He intends to make nonsense of the pre-election coalitions, including his CORD, which saw JUBILEE coalition take the presidency. It is almost impossible that Raila can convince Kenyans to abolish the Presidency in a Referendum, which must decide such amendment.