Economist David Ndii was hosted in an interview by Tony Gachoka in a live TV set and was set to talk about Uhuru-Ruto woes, post ICC politics, corruption and governance, Government debt, Referendum talks, 2022 succession politics and the Uhuru Raila handshake.
Below is a transcript of the interview.
Tony Gachoka: Has Kenya collapsed in terms of its ability to deal with the monster of corruption?
David Ndii: It is not the monster of corruption, it is leadership failure. What you are seeing is a blowback of what is ungovernable; it is a state whose leadership has been going down.
There were problems when the international criminal court came into the country because many think that the Jubilee government came into power as a result of ICC compromise, do you think the compromise was hard to make?
One of the mistakes we made is we did not have an election after the 2010 constitution, if we would have held an election, those who were championing for progressive agenda would have taken over, but the misfortune is we placed the new constitution in a cold storage and allowed old forces to regroup behind ICC and so the first thing that we did in 2013 was to throw away chapter six of the constitution out of the window, once you throw the integrity chapter you set the bar for public leaders who instead of jumping over the bar they go under it.
Some people say that through the coalition government and towards the new Government in 2013, it changed the voice of the civil society since many voices of reason were either absorbed as politicians and others by government commissions; such that it affected civil action in as far as fighting corruption is concerned.
I don’t think that is the reason. Kenyans got mobilized along ethnicity and injustice and the trampling on the constitution, this took the wind out civil societies control. When the ICC came we were labelled evil societies, people turned against us for fighting for justice and for standing with post-election violence victims. If the society turns against you for doing the right thing what do you do?
This intra-Jubilee wars we are seeing targeting the deputy president William Ruto and his people, are these manufactured wars?
We know from the outset that Jubilee was a marriage of convenience to fight ICC. As soon as the ICC ended, this fallout has been coming along time.
Talking about a political contest, the only man President Uhuru has ever sacked is a junior CS Echesa. Does Uhuru need to have an iron fist to fight corruption by looking at the history of his predecessors on how to handle matters?
Part of the problem we are experiencing was brought about during the times of his predecessors. The question that we should ask is why did you have tainted people in the government in the first p0lace? The fundamental problem is that you need this person to get into power when you get into power the bargain that you struck becomes a problem in government. Uhuru is a prisoner of his entire bargain he has struck, for his own survival including the ICC bargain with Ruto.
There were people saying that Ruto was the acting president and that they found Uhuru to be passive. Were there issues of co-presidency and was there an expansion of political space for Uhuru to free himself from those handcuffs if they were there?
No! I think what people are doing is to ascribe to Uhuru a mission he doesn’t have, a mission for Kenya. There is no evidence that Uhuru is in this for the people of Kenya, he is in this for himself, his family, business, associates and the people he strikes deals with for self-preservation.
Are you ignoring that there is a big push for 2022 and the Ruto takeover narrative?
There is a lot of discomfort in Uhuru support base about Ruto now as Uhuru’s successor. What you see is a self-preservation strategy. I see a lot of things about this and I categorize it in three pillars, to demobilize opposition, to denaturalize Ruto and to restore the authenticity of the State. What you see are efforts to take the demon of corruption and put it in one person and cleanse the system using Ruto. This is like the biblical story of taking demons out of the person and put them in pigs.
Does William Ruto feel now that he is strong enough to take over Uhuru Kenyatta?
If Ruto runs and loses he will be destroyed. If he wins, the dynasties fear he will destroy them. The situation is either we have a dual to death between the two warring sides or at some point pull back from the brink.