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Similarities Between Kenya and Zimbabwe-Tackled.


Date Posted: 8/8/2013 8:06:32 AM

Posted By: Abudennis  Membership Level: Silver  Total Points: 840

Kenya and Zimbabwe are both African countries, by fact that both are members of various trade organizations like COMESA. Kenya’s founding president was first a prime minster, and so is similar to Zimbabwe. There are various lessons and challenges we can learn from the governments of Zimbabwe and Kenya. After the year 2013 general elections In Kenya, the nation did away with the coalition government but the previous coalitions governments brought together civil society representatives from the two nations. Zimbabwe too held there general elections in the mid year 2013 and Robert Mugabe won the elections, beating Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)Morgan Tsvangirai; a man that has been vying severally to win the Zimbabwean presidency. In Kenya; Uhuru Kenyatta beat Raila Odinga, who has also been vying severally to win the Kenyan presidency. Amazingly that both Morgan Tsvangirai and Raila Odinga are very great friends. Therefore, the previous five years have seen both Kenya and Zimbabwe led by two coalition partners of equal powers. A president as the chief commander of defense forces, and a prime minister in charge of government business.

Kenya’s civil society members went to Zimbabwe to share experiences particularly in areas of national healing and reconciliation, governments of national unity and the constitution making process. By saying that; we get to know of the process that Zimbabwe is in of making a new constitution, whereas Kenya adopted its new constitution in mid the year 2010.

Similarities between the two nations Kenya and Zimbabwe are just too many to be ignored with a blind eye. The social, political and economic challenges being experienced by both nations depict a similar picture. The two nations were colonized by a similar colonial master; Britain and they both inherited constitutions developed in The Lancaster House of London. These constitutions failed to address marginalization

and injustices perpetrated during the pre and post-colonial eras. The failed promises of independence in both countries saw further marginalization of people and alienation of fertile land as the political elite amended and manipulated the constitution for personal gain.

In both nations; political power is now being used as a gateway to riches as the majority continue to wallow in poverty. Worse is the case of Zimbabwe which has experienced hyperinflation rates of up to 6.5sextillion. One can easily describe the two former coalition governments in both nations as initiatives brought about not out of good faith, but out of frustration. Kenya adopted its coalition government after the disputed presidential elections of the year 2007 that saw the country experience post election violence for about two months. Zimbabwe, just like Kenya shares the same history of rejected election results. Zimbabwe held its elections in 2008 and similarly Tsvangirai did not take well the outcome.

In the year 2000 Zimbabwe passed a “NO” vote over a constitution, which they regarded as not people driven and the same happened in Kenya in 2005, when a NO vote was passed, led by Raila Odinga. Debatable issues surrounding executive powers of the president, land, devolution of power, accountability, the re-structuring of the political system, the rule of law characterize the constitution making history of the two nations. Zimbabwe’s civil society was urged not to lie dormant but take its rightful place in society. Similarly, Kenya’s civil society has been involved in various political and leadership issues that affect the people.

Zimbabwe’s rocky journey to national healing and reconciliation resulted in the formation of the Organ on National Healing and the adoption of the Human Rights Commission. In Kenya; the rocky journey to national healing and reconciliation resulted to the formation of the Truth and Justice Commission and the National Cohesion and Reconciliation Commission.

The process which Zimbabwe is currently going through, could be compared to the Kenyan situation ten to fifteen years ago. A constitution can for a very long time remain a piece of paper unless it is put to use to solve the social, political and economic problems facing the people of a nation. And if the nation is to progress political leaders need to drop self-aspirations and question the status quo. There comes a time when a leader has to put first the interests of the people and I feel Zimbabwe will really need that if ih has to erupt from the current state the nation is facing.

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