Collapsing coalition governments

It was said earlier on on this blog that Africa’s new trend of coalition governments from rigged elections would fail the continent’s politics.

What is happening in Kenya this week, with Prime Minister Raila Odinga and President Mwai Kibaki clashing over who has powers to discipline or sack ministers, is setting another precedent.

The point is, Odinga and Kibaki have never had a shared vision for Kenya. They are leading two opposing forces in the same government – in fact, two governments in one. And they will never come to agree because their government did not emanate from the people’s will. It was forced on them to quell ethnic clashes and killings which resulted from a stolen (rigged) election.

Raila and Kibaki just gave in to international pressure, but they never became one in spirit. And this will always happen whenever a losing incumbent sticks to the grips of power and invites the winner (as a second class partner) to form a government of national unity. Whether in Kenya, Zanzibar or Zimbabwe, such a government will collapse.