“For every complex problem there is a simple solution, and it is wrong!” Henry Louis Mencken.
Some people are spreading a very flippant and spurious argument in relation to the election to the presidency of the republic of Kenya. It relates to the moral eligibility of a person of Kikuyu heritage running for president. One would expect that with the ground we have covered since the days of the sycophancy of KANU ni baba, KANU ni mama, mediocrity in the political arena would wax and wane and people would be elected based on their individual character and party values and views. It is a travesty; it is disheartening to hear people who have been in politics for more than two decades with no tangible development projects or policy papers blowing their own trumpets on how they can make better leaders only on their non-Kikuyu heritage and credentials. It should be made manifestly clear that anybody who is afraid of competing against others on the basis of their tribal affiliation is a person who does not believe in Kenya and Kenyans, a wimp not fit for any public office. Personally, Kikuyus do not owe me anything simply because two men from central province have been presidents.
It is true that the house of Mumbi has produced two presidents, Mzee Jommo Kenyatta and Emilio Mwai Kibaki. It is however crass to equate them to having been exclusive Kikuyu presidents, for if they were truly “Kikuyu presidents”, all the Kikuyu people would be living the life of splendor that those closer to the families of the two live and lead. The repugnant innuendos that two is enough and each of the declared Kikuyu presidential candidates should shelve their ambitions until other “tribes” have set foot in state house carries heavy implications. It is utter exclusion. Democracy is not always concerned with rotations and affirmative action, it is about competition, where in some instances, the winner takes all. If a Kikuyu sells his policies and ideas validly and sufficiently to the voters and the voters fall for them, then let it be. After all, in a democratic society, the voter is king. If the talk of having one of our own was effective, black South Africans would have been freed from economic slavery, but till today, they are still living under the yoke of economic slavery the only change being that the slave-owners are not the mabepari makaburu but the uber-rich bourgeois black neo-colonialists who forgot the reason why apartheid was fought relentless.
Not long ago, in America, George Herbert Walker Bush, the 41st president of America, which has been billed as the pinnacle of modern day representative democracy witnessed his son George W. Bush being sworn in as the 43rd president of America. No questions were advanced to block the younger Bush from vying for office simply because he was the son of a former president, voters decided and the same case should apply even here in Kenya. Nobody or institution has any right whatsoever to lock out any aspirant on the basis of his/her tribe. To imply that presidents serve for the benefit of their tribe is to miss the whole point of representation. Only those that Malcolm X referred to us the “House Negros” benefit, not all the tribe. Baringo Central has some of the poorest people in the republic of Kenya, not that they were or are lazy, no, it is because they were forgotten by the government which was being led by their son Daniel Toroitich Arap Moi. He was busy striking deals with those of his class. Ahadi Kenya is doing a commendable and laudable job of treating poor jigger infested Kenyans from the backyard of the “Kikuyu presidents”. This should serve to teach us not to shun and isolate any of our impecunious neighbours simply because their tribesman is in the house on the hill, let us embrace our neighbours for who they are, not where they are from.
Power currently lies in the hands of the oligarchs, plutocrats, kleptocrats and corporations. We need to transfer power where it rightly belongs; back to the people. We need a political awakening, to elect leaders with tested and proven traits and history of bold and decisive pedigree, aversion to corruption, undaunted commitment to duty and the promotion of the acceleration of economic and national development and unity. Not leaders from our tribes who want only to attain the reigns of power to enrich themselves and their cronies at the expense of the national good. Any person who blindly supports a person on the singularity of a tribe should be clearly known by all of us as a fool waiting to be disappointed. Most of those who are vying for the presidential seat exhibit imperialistic tendencies and we should be vigilant against the watering down of our hard won rights, liberties and freedoms from the neo-colonialist from our tribes. Each of us must not lose his/her humanity at the expense of promoting “one of our own”.