“Whom the gods wish to destroy they first call promising.” Cyril Connolly, Enemies of Promise.
Is national development getting shunted aside by the politics of the moment? Raila, a man who is both feared and loved in equal measure is still adamant that he won the presidential election and what he is waiting for is just the declaration to this effect from the Supreme Court of Kenya. With the exhilaration, confusion and exhaustion of the grueling campaigns temporarily behind us, we assumed that the dust would have settled and people moved on awaiting the verdict of SCORK. But this was not among Raila’s plans due to the perceived nature of our national amnesia. He is currently engaged in a war of words with President-elect Uhuru Kenyatta over his sensational utterances in Changamwe that he won the presidential contest garnering a comfortable 5.7 million votes against Uhuru’s 4.5 million without any empirical proof. Raila ought to know this; the skills and talents of his operatives failed the test of efficiency. If Raila’s “truth of numbers” is truly true, then the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) failed Kenyans. Because a lot of plaster is coming off the ceiling, they must give Raila his votes and explain to us how and where Uhuru’s 6.1 million votes against Mr. Odinga’s 5.3 million were arrived at! If this ain’t the truth then Raila’s advisors are exhibiting signs of delusions of grandeur. Theirs is a Sahara of ideas. In the Supreme Court rules in favour of IEBC, Uhuru will effusively thank God for Raila’s drudgers, Johnnie Carson’s “choices have consequences” and our good Ghanaian friend and eminent African personality Mzee Kofi Annan.
Kenyans have been previously advised to have confidence in their institution, but it seems some of those in leadership positions do not have an iota of trust in these institutions. When Charles Nyachae’s Constitution Implementation Committee advised ministers to relinquish their positions, Attorney-General Prof. Githu Muigai swiftly overruled him in a legal brief only for president Kibaki to direct that ministers and assistant ministers elected on March 4 to resign, “with immediate effect, so as to qualify to be sworn in” for various elective posts. Not long thereafter, Raila was on the news again overruling Kibaki! It surely appears to be the Tower of Babel with different actors reading from different scripts but acting in the same play. This underscores the lacuna that exists between the law and the executors. I had opined that Raila would not concede defeat, whether he lost by fair or foul means, his mind was already made up – that he had to be declared the president. He is challenging Uhuru Kenyatta’s presidential win but his utterances paint a picture of a person who would rather sort out the matters in a public forum, not in the corridors of justice. He has been insistent that he will not stop commenting about the case because it is political and judges are handling the judicial aspects. I am not a lawyer and therefore I am not competently qualified to cite the merits and demerits of the sub judice rule and its variance with the right to free and fair speech. My hope is that the citizenry will not be complicit in this devious manner of doing things.
Unless a miracle happens, and it won’t happen anyway, the next president will inherit a mortgaged country. The rules of civil discourse have been thrown to the wind. Raila, a man who is both feared and loved in equal measure is still adamant that he won the presidential election and what he is waiting for is the declaration to this effect from the Supreme Court of Kenya. With the exhilaration, confusion and exhaustion of the grueling campaigns, we assumed that the dust would have settled and people moved on awaiting the verdict of SCORK. But this was not among Raila’s plans due to the perceived nature of our national amnesia. He is currently engaged in a war of words with President-elect Uhuru Kenyatta over his sensational utterances in Changamwe that he won the presidential contest garnering a comfortable 5.7 million votes against Mr Kenyatta’s 4.5 million without any empirical proof. If this is true, then the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) failed Kenyans. They must give Raila his votes and explain to us how Uhuru’s 6.1 million votes were arrived at and where Mr. Odinga’s 400,000 votes went!
However, Raila and his errand boys robust utterances border on not having due regard for the due process. We can only hope that the court rules in his favour if we wish him to accept the verdict and say that he has confidence in the court bandia system. The former Raila Odinga was a warrior, a player in his on league. Raila was a lion in 1982 when he decided to take on Daniel Moi and the KANU operatives, although we may never know what motives he had for organizing the attempted coup d’état on 1st August, 1982, his name will never be removed from the rich and deep history of this republic, the flipside is that while the naïve coup executors with nondescript names like Hezekiah Ochuka were sent to the gallows, those with prominent names like Raila got away with it. Nowadays hearing him moan and complain about Uhuru paints a picture of a shadow of the vibrant man he once was and Jaramogi Adonijah Oginga Odinga would not be amused by the current-day-ever-complaining Raila. There was a time Raila fought for the masses, nowadays; he only fights for himself, his family, his cronies and his bankrollers. Those who are equating him to legends like Mekatilili Wa Menza, Jaramogi Oginga, Masinde Muliro, Nelson Rohilela Mandela, Dr. Martin Luther King Jnr., Malcolm X, Patrice Emergy Lumumba, Steve Biko, are trivializing heroism and missing the whole point of serving the nation at all costs with conscience. These people fought wars of ideology and conscience and not for personal gains. Even Kenneth Matiba who still suffers from the debilitating effects of the Moi torture system score higher than my much beloved Jakom.
Each time he talks about Kenya’s 42 tribes and the domination by some, Raila is calling on our subconscious mind to read Kikuyu leadership. I am not a Kikuyu but I do not mind having Samuel Ndungu Njoroge as my County Representative, Dennis Kariuki Waweru as my Member of Parliament, Rachel Wambui Shebesh as the Nairobi County Women Representative in the National Assembly simply because they are Kikuyus, I do not mind having Dr. Evans Odhiambo Kidero being my governor because he is a Luo, I believe that he is a leader who will take Nairobi to great heights because he did so at Nation Media Group and Mumias Sugar. I will also not complain if a Kikuyu becomes a president because the crux of representative democracy like ours is that the people have the final word on who leads them. When former General Service Unit paramilitary from Eldoret turned Anglican Bishop Alexander Muge was exposing Moi’s dark façade, no body took him as a Kalenjin, but as a voice of reason, when the poacher J.M. Kariuki was telling Kenyatta off about the select few millionaires and the majority living in poverty, many university students lionized him without calling him a Kikuyu, when Thomas Joseph Mboya was airlifting the Wangari Maathai’s and Barak Obama’s abroad to acquire education, many cheered because he was acting as a Kenyan and most importantly, a human.
I was among those who were excited with a Raila leadership, but look at what his ideas and actions have delivered over the last five years – apart from a posh office, red carpet, and trappings of power; he has done literally nothing for those who believed in him, those who saw an emancipator in him. He did nothing about taxes, he did nothing serious about corruption (even in his office), he did nothing about education, he did nothing about health, he did nothing about unemployment, and many other nothings. He turned into a profligate spender (because it was in vogue) of government money because he was “touring the world to bring investments to Kenya” and closed ranks with those who were corrupt and inept in pursuit of his political ends. He has a selective way of honouring names and families of freedom fighters, during national holidays he remembers to cite their names and gallant actions and during campaign seasons he visits their families promising things once he gets into power. There are those desolate men who lost their jobs when Kenya Air Force was disbanded in 1982, he promised them that he would plead their cause once he got into power. Trace and find them and ask what happened to the promise.
When I lived in Limuru, I learnt a certain saying “kuuga na gwika” translated as kusema na kutenda in Swahili and saying and doing in English. This was at a time when William Ruto, Kipruto Arap Kirwa, Cryus Jirongo and their friends were popularizing, long before Ruto took it as his clarion call. What I mean to convey is that Raila can promise, but deliver he can’t. In 2008, because of several reasons, I was among those who sympathised and emphatised with Raila because we felt that he had been robbed, betrayed, wronged and disappointed by the system he trusted. We believed that Raila was a pre-eminent proponent for social justice and equality at a time when democracy was on trial. But not now, he renounced his commitment to social justice and now espouses divergent ideologies. There’s a group surrounding him telling us that the grass is ready to be lit, those talking about “kukiona cha mtema kuni” but he is doing nothing whatsoever to tell them to behave. There are a lot of people who never voted for Uhuru who are not talking of Raila must accept the results and move on but these are people who pray and hope that whichever way the case goes, life will go on as usual without violence flaring up. These are people who were not to be indignant or embittered with any win, CORD or Jubilee, for them, life is a struggle. We gave Raila votes, but from what IEBC announced, it appears they would not tilt the scales in his favour.
p/s Can anyone near UK advise him to stick to his usual retinue, a lot of feathers are being ruffled every time he is seen with the trappings of power like the police outriders, red carpet, the presidential jet, pilgrimage by state security bosses, dancing troupes welcoming him, and so on, and so forth… until he is sworn in as a president ( in case Jakom’s votes are not given back to him). And to my Jakom Raila, those around him please deliver this to him: Kenya is bigger than an individual and these two gentlemen need to bury the hatchet, reflect and move on.