Tuesday, October 09, 2007


When Kalonzo and Raila had their spectacular falling out, the consensus was that the people of Ukambani had effectively locked themselves out of power for the next twenty years, and by the time the Raila tractor had run its course, the Kambas would have been reduced to political irrelevance much like the Luhya. However, all these analyses miss the point: democracy is not about giving people "a chance to rule" as the Luo are so fond of saying of Raila. Politics is all about taking risks and seeing whether they pan out or not. My reasons for thinking that Kalonzo is irrelevant have nothing to do with his electability; rather, when it comes to the 2nd liberatioin movement, he was Moi's hatchet man right up to the end. The only reason he joined the LDP rebels was that it had finally dawned on him that Moi did not consider him his natural successeor, a position he had reserved for Uhuru Kenyatta.

Kenyans must allow people to make their choice as they see fit. Intimidating people who "worship at a different church" will not be of any benefit, save to ghettoise minority communities at the expense of national cohesion and development. The ghettoisation of the Somalis was accompanied by harrowing tales of their savagery, which, as is often the case, happened to be false. I am yet to meet a people who are as loyal and generous as the Somalis. But the period in which they have been denied participation in the national development programme has resulted in them becoming more insular and isolationist and breeding extremists from among them. That is a danger that may well befall the people of Ukambani if the much anticipated Raila victory does not address their concerns.

One of the most troubling developments though, has been the union of Kibaki, Uhuru and Moi on one platform. The acrimony of the referendum seems to have been forgotten. Kibaki and his surrogates are on record that they will not prosecute Moi. Kiraitu and Karua have been silenced in their desire to see Moi behind bars. More painful is the fact that Raila is also reading from the same script: leave Moi alone! In politics, as they say, there are no permanent friends or enemies, just permanent interests. Is it that Raila realises that his presidency, if it comes to pass, shall depend on the goodwill that Moi enjoys among different stakeholders? Perhaps Raila is making the same promises he made when he merged the NDP with Kanu prior to the 2002 general elections. After he is elected president, he may decide that his promises are not legally binding and arrest Moi anyway. I hope the latter is true. Allowing the looters of yesterday to go scot free in the name of forgiving and forgetting is a betrayal that we may not forgive Raila, or indeed Kibaki, for.

On a lighter note, have Kibaki and Raila destroyed their Kanu life membership cards? Remember how much it used to cost to become a life member of Kanu. Can they still be considered life memebrs? Moi is the only one who has never defected in his entire political career.

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