Thursday, October 09, 2014

Sonko is a genius.

It was a damp squib. Maybe not for the Nairobi's senator. But for the others it was a damp squib. Hundreds of thousands of shillings were expended. Perhaps millions were expended. Only so a president, in his private capacity, could travel half way around the world to sit in a court room - and not say anything. Then there is the case of the Nairobi senator who "accompanied the president for moral support" and brought with him a "rescue squad." Whatever else we may think, Gideon Mbuvi aka Mike Mbuvi aka Mike Mbuvi Sonko is one of a kind and I think he is brilliant.

While the likes of Kigumo's Jamleck Kamau and Kajiado Central's Lt Gen Joseph Nkaissery would want to look and sound urbane and sophisticated, in the mould of the parliamentarians in the Palace at Westminster, the sad truth is that none of Kenya's parliamentarians are that urbane or sophisticated. And Sen Sonko embraces this fact with unbridled glee. He is without a doubt one of the most honest politicians in Kenya and Kenyans need to thank him for his service to the nation. Without Sen Sonko we would still continue in our delusion that we are like the British or the American members of Congress. We are not. We are nowhere near them.

The Americans and the British are very good at hiding their warts. The British parliamentarians have proven to be very good at swindling the British Exchequer. However, when what was dubbed by the Fleet Street as the Benefits Scandal was unearthed, British Parliamentarians resigned in disgrace. The American members of the House of Representatives have not covered themselves in glory either; many of them have been forced to resign over sex scandals. Just last year two congressmen resigned because they sent sexts to women who were not their wives and a governor was forced out for having an affair with an Argentinian and lying about it while another governor is being tried for receiving gifts from a wealthy benefactor.

Kenyan parliamentarians think of themselves as a cut above the rest of us, They think of themselves as members of the elite upper classes. If it was just about membership of a club or deep pockets, they would be right. But because of their character, their behaviour and their influence, they remain firmly stuck among the middle classes. Crass, openly avaricious, vicious, petty and vindictive; these are qualities that permeate all the classes, but among the elected representatives of Kenya, they are more openly discerned. I would go so far as to declare that the last classy elected class was elected in 1983. Since then successive elections have elected successively low class representatives.

It takes a Sonko to flash a light on the elected classes to remind them of their true worth. Sen Sonko does not hide his colourful past; he embraces it with gusto. He has money and he's not afraid to show it, its provenance being a matter of jealous speculation among his colleagues in Parliament. He doesn't pretend to be an aficionado of Brioni or Hugo Boss; his tailor remains in business because of the Senator's unquenched thirst for primary colours. He's not Italian, so Italian cuisine is not very high on his bucket list. Nor Italian for that matter. Or French, German, Spanish or Portuguese. He's no academic in his ivory tower so he does not need to philosophise about why he does what he does. He is the true politician. He wants something. He finds a way to get it. His colleagues could learn from him.

He did not go The Hague to make a point about the rule of law or the magnanimity of the President. He went to The Hague to tell the International Criminal Court, the Office of the Prosecutor, the witnesses against the President and the victims' representative to get stuffed. He did it like he knows best: loudly. And he brought a gang with him. And it was just as loud. And it was brilliant. He should start preparing for his presidential bid. Perhaps he has. He'd be more honest as a president than any of the pretenders to the throne.

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