(The Moi political orphans: DP William Ruto (presumably representing his boss), Kalonzo Musyoka, Musalia Mudavadi, Raila Odinga and Moses Wetangula ran separate commentaries in The Standard of Wednesday 10th August 2016, in a feature on the Countdown to 2017. In this “The rantings of the Moi political orphans” five part series, I respond to the commentaries. In the responses, I am demonstrating that as Moi political orphans, their engagement in politics is simply based on ethnicity, impunity and mediocrity, siasa ya ukabila, ukora na upuzi. They all have absolutely nothing new to offer to Kenyans as we Countdown to 2017. We must get a new non-ethnic political narrative to animate our politics and it cannot come from these Moi political orphans. In this part 2 of 5 I respond to Mr. Wetangula’s article “As President, I will end toxic politics and serve all Kenyans.”)
Part 2 of 5: Mr. Wetangula, exactly what makes you believe you are Presidential material?
Mr. Moses Wetangula, asked to do a commentary on Countdown to 2017, you chose an interesting title, “As President, I will end toxic politics and serve all Kenyans”. Several issues can be gleamed from the title. First, that you appreciate that Kenyan politics are toxic. Two, you believe you are Presidential material and three you imagine you have a blueprint for Kenya when you become President.
You do not expect any medals for telling us that Kenyan politics are toxic. We know that. But you are a central player in the toxic politics. You do not seem to acknowledge your own role in making the politics toxic. You assume that they have been made toxic by somebody else and that yours is to end it.
Politics in Kenya has been made toxic through ethnicity, impunity and mediocrity, ukabila, ukora na upuzi that informs Jubilee and CORD functionaries, of whom you are one. All you need to stop toxic politics is to change this modus operandi and tell your colleagues in CORD and Jubilee to stop it too. I however doubt that you can stop ethnic mobilization because it is the lifeline of all your politics. So do not send to know for whom the bell of toxic politics tolls. Just look in the mirror.
You also imagine that you need to be president to end toxic politics.
You just need to stop playing toxic politics now, and they will end without you being president.
I find the proposition that you want to be president in order to end toxic politics absurd on another level though. You belong to a political class and a certain wing of that political class that believes that “politicking” is actually productivity. This is why your headline proposal in your article is not about ending wananchi problems but ending toxic politics. Mr. Wetangula, politicking toxified or not is not productivity, it is not development, it is not progress, it is not what the people of Kenya want and therefore it is not a very good reason for you to ask anybody to make you president.
To waft poetic, you claim:
I have soaked in the blessing that is our ethnic diversity but I have also choked on the curse that is our fractious and do-or-die politics.
Mr. Wetangula, politics is not a natural phenomenon that rains from the heavens. It is created and practiced by politicians like yourself. Unfortunately, you have no other way of doing it than to preaching ethnicity, and if you are choking you are choking on your own vomit.
You have been a “crusader against exclusion” so you say. Unfortunately there are several problems to your approach to the issue of exclusion. First, you localize the issue of exclusion to the matter of ethnicity. Your undertaking as made in the article is:
Aware that ours today is a shameless administration that has excluded entire ethnic communities from governance, I give an undertaking to Kenyans that my government will reflect the true face of Kenya and will have a seat for every Kenyan on the dinner table of opportunity for growth and opportunity.
To you, exclusion means “ethnic exclusion”. This is a product of your ethnicization of politics rather than an understanding of exclusion. I agree that exclusion is a factor in Kenyan governance. But it has several manifestations the most severe of which is NOT ethnicity. It is manifested at its worst in the exclusion of women who are over 50% of the population. They are excluded not just from politics but also from economic activities that would assist them empower their families. It is all manifested in the exclusion of the youth in more or less the same lines. The youth comprise a larger percentage than even the women. Even if we were to argue that ethnic exclusion is an issue, we should be advised that no single ethnic group comprises more than 50% of the population and therefore even if whole communities were to be excluded, it would never compare in severity to the exclusion of youth and women. This is why I suspect that exclusion for you especially “ethnic exclusion” simply means that Mr. Moses Wetangula is out of the executive in the Central government, and in your head that means ethnic exclusion of the ethnic base you purport to represent.
That would explain why you have been gallivanting all over Western preaching the unity of the so-called Mulembe Nation. I am sure that you have read the Kenya Constitution 2010. Nowhere does it envisage any “nation” other than the Kenyan nation. It does recognize our ethnic, cultural and religious diversity, but goes on to assert the determination of all Kenyans “to live in peace and unity as one indivisible and sovereign nation” (See preamble of the Constitution of Kenya 2010.) Anyone, you included, traversing the country preaching of any other “nation” is therefore contravening the Constitution. You cannot fight exclusion on ethnic basis by preaching the same ethnic bigotry you claim to be fighting.
One of the gains of the new dispensation is that everyone has the space to imagine they can be anything, including being President. But many people wonder, what really makes you think you have what it takes to be President?
In asking this question, I am not alone. Your brother Bifwoli Wakoli has asked the same question, and for him he has an answer. Read.
One of the qualifications to be accepted as a peer among the Moi-political-orphans wheeler dealers and wannabes who have expressed interest in the presidency is to have a locked-in tribal constituency. That is, you have to prove your tribal-overlord status for you to be accepted at the table of post-Moi politics. When the other overlords place their tribal briefcases on the table ready to do business, you place yours and issue a disclaimer “na yangu haija jaa” (And mine is not full). This is to the amusement of the real overlords. If ethnicity, impunity and mediocrity, ukabila, ukora na upuzi are the foundations of the political alliances in Jubilee and CORD, you fall far short on the main one, ethnicity.
You see, the Luhya are very democratic. Try as you and your Luhya wannabe tribal overlords might, the Luhya have refused to be herded into one basket for the purposes of toxic political horse trading with to other tribe kingpin Moi-political-orphans. This is in fact a good thing. The Luhyas should keep it that way. They should take this as advice from someone who belongs to an ethnic group whose tribal kingpin can present a full basket and say “Ndio hao Wakikuyu, kikapu yangu imejaa”. (Here are the Kikuyu. My basket is full). It is the most suffocating, dictatorial, exploitative and zombified position for any community to be put into. But then I digress.
In this one most important qualification to be President under the CORD/jubilee tribal dispensation, you fall far short. This is not something that all of you like to admit in public, though I suspect it is all you discuss in private – the ethnic arithmetic that would assist you capture power. In public though, all of you pretend to be involved in the politics of building Kenya. If we are to look for one word to describe this, it would be hypocritical.
Blueprint for leadership
Of all the articles penned by the Moi-political-orphans in the Wednesday Standard of 10th August 2016, no-one makes a more bolder attempt at cataloging “policy” matters than you do.
But as all pretentious endeavors usually do, your attempts at policy articulation are shallow, haphazard, and cliché. They can best be described as sloganeering. They lack novelty, details and imagination. For the last 52 years, the political class has harangued Kenyans with these same platitudes:- they will fight insecurity, ensure rule of law, provide health care, social welfare, infrastructure, employment, fix agriculture, mining and oil, environment etc. No new directions have been proposed. Your own claim that, “I stand as an agent of change that will make sense to every Kenyan” rings hollow through an article that offers no new directions, no new ideas and no new alternatives. Reading through the article, one wonders what new or alternative ideas makes you think you can be president.
You offer a pitch for yourself that seems to indicate that you know what the problem with the country is. Leadership. You say:
I am running because from all indications, it is unmistakably clear that we can change these disastrous, divisive policies only by changing the men who are now making them.
I cannot agree with you more.
The only way we can turn around our situation is by changing the men who are making these disastrous and divisive policies. You have been one of the men in the political arena since your KANU days. You are not part of the solution. If your diagnosis is to be believed, and it should, you are part of the problem. Sorting out all the issues that you have raised does not start with your running for president, it starts with the people of Kenya running you and your fellow Moi-political-orphans out of politics, leadership and especially the presidency. We the people can then build an “indivisible and sovereign nation” as envisaged in the new Constitution, without you and the Moi-political-orphans.