Mr. Wetangula, exactly what makes you believe you are Presidential material?

(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.

Toxic Politics

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 don’t.

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.

 Presidential material

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.

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  1. Kenyan politicians see politics in an ethnic angle,it’s our time to eat mentality,they have no clear agenda on where they want to take the country,they are under tribal curse,period.They’re just power hungry barons,instead of selling policy to mwananchi,they covet to be in power to control their kinsman,just yesterday kalonzo said and I quote”I must be in government”.see these people are selfish leaders ‘a me mentality’.What new thing can these tribal leaders offer to Kenyans?simple NOTHING,let’s raise up as citizens and have a new broom devoid of status quo.

  2. People vote with the notion that if ‘their’ party/person win, the’ve ‘personally won’. This is kenya! Ideologies don’t matter! Whether one is a ‘presidential material’ is of no concern! These aside, As far as I know, among the 6 pictured, only mudavadi is ‘clean’. The rest are plagued by corruption and crimes against humanity!

  3. Very true prof. your candid ‘critique’ of all the candidates is clear for all and sundry to see. the problem with us kenyans is that when one from our tribal block is criticised we tend to read mischief on such an article, we ought to desist from such if at all we desire to move our country forward and free it of all the tribal shenanigans and rid our country of the bondage of the so called ‘moi orphans.’

  4. And to think Kenyans will accept a new image rather than the old and popular ones is way impossible, its like we only know of two tribes, two family names competing, story repeating itself, odinga, Kenyatta, the others are back ups to keep them relevant and blindfold the poor Kenyans, we ignore the true visionary leader, we lose hope in him even before he tries, asked why, he aint got any political stronghold, he only got words to sooth us and thats not enough, if only we act more than we criticise then Kenya will rise above this internal colonisation, we are ruled through ethnic division , its not fair, it never is,

  5. Ken Rayleigh Walloh

    terming Hon Mdavadi a prince wthout a kingdom is very inappropriate..this means yu expect him to first have full support from western..yu contradict yourself mr Wainaina..he might not command all th votes but may enjoy massive support from th rest of th country..he managed to get over 400k votes in th last election..R.Hon Raila Odinga is not moi political orphan according to th context of the Kenyan politics.ODM is th largest party in th country wth representation country’s th only party whch has held elections upto th grassroot level.

  6. its a sober article i can say without betrayal of intellectualisim and conscience …i am a victim of bad governance ,poor leadership ,politics divorced off ideaology ..people are obviously enthustiatic to be leaders over being inspired .its a critical issue as not only my dreams alone that are compromised as we are precariously vulnerable to the adverse effects of politics married to a broken society setting…thats perilious and its a ticking time bomb one valid criticisim of democracy is that the derterminant majority are ignorant…God intervene not for our sake but for the sake of the uncertain and bleak future

  7. I look at Kalonzo and Raila and can’t help remembering how they antagonized each other during the coalition government. And now they are tight buddies……well this is Kenya!

  8. Even this professor is bound by tribalism he has no free thinking mind all good philosopher’s and professor must go through the three states of mind subjective objective and absolute mind which the state where UA mind thinks without limiting itself to confines of set structures set by human beings tribalism being one of them

  9. The twaddle you script as informed free thought,detailing jubilant themes disguised as political orphans appear to be meat eating sponsored analogies to paint a picture of non alignment,just wear the jubilant colour and come out of this creative arrogance….

  10. With all due respect, I think you have nothing to help Kenya! You are just another political apologist. The late Waweru Mburu also came to the limelight on the same premise as yours, on the surface appearing to stand for all what is right by calling out the political class on its b.s. But any intelligent mind could always read the agenda behind the rants and bloviating of Waweru. Before Waweru was Koigi Wamwere, however Koigi might have much for his exenoration, for which I give a benefit of doubt. Unfortunately the same can’t be said about you or Waweru Mburu! I am tempted to call you a Waweru Mburu orphan, although you play from a different platform-Facebook, while he did his trade on radio, you employ the same “Paint them all with one broad brush” tactic with an aim to obscure the ugly truth about your political masters by depicting them as simply a part of an homogeneous group of identical beings, effectively sanitizing them!

  11. prof wainaina!!first nice article bt a no of issues too i get fro u..who a u writing who is ur audience..two what solutions are u offering rather thn enjoying boring diction of words wthout meaning..last who has paid you?

  12. well…i don’t believe that you are sincere Prof. wether they are moi orphans or not there is need for change in the distribution of top leadership in the country. Kenya is not a two tribe’s show. however, somebody somewhere is not ready for that.refer to 2007 general election’s “stolen legacy”

  13. What we must accept as kenyans is that kenya is divided by regions n by dif tribes.n u uaself belngs to a certain tribe n if ua tribe does not av courage with u do u expect other tribes to support u….if ua wife n family members does not support u do u expect the society to av confidence with u.

  14. Tawai mukongolo

    My question is,where is uhuru kenyatta in this political orphans of moi?,u r playing nasty and tribal politics aiming at nothing else but picturing the president as an engel.when u ask the presidential materialism in Wetangula i suppose uhuru is far un-qualified for being a president than any of i find ua articles useless.

  15. one of the problems this country has is that even if we elect good leaders they really have nothing to work with we need like minded people to craft a national strategy that will aid in creating a stable goverment for whoever is in power

  16. If Kenyans’ themselves are propagating tribalism how then do you expect servants (political leadership) to work against the will of their masters(electorates)proffessor try this yourself and shall see if will go beyond an MCA

  17. Moi has repeatedly said he has no orphans. It’s just not possible, not in a real or figurative manner. He is alive! But even going by your logic, you would have at least conveniently left out one MAJOR orphan. That is no other but Uhuru Kenyatta and he, for better or worse, is currently deciding on Kenya’s future.

  18. In those days during moi era, u only survived in politics ONLY if u wa close to Moi. And belief me, those same men wil stil rule kenya for years to come. Wateva suggestion u hve in changing the kenxan politics, its only but written en wil neva be implimented. No one digs his own grave. And that is the truth. As much as u steal live prof, one day u wil agree with me. 4 u to get a higher seat in kenya, u must identify uaself with ua tribe first. If i may ask thz, y would even drunkards wakeup to vote for Uhuru wen they know that his dark side is biggeq than the bright. If the gikuyus wa looking for a beta man, Peter was thea, martha too.

    • You are making a warped argument. Are Kikuyu’s tribalists because they voted fort Uhuru or because they did not vote for PK or Martha Wangari. In your tribal world which you declare we will be ruled by forever, would it have made the Kikuyu any less tribal in your eyes had they voted Martha for example?

      You forget that tribalism is a narrative. Even other tribes voted for their own. The only difference is that a Kikuyu who happened to have been voted for the same way won. Be prepared for this for so long as your argument is “4 u to get a higher seat in Kenya, u must identify uaself with ua tribe first”. This is the gospel according to the tribal warlords in CORD and Jubilee. I am vehemently opposed to it. It is only true for as long as tribalism remains the only and the most dominant political narrative in Kenya. That is why I have argued that change will only come when we can get an alternative non-ethnic political narrative. Ours is not a problem of ethnicity, it is a problem of imagination.

  19. Good one prof, what we need to root from kenyan politics is ” this is our time to eat mentality ” unfortunately our president and his deputy have perfected this act worse still even my friends in cord would not be any different so basically we screwed as Kenyans and because we have been made to believe that tribes need to come together to win a presidency that elections need to have an ethnic calculation we are not getting out of this mess anytime

    • Politics are about narratives Michael. And you have put it well. “We have been made to believe”and then ” we are screwed”. Change is not that difficult. All we need is to be made to believe something else. In other words, all we need is to change the narrative. It is not as hard as it looks.

    • Totally agree with you but in the kenyan case it’s almost impossible we don’t seem to learn but if London has a Muslim mayor, America elected a black president all hope is not lost there will light at the end of the proverbial tunnel I hope that happens in my lifetime

  20. Your stand on this article is misdirercted for it is crystal clear that a whole prof has taken an inclination on a subject before bringing your facts to prove that Hon Wetangula has toxicated his political battles in The ” kinyanganyiro” 2017. The political field is charged and no stone will be left unturned .

  21. Professor…..I was once told that vaccination against a disease is done by introducing dead pathogens into your system!!Is that true?If that is true then your point may not be entirely true.If these people are truely what you say they are and that it has to stop;then they maybe the right prescription for this country.In your own words it seems they are the architectures in chief of this bad system and that they understnd it to almost by defination.Therefore methink they are the right people to end it

  22. I still believe that we have failed as a country because we are not strattegic!I mean take for instance the issue of fighting corruption.We want to stop corruption and yet we feel that the only person who can help fight corruption is someone who has never been corrupt.That person can only fail because he does not understnd how the system works.If I was in the position of authority and I want corruption to end I will go out look for the most corrupt people give them an office and tell them…look you know better how the system works and I need you to stop it and am sure they will

    • I agree with you entirely about politics of dishonesty and mediocrity but only from different stand-point.I Honestly find the idea of sending someone who is not a thief to go out and catch a thief to be the highest height of insanity.This is simply because he would not understand their schemes and tricks.The theives would always be there ahead of him.The problem is when the corrupt disguise themselves as the uncorrupt.When the tribalists in chief pretend to be non-tribalist.That is where our problems begins.For Jesus Christ to save mankind He had to be born of a woman.He had to come to this world the same way you and I did.He mixed and ate with sinners so as to understand them.This was strattegic.There is need to change our way of doing things otherwise we will fail again and again

  23. A friend posted this on his wall recently “Three annoying words: Wetangula for president”. I always wonder, is does Weta really thinks he stands a chance or is he simply aiming at the sun to reach the moon?

  24. With due respect to the two and without getting personal Weta’s support is just but partially within Bungoma. Cord nominating him will be the sure way of loosing. Kalonzo has remained stagnant with his support in Ukambani shrinking by day. Uhuruto have learned how to beat Rao therefore Mudavadi though too soft to punch remains the better option. He probably will loose to Uhuru but can beat Ruto in 2022.

  25. Surely Prof or whatever you call yourself you should know better than any one else that we don’t have time to read such long narrative…. Go to the point and tell us ehst is in your mind….. Kenyan politics is mutating into various stages in time and space…. As Wetangula…. Ruto….. Raila…. Kalonzo…. Musslia… fight to shape the direction that politics of this country take you are busy taping and name calling…. Prof just go to class and teach for that is where you belong…. To teach theories.

  26. Isn’t it interesting to note that while the professor mentions Moi’s political orphans he’s conveniently chosen to list the incumbent president in there….
    Secondly any Kenyan has a right to want to become president including wetangula so whatever your long narrative is because I didn’t bother to finish reading as it is biased from the start just remember even Abduba Dida and Ole kiyapi and a Njoki or Onyango or anyone else who’s Kenyan deserve to be president in 2017

  27. adressing u as a aproff its against my right coz an not sure of its credibility….nonethelesss,kenyo or rather the world suffers not becouse of the wrong presons chosen,but becz of the silence of the so called good people….u have absolutely not helped anything coz uv just told us who we shoulnt elect,but av faled terribly to mention the one who should be our bettre option in ua case……

  28. Stop abusinng leaders, if u think see best than they do enter politics and make new offer to kenyans, all your posts seems Uhuru is smart. Lecture yourself biased professor, kwenda huko

  29. You have hit the nail on the head,Wetangula is a pretender to the throne just like the others in his league,Can he categolicaly state what he has done for this country apart from the japan saga and being a kanu man during multiparty era when kenyans were fighting for democracy,We are not fools to be taken for granted,prof keep on exposing these guys as we are tired of their political theatrics

  30. from the look of things every tribe want to be represented by their own candidates. now. my question is can 42 tribes be placed in one position? absolutely no… hapo ndo msemo mwenye nguvu mpishe huingilia kati

  31. why abuses if you cannot mach this brain’s keep off,relegate yourself to your hero worshiping articles please in those areas no one will bother you otherwise am enjoying pros writing,Mr pro I believe intellectuals and the church have really failed us to the point that Kenyans are now worshiping political leaders.
    look at what happened with mandago in eldoret and many more are happening in political cycles and what are the advice of kenyan intellect community sir,or both church and the intellectual community have been kept into the right place by political leaders,what do you say about okulu, Manassas Ndingis orphans and ngugis orphans sir….

    • Onam, I agree with you that the days of resistance nationalist politics are receding fast. I was saddened when the real doyen of opposition politics in this country Koigi wa Wamwere joined Jubilee. I also agree that the intellectuals and clergy seem to have sold their souls to the devil. But like they say, you can fool some people sometime or you can actually fool some of the people all of the time or even all of the people some of the time. But you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.

  32. I remember my cat who saved my life once. my apartment was on fire when my cat woke me up by standing on my chest. I quickly got out of the apartment but never managed to save my cat. as I was going out the door I saw her running and her body was on fire. It never broke my heart because I hate cats and I invented this story to waste your time.. thank you

  33. Thanks prof.that is all I is a good read and informative.people don’t have to like it but what else has been researched,written and posted?I read some comments above and I think there is hope.could you please link me to the other parts?

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