If Raila Odinga is to be believed, the Late William Ole Ntimama went to statehouse and told Uhuru one thing and then called him at night and told him something else. Hmmmm…I do not know about you, but this sounds like someone besmirching the character of a dead man in his own funeral. Even if he had, that is not a nice thing to do. And in reply, that is all Uhuru Kenyatta should have said. That he had come there to mourn and eulogize the deceased, not to malign his name. And the case would have ended there.
But it didn’t.
It degenerated into an exchange akin to mchongoano, what in my village they call hũũhi. And obviously you ask why? I will tell you.
I have told you over and over again in this blog that CORD and Jubilee are irredeemably tribal and supremely committed to tribal jingoism over and above anything else. The tribal wheeler-dealers at the helm of the two tribal contraptions, (regardless of who has or does not have the “meat”) salivate, no, drool, at the prospect of a tribal constituency and they go berserk at the danger of losing one. That is why they court other tribal kingpins with the tenacity of a wounded animal. Apparently, all you have to do to make two educated adult males, of sound mind and with 2017 presidential ambitions to desecrate a funeral with mchongoano like uncouth bullies in a village school yard, is to be a dead man with an ethnic constituency. It has been a long time since a dead man was this valuable!
Let’s first talk about Kenyan politicians and desecration. We have such an uncouth political class that they have desecrated everything including funerals and pulpits. Before we condemn them though, we ought to ask ourselves how they are able to access these traditionally holy places to spew their tribal garbage, unsavoury invectives and even court the ethnic constituency of dead men. The blame falls squarely on the gatekeepers.
They, who are supposed to be the guardians of these spaces have gone to bed with the politicians. Gone are the days when men and women of cloth used to be the guardians of morals and decorum in society. They now seem content to prostitute themselves to the politicians. They welcome them with open legs – sorry – open arms, goad them on, pamper their egos and sing their praises in the hope that that would expand the size of the brown envelope they expect to get at the end of the service – pun intended. You will notice that in the scene where these indignities were being exchanged, men of faith, decked in robes, white collars and bibles are to be seen in the background enjoying themselves. Shindwe!
Our bawdy clergy should borrow a leaf from Rev. Faith Green Timmons of the Bethel United Methodist Church. The pastor, who hosted Donald Trump at her church in Flint, Michigan, interrupted the Republican presidential nominee during his speech to ask him to refrain from attacking his rival Hillary Clinton. When Trump veered from the subject for which he had been invited, the Pastor walked up to him at the podium and informed him, “Mr. Trump, I invited you here to thank us for what we’ve done in Flint, not give a political speech,”. Trump backtracked. Something he never does. An unadulterated church is that powerful folks!
If we as a people are going to learn to stand for something, the church must lead the way.
Ultimately, did Raila or Uhuru, or the clergy honour the memory of the dead? I have dealt with the issue of the clergy.
Now to Raila and Uhuru.
Two events in the last two weeks provide a good context of the environment our tribal overlords preside over.
There has been a hullaballoo about a singer called Bahati, who sat on the President’s Chair during a public event to unveil the new tribal contraption in town called Jubilee Party. Why are people falling over each other to defend the “dignity” of a President who has no qualms about taking mchongoano to a funeral? Hasn’t he as an elder statesman showed the young Bahati’s of this world that protocol, propriety and decorum are not things to be taken seriously?
That aside, wasn’t the language that was used by Uhuru Kenyatta in “dissing” Raila even more scandalous? In a country where the word “eating” has deprecatory connotations, he did himself no favours by saying that he and Jubilee will continue to eat the meat and Raila and ODM can continue salivating. Even in a country where gaffs cost politicians nothing, I have a feeling that Uhuru will rue this expression in the next general elections.
Love him or hate him, Raila has a following. And when you talk to him, you are addressing yourself to that following. Such a statement coming hot on the heels of the extravagant “show of might” of the Jubilee merger carnival can only rub half the country the wrong way. Even ardent Jubilee supporters are starting to question the unbridled sense of bravado and arrogance from the Jubilee honchos. It is in the same Jubilee Party launch where DP Ruto told delegates, “sisi si chama tu, sisi ni serikali buana”. I have registered my opinion on this matter in an article of the similar title here http://profmichaelwainaina.com/2016/09/12/9k-can-jubilee-party-hero-can-manufacture-history-remind-sisi-ni-serikali-buana/
The event that brings the spotlight on Raila Odinga in relation to the funeral debacle is a gubernatorial debate that was aired on a Kenyan television station that featured aspiring Nairobi gubernatorial candidates. It featured Philip Kisia, Bishop Margaret Wanjiru, Esther Passaris and the indefatigable Miguna Miguna. An issue was raised by the controversial blogger Robert Alai to the effect that what ties the aspirants in common is that they are all defunct members of ODM. They were asked why they left. They were unanimous they left because the leadership of ODM was entrenched in tribalism, corruption, nepotism, party disharmony and disunity, hypocrisy, conmanship, looting, election manipulation and lack of internal democracy. You will agree with me that over the last ten years, no one has lost more allies faster than Raila Odinga. And they say why. He then goes to the Late Ntimama’s funeral and loudly calls him a duplicitous, two-timing politician who was playing both sides. Unfortunately, dead men do not tell tales. Ntimama cannot defend himself. Living men and women have accused Raila of worse things than those for which he was accusing a dead man. The tribal political wheeler dealer he is, all he cares is not about the name of the deceased, but the chance to inherit his ethnic constituency. Could he answer the allegations of his living, fire-breathing and spitting former allies?
And there you have it. Two men who wants us to believe they are God’s gift to Kenyans, who shamelessly desecrate a funeral with the complacency of a compromised clergy, telling long tales about night calls with dead men and eating meat as the others salivate.
Be reminded that they were our only choices in 2013. A choice between the bad and ugly. We chose one, I don’t know which one. I have warned that since 2013 the bad has gotten badder and the ugly has gotten uglier. If you did not believe me, the drama at the funeral of the Late Ole Ntimama is your answer.