I get confused when I read from analysts and commentators that Kenyan politicians should give us “issue based” politics and should campaign on the basis of “policies”! Which ones? My argument has consistently been that unless we get a new non-ethnic political narrative, the current political class in CORD and Jubilee are incapable of any issues. Their whole political engagement revolves around politics of ethnicity, impunity and mediocrity, siasa ya ukabila, ukora na upuzi.
Outside this madness, they have nothing new to offer. Absolutely nothing. And we are told to wait for campaigns of “issues”. From who? How?
Again. I warn you. The season of madness is here. The naive and the deluded are asking for a political campaign of “issues”. I gave up a long time ago. The only narrative that the current political class in CORD and Jubilee is capable of is tribalism.
It is a narrative of unimaginable hate, division, impunity, anger and anarchy. I know because as a blogger, I live under its specter everyday. These are what the current political class has planted since 2013 and are about to come to fruit. The tribal kingpins in CORD and Jubilee have no other way of keeping power or ascending to power. When I hear talk of a campaign of issues, I am wondering where they are supposed to come from. Those asking for an issue based politics and free and fair elections may as well migrate to Mars.
The drums of tribal hatred and warmongering are beating. If you cannot hear them, you are deaf!
Figure this out:
The Gĩkũyũ “Council of elders” (whoever those are) want the Luo Council of Elders to apologize for Millie Odhiambo’s mad outbursts of insults against Uhuru in parliament, or else. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mhiLbBYs6gI. A conspirational silence greeted this ultimatum. If indeed he claims to be a national President, such a reaction should have bothered Uhuru. It did not.
That Gĩkũyũ “Council of Elders” came out in defense of Uhuru is a confirmation that Uhuru is a Gĩkũyũ President ( or they view him as such) and needs to be defended by the Agĩkũyũ. While the elders have the right to exercise their stupidity in any way they deem fit in a democracy, it was incumbent upon Uhuru who is gallivanting all over the country talking of “peaceful” elections to denounce a statement that portrays him as a tribal president. He didn’t.
There is a bigger reason though why Uhuru should have categorically distanced himself from the statement, if indeed he did not endorse it. The so called Gĩkũyũ Council of elders made the Millie invective a Luo affair. Instead of dealing with her as an individual and taking any other appropriate action, they roped in Raila and the entire Luo community.
Not to be left behind, governor Kabogo made the Millie issue a Luo vs Gĩkũyũ issue, and equally issued threats; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QXUqZLpUqgA. Again this is what happens when ethnicity is the super-narrative that governs all political associations in a society like ours. This is where leadership is required. This is where leadership is lacking. Instead of reigning in his lieutenants, Uhuru called Millie Odhiambo an idiot.
This is not the first time tribal “elders” are coming out in defence of their tribal Kingpin. The Luo Council of Elders had earlier come out with guns blazing. They were demanding an apology from Moses Wetangula, a Luhya tribal kingpin wannabe and a Co-principal in CORD (whatever that means) for likening Raila Odinga to a barren woman after failing to secure the presidency in three unsuccessful attempts. Raila said nothing.
And the wannabe Wetangula finds himself in fresh trouble. Under his nose, and if Atwoli is to be believed, the Luhya have crowned a tribal Kingpin. The Prince without a Kingdom now has one ( See my previous article http://profmichaelwainaina.com/yes-mr-mudavadi-tribal-kingpins-jubilee-clueless-moi-men-prince-without-kingdom.html). And he has come up with half an idea called NASA. A key piece in the NASA tribal jigsaw is now in place and the authors of the ODM 41 vs 1 tribal formula of 2007 are happy with the coronation.
I have said that Uhuru Kenyatta, William Ruto, Raila Odinga, and Kalonzo Musyoka are bonafide tribal kingpins and not to be outdone, Atwoli claims to have led the Luhyas in appointing one. I have in the past written that Mudavadi and Wetangula are wannabe tribal kingpins salivating for the Luhya vote. When Atwoli crowned Mudavadi in a choreographed event, the latter was elated and more than ready to pick up the title. When the coronation of a tribal kingpin becomes a national affair and headline news in a country that is sinking in the abyss of tribalism , you know the end is near. I have not heard any condemnation from the other tribal kingpins. They have no moral authority to condemn the coronation of another tribal kingpin It has something to do with the saying about those who live in glass houses.
Not to be outdone, the Maasai are looking for a tribal kingpin.
You will recall that Uhuru and Raila exchanged bitter words in the funeral of William Ole Ntimama each trying to outdo each other to inherit the deceased’s tribal constituency. I did an article on it. http://profmichaelwainaina.com/night-calls-dead-eating-meat-tribal-wheeler-dealers-desecrating-funeral.html. I told you that the dirty altercation had everything to do with the tribal constituency that Ntimama had left behind and the ODM and Jubilee tribal kingpins were drooling over the constituency. It does seem that Nkaissery now has his brief from his boss. A recent meeting he held in Massai-land is telling of the direction and thinking within Jubilee, and it could have dominated the headlines for a while hadn’t the Duale tape emerged and gone viral on social media.
Remember Kalonzo refusing to answer a question from a journalist from Central because “your name betrays you”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQnVJ9bOOd8. His CORD counterparts laughed about it. Now Duale reportedly wants Kambas evicted from Garissa. Kamba “leaders” who said nothing about Kalonzo’s mad outburst now think Duale is out of order and should be sanctioned. When Kalonzo issued perhaps one of the most debased ethnic slurs to come from someone who claims to be a national leader with presidential ambitions, the Kamba “leaders” said nothing. Kalonzo has been shouting from the rooftops that Duale’s remarks “are poisonous and could cause chaos” and that he will report him to the ICC. This guy! No wonder his co-principles in CORD called him a watermelon and Judas Iscariot!
To crown it all, CORD and Jubilee cannot agree over an obvious need for a backup system for voter identification and results transmission. CORD wants “mass action”. Moses Kuria is preparing for them. He is tabling the Kenya Stand Your Ground Bill that seeks to “entrench citizens right to self-defense in cases of unrest”. When it comes from Moses Kuria you know nikubaya. God have mercy on us!
And folks, there you have it. A snapshot of the people and the political space from where we are being told to expect campaigns of “issues”. And I have not even listed all. And we are being told to demand for issue based politics from these guys!
I have said repeatedly that courtesy of the tribal kingpins in CORD and Jubilee, tribalism is the only and the dominant narrative for political mobilization in Kenya. All grievances and all “issues” ultimately take the ethnic angle because that is how the political class has crafted the political narrative. There is nothing else that this narrative can breed apart from the madness that we are seeing. Unless we urgently get a new non-ethnic political narrative to inspire the country differently, the only result the current political class in CORD and Jubilee can deliver for the country is conflagration. And you are waiting for an issues based campaign, and free, fair and credible elections. Good luck!