The good that all Kenyans should know
The good that all Kenyans should know
Outgoing Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago remains one of my favourite politicians because of one momentous statement he made: ‘usiweke siasa kwa roho. Weka kwa lungs’.
Simply put, it is never that serious. Do not invest too much of your emotions in politics, politicians and political competition.
Mandago was spot on. He remains so, months later. With the General Election 67 days away, I would like to borrow Mandago’s words.
On Wednesday, I was at Uhuru Gardens for the 59th Madaraka Day celebrations.
It was President Uhuru Kenyatta’s last national celebrations as head of state.
During the celebrations, Uhuru made no effort to recognise or acknowledge his Deputy, William Ruto. Their now obvious and open political divorce proceedings have hit fever pitch.
Nine years ago, I was at Nyayo National Stadium for the Madaraka Day festivities.
It was President Kenyatta’s first national holiday, as the country’s 4th Head of State. That time, the UhuRuto bromance was at its best.
From matching ties to public display and voicing of affection, the UhuRuto duo was having its great moments.
Who would have imagined the slippery turn of events in their political relationship nine years later! Their supporters divided down the middle.
And the most surprising thing is that Kenyatta’s then archrival, ODM leader Raila Odinag, is today his bossom buddy and preferred successor in the August 9th State House race. Imagine their supporters who harboured bitter feelings, fuelled by their political differences! What a waste.
In a short three weeks, Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka has endorsed Raila Odinga’s presidential bid, left Azimio la Umoja One Kenya coalition party, declared his presidential bid, dropped it and rejoined Azimio La Umoja! Just three weeks. You can imagine the emotion turmoil and anxiety his supporters have undergone in those 21 days or so.
What about Machakos Governor Dr. Alfred Mutua, who in the same period, has campaigned for Odinga, taunted Musyoka for his perceived indecision and defected to Kenya Kwanza hours before the close of political transfer season!
Yet today, he is one of the Kenya Kwanza principals, defending the same ideals and policies, such as bottom-up economic model that he demonised not so long ago!
The same principle applies to Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi. In under a month, he has transitioned from an Odinga defender to a fierce critic.
Good people, politicians change their positions so easily that I make one conclusion; it is not worth investing hard feelings or emotions in Kenyan politics.
Infact, I submit that there is no greater waste of time and energy than investing your feelings and emotions on Kenyan politics and politicians.
It always ends in premium tears!
I say so because, the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) was this week engaged in a ritual that takes place every 5 years in our country; mapping of the so called hotspots as the country heads to the general election.
Some of the counties in the list include Mombasa, Nairobi and Nakuru.
I struggle to find the real reasons for classification of parts of this country as hotspots every five years.
Sadly, I have never seen President Uhuru Kenyatta’s home town of Ichaweri, DP Ruto’s Sugoi, Odinga’s Bondo, Musalia Mudavadi’s Mululu or Kalonzo Musyoka’s Tseikuru homes declared hotspots, yet they are at the heart of presidentials polls in 2013, 2017 and even now in 2022.
Shouldn’t we have a more inclusive classification of hotspots, driven by real issues? What about mapping of hotspots for areas facing insecurity and require urgent government attention?
If the hotspots classification and mapping was about the biting cost of living, the whole country would be marked a hotspot!
What if we had a mapping of hotspots for counties with deplorable health facilities? Or even classification as hotspots, for counties that are food insecure or with poor quality education infrastructure?
Put it this way, as we head to the General Election, resist the temptation to begrudge your friend, neighbour, colleague merely on account of political differences.
After all, your problems are the same, political affiliations and persuasions notwithstanding.
And as sure as day follows night, even the political protagonists, on whose behalf you hold deeply feelings and emotion, once the polls are over in August, they will find a way of re-uniting.
Their differences are not personal. They are purely interest-driven. If you doubt me, remember the handshakes, the national breakfasts, the political hugs and embraces!