BABA, TAKE A WELL-DESERVED AND LENGTHY BOW – YOU HAVE EARNED IT!
Well Kenya, we’ve have done it again:
We are now the only country in the world whose president and deputy president were elected into office while crimes-against-humanity suspects and for good measure, we have just had their re-election confirmed by the country’s electoral body IEBC.
As read somewhere, a country gets the leadership it deserves and deserves the leadership it gets:
Kenyans now have the leadership they deserve – again.
Like Tom Mboya, looks like Raila Amolo Odinga will go down in history as the best president Kenya never had – and fortunately for him, it will not be due to an act of evil or due to lack of effort.
It will be due to Kensanity:
The tendency Kenyans have of electing the same corrupt and incompetent leaders and expecting different results.
“Democracy” is tortuous and capricious.
It is also fluid.
Kenya, like the People’s “Democratic” Republic of Korea (DPRK) or North Korea as it is commonly known, has been ruled by a handful of certified kleptocrats, some who like their counterparts in DPRK, have been accused of horrific crimes.
Similarly, America, arguably the world’s most foremost democracies, had codified in Article 1, Section 2, Paragraph 3 of its Constitution, a law decorously referred to as the “Three-fifth Compromise”. This was a law that pegged slaves, descendants of Africa, as 3/5 humans!
And Rwanda, the new darling of the west, amended its constitution to allow its post-genocide president Paul Kagame a third seven-year term as its president – which he just won – with ninety-something per cent of the votes! Oh and he is also intolerant of dissension and opposition.
Is it any wonder that Winston Churchill offered that “democracy, is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried.”
Chairman Mr. Wafula Chebukati’s IEBC spoke last week and barring any unforeseen events, Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta will be sworn in as Kenya’s president. Fellow crimes-against-humanity suspect (former) William Samoei Ruto will be his deputy and on a side note, it is my estimation that he, Ruto, will have fulfilled his usefulness to the coalition loosely referred to as Mt. Kenya Mafia/Uthamikists.
While it can be said that the race for 2022 begins now, I offer that the fight for Kenya’s independence; for her soul will continue beyond 2022. The country is a flailing and divided amalgam of distrustful less-than-compassionate and selfish balkanized ethnicities all vying, oftentimes violently, to control the national purse string.
Short of throwing up one’s hands, “accepting” incompetence, mediocrity, avarice and “moving on”, there are those still willing to toil along hoping that justice eventually becomes their “shield and defender”. These Kenyans, much like African-Americans, continue to sacrifice their lives for a Kenya they believe does not care for them – this as embodied by how easy it is for the very instruments meant to “shield and defend” them from injustice to be turned against them – as vividly demonstrated this weekend in Kisumu, Kibera, Babadogo etc.
It is this unyielding dedication to public service for the greater good that compels me to join a long line of well-wishers and supporters offering their unsolicited advice to Raila Amolo Odinga:
Mr. Prime Minister, you have fought the good fight, not once, or twice or even three times, but your entire life and the easy, frankly lazy thing to say is that “you’ve lost” – each time. Even as I am fully cognizant of the reality that voting/elections is about “winners” and “losers”, that would be an indolent way of looking at your public CV.
RAO, I will not dwell on the elections of 2007, 2013 or the just-concluded 2017 race. I will leave that to historians and frankly my lack of objectivity – my soft spot for the man we affectionately call “Baba” – will be all too obvious.
What I will focus on is the forward former Chief Justice Willy Mutunga wrote in Babafemi Badejo’s book “Raila Odinga: An Enigma in Kenyan Politics.”:
That “(G)iven the crisis of political leadership in Africa (and I definitely add Kenya), and the burning quest for alternative political leadership on the continent, Raila Odinga…provides an interesting case study …and food for serious thought on both issues.”
Take a bow from a grateful global audience; this even as I acknowledge the dregs of “Railaphobia” that persists among some pockets of an ungrateful nation: It is true, a prophet is not without honor save in his own country but be that as it may Mr. PM, take time off from the country’s socio-political stage and rejuvenate your soul, your spirit and tend to your well-being and that of Mama Ida.
You have earned it.
You deserve it.
You’ve done your part, ironically, bequeathing an ungracious nation a system of governance, that while far from perfect, has given hitherto marginalized communities seats at the national table. And no, the journey is far from done – as amply demonstrated by events of the last five years.
It is also this reality that informs my hope that upon your return, you will write another book, this time delving into the darkness that was these last elections. I understand that as a former PM, you are sworn to secrecy on some state matters but on things you are able to reveal,
Tell Kenyans why you sacrificed yourself and your family your entire adult life.
Explain to those who have open ears AND open minds why you chose to be the official and unofficial watchdog against those who continue to look for opportunities to rape the national treasury.
Tell Kenyans and the rest of the world why you risked life and limb to nurture the churlish polity that was Kenya circa 2002 – and continued to do so year in year out.
What happened to Chris Msando?
What of Jacob Juma?
What are your thoughts on the way forward, not necessarily as the Opposition, but in response to the statement or aspiration “The Kenya We ALL Want is________”?
What of implementation of the changes recommended by the TJRC and Kriegler Commissions?
Unlike the self-described “light of Kenya” who set the country along its current ruinous path of greed and self-engorgement, your life sir, illuminated the way for many in a country that continues to drunkenly stumble its way towards true devolution, multi-partyism and democratic & incorruptible space.
And far from the narrative propagated by some quarters, those who support the ideals upon which you have based your life have never deified you.
Your supporters understand that like all humans, you have foibles – plenty of them if I may add – but unlike those who only talk about patriotism, sacrifice and public service, your life has embodied it.
The time you ran afoul of the law was not because you were accused of crimes-against-humanity. You were never in court to answer questions about how you acquired seven-figure balances in foreign bank accounts or sprawling properties in faraway lands.
You were not in trouble for committing crimes against humans who looked to you for leadership.
You were in court to answer charges that you were part of a group that wanted to overthrow the corrupt and despotic government of the current president’s political mentor Daniel Arap Moi – something you eventually did in 2002 when you famously thundered “Kibaki Tosha”.
The fact is, it has never been about you or your family. Mr. PM, use your post-2017 General Election time to share that truism – that it doesn’t have to be your “turn to eat”.
That teaching and engaging the many eager and willing public servants will benefit the greater society and like the saying goes, a rising tide will lift all ships! A free and equitable Kenya will be more stable and secure which in turn will allow citizens to actualize themselves in any way they so choose.
I look forward to your work with the UN to “analyze the results of the (2017) ballot” that in my opinion has been panned as much as it has been embraced. And while at it, can you agitate for an independent non-Kenyan investigative body reopen the shoddy investigations into the assassinations of Tom Mboya, JM Kariuki and Robert Ouko?
But first Mr. Prime Minister, take some time off to heal yourself and replenish your spirits because the rudderless country still needs your extensive experience and wisdom and gravitas.
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