TOO LATE FOR 40 VER­SUS TWO

Raila, at his ad­vanced age and po­lit­i­cal ex­pe­ri­ence, is still try­ing to use this ar­chaic method of “di­vide and rule”. Kenyans should unite against his choos­ing to rally them against two tribes

The Star (Kenya) - - Voices - MACHEL WAIKENDA Po­lit­i­cal and com­mu­ni­ca­tions con­sul­tant @MachelWaik­enda

Ger­man poet Jo­hann Wolf­gang von Goethe once wrote, “Di­vide and rule, the politi­cian cries; unite and lead, is watch­word of the wise”. These words ring true for any keen ob­server of Kenyan pol­i­tics, and any­one who un­der­stands the brand of pol­i­tics by ODM leader Raila Odinga. In 2007, Raila ral­lied his sup­port­ers be­hind the pro­pa­ganda of “41 against one”. In essence, it meant 41 eth­nic com­mu­ni­ties were fac­ing off against one com­mu­nity. At the end of it, he cre­ated a di­vi­sion be­tween the 41 com­mu­ni­ties and the one that had one of its own as the Pres­i­dent.

His pro­pa­ganda was aimed at show­ing there was no way this one com­mu­nity could beat the other 41 in an elec­tion. The re­sult of this pro­pa­ganda is some­thing all Kenyans would wish to for­get as it marks one of the dark­est pe­ri­ods in our coun­try’s history.

Ten years later, Raila has not changed this ap­proach, for­get­ting that Kenyans are wiser than they were then. He and his die-hard sup­port­ers are al­ready demon­strat­ing that they will base their 2017 cam­paign on “40 against 2” pro­pa­ganda.

It is un­for­tu­nate that Raila, at his ad­vanced age and po­lit­i­cal ex­pe­ri­ence, is still try­ing to use this ar­chaic method of “di­vide and rule”.

Of all the is­sues that Kenyans can unite against, the op­po­si­tion chief is choos­ing to rally other peo­ple against two com­mu­ni­ties — just be­cause their lead­ers came to­gether and said it is time to unite.

It is laugh­able that Raila and his brigade think this can ac­tu­ally stick, look­ing at how Pres­i­dent Uhuru Keny­atta and Deputy Pres­i­dent Wil­liam Ruto have em­ployed the wis­dom noted by Goethe of “unite and lead”.

Ev­ery time the two stand in any cor­ner of this coun­try, they al­ways call on Kenyans to unite and work to­gether for de­vel­op­ment.

For starters, the re­sults of the last elec­tion show UhuRuto won 20 of the 47 coun­ties and more than 25 per cent of the votes in 33 coun­ties. Clearly, this can­not jus­tify the no­tion by the op­po­si­tion that the Jubilee coali­tion was a union of two eth­nic com­mu­ni­ties.

The re­cent launch of the Jubilee Party also goes to un­der­score the fact that very many Kenyans take Pres­i­dent Uhuru and DP Ruto as the key unit­ing fac­tors in this coun­try. The in­clu­sive “big tent” ap­proach by the two since they came to power is em­bod­ied in the cre­ation of the Jubilee Party.

The op­po­si­tion wants Kenyans to be­lieve that the Jubilee gov­ern­ment is grossly in­com­pe­tent and cor­rupt.

The Pres­i­dent has ini­ti­ated many suc­cess­ful projects and has been at the fore­front in fight­ing cor­rup­tion and even asked his min­is­ters to step down, which was a first in Kenya.

At the same time, Raila has re­mained silent on the man­i­fest and ver­i­fi­able cor­rup­tion that has been re­ported by the Au­di­tor Gen­eral in the coun­ties led by op­po­si­tion gov­er­nors. For a man who chides the Pres­i­dent on the ba­sis of al­le­ga­tions con­tained in draft re­ports, Raila should be able to dress down “his” gov­er­nors.

In­stead, we have wit­nessed Raila seek to shield the op­po­si­tion gov­er­nors as we saw last Wed­nes­day when, with Kil­ifi Gov­er­nor Ama­son Kingi and Mom­basa Gov­er­nor Has­san Joho, he tried de­flect­ing the fo­cus from the two and in­stead fo­cussing on an in­terim au­dit at the Min­istry of Health.

The op­po­si­tion also wants to cre­ate a nar­ra­tive that pre-elec­tion pledges have not been ful­filled. This is also a fal­lacy be­cause most pledges have ei­ther been ful­filled or are on­go­ing with a small per­cent­age not ini­ti­ated.

We as Kenyans must look be­yond pro­pa­ganda and mud­sling­ing, and elect a Pres­i­dent in 2017 that will look be­yond tribe and fo­cus on trans­form­ing this coun­try. That leader, is Uhuru Keny­atta.

IT IS LAUGH­ABLE THAT RAILA AND HIS BRIGADE THINK THIS CAN AC­TU­ALLY STICK, LOOK­ING AT HOW PRES­I­DENT UHURU AND DP WIL­LIAM RUTO HAVE EM­PLOYED THE WIS­DOM NOTED BY GOETHE OF “UNITE AND LEAD”

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