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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Uhuru Kenyatta waxes lyrical on Kameme FM

I have just received a letter. I have not attempted to edit it, and cannot vouch for it, neither confirm nor deny; so I'll leave it to up to you to decide...


Dear Siasa Duni,

This morning I listened to Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta on a show on Kameme FM, and I am disappointed. (The show was between 8-9am, featuring Uhuru and Njogu Wa Njoroge). A couple of things stood out in this show:

When he was asked to give his opinion on the CJ, AG and DPP saga, part of his answer was that the President came up with the list then agita kimudu giake (he called his 'ki-person') and they consulted, then he took the names to parliament. He then said that kimudu giki na andu akio decided to become a problem and claim they were never consulted. The 'kimudu' he is referrring to is the Prime Minister, who is effectively his boss. A caller who referred to himself as Masai reprimanded him, and his explanation was that he was angry, his words were temperature inapanda saa zingine. It reminded me of the time he referred to President Kibaki as the leader who practices a "hands off, legs off, everything off" management system.

When he was asked to give advice on politics, he said that he believes very strongly that Kikuyus must unite under one leader to enable them negotiate with other communities. He is of the opinion that Kikuyus must do what Luos, Luhyas and Kalenjins have done, and that we only become vulnerable when we are divided. He spoke of those calling for internal democracy as being misguided, etc. It made me wonder why he was in Kanu in 2002, and in ODM in 2005. Which side were Kikuyus on during those two occassions?

On the issue of the ICC, he talked about providing resources for blankets and transportation for victims, then he asked a couple of questions: What was he was supposed to do when people are being killed and hundreds of thousands displaced? What were police were expected to do in the circumstances? He then added that if what he did is what he is being told is wrong, he would do it again anyway if circumstances re-occurred. Uhuru was in government at that time. Is he accepting that government was so unable to deal with this situation that they ended up relying on individual resources to sort out PEV victims? Incidentally, does anyone remember a day in Kikuyu Constituency when Uhuru climbed on top of a vehicle bonnet and told the people there to be peaceful, and that he had learnt that Ruto was not his ally, as he had always thought, and would never work with him again? Today they want to make the guy Prime Minister!

I hope someone will take these utterances up with Mzalendo Kibunja and the NCIC. Even more importantly, this cannot be the kind of leadership for Kenya after Kibaki. The kind of contempt shown in those two words kimudu kiu indicate how Uhuru cannot do what Kibaki did in 2007, i.e. humble down and listen to someone he does not agree with, and build a relationship that literally goes against his personal interests, for the sake of Kenya. In fact, with utterances like this we do not need someone to mobilize other communities against Kikuyus. As the Masai caller said, hapo umekosea. Someone who aspires for national leadership cannot get there by asking (especially in public!), for his tribe to practice Kikuyu Nationalism first, then negotiate with other tribes.

I expect to get some serious beef from Uhuru's supporters for this, but we really must speak out. One also wonders whether this is meant to re-inflame tribal passions, maybe to lead to some skirmishes as a sign that Kenya is still unstable and maybe justify why ICC should be deferred. Whatever the case, a warning is going out: if our leadership has not learnt anything from 2007, the rest of us have. We will not stand by and allow anyone to invoke/manipulate tribal emotions to serve personal interests. This time get another game-plan, preferably one that starts from the principle that Kenya is made up of close to 40 million individuals, rather than 42+ tribes. As this generation of Kenyans, we will only accept to be led by someone who understands that tribal interests must take second tier significance to national interests.

So, my message to Uhuru Kenyatta, as a Mugikuyu from Nyeri: I refuse to accept your advice on political strategy for people of Central. In fact, the latest news from NCIC is that that plan is illegal as they have stated that no-one will be allowed to mobilize on the basis of tribe in politics. So please, cora ringi!

Ngunjiri Wambugu
Convenor
KikuyusforChange


PS: Yesterday I was a panelist on the first day of an exciting series of discussions forums that have been facilitated by Transparency International and Dunia Moja Trust. These forums are about Impunity, and they run all week from 6 pm. They are worth attending. However, I mention this in the context above because of what I walked away with from yesterday's forum. One of the participants, a member of Bunge La Mwananchi, stood up and explained impunity in the best and simplest terms I have ever heard. He said Impunity is "Freedom From Punishment."

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