KISUMU GOVERNOR THE FIRST FRUIT OF THE WOMB
By Okeri Nyabuto
The governor of Kisumu is a man whose hands I would love to shake above or below the soil.Since his inauguration,a few incidences have put him on the limelight attracting friends and foes in equal measure.Jack Ranguma knows more than any governor what his job description is.
Raguma has not only read it but also redesigned and moulded it.His ‘first’ name reminds me of an old English saying sliding loosely on the lips of some lazy KNUT members who do nothing for a pay that goes”too much work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”.Simple synthesis appreciates this Jack as a worked up kid who honestly deserves some time in the playground.
Ranguma Jack is no where near the above kid.For he stands out as a man among the many kid governors.A few reasons aid my understanding.When he wanted some office space for his government,one man in the name of a county commissioner was proving to be the thorn in the flesh.Ranguma Jack having understood his mandate swung into action.He had the whole building repainted the county colours and restructured to his taste.All this was done on a single night to the utter bewilderment of the commissioner who was left stammering at the cameras.While many of his counterparts were howling about the ‘thorn’,he had dealt with it.
Ranguma unlike the English Jack,desires no play.He is business serious with devolution.This masters degree holder in accounting and finance is amazing even the creme dela creme in political science.
His move to rename Jomo Kenyatta Sports Grounds is one that has stunned the dead,the living and the living dead.This facility is at the very bossom of the lake city.nRanguma has taken the war to the breasts of the status quo and spiced up the role of governors.
This move raises key fundamental questions.What is in a name?What is the significance of a name to a people?How did the name find its way to the epicentre of a people whose appreciation of Jomo Kenyatta is worse than the appreciation attached to a dead dog? How did many schools and other public institutions end up with some of these names?And were they for the good of the people or the person?
Answers to some of the questions are well known to us.We lived at a time when the only means to survival for any community was by hosting the incumbent president then and gathering other men’s wives to come and melt their hips before his eyes.The only assured way to have your road tarmacked was by having the president pass your route.Schools had to rebrand and acquire patrons who were politically correct.All systems had to dance to that one tune.It was so real that i remember one incident where patients had to be flogged out of hospital just to prove to the incumbent then that the malaria drugs he had donated to the hospital had worked wonders.It was unfortunate that some patients lost their lives in the process.That was our Kenya then.
This is another Kenya.And however wrong our past leadership has led us,there is always time to correct a wrong.However wrong the compass has been forced to err,we must always seek to know the true north.From whatever direction we are facing we must converge at the north which is the right.
Raguma Jack has taken the right direction.Let us seek to undo any wrong.Let us vomit whatever we had been forced to swallow.Let us seek to allow the new hair to grow again.The idea of a Raila Odinda Recreation centre at Kisumu for the Kisumu residents and the people at large is a relief from the bitter memories by a man they would cherish to hate.So is Jomo to them and others and so is Moi to some and others.Every region in this country has its true heroes and men and women deserving of honor in their small ways.We better ‘institutionalise ‘ some of these people to be epitomes of success to future generations.They are far better than the Mois and Kenyattas who meant a lot only to their communities.
To Jack Ranguma,may you continue to free the spirit of your people.Replace all Jomos with Railas,despair with infinite hope,poverty with abundant riches and yesterday with a promising tomorrow.