Though he is not the President of the Republic of Kenya. Though the Jubilee propaganda machine maligned him as ‘analogue’ and ‘unfit’ for leading Kenya in a digital age, and succeeded, albeit through a series of institutional chicanery; Â CORD leader Raila Odinga, in his four decades of political and public life, did a few outstanding and extraordinary political things.
To the youth, especially with the formation of the Grand Coalition Government, Odinga had a vision for young people in this country; a lengthier vision than the combination of empty rhetorics on ‘pamoja twaweza kusema na kutenda’. He had been a youth winger in FORD and probably had been inspired by that towering idealist – Jaramogi Â Ajuma- who told the country to sample the best of the two worlds; east and west, at a time when telling the country to embrace the east too, like they did to the west, was like doing the vice verse today.
Watching the presidency lost amidst the live broadcasts in a span of one week at Bomas, I looked over my shoulder, and saw the people around me weep, tears rolled down freely, a few gnashed their teeth and murmured. . .for how long? Â But it was not losing that hurt so much; it was that self-evident truth – that fact – that he was losing unfairly. That the system, once again, had rigged him out, and that the system was telling those who cared so much about working systems to accept and move on.
In recent times, there has been several reports of ugly incidents involving Nairobi Women Representative, the Hon Rachel Shebesh, and other male politicians in the city. Defending Shebesh, especially from this end, is unimaginable; yet it is with the realization that probably, her struggles are steeped in her shared past history with this end that she is being slapped right, kicked centre and punched left.
Watching the presidency lost amidst the live broadcasts in a span of one week at Bomas, I looked over my shoulder, and saw the people around me weep, tears rolled down freely, a few gnashed their teeth and murmured. . .for how long?Â
Shebesh left ODM, the party of Raila Odinga, a few months to the last election. She spent her last political years with Jakom,Â and if Kalonzo is back, and were are comfortable with Wetangula, then it is just a matter of time. From what we have seen, tellingly, the other side, with all its tyrannies, are far behind us.
The good thing with supporting Raila Odinga, even when times are hard, is that you are part of a safe history. A history which you can deconstruct and share and feel proud that you are part of a movement – a rendezvous with democracy!
The latest woes of huyu manzi wa Nairobi, which reeks of idiocy, is the spat between her and Hon Mike Mbuvi Sonko, the flamboyant city senator. To be fair, any normal and rational person who reviewed the video footages involving Hon Shebesh and Hon Kidero will attest that on this particular incident, the ‘slap’ was borne out of the immediate events of the moment – a confrontation between the two. Whether Shebesh had hit Dr Kidero below the belt, as later alleged, is a matter of personal conjecture.
But Shebesh and Sonko?
From what is circulating after the last incident which is said to have occurred at a Nairobi hotel, the differences, which led to Sonko physically assaulting Shebesh, stems from her association, through phone calls, with a section that Sonko is uncomfortable with; key among whom includes former prime minister Raila Odinga. This is where we come in. Raila Odinga is not the just the man who is husband of Ida and the father of Fidel and others. Odinga is hope. Odinga is freedom. Odinga is an unfinished work. So when Sonko claimed he had been ‘spying’ on Shebesh, including her conversations with Raila Amolo Odinga, it touched the rawest nerve of those of us who live hopeful, free and with some unfinished work; I mean, those of us who live and breath Raila Odinga!
Who is Sonko to listen to a conversation of the free? Who is Sonko to tap a conversation where Odinga is part of the discussant? Who is Sonko? Shackled in the fear that his embattled boss may be jailed soon, wallowing in the miasma of the cheapest politics ever witnessed in our country, struggling to find a nonsensical role in a senate of educated Kenyans and veteran politicians.
Raila Odinga is not the just the man who is husband of Ida and the father of Fidel and others. Odinga is hope. Odinga is freedom. Odinga is an unfinished work
Who is Sonko to spy on those Raila Odinga is chatting with over important phone calls?
In the two sessions, Sonko played recordings of telephone conversation between Shebesh and other leaders including former Prime Minister Raila Odinga. Sonko told the leaders that he had been spying for a long time on the Women Representative. – The Standard Newspaper report.
What can be more egregious? Why would a citizen tap into the communication of another citizen? What happened to the right to privacy?
Because Sonko, before he made his money and began spending it to buy political support ‘at all costs’ was a nobody in the political life of this republic, it is understandable if he is clueless on where this country is coming from. It is therefore upon us, students of kenya’s political history, to educate the Sonkos of this world that there was a time back in the day when being seen with an opposition politician, when you were part of the ruling party KANU, was enough to destroy your political career. However, thanks to Odinga and others, that time is gone.
Like many other Jubilee parrots who are today basking in the freedom fought and earned under treacherous, heart-wrenching times not so long ago, Sonko became a city politician when very little was at stake in the city. Imagine, he was not yet around when the country went oranges. From the recordings of history, probably he was till at Shimo La Tewa, or making his money, or running away from the ghosts of justice. Wherever he was, Mike Sonko seems never to have been closer to anything politics, for he would have known where the country is today.
Maybe, Sonko is a dummy; maybe he just doesn’t get it, lastly, maybe he is just uninteligent fellow. It is difficult to place Sonko in any political grouping in Kenya. Is he an elite? No, he is not. An intellectual? Prof Anyang’ Nyong’o will feel offended. A street fighter? That is a no-no. He was not at the University of Nairobi. He was not in YK’92 or PNU’07. He just came from nowhere with money, lots of money, poured it in Makadara and whoa, there he was: Mheshimiwa!
Be that as it may, Sonko would be re-elected in 2013 in an election that all things got elected. As he goes on with his duties, Sonko owe this country huge debts on his personal character. On further tiff with Shebesh we dare say: leave the woman alone!