By Solomon Baraka Sudi
Yesterday, in a deeply thought out, riveting and masterful piece written in a relaxed and flowing conversational style leftist blogger Dikembe Disembe aptly dissected the psychology of the Jubilee leadership: How fear of the unknown is the only umbilical cord linking it to its millions of supporters in its two tribe base.
The article reminded me of the Wannsee Conference organized by a group of high ranking Nazis in 1942. In terms of sheer brutality and unquenchable thirst for blood they were the â€˜most of the moistestâ€™. Their aim was to discuss something that has achieved everlasting infamy: The Final Solution of the Jewish Problem in Europe.
This â€˜solutionâ€™ resulted in the building of killing industries whose efficiency produced the Holocaust. That is however beside the point. The point is, in that meeting the main convener; the young Reinhard Heydrich expresses himself with mad emotion and in terms so violent and hateful of the Jews that one of those attending calls him aside and tries to knock some sense into him. He warns him that his hatred for Jews is so strong that if all the Jews were to be killed then his life would lose meaning; it would become hollow, useless.
â€œWhen such a time comes, what will you do Heydrich?â€ he asks.
Heydrich has no answer, he blankly stares at him. Perhaps to answer his own question he goes on to tell him a story of a young man whose primary drive and motivation was to prove wrong his father who he hated so such for having abused him in childhood and doubting his abilities. When one day the father dies the young man loses all motivation and the will to live. He no longer has someone to prove himself to. In an irony of fate he commits suicide. Thus in his grave the father gets the last laugh.
Reinhard Heydrich and the young man in that story are important introductions to the psychology of the Jubilee narrative. It has no life of its own. It must have enemies to keep it going. The enemy has to be made strong in order to pose a real threat. The threat can then be used to mobilize and gain ethnic support.
In any case thatâ€™s how Jubilee was born. In the history game of â€˜ifsâ€™, one â€˜ifâ€™ is certain in Kenya: If there was no ICC there would be no Jubilee. Right from its very beginning, itâ€™s fear that provided its foundation stones.
In the Rift Valley it was the ICC. In Central and its offspring across the country it was the twin fear of the ICC and the Luo takeover of power. The ICC and the Luo, personified in Raila, became the two enemies to fight to death. Then they seemed a real threat and thatâ€™s why Jubilee was at its best. It all always goes that way. For an alliance thus formed itâ€™s always at its best when the â€˜threatâ€™ is greatest.
As the threat goes down, the alliance weakens. To revitalize itself, new enemies have to be brought to life. Itâ€™s therefore no accident to see these â€˜enemiesâ€™ being manufactured day in day out like products in a Chinese factory. Like those products, the new enemies are of very low quality. For those not in the know about the workings of Jubilee it might sound a little bit comical and absurd for one to think that the Boniface Mwangis of this world can topple a government that has the intelligence, the military, the police and the media all in its bank.
Soon pastor Owuor, Juliani, Gado and Co. will be next in this chain of absurdity. Yet such â€˜enemiesâ€™, with all their awkwardness, have to be invented to give this government meaning for existence. Itâ€™s there to fight enemies. The moment the â€˜enemiesâ€™ cease to exist itâ€™s no more. Why, because this government is so poor at reinventing itself. Whatever it used to get to power is still being used to stay in power.
Yet in not so distant a future the reserve of â€˜enemiesâ€™ will be exhausted. There will be nothing to manufacture. The ICC cases would be gone and Raila would be no more or his political weight would be jaded. Then this government will have to square it out with its fate. When the political life in the ICC cases and Raila is gone will Jubilee also lose its life like that young man in the opening story?
How will they answer the question Reinhard Heydrich failed to answer? Will they allow themselves to go down in history as that â€˜dynamic duoâ€™ that constantly manufactured enemies and fought them till they were â€˜dizzy with successâ€™ or will they have something more honourable that drove them to seek power and rule Kenya?