By Micah Kigen
What is happening in Kalenjin politics today is a tragedy. We cannot abruptly walk into a situation where elected leaders are viciously quarreling in public and working at cross purposes and pretend that all is normal.
This sad situation is worsened by the crude action of senior leaders like Zackayo Cheruiyot of joining junior inexperienced politicians in escalating the problem. Given his age, experience and personality, the Kuresoi MP is expected to step in quickly to calm down the antagonists and re-united them. It was easy and very acceptable if he played the role of an elder brother to the fighting juniors and led them into dialogue.
ZK’s joining in the fray is serious betrayal and paints a bad picture about senior politicians from the community. He should thus quit politics instead of hanging in there when he cannot add value to the leadership. His wealth of experience counts for nothing to the people.
Instead he is now part of the problem by fueling the blame game. As he castigates William Ruto he should also take part of the blame and quit the stage for failing the test of mentoring or guiding the mainly youthfull Kalenjin leadership of today.
Nandi Hills Member of Parliament Alfred Keter , Kericho Governor Isaac Rutto and Kuresoi Member of Parliament Zackayo Cheruiyot are on a war path, each claiming to be defending the voters and speaking for the voiceless. But the DP’s corner has gotten alarmed and its top lieutenants have come out furious to castigate the trio and their supporters as agents of URP and Jubilee enemies on a mission to undermine the Deputy President.
However, the rebels, in a show of determination have returned salvo for salvo including roundly condemning the pro-Ruto group as mere sycophants who have abdicated their role of defending the voters and articulating their interests. An awkward situation has thus been inflated and worsened.
Unfortunately, as the madness escalates, there is a clear lack of leadership to control and calm the matter. Naturally, we expected URP leader and Deputy President William Ruto to rise to the occasion and reign in his troops. Because both the rebels and the “sycophants” rose to their current positions on his URP wave of “Kusema na Kutenda”. But the DP has gone AWOL, on this one.
Though I accepted, William Ruto’s rise to his current top seat as Deputy President of Kenya, and moved on and despite the fact that I respect his office, I won’t hesitate to challenge him to rise up and offer leadership to his elected leaders and bring order. If he fails to, it means he was not prepared for the challenge of national leadership, hence he should also consider throwing in the towel.
The rebels are complaining that the DP has been hosting secret delegations of grassroots leaders and other functionaries whom he then has been deploying “to finish” the rebels in their back yards. If true, this is another absurdity that must be stopped. The only logical way out of the crisis is to institute dialogue and engage diplomatic solutions.
The other disaster in the whole saga is Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen. He has personally and publicly admitted to being a sycophant of William Ruto. That admission alone is self incrimination.
No leader worth his salt is supposed to turn into a sycophant. It is demeaning to his voters. It is high time he quit his seat to take up his new role as a sycophant.What happened to all his education and the big pontification about youthful enlightened leadership. Elgeyo Marakwet voters are already disgusted with this and are seriously thinking about unleashing the recall clause in the constitution to replace him as their senator.
The situation is calling for the intervention of community elders and religious leaders to summon these quarreling politicians and counsel them urgently back to order.
The respect and sway the Kalenjin community had gained in Kenyan society of late was solely dependent on the assumption that they offer a united front and retain a solid voting block who can be reliable. This disintegration, too early in the Jubilee marriage portends disaster.
This reminds us of the 1992 general elections when the politics of euphoria ran amok and voters ended up electing unprincipled and uncaring representatives. That is how Kenneth Matiba and Jaramogi Oginga Odinga found themselves with unprincipled MPs who could easily rebel and readily betrayed their parties and defected to KANU leaving the opposition badly weakened. Could William Ruto be reaping from the URP euphoria he unleashed in Rift Valley to sweep all seats in the last elections?
There is need for concerted efforts to quickly sanitize the situation and support the Deputy President at least in the meantime for the future of the Kalenjin voters. A disjointed leadership cannot be relied upon to deliver for the people. If they won’t deliver, then they have no business holding onto office as they have no other mandate.