By Dikembe Disembe
Soon after the March 4 elections, Amani Coalition joined other small parties, and offered to work with the Jubilee government. It was all in the media.
Recently, there were other media reports by ‘inner sources’ which were quoted saying that Mudavadi was getting a slot in a forthcoming cabinet reshuffle. He did not dispute the allegations.
Uhuru toured Western where Mudavadi failed to collect even 20 people by the roadside to ‘wave’ for the President! In the end, he was welcomed in some church to save face. Realizing the emptiness of the trip, the President categorically warned about some dead cows to be shared; scolding some MP in the process.
Uhuru knows, just like Raila, that Mudavadi is a ‘nobody’ in Luhya politics. Uhuru was there and saw for himself. As western politics reloads, it may fall on Wetangula, or Namwamba, to do community bidding. Already, talk in town is that the ever scheming Bill sorted Namwamba’s legal fees when he hired him a high profile lawyer.
So even Ruto is aware on the shifting power ratios in Western Kenya. Suffice to repeat, Musalia Mudavadi is a ‘nobody’ in the larger scheme of things!
Luhya unity cannot be sought after forever. Eugene and Mudavadi literally camped in Western Kenya the whole campaign period in the last election in search of this prestigious ‘Luhya unity’ which was to translate into votes.
At the university, whenever political toddlers wanted to be ‘taken seriously’ they often, uncharacteristically, took on Â ‘veterans’ with all sorts of abuses and and innuendos. It is time tested trick, most times, it works.
Mudavadi, like Uhuru and Ruto, is attempting to use the timeless kenyan political wisdom: fearmonger on the person of Raila Odinga! He wants to make Raila a “luo” and he (Mudavadi) a “Luhya”! He’s got a good script, but a wrong audience.
Michael Kijana Wamalwa saw it a decade ago. In Kenya, Kijana observed, there only exists two ideologies – Railaphobia and Railamania – which every politician opposed to or close to Odinga has used with varied degree of success and failure.
In the run-up to the last general election, candidates Uhuru and Ruto literally wiped up their communities using Railaphobia – the passionate hatred of the former PM – to ascend to power. Each political rally was a fear-mongering, hate-mongering event which told the story of Raila Odinga as the “grand Hague fixer”.
An aged woman somewhere in Gatundu, because of this fearful hatred, was reported to have committed suicide when told Raila would win the last elections.
In Kisii, a young police officer, seeing IEBC mishandle the elections, facing the stark reality that Odinga will not win again, secluded himself and in the worst final resolve, shot himself summarily.
Railaphobia and Railamania led to the orgies of the post-poll violence. There are those who killed and maimed and raped in his name, or against his name.
Kibaki stuck to power, so it has been said, because of those ‘in high places’ who were unsure of an Odinga presidency. In post-2007, they used to say he (Odinga) was not good for “our businesses”. That he still was bitter with “our people” and so he must be stopped. Then he got into government and proved skeptics wrong. His was an unequal power.
Odinga survived sabotage, overcame moments when he was countermanded on the things he believed strongly about. . .and painfully saw a narrative being constructed about him and the ICC cases.
He attempted to create credible institutions too, and convinced people to once more trust a ‘new judiciary’ and a new electoral body. At least, this time, it was hoped that those who wanted him out of power would do so through ‘improved means’; he was wrong. Once more stopping Odinga would be a highly divisive issue.
To “stop” Odinga has been costly to each generation of reactionaries, and comrades, who have tried doing it. People have been killed trying to “stop” Odinga. Some people have lost jobs and become paupers because the system is trying to “stop” Odinga.
On the other hand, some politicians, powerbrokers and security officials owe their stature, wealth and fiefdoms to never-ending business of trying to stop Odinga. Littered in every nook and cranny of Central Kenya, Eastern, Nairobi, Rift Valley, Nyanza and Western are billionaires and multi-millionaires who got their political-financial capital because they tried to “stop” Odinga or “halted” his progress when it was certain he couldn’t be stopped!
Casualties abound. Paupers of all shades. It intrigues how Railamaniacs have bore the brunt of maintaining the political colossus Mudavadi claimed projects the ‘image of infallibility’. From students to lecturers to politicians and businesses, Miguna Miguna will enumerate to you those gallant pro-Odinga “groupies” who have been sacrificed, often not by Odinga, with the sole aim of “stopping” the current Cord leader.
The grandest contradiction about this phobia-mania politics is the speed with which actors and actresses change. Very few people have remained stark in a single dogma for the time Odinga has been on local political duty.
This ductility of Odinga haters and admirers confounds the problem with people like Mudavadi. Tomorrow, unashamedly, you may be treated to a ‘reunion’ of a former ‘hater’ as well as rancorous fall-out with a self-professed admirer.
The danger, mortal and static, is that the holoi poloi get bewildered with these political shenanigans of the Mudavadis of this country.
When you spend a whole seasons disparaging one man, warning your community; like Ruto and Uhuru did to the Kalenjins and the Kikuyus, about the ‘dangers’ inherent in supporting him; why would the wretched among them not take arms to defend physically what their leaders proclaim verbally?
As Raila towers over Kenya’s political landscape; other political leaders will always seek to build themselves either using him, or misusing him. It has worked before, it is currently working and, for all that history has repeated every so often, it will work in the future.
One only hopes that the ‘reserve army’ used for trade-offs, like Mudavadi is currently using the people of Bungoma and Luhyas in general, understands their role. In my view, this is what good journalism should do to a society: educate citizens on the isms of democracy poorly understood.