By Kenyatta Otieno
David Ndii decided to belabour his Luos are cheap jab. The economist is suffering from two things. First, he has what I call the Seth Sendashonga pit of political moderates. This is when a political moderate chooses to cross and play in the opponent’s side then a fallout follows. When the fall out comes the courage that sent him there must be converted into wisdom failure to which things go south.
Second is the Narrative Fallacy. The effect of piecing together facts and then believing a cause-effect to the facts. Life is too complex for that. Meanwhile there is a big difference between not knowing your value and being cheap. The fact that Luos don’t attach monetary value to things does not make them cheap. First things first.
On 16th May 1998 at 5pm, gunshots rent the air in the upmarket Gigiri area. A Rwandese lady who worked for UNEP was ambushed as she drove home. In the car was her husband Seth Sendashonga former Minister for Interior in post genocide government of national unity in Rwanda. He had survived an earlier attempt on his life but this time he was not lucky.
Seth, a Hutu and former student leader joined the Tutsi led RPF in the bush against Habyarimana’s Hutu regime. When the Arusha Accord gave RPF slots in Rwanda parliament, Seth was among RPF politicians sent to Kigali backed by a contigent of RPF rebels who set up base on parliament grounds. It was a courageous stunt.
A Hutu pushing the Tutsi agenda in a Hutu majority parliament right in the belly of Hutu extremist beast. That’s what David Ndii was in ODM against his Kikuyu backed Jubilee Party albeit not in parliament.
When RPF won, the Tutsi led Rwanda Army began their version of low scale Hutu cleansing. Seth as Interior Minister was supposed to be behind it but he was not. The military genius in Kagame does not work like that. The same way when the handshake happened in March 2018, Ndii as Raila Odinga’s advisor was supposed to be the brains behind it. He was not. The political ‘genius’ in Raila doesn’t work like that. In both cases, fall outs ensued.
It takes courage to pull such a move, especially when your motivation is ideals and not money. When the fall out comes, wisdom must supercede courage.
David Ndii has managed to conceal his bile in intellectual veils but it has now flowed into the gutter. If he has a problem with Raila Odinga, he must draw the line and leave Luos out of it. The people are rarely the problem, the political system is. Raila is part of that political system.
The second is Narrative Fallacy. Up there in chilly weather of Shamata on the northern edge of Aberdare Ranges, Kikuyu men are committing suicide in droves. It is easy to draw a conclusion that alcoholism is the root cause. It’s never that simple. There is colonialism, matraichism, capitalism and a host of other reasons may be even genetic link before you get to alcoholism. Ndii, has decided to look at political money with poor calculations to conclude that Luos are cheap. He has missed the mark by a mile and one step Ma-long.
My good friend Bosibori once told me of the rent burden in price negotiations. She advised me to always keep my rent out of my mind when negotiating with a client. Lack of rent can cloud my subconscious leading me to accepting an amount equivalent to it when I can make more. It’s the boon of real hustlers in SMEs in this city.
Kenyatta 1 threw Luos out in the cold and Moi kept them there in his twenty four years in power. Luos held their ground because food is for the stomach and both will perish. You cannot always think with your your stomach. Meanwhile, a few Luos in the political class and civil service could not hold their itchy bellies in position and that is always expected. Now that things have moved a little to the better, like the cloud of rent, this deprivation clouds Luos when presented with a possibility of of a good opportunity. It is not the Luos, if you replace other communities with Luos in that equation, the results can kill you. The political system creates it.
A principle is not a principle until it costs you money. Like Berni Sanders has learned, values and ideals are anathema in liberal politics. Luos could have learned that with the handshake but learning is not an event. Meanwhile David Otieno Ndii should look for his ghosts where they are. Luos can continue to eat principles without dying for this country.