By G Oguda
Imagine the President of the Republic of Kenya stood in front of all 40+ million Kenyans today to say that he is powerless to stop corruption, and that there is nothing he could do about it.
Let me tell you something.
You all know Warren G. Harding. He was the 29th President of the United States of America. You keep saying Donald Trump is unpopular, go and search for Warren G. Harding.
The guy only won the 1920 elections because (i) President Woodrow Wilson chose not to run for a third term, due to his failing health, and (ii) Theodore Roosevelt, the overwhelming favourite to win the Republican nomination, died in 1919.
Confusion gripped both parties as they raced to prepare for the 1920 ballot. The Democrats substituted Woodrow Wilson with James Cox – the Ohio Governor and newspaper publisher, while the Republicans replaced Theodore Roosevelt with Warren Harding – the Ohio Senator and, also, newspaper publisher.
The 1920 elections was dubbed ‘The Ohio Madness’. Harding won with 60% of the popular vote.
The reason I bring Warren G. Harding’s name up is because of his blockbuster speech, delivered in the U.S. Senate on April 4 1917, supporting President Woodrow Wilson’s request for a declaration of war against the Imperial German Government. World War I was raging hot, and America was still sitting on the sidelines as Germany reigned terror in continental Europe.
As Woodrow Wilson was still dithering whether to send American forces to Germany to stop the bleeding, Warren Harding stepped up in the US Senate, and delivered the speech, aptly titled ‘The Republic Must Awaken’, until his voice shook, with the following excerpt, and I quote;
“…a republic worth living in is worth fighting for, and sacrificing for, and dying for. In the fires of this conflict we shall wipe out the disloyalty of those who wear American garb without the faith, and establish a new concord of citizenship and a new devotion, so that we should have made a safe America the home and hope of a people who are truly American in heart and soul.” End of quote.
It is the sort of speech Kenyans expected from President Kenyatta, today, during that callous State House Summit on Governance hosted, amid claims, that he was neither sober nor conscious, in word and in deed.
Those who tuned in their television sets kept watching with their mouths, instead of their eyes, as the President made one goof after the other lashing at every moving object under the sun, capping the needless rant with “Do you expect me to go and set up a firing squad at Uhuru Park so that people can be happy? Are we not a country that respects the rule of law?”
No, Mr. President. We do not respect the rule of law because you have never bothered to show that example, and as my village madman, Adhiegra, keeps reminding us, “the government is the only vessel that leaks from the top.”
If we were to give him the powers to shoot corrupt officials at point-blank range, like that guy Rodrigo Duterte is doing with drug cartels, in the Philippines, then you can bet the first person to walk the red line would the President himself. He cannot blow the heads of corrupt officials simply because that will mean his head goes off too.
And you can see why.
In August, this year, the Africa Centre for Open Governance did a survey throughout this country mapping out the knowledge, attitude and beliefs that Kenyans have towards the corruption gravy train and it’s chief profiteers.
The survey results, as expected, revealed that 51% of Kenyans surveyed said that the Office of the Deputy President, William Ruto, is the most corrupt government cubicle, with the Office of the President hot on his heels standing at 46%. The presidency is competing with itself on who is the worst looter in the TNA-URP duopoly.
That needless rant, today at State House, was just another hollow bloviating from a radarless Head of State who talks too much and does too little, and whose only badge of honour is eating in a Nyama Choma joint after successfully gluing a meter-box in a collapsing mud-walled house taking photos with poverty-stricken Kenyans. Of the 4 presidents we’ve had thus far, Uhuru Kenyatta is the most insensitive and downright condescending. He has terribly failed in reading the nation’s pulse correctly, something that amounts to a pathologically psychological condition.
Kenyans have been saying that Uhuru Kenyatta will be a one-term president, with overwhelming statistics to back it up. Jubilee have always refused to accept this stonewall fact. What Uhuru Kenyatta did today at State House effortlessly entered him into the 4th Stage of the Kübler-Ross psychological model (Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance). Ask any psychologist near you and they will tell you that of those 5 stages of grief, up there – that postulates a series of emotions experienced by terminally ill patients prior to their death – the 4th stage, of Depression, is the most revealing of character for it ushers in the state of powerlessness and withdrawal of action.
President Uhuru Kenyatta is depressed that he cannot fight corruption in which his officers, the ones he appointed, are the chief protagonists.
* * * * *
President Warren G. Harding did not live long to see his fledglings take to the sky. He died in office, two years later, and was succeeded by his Vice-President, Calvin Coolidge. As Warren G. Harding was struggling to serve Americans, the ‘Ohio Gang’, his inner circle of advisors who held powerful positions in his cabinet, decided to take advantage of his ill-health and steal from the American public.
The ‘Teapot Dome Scandal’, hatched and executed by the ‘Ohio Gang’, was the greatest political scandal in America before Richard Nixon shattered the ceiling with the ‘Watergate Scandal’.
Vice President Calvin Coolidge was just watching the ‘Ohio Gang’ do their thing thinking they are immune to the law. When he took charge after Harding’s death, the first major decisive action he made was to dismantle the Ohio Gang. Most were thrown in jail. Others committed suicide.
Alafu hapa Kenya tunaambiwa ati the President is powerless to fight corruption; and those attendees clapped for him like he’d just made the greatest discovery since Penicillin.
2017 sio mbali saaana.