By Dorcas S
It was just a matter of time before Jubilee started its concerted and desperate attempts to break up NASA which, given Kenya’s history of (political) coalitions, is a tenuous one at best. NASA is however, also a truer reflection of Kenya’s demographic than the ruling Jubilee Coalition.
Before I am accused of “advocating division among ‘patriotic’ Kenyans”, the inconvenient truth most “analysts” overlook or gloss over is that the NASA Coalition has, represented in its fold and at the national table, more regions and communities than Jubilee. Between Raila, Kalonzo, Ruto, Mudavadi, Wetangula and I’d add Hassan Joho to that list, NASA touches on a broader cross-section of Kenya/ns.
Contrastingly, the April 30, 2017 issue of the “Kenya Insights” wrote that an “emergency meeting instigated by the President and chaired by DP Ruto was convened…..to broker a deal that would cushion the shame of ethnic imbalance in the (Jubilee) constituency”: a complete antithesis of the party’s “tuko pamoja” slogan. It thus shouldn’t surprise anyone that Jubilee has an all-out effort on multiple fronts to peel off votes from NASA by impugning the character of its principals while scaring its Mt. Kenya/Central and Rift Valley base to turn out on election day. This is a strategy both Donald Trump AND Barack Obama used to perfection against Hillary Clinton and Mitt Romney respectively.
Self-described “PhD and LLM students” of obscure “distant” colleges, “lawyers” and “analysts” (mis)quoting the Bible, dead western (European) philosophers and thinkers are buttering up those who were absent from the podium at Uhuru Park this past week, especially from the Kamba and Luhya communities with the ultimate goal of steering them away from the NASA orbit.
It, divide-n-conquer, is as predictable a ploy as it is ominous and NASA would be committing a fatal mistake were it to dismiss its seriousness including the claims that Raila is an “entitled”, “power-hungry” and “selfish win-at-all-cost” politician.
Show me a politician who is not driven (power-hungry), focused (selfish win-at-all-cost) operative and I will show you a non-politician. Likewise, show me a politician, especially in Kenya, who doesn’t have the sense of entitlement of an Odinga, a Kenyatta, a Moi, a Mudavadi, a Kibaki OR a beneficiary of the aforementioned and similarly, I will show you struggling wanna-be or hanger-on.
Raila is neither a non-politician nor a “wanna-be”. The story that he is “entitled”, “power-hungry” and “selfish”, like the narrative that he wants to “address corruption and historical injustices on the backs of his detractors” is fake and disingenuous . It is also designed to demonize and define him the way Trump and Obama demonized and defined Clinton and Romney respectively:
Remember “Crooked Hillary” and the “cold heartless corporate raider from Bain Capital”?
The unquestionable advantage NASA has over Jubilee is also the very element the latter is trying to deconstruct: The pentahedron of RAO, KM, MM, IR & MW (and HJ) should not make the same mistake HRC made last year – being complacent while trusting the polls. The five principals (+Joho) should immediately and aggressively move to solidify and unify their respective BUT disparate and unexcited bases. Three months is a lifetime in politics but NASA has very little margin for error.
Raila is a national figure with national gravitas so he has carte blanche throughout the country even Mt. Kenya!
Kalonzo also has a national profile but needs to focus on the Kamba vote. This is extremely critical given Francis Nzenze’s gripe that the “Kamba people got a raw deal” in the NASA line-up and the perceived slight because Ms. Ngilu and Mr. Muthama were not on the podium not to mention the fact that Gov. Mutua switched over to Jubilee – from NASA’s predecessor CORD.
Mudavadi and Wetangula should criss-cross Luhyaland while Ruto and Joho should flood Rift Valley, Coast and North Eastern.
Obviously, the visits should be coordinated with the local party officials because “all politics IS local” and more importantly, it’s about the very hard numbers which NASA can amass if it runs a focused and disciplined campaign.
Fortunately for NASA, Jubilee’s record of the past four years is self-evident for all to see allowing the 2017 Elections to be crystallized into this basic question for Kenyans:
Are You Better Off Than You Were 4 Years Ago?
I’d say “No” because Jubilee’s incompetent leadership has created personal and economic insecurity and hardship.