By: Dikembe Disembe
When the news first pilfered that incoming first lady Margaret will hold the bible for husband and president-elect Uhuru Kenyatta; I smiled knowingly. You must have seen it coming. From the victory address at Catholic University, the recorded speech after PM Odinga’s concession, where chaffs of Kiswahili words found themselves struggling with heavily accentuated English; the teleprompters and stage arrangements; our new leader is either a great admirer of US democratic practices; or impressionist of sorts.
So Margaret gets the honour of being the first woman to hold the Bible for an African president? ‘Lol’. So the First lady designate becomes the first First Lady to hold the bible for the first son of a former first president? Great! So Margaret too will hold the Bible for the first civilian to be indicted by a world court of justice of crimes of a bungled election who went ahead to be elected president in another bungled elections legitimized by the first Supreme Court of Kenya? Homely!
Margaret is a lucky woman. In Kenya, she is the first in her age to occupy statehouse, which brings me to a very weird thought: a new bed! Unlike the previous two recent occupants who had no need for a stronger bed with all bolts and nuts fastened, Margaret’s statehouse years will indeed be busy years; and the scion of Jomo does not appear as a man who will abandon’ nocturnal duties.
Margaret also has other firsts. As a wife of the president-elect; she recently landed at the leisure port city of Mombasa in a separate Kenya Airforce Jet, minutes after her husband also swirled in another military plane! Such grandiose is only common with the first lady of our neighbor to the west. Only Janet Museveni is said to make several shopping trips to Israel. In fact, I raked my mind in futility to get if Lucy Kibaki ever did this as first lady in her decades-long spousal duty-she never!
So there will be a bible. Which bible? What symbolism will this bible bring to future practice of presidential inauguration? Obama first used Lincoln’s Bible to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. In his second inauguration, he placed his hands on Martin Luther King’s Bible, celebrating 50th anniversary of the March on Washington.
Being closely associated with republicans; this bible politics cannot fail to capture George W Bush. In the fifty-fourth inaugural ceremony, George W. Bush hoped to use the Masonic Bible that had been used both by George Washington (first inaugural ceremony) in 1789, and by his father, George H. W. Bush ( fifty-second inaugural ceremony) in 1989. Due to rain, the bible, then being transported under guard from New York to Washington D.C. could not be used; instead, a family Bible was substituted.
Margaret and UK already made history, as for the future; a lot will be very interesting.