By: Dikembe Disembe
During the Labor Day celebrations at Uhuru Park, some very old dangerous phrases crept back to the political podium with vengeance.
This is how the Nation Newspaper reported it -excerpts
â€œthose making noiseâ€ were not Cotu members. â€œI have my army, which will deal with them,â€
Â â€œIn a show reminiscent of the Moi era, Cotu chairman Rajab Mwondi described Mr Kenyatta as Worker Number One. He also said President Kenyatta was number one workersâ€™ leader.
Referring to the book of Isaiah in the Bible, Mr Muchai, the TNA Member of Parliament for Kabete, and also Cotuâ€™s deputy secretary-general, said President Kenyattaâ€™s leadership came from God.â€
Mr Atwoli also said President Kenyatta was anointed by God and that just as he had predicted when former President Kibaki took office, Kenyaâ€™s fourth President â€œis going to be with us for another 10 yearsâ€.
Mr Atwoli said Mr Ruto was the best deputy President the country could have saying he is young, energetic, educated and visionary.
Now, political epochs in Kenya can be divided into certain significant time periods. Kenyans in their 70â€™s, 80â€™s and 90â€™s can vividly talk about the independence period and remember KEM signs and the colonial curfews. This era can be said to be the Harambee generation. Historians can safely argue that it is this generation that played the cold-war politics, the home-guard vs the mau mau, Kenyatta Vs Oginga Odinga, KANU vs KPU. These are the octogenarians who founded Kiambu Mafia! In this generation, thinking of the death of a president was treason.
The above generation introduced the enduring Luo-Kikuyu Schism, killed and buried Pio Gama Pinto, Tom Mboya and JM Kariuki. This period stretches from independence to the later part of 1970s.
Those in the 60â€™s and 50â€™s and 40â€™s can vividly talk about the Nyayo philosophy of Peace Love and Unity. They can talk about Moiâ€™s presidency, its successes and failures. Also, they can say it was their generation that ushered in the so-called â€˜second liberationâ€™. They can claim the dark dungeons of Nyayo House, the teargas canisters and the dreaded flying squad. This generation grew with Kenya as a de jure one party state after many years when it had been the de facto one party state.
It is this generation which saw Kamatusa and Jeshi la Mzee. It is this generation which produced current reactionaries and status quoits. The generation of moderate intellectuals and fiery student leaders; many who are dead already or on the fringes of poverty. This epoch ended with the defeat of KANU in 2002.
The 3rd generation is those in their mid-thirties and early twenties. Many in this generation begun voting with Kibaki in 2002, rejected the constitution in 2005, became violent in 2007,voted for promulgation 2010 and voted convincingly in 2013. This generation is not conservative; are dynamic and have hazy history of both the Harambee and Nyayo generations.
The 3rd generation does not know what it was like to have lived under Kenyatta in the 1970s or Moi in the 1980s. In fact, many do not even know that William Ruto was a cabinet Minister under Moi and that back in the day, KANU sent chills in the spines of opposition politicians in very excruciating ways.
While the former two generations may be aware of Atwoliâ€™s â€˜mtukufu Raisâ€™ coronations yesterday at Uhuru Park; because they lived at a time when sycophancy was a matter of life and death, we who were born towards the end of Nyayo era and have been bred under a moderate president who apparently abhorred sycophants and hanger-ons were highly bewildered yesterday.
We own President Kenyatta. He is not the president of the Atwoli generation and so we do not want him to share in the political vocabularies of the sixties, the seventies upto the nineties. When COTU Chairman Rajab Mwondi referred to President Kenyatta as Worker Number One; president Moi would have smiled knowingly. However, President Kibaki would have fumed. Not that it is wrong to praise the president, but the kind of praise, and the language used, if it reeks from the pathological dogmas of a dying past, is unwanted in this generation.
Sycophancy takes a very dangerous traction when it assumes religious connotations. Throughout the campaign, a lot of books and creative conjuring of Historical and environmental events were used to marshal support to not just Mr Kenyatta but also others. I still remember the good tidings brought by the fall of Mugumo tree in Nyeri after heavy rains one night during the campaign homestretch. Such ingenuities are allowed in politics; however, I smell a rat when a sitting president continues to get such raw fallacies.
On the same event where the president had freshly been inaugurated Worker Number One, one Mr Muchai, the TNA Member of Parliament for Kabete went straight to the Bible where he visited the book of Isaiah. Apparently, Prophet Isaiah had foreseen the coming of the leadership of Kenyatta II.
To cap it all, Atwoli declared that President Kenyatta would be the president for 10 years just as he had predicted Kibakiâ€™s presidency. Do we need all these shenanigans around Mr Kenyatta? What message is being sent to the young people in all these sideshows? Could it be possible that history is repeating itself as a tragedy? Only time will tell. However, Atwoli needs to know that the generation, which propelled Mr. Kenyatta to the presidency, did not envision a larger-than-life figure.
Very soon, we will begin demanding our president back, WE, the third generation of citizens.