By Hon Koigi Wamwere
For a long time I have agonized over who should have been second president of Kenya.
Though Kenyatta was hardly perfect and was a dictator, before he assumed power, he was such an icon of freedom and symbol of African struggle for independence along with other African freedom fighters like Kwame Nkrumah and Julius Nyerere that the position of first president in their country was theirs automatically.
In Kenya, Oginga Odinga already led the African campaign for the release of Jomo Kenyatta from prison and his assumption of Kenyaâ€™s first president. Of all Kenyan politicians, Odinga was the most committed to the notion that Kenyatta should be the first president of Kenya and there is no evidence that he ever contemplated challenging him for presidency.
When it comes to the second president of Kenya however, I believe Oginga Odinga should have succeeded Kenyatta, not Daniel Arap Moi.
If Oginga Odinga never become the second president of Kenya, it is not because he did not qualify for it but because Kenyatta did not reciprocate the loyalty that Odinga had demonstrated for him. Had Kenyatta supported Odinga the way Odinga had supported him, Odinga would easily have become the second president of Kenya.
Oginga Odinga should have become second president of Kenya because he was more qualified for it than Moi. Despite the hell I suffered at the hands of President Moi, I have no personal grudge against him. It is therefore for no personal grudge that I say that between Odinga and Moi, Odinga qualified for the second presidency of Kenya many times more than Moi. In fact, on account of his unparalleled courage and admission of Kenyan leadersâ€™ failure to take Kenya to the Promised Land, at the time of Kenyattaâ€™s death, no other Kenyan leader qualified more for second presidency of Kenya than Jaramogi Oginga Odinga.
Finally, to use the words of Johnny Carson that choices have consequences, our choices of Kenyatta as our first president, Moi as our second president, Kibaki as our third president and Uhuru as our fourth president all have consequences that explain what Kenya is today â€“ a land of unending calamities of terrorism, hunger, road carnage, deadly brews, incurable corruption, negative ethnicity and death of the national soul.