By Comrade Albert Nyakundi Amenya
I listened dumbfounded, probably like the rest of Kenyans, and perhaps as thousands of Kenyans in the Diaspora, the PAC chairman Ababu Namwamba and his â€œHolier-than though-attitudeâ€ claiming to have recorded his bossâ€™s conversation without his assent. As I sat engrossed in calculations, a torrent of thoughts came flooding through my mind.
But one thing I was certain of was that Ababuâ€™s political career was at the edge of a precipice.
But the most profound for me of those thoughts was simple yet philosophical. I asked myself when Kenyan LAW MAKERS will learn to live by the RULES that they make.
As I pondered that question, my mind also went back to about twenty something years ago, when my father bought me my first rubber football. I had never played competitive football beyond kicking the ball around in our yard. I think it was my 10th birthday and I had done everything to get what I wanted â€“ A football.
So off to the playground I went with my ball. To my surprise, all those I met there were bigger, older and more talented. They took my ball and did not allow me to play. It hurt. I protested. At a time, they stopped the game, asked me to take my ball and never come back. If I wanted to play, they said, I had to learn I had to earn my right to play, and owning the ball did not give me that right.
Those, were the RULES of engagement. It was skill, talent and hard work. Not who got to the field first or who owned the ball. Indeed, some people were selected in absentia, while we who got there first, had to wait, to see if we would get the unlikely chance to play. It never happened. At least not soon enough.
I made my decision. I would play by their RULES.
On the first day as I said, I did not get a game. To add salt to my personal injury of disappointment, the ball (made of rubber) hit a sharp object, promptly got deflated and destroyed.
I left without a game, with a deflated ego and permanently damaged ball.
But my resolve was strong. I went back many times without getting a game. I made myself busy as a spectator. One day, the regular goalkeeper did not come. They needed one. I had no goalkeeping skills but offered to be in goal.
It was the only way to get in the game.
Surprisingly they agreed. I threw my feet, my body and anything I could move at the ball. I prevented many goals without knowing how. Somehow, they were making a discovery. They thought I was a great goalkeeper.
From that day, my story changed. My reputation in the neighbourhoods went ahead of me. They called me all sorts of nicknames after famous goalkeepers and I even started getting picked while still at home and matches were delayed for me to arrive.
After a length of time in goal, our star striker suddenly travelled, I asked if I could try to play outfield. Luckily another boy, Wanjala, was showing promise as a goalkeeper. My movement outfield gave him a chance. He seized his opportunity as I seized mine.
Coincidentally, I scored a hatâ€“trick in that match and my ordeal in the goal ended forever, while Wanyama enjoyed his position as a goalie. The place he treasured the most.
All this time, we survived by these unwritten RULES of street side football in Eldoret. I am sure these RULES still prevail up to date.
Nobody locked the field, shifted the goal posts (often made of wood) or blocked us from playing.
Many members of my generation who grew up in Eldoret in the 1980s will remember these RULES. It was not first come first served. It was survival of the fittest. At least in terms of footballing skills and also lobbying your comrades who were skilled and had already earned their stripes to pick you.
It was not a matter of my way or the highway. That was why I did not walk away with my ball, which incidentally was the only ball available on that first day.
Why is all this relevant you might wonder?
It is about RULES. Every human endeavour is governed by RULES. Either Written or unwritten.
Those who thrive in life are those who make it their business to know these RULES and how to â€˜useâ€™ them to their advantage without physically damaging the process.
I have used the football metaphor, because football is life in Kenya today. Every game of football has many of lifeâ€™s challenges and experiences embedded in it. Passion, from fans and players, contest and competition from them, errors by players and officials, injustice by officials, joy, pain, disappointment, victory, defeat and many more are all human experiences that are embedded into each football game of 90 minutes, or more.
You will see tears and laughter as well on a football field. Tragically deaths have also occurred. Ask Chelsea how they felt when Paris Saint Germaine scored that wonder goal by David Louiz as they crashed out of the Champions League on a stormy night at Stamford Bridge as Paris Saint-Germain reached the last eight on away goals after extra time.
Romance and love have existed in and around football if you ask David Beckham and Gerard Pique.
Drugs and gambling are present from time to time, and so is violence, if you ask Zidane and Cantona.
There is a lot of drama and meat eating too, if you ask Louis Suarez and his victims. Football has endured because all the stakeholders have chosen to live by the RULES, sometimes very unfairly.
We have seen faked fouls where officials are deceived to award undeserving penalties, erroneous red cards and sending offs, that alter the course of the game. But that is why football is LIFE.
We play on, in spite of these, because there is a next game, and what goes around comes around. If only we could manage our politics like football. How really pleasant this would be.
Back to Ababu Namwamba and his theatrics. By secretly recording his colleagues in the presence of his boss, the talent of hypocrisy and disloyalty automatically exuded in him. In fact, what the SG did is tantamount to witchcraft. He acted like a desperate freebooter and not the adept lawyer he is.
The moment Ababu pressed the â€œrecordâ€ button; he started digging his political grave as well. The moment he decided to make it known, he started inscribing his epitaph on his political tombstone.
Although Prime Minister Raila Odinga is not implicated anywhere in the tape, Ababu has rendered himself irrelevant and inconsequential. His political graph started descending and it will take him a lot of time and hard work to start rising it to half of where it had reached.
On the contrary, the pot must stop calling the kettle black. Aden Duale and his fellow apparachtrics in Jubilee are not holy either. They should deify themselves before hurling any oral stones at their CORD counterparts. They should not throw stones and forget they live in glass houses as well.
The writer is an aspirant for Kitutu Chache North Constituency