By Gab Oguda via FB
If you have used the Thika Superhighway, you must have passed the Jubilee Party Headquarters at Pangani. Right at the gate looking up, you will come face to face with that giant billboard up the highway as you rejoin the free-lane heading northwards.
Friends of Edwin Sifuna, the ODM Senate candidate for Nairobi County, could never have identified a more befitting strategic mast to take the war to the man-eaters of Kenya, however much they tried.
It is that towering billboard bearing the image of Edwin Sifuna, looking down the Jubilee Party Headquarters, as if he wants to take down that symbol of impunity, that is the subject of this post. It has since been taken down.
And I will tell you why.
Two weeks ago, Jeff Koinange approached Edwin Sifuna to ask if he could buy into the idea of debating Johnson Sakaja, the Jubilee Party Senate Candidate for Nairobi, on his bi-weekly show, JKL. It was an enticing offer that the gallant son of Kanduyi was given three days to think over. If he agreed, the bench was going to be refurbished to accommodate an extra ton, and an ultramodern fire engine be leased to replace that noisy extinguisher that releases more smoke than the Dandora dumpsite’s incinerator.
Everyone on social media had been asking for a Sifuna vs Sakaja dogfight, and here it was being brokered, by the same man known more for his amphibian voice-box than his moderation skills. If this was a boxing fight, Jeff Koinange was to be Kenya’s Don King.
Time has never traveled this slow since the beginning of the earth. And when the three days were officially over, Edwin Sifuna sends word back to Jeff Koinange that he is in. That monumental face-off, between two individuals who have captured the imagination of the people of Nairobi, was going to have the highest ratings since Mike Sonko and Rachel Shebesh nudes slapped our computer screens three years ago.
Nairobians were finally going to be told whether Johnson Sakaja is really a Sabaot, and why he dropped his supposed middle-name, Kiptum. Those who did not have cello-tapes rushed to the supermarket and acquired one for themselves because all the television stations would be tuned into the Citizen TV meter band, for the entire duration of the show.
That day we’ve all been waiting for was supposed to be today. Jeff Koinange had promised Edwin Sifuna and Johnson Sakaja that today was their first public debate. The adverts for the debate were to be released to the public beginning Monday this week.
But wait a minute. This is the Jubilee Party HQ calling, and here is the news.
Jeff Koinange is told, in no uncertain terms, that he either replaces Edwin Sifuna with someone else, or he cancels the show altogether. There are media personalities who would have told the Jubilee HQ to shove that threat down their ginene. Louis Otieno is one of them. John Sibi-Okumu is another. Chrispinus Adhiegra, before he became my village madman, is another. Jeff Koinange is not.
If you were to search the four corners of the earth for the poster image of a status quo apologist masquerading as a media personality in this country, Jeff Koinange would be your guy, ten-over-ten.
Jomo Kenyatta’s third wife, Jane Wanjiku, was the daughter of Senior Chief Koinange wa Mbiyu, of Kiambu. Mbiyu Koinange, the former powerful Minister in the Jomo government, is Senior Chief Koinange’s son (from the first wife). Jeff Koinange’s father is Mbiyu Koinange’s half-brother (from the 3rd wife). The Kenyattas and the Koinange’s are tied at the hip, by history and blood.
There is no way Jeff is going to let the Jubilee government, which his distant half-cousin is the President, to hang out to dry when he can do something about it.
The call comes from the Jubilee Party HQs in Pangani that Edwin Sifuna is proving too hot to handle for Johnson Sakaja and he needs to be starved of airplay as much as media houses can. There is no way Johnson Sakaja, who has been Uhuru Kenyatta’s chief mascot since Outering Road started receiving a face-lift, is going to face-off with Edwin Sifuna.
There are better ways to embarrass the son of the former KFF transitional committee treasurer, than to send him to the Lion’s Den and let him get mauled as the cameras roll. Jeff Koinange succumbs to relentless pressure, takes out Edwin Sifuna’s face in the online adverts that were about to be sent for publishing, and replaces it with that of Mutula Kilonzo Jnr, Senator of Makueni.
Whoever suggested the replacement was high on something my keyboard is yet to find the audacity to type. You wonder what level of fraternity exists between Nairobi and Makueni counties, and how Junior Mutula is supposed to answer questions on Edwin Sifuna’s behalf, when the easier thing to do would have been to have him there to defend himself.
As we speak, Jeff Koinange is already receiving relentless backlash from members of the online community asking him to stop the hypocrisy and bring back Edwin Sifuna on set. It is being said he’