MATIBA’S REFUSAL TO JOIN 1992 JAMAROGI TICKET
By Salim Lone
Some friends are disputing my characterization of Kenneth Matiba as not being an ethnic chauvinist by pointing to his refusal to become Jaramogi’s Vice Presidential candidate in 1992 and wanting to himself be at the top of such a ticket.
Matiba’s refusal to be the Number 2 was a political miscalculation (some say disaster) that cost Kenya dearly since that ticket would have won the presidency. It would have seen the end of Moi’s misrule so much earlier and breathed life into a non-ethnic democratic culture. And of course the elder statesman and nationalist Jaramogi could not have been VP to Matiba. But Jaramogi was much older and Matiba was promised an inordinately strong role as a VP under Jaramogi. As it turns out, Matiba would have been President in 1994.
But that decision by Matiba cannot be termed as ethnic chauvinism, Ethnic calculations are inevitable in the Kenya we have had, but do not automatically reflect chauvinism. Matiba’s decision was based on personal ambition, abetted by some very heavy British lobbying.