By: Hon. Koigi Wa Wamwere
Â On 4th March, a majority elected Uhuru Kenyatta as Kenyaâ€™s 4th president. The joy with which some people received his victory and inauguration made me think the celebrants were thinking of only two things. First God had sent them the savior who would redeem them from all their problems. Second, having been under siege and fear of annihilation if their ethnic enemies won the election, with the victory of Uhuru and Ruto, they were finally out of danger.
But since danger and salvation go together and Uhuru supporters now think they are safe, let us ask whether Uhuru and Ruto have the will, the intention and the capacity to take Kenyans to the Promised Land.
To know this, we must listen to what Uhuru and Ruto are telling us and also what they are not telling us.
To know whether Uhuru and Ruto can take us to the First World, we must, in total disregard to political masks, camouflages, plastic smiles and false religiosity we see on TV every Sunday, know exactly what are their intellectual abilities, political beliefs, ideological convictions and personal characters, that were unconsidered when ethnicity and money reigned supreme. To be safe, Kenyans must know their leaders as they do the palm of their hands.
However, to know our leaders, we must also understand the true nature of our society and exactly where they belong in it.
Kenya is a jungle society whose majority residents are sheep and other herbivores but is ruled by a minority of lions, hyenas, wolves and other human carnivores. In this jungle, are President Uhuru and his Deputy Ruto lions or sheep? If Uhuru is a lion and the sheep have elected him President to protect them from other lions and carnivores, will he?
To know Kenya and her leaders, we must also remember that Kenyatta, Uhuruâ€™s father led Kenyans out of the Egypt of colonialism but left them in the desert when he died. Will his son now take people to Canaan or will he also leave them in the desert?
When I listened to President Uhuruâ€™s inauguration speech, he did not strike me as another Kenyatta, a Joshua at the point of taking his people to Canaan. He did not renounce himself as a lion president and he did not proclaim the emancipation of the poor as Abraham Lincoln proclaimed the emancipation of slaves.
At independence in 1963, President Kenyatta even made a greater speech. He announced the birth of a great dream â€“ uhuru â€“ and promised to fight poverty, disease and ignorance, albeit without real commitment.
Without an epic dream to announce, President Uhuruâ€™s inaugural speech could only announce a fight against unemployment, better use of land, supply of laptops to pupils in class one, removal of maternity and hospital fees and laudable protection of the freedom of expression.
But what is President Uhuruâ€™s position in regard to the greater national problems that he said nothing about?
To better understand his decisions, Uhuru should have told us who else owns his government apart from himself and Ruto.
President Uhuru should also have told Kenyans what his vision is â€“ where does he intend to take Kenyans. Without a national vision, his leadership will be self-serving.
Though capitalism has made Uhuru and his family rich, as a president, he should tell Kenyans how he will make the system eradicate the very problems it has created for Kenyans like poverty and corruption. He should also explain why he should go to bed with a sterile system when social democracy can bear fruits for Kenya, as it has for Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Brazil and Scandinavia?
President Uhuru cannot rightly ignore poverty in his speech when it has beggared millions, disabled millions of minds, inflicted hundreds of thousands with jiggers and denied millions three meals a day and medical treatment.
It was amazing that industrialization and vision 2030 did not feature prominently in Uhuruâ€™s inaugural speech.
Nor did President Uhuru mention corruption at the inauguration though he did so later when opening parliament. But how could he spare capitalist greed that mothers graft and those around him and Ruto whose mantra is, â€œit is our turn to eat.â€
And negative ethnicity was the king maker that Uhuru and Ruto did not betray or fight at their inauguration.
At the inaugural ceremony, the presidential platform was colorful but was marred by flies, hyenas and vultures that hovered around.
Though Uhuru invited President Zuma of South Africa, he forgot to declare war against our apartheid in education, health and where we live, some in posh and others in slums.
President Uhuru also spared impunity, the great instigator of corruption, drug barons and the criminals he promised to punish.
Impunity does not only subvert rule of law, it also breeds and promotes open, camouflaged and ethnic dictators who wear beautiful suits but destroy progressive minds, ruin good people and marginalize the weak.
When asked, President Uhuru will say he believes in reform but he did not mention the word in his inaugural speech. He may not have much love for the word.
Nor did President Uhuru promise to eradicate the national shame of IDPs, street children, beggars, jiggers and slums.
At the inauguration, President Uhuru would only allude to ICC. At the presidential debate he called it a personal challenge. But since he became head of state, ICC is a national problem that all Kenyans must discuss openly, truthfully and publicly without shame or recrimination. How can President Uhuru govern responsibly without debating his most serious handicap?
We have eyes but donâ€™t see. We have ears but donâ€™t hear.