By Onyinkwa Onyakundi
When Mzee Moi wanted to kill SK Macharia’s media house, the Royal Media Services, it is Raila Odinga who stood up to the bully, looked him in the eye and told him to scatter. When an American Multinational Corporation ~ Coca Cola ~ employed unfair business practices to elbow out Peter Kuguru’s fast growing indigenous Kenyan enterprise, the soft drink bottling company Softa, the Kenyan government, then headed by Kuguru’s Kikuyu kinsman either sat by nonchalantly, or tacitly supported the foreign bully, but Raila Odinga stood up to be counted when he was most vocal in defence of Mr. Kuguru’s business.
The same exact script also played out in two other cases within the highly lucrative fast moving consumer goods ~ FMGCs ~ arena. One was when another American MNC, the B.A.T. employed unconventional business practices to constrict the spread and growth of yet another local enterprise owned and run by a member of the Kikuyu community ~ Mastermind Tobacco ~ as a government headed by a Kikuyu passively supported the harassment. And still within the FMCG sector, we all recall the robust and vocal defence he put up for Keroche Breweries which is owned and run by a member of the Kikuyu community against the twin onslaught launched by Ms. Tabitha Karanja’s Kikuyu kinsman Uhuru Kenyatta’s government on one hand, and the EABL on the other.
And don’t let me get started on the manner that he lost sleep ~ literally ~ and spent an entire night in Jimmi Wanjigi’s house acting as the human shield that eventually warded off the hundreds of cops and paramilitary personnel that Wanjigi’s Kikuyu kinsman, Uhuru Kenyatta had sent to pound his house to ruins to get to him in his strong room to do to him only what God ~ and perhaps Msando and Yebei ~ know. I have left unmentioned, the fact that it is only he who rushed to the UK to petition the UK government to reconsider the Miraa ban. Never mind that majority of the Miraa farmers and traders are either of Kikuyu, or Meru ethnicity, who offer their pick-up trucks to ferry old, weak, sick and dying voters to polling stations on polling day to stop his quest for the Presidency because they have sworn that “Raira wiro nefa be Prisident!”. I would have mentioned this, but I bet my point is made.
And hopefully, it is not lost on any of us that in the run up to the 2002 elections, when it was unthinkable that any of the top contenders for the highest office on the land could simply let their ambitions go up in smoke by endorsing one of the other competitors with an eye on the bigger picture of ending the repressive KANU rule, Raila Amollo stepped up, lifted a Kikuyu hand up and famously declared ‘Kibaki Tosha!’ and he didn’t stop there. He cancelled the economy class ticket that kina Matere Keriri had booked for the now broke and broken Kibaki, booked him into the business class where his broken limbs could rest better, had him flown to London and admitted into one of the best hospitals there by some of his London contacts. And oh! He footed that bill.
He then went out of his way combing every nook and cranny of the country and tapping into his nationwide fanatical support base to campaign and lobby until he earned the nickname ‘Njamba wa Bururi’ for himself, and the Presidency for Kibaki. But Kibaki turned round and stabbed him from the back ~ right through his soft generous heart ~ immediately he sat on that seat when he reneged on meeting his end of the deal. But even that did not harden his heart against that community because … eeh well, he is Raila Amollo the statesman. Even when many of us his core supporters felt that he was taking ‘his statesmanship nonsense’ too far, he went on ahead to repeatedly nominate, appoint, or support tens of Kikuyu men and women to some of the most sensitive senior positions in government, Parliament, at Orange House and at Chungwa House even after being stabbed on the back ~ and right through his soft ‘statesman nonsense heart’ ~ severally in their usual ‘asante ya punda’ fashion.
This is my point. Raila has been shaking this hand all his life. If you are looking for anyone that needs to prove that the handshake is genuine, that has certainly gotta be one Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta. The ‘burden of proof’ ain’t on our end of the court. They have the ball. And that is why the likes of Gladys Wanga should stop desecrating Homa Bay town by having Moses Kuria over. That is also why Uhuru and his paranoid acolytes ought to let Miguna Miguna back home, because Raila has never sedated and abducted any of his ‘generals’. And that is also why the self proclaimed general’s foot soldies need to style up and direct their anger at the one who sedated and abducted their general ~ and whom the general incidentally voted for in 2013 when RAO was the other choice ~ rather than the one who tried to prevent the crime at the Airport.