By Okeri Orina
Hovstad: And most of the people here are just like that- see-sawing and edging firstÂ
to one side then to the other,so overcome with caution and scruple thatÂ
they never dare to take any proper step forward. –Henrik Ibsen-An Enemy of the People.
A glimpse of Nyaribari Chache from whatever angle provides the bigger picture of the larger Kisii region. The small and short whisper you hear while eavesdropping at the keyhole of this great constituency ,that is home to a few blessed of us, will give you the real reason behind the lots of noises in the larger Gusii. Hold it or drop it, like it or not, as sure as the waters of River Gucha drift to Lake Victoria, Nyaribari Chache by-election provides the lens through which we will see clearly the happenings and underlying factors in this â€˜swingâ€™ political knob.
In 2007, the men and women from this great Constituency slew Nyachae son of Nyandusi and opened the gates to open democracy. The little known animal psychiatrist and church elder Dr. Monda carried the day. For this servant of God to have won against the rogue attitude and the rough and hard bank notes from the son of a colonial chief it must have been a miracle-the politically mute spoke.
This by-election however presents the real picture of the Omogusii. We are a nation that opted to write our history while seated on the fence. We wait for the rest to jump then play follow-up. No wonder we are short-changed and never appreciated in the national table.
A time comes however when old skin must be put away together with its old wine. For too long we have allowed ourselves to be captives of political chiefs and their princesses. We have borne the tag of political â€˜comme ci comme caâ€™ for long and this must stop being the philosophy that describes our political ethos. We have for far too long lacked the true bones in the flesh.
During the March elections, Hon Chris Bichage was the ODM flag bearer, Hon Richard Tongâ€™i the Wiper candidate all under the CORD umbrella. In this by-election, Hon Tongâ€™i is Ford Peopleâ€™s flag bearer while Bichage is still carrying the ODM banner. We all have the freedom of choice. One thing however strikes me and makes me delve into the philosophy behind it.
In each and every campaign poster of Hon Tongâ€™i is inscribed this line of words â€œA member of the Jubilee Coalitionâ€ in striking font size and color.
While there could be other reasons behind this, I strongly detest the persuasion behind it.Hon Tongâ€™i and his team believe that we are too weak to stand and in any case we manage to stand, then we are too heavy for our feet. I will not beg to disagree.
This man must understand that those who voted for him were sober enough when they did it under the CORD coalition. Tongiâ€™s persuasion is that we will see the government’s fishing bait carrying with it some government goodies and run towards it and secure our position in the net.
He believes that we are too thirsty to sell our conviction for the government spice. He believes we will hear the government compose songs and dances to it. To abuse to our intellect, young Tongâ€™i is now courting the family of the one-time powerful civil servant Nyachae.
We could be the indigenous lot that feeds on vegetables alone Mr. Honorable but we for sure can tell the difference between red and white meat. CORD and Jubilee coalitions are like water and the Kisii obosotonto; one does not need to taste to tell the difference. This for a long time has been our practice but we are slowly shedding it off. Hon. Tongâ€™i, we were there yes but we are no longer there.
Another striking feature in this campaign is another aspirant calling himself Omanga. This young man is the son to Andrew Omanga, the second area MP, who served between the years 1979 and 1992 and is long dead.
This young Omanga, an aspirant in the coming by-election, has provoked the underworld by deciding to resurrect his dead father. Young Omanga has splashed Kisii town and the constituency with photos of his long dead father. He believes we are fools enough to vote for him just because our grandfathers voted for his dad.
One wonders if by resurrecting the image of his long dead father he will also resurrect and inherit the good deeds of his father.
What lack of adequate thinking is this? If there were any brains behind this idea of disturbing the spirit of the dead then they ought to be banned from partaking of our education curriculum. Young Omanga must create time and read Chinua Achebeâ€™s wise counsels-A man ought to be judged according to his worth and not according to the worth of his father.
Had it not been the case Okonkwo would have lived a title-less life. He also ought to give respect to the spirits of them that have gone before us. In fact, young Omanga needs spiritual cleansing least the gods deal with him violently. To young Omanga too I dare say, we were there yes but we are no longer there.
The last person I expected to teach the least of any lesson is one Dr. Monda.
Dr. Robert Monda has however decided to be a disobedient child in the school of experience and has refused to learn with humility and patience the political lessons that have been set for his own edification and ultimate perfection. Even after being spared for being a â€˜Yo-Yoâ€™ Narc man, this doctor of a man seems to be in love with space. He is now dining with the digitally bloodied and moneyed alliance. I pity the doctor for he has once more postponed his hour of atonement.
I rest my case by saluting one Chris Bichage.
This is a man who has fought, died, killed and fought again within the party that he has all along believed in. He has carried the long cross of conviction and ignored the coins of conformity. He carries in him the colors of his party with the loyalty of a sleepwalker. Am not so sure which bullets he will use come the 30th but for remaining true and dear to his course I must salute him.
Unfortunately, this is a lesson that we are taking too long to learn. We must as a people perfect the science of taking stands at the most critical of moments. It is time the Kisii nation shells away this skin of humiliation and takes a rebirth of dignity-the birth of believing in a step and taking that right step forward. We must appreciate where were for by doing so we write our history .However, we do not belong to the past and so we must embrace the new us and kill all the agents that are determined to bend our backs.
A people that stand are courageous enough to curve their own path.