By Dr. Wandia Njoya
If you read “Not yet uhuru,” you get amazed by the blind faith Jaramogi had in Jomo. But Jomo was a playboy. He went to England with the brief to fight for the land rights of his tribe, but when he got to London, he partied. Got himself a wife and a kid, then was coached by some white anthropologist to write Facing Mount Kenya.
When he came back, the Mau Mau leaders knew he was a fraud. They even warned Jomo that they would kill him if he didn’t stop badmouthing them in public. When he was jailed in Kapenguria, he was treated better than the other prisoners.
So why Jaramogi kept saying during Lancaster days that there should be no independence talks without Jomo is really quite baffling. And then after all that, by 1969 Jomo had put Jaramogi under house arrest and killed Jaramogi’s career. By the time Jaramogi returned in the 90s, he had very few years left.
Now Jaramogi’s son is held up in the same strange adoration for Jomo’s son. In 2017, he was sworn in as the people’s president and a boycott was started. That was our best chance to collapse the Kinyarra government. If we had gone through with that, we would have broken Muigai’s hold on the econonmy, which is what keeps him in power. But Raila preferred to negotiate. Now in addition to the handshake, he wants a prime minister position created that could easily keep Muigai in power, Putin style, for the rest of Muigai’s life.
Basically, it seems, the Odingas role is to protect the Kinyarras. No matter what mud the Kinyarras throw at them, and no matter what support they have from the people, the Odingas ditch the people and go back to the Kinyarras. It’s as if Raila believes, deep down in his heart, that the Kinyarras are unshakeable. So he keeps negotiating for ways to be president that dont deny power to the Kinyarras.
Or maybe the Odingas are mesmerized by the support of white supremacy that is behind the Kinyarras? Maybe Jaramogi was awed by the hero status Jomo got for being jailed by white people. Maybe Raila was mesmerized by Godec. Maybe he feels that the way to power is to get white folk in Washington, and the honorary white folk from Uthamakistan, to like him.
If that’s the case, that’s to completely misunderstand how racism and supremacist logic works. No matter how long Raila goes around the country with Muigai, Uthamakistan will never like him. Not just because he’s Luo, but because that’s how supremacy works. Supremacy doesnt need a reason to hate. It just does, because its goal is to control others. Some of us know that because white folk have hated Africans for centuries, and they simply recreate the reasons to hate as they go along. Ethnic supremacy is a system of economy, politics and narratives. It’s not about feelings.
I say some of us understand, because there are many Kenyans who looove them some white folk. The wazungu couldnt penetrate the Maa people’s, but when they came to Central, kina Snr Chief Koinange were behaving like settlers and Jomo went to London to party. When Trump was calling us shithole, some Kenyans spent time tweeting pictures of our wildlife and sky scrapers to show Trump that we are not a shithole (I’m sure they meant, but didnt say, “like the rest of Africa”).
So maybe, at the heart of the shenanigans of the political class, is the adoration of white supremacy. As a country, we have never collectively come to terms with our Africanness. Even when some of us refer to our wonderful cultures, it’s to reply to whiteness, not because our cultures are legitmate in their own right.
Maybe we should have a pastoralist as the next president. Pastoralists dont have this African-Mzungu angst like some Kenyan ethnic groups do. They live their Africanness without feeling they have to explain why they are who they are.
But I digress. This pact that ODM wants to do with Uthamakistan to have prime ministership will be what the prophet Isaiah called “a covenant with death and an agreement with hell.” Prime ministership is like the three-fifths clause that whites in America used to exploit the African Americans for political gain without allowing them a political voice. If we Kenyans feel disempowered right now with incompetent goons making backroom deals, prime minister system will be worse. We will be where Americans are with presidents who dont win the popular vote, or where Britain is, being run by a clueless, incompetent elite.
No amount of playing around with how presidents are chosen will save Kenya without ECONOMIC rights. Taxation or nationalization of land. Retrieval of public assets, jailing of thieves, an end to privatization of health and education, among other social services, and democracy in the workplace. With the boycott, we had a slim chance to finally address the economy. We blew that chance.
But playing around with who’s in power and how they get there, without addressing the economy, is really white supremacy reloaded. It’s the same as the hypocrisy of Israel, going to temple to worship while disobeying God’s law and oppressing the orphan, the widow and the alien. And God didnt punish just the hypocrite leaders. God sent the whole of Israel into Babylon. God wont hesitate to do the same to Kenya if we refuse to deal with the economic oppression that is impoverishing our people and depressing our youth.
We Kenyans are not as special as we think we are. God will not spare us if we walk down this road of prime minister foolishness.