By Eric Ngéno via Facebook
LETTER TO GIDEON TUNGO
I have received authoritative advice from Baringo, following my observation that you couldn’t possibly be Gideon Moi. It does turn out that you wouldn’t be Gideon Toroitich either; according to Tugen tradition, your proper name is Gideon Kipsielei Tungo. As Gideon Moi, you are just a dissembler and impostor.
Hon. Tungo, I am sure you have seen the fruit of your immense investment and relentless exertion on the campaign trail. It wasn’t even close. In value-for-money terms, you lost heavily. After spending such a portion of your inheritance, you should have garnered more votes for your candidate, excited real competition, made it a worthwhile contest. There are reasons why you didn’t. Here are some of them.
1. You aren’t of the people. Your original brand was ‘pedigree’: an overdone accent, affectation of strange and supposedly superior mannerism, poor grasp of KiSwahili and horrible command of Kalenjin. You were a novelty. A curiosity. That got you attention. But what worked was that you were seen to be your father’s last born and favourite child. You were raised in the best addresses and educated in exclusive establishments. You oozed wealth. Kroll & Associates said that apart from the billions you stand to inherit, you had put aside an impressive $500 million. It showed, Sen. Tungo.
But all along, you took pride in being a foreign curiosity, a freak. You revelled in your lack of touch. You gloried in the absence of a single connection with the watus. It was a matter of time before the grace period expired, and you were revealed to be a struggling, inept, aloof politician who is content to take cues from smart alecs and perennial losers. That you would be this pathetic pantomime character trapped in some sad Auld Lang Syne.
2. You are a reluctant leader. You are forced to interact with, represent, give to and work for strange aboriginal people whom you know little of, and care even less for. You don’t understand why famines happen in Baringo. Why people are barefoot. Why they sleep hungry and don’t give birth in hospital. You don’t understand why people are poor. Why they kill each other for scrawny traditional stock. Your first encounter with poor people was on Mzee’s campaign. You thought, and still think that politics is a truly curious affair. It gives you a dull, enervating headache. That is why your chopper whisks you off a harambee in Mogotio straight to a throw in where your steeds await action as you rack up chukka after chukka in serene, woody milieu where everyone in sight is the child of the super wealthy. You joined politics at 42, and it has always sat uneasily on you: so unhygienic, so vulgar.
3. You haven’t outgrown your father’s shadow. Countless are the times I hear you passing greetings and donations from Mzee. Apart from running obligatory errands of that sort, you see yourself as an heir, who has inherited political assets and debts. That is why Kimkung, who used to be famous, still follows you around. Nick Salat. Paul Sang. Your retinue essentially comprises Nyayo orphans, ne-er do wells and the forgotten. But you found them there. You haven’t created new value or acquired better assents. Your menagerie is MPs on their way to an early retirement. Every loser knows where to go on their way out. You still want to ride on Mzee’s debts of loyalty and gratitude.
You feel entitled to illusory account receivables: those debts were paid up, lapsed or were otherwise written off. Mzee retired in 2002. 15 years ago. Kibaki’s debts are being amortised rapidly. And he left just the other day. Nyayo’s debts are history. You are on a fool’s errand. This is why you set up a 70 year old to battle it out with a 30 year old. I doubt that he has an email address. You are running a political museum, not a party with meaningful prospects. Sudi, Keter, Ng’eno are your latest additions to a hopeless collection. Other politicians would have decommissioned them long ago; for you, they are just fine.
4. KANU, besides being a junkyard, is a pyramid scheme. No political organisation is populated with more brokers and conmen than KANU. They are the ones forging titles to your Mzee’s properties, and being charged in court with fraud, impersonation, obtaining by false pretences and whatnot. They hang around hotels and have something important to tell you on your way to lunch, that is until you give them 200 bob and suddenly, they have urgent important business elsewhere. They are the Handoutmeisters. They pitch the most ambitious schemes. They drive people nuts. Until it is time for an election when they become KANU branch officials, activists, agents and candidates. You saw them in full force in Kericho. They love your money. They sold you stories and a promise of victory. This is why Salat is deluding himself on account of reports he got over the telephone, from KANU brokers. He wants to petition the election. Please guess who will foot the bill: for compiling returns, declarations, affidavits? Legal fees for top-notch lawyers? Logistics for your agents and officials and activists and candidate and Nick himself as they troop to court every so often? You, Sir.
This pyramid is unique. It is underwritten from the apex. The loot trickles down to the crooks down below. You, Tungo, at the top, are the dupe. Please prepare the petition kitty. All the way to the Supreme Court. Led by Nick Salat, who lost all the way up there.
5. You are not meant to be fooled by your hype. You have media, Sir. Standard and KTN, inter alia. During campaigns, they both become the Gideon Daily Network. Plus your kinsman’s Star. It was biased. Overblown. Out of proportion, out of order. Disgraceful. Ultimately, the only people who bought such obvious and brazen propaganda was you and your dismal menagerie. Now, you actually believe that you were conned out of a victory in a contest you really didn’t turn up for.
6. The Kalenjin. Kalenjins are egalitarian. All men and women are equal. There are no royal families. Even Laibons were deposed or executed if they became bloody fools (ask Mzee about Kimnyolei). The Laibon’s assistants and advisers were vetted by the community according to merit on rigorous parameters. We were governed by a council,of elders. Every time the people felt that power is being monopolised, they revolted. William Ruto is still a child of peasants, who humbles himself enough to dine in huts and sit on the grass in gatherings by the forest. He knows that the people decide and that power is theirs. You think you are a prince. Like those entitled brats who sit smugly, doing nothing, knowing that papa’s clout and dough will stand him in good stead. Kalenjins are aggressively egalitarian. They are not feudal. Don’t ever go to them with that pedigree bullshit, ever again. Kergei muren soocho.
Kongoi mising. Ingoberuurin Kiptaiyat kotugul.