By Kiberenge Jnr
Kutangatanga, Kumangamanga and Kuzururazurura are just ordinary swahili words we throw around every day. The use of any of this words anywhere does not arouse any suspicion. But it certainly raises eye brows when it comes from the President. In the political context, this three words have a lot of meaning and ramifications.
To historians, the first time the word “Kumangamanga” was serious used in politics was in 1969 when the Late Jomo Kenyatta used it in describing the conduct of Jaramogi Oginga Odinga.
Perhaps we need to understand the meaning of the three words before we can draw conclusions about the intent of the President.
According to Kamusi ya Karne(Long Horn 2011), Kutangatanga is defined as “pita huku na huku pasipo lengo maalum,au kuzurura”.
Kumangamanga means almost the same thing; “Enda huku na huko bila kufanya kazi yoyote,kuwa mzururaji au mtembezi asiye na lengo”.
Kuzurura means “matembezi yasiyo na mwelekeo au lengo”.
It was not a slip of the tongue when the President used the word kutangatanga in reference to his second in command, neither was it a mistake of any sort. The President had planned to used the word to send across a message, in a coded manner, so to speak. Now the question is: In what context did the. President use the word kutangatanga? In reference to his DP? Did the President intend to disparage his DP? The answer to this question lays in the rest of his speech that day.
First, the President started by extensively complaining about people politicking at the expense of service to citizens. He read the riot act and told those politicking to stop it hence forth. After that he goes ahead to use kutangatanga in a phrase that is completely corrupted, disjointed and distorted, well aware that no one will understand it.
Political scientists, pundits and analysts are still splitting their hairs in trying to unravel the statement ” Huyu kijana anaitwa Ruto kila wikendi anatangatanga kila pahali.Atakuwa anapitia hizi machorochoro akiona Kuna kitu inaenda kona kona mumwambie.Si ndio? Si namna hiyo? Tuhakikishe kazi ya mwananchi inafanyika. Wangapi wanasema tuwache siasa tuende kazi?”.
There was lukewarm response from the audience because they did not understand what the President meant.
Clearly when you connect the dots, you realise the President who was visibly infuriated was sending a clear message to non other than his DP that : 1. I’m the President and your Boss. 2. If you must tangatanga, it must be about serving the People and not politicking, and you must take instructions from me.3. The reason you are my DP is to operate as mtu wangu wa mkono and not to become President.
Indeed, in the coming days, the President will continue to use more controversial and coded statements targeting his number 2 in the executing of the 2022 succession plan. Watch this space.