By Onyinkwa Onyakundi
Kalenjins have a lot they can learn from Kisiis in as far as leadership goes. Ruto and his 2022 bid ought not be an end in itself, but a means to an end. They need to identify and define their needs and objectives clearly, and then use Ruto ~ or whoever else they deem ‘fit for purpose’ ~ to pursue those objectives, and not the other way round. The tail cannot wag the dog like is the case with the Kalenjin and Ruto. Ruto has identified his personal needs and is using the Kalenjin to pursue them. Something that cannot happen in Gusii. I’ll illustrate.
In the past, we had in Gusii, the equivalent of what Ruto is to the Kalenjin. His name was Simon Nyachae. We gave him and his FORD People party all our votes and all our 10 constituencies voted in his MPs. This 100% mandate we gave him, was to enable him pursue our community’s strategic interests, and those of the rest of the country. He was supposed to follow our lead. But he grew horns like those that Ruto currently has ~ albeit smaller in size, and without the forked tongue and pointed tail ~ and attempted to lead us down a path we did not like.
In the 2005 referendum 9 of the 10 FORD People MPs ~ including Nyachae ~ asked us to vote for Mwai Kibaki’s ‘Yes’ side and campaigned vigorously for it. When the results came in, 8 of 10 constituencies ~ including Nyachae’s own Nyaribari Chache ~ had voted for Raila Odinga’s ‘No’ side. We had shown Nyachae the path we wished to take, and expected him to follow us down that path, but he didn’t. Just two years later, in 2007, we hammered the last nails into his political career’s coffin, and that of his party FORD People when we sent all of them ~ including Nyachae who was trounced by a greenhorn ~ packing and into political oblivion.