By Janyando CA
I want to say something about NASA, Luhyas and the military in one post. And since I have Luhya genes too, I can speak about Luhya politics without anyone looking at me like I’m your agemate.
1. In last night’s EALA nominations, Kalonzo’s son got more votes than any other candidate! He got more votes than the highest Jubilee candidate, yet Jubilee dominates both houses! Which is to say Jubilee were more motivated to pass Kalonzo’s son than their own candidates! I will not say anything more on that until around June 2022.
2. Candidates of Somali or Muslim extract were voted for by both sides of the political divide. When it comes to things like this, a well known ODM “cartel”, will work very well with Duale to pass their candidates. The result is that the list has 3 Somalis, more than even Kikuyus (when was the last time you heard a statement that included “more than Kikuyus” in it?). In deal making, the ODM cartel will easily betray everyone and everything.
3. ODM’s best choice was grandpa Dr Oburu Odinga, who also got support from both sides! I will not say any more on that.
4. NASA CEO Norman Magaya, was abandoned by his own MPs. The CEO of the coalition could not get the votes of the MPs he leads, and had in fact been entered on the list via ANC as opposed to his mother party ODM. This is the most immoral thing I’ve seen in politics lately.
I have worked closely with Magaya these past few months. There is simply no one with the conviction and steadfastness of Norman Magaya. He was also the lead actor in the plan to swear in Baba.
Norman has received more death threats than anyone around Baba. He has carried out his duties with class and dignity. He has defended the coalition at personal risk. He is discussed in security circles as someone who needs to be “tamed”.
He represents the young face of the party that should ideally mould its future. He is a Baba man in every sense of the word.
Yet coalition MPs didn’t find him fit to take up one of the slots, but voted en masse for Kalonzo’s son and Oburu Odinga (I first wrote “Raila’s brother” then deleted that!).
Now let me come to Luhyas; Raise your stakes, damnit! Second largest tribe in Kenya, wider regional reach and national “acceptability”, yet because there are never political consequences to the betrayal of a Luhya, it is the one thing the political class undertakes without sweat.
When Masinde Muliro was allegedly poisoned at JKIA and his briefcase disappeared, after arriving from a London meeting where he is said to have met someone and received a report on Ouko’s killers, Joab Omino remarked; “Aren’t they even going to throw stones and burn buildings in Western?”. The absence of such consequences mean that on any list, the Luhya is easily bypassed.
Ababu Namwamba is currently waiting for a cabinet appointment. I can guarantee you that nobody has looked at his name twice!
One of the best places to gauge tribal treatment is in the military and other security services. I have previously posted here that the Luhya are many more than Luos there, but have never produced anyone above a Maj Gen, or anyone in a Command post.
I have also previously told the story of Maj Gen Agoi from the bomb blast days, as well as well as Maj Gen Jeff Lukale Okanga, who, when his turn to be made a Lt Gen and be promoted to head the Army came, was suddenly retired and sent to Uganda to be the High Commissioner there! By contrast, the Luo, the most unwanted tribe in any sector, fare much better because the system fears their noise.
In the police post, the most prestigious position held by a Luhya in recent times must be GSU Commandant, held for a short time between 2012 and 2014 by William Atswenje Saiya. They claimed he was asking his juniors to salute his wife, and he was soon moved! There was also Flying Squad boss, the late Richard Katola, whose toxicology reports showed he was poisoned (one of many officers who handled Mungiki cases then died mysteriously) but was buried quietly and life went on. Compare that with the removal of a Luo, Deputy Commissioner Francis Okonya, which was a long drawn process because Luos create for themselves the siege mentality that makes every Luo victim of anything a politically charged matter!
Luhyas must start making every betrayal have consequences. Throw stones, close roads, drop leaflets, burn shops, evict the chief. Just make sure the next time someone sees a Luhya name on a list, they pause to think first!