In the recent past, President Uhuru Kenyatta seems to have gotten plainer in his hints on who should succeed him. The thin veil on his attacks on his deputy is getting even thinner while his implicit endorsement of Raila Odinga is becoming explicit. Not that he has fooled anyone by not mentioning the respective victim and beneficiary of his contrivances, but the innuendo is part of the political game. Is the president in a position to advice the Kenyan electorate on who to choose though?
The answer to this question is a clear YES or NO depending on who you ask, for we Kenyans tend to vote with our emotions rather than our reason. Nevertheless, it is important to approach this subject more rationally.
Wasn’t it Uhuru Kenyatta that framed Raila Odinga as a power-hungry monster who was behind his and William Ruto’s woes at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in 2012/2013? Didn’t he angrily brand the former premier a Kîmûdû and use a host of other unmentionable diatribes on him? Wasn’t he the one that promised a twenty-year reign of Jubilee divided between himself and William Ruto with the words, Wangoje yangu kumi na ya William kumi? Didn’t he mock the opposition with Endeleeni kumeza mate na sisi tuendelee kula nyama? Didn’t he stand side by side with William Ruto as the latter lied through his teeth about the nine stadia? What changed so drastically after the handshake? What made his ride or die ‘brother’ a thief? What cleansed the hitherto power-hungry egocentric Raila and make him an immaculate selfless patriot? Did the president receive some divine revelation? Was he cured of some mysterious malady that had previously shut his eyes to the reality he is now expressing?
Of course, none of such miracles have taken place. We know for certain because we all know the three individuals. To Uhuru, Ruto was a saint in 2013 and 2017 because it was in a saintly status that he could fetch him the votes he needed to ascend to and later keep presidency. On the other hand, Odinga had to be demonized in order to sink his Safina into Red Sea before he could access Canaan. Now things are different for as they always remind us, vindu vichenjanga! It is not in the interest, the self-interest, mark you, of Uhuru Kenyatta that his deputy succeeds him. That is why the president’s tune has changed.
Uhuru knows which buttons to press to activate the Kenyan electorates’ selective amnesia. He is wasting no time pressing them. The same person who praised and defended his deputy for over half a decade now calls the latter a thief who cannot be trusted with leadership. The very man who painted an almost diabolical image of Raila Odinga now calls him his brother and suggests that he is the best suited to take the nation’s steering wheel. Shock on you if you think the electorate do not buy the jiggery-pokery.
But do not think for a second that anyone believes Uhuru Kenyatta in his flip-flopping. It would take a miracle or perhaps witchcraft for anyone with half a brain to believe something they know for a fact to be the exact opposite. So, why are we unquestioningly accepting whatever the president tells us? Why are a majority of us acting and speaking as if the president is the epitome of truth when he has unmistakably demonstrated that he has zero moral authority to advice the electorate and the worst sense of patriotic judgement?