Now, Uhuru and Ruto are the greatest of antagonists. Their former common foe is Ruto’s adversary but Uhuru’s best friend. All this with nothing having changed: the corruption issues that Raila used to castigate Uhuru’s government for have not been resolved and Ruto is still Uhuru’s deputy having been his treasured running mate twice! But Raila’s current opinion is that Ruto is corrupt, and Uhuru a good president. Uhuru now echoes Raila with the claim that Ruto is a thief.
President Kenyatta has systematically hijacked the fruits of the second liberation that, having been delayed during KANU’s stint at the helm between 1992 and 2002, had begun ripening under NARC and later the Coalition government.
For one, Kenyatta obliterated the opposition in the guise of uniting the country through the handshake. Moreover, the president sought to discredit the fourth estate by mocking, demeaning, and attacking the media using words such as “Gazeti ni ya kufunga nyama.” Additionally, the government eroded the right to peacefully demonstrate by countering peaceful protests with teargas and beatings. Then, using cabinet secretaries and other executive officials sycophantically loyal to him, the head of state weakened the other arms of government—the judiciary was brought to its knees through a reduced budget while the legislature went to the dogs when the sinister pact between the president and Raila Odinga gave the former unfathomable power to unleash severe punishment towards the law makers who dared stand up to his ridiculous stances.
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?
A man as careless in speech as Miguna Miguna; one who has as little patience to listen to others as he demonstrated on multiple platforms including Jeff Koinange Live in 2016/17; one who does more to discredit competitors than he does to sell his policies as he did while campaigning to be the Governor of Nairobi; one who raises his voice in insult, especially to a woman; such a man is unfit to be a leader.
The author’s meticulous interaction with refugees in Dadaab yields detailed accounts of the circumstances that brought them to the camp, the impact of their residence in the camp, and the kind of future each of them likely faces. We also get a rare insight into Kenya’s Northeastern region and national politics, the terror of Al Shabaab in Kenya and Somalia, regional intergovernmental relations especially among the nation-states of Kenya, Somalia, Sudan, and Ethiopia, as well as a glimpse into the malady that tribalism is for Africa.
Other than giving the Dadaab refugees a voice and revealing with such intensity the multiple intricacies of their lives in the face of the numerous forces operating in their world, a major strength of this book is the author’s use of description. With his words, Rawlence paints vivid images of people, places, and situations, easily taking the reader with him into and around Dadaab, as well as through parts of Kenya and Somalia.
Uhuru’s efforts seem to have placated Raila and cooled his all-consuming fire. But they have gone beyond that. They have completely vanquished political opposition and effectively crowned Kenyatta king. It is therefore not surprising that while Raila’s i’s are hardly dotted and his t’s barely crossed, he has little to say about the reconstitution of a new electoral commission. Like one pacifies a barking dog with a bone, Raila and the opposition have been mollified with friendship and individual economic rewards while their faithful supporters languish under a ruthless regime. The son of Jomo is on a free reign and… Woe to democracy! Woe to Wanjiku!
Since securing a second term as president, Kenyatta, who in previous occasions repeatedly promised his adamant and unwavering support for Ruto, has developed cold feet. Isn’t Ruto justified then in seeking to galvanize his political persuasion in the country without considering the president’s agenda? The trouble in the ruling party is the president’s doing. Ruto and indeed all other politicians should not pay the price. The fact that the author’s thoughts differ raises keen readers’ eyebrows. Is this editorial an indication of the side of Nation’s bread that is battered? It certainly cannot be that the author believes in what he/she is advocating for. Neither Ruto nor any Kenyan should pay attention to the editorial, therefore!
The Jubilee story is rife with the common and permanent “frenemity” that characterizes Kenyan politics. Like one uses a rug and tosses it away when done, or similar to one who chews a piece of sugarcane and throws into the garbage the juiceless leftovers, Kenyatta used Ruto and discarded him without second thought once he thought he had sucked from him all he could offer.
…the greed and heartlessness of politicians, results from the heavy price they pay to get elected… every time we ask for money from politicians, we are encouraging them to steal our taxes to meet those needs.
He couldn’t agree with Dr. King’ori of #TheWicked Edition more when he commented that wanyonge could be kicked out any time. Other wanyonge were facing a similar fate in Mau forest in the rift valley. He wondered with Dr. King’ori why the government was behaving as if it just woke up and realized there was an encroachment problem!