By Peter Nguli
Scenes of our Prime Minister Raila Odinga campaigning with the former leader of an outlawed criminal outfit Mungiki are not only misplaced but also chilling to the spine.
It is common knowledge that Mungiki is an enemy of the people, it is a criminal gang that has killed many people especially in central province of Kenya. The gang is significantly mentioned in the Hague.
However hungry for votes he may be, the Prime Minister should know that he is a national leader and that associating himself with former criminals tarnishes his national image. With all my respects to the premier, one would expect him to be associated with persons of integrity and dignity and not those who have or have had blood in their hands.
Raila may think that Maina Njenga is helping him gather votes from Central. However, the opposite is exactly what is happening; the premier is losing votes fast from those who could have voted for him.
The moment the premier is seen with a leader of a former criminal gang, it rekindles memories of grizzly murders perpetrated by the gang. There are those of us who have lost our loved ones because of Mungiki.
Does the PM know how gruesome it is to watch bodies of Mungiki victims? In central province, hundreds of families are still mourning their beloved ones, who were brutally murdered by the outlawed sect.
Tough Maina Njenga says he is reformed and 'born-again' there is reason to tread carefully. As the African proverb goes ‘the snake still has the venom to kill even if you remove its teeth.’
Birds of the same feather flock together, that is the assumption the electorate will take. For even though politics is a dirty game, it becomes even more dangerous if politicians associate themselves with criminal gangs in order to gain votes.
Denounce criminal outfits
Indeed, a politician can gather more votes if he denounced such criminal outfits that breed violence and death and instead concentrate on preaching peace and unity to our beloved beautiful nation.
The premier has claimed that he is a reformist, but there is absolutely no reformist credentials when a politician associates himself with a criminal gang. The electorate are well informed people and can infer for themselves the kind of leaders we have; they will sieve wheat from the chaff.
It is on record that the premier has also sought dialogue with Mombasa Republican Council, an amorphous group that advocates for secession. This, again he does, in order to get their votes. The coast province is a Kenyan territory and any person or group that wants to secede is a criminal outfit.
Is our premier so desperate for votes, that he does not care which group supports him?
Raila is a national leader and a representative of our country in the community of nations. He shouldn't enter into political marriage with just anyone. He should be mindful of his image both in national and international scales.
Peter Nguli is Kenyan citizen residing in the United Kingdom. [firstname.lastname@example.org]