For avoidance of doubt, I have endorsed Raila Amolo Odinga for President. It is important that my readers should know this. That is not all, however, I have also accepted to serve as National Director of Communications at the Raila for President Secretariat.
I have worked in the mass media for the past 28 years.
Throughout this time, I have flattered myself with the belief that I was a paragon of truth. An ambassador of good. I therefore find it important that my readers should clearly know where I stand. When you occupy space such as I do, you are expected to be non-aligned to the political forces of the day.
Yet it is not exactly true that I have always been non-aligned. Of course not. I have never been intellectually and ideologically non-aligned. I am pro-reform, good governance and rule of law. This, in itself, is alignment on a continent that believes that there should be one stream of law for ordinary citizens and another one for the political and economic elite. That is why I have endorsed Raila for President.
Raila is not a saint. Far from it, he has made mistakes, perhaps many mistakes, in his political tour of duty. I know that he will still make many mistakes in the coming days, like the rest of us. In my own professional career, I have taken Raila to task as often as I have felt that he deserved criticism. I am satisfied that I have done a good job of that.
The day comes, however, when you can no longer sit on the fence. In any event, you might very well discover that there is no fence to sit on. You must, therefore, stand up to be counted.
Kenya is today perched at a historic crossroads. We face a very decisive election, at this crossroads. Each one of us must make a choice. We must choose to go forward or to return to the past. I choose to go forward. We must choose between our tribe and the Kenyan nation. I choose the Kenyan nation over my tribe.
We must choose between the rule of law and impunity. I choose the rule of law. I want to believe that the Kenyan nation shall triumph over the tribe and over impunity. However, in the unlikely event that the tribe and impunity emerge triumphant, I can live on with clear conscience knowing that we tried to save the nation. I can live on knowing that my grandchildren will have a family legacy to be proud of.
Raila is the face of reform, as I wrote last week. Yes, he has made mistakes. Reformists make mistakes, too, sometimes even great mistakes.
In mitigation, his intent has always been good. He has been pro-people, even when it has meant standing alone, or embracing those perceived to be his adversaries.
He has great capacity to forgive and to forget. While Kanu detained him without trial, he was willing to forgive those behind his incarceration and to try to work with them towards a better society.