Jubilee duo’s heartbreak will hurt many for years to come


The Jubilee government is shipwrecked. The captain, his deputy and the visiting former PM rocked it. In a functional democracy, the Opposition should now be asking President Uhuru Kenyatta and DP, Dr William Ruto, to pack up and go.

But the saprophyte Opposition is instead feeding on the decayed Jubilee flotsam, asking Ruto to quit. It is laughable. In politics, like football, you capitalise on confusion in the other camp.

You don’t tell rebels to respect their captain, or quit. You take advantage, to give them ten to naught. In the idiom of the sea, a shipwreck is the destruction of the vessel at sea. It could result from a terrible storm, an iceberg, or some other misfortune, like an assault by enemies. The means don’t matter. Nor does it matter that the vessel has sunk to the bottom of the sea, or that it is afloat. What counts is that the ship is useless. Jubilee is useless for governance, even as Interior CS Dr Fred Matiang’i, and Party Secretary General Raphael Tuju, attempt to smoke the deputy captain out of the vessel.

And Musalia Mudavadi, Kalonzo Musyoka and Raila Odinga are sleeping on the job. They are latter day Rip Van Winkles, sleeping through a golden opportunity. They are waiting for the dysfunctional Jubilee’s President Kenyatta to hold their hands to State House.  Even before Raila got in through the backdoor of a handshake, Jubilee was sinking. There was no trust, and no common bond beyond self-interest. However, Raila helped to rock it from within. Like flotsam, jetsam, lagan and derelict from a shipwreck, Jubilee’s effluence now belongs to nobody and to everybody.

The Executive itself belongs to the Jubilee Party, ODM, ANC, Ford Kenya and Wiper Democratic Party, alike.  Anyone claim any part of the dysfunctional wreckage, in line with the laws of shipwrecks. That is why it is often difficult to tell whether the opposition chiefs are in government, or in the opposition.

Yet, in that, they squander a golden opportunity to endear themselves to Kenyans, even as they ring circles around a sunk entity. They chase after flotsam and jetsam. 

Flotsam is floating debris not deliberately thrown into the waters. Anyone who stumbles into it can claim it. This is unless someone else proves it was theirs.

The ugly fallout has opened up pyrrhic opportunities, like possible appointments to the Cabinet and other positions. The most coveted jetsam, however, is the possibility of Uhuru holding your hand and saying, “This is he, whom I have anointed.” It is a poisoned chalice in the president’s lap.

Whoever he hands it to should consider his political career dead. The mood among citizens is heavily against anointments. If in doubt, ask the intelligence people.

Then there is the jetsam of those deliberately thrown into the sea sometime back, when the vessel began sinking. They were cast away to make the Titanic lighter. You will find in this debris names like Aden Duale, Prof Kithure Kindiki, Irungu Kang’ata, Kimani Ichung’wa, Susan Kihika, Ferdinand Baba Yao, Mike Sonko, and Ndindi Nyoro, among others.  

You will see that the jetsam was jettisoned from comfortable zones in the Jubilee vessel in the mistaken belief that the ship would sail without them. It hasn’t. 

Anyone who discovers jetsam has full right of ownership. Hence a medley of political parties can now lawfully claim the Jubilee jetsam.  The Jubilee logan, meanwhile, are the party honchos. While they have hit rock bottom, they are tagged with floaters bearing the words, “Jubilee Party.”

Every so often the logan accumulates in Pangani to read ultimatums that signify nothing. Indeed, the difference between them and the party derelicts is the same. The derelicts are sunken unmarked debris. These are majority of party members. Anyone can take them. 

The most tragic bit, however, is that the Jubilee shipwreck has dire livelihood implications for everybody. When the ship of State stalls, it stalls with everyone. It is true, after all, that choices have consequences.

Dr Barrack Muluka, PhD [Politics & International Relations, Leicester, UK]. Strategic Communications advisor. www.barrackmuluka.co.ke


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