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Is old dictatorship worming its way back or Uhuru is just angry?

By Joseph Nyaringo | Published Wed, October 11th 2017 at 00:00, Updated October 10th 2017 at 23:50 GMT +3

The institution of the Presidency appears defiled. It’s in State House that President Uhuru Kenyatta parades ethnic lords not to discuss tangible plans for the greater good but to consolidate power. It’s to State House that former governors Isaac Ruto, Peter Munya, Moses Akaranga, and former Speaker Kenneth Marende, former legislators Cyrus Jirongo, Paul Otuoma, and senators Chris Obure and David Musila flock to, after suffering political defeat in their backyards.

Lately, the President’s tone and choice of words after the Supreme Court nullified his victory have reflected him as too angry, threatening and lacking decorum. Many Kenyans feel like the wind of dictatorship is hitting our country just like what is happening in Uganda. The most disturbing part is where the President and his henchmen have consistently threatened the Judiciary; targeting Chief Justice David Maraga over last month’s ruling.  His anger on dissenters (Opposition) has been unprecedented.


Recently, the chairman of Jubilee was quoted on Television telling the world that the country can only get out the current melancholy if President Uhuru became a benevolent dictator. This confirmed our fears that Uhuru’s “tough talk” has a genesis. How will Kenyans gain from benevolent dictatorship apart from impeding the gains we have made as democratic country? Does Murathe know that any form of dictatorship benefits those closer to the ruler (dictator)? I would like to remind Kenyans that Uhuru has enjoyed his five years of presidency unperturbed. Nobody tried to prevent him from realizing the promises he made to the voters in 2013.

It’s also worthy to note that political commentator Mutahi Ngunyi has also stooped too low to toot an ethnic trumpet in social media. He has consistently reminded Uhuru to hit hard at the political Opposition. Ngunyi, leads in political sycophancy. He lacks objectivity in his social media biased commentaries. If he is truly Uhuru’s friend, how can he advise him to do things which are contrary to the law and democratic tenets?

Crushing opposition leaders may mean detaining and depriving them their freedom. Ngunyi and Murathe’s irresponsible utterances were followed by CS Fred Matiang’i withdrawing security from top opposition leaders. Dr Matiang’i failed to tell the nation why security forces entered university dormitories to terrorise innocent students but was quick to withdraw security from senior leaders who have served the country diligently for many years. The National Super Alliance may not be an amalgam of saints, the coalition is seen by many Kenyans as the epitome of hope for the country. The leader of the coalition Raila Odinga has been steadfast, consistent and courageous to point out Government excesses as it affects the common mwananchi.

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Belated discovery

While all hope is not lost, the future of Kenya looks bleak. Our dreams have been shattered by incompetence in leadership. The late Francis Imbuga, captures it so well in his play Betrayal in the City by summing it up this way: “It was better while we waited. Now we have nothing to look forward to. We have killed our past and are busy killing our future”.

Exit the foibles in the Uhuru leadership, enter others in the political spectrum. Take for instance the youthful Hassan Omar who shifted gears from the Wiper Party. Did Mr Omar learn that NASA under Raila was taking Kenyans nowhere after he lost the Mombasa gubernatorial seat, yet he has been telling Kenyans that it’s the only safeguard for equity, equality, social justice and human rights compared to Jubilee?

What has changed in Uhuru and Ruto, when just a month ago during the campaigns, Omar branded them purveyors of impunity and marginalisation of the coastal people? Current defections to the Jubilee party have spiralled. A notable figure who also surprised many after switching gears is former MP for Budalang’i Ababu Namwamba. It’s still unclear what drove him to quit the Secretary General post in the ODM, to join Jubilee only to suffer a devastating defeat as Budalang’i MP in August.

What drives these leaders to State House may not be the Jubilee party philosophy but what Kenyans have come to call “tumbocracy”, or better known as pursuit of “the self”. They want relevance, cash and jobs by betraying the parties they once supported, a reflection that they lack principals, character and integrity in their leadership. It’s prudent therefore to conclude that our politicians need more civic education on the role of Government more than the citizens.

Mr Nyaringo is President, Kenya Patriotic Movement

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