M7-mediated handshake stuns Riggy G into rare silence, imminent eclipse

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua. [File, Standard]

Folks, it’s a brand-new month with a brand-new vibe! I suppose that’s partly because the rains have come earlier than the Met guys predicted - they are more likely to make predictions for delayed rains.

Or it could be that our Deputy Prezzo Rigathi Gachagua aka Riggy G, has finally been silenced, or he’s lost for words, and that takes a bit of effort.

Either way, it’s an unexpected development on several counts: Firstly, it’s something he promised would never happen under his watch, and even swore by the gods of Kirinyaga. Now that a truce between Prezzo Bill Ruto and opposition leader Raila Odinga aka Baba is in the offing, Riggy G is lost for words.

That does not mean the newest “Handshake brothers” will add the sufurias in our kitchens. Or maybe they might, given that the movement that Baba has been cultivating uses cooking pots as their symbol. So, more pots might remain in the kitchen, instead of being deployed to the streets.

When the pictures of the duo surfaced online, I initially dismissed them as the handiwork of Yoweri Kaguta Museveni aka M7’s online army. Make no mistake: while the man steps out in sombreros and outsized boots and pants and untucked shirts, this retired soldier knows a thing or two about modern warfare. I hear he’s media savvy and reportedly runs an online brigade to wage battle for the hearts and minds of Ugandans.

Anyway, the pictures of Life President of the Republic of Uganda aka Baba Muhoozi did not elicit anything more than a shrug of the shoulder from me. He was out in the fields, cane in hand, watching over his herd of long-horned Ankole cattle. I understand this is M7’s seventh heaven: the sight of his animals returning from the fields, their well-stretched bellies and well-developed hindquarters rolling majestically into the fading light.

To be fair, some animals looked famished; you couldn’t believe they belonged to a man of means! Anyway, I suspect they evoke in M7 nostalgia for an egalitarian society he hoped to create in Uganda, drawing on his traditional roots when life was less complicated.

And the spectre of observing his herd is such a sacred ritual, only those closest and dearest to M7 are allowed to a foot of the cattle. And being a political animal, one can measure M7’s trust by the distance one is allowed to his herd.

So, when I saw pictures of our dear Prezzo and Baba, each holding a cane, herding alongside M7, I initially thought this was a hoax because I thought: a) M7 wouldn’t trust Baba to a kilometre of his herds, b) Prezzo Ruto wouldn’t allow Baba to an inch of his arm, c) Riggy G had promised that would never happen in this lifetime, d) M7 had said some folks in Nairobi were scamming him, so he was sourcing his oil from elsewhere and, e) all the above.

So, I concluded that since Prezzo Ruto has been busy soliciting jobs abroad, he was taking things into his own hands by illustrating how Kenyan youth can become good herders and learn from his example.

Still, that did not explain what Baba was doing in the picture, even though I remembered Prezzo Ruto had promised to send him over to Bondo for retirement. Only that Baba had turned up in neat business wear, as did Prezzo. The person who looked like he was ready for retirement, even though he would not even consider it, is M7. His manner of dressing is that of a retiree.

So, the story as we know is that M7 mobilised Baba and Prezzo Ruto into shaking hands, against the wishes of Riggy G who has since been shoved out of the picture. But, what’s in it for M7?

Most likely, he wants to ensure his oil shipments and other supplies are delivered at good prices. The only way to guarantee that is by ensuring there are no disruptions that could see youths in Kibra uproot the rail.

When things fell apart in 2007, M7 memorably urged the youth of Kibra to consider fighting on the fringe of the railway line, but allow the cargo on rail to move on. But the fighting should go on. I wonder if he urged Baba and Prezzo Ruto to do the same.