Without wealth, presidency is a mirage outside Mount Kenya

A past BBI rally at Garissa Primary playground [File, Standard]

Today, I present two hypotheses subject to falsification only after the August 9 General Election.

First, other tribes require financial muscles to sit a president. Two, that Mt Kenya region tyrannises the rest through financial strength.

Therefore, attempting to king a Kenyan from a poor tribe, as things are in this generation, is chasing after the wind. The 19th century German philosopher, Karl Marx, is still wrong two centuries later to have imagined that poverty would overthrow wealth.

A story is told of a small city where few people resided peacefully. One day, a mighty king surrounded and built blockades ready to capture it. In the small town, there lived a poor wise man. He delivered the city from their enemy using his wisdom. Afterwards, no one remembered to gift or thank the wiseman. After all, a poor man’s wisdom is nothing in the face of wealth and financial muscle.

It’s street wisdom that the majority rules over the minority, but it’s more practical that the rich rule over the poor. Raila Odinga’s and Kalonzo Musyoka’s communities are poor. Fact! Maybe a few of their tribesmen and women are rich, but a rich person is not necessarily wealthy. Money can lure voters for a night, but wealth attracts power, and power draws towards itself an enduring royalty of voters. Fact! I, therefore, say that with money, one can hire potential voters as auxiliaries in politics, but their loyalty is always to the wealthy.

What should we say then? Mt Kenya has heavyweight billionaires who can finance elections of all kinds. But we all have been wrong to think that for one to be president, what they need is the votes on their lap. Experience teaches us today that the millions of votes one brings to the table don’t count beyond the negotiation room.

It was the idea behind political scientist Mutahi Ngunyi’s clichéd hypothesis of the tyranny of numbers. But Mt Kenya region, the only region represented when you lookup for the wealthiest persons in Kenya, is directing politics at a time when there is no political heavyweight from the region.

If tyranny of numbers alone was enough, Mr Musyoka could be the one calling the shots as Azimio’s second in command. He’s not!

After joining Azimio a few weeks ago, it is evident that Mr Musyoka is not motivated. Why? Because his chances of becoming Raila’s running mate, even though he brought over two million votes to Azimio, are naught.

With Mr Musyoka in Azimio, they do not need to please him or his people anymore because the Lower Eastern vote block is squarely secured. He shall be comfortable with a Cabinet Secretary position or a negotiated other post-election deal. Is Mr Odinga to blame? No! The nature of politics is.

Both Mr Odinga and Mr Musyoka have the votes to win the forthcoming elections, but they badly need the financial juggernaut called Mount Kenya to survive. It is the reason the poor ODM feigned ‘death’ and let Mount Kenya foundation—a billionaire club from the region—‘panga’ Mr Odinga. That’s how politics work.

Furthermore, Musalia Mudavadi is not likely to be Ruto’s running mate because, although he might not have a whole basket of votes, he is an experienced politician who deserves it by all standards. But Dr Ruto must face Mount Kenya for a running mate.

Dr Ruto is banking on Mount Kenya and Rift Valley regions to win the August elections. Therefore, since his community is poor, just like Mr Kalonzo, Mr Mudavadi is politically ‘infibulated’, and there is little that Kenya Kwanza can do about it.

All said but this, without financial muscles, the presidency is a mirage outside Mt Kenya region. Of course, there is some political power and influence in a community with most registered voters. But still, power resides at the feet of a community with both votes and wealth. Thus says the political heavens!

Dr Ndonye Is a Lecturer in Communication and Media.