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Vested interests in Mount Kenya could hamper President Ruto's plans



 President William Ruto. [PCS]

Kenya had a chance to make bold decisions 20 years ago, but it slipped through our hands. The next time that opportunity is presenting itself is now.

I make that assertion aware that the machines of propaganda against the President are on overdrive, coupled with all too obvious challenges that any polity would undergo. We can sometimes feel like we are at the end of our tether. The truth is, we are not. We have a competent leader who needs our support and a country that demands our patriotism.

Speaking of patriotism, sometimes, it has been conventionally misconstrued to mean anti-government activism. However, as a country, we wrestle not against any one individual or group of people, but against the entrenched interests that have always repurposed our politics.

At the dawn of independence, entrenched interests captured the post-colonial government and pushed out anyone they believed was going to speak out on their eccentricities. That is how the land question got mismanaged at independence and anyone who attempted to speak out on the ensuing systematic land grabbing was declared a public enemy.

Those entrenched interests undermined the promise of the National Rainbow Coalition and culminated in endless political bickering among its partners, including the contentious and divisive referendum in 2005. Had the key players conducted themselves well at that point in time, Singapore would today be looking at Kenya with great admiration.

But as the adage goes, fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. The greediness of the entrenched interests has made us hurtle dangerously down a dangerous sloppy stretch. Our decades-long economic dominance of the region is now threatened.

The question is, will we rely on the skill of the privileged class whose economic interests have helped usurp our economic vitality or will we rely on the ingenuity of the people of Kenya to rise together like a phoenix out of the ashes of destruction that the entrenched economic interests working in concert with their political agents have placed us in?

It’s a foregone conclusion that if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck then it is no doubt a duck. To answer the question, we asked above, we will ask again; will the forces from the mountain region give the President a chance to serve the people of Kenya or are they preparing for an onslaught?

At all times, we can only prepare for the worst but can simply always hope for the best. So if Mount Kenya forces, the big money in Central Kenya were to join hands with the President, we would all be in a happy place. But would they? We watched with disdain last week’s prattling of former MP Jeremiah Kioni. Secondly, we saw some people show up at Ndabibi with a self-righteous attitude. Coincidence? Sure not.

Third, we have noticed the online mujahedeen from the mountain going through a metamorphosis faster than a laundromat can whitewash a shirt. It is settled wisdom that things don’t just happen in politics. They are caused. We therefore put it to our readers that “who could be the puppeteer? What is their interest? Is it another moment to grapple with ethnic exceptionalism? To what end will that serve or destroy our democracy?”

Kenya’s Success lies in building national solidarity. While the working relationship between the President and Azimio leader Raila Odinga is commendable, ordinary citizens from the mountain must be alert to current manipulations by the entrenched political and commercial interests of their elites.

-Mr Mwaga the convenor Inter Parties Youth Forum. [email protected]

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