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I marvel at cruel joke in shifting alliances

By - | December 14th 2012


Like many I believe in God and the unexplainable power of the supernatural. However, I am not sure what role He plays in our politics though in church from January 2008 to date I have been hearing intermittent prayers to Him to give Kenya a leader who believes in Him and who is just and fair.

Many times I am tempted to question if the leaders we have, some so mean they could sacrifice their siblings for power, were therefore given to us by God.

As you will see shortly, even if you disagree with me, this is not blasphemy. It is appreciation of life with its diverse contradictions as well as its set of congruent set of rules and beliefs.

I started off with God and our politics because with respect to our diverse religions and cultures, because if his magnificent hands are at play in Kenyan politics, then He must have played a cruel joke on us.

But come to think of it, just looking at the political alliances taking shape, albeit under the ominous clouds of doubt about their longevity and obvious challenge of mixing oil and water, it might not just be a cruel joke. If we believe He has a hand in what is happening, then we can begin to accept that He could probably be ‘punishing’ or teaching us as a people painful lessons from 2008 post-election violence.

I should have told you this earlier, but let me let it out at this stage.

I was prompted to ask myself all these about God, when I got the news at noon or thereabouts that Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka, for the first time since the start of this troubled and querulous Grand Coalition whose end some of us can’t wait to see, entered the office of Prime Minister Raila Odinga.

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Last week, after their reunion and formation of Coalition for Reforms and Democracy, Raila went up to Kalonzo’s office, and though we have not been told this, it must have been for the first time.

There are useful lessons in this, apart from the fact that it is also an explanation of how the coalition leaders related to each other. In fact, it should also send us marveling at how in the first place this coalition survived or even achieved the much it has done.

Protocol wars’

In my view, as co-ordinator or supervisor of Cabinet ministers or even their work, Raila must have chaired meetings for which the VP as President’s principal assistant must have been needed.

 In case you have forgotten, Kalonzo also has another feather to his cap; he is Minister for Home Affairs. My suspicion is he could not bring himself to walk up to Raila’s office across the road, because of his previous attitude to the holder of the office.

It is also possible he felt that if he did so he would be playing second fiddle to him, when all along from the time of the ‘protocol wars’ he felt he was senior to the PM.

You can’t also rule out the fact that the PM publicly showed he had no respect for Kalonzo, and so it matters not who started it.

Let us go back to 2002 when Kalonzo and Raila were in Liberal Democratic Party, and Uncle Steve expected Tinga to endorse him for President both having just fled Kanu because former President Moi had handpicked Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta to be the Kanu candidate.

Kalonzo was not amused and from then the seed of rivalry and mutual suspicion grew faster, fed by the ambitions of both men to rule Kenya some day.

The rivalry would later lead to a falling out after they had been jointly fired by the same Kibaki after the 2005 referendum, and ended up fighting for control of ODM-Kenya. When Kalonzo dumped the name Orange, he called it Wiper.

This probably meant something to wipe away the bad memories of the fight with Raila, for he apparently was seeing his options of acceptance by Uhuru and Eldoret MP William Ruto running out fast.

So today, as we marvel at how Kenya has come full circle, with Raila who blamed Kalonzo for the easy way Kibaki got back to power, by naming a half-Cabinet shared with Uncle Steve, is set to be Presidential candidate and the Mwingi North MP his running mate.

But if this isn’t an act of divine intervention then may be the unlikely marriage between Uhuru and Ruto, is more like it.

Political analysts will point to common fears and interests being the glue holding them together, but I am also tempted to suspect may be God decided to teach Kenyans another lesson here with the saying that there are no permanent enemies or friends in politics.

Ruto was Uhuru’s right hand man in 2002 but after defeat they temporarily were under Raila’s umbrella, but in 2007 they parted ways. Ruto stuck to Raila, while Uhuru went back to Kibaki, against whom the Eldoret MP had backed in 2002 when the President’s fiercest backer was Raila. With Uhuru and Kibaki on one side, and Ruto and Raila on the other, temperatures rose.

When the 2007 election went the way it did, war broke out, and at the centre of it were two main communities: Kalenjin and Kikuyu. Until proven guilty if ever this will be the case, Uhuru and Ruto must be presumed innocent.

However, still this does not stop us from marveling at the fact that today they are the best of friends, something that stunned both their communities.

We need not even factor Water minister Charity Ngilu who is literally dancing in the wind like a windsock or Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi for Lady luck to walk in smiling and embracing him whilst stopping Uhuru and Ruto from running.

In short, God must be laughing at us.

The writer is Managing Editor, Daily Editions, at The Standard.

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