Listening to Kapseret Constituency Member of Parliament Oscar Sudi recently reminded me of Davis Grubbs’ book, Fools’ parade . It is a circus full of greed and betrayal pitting a Prisons Captain, his accomplices against three freed convicts, one of whom has a fat cheque issued by prison authorities as dues for work done in 40 years behind bars.
The prisons captain is determined that the ex-convict does not cash the cheque and enlists the help of the local banker. When the ex-convicts are put on a train following their release, an ambush awaits them at the next station where they are to be relieved of the cheque.
Unknown to the schemers, the train conductor is aware of their plan. His conscience troubles him and before the plan is executed, he alerts the convicts. Because to be forewarned is to be forearmed, the hunter becomes the hunted.
One moment the conspirators have the upper hand, the next moment, the would-be victims have it. From one blunder to the other, one hilarious episode to another, the genuine owner of the cheque eventually cashes it, but not before he straps himself with dynamite taken from his assailants, one of them the banker, walks in to the bank and threatens to blow it up if he doesn’t get his money.
It’s a story that captures our situation today, for our own fools parade is in full blossom. If you substitute the ‘cheque’ with the ‘presidency’, the train conductor with the ‘electorate’, the dynamite with the ‘handshake’ and the Prison Captain’s group with the camp Oscar Sudi belongs to, filling the gaps does not require too much effort.
Sudi made serious claims against Mombasa County Governor Hassan Ali Joho which, in the absence of irrefutable evidence, are highly actionable. He claims Joho’s support for President Kenyatta’s fight against corruption serves the purpose of seeking to ‘recruit the president again’ after Uhuru destroyed a drugs ship two years ago.
By using the word ‘again’ (tena), Sudi, inadvertently, was telling us President Kenyatta used to work in cahoots with Joho to bring drugs into the country.
In law, failure to report a crime is complicity in that crime. Sudi should be taken to task and made to reveal the information he has on Joho’s activities.
When he avers “we will get him (Joho) after he leaves office, who exactly is ‘we’? For those in support of the war on corruption and impunity, are such venomous and vindictive individuals worth your trust in top leadership positions?
There is a clique of rabble-rousers from the Rift Valley masquerading as leaders who would be happy to see this country burn if they do not get their way. They have tried to put every conceivable obstacle in the way of fighting corruption.
One wonders; at what point did the name ‘Ruto’ become a synonym for ‘corruption’? Despite what people think or say about him; at some point he had to publicly declare the helicopter he has been using belongs to Moses Kuria, Deputy President Ruto has maintained he is not tainted by corruption. He has publicly stated he is not averse to the lifestyle audit called by President Kenyatta.
Yet despite such assurance, Ruto’s cohorts and praise singers are not convinced he is a safe man. Is there something we do not know that makes them so bellicose? And, does William Ruto really need such excitable friends to clear the way for him? For someone only a heartbeat away from the presidency, does Ruto does not need his so called friends to weigh their words against the possible consequences of their utterances.
With the likes of Sudi issuing threats so liberally yet they don’t even have an ounce of real power, you can imagine what they would do with real power in their hands.
We recall Senator Kipchumba Murkomen making some unguarded statements regarding the Mau Forest evictions. So brazen was he that he deigned to question and countermand Executive Orders to squatters to leave the Mau.
But something must have rattled him, for he seems to have lost the gift of the gab. Then comes Oscar Sudi and his dirges about individuals who own half of Kenya and for whom they voted.
It is fairly easy to say who that reference was to. In regard to Sudi’s threat on the Weston Hotel, what can he do if it is established the hotel sits on public land and must be demolished?
Will he mobilise his supporters (I will not insult a whole community by using the collective ‘Kalenjin’ tag) to take on the government in armed combat?
Does the threat point to a re-enaction of the bad, dark past? While the country needs to heal from the electioneering of last year, injudicious utterances by some leaders keep dragging us behind.
Mr Chagema is a correspondent at The Standard.achagema@ standardmedia.co.ke