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I don’t think Rift Valley unfairly targeted in graft war

By Walter Chesang | January 31st 2019 at 12:00:00 GMT +0300

The Holy Bible in the book of Psalms chapter 78 verse 70 – 72 reads “He chose David His Servant and took him from the sheepfolds; from following the ewes great with young He brought him to shepherd Jacob His people and Israel His inheritance. So he shepherded them according to the integrity of his heart and guided them by the skillfulness of his hands”.

The Lord chose William Ruto (David) – the Deputy President- to shepherd the Kalenjin (Jacob) and Kenya (Israel) with “integrity of heart”. Let it ever be known that only those who have God’s “integrity” will be the shepherds that God desires, guiding God’s sheep “by the skillfulness of his hands”.

The book of Proverbs chapter 22 verse 29 is even more blunt “Do you see a man skillful in his work? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before obscure men.”

People of integrity

The Kalenjin Community from the pre-colonial to the post-colonial period are known for being men and women of great valour, values, integrity, energy and resolute. They vigorously resisted colonial subjugation and they bravely fought for the independence of their Nation. Kipchoge Keino ran barefoot and in poor health to secure honour and glory for our motherland.

During the long reign of former President Daniel Moi,  a story is told of  how some members of his Kalenjin community who served as senior public servants, cabinet ministers and generals could tell Moi to his face that some of his opinions and proposals were unworkable. Moi would listen.

Whereas the deluge of corruption is clearly a national crisis; the Kalenjin are increasingly on the receiving end in the purge on the vice.

The question is, are Kalenjins willing and able accomplices in the whole scheme of things? And for what and at what cost? Is it for the assembly of a formidable election arsenal to win political power?

A CS recently warned those harbouring presidential ambitious that if they did not have a Sh200 billion war-chest, they should consider doing something else worthwhile.

Mr Ruto, in the run up to the 2013 General Elections, somehow managed to convince a lot of the Kalenjin folk that he had a plan for them. He created in our mindset a false impression that he is a co-President, with power to appoint and dismiss State officers. We were convinced and voted for Jubilee Party.

There were rumours then that the rule of the thumb was that every applicant for State jobs from areas of the country that were ring-fenced as Ruto’s strongholds forwarded their CV’s for consideratios through the Deputy President for onward transmission to State House or Public Service Commission.

The Rift Valley, particularly the Kalenjins were ringed with an iron curtain. Any appointment to any public office was thoroughly vetted before the list was forwarded to the appointing authority. Those who were lucky believed that had it not been for the benevolence, philanthropy and magnanimity of the DP, they would be nowhere. That loyalty, devotion, gratitude and reverence had shifted from the State to an individual.

Power draws people towards the centre from which it emanates.

Leaders the world over do not directly commit atrocities – all have had very willing and able accomplices. According to Miranda Twiss in his book “Evil Men,” whole sections of Cambodian, German, Russian, Ugandan and Iraqi Society mobilized behind Pol Pot, Hitler, Stalin, Amin and Saddam in conducting mass killings.

When Ivan the Terrible created his army of henchmen, the Oprichniki, he had no shortage of volunteers.

Attila’s blood thirsty army drew people from throughout the “civilized” world and, for many Ugandans, Amin’s promise of wealth and unlimited power over life and death led hundreds to join his State Research Bureau.

Men and Women followed these evil leaders because they knew that complicity was the path to influence, money and power.

Despite having to deal with the unpredictability of their leaders, people followed their baser instincts.

Peace, joy and laughter are deserting us. Is this what we bargained for? Can somebody shout “Never again!” It is not a matter of “I did it because everybody is doing it” Just DO NOT DO IT.

As a community let us resolve that there are better and cheaper ways of achieving our goals and aspirations, including the presidency in 2022. After all, a good name is far better than great riches.

Mr Chesang is a historian.


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