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Opinion: Uhuru will be declared Kenya's best President ever come 2024

By Michael Ndonye | August 5th 2021

President Uhuru Kenyatta. [Courtesy]

Mark this oracle from the political heavens because as surely as heavens and earth endure, it shall come to pass. A few years after Uhuru Kenyatta leaves power and Kenya has ushered in a new government in 2022, we shall remember the onions, pumpkins, and cucumbers of the Jubilee regime.

Someone said that if you want to taste your goodness and greatness that people hold back from you, die. The ideal world is where we give flowers to people while they are living. But flowers are only available, affordable, and expendable immediately after you breathe your last in the real world. In politics, we die when power leaves us, or vice versa, whichever goes first.

A little TBT will do here. Tom Mboya is arguably among the greatest heroes in Luo Nyanza politics until you read the vile between him and Jaramogi Oginga Odinga - Kenya’s VP who turned down a presidency, preferring his comrade Jomo Kenyatta to go first. When Jaramogi differed with Kenyatta, Tom Mboya replaced him as Mzee’s point man in Luo Nyanza. In his speeches, Mboya fought Jaramogi tooth and nail.

Mboya was to Nyanza politics, what the likes of Irungu Kang'ata, Moses Kuria and other tanga tanga members are to Mount Kenya region today - perceivably revolting their own in favour of a ‘foreigner’.

Regardless of this, Raila Odinga doesn't fail to mention Mboya when he is enumerating the heroes who made Kenya great during them days - a trait that his followers use as the SI unit for the brilliance behind the ever "younging" septuagenarian.

Tom Mboya (left) with Mzee Jomo Kenyatta. [File, Standard]

Another tendency in Kenya is former president Mwai Kibaki trends on Twitter and other social media at least once a week. When Kenyans reflect on their current pulse-cum-pocket status, they remember Kibaki's presidency. Yet, these same Kenyans loathed the same man and emptied all their bile during the first term and the whole of his second term.

They termed him the worst president ever and nostalgically remembered Moi's patriotic songs, loyalty pledge, and brisk inspection of guards of honour. They said Kibaki was slow in inspecting the ceremonial guard. They remembered during the Moi era, they could collect fallen money on the ground, something they argued that after Kibaki was sworn in on a wheelchair, became as rare as chicken milk.

When President Moi died in 2020, history was revisited, recanted and rewritten. All good things were said about the former president Kenyans humiliated in 2002. But, they forgot that they all rallied behind ‘yote yawezekana bila Moi’ only to realise later that Moi was a deserving baba wa taifa.

In politics, especially presidential politics, the erstwhile great leaders are mutated into debauched ones whenever they assume power, however hard they work. As such, some choose to remain there to convince people that they are right and that whatever they do is out of goodwill. Poor chaps, it doesn’t work like that. Such leaders resort to tyranny, trying to prove a point.

President Uhuru Kenyatta with former President Daniel Arap Moi at Kabarnet Gardens, Nairobi, 2017. [PSCU]

The secret, especially in Africa, is to leave power and see the political heavens transfigure them into the saint they were in the first place. South Africa’s President Nelson Mandela was revered because of such a gesture. If Mandela stayed in power for an additional term, he would have been added to Africa's chronicles of despots.

Similarly, Uhuru will be remembered as a political saint a few years after the 2022 elections and his Jubilee government. So when the Political Chessboard advised him to resume his social media activities some time back, the political heavens wanted him to see what Kenyans think about him come the right time.

So from around 2024, Kenyans will look back and start appreciating the Jubilee government and speak glowingly its projects such as Huduma Centres, massive rural electrification, tarmac roads and SGR. Meanwhile, they will sneering and screaming at their then president, wishing for the good, old days of Uhuru. The political heavens have spoken.

Dr Ndonye is a Political Economist of Communication 

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