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Shut up and let’s have a good old fight

By | March 1st 2010

In days gone by, lower primary school children had very creative ways of managing conflict. When a bully simply became too much or when petty quarrels between two parties became incessant, a noisy council of little elders challenged them to fight it out and get it done and over with.

As was common knowledge, a good, old wrestling duel would clearly define who between the two was the victor and put an end to their petty quarrels.

For some reason, the victor always turned out to be the underdog. What the bully never understood, however, was that he’d been set up. Usually, members of the aforementioned noisy council of little elders would walk up to the bully and say, "Imagine, that little upstart said you are nothing."

Little fellow

Stung to the quick, the bully would challenge the underdog to a fight at the playground by throwing a stick down and saying, "If you are man enough, step over this stick." And the little fellow, who really had no idea what it meant to be a man, would hop over the stick and in no time, an entertaining fistfight would ensue.

When the bully got properly thumped, the noisy council of little elders would erupt in cheer and mercilessly rip apart the bully for being beaten by "a child". But then, there would be peace, until the little rascals got bored and set up another boxing match.

To be honest, this is how it was in Parliament in the good old days when the place played host to proper men like the late Francis Polisi Lotodo. Those days, if you were a loud mouthed bully, your victim would casually stride into the restaurant and interrupt your motor mouth with a war cry and flurry of well aimed punches.

Using funerals

Sadly, that golden era is gone. MPs these days are chicken. They would rather brandish guns in nightclubs or clobber skinny constituents as their bodyguards keep watch. But they would never go for each other like men.

While the noisy councils of little elders still exist, they don’t even have the guts to tell one party what the other said in person. They insist on using funerals and press conferences. The stung party never has the guts to face up to his opponent, either. Instead, they too seek the next funeral or press conference to fulminate and hurl insults at the enemy — as if they expect the audience to fight on their behalf.

Strangely, when the two sworn enemies meet, they backslap and grin at each like the best of friends, instead of tearing at each other with blows and kicks — like men.

And that’s how it is with the Ruto and Raila squabbles. Men, proper men, can’t keep on badmouthing each other from morning to sunset. There are very leafy gardens outside Parliament Buildings that are perfect for wrestling duels.

Step forward, boys. Get over with it and became friends for life. And remember, no biting, kicking below the belt or hitting a man who’s down.

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