By Okech Kendo
The political formation called G-7 Alliance leaders are not like-minded on all issues. That should be good news to those who believe Kenya can still be salvaged from the stranglehold of provincial interests.
Only one of the G-7 politicians, so far, has rallied his community behind him, with leaders identifying the ‘enemies’ who want to "vanquish and dispossess" them.
The perceived danger is the excuse for the Limuru hysteria last week. Some of the worrisome utterances came from Bishop Emeritus Lawi Imathiu and ACK Bishop Peter Njenga. The two men of God have found new missionary zeal in the Kibaki Succession.
They shall visit hell’s fury on any one who causes the Presidential Standard to leave its current abode.
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Speaking for Gema, which he co-chairs, Bishop ‘Emeritus’ has identified the United Kingdom, the International Criminal Court, and Prime Minister, Raila Odinga, as the enemies of their community.
The UK is rumoured to be using the ICC to nail Gema presidential aspirant Uhuru Kenyatta. The presidential aspirant is seen as a reincarnation of Jomo Kenyatta, the founding president.
Kenyatta reigned when Gema was at its political and economic peak in 1970s. The milieu was arguably Gema’s golden era of acquisition and accumulation of private capital in the hands of a few, who still dominate the psyche of central Kenya.
The Gema youth, who raided the Limuru meeting, had probably wanted to raise class issues: The affluence of some Gema pioneers vis-à-vis the want of the impoverished youth.
The Prime Minister is supposed to be an accomplice in the insidious ICC and UK plot to ‘finish’ Gema.
On the basis of this claim, which has since been discredited, Bishop Emeritus claimed the Gema community was being "vanquished and dispossessed".
"How much longer must we remain in cocoons of fear and hopelessness in the face of repeated attacks on our community?" the Bishop Emeritus asked with zealotry.
The bishops touched off raw emotions that should worry. The incitement should worry because the audience believed a lie several times repeated becomes a fact.
Dr Mzalendo Kibunjia of the Commission on National Integration and Cohesion is yet to say Limuru II that named ‘enemies’ of Gema was a hate declaration.
But right-thinking Kenyans know how ICC Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo invited six guests from Kenya to The Hague. The ICC guest list has since been trimmed to four. But Gema is concerned with one – its choice for Kibaki Succession.
Right thinking citizens also know the dossier on account of which the UK is being branded ‘enemy’ of Gema has been discredited. The UK has called it a "malicious" attempt to manipulate the Kibaki Succession.
The good news is Limuru II, initially sold as the forum for a "major declaration", has not attracted copycat plots from other G-7 leaders.
Eugene Wamalwa, a G-7 member, is yet to take on the Abhandu Bhosi! (All Luhyia) cry to rally the Abhandu around his embryonic presidential ambition. But the Maragoli, Tachoni, Idakho, Bukusu, Samia, Marama, Tiriki, Batsotso, Isukha, Banyala-Kakamega, Banyala-Busia, Wanga, and Abanyole may have no reason to cry with the same fury and nostalgia as Gema. Kenyans from Ingo are yet to ‘manufacture’ enemies of such consequence as those giving Gema a melodramatic siege.
Chirau Mwakwere, another G7- pawn, is yet to rally the Mjikenda with his Zipapa Zipapa war cry. Perhaps the man who describes himself as the "overall leader of the Mjikenda" has not imagined enemies that could help him rally the coastal clans – Digo, Rabai, Ribe, Chonyi and others – around his ambition. That is, if he has any beyond playing fifth fiddle in the G-7 cocktail.
Omingo Magara, another spoke in the G-7 wheel, has yet to locate enemies so powerful they would help him galvanise the Abagusii.
William Ruto, Uhuru’s fellow traveller in The Hague adventure, is yet to pick the Gema cue to rally the Kamatusa (Kalenjin, Maasai, Turkana and Samburu) around his presidential ambition or enjoin them in his rage.
Aden Duale, another G-7 cog, is yet to rally Somali clans around his ambition to support another presidential aspirant.
These other members of the G-7 Alliance have to catch up with Uhuru’s presidential fire that is burning among the Gikuyu, Embu and Meru. The reluctance to take the Uhuru cue is probably because communities of other G-7 leaders have never been to the mountain top, and, therefore, do not have the ambition to hang in there.
Through founding president Jomo Kenyatta, Mwai Kibaki, Gema has known good times and do not want to let go.
Uhuru has a messianic grip on his people, so firmly the Limuru Gema see Old Jomo in him. It would be interesting to find out what other Kenyans, including the children of the Mau Mau, who are also Gema, see. They probably see false steps of post-Independence Kenya, historical injustices, institutionised impunity and mistakes they would not want to repeat.
Finally, a people who forget their history stand the risk of walking the beaten path. Bishop Emeritus Lawi Imathiu, is scared – perhaps he knows something you do not know, but one that you need to know now to think about Kenya beyond the Gema kingmakers, who met in Limuru.
-Writer is The Standard’s Managing Editor Quality and Production.