I have been listening with keen interest to the blame game pitting ODM and Deputy President William Ruto’s brigade over incidents of violence that were reported in the countdown and during the just-concluded Kibra by-election. The DP and his brigade took advantage of what transpired to renew their onslaught on Opposition leader Raila Odinga.
The war of words took a worse turn following the handshake between him and President Uhuru Kenyatta. To DP troops, Raila did not believe in the unity deal. He was out to use it to divide the ruling Jubilee party and ultimately scuttle DP’s 2022 presidential bid. Back to the Kibra by-election.
The first incident that drew my attention was the alleged attack on Jubilee candidate McDonald Mariga. Two questions came to mind. How come this happened on Ngong Road and not at the heart of Kibra? Was it a stage-managed attack?
Before dust settled, Ruto allies pointed an accusing finger at ODM politicians. How did they know? At the time, many believed that Ruto’s team had realised that Mariga stood no chance of winning and hence resorted to tricks aimed at whipping public sympathy.
But it turned out, their strategy of portraying one community as violent and rallying the rest of other ethnic groups residing in Kibra to isolate this community during the by-election did not work. In the aftermath of the by-election, we have seen them playing the same card, citing the violent incidents witnessed on Election Day.
A video clip of former Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale, a Ruto ally and chief mobiliser of Mariga’s campaign machinery, while carrying the stones went viral. If it is indeed true that some leaders in the DP’s camp were caught bribing voters in the queue, then ODM supporters had every reason to be annoyed.
Notably, Gatundu South Moses Kuria came out gun blazing. He hit out at Raila claiming that he was responsible for the chaos that was witnessed in Kibra. Why drag the name of Raila? Where is evidence that he recruited goons to attack Mariga and his team?
We heard Raila preaching peace during the entire campaign period. Kuria’s outburst shows he is pushing the agenda of the DP. The MP claimed Raila’s action showed that he did not believe in BBI. We want him to apologise before telling us to support this initiative.
Joseph Ndonga is a political analyst and blogger.