Monday, November 30, 2009
Kibaki’s hand in the Mau battle and how history always repeats itself
What many people don’t know about a writer called Mario Puzo is that he struggled most of his life to make enough money to put food on the table. In fact he was mostly unable to feed his own family until the age of 49 when he wrote a book called The Godfather. I love the novel and have watched all the movies based on it from the first to The Godfather III. I even watched the movies with my young son to teach him about life. There is no other movie that I have watched three times and can still watch a fourth time. You can read Mario Puzo’s amazing biography HERE.
With all due respect to some of our commentators here in Kumekucha they need to read the book and/or watch the movies to get into their heads that politics is a very brutal “game” (if you can call it a game). If it is a game, it is the only game I know where you can kick your opponent when he is already dead on the ground and not only get away with it but get wildly cheered for it.
I promised in my last post that I would do some serious digging on the Mau politics (which I am still doing) but I have stumbled onto something major which I would like to share today.
Most of my readers hate history and those who read it don’t take time to study it and instead read it hurriedly to twist it to suit their current political interests and worship of certain individuals. And so bear with me as I go back into history so that you understand what exactly is going on at the moment.
In the mid sixties, shortly after independence, the Kenyatta administration identified the Luo community as the main threat to the long term survival of the corrupt land-grabbing government. They identified one Jaramogi Oginga Odinga as the main threat. This man had handed over the presidency on a silver platter to Kenyatta not because he loved him but just to frustrate fellow tribesman and arch rival Tom Mboya from ascending to the same office. He did it in one move where he stood up in the Legco (the parliament of the time) and said that Kenyatta was “like a God to Kenyans” and there was no way the country would attain independence with Kenyatta still in detention thius kick-starting a campaign for the release of Kenyatta. But after Kenyatta became Prime Minister and then president, Jaramogi quickly got disillusioned with the Kenyatta administration and especially the murderous bunch who surrounded the old man who just wanted lots of wealth like there was no tomorrow and were ready to murder to retain the status quo at all costs.
Kenyatta gave the job of “dealing with Jaramogi” to Tom Mboya who accepted the task with glee mainly because he had a couple of scores to settle. At the same time Kenyatta made it appear that he was a great supporter of Jaramogi and even gave funds towards some of his pet projects. The impression created to keen observers was that there was a power struggle over the Kenyatta succession between Mboya and Odinga senior. It was only much later that those analysts realized that the whole thing had been engineered by Kenyatta himself.
Mboya won that battle and by doing so signed his own death warrant as David Goldsworthy so ably analyzed things for us in his landmark Mboya biography: Tom Mboya: The Man Kenya wanted to forget.
Now let’s fast forward to the present.
Many people do not know it but Mwai Kibaki is facing the biggest political fight of his career. For Mwai Kibaki this battle is bigger than the one he faced for 10 years as Vice president to Moi when he had to survive. He finally lost that one (with lots of casualties including his own father). And it is also much bigger than the one he fought to remove Moi from power and ascend to the presidency. A grand battle where he almost lost his own life. Yep, this one is far greater.
Mwai Kibaki is faced with two major threats. William Ruto and the Kalenjin community on one side and Raila Odinga on the other. Unchecked these two could make his future living hell on earth with a big possibility that the member for Othaya could live out his retirement in the serenity of a prison cell.
Like Kenyatta did in 1964, the president has to decide which of the two is the bigger and more immediate threat. I believe that the president and his close advisors have decided that it is William Ruto.
Now just as Kenyatta had to get rid of Oginga without being seen to be in direct confrontation with the Luo community, Kibaki has to isolate Ruto and somehow retain the support of as many Kalenjins as he possibly can.
And that is how the Mau forest (an issue that the Kibaki administration had ignored for months suddenly swept to the forefront of Kenyan politics). It is NOT Ruto using it for political mileage, it is Kibaki. In one single move Mwai Kibaki and his close political advisors may just succeed in destroying ODM and at the same time neutralizing both Ruto and Raila forever. Interestingly there are many who believe that Mwai Kibak will have no option but to support Raila for the presidency in 2012 (forget it, there is no new constitution being passed, lets wait and see).
How will Ruto be finished? (a commentator said here yesterday that he does not see how this will be accomplished). That is a fair question.
Have you guys forgotten Ruto’s soft underbelly so quickly? It all stems from the way he accumulated his vast wealth so quickly. As you read this the man still has a case pending in court (do you guys realize how rapidly a case file can be retrieved to land on the Ag’s desk through political motivation?). And we have not even started talking about the post-election violence and the ICC at the Hague. One of the two will fell this cocky, arrogant legislator and when it happens all blame will be heaped on one Raila Odinga and NOT Mwai Kibaki. This is significant because it means that with a bit of luck that ridiculous contraption called KKK can survive Ruto’s downfall. The new point man from the Rift Valley may just be Gideon Moi whom as I mentioned here earlier has been on grassroots campaign mode for a very long time now. Or it could be a close ally of Ruto who will castigate “those who finished Ruto” and urge the community to stick to the KKK alliance to seek revenge. All too neat and I have a feeling it is too neat to succeed. In any case it does not matter who the new Kalenjin “tribal chief” will be after William Ruto.
I am very reliably informed that the president’s closest and main political advisor currently is one Ambassador Francis Muthaura (something that I found so difficult to believe that I had to look for a second source to confirm this, which I found). The president’s chief advisor on Kalenjin politics is of course retired president Moi. When you know how these two gentlemen think then it is very easy to confirm or dismiss the contents of this post.
There is one final bit of tell-tale evidence that makes the scenario depicted here very believable. Have you noticed that the relationship between Mwai Kibaki and Raila Odinga has improved dramatically as the relationship between Ruto and Raila has worsened almost at the same pace? That, my friends, is very telling indeed.
Posted by Chris at 4:58 AM