Most Kenyans think that political elections are not much different from the elections they may have had in primary school to elect a class monitor. How laughable.
I see it in the numerous cocky but extremely naïve comments both here in this blog and social media. Apparently we have a new generation of young Kenyans who know everything, especially the ones who have made a little cash from some corrupt government tender deals.
It was former influential AG Charles Njonjo who remarked as he was going down that politics is a very dirty game. Most Kenyans dismissed the statement as sour grapes, however the truth is that the man was coming to this realization rather late in his brief political career. Njonjo is a man who has his suits flown out to the UK to be dry cleaned at Saville Row. Despite his slight Kikuyu accent the man must have some pure English blood flowing through his veins, the way he behaves. The fact that he wielded immense power both during the Kenyatta and Moi days probably made him think that he was above petty politics. He was of course wrong.
Njonjo and Mwai Kibaki have always been bitter enemies despite the fact that they both served in the same cabinet for many years. However Kibaki made exactly the same mistake and has paid for it with a troubled presidency where he has to reach out for spin doctors to tell the people what he has achieved when his achievements are actually supposed to be doing the talking for him. The truth is that the president has only delivered 10 per cent of what he was capable of.
Admittedly it did not help that he hardly ever gets out of bed before 11am meaning that almost half the day is already gone. But even then Kibaki came into office with many good ideas that would have revolutionized and impacted Kenyan lives positively. This is why it is very sad that his was a presidency of under-achievement. The chief reason was simply because he thought the presidency was an office that was above politics and mostly petty politics at that.
The truth is that politics is a very dirty game indeed and a lot of the politicking is usually petty but deadly.
Let’s go back a little in time to elaborate this key point of this post. There was a leader of a nation called King Saul and one day as he rode into town with his trusted soldier called David Jesse, the women broke into songs of praise for the two men. That is where the trouble started. The King must have felt that it was wrong for his majesty to be included in songs of praise being sung for a commoner. Matters were made worse when the women (probably carried away by David’s looks, because we are told he was extremely handsome) started singing in their song that King Saul killed thousands and David killed tens of thousands. From that day the King did everything in his power to assassinate the young boy called David Jesse.
Human nature has not changed thousands of years later.
There was a leader of a nation called President Moi who went on a trip to the United States. At one point during that trip his American hosts remarked that his polished foreign minister, Robert Ouko would have made a better president of Kenya than him. (Why is it that Americans still want to measure people’s intelligence from how eloquent they are in English?). A few days later Dr Robert Ouko was dead. The mystery of his death has never been officially solved to this day.
And I can go on and on.
My point is that even as we analyze our politics let us never forget that the world over this is indeed a very ugly game (if you want to even call it a game).
To be continued. Next post: Examples of dirty politics in this election.
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