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January 16, 2019

Tony Gachoka was not drunk!

Tony Gachoka.
Tony Gachoka. Photo/FILE

I watched #WaiguruResigns trend half-heartedly for part of Saturday before ElClasico, Real Madrid, #mufc, Arsenal, Messi, De Gea, Liverpool and Mali took over. The truth is, once it was done, it was done. The rains came down, the usual roads were flooded, alcoblow was stationed at Museum Hill, the sun came up on Sunday morning and Adelle Onyango went live with Sauti Sol on Sunday as scheduled. Basically, life went on and still goes on.But if there is anything that I still find very telling yet worrying is our inability to be bold and brave. We hide behind our keyboards and our cellphones, texting nonsense because we are too scared to face the reality of our lives and our times. For me, it’s imperative that we go back to the last two shows that Tony Gachoka had with Jeff Koinange and take notes. Yeah, I said it.

Don’t be fooled into dismissing Gachoka because someone decided to tell people he was drunk. If indeed he was- then as a very good friend of mine says, he was “strategically drunk.” Tony spoke amazing truths and we chose to ignore him because it was like having someone open our nasty emails and those suspect sites we visit and roll them out in public, screen shot by screen shot.

We hate the truth as Kenyans. Nothing makes us angrier, more uncomfortable or more rabid than the truth. We froth at the mouth at the sight and sound of truth told with no sugar coating.

Allow me to line-up some of Gachoka’s gems and you tell me, if truly you buy that lie you sold to yourself, that he was drunk.

I produced Crossfire with Paul Ilado from day one and Tony has always tripped over his words when he spoke too fast or rushed to make a point before I cued the other people on the desk. Infact given that the people who always sat around the table held public office and also had a certain “edge’ over Tony because of their “academic” prowess, Tony fought to rise and to be heard and taken seriously. The only difference is that with Jeff, he hasn’t switched that part of his mind off. He forgets that Koinange will let him speak (within reason). Tony was not drunk. There is a lot worth noting. File away for future reference.

1. People must oppose. The opposition of the day should oppose the government so that we as a people get a better government. You don’t and can’t oppose the government of the day when you have vested interests. CORD as always, had a vested interest. Period. Even Okoa Kenya is a political instrument. It adds no value to Wanjiku at all. Read Ken Opala or John Muthama’s article on the same. Choose one. Case Closed.

2. Don’t play politics with corruption. This one needs no explanation. The minute you mix the facts with what politicians want for themselves (it’s never about us), then you will lose, every time, all time in every way. Anne is gone, the money ain’t coming back. As PLO Lumumba says wonderfully “most Kenyans do not hate corruption; they hate the fact that they are not participating or benefiting from it...”

3. Young people in this country are losing out on true leadership; when parliament was parliament. When you didn’t just need a minimum requirement of a degree, but also needed to be truly intelligent. Academic knowledge is by no means equal to intelligence.

Education is not equal to intelligence, though it is often used as an external measure of it. Certain types of education can give you a pretty good idea that someone is at least of certain minimum intelligence (you can’t actually be dumb and have an advanced degree in mathematics). However, they don’t provide a measure of how far beyond that minimum they are, and a lack of education says absolutely nothing about their intelligence. Neither education nor intelligence prevents you from doing stupid things. As far as I know, nothing in the world stops that.

4. We must de-politicise Kenya so that people don’t think that all solutions are in politics. Some solutions are in the ordinary magic of Kenyans. Preach Tony! Put that on your mirror so that you see it every morning when you wake up. I got an email from some poor souls who asked why I won’t venture into politics. I asked them to show me ONE politician who truly made a mark and significant change in the lives of Kenyans. Just one. No one ever went into politics in Kenya for Kenyans, they do it for themselves. The hope for Kenyans lies in ordinary people who do their part everyday to step away from the political divide and get on with what needs to be done to make a difference.

Still think Tony was drunk? Let’s continue.

5. One Kenya, one President at a time. This is powerful and Tony said it often. The line is lost on most of us because there are those who keep telling us “Uhuru is not my President.” Really? Time for a reality check. It doesn’t matter who you voted for;you cast your vote knowing that your choice might not carry the day. A lot of the people I voted for didn’t carry the day. So what? This is the reality now and it’s important to get a grip and understand we don’t have a president-in-waiting, president-in-shadow, president-who-almost-made-it. It’s all madness. This is our reality not your illusional wish. One Kenya, one president at a time. Everyone harbouring wishes of presidency must wait their turn. 2017 inakuja.

6. Question - Would you dissolve cabinet? I’d leave Ruto. It’s time for Uhuru to part ways with William Ruto. We have a President under siege. This means the deal is over. Jubilee is broken at the centre.

Jubilee is probably going through a break-up. The very issues that united UhuRuto no longer hold. As we sit here and try to pretend that since Uhuru’s ICC case is over and Ruto remains at The Hague, that we have the same meeting of needs and minds, we’re crazy. We know exactly why they came together. The reason we have an entourage of strange bed-fellows sitting at the ICC is because we are trying to save the almost impossible. Jubilee is trying to perform open heart surgery on a patient who might be clinically dead.

7. Who elected Waiguru? She is an appointed Cabinet Secretary. Nobody elected Anne Waiguru and nobody expects the President to share our votes to him to any cabinet secretary.

They bring no constituency or votes to the game. However, they can definitely cost one votes. They can be quickly fired. Jeff asked Tony to comment on how other cabinet secretaries, who were asked to go home, are feeling as they watched the Waiguru saga. Tony’s answer was profound: Forget how they are feeling it’s how the President is looking. The President looks weak, inept, hopeless. People who are appointed can be sent home. They were not elected.

Still think Tony was drunk?

8. Jeff: If an election was held today, a presidential election, would President Kenyatta win today? Tony: He would lose.


I’m done with my list. Go back to the recording, watch, listen and add to the list. There is a lot I haven’t included and mine is by no means exhaustive. Anne Waiguru having decided to home on Saturday makes no difference. Since it was her move (perceived), it still hurt the President’s image. He couldn’t take the same pen he used to appoint her and “dis-appoint” her and anyone else who stands in the way of his ability to deliver for Kenyans or his re-election. It’s sad.

I’ll conclude with a comment/ tweet that Koinange read out on the show from Tom Okoth: Tony is a brilliant chap but he must go slow on the UhuRuto alliance. That’s how we are, right? We tell each other to go slow on reality, truth, the uncomfortable things. We say it about everything that must be stared at in the face and called by its name. I’m sure I’ll be told the same “go slow on the column or it will be cancelled.” That’s the problem, isn’t it? Tony makes us uncomfortable when he states the obvious. So we wish it away by simply saying he was drunk. If we can say he was drunk, we can ignore those horrible truths and many more. For how long?

Tony wasn’t drunk and that feeling you got in your chest, in the pit of your stomach, the rise of the small hairs on your face and arms, as you watched that show, were real and you weren’t drunk either. Stay sober - keep it real #NobodyIsBiggerThanKenya.

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