Like many other Kenyans, I was taken in by Jubilee’s 2013 promises, which I must admit were well packaged.
When my conscience would not let me support people whose hands were allegedly stained with the blood of innocent Kenyans, I tried to look into the life of my favorite Bible character, David, and force the theory that kings are made in the battlefield. Something in the back of my mind kept reminding me that much as Uhuru Kenyatta tried to identify with the ordinary mwananchi, he is just not your common everyday person.
He was not born into a peasant family as most people born during that time were. He is a prince. How then could we expect him to have solutions for the average mwananchi?
The hustler, William Ruto, on the other hand, despite his tears, had quite a number of scandals in his grass to grace fame, and people laud his tenacity. I watched as the matching attire and smooth talk PR went to Kenyans’ heads. We cannot, therefore, blame NASA, then Cord, for their subsequent loss in 2013.
But in 2017, I blame them entirely for their loss and the current woes Kenyans are facing. Of course, we are to blame for the leaders we elect, but opposition leader Raila Odinga could have done much better and possibly saved us the agony of the increased cost of living, high unemployment rate and corruption, among other problems. He had one job — to package NASA as the Kenyan messiah and, voila! We would be in Canaan. This is opposed to enduring the untold suffering that Jubilee is currently subjecting us to.
Jubilee failed to fulfill many of their promises in their 2013 manifesto. Where they did or made attempts, it was to blind the naïve Kenyans that they were, while they were all along awarding themselves huge tenders at inflated costs, and money kept disappearing in unclear circumstances.
When teachers went on strike, Jubilee invested in a propaganda campaign as opposed to addressing their needs. The teachers surrendered, but their problems persisted. The biggest failure, however, was their indifference to the unnecessary loss of lives of Kenyans as medics went on a prolonged nationwide strike to demand better-equipped health facilities in this country.
By the time Jubilee was halfway done with their term, many Kenyans were tired with them, including in their strongholds.
In central Kenya, one of their largest voting blocs, there was palpable apathy to the extent that Mt Kenya oligarchs invested heavily in mobilising the masses to apply for IDs and register as voters to save “uthamaki.”
NASA should have capitalised on this and swayed the voters to its side. Quite a significant number of youths did not care for the guy who pleaded with them calling them his “jeshi”.
They were tired of being misused to enrich a few guys at the top because, in all honesty, a Kikuyu presidency only benefits those close to the powers and they are countable.
Although the youths have been brought up with the gospel of “kimundu” (the derogatory address to Raila) and were made to believe that he wants the presidency to revenge against the Kikuyus. Many of us opened our eyes and were eager to try the other side. After all, what could be worse than Jubilee?
Instead of NASA taking full advantage of this to offer solutions, every time those close to Raila opened their mouths, all we heard was the demonisation of the Kikuyus and what they would do to them once they got to power. This was the talking point in Kalonzo Musyoka’s last campaign address at Uhuru Park, to the effect that “Central Kenya will lie low and see the rest of the country making the change”. You cannot accuse an entire community and expect anything better than rejection. Human beings are wired to gravitate towards that which offers them security.
What Kalonzo and NASA’s lieutenants said was blown out of proportion by the Jubilee propagandists to further their cause to remain in power. Those who were softening their hardline stance on a Raila presidency suddenly felt unsure, exposed and made fools of.
NASA failed to tame corruption in its strongholds. Raila has not directly been involved in corrupt deals as an individual. Looking at the way Jubilee jumps at any chance to link him with corruption, if he so much as took biscuit from a child, they would publish it on international media. However, those around him have been involved in various corruption cases. Remember the carcinogenic wheelbarrows in Bungoma, then under an ODM governor? This portrayed NASA and Jubilee as one entity but different names. The shambolic nominations in its zones further provided ammunition to the hungry Jubilee war merchants.
Raila should have made use of his networks within the intelligence department to make sure there was no rigging. Although there are those who would argue that he failed in the registration of voter’s stage, he could have appealed to the liberal voters from the Jubilee strongholds through a better strategy. He remains a great statesman, whose sacrifices for democracy are spat on daily by those who should be most grateful, but he failed us. I place the blame entirely on his shoulders every time I have to buy unga at Sh150. Every time my electricity bill triples, I remember that this man in who I believed in but failed me.
All I see ahead is doom unless he strategises and leads the much-needed revolution to rescue us from Jubilee oppression.
Wachira is a communication strategist