This last weekend I hosted a delegation of mainly young people from 10 out of the 13 counties that are referred to as ‘Mt Kenya region. The team of 50 came under groups with names such as Mt Kenya Champions, GEMA Youth Council, Mt Kenya University Student Leaders Association, etc. They had sought me out because they wanted to understand what is happening with our national politics, and where they can help.
I told them to come to Nyeri – mainly to check how serious they were. Considering they came not only from Kiambu, Murang'a, Nyandarua and Kirinyaga but also from Nakuru and Meru, I am taking them very seriously indeed. And I did not even do the usual politician thing of ‘facilitating’ them. They paid their way!
The first thing I did was dispel the myth that I have a problem with Deputy President William Ruto becoming President in 2022. I told them that I honestly have no candidate for 2022 because it is only 2018. We have four years to the next election and in politics a week – leave alone four years – is a very long time. I then urged them not to get carried away by the games MPs are playing. Kenya has less than 350 MPs against close to 50 million other Kenyans.
I told them when they see MPs ‘tangatanga’ all over the place campaigning for this or the other 2022 candidate, they are actually working to position themselves for the next election. I reminded them that every politician knows that seven out of every 10 of those in office today will not come back in 2022. The 2022 debate is therefore not about the proposed candidates. It is about governors, senators, MPs and MCAs in office trying to position themselves as the sole local political voice on the 2022 election to avoid being voted out themselves, in 2022.
The second thing I told the 50 – and which is my message to all the 50 million Kenyans not in elective office today – is that what they need is not to be told who to vote for in four years, but to put food on the table, have a job, have good transport and communications infrastructure, access healthcare, etc. Essentially, what all other Kenyans need is to know how they will live between now and 2022.
The third thing I told them is that the only person who is thinking only about how Kenyans will live between now and 2022, and who has the ultimate capacity to do something about it, is President Uhuru Kenyatta. He is on his final term, which means that he is the only politician in office right now who has no interest in the 2022 election. The only thing he wants to do is secure his legacy.
This means that he must work for Kenyans between now and 2022. He has even defined what ‘work’ means. Uhuru has committed to unite Kenyans, fight corruption and implement the Big Four. On these three issues he has the support of 90 per cent of ordinary Kenyans (and maybe 30 per cent of the elected politicians). But all the elected politicians at all levels are less than 2,500 and 70 per cent of them will not be reelected, so as long as he has the support of the millions, he can sort out the thousand or two.
My final word to them was that they must publicly stand with Uhuru for the next four years. Ruto, Kalonzo Musyoka, Musalia Mudavadi, Raila Odinga, Alfred Mutua, Gideon Moi, etc, have one eye on now, and another on 2022. Uhuru has both eyes on now. He is the only leader primarily taking care of the interests of ordinary Kenyans now.
Apparently these guys took what I said very seriously. They have now taken the message #IAmWithUhuru and organised it into a mass movement that will publicly support Uhuru to implement his three-fold agenda of uniting Kenyans, fighting corruption and implementing Big Four.
I am now waiting for my T-shirt.