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January 16, 2019

NASA should seize this moment

KDF Soldiers from Moi Airbase take part in Tug of War during Military Athletics trials at Kasarani Stadium./FILE
KDF Soldiers from Moi Airbase take part in Tug of War during Military Athletics trials at Kasarani Stadium./FILE

In Greek mythology Sisyphus, the King of Ephyra, now known as Corinth, was punished for his self-aggrandising craftiness and deceitfulness by being condemned to roll an immense boulder up a hill only for it to roll down when it nears the top, repeating this action for eternity and consigning Sisyphus to an eternity of useless efforts and unending frustration.

The maddening nature of the punishment was reserved for King Sisyphus due to his hubristic belief that his cleverness exceeded that of Zeus. Lately brickbats, stones and all manner of obstacles have been thrown on the path of Deputy President William Ruto in a clear effort to distract him from succeeding President Uhuru Kenyatta in 2022. A popular song has been sung that a particular community does not owe him a “political debt” and Ruto has courageously denied being owed anything.

In the run-up to the August 2017 presidential election and the subsequent October 2017 rerun, Ruto was at the forefront of the Jubilee campaign and it has been stated in many quarters that he almost single-handedly delivered the victory to Jubilee. Why then the sudden turnaround and bile towards Ruto? Or did he break law number one in the 48 Laws of Power, which is never outshine the master?

The rule states, “Always make those above you feel comfortably superior. In your desire to please and impress them, do not go too far in displaying your talents or you might accomplish the opposite-inspire fear and insecurity. Make your masters appear more brilliant than they are and you will attain the heights of power.”

Uhuru has been unusually silent as his deputy has been forced to “walk the plank” and is close to being put to the sword! Is this a strategy or is he in cahoots with the persecutors? But it is not only the President who is silent.

NASA leaders Musalia Mudavadi, Kalonzo Musyoka and Moses Wetang’ula appear to be in a state of near paralysis. One would have expected at least one of them to have sensed an opportunity or seen a gap and moved swiftly to fill the same.

Talk from Wiper chairman Kivutha Kibwana indicates a desire to join government. If that is so, then Wiper should move from wishful thinking to action to initiate the process. You cannot have your cake and eat it! That would leave the Western Command in charge of the opposition. Mudavadi and Wetang’ula must wake up and smell the coffee.

Opportunity, like lightning, rarely strikes twice and the opportunity of a lifetime must be seized within the lifetime of the opportunity. If Ruto were to slip and fall now, a huge chasm would open up in the future leadership of Kenya.

Power, they say, abhors a vacuum and if NASA continues procrastinating and second-guessing Raila Odinga then that opportunity will be lost to them permanently. A new leader will emerge.

Politics is a game of chance and when new opportunities avail themselves there is no time to moralise and play the gentleman. Raila is not coming back to NASA as the Coalition Agreement prohibits him or any other ODM member from running for president in 2022. The handshake therefore was an exit strategy. And if indeed, as the opposition infantrymen say, Raila is holding their tiger (Ruto) by the tail this is their time to make hay while the sun shines.

The forthcoming lifestyle audit, if strictly carried out and tied to Chapter Six on Leadership and Integrity in the Constitution, is bound to disqualify a host of our current leaders, including governors, senators, MPs and MCAs. That is why there is a huge outcry and attempts to sabotage the process.

For the first time since Independence there appears to be a light at the end of the tunnel of Kenyan politics, that is if indeed Uhuru stays the course.

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