• Politics is all optometry. And the key to power is the ability to judge who is best able to further your interests in all situations.
• Choosing either of the political narrative is trying to square the circle of Kenya self-interest politics.
Politics is of what William Shakespeare poised as life’s a stage; where they are entrants and those who exit.
This deep analogy of politics is not void of history.
Ignorance of history is a detriment to many a society. This is the context of the present narrative of Kenyan politics. We have had four presidents. And one may argue that the incumbent, Uhuru Kenyatta, is a scion whose dream was already dreamt when he became Head of State.
Nearly 200 years ago, French political theorist Alexis de Tocqueville wrote about the power we have been experiencing in Kenya: “In democratic countries, knowledge of how to combine is the mother of all other forms of knowledge; and it progress depends that of all the others”. This is a reclaim of the political trend in Kenya.
The current push and pull between pro- BBI team and team Tangatanga can be traced to the 433 BC ancient Greek. The Uhuru- Ruto pact of 2013 is akin the issue between Corcyra and the Greek city-state of Corinth trying to win over Athenians to Reirsode.
The stakes of having Athens were high and forging an alliance was an indicator of victory. There was a short lived truce of gratitude between Corcyra and Athens; an offer towards a union of mutual interests. Corinth was to bloom due to the loyalty struck. This was only a visceral idea of showing gratitude to one’s deeds.
It’s evident that history will remember Deputy President William Ruto nobly. However, present realism has to catch with him. The emotion appeal cannot match a good pragmatic argument, especially on issues pertaining to power. The constant reminder of political debt pressure on Uhuru and its subtle use of dynasty narrative puts the incumbent under obligation.
The Mt Kenya region cares less about past favours and friendly feelings. They operate under the notion that ‘warmers’ make others come to them, and do not go to others. This has been their political genetics. It’s of clear reason that people in political discourses will talk about the future. Meaning that Mt. Kenya natives opt for their future and forget the past.
The modus-operandi of the pragmatist is to act right. Acting in sly self-interest. This is the toxic power of politics.
Let’s give Ruto the stake of being the fifth president of Kenya. What will be the scope of his reign in power? Self-interest.
This is what cements Ruto’s unrelenting camp. In politics, there is need to master the act of seeing the needs and interests. Politics is all optometry. The political debacle in Kenya is not to benefit the citizenry. The end game of such political endeavours is power. And the key to power is the ability to judge who is best able to further your interests in all situations. Choosing either of the political narrative is trying to square the circle of Kenya self-interest politics.
Kenyans a have been historically objectified by politicians. The present objectification is to either choose from the political dichotomy of hustler vs dynasty. This should not be so. We should make ourselves into a people. A people who refuse politicians to become our Svengali.
Dishon Were is a writer in Nairobi