Kieleweke, Tangatanga dialectics a nuisance in the public domain

Members of team Kieleweke along Kuku Lane in Nyeri town on Sunday
Members of team Kieleweke along Kuku Lane in Nyeri town on Sunday
Image: EUTYCAS MUCHIRI

Sometimes back in the run up to the 2002 general elections, some big-name politicians in Kanu coalesced around President Moi with the hope that he would coronate one of them to succeed him.

This was after the merger of NDP and Kanu and what looked like a very vibrant political party that was meant to beat a fragmented opposition for the third time since the first multiparty elections in Kenya. As it later turned out most of the big-name politicians were not in Kanu for anything other than their own political aspirations.

And let no one lie to you, all politicians are in it for power and rarely to politicians even at the point of their diminishing marginal utility cease to hold into the belief that the next shot will be the clincher shot. In fact, only one politician, the late Hon Jeremiah Nyaga, has exited the scene on a high and retired to a quite life.

The Kieleweke Tangatanga dialectics with the often-muddled utterances by politicians is a stark reminder of how the whole charade, just like the hangers on around Moi in 2002, has nothing to do with Wanjiku, Mwende or Akinyi.

How they succeed in putting us ‘at the edge’ as they pounce on the next opportune Church Harambee or funeral to howler about who will or will not become the president of Kenya is as baffling as the reason why football fans still hold this debate on who between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi is the GOAT.

You see President Moi’s choice led to mass exodus from Kanu and the Kieleweke group seems to remind us of the group that was in Kanu only because they thought it was the easiest route to the next level of their political careers.

They may not have a clear rationale why Kieleweke or Tangatanga beyond political survival. Hon Mainda Kamanda, a Kieleweke hot shot, for instance is on record as having been against President Uhuru Kenyatta when the then Gatanga MP Hon David Murathe hinted at vacating his seat to pave way for the then political prodigy, Uhuru Kenyatta, to get to parliament.

He’s yet to explain where the complete metamorphosis took place and maybe his explanations should be corroborated by Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko and his Kiambu counterpart, Governor Ferdinand Waititu who seem to have quite a lot about Hon Kamanda’s track record.

To situate the current Kieleweke/Tangatanga dialects broadly, the noisemakers in both sides are just public nuisances trying to belabour things that are neither here nor there for their own political expediency.

Indeed, a good number of folks in the Tangatanga group around the DP are hanging around thinking that the DP’s ascension to power will take their careers to the next level. Some are angling for the running mate slot to ascend to the DP’s position in 2022, and sad as it may be a few seem to be reminding us of the proverbial dancer who broke his leg before the real dance.

The Kieleweke group on the other hand has these politicians who are waiting for coronation by President Uhuru Kenyatta and just like in 2002, the moment he will make his decision public, and I highly doubt he will be overt like Moi, the jostlers will scamper in different directions.

In fact, the 2002 scenario is likely to replicate itself and I foresee the big names in the Kieleweke group falling off the radar and just like the Rainbow Coalition breakaway in 2002, a sizeable number will throw their support to any formation that will be formidable in the penultimate leg of the run up to 2022.

Angling for power is the essence of politics, and the Kieleweke and tangatanga groups should not only be allowed to politic, but as they do so; the citizenry should also continuously evaluate them against the backdrop of allocation and distribution of resources in this country because that is what each camp is looking for.

Suffice to say, the support politicians give to either side of the handshake political divide needs to be unpacked critically to help us understand what these Tangatanga or Kieleweke politicians bring to the table and how whatever they are doing, have done or are intending to do will improve the living standards of majority Kenyans.

It is pedestrian for a politician to boldly assert on national TV that he was the most vocal critic of the Rt. Hon Raila Odinga and that when President Uhuru Kenyatta said handshake is the way forward, his tune changed, and his mantra morphed to Kieleweke! How do we get value for money from such law makers?

A lot of Kenyans are still holding their breaths waiting for matunda ya handshake and you would expect the Kieleweke group to keep the conversation going; encourage their constituents to engage with the Building Bridges Initiative or at least do something to make the handshake yield the most important fruit - electoral justice.

But no, these folks are hellbent on 2022 politics just like their Tangatanga ‘friends’ and the onus is on the citizenry to take advantage of conducive sociopolitical climate underscored by the handshake to work on getting President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Amollo Odinga to institutionalize a just electoral justice. For what they put us through in the last two elections: the deaths, the police brutality and tension that was almost pulpable, they owe us an electoral system which will ensure that the vote cast by any Kenyan anywhere counts for good governance.