WaY OUT OF LINE

Uhuru right to give tongue-lashing to Ngunjiri

Uhuru made clear Ngunjiri represented old-school mud-slinging and avoidance of iimportant issues.

In Summary

• Uhuru has pushed for a new type of politics. One based on discussion and engagement, expression of a civilised difference of opinions and not childish name-calling or incitement.

• But Bahati MP Kimani Ngunjiri has been making all manner of spurious insinuations about the President, the leader of the party that sponsored him to Parliament.

Bahati MP Kimani Ngunjiri at Radio Africa offices in Nairobi on January 10,2019
Bahati MP Kimani Ngunjiri at Radio Africa offices in Nairobi on January 10,2019
Image: EZEKIEL AMING'A

“Anybody can become angry, that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way, that is not within everybody's power and is not easy,” Aristotle said.

For almost 11 years, Uhuru Kenyatta has given blood, sweat and tears for this nation. While not everyone might be a full supporter of every act or policy he has made, few can say his heart is not in the right place.

Uhuru's crusades against corruption and tribalism have made each Kenyan understand that we have to change the way we act as a people, including, and especially, our elected officials.

Above all, Uhuru has pushed for a new type of politics. One based on discussion and engagement, on civilly expressed difference of opinions and not childish name-calling or incitement.

Sadly, not everyone received the memo.

Bahati MP Kimani Ngunjiri has seemingly held a personal grudge against Uhuru for some time, making all manner of spurious and seemingly crazed insinuations about the President, the leader of the party that sponsored him to Parliament.

Rather than deal with the issues that face the people he is meant to serve, of which there are certainly many in his constituency, Ngunjiri has rather spent his time and resources trying to create a split in Jubilee, Bahati and the nation.

Attacking the BBI has become one of his favourite pastimes. However, rather than have a substantive debate on the issues that those involved encourage, he has just set up straw man arguments that are easily batted away by anyone with a modicum of sense and knowledge, but are proving a great distraction from the issues the report is meant to deal with.

If it were once or twice, that would be one thing, but the incessant and personal attacks on Uhuru have crossed all boundaries of decency and normative debate.

To many, it is clear these are orchestrated attacks that serve a certain political agenda. It is thus understandable that when the President toured Bahati and stopped at Maili Sita to address a crowd, he said it was enough.

Anyone who watches Uhuru regularly will know a commander-in-chief who is mostly cool. He goes about his tough work with an aura of calm and stability.

However, as Aristotle said, it is helpful to display anger at the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way.

Uhuru’s anger directed at Ngunjiri was certainly a perfect example of this, and it is good to see a leader so passionate about his agenda.

He made clear that Ngunjiri was a prime example of the old type of Kenyan politics that he has sought to do away with. His personal attacks are an attempt to stoke hatred and animosity and damage the peace Uhuru is trying to engender in Kenyan politics.

In fact, it is quite clear why Ngunjiri rails against the BBI process because it is seeking to create a new Kenyan way of doing things. Kenyans of all walks of life have told the BBI team that political violence and antagonism have to be ended, and measures must be taken against those who stir up the people.

"A country is not built by name-calling. I am interested in bringing all communities together. We want whenever we have an election, everyone goes home with peace of mind. They won't stop me. The greatest gift I will leave to this country is peace. Not intimidation after every five years," Uhuru said during his stop in the village.

The Kenyan people have a choice to make.

They can accept Ngunjiri’s way of self-serving division, incitement and hatred, a type of politics that engulfs the country potentially in bloodshed and flames.

Or they can accept Uhuru’s way of peace, unity and progress, which sees commitment and engagement as the new style of Kenyan politics.

The country cannot have both.

The battle that lies ahead is between old and new, conflict and peace, and division and unity. We must throw away those who promote the former and embrace those who encourage the latter.

Sometimes, it is good to witness a little anger in the service of these good and vital causes.

Maore is MP for Igembe North