TAME HENCHMEN

Uhuru must whip cabal eroding the system

What is right for the country is getting a break from yet another Kikuyu or Kalenjin president

In Summary

• According to those who keenly follow these things, this cabal prefers Gideon Moi to take over from Uhuru — obviously continuing the rotation

• It is against the noble idea of ending the exchange of the presidency between the Kalenjin and the Kikuyu

ODM leader Raila Odinga and Siaya Senator James Orengo during the burial of former Rangwe MP Ouma Muga in Rangwe on October 9, 2020
ODM leader Raila Odinga and Siaya Senator James Orengo during the burial of former Rangwe MP Ouma Muga in Rangwe on October 9, 2020
Image: HABIL ONYANGO

Donald Trump became a one-term, twice-impeached and failed president because he was incompetent and allowed himself to listen to a bunch of equally inept thugs who knew nothing about leading a nation.

These are the same people, like the disgraced General Michael Flynn and Roger Stone, both convicted felons Trump pardoned who were among those who egged him on to attempt a coup.Thank God the American institutions held with the help of a few solid Republicans who put country first.

While we have had evil leaders like Adolf Hitler who formulated and executed their evil plans to the detriment, suffering and deaths of millions of innocent victims, we also have leaders whose henchmen have done evil in their name though not on their instructions.

Indeed, a case can be made in Kenya that some of the most heinous crimes, including assassinations, have been done at the direction of henchmen, not the presidents themselves — though they were the beneficiaries of such heinous crimes.

A common trait between and among these henchmen is they are always shortsighted, reckless, and loaded with outsized egos of their own self-importance. However, there is a marked difference between the henchmen of our first president and the henchmen of his successors.

None of Jomo Kenyatta’s henchmen ever thought, let alone entertained for even a second, that their egos and self-importance were or could be greater than that of Mzee.

Everyone to the man respected and feared Kenyatta such that their unadulterated loyalty was guaranteed even where or when unearned.

Fast forward to President Uhuru Kenyatta’s time. The men and women minding the store for Uhuru in many cases behave and do things as though the President is inferior to them.

This is a no-no in presidential leadership that Uhuru has unwittingly let happen, but he must quickly fix it lest it comes back to haunt him.

Siaya Senator James Orengo had these men and women in mind when he publicly declared there are people in government planning 2022 succession behind the backs of  President Kenyatta and his handshake partner Raila Odinga.

"There is a cabal inside government busy charting who will rule Kenya next year; this is just a warning shot because we are going to expose them. And I am telling them that without Raila Odinga, you could not be planning that issue of succession," the veteran politician and civil rights crusader said.

Orengo is right.

Contrary to the lies being fed to the ignorant that BBI is about power-sharing and a backdoor way of handing the presidency to Raila, the initiative is all about fixing what must be fixed in the Constitution to prevent further cyclic electoral violence and to further strengthen devolution.

Inherent in that fixing is ending this exchange of the presidency between the Kalenjin and the Kikuyu — a noble cause Uhuru and wise leaders from Mt Kenya region now support.

There is no doubt that among the few who oppose this noble end include the cabal Orengo is talking about because, according to those who keenly follow these things, it prefers Gideon Moi to take over from Uhuru— obviously continuing the rotation.

Yes, if you were to ask Uhuru who between Raila and Gideon he would prefer to succeed him, he will likely choose the latter. However, the President has made it clear this is more than what individuals prefer: It is about what is right for the country.

What is right for the country is getting a break from yet another Kikuyu or Kalenjin president— a noble notion we all as Kenyans must agree there is something fundamentally wrong to continue having the presidency rotating between these two communities.

That being the case, and Uhuru being on board, he must now make sure he whips into line those in the system trying to undo the handshake.

He can do so because he is the President—and it does not matter how he got there or who helped him get there.

Samuel Omwenga is a legal analyst and political commentator.