KIAMBAA AFTERMATH

TOM KAGWE: End of the road for Jubilee, a party built on deceit

Uhuru and Ruto belong together, even if they do appear in public as if they are not.

In Summary

• The people of Kiambaa were taken through these musical chairs’ games on Thursday, July 15. That they should elect the UDA candidate and ‘punish’ Jubilee 

• As far as the politics of Jubilee versus UDA are concerned, this is simply survival, not rivalry of either party.

UDA Kiambaa parliamentary aspirant John Wanjiku votes at Thindigua Primary School polling station on July 14, 2021
UDA Kiambaa parliamentary aspirant John Wanjiku votes at Thindigua Primary School polling station on July 14, 2021
Image: COURTESY

The Kiambaa by-election, it is a telltale sign that the ruling Jubilee Party, which has been on its deathbed for about two years, is now in the mortuary, if not in the cemetery.

This was predictable from the beginning. It is what in political science we call ‘marriage of convenience’, and these ‘marriages’ do not last. Jubilee has disintegrated based on that kind of understanding.

The party was crafted based on a wave of deceit that two accused persons at the International Criminal Court were ‘victims’ of witch-hunt. Second, the two communities that had fought in the 2007-08 post-election violence were reconciling, led by Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto. Let us deconstruct these narratives and show why the Jubilee Party was poised not to last.

First, from being the ICC accused ringleaders of violence in Rift Valley (Ruto) and Naivasha (Uhuru), they then become ‘victims’. The turning of the hourglass on who were the real victims was simply a refusal to face facts and play politics.

The development of that narrative angered many in the human rights movement in Kenya to the extent that a petition was filed at the High Court to stop them from running for office. But Kenyans elected them, relying on that false narrative. Simply, Kenyans were hood winked and forgot who the real victims were.

POST-ELECTION VIOLENCE

The post-election violence had three types of real victims.

First, the about 1,400 men, women and children who were killed, the more than 150,000 households — or even more — who were displaced and those who suffered destruction after their property and businesses were demolished or vandalised. So the result was death, displacement and destruction as the Kenya Human Rights Commission aptly titled their report.

The second argument by the Jubilee Party was that it was a recollection and reconciliation of communities that had fought. What a lie?

‘Kalenjin Warriors’ beat up, evicted and killed Kikuyus in the Rift Valley under the phrase that those persons were madoadoa (spots). This was as dehumanising as the Rwandan Genocide of 1994 narrative of Hutu versus Tutsi, where the latter were referred to as inyenze (cockroaches).

When such dehumanisation happens, people are treated less than humans, hence the need to eliminate them from the face of the earth. It is shocking to this author, who lives in Kiambaa, that the people of this constituency had forgotten what happened to the Kiambaa Church in Uasin Gishu county based on this narrative.

Electing a party (United Democratic Alliance – UDA) associated with a former accused person at the ICC –Ruto – was simply dumbfounding to say the least.

The second lie is that the Kikuyus fought the Kalenjin and that is why it was important to consummate the Jubilee Party as a ‘marriage of convenience’. Kikuyus did not attack the Kalenjins. The Kikuyu mungiki (many of us), were hired and instead of going to the Rift Valley, they attacked the Dholuo in Naivasha, especially within the suburbs or those working as workers in the flower farms. The meetings were organised in Nairobi, Naivasha and Nakuru towns. This author has enough intel about the Nairobi meeting at a restaurant in Westlands.

These are facts, and anyone who doubts these, should read the Commission of Inquiry into Post-Election Violence (CIPEV) Report: a Commission led by the trusted and reliable Justice Phillip Waki. It is a detailed encounter with the truth, away from the lies that the two Jubilee principals (Uhuru and Ruto) would want, or had wanted Kenyans to believe.

So, when the Jubilee Party will be buried, some of these facts should be made crystal clear to the public. What is interesting is the merger of Raila Odinga and Uhuru Kenyatta, on one hand versus DP Ruto on converse. Strange bedfellows indeed. As they say, in politics, there are no permanent friends, or permanent enemies, only permanent interests.

BUILDING BRIDGES INITIATIVE

A revered professor of political science, Olatunde Ojo, once asked: When talking that we shall cross the bridge when we come to it, we should be very careful and ask some few questions. First, where is the bridge located? Second, how long is the bridge? Third, how much weight can the bridge handle? These are salient questions.

Now that the Jubilee Party is literally dead awaiting burial, what is the fate of the BBI? The High Court declared itself on the matter. The Court of Appeal is reviewing the case. While in Mvita on July 21, 2021, Raila Odinga, a co-principal supporter of the BBI, declared that “reggae is on half-time”.

Conversely, DP Ruto, who is an opponent of the BBI, is asking why we should invest in constitutional changes, while the Kenyan economy and its people are on their knees. It is time to invest in people now, and not through BBI.

The question is this: What is UDA? Is it different from the Jubilee Party, and if so, how so?

Ruto has not resigned from the Jubilee Party. So, supporting another party – UDA – is first illegal under the Political Parties Act. If Kenya were guided by rule of law, DP Ruto should be prosecuted, if not lined up before the Political Parties Tribunal, orchestrated by the Jubilee Party leadership – led by President Kenyatta.

MUSICAL CHAIRS

Fellow Kenyans, this is what they call a game of musical chairs.

Most of us know these games, including our children since they play it so often in schools, social places, and recreation clubs. The people of Kiambaa were taken through these musical chairs’ games on Thursday, July 15. That they should elect the UDA candidate and ‘punish’ Jubilee for neglecting them, which they did.

Unfortunately, not known to most of them, they were being hoodwinked once again. As far as the politics of Jubilee versus UDA are concerned, this is simply survival, not rivalry of either party. Both belong and are supported by either elite. And they do not really care about the ‘normal’ people, no matter how their slogans and mottos seem appealing.

Thus, while UDA emerged victorious, Ruto still belongs to the Jubilee Party that is now dead. Any celebratory victory by the DP is a refusal to face facts. Any regrets by Uhuru are misplaced.

Uhuru and Ruto belong together, even if they do appear in public as if they are not. They both danced on the graves of the real victims of the 2007-8 violence, especially when they launched the Jubilee Coalition in Afraha Stadium in Nakuru county.

DISCLAIMER: The views contained are those of the author, which are intended to inform, educate, and elicit sober comments from Kenyans in general. The writer is a political scientist and a human rights researcher, who resides in Kiambaa. He was privy to the campaigns and strategies by the political players before the by-election.