The clichéd expression about a picture being worth a thousand words is rather apt in the assessment of what former PM “Barber” could have been telling former Iron Lady of Kenyan politics, Martha Karua in this week’s picture in
I was about to call her Dada (Sister) Martha, but since even those relatively safe terms have entered our political lexicon, I shall refrain and simply call her Madam Martha.
The first and last time I met Martha was at one of those so-called breakfast meetings.
And there was Martha looking bright and prim, every hair in its place, looking rather short than I imagined.
But what I disliked the most was the grimace she flashed when she attempted to smile.
It was painfully fake.
But since politics is not a beauty pageant, or even keeping it real, I hoped Martha’s diminutive stature or inelegant smile would place no obstacle in her ascendancy to the high office, which she made no secret was her next ambition.
Then, Martha was the Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister and a feisty defender of the system as demonstrated in her energised kicks in Parliament, stomping her shoe as a frontbencher.
That was before Martha made a noisy exit from the cabinet,counting, no doubt, on her clean political track and relatively good looks to attract many votes, especially among the
Martha would lead a break from the past.
And she was counting on her gender too, to break into a male-dominated cordon; her peasant roots would break the politics of
The daughter of the soil was ready to upset the
Martha lived up to this expectation; she managed to upset the ‘high expectations’ by ‘achieving’ so little that even Mwalimu Dida, with only a few hours on prime-time television,
managed to garner more votes than Martha, who had endured years of blistering treks across the land.
And to think that all Dida had was a scraggly beard, a sense of humour and two wives – and one of whom did not even bother voting for him – the proof of that being that he picked
two votes from the Nairobi station where the three cast their ballots.
In the final analysis Martha’s nearly 44,000 votes against an overall tally of over 12 million votes cast came up short, in a manner of speaking, that when the figure was computed to
work out a percentage of her vote, it simply ended as a dash.
It simply did not count.
That kind of humiliation requires substantial rest and reflection, and a year and a half sounds just about right.
Which is why Cord’s calls for referendum, now broadened into a caucus called Okoa Kenya Movement will provide a forum for Martha and others to salvage careers that were on the brink of the end.
And in keeping with the Kenyan tradition of accepting and moving on, no one is going to remind Martha and Company how poorly they performed in the last presidential vote.
Peter Kenneth doesn’t seem convinced that the past now lies in the past, and that no one will hold it against him for performing so poorly in last year’s elections, so he sent his running mate to test the waters.
He, too, should learn to accept and move on, for if there is any lesson to be picked from his and Martha’s election loss, there is nothing to be ashamed about local politics.
After all, when one fails spectacularly, there is always an excuse for a grand comeback.
“Barber” has already had his comeback in demanding a ‘National Dialogue’ that never was.
And “Barber” being a true democrat has extended an olive branch to his fellow losers to help them “Okoa Losers”.
Kenyans may not really need saving because as a whole,’Kenya’ is not a loser,but its political losers need to save their faces.
“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®