By Bernard Wainaina
#MigoriChaos that happened today,presumably planned to embarass President Kenyatta is a script that has been running since Kenya’s Independence in 1963,and a similar movie played out in Kisumu with different generation of violent actors when the then President,Jomo Kenyatta opened the Russian Hospital in 1969.
Prime Minister Raila Odinga likes talking about dogs and their owners.
He regularly tells Kenyans that if someone’s dog habitually harasses you, you should
talk to the master.
When youth in Kisumu,and greater Luo Nyanza,Kisii and other epicentres of Raila’s Gangster politics begin showing us violent
signs of things that are likely to come as we gravitate towards the CORD referendum, you address not the youth, but Raila.
But let’s look at a bit of history that outlines this Cult of Gangster Polistics now renamed GOONS or MEN IN BLACK to give it a clearer perspective.
Former Minister for Foreign Affairs, Raphael Tuju, was stoned by rowdy youth in Kisumu during his presidential campaigns.
The youth were angry that Tuju had taken his 2012 presidential campaign to Kisumu.
Luo Nyanza is considered Raila’s political holy ground.
Tuju’s campaign there, therefore, was considered desecration of Raila’s holy of the holies.
Writing a opinion piece elsewhere,Late Jerry Okungu , said Tuju should stop campaigning in Kisumu.
That the people of Kisumu had already rejected him.
Moreover, Okungu thought Tuju’s venture in
Kisumu is tantamount to “making Raila his
manifesto and punching bag”.
He went on to say Tuju “is better off focusing on other regions and forget(ing) Kisumu because the residents of Kisumu are hostile to him.”
But is this true?
Prof Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o accused Tuju of “stage managing” the violence against himself.
I’m sure the ODM coterie will make similar allegations about President Kenyatta on #MigoriChaos tomorrow-watch this space!
I am sad that I should have to address my ODM friends through this forum.
However, they have obliquely gone into public space with an important public matter.
We must therefore address the truth of this
public matter in public space and continue to be good friends in private, in spite of our diametrically opposed views on this public matter.
The problem with Kisumu,#MigoriChaos begins and ends with an intellectual community that is afraid of facing the facts.
So what is the truth?
That Luo Nyanza is caught up in the trap of a personality cult and hero worship.
That people like Nyong’o and Lands
minister James Orengo have previously paid the price of not toeing the cultic line.
That they have since learnt the lesson and joined the GOONS.
That they are now cultural high priests in the Raila Cult.
People like Tuju and Governor Obadi are the disturbing conscience of communities whose intellectuals worship in empty ethnic shrines.
Such people disturb the conscience of the pandering scholar.
Every member of a community such as this
is supposed to worship at this shrine.
And it is not limited to the Luo.
It is the same among all the so-called six big tribes of Kenya.
Independent minded leaders and are branded traitors(remember ABABU became a Jubilee mole after going for ODM’s Secretary General in the last aborted party elections).
They are demonised.
The community would rather have a person from anther tribe, trying to sell a different political agenda here, but not a member of the. Cult-tribes in CORDED ZONES.
But hero worship in Luo Nyanza is in its own class.
It has a long, solid, and even mythical historical foundation.
You can trace it back to the great Luo patriarchs who led diverse groups of the people in migrations from Bar El Ghazel into the Inter
Lacustrine region of East Africa.
The Joka Omolo, Joka Owiny, Joka Okech, Joka Ojok, Jo Padhola; they all followed near cultic leaders all the way to Emanyulia, where they now call themselves Abamanyulia.
You would have expected that Jaramogi Oginga Odinga would be the last of this stock of near cultic leaders.
But it was not to be.
For, old habits die hard.
When Jaramogi passed on in 1994, there was
feverish activity to succeed him.
I take note that Jerry wass quick to state that Tuju’s campaigns in Kisumu “have always ended in chaos and even death of innocent people”.
He conveniently forgot the violence of 1994 – 1997 in the streets of Kisumu.
He forgot the bloodshed and death in
these streets in the Jaramogi Succession.
Youth, who were ostensibly allied to Raila Odinga (then the leader of the National Development Party) and Mayor Lawrence Oile of Kanu, claimed many lives in Kisumu.
The irony of it all is that Oile was an elected mayor.
He was not a “reject among the residents of Kisumu, so why the bloodbath in those days?
Recall also that Raila was the elected MP for Langata at that time.
Yet youth in Kisumu were ostensibly fighting for him.
Who stage managed that violence?
The truth is that Raila needs to unequivocally
distance himself from portraits of violence.
This is not to say that the former premier is the author of the violence.
But when narratives and associations of violence abound around a leader, his image begins taking on solid contours of this character.
Historians David Throup and Charles Hornsby
remind us in the title, Multiparty Politics in Kenya, of political violence in 1992.
They write for example,”In Nairobi, where (Jaramogi) Odinga and Matiba
factions (of the original Ford) had considerable support, there were outbreaks of violence, especially in Lang’ata constituency, where Raila Odinga hoped to be selected as Ford’s parliamentary candidate against intense opposition from Kimani Rugendo.
There were several serious clashes in Kibera, the constituency’s largest shanty town.
One of the clashes left an Odinga supporter dead, and during the Ford primaries, a supporter of Rugendo was stabbed to death when he tried to run off with some ballot papers.
Then there are perceptions about the violent Ford- Kenya elections that Raila lost in Thika, on March 19, 1994.
There are other examples.
But the point is that a man who DESPARETELY wants to become Kenya’s president would do well to distance himself from images of violence and territorialism.
Kisumu,#MigoriChaos is not anybody’s holy ground.
Kisumu,#MigoriChaos people had a right to reject Tuju,Uhuru Kenyatta,Governor Obadi or Dalmas Otieno without resulting to violence.
There exist decent and democratic ways of doing this.
Local intellectuals who wish Raila well do him more harm than good when they live in pathological fear of the tribal overlord.
It is a tragedy of no mean proportions when people who fought against Kanu’s zoning off of the country in the 1990s zone off Kisumu,#MigoriChaos against a sitting President.
Such Kanu-like things can only generate fear of a possible Raila presidency and his GANGSTER politics.
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