Politics should be purely about interests, and the Kikuyu community has perfected that. Kikuyus elect you because you are their own, but woe unto you if you are not.
In 2002, they saw their interests in Kibaki, and voted him overwhelmingly. To them, Uhuru Kenyatta was more of a Kalenjin candidate. He still remains ‘politically’ a Kalenjin after being fathered politically by Daniel Arap Moi and a Kalenjin having to step down in his favour, after being rejected by his own.
When Kibaki was almost completing his term, his support faded in the mountain, because he was the past, not the future. Uhuru, then a political greenhorn ascended, because he needed a shield against ICC and the mountain had not seen a better alternative.
He joined hands with the unlikeliest of all, the man accused of turning the sword against his people, but the Kikuyus had seen further, that their interests would be sheltered under this arrangement. But they demanded performance, and in 2017, he had a hard time explaining why he had not met the standards.
Nevertheless, they gave him a new term, and because of the goodies sent their way, they began embracing the man they saw often; the DP William Ruto. He was available in the harambees and what not. When it came to choosing a side, they chose the DP who they have been seeing, not their son in Nairobi.
Luos, Kambas and many other tribes must learn from this. The unreserved support for Raila and Kalonzo must be reconsidered in favour of interests. Let’s not forget that the best road network in Luo Nyanza is found in Rarieda, done through Raphael Tuju, together with the mobile clinics they rejected.
The same applies to the Kamba community. They tend to put Kalonzo Musyoka to development and other interests.
Kikuyus will not look at party A or B, and for the first time the old accusation that “kikuyus can’t support a candidate from another tribe” is starting to sound cliché because DP Ruto’s candidature is slowly being embraced in Central Kenya.
The ‘mtu wetu’ tag should be dropped as soon as it doesn’t seem to be bearing any fruit. For instance, what good has Kalonzo Musyoka & Musalia Mudavadi brought to their people? Till recently Raila Odinga fell in the same category, but the handshake regime has changed that, assuming he has taken part in the championing of the projects in some parts in Nyanza.
However, how is Cyprian Awiti (the man who launched a water bowser disguised as a borehole/water well) elected save for the ‘tosha magic’ from Baba? Many other Luo land leaders equally fall in this useless category; their only claim to their positions is that they are faithful tithers to Orange House. How are very intelligent and useful fellows (using Tuju as a case study) rejected, their only unpardonable sin being opposing Baba? But who can oppose Baba anyway?
The dwellers of the mountain have shown that it is possible to elect people and keep them in check, and throw them out based purely on whether they benefit the people or not, and that membership to this or other party should not disqualify a good servant. The Kiambaa Constituency by-election result is a good example.
Whether or not you agree with this piece, and notwithstanding the level of clarity, the electorate must change, and only then will the politicians not take advantage of the ignorance. Until another tribe replicates this, all hail the mountain!
Luhyas, Kambas, and Luos must wake up. Our politics will not change overnight, but we must consciously take small steps towards changing it, and we will begin electing leaders based on performance and nothing else.