|Home | Contact us | Links | Archives | Search|
Irony of Kalonzo-Kibaki relation
by EMEKA-MAYAKA GEKARA
Nairobi, Kenya, 11 January 2008 - The son of Tseikuru plunged into the presidential race with what many people saw as a misplaced sense of optimism and self-importance.
Commentators depicted Mr Kalonzo Musyoka as a man going against the grain, who would attract support from only his Ukambani base.
But the Mwingi North MP-elect dismissed his key opponents – President Kibaki of PNU and ODM’s Mr Raila Odinga – as dishonest and declared that he was the only “aspirant who can offer servant leadership”.
Former Law Society of Kenya chairman Ahmednasir Abdulahi, said Mr Musyoka’s candidacy “is not driven by any belief or principle.”
“It is the most naked attempt to catapult an average candidate to the political elite of the presidential candidacy based on nothing other than the token numbers of his ethnic group,” he wrote in a newspaper article.
Indeed, figures from last month’s elections show that Mr Musyoka largely drew his support from his Ukambani turf, and his party — ODM Kenya — secured less than five seats outside the region.
This vindicated many opinion polls, most of which he consistently dismissed, and other analysts. Mr Musyoka owes pollster Steadman Group an apology.
Now the ODM-K leader has wormed his way to the vice-presidency, raising queries on if he believed in what he told Kenyans when he sought their support for the presidency.
Ironically, he has accepted to be deputy to a man he accused of all manner of vices during the campaigns.
He asked Kenyans to reject President Kibaki, saying that he (Kibaki) could not be trusted, and accused him of failing to honour a memorandum of understanding he had signed with Narc colleagues.
Speaking at the launch of his presidential bid manifesto, Mr Musyoka said the President was not a man of his words. “President Kibaki promised to serve only one term and requested that we should not put it down because he was a man of his word.” And he asked President Kibaki “to hand over power to a younger generation and join Moi in retirement”.
The same man has sworn to be a loyal VP in President Kibaki’s controversial second term.
His corruption accusations against the President were more potent. When he declared his wealth, Mr Musyoka claimed that the President was not committed to the fight against graft.
And he scoffed at the Head of State’s statement that he would appoint to the Cabinet only corrupt-free people. “I don’t think there is any seriousness in him saying so because it is the same thing we were promised in 2002. We ended up with Anglo-Leasing, among other scandals,” he said.
Mr Musyoka asked the President and Mr Odinga to also declare their wealth, arguing that leaders who did not open up to public scrutiny could not be entrusted with high office.
Addressing a rally in Kajiado District last year, he claimed that people in the Kibaki campaign were involved in either Goldenberg or Anglo-Leasing.
In his campaigns, Mr Musyoka alleged that some leaders in PNU and ODM could not pass the integrity test, arguing that they had benefited from graft.
Kenyans must be keen to know why his party is now entering into a coalition with people he took every opportunity to discredit, and the good Christian should say if it is honourable to dine with them.
More importantly, as the servant leader and lawyer, Kenyans would be glad if he tabled evidence of the accusations before a court of law in a patriotic effort to help them salvage their stolen taxes. Who knows, the VP could be a blessing in a disguise.
After all, he once said the economy had been plundered by the Moi and Kibaki regimes, and that was why Kenyans wanted change and he knew where it would not come from.
At a rally in Nairobi last year, he told the nation that “Kibaki does not represent change since he is following in the Moi footsteps owing to his slogan of Kazi Iendelee.”
“Some of our competitors are too conservative to bring about change, while others are too radical to manage meaningful change,” he told another rally.
Mr Musyoka described Mr Odinga and President Kibaki as gamblers who, he noted, did not have anything to offer Kenyans. And now he has teamed up with a “gambler”.
Fight against graft
The VP should tell Kenyans how comfortable he is deputising a politician whose credentials on the fight against corruption he doubts.
But none of his pre-election pronouncements was more prophetic than his warning that “this country can suffer under a stolen election.”
After attending a church service on December 3, the ODM-K leader said Kenyans would not accept a rigged poll. “It can be terrible as the world is watching Kenyans to set an example,“ he noted.
Nobody would have understood the consequences of a political crisis more than the man who mediated peace in Somalia, if at all.
This is why Mr Musyoka’s haste in assuming the vice-presidency after a disputed poll that has led to the death of more than 500 people and the destruction of property, puts his integrity on the line.
He is seen as the beneficiary of a tainted electoral process.
Of course, he did not appoint himself VP. But Kenyans can tell that he warmed up to the hand of a president clutching at a straw.
Whether his decision to take up the No. 2 post is a matter of principle, a calling or political opportunism only time can tell.
But as he told ODM-K parliamentary aspirants in Nairobi just before the elections, in politics you get what you grab in a positive sense and not what you want.
Source: Daily Nation