Thursday, 4 October 2012

Raila strategist answers Uhuru loyalist

Ngunjiri Wambugu:Protests to Moses Kuria
My attention has been drawn to an article written in Wednesday's (3rd October) Star newspaper by Moses Kuria, TNA’s & Uhuru Kenyatta’s Director for Political Affairs. 

In his piece Kuria argues that ‘Raila’s Two-Horse Mantra is a Trap’. He then goes into the details of why he thinks such a depiction ethnicizes the TNA / ODM divide, and suggests that when the Prime Minister brings TNA up to the same political level as ODM he is essentially calling for is a contest between the Odinga & Kenyatta dynasties on a tribal basis. How des he think that? He then says that this should not be allowed because it could lead to a repeat of the ’41 versus 1’ chorus of 2007 that led to the post election violence that has engulfed his party boss in a case at the ICC; again I cannot see the relation.

But more specifically I cannot understand why Kuria would be worried about 2013 being a contest between the Odinga and Kenyatta dynasties. Kenyans recognize that we have Odinga and Kenyatta political dynasties in Kenya, and that Raila and Uhuru represent the two faces of these dynasties. It is also clear the two represent different ideologies. What I think Kuria is saying is that he does not want Kenyans to participate in a contest between the Odinga and Kenyatta political ideologies. Why is that? Is Kuria worried that when Kenyans have to judge between two such individuals, their fathers, and the politics they practice, Uhuru will lose? I do not know.

Kuria then proceeds to chide the Prime Minister for disrespecting other presidential candidates by limiting the contest to the top two contenders. Ignoring the polls that show TNA and ODM at the top of the contest, he goes ahead and reels off names of the candidates he believes the Prime Minister is belittling without acknowledging that TNA has just literally forced President Kibaki’s own party to wind up! Moses also subtly refuses to acknowledge that TNA has been intimidating these same presidential candidates to step down in their favor!

But what I want to challenge directly is Moses Kuria’s very ingenious attempts to cloud what makes TNA the direct opposite of ODM. He starts by ironically refusing to accept that TNA is one of Kenya’s top two contenders, and the reason for this is the predicament this scenario has put TNA in. I can explain his predicament because fortunately, if Kenya’s politics was to be simplified into a football ‘kitendawili’ & all things remained constant, March 4th 2013 will be the finals of a premier league match between the Orange and Red team. Moses & I wear the same number in the respective teams, with me in Orange. I therefore know exactly what he is trying to do.

Moses Kuria & TNA are disturbed by this analogy because one of the two 'horses' has clearly defined what it stands for. ODM, or Team-Orange, has consistently stated they are the political left, pro-reform team of Kenya’s politics; the team that has been at the front lines in the fight for political reform, and that is committed to full implementation of the constitution. This puts TNA in the unenviable position of trying to explain that when the Prime Minister says that the general election is a two-horse race, and then elevates TNA to the same level as ODM but on the opposite side; he is not actually saying that the other horse is the status quo, anti-reform, reactionary wing of Kenya’s politics. TNA does not want this discussion, lest they be found to be that horse, then the difference between ODM & TNA would become as clear as day, from night.

The bad news for Moses Kuria and TNA is that they must accept that in the forthcoming election; TNA is to ODM, what Mitt Romney's American Republican Party is to Barack Obama's Democratic Party. In fact when Ferdinard Waititu, TNA's leading aspirant for the Nairobi Governor seat made disparaging remarks about the Maasai recently, I remembered Romney, the Republican Party's Presidential Aspirant, saying how he does not really care about the 47% Americans who are poor. Am sure am not the only Kenyan who can imagine a scenario where someone else in TNA makes such statements  

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