Raila explains his ngamia parable

October 21, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 21 – We have noted with concern attempts by the media to interpret the parable the Prime Minister spoke in during the first Mashujaa Day yesterday (Wednesday).

Of particular concern to us is the interpretation that the Prime Minister may have been talking about former Higher education Minister, William Ruto.

The Prime Minister’s message to Kenyans in the parable is that they must protect and jealously defend the gains they have made. It was an appeal to Kenyans to guard against intrusions that that could subvert the gains they have made through a lot of pain.

The Prime Minister used the camel to refer to people, events or circumstances that could look harmless initially but end up being very costly and eroding the gains Kenyans have made.

The parable was consistent with the narrative he gave at the function of how the colonization of Kenya began with what looked like a simple and harmless coming of missionaries, whom Kenyans welcomed. The welcoming of the missionaries paved way for business corporations and organizations like the Imperial British East Africa, the coming of white settlers in droves, and, eventually, a political takeover of the country.

The PM also used the parable to pass the message that this pattern, of apparently harmless developments that end up being very costly for citizens, was also witnessed after independence. It began with alterations to the constitution in the name of solidifying national unity.

The PM meant to pass the message that at the time Kenyans welcomed missionaries, they never knew it would take years of bitter fighting and shedding blood to get the white man out of Kenya.

As settlers embarked on a vicious war against Mau Mau and other Kenyan freedom fighters, not even the missionaries were ready to side with Kenyans who had welcomed them with open arms, hence the PM\’s references to "asante ya punda."Equally, when Kenyans welcomed amendments to the constitution so soon after independence to cement national unity, they never expected that it would take them more than two decades of struggle and more bloodshed to subdue the single party dictatorship.

The Prime Minister’s message was therefore simply for Kenyans to be watchful to ensure what has happened twice, does not happen a third time.

The PM can never use a national public day to talk about individuals or party issues.

We ask those who had a different interpretation to make this correction.


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