By KAPLICH BARSITO
Makau Mutua is a professor of law and a distinguished scholar. He is also clearly a man with an enormous political chip on his shoulder particularly when it comes to the person of Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka.
Mutua does not have to like Kalonzo but that is no excuse to use the privilege of a national newspaper column to pillory a servant leader with no good reason other than his general dislike. Anyone who has read Mutua’s letters over the past six months or so, knows the man has more than a passing sycophancy for Raila Odinga and unbridled drive to belittle real or imagined rivals of his beloved alter-ego.
In his almost melodramatic deference for Raila Odinga, Mutua is no different from Mulu Mutisya, Kariuki Chotara or Peter Oloo Aringo , he of the ‘ Moi is Prince of Peace’ infamy. The only difference is Makau Mutua hides behind high-sounding words and a claim to a high intellectual pedestal.
Last Sunday newspaper’s ‘Open Letter to the Kamba Nation’ Mutua is out of touch, out of date and out of order throughout the entire article. In the piece Mutua warns the Kamba that Musyoka will lead them astray and then incredulously attempts to cast the Vice President in the same light as colonial invaders.
There is no senior politician in this country without a past link to Kanu and/or Moi including the President and the Prime Minister. The whole of Kenya was not greatly improved during Moi’s reign not just Ukambani and to single out the Vice President for criticism is out of order.
The heart of Mutua’s drivel is the fact that Higher Education Minister and leader of the ‘No’ Camp William Ruto has publicly stated that Kalonzo Musyoka – the most senior politician from Ukambani- is a ‘No’ man. Mutua claims that Kalonzo has never contradicted Ruto but that is a preposterous claim. The Vice President refuted Ruto’s claim the first and only time it was made and each and every time he attends Yes rallies to campaign for the draft is further and stronger rebuttal of Ruto’s frivolous claim.
Mutua tries to establish with little subtlety that Ruto owns Kalonzo and Kalonzo is a man who cannot speak for himself yet it is quite clear that Kalonzo is not property in any shape or form and the problem is not really with Kalonzo’s mouth but rather Mutua’s ears and hearing. Kalonzo has spoken severally and still continues to do so loudly and clearly in support of the draft. This what I mean when I say Mutua is out of sight and touch- he has no genuine pulse of what happens locally from New York.
The Vice President has made his stand on the draft very clear – he wants a Constitution that enjoys the widest support possible across the nation for the preservation of national unity. This Constitution is about how Kenyans want to be governed not who will govern them – this is the distinction the Veep does not want to disappear in the referendum debate.
Mutua further argues that if Kalonzo really supported the draft there would be no ODM-Ks in the No camp. The ODM-K MPs in the No camp do not need Kalonzo’s blessing to be there. That is their own decision based on their own conviction. You would think a distinguished scholar and professor of law would understand that a political party is not a dictatorship. Members have the freedom to make their own choices. Why does Mutua not criticize Raila Odinga yet there are more ODM MPs in the No camp than there are ODM-K MPs?
True, Kalonzo Musyoka does have intentions to be President. But how is that a crime when there are numerous other men and women with the same ambition? At which sitting did Kalonzo tell Mutua that all he cares about is ‘his battle with Raila to succeed Kibaki?’ This battle with Raila obsession is something that lives in the imagination of those who are still stuck in the 2007 mode politically and if Mutua was to move on from that time he would realise that Raila and Kalonzo are two men with vastly different futures and no amount of Kalonzo bashing will help change Raila’s march into retirement alongside his co principal.
In the past two weeks Kalonzo Musyoka has made enormous steps towards raising support for the draft in Ukambani. He has held joint rallies with Charity Ngilu, held multiple meetings with teachers, elders and other groups to rally support for the draft. Clearly no news of these made its way to New York. It is most impressive how far Mutua’s condescending drivel has to travel – Mutua is clearly out of touch.
If he had written his piece a fortnight or more earlier he would have a straw to latch onto but not now and definitely not in the future. Kalonzo is going to vote Yes and he is doing all he can to ensure Eastern province supports the draft as well.
When Mutua gets back in touch with local happenings then and only then can he purport to write such articles.
(The writer is a personal assistant to Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka)