Uhuru’s gaffes irremediably hurting his career

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NGUNJIRI WAMBUGU

When you are a public figure you are prone to public gaffes every now and again; it comes with the territory and is a result of the stress of being consistently under public glare.

We all remember the cost of former Labour Minister Peter Okondo’s statement warning the late Bishop Alexander Muge not to set foot in Busia.

I am also sure the former government spokesman Alfred Mutua still cringes whenever he watches the world’s most powerful man on television, after he once referred to him as ‘just a junior senator from Illinois’. This came to mind when I watched Uhuru Kenyatta tie himself up in knots as he tried to explain what happened between him and Musalia Mudavadi.

Uhuru is a man prone to few gaffes, but when he does make them they are the kind that make everyone wonder whether he understands the ramifications of his words to the rest of the country.

First let us look at his reasons for working with William Ruto. A few months ago I shared my experience in an interview on Kameme FM, a Kikuyu language radio station. I had been invited to speak on issues related to Kenya and the International Criminal Court and in the midst of the interview Hon Kenyatta called in and asked me a series of questions around some of the positions I have taken that are at variance with his.

A key issue was why I do not believe that his political ‘friendship’ with Ruto is really about mitigating against a recurrence of violence between members of his Kikuyu community, and Ruto’s Kalenjin community.

Uhuru has spent a lot of time selling his alliance with Ruto to our Kikuyu community. He argues that peace and inter-ethnic harmony between Kikuyus and Kalenjins in the Rift Valley is only possible when he and Ruto work together.

What he does not understand is that this statement is very dangerous when associated with two individuals who are suspected by the ICC of being responsible for the post-election violence in 2008. By directly investing in the perception that one has the capacity to stop a re-occurrence of such violence you also suggest that you have the capacity to have caused the last one.

In addition, for a man who used the ICC platform to passionately make the argument that the post election violence was the political responsibility of one Raila Odinga, Uhuru contradicts himself when he then argues that peace will only come through a political alliance with Ruto. Such statements also place an unreasonable burden on the two suspects because the message one is sending to Kenyans is that should something happen and their alliance collapses for whatever reason, Kenyans should hold them responsible for any violence between the two communities.

However the above gaffes pale into comparison when compared with the ones Uhuru made last week. The most obvious one is his reference to ‘shetani’ as the reason why he signed an agreement that he would step down from his political ambition to be Kenya’s next president and support Mudavadi.

This reference has portrayed Uhuru as a person who will use any excuse to break a political agreement. It has also irreversibly damaged him with members of the Luhya community who now believe he was referring to Mudavadi and his community as demons, and made the Kalenjins wary that he might use the same excuse to break his word to Ruto.

The other dangerous gaffe he made was when he then explained how this ‘shetani’ used the noble argument of what would happen to Kenya should he win, to convince him to step down. They informed him of how donor aid to Kenya would be cut off, and business between Kenya and the international community adversely affected especially at macro level. He then admitted that he agreed with them, and that on this basis (saving Kenyans from such adverse effects) he would support Mudavadi!

The third gaffe is when he then contrasted the sober voices who he refers to as ‘shetanis’ and what some have referred to as political rabble around him. These politicians told him that his word does not stand for anything unless they say so; they do not care whatever happens to Kenya under his presidency; and they have invested too much in TNA to watch him destroy their political futures ‘just like that’.

Uhuru then says that because of these reasons from the politicians, and despite having accepted the challenges of his presidency as articulated by the ‘shetani’, he has rescinded his decision to support Mudavadi and will now run. I wish him all the best, though I fear he has done irreversible damage to his political career this week.

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  • true that…… indeed

  • Kwessi Pratt

    A child dropped and picked up from school has very limited wisdom and moreso, when brought up in state house. I guess, thats why Uhuru Kenyatta has been incriminating himself over and over! Even when international diplomats answered highly pointed questions, he would still see it necessary to “warn” foreigners to keep off Kenyan affairs! Obviously, when you are an ICC suspect with even a confirmed case to boot, thats clearly not the language you resort to. There are too many instances which suggest that Uhuru and his running mate are guilty as charged. Infact, their body language singlary betrays them! There is certainly an aspect of desperation marked by shocking bitterness on their part. That alone disqualifies them from running for presidency. Infact, it raises questions about their real intentions. Their cases are too grave that require totally different approach. However, its quite clear the fellows have been on warpath ever since they were named as suspects. They have displayed conmen traits that border on “come what may!” That in law is called self-incrimination! Innocent people act innocently pals. They dont stir up everything that comes their way!!!!

    The ICC cases Uhuru and Ruto are facing are too weighty to be exposed to the kind of contemptuous attitude they have been showing. And winning election on basis of tribal numbers will only cost Kenyans more. The uncertainty and darkness that would evelope the country once they win will unleash numerous chain reactions that would swiftly sweep them aside. First, suit to throw them out of power, given that they dont meet integrity test, will be filed. Then impeachment motion would crop up in parliament. And in the midst of all this, ICC trial date would have checked in. Once they go to ICC for hearing of their cases, they WILL BE DETAINED FOR THREATENING STABILITY AND PEACE IN KENYA! Kenyans then will embark on extra expense of arranging for another presidential election. All these crippling circles would have been precipitated by thoughtless school boys imagining that a huge killer tsunami is no more than normal waves!!!!

    • Willy

      You can go jump into the lake.if you dnt support a certain candidate keep it to urself and u come out with your vote on March 4th. Numbers will speak then.

      • Kwessi Pratt

        @Willy: First, you havent addressed any of the issues I raised. You just bursted in to tribal anger that cant help us at all. I would have happily supported Uhuru if he was not stuck in his own selfish mix. However, I could not have done that merely on tribal lines. Or worse, by merely turning in to a thoughtless scavenger! There are many grey areas in his candidacy. And believe you me, with his limited capacity to discern things, he is certainly going to self-drown. Tribal numbers as I said earlier, are no cure to the roadblocks facing our village boy. Those numbers at some point, either on March 4,2013 or slightly there after, will turn in to a nightmare. Just be careful you dont end up committing suicide when those communal numbers dont amount to much! Have you ever tried to imagine what would happen if other communities literally rebel against that tribal hegemony? Somebody told us that late Mzee Jomo Kenyatta was leader of darkness. May be he saw beyond the grand old man!!!!

    • Njuguna Ndungu

      Luckily for them their biggest competition is the unelectable RAO.

      • Kwessi Pratt

        @Njuguna Ndungu: We were told exactly the same thing in run up 2007 elections. But guess what happened? We had to resort to faking numbers! Actually, thats how brother Kalonzo Musyoka became a VP. We had to borrow his numbers in the crudest way possible! By the way, what was that infamous “tallying” at KICC? Was it a clear switching of Kalonzo’s numbers to us? What was this matter of Kalonzo “giving” his votes to president Kibaki? Do I need to go further? I guess, you dont know what you are saying. Your tribal “insideness” surely cant allow you to see the big picture!!!!

        • Njuguna Ndungu

          Unlike you, I do not have a single ethnic-tribal bone in my body.

          Unlike you, I look at life from a balanced view, for instance, I acknowledge that Kibaki’s voters were padded in KICC, I also do not fail to notice that Raila’s votes were padded in the polling stations. Remember PNU agents being denied access to the polling stations?

          Unlike you, I acknowledge that Kreigler’s team could not conclusively decide who won the elections. Anyone claiming Kibaki or Raila without hard arithmetic facts is just spitting out empty rhetoric.

          • Kwessi Pratt

            @Njuguna Ndungu: Thats what you are saying pal, but whats the truth? The fact that you misdirected yourself on me says alot about you! After all, you dont know anything about me apart from my posts! And justice Kreigler was NEVER EVER an authority at all. He just relied on what was fed on me! Am sure you do know those who had a point to prove are the only ones who appeared before him. His report was thus NEVER EVER reflective of the REAL TRUTH! But there was this naked truth about ballot switching which changed the results. Am glad, though you are not very elaborative, you are agreeing with me on that one! The 6million dollar question is: if things were blatantly that clear, who really was supposed to run away with the trophy?

  • jane

    Being born in state house has nothing to do with our choosing Uhuru to be our next president. No body chooses where to be born and if we were to be given a choice, I’m sure most of us would choose State house. So, please give the guy a break. We love him and will vote for him regardless of the cases, the place of birth, the ethnicity, the ????? what was it again????? yeah that???? we really don’t care.

    • Kwessi Pratt

      @Jane: You are utterly missing the point Madam! When we refer to being born in state house, we mean the lack of wisdom displayed thus far. We mean perhaps, the very presence there never offered enough exposure! For instance, how would you explain one’s utterances to the effect that two communities are going to bring “peace” in the country? And is there absence of peace anyway? And these same communities are the same ones supposed to have fought for election results in 2007/8! Is someone thoughtlessly confirming those charges? If you are accused by ICC of pepetrating violence and you are talking like that, what are you really saying? Only hopelessly confused people self-incriminate themselves while shouting their purported innocence on rooftops!!!!

    • benQ

      Jane, i think in life. you take things so lightly without examining the past, reflecting on today and acting on the future. Do not blindly follow a Uhuru or a Raila because you were raised to believe in a particular community or ethnicity, you have to look at Ramifications and objectivity. You can’t carry a broken Jembe to a Shamba thinking that you will be able to do the amount of work you anticipate to do with it on that particular day. You have to leave the Jembe and carry a suitable one to facilitate the work to be done progressively on that day. Take time to carefully repair the Jembe before working with it, Once it is repaired and sharpened enough, then you will achive it’s full potential. Uhuru and Ruto are a lot that are tied to a heavy burden of the ICC. Right now, they cannot be suitable candidates for the presidency, as much as you don’t want to believe the sober voices around you, there comes a time that regrets come. Kibaki has done good so far, let us not destroy what he has strived to build. have you looked at questions like how will the country be governed?, how will mps stay objective to the people of Kenya?, Will there be a threat of an uprising against their leadership after the elections? Will the URP/TNA unity hold? Will the economy remain viable and sustainable? will there be sanctions impossed? Over the years, governments of the day have never been able to satisfy all of our needs let alone even satisfy half of what we want. What makes you sure that the indicted individuals will fair better that the previous? Those are the real issues you should consider and not Tribal agendas for vendetta.

  • the truth of the matter is WHENEVER KALENJINS AND KYUKS are in opposing camps – violence always breaks out (2007 was the 3rd time it happened). As exemplified by the 2002 elections, when the two work together – regardless of whether they win or lose – there is peace!

    • Kwessi Pratt

      @Ben Chege Ngumi: Why? And are we a war? I thought we are pretty peaceful! Whats this making peace brother Uhuru is talking about? He is talking like Ocampo, the former ICC prosecutor! Talk of someone unwittingly confirming charges….!!!!

  • chizi

    wengine wamelipwa kupigia cord campaign……uhuru pamoja ata mpost nini!

    • @Chizi: I dont remember any other party being said to have paid someone mind boggling 7billion to someone to accept number 2 slot! My investigations reveal that the guys shouting most in jubilee alliance are bought items that cant be of any help to the country at all. They are like dogs barking to impress the master. And they will only serve that master! Kenya cant surely benefit from that one sided master/servant relationship! Am sure Kenyans wont agree to be conned by characters using ill-gotten wealth to overlord them! Leadership CANT be bought and those attempting to do so will end up very disappointed indeed!

      Actually, we need to think carefully before we surrender to hopeless con merchants. Brothers Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto are certainly intent on using Kenyans to attempt guard their selfish interests. Their venture is a clear case of trying to use Kenyans as human shield. Otherwise, what else would push them to pair for elections when they are faced with cases of such magnitude? Of course, they imagine that once they are elected they would enjoy international immunity. What they fail to understand is that since those cases surfaced while they were not enjoying such immunity, it wont be forth coming at all! Infact, when ICC prosecutor and judges said that the cases had nothing to do with “coming elections in Kenya,” they were alluding to that clear-cut position. Thats why it never mattered to ICC whether the pair ran for elections or not, – for it changed nothing anyway! However, that coated diplomatic language seems to have sent wrong signal to our folks! Infact, when ICC said they were free to run for election as long as they adhered to its conditions, our comically crazy lot took that as a seal of approval! Its utterly further from reality and truth!!!!

  • Natty Dread

    Ngunjiri Wamnbugu put all his money on a crippled mule and lost. I wonder how he feels about the Uhuru/Ruto alliance today.

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