Is Uhuru the panacea for Kikuyus as Moi suggests?

Last week Moses Kuria wrote a piece titled ‘Who Will Replace Michuki, Karume.’ He spoke of how intriguing it is to listen to some of the narratives coming from Central Kenya; a region that I also agree is in a state of a shock following the death of these two wazees. Moses took the position that the region feels rudderless and confused. He concluded with the view that the most fitting tribute that Central Kenya can pay to Michuki and Karume is to focus seriously on developing a new progressive, intellectually competent and broad minded leadership.

Moses Kuria and I very rarely agree on anything that relates to the political direction of the Kikuyu community; however on this one I completely agree with his sentiments. The deaths of Michuki and Karume have exposed the (very soft) underbelly of the Central Kenya political leadership. Our strength as a political region is based on a leadership capacity that is threatened by natural attrition; with no effective transition processes for the next generation.

During Hon Karume’s funeral the retired President Moi got caught up in this discussion and, I’m sure based on best intentions, offered his advice on what the Kikuyu community and Central Kenya region should do. He advised the region to unite under Uhuru Kenyatta. The former president most probably took his cue from the late Michuki, whose funeral he had attended a few days earlier and who had publicly stated, on more than one occasion, his personal preference that Uhuru should take over as Kikuyu leader after Kibaki.

As for Moi’s advice. As a retired Head of State Moi understands clearly what an international judicial process means. He has also been quoted advising Kenyans to take matters pertaining to the ICC seriously, because they are bound to have a tremendous effect on the careers of anyone adversely affected by it. It is therefore ironical that despite all this he would advise Kikuyus to unite behind an individual who has been indicted by the same court for the greatest crimes in the world, especially when the court has ruled that there is substantial evidence to commit Uhuru Kenyatta to a full trial.

However let us even look outside the ICC indictments; Is Uhuru Kenyatta the leadership the Kikuyu community deserves, at a time such as this? Are his politics good for where the Kenya of this generation, needs to go?

I agree with those who speak about Uhuru Kenyatta’s leadership capacity. In my opinion Uhuru is one of a very small handful of politicians in Kenya today with the capacity, pedigree and platform to take Kenya forward to the next economic and socio-political level. As the son of Kenya’s founding President and one of Kenya’s wealthiest individuals, he even has a name identified with the formation of the Kenyan nation-state. Uhuru is a national brand that is recognized all over, locally and internationally. He can literally walk into any kiosk in any part of Kenya, and be recognized.

Uhuru Kenyatta’s social and educational background, as well as economic activities and formative political life, are also defined outside his Kikuyu identity. He is a wealthy businessman with investments in every part of Kenya, (one of the companies he is associated with even sponsors Gor Mahia!). This is a guy whose money can be defined as ‘international’ based on reports that he has investments in Europe and America.

Uhuru’s political debut in national politics was his outstanding performance as presidential contender against Kibaki, at the relatively young age of 42, in 2002. This is also when he made the impressive statement conceding defeat for the sake of unity in Kenya. In his entire campaign towards that 2002 general election he sold himself as a Kenyan leader, and in return he received support across the entire country to become number 2.

Uhuru Kenyatta is the epitome of what being ‘Kenyan’ is or should be, in this generation. He belongs to our generation; a generation that has not lived under the tribal identities; that has gone to school, done business, socialized and disagreed, within and across ethnic identities. He is a real part of the ‘i’ generation; (iPhone; iPad; etc).

Unfortunately, despite the opportunity he has had to comfortably build a successful political career as a Kenyan; Uhuru has decided to practice the politics of the older generation. Whereas he could easily use his immense capacity and brand as a young Kenyan (despite being 52) to unite Kenyans and rally them to national causes, he has chosen to use these resources to support a socio-political strategy that if successful, would ultimately divide the entire country into ethnic bastions.

This is why I believe Uhuru is not the leader I am looking for, whether as a Mugikuyu, or as a Kenyan; not unless he changes his entire political brand. Kenya really cannot afford another generation of divisive tribal politics. ‘Hiyo ni siasa mzee’ & we need Siasa Mpya.

10 Replies to “Is Uhuru the panacea for Kikuyus as Moi suggests?”

  1. Interestingly. Unfortunately, one could say exactly the same, blow by blow, point by point, of Raila, Ruto, Mudavadi and Kalonzo. But dream as I might, I can’t see how Kenya will get anyone outside this group.

  2. I look at Uhuru Kenyatta with due respect,It is best for him to face the reality of the ICC
    and bow down gracefully,his participation will lead to destruction of Kenya,and this time around
    in a full circle. Ruto too need’s to see the same.

  3. Whereas I feel insulted wasting time reading such a hollow an cheap write up I wonder why it bothers you about Uhurus credentials yet you have your candidate in Raila Odinga, is it that Raila is not a good read that you waste all your idle time on Uhuru, please direct your bitterness elsewhere as Kikuyus don’t subscribe to the heard mentality you an cronies are propagating,,You remind me of Kariuki Chotara an Ngumbu Njururi who spent all their time singing Nyayo..

  4. This is so true and unfortunate for the people because we are lacking leadership based on merit: 

    part of the reason why platform was formed lets ask our leaders what they have done do deserve leading this country to greater heights
    “Unfortunately, despite the opportunity he has had to comfortably build a successful political career as a Kenyan; Uhuru has decided to practice the politics of the older generation. Whereas he could easily use his immense capacity and brand as a young Kenyan (despite being 52) to unite Kenyans and rally them to national causes, he has chosen to use these resources to support a socio-political strategy that if successful, would ultimately divide the entire country into ethnic bastions. “

    1. While seem to be saying something, you are saying it halfway and in a twisted manner. Which politics of old order are you  refering to? Of course, as history has shown, when politics in this country take a turn thats not favorable to some opportunists, masqueranting as reformers, its supposedly a bad turn. But thats never the truth.  Uhuru has been going around the country with his G7 folks preaching unity but some one has not liked that. The reasons are obvious and very self-serving. Its funny master of deceit, who hardly has the interest of the country at heart, is the man to chart “our decent way” forward. I dont ever remember Uhuru asking for Somali refugees to be freely allowed in to the country. I dont even remember him calling others names. I also dont remember him calling a certain community vile weeds that should be uprooted. I further dont remember him criminalizing nonexistent nonreformers! I have never heard him abuse churchmen and calling those who said they were Kenyans as well watermelons. So whats this older generation politics you are talking about? 

      1. Thank you for your response 

        If you notice the politics of the old was in reference to the article which I simply quoted. However my opinion stems from the fact that these leaders should let us know why they are a good fit for the country based on merit. Also the brand of the G7 seems to be very self serving and as is common with “ALL” our leaders they fail to show us the benefit of Kenyans having them as leaders. I would really like to know the good they do for the people with all institutions seemingly on the verge of collapse.
        Your welcome to join the debate on the site Pratt.

        1. Am very happy with your cool response. Be blessed pal. However, G7 in terms of uniting the country has been doing a wonderful job. But of course, you can easily detect desperation in their ranks. They have created a situation that can hardly serve their interests. Mistake number is that they seem to forget that both brother Ruto and Uhuru are charged with capital offences. But somehow want us to believe thats nothing. I criticized Justice minister Mutula Kilonzo just because of his want of timing, but certainly not on correctness of his assertions. My take is that while G7 brings the country together, serious consideration needs to be put in motion for our two brothers. The very idea of openly showing disrespect to ICC is detrimental to their cases, thats mistake number 2. Showing open contempt for ICC, albeit threatening to take over power and scuttle cases, is like trying to push water uphill. Thats mistake number 3. Mistake number 4 is ridiculing powerful and influential member of international community. Thats why I have avoided commenting on Willam Hague’s purported attempt to block Ruto and Uhuru from presidential race. Hon Ruto and Hon. Uhuru need to move very very carefully. After all, international community cant do business with them if they were to be convicted and elected presidents. Their reaction to Hague’s pronouncements was supposed to be very very guarded because he was not even that explicit. To attack him was certainly going too far for no apparent reason. Finally, in African setup, its really very difficult to ascertain the potential of a leader before he takes over the presidency. But of course, characters who have had 1/2 loaves and failed to do anything cant be in that catagory!  

          1. Thank you for engaging Pratt. I would like to agree with most of the things you have said but I would like to say I do not trust the G7 to have noble intentions. Hon Ruto was vocal in his calls for a hague trial and ensured it was so. Now they have ganged up as huge tribal kings and they are dividing the country in similar fashion to pre 2007. They have gone on a nation wide smear campaign even fabricating a letter from the British government and the outcome is beginning to divide Kenyans and no good will come of this. The crime they are being charged with are serious and if we the people do not realise that many of these leaders do not stand for much we shall be swallowed into anarchy again. 

            You have mentioned that it is difficult to ascertain the potential of a leader before he takes on the presidency and I agree fully, however leaders have been leaders before they rise to presidency and there deeds and actions must be used to hold them accountable and also help predict the sort of president one would be. It is important we have leaders who are held accountable by the people.

            If you look at my name it is an active hyperlink to a platform that hopes to promote engagement of the citizenry by the people and hold our leaders accountable. Kindly have a look and even try it and if you can contact us with your feedback it would be highly appreciated. We are looking for ways to have peoples opinions to be used in holding our leaders to the task and mantles to which they assume.

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