NAROBI, Kenya, Feb 12 – He may not have been in the original list of candidates to take part in the presidential debate but his contribution will be remembered for infusing wit for millions who tuned in.
The man whom little was known of until he presented his nomination papers to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), Mohammed Abduba Dida threw in some humour in virtually every input.
On the question of improving healthcare, Dida said that his government would adopt a policy on preventive medicine with practical application “such as encouraging people to eat only when they feel hungry.”
“If you want to be healthy eat when you are hungry; I do not know who brought these eating schedules with lunch and dinner. When you are hungry you do not fill up your belly with food; you need a third of food, a third of water then the other third is breathing space,” he said in the midst of grand plans highlighted by other candidates.
On insecurity in areas like Tana River, Dida said that the problem will be there for a long time since “leaders there are devil worshippers.” Asked what his government would do about the security situation, he maintained that the solution lay in the implementation of the constitution.
Dida who is running on the Alliance for Real Change (ARK) ticket told the nation that he came into the race for the presidency after he realised that the country lacked what his students also lacked in his days as a teacher.
He said: “I just expanded my class and just want to teach the 40 million Kenyans that they cannot survive on hide and seek games, cry when people cry and laugh when people laugh.”
While quoting the late Martin Shikuku, Dida also drove the audience to laughter by claiming that rampant corruption had no trickle-down effect under the current government.
He said: “Shikuku used to say said that during the Kanu regime what was eaten up used to trickle down. Under this government, they eat more than Kanu and nothing trickles down.”
Fearless and direct in his comment, Dida took on almost every other candidate on their previous pronouncements including some made during the live debate.
On Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s claims that he was a social democrat, Dida took a swipe saying that he was not true to the principles of social democracy as many of the people he associated with in the ‘Pentagon’ had left his team.
On Uhuru Kenyatta’s candidature, he sought the DPM’s withdrawal until a case against him at the International Criminal Court is dispensed with.
“If you are facing charges, you should step aside until you are cleared. Why is this different for Uhuru?” he posed.