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Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Did Raila create a frankenstein monster that will destroy him?
In the 2007 general election, Raila successfully campaigned on a platform of overt tribalism. Let’s be clear at the outset. Tribalism has plagued Kenyan since independence Kenyatta practised it; m-0-1 improved on the practice, Kibaki reverted to the Kenyatta practice and so forth. The first two presidents dealt with tribalism by dictatorship. Kibz on the other hand allowed democracy to flourish in country that is not yet a nation, but made the mistake of perpetuating past tribal practices. The difference is that democracy is a competitive where you gain voters by creating an ogre out of your opponent. So in the US, you call Obama a communist and a Muslim; in the UK, you used to anoint your opponent as a tax and spend Welshman with character flaws. They do however, campaign on issues pertinent to voters. If it was an issues based campaign, the 2007 ge would have been very close as I then alluded to.
Once the no campaign closed out the 2005 constitution with a convincing, Raila then moved on to create his 5 pillars effectively channelling tribal kings in each of the bigger tribes sans the Kikuyus. The campaign was successful in that he run Kibz to the finishing line. Unfortunately for him and us Kenyans, the general election campaign legitimised the no-issues, no-ideology way of campaigning. This was replaced with the tribal mathematics game whereby the most intense part of the campaign is spent in looking or creating tribal kingpins who can deliver a good number of votes.
Today, his protégé Rutovic is looking to copy and paste the same trick. He has already created his ogre, "Raila the betrayer", the next step is then to find kingpins with likeminds but with numbers and finally cobble up some bull to feed voters. There will also be subtle digs against "the people from the lake".
My hope is that this time round, Mzalendo Kibunja and his colleagues at the National Cohesion will step in to nip this nonsense on the bud before it steps us up for another PEV.