President Raila “benefits”


My Sunday Thought is about a conversation shared on the Facebook seeking to explain why opposition doyen Raila Amolo Odinga should become president, albeit for one term.

The argument is that if Raila became president, which I abhor, Luos could finally see that presidents do not dish out amenities in life as many of them think has been done to Kikuyus – a majority of whom live in abject poverty after their lands were grabbed by former colonial masters and later inherited by former presidents and their cronies.

The conversation goes; “The Oracles tell me that we should all elect RAO for president come 2022, if only for one term. I disagreed and declared that elections are competitive and the best thief wins but they insisted.

They told me “Mûrûa Ng’ayu, that’s the only way Kenya will have stability” I felt compelled to ask why. They gave me 2 simple reasons.

1. Kenya has been on a campaign mode for the last 30 years. Nothing else ever gets done except campaigning. If this guy is not elected then something in the country must be changed. Mara IEBC, mara Constitution, mara houses of parliament… everything, every system, every law, every policy is wrong because he was not elected. Tribes must be rearranged into 20 against 21, 35 against 6, 40 against 1..endless permutations.

He must be elected because it appears Kenyans are unable to tell him to sod-off with his various ploys!

2. Nyanza people will never believe that presidents don’t dish out free money, free hardware shops, free hair salons, free kiosks and supermarkets, free mutura choma benches, free shambas and plot maguta maguta, free Toyota Hilux and Probox vehicles, free wares to hawk, free tractors to till land.

They will not believe the president does not build rental houses in Dandora and Kayole for his tribesmen.

They have even recruited other tribes into believing that Kikuyus are given these things for free and this has led to great Kikuyu persecution, loss of property, and most of all loss of production and growth in the GDP.

If the guy is not elected president, a large proportion of Kenyans will never work to better themselves and their lot waiting for one of their own to become presidents so that they can recieve these “free” things. And that is not good for the country. I am pursuaded the Oracles might be right.”

Away from the oracles to the real world, events of 2007 General Election proved beyond any doubts that some people truly believed that they were entitled to Kikuyu’s properties if Raila became president – just because they believed Kikuyus had benefitted from Jomo Kenyatta and Kibaki presidencies.

For example; a few weeks to the December 2007 election, some lawyers and doctors, who were living in a former Kirinyaga MP’s apartments bought on a 20-year mortgage, told his son that they would no longer pay rent. They said they had paid enough money since they rented the apartments to repay the cost of putting them up – so from January 2008, they would be the proud owners of the apartment block. Come January when Kibaki won the election they were all evicted.

A lady living in servants quarter in Buru Buru a few days to the election burst into the sitting room of her landlord, who was browsing through a Sunday newspaper and told him to start packing his things because she would take possession of the house after elections. He could not believe his ears but that was the last conversation with her as his tenant.

Their tribespeople in Kariobangi, Dandora and Huruma moved into newly completed apartment blocks and rented them out for as few as Ksh 5,000 per month. They could not satisfy the demand.

Similar occupation took place in Kibera and several other estates in Nairobi. Similar occupation took place in Naivasha – not to mention the bloodbath in the Rift Valley.

It took the courage of then Constitutional Affairs Minister, Martha Karua, whose apartment block in Ngeumba estate was also under the threat of occupation, to persuade the illegal landlords to surrender back the houses they had illegally rented out.

Those who refused to comply were evicted by Mungiki. Some still live in the houses they occupied in Kibra, then Kibera, where Raila was the Member of Parliament.

Would a Raila presidency stop a repeat of such illegal occupation or encourage it in a much larger scale? The jury is out there.