Hon Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta was NOT my prefered choice for the presidency. In fact my preferred candidate performed heart-breakingly dismally – and was clearly a non-winner even before the IEBC abandoned the digital tallying process. But today, I was still immensely proud and moved when he received his Certificate of Results from the Chairman of the IEBC Mr Isaack Hassan – and would have been just as proud if it was Rt Hon Raila Amolo Odinga receiving that certificate! I believe it should have been a proud moment for all Kenyans for its symbolic potency – the very first president elected under our new people-centred constitution, and after an election that in all likelihood reflected the sovereign will of the people. Sadly, the moment was diminished by the forthcoming legal challenge to the results, and our characteristic take-no-prisoners partisanship.
But even as I did not support Hon Kenyatta’s bid, I have made many social media posts over the last many months asserting that whether or not Hon Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta can contest and win the presidency is determined by his conscience, our applicable domestic laws and the duly registered voters, and AND ABSOLUTELY NOTHING ELSE! I have declared numerous times that neither Hon Kenyatta’s family lineage nor his ethnicity should in any way whatsoever determine this important question, because neither factor is provided for in law in as far as eligibility for the Presidency of the Republic of Kenya is concerned. As for that ICC thing, I have repeatedly said that if indeed there is evidence of his involvement, he should be subjected to thorough investigations, conscientious due process, and appropriate retribution if he is found guilty – but I have also declared that until and unless he is found guilty, his electoral eligibility is a matter of our laws, and that it would be a great injustice to bar him from contesting because that would nullify the presumption of innocence.
For these positions I have adopted, I have earned myself many ‘friends’ – many of whom I am sure genuinely agree with my views, and many more that I am equally sure are just devout adherents of the Cult of Uhuru! I have gladly welcomed both! These positions have also earned me many cherished ‘enemies’, some of whom have used on me terms as simple as ‘sell-out’ or as sophisticated as ‘Kikuyuphile’. These ‘enemies’ too I have welcomed! Of endless fascination to me, however, is the fact that quite often neither the ‘friends’ nor the ‘enemies’ presented any cogent arguments why they stood where they stood – beyond knowing where they stood!
During this time, a hate page was created on FaceBook, singularly dedicated to spreading the most vile lies and hateful drivel about Hon Kenyatta. I visited the page one day and studiously examined the ‘Likes’ – and every one of my friends that I found on that list I named and shamed right on their own timelines; asking them whether they truly subscribed to the gratuitous rubbish that was being spewed out of that page. They did not love me for my troubles! I also asked everybody I could to visit the page and report it so that it could be shut down, and indeed it was shut down; but was soon replaced by another that was just as unsanitary, and I started the campaign all over again! And I did exactly the same for a hate page dedicated to purveying the most foul content about Rt Hon Raila Odinga and his family!
‘Conventional wisdom’ and ‘common knowledge’, both of which I heartily detest – being cheap excuses for refusal to utilise one’s own intellect, provided that Hon Kenyatta could not possibly be elected to the presidency. The retarded opinion was that he was a Kikuyu, his father had been president and he was a ‘wanted criminal’ – and that the man was unelectable whichever way you looked at it, given all the baggage, and ‘garbage’, he was carrying! But in a process that in my insignificant layman’s long-distance opinion appeared to have been free, fair, transparent and credible, he emerged victorious! And that is worth celebrating; even for the most committed of his opponents’ supporters, if it is indeed Kenya that they love and not just the candidate that they supported!
This unelectable man skilfully corralled his base into a monolithic vote basket; deftly crafted alliances with other leaders and built a formidable campaign juggernaut that carried him many thousand votes beyond the 50% + 1-vote Constitutional thresh-hold! And that is in fact the main reason I celebrate President-elect Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta’s win – he resoundingly repudiated the myths of in-electability, the spurious supposition that just because your father was, you cannot be! He stood his ground, he insisted on his rights and he got the prize!
But am I a ‘sell-out’, a ‘Kikuyuphile’? Absolutely not! I am a citizen of the Republic of Kenya who takes seriously the constitutional guarantees of the right to conscience – which is essentially the right to personal sovereignty, within reasonable limits of course. In fact, I scourged the Uhuru Campaign with just as much fervour when I felt they needed it: for their blatant ethnic mobilisation and scare-mongering; for their unrelenting demonisation of the Rt Hon Raila Odinga; for their liberal use of misinformation and disinformation; and for their cynical diminution of the concept of sovereignty into a crude weapon for beating their opposition over the head.
And if indeed the forthcoming judicial battles affirm Hon Kenyatta’s victory, and he is duly sworn in as the next president, he will absolutely be MY President, deserving of all the respect and deference due to his office. But I will still do my civic duty and demand transparency and accountability from his government. I shall insist that he must be the president of the whole of Kenya, not just those regions that overwhelmingly voted for him – and that he must make it his absolute number one priority to pull the nation together. I shall insist that he must turn off the ‘campaign mode’ and ramp up the ‘statesman mode’, and use his new-found authority to force his surrogates and proxies do the same. We must all insist that he fulfil his campaign-trail promises and electoral platform. He made an excellent start with that inspiring victory speech – and I will insist that he uses his immense charisma, powerful voice and passionate delivery to inspire THE WHOLE NATION to greater cohesiveness and superior heights of achievement.
I must now address President-elect Kenyatta’s core supporters – I am very sorry, but he no longer belongs to you! WE elected him, and by ‘we’ I mean both those who voted for him and those who did not – because the election was OUR process! TNA and Jubilee are merely the racing colours he wore on his way to victory – and not the colours by which he will lead this nation. His fealty must no longer be to you, but to his Oath of Office and the Constitution and laws that he must implement and live and govern by. You must cut him loose from your restrictive parochial apron strings and let him free – HE NO LONGER BELONGS TO YOU! And if President Kenyatta chooses to be the president of only those that voted for him, he will destroy the nation, and destroy you with it – YOU MUST LET HIM GO to serve all the peoples of Kenya! Do not strut and crow and thump your chest with mighty roars, proclaiming victory in a race that is long over – because you stopped having any special claim to President-elect Kenyatta the moment he ceased being a candidate!
Finally, brethren and sistren, the Voice of the People is NOT the voice of God – it is just the Voice of the People! While at times, the voice of the people might reflect God’s will, the two voices are very distinct and often differ.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” – Isaiah 55:8-9
Whatever songs the popular praise-singing musicians sang, whatever the prophets (real and false) prophesied, whatever cryptic and esoteric messages were received from the world beyond, whichever mugumo tree fell dramatically and split into unique geometric shapes – President-elect Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta IS NOT some mysterious messianic figure sent to save Kenya at some dark hour of need, neither is he of a unique lineage drawn from a chosen people: he is simply a fellow citizen whom, by the exercise of our sovereign will, we have elevated into leadership over us! We must hold him to account, and we cannot do that when we raise him to the rarefied status of divinity. He must immediately smother the personality cult that some will want to build around him for their own purposes; and he must vapourise those emerging rivulets of sycophancy that began to trickle then flow in earnest at his victory ceremony. And he must do it IMMEDIATELY before they become a raging unstoppable torrent that will drown us all in a bottomless lake of sublime collective unquestioning stupidity.