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During the elections 2002: Hon Raila was being referred to as “Mutongoria Njamba“.

Posted by African Press International on October 5, 2007

Commentary By Maurice Agutu

Hi Rachel,
Once again I sympathize with this commentator for getting it all wrong. Heor she seems to have forgotten that Kenya is made up of more that fortytwo communities. These communities have equally produced excellent peoplein all fields.

I would like to remind the commentator that four years ago, some great Kenyans including Hon Raila shelved their presidentialambitions to support Hon Kibaki to save the Kikuyus and the entire Kenyancommunities from the 24 years of Moi`s squalor and plunder. By then HonRaila was being referred to as “Mutongoria Njamba“.

Hon Nyachae andKarume who were strongly opposing Kibaki`s presidency are now his strongbedfellows and thus holding big positions in the government,contrary toKenyan electorate which wanted to confine them into opposition.

While HonKibaki and the late Michael Kijana Wamalwa were hospitalized in London, HonRaila, Kalonzo, Kilimo, Ntimama and Balala were busy campaigning for them in2002. Mark you these honourable individuals were kicked out of governmentbecause of their true stand over the Kilifi draft. The most unfortunatepart for Hon Kibaki is that the above hon.members left with all their supporters who also felt betrayed.

The commentator`s memory stretches farway back to medieval times which unfortunately is only good for history students but not the present generation. Hon Kibaki`s woes started when his kitchen cabinet misled him into not honoring the MOU which wassigned under oath in the presence of God.

This monolith, the `MOU`will hauntHon Kibaki until Dec.2007. While Kenyans have perfected democracy bylearning to vote for leaders from other communities, the Kikuyus have beenleft behind by believing that it`s either one of their own, or nobody. It`stime they learn that even others can do it.

How come one only becomes ademocrat when supporting Hon. Kibaki? Does it mean that Hon. Kibaki shouldget a second term un opposed? Then what is the meaning of multipartydemocracy? The commentator should also know that even other Kenyans do notbeg. All of them also owes their existence to God and not Kibaki andRaila. Once again I would like to advice this commentator not to be too muchobsessed by Hon. Raila presidential bid. Hon Kalonzo and Muiru are also in the race. I believe Hon. Raila does not require a vote from a tribalchauvinist like this commentator for him to win. Despite the much toutedKibaki`s development record, politics is about perception and the beautybelongs to the eyes of the beholder.

(Maurice Agutu’s reaction to the commentary below):


Earlier Commentary by Rachel Wambui:

I am a Kenyan of Gikuyu descent and I do not regret that like former AG,Charles Njonjo. There is nothing wrong with anybody belonging to anycommunity in Kenya. What is wrong, my fellow Kenyans, is to lump allyour frustrations on Kibaki and by extension, the Gikuyu.

Just like the rest of the Kenyan ethnic groups, we, the Gikuyu, have ourshare of smart people, stupid people, lazy people, busy bees (by themillions), cute women, handome men, ugly women, ugly men, thieves (bythe thousands) and even saintly people.

In a words, we are like everybodyelse and we are not begging to be from the Railas, the Luo, the Luhya,or from anybody else.We only beg from God not from anybody. And unlike many other ethnicgroups, our bonds are lose in times of peace and we prefer each to be onhis own; doing their stuff and leaving the rest to cater for their own.

Yes, this trait is somewhat ‘unAfrican’ (where societies have strong butlosening bonds), but you’ve got to re-visit Kenyan history to learn thatthe British had an insatiable appetite for our lands and took everythingthat we had.The impact of British rule, you ought to know, was heaviest inKikuyuland than anywhere else in Kenya. By the time they were leaving,as attested by the book, ‘British Gulag’ they had killed + or – 100,000of us. They also ‘uprooted’ us, which is why you find us all over Kenyaand elsewhere.

Even before anybody talks about Gikuyu leaders, they’ve got tounderstand the internal dynamics of the community and its class system,which has, more than any other community, produced extremely rich peopleliving side-by-side with extremely poor, but hard-working and hopeful’holoi poloi.’

Again we are like every other Kenyan community.And I would like to reiterate that we do not go around begging the Railas ofthis world. We like doing our own stuff, which is why we are silentlygoing about our business and saying nothing even with all thisanti-Kikuyu activities.The reason? It is simple, we do not consider this to be any threat tous.

Indeed, most of us will definitely vote for Kibaki and if all otherKenyans want to sack him, then let them go ahead and do so. After all,those who have cared to check electoral statistics will realise thatwhen other communities came out in large numbers to vote for Kibaki in2002, only about one million of us (a mere 30 % of registered voters)came out to vote. The figure was less during the 2005 referendum.

This apathy is why Kibaki had to go to Nyeri over the weekend to pleadwith us to go out and vote in large numbers. But why the apathy? It issimple; most of us, -probably unlike other communities- know the deceit with which politicians treat ordinary people and we are not convincedthat electing the Kibaki’s, the Railas or the Mois will add any moresufurias in our homes.

Kibaki might have done some good for the country, but millions ofordinary Kikuyus know this can only be translated into real benefits forthemselves if they worked hard. We know and teach our children thatnothing can come out of laziness. Justimagine, what would a road do toa community if its members do not have things to transport to themarket. How would taking electricity to remote areas help much if peopledo not tap such electricity for productive purposes.

We, the Gikuyu realised long ago that what can benefit from our ownsweat. That is why millions now own one or a few grade cows or plantingcoffee again after uprooting it when Daniel Arap Moi destroyed thecoffee subsector.

So Kenyans can go ahead and elect Raila if that is what they want. Butthey should ask him to seek votes by some other means rather thanpegging his campaigns on anti-Gikuyu sentiments. We are not moved!Raila should also know that for 24 years, Moi tried to kill everythingGikuyu (banks, tea, coffee, schools, land-buying companies, our sons anddaughters in the clashes of 1992 and partly 1997 etc..) We did notsurrender!

Before Moi, the British killed hundreds of thousands;subjected millions of us to untold sufferings and nearly destroyed theentire community in a genocidal campaign that has little historicalparallels.

Following what took place, we are no longer moved by mere posturings orshadow boxing..which is why we prefer to keep quiet; ignore theseanti-Kikuyu campaigns, and go about our business as if Raila has neverbeen. Raila will only be a threat to us if he wins elections and goesahead to try what Moi did. But we will welcome his presidency if heleaves us alone to do what we’ve always done; produce wealth for thiscountry.

Those who care to re-visit history will realise that we, the Gikuyu,taught everybody else in Africa how to start an uprising and stick tosome common understanding. That was then, yes, and we now want peace tobring up our kids like everybody else in Kenya. We also want a peacefulcoexistence with our brothers and sisters in Luo-land, Luhya-land,Kalenjin-land and elsewhere.We have lived harmoniously this far and our brothers and sisters have alot to offer to us and we believe we have a lot to offer too.

Please letus not be misled to think we can ostracise the Kikuyu simply becauseRaila says so. He is one person and if at all he gets to power, he willneed allcommunities to pay taxes so that he can pay the police and thearmy, fund road projects or even get a salary.He should not think we owe our existence to him. We only reflect ourattention to God and will be there even after Raila has come and gone,(that’s if at all he comes.)

Published by African Press International-API/ African Press in Norway – APN africanpress@chello.no>
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