Associate me not with the gods of doom. But they say, when it hatches, you know whether it will be a hen or a cock. The unity of the Luhyia uncles is caused by one major absence; absence of a kingpin! Therefore, merger of parties or otherwise, the journey to unity can be effectively be termed as, ‘The Search for a Kingpin.’
The Swahili might have been considered a lazy lot but full of wisdom when their Wahengas said ndume wawili hawakai zizi moja. Wetangula and Mudavadi all believe in equality between them in their dealings but in their private thoughts, each thinks he’s superior to the other. Therefore, no one bull is likely to step down and see the other be the alpha and omega in the pact. Time will tell.
But what is tribal kingship? The discussion boils down to one: it is a fight for power within all sects of the community. A fight definitely means there are competing interests and centres that lay claim to the power.
In Luhyia land, Oparanya is a center, the Sifunas and Malalas are trying to create another, Atwoli is a another center, Ababu tried to be a center, Wamalwa is a center, Mudavadi is a center, so is Wetangula and now someone is trying to create CS Achesa as a center.
To be a Luhyia kingpin, all these centers must be collapsed into one. This can be done through all centers of power collapsing voluntarily through compromise to support one center or through coercion and domination. Verily, verily I tell you, I’ve never seen this (voluntary compromise) happen in politics especially in creating a kingpin.
A cliché is often repeated of power not being given but being taken. The truth stands with very few exceptions, if any. How did Raila become Kingpin? Definitely, Prof Nyong’o and Senior Counsel Orengo who were alternative centers of power had to be crushed completely first in order to voluntarily offer their support to Tinga for political salvation. The way Orengo is loyal today you cannot imagine there was a time he thought he could outfox Agwambo. Was it through consensus and compromise? A big NO! Domination!
How did Uhuru Kenyatta become the Kikuyu kingpin? Remember Michuki’s fiat, ““If you ask me, anyone who wants to work with us must go through Uhuru (Kenyatta) who is the Kikuyu leader. Otherwise we are going to fight you politically.” Koigi Wamwere and Martha Karua were the first to expressly defy the declaration of one center of Kikuyu power. Where are they in the political Kingdom? Peter Kenneth defied the declaration implicitly, ako wapi?
How is Ruto the Kalenjin Supremo? Was Gideon Moi not crashed in the 2007 elections? In 2013, there was a heavily financed group in the Rift that was opposed to Ruto joining forces with Uhuru and they told him if you go to the Mountain, go alone i.e. ‘Achicha Wendi Kityo!’ where did the movement go? Isaac Ruto the charismatic one of ‘hii mkutano itakwisha,’ where did he go? And MP Oscar Sudi-the academic guru is back pledging loyalty! And the novel ‘Masaibu ya ndugu Alfred Keter’ will be published soon! Of all these instances, Did you see compromise or consensus????? No! Domination.
The fact that was and still remains, however democratic they may seem or however zealous the tribal kingpins pursue a democratic agenda at the national level, within their tribal bases, they rise through dominance, dominance and more dominance. Consensus and compromise are alien. They are dictators-period!
Now turning to the Musalia-Wetangula union, are they capable of dominance???? The tools of dominance are: 1. authority (when you go to Uhuru by virtue of being president, you can get a road here, a hospital there. Power through authority by virtue of the position he holds. The same applies to the DP), do they have this, No! 2. Ideology (look at how Raila has been able to influence constitutional changes since the 1980s years of defiance) are there ideologies that Mudavadi and Wetangula capable of monopolizing? I doubt! 3. Money ( the brown envelope politics) let’s not even go there. 4. Force/coercion; Wetangula is a genius only that the scale of operation is limited to Bungoma. Musalia is a political golfer, a gentleman and the most radical/forceful he has ever been is his comical chanting, “NASA Hawa!” So here too, X!
Finally, Charisma and personality. Hehehe. Wetangula is a smart fellow in matters law. Surely Mgala muue na haki umpe. But matters politics where is his charisma? How did Kijana Wamalwa succeed to unite the Mulembe house substantially without a heavy bank account? The charisma that came through his oratory skills. In a single phrase the man could summarise a history of a generation. Who doesn’t remember, ‘the nyayo era was a great error!’ How he captured the political temperatures by dichotomizing the country into two: Railaphobic and Railamaniac! Anyway as for Mudavadi I maintain, he has the charisma of a tortoise!
Mudavadi-Wetangula union must first be capable of DOMINATING the other centers of Luhyia power before they can rightly lay claim to power to speak on behalf of all my Luhyia uncles!
Cc: All Gusii Leaders meeting in hotels for unity talks- Consensus will not give you a kingpin!
By Lawyer and Political Scientist Melchizedeck Ochengo