Murang’a Senator Irungu Kang’ata’s letter to President Uhuru Kenyatta has continued to elicit mixed reactions. The allies of Deputy President William Ruto, led by those who hail from the Kikuyu nation, have thrown their weight behind him. Kang’ata stated the obvious and those fighting him are not ‘true friends’ of the President.
The Building Bridges Initiative [BBI] is encountering a lot of hostilities. The senator had also rooted for a multi-choice referendum, telling the President that this would help to soften the community’s hard-line stance on the document. He further asked the president’s wing of the Jubilee party to bend backward in dealing with party rebels.
Listening to his tone, he was speaking the language of the newly launched United Democratic Alliance [UDA], a party associated with DP. The symbol and slogan of the party are ‘Wheelbarrow’ and during his recent visit to Msambweni, the DP gave the strongest hint that he would use the ticket of this party to contest the presidency.
As they say, politics is a game because initially, the DP allies from Central Kenya considered Kang’ata as a traitor and sellout. This started when he was elevated to the position of Senate Majority Whip. I remember at one time he would not take lightly comments by MP Rigathi Gachagua referring to him as Joseph Kamotho [JJ] of the latter day.
Did Kang’ata feel the heat was becoming too much? If I were Kang’ata, I would not have been shaken by Rigathi’s attacks because he was misleading Kenyans.
Hon Kamotho was championing the course of President Daniel Arap Moi. As a District Officer [DO] at the time, Rigathi was also playing the card. Reports indicated he was swift in ensuring that anyone who mentioned President Moi in a bad light was punished accordingly. Moi was a Kalenjin and the kingpin of this community.
For Kang’ata, he had been championing the interests of Uhuru Kenyatta, a fellow Kikuyu, who apart from being the President of the Republic of Kenya, is the leader of the community.
So, who is a traitor? To me, it is Rigathi because he was a staunch defender of President Moi at a time when the Kikuyus’ disdain for Moi leadership had reached a fever peak. They had no time for Moi because they believed he had destroyed their economic livelihoods.
For President Uhuru’s allies and supporters, they would hit out at Kang’ata for failing to use the right channel to address the President. As the Senate Majority whip, Kang’ata is not an ordinary person. He has the contacts of the President including telephone number and he can talk with him any time he wants.
It was therefore wrong to write a letter to the President and leak the content to the media before it reached him. This was indeed a show of disrespect and the move signaled that he had joined or was preparing the ground to join those exposing the President in bad light.
When you say publicly that Kikuyus have rejected the BBI, the message you are sending to the country and indeed the world is clear. The President has lost the grip of his stronghold and so the card of those who wanted to reduce him to a ‘lame duck’ president has worked.
I am sure the intelligence had already briefed the President about the situation on the ground. You cannot tell me that Kang’ata was not aware of this. It was wrong to insinuate that Uhuru did not take these briefings seriously. You are not his spokesperson.
If the President is not an experienced and well-schooled politician, he could not have overcome the major challenges he had encountered in the past. So, I am sure he is currently crafting a strategy on how to sell the BBI in the region and it is only a matter of time before hitting the ground running.
The timing of Kang’ata’s letter was also tellingly. He leaked it just two days after his friend nominated Senator Isaac Mwaura announced that he had ditched Jubilee’s wing of the President and joined DP’s ‘wheelbarrow’ party.
A few weeks earlier, he had held a meeting with three MPs Ndindi Nyoro, Rigathi Gachagua and Moses Kuria, who were known to be staunch defenders of Ruto in Central Kenya. They reportedly discussed the fate of the BBI.