By Alfred Mosoti
Since antiquity, human beings have had the collective inherent weakness of denying facts, especially those go against their innate wishes. As a result, many people tend to be apprehensive to telling truth-unfavourable realities. The few who do it are often vilified; happily, truth does come out eventually.
This fact can be perfectly depicted by paraphrasing George Orwell’s assertion that during moments of global falsehood, proclaiming the truth is a heroic move. When the astronomer Galileo Galilei, submitted his thesis that the earth is spherical and not flat as was universally “established”, he was labelled a madman – that is until his thesis was proved by the iconic sailor Christopher Columbus when he circumnavigated the world.
On the political dimension, NASA’s political disaster, which I symbolically refer to as Mv NASA, whose de facto patriarch-Raila Odinga fondly calls it “Canaan Express” is a delusion on a scale so grand it is difficult to tell its supporters otherwise. Like the Titanic, the capsizing of Mv NASA has snuffed the dreams and aspirations of many of its travellers’ and crew, including its top leadership (The Pentagon).
To make matters worse, NASA’s 2017 defeat was the fourth ship to be sunk under the navigation or leadership of the same political veteran – Raila Odinga. How he keeps convincing other equally potential sailors and passengers to trust him to win remains a political mystery and a subject for another day.
Meanwhile, some questions suffice: Who was responsible for the mishap? Were the navigators as experienced as they purported? Was the ship overloaded or defective? For now, no one has precise answers but, believe it or not, the current noise being made by opposition’s top brass is simply the last kicks of a dying horse that can hardly alter its fate!
Their clarion call is, “We are ready to swear in Raila Odinga as a legitimate president, the consequences not withstanding”. Such a volatile utterance is simply designed to offer short-time solace to sooth the egos of its fanatic supporters. In reality it is an impossibility.
The swearing in of Uhuru Kenyatta at Kasarani stadium was a major score towards stamping his authority and confirming to the world his general national, regional and global general acceptability. In contrast, the abortive NASA bid to conduct parallel “crowning” is a clear testament of his waning clout, and possibly portends the end of his quest for the presidency and/or political career.
It is worth noting that the 2017 elections, his fourth attempt to be president is the most bruising yet, with heavy casualties among the opposition’s five key political stalwarts –Odinga himself, Kalonzo Musyoka, Musalia Mudavadi and Isaac Rutto being classic examples; Moses Wetangula could be considered the only fortunate guy in the pack, as I will demonstrate shortly.
But first, let us point out the common denominator amongst them, then analyse their unique differences independently. The most salient chord linking Moses Wetangula, Kalonzo Musyoka, Musalia Mudavadi and Isaac Ruto is that, at different times, in previous election(s), they all vehemently and immensely sabotaged Odinga’s bid to occupy State House.
Their support for him in 2017 can only be attributed to their political frustrations rather than alignment with his political vision, ideas and principles. To put it in another way, their gravitation towards NASA is a classic a forced marriage and/or a marriage of convenience aimed at salvaging their threatened political careers and legacies.
For instance, in 2007, Kalonzo Musyoka ran for the presidency as ‘a lone ranger’ emerging third. At a time the nation was in flames, he “shamelessly” accepted Mwai Kibaki’s surreptitious offer for Vice President, which he accepted. To worsen matters, he went ahead to donate over all his (ODM-K) MPs to PNU an arrangement calculated to boost Kibaki’s grip over his threatened regime!
Throughout the grand coalition government, Kalonzo had incessant rough working relationship with Raila Odinga – his current boss. The crest of their supremacy wars was the then much publicised “protocol seniority standoff” over, “who was to address a rally just before then president-Mwai Kibaki”. To put it in simpler terms, who was next in command?
As a result of their escalated microphone war, their respective generals, foot soldiers and supporters joined in and traded salvos, accusations and counter-accusations against each other. Their rivalry ossified into Luo Nyanza-Ukambani contest, an extension of the then ODM-PNU on and off squabbles. It was a precursor to the NASA-Jubilee conflict.
It should be remembered that, just months to the March 4, 2013 contest, the former Mwingi North MP was an active G-7 member – a cluster of presidential hopefuls whose agenda was believed to revolve around stop Raila’s ascension to power. How then can the same fellow purport embrace Railaism 2013 and 2017?
Unlike Kalonzo Musyoka, in 2007 Musalia Mudavadi was part of the Pentagon Campaign Team charged to consolidate Western Kenya votes into the former Prime Minister’s basket. During the violence, he was privileged to sit at the Serena Peace and Reconciliation Team to defend ODM’s interests.
Strangely, in 2013 he ganged up with anti-Raila forces where he indirectly sabotaged Raila’s presidential bid by becoming a spoiler candidate. It was only after realizing that he had been side-lined by his hitherto buddies in Jubilee after they took power that he joined NASA in the eleventh hour, as an afterthought!
Moses Wetangula can be considered the most fortunate among the five NASA beacons. He is an elected senator. He has an actual job. Nevertheless, just like his political brother, Kalonzo, in 2007, the Bungoma senator hindered Raila’s quest for the top seat by supporting Kibaki’s PNU.
To add insult into injury, during the Serena Peace and Reconciliation process, he employed his legal skills to justify PNU’s legitimacy and protect its interests. As the 2013 match approached, just like Kalonzo, Chirau Makwere, Martha Karua and later Sam Ongeri, who had equally been disillusioned by PNU, he opted to throw his weight behind the former ex-Prime Minister owning to a personal political vendetta against power brokers in Kibaki succession plan.
Finally, like the rest, Isaac Ruto, despite having sang anti-Raila chorus all his political life, even in 2007 and 2013, he resolved to back Raila’s fourth stab at the presidency. He lost his Governor’s seat to Jubilee and attempted to salvage what he could by returning to Jubilee after the poll, with his tail firmly between his legs, only to be met with cold indifference. Whether he can make a comeback in 2022 is another matter altogether. ^