Raila lights the way for Luos
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President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga a few weeks ago stunned the country when they emerged from a tÃªte-Ã -tÃªte at Harambee House, grinning and calling each other âmy brotherâ.
The firm handshake and the joint communiquÃ© bespoke a newfound camaraderie.
Their bonhomie put an end to a bitter political rhetoric that, like a ratâs trap, sucked in many, either by default or by choice. But more pertinently, it served as a lesson to the Luo Community, who h ave treated their own who are labelled Jubilee supporters, worse than the Jews shunned those with leprosy.
The time is ripe for my people to be alive to the fact that ethnic support is not an end to itself, rather a means through which the scions can bargain for a place at the national table. That is why the political elites at the top echelons have often whipped up ethnic emotions and following for better bargaining power.
This does not in any way imply that those seen to swim against the political tide in the region are enemies of the people or, in this case, Raila.
When I chose to support the Jubilee regime, it was after much thought. I believe I am intellectually agile and having been in these trenches long enough, I vaunt experience in the precincts of politics. Thus, I was convinced the duo meant well for Kenyans, my community included.
In Homa Bay county, which is my home, the Mbita Bridge courtesy of Jubilee, has improved transport and consequently bo osted business, which translates to economic growth for the people.
I do not claim to be clairvoyant, but I dare say Raila has finally done what I and those of similar ilk branded âJubilee molesâ chose to do moons ago: Join, support and work with the government of the day for posterity and democracyâs sake.
Unfortunately, the raucous animosity, aggression and gaucheness with which we â" perceived dissidents â" were served, thanks to our people, bespeak an intemperate people in shackles.
Armed with rudimentary energy and buoyed by a few coins as handouts, some youth even attempted to burn down my home. The culprits were my constituents, whom I served during my tenure as Karachuonyo MP and whom â" one cannot deny â" benefitted from a project or two that I initiated. Sadly, local leaders turned traducers have been the fuel that has kept the dangerous embers of political intolerance burning in Nyanza.
In fits of pique and politically induced madn ess, masses have been incited against their sons and daughters just by invoking the name âJubileeâ. Take for instance, Sam Wakiaga, whose run for Homa Bay governor was slaughtered on the altar of conjecture and ill-intended innuendoes: The well-scripted arsenal against him was that while he served at the National Intelligence Service, he aided those who âstoleâ Railaâs victory in 2013.
In Siaya, a former MP, who was seeking reelection, suffered the same fate when opponents and their mercenaries invoked the name of the electoral agencyâs IT manager [Chris Msando] and linked him to the unfortunate demise of the official. While propaganda is a legitimate tool in politics, the perception it creates against so-called Jubilee moles sometimes has far-reaching negative implications.
My people have shunned nimble-witted and invaluable sons at the ballot and instead opted for inept paragons of perfidy who hide behind ODM and the party leader to climb to power.
Th e Luo must now embark on a political metanoia and emancipate themselves from mental slavery. The community must revere the fact that tolerance for divergent political leanings is the sine qua non of any democracy worth its name. The economic doldrums that trap our region cannot be solved by burning down homes of perceived âtraitors.â
Western Kenya, our neighbours, has three active political parties: Ford Kenya, ANC and the Labour Party. There are Jubilee supporters too. In Kisii county, only the governor and the senator are ODM. MPs are from other parties, including Jubilee. Thatâs the kind of tolerance and political diversity that spur development and meaningful change. That is what my community must embrace, or they will continue blaming other communities for their woes, until Jesus comes.
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