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President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto during Madaraka Day celebrations in Nairobi on June 1, 2020.

File | PSCU
What you need to know:
  • The ruling Jubilee Party is a quarrelsome, unhappy and dysfunctional union that, for obvious reasons, simply cannot deliver on its extravagant campaign promises.
  • President Kenyatta is, indeed, right to challenge his estranged deputy to resign instead of fighting the government from within.

I ’m beginning to feel that both President Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto should be arrested for a variety of criminal offences. They conned millions of voters that their union would unite Kenya and propel the country to greater heights of development and prosperity.

But now, with both going hammer and tongs at each other, directly and via proxies, it should be obvious that Kenya does not have a working government. 

The ruling Jubilee Party is a quarrelsome, unhappy and dysfunctional union that, for obvious reasons, simply cannot deliver on its extravagant campaign promises. It promised heaven on earth, but is instead delivering economic destruction and political infighting that, if not checked, could incite ethnic violence.

President Mwai Kibaki rescued Kenya from the destruction wrought by the pillage of President Daniel arap Moi’s disastrous regime. The “Dynamic Duo”, as they billed themselves, promised to build on that inheritance and take Kenya to the next level but, instead, engaged the reverse gear and drove the country back into a basket case. 

Noisy rabble

President Kenyatta is, indeed, right to challenge his estranged deputy to resign instead of fighting the government from within. But so long as he insists he has a firm hold on power, he must take direct responsibility for the mess Kenya is in.

The DP, and every one of his noisy rabble, should have the courage of conviction to quit the leadership positions they hold on a Jubilee ticket and formally take the opposition banner.

President Kenyatta should also take a walk in atonement for the destruction and confusion wrought under his leadership. He came to office joined at the hip with his deputy. Kenyans turned out in droves to vote for the pair; so, it would be unfair for one to remain if the other takes the fall. 

They jointly assumed secured votes through lies, fraud and other falsehoods — which is equivalent to obtaining goods by false promises.

Millions who so fervently believed in the Jubilee promise and lustily sang its praise up and down the country have been left bitter and disillusioned. They must be feeling particularly angry at their own foolishness.

Incompatible pair

They should have seen from the very beginning that UhuRuto was an incompatible pair united only for pursuit of power rather than shared interests and programmes.

Instead of displaying more foolishness in now supporting one or the other of the estranged pair, and being incited to hurl insults at the other, they should be the first to wise up and lead the campaign for the exit of both.

A fresh presidential election will provide Kenyan voters an early opportunity to atone for their mistakes. They will be granted the opportunity to elect honest and selfless leaders more interested in service than self-enrichment and power as an end in itself.

For this country to come out of the present rut, it needs visionary leaders, who can see beyond the next election. It needs managers who can design and implement the policies required to pull it out of the UhuRuto economic carnage. 

Kenya is in urgent need of salvation from thieves and looters, parochial ethnic chieftains, rabble-rousers and the usual retinue of sycophants and praise singers. This is urgent because we are running out of time. 

The drivel we are seeing every day from loose-tongued politicians indicates that the country is at breaking point and might not survive till the next General Election, scheduled for August 2022.

It is, therefore, imperative that an untainted leader takes the helm at the earliest opportunity to at least steady the ship and embark on the recovery mission.

This country is not short of people with skills, qualifications and experience to competently run a country. The problem is that we have forever been held hostage by scoundrels, whose only appeal is to ethnic mobilisation rather than any redeeming values, policy prescriptions and ideology.

The tragedy of Jubilee should have taught us all some very hard lessons: We are the ultimate sufferers when we elect the wrong leaders. Jubilee’s broken economy hits the thuraku, Kieleweke, Tangatanga and all other formations within it as hard as it hits the fellows who voted differently.

We can also state with certainty that no Kenyatta Kikuyu- or Ruto Kalenjin tribesman or woman benefited simply because one of their own was in power. The benefits of mismanagement and corruption went only to a very small group of close family, friends and business partners. 

It’s time Kenya got a fresh start, and we would be eternally indebted to Mr Kenyatta and DP Ruto if they gave us that opportunity. By Macharia Gaitho, Daily Nation

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