A word to Martha Karua

Watching KTN Newsline debate hosted by Louis Otieno, it was appalling to see the way you handled the minimum reform debate. I will attempt to be polite but the real message behind this post is, "Please come out of your high horse and be humble!"

The listeners when asked to vote whether they need minimum reforms, 54% voted yes and the other 46% voted no which is a surprise result in a KTN programme. It should have been 90-10 in favour of minimum reforms.

It is apparent that ODM-K counterparts have boxed you into a corner in this reform sideshow and you are doing badly. Let me remind you that the main reason Bishop Wanjiru earned public vitriol over her former marriage saga is one word: arrogance. If she owned up to her past and was respectful in her response, the public would have directed its fury to Kamangu. He would have been blamed for abandoning his father responsibility and only came out to spoil the chances of a hard working woman.

In 2004, John Michuki, the then transport minister was a darling of Kenyans and was even voted the best minister in the Kibaki administration. At the time LDP (read ODM-K) aligned ministers were still in the government and could not beat him to public admiration. Around the same period, Chris Murungaru, the internal security minister and Kiraitu Murungi, the justice minister were slowly becoming a liability and a burden to the Kibaki aligned forces. The major reason why they became a liability was their sheer arrogance and the way they handled national debates. John Michuki spoilt this above-board mantle in the famous 'rattling snake' statement and his perceived arrogance when responding to government critics. He is currently the biggest liability in NARC-K cabinet in the public eye. Why do you want to join him in this list?

It is unfortunate that you are slowly becoming a liability to NARC-K despite your strategic moves in 2006 that saved the Kibaki team after a humiliating defeat at the referendum. It is not the quality or relevance of the demands that are being made about minimum reforms that matter, it is how you in the government respond and react to the demands. As you heard in Newsline, it is no longer minimum reforms, it is essential reforms. Essential reforms will be shouted out like basic food, housing and clothing needs. The idea is to make the government have an anti-reform perception (and perceptions do matter) in the public eye. ODM-K will repeat and demo about it and Kenyans will buy it. You better change your strategy. You better be humble and more humble when you respond to these demands. Otherwise, your credibility will be in tatters and ODM-K will move to another nascent government minister: Mukhisa Kituyi.

Ruto may not have a saintly past in reforms like you, but he has 'seen the light' and Kenyans being like Jesus, they will forgive and forget. They will condemn you and your government with their votes. Listen to James Orengo reminder that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Have a reality check; you are not immune to the dangers of power. Like Louis Otieno asked what has changed now for you. I can tell you what has changed, you are in power. And what does power do? You saw the way Prof. Kivutha Kibwana carried himself in the debate, calm, consistent and collected. Borrow a leaf in upcoming debates.

You and other government ministers need to come down and humbly put your ear on the ground like a prudent ant out to detect an impending storm. Read the signs of the times and save yourself. You may need to concede some hallowed ground in these demands. Like ODM-K you are still stuck in the 2005 referendum ODM-K on one hand still in the glory of their win and the government in the arrogance of their defeat. Times have changed and matters at hand need different strokes.

Like in the opening paragraphs, it is not the quality and relevance of the demands and accusations being made to the government. It is how you respond to them. Remember it is a sideshow to cover up the problems in the opposition and an ODM-K campaign strategy. They are not keen to sell the notion of how good they are, they are out to sell to Kenyans, how bad the government is. This strategy will sell like a hot cake and we will vote the Kibaki government out. Be on guard and talk to Kenyans, talk to the media, talk to the opposition but do not talk down to them.



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One Response to A word to Martha Karua

Msanii said...

I hoppe she got this letter.