The minister of environment John Michuki was quoted advising that persons interested in engaging the Kikuyu community on social, economic and political matters should do it through Uhuru Kenyatta.
The octogenarian minister went further and threatened any person who dare challenge the authority of Uhuru Kenyatta in Central Kenya with a severe political fight and consequences. There is no doubt that the sunset days of President Mwai Kibaki as the leading political figure
in Central Kenya are approaching fast and it is obvious that diverse sentiments on his succession some unpalatable will be voiced over time . The Kibaki succession battle is taking shape and it is a hot agenda in Central Kenya and national politics.
Michuki has all right to hold his views however erroneous as long as he restricts himself from threatening any citizen who has interest to pursue any leadership position including the presidency. Any right thinking member of the Agikuyu community would find Michuki's
reasoning obsolete and driven by political dictatorship which has no room particularly under the current constitutional dispensation. It is ironical that some leaders from Central Kenya would openly embrace and support this misguided line of thinking.
The truth is that Agikuyu are not dying for a tribal spokesman or kingpin. Anybody harboring this tribal mentality is in a world of his own and has lost touch with reality. A small cable of privileged Kikuyu political elites who are beneficiaries of the past post independent regimes will no doubt be tempted to tout one of their own as Kibaki successor. Former President Moi attempted it in 2002 and the people’s power stopped him dead on the track.
It is not in dispute that Uhuru Kenyatta has outgrown the project Moi tag of 2002; however he should be very weary of the likes of John Michuki who risk portraying him as mediocre repeat project to be imposed on the Kikuyus by a club of conservative exclusionists. With friends holding ideas like Michuki, Uhuru does not need any more enemies.
Political power is a preserve of Kenyan people and it is only them who can determine person who should be bestowed with national leadership. It is common for some politically privileged groupings to feel insecure as political transitions beckons and consequently be tempted to retain political power through proxies hence sentiments akin Michukis.However, under the new constitutional dispensation such people should realize that every citizen has inalienable rights to
pursue public offices, national resources and opportunity without any misconceived political authoritarianism from anyone.
Reckless pronouncements like the ones attributed to Hon. Michuki are definitely going to elicit resistance among majority of Agikuyu and Kenyans. It is backward thinking that any leader would today imagine that he can rally support through gathering the Kikuyus people under
tribal conclaves to be the carcasses for greedy political hounds. This is primitive and despicable.
Just like any other ambitious leader in the Kikuyu community, Uhuru Kenyatta must come out and distinguish himself by convincingly confronting the myriad social economic and political challenges facing the people of Kenyan including the Mount Kenya region. Uhuru should catapult himself into the arena of competitive politics and loudly declare his Presidential ambition for 2012 and be judged among other daughters and sons of Central Kenya.
A leader who will ably embrace the challenge of eradicating nagging issues afflicting majority of ordinary residents in Central Kenya will definitely carry the leadership banner. Disturbing issues such as poverty,landlessness,insecurity, alcoholism, unresolved indiscriminate cold blood killing of youths, IDP menace, unemployment,lack of economic empowerment, deteriorating levels of education, widening economic margins between the haves and have not’s , massive exploitation and manipulation of the ordinary Wananchi by political elites are issue to form the campaign platform as opposed to patronage.
An individual who will show mature political leadership in reorganizing, unifying and exploring ways of empowering the Kenyan people under the new constitution will be an asset among the Agikuyu.
One way of doing this is identifying and nurturing a formidable political party to be transformed into an institution of national social- economic and political growth as opposed to gullible politics of me, myself and I.
The mere fact that the late Jomo Kenyatta and now Mwai Kibaki become presidents of Kenya and had their backgrounds from Central Kenya has not benefitted most of the ordinary Wananchi from this region. The main beneficiaries of the two political reigns remain their associates and cronies.
The ordinary siblings of Kikuyu Mau Mau freedom fighters continue to mumble of unrealized independence dream whereas the Internally Displaced Persons are wallowing in despair in tents. Smell of poverty, insecurity and inequitableness in rural villages contrast the thriving economic and social political statues of the Kikuyu political elites.
The poor unemployed Kikuyu youth continue to carry the shameful social economic official tag of Mungiki followers. It is therefore naïve and insensitive to entertain Michuki gospel enthroning Uhuru as a Kikuyu demi- god and supremo as it is mockery of intelligence of Kenyans. Kikuyu land has no shortage of able men and women in any event since 1963 men and women have
been siring sons and daughters who can be trusted with any national office.Michuki should preach his gospel to the birds.
George N. Kimani
The writer is an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya