By Koigi Wa Wamwere
In 2015, Moses Kuria alluded to the use of machetes to contain the problem of Raila. Former Nairobi Mayor George Aladwa was also caught on TV cameras apparently urging Raila’s supporters to fight and kill a few people for Raila to become president.
These two similar propositions are born out of the political philosophy that in the struggle for power, the end justifies the means. So, to the adherents of this philosophy, getting power and wealth justifies killing or sacrificing human lives.
Does the end justify the means?
But there is a contrary belief that the means one uses to get power tarnishes the legitimacy and integrity of the end they desire, making it unholy, illegitimate and unacceptable. That is why seeking power through the will of the people in a democracy makes power more acceptable than using violence to acquire power through barrel of the gun or dictatorship.
Those who are tempted to use violence to get power, even from a dictatorship, must realise armed struggle to get power can never be right or acceptable if there are peaceful or democratic means of changing a government and getting power.
Getting power must never be a game that violates the sanctity of life.
The life of every Kenyan is sacrosanct and getting power must never be a game that violates the sanctity of life. In fact, people who wish to get power by any means necessary when democratic means of getting power are available, do not deserve to be in power because once power is in their hands, they will use it to kill people, as we have seen many leaders do.
Hence, contrary to the belief of George Aladwa – which Raila publicly supported – whether they support or oppose Raila, no Kenyans must die for Raila to get power. Equally, whether they support or oppose Uhuru or Ruto, no Kenyans must die or use Kuria’s machetes to rid Jubilee of an opponent like Raila.
Though it is common that Kenyans have as short memories as warthogs, they all cannot have forgotten that statements similar to those of Moses Kuria and George Aladwa are what ignited the fire of post-election violence that left thousands dead, displaced millions and nearly consumed us all.
UhuRuto regime is the least shiny
Irrespective of whether we support Uhuru or Raila for the next presidency, we must reject statements that promote use of violence against life and property, and courageously condemn anyone who makes such statements or supports their issuance.
Yes, we all agree that with the government running out of money, corruption being devolved from central to county governments while negative ethnicity and discrimination takes root everywhere, there is a crisis of bad governance and absolute need for change.
Uhuru and Ruto encourage all manner of thieves to pop up and loot the country.
But leaders with whom we shall change those in government must be better, not the same or worse than those we already have.
That said, we agree the governance of Uhuru and Ruto is the least shiny.
We agree Uhuru and Ruto encourage all manner of thieves to pop up and loot the country without shame or restraint. And yes, we agree the country is suffering under the worst possible leadership, while the country is inching ever closer to ethnic disintegration. But who will save Kenya?
Is Raila the best alternative to UhuRuto?
Right now Raila says he is the best alternative to Uhuru, and Ruto messed up leadership. But is he?
To be the right alternative to the leadership of Uhuru and Ruto, there are certain things that Raila must do.
First, like Caesar’s wife, given national realisation that corruption is running rampant, is uncontrollable, has power to destroy society and country, graft has support of top leadership.
On the other hand, sacred cows are untouchable as they mock everyone. Raila must be above suspicion of past, present and future graft. But does he fit the bill?
Raila can only be the alternative to Uhuru and saviour of Kenyans if he is better than Uhuru in all these areas and not just because he is ethnically different from him, a Luo taking power from a Kikuyu.
In the circumstances, it was political suicide for Raila to openly support a proposal for violence by Aladwa. Some even fear he instigated the statement.
Second, like all of us, Raila must also avoid negative ethnicity as he would leprosy. Nobody is fit to govern Kenya unless he or she is completely above the malaise of negative ethnicity or the ethnic discrimination it engenders.
And here it does not matter that Raila was denied service at a Karatina Hotel by members of the Kikuyu community. As a healer, Raila must display the same magnanimity as Nelson Mandela displayed toward Botha’s wife in South Africa.
Uhuru and Raila should condemn violence
It would even be better for Raila, Uhuru or anybody else to lose the chance of ever being President by disavowing violence, than becoming president who destroys Kenya to get power, very much like the person in the Bible who wins the world but loses his soul.
During the post-election violence, most Kenyans helplessly watched as other Kenyans, who falsely believe their ethnic leaders are infallible and whatever they call for is right, nearly destroy Kenya.
But just as those leaders who called for violence during the elections of 2007 were wrong when they called their supporters to burn, burn, burn to prove they had won elections, it was wrong for Aladwa to call for deaths to ensure Raila’s electoral victory. When Uhuru supports Moses Kuria through silence he is also wrong. Equally Raila is wrong when he supports Aladwa’s call for violence.
Not to let our leaders mislead us, we must always challenge their assumed infallibility.