Greetings to Onesmus Kilonzo, WIPER PARTY HEAD OF COMMUNICATIONS
Let me begin by stating that I respect you. We have worked well together. But I was somewhat amazed to read your eloquently written story in the Saturday/Sunday, The Star, Jan 19-20, 2019 at p. 05.
You write that a leader’s DEVELOPMENT record in Kenya and indeed South Eastern Kenya ( Ukambàni) region is irrelevànt. You boldly assert only POPULARITY counts. I doubt the veracity or correctness of your claim that President Kenyàtta and former Prime Minister Odinga have not been development oriented leaders.
But if in the case of Ukàmbani one can be popular without focussing on her people’s development, then please reveal to us the secret behind attracting a following to oneself while ignoring the development agenda. You may know an easier route to politics than most of us.
It is true many Kenyans have vied for the presidency and lost including Party Leader Stephen whom you curiously call my ‘Chi’ or a personàl god! Remember: There is only One, Triune God.
You give as examples Peter Kenneth, Abduba Dida as past electoral failures. Many others have historically exercised thèir right to become President such as Ngilu, Wangari, Mkangi, Orengo, Kiyapi, Ekuro, etc. They were responding to the space that multipartism opened in our country in 1991. Before, people thought only President Moi had the right to stand.
When you allege that ‘they’ are setting a trap for me, who are these ‘they’? Do you think I have no mind of my own?
In 1997 I was asked to be a compromise candidate and I declined.
My major preoccupation then was constitution- making,Currently Kenyans of good will from many regions and walks of life are requesting that I vie for the presidency. It is not a mere social media affair. And deep down you know it isn’t. If it was, the WIPER leadership would suffer me to blissfully slumber in dreamland. Let me however ask: Is there space in WIPER for a free and fair presidential nomination exercise? But further: If in 2022 I failed miserably in a presidentiàl bid through another party, wouldn’t that be good for the WIPER candidate?
At the end we shàll not run away from asking the key leaders in South Eastern Kenya region ( and Kenyà in generàl) hard questions about their past development record. In all democracies, this is the only predictable yardstick for measuring the performance of office seekers. If in the past this never happened, count your leadership lucky.
We shàll ask Mutua what did you do as:
-a professor of communications abroad and in Kenya
– a government spokesperson
– a governor
We shàll ask Kibwana what did you do as:
-a pro-democracy activist
-a one term MP
– an assistant minister
-a minister for about two years
-a presidentiàl advisor
We shàll ask Mama Ngilu what she did as:
-a business person since 1992
– a MP and opposition leader
– a cabinet minister in various portfolios since 2003
We shàll ask Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka what he has done as:
– an advocate
-a legal officer in the private sector
-KANU Organizing Secretary
-a cabinet minister in various portfolios since 1993 ( excluding three years from 2005)
-various diplomatic missions of peace building
-Vice President ( 2008-2013).
Personally I am listening to what Kenyans are asking of me from our region and the entire nation. I will also in the future compare notes with other national leaders. One thing I know is Ì will eventually heed the voice of Kenyans because since 1977 I have been a public servant. When I run for the presidency, I will be a candidate of Kenyans, not a social media candidate.
By the way, Matiba & Kibaki in 1992 ran for the presidency among others; Kibaki & Uhuru later in 2002; Musalia& Wetangula were part of the NASA team; Ruto & Gideon may be candidates in 2022; Musalia, Wetàngula & Oparanya have declared for 2022. Therefore Kalonzo, Mutua & Kibwana can also offer their presidentiàl candidature. The region and the country would then decide. That is democracy. At the end Kenyans will choose only one President. If we change the Constitution, other executive seats will be on offer. Obviously significant coalition building will happen before 2022. Let us not burn bridges in this ‘hand shake’ era of building bridges.
Prof Kivutha Kibwana.