WANJURAH: Spare Kalonzo the Teargas: He’s cut for Bigger Things
At a glance, the pictures of the helmets allegedly ordered by Wiper for anti-IEBC demos look like a timely and wise purchase.
But a scrutiny of the pictures doing rounds on social media reveal artistic cheekiness. First, what looks like cut-to-measure acquisitions in environment-friendly green colour are, in fact, hollowed-out watermelons. Secondly, the motorcycles in Wiper colours that are apparently meant to play the escort role are literally double-headed, suggesting ability to ride to whichever direction the dialogue wind blows.
I suspect the pictures are a Jubilee sympathiser’s apparent homage to Kalonzo Musyoka’s alleged love affair with political vacillation and duplicity. But I think they are also mean in their failure to acknowledge the Wiper boss nascent political education. While key indicators suggest he is clearly not a promising student, at least he deserves compliments for his courage to enrol in the school of street demonstrations and teargas so late into his life.
A few of Kalonzo diehard enemies have been quick to exaggerate the fact he has only been seen once at an anti-IEBC demonstration. Others claim that even then, he wore the jittery look of the village coward around a notorious bully and that he took cover at the first whiff of teargas. But those are strangers to his chequered history as a born-again who approaches every conflict with a prayerful face.
If his critics cared to know, it would be easy to establish beyond reasonable doubt that the decision to free Kalonzo from participating in subsequent demonstrations was collective. It was a wise counsel arrived at after painstaking and exhaustive deliberations by Cord’s Sanhedrin that lasted late into the night. Most importantly, it was informed by the history of other freedom movements in the world.
When the Africa National Congress was combating apartheid in South Africa for instance, its elders spirited its brightest sons – and few privileged daughters – to the safety of abroad. Subsequently, Thambo Mbeki and other “exiles” spent time preparing for the rigours of future independence leadership under the able tutelage of European girls and London and Moscow night life.
In similar vein, Cord made the Solomonic call to dispatch Kalonzo to the safety of China while its foot soldiers remained to preach the gospel of dialogue to a waxed-ears government. I understand part of his exile brief was to acquaint himself with the Chinese open democracy, especially its world-famous tolerance for anti-government demonstrations and its kid-gloves treatment of critics.
I’m reliably informed that while in China, Kalonzo was attached to the Chinese electoral commission. Here, he witnessed, first-hand, democracy made in China. I gather that in his post-mission report, he has recommended that rather than contracting the chicken-minded Britons and their exorbitantly-priced services, a Cord government will look East in procuring electoral materials. As a test-case, the coalition has contracted China to conduct its primaries to determine its presidential torchbearer.
It is from the Chinese electoral commission offices that Kalonzo made his memorable Madaraka Day phone speech. His massive followers assembled at Uhuru Park were understandably engulfed by a sense of abandonment in his absence.
A few misguided ones expected him to breath fire and brimstone at Jubilee in his brief address. But ever the diplomat, Kalonzo instead opted to calm them by reminding them of his first-name acquaintances with the presidents of Tanzania and South Sudan.
Some quislings on Jubilee’s payroll have been encouraging murmurs of discontent on why it had to be Kalonzo and not Raila or Wetangula. The attempts to sow seeds of division on an otherwise solid triumvirate will be exposed for the evil that they are in the fullness of time. But suffice to say that critics are shockingly blind to the logic informing Kalonzo’s choice.
First, at 71, Raila is too old to be gallivanting in foreign capitals. A grandfather must always stay close to home for obvious reasons. Besides, with the talk that the government had purchased more virulent water canons to combat demonstrators, it would be foolhardy to expose the coalition youngest leader to unknown hazards.
Again, this is rooted in traditional wisdom. In many African cultures, when an animal died of unknown reasons, the community wisely chose the eldest amongst it to test its meat suitability for human consumption. That is a polite way of saying the oldest was sacrificed as guinea pig to test potentially fatal poison. If he ate and survived, then the rest could have their feast. If he died, well… He had lived long enough anyway!
A violent confrontation with trigger-happy police has too many dangerous unknowns. Their “stray” bullets are famous for hitting the targets with deadly accuracy. And what if the water canons have a blinding chemical? These are precisely the variables that informed the decision to minimise Kalonzo’s risk exposure.
But what about man Weta? A general consensus is that foreign exposure has been damaging to the Ford-Kenya leader otherwise impeccably clean reputation. When he went to Japan to explore partnership opportunities for a Probox manufacturing plant in Sirisia, his political opponents launched a mendacious campaign claiming his mission was part of the Tokyo embassy grabbing scheme.
No sooner had he checked himself into a glitzy London hotel after painstakingly saving that the haters started another rumour. Weta’s crime was that he was seen reminding a BAT employee that smoking kills. His enemies claimed the outing was a bribe paid for by the cigarette manufacturer, as if Weta had no bed of his own back home. To shut up their ilk, he has gone ahead and sued in a real court.
There was also a general consensus that it was in Weta’s interests to be seen on the frontline of the demonstrations. This is after Jubilee attempted a cack-handed campaign to engineer disagreements in his hitherto love-filled marriage. The agents of the devil briefly succeeded in misleading the couple to exchange blows instead of kisses.
With the counsel of Cord elders, Weta has thankfully seen through this folly. In his characteristic love for transparency, he had gone public with a confession that he had come out worse off in the rare conflict with Mrs.
But his firm faith in the police as upholders of law and order exposed him to the ridicule of his enemies. It fed into the totally unfounded rumour that he could not lead real men just because of a few scratches and bites from his wife!
The demonstrations have provided him with the perfect forum to shame the idle gossipers. Surely, if the cameras can capture him braving, of all other things, police bullets and teargas from the frontline, how can anyone credibly peddle the lie that Weta lacks the guts for decisive leadership?