MPs should watch out not to entrench “our turn to eat” mentality even as they demand better

Posted by on 14th January 2019

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The New Year has begun on a rather dramatic note. From Jubilee and ODM internal wars that has seen the resignation of Jubilee Vice Chair, and a relentless call for freedom of speech by ODM ‘rebel’ MPs from the Coast.

Interestingly, the implosion in Jubilee and the wrangles in ODM are allegedly linked to the Deputy President William Ruto. It is public knowledge that the DP intends to take over from President Uhuru when his term ends in 2022 and that has been the genesis of all the quarrels in both parties.

Jubilee Vice Chairperson, David Murathe for instance, has been against DP Ruto’s ascendance to Presidency; something that he cited as the reason for his resignation from the party, although critics see it as DP faction pushing him out of the party.

ODM on the other hand has been trying to tame Coast MPs who have been associating with the deputy president on grounds that as a party they will field a candidate and their members had no business therefore supporting a candidate from another party. The ‘rebel’ MPs appear undaunted arguing their association with the DP is in the spirit of the handshake; taking issue with the party officials whom they accuse of trying to gag them.

But what we should be wary of is the utterances Mt. Kenya MPs are making against their party leader and President of the Republic, Uhuru Kenyatta. After a video of Gatundu South MP, Moses Kuria went viral on New Year’s Eve; a number of MPs from the region came out accusing the President of ignoring his backyard and focusing on opposition regions.

Although Hon. Moses Kuria has since come out to clarify the contents of that video, saying he was accusing the Kiambu leadership and not the president; it appears that clarification didn’t do much considering the different shape the conversation has taken with Bahati MP Kimani Ngunjiri forming a “Washenzi movement” after the President told them off.

In his response the President told the MPs who were complaining that, the days when the President solely focused on a region he was hailing from were over and that development would reach every corner of the country. The slur on Washenzi notwithstanding, this was a very good response coming on the backdrop of a country where citizens kill each other to elect their own.

About a year ago, sections of citizens in this country wanted to secede and to show how serious they were, they never voted in the fresh October 26th Presidential Elections. This is because they didn’t feel as part of the country; particularly because the fruits of development, allegedly didn’t trickle down to their areas because they’re a strong opposition base.

In fact the cyclic violence every electioneering period has always been about “our turn to eat” mentality where smaller tribes coalesce around a candidate they believe is likely to bring the cake home. It’s therefore sad to see MPs who should know better trumpeting the same thinking thereby entrenching tribalism in an office that is supposed to be a unifying one like the Presidency.

Besides, it’s rather ludicrous that an MP with a Sh. 100 million annual NGCDF kitty would ask what development the President had brought in their region; even in the era of Devolution where we have Ward Representatives and a Governor.

The MPs around Washenzi movement are therefore engaging in backward politics that has no place in the present Kenya. Considering none of them explained to their constituents how they used their NGCDF funds or get specific on the issues they felt the national government had neglected; it appears the attacks are merely political.

2018 was marred with a lot of useless political rhetoric that only got ordinary Kenyans mark-timing. In 2019 we ask the politicians to spare Wanjiku these useless stunts meant only to impress a few politicians.

In the same breath, we challenge the media to play their agenda setting role effectively. We can’t be talking about 2022 politics day in day out when our children are getting the short end of the stick in matters education or when ordinary citizens are being robbed in broad day light as a result of the challenges that have dogged the health sector; including the scandal ridden NHIF funds. This is not too much to ask.