What you need to know:
- What polls often miss is where undecideds break towards. Often, they break towards the majority.
- Uhuru’s attempts to remain a regional kingpin through Jubilee have been thwarted. He has to cede this position to Ruto.
- Every by-election in the region for the past two years has been won by Ruto supporters.
In his book, The Prince (1513), Niccolò Machiavelli wrote about flatterers who surround a leader.
He stated that leaders are so self-complacent in their own affairs, and in a way so deceived in them, that they are preserved with difficulty from this pest of flattery, and if they wish to defend themselves, they run the danger of falling into contempt.
He stated that “there is no other way of guarding oneself against flatterers except letting men understand that to tell you the truth does not offend you; but when every one may tell you the truth, respect for you abates.”
He further stated that a wise leader ought to hold a third course by choosing the wise men in his state, and giving to them only the liberty of speaking the truth to him, and then only of those things of which he inquires, and of none others, but he ought to question them upon everything, and listen to their opinions, and afterwards form his own conclusions.
With these advisers, separately and collectively, he ought to carry himself in such a way that each of them should know that, the more freely he shall speak, the more he shall be preferred; outside of these, he should listen to no one, pursue the thing resolved on, and be steadfast in his resolutions.
He who does otherwise is either overthrown by flatterers or is so often changed by varying opinions that he falls into contempt.
It appears President Uhuru Kenyatta was surrounded by Jubilee flatterers who failed to see the incoming yellow revolution in the Mt Kenya region that was so naked to any blind eye.
The yellow revolution has swept almost all political seats in the Mountain, including polling stations where Uhuru and Martha Karua voted.
This issue of political flattery reminded me of a biblical story drawn to my attention by a preacher from Gatanga.
This was after a political storm erupted when, as Senate Chief whip, I wrote a controversial Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) letter to the President warning him of the unpopularity of the initiative in the region.
It was the story of King Ahab in the Bible (1 Kings 22). King Jehoshaphat of Judah went to see King Ahab of Israel. Ahab asked his officials, “Why is it that we have not done anything to get back Ramoth in Gilead from the king of Syria? It belongs to us!”
And Ahab asked Jehoshaphat, “Will you go with me to attack Ramoth?”
“I am ready when you are,” Jehoshaphat answered, “and so are my soldiers and my cavalry. But first, let’s consult .”
Ahab called in the prophets, about four hundred of them, and asked them, “Should I go and attack Ramoth, or not?”
“Attack it,” they said. “The Lord will give you victory.”
But Jehoshaphat asked, “Isn’t there another prophet through whom we can consult the Lord?”
Ahab answered, “There is one more, Micaiah son of Imlah. But I hate him because he never prophesies anything good for me; it’s always something bad.”
“You shouldn’t say that!” Jehoshaphat replied.
Then Ahab called in a court official and told him to go and get Micaiah at once.
Meanwhile, the official who had gone to get Micaiah said to him, “All the other prophets have prophesied success for the king, and you had better do the same.”
But Micaiah answered, “By the living Lord I promise that I will say what he tells me to!”
When he appeared before King Ahab, the king asked him, “Micaiah, should King Jehoshaphat and I go and attack Ramoth, or not?”
Micaiah answered, “ Do not attack. You will not return .” Ahab said to Jehoshaphat, “Didn’t I tell you that he never prophesies anything good for me? It’s always something bad!”
Micaiah was slapped in the face, arrested and locked up.
King Ahab went to the war but never returned.
Poll after poll indicated the United Democratic Alliance would win the region, albeit by a smaller margin.
What polls often miss is where undecideds break towards. Often, they break towards the majority. Every by-election in the region for the past two years has been won by Ruto supporters.
Jubilee candidates decided to ignore these clear signs and follow the King to his retirement.
This was like in ancient Egypt, where servants and maids used to follow a dead King to his afterlife through self-sacrifice.
Uhuru’s attempts to remain a regional kingpin through Jubilee have been thwarted. He has to cede this position to Ruto. On the other hand, Raila will view him as a person who delivered nothing.
Uhuru started his political career on an unfortunate note when he lost the Gatundu seat to an unknown Moses Mwihia in 2007. He has now ended his political career on an unfortunate note after his party was demolished by Ruto.
It is like what the Bible stated, “As it was in the beginning, so shall it be in the end.”
Dr Kang’ata is a lecturer at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa. He is the Governor-elect of Murang’a County.