When the Nairobi Gubernatorial (I have never understood why it is not governortorial) debate was held, I did not even know about it, and so I missed it. It was the main discussion at Hitler’s the next day and I was so upset that I could not contribute. The patrons were split down the middle on who won, with Nyayo and Rasto supporting Sakaja while Tito and Alphayo supported Igathe.
Saphire and Hitler were swaying in between, just giving the strengths and weaknesses of each without saying who they supported. Unable to contribute because I missed the debate, I wondered why they were concentrating on Nairobi when the debate for our county Kakamega County was more important. “When is this happening?” I asked.
“I can tell you this time Khalwale will beat Oparanya hands down,” said Rasto. He was shocked when he was told that the two were not contesting.
“What do you mean? Who is contesting” he asked.
“Malala, Jirongo and Barasa,” said Tito, wondering how Rasto did not know.
“No, Jirongo can only contest for president,” said Alphayo. “Governor is too small for Jirongo,” he added that the young people did not know who Jirongo was. With no indication as to when or if the Kakamega debate would be held or not, we moved to other things. “I can’t wait for the Deputy President’s debate, that will be fireworks,” said Kizito, who had just arrived from Nairobi.
“Martha is book-smart while Gachagua is street-smart,” he added without explaining. Many did not understand what he meant but no one asked him to explain. No one wanted to feel stupid.
“When is the debate?” Asked Hitler. Kizito told us it will be Monday the 18th. And he promised to host all of us at his place.
I was in his house at 6.30pm, some people had arrived much earlier. Kizito had invited Hitler to come with his stuff and sell it at half-price to all those who were watching. “If I were in Nairobi, I would be there live.”
When I arrived, there were two women debating. Justina and Ruth. I had never heard of them, but I really liked them.
“I went to university with Justina,” said Kizito, adding that she was very bright. He also claimed to have worked with Ruth. “I don’t believe you. How come you are not anyone’s running mate?” asked Saphire.
“Because the constitution says the post is for women, otherwise I would have been a running mate.” Everyone laughed, but Toto asked why Gachagua was a running mate.
“But he will lose even today, you can never win an argument against a woman, wait and see,” said Kizito.
Once the two candidates were done, there was a long analysis on the TV, with arguments about who would win. Soon the moment for reckoning came. There was pin drop silence as the debate began. Controversy began when the candidates were asked to say something about themselves.
“I am a family man, my wife and children are here…” said Gachagua. Alphayo who was rooting for Gachagua chimed in happily. “Let us see if Martha can also talk that way about family…”
“I am an active man who does not take alcohol…” said Gachagua.
Hitler went ballistic at this. “Now what is this one saying? Sisi Kwisha! Huyu atatumaliza!” “But I have told you Gachagua was a DO, so if he takes over you will have to close your alcohol business,” warned Kizito.
Alphayo did not agree. “This is not true, they haven’t said so in their manifesto and those were just lies from Kizito, who is paid by Azimio.”
The debate went on and everything was OK until the candidates were asked their net worth. There was silence when Martha said she was worth Sh150 million. “What do you mean?” Asked Alphayo. “How can someone have Sh150 million? How do you count it?”
“And where do you bank it? Do banks even have Sh3 million in cash?” Wondered Nyayo. He went on to say that he has tried to have Sh4,000 at once but something requiring expenditure always comes up. “The best I have done is Sh3,800, yet people have Sh150 million,” he said.
Alphayo said he has always thought the richest people have about Sh4 million so it was a shock that someone can have Sh150 million.
If Martha surprised them, Gachagua’s admission was a shocker.
“Do I hear right?” Wondered Alfayo. “How do you even write Sh800 million? How many zeroes does it have? Is the money in an account? Is it in one bank?”
“How can one man have Sh800 million? This is unfair. What do you do with such an amount of money?” Wondered Nyayo. Kizito told us they were saying all their assets, including houses. Nyayo told him that even if they counted everything, including the packet of cigarettes he had, it could not reach Sh40,000.
“Also, the two are not telling the truth,” added Kizito. “I agree with you, Kizito. They have exaggerated so that we can think they are rich,” said Tito
“No,” said Kizito. “They have much more than that. Martha has more than Sh200 million while Gachagua has billions.” “What do you mean billions? You mean a person can have billions? I thought that was only for the government? Where does one keep such money?” The entire debate was overshadowed by the talk about net worth that we did not follow much.
When Gachagua started reading something, Kizito shot up.
“This is wrong! No one should be allowed to read notes,” said Kizito.
Luckily, no one understood what was in the notes except that something was being done by what he referred to as the First Family.
“Who is the First Family?” Asked Rasto. No one seemed to know.
The debate ended quicker than we thought, and while more people felt that Gachagua had performed better, he had lost almost a good number of fans by saying that he does not take alcohol.
“We can’t have a president and a deputy who don’t drink alcohol,” declared Hitler.
“But debates are useless,” said Kizito. “They do not change anyone’s mind, and you could even get more votes by not attending.” He reminded everyone one that President Kenyatta did not attend the 2017 debate but won with over 90 per cent of the vote.” I can’t wait for the presidential debate. To hear how much billions they own.