President Kibaki, let me tell you what sticks in my craw. I don’t know about you and I don’t mean to belittle your profession, but it is the smallness of our politics.
I read that your deputy, the Vice-President of the Republic, came to you and asked you to sack Water minister Charity Ngilu.
I think, Mr President, you should keep a whip somewhere in State House and flog those ministers who come to treat you to such inane stories about their colleagues.
Look, Mr President, if they can’t take the heat in the arena, then, you turn the heat on them or ask them to get the hell out of politics. Second, Mr President, if they spend all their time fighting their colleagues, they should not complain when they themselves come under pressure.
Let me tell you, sir, about Reuben. You see, my departed uncle, for that was his name, would have choked on his tea to hear about the VP telling on Ngilu.
Between you and I, Baba wa Taifa, the only time Reuben beat me bloody was because I had come home crying and complaining that some other kid had given me a bloody nose.
My uncle surveyed me from his seat in the corner of the sitting room as I sobbed and shook from the same. He moved close to me as if to console me.
He struck me so hard I stopped crying instantly. I stood bolt upright as if obeying a military command because he hit me harder than the other chap had.
And then he thundered: “Rafael is younger than you. Why would you fight him? I am told you started the fight, why would you start a fight you can’t fight. I will not have a nephew who wants a fight, gets himself one and then loses it. Now go and cry with the girls in the kitchen!”
No, Mr President; there is no way I was going to go to the kitchen. My cousin Sophia & Co would have laughed at me with a great deal of hilarity and mischief. They did laugh anyway, but at least I delayed their laughter and glee.
You get my drift, Mr President? Ngilu is a woman. At least the guy who hit me was a boy. Look, what is happening here is that Ngilu has lit a fire under the VP’s seat and, in this fight for supremacy in Ukambani, surely he can tackle the lady.
The problem for the VP is simply that he cannot get water to put out the fire under his seat because it is with Ngilu. Because she won’t give it to him, ask him to wrest it from her.
Let me tell you something else, Baba wa Taifa. You could also have turned the heat on the Vice-President by urgently summoning Ngilu to your meeting.
And as soon as she walked in, you would have asked the Vice-President to tell his story about her all over again! I see you can already see the thunder on Ngilu’s face and the horror on the VP’s!
If you choose this as a way of turning the heat on the VP, then you must be prepared for drama from Mama. She is nasty politician. You remember before she became an MP she nicknamed her then district officer Dragon?
Actually his name was Teragon. She even threatened to slap him at one time. If Ngilu does not choose to go this way, she may just burst into uncontrollable wailing or worse.
Mr President, you don’t want this kind of drama in that hallowed address or Harambee House, or any other place for that matter. So the best thing to do is to make it clear to all these people that you have no time for siasa za kumalizana because it is anti-development and your be-all and end-all is development.
You are right, Mr President. The Vice-President was for a considerable period of time the Kanu organising secretary. He was weaned on the politics of hounding people out of office and party through well orchestrated and choreographed vilification. Tell him to draw on that era and dig in for his war.
Tell him to take the war to Ukambani. Tell him to be ready for a nasty war in which the kitchen sink and all its dirty contents may land on his head.
But, tell me, Baba wa Taifa, from what I read you were quite diplomatic with the VP. From what I read, you seemed to tell him that he should take up the matter of Ngilu with the Prime Minister.
Was that the easier way out or were you seeking to pour oil on the hot war between your deputy and co-principal? Baba wa Taifa, those two relate to each other the way a snake relates to a mongoose!
Of course, I get the point. If the VP can keep the PM busy in a meaningless war, your colleagues in the Party of National Unity can take advantage of it and organise themselves better to deal with the electoral boundaries commission and other issues.
Of course, the smallness of our politics has its benefits. Look at me; I was forgetting you are a politician.
Kwendo Opanga is a media consultant.