What you need to know:
- Despite calling other communities enemies and our own who differ from us traitors, the truth is that such people are neither enemies nor traitors.
- One way to reduce negative ethnicity is when Luos, Kambas or Luhyas join Jubilee Party if they agree with its ideology without being called traitors.
- If a community has its leaders in all parties, it will share in the victory of the ruling party and that of the opposition when it come to power.
- I don’t believe that Nasa presidential flagbearer Raila Odinga is an enemy of the Kikuyu.
When some of my fellow Kikuyus call me a traitor because I have joined Nasa, they remind me of the 50,000 Hutus who were killed during the Rwandan genocide of 1994 after being branded cockroaches and traitors for defending the rights of Tutsis.
Though leaders such as President Uhuru Kenyatta have said we should do politics of policy, not ethnicity and insults, when we call people of other communities in the different political parties enemies and persons of our own community joining other political parties traitors, this ignites negative ethnicity.
Despite calling other communities enemies and our own who differ from us traitors, the truth is that such people are neither enemies nor traitors.
Though they espouse policies that are different from ours they could some day save us as biblical Joseph saved his family from famine after they had sold him into slavery.
I believe one way to reduce negative ethnicity is when Luos, Kambas or Luhyas join Jubilee Party if they agree with its ideology without being called traitors by fellow tribesmen or when Kikuyus and Kalenjins join Nasa, ODM or Wiper Party without being called traitors.
If it is a betrayal for a Kikuyu to join Nasa or for a Luo to join Jubilee Party, where would the Kikuyu go if Nasa won the elections?
And have Luos died because Jubilee has been in power?
It is wisdom protective of ethnic communities when people join parties with different ethnic leaders which cannot leave them out of government or plot genocide against them.
It is clever communities never put all their eggs in one basket. When a community is able to join parties led by other Kenyans, it is protected when it is represented in the leadership of the ruling party as well as the opposition.
If a community has its leaders in all parties, it will share in the victory of the ruling party and that of the opposition when it come to power.
It is said American Jews get protection and enjoy political inclusion when they join as many political parties as they can and partake in their leadership, thereby ensuring they cannot be targeted for mischief like the Holocaust.
The Kenyatta family did what it is unlikely to encourage other members of the Kikuyu community to do.
ONE PARTY DICTATORSHIP
When one-party dictatorship was coming to an end, Mr Uhuru Kenyatta was running for president, while his uncle, Mr George Muhoho, was in the Democratic Party.
His cousin, Ms Beth Mugo, was in the Social Democratic Party and her brother Ngengi Muigai was in Ford Asili.
Though this guaranteed them protection whichever party won, today the family will not advise the Kikuyu to join many parties apparently because what is good for the Kenyatta family is also good for the community.
This is the philosophy that led me to join Nasa. When my election was rigged, I reckoned it was time to move on because as the Swahili proverb says, one who wants to kick you out need not tell you to get out.
Equally, you part ways when someone steals from you. Instead of suffering rejection in Jubilee, life was more hopeful in Nasa where change and the dream of marching to Canaan were still being espoused.
Contrary to propaganda, I did not join Nasa because I hate my people. I believe I have joined Nasa for the best interests of the Kikuyu and other Kenyans.
The community has sometimes regarded friends as enemies, and its best sons and daughters – Mau Mau, Bildad Kaggia and JM Kariuki – as traitors. It is wrong to regard those joining Nasa as traitors.
Equally, I don’t believe that Nasa presidential flagbearer Raila Odinga is an enemy of the Kikuyu.
He would not have said “Kibaki Tosha (endorsed former President Mwai Kibaki)”. One who advocates just interests of someone from another community is not necessarily a traitor. Jaramogi Oginga Odinga would have been a traitor of the Luo community when he said: “Without (Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, no Uhuru (independence).”
It is time for the Kikuyu to say, “Raila tosha” for the fifth president of Kenya. Let’s have a civilised debate on this matter.
Mr Wamwere is a veteran politician. [email protected]