If there is one thing I hate as a writer, it must be writing against a tribe or an individual. So, believe me when I tell you that I hate being the bearer of this message. Luos, once very rational and hopeful, are today politically frustrated and disillusioned. Most of us want war, we are annoyingly arrogant and support alarmist utterances against imagined political foes. Things aren’t working for us politically, but instead of facing the reality, we’ve become escapists…always blaming our political failures on others.
More than several times, I have listened to people willing and ready to fight should Raila lose again. If some Luo leader isn’t threatening (in a public rally) to declare Homabay County a Republic, another is asking Luos to be ready to die for Raila this time round. And that doesn’t even scratch the surface when it comes to Luos and love for stone-age politics.
Promising hell-fire in the ‘unlikely’ event Raila loses is almost becoming our motto. We have stooped too low to supporting every nonsense, because in such we see solutions to our prevailing political problems. Luos, though intellectuals, are so afraid of reality that they wouldn’t hesitate to eliminate the source. Anyway, I’ll cut to the chase and address you in the most direct way possible.
I’m a Luo by any definition of the word; a realist. I have refused to buy into emotions and wishful thinking. Tribal pride cannot stop me from bending too low or even crawling to achieve my goals. Here are the 4 political realities Luos must accept for sanity’s sake:
1. Luo Isn’t A Superior Tribe
While we are within our rights to be proud of our tribe and its culture, we don’t have the right to feel superior to other tribes Kenya. We are not a software. We are not a lifestyle. It is never a calling to be a luo. We can and should beg if situation demands. The ‘Jaluo oksechi to kwecho (A luo never pleads but begs)’ is at best dehumanizing for a slogan.
This may shock you, but Luo is just one of the 42 tribes that make up Kenya. It doesn’t matter who think we are, our needs cannot be bigger than that of all Kenyans combined. We don’t have the right to force everyone else to think like us, to love our leaders the way we do. We cannot hold Kenya hostage…no one owes us anything. The sooner we accept the ugly truth the better.
2. Raila Is Not A Special Leader
Let me state clearly that there is nothing abnormal about loving Raila or admiring what you believe are his sacrifices for the country. Even according him unquestioning loyalty is not far-fetched as it is normal in Kenya for people to worship tribal overlords. However, it is childish to think that Raila is a special tribal (who has sacrificed too much for this country) that he MUST be rewarded with presidency. The fight for democracy and freedom was and is never a one man show. Others paid the ultimate price, if you must be reminded.
Again, Kenya is a democracy; one only becomes president by garnering 50%+1 of the total votes. There is no shortcut, no rewards however much someone thinks he is owed. We can’t force Raila on other Kenyans because we want one of our own in Statehouse. Seeking the presidency for sentimental value is as awkward as it is useless. What is that only Raila can do that he must be president? If there is, let’s share this unique attribute with others politely not forcing him down their throats.
3. Not Every Election Is Rigged Against Raila
Raila vied in 1997 and came a distant third. We all know he won in 2007, but Kibaki stole his victory. How do I know that he won in 2007? ODM had majority of elected leaders at every level. Based on our tribal politics, a political party or coalition can’t have the highest number of elected leaders yet lose the presidency. Using the same rationale, you’ll see why Uhuru won in 2013.
So, to contentiously whine that our victory is stolen even when we are too disorganized to organize credible nominations is a bad joke. Baseless claims of rigging of an election 5 years before it is conducted can’t and Won’t help. Let’s grow up, accept defeat, examine why we lost and strategize for a win…it is possible to win just as it is to lose!
4. You Can’t Fight Your Way To The Presidency
Some of us are spoiling for war, ready to die and to kill to realize a President Raila. But like I said Kenya is a democracy and Raila can only be president through the ballot. It doesn’t matter how suicidal one may feel, we lack what it takes to tilt Kenya let alone turn it upside down. And who is it that we want to fight should we lose?
Why do we think other tribes will join us in our war against imaginary enemies? How comes all inciters only insight Luos? Have you seen Muthama inciting Kambas to fight should Raila lose? Or Aladwa/Khalwale telling Luhyas to be ready to die for Raila? No, all the nonsense is told to the deliberately naive Luo audience, because only us can consume political dry jokes.
For a people that were begging to be ferried home through their enemy’s buses during the 2007/8, it is annoying to always ask for war. I didn’t see warriors in the slums we infest; people were scared to death, staying awake all the night in fear of Mungiki and going without food…we attacked no one…reality dawned on us that we are incapable of making real our threats. It was pathetic; starting wars we cannot win when peaceful solutions were available is costly and stupid.
My people, let’s embrace other Kenyans, show them that we value them. That’s how we will win..not this jaluo oksechi (a luo never begs) nonsense! And don’t forget, it’s never too late to turn things around and make Luos great again.