Raila Should Not Preach Ethnic Propaganda On Itare Water Dam To Gain Political Mileage.
ODM’s leader Raila Odinga and I share a lot in history. Yet I must be able to criticize him when I think he is wrong and he should be able to criticize me when he thinks I am wrong. This is what should keep the whole nation on the right track.
Twice Mr. Odinga has claimed that in constructing Itare Dam, the Jubilee government intends to take water from Maasai and Kalenjin community of Bomet County to Nakuru County to be consumed exclusively by the Kikuyu.
While pushing this ethnic propaganda, Raila seems to forget two things that we fought for while we were in detention.
First, our fight for second liberation was never for the rule of negative ethnicity and division of society but for nationalism and unity of all our peoples.
Second, African patriots embraced nationalism and not negative ethnicity because, unlike colonialists who used negative ethnicity to divide and rule, founding fathers used nationalism to unite and harmonize society.
Pursuing nightmare of negative ethnicity and division therefore betrays the dream of nationalism and unity for which we fought and suffered so much.
Notwithstanding, two assumptions are inherent in Raila’s ethnic propaganda in regard to the Itare Dam.
The first unmentioned allegation is that for Uhuru government to pursue such an exclusively ethnic agenda of building a dam to give water to Kikuyu community alone, it would have to be an exclusively one-ethnic community government. And yet, while President Uhuru Kenyatta is Kikuyu, his entire government is not exclusively Kikuyu.
Second, for the government to be able to give water to Kikuyu community only, Nakuru County would have to be entirely inhabited by the Kikuyu. But Nakuru community is not Kikuyu only. It belongs to all communities that make up Kenya.
Since Nakuru County is multiethnic, giving water to only one community while denying all the others would not be possible unless the county government is an ethnic apartheid that is created to serve one ethnic community only. While Nakuru county government has many weaknesses, it is not an ethnic apartheid state that can give water to exclusively one people only.
If Itare dam will give water to Nakuru County, that water will be given to all Kenyan communities that reside in it. Any claim to the contrary is eminently false.
Raila’s repeated claim that Uhuru government intends water from Itare dam to be drunk by Kikuyu community in Nakuru County alone is false and meant to antagonize Kenya’s other communities with Kikuyu community in Nakuru and whole country.
Specifically, claim that water from the Mau water tower is meant to benefit the Kikuyu community alone can only be intended to antagonize both the Maasai and Kipsigis communities and especially during election time when it is meant to entice them into opposition which is okay as long as it is done with proper means that don’t create ethnic animosities whose consequences could be dire and lethal.
While seeking power through democratic means is proper, the temptation to use ethnic antagonism to acquire power is always tempting but dangerous if our own and Rwandan experiences are anything to go by. Setting Kenya on ethnic fires to win elections must be resisted at all costs by all leaders who consider themselves patriotic.
Like other Kenyans, Mr. Odinga is entitled to seek power, but he must do so through democratic and legitimate means and never by pitting Kenyan communities against one another. And I ask Raila to exercise this restraint because we know how dangerous ethnic antagonisms are and especially in Rift Valley, where leaders have before incited ethnic conflicts and ethnic cleansing.
While Raila may never admit using the political tactic of pitting 42 Kenyan Communities against the Kikuyu whom he considers to be collectively in power, for him to come to power, all is fair as in love and war.
Thus the Bible asks, of what value is it, to win the whole world but lose your soul.