Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Ruto is not a national leader but an ethnic chauvinist

By condemning MPs who support the Prime Minister, in the Rift Valley, honourable William Ruto has not only disqualified himself as a national leader, but an ethnic chauvinist, self seeker, and undemocratic. He is in the league of leaders who incite the public especially now that the Country is working towards reconciliation after the 2008 election fiasco.
Many Kenyans wonder how Ruto will become President without forging the support of other communities. And besides, Kalenjins votes alone will not enable the Eldoret East MP to win the Presidency.
He should portray himself a national leader ready to sell his ideas beyond Kalenjin land by respecting the likes of nominated MP Musa Sirma and Minster for Industrialization, Henry Kosgey who have a democratic right to support whomever they want for national leadership.
Honourable Ruto’s persistent attacks on the PM are a clear manifestation of his hatred on the PM and not differences on policy matters. His own community alone will not catapult him to national leadership. He needs the support of the entire nation including the Prime Minister’s tribe, the Luo.
The Right Honourable Prime Minister should not abdicate his collective responsibility to champion the interests of a single community when he is a leader of a Country with 42 ethnic communities.
The MP has portrayed himself as a double speaker. Ruto his on record since early 2008 saying ODM was robbed victory in the 2007 Presidential election. And now, after suffering from selective amnesia, he and his cronies now say President Kibaki won the election and there is no need why their supporters were fighting for Raila.
The recent demonstrations led by Eldoret Mayor, in support of Ruto, when he was fired from the cabinet by the PM and later rescinded by the President is a portrayal of egocentricity, lack of leadership and political cronyism.
When a mayor elected by the people takes to the streets to demonstrate because a fellow tribesman has been suspended from a ministerial docket, it reflects a nation still manacled on politics of self interest and ethnicity.
Supporters of Ruto must remember that when Moi ruled Kenya for 24 years, the community never used to demonstrate against those who gave Moi headache, especially the clamour for multiparty politics.
The interests of the Kalenjin community are not more important than those of other Kenyan communities. I therefore urge Ruto and his supporters in the Rift Valley to sober up and remember that the old Kanu mentality of political cronyism; mooted by his ardent supporter likes Joshua Kutuny, and Isaac Ruto are not welcome in modern Kenya.
In fact, Ruto doesn’t love his tribesmen but want to use them as a springboard to spur his political career. Do you remember that Mau controversy was borne during Moi’s reign which Ruto was part of. It was never a creation of Raila Odinga. The Prime Minister is just trying to clean Moi’s mess to protect Kenya’s environment in the current coalition government.

Therefore, the Mau issue is a collective government decision and we have stake holders like the Ministry of environment and natural resources, Ministries of Water and Irrigation, Forestry and Wildlife, NEMA, and even the Ministry of Agriculture headed by Ruto himself.

Our nation is in tenterhooks when young MPs like William Ruto resorts to hide in ethnic enclaves and what come out of their mouth are not harmony, reconciliation or patriotism but hate, division and incitement.

We are all left wondering the direction our nation is heading to. God forbid, what will happen if Ruto becomes President? God loves Kenyans.

We cannot solve the problems bedeviling our nation by whining and complaining. It’s sad that young leaders have dented the curriculum vitae of progressive young leaders.

If Ruto is truly a nationalist, he should shake off the dust from Rallies in the Rift Valley and reach out to other communities and with this, he will establish himself as a credible leader ready for the Presidency.
Joseph Lister Nyaringo
New Jersey, USA

Ambassador Kiplagat should be given a second chance

I'm one of the Kenyans who felt that Kiplagat's dark past will not endear him to carry out his duties as a TJRC boss, but on further thought, I think the man should be given a second chance.
After all, we should not be a society that demonizes people without giving them the benefit of the doubt.
Many of our top echelons of power have a lot of skeletons in their closets and are still running the Country’s affairs. We have murderers, sycophants and looters currently at the top in Kenya’s leadership. After all, Kiplagat served a corrupt regime of Moi just like Kibaki, Raila, Kalonzo, Saitoti, Uhuru, Ruto, and Mudavadi etc.
Who is clean in a Country like ours where public coffers are looted, people are killed and we see nothing being done to the culprits?
That is why I view Ms Betty Murungi’s exit from deputising Mr. Kiplagat as hypocrisy, phony and populism. I’m sure she would have continued to serve the commission as number two if Kiplagat was from her ethnic community.
Staying put as deputy in the commission would have made Ms Murungi the voice of reason in the TJRC. You don’t jump the ship when the sea is rough. If she truly felt that she can’t serve under Kiplagat, the best she would have done was to quit completely from the TJR.
Just because Nobel Laureate Desmond Tutu has voiced his concern for Kiplagat’s exit does not mean that Kenyans should follow the same chorus.
Ambassador Bethwel Kiplagat, is the right person to lead the Truth Commission because he was there and he saw what happened and I believe at his age, he will work with a wet towel around his head to ensure that the Country does not fall into the same trap. I’m sure, as a grand parent, he understands the need to have a better Kenya than what we have seen all the years.
Again, my support for Kiplagat is not driven by tribal leanings since I’m not a Kalenjin, but as a citizen of Kenya from Gusiiland.
Through the TJRC, Kenyans will capture the dark past, forgive and work mechanisms of avoiding the same. To keep pressuring Kiplagat to quit over his past does not heal the wounds of yesterday. It’s his dark past alongside other Kenyans that his commission is set to work on and reconcile the nation.
Lister Nyaringo