The Luhya Nation’s stake, place, stature, pecking order in Kenya’s looming political reconfiguration under the President Uhuru Kenyatta and former Prime Minister Hon. Raila Odinga crafted and designed Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) and who succeeds President Kenyatta as the Commander in Chief of the Kenya Defence Forces will emerge from the Kibra by-election. Hon. Musalia Mudavadi, party leader of Amani National Congress (ANC) and Senator Moses Wetangula, party leader of FORD Kenya each have presented a candidate in the by-election and by that simple act killed the pretense they continued to posture that they are committed to Luhya Unity and that they were working to merge their parties and as the first step to uniting the Luyha Nation.
Indeed, the calculating Deputy President William Ruto may have outsmarted the two Luhya leaders of ANC and Ford Kenya by fronting a Luhya candidate and thereby using the Luhyas as his proxy to take his war with Raila Odinga to Raila’s backyard and for all intents and purposes the Luo nation has treated Kibra, though at the heart of Nairobi City, as if it is part of the Luo Constituencies in Luo Nyanza.
The leaders of the Luhya Nation will, if the Kibra By-election turns out to be a contest between ODM (read Hon. RailaOdinga and Jubilee (read Deputy President William Ruto) be dead and buried as any serious contenders in the 2022 presidential race. This maybe their waterloo? Being defeated before the race is even announced.
Indeed, Kibra may very well confirm the already obvious fact for those with eyes to see and able to read Kenya’s politics correctly that 2022 is a two horse race between Deputy President William Ruto and former Prime Minister Hon. RailaOdinga and the rest and regrettably those from the homeland will be donkeys in that race.
The Kibra debacle, miscalculation as it looks to be for the Luhya Nation’s current leaders will only magnify, amplify the myth, the now notorious fact for most of post independent Kenya that Luhyas are incapable of coalescing their numerical strength into crucial political capital and therefore remain the open play ground for politicians from other communities to come and hunt for and collect pieces of the electoral pie to add up to their solid home-bases.
The Luhya Nation must be prepared to learn hard lessons from the Kibra By-election. The lessons are legion and this time they will be the full glare of the capital city of Kenya. Maybe if the defeat is so glaring, overwhelming, it will shock theLuhya nation and from that shame to eat humble pie and relook afresh at really what they hope their children will inherit in the political architecture of Kenya.
The Kibra By-election may very well be referendum on the LuhyiaNation’s political standing, character, and hunger to count for something or nothing in Kenya’s politics. Let us watch the space.