My waking up on Thursday morning coincided with the President’s plane taxing along the runaway of JKIA. He was finally back or so were the screaming headlines from most TV screens. Given that we are a reactionary country, somehow traffic along the busy highways of Nairobi was affected in the very peculiar way, a whole two hours before President Uhuru traversed through Mombasa Road, Outer ring Road, Jogoo Road and Harambee Avenue. UhuRuto government has successfully manipulated the ICC fever to their advantage, creating a sympathetic narrative, legions relate to. If the masses that braved the scorching sun are anything to go by, then the summons by ICC judges was indeed a blessing in disguise for the current government. Somehow the CORD brigade and governors push for a referendum has been squashed to obscurity at least for the meantime. The government saw this as a springboard to rally confidence and popularity amongst Kenyans.
We all can reckon from the hindsight, that it was a tough but worthy decision of the President attending the status conference. Of course the ugly irony is that of the hype, one year ago by Kenyan government, mobilizing the whole continent to have a common stand against the ICC. The extra ordinary summit through majority voting, declared no sitting President from Africa would ever attend any hearing at the ICC. This brings me to one thing I have noted about President Uhuru. He is never afraid of going against the grain. It was no surprise to me that despite a lot of quiet pressure from his counterparts, notably President Museveni, he still defied that force for the obvious reasons of putting Kenya first and more importantly, not putting the sovereignty of this country on trial. Politically, him standing out as a law abiding President and also humble enough to honour the summons at the Hague, will change so many peoples’ perceptions, especially those that had a negative opinion of him from way before.
The President in a very elaborate way, bequeathing the instruments of power to his deputy, Hon William Ruto was unprecedented. The last time we had an Acting President, was during the sudden death of Mzee Jomo Kenyatta when the then Vice President Moi took the whims of power. In his capacity for the two days, Acting President Ruto had an enviable experience at the hot seat; he was phenomenal chairing meeting after meeting even without the symbolic aide de camp. To that extent, it is good news for Africa at a time when many African countries are marred by infighting and political intolerance. As a country, it was even bigger news bearing in mind less than three years ago we were visibly tired of the constant wrangles of the coalition government. UhuRuto duo has struck a chemistry that they have jealously guided since they were included in the infamous Ocampo list. It is this seamless friendship, which later evolved to a high voltage brand, that helped Jubilee team to have a head start in the campaigns and in winning the March 2013 elections.
Insofar, it was a good week, until Mike Sonko appeared in his typical uncivil style, clad in an insulting T-shirt. It was not only unnecessary but simply sad. Anybody outside of this country is an ambassador of this great nation, automatically. Sonko portrayed the shallowness in our political circles which we have naively tolerated and give in to, because he somehow appears to be ‘philanthropic’. Philanthropic my foot! We’d rather vote in a broke chap who is visionary and upholds good values of the society than have somebody in the same position, money loaded with no clear sources, trashing decorum boldly in the 21st century.
The jury is out, history and political pundits for a long time to come will have a field day delving and analyzing this very nostalgic week, which not many saw it coming. Is it a sign of a maturing democracy and trust within the corridors of power? How will this very different style of leadership of UhuRuto government result to? Is it what Kenya has been missing for it to take off to the next level of an economic powerhouse? Time will tell.
On the flip side, there is so much to learn from the President invoking Article 147 of the Constitution, am not sure how many of your immediate bosses would leave you totally in charge of their positions. Insecurity is such a big thing in office setups. Let’s drift it even further, how many husbands by their status of being head of the family would trust their wives with all the ‘trappings of power’. How many In-laws would even tolerate a scenario where the wife or window to have the final say in family businesses? The President is clearly demonstrating that we cannot be prisoners of status quo. They say insanity is doing the same things and expecting different results. In fact while addressing Kenyans who shoved to catch a glimpse of him, the President emphasized on trust in leadership for this country to propel. This will go down as one nostalgic week which made some of us more prayerful and patriotic! Ultimately, we can only hope justice will prevail to the victims and the accused; and that whatever the verdict, this country will be a stronger state.