Tuesday, February 3, 2009



By Barrack Muluka

The gods of Mt Elgon have told me that Raila Odinga is a slow punctured politician. They have said that he is a political maestro in atrophy. I went back to the mountain to canvass to be made an honorary junior Laibon. For when you have learnt the ways of your people and you can trace your genetic make up across 17 generations, you deserve to be made a junior Laibon. And I know that I am the son of Maina, the son of Muluka, son of Ogonji, son of Aswani. I know that this Aswani was the son of Mutsotso, son of Tsuma, son of Omusinde, the man who fought with his mother’s brother over bananas.

I know that the banana man was the son of Namukunda, the son of Nangofia. And this Nangofia was the son of Munyu, the son of Nyulia, for whom our Emanyulia Green Village was named. But Nyulia was born many years ago, when the Abamanyulia lived in a place called Alego Boro. Here, they spoke better Dholuo than Raila and James Orengo put together. And before they came to Alego Boro, these great people lived in Chula Yimbo. I know that Nyulia was the son of Akwenda, son of Shitindo, son of Musoka, who lived in Kakira, Uganda, in the early 16th century. And Musoka’s father was Mukholi.

Armed with this knowledge, I went to talk to the elders of Mt Elgon, so that I may speak for the gods of the mountain as well as the Luo gods and Gikuyu gods. For, who can question the richness of my 500 years’ pedigree? As our names alone attest, I have the genetic make-up of the Luo, Gikuyu, Luhya, the Akamba and even the Ssabasajas of Buganda.

In my journeys, I have faced difficult oracular questions about my country. And I have also been told about the future. About Raila, I was asked why he has steadily turned coat, since April last year. They say he is the little bird Nza, who upon having filled his stomach challenged his guardian angel to a wrestling match. For, he returned from a trip in India to pour scorn, anger and threats upon ‘a certain media house’. He promised to ‘deal with it later’. This ‘certain media house’ is busy talking about ‘petty things like corruption and famine’, instead of talking about how big people are travelling abroad and the wonderful things they see and talk about with the big men who live abroad.

The chief oracle said to me, ‘Son of Mukholi of Kakira, the ground is shifting below your brother, the son of the great Jaramogi. He can no longer resonate with the people. That is why he thinks that his journeys abroad are more important than the empty stomachs and yawning mouths of Turkana. Because he thinks the way he does, the people have left him behind. He is a slow-puncture.

Fighting corruption

‘Son of Munyu, the salt of life, tell this to the people of this great land, "You have focused for too long on non-leaders. They have read your mind and understood you. They know of your thirst for true leaders. And so they come under camouflage, pretending to be messiahs. You must now stop focusing on these non-leaders. When you stop doing so, the scales will fall off your eyes. You will see your true leaders.

"Like the ancient man of Thebes whom they called Oedipus, the son of the great Jaramogi often speaks of his fan club. That is why he has said of ticks, "They will stick on a cow’s skin without knowing that the animal is already in the cooking pot." When a leader looks at yawning mouths amidst thieving hands and calls the situation petty, then he has lost it. The professors and assorted literati who pay homage to him become the proverbial foolish fly that went to the grave with the corpse. They are worse than the ticks on the drying skin.

‘Son of Mukholi, you who would like to be made a junior Laibon, go and say these things first. Then – maybe – we can consider your case. Ask the people why they whine when the son of the great people from the mountain eats with his friends in the council you call the Cabinet. Why do they grumble? When did the son of Kibaki pretend he was presiding over a meritocracy? His Government was never about merit or excellence. It was never going to fight corruption. Let the Mzee eat with his friends so that your country can learn that leadership was never about tribes or money.

‘Your country gets on by the grace of God. What would happen to you today, should you suddenly be left without the big man you call Mr President? You do not even have an electoral body. Who would supervise the chaos you like calling elections? And would the slow-punctured Prime Minister allow the punctured vice president to take charge for 90 days as your law says? Who would choose men and women to the new electoral body if you should suddenly be unlucky not to have a President? Would you not roast yourselves like rats?

‘But when these questions are raised, your all-knowing slow-punctured politicians say people are being petty. Tell them that the unknown hand has written these words on their walls: Mene, Mene, Tekeel, Parsin, the same way it wrote for Nebuchadnezzar the great of Babylon.’