I have read and seen some of the vilest forms of tribal incitement to cause ethnic antagonism and even violence but I have seen few worse than the one posted by one of Kenya’s prominent lawyers Mr. Ahmednassir Abdullahi on his Twitter. Below is the tweet and it speaks loud enough for itself.
The facts of the problems facing Keroche Breweries, Kenya’s second-largest beer maker, and its owner Mrs. Tabitha Karanja that most Kenyans know are completely different from the ones that Ahmednassir Abdullahi seem to be privy to.
Ahmednassir posted on his Twitter that Mrs. Karanja is being persecuted because she is a Kikuyu who refuses to support Raila. Ahmednassir as a lawyer knows exactly what he is talking about.
Ahmednassir also directly warns Kikuyus that they are being deliberately targeted and will be persecuted if they do not support Raila for the presidency the same way Mrs. Karanja is being persecuted through tax arrears of her company. What is this all about?
Why Ahmednassir would want to incite Kikuyus to fight Raila is difficult to understand but his statement is outright incitement for conflict through an invented lie when even the liar knows he is lying.
This article from news reports is what the rest of us poor mortal Kenyans know about the Keroche case.
So to Ahmednassir when and how did the persecution of Mrs. Karanja because she is a Kikuyu who does not want to support Raila start?
Why are you making this kind of ethnic trap up when Kenyans are peacefully going on with their business of campaigns and preparations for the August 9, elections.
Ruto while in the US the last couple of days has told the whole world the Kenya government is using the criminal justice system to blackmail, threaten and intimidate those who support his presidential campaign with a plan to rig the elections in favor of Raila Odinga.
Read: Ruto to the US and UK for the first time since becoming DP. How will it go?
Now we have the Ahmednassirs taking that nonsense a step further and claiming certain tribes are being targeted and forced to support Raila or they get punished. This is dangerous stuff that should have no place in Kenyan politics.
The August 9, elections are going to be peaceful because Kenyans have learnt their lessons. People who have nothing good to tell us about the leaders they support should at least not invent imaginary monsters just to scare people to support their guy.
Mrs. Karanja actually has been very forthright that she needs help. If she needs the KRA and the Kenya government to give her additional time to get the Keroche finances in order I would support her 100%.
What Keroche Breweries has built in Kenya is a landmark industrial and commercial achievement for the country and its citizens. They have good jobs and employ a lot of people. Others are employed through the distribution chain and in many other areas related to the company.
When something like that is in trouble and on the verge of collapse it is not a sin for the government to salvage them if certain deals can be agreed on.
That is what I would go for as opposed to deceitful incitements.
Ahmednassir says that “THE deliberate targeting of Kikuyu businesses owned by individuals who refuse to support Hon Raila MUST STOP!!!…this is very wrong!!!”
If you want to know what is terribly wrong Mr. Ahmednassir it is making up a story you know is false so as to stir ethnic tensions and conflicts.
Whose interests does that serve? It sure doesn’t serve the interests of millions of Kenyans from all parts of the country and all ethnic groups who want peaceful elections come August 9, 2022.
I think I have a very good idea why the likes of Ahmednassir are inventing this lie that Kikuyus are being forced by Uhuru to vote for Raila.
Ruto supporters like Ahmednassir understand very well that if the Kikuyu communities vote in large numbers for Raila and the Azimio Coalition that team’s chances of clinching the presidency are exponentially higher and their victory is almost certain.
So why not use anything you can get to generate the myth of Kikuyus voting for Raila after being forced to do so. Scaring people is not going to work. Kenyans know the people they are dealing with.
Kenyans know Raila Odinga very well and the same applies to William Ruto. Kenyans know him from head to toe. Hakuna shida. Kenyans will figure out who between those two amigos competing for the presidency is good for them and their country. That is what campaigns are all about. Not fear-mongering. Please.
The key piece in this fear-mongering is that Ruto himself and the likes of Ahmednassir were prepared and ready to campaign against and beat up on Raila the Luo leader running on an ODM ticket trying to grab the government.
Then comes this Raila with the Azimio Coalition being embraced by all communities across the country and working with other leaders including President Uhuru Kenyatta to unite the country in peace and move forward.
Read: Azimio Coalition and Kenya Kwanza: A case of two completely different campaigns
That is their agenda and they are putting it forward before the nation as the campaigns progress towards August.
That is not the Raila his political rivals were prepared for. They are now puzzled and bewildered as to what to do with this new Raila who is growing in stature every day in front of their very eyes.
The Raila that goes to Machakos, Makueni, and Athi River without Kalonzo and is embraced with the voters and their leaders in numbers hardly ever seen before. That is a scary Raila for his political rivals.
That Raila has been a nightmare for Ruto and I can understand the panic but please don’t incite ethnic tensions. It is not worth it by a long shot.
Adongo Ogony is a Human Rights Activist and a Writer who lives in Toronto, Canada