Western is just sour grapes
One hot afternoon, a fox was walking through the forest and spotted a bunch of grapes hanging from over a lofty branch. “Just the thing to quench my thirst,” he thought.
Taking a few steps back, the fox jumped and just missed the hanging grapes. Again the fox took a few paces back and tried to reach them but still failed. The fox finally gave up and turned up his nose and said, “They’re probably sour anyway.”
He then walked away.
The moral of this story is that it is easy to despise what you cannot have and nothing comes easy without hard work. Over the last couple of weeks, we have witnessed a group of politicians, especially from Western Kenya, making all manner of claims against former Prime Minister Raila Odinga.
After relying on him to build their political careers, the politicians appear lost since the famous handshake between Raila and President Uhuru Kenyatta. They are all over trying to dismiss the handshake, making all manner of demands on Raila.
Recently, they demanded he takes a back seat and supports one of their leaders in the next election, which is four years away. They are even demanding that ODM — the majority opposition party — relinquishes minority seats in Parliament.
They are claiming Raila has disowned their support and want him to “rudisha mkono” instead of supporting Uhuru in his ‘Big Four’ agenda. For them, this is all politics, while the rest of the country is focussed on development.
Since they cannot understand the handshake and what it means for Kenya, they are like the fox in the story, trashing Raila at all costs. For weeks now, these leaders have been talking of how Raila has betrayed their people and taken their support for granted,
What is clear is that they are perturbed by the attention and respect that Raila is drawing since the handshake and seem not to understand why other Western opposition leaders are not part of the deal.
What they are not appreciating is that the handshake is a symbolic move for Kenyans to move in one direction and even put politics aside. Raila closed ranks with Uhuru for the sake of the country, as any statesman would. Tired of unending politics, Raila realised this country is more important than any individual and moved to help the country heal and come together for one common agenda — prosperity.
Raila is a man who lives in reality. The reality that he will not actively involve himself in politics and he wants to see a united and developed Kenya that he has always dreamt of.
Now our friends in Western, who have always ridden on Raila’s back, are sacred of the future, as they do not know how they will survive politically. They are trying to wrap their heads around the new way of doing things, but cannot get it.
But it would be a simple thing to figure out if they concentrated on how to get to the grapes, instead of saying they are sour, even without tasting them.
Western Kenya leaders must join the rest of the country and welcome the handshake as the stepping stone towards development and unity in Kenya. Instead of spending all their time trash-talking Raila’s move, they should focus on how they can be part of this journey.
What they should be doing is taking advantage of Raila’s goodwill and push for the interests of their people. They should be seeking Raila’s audience to reach the President’s ear and ensure the needs of their people are met as promised.
Spending all the time telling your supporters how Raila has betrayed you because of the handshake will not create jobs for them or give them an avenue to meet their needs.
The writer is a political and communications consultant