By KWENDO OPANGA
Posted Saturday, April 14 2012 at 17:53
Posted Saturday, April 14 2012 at 17:53
- If this were to happen, the sense of political persecution among the Luo, for example, would be too much to bear
On April 6 early in the morning, I watched CNN’s Piers Morgan interview Mr Clint Hill. Mr Hill features prominently in that infamous film clip of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas, Texas, on November 22, 1963.
It was Mr Hill who jumped onto JFK’s limousine when the shots rang out. He is seen rushing to meet a stunned Jackie Kennedy.
Mr Hill’s mission was simple: Get to the President and First Lady, force them on the floor and lie on them to protect them. He was a shot too late.
Fresh from watching that poignant clip, I was horrified to see Gem MP Jakoyo Midiwo on TV apparently exposing a plot to kill Prime Minister Raila Odinga.
To me, there are three kinds of people who would want to kill the PM or any of his political adversaries.
They are the idiotic, the sadistic and the reckless or all these rolled into one madman. There is one thing about an assassination; it is clinical and final, stupefying and traumatising.
The target is here one minute and gone forever the next. But it does not -- cannot -- end there.
The aim of an assassination is to put an opponent out of the equation, once and for all, and in an instant.
But assassinations have visited on Kenya its most perilous and insecure, its most deeply polarising and terribly destabilising moments in its almost 49 years of post-independence history.
The 1969 assassination of brilliant and flamboyant Thomas Joseph Mboya – TJ – was followed by mass oathing among the Gema communities.
The gospel of ethnic hate was preached with abandon. The siege mentality that followed the murder of Mboya was on display the other day in Limuru.
Populist and rich with a private jet to boot, Josiah Mwangi Kariuki -- JM -- was the only Kikuyu welcomed in Rusinga for the burial of Mboya as ethnic tensions reached breaking point.
The 1975 murder of popular JM rallied Kenyans, like never before, against the Kikuyu power elite.
Mboya could have been president, JM too. But Kanu loyalist and camp follower Robert Ouko showed no such ambition even as he fiercely defended Nairobi’s horrid human rights record abroad.
Investigations of his 1990 murder remain Kenya’s most expensive forensic wild goose chase yet. His death still haunts the power men of the time.
Good people, an assassination is infamy that troubles countries for many years to come.
This is especially so because often assassins permanently take out of commission well-liked individuals on behalf of their insecure, insensitive, insincere and unpopular paymasters.
Assassins visit misery on families and friends and countries for the chilling reason that they are at the office – it’s a job.
An assassin will earn his 30 pieces of silver and the country, his masters included, will reap the whirlwind of suspicion, notoriety and conflict of his brief labour for generations to come.
Folks, we are at a crossroads. We are going into an election before we have forgotten, let alone healed, the wounds of the last one.
The arraignment of fellow Kenyans before the International Criminal Court (ICC) has been exploited to raise ethnic animosity to unacceptable levels.
Two tribal blocks have emerged whose singular aim is to stop Mr Odinga from becoming Kenya’s next president.
The leaders of these groups claim, without proffering any evidence, that Mr Odinga conspired to have Mr William Ruto and Mr Uhuru Kenyatta arraigned before the ICC.
Remember ICC is about the last General Election whose presidential poll, Mr Odinga holds, was stolen from him.
Remember the next General Election will be about the last one. Now throw an assassination into this high octane atmosphere and Justice Johann Kriegler’s predicted nightmare will arrive ahead of schedule.
It is political nonsense and transparent fiction for Mr Ruto and Mr Kenyatta to declare they have no problem with the Luo community, but with one Raila Odinga.
Just like the Gema and Kamatusa communities have been rallied around Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto respectively, so also can the Luo be rallied around Mr Odinga.
May I repeat myself: Only a cretin or insolent madman would want to kill Mr Odinga or any of his political foes.
Among the Luo, for example, the sense of political persecution could be too much to bear; humiliate Jaramogi, kill Mboya and Ouko, deny Mr Odinga the presidency and then kill him!
Had Mr Midiwo, the plotters and hirelings not thought about what murdering Mr Odinga would mean for Kenya, now they have an idea.
Kwendo Opanga is a media consultant firstname.lastname@example.org