Opinion / Commentaries
Tuesday, 14 Mar 2017 07:33 EATcwainaina@kenyafreepress.com
Last year, President Uhuru Kenyatta began what was billed as a fight against hate speech by leaders, whereby several elected leaders were arrested and taken to court. However, the president himself has begun to hurl insults at elected leaders like governors, senators, MPs and MCAs, without minding his reputation to the public, and also going against the constitution.
President Kenyatta in recent past has been angry with some opposition leaders, uttering bitter words against them as witnessed in Turkana County last week. The president seems to have something destructing his mind politically, with slightly more than four months remaining to August elections. Could it be that his campaigns for Jubilee aspirants, such as Suleiman Shahbal against Governor Joho in Mombasa, are not yielding fruits?
People are wondering if Uhuru has suddenly become an insulting president. Just the other day he used harsh language on Joshpat Nanok, governor of Turkana. Mr Nanok had told Uhuru that the president had the power to make Turkana a better place by ensuring the county received its rightful share from its new-found oil wealth. Uhuru claimed to have no power over the passing of laws governing sharing of mining royalties, saying he only assents to laws passed by Parliament by appending his signature.
Nanok told the president that the only way Turkana people will listen to him if he make sure the development money is divided equally, before Uhuru reacted in his now infamous way. Even if the Turkana people didn't vote for him, the president said, the world would not come to an end. According to Nanok, Turkana has received Sh33 billion and not Sh40 billion for the past four years as Uhuru claimed.
Nanok said the amount given to Turkana people is not enough since Turkana is so much behind compared to other counties. When Nanok said the development money is not divided equally, that made Uhuru so mad that he started using abusive language like “shetani mjinga ashindwe na Mungu” in public. According to Nanok, Turkana needs Sh45 billion every year for development. The president called Josphat Nanok a 'devil' and 'foolish' which is not acceptable.
Before Kenyans had absorbed the full impact of Uhuru's insults, he was at it yet again yesterday, ordering Governor Joho's detention and his prevention from attending the Mtongwe Ferry launch where the president was to preside over. After Joho's release, he immediately addressed a press conference and claimed Uhuru was misrepresenting facts when he claimed that Mombasa County had got Sh40 billion in five years. The governor said Mombasa had got only Sh13.6 billion during the period.
At his own event, Uhuru claimed Joho kept following him "as if I'm his wife". Such words coming from the president are so shameful. Joho was denied security sometime back but he said he does not need Jubilee security. The rivalry between Uhuru and Joho does not make any sense because, it is not like they are vying for the same seat, Joho is vying for Mombasa governor and Uhuru the presidency. It leaves a lot to be desired.
What is even more worrying is that Uhuru is insulting other leaders now as a matter of routine. At William ole Ntimama’s funeral last year, he called one bishop who had pressed for Maasai land rights as "mjinga" (fool). Right-thinking Kenyans are wondering if Uhuru has suddenly become an insulting president, and what that means about his emotional stability.