“As a matter of freedom of conscience and thought, I can’t accept Uhuru Kenyatta as President of Kenya. I can’t and I won’t,” is how Makau Mutua greeted us on Twitter this past Wednesday.
Prior to that, several punters had been monitoring the protocols of congratulatory outpourings to detect enthusiasm and earnest, or disdain and perfunctoriness of various governments, and therefore their official attitude to UhuRuto.
Following the many Doomsday predictions bandied about before the last election, such observation was hardly surprising. The ‘pariah state’, ‘international isolation’, ’consequences’ movement necessitated an appraisal of the international community’s responses to the Supreme Court’s decision a week ago.
However, it never occured to anyone that individual recognition of government might be a criterion to evaluate the stature of a government-elect. In particular, no one seemed to imagine that a president-elect requires formal recognition of any one of his fellow citizens to validate his mandate. Thanks to Prof Makau Mutua, however, we now know better.
Imagine therefore, the sleepless night Prof Mutua’s portentous tweet occasioned in Uhuru Kenyatta’s stately address at State House Road! Imagine the hysterical rending of garments and gnashing of teeth.
Try to picture a whole coterie of the Kenyatta family and friends staring bleakly out of cried-out eye sockets, contemplating the decidedly dismal prospect of a presidency bereft of Prof Mutua’s endorsement!
In fact, the damage is more dramatic and immense. See the strongholds mourn- swathes of Rift Valley and Central, North Eastern Kenya, and pockets of supporters throughout the country, including the die-hards of Nyanza, feeling cheated out of a victory by Prof Mutua’s improvident withholding of a recognition so critical to legitimacy of the incoming administration.
I foresee vigils overhung with the direst omens. I see Jubilee turning out to be a cruel joke, a mirage, a dreamy whisper, a moonbeam grasped at by deluded seekers and nothing more. How simply tragic.
By invoking his freedom of conscience and thought, Prof Mutua attempts, quite transparently and vainly, to clothe his hate-poisoned ideas with the dignified garb of intellectual and ideological legitimacy.
He suggests that his tendentious outpourings are the product of due reflection, serious analysis and high thinking. He implies that rationality alone suffices to eject the idea of a Kenyatta presidency out of the realm of credible thoughts, and that it migt be unconscionable to recognise its reality.
In short, Prof Mutua insinuates that a pretentiously extenuated delusion is better than a serene acceptance of unsatisfactory reality.
I wrote a few weeks ago about the arrogance of the ‘reform community’ and how they think Kenyans are all idiots who must be husbanded much in the manner of livestock. Prof Mutua has just borne that out.
How can he, in good conscience, decide that the democratic choice of millions of Kenyans is contemptible and unconscionable? Why does he think that those who voted for Jubilee are somehow inferior, deficient or illegitimate?
Why does he scoff at his compatriots for peacably disagreeing with him! How does his righteous mind- the one that so wholesomely embraces freedom of conscience and thought- condone flagrant insulting of Kenyans and their democratic choices?
It is a fact that Prof Mutua used his utmost endeavours to stop Mr Kenyatta from becoming Kenya’s fourth president.
Many are the plots and conspiracies he fomented to thwart the very idea. From the ICC to the Constitutional Court, the Professor did his best to actuate his vision and passion for a paternalistic, arrogant and overweening ‘reform’ dictatorship.
He failed. The world has not collapsed. The nerve of insulting the popular choice of Kenyans is nevertheless unacceptable. The impudence of suggesting that Kenyans require his consent to make their choices is reprehensible.
It is people like Prof Mutua who have turned the words ‘reform’ and ‘reformer’ into the rankest epithets in our political vocabulary. In his present frame of mind, he will energetically tweet, rant, opine and predict his way into irrelevance.
The line separating radical visionaries from mendacious irritants is very thin one.