No one can flip-flop better than a Kenyan politician

Saturday August 01 2020

Senators in the chamber during a special sitting on March 31, when the Senate debated the Division of Revenue Bill 2020. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP


You have to give it to Donald Trump, the President of the United States of America.

He might not be the most likeable of the 45 presidents Americans have had, but you have to applaud him for being categorical about what he stands for: a Christian in word, warmonger in deed, chief of Twitter trolls, and unofficial head of World Science Opposition.

President Trump has a fanatical fan base that borders on suicidal. If he tells his cult members to inject UV light into their bodies to save them from the coronavirus, they will die on that syringe because they are clear about where Trump stands, even if it is political sinking sand.

If this contrast were to be superimposed into the Kenyan context, which of the current crop of politicians would you drink bleach for, if that is what stood between them and winning an election?


If you find yourself scratching your head at that question better than an industrial hair comb, be comforted that you are in the silent majority, because recent political events in this country have left Kenyans confused about who we should fight first between poverty and politicians.


The political class in this country has graduated from divisive to disappointed politics. They lack a consistent political ideology. They are vocal about their support for the Black Lives Matter movement in the United States, but start speaking in tongues when asked to comment on police brutality in Kenya.

This crop of politicians sits on the fence better than a starving rock lizard timing a buzzing fly.  On the rare occasion that Kenyan politicians stumble on the courage to address the media on hot-button topics, we have had to learn to zoom into their stomachs to see if it is money talking on their behalf.

Take the example of the events in the Senate this week. We were treated to the glorious sight of senators who have never seen eye-to-eye wearing matching neckties and joining in the national anthem chorus; the police would have been forgiven had they thought a new church had been opened without strict adherence to Covid-19 guidelines.

Yet just the other day a majority of them were watering down impeachment proceedings and celebrating on the side of those accused of eating county resources with big spoons.


This competition with vanes on who can best follow the wind is not limited to senators. The recent deplorable events at the Nairobi County Assembly have left shame holding its head in its name.

Nairobi residents are increasingly getting hard-pressed to put a finger on what Governor Mike Sonko, Speaker Beatrice Elachi and Nairobi County MCAs stand for, because the number of flip-flops they have treated us to would make professional acrobats enroll for a refresher course.

It is becoming clear that to qualify for a job opportunity in Nairobi County, you must not only possess the necessary academic papers but also be fluent in three official languages: English, Swahili, and violence.

Nairobi MCAs have stopped playing their oversight role and have instead turned into mouths for hire. The only thing left is for City Hall to be gazetted as an orthodontist parlour for Kenyans to know what their tax money has genuinely been paying for.

There should a law in this country that implores politicians to return all the badges they acquired when they were in the trenches whenever they give their brains a forced break and start reasoning with their stomachs.

The time has come for the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) to revise our biology syllabus and classify Kenyan politicians as invertebrates, because we have been struggling to see their backbone whenever Kenyans are desperate for leadership.

Mr Oguda comments on topical issues. [email protected]