Intolerance in an ugly face is new phenomenon we face; let’s crush it

Sunday July 16 2017

A man pleads after being attacked when chaos erupted at a Nasa rally addressed by Raila Odinga and Musalia Mudavadi on July 13, 2017 in Thika town. PHOTO | EVANS HABIL| NATION MEDIA GROUP

A man pleads after being attacked when chaos erupted at a Nasa rally addressed by Raila Odinga and Musalia Mudavadi on July 13, 2017 in Thika town. PHOTO | EVANS HABIL| NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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I have always been dismissive of the clichéd argument that two wrongs do not make a right.

It has sounded to me like an excuse that because the first wrong was not punished the second one should be.

On Thursday I re-looked that position when Raila Odinga’s campaign convoy was attacked in Thika by Jubilee-allied goons.

Not that he is special. No. I just felt it was shameful.


The hooligans claimed they were doing this because, in Kisumu earlier, the Deputy President had been heckled and shouted down.

Some of the louts even threw stones at the President’s motorcade, though luckily none came near the target, otherwise we might just have seen a replay of a long-ago incident that happened in the same town in 1969.

Smugly, the Thika attackers were saying they were avenging the Kisumu incident.

This is stupid. The kumi kumi-intoxicated youths fail to see the bigger picture.


When your leader is attacked in an Opposition zone, you will stand on higher moral ground when you go out of your way to show civility to the Opposition leader when he visits your area.

The tour had started off well in Murang’a town, where Raila was politely received. Matters started to get nasty at the Kenol-Thika junction.

At that point, it wasn’t Raila who was the target of the crowd’s anger.

It was Machakos Senator Johnstone Muthama, who is generally detested in the Mt Kenya region.


Thika town was where everything got haywire, with stones flying all over the place and the police forced to intervene with tear gas.

A loyal band of non-Kikuyu Nasa supporters who are resident in the town had been waiting patiently for their leader around the municipal stadium, but were forced to scatter when the pandemonium by Jubilee mobs erupted.

At the Githurai highway interchange near Kenyatta University, Raila’s entourage encountered more or less the same.

I am told the Thika fracas was incited by a local parliamentary candidate who was seen mobilising youths and distributing T-shirts in the morning ahead of Raila’s arrival in the afternoon.


That particular candidate has, by all accounts, been fighting a losing battle against a popular Thika businessman who is running as an independent.

The candidate seems to have thought the misdirected hostility against Raila would turn around dwindling campaign fortunes.

Subsequent indications are that this may have backfired.

I have a boyhood chum who has been a long-serving councillor in Thika and who witnessed everything as it unfolded.


I had spent the whole of Tuesday with him in the town as I followed the boiler-plate political competition going on there.

Governor William Kabogo was around, talking and walking (yes, walking) across the low-end Makongeni residential estate with ordinary Joes.

Later in the afternoon, a full-cast Jubilee brigade led by Kiambu gubernatorial aspirant Ferdinand Waititu was due.

The candidate accused of causing the Thursday trouble has only managed to alienate many, many voters who now say they are set to turn out for the businessman rival in a big way.


It goes without saying that the pro-Nasa non-indigenous residents of the town will cast their National Assembly vote en masse for the same businessman.


The best thing about Sarah Serem’s Salaries and Remuneration Commission’s slash of Parliamentary and Executive branch pay was the timing.

Believe you me, if she had acted before Parliament was dissolved, the remuneration review would have been blocked one way or another.

The timing, yes, was perfect.


Which leaves me to ask, why was the judicial branch left out of the review? Under what purview does the Judicial Service Commission operate?

Ok, I know, I know: the Judiciary is a priesthood apart. We must never be so uncouth as to hold them to account.

We must never criticise their rulings. They are always all-knowing and unbiased.

How nice to be part of this hallowed jihadi-style faith ...

Let the doctrine of the independence of the judiciary be upgraded to the doctrine of infallibility. The Pope is in dire need of some company.

Warigi is a socio-political commentator [email protected]