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When the ‘pigs’ fight: Wrestling in the mud not for the faint of heart

Sunday August 11 2019

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Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko and Mbita MP Millie Odhiambo. They have been insulting each other on social media. ILLUSTRATION | J. NYAGAH | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

ELVIS ONDIEKI
By ELVIS ONDIEKI
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Some might have wondered what the pig deal was.

But for Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko and Mbita MP Millie Odhiambo, it was a battle to see who could bring home the bacon, with Facebook as the ring.

The pig fight started with mudslinging, but soon slid way below the belt; and observers were split on who displayed more piggy tendencies in the mire they were fighting in.

There were those who wondered whether Nairobi residents had bought a pig in a poke when they voted in Mr Sonko, a man who made a name from waging small and big battles armed with his sharp tongue, bloggers and sometimes his bare knuckles.

That top politicians can mock each other about their genitals and inability to conceive was shocking.

“My response to you will be both intellectual and pigerly,” read part of Ms Odhiambo’s response to a rant from Mr Sonko rubbishing her critique on the way he revealed details about the lover of the late Kibra MP Ken Okoth.

CIVILITY

She went ahead to throw a jibe about private parts, and Mr Sonko later responded in kind.

It was like the renowned mchongoano sessions, where people mock each other using exaggerations about various parts of each other’s anatomy.

“What are we telling our children when leaders are busy abusing each other?” wondered Kenya Film Classification Board boss Ezekiel Mutua, the self-declared moral policeman.

Given the antics of the past week and those witnessed before, one thing anyone can take to their piggy bank is that Kenyans have not seen the last of the two as long as they continue staying in the pigsty that is politics.

In fact, the two politicians had a similar spat in 2016. On the floor of the Senate in that year, Mr Sonko — then-Nairobi Senator — used a derogatory term to refer to Ms Odhiambo due to a recent disagreement.

CALL RECORDER

Not that Ms Odhiambo ducks from such language. At a Parliament session in July 2017, she spoke straight-faced on the floor of the National Assembly on why she had preserved underwear that was allegedly torn by an MP during a squabble in the House in 2014.

“I have kept (the underwear) for historical reasons because it was an embarrassing moment in this house. And it is fortunate that it happened to me who does not give a damn,” she said. “I do not fear my thighs or any private part of my body.”

At a November 2017 rally in Kibra, Ms Odhiambo was in her element, throwing a jibe at Mr Sonko and rubbishing his credentials in an acidic speech.

On his part, Mr Sonko is well-known for the insults he hurls at his enemies, whether on the podium or through phone calls — most of which he records then gets them published.

The above should have been the last paragraph. You might say it has a full stop where it matters!

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