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Monday, 22 April 2013

Why Luos Must Redefine Their Politics

By William Makora.
I feel duly compelled to make this humble appeal to my people, the Luos, to consider diversifying their political belief and embrace flexible factors that favor change. Their faith in political patronage has done the community and, by extension, the country a lot of good by propelling it on course of definite popular political paths. The benefits reaped for the nation over the period of time are far fetching yet the community lugs behind in everything including academics where it was a powerhouse at independence.

Bad Choice

While decisions determine what you do, choice answers what you have. When one makes a good decision he lives doing something he likes. One makes a bad choice he lives in regretful sadness. It is, therefore, worthwhile for mankind to think properly before making any choice.

After independence of Kenya in 1964, the Luos were provided with two choices in their leadership; politics and development. These were presented to the people through J. O. Odinga and T. J. Mboya respectively. Both the leaders served in the first government. Odinga was the Vice President while Mboya was the Minister for Economic Planning and Development.

As a community, the Luos could take both, or either of, the two packages. Unlike the Kikuyus that took both, the Luos opted for politics and politicking have hence become their duty in the nation of diverse competitions. This has endured in respite of the factors that face it and the around it have limited the area of influence or diversified national dominance. In short, competing forces have since confined it to the lowlands while the real wealth is shared at the top. In simple sense, it has denied the people access of national health and vibrancy. The Kikuyus with whom the Luos formed the first government as principals have enjoyed both and their population has grown tremendiously.

Before his exit from the government in 1966, Odinga asked the people to wait until he ‘became’ the president in order to see how ‘his government’ would, responsibly, ensure amenities and infrastructure. The Luos are still waiting to date. At his assassination in 1969, Mboya had mobilized the people of his region in the divide to ensure notable amenities and infrastructure. Odinga enjoyed the rest of the period till he passed it over to his son, Raila A. Odinga. It has never shifted elsewhere.

We are still in politics; eating and living politics by choice! A political community! Politics is the life of majority of us who fall within the bracket of ordinary fellows. Opponents have made it the bait on the trap. They cast it on a dirty rock and name it ‘The Luos”. Whatever they say about us in that same shadow sounds loud! Whatever fashion they give us suits us! We have no defense. We have chosen politics against development. We are given politics minus power and we take it. Bad choice bad life!

Not Lost

Political essays about the Luos may not be good either. Apart from many key persons lost in the game, a lot of resources and assets, especially; academics, economical wealth, health, et cetera have dissipated in the miry bog. Although we are blessed with good brains only a few Luos manage studies by capricious chance over a long period of time. We have some of the worst amenities in the nation and our children have limited chances to access any advantages in the prevailing scarcity. We always think it is the failure of the government to provide them while our competitors use their strength to move ahead of us. The government will respond but we shall not be able to catch them that leaped ahead over the period.

I think all is not lost. We can play politics. It has become our birthright. But we can diversify it. We can spread it all over the land and let everybody own it. That way it may not be easy to cage. The opponents may not easily arrest it and say; “We don’t want Raila” to mean “We don’t want Luos”. We may break loose and release ourselves for a moment. Then we will be able to think and act freely.

Political Power

That the Luos are a political powerhouse is not secret. We have agile politicians. Ours are accurate political analysts and movers. But demerits put us in a can of vulnerability. If we gather ourselves in a valley and overlooking mountains fall over us, we crash. We can build our political power by according ourselves common playing ground. We owe our sons and daughters every space for sowing of their seeds now and in future. If we do what is right with our advantages, we raise our stakes in the national socio-political and economical divide. We can only opt to make political capital if we all value it. If we don’t we can leave it to the Odingas, especially, if they seem to believe in opposition leadership, or that we are the shield that protects the nation. It has hurt us over the years as the arsenals hit pearls like Tom Mboya, Robert Ouko and Odhiambo Mbai in the first, second and last regimes respectively. We do not want to lose more for that reason. We can avoid regrets. A stitch in time saves nine!

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