In 2008 ODM under the leadership of Raila Odinga found itself in a forced marriage with PNU in forming a coalition government after the stolen 2007 elections. PNU a predominantly Kikuyu party and ODM a party with a national outlook and following agreed to form a coalition government on a 50/50 power sharing formula, an agreement that would eventually fail to see the light of day as PNU only recognized the agreement on paper but never in practice.
Now Ruto is in a predicament where it is understood that the pre-election agreement that he signed with Uhuru seems to have been thrown out the window and he is unhappy with where they have come to. Just for the record, the agreement was that they would get into a marriage forming Jubilee with each party(URP and TNA) sharing power on a 50/50 basis.
Did Ruto see this coming? Yes, the writing was on the wall and for some reason or the other, Ruto chose to ignore it but just incase he did not see it, I would like to run him through some history to allow him to see how complex his predicament is and allow him to see that he is not unique to history.
There is a swahili saying “Mtoto wa Nyoka ni Nyoka” meaning, the offspring of a snake is a snake. One has to understand the nature of a person, community or culture to really make good decisions in dealing with the same. Ruto is in a position where he is dealing with Uhuru, the son of Jomo Kenyatta who happens to be a Kikuyu and has his strongest political capital in the Kikuyu community. So it is safe to say that an agreement with Uhuru will bring along with it Jomo Kenyatta, his communities interests and most important culture. Unfortunately but truth be told, Jomo Kenyatta and the community have never known an agreement that they ever kept dating far back to the 1800’s. It is also said that a seed does not fall far away from the tree.
In the struggle for Independence revolved on issues of Land and Land Rights.
The Lancaster House deliberation was land and land rights. Indeed the Lancaster participants debated on how they were going to divide the regained land. The Kalenjins, Maasai and Mijikenda put up a strong case for their land in Rift valley and coast region. It was agreed in the 1961 and 1962 deliberations that all British grabbed land were to revert back to the local communities. Indeed this was promised by Mzee Kenyatta himself on 5th February 1962 upon arrival from Lancaster. He said
“Katika Katiba Mpya, Serikali Yenu imeahidi kwamba kila sehemu ya nchi kama ni ya Maasai, itakaa kama ilivyo, ikitawaliwa na Maasai wenyewe…. Kama ya Wanandi, wanandi watatawala nchi yao, hiyo ni kusema ardi yao. Hakuna mtu kutoka inje kwenda kunyakua mali yao. Mashamba yao ni shauri yao kujua watafanya nini nayo”
We all know what happened after independence. Immediately after independence, former home guards from Central Kenya consolidated land in central province and displaced their own people into the Rift Valley. For example they transferred part of Rift Valley into Central Province and named it Nyandarua district, 650,000 acres of Nandi Land was transferred to Luo Nyanza, 850,000 acres of Nandi and Koony land was hived off and annexed to Western Province to form part of Bungoma, other thousands of acres were transferred from Kipsigis land to Kisii Nyanza (from Keroka to Chebilat). This was a shock to the Kalenjin community because Kenyatta negated his earlier promise of 1962.
We have been told of “willing buyer, willing seller” but even in cases where there were purchases, there were unfair practices. A bitter example of how the Kalenjins was denied their land right involved the RHONDA FARM in Nakuru. The Kalenjin Enterprise had bought the land, but PC Mathenge engineered its grabbing and was later subdivided among the GEMA members called Mwarigi. No money was refunded to the Kalenjin enterprises. Kalenjins also negotiated to buy NGATA FARM LTD led by Kibowen Arap Komen who paid Kshs 4million, but they were denied to buy the entire farm by PC Mathenge. He gave part of the land to GEMA people.
In 1974 Hon Eric Bomet and Mzee Jonah Arap Cheptoo negotiated to buy MAKUTANO FARM from Mr. PEARCSON (Maji Mazuri), but the DC Baringo Mr. A N N Ndoro ordered the arrest of the two who were locked up at Eldama Ravine. The land was later sold to GEMA people IGURE, hence IGURE FARM. Other areas included a farm in lower Subukia, Olmomoi. After the Kalenjins had bought the land, they moved in only for them to be arrested together with the initiates (TARUSIEK) who were still recovering. They were brought to Nakuru court and ordered to be jailed. Their money was never refunded.
As if this was not enough in 1970 Mzee Kenyatta came to Nakuru, Mob area (originally kuresoi land of the kipsigis and ogiek before British invasion) and distributed 17 former white settler farms to GEMA people who gave their tribal name, thereby erasing its true origin. The 17 farms were namely: Kiambereria, Kiambu, Ngema, Moto, Nyakinyua, Kererekamia, Kamwaura, Poron, Mushorwe, Kapkimani, Kathirika, Kimkasa, Sitoito, Tamnyota, Mutukanio, Matunda and Marwa.
Why do I bring these land issues up? Well, we can clearly see that Kenyatta never kept his agreement with the freedom fighters and who else would one think Kenyatta would honor his promises to? Uhuru is not only held by the forces that his father created but also by what seems to be a culture of unkept promises by his community.