I like Jeff Koinange and enjoy watching his show Capital Talk on K24 whenever I am able to but he does get carried away sometimes. For example, watching this clip of his interview with Hon. Boni Khalwale had me laughing more along the same way I laughed when I watched the Miguna Miguna duel with Prof. Kawanja on Citizen TV a few weeks ago in which everyone agreed Miguna floored the good professor, but for different reasons.
In the Miguna debate, Miguna came across as fully prepared, complete with knowledge of all the rules of debate, which he brilliantly applied during the debate, while the professor came across as if he was prepared for some debate, but not that one.
In the interview with Hon. Khalwale, I was laughing when watching it because I saw the tell-tale of a clever politician through and through using his communication skills to pass through a cleverly thought out message with the help of a good journalist who probably didn’t even know what was happening as perhaps he, too, was a bit too excited to hear what the Bullfighter from Ikolomani had to say about his expected (not un-expected) victory as he and others would have you believe.
First, Jeff introduced Khalwale as the “Comeback Kid” which made me pay more attention because I sensed Jeff is being taken on a ride, if he believed that. Khalwale is in fact, not a comeback kid. In the most liberal sense (Dictionary.com), a comeback kid is “a person who overcomes a fall from grace or popularity” or “a person who makes an unlikely comeback a person.” In the most conservative sense (Free Online Dictionary), a comeback kid is “a person who repeatedly demonstrates the propensity to overcome downturns or periods of bad publicity, and rebound to victory or popularity.”
Khalwale does not fit any of these definitions because he never fell from grace as he was and still remains popular in Ikolomani that’s why he won the election and he certainly has not demonstrated the “propensity to overcome downturns or periods of bad publicity;” in fact, the opposite is true.
Second, Jeff was swept off the feet by Khalwale’s cleverness he forgot to ask important follow-up questions, which would have exposed Khalwale: For example:
- “Mheshimiwa, you say it’s no longer “business as usual” for Raila in Western Province, yet during the campaign, you told voters to vote for you but vote for RAO come next year; how do you reconcile those two incongruent positions?” “Do you think you’ll be here talking to me now if you told voters not to vote for Raila next year?” “Is it not true most of those voters who voted and gave you a significant wider margin this time around than in 07 did so because you told them their vote was not a referendum on RAO, otherwise they would have not voted for you at all?” “How many of the ODM members in the province have left ODM since the last election or are otherwise no longer supporting Raila?” “Is ODM still the majority party by far in Western Province?”
- “About road construction in Ikolomani, were you involved as the MP for the area in getting the road approved for construction and did you not, in fact, point out to the same construction equipment brought to the area and told your constituents maendeleo unaleta ndiyo hayo?” “What evidence do you have to show that the movement of the equipment was not due to reasons other than to influence voters as you suggest, especially given as you say the construction of the road is in advanced stages and that the road will be built, anyway?”
- “You admit you received money from outside your constituency; do you think this is a good or bad thing for politicians to receive money to campaign from outside their respective constituencies, given the letter and spirit of the new Constitution?” “BTW, how do you know whether all that money did not come from UK or Ruto or both or did you not care?”
These are just some of the questions I would have asked Khalwale but that’s Jeff’s show not mine.
But I give Mheshimiwa kudos for the interview. He really accomplished in that short time what most politicians cannot do even after a life-time of trying and that is to create a myth when at the same time one claims victory for “debunking” another “myth,” which is, in fact, not a myth but fact.
That was just plain clever it reminded me of Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News Network here in the US which after years of trying different strategies to snag the unwary, came up with the eye and mind catching “Fair and Balanced” slogan.
The network is neither. It is, in fact, the complete opposite but I give the creators of the slogan A+ for creativity in propaganda because those who don’t know and just digest the blabber coming from its key “news” programs think what their “Fair and Balanced” hosts are telling them is fair and balanced, when in fact it is mostly slanted and biased, pure propaganda.
Khalwale in a similar fashion set his myth perfectly: I am here to tell you, with my victory, I have debunked the myth created in the Media that Raila and ODM are unbeatable in Nyanza and Western Province; well, maybe in Nyanza they are unbeatable but Western Province? That’s a myth I have debunked as you can tell from my victory.
In fact, it is not a myth but fact that, as things stand today, Raila and ODM are unbeatable in Nyanza and Western Province; the Ikolomani elections had nothing to do with the question of whether Raila and ODM are beatable in Nyanza or Western Province as Khalwale himself acknowledged by urging voters to vote for him but for Raila come next elections.
Now having won, Khalwale is cleverly and strategically trying to position himself as the kingmaker from the West (“if you want to beat Raila or ODM in Western Province, I am the man to deal with), hoping people have already forgotten about what he said during the campaigns about Raila just two or so weeks ago.
In other words, Khalwale has cleverly planted a myth about the significance of his reelection while claiming to debunk a “myth” that never existed about Raila and ODM’s unbeatability in Nyanza and Western provinces; what Khalwale calls a “myth” is in fact what everyone else knows to be truth as things stand now.
Brilliant on the part of Khalwale but let the media do its job in quickly debunking this myth Khalwale has planted in the name of “debunking” another that does not exist or if the media is reluctant to do so because of the horse-race value and mentality, let the rest of us do this for the sake of new and good politics in Kenya.
But, to his credit, I noticed Khalwale was very careful how he describes the mood of the people in Western Province regarding RAO and especially the trees falling in the forests there but not enough to be heard anywhere else no matter how loud.
That’s more revealing from the interview than anything he said.
Peace, Love and Unity.
Samuel N. Omwenga, Esq.