The Standard carried an article by an unnamed “Senior Editor, Production and Quality” titled “Raila Presidency Dream Now Farther Than Ever Before.”
Whoever penned this piece is a good writer for sure but he has committed a journalistic feat that would earn him or her an F in journalism 101 class and that is, failure to prove his thesis; a no-no one sees journalists commit on a regular basis but you can understand why; headlines sell.
That the writer is an editor, is more so the reason he should be given a double F for the essay, beautifully written as it is.
He has not told us why Raila “presidency dream [is] now farther than ever before.”
He either doesn’t understand the meaning of the Kilkanny cat poem or he does and has failed to properly apply it further justifying the F for his essay.
He doesn’t tell us how or why Raila is a “loser” in his conceived “battle” between Raila and Mudavadi, which doesn’t exist.
Mudavadi is in a battle with himself.
The writer says Raila has so many enemies, which is true but goes on to say “yet he can afford to open other warfronts” which is an internally inconsistent assertion not worth analyzing further other than to say Raila does not get up one morning and say, “hmmmm, which warfront can I afford to open today?”
His borrowing a page from Raila and use football analogy to assert that Raila as captain of the team cannot lift a trophy because key players have deserted the team in a “huff” is nothing but another reason to award an F on the essay because the analogy is misplaced. A team whose key players have deserted it in a huff can nonetheless lift the trophy if replaced with even better players as Raila and ODM are poised to do following the departure of some of these politicians headed to political irrelevance or oblivion.
Proceeding on this faulty reasoning and misapplication of football analogies, the writer tells us that “a captain perpetually at loggerheads with star players is a liability to the team.” There are several reasons why this is factually and analytically another reason to give this essay an F but let me just put forth one and that is, a handful of players leaving a team with an excellent coach because of selfish reasons and inability to be team-players is no reflection of the coach and neither can the coach be deemed to be a liability for the team under those circumstances not matter how many or how many times such selfish players lacking the spirit of teamwork leave the team.
In fact, it’s better they leave so the coach can replace them with better players who can help the team meet its objective and that is, winning.
While acknowledging Raila’s unquestionable lead in the polls and popularity, the writer nonetheless dismisses the same as only relevant if Raila faces a divided opposition and looking at his crystal ball, concludes that “the stars are not aligned for the premier, [to be reelected as president], contrary to what his minders and hangers on want him to hear” which is another assertion that provides yet another reason to give this essay an F because we don’t elect leaders by alignment of stars but Raila and ODM shall make a compelling case why they should assume power from the top on down and the people, not the stars, or the masters of impunity who naively believe they will again, but the people themselves will decide.
The writer notes the following,“Agwambo requires honest advice of a child or a mad man – like Kamukuywa’s Okhwa Majani – to tell him some home truth. Without twisting the mouth, he should tell him: “Jakom, you’re assassinating yourself politically if you allow your list of enemies to expand every day.”
The counsel is misplaced because it assumes a fact that doesn’t exist.
Awambo does not “allow [his] list of enemies to expand every day.”
Rather, people chose to become his enemies for reasons he has nothing to do with Raila but everything to do with their own selfish and misguided ambitions, which they are entitled to pursue.
The measure of Raila as a leader is not his ability to stop people intent on committing political suicide but one of making sure our country realizes the ideals embodied in our National Anthem, which has eluded us for decades since independence.
That’s been Raila’s focus since entering politics, through his years of fighting and paying dearly for the reforms now underway and to the end of his political career he sees no reason why Kenyans cannot once again give him the nod notwithstanding the breathless efforts by those against his reformist agenda to “stop” him from being reelected again as president as he was but not sworn in 2007.
The writer says to Raila, “You deal your grand ambition a fatal blow if you let a cabal of hometown mafia surround you as the rest of the country deserts you.“
This is a true proposition that applies to any politician but begs the question whether its true in the case of Raila.
It is obviously not true as the writer implies that the “rest of the country” has or is deserting Raila because of the “cabal of hometown mafia” but the savvy politician and master strategist he is, Raila obviously must have this in mind as he prepares to mount his campaign and Exhibit A is his recent appointments to the ODM Secretariat with more to come.
The writer further contends to Raila “You cannot dare everyone to a fight and always expect to win the war.”
True but Raila has never dared anyone; people have dared him and lost each time.
Closing on this faulty line of thought, the writer declares, “In politics, you rather have your enemy closer to you rather than always wave a dismissive hand arrogantly when things don’t work your way.”
Raila has said ODM is the party to take us to the future as a country and its vision and ideals are no different than what every Kenyan wants there is no reason anyone should leave the party unless they are driven by ambitions detached from the party’s mission in which case he says fare thee well; it’s been a good journey together while you shared our party’s ideals.
That’s neither dismissive nor arrogant as the writer contends; its a mark of a confident and assured leader in his abilities.
It’s obviously not killing oneself as the writer further contends.