The so called mainstream media in the country and their so called “opponent critics” have developed a cancerous notoriety of creating imaginary portfolios for personalities seeking high elective offices as “projects” of other personalities who are of equal calibres.
The notoriety is so pervasive that at each and every electioneering year at least one or two personalities gunning for the highest office in the land, the Presidency the media and their “opponent critics” will never fail to come up with the so called “personality Projects.”
What is worse is the fact that they go ahead to persist with this stereo typing in their write-ups, analyses, features, profiles, hard news, verbal allegations… without any shred or iota of factual truth or evidence on which to base such a demeaning tug.
Perhaps purely creation of the media in the figment of the writers’ imaginations and their so called “requested anonymity critics” these “projects” first emerged when President Uhuru Kenyatta made his first stab for the Presidency after being chosen by retired President Daniel Arap Moi to be his successor at the 2002 general elections.
President Uhuru immediately became then “President Moi’s Project” when he then was just a cabinet minister in Moi’s last term in office after twice thrashing the opposition in two major general elections in 1992 and 1997 when his second term under multi-party started.
1992 saw the first multi-party election after an acrimonious repeal of the old constitution’s Section 2(a) that had transformed the country into a one party state ruled by Kanu through Moi’s machinations.
Then followed the 1997 general elections both at which there was no aspiring personality dubbed anybody’s “project” until when the Moi’s succession came around in 2002 general elections where President Kenyatta and Amani National Congress (ANC) Musalia Mudavadi who was coerced to ditch the Pentagon team to be Uhuru’s running mate in 2002 elections became known as “President Moi’s Projects.”
Perhaps there is no other personality in the country’s political history who has suffered the abuse of this tug more than Mudavadi. However the biggest irony is the fact that when he supported Raila Odinga’s candidature against Mwai Kibaki during the disputed 2007 general elections the tug mysteriously disappeared.
Indeed Mudavadi who had lost to new comer in politics in his Sabatia constituency Moses Akaranga who is now Governor Vihiga County made a dramatic comeback when he ditched Kanu and joined ranks in the opposition. That is after refusing to be appointed an opposition Member of Parliament by President Uhuru who was then leader of the opposition in parliament during Kibaki’s first term at state house.
It is also interesting to note that when Uhuru Kenyatta ditched Kanu to join Kibaki’s Party of National Unity (PNU) in the 2007 general elections the “President Moi Project” also mysteriously disappeared and even when he contested for the Presidency at the last general election.
However, the biggest irony is the fact that even at the 2013 general elections, despite the tug having disappeared he appears to have been still very much retired “President Moi Project” which explains why the first personality Uhuru visited the retired head of state after being declared winner of that year’s elections at his Kibera Gardens home in Nairobi.
This appears to have been cemented further last month when Uhuru’s mother the founder 1st lady of post-independence Kenya Mama Ngina Kenyatta paid a private visit to the retired head of state at his Kabarak home as the country gears up for this year’s general elections in August with President Kenyatta defending his seat to fight for a second term.
Though Mudavadi was short changed by President Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto at the last general elections, when he went solo to contest for the Presidency on a United Democratic Front (UDF) ticket, he was once again labeled a “President Kenyatta’s Project,” a man he was contesting against including Raila Odinga.
The worst aspect of the whole business is the fact that the same media outlets and their so called “Mudavadi’s critics” have for nearly five years been at it accusing Mudavadi of being “a Uhuru Project” even after he ditched UDF and created the Amani National Congress (ANC) that was a coalition at the last general elections.
These accusations continued with total disregard of the revelations becoming openly public on how President Kenyatta and his Deputy Ruto had blatantly cheated him in the run up to the 2013 general elections.
Now all of sudden the same media and “the critics” have suddenly turned around and are trying to tug Mudabvadi a “Raila Odinga Project” conveniently completely failing to comprehend or forget the fact that the architect of the National Super Alliance coalition (NASA) is not Odinga, Kalonzo, Musyoka or Moses Wetangula but Mudavadi.
As a matter of fact it is flabbergasting for any media professional to pose a question to a personality like Mudavadi whether he is “Odinga’s Project” when as late as last year the same fellows were quoting “their critics” allegedly accusing Mudavadi of being “Uhuru’s Project” and all of a sudden when he comes up with the NASA alliance coalition they switch to “Raila Project.”
Where is the common sense or logic here? How can a seasoned political personality like that keep on changing from this or that person’s “Project”? When does somebody then cease or start being somebody else’s “Project”? What qualifies one to be tugged somebody’s “project” and what criteria do they employ to make that determination?
What has clearly emerged is the fact that the term “Project” is deliberately created and employed to refer to personalities in derogatory terms in an effort to whittle down their integrity as individuals who cannot stand out on their own and are being financed by others for nefarious purposes – not to serve their own but others’ interests.
That is an abuse of the highest order that any media professional worth his or her mettle and media house of integrity must desist from falling victim to such callous pronouncements and leave them to the murky political wheeler dealers out to make a quick buck through such careless and reckless terminologies.
The recent example is the headline carried by a local daily saying – “I am not a Raila Odinga Project – Mudavadi.” – Because they interviewer posed a query to that effect. Who had said that Mudavadi was a “Raila Project?”
The introduction of the story read: “Opposition leader Musalia Mudavadi yesterday told off his critics and insisted he is no one’s project, not even ODM leader Raila Odinga’s.” Why had they accused him of being a “Uhuru Project” when he formed NASA as his vehicle to have another stab at the Presidency this year?
The most absurd thing about the whole business is the fact that the writer instead of posing highly probing questions on so many issues, has the audacity to ask whether the architect of NASA will leave the outfit if he is not elected to its flag bearer, surely how do you give birth to a desperately quested for baby and then dump it?