Matiang’i Needs to Choose His Fights Wisely

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I suspected that some people would soon try to throw Dr. Matiang’i under the bus. His crime; outshining his masters and colleagues in the cabinet. However, I didn’t think it could begin too soon.
In Robert Greene’s “48 LAWS OF POWER,” Law number one states that, “Never Outshine the Master.” You need to always make those above you feel comfortably superior. In your desire to please or impress them, do not go too far in displaying your talents or you might accomplish the opposite. Make your masters appear more Brilliant than they are and you will attain the heights of power.
Matiang’i has not just outshone his masters but he has also made them look pretty bad and incompetent. In fact, the biggest joke in the streets, in bars, and on social media is; instead of president Uhuru asking Kenyans “Mnataka nifanye nini?” on corruption, he should simply ask Matiang’i and his “small problem” will be sorted out ASAP.
There is every likelihood that Matiang’i might become a victim of his stellar performance in the cabinet. He is likely to face more sabotage from his own side of the coalition than from the opposition. The opposition might understandably want to water down his achievements for political purposes, but this is not what should worry him more. He should be more worried about his cabinet colleagues who are green with envy, and his bosses who won’t hesitate to remind him who calls the shots.
No sooner had the dust of celebrating Dr. Matiang’i’s sensational exploits at the ministry of education settled down, than he was thrown right into the deep end of the murky waters of politics. The timing of his alleged claims that Raila Odinga is unfit to lead the country is very suspicious. Some people might obviously be trying to set him up in a political war where he is likely to be cut down to size.
Since the biblical times, history is littered with men who became victims of their own excellence or even good looks. King David planned the death of one of his top soldiers, Uriah, just because the king had lusted for the soldier’s beautiful wife. He went ahead to impregnate Uriah’s wife while the husband was in the Warfield. In a bid to save face, the king sent Uriah to the most dangerous war-front where he was killed by the enemy army.
I suspect that Matiang’i is under clear instructions, from above, to use his newfound national fame to take on Jubilee’s biggest thorn in the flesh; Raila Amolo Odinga. And this is where his undoing is likely to begin. It is not the first time a brilliant cabinet secretary from Nyanza is being used to fight nasty proxy political wars for his masters in gov’t.
In the late 1960s, Tom Mboya who was a brilliant, and perhaps the most competent cabinet minister Kenya has ever had since independence, was used by the Jomo Kenyatta gov’t to fight Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, who had fallen out with mzee Jomo. However, when Mboya exhibited signs of growing too big for his boots and harbored presidential ambitions, he was murdered by the same people who used him, in what some describe as the first most spectacular high profile political assassination in post-independence Kenya. Fast forward to the present, many  have been used to fight Raila (Jaramogi’s son) but they have ended up in political oblivion.
Therefore, when Matiang’i is instructed to capitalize on his newfound fame to undermine a politician of Raila’s stature, he is clearly being thrown under the bus. The good CS is obviously Jubilee’s blue-eyed boy from Nyanza at the moment. His attack on Raila was deliberate and carefully crafted. However, setting him up against Raila is like setting up a motorbike on a head-on collision course with a 20-ton truck. The truck might not even notice that it hit something.
For starters, Matiang’i is a CS who is prohibited by law from engaging in any politics. So people will be questioning how different he is from Nkaisserry, Wamalwa, Kiunjuri and others who have been continuously flouting the law by loudly engaging in politics, without much to show for the work they are paid to do.
The ruthless ODM brigade is likely to remind Matiang’i that doing an excellent job as a CS doesn’t give him any right to start choosing leaders for Kenyans. Doing so will amount to growing too big for his breeches, a bit too fast. ODM diehards won’t hesitate to remind him that he has just done nothing so extraordinary than what he is paid to do as education CS, in the first place.
I have a feeling that, we are likely to see more of Matiang’i as a Jubilee political point-man in Gusiiland in the run-up to the August 2017 general elections. I hope Dr. Matiang’i is bright enough to know that he is being set up for failure though the man has no option but do his bosses’ bidding; unless he is planning to join the opposition, which is unlikely. Those who are setting him up hope to kill two birds with one stone.
One. They hope that Matiang’i can use his newfound national popularity to unlock the cul-de-sac that the “Obomo bwo’mogusii group, led by Chris Obure and Charles Nyachae, had run into in their bid to sell jubilee party in Gusiiland. The group had completely hit a brick wall, in their attempts to sell Jubilee Party in the region, after being met with raw hostility. The fact that Matiang’i has been keeping the company of the Nyachae group lately is quite telling.
Two. The masters won’t mind Matiang’i being crushed in the hostile political war-front called Gusii. The man’s stellar performance as education CS has already made them look bad enough in the eyes of the public, as his star keeps rising. He broke the first law of power.
If Dr. Matiang’i’s latest excellent performance is a nice cake, then making statements such as “Raila is unfit to lead Kenya” will put a filthy icing on that cake. He’s likely to lose about half of the countrywide goodwill he has recently received from across the political divide, with some hash tags such as #MatiangiForPresident trending on social media. Plunging into such high voltage politics will conveniently cut him down to size without his rivals from within Jubilee raising a finger.
We must disabuse the notion that a good technocrat or boardroom manager like Dr. Matiang’i can automatically make a good politician. Truth be told, the man is a political novice who can’t take Raila Odinga head-on, in a region where Raila has a fanatical following like Gusiiland, and come out unscathed. It will be interesting to see how this pans out.

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