By Siboe Siboe
Article first published on County411 facebook group
As is the custom of County411, there is a section that is expecting me to attack Senator Wetang’ula in a very vile manner and there is another expecting me to shower him with praises just after reading the topic. I will neither attack nor glorify our senator. I’ll just share with him a few words of wisdom from history. These are words which if the good senator heeds might one day remove the question mark from my topic.
Whichever way you look at it, Senator Wetang’ula currently stands out as the senior-most politician not just in Bungoma, but in the entire luhyaland. We have Ababu Namwamba, Musalia Mudavadi, Eugene Wamalwa and Boni Khalwale too, but Wetang’ula is the first among his equals. If indeed he aspires to be president of this country, his greatest headache should lie less in getting the Luhya to vote as a block than in adopting a new style of politics and outwitting his challengers without necessarily antagonizing them. We have occasionally read and watched him demonstrate open hostility to the Jubilee brigade and in some cases other Luhya leaders; and therein lies his greatest weakness. For such an office as the presidency, a moderate will always be preferred over an extremist. Remember, ascendancy to the power is not only determined at the ballot but also in boardrooms by those who control stakes large enough in the economy to require assurance that their investments will be safe in the new dispensation. Woo these people. Win their confidence. We do not want a repeat of 2007 when your turn comes!
Your most lethal enemies are not those with whom you jostle for power, but those that appear weak and harmless yet have something to lose if you prevail. They are ruthless in their backlash because their life depends on it! Never issue threats even when it is only meant to scare off your enemies. It is never a wise decision to show open hostility. Weigh your words carefully for you never know when and in what context you’ll be quoted. Aristotle once said that his nephew Callisthenes showed great ability as a speaker, but lacked common sense and this was best illustrated when a group of youth conspired against Alexander. It is said that when Hermolaüs put the question to him how he might become a most illustrious man, Callisthenes answered: “By killing the most illustrious.” Callisthenes may never have meant that the young man should kill king, but when the youths were arrested opportunists added that Callisthenes (whose relationship with Alexander was very strained at that time) had in fact incited Hermolaüs to the deed and had bade him have no fear of the golden couch, but remember that he was approaching a man who was subject to sickness and wounds.
This affair so enraged Alexander that he sent a letter full of threats to Antipater, “The youths were stoned to death by the Macedonians, but the sophist (Callisthenes) I will punish, together with those who sent him to me and those who harbour in their cities men who conspire against my life;” and in these words, at least, he directly revealed a hostility to Aristotle, in whose house Callisthenes, on account of his relationship, had been raised, being a son of Hero, who was a niece of Aristotle. Antipater himself as regent was having problems with Alexander’s meddlesome mother and was definitely not relishing the opportunity of facing an angry Alexander. Though evidence is scarce, it is said that Aristotle conspired with Antipater and sent Cassander who poisoned the young king as he rested in Babylon planning the conquest of Arabia. Such was the end of a man who the arms of Persia had failed to crush!