By Musili Mwana’a Mbuvi
William Ruto should watch closely how the system is dealing with Mike Sonko, because he will need the lessons when it’s his turn at the till in 2022. There is nothing Mike Sonko can do to win favour with the Jubilee Party. In the Shaka Zulu book of war strategy, Mike Sonko belongs to the group of generals who are summoned only when the army are on the back-foot.
In 2013, when Jubilee needed a figurehead to marshal the troops in the battle-ground state of Nairobi, they summoned Mike Sonko and Ferdinand Waititu – two riff-raffs who could walk into any corner of this city and start a fire. Uhuru Kenyatta, subsequently, split the Nairobi vote with Raila Odinga down the middle, enough to get over the 50%+1 margin required for an outright first round win.
The ground has since shifted and Uhuru Kenyatta does not need Mike Sonko right now. The Kenyan aristocracy have made it known to everyone that a Mike Sonko governorship, like a William Ruto presidency, will be more radioactive than a Uranium nuclear warhead. Mike Sonko is now irrelevant to the Kenyan aristocracy because Uhuru Kenyatta now has the state machinery at his disposal to do whatever he wants with it.
The problem with Mike Sonko is the same problem all sons and daughters of peasantry experience world over. Sonko is deluded to think Jubilee is locking him out of the race because his papers are defective. If you’re a system’s blue-eyed boy, as Peter Kenneth is, the system always takes it upon itself to bear your burden – they will clean up your past, buy off all the women who might scandalize your ascent to power, silence potential witnesses of your past atrocities, etc. When the system wants you, the system gets you – and the reverse is true.
What the Kenyan aristocracy is doing to Mike Sonko is a time-tested military war tactic called Attrition Warfare; which is just a military strategy consisting of sustained attempts to win a war by wearing down the enemy to the point of collapse through continuous losses in personnel and material.
Yesterday it was the disbandment of the Sonko Rescue Team, today it’s Mike Sonko’s KCSE certificate, tomorrow it will be his gun-drama in public places, the day after they’ll find another scandal to patch on him. Attrition warfare is so relentless its meant to knock the wind off your sails. Attrition warfare is not for the faint-hearted.
World over, attrition warfare is usually won by the side with excess resources to burn. Attrition warfare is expensive; it requires time, money, and, most importantly, strong allies. Any adversary being drawn into attrition warfare has two options. One, you’re either going in, with both feet, for the fight of your life, or, two; you put your hands up and settle for a compromise. Both the the two decisions have handsome rewards. Johnson Sakaja has chosen the second option, Mike Sonko has chosen the first.
The rewards for Johnson Sakaja is two-fold; he retains his name in the aristocracy’s good books and, therefore, positions himself for the favours that accrue to the system’s blue-eyed boys. Mike Sonko, for choosing to bite the trench-warfare bait, also will have his rewards at the end of the war, only that it doesn’t come cheap. When your back is against the aristocracy wall, you’re stonewall minced meat.
The only way Mike Sonko can win this war with the system is to go for the Samson Option. The Holy Book, in Judges 16:30, narrates that when Samson was cornered by the Phillistines with no escape route, he made the painful decision of bringing down the pillars of the Philistine temple, killing himself and thousands who had captured him, crying out “Let me die with the Philistines!”.
The problem with dealing with people like Mike Sonko is that their political instincts are so narrow they might actually decide to go down with the entire Jubilee government; and this is the system’s worst fear, and the only reason the aristocracy would never want to entrust any country’s leadership to offsprings of peasantry.
No aristocracy wants to be in such a position of weakness as to be forced to drawback and negotiate with Mike Sonko. If there’s one politician in this country who can take on the system and win, that man is Mike Sonko. If Mike Sonko loses this fight, then William Ruto should just pack up and leave. The other option for the two is to team up and declare war, on the system, now, before they are outmatched.
Run to your nearest NCPB depot and buy a sack of popcorns. Because the movie has just began.