Politicians are in the habit of overrating themselves. You have, for instance, heard the opposition yap and brag about how they have 10 million-strong votes, as if they know something the country has no clue about. Same thing with government side, with the Deputy President parroting about 70+1 per cent that Jubilee will get.
The unfortunate bit about such utterances and chest thumping is that when reality hits home, they always go into denial and engage in all manner of antics in protest. They blame everyone and everything but themselves and the fact that they did a shoddy job of marketing themselves.
A case in point is a certain Njogu, who was dead sure he would clinch the Jubilee Party ticket for a parliamentary seat in Central Kenya. Sponsored opinion polls had ranked the businessman ahead of his opponents, with prospects of him becoming the area’s next Member of Parliament getting into his head. So much so that he adopted the name mheshimiwa, bothering people to address him as such.
“He had been prefixing his name as honourable, strongly believing that he was going to win. He even took it personally whenever people casually referred to him by his name without throwing in the ‘mheshimiwa’ bit,” says John Mwangi, a local. The tycoon is reported to have been dishing out campaign goodies, with locals believing he was one of the most generous leaders they were going to get.
But his true colours have come out after he was reported to be stalking members of his campaign team, demanding a refund of his cash, following an embarrassing defeat. Those on the list of his debtors include his chief campaigners, agents, pastors and key supporters. The area’s popular witchdoctor is rumoured to be in the mix too.
When he announced his aspiration for the seat, he threw a lavish bash, where villagers feasted, promising to vote for him through the primaries. This set way for his spending spree and he soon become a darling of the people by dishing out handouts in his ambition to land the coveted seat.
“This is an easy win and once I bag the ticket for the most popular party in this region, I will as well be your next MP,” he had been boasting after an opinion poll put him ahead of the pack.
It turned out that he huge crowds that always turned up at his home were only after handouts. “He got played. Even the youth whom he bought alcohol to sing his name and ridicule his opponents have taken off, this as he mulls running as an independent,” says Mwangi.