Is Ruto culpable of Kemsa scandal or Texas sharpshooter victim? - Beaking Kenya News

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Saturday, 5 September 2020

Is Ruto culpable of Kemsa scandal or Texas sharpshooter victim?

 Deputy President William Ruto with Meru County Ministers Forum under the patronage of Bishop Edward Mburia at Karen Residence on September 1, 2020

There was a cowboy who lived in Texas and loved to shoot at his barn.

Over time, the barn became riddled with holes. In some places there were lots of them, and in others there were few. The cowboy also loved to show off, and he would always walk his visitors besides his barn for them to admire his bullseye prowess. Over time, he earned his nickname, Texas Sharpshooter.

What the other people did not know was that the cowboy was not a sharpshooter at all. Away from the public eye, the cowboy would carefully examine the arrangement of the bullet holes in his barn. Where they clustered together, he would paint a bullseye over that spot. By so doing, he placed an artificial order over natural random chance. This made him look like an excellent marksman.

In psychology-speak, this has since become known as the Texas Sharpshooter fallacy. If you have a human brain, you paint a bullseye over life’s issues and events more often than you care to admit. This is a predicable malfunction of our normal human logic, where we always look for a pattern that will fit our existing presumption or narrative.

The findings of an opinion poll by Ipsos in 2018 showed that Deputy President William Ruto was perceived to be the most corrupt politician in the country. His name or that of his so-called allies have prominently featured in association with several scandals such as the Kimwarer and Arror dams, the Ruai sewage land and the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority land where it is alleged his Weston Hotel is constructed.

More recently, there have been jests taunted about him that the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority Covid-19 scandal, may be the first corruption scandal that he is not implicated in, but only because he has been ostensibly sidelined in running the affairs of the state. However, it did not take long before this bubble was burst, and his name dragged into the Kemsa scandal by Jubilee vice chairman David Murathe.

In an interview on Citizen TV on Tuesday this week, when asked about his perceived role in unjustly profiteering from the Kemsa Covid-19 procurement as had been bandied about in the media, rather than table a persuasive case of his innocence, Murathe swiftly inculpated Ruto into the scandal.

As the Kemsa Covid-19 scandal unfolded, it was alleged that a director of one of the companies that was at the centre of the scam was Murathe’s long-time friend and business partner, a fact that he did not deny. However, what he refuted was his involvement in the Kemsa dealings, despite his acknowledgement of his tight and long running partnership with the company of interest, but on other undertakings.

In the interview, Murathe distanced himself from the company and unequivocally claimed that the company’s ownership had changed to Ruto’s known associates. Strangely enough, it has further been reported that the ownership reverted back to its original owners through lawyers after the new owners failed to raise the requisite capital to finance the importation of the Kemsa tender.

Begs the question, is Murathe the Texas sharpshooter? Was he drawing a bullseye of Ruto’s face around the Kemsa scandal with the hope that the prevailing narrative that Ruto is the most corrupt politician would carry the day?

I do not hold brief for Ruto, neither do I know whether he is culpable or not.

However, isn’t it curious, that going by the number of times Murathe mentioned him in his sentences, to the point that the interview host had to plead with him to omit Ruto’s name in his responses, was he attempting to draw the bullseye of Ruto’s face around the scandal? And if the company reverted back to its original owners, was Murathe determined through thick and thin to force an association of the company with Ruto through pareidolia?

Pareidolia is the tendency for incorrect perception of seeing patterns in unrelated objects. It is the tendency of seeing recognisable patterns in otherwise unrelated objects and to mistakenly perceive connections and meanings between unrelated things. Sometimes, when we look up at clouds, it is easy to see shapes of humans, animals or objects. Others even see images of Jesus on half-eaten toast.

Our human brains demand that there be order even when none exists. Our brains cluster things then draw conclusions, because clustering and seeing patterns, is our brain’s natural inclination to create order from chaos.

We abhor the absence of order and are unable to accept the unsettling idea of “I don’t know”, when we are confronted with the disorder of the unfamiliar. So we make up comforting answers to either explain the atypical, or to force a certain prevailing narrative. This easily fuels obsessiveness and paranoia. And sadly this instilled fear has been our undoing politically as a nation.

Undoubtedly, it is rational to be afraid. But the inability to overcome fear is cowardice. And the politicos know that fear is the currency of control. So they manipulate us through an arsenal of pareidolia with the intention of causing us to be afraid of one politico over another.

Murathe suavely did this when he rhetorically asked that if this is how Ruto behaves when he is the Deputy President, he shudders to think how he will behave when he is President.

I submit that one’s choice of a president should never be tethered to fear because this provides fertile ground for the politicos to manipulate us through the problem-reaction-solution paradigm.

First, they create a crisis, like they have done with Ruto, then engineer and trigger certain predetermined reactions and narratives, and when we have been sufficiently whipped up into a political frenzy, they swoop back in with a solution that would never have passed under normal circumstances, such as the Mandela Moment. Are we this gullible?

Finally, my unsolicited advice is to Ruto. You don’t pour more troops into a battle that you are already winning. Likewise, on this battle of inculpating you with the Kemsa scandal, you were already ahead. You didn’t need to even the score

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