Correcting Mutahi Ngunyi's Self Serving Tyranny of Numbers

I used to love reading Mutahi Ngunyi’s column, as a social science student, because of his skewed and hypothetical way of looking at reality. I always found his line of reasoning fascinating and attractive but always problematic and leaving a lot to be desired. Now I know why his writings used to make sense while at the same time seeming biased. Mutahi Ngunyi thrives not because he is the best at political analysis but because he is the best at stoking political controversy. In my own thinking, Mutahi Ngunyi has mastered the art of exaggerating the truth and using witty stories to spark controversy and attract attention. Recently he was at it again, acting brilliant with the aim of diabolically hyping ethnic calculations and machinations on the 2013 election considerations.

Before we are accused of attacking Mutahi Ngunyi’s person without merit, let us consider his postulations. Mutahi Ngunyi argues that the 2013 elections are a foregone conclusion; Uhuru is the president waiting to be sworn in. According to Mutahi Ngunyi's numbers, Kikuyu, the Kalenjin and the Embu and Meru are 6, 188, 372 (those are solid Jubilee votes). The Luo and Kambas are 2, 866, 000 (CORD Votes), the Luhya are 1, 780, 000 (Amani Votes) and he lumps the rest 3, 408, 000 in a basket he calls others.
His hypothesis is that Kenyans vote ethnically and thus CORD will come third in the polls. He is a social scientist and social science truths are true to the extent your assumptions are true. 1st question, what percentage of Kenyans will not vote ethnically given in Kenya politics is not just about ethnicity but also personality? If not all Kenyans are going to vote ethnically and we could assume the 3, 408, 000 he lumps in the others are sure not going to vote ethnically, then which personality are they more likely to vote for and by what margins? 

Let us go back to the already lumped numbers, will all Kikuyu's truly vote for only one candidate? Anyway, Mutahi Ngunyi is a Kikuyu and thus his postulations could be based on insider information on Kikuyu's. But all said and done, at most 95% of Kikuyus (in central and rift valley) will vote of Jubilee thus approximately 2, 100, 000 votes banked. What about Kalenjins? Well we know that utmost 65% of Kalenjins will vote for Jubilee thus giving Jubilee 1, 800, 000 votes. Majority Embu and Meru will vote Jubilee but will it be a 100% majority? At most, Jubilee will get 60% of those votes; approximately 700, 000 votes. This means that Jubilee can be assured of at least 4, 600, 000 votes.

Proportionately, what votes will Cord attract to bolster its 2, 866, 666 given by Mutahi Ngunyi? Well, we know Raila is the personality attracting votes from across the country. Let us look at the Luhya vote, how many Luhyas are truly into this Mudavadi presidency bid? The most that Mudavadi can garner from Luhya land is 50% of the vote and a good chunk of the votes will go to Cord, at least 900, 000 votes.
Now, let us look at the others that Mutahi lumped together. We know that much of N. Eastern is Corded and that means Cord can get at least 190, 000 votes from there. As for these other tribes, I trust that Martha Karua and Peter Kenneth will get much of what is given in the opinion polls as 1% and 3% respectively from the kikuyu vote and marginally from across the country. This means that close to 3, 000, 000 votes remain out there to be split between Raila and Uhuru. Let us go back to the ethnic voting hypothesis by Mutahi Ngunyi, if all Kenyans will vote ethnically, how many Kenyans who are ethnic minded are ready for another Kikuyu presidency?

Uhuru wanted to let go of presidency and prop Musalia Mudavadi because there was this feeling that it is time for another tribe to eat. The fact is that our friends the Kikuyus should not play the numbers card in the face of Kenyans. If CORD changes this tyranny of numbers to its advantage, then there is a likelihood of an anti-tyranny of numbers wave in the next few days. If that were to happen, then the likely scenario is as shown in the diagrams below:

Coalition or Party
Kikuyu, Kalenjin, Meru, Embu
Luo, Kamba, Luhya, others
Narc Kenya
Kikuyu and others
Kikuyu and others
Luhya and Others
Maasai and others


  1. substitute Kenda with KNC.... Peter Kenneth

  2. how wrong you were.........mutahi is the man!

    1. Stephen Mundia, save for claims of rigging and election manipulation, I agree with you. I was dead wrong


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