Uhuruto’s 100 Days in Office: An Evaluation by Jared Odero Part 1

After a rigged election, how are the suspects performing?

Uhuruto government: Choices have consequences

Uhuruto government: Choices have consequences

As President Uhuru Kenyatta approaches his “First 100 days” in office, critics wonder how he will achieve some of his election promises, given the heavy debt burden and budget deficit facing Government. Further, social problems/issues are spiraling due to lack of income for majority Kenyans. Without quick solutions, Kenya is a powder keg waiting to explode. Although meeting election pledges takes a longer time, the first 100 days are used as a benchmark for how a leader is faring and charting the way forward. This piece reflects on how Uhuru’s Administration has handled some salient issues so far.

Key promises to be fulfilled within Uhuru’s first 100 days were: To abolish maternity fees, provide free access to public health centers to all Kenyans and ensure that all school pupils joining Class One in public schools next year receive laptops. He also promised that a framework would be developed to channel the Ksh6 billion ($71 million) earlier allocated for the election run-off, to a new Youth and Women Fund to be enjoyed countrywide. Maternity and user fees at dispensaries were waived from June 1, 2013. This is in line with the Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5 which aim at reducing child mortality and improving maternal health by 2015.

However, having inherited a debt burden of Ksh1.8 trillion, Uhuru faces a bumpy ride. The first challenge he faced was the demand by MPigs to increase their new salary set by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) at Ksh532 500 back to Ksh851 000 earned by the immediate former MPigs. Uhuru was against the raise and made it clear that the public sector wage bill was too high to meet their demand. Meanwhile, the Mpigs threatened to derail Government budgetary plans and to reduce salaries earned by the members of constitutional offices. After three months’ of salary standoff, Uhuru sent his deputy William Ruto, to sit with the Parliamentary Service Commission and the SRC to negotiate. The outcome was worse than before, because the MPigs will now earn approximately Ksh1.2 million per month in salaries and allowances. Although their basic salary remains Ksh532 500, the non-taxable allowances will still cost the taxpayers enormously. It was interesting that all MPigs were united in greed, regardless of being in the ruling Jubilee Alliance or the opposition, CORD.

In retrospect, retired president Kibaki’s key pledges were to provide free primary education and a new constitution within the first 100 days in 2003. Although he fulfilled the first one, Kenyans got a new constitution in 2010, during his second term. His first 100 days in 2003 were marred by skewed top Government job appointments in favor of people from his Mt. Kenya area, some of whom had long retired. Moreover, MPigs awarded themselves huge salaries during the period, not caring that after 24 years of Moi’s misrule, the country was in a huge financial crisis. In a BBC report on April 8, 2003, Kariuki wa Mureithi noted the following on Kibaki’s first 100 days: Plusses – Anti-corruption moves; Free primary education moves; Prison reforms began; Crackdown on civil service. Minuses – Huge salary hikes for Mps; New cars for Mps; War in Iraq impacts on economy; Travel warnings affect tourism.

Domestic borrowing and budget deficit: The Government’s high level of borrowing does not equal its slow progress on revenue generation. According to Kamanda Morara, an analyst at Ashanti Research: “The way this trend is going, we will soon have a debt crisis. We are borrowing too much to run a very expensive government and our import bill is rising fast”. The two-tier government system is proving to be quite expensive for the wage bill, considering the increased number of elected representatives. On July 7, 2013, the Daily Nation reported that: “Combined with the external debt, the cumulative public debt now stands at about Sh1.9 trillion, with the government projecting that this could rise to Sh2.4 trillion in three years.” The 2013/2014 national budget stands at Ksh1.642 trillion while the current budget deficit is Ksh356 billion. During the 2012/13 financial year, Kenya Revenue Authority collected Ksh861.9 billion as tax revenue, against a national budget of Ksh1.2 trillion. By April 30, 2013 the revenue collected had dropped to Ksh587.9 billion against the targeted Ksh817.4 billion.

Kibaki’s Ksh700 million office purchase: Why should the octogenerian get such a send-off, yet he left the country highly indebted and among the most corrupt. The latest Transparency International Corruption Index released a few days ago, ranks Kenya as the fourth most corrupt country in the world. Kibaki was built a retirement home worth Ksh500 million by taxpayers’ money, yet he does not live there. To make it worse, the Kenya National Oil Corporation was reported in May 2013 as planning to give him a petrol station worth Ksh50 million of taxpayers’ money as a ‘gift’ for his 10-year leadership. Kibaki is a billionaire who built his wealth from 1963 through corrupt Government deals, and should retire without costing Kenyans more financial headaches.

Laptops for Class One pupils: Already factored in the 2013/14 national budget, Uhuru is hellbent to fulfill this election pledge. However, there is no serious debate on the pedagogical values of this project for Class One children who are the target. The Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) recently confirmed that it has already developed digital content for all subjects and await to install them into the laptops. The content is definitely in the English language, yet many rural children don’t speak or read English by the time they begin Class One. The laptop program will be implemented in three phases beginning with 6000 schools instead of being provided to all Class One children in public schools as initially promised. The Education Cabinet Secretary Professor Kiamenyi now prefers tablets to laptops which he says are more user friendly to kids and that laptops will be obsolete within five years. For it to succeed, the laptop program requires a clear direction, otherwise it will face implementation challenges like Kibaki’s free primary education.

Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs): Peter Tenna of Kenya National Organisation of Victims of Ethnic Clashes, was quoted in the Daily Nation June 26, 2013 saying: “IDPs voted overwhelmingly for Jubilee because of the promises the leaders made to us that the resettlement of pending cases would be done within the first 100 days,”. Another report in the Standard on July 6, 2013, mentioned that IDPs languishing in Nyandarua regret that the Government has not taken concrete steps to address their plight. The last time they received relief food supply was last December. “We were optimistic that the Government would resettle us in the first 100 days and that is why we voted for Uhuru. To our surprise, not even a single Government official has visited us like it used to happen before,” said Jane Nyokabi, a resident at Gwa Kungu camp.

Politicians in Cabinet: The so-called vetting of Cabinet Secretaries and Principal Secretaries showed that Parliament is a mere rubber stamp of Uhuru and cannot oppose anything he wants. Ruto claimed there would be no politician in the Cabinet, yet further appointments by Uhuru saw the return of yesteryear politicians like Najib Balala, Purity Ngilu and Kazungu Kambi. How can they agree to keep off politics while this is the game they have played for the past decade? Ngilu proved it by recently pushing Nduku Kilonzo (wife of late Senator Mutila Kilonzo), to contest the upcoming Makueni by-election. As Labor Secretary, Kazungu Kambi’s language is that of a politician and not a professional, while dealing with the just ended teachers’ strike. He exhibited ignorance as Health assistant minister in the last Government on issues concerning the sector during the medical personnel strikes. The worst is the tribal “homeboy” appointments of Secretaries, especially from Ruto’s Kalenjin tribe.

Free school milk: Government has allocated Ksh2.6 billion in the 2013/14 budget for free milk and school feeding program in public primary schools. However, there is concern that Uhuru will be involved in a serious conflict of interest if his Brookside Dairy Ltd will be part of the suppliers of free milk. He recently mentioned that local dairy companies (within the counties) would be offered such contracts. But Brookside has just bought 50% of Buzeki Dairy which supplies Molo Milk and controls 18% of the market. Full acquisition of Buzeki will be by the end of this August. Brookside had already bought its close competitors such as Delamare, Ilara and Spin Knit and controls a 42% stake with its three brands: Tuzo, Ilara and Brookside. Only the state-owned New KCC and Fresha, owned by Githunguri Dairies, remain independent so far. There is word that KCC will soon be privatized. With Brookside dominating the processed milk market, how will other small suppliers develop enough capacity to implement the school milk program? Will Uhuru prevent his private business from dealing with Government?

Jared Odero

29 comments

  • its a time bomb waiting to explode.Kenya is bigger 4 tiz guz to govern.

  • Smith Mwandigo

    These two War-Crime Suspects are suffering from (Raila-phobia) Both Uhuru &Ruto have become Schizophrenic restless.,according to reports from reliable sources both are suffering from Constipation .diarhearing,lack of sleep at nights and both are reported to havebeen mis-using drugs like Valium,amphetamins,and viagra.Uhuruto are known to have been telephoning Nsis chief Gichangi and Cis boss Ndegwa Muhoro at odd hours of nights for fear of being Overthrown by people’s Power Egyptian/Tunisian style.>

  • Raila Phobia /Raila Maniac is some of what is disturbing the two thieves plus the ICC cases both have been dodging to no avail>
    http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/ktn/video/watch/2000067840/-jubilee-allied-mps-hit-out-at-former-prime-minister-raila-odinga

  • YK 92 Ruto Jirongo thugs >Moi (misenge boys)mambo bodi !Let us go to hague !No vague (Vogue-Lange Rover?Jela za ulaya kuna Misenge Utazengwa!Yk 92 We atill remember the fake 500kshs!that brought kenya economy to Zero!

  • Juma V. Mwapachu

    I think we should be objective about criticism. The elections are over and feelings of hurt and disappointment are unhelpful in Kenya’s new trajectory. So let objectivity rule as in the case of your points about a costly two tier government. The ICC issue should not be harped in the derogatory manner you present your headline story. It is mischievous to say the least.

  • Let it be known that President Uhuru Kenyatta will not save his dirty skin through killing and bribing or intimidating wittnesses>The ICC law will catch up with you very soon!before you, we had Former Yugoslavian President (A white-man) Mr Slobodan Mirocevic who committed suicide in his cell!The whole world is watching .You Uhuru Kenyatta and Ruto >Just go on bullshitting the ICC and abusing the USA President Barack Obama . We shall see where you will end up! Noriega/the former Panamanian Dictator was just arrogant like you!General Ratko Muradic and Radovan Karadzic were just arrogant like you! not to forgert Bagbo the Nigger from Cot Dvour(Ivory Coast or Your friend Charles Taylor all languishing inside their isolation cells in Hague!shame-on you stop killing ICC witnesess,bribing and intimadating their families ,that won’t save your ass from international justice! (for) your information the ICC is the world’s people’s shield and defender.

  • Uhuruto let these (matakos) comfort you !Let them be near you ,remember King David when he was in deep trouble >The King needed (young Matako) women to keep him warm. put your5 boring wives away in this time of( sorrow)Jiburudishe na Kudu kama hiyo)

  • ndya muthyuty

    I like Uhuru Kenyattas Sexual-Maniac Tv Channel Kikuyu women having Sex /teaching Sex to Upper/& middle-class Kenyan Swines>

  • Zengu jaduong

    Kindly respect our Presedent even if he was elected in whichever way, the fact is he is Mr presedent kenya

  • 'criminal' president

    Juma V. Mwapachu: Uhuru and Ruto are prime crime suspects in Kenya’s Post Election Violence that took place in 2007-08. This will not change unless they are acquitted. They face trials in The Hague so agree with that.When Uhuruto won, newspapers in the world called them criminals/suspects.Have you 4gotten?Elections are over and this is real life.

    War Crimes Suspect Wins Kenya Election

    Uhuru Kenyatta is victor, but he faces international trial in July
    http://www.newser.com/story/164133/war-crimes-suspect-wins-kenya-election.html

    A Man Indicted for Crimes Against Humanity Wins Kenya’s Presidential Election
    Uhuru Kenyatta, the son of Kenya’s first president and a man indicted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity, was officially declared the winner of the presidential election Saturday with the slimmest of margins necessary to avoid a run-off.
    http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2013/03/09/uhuru_kenyatta_man_indicted_for_crimes_against_humanity_wins_kenya_election.html

    Kenya: ‘Criminal’ President Invited To UKUhuru Kenyatta is asked to take part in a UK-Somalia conference, months before he goes on trial for crimes against humanity.
    http://news.sky.com/story/1086607/kenya-criminal-president-invited-to-uk

  • ndya muthyuty

    The most Rapist in the history of Kenya William Ruto calling the detention of Raila Odinga (Ruto) a land thief .murderer, cattle rustler child killer a man who organized children burnings in churches !Give us a break where is Ben-souda the ICC prosecutor? !Is she asleep?>“It is only two days ago the Deputy President William Ruto was quoted in the media calling for the possible arrest of the Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Raila Amolo Odinga because of serious issues he raised concerning IEBC (Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission),” the statement said.

    Saying the guilty are afraid, Prof Nyong’o said barely days after Mr Odinga chastised IEBC, Mr Owalo was accused of working to wreck Jubilee.

    “It is instructive that Mr Owalo is not just another aide, but is in fact the individual that ran the Prime Minister’s Campaign Secretariat. As such he would be privy to details of anomalies and short comings and malfunctions that led to a disputed election which was argued in the Supreme Court,” Prof Nyong’o said.

    The leaders said Mr Owalo was also being targeted because of an article he wrote on a local daily titled: Why the electoral commission must be disbanded.”

    Cord accused the CID are making unsubstantiated, comical, cheap yet treasonable charges against Mr Owalo.

  • Deggi Mbehele

    The soldier who raped Prisoners in Daadaab refugee camp in northern Kenya>https://www.facebook.com/dominic.gichuru

  • khalwale on jubilee
  • Harvard dons say neither Uhuru nor Raila attained 50 pc vote
    Updated Saturday, May 4th 2013 at 22:12 GMT +3

    By Felix Olick

    NAIROBI, KENYA: An exit poll during the March 4 polls claims that there was a statistical tie between CORD leader Raila Odinga and President Uhuru Kenyatta with both failing to hit the 50 per cent plus one mark.

    The poll conducted by two US political scientists puts Raila ahead at 40.9 per cent while Uhuru who was declared the winner of the presidential contest, at 40.6 per cent.

    Surprisingly, the poll almost accurately predicted the votes secured by then Amani presidential candidate Musalia Mudavadi and Alliance for Real Change candidate Abduba Dida.

    The poll had predicted that Mudavadi would score 3.74 per cent of the votes but from the resultsby the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, Mudavadi scored 3.93 per cent.

    However, the poll accurately predicted the outcome for Dida, who garnered 0.43Â per cent of the votes as was predicted by the pollster.

    However, the poll also shows that 11.8 per cent of Kenyans included in the survey refused to indicate for whom they had voted for in the historic presidential race.

    According to the survey, the results represent a statistical tie between the two top contenders since due to the survey’s margin of error.

    50 plus 1

    Harvard University professor James D Long who was one of the researchers maintained that neither Uhuru nor Raila could score the requisite 50 per cent plus one vote as required by law even if the margin of error was slightly higher.

    Prof Long is also the author of the paper, Determinants of Ethnic Voting, which is part of a book he is working on examining how elections undermine or buttress democracy and accountability.

    Regarding the March 4 Kenya’s General Election, Prof Long said: “Even taking account of various statistical uncertainties, there is no reasonable assumption that gets either candidate to 50 per cent,” Long said this while releasing the results of the exit poll on Thursday at a Washington think-tank forum. The researcher termed as a statistical myth that Uhuru seriously benefited from a comparatively higher turnout in Kikuyu-dominated parts of the country.

    “The contention that Kenyatta benefited from a comparatively much higher turnout in Kikuyu-dominated parts of the country was shown through the exit poll to be a myth,” Long insisted.

    IEBC results

    The two Researchers, however, remained mum on likely causes of the discrepancy between their survey’s results and the final results released by the Isaac Hassan-led commission.

    However, the pollsters had no evidence of vote rigging in terms of stuffing of ballot papers or vote buying.

    While responding to a question by a member of the audience why the results Kenyan election could be invalid, Long retorted, ““Because people broke the law when they counted votes.”

    The IEBC switched from the electronic transmission and tallying of results to the manual after the latter collapsed.

    However, the Supreme Court later ruled that it was not illegal for the electoral commission to switch to the manual system after the electronic one failed.

    The survey showed that 83 per cent of the Kikuyu voted for Uhuru, while 94 per cent of the Luo voted for Raila.

    From the Kamba, according to the poll, Raila got 63 per cent for while Uhuru got 12 per cent.

    However, Raila got 11 per cent from the Kalenjin, while Uhuru scored 74 per cent.

    Raila has always insisted that the election was not free and fair. On Friday, he made a scathing attack on Chief Justice Willy Mutunga over the Supreme Court judgement that dismissed his petition.

    Raila has also insisted that the IEBC has lost the confidence of Kenyans and cannot be trusted to steer the country’s next election in 2017.

    During their titanic court battle Raila insisted that from the Forms 34 and 36, it was clear Uhuru’s votes were intentionally inflated while his were reduced in an apparent trend to “meet a given threshold”.

    The former Prime Minister had also demanded a forensic audit of the entire electronic system used in the March 4 presidential election, but the Supreme Court declined to grant his request.

  • sham vetting by uhuruto

    Vetting Of Public Servants A Sham

    Thursday, July 18, 2013 – 00:00 — BY NGARI GITUKU

    The much-hyped vetting of topmost public servants in the Jubilee administration is now behind us. Owing to the profile of the subjects under scrutiny, the just-ended vetting exercise conducted by a conclave comprising what seemed more like an arbitrarily chosen team of members of the National Assembly was the first of a kind.

    The vetting exercise was conducted in fulfillment of a constitutional requirement and was, yes, through and through a public affair. In its wake, many questions arose, foremost of which was; ‘What, exactly, should the vetting of public servants entail?’

    The preamble of the culture of vetting top cadres of public servants in Kenya took place when the then nominees for President of the Supreme Court /Chief Justice of Kenya and Deputy as well as the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), in 2011 were scrutinized in public and in broad daylight.

    The grilling of Dr Willy Mutunga, Ms Nancy Baraza and Mr Keriako Tobiko was broadcast live on TV, radio and Online and reported and analyzed in the newspapers. Once the trio was aired to dry by the vetting party as the world witnessed the rules of the game for subsequent scrutiny of public servants was established.

    The Judiciary vetting sessions were watched by millions and ordinary Kenyans were amazed to see three members of the VIP class questioned closely about such previously out-of-bounds matters as their probity,wealth and, in the cases of the CJ and his Deputy, their sexuality.

    Indeed, the only other grilling sessions broadcast live to a rapt nationwide audience in Kenya before the Judiciary “reality thriller shows” were the International Criminal Court (ICC) Pretrial Chamber sessions against then Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and then Eldoret North MP William Ruto, now respectively the President and Deputy President of the Republic of Kenya.

    Although the majority of Kenyans now no longer remember who the Judiciary vetters were, the quality of their vetting – and the novelty of the process at the time – will linger in the minds of all who followed it for the balance of their lives.

    The vetting process we have just witnessed in the case of Cabinet and Principal Secretaries and others was an extended semi-circus perpetrated by persons – Members of Parliament to be specific – whom Kenyans know only too well and who they most likely marked for purposes of the next election cycle. The content of most of the inquiry at the vetting table was instantly forgettable, some of it so low and sleep-inducing.

    Most of what we were treated to was, at best, an empty concert conducted by lay persons in the knowledge, conduct and dynamics of HR. Indeed, some vetting sessions degenerated into a feeding frenzy where the MPs involved were simply preening for the cameras. In some cases, some members of the vetting caucus succumbed to meaningless partisan politics of point-scoring. It seems quite a number of them the vetting exercise was merely an opportunity for totting up sitting allowances.

    Prior to the naming of the nominees, Kenyans asked for a break with the past, where the stable from which top State officials were picked was the same old same. And, all too often, it was this country’s version of the Augean Stables, which took the legendary Hercules to clean up. After Kenyans made their own latter-day Herculean effort and installed the new Constitution, they got the break they had demanded for 20 years. But when they did, we promptly started asking, “Who is this Lenku? Who is Waiguru, and who is Matiang’i?”

    Were Kenyans really sincere that they wanted a break with the predictable past they asked so importunately to be dispensed with?

    The reasons offered by some Kenyans for their reluctance to embrace some of the nominees made for an interesting exposé of the flippancy of the chattering classes: So-and- so had their tie wrongly knotted, so-and-so dress code was wanting and so on and so forth…

    But what did you expect Mrs Phyllis Kandie to do when her career, for the largest part thus far involved interacting with data and laptops in some out-of-public-limelight office? Did anyone expect Kandie to instantly perform like a circus star whose livelihood had always been tied to enthusing come-one-come-all audiences!

    At one point during the vetting more recently, Njee Muturi, now Solicitor General, was very loudly accused in Parliament of having spent too much time “working with politicians”, a reference to his years as an aide to the current Head of State. At this point, US comedianGroucho Marx’s old joke that he would not join a private club that actually accepted him as a member came powerfully to mind!

    Going forward, unless vetting is a process of verifying moral probity, competence, conviction and passion, it becomes just another travesty the country will cheat itself with in matters concerning who is user-friendly for public service work and who is not and can never be.

    I think it is high time Kenyans turned the spotlight of scrutiny on thevetters themselves, and kept it steadily there at maximum wattage. As a nation, we have wailed for so long that–as in the words of Ghanaian novelist Ayi Kwei Armah’s classic–The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born.

    In this respect, the truth is we are still caught in keening mode, unable to see that the “Beautyful” ones could as well been with us all along.

    Gituku, a communication consultant, comments on social issues.
    . – See more at: http://www.the-star.co.ke/news/article-128634/vetting-public-servants-sham#sthash.XbXt4RZJ.dpuf

  • More lies from Ruto
  • Oh Janta Janta

    Go to hague Don’t be Vague!Ruto and his madness>Kalei wendianu-Ngulu Kafinjieti momit.wsomaima Rip Bwana Ruto Rip!

  • Rafiki Pattini

    The building of the Railway line is Over Banianis were brought to Kenya by British >Its time to go home>Machakos Senator Johnstone Muthama could face arrest after he failed to honour summons by the cohesion body over alleged hate speech.

    Mr Muthama had been ordered by the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) to appear before it Friday at 10am to assist with investigations on utterances he made on June 23 at Machakos AIC Church.

    According to NCIC, the Machakos Senator reportedly said “…how can he appoint an Asian to run the affairs of the County…?” utterances the cohesion body says are contrary to section 13(1) (a) as read with section 13(2) of the National Cohesion and Integration Act touching on hate speech.

    The legislator is said to have issued a response to the NCIC summons through his lawyer where he denied the allegations, claiming that the said utterances were “in the spirit of Article 10 of the Kenyan Constitution

  • Fukusa Wahindi

    Indonesia Govt is worse than all nigger govts combined> If they allow parents to exploit their babies by smoking 40 ciggars>shame indonesian corrupt thugs>

  • speaking swahili in USA
  • Koigi on Uhuru

    Former MP on why he’s ever on warpath

    Koigi wa Wamwere abandoned the university at the age of 21 to fight President Jomo Kenyatta when it was almost a sacrilege to lift a finger against the man reverently referred to as the Burning Spear.

    This week, the former Subukia MP, who was detained for 13 years, is still in his rebellious element.

    Seen by some members of his Kikuyu community as a traitor and by a section of the public as a Kikuyu apologist when push comes to shove, he has now trained his guns on President Uhuru Kenyatta.

    He fears the President could be reading a script from the discredited regimes of his father Jomo Kenyatta and political mentor Daniel arap Moi, and believes that for the Jubilee leader to succeed he must commit political suicide and read a certain verse in the Bible.

    Kerry Kennedy in Speak the Truth to Power, which lists the 63-year-old firebrand as one of 50 ‘Human Rights Defenders Who Are Changing the World,’ says Mr Wamwere has emerged from the experience (of successive incarceration) “with a wisdom and a sense of peace almost beyond measure.”

    Mr Wamwere shared his wisdom with Saturday Nation.

    Q: You dropped out of Cornell University in the 1970s where you were studying hotel management. What is your education?

    A: I went up to second year at university. I arrived in the US at a critical moment. This was when the US had lost the Vietnam War, the vestiges of Portuguese colonialism were being felt, the outcry over apartheid was at its peak and the Cuban revolution was happening.

    All these, together with meeting such people as Ngugi wa Thiong’o and Maina wa Kinyatti radicalised me. We began questioning whether we had achieved independence without freedom. When I landed back in Kenya without a degree, my mother asked me whether I was mad. When I answered I had come to fight the Kenyatta dictatorship, she was shocked. Perhaps I was naïve, but I don’t regret it.

    Q: In 1980, you gave a three-hour lecture on Marxism in Kiswahili at the University of Nairobi’s historic Taifa Hall. What is the root of your love for Kiswahili?
    A: I started reading Swahili literature as far back as my primary school days. I read books like Juliasi Kaizari and Mwakilishi wa Watu — translations of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar and Achebe’s A Man of the People. Many world leaders like to use their national languages and then get translations even if they are fluent in the second. This way, they are twice informed.

    Q: In your book Towards Genocide in Kenya: A Curse of Negative Ethnicity, you identify tribalism as a cancer. Was the March election an ethnic census?

    A: Yes. It was an ethnic election. People voted the tribal wind and it is terrible because I thought we should have learnt from the 2008 violence.

    Q: The book reveals that Kikuyus in 1969 engaged in massive oathing disguised as tea-taking in Gatundu, during which they vowed never to vote for a kihii (an uncircumcised man). Is this what informs their voting patterns today?

    A: Yes. Even in this last election there was semi-oathing disguised as goat-eating. Its main objective was to unite the community.

    Q: Do you think the Uhuru-Ruto alliance will bring about national healing?

    A: Absolutely not. How can an alliance of two communities unite the whole country? A lot of suspicion is still palpable among Kikuyus and Kalenjins, it is really a union of the two chaps at the top. On another note, the Jubilee win was ethnic victory.

    People voted for it on the basis of tribes with the hope that it will bring goodies to their communities. It is a government of exclusion of others but inclusion of political allies. They have just appointed their cronies.

    Q: Which presidential candidate did you vote for in the last election?

    A: I won’t tell you that. Founders had a good reason for making the ballot secret.

    Q: Okay then, tell us what values you voted for.

    A. I voted for a candidate with a history of struggle, progressive ideas and a vision to take us to Canaan. I wanted a Joshua because Moses brought us from Egypt through the Red Sea of Mau Mau but abandoned us in the desert of poverty, where we have been all these years. I am afraid those who made it are not Joshuas.

    Q: You are the only key politician who attended the burial of Chelagat Mutai with whom you fought the Kenyatta dictatorship. Was the war lost?

    A: Not all. The war continues until the children of the real freedom fighters sit on the high table. We are surviving on crumbs but at least we eat those crumbs in freedom, not in detention.

    Q: As a journalist, what is your take on the recent editors’ breakfast session at State House?

    A: Journalists should be the bravest and the best amongst us. They should be cynical and keep a healthy distance from the ruling elite, whom they are supposed to check.

    It was a shame to see journalists fall over each other for photo opportunities and a hug from the President, literally sitting on each other and even openly soliciting for jobs. Agents of dictatorship within the media are pushing for the wrong side of things in the country.

    Q: You spent your lifetime fighting Nyayo, to the extent that you only shaved your trademark dreadlocks after he had left power in 2003. How much money did he pay you to eat ugali with him?

    A: I have never begged for money from anybody. During the ‘No’ campaigns, I didn’t take any money from him, though that does not mean I have never eaten with him. There is only a time when we visited him with my wife at Kabarak and later he told me:

    “I know you are okay, lakini wacha nipatie mama kitu kidogo (let me give mama something). As we moved away from Moi’s earshot, I told her that she couldn’t receive money from another man. She gave the money to me and I promptly handed it to our campaigners.

    Q: How much was it?

    A: I think it was Sh20,000.

    Q: During Kibaki’s first term, you and the late Mirugi Kariuki defended the same ills for which Moi detained you. There are those who say you transmogrify into a Kikuyu apologist whenever you move closer to power and privilege. Did you fight Moi because of his tribe or the system he led?

    A: But I fought Kenyatta yet he was Kikuyu. Did I support Kibaki? Yes I did, whenever I thought he was right. I criticised him where I felt he was wrong.

    Q: But as the assistant minister for Information, you supported a controversial law whose aim was to gag the media.

    A: I am a media man even now and I support self-regulation. But I also support a dose of control for discipline and responsibility.

    Q: Your critics say the Kikuyu elite considered you a hero when you were fighting Moi. Now that one of your own is in power, they think you have outlived your usefulness.

    A: That is true. They say I should keep quiet now that one of “us” is in power. The language used against me in the social media, for instance, is unprintable.

    Q: William ole Ntimama last week described former President Kibaki as a silent dictator.

    A: Kibaki’s dictatorship was limited by the Constitution. But extra-judicial killings took place under his watch, even as his promises to unearth perpetrators of past killings were never followed through. My most enduring impression of Kibaki, however, is that of an incredibly arrogant man who thought very little about other people.

    Q: A former detainee, Willy Mutunga, is now the chief judge. Has he stayed the cause?

    A: When I lost my two cases for compensation over my detention and wrongful incarceration; when I saw the verdict on Raila’s election case — both judgments which I don’t consider fair — I was convinced our comrade has joined them. Judgments coming out of the Judiciary lately reveal that anti-reform judges have the upper hand.

    Q: The Jubilee Administration is marking 100 days in power. How do you rate their performance?

    A: I fear that Uhuru and Ruto want to rule the country using Jomo Kenyatta’s script. When I heard that Eliud Owallo, Raila’s aide, had been summoned to answer questions over claims of plot to destabilise the government, I shuddered.

    I was hearing echoes from past dictatorships. This was usually the first step against a leader before jail or detention beckoned. And you know the foolish, terrible mistake Kenyans did was to bring back detention in the Constitution. If one wants to use it, nothing would stop him. Raila should be very, very careful.

    Q: What book would you buy for President Uhuru Kenyatta?

    A: I have heard that Uhuru wants to meet Fidel Castro. I recommend he reads My Life, an autobiography on the Cuban leader. You know the Jubilee government has no ideological moral compass and perhaps the book could help him decide where he wants to take us.

    I would also suggest he reads the story of King Rehoboam in 1 Kings 12. Rehoboam was the son of Solomon. Israelites went to him and beseeched that he should not commit sins that his father committed. He dismissed them and embraced the deeds of his father. Uhuru, too, should do better than Jomo.

    Uhuru must transform himself ideologically and commit suicide for him to succeed by deciding to work for the poor people who staked their all to make his presidency possible instead of the rich political elite around him who also feel they own him.

    Q: And Raila Odinga?

    A: I would urge him to read the Bible and Mandela’s Long Walk to Freedom. He needs patience. Mandela waited for 27 years. Raila has a responsibility to build a rainbow nation in which all Kenyans, regardless of their tribes, live together in peace. Before that rainbow is midwifed, Raila should not succumb to intimidation to leave the scene.

    Q: In 1975, you wrote an article critical of Jomo Kenyatta in the Sunday Post newspaper and you were subsequently detained for three years. Where did you summon the courage to draw a sword at the Burning Spear?

    A: We had read about the Cuban revolution and Lenin’s victory over the Tsar in Russia. America had lost a civil war to a small country (Vietnam). This made the Kenyatta dictatorship look like a paper tiger. We believed that dictatorship will lose to forces of good.

    Q: Do you still believe the effort to overthrow former President Moi, which you were said to be involved in, was legitimate?

    A: It worries me that he (Moi) does not seem to remember what he did. The act was legitimate. Rebellion against a dictator is obedience to God. We were not fighting a democracy. As we used to say those days, quoting Patrick Henry, you either give me liberty or give me death.

    Q: Do you know how to use a gun?

    A: Yes.

    Q: So this Bahati Police Station raid thing was not far-fetched?

    A: No, no, no. That was total fabrication. I was in Nairobi on the day of the so-called robbery. And when I stepped in Nakuru they even dragged bodies from the mortuary to the supposed scene of crime. But I understood that politics was war and war is politics as The Art of War had taught us. War is fought with deception and that is what Moi was doing.

    Q: You caused your mother to strip naked in protest against the government. Do you sometimes feel you caused her needless pain?

    A: Actually, my father bore the greatest brunt of my politics. He was a very strong man who could not brook a situation where we kowtowed to authorities, be they white or black. For some reason, when government agents came, they would arrest my mother, my sister, myself and three of my brothers. Persistent arrests of his entire family killed him by multiple strokes.

    As for my mother, my burden became her own. She was the last woman to leave Uhuru Park even after I had been released. She left only after the last of our comrades, Apili Sijeyo, left jail. She would again later camp for six weeks outside Nairobi Hospital, where I was being treated.

    I learnt that the pain of a mother for a child is greater than that of a child for the mother.

    Q: Have you forgiven Moi?

    A: Philosophically, yes. But it is not an excuse for the wrongs his government did to the people. I cannot live with bitterness against Moi and Kenyatta. Bitterness will kill. I continue the fight knowing that our struggle for a just and democratic society will succeed, however long it takes.

    Look at Charles Njonjo, for instance. He was the most hawkish of the Nyayoists but he is busy reaching out to people he could have wronged. He reached out to me; he has embraced Raila and even attended Chelagat’s funeral service. I encourage Moi to follow suit.

    Q: You are the author of several books including A Woman Reborn, Justice on Trial and I Refuse to Die. Do they pay your bills?

    A: No, they don’t. Books don’t sell in this country and publishers are not honest enough to pay royalties regularly. It is only A Woman Reborn which pays, and it is not even much. The last time I checked, they had paid me Sh35,000.

    Q: So why do you keep writing?

    A: I write as a form of release. Books are about pontification. If ideas were not released from my head, I would have been buried long ago.

    Q: When is your next book coming out?

    A: There is this book I have been writing for the last 20 years and publishers have asked me to revise it a little. It is called Revolution in Olduvai written in the mould of George Orwell’s Animal Farm.

    Q: How did you become a reader?

    A: For me to engage in the struggle, I have had to read a lot. At some point I had over 2,000 books which were carted away by the Special Branch.

    Q: Which books shaped your world view?

    A: The autobiography of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King’s speeches. Books on the Mau Mau and Mao tse Tung also influenced me a great deal.

    Q: So what are you reading now?

    A: Lenin: A Biography by Robert Service.

    Q: Some have argued on these pages that there are no serious Kenyan author(s).

    A: Our country suffers from a dearth of good books. It is very embarrassing that whenever you get on a plane, the best of our men and women watch movies after meals and others drink whiskey for trips taking as many as eight hours. But people from other parts of the world flash out books to read.

    Q: In Tears of the Heart: A Portrait of Racism in Norway and Europe you seem to bite the finger that fed you.

    A: I am ever grateful to Norway for saving me from the jaws of death. But in the book I am telling them: you are Norway, a heaven on earth, the judge of the world. You dispense Nobel Peace Prizes, but you are infected with the same disease of racism that you fight elsewhere.

    I have never seen a society take a book so seriously. It was on the front pages of their newspapers and I could cut with a knife the tension in the air. They were looking at me through the windows in buses and on the plane and wondering who the hell I thought I was. Needless to say, the book was voted the most racist book of the year.

    Q: You insisted the Ethiopian peasant Lema Ayanu was Mau Mau hero Stanley Mathenge. Do you regret it?

    A: It was embarrassing but when journalists like (Joseph) Karimi told us they had met Gen Mathenge and President Kibaki himself wrote the letter of invitation for Ayanu’s visit, who were we not to believe it? I adore Mau Mau heroes and I would go to the airport again if I am told Gen Mathenge had been found.

    Q: Koigi in your language means an outspoken leader. Do you think you have been heard?

    A: I am a frustrated man. People are not listening. But I must continue speaking. I am because I speak.

  • Charles Mugere

    Does Koigi know these Bible brutal Kings were Homos!Wanyama makatili then a person like Koigi a Kigeu-geu keeps on looking waandishi wa habari na Magazeti wamhonji!Why did Koigi took his wife to have good time with Former President Moi?What sort of Usherati with these Kikuyu failures?Was 20.000Kshs worth the shame?Koigi is in dire need of psychiatrist care.

  • The fact that we are even talking about Raila is a sign that Uhuruto have failed. If the media had good things to report on the Uhuruto government they would be busy doing so but there is nothing good going on in this government worth reporting other than sad stories of insecurity, neglect, and blatant tribalism and barbarism as reported in the eviction of women and children in Naivasha. It reminds me of that little girl in Naivasha, sitting in a fetal position in an old wooden table chair, sobbing uncontrollably, all a lone, the body of her mother lying in a pool of blood on the floor, her head bashed. The people who killed that woman and left the little girl orphan were sponsored, armed and transported to the scene by Uhuru’s blood money. Uhuru therefore has no moral authority to lead the country on matters like this otherwise he will sound like a hypocrite and nobody takes him seriously. Kenya right now needs moral leadership and to think that a deal to build a rail road to Rwanda or school milk or lap tops for first graders will cure that is bone headedness. What we are experiencing in the country is called leadership crisis or leadership vacuum and that is why the country is looking up for alternatives and settling on Raila to lead. Had Uhuru ignored the NSIS and showed up in Kisii, the people of Kisii would have asked him to provide leadership but instead he listened to NSIS and like a coward put his little tail behind his legs. When people went to Raila for leadership and he provided it Uhuru like the coward he is sends his loudest lap dog to bark at Raila. Bure kabisa.

  • Rail project big scandal

    In a comparative analysis of the cost of the railways Kenya and Ethiopia are building, the Attorney General Githu Muigai raised serious integrity questions about how the total cost rose from the initial Sh220, 921,502, 221.08 quoted by China Road and Bridge Corporation in its acceptance of the tender award letter dated July 2012 to the current Sh1.3 trillion.

    The variations are shaping the railway project into the country’s biggest financial scandal, beating the Goldenberg, Anglo-leasing and Triton frauds.

    The tendering concerns are informed by a comparative analysis of the railway projects being undertaken by Kenya and Ethiopia. While the Kenyan one is of inferior technology and covering half the distance Ethiopia is constructing, it was expected to cost the government $3.804 billion (Sh334.8 billion) compared with $3.9 billion (Sh343.2 billion) used by Ethiopia.

    The documents further show the locomotives and rolling stocks that include 56 diesel locomotives, 1,620 freight wagons, 40 passenger coaches and one simulator would have cost $1.147 billion (Sh100.936 billion).

    The Ethiopian locomotives and rolling stocks consisting 35 electric locomotives, six diesel shunting locomotives, 1,100 freight wagons, 30 passenger coaches and one simulator will cost $230 million (Sh20.24 billion). Construction of the 485km Kenyan railway will require $2.657 billion (Sh233.816 billion) compared with Ethiopia’s budget of $3.67 billion (Sh322.96 billion) to build 756km from Addis Ababa to Djibouti port on the Red Sea coast.

    The review upwards of the railway budget elicited questions from managing director of the Public Procurement Oversight Authority MJO Juma, who since March this year has unsuccessfully sought answers from the ministry over the discrepancies in the tender and raised the matter of the variations in tendering with the AG.

    The railway project scandal is a continuation of a “tradition” that began in 1992 which demonstrates that every time a new regime ascends to power its first mega financial undertaking is a rip-off of the Exchequer.
    http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/business/article/2000101450/why-rail-project-could-be-kenya-s-biggest-scandal-yet

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