One reader asked a very interesting question yesterday in the comments area.
Why is it that a people like the Kalenjin with such a rich history of resistance were so quiet during the Kenyatta years as the first president of
Also published today: Why did Safaricom sack so many senior managers?
What happened was that Jomo Kenyatta used the then Minister of Home affairs and later his vice president, Daniel arap Moi to settle the large number of Kikuyu farmers in the Rift Valley. The settlement was encouraged by many other Kikuyu families who had already been farming the Rift Valley for a long time by the time
Since the assassination of the Nandi Orkoiyot Koitalel arap Samoei who had united the community and won so many stunning military victories against the colonials, the Kalenjin community as a whole has always been looking for a leader to unite them and lead them to properity and success in a changed world. From the early 50s that leader was Daniel arap Moi. Moi criss-crossed the vast Rift Valley cheating his tribesmates that allowing the Kikuyu into their land would bring progress and open the floodgates for them to get direct access to the national cake. Indeed towards the end of the Moi years, some Kalenjin tribes, especially the Nandi were bitterly opposed to Moi and in the run up to the 1997 presidential elections; there was a time that it looked like the Nandi were not going to vote Moi. This is what allowed inroads into the Rift Valley by Mwai Kibaki’s political party then, DP (Democratic Party of Kenya).
But Moi used his vast historical knowledge of the Nandi to outsmart Kibaki and his DP and still get the Nandi vote despite the fact that the community was not happy with him and his many empty promises that dated back to the 1950s. Moi’s campaigners on the ground simply asked the Nandi to choose between allowing another Kikuyu government like Kenyatta’s to return or voting him back in for his last term. That was a no-brainer for the Nandi and Moi got his much-needed votes.
At this juncture it is appropriate for us to observe a fascinating fact. The British were completely unable to defeat the Nandi under their great Orkoiyot Koitalel arap Samoei even after they sent a man with a reputation for ingenious military tactics called Colonel Richard Meinertzhagen. So the British who have gained a reputation for fair play and always doing things “above board” were forced to use the kind of dirty tactics that would usually “shock them.” You see they were getting desperate and deeply embarrassed that a small group pf savages would put up resistance against them for 11 years at great cost to life and property. They had just had enough.
Now Meinertzhagen noticed that the brain behind his every move being outsmarted was Koitalel arap Samoei. So one day in late 1905 the good colonel invited Koitalel and his close advisors to a peace meeting to discuss and finalize lasting peace. It was during that meeting that Meinertzhagen himself killed Koitalel with a rifle at close range. Judging from the size of the hole in Koitalel’s skull (still preserved and now with a Japanese collector) a powerful rifle (and not a revolver) was used and Meinertzhagen stood on his left side. It was clear that the Brits were not taking any chances and wanted to make sure that this man who had cost them so much died. Military courts of enquiry were held by the British government to examine the actions of Meinertzhagen after numerous complaints were made. But clearly they were just for show because Meinertzhagen rather than being charged was in the end acquitted and quietly transferred elsewhere. He went on to become chief intelligence officer of the British army during the Second World War and left the military a highly decorated hero. Koitalel and 23 other Nandis fell and only one Nandi survivor escaped the ill-fated meeting to tell the world the truth about what really happened on that fateful 1905 day.
Meinertzhagen had laid down his plans well and after the murder of the Orkoiyot, two armored trains and the largest expedition yet was sent to deal with the Nandi once and for all. The expedition consisted of 1,500 Indian, Swahili and Somali soldiers, 1,300 auxilrries, 900 armed porters, 10 mchine guns and the two armored train wagons. Still the brave Nandis held out for 2 long months with great casualties. It was clear that things were not the same without their brilliant military strategist and leader. Finally in December 1905 Nandi elders approached the British and requested a peace deal, which was quickly finalized and the Nandi were at long last subdued just as the prophecy of the man they had stoned to death had said.
I finish this weekend's special series with a simple question; Had the NSIS and the president been aware of all this, would they still have gone ahead and played the games they played last December?
P.S.: What is in this week’s raw notes (aiii, wacha tu)!! In fact I cannot dare mention it in this public forum. That’s how HOT it is. No kidding!! However you can get a FREE sneak preview of this red hot saga from my weekly Kumekucha Confidential. Email Me right away for it. It’s FREE kabisa.