The Iron Lady is said to be holding her rivals by the balls
Ordinarily, cabinet ministers are supposed to work in tandem while implementing government policy. The Kenyan grand coalition appears completely dysfunctional. The ‘official’ pecking order has rendered the parliamentary front bench uncoordinated and virtually unworkable. Additionally, numerous scheduled cabinet meetings have been cancelled without explanation while the bloated cabinet itself has now been caught up in a web of serious corruption allegations, incidences of backstabbing and bitter infighting all of which result from the Kibaki succession. Regular readers will remember this blogger predicting a vicious and mouth-watering political contest hinged to the Kibaki succession months ago.
One player who has emerged forcefully is Martha Wangari Karua – the Justice and Constitutional Affairs minister. Impeccable sources reveal that Amos Kimunya’s exit from cabinet was the start of Martha Karua’s deliberate extermination of potential rivals on 2012. Although many people wrongly attribute the no-confidence vote in parliament to the ouster of Kimunya, Karua, probably working in cahoots with Raila Odinga, met President Kibaki on Tuesday morning with a convincing agenda that persuaded fence-sitter Kibaki to phone Kimunya and politely ask him to resign. By lunchtime the same day, Kimunya was gone!
Kimunya’s political demise was so efficiently carried out that word going round now is that Kimunya is contemplating resigning his parliamentary seat as he is finding it impossible return to parliament as a backbencher and face fellow MPs even as fresh corruption allegations on him are unearthed. Kimunya is also said to be too embarrassed to go back to Kipipiri to face his constituents whom he had promised just last Sunday that he’d rather face death than resign his cabinet post.
Kimunya was the blue-eyed boy of the president’s trusted council of elders and they have hatched a scheme to inflict equal measure revenge upon ODM by ensuring an ODM cabinet minister is humiliated the same way Kimunya was. Luckily, Kajwang who was previously thought to be an easy buy has turned out to be no soft target and his legal background as well as his long political experience as RAO’s lieutenant has paid off. The same elders are campaigning for a cabinet re-shuffle that will hand their people (read- Uhuru, Kiraitu, Saitoti and an unnamed GEMA assistant minister) powerful but less corruption prone cabinet portfolios. Ironically, these are the same individuals who just three months ago denied ODM its rightful cabinet slots during the contested portfolio balance negotiations that had threatened the fragile coalition.
So clearly the questions are; Who is/are the invisible hand(s) that is/are pushing Karua to uncharacteristically seem to be on the opposition side? Could it be that Kibaki has revealed to Karua that he had already made and deal with and endorsed Raila Odinga as his preferred successor? Yes, we all remember the last Kenya Open golf tournament and the body language there. The president also last month unusually showered praise on Raila. Again, Karua remains so far the only senior PNU minister to have visited Nyanza province as a presidential representative during the funeral of the son of Dalmas Otieno. More recently eyebrows have also been raised when Raila did not protest when the president appeared to contradict him on the Amos Kimunya probe. Anyone who has been keenly observing events unravel since Kofi Anan landed in town, cannot rubbish these coincidences.
Back to the guerilla tactics of the Justice Minister, she now has her guns trained on potential GEMA rivals for 2012 presidential race. Discerning observers of Kenyan political arena know well whom she was targeting when she boldly exclaimed that the era of political god-fathers is gone. Her blunt honesty is making powerful individuals within ODM to give her second thoughts. Apart from herself and Raila Odinga, very few other leading contenders in parliament can claim to be self-made.
Sources close to the Justice Minister intimate that her next obvious targets are Uhuru Kenyatta and Kiraitu Murungi. It appears duo’s refusal to take up the Finance docket is not borne out of nothing, but real fear for Martha Karua whom, this also blogger learnt, has managed to access highly incriminating evidence on all the PNU point-men through the numerous enquiry reports that have been gathering dust at her ministry over the years. Top amongst these are the Kroll Report, Goldenberg Report, Anglo Leasing and the Ndun’gu Land Commission Report. Uhuru’s case is not made easier owing to his recent illegal nomination of excess councilors to civic bodies countywide.
The minister has accessed a goldmine of irrefutable evidence that has made her believe that she can indeed strike a knock-out punch to any of her rivals. Her close associates have been heard boasting that she is literally holding her PNU rivals by the balls and all she needs to do is tighten her grip a little for the men to give up presidential ambitions for good.
In reality, Kiraitu Murungi is a sitting duck because of the mega-deals he made as Justice minister with Moi and his people on the non-repatriation of stolen billions public funds tracked by Kroll in off-shore accounts not to mention Kiratu’s blatant interference with John Githongo’s investigations into the biggest of them all - the Anglo Leasing scam. On the other hand, George Saitoti, one of the richest men in Kenya, is now at Karua’s mercy following renewed interest in the Goldenberg scandal arising out of the Grand Regency sale.
Admittedly, Karua knows too well that her chances of being elected the next president of Kenya are slim if not nil, but then she is making significant in-roads into being accepted by the ODM pentagon whom she prefers doing business with as opposed to ODM-K’s Kalonzo Musyoka who emerged a distant third in last year’s presidential polls. Credible but unverified reports received by this blogger, indicate that a cabinet line-up based upon the Bomas draft and featuring Martha Karua as a Deputy Prime Minister has already been drafted and is awaiting endorsement of a joint secret meeting of the higher echelons of ODM and the new NARC-K.
Observers are now wondering whether this meal Raila shared with Karua and the recent unusual declaration of support to Karua by ODM’s parliamentary group were mere coincidences or a political alliance in the making?
This is the question that even the so-called experts have yet to find an answer.
On my part I think the ODM captain, once touted as unelectable, has outsmarted state house power mandarins yet again.
John Njoroge Michuki, Kenya's Environment Minister, has been appointed to act as Finance Minister. The finance docket has been vacant since the resignation of Amos Kimunya last Tuesday following the Grand Regency Hotel sale scam.
At the same time, Public Works Minister Chris Obure has been appointed acting Roads Minister to replace Kipkalya Kones who died in a plane crash in Narok.