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Friday, July 11, 2008

No Capable Young Kenyan Men Hence John Michuki’s Appointment As Finance Minister

The appointment of John Michuki as acting minister of Finance is a joke, only that it is not that funny in a country reeling with too many problems and in fact on the verge of shutting down altogether.

It also clearly sends forth the message to Kenyans that this administration is not about to break the Kikuyu hold on matters finance in Kenya.

Incredibly John Michuki is a man who seems to have built a reputation amongst the Kenyan public for getting things done. Huh!!! And this is one of the reasons why his appointment has even been received with excitement in some quarters. This illustrates just how easy it still is for politicians in this country to fool the masses with mere words. Amos Kimunya, the serial liar told the public many lies which were hardly questioned and one would like to think that people and even journalists have become a little wearier of statements from politicians by now.

John Michuki was Minister of Transport early in the Kibaki administration and was praised for bringing order to the previously chaotic industry. Meanwhile nobody questioned the collapse of the Stagecoach Kenya Bus Services and the rapid rise of Citti Hoppa. Stagecoach, the last owners of Kenya Bus is a UK based multi-national launched with a single old bus by the children of a former bus driver (a brother and his sister) and have built a reputation for their ability to fight their way to the top despite fierce competition. So how is it that they failed in Kenya and without a fight? Who owns Citti Hoppa? Is there any connection between its' ownership and the new Finance Minister?

After the ill-fated 2007 general elections Mr Michuki was briefly appointed Minister for Roads. In his characteristic fashion, he called numerous press conferences to tell Kenyans that under his watch, the days for cowboy contractors were over. But o date nobody has done any analysis to find out how many contractors were deregistered during his tenure at the ministry. And even more telling why companies owned by a notorious cowboy contractor called Ephrahim Maina (of Kirinyaga Construction fame) are still doing business as usual. Mr Maina is even now a Member of parliament.

What we should now expect from Mr Michuki is a flurry of exciting press conferences to whisper many sweet nothings into the ears of the Kenyan people.

However the biggest question that the world will ask out there when they see the old relic of a grandfather limping his way around at the Treasury is simple; are there no young capable men and women left in Kenya?

P.S. I am told that John Michuki’s appointment contrary to what I wrote in an earlier post (that a PNU appointment would make it easier for Kenyans to get to the bottom of the Grand Regency saga) is mainly to cover up the truth. He is a trusted personal friend of the president and yet most Kenyans trust him too. They say that we must now brace ourselves for the kind of cover up that will make all other cover ups of the past look like child’s play. Let’s wait and see shall we?


Anonymous said...

You are giving John Michuki a bad rap. I come from his constituency and I have never voted for him because of some things that were done under his leadership to my old folks during the MAU MAU. But I would never doubt his interest in uplifting the welfare of the Kenyan people. At the constituency level he never ever promises anything he knows he cannot deliver. He keeps his word (a habit I think he learnt from Matiba) and that is why he is frequently referred to as Mr Kuuga na Gwika, a term that was previously reserved for Matiba. For example, during the elections he promised my village a polytechnique and now the work has begun. So, while I may not love him I respect him as a leader (he inspires more with his deeds than words). His main weakness is that unlike other politicians he is too blunt to the point of being arrogant. Also, deep inside I think he is conscious of his wealth, and that could be a plus at Treasury because he is unlikely to listen to Kibaki's golfing buddies because materially they are below his knees (you know what I mean). Moreover, he knows the public (with the exception of the press) loves his style of work and he is unlikely to start messing up that love.

What is funny is that his move to the Treasury has not been met with universal approval by the rural folks. They wish he can be taken back to Internal Security to finish off Mungiki. You can't believe that his popularity peaked when he was killing a couple of Mungikis per day.

Phil said...

In a parliament of more than 200 qualified Kenyans, why MUST we have an acting finance minister? Is this reserved for a special breed of person?

Are ministers appointed to serve Kenyan people or partisan political interests?

As a country of more than 40 ethnic groups, why must the STRATEGIC & KEY ministries of internal security, justice and finance be occupied by members of the GEMA community? Moi was president for 24 years and remarkably he never once appointed a KALENJIN to the finance ministry.

As I have said before, the Roads docket is only being filled - a month late - so that Michuki's appointment may appear normal, but in real sense; the names of individuals who took illegal loans of Kshs. 20billion from NBK to paid via CBK may never be known simply because Michuki will not reveal who they are.

Anonymous said...

No, the remaining young men (read Abwabu Namamba etc) are definitely quite reckless and irresponsible, you cant entrust them with this. Michuki is a great choice. But so is Dr. Oburu Odinga, one rare ODM type truly exemplary in word and deed.

Anonymous said...

Great article which goes a long way of truly identifying a BIG problem with us Kenyans... Forty years and we have the same people in Ministries, we simply rotate them and the we cheer on? there is something seriously wrong with us Kenya, maybe the subject of the topic at hand sums it all up "No Capable Young Kenyan Men Hence John Michuki’s Appointment As Finance Minister"... I give up...

Anonymous said...

Phil, because GEMA is the largest ethnic grouping in Kenya and Kikuyus are the most populous tribe in Kenya. Does that answer your question?

Anonymous said...

i dont think the problem here is michuki the man, but rather, why (kibaki has appointed) michuki the man.

clearly its a top gap measure, akin to playing russian roulette with affairs of the government ostensibly to retain a handle on this important ministry and possibly cover up mis-deeds. the question on peoples minds is will michuki be loyal to kibaki or the people of kenya, which is more important to him, we know that once he makes up his mind then he will be more or less immovable. we'll just have to wait and see but frankly other than he doesnt dabble in the small fry business, i do agree that jointly with the other kibaki cronies, they created enabling enviornment for themselves by either destroying or crippling competitors while generously supporting their own enterprises (gross confilct of interest). its not just the transport sector, even govt functions are/were being held at the windsor in a remarkable departure from the past where govt functions were only held at state house or premises where the govt had some interest (KICC, etc).

so whereas i agree with the first anon that at consitutency or more precisely personal level, michuki is forthright, in the bigger scheme of things these guys are a big part of the kenyan problem today. and its not because of their age, but rather because of their single intention to control the economy of the country at all costs even if it means stifling all else.

our problem as kenyans remains that even when presented with the devil hisself, we try so hard to find anything good to say e.g he dresses rather well, or that tail is excellent for stabbing people in the butt, or ... aaaargghhh, these guys are not good for kenya. period.

i hope the 10th parliament lays out a strategy to put an end once and for all to this impunity and compel kibaki to not just honor the dignity of parliament but to also recognize that the position of a PM is not his to toy around with, but came about after very painful process and decisions.


Anonymous said...

Michuki is an ex- Oxford graduate, one of the most prestigious institution in the world.
He is no stranger at the Treasury as he worked there as an under secretary in 1963, after Kenya became independent. He was promoted to deputy Permanent Secretary in 1964 and appointed Permanent Secretary the following year.

It's the experience that matters.

Kimi Raikkonen said...

The discussions here, except for anon @ 1.40am, are like listening to and watching Mr Bean and his cousins, one big happy family.

Vikii said...

You guys will have to try some honesty. All of you. What is wrong with Michuki being acting minister? After Mwiraria's resignation last year, Prof. Kivutha kibwana held two ministries, one in acting capacity. Why are you, Phil, not questioning Chris Obure's appointment as acting Roads Minister? Why this cry-baby attitude all the time?

About Michuki's community, that's a debate reserved for losers!

Anonymous said...


anony said...

when am bored, i come to this site to entertain myself with these blog posts posted by delusional people.

Anonymous said...

If you enjoy reading the sex escapades of one Ms Marianne Brinner then you are a pervert. She must have had a reason to do it.

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