Headstrong, stubborn, opinionated.
Are those the qualities you would want in your president? Are there benefits in having such a man sitting in State house or is it a recipe for disaster and the possible shut down of a nation? Well, think about it as you read on.
Former United States ambassador to Kenya Smith Hempstone (now deceased) worked tirelessly to help Kenyans get rid of the dictatorial Moi regime in the 1980s. It is no secret that the lovable “nyama choma ambassadeur” overstepped his mark as a diplomat in this country many times. I mean how does a peaceful protest march in the city against the Moi regime end up at the US embassy, with wananchi demanding that the ambassador address them?
Still in my book extreme times call for extreme measures and may history never forget to record the contributions of this white bearded burly man in the long road Kenyans have walked towards freedom and justice.
My apologies for getting emotionally carried away with Hempstone, but what I wanted to say was that one of Hempstone’s noble initiatives was to unite the then opposition to field a single candidate against President Moi in the initial multi-party elections of the 1990s. His efforts were always frustrated by headstrong politicians who believed that they would go it alone and beat Moi and his well oiled machinery single-handedly. One name in particular kept on popping up in Hempstone’s lips as a major stumbling block to any semblance of opposition unity. That name was Mwai Kibaki.
Fast forward to 2005 and the historic referendum. After years in the dark, many Kenyans were beginning to get a glimpse into the character of this Emilio Stanley Mwai Kibaki. Numerous people advised him to save the country from chaos and call off the referendum. He stubbornly refused insisting that he was winning and the Yes, banana vote would carry the day.
Fast forward to 2008 and somebody suggested that Barack Obama may have an outside chance of winning the US presidency. Insiders say that the president almost had a fit. He who had started going to the United States in the 1950s surely knew that country very well and there was no chance, even if every American fell dead of a black man being elected president. Of course the careful damage control that has been played out recently including those silly stories of how Kibaki gave Obama’s dad a job may fool some Kenyans as it is designed to do.
By the way one of the favourite means by which the president dismisses views and opinions that do not go down well with him is by calling people “young man.” You will remember in the run up to the 2007 elections Lucy Kibaki talked about a young man causing the president sleepless nights. She was simply echoing what was being discussed in private. In my view both Kalonzo Musyoka and Raila Odinga are NOT young men. If they are then Jimmy Kibaki must be a toddler.
Indeed through out the long political career of Mwai Kibaki he has been a lone ranger in the way he plays his politics. Lone rangers are impossible to advice and are set in their ways (whether they work or not). That character in the president is about to earn him yet another place in the history books for the wrong reasons. Legal experts say that there is more that enough evidence to prosecute Mwai Kibaki when he leaves office for various crimes. In sharp contrast Daniel Toroitich arap Moi, that perfected Machiavellian master of the political game was a listener and listened to everybody. That is the secret behind his long survival. And what is more he covered his legal backside admirably. The man must have read Mario Puzo’s classic, The Godfather, several times. I mean he was very careful whom he gave orders to and of course he signed nothing. The result is that nobody can pin him down for any of his many sins against the Kenyan people let alone prosecute him successfully.
Mwai Kibaki is a whole different kettle of fish. The when-I-was-lecturing-in-Makerere President has been way too careless. So careless that his handlers are having sleepless nights now wondering how they can scheme a peaceful retirement for the man under whose watch the country sunk into tribal chaos and its’ deepest crisis ever.
Take it from me, if that man lives long enough, prepare yourself to see him in images transmitted all over the world, surrounded by a battery of lawyers facing serious charges but still as headstrong as ever as to how his legal defence should be handled. And he may just be right once again. The way he was right about Obama, the referendum and how Kenyans can never elect a “Jaruo young man” as president... even if the incumbent fell asleep in State House and forgot there was an election until the last 3 months or so.
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