Thursday, September 10, 2009
Dangerous times for Ali?
There are four key figures who helped Kibaki steal the general elections in December 2007.
1. The chair of the then ECK
2. The head of the intelligence
3. The police commissioner
4. Martha Karua
These are people who know too much. They know enough to put away Mwai Kibaki for the rest of his life as soon as his term at State House ends.
We all know what the ECK chair did and we also know the key role of Michael Gichangi who heads the NSIS. So let me say a little about Martha Karua.
This iron lady is a hero these days. She joined the annals of Kenyan history as the second cabinet minister ever to resign on principal. She has been very busy with her presidential campaign ever since. But I beg to ask a question. If you were Mwai Kibaki would you allow her to walk away knowing what she does. For those who do not know, Martha’s sharp legal mind found the loopholes in our electoral laws that would ensure a second Mwai Kibaki term in State house despite his losing the elections which he knew he would. Michael Gichangi even had the figures of the approximate number of votes he would lose by.
So despite her hot air, did Martha Karua make a deal with Mwai Kibaki that allowed her to walk away with what she knows? You tell me what you think.
Now let us talk about Major General Ali who is the main subject of my post today. I love history, so kindly bear with me. Besides you need history to understand exactly what is going on here.
I followed Mwai Kibaki’s campaign in 2002 very closely. Like many Kenyans I really wanted to believe that he was the messiah Kenya had been waiting for and indeed I voted for him in that memorable 2002 general election. But even as he campaigned I couldn’t help spotting the naivety displayed in his ideas. He kept on repeating that the money the taxman collected then was more than enough to run the country. But he never once gave details of where all the money in the Moi administration was going to. Where was the waste? Just corruption? This is what I assumed he meant and even I observing things very far from the centre of power knew better. That is the cash the president needs (playing Moi and Kibaki politics) to remain in power. Indeed Kibaki quickly changed his mind within a few weeks of living in State house and that is why Anglo Leasing happen.
But I digress. I was talking about Ali. The other thing I found Mwai Kibaki very naïve in was in his ideas for fighting crime. Listening to him it was clear that he thought that a few simple moves would quickly rid the country of crime. You will remember that one of his first actions as chief executive of the nation was to request a written report from the country’s security kingpins. Kibaki’s plan soon emerged. The idea was to increase the number of policemen and women in the country and to get a couple of helicopters hovering over crime prawn areas at night. Had he listened to a few pumbavus then, he would have saved himself a lot of trouble and the taxpayer a lot of money.
Admittedly I was even more naïve. How did I expect a man who has always kept his distance with the common man and the riff ruff (pumbafu in his dictionary) to understand the problems on the ground?
So back to my story. To carry out these new ideas the president needed a new man at Vigilance House and that is how Maj Gen Ali ended up there. To the president’s credit Ali was promised immunity against politicians and this promise was generally kept.
If there is anything a soldier hates it is a job that is left undone. And so when it became clear that crime was never going to vanish because of helicopters in the air and more officers, other options were looked into. The Alston report told Kenyans and the world in detail what other methods Ali oversaw at Vigilance house. I remember the first time I broke that story here (long before the 2007 debacle and long long before Prof Alston), many of my readers just laughed me off. Admittedly Ali’s methods were very effective and the security situation improved dramatically. The only problem is that these methods are NOT acceptable in a civilized society.
We are told that pride comes before a fall. And so by the time December 2007 arrived, police commissioner Maj Gen Ali was riding high. He had proved time and again that he was immune to being sacked (and to noisy annoying politicians). I don’t want to repeat what I have said here before many times so let me just cut to the chase concerning the police commissioner’s role in the election theft of 2007.
I want to focus on the press conference the police commissioner held at KICC on the eve of the announcement of the presidential elections outcome. Indeed Kenyans were puzzled why Ali should hold a press conference to “lecture” Kenyans on keeping the peace whatever the outcome of the elections and yet the elections had already happened and the ECK was just too quiet on the outcome of the presidential elections. In retrospect it is rather clear why this was done. It is evident that as Ali talked that day and laughed at his own jokes with angry journalists stared at him in disbelief, he already knew what the outcome of those elections were. His job was to maintain law and order. Or to put it another way, to ensure that Kenyans accepted the election results at all costs.
So you can see folks that Ali knows too much because the election theft has to be covered up. Nobody must know the truth. Now the tricky situation here is that most legal experts see Ali ending up at the Hague to answer charges of crimes against humanity. Now, how is he going to defend himself? One way is to tell the truth. But we know the truth cannot be told under any circumstances. So will Ali go down alone like a good soldier? But even more important; will the relevant handlers at State House trust him to keep his mouth shut to the end? Is the appointment as Post Office CEO enough to ensure his silence? You see Ali is not Martha Karua. Martha is a seasoned politician and politicians make deals all the time. It is the way of politics. Besides it is unlikely that Martha will end up at the Hague for her role in 2007.
While he was police commissioner, Ali was meticulous about his personal security. If I were him I would double my personal security.
P.S. Remember the former CID chief who fell out with Ali? His name was Joseph Kamau. A few months ago the authoritative Indian Ocean newsletter claimed that Kamau had been appointed as special advisor to the president’s security team. I have since established from my impeccable sources that this is NOT true. So who fed those lies to the Frenchman at the Indian Ocean newsletter? And what was their motive? Well, the truth is that Kamau landed at a major local bank as head of its’ security and anti-fraud unit. He has done an excellent job there I am told. But some people think that now that Ali is a postman, Kamau may just re-appear on the scene. Who knows?
Posted by Chris at 4:20 AM