Nothing fascinates me more than studying the decision-making process in the corridors of power. All through history we have seen the interaction between he-who-the-buck-stops-at-his-desk and their close advisors. Remember the case in the good book of the King’s advisor who committed suicide because his correct decision was not followed?
If I was to look at Kibaki’s administration and describe the decision-making process in one sentence I would say that this is the presidency of perfect plans that never worked out. Intelligence usually breeds arrogance and arrogance is deadly because it leads to lots of mistakes. That is why a wise man once said pride comes before a fall. Well the president is surrounded by some very intelligent chaps. Their undoing is that they are also some of the most arrogant folks the continent has seen since the days of King Shaka Zulu. And to make matters worse they are also tribalists. They “know” that their tribe is superior. When you “know” something there is no point debating about it. What for? Si you KNOW?
These fellows always come up with perfect schemes that sometimes end up hurting a lot of people. There are numerous perfect plans that have been hatched during Kibaki’s tenure but I will give just two. One is the perfect plan behind the hurried reappointment of Ringera and the other hurt the nation beyond repair. Let me start with the latter.
In the run up to the 2007 general elections intelligence reports clearly showed that President Mwai Kibaki would lose the election by a landslide. In fact some patriotic Kenyans in the intelligence community, knowing what was being hatched leaked some of these highly confidential reports and they were published all over the web.
Now “the perfect plan” was hatched. Hold the election results from some Mount Kenya constituencies until the very end. And then let the president win by a slim margin of say 200,000 votes. Kila mtu anajua wa-Kikuyu ni wengi, ongeza Wameru na waembu hapo na mambo kwisha (everybody knows that Kikuyus are many just add a few Merus and Embus there and everything will be fine).
These intelligent fellows knew that some people would not take such election results lying down so they sent a large contingent of riot police to Kisumu as the final touch to this “perfect plan.” You guys know what happened.
The “Ringera perfect plan” went like this. KACA holds some rather sensitive information about the Anglo Leasing scam. Anybody looking at it would NOT even need to be a lawyer to see that the trail leads right back to one man and one man alone. That man is Mwai Kibaki. Mwai Kibaki is Anglo Leasing. Even Chris Murungaru was a mere servant following instructions. And so this little parastatal called KACA, ironically established under the initiative of Mwai Kibaki himself is a cause for great concern amongst the president’s handlers. And so the perfect plan was hatched. Hurriedly re-appoint Justice Ringera and only one of two things will happen;
1. Parliament will make noise and finally accept the decision, narrowly (with a little prodding from the executive in the right places).
2. Parliament will reject the appointment and to derail KACA will with-hold funding, meaning that the operations of the anti-corruption body will grind to a halt indefinitely.
Either way the interests of the executive will have been achieved. To be honest the first time I heard about this plot (shortly after the re-appointment of Ringera) I was sure that it was going to work exactly as planned.
Well you folks know what happened. The unexpected happened. The president’s own loyalists turned against him and legislators from both sides of the house ganged up together to say “NO.” Uhuru Kenyatta was sent with some cash to distribute (which he did) but it had no effect on the final outcome. Some MPs took the cash and still voted with their conscience (although some simply stayed away from the house).
The good thing about this “perfect plan” is that only Ringera’s ego was badly hurt. However of great concern is yet another looming “perfect plan” being hatched for the Kibaki succession. I don’t know the whole plan yet (although I can guess) but it is already beginning to take shape with careful security and finance appointments. And as usual plenty of people will get hurt.
God save Kenya from “perfect plans.”
Below is a guest post from one of my top notch guest writers.
Out Goes The-Never-Was Draggon Slayer Ringera as The-Law-Breaker Kibaki Goes Scot Free!
By Guest Writer
Today’s lead story by the Standard reads: “What Ringera did not say was that he was a marked man, the writings were on the wall, and he could not even see the President on Tuesday because it seemed, he too, had given up on him. The hostility to the reappointment was beginning to cast the President in bad light . . . Sources revealed the President’s aides were reluctant to allow the meeting because it had leaked to the Press. The meeting would have cast the picture of a conspiracy between Kibaki and Ringera.”
My take is that the fate that befell Ringera is a wake up call to those we have entrusted with public offices. It’s time it dawned on them they are in office to serve their fellow citizen and not their godfathers. One may sleep on the job or cover up the dirty tracks of his/her powerful godfathers to suit their personal interests. But when the public tide turns against the officer, the cord linking the person to the godfather will definitely snap and the fall will be as thunderous and painful like that of Ringera.
If I was Ringera, I would have read the public mood from the onset and asked myself why Kibaki was so desperate to return me to office through the back door. I would have been candid and admitted I had not delivered as per the public expectations. Surely, the man earned Sh2.5 million each month for five years and tax payers pumped billions of shillings into KACC annually for its operations and not one head has ever been convicted over mega graft. Ringera only waves figures of Cabinet Ministers and other public officers he has investigated and recommended prosecution.
If I was Ringera, I would not sit in an office and see my bank account swell while the fruits of my work are not visible. There’s no doubt Ringera faired very poorly in investigations related to the Anglo Leasing and other scandals that touched on people close to Kibaki and Moi. Ringera served personal interests of Kibaki and Moi and that’s why Kibaki could break the law to keep him in office. Ringera frequently went to State House to meet Kibaki. For what? Isn’t he directly answerable to Parliament only as the law says? Have we ever heard him driving to Parliament to upgrade his employer (Parliament) on the progress he has made in the war against graft?
I admire Ringera for his brilliance and intelligence. But I pity him for making a fool of himself and opening himself to public ridicule for allowing himself to be used by Kibaki for his selfish motives and then get ditched when the stench became so much for Kibaki to bear. Kibaki has a reputation for use and dump.
On the other hand, the debate on Ringera shows how the Kenyan nation is made up of hypocrites. MPs who supported or bashed Ringera are no angels. Apart from all MPs – Kibaki and Raila included - refusing to pay taxes and taking a moral high ground in the wake of the Ringera saga, we know that corruption is oiled by politics. Almost every MP is in the so-called August House because they bribed voters with their ill-gotten wealth. You must be God’s sent angel to hit the campaign road in Kenya on empty pockets, campaigning on a platform of a clean name and impressive credentials, and win voters to your side.
A big number of our MPs are as corrupt as the majority of Kenyan voters. They bought their parliamentary seats and we sold them to the highest bidder. Other MPs – Cyrus Jirongo, Zakayo Cheruiyot, William Ruto, Ephraim Maina, Prof George Saitoti, Kiraitu Murungi, Musalia Mudavadi, just to mention a few – have been adversely mentioned in mega corruption under the Kibaki and Moi regimes.
Our Parliament is filled with looters, murderers and tribalists who can’t pass the moral test of how they made their wealth or made it to Parliament. The debate on Ringera in Parliament betrayed that. MPs who were unfortunate to see Ringera knocking on their doors questioning how they got their wealth or how their abused their offices fought hard to see him exit.
Raila Odinga, the self-proclaimed advocate of the poor Kenyans, is neither an angel as he has never cleared his name in the Kisumu Molasses Plant trade-in for dirty politics with Moi when he dissolved his NDP party to join Moi’s gravy train of looting Kenya.
The MPs should now ride on the same wave they set in motion and force themselves to pay taxes like the rest of us, drive Amos Wako and CJ Evans Gicheru out of office. As long as Kibaki and the cable of corruption remains intact, the war on corruption will remain a mileage and Ringera’s replacement will face the same hurdles. Will those MPs who were being investigated by Ringera sit back and allow his successor to continue with investigations or others will allow fresh investigations on themselves?
I admit I hold no monopoly for integrity or moral conscience. And I submit that none of the 222 MPs – including Speaker Kenneth Marende – and a majority of Kenyan voters hold that monopoly. We are all sucked into the corruption web and filth that has sunk Kenya into the hole we find ourselves in today. Who can cast the first stone he/she has never sought a bribe or offered a bribe to win a favour or escape the law or influenced decisions to their favour?
We are all chameleons like Amos Wako who play to the tune that pleases whoever is in State House. If Raila become President, we would see Wako swinging his loyalty to him overnight. Our collective moral conscience is seriously wanting and we have to collectively go back to the drawing board if we want to genuinely save Kenya. But we’ll all sink with our motherland due to our collective greed and ignorance and the chronic obsession with our ethnic cocoons. The Ringera debate has largely argued and won on the basis on political, tribal inclinations and personal interests. Few have the interest of Kenya at heart.
While the Ringera saga has consumed the energies of MPs and ordinary Kenyans, blaming the dragon slayer for all manner of evils (real and imagined), I hold a different view. The saga exposed the selfish man that is Kibaki. He exposed Ringera to public ridicule and hatred and then sat back in State House to enjoy the man’s name and reputation being torn to shreds. Why should the Standard pretend to look like Kibaki’s apologists? Hammer Kibaki for his evils and stop painting him to look like an angel.
Although Ringera shares some blame for accepting an illegal re-appointment, MPs and Kenyans should have equally turned their guns on Kibaki. Kibaki broke the law in bypassing the advisory board and Parliament in re-appointing Ringera but all anger was directed at Ringera leaving Kibaki to walk scot free with his evils. What will stop him from driving Kenya into another senseless drama?
It’s under Kibaki’s reign that Kenya almost became another Somalia over the flawed 2007 Presidential polls. There are conflicting theories that both Kibaki and Raila fiddled with results in their political backyards. If that was not the case, why did they agree to share power if each knew he had won legally? Those who disagree with that view can argue it to their graves. I believe Kibaki and Raila are not angels and I would not put my life on the line for any of them. They are a curse to Kenya and that’s why we went into mayhem chopping each others hands and heads to put them into powerful offices. Those who worship and lick the bottoms of the two men with their tongues should answer this: Does Kibaki and Raila suffer like the rest of us or aren’t they driven by personal greed?
Martha Karua is another Kibaki. We know the role she played in Kibaki’s “WIN” triggering a bloodbath in Kenya and now she seizes every moment to fool our imaginations why she is God’s gift for Kenya as Kibaki’s successor! The media and foreign missions in Kenya seem to have been fooled. If Samuel Kivuitu and his ECK team were demonized for overseeing flawed elections, where does that leave the likes of Kibaki, Raila, Karua and all the 222 MPs?
The best thing God can do to save Kenya for us and future generations is to speed up the Hague Train so that Kibaki, Raila, Karua, Ruto and all those who think they own Kenya or have a monopoly of violence and impunity can answer for their sins. When that happens, we’ll know we are all equal before the law. We’ll learn to respect each other despite our tribal backgrounds. This will give us an opportunity to sit down like equal partners and agree to move forward like civilised creatures not primitive creatures who kill each other for politicians who care little about us.