One thing I can tell you about the Moi era is that there were no dull moments. What I miss most about it was the occasional dark humour.
Sample the following.
President Moi had gotten very unpopular and miserable Kenyans were completely fed up with his rule. At around that time Moi decided to use Special Branch (the intelligence service at that time) to spread a rumour that the president was suffering from throat cancer and would die at any moment. To add credibility to this explosive rumour the president left for an extended trip overseas, it was whispered that he was desperately seeking some kind of treatment, but there was none.
Don’t miss Kumekucha’s weekend special starting tomorrow. Is is a weekend special like no other I have written before. I felt emotionally drained just writing it, I have no idea what you will feel reading it. If you thought you knew Kenyans and the rot that is in many family units, then think again. I didn't pull any punches here. I reveal secrets hidden for a long time. If you have a weak heart, please don’t try to read this weekend special… I am dead serious.
How do Kenyans expect clean accountable politicians when the stench in our very own homes smells to high heaven?
Those were the days when Kenyans were afraid of their own shadows and would not dare say anything against the president in public. Still it was obvious that many Kenyans received news of the president’s alleged illness with a lot of joy. Many saw this as an answer to their many years of prayers for Moi to somehow leave the presidency.
It is not clear what the whole intention of starting this rumour was. Some say Moi and his close aides wanted to carefully monitor the predictable succession jostling that would ensue. Whatever the intention shortly after these rumours started doing the rounds in Nairobi, Moi returned to the country in a jovial mood. As usual he ran down the stairs of the plane at high speed as soon as it touched down. On the tarmac, he enthusiastically slapped the hand of Prof George Saitoti in greeting and joined traditional dancers in a jig or two… same old, same old. You could almost sense the whole nations’ sigh of despair at how healthy the president looked. No signs of a terminal illness there.
Moi went on to give a speech where he solemnly re-dedicated himself to serving the very Kenyans who did not want him to serve them. That was Moi and impunity at its’ best. Mupende musipende.
This man called Bethuel Kiplagat reminds me very much of that Moi incident. He insists on serving Kenyans as the chair of the Truth Justice and Reconciliation commission and is determined to serve the Kenyans who do not want to be served by him. Mr Kiplagat should remember that this is the old impunity rearing its’ ugly head again in his actions. How the hell will this thing work when there is NO public confidence in Kiplagat? To make matters worse the man is playing the old sick politics of appealing to several groups to publicly declare confidence in his ability to lead the TJRC. The latest group to do this is the Kalenjin council of elders. I mean the man just doesn’t get it does he?
Forget the fact that Kiplagat has been bending the law to its’ very limit for personal gain. Specifically I am talking about the Banking laws which do not allow a major share holder to be part of the management. The truth is that Kiplagat is a major shareholder of the bank called K-Rep but has used lawyers to register a complex web of holding companies to own the bank shares so that he remains at the helm managing it. Banking experts insist that his management has been retrogressive to the progress of the bank. K-Rep was the first community-based micro banking organization and a lot of their pioneering work was taken up by others like Equity Bank who are now many million miles ahead of K-Rep. Using the complex web of holding companies Mr Kiplagat may not have broken the law but he has certainly defeated and frustrated the spirit of that law. And this is the man who wants to lead the TJRC mupende musipende. Who will benefit from this forced leadership? The Kenyan people? Or Mr Kiplagat?
Is it not obvious to Kiplagat that the fact that he was Robert Ouko’s PS when the former foreign affairs minister was murdered is enough for him to disqualify himself from heading the TJRC without any pressure from Kenyans? Whether he is guilty or innocent is irrelevant. The man just needs to step aside and let the truth come out. Or what is he really scared of?
The fear that the truth is that Kiplagat’s appointment by Kibaki was NOT an accident. There are plenty of skeletons in all these politician’s closet. President Kibaki has got vast tracts of land at the Coast and some Kenyans at the Coast want to talk about this land and are not comfortable telling all to Kiplagat. After all this is Kenya. People still disappear without trace under unexplained circumstances.
If Mr Kiplagat was as clean as he claims to be, we wouldn’t even be discussing this issue, the man would not have accepted the appointment in the first place.
What Africa Confidential says about Kiplagat skeletons in the closet
Kumekucha classic posts;
What was Kenyatta really like?
Why this Kenyan habit of naming kids after presidents, past and future?