Talk of strange bed-fellows.
The announcement this week that Mrs Charity Ngilu will be George Saitoti's running mate for the presidency was mostly ignored by the media. And with good reason because this is a ticket headed nowhere.
Ngilu still holds the record as the only serious woman presidential candidate so far and it remains to be seen if Martha Karua can make a bigger impact this time round. And so it is rather strange that "Mama Rainbow" as she was affectionately known to the electorate in 2002 would accept to be the running mate of perhaps one of the most corrupt Kenyans to ever be Vice President.
Just to illustrate how politics has benefited George Kinuthia aka George Saitoti, a friend of mine who used to work at the now defunct Barclays Bank Union Towers branch was shocked when Moi announced a relatively unknown man called George Saitoti as his new vice president. "That is the man whose Kenya shillings 500 cheque bounced" was how he described him. The man who did not have Kshs 500 in his account is today one of the wealthiest Kenyans around and one of the very few capable of financing a presidential campaign on his own. Politics is the "business" that has made the mathematics professor stinking rich. How a man with such a track record would want to be president just beats me. But then even Nicholas Biwott who makes Saitoti look like Mother Teresa in comparison will also be running for the presidency this time round, my sources tell me.
And so why would Ngilu want to damage her favourable political image with the public by working with somebody like Saitoti? It is instructive that although Saitoti has been the minister in charge of internal security, the Kibaki administration preferred the late John Michuki to handle sensitive national security issues irrespective of what docket he was holding. Apparently somebody felt that they could not be entirely sure that Bwana Saitoti would resist taking a bribe when it came to national security matters. That speaks volumes about the character of the man.
Keen political observers are saying that Ngilu is currently going through some serious financial problems and it is possible that the Saitoti project is less about politics and more about repairing finances.
Fascinatingly both these two politicians have been named as possible running mates to Raila Odinga's bid for the presidency this time round. It is one of the reasons why Mudavadi decided to swing into action (read sample issues of my raw notes for FREE)
Still it will be interesting to see these two contrasting politicians campaign together for the presidency for purely entertainment purposes.
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