Monday, February 18, 2008



By Jerry Okungu

Despite the Artur brothers dominating the airwaves for the better part of the last two weeks, finally, their arrest gave us some light at the end of the tunnel if not the much needed fresh breath of air.

Yes, the two weeks had been rough for every body; more so for President Kibaki that saw him come out fighting to clear his name from the saga of the Armenian criminals.

The fiasco at the airport that finally broke the camel’s back was a real tragedy for Kenya.
It showed how low we had fallen in terms of surrendering our sovereignty and sense of pride to common criminals from foreign lands. I say this because nobody in this country can convince me that the Artur brothers are some kind of royal birth from wherever they were born. Yet, when they landed on our shores, the high and mighty, the media and even fake celebrities fell over each other to pause for pictures and even receive some silly token awards from them in the glare of television cameras!

Don’t blame it on some activist called Wamboi and her daughter Winnie.

The two ladies, like the rest of serious government officials saw an opportunity to harvest some gold and they went for it. Whether the gold carats were fake or real is another matter.
In any case, they were not the only ones to be duped. They had senior officers in the Police Force, the Immigration Department, Airport Authority, the Media and a lot more even bigger fish in the Internal Security Department for company.

A lot has been said about the Artur brothers since the invasion of the Standard and KTN premises three months ago. Yet, there is one ominous thing that seems to have not come out in the press. I have decided to make this missing point the subject of this article.

Let me begin from the beginning in order for me to make sense in my analysis of the situation.

Artur brothers arrived in this country some times last year in the middle of the most volatile political hate campaign in the history of this country. They were here when the political temperatures were at their highest. The Banana proponents of the Wako Constitution were battling it out with the Orange opponents of the same document.

Somehow, these two brothers got here, stayed in a city hotel, made contacts with senior influence peddlers in the Kibaki government, relocated to a private residence in exclusive Runda Estate while all along pausing as serious foreign investors.

Some how along the line, there were no tangible investments coming along from the pair yet they were able to engage in all sorts of attention grabbing headline controversies.

First to kick off a series of these controversies was Raila Odinga, who through his own intelligence had identified them as mercenaries for hire brought in to the country to eliminate a group of political figures not in tune with the present regime. To give credence to Raila’s allegations, he met the commissioner of Police and recorded a statement giving details of their passports, their nationalities, their contacts in government, where they stayed, their frequent visitors, the map to where they lived and government vehicles that were assigned to them.

Despite this detailed information, the Police, the Minister for Internal Security or anybody else concerned with the security of this country never bothered to investigate these serious allegations.

If anything, Raila’s allegations were rubbished by at least three cabinet ministers still sitting in the Kibaki government.

The next headline grabber was when they suddenly appeared at the JKIA VIP lounge, a high security area reserved for Heads of State and high ranking government officials to give a well attended Press Conference in the wee hours of the morning ostensibly to deny Raila Odinga’s allegations then make their own counter claims that Raila Odinga had borrowed over a million dollars from them which he was reluctant to pay.

To give weight to their allegations against Raila, they roped in Kalonzo Musyoka to give their story the ODM angle. They claimed that the two had asked them to finance a take over bid of the Kibaki government to the tune of Ksh. 3 billion which in the wisdom of the Artur investors, they declined, claiming that they did not want to meddle in local politics.

The chronology of the Artur brothers’ stay in Kenya before being deported can go on and on.

But, now that they are gone; now that John Michuki and other high ranking government officials have disowned them, what can Kenyans make of their original mission in Kenya since it has become obvious that they were indeed involved in high risk criminal activities? Who stood to benefit from their presence in Kenya? Why were they allowed to use some of the most expensive government cars, government and diplomatic number plates and even seal some of them as they cruised and crisscrossed the city?

In the six months the two brothers lived here, they achieved the impossible; they became Kenya citizens, joined the Police Force at the ranks only lower than the Police Commissioner, became permanent pass holders to all security areas in Kenya- more so the Kenya Airports, enjoyed unlimited duty free importation of all manner of un-inspected and un-customed goods. They were allowed importation of all manner of dogs whose status of health nobody bothered to ascertain. They were issued with unspecified assortment of high calibre military weapons that they were allowed to carry anywhere including in high security areas such as JKIA!

These are the same people who bragged that not even John Michuki or Police Commission Hussein Ali would be allowed into their Runda residence without their permission. If any of them did, they would unleash their terror dogs on our security chiefs!

In trying to understand the mystery of the Artur brothers, one needs to look at the characters that are alleged to have dealt with them intimately. These are the only people that may shed light into their mission in Kenya.

If we take Narc activist called Wamboi and her daughter, these are people who the media has doggedly followed and associated with the Kibaki family since he came to power despite repeated denials by President Kibaki that he has no relations with either Wamboi or her daughter. These denials have always been in writing released to the press after being signed by the President himself. It therefore did not come as a surprise this last time, that President Kibaki had to go on television to deny the relationship with the two once more and even threaten to sue the Nation Media Group for libel and defamation.

Assuming that Wamboi and her daughter are ordinary Kenyans, which I presume they are, then why didn’t the government security intelligence reign in on them immediately they were suspected to be the associates of dangerous criminals?
How come the police have not moved in to arrest and interrogate them to shed light on the nature of business the two brothers were involved in?

Here was a case of clear breach of security protocol. Criminals in possession of all manner of illegal arms, government vehicles, number plates and unauthorized security documents are finally arrested and deported without being arraigned in court; yet their accomplices, body guards and girl- friends are also allowed to go Scott-free without facing any criminal charges! Is this the norm under normal circumstances? Could any other Kenyan; Raila, Kalonzo, Gumo, Kihoro, Kamau or Kones have gotten away with it the way these minions did?

If it is true that three powerful ministers in the Kibaki government, the Police Force, the Immigration Department, Internal Security in the Office of the President, the Airport Authority and their staff knew about their activities and actually aided them to achieve their objectives, is there a possibility that there was a more dangerous conspiracy against the President and the State than we have been made to believe?

Was some one or a group of people planning some thing sinister against President Kibaki from among his most trusted friends in position of influence? If so, what did they stand to gain? And why did they have to use Armenians and two women who have no clear roles in the present regime?

In other countries in Africa, if such a security breach had taken place involving top police officers, a security minister, the Airports Authority chief and immigration minister as it happened here in Kenya, the characters concerned would today be lucky to languish in prison cells awaiting high treason charges. More often than not, they would be dead men and women by now.

Yet here we are still debating the issue in parliament while other junior accomplices in politics and government are going about their businesses as if nothing has happened.

The jury is still out there waiting to give their verdict.