Thursday, February 21, 2008



By Jerry Okungu

I have nothing personal about Simeon Nyachae. He has been a great leader to his community for decades now. May be it is time he stepped down to enjoy his twilight years in peace. After serving three presidents since Kenya’s independence at the highest level he could, there is nothing left for him to hang around for. If he continues to do so, he will only ruin his colorful career.

I watched the drama that took place in Kisii last Friday. It was not shameful. It was not even backward. It was simply terrifying! I watched Omingo Magara, William Ruto and Chris Bichage run for their dear lives. I saw the people who were chasing them. They were young hunters in traditional outfit, all armed to kill. They had all manner of weapons that in traditional Africa, young men normally carry when they go hunting for game in the forests. Then I remembered my childhood as a young boy looking after my father’s animals in far away lands while hunting at the same time. I remembered how a group of us, armed with spears, knives and rungus would go hunting for rabbits, antelopes and gazelles with our hunting dogs in tow. Whenever we sighted one game, we would go after it in hot pursuit, shouting, running and throwing all manner of weapons after it.

That was what I saw on my screen on Friday night. I saw Ruto, Magara and Bichage run like wild animals. I saw their hunters throw all manner of weapons their way. Then I held by breath and asked myself; how far have we gone far back in civilization? What have we done to deserve this kind of global shame? Do we really deserve to be a nation among the community of civilized nations?

Then I saw the video clip that preceded this terrifying scene. I saw Cabinet Minister, the “honorable” Simeon Nyachae, a law maker from Kisii in a trance, in a war dance addressing his army of youth in red Ford People shukas! The man was writhing in rage. He had obviously gone beserk. He spoke in three languages all at the same time.
He wielded his stick with the rage that no ordinary man could. He looked intoxicated with something. It was not the normal Nyachae the father of my friends. This was not the usual Nyachae who had stood up to Moi and resigned from Moi’s cabinet a few years earlier. This was a different Nyachae, a man consumed by burning hate and was ready to kill!

Then I remembered the scene in William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar soon after Caesar had been butchered in the Roman Palace. In that scene, one of the friends of the fallen hero had the presence of mind to mourn Caesar in the following words; the evil that men do live after them but the good that they do will always be interred with them in the marrows of their bones.

When I saw the madness in Kisii that Friday, I asked myself; does Nyachae love Kibaki so much that he can kill in his name? Does Nyachae hate Magara, Ruto, Bichage and all opposition politicians so much that he is ready to kill them? What would he gain personally if he actually carried out the murder plot to its conclusion?

Then I asked myself; may be the three MPs gate-crashed Nyachae’s function which happens to have been in Magara’s constituency, but does Nyachae have the right to hold meetings in other MPs’constituencies while at the same time barring them from attending? If President Kibaki can go Jakoyo Midiwo’s Gem and Reuben Ndolo’s Makadara and be humble enough to be welcomed by his opposition MPs, who is Nyachae to behave like a law unto himself?

Simeon Nyachae’s behaviour has done two damages to President Kibaki. It has proved that President Kibaki has thugs and warlords in his cabinet. It has also damaged beyond repair the Kibaki campaign for reelection. From now on, ordinary people will associate the President with thugs and killers unless Kibaki removes Nyachae from the cabinet and his re-election campaign team. Because to say the truth, Nyachae is not adding value to the Kibaki campaign and neither is he an asset to the present government.

President Kibaki has condemned Nyachae’s actions without naming him. Now he must go the extra mile and do what Kenyatta did to the late Dr. Onyonka and what Moi did to the late Okondo under similar circumstances. Kenyatta ordered the arrest of Onyonka and subjected him to a murder trial even though he was later acquitted of the murder of his opponent. Peter Okondo lost his cabinet post following his threat to the late Alexander Muge that came to pass. Moi could not have Okondo anymore in the cabinet even though he was not linked directly to the tragic accident that claimed Muge’s life.

We all need a free and fair election and Nyachae must understand this. The goons that Nyachae has recruited must be made to feel that there is a government in place to keep law and order. They must be made to know that their crude weapons are no match against the police force and Kenya’s military. Common thugs must be dealt with the way Mungikis have been dealt with. They must be stopped from ruining this country no matter who their boss is.