Sunday, March 2, 2008



By the International Press
Saturday, March 1, 2008

Martha Karua barred from travelling to Geneva.
Long after we broke this news, the Standard has confirmed it, we are ahead.

Martha Karua has been denied a visa to travel for a human rights meeting in Geneva Switzerland. The Minister was to attend an international forum dubbed “Session of State Counsel Law” in Geneva that is scheduled to kick off tomorrow. The Minister had applied for the visa on Tuesday. Kenya’s delegation to the forum is headed by her Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Dorothy Angote.

As if that was not enough, her son, a university student in Australia had his re-entry to Australia at the end of his stay in Kenya denied. As if this was not enough, more disaster has been visiting her. Another of her kids was deported from another Western capital.

For Martha Karua, disaster has come following disaster. After being spurned by President Kibaki before he signed the power-sharing arrangement, she is devastated. Ms Karua, one of the hardliners of the Kibaki regime has been ruffling the Eminent African leaders the wrong way. She was missing in action on Friday when the mediators resumed their places at the Annan table. She was reportedly livid, and said as much to Foreign Minister Moses Wetangula because after being detailed to stone-wall the mediation efforts, Kibaki melted the walls that stood in the way of a political settlement, albeit without consulting her.

Switzerland was one of the vociferous foreign powers that was insisting on a settlement. It will be remembered that the wealthy Alpian federal state had threatened to follow the American cue and impose visa bans on anybody who was perceived to be adopting a hardline position on the mediation talks.

This frustration of Karua comes as music to the ears of all patriotic Kenyans. She has no respect for anybody. The other day she was reported to have told off her colleagues from the PNU mediation team; Prof Sam Ongeri and Mutula Kilonzo. Apparently, Mutula let the cat out of the bag when he insinuated that Ongeri was hurt by the exchanges. "You have never seen Ongeri as sad as this", he had said.

Ms Karua was on the BBC's hardtalk immediately after the election to defend the PNU government. In a very articulate and strong-headed manner, she told off the former British High Commissioner to Kenya, Sir Edward Clay. At the interview, she even hinted that Clay was persona non grata in Kenya. Of course at that time Clay had no communication of his banning from Kenya. Later he was to be told by the Kenyan Embassy officials at St James Park that he was indeed banned from entering Kenya. She had goofed.

Hot on the heals of that, Karua adopted an eloquent posture, arguing at every TV talk-show that the ODM was free to go to court. Of course she knew where that theatre was going to end with a pliant court. The hearing was to be open and fair but she was going to write the ruling at SH and have it read. Well, now things are collapsing all around her. With her children barricaded in Kenya and herself tethered in Kirinyaga, she is going to become more rabid.

Meanwhile, reports reaching us indicate that more hardliners are marked and will soon find themselves isolated much like Karua. Ms Karua can hardly travel to Europe and she certainly now remembers that ambassadors are not junior officials in the pecking order after all. They speak with authority and apart from the President, nobody else can address a meeting and say 'my government', except an ambassador. This part of diplomatic etiquette; the former junior magistrate needs to take in her Civics 101.

Source: Gordon Teti, Winnipeg, Canada