Wednesday, July 23, 2008



The Standard
July 23, 2008
By Amos Kareithi

The 42-year-old man who served one of Kenya’s most prominent political families for 15 years is now a vagabond and a nervous wreck.

David Dimba Jakobuya was 20 when he was drafted into Jaramogi’s security detail and counted himself lucky to serve the man he had always admired. Little did he know that he was signing his ticket to perpetual poverty.

After a trip to the city from his tin shack single room in Satellite, Nairobi, Jackobuya clad in a ten-year-old grey striped suit rues the day he dedicated his life to politics.

“It is evident I made the wrong investment by investing honesty and loyalty in politics which is dominated by greed and treachery,” Jakobuya laments.

David Jakobuya during the interview. Photo: Evans Habil/Standard

Jakobuya joined Jaramogi’s team in 1987 at a time when it was considered dangerous to associate with him due to his political leanings. He survived the Mwakenya crackdown but now lives in abject poverty, never sure where the next meal will come from.

“I had just escorted my uncle, Mhewa Ndede, who was an aide, to Tanzania,” recalls Jakobuya. When he returned he was recruited to work as a sentry at the old man’s Milimani residence in Kisumu. He rose through the ranks to become Jaramogi’s trusted aide and confidante and was initiated into the world of politics.

tasted his food

Overnight the son of a peasant who had dropped out of secondary school twice for lack of fees became a vital cog in the wheels of the second liberation. He had the power to admit or send away those seeking appointment with Jaramogi, a decision which could cripple one’s career.

“Initially, I was barber and learnt how to type. I was tasked with the responsibility of shaving Jaramogi’s hair,” the former aide recalls.

His stay at Milimani was regularised and designated as personal assistant to Jaramogi, the Chairman of East Africa Spectre.

My last days with Jaramogi

“It was my responsibility to keep Jaramogi’s diary. I also tasted his food. We were guarding against poisoning,” he says. Jakobuya almost cries as he recalls how he wrecked his personal life pursuing a political struggle.

“I had no time of my own. As Jaramogi aged, his needs increased. Now I had to spend my nights near his bedroom. I massaged him every night,” he adds.

His salary by the time he left Spectre was Sh10,000, which he sent his family as he had no time for them.

“I recall my last days with Jaramogi. I pleaded with him to take medicine, and my heart breaks for this marked the death of my dreams,” he says. When Jaramogi died on January 20, 1994, Jakobuya was deployed as an aide to Raila. He says due to his job relations between him and some Nyanza politicians were strained, climaxing in an attempt on his life.

lost chances

Jakobuya is disillusioned when he should have been celebrating. “I lost my wife in 2005. My first daughter died in 2000 and son in 2004. Now, I am jobless. My other three children are living with relatives,” he says. In June 2004, Jakobuya threatened to sue the Odinga family for allegedly not paying him Sh7 million.

“Throughout my service to Jaramogi and Raila, I never went on leave. I was not paid for overtime or extra duties,” he adds.

Honesty in politics, Jakobuya says, is the worst policy and is writing a book on the subject.