Tuesday, November 11, 2008



By Jerry Okungu
Nairobi, Kenya
November 10, 2008

We have two senior politicians in Kenya that have an explanation to do. Since the Waki report came out, Uhuru Kenyatta and Kalonzo Musyoka have been at the forefront together with their retinue of supporters in rubbishing the report as shoddy, full of rumor and therefore could not be used as a basis to convict anybody in a court of law. In a nutshell, they had dismissed the report as selective, vindictive and revengeful in character. At that time when the chorus was to marshal political troops to kill the report even before the cabinet and parliament debated it; Charity Ngilu, Raila Odinga, Martha Karua, Mutula Kilonzo, Musalia Mudavadi and James Orengo were the notable voices in cabinet vouching for its implementation.

Now that the ODM renegades have taken the cue and twisted their party leader’s arms to reject the report in toto, in the hope that their allies in the PNU would support them in dealing with their Prime Minister; the PNU brigade have changed course. Now the pro-implementation group is led by Kalonzo Musyoka and Uhuru Kenyatta! At least William Ruto has remained consistent, which is a good thing for a national leader.
However, what has changed in such a short time to make Uhuru Kenyatta and Kalonzo Musyoka change tune? Has the shoddy report that was based on rumors suddenly become good enough and worth implementing? Where did they get their cue from? Was the cue from President Kibaki or some foreign master?

This country is in dire need of principled leaders; leaders who can take a stand and remain faithful to their views irrespective of the consequences. We need leaders who once they have spoken, dare to take responsibility for their actions rather than be swayed left and right by shifting opinions. This is why for better or for worse; Kenyans are better off with the likes of William Ruto and Martha Karua for consistently taking a stand on national issues and pursuing them to the very end.

The Waki Report has been a classic example of leaders who follow their emotions rather than their brains at critical moments. These are dangerous leaders that cannot take this country through the 2030 Vision. They are the type that are ready to dump the vision midstream should anybody more powerful come along and convince them that the vision was ill- conceived. These are the leaders that were weaned under the Nyayo era of sycophancy when all the thinking and wisdom were the preserve of one man. Six years since Nyayo left power, they still operate under the spell of Nyayoism not aware that they were liberated six years earlier. To them, the era of Nyayo has not ended. To them, Nyayoism is an everlasting institution. Anybody in authority above them; anybody who appoints them to a public office is the ultimate that cannot be challenged. If they are told to take a walk they walk, if asked to clap they clap; if asked to jump, all they will ask is; how high?

The Waki Report is a straight forward affair. There are people in Kenya who raped, murdered and plundered in the name of politics or tribe. There are those that closed churches and residential houses and torched them with human beings inside.

There is that Naivasha Luo laborer who lost ten members of his family for no fault of his own. There are those innocent Kikuyu and Kalenjin tribesmen who died of arrow wounds, unaware of why they had to die.

There are those innocent Luhya, Luo and Kisii travelers who were dragged out of matatus in Naivasha and hacked to death. Then there are those four hundred young men and children who were shot by police at close range; some from their backs as they fled unarmed from the police. These are the people Philip Waki wants to do justice to. We cannot afford to have a lawless society, not even if we are in power. Justice must be seen to be blind to our station in life.

If Uhuru donated funds to the victims of violence, fair enough. Let him tell his story to the tribunal that will determine his guilt or innocence. Let him tell the tribunal how much he donated, who he gave the funds to and for which victims. Let him reveal who else was there in a fundraising event; why it was such a secret affair and why it has just come to light now that the Waki report is out.

Nobody is saying that William Ruto organized and planned murders of Kikuyus in his Eldoret home just like nobody is saying Mwai Kibaki chaired a meeting attended by Mungikis to go and murder non Kikuyus in Naivasha. Some strange fellows could very well have held a secret meeting in Ruto’s home in his absence especially if they were people well known to Ruto’s askaris in his homestead.

Similarly, the State House is a very large compound with many security staff and civil servants all over the place. A clandestine meeting could have been held in any one of the offices for security reasons without Mwai Kibaki knowing about it. This is why Waki’s tribunal will be critical and useful in separating facts from falsehoods. This is the reason a fair hearing is the best method to exonerate or convict individuals. If we go this route, we shall have travelled a civilized path.