Wednesday, December 10, 2008



By Jerry Okungu
Atlanta, Georgia
December 9, 2008

Some things can only happen in Kenya. It would appear like the appointing authority in the Kenya government has lost his authority. If that were not so; how can anyone explain the rampant rebellions and insubordination we witness every day?
Either a minister publicly swears that he will only resign upon his death or the Electoral Commissioners are going to court to stop their sacking.

Now it is the turn of diplomats to embarrass the Kenya government abroad! How can this state of affairs be allowed to take root in Kenya? Can Kenya afford this lawlessness at this point in our history? If 10 of the 16 diplomats who have been recalled have refused to come back home, what moral authority do we have to force the others to come home?

Even if a good number of the current crop of envoys were beneficiaries of the Narc regime when it took power in 2003, the law requires that they serve and represent the president in power at his pleasure. They cannot hold the president and the country at ransom more so when they are too old and too inefficient to benefit the country abroad.

Press reports indicate that some of these diplomats exchanged their present status with sitting powerful MPs- that the verbal promise was to give them eight years abroad! This is hogwash! There is no guarantee that some of the lackluster envoys I have met abroad could have managed to win a council seat in a local ward. If they are that good, let them return home to contest political offices to prove their popularity. My understanding is that most former politicians who crave these posts are political rejects at home and they know it.

Some affected envoys claim that they invested so much money in those posts and that coming back home now will make it impossible for them to recoup their investment! This is an interesting revelation but before we go further, let us retrace our steps to ask one fundamental question: who was the Minister for Foreign Affairs between January 2003 and December 2007?

Those envoys claiming to have invested heavily in those posts should come out clean. They should tell Kenyans when the posts were advertised for sale and the going rates at that time of purchase.

More importantly; they must disclose to Kenyans who received the cash even if the ministers, permanent secretaries, the Head of the Civil Service or the Head of State was the recipient. And knowing how public service appointments have become lucrative; there must have been some tall relatives, cabinet ministers and influential lobbyists that also benefited from these transactions. Kenyans would appreciate this valuable information.

On the flip side of things; may be the time is now to set Ringera’s boys on their trails because we smell fraudulent practices here. All along we were made to believe that these envoy appointments were on merit but now we know; the positions were for grabs to the highest bidder. If Ringera establishes that indeed illegal activities took place, Kenyans would like to see some blood spilt sooner rather than later. Let Kenyans see all collaborators punished severely.

Coming handy is the Illinois experience where the State Governor was arrested and locked up for trying to sell Obama’s vacant Senate seat to the highest bidder. In the case of the American Governor, the FBI Agents are determined to ensure a public office; more Obama’s seat is not auctioned like a goat in the marketplace!
Now that Kenyans know the truth; Parliament should change the law to make it mandatory that all those names nominated by the President must pass through a vigorous vetting in Parliament before they are posted. This way, it will make it extremely difficult for diplomatic auctioneers to bribe the entire Parliament if cash is all they need to qualify.

Minister Wetangula should not lose sleep over those envoys threatening to remain in their stations. Just fast track new appointments and delete the names of these arrogant political rejects from the payroll. Another thing; consider them a disgrace to the country whose remaining in exile in those countries would be a blessing to Kenya. And you can go further Bwana Minister. Ask the host countries to declare them persona non grata together with their families so that they may appreciate the importance of being serving as envoys of one’s country.