Friday, August 21, 2009



By Jerry Okungu
Nairobi, Kenya
August 19, 2009

Kenyans have no business being polite to their former president. That man needs to know that he hurt Kenya for a quarter of a century. He needs to know that his misrule, divisive politics and appetite for plunder of public resources is the price we are today paying for.

He needs to know that if Golden Berg had not taken place in the history of our country, chances are that Anglo Leasing and other scams thereafter would not have taken place. He needs to know that had the tribal clashes of 1992 and 1997 been punished according to the law, the 2007 mayhem would probably not have taken place.

Equally telling is the fact that had he not massively rigged the elections of 1988 in favor of his cronies despite the fact that he enjoyed a one party rule under KANU, subsequent electoral irregularities including the 2007 disaster would not have occurred.

What I’m saying here is that all these problems we are facing today have their roots in the years when Moi wielded unchallenged power, when he detained, jailed and even killed at will. It is the era that saw him lie to the nation in Parliament that JM Kariuki was on a business trip in Zambia when in fact his body was lying mutilated in Ngong Forest.

Yes, Moi was not the president of Kenya then. Kenyatta was. But Moi was Kenyatta’s effective deputy, Minister for Home Affairs and in charge of Internal Security because all arms of the Police Force were under him. He should have known or probably knew that the state had already eliminated Kariuki.

Moi must be reminded that even though Kariuki was murdered and his murder investigated by Parliament, Kenyatta did nothing to bring to book the culprits that the Mwangale Committee recommended for further investigation and prosecution. And even then, following his taking over from Kenyatta three years later, he made sure the findings remained buried in the bowels of the government’s safety volts.

It is human nature to repeat atrocities if the first one goes unpunished. Because the “Big Man” in Mboya’s murder went scot-free, JM’s killers had the audacity to repeat the feat. Because JM’s killers were never touched because they had god fathers in the system, Robert Ouko was to die in similar circumstances, this time under the Moi regime. To date, the killers who served Moi well during his ruthless regime, have never been found; never mind that Moi promised Kenyans that no stone would be left unturned in Ouko’s murder.

Moi is today a free man in this country because our legal and judicial systems broke down a long time ago. In a country where every office holder owes it to the Head of State, no justice can be found for the individual. Had Moi ruled another country such as Malaysia, South Korea, Thailand or even Zambia next door, he would today be either in the dock or at Kamiti Prison serving long sentences for crimes he committed during his rule.

Fortunately for him, we are in Kenya where he has the audacity to roam the countryside and argue with people he tortured as he plundered Kenya’s resources.
Due to our inability to deal with past injustices decisively, we have allowed Moi to threaten us with blood-letting should we eject squatters he gave stolen land in Mau Forest and other water towers in Kenya. Due to a dysfunctional legal and moral system, we are unable to hold him accountable for the tribal clashes in Rift Valley in 1992 and 1997 that left several Kenyans dead despite Akiwumi and Kiliku reports pinpointing culprits.

We are unable to hold him accountable for the raids at the Central Bank of Kenya through Golden Berg scam and money printing for his campaign in 1992 under the umbrella of YK92. These two activities alone crippled our economy for a decade.

If the truth be told; let us not beat about the bush or mince words. If indeed the law enforcement authorities will for once take President Kibaki seriously and act on his orders of arresting and prosecuting those who invades Mau Forest, let Police Commissioner, Attorney General and Aaron Ringera haul Moi first in court for corruptly acquiring a part of Mau Forest where his tea factory now stands.

It is wrong to victimize the small man with an acre of land while leaving the architect of the forest plunder unscathed. Those small people didn’t invade the forest on their own. Moi ordered for them to occupy the water tower and went further to issue them with genuine government title deeds. Had Moi not done so; had Moi not led them in occupying the forest, our rivers and lakes would not be drying up today. Had Moi not tampered with our eco system, we would probably be suffering less droughts and less food shortages.

Let Moi either shut up on Mau Forest or face the law.